By Javacia Harris Bowser
Believe it or not, one of the fondest Magic City Classic memories for Tammy Alexander, PhD, is the night she almost called the police on a group of Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (AAMU) and Alabama State University (ASU) cheerleaders.
Alexander is the AAMU cheerleading squad faculty advisor, and she is well aware that tensions are high, tempers flare, and trash talking is at peak levels during the weekend of the Magic City Classic, the annual football rivalry between AAMU’s Bulldogs and ASU’s Hornets. So, when students came rushing to Alexander’s hotel room to tell her that cheerleaders from her team were fighting cheerleaders from ASU, she jumped into action.
“I zoomed down the stairs in my pajamas. I went into full mama mode,” said Alexander, adding that her mind was racing as she thought about how she might have to call the police and contact AAMU President Andrew Hugine Jr., PhD.
Alexander was also worried that some members of her team wouldn’t be able to cheer in the big game. When she finally reached the students, there was no fight—just lots of laughter. She’d been pranked.
“They got me,” Alexander said with a laugh. “And I still have not been able to get them back.”
Alexander cherishes the memory of her team pranking her mostly because ASU cheerleaders were in on the trick, too. To her, it shows that the teams are able to find camaraderie even in the midst of competition.
“It’s an intense rivalry but if [Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs)] don’t stick together, then there’s a problem,” she said. “I look at that like sibling rivalry. You can talk about your siblings inside the house, but you better not talk about my friends when the game is all over.”
This article originally appeared in The Birmingham Times.