Tide fans snatch up merchandise

Published 4:24 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Alabama fans wait in line Tuesday at Hibbett Sports in Clanton to buy merchandise commemorating the team's 21-0 win over LSU in the BCS National Championship Game.

It’s not exactly the French Quarter, but excitement over Alabama’s BCS National Championship Game win Monday evening was evident even in Chilton County.

Crimson Tide fans flooded the Clanton Hibbett Sports store to snatch up whatever they could to commemorate their team’s dominating 21-0 over LSU at the Superdome in New Orleans.

“We were packed; we had a line out of the door,” said Nick Wingo, store manager.

Wingo said Hibbett opened immediately following the game and sold T-shirts, hats and other merchandise until 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy the local fan base.

Shirts continued flying off the shelves during the store’s regular business hours Tuesday. More than 25 people stood in line just before 2 p.m., waiting on a shipment of T-shirts featuring the score of the game (the ones sold late Monday night were printed before the game and held in case of a Tide victory).

Theresa Jackson of Thorsby said she waited about 3 1/2 hours on the shirts.

“My son is in the Air Force, and I told him that I would get him one,” she said. “He said he loves traveling the world, but he didn’t know if it’s worth missing the game.”

Also in line was Susan Steele of Winter Haven, Fla. Steele attended the game with her mother, son and daughter-in-law and stopped in Clanton, her hometown, on her way back to Florida.

“I have Alabama friends in Florida that are expecting me to bring these shirts back. You can’t get Alabama shirts in Florida, if you can believe that,” she joked. “I really, really went down there knowing we were going to win. I just didn’t know it was going to be like that.”

It’s the third consecutive year of booming January sales at Hibbett. Alabama was also BCS champions two years ago, while Auburn brought home the crystal trophy last year.