= Cigar News & Views: Thursday, October 23 =

  • Alabama-Tennessee winner likely to revive victory-cigar tradition after Saturday's game in Knoxville!
  • Cuban tobacco farmers getting ready for planting season amid repairs following hurricanes Gustav and Ike
  • Texas A&M students find business is still good at their Texas Avenue Cigar shop in College Station!
  • Bad timing for the Millionaire Fair in Munich, but there was still a gold-sleeved, $510 cigar on sale!
  • Check out our new Retailer Report with weekly specials from shops across the country and beyond!
  • Get the whole story by clicking here!


    = Also on CigarCyclopedia.com =

  • New video: "The Trunkidor!" now available! (scroll down to view)
  • Update in progress: Our exclusive, 700-brand Comparison Shopper will be updated and current as of Friday evening, October 24
  • Register to win free cigars: Click here to sign up now! (new registrants only, please).
ImagePlus: how about a gold-sleeved, $510 cigar? Really!

Los Angeles, October 23 – Either the Alabama or Tennessee football team is going to violate an NCAA rule this weekend and will likely end up self-reporting the violation.

It’s going to be about cigars.

The heated rivalry between 7-0 Alabama, ranked no. 2 in the nation, and 3-4 Tennessee (unranked), who meet this Saturday in Knoxville, Tennessee, doesn’t have a trophy like the Old Oaken Bucket attached to it, but it has a long tradition of celebrating a win over the other with cigars!

The tradition apparently goes back to the 1961 game with Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant in his fourth year and his Crimson Tide having lost five and tied one against Tennessee in their last six meetings. That game at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama, ended with a 34-3 win for the Tide and Bryant passed out victory cigars to the players and coaches after the game in the locker room. A long-time Southern football insider noted that the cigar idea was instigated by two members of the Alabama staff – trainer Jim Goosetree and defensive coordinator Ken Donahue – who had graduated from Tennessee and took the annual game between the schools very personally.

“It’s mainly the coaches and staff who light up, and of course lots of the fans” said our insider, who asked not to be identified by name. “But a few of the kids do it too.”

The victory cigar tradition was renewed annually, but after the NCAA adopted rule 11.17 concerning tobacco, the victory cigars were publicly discontinued, but privately enjoyed. The NCAA’s anti-tobacco rule states “The use of tobacco products by a student-athlete is prohibited during practice and competition. A student athlete who uses tobacco products during a practice or competition shall be disqualified for the remainder of the practice or competition. The use of tobacco products by coaches and game officials is also prohibited.”

In addition – and even more important to the schools – the cigars were also considered by the NCAA to be an “extra benefit” provided to players which could lead to punishments up to seasonal ineligibility or loss of scholarships in egregious situations. That also dampened the Alabama-Tennessee cigar tradition, but after the 2005 game – a 6-3 Alabama win – the Crimson Tide publicly distributed cigars once again and then self-reported the violation to the NCAA!

Both schools were asked about cigar preparations, such as who was responsible for getting them, what brand would be used and so on, but both sports information departments were quite uninterested in providing any details. As for the game, Alabama is a 6 1/2-point favorite on the road in the 91st edition of this series (Alabama leads the series, 45-38-7). If they win, there’s little doubt that there will be some “fired-up” Crimson Tide coaches and fans in Knoxville on Saturday. Kind of gives the cheer, “Roll, Tide” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?


Site Login