Crimson Tide returns to Tuscaloosa with a hero’s welcome

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Just before 11 a.m. Tuesday, the Crimson Tide rolled back into Tuscaloosa, greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of supporters.

Almost like Mother Nature's version of confetti, rain fell from the heavens, when the Tide returned.

"Holler for them, let them know we`re proud of them," explained Abby Simpson, one of the die-hard fans that stood in the rain to greet the team.

The Simpson family decided to brave the elements for a chance to say, thank you. "I got up this morning and took my daughter to school and said, 'I wonder what time they`re coming back?' So we decided to run up here and see them. We've never been able to do it before," says Simpson.

One by one, the victors disembarked the bus. Some opting to go straight to their cars, with a nap surely in their future.

Many other players stopped to return some "thank yous" of their own.

"We want them to know that we are proud of them as a team, and what they`ve done athletically, but we`re also really proud of who they are as people and individuals," says Kimberleigh Daniels, who brought her son out to the homecoming celebration.

A few players even posed for pictures, video messages, conversations - anything for their loyal fans.

"You have to think, they`re famous players but they`re still just kids so they like to know people are proud of them, watching them," says Simpson.

Daniels says she's been a Tide fan her whole life, but this is her first year actually living in the state. She and her son, Joe, jumped at the chance to see these players up close and personal.

"Some of the character some of them showed in the process of it all and our freshman that are really showing up. So we just wanted to be here and make sure they got a warm welcome in this rainy yuck," says Daniels.

Both mothers say the near agony of defeat, made the victory taste even sweeter. "Watching those boys, their faces fall. Its awful as a fan, but it hurts my heart as a momma. And then watching them come back on and be able to shake that off," says Daniels.

Something not even rain could water down.

"It was amazing, Thought I was going to throw up when they missed the field goal and then he came in, made the pass, a hail mary, and it was a miracle," says Simpson.