Fan Day at Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama football team held its annual "Fan Day" Sunday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium with more than 9,000 Crimson Tide fans attending the event.

The football team held a two-hour practice at Bryant-Denny Stadium and then signed autographs for 45 minutes.  Crimson Tide fans received a pre-signed photo of head coach Nick Saban, 2007 football schedule posters and pocket schedules.

Coach Saban signed nearly 1,300 autographs in about one hour in the north end zone.

"Our fans are important," Saban said.  "They are important to this organization. The people who support this program are the most important thing to this organization. So to create opportunities for them to see that, I think is something they deserve. To create opportunities for them to have some direct contact with me, is also something that they deserve.  But I think the fans are important. And I think it's a great opportunity for our players. It's something that's exciting for them to be able to do. "

Fans began arriving as early as seven hours before the gates opened to assure their spot in line for signatures of Coach Saban and the Crimson Tide football team. David Tillery, a native of Sand Rock, arrived at 6 a.m. Sunday and was the first in line to greet the head coach when the gates were opened for fan day at 4:45 p.m.

"I came to see the man," Tillery said.  "This is a great day for Alabama fans.  I want to thank him for coming here and being our head coach."

Alabama will open the 2007 season Saturday, Sept. 1, against Western Carolina in Bryant-Denny Stadium.