The University of Alabama suffered a great loss on Friday as superfan and 1950 graduate Dick Coffee passed away at the age of 91. Coffee attended 781 straight Alabama football games.
Coffee’s first game was during his freshman year at Alabama in 1946, after serving in World War 2. Not snow, nor a stroke could stop him from attending EVERY game since that home opener in 1946 where Bama beat Furman 26-7.
Coffee witnessed all 14 games last season including the 42-14 victory over Notre Dame in the BCS Championship Game in Miami, and all 13 games the season before including the 21-0 blowout in the Superdome against LSU.
This past BCS Championship game was his 781st appearance in a row, and his 51st consecutive bowl game– an extra special outcome for the Superfan who had seen 6 games against Notre Dame, and 5 out of the 6 games ended in a loss.
Oakley Melton, Coffee’s best friend thought it was a record when he reached his 700th game in a row. He was so adamant that he submitted Dick Coffee to the Guinness Book Of World Records”I thought he had the all-time record, and I sent it to the Guinness Book of World Records when he got up to about 700, they wrote back and said no, he was second.” Second? Coffee never got a chance to overcome the defect set by Gilles Pellerin, Superfan of the USC Trojans who attended 797 consecutive games until his death in the Rose Bowl parking lot during the second half of the USC-UCLA game in 1998.
Even though Dick Coffee never had a chance to beat Pellerin’s record, ESPN named him the number 1 College Football Superfan in 2010. Since his first game in 1946, Alabama has had 12 head coaches, with 5 of them winning National Championships combining for 10 total National Championships. Coffee watched The Crimson Tide win over 500 times, including all 10 National Championships.
Tuscaloosa will be without two great men come August 31, (Coffee and Mal Moore), but the Crimson Tide will surely play out their legacies on their quest to be the first team in the BCS era to win three National Championships in a row.