BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — “Alabama Fan Hates Tennessee.”
It’s the simple title stamped on a YouTube video just over one minute long, and 14 years later, the clip has taken on a life of its own.
Irvin Carney, a sophomore at the University of Alabama at the time, stands in front of the steps at the UA Student Center in Oct. 2007. An interviewer asks Carney about the school’s longtime rivalry with the University of Tennessee. At the time, the Volunteers had beaten the Crimson Tide 10 of the previous 12 years.
“Alright, man,” the interviewer starts. “Just say what you’ve been saying, man. Why you hate Tennessee?”
Carney doesn’t hold back: “Man, I hate Tennessee because, first of all, it’s Tennessee,” he declares.
“I just hate them because they low down, they dirty, they some snitches,” Carney says. “And I hate Phillip Fulmer, I hate their colors. I’m not a dog person. I just hate Tennessee, man.”
Carney continues: “I hate Neyland Stadium. It looks like a garbage truck worker convention. And I hate all they quarterbacks. I just… I hate Tennessee, man.”
A follow-up question comes next: “Describe what you feel about their colors,” the interviewer asks. “I thought that was interesting.”
“It’s not that orange that you can’t stand,” Carney explains. “See, I hate Tennessee more than I hate Auburn. I just dislike Auburn. I hate Tennessee.”
Carney continues: “See, Tennessee’s colors is that throw-up orange. It’s not that orange that you can sit with. It’s that puke-inside-of-a-pumpkin orange and I don’t like pumpkins. So I really don’t like Tennessee, man. I can’t stress that enough, man. They’re losers. They’re sore losers because they’re not Alabama. I hate Tennessee, man.”
After a short pause, the interviewer responds.
“That was beautiful, man,” he says. “Probably the best interview I’ve done all year. Thank you, man.”
As the interviewer begins chuckling, Carney starts talking to a group laughing off-camera.
“I can’t stress that enough,” Carney says. “I hate them boys.”
“Tennessee hatred transcends both Auburn and Alabama.”
If you’re a Tennessee fan, you’d probably rather forget about it. If you’re an Alabama fan, you’ve probably shared it at least once. Since it was first posted 14 years ago, Carney’s interview boasts nearly 745,000 views and has been shared countless times.
“It’s kind of wild,” Carney told CBS 42 from his home in Cincinnati, Ohio. “I’m still wrapping my head around it more and more every year as it has become part of this tradition.”
Growing up in Montgomery, Carney was originally an Auburn fan, cheering for Tigers like Dameyune Craig. His dislike for Tennessee, however, was always there.
“I remember seeing (Tennessee quarterback) Peyton Manning,” Carney said. “They were so good and it was frustrating.”
Getting accepted at the University of Alabama made Carney a quick believer in the Tide, and he took on the school’s own rivalry against Tennessee.
“The Tennessee hatred transcends both Auburn and Alabama,” he said.
For aspiring sportscaster and then-UA senior Nick Adam, the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry was a story wanted to tell.
“I knew a lot of people didn’t understand the rivalry,” Adam said. “There was a lot of bad blood between the schools and I was trying to open that up for a more national audience.”
“I saw this kid outside the Ferg who was ready and willing to share his opinions,” he said. “He did me a solid and just went for it.”
After chatting with Carney off-camera, Adam recorded the sophomore’s thoughts on Tennessee, using the commentary in a small story for the now-defunct college sports website Palestra.net. Adam then posted Carney’s unedited comments on his YouTube page.
“It took off and took a life of its own,” Carney said.
Carney said that by the next October, he had noticed the video being shared by other people around campus. He didn’t realize how far its reach had been until he was applying for jobs in places like Memphis, Tennessee and Cincinnati in 2010.
“They were talking about it in Memphis,” he said. “That’s when I realized it had some legs.”
Adam did not realize how popular the video he shot was until a year later when he was working as a sports reporter in Mississippi.
“One of my co-workers came up to me and said ‘Have you seen this video,?’ I said ‘Yeah, it’s my video,'” he explained.
Adam said that in many ways the video has taken on its own life and has become a part of a new tradition in Alabama football.
“I don’t feel a lot of ownership over it,” said Adam. “When I talk about it, it’s not mine anymore. It’s been taken over.”
‘It’s just a cool thing’
Carney, now a data engineer married with two children, believes that the video’s authenticity has kept it relevant in the Alabama community during the past 14 years.
“It spoke to how a lot of Alabama fans felt at the time,” he said.
Carney still gets recognized for his Tennessee rant, often when the video is reshared by football fans leading up to the Alabama-Tennessee game every October.
“What happens is people usually name-drop me to their friends,” he said. “Some want to take pictures.”
Adam now serves as a Catholic priest and Director of Vocations at the Diocese of Jackson, Miss. He shared that he is happy to have found a way to give back to Alabama.
“It’s just a cool thing. I’m happy that it’s something that brings joy to people,” he said. “As a priest, I won’t have the means to give back to UA, but I feel like this is a cool way to give back.”
As a new father, Carney is making sure his children carry on the Crimson Tide tradition.
“Someone tried to give my daughters an Ohio State thing and I almost threw it in the trash,” he said.
For his part, Adam believes the video has brought much more than joy to the Crimson Tide.
“I will just say that Alabama has not lost to Tennessee since I posted that video,” he laughed. “I’m going to throw it out there.”