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Tide's Football Tradition 'just eroding away' With Little Hope Of Preservation...

on 4/21/2017

Crimson Tide 'Walk Of Fame':

A workout class met on the steps of Denny Chimes one evening this week. Waiting to get started, the Alabama students stretched on the worn concrete next to the iconic structure on the campus quad.

Nobody seemed to take note of the history on which they stood.

It's hard to blame them.

After years of natural punishment, the cemented hand and footprints of Alabama football legends have seen better days.

The Walk of Fame, which will get four new members before Saturday's A-Day game, turns 70 this year.

Harry Gilmer was the first to put his hand and cleat print in wet cement just off the University Boulevard sidewalk in 1947.

Since then, the tradition has progressed to the chimes steps, gone around the east and west sides and continued north toward Gorgas Library.

At this point, some of the names -- Jim Loftin from 1957, for example -- are nearly unreadable.

For the most part, everything north of Denny Chimes is in good condition. There's a crack down the middle of 1994 captain Sam Shade's print, but nothing that threatens the future readability.

Others aren't as fortunate.

Runoff from nearby sprinklers left Joe Namath's square in a puddle Tuesday evening. Other big names were fading faster.

At a certain point, they won't look any different from an average sidewalk. Simply redoing the prints simply isn't possible for everyone on the Walk of Fame.

That isn't lost on the keepers of the quad tradition.

"We've looked at other ways of identifying them," Sevedge said, "and that might be something we look at in the future."

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