Ahead of their big game against rivals at USF, Alabama’s athletic department served the school’s football team an alligator
When the concept of a “team dinner” comes to mind, many think of carb-heavy spaghetti dishes alongside teammates and coaches. However, it seems as though the University of Alabama’s athletic department had something else in mind.
On Tuesday, Sept. 12, Crimson Tide’s safety, Jaylen Key, posted a video to his Instagram Story, which showed a full roasted alligator at a dining hall serving station. Sports Illustrated speculated that the meal may have been prompted by the football team’s upcoming game against their rivals at University of South Florida (USF).
Alabama serving alligator in its cafeteria tonight, before its game at South Florida (from safety Jaylen Key’s Instagram story): pic.twitter.com/Ku5FbRiMZU
— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) September 13, 2023
It has not been explicitly confirmed if this unusual entrée was, in fact, related to an upcoming game at USF on Saturday, Sept. 16, though alligator sightings are quite common at the southern Florida school. And based on the footage from Key’s Story, it appeared that many teammates took advantage of the unique dish and tried it out.
As it turns out, alligators are considered a nuisance in Florida. Earlier this year, an elderly woman was killed by an 11-foot gator while she was walking her dog. Under the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP), the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) aims to mitigate the threat of alligator attacks — particularly in populated areas.
And although alligators might not be what you’re craving before a big game, reptiles are considered to be a delicacy by many. Earlier this year, a restaurant called Witch Cat in Yunlin, Taiwan, gained notoriety for serving what many referred to as “Godzilla ramen." The massive bowl of ramen included a wide range of spices and fresh ingredients … as well as a gigantic crocodile leg that appeared to be reaching out of the bowl.
Reactions to the dish were mixed, to say the least — some referred to it as “a bit nasty,” and “too creepy crawly,” while others said they were “open to it.” One even suggested giving the claw a manicure, to make it "look more delicious.”
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