The off-the-field fight that defined the last time Alabama and Oklahoma squared off
While all of the attention will be on the field during Saturday night’s College Football Playoff semifinal matchup between the University of Alabama and the University of Oklahoma, it was an incident in the stands that drew the spotlight last time these two powerhouses faced off.
As reported by Yellowhammer News after that ill-fated Sugar Bowl contest for the Crimson Tide on January 2, 2014, it was the “Bama Sugar Bowl mom” that fans and casual observers across the nation became fixated on.
After the initial video below of Michelle Prichett fighting Oklahoma fans at the Sugar Bowl went viral, spinoffs began to take off in their own rights, including one set to Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.”
In an exclusive interview with Yellowhammer News after the incident became a social media sensation, Pritchett, a local photographer from Sweet Water, Alabama, at the time, said she was “sorry” but would do it again if she had to.
“Everyone’s making me look like such a bad guy,” Pritchett said. “What I did was probably not the thing to do. But they were taunting us. They began by going after me. But then they crossed the line and started taunting my 16-year-old son.”
At that point, Pritchett explained that she walked over to the Oklahoma fans to ask them to “leave her son out of it.”
“It started off being friendly, just us going back and forth about the game,” Pritchett recalled. “But what ended up happening had nothing to do with the game. It escalated. When they said something to my son, I told them to shut their mouths. They were telling my son to come down there and ‘do something about it.’ I said, ‘no, that’s not going to happen. This crap needs to stop.’”
As Pritchett’s husband pulled her back the first time she approached the Sooner fans, Pritchett outlined that one of the Sooners called her a “stupid b****” and that was when she ran across the aisle and dove on top of them.
“The security people had already gotten on to those guys for throwing bottles at people,” Pritchett advised. “When they escorted me out, the security guard told them there was no reason to be pressing charges on me because those guys were out of control the whole game. I defended my son. If they had kicked those boys out to begin with, it wouldn’t have happened the way it did.”
Pritchett said she regrets that things escalated the way they did and that she wanted to apologize to “Bama nation.” Her biggest concern seemed to be what Coach Saban’s reaction would be when reporters question him about it.
“I’m embarrassed. I love The Tide and I apologize to all the players and to Coach Saban and to the entire fan base. I’m sorry. Coach Saban’s going to say ‘those crazy fans don’t know how to act.’ And I wasn’t intoxicated either. I want people to know that. I’d had a couple of drinks, but I was not intoxicated,” she added.
But Pritchett said she would do it all again if she had to.
“I hate to say it, but I’d do it again if I had to. I’m not going to let anyone go after my son,” Pritchett emphasized.
Fast forward almost five years, and “Bama nation” will certainly be hoping for a different end result on the field. And no distractions off of it.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn