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An intimate history of people saying 'Roll Tide' while getting arrested

Roll Tide.

This man may have had the right to remain silent, but it’s doubtful a court of law would use his chosen response to learning he’s being arrested against him.

“Roll Tide,” he says with perfect delivery and before he says “hi mom,” the other thing everyone says when they learn they’re on camera.

The best part about this is that even the cop has a chuckle while he’s arresting this guy. The arrest occurred in the Florida Panhandle, a magical part of the state that is ostensibly southern Alabama.

The full video shows the arrest occurred during a party. Police estimated 40 people were in an apartment, 20 of whom were under the age of 18. Pills, weed, and alcohol were found as well as someone reportedly running naked in the street.

This is far from the first time someone has said “Roll Tide” during an arrest

It happened in a similar situation in the same Florida county back in 2013:

When asked if they thought it's funny to be arrested, "It's hilarious. Roll Tide," responded one spring breaker.

Also in West Florida, in nearby Panama City Beach, we had a Roll Tide arrest of perhaps the drunkest man of all time wearing an Alabama hat:

And who among us would ever forget the other famous “Roll Tide” arrest?

A man named Heath McDonald was arrested for possession of a controlled substance while proclaiming his innocence, followed by a “Roll Tide.” The cop beside him looks like he’s getting ready to bust out laughing. He was also wearing these incredible pajamas, topping our drunk friend’s hat in the above arrest.

And of course, there is the Harvey Updyke incident.

Updyke (at the time using a pseudonym) admitted to radio host Paul Finebaum to poisoning the trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn.

“Do you think I care? I really don’t. Roll damn Tide,” Updyke said. But he later admitted to a judge that he had remorse for his actions. The trees he poisoned, a traditional landmark near Auburn’s campus, did in fact have to be replaced.

But this news report of a “Roll Tide” during a heroin arrest perhaps underscores the real point of the phrase:

We don’t really have a definitive origin story for the saying, but it’s obviously connected to the team’s Crimson Tide nickname.

When Tide fans sing their fight song, they tag Roll Tide at the end. But the phrase doesn’t appear in the 1926 sheet music. The news reporter describes “Roll Tide” as simply a “fan loyalty reference to the Alabama football team,” but that misses the mark.

Roll Tide is a particular slice of Americana that can really serve whatever purpose you want it to, whether you’re in Bryant-Denny Stadium on a fall Saturday or if you’re being arrested. It obviously works if you’re a wild Alabama fan on YouTube.

It’s a greeting, a celebration, and even something used to voice disdain. Hell, I’ve even caught myself using it when I stub a toe or lose a parking spot to someone quicker. But it also works if you’re someone screaming “Roll Tide” during an academic awards ceremony (at Auburn, of course):

The moral of the story is simply this: Roll Tide.