(smooth pop music) – I’m comedian Jermaine FunnyMaine Johnson and if you know anything about me you know I love college football. But it’s not just what
happens on the field that makes the game so exciting, it’s the lifestyle of the
fan that has us all looking forward to the most
wonderful time of the year. You normally see me on
the couch reacting to my favorite teams’ games but
I wanted to do something a little different this
season so I can experience the fun and fandom around the
game up close with the fans, and kick back and of
course watch some football. (crowd cheering)
(whistle blowing) – [Announcer] Touchdown Alabama A&M. – This is “Fan About Town,” the show for the college
football junkie like me who can’t get enough of that
college football lifestyle. It’s another week of college football, but this one is special. I’m back in my hometown
of Birmingham, Alambama for the Magic City Classic. This isn’t just a game. This is an experience. Alabama State University, Alabama A&M, and a little bit of rain. But it’s gonna be all right. We’ve got in the tailgaters,
and that’s City Classic time. This is “Fan About Town.” (upbeat instrumental music) (upbeat band music) – We are here to celebrate something that’s gone on now for 78 years. I mean, this is the Classic. I mean, when you talk
about it in a nutshell, we come together as two factions as seen from different allegiances
to different colors as far as uniform colors, that is. But it’s the same ideology. It’s the greatest Classic on earth. This is the Classic. This is the big dog. And I tell everybody all
the time, they ask me, “Coach, is it really what everybody says?” I say, “No, it’s more. “It’s more.” – We play in a situation
that not only is a game, it’s a platform, it’s a tradition. Everyone around the country, when you say, “Magic City Classic,” they
can tell you when it’s played, last weekend in October,
and where it’s played, the big town of Birmingham. – Here with the head coach of
the Alabama A&M Bulldogs, man. He claimed to. I love the style coat but,
before you got to A&M, what did you know about
the Magic City Classic, or what were your thoughts
before you got on campus? – Well, I always heard about
the Magic City Classic. I never had a chance to participate in it, because I was always coaching. – Right. – And so it was a game
that I could never get to, I always heard about and
heard all the stories, and then when I got the job,
I heard even more stories and people saying, “Coach, it’s
unreal,” and this and that. And then leading up to
it, and it’s our pass. – [Jermaine] Yeah, when
you come out of that tunnel with your warriors behind you,
and you see all those people up there, they’re loud
and they’re screaming, what does that feel like for a coach? – It’s an unbelievable
adrenaline that you get only on game day running through a tunnel. You know, it’s what all
the athletes that’s really over the age, want to play
the extra year, that’s why. They want to get one more game. They want to run through
the tunnel one more time. And it’s just adrenaline feeling that you just can’t get anywhere else
when you’re not playing. So that’s what you get when you step out, when you see 75 thousand people, you know, and it’s just a great atmosphere and a great environment to be a part of. – Out of all the momentum
and the energy going on up in Huntsville, Montgomery, Birmingham, across the world, actually,
what’s the last thing, the last thing that you tell your guys right before they come
out of their locker room? – “Have fun.” – Yeah? – Have fun, that’s what it’s all about. You’ve got to go out
and have fun, you know, you play your best when you have fun. Don’t play when you’re uptight or you don’t know what you’re doing. So just go out and have some
fun, play some football, do what you do, catch some
balls, skip on up to the guys, make some tackles. It’s why they have fun. – That’s a message, but it’s
dangerous, ’cause it’s classic. – You tell me as a player to have fun, I might go to the tailgate. But Coach, thank you so
much, and we wish you luck on Saturday, you know,
we’ll be rooting for you. – Yes sir, thank you. Thank you for having me.
– Thank you. – [Connell] Yes, sir. – Go Bulldogs. – Here with Coach Eley, head coach of the Alabama State
Hornets, the Mighty Hornets, as they like to call us. So Coach, you ready for the game? You feeling good? – Hey look, you’re always ready, so stay ready so you
don’t have to get ready. So we’re ready, and we’re
looking forward to coming in and taking on a well-coached
and a talented Alabama A&M. – Well, talk about the Classic as compared to other Classic that
you’ve seen, you know, through these other conferences. – Bar none. I mean, from the Whitney
Young across to the value, this Classic is, I
mean, it is unbelievable with the attendance is unbelievable, with the experience for the entire week, and it’s just a great Classic for the city and for both institutions. – [Jermaine] So Coach, when
you’re coming out of that tunnel on Saturday, 75 thousand,
seems to be every year most of ’em wearing black and gold, what is that feeling like for a coach? You’ve got your warriors with you. – You know, we all serve a
cause, and it’s the same cause. And to come out and regardless what kind of color they’re wearing,
whether it’s black and gold or they’re wearing the burgundy and white or whatever they’ve got on over there, it’s the experience that
you look forward to. And to see the type of
crowd that’s here, I mean, everybody has goosebumps on their skin. – Yeah. Kids, if you go to an
HBCU, you could grow up to be a head coach, and you
could also play as captain. The possibilities are endless. Coach, thank you. (laughing)
– You’ve got to be glad when this is your camp. But I’m gonna let you have it. – Thank you so much, Coach,
and good luck to you Saturday. – No doubt, brother. – Yes, sir, have a great, God bless. (upbeat band music) We’ve been operating at
about a five or a six. We’re ready to take it to a nine or a 10. D.J. are you ready? – I’m ready.
– Let’s do it. – We’ll more than–
– Let’s go, baby! – Bulldogs.
– You know they’ve got no game! – All day, Bulldogs, all day. We win, win, win, it’s
all we do, win, win, win. – Out here tailgating at
the Magic City Classic. Now there’s celebrities and
they’re legends, you know, powerful people.
– Wow. – But the mayor, right here with Perren… – I’m trying to find the powerful people. – So Perren, give them your official title out here at the Magic City Classic. – Absolutely. First of all, we serve for
the pleasure of the people. But I am the Executive
Director of the McDonald’s Magic City Classic presented by Coca-Cola. And you know, make you sure
that you know, (mumbling) – See what I mean? – Black and positively gold, and you’ve got to make sure.
– If you’re important, you’ve got to remember all the sponsors, you know.
– Yeah, you’ve got to make sure.
– He’s been reading all the emails.
(Perren laughing) So what’s the vibe out here, man? A lot of people were
thinking that the weather might hold up some, but no, they’re still going full force.
– Yeah, absolutely. Nothing stops McDonald’s
Magic City Classic presented by Coca-Cola. I mean, again, 78 years. And you’ve got to think about it. There were some extremely unpopular times to play an event like that
in Birmingham, Alabama. But it’s all about fellowship. I mean, this is just, if
you put it in one word, it’s beautiful. I mean, it’s just, when you
pad around some of the things that you’re doing,
being a fan of our town, I mean, this is just amazing. You know, it turns into one of the Meccas. We get an extra Christmas
season here in Birmingham. And it’s extremely intentional when you’re in Birmingham, Alabama on
the last Saturday in October. – So how many are we
expecting inside and outside? – Oh, sure. – Yeah, it’s a different count. – It is a different count,
you’re right, you’re right. That’s why we try to
get the field expanded so we can hold more people in. Inside today, now that the
weather’s definitely broken, we’re looking at about
64 to 66 thousand people. Not one chain, but 2 Chainz for the people before the close game concert today. And then what we’re gonna have outside is roughly 120 thousand of
their friends, family, fans, and alumni out here doing
what we do so well, again. – I know this is gonna be hard for you, but I’m putting you on the spot. – Done, done, you don’t have to– – You have to be over
like hundreds of events and hundreds of people. What would you say? What’s your personal favorite tradition of the Magic City Classic? – You know what, it is
the sense of camaraderie. It’s that, you know what, we come together as two different factions,
as some would say, but I mean, it’s the
winner is the culture, each and every year. And some people ask me, “Who
do you think’s gonna win?” So I like to say, when it’s won
some that years, the coach– – Everybody. – Everybody wins, yeah, this is amazing, and you know, and the
things that now you’re doing to be the uplift what we’re
collectively doing, and again, you could have been at any game
in the United States today, but you chose to be here. You honor us with what you do. – Trust me, ain’t nothing like being at the Magic City Classic. Play the game. – The McDonald’s Magic City Classic – [Both] Presented by Coca-Cola. – We’re gonna send him one more email. (dramatic band music) – Still out here at the
tailgate, Magic City Classic is going down today. I’ve got my man Drummond here
representing the A&M Bulldogs. You said you graduated from A&M, right? Yes, sir, back in ’05, man. – You know, ’05 wasn’t that long ago. Okay, it was a while ago. – Yeah, that’s all right, though.
– What’s your major in? – I majored in Media Communications. – Yeah, oh, which one is this? – With a minor in Human Development. – Yeah. So how, what’s the feeling like amongst the Bulldog community right now about this team and the
coach and the direction that the program is headed? – I mean, everything is
a process, man, you know, everything is progressing, man, and I think Alabama, you know,
they should pull it off, man. They’ve just to play as
a team, you know, hey, that’s how you do. (crowd cheering) (crowd applauding)
(whistle blowing) – Still out here at
the Magic City Classic, looking for a beautiful fan, and I found another representative, Alabama State University,
Miss Sharon, how you feeling? – I’m good, how are you? – I’m good, and you said you’re
originally from Montgomery. – I am. – All right, and you said
your bane is to Alabama State. – I did. – And you’ve just been a
State fan for how long? – Oh my goodness, for over 25 years. – Yeah?
– Yes, yes. – So what does that
mean to you when you see that black and gold,
and not only coming here to the Classic, but I’m
pretty sure you’ve been to games down at Cramton
Bowl and everything. – Sure I have. It means so much to me to
see that black and gold. What a great time to be a Hornet. – Yeah.
– ASU is where it is. – Yeah.
– I wish all y’all, African Americans far and
near can come to Alabama State to get that HBCU filling. – You know what, they need to
give her a job in admissions. She is selling the school. (rhythmic band music) (crowd cheering) (crowd applauding) Found a wonderful A&M
alum who is also a pastor. Feeling good, he’s been
praying for his team. Pastor Troy, how you doing? – Pastor Troy. – Yeah, not the rapper, that’s him, that’s what they call him. And what’s the name of the church again? – Fellowship of Faith. – Fellowship of Faith in Huntsville. Service times are? – Eight o’clock in Madison
and 10 o’clock in Huntsville. – All right, that’s a shameless plug for the Lord right there.
(Troy laughing) Well, Pastor, how are you feeling about the team this year, though? – Great, great, we’re very athletic. I love it, I love our team. – Yeah, do you get a
chance to be around ’em? ‘Cause you serve as the chaplain for the team.
– Yep, serve as the chaplain every day. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – So in practice, the guys are just, you’re not just being biased,
you actually see them. – Every day. – Yeah.
– Yes sir, yes sir. (rhythmic band music) – Yeah, so how many Classics
have you been coming to? Did you just start when
you went to school, or was it before that? – Before then. Been coming ever since 1987. – Whoo, Lord.
– Haven’t missed but one. – Yeah. So if the Bulldogs win
today, a lot of people saying there might be an upset. But it’s the Classic. It shouldn’t be an upset, right? You’ve got to throw the
records out the window. – Well you know, when it
comes to the Classic, man, you know, everybody playing
their heart out man. – Right. – Both teams, they’re
right, man, you know, this is about the only
game that this all really, really means something
for the whole year, so. So this is really the game
that everybody gonna be trying to be peace. So you know how I do. – Yeah, did you get a chance
to attend any of the Classics before you were a student? – Oh man, it’s been 14 years. This is the first time in
14 years, to be honest. – Wow. – So I said, “Man, hey,
come on down, man.” – Yeah. What’s your favorite thing about this, the atmosphere and the culture surrounding the Magic City Classic? – Man, just to see
positive Black people, man, coming together like that, man. You don’t see nothing ignorant
and not many of the people out here man. They’re repping their school,
repping the whole state of Alabama. – Absolutely. What do you think your favorite
part about coming out here to the Magic City Classic is? – Just the camaraderie of the people. I love how people get together and how we can come together as one. And this is a place where we can do it, come together, and no matter who you are or what your background is
or what your address is, when you get here, we all
become one, and I love it. – I’m gonna ask you a silly question, and I think I already know the answer, but who do you think is
gonna win the 78th annual Magic City Classic today? – Of course ASU. – Okay, I thought she might,
you know, surprise me. But thank you so much. Enjoy the game.
– All right, you’re welcome. All right, thank you. (upbeat band music) (crowd cheering) – All right, we’ve got a
new segment on the show. It’s called “Easy, Tough, and Difficult,” where we ask fans of the schools
some different questions. So which one do you want
first, the easy question, the tough, or the difficult? – Easy first. – All right, you want
to start off on easy. All right.
(Troy laughing) Which graduate of Alabama
A&M University also won a season of “American Idol?” – Ruben Studdard?
(bell ringing) – Ruben Studdard, that is correct. – Ruben Studdard! (bell ringing) – Ruben Studdard, Birmingham’s own. What’s up, Big Rub? I know you’re watching tonight. Ruben Studdard. That was good, you did good on the easy. All right, we’re gonna do a little tough, it’s gonna get a little tougher. Which graduate and former
player for Alabama A&M is now in the NFL Hall of Fame? – Robert Mathis. (chord ringing) – John Stallworth. (bell ringing)
– John Stallworth. Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s own. – Or John Stallworth! (bell ringing)
– John Stallworth. – All right.
– Mathis in there? – He will be if he’s not. – Okay, I was gonna say, he
got in there early, then. But it’s John Stallworth. But we’ll give him a two points. ‘Cause first of all, he knows God. He got his text message number, so. All right, you did good. These are tough. Now we’re doing difficult. – All right. – Once upon a time,
Alabama A&M had a five-game winning streak against the
Hornets of Alabama State. What years was that winning streak? – What years?
– What years. – Every year. – No, what years did they have
a five-game winning streak? – I’m gonna say when
Coach Jones was there. – I don’t know, man. – Take a guess, just take a guess. – Was it in the ’80s? I don’t know.
(buzzer buzzing) – It was actually 2005 to 2009. – From ’90, I’m gonna say 2000 to 2005. (buzzer buzzing) – Close, it started in 2005, 2005 to 2009. – Okay, Coach Jones was the coach. – Yeah.
– I remember that. – You know what? He’s a pastor, just
give him all the points. He won, all right?
(Troy laughing) My man, thank you.
– My man. – God’s blessings to you.
– Blessings to you as well. – Yes sir.
– Yes sir. – My man Drummond, good luck to you all. – Yeah, man.
– Good day for the Bulldogs. – Good to see you, man. – Yeah, can we get a Go Bulldogs? – Go Bulldogs! (smooth pop music) – [Announcer] Alabama (speaker’s voice drowned
out by crowd cheering) – We want to bring a special
young man to the stage. Y’all show some love for the
Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, the Honorable Randall Woodfin. (crowd cheering) – Birmingham, Alabama, make some noise. (crowd cheering) Birmingham, Alabama, make some noise! (crowd cheering) Y’all ready for two things? – No!
– Yes! Listen, Happy Classic. Happy 78th Classic. On behalf of the City of Birmingham, I hope you all enjoy
this post-game concert. It gives me an honor to introduce
to you Mr. Epps himself, Alabama State graduate,
rapper go to the league, Mr. 2 Chainz! (crowd cheering) – Happy to be back, happy to
be around Magic City Classic. I still love ASU. Go! – And another Magic City
Classic is in the books. This was number 78. We’ve made it through the rain, we’ve made it through the pain, and three overtimes, all right? Shout out to Alabama A&M
University for the victory, two-point wins for the overtimes. This is how the Classic is done. This is for the culture, all right? You want to know where we’ll
be at the rest of the year, make sure you follow me on
social media @funnymaine This was the Magic City Classic, and this was “Fan About Town.” (Epps rapping) (smooth pop music) (crowd cheering) ♪ Let me tell you something ♪
– 2 Chainz, not one chain. – Two chain, both bracelets,
not four baby, both bracelets. (Jermaine laughing) (smooth pop music) (crowd cheering) – All right, see you next to the stage! (fans talking)
– I’ve got to come back next year!
– See you next year, State! (smooth pop music) (cheerful band music) (crowd cheering)