By Solomon Crenshaw Jr.
For The Birmingham Times
A summer shower on Sunday did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the hundreds of fans who showed up downtown as the Birmingham Stallions rolled onto 20th Street to celebrate their second consecutive USFL championship.
The squad downed the Pittsburgh Maulers 28-12 Saturday at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Less than 24 hours later, coaches and players paraded from their home field of Protective Stadium to City Hall to the delight of fans who braved repeated rain showers.
The victory parade included players, music, cheerleaders, fans and even some riding stallion horses.
As the motorcade reached its end, fans broke into a chant – “back-to-back!” “back-to-back!” and interrupted by an occasional “MVP!” “MVP!” for quarterback Alex McGough, the league’s most valuable player who posed for selfies with fans and the championship trophy.
Just like the Maulers couldn’t stop the Stallions on Saturday night neither could the rain on Saturday. Mayor Randall Woodfin expressed the sentiments of the fans. “Rain don’t stop the show, right?” he said. “Rain don’t stop the show.”
Quarterback Alex McGough, who threw four touchdown passes in the title game, said he and his teammates have long cherished the support they’ve received from Birmingham fans.
“We appreciate you guys from the support you’ve shown on the road but most importantly at home,” he said. “We feel you guys have got our backs. We play for y’all because you guys show us the support. We love you so much. 205 Baby!”
There was no celebratory parade last year because players and coaches scattered quickly after the 2022 title game. This year, a chartered flight brought the Stallions back to receive their due, and Coach Skip Holtz acknowledged the work it took to make it happen.
“The people wanted it,” the coach said. “The city made it happen and I’m very grateful for them and for our players to see the appreciation from the fans.”