In the last week I went to my first NFL and college football game. It was a good week of football for me…except for Dallas losing today!!! Uggh, I’m not even going to get into that. Anyways…let’s talk about my time in Alabama this weekend. I went to an amazing school—UC Santa Barbara—but we didn’t have a football team. We had a fantastic soccer team, but no football team. So, I never got the college football experience. Thus, I knew that the only way to get in the absolute college football experience was to 1) go SEC, and 2) go Bama. Needless to say, I had a fabulous weekend.
First, southerners need to start remembering that I’m from L.A. when they’re warning me about traffic, because their idea of traffic keeps getting me places way too early. Like, dork-thirty early. So, after being told that traffic would be backed up from Birmingham, I left my apartment at 5 in the morning. Traffic was not backed up from Birmingham. In fact, there was no traffic.
Not to worry, I killed a little time in a Cracker Barrel so that I would not show up at my friends’ house too early. I knew it was game day as soon as I walked in, because EVERYONE was decked out in crimson. It made me smile, because old, young, born yesterday, you could just feel the energy of the pride for the tide.
The energy continued loud and clear on the highway, because everyone had their flags and stickers all over their trucks. I must say though, I was surprised I didn’t see more Tennessee fans on the road, because I saw just one. Although maybe they got there a day early.
When we finally got to the campus the atmosphere was fantastic. It reminded me of spirit days at my high school, only a hundred times bigger. It was like one ginormous crimson sea of people and tents, and the air smelled wonderfully of BBQ. The tents were awesome, because people just set up in their rented little spots with food, drinks, chairs, and all kinds of Bama memorabilia. Some people even had their tents catered. My favorite part though…the televisions set up in the tents. I mean, a lot of these television sets were very fancily set up in impressive entertainment systems. I love it. It’s basically like bringing your Super Bowl party into a tent on campus. And the main quad was set up with food vendors and carnival like activities. It was great.
We ate lunch in the A-Club room, which is a room for former players and their families/guests. I really would have preferred some BBQ from someone in the quad, but I put myself in the minds of those who were born and raised crimson, and I could not ignore how incredibly special and cool it was for me to be there. I mean, I was rubbing elbows with and meeting some legendary people like Lee Roy Jordan and Johnny Musso. And it was great, because everyone seemed to know everyone.
Once in the stadium, I was suddenly overflowing with the same kind of thrill I get whenever I walk into the Staple Center for a Laker or Kings game. There’s such an incredible energy brought on by sporting games. It unites some and divides some, but in the end it’s all about the love of the game.
The whole day and game is like one big show. I mean, from the festivities all over campus, to the incredible sight of The Million Dollar Band flowing into the stadium, to the game, and the after parties. I love it.
Of course, Bama crushed the Vols. I felt so bad for them during the first half, because their performance was just embarrassing. Oh well…
BIG LOVE & HUGS