We left our home a few minutes before 5 a.m. and arrived in Tuscaloosa around 6:45. Fortunately we went to bed around 8:30 Friday night! We set up our canopy, table, chairs, grill, etc. The quad is pretty quiet between seven and eight in the morning before a night game. The boys worked real hard helping me out. The University has taken a much more restrictive stance as far as parking is concerned. Our only real problem was having to park so far away from or tailgating spot. At 7 a.m. they allow you to drop off your supplies at the quad. However, there is still a very long walk if you need to get back to the car.
We spent a lot of the morning reading the newspaper and media guide and listening to the radio while we talked. Around 9:30 I fired up the grill and cooked sausage, bratwurst, hot dogs, and hamburgers. I figured that we would have plenty of grilled goodies to eat as leftovers during the upcoming week. Besides we had some expected (and unexpected guests) to join us. My friend "Tee", the security guard where I work, his friend Ralph, and his son Gary joined us from late morning through mid-afternoon. The boys' mom and her boyfriend also showed up unexpectedly at the game. The boys knew he was going to the game, but they thought he was going with a co-worker of his who also helped me coach Matt's baseball team this year. It was cool watching the end of Appalachian State's upset of fifth ranked Michigan in Ann Arbor.
The boys played football on the mound much of the time we were there. The weird part is that I had to practically order them to go ahead and play. For some reason they were wanting me to walk them across campus to the car to get their own football. The funny thing about it was that once they got started, I couldn't hardly get them to take a break or stop. David and Matt probably played for the better part of three hours. David's white Alabama shirt was covered in dirt and sweat. He looked as if he had been mowing the yard all afternoon.
Later in the afternoon we watched the trombone section warm up on the Mound. Then we walked over to the library steps and listened to the band . We then walked over to the car and got to the stadium about 53 minutes before the kickoff. I thought they might get real sleepy by the time the game was over, but they actually hung in there pretty well, even Matt. It was interesting to notice that our seats were in the same place as last year in section N2. Not only that, but most of the people sitting around us were the same as last year as well.
The game was fun to watch as a Bama fan. Last year we had a few games against poor opponents that should have been more fun, but ended up being very frustrating. I will post more about the game itself later.
After the game we stopped by the Fox 6 tent where Rick Karle and Paul Finebaum were broadcasting "live" between nine and ten. I noticed later that I actually got on TV briefly, just under Rick Karle's shoulder. Insert "lol" here! Finebaum was giving us the latest update on the Auburn-Kansas State game. We walked back to the canopy, watched the end of the Auburn game on our "neighbor's" television, packed up our stuff and loaded the vehicle. I think we left around 11:45. It was a long, fun, tiring, and memorable day at the University!