Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gameday Experience 9/22/07 UGA

I will be posting some photos here later. Matt and I had a great day despite the loss.

Matt and I left Vinemont at exactly 6 a.m. on Saturday 9/22/07. We arrived in Tuscaloosa at the McFarland Blvd exit around 7:40 or so. As usual we stopped at the Chevron station, used the bathroom, and bought a newspaper. We then stopped at the McDonald’s on 15th Street for breakfast. Matt had a sausage biscuit and I had an Egg McMuffin. We parked west of the stadium near the intersection of University and Queen City Blvd. We walked down the “Strip” towards Bryant Denny around 8 a.m.

We arrived at the set of ESPN College Gameday and initially stood behind the tuba section of the band. Later were able to move up some. Matt and I had made a sign the night before and we held it up. Later I saw where it barely made an appearance on television. After Gameday ended, we sat on the grass and rested, had a cold drink, and called Joe and David. I had also called my Mom earlier and asked her to tell Dad to look for us on ESPN Gameday.

Matt and I walked over to the Bryant Museum and toured it. Admission is very reasonable ($2 for adults and $1 for children). After that we made our way across the quad and went to the Ferguson Center and watched the Florida-Ole Miss game on the big screen in the theater. We both dozed off for a few minutes and that probably gave us a little stamina for the late night that awaited us.

Then we bought some Chic-Fil-A and ate there at Ferguson. At Matt’s request we visited the Sup Store and looked around there but didn’t purchase anything. I did see a former co-worker who is now a judge and her daughter.

We walked over to the Quad and arrived there in plenty of time to get a good view of the band and cheerleaders. American Idol Taylor Hicks also made an appearance. We went straight from the pep rally across the quad to Bryant Denny Stadium. It seemed to take a long time to get across the Quad.

The atmosphere seemed crazier for this game than previous games all day. First, during the morning, an older lady who was for Alabama got in a verbal fight with a nice looking college age Georgia fan. That one almost came to blows and would have been ugly. It seemed like I saw more drunk folks than usual as we crossed the Quad. There was a banner (that was removed later in the day) hanging from the frat house across from BDS that said, “Make like Mike Vick and murder the dawgs.” During the game, several police officers had to attend to some kind of disturbance in the seating area above us. Finally, there was then the much publicized throwing of debris on the Georgia players from the Alabama student section after they scored the winning touchdown.

The game itself was rather intense from the stands. The fans were cheering loudly throughout the game and were especially supportive of the defense. It seemed, though, that Georgia QB Matthew Stafford handled the noise very well. He seemed to perform at his best in pressure situation when the crowd noise was at its peak. It was great fun cheering Alabama’s comeback from being 10 points down during the final few minutes. It was a rather disappointing loss, though, after it appeared we had gained the momentum and expectations were raised.

The game ended at 10:20 and Matt and I got out of there right away, walked quickly to the car, and beat almost all of the traffic on the way home. He actually stayed awake with me most of the way home. I think the nap he had in the afternoon worked wonders. We listened to some of his CD’s and some of the Alabama post-game show. We also called my Mom as well as his mom and brothers. The post game show went off the air as I pulled into my driveway at 12:30 a.m. One of the last things they said was that the police estimated that at least 125,000 people were in the area of the stadium and that traffic was still backed up on the interstate. I was glad to be home but Matt and I had an awesome day. It was a very special and memorable one-on-one time.

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