Tuesday, November 20, 2007

UA vs. ULM ... my version of the day...

Last Saturday was a great experience for me. I invited my sister, who lives in Chicago, to visit for the weekend and attend the Alabama vs. ULM game. I thought it would be a good game for her to see, with Alabama probably winning by at least three touchdowns. I was wrong.

We left our parents’ home in Huntsville at 7:50 am and arrived in Tuscaloosa a little after 10 a.m. We parked just off Bryant Drive near the baseball stadium. We walked across the Quad to the Ferguson Center. That was a cool experience as we discussed which buildings we had classes in as students. Her undergraduate major was in English and she had many classes in Morgan and Ten Hoor halls. She mentioned that her library classes (she has an MLS degree) were on the sixth floor of the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library. I didn't know that.

We ate at the Ferguson Center (student union building) and watched a little of the Michigan vs. Ohio State game. We browsed at the Sup Store before walking back towards the Quad and Bryant Denny Stadium. We “snuck” some diet cokes into the stadium and got there about an hour before kickoff.

I wandered down from our seats to take a few pictures of the Alabama players and coaches as they warmed up for the game. It was great to see a former co-worker at the game. Randy, who was a supervisor of another unit when I first began my current job way back in 1993, and his brother David were sitting next to us. His wife Joyce is my boss (and by the way, an Auburn fan). She bought two of my tickets for Randy and his brother. It was funny. I originally told her they were $45. When I delivered them to her I had a chance to look at them and told her they were actually $40. She told me not to tell Randy and she would keep the extra $10 until I told her that they might actually look at the tickets and see the price. At the game Randy told me to ask her why she charged him $60 when they were really $40.

Before the game, Randy and David were thanking me profusely for selling them the tickets and asked me to remember them in the future. By the fourth quarter, Randy held up the two tickets and jokingly asked for a refund! I cannot say that I blame him. It was a very disappointing performance by the Tide. The crowd was just as disappointing as the team. It was sluggish from the beginning. The loudest cheering might have been during the “wave” in the 4th quarter. I refused to participate in the wave as I was so ticked off by the poor performance of the Tide. Actually it took at least 5 or 6 tries before the wave got going. Waves in college football games are NOT a good sign when your home team is losing to ULM.

Despite the loss, my sister and I had a great time! I would say that we bonded more and talked more than we had in years. We were not that close in college as we both went our separate ways. The beauty of the day was that we learned more about each other and enjoyed each other’s company more than ever when we were both students. The last game she attended was about 17 or 18 years ago with me.

We talked about the game and our personal lives on the way back to our parent’s home like never before. I have been through a lot lately in my personal life and my sister has as well. We talked a lot about our parents. We are so thankful for the sacrifices they made to enable us to attend college. My Dad has some health problems and we talked a lot about that. My sister “interviewed" him this weekend and it was some fascinating stuff. In the process he produced his resume. His resume is a history of computers from 1950-1990. I had no idea the huge number of people that he supervised and the degree of responsibility he had over so many people and his technical knowledge. I ended the weekend with a greater appreciation than ever for my Dad and my sister.

Yes, the Tide lost. But I won.