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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hmmm...Poker or Football???

Okay, well one is definitely a LOT more exciting than the other. My little 4,000 mile, 36-hour odyssey from L.A. to New Orleans and back was like a blur...but at the end of that blur was one of the happiest moments of the relationship between Squirrel and I.

The BCS Title stays in the State of Alabama for the 3rd year in a row, and Nick Saban becomes the first coach to win 3 BCS National Championships. We love St. Nick!!!

The crowd outside of the Superdome in Champions Square was huge!
There weren't very many UNhappy moments during the game Monday Night!

My new buddy Barth Melius was cool enough to get us great tickets for face value...and it was my present to Squirrel for Christmas, even though we agreed not to exchange gifts. Hell, I wanted to go to the game just as bad as she did! I left LA at 1 noon on Sunday, managed two legs on Southwest where I got the greatest seat EVER!

When you compare Delta to's like comparing filet mignon to hamburger. Squirrel picked me up in New Orleans...we drove home...and when we arrived home...we discovered that our house had been 'LSU'ed!' Whoa! Someone knows there are a couple of 'Bama fans living in their neighborhood! We weren't the least bit upset, in fact, I thought it was pretty cool. Squirrel quickly cleaned up the mess!!!

Big huge LSU banner hung across the garage, it fell when we opened the garage.
Little white bags in the shape of LSU jerseys, with candles inside...that were lining our driveway!
Of course purple and yellow balloons on the mailbox!

Yeah, whoever did the dirty, put in a lot of effort! Kind of reminded me of the shenanigans they pulled on 'Friday Night Lights!'

The next day, we hit the road about 2...and were in New Orleans by 4. We met up with BJ McBrayer and Chip Ervin and walked around for a couple of hours. The crowd in Champions Square was huge. The streets were filled with LSU fans and Alabama fans...and from the feel of it, there was definitely more Tiger fans than Bama fans..and that had me feeling a bit nervous. 

Waiting to get into the Dome, which didn't open until 5:30...the pushing and shoving, and cutting was out of control. It was just annoying. I won't say who was the ruder of the two groups, but I will say I wasn't surprised.

Not much needs to be said about the all watched it. I won all four of my side bets with people who were awfully sure their LSU boys would crush the Tide. And I got to think about Joey Gross...and Charlie Oliver...and the last 30 days worth of their 'Honey Badger' badgering. Every time I looked up at the big ZERO on the scoreboard as we were sitting there watching the team celebrate down on the field, I kept thinking about all that smack talk.

We get it! He doesn't care! He proved that on Monday!

Tyrann! What happened? It was like you weren't even there!
All I could think about...was one word:  S-C-O-R-E-B-O-A-R-D!!!! I knew 'Bama had the better team. And I think...deep down in their hearts, that LSU knew it too. They know how outplayed they were in Tuscaloosa, it wasn't a whole lot different from the game on Monday. Bama just missed fewer field goals, actually scored a touchdown (finally) after about 7 trips to the red zone...and played even BETTER (if it was possible!) defense than they did in November. I was living in New York back in 92/93 when Alabama beat Miami in this same stadium to win the National Championship...a team that some have said had the greatest college defense ever. I don't know...I have never seen a team play defense like this one. As a Husky fan, I sat in the Rose Bowl back in 1991 and watched Steve Emtman lead the Huskies to the National Title on a dominating defense.

I don't care what some people say about football being boring if there isn't a lot of scoring. I disagree. Watching 11 guys completely dominate and dismantle an offense is exhilarating. I think we stood for the entire game...and every big hit by a defender was celebrated like a long pass to a receiver. I don't think there is any doubt we will see 5 or 6 of those players in the NFL. And in LSU's defense...their defense is almost as good. They tightened up near the goal line...and kept the Tigers in the game...but LSU's offense just NEVER could get deep in Bama territory, ever. It was quite possibly the most complete performance by a defense in a big game that I've ever seen.

The fans for LSU completely vanished by the time there was about 5 minutes left in the game...which was probably for the better, preventing any altercations that may have taken place outside the dome. Walking out it was nothing but Bama fans...singing, and chanting, and cheering. It was magical. The smile on Squirrel's face made the money spent and the miles flown and lack of sleep all worth it. 

 And according to Cheryl, baby Carley Grace was kicking like crazy all during the game (just like 'Bama's special teams!) due to either the crowd noise, or maybe Momma Squirrel jumping up and down all night. It was Carley's first official game...and I don't think she will ever be able to top that!!!

As I sat there watching the trophy presentation, and listening to Nick Saban talk about what this win meant to the town of Tuscaloosa, as they still try to heal from the horrible tornadoes of last just hit me hard. The time I spent going up there trying to help, the money I raised for the Red Cross. The incredible turnout I saw of volunteers up there, and how that whole town came together, it just made me feel proud. And happy. I know that people are still suffering up there...and that a lot of work remains to be done. But this football season seemed like it was destined to end this way. I kept telling Squirrel that I thought it was fate that the Tide would get another shot after losing in November...and that given another chance, would NEVER let that opportunity get away from them. And they didn't.

The day April 27th will never be forgotten in Alabama
Sports Illustrated captured the impact on Tuscaloosa
We finally left the stadium...and took a nice long walk back to the car. We drove to Barth's new house in Metairie (which is amazing!) where we were going to stay for the night...well, sort of. I had to be at the airport by 5am. When we arrived, we were met by his good friend Vanessa...who had a fantastic 'costume' for the game! She was, of course disappointed by the game, but was a really good sport about it. We were all starving, so went to a place called the City Diner for a huge meal. It was filled with both Bama fans and LSU fans...both seated on opposite sides of the restaurant.

A most unlikely duo! Who says 'Bama Girl and Tiger Girl can't co-exist!??

Barth opted for the 'Breakfast Challenge' at City Diner...and yes...that is a pizza-sized plate of 3 pancakes that Vanessa is about face dive into!!!
We caught about two hours of sleep...then shot over to the airport...arriving in plenty of time. Seeing all the LSU fans at the airport, with their depressed faces? I have to admit, it was kind of satisfying. But some of us can win with class...saying nothing ugly. A couple of them were cool enough to say "Good game, you guys kicked our asses." One even said 'Roll Tide.' Now I don't really get caught up in the uttering of Roll Tide every time I see a Bama just feels bizarre and awkward when I say it...knowing I am a true Washington Husky. I usually just kind of sheepishly smile and say 'Um..yeah...Roll Tide, uh huh!.' Now, Squirrel, and 'The Claw' on the other hand...they say it, and say it with gusto!

Both legs of my flights back to LA were very packed. My shuttle to pick me up was an hour late, which meant playing in the noon (1A) session wasn't going to happen. So I spent the afternoon playing the shittily-structured mega satellites, losing both for $180 a pop. But played a $200 SNG with a $40 last longer and ended up chopping that, then picked up another couple hundred in the $5-$5 my buy in of $1600 was offset a little bit.

So...I walked over at 7:10pm...plopped down my $1600 and was off to play the Main Event. I will leave you hanging there....this entry is already too long, and I need to be over there like NOW!

Be back with a follow up report tonight, probably.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great read, great pictures, hope you do well in the main event!