Friday, January 8, 2010

National Champions!!

We are the champions!! And I was there to see it!! The game had its up and downs, more ups than downs, but we came out on top and what a game it was! I had dreamed of watching my Crimson Tide play for a National Championship in person ever since our last National Championship in 1992. And 17 years later, that dream finally came true!

Louis and I had such a good time at the game. We walked all around the Rose Bowl and realized that we were outnumbered by Texas fans about 5:1. That didn’t matter to me any though. I felt deep down that we were going to win it.

At one point during the day we were walking around the golf course area and I noticed that their really weren’t any Alabama fans around us. We were surrounded by burnt orange. It was then that I looked to my left and saw a huge assemblage of Texas fans and their real live mascot Bevo. Simultaneously I saw a huge arch made of balloons with Texas spelled out in even bigger balloons hanging from its center and it was then that I realized we had wondered into the Texas tailgate party area! I told Louis that we needed skedaddle before we got jumped and sacrificed to Bevo or something!

We decided that we would walk to the other side of the stadium and see if we could find the Alabama tailgate party. While looking for it, we stumbled up on where the players were going to be entering the stadium! I was so excited! We were told that they would be coming in about 30 minutes. That turned into about and hour and a half. But we kept standing there. There was no way I was going to miss a chance to see our future National Champions! While we were waiting, several fans started “ALA – BAMA” and “It’s great to be from Alabama” and of course chants of “Roll Tide” were frequent as well. We talked to the people around us and shared our favorite memories from the season. There was a guy who was standing close by us who had the funniest shirt on. It said “I got my ticket from Tebow’s mom”! That poor guy was being asked by everyone if they could take a picture of it. And of course I took a picture of it too! And here it is….

About a half hour before our guys arrived, the Texas team arrived. They went into the stadium at the entrance right next to where our guys were going to go in. They had a huge gathering of people too, but I have never heard such a quiet stadium entrance in my life. I don’t know if they were just standing there clapping or what, but I swear I heard some crickets chirping while they were filing off their bus! Finally after about an hour and 45 minutes, our guys arrived! OUR crowd of fans went nuts! It was hard to get good pictures of the players like I got a Homecoming, but I got a few good shots. Some of the players were smiling and you could tell they were taking it all in, but most of them had their earbuds in and were in the zone. They were serious and they came there to win! We all cheered and screamed and made sure they had a great welcome to the stadium and that they knew we were behind them!
Here are two of the better pictures I got of Terrence "Mount" Cody and Rolando McClain.

After that it was only about an hour or so before the game was going to start, so we headed into the stadium and to the concession stand to get some food and a commemorative cup. We got to our seats and I was just amazed at how good they were! We were technically on the Texas side of the field, but the Alabama endzone was right next to us! There were 4 Alabama fans sitting right behind us and 3 or 4 more right behind them, so we were in some good company. We did have Texas fans on each side of us and everyone directly in front of us were Texas people as well. They were all really nice and were not obnoxious like I was afraid they were going to be.

We watched the team working out before the game and I took lots of pictures of them. Then it was time for the pre-game stuff to start. Josh Grobin was great singing the National Anthem. But I think the best part was seeing the Air Force guys parachute in. I knew that there was going to be one carrying an Alabama (team, not state) flag in and that was sooooo cool seeing him come in! He did a huge fist pump when he landed. You could tell that he was so proud to have been able to do that. Then the guy carrying the American flag came parachuting in. That was such a great moment. I was virtually in tears from watching the Alabama flag come in and that put me over. The icing on the cake was when the jets flew over. That was amazing! I was streaming tears at that point. I couldn’t believe I was there! I was getting ready to watch my Crimson Tide play for and win a National Championship!

The coin toss was next and we won the toss! Then in the blink of an eye, the game started. Marcel Darius’s interception and run into the endzone was on our side of the field, so we had a good view of that. I won’t bore you with my analysis of the game. I’m sure you saw it and know what happened! The Texas fans around us were very gracious when we had our ups and for the most part were gracious when they had their ups. When Mark Ingram scored that last touchdown, that is when the Texas fans that hadn’t already left, stared filing out. That is when it hit me that we were going to win it. I got really emotional and shed a few tears and to be honest, it was all surreal. Then the game was over and a huge smile came upon my face and I don’t think I stopped smiling for the rest of the night. We of course stayed and watched the trophy presentation.

Then we headed out of the stadium. The parking lot and traffic was really not bad at all. We pretty much got in the car and drove out of the stadium. We stopped at a couple of t-shirt vendors on the way out and I got several shirts for 50% off and one vendor even had National Championship pennants already, so I of course picked up a couple of them. The next morning, we went back down to the Rose Bowl and I was able to get a shirt with the score on it as well as an Alabama purse and a Mark Ingram jersey with the BCS NCG patch on it. I paid only $50.00 for the jersey. They were going for $80.00 the day before!

We headed home after that and as tired as I was, I couldn’t stop talking or smiling the entire trip home. And of course when we got home, I immediately went to the computer and promptly placed a large order for more National Championship stuff!

What a great time! We are National Champions and I was there to see it! Thank you honey for taking me to the game! I will never forget it and I hope we are able to do it again or maybe one day we can be there to watch your Cubs do it!