Posted: September 17, 2007 in Lessons

Arkansas vs Alabama at Tuscaloosa

Today just happens to be my 37th birthday, and I’ve had a terrific one. The trip to Tuscaloosa yesterday was just great, in so many ways…

* The drive from Ocean Springs to Tuscaloosa is an easy one with easy traffic
* My friend, Shannon, had us a great parking place at the house of a friend of his, a super neat guy who has run for mayor of Tuscaloosa before… He was a gracious host, and he has some of the coolest Alabama football memorabilia decorating his house.
* The weather was perfect, though a little hot wandering around campus yesterday afternoon, but I’d be a sad person to complain about yesterday’s weather.
* We had a quick lunch at Quizno’s before wandering all over campus: we toured the Bear Bryant Museum, wandered around the Quad, and then stopped by the President’s Mansion (which was only open for private guests, but a young representative from the University of Alabama took the time to give us a full rendition of the mansion’s amazing history!)
* We got into Bryant-Denny Stadium super early, and Hillary was glued next to the fence where the cheerleaders were warming up. Her two biggest desires before the game were to get a Razorback pom-pom and one of the little hog stickers for her face. It took two seconds at the fence before the cheerleader sponsor gave her both unprompted.
* And then there was the game. I’m sure some Alabama fans will call it THE game for a while now. It was an awesome game, even if my team did end up on the short end at the game’s conclusion. In spite of the way it began, it turned out to be very entertaining.

But much to the chagrin of many of my friends, and much to the delight of a few others, I’ve got to say something: Jody, Hillary, and I had the best time meeting Alabama fans.

#1: It began of course, with Shannon’s friend, Mark, who was so gracious to us.

#2: It continued at the fence before the game when Hillary and I met one of the girlfriends of an Alabama player. It was her boyfriend’s first time to dress out with the team, and we had the best time helping her find him among the players and talking to her. She didn’t care that we were for Arkansas. She was simply a nice person.

#3: It continued at our seats, completely surrounded by Alabama fans. We instantly made friends with the guy sitting next to us, and by the time the game was over, everyone was congratulating us on a great game as we did the same in return. I’m serious: it was like we were among family.

#4: It also happened at halftime, while I stood in a super-long line for a hot dog and soda. The lady in front of me was an Alabama fan, and in the pressing crowd it seemed that everyone that needed through asked to walk in front of her. We had the best time during the fourteen-hour wait laughing about her invisible sign asking people to cut in front of her. She was a lot of fun.

#5: On the way out of the stadium after the game, stuck between tons of joyous Alabama fans, one couple struck up a friendly conversation, complimenting out team, and just being good people.

#6: And then outside the stadium, as we walked through the throng of fans yelling ROLL TIDE (much to Hillary’s dismay!), a young representative of the university approached us and asked if we had enjoyed our stay at the game. I’m serious!!! We assured him that we had, and he made it clear that they had every intention that we enjoyed our visit to Tuscaloosa, and I hope I made it clear that we did.

I’ve heard lots of people say that they have two favorite teams: (1) their favorite team, and (2) whoever is playing Alabama.

Well, after the way we were treated in enemy territory, I think I lost my interest in that second favorite team.

  1. DJG says:

    I am glad you were treated well at the Capstone. WE Bama fans are not all bad, actually I think that most are just as you found them…good ole’ country folks that like other people!

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