Saturday, May 21, 2011

OK so I Know You've Moved on but......

Yes, It's been like ,oh I don't know, like FIVE months since this event happened in my life and I'm still trying to finish telling you about it. AND in light of the tragedies (storms of 4/27/11) that have happened in our great state, I realize how small and insignificant football seems now. HOWEVER, I have seen through these trials and tribulations the two sides of our SEC infused state lay their pigskin battles aside to help one another in this time of need and it gives me an immense sense of pride to be from the GREAT STATE OF ALABAMA!!
So, I'm going to take a moment (or several) to attempt to finish my AUBURN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP story for you. And I must admit I'm quite disappointed in myself b/c I'm sure there's so much I've forgotten that I wanted to document but I'm gonna at least give it the ole college try.

Here I am with my AU buddies, Donna, me, Bethany and Michelle at the Tailgate party (while my determined husband is out searching for tickets)

You may have to go back a post or two to remind yourself that we were in Arizona on the day of the championship holding out hope we would indeed get tickets to the game. Alex was to meet a dude in a parking lot to buy a pair. At the same time this is going on, our friends who are with me get a phone call from one of their parents. Michelle's mom called to tell us that that someone she knows (apparently pretty high up dude at ALFA) was stranded in Alabama due to an incredible snow/ice storm and would not be able to make it to the game. He wanted to transfer his tickets to us. I can not tell you how incredibly grateful I was to him and to Michelle and Nathan Click for all that hard work TRYING to get those tickets to us. All of our friends were so supportive in trying to help us find tickets that day and I'll never forget that, thanks guys. So anyway, Alex books it to the Auburn Will Call office. After many, many, many phone calls, it is determined that since the tickets are not actually in Arizona then we can't use them. We were very deflated at this point, HOWEVER, the Auburn ticket manager (I would insert his name here b/c we owe him dearly but alas I have forgotten it) took pity on my poor hubby after Alex explained our crazy story. The manager told Alex that if he hung around the ticket office that he would work something out for us. Alex and one other lady who also had a similar ticket nightmare hung out at that ticket office for over 4 hours!!!!!!!!! Alex had not eaten since breakfast and was exhausted and pitiful (see photo below). The closer it came to the game, the more people who began to hang around and the ticket manager began to get testy about everyone hanging out and getting in the way of others coming to get their tickets. Alex was ready to give up at one point and everyone around us would not let him because he had waited so long. As game time gets closer and closer our friends decide to go on in to find their seats. I'm left standing to the side of the mob of people so, I found time to take pictures of and with a few former players and even got invited to an "after" party. hahaaa.....Anyway, right before kick-off the tickets that were not claimed (mostly due to the poor stranded people in Alabama) were sold and we were about the second in line to get these tickets. We only paid FACE VALUE for these tickets!! Alex and I raced into the stadium to find our seats. We ended up with amazing seats close to lots of former players, the band, the cheerleaders and of coarse the field. It was all like a fast moving dream or action movie and it took almost half of the first quarter for it to sink in that we actually were there! Let me tell you the atmosphere was indescribable!! I'll NEVER forget that feeling. SO, Mr. ALFA man who wanted to give us your tickets; THANK YOU because if it were not for you we would never have made it to the Will Call office and we might not have made it in that night. Things do happen for a reason and I believe Alex and I were meant to be there that night in that stadium to see our Tigers win it all!

Thank you also to the husband who never gave up, who never lost determination, who faced some fears in his life to make it to that game. I love you honey and we couldn't have made to Arizona and into that stadium if you were not such an amazing and motivated man!

Here he is, at that Will Call Office waiting as patiently as Alex Hicks is capable of doing.

Michelle, me and Donna with David Irons, a former AU player. We're all buddies now, can't ya tell?

My other new pals - Dontario Thomas, Brandon Cox, Karibi Dede and David Irons - it's amazing who you meet while begging for game tickets!
The demand for tickets really was un-heard of. No one was prepared for how many people wanted these tickets. While trying to get this picture, I overheard Brandon Cox (a former quarterback for AU) had only gotten confirmation of his tickets the day before the game. AND since I had nothing else to do while Alex stood tirelessly at that darn window, I decided to chat it up with these guys while of coarse asking if they knew of any tickets. Let me stop here to say, this is WAY out of character for me to just up and start a conversation with a stranger, much less one that all AU fans and most people around there that night knew of!! I guess desperation brings out the out-going side of me!

Here's a shot of how close were were to the cheerleaders. I'm sure I had the zoom on but they were almost in our way at times because we were so close to the field. Again I can not begin to tell you how amazing it felt to be there that night. There are no words. The fans were amazing and it was pretty much a sea of orange and blue with a few yellows and greens thrown in. And aside from the two rude dudes a few rows in front of us the Oregon fans were pretty tame and respectful too. (oh and Brandon Jacobs-former AU and present NFL player shut them up pretty quickly at one point in the game as he was siting right in front of them. He's HUGEEEEE by the way)

Gotta catch a good shot of Aubie when ya can!!

This was right after one of our touchdowns. It was right in front of us. The guys were so pumped!

Kenny Irons (another former AU player) sat on the row behind us. I tried to get a picture with him but our darn camera died!! Really can you believe the luck for my camera's battery to die during the biggest game of my life?? Who does that?? Who forgets to charge their camera before one of the biggest events of their lives???? ME!!! That's who. I had to reserve the power for the last few shots I got that night.

Makes my heart proud to see this flag waving. Plus it means we scored some points!! This game was intense and I'll never forget it. It was a close game and in the end by a field goal, Auburn, my Alma mater, won the National Championship! It was a hard and long season but one that will never be forgotten! It will be discussed, argued over, cherished, and criticized for years to come, but for me it was a moment in time that only draws me deeper in love with what is the Auburn family and I am so grateful and blessed to have had the opportunity to witness it first hand. This is what memories made of.

And here it is, after a hard fought battle, the score board that warms my heart. haha... Seriously, this is something so many of us never imagined at the beginning of this football season would have ever happened. Who would have thought that this team would have been so blessed and that this would be the result?! And we are sooooo very glad it did happen!!

And here are they are. Those two crazy AU fans that risked it by coming all the way out to Arizona w/out tickets in hand only to see their beloved team finish off the season with a National Title. These are the smiles of victory in more ways than one!!

(taken by my cell phone b/c you remember my camera DIED!!)

Me and my good friend Donna after the game. We are #1!

And here's the other halves: Alex and Keith. Among all the gushing I've done about Auburn football, one of the best things about this trip was spending it with our dear friends who were on this trip with us and making memories none of us will forget! It's that AU family thing again.

After the game, Keith wanted a shirt so we walked down toward the sales tables and saw Cam Newton's mom. Donna and I didn't have a camera at that moment so I went and got hers and came back and got a picture with Mrs. Newton. She's such a nice and gracious lady. Her son and his team mates had just won the game and she was taking time to take pictures with dorks like me. Say what you want but I like this lady and her son!!!!

And since we were apparently AU celebrity hunting that day, we also ran into Will Herring after the game so Donna and I got a pic with him too. It looks as if I'm all up under his armpit and loving up on him but I really wasn't. Haha! Will currently plays for the Seattle Seahawks.

So, that is that. That is the majority of how we got to the game, got in the game, and watched our tigers WIN, WIN, WIN the game!! There's lots more to this trip. I didn't even post any pictures of the celebration after the game. Maybe that will come 6 months from now. ;) And there's the trip to the Grand Canyon too.... I've got lots left to get me caught up but at least I can rest now knowing I've documented THE game!

As I stated in the beginning of this post, I am fully aware that there are bigger things in this life than college football and you might be tired by now of reading about it. You might not think we deserved this title. You might think I'm obsessing (maybe so). You might want to compare your titles to ours. BUT you know what? It's ok. All that matters to me is that my Tigers came out on top and I was with my best friend when it happened and I made good friendships even better from this trip out west!!
It's a GOD THING!!!!

Now on to bed because in about 5 days I'm heading to the Happiest Place on Earth. Oh and by the way, I'm stopping by the Loveliest Village on the Plains on the way.........

Have a great day and continue to remember the ones who lost so much so recently in the tornadoes that ravaged our state. Keep those prayers going.


kimberly t. bowling said...

LOVE the story! LOVE the TIGERS! LOVE Cam Newton and his mama and the fact his mama did stop and smile for a random pic with someone she didn't even know. LOVE the dedication Alex showed to get inside the stadium! LOVE the AU family, near and far! LOVE all the photos of former famous AU guys...great little momentos...who has a pic with ALL those players? Worth the wait! WAR EAGLE!!!

hicksfamilycircus said...

Thanks sweet friend. I knew if anyone would appreciate this story, YOU WOULD! War Eagle and see you on the plains if not sooner.