Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Orange Bowl!

Day in.

On December 3, 2011, Clemson played Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game.  Clemson won that game 38-10, automatically qualifying for a spot in the Orange Bowl.

As many of you know, I am a huge Clemson fan, so the opportunity to go to a BCS bowl is one I could not pass up. I had talked with Z, who lives in Colorado, about going to the game.  After learning he had an aunt in Miami, all we really needed were tickets.  We were searching StubHub almost daily when I got an email from my cousin K, who had four Orange Bowl tickets they could not use.  This was it!  We were going to Miami!!!

Generous tickets
After calling a few friends to see who could go to the game, it ended up that it would be me, Z and Kyle (the forth ticket would go to Z's aunt who was hosting us and was a Clemson graduate who was at the 81 Orange Bowl).  We all wanted to go for as cheap as possible, so Z flew to Charlotte, had someone drop him off in Clemson, and rode to Atlanta with Kyle.  We rented a Camry (which was impressively fuel efficient) and drove to Miami on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012, leaving at 7 AM. We stopped twice on the way, once at the Florida state line for orange juice (Solid Orange, It's about Pride - Not Grapefruit Juice, Z!), and once in Ocala for gas and food.

We arrived in Miami to frigid weather, it was in the low 50's!  The morning of the game, we were looking for a place to eat breakfast on our way to South Beach and thought we saw a great Orange Bowl Omen -- Coach Danny Ford (1981 National Championship Team Coach) walking alone on the street.  Z and Kyle about jumped out of the car to get a picture with him.  I was stuck trying to find parking, but there wasn't any to be had.

Kyle and Danny Ford

Z and Danny Ford
After that excitement, we drove to South Beach, found the team hotels and took a drive on Star Island (which is gated, you just have to ask to get in).
Team Hotel Pedestrian Bridge
Some Star's fancy gate
We got some tailgating supplies for the game, then headed for the stadium.
Pro Player Stadium
Land Shark Stadium
Sun Life Stadium

Then we went in to see a football game.

Our Seats

Warm Ups

Kyle and I

Script Tigers - Probably the highlight of the night


The guy who won the first season of "The Voice" sang the National Anthem

Taking the field

In Game Photo
As most people probably know, we did not really get to see a Clemson football game.  The offense showed up, but the defense never made it to south Florida...I think they thought the game was in Tampa. West Virginia thoroughly beat Clemson, but I was there for the whole experience and didn't want to leave...
Us with all the other Clemson Faithful (4th Qtr)

This is when I couldn't take it anymore
We got home from the game about 1 AM and woke up to drive back to Atlanta at 6:15 AM.  The trip home had less stops, only 1, in Gainesville, Florida. We stopped there to because that's where Tim Tebow played college football.  We made it back to Atlanta in time for Z's flight at 7.

Overall, the trip was a lot of fun.  It was great to see friends I don't see much and talk a lot, I mean A LOT, of college football.  The score of the game was the only down part of the trip.  I'm not sure I would be willing to go back to Miami again next year, but that is where the National Championship game will be...just sayin'.

Day out.



  1. LOVE you mind if I steal a couple of the pics of Z for our blog?

  2. steal away! (Stu says to give us credit or else that's plagiarism...hehe)