We just got back last night from a wonderful jaunt to the deep South. And it was great! We were decked out in all of our Utah gear, to cheer on our college football team as they were matched up with SEC powerhouse Alabama for the Sugar Bowl. It is a prestigious bowl game, and Utah got the invite because they executed a perfect season. It doesn't happen very often, so we had to make the trip. The game did not start until 7:15 pm on Friday, January 2nd. We flew in the night before and therefore had all day to do some sightseeing.
This is Dr. Ludlow and his son-in-law Mark. We met up with them the night we got into town. Mark was in our married-student ward in Salt Lake and is wife and I are friends as well. I even worked for her Dad, a dentist in town, for a little while. It was great to be able to spend a few hours with them.This is Jackson Square in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. St. Louis Cathedral is in the background.
The building to the left of the cathedral is where they signed the Louisiana Purchase. Rinar is standing in the room where it happened, leaning on a replica chair.
I think America got a really good bargain from the French for the Louisian Purchase, or it would appear so from my calculations. We American's know how to drive a hard bargain, huh? Good ole Jefferson and Seward.
After a lot of walking (and I mean a lot), we finally made it over to the Superdome. We had walked down Bourbon street about 4 times (because we kept getting lost) and it was about four times too many. We also caught a cable car to see the old houses, and it was way too crowded to do that, as I think every other Utah and Alabama fan did the same thing as us. I felt bad for the locals who actually had somewhere they needed to go. Nevertheless, we made it to our ultimate destination...
There was a Fan Jam before the game and we putzed around while we waited for the stadium to open. Here I am in a picture with Jamal Anderson, a Utah alum and NFL stand-out for the Atlanta Falcons. He autographed a picture for me and if you want to see it and touch it in person, call me to make an appointment.
We always get one of these pictures when we are at a big game.
Do you like my feathers? They are white and red, of course.
Look how big Alabama's band was? Our band was about 70% smaller. We looked like a high school band. I hope we didn't sound like a high school band. They played with their backs to us so I didn't have a clue what it was coming out of those horns.
Now for a rant...
The SEC is the epitome of football snobbery. These people think they are the only people in the world who can play football. They strut around in their fan gear, with the pins, and the hats, and the traditions constantly making snide remarks like, "What's a Ute anyways?" I would always yell back, "It's an Indian!" They didn't ask because they wanted to know, they just wanted to make sure to remind all of us Utes that we didn't belong on the holy BCS bowl ground. The ESPN polls before the game had Alabama favored 89% and the odds in Vegas were 10-1 against Utah. But more importantly, it is the expectation that in order for us piddly little school to enter the Mastah's house and grovel at his lousy feet, we have to be absolutely perfect. And even when we do accomplish perfection, it is still not enough. Forget the fact that one of the worst teams in our league, Wyoming, absolutley whalloped mighty Tennessee ... at Tennessee.
Yet, the Mountain West Conference is relegated to the slave quarters and can only hope to get the scraps from the BCS table. It makes me want to yack.
Utah has the longest winning streak in the country, in a conference that annihilated the PAC-10, and has not lost a bowl game in 8 tries. Yet, everytime we go to a bowl, we have the burden of proving ourselves to the sports world. It is ridiculous.
I officially declare that Utah no longer has anything to prove to anybody...
And this is why...
That's right. And all those Alabama die-hards started leaving the stadium in droves even before it was locked up. They still had time and chances to win the game, and yet the Alabama "faithful" didn't stick it out with their team. It was a sorry state of affairs. No matter what, I would have stayed with my team to the end.
But, that is all hypothetical. Utah was awesome...they dominated a team that was ranked #1 in the country all season long until the very last game. I firmly believe that Utah should be the #1 team in the nation. The Utes were unstoppable.
I just loved this sign.
As we made our way back to the Bourbon street area, once again I heard some Alabama person shout out, "What's a Ute anyway?". Lady, the answer is, "It is an undefeated indian!".
**Rant officially over**
So, yesterday we flew home and had to lay-over in Houston. Look who rode home on the plane with us...
Yes, it was Brian Johnson, MVP quarterback for the 2009 Sugar Bowl Champion Utah Utes.
Don't you love all of my chins?