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Monday, December 09, 2013

We Were There - The Night the Noles Beat the Blue Devils

The clock struck 12 and it was cold. Behind us - the Seminoles were accepting the ACC Championship Trophy.

We were in town around noon - and drove downtown to see the stadium. Lulu's brother and fiancee have a room at the airport Sheraton. We found a very nice spot close to the stadium - but it said 2 hour maximum except weekends. It was free weekends. There were 4 empty meters so we quickly called Jackie and told him to get over to park. In a minute we were all set up to party. The weather all day was dank - getting colder - felt like rain or snow. We could see the stadium from our spot - but with the weather - we ate and drank inside.
Our camper's front seats convert to a table and with 4 chair around it. Tami made several nice things - salads - vegetable pizzas - cookies. What is a picnic without macaroni salad. Jack also provided many drinks. We enjoyed the time watching other football games on the TV using our cellphone slingbox. A 6 PM - we went to the stadium. Jackie and Tami bought club level seats before they came here. Lulu and I held up two fingers. Tickets were plentiful - but we wanted club level tickets - they were in the 300 level. That had a face value of $150 - but we figured we could get some cheaply. The area is very clean and safe. No one was bothering the ticket sellers - and you could shop easily - picking location and price. We settled on a nice pair around the 30 yard line. An added bonus was that 300 level seats - both inside and out - are under cover. They were predicting icy rain. Our tickets cost us $30 each. The crowd was better than last year - when it was half empty. FSU lost $500,000 going to that game. What a sin that is compared to the SEC game in Atlanta that makes millions. That game is packed and $300 is not an uncommon price. Charlotte has a nice new stadium - every seat has an excellent view - all seats have backs. The chairs were colored blue because the Carolina Panthers play there. The first quarter played to a scoreless tie. Duke was doing very well - FSU dropped a few passes to keep it close. In the second quarter FSU pulled away and soon it was a run away. FSU won 45-7. The Noles quarterback - Jameis Winston - was not as unworldly as before. Even though he was the game MVP - he threw two interceptions and missed his receivers badly at times. Near the end some of the Duke players took some cheap shots in frustration - one of their players was even ejected. This could hold him out of the bowl game. Duke had won 8 in a row and had an excellent season. The crowd was larger than I expected - maybe 45000 in the 70000 seat stadium. FSU has won 13 games in a row - and beat each opponent by about 40. This was no exception. The next game they play is in Pasadena - if they win there they will win their third national championship trophy. The game was over around midnight. We drove the camper back to the Sheraton. Lulu chose to sleep in the hotel - I am in the parking lot in the camper writing this. It is toasty inside with the propane furnace - it will reach down into the 30s tonight. Sunday morning we plan to drive straight home down the interstate highways. They are predicting ice storms up here and it would be nice to get out of here before that. The camper has been fantastic. We love the toilet - the showers - the beds - the TV - the kitchen. The furnace has a thermostat just like one in your home. You can set it and forget it. All the windows are tinted black and there are curtains inside. No one can see in from outside.

Added later -
We arrived home after 5 PM - it rained half the way but no ice. When we reached the Florida border near Jacksonville - the skies cleared up and the temperature approached 80. It was deja vu - how many times have I driven down I-95 into Florida driving a camper or bus? I was tempted to stop at the border for the free orange juice. It is official - FSU will try to win its third national championship at Pasadena on January 6th. The drive took about 10 hours form Charlotte to Tallahassee. I am getting old. I cannot imagine making the 31 hour drive to Pasadena - then watching 4 hours of a game - and driving home. In the old days - I used to drive our bus from Tamaqua PA to Disneyworld FL for a long weekend - 20 hours each way - with 20 kids in the back.

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