High Tide in Miami: My Trip to the National Championship

By Ashley Tripp, Student at the University of Alabama

Standing in the student section on the third row, I buried my face in my Alabama jersey trying to process what was about to happen with just seconds to spare. Georgia was about to score a touchdown and it would’ve been the end of the road for the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Just then, I peeked up to look at the field and noticed the Alabama football players and coaches started running toward the field. I flashed at the scoreboard and saw that the clock had run out before the Bulldogs could make another play. Alabama won the SEC Title and was headed back to the BCS National Championship!

The real excitement came when I received an email a few days later saying:

I was so excited! I was going to Miami (Will Smith style)!

On Jan. 4, 2013, I met up with my friend in downtown Atlanta after spending a few days at the Passion 2013 Conference in the Georgia Dome. That afternoon we were Miami bound.

On Saturday we made a pit stop in my hometown, Orlando, Fla., as a halfway point to meet up with another one of our friends. On Sunday, the three of us traveled to West Palm Beach, just an hour outside of Miami.

Finally, the day I’ve been excited about my entire college career had arrived. It was game day!

Will Call for UA students was at 2 p.m., so my group decided to head over to the Sun Life Stadium around noon. After waiting for a few hours, we finally received our tickets.

The entire day leading up to the actual game went by fairly fast and before I knew it, we were already headed inside the stadium. Walking up the ramp, I could see Luke Bryan performing at the main tailgate area.

The most exciting parts of the pre-show was seeing the Air Marshals parachute on to the field and then hearing Zac Brown Band sing the National Anthem.

Then came the opening kick-off. Roll Tide!

Within three minutes of the first quarter, Eddie Lacey scored the Tide’s first touchdown of the night, quieting the Notre Dame fans. The Tide continued rolling with three more touchdowns before halftime. The Jumbotron zoomed in on actor Vince Vaughn looking upset that the Fighting Irish was losing.

Up by 28 points, the Irish was starting to run out of luck. In the halftime interview, Notre Dame Coach, Brian Kelly, said, “Maybe Alabama doesn't come back in the second half. It’s all Alabama.”

The second half of the game started rolling again as the Tide and Notre Dame scored two touchdowns each. Alabama’s Amari Cooper scored the two touchdowns and the entire student section cheered, “Coop there it is!”

In the end, the Tide defeated the Irish 42-14 in a crimson and white domination.

I couldn’t believe it. It was my senior year and three out of the four years I’ve been a student at the University of Alabama, we’ve gone to the National Championship and won the BCS title!

This was my first time actually having a ticket to the game and it was truly the experience of a lifetime. I am so thankful and blessed to be a part of the University of Alabama. Thank you Coach Nick Saban and the rest of the football team for giving us an incredible football season and crystal dynasty.

Roll Tide Roll!

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