1.06.2014

Unconquered!!

January 6th, 2014 was the last BCS Championship game before heading to a playoff system for college football next year. K is a Florida State alum and an admitted diehard fan of Seminole nation. The national championship game had been set about a month prior and FSU would be meeting yet another power from the SEC in Auburn. FSU was favored, but we both knew this would be a tough game. We were just hoping for a chance to attend as ticket requests far outpaced the allotted number of tickets for the university. Thankfully, I have wonderful in-laws, who are longtime boosters. They were selected to purchase a pair of tickets, but decided to forgo the cross-country trip from Tallahassee to Pasadena. Instead, they gave us the tickets for Christmas!!
We're IN!!
We were able to use some of our Disney timeshare points to secure lodging in Anaheim for a couple of days. All we really needed to do was drive over and figure out our parking plan.

First, K found out the FSU Alumni Association was making an I-10 roadtrip from Tallahassee to the game and was stopping in Phoenix on Saturday evening. We went down to Alice Cooperstown to meet up with the group. Fun bunch and they were handing out swag!! They had some car magnets commemorating the journey from Doak Campbell Stadium to Pasadena: #DoaktoDena. We were asked to take pictures along our journey to the game, so we some fun with it.
K's ready for the game!!
Magnet matched my car nicely.
We rolled out early Sunday morning for the 6+ hour drive west. It had been a while since our last road trip. Made a few stops, but arrived and checked in just in time to watch the second half of the 49ers win over the Packers!! So far it was a good football weekend!
Last gas stop in AZ.
I think the T-Rex is doing a tomahawk chop!!
Sure are strange things in the desert.
Kinda weird staying in a Disney hotel & not going to a theme park.
Nice view from the room.
Made a test run to Pasadena for dinner. Ate at Settebello per a co-worker's suggestion, did not disappoint!
Game day arrived and we wanted to be at the Rose Bowl relatively early. We had a nice Disney themed breakfast, even a few characters stopped by the table.
Pluto was one of my favorites as a kid!!
Our waiter was a season ticket holder for UCLA games and he gave us a few good tips for the morning including a better route to Pasadena for the late morning LA rush hour.

After coughing up our parking fees we settled into the golf course lot not too far north of the stadium. We hung out for a bit near the car, walked around some and noticed how many Auburn fans made the trek. By our estimation, both inside and outside of the stadium it was 60/40 Auburn to FSU fans. That was ok, plenty of tailgating going on showing school pride. The weather couldn't have been better, clear and low 70's most of the day.
Made it to 'Dena'!!
Shortly after noon we made our way over to the official FSU tailgating party. Food/Beer/Swag all included. It was cool watching Chief Osceola getting made up for the game. Some former players were there hyping up the crowd including an ex-49er, William Floyd.
FSU tailgate.
Warpaint baselayer.
William Floyd pumping up the crowd!
Ready for game time.
FSU Alumni roadtrip wagon.
One of the better signs.
We left the tailgate and proceeded to the stadium, we wanted to be in our seats early to watch warm-ups. Apparently half of the fans had the same idea, but we were quickly ushered to our section. Both of us were pleasantly surprised by our seat location, the only real drawback was the only jumbotron was located directly behind us.
A little over an hour before kickoff.
View from our seats, the Rose Bowl actually feels small as the seats don't rise very high to the top.
The game started out ok with FSU getting the first score, but things quickly turned in Auburn's favor as the pretty much dominated most of the first half. A glimmer of hope sprang when FSU converted a fake punt into a first down. They turned that into a touchdown going into halftime only down 11. The third quarter didn't have much excitement, but the Noles clawed a bit closer entering the fourth.

The final period is what all championship games aspire to be, to heavyweights trading blows, back and forth, down to the wire. That's exactly what happen in this one, each team seemingly one-upping the other until time expired. Thankfully for us the Seminoles came out on top. National Champions for the third time!

Since we were too far away, I took most of my post-game photos from the jumbotron, but they still came out ok.
Crowd going crazy after a late touchdown.
Says it all.
It's a FINAL!!
Don't drop it!
Not his best game statistically, but he made the plays down the stretch.
Thank you Rose Bowl for a game we'll never forget.

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