It's a bittersweet trip in some ways. I've never been away from my sweetheart on New Year's Eve, not in five glorious years, thirty-one in all. During my lifetime, I've spent December 31 in various ways: drunk, playing to a bunch of drunks, on the road home, on my knees praying, asleep in my bed, cuddled with my wife. But never in Jacksonville.
Carder (the son in question) purchased Gator Bowl tickets before he knew a) FSU would be playing in it, 2) before he knew it would be Bobby Bowden's last game, and D) knowing that if by some twist of fate FSU/Bobby weren't in the Gator Bowl, he could sell his tickets to some unsuspecting and unplanning soul. And make money doing it.
Ticket prices after the teams were announced sold out in about 2 1/2 hours, then magically appeared on selling sites for approximately two gazillion percent higher than face value. The whole time Carder was sitting on four tickets, a tailgate pass, food and drink coupons, etc. Did I mention he was MY SON?
So, the bittersweet is overpowered by the sweet:
--I'll get to go to the last Seminole game coached by Bobby Bowden. This means a lot, considering how unceremoniously Coach Bowden was dumped by the school. Urban Meyer can have
--I'll be at the game with my son. There's nothing--nothing--more valuable to me than spending time with my family. To be at a Bowl game just adds value. We'll have a ball.
--I'll come home a winner. Just by virtue of showing up on our doorstep. As bad as I hate to leave, the best part of New Year's Day will be seeing my sweetheart's face light up when I walk in the door.
So....I can't wait until tomorrow. Not just because I get better looking every day, but because of all the first day of 2010 offers.
The game starts at 1:00pm. I'll be the guy in the stands with the FSU hat on. You won't be able to miss me. I'll be holding up the sign that reads, "I'll Be Home Soon, Honey! GO NOLES!"