We left about noon and stopped at Keywest Inn in Clanton to check in. Boy, am I glad we decided to stay there. As it was, we didn't get back there until about 1:45. Had we come on home, it would have been after 3 AM. Then we headed on to Tuscaloosa.
|Dreamland white bread and barbecue sauce|
|Ain't Nothing Like 'Em Nowhere!|
Our first stop was the original Dreamland in Tuscaloosa. This little hole-in-the-wall rib shack has been here since 1958. John "Big Daddy" Bishop was the founder of this institution, and I fortunately had the opportunity to visit the restaurant before he passed away. I say fortunately because he was known for sitting in his chair right next to the pit, slopping sauce. The place is, like I said, a hole-in-the-wall, but on a football Saturday, it will be filled with fans from both teams. We've stopped as early as 10 AM for ribs. LOL
John has wanted to get some ribs, so we did since it was his birthday. They were, as usual, delicious. You can see that we didn't leave anything on the bones. While we were eating our bread sopped in sauce, I told John that if I were ever on death row and about to eat my last meal, I would want it to be Dreamland bread, sauce, and ribs. Not that I ever plan on being on death row or planning my last meal there...
After filling our tummies we headed on over to campus. We parked and hopped on the transit bus for the quad. We met up with one of John's high school buddies for a bit. Mark's company has a huge tent on the quad, but this was the first week we've been able to catch him there. Mark recently had knee replacement surgery. We were asking how he is doing with it, and he dropped this neat little tidbit. He is doing his rehab with Mark Ingram! Mark's wife, Judy, is Coach Mal Moore's secretary, so Judy asked if it would be possible for Mark to rehab in the athletic department. So he is, and he is often there when Mark Ingram is. I asked our Mark if the other Mark is as nice as he seems in interviews. He said that he is just that nice, if not more. That makes my heart happy because I WANT my Alabama program to be known for attracting quality young men who represent my school well.
We finally headed to the stadium about 6, but we didn't go in until about 6:30. It felt so good outside, and we weren't so sure it would be as cool inside. (It ended up being a perfect evening weather wise.) All over campus, the Gator fans were "chomping" and yelling "Go Gators!" I didn't have any personal interaction with them, but they were quite a bit more "mouthy" than other fans who have visited Tuscaloosa.
The game was PERFECT! I was honestly thinking that it was going to be a nail biter, but the TIDE took care of business early. And then we laid back. I'm not a fan of holding back against a team like Florida because a good team can be back in the game in a matter of minutes. Our offense produced very little in the second half (apparently this was "by design" according to the sports writers), but our defense bowed up and kept the Gators from getting into the endzone. An interesting side note...five years ago, the score was 31-3. Yesterday it was 31-6 (two field goals). The LAST time Florida was kept out of the endzone was on Oct. 2, 2005 in Tuscaloosa. That has been something like 61 games. Pretty amazing job, D!
|A happy guy! He got his birthday wish|
|The TIDE is STILL #1!!|