It was the end of December and I was on the beach bathing my mind in the soothing sounds of that great atlantic ocean. Four of us stopped in Daytona for three nights, including New Year's Eve, as a relaxing detour on the way to Miami. In Miami we converged with just about 40,000 other fans for the Orange Bowl, which most everyone should know the results of by now. It felt like a crazy home game, and that was just what I wanted having watched most of the season by televised games or worse, such as keeping eye tuned to ESPN "Bottom Line" score bar "Priority Updates". Pre-game student tailgating was at the Calder Race Course, owned by Louisville's own Churchill Downs. We were greeted with free food and glimpses of actual races being run; the call to the post helped us feel so much at home. The short walk from Calder to the Dolphin's Stadium felt just about like our common walk from KFEC to PJCS. There was some rain on game day, but cleared just before kick off. We couldn't have asked for too much of a better game. Our seats were right on the end zone, only 28 rows from the field.
The whole trip might be characterized in several manners. I forgot to pack my (crappy) camera, so I don't have any photos of my own, so instead, as usual, I mainly have stories to tell. The important story to tell before I forget it is a mere tangent to the trip. The College Student Football Fan wont is often to express one's own eagerness for a team win through outrageous posters and displays. Some of my friends are more eager, or at least crazier, than others. One of my travelling companions for the majority of the trip had fashioned his hair in a red mohawk and had plans for body paint and alcohol consumption. (This friend is an Engineer with several degrees already, if you find interest in the duality here.) There was one thing, it had been decided, that would complete the affectation of externally visible eagerness and that object of desire was the absurd (and to some obscene or a sign of man's oppression of the feminine) Nipple Tassle. (Braided cords attached to one's nipples like pasties, for those that don't know.) The subject of (men) wearing nipple tassles, I was told, had originally been broached as a perfect way to lighten a boring Electrical Engineering lecture, but it was only within the more innocent context of a football game that it became a Quest. It was agreed, after dinner the night of the game, to finally go out in search of the "necessary" nipple tassles. The Quest lasted for several hours and a couple iterations of worse directions to seedier adult stores, before it was given up. I don't think there was a lesson learned from the Quest other than that Miami isn't the greatest city to go looking for an adult store, but the Quest represented a certain spirit of College enthusiasm that is true and yet unquestionably odd.