Monday, April 20, 2015

A-Day 2015 Adventures

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A-Day has become a Best5Family tradition for the last few years, and for good reason. Initially, we saw it as a great time to bring our kids to watch some Auburn football, cause, you for real ain't cheap. Now, it's funny looking back because we started coming when we had 1 kid. Now we have 3. 

And, just as our family has grown, so has the Auburn A-Day experience. A-Day has become an entire weekend event that features softball and baseball, gymnastics, concerts, you name it. 

I've stepped up my game as well, as you can see from the post from last year. 

So, for 2015, the Auburn/Alabama softball matchup would be during A-Day weekend. As I have a daughter that is really into softball (hint, it isn't just her....we are really in to it too), catching this Top 10 matchup was a must. I knew that this would sell out, so I bough tickets months in advance. That was a good plan, since that is exactly what happened. 

But, as luck would have it, my wife was called out of town on business. So, I had an extra ticket. No worries. I convinced my best friend, and local guy, Kevin to come with. Even if it rained. Which it did. A lot. 

And, because of the rain, there were wrecks galore on interstate 65, including the closure of a section of 65, where they routed all the traffic into the small town of Clanton. Even though we left at 11am, we didn't get to Auburn until 5:30. My nerves were SHOT. But, we loaded right back up and headed to the game. Rainsuits and all. Also, the kids would not let us go on our car. We HAD to take the Jeep. Good. Cause I was tired of driving. 

The rain slacked off and we managed to stay somewhat dry. The kids enjoyed typical ballpark fare of nachos and chicken fingers. Then, despite the rain and the temps in the cream. Whatever. Oh...and Griffin tried sunflower seeds for the first time. initially he just crunched them all up. Then spit the whole thing out. I explained how it worked. The next time, he popped them all in...then spit them in his hand and worked them individually. Close. By the 3rd handful, he figured it out!

Aubree decided on a deep fried snickers! 

The typically hard-hitting Tigers struggled mightily and dropped the game...badly. It wasn't that they didn't play well, because they did. Their defense was impeccable, but the Tide's hitting was superb, sending a grand-slam and several other homeruns out of the park. Their pitch of choice? 2-strike riseballs. They obviously did their homework. 

The Auburn hitters? Ehh.....

Despite getting runners on with no outs, no less than twice did the Tigers manage 3 outs and no runs. We left early. 

Up early on Saturday, we headed to Jordan-Hare.

Waiting in my Facebook inbox was a strange request. Apparently my good friend Palmer's brother was in town and wanted to see the game. He is a Miss State fan from Buffalo New York...who lives in Atlanta. Though I had never met him, we were able to find him despite a typical crowded Tiger Walk. He used my extra ticket to get in.

On the way in, we spotted a tent that had some guys signing autographs. I didn't immediately recognize them, but Kevin did. It was Kevin Green and Chris Davis. Well, we had to get those signatures! 

We headed into the gates. I am not a real fast learner, so it's taken me 7 years to figure out the best places to sit so that we don't get rail-roaded onto the field after the game. We sat in the "Auburn" endzone right above the playclock. That was an awesome choice, as we were right by the gate to get on the field and the first row above the shrubs, allowing us to have a lot of leg room.

It also meant that anything dropped would be lost, as Griffin found out the hard way. He dropped his Lego R2-D2, which is now a permanent resident of the stadium. 

I really hoped the band would march. But they don't.....Arrgggg

Almost as soon as we sat, the kids sent me for food. Go figure. But, Sodexo is now allowing $2 refills in the 3rd and 4th quarter with your souvenir cups, so that was good.  The downside was that Griffin had to pee 20 times. 

The 2nd half was unwatchable. Not only does the clock dun continuously, but it was 90% run plays.  And, then we were on the field.

Luckily the first half was worth watching and even provided an answer to some of the questions I had going into A-Day.

Now, I have been lucky enough to get all the autographs I want. How do I do that? Well, I am an awesome scout of talent, so I get them when the players are freshman and sophomores. I am only half serious. The truth is, I don't like waiting in line. 

We went the first 15 minutes without getting ANY. 

Along the way, I spotted Auburn recruit Elijah Holyfield, who is Evander's son. That was cool.
Our plan was to get all the RBs to sign one ball. Then Sean White. Then any NFL-talent guys, specifically Johnathan Jones. Then whoever else we could find.

The plan worked perfectly and we even got some pics! As always, the players were welcoming and polite!

After the autograph session, we headed back to Kevin's for some drunk chicken!