So here was the plan — stop by one of the tents to buy a t-shirt, grab a brew at the Gators’ team hotel next door, watch a couple of innings of Virginia-South Carolina and head back across town to my hotel room.
Instead, there I was at midnight still sitting at the bar watching the epic 13-inning game. The coolest thing about it was that the lobby and bar were packed with Gator parents and UAA employees going nuts over the game.
Gator players would pass in and out as well eyeing the game. Everyone was rooting for Virginia even though they wanted South Carolina to be in the Finals for the good of the conference. But they also wanted the Gamecock pitchers to have to pitch an extra day.
It didn’t happen of course thanks to a pair of throwing errors on bunts. It’s funny that both South Carolina and Florida made it to the Finals because of their bunt games.
At any rate, the scene reminded me of a Sunday night in New Orleans when I was doing a radio show in the lobby of the UF team hotel and the Arizona State-Ohio State game was on. If Ohio State won, Florida and FSU would play for the national title the next day in the Sugar Bowl.
The place was going crazy and we ended up just doing play-by-play of the game from a big-screen TV. As I walked out onto Bourbon St. later, the Gator band was marching up and down the famous street playing the fight song.
And you know what happened next.
It was a really fun night, especially the hour or so I spent talking to Bucky Dent and his wife while we watched the game.
This has been a long trip but certainly it has been entertaining. I’m in my third hotel as the rates for the downtown hotels finally became reasonable.