Thursday, October 7, 2010
Enjoyable trip to USM
I spent Saturday night at The Rock.
That’s the nickname for the University of Southern Mississippi football stadium.
It was a beautiful weekend. The weather in South Mississippi for the game between USM and Marshall University was spectacular.
I wore shorts and short sleeves but carried a jacket and had to put it on at the start of the fourth quarter.
We left early Saturday morning en route to Hattiesburg to visit our daughter Emma, a sophomore at Southern Miss. It was a trip we had planned for several weeks, and needless to say, we were excited and looking forward to the weekend.
Sometimes we go I-55 to Jackson. Most of the time we go to Tupelo, hit Highway 45 South and go through West Point and then take I-59 at Meridian. We chose the latter route again, largely because it was a morning trip and we always have to stop at the Ole Country Bakery in Brooksville. It has long been one of our favorites.
Upon arrival to Hattiesburg, we picked up Emma and roommate Crystal at their dormitory and carried them to lunch. We chose Buffalo Wild Wings, largely because we wanted to watch some of the Ole Miss versus Kentucky game while eating.
The food was good but the laughs were better.
Pam and I then left Andy and Erin with Emma and Crystal for some time on campus, while we went and checked into our hotel room.
We later joined them beside the stadium for the Eagle Walk, a tradition before every home football game. It is a procession of the ROTC cannon, the Pride of Mississippi Marching Band, Dixie Darlings, Southern Miss cheerleaders and the Southern Miss football team.
We all wore our black and gold. And Emma had given her little sister a small megaphone, plus put a USM tattoo on her cheek. She’s only 8, but I think she may already leaning toward being a Golden Eagle, too. Andy is a high school junior, and he’s considering USM, too, but still undecided.
Andy joined Emma in the student section for the Conference USA game. The rest of the family had good seats seven rows from the field in the south end zone.
The students and the fans were pumped up for the Thundering Herds’ visit. It was a great college football atmosphere. The Eagles dominated from the start. They won the game, 41-16.
Fortunately for us, a lot of the scoring was on our end of the field. Not only did we have an excellent view of several USM touchdowns, but we also got a close look when the Eagles blocked a punt with Marshall kicking from the end zone.
We did keep up with the Alabama-Florida game, either via Pam’s cell phone or a couple of USM and Alabama fans sitting behind us. He even had a small, portable TV and was watching the battle between the two Top 10 teams.
Much like the game we were watching in person, the Tide-Gators contest was a rout, too, in favor of the team wearing crimson.
After the USM game, we stayed for the fifth quarter – when fans have the opportunity to go onto the field and listen to the Pride close the day’s activities with a few more songs. We took a picture at midfield – on the big, painted Eagle.
It was a wonderful weekend.
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