So Sweet: My Sugar Bowl Experience
By: Jeremy Wahman
The Sugar Bowl was without a doubt the biggest game in the history of the program. It was also big to us the fans. We had to listen to how we didn’t belong in the game and how we couldn’t win. I thought we could win. I predicted that we would win 24-21. I knew we could beat them; I just didn’t know we could beat them down.
On New Years Eve. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t wait. When it was finally time to go, me, Steve, and our friend Chris, a uk fan at the time, decided to begin our journey. We took off towards our destination, the city of New Orleans. The whole ride down we talked about this game, this moment. We took very minimal bathroom breaks and tried to get down quickly but safely. We couldn’t wait to be at the Sugar Bowl. For me and Steve because it was our first chance to go to a BCS game and for Chris…..well he cheers for the cats so who knows if he will ever get an opportunity…so we felt like it was our duty to help a brother out. We made good time getting down there and went to bed rather early so we could get up and explore the city. There was a feeling in the air, a feeling that something special was about to happen.
We got to the Superdome around 10 am. We took off down Poydras Street to explore New Orleans. We passed up many landmarks and walked all the way down to Harrah’s and walked back. When we got back to the dome we decided to go look for a Subway to eat lunch. Nearly 2 hours later and a run-in with Jon Hancock, we found our destination directly across the street from where we started our trek. After we found our Sandwich destination, I decided to break off and go walk to Bourbon Street by myself. I was hoping to see a freind or follower or two….I got my wish. I first walked to the team hotel and ran into @ElleRaiser and @The_redbird7. I look up a few minutes later and see @punkingirl138. Me and punkin decide we are gonna go to Bourbon Street and check out Patty ‘O Brien’s. Bourbon Street is quite the experience. There are things there that you would not believe even if you did see them with your own eyes. We walk into Patty’s and run into my guys @UofLSheriff50 and @CrumsRevenge. A few minutes later @MasterDrewfus shows up and starts telling us stories of how they pass their time away when bored in the planes. Always classic stuff. Turn around and my friend @Beast502Mode had just walked in. Be careful what you ask for, huh? Those guys all leave and around the corner comes team CSZ. @JRVille_25 and @Paige_CSZ are here with their really cool friends and now it’s a party. We hung out for about another hour and I had to start my walk back to the dome. But of course as I’m walking back I run into @TwaneeBaby AKA my hat guy and see @DarylFoust walking away before I could say hello. Well I got to see friends and experience the craziness of Bourbon Street…time to walk back.
So I meet back up with Steve and Chris and its about 630-ish. We decide to go in. Steve goes down to the field and me and Chris take our seats, which we thought were 18 rows back, only to find ourselves 6 rows back from the front. Spectacular view. We sit down and are just taking pictures and soaking everything in. We are in our seats 99 minutes early but we don’t care, we are just having a good time. We look down and notice that there are about 2,000 white crunch zone towels on all the student section seats. Nice souvenirs. About that time, this guy sits down next to us and says “HEY! Aren’t you that guy from TV the other night?’ I very calmly say “Yes….yes I am” and then turn to Chris and laugh. I talked to the guy for a few minutes and then started to focus on what was happening….we were about to kickoff at the Sugar Bowl.
I won’t go into details because I know you watched the game, but from that first play to the last I screamed and yelled and was out of my mind. Even Chris was pumped. It was amazing. I didn’t even try to punch any of the obnoxious Florida fans that surrounded us. There were only 10 in our section but they were all around me. All of the Gator bait chants and get up and go’s and even the idiots around me that chanted SEC for the 2 minutes before the game kicked off, I didn’t try to punch anyone! I was proud. I did however almost smack a UL fan who kept hitting me with a pom-pom. Stupid drunk lady…I digress. Then came Charlie and Teddy and then came the confetti. I inadvertently made that rhyme….lol. Listening to our fans chant Teddy and sing Pour Some Sugar On Me right after the game was electric.
The entire night, all I could hear was “Louisville isn’t fast enough,their O-line can’t hold back Florida’s SEC D-lineman…..UL has no chance.” Then I proceeded to see our wide receivers burn their SEC counterparts and our O-lineman destroy Florida’s D-line. Everything they said we couldn’t do, we did. We came out and punched the bully in the mouth and then instead of running we beat the crap out of that bully. It felt great. We competed with the almighty SEC and we shut up HerbStreit and his group of elf’s who gave lightning a better chance of striking them than the Cards turning Florida into Gator bait.
What else felt great was that we made this a home game. There were over 30,000 UL fans in the Superdome. Every time Florida fans, or Flor-ons as I have affectionately dubbed them, started to chant, Louisville fans drowned them out instantly. We came in droves and it showed. We had each others’ backs and more importantly we had our teams backs. This is what Charlie wanted and we gave it to him. If you don’t think he noticed then your dead wrong because he voiced his appreciation and approval after the game. AD Tom Jurich was told by a Sugar Bowl Rep “Without the red, we would be dead” because we pulled the weight attendance wise. We need to do this every game for our boys and our coach. If we can get 30,000 + to New Orleans, we can sell out PJCS with no problem. We can get in our seats 30 minutes early and stay until the game is over.
Got back to where we were staying and went to go to sleep. We just couldn’t. Watched Sportscenter and almost watched the replay we were so excited. It truly was a special night for us and the University of Louisville Football program. We had just witnessed the biggest moment on the biggest stage that UofL had ever been a part of and we didn’t fail like the experts thought and even some of the hometown faithful thought. On the ride home we talked about the magnitude of what this may do to the program. It didn’t take long for us to find out. Right after the Sugar Bowl, ESPN approached UofL about a season opening blockbuster game against a marquee opponent. We heard rumors on the ride home yesterday that at least one top guy that wasnt considering Louisville now had them in their top schools and today we flipped WVU commit De’Asian Richardson, all that can be linked directly to our win. The ride home seemed short, except lunch at Hardees, and we were back home hours before other friends who left 30 minutes later than us did. It was all in all an experience I will never forget. The moments, the game and most importantly of all…..we turned Chris into a UofL football fan..that was priceless. Wahman…out