I live in Alabama. This was my first game in Champaign since 9/29/2012 a 35-7 beat down to PSU. Longer than normal but with my daughter cheering at Auburn and then Covid, I was on the shelf for 5 years.
My HS Junior son and I can up for an unofficial visit. Smith Center was very impressive. The school and recruiting staff were great hosts. Probably someone who parks in Lot 31 spoke to my son in line for a pretzel.
"What is that around your neck," he asked. My son responded, "I am here on an unofficial visit." "All the way from Alabama! Southern boys hit hard. I sure hope to see a Southern boy from Alabama hitting hard up here in a couple of years." "Yes, sir."
My wife for 25 years, "I assume this is the year, I assume this new coach is the one?" I always respond yes, although I did hedge with Beckman.
When we came back home (everyone else in the family watched Auburn beat Akron 60-10), she said, as she does every year, "I thought this was the year."
I went to Notre Dame for law school, I was a student and in attendance for the 1988 National Championship. I have also been to a few of their BCS losses. I have been a season ticket holder at Auburn for 24 years, and have been to two National Championship games, one loss and one win.
I have seen a lot a good football, but nothing compares to the feeling in 1983 when we went on that run my sophomore year. To feel that again. If not this year, next year!