Wednesday, January 03, 2007

O Here's To Wake Forest...

After quickly ringing in the new year followed by a packed but memorable 48 hours down in Miami, it's official... the Wake Forest Demon Deacons have made their first Orange Bowl appearance in the history of the school. [insert here all sorts of stats about how we are the first school in ACC history to go 6-0 on the road, the smallest school in Div I-A to appear in a BCS bowl, and so on... not to mention how we gave the 'Ville a run for their money that they never saw coming]

A quick plug - having never been to a bowl game, I was quite enamored by the whole thing... but if you have a chance to go to your team's bowl game, BCS or not, GO! You won't regret it. (and the NCAA Bowls Committee didn't even pay me to say that)

Since Wake hadn't been to a BCS bowl before - this was very special. Wake sold out its allotment of tickets right away - bringing together the largest group of Deacon alumni ever in one place (keep in mind that even if every single living alum had attended, Dolphin Stadium still would have had over 20,000 empty seats).

Not wanting to miss a moment, after arriving and a quick lunch, we headed to Hollywood to see the official team hotel. Thanks to the Wake Orange Bowl blog, we already had an idea of what this would be like - and it did not disappoint. Who know that the "WF" logo looked so good with a tropical background?!
Monday night we hit the Wake alumni party up in Ft. Lauderdale. From the size of the crowd there, it was obvious that the Deacs had turned out en masse. Tuesday, we did lunch in South Beach and then headed to the stadium to partake in all of the pre-game festivities.

This included being treated to the FedEx pre-game party where we were lucky enough to be up close and personal with both Arnold Palmer and the great Muhammad Ali.
The Deacs played their hearts out from the very first moment they took the field. Taylor Hicks (who I am proud to say I voted for in last season's American Idol) took the stage at halftime along with Gladys Knight. Then, at the end of the 3rd quarter, as has become customary, but this time with over 17,000 of us, every single Deacon fan stood holding up a 5 in honor of Jon Abbate's late brother.
The only downside to the entire trip were the rain showers Tuesday afternoon - but even those had subsided by gametime!

Win or lose - up to the very last moment and even heading out of the Dolphin Stadium parking lot, I proudly waved my black and gold. I think this Sun-Sentinel writer put it best when he said that the "Demon Deacons charmed the Orange Bowl".

I know I speak for all Deacon fans when I say - thanks for one heck of a season!!

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