Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Auburn's all time leading scorer Wes Byrum exits the field after his game winning field goal as time expired.
Having the opportunity to attend a National Championship game is a once in a lifetime opportunity most people that few people have the experience to partake in. If someone told me that four years ago that I would be a senior at Auburn University and they would go on to have one of the most remarkable seasons in college football history and win a National Championship I would have called you crazy. I was fortunate enough to be able to see Auburn and Oregon play for a National Championship in Glendale, Arizona. Everyone who attended the game had a unique experience in the hours leading up to the game, the game itself and the period once the game ended. If at some point during the game there were not chills running down your veins then I question whether you appreciate college football. While these are emotions and feelings I will never forget, my most memorable feelings and moments that just make you appreciate everything God has given us came from my time in Arizona came away from the football field.
When I first began to make travel arrangements the thought did not even cross my mind that I would soon experience what I now consider the most uniquely diverse state in our Nation. Having traveled to many places across the World I do not think I had my expectations high enough for what I was about to take in for the next few days. Phoenix is mostly flat desert but once you get into various suburbs you start to discover its beauty. Their winter is magnificent as it brings pleasantly warm days and slightly cool nights.
Phoenix sunsets provide another intangible that you learn to appreciate about the state of Arizona.
Various mountains throughout the area offer peaceful hikes with spectacular views. Leave Phoenix and head North, through the rolling mountains into Flagstaff. A college, ski town with magnificent food and down to earth people. Head an hour North to one of the seven wonders of the world the Grand Canyon.
Never have I seen such topographical changes in such a short period of time. Five-minute drives would take you from beautiful red rock to snowy mountains. The middle of January and a pleasant sixty degrees without a cloud in the sky; I could get used to this. At the same time I was only a two hour drive from a well respected ski mountain. I now know why this is such a sought after place.
A morning hike through knee deep snow followed by an afternoon hike at Cathedral Rock, which offered views you never think you will experience in your lifetime.
With all the spectacular sights and places I had the opportunity to visit one thing that really stuck out to me. People in this state are active and love the outdoors. Their active lifestyle was really surreal to witness, as it seemed living in such a magnificent place just makes them want to pursue an active lifestyle. People are simply not lazy, they are fit and love to explore, my type of people. So while there were a few drinks to be had a few hours of talking smack to the Ducks before the game and the dreamlike experience of attending a game of such magnitude I gained much more out of this trip than I would have ever thought imaginable. While most people traveled home to their respective homes soaking in a National Championship I thought about the endless possibilities the state of Arizona offers.