Friday, October 12, 2007

Little Rock Part 2--Rock Stars

Saturday morning, Matt and I slept in until the luxuriously late hour of 9 AM. Though we were still full from dinner, we managed to find the strength to eat the awesome breakfast at Embassy Suites. After that, we headed to my grandmother's house for some time with her and the kids. Abby and Ethan were having the time of their lives with her and my aunt Linda. Both "Gigi" and Linda spoil them to death, and they love running around Gigi's house. See?

Around 3:00, Matt, Linda, Abby and I went back to the hotel. The buses were scheduled to leave for the game at 3:45. We waited in the lobby, and as players came through to board the buses, Abby got them to sign her football. She was so sweet, and the players ate it up--they loved her. She got at least 30 signatures, including Peyton Hillis:

Matt and I got on the bus around 3:40, and Abby and Linda stayed in the lobby to catch any last minute guys and wave us off. Coach Nutt came through right at 3:45, but his hands were full so they didn't ask him. However, he stopped, asked Abby if he could sign her ball, handed off all of his stuff, and took time to give an autograph to my little girl. What a good guy.

The bus ride to the stadium was absolutely surreal. We had police escorts on all sides, and flew down Markahm towards the stadium. Once we got within 2 miles, the buses were surrounded by fans, screaming, calling the Hogs, pounding on the side of the bus. I have never experienced anything like it. This is what it looked like from the inside:

Then, just when it couldn't get any wilder, the buses stopped and we did the War Memorial pre-game walk through with the team. And when I say with the team, I mean we were right in the thick of them. The walk through consists of about a quarter of a mile path from the buses to the stadium lined with around ten THOUSAND screaming fans and television cameras. It is impossible to go through this and not feel like a celebrity. I can't even describe the energy. Imagine how the players feel--I was just a schmoe and I was ready to go play football.

Once we got into the stadium, the team and coaches went into the locker room. The concourse was blocked to keep everyone else out, so Matt and I and a few other people were just kind of standing around with nothing to do and nowhere to go. I noticed that Danny Nutt was standing nearby, and decided to go have a chat. You know me, Ms. Shy. One of the Mikes had told us that it was him who had suggested our amazing restaurant from Friday night, and I thought it only proper to say thanks. Poor Matt--he lives in constant dread of how my talkative nature will manifest itself.

This time, though, it payed off. We had an incredibly pleasant conversation with what has to be one of the nicest men I have ever met. I told Matt that though I love Houston as much as ever, he might be taking a backseat to Danny as my favorite brother.

We finally left the stadium to get in a little tailgating with our friends Kevin and Robin and their families. Then we had fabulous 5th row seats for the game. We caught a ride back to my grandmother's house from Kevin and Robin afterwards, and fell straight to bed. Hey, it's hard being a celebrity!


Alice said...

I am extremely jealous of you guys, especially Abby.

Sounds like MUCH fun!!!

Aunt Joyce said...

I know you had a wonderful, unforgetable weekend! Glad you got lots of pictures. It's nice to hear that the players, coach and staff are such nice people. It counteracts some of the garbage we hear sometimes.