Monday, December 28, 2009

My Meineke Car Care Bowl Experience

On Saturday, my wife and I attended the Meineke Car Care Bowl in my hometown of Charlotte, NC. My mom bought us the tickets for Christmas and we had a blast going.

Of course, I'm a huge UNC Tar Heels fan and was excited to see them play in person for the first time since the mid-1990s. That game was against NC State at Carter Finley Stadium. This one was against the tough Pittsburgh Panthers.

Getting to the game was fun. Instead of driving downtown, I used the newish LYNX system. It's a train that, as of now, services west Charlotte and takes you uptown. Since I've never really had a reason to ride it before, this was a nice opportunity to check it out. Both of us were really impressed and got to the stadium quickly and cheaply.

I've been to Bank Of America Stadium once before (Panthers-Bills game in 1998); this was my wife's first trip. The stadium was about 3/4 full with most of those in attendance being Tar Heel fans (though I was impressed with how many Pitt fans actually made it in). We got there really early because we didn't know what to expect with the transit system and the fact that I love being early to sporting events.

I won't go into the actual game since you can find that anywhere, but the viewing experience was unique. Unlike many sports fans, I'm not one who hoots and hollers all game long. I'm not big on getting to caught up into games early on. I love sports but I'm not built that way. I like sitting there and taking in what's actually going on. What trends are forming? Where seems to be the mismatches? It's because of this that I don't attend any Super Bowl parties. I want to sit there and watch the game.

Sitting next to my wife was an older gentleman that she described as "figgity". He just didn't seem able to get comfortable and the cool late afternoon air seemed to bother him. Next to me was a row of people from New Jersey. The loudest one just happened to sit next to me: a middle-aged woman who loved football. She knew a lot but that didn't stop her from saying stupid stuff all game long.

We had fun even though the Heels lost on a last minute field goal. It was fun being in the home crowd for the first time in a looooong time (well, I've been to plenty of Reds games in Cincinnati). Usually I'm rooting for the road team. I've seen tons of Lakers games but they were in either Charlotte or Atlanta. The Redskins games I've seen have been outside of the Washington area. Even the other Heels football game I watched over a decade ago was in the hated rival's stadium.

I had a great time. My wife had a great time. Spending time with her (even though she hates football) always makes for a perfect day.

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