Due to recently starting a new job, moving to a new city, and spending most of my free time beating Uncharted 3, I have not been able to chronicle my Sugar Bowl experience until now. But as promised, here it is. For those of you who for some strange reason anticipated this article, or even remember that it was supposed to be written, enjoy.
If your team ever makes it to the Sugar Bowl, you need to go. Even if your team has little to no shot of ever making it to the Sugar Bowl (I’m looking at you Vandy), try to tag along with a friend who went to a school that doesn’t use the bounce pass as its primary way of trying to move the ball forward. Anyway, the Sugar Bowl combines the best components of Mardi Gras with the best components of going to a college football game. Adult beverages flow liberally from any one of the many establishments on Bourbon Street, and you should be sure to try New Orleans mainstays, the Hurricane and the Hand Grenade. While you are hanging out in the French Quarter, you will get to enjoy many of the gameday traditions that you have been accustomed to, whether it is chanting “Go Blue” or doing whatever Virginia Tech fans do. All of this combines to produce a unique bowl game atmosphere.
There are several places that you must hit during your visit to the Crescent City. Hanging out in the courtyard at Pat O’Brien’s on Bourbon Street is a must. Huge Ass Beers, recommended by Official ALDLAND Friend Baddeus Thaddeus, is a fun and cheap place to get your fill of beer on gameday or any other day. Also make sure to try a hand grenade, available at any one of the many Tropical Isle establishments on Bourbon Street.
Food wise, make sure to try all of the good Cajun food that New Orleans has to offer. The personal favorite of this author is the French fry and gravy po’ boy. You can get this at many places that serve po’ boys, however not all French fry and gravy po’ boys are created equal. I had one at Johnny’s which is a couple blocks off of Bourbon Street. It was good, but I am told that Parkway Bakery has some of the best French fry and gravy po’ boys around. Aside from po’ boys, make sure to eat some gumbo and some jambalaya. If you can’t get a French fry and gravy po’ boy, lots of places serve French fries and gravy as a side, and it is as tasty as you would imagine.
So yeah, there’s also an actual game that is associated with traveling to Nola around New Year’s Eve/Day. It’s called the Sugar Bowl, oddly enough. This year’s edition of the Sugar Bowl was either moderately interesting, if you were a fan of the Virginia Tech Hokies or Michigan Wolverines, or super boring if you were a neutral observer. Not a whole lot to recap in this game, especially since it has been a few weeks since it happened. Anyway, here is what happened:
Virginia Tech jumped out to a 6-0 lead on the strength of two field goals by their third string kicker, who was pressed into service after their first string kicker was suspended for being part of a B&E or something along those lines, and their second string kicker was sent home for breaking curfew. Virginia Tech then had a chance to go up 9-0, or possibly more, but was stuffed on a fourth and one deep in Michigan territory. Michigan got the ball back and promptly went three and out, before VT bailed them out with a roughing the punter penalty. This enabled Denard Robinson to throw up a prayer that was answered by Junior Hemingway, who promptly ran into the end zone for a 45 yard TD pass. VT promptly fumbled the ensuing kickoff, enabling Michigan to kick a field goal before the end of the half.
I’m not going to lie, I don’t really remember the second half that well. It was boring even if you were there. Junior Hemingway caught another TD pass, lots of field goals were kicked, and regulation ended with the teams tied 20-20. VT got the first possession of OT, and appeared to have scored the go-ahead touchdown on a pass to receiver Danny Coale. The referees looked at the touchdown again and decided it was not a touchdown, forcing Virginia Tech to try a field goal. Their third string kicker suddenly remembered he was the third string kicker, and promptly missed he field goal. From there, Michigan ran three straight times up the middle, their kicker thought about brunette girls for a bit, and then he kicked the game winning FG. That was the Sugar Bowl. It was pretty ugly.
This win sets up an interesting offseason for the Wolverines. Will their victory in the Sugar Bowl provide them with the momentum they need to close out an already excellent recruiting class with a few more studs? Who knows. Recruiting is bogus anyway. It does set up a possible top ten matchup between the Wolverines and the Alabama Crimson Tide next labor day in Dallas, Texas. I will be there, rocking some newly bought Ferrini boots and gathering some thoughts for another ALDLAND writeup.
What does this mean for the Hokies? I don’t know. I honestly just learned that the ACC was also a football conference.
Previous Live Coverage:
Windy City recap: Red Wings fall to Blackhawks 3-2
Michigan’s unfriendly welcoming of Nebraska
B1G Roadtrippin’: Michigan at Illinois
Nashville recap: Georgia escapes, 33-28
B1G Roadtrippin’: Michigan at Northwestern
The Little Brown Jug stays in Ann Arbor
Recap: Detroit Red Wings’ Red & White Game
Motor City recap: Tigers win, 2-1
Music City recap: Vanderbilt wins, 45-14
Concert report: Lyle Lovett and his Large Band
Concert report: An evening with Bruce Hornsby, Béla Fleck, the Noisemakers, and the Flecktones