"This is more fun when we win," Mom said. She was right.
The 2014 Belk Bowl game was exciting. The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead, then struggled to overcome the loss of senior quarterback Hutson Mason just before halftime. A small but enthusiastic crowd cheered the Dawgs over their hurdles as Nick Chubb ran for 266 yards on the way to a 37-14 shellacking of Louisville. (Gurley who?)
I'm sure it was a satisfying win for a lot of Georgians, who savored scoring so many points against former UGA coach Todd Grantham and also enjoyed crushing Louisville Head Coach Bobby Petrino. He was the man who walked out on the 2007 Atlanta Falcons in the midst of a disastrous 4-12 season. (He was later fired by the team that stole him away, the University of Arkansas, for getting caught in an adulterous affair with an employee.) It will never stop being satisfying to see him lose.
Charlotte was cold on December 30, 2014, but the city was welcoming and Bank of America stadium was very nice (besides a complete failure of signage instructing visitors how to get around outside the stadium). Two consecutive bowl games, two stadiums built for the 1995 NFL expansion teams. Mom thinks Charlotte's is nicer, but that may be because it rained on last year's trip to Jacksonville.
For the record, Mom jumped at the chance to visit Charlotte, home of her old alma mater, Queens University. She didn't graduate from Queens — that would come later at Georgia State University — but she still has a fondness for her first college. I can see why. It's a beautiful campus, if a bit small for my tastes. Where's the football stadium?
So that's two bowl games in one calendar year. I don't know if or when we'll head to another bowl game, but I enjoyed both that I went to in 2014.