The Good News…
Who would have thought that Auburn University, posting a miserable 3-9 record in College Football last year would pull off numerous upsets and earned a spot in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship Game? The Auburn Tigers are heading to Pasadena to take on the Florida State Seminoles. I am still in a bit of shock that Auburn is playing for their second national championship in four years, and a school from Alabama is playing in a fifth national championship game. Alabama played in the game in 2009, Auburn in 2010, Alabama in 2011 and 2012 and now Auburn. It goes to show you why football is considered a religion in the American South.
Unlike the Iron Bowl, where I was traveling in Rwanda and unable to watch the game, I did not want to miss the SEC Championship game. The security situation in Juba is rather dicey and expats are encouraged not to be out in the streets late at night. Most NGOs have a curfew, some as early as 8:00pm. The only place to watch the SEC Championship game was at the U.S. Embassy Residence, where you can enjoy the Air Force Network (AFN). The game started at midnight, which meant that if I went to the Embassy to watch the game, I would be there the entire night. I would not be able to leave when the game ended, and would have to arrive at least four hours before the game started.
I arrived at the Embassy at 8:30pm to settle in for a long night of football that started with the Oklahoma/Oklahoma State game and ended with Michigan State and Ohio State. There was an additional Auburn fan and an Alabama fan that watched the SEC Championship game. While it was easy making it to 4:00am when the SEC Championship game ended, I struggled to keep my eyes open to watch the Michigan State/Ohio State game. Finally, at 7:15am, a car arrived to take me back to my compound.
When I arrived at home, Michigan State had taken the lead in the Big10 Championship game and the prospect of Auburn going to Pasadena was too much to go to sleep. When the game ended there were numerous Skype calls back to the US and celebratory comments to post of Facebook. Eventually, sleep was too difficult to avoid and I finally hit the sack at 9:30am.