Wednesday, September 04, 2013

More About The Kick

More about Saturday: Timed my trip downtown perfectly, though it seemed to take forever. Ceil dropped me off at the North Springs MARTA station at 10:15. The parking lot was already full, and a line of cars was trying to get in…due to all that was going on downtown: Tech/Elon, Alabama/Virginia Tech, Sheryl Crow concert, Chick-fil-a FanZone, Dragon Con parade and convention, black gay pride festival, NASCAR, and Braves/Marlins. By the time it left the station the cars were full. Many were dressed up for Dragon Con, so I snapped a few photos.

Transferred at Five Points and exited at the CNN station, then walked in the shade past the Dome to the Congress Center. Got in line, and the FanZone doors opened after 15 minutes, at 11:30 am. I spaced out my practice kicks with walks around the FanZone. Usually I’m a sucker for all the free stuff at those things: photos, balls, keychains, etc, but I knew I had to travel light. The only things I gobbled up were right next to the field goal kick: samples of Coke Zero, Delta cookies, and ChickfilA mocha milkshakes. And with every milkshake sample came a coupon for a free shake.  

A dad and his son got in the field goal line after talking to the people in the Kia booth. He wanted to know the same thing I was trying to find out: how the six on-site participants would be picked. The Kia people didn’t know, and the field goal people didn’t either. The dad was a decent kicker, and I didn’t need his kind of competition. Unbeknownst to us, at the other end of the FanZone Alabama/Virginia Tech trivia questions were being asked at the main stage. The prize for correct answers was entry into the kicking competition.

Ceil and Will were clammering for information, but I only had time to send a quick text that I’d made it to the second round. After the competition I sat down with a Coke Zero and Delta cookie and texted them about the second round and first tie breaker, giving more detail in my short texts. Then I walked around some more, grabbing more Coke Zero, Delta cookies, milkshakes, and coupons. Rested more and updated Ceil and Will that I’d made the final. Watched both football teams walk through the crowd on their way into the Dome.

Wanted to make sure I was properly fueled for the event. I had eaten a big breakfast. Ceil cooked up two Egg-McMuffin type sandwiches, plus yogurt and Crystal Light. Carried another Crystal Light that I finished before entering the FanZone. After the teams walked through I bought a ChickfilA sandwich, and watched the Texas A&M/Rice game while charging my phone. All the Bama fans were rooting against him. Bought a PowerAde and grabbed more Coke Zero, Delta cookies, milkshake samples, and coupons. Finished the day with eight milkshake coupons. They weren’t for me: Matthew will be thrilled.

Made my way over to the Dome for the game. I was seated next to only two of the other on-line winners. Teri from Powder Springs said she was selling her tickets, and others must’ve done the same. A recent Alabama grad sat next to me, and she knew quite a bit about football. When Noah took me downstairs we spent a little time in a waiting area. I was thankful for the restroom: the one upstairs had a LONG line. As Mundy and I waited for the kick we each held our football and chatted with each other and the events coordinator, who looked like Seth Rogan. We talked about what the taxes would be. Mundy had not kicked for his high school team (I asked), but I was not asked the same question.

Mundy did a good job celebrating, and afterwards I gave him a hug. During the game I learned that a friend’s husband was on the field photographing the game, so I sent word for him to be on the lookout for me. Later I learned he wasn’t able to get any good shots of my kick. I hadn’t told many people on purpose, which turned out to be a good thing. Will was watching at his Clemson tailgate. At the last minute I saw that Lang was watching, so I told him to watch. Both let me know my kick wasn’t televised. Back in the tunnel I relayed that info to Mundy and the event coordinators, and quickly texted Ceil and Will the bad news.

After the kick I didn’t go back to my seat. Got off the elevator at the main lower level of stands, and started coordinating with Anna about picking me up at MARTA. Also texted Lang what had happened. My phone signal was weak or non-existent in MARTA, so it was good that I didn’t have many people to tell. MARTA was hot and the wait long. Most of my time was spent coordinating my pickup. It was too loud to call my parents, so I sent them an email. To Anna’s relief, Ceil made it back from Matthew’s concert in time to pick me up.

Back home Ceil and I ate leftover chili, and I had some Gatorade. Watched the second half of the Georgia game, and then stayed up to see the Tech highlights. I was exhausted, but had trouble sleeping due to my aching leg and hip.

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