Liz Peters' Orange Bowl Trip - A Student's Perspective
For the Orange Bowl, I was lucky enough to be able to purchase the bus pass that was provided through the school. Sunday morning when I arrived at the Convocation Center, there were a lot of students lined up to get on the buses and many newspaper reports and cameramen interviewing students about how the trip. The trip was very well organized. We received text messages letting us know when our bus would be loading and when it would be departing. We were provided with lunch to bring on the bus with us. The bus ride to Florida seemed like it took forever but once we were there, it was all worth it. We were greeted at the hotel by different newspaper reports and Orange Bowl staff. It was around 6:00 p.m. when we arrived. We quickly got ready, ate dinner and went to Downtown Fort Lauderdale were the rest of the NIU students would be celebrating their New Year's Eve. Throughout the night, all the students would chant NIU and it seemed like Northern Illinois students had taken over Fort Lauderdale. It was an amazing feeling.
The next morning we had some down time and headed to the beach, which was about a 2 mile drive from our hotel. We ate dinner at Bubba Gump's. It seemed like everyone in the restaurant was a Huskie fan because every few minutes you would hear a group start chanting NIU. After a late lunch, we went back to the hotel to take the bus to the game. Once we got to Sun Life Stadium, the excitement really picked up. Everyone was felt happy and privileged to be at the Orange Bowl. After a few hours of tailgating, we went in early to make sure we got good seats. The game started and the stadium looked like a sea of Huskie Fans. I was amazed by how many fans had taken the trip down to Florida. The game was long but it was so exhilarating to be part of such a high profile game. The Huskie Fans never stopped cheering throughout the game. We left the game but no one was disappointed. We knew the Huskies played to the best of their abilities. Everyone was just excited to see what the 2013 football season will bring after a season like this. The ride home seemed like it took forever but we were all sad to leave the warm sun of Fort Lauderdale in exchange for the cold snow of DeKalb.