We flew down on Friday and got checked in to our hotel. About half the hotel was filled with Dukes, including the football team and coaching staff. There was a lot of purple and gold! The Dallas Alumni Chapter held a social in the hotel and that's where we got to meet and talk to Charles Haley! The only NFL player to have five Super Bowl rings, and just inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame this year. He graduated from JMU and was there to support the team. Really nice guy - and he's HUGE!
Here we are with President Alger. Coach Withers also spoke at the event.
My DH is treasurer of the alumni association. Here he is with some other alumni board members talking about something important that I wasn't paying attention to.
Then Brandon and Heather (from Richmond) and Cathy (from Dallas) joined us for dinner downtown.
At the end of the meal, our waiter found out that we were from JMU and got his manager, who is also a Duke! The manager came and talked to us for a while and then treated us to a round of pineapple juice shots - delicious!
Saturday we got up and went out for a yummy breakfast at a local popular restaurant. Then we wandered over to the George W. Bush Presidential Library, which was right across the street from our hotel (it's on SMU's campus). It was a great museum with some very interesting exhibits, especially one about 9/11. They also had a complete replica of the Oval Office from his presidency - right down to the pictures of his family on the desk. You could walk around the room and even get your picture taken sitting at the desk!
After a quick nap we met up with some other Richmond friends and headed over to the JMU tailgate. Over 300 people from JMU were at the tailgate, and we enjoyed observing some of the tailgating practices of SMU students and alumni. They definitely have some different traditions, but I had to admire their set-up of the 'Boulevard' and some of the portable tailgating pods with leather couches and big screen TVs!
Six of us from Richmond, plus Jenny's family from Houston! Go Dukes!
There was a lot of purple in the stadium. When we were walking in, one of the SMU alums asked me 'So where is this JMU school?' When I told him Virginia he said 'Wow - do you always have this many fans at your away games?'
It was HOT in Texas, but luckily the sun had gone down by the end of the first quarter. I apologize for the number of pictures - we had to record our attendance at this game!
For those of you who watched the game or read the articles later, you know that it was a very close game. But we were leading for most of the game (incredible), and toward the end SMU scored and was winning with 2:00 left in the 4th quarter. Then we scored a touchdown and there was a lot of excitement (me) and stress (Eric) for the last minute of the game.
Then we WON!
Enjoy the victory celebration!
What an awesome game!
We all went down on the field afterwards to celebrate.
Then, because it was SMU's Homecoming, they had a really great fireworks show. It was very nice of them to still put on the show even though we beat them! :-)
The alumni board.
On Sunday, after recovering our voices and eating a big breakfast, we headed to Arlington to see the Cowboys v Falcons game. The stadium is H-U-G-E. You really don't get a sense of how big it is on TV. And the fact that it's all indoors is even crazier.
Even though my DH is not a Cowboys fan, I still got him to wear blue and he cheered some (mostly because one of his fantasy football players was a Cowboy that week). We lost but it was still a great game!
The game finished up by mid-afternoon so we headed back to the city, and went out to a movie and dinner. It was so nice to have a weekend away with friends. I'm especially grateful to my mother-in-law, who came to Richmond to stay with our kids and had to keep them entertained indoors because of rain. They had a great time and I think were well-behaved enough that she would consider doing it again.
Overall a really great weekend - and so glad we could be there with so many friends to cheer on the Dukes!