In January 2010, Coach Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide gave me with an early graduation present … a National Championship. In January 2012, I received the same gift when the Crimson Tide rolled over the LSU Tigers in New Orleans for Alabama’s 14th National Championship.

The 2011 season was an emotional season for Alabama. It was the season following the traumatic tornado that tore through the city in April of that year. We started the season number 2 in the country, and we fought hard all season until we faced LSU on November 5th. It was a night game in Bryant-Denny, but the Tigers prevailed and pulled out the win. Despite the loss, the season worked in Alabama’s favor for us to reface our rivalry in New Orleans’ Superdome for the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship game.

Out of my group of friends, a couple of us were lucky enough to receive the golden tickets and the rest were determined to be in the city for the game. So we booked a hotel room and drove down to Louisiana the day before the game. Upon arriving in The Big Easy we immediately headed out for some delicious Cajun and Creole food at Olde N’awlins Cookery. After stuffing ourselves on seafood and gumbo, we headed out for a night on Bourbon Street.

The next morning, gameday, decked out in crimson, white and houndstooth, my friends and I headed out to explore what we could of New Orleans. First on our agenda was food, so we stopped into Central Grocery Company, a small, old-fashioned grocery store with a sandwich counter that was founded in 1906, to grab a muffuletta. We took our yummy sandwiches down to Jackson Square to people watch and soak in the gameday atmosphere. We then headed to Café du Monde, a necessity when in NOLA, for some beignets and something warm to drink. We explored the French Market for a bit before heading back to the room for a quick nap before kickoff.

Now, if you know anything about Louisiana, LSU is THE state school and it’s only a 1.5 hours from New Orleans making this game a home game for LSU. The number of LSU fans definitely grew while we were taking our naps, so we quickly grabbed a photo in front of the Superdome before heading to our seats. This game will go down as one of my favorite Alabama games, and we left no doubt that the Crimson Tide deserved that National Championship when we defeated LSU 21-0!

The next morning we drove back to Tuscaloosa to finish out our final semester at The University of Alabama. Despite it being a super quick trip, New Orleans is still one of my favorite cities to visit.