Monday, September 07, 2009

Game Day at Cheryl's
(Can I get a little "Roll Tide"?!?)

This past Saturday was the opening day of college football, and boy was I EVER ready for it!! (I've been anticipating it since the season ended last January, and I was getting tired of watching "flashback" games from the 1980s on a local cable channel.) Alabama had the marquee match-up of the day, with them facing #7 Virginia Tech in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic (Bama was ranked #5). We have lots of questions going into this season--we have a new quarterback (although he's a redshirt junior) and lost two stalwarts on our offensive line and our best running back. How would we look? How would the new starters play? Would our defense be as great as everyone said?

You all know that I go to all the home games in Tuscaloosa, but since this was an away game, that meant it was time for Game Day at Cheryl's. (Last year, it became sort of a tradition to invite a bunch of the girls' friends to our house, and it looks like this year will be no different!)

Before we get to the game, though...how about a recap of what an Alabama Gameday is like in my world?

On Saturday morning, I got up bright-and-early (actually, I think I slept until 10 a.m., because the night before had been a very late one with our high school football game and activities afterwards) to get started on some food for the day.

I mixed up the batter for my planned Crimson Velvet Cake (actually, my first-ever attempt at homemade red velvet cake), baked it, then got it out to cool.

In the meantime, I took a shower and got dressed in gameday attire and then displayed my new welcome sign by my door...

I turned on ESPN to catch all of the festivities (who would the experts pick to win the game? what crazy fan signs could I see?) and caught bits and pieces of several of the early games. But before I could settle down to watch too much, Delaney began asking for (i.e., guilting me into) a new Alabama jersey. I'm usually good at saying no to my girls' requests, but who was I to deny her a shirt that would add such beauty to her wardrobe (lol)?

We headed out and, a mere hour later, came home with a Julio Jones #8 jersey for Delaney (Jones is our star wide receiver) and Sydney a cute pink Bama jersey...

With some unplanned shopping behind me, I sat down to watch the Georgia/Oklahoma State game. Once the Cowboys started pulling away from the Bulldogs, though (I was upset, because I cheer for all SEC games and really thought Georgia would pull that one out), I decided to spend some time in the kitchen to get ready for our party.

I turned on the radio to listen to the Alabama pregame shows and got to work.

My planned menu for the night included: Wings (I make some reallly good homemade ones, but we decided to order them this time), Cajun meatballs, Buffalo chicken dip (from my friend Tina), Mississippi caviar (from Tina too), Crescent cheese squares, fruit skewers, Bama sugar cookies (from my niece, Lori), and the Crimson Velvet Cake.

Lori showed up with the cookies (cute, huh?)...

And I got the cake frosted with homemade cream cheese frosting (the batter to this cake was absolutely DELICIOUS; like the best I'd ever tasted; I was getting excited about how it would taste!), even though the three layers started to shift a little bit (and I was afraid it might just fall apart)...

Our friend Raymond showed up, with his professional cake decorating equipment in hand (his sister decorates cake, and he was determined that he could do it too). He got to work and soon had created this. Gorgeous...


As game time got closer and closer, I began to set up the dining room table with food...

Then our guests started to arrive (people kept being invited, so I anticipated a houseful, but we had even more than I expected!). Delaney had Jaelyn and Caroline (see Delaney's new jersey?)...

And Sydney had Haley Jo and Kayla...


I could hear the sounds of the game getting louder and louder downstairs, but had to get everyone started with food (because full plates need to be in hand when the ball is kicked off).

After the first quarter (at this point, Alabama was behind and we were all a little nervous--loud and boisterous, but nervous!), we cut the first piece of cake. Mmmm...
Halftime arrived and we were behind 16-17. The third quarter ended and we still hadn't quite found our groove. But in the fourth quarter, we finally got everything working together (the defense had looked awesome all game, but the offense had sputtered along in the first half). We began to dominate the lines and scored some more. Which meant that there were victory dances being danced...

We even had Joe, one of the two Auburn fans at the party, say, "I don't need to come over very often. You guys might turn me into an Alabama fan." We even tried to get a Bama cap on him...

We had so many people cheering and yelling and Roll Tide-ing that I'd have to guess that it's the loudest our house has ever been. We really make gametime a party...with lots of high-fiving, and made-up cheers, and jumping up and down. Our favorite activity we developed on this Saturday was pausing the action on the tv to capture the faces of theVirginia Tech fans' disgusted faces. It provided endless entertainment, let me just tell you.

We stopped and took a few group pictures (this was most of the teenagers/college students in attendance. The adults--six of us--somehow avoided getting in the picture). You can imagine how crowded it was (you had to sneak in the best you can and if you were in the way of the tv--watch out! LOL)...

After the game, there was celebrating...

and lots of victory dancing...


For a first game of the season against a high-quality opponent, we felt really good afterwards. I think that Alabama could have another really special season, and I can't wait to see how it all plays out (and you know you'll get lots of updates here on the blog!).
In having such a loud, crowded, excitable experience (which I love and wouldn't have any other way!), I have to take a second stab at the game, though, to actually be able to hear anything that was being said on the television broadcast. So it's become a tradition to come home after church on Sunday, get comfortable all by myself, and watch my DVR-ed copy of the game all over again. I can actually hear what's being said about our players and certain plays (I don't think I actually heard one word being said on the day before!)...

It was a great start to the college football season, and I'm so glad it's finally here!
I hope that your favorite team won this past weekend (if you have a favorite team, let me know who it is...as long as it's not LSU, or Tennessee, or Auburn, I'lll add them to my "Cheer for them" list on game Saturdays!).
Have a wonderful Labor Day today, Roll Tide, and see ya soon!

17 comments:

Stephenie said...

ROLL TIDE!!!

I do believe that was the best party to date. I just showed my Mom all the pictures and she said she wished she'd been there! Let me know next time there's gonna be a party so I can let her know and make sure she's there :] I can't wait till the next one comes!!

Ms.L said...

Woohoo! You were all havin a time!
Your love and enthusiasum for the game makes me want to plan fun stuff for hockey season here.
I am imagining all the good food I could make...lol

hippo chick said...

You know I'm just not a football fan, but you've indoctrinated me. ROLL TIDE.. WOO HOO!

~hippo hugs~

CINNIBONBON said...

Ohh look at this!! I love your style and that cake is just too perfect!!! Looks like wonderful times!!

Cheryl Wray said...

Steph--It was SO fun!! I don't think I've laughed and screamed that much in a long time. You know we'll do it again!


Ms.L--I'm a big believer in sports + food! A hockey party would be a blast.

Hippo--Yay!! Roll Tide! (I love having some more fans up North!)

Cinni--The cake was great, and it was wonderful time!

Stephenie said...

Of course! It wouldn't be Alabama Football without our parties!!

Laura said...

Girl.Friend. I won't EVEN tell you how much money we left in B'ham & Tuscaloosa this weekend!!! We're broke.

Need to know...who is #32? And I can definitly see alota "Jones Love" in your party members!

But I must admit that I was sweating that first half! I finally had to get up and go indulge in my aunt's kitchen with a little apple pie and ice cream love!

Phats said...

Roll Tide! I gave Bama a shout out on my latest blog post. Even though I didn't pick them I was rooting for them even though I got engrossed in a tennis match haha I didn't see much of the game.

I think you should invite Kristen and I over for the PU/Bama basketball game and I'll bring my megaphone, she can bring her poms and we'll do some cheers to get the crowd warmed up, although they will be Boilermaker cheers haha :)

Good weekend BOILERS WIN, TIDE WINS, LONGHORNS WIN!

Adrienne said...

Looks like y'all had fun! I should have asked the girls to bring me some cake! LOL I forgot you were making it.

They came home Alabama fans and I think Tony is going to convert in memory of Patrick! LOL He asked me to get him a Tshirt! LOL

Kinda works out since he LOATHES Auburn lol.

LZ Blogger said...

Cheryl ~ The best thing about fall... only two words! COLLEGE FOOTBALL! ~ jb///

Daisy said...

Love the cake!!!

Cheryl Wray said...

Steph--You got that right! :-)

Laura--I think #32 is just a "generic" number on that jersey! LOL Although after the game, my niece was seriously wanting a Donta Hightower jersey (just one of our awesome young players!!). And, yes, there is lots of Julio love in our house! :-) I was with you...VERY nervous at halftime. But we came through at the end. Roll Tide!

Phats--You KNOW that you and Kristin are welcome any time in Bama. We would SO cheer with you at the game; how fun would that be? :-)

Cheryl Wray said...

Adrienne--LOL Yay for the girls and Yay for Tony! I think that's a wonderful way to honor Patrick's memory. He would love that! :-)

LZ--YES!!

Daisy--Thanks!!

scrapperjen said...

I love a die hard fan of any sport. Glad football is back for you to enjoy!

Gin said...

Awesomeness all over the place! I love the party and the cake and all that fun.

Kathy said...

Looks like so much fun!

The victory dance pictures are too funny!

Gretchen said...

Oh, my goodness! What fun you all had. That cake looks divine.