The Longest Bus Trip in the History of College Football

12 Jan

It was 1999, and fans of the University of Tennessee were riding high. Our football won the national championship the previous season, and we went to as many games as possible. It was a chance to support our team and rub it in to rival fans.Tee

In November, the team had just defeated Notre Dame and one of the nation’s highest ranked teams. Next was a trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas to play the Razorbacks. It was a journey that we had to make, but Fayetteville is a long way from here. To make the trip easier and more fun, a bunch of guys leased a luxury bus.

The trip was fun, but it was not easy. In fact, it turned into the longest weekend of my life.

We loaded onto the bus late Friday afternoon for a game to be played on Saturday morning at 11:30. The following schedule is true in every sense.

The bus took us to Tunica, Mississippi for a few hours of gambling. Of course, gambling took place before we arrive, but Tunica allowed for a more organized type. We gambled. We ate. We gambled some more. We ate some more. The hours melted away.

At some point, we were told to get back on the bus. Everyone was wired, and we horsed around all the way to the Arkansas campus. We got off the bus. We walked around campus. We met fans of both teams. We made our way to the seats.

It was sometime during the first half that I started feeling out of sorts. It felt as if I was in a fog. If I had not been sitting down, then I might have fallen down. That is when I realized that I had not be to sleep. It was Saturday afternoon, and I had not closed my eyes since Friday morning.

Obviously, I stayed awake during the game. After the game, I made a fateful decision. Go for the gusto and not sleep until getting home. Other people crashed. However, I was going to have none of it. I was going to stay awake for the entire trip.

When we got back to town, it felt as if I was in a walking coma. If zombies had been a popular thing in the late 1990s, then I would have felt like one of them.

I will not write about all of the activities that happened on the trip. To protect the guilty, that stuff will be left out. However, this trip has come to my mind over the past few days.

Two of the men who ventured on the trip have passed away in the past 48 hours. I was not close to either one of them and have not seen them in years. However, everyone who went on that journey have a connection. We took the longest bus trip in the history of college football.

7 Responses to “The Longest Bus Trip in the History of College Football”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong January 12, 2015 at 02:43 #

    Let’s hear it for long bus ride, football, and memories. We still haven’t recovered from the Patriots’ bizarre victory yesterday.

    • Rick January 12, 2015 at 02:55 #

      Yeah, I watched a little of that one. It was a back and forth game for sure.

      • Marilyn Armstrong January 12, 2015 at 03:00 #

        He declared himself ineligible to play so they could change receivers? I guess now anything that isn’t actually forbidden is allowed? I mean … Okay, they are our team and we want them to win … but that was more like winning in court than winning in football. It was a big strange.

      • Rick January 12, 2015 at 03:03 #

        I read about that. I thought it was a clever trick.

      • Marilyn Armstrong January 12, 2015 at 03:04 #

        Clever. But is it football?

  2. Manu Sudhakar Kurup January 15, 2015 at 04:45 #

    This was a nice post. Surely, the passing of those men have something to do with this post. May their souls rest in peace.

    • Rick January 15, 2015 at 13:26 #

      Thank you. Their passing brought to mind the memories of that trip.

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