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LOS ANGELES — The first thing I heard stepping off the plane at LAX was ‘Welcome to sunny California’ at 1:45 am, along with a few TCU fans. We have finally made it to championship weekend in college football, even if it took me almost a full day to get here.
Along with one TCU fan from England, I could tell this would be a different experience from previous title games, compared to other host cities. The airport was decked out in championship banners, and I could hear a few ‘Go Frogs’ around baggage claim. After a full season of classic games, it all comes down to the final one — Georgia vs. TCU — at SoFi Stadium on Monday night.
I sat next to ‘Thomas’ from Birmingham, which I first thought was Alabama. I soon realized Thomas had spent significant more time in the air than I did on Thursday. After noticing his TCU polo shirt, I started a conversation about his Horned Frogs.
“Yea, this has been a long day. I booked my travel right after the Fiesta Bowl win, knowing I wouldn’t miss my Horned Frogs playing for a national championship. Even if we lose, the flight across the Atlantic was certainly worth it,” Thomas said as he sipped his beer.
At this moment, I figured out he wasn’t talking about Birmingham, Alabama. Nope, this TCU fan traveled from England to see his team play. I was curious as to how much a trip like this would cost him, not trying to get all of his financial details at midnight on a plane ride.
“Well, let’s just say I’ll be working a lot of overtime when I get back. Honestly, being a graduate of TCU, while living overseas, I’ve had to come up with different ways to watch Max Duggan this year. I finally found a website that worked every week during the season, so we made it work. But yea, this one definitely hurt the bank account.
“It will all be worth it when we beat Georgia on Monday,” Thomas said confidently. “At least I hope so, we’ve had a good thing going, just ask Michigan.”
The California Vibes Of A TCU-Georgia CFB Playoff
It doesn’t feel like a championship game weekend as of yet, but hopefully that changes late in the weekend. Fans from all over the country will descend upon Los Angeles this weekend, for the Monday night showdown between Georgia and TCU. Both schools have sold-out their allotment of 20,000 tickets, which should make for a fun environment on game day.
It still feels a bit weird, compared to past years. But once we get closer to the game and most of the fans get into town, things will certainly change.
Though it might feel a bit like an NFL weekend out here, compared to college football, it hasn’t changed the vibes for the two teams. Both Georgia and TCU arrived on Friday, with media day scheduled for Saturday. This is a business trip for both squads, so don’t expect many beach outings for Kirby Smart or Sonny Dykes.
As the College Football world turns their attention towards Monday evening, we’re all just hoping to get a great game to cap off the season. Let’s hope the semifinals weren’t the main event. If TCU can bring the same type of energy and physicality against Georgia, as they did Michigan, we could be in for an entertaining game on Monday night.
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