NEW ORLEANS (WIS) - Over the last few days, LSU and Clemson fans have flooded the streets of New Orleans ahead of Monday’s championship game.
Among the many things fans could do to keep themselves entertained before kickoff was make the trip to Playoff Fan Central at the New Orleans Convention Center. From the 40-yard dash to the college football history exhibits, there was something here for everyone who wanted to get a little gridiron action of their own. But being in the Big Easy for the title game was one thing Clemson fans have been looking forward to.
Mike Fanning and his son, Michael, made the trip to New Orleans arriving around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday.
“We actually secured a hotel nine months ago, expecting Clemson to once again repeat and be back here,” Mike said. “It’s a bucket list thing for a father and son. So, we’re excited about being here.”
With this year’s College Football Playoff National Championship game in the Big Easy, making the trek was a little easier for some Clemson fans. A few didn’t have to travel that far at all.
“Last year, we went to Santa Clara for the game,” said Robert Martin, who moved from Columbia to New Orleans. “This year, the game’s in my home city where I’m staying. Clemson came to see me so I’m excited.”
But being in New Orleans also means being in LSU’s backyard and their supporters have been all over the city, which makes it much more special when Clemson fans see each other out and about.
“It’s really exciting,” said Lexington native Megan Bussey. “Even driving here, passing cars with their orange Tiger paws, we’d honk the horn and wave.”
“It’s a family, for sure,” Stacie Eubanks added. “Anywhere we see anybody with the ring on, everybody knows where you came from. It’s a family.”
One thing is for sure. The Solid Orange crew will be ready to cheer on the defending champs come at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
“I was downtown last year watching it with 15,000 people and celebrating,” said Michael Fanning, who is a senior at Clemson. “That was really cool. Now, I’m here. If you would’ve told me a year ago that I’d be in New Orleans watching the national championship against LSU, I wouldn’t have believed you.”