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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Long drive should be worth it

by Wally Hall | December 27, 2021 at 11:49 a.m.

TAMPA — At the time it seemed like a good idea.

Why not just leave for the Outback Bowl Christmas afternoon after all the presents were opened?

On the map it was just about five inches.

On the road it is more, much more.

We drove to Birmingham on Christmas afternoon and then on to Tampa Sunday. The final leg took 10 hours to cover a little more than 500 miles. That’s not great time.

We voluntarily stopped only for a quick lunch, to refuel and switch drivers.

We stopped dozens of times for stop lights because an app told us it was faster and shorter to go through Columbus, Ga., rather than Atlanta.

There were dozens of towns with dozens of stoplights until we finally got on Interstate 75 South.

Plus, there were 11 speed traps in 45-mph zones.

Then, 100 miles from Tampa, we stopped again, for two wrecks, which were not surprising considering how people were driving.

We detoured and finally got here around 8:30 p.m. We had left at 10:30 a.m.

However, we have had the unique opportunity to see three SEC teams bowl bound.

South of Memphis it was Mississippi State with a police escort on its way to the Autozone Liberty bowl and south of Birmingham it was Auburn on its way to the Birmingham Bowl.

This morning it was the Arkansas Razorbacks arriving at Tampa University at 9:45 a.m. for its first practice. It took about 10 minutes for the rising heat and humidity to have every player dripping wet.

Bowl week has officially finally begun and the longest drive this week will be 15 minutes, until Saturday.


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