BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Alabama fans staying on the Mississippi Gulf Coast boarded charter buses on Thursday morning, headed for New Orleans. That's where their beloved Crimson Tide is playing Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.
Many of the Alabama faithful took advantage of casino packages that included bus trips to the big game.
Bill Key of Birmingham had his game face on before 9 a.m. We found him in the front seat of a Hotard Charter bus at Golden Nugget.
"Looked up some packages and they had a great package here at the Golden Nugget, and we thought, hey, come on down, ride over to New Orleans, avoid all the traffic. This man right here is gonna take care of us," said Key.
Several coast casinos put together attractive Sugar Bowl packages. Fans got a place to stay in Biloxi, a charter bus ride to the game and time for some gaming entertainment.
"We just like to give the casinos money, I guess," said Eddie Fisher.
"Last night and the night before too."
Shortly after 9 a.m., the motor coach lobby at Beau Rivage was bustling with Crimson Tide fans boarding several charter buses. The Alabama faithful seemed confident and enthusiastic.
"Roll Tide!" shouted Wanda Waldrop, as she waved her flag.
"We just thought it would be nice to stay at a casino and gamble a little bit and then go to the game and let somebody else drive," said Warren Earp, of Atlanta.
They will all enjoy the Sugar Bowl showdown; but still realize this season could have been so much sweeter.
"We should be in Pasadena, but we'll take this," said Key.
"Hey, I was at Auburn, I know what can happen," one fan reminded his friends.
Not surprisingly, we didn't run into a single Oklahoma fan all morning.