We have no regrets. We booked our hotels after the Pittsburgh game. We booked our flights after USC. We prayed we would win tickets in the lottery. 99 percent of us didn’t. We appealed to our spouses and better sensibilities that this was a once in a lifetime event. They submitted. And then we paid way too much for tickets. We begged our parents to take the grandkids for a few days. They couldn’t say no. We had used up our fun tickets for the year by Jan. 7. We flew from places like R.I., S.D., Idaho and Texas. We arrived in South Florida to eternal sun and optimism. We may have had a cocktail (or two). We saw dear friends we haven’t seen in 10, 15 or 20 years. We felt an energy, a passion and a part of something that we haven’t felt in a long, long time. It felt like home. We tailgated like champions. The blues and greens outnumbered the reds at least three-to-one. Of the 55,000 Domers in the stadium, we were the 40,000 who stayed until the clock hit 0:00. We have no regrets. We would do it all over again, even if we already knew the ending. We thank you.
We have one request. At one of the greatest games in our history, we failed to acknowledge maybe our greatest tradition, and that is standing together as one family and singing our praise to our Beloved Lady of the Lake. Our feeling of emptiness in the stands grew ever deeper when we could not acknowledge the good fight and send off our team properly for having one of the greatest seasons we can remember, and for giving all of us alumni the opportunity to experience what we did. Maybe it was the overwhelming grief of the moment. Maybe it was the bureaucracy of the Orange Bowl Committee and their stages and ensuing presentations. But I ask you, next time, make it happen. Give us the opportunity to thank the team for a tremendous season, and show us a little love for the sacrifices we all made to be there in support. Misery loves company, and we all could have used a little family love around about 0:00. We are ND.