Hal Scheurich

Glendale Turns Orange and Blue

January 9th, 2011 at 3:50 pm by under FOX10 Sports

Saturday, Tiger fans began to flood into the Phoenix area.  Glendale’s Westgate Center is definitely one of the hot spots for gathering and partying.  It’s an impressive complex, home to numerous restaurants and bars, a huge movie theatre and Jobing.com Arena where the Phoenix Coyotes play.

Glendale’s Westgate Center

Glendale’s Westgate Center

Jobing.com Arena where the Phoenix Coyotes play

Jobing.com Arena where the Phoenix Coyotes play

“The Coyotes hosted the Buffalo Sabers, but lost in a close one (2-1 in overtime).”

Football fans were everywhere you looked.  It was almost like being in Auburn for a home game.  Tammy Powers (left) and Gloria and Jon Barnes flew in on Saturday and couldn’t believe all of the Auburn fans they were running into.

Tammy Powers (left) and Gloria and Jon Barnes

Tammy Powers (left) and Gloria and Jon Barnes

“They said their pilot gave the whole plane a big WAR EAGLE on the flight out.”

McFadden’s Grill hosted a Tiger “meet and greet” and was filled with orange and blue.  Dave Wortman (Atlanta), Lara Bancroft (Denver), Susan Wassell (Atlanta) and Rick Butgereit (Atlanta) were having a great time at the bar.

Dave Wortman (Atlanta), Lara Bancroft (Denver), Susan Wassell (Atlanta) and Rick Butgereit (Atlanta)

Dave Wortman (Atlanta), Lara Bancroft (Denver), Susan Wassell (Atlanta) and Rick Butgereit (Atlanta)

Don Fowler from Columbiana, his son Clay from Bossier City, LA and nephew Kevin from Canton, MI made this trip a guys’ family trip.  They got their tickets lined up as soon as the SEC Championship game ended.

“WAR EAGLE to everyone back home.”

“WAR EAGLE to everyone back home.”

The next group I ran into was really pumped up.  It was another guys’ family group- a dad, Buddy Bunch of Guntersville, his two sons, Adam Bunch also of Guntersville and Brett Bunch of Spanish Fort along with Kevin Wagner of Guntersville.  This trip marked several firsts for these guys.  Aside from the obvious, (Auburn in a Natl. Championship) none had been to Arizona before, Dad had never flown on a commercial airline and Adam has never worn his camouflage and duck calls to a football game before.

“Quack, quack…roast some ducks”

“Quack, quack…roast some ducks”

Everyone seemed to have a great time getting the party started in Glendale and the locals have opened their arms up to the influx of fans.  On the walk through the parking lot, I noticed that they have big trucks out here too.

“You could hang a porch swing off this thing.”

“You could hang a porch swing off this thing.”


Championship Trip, Day 2

January 7th, 2011 at 7:49 am by under FOX10 Sports

The alarm went off at 6:30 a.m., only four hours after I went to bed.  Today (Thursday), was a busy one from the start.  The Auburn Tigers stopped by the media hotel for an 8:30 a.m. press conference.

Auburn players arrive for news conference

Auburn players arrive for news conference

Josh Bynes, Craig Stevens and defensive coordinator Ted Roof all took questions, but star defensive lineman, Nick Fairley took center stage.  Most of the questions to all related to Fairley and his dominance on the line this year.

Driving around Scottsdale today, several storefronts boasted the colors of both Auburn and Oregon in an effort to lure in fans for souvenirs.  A cool thing going on was an opportunity afforded anyone in the greater Phoenix area to get their picture taken with the Coaches’ Trophy which will go to either the Ducks or the Tigers on Monday night.

Coaches' Trophy on display in Phoenix

Coaches' Trophy on display in Phoenix

Phoenix resident Brad Bivvens stopped into Fry’s Grocery to get some cat litter, but got a shock when he saw the three foot tall National Championship Trophy.  Being a native of Oregon, he had his picture taken, too.  He also picked the Ducks to win, but did admit that prediction was coming from the heart. So, I won’t hold it against him.

Brad Bivvens, Phoenix native, poses with trophy

Brad Bivvens, Phoenix native, poses with trophy

Activities should really start to ramp up on Friday, so be sure to check back in to see what’s going on.


BCS Championship Trip

January 6th, 2011 at 10:11 am by under FOX10 Sports

I wasn’t sure if I would make it to work at all Wednesday morning as I drove through a blinding rainstorm crossing Mobile Bay.  But I had no choice but to get there, pick up Rob and make a flight to Arizona.  I’ve been looking forward to the trip to the national championship game and had spent the last two days packing to go.

Six and a half hours later and after an expensive, less than filling airline lunch, we made our final approach into Phoenix.

“We’re definitely not in Alabama anymore.”

“We’re definitely not in Alabama anymore.”

Everything at the airport moved pretty quickly and before long we had our bags and cameras.  We boarded the shuttle to get our rental car and ran into one lucky Auburn fan.

“Yes, I’m a lucky man.”

“Yes, I’m a lucky man.”

Brandon Koonce lives in Alexandria, LA but was born in Mobile.  He’s a senior at Auburn, majoring in Electrical Engineering.  What makes him so lucky is he’s one of only 1,000 students that won a lottery drawing for a BCS Championship ticket.  He does have to pay the $200 dollar face value for it, but he doesn’t mind.  (I guess not)  Brandon not only won this lottery, but also won a lottery ticket to the SEC Championship.  His dad told him he needs to go to Las Vegas while he’s out west.

After getting our rental car, Rob and I set out to find our hotel and make sure all of our gear arrived ahead of us.  On the drive, Rob informed me that the GPS had no idea where it was going.

“Don’t ever ride in a car with Rob if you value your life.”

“Don’t ever ride in a car with Rob if you value your life.”

We did see some incredible scenery along the way.  The rock formations and mountain peaks surrounding the city looked very foreign to a southerner like me, but I found it a pleasant change from the sea of green back home.  But I know I’ll be ready to get back home to the piney deer woods of south Alabama by the time next week rolls around.

Drive to hotel

Drive to hotel

Drive to hotel

Drive to hotel

Tomorrow, it’s into the city to find some football fans.  Something tells me they won’t be too hard to find.

Auburn flag flies

Auburn flag proudly displayed