William Correro column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 4, 2007

2 games in 2 days equal lots of air travel

Work two games in two days? Why not? So what if it would involve almost two thousand miles of air travel. And since it wasn’t known where I was going for the second game until ten days prior, available flights were severely limited – especially since it was on Thanksgiving weekend – so don’t laugh when you see the flights I had to take.

We are not supposed to fly on game day so I had to leave Thanksgiving day for the first show in Baton Rouge. Since we were hosting Thanksgiving dinner for 23 at our home I really needed to be here for that. I left Memphis late afternoon totally stuffed heading for LSU – by way of Atlanta and New Orleans. Only option available. Rented a car in New Orleans and drove the 70 miles to Baton Rouge.

We all were up early Friday to go visit one of our own in the hospital who had managed to be on the wrong end of a lower tibia compound fracture, with complications, in the LSU & Louisiana Tech game 2 weeks before. Back to the hotel to grab some breakfast before the pre-game meetings. Get dressed, go to the stadium and work what started out as sort of a lack-luster performance by both teams. But it did get interesting in the second half and when the score was tied for the first time, I got nervous.

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The reason was I had a flight out of New Orleans to Orlando that night which shouldn’t be a problem – after a normal game. But no, this one had to end regulation with the score tied going into what ended up being not one, not two, but three overtime periods. I had talked to my Louisiana State Trooper friend the previous week about getting me out of town and he offered to have a trooper drive me to the airport. Since I had a rental car, I just said to please help me get out of town and through the worst of the traffic. Our usual police escorts got us back to the hotel within eight minutes after the end of the game and I hurriedly changed.

Sure enough, a young trooper was waiting for me when I came through the lobby. He asked for my cell number and told me to turn on the flashers and stay close. He got me around thirty miles down I-10 before he called and told me to drive safe and call if I needed anything. I didn’t slow down until I got to the airport exit. Didn’t have time to go to the rental return and ride their shuttle bus to the terminal so I just skipped the slow part and left my car where the shuttle buses pick up in front of the terminal. Thankfully security wasn’t crowded and since I didn’t get shot leaving the car where I did, it looked like I might make it with all of twenty minutes to spare. Enough time to call home, Hertz about where the car was and then my friend George C. to see how South Panola was doing. The flight was half full and very quiet so I managed to get a little rest before the one hundred and twenty mile drive up to Gainesville.

Then it was back to another typical game day routine on Saturday. The Florida State at Florida game wasn’t quite as interesting as the day before but then my flight home wasn’t until Sunday morning of course. We’ll talk next week about a few interesting things from that game at The Swamp plus the SEC Championship Game.