Dawson's Diary - Orange Bowl Edition

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Dawson Zimmerman gives his account of life in South Florida for the week - as only he can.

As I sit on this bus, one that, if you haven't seen the pictures, rolls down the Miami freeway customized with a gigantic picture of Coach Swinney, it is hard not to contrast this bowl trip with the last.

There are the constant strobes of police lights that transport us from place to place in the form of a full presidential escort. And as I anticipate getting out into the 75 degree Miami night, I feel somewhat satisfied. Not all the way -- there's still a game to be played, but you know what I mean.

It's satisfied in the context of our previous bowl misadventures. Not to speak badly about the other ones we've been to, but this is a BCS bowl for a reason. From the moment we got out off our plane and walked on the orange carpet, it has been all class.

And more importantly, it's been warm.

Bowl practice last year consisted of practicing at a high school right by a highway with sub-freezing temperatures and wind that cut through my mesh jersey and chilled my soul.

I remember one of those practices, maybe in a state of delirious hypothermia, where I gave up on kicking in the cold and went wandering into the woods by the practice fields hoping to maybe find something to start a fire. Yeah. There were woods right by the practice field. All the specialists then engaged in a conversation about who to eat first.

Compare that to these practices, and football is officially fun again. There's just something about the Orange Bowl. We just got back to our hotel, which I can't believe is even a real place. More Orange Bowl activities await, and I'll try to give some insight into our preparation and adventures.

Godspeed, and there's more to come, unless I get tired of typing on my iPhone.

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