Southern Hospitality

Of the 4 schools playing in the Athens Regional this weekend. Sacred Heart University fans had to travel the farthest. It is not even close. According to mapquest, Fairfield, Connecticut is 901 miles away from Athens, Georgia. Except for the scores on the field, how did the Pioneer fans enjoy the Classic City.

This is the first time that Sacred Heart University has ever been to the NCAA Tournament in Division I baseball and who better to serve as their hosts then the people of Athens, Georgia.

Their fans say that 75 to 100 fans made the trip from Fairfield, Connecticut. Most of them flew, but some of them drove. That is 901 miles!

To put that in perspective. 901 miles is driving from Athens to Jacksonville, Florida... go to the landing, turnaround... go to Tallahassee, Florida... say hi to the 2 girls from FSU that are on the internet... turnaround and go to Atlanta... get a Varsity Orange and drive down 316... get stuck in traffic, get some road rage, but find your way down to Athens... that too is 901 or so miles.

Even though the Pioneers went 2 and out (losing 11-0 to Georgia and 4-3 to Jacksonville), for the most part they had nothing but nice things to say about their trip.

Eric tells me that over 75 people came down and this is his first time to Athens, Georgia. "The campus is gorgeous and the field is incredible." He was upset that it rained on Friday, but he told me what he was going to look for after Saturday's game. "I need pecan pie!" He said for the most part Georgia fans were nice. "Before I came down here, people told me that southern people don't treat 'Yankees' too well, well I have been treated great."

Jessica said she really liked downtown a lot and can't wait to have some southern cooking. "I want fried chicken and some cornbread." What else have you noticed about Athens? "I must have heard people say the word 'Y'all' a million times, I love the southern drawl."

Judy wants a win more than anything else. "I am here to cheer my son and then I have to leave and go back home to see my other son graduate from high school." And what about the fans here... "They are so nice everybody has been so nice to us."

John has never been to Athens. "I have been to Georgia when I have driven to Florida, but I have never been to Athens." Overall he says the people have treated him very well. "A lot of nice people here, although someone told me during the Georgia game that it is a shame that we are going to go home after two games, but you always get one or two of them everywhere.

Sacred Heart fans came strong. They were loud and proud. They all had their school colors on and knew a lot about the team. Most of them were family members of some of the players, but there were some that were just fans. Too bad all schools are not like them.

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