Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Atlanta offered more than SEC Championship Game – nightlife

After Alabama’s thrilling 32-28 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game, the Georgia Dome transformed from a battle field to one of the biggest parties in Atlanta. And, in a city like Atlanta, that’s certainly saying something.

All weekend long, though, the city was abuzz with excitement – and fans of both teams enjoyed the pre-game festivities. A Friday night trip to the Hard Rock Café, right in the middle of Atlanta, offered a glimpse into the world of SEC football fans the night before the biggest game of their teams’ seasons.

First and foremost, the atmosphere in the Hard Rock Café was amazing. The restaurant played their usual hit songs, but added some Southern flavor with songs like Lynard Skynard’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind.” Needless to say, there was a lot of impromptu cheering and karaoke as the night wore on.

Even with the cheering and singing, however, neither fan base minded letting the other know what they felt about each other. Caught in the middle, unfortunately, was a young fan who, seemingly forgetting where she was, was caught donning an Auburn hoodie.

“Are you drunk?” a Georgia fan said, laughing. “Did you lose a bet?”

Once the unidentified Auburn victim suffered her good-natured jeering, Alabama and Georgia fans got back to the matter at hand: making sure their fan base was better than the other’s.

Cheers of “Roll Tide!” and “Go Dawgs!” – as well as an unnatural amount of barking – could be heard all night, sometimes at the same time. No matter where you went, there was someone delivering a heckling to a fan from the other team.

It didn’t let up at all until after the game itself, when the cheers of Alabama fans, mixed in with the rest of the Atlanta nightlife, were the only things heard.

Another great venue in town was a little pizzeria and bar called Elbow Room. Though it was a tad out of the way, it was well worth the trip. Unlike the rest of Atlanta, which seemed intent on staying up all night, Elbow Room offered a quieter, more secluded place for bar goers during the game.

It was so hospitable, it deserved a second trip, two nights in a row. Granted, the bartenders were a little less friendly after Georgia lost on Saturday, but overall it offered a great experience.

The experience wasn’t just limited to bars and restaurants. Even on the streets, the atmosphere was energized, even more so because of the impending game. Saturday morning, the fans left the bars and restaurants to get back to what SEC fans do best: tailgate.

You couldn’t turn around without seeing somebody tailgating somewhere. On the streets, in the parks and even under freeway overpasses, fans were making sure their festivities continued from the night before.

Obviously, Atlanta has something to offer for anybody, fan of football or not. But, in the midst of a huge national event like the SEC Championship Game, it proved itself the ideal host for the game. The bars, restaurants, night life, tailgating – all of it – exuded SEC football and fanfare.

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