Alabama football: Three hard-core fans travel to game with no tickets, just faith

chwilliams@ledger- enquirer.comJanuary 4, 2010 

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — The first detour of the ultimate road trip is complete.

Roy Dixon Jr., Shawn Taylor and Jimmy Messick, three rabid Alabama fans, went to church Sunday morning at Golden Acres Baptist, then loaded up Taylor’s 2005 Yukon for the ultimate road trip.

They are en route to Pasadena to watch Alabama play Texas for the national championship.

Their trip is a leap of faith because right now they don’t have tickets.

The goal was to make it to Texas before stopping on the first leg of the journey.

“We were hoping to get to San Antonio,” Dixon said. “But we were not even in Bleeker and we decided we were going to stop in Biloxi.”

They stopped in Biloxi for a couple of hours, pretty much broke even and got back on the road about 10 p.m.

“That stop was for me, I have never been there before,” Dixon said. “We didn’t stay long. We didn’t want to lose our ticket money.”

The three men are best friends. Dixon and Taylor are coaches at Russell County High School. Messick is an Aflac sales agent.

They left Phenix City about 2 p.m. with two Bama flags flying proudly on the Yukon. But they didn’t think that was enough so they stopped in Montgomery.

“We wanted to tattoo the vehicle up,” Dixon said. “We got some magnets — one that says ‘2009 SEC Champs’ and the other that says ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’”

They should stand out when they finally reach enemy territory in Texas, whenever that is.

Taylor said the decision to take what they call “the ultimate road trip” came Dec. 29, Taylor’s 40th birthday.

“I am old enough to be crazy,” Taylor said.

They are working hard trying to get tickets, which have a face value of $200 and can be scalped for five and six times that amount.

“Our pastor, Dr. Ray Cummings, is working to get us tickets,” Taylor said.

Asked if he was praying or making phone calls, Taylor responded, “both.”

Taylor’s black SUV has 87,200 miles on it. “It is going to come back with 94,000,” he said.

“I did get it serviced to see if it can make out there and back,” Taylor said.

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