Hailey and Torey Wright left Cedartown early enough to make it downtown to the University of Georgia team's Media Day event. It started at 9 a.m. Cedartown's about an hour and 15 minutes away; do the math.
A couple of hours after Media Day wrapped up, they and sons Aiden, 11, and Asher, 6, took their places in line at the Georgia World Congress Center. About a mile away (or so it seemed) was famed UGA alum Herschel Walker .
Yes, the crowd was huge and yes, it had already been a long day but no one blanched at the sea of fans ahead.
"It could be a once in a lifetime experience," Hailey Wright said. "They'll always remember it."
Their encounter with Walker was brief but indeed memorable. He greeted the family, as he did with the legions before them, with a warm smile and handshake. He happily signed photos and then posed for one with the Wrights. After maybe a minute, it was over.
"That was awesome," Hailey Wright said, her wide-eyed boys (all three of them, TBH, nodding in agreement.)
The Walker encounter is among the fan events happening at the Georgia World Congress Center today ahead of the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday. There's an outdoor fan plaza as well, set up in the shadow of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but chilly temps seem to be making indoor activities pretty popular.
Gates to Centennial Olympic Park are now open, and a series of concerts begins tonight. Jason Derulo and Charlie Puth will kick things off, with special guest Lizzo. Stick with AJC music writer Melissa Ruggieri for updates.
Speaking of music: