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Fans arrive early for festivities

The GMAC Bowl may be just a few hours away, but festivities have been going on in Mobile for the past several days.

Regardless of which side of the field the people will be cheering for, it is clear that there are a lot of fans who have traveled from both long and short distances to be a part of the celebration.

One of the main attractions leading up to the game itself is the Mardi Gras parade that took place last night through the streets of downtown Mobile.

This was the first parade of the new year for the city, and it had a special football feel to go along with it.

Jeremy Stanley and Ryan Guthrie both made the nearly six hour drive down from Atlanta in hopes of watching the Trojans take home a victory later on today.

“This is the third bowl game I have seen the Trojans play in,” said Slanley, who is a 2004 graduate of Troy University.

“I am a huge fan of this team and am really looking forward to watching Troy win [today].”

While Stanley said he was a big fan, Guthrie argued he was an even bigger fan – even though he didn’t go to the school.

“I wouldn’t miss a Troy game,” he said. “I would go see them anywhere .”

While it is up for debate who the bigger fan is, both of the men’s predictions turned out the same – Troy winning big.

“It is going to be a shootout,” Stanley said. “But I really feel this team is going to beat Central Michigan, by at least 10 points.”

For some Troy fans, the trip to Mobile was not such a long journey. The same cannot be said for Central Michigan fans.

Ron Laszrzak, a resident of Warren, Mich., arrived in Mobile by plane a few day ago and said he and his family have had a great time so far.

“Mobile is a beautiful city, and everyone here has been very hospitable. My family and I are all very excited about the game.”

Laszczak had a different outcome for the game than Stanley and Guthrie.

“We have the 12th man on our side,” he said, referring to the cold weather.

“Our team is used to playing in low temperatures. I don’t think Troy is.

“We have a pretty good defense too – so there is a lot going against Troy,” he added.

Unlike both Stanley and Guthrie and Laszczak, there were some people who didn’t have to travel too far for the festivities and the game.

Elmer Sellers is a Mobile resident who has strong ties to Troy.

Sellers is the father of Troy graduate, Jonathan Sellers.

“To have Troy play so close to home is great,” Sellers said. “It is very exciting.”

Sellers and his wife are both season ticket holders for Troy football and have not missed a game the past couple of seasons.

And like the previous Troy fan predictions, Sellers said he has Troy winning in a shoot out.