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Troy residents witness ‘Tide win

Nearly to 57,000 people packed the Rose Bowl on Thursday night to watch the universities of Texas and Alabama battle for the right to be called National Champion.

When it was all said and done, Alabama came out on top and a few Troy residents who made the cross-country trek to Pasadena, Calif., got to experience the celebration first hand.

“It’s just wonderful,” Brian Matney said from Pasadena Thursday afternoon. “It’s absolutely amazing.”

Matney, a Troy native, who is just recently received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama, said he had been in Los Angeles for several day leading up to Thursday night’s game.

“There are a lot of Alabama fans here,” he said. “Maybe more than Texas.”

“Everyone is really excited – it’s been a long time since [Alabama] has been in a championship game and to be here in person to watch it is amazing.”

The last time the Crimson Tide was playing for a National Championship was in 1992, when it defeated the University of Miami in the Sugar Bowl.

“I wasn’t sure if I would ever get the opportunity to see Alabama play for a national championship,” Matney said. “But things worked out perfectly.”

“To be in person to watch the Tide win a national championship means everything – it’s like a dream come true,” he added.

Like Matney, Jim Jackson was in attendance and happy to be there.

“It’s like the Super Bowl over here,” Jackson said while walking around the Rose Bowl Stadium. “It’s a party atmosphere, there are bands and different activities going on all the time – it’s a lot of fun.”

Jackson is the co-owner for Bill Jackson Cheverolet dealership in Troy and went to Alabama for two-and-half years.

Jackson was also present the last time the Tide played in a National Championship.

“It’s been a long time and I have been waiting for this for a while,” he said.

“I am glad that [Alabama] is back, and I am glad to be here.”

Accompanying Jackson is his 13-year-old son, Trace.

“It is pretty cool to have [Trace] with me,” Jackson said.

“He was really excited about the game, but I think he was pretty nervous at the same time,” he said with a laugh.