Congratulations, Georgia Southern fans! You've earned a place at the GoDaddy Bowl, occupied by Arkansas State since the 2012 season. After four years of GoDaddying, I've become an expert. But I wasn't always so savvy. During my first year of GoDaddying, I stayed at a hotel 10 miles from downtown. That was a big rookie mistake. But you know what? I learned. I want you to learn, too, Eagles. So now, I graciously pass down my significant repository of Five-Star wisdom to you.
Consume 20,000 Calories at Wintzell's
A-State fans made Wintzell's Oyster House home base for the Red Wolves, and we're all happier and heavier for it. The staff loves the GoDaddy crowd, and it's plenty big enough to host all your Eagle buddies. Eat all the fried Po Boys you can. Though afterward, you may not move a single bowel for the rest of your life.
Don't Drink Too Much of the Local Beer
Local brews are all the rage, I know, but you can't watch a big time game with Bowling Green when you're unconscious in the backseat of a patrol car. Be careful with the house suds, or you'll end up looking like this:
Do Some Dorky Mobile Stuff
Don't be too cool to be a tourist. Shout a hearty "Ahoy" from the deck of the USS Alabama battleship. Formally request to fire a cannon at Fort Conde (the answer is always "no."). Sit alongside the bay and watch the oil tankers cruise by. You can't just sit at Wintzell's all day, eating fried oysters. I mean, you can, but you'll die.
Don't Miss The Parade
You might be tempted to sit at Wintzell's eating fried salads and popping pitchers of high-gravity beer all night. Fool! Mobile puts on a pretty damn fine Mardi Gras parade the night before the Bowl. The floats are pro-grade, the marching bands rock, and once Danica Patrick nearly decapitated my brother with a fist-full of Mardi Gras beads. Good times!
Stay Downtown, Man
Don't be cheap and try to save a few bucks shacking up at a Motel 6 on the lonely edge of town. There are plenty of good hotels in downtown Mobile to keep you close to the action. If available, you can even stay at the team hotel. Personally, I've stayed at downtown hotels and AirBNB-ed a house. (I prefer the hotel because, bar.) As long as you're within reasonable walking distance or short driving distance to Wintzell's you're good.
Embrace the Dank of Ladd-Peebles
Ladd-Peebles Stadium is a disheveled, moldy, wrinkled undershirt of a football stadium made of concrete and dark secrets. I love it. There's nothing to do but drink a semi-cold can of beer and watch football – the experience at its most pure! Go to a fancy day spa if you want to be pampered. Go to Ladd-Peebles if you want to watch gritty gridiron action while increasing your odds of contracting an asbestos-related lung disease.
Bring a Coat. And a scarf. A knitted hat. Gloves, too.
You're thinking Mobile is on the Gulf Coast and that even though it's December the weather should be pleasantly warm and nice. That might be true during the day. But it gets super-chilly in Ladd-Peebles at night, and the game won't likely end until close to 11pm. Remember to bring layers. You don't want your butt freezing to those remorseless steel bleachers. Unless you're into that kind of thing.
Win the Damn Thing
Some curmudgeons believe there are too many bowl games and that the only post season games that matter are the ones played on New Years Day. Nonsense. Your team's bowl performance sets the tone for next season. Win the GoDaddy, and the Eagles are instantly favored by sports scribes to do well next year. Lose, and you plant doubts with deep roots. So come in mass, cheer with all your might, and scream your Eagles to victory. And then, on to Wintzell's to celebrate. (Don't drink to much local beer.)