TAMPA, Fla. - It's 630 miles from Huntsville to Tampa Bay, Fla. We caught up with two groups of fans that made that long trip this weekend; to cheer for different teams with two very different outcomes, Monday night
“We’re so proud of them, they did great," says Carrie Wates, a Tide fan.
Defeat is not a sensation Crimson Tide fans are often used to experiencing. Yet, the Wates family from Decatur, was graceful despite it all.
"They got beat by a better team. You lost with one second on the clock. Heartbreaking, but Roll Tide," says Darrell Wates.
While a Clemson National Championship is something Peter and Steve have been craving for decades. “35 years; been waiting 35 years . Best thing in the world," says Peter Grant, the President of the North Alabama Clemson Alumni Chapter.
They're from Huntsville and have big plans for when they return home.
“I’m gonna throw a party," says Steve Below. "Before we do that, we’re going to smoke some cigars and have some Jack and Jack baby," says Grant.
There is one thing these proud Clemson Alumni are not going to do: gloat.
“The Alabama fans we know personally, are really the best. So we’re going to treat them that way as well," says Below.
With a close game from start to finish, the Wates family felt the same about Clemson's performance.
“Just couldn’t stop them. Too much DeShaun Watson; best player in America. You just have to give them credit," says Wates.
It's impossible for both teams to go home winners; only one can waive a victory flag. But both groups can go home to the Tennessee Valley swelling with pride.
“It was our turn," says Grant.
“Another minute longer, we don’t know what would have happened. I still love the Tide," says Wates.