Several thousand fans of the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats made the trek to Florence, Alabama, for Saturday’s NCAA Division II National Championship Football Game. And, the outcome – a 25-20 loss to teh Valdosta State Blazers – was a disappointment. But there was something more than football for the fans who headed South. While they went South primarily for the football, they also headed South for a bit of warmer weather and an escape from the ice and snow back home.

NWMSU student Angela Bailey says the change in weather was evident as she headed down the Interstate to Alabama. “As we were driving down,” says Bailey. “We noticed that the snow and the ice were gone, so it was good to see something different, some greenery was nice.”

Jim Johnson of Agency summed up the feelings of a lot of Bearcat fans who made the trip to “the Shaols.” He says that while he is disappointed with the loss, there was something he got in Florence, Alabama, that he didn’t have at home. “The electricity was off when I left,” says Johnson. “They had electricity in Florence.”