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BCS title game a family affair for Alabama

January 7, 2010 |  4:16 pm

The line for relatives of Alabama football players to collect their tickets stretched so far back from the will-call window at the Rose Bowl this afternoon, you couldn't see the front from the back.

Fabforum "How long is it?" Gayle Anders, the brother of Tide linebacker Eryk Anders, was asked.

A Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, Anders decided to work the problem out in his head rather than guess.

"Well, there's more than 100 players on the roster and they all got six tickets," Anders reasoned.

Except the Anders family, which had nine people waiting in line, most in No. 32 Alabama jerseys with the name Anders across the back. And they weren't standing in the Rose Bowl parking lot four hours before game time simply because their brother was playing for a national title. If Alabama was playing in the Holiday Bowl "we'd be there too," one sibling said.

In fact, two family members came from Italy for the game, arriving about 24 hours before kickoff.

"We're not here for the festivities," Nathanyel Mulcahy, who is engaged to one of Anders'  sisters, said. "We're here for the game."

Absent from the line was Anders' father, who died a few years back. But he was there in spirit, said sister Tamra, a schoolteacher from Dallas.

"He would say this is awesome," she said of her father. "He would have expected it."

-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Alabama running back Roy Upchurch (5) and linebacker Eryk Anders (32) celebrate defeating the Florida Gators in the 2009 SEC championship game at the Georgia Dome. Credit: Paul Abell, U.S. Presswire.