Alabama's Amari Cooper, Ed Stinson return home to Miami for BCS showcase
For Amari Cooper and Ed Stinson, playing in Monday night's BCS National Championship game will mean just a little bit more to them than it will to their Alabama teammates and their opponents on the Notre Dame sideline.
Both Crimson Tide players hail from South Florida and will be playing in front of a hometown crowd inside Sun Life Stadium in Miami, and they both know this will be their only shot in life to reach the pinnacle of college football in their own backyards.
Stinson, a former standout at South Dade High School in Homestead, Fla., dreamed of making to the NFL one day and playing for the Miami Dolphins.
"I wanted to go to the NFL and get drafted by the Dolphins." Stinson said during media day at Sun Life Stadium Saturday. "You only get one chance in life to do this."
Cooper, Alabama's freshman sensation wide receiver from Northwestern High in Miami, shares Stinson's sentiment about the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and he has been putting in extra work on the practice field to ensure he has a great homecoming performance.
"I've been making myself tired in practice so I know that I'm working hard enough to go out here and put on a great performance." Cooper said. "You only get one shot. We honestly, we truthfully, only have one shot at this game."
Because of the four-venue rotation of BCS title game sites -- Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl -- it will be impossible for either player to have the chance to play in Miami for another national championship.
The only option to make their trip back home more special is to have a crystal ball in their luggage on their return flight to Tuscaloosa.