James Latham has been to lots of college football games over the years.
Never quite like this.
He will fly via private jet and attend five big-time bowls in nine football-packed days as the winner of Cooper Tires Ultimate Bowl Tour. The Tishomingo resident will go from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to the Orange Bowl in Miami, then to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans and the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The all-expenses-paid trip will culminate with the BCS national championship game in Glendale, Ariz.
Latham, who is a longtime Oklahoma fan, isn't accustomed to such VIP treatment.
â€œI'm used to parking on Lindsey Street and having to walk about two miles,â€ he said.
He laughed and shook his head.
â€œThis is the trip of a lifetime.â€
Latham registered for the national contest in early September after seeing an advertisement on Facebook. Even though he could've registered every day until mid-November, he only entered once.
â€œI didn't even realize I could do it several times,â€ he said Thursday afternoon at A to Z Tire in Oklahoma City.
He was selected at random from several hundreds of thousands of entries.
Latham, a retiree, will be joined on his footballstravaganza by wife, Pat, daughter, Sherry, and brother, Charlie. He's most looking forward to the Rose Bowl because of its historic setting and the national championship game because of its winner-take-all implications.
Another positive â€” no waiting in long screening lines at the airport.
â€œThey're going to chauffeur us right up to the gate,â€ Latham said.
The only negative?
No Fiesta Bowl, where his Sooners will be playing Connecticut.
â€œI'm hopeful we can get close to a TV somewhere that we can watch the game,â€ Latham said.
Not that he's complaining.
â€œIt'll be a great trip,â€ he said.