Thousands of die-hard Alabama and Notre Dame fans have converged in Miami for tonight’s BCS Championship game, but two who will sit in the stands have quite a story to share.
It’s likely a lot of people in those same stands know the story of Don Buckhannan and his son, Daniel Buckhannan, the rabid Alabama fans whose Christmas surprise turned them both into viral stars.
When Daniel Buckhannan, of Oxford, Ala., gave his dad with two hard-to-come-by tickets to the game for Christmas, hidden inside a brown hat that was the signature of legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant, he recorded what he knew would be an emotional reaction.
He posted the video online for just family and friends but today, less than one month later, the video has been viewed more than 9 million times.
“It was better than what’s on the video,” Don Buckhannan, a retired railroad worker, told ABC News’ Josh Elliott today from Miami. “I saw the BCS logo on the ticket and I knew immediately what Daniel had done for me.”
“This is one for the memories,” he said.
Tickets to the championship game are now selling for as much as $60,000 online but don’t expect the Buckhannans to cash in. The pair have been attending Alabama games together for nearly 20 years.
“I grew up as a ‘Bama fan all because of him,” Daniel Buckhannan, himself a father of two, told Elliott. “He’s done a lot for me and so to have the opportunity to give him this ticket means a whole lot to me.”
Also don’t expect the father-son pair to even consider that Notre Dame, the underdogs, might pull off a surprise win.
“If ‘Bama plays the way they’re capable of playing we should be okay. I feel confident we’ve got the ‘Bama players and coach Saban so we should be okay,” Daniel Buckhannan said.