Thompson gets surprise trip to Final Four

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

After taking a back seat in the past, Brenda Thompson found herself in the coveted seats of the Final Four.

“My dad and my brothers have been to watch Big Ten football games, they’ve been to the Super Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl. I don’t get to go,” Thompson said.

But this time she did.

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“It was unbelievable,” Thompson said of her good fortune.

So what was the good fortune?

Kerri (Kirtz) McGuiness, a former Ironton cheerleader and high school friend of Thompson, is now working and living in the Atlanta area. Her company has tickets to all events at the Georgia Dome.

“They were having a drawing for the Ohio State game tickets, but there aren’t many Ohio State fans down there. She put in for them and got them. She called and asked me if I wanted to come,” Thompson said.

With her friend holding the ticket, husband John gave Brenda his blessing.

“He was so supportive and happy for me. He told me to go and have a good time,” Brenda said. “But I thought it would be great if he could go.”

The couple went online and found a ticket, made the purchase and took off Friday afternoon for Atlanta.

They reached Tennessee where they spent the night and then cruised into Atlanta the next day at McGuiness’ home.

“She knew where everything was and she showed us around. She had a parking pass and we were able to drive right up to the Georgia Dome. It was perfect,” Brenda said.

The Buckeyes beat Georgetown in what she termed a great experience.

“There was a big crowd of Ohio State fans. Georgetown was well represented, but everywhere you looked you could see red. You couldn’t hardly pick out the Georgetown fans,” Brenda said.

Once the game was over, the Thompsons headed back home with a lot of great memories. But Brenda admitted she had been bitten by the “see it in person” bug.

“It was a blast. I’d love to see another Final Four,” Brenda said.