SEC FanFare eases championship rivalries

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ATLANTA - Tensions ran high as Mizzou and Alabama prepared for Saturday's game, but SEC FanFire kicked off Friday to bring the teams together.

"The players just pour in here," The Colonnade Group President Robbie Roberton said. "It's like a sense of family."

Robertson said he's expecting about 40,000 people to attend FanFare this weekend. His company runs SEC events, and he said FanFare celebrates all teams in the conference.

"They play tough against each other during the year, but at this event, they all come together," Robertson said. "One will come out the champion, and they'll all be behind that champion wherever they go."

Both Missouri and Alabama fans said they were just happy to be in Atlanta for the championship game. 

"It's really exciting," Mizzou alum Jordan Rothstein said. "Way better than it was in the Big 12."

Even though this is only the Tigers' second trip to the SEC Championship compared to Alabama's 27 conferece titles, Alabama fan Sam Rhodes said he can't predict Saturday's outcome.

"I'm a little worried about this game," Rhodes said. "Mizzou's got a good team. You know, you got to give it to those guys."