There's something special about being far from home and seeing a state flag or a poster of a natural landmark that's not too far from your city or hearing a song by a singer from your town.
The fans of Stanford, Michigan State, Florida State, and Auburn will be the recipients of plenty of local love around Pasadena and greater Los Angeles this week. Yep, banners have gone up at many businesses, signs to welcome the Rose Bowl and BCS Championship team.
Seen the cheerful hello banner at the Original Farmers Market, which stays open on New Year's Day in part to welcome the teams' fans? It's sweet, and we promise you, you'll see plenty of cardinal and green 'round the landmark on New Year's Day.
But the colors don't stop there. Trattoria Neapolis in Pasadena has created four cocktails to pay homage to the teams and their 21+ fans. They're hue-filled, indeed -- The Tigerita, the libation created just for Auburn, is about as blue as all get-out -- and they pack a punch. The Cardinal Cooler? Tito's Vodka and pomegranate juice play a part.
The Lake Avenue restaurant isn't too far from the bowl action, but better plan to cab it back to the heart of the Crown City if you plan to stop and sip.
Or take that taxi to the not-to-faraway Dog Haus, which has two special dishes just for BCS Championship buffs. The Honey Stung Fried Chicken Sandwich is for the Auburn visitors, and the Jerk Chicken Sandwich is all about Florida State.
But here's hoping that many a fan switches sides, at least in the culinary sense, to give both yummy tastes, or a different cocktail, a try.