The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and its 258 member institutions won in a growing image and stature. The Greater Rome community (and its business interests) won in similarly enhanced visibility and reputation as a go-all-out place to host anything requiring hospitality and efficient organization. The teams, the players, their fans and all spectators won in having been part of something special that creates life-long memories.
Best of all, it happens again next year — same place, roughly same time, maybe same teams but dozens of other teams know what they’ve missed and will want to be here.
Everybody just got to witness why all concerned, particularly Floyd County and the NAIA, have something to look forward to in 2013. Perhaps it will the last local opportunity to help make the NAIA shine — the current contract for the game is running out and the association is shopping for another location (though Rome has been invited to bid as well) not because of a lack of love shown by either side but because both Shorter University and Berry College have moved on to NCAA affiliations and there’s now no NAIA presence locally.
Whatever the long-term future holds, all involved are assured of yet another great time and game next year. Until that time, both this community and the NAIA have just completed another good reason to hope for “many happy returns of the day.”