Alabama and Notre Dame try to spend their downtime wisely during national championship week

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The week leading up to the national championship game has been full of tension and tough practices and media obligations, but both teams were given a few hours to unwind and enjoy Florida.

But both teams decided to spend their time in two very different ways – Alabama went shopping while Notre Dame went to the beach and the pool.

The pool?

“Being in South Bend, we don’t really have a lot of good weather, obviously,” Notre Dame running back Theo Riddick said. “It’s very cold there, it’s snowing, so just to be able to be in the sun and just to go out there and have our shirts off and walk in the sand is the world to us.”

Riddick said a lot of guys didn’t even get in the water, but were more than eager to soak up the rays they weren’t getting at home.

Alabama, on the other hand, stimulated the Florida economy with a mall trip that included purchases of clothes, presents and of course, shoes.

While sneakers were the shoes of choice for many players – quarterback AJ McCarron did bring 30 pairs of shoes with him to Miami – several other players bought some Prada dress shoes.

“They’re all-black,” said Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who also bought a pair of Nike and Adidas shoes. “Shiny.”

Alabama receiver Christion Jones was one of the few players who didn’t open his wallet in Miami. Instead, he said his favorite part of down time was something that was already in his room.

“My bed has been my favorite part,” Jones said. “I haven’t went anywhere, I haven’t done any shopping. This is a rich city, man. You can go broke here if you don’t watch what you’re doing.”

As for his teammates’ Prada shoes, Jones said he hadn’t seen any of them yet, but was sure he wouldn’t be tempted to run out and get his own pair.

“I ain’t got it like that,” Jones said. “I shop at Payless and Wal-Mart.”

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