NORFOLK, Va. (ODU Athletics)– Only once since Old Dominion moved up to the Football Bowl Subdivision have the Monarchs been to a bowl game. And that bowl was in a foreign country that’s difficult to get to and can be an expensive place to stay.

In other words, traveling with the Monarchs wasn’t an option for all but a handful of fans when ODU defeated Eastern Michigan in the 2016 Bahamas Bowl.

But the opposite is true this season. ODU received a bid to the Myrtle Beach Bowl Sunday afternoon and will take on the University of Tulsa on Monday, Dec. 20 at 2:30 p.m.

ODU officials worked hard behind the scenes to get the Monarchs into this game because there is no more convenient and accessible bowl destination for ODU fans, nor one that offers more entertainment options, than Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach is 5 hours from Norfolk and offers a ton of things to do.

If you’re going, and if you are truly an ODU football fan I strongly urge you to make the trip, your best bet is to purchase tickets through Ynottix and then enter the promo code ODU21 That ensures that not only will you sit with ODU fans, but that the University will receive credit for selling your ticket.

ODU athletics receives a portion of the revenue for each ticket sold to the bowl game through that promo code. And if you’re a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation, you will receive priority points.

For information on travel packages, events in Myrtle Beach and the latest ODU football news, CLICK HERE.

So why go to Myrtle Beach during the middle of December?

First, there is the incredible bunch of young men who fought so hard and with so much intestinal fortitude to represent your university well.

ODU was 1-11 in 2019, did not play in 2020 and lost six of its first seven games this season with one of the youngest, most inexperienced teams in the country.

Somehow, the Monarchs held it together and won their last five games.

Honestly, who, after the Monarchs dropped a 43-20 home loss to Western Kentucky on Oct. 16 ,truly believed this team would go to a bowl game? Clearly, the Monarchs were good enough, witness close early-season losses to Marshall, Buffalo and UTEP.

 But they were 1-6 and only a handful of teams have ever won their last five in a row. The Monarchs did so with poise and toughness. Rare is the team that plays with more intensity or heart then ODU.

Here is a really cool stat that my compatriot, Associate Athletics Director Eric Bohannon, dug up from the NCAA archives.  Since 1936, only three teams have started 1-6 or worse and won five games in a row – ODU, North Texas and Miami of Ohio in 2016.

Rahne sold his players on his “1-0” mentality, meaning take one hour, one day, one week at a time. That’s the only way the Monarchs were able to win their last five in a row – one game at a time.

Rahne choked up after the final victory, a 56-34 triumph over Charlotte, saying it will be his 11th consecutive bowl trip. He added that he can’t think of one that would be more special than going bowling with these players.

For sixth-year seniors, Joe Joe HeadenIsaac Weaver and Jordan Young, this is a dream come true. They all went to the Bahamas as true freshmen but have never played in a bowl.