It was amazing. I loved every moment of it (except for the loss, but more on that later). As a fan of a Big Ten team every season starts out with hopes of going to the Rose Bowl, the Grandaddy of them all. This is something Marie and I have talked about since meeting as random freshman roommates. All these years later she is my best friend. She is like a sister. When the Badgers won the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game it was like everything came together. We had chatted quite a bit the week before. I had stated I wasn’t going to spend the money to watch the Badgers lose to Oregon, but I changed my mind and I put my name in for tickets. Sometime last spring I donate $50 to the UW Athletic Department so that I could get tickets to football games this fall. This qualified me for tickets directly from the ticket office.
Best email ever. I jumped out of bed at 6:30 in the morning and couldn’t call Marie because she lives on the west coast an that would just be mean. It was all a blur. We got the tickets. I booked a flight to LA. We bought tickets to the official Wisconsin Badger Tailgate. We found a good deal on a rental car. And then Marie and I chatted daily until we left for LA.
I flew out on New Year’s Eve. I was tired and sick when I arrived. My evening was food, nap, rally. There is no way I would have ever made it to midnight on the west coast had I not napped. Marie’s friends hosted a small gathering which was perfect. Some food, some music, some drinks, Apples-to-Apples, and neighbors setting off illegal fireworks at midnight.
We went out for champagne brunch on New Year’s Day and then wandered around Hollywood. We saw the Chinese Theaters, we saw lots of the stars.
There were Badger and Duck fans everywhere. Honestly I’m surprised neither of us ran into someone we knew. We were all tired. We spent the evening sitting around chatting. We roasted marshmallows. It was a great New Year’s Day.
We woke up early, really early to head to Pasadena. The driver over was quite easy until we were about .7 miles from the stadium. We sat and sat and sat and dealt with dumbass drivers who don’t understand merging or common courtesy (This was fans for both teams). Finally we figured out we could go a different way to park at the stadium, not try and park for the parade.
I don’t even know how to describe the whole day. It was awesome. It was so much fun and I got to share it all with one of my best friends in the world. We walked to the Rose Parade, which was totally worth it, met some nice locals (USC fans) who shared random facts about the parade, and enjoyed the morning as it warmed up.
After the parade we were off to the Official Wisconsin Huddle (translation: beer, brats and Badger fans). This turned out to be worth every penny. It was so much fun to enjoy 80 degree weather, drink beer, and chat with Marie. We did finally run into people we know. We made new friends, which is always easy among Badger fans.
While the outcome of the game was disappointing the actual game was awesome. Our boys played so well. It was an amazing game of football. The Ducks just outplayed the Badgers in the fourth quarter. The Badgers played to their potential this year. They played well. I don’t feel like they left anything out there like last year. Sure, I wanted them to win, but this wasn’t a bad loss. It wasn’t embarrassing.
Final Score: Oregon 45 – Wisconsin 38
Thank you Badgers for an amazing experience. You will be back. I will be back.
Thank you to Marie for so much fun. I love you. I miss you and I am so glad I did this with you.
I am already counting down to the 2012 season.
Badger for life.