Monday, December 8, 2014

YOLO {our trip to Madison}

My senior year of college I ventured in to enemy territory with a group of my friends - meaning we made the 4.5 hour road trip to Madison, WI to see our Gophers battle our biggest rivalry, the Badgers. We had the worst experience...the Badger fans were AWFUL! We were basically being sworn at the entire time we were there and it only got worse when the Gophers got absolutely pounded. So, I SWORE that I would never under any circumstances whatsoever go back to that wretched place. 

Fast forward 7 years and my beloved Gophers come to the end of their best season in a long time and are playing our rivals, the Badgers, IN Madison for a chance to go to the Big 10 Championship game. For those of you who aren't sports fans, just know that this was probably the biggest game the Gophers have played in my lifetime and as a result my family somehow talked me in to returning to Madison. I seriously had anxiety for days before we left. But, nonetheless, I packed up my best maroon and gold.

We were up and off to Madison bright and early on Saturday, November 29th. Despite my nerves and the 4am wake up call, we had a great little road trip consisting of all the essentials - Starbucks, Licorice & the Backstreet Boys. 

Once we rolled in to town, we checked in to our hotel, bundled up in our Gopher best and hit the town. We met up with the U of M boosters at Buckinghams bar and it felt amazing to be surrounded friendly faces. There were, of course, plenty of Badger fans there but the Gophers had them outnumbered and my anxiety finally subsided {the cocktails probably didn't hurt the cause either}.
After some time at the bar we made our way to a Gopher tailgate where we met some awesome people! This young man had been to 50 STRAIGHT home games and had a 3-0 record when he went to road games AND had just been accepted to the U of M that morning. Needless to say I LOVED him and was certain he was the good luck charm we needed. 

We made lots of great new friends and ran in to old friends too! Our buddy Tony who owns our favorite campus restaurant, Tony's Diner, was there too along with one of my friends who I hadn't seen since college! But of course I saw him mid-flip-cup game and wasn't able to snap a pic. 

Other than  that, we just hung out, had cocktails, prayed for a victory and I played my first game of battleshots which my brother and I lost to a couple of Badger fans. 

And then, it was game time. I was NOT excited about entering that stadium which resembles a prison {seriously, get a better stadium Badgers} but did it for my Gophers.
Our seats were awesome. It was a gorgeous day. AND, the best part, the Gophers held their own. It was one of those situations where you know you aren't supposed to win and everyone is rooting against you and then you get so close you think there's a chance and then you lose and you are devastated because you were right there and actually could have won. Did that sentence make ANY sense? It definitely stunk to lose, but I am so proud of my Gophers and know that next year, when the Badgers come to our house we will be victorious! Also, we made some friends in a Gopher/Badger combo sitting in front of us who we nicknamed Cute Boy & Slick which made the game a lot more fun.

Despite the loss, it was a super fun road trip. The Badger fans were WAY less rude this time around. Yes we got shouted at, but it's a rivalry, a little razzing is to be expected and is actually welcomed. Thankfully, this time around it was all in good fun. AND, dare I say it, we actually met some really cool Badger fans.

I don't have any intentions of returning to that hell hole any time soon, but am glad I faced my fears and had a great day with my family and fellow Gopher fans. :) 


Molly said...

Looks like a fun trip. My brother is a junior at the U of M, and he had tickets to the game but couldn't go at the last minute. He was so bummed. Looks like he missed a good time.

I am hosting a giveaway on my blog today through Wednesday. I'm giving away a Stella & Dot clutch. If you are interested you should pop over and enter.

Erin LFF said...

Sorry your Gophers lost, but I'm glad this experience was better than the last time. I'm with you... some trash-talking and rivalry shenanigans is fun, but when people are just MEAN and nasty, it makes it scary!

Carolyn said...

OK. There couldn't be a more "Kristin" post in all the land. Except if you somehow met BSB and Britney as well. Oh and Friends had a surprise reunion. Other than that... this is so you. Glad you had fun, even if they lost! :(

Stacie said...

Does it help that our Bucks kicked their asses for you? And every single last analyst said WI would win. Looks like so much fun! Too bad Cbus and MN aren't a close drive (maybe not- it's way too cold in your land:)

Katie @ said...

This does not look fun at seem like a very boring person. Although you could've fixed that by bringing a very good looking Oscar Meyer weenie driver along to sing the fight song with you...that would've helped the coolness factor of this trip! =)

ajs {of MN} said...

Great job giving those fears a stare down!