Tuesday, January 17, 2012

#BIAHRoadTrip The Diary Part X: Troy's selfish when it comes to cheese curds so I try to kill his car

8:15 pm Day 13
La Quinta Inn
Columbia, MO
Total Miles: 2280

Road Trip Part-I
Road Trip Part-II
Road Trip Part-III
Road Trip Part-IV
Road Trip Part-V
Road Trip Part-VI
Road Trip Part-VII
Road Trip Part-VIII
Road Trip Part-IX

When we last left you, we were just arriving in Wisconsin to some delicious cookies and Miller High Lifes.

High Lives?

Regardless, I drank about four in the span of ten minutes before the combination of driving for three hours, a full week on the road and four High Lifes (seriously, is it High Lives?) knocked me out for a solid six hours of sleep. Am I weird for only needing six hours in a night to catch up on sleep?

(Wanna know why High Life is called the Champagne of Beers? Because when all the men -- the beer drinkers -- were shipped off to war, Miller still needed to sell beer to make money. So they created a beer called High Life, the Champagne of Beers, to market to women. And now look at it.)

Anyway, after we finally woke up on Saturday morning, we were off to Milwaukee to check out Pitt and Marquette. As we made our way out to our seats, we noticed that we would be sitting in a pretty good spot -- courtside on the baseline, but in the second row to protect us and our laptops from any and all flying players, right in front of the student section.

But we were also sitting right in front of the band, which provided for some of the funniest in-game moments I've ever seen. I don't exaggerate when I say that Marquette's band had their drummers setup all of five feet behind us. And every time the person playing the snare would hit the drum the first time, Troy would get scared.

I'm not talking about just a twitch here. I mean he would be in full on, kid-at-a-haunted-house-and-a-vampire-jumps-out mode. At one point in the second half, when he was completely focused on trying to take a picture of someone in the crowd on the other side the court, the band started up and he nearly fell out of his chair, needed to make a Jim Edmonds-esque catch to keep from dropping his camera and let out with an "Oh God!"

I was literally crying in my seat.

And I'm laughing out loud while typing this.

Troy literally just said "What are you giggling about?"


I won't lie, Buzz Williams is one of my favorite coaches in the country.

He patient and respectful of the media, he is really good at breaking down and explaining what he is saying in a press conference and he's great at telling stories. For all I know, half of what he says may be BS, but when he gets rolling, who cares?

But more than anything, I love watching Buzz coach. Between the ridiculously colored sport coats and the energetic sideline antics -- who can forget this -- there is always something entertaining going on on the sideline when Buzz is there.

Saturday was no different. At one point in the second half, Marquette and Pitt get tied up at Pitt's end, which is at the other side of the floor. So Buzz comes running out past half court, slipping and sliding in his dress shoes, and cuts in front of the ref as he tries to call a time out. And he's not doing this is like a normal person, either. It reminded me of a six year old that was trying to convince their parents to buy them a box of fruit snacks at the grocery store.

Of course, all this is happening about three seconds after the whistle has already been blown and the ball given back to Pitt.

Please, anyone, if you come across video of this, send it my way. I beg of you.


There really wasn't much else to tell from the Marquette game.

I spent most of it wondering how Pitt was 0-4 (now 0-6) in the Big East and researching this piece on Jae Crowder while Troy spent the entire time trying to guess when the Marquette band was going to start playing again.

I will say this, however -- the Bradley Center runs into the same problems as the Verizon Center in DC. My guess would be that there were between 14,000 and 15,000 butts in seats during the game on Saturday. But because of the size of the Bradley Center, it looked like the arena was about 1/4 empty. That's what happens when you play in an NBA venue, I know, but it just doesn't feel like a packed house.

It sounded like it, though. When Marquette made their 13-0 run in the second half, that place got was rocking.


The weirdest thing that happened at this game took place at halftime. Apparently, they were celebrating the 95th anniversary of Marquette basketball by bringing every player to ever play for the program out on the court:

This failed half court shot was pretty entertaining, too:


That night, after we got back from the Bradley Center and got caught up on the day's college hoops action, we headed out to one of the few bars in the small town that we were staying. The food was pretty good:

and the fact that they had popcorn in the bar was even better. We were all settled in for a fairly long night of watching Tim Tebow get whipped by Tom Brady when, out of nowhere, a band hops up on stage. I didn't even know there was a stage at this point, so you could imagine our surprise when what sounded like a bad intro to a Pantera album replaced the sultry tones of Jim Nantz's voice.

And then you'd probably be even more surprised when the music that started playing was bad 80's hair band covers sung by a man whose voice was entirely too high-pitched for, well, being a man. At a very, very high volume.

The band was called "The New" and they claimed to be nominated as the best cover band in all of Wisconsin. I'm not buying it.


Bring on the G-Men.


After another night that involved a number of beers, we woke up early on Sunday morning to fresh made cinnamon buns and some delicious scrambled eggs. Troy meandered around the house for a bit while the real talent of this operation got to work pumping out content.

Eventually, we made our way to the Wisconsin-Nebraska game, which turned out to be just as much of a snoozefest as we expected. Wisconsin is the most boringly-effective team in college basketball. Half of me thinks that part of what makes them so good is they rely on the ADD of their opponents to kick in. Nebraska isn't exactly like watching the Harlem Globetrotters, either, and when you throw in the fact that this game was played at the same time as the Green Bay Packers game -- and the half-filled arena spent about as much time watching the game on the TVs in the concourse as they did in their seats -- you'll see why the trip to the Kohl Center left me ... "unsatisfied". (I wanted to use a different term, but Troy yelled at me at told me to "get my mind out of the gutter".)

One other thing to note: I have to send a shout out to the guys in the Wisconsin Sports Information Department. We've dealt with some terrific SIDs during our trip and back in DC, but Karl Anderson and Pat Herb went out of their way to make sure they said hello and that we enjoyed our time in Madison. They actually apologized for the bad luck we had in scheduling.

Pat and Karl -- its much appreciated, and we will absolutely make sure to get back for a visit when the arena is packed.


After the game, we hit up the Nitty Gritty to grab some burgers and, more importantly, get a taste of the cheese curds that everyone had been talking about:

The cheese curds were awesome, but I would strongly recommended never splitting an appetizer with Troy. As I was lining up that picture above, Troy snagged the last three cheese curds. You see that empty basket next to my burger? Thanks man!

A real team player, this guy. You might notice I've been saying that a lot about Troy.

Anyway, I think that bar was the perfect spot for us to go after the game. Why? Because we ran into quite a few people drowning their sorrows after the Packers lost. As soon as we sat down, the guy next to us decided that he was involved in our conversation due to his proximity to us at the bar.

"You guys are on a road trip?"

"Yeah, we're going across the country to see fif--"

"I went on a road trip once with my brother. I have power window and I would keep telling him to stick his head out the window and then roll up the window when he did it."

"Good one."

Once that guy decided to move on, a group of eight visibly hammered Packer fans stumbled over to the bar and decided that the only way they could possibly pay tribute to the season their team had was to buy a round of Jaeger shots.

I remember high school. It was fun for me, too.


We got back from Madison and had a relatively early night (we got to sleep by 2 am) because we were heading out for Columbia at 5 am, which can't even count as bright and early since it was pitch black for the first two hours of our drive.

And it was on that drive that we almost killed Troy's car. And by we, I mean me.

You see, to get to Columbia from Milwaukee you have to drive a long way through a whole lot of nothing. Half of the trip is on the interstate, but the other half takes you on back country, one lane roads where the speed limit is 50 mph. We were stuck for about a mile behind this semi that was going maybe 30 mph, and seeing as I didn't want to have our driving time doubled, I went to pass the truck.

Only when I made my move, we were on a hill. So as I gunned the engine, a light came on (never good) and the car start shaking violently (really, really bad). We tried to ride it out, but anytime we hit 2,000 RPMs, the car would start shaking again.

Uh oh.

This is bad.

So we pulled over and popped the hood and tried to figure out what was wrong with the car. Seeing as neither of us knows a thing about cars, we shut the hood and decided we would pull in at the next gas station to get it figured out. But somehow, by shutting the car off and popping the hood, we fixed whatever the issue was.

I think.

The car stopped shaking, at least. And the light went off. So we're fine, right?


1 comment:

asher said...

If you're still in Columbia you have to get some Shakespeare's pizza. It's right off campus and it's phenomenal. Plenty of good bars around campus & downtown too. It's a great college town, so enjoy yourselves.