Thanks to a co-worker, I was able to enjoy the Badger Men's Basketball game last evening in the Kohl Center.
It's the first time I've been in the Kohl - and my son and I had a very nice time.
We started with a pre-game meal at the Hubbard Avenue Diner - delicious hamburgers and an Oreo malt - most excellent and filling. It's in Middleton, west of Madison, if you haven't been there - it's worth the drive (however long it might be).
Making our way downtown to the arena took a little time as we swam against home bound commuters and with it being the first trip to a game there was a few moments of the parking lot tango as we searched for a lot not too far from the arena, but not one that would cost more to park than attend the game.
Just as we solved that dilemma with a parking spot only a few blocks away, we headed west along the commuter - bike path toward West Washington Street and maneuvered through a parking lot to the entrance.
I handed Mark his ticket, grabbed mine, and we went inside.
Looking down to the court from our seats behind the Badger bench. (OK, they were good seats, but not that good - it's not like I could carry on a conversation with Bo during the time-outs or anything. I have a feeling he wouldn't want my advice anyway.)
You know, that reminds of the time I actually spoke with Bo Ryan. Back in my time as a reporter/photographer with WISC, I was dispatched to Platteville to interview the coach of the D-III school heading to the NCAA Championship.
In a cramped office not much bigger than a closet - Bo was a fun interview and intense. As a coach of a small school that went on to win multiple D-III titles, I could sense this man had the charisma to be a whale of a coach somewhere... on the drive back I thought the Badgers (not setting the world on fire at the time) should hire this guy.
No one was asking my advice then - and I probably wasn't the only one thinking that - but last night before the game, Athletic Director Barry Alvarez handed Ryan a plaque commemorating his taking over the crown as the winningest coach in Badger Men's hoop history.
Plus one. The Badgers put on a clinic as they put a 'run' in the Blue Hose of Presbyterian College.
The trip home took less than twenty minutes - and it was a fun drive from a home Badger win. As Thanksgiving dawns on us tomorrow - it's a good time to thank my good friends in Indiana who helped me with the my Badger 'fix' while we lived there by taking me to games featuring the UW. Thanks Mark, Jake & Kyle, Matt & Michelle, and Phil & Jill - I appreciate sharing your tickets with me.