Oct 10, 2010 - Oct 24, 2010

UST 5.0 Midwest Intensity

Cranking Up the Quality.

1,905 Miles. 7 Games in 5 Days, 2 Rounds of Golf, Some Real Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Race Down Interstate 94.

Trip Map

Oct 20 2010:    Chicago, IL. United Center. Canucks vs. Blackhawks. Hawks win 2 – 1 in a Shootout.

Great start. Blackhawks fans were the highest quality. From facing the flag and cheering during the anthem to the The Fratellis song “Chelsea Dagger” being played after each Blackhawks goal, it was a fun night from start to finish. NHL games are surprisingly good events in most cities. The first game of a UST is always completely comfortable and relaxing. It feels like you’re coming home…and really, you are.

Oct 21 2010:    Sheboygan, WI. Whistling Straits Golf Course. Straits Course. Top 10 Public Course. PGA Championship 2010.

Last weekend that the Straits Course was open before the winter. We may or may not have taken a photo in an 18th hole bunker impersonating Dustin Johnson’s unfortunate mishap at the 2010 PGA Championship. The wind and cold were offset by the greatest brat any of us have eaten anytime, anywhere. Stop at the halfway house. Take it from the pros. This round preceded an unprecedented three hour race to Midway Airport in Chicago to take a flight to Nashville. Literally made it by 30 secs. On a side note, the Southwest Airlines cattle call system for boarding sucks ass.

Oct 21 2010:    Nashville, TN. Bridgestone Arena. Penguins vs. Predators. Preds lose 4 – 3 in a Shootout.

Another great atmosphere for an NHL game. Preds fans don’t get nearly enough credit. It probably helped that Sidney Crosby and the Penguins were in town, but still. Cheerleaders standing in the rows between each section, fight songs, lots of music. It was a great time. They brought a little college football atmosphere to the NHL. And the location is great. Walk out right onto Broadway and all the people after the game. UST may or may not have stopped at Rippy’s for some post game BBQ’d ribs at 11:00PM. All in a day’s work. Also saw Stanley Cup winning coach Terry Crisp from the 1989 Calgary Flames doing commentary from the concourse. Great karma for the trip!

Oct 22 2010:     Louisville, KY. Valhalla Golf Club. Top 100 Golf Course. Host of Ryder Cup 2008.

This was the first time UST was able to get a tee time on a private course. Although, Valhalla is a little easier than others because it’s owned by the PGA and have a policy of letting members of other courses play if their course pro writes a letter to the head pro at Valhalla. No one on UST is a member of a golf club, so we had a friend of a friend who is a pro write a letter for us. Worked out great. Hopefully this is a stepping stone to some other private course rounds in the future. You hear that Augusta National? Oh yeah, can’t forget that Truba buzzed the group ahead of us with a monster three wood that landed on and then over the green, while the group ahead was still putting. They were impressed. We’ll be getting invited back.

Oct 22 2010:    Cincinnati, OH. Nippert Stadium. South Florida Bulls vs. Cincinnati Bearcats. Bearcats lose 38 – 30.

As the number of UST’s increase, so does our appreciation for college sports. We had zero expectations for a football game at Cincinnati and were totally blown away by the stadium. It’s in the middle of campus, right beside the student building, but you don’t notice it until you’re right on top of it because it’s almost dug down into the ground (I could be way off base on my engineering here). It’s got a few of the old traditional school buildings around it to give it some character but also has a modern feel. Great stadium. Can’t say much about the game. It was an off year. Bearcats were defending Big East Champs, but had lost their starting quarterback (Tony Pike) from the previous season and it made all the difference. Better than watching the Bungles!

Oct 23 2010:    Columbus, OH. Ohio Stadium. Purdue vs. Ohio State. Buckeyes Win Easy 49 – 0.

Not sure how we screwed it up, but we didn’t see the Ohio State band “dot the i”. Maybe we didn’t get there early enough. Raising the flag and the soldiers doing push ups was a cool experience though. The game was a massive blow out, so there isn’t much else to say. Would highlight that the Ohio State hat photo in the other section is purposely adorned with the various apparel. Click to take a look.

Oct 23 2010:    Lexington, KY. Commonwealth Stadium. Georgia vs. Kentucky. Wildcats lose 44 – 31.

We waddled over to the stadium after engorging ourselves on Billy’s B-B-Q. The locals were telling us that the fans don’t get up for the football team as much as the basketball team, but the stadium was pumping! After coming in from Columbus earlier in the day it felt great to be back in The South. Tip for random college football game ticket buyers: get tickets close to either of the student bands. Keeps you pumped up and adds to the atmosphere big time.

Oct 24 2010:    Chicago, IL. Soldier Field. Washington Redskins vs. Chicago Bears. Bears Lose 17 – 14.

For once we didn’t go to an NFL stadium filled with angry degenerates willing to throw down at a moments notice. There have been mixed reviews about the modern renovations at Soldier Field, but UST loved it. Great atmosphere. Jay Cutler looked like total garbage (4 INT’s?), but then turned it around for the rest of the season. Brands and Fred S were able top bust out there childhood favourite jerseys. Fred S has a Redskins Theismann jersey! Who sports a dirty, old Theismann jersey?

Oct 24 2010:    Green Bay, WI. Lambeau Field. Vikings vs. Packers. Packers win 28 – 24.

Truba is a huge Vikings fan and was determined to wear his Cris Carter jersey to the game at Lambeau. The rest of us thought we might be playing security guards (for reals!) for the rest of the night to protect his antagonistic ass. Turns out the Green Bay fans were super friendly and didn’t cause any problems. Didn’t think that was possible in today’s NFL fandom. This was Brett Favre’s first game back in Green Bay and really helped to crank up the intensity. Truba thought he had the game won on some last minute heroics from Favre (TD pass to Percy Harvin with 48 seconds left), but the play was reversed on review. Vikes had three TD’s reversed by the refs in the game and Favre threw three second half interceptions. Typical day at the office for a Vikings fan. Hey, Truba, remember when the Vikings were 15 – 1 in 1998 and had a juggernaut offense and Gary Anderson hadn’t missed a field goal all season and then in the NFC Championship game he missed a 38 yard field goal in the fourth quarter that would have sealed the victory for the Vikes and sent them to the Super Bowl as the favourites? And no, it doesn’t matter that this comment has nothing to do with the subject of this post.

Other Highlights:

Churchill Downs! Not really an official event and there were no races going on, but the doors were open, so UST gave itself a self guided walking tour of the facilities after our round at Valhalla. Need to mix in the Kentucky Derby to a future UST.
The food was unreal on this trip. A box of sliders from White Castle inhaled in less than 5 minutes. BBQ at Zippy’s in Nashville after the Preds game at 11PM. More BBQ at Billy’s B-B-Q in Lexington, which proudly claims the title of best BBQ in Lexington. Red ate so much he couldn’t even make room for peach cobbler. Real Kentucky Fried Chicken in Louisville from a small place called Cottage Inn Restaurant. And to top it all off we had breakfast and donuts from Buckeye Donuts on the Ohio State campus before the start of the Purdue vs. Ohio State game. We all had to do Matt Foley fake heart attack chest pounds by the end of the trip. Our arteries were in pain this trip.