My Friday nearly got off to a bad start, or no start at all. TCU's Gary Patterson was speaking to the media at 8am, Bret Bielema afterwards at 8:30. Had my alarm set for 6:15, rolled over and the clock said 7:43. "Oh ______!" Needless to say, I made it in time, shower included :)
I didn't make it out to the Rose Bowl Thursday night. So Friday was my first chance to get up close to the stadium. It's a pretty cool scene. Terrible driving to get there. Who decided to put that stadium in a valley with only 2-lane roads to and from the stadium?
There was a big kickoff luncheon I went to. The UW and TCU cheer teams, bands, mascots were there. As were the head coaches and more. Funny moment...Paula Dean was on-hand, too. She's the Grand Marshall for the Rose Parade. Anyhow, she called the Horned Frogs the Horned "Toads." And she would have let it go had the director of the Tournament of Rose had not said anything.
Once I got back to the hotel from the stadium, I punched out some stories for the 10:00 show. Then me and the sports director from our sister station in Eau Claire headed to the media "party" at the ESPNZone about a mile from the hotel. Not that exciting, but the food was great. We thought we'd leave a little after 8 and go and find some cheap tickets to the Lakers game, they were playing the 76ers. And the ESPNZone is right across the sidewalk from the Staples Center. Before we even got out the door, there was a sea of red, about 2,000-3,000 Badger fans. The UW band was there, so were the cheerleaders. It was like a little pep rally that we knew nothing about. It was just as entertaining to see the locals walk by and see their reaction...their little plaza taken over by Badgers fans.
Kickoff is almost here. I've been told UW fans have gobbled some 50,000+ tickets for the game. UW received an allotment of 37,000, and those were gone immediately. 87,400 is the capacity for the stadium.
Until next time...
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