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10 p.m. EST
Happy New Year everyone! Wow! I can't believe it is 2008. I still remember the millenium craziness in 2000 ... seems like just yesterday.
Today was a lot of fun. I went with Justin and Rudy to practice around 2:30 p.m. and then over to the Tampa Bay Bucs stadium for a short walk-through. You can read more about that and see photos on Rudy and Justin's blog pages.
Most of my day was spent at the New Year's Eve parade in Ybor City in downtown Tampa. The parade was supposed to begin at around 5 p.m. I'm not entirely sure WHEN exactly it started, but I know the UW band did not begin marching until well after 6 p.m.
BUT, although the parade ended up taking place in the dark, it sure was worth the wait. I was able to "be" in the actual parade, meaning I basically followed behind the band, dance team and cheerleaders taking photos of them and fans.
A shout-out goes out to all the Badger fans who made it to the parade. Very impressive, I do have to say. I couldn't believe that every block we walked down was lined with people wearing Cardinal and White and shouting Badger cheers. It was a lot of fun! The Badgers definitely outnumbered the Volunteers.
After the parade, many people headed over to an area sectioned off for a post-parade gathering. This included performances by both the UW and UT dance team and cheerleaders. I can't even begin to tell you how much louder the Badger fans were than the Vols. Not even a question of who was louder ... the Badgers won that loud and clear.
Afterward, I headed over to Gameworks where Justin and Rudy were listening to Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas' radio show. You can read more about that on both of their blog pages.
All for now. I'll upload photos in the morning before the game. I'm not kidding you when I say it takes at least an hour to get 10 photos posted!
Until tomorrow ...
12:14 p.m. EST
Hello everyone! Happy New Year's Eve!:) I woke up this morning hoping for someone to have made me fluffy blueberry pancakes for the occasion, but no such luck (maybe tomorrow)!
Anyway ... I don't think I have ever spent a New Year's Eve in a state with temperatures above 70 degrees. The last four of five years, I have been snowboarding and in the cold weather. I am still excited to be here!
After yesterday's run, run, run schedule, today has been a little more relaxed. There will be a parade at around 5 p.m. EST, which everyone is anticipating. I talked to a few fans yesterday who said that after the game, they were most looking forward to the parade. Should be a fun time! Be sure to check back later to Bowl Central to see video and read blogs about the parade.
I suppose because the morning is slow, I'll tell you another fan story I received via e-mail. I hope you enjoy reading these.
Fan Story No. 2 & No. 3
One of the first fans I heard from earlier this week was Leila Cassini whose son is a student manager for the football team. Leila and her husband made their first ever bowl trip, flying out with the Alumni Association Tour on Saturday. Leila had mentioned she had yet to pack yet and wasn't sure what to wear (going from the cold to 80 degrees), so I wonder what she ended up doing. I know she said the Bucky beads were for sure on the list. Of course!
I also heard from Cherrie Hagerman and her family who welcomed me to sunny Florida. The Hagerman's are "HUGE" Badger fans living in Clearwater, Fla. (where the beach bash was yesterday). Interestingly about this story is that the Hagerman's daughter, Melissa, is in the Clearwater High School marching band, which was picked to host the Badger Band. Cherrie said her daughter, a junior, is just thrilled and also a "HUGE BADGER FAN". Here is a little of what she said:
"Melissa has been dressed in Red and White for days waiting to see the band and the football team. We have taken her to every owl game that the Badgers have played her in Florida and she wants to be a Marching Badger. Her jeep is decorated with Badger and Packer items, along with her room. Our house and car are the same way!"
Sounds like the Hagerman's got lucky this year with the Outback Bowl taking place in Tampa, which is less than an hours drive from Clearwater. Cherrie said, "In my hear I had hoped that the Badger Band would one day come and play at her school before she graduated and my dream has come true. I can't believe it!! We are going to have so much fun!"
In addition, the Hagerman's were invited to ride in a float in the Outback Bowl Parade on the City of Clearwater's float. They just can't get enough of the Badgers!
And so, these are the stories I love to hear! Badger fans are Badger fans for life. Their hearts and souls are committed to Wisconsin and the impact the program has on others is just incredible!
All for now.