Sunday, November 11, 2007


It came. It went. It was awesome. The first Marquette trip is in the books and I want to go back...right now! A couple times a year, six of us load up in the Denali (that’s right) and head east to Milwaukee, WI to watch Danny Fitzgerald & company. D-Fitz is the brother of my boy Kevin Fitzgerald, who starts for the currently 11th ranked Marquette Golden Eagles basketball team.

Side note: Dan Monson wanted nothing to do with D-Fitz. A great recruiter that Monson guy. He was right to pass on him because when we were going 8-21, scoring 45 points a game, a 6’9” local kid who has a knack for keeping possessions alive and can drain the three couldn’t have helped us. Great call.

This trip is the closest thing I get to being a jersey chaser. I realize I’m a dude and they’re dudes, but when you’re in the VIP players lounge after the game with big time division one athletes, you get a little caught up in the moment. Sorry.

After the jump, you’ll be reading a running diary of what transpired on our trip. I know this is a rip-off of ESPN’s Bill Simmons, but it’s still considered just a diary. Christ, little girls and sexually confused boys have been writing & stashing diaries underneath their mattresses for years. I’m not stealing.

Readers note: This is very long.

There is so much to love about the Marquette trip. One of the top reasons is the email string we have in the week prior between the six of us. We had 183 emails between us this week. No joke. Pretty much 183 reasons for our bosses to send us packing. Trust me, it’s worth it. Nothing like coming back from lunch with 12 new nonsense emails with the title: “Milwaukee to MN!”

Three goals for the trip were:
1) To crash “Trainfest.” A true sign you’re heading to Wisconsin with an event called “Trainfest.” Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson crash weddings with beautiful women. We crash train set model conventions. I don’t see a difference. Anyways, it’s the largest operating model railroad convention in the nation and it was in Milwaukee this same weekend. I can’t believe we got this lucky.
2) To see “Freeway” again. Freeway is an actual person. He’s a Milwaukee staple that’s a big sports fan. He hangs around the main sports bar in town (Major Goolsby’s) and yells stuff like: “Yooouuu bet” and “God Damnit” in the middle of the bar. He’s a piece of work.
3) To drink. A lot.

Fitz gave us the nickname DFTFC about two years ago. It stands for “Dan Fitzgerald Traveling Fan Club.” We even have shirts and think we’re really cool.

The fan club has expanded but the six of us are the originals. The originals are (using names we call each other): Fitz, Sneff, Hill, Q & Fuzz. You’ll see we’re missing a soldier. His name is Dogg. He couldn’t make this trip and it’s really a downer because Dogg brings a lot entertainment to the trip. He’s one of those guys who can’t stop running his mouth about everything. He’s full of non-stop bullshit. A lot of funny stories from this cat though. Hopefully, we can make up for his absence. In an effort for you folks not to feel slighted, Q will be breaking in with “game breaks.” Kind of like Fox’s NFL game breaks, Q will be coming at you with his “game breaks.” I’m sure I missed stuff, so he’s going to be adding some of his babble on what transpired.

*Game Break: The other reason I’ll be stopping in to comment occasionally? Because someone has to call out Fuzz on the stupid/ridiculous stuff he does this weekend. I will now begin channeling my inner Curt Menefee.

Saturday November 10th

6:09am: Game Day!!! I’m up and I’m happy as a teenager finding his first pube. Game time is more then 12 hours away and we have a five-hour drive ahead of us but I don’t give a shit. It’s game day!

*Game Break: You know you’re excited about something when you get up earlier than you do during the work week and are jacked about it. Personally, I got up at 5:40 am, got in a quick workout (sort of), showered, and ran an “errand”.

6:15am: I was thinking about this in the shower. If I’m this jacked about a team that I had no connection too until five years ago and who is playing the creampuff IUPUI tonight, what the hell am I going to be like once Tubby gets the Gophers rolling? I’m scared. Being “that guy” where I’m sleeping on a cold sidewalk because I don’t want to lose my spot in line for tomorrows “big game” tickets is not out of the question. It’s cool if you’re 20 and drunk doing this with your college cronies. Not so cool when you’re drunk doing it at 30 years old and alone. Well, maybe not alone because I know Q will come with me.

*Game Break: Obviously...

6:21am: Q, who is also my roommate decided to grab some Latte’s for us before we head off to Fitz’s house to take off to Milwaukee together. How cute? I can’t wait to hit up a “Curves” on the way out too. Not a good start to our man’s weekend. Most men this weekend are sitting in plywood deer stands hunting animal with a gun. We’re sipping Latte’s with brown sleeves so our hands don’t get burned. We’ll bounce back from this, I promise.

Side note: It was my idea to get a Latte. I threw Q under the bus but I need to be honest. I like them and I’m not apologizing for this.

6:58am: We arrive at Sneff’s house who has now been named “Huey” by me. I don’t know why I gave him this name, but since we were all waiting for him impatiently, it seemed fitting to call him Huey. I think the name will stick. Huey navigates Fitz to Hwy. 94 and says: “Alright you’re going to take this until you hit Milwaukee.” It’s 310 miles away. I don’t know where we’d be without Huey.

7:23am: Ooop, here we go. First line was just dropped. Fitz says: “Do they sell dirty videos at Blockbuster? Wouldn’t you feel dirty buying one at a store like that?” Q: “Yes! I felt dirty playing the nude photo hunt with Hill at the bar last night.” And if you’re wondering, Hill hasn’t arrived yet. He’s present in the car but he’s not quite here. I think he’s spoken three moans since we started.

7:48am: Just saw three beautiful cows on the side of the road. It’s the prettiest set of girls I’ve seen since we got in this state. Not a good sign.

8:30am: Thought I’d check in. Not much the last 45 minutes. It’s western Wisconsin, what should I expect? Hill’s finally here though. We have “Old School” playing right now. Yeah, a movie in a car. Learn about it. Anyways, Hill just woke up from his coma on this line: “Oh man, you got a fucking dart stuck in your neck!”

8:44am: You guys ever see the “Chronicles of Narnia?” I know it’s a kid movie but it’s pretty good. Well, I feel like the little kids going into that magic closet and coming out in a winter wonderland on the other side. When we left Minnesota it was in the low 50’s with green everywhere. Now? It’s 31 degrees with frost all over the trees. Nothing but white. If I see a fucking half horse half human thing prancing around, I’m out. We’re turning this bitch around.

9:14am: First gas station stop. Highlights include getting gas at $3.19 a gallon (awesome!), Q getting an 8oz can of Coors light for .59 cents, seeing a Packers suck engraving in the stall, surprisingly seeing the teller with a full set of teeth and finally watching Q pounding the 8oz Coors light in the parking lot and slamming the crushed can in the garbage like he’s spiking a football. Again, it’s 9:14am. Just thought I would remind you of that.

*Game Break: Ok, let me clarify something here. I saw these little 8 oz cans and thought they were funny looking. Jokingly, I asked Sneff if I should get one. I had no plan on actually doing so, but his excited reaction and the laugh I knew I’d get persuaded me to make the purchase. I did walk out to the car and slam it in front of Hill—now that’s funny. But there’s a more pressing issue at hand: why did they let me buy the beer? Isn’t there a rule that you can’t sell alcohol before 10 am? Do they not have that law in Wisconsin (which wouldn’t be surprising at all)? Or did they just not care because it was one mini-can?

9:15am: Huey has called me four times already. See Huey was the last person on earth to get a cell phone. I think he got one like two years ago. Well, he has this little elementary trick where he calls me repeatedly throughout the drive and thinks it’s the funniest thing in the world. It’s not. It’s gay. It’s something eight years old do. Fucking Huey.

Side note: Taking a timeout. Need to focus on the “Carlos Mencia” stand-up DVD rolling in our ride right now. He just called himself a “beaner.” That’s funny.

10:11am: I had to come back early for just one comment. We just saw the first “Cruisin’ Chubby’s” sign. “Cruisin’ Chubby’s” is one of the best gentleman’s clubs in the nation. I’m convinced of this. I’ve only been once for a buddy’s bachelor party and it was like a poor man’s playboy mansion. I’m dead serious. I usually feel creepy and filthy in a strip club, but I was asking for a membership pamphlet after this experience.

11:31am: Billboard for Trainfest: “Small trains, Big imaginations.” I can’t stand the anticipation anymore. Get me in that arena!

11:57am: Just passed the impressive outdoor Miller Park baseball stadium. Q chimes in: “2 ½ years bitches, 2 ½ years.”

*Game Break: For those who don’t get this, the Twins new stadium will be ready in roughly 2 ½ years. I could not possibly be more excited for it. Outdoor baseball? Sign me up. Anything so that I don’t have to sit in the Dome ever again (cough, Vikings, cough).

12:19pm: DFTFC has arrived at the hotel, checked in and we’re ready to start drinking. Some highlights of the check-in: 1) Did you know that Double Tree gives you warm chocolate cookies to everyone? Individually packaged fresh warm like your grandma made them cookies. I love this hotel already. 2) The Alpha Omega Epsilon Sorority Party is in our hotel...tonight! Tempting...but we have Trainfest to crash. I might be over thinking this, but I think the tail at Trainfest is going to trump the Sorority party. Any other weekend, we would have been all over this. 3) The bellhop was a gem. A little fella with a quick tongue named Jim. If you aren’t funny, you can’t be a bellhop. This HAS to be a pre-requisite. Jim (5’4) wanted to bet Fitz (6’8 ¾) on a little one-on-one basketball game. I don’t know how we got to this point but it was funny.

*Game Break: The bellhop came out to greet us and saw the Marquette Basketball logo on the side of the Denali (yeah, that’s how we roll). Then he saw Hill and me. We’re not the most imposing guys and look nothing like basketball players. So he told us that he could take us. We sort of agreed, but said he couldn’t beat Fitz, who was walking around the side of the car at the time. That’s when he decided that he could take Fitz. Then he whispered “Especially if there were a few hundred bucks on the line." I don’t think he was kidding.

12:31pm: And...we’re drinking. Whiskey water in a hotel coffee mug is my choice. Fitz with a whiskey concoction in a glass and Huey with Whiskey 7 in a Powerade bottle. Hill with a Miller Lite (weird) and Q...well he started drinking at 9:14 so who knows what he’s on at this point.

12:58pm: Hill decided to take a stand and say: “No shots for me tonight.” By the way, this stand never holds up. Never. He’s planting the seed now, but no way he doesn’t take one shot. An impossible feat in a situation like this.

1:09pm: It’s time for some drinking games and every year we forget to bring a deck of cards. It’s uncanny. Every GD year, not one of us idiots brings a deck causing us to buy an overpriced pack across the street. Not this year, Q brought them! Fist pounds around to Q. So, we’re playing P & A and realize all our cards are above a nine. Q brought fucking Pinochle cards. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so disappointed in my life. You could see in his face he let us down. He looks like a kid bringing home a 1.25 GPA report card to his parents.

*Game Break: This was depressing. Like Fuzz said, we never remember cards, so when I thought of it ahead of time and brought them, I was extremely proud of myself. We tried to play a little High/Low/Red/Black, but I think that was just an attempt to make me feel better. It didn’t work. I blew it—big time.

1:44pm: Q just informed us that Billy Ray Cyrus is in town tonight. So Milwaukee’s entertainment this weekend is Billy Ray Cyrus and Trainfest. I don’t think I need to say anything else.

*Game Break: In the next segment, Fuzz will give you some highlights of our exploits at our usual pre-game watering hole. What he’s forgotten to tell you about is what happened on the way to the bar. We’re walking down the street and a car quickly pulls out of a back alley/parking lot and comes within inches of drilling Hill. Unfazed and determined to get a beer, Hill simply walks around behind the car and continues on his journey. The rest of us are in shock at how close we just were to tragedy (and a ruined weekend). The best part? That the girl driving (obviously) didn’t realize what she had almost done for about 15 seconds. Then a look of absolute horror came over her face and she covered her mouth. This of course caused raucous laughter among everyone in the group—everyone other than Hill that is.

1:45pm- 7:10pm: This was the time that we were at the famous sports bar called Major Goolsby’s. The plan was to go eat, grab a couple pitchers, come back to the hotel, take a nap and head to the game around 7:00. That was the plan. What ended up happening is that we all got really, really drunk and never came back to the hotel. Some highlights include:
A) The Wisconsin Badger football game was on and every time they scored the little bar girls would come around with a free shot for everyone. A great idea. Not until we took one. It was in a Nyquil medicine cup and it tasted just like cherry Nyquil. This of course didn’t stop us from taking one every time.
B) We convinced the staff at Major Goolsby’s to hang a signed DFTFC shirt in the bar with D-Fitz’s signature on the T-shirt. This makes Fitz very happy.
C) Huey is back to being called his original nickname Sneff. Huey didn’t stick proving that new nicknames just don’t work. The only ones that stick are the ones that are pre 18 years old.
D) Fitz came back from a bathroom session and told us a really odd guy was just staring directly at him when he was taking a wiz in the urinal next to him. It was so uncomfortable he had to say: “Can I help you?” Probably not the EXACT words you want to use when a creepy guy is looking at your wanger, but he said the guy got the point and looked away.
*Game Break: Lost in all the laughter and disbelief over what had just happened to Fitz, was the utter lack in description that he could provide of the perpetrator. If a guy was staring at you in the john, wouldn’t you have some sort of idea what he looked like and what he was wearing? Not Fitz. All he could provide us with was that the guy was wearing “a brown, braided belt and weird shoes.” Um, why were you staring at his belt sir? I’m still not entirely convinced that Fitz wasn’t the creepy guy and made up the rest of the story.
E) Freeway is not going to be seen. I asked the waitress flat out if Freeway is around and she told us she hasn’t seen him in a while. Goal #2 is squashed.
F) Sneff decided to wear his tux shoes from his wedding this weekend. They don’t look comfortable. What’s with tux shoes being the most uncomfortable footwear ever? Since most weddings involve a good 4-5 hours of solid dancing, you’d think you would get a better shoe with your tux purchase. Nope, you get shoes that make you cry after one hour.

G) Sneff to Q about not being as drunk as he is: “Drink more fuckstick.” Q’s response: ”Get a better tolerance d-bag.”
H) Fitz to Sneff: “We still have to get back to the hotel so I can get a shirt for Dan to shine. And by shine, I mean sign.” This was at 4:40pm my notes said. It should be said that Fitz is heating up. We’ve all had about eight beers, three Nyquil shots, and at least two “Mugarita’s” at this point. However, it’s hitting Fitz the hardest right now.
I) Fitz just committed us to Marquette trips for a lifetime. “There’s no reason we can’t do this until we are 85.”
J) Fitz: “My sinnter’s (he meant to say sisters) doesn’t need any Fuzz in them.”
K) It’s 6:25pm and as you can tell Fitz is T-kettled. Along with the quotes you just read, he’s already pulled the “I love you guys” routine, dropped the f-bomb a minimum of 114 times and has had to eat a burger basket for the second time just to soak some of this booze up. We all reference the “he’s on fire” NBA Jam feature. He just needs to keep shooting...
L) D-Fitz’s woman has arrived to the bar and is not wearing a DFTFC shirt. That’s not right. What’s more disappointing is that she lives in the area, had nothing to do today and yet Fitz couldn’t put in the invite for our all day drinkfest to her. She’s visually and understandably upset.
M) Q brings over five Jag Bombs. We don’t need this but we naturally take them anyway. For those keeping count, after Hill’s no shot stand he’s taken three Nyquil shots and one Jag bomb.
N) It’s 7:10pm and we are finally leaving the bar. That was a good session. I told you we’d bounce back. Walking out of this place feels incredibly similar to the Varsity Blues scene when Johnny Moxon and the boys were walking out of the strip club at 7am. We’ve been inside so long that fresh air almost seems hard to take. We are all moving very, very slow

7:22pm: Watching warm-ups. D-Fitz looks noticeably bigger. HGH needs to be put on the table as it should with every athlete these days. Looks like he grew his hair out a little too. It’s his senior year, he’s not fucking around.

*Game Break: It should be noted that we have player’s tickets for the game. This means that we are sitting in the 6th row at the Bradley Center for this tilt. If you have the means, I highly recommend watching games from seats this close. It’s really the only way to go.

9:36pm: Coach Crean just chugged his third Diet Pepsi. A little known fact is that he drinks more Diet Pepsi than any other coach in all of college basketball.

9:40pm: Final score: MU- 76. IUPUI- 68. First win out of 28. DFTFC made it’s appearance known.

This MU team is going to be good. They finished last season in the top 25 but I see them finishing closer to the top 10 this year. They have nine legitimate players and returned pretty much everyone from last year. They play in the MAUI tournament coming up which should bring some national attention to them if they do well, which I expect.

10:11pm: Someone in the DFTFC crew just sang the “this shit is BANANAS, B-A-N-A-N-A-S” song on our way to Water Street. I’m in the back of the bunch and can’t see who it actually is. But we are crossing over a river right now and this person should be thrown into it immediately for singing a Gwen Stefani song.

11:25pm: Q is putting in some serious work on our late night bartender. He already has the “fake laugh at every single comment she makes” routine down right now. This is impressive. She’s a strawberry blond number with a nice fucking butt so we’re all pulling for the guy at this point.

*Game Break: I was actually very proud of my effort. The problem was that I broke a cardinal rule: never hit on the bartender. They’re sober and deal with losers like me on a nightly basis. Good game, bad choice. It happens.

12:39am: I’m hammered. (This was in my notepad I carried around and I don’t remember writing it. This entry had to make the cut)

*Game Break: That’s partially my fault. I bought two (or three?) more shots for the group at the bar. Don’t even remember what they were either. I do know that Fuzz, Hill, and I were playing dice on the bar for well over an hour. Good times.

1:03am: Hill’s back playing nude photo hunt again. He loves this game and feels no remorse for playing this game in any sort of environment. Hill just looks at home in a corner of a bar, smoking Camel Lights and playing nude photo hunt by himself.

1:08am: Sneff is currently wearing a pumpkin colored silk scarf and I have no idea where he got it. I do now have an idea who started that fucking B-A-N-A-N-A-S jingle a few hours ago.

*Game Break: I have to be honest, it was me. We were all pretty drunk and it had been a long day (remember the wake up call came at 5:40 am) that included a 5 ½ hour stint at Goolsby’s. And I used the line from The Office (said by Kelly Kapoor): “This day is…” ok, I’ll stop now.

2:15am: Q after a valiant but unsuccessful effort at the bar: “If I’m not getting ass, I’m getting Donuts.” FYI: DFTFC loves late night Dunkin Donuts.

*Game Break: The previously mentioned effort was at a second bar. When I became frustrated with the lack of talent at Fitzgibbons, I convinced Fuzz to come with me for a shot at finding some new female friends just before bar close time across the street at Bar Louie. Fuzz was less than enthused to be there (as evidenced by his leaning on the wall, scowling, refusing to talk to anyone, especially me), but he came because that’s what a good wingman does. Again, I struck out, but at least I got another at bat.

Sunday November 11

9:OOam: Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep. F-off Fitz. After that night, Fitzy Fresh is making us get up right now and drive home. Why? Because he’s having his Internet and cable installed today. Seems like the right call. He’s had the house for five months but the Sunday after the Milwaukee trip where it’s one of the few times we let loose seems like a perfect day for installation. F-off Fitz. Someone give me the Tylenol...

9:33am: We all look like holy hell. It’s the only way to put this. I really hope Fitz enjoys his HGTV shows that he’s dying to watch.

*Game Break: True statement.

10:29am: Sneff: “Fitz, you going to get a DUI?” Floored everyone. What a night! It’s sleep time...

3:09pm: We’re 20 miles from home and everyone except Hill is up. We’re all reminiscing about the night and we just informed Fitz that he had another burger basket at Goolsby’s, his second one in a five-hour span. He has no idea. Now he’s really nervous on what else happened, since his Grandpa, parents and multiple other family members were at the bar at this time. Fitz gets the MVP this time. Shockingly we didn’t make it to Trainfest and we didn’t see Freeway. We did drink...a lot, but that goal was a lock. 1/3 is disappointing but man do I love this trip...




Anonymous said...

That is AWESOME.

Chosman said...

This sounds like an incredible trip everytime. Me and my boys are planning on going to Milwaukee the first day of spring break for the Bucks/Celts game. I'll be looking for advice on where to go from you fellas

Anonymous said...

Very nice recap. I can see all of you doing those things. It was like I was with you.