An Electric Experience – October 16th, 2010.

When I first started working at TicketCity, I was told “a better experience lives here.”  Immediately, I understood exactly what was meant by that statement.  Sports are about the experience, whether it be as a player or a fan.  We constantly strive to give all our customers an experience they’ll never forget.

Two weekends ago, I was fortunate enough to have one of these experiences, and it reminded me why I love and believe in what TicketCity does.  For the first time since moving to Austin, I flew back to Madison, Wisconsin as the 18th ranked Badgers took on 1st ranked Ohio State.  The weekend was one destined to be remembered as all the pieces fell quickly into place: the weather was in the 70’s, the air smelled of fall, and ESPN College GameDay aired live – with Lee Corso putting on the Bucky head and picking the Badgers to win at the end of their show.

My weekend could be best summed up as a MasterCard Commercial.

Show Me How To Bucky t-shirt = $15.
Airline, game ticket, and food = $450 of my loan money for graduate school.
Beating the #1 team in the country and rushing Camp Randall = priceless.

Right now, it’s hard to put into words the experience at Camp Randall that night.  Even after a week has passed and another huge win was notched against Iowa on the road two days ago, it’s still almost too fresh and exciting to take a step back and evaluate.  ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt described it better than I might be able to.

“On this particular perfect October Saturday…with people wearing red in every direction that the eye could see…and a hopeful feeling in the air…it’s a capitol city that loves their team. While there are a lot of fantastic places all across our country to spend a fall weekend, if you would ask me today if Madison is the best of all of them, I would borrow from Bono and say, ‘It was on Saturday night’.”

The perfect fall evening at one of the top cities in college football

Terrelle Pryor, the quarterback for Ohio State and Heisman candidate told the press this week, “Not to take anything away from Wisconsin at all – I really don’t want it to come off like this – but they weren’t better than us. Everybody knows that if we play nine out of 10 times, we’d beat Wisconsin.”

Given the chance, I could come up with a plethora of things to say to Pryor in response to that comment, including haven’t you ever seen the movie Miracle?

It doesn’t matter the odds, but who plays better on that particular night.  And on October 16th, 2010, the Badgers were the better team. Hands down.  They didn’t get lucky, they beat you 31-18.  So when you look at the numbers and who has the W on their scorecard the Badgers were, in fact, better than you.

That said, the real point here is that it’s been 30 years since the Badgers have beaten a #1 team.  Often criticized in recent years for not being able to put together a complete game, the Badgers did just that.  Special teams returned the opening kick-off 97 yards for a touchdown.  Defense made stops when it counted most and sacked a Heisman candidate twice.  And the offense?  Known for their running game, the Badgers threw three times on third downs and completed them.

Climbing on the goal posts

When the game was over, the students rushed, plowed, pushed, and fell over the railings to get onto the field, despite the booming loudspeaker telling them to turn around.  There was no turning back. The city of Madison came with hope, and left with light hearts and a reason to celebrate.

I still get chills thinking about the moment I knew we would win.  The weather was perfect, the students loud, and the stadium electric.

The icing on the cake was coming back to Texas and having my friends and co-workers talk about the game – because although the Badgers may not be their team, even THEY got excited about it.  Half smiles formed across their faces because they could imagine the feeling, and were both happy it happened and jealous they weren’t there.

It’s a moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life, and reaffirmed my belief in what TicketCity does.  Since we love sports and carry these feelings with us, we understand better than most the feelings associated with going to a game – big or small. These are the experiences we help create, because we know that attending a game can be a memory made to last forever.