Lou Pickney's Online Commentary
November 5, 2014
Time to take a break from data entry to do some writing. I'm working on a fun project with my brother Matt that might be able to turn into a business opportunity. We'll see.
I saw Matt and his wife, Jenica, the weekend before last in Lexington, KY where we met up for the Mississippi State/Kentucky football game. It's the third time in as many seasons that I've been to a UK home football game, going to see Alabama play them last year and Mississippi State two years ago.
Meanwhile, I've never been to Rupp Arena. That is backward sports thinking, to be sure, but it's just the way it has worked out. And all three trips to Lexington were fun.
2012 was especially great. On the night before the game, Matt, Jenica (who was eight months pregnant at the time) and our friend Dustin went out to grab dinner, ultimately eating at Malone's restaurant. We initially found ourselves at a bar next door called Drake's, and I distinctly remember walking by a table where several cute girls were seated and I caught "the look" from a couple of them.
Nothing of note took place with those girls, but I remember feeling a distinct charge afterward -- a spark after five months or so of being in a cloudy freefall. It was the jump-start I needed, and it has kept me going quite nicely to this point.
Remember, just because I didn't write about it on here doesn't mean it didn't happen. It's not like the old days in Florida where I could raise hell and document it in detail with impunity. Too many people are watching, and especially in Huntington, the city can turn into a small place if you're not careful.
For the most recent Lexington trip, I made sure that we met up at a restaurant that Jim Cornette (of pro wrestling fame) strongly recommended on his MLW podcast: Hugh Jass Burgers. It's a silly name for a burger joint, but the food there is really good. It made for a nice pre-game meal, even though my Droid 4's dying battery nearly created a communication disaster in my rendezvous with Matt and Jenica.
One downer for the trip was that I barely had any sleep before I left. And I don't mean six hours: try a little more than one hour, 90 minutes tops. It wasn't ideal, to be sure, and insomnia can be a monster. Sleep problems plauged me for my three months in Fight Club this past summer, though that was in large part due to having a shift that started at 5 a.m. -- among other factors.
By the end of things there in early September, I was starting to look like CM Punk circa the 2014 Royal Rumble with seemingly perpetual dark bags under my eyes. Being a night owl is great for watching college football games that go on well past 2 a.m. ET. It's not so great in other situations.
But, sleepy or not, I had to drive to Lexington -- I wasn't going to stand up Matt and Jenica. Somehow I pulled off the whirlwind drive down and back on I-71, including a traffic crunch after the game like few others I've ever seen. Picture this: heavy postgame traffic volume going north having to abruptly merge from three lanes down to one due to construction. It took a good two hours to go two miles, and that's not an exaggeration.
Despite all of that, I made it back in one piece, just like I always do. Even if it was a challenging 400 mile round-trip.
As for the game itself, as I wrote on Draft King, it was in some ways like being a pro wrestling villain wearing maroon in a sea of blue. But, besides some jerk throwing an empty plastic soda bottle that hit me in the back of the head, the Kentucky fans I met there were cordial, similar to how people in Athens, GA acted toward me at the State/Georgia game in 2011.
This was my view of the Illinois/Ohio State game from section 10C at Ohio Stadium. Not too shabby.
This past weekend I went to the Illinois/Ohio State game, which was a blowout win by the Buckeyes in uncomfortably cold weather. The view from the top level was great, but the high-angle, vertigo-enducing climb up there was brutal, to the point where my legs were aching for the next two days. And that's even with me having put in some major time on the cardio machine at the Quarry gym over the past several weeks.
To my Nashville friends: I hope to be back in town over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Hit me up if you'll be around...