I recently headed up to Madison to see the Illini play the Badgers in basketball. The last time I was in Madison for a game the Illini played a flabbergastingly awful game, getting barely 10 points in the first half while getting blown out. It didn't appear that they were even running plays...
Before the game we stopped at the "Nitty Gritty" birthday bar in Madison. It was packed before the game with alumni pre-partying before the NCAA mandated dry stadium mandated experience (since we know the NCAA is very scrupulous about ethics). Hilariously enough we had appropriate synchronicity with my Lite coming in a flimsy plastic cup while Dan got a fine matching pint glass for his Sam Adams.
I used the "panorama" feature on my iPhone 5 to take this picture of the Kohl center during warmups. The Illini played disastrously, just like the last time when I attended a game in Madison, so my "contrarian" luck strikes again. I think Dan is going to discard me for these games like that guy The Cooler in Vegas.
The difference between a football and basketball game is jarring; while they can easily get enough fans to fill the arena, the surrounding town is mostly dead. Here is an Irish bar that Dan and I have gone to during many football games which would be insanely packed. You could read a newspaper and have a quiet conversation there due to the lack of any sort of basketball hysteria.
Here is a look from the window of my hotel room at the frozen lake outside Madison. There were many people ice fishing on other parts of the lake as I drove out of town. It is definitely colder and darker in Madison than in Chicago; we have been spared the brunt of winter so far in the (relative) south of Chicago.