TWIWOJ – 1st Bulls Game & Valentine’s Day

Stacy and I decided on the ultimate Christmas gift for her brother and his girlfriend.  We got them & us front row tickets to see the Bulls play the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday February 10th.  Kristin was torn as to whether she should root for the Bulls or the Pistons as she is a fan of both teams.  The Bulls won out since it was in Chicago.

We used Stacy’s parents’ house in Morris as our meeting place since Stacy and I were in DeKalb and they live in the Quad Cities.  I went to the hospital to visit my grandma and my aunt while Stacy visited with her parents for a spell before we left for the game.  We decided to pose for a picture at the parental units house before we left:


It was the Johnny “Red” Kerr ceremony game that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were in attendance.  I bought a Michael Jordan jersey off of Ebay to wear for the game as seen in the above photo.  I didn’t like how it fit, so it is now Stacy’s Michael Jordan jersey and I picked up a Derrick Rose jersey to wear when we got to the game.  I went to the men’s room and pulled the switcheroo with the jerseys and then Stacy and I found the AT&T setup where they take your picture and make it look like you’re in the Bulls locker room.


They had a table to make signs and since we were in the front row, I decided to have Stacy (the art major) make a sign to try to get an IWA Mid-South reference onto television.  She put the heart on the wrong side but said it was because she was rushed since the game was getting ready to start.  We made our way down to the seats and they were fantastic…right behind where all the media sits at the games.  I had Stacy snap a photo of me holding the IWA sign:


I was sitting right behind WGN’s Dan Roan and Comcast Sportsnet’s Sarah Kustok during the game.  I was pointing out all the media types to Stacy, who they were, where they worked, etc.  I saw Fred Mitchell, Sam Smith, Dan Roan, Sarah Kustok and KC Johnson.  Norm Van Lier walked right past us and Kristin was starstruck with Norm.  I was starstruck by the rest and Stacy was giving me grief over how I knew the sportscasters more than I knew the players.  My dream job has always been to get paid nicely to cover sports so OF COURSE I know those people!  Here is a picture I took of the back of Dan Roan’s head and Sarah Kustok is the blonde on the righthand side that is cut in half on the edge of the photo.


The game started and we were in awe by how nice the seats were and how much fun it was to watch a basketball game in person that close.  I had went to several UK games including the Final Four in 1997 (shut up Sox or I will block you!) but never had good seats for any of the games.  I had never been to an NBA game and I hadn’t even watched an NBA game since Jordan left the Bulls.  We decided that this might have to become a tradition because it was so much fun!

Anywho, the game went to halftime and it was time for the Red Kerr ceremony.  We tried to take pictures, but with the lights out, the pictures weren’t very good.  I decided to take pics off of the jumbotron above us to make up for it.  Here is Michael Jordan and President Obama (he sent a video to be played) from the jumbotron:




For some stupid reason, John Paxson decided to FOLLOW Jordan and Obama and be the last speaker…he was booed very loudly for the crappy performing team that he has assembled.  Who puts themselves as the last speaker after Jordan and Obama?  Anyway, I tried to take a picture of Jordan as he left the court since the lights were back on but it still wasn’t great.  He can possibly find Jordan hugging Norm Van Lier in the center of the picture:


The third quarter was very bad and the Pistons built a huge lead (14 pts or maybe 15 pts at its highest) and there was a Pistons fan sitting right behind us in the second row.  Benny the Bull ran over and unloaded an entire can of silly string on the Pistons fan shooting right between Kristin and me.  Benny left and the fan stood up yelling about the scoreboard and how he didn’t care about the silly string.  So Benny returned and gave him a second can of silly string for good measure.  Kristin’s seat was covered with the splatter of two cans of silly string but it was worth it for the comedy.  I took a picture of Benny after he left and went back to cheering on the Bulls…you can see Sam Smith’s bald head by Benny (see I love the sportscasters!)


The Bulls went on a tremendous run in the 4th quarter and came back to win the game…107 to 102 and it all happened directly in front of us because we were right behind the basket that the Bulls were shooting at in the second half.  Here’s a shot of Tyrus Thomas taking a free throw during the run:


The game went down to the wire with the Bulls finally taking the lead on a Ben Gordon 4 point play with like 90 seconds left or so.  We couldn’t have asked for a better game.  After the game was over, we got to go out onto the court and take a couple of group pics.  The security guards were joking with us and were very nice in taking the pics for us:


Overall, it was a great experience and one that I will remember for a long time.

We will now fast forward to how Stacy and I celebrated Valentine’s Day this year.  We went up to Gurnee (by Six Flags Great America) to a new indoor water park resort that opened named Key Lime Cove.  We made the reservations back in November when we first saw the ads for the place.  The website says that check in is around 4 pm but you could get there early and start using the waterpark if you wish.  We arrived around 3 and the place was packed with families with little kids.  The room wasn’t ready after waiting in line for 20 minutes so we got free passes to the Gold’s Gym next door and went there.  Stacy worked out while I read a Sports Illustrated.  We got a call from the resort saying the room was ready so we went to check in.  They had an 8 foot python in the lobby to hold and get pictures taken with.  Even though I was 25 feet away from the damn evil thing, I was not comfortable and couldn’t wait to get to the room and to safety.  Yes safety.  I don’t trust snakes…especially ones that are 2 feet bigger than me and can squeeze me to death and eat me.

We got to the room and made reservations for the big White Castle’s Valentine’s Day Candlelight Dinner promotion.  How often do you get the chance to do a candlelight dinner at a fast food restaurant?  So we drove up to Gurnee Mills Mall and went to the White Castle.  Damn it was pink in there.  Every light was a pink light inside the restaurant and they didn’t let anyone in that didn’t have reservations.  Here are some pictures to show you how pink it was…don’t adjust your color…and to see that pictures don’t do too well in all pink lighting:





We then went back to the resort in order to part take of the waterpark before it closed at 10 pm.  We weren’t very impressed with the waterpark.  It was not as good as the place we went to in Wisconsin Dells.  There was only one water slide for adults and the only other thing to do was the lazy river.  We just stayed in the lazy river for about an hour and it was crowded as could be with kids.  We decided to hell with the waterpark and went back to the room.  Then we decided that we were still hungry since White Castle food sucks and we didn’t eat alot.  It was a tremendous and fun experience but the food was awful.  So we went to Denny’s to refuel and returned to the resort.  We used the hot tub in the room and eventually called it a night.

We were awoken at 6 am by the kids in the room next to us thinking that it was shouting and roughhousing time.  These loud ass kids were so noisy that we could hear every word they were saying clear as day.  We could also hear that there was no adult supervision to stop them.  As if Stacy and I needed any reminders about why not to have children!  They stayed obnoxiously loud until 10 am when either they left to go to the water park or the parents took them and left.  Check out was 11 so it was time to pack up and get ready to leave.

I would definitely say to not waste your time or energy and most importantly your money on Key Lime Cove…unless you have a bunch of noisy ass kids and want something for them to do to get out of your hair.  The waterpark isn’t much to write home about.  The parking sucks.  It is just way too overcrowded.  The pluses are that the whirlpool in the room was nice and comfy (but there wasn’t any hot water in the morning before check out) and that it is a nicely decorated place.

Well that does it for Valentine’s Day and Bulls game.

Feel free to comment…unless you are Sox and want to comment about the 1997 Final Four..






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