Happy New Year! This is a big, big day for us. Pattie and I are both University of Wisconsin graduates. Our beloved Wisconsin Badgers are playing in the Rose Bowl late this afternoon.

This is the first time in seven years we haven’t traveled to watch UW play. But a sick dog and busy work schedules are keeping us home this year.

We did get a chance to watch the Badger basketball team play in the three day Old Spice Classic tournament in Orlando over Thanksgiving weekend—but it isn’t quite the same.

Still, we saved lots of money—and Pattie gets a chance to recover from her physically and emotionally draining job working 10 hour days with dialysis and cancer patients all week long.

We are heading down to a UW alumni Rose Bowl party south of Tampa to watch the game.  The weather here is sunny and warm.  I don’t miss those long, dreary midwest winters.  But Pattie especially misses our friends, family and special places like Minocqua, Wisconsin Dells and St. Croix Falls.  It will be great to share watch the game with other, displaced “cheese heads” who feel the same way.

Some of you—heck, I wonder sometimes—why we care so much about the Badgers and Packers and sports in general. Priorities, right?

But it is our hobby and passion. It is part of our identity. If we still lived in Wisconsin I’m not sure I would bother flying our bright red flag on game days and pasting UW decals all over our vehicles. But in some ways it is more fun to wear Wisconsin red when you live somewhere else. It is an escape from our real world of pain and life and death medical decisions.

We hope 2011 is a wonderful year for all of our friends and readers. Enjoy the weekend and…

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat & Pattie

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