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My Weekend In Louisville

Posted by Matt on February 10, 2008

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(From left and clockwise: “Rece Davis, ESPN” – ” ‘Digger’ Phelps, Go Irish!” – “To Matt, Jay Bilas, ESPN”)

Yes, it is already behind glass. Yes, I realize I am a huge nerd.

On my way out of town this weekend I made claims of finding the ESPN College GameDay crew as I was staying at the high-end Galt House and thought they, too, might be lodging there. This was more meant as a joke as I swear I am not that big of a stalker. Well, as it turns out, the ESPN crew apparently stayed at the Mariott and not the Galt House but our paths still crossed at Champion’s — a very pleasant sports bar in downtown Louisville.

Rewinding a bit…beer:30 for us on Friday was right around noon so we went straight to Champions and bellied up to a high-top bar table. Now there was a shockingly sparse crowd in Champions for a gameday but for the majority of our time there we were seated just a couple of tables away from what appeared to be Erin Andrews — thus the ensuing speculation entertained us for, sadly, quite some time. Unable to be 100% sure, I did what I normally do in the presence of hot women: talk about doing something, get scared, wait until they leave, and then wax poetic about “the chance I almost had, man.”

The longer she was gone, the more certain I became that it was, in fact, her — and how ironic since I was writing about her a few days ago — but I was also fairly certain that I had blown the one chance I would have.

That would prove not to be the case, however, as I would find redemption shortly after the Erin Andrews-in-question left and it came in the form of Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, and Jay Bilas — who were seated at the table adjacent to ours, making me about as close as you can be to “having lunch with the crew.”

This confirmed the earlier appearance of my future wife, but she was long gone and I had to jump at my current opportunity. With Champion’s napkin and free pen in hand, I approached the table to a surprisingly very warm welcome. Jay Bilas actually told me I wasn’t the bother I presumed I was and all were happy to sign an autograph for me. They seemed even more enthused in chatting for a while since we were about the only people in the bar and I was proudly supporting my UK logo hat in what Rece Davis described as “behind enemy lines.”

All three were very friendly and spent quite a while chatting me up before my table cashed out and went on our way. Hubert Davis actually showed up as we were leaving but I didn’t feel inclined to interrupt their table again. However, all things considered: mission accomplished.

A very neat and pleasant experience for guys that could easily get tired of college students, such as myself, approaching them in every town they hit. Digger wasn’t wearing a tie, but if he were I would assume it would’ve been a brown tie as he was drinking an iced tea. Erin Andrews enjoyed a hamburger, fries, and an iced tea of her own all by her lonesome and is every bit as attractive in person.

And yes, I realize how creepy I am.

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