MSU Upsets Wisconsin with Hail Mary!

I’m always looking for a new adventure and excuse to fly the airplane somewhere.  A few months ago a couple of my coworkers suggested that we fly to a sporting event.  We decided that the Michigan State – Wisconsin college football game in East Lansing would be a great trip.  It was a night game and it would be the ESPN game of the week.  The College Gameday crew would also be there.  The plan quickly came together as Brad is a Michigan State graduate and season ticket holder he was able to procure a couple of extra tickets for the game.  Everything went well with the annual maintenance on N2893Z so the plane was ready for the trip.

A couple of days before the trip one of my coworkers had to back out so I made a call to Bob Buckley who lives in Michigan and asked if he could meet us for the day.  The weather outlook was looking great and everything was falling into place.  I picked Brad up early on Saturday morning and took him through the preflight ritual.  This was his first flight in a small airplane so I made sure to explain as much as possible and answer any questions he might have.  We were soon loaded up and taxing out to the run-up area where we quickly got our clearance and departed for our flight to Kalamazoo, MI (KAZO).  One of Brad’s good friends, Mike, would be meeting us there and we would be driving up to East Lansing.  The flight was one of the smoothest flights I have been on in a very long time.  I always like for someone’s first flight experience to be comfortable and this one didn’t disappoint.  Within about 90 minutes we were setting up for an uneventful approach and landing into Kalamazoo.

Mike picked us up and we made the drive over to East Lansing after a quick stop at McDonald’s for lunch.  We were very early for the game but the campus was busy with tailgaters already.  We walked all around the stadium and checked out what was going on.  We made a stop at the Bookstore and the Dairy for some excellent ice cream!  Bob finally met us and tailgated for a couple of hours before we headed into the game.  On the way into the game we saw Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin’s Athletic Director, talking to a group of Badger fans and alumni.

Even now I can’t explain how exciting of a football game this was.  It started out looking to be a blowout when Wisconsin scored two quick touchdowns.  Michigan State’s defense then came alive and got a safety, intercepted a pass, blocked a field goal and a punt.  The offense also followed up each of these with a couple of touchdowns and even a two point conversion on one of them.  At the half MSU was up 23-14.  In the 3rd quarter the defenses battled it out but then in the 4th Wisconsin was very strong and scored two touchdowns to tie up the game with only 1:26 left in the game.  It was looking like the game would go into overtime when on 3rd and 1 with 4 seconds left in the game Michigan State completed a 44 yard Hail Mary pass in the end zone to win the game!  The stadium was louder than I’ve ever heard a sporting event.  It was the best football game that I’ve ever been to and I’m sure it will be a long time if ever I see another one that tops it.  Click here for a recap of the game.  Bob snapped this picture right after the catch was ruled a touchdown and the team rushed the field.

After the game we finally made it back out to the parking lot and said our goodbyes to Bob.  Mike drove us back to Kalamazoo where we stayed at his house for the night.  In the morning he drove us to the airport and we departed for Champaign on another gorgeous day.  We flew right over South Bend on the way home and Brad was able to snap a couple of pictures.  We were back in Champaign before lunch.  It was a very fun adventure and I look forward to the next one!


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Sounds like a great flight and fantastic game. Good use of 93Zulu, sure beats driving!

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