Our mission was to redeem ourselves from Super Bowl 42 and bring Patriot passion to Indianapolis. As we all know now, we only accomplished half of our mission. Five of my friends and I ventured to Chicago for the weekend and then drove to Indianapolis on Sunday for the big game. The atmosphere was electric. The City of Indianapolis was buzzing with Patriots and Giants fans and everything was setting up to be a fantastic day.
As we walked through the quaint city of Indianapolis, two things jumped right out at me. First was the J.W. Marriott (see picture); the hotel was decorated with the NFL logo and an enormous image of the super bowl trophy. Second was the Bud light Hotel (see picture). Clearly this isn’t something you see every day and of course that’s because it wasn’t a permanent fixture, they converted a Hampton Inn for the weekend. It was a genius marketing move – change the name to something that screams “football party” and turn an average hotel into a cash cow charging well over $1,000 a night. As you can see by the picture the hotel was completely full with a line to get in to see more.
Now I could spend the next six paragraphs talking about the game but because I have not fully recovered from the loss, I think it’s best that I avoid the subject. The only good news that came out of this is that my wife Lauren is happy because there will be no Sports Center for a few months in the Curley household.
I truly believe everything happens for a reason and if it wasn’t for the Patriots loss we never would have come across Lebanon, Indiana. Our post-game vision was to have a victory cigar in monument circle (see picture) before heading to the Patriot after-party. Obviously our plans were thwarted and we all ended up going to bed early to get an early start back to Chicago in the morning.
As we left the hotel, we all were all starving so we figured we’d find a local diner. The GPS directed us to Brenda’s Cubbard in Lebanon, IN. Let me set the scene for you: to get to the actual restaurant you walk through an old fashioned drug store (which in a small town also doubles as a gift shop) across the creaky floor boards you arrive into “Brenda’s Cubbard.” We felt as if we were on a movie that was set in the 1950s. The patrons were all regulars and it was a very warm atmosphere. As we were talking with the waitress she quickly realized that we “weren’t from around there” and we told her that we had traveled from Massachusetts. It became such a big deal that Brenda herself came to the table to talk to us. She wanted to know how we are enjoying the meal, how we heard about them and she also took the time to tell us how appreciative she was that we went out of our way to come to her restaurant. She took such a liking to us that she told us to save room for dessert because she had a pie in the oven. It was refreshing to see someone taking the time to do the little things and it was clear to us why Brenda’s Cubbard had been voted the best restaurant in Boone County, Indiana.
We all get so busy in our day-to-day lives and often overlook the little things in our personal relationships or business dealings. The biggest thing I took out from going to the Super Bowl is that the little things DO matter. Whether it’s the name on the hotel, the trained employees for an event or the owner going above and beyond to make customers feel welcome, everything you do leaves an impression. With social media and smart phones connecting people all over the world we need to find a happy medium. Personal interaction and developing relationships is what makes business run and I want to thank Brenda for reminding me of that.