As most of you know, the National Championship game is being held in Indianapolis Monday night. But if you saw the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article written by Chip Towers floating around the internet early last week, you would think the game was being held in the seventh layer of Hell. (If Hell was one of the most underrated cities in the United States.)
The article tells Georgia fans to “bring a good coat and lots of money” if you are going to Indianapolis for the Title Game Monday against Alabama. Now generally speaking, I agree with that piece of advice, but the tone of the column justifies the decision by many Bulldog fans who have chosen to stay almost 100 miles away in Louisville in advance of Monday’s game.
Now, full disclosure, I am born and raised in Indiana. So as a Hoosier, my initial reaction was to be triggered in a completely passive-aggressive way (in true Midwesterner fashion) probably by posting the Arthurmakingafist.gif on Twitter and tagging the reporter who wrote the article or whatever. But then, also as a Midwesterner would, I decided to offer help.
Here is where I say that this is not intended to be an anti-Louisville column. I have spent some time there and it is not a bad city, especially if you like bourbon or Louisville Sluggers. So if you aren’t wearing a coat in January and are broke, have a good time I guess. But the idea that there is more to do there than in Indianapolis is patently untrue.
If this is a family trip and you are the museum-going type, Indy has one of the largest Children’s Museums in the nation. And oh by the way, the NCAA Hall of Champions. If this is more of an “adult trip” and you are looking to imbibe in alcoholic beverages, the brewery scene is one of the best you will find, full stop. A simple Google search will give you a list of options and a more in-depth search will show you which brewery might appeal to your specific tastes. (I can’t do everything for you but my personal favorite is Metazoa, a dog-friendly brewery near Fountain Square downtown that donates a portion of their profits to animal and wildlife organizations.) Also, there is a Top Golf on the north side of the city, not unique to Indianapolis obviously, but debunks the idea that there is NOTHING to do.
If you are looking for food options in the Circle City, I’m here to tell you that not everyone has to go to St. Elmo’s Steakhouse (the upscale restaurant pretty much everyone associates with Indianapolis) for a delicious dinner. There are tons of other options. There is Kuma’s, a heavy-metal themed burger bar with some seriously out of the box options. Jockamo’s is my personal favorite pizza place in Indy. And if you are craving traditional Southern cuisine, I highly recommend Maxine’s Chicken and Waffles downtown. Basically, name your cuisine, you can find it.
As far as Indianapolis being expensive like Chip Towers claimed, that’s borderline hilarious. Normally, Indianapolis is one of the most affordable cities you will find, but having a major sports event is a revenue generator. This is not news to anyone who understands how the economy works. According to him, hotels are starting at $300 and prices escalate from there. Now I’m not here to define “expensive” but if that is outside your budget, might I introduce you to a little website called Airbnb? You can find something on the south side of Indy, not far from where Lucas Oil is, and Uber to the stadium for the game. There’s an app for that.
The reality is, I shouldn’t have to sell Indianapolis to true sports fans, regardless of where they are from. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is there, home of the Indy 500 and Brickyard 500. The NCAA home offices are there. The entire NCAA March Madness was held there last year in the midst of a global pandemic. (Which is a pretty big deal to most people. Maybe not so much for Georgia sports fans.)
As far as it being cold, I won’t waste too many words on how ridiculous that observation is. Louisville and Indianapolis are both in the 40s this weekend. Monday is expected to be around 30 but sunny. So yeah, bring a good coat. It gets cold in Georgia too, you’ll be fine.
I want to root for Georgia Monday night to win the National Title and maybe unseat Alabama as Kings of the SEC, if only for a year. But if Kirby Smart’s decision making reflects that of their fans, I’m not seeing it.