2019 Big Ten Men's Basketball Championship

How's it going guys, it's Madison Square Darden with another vlog. In March, I got the opportunity to attend the 2019 Big Ten Men's Basketball Championship. It was the Michigan Wolverines vs. the Michigan State Spartans for bragging rights in the Big Ten and an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. This was a great game to witness and an awesome atmosphere to experience.

How Much Did It Cost?: Chicago St. Patrick's Day Trip 2019


  • Miller Transportation, Round Trip to Chicago: $88.00
  • CTA Ventra Card reload: $25.00
  • Uber: $9.48

LODGING:  $144.99

  • Freehand Chicago: $144.99


  • Big Ten Men's Basketball Championship Game: $114.68
  • Captain Marvel at AMC Navy Pier: $21.27
  • Navy Pier Ferris Wheel: $18.00
  • Chicago River Dyeing: Free
  • Window shopping at Best Buy: Free

FOOD:  $140.20



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How Much Did It Cost?: Book Expenses for IT'S GAME TIME FOLKS!: Quest for 30 (Updated April 15, 2019)

Hey guys! It's Madison Square Darden and I'm back with another blog post. This blog will break down the costs of IT'S GAME TIME FOLKS!: Quest for 30. As you already know, I wrote a book. What you may not know is that I'm a self-published author and I took the scenic route to arrive at a finished product. I hope this post will give people an understanding on how much time and money they may invest if they want to self-publish a book.

All prices of US Dollars

Direct book expenses - $1,507.99

  • Editing by Acker Editing: $850
  • Cover Design: $275
  • Cover Images: $70
  • Microsoft Word: $107.99
  • ISBN Number: $125
  • ISBN Barcode: $25
  • Library of Congress Control Number: $0
  • U.S. Copyright: $55

Supplementary Book Expenses - $703.41

  • Initial order of 40 books:  $278
  • 250 Business Cards: $12.95
  • 100 ULINE Bubble Mailers:  $42.38
  • Squarespace Website:  $27.95/month
  • Buckeye Muscle Media, LLC:  $99
  • 2017 Topps MLB Trading Cards: $62.09
  • Shipping (29 books): $181.04

10/15/2017 to 2/7/2019 = 480 Days

I just threw out A LOT of numbers so I will break them down and give you the reasoning behind why I spent 

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The Darden at The Garden

How’s it going guys? It’s Madison Square Darden and I back with another blog post. I haven’t been posting blogs lately because I have been shipping out orders of my book (It’s in the shop, buy a copy) and figuring out the financial aspects of running a media company. For future blog posts, I intend on posting on Fridays to give some consistency on when I upload new content.

With this blog, I will give a quick recap of my day at Madison Square Garden for the Big Ten Super Saturday College Hoops & Hockey showcase. In the afternoon, the hardwood was out in the arena as the Illinois Fighting Illini took on the Maryland Terrapins in men’s basketball. Later that night, men’s hockey was on display as the Penn State Nittany Lions faced off against the Michigan Wolverines.


My day started off at 7 am as I woke up unusually early on a Saturday. I laid in my top bunk in the hostel and thought about the long, yet fun day I was going to have. After taking a shower and getting dressed, I took the E train down to the World Trade Center as a I had a 9 am ticket for the One World Observatory. It was cool seeing New York City come alive that morning. It was a clear day as the sun was shining and I was able to see for miles and I spotted famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. After my time at observatory, I took the train to Penn Station and walked through the concourses to reach street level. I got my first glimpse of Madison Square Garden and I took a few pictures in front of the banners at the arena. I went to my seat and looked around the arena. I noticed how intimate the seating was and that there was no one in the upper bowl. To find out how the game went, check out the vlog below.


After the basketball game, I went over the Versa restaurant and got a late brunch. I got blueberry pancakes with home fries and a few glasses of water. I was at the restaurant for about 2 hours eating my food then I walked over to Madison Square Park. I walked around the park of 20 minutes looking at the statues and the architecture of the buildings surrounding the park. I walked back over to MSG around 5:45 pm and made my way to my seat. My seat was in a wheelchair section and I was right behind the Michigan band. I went to the concession before the start of the game and bought a beer and a bottled water for $19. I felt somewhat ashamed at buying the beer and water but I REALLY wanted beer. I got a Brooklyn Lager which was pretty good and I finished it before the first intermission. To find out how the game went, check out the vlog below.

After the game, I went back to the hostel and relaxed in the lobby for about two hours. I got some pizza and a drink at the bar then I went to my room and called it a night. It was a long day but a fun and memorable one and a good start to the many sports events that I will attend in 2019. My new book, IT’S GAME TIME FOLKS!: Quest for 30, is available in the shop right now. Thanks for reading!

How Much Did It Cost?: New York City Trip January 2019

What's up guys! It's Madison Square Darden with another blog post. As you may know, last weekend I was in New York City for the New York Times Travel Show, the Big Ten Super Saturday showcase, and to eat A LOT of food. Now you are probably want to ask this question, "MSD, how much did your trip to New York cost?" Well, I will tell you in this travel expense report. I hope that this report will give you an idea on how much money I spend on trips and to show people that travel is not as expensive as you may think. Also, February 1st is the 2nd anniversary of my website and I can't believe that 2 years have come and gone that fast. I've done a lot of travel in the past two years and will continue to do so in 2019 and beyond.

All prices are in US Dollars

MTA Metrocard, mode of transportation for the weekend

MTA Metrocard, mode of transportation for the weekend

Transportation - $383.56

  • CMH to LGA, American Airlines: $297.60

  • MTA Metrocard: $32.00

  • Lyft: $23.29, $9.03, $21.64 ($53.96)

Lodging - $94.81

  • The Local NYC Hostel: $94.81

Entertainment - $181.11

  • New York Times Travel Show: $65.24

  • One World Observatory: $41.37

  • Illinois vs. Maryland at MSG: $34.25

  • Penn State vs. Michigan at MSG: $40.25

  • Today Show: Free

  • Times Square: Free

  • Madison Square Park: Free

Food - $213.06

  • Burger King at CMH: $7.78

  • Vending Machine at CMH: $1.75

  • Dona Bella Pizza: $9.28

  • Starbucks: $7.25

  • Hudson Newsstand: $5.15

  • Iron Bar & Lounge: $42.00

  • Hot dogs, Oreo churro, and drink at MSG: $23.25

  • Beer and bottled water at MSG: $19.00

  • Popcorn and Ice Cream at MSG: $13.25 + $5 cash tip

  • Versa: $27.00

  • Katz's Delicatessen: $44.29

  • Vending Machine at The Local: $1.85, $2.35, $2.35 ($6.55)

  • Walgreens: $1.51

Miscellaneous - $15.00

  • Coat check at Javits Center: $4.00, $4.00 ($8.00)

  • Bag check at The Local: $2.00

  • Henna tattoo: $5 cash tip




Now, let's put the numbers into context. For transportation, the most expensive cost for the entire trip was the flight to LaGuardia Airport. Almost $300 on American Airlines for a flight that was delayed by 3 hours due to weather. The MTA Metrocard was a 7-day unlimited trip pass that was very useful during my time in the city. I exclusively rode the subway because everywhere I wanted or needed to go was by a subway station. The E Line was the subway of choice during the weekend. I used Lyft three times during the weekend, twice to get to and from CMH and once to get to LGA.

I met Al Roker during his outdoor segment

I met Al Roker during his outdoor segment

I stayed at The Local NYC hostel in Long Island City. It was good to rest my head after a long day and it was worth the price. It two blocks away from the Court Square station and had a great view of the Manhattan skyline. I even got a free room upgrade which was a bonus.

One World Observatory

One World Observatory

My main reason for going to New York was for the New York Times Travel Show at the Javits Center. I went for the conference and trade show on Friday and Sunday and I had a lot of fun. I made some connections that could help take Buckeye Muscle Media  to the next level and I got a chance to scope out new destinations to visit in the future. I also went to the One World Observatory at the World Trade Center. I went on Saturday morning and it could not have been a better day to go. The skies were clear and you could see for miles. 

The Darden at The Garden

The Darden at The Garden

I also got the opportunity to attend the Big Ten Super Saturday Hoops and Hockey Showcase at Madison Square Garden. There a basketball game at 12 pm and a hockey game at 7 pm. My first time at The World's Most Famous Arena was a memorable day as I got to go to two events on the same day. The Illinois Fighting Illini took on the Maryland Terrapins in men's basketball and the Penn State Nittany Lions faced off against the Michigan Wolverines in men's hockey. 

Hot Pastrami sandwich with fries from Katz's Delicatessen

Hot Pastrami sandwich with fries from Katz's Delicatessen

I ate A LOT of food while I was New York. I went to Dona Bella Pizza, Versa, and Katz's Delicatessen among other places. At Katz's, I got a huge pastrami sandwich with fries and a root beer which almost put me into food coma. I went to Iron Bar near Times Square and got a Minnesota Juicy Lucy Burger and an extra side of sweet potato fries. I went there because I found out that it was an Ohio State bar and it was close to Times Square. I was somewhat ashamed at myself for spending $19 for a bottled water and a beer while I was at The Garden. It was a pretty good beer and the water was refreshing but I still felt weird spending $13 for a beer and $6 for bottled water. At Versa, I got a stack of pancakes topped with blueberries and buttercream and potatoes. It was a nice late brunch between games on Saturday. 

Minnesota Juicy Lucy Burger from Iron Bar

Minnesota Juicy Lucy Burger from Iron Bar

I think that I made out pretty good with this trip to New York City. Outside of the flight, I kept my spending in check. I hope my Travel Expense Report will show people that travel IS NOT as expensive as you may think and to give people an idea on how much money they may spend on their travels. Don't forget to order a copy of my new book IT'S GAME TIME FOLKS!: Quest for 30 in the shop today. Thanks for reading!

Miss Curacao Universe 2018, Akisha Albert

Miss Curacao Universe 2018, Akisha Albert

Life size Korean figures

Life size Korean figures

Flight was delayed by three hours

Flight was delayed by three hours

New York Times Travel Show

New York Times Travel Show

Flatiron Building near Madison Square Park

Flatiron Building near Madison Square Park

Pancakes and potatoes from Versa

Pancakes and potatoes from Versa

Top 5 Places to Visit While in Town for Big Ten Super Saturday - Madison Square Darden

How's it going guys! It's Madison Square Darden and this is my second Sports Travel Guide of the year. This Top 5 list will give you suggestions of attractions to visit while you're in New York City for the Big Ten Super Saturday showcase. The Fighting Illini of Illinois will take on the Maryland Terrapins in men's college basketball while the Michigan Wolverines will take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in men's hockey. The basketball game will begin at 12 pm while the hockey game will begin at 7 pm. The 4th annual doubleheader will take place on January 26, 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. 

This list is in no particular order


1. One World Observatory 

Positioned on top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, on levels 100, 101, and 102 of the 1,776 foot tall One World Trade Center building, One World Observatory provides unique, panoramic views of New York City, its most iconic sites, and surrounding waters.


2. Brooklyn Bridge 

The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed / suspension bridge in New York City. It connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, spanning the East River. The Brooklyn Bridge has a main span of 1,595.5 feet (486.3 m) and a height of 276.5 ft (84.3 m) above mean high water. It is one of the oldest roadway bridge in the United States and was the world's first steel-wire suspension bridge, as well as the first fixed crossing across the East River.


3. Iron Bar

Just a few blocks from Times Square, the Iron Bar is a sports bar that offers a wide selections of burgers and beer. There are plenty of TVs where you can catch of the sport events of the day.  I'm also a little biased towards this bar because this is an Ohio State bar in New York. GO BUCKEYES! 


4. Times Square

Times Square is a major commercial intersection, tourist destination, entertainment center and neighborhood in the Midtown Manhattan section of New York City at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. It stretches from West 42nd to West 47th Streets.


5. Rockefeller Center and the Today Show

Rockefeller Center is a large complex consisting of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres between 48th and 51st Streets, facing Fifth Avenue, in New York City. Commissioned by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan. Also, if you have the time and want to get an early start to the day, check out the Today Show and you may appear on TV.

I hope you enjoyed this Top 5 list. The more I do these lists, the more I realize that make a Top 10 list may be a little over ambitious. I'll keep experimenting for future lists. Stop by the shop and order your copy of IT'S GAME TIME FOLKS!: Quest for 30. Thanks for reading!

Top 5 Places to Visit While You're in Town for Super Bowl LIII - Madison Square Darden

How's it going guys! It's Mark and I hope everyone has had a great start to 2019. I realized over the past year that I didn't vlog or blog as much as I would have liked, but that will change this year. In addition to my new book (head to the shop to get a copy), I will create travel guides for sport events across the country. These travel guides will be informative as well as combine two things that I love, travel and sports. One other change that I'm going to do this year is start referring to myself as Madison Square Darden. It's fairly obvious the inspiration behind the nickname and I actually came up with the name about six years ago. I told myself that if I ever bought a house, I would have a man cave called Madison Square Darden. That is still a dream of mine, but for the time being, I'm going to use the name as way to promote my sports travel guides as well as my vlogs of sports events that I attend. 

For the first travel guide of the year, Madison Square Darden will give his Top 5 places to visit while you're in town for Super Bowl LIII. (I just realized that I referred to myself in the third person like The Rock.) This year, Super Bowl LIII will take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on February 3, 2019. This list is in no particular order. 


1. Super Bowl Experience 

The Super Bowl Experience is the NFL’s interactive theme park during Super Bowl Week. Taking place at the Georgia World Congress Center (Building B), you can participate with interactive games and exhibits, collect autographs from NFL players and Legends, take photos with the Vince Lombardi Trophy and so much more. This is a ticketed event and will take place from Saturday, January 26th - Saturday, February 2nd.


2. College Football Hall of Fame 

Before the pros step on the field at the Super Bowl, check out the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. As of 2019, only 1,010 players and 219 coaches have the distinct honor of being enshrined in the Hall. It includes many interactive exhibits and memorabilia that invites fans of all ages to engage with their favorite college football team of Hall of Famer. My personal favorite exhibit of the Hall is the wall of helmets that has over 700 teams from the various conferences of college football.


3. The Varsity 

“What’ll Ya Have?” The Varsity located on North Avenue in downtown Atlanta is the world’s largest drive-in restaurant that has been in business since 1928. Serving good food at a good price, the menu is fairly simple with hot dogs, burgers and the signature frosted orange milkshake. The Varsity has several locations and food trucks throughout the Atlanta area but I highly recommend visiting the North Avenue location. Be sure to come to Atlanta with an appetite because you’ll love the food at The Varsity


4. World of Coca-Cola

Located near Olympic Centennial Park, the World of Coca-Cola is the only place in that your can explore the history of the most popular beverage brand in the world. It features thousands of artifacts highlighting the history of the company as well as interactive exhibits that the whole family can enjoy. My favorite exhibit is Taste It! where you can try different Coke brand products from destinations domestically as well as internationally.


5. Super Bowl LIVE at Centennial Olympic Park

Super Bowl LIVE is the free-to-the-public fan village which will celebrated Atlanta’s strong culture for local and visitors alike. Curated by GRAMMY Award-Winning Producer Jermaine Dupri, Super Bowl LIVE will feature concerts and highlight Atlanta’s vibrant music scene as well as family-friendly activities that fans of all ages will enjoy. While you’re at Centennial Olympic Park, check out the Olympic Rings fountain that is usually synchronized to music.

I hope you enjoy my Top 5 list for Super Bowl LIII. Atlanta is one of my favorite cities to visit and I hope that you'll have good time as well. For future sports travel posts, I plan on having a Top 10 list instead of Top 5. Stay tuned for more sports travel posts as well as vlog from sport events that I attend throughout 2019. Also, stop by the shop and grab a copy of my first book, IT'S GAME TIME FOLKS!: Quest for 30. Thanks for reading!