Category Archives: Sports

Behind the Glass

Andrea and I had some fun Saturday night.  She bought two tickets behind the glass at the Wichita Thunder hockey game.  They’re just a minor league team.  Probably minor minor league but it was still fun.  We’ve both been getting into hockey over the last season or so, and she bought these tickets as a surprise.

We’ve been to a couple Thunder games before, and they’ve always been fun.  But we’ve always talked about how it would be exciting to sit up close right behind the glass.  It’s one of those things that is probably kinda like Nascar.  You get up close to some of the action, but the best view is most likely higher up.  There were times at the far end of the ice, it was difficult to see what was going on.

Offside Faceoff right in front of us!

But it was pretty cool being able to feel the puck smacking the wall right in front of us, and seeing the fights right there.  There was one occasion where I went to go grab another beer, and Andrea said a fight started right in front of her.  She said she was on the big screen with her mouth just hanging open as the two dudes were dukeing it out.

The game started out with Wichita getting its butt kicked.  They were down 0-2 at the end of the 1st.  But came back to tie it up with 0.3 seconds left in the 2nd period.  The game ultimately went to overtime and Wichita lost.  Still a good game though.

Luke stayed with Grandma while we went out, but by the time he’s 3 years old or so, I could see him really enjoying a game like this.  He gets excited when we watch hockey at home, and with the mascot there throwing out prizes into the seats and the “Chuck-A-Puck” contest during the 2nd intermission, he’d probably have a blast there.  There were a lot of other kids there and it was just neat to see all of them yelling and having fun.

I could totally see myself getting season tickets to something like this if it were closer.  We had a lot of fun, and had about the best seats you could get and it wasn’t terribly expensive.  I certainly spent more in beer than we spent on the seats.

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Hockey? Yes.

Bruins Sweep

More than any other sport this season (including football) I have watched and thoroughly enjoyed hockey.  I guess it helps when your team you’re cheering for keeps winning!

How did I get so into hockey?  And why the Bruins?  Well first off, the main thing that got me into hockey… the fights.  Most other sports, if two guys start laying into each other, they stop the game and break up the fight.  In hockey, they stop the game, so they can finish the fight!  It’s awesome!

So I made up my mind, I wanted to get more into the sport.  But I didn’t know who to cheer for.  There’s certainly no local teams to cheer for.  And I didn’t want to arbitrarily just pick a team.  So in 2010, I made a statement that before the season even began; before the first game was ever played.  That the team that went all the way that year, not only wins the Stanley Cup, but more importantly: me, as a fan for life.  That turned out to be the Bruins. Now they’re heading back to the Stanley Cup.  Just swept the Penguins 4 games in a row and have as much momentum now as they’ve had all season.  I really like the way we’re playing.

There have been some completely AMAZING moments in this season.  The likes of which I haven’t ever experienced in ANY sport.

Like a comeback from 3 goals down in the 3rd period to win game 7.

Or watching somebody get a broken leg blocking a shot for his team… then getting back up to finish the job.

I don’t know if I’ve seen anything like those two videos in any other sport in all the years I’ve watched.  Hockey is a hardcore, no excuses, lay it all on the line contest.  After this season, I think I’m hooked for good.

The Bonus in Basketball

Worst rule – bar none.   Nothing like taking the last two minutes of a ballgame and stretching it to a good 15 to 20 minutes.  I understand why it’s there.  You don’t want one team fouling intentionally and indefinitely to keep the other team from scoring, but there’s got to be a better way.

Proposition 1:  Hockey style penalty box.  After 5 team fouls in a half, the next personal foul results in the offending player visiting the penalty box.  This would give the opposing team a “power play” where they have a numbers advantage until the offending player has served their time.

Proposition 2:  Running Clock. I’m tired of this bullcrap where teams will foul intentionally, hoping the opposing player will miss their free throws and get the ball back.  This is chickenshit.  If you can’t beat the other team straight up in the time allotted YOU DON’T DESERVE TO WIN!  (shocker).  Once you have reached the bonus all current rules remain in place, the other team still shoots free throws and you can still get the ball back, but that whole time they’re shooting free throws, the clock keeps running.  That’s what you get for pulling a bitch move.

Proposition 3:  No bonus.  Infact you eliminate free throws all together. This is my favorite and most convoluted.  If you foul an offensive player in the act of shooting, play is stopped.  The offensive player is then allowed to take an unguarded shot from the spot of the foul.  If you foul somebody going in for a layup, then they get a free shot right there from underneath the basket.  If you foul an offensive player before the shot.  Play is stopped, and the offensive team puts the ball back in play at the spot of the foul.

Let’s face it, all the bonus accomplishes is to let a team that has under-performed until the end of the game have an opportunity to win.  I know we’re supposed to live in a world where giving it your best is supposed to be good enough, and hell, I should probably just be glad that they still allow one team to win in the game of basketball.  But there has to be a better, more honest way to play the game.

Hockey… I need a team.

I’m pretty unfamiliar with the NHL in general.  But I love watching hockey, and I’ve been following the season a bit watching games online.  But I just don’t really have anybody to root for.  For now, just kinda root for the underdogs.  I mean since the nearest team is hundreds of miles away I can’t really root for the home team.

So I’ve decided that in addition to playing for the Stanley Cup, all the NHL teams are also playing for my fan-dom this year.  Yes that’s right.  Whoever wins the championship this year will earn my allegiance as a life long fan.  So c’mon guys!  Play on!

Playing Fantasy Football Again

Well after taking a few years off, we started a small Family and Friends League.  Andrea is the Commish.  She drew for the Draft Order tonight!

First real drag races. (lots o’ pics)

Well nobody thinks of Great Bend as the place where there’s tons of stuff to do, but we’re getting better and better at seeking out things to do.  A while back during our radio auction I scored a pair two day passes to the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series here this weekend.  You could think of it as the Nationwide Series of NHRA drag racing.

Saturday, was rainy off and on and windy like a mofo.  We switched sides of the track to get out of the wind and were much more comfortable.  But soon enough the rain shut everybody down and we went home.  Sunday was still windy but otherwise beautiful.  Perfect day!

It was awesome.  The superstock cars were cool because they still look (for the most part) like cars you’d see on the street, but they are friggin’ fast.  You think they’re loud too, until the Top Alcohol and Funny Cars roll out.  Yeah, I tried not to hold my ears, but after the first pass… well it was in our best interest since we were only about 20 ft. from the track and no sense going deaf for no reason.  Plus when you plug the ears, you realize how the sound shakes every bone in your body.

They weren’t the cheapest tickets $50 for both of us (auction price).  But man it was worth it.  Seeing something like that on TV is one thing.  But seeing something as insane as  human beings in screaming machines being hurled 1/4 mile in a little over 5 seconds with your own eyes is just too damn cool.

Now tons of pictures.  Check the picasa album for tons more!

EDIT: Found out this is a Dodge Diplomat with a Slant Six engine. Pretty cool!

The smell of burning rubber.

68 Cutlass vs. Chevy Nova

Read the rest of this entry

Saints 31 – Vikings 28

Well it was a good game.  Hell it was a fantastic game.  It was frustrating, exciting and just about every other emotion.  I so desperately wanted the Vikings to win.  So many times we had a chance to do so.  One less fumble, one less interception and we could have had it.  But because of those things, the Saints were the better team tonight.  So congrats to them.  I’ll be rooting for them in the Super Bowl.

For years I’ve despised the Packers but still found a small once of respect for Brett Favre as a player.  He always was a guy who just looked like he loved to play the game.  It took a few games into this season seeing him in purple but I got behind him.  He’s a great player and I’d be willing to guess after tonight’s game, he’s finally going to call it “good” and enjoy retirement.  It was fun watching what I believe is his last NFL game, even if I wish the outcome would have been different.

Pleasant Weekend

Well it’s been a real nice weekend. Or at least my recollection of it is nice. Started out late Friday when we headed over to Charlie’s Place for some beverages with several former Rocking M folks. Had some good times laughing over the old stories. The occasion was the departure of Matt, the last person that was left in programming at the old station I worked at across town. They’re down to the front desk gal, and a couple sales people. No regrets about the tough decision I made last year, sentiments that were echoed around the table.

After a late night we were able to sleep in. Saturday and watch the Saints thwomp the Cardinals. Which will make NEXT Sunday interesting as now the Vikings put on a real impressive show today. I’m excited and nervous. I’ve never rooted for a team that had a CHANCE at a champ-a-ma-thingy.

Went to the store over the weekend too. You ever have little annoyances that just bug you to no end, but they just seem like they aren’t a big enough deal to worry about? Well we were at the store and I decided I was going to go ahead and nip two things that had bugged me for a long time. Got new drip pans for the stove, and a new el cheapo coffee maker.

Black rather than chrome after the last experience...

$14.00. No timers. Just old schooly on/off switch.

I subscribe to Mom’s school of thought when it comes to coffee makers. It really does no good to drop a bunch of cash on a coffee maker when the tap water is so hard that it eventually ends up getting ruined anyway, no matter how much you try to clean it. The last coffee maker we had was real nice, but even with regular cleaning, it still only lasted a little over two years. So until I end up with a water softener (unlikely) I’ll stick with the bottom shelf Mr. Coffee maker.

In contrast, I skimped on the last set of trim rings I bought for the stove. And it didn’t take but a week for the fake chrome the flake off the chinesium surface. After a few heat cycles and a couple passes with comet just trying to keep the stove clean, they looked like a beer can that had been sitting in a campfire overnight. Decent drip pans are freakin’ expensive though. But tired of looking at the old ones; I dropped the cash for new ones which hopefully last until we move out of this place!

Helped Andrea wash and wax the car, played some of the New Super Mario Bros. Wii that we recently picked up. And just had an all around great weekend. Here’s hoping a week full of sports board-op-ing is at least tolerable!

Sometimes it’s just good to relax.

Seems like it’s been one extreme or the other lately.  Thanksgiving was real laid back and a nice break from the routine.  Only to turn around on Friday and work 5:30 AM to 7 PM.  Yesterday was busy cleaning house and then off to work, coming home cleaning some more and then playing a few hours of Blackjack with Biebs and Andrea’s family.

But today has been nothing but lazy.  I haven’t even had to put on a pair of shoes.  Hehe.  Played some Guild Wars and spent most of the day watching football and just relaxin.  My Vikes s pare still rolling and I really have to take back all the bad stuff I ever said about Farve.

No real point to today’s post.  Just need to keep  the streak going and since I didn’t do anything today, there’s not much to talk about!  I need to set some new short term goals I think.

To da Nort der, doon cha no?

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

Well this past weekend Andrea and I went to the Twin Cities, primarily to watch my team (the Vikings) play the (49ers).  I was telling Andrea that I’m glad I have her around, because trips like this I would never convince myself to go on because it’s:  too far, no time, expensive, or whatever until I talked myself out of it.  Luckily she just orders tickets and says, “We’re going.  Too late!”  ha ha  It really was a blast… and an adventure.

I don’t have any vacation time built up at work yet, so we had to take the trip in as few days as possible.  I would loved to have been able to fly, but that wasn’t really in the budget and would just be a lot to spend on a football game considering the already healthy chunk of change for the tickets.  So we decided to drive.  When we went to Branson we rented a car because we didn’t really trust either of ours for super long hauls.  But this time I figured, for the price of a rental car, we could get Andrea’s exhaust replaced and take her car, and rather than just throwing that money away on a one time use deal, we’d spend it on something that would actually last a few years.  So the decision was made.  We were taking her car.

Grandpa Wayne has been doing pretty bad with his emphysema and he probably doesn’t have much time left, so we detoured about an hour to go through Sabetha, KS to see Grandma and Grandpa for a short while.  I like driving through that area of the country.  Rolling hills and old barns make up the horizon, lots of old farm machinery parked here or there.  Some of it still gets used, some of it has been just sitting for sale for years by the farmer who’s waiting for the right offer.  There’s just something really rustic about the scenery and time’s erosion seems to work a little slower around those parts.

North towards Bellville on US 81.

North towards Bellville on US 81.

Seneca, KS.  Almost to Sabetha.

Seneca, KS. Almost to Sabetha.

The Starlite Motel in Seneca.  Taken this weekend with old timey black and white effect!  Oooh.  Vintage!

The Starlite Motel in Seneca. Taken this weekend with old timey black and white effect! Oooh. Vintage!

I was working late running the Great Bend HS football game until after midnight, so Andrea was sweet enough to drive the first leg to Sabetha.  We hung out with Grandma and Grandpa for a while.  Grandma has made so much progress since basically having a stroke over a year ago.  Sadly Grandpa has gone the other direction.  He was doing well enough to recognize us and recognize what we were talking about, but he kept drifting in and out.  Like you’re talking to someone who’s half a sleep.  It’s painful to watch someone who knows they are dying and it’s something I don’t have a lot of experience with.  As I think over it, I hope to write more about it as I can make sense of my thoughts.  For now, all I really know is that I for one hope my own death is swift.

From there we headed to St. Joesph, Missouri.  I don’t think I’ve been to St. Joe since Mom lived there a few years back.  It was very unique period of my life where EVERYTHING was changing.  Mom and Dad were recently divorced and I was finishing high school getting ready to start the whole college thing.  It was almost like a waterfall of experiences between what I was… and what I am.  Just thinking about St. Joe brings back a flood of memories all at once that you have to stop and sort them out.  The feelings were so jumbled at the time that the images pop in my head so randomly.  I can remember so many seemingly insignificant things, but it’s hard to put it together in such linear was as I can so many other memories.  I remember such insignificant things like using white bandage tape to hide the wires for Mom and Duane’s surround sound against their white walls, and I remember thinking that Duane’s 120MB SuperDisk drive was THE BOMB!  It’s like I remember tons of little pieces, but they don’t really fit together to form a greater picture.

120MB!???  I can fit ALL my files on one disk!  Holy crap!

120MB!??? I can fit ALL my files on one disk! Holy crap!

Wow, this post has taken a bigger detour than I expected.  Okay, back to Minnesota.  The one thing we did do at St. Joe was switch drivers.  I took over and we turned north towards Iowa.  I did most of the driving through Iowa and was pretty white knuckled through Des Moines traffic.  I couldn’t handle that kind of stuff every day.

I had just gone to the eye doctor and got a new perscription, still waiting for my glasses to come in, but I got some contacts for the first time in probably at least 10 years.  Not going to wear them all the time, just for things it would be nice to ditch the glasses.  But the doc gave me some free ones and said to wear them for a few days and see how they feel.  They feel just like they used too.  Dry and sticky and a PITA to put in and take out.  I got a 30 pack that will probably last me a year once my specs come in.

Who needs glasse when you arent looking at the road anyway?

Who needs glasses when you aren't looking at the road anyway?

North towards Iowa on I-35.

North towards Iowa on I-35. It was cloudy and cool most of the way, but didn't see much rain.

We made great time at almost 100 MPH.  Okay, Andreas speedometer is just wiggin, it was more like 75 MPH.  Still made good time!

We made great time at almost 100 MPH. Okay, Andrea's speedometer is just wiggin, it was more like 75 MPH. Still made good time!

Really?  Youre going to spend millions building a Casino, and youre going to call it... Terribles?

Really? You're going to spend millions building a Casino, and you're going to call it... Terrible's?

Minneapolis, it is!

Minneapolis, it is!

Almost there!

Almost there! But really.... there's nothing in the next 211 miles worth mentioning?

Nicest rest area Ive seen.

Nicest rest area I've seen.

After leaving at 7:00 AM, the sun sets on our first day of the vacation near the Minnesota State Line.

After leaving at 7:00 AM, the sun sets on our first day of the vacation near the Minnesota State Line.

We ended up making pretty good time we rolled in just shortly after 9:00 PM.  Our hotel was easy to find and right near the Mall of America.  After a marathon drive like that it was nice to FINALLY reach our destination!

After sitting for 12 hours, theres nothing like finally sitting.

After sitting for 12 hours, there's nothing like finally sitting.

Interwebs!

Interwebs!

We didn’t do a whole lot Saturday night.  We went to the MOA breifly before they closed so I could get a Vikings shirt for the game, but for a store that sells ONLY Vikings stuff, I was really disappointed with the selection.  None of the shirts tickled my fancy and most of them were around $30.  I found a polo shirt I really liked, but it was $75 freakin’ dollars!  I found a nice pair of pajama pants though, which I’ve been wanting for years!  We ended up just going to Wal-Mart down the road, and I found a t-shirt I really liked for $12.  I guess I’m just a cheap bastard.

Andrea wanted me to get a jersey, but Im just not a jersey wearing guy.

Andrea wanted me to get a jersey, but I'm just not a jersey wearing guy.

After the shopping we headed back to the hotel.  We were hungry and there was an Outback Steakhouse in the hotel, so we decided that will work.  I ate WAY too much and probably drank WAY too much too. They were having a special on Sam Adam’s Oktoberfest beer.  Two for one.  I guess I thought that just meant half price, but nope, they brought me two mugs!  Ha ha.

If only drinking two at a time made it twice as good.  Its not.  Its just messy.

If only drinking two at a time made it twice as good. It's not. It's just messy.

So I fell asleep with a stomach ache thanks to the obnoxious quantity of food in my belly.  And when we woke up, it was time to get rolling and ready for the game!  Tail gating would have been fun, but there’s not a lot of parking around the Metrodome, and traffic wouldn’t be much fun either.  We decided to take the “Light Rail” from the Mall of America up to the Metrodome.  The whole trip was probably 30-45 minutes on a train packed with Vikings fans.  I’d say it’s a lot like a subway ride, only not under ground… but I’ve never ridden the subway so I can’t say.  It was a little uncomfortable with so many people packed in, but all in all it was probably be best way to go.

The train pulling into the Mall of America.

View of downtown from the rail.

View of downtown from the rail.

Pulling into the Metrodome!

Pulling into the Metrodome!

It was really cool walking up to the Metrodome.  Here in Kansas you don’t see too many things that are THAT big.  I love that gameday atmosphere, where everybody is pumped up for the game.  Andrea was worried she’d be the only 49ers fan, but there were plenty of them around that she didn’t draw too much attention to herself.  hehe

Our seats weren’t too bad.  We were in the corner of the endzone in the upper deck.  We weren’t close enough see the whites of their eyes, but we had a great view of the action.

We got to our seats early.  About an hour before kickoff.  Didnt really feel like we were waiting around a lot though.  It was cool just to watch the players warm up and take in the atmosphere though.

We got to our seats early. About an hour before kickoff. Didn't really feel like we were waiting around a lot though. It was cool just to watch the players warm up and take in the atmosphere though.

Airing up inflateable boat for the players to run through.

Airing up inflateable boat for the players to run through.

Filled!

Filled!

Heres a good picture of our view.  After some fireworks and pregame festivities it was time for kickoff!

Here's a good picture of our view. After some fireworks and pregame festivities it was time for kickoff!

Its still weird to see Favre as a Viking.  But after this game Id be a believer.

It's still weird to see Favre as a Viking. But after this game I'd be a believer.

The game itself was amazing.  Both teams were undefeated coming into the game, and both teams really fought hard the whole game.  It was just a great game to watch, and we couldn’t have picked a better one to go see in person.  The San Fransico 49ers scored what looked like a game winning touch down with less than 2 minutes left in the game.  A field goal wouldn’t be enough to tie, so the Vikings needed a touchdown in 90 seconds to win.  Somehow Farve lead them down the field, and with TWO seconds to go, Farve through an amazing pass and Greg Lewis made an even MORE amazing catch.  And after that it was over!

You just have to see it.  To me it was all a blur, but the one thing I remember was the sound of the crowd.  Listen to the roar when he makes the catch in the video below.  It was an amazing moment to be a part of.  I wanted to jump and hug Andrea…. but she’d have none of it.  I’m sure in her mind they had already won the game and she was celebrating, only to have it abruptly ripped away.  Couldn’t have been fun.  Ha ha!

After that we were really beat.  We road the train back to the MOA and did some shopping.  By the time we got back to the room at about 8:00 I was content to just kick back on the bed and watch the Sunday Night football game on some fuzzy cable TV.

The next morning we slept in and decided to take a short detour on the way home.  We’d been there once before but it was more just driving through.  This time we decided to stop and check out Wabasha, Minnesota.  A somewhat famous little town.

Thats right... Home of Grumpy Old Men.  The movie, that is.

That's right... Home of Grumpy Old Men. The movie, that is.

Last time we were hear was years ago when we had just gotten together.  We stopped by Slippery’s tavern but they were closed and we didn’t really have any extra money anyway.  THIS time they were open and we just HAD to try it out.  Now this isn’t exactly what you see in the movie.  There is a bar named Slippery’s in Wabasha, and it was there BEFORE the movie, but what you see in the movie isn’t the real Slippery’s.  Which shouldn’t be a suprise to the keen observer (or those who have just watched the movie way too many times), because the Slippery’s in the first movie doesn’t even look anything like Slippery’s in the second movie.  So visually there’s not a whole lot in common.  But it was still a cool place to check out.

The REAL Slipperys

The REAL Slippery's

Looking out the window from our table.

Theyre showing Grumpy Old Men on the TV!  What are the odds?  Oh see the small ice fishing pole below the TV thats the Green Hornet!

They're showing Grumpy Old Men on the TV! What are the odds? Oh see the small ice fishing pole below the TV that's the Green Hornet!

I ordered a glass of Slipperys Red.  I wasnt too impressed at first.  Seemed like it lacked flavor, but for some reason when I drank it a long with some of the greasy fries, it tasted fantastic!

I ordered a glass of "Slippery's Red". I wasn't too impressed at first. Seemed like it lacked flavor, but for some reason when I drank it a long with some of the greasy fries, it tasted fantastic!

After that it was on with the long trek home.  Which got even longer at around 11:00 at night.  Andrea had run over something on the way to Kansas City.  Neither one of us saw what it was so who knows what it could have been, but when we stopped for gas, Andrea noticed the right rear tire was really low.  We tried to air it back up, but it was losing air too fast.  So we dug her jack and spare out, and while jacking the car up, the jack stripped out and broke!  So we had to limp to the nearest Wal-Mart and buy a new jack, then change the tire in the parking  lot, and drive all the way home at 50 mph on an 18 year old spare tire!  Come 4:30 AM we FINALLY pulled in the driveway.  I got a couple hours of shut eye, then I headed back to work.  Vacation over.

So despite the flat tire it was a really great trip, and I’m glad Andrea made the plans to go!