Monday, April 7, 2008

Quadruple Header Complete!

The weekend got off to a crappy start. From about 4:00 on it had been raining. So on my way home from work i call the Braves ticket office to see whats the best way to find out about the status of the first of three Mets - Braves game. I was told to either call back or listen to the pregame radio show. At about 6:30, as we're about to leave, I call again and am told "You crazy, they're gonna play. Starting time is still 7:35." Ok, I guess we have no chance but to buy it. We head down to the stadium and we get about a mile away from parking when they announce that tonight's game has been postponed. As if that's not bad enough, they decided to make it up as part of a day-night doubleheader on TUESDAY May 20th. Which means they're making the game up at 1pm on a TUESDAY. Bastards! Both teams are off on Monday May 19th. I don't get it.

Saturday was the big day though. Baseball would kick off the quadruple-header. Game-time 3:55pm. I met up with my friends Carl & Alycia, and sat with them in the Lexus Level. (Which is code for fancy seats). The only important part is that the seats were covered. Because there was a non-stop drizzle all day. (Drought my ass!!!!) After the 4th inning I went over to my actual seats with Lauren and her friend Stephanie.

I did get to see one of the most controversial moments I've witnessed. The Mets had the bases loaded, 1 out. Jose Reyes hits a line drive to center field. The ball CLEARLY hits the ground and THEN into the glove of Braves center fielder Mark Kotsay. The 3rd base umpire calls it a catch and the Braves get a double play out if it. Mets manager, Willie Randolph comes charging out of the dugout for a rare argument. The Braves trotted off the field, into the dugout during the argument. Randolph convinced the umpires to discuss the play and they ruled it was NOT a catch. They forced the Braves back onto the field to continue the inning. I don't think I've EVER seen that before. It took at least 5 minutes. I really don't understand why the don't use instant replay in baseball. It would be much easier and faster than that. Each team should be allowed 1 or 2 challenges per game and that's it. You can challenge anything other than balls and strikes. That's my proposal.

I have a policy against leaving sporting events early, but I had to make an exception for this one. After all, I was headed to another sporting event! If there was any way what-so-ever I'd be able to see the full game, I'd need a quick one. Ha! The Mets wound up losing 11-5. And in a game with 16 runs and sloppy weather...that's not the recipe for a quick game. And the Mets never beat the Braves, so I wasn't gonna miss anything (turns out I missed a Braves grand slam...yippee). Thanks to Lauren's near play by play text messages, I definitely didn't miss anything.

So, 2nd stage of the quadruple-header: Philips Arena, AKA - Blueland. The last Thrashers home game of the year. My 38th game of the year (out of 41). I got there just in time for the National Anthems, which began at 7pm. Now for the challenging portion of my day. I had to completely ignore the many TV's and scoreboards within Philips Arena. Luckily we (Me, Erica, Peter, J.B. - Matt is busy protesting the Olympics in London) were sitting in a section where half of the stadium's scoreboards were blocked. I managed to only glance and see a score one time...Kansas was winning 9-6. So I felt pretty good about making it through a 2 1/2 hour hockey game without accidentally learning any Final Four scores. The game itself was pretty meaningless. The Thrashers were going to finish with the 3rd worst record in the NHL no matter what. But they'd be better off if they lost. They were playing division rival Tampa Bay, owners of the worst record in the NHL. If Tampa Bay would have won, they would've finished with the 2nd worst record instead of THE worst. makes a difference. More on that later. The highlight (lowlight?) of the game was during the 1st intermission. Comcast's "Dating on Demand" was on hand. They played a version of a dating game, where one girl got to ask a question of 3 guys, whom she couldn't see. The questions were bad, the answers were worse. The first guy was asked, if you could be any animal...what would you be? Answer - A polar bear. Wow. He kept talking but we were too busy booing. The next guy was asked...if you could be any alcoholic drink...what would you be. We were practically begging him to say beer (he was quite the large redneck type). No, he came up with...A Bloody Mary. We couldn't boo loud enough. He said (in his redneck twang) that he's hot and spicy. The booing wouldn't end. The third guy was asked, if he could be any entree at a fancy restaurant...what would he be? I don't even know what he said. The booing was too loud. They then had the crowd text in who they thought she should date. The Bloody Mary guy apparently won the fans over. They screwed up the contest so bad that she didn't even have a say in who she would go on a date with. Contestant #2 it is. Worst intermission idea ever. Actually, there was one good twist. He had his choice...the date with the girl...or whatever was behind curtain #1. So, there wasn't really a curtain, but the redneck chose the girl. What did he pass up on? A 36" plasma TV...and a 2yr lease on a Mustang. Now, no one knows for sure if that's legit or not, but serves him right.

Oh, the game, the Thrashers won 4-1. Rookie Bryan Little wound up scoring the first and last goals of the season. Whatever that means. But the most important part of the Thrashers season is tonight. They have a 14% chance to win the NHL Draft Lottery. If they do win, they will be awarded with the first pick in the June NHL Amateur Draft. Which means prized center sensation Steven Stamkos. He's a franchise changer. So, that's tonight at 8pm...I'm sure no one will miss it. Now back to my story...

After the Thrashers game, I hurried home to watch the DVR'd final four. Got home at about 10:30. First up...Memphis vs. UCLA. Memphis was VERY impressive. I think I yelled out "wow" at least 10 times. Memphis won 78-63. Next up, Kansas vs. North Carolina. This was probably built up as one of the most exciting match ups in semifinal history. Roy Williams, was the coach at Kansas for a long time before jumping ship to UNC a few years ago. As Brian described that situation...he's like an ex-girlfriend. Well, Kansas probably had a warrant out for their arrest because they were beating the SHIT out of Roy Williams' Tarheels. It was 40-12 at one point! 40-12!!!!! There's no coming back from that...right? Well, my newly adopted second favorite college team wound up scaring the shit out of me. North Carolina stormed back to make it 54-50 halfway through the second half. But that was as close as they'd come. Kansas held on and pulled away and won 84-66.

Watching basketball without commercials may be the best thing ever. I watched 2 full games, minus commercials, minus halftime in about 2 1/2 hours. It was great. And I pulled off my quadruple header.

There was still Sunday though, another busy day. Mets @ Braves...again. 1:30. This time I was meeting up with: Lauren, Shea, Shelley, Dave, Davis...and Jill and Josh were in attendance as well, although I never did see them. Well, I did. During one of the in between innings things on the giant scoreboard, there was Josh. I wasn't thinking fast enough or I would've gotten a picture. I was really looking forward to this game because it was the debut of Johan Santana (new Mets pitching STUD) in Atlanta. So, I got a picture of his first pitch: which you can clearly see was a strike... This game went about as well as any Mets-Braves I can remember seeing. I wasn't lying when I said they ALWAYS lose. They were down 1-0 in the bottom of the 8th when Mark Teixeira hit a 2run HR to make it 3-0 Braves. Great. But the Mets gave me a bit of hope in the 9th. They got it to 3-1, had 2 men on base with 2 outs. Then, Mets newcomer Ryan Church (and a member of my fantasy team The League Dumbass) hit a line drive down the first base line...Teixeira made a diving stop and ended the game. Ughhhh. Swept again. I really don't know why I keep putting myself through these games! The Braves fans were extra classy (sarcasm) on Sunday. Check out the sign: (Warning, choking hazard...with a Mets logo)

It took a lot for me not to remind them of who has finished ahead of who the last two seasons (for those of you not keeping score at home, the Mets have finished ahead of the Braves the last 2 years).

If you really look at the buildings in the 3rd picture you can see a TON of windows boarded up from the tornado. It really is unbelievable how much damage it did and only 2 people died.

The Braves game was not the end of my sports-filled weekend, however. There was still kickball. I went from the Braves game over to Piedmont park for the game. Along the way (while stopped at a red light) I had the bright idea to check my email via my phone. And wouldn't ya know it. An email saying kickball was cancelled. That's not my favorite part. Why did they cancel it? "Muddy conditions"!!!! I was in my car, all alone SCREAMING MY ASS OFF. MUDDY CONDITIONS????? Where the F&^*( was that decision LAST WEEK when I could barely walk for the next couple of days because of the damn mud. Bastards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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