Saturday, December 29, 2007

2 Games, 2 States, 22 Hours...

When the NFL season was released in May, I combed through the Baltimore Ravens schedule to see if there were any interesting matchups worth going to. I saw that they had a Monday night game against the New England Patriots (which I did my live webcast to and which also turned out to be the most entertaining game of the entire 2007 NFL season). I also saw that they hosted the Colts the following week on Sunday Night Football.

Although the Pats game seemed tempting at the time (little did I know that the Pats would be the first team to ever go 16-0), I didn't feel like watching Tom Brady, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to travel all the way back to the East Coast (especially in December).

So, I checked out the road games and saw that the Ravens were playing the AFC and NFC West schedules (the first time they did that trip since the 2003 season when I was a PR intern with the team). I saw that they played at the San Francisco 49ers over Columbus Day weekend (a snoozer 9-7 game that I didn't go to because of my sister's wedding), at San Diego over Thanksgiving weekend (in what turned out to be a blowout victory for the Chargers) and finally at Seattle over Christmas weekend.

sorry just got interrupted by my boss while at work typing this entry... ok back to the good stuff...

Columbus Day passed and my sister got married... Thanksgiving went by but I chose to go to the Utah vs. BYU game (good choice). And then something happened..... BYU got the invite to their third consecutive Las Vegas Bowl. The game happened to fall the day before the Ravens vs. Seahawks game.

I started to get curious... I found out my friend Scott was going to the BYU Bowl game and he was willing to let me tag along with him and his bros (thanks again Scott). Then I found a flight only a few hours after the BYU game from Las Vegas to Seattle for $99 (thanks again Southwest). My dad was willing to meet me in Seattle to attend the Ravens game with me (his first ever NFL game!).

Friday morning: I was only going to go to a half day at my boring bank job. I woke up and there was snow everywhere. I was going to call in for the entire day to avoid driving in the snow. Then I decided to be responsible and go to work anyway (way to go retard) and ended up sliding down a slippery snow covered hill and colliding with a parked car. So my decision to work cost me a $500 deductible. Yikes, I guess I'll have to back to my slacker ways (like typing this at work).

Friday evening: Load up the car with Scott and bros and drive down to Vegas. I rode the back seat middle, yeah that's right, I rode the hump for 5 hours. I am still amazed I can still walk. I thought I'd never feel my legs again...

Saturday morning: Wake up in Mesquite, NV and eat a ginormous breakfast buffet at a casino.

Saturday afternoon: We got to the game two hours early because Sam Boyd stadium is the worst parking lot situation of all time. It seats 40,000 people and there is only one road in, and one road out. We went to some stuff set up for fans and alumni to look at before the game, but really it was just a bunch of lame tents with lame food and no entertainment and I was wishing that I had purchased the hacky sack I had eyed in the gas station the night before.

Saturday evening: I had my friend put down $20 on BYU to cover a seven-point spread. I figured BYU had won 10 straight games, UCLA was 6-6 and had no QB, and an interim head coach so it was a lock. Lesson learned: Never bet on BYU football. At the end of the first half, a coaching blunder cost BYU a 17-6 lead to a mere 17-13 lead. UCLA kicked a field goal to cut BYU's lead to 17-16 in the 4th quarter. There goes my 20 bucks. Sure enough, UCLA got the ball back with two minutes to go and 92 yards to the endzone and they drive it down to the BYU 10-yard line with 3 seconds left on the clock. I thought to myself: great, I rode the hump for six hours, paid 100 bucks for this game to sit on a cold bleacher to re-numb my rear, and BYU is going to lose it in true Cougar fashion once again. Ball is snapped, BYU BLOCKS THE KICK, game over! Cougs win!!!

Never had I gone from such a low to such a high. It was an even bigger swing than back in 8th grade when Kelly decided she wouldn't "go out" with me then changed her mind by the end of lunch period.

Saturday night: Couldn't sleep because I was too afraid to fall asleep and miss my 5 am flight.

Sunday morning: Arrive in Seattle airport. Dad is right on time (as always) and we head down to the stadium. It was cold and there was a steady rain/drizzle that's pretty exclusive to Seattle. Thought to myself great, I am going to be cold and wet for the next 5 hours. Two rain ponchos purchased.

Sunday afternoon: Arrive to the stadium, pick up my tickets. My old boss with the Ravens was generous enough to put a media pass for me with my tickets so that I could come say hi up in the press box. I went down to the field and walked around (while my dad was parking the car) and did a lap around Seattle Stadium.

Then I went up to the press box and said hi to a couple of the staff members from the Baltimore stadium. It was super sweet to see my old boss. He's most likely working the Superbowl in Arizona in February and I volunteered to help out as well (answer coming shortly.... stay tuned).

My Dad and I found our seats and luckily we were out of the rain. They were nose bleeds, but Qwest Field in Seattle is so great that it wasn't half bad. Plus I could look out over Puget Sound during timeouts and stuff. We were put with a group of Ravens fans (all who knew someone or some player on the team) so there we were, all twelve Ravens fans together vs. 65,000 loud and raucous Seahawk fans as they celebrated their fourth-straight division title.

The Seahawks dominated all facets of the game. Troy Smith (Baltimore's third-string QB and last year's Heisman trophy winner) was the starter and Ray Lewis and our starting QBs were missing. Needless to say, the healthy Seattle team cruised to a 27-0 lead and then with two minutes left, the Ravens scored on a 79-yard garbage-time pass to WR Derrick Mason.

Side note: I was actually ok with the Seahawks winning because I experienced such an awesome game the night before. Plus, I grew up in Washington and as a young paperboy I would deliver the sports section to the local neighborhood every Monday morning after another Seahawks' loss. They were the most atrocious franchise until they got their new stadium, and I am just happy to see them become somewhat relevant and respected these past four years. And besides, it was the Ravens third string versus the Pro Bowlers of the Seahawks.

Side note II: Why can't Baltimore pass? Seattle can. Virtually every team in the NFL can hike the ball, drop back, complete a pass to a receiver for a first down, but in my six years of being a Ravens fan, they can't seem to get it right. Is it personnel? Coaching? Offensive system? Players? Or is it just some curse that Vinny Testaverde left on the team when he was let go when Brian Billick came to the team in 1999?

We left our nose-bleed seats in the final few minutes and went down to the first row seats to see it up close and personal before the players walked off the field.

I never thought I would pull such an undertaking, but thanks to BYU, Southwest, and the Seahawks for making this once in a lifetime opportunity possible. May I get married to a real girl in 2008, so that I don't become some lame dude with a beard and a beer married to sports.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ultimate Sports Weekend

Ok folks. This weekend is going to be the biggest sports weekend of my life. I am going to Vegas on Friday, and catching the Las Vegas Bowl as BYU takes on UCLA on Saturday night at 6 p.m. on ESPN. Then, just hours after the game, I am hopping on a plane and flying to Seattle to arrive within a few hours of kickoff as the Baltimore Ravens take on the Seattle Seahawks.

Two games, two states, 22 hours!

It will be done, oh yes, it will.

- A full report to come next week.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Who would you want your daughter to marry?

The Woes of a Falcons Fan

Average Joe is still probably more of a pro sports fan than college, but it was interesting to see a fan-in-mourning's opinion:   

From Joe to Fan:   

It looks like Bobby Petrino turned out to be a bum, sorry about your team man.
Who are you rooting for in the playoffs? Colts? Packers?

-Average Joe

Response from Fan:   

I lamented the decision to hire that carpet-bagger way back when it happened if you'll remember.  I really thought at the time that Ken Whisenhunt was the man for the job.  He was, Petrino wasn't.  I lump Petrino in with Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, etc. -- all of those coaches just positioning themselves for their next job.  Thank goodness for guys like Bronco Mendenhall whose word actually means something.  I'm so done with the Falcons, I think even the most loyal Falcon fans are having a hard time with the way this season has gone.  I'm done with the NFL for that matter.  It's no secret that my interest in professional sports seems to decrease more each passing year.  Especially being here in the south, college sports are where it's at.  The people here figured that out long ago.  So as for who am I rooting for in the playoffs?  No one.  I know one thing, I hate Bill Bellicheat and the Patriots and I'll cheer for anything to happen that will prevent them from winning.  Including a multi-car crash with Tom Brady involved.  I hate those guys. I hate the Cowboys. Colts are good guys but they lost their appeal by winning last year. I hate the Steelers, etc.  I guess I like Brett Favre okay, but screw the NFL. I'll be so into college basketball by the time the playoffs roll around, it won't get much attention from me.

A Very Jaded Ex-Falcons Fan

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I want to thank all 11 viewers we had that tuned into our webcast of the Monday Night Football game last night. It was a lot of fun and feel free to email me with any feedback you had (ideas for sprucing up the show, technical difficulties, etc.).

We had a lot of fun and laughs, and thanks again for typing in your questions and comments. The banter was a lot of fun. We'd also like to thank the sponsor, Frito Lays Munchies.

We are thinking about doing another one again, possibly Sunday Night's (December 9) Ravens vs. Colts matchup on NBC. Maybe even an upcoming nationally broadcast Jazz game on TNT or ESPN.

I was happy that the Ravens brought their best game of the season, and I wish they would have played the perfect game to come away with the victory. There were a few costly mental mistakes (Ed Reed's fumble after his INT, the errant Boller pass deep late in the game that was intercepted, and the timeout called by defensive coordinator Rex Ryan that nullified the final fourth-and-short stop). But hey, to beat the Patriots you have to play the perfect game, not the near perfect game.

Mad props to the Ravens offensive and defensive line for controlling the line of scrimmage the entire game, and to Kyle Boller for playing one of his best games of the season. He gets ripped apart by the media, but he is a gritty QB and has taken a lot in his five-year career.

I hope to do more commentary in the second half next time, but I got emotionally caught up in the game in the fourth quarter as those final eight minutes provided some of the most dramatic football of the season...

Hope to see ya next time!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Live Commentary: Ravens vs. Pats

Join me, Rhett and Mike right here Monday, December 3rd for our live commentary on the game! View it live right here! Watch ESPN for the actual game.

Chat it up with us! Don't mind the BYU - Tulsa thing. That's Ustream's problem.

If you have any problems, just go directly to the ustream link: