Tag Archives: Colorado Rockies

Turning The NL West Blue: Recapping Drei’s Journey’s Through The Yards of The NL West

It’s a baseball fan’s dream to venture to all 30 MLB parks. Along the way, some minor league yards and an international yard or two may be on the list. As for me, I still got a ways to go before I hit up all 30. But prior to this season, I made it a personal goal to catch a Dodger game in all NL West yards all in the same season. 20190831_203851

Though I wasn’t the best good luck charm on the road this season, the Dodgers have more than held their own as they prepare themselves for a 7th straight NL West title and another deep October run. 

The journey through the NL West was an exciting one. Each yard and city has it’s own story. And of course, each yard has it’s own personality. 

I’ve always believed that the best yards in baseball reside here in the NL West. Putting aside my personal biases toward our beloved Chavez Ravine, how do the rest of the yards in the NL West stack up with Drei?

4. Chase Field: Arizona DiamondBacks, Visited 8/31/2019

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Of the 5 yards in the NL West, this is easily my least favorite. Having said that, there still some redeeming factors that make Chase Field enjoyable, such as the Friday’s Front Row Bar & Grill above left field and it’s patio that gives fans an opportunity to dine with friends and family while taking in a ballgame. 

20190831_144900Kid n Drei pregaming at Friday’s before the Dodgers-DBacks game, 8/31/2019

The retractable roof is a nice convenience from the scorching desert weather and on that rare occasion when the yard is filled, as it was on this evening as a Chase Field record crowd of over 50,000 we’re on hand (You can thank us Dodgers fans for bumping up those numbers…), the atmosphere can be electric. 

Aesthetically, this is decidedly the least attractive of the other 4. Though the roof is a nice convenience, when closed, you get the feel of watching a game inside a huge airport hangar. Or as my former supervisor who now resides in Phoenix once told me, it has the excitement of going to Costco.  

Though established in 1998, just 2 years before Oracle Park, The Snakes are looking for new digs. Though Chase Field is only 21 years in existence, we’re in the era of the disposable ballpark. 20190831_164542

So Chase Field may not rank so highly among ballpark travelers and baseball fans. It’s main signature feature is a pool that in only available to private groups. But after only 21 years is a new yard really necessary?

3. Coors Field: Colorado Rockies, Visited 6/29-30

20190629_190615My favorite mascot among division rivals, Dinger! 

If there’s one thing Dinger and I have in common, it’s our disdain toward that Seal up in San Francisco. 

Of the other 3, it’s very easy to put the remaining NL West trio in any order. Coors Field, opened for business in 1995 is the 3rd oldest yard in the Senior Circuit behind Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium. Not bad company to be with for a yard soon approaching it’s 25th year. 

20190630_134510Coors Field. Established 1995

Opened for business 3 years after Oriole Park in Baltimore, Coors Field opened it’s gates at the height of the 90’s retro yard craze. I’ve often stated that the term retro is often overused. However, with Coors Field, the elements within the yard justify it’s status, or at least it’s exterior, blending in with the continuously developing LoDo neighborhood… 

20190629_132632Greetings From LoDo, Blue Dog !!!

With the Rockies in playoff contention at the time of our visit, Coors Field was filled to capacity during the 2 games we came. Coming off of last year’s playoff appearance after finishing one game behind The Blue, there was a buzz felt throughout the weekend. The Blue would split the two games that my buddy Josh and I attended. 

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Recent changes to Coors Field was the elimination of outfield upper deck seats behind right field, replaced with The Rooftop. 20190629_184028It’s a great social spot for the casual fan and a great way to get in the yard on the cheap. But if you come to ACTUALLY watch the game, get yourself a seat, even if you land one on the Purple Row. 20190630_115454

The landscape beyond CF add’s to Coors Fields charm, surrounded by local natural rocks and greenery complimented by a water display. 20190629_171610Hey Blue Dog! You sure like traveling with Drei !!!

If you should be so daring, do try the Rocky Mountain Oysters at least once. 20190629_194540Taste’s like chicken!!!

If that’s not enough, try out the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout at nearby Wynkoop Brewery. 

20190629_222430This Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout got a good deep malty touch…

20190630_170552See you made a new friend Blue Dog!!!

2. Petco Park: San Diego Padres, Visited 5/5/201920190505_135226

Opened in 2004 Petco Park definitely screams San Diego, with it’s exposed white beams and it’s navy blue seats. With all the so-called retro yards opened in the 90’s, Petco bucked the trend sans the Western Metal Supply Co. Building

20190609_114704Western Metal Supply Co. Building, from the outside…

Daytrips to San Diego are a regular occurrence for the Dodger Blue Faithful as many a Dodger Blue clad fan makes the trek down I-5. Next to Coors Field, Petco may have the best neighborhood vibe of the yards here in the west, with it’s location right next to the Gaslamp. 

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2019050595164509.jpgThe Garv. First number ever retired by the Padres. Of course it took a Dodger to accomplish this feat…

And finally, again putting all biases aside and to the dismay of some…

1.  Oracle Park: San Francisco Giants, Visited 5/1/201920190501_175946

Soon to be in it’s 20th year, Oracle Park is now under it’s 4th name. In spite of certain locals of all ages, including some old enough to be my grandfather, personally wishing me ill will, I really enjoy Oracle and The City. 

Though The Blue would fall on a Buster Posey walk-off, on a personal note, my record over the years at Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T/Oracle Park is 10-9. 20180428_083809.jpgThe Portwalk…

Oracle Park is one of those yards if your visiting for the first time you’ll want to arrive early to check out the various viewing points. Before setting foot inside Oracle take a stroll along the portwalk. Check out the distant views of the bay and the kayaker’s setting up shop along McCovey Cove. 20180428_141225.jpgCody Bellinger has already deposited one to The Cove. It’s only a matter of time Joc drop’s one in…

If you end up in Oracle’s upper reaches, don’t see it as a bad thing. Next to PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Oracle has one of the big’s most distant picturesque views with The Bay as the backdrop…20180428_145237.jpg

 

As for the food, if you really wanted to you could spend the whole game on a food run. On this night, I went with the 40 clove garlic chicken sandwich and garlic fries. 20190501_181902Mints optional…

So there’s my wrap around the NL West. I can now say I’ve chased The Blue in every NL West yard in one season. Here’s more from my visits to Oracle ParkPetco ParkCoors Field Day 1Coors Field Day 2 and Chase Field

 

As if I didn’t have enough, I also had a chance to catch The Blue in Charm City, Baltimore. Charm City report coming soon…

 

 

 

 

Cruising The N.L. West, Day Two: Strolling Through LoDo and The Series Finale, Dodgers vs. Rockies 6/30

Leading Off…

20190630_103852So true in baseball…

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Just a little over 20 minutes before 11AM local time on this last day of June. It’s been a humid weekend in the Mile High City, so far the clouds have stayed away. Prior to the series finale I decide to take a stroll throughout the area surrounding the ballpark. 

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What does this neon artwork look like when lit at night?

e9f2August ’06

It’s still early. How ’bout we grab some breakfast?

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Located about a block from the yard, it’s nice to see Kachina uses ingredients both local and Cali made…

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The Blue Corn Waffles sound good…

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I was expecting the waffles to have more of the blue corn texture as described. But that whiskey maple syrup…What a kick. Syrup also can be served to kids but without the whiskey…Back to my pregame stroll…

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Above are pictures of the construction that will eventually become a mixed use entertainment complex across the street from Coors Field. 

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Views from outside the yard on 20th street…

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With the number of brick buildings surrounding the area Coors Field certainly blends in well with the surrounding neighborhood of LoDo. 

20190630_113921The Starting Nine for Colorado…

20190630_114858Greetings From One Mile High…

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Gettin’ that Mile High feeling…

Speaking of One Mile High…

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This now marks the ninth yard past and present our traveling blue fleece has entered. 

The Purple Row

As you may know by now, the Purple Row in the upper reaches of Coors Field, Row 20 to be exact, marks the sport where fans are exactly one mile above sea level…

20190630_115454Back at it one mile high with Blue Dog

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20190630_115156Hey, Blue Dog’s buddy, Bailey decided to join him a mile high…

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If I should ever make it back to the Mile High City maybe one day I’ll ask for a seat in the purple row…Off to The Rooftop

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On the way to The Rooftop we pass through Carlos Gonzalez’s accomplishment. We hear you love L.A. Carlos…

Pregame view from The Rooftop. The day started off so hot and humid you could actually smell the wood along the drink rail. If it was any hotter i’d be able to cook some wood-smoked salmon…

Behind the Batter’s Backdrop

20190630_123849So tempted to pull a piece of that ivy along the backdrop…

20190630_123951Home plate of the visitors bullpen. That’s gotta be one of the most scenic bullpens in the bigs. Gotta wonder how many warmup pitches have skipped away onto that pool of water. How many dingers have landed there as well…

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Our view from our seats. With this yard’s homer friendly reputation does a Cody Bellinger 4-bagger land our way today? Notice the clouds starting to come in compared to the earlier clear skies…

20190630_131025Opening intro for the Rockies. Our pic featuring Charlie Blackmon…

JP to lead things off for us. I get a feeling he’s gonna have a big day today…

20190630_132230Gettin’ my facetime with Cody Bellinger. 

One of the notable changes to Coors aside from the addition of The Rooftop is their scoreboard and it’s unique “Rocky Mountain-like” shape. Without a doubt one of the best boards in the league when it comes to it’s unique quality…Another side note on this last day of Sunday…Earlier it was sunny, now, first pitch, still hot at 92 degrees but now we have a cloud cover…

Ballpark Blueprints…

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When walking the concourse behind the center field batters backdrop you’ll notice this mural depicting the cattle life of the Rocky Mountains up to the construction and opening of Coors Field in 1995…

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View from the LF corner. For still being one of the biggest yards in the MLB, Coors Field feels surprisingly intimate…

20190630_155518Cody at the dish, top 6th. The visiting 6th would see the Blue put up a 6 spot over the Rockies. The three 6’s would not be kind to the home nine…

20190630_161353After feasting and drinking on Rocky Mountain Oysters this time I kept it simple…The Denver Dog…

20190630_165958JP with a big day as I predicted earlier. One of the key contributors to that big 6th…

20190630_170018Josh sure enjoyed that 6th…Now your weather update…76 degrees and cloudy. A 16 degree drop in just under 4 hours…

20190630_170552Well look who decided to join Blue Dog…In spite of the Blue about to salvage the final game of four and their 13th in their last 15 over Colorado, Dinger holds no ill-feelings…

After a little over 4 hours, the Blue finally comes away victorious…

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And I finally see a road win…

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FINALLY !!! A WIN ON THE ROAD FOR DREI !!!

20190630_171723Brought the other Blue Fleece on the road. This is the first time this Blue has left California. Our newfound Dodger buddy Dion, visiting from Wyoming, helped me hold up Blue Fleece II as we battled the Rocky Mountain winds…

20190630_171952My first “real” road trip with Josh in almost 10 years (SF and SD don’t count…). Our last road trip? Albuquerque, 2010, when ABQ was the Dodgers AAA affiliate. Today’s ABQ affiliate? Of course, the Colorado Rockies…

Closing Time…

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It was an enjoyable weekend in the Mile High City. The locals we’re very hospitable. It was great to get out on the road again with my buddy Josh after almost 10 years. Of course, the older you get the harder it is to do everything you set out to do. Heck, I haven’t even been to a game with Kid Marlz this season (Stay tuned…)

Now the third oldest yard in the NL behind only Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium, Coors Field won’t be going away anytime soon. Even with the changes both in and outside the yard, Coors Field, though does not have that new-stadium feel anymore, still maintains that retro/mid 90s feel if you will. Even with the recent improvements, there isn’t much in the way to distract you from the game. Aesthetically, Coors Field blends in well with the surrounding neighborhood…

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One of my baseball traveling goals was to catch the Dodgers in every NL West yard. One of my other goals was to do it in the same season as well. I’ve accomplished one of the two so far with Chase Field left to go. Along the way during this trip we crossed paths with other Dodgers fans. No surprise there since Dodgers fans always travel well. We even crossed paths with a bride and her besties as they celebrate one last baseball trip together before she ties the knot…(That’s quite a future hubby she got there letting her travel with her besties to see her Dodgers…)

It’s still my goal to hit up all 30. I’ve hit up 16 of the current 30 along with 7 past yards (8 if you count me setting foot inside The Kingdome…)

20190630_174530Time to head home Blue…

20190630_185847Boy the weather sure can change rapidly here…Being we’re one state away from Oz perhaps I should click my heals a few times to get us home…

Extra Innings…Drei’s Tale

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Kickin’ it with Dinger, August ’06…I need to revisit my good ol’ Jurassic buddy…

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Whassup Dinger ! You still enjoy chomping on Surf and Turf? You know, seal from the waters of McCovey Cove and your favorite…Rocky Mountain Oysters !!!

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Cruising The N.L. West, Rocky Mountain Weekend, Day One: National Baseball Museum and Dodgers-Rockies 6/29/2019

It’s been awhile since my buddy Josh and I had a chance to take a road trip, and when I say that, I don’t mean a drive to San Diego…LOL. Upon arriving late Friday evening into early Saturday morning, the night was made even longer by an extremely long rental car checkout no thanks to Fox Rent a Car and an extremely longer wait at Denny’s on 40th and Peoria. 

Having got the most grueling part of the trip out of the way, Josh and I make our way to the National Baseball Museum prior to the Saturday evening match up between the Dodgers and Rockies. But first, our continued feature of murals from cities visited…

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Keep our streets safe Denver…

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The museum is located across the street from Coors Field’s home plate entrance on Blake and 20th. Small and intimate, the museum is a must-see for any baseball fan making their way through the Mile High City. 

Much of what is featured in the museum are original memorabilia from baseball’s original 14 teams including an original piece from the chandelier of Ebbets Field’s famed rotunda… 

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20190629_155729.jpgTurnstyles from Shibe Park in Philadelphia and Forbes Field in Pittsburgh

 

 

Seats and bricks from the original 14…

 

 

Paying tribute to the Denver Bears

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Kicking it with Josh and the man who put this all together, Bruce Hellerstein

Off To The Ol’ Ballgame

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Blue Dog taking in the sights around the yard hours before first pitch…

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A little over an hour and a half before first pitch finds me outside of Coors Field’s home plate entrance. It would be my first time back since ’06 when I saw some kid, Troy Tulowtizky, make his debut…It’s a goal of mine to see The Blue in every NL West yard this year…

As said, this is my first trip to Coors Field since 2006Coors Field, open for business since 1995 is now the 3rd oldest NL yard behind only Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium. At only 24 years, Coors Field is quietly up there with good company. No small feat considering that the Ballpark in Arlington, opened one year prior, will be out of commission after this season. 

20190629_170853Josh and I kickin’ it with Herbie Husker, the University of Nebraska mascot on Nebraska Night at Coors…

20190629_171440Coors Field water feature, with all the natural scenery home grown in Colorado…

Pregame Bite…The Helton Burger

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The Helton Burger, named after former Rockie Todd Helton is nothing more than your typical burger. But hey, it’s one of those ballpark food items you eat for the sake of saying you ate a ballpark item, you know, like the Dodger Dog…Speaking of, another Coors Field food item coming later…

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Our view from the upper right field stands. It was a warm and humid weekend in the Mile High City. As you can see the sun is doing it’s best to peak through the cloud cover on this Saturday evening…

More Coors Field Eats…Rocky Mountain Oysters

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Some of you may know by now that Rocky Mountain Oysters are not creatures of the sea. They are grown on land from a part of a bull…

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Josh behind me giving words of encouragement. That piece looks more like a chicken strip…

20190629_194429 The look on Josh’s face. That Rockies fan probably thinking “Not another Rocky Mountain Oyster pic…”

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Not bad actually. Maybe it was me channeling my Asian roots…That Rockies fan seems to be in disbelief that I went all in on that Rocky Mountain Oyster…It’s not as bad or creepy as people make it out to be. If you like chicken gizzards or calamari and don’t give this local delicacy much thought, you’ll be alright…(The fans behind me seem to be in disagreement…OK, I guess my Asian genes gave me an advantage…)

20190629_202521View of the sunset peaking through the cloud covers, from the Rooftop with the mountains in the distance…

20190629_203018Ah yeah. Gotta love that view…

20190629_202600Another view from The Rooftop, the most recent enhancement to Coors Field…

The final result from night one of our two day trip to Denver wasn’t what we hoped, with the Dodgers dropping their second straight of four to the Rockies. Oh well. The Blue still has a double-digit lead in the standings. Back at it tomorrow…

20190629_211906Matt Holliday. My all-time favorite Rockie for something he did in a Cardinals uniform in Game 2 of the 2009 NLDS

20190629_212113Hey Josh! Enjoying the Mile High nighlife?

Day One Notes…Return to the Mile High

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Since I’ve already been to Coors this isn’t one of those yards that was necessary to knock of on my journey to 30. Prior to this season I made it a goal to see The Blue in every NL West venue. With my visit to Coors, I’m only a Chase Field visit away from completing my cycle. 

Aside from the recent addition of The Rooftop not much has changed inside Coors since my visit in 2006. As mentioned earlier, opened in 1995 it is now the 3rd oldest yard in the National League behind only Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium. Unlike the Ballpark In Arlington, opened for business one year prior and now in it’s final season, Coors will be around for awhile. If there’s any doubt about Coors Field status, a mixed-use development project across from Coors Field named after the teams former President is currently in the works, adding on to an already thriving LoDo district…

20190629_204846Construction cranes in the distance, lit purple

Postgame…Rocky Mountain Brews and Eats

Our postgame dining would take us to nearby Wynkoop Brewing Company, established in 1988 (Something about 1988 that puts a smile on my face…). 

20190629_223301Patty’s Chile Beer

First of all, you all didn’t think I came to Denver to drink Coors did you? The first of two brews I tried, Patty’s Chile Beer is one of those outside the box selections brewed with Anaheim, serrano and ancho peppers. For the most part it’s a pretty light beer. The taste of the three peppers are evident but won’t burn your mouth. A Home Run! BTW, this isn’t the only out of box brew I will try…

20190629_223725Appetizers. The grilled sausage board. Rabbit & rattlesnake jalapeno, Wynkoop IPA and wild boar, and rocky mountain oyster stout brat. 

Yup. They love their rocky mountain oyster’s here. That’s not the last item I’ll try that has a “hint” of the Rocky Mountain’s…

20190629_222347Josh playing it safe with the house made root beer…

20190629_224429The Bison Meatloaf. (I had no idea they had a dish honoring Matt Kemp…)

Even with a coarser taste, the Bison Meatloaf is still flavorful and just as good as your usual ground beef. Patty’s Chile Beer made for a nice pair. Speaking of brew…

20190629_222108Our Featured Brew, the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout

Yup, you read that correctly, the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout! What started out as an April Fools joke, this dark stout once again isn’t as scary as what you might think if again, you don’t give it much thought, with a hint of chocolate combined with, of course, rocky mountain oysters, roasted no less (Have you noticed yet I’ve yet to give a true description of the famed, or infamous, Rocky Mountain delicacy?) Another hit outta the yard !!! (Disclaimer…I take no responsibility for any conditions you may experience trying anything with Rocky Mountain Oysters!!!)

Day One is complete. The highlights included a trip to the National Ballpark Museum to finally tasting the much talked about Rocky Mountain Oysters in all different forms. Day two will be coming soon. 

20190629_233311Josh and I outside the Wynkoop Brewery. Josh looking all happy because I didn’t force him to “try” one more Rocky Mountain Oyster item…

20190629_234548 (1)After dinner stroll with Blue…

20190629_234702 (1)Denver must have known we we’re coming, giving us that “Touch of Blue”…

20190629_171610Back at it tomorrow, Blue Dog !!!

Extra Innings…One More Bite

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Just can’t have enough of those Rocky Mountain Oysters!!! That Rockies fan seems to have his eyes on “other” sites…

 

Hot Dogs and Independence Day

Leading Off…

DODGERS_ODAY 2010 FLAG

Of course we all know there is more to Independence Day than just hot dogs and fireworks. As always, we thank the men and women who have fought to defend our great country since 1776. America has and will always be great…

Battle of the Dogs… The Filipino Dog vs. The Colorado Dog

 

As we celebrate America’s birthday, many of you will be chowing down on your share of encased meats. Some of you will no doubt be taking part in some back yard hot dog eating contest, no doubt walking it off on your way to the fireworks show at your neighborhood park.

 The sausage has come a long way since it’s invention, with it’s accouterments going beyond the relish, mustard and ketchup. Even with the vast dining options the hot dog still remains the most consumed food item inside the ballpark.

The Dodger Dog. A longtime staple inside the walls of Chavez Ravine. A favorite among many a Dodger fan. As for me, I tend to lean more toward the Super Dodger Dog. For only a buck more, you get a beefier and tastier dog. 

On certain nights, a specialty super dog is served. The specialty dog will be themed around that specific game’s heritage night, the opponent or sometimes both. The specialty dog’s, like most baseball stats, are hit and miss, such as The Pike Dog (Mariners) and The Philly Dog (Phillies)

On this Friday evening, during Filipino Night in celebration of Philippine Independence Day,  with the Colorado Rockies in town in a battle of 2 of baseball’s top teams, both the Filipino Dog and the Colorado Dog would be served. 

BATTLE OF THE DODGER DOGS

BATTLE OF THE DODGER DOGS_FILIPINO AND COLORADO DOGS

So, in the battle of the dogs, which dog would come out the top dog? FYI, it has not “officially” been confirmed yet whether future Colorado Dog’s will topped off with Rocky Mountain Oysters   

 

9th Inning…To Those Who Protect

DODGERS_ODAY 2010 ARMED FORCES CARRYING THE FLAG

 

Outside The Yard: When Professional Athletes Like Sandy Koufax, Shawn Green and…Colin Kaepernick Take a Stand (Or Seat)

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Much has been made these last few days over the last few days over San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the national anthem,” eliciting many a mixed response to the point we’ve asked What does The Star Spangled Banner really represent? “. Debate over whether The national anthem being played is necessary at not only sporting events but other prestigious venues has also been debated. If you even brought up the topic at some point chances are either your “Patriotism” among other beliefs was probably questioned.

Which brings the question: What makes for a true American ? Does taking a stand, or in Colin’s case, a seat, make him any less American? Is he the first one that has spoken over his disdain toward how things are in this proud country we live in? Of course not. Was he disrespecting those who fought for our rights and freedoms? Again, that is up for debate, which is what we, as a nation, have been doing.  

When the Star Spangled Banner is played, how many of you when at the games have actually put your hand over your heart? I see fans who won’t even take their hats off. Fans of all ethnicity. Would you dare walk up to a white fan and demand he take off his hat? Probably not. 

Prior to Kaepernick’s refusal to stand, how many of you, and even until now, even knew or know who wrote The Star Spangled Banner? How many of you even know the words past the first verse? Not many of you huh. Does that make you an untrue American? Of course not. If I was to ask a casual Dodgers fan what year Jackie Robinson broke into the bigs and didn’t give a response would that make him or her any less of a fan? No.

Of course Colin has dealt with a heavy dose of backlash. Of course we’ve heard the standard “If you don’t like it here, leave” quote. Well, I’m sure there will be lot’s of you out there who will complain about our country’s status come November regardless who are leader is. How many of you will be bolting north to the praises of Oh Canada. Yup. Didn’t think so.

 Colin has also received plenty of support from those who truly do put it all on the line. Of course, we thank them for doing everything within their power to protect all our rights…

 

Did Colin burn a cross while draped in a white-hooded robe ? Did Colin protest the funeral of a fallen military hero? Yet these same people who I refuse to acknowledge by name get the same rights of Freedom of Speech that Colin is being vilified for. How many of you have ever gone out and counter-protested?

Colin is far from the first athlete to use his prestigious stature to express his views. Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time, didn’t he refuse to join the military even if it meant being stripped of his World Heavyweight title and possible jail time? Even Jackie Robinson once said “I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag”

Taking a stand on one’s belief as we know, is not just limited to politics either. 

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Shawn Green missed a couple of huge games during the heat of the pennant race in 2001 and 2004 to observe the Day of Atonement. 

 (Sandy Koufax, MLB)

 Of course most Dodgers and longtime baseball fans are aware of Sandy Koufax’s refusal to pitch in Game One of the 1965 World Series so that he may observe Yom Kippur. Yes, the Jewish Day of Atonement. 

Yes, it is true that we have a tendency to hold professional athletes to a higher standard. It’s also true that we as rabid sports fans, including this one, tend to place our favorite players on a higher pedestal because of feats accomplished on the field. There will be division among this but hey, it should be OK for an athlete to exercise their right and use a highly scrutinized platform to express their beliefs. All Colin did was refuse to stand for a song that we are all now debating whether it really represents patriotism and whether it should be played before sporting events. Sandy and Shawn took a game off to practice their beliefs. It was their right. The fact that the Dodgers allowed them to go forward and put their beliefs before a huge game says a lot about our Dodger organization as well.

 If there is one thing Colin accomplished, it got ALL OF US talking. Like it, or not…

9th Inning… 

Uh, make that…Top of the 9th…After trailing earlier 8-2…Dodgers down 2…2 outs…Bases loaded…1 out away from a 3 game sweep at the hands of the Colorado Rockies…And then this…From Rookie Andrew Toles…The Rookie who started the year in Single A Rancho Cucamonga…

RANCHO_AFTER SHOCK Hey ! Even AfterShock had to love that !!!

The fun is just beginning…Welcome to September…

Editors Note: I originally finished my post after the 8th inning when The Blue was still trailing…OOPS !!!! ( A good OOPS !!!) Note to Drei…Never publish any in-game thoughts until that 27th out…YOU KNOW BETTER !!!!

Extra Innings…1965 World Series, Game 7

If Sandy had any harsh critics for missing Game 1 over observing The Day of Atonement, he sure silenced them after Game 7…( A “Young” Vin Scully with the action…)

Notes on a Scorecard…Closing Out The First Half…

As the first half of the season came to a close, after going a little more than a month without setting foot inside Dodger Stadium, or a MLB stadium for that matter, I made it back to The Ravine. In a span of 8 days, I caught 4, kept score for 3. The 4th game, that will be a SUN-DAY, FUN-DREI tale from Kid N Drei. 

Speaking of tales, the last time Drei kept score, my Notes on a Scorecard feature was, for one day renamed, Drei’s Tales From a Scorecard. Hey, when you’re keeping score for 17 innings, you come up with more than just notes…

Sunday 7/3/2016 vs. Colorado…

 In the home 1st our rookie sensation Corey Seager would extend his hitting streak to 17 games…

Brandon McCarthy, making his first start in over a year, strikes out 8 Rockies in 5 innings…

Though the Blue would end up sweeping the Rockies, Puig would yet be involved in another base running gaffe, this time in the 4th inning. If you check Yasmani Grandal’s 4th inning AB, it will say a popout 5-4 DP. Of course, it would involve Puig… 

As for Grandal, he would atone for the unusual P 5-4 DP with this solo shot in the 7th…

It’s not often one gets asked to atone for a P5-4 DP  is it ? Grandal would have another huge night 5 days later…

Dodgers 4 Rockies 1

Tuesday 7/5/2016 vs. Orioles

With the Orioles in town for the first time since 2004, this would be the 27th team I’ve seen the Blue play at The Ravine. Once the Twins and Royals come through, which may be awhile, I’ll be able to say that I saw the other 29 at The Ravine…

On this night, Kenta Maeda wasn’t exactly sharp. He would battle his way out of trouble, until the top 5th, when Orioles slugger Manny Machado would do damage…

 

That 3 run shot would be the difference as the O’s would snap a 5 game losing streak with their first regular season win at Dodger Stadium…

Oriole 4 Dodgers 1

Other streaks that we’re snapped… Corey Seager’s 19 game hitting streak…The Dodgers 9 game home winning streak as well as their own 5 game winning streak…

For some reason, the Black and Orange on the Orioles doesn’t elicit such evil hatred…

OH Say Does That Star Spangled Banner Yet Wave…

Orioles fans bringing a Baltimore anthem tradition inside The Ravine…

Thursday 7/7 vs Padres

 Unlike Brandon McCarthy, Hyun Jin Ryu’s first start of the season was anything but memorable, surrendering 6 runs in only 4 2/3 innings. Ryu would strike out 4, but this solo shot by Melvin Upton Jr. may have been a sign of things to come…

We would not know this at the time, but this would be Drew Pomeranz’s final game on the hill for the Padres, as he would toss 7 scoreless while limiting the Blue to 2. It’s that time of year folks where teams look to bolster their rosters for the stretch run. Too bad he couldn’t bolt for Boston soon enough. With the Red Sox coming to town next month, we just may see him yet again…

Padres 6 Dodgers 0

So this 3 game stretch  featured some firsts ( McCarthy’s and Ryu’s first starts, the Orioles first regular season win at Dodger Stadium ) a lot of work put in by our bullpen, and last ( Pomeranz’s last game as a Padre… ) and last but not least, a return of Kid N Drei…

 I have no idea why Kid N Drei decided to go all hipster on this Thursday night… Perhaps SUN-DAY, FUN-DREI will have a better ending ?

Dreis 1st Half Thoughts…

At 51-40 and 6.5 games back, the Dodgers are actually on pace for 91 wins. For all the injuries to our rotation and our offensive inconsistencies, if I we’re to give Dave Roberts a mid-season grade i’d say he’d get a solid B. With the acquisition of Bud Norris and the return of Brandon McCarthy and Hyun Jin Ryu, our rotation may have gone from one of the thinnest to one of the deepest. When Kershaw comes back from the DL it will be interesting to see who goes to the ‘pen. I said prior to the season the Dodgers would win 91 games en route to a 4th straight NL West crown. Will it be enough to overtake the hated ones ? Let the 2nd half begin…

9th Inning…Kid N Drei

 Oh the things we do when The Blue is having a long night. Even our pet Minion Dave doesn’t look so happy…

Extra Innings…Late Night Bites with Kid N Drei

 Kid N Drei with the Big Bites from Fat Sal’s… ( Never again Kid is Drei doing “Hipster Thursday”…LOL )

 

A Wild Wild Finish…It’s Just The Beginning…

Leading Off…

Still talking about that wild finish from what Vin called, The Wild Horse ? Baseball is a crazy game isn’t it ?…It’s no stretch when they say it’s a game of inches. If Nationals SS Danny Espinoza is shaded a couple more inches to his left that hard ground ball Puig hits up the middle gives this game a different ending huh ? A couple more inches to his left and Espinoza forgoes the dive toward the ball and instead of a mob at the plate a possible game ending 6-4-3 ends a 4 game losing streak for the NL East leading Nats and they’re the ones walking the post game victory line. Instead, the Nationals are now on a 5 game skid while the Dodgers are currently on a 6 game streak as well as winning 8 of their last 10.

A game of inches this great game is. For every line drive that finds a glove, a routine grounder finds a hole…It happens…That’s the law of averages…That’s baseball…No big deal right ? Puig keeps the rally going…Now we get runners on 1st and 2nd…Until that ground ball hit that was inches from Espinoza’s glove found more than just a hole…

 

yasiel-puig-walk-off-nationals-dodgers Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

 Nationals Center Fielder Michael Taylor, doing a bat flip ( Not that kind… ) after 1 of 5 times he would strike out ( AP Photo: Chris Carlson )

Striking out 5 times was not even the worst part of Taylor’s night. On a night the Dodgers would honor the current Nationals skipper with his own bobblehead, the frantic finish that couldn’t have been scripted by even the most acclaimed Hollywood writer…Michale Taylor’s performance Wednesday night could perhaps be the worst performance ever by a single MLB player.

My fandom for Dodger baseball and the game started in 1980. Dusty Baker was roaming the outfield for The Blue. I’m not so sure if I’ve seen a performance that was worse than what Taylor displayed Wednesday night. And yet, even with that performance, we all would trade in our bad day’s at the office for his…In a heartbeat. 

img_20160623_164222.jpgDusty Baker Bobblehead…I tend to think this looks more like Pedro Guerrero (Photo: Marly Rivera, ESPN)

Around The NL West…

The Dodgers have won 6 in a row, 8 of their last 10. Unfortunately, the Giants have been hot themselves, winning 11 of their last 12, including a just concluded 6-1 road trip. In that span, the Dodgers have gained a mere half game in the standings, finding themselves 6 back. At 41-33, only 4 other teams currently have more wins than The Boys in Blue. Not bad considering the inconsistencies our offense has endured as well as our health issues among the starting 5…

While the Rockies continue to hang around, while Zack Greinke has recovered from a slow start and another solid season from Paul Goldschmidt, the off-season expectations have not panned out for The Snakes. The Padres continue to look up at the rest of the division and may want to unload some pieces before the August 1st non-waiver deadline. I said before the season that Matt Kemp would be on the trading block and I still believe that. Known for his 2nd half of the season finishes, Kemp has actually had some decent offensive numbers to this point, going yard 15 times with 54 RBIs, ranking 4th in the NL with a modest .268 average. 

Because Kemp has been a defensive liability, something we would not have thought of in 2011, an AL team would be a good fit for him for the stretch run ( Yes folks, I’m thinking Matt as a DH, with some occasional starts in the OF). Perhaps the Astros, who have played some good ball lately, would be a good fit for Matt, especially at hitter friendly Minute Maid Park ?

Now back to The Blue. At 6 games back, the NL West race is far from over. The current 6 game wining streak, 4 of which found them pulling it off from the 8th inning on, should hopefully carry the momentum as they embark on a 7 game road trip that begins in Pittsburgh. 

As we all know, The Blue still needs reinforcements both offensively and among the backend of the starting 5. The latest talk has The Blue looking at both Sonny Gray and Julio Teheran to solidify the rotation.

On The Road…PNC Park, Pittsburgh PA

Dre_PNCPark One of 17 of the current 30 MLB parks i’ve visited, September 2005

One of my favorite parks I’ve had the chance to visit. A visit to PNC is definitely worth the hype… If you can, walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge on your way to the game. The late Pirate legend has a statue outside the left field gate that every baseball fan should view…

Dre_PirateParrot Kicking’ it with The Pirate Parrot. ” Your Bucs we’re not help against the Jints this week ! ” 

9th Inning…BELIEVE

wpid-picsart_10-10-08.25.43.jpg

A 6 game deficit in June is nothing….The Dog Days of Summer is only beginning folks…

 

Looking Back on 10 Years a Good Dre…Big Game James

In the 10 years I’ve been doing this, I have taken plenty of pictures of both players and personal experiences from The Ravine and throughout various ballparks from various points and perspectives…

picsart_04-23-04.20.22.jpg Today, we feature James Loney, pictured here in 2010 with former Fox Sports West and current ESPN sports anchor Michael Eaves.

picsart_04-23-08.25.21.jpg Universal Citiwalk, February 2008

Loney would wear the Dodger Blue from 2006-12. In that time, James would provide some memorable moments, including a 4 for 5 performance with 9 RBI’s  in a late September 2006 game at Coors Field. Loney would hit 9 home runs in September 2007, the most by a Dodger rookie recently tied with Joc Pederson last May 2015. 

Though James would enjoy lots of success at Coors Field, perhaps he may be best remembered for this home run in Game 1 of the 2008 NLDS against the Cubs… 

The Loney slam no doubt swung the momentum of the series in the Dodgers favor as they would sweep the Cubs, baseballs best team in the regular season, en route to their first NLCS appearance in 20 years.

James recently signed a minor league deal with the Padres so it is possible that we may see him play at The Ravine, perhaps with Matt Kemp. ( As per my preseason outlook, I still say Matt Kemp won’t be calling Petco Park home by July 31st…).

Cruising The NL West…

After some early bullpen struggles, The depth of The Blue, in addition to some stellar play along with some outstanding pitching from Kid K ( as expected ) and The Rookie sensation Kenta Maeda, sit atop the NL West 1 1/2 up on the Rockies as the two wrap up a 3 game series at Coors Field. Arizona, after a 3-7 start, has won 7 of 9 including a 4 game sweep of the Giants in San Francisco. The Giants have won their last 2 after a stretch in which they lost 8 of 10. 

Some of my early concerns right now are with Scott Kazmir and Alex Wood, who have not exactly been the face of consistency to this point. Aside from a shaky start from the bullpen and some inconsistent performances from 2 of our starters, I am satisfied with what The Blue has displayed to this point…

Sun-Day, Fun-Drei Tale…Jurrassic Life Does Exist !!!

picsart_04-23-07.30.19.jpg Having a little fun with my new-found buddy Dinger, just weeks before Big Game James unloaded those 9 RBI’s en route to a Coors Field type win for the Blue, 19-11. If you Dodger fans or other baseball fans get a chance you should check out Coors Field. Like with many yards, though there have been changes since my visit to Coors Field in August 2006, I am confident Coors still remains a yard worth paying a visit to. Check out this recent review of Coors Field from Stadium Journey, including it’s newest addition, The Rooftop

Stadium Journey Also, check out our 2015 MLB Ballpark Experience Rankings to help assist you with your ballpark and other sports travel journeys…

 

 

Drei’s 2016 N.L. Forecast

Leading Off…

Here’s what Drei had to say heading into last season…

“Since Don Mattingly took over the managerial reins in 2011, the Dodgers have improved their win total by an average of 4 games. Should that trend continue into this season, the Blue Crew should finish with 98 wins, and yet, he seems to be on the hot seat every season…It’s been 27 years now. There are enough Dodger fans out there young enough asking what was it like to have experienced a World Series victory.”

Don Mattingly guided The Blue to their 3rd consecutive division title with 92 wins, yet the hot seat never cooled, sending to a much cooler summer climate, Miami. It’s been 28 years now, and Dodgers fans of all generations are growing somewhat impatient for that October experience…

N.L. East

Two of baseball’s best pitching staffs just may reside here in the NL East. The Mets return the bulk of their starting rotation that led them to their first World Series appearance since 2000 and with Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndegaard and Steve Matz ready to take on a full season, this team could be primed for another WS run. The Nationals, last year’s favorites among many of the experts to win the WS, still posses a pretty potent all-around lineup to compliment their strong rotation, anchored by Stephen Strasburg. Injuries and the lack of team unity played key roles in the Nats late season meltdown, costing Matt Williams his job.   The lineup will once again count on Bryce Harper to put up some big numbers along Wilson Ramos, Danny Espinosa and their newest addition Daniel Murphy. It is hoped that proven skipper Dusty Baker will be able to keep this team completely focused. Dealing with players with adverse personalities is nothing new for Dusty. Let’s not forget he managed both Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent for several seasons. The Braves and Phillies, once the class of this division, could are in serious rebuild mode and could both potentially lose over 100 games…

N.L. Central

The Cubs made some key off-season moves, including the additions of Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist to an already dangerous lineup. Much of the attention will be focused on their pitching, considered to be one of the deepest with the top 3 in the rotation of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and John Lackey. Many are picking the Cubs to not only go deep into October but to also win that big Fall Prize that has eluded them the last 108 years. This could just be their year…

The Pirates, post-season participants for 3 consecutive seasons, will be highly competitive again this season even the the loss of A.J. Burnett and J.A. Happ from their rotation. The rotation still has a top 1-2 tandem between Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano. The lineup is still anchored by Andrew McCutchen, and his supporting cast with Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco is pretty dynamic themselves. It may be a stretch to pick the Bucs to finish atop the Central, but a 4th consecutive post-season appearance is not out of the question. Now if they could just find a way to avoid that dreaded wild card game. The Pirates, riding their most successive run since 1990-92, may have 3 consecutive post-season appearances under their belt but two consecutive one and done’s may unfairly have Clint Hurdle in the hot seat should the Bucs fail to make a deep October run…

The Cardinals, owners of last years best record in baseball, lost starter John Lackey to the rival Cubs and will be without Lance Lynn for the season. If Adam Wainwright can remain healthy throughout the season, along with Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez, both who are still young, and the addition of Mike Leake, there’s no reason the Cardinals should not be able to compete in what could be baseball’s best division for the second consecutive season. If Matt Adams and Matt Holliday can rebound from injury plagued seasons, this lineup, along with Matt Carpenter at the top, could quietly be one of the leagues best.

N.L. West

I’m not going to lie. Though I do truly believe the Dodgers will win the West for the 4th consecutive season, I am mostly going with my heart. But hey, most so-called experts rarely ever get their predictions on the mark, right ?

Much has been made of the off-season moves within the division and it is expected to be a 3 team race between the Dodgers, Giants and Diamondbacks. The two big additions to the rivals was the addition of Johnny Cueto to the Giants, and of course the addition of Zack Greinke away from the Blue over to the DBacks, who we’re among the league leaders in offense last season. 

Spring Training has not entirely been so kind to the Dodgers, who already are beset by some health issues in the back end of the rotation. The good news, in spite of our early season worries, not every Dodger got hurt during Spring TrainingThe top 3, led by Kid K with Scott Kazmir and off-season addition Kenta Maeda, will give the Blue a formidable front end of the rotation. My concerns however are how will Maeda, coming off a solid spring,  hold up in his first big league season… Can Kazmir stay healthy and retain his 2015 form ? Can Alex Wood bounce back from his 2nd half swoon and prove to be a legitimate 4th starter ? Hyun-Jin Ryu, who missed all of last season, is expected to give the rotation a boost if he should return by mid-May at the earliest.

The outfield, even with the loss of Andre Ethier until at least June, is still pretty deep, however these questions loom…Will Puig finally display a full season of his potential ? Can Joc Pederson cut down on his strikeouts and improve upon his on base percentage ? Can Carl Crawford stay healthy enough until Andre returns ? It’s expected that Crawford and Scott Van Slyke will be platooning in left field. The infield will be a good combo of experience and youth. This lineup has the potential to put up some big numbers and could have 3 30 plus home run boppers in Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig. If Puig can give us a 20/20 season, and Joc can hit somewhere in the .270’s our offense should be allright. 

So everyone expects a 3 team race here in the NL West. The Rockies and Padres are not expected to do much and there have been talks that the Friars are looking to unload some of their key acquisitions from last year, including Matt Kemp. If the Padres are out of contention by July, I see Kemp, who in typical fashion had a strong finish last season, heading to one of two possible sleepers, Seattle or Miami ( Yeah, Kemp reunited with Mattingly, playing with Dee Gordon, and Barry Bonds as his hitting coach. Hmmm )

NL Wild Card

Cubs over the Cards. Again, after this one-game elimination game is over, talks and debates will resume over an expanded WC series… 

NLDS

Cubs over the Pirates. The Pirates will finally be playing in an actual playoff series, only to be disappointed once again by everyone’s pre-season favorites. Does an appearance past the WC keep Hurdle off the hot seat ?

Dodgers over the Mets. In another closely contested series, this time, it’s OUR Boys in Blue who prevails 

NLCS

In a battle of two teams who have 97 years combined without a World Series appearance, someone finally ends their drought. Why not us ? Dodgers over the Cubs

As I’ve admitted, my pick of our Blue going all the way is for all intents and purposes, from the heart. The Blue is expected to contend once again this season. They may be banged up right now, but hey, no team goes through a full 162 game season without some dings and scratches, right ? 

World Series… A Battle of Blue

It’s been 27 years. In that time, we’ve endured 2 Bush’s, and we may be on our way toward a 2nd Clinton…. Oh yeah, it would be great if we can give Good Ol’ Vin a Grand Sendoff, right ?

9th Inning…A Tale From The Park…With KID N DREI…

20140831_164815.jpg Because Kid Marley Marlz has all that ” Kid Like ” energy during the off-season, Drei needs to take him to the park…

20140831_164829.jpg ” HEY KID ! When are we gonna come up with that Dodger song ? ” Kid Marley Marlz may call me Dre Beats, but it’s The Kid who spits out The Beats and the Everyday Blessings, while Drei, well, Drei just tells The Tales.  Hey Kid ! When our we gonna do that Dodger song ?… ‘Til The Next Episode…Close us out KID !!!

Everyday Blessings… Kid Marley Marlz

 

 

Super Bowl Sunday Is Just Around The Corner…We’re That Much Closer To Opening Day…Time to Hit Up the Super Bowl Parties Right ?

Leading Off…

OK. Let’s admit it. Though most of the commercials during the Super Bowl are mostly duds, we all have that one that just makes our personal all-time number one list…

Budweiser ‘Ref Tune-Out’, Super Bowl XXXVIII, 2004

With Super Bowl Sunday just around the corner, that just means that we are that much closer to spring training. Time to hit up the Super Bowl parties, right ?

SB PARTY 2 (NJ Monthly)

WRONG ! Now I know that many of you Dodgers and baseball fans are also fans of the pigskin as well. Any real fan will tell you, SUPER BOWL PARTIES ARE THE ABSOLUTE WORST ! Way more often than not, a good, if not majority amount of the guests at the party will not even be football fans. Look at that picture above. Notice how most of them aren’t even glued to the tv ? OK, I’ll give it up to the lady in the white NY Giants jersey. Yeah, she’s probably gorging on her 3rd plate of gluttony. But hey, as much as the food gouger is on many a fan’s list of annoying SB guests, I don’t mind them. After all, most SB parties are going to have an abundance of food. Hey, if you’re there to, wait for it, ACTUALLY WATCH THE GAME ( IS THAT WHY THEY HAVE SUPER BOWL PARTIES ? ), then hey, have at the grub. Heck, there’ll probably be more than enough for you to take home for tomorrow’s lunch, right ?

The problem with these parties is, the guests that are only there to socialize way to often far outnumber the actual fans. They talk too much during the game. These same people who don’t even watch one single down the entire season, some are there to pretend they are a fan, some are there for 2 things…The commercials and the halftime show. At least one of the guests ( You’ll be lucky if it’s only one ) will constantly bombard you with such questions, ” Why are you such a big fan ? Did you ever play football ? ” And so on and so on…

12487304_1039322489439224_1776770481246738746_o

If you happen to be a fan of either the Denver Broncos or the Carolina Panthers, then you definitely need to stay out of a Super Bowl party. Trust me on this one.  This is even worse than if you’re not a fan of either team. You will be so vested in the game the last thing you want is that one party goer, not necessarily a woman believe it or not, not only bombarding you with 20 questions ( Again, if it’s only 20 questions consider yourself lucky…), but bombarding you with questions about your fandom, you know, the type that will ask you ” How long have you been a fan ? Why are you such a big fan ? Why do you like such and such team so much ? ” And on, and on… Oh yeah, being that you are, wait for it…. A FAN ! Chances are, you probably have your own personal superstitions/traditions. I mean, really, could you just imagine if the Steelers we’re in the SB and having someone ask a Steelers fan, ” Why do you always wave that yellow towel ?”. But hey, if you feel you must, instead of going to someone else’s party, how ’bout hosting your own get together in the very comforts of your fancave. You, and maybe two of your close buddies who, like you, have an actual interest in the game. Again, trust me on this, being around only two of your close buddies rather than a whole bunch of wannabe fans pretending to have an interest in the game is certainly a hell of a better way to spend that one Sunday of the year. 

I’m not going to delve into a list of reasons why a real fan should avoid a Super Bowl party as i’m sure many of you real, actual fans can come up with some better ones. Think i’m the only one who detests SB parties ? 

Super Bowl Fun Facts…

This will be the Denver Broncos 8th Super Bowl appearance, tying them for the most ever with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys. The Broncos are 2-5 in Super Bowls

Denver, as the designated home team, has opted to wear their road whites. In past Super Bowls, where Denver has worn orange, they are 0-4, being outscored by a combined total of 166-38. 

Jerry rice.jpgJerry Rice scoring a TD in Super Bowl XXIV against the Broncos. The sight of an opponent’s back strutting toward the endzone hands held high with the football has been an all-too familiar one for the Broncos while donning the orange…( Gin Ellis/Getty Images )

The Broncos are hardly the only team to be superstitious when it comes to the gameday jersey. To this day the Dallas Cowboys still refuse to wear their blue jerseys during home games. Even the Broncos neighbors, the Colorado Rockies, got into the act during their post-season run of 2007, when they continually donned the sleveless blacks

The Carolina Panthers are the 4th 15 plus win regular season team to play in the Super Bowl, joining the 15 win 49ers and Bears of 1984 and 1985 and the 16-0 Patriots of 2007. Cam Newton and crew are with pretty good company…

Overall, this will be Carolina’s 2nd Super Bowl appearance. Their only appearance was in 2003, Jake Delhomme was their starting QB

delhomme_newton Jake Delhomme, QB from SB XXXVIII and Cam Newton (USA Today Sports)

 

Drei’s Super Pick

I really enjoy watching Cam Newton play. This Carolina team is just on another level right now. Peyton Manning has been there before. But hey, a part of me wants to see this Carolina team join the ’84 49ers and ’85 Bears as the NFL’s only other 18 win teams. That would definitely be one elite class…

Broncos 17

Panthers 34

Enjoy the game folks ! Do any of you have any SB Party pet peeves of your own ? How many days ’til Opening Day ?