Tag Archives: Staples Center

L.A. to The Bay…3/22-24The Road to The Final Four

The evening prior to making my way to San Jose for the NCAA March Madness Regionals, I would take in a Kings game at Staples Center against, of course, the San Jose Sharks. With the SAP Center being occupied for the upcoming weekend for the NCAA Regional’s the Sharks would be on the road. Though the Kings have had a rough year on the ice, they would still come out on top on this Thursday evening on a night we’d receive a miniature Wayne Gretzky statue…

20190321_191051This one’s JUST a little larger than our mini statue…

On this night our lovable Lion King of a mascot, Bailey, couldn’t help but poke fun at our NoCal rivals…

After seeing a rare Kings win, I decide to take in some late night bites at a historic 24-hour L.A. institution, The Pantry…

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20190321_231316I can never go wrong with the Ham Steak & Eggs…

Allright, time to head to LAX and TRY, I mean, TRY to get some shut-eye before a Friday Morning 7AM departure…

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20190322_065126Little Bailey decided to tag along for this road trip…

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Our featured mural for this trip, painted sometime in the mid to late 2000’s with the image of Joe Thornton of the Sharks and¬† HP Pavillion, now the SAP Center. There was recent talk of this iconic mural going away to perhaps make way for (more)¬†Google Transit development,¬†an already¬†sore topic to residents in San Francisco.¬†If visiting San Jose anytime soon, you may want to capture a pic of this mural before it potentially goes away…

20190322_101922SAP Center, home of the San Jose Sharks and host of the NCAA Mens Basketball Regionals

20190322_102024Little Bailey having a great time trolling the streets outside the SAP Center…

Here for my first ever March Madness assignment for Stadium Journey the day would start off early as the first of four games for the day would match the 13th seed UC Irvine Anteaters against the 4th seed Kansas State Wildcats. 

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There’s a reason why they call this March Madness. Schools that you least expect to make in impact end up coming out of nowhere and making a name for themselves. The first game would see UC Irvine pull off the first upset of the day. The win by the Anteaters would be the first ever tournament win for UCI to the delight of many in the building. Though UCI did bring a good contingent up from SoCal, the building was decidedly pulling for the underdog, as most venues in the early rounds tend to do…

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The second of four for the day would pit the Pac-12 against the Big-10 as the 12th seed Oregon Ducks would take on the 5th seed Wisconsin Badgers. Any college basketball fan will tell you that 12th seeds have a long history of pulling off first round upsets and the Oregon Ducks, who struggled early in the season but finished strong and we’re one of the hottest teams entering the tournament.¬†

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As you can see Wisconsin was no match for Oregon as the Ducks would dominate Wisconsin, making them the second team to pull of an upset on this day. On a side note, though Oregon was a 12th seed, it really wasn’t much of an upset as mentioned earlier they we’re one of the hottest teams coming into the tournament and 12 seeds have a history of pulling off first round upsets. But an upset is just that….

20190322_154454Deforest Buckner, defensive tackle for the 49ERS showing support for his alma mater…

20190322_154624Had I known I would cross paths with DeFo I’d have donned my Niner hat. DeFo was very gracious taking pics with the Oregon and Niner Faithful…

20190322_144127Time to do a hard push to set up for games 3 and 4. Do your business before the “under four” timeout…

20190322_104308Time to help myself to a couple cupcakes provided to the media. That’s quite a display. I’m tempted to want to chomp on that chocolate replica trophy…

20190322_155117Counting down the minutes to tip-off between the 12th seed Liberty University Flames and the 5th seed Mississippi State Bulldogs

In spite of¬† Liberty U being one of those lower seed schools that could carry your heartwarming March Madness story-line, not everyone¬†was crazy about jumping on Liberty U’s Cinderella bandwagon.¬†

Nonetheless, Liberty U would make their own March Madness history by knocking off Mississippi State and becoming the third double-seed team at the SAP Center. With one more game to go talk started swirling around the building of a complete 4-game sweep by double digit seeded teams. With their victory, Liberty U, like UCI earlier would win their first ever NCAA March Madness game. 

20190322_184924Liberty U players celebrating with their fans after their first NCAA tourney victory…

One more game to go on this Friday, this time between the 4th seed Virginia Tech Hokies and the 13th seed St. Louis Billikens. Can St. Louis pull off the sweep?

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Not quite. A cold start by the Billikens would lead to their demise as Virginia Tech would escape the barrage of upsets…

20190322_213305Counting down the final seconds…

20190322_21350020190322_213634End of Day One. Time to get some rest…

The first day of action would provide plenty of excitement. According to sources, the SAP Center would be the 7th venue to produce 3 double-seed first round winners. Had St. Louis U been able to pull off the sweep, the SAP Center would have been only the second venue to pull off a 4-game first-round sweep by double-seed teams. Hey, 3 of 4 isn’t bad, 2 of the 3 winning their first tourney game ever and the 12th seed Oregon, well, could they really be considered a Cinderella?¬†

Saturday, 3/23. Media Day

FB_IMG_1553531656115Interviewing UCI Guard Max Hazzard, the grandson of former UCLA Bruin Walt Hazzard. Max would hit a buzzer beating trey at the end of their first half battle with Kansas State that would send the ‘Eaters into the locker tied at 30 at the half… (Pic credit UCI Mens Basketball)

The day between rounds would give the media a chance to catch up with the players and coaches of the first round victors. 

20190323_144355Oregon Ducks forward and Bay Area native Kenny Wooten (Check out his tat…). Kenny Wooten is not to be confused with another legendary Kenny from UO,¬†Kenny Wheaton

After the day’s media sessions, I would head over to the Hayes Mansion where a pep rally would be held for UC Irvine. (Hey, I gotta show my support for our states only team in the tourney. Besides, who doesn’t like a good Cinderella story?)

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20190323_190011Hey, I’m in Northern California. Why not indulge in some of their finest wine and cheese selections?

Sunday, March 22

20190324_120534Lil’ Bailey sure having a great time “trolling” the streets of San Jose…

20190324_120617We’re doing the best we can to stay out of any mischief before the Sunday games…

20190324_121653The second of two games. The game I wanted to watch but couldn’t because I had to catch my flight out of San Jose. The tipoff for that second game would be later than I expected…

20190324_124544.jpgWith some time to kill before the first game I decide to stroll the concourse and check out the plaques displayed along the San Jose Sports HOF. Here is one for former MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, who played an instrumental role in landing L.A. the 1984 Olympics…

20190324_125742Throughout the 80’s the 49ERS teams we’re often labled a “finesse” team. If that was the case, Ronnie Lott never got that memo…

20190324_125224The man who started a Dynasty…R.I.P. Dwight Clark

 

As for the first game of Sunday between Liberty U and Virginia Tech the Hokies would end Liberty U’s dream of moving on to the Sweet 16. The final day of games in San Jose would not produce the dramatics that Friday’s games did as Oregon, in spite of a frantic 2nd half rally by UCI, would be too much for the Anteaters as they would punch their ticket to the Sweet 16…

20190324_171013Lil’ Bailey and Blue we’re on their best behavior during the weekend, even receiving some love from the UCI folks and surprisingly some of the locals as well (They must’ve been A’s fans…)

It was a fun weekend in San Jose. It was fun hearing stories from the visiting fans and reporters particularly those from Kansas and Virginia talking about seeing the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time. That must’ve been some hella-hyphy sight for our visitors (Yup, we just used the Bay-Area slang once again…)

The SAP Center is tied with the Honda Center in Anaheim as the 4th oldest NHL venue. Like the Honda Center, it has that early 90’s feel but like the OC venue, don’t expect it to go anywhere anytime soon…

20190324_170717It was HELLA fun, San Jose! Next stop…The Sweet 16 and Elite 8…Anaheim !!!

20190323_191250ZOT ZOT !!!

20190323_19130320190323_191414It was a great run by UCI…

So that was my weekend in The Bay. Here’s some other bits from¬†my Stadium Journey piece.¬†

20190323_191755Kicking it with Peter the Anteater. It was a fun run, stay hungry Pete !!!

Check out my Facebook page,¬†Drei and Company’s Stadium Journeys.¬†

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Sights and Sounds From Westwood to DTLA

Happy Friday everyone ! ¬†As we all get ready for the one event that divide’s all of us Dodgers fans, the SC-UCLA game, Drei here brings you some sight’s, rants, and sounds from Westwood to DTLA, all in one night, Thursday, 11/20/2014. ¬†But first, some big Dodgers/UCLA related news..

The Legacy of 42 Continues…

As many of you know, Jackie Robinson was not only one of the greatest ballplayers who donned the Dodger Blue, but was also an outstanding humanitarian. Perhaps many of you are aware that Jackie Robinson was a 4 sport athlete at UCLA . ¬†Today, it was announced the¬†UCLA will be naming 22 of it’s athletic facilities¬†after the Dodger/UCLA legend. ¬†The number 42 will also be painted into the Rose Bowl field at the 25 yard line for tomorrow night’s clash. ¬†

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From Westwood to DTLA

Here L.A., we can never have enough entertainment options. ¬†Sporting events are no different. ¬†So on this Thursday evening, I made the attempt to pull double dip, finding myself at what should have been the BEAT SC Bonfire ( more on that later ) and the Kings game at Staples Center. ¬†Here it is, starting from Westwood…

ROYCE HALL

Greetings from the Hills of Westwood…

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Oh the sight of The Victory Bell in it’s rightful blue color never get’s old…

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My buddy Hugo also getting in on the action. ¬†He was one happy camper last night with his Raiders FINALLY winning a game…

PREBONFIRE

Waiting for the rally to get started. ¬†Drei couldn’t stay for the whole rally as Drei had a hockey game to go to thanks to some free tickets. ¬†Drei would find out later that the rally would be without the bonfire. ¬†Why ? ¬†Because 50 student protesters decided to put a halt to the bonfire in protest to the recent¬†UC tuition fee hikes.¬† While I do wholeheartedly agree with the cause, I also do feel there is a time and place for civil protests, having participated in one myself recently. ¬†Putting a halt to an event that is meant to celebrate an annual rivalry as well as unify students even as an escape from reality for ¬†2 hours , well, may have just left a bad taste among the other . I understand the concerns of rising tuition costs and support the students in their concern, but to put a halt to a long standing tradition that has nothing to do with the current tuition hikes ? ¬†I hope this does not cloud the thoughts of the other student’s who we’re most certainly looking forward to the bonfire. ¬†I actually don’t think it will in the long run because once the dust settles from this weekends game, the majority of the students, all throughout the UC system as well, will still all be unified as one against these tuition hikes. ¬†OK, that’s my rant for this week. ¬†As for the bonfire being put to a halt, Jim Mora…

Before we head toward the Staples Center…

BRUIN STATUE

Gotta make sure our Bruin Bear is well protected from such the evil sources of Troy…

Mid-City Beats

As we make our way toward Staples Center, here’s some¬†beats from Mid City’s resident DJ, once again… Reno Sparks. ¬†Yo Reno, What It Be ? What It Do ?

Staples Center, Kings vs Hurricane

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My view from up in 305. ¬†Arrived just in time to see Tanner Pearson end his scoring drought with the game winning goal in the 2nd period as the Kings would come out victorious 3-2 over Carolina. ¬†Hopefully, I’ll have more to bring you from Staples Center as the hockey season goes along. ¬†For a venue now entering it’s 16th season, Staples Center sure doesn’t feel like it’s age . ¬†

And that, folks, is your typical Thursday evening in L.A, from Westwood to DTLA.  Hey, enjoy the game this weekend.  Regardless of your allegiance, it should be a great game.  Drei here is sticking with his pick earlier this week, UCLA 34 USC 24.  Your prediction ?

Ah, the sweet sound of VICTORY to ring in the weekend !!! ¬†If all goes well, the Victory Bell will remain in it’s rightful color, BLUE !!!

Sunday Adventures With Mini Puig 6/8/2014

This weeks theme, The Stanley Cup… Go Kings Go !!!

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Earlier this week, our Mini Puig cruised the streets from Inglewood to DTLA, seeing all kinds of support for the Kings,  playing in their second Stanley Cup Finals in 3 seasons.   Before he ventures the streets,  Mini Puig makes a quick stop at Randys Donuts,  where they too are showing their support for the Kings.

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After a couple of donuts Mini Puig sends to be a happy camper.¬†¬† Hopefully those donuts don’t show him down during upcoming games…..

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Moving right along Mini Puig makes a stop at the one time home of the Kings,  The Fabulous Forum.   The Kings would call this place home from 1967-1999, appearing in one Stanley Cup final.

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Moving right along,¬† Mini Puig has now found his way toward Staples Center,¬† taking his place alongside The Great One.¬†¬† ” Hey Wayne,¬† maybe someday they will have a statue in my honor at Dodger Stadium ”

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Oh yeah !¬† Lord Stanley’s Cup.¬†¬† Two more wins and that cup comes back to L.A. ! GO KINGS GO !!! ¬† Puig still believes he will help The Blue bring home a trophy of a different sorts.¬†¬† One that has eluded them since 1988.¬† It’s going to be a tough climb again this year,¬† With The Blue currently 9.5 games behind the Giants.¬†¬† But hey, they overcame their 30-42 stay last season , due in large part to Big Puig’s arrival, along with 42-8 run, which would be asking a lot again.¬†¬†

A Look At The Standings

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For all the talk of the Dodgers struggles,¬† lost amongst all this talk is the fact the Dodgers have the 3rd most wins in the NLCS along with the Braves and Cardinals,¬† two teams the Dodgers faces in last year’s playoffs.¬†¬† The Pirates,¬† who have struggled on the road this season,¬† are starting to warm up.¬† When all is said and done,¬† at this point,¬† With exception of the Giants and Brewers, there is a lot of parity in the senior circuit, including all 5 NL playoff participants,¬† 2 who see themselves south of the .500 mark .¬† As I said earlier,¬† expecting another 42-8 run would be asking too much.¬†¬† Putting together a string of wins,¬† certainly this team is more than capable.

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Not exactly a lineup that instills far is it ?  See the tweet from the Dodger fan below the lineup….

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The Dodgers with Kershaw on the mound as they try to take 2 of 3 at Coors Field.  Away from Dodger Stadium, where the Blue is 13-19, the Blue have actually held their own,  spring a 19-12 record away from The Ravine.   After today,  the Dodgers travel to Cincinnati for a four game set with the Reds before returning home Friday night against the DBacks . 

Coming Home, All Tied Up

With the series now evened at 1 games apiece, Hyun-Jin Ryu takes the hill tomorrow for the Blue in their attempt to move one game closer to a trip to the NLCS.¬† Aside from Kershaw’s dominant performance in Game 1, it’s been all about timely hitting as 9 of the 16 total runs scored between the two teams have been scored with 2 outs.¬†All 5 of the Braves runs scored in the two games have come with 2 outs, including Jason Heyward’s clutch 2 out RBI single off Paco Rodriguez that gave the Braves a 4-1 cushion which would eventually loom big when Hanley Ramirez’s 2 run shot in the 8th brought the Dodgers to within 1 run. Many questioned Mattingly’s decision to have Rodriguez walk Reid Johnson to set up the lefty-lefty matchup against a struggling Heyward. Oh yeah, the 2nd guess ( Something we do a lot especially in October. I actually agreed with the move, it just wasn’t executed as planned. Also, on a sidenote, I’m sure most of you know that Paco has struggled the last month and a half now and many are speculating fatigue for the youngster, given he has not pitched this late into the season in his young career. However, should the Blue advance to the NLCS, do you go with just 1 other lefty in the bullpen in J.P. Howell and replace Paco with either Marmol or League. [ Did I just say Brandon League ?] ) . Oh the October storylines….

Gordon says replays show he was safe

Personally, I also thought he was safe to, and as much as I love to hate on umpires, that was too close to call. Also, leaving 10 on the basepaths and grounding into 3 double play’s sure didn’t help the Blue out last night. I watched [a replay] as soon as I came in,” Dee Gordon said. “I’m not going to harp on what he called. I thought I was safe.”

In Other NLDS News….

The Pirates, after being thrashed in Game 1 of their NLDS series with the Cardinals, bounced back nicely to take Game 2 of their series 7-1, knotting their series at 1 apiece as well heading to PNC Park for Game 3 . The Bucs had a decided edge against the Red Birds at PNC Park this season, winning 7 of 10 and will have one of their hottest pitchers going for them in Game 3 in Nelson Liriano. BucTober fever has sure caught on in the Steel City….

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From Pittsburgh’s St. Clair Hospital, dubbed as BuccoBabies. Hey, why not ?

BLUE OUT DODGER STADIUM

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Along with the rest of L.A., i’m expecting an electric atmosphere at The Ravine tomorrow. Heck, how ’bout a Blue Out ? Everyone in Blue, like you see in most sports venues these days during the playoffs. I’ve always been a strong supporter of the All as One look for the playoffs. Besides, plus, you’re at a Dodgers game, not at Staples Center ( As big a Lakers fan I am, there’s just too much bling there … )

OK….. STOP THE CHOP !!!!!

Madness In L.A., NCAAM Gamecast – Wichita State vs Ohio State

And i’m not talking about the pinch hit walkoff that Angels catcher Hank Conger hit in the bottom of the 9th to slavage the final of 3 exhibitions with the Blue either. We’re talking about the Wichita State Shockers shocking the 1 seed Ohio State University Buckeyes here at Staples Center,¬† advancing to the Final Four !!!

http://scores.espn.go.com/ncb/gamecast?gameId=330890194&version=mobile

Congratulations to Wichita State !!!

OK, speaking of Wichita State, here’s a little Dodger trivia for you.¬† What former Dodger pitched his collegiate ball for the Shockers ?

And of course, we’re less than 48 hours away from Opening Day !!!!

Good Eats and Some Suite Sweet Treats

One thing that pairs great with sporting events….FOOD !!!¬† I’m willing to bet that a good many of you fellow sports fans are just a bit slightly above your ideal weight .¬† Hey, let’s face it, when we go to a sporting event we like to indulge in some great eats either before, during or after a game.¬† Taking part in The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge, this weeks theme is lunchtime.¬†

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Today’s Tuesday Special…. A simple Carnitas Burrito.¬† Simple but huge with lots of meat and flavor, with a side of a hot green pepper.¬† Nothing fancy, just a huge meal to satisfy your lunchtime hunger.¬† To satisfy your hunger you must head over to the Roast to Go vendor over at Downtown L.A.’s Grand Central Market, where working Angeleno’s have been going for years for yheir lunchtime fix.¬† Also a great spot for your pre-game meal before a Sunday 1:10 game being that GCM is only open until 6pm.¬† And if you should happen to dine in, you’ll enjoy a pictorial history of GCM on your table as seen above.

OK, as some of you may have noticed as of late i’ve been doing the Instagram thing here on my page.¬† So while we’re on the topic of good eats, lets venture into the part of the venue where many of us don’t venture to on a regular basis, or at all…The Luxury Suite.

Like many of you I find other sporting events to fill my time between October and April.¬† Every now and then I am so fortunate to be in the so-called elite section living the Suite Life.¬† One of my favorite features living in the Suite Life, is experiencing the Sweet Life….

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My favorite of the 3 , thanks in large part to the Cake Cart at Staples Center, was the Salted Popcorn Caramel Cake.  This was my first time at an NBA game in 3 years so yeah, this occassion during the Clippers-Pistons game was well worth it. 

Moving right along while I’ve yet to experience a game in a luxury suite at Dodger Stadium I have dined on occassion at the Stadium Club located above right field.¬† While the eats here are somewhat upscale the folks at Levy got it right by putting Dodger Dogs on the table !!!!¬† That’s right folks !!!¬† Dodger Dogs in yhe Stadium Club buffet table !!!!¬† It just goes to show no matter how upscale or trendy the dining experience is at the ballpark, folks, even the well to do still enjoy the most simplest things in life.¬† Besides, and even the have’s will tell you, what’s a Dodger game without a Dodger Dog, or in my case, two.¬† Heck, if you should ever be so fortunate to experience a game at the Stadium Club you might as well do it right….

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Wood fired pizza, beef and mushroom medallions, and a double Dodger Dog.¬† In case you’re wondering, I did eat a salad prior to this.¬† As I said earlier, you can have fine dining at a Dodger game, but the experience isn’t complete without a Dodger Dog, or two….

And finally, fod the kid in all of us who just want’s the simplest of all treats….

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Red Vines !!!¬† Cotton Candy !!!!…..

So there you have it with Good Eats and Suite Sweet Treats….

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All that talk about food and sweets put me in a food coma….¬† Don’t wake me ’till Opening Day……