Tagged: Football

Stay Classy San Diego?

That would imply that San Diego was classy to begin with.

This past Sunday I had the pleasure (no sarcasm intended) of attending the Colts vs Chargers game. This was a game that I had looked forward to for years, to finally see my hero (Peyton Manning) in action.

My Dad and I arrived at the stadium at about 1 o’clock in the afternoon for the Sunday night game, which began at 515pm. We had hot dogs. We watched the players warm up. Then the game began.

It rained throughout the majority of the game. I was happy about this as it was "football weather" for my first professional football game. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. And the odds of getting a rainy game in San Diego are slim to none.

Peyton didn’t have the best performance of his career. To be honest it very well could have been his worst.

So why did the Chargers fans have to be so obnoxious about their win?

Or, perhaps this is a better question, why did they have to be so obnoxious during the entirety of the game?

I subscribe to the belief that "if I can dish it, I can take it," but this was honestly worse than anything I could have thought about "dishing."

During the player introductions I (naturally) cheered for my Colts and, of course, Peyton Manning. One of the girls sitting next to me then muttered "it’s too bad we have to sit right next to a Colts fan." Why is that? I didn’t want to be around a bunch of fans that support the opposing team, but I wasn’t going to complain about it. We were there for the love of the game, shouldn’t one at least be able to respect that?

Then during the Chargers’ player introductions the crowd went wild for Shawn Merriman. Isn’t this the same guy who got suspended for steroid use? How about while you root for him you go pick up a Barry Bonds jersey? The league clearly had problems with Merriman, and I find it hard to believe that the fans couldn’t see why.

But it wasn’t just the fans that astounded me. After a sack one of the Chargers (I don’t remember which) performed some gymnastic flips on the field. Last time I checked this wasn’t SCATS, it was the National Football League, which at one point in time stood for class. A touchdown celebration is fine. Even a sack celebration. But this was more than a celebration, it was showboating and disgusting.

After half time my Dad provided me with a lovely anecdote about the restroom. There was apparently a line of about 75 people, which my dad waited in to use the restroom. While inside another man came in through the exit, at which point another man said "we all waited in line, you have to do the same." Instead of getting into the line the man said "F*** YOU COLTS FAN!" and proceded to use the restroom. Honestly? That is so unbelievably trashy. If I saw another Colts fan conduct themselves in such a manner I would be disgusted and make it clear that I did not want to associate myself with that type of behavior.

During the second half the fans became more drunken (which I assume is to be expected at football games) and rowdy. I’m inclined to believe that the 2007 Chargers are similar to the early 1960’s Mets what with the San Diego Super Chargers song. I’d venture to say that the majority of the fans there knew "LT" and no one else on the team. I’m not claiming to be an ultra sophisticated football fan, but the majority of the people at the stadium were nothing more than cling-ons after the past two seasons.

For example the woman infront of me had no Chargers attire on, yet was rooting for the team. However she had no idea what was going on. Or who was doing it. Of course with the exception of LaDanian.

One would think that after the Chargers won the fans could have been decent (not even kind) in their win. Instead they were obscene and rude. All but challenging Colts fans to fights.

Did they not realize that Peyton threw 6 interceptions, and the Colts still almost won?

It is one thing to be a sore loser, but quite another to be a sore winner.

While in line for the Trolley a Chargers fan spoke just loudly enough to make it clear that he wanted to be heard by my Dad and I. "Peyton and Eli are such ******, their Daddy runs their lives. etc etc etc," clearly wanting to engage my Dad in an argument. Funny thing is, my Dad wasn’t wearing any Colts paraphanelia. My Dad isn’t even a Colts fan, he loves the Chiefs.

Just prior to that, while my Dad and I waited for the trolley line to die down we watched a big screen with ESPN on it while we discussed the game. A drunken Chargers fan brough a shopping cart (who knows where he acquired that) over to the large screen. Afterwards he flipped it onto its side and used it as a chair. A Chargers fan in an LT jersey sitting on a flipped over shopping cart. It pretty much sums up the Chargers fans I encountered like a large hole in the wall sums up Shea Stadium.

Had my experience been based only around Chargers fans it would have been awful, but at least I truly know what the majority of them are like now. I believe that I may be "fanist," as I may judge Chargers fans based on this encounter.

However, luckily for me, this is not the only aspect of the game. I had a hotdog at a stadium. I got football weather in Southern California. I got to talk about sports all day long. I got to watch my favorite team warm up. But most importantly, I got to watch my Hero play football, in person, with my Dad. I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more. A win would have been great, but if I was upset because we lost I would have to consider myself the least greatful person of all time. I mean, honestly, I saw Peyton throw a TouchDown, in person. I’ve waited years for that.

It took until about the fourth quarter to realize what I was seeing. It was so surreal, I put on my socks like it was anyother game day, I put on my jersey like I have for years, I put on my hat, but it was different, I was going to see Peyton. To comprehend that one of my lifes goals was being met. And no Charger fan can tarnish that memory for me, no matter how hard they may have tried. I just find it (for lack of a better word) gross that they even tried.

And even though there were 6 interceptions I’m still a fan of "6’5", 230 pound quarterbacks with laser rocket arms."

And in honor of yet another Peyton commercial-

Colts tickets- 197.50
Gas for my Dad to drive to San Diego- 60
Hot Dogs, Sodas, and Beer- 50
Commemorative Pin- 10
Seeing Peyton Manning in person with my Dad- Priceless

Thank you SO much, Dad, for coming to watch the game with me. It wouldn’t have been the same with anyone else. I’ll remember this forever. I love you, you are the best Dad, ever.

Ferris Bueller, You’re My Hero

Does anyone know of a reasonably priced online ticket broker where I can acquire tickets to the Colts vs Chargers game in San Diego on November 11th?

I’ve done a lot of research on this, and it seems that the going price is around one hundered dollars for the cheapest tickets, which is fine, however if someone knows of a place I could get them for less I’d really appreciate it. Or if anyone (this is a long shot) has a friend with Chargers season tickets that doesn’t want to go to the Colts game, perhaps you could put me in contact with them.

I usually don’t buy tickets from brokers, and thats why I need some help. I only need two (one for me and one for my dad), and if you could do that you would be my hero. Thanks so much!

Tom Brady

I have never liked Tom Brady.

Unlike most of the people on this network I don’t have a real baseball rivalry. Yeah its fun to dislike the Yankees, the A’s, and the Dodgers, but these aren’t rivalries. And it is more that my dad has always disliked them, because his dad always disliked them, so I dislike them. But there is no real passion behind that dislike.

So I have to revert to football for this passion that is missing in my baseball life. And Colts vs Patriots, that is a real rivalry. That is heartbreak and suffering, for a long time on my end.

So making fun of Tom Brady for anything is always fun. So when I heard the story of how he cried for half an hour about not getting a foam finger, I couldn’t help but laugh. I’ll admit, he was three at the time, but it doesn’t make it any less funny.

And after how he reacted when he lost the AFC Championship game I wouldn’t be surprised if he still cried about foam fingers.

NFL Live and Repetitive

During football season I couldn’t wait for baseball season to come around.

And who wouldn’t? Football is a once a week thing. But I made a lot of buddies at the sportsbar (more of a restaurant, really) and now I’m really missing football. I’ve discovered that football is a much more social sport.

I’m very happy its baseball season, I just wish that baseball and football could happen all year round. I know that would never work, but imagine 12 months of football and baseball (add in NASCAR and hockey) and my world would be just perfect.

So i’ll admit it, I watch NFL Live almost every day to get my football fix. But today’s episode is a little bit irritating.

It is nice not to hear about PacMan Jones’ suspension or Michael Vick’s dogs, but a few of the things they have said today are… irritating at best.

Firstly they started the show out discussing Jermey Shockey. I personally like Shockey. Well I should say that I like Eli, and Shockey helps to improve Eli, so I like him by the transative property. Anyways they stated that he is "in the best shape of his life." Isn’t this just asking for an injury? They then went on to claim that "Jermey Shockey is bound to have a pro bowl year." Do these guys not know what a jinx is? You can’t say something like that and expect it not to have consequences.

Later they had Trent Green on the show. This whole debacle is a little bit… out of line. Trent Green, for those of you who don’t know, was out for about 8 games last season due to a concussion. He clearly hears footsteps now. And, honestly, there is no way the Chiefs would have even lucked their way into last year’s playoffs without Damon Huard. I know this because I watched almost every Chiefs game last year with my Dad and our buddies Lance and Chad. Do you realize that about 4 games had to go a particular way for the Chiefs to get there. And that last game of the season went into an overtime, the Chiefs lost the coinflip, we thought it was over, but somehow the Chiefs regained possession. Then they had to rely on the Raiders, why? Because they couldn’t rely on Trent Green. Huard should have been playing all of last seasons games. So now the Dolphins are only willing to give up a 6th round draft pick for Trent Green? How embarassing is that?

So, of course, before the show ended they had to bring up Michael Vick and his dog fighting… Didn’t see that one coming. Is there really nothing to talk about besides this? We all know what has happened. Tell me about it when there is a new development…

Congrats

Congratulations to Peyton Manning and the 2006-2007 Indianapolis Colts. And how impressive, that Peyton Manning, the guy that "can’t win the big one" has been named Superbowl MVP. I believed all along.

Here is my issue, people assuming that I don’t know what I am talking about. Last night, as I trained back to San Diego from the most exciting night of my life, my best friend and I were wearing Colt’s hats and Peyton Manning Jerseys. Naturally we got congratulations from many people. Then there was the inevitable "they just bought those yesterday". Now I will concede to the fact that my best friend is not a Colts fan, but at the same time she is not a football fan, and she was supporting me by wearing my extra things. But none of those things had been purchased that weekend, lots of them not that season. So I said "no they were not, and if you knew anything you would see that this is a 2004 official sideline hat, meaning we had to have been fans before that to even want to buy it" he responded with "ebay". Now why would a bandwagon fan go back and research the Colts enough to find out what sideline hat they wore in the 2004 season.

"No I have been a Colts fan for years,"

"well, then what is your favorite tv show?"

"the office"

"Ahhh seee you should have said ‘the wire’, have you ever seen ‘the wire’?"

"no"

"well then you don’t know anything about Baltimore."

"Why would I care about the city that my team moved out of 23 years ago? And that isn’t true, I’ve been to Baltimore and I’ve seen Camden Yards, I don’t even like it that much. And I’ve seen where the Ravens play, I’m not a huge fan."

"The Colts moved out of Baltimore?"

He then turned around and "took" a phone call, once the train stopped he ran off and didn’t take the elevator with us.

Now obviously knowing that the Colts are in Indy isn’t much sports knowledge. But the point is, don’t sell me short. I know my stuff. And if I don’t know I’ll ask you, and I won’t pretend I do know. If you can’t answer my queston I’ll go buy a book or I’ll look it up online. But don’t ever sell me short.

State of the nation

Who would have thought that one would ever ponder the question “real American idol: Peyton Manning or Simon Cowell”? I certainly wouldn’t have, that was until my AOL browser opened and the question was literally staring me in the face: “what is the bigger phenomenon?” your choices being Super Bowl 41 or American Idol season 6. The fact that there is even a question disturbs me, and should disturb all real Americans.

How can anyone dispute the fact that Peyton Manning (this years Super Bowl darling) is America’s Idol right now? Football is the sport that most Americans favor watching. So with that you can rule out most other athletes. Now I’m not contending that people don’t love David Eckstein, Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, or even A-Rod, but the times have changed, and as much as I hate to admit it football seems to be America’s new pastime. You could ask about Tiger Woods, he has overcome adversity, and won 7 straight PGA titles. Yes, but in comparison few people watch golf. Or what about Dale Jr., his father died doing what both men love, and he has gone on to win the Daytona 500. True, but for as many people that love NASCAR, many more loathe it. Have you ever heard anyone say “I hate football”? Unless it was a wife or girlfriend complaining that you don’t do anything on Sunday, probably not. The same can not be said about hockey, NASCAR, golf, tennis, basketball, or even baseball.

When you think of America, do you think of Kelly Clarkson? Certainly not Clay Aiken. The one that plays the “fat girl” in Dream Girls? I think that guy Beau is most famous for having sex with Paula Abdul (isn’t it a little immoral to do that with someone that has mental health issues?). Or maybe Fantasia: great role model, she can’t even read, AND LIED ABOUT IT. Or maybe you are arguing that Ryan Seacrest is America’s true idol, and I suppose that if everyone wanted to be known as “the guy that hosts American idol, whatever happened to that other guy from the first season?” then maybe.

But then my image of what it means to be American could be a little old fashioned. I think of baseball stadiums, of Fourth of July parades, of barbeques, of boys and girls playing with a puppy, of DiMaggio and Williams, Ruth and Gehrig, Elway and Montana, Michael Jordan and LeBron James, and in that all the great things that people should strive to be, but rarely attain. And yet the beauty of the American dream is that you can try and try to reach for these goals, and no one is allowed to say stop. And even more beautiful is when someone finally does reach those steps of greatness, and we as Americans can stop and congratulate him or her, and be proud of how they represent each of us in some small way.

And when I think of America, and how proud I am to say I live here, I think of Peyton Manning, and all he embodies. His preparation is unmatched by anyone in any sport. Hours upon hours every day dedicated to watching game film. Showing up to practice earlier than required just to rerun routes that he has done a million times. A dedication to his team, and to his city. Maybe you forgot his efforts after Hurricane Katrina, I don’t recall Simon Cowell being there. And last time I checked Seacrest is no Anderson Cooper. Most of you probably don’t know about the PeyBack foundation. Or what about the Manning Passing Academy. Has there really been a man that had such literal commercial fame, since Joe DiMaggio? And I bet you all think that he doesn’t have any idea what to do with his finances, wrong check the Fall 2006 issue of Business Today. Or maybe you will say that Peyton Manning is selfish, obviously not as rookie Josef Addai had over 1,000 yards rushing this year. Or he couldn’t do it without Marvin Harrison. Wrong again, as he has two pro-bowl wide receivers this year (Reggie Wayne being the other). Well, certainly he couldn’t do it without them. Then why is Dallas Clark leading the league this postseason in yards?

Peyton Manning’s dedication, hope, preparation, charity, fame, and humbleness embody what it should mean to be an American. And try and try as they might, I doubt that anyone on a reality TV show will ever attain such heights. The other day on the phone my dad remarked “Peyton doesn’t hold a candle to Marino, Marino was one of the greatest to ever play the game”. To which I replied “yes, Marino was one of the greatest to ever play the game, but the difference is in your operative clause. Manning is the best to ever play the game.” And lets just hope to see that on Sunday.

All Manning, all of the time

This post is about football, not baseball, so if you are not a fan, you can stop reading now…

I am a diehard Colts fan. I love the entire organization. But love does not begin to describe my allegiance to Peyton Manning. Infact this Christmas everytime I saw a nativity scene I would point out the "baby Peyton" in the middle. Maybe thats a little… rude, but what can I say, the man is awesome (a word, my Junior year Honors English teacher once pointed out, that should only be used to describe Godly acts). And that isn’t all of it. Every game day I wear my lucky Peyton Manning jersey (I have two, jerseys, but only one is LUCKY), I wear my lucky Colts’ socks, my lucky blue adidas with white stripes, and a Colt’s hat. I have Colts’ pins on my purses, and use a Colts’ backpack at school. I wear Colts’ sweatshirts and t-shirts and pajamas all the time. And I keep my money in a Colts’ wallet. And I train home on weekends to watch Colts’ games at my favorite sportsbar with my Dad and the friends I have made there. I’m a little bit obsessed.

Before the game I bowed my head, and I said a little prayer. A prayer for a win. A prayer that Peyton would do what he had never done before, defeat the Patriots (or anyone for that matter) in the AFC Championship game. Like Peyton "I don’t know if you’re supposed to pray or not in those kinds of situations, but I did," I think all Colts fans probably did.

And at first, it didn’t seem as though our prayers would be answered. Two field goals, and a Peyton Manning interception. A fumble that we should have recovered that lead to a touchdown, and a 21 to 6 Patriots halftime score left me, and I’m sure a lot of others, stunned. As I sat on my "lucky" barstool at my favorite weekend establishment, surrounded by friends and family I couldn’t help but wonder if, yet again, I would need to pray for this "next year". One friend, Marty, leaned over and asked "so who are the Bears playing in the Superbowl?" and I quickly retorted "we don’t know yet" "well, if you HAD to guess" "We really don’t know, second quarter it could be anyone’s ballgame" "you’ve got heart and thats what I like about you," is how the conversation ended. I then noticed another friend of mine, Lance, a Chiefs fan, there to help support in my time of need. Just like I had told Lance in that last Chiefs game of the season, the day on which they needed to win and have three other game go their way, against the Jacksonville Jaguars "second half explosion" we agreed. But perhaps the most encouraging thing was a phone call from my Mom (who doesn’t know the difference between Edgerin James and Josef Addai) saying "don’t worry, the Colts are going to open up a can of whup-*** in the second half."

I moved back to my barstool, and prepared for the second half of the game I had been so anxious for that I changed my stride to avoid stepping on cracks. The game that I had been literally "knocking on wood" after every comment regarding the Colts or the Patriots, infact my friend Erik (a Patriots fan) said "you are going to make a dent in the wood on this table". And honestly, I’ll do whatever it takes for a win.

At the start of the second half, the Patriot’s fans really thought they had it, "your still going to talk baseball with me when we win, right" Erik inquired. All I could do was quote the ever wise Yogi Berra with a "it ain’t over til its over," continue to pray, and knock on wood.

Needless to say the Colts turned things around. When Peyton rushed for his one yard touchdown I yelled what I always yell during his commercials "THERE HE IS IN ALL HIS GLORY". And I was almost right. Until the final Colts drive of the game, when Peyton marched his offense down the field 80 yards, to a touchdown, draining the clock, until their was only one minute left. Then Brady had the ball again, first down, first down, first down. And then the unthinkable, but what I had wished for the whole game, a Brady interception, so unbradylike, so unopportunistic. And Peyton looked up, took the field, and took his knee.

Amidst my tears of joy, all of my high fives, and the huge hug I gave my Dad (one of my very best friends, and you know this because he was raised a "Colts hater" and rooted as hard as me for us to win), he said "look up you don’t want to miss this, they are giving him his hat". And there Peyton was, in all his glory, in a hat that read (in grey blue and white, the same colors that I have been wearing for every Colts game) AFC CHAMPIONS.

Yes there is still the Superbowl, but for right now, I’m content. Still not stepping on cracks, and definately knocking on wood, because I don’t want to jinx anything.

After Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 (the crown jewel that was missing) earlier this past NASCAR season, he was bound to win the championship. He was always the guy that did well all season, won more than his fair share of races, but when it came down to the wire, he came up just short. Everyone was rooting for Jimmie this season, he is a fan favorite, and one of the best drivers of his generation. There was some controversy earlier in the season due to crew chief Chuck Knaus, but the 48 team overcame it, and sure enough he came through.So maybe the Colts are the 48 team of football this season. And Peyton is the driver of this team. The AFC Championship game is like the Daytona 500. The Superbowl, obviously the Championship game. And maybe, just maybe this is a parallel. A sign of things to come. But I don’t want to jinx it, so knock on wood. For the next two weeks my "no one likes Rex Grossman" policy will be enforced to full effect.

As I was leaving the sportsbar, to catch my train back to San Diego I gave Erik a hug and whispered "you already have three" and he replied "its ok". Once I got on the train my best friend, who knows nothing about football, said "they won? I’m so happy for you! I prayed before the game for you before the game." My mom told me this morning that she had no doubt the Colts would win, she said she knew that God knew how badly we wanted it, and that neither of us would have survived a loss. And the feeling of calling my Dad this morning to remind him that the Colts are going to thes Superbowl, couldn’t have been sweeter. So lets all pray, to see Peyton Manning in even a little more glory.