We're road tripping it for this blog and another one is scheduled in a few weeks, so I should have some good material to ramble about. This past weekend's action took us to Pittsburgh for our final baseball game of the year at beautiful PNC Park. We had been wanting to go to this game for quite a while and got it organized. One part is that a few weeks ago we had a bunch of guys that gave us the good ol' maybe answer. That's fine and all, but around Shinnston, we all know that after this long that "maybe" means that they aren't going at all. Either way, Spank and myself were going to trek it regardless.
What was the reason we wanted to go? One reason and one reason alone. That was to see Manny Ramirez come to town and turn things into Mannyburgh for the 3-day weekend series. The original plan was to get leftfield seats and get a group of 10 of us. We would be on the homer wall right behind Manny with fake dreadlocks and shirts that said Mannyburgh. That would've put us on TV for sure, just something stupid that we had in mind. Yes, I'll never grow up, you don't have to tell me that. Before we get to the game though, I'll set a couple of other things up.
Pittsburgh never draws a crowd, but for some reason, most of the seats online were already gone. On Saturday, they not only had the Dodgers in town, but also a Foreigner concert afterwards, followed by fireworks. Then we went to Spank's ticket hookup and we may go this route everytime from now on out. On our way to the game, we called up a ticket guy that gave us his business card. He said he had 150 tickets (!!) and we could pick wherever we wanted to sit. That sounded too good to be true, but what did we have to lose going up with no tickets anyways? We get in town and meet up with this scalper. This guy is legit and straight hooked us up. We sat 7 rows off the field, right on top of the Pirates dugout. The best part? We paid LESS than ticket value to sit here. Who does that when scalping tickets? Normally you're paying a lot more. These have to be up there with some of the best seats I've had at PNC Park, if not the best. The atmosphere I still like in leftfield better, but for the price we got these rich boy seats at, we couldn't pass it up.
We sit down and have a good enough crew around us that we can joke with. The people in front of us actually knew Shinnston when we said it, that gave them instant cred in our books. They were Wheeling guys. My favorites that we sat beside were this couple from Philly who brought up Steve Slaton since we're from West Virginia. We told them we're Notre Dame fans, but watched enough Slaton over the years when he was here. They said he went to their high school and started telling us some stories, nothing bad for those wondering. This same couple tried to move down early in the game to the front row seats. One of the ushers moved them back so our section just started messing with them the rest of the night. All in fun though, we had laughs all night. When you can joke around with people you don't even know, they take it lightly and feed in on it, that just adds to the excitement. It's the randoms that get all cranky and don't want to take any part in it.
Not only Manny, but my favorite baseball player of all time was in the house. Actually, this was my first time in person of seeing him, believe it or not. That had me stoked big time. Who is that you ask? Don Mattingly of course, Donnie Baseball himself! Mattingly is the hitting coach for the Dodgers and has done an awesome job since taking that role a few years back. While playing, a true professional. One of the best contact hitters around who rarely whiffed, popped some power when needed, and I'll still argue him as the best fielding first baseman of all time. Oh yeah, the 1985 AL MVP too. He played the game the right way, but unfortunately the Yankees weren't any good during most of his tenure. Once his back went out on him (a la Larry Bird), it was all but over for him. I still have most of Mattingly's baseball cards ever produced for whatever that's worth, quite the collection. Enough on that, but I had to get my Mattingly fandom out there.
The Bucs lose again, imagine that. It looks like they'll just miss out on losing 100 games on the season by the skin of their teeth. One thing that surprised me a bit was that a lot of fans were booing Manny. You had the roid and HGH chats and all of that. That's fine and all if he was the only one out there on the field juiced up, but we know that's nowhere near the truth. The game ended around 10:15 or so and then the setup was for Foreigner to jam afterwards on the field. For a rap guy, I don't mind Foreigner at all. In person, these guys brought it, I won't lie. They put on an awesome live show and have crazy energy. They played for about an hour and the crowd seemed to like what they saw. As an added note, Spank may be the best I've seen at karaoke type stuff and him and some of our section would go back and forth with lyrics. I don't think our section stopped laughing. We had a thing going with the section beside us to where our bunch would do something, point over and they'd do their thing back. It's cheesy, but it worked that night and Section 23 (ironic since that is Mattingly's number) was rocking. I don't classify this as a "concert" since it wasn't separate and no other acts were there. Does this mean that the only true concerts I've ever seen are still rap ones? Who knows how to answer that. The fireworks afterwards rank up with some of the best I've seen. By the time we got out of the stadium, it was almost midnight.
A little side note before I get out of the stadium though. I didn't get up once during the game to get food, ended up getting a thing or two just by staying in the section. Anyways, I didn't miss a single pitch because I loved the seats we were in. That might be the first time ever at a Bucs game that I didn't get out of my seat, even for a bathroom break. With that, I stayed there through the concert and fireworks as well. I then had to get to the bathroom before we left and of course the place was packed and there were lines upon lines for each urinal. Not a topic you want to hear I'm sure, but I bring it from all angles to keep you thinking what might be next. I might've set a record for how long it took me as even the guys in there were saying stuff and wondering if I'd finish. Then I said that I didn't miss a single pitch and they knew what was up, so they gave me the credit for holding it in so that I wouldn't miss any game action. If I didn't set a record for that, we may have for getting out of the stadium. Spank and I are alike in that we aren't that patient around slow people, especially big crowds trying to get out of a stadium. Some people are content with walking half a step and then running into others. This holds everyone up. What do we normally do? We just take off, slip in and out of holes and by the time you're out, you save a few minutes at least. Spank, nice way to be my fullback on the way out. I can't stay still, I always have to be bouncing off the walls with energy, so slow people who just take things for granted, that doesn't mix well with me. Get moving you bums.
The game was at 7:05. We were in Pittsburgh by 3:00 or so. We hate pushing time for anything, so we always like to leave way early for road trips. It's no fun to us to just show up at a game right as the pitch starts and then go home. You have to make a day out of it, give yourself some time to kill to do whatever. Since we got there so early, we parked on the side opposite the river and didn't ride the boat over. We found a parking garage for only $5, not bad for what you can end up paying to park. It turned out that the $5 deal wasn't that great. We had a nice spot and then at the end of the game, madness. We were stuck in the wrong side of the garage and had about 3 other sections coming out before us who had the right of way. The people in our line were fired up because we were waiting longer than anyone in the place. That's where Spank came to the rescue with his creative idea. What's he do? He gets out of the car in the garage for our section and then stands in front of another row of cars coming through. Bingo, that's our ticket to finally get our row moving and out of the lot. I never really thought of that, but it's not like someone is actually going to run you over in most cases. They can get mad all they want, but if nobody is letting you out, you have to go to Plan B. Be a little courteous people, it's not hard to let people out in traffic every now and then. In the end, it worked out for everyone and our row was thankful to Spank for getting us out, nice.
By the time we got out of the lot, it was already 1:00 in the morning. We had a few hours drive till we got home, but we had to get Waffle House in. You knew that was going to be part of this trip, you've read enough of my Pittsburgh road trips by now to figure that out. We hit up a different one than normal, this one was at the racetrack exit and it was booming. The others we normally hit up rarely has people. When I get there, this lady about 80 years old comes up to me and just starts talking. I don't know if it's our redneck accents that made her comfortable, but she asked about the Pirates game since she grew up around there. Then she says she is from Arizona and started giving her opinions on the Diamondbacks this season and we got a little baseball chatter in. The moral as usual, you gotta respect the elders. You'll always get some good stories out of just talking to randoms. I got a ham and cheese omelette, bacon that was out of this world, toast, and sweet tea. We put down the sweet tea like no other. We even got some to go with us for the ride home, it's that good.
I have to get at least one non road trip story in, right? This Wednesday night, it's on! I've been hyping up this season's Ultimate Figher show (Spike TV, 10:00 PM EST) up for a few weeks. If you haven't seen yet, this week is the biggie. It's going to set an Ultimate Fighter TV ratings record and it has internet sensation Kimbo Slice taking on Roy "Big Country" Nelson. I predicted Nelson to win this show and I'm sticking to that. Yes, you heard it here first. Looking at Nelson, he doesn't look like much at all, I know. He is for real though as he has a quality track record over the years. He trains out of Ken Shamrock's famed Lion's Den, is a former IFL Heavyweight Champion, and a blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Renzo Gracie. Keep the spoilers to yourself on this one, but I'm saying Nelson gets this win. Now watch him get his block knocked off in the first 10 seconds. Either way, this season has been nothing short of awesome already due to the Rampage and Kimbo factor. The downfall is that Rampage now wants to "retire" and won't be fighting Evans. What a circus this is, that's why we watch.
Bird's Dirty of the Week: Reader submission time and we have some action here. Corndog gets all credit for this find. We go to a 23 year old chick Easton, Pennsylvania for this one. I'm just going to let the folders speak for themselves on this one. We get webcam pics, cartoon pics, tats, pics with her and one of her girls practically getting it on, and a folder that is titled "DIS UGLY BITCH THINK SHE LOOK BETTA THAN ME. LOL" And you think I'm making this stuff up, I couldn't if I tried. Check it out at: http://www.myspace.com/applebottom18042
Bird's Video Moment of the Week: I had another video ready to go, but we'll have to put that on hold for another time. This one when I heard news, I couldn't hold off any longer. Thanks to ManDingo, and no clue how I missed this, but we have a part two up now to my favorite YouTube vid of all time. That's right, My New Haircut 2 is out for all to see! If you're like me and loved the first edition, this one delivers as well in my opinion. The actual vid for this one doesn't start till around the 1:20 mark if you wanted to get in. My buddies and I quote the old one nonstop, so I'm sure we'll be quoting this one just as much. There's a ton of great quotes in this one. If you didn't like the first video of this to get you laughing, you have no sense of humor. Also, a word of advice, don't crank your speakers if you're at work and watching this one. Return of the Broski!
3 Quick Thangs:
1. I'm not a regular Starbucks visitor, but do have a favorite when I go. I've written about this before, but I must like the flavor enough that we'll revisit it. The cold mixes most people like I'm not much of a fan of. However, when it comes to hot stuff, you can't go wrong with some Caramel Apple Spice, that's my current favorite. Also, did you ever sit around there and check out the scenery? It's funny to me to see some people come in all stuck up with their noses in the air. Come on, you're not royalty because you're in Starbucks. You're getting a coffee, great. It doesn't mean you're high class.
2. I don't know much on cars, but I do know that I'm never wanting one of these tiny boxy toy cars. Take for example the Tata Nano. You may have heard about it, you may have not. It's one of those cars that isn't available in the United States. It only costs around $2500, but if you get in a wreck with this thing, there won't be anything left of you. These little dorky cars may look neat to some, but I'll take my chances in something a little bigger. Call me crazy.
3. We've all heard enough of Brett Favre's name over the summer to make us sick, but you have to give the old guy credit for what he did on Sunday. Two seconds left and he finds a hole that I have no clue how he threw it between and Greg Lewis had a centimer to get his foot in bounds and was able to do it with an amazing catch. I know it gets overused, but that was gunslinger type Favre there. It reminded me of his Wrangler commercials, just chucking it up for the win. Talk to you all next week.