2 Posts in 1 Again: A Great Story, An ASU Game, & Meeting A World Series Champ! (AZ) “DAY 145 & 146” – 11/26/10, 11/27/10

November 28, 2010 - 2:10 pm - (AZ) “DAY 145”

Normally, the great thing thing about the day after Thanksgiving is all the football you get watch on Friday.  I say normally because I am so busy, I don’t know what to do.

Anyway, I was up and about at 9 am ready to do whatever.  Here’s what the kinda plans were.  At 12:30 pm, I was meeting Curt to go to the ASU football game (in Tempe, kickoff - 1:30 pm) but at 10 am was the WVU vs Pittsburgh football game (Backyard Brawl), so I want to watch that too.

F.Y.I. - As you may know, I went to WVU for 4 years and am a huge Mountaineer fan.

Sometime before kick-off Gene (WVU friend in AZ) called me and told me he was going to a bar 30 minutes north of where I was staying to watch the game.  I wanted to see Gene and the game but it was way out of my way (Tempe is in the other direction).

After debating for a minute, I said F&$K It!, and went to watch the game with Gene.  I’ll worry about the drive later because for now it’.... Let’s Go.... Mountaineers!

Catch 22 - 32nd St. & Union Hills Rd.
I arrived at the bar shortly after kickoff and outside in the parking lot was a car with a WVU flag.  Nice!  Maybe there are some Mountaineer fans here. 🙂  But, when I walked in there was only two people at the bar.

I was kinda pissed at this point because I’m busy and if there are only gonna be two people here, why would Gene drive 30 minutes for this?  Then, I looked to my left and saw a whole room filled with WVU Fans!  It was little Morgantown in Phoenix!  Awesome!

The Crowd of People
I went from being extremely disappointed  to overjoyed in seconds!  There were older WVU fans, younger fans, and my aged fans all cheering on the blue and gold!  Crazy shit!

By chance, the older gentleman sitting next to me was Hot Rod Hundley (A WVU legend!).  F.Y.I. - He played basketball for WVU in the 50’s with Jerry West and was a All-American, he then played in the NBA (a few teams), and was  also was a broadcaster after his career ended.

Anyway, Hot Rod and I hung out the whole time I was there.  He was a real cool dude with a great personality and he was funny too, as he knew how to tell a good story. 🙂  He told me an awesome story but that was later, so it will have to wait a second.

WVU Fight Song - Lead By An Older WVU Fan
All the people around me were WVU fans and after each TD an older man got up and lead the crowd in the WVU fight song.  (They even had copies of it on the table so if you didn’t know the words, you could still sing along.)  He sang it after every TD!  So cool! 🙂

Even though I was engulfed in the game and atmosphere, I still had to do some work I so I had my laptop out on the table during the game.  This prompted questions which lead to me telling them (the whole table) about my journey.

Everybody there was awesome and supportive as they asked a ton of questions after each story I told them about on my trip.  That’s a great feeling because you know they are interested.  I gave everybody Rooster cards and took a picture with a group of them.

“One More Shot”
Back to Hot Rod, like I said, we were sitting next to each other and talking all morning long.  Then, somebody at the table pointed out a picture on the wall.  It was of Hot Rod (last year) in the Collisium at WVU getting his number retired during halftime of a game.

F.Y.I. - He's only one of four WVU athletes to have his number retired (I think the others are Jerry West, Ira Errett Rodgers and Sam Huff).

Great Story
I asked him about the photo and he told me an awesome story.  As I stated above, it was last year in Morgantown and there is Hot Rod decked-out in a top of the line suit complete with alligator shoes.

He was just inducted into the WVU hall of Fame as he watched his jersey go up in rafters when the student section starts to chant, “ One More Shot, One More Shot, One More Shot!”  Soon, the whole building is yelling, “One More Shot, One More Shot...”

Hod Rod then leans into me and says, “ Rooster, I’m wearing alligator shoes and I hadn’t shot a basketball in over year, but I was taking that shot!”  Awesome!  Here’s a guy who has achieved everything he ever wanted (it seems), a great college career, he played on the Lakers, broadcaster, and on and on...

Now here he is, an older man with a chance for another shot and he decides to take it when he could have easily just waved to crowd, smiled, and walked off into sunset.

Anyway, he gets the ball and shoots a hook shot from 18-20 feet away...  He Makes It! The crowd goes absolutely wild as he pumps his fist in the air!  The crowd made so much noise that WVU’s basketball coach, Bob Huggins stopped his halftime speech to find out what happened.

Huggins then went back into the locker room and said, “If an old man wearing Alligator shoes can sink a 20 foot hook shot, we can go out there and win this game!.”  Just awesome!

I love a somebody who seizes the moment regardless of whether or not they had to.  That’s why he is who is and that’s why he’s the guy with his number in the rafters... because when opportunity knocks... he always answers the door! 🙂

Here is a link to a video of the induction and shot.  http://www.wvillustrated.com/wvunews/post/id/138

Leaving Catch 22
It was only halftime of the game and I couldn’t believe I gonna leave this atmosphere but I had to meet Curt at 12:30 pm (30 miles away), so I said good-bye to Gene as well as everybody I had just met and partied with.  Let’s Go Mountaineers!  (WVU won the game.) 🙂

Meeting Curt At Park & Ride - ASU Game
Curt and I (in the past) have been to so many ASU games I’ve lost count (20+).  Like I’ve said, we used to a radio show together for many years and had press passes to almost any Arizona sporting event.  We love college football, so ASU games were a must!

I was a member of the media in Phoenix for years as radio host, doing high school football, college football and a general sports show. So I know the BEST way to watch a football game is with a media pass. I was thrilled to get a media pass to the game, so despite not having a ticket to the game ... I still went in style ... Rooster style!!!

ASU Game - Frank Kush Stadium
As Curt and I approached the stadium, it was almost kick-off and we knew that because fireworks went off above the stadium.  (That signals they are about to start the game soon.)

Having done this many times before in the past, it wasn’t anything to new or exciting for me, but it still was cool to know everything was taken care of for the day.  By everything I mean, ticket, food, access to the field, etc...

Press Box & Watching From The Roof by: Curt Blakeney (Guest Writer)
For those who have never been to the press box at a stadium, it’s the best of both worlds.  You generally get free drinks, free food, and a MEDIA GUIDE -- the best source of information in the world.

My two complaints with the press box. 1. There is no cheering in the press box; that’s because there are people actually working, like newspaper beat writers. 2. The press box is hermetically sealed in Arizona, for obvious reasons (think heat in summer). So you can’t pick up any of the game sound or the cheering of the crowd.

To me, that takes away from the experience.  So, the best kept secret in the media is... watching the game is on the roof.  Not a lot of media members take advantage of it.

You get the best vantage point to watch the game (you can see the entire field and plays develop), you hear the cheer of the crowd, you’re really close to the fireworks (when ASU scores), and you can scream your head off for ASU (and curse the refs when needed).

I work radio, so fortunately, I don’t have to file a game report after. I just yap about the game the next time I’m air. Press box media pass ... there is no substitute!

That’s the end of Curt’s segment.  Thank you for you perspective of the media box and roof top view!  You’re the man! 🙂

1st Half - By: Me “Rooster”
As Curt just explained, we always watch the game from the roof and today was no different.  While we were up there watching game I met one of Curt’s friends in radio (Jason) who ironically enough, does the High School football show I used to host.

Jason was a super cool dude who played a lot of football himself. (A year at Notre Dame and a few stints on different NFL practice squads.)  As Jason and I talked, we had similar opinions on many topics except for one...

Pat Tillman #42
His views of Pat Tillman are very different than mine. F.Y.I. - Pat Tillman was a overachieving ASU player who made to the NFL and had a very successful career for the AZ Cardinals.

Then, with a multi-million dollar contract in his hands to play professional football, he opted to leave the NFL and join the Army (becoming an Army Ranger) during war time.

Sadly, his was killed in action by friendly fire and the true story of his incident has never been told to this day.  Many versions have been released but I don’t think we will ever know exactly what happened on that tragic day a little over 6 years ago.

Anyway, I feel Pat Tillman deserves any and all accolades he receives for his bravery and heroism.  (Ex.- Stadium being named after him, charity runs in his honor, etc...)

Whereas, Jason feels he gets to much attention when so many young men loose their lives everyday and get nothing when they get home.  His respects what Pat did but feels he didn’t do anything different than the other young men who lost their lives as well.

I’ve already gone on to long about this, but to me what Pat Tillman did is unprecedented!  How many other Americans who give up all that he did to join the Army when he didn’t have to?  Not many if any!

I’d like to think there is more people like him but the truth is... he was one of kind and should be remembered and commended for his bravery for all of America to acknowledge!  I would even be for a Pat Tillman Day on the calendar.  But that’s just my opinion!

The Game
Oh yeah... the football game.  ASU was playing UCLA and both teams had 4-6 records going into the game (down years for both schools).  Anyway, UCLA jumped out on top 17-0 early in the first quarter but from that point on... it was all ASU!  A... S... U...!

The momentum completely swung into ASU’s favor when their back-up QB was put into the game because of an injury to the starter.  #17 Brock Osweiler, came in prepared to play and had a great game.  Great job my man!

Halftime
During halftime, we went back downstairs to press box area so we could have dessert (today was brownies).  While I was there, I took some pictures of the halftime show from the press box view, the ASU band kicks ass!

After that, Curt, Jason, and I hung out at a table watching other college games until the 2nd half of the ASU game was ready to start.  Auburn came back from 21-0 to beat Alabama 28-27.  Wow!

3rd Quarter
For the 3rd quarter, we went back up to the roof and watched the game.  Like I said, ASU was putting the beat down on UCLA by now so I walked around the roof and took some cool pictures of the view and Tempe Town Lake.

It is really nice up here and as Curt already mentioned, not many media members take advantage of it.  I’ll never know why.?  Anyway, as the 3rd quarter was ending we left the roof and headed for the sidelines.

F.Y.I. - The media passes we usually get and had allow media members to be on the field with 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter.  But, with ASU being 4-6 and this their last game of the year, we figured nobody would mind if we got done there a few minutes early.  They didn’t. 🙂

4th Quarter
For most of the 4th quarter we were on the field watching the game from... wherever we wanted to.  Press passes baby!  So for this game, getting pictures with whoever I wanted wouldn’t be that hard.

ASU Cheerleaders
I was like a kid in candy store and the only thing I had to decide... was where do I start! 🙂  And that was’t to hard to decide because the ASU cheerleaders were right behind me when I first walked on the field.  Got that picture. One down. 🙂

UCLA Cheerleaders
On my way to get a picture with the UCLA Bruin (a Bear), I spotted the UCLA cheerleaders and took a picture with them.  They told me that Joe (guy in bear suit) had enough and called it day.

I guess the beat suit was hot and UCLA was getting killed, so I understand! 😉  But it sucks I couldn’t get a picture with another famous mascot!

Sparky (ASU Mascot) & Other Stuff

As I was walking down the ASU sideline to get a picture with Sparky, I noticed a real hot sideline reporter for FOX so I stopped and asked her to take a picture with me.  She was cool as can be even though we are in AZ and said no problem.  Thanks hot reporter!

After that, I was right there in the middle of the ASU bench so I took a few pictures of the big men that truly dictate the game, the offensive lineman.  When you are this close, you can truly see how massive they are!  These are huge dudes!

F.Y.I. - All these pictures from the 4th quarter on are taken by Jason or Curt with there cell phone.  My camera died as we walking down from the press box, so to Curt and Jason... Thank you so much! 🙂

Anyway, after making my way through the trenches, I found my way to Sparky!  Sparky was about to do 40+ push-ups because he does a push-up for every point ASU scores during the game and they just scored a TD.  (He did about 150 push-ups today, you go ASU!)

After Sparky got done working on his physique, I took a few pictures with him in all his glory (while ASU was actually winning!). 🙂  He even let me take a picture holding the Sun Devil pitchfork!  Sweet!  Thank you Sparky!  A... S... U...

Game Ends
The game ended (ASU won) and both teams converged from the sidelines to the middle of the field.  We followed suit as next thing I knew, I was next to the back-up QB who was getting interviewed for TV (his is tall, 6’8).

ASU’s Star Linebacker
We spoke for second and seemed like a great dude.  Good luck in the future bro!  After meeting the QB, I spotted ASU’s heavily penalized but star linebacker Vontaze Burfict.

He is a mean SOB on the field and didn’t seem much nicer in person. 😉  Just kidding, But look how serious he is in the picture, he’s still ready to play another quarter.  Good luck my man!  Stay healthy, work on the personal fouls, and you’ll be a 1st or 2nd round draft pick someday.

Flag Team, 50 Yard Line, & More Cheerleaders
The players were leaving the field by now and all that was left was the flag team.  So when in Rome... Yes, I danced around the field with the flag team as I cheered on the ASU victory!

After shaking my booty, Curt and I took a picture on the 50 yard line.  Over the past 10 years I have known Curt, we have taken more pictures together in the last few days than we have on the whole time we have known each other. 🙂

Then, as we were leaving the field, I spotted the Fox broadcasters doing their post game show, so I stopped over there and took a picture in front of their broadcast.

While I was taking this picture, a hot cheerleader stopped me and said she went to WVU too and that her Mom teaches at the University.  We shared a laugh about how nobody graduates from there and then she took a picture with me!  Lets Go... Mountaineers!

Leaving The Stadium
It was sometime after 5 pm by now so it was time to go.  Plus, I did everything you could possibly do at a football game except play in it!  Which by the way... I tried accomplish but UCLA wouldn’t let me play line-backer for them! 😉

The last thing I did before we left the stadium and got back on the monorail to our car was... I took a picture with a few girls who were outside of a bar named Dave something.  (Curt said there was new bar with my namesake so that’s why we were there.)

Mike’s House
I got back to MIke’s house exhausted from a long day, so I decided to stay in and upload all the pictures I had taken (over 500 of them).  Ahhh!  I know.  While I was doing this Mike wanted to get a X-Mas so I took a break and went with him to Walmart to get a fake tree.

Walmart & The Tree
After getting one, setting it up, and realizing it sucked worse than Charlie Brown’s tree we went back to Walmart and got a different one.  Ahhh!  But it was worth it as the new tree we got and set up looks really good! 🙂

I’m actually amazed at how good it looks as it is very peaceful just sitting there in the corner of Mike’s living room.   Even the red SF Giants hat looks good as the star for the tree.  (Mike’s a SF fan too, so it works out perfectly for him being they just won the World Series!)

By now, it was after midnight and I was tired from an action packed day, so I called it night and passed out on the couch.  I had another awesome day as Curt, Jason, Gene, Hot Rod, and many others made it great for me!

Thanks for reading!

November 28, 2010 - 11:46 am - (AZ) “DAY 146”

Since I went to bed early last night (midnight-ish), I got up this morning at 8 am ready to write as much as I could. (I need to catch up, I’m still 2 days behind)!  Life is overwhelming right now!  Ahhhhh!

Anyway, sleeping on Mike’s other couch in the living room was his friend Alan.  Alan , Mike, and Deniro came in late last night and I guess Alan crashed instead of driving home.  He’s a cool guy as we bullshitted while I tried writing my post.

Alan left around 9 am and that’s when I bunker’d down.  I was almost finished writing 2 days worth of post when Lindsey called me and Mike and asked us to meet her and Mark at “Ernies” in North Scottsdale for the afternoon college football games.

Ernies
We got to the bar around 3 pm and believe it or not, I ordered a beer and a shot from the bartender! (I hate having this much to do while still trying to have fun, but the pressure is causing me to drink! ;))

Even though I had my laptop out at the bar writing, I was still trying to be social with Lindsey, Mark, and Mike.  Hey, it’s not their fault I have a lot of work to do. 😉  I finished “Days 143 &144” (about 30 minutes later) and put my laptop away so I could just enjoy a normal afternoon.

Bar Shuffle Board - That’s what I Call It At Least 🙂
As I was finishing up writing, Lindsey and Mark went to the shuffle board area and played against each other.  I think Lindsey won ;), but when they were done Mike and I challenged her and Mark to a match-up for $5 a man (or woman). 🙂  Dun... Dun... Dun...

Game #1
Mike was paired up against Lindsey on one end as I was paired up against Mark on the other end.   The battle was on!  Lindsey and Mike started the match and after the first throws... Lindsey outscored mike 5-0 (game is to 21), Damn you Mike! 😉

I know knew I had to carry team now because not only did Mike get outscored 5-0, but  he looked bad in the process. Our side, Mark threw first and he’s pretty good, he lined up all his disks in the scoring area with blockers.

I could only score with a perfect throw... and... I threw the best shot of my life!  I was like a Canadian Curler shooting for the Olympic gold!  Maybe, I’m being a little over dramatic but it was a great shot as I scored 5 points back for us.  It’s now 5-5.

Unfortunately for me... Mike was on my team because when he wasn’t shooting bad... he was shooting worse! LOL  Ex.- If we were about to score and Lindsey had no more disks left, Mike would shot his last disk and knock ours out of scoring and Lindsey’s into scoring.  EVERY TIME! 🙂  We lost game one badly, 21-9.  I scored all 9 for us.

F.Y.I. - I tried to pay my $5 to them but they wouldn’t accept it and donated it back to me.  Thanks guys!

Also, Mark is Mark Bellhorn. He’s a retired major league baseball player who played for the Cubs (for many years) and won a World Series with the Red Sox against the Yanks (essentially).  (He hit a few home runs in the world series that year.)

Rematch - Game 2
Game 2 was more of the same as game 1.  Lindsey beat Mike like the red headed step child I wish his was as Mark and I played competitively against each other.  I would score, he would score.  If I was under oath... I played slightly better! 🙂

After getting our asses kicked again, Mike and I played each other to see who really was weak link.  As expected... Mike was weak link as I smashed him 21-12 (he did beat the spread of 16 that Mark and I set though.) 😉

Story Time At Ernie’s
After playing shuffle board, the four of us exchanged stories about our lives.  I talked about well... everything (as I always do)! 😉 But focused on shooting the hot dog gun at the Nebraska football game.

Lindsey told us about her soccer greatness and how she is enshrined in her college’s hall of Fame (it’s somewhere in Tennessee, near Nashville).  You go Lindsey!

Mark told us about his first major league hit (a dribbler to the pitcher that he beat out!).  Nice!  Also, because I asked him what his most memorable moment was, he told us about the winning the World Series.  But, I was more interested in his first hit, that’s where it all started!

Oh yeah... Mike just sulked as he should have from his poor shuffle board performance. 😉 lol  After story time, Mike and I left to go back to his house before I hit the casino for the night. F.Y.I. - Mark was a down-to-earth cool guy and Lindsey is well... The coolest girl around! 🙂

Back to Mike’s
Mike and I got back to his place at 7 pm and he, not me went right to the casino!  Huh? The roles are reversed here.  I was hungry and wanted to eat some meatballs before I left.  By the time I was done eating, Mike was already back (about 45 min.).

I guess he didn’t do to well but I didn’t ask, so who knows?  Anyway, after hanging with Mike for a hour or so, I headed to the casino to try and build an empire.  I need to win, my finances are getting dangerously low.

Casino AZ - Poker
I got to the casino and immediately bought in for $100 in a 4-8 limit game (with a kill).  Even though I played for almost 5 hours, it was extremely uneventful.  The only real exciting moment in the whole night was in the first hour when I flopped a set a of Aces and hit a full house.

It was exciting because I thought the guy had pocket Kings and I was about to win a Bad Beat Jackpot (about $10,000 I would have won).  A Bad Beat Jackpot (in this casino) is when you lose with Aces full of jack or better.

Anyway, there isn't much to say about my night of poker except at one point I was up $80 bucks and when I left at 5 am... I was down $80.  Ahhhh!  I should have left up $80 three hours ago!

Back To Mike’s
I got to Mike’s after 5 am and since it’s the end of the month, I went over and paid some of my monthly bills.  Oh No!  After checking my finances... I will be almost broke if I pay them all!

My Verizon bill is $100 more from the text messages I sent C (Ahhh!), my student loan deferment is up and they want me to start paying that back, I have ticket to pay from the accident, and all the other stuff I already pay!  Ahhhh!

I’m not sure what I’m gonna do but somehow... someway... I hope I figure it out!  Wish Me Luck!

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Casey says:

    GO DEVILS!!!!!! You’re lucky Burfect didn’t take your head off. He needed one more personal to get his average for the game.

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