Getting My Car Fixed, Traveling, & A Mavs Game! (TX) “DAY 211” – 1/31/11

February 1, 2011 - 11:30 pm - (Dallas, TX) “DAY 211” - Week 31 - State 28

I woke up early this morning because I had to get my car fixed before I packed up and left for Dallas today.  When I say early, it was 8:30 am when I was suppose to have my car to Scott’s friend to get repaired.

Nick’s Auto Repair Shop
I did the best I could (I’m not a morning guy), so Scott, Julie, and I arrived at Nick’s around 9 am. (Julie went with us because we were having breakfast while we waited for my car to be fixed.)

Anyway, when we got to Nick’s shop, the first thing I saw was a huge live rooster in a cage.  No way!  This rooster was big and looking good, a real proud rooster! 🙂  Well... it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happened next.  Yes... I took a picture with my kin.

After meeting one of my kind, Scott introduced to me Nick (he walked out of his office into the garage area where we were).  Nick is a Greek old-timer with a strong personality so I liked him as soon as I met him.  Also, he reminded me of home (New Jersey).

For the next 20 minutes or so, the four of us (one of Nick’s friends was there too) bull-shitted about whatever before we talked about my car.  Then, Nick confirmed he would only charge me $65 to do the work and it would be done with-in the hour.  Perfect!

Taqueria

While we waiting for the belt on car to be replaced, Scott, Julie, and I went to their favorite place breakfast for breakfast tacos.  The only thing... I’m not much more of morning eater so while they ate, I talked to my Mom on the phone (she is sick and I was checking in on her).

Back To Nick’s
Our timing was perfect because as soon we got back to Nick’s, my car was down off the lift and ready to go.  He was actually sitting at desk writing up the receipt as I walked in.

Again, Nick is such a cool guy, we stayed for a little while and talked with him about everything again.  I know about his two sons, I know he has lived in NJ (Nice), and I also know he is a genuine guy with a good sense of humor!  Thanks for everything Nick!

Back To Scott’s To Pack
Right now I would normally write a huge thank you to Scott and his family about my time with them for this past week but I wrote it in yesterday’s post.  I did that because I have a lot to write about today and didn’t wanted today’s post to be even longer.

With all said, Thank You again Scott (and family), you are all awesome! 🙂  Real quickly now, I got back to Scott’s, packed up my things, and waved good-bye to everybody (even though nobody was home, it was just a good photo for the post). 😉

Traveling From Houston To Dallas
Alright here, now here I am on my way to the Super Bowl!  F&$K Ya!  America... F&$k yeah! (from “Team America”, funny movie).  Anyway, I was on my to Dallas which is 3 hours and change north of Houston.

The ride wasn’t bad as three hours to me in a car now... is just a stone’s throw away.  There wasn’t any scenery until I got to Dallas (regular highway stuff) but as I drove into the heart of the city, the skyline wasn’t that bad. 🙂

Figuring Out What To Do & Where To Go

Now, my problem is... I don’t have anywhere to stay in Dallas this week.  I have a few maybe’s but nothing has been conformed as of yet so I’ll just play it by ear and not worry to much.  (Something will turn up or I’ll suck it up an get a room if I can find one cheap enough.)

Since I have nowhere to stay, I have nowhere to go.  So I choose to drive to American Airlines Arena which is where the Dallas Mavericks (and Stars - hockey) play their home games.

F.Y.I. - I did this because the Mavs have a home game tonight (7:30 pm tip-off) and a high school friend of mine from NJ (Mike, I haven’t seen him in 15 years) is going to the game tonight with his daughter and another friend. That’s I how I even realized they had a game, I talked to him on the phone and he told me what he was doing.

Funny thing, he didn’t really know what was I doing and when he told me about the game, he said to me, “Dave, I’m sorry but I don’t have an extra ticket for you.”  As you all know by now, I never have a ticket so I just laughed to myself and said to him, “It’s not a problem, don’t worry about it, I’ll see you in the game.” 🙂

Arriving To The Stadium Area
When I got to American Airlines Arena, it was still just 5 pm, so I drove around looking for cheap or free parking, then headed to nearest bar/restaurant to get some food before I find a ticket to the game.

There was a few good options to choose from, Hard Rock Cafe, House of Blues (wasn’t open yet), Dick’s last resort, and Hooters.  What should I choose???  Not for the reason you would think... but I choose Hooters.

Yes, I like the girls but it won out because they had a $5.99 burger special.  Hooters burgers are better than their wings, they have real good burgers!

Hooters
The first thing I saw when I walked into Hooters was a super hot Hooter’s chick doing a TV spot for Fox Sports. (It was a commercial or something featuring Hooters and whatnot.)

You all know what happened next... I asked the hot girl (Allissa) if she would take a picture with me.  She agreed but I needed somebody to take picture.  Then a professional looking lady (Melody) said, “You need somebody to take the picture huh?”

I mention this because I got to talking with her about my trip and she happened to be in Hooters marketing department.  Twenty minutes later, she and the GM came over to me at the bar and handed me some coupons for Hooters.  Thanks you Melody!

F.Y.I. - I wish she would have approached me with a with a sponsorship where I turned my Rooster mobile into a Hooters Mobile for the rest of my trip.  Ya know, logos all over my car.  Heck, I already I have picture of a chicken on it! 🙂  If you’re reading Melody... I’d do it real cheap!

Heading To The Basketball Game (Finding A Ticket)
The walk from Hooters to the main stadium entrance (south entrance) was only few blocks (3 or 4).  It was 6:15 pm so I had plenty of time to find a ticket to the game or so I hoped.

The good news, while I was at Hooters, a few guys told me about a promo where they giveaway tickets to fans who have their face painted.  I know... I know... An old guy by himself with his face painted... I might as well have a bag full of lollipops to hand out to little children.  But, It’s an option. 😉

Getting My Face Painted
Rather than around the stadium looking for a ticket, I figured I’d talk to the face painting promotion guys and see if my story could get me a ticket without having to paint my face.  
Even though the guys were cool and liked what I was doing, they said I had to have my face painted because the tickets were special seats and their boss would know if somebody sat there without a painted up melon.  Damn!

F.Y.I. - I’m not mad because I’m against face painting.  Heck, I’m a Puddy from Seinfeld all the way (D-E-V-I-L-S).  But, I’m not a Mavs fan and for that reason, I would feel ridiculous.  Not the painted face but the poser-ness of my painted face.

But... I’m poor and have to do what I have to do, so I walked a block over to a gas station and borrowed a marker from Carlos (guy working there) to paint my face with.  I tried doing it myself in a mirror but that wasn’t working, so I walked back to ticket guys and told them to do what they want so I can get the ticket.

Getting My Face Marker’d
When I approached the guys this time, we already knew each other for I had talked to them for few minutes before.  So they were already laughing when I walked up with a light blue marker in my hand.  I told them to do what they have to get me in and them not in trouble.

After laughing, they choose one of the guys to marker up my face.  I told them I liked Jason Kidd so they put Kidd’s number on one check and JKidd on the other.  I couldn’t see it yet, but I already knew I looked ridiculous.

Then, to top it off and against my will, they wrote MAVS across my forehead... MAVS!  Oh no!  I look like a fool but it’s fun and really... like I actually care... I’m a homeless guy traveling the country. 😉

Entering American Airlines (AA) Arena

One good thing about getting the ticket when I did is that it was still early (before 7 pm) and they were giving out bobble head dolls to first 5,000 fans in attendance.  Nice!  A bobble head to boot!

Back To My Car
Since it was still early and I didn’t want to carry around a bobble head doll all night, I walked back to my car and put it away.  On my walk back to the stadium, I called Mike (H.S. friend) to see where he was at and tell him I had a ticket to the game.  He told me he would be there around game time and would text me where he was sitting.

Back To AA Arena
On my walk back to the arena when I was 100 yards from the entrance, I looked down and saw 2 tickets on ground.  Really?  I picked them up and yep... 2 lower level tickets to the game.  Unreal!

I wasn’t sure if they were valid, so I walked up to entrance way and asked the scanner lady to check them but before I knew it, she scanned one to enter.  Damn!  She then said she couldn’t unscan it, so I grabbed another bobble head and headed back out of the stadium.

From No Tickets To Scalper - LOL

At 6:30 pm, I had no tickets.  At 7:10 pm, I had 3 tickets.  Nice!  Since two of my tickets were already scanned, I only had a single to sell.  That’s ok, anything is better than nothing and this game isn’t in high demand.  It’s a Monday night game and the Wizards are terrible (team the Mavs are playing tonight).

After a few minutes of looking around, I saw a guy who looked like he needed a ticket so I asked him if did.  He said yes and how much.  I said to him, whatever you think you can afford.  He looked at me and said $20, I responded... done!

Hey, I’m not out to make money like this, it was nice enough to get $20 so I can get a drink and pay the $5 for parking when I leave the garage I left the Rooster mobile in.

Choosing My Seat
The good thing about finding the other 2 tickets was I now had a choice of what seat I wanted to sit.  I can sit in section 124 (lower level) or I can sit in the face painting seats. If I choose those seats, I have to keep my face painted (marker’d) the whole game.

This choice seems obviously, but if the seats are great... well see.  Now, I was told I had keep my face painted and I couldn’t wash it off, but I figured I’d push it a little and washed off the marker on my cheeks before I checked the section.

Face Painting Seats
I checked the face painting seats first because the other seats were gonna be regular lower level type seats.  I’m glad I did because these seats were the best seats in the house!  Oh yeah! 🙂

They were the best because you had a great view, but more importantly, I had a whole section to myself.  They were 7 folding chairs and 2 lounge chairs in this separate and spacious section.  Perfect!  I’m glad I left Mavs on my forehead now! 😉

On top of that, the two Local Mavs announcers, had there pre-game booth set-up just a few feet from where I was seated (in my section).  They were cool and when they finished, they took a photo with me.  Thanks.

TV Crew Leaves... Drum Band Shows Up
After taking a picture with a hot chick and Rolando Blackman, their whole set was taken down and moved out so the Dallas Maverick band could set up for the rest of the game.

The Band
Some people may not have liked being next to the drums all night long but I loved it.  They were real good, didn’t play all game long, and at one point in the night... they even gave me a stick and let me play along!  How freaking cool are people!  I was playing with the band! LOL

Meeting Up With Mike
Right before tip-off, Mike text me to tell me where he was seated (section 112).  That’s the section I’m in and I’m at the top of it elevated over the crowd.  Then, I text him to turn around and look back.  There I was 4 rows behind him hanging out with the band!  So perfect!

So I jumped down and sat with him, his daughter, and his friends for a little bit.  I have always gotten along Mike as he is good guy who knows how to have fun.  Also, I was friends with his sister Barbara for my whole childhood so Mike and I have always known each other. (Left: old-school pic. :))

Anyway, since I had an extra bobble head, I gave it to Mike’s daughter as a present.  (They didn’t get there to tip-off and the Mavs only gave the first 5,000 bobble heads.)  I’m not sure if she liked it or noticed it because after hearing my tale, she called me a homeless bum (paraphrase). 😉  She really did. LOL  Kids are so funny sometimes! 🙂

I know what so people are thinking right now and in my defense... I may be a homeless bum... but a homeless bum with a big enough heart to give a little girl (I never met) a bobble head instead of selling it for $20.  That’s what I was offered in the hallway.

Going Back To My Seat
After talking with Mike for few minutes, I noticed a few smoking hot cheerleaders in my seats waving pom poms and whatnot.  I had to leave right then so I could get a picture with them.  Heck, they came to my seat instead of me having to run to the court.  Nice!

As soon as I got back up to my seat, there were a bunch of people sitting there or so I thought.  (In my seats were the Maverick Maniacs, a bunch of fat guys who cheer together all game long in unison.)  I didn’t know who they were then.

Getting On The Big Screen TV, Again (6th or 7th Stadium/Arena)
Anyway, next thing I know, there is a lady with a microphone standing next to me and I’m on the huge big screen TV in the middle of the arena with Mavs marker’d on forehead! LOL   I don’t know how all this shit happens to me either! 😉

Pictures With The Cheerleaders
After reaching forehead celebrity status, it was time for a picture with the cheerleaders.  So I asked the girls if they would take a picture and then did.  But then seconds later, I realized it was me with head painted, so I put my hat on forewords and took another picture with them.

Later in the game, two different smoking hot cheerleaders came up to my section for a little while so I got a picture with them as well.  Man, these girls are hot!  I’d quit this trip right now if either of those blondes would date me. 😉  No joke!

The Actual Game - Dallas Mavericks vs. Washington Wizards
There was so much going on where I was, that the game was secondary to my good time all night it seemed.  None-the-less, the Wizards jumped out to an early lead but little by little the Mavs came back until they controlled from the 3rd quarter on.

Currently, the Mavs are 30-15 so they are good team but from what I saw, they are getting old and it looks like there best players best days are behind them (Dirk, Kidd, Marion).   Still, I enjoyed watching a bunch of players I used love watching play hit the court together here in Dallas.

The Pittsburgh Steelers Are Here!
Sometime late in the second quarter, the announced over the PA that the Steelers were in attendance and showed them on the big screen sitting their luxury box.  No Way!  Now, I have to go try and meet the Steelers.

Heck, if I’m super lucky... Head Coach Mike Tomlin himself will give me a ticket to the Super Bowl for Sunday.  It’s a million to one long shot but that’s what I’m thinking at this moment.

Halftime Arrives
Once halftime arrived, I only had one goal in mind.  Meet the Steelers!  So I hopped in the elevator and asked the guy to bring me to the suite level.  The guy asked for my ticket but I didn’t have one.  After 5 minutes of talking to him, he brought me to the suite level.

The problem... there are two suite levels and the Steelers were on the one I wasn’t.  Damn!  Still, I was in the luxury box area now, so I walked around until I found which box the Steelers were above.

Meeting James Harrison, Steelers All-Pro D-End
After talking with a few people, I found out where they were and headed to the stadium seats outside of their luxury suite (the front is open to the crowd).  There was security there but somehow I got by them and stood on a seat right in front of the Steelers section.

As soon as I was almost eye level with suite, I looked up and there was James Harrison sitting 2 feet from my face.  Holy Shit!  Surprised I actually made it there, I looked at him and said, “James Harrison!”  He just smiled at me.

I then said,”I’m a Steeler Fan from NJ, not one these Dallas haters.  How are feeling?”  He said he felt great.  I then asked about practice and if Troy Polamalu was healthy.  He said that they were off today and that Troy is just fine.

The last thing I said to him was, “James do you mind if I take picture of you?”  He said no problem as he put up my signature peace sign and told me to have fun in Dallas.  Or something like that, it was loud in there and I was rushing because the people in the seats I was standing on were visibly pissed.  Rightfully so.

Mascots
The Mavs have two mascots. One is a horse (Champ) which makes sense but the other is a basketball man.  It’s a man-ball or something.  I’m not sure.  None-the-less, I got a picture with him as he too made his way up to where my painted face seat was.  These seats kick ass!

On the other hand, the horse was proving to be problem to get a picture with.  It wasn’t that he wasn’t accessible, my timing in getting to him was just off.  So for the 4th quarter, I made my way down to the 1st row (off the court) so I could make sure I got a picture with him.

Sitting Court-Side
The whole 4th quarter, I watched the game from great seats to actually watch the game.  I could see the players sweat fall from their faces as they ran down the court.  It was an awesome view.  Not the sweat, but the game itself. 😉

During the last 12 minutes of play, Champ (the mascot) came out a few times but never with-in my reach to get a picture.  Ahhhh!  He was close as he shot t-shirts over me a few different times, but never close enough to get a picture.

Before I knew it, the game was over as the Mavs won 102- 92.  Still, I was done yet as I waited on the court for the mascot to get done running around celebrating the Dallas victory.

A Picture With Champ (Official Mascot)
As I was standing on the court waiting for Champ to finish his mascot duties, I took the opportunity to stand on the court and get a picture.  Hey, that’s pretty cool too!  Then, after trying for almost 30 minutes, I finally got my picture with Champ.

He was my kind of mascot as he distracted by 3 girls when I asked him for the photo.  So I called over the 3 girls and asked them to jump in the photo with me and Champ! Nice!

Leaving The Arena
It was almost 11 pm when I finally left the game and started walking back to my car.  Now, I had another problem.  I have nowhere to stay tonight.  The truth is, I had such great day... I really don’t care because I’m a happy as can be. 🙂

Still, it was getting cold out and I heard a storm was coming through, so I searched my GPS for a Motel 6 nearby (they are generally the cheapest).  I found one 7 miles away for just $39.99 a night.  Not bad considering they cost $300 or more come Thursday (Super Bowl prices).

Motel 6
I really didn’t want to spend the money for just 10 hours in a room but sometimes... you just have to bite the bullet and pay whatever it is.  After paying and whatnot, I was finally in my room around midnight. (This is the nicest Motel 6 room yet, not bad.)

Well... that was my day!  Each day I keep thinking how the next day can even possibly be better than the last, but somehow someway it keeps on happening! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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  1. DAD says:

    Dave, Mike looks like he did as a kid but now as a man. His face is the same. Little league, his family
    at the games, brings back great memories.
    As usual, you found your way into the game, and made money plus bobble heads. I know it get’s better tomorrow, but the readers will have to wait!!!!
    Great photo’s. I hope you weather get’s better.

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