Well, since I have nothing that great to write about today (A-Rod, blah, blah, blah) I decided to think up the Top 10 sporting events I have ever attended. I've never been to a Super Bowl, or an NBA Finals, or even a World Series (what was I thinking in 2002?) but I'll attempt to come up with my best. The criteria is that I had to have physically attended the game, remember it enough to explain a coherent story, and that's really about it. So, if I hypothetically attended a Cubs/Expos game in 1984 that I can't remember, that doesn't count. (Also, this idea came up as a mix of my friend Matt suggesting I do Top 10s if I've got nothing else, and G$ did a similar list awhile back- that jerk saw his Redskins win a Super Bowl! Now that's legit!)
10. Ravens v. Raiders AFC Championship game in 2000 - My friend/college roommate Phil (yes, the Bonin) and his family had (maybe still have, but I doubt it) season tickets to the Raiders. When the Raiders were on the cusp of getting to the Super Bowl in 2000, FEDEX dropped Phil's tickets on our doorstep. Unfortunately, it was a particularly windy day in Davis and the FEDEX envelop blew away. After Phil searched for an hour around the apartment complex and subsequently freaked out, I came home from class. He explained what happened, and I calmly walked outside behind our apartment complex and, as if God himself had put a spotlight on it, found the FEDEX envelop sitting on a dirt patch in between a few bushes. Phil was so happy he took me to the game.
The reason this game stands at 10, is because my story of finding the tickets was actually better than the game. The crowd was rowdy, but the highlight of the game was Shannon Sharpe's 97 yard TD catch from Trent Dilfer. As the hope began to dim on the Raiders' Super Bowl chances, I felt less and less safe. We eventually left in the middle of the fourth quarter after Rich Gannon was hurt and Bobby Hoying took over at QB. People were throwing things at us saying, "You're not true fans! They're going to come back!!!" Phil's dad just did his best Jack Bauer impression and said, "Get into the tunnel!" I'm happy we made it out alive!
9. Pirates v. Braves NLCS 1991, Game 4 - The Pirates took this one in 10 innings. I remember doing the tomahawk chop and hating the terrible threesome of Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla and Andy Van Slyke. This makes the list because it was my first playoff baseball game, but since I wasn't overly thrilled with the Pirates victory, it doesn't make it too far up the list.
8. Tigers v. A's ALCS 2006, Game 1 - My friend had gotten my roommate/former co-worker/best man in my wedding Sean and me tickets to Game 1 of the ALCS in 2006. When he called us just after 4pm and asked how traffic was coming, we were miffed because due to a miscommunication we thought we were going to GAME 2. Completely unprepared, we left work (noting that appropriately on the calendar, of course) and sprinted to the car. Getting from Davis to Oakland quickly is no small feat. Our goal was to make it by the 3rd inning. Sure enough, 80 West, to 680 South, then onto the Pleasant Hill BART station, transfer at MacArthur, and then exiting at the Colisieum, we made it there in record time. Our tickets were on the OTHER side of the stadium so we sprinted to the other window and retrived our tickets. Since Sean randomly had purchased a Tigers jersey and hat on clearance during the year that they lost 140 games (or whatever) he was completely decked out in Tigers garb. We were on the first base line and got there in time to see Barry Zito throw the first pitch of the 3rd inning. We were there to watch the beginning of the A's getting swept out of the playoffs. Once again, the story getting there was equally as fun as the event, but it's always fun to attend a playoff game.
7. Dodgers v. Cubs August 2003 - Mark Prior had recently come back from his basepath collision with Marcus Giles, and just in time for me to roll into Wrigley. Prior pitched a gem. 2 hits, 1 run, complete game (Cubs won 2-1.) I still will never completely understand how Prior's shoulder/body got so messed up that he went from future Hall of Famer to complete bust, but it was fun to watch him pitch when he was at his best.
6. Padres v. Cubs August 2004 - Carlos Zambrano was on the hill that night, and my brother Tim and I decided to scalp some bleacher seats. This was one of the least annoying Wrigley bleacher games I've ever attended. I'm not 100% sure I'd ever gone to a game under the lights at Wrigley before, and the Cubs got the job done, 8-5. I was in the second row of the right field bleachers and Ryan Klesko hit a ball off the wall so hard I could feel the vibration from it. An excellent game and fewer drunk d-bags diseasing the bleachers than normal!
5. Reds v. Cubs August 2005 - The Cubs were not great during this season, but since Tim and I had such a great experience the year before, we decided to scalp tickets again. Although the team was far worse, the prices had risen almost 100% on bleacher tickets. I gave the scalper a little attitude about why he was ripping people off and walked away muttering something like, "Well, I guess we'll just go home..." As we were walking away, another guy said, "Hey! You guys need tickets?" I said, "Yes, what do you have?" He went on to explain that he had tickets from his work and that he couldn't go. He didn't want the tickets to go to waste, so we could have them. When I asked, "How much?" he replied, "Nothing, I just want to make sure they go to people who will appreciate them." I thanked him four or five times and Tim and I proceeded to walk to our seats behind HOME PLATE! While the Cubs lost 9-4, we had extra drinking money (Tim had just turned 21 that year) and we drunkenly enjoyed the Wrigley atmosphere.
4. Giants v. Cubs 6/30/08 - I already documented this game on the blog, and with Mark DeRosa hitting not one, but TWO home runs (including one Grand Slam) into our section, it was a great game to celebrate my birthday. THE REST IS HERE. Side note: sorry to see you go DeRosa- you'll be missed.
3. Tom Glavine wins 300, Mets v. Cubs 8/5/07 - A little know fact is that the graphic that is at the top of my blog is from this game. I was in the right field bleachers as Jason Marquis faced Tom Glavine. Tommy got the best of him and almost 3 years to the day after former teammate Greg Maddux won his 300th game, Glavine did the same. This time, the bleachers did have more drunk A-holes and Alfonso Soriano pulled his hamstring running from second to third, but the history overrides all of that riff-raff.
2. Greg Maddux wins 300, Giants v. Cubs 8/7/04 - As luck would have it, I was at this Sunday afternoon game that had the Cubs win 8-4, but more importantly, Mad-dog Greg Maddux picked up his 300th win. It was great to see one of my childhood heroes reach a milestone like that. I'm not sure what the odds are that I would see both Maddux and Glavine win their 300th career wins, but I have a feeling not many other people can say they attended both games. So awesome to witness that kind of baseball history.
1. Rockies v. Giants 9/14/06 - This game was nothing special. Sure, the Giants won 5-0 as Matt Cain threw 8 scoreless innings. This game truly deserves its own blog, so I will definitely write an entry on it. The reason this gets the number one spot is because I could not stop smiling for over an hour after we left AT&T Park. I'll be back with a full entry on this game soon...
And yes, I'm very aware that this list is ridiculously baseball heavy. What can I say? I like attending baseball games! Plus, none of the Bears or Bulls games that I physically attended are worth mentioning. I've been to a few Niners games, but no good ones. I didn't make it out for the Warriors/Mavs series a couple years ago, so I have no NBA. Blame it on my taste, my luck, my financial status of college student during the Kings great run, and my location. Hopefully I broaden this list in the future...