Sporting Event Memories

16 01 2006

My buddy Dave Parks recently e-mailed a list of the ticket stubs he had saved from various games he attended with me and/or our good buds Forrest and Chris. It was treat to think about those good times with good friends and it got me to thinking about all the special sporting events that have been a part of in my life.

So to add to Dave’s list, I’ve noted a few of my own sporting event memories. The list isn’t as impressive as a sports writer’s might be, but it is special to me.

Unlike Dave, I’ve not been good about saving the ticket stubs, so exact dates (and in some cases, visiting teams) are a bit fuzzy. Good thing the memories aren’t!

Early 1980’s –
Harlem Globtrotters v. Washington GeneralsWharton Fieldhouse, Moline, IL

Dad took me to see this game when I was just a little kid and we had good seats near the court. Here is what I remember… The big crowd, amazing ball-handling displays by Curly, the ‘ball on a string’ freethrow act and jumping out of my skin thinking one of the ‘Trotters was throwing a bucket of water on us only to find realize it was just confetti. I saved the confetti as a souvenir.

Summer 1984Chicago Cubs v. Philadelphia PhilliesWrigley Field, Chicago, IL

First-time to attend a Major League game. Cubs lost both games of the double header and remember thinking my brother Andy was a traitor for cheering for the Phillies and his hero, Mike Schmidt. At the end of the season, the Cubs went on to blow the NLCS vs. San Diego – breaking my heart in the process.

Spring 1992 – Chicago Bulls v. LA Clippers Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL

Accomplished one my ‘lifetime goals’ of seeing Michael Jordan play in person. It was also the last season the Bulls played in the old stadium. Because of tickets were scarce, we had restricted view seats under the mezzanine but that didn’t matter. When MJ got the ball on a fast break, my heart stopped as I thought I was going to witness one of his signature dunks in person. Alas, he was hacked and I had to settle for watching my hero shoot free throws. Former Iowa Hawkeye B. J. Armstrong had a bigger game than Jordan so that was cool. The Bulls won and I had one less thing I ‘had to do before I died’.

Nov. 1992 – Iowa Hawkeyes v. Minnesota Gophers – Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA

The only Iowa football game I’ve been too. We got the tickets the day of the game, drove to Iowa City, watched the Hawkeyes win the battle for Floyd of Rosedale – the bronze pig trophy the schools play for each year and listened to a rowdy, mostly drunk student section sing the unoffical Iowa fight song “In Heaven There Ain’t No Beer! (That’s Why We Drink It All Here!)”

Dec. 1993 – Iowa Hawkeyes v. Duke Blue Devils – Carver Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, IA

I’d been to a couple of Hawk hoops games before, but those were games against the likes of Athletes in Action and Colgate. Dick Vitale and ESPN was in the house for this heavyweight fight and the crowd was pumped. Iowa led for awhile and kept it close to the end. But the Hawks were toast when Duke started to let future NBA all-star Grant Hill take his man 1-on-1. Even though the Hawks lost, it was a fun game to attend.

Summer 1995 – Chicago White Sox v. Cleveland Indians – Cominsky Park, Chicago, IL

Carter Davis and I drove up to Chicago to pick up Chris Williams. The three of us were to leave soon for a summer in Uganda, but not before eating brats with sauerkraut and watching some baseball! I think the Sox won, but more importantly, we survived the forray into Southside Chicago.

Well, that’s it for now. More to come later….

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2 responses

17 01 2006
Carter Davis

Glad to see the White Sox game made the list…all I remember is it was windy, cold and it was Miller Lite beach towel day…I think…

I might have to steal your idea for a post on my blog…

Oh and I read that jab at North Scott…don’t think I’ll forget it either…

17 01 2006
Andy

I think I cheered the Phillies that day because my sub conscious was trying to protect my sanity. Alas, I succumbed to my calling and am now a heart broken Cubs fan, who still gets violently angry when thinking about the 2004 playoffs….

My own personal sports memories:

Jan. 1993 – Iowa Hawkeyes v. Michigan WolverinesCarver Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City

This was the game after Chris Street’s death and I have never been in a more emotionally charged game. Hawks played out of their mind, beating the Fab five on way to a spirited 3rd place finish in the BigTen. During the game, Voskel from Michigan got leveled with an accidental elbow to the face. As he lay motionless on the court, you could hear a pin drop in the arena… deathly quiet. Will never forget that game.

Sept. 1998 Kansas City Chiefs vs RaidersAarow Head Stadium, Kansas City

I had 15th row, 50 yard line seats for one of the biggest rivalries in the NFL. I don’t remember anything after the first quarter, but that doesn’t matter. KC scored 4 touchdowns in 4 minutes, including a touchdown on the opening kickoff return. There was a lot of screaming and beer throwing for about 10 minutes, then just a lot of laughing and harassing the visiting team, who were in shouting distance.

Jan. 1997 Cascade College vs. Seattle Christiansomewhere in Seattle

Ok, maybe not one to the biggest headline games, but provided one of my most fondest memories of Uber BBall superstar: Ben Ries. I will lay it out for you: Ben is cherry picking, not bothering to play any defense because for once Cascade College is playing a team far worse then they are. Seattle turns the ball over and Ben receives a fast break pass at the free throw line. Ben takes 2 dribbles and jump stops on the block. At this point, he is the ONLY player on his half of the court. But just to play it safe, Ben throws a pump fake. No one bites (because no one is within 20 yards of him), not to fooled, Ben continues throwing pump fake after pump fake. Finally, someone on D comes running up and bites on Ben’s pump fake. Ben jumps into him, draws the foul and goes to the line for a 3 point play.

(note: in Ben’s defense, he was the victim of an viscous elbow attack 2 days early, and he has no recollection of this game, or anything for about 3 days. He was a walking zombie with a severe concussion.)

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