Thursday, February 07, 2008

Spread the Word Baby, Omar Back

It's been quite some time since my last post, and a whole lot has changed. I went from living on a couch in Battery Park City to a air mattress, then futon in Harlem, and now have a crib in the East Village. Unemployed to intern to full time employee. Cheering for Durant at the NBA Draft to Felix in the Bronx to the Seahawks in Green Bay. Added a few Facebook interests (cheese, Kenny Mayne hosting SportsCenter), found a few new bars to frequent (Lucy's, Mudville 9), got hooked on a few TV shows (The Wire, Lost). I missed over half of 2007 here in Cyberspace. I guess that's what happens when you get a job.

Despite my job, I still managed to get out and experience one of my favorite things in life: Live sporting events. Here's a rundown of what I've been up to:
  • NBA Draft, Madison Square Garden: Sporting my Chris Wilcox t-shirt, I was in the front row of the back section of the MSG WaMu Theater, and was officially the first Seattle Supersonics fan in the world to shake the hands of Kevin Durant and Jeff Green. I also gave props to fellow Washingtonians Spencer Hawes and Rodney Stuckey. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.
  • Yankees/Angels, Yankee Stadium: When a few of my buddies from Boston came to town and we had extra tickets to a Yankees game, naturally we all put on Red Sox gear and made a trek out to the Bronx. One of us had a few too many beverages beforehand and nearly instigated a riot, as the entire stadium booed us and tried to get us kicked out. It was arguably worse than it would have been had the Yankees actually been playing the Sox. Remind me not to do that again. I'm not even a Sox fan.
  • Yankees/Devil Rays, Yankee Stadium: On a nice Friday night in July, I got to see the Yankees get crushed by Tampa 14-4. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
  • Yankees/Mariners, Yankee Stadium: I got to see King Felix pitch for the first time in my life, and he delivered: 7 innings, 1 run, 5K in a 7-1 Mariners victory including an Ichiro! home run. The hopped on the subway to go to...
  • US Open, Queens: Roger Federer defeating Feliciano Lopez, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-4. We got hooked up with incredible seats. What a day of sports.
  • BC/FSU, Chestnut Hill, MA: The beginning of the end for BC Football, this is when the wheels came off. I should have learned my lesson and not attended any other games.
  • BC/Maryland, College Park, MD: If the wheels came off against FSU, the whole thing caught fire and burned to the ground at Maryland. Not even my Jesus piece could help us.
  • Sonics/Knicks, Manhattan: Kevin Durant's first trip to the Mecca, and boy did he impress. Led the Sonics to a 117-110 victory with 30 points, including key buckets down the stretch and a thunderous jam right on David Lee. I loved it. Spike Lee would disagree.
  • Blazers/76ers, Philly: After meeting Greg Oden and spending a day with reporters demoing College Hoops 2K8 (I love my job), we posted up 7 rows back on the baseline for the Blazers/Sixers game. I was excited to see my boy Brandon Roy play, and by halftime the game was an embarrassment: 45-27, advantage Portland. But the Sixers came out hot in the 3rd quarter and eventually completed the improbable comeback, winning the game by 4 points. It was the first time I had ever seen Louis Williams play. I added him to my fantasy team the next day. The kid is going to be good.
  • Mavericks/Jazz, Salt Lake City: After I missed my connection in SLC back to NYC from Sun Valley, I rang up my one friend from Mormon Country and he had a spare ticket to the game. I have honestly never seen an NBA crowd quite like Utah--every single person was engaged, the place got LOUD, and everyone stayed until the finish. Deron Williams is going to go down in history as a great point guard. Mark my words.
  • Seahawks/Packers, Frozen Tundra, Wisconsin: This trip truly deserves its own post, but I'm not sure that'll happen or not. The abbreviated story: 14.5 hour drive from NYC to God's Country, freezing weather, snowflakes as big as softballs, lots and lots of cheese, and the best experience you could ever have while watching your favorite team lose a playoff game on the road. Simply amazing. Until that 14.5 hour drive home.
  • Clippers/Knicks, Manhattan: Typical Knicks game, they stayed in it for nearly 4 quarters before letting the game slip away with 3 minutes left. It was great seeing David Lee dunk on Chris Kaman, exclaiming "That was out of this world!" after a Sam Cassell drive, and discussing how he was an "All-Universe" guard, representing Mars.
The main staple of The Roundup has been sports, especially attending games live. Doing so is one of the things in life that I truly value. Sure, I grew up watching Michael Jordan on NBA on NBC, but I'll never be able to tell my kids that I saw him in person. But over the last 7or 8 months, I've added some good new ones to my list. Crawford, Felix, Federer, Ryan, Durant, Green, Roy, Igoudala, Louis, Dirk, Deron, Favre... and of course, the only extra terrestrial playing professional sports, Sam Cassell.

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