May 31, 2010
It was a great Memorial Day Weekend here in the Twin Cities.
The festivities kicked off on Friday when Sarah and I went to the St. Paul Saints game with Sarah’s brother, Andy. As normal the play on the field was completely mediocre, but the fun in the stands was fantastic as we were consistently amused by dancing chickens, running pigs, lumberjack super-fans and the near constant clanging of trains in the outfield.
That being said, I always wonder how fans of baseball can tell me that soccer is boring.
That is something I may never figure out.
Saturday was an amazingly full day of sports. First the US Men’s National Team was taking on Turkey. The team looked a little mediocre in the first half, but in the second half they came out flying and defeated the Turks 2-1. I was happy the team turned it around in the second half and on behalf of Armenian-Americans I would like to tell Turkey, “Tstsum e, T’urk’iayi!”
Immediately after the USMNT game I jumped in the car and headed over to Capitol City Meats on Rice Street. I always admired the place because of this awesome sign on the side of the building:
Sarah and I got our normal bratwurst and chicken breasts and got our tailgating materials together and sped on over to the National Sports Center to watch the NSC Minnesota Stars-AC St. Louis game. When we got to the stadium we had a lot of work to do as former 16-year MLS Veteran Steve Ralston was going to be playing, so we had to welcome him in style with an amazing sign that another fan concocted:
The crowd was announced at 1576 people which I thought was a little on the light side as a crowd that big would have registered 3,000 for the former professional team. A ton of those people were crammed into the beer garden and we had one heck of a time singing and chanting behind the goal. Topping it all off was that I managed to get the numbers for the manual scoreboard and got to change the score for whenever the Stars scored!
Here I am running with Erik (promoter of Red Barn CX!) to the scoreboard after our first goal:
This is the scoreboard after our 1st goal:
Here is an awesome picture just after we took a 3-2 to seal a victory:
Check out the kid! Looks like someone pushed him off the beer garden! As you can see the garden was ecstatic with Neal Hvalaty’s game winning goal! It really put us over the top and the Believe banner looks really nice on the touch line. But, that wasn’t all the excitement…I had to show change the number for the scoreboard!:
Check it out! This picture was taken after the players came over and started tapping on the number before I made my long, long, long run to the scoreboard with my bodyguard Hairygrump (that’s him pointing at the squad).
The game was amazing and we took home the full 3pts!
(Thanks to Jeremy Olson for the photos)
Topping off the day was an amazing AMAZING AMAZING Stanley Cup Finals game featuring my Chicago Blackhawks!
I have been talking about the Hawks on this blog since its inception and to witness a 6-5 game was sooooo much fun. Having the Hawks come out on top was even better!
We are only 3 more wins away from THE CUP!
Let’s Go Hawks!
May 27, 2010
Maybe I should have bailed out on watching MLS and NASL soccer tonight and gone to the velodrome and witnessed this:
Photo courtesy of the Prez.
May 26, 2010
Sarah and I started a list a few months back of restaurants to eat at, people to see and things to do before we take off for sunny north Florida. As of now the list contains about 10 restaurants to eat at, but prior to this last weekend it was at 12, so here are two places that we wanted to go to:
The Strip Club
The place is right next door to my alma-mater on the East Side of St. Paul. It is a small room with amazing character and proved to be a fantastic place to celebrate Sarah’s recent graduation from St. Thomas with a Master’s degree. We would both recommend it.
We first heard about this place on the Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” The Dari-Ette falls into the middle category and is a classic drive-in with a twist. Instead of classic Americana fair they feature Italian American food. While the food was decent, it wasn’t as good as Mama’s Pizza on Rice Street and proved to be forgettable. The best part of the entire experience was hearing Sarah say, “Wow, it is hard to eat Italian food in the car!”
I wasn’t as thrilled as Guy Fieri.
In fact, most people probably aren’t as excited as I can’t even find the episode on YouTube!
May 23, 2010
What time should the Blackhawks pick you up for your date?
We are closer to the cup than we have been in over 50 years.
This is our year.
“Dollar” Bill Wirtz is rolling in his grave.
Four more wins and we hoist the most fabled trophy in all of sports.
Let’s Go Hawks!
On Saturday I ventured out to Inver Grover Heights with some teammates to take in the Freewheel Frolic mountain bike race. Formerly known as Erik’s Spring Cup the race is the kick-off to the dirt season in Minnesota. I was determined to have a better race than I did last year and with a jump up to the Comp class I was excited to see how I would fair against the better competition (last year I raced in the lower Sport category).
Before the race a large thunderstorm rolled in that delayed the start times by over an hour and turned a portion of the course into a bowl of dirt soup. This would eventually lead to a nice tacky trail and a reduced race of 3laps (from the scheduled 4laps). This also meant that I would be racing the same amount of laps I had done the previous year so I would be able to compare my times to see if I had improved.
Looks like I did:
2009: 1:09:21 (123 out of 189 Sport Class)
2010: 1:06:09 (54 out of 96 Comp Class)
I must admit that it is a little strange as the results posted prior to me leaving had me completing the race in 1:07:12 and in 35th place out of 96th only to go home and see another minute reduced from my time, but a drop in place to 54th. Oh well, it doesn’t really matter as I had a ton of fun and could feel and see drastic improvement in the year that I have been riding mountain bikes.
I was determined to race this years race with a little bit more tenacity and effort. Last year I found myself getting passed by numerous folks after willingly pulling over and allowing large groups to go on by. I would then ride solo for a for a little while longer before another group would come along. This year I wanted to be a part of those large groups and fight tooth and nail to stay on a riders wheel. I was able to accomplish that and my results and time improved drastically.
Topping the day off were some great performances by my Behind-Bars/LGR teammates and Megan even came away with a brand new wheelset donated by our friend Jake at Freewheel Bikes.
A great day on the trails!
May 20, 2010
By now you have probably seen this:
Landis Confesses To Doping, Implicates Armstrong and Others
I am happy that Landis came clean. In the cycling world we all knew he did it. I also am happy that he has come clean about the other riders. More people need to do this. Don’t tell me for a second that Armstrong, Hincapie and 90% of the professional peleton didn’t dope.
Yet, like my buddy Smithers tweeted: Watch all the Landis “believers” now pivot and move to crucify him as a “liar”.
Landis is already starting to get thrown under the bus as a liar and a piece of crap for implicating others, I for one think it is good for him to share what he knows, and this fan believes him.
May 19, 2010
New York Times had a feature article on Wednesday:
I figured the job market was going to be a little bit tough, but I wasn’t prepared to spend $30,000 on two years of graduate school to see numbers of 967 people applying for Special Education jobs! Naturally, this is awfully demoralizing as Sarah and I prepare to embark on our next chapter in our life in Gainesville, Florida. Nonetheless, I still continue to put in applications to the various schools in the area and hope for a little bit of luck.
If I can’t get a teaching job I don’t know what to do. Probably run the substitute route for a little while and see if that opens some doors, but if it doesn’t what should I do? I got some student loans to pay off and a passion for teaching. Yet, I don’t want to sit in a car for over an hour each direction in order to be able to utilize my talents.
I had a few ideas, but it seems like Gainesville already has every type of business that I would actually want to run.
Things could be worse.
The Blackhawks could have lost last night, but instead they won and are now in a commanding 2-0 lead as the series heads home to the United Center in Chicago.
May 17, 2010
If you have NetFlix you should totally take advantage of the Watch Instantly feature and watch:
King of Kong
It is easily one of the best movies from 2007.
That is all.
Oh, Hawks won.
Suck on it Detroit.
May 16, 2010
At school the other day I had the privilege to show my students the space shuttle launch. It was the last time that Atlantis was launched as the shuttle program is on its last legs with only 2 launches left. The students were a little hesitant at first, but as the clock counted down from T-Minus 20seconds they were pretty enthralled with the entire experience, especially when the engines kicked in and the shuttle started traveling at over a gazillion miles an hour.
It was pretty damn cool.
With only two launches left I hope that Sarah and I will be able to see one.
The Stars tied Miami F.C. on Saturday in a highly entertaining game.
Lots of fun.
I went on a bicycle ride on Saturday and didn’t have the unfortunate experience of a crash like our dear MCF president at the Alamanzo 100. I must admit that I agree with him that maybe I am just not cut out for the mass start events where others actions can play a major role in my own physical well-being. This may be why I enjoy mountain biking more and more. When there is a crash in a mountain bike race it seems to be usually the fault of the individual racer. When there is a crash in a road race there are so many other variables at fault.
My desire for not racing on the road may also be tied to the fact that I am not very good at it
May 14, 2010
What better way to get in the goalies head than to gently make fun of all that weight he has gained in the off-season?
Even Kevin Hartman thought it was hilarious.
That is brilliant.
See you all Saturday night at the NSC for the game versus Miami F.C. at 7pm.
One of the best players on the team is Lellei Gao and the Star Tribune just published an interesting story on him.
Minnesota is latest stop for world soccer traveler.