Royalty Tours USA

Friday, November 4, 2011

Royalty w/o 10/24 in review

This was another week that started slow as far as attending live sporting events, but it did end in royal fashion when the week was all said and done.

I wound up going home after work four straight nights Monday-Thursday because they're were no local games I could get to after work. As a result, I wound up watching the World Series on TV instead.
Friday night I didn't see a game either live or on TV. I went out to Avis after work instead to pick up a car for the weekend which turned out to be a surprise preview of winter that was coming our way.

I drove 175 miles to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where my parents now live on a full time basis. After struggling to get out of NYC thanks to traffic, I finally arrived there just after midnight.

I did get to listen to the radio as the St. Louis Cardinals became World Champions again for the 11th time in their history. The most by any National League team I might add. The Texas Rangers blew that memorable Game 6. They were a strike away from winning not once but twice. It turned out to be a hard fought not necessarily a well played World Series but it did create interest as it went seven games for the first time since 2002.

Now the "off season" if you will is officially upon us. That depends on how you look at it. I don't really have such a thing. For me, now it's football season until late January, early February.

In addition, I have hockey to follow too. I like basketball but since the NBA is locked out, my options in the local area are limited as far as college goes but I plan to see some along the way as well.

In the meantime, I went to visit my parents and I got to take in some football games too. Quite amazingly, the weather felt like it was sometime in January. When I checked the calendar I didn't remember Halloween coming and going. I was right it was still a few days away. It was strange but like royalty it was true.

With winter in the air, I still decided to take an adventurous ride to Towson, Maryland which was 75 miles from Lancaster. I saw an opportunity to see some lower level football since my options in the Northeast were limited on that Saturday. I passed up a chance to go to Reading, PA for other royal treatment in the form of ECHL hockey where the Reading Royals play. I preferred to brave the elements and see a new venue, Johnny Unitas Stadium where the Towson Tigers play. On this night, they hosted the Blue Hens of the University of Delaware.

As for the game I saw, it was a rather entertaining one. Despite the less than ideal playing conditions with the wind howling and some light snow falling during the game, I thoroughly enjoyed my time outside. It turned out to be a seesaw battle as the lead changed five different times during the game. The hometown Tigers roared out to a early 10-0 lead before the visiting Blue Hens came back to take the lead, 14-10. The Tigers went back ahead, 16-14. Then the Blue Hens took over for a while building a 29-16 advantage. The Tigers once again answered by scoring a few more touchdowns to go up, 30-29. Delaware took the lead for good, 36-30 as the Tigers blew a few chances late in the game by making critical and costly mistakes. The Blue Hens pulled off the upset of their neighboring rival which is only 58 miles away in nearby Newark, Delaware.

After the game, I drove back to Lancaster and I spent the night with my parents. After getting a good night sleep and having a hearty home cooked breakfast, I said goodbye to them and I went back to Baltimore, Maryland to see the Ravens play the Arizona Cardinals in game one of my NFL football doubleheader.

I lucked out big time at the Raven game. I wound up getting myself a nice upgrade. I ended up sitting right at the 50 yard line in section 500 in the last row. I met a gentleman named Harry who said everybody knows him as "Nib". We enjoyed each other's company throughout the game. He has season tickets there and he told me to stay since one of his seats was empty. He was with his daughter and her boyfriend and some other family members. He said he's seen every Raven home game since day one when they moved to Baltimore in 1996. He's been a season ticket holder for them for 16 years now. He said he liked the Redskins but he could never get tickets for them back in the day. So instead since he's a big football fan he decided to get Ravens tickets.

As I like to say "timing is everything". On this day, I was in the right place at the right time. Nib was impressed with my score keeping. For those of you who don't know, I do keep track of the play by play when I'm at a football game live. It's fun and educational. Nib took a liking to my style. I told him I saw the Ravens play the Jets at the beginning of October and I mentioned to him I'm planning to come back for Thanksgiving night to see the 49er game. He told me I can join him and his family and friends for their massive tailgate party which starts 4 or 5 hours before kickoff. We exchanged contact information and I plan to take him up on his generous offer.

Please check back for the recap of that special occasion.

In the meantime, the game we saw was shaping up to be another nightmare for the Ravens as they fell behind the visiting Arizona Cardinals 24-3 late in the second quarter. Needless to say, the natives were restless and they started booing at halftime as the Ravens were trailing, 24-6.

The Ravens went into the locker room and they came out playing like the Ravens team I thought they were as they came back to take a 27-24 lead on the first play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter as Ray Rice ran for a 3 yard touchdown, his third of the day as the Ravens took the lead. The Cardinals later tied the score at 27 but the Ravens failed to get the game into overtime as they won it at the end of regulation with no time left as their kicker Billy Cundiff kicked a 25 yard field goal to give the Ravens a 30-27 victory. It should be noted as a result of this huge comeback I witnessed history as the Ravens overcame their largest deficit to win a game. I got to celebrate the occasion with Nib who like Ray Lewis is an original Raven. I want to personally thank Nib for enhancing my latest Raven experience. I truly had a blast.

After the game, I drove back towards NYC but I made a pit stop in Philadelphia first to see the night cap of my NFL double dip as the Philadelphia Eagles destroyed their arch division rival Dallas Cowboys, 34-7.

I got to spend the evening with our good friend Frankie Centola who goes to all the Eagle games. In addition, he arranged to get me my ticket.

Afterwards, I drove back home to get a few hours sleep then I went to Avis and I returned the car and back to work I went.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

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