Despite a slow start to the week it still turned out to be a royal one of stadium travel.
Here's how it went:
Monday night after work I had a night off so I was able to catch up on things at home and I was able to get some much needed rest too.
Tuesday night after work I went home and I did my laundry.
Wednesday night after work I passed up a chance to see some Linsanity as the Knicks played the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden. It turned out to be a wise move as the Knicks blew out the Kings and Linsanity was limited to only 26 minutes. We arranged for our friend Mike Carroll to have the opportunity to witness some Linsanity instead. Regardless of the outcome, he said he had a great time.
As for the King and I, we went out to Newark, NJ to see the Nets play the Memphis Grizzlies. As a result, I got to see my pal Eric Hasseltine, the radio announcer for the Grizzlies. He greeted me in royal fashion as he gave me a Grizzlie media guide. In addition, he gave me some pocket schedules which included not only the Grizzlies but the Golden State Warriors and San Jose Sharks too. That alone made it worth going the extra mile to see that game. Unlike the Garden where it's easier to see the radio announcers, I had to find my way to the lower level since they broadcast from courtside. It wasn't easy but I wasn't going to be denied. Needless to say, I wasn't.
I got to talk to Eric briefly because he was very busy preparing for the game he was calling. I told him I hope to go back to Memphis in November, he said and I quote "let me know." If I do get to go back there, I certainly will. I want to personally thank Eric for giving me royal treatment again.
As for the game we saw, it was a much more competitive one than the Knicks. The Nets and Grizzlies went back and forth holding leads. In the end, the Nets ran out of gas as they fell to Grizzlies who "grinded" out the victory, 105-100. They were led by Rudy Gay who scored 25 points and his teammate Maurice Speights added 20 points to go along with 18 rebounds which proved to be the difference. Deron Williams aka D-Will of the Nets finished with 26 points and 11 assists in the losing effort.
Not only did we see a decent game we had great company on hand as our friends Frank Anichiarico and Vincent Ascanio were in attendance. In addition, we got a visit from a special guest, Manny Bonilla was in the house too. It was great to see him again.
Thursday night just before I left work I found out that former Expo and Met Gary Carter passed away. He was a great person and baseball player. I remember getting his autograph when I was a youngster. He was truly a class act and he will be missed.
After work I went to the Garden to see the Rangers host the Chicago Blackhawks who had lost their last nine games. The Blackhawks struck early and often as they built a 4-0 lead just 9:22 into the game. Jonathan Toews scored on a penalty shot just 1:04 into the first period which set the tone. The Blackhawks gave up a few goals later on but they held on to win, 4-2 to end their losing skid.
Friday night after work, the King and I went back out to Newark this time to see the Devils take on the Anaheim Ducks. By doing so, we passed up another night of Linsanity. He had an off night and so did the Knicks as they lost to the lowly New Orleans Hornets. Our friends Frank Anichiarico and Al Linderman took our place instead.
As for the game we saw, the Devils built a 2-0 lead but they wound up squandering it as the Ducks came back to tie the game at two. They went into overtime and it appeared that the Ducks had the game won in the extra session but it was reviewed. Upon further review it was determined that Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf kicked the puck in the net so it was disallowed. The Ducks celebrated prematurely. The game continued and it remained tied at two after overtime. The game was decided in a shootout. Ilya Kovalchuk scored first for the Devils. Teemu Selanne of the Ducks matched him with a goal of his own. After a scoreless second round, Patrik Elias lit the lamp in the third round to give the Devils a 3-2 victory.
Saturday afternoon the King and I went to the Garden to see the St. John's Red Storm play the Bruins of UCLA. We were joined by a number of friends which included Vincent Ascanio, Frank Anichiarico, Rich Wolber aka Staten Island Rich and Steve Tepperman aka Princeton Steve who happens to be a big UCLA fan. In fact, he lived out in LA for a while in the past. While he was there he worked at the Pauley Pavilion where the Bruins play. He said they're playing their games at the LA Sports Arena this year because they're renovating the building.
As for the game we saw, the Red Storm of St. John's beat the Bruins much to Steve's chagrin by a score of 66-63.
After the game, the King, Frank and I trekked out to the Nassau Coliseum where we met up with our pal Bryan Gilligan who joined us for the Islander game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
As for the game we saw, the Islanders and Hurricanes exchanged goals. The game was tied at three after two periods. Early in the third, the Islanders' John Tavares scored his second goal of the game just 38 seconds in to give the Islanders the 4-3 win.
After the game, Bryan drove us home but before doing so we stopped off at Donovan's Pub for a post game meal. We all had a great time. I would like to thank Bryan for joining us.
Sunday afternoon the King and I went back to the Garden this time to get another dosage of Linsanity. We weren't alone either. I arranged to have our buddy Frankie Centola join us since he told us months in advance that he wanted to come up from Philadelphia. In addition, our pal Andrew Van Cleve aka the Ultimate Sports Fan decided he wanted to come up also. So I managed to accomodate his needs and wants as well. Thankfully everything worked out well for all of us.
As for the game we saw, the Knicks played the defending NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks. The Knicks got off to a fast start as they let 32-20 after the first quarter. The Mavericks came roaring back to take the lead later in the game. In the end, the Knicks came away with the win, 104-97. Linsanity proved too much for the Champs to handle as he scored 28 points and he dished out a career high 14 assists in the process.
After the game, we all planned to go to Newark to see another NBA game as the Nets were playing the Milwaukee Bucks that night.
Andrew said he was meeting his friend Mike who he knew from when he lived in Chicago for a late lunch at Brother Jimmy's which is located across the street from the Garden. He said we were all welcome to join him and we did.
It turned out to be a nice get to together for all of us. We parted ways and we reunited in Newark for the Net game.
In addition, we met up with Vincent Ascanio who was there too.
As for the game we saw, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Nets, 92-85. The Bucks' were lead by Ersan Ilyasova who had a monster game. He scored 29 points and he pulled down 25 rebounds.
During the game, Andrew asked us if we wanted to hang out after the game since he had a few hours to kill before he caught his train back to Philadelphia. Since we weren't working Monday we decided to take him up on his offer.
We wound up going to the Edison Ale House which is located right next to the Prudential Center. We had some amazing beer battered chicken fingers, brick oven pizza and alcoholic beverages while we were there.
Afterwards we all walked to Newark-Penn Station and we all said our goodbyes as we parted ways until the next time we meet up.
Thank you for reading and following along.