Royalty Tours USA

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Royalty sees an unexpected basketball doubleheader in Philadelphia!

Michael Spatz & I
As I wrote on my schedule for the w/o 1/7, I was planning to see just the 76ers play the Houston Rockets on Saturday, January 12th. The main reason for that was the King & I were hoping to go to pay our respects to one of the old time baseball fans that we knew. Our friend John Oriole as we called him had passed away in early December. We were informed that there was going to be a Memorial service for him in North Philadelphia that morning. Unfortunately I couldn't rent a car from Avis until 9AM that day. I did my best to drive to the funeral home in hopes of getting there for it anyway. Much to our chagrin, it didn't work out. Before we even got there, the service was over. Our friend Frankie Centola who was there kept calling to let us know what was going on.

John was a good man. He loved the game of baseball but he hated how much it had changed from when he grew up. As a result, John never stepped foot in Citizens Bank Park not even one time. He was from the Philadelphia area but he always hated the Phillies. He was a big Oriole fan back in the 60's & 70's when they had great teams and we're a real joy to watch at old Memorial Stadium. Their starting pitchers went nine innings almost every time out. In addition, home runs were rare to see not like they are today. That was the main reason he never went to a game at Citizens Bank Park. He said it was too easy to hit a home run there. That totally turned him off from going there. It's a shame that we lost him. He was only 62. He will be missed.

When I was at the car rental, I got a call from our friend Manny Morales who was wondering why we weren't going to see a college basketball game during the day. He told me LaSalle was home at 2PM. In addition, our pal Andrew Van Cleve text me & he said he was going there too. Once our original plan didn't work out we altered it with plan B. With that being said, we wound up driving to Tom Gola Arena which is the home of the University of LaSalle Explorers. They were playing the University of Richmond Spiders that day.

With that being said, we wound up seeing an unexpected basketball game that afternoon. Furthermore, we got to meet up with Andrew who couldn't make the 76er game that night. We made the best of the situation. It turned out to be a great day for us after all.

As for the game we saw, the LaSalle Explorers beat the visiting Richmond Spiders rather easily, 71-59 before an announced crowd of 2,282. That figure was about right for the people who showed up and they were into the game right throughout.

After the game, we went to meet up with Kurt Smith, the author of Ballpark E-Guides, for dinner. Stay tuned for the special post that I'm going to do regarding that.

After we ate, the King & I went over to the Wells Fargo Center to see the 76ers play the Rockets like we originally planned to do.

During the week, I got in touch with Michael Spatz, who covers the Mid-Atlantic region for Stadium Journey which does reviews of all the different venues around the country and the world. Michael told me he was going to the 76er game and he was going to do an updated review for the website. With that being said, I told him I would love to meet & greet him at the game.

We had exchanged contact information and we got in touch when we were at the arena. He told me he got a complimentary ticket from the 76ers in section 103 downstairs. As for me, I was sitting with the King in section 221A. We got hooked by our friend Frankie Centola who has season tickets there. I asked Michael if he could come upstairs at halftime so we could meet up. I told him I would come down but they will give me a hard time because I didn't have a ticket for downstairs. With that being said, Michael told me he'll gladly come up. True to his word, he did. I was very grateful and I told him so. He wound up watching the rest of the game with me.

Michael & I spoke and we watched the game together. He was taking notes and I was scoring the game. I gave him some helpful hints so he can enhance the reviews he writes. He's done a great job so far and I told him to keep up the good work. I hope to see him again at another game in the near future.

As for the game we saw, the 76ers beat the Rockets, 107-100. Jrue Holiday of the 76ers scored a game high 30 points and he handed out 9 assists to lead the way. As for the Rockets, James Harden scored 29 points and 9 rebounds while former Knick Jeremy Lin had a rough night as the 76ers bottled him up throughout the game. He scored only 7 points on just 2 for 13 shooting in the losing effort.

After the game, the King & I drove back home to NYC.

Stay tuned for the special post I'm going to do regarding a very special and memorable visit to NYC by our fellow roadtripper buddies from Buffalo, Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell that Sunday.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

No comments: