Royalty Tours USA

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Heat beat the Sharks, 4-3!

In Worester, Massachusetts the Abbotsford Heat beat the Worcester Sharks in a good competitive battle, 4-3.

The Heat scored the first and last goal of the game. Both teams exchanged goals in between. There were a few fights as well.

Both teams had played each other the night before so apparently as a result tempers flared up. They normally do especially on the minor league level.

J.D. Watt scored the game winner with 10:38 left in the game to give the visiting Heat the victory in regulation.

It should be noted the Heat also beat the Sharks Friday night in a shootout. That was the first time these two teams have ever met. The Heat just came into the league this season.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Nets Surprise Celtics, 104-96!

The New Jersey Nets escaped mother nature and headed to Boston to take on one of the Eastern Conference's elite teams. The Nets came in with the league's worst record at 5-52.

Surprisingly, the Nets not only showed up physically but they played very hard to shock the Celtics on their home court. The Celtics were missing Paul Pierce.

Regardless the Nets played very well and earned the victory. The Celtics came out building an early lead, they were up 12-2 with 8:43 left in the first quarter. The Nets after a timeout scored 6 straight points to make it 12-8. The Nets hung tough the rest of the quarter. With 2.8 seconds left in the quarter, Keyon Dooling hit a basket to give the Nets first lead, 29-27 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Nets started to build their lead. With 4:06 left, they opened it to double figures at 46-36. It should be noted KG aka Kevin Garnett was on the bench during this run. He had 8 points before sitting for an extended period of time.

When the Celtics called timeout, the crowd booed the team loudly. A typical what have you done for me lately reaction by the front running Celtic fans in attendance. Their team did win a championship in 2008 if I recall correctly. The Nets wound up leading at the half, 49-42.

In the 3rd quarter, the Nets came out strong and they extended their lead to a baker's dozen 65-52 with 5:14 left. They lead by 10, 74-64 at the end of the 3rd quarter.

In the 4th quarter, Courtney Lee was fouled by former Net Brian Scalabrine, on that play he got hurt. He still shot his 2 free throws and he made them. That gave him 21 points for the game with 10:56 left. Unfortunately he was forced to left the game and he didn't return.

The Nets continued to hung tough and they built their lead to 18, 94-76 with 5:06 left in the 4th quarter. The Celtics made a run. They got within 6, 98-92 with 2:06 left in the game on Ray Allen's trey. In addition, Ray Allen make a gesture of firing a gun when he delivered a premature dagger. The Nets behind some big shots and rebounds from Kris Humphries were able to hold off the Celtics last surge.

The Nets came out on top for their sixth win of the season. I didn't expect them to win the game and they pulled together and found a way to get it done. Royalty was there to witness it.

As for the high scorers in this contest, the Nets were lead by Brooks Lopez who played well start to finish. He had 25 points. Devin Harris also played well, he wound up with 23 points. Kris Humphries who was a presence had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Yi Jianlian also had 10 boards in the team effort.

As for the Celtics, KG led all scorers with 26 points in the loss. Rajon Rondo had 13 points to go along with 17 assists.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Spending the Weekend in New England

The weather is lousy today but I still have big plans for the weekend regardless.

Here's the game plan: I'm picking up another car from Avis tomorrow morning at 8AM. I'll be driving to Astoria, Queens to pick up the King for our next excursion.

A doubleheader is on tap. The first game is at the TD Garden in Boston where the NJ Nets play the Celtics at 1PM.

After that game we'll be heading back towards home but we'll be stopping in Worcester, Massachusetts to see a minor league hockey game. The Worcester Sharks play host to Abbotsford Heat at 7:05PM.

We'll be sleeping out in Sturbridge. Massachusetts at Days Inn. Sunday we'll be going to Storrs, Connecticut to see Louisville and UCONN play. The game starts at 2PM and it's going to televised by CBS.

Assuming mother nature doesn't interfere with the game plan it should be another eventful weekend for royalty. Check back to see how everything unfolded.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Royalty Review of Outdoor Classic in Syracuse on February 20,2010

Back on November 24, 2009, the AHL (American Hockey League) announced it was going to have a hockey game outdoors. They followed the lead from the NHL who has had overwhelming success playing an outdoor game on New Year's Day. I remember hearing rumors about this possibility in the past.

Well on February 20, 2010 it became a reality. I didn't know it was happening until Friday, February 12th. I reacted quickly and arranged for Royalty to take part in this unique event.

As for our visit, it went as follows: The game was scheduled to start at 1PM. So I planned to arrive in the area around 11:30AM. We did get in the area around 11:15AM but as we fast approached the NY State Fairgrounds, which was the site of this event, I noticed signs saying there's congestion ahead.

Sure enough, cars were lined up for a mile just to get off the exit in the right lane. The King and our friend, Larry Peim and I decided we'll stay on to the next exit and find an alternate route. After driving a few miles past the Fairgrounds we found some local streets in the area to try and get as close to the Fairgrounds as we could. We needed to park the car somewhere. Based on what we saw getting off the highway, we wanted to avoid the parking lot at all cost.

Since we were looking to head to Elmira right after the game we didn't have time to waste sitting in traffic afterwards. Luckily for us, we circled around the area and we finally found a place to park on the street for free no less. They were charging $10 a car to park in their parking lot. We wound up walking over to the Fairgrounds and the fun was ready to begin. As we got closer the traffic was a lot worse than when we first arrived in the vicinity. With that being said, I think they did a very bad job organizing this event.

They did know at the end of November that it was happening. Fortunately mother nature was cooperative. The temperature was in the low 30's but it was quite windy.

Finally we made our way to the Will Call window right near the entrance to the stands. We picked up our tickets without too much difficulty. We proceeded to go inside the building so we can look around and pick up some souvenirs from this special occasion. We found out fast that once again this was a minor league operation.

Most people who are sports fans like to know who the players are that they're going to be watching. That normally means you want to have an opportunity to be able to purchase a game program. In this case, a commemorative one. Well believe or not, they didn't even sell one of any kind. In addition, they didn't even provide sheets of paper with the rosters on them. That definitely didn't make no sense whatsoever.

These days they're too busy trying to market everything to the casual fan. It would be a no brainer to at least offer your customers a sheet of paper so they know who's playing in the actual game. Mind you, the prices for this event were rather steep being it was a minor league game. I do realize in order to be able to have this kind of event you need to cover your overhead costs.

They did sell hockey pucks, mini hockey sticks and a variety of t-shirts. It was mind boggling how the most important part of the show was totally overlooked. Hopefully in the future if they decide to have a similar event they'll learn from their mistakes.

As a whole, it turned out to be a festive affair. As far as the layout of the seating area, they installed special bleachers in 3 different areas around the rink that they specially built for this game. Those were all general admission seats that were $30 a piece. When you take into account how bad the view must have been they were rather pricey. I didn't get to go to those areas so I don't know for sure. But judging with my eyes they were pretty far away from the action.

They had special VIP seats set up as well. We sat on the side where the permanent stands were. They were supported by pillars. We wound up sitting in grandstand section 3 which was in the middle so we were able to have a decent view of the game. We were around half way up so that gave us the elevation we needed to see over people who were in front of us as well as the players. We did have a pillar in the way slightly. But as professional fans we made the necessary adjustments to make the best of the circumstances we were given.

The game started later than expected due to a broken glass behind the net to our left. In addition, they mentioned that people were still trying to park their cars as well. So the game was delayed around a half hour.

As for the game itself, I described it in a separate post. The record crowd of 21,508 were standing majority of the game. It was rather electric in the stands as we had many fans rooting for both teams and people like us who are hockey fans in general.

Other interesting things of note, before the players were introduced they welcomed a few all-time Syracuse Crunch greats J.F. Labbe and Dan Smith.

In addition, NHL legends Danny Gare, Rob Ray and Booby Nystrom were on hand for this memorable afternoon.

As for the National Anthem that was sung by Mercury recording artist Jesse James. Furthermore, skydiver Ray Maynard flew in from a parachute to deliver a puck to Governor David Patterson, who got booed loudly I might add and to Senator Chuck Schumer who was also in attendance.

The overall experience and atomosphere was entertaining. I do hope they do something like this again next year or in the future. If they do, I plan to be there.

Marquette outlast Johnnies & win in OT, 63-61!

Last night at Carnesecca Arena formerly known as Alumni Hall, home of the St. John's University Red Storm in Jamaica, Queens, the Golden Eagles from Marquette which is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in case you didn't know came to NY to play. In addition, Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat went to school there.

As for the game itself, the Red Storm started off well. They were ahead most of the time and at the half, 29-25.

They came out in the second half and built their lead to 8 points. Marquette who hung in there all night started to chip away. They came all the way back and they took a 3 point lead.

They were up 54-51. St. John's had the ball when guard Malik Boothe tied the game with a trey with 14.2 left in regulation. Marquette had the final possession looking to win the game. They wound up missing the last shot.

Now it was time for overtime. In the extra 5 minute period, they continued to go back and forth. Marquette did have the upper hand most of the time but the Red Storm managed to tie it again. Marquette had the final say again. This time the Butler did it. Jimmy that is. At the buzzer, forward Jimmy Butler hit the game winning shot and he sent the home crowd home in disbelief. The Golden Eagles came out of Jamaica, Queens with a hard fought well earned victory.

Lazar Hayward led all scorers with 22 points and Jimmy Butler the hero added 18.

As for the Red Storm, D.J. Kennedy had 20 points in the loss.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Annual Visit to Fenway Park Royalty Style is Set for Memorial Day Weekend

Once again baseball season is almost upon us. That means a quick getaway trip to Boston to see the Red Sox play in their fabled ballpark, Fenway Park is on the schedule for the King and I.

Royalty has already seen an event in Fenway this year on New Year's Day when the NHL decided to play its Winter Classic there. You can get all the details from that on a previous post I put up.

As for the baseball visit, it will be as follows:

Saturday, May 29th Kansas City Royals play the Red Sox at 7:10PM that night. In addition, we'll be staying over in the area as well.

Sunday, May 30th the two teams meet again at 1:35PM. After that game, we have another baseball game on tap in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The Red Sox top minor league affiliate, the Pawtucket Red Sox are playing the Norfolk Tides, the Baltimore Orioles Triple AAA farm team at 6:05PM at McCoy Stadium.

Please note Pawtucket is only 50 miles from Boston. It will make for a nice doubleheader in New England.

In addition, that Monday is Memorial Day so most people are OFF from work.

If you're interested, please feel free to contact me so I can arrange to make it happen for YOU!

If YOU haven't been to FENWAY PARK then this is a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY for you to take in the EXPERIENCE!

Please see photos above. Please note Jim Lowry made his first visit with us last July and he had a blast like he said. I took his picture. Just another example of a satisfied customer.

Just think you can be next? Talk to me! Don't snooze, you will only LOSE!

Tonight on my way home I'll be stopping off at St. John's University to see the Red Storm play Marquette

Check back to see how things went for the Red Storm.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Trailblazers hold off Nets, 102-93!

The Portland Trailblazers came to the IZOD Center to start their road trip and they handed the Nets another loss.

They got off to a quick start to get the upper hand in this battle despite losing newly acquired Marcus Camby to a right ankle sprain early in the 1st with 6:47 left when the Nets took a brief lead, 9-8. They had tied the game at 12 with 5 minutes left in the opening frame as well. After that, the Blazers never trailed. They scored 5 unanswered points to go up 17-12. They managed to build the lead to 10, 32-22 after the first quarter.

They kept adding to the lead and they were up by 19, 56-37 at halftime.

Early in the 3rd quarter, they made it 60-39. Shortly thereafter, the Nets made their run to get back in the game. They wound up scoring 33 points in the quarter to get within striking distance at 77-70 after 3.

They continued to surge in the 4th but they could only get within 5 points on a number of occasions. In the last 3 minutes of the game, the Blazers pulled away to seal the deal. Courtney Lee threw up a shot from the other end of the court that went in at the buzzer to make the final score closer.

The Trailblazers were led by Brandon Roy who had 28 points and LaMarcus Aldridge who chipped in with 27.

As for the Nets, Devin Harris and Courtney Lee both had 28 points in the loss. Brook Lopez had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. With the defeat, the Nets are now a miserable 5-52.

Outdoor Classic Weekend Getaway in Review

Another weekend came and went, unlike most people royalty spent it wisely. Before going to work on Friday morning, I walked a mile and a half with a few bags in hand to pick up a car rental from Avis for the weekend.

I do have a car but it's rather old and I prefer to use it locally to get around. So I rent cars all the time since I rather go in style and I don't want to have any problems getting where I want to go.

With that being said, this time I rented a Pontiac G6 equipped with satellite radio, XM. That was an added bonus. Actually Neil who works there treats me well because I rent cars from them all the time, knows my preferences. So like the good guy he is he accomodated my needs and wants. Needless to say, I'm very grateful for the added value I received. I got the car at 7:09AM for the record.

First order of business was to get to work on time. I drove the car to the subway in Queens by 111th Street where I can pick up the 7 train. I found a parking spot on the right side of the street because they have alternate side parking over there on Thursdays and Fridays. I took the 7 train to Queensboro Plaza and connected with the N train. Thankfully I did get to work on time at 8:30AM.

After putting in a full day at the office, I went back to pick up the car. I left the office at 5:30PM in Midtown Manhattan. I got some rare great service from the MTA which is exactly what I needed.

I wound up getting into the car at 6:02PM. I had to pick up the King and our friend Larry Peim along the way out to the Meadowlands where we were seeing the NJ Nets play the Toronto Raptors at 8PM.

After a pit stop at Burger King which we wound up taking out because we were pressed for time, we parked the car for free at 7:37PM. After a short walk over to the arena we were in the building at 7:50PM. That gave us plenty of time to get situated for the 8:12PM opening tip.

After the game, we got back into the car and headed towards Syracuse, NY. We drove halfway there and stayed over in Days Inn located in Dunmore, PA. I planned to arrive there around 1AM. Sure enough, we parked the car at the hotel at 12:55AM. We checked in.

We woke up Saturday morning and had a nice continental breakfast to start our day. We got back in the car and finished the drive to the NY State Fairgrounds, the site of the Outdoor Classic that we were attending. Check back for a separate post regarding that unique event.

We got to the Syracuse area early around 11:15AM for the game that was scheduled to start at 1PM.

After the game, we walked back to the car and drove 96 miles via State road 13 which were picked up in Cortland, NY we passed through Ithaca, where my co-worker here at Fox Stations Sales, Dan Juvan went to college en route to Elmira to see another hockey game.

Interesting note about Dan, he played football at Ithaca College, he was their quarterback. In addition, he was given a try out by the Buffalo Bills in 2009. Unfortunately for him he didn't make the cut.

Before the game which started at 7:35PM we stopped since time did allow at Pudgie's. We got there at 6:40PM which left us plenty of time to sit and relax and we were able to enjoy some freshly made hot pizza.

Let me tell you it was as good as advertised. You can ask my friend, Larry Peim who joined the King and I for this getaway. He was raving about it.

We proceeded to go to the hockey game. After the game, I drove back to Hartsdale, NY to drop off Larry. He got home at 2:26AM. Next stop was the Castle where the King resides in Astoria, Queens I dropped him off at 3:15AM.

Last but not least I took myself home. I arrived home at 3:40AM.

Sunday I stayed home most of the day trying to catch up on sleep and cleaning up around the house before it was time to go back out to the IZOD Center to see the NJ Nets entertain the Memphis Grizzlies at 6PM.

I already did a post on that game so please feel free to check it out.

Monday morning I went back to Avis before going back to work to return the car rental. I returned the car at 7:02AM.

I drove 740 miles in all during this 3 day rental. Another reason why I think it's best to rent a car. Normally I do that kind of mileage in a 2 day rental if not more. Why should I buy a new car and abuse it when I can rent and test drive many different cars without having to worry about maintenance. It works for me.

Needless to say, I did get to work on time again. Until the next rental, I'll be staying in the local area.

Tonight I'll be heading back to the Meadowlands to see the Nets take on the Trailblazers

Check back to see if the Nets were able to win another game. At 5-51 it's unlikely but you never know. For all the details, check back when you have a chance.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bucks smother Knicks, 83-67 on Legends Night!

On the night the Knicks decided to pay tribute to the 40th Anniversary of their 1970 World Champion team, the current Knick team was kept under wraps by the Milwaukee Bucks.

This was a game of runs, spurts and droughts. The Bucks got off to a fast start they were up by 9, 15-6 with 6:05 left in the first quarter. They finished the quarter ahead 27-20.

They build the lead to ten early in the second quarter. They were up 39-30 with 7 minutes left until halftime. The Bucks went the next 5 and a half minutes without scoring a point. During that span, the Knicks only managed to go on a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 3 at 39-36. Newly acquired Eddie House drained a trey to slice the lead to 2 at 43-41. The Bucks scored 4 unanswered points to go up 47-41 at the half.

Half time was longer than usual because the Knicks had a special ceremony to honor their 1970 World Championship team. They introduced all the players that are still living and if they were deceased then a family member was present in their place. It was a trip down memory lane. It was great to see the likes of Bill Bradley, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Dick Barnett and Willis Reed to a few. After the introduction, Walt Frazier did a speech on behalf of that special team. It was vety touching to say the least for the fans who were on hand in the stands.

Apparently, it didn't have the carry over effect to the current squad who came out flat in the second half. The Bucks added to their halftime lead by scoring the first 4 points to build the advantage back to 10 at 51-41. The Knicks woke up with a 12-0 run of their own to take a brief 2 point lead at 53-51 then the Bucks tied the game at 53 with 5:38 left in the 3rd quarter. They proceeded to go on another 12-0 run. They wound up closing out the quarter up 63-55.

In the 4th quarter, the Bucks maintained their cushion and eventually pulled away winning the game by 16. They held the Knicks to 26 points in the second half.

Andrew Bogut lead the way with 24 points and he grabbed 20 rebounds as well. Brandon Jennings, the rookie sensation was held to only 4 points.

As for the Knicks, newcomer Tracy McGrady paced the Knicks with 15 points but only on 5 for 14 shooting.

Tonight I'm be seeing the new look Knicks play the Bucks on Legends Night at the Garden

Please feel free to check back for the recap of the game.

Grizzlies flatten the hopeless Nets, 104-94!

It was Chinese Culture Night at the IZOD Center, the Nets responded by getting off to a flying start. They probably played their best quarter of basketball this season.

After the Grizzlies took an early lead at 13-8, the Nets scored 6 in a row to go ahead 14-13. Shortly thereafter, the Nets went on a 13-0 run to make the score 33-18. They wound up leading after the first quarter 36-20.

In the second quarter they went up by as many as 18 at 49-31. Right after that the Nets reverted back to form. They allowed the Grizzlies to get back into the game. They still lead at the half, 58-47.

In the 3rd quarter, the Grizzlies behind their young dyanamic duo of Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo combined to lead the comeback. The Grizzlies went on a 12-0 run to end the 3rd quarter with a 78-74 advantage.

With 10:51 left in the 4th quarter, they build their lead to 9 points at 83-74. The Nets trimmed the deficit down but they couldn't retake the lead.

Late in the game, Rudy Gay who led all scorers with 29 points decided it was time to add an exclamation point to this victory by throwing down a highlight reel slam dunk. He gave the crowd a "wow" feeling! In addition, he had 8 rebounds as well.

O.J. Mayo finished with 24 of his own along with 7 assists.

As for the Nets, they were paced by Brook Lopez who had 26 points, but 22 came of which came in the first half. The Grizzlies defense clamped down on him in the second half. Devin Harris added 17 points to go with 13 assists. Yi Jianlian who's from China was in early foul trouble wound up with 12 points.

On a personal level, before and after the game I was able to spend a few minutes with Eric Hasseltine, the radio play by play announcer for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Eric is a really good guy who's originally from the West Coast near the Bay area in Sacramento, California. I remember meeting him at the Garden back on December 4, 2006 for the first time when the Grizzlies came to NY to play the Knicks.

I started talking to Eric and I told him I was heading out to the West Coast in January 2007. He was impressed with my game plan. That trip I referred to as the "Bay Area Blast". Needless to say, it lived up to billing. It was quite an adventure.

Ever since that day I've managed to see Eric whenever the Grizzlies came to town either in NY or NJ. I could use to return to Memphis to see them again in home white. They do play at the FedEx Forum which is located right by Beale Street, the famous strip in downtown.

As for last night, Eric said in the post game show and I quote "it was a tale of 2 halves really the last 3 quarters when the Grizzlies let me do the math they out scored the Nets 84-58". He also said they came out flat again. I told him "it's not the way you start, it's how you finish that matters".

He said they have started out flat a lot this season. Unlike the past few years, this team is in position to possibly make a playoff spot in the very tough Western Conference. I hope for Eric's sake, they do find a way to get in.

Jackals crown the Royals indoors, 3-2!

In the second game of the outdoor/indoor doubleheader, we saw the Elmira Jackals dress up in correction officer uniforms as they took on the prisoners from Reading, PA the Royals. The referee and the linesmen were in warden outfits. It was part of a promotion for this particular game.

It wound up being a SRO crowd. Fortunately for us some local people who were going to the game had some tickets they weren't using and they actually give them to us. That was very nice of them. Once again proving royalty has its privileges and rewards.

As for the game itself, the first place Jackals went on to beat the Royals, 3-2!
It was a good competitive game throughout the contest.

The best part of the visit was when I received a call that a special guest was in the house.

Our good friend and fellow roadtripper, Peter Farrell, who is one of the Buffalo guys we know from the Ultimate Sports Road Trip (USRT).

Their website was linked to a previous post previewing the Wrigley Field upcoming visit in May. Click on that post to get the link.

He grew up in Horseheads which is right outside Elmira so he was coming back to his roots when he decided to make the 2 hour drive right after work from Buffalo where he resides these days. He works for the Post Office as a letter carrier. He even did an hour overtime and he still got to the game on time. He was so proud of himself. Needless to say, so were we.

We appreciate the fact that he went out of his way to join us. That was a very nice gesture. Thanks again Pete for coming down and joining us.

As always, your company was great. Too bad, your partner Andrew couldn't make it. He was missed but he was there in spirit.

We'll be going to Buffalo and Rochester at the end of March so we'll be looking forward to seeing you both again.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Syracuse Crunch beat the Binghamton Senators Outdoors, 2-1!

Saturday afternoon was another date with history for the American Hockey League and for Royalty Tours who was on hand to witness it.

This post will recap the game and I'll do a separate post regarding this unique event.

As most of you know the Winter Olympics are in full swing now. A number of players from the NHL are playing for their respective countries in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

So with any major league hockey to watch, the AHL (American Hockey League) the top minor league affiliates of the NHL decided to stage an Outdoor Classic for the first time in their league history.

As true hockey fans know the Winter Classic which has been played on New Year's Day the last 3 years has been an overwhelming success.

With that being said, the AHL decided to have their own version of the Outdoor Classic.

They decided to do so on the NY State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York.

Here's how the game itself turned out:

In the minor leagues, fighting is more prevalent than in the major leagues these days. So not surprisingly a minute and 50 seconds into the game we had a fight. It was a good I must say. It turned out that was the only fight in the game.

It be noted the officials didn't stop blowing the whistle all game for a variety of penalties. As a result, it was surprising that no power play goals were scored. Neither team was able to take advantage on offense when they had the extra attacker.

Despite a power shortage a short handed goal was rung up by the visiting Binghamton Senators that tied the game 5 minutes and 9 seconds into the 2nd period.

The Crunch did the first goal of the game 6 minutes and 47 seconds into the contest. Alexander Picard got his name in the history book when he lit the lamp to give the Crunch an early 1-0 lead.

David Liffiton scored with 12 seconds left in the 2nd period to break the tie. The game wound up ending that way.

The home team came away victorious much to the delight of the home crowd.

It should be noted there were many Senators fans in the house as well being that Binghamton is only 78 miles away up Interstate 81. Hence this was the I-81 Classic.

It turned out to be a great day if you were a hockey fan.

Raptors use team effort to crush the Nets, 106-89!

The Toronto Raptors came to the IZOD Center to take on the NJ Nets. When I was getting ready to go inside the arena I found out via a text message from Rich Wolber aka Staten Island Rich that Chris Bosh, the Raptors star player wasn't playing due to a mild ankle sprain. It was the first game he missed this season. Needless to say, I was disappointed to hear that.

Despite his absence, the Raptors came to play as a team. After a slow start to the season, the Raptors appear to headed to the playoffs.

As for Chris Bosh, he's an unrestricted free agent so he may be playing elsewhere next season as well. For the time being, the Raptors had business to attend to temporarily without Bosh.

Here's how the game turned out:

The Nets, owners of the league's worst record at 5-49 were hoping to win for the second time in 3 games.

They started off taking a brief 9-5 lead but that was short lived as the Raptors had the lead the rest of the night. Antoine Wright, a former Net, beat the buzzer with a bucket that he banked off the glass to end the first quarter to extend the Raptor lead to 32-21.

The Raptors added to their lead at the half, 56-41.

Early in the third quarter the Raptors extended their lead to 20, 61-41. The Nets came charging back as they got within 6 points with a minute and a half to go in the 3rd quarter but the Raptors wouldn't let them get any closer.They started reeling off 9 straight points that carried over into the 4th quarter. Most notably was the 3 pointer that beat the buzzer again. This time Jose Calderon did the honors to give the Raptors a 82-71 advantage after 3.

In the 4th quarter they extended that lead to 15 early. They wound up winning the game by 17 in all, 106-89!

Jarrett Jack led 7 Raptors in double figures with 18 points to go along with 10 assists. Rasho Nesterovic added 16 points in place of the injured Chris Bosh.

As for the Nets, Brook Lopez lead all scorers with 22 points. Devin Harris added 19 and Courtney Lee finished with 17 in the losing effort. The lowly Nets lost their 50th game in 55 tries.

Sunday they take on the Memphis Gizzlies at 6PM. I'll be in attendance once again so you check back for the recap.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Another weekend has arrived and royalty is ready to make the most of it!

Last Friday morning before I got to work my plan for this weekend was to take it "easy" if you will.

In other words, I wasn't planning on leaving the New York City area except to go the IZOD Center tonight and Sunday to see the lowly Nets play.

In addition, I was looking to see Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder come to the Garden to take on the now "new look" Knicks tomorrow night.

Upon arriving in the office that day, things changed. Once I was able to access the internet, a tool that didn't exist back in the day, I stumbled across an opportunity that I wasn't aware of.

I said to myself, I have to seize it. In true form, I did just that.

I found out that there's going to be an Outdoor minor league hockey game in Syracuse, NY at the NY State Fairgrounds between the Syracuse Crunch, who are affilliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Binghamton Senators, the Ottawa Senators farm team at 1PM.

Then I checked out schedules for other games that would in driving distance that night. I noticed that Elmira which is 90 miles away were scheduled to play a game at 7:35PM.

So I said to myself, that's perfect. I'm going.

During lunch, I secured tickets through Ticketmaster for the Outdoor Classic. I had already rented a car from Avis for the weekend so I would have the wheels to get there and back with no hassles.

Sure enough on my way to work today I picked up a nice new Pontiac G6 equipped with XM radio to boot. Life of royalty has its privileges. Needless to say, I'm loving my life these days.

After work, I will go back into Queens to pick up the car and my adventurous weekend will start. First I have to go to pick up the King. Then we have to meet our friend Larry Peim who will be joining us as well. After that it's off to the IZOD Center to see the Toronto Raptors play the New Jersey Nets at 8PM.

After the game, we'll be driving to Dunmore, PA which is halfway to Syracuse so we can a good night's sleep at Days Inn. We will have a nice continental breakfast as well before we continue on our way to the NY State Fairgrounds.

Check back next week for the recap of the weekend.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wrigley Field in May for Royalty Annual Visit Plus Miller Park and Kane County

Pitchers and catchers have started reporting so that means Spring and baseball fever is in the air.

With that being said, royalty has already planted the seeds for another amazing season of baseball road trips.

As far as I'm concerned the best ballpark to see a baseball game is in Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illnois. It's the home of the lovable losers, the Chicago Cubs.

FYI I just bought 3 tickets on a presale that ends today for the following games in May for the King and I and newcomer to the road with royalty our buddy Jim Lowry in Philadelphia. He's the guy who works the elevator at Citizens Bank Park and the freight elevator at Wachovia Center. In addition, he arranged to get us tickets the other day for the Adirondack Phantoms.

Mark your calendars, if you want to go I need to know the sooner the better. Please note I haven't book any flights as of yet. I have only researched it and have covered all the bases. So as usual I can afford to talk.

Here's the game plan:

Friday, May 14th we'll be flying to Milwaukee bright and early in the morning from LaGuardia airport. Upon arrival, I'll be renting a car for the weekend. We'll be heading right to Chicago which is 80 miles east on I-94.

I fully expect to arrive in the Wrigley Field area in plenty of time for the game that starts at 1:20PM. The Pirates are in town to face the Cubs.

On a personal and historical note, it will be a milestone game for all of us. It will be Jim Lowry's 1st game at Wrigley and the King's 100th game there. As for myself, it will be #70.

I've seen at least 1 game a year in Wrigley every year since 1988. I get to go to "living" heaven at least once a year.

Please note that's just the start of the day.

We'll be heading back to Milwaukee for a night cap if you will. Back in the day, when you saw 2 baseball games in the same day that were in the same ballpark for only one admission price.

Nowadays things have changed drasticly. Same ballpark doubleheaders doesn't really exist except for separate admission day/night double dips.

So like true professionals do, royalty adjusts accordingly. Being a person with a creative mind, it makes the transition for me easier than for most. Another reason why royalty is the ONLY choice when it comes to planning, coordinating and executing the master plan on the road to success.

As for the nightcap, the National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies are playing the Milwaukee Brewers at 7:10PM that night.

You would think it's an easy DH assuming the Cub games ends in a timely fashion. You may have to think again. Remember it's Friday afternoon, Chicago is like New York City when it comes to traffic. With years of experience behind the wheel doing these trips it should be a piece of cake for me. I'm sure I'll be saying words that I shouldn't but that's par for the course. It's the bottom line that matters. Getting to Miller Park on time. I plan to but I can't guarantee it. I will promise that I'll do my very best.

Saturday we go back to Wrigley Field for a 12:05PM first pitch. That will be followed by a minor league game in Geneva, Illnois which is 40 miles West. It's the home of the Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League. They're the single A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. We should have enough time to get to the second game on time as well.

We'll be having dinner after the game at the Country House, which is a great restaurant just up the road from the ballpark. They have been voted the "best burger in Chicagoland". Royalty has been there a few times so can vouch for that.

Sunday it will be a replay of Friday's doubleheader. The Cubs play the Pirates at 1:20PM and the Phillies are in Milwaukee for a rare Sunday Night ESPN game at 7:05PM.

Monday late morning we plan to fly back to New York.

Let's recap the game plan so you have it right.

6 games 5 major league 1 minor league in 3 days.

What do you think? If you want to go just let me know so I can arrange to make it happen for you.

Too much baseball for you? I can customize a trip to better suit your needs and wants.

Talk to me and we'll get it done your way!

Look forward to hearing from you people.

Thanks for reading.

Yours truly,

Prince Charming

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bulls turn back the Knicks 115-109!

After getting blown out of the Windy City last night, the Knicks came home looking for some home cooking.

The Knicks started the game having a 2 point lead after the first quarter thanks to Toney Douglas, who drained a trey at the buzzer. The Knicks lead 27-25.

In the 2nd quarter, they opened up the lead to 15 late in the quarter. The Bulls added a few baskets to close within 11 at the half, 64-53.

The second half was a different story. Brad Miller led the charge for the raging Bulls as they came storming back and when the quarter ended they were down by only a basket, 84-82.

Jannero Pargo knocked down a 3 pointer to give the Bulls their first lead since early in the game on the first possession of the 4th quarter. They went on a run and they didn't look back. The Knicks got within 2 on a few occasions down the stretch but the Bulls hung tough and came away with a sweep of the home and home series.

The Bulls were lead by second year star Derrick Rose who had 27 points. Luol Deng added 23 and Brad Miller finished with 21, 19 in the second half which was key to the victory.

As for the Knicks, Al Harrington had 27 points. Wilson Chandler poured in 26 and David Lee chipped with 23. Danilo Gallanari contributed 19 but he missed 2 three pointers on the same possession that could have tied or won the game for the Knicks in the final seconds.

Road Trip to Syracuse & Elmira, NY this weekend

Royalty is heading back up NY State this weekend. I still have room to take somebody if anybody wants to join the King and I. Our friend and loyal follower of Royalty, Larry Peim, is leaving his wife to join us for this unique event.

In case you didn't know the AHL(American Hockey League) is having a Minor League version of the NHL Winter Classic which was held on New Year's Day in Fenway Park.

Please see my post regarding the Winter Classic for more details.

As for the Outdoor Classic which will be held at the NY State Fairgrounds in Syracuse Saturday at 1PM. The Binghamton Senators, the Ottawa Senators farm team will be playing the Syracuse Crunch, the Columbus Blue Jackets affiliate.

We will then go to Elmira, NY to see the Jackals play the Reading Royals in an ECHL (East Coast Hockey League) tilt that starts at 7:35PM.

If time allows I'm hoping to stop off at Pudgie's Pizza which is right in the heart of Elmira. We've been there once upon recommendation from the Buffalo Boys as we refer to them. This is, Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell who are known as USRT aka the ultimate sports road trip. They have a great website you can check out. It's

If you're interested in going and/or want to get a taste of royal treatment in the future I strongly suggest that you get in touch with me ASAP.

Bulls come to the Garden tonight to play the Kncks!

I'll be there so you can check back to see how it played out.

Last night in Chicago these teams met. The Bulls blew away the Knicks, 118-85!
Hopefully tonight will be competitive.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fairfield shoots down Manhattan, 74-56!

The Stags from Fairfield, Connecticut came down to Riverdale and shot "staggeringly" well especially in the first half when they put the game out of reach. They lead early 11-8 after the Jaspers of Manhattan took a brief short lived 6-4 lead. The Stags ran off 16 straight points to go up 27-8. They lead by as many as 24 and wound up taking a 43-25 lead at the half. They never looked back cruising to a 74-56 victory.

Interesting side note the King and I were accompanied by our friend and royalty regular Frank Cougar. In addition, sitting to our right was Sean Crawford's father. Sean is a guard who plays for Fairfield. He was passionately rooting for his son and the Stags from start to finish. He said and I quote "I never seen this team play so well". We enjoyed his company as well. We all spoke to him throughout the game.

Our other friend Bryan Gilligan who graduated from Manhattan College was supposed to join us. Unfortunately he couldn't make it. He's a royalty regular as well especially during baseball season. His company was definitely missed.

Special Guests in Glens Falls, NY

As I like to say the life of royalty has its privileges. Here are a few examples of what can happen when you decide to take a road trip.

The King and I decided that the seats we were given weren't to our viewing liking. Regardless we were very grateful to get hooked up. With that being said, we chose to sit on the opposite side of the rink. Little did we know we would attract attention.

A gentleman who was sitting in front of us turned around and said to the King you're "Cougar". That's another nickname for the King. He used to play for a softball by that name. I was referred to as a clean shaven Fuzzy, a guy who is a New York City institution from attending sporting events over the last 50 years or so.

We were both scoring the game so he initially thought we were scouts. In reality, we should be. The King said to him you're "Albany" Phil. Sure enough he was right. We spent the rest of the talking while watching the at hand. The King said and I quote "it really is a small world".

We exchanged contact information since we hadn't seen each other in a very long time. The King had helped him get into the 1986 World Series at Shea Stadium for games 6 & 7. For which Phil is forever grateful.

He first met up with the King and the rest of the bunch we know in the mid 1980's he recalled. Ironicly he had his son, Evan with him who is now 16. When I first knew this guys I was his age. Wow does time fly.

We mentioned that we were in Montreal the night before. Little did we know they were too.

Back in August 2009, the King and I made a trip to Cooperstown to go to the baseball Hall of Fame. In addition, we went to Oneonta to see a minor league game against the Staten Island Yankees that night.

Luckily we did more reasons than one as it turns out. Recently they announced that the team in Oneonta are moving to Norwich, Connecticut. Fortunately royalty seized the opportunity.

In doing so, we met a gentleman named Brian who was a baseball fan who lives about 25 miles from Glens Falls near Vermont but on the NY side. We got talking. He was there that night because he likes the Yankees and he wanted to Staten Island play so he made the drive over.

In our conversation, he mentioned he bought season tickets for him and his wife for the Adirondack Phantoms in section M row 8. I told him we'll try to come up for a game.

Sure enough on Sunday I ran into Brian after the 2nd period. I did look for him before the game but to no avail. We spoke during the intermission. It was great to see him again. Just another example of what can happen when you decide to make a road trip.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Visit to Glens Falls, NY Home of the Adirondack Phantoms

On our way back from Montreal, Canada we stopped in Glens Falls, NY. That is about 40 miles North of Albany, the state capital of New York in case you didn't know. Royal treatment is beneficial in more ways than one. We always aim to please and educate as well.

We saw the Wilkes-Barre Penguins play the Adirondack Phantoms who previously played in Philadelphia at the old Spectrum. The last time Royalty was seen in Glens Falls for a hockey game was back in 1998.

They haven't had a team there in quite some time. As for getting tickets, once again we didn't have any. Thanks to Jim Lowry, an older gentleman whom we met in Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park since he operates the elevator there we got to know him. He also works the freight elevator at the Wachovia Center, which is the home of the Flyers as well as the 76ers.

He told us he will get us tickets if and when we go to see the Adirondack Phantoms play in Glens Falls. True to his word, Jim came through. He wound up leaving us 3 tickets for the game in my name. I went up to the Will Call window and showed my identification and the lady at the window gave me an envelope. I opened and there were 3 tickets for us to use.

Jim was originally supposed to be joining us for the weekend. Unfortuately mother nature dumped a ton of snow on Philadelphia and points South so Jim wound up having to work. I would like to give Jim a big thank you for arranging to have the tickets left in my name. That was a very nice gesture on his part and royalty is very grateful to know such a kind human being. Jim has himself experienced what royalty is all about firsthand.

I made sure he got to go to new Yankee Stadium for a playoff game no less against the Twins since he had told me he was a Yankee fan and he wanted to get there. I told him I'll make it happen. Sure enough I did. He took a Greyhound bus to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. I met him after work and took him with me to the game.

Previously in July, he joined us for his first visit to Fenway Park. As he said and I quote "he had a blast". Jim has bigger plans for this year. Unfortunately things didn't work out for him this time. But he's looking forward to making some more trips in May and July. We're very much looking forward to having him aboard on these adventures.

As for the game, the visiting Penguins wound up winning 4-3! The game was scoreless in the 1st period. In the 2nd, each team got a goal. The 3rd period goals were scored in bunches. The Phantoms got the last one late with 30 seconds to pull within 4-3 but after icing the puck twice in the last 30 seconds of the game, that's how it ended.

Flyers trick the Canadiens, 6-2!

The Philadelphia Flyers went North of the border to face the Montreal Canadiens in the back end of their home and home series. The Flyers had won 3-2 in Philadelphia on Friday night. So they came in looking for the sweep.

Royalty was also in attendance to witness it. My partner Michael Casiano aka "The King" and I left in the morning and we drove all day to get there. I rented a car from Avis which is located a mile and a half from my house. I picked up the King at the Grand Central Station Post Office where he works. He was working overtime probably for the last time for the time being. Needless to say, he needed the money.

Traveling from place to place does get expensive especially when you do it as often as we do. I always do my best to minimize cost and maximize enjoyment.

In this case, we took a ride up the "Northway" I-87 up through New York State. Once we got halfway up there the traffic thinned out to practically nobody. Unlike most states in our country, state troopers were in full force. Luckily for us we weren't victimized. We didn't need any unexpected expenses.

With that being said, we still needed tickets for the hockey game. Before we actually arrived in Montreal at 5:25PM we stopped to check into a hotel in Plattsburgh. We also got a bite to eat at Wendy's. We took it out since we were pressed for time.

We then proceeded to get to the border to go through Customs to enter Canada. Unlike previous visits, no hassle this time. We were questioned if we had tickets to the hockey game though. We responded not yet. We hoped to pick up singles at the box office. We finally arrived in Montreal on schedule at 5:25PM when the car was parked.

Actually that was 5 minutes earlier than I wanted to be there. We then had to feed the parking meter until 6PM and we were good for the night. Once we got out of the car it was freezing cold and windy.

I said to myself this is going to be fun trying to get tickets. Off we went to the Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens. We get to the box office hoping they had cancellations at the window. No such luck. Time to good to work.

After searching for 45 minutes or so, I came across a few different people from the States. After asking different people who mainly spoke French. Thankfully for them we got in relatively cheap considering. The scalpers which there were many wanted 3 or 4 times as much for a single ticket. We were willing to pay a price if necessary but not what they wanted.

We wound getting 2 separate single seats so we didn't get to sit together. I was very lucky because the young lady I bought the first ticket from was really nice.

Her name was Chrissy Capp. We both exchanged stories throughout the game which made for a very memorable night. I gave her my business card in hopes we can stay in touch. We'll have to wait and see about that. She's a big hockey fan.

As for the game itself, it started with a fight only 4 seconds into it when Ian LaPerriere and Ryan O'Bryne squared off. Things settled there after. The Flyers started fast. Daniel Briere opened the scoring with his first of 3 goals which included a penalty shot. The Flyers lead 3-0 after the 1st period and never looked back. They went on to win easily, 6-2!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Devils knock off Predators, 5-2!

The Devils got back on the winning track tonight at the Prudential Center affectionately known as "The Rock". The game was a good competitive one.

It was tied at 2 until newly acquired Ilya Kovalchuk lit the lamp with 11:36 left in the 3rd period. That proved to be the game winner and was his first goal as a Devil and 32nd of the season. It stood up as the Devils added a power play goal by Zach Parise with 6:52 left. Then With 41.2 seconds remaining, Jamie Langenbrunner capped the scoring with an empty net goal.

Big plans in store for the long weekend

Here's the game plan for the President's Day Weekend:

Tonight Predators at Devils 7PM

Tomorrow Flyers at Canadiens 7PM

Sunday Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Adirondack Phantoms 3PM

Monday Fairfield at Manhattan 7PM

Check back to see how it played out.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

St. John's deck the Cards, 74-55!

On the night when they celebrated their 25th anniversary of the 1985 Final Four team, the current team played like the one from 1985. They started the game by scoring the first 12 points and they never looked back.

The Cardinals got their first basket of the game with 13:15 left in the half to get on the scoreboard. They got within 6 early in the second half then the Red Storm scored the next 14 points to put this one away for good.

As for the halftime cermony, it was nice but disappointing. It was great to see some of the players from the 1985 team. Willie Glass, Shelton Jones, Ron Stewart and Bill Wennington were there. But for whatever reason, the three big stars Walter Berry, Mark Jackson & Chris Mullin were no shows.I was looking forward to seeing them. They did have a video tribute which was nice.

Last night wound up being a night off

Thanks to mother nature, I wound up going home early from work. We got out out at 1:30PM. At the point, the best place to be at night was home.

With the snow still falling, I went out and shoveled for a few hours. It was a nice workout.

I went back in the house made dinner and did my wash.

So with that being said, tonight I'm heading to the Garden to see St. John's play Lousiville at 7PM after work instead of going home to play catch up.

It should be a memorable night since they're honoring the 25th Anniversary of the team that went to the Final Four back in 1985 at halftime.

Check back for the details on the game and the ceremony.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tonight it looks like a change of plans due to mother nature

I was planning to head out to the Meadowlands tonight but with mother nature dumping snow on the area, I think I will use some common sense.

So instead of seeing the lowly Nets play the Bucks, I hope to go to the Garden to see the Rangers take on the Nashville Predators.

They should play since the Predators are in town. They lost to the Islanders last night in a shootout in Uniondale.

Check back to see where I wound up and how things turned out.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Knicks blow big lead and go down in OT, 118-114!

The Knicks looked like they were in control to crown the Kings. They lead most of the game including by 15 with 7 and a half minutes left in regulation 98-83. All of a sudden in a matter of seconds the lead was cut to 7, 98-91. Thanks to two big 3 point baskets by Donte Greene who finished the game with 24 points in all.

Omri Casspi who's from Israel, first to play in the NBA, starred early scoring 16 of his 18 points in the first half on Jewish Heritage night.

Rookie of the year candidate Tyreke Evans had a monster second half scoring 19 including 2 in overtime which sealed the deal in the closing seconds. He finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

In addition, Kevin Martin scored 9 of his 17 points in the extra session which put the Kings in position to win the game.

As for the Knicks, they were lead by Wilson Chandler who scored a career high 35 points in defeat.

On a personal historical note, this game was the 1,100th NBA game I've seen in person.

Knicks try to crown the Kings tonight at the Garden!

I'll be going so you can check back to see how it went.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Triple Header Saturday

Mother nature cooperated!

3 sporting events in one day were witnessed start to finish. Ironicly all 3 home teams lost. Here's how they turned out.

In addition, see photos below.

Game 1 St. John's played a great first half. They lead 33-22! The second half belonged to West Virginia they completely took over. St. John's build their lead to 16. They lead 41-25 early in the second half. With 10:31 left in the game, West Virginia took the lead and never looked back. They went on to win easily, 79-60! They were lead by Da'Sean Butler who had 33 points including 7 for 7 from 3 point range.

Game 2 Hofstra started fast. They lead 15-2. Then they disappeared. Before you knew it Northeastern was right back in the game. As the game worn on, Northeastern kept building their lead. They went on to win going away, 75-55!

Game 3 The Islanders fell behind 1-0 then they tied up the game at 1. But they wound up giving up 2 more goals and went on to lose, 3-1!