Colts vs. Buccaneers: Colts 25-21

Workout notes: yesterday, 2 mile “fast walk” on the treadmill, early. Then up and down to and from row 20 in section 624 in the Lucas Oil Stadium I’m telling you, that section is STEEP. It was painful to watch the elderly and the obese attempting to navigate those stairs, but the sight lines were pretty good.


The stadium IS a jewel. But, given that I’ve watched many NFL games from bleacher seats when I was a young man, well, the new stadiums feel like overkill to me.

(from last year’s playoff game)



This concluded our Thanksgiving weekend. Barbara took her nephew back to Indianapolis. So I figured I’d spring for some inexpensive nosebleed tickets (38 dollars each, WITH fees) and catch the game while we were in town.

I simply love being at the game.

The game itself: the first half found the Bucs leading 12-6; there was only one punt. It was half of long drives, ending with field goals.

The Buccaneers used a strong inside running game to move; the Colts used a controlled short passing game.

Finally, in the second quarter, we saw the game’s first touchdown on a medium pass. But the extra point was missed! It was the first of two missed extra points we saw (the others was by the Colts), which is a rarity.

In the second half the Colts defense made adjustments to take away the run and force the rookie quarterback to pass. He is good (the former controversial Florida State quarterback) but he is a rookie. All the Bucs could generate in the second half was a long, missed field goal attempt.


The Colts got a field goal to cut it to 12-9 and later, finally, a touchdown to lead 16-12.

Another field goal move it to 19-12. Then with just over 5 minutes to play, the Colts moved it to set up another field goal, which was good. But a “jumping” (and running into the holder) penalty extended the drive so the Colts took points off of the board. That *almost* cost them when there was an “would have gone with the call on the field” “not fumble” on the 2. The Colts threw a TD but missed the point; that sealed the win.

Afterward As much as I’d love another NFL game this weekend, I won’t go, UNLESS I get ahead of my work a bit. We have tickets for the Rams vs. Lions in December (the Rams stink) and then later the Colts vs. Texans.

November 30, 2015 Posted by | football, NFL, walking | Leave a comment

Post Thanksgiving swim..

Routine, but I did it. Weights at the Riverplex then a swim.

Bodyweight: 186 after weights, 184.7 after swimming.

pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (strong)
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 7 x 170 (170 felt good; 185 felt weak)
incline press: 10 x 135
military: 2 sets of 12 x 50 dumbbells (seated, supported) 10 x 40 standing
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbells, 10 x 60 dumbbells

Then I saw the pool with open lanes: 500 easy, 10 x 25 fist, 25 free, 10 x 25 side, 25 free, 500 free, 150 back, 50 fly.
I was pretty slow; I couldn’t catch another old, slow guy.

Football: I saw most of the Cowboys vs. Panthers (2 “pick 6’s for Carolina who won 33-14), all of the Texas vs. Texas Tech (UT lost 48-45; I had predicted a 45-42 loss), and the end of the Bears vs. Packers (17-13 Bears). When GB reached the Bear 8 with first and goal with about 1 minute to go, I just *knew* that GB would win. Wrong.

I knew two people who were celebrating. Ok, I too was cheering for the Bears, as I usually do.


November 27, 2015 Posted by | NFL, swimming, weight training | Leave a comment

Bears Rout Rams 37-13; bad game, great social outing

Workout notes; 2 mile walk in 26:00 on the treadmill. Just enough to sweat a bit and get lose.

The game


It started promising; the Rams opened with a quick touchdown drive which featured a nifty “run after catch” play in which the running back hurdled a defender.

But the next series saw the Bears hit an 87 yard touchdown pass when a tight end caught a short throw, broke 3 tackles and outran everyone else. It is rare that one sees that kind of speed from a tight end.

In a later series the Bears fumbled a punt inside their own 20 but the Rams only netted a field goal. Later the Rams fumbled it away and the Bears came up with 3. So it was 10-10 at the end of the first.

The second quarter saw the Bears take over.


The Rams did nothing on offense except miss open receivers. The Bears were able to line up with 7-8 men near the line of scrimmage because the Ram passing game was so inept. On the other hand the Bears ran very well; the Bears offensive line opened up bit holes for running between the tackles. So they had one long touchdown drive and on a later series, scored an 83 yard touchdown off of a screen pass. So it was 24-10 at the half.

The third quarter the Rams did have a drive (and a 37 yard pass) but had to settle for 3. That was their chance to get back into it.

The Bears had a 4’th quarter drive for a field goal. Then they blew up a poorly executed fake punt and kicked another field goal to put it 30-13; by this time the Bears were running a “vanilla” type offense to burn clock.

The Rams failed on a 4’th down attempt in their own territory and the Bears punched in another running touchdown to ice the game.

It was a complete butt kicking.

Socially: I went to the game with two friends: Linda and Jason (who we picked up in Springfield. Yes, they are Bears fans. :-)

Here: LInda caught my despair:


Here are some photos of the view we had:




The stadium was more filled than this one of the shots is pregame; it wasn’t a sell-out but there were probably 50-52 thousand there, many were Bears fans.

The three of us:


Linda took this before the game and posted it: she called this photo “my bitches”.


Jason had to get this “hey, my eyes are up here” photo.


November 16, 2015 Posted by | Friends, NFL, walking | | Leave a comment

College Football Weekend

Workout notes: weights, 3 mile run, 2 mile hill walk (treadmill)

weights: rotator cuff, 5 sets of 10 pull ups,
incline press: 10 x 135, 7 x 150, 10 x 140
military: seated, supported: 2 sets of 12 x 50, then 10 x 40 standing (dumbbells)
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell (each arm), 10 x 110 (machine)

run: treadmill, 5K in 31:30 (5.2 mph, up by .1 every 2 minutes)
walk: treadmill: 2 miles in 29:40: hill (1-8 in 20, then 1-4 in 10)

Pretty basic.

College football:
Ohio State favored by 16-17 at Illinois: part of me thinks that this will look a lot like the Wisconsin game. Then again, Ohio State is fighting for a playoff spot and style points will count. Call it 35-17 and OSU covers. I’ll be at this one.

Navy favored by 20 over SMU SMU is a bad team and Navy is strong. But Navy has to have a bad game sometime; they pasted Memphis on the road and still face Tulsa, Houston on the road and Army..and possibly a game in the AAC championship game. Pick Navy to win, but SMU might well keep it..well, not “close” but 30-14’ish. Navy to win, SMU covers?

West Virginia favored by 8 over Texas Texas has actually performed comparably against the teams that West Virginia lost to; in fact, slightly better. But Texas has been a horrible, absolutely horrible road team: 38-3, 50-10, 24-0 losses; the latter to a not-so-good Iowa State team. Texas lays another egg: 27-3?

Wake Forrest at Notre Dame: ND favored by 27 Sounds about right; ND is rolling and Wake isn’t very good. 38-0 Irish.

Summary: Straight up: Ohio State, Navy, West Virginia, Notre Dame.
Spread: Ohio State, SMU, West Virginia, Notre Dame.

NFL note: Got tickets for the Bears vs. Rams. Rams are favored by 7. That sounds about right; neither team is a ball of fire so I’ll go with the home team. Call it 24-17 Rams, though it wouldn’t be a monumental upset if the Bears won.

I think that this is my first “College/Pro” football double weekend since I caught Texas-Oklahoma and Dallas-San Francisco in 1989.

Personal Football note: I played offensive tackle in high school. Yeah, I got a holding call or two (or three); I didn’t use my feet well. But I don’t think that I ever did this…(and this was NOT called)


November 12, 2015 Posted by | college football, NFL, running, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

I needed that: Rams whip 49’ers 27-6

Though the 49’ers suffered back luck when one of their stars slipped on the concrete in the out of bounds area, overall the Rams put it to them winning 27-6. Total yards weren’t close: 388-189, though the Rams had a run of 71 yards (touchdown), a pass of 66 yards (touchdown), and one of 49 (to the 2 to set up a TD). The 49’ers really only sustained two drives: the opener which set up a 54 yard field goal, and a lengthier one which set up a shorter field goal in the second quarter.

Otherwise, the Rams defense bottled them up, and the Rams punter (plus an untimely penalty or two) consistently gave the 49’ers poor field position for most of the game.


The first quarter ended 3 to 2; the 49’ers had the drive for a field goal and the Rams trapped the 49er running back for a safety.

But the Rams did nothing with the free kick; there was a promising pass play that ended when the receiver fumbled the ball and the 49’ers recovered.

In the second quarter, the dormant run game woke up with a spectacular 71 yard run off tackle and got a 2 point conversion on a nice pass to the “right middle”.


The Rams got the ball back and had just enough of a drive to kick a field goal to go up 13-3. The 49’ers responded with a nice drive to cut it to 13-6.

But then came a drive with a 49 yard pass to the tight end who almost made it to the end zone; he was tackled at the 2. Then the Rams scored on a sweep in which the runner managed to hit the pylon with the outstretched ball.


The third quarter: it appeared that the 49’ers might be back in it after a fumble was run in for a touchdown, but clearly, the person who recovered the fumble grabbed the runners facemask, albeit after the fumble. So the play was called back.

The 4’th quarter saw the Rams put it away on a nice 66 yard touchdown pass off of a screen.

Note: though the Rams passed for 191 yards, most of those yards came “after catch”; 115 of them on 2 passes. Otherwise, the passing game wasn’t that effective.

Stadium hint Barbara was great company and a good sport; we had a room at the Drury Inn, Convention center. Though the rate was 162 a night (before tax), that included a hot-dog, chicken tender, baked potato, chili, mac and cheese and salad dinner the evening before, free parking for the night and the game (20-25 dollar value, at least), and a hot breakfast (eggs, sausage, oatmeal, fresh fruit, juice coffee) before the game. So for two people, the extras easily add up to 70-75 dollars. And the hotel offers a fitness room (which I used for my pregame workout; and I met another fan there).

As far as seats: I’d avoid the row “CC” seats in the sections when the CC is the first row of the upper deck. Reason: you are right behind where people enter the section, and right behind a platform where people frequently stop to figure out where their seats are. We quickly found some empty seats 10 rows above us and those were great. The couple next to us moved as well.

Now the row AA seats are excellent; great view of the game. I like the OO row seats in the lower part (sections in the 100’s) as the wall is behind you and you can stand to stretch your legs and not bother anyone.

November 2, 2015 Posted by | football, NFL, travel | | Leave a comment

Football tickets are here; magazines purchased…

Way back in “the day” I’d use summer to prepare for football season. Ok, ultimately it didn’t work out for me; I lacked the speed and the power to play beyond high school. But I remained a fan and I always looked forward to the magazines coming out.

Well, now I have mine. :-) Ok, I also bought an autobiography of Justice Sotomayor which I am planning on reading. But of course, i’ve been reading my football magazine and I have a few comments:

Professional: I follow the Bears and the Rams and I expect a 10 win season…for both teams! COMBINED, that is. They’ll be terrible. But I think that I should be able to make the Rams vs. Lions and Buccaneers late in the season; perhaps one other. Maybe I’ll even make a Colts game; they have a late season game against the Texans.


Illinois: good news: the home schedule should be entertaining with games against Kent State, Western Illinois, Middle Tennessee, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Ohio State. The latter 3 could well be ranked in the top 25; Ohio State is currently ranked no. 1. Bad new: I see the Illini winning exactly 3 of these (guess which ones). There are road games against North Carolina, Minnesota, Purdue, Penn State, Iowa and a Chicago “home game” versus Northwestern (they couldn’t get anyone to show up for the Thanksgiving weekend game at Champaign)

I am not sure that I see three road wins there; to go 6-6 they will have to score a couple of upsets along the way. I see anywhere between 3-9 (worst case) to 7-5 (best case); I think that 4-8 or 5-7 are the most likely. 6-6 or better would please me greatly. This will probably be the coach’s last year.

Oh yes, the quarterback got a lot of hype, but he threw for big yards …against Youngstown State, Western Kentucky and Texas State.

Navy First year in the American Athletic Conference. There are teams that Navy can compete with. But conference play will be a new experience.
I see: 6-6 (worst) to 9-3 best; 7-5 to 8-4 would be most likely, in my opinion. Notre Dame and Houston will be tough road tests. Now will I be able to make it to their bowl game, if there is one?

Texas The non-conference slate features a game at Notre Dame, and home games against California and Rice. The Longhorns also travel to Baylor and TCU and have the annual affair against Oklahoma. Well, you can’t accuse Texas of having an easy schedule. My guess: 5-7 to 8-4 are possible, with 6-6 to 7-5 being the most likely. Maybe this year, make a bowl game and actually compete?

Notre Dame Probably the best of “my” teams and they play Navy and Texas. That should make for interesting watching. The schedule: manageable. They have some tough games: at Clemson and Stanford; at home against Georgia Tech and USC. Texas is down this year and Navy can’t match ND in talent. So I’d say: 7-5 to 10-2 with 8-4 to 9-3 being the most plausible.

One beef: my two football magazines have ND ranked 9’th or 10’th. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What in the heck is this based on?

Yes, I went to the Music City Bowl and enjoyed it immensely. But the reality: they got a lucky call (end of the first half) and a last second field goal to beat a 6-6 LSU team. It was a great game, but it featured two mediocre teams with big names, period. There is no reason to rank ND this highly; I might understand 20-25, but even that would be a stretch.

August 5, 2015 Posted by | college football, football, NFL | , | Leave a comment

Snow shoveling and engineering…

Ok, this will ramble a bit.

Workout this morning: swimming. 5 x 100 on 2:10, 5 x 100 on 2:05, 5 x 200 on 4:00 (3:35, 3:37, 3:33, 3:31, 3:32), 200 back with fins to cool down.

Then I got home; the snow plows had buried our walk and sidewalk as usual..but this time it was an icy mix (chunks).
I found out that I could get the shovel down between the still warmer pavement and the colder ice and lift….this cracked the ice.
This reminded me a bit of the engineering course I had when we discussed the various thermal stresses placed on metal that was exposed to different temperatures on different sides. We had the snow, then the cold came in and so the snow served to insulate the warmer pavement/ground.

So my shoveling mostly consisted of lifting large chunks of icy snow with the shovel. Hint: break into smaller chunks, bend the knees…and use a high quality shovel.

The down side: I was dressed to walk to school and the shoveling got me into a sweaty mess. Hey, I’ve got the goat smell going!

Last night Great game. Seattle took a 24-14 lead on New England, and the Patriots came back to lead 28-24 with 2 minutes to go.
The Seahawks, aided by a spectacular juggling “on his back” catch,

and later moved it down and ended with 2n’d and goal from about the 2. They had a time out remaining and a strong running attack. But they tried a risky over the middle pass which was intercepted.

What an outstanding game.

And the commercials: featured goats and butts!






February 2, 2015 Posted by | big butts, football, NFL, spandex, swimming | , , , | Leave a comment

Yucky snow….:-P

Today: right around freezing…rain which changed to heavy snow. It isn’t that cold right now but the roads are very sloppy.

So, I’ll blog for a while then walk to the university gym (if it is open) at 9 am; lift and use the treadmill.

Right now, I am listening to an old Fleetwood Mac album Mirage.

Science and the public
Yes, scientists and “the public” at large disagree on many key issues. Of course, the scientists are right, except for one issue. The scientists seem to think that better science education will narrow the divide. But I disagree for two reasons.

1. Religion is still a huge factor in determining what people think.

2. Science is hard and frankly many (most?) people simply don’t have the ability to master it or at least obtain an “educated layperson’s knowledge” of it. Accepting something that sounds counter-intuitive seems like going against “common sense” and it takes some intellectual ability to distinguish between what is nonsense and what is…well…true.

I know that I have that trouble with regards to things like “learning disabilities”: what is quackery and what is solid? Of course this area will be difficult for a while as it isn’t as if we can open up people’s brains and examine them.

What isn’t difficult to accept is that vaccines work. Sure, the uninitiated might read a list of ingredients and say “yuck”, but the fact is that some preventible diseases are coming back and some are fighting back. It has gotten to the point that some doctors won’t see “anti-vaccine” patients:

With California gripped by a measles outbreak, Dr. Charles Goodman posted a clear notice in his waiting room and on Facebook: His practice will no longer see children whose parents won’t get them vaccinated.

“Parents who choose not to give measles shots, they’re not just putting their kids at risk, but they’re also putting other kids at risk — especially kids in my waiting room,” the Los Angeles pediatrician said.

It’s a sentiment echoed by a small number of doctors who in recent years have “fired” patients who continue to believe debunked research linking vaccines to autism. They hope the strategy will lead parents to change their minds; if that fails, they hope it will at least reduce the risk to other children in the office.

The tough-love approach — which comes amid the nation’s second-biggest measles outbreak in at least 15 years, with at least 98 cases reported since last month — raises questions about doctors’ ethical responsibilities. Most of the measles cases have been traced directly or indirectly to Disneyland in Southern California.

I haven’t thought this through, though part of me wants to cheer this.

I admit that I am disgusted by this “hey, I am a MOM therefore I know best” attitude that I sometimes hear. Hey, aren’t there moms in 3’rd world countries which have high child mortality rates? Weren’t there moms 100 years ago when the childhood mortality rate was roughly 50 percent?

In *some* quarters, there is quite a bit of anger over the basketball team’s demise:

Losing to last-place Drake, at home, is yet another colossal disaster for the Bradley men’s basketball team.

Last week, I was tempted to write a letter alluding to the fact that I, and many of my friends and acquaintances, no longer even care about Bradley basketball. But, after this latest debacle, I, and others, now have attitudes much closer to furious than to apathy.

The utter ineptitude of the people responsible for this once proud program is staggering; President Joanne Glasser, athletic director Michael Cross, and head coach Geno Ford have all had a hand in ravaging the Bradley men’s basketball program. Together, they have wrought destruction upon Bradley basketball, embarrassed the city of Peoria and made Bradley athletics a laughingstock within the Missouri Valley Conference and throughout the region. Plus, they haveshamelessly increased ticket prices, alienated countless fans and driven away loyal supporters in droves. […]

Click on the link to read the rest, if you are interested. Note: the team, minus three suspended players, lost to Indiana State on the road yesterday. But they played very hard, which was good to see. And the women won two road games in a row, albeit against the two last place teams. Each time, they came up with key defensive stops down the stretch.

Now you might ask “what does it matter?” And, well, what can I say? I enjoy following the teams but that is really it. I show up whether they are 5-25 or 25-5; in some sense I am the worst possible kind of fan. I go “awww” if they lose and “yay!” if they win. I admit that I get a type of entertainment watching the drama on the fan boards.

Some BU fans are upset that the previous coach (who was a top BU player and lead BU to one Sweet 16) was fired. His current team (California-Davis) is doing well.

Screen shot 2015-02-01 at 7.59.34 AM

They drew 5317 fans for their 81-78 win over Cal-Poly. They are 16-4.

In all honesty, I reluctantly agree with the university’s decision on this coach.

Now about that Super Bowl
Screen shot 2015-02-01 at 7.11.24 AM

Yeah, I’ll watch the game BECAUSE I AM A FOOTBALL FAN and these really are the best two teams in the NFL, as far as I am concerned. I watched the Patriots a bit back when I lived in Connecticut in 1983-1984. They played in Foxboro Stadium (sometimes called Sullivan Stadium) which was very plain; not at all like the new jewels.

February 1, 2015 Posted by | basketball, Illinois, NFL, politics, politics/social, science, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

No. 75, Jethro Pugh. RIP


We both played football in Texas. We both wore no. 75. We both played defensive tackle.
That is where the resemblance ended.

On Sundays I’d watch the Cowboys play and watch the line play; I always imagined playing like he did. I never did. :-)

Ironically, I wore no. 64 in my first JV year as that was Jerry Kramer’s number; he was blocking Pugh during that Ice Bowl game. Yes, the high is forecast to be -7 in Green Bay this coming Sunday.

January 8, 2015 Posted by | football, NFL | | Leave a comment

Various Football Stadiums (and why is the Jones Dome a bad stadium for the Rams?)

This discussion started when it came out that the owner of the St. Louis Rams is planning on building a brand new NFL caliber stadium in Los Angeles (Inglewood actually). So the discussion started: “Are the Rams moving, or is the owner thinking “Chargers” or “Raiders” instead?

Then the St. Louis media started in on “what can St. Louis do to remain an NFL city”, even if the Rams leave?

Much of the topic centered on the “need” for a new stadium:

4. Still … what if Peacock, Blitz and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon can indeed formulate and present a legitimate new-stadium plan to the NFL? They’ve made progress, and Peacock has kept the NFL informed on what’s being done behind the scenes here. And as of two weeks ago, the NFL office was impressed by the efforts being made to address the stadium issue in St. Louis.

Obviously nothing has been presented (let alone finalized) and the plans here could easily fall apart. The realistic possibility of a new stadium — especially for the divisive and unpopular Kroenke — would set off a contentious debate. One that could easily escalate into a battle royale that blows up the entire project.

There’s a long way to go here. But what if Peacock and company defy the cynical expectations and come through? Then what? Would the NFL turn its back on St. Louis?

How could the league reward a guy, Kroenke, who helped take this team out of Los Angeles to cash in on a new stadium in St. Louis — and now may be trying to pull a reverse some 20 years later by yanking the same team from St. Louis to cash in on the Los Angeles market? The LA market that Kroenke and Rams majority owner Georgia Frontiere abandoned in 1995?

5. From the St. Louis standpoint, a new stadium still represents the only real play for maintaining an NFL presence here. A new stadium could compel Kroenke to stay. A new stadium could compel the NFL to turn down the Rams’ request to move. And even if the Rams go, a secure commitment to fund a new stadium could entice a franchise that got shoved out of the way (in LA) by Kroenke. Or a franchise such as Jacksonville, which seemingly faces long-term issues in its home market.

It soon will be time to make a decision. After being burned by the Rams, does St. Louis and the state want to play the NFL stadium game again? Or is it time to take a principled stand and reject NFL greed — even if it means losing an NFL franchise for a second time and foreclosing on the possibility of attracting another franchise?

Since 1960, this town has been pounded by horrendous ownership, stadium imbroglios, and only 16 winning records and eight playoff teams in 48 NFL seasons.

Or does the city day “adios” to the NFL for good, along with a “good riddance”.

It does matter to me…a little. I live in Peoria and the Jones Dome is 2:40 away by car, and there is a nice hotel right across the street from the Jones Dome, and I’ve grown a little bit attached to the Rams. But Lucas Oil Stadium is only 3:20 away (40 more minutes, each way), so if the Rams do leave, Colts, here we come. And Lucas is a bit less than 2 hours away from Champaign, IL, which might make for easier “Illinois football/Colts football” weekends. Bears? Well, parking is horrendous and my wife doesn’t do cold weather games outdoors. But for early season games, who knows?

But this gets me to the topic: what is so bad about the Jones Dome? Now some tailgate loving fans told me that there isn’t adequate space for pregame tailgate parties, and I can understand that, though I am not a tail gate party person. My pregame ritual is usually a run in the hotel treadmill or a very long drive from home.

But what about the Jones Dome itself? Most lists of NFL stadiums rank it low (here and here) rank it in the bottom 3 or 4 stadiums. So do the Yelp users (Jones Dome reviews on Yelp)

So what am I not getting?

My guess: it is a few factors.

1. I am a football fan in that I go to a game to WATCH THE GAME. The other stuff: mostly superficial. I want a comfortable seat and a good view of the action; the Jones Dome delivers both. And there are adequate enough food choices for my celiac disease wife (she can’t have anything with wheat in it).

2. I’ve been going to games for a very long time (first that I remember was in 1969; my dad took me to Kezar Stadium in 1962 to watch the 49’ers play the Browns but I don’t remember it vividly.


So, let’s just say that as someone who is old enough to see an aluminum bench as an “upgrade” from the old wooden benches that the old stadiums had…individual chairs were “OMG, how foo-foo” and some of the now-demolished stadiums appeared to be “state of the art” to me. I am very “unspoiled”. I also don’t care about gourmet food, internet access and the like, though I like the replay boards and the running statistics that some stadiums have.

So, this got me nostalgic for stadiums and I’ll list them, in some semblance of order.

I’ll start with stadiums of teams I regularly follow (season tickets or several games a year) in reverse chronological order.

Jones Dome (St. Louis Rams)



I saw one game in 2009, then 2-4 games per year there every since (3 this year, 4 last year, 2 the year prior to that, etc.). My favorite seats are the first row of the upper deck. But you have a nice view of the game from just about anywhere.

You can find reasonable 10 dollar parking within walking distance.

Illinois Memorial Stadium
I saw a few games here and there from 1991 to 2010, then had season tickets from the 2011 season onward. My first year: end zone. 2012-2014: section 109 which is on the side, behind the back of the end zone line. But I pay “horseshoe” prices for these seats. The seats are aluminum benches, though I pay an extra 40 dollars a yaar (80 for a pair of seats) for these attached chair backs. It is worth it to me.



It is one of those old “character” stadiums; the side I sit on is old but the opposite side is modern. The big problem is that the fans have been disappointed and the stands were REALLY empty for the last home game, which was a stirring come from behind victory over Penn State.

The large scoreboard behind the horseshoe features replays and sometimes game statistics; I really love those (yes, that is modern).

Texas Memorial Stadium (now Darryl Royal Memorial Stadium)

My first visit was as a kid in 1969; Texas was playing Rice. It was announced that there were extra “knot-hole” tickets available in the end zone grandstand and my mother took me. Dad was in Vietnam at the time. Texas was to win the national championship that year; what was odd is there was exactly one black player on the field, and he played for Rice! (and later the Dallas Cowboys).

At that time, there was no upper deck and the stadium featured wooden benches and looked like this: (this photo doesn’t have the temporary bleachers in the “open” end zone; that is where we sat). Note: during the times I attended regularly, there was a track between the stands and the field; in the newest renovation the track has been removed and the field lowered to add closer stands.


Later: an upper deck was added. As a high school student I attended very home game from 1975-1976, then all but one home game in 1981 (on duty in San Antonio) and then all but one home game from 1985-1991 and a few assorted games after that. The stadium now had aluminum benches (and chairs in some sections) looked more or less like this in those days:


That upper deck is WAY up there; it is the tallest one I’ve seen. It held 76,000 people without the bleachers and 81,000 with the bleachers. The stadium now holds 100K plus and looks like this: (note the upper deck that goes from the opposite side and around the horseshoe)


Foxboro Stadium (Patriots, 1983-1984)
This stadium is now long gone; the Patriots play at Gillette Stadium.

But I saw several games here during the 1983 and 1984 season. Sometimes I had a sideline (high up) seat; sometimes I had a seat right new the end zone (CLOSE). This stadium was very simply constructed but held over 60K people.


From one of my games: (Dolphins, 1983)


and from the end zone (Dolphins, 1984)


Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
When I attended the Naval Academy, we had to go to home games. No matter; I would have gone anyway. In fact, I also made some away games: Notre Dame in 1979, Notre Dame in 1980 (Meadowlands: Giants Stadium), Air Force in 1980 and the Garden State Bowl in 1980 (Meadowlands; vs. University of Houston)

This is what the stadium looked like in those days: (the shot was from the Navy vs. Air Force game in 1982)


And from a distance:


It now looks like this (extensive renovations; it even hosts the Military Bowl)


Not a season, but several games nevertheless: Cotton Bowl, Dallas Texas
I watched the Cotton Bowl from 1986-1991, again in 1995, 1998 and the Heart of Dallas Bowl in 2014 (December). I also saw Oklahoma vs. Texas in 1988-1989.

For all but the latest game (Heart of Dallas), the Cotton Bowl was in the following configuration:


Now, it has an upper deck and goes all the way around; the concourse and bathrooms have also been redone.



Many of the sideline seats have chairbacks, but there is very little leg room.

So, those are the stadiums in which I have regularly attended games. I’d have to say that, among these, the Jones Dome is the best! Seriously. But that reflects the era in which I attended games.

Now, of course, I’ve seen games in many other stadiums and I’ll remark on those:

Multiple Games in these stadiums
Old Giants Stadium: Navy vs. Notre Dame 1980, 1984; Texas vs. Penn State in 1984, Navy vs. Houston (Garden State Bowl) in December 1980. This stadium opened in 1976 and lasted to 2009; I saw it as rather plush, as stadiums go. But it has been demolished!



One had a good view of the game from just about everywhere (close to the field) and…individual chairs! I remember a Texas fan at the 1984 Penn State game saying that Texas needed a fancy stadium like this one.

JFK (Kennedy), Philadelphia (Army-Navy game: 1977-1979)

Old concrete structure with wooden benches. Yes, the track kept you away from the field.


Ross Ade stadium: (Purdue vs. Notre Dame 1991, 1995) Purdue campus. very simple stadium, with seats close to the field.


Floyd Casey Stadium, Baylor (Baylor vs. Texas 1988, 1990). Very simple design, simple benches, close to the field. Now demolished and Baylor has a brand new, state of the art stadium.



Tampa Stadium (aka “Old Sombrero): Washington vs. Tampa Bay in 1982, Tampa Bay Bandits vs. Baltimore Stars (USFL) 1985. This too was a simple, every seat close to the field stadium. It too has been demolished.



The above: I took at the 1985 USFL game; no I didn’t notice the lucky guy on the far left when I took the shot. :-) At half time I moved to the empty end zone section to get some close up shots on my own: here is a short yardage touchdown:


Yes, I was that close. :-)

Baltimore Memorial Stadium: Broncos vs. Colts in 1983, White Sox vs. Orioles (baseball: 1977)



For the football game, I had field level seats in the end zone. It was the second game of the season and it was John Elway’s rookie year. Elway had refused to play for the Colts (threatening to play baseball instead) so his rights were traded to Denver. Hence the fans hated him:


See the signs hanging from the upper deck? Here is one of them:


Oh, the stadium: very old, even when I attended this game. Oh, by the way, the Broncos won 17-10 when, after the Colts had knocked Elway out of the game with some vicious hits, his backup hit a long bomb.

Astrodome: Texas vs. Houston 1989, Astros vs. Cardinals (baseball) 1976
I can’t remember what the seats were like, but the view of the football game was reasonably close up. It was posh for its day, and still a better facility than some that I’ve seen.


Note: the dome is still there; it isn’t being used at the moment.

One time visits I’ve visited a few stadiums a single time; I’ll go in reverse chronological order.

2015: Lucas Oil Stadium. Colts vs. Bengals playoff game, January 2015 Frankly: breathtaking; the best I’ve seen.



One has great sight lines, though that upper part is WAY up there. Concession stands and bathrooms were plentiful; short lines everywhere.

Yelp Lucas Oil Stadium

2014: LP Field (Music City Bowl, December 2014: LSU vs. Notre Dame) Very pretty location along the Cumberland River in Nashville. Clean, modern, good sight lines and close to the field.

Bears Titans Football


The above was taken by me at the 2014 Music City Bowl. I was sitting in the loge section (good leg room!)

Yelp LP field

2013: Amon Carter Stadium (TCU): Armed Forces Bowl between Navy and Middle Tennessee This is the best college stadium I’ve visited and I’d rank it just below the Lucas Oil Stadium as the best. You are right on top of the field! Facilities are modern, concessions are plentiful and the under the stadium area was roomy.


I took the above from our seats during the Navy march on.


Ladd Peebles (Mobil Alabama: Go Daddy Bowl, January 2012: Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois A stadium from an era gone by. Primitive (save the turf and two smallish replay screens which showed the ESPN feed); the steps were steep (one step per level) and lacked handrails. That wasn’t a problem for me, but the elderly might have trouble. But you are close to the field and have a good view to watch the game.



The Big House: Michigan (Michigan vs. Penn State, 2002

At that time: nothing fancy; very simple, close to the field, no bad seats. What I noticed: with one exception, very polite, cooperative fans who supported their team in a classy manner. I can see why one might get hooked.

Alamo Dome: Alamo Bowl, 2000 (Northwestern vs. Nebraska) This is a lovely indoor stadium; UTSA plays there now-a-days. Great views; from my memory I’d call is posh. It is a nice location and a great place to see a game.


Northeastern State RiverHawks @ UTSA Roadrunners Football

Soldier Field: 1993: Bears vs. Buccaneers This was the old, refurbished configuration. Very simple; people were allowed to smoke at their seats in this era.


The stadium looks nothing like this now. Here is a view of its current configuration (and I’ve yet to watch a game there):


Kinnick Field, University of Iowa (Iowa vs. Miami, 1992) Simple, clean, close to the field.



Texas Stadium: Dallas Cowboys, Cowboys vs. 49’ers 1989. It was considered posh when it opened in 1971 and it was closed in 2008 and demolished in 2010. Frankly, I thought it was cramped and, while it featured good views of the game from everywhere, well, it was cramped and sort of..well…cheap looking in person? (looked great on television) It was McDonalds-ish.



Byrd Stadium (University of Maryland) USFL Baltimore Stars vs. Portland Breakers This was a smallish stadium at this time (45,000) capacity.



I took the above at the USFL game as well as this photo of the “bored fan” below:


Now Byrd Stadium is quite a bit bigger (51,802)

Byrd Stadium_new

Scott Stadim (Virginia; Navy vs. Virginia 1983 At the time I went to this game, this smallish stadium had one small upper deck on each side. That is where our seats were. Lovely area; simple stadium.


It now has been renovated.


RFK stadium: USFL Washington Federals vs. Philadelphia Stars 1983 mostly known as the old home of the Washington NFL team, this also hosted the USFL Washington Federals. I saw a 1982 game there. It was aged by the time I saw this game; it was one of those generic “doughnut” stadiums.


Angel Stadium: Rams vs. Falcons, 1984 This was a baseball stadium converted to football use. The Rams drew 47,800 for this game (and under 50K for many others) despite being a perpetual playoff team and having Eric Dickerson, who rushed for 2105 yards.



I bought an upper deck ticket but then went down to the empty field level end zone seats at the half so I could get some photos. It was a very mellow crowd.


Veterans Field, Philadelphia, Army-Navy 1980. State of the art at the time; this was one of those “doughnut” stadiums that hosted baseball and football. These were in fashion during the 1970s. The views were decent enough.


Falcon Stadium, US Air Force Academy, Air Force vs. Navy 1980. In those days, it seated about 45,000 but it has been enlarged. It was a very simple stadium with a lovely view and a good view of the game.


Notre Dame Stadium (Navy vs. Notre Dame, 1979). Old. Iconic. The pitch was steep and you were right on top of the field, no matter where you were. It was like a “mini-Big House”, so to speak. But one was struck at how darned…well…small ….puny even…it looked.


It has since been enlarged by adding seats at the top all of the way around.


The game experience was something. We were treated politely and had a good time, though our team lost the game.

January 7, 2015 Posted by | college football, football, NFL, travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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