We celebrated New Year’s Day in Indianapolis. First, we made the Colts vs. Jaguars game (1 pm ET). Then we made the Pacers vs. Magic NBA game (6 pm ET). Lucas Oil Stadium and Bankers Life Fieldhouse are about an easy 10 minute walk apart.
The football game: The Colts won 24-20 with the winning score coming with 9 seconds to go. The irony is that the Colts won in almost exactly the same way they’ve lost this season; they were outplayed for the first 58:20 of the game, but had one last good drive. They threw an interception, lost a fumble on a “t-formation” snap from center and got a punt blocked. In fact, the Colts were outgained 470-384.
But…after getting pushed all over the field for most of the first half (and getting booed), they were down 17-0 prior to driving for a field goal. The Jaguars drove but then missed a 30 yard field goal; so the half ended 17-3.
The Colts held their own in the second half, getting a drive to cut the lead to 17-10 The defense got some stops and some turnovers, and so the Colts made it 17-17 in the 4’th. But with 2 minutes to go in the game, the Jags blocked a Colts punt; there was a delay in the game to see where the ball should go, as the punter made a desperation throw (forward)…so the ball went to the scrimmage lines.
The Jags tried three runs to force the Colts to use their time outs. They kicked a 41 yard field goal, and a touchback on the kickoff placed the Colts at their own 25 with 1:32 to go…and no time outs.
They drove it to the 20 using passes and “spike to stop the clock”. Then the Colts threw a pass that ended on the 1; a quick spike stopped the clock at 14 seconds. Time for perhaps a shot in the end zone, but they couldn’t afford a sack or a stop in the field of play. They got the TD with 9 seconds to go…on a short pass. I really thought that the Colts were finished.
The Jaguars reminded me of the Browns against the Chiefs last year; they had a bad record (and of course, still do) but came in and played hard.
Barbara with the Bill Hudnut statue (former Mayor of Indianapolis)
Colts enter the field.
The action from our perch in the first row of the upper deck; I sat next to the same two ladies that I sat next to last year (for the Texans game)…4 seats over.
We then walked to the Pacers game; we had to wait a few minutes as they let people in 1 hour ahead of time. I did see a few Colts jerseys there. Note: they had a nice crowd (17,500); there were a few empty seats in the “non-luxury” sections.
The Pacers won 117-104, getting 35 points in the second quarter to lead 62-51. They shot 40.9 percent (9-22) from 3 point range; or put it this way: the Magic made 10-38…one more 3 point basket made but 16 extra attempts to achieve that! Also, the Pacers were 22-24 from the free throw line; the Magic were 10-11.
The massive scoreboard
There is someone rappelling down…hard to see but look at the center.
The Turner Block Rowdies
One of our mini-vacations was to go to Fort Worth to see the Armed Forces Bowl between Navy and Louisiana Tech. Navy came in with losses to Temple in the AAC Championship game (34-10) and to Army 21-17. Louisiana Tech lost a shootout to Western Kentucky in the Conference USA championship game, though they had defeated WKU in the regular season. I saw this bowl in 2013.
So it was no. 2 Conference USA vs. no. 2 AAC, and it was a great game. Navy piled up 459 total yards, including 300 on the ground; Louisiana Tech got 497, with 409 coming via the air.
Tech won 48-45, but it was quite a shootout, with the winning points coming on a field goal on the last play of the game.
The Bulldogs started things off with a big kick return from half of their two man wrecking crew; that set them up at the Navy 16 and the Bulldogs punched it in. Navy fumbled on their second play from scrimmage and the Bulldogs answered with a field goal to go up 10-0 early. The teams settled down, and aside from a rare punt, it was score, score, score.
Navy went in to the half trailing 31-24.
The second half saw Navy eat up 7 minutes to tie the game at 31. Tech fumbled in scoring position on their next position but Navy had to punt. Then Tech scored to go up 38-31; but the Midshipmen answered.
Tech scored again in the 4’th to take a brief lead. Then the Mids got the ball back, lost their starting quarterback (who was 3’rd team at the start of the season) only to have the backup run for a touchdown on his first touch. 45-45! But that left 3:46 on the clock, and the Midshipmen had used their timeouts. So the Bulldogs moved the ball and wisely milked the clock, which enabled them to kick the winning field goal on the final play of the game.
Overall, it was wild. Navy complained about some calls. One pass interference call, you can see in a gif file. The Navy defender did tug at the arm..which is a penalty.
But this hand fighting was overlooked on other plays; my guess is that the Tech receiver, being an outstanding player, got the benefit of the doubt. And no. 5 just killed up; 200+ receiving yards.
The game itself
The Bulldog offense lines up
Navy’s defense regroups
High drama at the end; 17 seconds to go; the Tech band in the background.
Before and after the game
Where I did my exercise walk prior to leaving for the game: this old golf course has been converted into a park with sidewalk trails; it includes a dog park.
Barbara and Jacob near the Davy O’Bryan statue on the TCU campus.
The opposing band
The Brigade contingent at the game. This was me 36 years ago (at the old Garden State Bowl in December 1980)
Navy enters the field!
Halftime enlistment ceremony
Selfie at the game
On the way back to the car: note the purple (TCU’s color)
Mexican food after the game
674 miles, 9 am to 9:12 pm, with stops for lunch and dinner. Barbara took a couple of hours of it; that helped.
Then came Christmas dinner: Barbara, Jacob and I went to the Indian restaurant, and saw Terri Brink there (with friend) too.
Workout notes: I had a 4.5 mile walk on the old golf course on game day,
4.0 treadmill run (41:00) via: 1 mile easy, alternate .25 at 6.7, .25 at 5.6 for 1.5 miles, .6 miles at 6.7, walk to 3.25, 5.6 and up to 3.75, 7.0 to 4. Then rotator cuff, 20 x 50 military (dumbbells, seated, supported)
4.0 Cornstalk classic slow run (wet, 37 F) outside prior to the dinner.
Ok, the drive was fine; we even stopped for food in Stroud, OK at 5-star Barbecue which was excellent, though it appeared to be quite ordinary from the outside.
until we got near Fort Worth on I-35 W…then arrrgh! Things are torn up and confusing; our google maps application had us getting and off IH-35 W (we ignored those rogue instructions), perhaps the usual route was on and off of service roads? It was terrible…until IH-30.
But our dinner with Shirley was wonderful; it was at Istanbul Grill in Arlington, and the food is outstanding, as was the service.
Workout notes Prior to the trip, I did 2 miles on the hotel treadmill; 5.2-5.6 every 2 minutes, then 6.7 for .5 miles, 6.8 for .25 and 6.9 for .25 for a total of 2 miles. It was quick enough so that my family didn’t get too upset with me.
And we are off to Fort Worth for the Armed Forces Bowl on Friday.
We are stopped in Springfield, MO for the evening.
Workout notes: weights plus a 5K walk on the track prior to leaving; last two miles were 13:43 and 13:21.
Rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, so-so), bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 190, 10 x 170, incline press: 10 x 145, rows: 3 sets of 10 with 50 (each arm), military: 10 x 50 standing, 20 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing. head stand, abs (2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches).
Barbara took this shot while we were on I-44, near Rolla. This doesn’t do justice to how red the sky was:
My “back and forth” trip to Baldwin Wallace and back was a bit of a whirlwind. But the driving was easy (for a change) and the visit rewarding, at least for me.
I took the southern route as there is less truck traffic on it, save the stretch between Dayton, OH and Indianapolis, IN on I-70. A LOT of trucks on that stretch! And beware: going from I-70 to I-74 can be tricky; I use the Sam Jones Expressway.
While Olivia was here we took her to a ball game: Bradley vs. Texas-Arlington. BU fell behind 12-0 but rallied to take a 1 point lead…and ended up losing by 5. But they looked better than they did against a similar Delaware team earlier in the year.
Bradley being a 10 point underdog, plus a mild ice storm kept attendance down.
Olivia’s rabbit “Bucky” was a big hit with me:
Tracy liked Bucky too.
Workout notes: 4 mile walk on the treadmill yesterday: 50:36. 2 mile run on the Markin track today: 9:50/8:43 for 18:34 (lane 2). That second mile was work (4:24/4:19), though not all out.
Well, the trip to Chicago was more uneventful that I had anticipated. We went up the night before just to enjoy some relaxation.
The hotel (Hyatt and McCormick Place) was really about 1 mile away from the stadium, and most of the walk was along bike path type surfaces.
We took this before Barbara saw our seats…
Here she was contemplating “acrimonious divorce”.
But hey, there was a great view.
The crowd was somewhat late arriving, but it did fill up pretty well.
As far as the game itself: The Bears did control action during the first half but really had only 7 points to show for it. The Bears defense shut down the Lions effectively, allowing only one 50 yard field goal and coming up with an “almost pick 6” at the end to stop a Lion drive (busted route).
Second half: the Lions opened up with drive that took almost 8 minutes of the 3’rd quarter. They got first and goal at the 5 and ran it to inside the 1. But…the Bears goal line defense made two key run stops, stopping them for no gain and then a 2 yard loss.
So the Lions had to kick a field goal and it was 7-6. Then the Bears hit a 64 yard pass to set up a short touchdown pass; it was now 14-6.
Another drive set up a field goal to make it 17-6, and the Bears came up with another interception inside of 4 minutes to go. Bears running made the Lions use up time outs.
But the Lions hit a big 80 yard punt return for a touchdown with 1:50 to play and followed it with a 2 point conversion, but the Lions had no time outs left. The Bears recovered the onside kick and went into “victory formation” to seal their first win of the year.
Yes, I made it home. I left Berea, Ohio (near Cleveland) at 4 pm eastern time, after having helped Olivia move into her new digs.
Aside: if you want a tough as nails padlock, I can recommend this padlock from S. Parker:
Olivia lost her lock keys. It took a professional locksmith, armed with drills, circular saws, bolt cutters and the like THIRTY MINUTES to break this lock open.
So I was on the road and had thoughts to driving straight through. But at 10:30 pm eastern time, I was in Crawfordsville, IN and was starting to see patterns in the road lights. So it was time to pack it in and find a motel.
Workout notes: 5 miles at noon; 84 F, 61 percent humidity. I kept is slow; did some weightless squats later.
Baseball game tonight?
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