blueollie

My trip to Arrowhead Stadium (Browns vs. Chiefs)

I wrote about the game itself here. This will be more about the trip and “the experience”.

I’ve made a LOT of NFL games this year; in fact I’ve made 8. I’ve spent less than a season ticket holder does though (thanks internet!) and, the most expensive tickets I had were the “worst seats” (not bad seats, but a bit high up) for the high demand Bears vs. Rams game. And yes, the Rams got stomped..though they swept the Seahawks? Don’t get me started.

This trip was in lieu of a bowl game; 6 hour drive, reasonably priced tickets and a good ticket (30 yard line, 38’th row). And it was a chance to ESCAPE (holidays drive introverts crazy).

I started the day with a treadmill run: 11 minute warm up, 17:45 for 2 miles (8:57/8:48), some elliptical, then 10:40 cool down mile. It was warm in the exercise room and it got to me. There was some cutie (MILF) who flew through 10K at about 8:3x per mile (yes, I glanced at her display).

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Then came the hotel breakfast; the venue is smaller than the St. Louis Drury Inn, but it was full of fans. There were a couple of Browns fans, but mostly Chiefs fans (as expected).

I bundled up: 2 socks (one wool), boots, long underwear, fleece jeans, thermal top, nylon top, wool sweater, high tech jacket, thin sweat shirt top with a hood, stocking cap, light gloves. It was enough for the cold day (just below freezing) and windy.

I had to be careful to not sweat too much on the walk to the stadium from the hotel. You can see the stadium from my hotel window; the nearer stadium is for baseball and the one further away is for football. It was about a 15 minute walk away.

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Arrowhead from the hotel

Arrowhead is one of the NFL’s iconic stadiums. It opened in 1972 and it has been updated.

Though it was a cold day, the tailgate community was undeterred. Cars got there 4-5 hours prior to the start of the game. As you walked you saw it in the distance:

They are used to such weather here.

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The entrance:
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The stadium features exhibits a mini museum to Chiefs football and to the old AFL. I toured it after the game. Yes, there is a red and gold lit room and there is a team roster on the wall. There were more exhibits than I’ve shown here.

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roster

I had seats on the 30 yard line, at the top of the lowest deck.

One caveat: the people in the lower deck stand the entire time, only sitting during time outs. So, if you are short or have a short companion, either splurge for club seats (twice as expensive) or try to get first row, upper deck seats. Those in the upper deck did NOT stand nearly as much.

And yes, there is always some guy who is 6′ 6″ and has a size 8 head who will be in front of you. I could see over/around him, but a shorter person would have had trouble. He was nice; he asked the guy next to me if his wife’s animal hat was obscuring his view. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that, even with her hat, he was about a foot taller than her. :-)

Yes, the fans were friendly, supportive and LOUD. LOUD…dome loud in the outdoors. It was a fun experience for me. I’d go again, and if I went with someone, where I got seats would depend on how willing they were to stand and how tall they were.

In short: Mat, Lynn or Jason: I’d get seats where I was. Barbara, Tracy or Linda: first row, upper deck or club seats. There is a slightly less expensive club seat available for about 30 dollars more than I paid for my seat.

Pregame/game photos:

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You could actually feel the heat from the fire here; this is when the Chiefs entered the field.

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The cheerleaders wore red spandex and I didn’t bring my binoculars.
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December 28, 2015 Posted by | football, running, travel, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Chiefs 17 Browns 13 as rally falls short

This post is about the game itself; I’ll post about my trip and Arrowhead Stadium next.

The game itself The Browns outgained the Chiefs 368 to 258; they got 232 yards rushing…including 108 yards from their quarterback! They totally dominated the second half. But nevertheless, the game ended when the clock ran out on the Browns at the Chief 18 yard line and so they lost 17-13.

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The Chiefs started out well, driving the ball 70 yards for a touchdown; they got a couple of key quarterback scrambles for first downs prior to setting up a touchdown pass:

The drive ate up half the first quarter of this very fast moving game.

After a punt the Chiefs drove it 39 yards and got a field goal to move up 10-0. I thought: “well, this is what I thought it would be.”

The teams exchanged punts and then the Browns put together a drive and got a rare pass completion. A key play is when the Brown quarterback was flagged for an illegal forward pass on a lateral attempt (ruled legal, but overturned on review). They got a field goal to put it 10-3.

Then came a key sequence: a Chief pass was tipped and intercepted..runback to the Chief 41. But two plays later, the Chiefs intercepted and it was run back to the Brown 29.

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The Chiefs went backwards and had to punt; the punt pinned the Browns deep and they had to punt, and the Chiefs used the short field to piece together a touchdown drive, scoring on a medium pass. It was 17-3.

But within the last minute, the Browns used a scramble (one of many) and a short pass/run after catch to set up a 51 yard field goal attempt, which was blocked. That was to be huge.

The second half was all Browns; they opened with a 82 yard time consuming drive for a touchdown. Only 10 of the yards came by passing; it was quarterback keeping and runing.

The Chiefs offense did nothing..as they did all half.

The Browns drove it 62 yards for a field goal; key plays were a fake punt (run up the middle) and an illegal touching penalty as the Cleveland quarterback threw to an offensive lineman. That moved the Browns back from the 8 and they had to kick a field goal. It was now 17-13.

The Chiefs went nowhere and the Browns drove it to the 30, where they ran out of downs. There were 3 minutes to go; they held the Chiefs again and got the ball with 1:5x left in the game at their own 30, with no time outs. They drove it to the Chiefs 18 yard line, where the clock ran out.

The Cleveland quarterback slammed his helmet in disgust.

But: The Browns came to play and to play hard; they didn’t not go down easily.

December 28, 2015 Posted by | football, NFL, Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

TCU 53 Bradley 49

TCU lead 48-39 with one minute to go..this was from a 30-21 half time lead. Bradley didn’t quit and made it interesting, cutting the lead to 51-49 with 1.4 seconds to go.

TCU kept Bradley in the game with horrible free throw shooting, making only 21 of 40. Bradley started out well and even lead 20-16 at one point. But there were too many turnovers, especially on the passes into the lane.
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I shudder to think how the Wichita State game will go. Then again, TCU was 7-4 coming into the game, owning an 11 point win over Illinois State (a MVC team) and a 5 point loss to no. 22 SMU.

December 24, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Mustard beats Ketchup: Rams 31, Buccaneers 23 (finished drives are the difference)

Well, it was a rowdy night. Yeah, there were empties in the Jones Dome (mostly upper deck and club seats) despite the pricy secondary market. Nevertheless, the crowd broke into chants of KEEP THE RAMS and KROENKE SUCKS (the owner who will probably move the team to Los Angeles).

And the Buccaneers outgained the Rams 509-319 but missed a couple of open touchdown passes (one drop), fumbled it once, threw one interception, failed on 4’th and 1 from the Ram 23 (after a 71 yard drive) and dropped a potential “pick 6”. And the Rams did gain yardage via a long kick return (to the Tampa Bay 3).

The first half was all Rams; it ended 21-3. The Bucs moved the ball well, between the 30’s. But they had trouble finishing drives.

The opening drive saw the Rams take advantage of a good kick return; they capped a 57 yard drive with a nifty screen pass.

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The teams traded punts, then the Buccaneers put together a drive of their own but had to settle for a field goal.

The Rams found their passing game and nailed a 60 yard touchdown pass to a large wide receiver who was isolated in single coverage.

Then after an exchange of punts, a key Tampa Bay drive died. On 3’rd down a quarterback scramble came up 1 yard short of a firt down at the Ram 23. Tampa Bay went for it and got dropped for a loss. The Rams responded with a nice touchdown drive to up it to 21-3.

The Rams got the ball again, and Tampa dropped an interception near mid field.

In the second half, Tampa got a nice drive getting first and goal at the 6. But a run was stopped for a loss; then a penalty moved them back, and then a Tampa receiver dropped a “back shoulder” ball in the end zone. So it was another field goal which made it 21-6.

The Rams responded with an 83 yard drive, capped by a nifty reverse for a touchdown.

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Note the two Tampa Bay players in the background: they were shaken up when they ran into each other.

It was 28-6 going into the 4’th quarter.

Then the Buccaneers took over, at least in terms of yardage. They had run it effectively and now the passing game got going.

It took them 4 plays to move 98 yards (long passes)

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The two point conversion was nullified by a holding penalty so they kicked it…43 yards away (because of penalty yardage).

Then came a kick return from the end zone to the Tampa 3 yard line. But 3 rush plays netted nothing, so the Rams kicked a field goal to make it 31-13.

Tampa had another drive end with a field goal. Then they got the ball back…drove it and got intercepted. They got it back again and with 1:4x to go and no time outs, scored a touchdown to cut it to 31-23. But they were out of time outs and were finished when the Rams recovered the onside kick.

But the Buccaneers had something like 200 yards in the 4’th quarter; it wasn’t enough.

Non-game notes:

As I said in the previous post, I got a cut rate deal on a hotel across the street from the Jones Dome:

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Players entrance rope line to the Jones Dome

Here is where the players enter the JD to go to their locker rooms to dress.

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40 yard line seats

I had 40 yard line seats, right at the top of the first tier. They were great seats; great view of the game. But one had to be at least a little bit active. The luxury boxes were right behind me.

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Pregame and Halftime show

The NFL network had a pregame and halftime show; the set up was mounted on something like a car chassis and the roof/desk set up could be raised and lowered; it was driven on and off of the field.

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kick-off

There were several kick-offs.

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National Anthem

A “map of The United States” in flag colors.

December 18, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Peoria Chocolate Turkey 3 mile run: I stink. Literally.

Yes, as I sit here, I am stinking. This is why. I think that my body chemistry really reacts badly with these high tech shirts.

The day came up sort of gray; we had drizzle before but none during the run. The “cat crap” worked great on my glasses; no fogging at all.

My performance: well, not so good but I didn’t expect much

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This is about a 27:00 5K. The mile splits: 8:36, 8:31, 8:54. The last mile was against the wind and the middle mile was win aided. The main mistake I made was looking at the finish clock and forgetting that I was over 20 seconds faster than that; I really wanted to go under 26 and just missed it.

I think that my strenuous 6 miler two days ago hampered me a bit, and it was about 1 minute slower than last year.

I jogged my warm up from the house and then walked back to cool down. So it was 5 run (2 warm up, race) and 2 walking to cool down.

I saw my doctor and we joked about aging; we’ve been running these for quite a long time. He told me he hit his 5K PR at the 2 mile split. I was never that fast; but I have run a few 4 milers faster than this.

But hey, I am grateful that I have the health and means to do these.

Shoe Store Note Yesterday, I bought new shoes at Running Central; the owner really has turned an old, almost cult like mom-and-pop into a professional enterprise. They are very efficient.

But some of the younger workers amuse me. I got waited on by a young woman with a nose ring who was wearing running leggings. She quickly brought out some shoes that would work for me. But she did amuse me a bit; when she asked me if I was running today’s race, I told her “yes”. She wondered if I’d be wearing the new shoes and I told her “no” and explained at how I usually break into new shoes. She just wanted to remind me not to run the race in shoes I haven’t worn before.

I stifled my desire to say “honey, I ran my first marathon in 1980.” It is better to assume that the customer doesn’t know, and I suppose I don’t look like a runner.

By the way, I wore those old red and grey NB 730 for that race. My time was a pedestrian 3:33 but my sub 3 hour marathon friends had to wait for me since I drove us to the race!

marylandmarathon1980

November 26, 2015 Posted by | running, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s the difference?

Workout notes: still low energy. I wonder if I have a low grade bug or something. I lifted and walked.

Walk: 4 miles outside (Cornstalk classic course in heavy sweats); they now have the hills closed off for the winter, but the footing was good.
Lifting: (leisurely pace)
rotator cuff
pull ups: 4 sets of 10, then one more set of 10 after bench/incline
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 7 x 170 (strong, but didn’t really push because of no spotter; I did have safety catches)
incline press: 10 x 135
military press: 3 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported).
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 single arm dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine
abs and McKenzie exercises.

Post: What is the difference between a “butt shot” and a mere “photo from behind”? I had a (former) FBF complain about what she thought was spandex shots of women..though many (most) were posed shots. That made me think: “what is the difference between these two race photos”, other than one appeals to me and the other one doesn’t?

whatisthedifference

Both of these photos were shot at races and put up on websites (I know the one on the left was without the permission of the subject in the photo..and no, he did not care at all)

November 25, 2015 Posted by | butt, Uncategorized, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Donald Trump: much more politically savvy that many think.

I still remember Scott Adams (the creator of the comic strip Dilbert) writing about Donald Trump having a “clown genius”. I highly recommend reading that article.

I really think that people are underestimating Mr. Trump’s political skill too.

I am on his mailing list and I just got a “campaign update” from him. I’ve reproduced it at the end of this post.
Frankly, it was better written and more effective than most of the BS that I get from candidates that I intend to vote for! It just gives a few snapshots and a brief summary of the events of the campaign.

He has a twitter account and frequently retweets messages from supporters, thus giving the supporters a chance to play a “brief moment of fame lottery”.

Now as far as his policies? Well, let’s just say that he is usually in a “hey, I am a successful rich guy, so I’ll hire “great people” to figure it all out” mode.

Now he has said some things that outrage many people who vote the way that I do. For example, at a recent campaign event, a vocal “Black Lives Matter” protester wasn’t just taken out of the area by security (and I think that is a reasonable thing to do; no one is entitled to a captive audience), but the protester was physically roughed up. When asked about it, Mr. Trump’s campaign said that it didn’t “condone” such behavior but Mr. Trump himself said “maybe he should have been”.

But you know what? I have contempt for those who try to disrupt campaign rallies and the like: how does THIS make you feel?

No, she wasn’t roughed up and the BLM protester shouldn’t have been roughed up either. But Mr. Trump’s answer plays well with many who are exasperated by these self-righteous, noisy, obnoxious “activists”.

Mr. Trump retweeted some of the most ridiculous (satirical troll?) memes I’ve ever seen:

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(for those uncomfortable with numbers: these “statistics” are gibberish and signify nothing)

Mr. Trump also told a whopper about Arab Americans in New Jersey openly celebrating the 9/11 attacks.

But who in the heck really fact-checks their own candidate? The more important thing is that the candidate makes the followers feel welcome and that the candidate appears to share the resentments that their followers share.

I really believe it is a mistake to underestimate this man; I wonder if the Republican establishment does.

Trump’s newsletter to follow:

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November 23, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Refugees take II: I say: “take some, but with conditions”

I’ll add to my previous post.

I am for the US helping out and dismiss much of the rhetoric coming from the various governors as “not in my backyard” stuff to placate the more reactionary members of their constituencies. And yes, an overreaction against these refugees plays right into the hands of ISIS.

But I have some concerns too.

Yes, some (not all) of the refugees are feeling war. But not all of them are; many are already safe from war.

Next: refugees have to adapt to our more universal cultural norms, and that includes freedom of expression. Some Muslims have a big problem with that:

Many coming from outside of the US do not understand that one’s religion is not “protected from insult/death penalty for apostasy” here nor are things like having a death penalty for religious crimes acceptable in the United States.

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I think that when many people see things like the above (taken in Australia, I believe) they have pause. Of course, no one wants this in the United States, save a few of our own wackos (mostly Christian fundamentalist wackos).

So, new people here will have to accept our ways (which is true for all immigrants). Of course, aspects of their culture will enhance our culture.

I suppose that I am saying: yes, we should take refugees, but I see why others might have concerns and these concerns are not merely about bigotry.

And, of course, I think that using a religious test is morally wrong, though I am ok with using “do you understand that in the US we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion” test is fine…when used on ANYONE, regardless of origin or creed.

November 18, 2015 Posted by | social/political, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

College football: mixed for me

Workout notes: 5K run on the hotel treadmill. about 11 minutes for mile 1, followed by 5 minutes at 6.7, 5 at 6.8, 2.5 at 6.9, 7 to 2.5 miles and 7.1 to mile 3, then 6.9 to 3.1 (29:40, I think).

It was enough to get sweaty and take the edge off.

Rams vs. 49’ers in a couple of hours! We are literally across the street from the Jones Dome.

College Football

Illinois vs. Penn State: 39-0 loss.

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Illinois: I am afraid that the team was what I thought they were. I warned people that the Illini got too much credit for blowing out a sleep deprived MAC team and an FCS squad…as I have said (and someone else says here)

Illinois’ early season performance with Bill Cubit at the helm was a nice story — it was. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it’d be to fight through a coaching change one week before a season starts. But fast forward a few months and the reality is that Illinois is a missed Middle Tennessee field goal and a stunning mental gaffe by Mike Riley away from being 2-6.

My call: Penn State 28-17. So my straight up pick and “against the spread” was right.

Note: I had commented on how bad Illinois has been on the road recently. But when I looked at it further and ignored the non-conference games: 2011: 1-3 home, 1-3 road. 2012: 0-4 home, 0-4 road. 2013: 0-4 home, 1-3 road. 2014: 2-2 home, 1-3 road. That is 3-9 home, 3-9 road, exactly the same. The weak non-conference home opponents skew the home/road record a bit.

Texas vs. Iowa State: 24-0 loss
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Texas stunk, again. Here there is a difference between the home/road performances: Texas beat Rice and Kansas State at home, had narrow losses to good California and Oklahoma State teams at home, and beat Oklahoma on a neutral site (still puzzled). But the road games: 38-3 to Notre Dame, 50-7 to TCU, 24-0 to Iowa State. That is 112-10. WTF?

Stupidly, I picked Texas to win AND cover.

Navy vs. South Florida: 29-17 win.

Navy went to 6-1 by rallying for a 29-17 win against a decent South Florida team. It started rough when the Bulls returned a kickoff for a touchdown, but Navy played well, especially in the second half.

navysouthflorida

I got this one right: both straight up and against the spread.

Note: Navy will play in the Military Bowl unless Navy somehow wins out and makes a “big bowl”: that would require being Houston and Memphis on the road and probably beating Temple in the championship game…and beating Army. That is too tough of a task, I think.

To me, 8-4 to 9-3 looks about right.

Notre Dame vs. Temple
Notre Dame won 24-20 in an excellent game between two good teams.

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ND scored the winning touchdown with 2:09 to go and then made a key interception. This one wasn’t easy. Though ND had a good edge in total yardage (467-295), Temple played good red zone defense to keep themselves in the game.

I got this one right too: picked ND to win, and Temple to cover.

Predictions this past week: 3-1 straight up, 3-1 vs. the spread.

Now to watch some NFL ball. :-)

November 1, 2015 Posted by | college football, running, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

This was going to happen sooner or later…

Workout notes: swimming and weights.

Swimming: best in a while; 2000 yards. 500 warm up, 5 x 50 drill (fins), 50 free. 8 x 100 on the 2:10: 1:44, 1:46, 1:44; the rest were 1:42-43. Then 100 back, 50 side, 50 fly (fins)

Weights: 4 sets of 10 pull ups, rotator cuff, incline press (10 x 135, 8 x 150, 10 x 140), 10 more pull ups, military: 5 x 95 (barbell), 1 x 95, 8 x 85, 10 x 40 (dumbbell), rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110.

Body weight (before: 188, home scale)

Swim note: Jason, who ran a 3:09 marathon, finally has caught up to me in swimming, and in today’s “first 500”, he passed me for the first time. A year ago I lapped him. Then it became “1 length”, then “1/2 length”, then “even”, now he is ahead. I knew that this was coming sooner or later. But that is more about his improving and my, well, hitting a local plateau. And 5 years from now, I’ll be wishing I could swim at my current pace, providing I am fortunate to have a healthy 5 years (I feel good right now, but life offers no guarantees).

Articles

Fun: enjoy this “leggings aren’t pants” rant!

Why is academic writing so complex? I got into a discussion about this topic; at times, it is because the subject itself is complex.

Speaking of academia: though this is an Onion article, there is a lot of truth here. Where does appropriate encouragement end “giving false hope” begin?

Iowa Republicans: Jerry Coyne is having fun with this survey on what Iowa Republicans like about Dr. Ben Carson.

I got a taste of them when I attended a McCain rally in October, 2008. In the early part of the rally (before Sen. McCain made his entrance), this went on:

I bit my tongue hard; I wanted to avoid laughing out loud. It was difficult.

October 26, 2015 Posted by | education, politics, swimming, Uncategorized, weight training | , , , , | Leave a comment

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