Apr 23

Just Plain Cool...

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags:

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Sometimes the writings I do for this main page do not have much of a point, and this very well may be one of those times! With about enough NFL Draft in me to last a year, I decided to watch the Braves and Mets for a while. During the game, they were showing the bullpens of the two teams, and it got me to thinking about things in sports that I like. Each sport has its cool and tough places to be, and in baseball, that place is the bullpen...

Bullpens. When I see six or eight guys hanging out in a bullpen, the first thing I think about are my high-school days of riding the team baseball bus and laughing until my sides hurt. Those were some of the best times of my life, and I can't help but think that those guys have some great times joking around out there today in these 50,000 seat stadiums. Yeah, I know, there is a bullpen coach and they are at their "job." But I would do anything to have a secret microphone in a MLB bullpen. And besides the funny stuff that surely goes on, it just looks cool. Guys are always chillin', and yet at the same time have this serious look on their face as they must save the day. The bullpen is the place the team turns when they get into trouble, so the responsibility of the 'pen is enormous. Bullpen guys know this, and they wear this burden on their faces, ready to accept the challenge.

Kick-coverage guys. I am not sure if there is anything cooler or tougher that you could possibly be than a kick-coverage guy. The crowd is jacked up, your team has either just scored or the game is just starting up, and your coach has given you the instructions to fly downfield and knock the piss out of whoever gets in your way, ultimately destroying the ball-carrier. The harder you hit the man with the pigskin, the louder the crowd cheers. Besides all of this, you also get to motion to the crowd (both before and after the kick) to "get up!!" and get in the game via that jumping jack type thing they all know how to do, arms flapping like a bird's wings only upside down...Kick coverage guys are animals and fun to watch. They are usually safeties or fast inside linebackers or similar, and are the guys who live for the huge hit. To me, an awesome part of football is the deep kick-off and watching the return. Then again, I also had CJ Spiller on my favorite team the last four seasons!

Folks in the owner's box. I love it when the TV cameras pan up to the owner's box to see the reaction of those inside. You see, you have to have a crapload of money to own a sports team, and that means you are probably old. So it trips me out to see these old-timers up there sipping their high-dollar cocktails (just out of camera view of course) and reacting to the game below. They look out over the common folk to the athletes they have purchased for entertainment and profit, making decisions on whether or not the performances are up to par. You will also see the "celebrity guest" in owner's boxes a good bit. I'm not kidding, I don't think I've seen a sporting event from the state of Texas - pro or college - without a Bush family member present in the royalty box since GHWB left office....I always get the idea these owner's boxes have all this wild stuff going on that we can't see, like scantily dressed waitresses or jacuzzis filled with party-goers or....

Front-row fans. There is a whole different level of fan that exists between a hard-core fan, and a front-row fan. To be a front-row fan, you have to plan ahead. Way ahead. Often times months ahead. These aren't the seats you can lazy around and get your hands on. You must either get these seats months ahead via stalker-like ticket release awareness, or show up the day of the game (think Clemson's Hill seats), and be the absolute first in line when the gates open...The best of these fans are the ones at hockey games in the NHL. These fans beat the glass like they really want to beat that thing down! You would think that it was required to bump a huge line of coke before sitting front-row at a NHL game. When the players crash the glass, the fans go crazy like they have just been released from a life-prison sentence!...Opposite the hockey fan is the tennis fan. I always laugh when I see the box holding the player's groupies. You will usually find (tennis cool in either a polo or white t-shirt, sunglasses mandatory) a coach, a girlfriend/wife, a friend, another friend, a mother, a father, another friend, and perhaps, another coach. They all hang on every point like it is life or death, and seem to know when the camera is zoomed in on them (like after most points).

Outfield seats at MLB Home-Run Derby. There are few things in sport as pure as a home-run derby. I mean, what is simpler than seeing who can hit a baseball out of the park the most times? This event has been a huge success since its conception back in the early days, and has really taken off in the last ten or fifteen years. In 2008, when Josh Hamilton put on a show in Yankee Stadium, I was captivated with just how fun of an event this must be to attend. Twenty-eight bombs he let go in the first round leaving fans and announcers alike amazed. I love watching all of the folks going nuts in the outfield bleachers. Talk about your dream come true!! Ball after ball after ball come flying into the stands, and fans pile all over each other laughing and high-fiving like they all just one a million bucks. It's like the biggest party you ever saw, with souveneir baseballs flyng into the stands right and left...By the way, this event is always right around my birthday, adding to the festivity for me, personally...

Golf Caddies. Ok, while I would love to be in a bullpen, be a kick-coverage guy, sit in an owner's box or front row, or grab fly balls in the home run derby, I am not so sure I want to be a pro-golf caddie. After all, it seems like actual work! When I was at the Heritage last week though, it was cool to watch all of the caddies as they rolled through. They all had their basic gear: tennis shoes with those super short socks, shorts, polo shirt sorta tucked in, caddie vest, and hat. The players depend on these guys much more than you realize on TV. Every shot sees the caddie involved, and around the green, a caddie damn well better know how to catch a golf ball in a towel. They act as bodyguards of sorts at times, too, even hollering out at fans to be quiet when their player is about to hit or putt. All in all, a pro-golf caddie would be a pretty cool job.

So as I continue like the rest of you to wait until college football season rolls back around, these were just a few thoughts about some things I like about the sporting world. Please add your thoughts to this here: http://fans25.com/discuss-thread.cfm?dt=2843

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Games for Week 13

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Iowa @ Iowa State 2015
My niece, Halle! -- The Top Fan
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Justin Time 22 & Valley Girl with Darius Hamilton...Watch him!!