Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Ultimate Sports Bucket List

As I said at the beginning of this blog, this trip was only the tip of the iceberg in achieving my ultimate sports bucket list. Throughout this trip I've been doing some thinking and planning and have decided to reveal to the world my ULTIMATE SPORTS BUCKET LIST (simply known from this point forward as THE LIST). Below is my list with maybe a little bit of reasoning behind the choices. Of course, they are in no particular order- just thoughts on paper of what sporting events I want to get to before all is said and done. ENJOY!

1. Complete the Ballpark tour- I have 14 done- only 16 to go and by far the easiest I will be able to do will be the West Coast + AZ and CO. I should be close to 20 by this point next year. 

2. World Series- Had a chance to grab tickets for the Giants last year, didn't pull the trigger. I still regret it. But of course, it would only be sweet if I saw the Red Sox in the World Series.

3. Super Bowl- I was in Dallas for the past one, but of course tickets were too expensive. I will get there tho.

4. Kentucky Derby- I am a huge fan of the sport of Kings and the Derby always gets me excited for the end of Spring/beginning of Summer. Drinking Mint Juleps would be sweet at Churchill downs.

5. Olympics (Winter and Summer)- I'm gonna start saving for Rio 2016. What could be better? Olympics and Brazil? I think nothing. I'll start investigating the Winter Olympics, but that could be harder as an accountant as it is in the heart of Busy season.

6. Indy 500- In the Infield, Mark "The Shark" Titus always raves about it. I'll be there soon enough

7. Daytona 500- I don't think you're American till you go to a NASCAR race- especially Daytona (aka Mecca for Rednecks).

8. Wimbledon/Roland Garros/Australian Open- Already done the U.S. Open so check it off the list. The tennis fan in me needs to see all of these great tournaments at least once in my life.

9. World Cup- Can anyone give me a good reason not to go? Just wave that flag.

10. America's Cup- You may be wondering what this is, simple its a prestigious sail-boat race pitting the defending champion (next year the U.S.) vs a challenger that has to go through many qualifying races. While I never took to sailing like my dad did, this would still be a great event to go to and its out in San Francisco next year, always a good time on the Bay.

11. Henley Royal Regatta- Simple, while the Head of the Charles is the biggest/most venerable race in the U.S., Henley is that out in England. No I won't race, but I'd love to attend (especially in the Stewards Enclosure).

12. Row in the Head of the Charles- I think its every rower's dream to do this.

13. The Masters- I love watching golf- I can't play it too well, but I need to get to the Masters at least once in my life time.

14. Golf's US Open- Specifically it'd be great to see it at Pebble Beach in a few years, definitely starting to save.

15. The British Open- Especially at St. Andrews. Historic grounds of golf, gotta be there.

16. Golf at the "Major Venues"- To elaborate, Pebble, TPC Sawgrass, Torrey Pines, St. Andrews, if there is any way to play Augusta please let me know?

17. The Ryder Cup- Gotta love when the U.S. plays Europe in everything. Everyone raves about it, the golf politeness disappears over this weekend. Need. To. See. It.

18. NBA Finals/Stanley Cup- Again, its always important to see a championship series and while I'm not a huge Basketball fan, anyone is a fan during the finals.

19. Attend a Game 7- This is the pinnacle of sports. 1 game everything riding on it. If its for the Championship, even better, but I'll take an ALCS/NLCS combination too.

20. Attend the Final Four- Love that time of year

21. Attend the Rose Bowl- The Granddaddy of em all.

22. Attend the BCS National Championship Game- I can't wait to see the best amateur football players play each other with no money being paid to either teams players. Wait, they get paid on the reg? Oh well, still going.

23. UEFA Championship- Going soccery here, but who doesn't love watching the world's game?

24. Camp Nou/Old Trafford- As a sports fan, you have to love every other sport's important stadiums. These are 2 important ones for Barcelona and Man U fans. I'd love to see a Barca-Real Madrid matchup too.

25. Attend a game at Lambeau Field- Most storied stadium in the NFL? Yes, I'll go watch the Packers play. Just as long as Brett Favre isn't there.

26. Red Sox- Yankees- This will never get old. Gotta go if I can.

27. Auburn-Alabama/Cal-Stanford/UGA-U Florida/UT-Oklahoma/ Harvard-Yale/ Game at Notre Dame Stadium- College Footballs biggest rivalry games, you need to get there if you can. And if you're Irish-Catholic, basically Notre Dame is the best thing since sliced bread. So you have to go to South Bend. Guess I'm going?

28. College Baseball World Series- I love watching this on T.V. While I wish I could have gotten to Rosenblatt, it would still be awesome to go watch this game.

29. Duke-North Carolina Basketball- At Cameron Indoor of course. In the Cameron Crazies section if possible.

30. Little League World Series- Obviously my kids will play in this one day, and it will be easy to go, or else they'll bring dishonor to the family.

I'm pretty sure that is my entire list. Feel free to debate me if you have any doubts on these mentions, and feel free to add anything to this as well.

- Wills

New Photos

So, I've finished putting the final touches on the photos for the Picasa album from my camera. I've got a few more photos on my Blackberry that I'll probably upload later today. These photos are from our trips to Miller Park, US Cellular, The Jake, PNC Park, Citizens Bank, and Nationals Park. There is also an assortment of photos from our touristy-ness around Philadelphia and Washington D.C as well. Here's the Link to the Picasa Album: Also a preview down below:



Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Legend of Zimmerman

This trip has had it all. Offensive outbursts, extra innings magic, a fantastic pitching performance, and of course rain delays (5 in all), yet it had been missing one thing. A walk off win. Truly one of the more exciting situations in sports, we had yet to see. Its a situation every child dreams of- "Wills Fallon (or kid x) up to the plate, 2 outs, bases loaded (usually the case in every situation, but all you need is you representing the winning run, or a base runner as the winning run- but its cooler if its you), 3-2 count. Here's the pitch..." We all know how it happens next. Unfortunately, many of us never get to drive in the winning run- but we can always watch. And that's what we did. We watched/hoped/prayed.

To set the scene, the rain followed us again to Nationals Park. We arrived to the stadium early to take advantage of the $5 beer pregame special they had out in the Miller Light Scoreboard Walk section. We also had a coupon for 1 free beer (You can clearly see our priorities this night). We saw ominous clouds, and knew immediately what that meant. Our chances of playing this whole thing starting at 7 were not great. Incredibly, the game started at 7pm (conspiracy theroists believe its because the pregame $5 beer special ended at first pitch- count me in this camp). But, sure enough, with Ryan Howard up and 2 outs, the skies opened. This was worse than any downpour we had on this trip- as the stadium said "Please take cover from the SEVERE Thunderstorm we are experiencing." Oh, yes Nationals fan's it was "SEVERE".

While the wind and rain provided some cool natural effects (for example in the beginning it was only really raining on the left field section of Nationals Park, leaving the entire Right Field side- us included, dry.) We immediately took cover under stairs leading to the upper deck, which were surprisingly dry. Luckily we still had our $5 pregame beer and our coupon for a free beer. Being with Sam and Mike, we were incredibly smart throughout the night. To keep ourselves occupied, we watched the radar on Mike's smart phone (it didn't look good), talked with some Phillies fans for a bit, and then I (Wills) won a bet on to what that string of lights that looked like a triangle was attached too. Sam said a bridge. Mike said a dock. I said a Naval Boat. Of course, being the genius that I am- I won. I know crazy knowledge to all the Bowdoin students reading this right now. 

Finally, right as we were finishing our Half-Smokes (sausages guys) from Ben's Chili Bowl, the game began. Livan Hernandez resumed pitching and just started getting rocked left and right. While he only gave up 4 runs, every hit seemed as if it was fired out of a cannon. The Phillies were seeing the ball great and it looked to be a long night. But then the bleeding kind of stopped, and while Kyle Kendrick pitched a pretty solid 6 innings, what do you know? The Nationals kind of hung around and cut the deficit to 2.  But, with Ryan Madson coming in it didn't look good for the Nationals.

Now, some background- we had the privilege of watching the Phillies take on the far more fearsome Diamondbacks on Tuesday night. If you remember, Roy Halladay had 15K's but blew it in the 9th inning, and on the drive home all of Greater Philadelphia (even in to Amish Country-bewildering I know) railed on Charlie Manuel for leaving Doc in too long, and not bringing in the fearsome Ryan Madson. Well, maybe Charlie knew something that the rest of Philadelphia didn't.... AND NOW THE FLASHFORWARD TO FRIDAY NIGHT.

Ryan Madson can't even buy an out in the 9th inning last night. While it looked bleak when he came in (I recall telling Sam and Mike that it'd be cool to have a walk off on the last night), all of a sudden there is a bit of buzz going around Nationals Park from both Phillies (the many) and Nationals fans (the few). People are shocked that the Nationals have scored to cut it to 4-3 and are still threatening with a runner on 2nd after Jonny Gomes singles in Jayson Werth (less) and no outs. Add in a sacrifice bunt and for those scoring at home we have runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Your Move Phillies. They elect for the standard intentional walk and now the stage is set 1 out, bases loaded bottom of the 9th. Ian Desmond singles in Danny Espinosa and now its 1 out, tie game, bottom of the 9th and the outfielder formerly known as the pitcher Rick Ankiel strides to the plate. Nothing doing. Strikes out. 2 outs, and up walks Ryan Zimmerman.

Now up until last night, Zimm had 7 walk off homers. I don't know if he knew as he was walking to the plate that he would have a record setting night. But, in my imagination of Ryan Zimmerman, he probably knew what was up. To save you some more reading he works to a full count. At this point, I have my camera recording every moment of this at bat. MLB WHERE AMAZING HAPPENS. Here's probably what's going through Zimmerman's mind "Here we are folks, the plucky Nationals have hung around all night with the Phillies, and Ryan Zimmerman is up to the plate. He's worked it to a full count with the bases juiced. All the ducks on the pond here for Zimm. Madson comes to set, the delivery. SWING AND A DRIVE! WAY BACK! GRAND SLAM FOR ZIMMERMAN. THE NATIONALS WIN!" In fact, that was exactly what went through his head.

Anyways, grand slam walk off home run to win the game for the Nationals. And for Ryan Zimmerman, he becomes the 1st player to hit 8 walk off HRs in his first 7 seasons. Pretty cool stat. As for my take after the game? The Phillies are definitely a force to be recokned with, but two blown games in a span of a few days does nothing but boost my confidence for the potential World Series match up against the Red Sox. While the Phillies have the superior pitching, I think the Sox have the superior hitting, and their pitchers could potentially find some gems. Further, I think I like the Red Sox bullpen right now. When we get to October, I see the game plan as: Beckett/Lester/some 3d guy not named Lackey, Aceves (for however many innings you need him, dude pitched 3 and 2/3ds last night after Miller left), Bard, Paplebon. Go ahead, look that up, if you don't have a lead by the time you get to Aceves, it will be a loss for your team. We are obviously at the disadvantage of not having home field advantage, but once it comes back to Boston I like our chances increasingly more. Am I a homer? Yes, but this is a very realistic situation we are facing ourselves with now. I hope Mike can back me up on this?

Anyways, we did some touristy stuff in D.C. on Thursday before the game. Mike and I explored the National Mall before meeting up with Sam to see the Air and Space Museum. I particularly enjoyed the different War Memorials. Obviously, the Vietnam Memorial is the historic draw (and it is quite sobering when you realize how many people died), but an equally impressive one is the newest one the World War II memorial. Just a huge memorial to all the soldiers that died. Intensely retrospective and somber, it helps you reflect on how great the loss of life was during that war. Kind of like Wrigley, its tough to put into words what these Memorials meant to me, but I think the overwhelming sense I felt was patriotism and gratitude. While I do not know anyone in my family who died in any of the wars memorialized, the service that many paid for their country is clearly felt when you visit the memorials. And its not just for the dead either, its for the livign veterans as well. I think we do forget what they have gone to fighting for the U.S over the years. So, while I don't want to get too political on this blog, I will say: Thank you Armed Service Men and Women around the world and please come home soon.

After touring around the Air and Space Museum I was able to meet up with my good friend Tricia Bryant for dinner at Legal Sea Foods. It was good seeing her/catching up with her as she begins her Law studies. Of course she's a Yankees fan, so its difficult to understand her perspective of baseball, but she is a great friend nonetheless. After that, I met up with Mike Sam and their 3rd Roommate Andrew, for another fun night out in Dupont Circle capped off by pizza at 2 AM. 2 really good slices of pizza that were HUGE! I mean had to be a quarter the size of the full pizza. Unbelievable. The Hawaiian was hard to beat and I devoured it.

Okay, that was long, but I feel like it was a pretty awesome game and I had to detail it in full. I'm going to upload more photos later tonight or tomorrow so check those out. Also, tomorrow I will detail the ultimate sports bucket list that I would like to do by the time I RIP, so check that out too. Other than that, I really don't know what we're going to do with the blog. But, here are the regulars to savor until the next time.

Coming Attractions: We finally got home after quite the drive due to traffic- mysterious traffic caused by a large motorcycle tribute ride and horrible NYC traffic by the George Washington Bridge. While the trip was great, it will be nice to be at home for the next week before I leave for San Jose to start work again. The next major road trip I'll be taking is up to The Gorge to see DMB and others for an incredible weekend. 

What I Like: This entire trip was awesome. While I think Mike and I were both maybe a little unsure this trip would happen (even after talking about the past few years) it was great to do it. It was just fun to travel around and as we both discussed, not worry about anything. We lost track of the days of the week, didn't pay much attention to the crumbling economy around us, we were just 2 kids traveling around watching as much baseball as we could. I don't remember one bad part of the trip- even the driving from NYC to Cincinnati. It was just awesome to travel around for 2 weeks in pursuit of baseball and meeting up with everyone everywhere we went.

What I DIS-Like: Obviously the traffic was a bit painful on this trip. Also, the fact that we thought we had unlimited free drinks and ultimately did not at the game last night was a bit disappointing. Also, the DC Metro System: While incredibly convenient was not well thought out- by this I mean their escalators. Not only are they very steep (very difficult for a clumsy fool like me) but they also always seem to be broken. Please DC Politicos figure this out.

The Food Debate: If you're at Nationals Park, do yourself a favor and head over to Ben's Chili Bowl, the in stadium replica of the iconic D.C. eatery. Once there, get the Half Smoke Sausage "All the Way" (for novices Chili, Cheese Sauce, Onions, and Mustard) and a side of Chili Cheese Fries. You won't go wrong. Trust me.

Bleacher Bums: If I were blind, I would have thought we were at Citizens Bank Ballpark last night. The stadium had to be about 90% Phillies Fans who made the quick drive down to D.C. for the game. The result was an anything but homefield advantage for the Nationals, but was quite enjoyable to see the Phillies fans go home disappointed for the 2nd night in as many days. Also, pretty sure we saw an Amish dude in the stands cheering for the Phillies. While we cannot confirm or deny this, the 3 intelligent ones (Mike, Wills, and Sam) are pretty sure this was the fact. I have a feeling this goes against some sort of Amish tradition. Any experts, please let me know.

DJ MMM: Right now I have the song O.N.E by Yeasayer stuck in my head (go download it if you haven't already), but for the ride home today we listened to a lot of The Weeknd- a very talented Toronto Area rapper (thank you Drizzy Drake). Go listen to his newest mixtape if you can.

And that's all for you guys. I'll do the ultimate sports bucket list tomorrow as well as a final photo album. Then who knows what happens to this blog. As always thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed living vicariously through Mike and I!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Keystone State

No silly, not 30 stones, I'm talking about Penns woods, or as many of you know it by- Pennsylvania.

We have spent 3 days in the lovely state of Pennsylvania, and we have enjoyed it quite nicely. While we saw a game at PNC(where the Pirates FINALLY won a game over the Cards), the real highlight of the trip was Citizens Bank Ballpark and the witnessing of Roy Halladay's greatness. Well, the only thing really of note to happen at PNC is the streak stayed alive and we got kicked out of a sparsely populated section in the 8th inning for not having tickets for that area- seriously?

So, any time you get to see the Phillies play, you should go. Why you may ask? You have an 40% chance(confirmed by stat guy mike) of seeing Halladay or Lee pitch. That is a ridiculous high percentage for 2 Cy Young winners. Luckily, we had both options available to us because of a rain out on Sunday. How you may ask? Simple, Halladay was originally scheduled to pitch Sunday and Lee on Tuesday. Due to the rainout, Halladay was pushed back to Tuesday and Lee to Wednesday. Since we didn't buy tickets until about 1130pm on Monday night, it was a perfect case of pick your poison. Do you want a stud Righty who could pitch a no-hitter at any moment? Or do you want a stud Lefty who could also rake at the plate?

We went with Halladay, and we were rewarded with a phenomenal performance. Halladay went the distance, racking up a mezmorizing 15k's and just completely befuddling the Dbacks lineup. He made professional players look like little leaguers with his combination of fastball, changeup, and curve. Just pure dominance. The night could have been even more special had he not allowed the first 3 batters to get on (2 of which scored) and squandering his 1 run lead and thus losing the ballgame. But he was phnnomenal nonetheless and the same way people talk about seeing Nolan Ryan pitch, Bob Feller pitch, Sandy Koufax pitch, or Bob Kibson pitch- we can now say the same about good ole' Doc Halladay.

In other notes around the game my burgeoning baseball career took a 5 mph step backward as I was only able to hit 71 on the gun out in right field. Its fine though, on Sunday I've got some long toss scheduled and a running+weights session to build up my stamina to get back to 80 mph's for the scouts.

The streak was also kept alive that night by Shane Victorino (the Flyin Hawaiian) going deep for a 2 run jack. Thank you Shane for paying attention to this blog. Supporting the cause is a big deal for all of us, and by going boneyard you ensured we can head into the final game with the streak in tact.

We'll move the food debate out of the usual section just so we can talk about the cheesesteak elephant in the room: Geno's or Pat's. Well in a shocking upset, Tony Luke's takes the cake in Mike and I's book. We were able to get our tourist on with Mrs. Fishman and Alie as they were there moving in- pretty sweet place I will say.

Because we hadn't had any eaten bfast yet- once we picked up Alie and Mama fish from the U-haul in West Philly (yes that West Philly for those singing along to the Fresh Prince theme song at home- from Mike "if I were Will Smith I wouldn't be upset going to Bel Aire") it was safe to say we were starving. Our first stop was scheduled to be John's, on recommendation from Big Don Fisher, unfortunately that was short lived as the grill was shut down since it was 245 and it closed at 3. So, on to Tony Luke's. Maybe it was the hunger in our eyes(I mean stomachs) or the endless amounts of grease coming off our food, but everything at Tony Luke's was delicious. The cheesesteak was simple, just a ton of meat+wiz and it was on a perfect bun. The cheesey fries+onion rings+mozzarella sticks were delicious as well. Maybe it was the wait we had, but it was mouthwateringly delicious, and not overly filling (I mean let's be serious, I actually contemplated doing the Tony Luke's ultimate challenge).

Anywhoo, after doing the touristy things: I.e Boathouse Row and running the Rocky Steps(I'm out of shape)it was time to retire to Alie's new bachelorette pad. After hanging there for a bit, and creepily observing the party going down by the pool, it was time to bid adieu. But not after sampling Geno's and Pat's- who in a weird act of cosmic fate are seperated by no more than 50 feet.

We decided to do what any normal person would do- get 2 cheesesteaks and split them. While we were not disappointed by either culinary creation, we were disappointed by the overwhelming flavor of pepper's and onions from Geno's. If your sandwhich is the cheesesteak, a complimentary additive such as peppers and onions should never overwhelm the sandwhich. Pat's on the other hand, was delicious- subtle taste of onion's but not overpowering. However, it could not top Tony Luke's. Thus, Tony Luke and his cheesesteak is the winner.

And, for those counting at home: Yes, that's 2 cheesesteak's in less than a 5 hour period. Or, exactly what your doctor does not advise. I swear people are jealous of my metabolism. I'm a fat kid at heart.

On to the stars of the shows:

Coming Attractions: We're enroute to D.C now. We just smelled Jersey and thankfully left it behind us. Touristy day tomorrow before Friday's game between the Phillies and Nationals- really looking forward to seeing that stadium.

What I Liked: Mike and I enjoyed the menu selection of SPRTR where we enjoyed the pre-game happy hour with Bobby Fisher and his dad Big Don. Unbelievable deal, half priced beers+ half priced appetizers allowed us to be very full before entering Citizen's Bank.

What I DIS-Like: Garmin has no idea how to navigate Pittsburgh. Very difficult to get lost there. Also, we don't appreciate the usher in the section half-way between 3rd base and the foul pole at PNC. Sir, when its not a sellout, you really shouldn't come in the 8TH INNING to check tickets. Relax bro, your team is falling faster than the stock market.

The Food Debate: The Mexican style chicken wings and wild boar taco's were delicious at SPRTR. But, I'll tell you what my fall season beer will be: Weyerbacher Pumpkin lager. It was unbelievably smooth and delicious but talk about about flavor. You could smell the Pumpkin from the moment you went to take a sip and the smell of pumpkin pie still resonates in my memory. Definitely want it in the fridge in a few weeks.

Bleacher Bums: Gotta love the love for Harry Kalas last night. Most teams will pay for a statue and commission it and take all the credit. Not so in Philly- the fans actually paid for the statue and completely designed it for the Broadcast legend they so dearly loved. Obviosuly, being in Boston we love Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy and Joe Castiglione, but Philly loved Harry Kalas and he loved them back. Also, another sellout at the Bank last night. Great environment out there last night, but a bit of a downgrade that they had to put a noise meter up for fans that are supposed to be passionate- just a bit amateur if you ask me.

I think that's it for today. No baby howitzer controversy here, just good ole family tales and stories from all the places we've been. Debate cheesesteak in the comments.


Monday, August 15, 2011

The Rookie

During the postseason chase, there is a premium on bullpen pitchers. One day's stud, is the next day's demotion. As the Red Sox are learning with Franklin Morales, many teams are just happy to get rid of their relievers for next to nothing. Sometimes you just need that diamond in the rough.

To all Major League Baseball teams, I would like to submit my resume of work to anyone interested. Brief background, I played catcher and 3B up until sophomore year of high school, but I had to give it up to pursue my budding tennis career. Throughout college I played softball, intramurals, corporate and slosh, and was a force to be recokned with. Further, on weekends I was a member of the fearsome A-Team Baseball team striking fear in the hearts of everyone around Santa Clara.

Why does this matter? Well, during yesterday's rain delay in Cleveland, we found a speed gun challenge secballpark. 3 throws for $1, it was a wise investment. With scouts/fans all over the place, and with no warm up whatsoever, the 6 foot 3 inch, 195lb incredibly good looking threat- Wills Fallon took 3 pitches- topping hitting 76 mph on the gun, without even breaking a sweat. I felt loose/limber and my arm doesn't even hurt this morning. I went back later and again got in the 70+ mph range so I am encouraged by this. I'm pretty sure that on a steady workout and throwing schedule I should be able to start getting to the mid to high 80s by the end of August, and low 90s by the middle of September and the high 90s by game one of the LDS' games. Perfect timing.

Major league teams should also know that I will be working with the world famous pitching coaches Thain Simon and Joe Supple to perfect my delivery and my swag on the mound. Further, my strength and conditioning coach is Kenny Powers as I am exclusively on the K-Swiss label. While it has been close to 7 years since I last competitively played baseball, I have learned the intricacies of strategy and developed my confidence to not be afraid of any man. Take the DNA of Brian Wilson and mix it with the DNA of Jonathon Paplebon and what you get is Wills Fallon. FACT!

Also, as any of my fellow A-Teamers can attest I am an offensive threat and can hit for the cycle at any point.

For those interested in signing me for a tryout, please leave a comment in the comments section, or email at My agent will be Mike Mitchell and I will be commanding a hefty signing bonus with a contract in the high Six figures- I also will not play for the Yankees. I will be the face of the franchise during the post-season chase.

As you can see, the past 2 games were pretty boring, so we had some fun with this blog post.

Coming Attractions: We're en route to Pittsburgh to see the Cards vs Pirates tonight. While this game would have been 100x better had the Pirates still had a chance, the Cards are now playing with a sense of urgency as they try to catch the Brewers. After a disappointing showing in STL we're hoping Pujols goes deep tonight.

What I Like: My chances of signing a major league contract at the end of this trip.

What I DIS-like: The rain. Seriously, can you give us a break mother nature? Long rain delay in Chicago, rain-out in Cleveland, and it looks like we're headed to another rain storm in Pittsburgh. Stop doing this to us.

Bleacher Bums: I was thoroughly disappointed in the Chicago White Sox fans we saw on Saturday. They seemed more interested in drinking and talking to other rando people than in actually watching the game. US Cellular (and Progessive) was also not particularly modern as they were both built just before the shift in stadium construction were sightlines would be improved and you could see the field from wherever you were. The rain delay in Cleveland was fun as we made friends with other fans, found more "Bottoms Up" beer, and furthered Wills' major league chances.

Food Debate: we enjoyed the Harry Buffalo in Cleveland once we left the game. Pretty delicious burgers (read huge) and great wings for a very cheap price.

DJ MMM: Still loving Watch the Throne and starting to fall in love with Frank Ocean and the Weeknd. Go check all 3 of those things out.

That's all folks, we'll keep you posted with contract news. Gotta go though, Buster Olney's on hold.

- W+M

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Teach me how to Bernie

Continuing our tour of the great midwest, the past 2 days have brought us to the city by 2 lakes- Madison. Thanks to Mike's Job at Epic, we were able to get a free hotel room as we looked for an apartment for him, Sam, and Andrew in downtown Madison. After going around the city looking at different hotels, I'm pretty sure that I'll be visiting here when I can, especially in the Fall as the Badgers take on some formidable new Big 10 foes. I may even try to come on Thursday nights, as that is when it appears the Orpheum is off the chain with their weekly dubstep concerts. Cause I LOVE DUBSTEP!

Anyways, Thursday pretty much involved us looking around for different apartments for the 3 trouble makers. I was able to meet up with good friend Nick McNaughton, who is doing an awesome cross country road-trip and happened to be in Madison at the same time as us. While the 3 amigos were out looking at apartments, Nick and I explored the city of Madison- and by city I mean Camp Randall Stadium- huge. This is also probably a good time to say I had the best Corn Dog ever over at State Street Brats, which is kind of like a much more deluxe Bronco right in the middle of downtown WISCO- when I visit, I'll pretty much be there all day.

I was also able to meet up with Mike Ou, a fellow Prep Eagle, who rows at Madison. As a rowing nerd, it was pretty cool to go see their boathouse- much better than Lexington, and just look in awe of the the facility. Mike was apologetic that I couldn't meet their legendary coach, Chris Clark, who I'm sure if I mentioned Vees there would have been some great stories. Of course, we met one of their assistant coaches who rowed under Vees, who had some good impersonations of Vees as well.

All of this was an appetizer to our appearance at Miller Park later that evening. When we booked this trip, we were excited because it appeared as if the Pirates were going to make a run at the playoffs, and the Brewers were in the same position as well. Of course, since that horrible call in Atlanta, the Pirates have regressed back to the mean- a few days after the trading deadline which is like a double whammy. And now the Pirates are plummeting down the standings, while the Brewers are rocketing up. But, nonetheless we were looking forward to Zack Greinke's pitching, and also redemption from Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder from their abysmal performances a few days ago in St. Louis. ANNND, we wanted Bernie Brewer to go down the slide.

This may be a good point to mention that in our quest for good seats, we purchased $10 seats in the ADA Loge Section of Miller- without any sort of thought of what ADA meant. Of course, now in hindsight we know that it means American's with Disabilities Act seats, meaning we could not, in good conscience, take these seats. So for the first 4 innings we just stood around the park and scouted for some good seats. We were rewarded with Greinke pitching fantastically and efficiently through the first 4 or 5 innings and winding up with a total of 9 K's through 7 2/3 innings. But, up until the 8th we had seen no homer's from anybody, and were in danger of getting our first shutout homerun game. Not a good sign.

Bottom 8, and we're now scared that our streak is in jeopardy. But, we have faith cause Braun and Fielder are due up 1st and 2nd respecitvely. BOOM Braun goes oppo boneyard off the Pirates reliever, the place goes nuts. More importantly, Bernie Brewer goes down the slide. Fielder comes up next and with the place still going nuts, HE GOES JACK CITY. Yes, that's right back to back Jacks. First time we've seen that all trip. So, no sooner does Bernie Brewer get down the slide, he has to go right back up. Pretty awesome sight. And, we saw K-Rod leg out an infield single to the first baseman,  beating him in a bang bang play. But, he may have hurt himself as he wasn't able to finish warm-ups in the top of the 9th.

The categories with the discussion of how to warrant a shout out and mention of the Sausage Race:

Coming Attractions: We're wrapping up here in Madison and scheduled to roll-out to Chicago for the White Sox around 11. A little nervous heading back there because the weather is looking iffy and we have to be somewhere in the middle of Indiana tonight to make the drive easier to Cleveland tomorrow. Hopefully we get a good game tonight, but weather may be an issue.

What I Like: Madison the city was pretty awesome. Great college city that will just come to life in a few days. The boathouse is also quite awesome, and while I am jealous that they have great facilities, they definitely do not have the weather we get year round.

What I DIS-Like: State Street Brat's not serving Corn Dogs past 9 o'clock. Come on guys, even the Bronco does that. It would have been delicious.

Bleacher Bums: So aside from the whole snafu of figuring our seats out. Where neither Mike nor I wanted to take seats from people less able bodied than us, we enjoyed Miller Park. It was packed, the 20th sellout of the season, and the fans were loving every minute of it. It would have been great to get there early and tailgate, but time was prohibitive so we just sniffed the aroma's of brats and grills, and watched the finishing rounds of cornhole (not as good as bags). The Sausage race was also quite enjoyable, I've got a video of it so hopefully it will get on Facebook quickly. While the race was good, there were no Charlie Wildcard instances of tripping or dirty tactics and so the Polish sausage won (I think this marks the first time a Pole has won in anything). I also tried to make friends with the little kid next to me. Clearly, he had seen enough Stranger Danger to talk to me. Oh well.

The Food Debate: Aside from the Corn Dog at State Street Brat's, we tried the Brat's and Cheese Curds at Miller and were pleasantly surprised. The secret stadium sauce was delicious as well, but I was kind of expecting an animal style sauce from In n Out, but only got a dark BBQ sauce looking concoction., It was still quite good and went well on the brats and curds. I think i may be pushing 2 bills right now... uhoh.

DJ MMM: Here is an explanation for shout outs. If you want a shout out, you can't simply request a shout out (cough cough K-Fal), you actually have to do something. Mrs. Mitchell got one for organizing this trip, my mom got one for the cookies, Cati Mitchell now gets a shoutout for supplying us with Watch the Throne. We listened to this album all the way into Milwaukee and I must say it is quite the album. Aside from the Ego flouting, Jay-Z and Yeezy really do a great job working together and I hope I could save a bit of money to go see them in SJ in a few months.

So for shoutouts: You must do something or supply us with something or meet up with us in a city to get shouted out. Katherine/Katie/K-Fal you've received your name in this blog a few times as an example, but in the future please do something for us and you'll get a good name drop.

I think that is all for today, send more and more questions in (I'm telling you our inbox is overflowing) and we'll answer them sometime this up coming week!


Friday, August 12, 2011


It's been a long time coming, but here are some pic's from the trip so far. If these don't work swing on over to our Picasa Website:

 Packed and Ready To Go
 Johnny Bench
 Charlie Hustle
 Great American Ball Park
 National League Standings
 Proof we were at GABP
 Budweiser Hitch
 The Arch... Where's Nelly?
Really Cool Worlds Fair Chandelier from 1901

New Blog Post will come tomorrow on the road to Chicago.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pure Baseball

Whatsup guys, hope you all enjoyed Mike's post. Here's a none on Wrigley!

There is a problem in baseball. The game is not for the true fans anymore. You have corporate luxury boxes, psl's, advertising on the wall's, dugouts, scoreboards, even bathrooms. Couple that with tickets+food that can cost a family of four well over 100-200 dollars per game, and you've got a fan composition of corporate honcho's, pink hat's, and worst of all- empty seats.

In the Bleachers at Wrigley, there is no such problem. There is no Budweiser fan section, no EMC club, no $8 beers+$10 nacho's, and GASP no gigantic HD LED firework launching scoreboard. If you were born in the late 80s or early 90s you might wonder how baseball could survive.

Here's how. Simply pure unadulterated baseball. Okay, maybe there were a few sponsorship signs. But I think we counted maybe 5 total advertisements around the park. The lack of a multi-million dollar jumbotron did not, contrary to popular belief, affect the viewing experience. If anything it made it better, more real. Coupled with the organ playing up in the press box if you closed your eyes, you'd think you were back in the early to mid 1900s. If you've never been to the stadium, its very difficult for words to even do it justice. So I won't try to describe it anymore. With the iconic ivy on the wall, its safe to say Mike and I were like little kids going googley eyed over the prettiest girl at the dance. Every true baseball fan has to go to Wrigley at least once in their life.

It was great sharing the fun night with Spencer and Casey at the ballpark. Obviously Spencer being a resident Chicagan, helped enhance the experience by explaining more of the ballpark, the traditions, and even helping us with the lyrics to Go Cubs Go- their version of dirty water. Really awful song, but its like Dirty Water, every time they win, the song's played.

Afterwards we headed out to see a few of the finer watering holes around the city with Meghan Skarzynski and her good friend Max. After being in Chicago a few years ago under the age of 21, it was fun seeing a different side of Chicago and enjoying drinks at the different bars. Mike and I particularly liked the 312 (can't figure out if pronunciation is Three One Two or Three Twelve) but it was delish from Goose Island. We also met up with Eric Tremblay who we were staying with in our cab ride over to another establishment- talk about small world! At this point I'll apologize for Casey to anyone he texted last night and annoyed anyone with.

And now what you've all been waiting for:

Coming Attractions: In Madison right now helping Mike and his future housemates look for apartments. Makes me really look forward to moving in with Thain, Nikko, and Macko in a few weeks. Tomorrow we'll do Miller Park, hopefully with a tour of the Miller Factory too. Also, good friend Nick McNaughton is in town on his Wisconsin leg of his cross country road trip so he'll be joining us tonight through tomorrow as well. Maybe a few SCU folks will get a phone call from us the next few days.

What I Liked: Wrigley- is there any question? The Windy City was also really cool, its a must see on anyone's travel plans. Oft forgotten after NYC, LA and other major cities, it definitely holds it own.

What I DIS-liked: Kind of up in the air on how I feel about this, but the restrooms under the Wrigley bleachers didn't have the trough urinals. Even though this grotesque and very awkward bathroom set up is weird, it might be the only park to have this since Fenway got rid of this a while ago.

Food Debate: Outside of the ballpark we went to Giordano's for Deep Dish. It was so good+so filling that we saved some for bfast/lunch today, deep dish is Chicago. Inside the ballpark the food was unbeatable. $1 hotdogs, and the sign says you are limited to only 10 per purchase. Still pretty ridiculous! Also, forgot to mention this after Cincinnati, but you need to try Lienenkugel's Summer Shandy brew. It may rival Sam Adams Summer Ale as my favorite seasonal. But, it tastes like a perfect blend of Lemonade and Beer. Don't judge me.

DJ MMM: We're really struggling with not being able to get the highly anticipated CD of the summer: Watch the Throne. But, we've made do with Frank Ocean a great R&B star who I will have to add to my iTunes immediately after this trip, and 1 half of OutKast- Big Boi. Of course, driving into Chicago we blasted Kanye.

Other Sheanigans: Yesterday morning when I went to take my shower, I noticed a mysterious white film on my shampoo bottles. Some mischevious littgone in there and opened up my shampoo much to my chagrin. So, where does that leave me? With a miniscule amount of shampoo and a fully stained outter pocket of my bag. Solved it by raiding the Millenium Hotel in STL of their shampoo. Further, I thought it was free refills at the hotels Starbucks stand, of course it was not- but I was able to refill it for free because I am incredibly good looking and charmed the verona blend beans off the Barista.

I think that is all. But, mike and I want to do a question and answer session with our followers so please email us with some questions: and we'll blog our replies!



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Only Thing Better Than Beer

So this is Mike making a guest blog post as Wills as driving us up to Chicago. Last night was game 3 in St. Louis. As we crossed the Mississippi yesterday, we could see both the arch, the stadium, and our hotel, so needless to say we were pretty well located (thanks mom!)

 Well, check in at the hotel wasn't for another hour after we got in to the city, so we did best thing there is to do in St. Louis, visit the Budweiser beer factory. The tour took a little over an hour, and we got to see their entire brewing and bottling process, and the clydesdales (who were humongous). Then at the end we had the most important part of the tour, the free beer. Fresh buds right from the brewery are just delicious.

We went to the game soon after the tour. The stadium was gorgeous and the fans were very intense. We went into the game expecting the home run tally on our trip to continue to grow (it was at 10 through 2 games) with the power hitters on both the cards and brewers. We were wrong. The game was a low scoring with Corey Hart hitting the lone home run of the game. The big sluggers for both teams something like 3-23. The cardinals mounted a comeback to tie the game 3-3 in the 9th and had albert up with two outs and a runner on in the 9th but he finished his 0-5 game with a weak popup to right. The brewers put a rally together in the tenth and the cardinals couldn't do anything against John Axford, so the game ended with a final score of 5-3 with the visitors winning the second straight on our trip.

Here come the highlights:
Batting Cleanup: I first have to deal with a few things from previous blogs. First off, I don't know why, but wills was under the impression that courtney and erin's last name was Johnson. He is wrong. It is miller.
He also forgot to mention that in the late stages of the game in cincinnati, the 4 of us were shown on the jumbotron. Probably because we were having so much fun yelling YAHTZEE! We are still waiting to make it on the kiss cam.
My mom also want a shoutout. Because while the roadtrip was initially our idea, she pretty much made us go on it.

Coming Attractions: We are currently on our way to the windy city for a cubbies game. We have bleacher seats and this game promises to be one of the highlights of the trip.

What I Like: Beer: Its the best. And the only thing better than beer, is free beer.
What I Don't Like: Getting carded. Really I don't even mind getting carded at the game and at bars, but wills makes fun of me every time it happens. I unfortunately don't have the advantage of being 6-4 with a beard. Getting carded is better than being confused for a steelers fan like wills was this morning at the hotel.

The Food Debate: Another thing wills forgot to mention about cincinnati were the nachos. The gave a huuuge plate of nachos piled high with tons of toppings. We both also tried the nachos at Busch Stadium last night. They were pretty good but not as quality as the ones at GABP. I have also been getting a hot dog or sausage at every park. The foot long at citi field was pretty standard. Got a sausage at GABP, which was a little below average for the cost (and they didn't even have peppers and onions right there, we had to go searching for them). The hot dog at Busch was a small, grilled hot dog that was pretty tasty and cheap, plus the condiment station was very extensive, with bbq sauce, hot sauce, and ranch dressing in addition to the mainstays.

Bleacher Bums: The people in the seats next to, and in front of us both left after about 2 innings so we were kind of on an island by our self. We did make friends with the guy who was a few seats down from us, despite the fact that he was a yankees fan.

That is all for now, we will be checking back in tomorrow after wrigley


Tuesday, August 9, 2011


 Its funny what you get to talking about at baseball games, especially after 2 rain delays and its only the 7th inning around 1130pm. If you remember the childhood card game Yahtzee, this will be a funny story for all of you. I'm just going to assume, since I'm lazy, that everyone remembers Yahtzee.

Back story, we attended the game with the Mitchell's friends Courtney and Erin Miller- we stayed with Courtney and they got us the hookup for tickets (prime foul ball territory). Any who, Courtney is a kindergarten teacher, who on summer break, forgot how many letters where in the alphabet- she said 10... Of course there are 26. Had a rhyme for everything, because kindegartners can't remember anything without a fun rhyme (a process Tim Geraty and Peter Olinto are doing in my CPA studying too). Well the conversation turned to onomatopia's in conversation. Of course, being the genius that I am, I said "YAHTZEE!" Because in my mind, the yahtzee sound is what I think of when we're playing a game of yahtzee, kind of how like boom accurately describes a gun blast or a firework. Well, of course no one would let me live this down so "YAHTZEE" became the rallying cry for the rest of the game. When Brandon Phillips went first-pitch-pinch-hitting swinging and went boneyard, of course the refrain was "YAHTZEE!" Oh what fun Mariemont's kindergarten class will have in class this fall.

Now, prior to Yahtzee, what we wanted to talk to you guys about/educate everyone about, was the apperance of "Bottom"s Up Beer." Maybe you have seen this on the news or at a game, but this easily could be one of the best inventions right behind the wheel, the light bulb, and sliced bread. The contraption fills the cup from the bottom through a little hole in the bottom covered with a magnetic covering to keep the beer in. What results is less foam/head and more beer for your money. While the cups are a bit expensive(59 cents/cup), it will be interesting to see how this takes off across ballparks. Mike also demonstrated what could be a new fun game by pushing up on the hole of the cup, popping off the magnet and allowing the beer to flood out (I always thought he was the smarter one). Its kind of like a modified game of shotgunning/torpedoing a beer. I think we'll have to investigate this along the way as we find more bottom's up beer guys.

Before the game we went to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and saw some pretty cool exhibits. They had a Johnny Bench exhibit and it did well to educate us all on how great of a ballplayer Bench was. Its crazy to think he was 19 when he started and came to be a central part of the Big Red Machine. That team/time for the reds was one of the most dominating times in baseball, winning 210 games over 2 years+ 2 championships. Unfortunately, since then they've only won 1 World Series (1990) and have struggled in futulity most of the time.

Of course the elephant in the room was Pete Rose, but they did an okay job honoring him with a wall of baseballs symbolizing his 4256 hits, which was pretty awe inspiring. They had photos and statues of Charlie Hustle all over the place, but missing from the cincy hall of fame plaques was pete. Its a shame, we all realize what he did, but to not let easily the greatest hitter in baseball into the hall is a travesty. If players start getting into the Hall with steriods inflated numbers, I believe Rose has the best case to be included in the hall. Here's my vote for Pete Rose.

And now what you've been patiently waiting for:

Coming Attractions: St. Louis and the land of Budweiser. We're on the road now with the express goal of trying to hit the Budweiser factory in time for a tour before the game. We might even see a fight tonight between the Cards and Brewers spilling over from last week's brawl in Milwaukee.

What I Like: Great American was a beautiful ballpark, filled with passionate fans, even though the teams god awful. Cincy is one of the historical teams and it would be great if they can get back into it in a few years. It was also awesome seeing Brandon Phillips go boneyard on the first pitch of his only at-bat. Talk about electricfying!

What I DIS-like: the rain. We had another delay last night, 2 to be exact, as the rain just opened up and drenched the field. This needs to change and change quick.

The Food Debate: its official, I'm going to be fat at the end of this trip. We tried everything great in Cincinnati, Skyline Diner (delicious chili- 5-way of course), Montgomery Inn's pulled pork sandwhich with delicious BBQ sauce, and most importantly Greyter's ice cream- huge chocolate chip chunks. Just delicious food all around!

Bleacher Bums: its always a good sign when the bar tender's at the "Bottoms Up" beer stand see you coming towards them and immediately begin to fill a cup for you. We definitely became friends with them last night. Another big offensive game last night. 6 home runs, highlighted by another 2 home run game from Seth Smith. We bring the fireworkes to every game no doubt.

I think that's all. We're going to stop and pick up Watch the Throne for our drive, and then we'll be in St. Louis! Enjoy everyone!

- W+M

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A little slice of Heaven on 3rd Ave

A WARNING: This is a long blog, but highly entertaining, you will regret it if you stop now. I'm serious.

Every once in a while you go on an adventure in a major city at around 11pm and find a place you never knew existed. Last night, our first night in Manhattan, we found heaven...

After a delicious dinner at Anthony's coal fired pizza (described as crispy on the crust, but nice and gooey on top) in White Plains with Emily and Josh, we were ready to head into Manhattan for the next few days. we made it to the train stop by the skin of our teeth, helped by Josh's great driving skills- Mike and I also put our running skills to test as we sprinted to the train to make the express one. Of course, being the stud athletes we are, we made it- like Usain Bolt. The train for a weird reason was filled with a bunch of Tony Tough Nuts and their little girliefriends going to something in NYC. Since Mike and I were pretty sure they were under the age of 21 (perhaps even younger than 18), we were shocked to see water bottles filled with colored liquids. Kids these days.

Anyway, we got to Grand Central (a little bit overrated in my opinion) and got onto the 6 subway to get to Nora's apartment. After a bit of navigation difficulties, we learned how to get lost in NYC at the most opportune time 11pm, we got settled at Nora's apartment and then went out to meet up with Mike's friend from Bowdoin- Val. This is where the night most definitely got fun.

After hanging out at Val's apartment (and getting sick of looking at the inconveniently placed hotel) we decided to go out and explore the night-life in the city. After much difficulty to figure out where to go we got to the corner of 25th and 3rd where a small blue and yellow trimmed building was located. Outside an Irish flag waved while the name was "The Hairy Monk." For the sole reason of the name, Mike decided the name of that bar was where we needed to go saying in fact "I like the sound of it." We entered, and the rest of history.

Boom, immediately we walk in and someone innocently says "look a Red Sox sign." Immediately we were immersed in all things Boston. Mike and I were giddy like two little boys on Christmas. We decided we should probably hang out there for a little while- make some friends and maybe even play "Sweet Caroline" or "Dirty Water." At the time I don't think anyone of the other patrons cared that we were from Boston (of course we didn't have our hats on at the time), but we were at home. I can imagine its one of those feelings that revolutionary's feel plotting a take over deep behind enemy lines. We were in the heart of Yankee land, but surrounded by Red Sox/ Boston sports greatness memoribillia.

When a Bar says try our "enter creative name here" drink, a word to the wise says you shouldn't. With The Hairy Monk, it was "Monkey Punch."" It also didn't stop the much smarter than I Mike McGrath Mitchell from going to order 2 to split amongst us 3. While it was a tasteful concoction of 151 and rum punch, I think all of our bodies would have been better served not drinking it. But, in hindsight, we would never have met Sage, the bouncer who was a huge Yankees fan (still can't figure that out- unforgiveable) and a Packers fan (forgiveable cause who doesn't at least have 1% of packers blood in you). We learned he was a Packers fan by demonstrating how to put on the Championship belt in a way that would make Aaron Rodgers proud. He said he'd be at the door at 2pm the next day, we said we'd come back cause we wanted to watch the Red Sox-Yank's game of course. We went back later that afternoon (see what I did there) and he was no where to be found.

So that sum's up our New York trip in a nutshell. We also made it out to the Mets game last night. Delayed by an hour due to rain, we were actually quite impressed by the field itself (even if they are in financial troubles.) Beautiful new ballpark, great sightlines, except for the weird footbridge out in right-center. While the stadium construction may have been funded by Bernie Madoff and associates, this bridge did not have to be there. Mets won in a slugfest- 5 homeruns, including 1 from Jason Bay finally rewarding the Mets for breaking the bank on him (I'm sensing a theme for the mets- how not to run an organization). And some god awful pitching on both sides. Hands down the best part of the night was our 2 seat neighbors. One knew the entire schedule for next year. Ya, what day, against who, wheere they'll play etcetra. He also just announced this to no one in particular. The other was the Queens Pavoratii. Every time a Met's pitcher struck a Brave out the call was "HAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!! STRUCK. HIM. OUUUUT!!!" Of course there were Braves fans in front of us. Of course we will continue that heckle in every other city.

Now to the mainstays:

Coming Attractions: We've been up since 630 am on our Journey to Cincy. About 3 hrs away now in Coal County PA (think border of WV and PA and then NEVER EVER drive this way). Looking forward to seeing the Reds and Rockies tomorrow, 2nd time I've seen the Rox this year- should be fun.
What I Like: The Hairy Monk. Need the story say more?

What I DIS-like: This drive is miserable- but Mike and I have had fun. Oh yea and the rain stunk- I didn't bring a rain jacket at all on this trip. And, never buy a six pack at 11pm. For real it cost me $16 for a sixer of Heniken, never again. Dude never even rung it up- just $16. I tried to question it
and I got shut down. Navigating the city too was tough

The Food Debate: As mentioned before Anthony's coal Fired pizza was quite delish. Perfect amount of crispiness + the right amount of gooey cheese. I will say though that The Shake Shack did not live up to my expectations. For the uninitiated think In N Out in the middle of Madison Square Park. Now think 1 hour line quite unfitting of the worthiness of the burger. In the debate of the Big 3 burger chains, Mike and I put it 3rd behind 1a/1b In N Out and 5 guys. Also, loaded a Footlong Nathan's Hot Dog with enough sauerkraut, bbq'd tomatoes, relish, ketchup, and mustard to feed a starving country + Fried Dough at the game (pretty sure that cut about 10 years off my life.)

DJ MMM: We've listened to a ton of music today starting with Avicii @ Governor's Island- I know brah. Really liking Sleigh Bells, 2 Door Cinema Club, and The Weeknd. Basically we brought Lollapalooza to us.

Hoping this is the longest post of the trip- but we set the bar high with New York and are pumped to move on with hopefully a cheaper section of our trip. I don't know how to load photos to Blogspot from my phone/ I forgot my camera yesterday, so give me a few days until illustrations are up and running.

Oh yea, we're going through West Virginia now. Trying to find Brooks Ryan walking along the road, but word says he's in philly- if he can read this please say hello. To quote Derek Zoolander: "Dad, I think I have the Black Lung."

That's all folks,

- W+M

Friday, August 5, 2011

Go Time

Just finished packing up at home. Got everything we need for the trip, clothes, soda' (Coke+IBC root Beer)+ Water, and of course 3 dozen of Mama Fallon's chocolate chip cookies. I don't think they will even make it out of Massachusetts for the trip. Mike's here printing out all our tickets and we'll be ready to go.

On the Horizon: Drive to NYC- hoping to miss the afternoon traffic, but it will probably be bad nonetheless. I've got a few tasks on this leg of the drive, delete photo's from my camera and lace up my sperry topsiders so I can rock the true prep lifestyle needed in NYC. 
What I like:  The cookies are absolutely bomb. Good work Mom!
What I DIS-like: I had to make my bed for my sister's friend, Mary, who is coming into town today. I  don't get why I had to do this, but oh-well.
The Food Debate: Between going to get a sandwich, or making one here. I think I'm going with the latter.
Game Recap: Big series for the sox starting tonight, 8-1 vs yankees so far, would be nice to have 2 wins this weekend
Bleacher Bums: Nothing to report
Summer Reading: "Cutting for Stone" is a library book and overdue, so oI'll leave that at home. Instead bringing two baseball reads: "The Teammates" by Halberstam (read it before, but want to read it again) and "Wait Till Next Year" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Looking forward to reading these along the way.
DJ MMM: A guest DJ appearance by Wills, listening to the Avicii Pandora Station, really liked Tomororow by Jerome Isma-Ae. Great rave song.

That's all I've got so we'll check in tomorrow.

- W

The Itinerary

Figured you guys would want to see when and where we're going to be so you can meet up with us. Also, its easy for mom and dad and Mr and Mrs Mitchell to keep track of our every move! So, without further ado:

Aug 5-7: NYC- Mets game vs the Braves on the 6th at Citi (can't wait to see what the Wilpons are selling at the game)
Aug 8: Cincinnati: Seeing the Reds vs Rockies at Great American (I saw the Rockies at SF this past May. Okay, saw might be inaccurate- I was in attendance)
Aug 9: St Louis: Cards vs Brew-crew, in the first series since Braun got plunked up in Milwaukee (hoping for some fireworks). Also, probs going to go to the Budweiser Factory- cue the Clydesdales
Aug 10: WRIGLEY! Really there are only 2 ball parks that everyone should see at least once in life  you know the first, the second is Wrigley. Cannot wait to sit in the bleachers to see them take on the Nationals. Looking for fellow Broncos Spencer, Julie, and Skarz to meet up with us there and have some fun.
Aug 11: Madison: Gots to find Mike and Sam an apartment for when they start work- I'll be the 3rd wheel.
Aug 12: Milwaukee: Gonna try to go down the slide with the Brew Crew during this one as they play the Pirates.
Aug 13: White Sox: Any time you can get 2 Chicago games you do it. Hopefully Ozzie erupts, its also fireworks night! Woohoo
Aug 14: Indians: Nothing really to report here, maybe we see Flo at Progressive field?
Aug 15: Pirates: Usually by this point in the season the Pirates have morphed into a Double A team, "Pittsburgh home of future major league all stars not playing on this team." But they're in a doozy of a division race with STL, MIL, and CIN, so we get another chance to see them vs the Red Birds
Aug 16,17,18: Philly: Home of the Liberty Bell and boathouse row, still have no idea where we're staying so anyone there wanna put us up? Brooks or Alie? Will end the great debate between Pat and Gino's cheesesteaks. Might even try some Wa Wa's iced tea? Heard its liquid crack.
Aug 19 & 20: D.C.: Nationals vs Phillies always fun. Being touristy in D.C. with Tricia (Legals or Bertucii's?) even more fun.
Aug 21: Home- 'Nuff Said

That's all for now, there will be one more post in about 2 hours before we leave

- W

The First One

According to a quick Google search for the term "Bucket List" you get either the god awful Jack Nicholson + Morgan Freeman (voice of my life) movie, or the definition that is "a list of things to do before you die" (courtesy of Urban Dictionary. 

For the past 4 or so years, my good friend Mike and I have oft discussed the necessity of a road trip once college is over, a "bucket list" trip of sorts. As, with any normal 22 year old male from the Boston area, we may or may not be obsessed with baseball.  This got us to thinking, what could be the best way to see a good chunk of America, while also make a lot of our friends (both young and old) extremely jealous, want to live vicariously through us, and ultimately have a whole bunch of fun doing it? Well, we decided to try to visit as many ballparks in as few days a possible crossing each one off our list. This my friends is the Great American Road Trip of 2011- The Ballpark Tour. Thank you for joining us!

Over the course of the next 23 days, we will be blogging our adventures as we depart from our lovely seaside town of Marblehead, MA to go further and further inland- all the way to Milwaukee, and back again. Over the course of this trip we will be attending 10 games (knocking 10 stadiums off the all important bucket list), visiting some friends, being tourists, and just enjoying the final month of childhood before Mike and I begin a new journey with work. 

While I'd like to try and be funny most of the time I am writing this, the fact of the matter is that while I share the same last name as Jimmy Fallon, I am nowhere near as close to as funny as many of the other writer's I follow (most notably Simmons). I will not give any false pre-tenses and say that this will be a rip-roaring read, but more or less an update into many key features of the trip. We'll have at least 1 computer for the trip, but I'm kind of hoping that I can access the blog through my Blackberry (pretty sure this will be the start of the debate over which is better, iPhone or Blackberry. Maybe RIM won't even be around by the time we get back. Or Apple will own the U.S? I heard they're in the market for a country... I also heard Google's buying Russia? Cold War Again?)  But there will be some constants that I'll elaborate on down below. If you stick with us through the trip you can see exactly how its progressing and if you're in a city where will be stopping, please get in touch with us! (That blog post is immediately following)

Coming Attractions: Where we're headed to that day/coming from. With 10 cities to get to through this trip, we'll be seeing a lot of great places so this is a preview of whatsup. No crazy movie trailer voice needed
What I like: This will just be little factoids of information from the last city, the last game, the people we stayed with, etc etc.
What I DIS-like: The exact opposite of the above, maybe we'll use it to rag on players that are overrated (Jayson Werth I'm looking at you) or something else that didn't go too well on a visit or something awful at a stadium
The Food Debate: This trip will be hitting not only great baseball cities but great food/beer cities in general and I am sure you are all more anxious about this than the baseball
Game Recap: My goal is to complete a scorecard for each stadium we step foot in (since we're printing a lot of our tickets at home, we're not able to get cool memorabilia at each stadium, so this is close). Following each game I'll have some quick insight into what occurred and hopefully do it better than the World Wide Leader.
Bleacher Bums: We're on a budget, so we have bought seats with deals (gasp- a crazy radical thought to anyone that has ever been to fenway) so I'm sure there will be a lot of good stories to be told from these seats.
Summer Reading: Currently I am reading "Cutting for Stone" and really enjoy it, don't know what Mike's reading, but since we're college graduates I do believe that means we can read so I figured we should let you know of any books we're reading that are good.
DJ MMM: Those are Mike's initials, if you don't know he's very in tune with good music these days (not so much Mainstream KISS 108 or JAMN 94.5 artists, but artists that you would see at major music festivals) so this will make the ride much more enjoyable. We'll post our favorite songs each day and maybe you can vote?

I think that's it. There should be a comments section so feel free to put down anything you want. We'll try to get pics up on the reg and of course because this is the 21st century, please follow us on twitter: @willsfallon or on Facebook and Like any statuses we put up! (or dislike I guess?)

That is all friends. Time now to go down to the field for the call we've all be waiting for: "PLAY BALL!"