As the year winds down it seems like the thing to do is come up with a top 10 list recapping the year. Seeing that I have written a few consecutive posts on wedding planning I might as well go back to an old favorite of mine - sports. Below are the top 10 games yours truly saw in person.
10. Twolves - Bulls - United Center - I was in Chicago visiting a few of my friends from college and we decided to go to see a Bulls game on the day after New Year's. There were no scalpers and we ended up buying standing room only tickets. For the first half we were content sitting in the upper level, but for the 2nd half we went down to the 1st level. By the end of the game we had made ourselves all the way down to the floor seats about 10 yards away from the Bulls bench. Anyway, spending time with good friends, seeing a new arena and seeing a 102-92 Twolves victory is reason enough for this to be the 10th best sports game I went to see this year.
9. Mississippi Braves - Mobile BayBears - Trustmark Park - The game itself was pretty boring, but I enjoyed going to see a new stadium and spending time with my family. While I might be partial to Smith Wills Stadium, it is good to see minor league baseball is back in Jackson.
8. Royals - Orioles - Kauffman Stadium -A 3-2 Orioles win. - This is another one where the game itself wasn't much to write home about, but the experience of going to Kauffman Stadium more than made up for it. There isn't much better than getting some good Kansas City BBQ (Arthur Bryant's in this example) and then going to see a game (even the O's -Royals) at the K.
7. Miami - Denver - Mariucci Arena - When the college hockey tournament was announced I was pleased to find out that my alma matter was going to be heading to Minneapolis. Sure they were the 4 seed and were probably going to lose to the 1 seeded Pioneers of Denver, but I was just happy to be able to go support Miami. Anyway, my expectations were low so it was even better seeing a 4-2 victory for the Redhawks. This game led to an incredible run through the college hockey tournament that fell just a minute short of producing a national championship.
6. North Dakota St. - Kansas - Metrodome - M and my sister's side of the family got together to get me a ticket to the opening round games in Minneapolis this past year. The games were fun to see live with the best game being the first game between North Dakota St. and Kansas. NDSU isn't a very far drive away from Minneapolis and since it was their first time the tournament the Metrodome was filled with energy from all the Bison fans in the arena. Everyone was treated to a great game and a great shootout between Ben Woodside of NDSU and Sherron Collins of Kansas.
5. Orioles - Twins - Metrodome - Delmon walkoff single for a 7-6 Twins win. The Twins were at the beginning of a eventual playoff push that led to them winning the division. This game against the Orioles was a back and forth game that eventually ended up with Delmon Young singling in the game winning run in the 10th inning. I was happy to see Young's single for 2 reasons: 1) The Twins won and 2) Since this was a Tuesday game M had already informed me that we weren't staying past 10 innings. Thankfully Delmon came through in the cluth. (I can't believe I just wrote that.)
4. USM - Texas - Rosenblatt Stadium - The future best man of my wedding attended the University of Southern Mississippi and we both have an agreement in place to cheer for each others schools as long as they aren't playing each other. Well this past year USM made a very unlikely run to the College World Series and Johnny (and a lot of other USM fans) decided to drive from Mississippi to Omaha to see the Golden Eagles. Since Omaha is only a 5.5 hour drive from Minneapolis I agreed to meet him and his friends there to go see the game. The game was close, but unfortunately Texas ended up winning 7-6 on a walk-off walk in an inning where no Texas player got a hit. It was one of the worst ways you could lose. Still looking back on it it was a great game and a great time. USM did well on the field and in the stands and Rosenblatt Stadium is a great place to see a game.
3. 49ers - Vikings - Metrodome - I was able to get some upper level tickets for around $20 and I decided to with two of my friends to see Favre and the Vikings play the 2-0 49ers. I was expecting a close game, but an eventual Vikings victory. My expectations turned out to be true, but the way it ended up was something that I never could have predicted. I would never have predicted a blocked field goal returned for a TD at the end of the half by the 49ers. I would never have thought about seeing a Percy Harvin return td, where Harvin looked like he was running at a different speed. Finally, I would have never have imagined seeing Brett Favre run around like he didn't know what he was doing and then heave a 32 yard touchdown to the back of the end zone to the new Viking Greg Lewis to give the Vikings a 27-24 victory. It was a great game with an incredible ending. I don't have any pictures from the game, but you should check out the video: Brett Favre Throws Miracle TD to beat 49ers
2. Ohio St. - Iowa - Ohio Stadium - Despite living in Ohio for 4 years and dating an OSU grad I had never seen a regular season game at the Horseshoe. I decided that with the vacation time I had this year I would drive down and see the OSU - Iowa game. This was a pretty great decision in hindsight since the game turned out essentially to be the Big Ten championship game with the winner going to the Rose Bowl. My favorite parts of gameday included; tailgating with friends before hand, walking into the Shoe, talking with people who had been going to games for 40 years, the hospitality of the Buckeye fans, Brutus, seeing the winning kick and rushing the field with my friend Nicole. It was a great 27-24 Buckeye overtime victory.
1. Tigers vs. Twins - Metrodome - Game 163 - A 6-5 extra inning win for the Twins to complete an unprecedented comeback to win the division. I have written about this before, but I still can't really believe all that I saw that night. What a great game and a great moment in Twins history.