Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sports of all sorts

This is a great time of year to be a sports fan....college and professional football are both underway with their new seasons, while major league baseball is heating up its various divisional races.

All the more exciting for me this year, since my beloved Cincinnati Reds are closing in on their first divisional title in well over ten years, and my Kentucky Wildcats are now 3-0 on the football field.  That's the first time a new Kentucky football coach (Joe "Joker" Phillips) has started his tenure with three consecutive wins since the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant did so WAY back (NOTE:  most who are not Bryant historians or Kentucky football fans would not have known that the Bear began his collegiate coaching career at the University of Kentucky).

Back to baseball for a moment....my son and I participated in an interesting phenomenon Thursday, as we partook of "all you can eat" seats at the Reds' Great American Ball Park.  Simple premise:  for the price of your ticket ($20 for this mid-week day game promotion), not only do you get a seat for the game, but all of the hot dogs, chips, popcorn, peanuts and soft drinks you care to enjoy.  There were three sections set aside for this in the further reaches of the left field corner, all in the upper deck, and they were sold out.  LONG food lines for those who wished to indulge.  But the crowds were well behaved, the food was good and as the game progressed the lines became a little shorter and more manageable.  Fun to try this once.  Most parks are going to this on at least a limited basis, so if you love major league baseball but not the prices of admission and concessions, this could be a good deal for you.

And with the Reds approaching postseason play we did something else last week that we've not done in some time--purchased post-season tickets.  I know, they're not there yet, but the Reds were permitted (along with a number of other teams) to begin selling conditional tickets, which, of course, would be refunded if through some quirk the Reds did not qualify for the playoffs after all.  First time I had bought any postseason tickets since 1990, when my son and I attended the first game of the World Series (won in four consecutive games by the Reds).  We went through a lottery process, and finally had the chance to buy two lower-level tickets in the right field corner for a LOT more than regular game tickets.  But we aren't going to miss this....no way!

Do you follow the NFL?  As a fan, or as a fantasy league participant?  Either way, hard to figure anything out right now.  The "good" teams are not all playing that well yet, and there are teams that weren't expected to be competitive who won their first games.  Give it four more weeks to see who's who.

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