Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Terps Football Blog

My Terps Football Experience blog has been fun to put together so far despite the Terps 1-3 start. The past couple seasons I've tried to give a decent game recap on this blog but since I got my new camera and take an average of 300 pictures a game, I thought I would use a separate blog to display the photos. Now I often spend more time lining up the shot and taking it than watching the game. Instead of game recaps by your's truly, I link stories by various members of the media.

I've been updating it daily and I call it a one-stop shop for all things Terp football related. I post links to the site on Maryland fans message boards and the Terps opponent message boards as well and thus far it's been fairly successful in terms of the amount of traffic it gets.

The site is a labor of love for me and I get to live out a little dream of being a sports photographer/journalist. If folks are happy because I got a shot of their son in uniform on game day catching a key pass or making a block or if I get a picture of someone's favorite player, that makes me happy. The response has been positive and I've even had a couple requests for photos from folks wanting a picture for a screen saver on their computers.

This is all shot from my seat in Section 19 at Byrd Stadium although last week I went and shot the third quarter from a lower part of Section 20 where a friend was and that worked well.

Maybe one day I'll invest in some advanced equipment. Maybe one day I'm on the sidelines taking pictures.

The link is at the end of this post. If anyone has a name suggestion, I'm all for it by the way. Enjoy!

Terps Football Experience

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Olie the Goalie Retires

The best goalie in Capitals history Olie Kolzig called it a career the other day. He was drafted by the Capitals in 1989 and led the team to its only Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 1998. All I can say is he was a class act both on the ice and off as well. Check out these videos.

An ad Olie did which drew cheers everytime it was shown on the scoreboard.


A look back at that 1998 Cup Finals run



Off the ice, Olie was class.



This is a hockey card from Olie's second year in the league.




Caps Owner Ted Leonsis had a few comments on Olie's retirement. Some highlights:

The Caps can't sign him to a one day contract so he retires as a Capital due to the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement. Signing him now would count against the 50 contract limit. Also once Olie settles down in retirement, Ted and the Caps will talk to him about a night to honor him.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Benjamin's First Black Eye

Benjamin got his first black eye the other day. He was running during outside play time at day care and accidentally came into contact with another classmate. His teachers administrated ice to prevent swelling and TLC to soothe and calm him. Within minutes he was ok. He had a little shiner, no swelling. When I came to pick him up, his teacher briefed me on what happened and gave me the incident report. Kids being kids, he's almost four. It happens.

On Saturday morning we spent our usual time playing at the local playground. Afterwards we went to have lunch and we had the following conversation:

Benjamin: "Daddy, does (Alex) Ovechkin and (Chris) Cooley get black eyes when they play sports?"

Me: "Sometimes. Pro hockey and football are rough sports and those things happen. Those guys are tough though"

Benjamin: "Ovechkin and Cooley and me are tough guys?"

Me: "I'd say so"

Benjamin: "Yeah!"

The little guy wore his black eye like a badge of honor and the good news is that it is starting to fade away.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Monday Night Baseball

My friend John and I are diehard Oriole fans. During our Summer vacation from school in the '80's we would get a bunch of friends and head up to Memorial Stadium. We'd get cheap tickets and enjoy what was then one of the best baseball teams (from '79-'83 the O's went to two World Series, winning it all in 1983). So fast forward to now and we're both in our mid forties. Adults with family and responsibility. In other words we're not attending 15-20 games a Summer like we used to.

So we cleared our calendars and made the trip to Oriole Park at Camden Yards last night. We each had a free ticket coupon and since neither the Orioles or Tampa Bay Rays are in the playoff chase, the game was sparsely attended and we could sit anywhere.

For a few innings we sat in the center field bleachers.


Then we moved over to the first base box seats






Still an awesome sight.


Tampa Bay's Pitcher David Price








The Orioles lost 8-4 after blowing a 4-1 lead. Earlier in the day I was thinking about Monday Night Baseball and when it was on ABC and how much I looked forward to it when I was a kid. In 1976 when ABC first aired Monday Night Baseball, the schedule was usually fifteen games a Summer and post-season. There was no ESPN, MLB.com or the baseball package back then. Growing up we had the Saturday Game of the Week on NBC with Joe Garigiola and Tony Kubek, some select Oriole road games with Chuck Thompson, Bill O'Donnell and Brooks Robinson and Monday Night Baseball on ABC.

I remember Warner Wolf was on the telecast for awhile. Warner was seen here locally on Channel 9 before he went to New York. Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell, Al Michaels and guest players like Reggie Jackson or Jim Palmer were in the booth during ABC's run. Ratings weren't great and by the middle of the 1980's ABC cut its regular season schedule. In 1988 its run was over.

Yesterday I was thinking back when the Orioles appeared on Monday Night Baseball. In the mid '70's and '80's they would be in the American League East pennant chase and what a thrill it was seeing them play on the national stage. Fast forward to the present and the Orioles haven't had a winning season since 1997 and Monday Night Baseball is long gone. The thrill of going to the ballpark with your buddy though is not gone and that will never go away.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Goodbye To Giants Stadium



The Redskins play their final regular season game at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday. Can't really say it's been a kind place for them as their record overall against the Giants and Jets is 12-22.

I'll never forget the Giants hosting the Redskins in the 1986 NFC Championship game there. They dominated the Redskins 17-0. Phil Simms threw a touchdown pass and Joe Morris ran for another score. Punter Sean Landetta had a big day pinning the Redskins deep in their own territory several times. Their defense held the Redskins to 190 yards total offense and they just swarmed QB Jay Schroeder (20-50, 195 yards and an interception).

The New York Daily News has an article on Meadowlands Memories

For the record I have been there five times and here are recaps and links to the games I saw there. Sadly I never got to see Bruce Springsteen play there although I have several shows from Giants Stadium on CD.

August 31, 1987
Kickoff Classic:
Tennessee 23
Iowa 22

Giants Stadium hosted what was then the opening game of the college football season. I went to the Kickoff Classic with my friend John, a Tennessee alum and met up with his friends. During the game there was an announcement that beer sales stop at the start of the 4th quarter so we all made a mad dash to the beer stands to reload.

November 13, 1994
Arizona Cardinals 10
New York Giants 9

Really boring game. The Giants lost to fall to 3-7 and folks wanted coach Dan Reeves' head. Then they won their last 6 in a row to finish 9-7.

December 10, 1995
Washington Redskins 13
New York Giants 20

Brutal cold temperatures, wind chill was -10. The Redskins were driving for the tying score late in the 4th quarter but QB Heath Shuler (mercifully) threw an interception so we were spared the OT.

September 15, 1996
Washington Redskins 31
New York Giants 10

Giants second home game of the season. This was played in much warmer conditions from the last time I was there. Terry Allen rushed for 146 yards and the Redskins were all over the Giants in this game.

May 16, 1998
D.C. United 3
NY/NJ MetroStars 4

Road trip with the Screaming Eagles. A short handed (half the team was in World Cup qualifiers) D.C. United went down 4-0, stormed back with three goals but it wasn't enough. Great trip despite the loss as I met several people who I remain close friends with today.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Party Time!



On Saturday Benjamin went to a birthday party for a classmate of his. It was at our local park. Here he is with his friends enjoying a clown performing magic tricks. Taking pictures of kids, you hope one or two of every ten pictures you take come out good as their actions are often unpredictable. I concentrated on the kids reaction and not the performer in this shot. I'm very pleased with the result as all kids are having a blast and you can see it in their expressions.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Random Benjamin Pictures

Some random pics of Benjamin taken recently. Various pics of him sporting shirts from the local teams and on vacation at Grandma's before our crab feast.