Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving week, 2009.

Man, I'm pooped. i should have gotten a substitute to come in this morning down in Florence and slept in. We had a busy week, from Wednesday on. It was go, go, go, but it was fun!

It started with Denise and I driving up to D/FtW airport Wednesday night to pick up her 15 year old grandson Bryce. She was flying him in so that we could spend some time with him and take him to the big Gun Show in Dallas on Saturday.

Little did he know, I'd gotten us all tickets to see the Cowboys play the Raiders on Thanksgiving day. None of us had been to the new stadium, and Bryce had never been to a pro game before, so Denise though it would be a cool thing to spring on the boy. I was game, so I looked up the tickets on Stubhub and got the best ones I could without spending an insane amount of money. Well, insane is a relative term here.

Thing is, I wanted to bust out with the tickets as soon as we picked the boy up, but Denise wanted to stretch it out until the last possible minute. So we went down to Dallas, got into the room and then drove over to the West End to eat. We, got up the next morning and drove over to Ft. Worth to have breakfast and visit my buddy Jim. Between the three of us we concocted an elaborate story about how we were all gonna go back to Plano and check out the old Wax Museum.

We got in the car and drove over, with Jim playing with his new GPS system as I drove. The GPS system led us up off of I-30 right next to Rangers Stadium. We drove down by it, looking out at the shiny new Cowboy Stadium across the parking lot. I said something about doing a U-turn and heading back to the highway... "or (pulling four tickets out of my pocket), would you rather go to the game?"

He was surprised, and very happy. Well, I think he was. He really doesn't talk much. His fingers can text message at 900 MPH, but he's a bit verbally challenged. You know, teenagers! But the was happy. Anyway, I know Denise was, and that's the real reason why I did it all.

I parked in the $40 lot, put on my old school jersey (any of you remember old number 32?), lit a cigar and we all started to walk down to the new stadium.

Getting there, I was moved to see they'd put up a big bronze statue to old Tom Landry. This guy was a fixture in my imagination as a kid. Lots of folks were standing around the statue, or having their pictures taken in front of it. I almost wanted to go up and rub his foot.

We got up to the open end of the stadium and I asked Bryce if he wanted to get a souvenir. He tentatively walked over to the tent and picked out a jersey for himself. I stood there, waiting for him to choose something, and found myself a goofy hat the wear. I love goofy hats. You should have seen Denise's face when she ( a HUGE green bay Packers fan) saw her grandson wearing a Cowboy's jersey, and when she saw me in that hat. It was priceless. I told her "This makes up for that friggin' yella cheese hat you have!"

The boy chose well, choosing DeMarcus Ware. I told Denise the boy'd stepped over to the DARK SIDE. It was hilarious!

We got in and were all stunned with the size and scope of the place. We looked around a bit, plunked down a fist full of coin for popcorn and drinks, and then found our seats. They turned out to be pretty good ones.

When the game got going, the boys played their usual game, futzing around and missing opportunities to score again and again. It was a miracle that the Raiders sucked to the extent they did, or the Cowboys would have been in trouble.

Eventually, the boys scored a few touchdowns, so that they were ahead by a decent margin by the time the half-time show began.

I must say, the half-time show was amazing, even though it was all oriented towards the opposite side of the stadium. The entertainment always plays to the visiting team, I suppose. We were on the Cowboys side of the field, but we could still see everything clearly on the amazingly cool monitor that hangs from the roof.

I tell ya, that monitor is cool. Some people think it's a distraction, but I found it very pleasing. it was like having a huge wide screen TV to watch along with the live action.

Now and then, as the Cowboys would get ready to try to score, Bryce would jump up and cheer them. This gave his Nana fits, and led to more than a few dirty looks in my direction.

Once or twice, I even got the snake fangs and a hiss. All in good fun through. All in good fun.

In the end, the Cowboys won the game. It actually looked like they were starting to put things together in the end, completing passes, the Defense keeping the Raiders from making any headway. I worry about their future though, with teams like the Giants, the Saints, the Chargers and the Eagles on the schedule. It could get very ugly before it's all over. Ugly!

Throughout the game, we were plagued by one little flaw. The seating chart I saw at stubhub didn't say anything about this ledge we'd be sitting under. It didn't obscure our view of the game, but it did force us to crook our necks a bit to see the monitor. Mostly it just kept us from clearly hearing any of the announcements! There were speakers there. You can see one in the top left hand corner of this shot. But they must not have been turned on. It didn't ruin the experience for us though. We'll just know not to get seats in row 15 of the second level. Row 10 or 11 maybe.

In the end, we walked out and back up to the car. I drove back over to Jim's house in Ft. Worth and then we relaxed and visited with his wife Terry. She'd had to work that day, which was why Jim was free to go to the game with us. We all enjoyed a few bowls of his spicy tater soup, which he'd been slow brewing when we got there for breakfast, and then we got back in the car and headed for Killeen.

In the next post, we'll talk about how I took Bryce up to Gatesville Friday morning to shoot guns with my buddies Dave and Joe. Then we'll talk about the massive feast at my mom's place, where the womenfolk had been putting together a late Thanksgiving feed while the men were off shootin'. And isn't that the way it should be? Cheers!


BRUNO said...

Way-too-damned many PEOPLE! I don't like PEOPLE---they SCARE me!(This being said in my best ghoulish-voice.)

Never could understand what happened to teams like the Raiders, the Buccaneers, etc. Man, it used to be like playin' a game with your LIFE and the DEVIL, when it came to playin' against the Raiders.

If it was a Raiders vs. Bucs game---how could you determine the winner? I mean, eventually, SOMEBODY has to score, right?

FHB said...

No shit. I remember when they were mean as shit. My daddy hated them, the Raiders.

Suldog said...

Way, way cool. No love lost up here in New England for the Raiders, I'll tell you that (ever since the bogus holding call on Sugar Bear Hamilton back in the playoffs in... well, I'd be dating myself. The 'tuck rule' was just justice delayed!)

Stomp on 'em. Piss on 'em. I enjoyed that Cowboys game.

FHB said...

Sully - Thanks man. True, true.