You all know B’More Birds’ Nest commenter “Goob.” Last season, as you can see, Goob went to Nashville to watch the Ravens beat the AFC #1 seed Tennessee Titans in the Divisional round of the playoffs.
He had BEGGED me to go.
Because I was poor, and because I didn’t think the Ravens had much of a chance to beat the Titans, I passed. A decision I will regret, well, pretty much forever.
And so, this year, when the Ravens advanced to the Divisional Round again to face this year’s #1 seed, the Indianapolis Colts, I did not resist when Goob again started bugging me about going to the game.
Despite still being pretty poor, and knowing that the Ravens would need to play a near-perfect game to come out on top of the Peyton Mannings, I booked my trip to Indy – a place Goob and I will forever refer to as “America’s Rest Stop”
We all know what happened in the game – no need to rehash that mess here. I can, however, provide you with this fun little photo/video diary of the trip.
My flight to Indy had a layover in Chicago. When we landed, I could clearly see out my window that Southwest’s “Maryland One” jet was there at the gate. As far as I know, there is only ONE plane like this in Southwest’s entire fleet. One plane. And here it was, at this of all airports, during the short 60 minute window that I was in the Windy City.
I took this to be a VERY GOOD omen. Obviously, it was nothing of the sort. So much for superstition.
Upon landing in Indy, Goob picked me up in his rent-a-car, as he had arrived earlier that morning. I stepped outside to see him being harassed by the airport parking lady for loitering in the pick-up area. Sprinting to catch him before he was made to drive away and circle again, I got to the car just in time to hear him negotiating a deal with said parking lady that he could stay there, as long as he promised to give hell to any “Redskins fans” he encountered. Odd.
Anyway, we then drove to our hotel to check in. Needless to say, we (mostly he) got plenty of dirty looks on the way.
Indianapolis (at least between the airport and the Rock Lobster Bar) looks like Brooklyn Park. I think it’s fair to surmise that ol’ drunk Bob Irsay had no idea he wasn’t just outside of B’More when he decided that he wanted his team to play “here.” The whole thing was a big intoxicated misunderstanding.
Driving along, suddenly this monstrosity appears and DOMINATES the skyline.
It looks like a giant warehouse. Absolutely hideous.
We arrived at the Rock Lobster, which WNST had booked for a Ravens party, at about 2 PM. The game started at 8(ish). The next 10 or so hours are a blur, but at least we have the pictures to help jog the memory.
This next picture is out back of the Rock Lobster in the smoking area. Check out the crazy mural on the wall:
Here’s a close up, with either Peyton Manning, or just some dude in a Peyton Manning jersey. The latter is pretty ubiquitous in Indiana, so that’s probably more likely.
During the party, there was a Ray Lewis “dance-off.” When they announced the contest, Goob was the first to sign up. He went the extra mile, going so far as to switch out his Terrell Suggs jersey with another guy who he found in a #52, so as to make it more “authentic.” On my request, he ran across the street and found some grass to toss up in the air to add to the dance. He had it in the bag…or so we thought.
Goob and the rest of the contestants were under the impression that each was going to do the dance one time and then a winner would be chosen. Instead, a full-on five minute dance-off ensued. All contestants, full of greasy food and alcohol, nearly had heart attacks. Still, Goob should have won. And, had “Ed Reed” not busted out a secret weapon (more like a dirty trick – see the 5:41 mark), he would have. Ah well.
Signs handed out by Nasty Nestor. Alternative versions were “See Joe (Over)Throw,” and “See Joe Throw a fit at Cam Cameron on the sideline.”
We had fun.
The walk to the stadium was next. Nestor put together a huge walk-in, where all the Ravens fans met at a predetermined spot (on Maryland Ave. of course) and marched to the stadium together. It was a very cool thing to be a part of.
This place sucks. If you want to play football inside, join the arena league, you damn women.
Inside the mall, er….stadium. Are you ready for some foot-mall?!?!
Our nosebleed seats. After the first kickoff the Ravens returned, when L.J. Smith got the block in the back that negated the huge return, I went ape shit. As a result, a guy in a yellow security jacket came and sat directly behind us for the remainder of the game. Lame. I’m still not convinced I did anything “wrong.”
This guy is a toolbag. He took a picture of Goob looking sad, so I took one of him. Goob’s hat is no stupider than that dumb looking thing on Peyton’s head there. If you know this guy, tell him to do this.
That’s about it for the diary. One more interesting note, though – Goob and I were sitting in the terminal waiting for my flight, watching “The Incredibles,”
when a family walked into the kid’s area with us. Dad, mom, teenage girl, pre-teen boy, and another younger boy. The dad looked like any normal suburban dad. With his attire and general appearance, he could have been an architect or an accountant or something. However, after doing a double take, I immediately recognized him as this guy:
Matt freakin’ Stover.
You know, the guy who WON that game that I mentioned at the top of the post for the Ravens last season? Who the Ravens decided not to bring back?
Yeah, that guy was riding the flight HOME to Baltimore with me. As I sat across from the Stover family in gate A7 at the Indianapolis Airport, three members of the clan reading the Sports section of the Indianapolis newspaper (of course emblazoned with a headline about the Colts victory the night before), I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of the situation.
I couldn’t make this up.
If the Colts do indeed win another Super Bowl next week in Miami (and I fully think they will), at least we Ravens fans can take solace in the fact that #3 will have himself another ring.
Or not. Whatever. Now I’m all angry and crap again.