Keep it down or I'll give you a smack!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

We are all witnesses...

I think I am actually looking forward to watching Game Five tonight between the Cavaliers and Wizards. Not real sure how this whole thing is going to play out though. The Cavs are gaining some valuable playoff experience which doen't hurt but I'm just not sure about this Cavaliers team. LBJ is awesome to watch on a nightly basis because you just never know what he is going to come up with. But the supporting cast just needs to be consistent. Too many times it appears they pass to LeBron and the rest of the team stands around and waits for him to do something. Not that he can't beat anybody one on one but that just isn't going to get it done. We'll shall see.

One thing that it has done is made me at least a little bit interested in the NBA playoffs. Normally I could care less as to what is going on during this time of the year. But LeBron has at least peaked my interest in what is happening. Just another example of the power of King James.

Just heard on Around the Horn that the winner of game five goes on to win the series 80% of the the time. Interesting...hopefully the Cavs can use the home court advantage and continue with that trend.

Prediction: Cavs 94 Witnesses 91 (LBJ 44-8-9)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Patriot's Day - Boston Part 2

Monday’s activities consisted of finding the good spot to go and watch Matt and BJ running in the marathon. Since that was the reason behind this whole trip, we figured it was the least we could do. So the choice was made to head somewhere in the neighborhood of Boston College and set up camp there for the day. We kind of dragged around in the hotel for a while since the race didn’t actually start until 12:00 and watched the local coverage of the marathon on every channel while we got ready. The Boston Marathon is unique in that they bus the runners out to Hopkinton and have them run the 26.2 miles back into the city. After we were finally ready Pam, Ron, Mark and myself jumped on the T and made our way to BC. It was just a painful train ride out there. We had a jam packed train and that thing had to make 40 stops. It was just ridiculous.

When we got there it was a neat little area that Brooks shoes had set up to cheer on some runners that they sponsored. We figured it was as good of a spot as we were going to find and we settled in there. We had a Dunkin Donuts and an ice cream store nearby if we got hungry. We asked a gal that was working if there was local bar or anything within walking distance where we could maybe watch some of the Red Sox game but she said we were kind of far away. We figured it would kill some time if we could watch the game and hang out close to the racecourse. If you are not familiar with Patriot’s day, the Red Sox play at home on Patriots Day at 11:00am every year. It then works out that the game wraps up right around the time when the first runners are finishing up.

The marathon starts out in different shifts to help things run smooth. First they let the wheel chairs go, followed by the elite ladies, the elite men and then the rest of the masses. So as we waited we would see a wheel chair or two come zipping by us. Those guys are cruising too. I was amazed by how fast they were traveling. We were on the down slope of a hill but still they were cooking when they came past us. After not too long the women’s leaders came through. They were at about 1:42 into their run when they passed us. We actually had 3 ladies come past in one pack and one more that was just a few seconds behind the leaders. Probably about 10 minutes later was the first male entry we saw. He was a minute or two ahead of his nearest competition. The amazing thing about when both the men and women came through was the ease that they appeared to be running. They looked like they had hardly broken a sweat. And they looked like they had no signs of slowing down. It really is pretty cool to watch them in action.

These were the first ladies along with the Student Section cheering them on.

As we waited we all said we wanted to grab something to drink but there was a huge line of people in Dunkin Donuts and we just didn’t feel like waiting in line. So Ron and I chose to go in the ice cream shop. Ron said he wanted to get a cup of coffee. But in a strange move they said, “we don’t sell coffee” even though we could see that there was a pot of it sitting right behind the counter. But the girl working explained that it was just for the employees. So Ron said he’d give her $10 for a cup of coffee. She warned him that the coffee wasn’t even that good and broke down and poured him a cup. I, on the other hand, decided upon a strawberry banana smoothie. Boy was that a mistake. It was just bad all the way around. Ron said he should have listened to the girl behind the counter because the coffee was pretty bad too. After those wonderful recommendations, Pam and Mark decided to brave the lines and go to DD for some real coffee. And they returned in like 3 minutes! Turns out the line we saw was to use the bathroom. They got us! They came back with fresh coffee and donuts. Sons of bitches!

After that, we started to get a steady flow of runners that were coming by. As I had said earlier, Brooks had a set up where we were hanging out for some runners and they had given out signs with their pictures and t-shirts. So it was a cool place to watch the race. A group of BC students had painted their chests with some signs as well. So they were entertaining to watch as people came along the course. I think they started priming for the marathon bright and early, probably right after they had finished studying, of course.

Once the regular runners came out it was pretty interesting to see them as well. A lot of runners have their names on their shirts so that people can pick them out of the crowds. So it was fun to read all of the goofy things that people put on their clothing. Two guys came by and just blew our minds, they were actually juggling as they were running. It makes you wonder, if you can just run a marathon first of all, but to juggle for 26.2 miles?

After a while we tried to figure out about what time it would be before Matt would be coming by and passing where we were. And then would he even see us. It was pretty heavy traffic and who knows what is going through his head while he’s running. Pam said that he was going to be in a bright blue shirt and blue sunglasses so we all had our eyes open looking for him. Cindy had met up with us at the spot so we asked what BJ was wearing and comically she said she had no idea. She knew he would be wearing his Penn State hat but not sure what color shirt. So we were looking for a tall skinny guy with a non descript hat and no clue what color shirt in a crown of about 20,000 runners. No problem! After a while Farmer Fred picked Matt out of the crowd coming down the hill. So we got our cameras ready to roll and screamed encouragement out to him. He heard us yelling and actually stopped and chatted for a few seconds. He caught his breath and told us that he had lost BJ around mile 16 so we had no clue if we would ever see him. He also told us he was dying and “if I ever want to run this again just go ahead and punch him in the face.” Good times! And with that he was off and running again. We waited out for another half hour or so and figured out that we had to have missed BJ.

We got back on the train and made our way towards the finish line downtown. It was another painfully slow ride back. Again we had a bunch of stops and it just seemed to take forever. Once we got back in the downtown area we made our way towards the finish line to meet up with Matt and BJ. It was just a sea of people. We finally met back up with the boys and said our congratulations. BJ actually came back and passed Matt towards the end of the race. BJ finished at 3:28:05 and Matt at 3:29:16. Neither of them said they had trained real hard for this race so they weren't overly excited with their times. We asked the guys how they felt and what they wanted to do so we decided to try and find a spot to get something to eat and let the guys relax.

Most of the nearby restaurants were jammed with people so we tried to make our way outside of the immediate area. We walked for a little while and came across a small café that looked inviting. We had a couple of drinks and ordered up some food. After eating and letting the guys get some relaxation in we decided to try and find some sort of sports bar. The Cavs were playing the Celtics in Boston so we figured that somebody would have the game on.
We headed to a place called Flash’s and had some drinks and appetizers but we couldn’t find the game on TV. They were actually showing a replay of the Red Sox game from earlier in the day. I guess people didn’t really care too much because the Celts were already out of playoff contention. I still think we should have made an effort to go to the game but oh well. Flash’s didn’t really seem to have the kind of vibe that we all were looking for. It was sort of a sports bar but not what we were looking for. So we picked up and headed for a new location. We went to Whiskeys where we had visited a couple days earlier. But it was really crowded and it just didn’t seem that great either. Finally we stumbled down the road to a place called Charley’s Saloon.

Turns out that Charley’s was just what we were looking for. It was in the basement of a restaurant but it was a nice quiet corner type bar. They had the Cavs game on, which was just about over. So we did get to see the end of the game and we settled into Charley’s. Everybody seemed to enjoy this place. We started doing some serious drinking and having fun with Mike the bartender taking care of us. He bought us a round of shots and was helpful in taking plenty of photos for us. He even let me behind the bar to get a great picture of me helping to pour some shots.

After a while I was sitting at the bar and a young girl came up and sat next to me. So to be nice since she was alone, I started talking to her a little bit. I found out that her name was Jen and she was from New York. She may have told me what she was doing there but I wasn’t really paying much attention. I was just chatting with her to be nice. After a little while she seemed a little flaky to me so I moved away and let her spin somebody else’s ear for a while. She latched on to Ron for a little while before moving on to Mark and then the girls. After a while she just got to the point that I think nobody wanted to talk to Jen anymore. She was just blabbing on and on. And nobody was interested. It even got to a point where Ron and I were standing behind her and choking each other and shooting each other in the head. Pam and Cindy even tried to scare her away with tales of our group being swingers and that the whole gang of us liked to sleep together. Don’t you just love the tales that come from drinking? Finally, she came over and started yapping to me about the economy or something and I basically told her to hit the bricks. I was just having fun and getting drunk with my friends. And I didn’t feel like discussing the Nations economy at 2:00am. I think after that she got the hint.

Here's a couple of photos from Charleys...

Lots of anger my friends...

I will choke your ass out!

Here's a picture of the crew.

So we continued with our escapades and drank until they closed the place down. Everybody was in fantastic shape and we all hopped in cabs and made our way back to the hotel.