I love it and hate it at the same time. I hate the horse flies that cut into my skin with their barbed mouths and the mosquitoes that puncture me. I also hate feeling frustrated for lacking athletic ability.
I love the exercise, competition and exhilaration from success. But most importantly, I love the laughter. When Danielle and I play golf, we become a spectacle.
The first time that we played, we spotted two men on the tee behind us. We were intimidated and worried that we were slowing their game.
We tried to speed up our game. Instead of hitting my ball in the hole, I grabbed it off the green, ran to the “getaway-golf cart,” and I jumped in and told Danielle to floor it so we could escape the men.
When we arrived at the next tee, we nervously glanced back as the two men loomed ominously. We skipped that tee, but the men were still right behind us. I wondered if the men were afraid of the group behind them and they were skipping tees too.
We finally let them play through. At least we learned this valuable lesson quickly.
We made another scene when we hit golf balls at the driving range. There are two parallel yellow ropes on the ground about five-feet apart that run the length of the driving range. This is the area where you hit balls.
We were at the end of the driving range and rope. While attempting to hit the ball, Danielle missed and hit the rope so hard that it wrapped around her body. I imagined the headline “Woman Strangles Herself While Driving Golf Balls.”
We laughed hysterically but quietly hoping we didn’t disturb the serious golfers. Have you ever tried to laugh quietly while your body is convulsing with laughter?When Danielle and I climbed into the cart to play golf yesterday, rain poured even though it was not in the forecast. We laughed because we felt that it was a typical golf day for us. All went well, and I hit Danielle in the back with a golf ball only once.
When the lights went out in the Superdome during Super Bowl XLVII, my first thought was that it may be a terrorist attack. My second thought was that we would never get out alive if a fire ignited. I was especially nervous because my children were there.
After we regained electricity, my husband went to the concession stand to get a drink. When he returned he said that they ran out of cups and he brought a bottled beer. The beer was fine, but I was surprised that they did not order enough cups for the Super Bowl crowd. Can you imagine that not only did the Superdome lose power, but they ran out of cups too?
On Super Bowl weekend in New Orleans, we scouted for celebrity-football players. While walking to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, we slowly strolled through the Hilton Hotel where the Ravens stayed. We spotted Jerry Rice, Larry Fitzgerald, Cris Carter, Ted Bruschi, Keyshawn Johnson, Kurt Warner and Brendon Ayanbadejo.
I am a Ravens fan, but I did not recognize many of these football stars. Most of the retired players that we saw are currently NFL sports analysts. Following is a list of some of their career highlights:
Wide receiver Jerry Rice was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. According to his biography he “is widely considered to be the greatest wide receiver in the history of the National Football League (NFL).”
Wide receiver Cris Carter was inducted into the 2013 Hall of Fame and played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins.
Linebacker Ted Bruschi played for the New England Patriots and was a three-time-Super-Bowl champion.
Wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson played for the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and Panthers. His Buccaneers team won Super Bowl XXXVII.
Quarterback Kurt Warner played for the Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants and St. Louis Rams. He was the Super Bowl XXXIV MVP.
Baltimore Ravens head coach from 1999 – 2007, Brian Billick, was at Radio Row at River Walk. He led the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory in 2000, and he is currently a sports analyst.
We also spotted the infamous New Orleans Saints’ fan “Da Pope,” or Lionel Alphonso Sr. who held a beer in his hand as he posed with fans. He was inducted in 1999 into the Canton Ohio Hall of Fame “Visa Hall of Fans” as the fan of the year. Garbed in his flowing robe and mitre, he was a sight!
Encountering these sports celebrities greatly enhanced the Super Bowl experience for us!
Super Bowl XLVII opening and overly confident (but nice) San Francisco 49ers fan. Post game video of the 49ers fan to follow!
Employees at the Jet Blue ticket counter handed passengers purple and green Mardi Gras beads upon check in. Of course we selected purple! Purple iced donuts and coffee were available at the gate. It was a great start.
The vice president of operations for Jet Blue, his wife and 6 1/2-year-old son were on our flight to New Orleans. The vice president said that in the beginning of the season, he told his son that if the Baltimore Ravens made it to the Super Bowl he would take him. He thanked the passengers for flying Jet Blue and said that he wanted to give away a free-round-trip ticket.
He asked the passengers to search their bags and pockets for the oldest penny they had. A passenger with a 1946 penny won the tickets. He took a picture of the passengers on the flight cheering. It has been quite an experience already.
Excitement fills the BWI Airport terminal as exuberant-purple-and-black-clad-Balltimore-Ravens’ fans head to New Orleans for the Super Bowl. There is a lot to be excited about. The Baltimore Ravens, who are usually the underdogs and hated by many, are playing in the Super Bowl for the first time in 12 years. Ha, ha take that you naysayers! Also, two brothers, John Harbaugh coach of the Baltimore Ravens and Jim Harbaugh coach of the San Francisco 49ers will match wits in a “once in a lifetime game” for the Super Bowl trophy. To add to this excitement, Ray Lewis the Ravens’ middle linebacker who sources say is one of the greatest middle linebackers of all time will play his last game. What a great way to go out!
The Seven Nation Army chant reverberates through my head as we hurry through the terminal. Ohhhhh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, we have to board our flight!
We visited colleges in South Carolina to begin the college search process for my son who is a high school junior. We toured Clemson University Saturday and attended a football game against Furman.Before the game, we walked through Clemson, the college town. We felt like we arrived on another planet. Everyone in the town (EVERYONE) wore the Clemson colors orange and/or purple. The only people without orange or purple were us. We stood out like a bunch of freaks. (My friends would tell you that this would not surprise them.) My son, Colin, purchased a purple Clemson golf shirt with a small orange tiger paw (the tiger is their mascot). He donned it immediately, and I was glad because I thought that we looked less conspicuous. The man who sold Colin the shirt told him that he was getting strange looks with his Maryland pride shirt. I bet he wasn’t teasing him either!
The Clemson Memorial Stadium is called “Death Valley.” The stadium sits in a valley, and in 1948 Coach Lonnie McMillian, from Presbyterian College said that it was where his teams went to die.Death Valley holds about 81,500 spectators. On Saturday, it was about 95 percent full, and the fans expected a strong Clemson win”.
In 1966, a rock from Death Valley, Calif. mounted on a pedestal on “The Hill” started a Clemson tradition. In a game against Wake Forest, coach Frank Howard told the players that they could rub the rock if they gave 110 percent. If not, he wanted them to keep their “filthy hands” off of it. Today, before they run down “The Hill,” the Tiger football players still rub the rock for good luck.“The Hill” stands above Death Valley’s east end zone and is also the student section. The students flank each side of “The Hill” leaving the middle strip open. The players charge down “The Hill” and burst on the field before the game. The tradition began in 1942 because it was the shortest distance from Fike Fieldhouse where the players got dressed. When the players run down “The Hill”, the band plays “The Tiger Rag,” a cannon thunders and thousands of orange balloons fill the air. The players entrance is called “the most exciting 25 seconds in football.” This video from the Clemson website, says it all!
Clemson spirit reverberates throughout the stadium. Cannons boom and fireworks explode when Clemson scores a touchdown or field goal.
The Clemson game that we attended seemed like a family atmosphere. Several children watched and cheered the Tigers, and the adults seemed responsible. Do you think that professional football fans could learn something from the Clemson fans?