Posts Tagged ‘o.Co Coliseum’

The Steph Curry Show Hits the City Streets

May 1, 2013

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix SunsThe unquestioned leader of the Golden State Warriors–who are one win away from moving to the second round of the NBA playoffs–has racked up 124 points in five games against the Denver Nuggets, including jaw-dropping shooting displays in two home games.

But ridiculously deep shots and twisting layups have become the norm for Curry, who breezed through NBA defenses on his way to a new three-point shooting record.

Let’s put Curry to the test and give him more of an urban challenge. We know he can hit from the corner, the wing, the top of the arc, and even half-court. But can he sink a shot from way downtown? Here are the top five places I want to see Curry take a shot from, a la Dude Perfect. I don’t want him to miss any shots, but forgive me for trying to prove that he’s human.

coit tower1. Coit Tower

Let’s start with a simpler shot: dropping the ball from the top of Coit Tower into a hoop waiting at the entrance below. Even though it doesn’t take power, Curry would have to be deadly accurate (as usual) and play the wind on this one. Given Curry’s expertise with the basketball, chances are he does this with his eyes closed and then taunts the crowd afterwards.

lombard st

2. Lombard Street

I want to put Curry on top of Lombard Street, place a hoop at the bottom, and see if he can navigate a bounce shot down the crookedest street in the world. If the “game” is on the line, a swish is a safe bet. If he makes this shot while taking a trolley down Lombard, he might never miss again.

Balboa Cafe3. Balboa Cafe

It’s going to be a lot more difficult than you think when the defender in this one-on-one scenario is Marina Girl Says, who isn’t physically imposing, but will mentally wear down even the most hardened of veterans. If Curry is wearing his mustard-colored pinstriped uniform, Marina Girl will give him hell, and the constant critiquing of his appearance may cause him to finally clank a shot off a hoop in the back of the bar.

Warriors arena rendering4. Bay Bridge

For this shot, I might finally be able to best the shooting magician. Not only will Curry have to stand on top of a double-decker sight-seeing tour bus, he will have to nail a shot from the South side of the Bay Bridge while the vehicle moves into the city and he fights the distraction of the pulsating Bay Lights. The basket? It’s on the unfinished lot on the Embarcadero where the Warriors new coliseum will be built over the next five years.

Mt. Davis o.co5. Mt. Davis

It’s only fair that Curry’s most difficult challenge be back in Oakland. Let’s put a hoop hanging off the first row of Mt. Davis at o.Co Coliseum (home of the Oakland A’s, right next door to the Warriors’ Oracle Arena) and see Curry launch a shot from second base. We’ve seen him make it from some crazy distances, but adding in the height factor is a whole new challenge.

What do you think? Tweet me @Jamblinman with suggestions of other crazy trick shots that may stump the sweet stroke of Steph Curry.

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Ranking the MLB Stadiums…So Far

May 15, 2012

So you all know I’m a baseball nut. If you don’t, you’re not actually someone I’ve ever talked to. And the fact that you’re still reading this blog is slightly awkward, kind of cool and extremely flattering.

My love of the sport has taken me far and wide throughout this great country to watch baseball games in person. Because there is nothing better than watching a game LIVE in the atmosphere you can barely hear on TV.

So far, I’ve been to ten MLB stadiums. My quest to visit all 30 (as well as all 30 in one regular season…stay tuned for that!) is one-third over. But how do you choose the best one?

Here is my attempt at ranking the ten stadiums I’ve visited so far, based on overall experience, fan knowledge, ball park food options, surrounding attractions, and ball park beauty.

10. o.Co Coliseum – Oakland A’s

This was an easy one to rank last. I’ve been to the most games at this stadium, but only because the tickets are cheap and the A’s are my hometown team. The actual coliseum in itself is decrepit and there are rarely a good amount of fans at games. A’s fans are extremely passionate, but they don’t like to see a shitty team play at a shitty ball park. Understandable. Plus Oakland as a city sucks, and the beer at the stadium is far too expensive.

9. Tropicana Field – Tampa Bay Rays

I’m not going to lie – I expected a lot worse. I’d heard horror stories about the aging dome, and how it was the worst venue in professional sports. Sure, it’s not glamorous by any means, but there’s a certain charm to it. I’m all for the Rays tearing it down and getting a new stadium, but I’m glad I got to experience Tropicana as it is meant to be experienced.

8. AT&T Park – San Francisco Giants

The ball park itself is gorgeous and classy and the location is unbeatable (right up against the Bay for anybody who has been under a rock for the last 11 or 12 years). But, I get the impression that a lot of fans come to the stadium and pay outrageous prices more for the experience than the actual game. Plus, I don’t like getting crapped on by seagulls from the 7th inning on. That alone renders the expensive tickets meaningless.

7. Yankee Stadium – New York Yankees

I actually went to the original Yankee Stadium. I haven’t been to the new one, but I heard it’s similar with more, newer amenities. I absolutely LOVED the old stadium. It’s more than a shame that it’s been torn down. For any baseball junkie, going to Yankee Stadium is like the Mecca of fandom. It was a beautiful venue with intelligent fans and just so much rich history that it soaked right through my clothes into my soul. Wow that was cheesy. By the way, I sat in the right field bleachers, so for all I know, Babe Ruth had hit a home run into my lap 80 years prior.

6. Petco Park – San Diego Padres

This is another newly remodeled stadium in California that just blows me away. The difference between Petco and AT&T is that the Padres have built a stadium with less bells and whistles that still maintains a fun, friendly atmosphere. I love the touch of the building down the left field line and the grass seating behind right center. And the surrounding, downtown area there is hopping off the chain every night.

5. Safeco Field – Seattle Mariners

I may be spoiled with this one, because my roommate and I scored free, Diamond Level tickets (three rows behind home, access to the VIP club under the stands with free food and drink all game) in the game I went to. But the stadium itself is pristine. The architecture is amazing, and the closed roof makes it feel like a much tighter atmosphere. I’ll tell you one thing – if Seattle fans are starved for a championship, they sure don’t show it. They rock and roll no matter how awful their teams are.

4. Wrigley Field – Chicago Cubs

This is my most recent notch on the belt. I went to Chicago a couple of weeks ago and got to see my Dodgers beat the Cubs at the friendly confines of Wrigley. Let me tell you…it looks beautiful on TV. It’s twice as good in person. The bleachers on top of apartment buildings, the wide open, expansive seating throughout the stadium, the classic scoreboard and press box, the simple concessions, and of course the luscious ivy. Cubs fans are professional losers, but they do it with an old-style grace all their own.

3. Busch Stadium – St. Louis Cardinals

All I can say is WOW. One of the most properly designed baseball stadiums you’ll ever see. The field itself is perfect, and the grounds crew mowing a little arch into the outfield grass before every home game is a snazzy touch. I love the wall of fame with retired numbers beyond the center field wall, and you can’t beat the skyline in the gap between center and left field. The third version of Busch Stadium is very near perfection, though it could use a little surrounding nightlife for after the games.

2. Dodger Stadium – Los Angeles Dodgers

Surprised this wasn’t number one? Well, I am technically a journalist. So I try to be objective once in a while. I absolutely am in love with Dodger Stadium. It’s similar to Wrigley where the seats are a wide open expanse of sunny, comfortable chairs. But, they are newer than Wrigley and the renovations have been done perfectly so as to not mess with the historic charm of Chavez Ravine. The bleachers are an ancient, yet classic touch, and you get a beautiful view of downtown L.A., as the park is perched atop a hill overlooking every part of the city of angels. And…duh. Dodger Dogs!

1. Fenway Park – Boston Red Sox

Yes, it’s breaking down a little bit. Yes, it’s old. Yes, the batter’s eye in center field is poorly done. But this stadium combines the charm of Dodgers Stadium and Wrigley Field, with the aura of Yankee Stadium, with the night life of San Diego, with the beauty of AT&T or Busch. It really is a mish-mash of all the greatest aspects of each previous stadium on this list. I sat by Pesky’s Pole when I went and watched the Yankees beat them on a late home run from A-Rod. The Green Monster is a sight to behold, and the fan knowledge in Boston is top of the class.

There you have it. What’s your favorite stadium experience?? Comment below and let me know! Or you can always tweet me at @Jamblinman if you’d like. Thanks for reading. Until next time, watch out for seagulls.

Chowin’ Down: Bacon Tuesday

April 11, 2012

Note: I cheated. I won’t deny it. I originally wrote this for Three Up, Three Down’s blog (3u3d.mlblogs.com) with the intention of sharing it on here. I’m lazy. I’ve also been watching baseball all day, so get off my back, yo!

My first official MLB game of 2012 came with quite a few surprises. Despite the rain-delayed first pitch and the game being called due to that very same storm 7 and a half innings later, it was a fun time. The A’s lost 3-0, but the action on the field was nothing compared to the gloriousness that took place in the right field bleachers.

Here’s the back story for all you unfortunate fools who have yet to experience a Bacon Tuesday at o.Co Coliseum in Oakland:

As I understand it, the right field bleacher crew, (some of the most die hard fans in baseball, I assure you of that) started a tradition last year of bringing bacon treats to Tuesday home games. When the Royals strolled into town, their right fielder was intrigued by the tradition.

Because A’s fans are the coolest kids around, they developed a unique bond with Mr. Francoeur (aforementioned right fielder), and donated some bacon to his mouth. He responded by tossing them a baseball with a $100 bill wrapped around it.

Needless to say, the right field bleacher crew at A’s games is now in love with Francoeur, and it seems as if the compassion is shared equally. I was at the game on Tuesday, and every time Francoeur came out to the field, the fans chanted his name and he turned around and smiled or waved.

He seemed to be having a legitimately great time with those fans, a rare spectacle for a visiting player. By the way, Frenchie (as he’s affectionately known) scored major points with me. I thought he was just a “blah” player with below average stats, but he’s clearly the greatest player in the game today. I mean…he loves bacon!

Anyway, when they came back to the Coliseum this week, the right field bleacher crew had shirts ready, reading “2nd Annual bacon Tuesday,” and below that, “Sponsored by Jeff Francoeur.” Yes, he got a shirt. Duhh.

My friend Taylor and I went up to the bleachers around the fourth inning to meet the guys and gals up there and laugh about the tradition and talk a little baseball. Little did I know that adventure would lead me to the most delicious oral extravaganza of my life. Whoa. Re-word that. Uhh…

I chowed down on chocolate-covered bacon. Incredible, of course. Chocolate. And bacon. A match made in heaven. Then I was handed a bacon-wrapped jalapeno stuffed with peanut butter. It was a little strange, naturally. But entirely enjoyable.

The most memorable treat came in the form of a pretzel stick. Ready? Wrapped in…candied bacon. No, there’s more…DIPPED IN NUTELLA. My mouth just started watering like Niagara Falls remembering that finger-lickin’ morsel.

A’s fans, and baseball fans everywhere – let’s be real. The A’s could use a little revenue. So go to o.Co, especially on Tuesdays. You might get to share in the epicness of the bacon treats. Which may very well be the greatest things ever created. Hashtag: NOM.

Bay Area Battle

March 8, 2012

Let me get this out of the way: I hate the San Francisco Giants. More than war and famine (if you haven’t seen this movie, you’re gonna think I’m a horrible person…). More than Hitler. Okay, that’s messed up. But I really hate them. And their seemingly endless scuffle with the Oakland A’s over property rights in San Jose isn’t making things any better.

The poor A’s just want to get out of arguably the worst professional sports venue in America. If you’ve never been to o.Co Coliseum (they’ve changed the name a million times in my lifetime, but this is the longest-standing one I can remember), consider yourself lucky.

My high school field had more charm to it than o.Co. Well, my high school team might also have been better than the A’s will be in 2012, but that’s besides the point. Back in the 80’s, the Giants were in the A’s situation and Oakland very graciously gave them the rights to San Jose. As a kind gesture.

Now the Giants organization is holding those same rights hostage against the A’s. Who cares if it’s the best thing for baseball? The Giants must have that extra television market, apparently.

The only way in which the A’s are competition to the Giants is in interleague series and the television market. The fact that they won’t give the A’s the rights to San Jose and are dragging the entire ordeal out for so long just further proves the point that baseball revolves around money in an evil way.

Right now, as much as I hate to say this, the Giants ARE the Bay Area’s baseball team. But if the A’s are good too, it’s still good for business. Even better, it’s good for baseball. The A’s are an iconic franchise with a fantastic GM, but they can’t afford to even put together a contending team for more than a couple of fluke seasons at a time.

I just hope the Giants and Bud Selig come to their senses soon and get this thing taken care of. The longer they wait, the angrier I get, the more likely I am to march into San Francisco and do THIS. Yup.

 

Manny Mania!

February 21, 2012

Billy Beane is running a circus in Oakland, and I love it. The A’s are going to challenge for the worst record in the Majors this year, so why not have a little fun? After stealing Cuban sensation Yeonis Cespedes about a week ago, Beane moved in and signed potential Hall-of-Famer Manny Ramirez to a 1-year, $500,000 contract. I know what you’re doing right now. You’re moaning and groaning and crying CHEATER!

Well folks, get over it. Because it’s going to be the only thing worth watching at o.Co Coliseum in 2012. Let me preface this blog by admitting that I have a problem. I’m a Manny fan. I think he is absolutely hilarious and a complete dick. But not in the cocky way of A-Rod. More like the “this game is really fun and enjoy hitting a baseball very far for a living” way. How can you hate a guy that has such a damn good time on the field?

And if that isn’t enough for you, at least watch him hit and tell me he doesn’t have the sweetest right-handed swing in the game. No type of fertility drug can create a swing that perfect. Regardless of how many hormones he has swimming around in that body of his, Manny is one of the best hitters to ever play the game. Same as Barry Bonds, he tarnished his legacy with the failed test, but it doesn’t mean he wasn’t a spectacular player to begin with.

Back to Oakland – Manny will miss the first 50 games of the season due to his suspension. Which is perfect. Because that gives all our young prospects who have either been blocked for years or just sucked the big one when they got their shot, 50 games to prove themselves. If any of them hit like crazy, they will stay in the lineup and Bob Melvin will find a way to get Manny in there. If they don’t hit, they blew their chance and we’ve got a Hall-of-Famer hitting cleanup.

And if Manny hits 10 home runs in 110 games this year, it’s well worth the 500K. If he hits 10 home runs by the trade deadline, I guarantee Beane will squeeze a top prospect out of a desperate AL team in need of a DH for the playoffs. It’s a win-win situation. No harm, no foul, unless you are seriously offended by men injecting female junk into themselves. Or if you hate dreadlocks.

I promise, A’s fans. It’s going to be fun. And you’ll love watching Manny being Manny. It may be the only bearable part of a long, sad season.

Who knows…maybe he’ll give you a high five after a play!


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