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Photo TR: Scott's Ongoing Sports Venue Thread


BeemerBoy
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Hello, sports fans! I was inspired by everyone's favorite Jew to make my own sports thread. I didn't want to steal his thunder though, so please everyone, when you're finished here, go check out this thread.

 

I'll continue to update this anytime I visit a new sports arena, stadium, field, track, or whatever else sports are played on. I've been to plenty over the years, and I continue to love watching live sports, regardless of who's playing....okay, minus the WNBA.

 

Anyway, I'll also try to go retro on you when I'm able to dig up enough old photos of places I've been. So without further ado, here's the updated list:

 

The Orange Bowl - Miami, Fl (November 1th, 2007)- Miami Hurricanes vs. Virginia Cavaliers (The Final Home Game Ever)

The Boston Garden (Nov. 26th, 1991) Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Rupp Arena - (Dec. 6th, 2008) - Kentucky Wildcats vs. Miami Hurricanes

Philips Arena (March 7th, 2009) - Atlanta, GA - Celtics vs. Hawks

Homestead Miami Speedway (November 12th, 2000) NASCAR Pennzoil 400

Fenway Park - Boston, MA - (2002, 2004, 2008)

AT&T Field (August 8, 2008) - Chattanooga, TN - Chattanooga Lookouts Double A Minor League Baseball Game

Miami Arena & The History of Hockey in South Florida 1988 - 1998

Jackie Robinson Ballpark - Daytona Beach, Fl - Chicago Cubs Single A Minor League Baseball game - 2009

The World Golf Hall of Fame (5-10-09) - St. Augustine, FL

 

US Open Tennis 9/13/09 - Thread hijacked by larrygator

 

 

 

 

The Final Game at the Orange Bowl in Miami- 2007

 

 

November 10th, 2007. A day I had dreaded for years. In general, as a big sports fan, I've seen many prominent sports franchises lose their beloved home stadiums over the years in favor of newer, modern facilites. Although I may not have rooted for some of the teams, I've always appreciated what each building meant to their fans and players through the years.

 

From Boston Garden to Chicago Stadium. The Montreal Forum to The Great Western Forum. In my opinion, the buildings were as much responsible for their team's dominance as were the players. They're what defined "home field advantage."

 

The Orange Bowl in Miami was one of those classic places. My brother and I grew up there, as we were fortunate to have family willing to take us to games at such a young age. The OB (as it's affectionately called) was one of the greatest places to ever watch a football game. To me, it was huge part of the overall success experienced by both the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes of the 1980's.

 

It's hard to summarize exactly what that place meant to me. Between the OB and Walt Disney World, you could pretty much create an album of all my favorite childhood memories.

 

From a purely historical standpoint, the stadium not only housed Miami's football teams, but played host to many great events. Five Super Bowls were played there, including Joe Namath's guaranteed victory over the Colts. Springsteen, The Stones, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Prince have all played it (oh, and a sidenote for Wes, it was renamed the "Purple Bowl" just for the finale of his Purple Rain tour). Heck, JFK even gave a speech there once.

 

Back to football. I've been to many different stadiums across the country for some big games, and I can tell you that NONE of them have ever been as loud as the OB in it's glory years. At the greatest game I ever attended anywhere, the classic Monday Night Bears-Dolphins game in '85, the place literally shook from the deafening noise in the closed end. To this day, I've never heard anything louder....even during any of the 'Canes classic matchups with FSU or Notre Dame.

 

It was truly a place visiting teams did not wanna play in. The Canes still hold the NCAA record for consecutive home game wins - 58! Think about that for a second. That's just shy of 10 straight years without losing a home game. Before the Washington Huskies broke the streak in '94, you pretty much took it for granted that you'd show up and watch another Canes win. It became routine and expected. And trust me, the stadium played a HUGE part in that.

 

Although Miami has fallen on hard times recently, every Canes fan always enjoyed a trip to the OB. Truthfully, the 'ole girl has certainly seen better days. She's definitely not exactly structurally sound anymore, and the neighborhood is, how shall I say, well, it's just that....the hood. To us though, it continued to be the most beautiful site in college football. Even if you prayed your car wasn't jacked during the game.

 

Although I had heard rumblings for years about the OB's demise, and knew it would one day unfortunately become reality, I still almost cried the day I heard the news just a couple months back. Immediately I knew I would not miss the very last game, come hell or high water...both a distinct possibility in Miami by the way.

 

My brother Gary is not a Canes fan (Notre Dame, hehe. I can laugh cause even we're not that bad), but because of all our great memories from Dolphins games, he wasn't gonna miss it either. I flew into Orlando, he picked me up and so began our journey to one bittersweet visit to Miami's football jewel.

 

Obviously, the game sucked, and we got our asses handed to us, but I'm chosing to ignore that fact, and just remember the great times. I know that was a lot to read, but I appreciate your time. This TR definitely means a lot to me. We'll start out with a clip of the coolest mascot in college football...Sebastian the Ibis, dancing to our our version of Soulja Boy's song (whatever it's called). Enjoy.

 

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Thanks for reading. I'll leave you with this....a poster that was handed out to all in attendance.

 

And don't worry. We're still Miami. We'll be back. ;)

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No thanks on that sun trip. I'll just take the b-52 bomber home, thanks.

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Or the Toyota as it was. And then off to the Orlando/Sanford Airport....Gateway to the Sun. Whoa, I didn't realize public space travel was already a reality.

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To the CaneMobile!

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I'll take the trash can?

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Screw that, you take the turnstile.....

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Security was beefed up this season to prevent people from stealing momentos. Guess I'll have to settle for some big paint chips.

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It's tough to really truly celebrate anything after a beatdown, but the OB put on a postgame "show" of sorts featuring confetti, a banner, and then cutting the stadium lights, flashing some lasers and playing audio clips of classic moments. I still managed to get chills.

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Yep. The University's president is a douche for deciding to move the team to Dolphin Stadium next season. :(

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This is my version. Clearly not as good. Oh yeah, that smoke that almost EVERY freakin' football team from PopWarner to the pros now use......started here. (as did the four fingers thing before the final quarter of the game....in case you were wondering. ;)

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This was not my photo. The Sun Sentinel is credited with it, but I had to use it because frankly, I like it.

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For all the rastlin' fans out there, I give you.....THE ROCK! Yep, also a former National Championship winning Cane. ;)

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The team is set to take the field for the asswhoopin' of the decade. Way to embarrass the dozens of All-Time Best former Hurricanes in attendance, kids! Good job.

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Hey, I'm a big fan of her too! ;)

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One of my favorite Jews of all time.

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"People of Miami, I'm here, let's begin!"

Funny, I don't remember somebody named Security playing for us. What? That's just the reflective undershirt showing through? Oh, okay. ;)

 

In fact, I bought that jersey when Rohan Marley played for the U and wore that number. Yep, one of the 200 children of reggae legend Bob Marley played for us in the 90's.

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Okay, time to leave our old seats and head to the upper deck for the game.

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Did I mention we went 58-0 at home from October 12th, 1985 to Sept. 24, 1994?

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Time to act like a dirty hippie chaining himself to a tree in protest of a new strip mall in suburbia. "I'm not leaving. City of Miami, you'll have to bulldoze me too!"

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Yep, plenty o' memories here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

* One of these signs isn't really true. ;) (inside joke, kids)

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Which looked something close to this. The actual shot from our seats didn't turn out as well. You get the idea though.

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These were our season tickets seats for Dolphins games.

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A standing room only vantage point.

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A panorama from the closed end of the OB.

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Heading out to the dreaded West End Zone. During Canes games, the lower sections make the "Black Hole" at Raiders games look like kindergarten. Yeah, I said it.

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The last time we'll make this trek up to our seats.

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Hey look, Gary makes his second appearance in the TR.

 

 

(I know he's counting.)

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One last time.

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In typical "hey, cmon, it's 70 years old" fashion, they got stuck.

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The gates were just about to open to the masses when.....

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Time for the old school Dolphins trucker hat that's two times larger than it really should be. Eh, I had to rock the hat I bought here in '85, regardless of how stupid it looked.

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Score! Hooray Beer. Ok, I love my fellow Canes fans, but honestly, you guys need to pick up your game in the pregame beer department. I walked around for 15 minutes before I found something worth drinking. And yes, I know, even Red Stripe ain't the greatest.

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A look at the South side....for all the south side fanatics out there.

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What to do when you don't have proper time to stop at Publix and pick up beer and food? First, flash the "U," then proceed wander around the tailgating crowd and bum food and beer off drunk people.

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I'm suddenly getting choked up.

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And there's the ole girl.

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Anyone for random mystery meat on a stick? No thanks here. It's probably their neighbor's chihuahua.

 

"I'll take a crab juice though."

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"Hmmm, what happened to the public urinal? This corner sure has grown in over the years." Tailgating truth #1: if no restrooms are present, anything in the area then doubles as one. ;)

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On our walk to the OB, we passed Merrill Stevens boatyard on the Miami River. I actually did some work on that yacht once. The captain was fond of saying, "It's nice working for the 'Lord'." (not sure if you can see, but the yacht's name is Lord Jim)

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Obligatory tossing of the pill ensued.

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After missing a turn, and a short, but treacherous ride through Little Havana, we reach our destination. This would not be exactly where we parked, but rather where we learned to tailgate. That green tent is where we tailgated for every Dolphins home game of the '80s.

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Ah, there she is! Hey baby, I actually got off my lazy ass and voted for you in Mitch's Poll this year. Thanks again, Ted. CoasterFanatics system is the reason why.

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If you were all familiar with the early '90s rap scene in Miami, I'd go with a rap-related quote, but since I'm guessing most of you aren't well versed in that area, I'll just say that's the highway directional sign showing you where we're headed.

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"Uh oh, he don't look happy. He's been using brand Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx." Sorry, every time I see this, I can't help but think of that line in Batman.

 

This was actually my first taste of Vitamin Water, as recommended by Gary. My thoughts?....not too shabby.

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SportMount on the hood? Check.

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What to read on the flight? The poker player's "bible," of course.

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The Chattanooga Airport. Yay for dirt cheap flights to Sanford (just north of Orlando)!

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As much as I hate to see old stadiums go.

The Orange Bowl was a dump in an even dumpier neighborhood.

 

I have 4 good memories of the Orange Bowl:

2 Dolphins victories (yes, I was a DolFan)

Gators beating Syracuse in the Orange Bowl

A Genesis concert

 

and one bad memory: a 31-4 beatdown that UM put on the Gators in 1986.

 

Yes 4 points, the Hurricane long snapper lofted two snaps over the punter's head and out of the end zone.

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The Orange Bowl is one stadium that I hoped to visit.

 

At least I have been to:

Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati

Busch Stadium, St. Louis (1966-2005)

Market Square Arena, Indianapolis

RFK Stadium, Washington DC (still home to DC United, but this stadium will eventually go)

RCA Dome, Indianapolis (Will be torn down after Colts open the new Lucas Stadium)

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It really is a travesty that they are leaving the Orange Bowl. Some places, no matter how janky they may be, simply should not be left and torn down. It's truly a shame that no one was willing to step up and refurbish the classic stadium.

 

Awesome TR, Scott. I'm definitely jealous you were at the game. Too bad it didn't have a better outcome.

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Who knew Miami still played football? They are so 2000.

 

Thankfully the two stadiums I care about (Dodger Stadium and the Coliseum) are still in use. The only defunct stadiums I've been to were awful: the old Anaheim stadium (multi purpose donut stadiums=FAIL) and Stanford's old stadium. I wish they would bulldoze Cal's Memorial stadium, but that's another story...

 

I went to the last USC home game at the Sports Arena too, but I only had tears of joy after the game. Sports Arena=worst arena ever.

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  • 6 months later...

The Boston Garden - 1991

 

Recent events have made me get all nostalgic and start going through some of my old stuff. If you hadn't already heard, I grew up as a HUGE Celtics fan. I ate, slept, and breathed Celtics basketball. Unfortunately, my dream of being the starting point guard fell a bit short, which is obviously why it took 'em 22 years to capture their 17th title.

 

Back in '91, I was a subscriber to Celtic Pride Magazine, and noticed they were holding a nationwide photography contest. The winner received a trip to Boston and the chance to sit with the photographers on the floor of the Garden during any game he/she chose.

 

Long story short, I won. Naturally I was gonna pick the Lakers game since anybody with a brain would wanna see Larry and Magic battle it out. Well, Magic had other plans. The game I picked was on November 26th, 1991. On November 7th, Magic decided he'd tell me and the rest of the world he wasn't gonna make that game due to a little thing called HIV. Yeah, still, thanks for that. Guess that "Johnson" wasn't so magic after all, eh?

 

Since the plans were already set, I went through with the trip, sans Magic. It still ended up being one of the highlights of my life to this day. I had dreamed of seeing a game at the Garden, and now I'd get to do it sitting on the parquet itself!

 

The day of the game got even better when I realized the Bruins were playing their archrivals, the Montreal Canadiens in the afternoon before the Celtics played that evening. This is a winter time Boston sports fans' dream day! I got a scalped ticket outside the Garden at noon, and proceeded to follow Patrick Roy right off of the Habs' bus and into the Garden. Talk about surreal. I just flashed my photo credential for the night's game, and acted like I belonged...even though my heart was racing like crazy.

 

From that point on, I had the Garden to myself for the next hour or so before they opened the gates to the public. Words just simply can't express what an awesome feeling that was. I only wish I had had my camera, and not a loaner I was fortunate to have been given from a friend. I was unfamiliar with the settings, and being the idiot that I am sometimes, failed to buy the right speed film. You'll notice what I'm talking about in the pics.

 

Oh well, even that couldn't spoil what was the best sports day of my life. I'll let the pics try and help tell the story from here.

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Most of my other stuff is still away in storage, so I'll leave you with several things that were still on the walls back in my bachelor days. Guess it's time to buy a new shirt and hat. =)

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I'll leave you with a shot of Larry Bird Night in 1993. I think I gave up one of my kidneys for this ticket....and it was the last seat in the house.

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Larry Bird from the charity stripe = automatic.

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The 505th consecutive Boston Garden sellout!

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Ah, there we go. I knew things were a bit too pleasant up until now.

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The Chief with the slam.

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Bird with the lefthanded runner.

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And here he is again from the line.

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"Big Game" James Worthy with the inbound pass. Worthy was the only Laker I ever sort of liked. I was able to go down to the locker rooms after the game and meet every player from both teams. Worthy went out of his way to stop, sign an autograph and talk for a minute or two before hopping on the team bus.

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After fooling with the settings a bit, some of the pics started to clear up a bit. Remember, I didn't get to see how bad the others were directly after I shot 'em. This happened to be my favorite one I took. Bird guarding A.C. Green, with Byron Scott out top....classic.

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"Easy" Ed Pinckney for the jam.

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Robert Parrish about to back down Sam Perkins before hitting the fade away jumpshot in his grill.

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The legend, himself.

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You'd then have a simple announcement of the starting lineup. At this point, all you'd hear is "CHIIIEEEEF!"

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Back in the day, there were no cheerleaders, no stupid mascot walking around on stilts, no jumbotron scoreboard, no fireworks, and the announcer would simply say, "Ladies and gentlemen, the Boston Celtics." I miss the old days.

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And yes, the Lakers, featuring a couple pieces of the '80s "dynasty."

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The late, Reggie Lewis. :(

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Layup drills. You have no idea how bad I wanted to join 'em.

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Here's a hint. And yes, sadly, many of the pics didn't come out the way I wanted, but I'm definitely not complaining.

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A look at some of the numbers retired by the Celtics. There's now another banner with a certain someone's number, which I was fortunate to see raised to the rafters with my own eyes. =)

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A couple hours later it was approaching game time for the Celtics and Lakers.

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The celebration after Bobby Carpenter wristed one topshelf, gloveside over Patrick Roy with 2.6 seconds left in overtime! Yes, this was back when the NHL didn't have lamea$$ shootouts.

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Andy Moog during warm-ups.

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I need some heavenly music to accompany this pic.

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Watching this year's playoffs, I became quite irritated at hearing the new place referred to as "The Garden." Quite simply, it's not, and never will be to me. The REAL Garden is in this picture. The Celtics currently play in "The new place."

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If anyone has seen the movie Rudy, I felt about the same way Rudy's father felt when he first laid eyes on Notre Dame's field.

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Hotel room view from the Marriott at Copley Place.

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Arriving in Boston. This was also the first time I had ever flown anywhere.

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This is the pic that won it. I woke up early one morning, drove down to Fort Lauderdale Beach, and after several rolls of film, ended up with this. Wow, thank God we've gone digital since then.

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This is pretty much the coolest TR to ever grace the Random boards. And as if the Celts/Lakers game in the Garden wasn't cool enough, you threw in the Habs/Bruins game. Unbelievable! This was back around the time I started to really get into the NBA. I still remember watching the news the night Reggie Lewis died. But man, to see Larry Legend in action... that had to be something. When I was a kid, my family took a day trip to French Lick with half the purpose being to see Larry Legend's hometown.

 

Awesome TR, Scott! I'm definitely jealous.

 

-Scott "When I was a kid, my classmates asked me if I was related to Robert" Parrish

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I agree, that was pure awesome. And as outdated as it got, there was something about the Garden. The Forum, by comparison, was really nothing special. I don't think any Lakers/Kings fans miss it (although it still stands). Oh, and nice that you caught then-future Laker Rick Fox in his rookie season. It's too bad he never got a ring as a Celtic, but I don't think he's complaining.

 

I hope trip reports like this one become a trend.

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This is awesome and amazing!!!!! I love stuff like this. Classic. Even though I hate Boston (the teams AND the city) it's great to see a piece of history like this.

 

Yeah, the Forum sucked. Staples rocks for a modern stadium center.

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awesome TR, beautiful pictures.

 

I love how the hockey rink wasn't even big enough, it must of been interesting to see. And i am not a NBA fan, but i drool over the classic basketball courts, whether it be NCAA or Pro, and those pictures are awesome, even tho the place was a "dump", it's still beautiful.

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awesome TR, beautiful pictures.

 

I love how the hockey rink wasn't even big enough, it must of been interesting to see. And i am not a NBA fan, but i drool over the classic basketball courts, whether it be NCAA or Pro, and those pictures are awesome, even tho the place was a "dump", it's still beautiful.

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Yeah, the Forum sucked. Staples rocks for a modern stadium center.

The Staples Center is a pretty nice arena, but it always seems very dark in there. I don't know why, but that has always bugged me for some reason.

I have only been to the new Garden once and it wasn't even for a game, it was to take a train into Maine, but from what I saw it seems pretty nice, but I guess I would have to see the rest to have a real accurate judgement.

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Yeah, the Forum sucked. Staples rocks for a modern stadium center.

The Staples Center is a pretty nice arena, but it always seems very dark in there. I don't know why, but that has always bugged me for some reason.

I have only been to the new Garden once and it wasn't even for a game, it was to take a train into Maine, but from what I saw it seems pretty nice, but I guess I would have to see the rest to have a real accurate judgement.

 

I've never been there but it looks awfully dark in there. You can't see more then the first two rows of the fans. The Wachovia Center is well lit, that's a beautiful place to watch a basketball game.

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This brought back some great memories!

 

My first NBA game was Washington Bullets vs. Celtics (with Larry Bird) at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md. around 86-89. Was also a huge hockey fan during this time and Moog was one of my faves, up there with Pete Peters, Don Beaupre, etc. There was also some up and coming guy named Koltzig on the Skip Jacks. Used to watch the Bruins and Caps games on Home Team Sports.

 

Yeah, the Celtics are special to me too. Excellent TR!

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The Staples Center is a pretty nice arena, but it always seems very dark in there. I don't know why, but that has always bugged me for some reason.

 

I've never been there but it looks awfully dark in there. You can't see more then the first two rows of the fans. The Wachovia Center is well lit, that's a beautiful place to watch a basketball game.

 

For the past 2 seasons, the Lakers have adopted a "lights out" lighting design. On opening night on Halloween 2006, they gave out free "Lights Out" t-shirts (I was there). Basically, the court is lit up brightly, and the rest of the arena is much darker. I like it, because it evokes the feelings of older arenas, and things like boxing matches back in the day. I think Madison Square Garden does something similar. Wes could probably attest to this relatively new development.

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I'm not a huge sports fan, but enjoyed this TR nonetheless. But I am a fan of the venues where they take place. Unfortunately, too many of our classic ball parks/arenas are giving way to modern and often stale ones.

 

Thankfully, L.A. still has Dodger Stadium, which, after this season, will be the second oldest park in the major leagues. (Only Wrigley Field will be older once Yankee Stadium is torn down.) Dodger Stadium will be 50 years old in 2012 when the world ends.

 

Which reminds me---who's going to do a "Yankee Stadium Final Season Photo TR" here?

 

Eric

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Very awesome photo thread, and I couldn't agree more with the last poster.

 

Fortunately the Dodgers realize that the best ballpark for them is simply a better Dodger Stadium while keeping what works, and the likeliness of the classic stadium still having baseball games in 2062.

Same thing goes for Fenway: Sox owners originally pushed for a new park but found out they could do fine revenue wise just staying put and slowly improving the old park.

 

Unless I find fistfuls of cash laying around or some other wacky windfall coming my way, I will never get the chance to see either Yankee Stadium nor Shea Stadium. At least the Yankees are maintaining history while building anew... Citi Field seems to be more like an Ebbets wannabe in a parking lot.

 

Finishing my rant, I have a preference for the old Busch Stadium over the new. While it was a mult-purpose donut, it was undeniably St. Louis. The new one, which they artificially instilled character too, is still lacking. More of a fad follower, if you ask me.

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