Wednesday, September 9, 2015

a perfect end to summer, part tres (of tres) ...

“Now all the stars are turning blue;
Just kissed the clock 2:22.
Baby, I know what you’re wishin’ for –
I’m wishin’ for it too!
Now all the lights are flashing gold;
Nobody cares how fast we go.
Our soundtrack’s in the stereo –
This DJ’s on a roll!

Girl?  You got the beat right!
Killing in your Levis!
High on your lovin’?
Got me buzzin’ like a streetlight!

It’s still early out in Cali –
Baby don’t you wanna rally again?

We’ll find a road with no name!
Lay back in the slow lane!
The sky is dropping Jupiter on us
Like some old Train!

We’ll be rolling down the windows –
I bet you we’re catching our second wind!

We don’t have to go home!
We can leave the night on!

We can leave the night on! …”


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When we left off in Part Dos, I had just proven beyond the shadow of any disputable visual evidence that I am more competent at officiating a call in the NFL, than half the refs the league employs.  (I'm looking at you, Jeff Triplette.)

So before we hit the final third of the tour, and I close by making an unpaid commentary that, unlike Channel 9's public comment, does reflect the views and opinions of management of this site (that would be me, and Stevo's Site Numero Dos' Official Non-Existent Editor Dudette, also known as "the future Mrs. Stevo", also known as "a figment of my (brett voice) vivid imagination"), I want to back up a bit, to the Bo Jackson display hit on in Part Dos.

Because not only was this next thing of beauty one of the coolest t-shirts I've ever seen, and not only did I seriously contemplate begging Andrew to create a distraction so I could commit a criminal act to possess said t-shirt ... but if you're a fan of Vincent Edward Jackson, the fact that of all the t-shirts that could possibly be in his display?

That it's this team's, is just utterly hysterical.

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In case you missed it:


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In the lower left corner of the Bo Jackson display case, was this absolutely brilliant, incredible, "I so want to own this!" t-shirt:


(Again, to eliminate Captain Oats early, all images to appear in this post are courtesy me, via my iPhone 6c.  All depictions from the Gridiron Glory exhibit are the copyright and exclusive content of NFL Properties and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.)

How awesome is that?  "Go For 0!"  Just imagine how awesome that t-shirt could have been in the Kingdom three years ago if we hadn't rallied for that miracle overtime win in Nawlins in week three?

If the Chiefs lose that game (as they should have), they'd have been 0-11 entering the Jovan Belcher game (aka the Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith Memorial "Things Just Went Pitch Black" contest).

And given that Bo Jackson became a Royal, because he refused to play for Hugh Culverhouse's Bucs?  Sticking that t-shirt in the bottom corner of his section, made me laugh out loud.

I know Mr. Jackson was in town last weekend.  I hope he checked this exhibit out before it closed on Labor Day.  Because I guarantee you, he was laughing as hard as I was, at seeing a Tampa t-shirt openly rooting to be the worst team in NFL history, next to his iconic "Bo Knows Bo" image.

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There wasn't a lot left after the Booth Review Challenge.  Probably the coolest thing was the molded cast of various NFL quarterbacks grip on the ball:


Here's Troy Aikman:


I thought that was cool.

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One other awesome thing:


(C'mon, Horny Nation, sing it with me!!!

"Hail all hail, TCU.
Memories sweet; comrades true.
Light of faith?  Follow through.
Praise to Thee?  T!  C!  U!!!!!"

God, I miss college.)

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Once you got past the "look how NFL linemen have evolved over the years!" exhibit that I didn't give a sh*t about, there was a little area where you could try out your skills.  You could kick simulated field goal (pick your conditions and distance, kick the ball, and CGI takes over).  I passed.  I already hit a thirty yarder at the NFL Experience 23 years ago; I'm not letting that once-in-a-lifetime fluke, be proven to be what we all know it is.  I didn't want to run through the tackling dummies or do the cone drill, or deal with stepping in the roped-off boxes.

So, I headed into the merchandise store, and looked around.  And I nearly had a coronary at what passes as "credible pricing" for NFL merchandise.

Dwayne Bowe Chiefs jerseys -- 75% off.  (Still $44.95 pre-tax.)  Now, I ask this with all sincerity: who in their freaking right mind, is going to shell out $50 for a jersey for a lazy weed addict who had one great season (2010), and truly altered the outcome of only one game in his eight years here (at the Chargers in 2007*, one of the greatest upsets in franchise history).

For comparison, there was a dri-fit red Chiefs t-shirt I liked, that I contemplated buying ... for $39.95.  So let me ask again -- what sane person would spend MORE for a Dwayne Bowe jersey, than a t-shirt that doesn't honor a dude coming here with an opponent this fall?

Everything in this place was ridiculously overpriced.  And look it, I'm not a cheap ass.  I'm the guy who spent half of 2011 openly ripping the Chiefs organization a new one on a weekly basis on this site, because they didn't make Coach Asshat's grey t-shirt he wore to every presser available for me to purchase for $40 or more in the Team Store, or online.  The last windbreaker / raincoat I bought, at said Team Store, set me back $102, and the zipper has never worked.  I don't mind paying out the ass,  even when paying isn't advertised or required, for something I truly want and/or desire and/or crave.  (Hello, Adult Friend Finder!  Wait, did I just type that out loud?)

But $50 after tax for a Dwayne Bowe jersey?  In the words of the late, great Randall Carlyle Wakefield: "I may be stupid, but I ain't that stupid.  (Dramatic pause).  Well ..."

You will be glad to know, dear friend, that the parking nazis have more than "majored in Asshole 101", since your departing from this life.

They're on a doctorate level course, writing the dissertation, at this point.

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(*: I thought the pick and recap was posted on this site.  It's not.  I'll search the email archives and if it's there, I'll post later this week, to prove I took a fourteen point Chiefs underdog squad, to beat the Chargers in San Diego.)

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The six of us staggered out in pairings.  Russ and Tom were done first, Andrew and I were right behind them.  While we waited for Mona and Nicole, I decided to use the facilities.  Let's just say, the "Open Invitational of East 57th Terrace" from the night before, that involved whiskey, more whiskey, and an occasional game of pool, was wrecking havoc on my digestive system (which is already shot to hell with this wonderful condition known as diverticulitis ... which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.  It SUCKS.  And hurts like hell.)

So I enter the men's room, and head for the back handicap stall, and do my business.  About two, maybe three minutes in -- I'm not quite finished yet -- the door to said men's room opens, and I hear wheels rolling across the ground.

Oh no.  I'm "that guy".  I'm the guy who saw three empty stalls, and took the handicapped stall -- because let's just be honest here people: the handicap stall is the most convenient, the most private, and you'll never have to spare a square, in the handicap stall -- that sucker is always stacked with at least two loaded rolls of toilet paper at all times.  And of course, none of us have EVER seen a handicapped person wheel in, needing to use John J. Crapper.  

Go figure -- I'm "that guy", who makes the poor old guy who can't walk, wait a painful three minutes while he finishes his business.

I couldn't even look at the guy walking out, I was so disgusted and/or embarrassed, at the moment.

But believe you me -- he was staring me down.  If eyeballs could kill?  You all would have attended my funeral last week.

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I head back, and still no Mona or Nicole.  So I start looking at the amazing video referenced in Part Uno again, and, well, I just had to note the moment.

My unquestioned -- and barring some miraculous play to reach and/or win a Super Bowl, nothing will ever top this for me -- my unquestioned favorite moment in Chiefs history.

To this day, all I have to hear is Frank Gifford say "boy, did he loft that one!", and I immediately tear up, and begin to get misty eyed.  Like walking past a casket misty eyed.

"Boy, did he loft that one!"
"Vanover fields up ... up past the twenty."
"Uh oh!"
"Vanover finds a seam --"
"He's gone!"
"He's got one man to beat and that's the punt --
"NO FLAGS!"
"Would you --"
"NO FLAGS!  THIS BABY'S OVER!!!!"

(peter griffin voice) Ladies and gentlemen, Tamarick Vanover:


(Can you read the words, stenciled into the wall this played on, just below Mr. Vanover's feet?  "Do not write on or deface structure."  I guaran-godd*mn-tee you, some classless jackass from denver, attempted to do just that, at some point this summer.  Screw you donkeys.  Eight days f*ckers.  Eight days.  And yes -- I've taken every remaining day after tomorrow off, to "properly prepare" for this game.  Be frightened, friends.  Be very, very frightened, at what I'm going to be like, come 2pm next Thursday.

Also, if you want to head out with us (I know this is a bit premature, but hell, any girl can tell you that's something I occasionally am guilty of being (rimshot)!), The Bus is leaving no later than 12:30 on the 17th.  We're getting the early-in pass, and I fully anticipate, based on preseason actual gate opening times of 2:30, coupled with this being denver in prime time, that we'll be parked and tailgating by 1pm.  I have rarely, if ever, wanted to hear "Penny Lover" flowing through a speaker, as much as I do, eight days from now.)

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The final part of the tour, was to walk the hallway I didn't choose on the walk in.

But it's going to take me a moment to get the photos to upload.  I need a distraction.  I need a distraction.  I need a distraction!!!

(peter griffin voice) Ladies and gentlemen.  Mr. Conway Twitty:


(For the record, there are currently two mixes by Mr. Twitty, on the initial Mixology list, for the denver game.)

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Ladies and gentlemen, peoples and peepettes:

The Walk of True Achievement.











What I loved about walking this hallway, and seeing the banners that were up?

Is what you DIDN'T see.

Unless it was a division champion, Super Bowl participant, Super Bowl champion, or AFL champion?  There wasn't a banner flying.

No Wild Card Participant banners from 1968, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 2006, or 2013.  The Kingdom doesn't debase the meaning of the word "great" by honoring second or third place finishes.  Either you win the division, are one of the last two teams standing ... or it's meaningless.

Other than 1971 (unquestionably, to everyone other than me that is a die-hard, the most painful defeat in franchise history), 1990 (the "what hold?  That's bullsh*t!" re-kick from 52 by Nick Lowery at Miami, and 2013 (the greatest collapse in franchise history, which you can relive here and here if you're suicidal), does anyone give a damn about the wildcard entries?

1986: the luckiest Chiefs team every rides three special teams touchdowns into a 20 point ass whipping at the Jets, who closed 0-6 to make the playoffs.

1991: beating the raiders in the Wild Card in one of the most boring games you'll ever watch (10-7 in a pounding rain / cold), before losing by 30 at Buffalo.

1992: a 0-17 no-show at San Diego on my 16th birthday.  Thanks, Chiefs.  No, really -- you're the best sometimes.

1994: a New Year's Eve no-show at Miami ... mere moments before Nebraska MORE than showed up, at Miami.

2006: a no-show at Indy**.

I love that this franchise demands at least a bare minimum level of greatness above "drawing breath", to be recognized.

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(**: another one I thought was on here.  I'll scour the email servers that Mrs. Clinton's team didn't scrub, to try to find that one, too.)

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The final football pic I want to post, wasn't from the tour.  Because an honor of this guy, was sorely missing, save for the brief highlight of 32 diving over denver's offensive line in the snow, in the Chiefs victory at Real Mile High in 1995.

How Marcus Allen was not prominently featured in the "best running backs ever" portion of this tour -- but Bo Jackson was?

Actually led me to ask "have we confirmed al davis is actually dead"?

So, for 32, the view when you break at the pool table, in The Basement, at 2:30 in the morning, as I'm preparing to stumble into that prepared couch, as a landing spot for the night:


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As a side bar: if you thought the Gridiron Glory recap these last few days was interesting, sweet merciful Jesus, you need to come watch a Chiefs roadie with my group this year, and see The Basement.  It's the second most incredible sports room I've ever seen.  It's only topped by the neighbors next door ... and honestly, since Bill's tragic passing last spring, I think The Basement has topped the Original Basement.  You can't lose the heart and soul of the room, you can't lose a key component of what makes something great?  And expect it to remain great.


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That was one fun weekend, experiencing the Gridiron Glory exhibit, spending time with some good friends from South Dakota who would come around more often (and who are joining us on the trip to Minneapolis in six weeks -- score!  Also, score at not having to pay for a hotel room on the ride up on Friday, or back Sunday / Monday.  Wohoo!)

It was cool finally meeting Andrew in person.  I can think of some folks I work with in New York and Seattle and Chicago, I'd love to meet someday, a few of which I know read this.  (Kim, Caryl, Beth -- you ever visit KC, or the Chiefs grace your fine metropolitan areas with our presence?  Better be in like Sven!)

God, and I didn't even touch on the volleyball game Saturday, when Tom was so ridiculous, we were snapping his facial responses to getting his ass kicked by two chicas!  That might warrant its own post, his responses were that damned funny.

But what I think I want to close with, is this.

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This was the second best summer of my life.

Quite frankly, nothing is topping 1998.  The McGwire / Sosa duel I got to experience so much of, the final summer of "wohoo, the 'rents are fronting the tab for damned near everything!".  The "Summer of the Metro".  (cue "The Voice of Reason" and Jasson throwing sh*t at me when they arrive next week to tailgate in five, four, three ...)  

The funnest job I've ever held, with one of the three best bosses I've ever had.


Until this summer, I'm not sure what numero dos would have been.  Possibly 2006 (which was a blast) ... but 2006 also launched some changes into my life that have proven to be both positive and negative, nine years later.  (Note: much more negative, than positive, in hindsight.)  Definitely not 2004, save for one day (that was confusing as hell as well).

This was one weird summer.  For starters, we got two extra weeks, with Labor Day as late as possible (September 7), and Memorial Day damned close to as early as possible (May 26; May 25 is early as possible.)

I back-doored / ticket-dumped my way into a concert I wanted to see, but wasn't especially demanding to see, in the Rolling Stones.  (The fourth backed out when he saw the ticket price.)  I wasn't thrilled with the $93 face value either.

I'd have paid $593 for that night, and I guarantee you those of you reading this that were there, are nodding in agreement with me, at that statement.

Friends welcomed additions to their families (congrats, Doc!), and sadly, we saw people depart from this incredible gift of God known as life (sorry to my co-worker Dale for his loss).  Saw awesome, awe-inspiring health news (Gus beating Stage IV cancer) ... and saw another fight against that bastard known as cancer for a great friend get underway (Larry, we got your back, just like we did Gus' all last summer and well into this new year.  Ditto you, Karen -- anything you need?  You're family.  And family trumps everything, period -- no matter what.)

Speaking of family, as summer closes, my Special Little Guy enters second grade, and my Special Little Girls have turned five.  (verne lundquist voice) My goodness!

And yet, despite the changes, despite the ups and downs and highs and lows and "what the f*ck do I make of this?" moments?  In many regards, this was a non-descript, unmemorable summer.  Most weekends were typical (pool side with friends).  Most weeks were typical (enduring the job; and dealing with it as people in my family tend to: one (bottle) at a time!)  

There wasn't any major, magical moment that truly stood out (save for the Stones concert).  Hell, I attended both preseason games!  I'm not sure that has EVER happened before.  I usually blow off at least one of them for a floater (not a single one of which, sadly, occurred in 2015.  We'll have to fix that next summer ... since it is The Last Summer of Irresponsibility (aka "I'm turning 40").

I didn't post as much as I wanted to ... but in many regards, that's probably a good thing.  And what has been posted?  I'm ok with standing the test of time.  I don't regret anything that went up; if anything, I regret what didn't.

That's gotta be a first for this site.

With my 20th high school reunion coming up in less than a month***, I got to reconnect with friends from twenty years ago I hadn't heard from in pushing twenty years.  I think it's cool Jon is married with two kids.  I love reading Hoagland's updates on Facebook of his life, and man, was that one epic game we reconnected at or what?  Had it really been twenty years?

And has it really been a year, since 11:53pm happened, and the world stopped turning, on that September day?

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(***: I am still on the fence for attending.  I have three days to decide.  I have a standing offer to make a roadie to Cincy that weekend ... but do I really want to go through this again?  Especially since Minnesota looms two weeks later (already booked), and I've got an offer to go to denver four weeks later?)

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This summer was perfect.

It was exactly what I needed.

I hope for each and every person reading this?

It matched the level of perfection for you, that it gave me.

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And now, the real fun begins.

Because we don't have to go home.

We can leave the (season) on.

And for only the second time in my conscious memory?

You can pick which team in that incredible parking lot I'd call home if they'd let me, you want to keep the (season) on for -- The Red and Gold ... or the Boyz N Blue.

Because oh yes -- it's (stevo celebrating a monumental win text voice) season f*cking on time ...

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