Monday, April 17, 2006

Solid Weekend

Well, I really can't complain about the Easter weekend that just passed. In fact, it was quite glorious, aside for some thunderstorms on Sunday, but then, the sound of thunder and violently falling rain is always enjoyable. The Bulls clinched a playoff spot for the second year in a row, the White Sox took two out of three from the Blue Jays, and yours truly spent Friday night at the ole ballpark with ten fine, lively, lovely chicks. Yes, ten. All by myself. Honest. Just ten chicks and me with a big ole grin on my face. More on that later.

Major props to the Bulls, who are getting extremely hot at just the right time and stormed into the playoffs by dismantling the Heat 117-93 in Miami yesterday afternoon. Granted, with the second seed already locked up for Miami, Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade sat out the fourth quarter, but the Bulls were already firmly in control of the game by that point. It was an ass-kicking. Luol Deng celebrated his birthday with a huge performance. I can't believe that guy is only 21. Good lord. Talk about the ceiling being high.

The game was an orgasmic experience if you're a Bulls fan, especially since I'm fairly certain it was the first Sunday afternoon ABC game the Bulls have played this year. I lost track of how many times I heard things like "the Bulls are the hardest-playing team in the NBA" or "nobody plays better defense than the Bulls" or "the future of these young Bulls is extremely bright". On and an it went like that. Bill Walton was totally stoking me, not to mention cracking me up, as he always does. Say what you will about Walton, and I know he annoys many, but the dude is funny, if unintentionally. My favorite moment yesterday:

Mike Tirico: "Didn't Luol Deng learn to play basketball in the Sudan from Manute Bol?"

Big Bill (and you know he had that famously assured grin on his face at the time, although you couldn't see it): "Absolutely."

I don't even know why that's funny. I guess it's just the thought of Walton being so sure of himself, as if he was in the Sudan at the time watching Bol mentor Deng. Absolutely!

Scottie Pippen, in the studio, even managed to nominate Scott Skiles for Coach of the Year and threatened to walk out after Mark Jackson vehemently declared Kobe Bryant better than Michael Jordan. (Dude must be on crack. Seriously, Jackson is about as bad as it gets for "analysts". Ugh. The guy was a solid point guard for a long time, but...)

The Bulls play in Orlando tonight, and though the game is meaningless, it would still be nice to beat the Magic, which is arguably the hottest team in the league right now. It would also be nice to avoid the Pistons in the first round.

Meanwhile, the White Sox bounced back from a dismal Friday night to take the next two games from Toronto, though yesterday's win was shortened due to rain. Javier Vasquez looked shaky on Friday, but if you want to look at it positively, he really only had one truly bad inning - the fifth when he couldn't get anyone out. Other than that, he looked at least decent (i.e., nothing that Don Cooper can't fix.) Mark Buehrle was brilliant on Saturday and Freddy Garcia may have been lucky yesterday's game was called short after he allowed the Blue Jays back to within 6-4 after being spotted a 6-0 lead. A lot of talk has been centered on Garcia's lack of velocity thus far, but we'll see how that works out. It's still early and Garcia pitched his ass of in the WBC for Venezuala so maybe he's a bit more tired than he normally would be at this time of year.

Jim Thome has scored in every game thus far this season. Amazing.

And, yes, the Unknown Column is happy to report that he attended the Friday night White Sox-Blue Jays tilt with ten chicks. Yes, ten. It was ten chicks and the Unknown Column. No, really. We took up nearly an entire row. I tell you this not because I'm some sort of stud or ladies man - I'm not - but because this has never happened before and will never happen again. If I start waiting for the next time it's just me and ten fine, young things at a Sox game, I'll be waiting a long, long time. So I'll be damned if I'm not going to talk about it. Ten chicks. And me. I was the envy of every dude in our section. Too bad I don't have a digital camera or I'd have proof to offer in here, not to mention the poster I would have blown up and hung on my wall of the time it was me and ten lovely nubile hotties at the ballpark.

OK, there was one other dude with us who was a boyfriend of one of the chicks, but he didn't really count. In fact, I think he might have been a Cubs fan.

A friend of my sister's had somehow got her hands on twelve tickets, and since several of their group of friends were home from college for Easter, they all decided to spend Friday with the Sox. (Smart chicks.) Aware that I'm the biggest diehard Sox fan she knows and also that I wasn't kidding when I threatened extreme violence if I wasn't offered a ticket, my sister managed to get me into the group, too. Good times.

That said, women do not know how to watch a baseball game. It's ridiculous. At one point - I shit you not - I was the only person from our group actually in our seats watching the game. They had all scattered to use the bathroom or get more beer or smoke cigarettes or do whatever it is they do when they attend a baseball game that they, apparently, view as that thing going on while they get their drink on. I looked to my left and to my right and they were all gone. All of them. Our entire row was empty except for a few people all the way at the other end. It was almost embarrassing. At least the dudes sitting directly behind me got a kick out of it.

Whatever. It was all cool. A few of them were wearing Sox caps and shirts. I have no idea if any of them even cared about the Sox before last year's World Series win, but it doesn't matter. They did have taste. I swear, any chick wearing a Sox cap with the 1983 logo will tug at my heart every time. Every time. Same goes with any Sox attire in the color green. I melt. When one of them, who was wearing the cap seen below, mentioned that she was an artist, well, I was in some serious love. A chick who wears green Sox attire and paints? I can't really ask for much more than that, can I? I wouldn't dare.

She said she painted and then she asked me to remove all of her clothing, slowly, piece by piece, until she was wearing nothing but a Sox cap...OK, that didn't really happen.

On top of everyting, it was nice to see the Cell so lively this early in the season. It was a nice crowd, which has been rare in April in years past. And the female factor was on fire. Chicks, chicks everywhere! Good lord! It was a beautiful, warm, summer-like night, meaning the choices of outfits were outstanding, and between the fine women passing me left and right and the ten chicks I was with - did I mention I was with ten chicks? - I felt like a kid in a candy store.

More importantly, it was just nice to see a large crowd. Lord knows I've been to plenty of Sox games where almost the entire upper deck was empty, especially in April. But no more. There was a definite sense of celebration in the air. It was one big party. My favorite fans on this night were a group of kids a few rows behind us. They couldn't have been more than 18 years old and there had to be about 25-30 of them. They were extremely loud and boisterous and busy starting all sorts of chants, which surely had something to do with the liquor they snuck in. I was chuckling as I saw them passing back and forth haphazard, homemade concoctions of pop and booze. A brown liquid in a green Mountain Dew container is usually a giveaway that something is amiss - in a good way. I had to laugh as one dude would chug, make a face like he just swallowed shampoo, and then pass the brown Mountain Dew to his buddy, who would likewise chug and make the same face. And then they, and their buddies, with the latest charge of liquid courage, would begin chanting, "Anderson! Anderson! Anderson!" or whatever it was they felt like screaming about at that moment. Yes, they even managed to start a chant for Brian Anderson, the poor rook who is struggling mightily at the plate at the moment. Now that's all class. All in all, I was very impressed with their ingenuity. Sneaking booze into the ballpark? Classic, classic move, one I've mastered and pulled off myself on many occasions. I love it, absolutely love it. I loved it even more when they could barely get through a chant of "Paulie! Paulie! Paulie!" without slurring the words. You know you're drunk when you're slurring Paulie. I mean, it's not like Tadahito or Podsednik. Whatever. I would have been sneaking in some booze myself if I wasn't with ten chicks and trying to be at least minimally suave. Did I mention that I was with ten chicks?

I was just happy with myself for managing not to hit the Bullpen Bar, which was amazing, really. Not even once. Normally, when I'm with my buddies (or flying solo; I'm not ashamed), we find our seats early and by the third inning we're already half in the bag and firmly entrenched down in the Bullpen Bar downing Bombers with all the other sloppy drunks, where we continue drinking hardcore until they finally boot us out about 30 minutes after the game ends. And all you other drunk Sox fans out there know all about the Bombers. If only all bottles of beer came so large.

Anyways, it's always nice to get out to the ballpark early in the season to get a taste of what's in store for the coming summer. Now if only I can find a group of ten chicks with season tickets.


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