Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Stadium #14 - Qwest Field, Seattle Seahawks

On my way to Fairbanks, Alaska I arranged for an extended layover in Seattle as there happened to be a home game at the mighty Qwest Field. So after I landed in Seattle, it was straight to the rental counter and on my way to watch the Seattle Seahawks take on the St. Louis Rams. Qwest Field is every bit as impressive as advertised. A modern facility with a fantastic view of the Seattle Skyline and all the food (in variety and quantity) that any fan could ask for. Qwest Field stadium concessions are easily the best in the league. In addition to the standard dogs, brats, and burgers, fans can find Thai and Chinese food, bread bowls of clam chowder or chili, deep-fried fish and chip dinners, and the local favorite, garlic fries (guaranteed to keep loved ones at bay). Fans of the Seattle Seahawks rank among the loudest in the league and Qwest Field’s specifically designed acoustics aide in directing crowd noise as well. By the end of the day, with a plane to catch, I found my experience in Seattle at Qwest Field to be brief but enlightening.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Stadium #13 - Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego Chargers

Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA became my 13th stadium on the Quest for 31 on October 14, 2007. The San Diego Chargers were hosting the Oakland Raiders for a huge interstate grudge match and I was on hand with Jason and Marty to watch it unfold. Fans began tailgating before the game at 7:30am PST, as pickup trucks bearing San Diego Charger and Oakland Raider badging clogged the streets around the stadium. The umbrella tents and barbecue grills were out in no time for a great parking lot tailgating experience … we went to IHOP. Raider Nation showed up in full force in support of their team, but Charger fans held their ground. It was interesting to see that although Charger fans did outnumber the Raiders fans in the stadium, that there was still an extremely strong contingent of fans dressed in silver and black … Raider Nation indeed. The day ended in a 28 – 14 win for the Chargers as LaDanian Tomlinson ran for all four of the San Diego Charger touchdowns.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Stadium #12 - Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis Rams

The Quest for 31 resumes with Stadium #12, the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO. Known for the Gateway Arch, a thriving local blues community, and toasted ravioli, St Louis also proved to be an awesome football town. The St. Louis Rams are one of my favorite pro football organizations, so seeing the Greatest Show on Turf in person was indeed a thrill. Unfortunately, for this trip, the Greatest show was riddled with injuries. Notable outs were Marc Bulger, Issac Bruce, and Steven Jackson. With an injury report that read like a Pro Bowl roster, the Rams had to turn to their backups, so it was Gus Ferrotte and Brian Leonard that heeded the curtain call against the recently surging Arizona Cardinals, who were fresh off their thrilling victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cardinals proved too much for the hometown Rams to handle as they posted a thrilling 34 – 31 victory in a shootout in the dome.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Stadium #9 - Georgia Dome, Atlanta Falcons

Stadium #9 was to be the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. Myself and Jeremy as part of a three city, eleven day stadium tour, would round out our third game with the hometown Atlanta Falcons taking on the visiting Dallas Cowboys. The incomparable Mike Vick was in his prime and scandal free as he led the NFL’s most prolific ground attack against a surging Tony Romo led Dallas Cowboys offense. It was December 2006 and the weather was fantastic. The Falcons would lose the game, but not without some exceptional offensive maneuvering by the human highlight reel himself, Michael Vick.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Stadium #8 - Heinz Field, Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh, PA and Heinz Field were to be the site of my eighth stadium visit on the Quest for 31. It was a bitter cold December eve as we left Detroit right after work on a Thursday, bound for Pittsburgh, PA. We arrived in Pittsburgh just in time for kickoff but ended up stick in gametime traffic. It appeared that everyone decided to wait until the last minute to Heinz Field. When we finally arrived, we got a parking spot, high-tailed it over to the stadium, and proceeded to purchase one of Myron Cope’s Official Pittsburgh Steelers Terrible Towels. With the Terrible Towel in one hand and fantastic Primanti Bros sandwich in the other, I was ready to cheer on the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 27 -7 win over the Cleveland Browns.