Saturday, April 22, 2006

Madden News

Shawn Alexander is on the cover of Madden 2007. Is anyone scared? More on Mr. Madden later in this post.

On Thursday, we ended up staying at the Bellagio for drunken $4/8 hold ‘em. Definitely not as cool as $2/4 HORSE but the tequila was flowing and I had my first hard alcohol of 2006. I definitely drank too much and I’m pretty sure that I like beer better than hard A. In fact, I’m seriously considering giving it up for good after Memorial Day weekend. I’d give it up before that if I could but my friends would never let me. Without fail, drinking alcohol puts me into “Superman” mode where I think I can drink any amount of liquor and I can’t be stopped.. Throw in my competitive one-upping nature and you consistently get a big, binge-drinking Asian if hard A is on the menu. At any rate, I’m 95% sure that I’m going to stick to beer after Memorial Day.

I ended up going to bed at around 6:30 AM and didn’t get on the road until around 2:45 on Friday afternoon. Traffic was god-awful through Vegas so I was even further behind schedule and ended up getting to the Diamondbacks-Giants game in the 3rd inning, with the score already 6-0 Giants. The Diamondbacks rallied to tie the game at 6 then blew it in the top of the ninth. I must say that the NL West is pretty bad. I saw some ugly baseball in most of the NL West games that I watched and I don’t expect any of those teams to do anything, The Giants did improve to 3-0 in games with me in attendance and Tim Worrell is 1-0 with 2 saves despite blowing the save on Thursday. I was definitely underwhelmed by Bank One Ballpark Chase Field. I was really excited to see it because I’ve heard great things about it but it didn’t live up to the hype. They tried to make it feel like a retro-park but they failed miserably. It felt like a cross between Safeco and the Kingdome. It had the green metal sticking out here and there but it felt like a cavernous concrete monstrosity. The 300 level has at least 50 rows and there is no view of the outside. At SBC PacBell AT&T Park they have the opening to McCovey’s Cove in right field and a view of a bridge (Bay Bridge?) in left. At Safeco there’s a sweet view of downtown in left field. At Chase all you can see are seats and walls. It seriously felt like the Kingdome and I don’t mean in the good nostalgic way.

BTW, I guess “underwhelmed” isn’t a word since Word has it underlined in red. It suggests “under whelmed” but is that really correct? Should I say “unimpressed” instead? “Unimpressed” doesn’t really convey the idea of being let down. Anyway, here are some pictures:

The Prius poses in front of a scenic viewpoint Posted by Picasa

Look at that 300 level. Kingdome, anyone? Posted by Picasa

View of Center Field Posted by Picasa

View from Center Field Posted by Picasa

I felt like it was time that the Prius got some face time. It’s been running great and I think I’m falling in love with her. I still feel bad that Sky didn’t get to borrow her but I guess he had to get a car at some point. I’m not sure if he has one yet so if anyone in Seattle happens to have an extra one of those, please hook him up.

This morning (well, yesterday morning I guess) Jimmy called me at 8:30 in the morning. While it was good to hear from him, I’d appreciate it if all calls came in later than noon. He was in Vegas one day after I left and we discussed the possibility of him meeting me and Dave in Chicago and me staying with him in Kansas City. I definitely don’t talk to Jimmy enough and I’m looking forward to seeing him next month.

The one positive that came from the early wake-up call is that I got on the road earlier than expected and I was able to drive further than I thought I would. At 9 AM I hit the Days Inn continental breakfast and again was severely “underwhelmed”. No pastries, no meat, no waffles. They had a loaf of bread, margarine and hard-boiled eggs. That’s it. I ate two hard-boiled eggs and a piece of bread and vowed to never stay at the Days Inn again. Today was a good day of driving and I made it all the way to Midland, TX, driving 736 miles in about 10 hours. I never felt tired and felt like I might be able to drive more if I wanted. I decided to stop in Midland and watch the M’s game on my computer. Yuck is all I have to say. I want to talk about the Mariners but I’ll wait for another day, when it’s not 2:40 AM.

The highlight of today was definitely dinner. I started to get hungry in the middle of nowhere so I asked my GPS for directions to the closest restaurant and it directed me to a restaurant called “Chuy’s Place” in a town called Van Horn about 20 minutes away. As I got off the freeway I saw a big billboard that said “Chuy’s Place: John Madden’s ‘Haul’ of Fame”. Well if you ever want me to go to a restaurant, tell me John Madden liked it and I’m there in a heartbeat. Apparently, Madden was driving through Texas in ’89 or something and wanted to watch the MNF game so he stopped at Chuy’s for dinner. He liked the place so much that he returns every year for their Chicken Picado. Picado is a fajita-like dish and obviously that’s what I had, even though it was like $3 more than anything else on the menu. It was definitely the bomb:

Yum Yum Posted by Picasa

The way they describe the story on their menu, they see Madden coming as an act of god, sending Madden to Chuy’s so that he could spread the word about how good their food is. I found it pretty funny, especially after seeing the mural on the wall:

The Mural Posted by Picasa

It’s a picture of Jesus blessing Chuy’s restaurant as the Madden Cruiser pulls up. Nothing short of awesome if you ask me. They had a director chair with Madden’s name on it and it was positioned right in front of the TV. I almost asked to sit in it but then I saw that instead of a game or Sportscenter they had the TV tuned to Fox News and the O’Reilly Factor. Ah, Texas. I decided to sit in the back, facing the Madden/Jesus mural.

I think that’s all for now. I only have ~320 miles to drive tomorrow so I should make it to Arlington in about 4 hours. I’m going to the game tomorrow night then hanging out with my friend, Evin, after the game and all day Sunday. The Mavericks are in town, playing Memphis and I might try to scalp a ticket for the NBA Playoffs. I’d love to see Mr. Cuban go crazy and watch Mr. Gasol and Mr. Nowitzki do what they do. Have a nice weekend, everyone.


Anonymous said...

How could you say such horrible things about the Days Inn? That was the hotel of choice last road trip.


Anonymous said...

Awesome buddy! I LOVE CHUY'S! Hope you're having fun bed shopping w/ Evin & Heather today. :)

Jimmy said... my waking you up at the "crazy early hours" of 8:30 really was good for you then, see i'm only looking out for you. I called Dave after I got off the phone with you to find out the details of Chicago and he said the same thing when he picked up: "Do you know what time it is right now?!?" Anyways, Chicago looks really good right now, and I will do my best to meet you guys out there for that part of the trip.

P.S. You would have been proud, I managed to pay for my weekend trip through some 1/3 no limit at Treasure Island over the weekend, and my uncle, Minh Ly was playing the same game a table over.

-Minh Ba