Monday, January 9, 2012

Brotherly Love

It's obvious I am an emphatic college football fan. That being said this post will be very slowly written as the Bama/LSU game just started...In the past two years I have grown to have more appreciation for the NFL. I used to pretty much strongly dislike it, but my mind has changed. I will go ahead an explain why so no assumptions are made. Two years ago I watched "Hard Knocks" on HBO and it featured the New York Jets. I absolutely adored Rex Ryan. Yes, I said it, not  Sanchez. All he was to me was the quarterback from USC. Rex just has that passion and fire that I love to see in a coach. Sure people think he's ridiculous to always say they'll been in the Superbowl, and sure he has one of the dirtiest mouths ever. My problem with Coach Richt has always been he wasn't passionate enough in the locker room. At least I don't feel like he is. I feel like he's encouraging in a gentle way. Rex insists that they must get better. That they will get better. He yells and screams but he gets the point across. Anyways, I could go on about that forever, but that's my explanation for the initial attraction to the Jets. The whole Revis deal was pretty entertaining too.( A disclaimer here. The Jets didn't make the playoffs, Rex has had a lot of criticism lately, and people are suggesting he does need to reevaluate his coaching style. And I get that. But I think his personality is what's so passionate, so hopefully that won't ever change.)

So I headed up to Philadelphia to see a friend and go to my first NFL game- Jets vs. Eagles. I had never been to Philly either but was excited to be somewhere up north during the Christmas season. (The last couple years I've been in NYC.) I had seen some videos on youtube about this tree and an organ at the Macy's in downtown Philly, but this was so great to see in person, so festive. Notice all of the small children. There was a 45 minute wait to see Santa who was off in some other part of the department store. It was wild. Here's the video:

After the visit to Macy's I was lucky enough to grab some drinks with one of my best friends from home who recently moved up there. And she asked me to be in her wedding next spring :-) Later we had dinner and I met everyone I was going to the game with the next day. Super fun group of people. Then I got a taste of the late night scene in Philly. It was really fun, but with tailgating ahead I knew it shouldn't stay out too late...

Sunday was an early rise. The whole Sunday tailgating this is still kind of foreign to me. It's killer on weekends with college and pro football. I bundled up and headed to the game. And I do mean bundled up. I had on two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves, a hat, two shirts, two jackets, my jersey on top, and two pairs of pants. I have to go back to the "jersey" statement. Never in my life did I imagine putting on a football jersey, like never. If you know anything about college football in the South, girls do not wear jerseys. Sun dresses all the way, no matter the weather. I know some people think this is outrageous, but whatever. So I rocked my #24 Revis jersey despite being told I may get harrassed like wild at the stadium. Tailgating was a blast. A good portion of it was spent in a car with heat, but it really wasn't too unbearable. Thankfully the wind wasn't bad. I was very impressed by the fact that all three stadiums/arenas are in the same spot.

Lincoln Field on the left, basketball arena. Citizens Park is just to the left of this.

We headed into the stadium and I didn't even get yelled at too much. Thankfully another one of the guys with me was in a Jets jersey too.

In the stadium. Can you tell we're trying to stay warm?

The view!

The Jets lost, no they got killed. But it was still a perfect first NFL game experience. It was an absolute blast. We went out that night and had a ridiculously fun time. The Eagles fans were happy, so everybody was happy.

The next day I had a few hours before heading back to Charlotte. Besides visiting Macy's I wanted to see the Rocky steps and Liberty Bell, and I had enough time to see both!

Me running up Rocky steps.

The view from the top of the steps was gorgeous. The whole city and parks and everything. I would have loved the opportunity to run in the city. I've heard the marathon there is great!

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