Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just... A Couple Of Road Trips

Ok, so a bit of air AND road trips. First trip... University of Wyoming vs. San Diego State.

After a quick-ish flight into Denver, it took over an hour just to get my rental car, which meant very little exploring time on my drive to Laramie, WY. I lucked out with decent weather and no overtime. After a scoreless first half, SDSU put a goal away early in the second half, and added an insurance goal with just minutes remaining. The game was pretty easy, and I got out of there quick to catch my return flight to SLC. I felt like all I did was rush from place to place this trip.

Next up... New Mexico State vs. Hawaii. I had to fly into El Paso, TX the night before. That was a long trip as I had to change planes in Phoenix. This, I believe, was my first trip to Texas. Too bad I had to spend it alone. I checked into my hotel, worked out in the gym for about a half hour, and had the intent to check out the town, but just decided to get food and some snacks instead, and order pay per view in my room.

The next morning, I made the drive to Las Cruces, NM for the game. NMSU has the WORST fans I have ever had to listen to. Some old guy was heckling me from the very beginning, and since they played in the football stadium, voices carried. A couple of time, when he said something ridiculous, I made subtle gestures up to him, like brushing my shoulders to say his words don't bother me. He then proceeded to threaten me. I laughed, and kept on ignoring him. Again, we had a scoreless first half, and then NMSU scored with about 8 minutes left. Hawaii, I thought, was the better team, and definitely had more class, and were attacking the Wyoming goal when an idiot defender decided to push the Hawaii attacker in the back just outside the 18. Of course, they didn't like my call, but it was the correct call and Hawaii ended up scoring on the free kick to tie up the game with just a few minutes remaining.

OVERTIME! I was once again harassed by the old guy in the stands as regulation ended. He said "you stink"... I sniffed my armpits, and looked up at him and shook my head, raising my hands as if to say "no I don't", and I brushed him off again. About 7 minutes into the first overtime, I had to call a penalty kick against Hawaii, and that's how New Mexico won. Too bad for Hawaii. The better team doesn't always win.

On the way back to El Paso to catch my flight, I was lucky enough to hit the Nike outlet. The trip wasn't a total wash. :) It was a long trip back home, and Monday morning came way too quickly. My tough travel week was done, and now I only have one more match left of the season. I travel to the bay area on Saturday, November 7th to ref at St. Mary's. I can't wait to be done.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Medals and PR's

Since AJ did so well at the Top Of Utah 5K, I immediately looked online for another local 5K. I came across the Ribbon Run, which was my FIRST 5K with Jaycson 6 years ago. It was cheap, every finisher received a medal, it was in October, and of course it was for a good cause... keeping kids off drugs. It didn't take long to see why it was so cheap. NO chip timing, and NO prizes for placing in your age division. That's not how it was 6 years ago. We had chip timing, I placed first, and Jaycson placed second. Big disappointment...

Well... the day wasn't off to a great start. Miscommunication between Tony and myself led to a frantic scramble to get AJ there on time. I've learned my lesson, and from now on will just plan on taking care of AJ on race day. They managed to get there in time, with barely any time to warm up. AJ and I headed over to the start line, in great position so we don't get stuck behind anyone. Of course people are very inconsiderate, and a group camped out right in front of us, squeezing us back behind them. I wasn't too happy. THEN... I sort of got in a fight before the race started. If you look in the picture below, the major TOOL that was fighting with me is the guy in the blue adidas warmup just over my right shoulder.

Here's what happened. After being cut off by that group (the guy in the yellow jacket), that guy in the blue warmup ALSO weaseled his way right in front of AJ. I didn't say a word, but often it's expressed all over my face. I'm sure I shot him a dirty look (ok, I KNOW I did... he made me mad), and the guy freaked out, even calling me out by name. I have no idea who this guy is, but apparently I'm popular. If anyone knows me, I'm not going to back down to anyone. I gave it right back to him, saying "Dude... you just cut off a little kid." We shared a few more words, and NO, I didn't curse him out, ha ha. No matter, cause the race was about to start, and AJ and I were going to leave him in the dust... and... we did.

AJ did great, and my one regret with his training was that I hadn't introduced him to hill training just yet. The first 1/4 mile of the race was on a slight incline, and AJ was quick to comment on it. I AM happy, however, that I did track work with him a couple of weeks ago. I made him alternate easy 400's and fast 400's for a total of 8. I think that made him mentally tougher, because they are HARD, and he was pushing it hard in this race. With all the hard work AJ put in, he was able to finish the 5K in 24:27. Of course the time isn't official, because it wasn't chip timed, but I crossed at 24:23, and he was just seconds behind me. That is roughly a 7:52 minute mile. Pretty dang good for a 7 year-old. I'm so sad that winter is approaching and there aren't many more races I can do with him. I want to take him to a serious race, where he can collect some hardware. I'm hoping we can squeeze another race in before it's full blown winter.

Keep your eye on this kid. He's gonna make headlines when he gets a little older. I'm glad I can share these little things with my nephew. You make me proud buddy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

My Six Painful Games

Last weekend was my long weekend of 6 games in 3 days, in Rock Springs, Wyoming, or as I like to call it "The Hills Have Eyes Town". THANKFULLY Tony and Kimball came along to keep me company. The day was off to an early and not so good start as we tried to leave around 6:00 a.m. Little did I know that Leaving my lights on for 5 minutes would completely drain my battery, and Tony had to jump my car from the get go. We made it to Evanston with no trouble, and decided to eat breakfast and switch drivers there. I have to say... it was the NICEST McDonald's I have ever been in. Even the bathrooms had flat screen TVs, and it was a really clean establishment. Kimball liked the saddle chairs and pretended he was riding a bronco.

Unfortunately, my car battery had not recharged at all, and we required ANOTHER jump in Evanston. When we got to Rock Springs, Tony dropped me off at the field, and was kind enough to take my car to Wal-Mart to get a new battery.

It was a long day, but I got half my ref load over with. 3 games in one day, and I managed to get under one of the players skin from Western Wyoming Community College Men's Team. If you're gonna talk smack, I'm gonna put you in your place, that's all I'm gonna say.

We ate dinner, and Tony and I turned into big nerds as we sat in the room on our computers, as poor Kimball had to find his own entertainment, which was setting up a trap on the chain lock to the door.

Saturday was almost as painful, but not quite as bad since we only had 2 games to ref. Afterward, we went to the park and played with Kimball. He said that was his favorite part of the whole trip.

Luckily that night we went out to eat at Applebee's as my poor stomach couldn't take anymore fast food. I'm not used to eating at fast food restaurants, and it was starting to create some serious "family problems". When we got back to our room, Tony had a "brilliant" idea of getting Kimball all wired up on sugar so he'd crash hard and go to sleep early. Not only did Tony's plan backfire, but it seemed to create a bit of rage with Kimball. It was hilarious at times, though, and it brought about Kimball's funniest quote of the trip.

Tony: "Hey Kimball, do you wanna go swimming?"

It was actually only 10:00, but I'm sure it felt like the middle of the night. Tony ended up taking Kimball out for a quick jog outside, cause the kid couldn't sit still.

Kimball watching "The Iron Giant"

Sunday there was only one game left, and of course, it was freezing and the storm decided to hit right at game time. Now I normally DON'T do this, which is wear pants when I ref, but I was just a linesman, and it was not worth it to freeze. I put my windbreaker AND my jacket underneath my uniform, and I'm sure I looked like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man, but I did not care. It was fun to have Kimball run up and down the field with me for a little bit, until the snow REALLY started coming down. I had to have my back to the field at times, because the wind was blowing the snow hard in my face and it HURT. When halftime came, the Wyoming team didn't want to play anymore, so we got to leave. WAHOO!!!

I don't think I want to go back next year.