Thursday, July 30, 2009

Drive to Kinnick

Below is an "edit-on-the-fly" video that I shot and have been sitting on since 2006. This is the drive down on the Iowa Football bus as it makes its way to Kinnick Stadium for the night time showdown with Ohio State. The Friday before each Hawkeye Football home game, the team spends the night in Cedar Rapids and arrives at Kinnick Stadium approximately two hours prior to kick-off. Allow some time to watch as it lasts nine minutes, with the action picking up around the five minute mark.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hawkeye Football at the Friendly Confines

There has been much talk of late to a college football game at Chicago's Wrigley Field. The "Friendly Confines" has been home to baseball's Chicago Cubs since the early 1900s. The famous ballpark has recently been home to an NHL match-up of the Chicago BlackHawks and Detroit Red Wings as well as the Chicago Bears over forty years ago. Playing a college football game at the 1060 W. Addison makes much sense. But the two teams in the discussion would not be the best choice.

Northwestern would be the natural host for this game. Located only a short distance to the north in Evanston, this would be their home game. Currently they play in aging Ryan Field and draw crowds less than Wrigley's capacity. The rumored opponent would be the Illinois Fighting Illini. An in-state rivalry would make sense, but it isn't the best choice.

Of course I would be in favor of seeing the Wildcats host the Iowa Hawkeyes, but it makes the most sense. In 2007 the Hawkeyes played Northern Illinois at Soldier Field. Although it was a home game for the Huskies, it was a sell-out based on the number of fans that came from Iowa. Although a different time, the Illini played a game at Soldier Field in 1994 to a less than capacity crowd.

While both fan bases are well-represented in the Chicagoland area, there are many Iowa grads that live in the Wrigleyville area. Iowa grads that aren't afraid to spend money as seen on recent bowl trips and away regular season football games.

Lastly, if Northwestern wants to look at this as a way to profit off a novel concept, Iowa is the bigger sell. Tickets for a game between the Wildcats and Illini could go for $60 and sell out. But a ticket to watch the Hawkeyes in Wrigley Field would demand $90 for the cheapest of seats. And without a doubt it would be a sell-out.

Before it is too late, a Hawkeye-Wildcat match-up needs to be worked out.

Rockies - Reds

The T Ball season has finally come to an end. Two weeks ago we believed the season would conclude while Colin and I were on vacation. However, the rains forced another postponement a week ago and finally tonight, the game was played. This was a two-inning game as both teams were losing interest; both coaching staffs were also losing patience.

Colin connects for the last hit of the season. Tonight he was two for two and drove in eight runs.

Colin and Ashely protect the right side of the infield. Trying to keep the attention of all players we decided to throw ground balls between batters.

And another implementation late in the season was the positioning of two infielders on each side of the pitcher's mound. Jon and Kennedy fought for those hit up the middle.

Cubs - Astros

One last opportunity to take in a game at the Friendly Confines before the football season officially begins. Monday's night was the first of a four game series between the first place Chicago Cubs and the surging Houston Astros.

This Monday game was under the lights.
Thanks to a college friend, Brett Dolan, the radio play-by-play voice of the Houston Astros, we were treated to a trip to the broadcast booth before the game. Brett is a native of Adair, Iowa.

The tiny Houston broadcast booth looks into the voice of the Cubs, WGN's Ron Santo and Pat Hughes.

Des Moines native and Olympic Gold Medalist, Shawn Johnson threw out the first pitch as well as leading the crowd in Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the Seventh Inning Stretch.

It started out as a pitcher's duel between the clubs' aces. Tied at one heading into the 13th, Alfonso Soriano hit a walk-off Grand Slam to give the Cubs the 5-1 win and keeping them in first place. However with a long drive back to Iowa, eleven innings were all we could handle.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Darrell Wilson - One on One

Nearing the end of One on Ones for the Summer. Today is Iowa Football Linebacker Coach, Darrell Wilson.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Golden Harvest 2009

Saturday night is the annual Golden Harvest celebration. It is the annual end to the I-Club fund raising circuit and unofficial kick off to the football season. I-Club of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and Hawk of the Year are among the honors given out. I am unaware to the winners of those categories, but below is the video which will make its debut at the event. And you can catch a sneak peek on SportsFanEngy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Glarus

The Summer vacation season came to a close as we flew back into Milwaukee and took the opportunity to stock up on some of Wisconsin's finest. After finding out a favorite butcher shop in Madison had closed to move to another location, we headed to a favorite local stop in New Glarus, Wisconsin.

New Glarus is also known as Swiss Town based on its Swiss influence from its early settlers.
New Glarus is known for its local specialties from the Brewery Company, numerous meat shops, restaurants and bakeries. A favorite of the citizens of Wisconsin is New Glarus' own brews. Best known is Spotted Cow while a favorite of the Engelbert household is Totally Naked.

On Main Street is the town's bakery, meat shop and chocolate house. Every day there is something new to choose from in each one of the businesses. Today's new exploration is the Bubble Gum Fudge in the Chocolate Haus and the Rhubarb Bars in the Bakery.

Similar to the Herky on Parade campaign in Iowa City / Coralville, New Glarus painted cows to be placed at various spots throughout town.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cubs - Phillies

The last full days of vacation found us taking in another baseball game, and of course it involved the Chicago Cubs. This was our first trip to Citizen Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies. A beautiful ballpark, and one of the best designed of the newer MLB fields.

This is the gate at third base. The glass enclosed room is a restaurant open before and after games with a large outdoor patio and live music. Upon entering and leaving the stadium, this area was full.

Colin was still a tad bit grumpy from not being able to take the train to the game. SEPTA does run within walking distance of the stadium, but the transfer point is in one of the lower income parts of town.

It was a warm and humid day. Our seats were the second row from the top of the stadium . As many of you remember Colin and I had seats in the top row at Wrigley earlier in the season and found the wind to be blowing quite hard. Today these seats provided necessary shade and an occasional breeze. Colin, as you can see is still toubled by the train and is quite warm.

This park has many advantages. One is a small playground on the top level. Colin was able to play on this slide and didn't have to wait in many lines or travel to a much larger play area on the stadium's lowest level.
Also, food was a plenty on this upper concourse. Many different options to choose from and lines moved along quicker than that of the National's park. Our seats may have been too high for the beer and water vendors as we didn't see many here, either.
And there was a stand for fans to purchase ticket for future Phillie games. Many of the lower level conveniences were also found in this uncommon area.
Colin did make it down the rather enormous shoe. Contrary to local lore, the shoe did not belong to Phillie first baseman, Ryan Howard.

A fan favorite is the Phillie Phanatic. Here he is seen riding around on his ATV prior to the start of the game after having some fun with those Chicago Cub players on the field.

The view from our seats. For being up so high, we could see almost every inch of the playing field.

And beyond center field is the Philadelphia Skyline. An electric replica of the Liberty Bell is seen off center here. It will light up when a Phillie hits a home run. On this day, it did not light up.

The crew that attended the day's game. Colin, Dana and me in the back with Heidi, Elizabeth and Julia in the front. The Cubs were victorius over the home town team.

Giggleberry Farms

A day off of travelling turned into a day for Colin and his cousins. A short trip to an indoor play park and pizza place allowed Colin a chance to run around for a couple of hours and spend valuable time with family.

Colin with cousins Elizabeth and Julia stand outside Giggleberry Farms in Lahaska, PA. GF is part of Peddler's Villiage which includes many boutique shops as well as the indoor fun center.
In the dark ball pit and jungle gym area Colin and Elizaeth fire soft balls into the air.

What would this day be without a run on the carousel, Colin's second carousel on the trip.

Monday, July 20, 2009

...hello Philadelphia

Back to Philadelphia after a two-hour train ride, and a minor stumble de-boarding the train by Colin, we were on our way to Bucks County to visit my sister. That night was her daughter's basketball game. Here, Elizabeth in the purple shirt wearing #10 guards the ball down court. Colin was as excited to play with his cousins before and after the game.

Goodbye DC...

Monday was the last day we spent in Washington D.C. Now our next destination is back to Philadelphia and to visit family.

Union Station, Washington D.C. the hub for all rail.

Our last look at the U.S. Capital building before leaving.

Colin paitently waits for the Amtrak to take us to Philadelphia.

Many people using the rail system to get around the NE Corridor.

Colin watches the scenery pass by.

Greg Morris - One on One

Taking a break from the Engelbert Family Vacation, we get back to our Summer Series of One on Ones. This week it is Iowa Football Equipment Manager, Greg Morris, better known as the "Shoe Guy."

A Trip Around DC

Sunday's adventure through DC began on a double decker bus seen below. On this post is a sampling of some of the sites we encountered while travelling around the nation's capital.

Colin keeping his eyes shaded on the second level of the bus.

Ford Theatre

Where Lincoln was rushed to after the shooting and then passed away.

The Washington Monument. Great pictures on a perfect day.

National Cathedral
The Potomic River and a look into Virginia from Georgetown.

A look down a river in Georgetown.

Chadwick's of Georgetown was our destination for lunch. A possible upcoming Night Out on the Town.

Lincoln Memorial

Arlington Cemetary

Smithsonian Castle.

Inside the Smithsonian Castle is a re-enactment of a famous scene of Night at the Museum 2.

On the Mall was a carousel in which Colin was able to have some fun.

U.S. Capital

The Air and Space Museum.

We took a moment for a photo op in front of a replica Eastern Airlines Plane. Colin was hitting a wall....

...however the pool was just what he needed back at the hotel.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The White House

Before and after Saturday's game, we found time to check out the White House, also known as W's former residence while leading the country for eight years.

Behind the White House is the Washington Memorial

At night many flock to the President's residence.

Dana and Colin showed the current president he has chosen the wrong team to cheer for in Chicago.