Gabe’s 2018 Five 5’s: Sporting Events
1) Kings-Memphis: 10/24/18
I donned this as “the arrival game”. In all honesty, coming into the season I was a little nervous coming into the game preseason was a shit show and it just appeared that it was going to be another long season. The Kkngs start the season by losing the Opening Night game and we go in this road trip where we drop a game to the Peli’s but a couple days later, we start running and we score a bunch of points against the struggling Thunder and we steal a game from OKC. A few days later we head to Denver and you know, we never really play well in Denver, maybe it’s the altitude but anyway the Kings get run out of the gym.
So we are about to start a little two game home stand and with Memphis. I went to the game with my buddy Marcus and even though I had trepidation in the beginning, it was a great game.
The Kings played hard and with lots of energy. Buddy scored 23 and Fox nearly matched him with 21. It was just a real good game and the energy in the arena was unlike any game that I had been to in the past few years.
This new team, this new core of young players that were building around really showed up.
Memorable moment- The Fox dunk with minutes left where he just takes the ball straight to the hoop and dunks the shit out of the ball, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Marvin Bagley blocked a shot basically into the 20th row. I can’t remember being as excited with as much optimism at a game since Tyreke Evans was a second year player.
2) Opening night at Papa Murphy Park: 3/17/18
St. Patrick’s day in Sacramento is always a blast when it falls on a Saturday. The 2018 USL season chose to open up on St. Patrick’s day. The whole city was livened up and so we started the afternoon off at Republic Bar & Grill with my buddy Brendan, Davon, and Juan. It was a nice day and the rain and cleared up from storms during the week. So we hung out and drank and got geared up to start the season.
The Sacramento Republic had a good team and they had a good group of players that looked to challenge for the title this year. So it was an optimistic time for us.
We uber was to the game, looking at lineups on our phones, chatting up the potential for the season...
The game starts and the field is a mess. There are giant puddles on the field it’s just a disaster. Republic beat San Antonio 2-1 with goals from Kevin Aleman and Christian Eissele.
3) 25th Annual Run to Feed the Hungry: 11/22/18
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days and there’s no better way to start it than a 5K walk with your family. 27,000 people attended the race this year and participants raised between 100-120 thousand dollars for Sacramento Food Bank.
Race winners were:
10k: William Reyes- 29:49
5K: Connor Fisher- 15:02
The skies were clear and beautiful, which was a hundred percent change from two days before when the smoke from the Camp Fire had descended upon us in the atmosphere for about a week.
My family and I started the walk and saw my uncle’s band playing on J street just past Club 2 Me. We walked down 45th street, where fall foliage was abounding and everything was just really on point and pretty.
We turned onto Folsom and then came back on 41st. As we walked to H street we heard a band playing Jimmy Eat World and we walked up and on 42nd and H, where my friend Cashel’s band, Lane 5, was jamming out so we stopped for a bit and listened to some tunes.
Before you know it we were at the finish line finishing up my 4th best sporting event that I attended in 2018.
5) San Francisco 49’ers - Seattle Seahawks: 12/16/18
Imagine thousands of years from now when all of our history has been long forgotten - now imagine future human beings looking back on us. Archeologists will find these enormous stadiums where people gathered and these stadiums will show what was important to us.
On my birthday in 2018, my cousin Jason and I trekked to the San Francisco 49er’s game against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi Stadium.
Coming into the game, the 49er’s were an abysmal 3-10 and although coming off of a win, the outlook against the Seahawks looked bleak because they had not beaten the Seahawks at Levi’s since 2012.
After a breakfast of Bacardi shots and bagels we walked from the train to the Red Zone tailgate at Paramount’s Great America. There, we ate the buffet/ an amuse-bouche of...bar food (hah, fooled ya). We threw passes at players painted on giant wooden siding; we rode Top Gun, which is now called Flight Deck; and afterwards we crossed through a giant parking lot tailgate to the stadium entrance.
At our seats, we sat at the top row of our section under a giant jumbo-tron. Clouds that looked like they were going to dump rain hung in the sky at kickoff. The game... wow.
Memorable moment: I’d been to two NFL games in the past and both had indescribable plays. My first game, back in 1995, was the 49’er - Buffalo game where Buffalo marched the ball down to the goal line and they gave the ball to Priest Holmes on the one yard line and Gary Plummer plugged the hole and hit him so hard that the ball dropped to the ground and linebacker Lee Woodall picked the ball up and ran it back 99 yards for a touchdown that totally swung the game in the favor of the 9’ers.
Then there was “pick at the stick”, where the 49’ers were up 27-24 against Atlanta with under two minutes to play. I’m doing a bad job setting the scene. This was the final game to be played at Candlestick Park on a Monday Night game and it was just really a special moment. So, Atlanta, down three are looking to take the lead or at least tie the game up. They have the ball on the 9’er 10 yard line. Ryan steps back to pass.. hits Harry Douglas. Douglas fumbles the ball and rips it up, Navarro Bowman picks it out of mid air and runs it back for a touchdown, sealing the game.
So this game needed a cosmic moment that lived up to those games. Here it is:
In the first quarter, the Seahawks put together a drive and marched the ball down and scored a touchdown pretty easily with a 9 yard pass to Doug Baldwin. The Hawks were playing about as well as anyone in the league and so with the ease of the touchdown, negative thoughts started creeping into my mind. Janikowski kicks off and the ball gets kicked to the three yard line, Richie James runs underneath it and he’s gone. He passes all the Seahawks defenders, in a blur, heading straight down the sideline for a 97 yard return.