Sunday, December 25, 2011

McAfee Coliseum

McAfee Coliseum
7000 Coliseum Way
Oakland, Ca 94621

August 29, 2008
We woke up bright and early, excited by what the day would bring us. We changed into our bathing suits and beach cover-ups before heading out for what was supposedly a short, easy walk to the rental car place to pick up our convertible. This “short, easy” walk turned into what felt like a 5-mile marathon hike up and down the steepest hills we had ever seen. Of course, we neglected to bring water like jack-a-loons. People in San Francisco must be in some sort of sick shape. Everyone probably has really perky a$$es.

The rental car place turned out to be located in the middle of the ghetto. We passed a crack head. We realize that we tend to throw that term around a lot like a Frisbee, but we assure you that this time, this woman was a legit crack head. She muttered under her breath, smelled terrible, and was missing teeth. Granted, we’ve met non-crack heads who smelled terrible, so that’s not necessarily a determining factor, but the other sh*t we saw was DEFINITELY adding up to crack head. Her outfit alone could’ve passed for something a strung out Amy Winehouse would wear after a bad night out on the town and spending the night in the gutter.  

Finally, we found the rental car place and hopped into our white Sebring convertible. We put the roof down and rolled that baby out into the sunlight. Now we were on our way. Baker Beach, here we come! We made our first left and up a very steep hill. It was at this time that we noticed that the car wheezed its way to the top of the hill like an asthmatic. It was clear that we were going to die. When we reached the top of Lombard Street, we whimpered, convinced that the car would disintegrate as it sped down the hill with reckless abandon. Somehow, we managed to make it safely to the beach and back to the hotel so that we could get ready for the evening’s A’s game. Though now we were less confident about the trip to Oakland in this hunk of tin we paid $200 for.

It was a relatively short drive from San Francisco to McAfee Coliseum, but we got stuck in quite a bit of traffic prior to reaching the Bay Bridge. Once over the bridge, we arrived in Oakland quickly and immediately felt a sinking in the pits of our stomachs. Take a look at the snazzy surroundings of McAfee Coliseum.
Now, we’re not going to sit here and claim that Flushing and the Bronx are the sexiest neighborhoods to visit. HOWEVER, we assure you that once you reach the stadiums, both make up for the neighborhoods’ lack of character. McAfee Coliseum on the other hand? Not so much.
As you can see, taking a photo of the place up close doesn’t make it any better than documenting it from afar. We couldn’t help but feel disappointed. In comparison to Safeco Field and AT&T Park, the Coliseum looked pathetic and depressed. It reminded us an awful lot like a state penitentiary. Welcome, friends to the world famous Athletics Penitentiary! Home of the Oakland A’s!
Just look at the entrance. Can you see why we may have neglected to pose for a picture outside it?
However, we didn’t let the exterior of the stadium prevent us from being open minded and from having a good time. After receiving our free giveaway (a Jack Cust bobblehead), we stopped into the team store to buy an Athletics hat and Stomper puppet that trumpets when you squeeze something in his mouth (it was Lisa’s only option for a stuffed animal). While in the store, we made sure to stop and act like a-holes. What kind of blog post would this be without us acting like a-holes?
After making our purchases, we thought we’d be quite clever and meet Stomper in his Fun Zone in section 219 before the game started.
Upon arriving at the Fun Zone, we found out that it’s apparently only open during Saturday and Sunday home games. Bummer. Now we had to return to our method of mascot stalking. Before leaving, Serena decided to ride the elephant for 50 cents.
Next mission? Would Brad Ziegler remember us from Seattle? But first, a giant Oakland A’s symbol!
When we reached the field, Lisa snapped a few photos of the joint.
Utterly empty stands. Completely foreign to us. Do you see how the upper deck has “Athletics” and various numbers printed across it in yellow? Looks like paint, right? It’s not paint. We found out later that since the team can’t sell out a game, the A’s use tarps to cover the upper deck in order to make the stands look more crowded on television.
We headed over to the A’s dugout for batting practice. The A’s have the most efficient autograph system we’ve ever seen. The fans lined up at the A’s dugout and tossed items down to the player signing autographs. Once the fan received his/her autograph, the fan left the line to make room for the other waiting fans. It’s so polite and brilliant! Usually we’re stuck waiting in a mass of shoving and grumbling people. Why other teams/fans don’t institute this policy is beyond us. The Mets and Yankees should take note as this is the only thing that the A’s have done well.

The player signing autographs happened to be none other than Brad Ziegler. Apparently, he was going to receive a “Player of Week” award (or some sort of bull sh*t like that) at this game. We poked our heads through the sea of fans requesting an autograph (which we already had) and asked him how good his memory was. He looked up at us, hesitated, and then smiled. He told us to come around to the side of the dugout.
He posed for another photo with us. Since his mother was standing there, she also took a photo of us, which we found strange. Why would she want a picture of her son with two random a-holes from New York? We’re pretty sure that this photo has since been blown up, framed, and hung over the family’s fireplace. Perhaps sent out as holiday cards. We are wearing green after all.
After parting ways with our token Ginger, we decided that we were hungry. Like there’s a f*cking surprise. Based on a recommendation, we bought Ball Tip Steak Sandwiches at Kinder’s BBQ for nearly $9. On our way to our seats, arms filled with Jack Cust, purses, food, beverages, and other assorted crap that we find ourselves carrying with us everywhere we go, Serena spotted Stomper in the crowd and made a run for it like a dog chasing a squirrel. She shouted something that sounded like gibberish to Lisa and Lisa was forced to run after Serena while carrying a very large open container of soda. Lisa’s progress was clearly much slower than Serena’s. When we reached Stomper, Lisa tried to put her food down to get into the photo, but Serena declared that “there was no time for such trivial matters.” We had to get this picture now before he disappeared on us! It was a borderline emergency. Serena handed her camera to a random man to take our picture. He could’ve been a common thief for all we knew.
We finally found our seats and dug into what we thought would be one tasty sandwich. When we unwrapped this sandwich, we found that it was slathered in mayo. Serena is deathly afraid of mayo. It ignites her gag reflex. The sight of it oozing off of her sandwich made her want to puke. Furthermore, who the f*ck puts mayo on steak? What a-hole thought that slathering steak with mayo would be a kick a$$ idea? It’s disgusting. Do you put mayo on your roast beef? No. Why? Because it doesn’t make any damn sense. You use mustard, horseradish, or steak sauce. If you use mayo at all, you use it for things like turkey, bologna, or egg salad! Sick people!!! Lisa managed to get down half of the sandwich because mayo doesn’t bother her, but she still didn’t think it was a very good sandwich. Definitely not worth $9. Serena only took one bite and nearly choked on it. She had to toss it. Since she was still hungry and now had gross oozing a$$ taste in her mouth, she bought a helmet full of French fries, which turned out to be fantastic.

We sat next to a very nice woman who explained to us about the differences between what the field looked like during an A’s game versus during a Raiders’ game. She found us to be very funny.
Unfortunately for the Athletics, the game didn’t seem like such a fantastic time for them. The Twins kicked a$$ and ended up defeating the A’s 12-2. We left before the end though. The beat down was too much to watch anymore and we weren’t even real Athletics fans. The team’s actual fans left way before we did. Beyond the roof of the Coliseum, we could see a heavy fog rolling in during the 7th inning. It was a fog we’d never experienced before. It was as thick as the fog featured in the movie, The Fog. It became a little scary for us. The score and the weather. We decided to hit the road and beat the fog to the bridge before it became impossible for us to see while driving.

Here’s a picture of us driving across the Bay Bridge. You can see a hint of the fog in the photo, but what you can’t see is the fact that we were basically outrunning the fog. If we had taken a picture of what the view behind us looked like, you’d see that we were being chased by a wall of fog. We could barely see the lights of the cars behind us.
At the hotel, we pulled into the parking space in front of the main office. We carried Stomper upstairs to the room to introduce him to his new friends. As soon as we entered the room, our telephone started to ring. We found this to be a bit strange considering our friends and family members tended to call us on our cell phones, but Serena answered it anyway. It turned out to be the a-hole man who ran this Palace of Filth we were staying at. “I watched you pull up in front of the office and figured you’d be back in your room by now. You parked over the line. Can you please come back down and adjust the car?” Serena hung up on him. He couldn’t have asked us to move that car while we were down there? Wouldn’t that have made sense? Serena went downstairs to move the car and saw that the wheel was literally on top of the line. Not over it. Annoyed, she moved the car the half inch that was necessary to be all the way in the spot. Thank god we were leaving the next day.

Finally, we presented Stomper to the rest of the kids. It’s the Circle of Life. And it moves us all.
“Welcome to the Hotel California. Such a lovely place.” *Sung in a sarcastic voice*

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