Lightning in a Bottle;
This is Officer Lee Groinman, That's Right, Washington's Most Satisfied
As luck would have
it, no, not Andrew, just plain 'ol luck, I had an extra ticket for last
weeks ESPN's Thursday Night Special with Stanford...Seems I have an extra
ticket for just about any game these days, but we can talk more about that
So what to do? I
thought I'd offer it up to some long lost friends, if that didn't work maybe
I'd give it to a relative, maybe an uncle or a cousin, if that didn't work
maybe one of my neighbors, if that didn't work, maybe somebody from the
Harley Club, maybe somebody from the Tavern League, maybe somebody from the
church social group...
from Dawgman's 'Ticket and Trade' board?
Maybe a scalper
from outside the Stadium?
Tough to unload
one ticket these days, what with the economy and all. Then I'd thought about
(heaven forbid) not going to the game and offering up both my tickets to
Johnny Q. Public as a 'Buy One, Get One Free' promotion. No bites. I even
threw in a free beer...
I just couldn't
fathom the thought of not actually going to that Stanford game...When that
basturd the wasp stung me upside the head last month, it kinda' got me to
thinkin'. Now doing your own thinkin' is always a dangerous proposal, often
with serious consequences and repercussions. But when it finally dawns on
you that you'd nearly attended your last game, you kinda' want to
attend the next game, if ya' know what I mean...
Besides, I had the
'feeling'. I could feel it...
So it's now noon
on game day. I've got the Highway Cruiser all ready to go, washed and waxed
with a full tank o' gas and a cooler in the trunk, complete with a Subway
I'm set, a box of
tunes in the passenger seat, going solo to the Stanford game with an extra
ticket. I strap on my seat beat and hit the ignition. My cell goes off, a
text, what now? I nearly can't stand to look...and the text says:
'Meet U there.'
I had no clue as
to who this guy is, just some Joe by the name of Phillip. Now who in the
world would call themselves 'Phillip'? Now if I was a 'Phillip' I would call
me 'Lip', or maybe just 'Phil' but ya' wouldn't have to call me a
I've now parked
near the Clink, it's just past 3:30, not bad, sweet day, nice scenery, good
eats and drinks, a few other Husky fans kickin' around. The conversation
could use an upgrade...
Husky fan #1;
"Boy this game
could get ugly, Stanford's line, both of 'em will blast our guys."
Husky fan #2;
"I know, Stanford
beat SC last week and made them look bad."
"You guys post on
I did read one
real good post there this week, the title went somethin' like this;
and Shock the World".
Written by a coug
It was now time,
past the time to head on into the Stadium. Still no Phil, er Phillip...
I had his phone
number in my cell's memory so I punched it up. 'Where you
"Sorry Lee, I'm
stuck in traffic, I'm hurrying the best a can!"
The thought of
missing kick-off just reared it's ugly head...
leaving the house 5 hours before game time and showing up late. I'm thinkin'
about leaving Mr. Phillip's ticket at will call, he's still not here. Too
late, kick-off just happened. Lee not happy. I call Mr. Phillip back;
"Look Phil, I'm
going in, I'll leave your ticket at will call."
"Wait Lee! What do
you look like?"
"I'm dressed in a
black hat, black glasses, black shirt, black boots and socks, it's a
"Lee! I'm right
behind you!" I turn and spot Mr. Phillip..
There we are, face
to face talkin' to each other on our cell phones..
Well, not exactly
'face to face' seems Mr. Phillip was a good head taller than me.
"Holy Crapes Phil!
How tall are you?"
"Just a hair over
don't like guys who show up late and who are over
seven feet tall!"
"Sorry Lee. Could
I give you another five bucks?"
"Let's go!" We had
a mountain to climb to get to our seats. We'd already missed kick-off and
are late. You'd think we were from Seattle or somethin'. What's worse is
that I thought I'd have to tie a life-line onto Phil, he was gettin'
We made our seats.
Phil looks spent. The Lemonade vendor is walking by. Phil lurches over two
other fans and plucks two lemonades as if they were an offensive rebound.
"Take a slug out of this Lee."
"Don't mind if I
do, thanks." I drain a big hit. Phillip then grabs my lemonade away from me,
pulls a flask out of his boot and tops off the lemonade. "Here Lee, that'll
make ya' feel better.." "Thanks bud, er Phillip, Phil."
"Some folks call
me 'The Lip'. Got that name from Detlef Schrempf, played ball with Det. I
taught 'em everything he knows.."
that's 'Phil' to me, likes to make a stand at Husky games....
So this Philip
makes more noise than any 12 fans I know. I always leave games with a raw
voice, but I've never been sore from ear lobes to bottom. Took six days to
I'm sure the 'blue
hairs' behind us appreciated us being in front of them. Phil would yell his
hardest while Stanford was still in the huddle, when his noise could do the
most 'damage'. By the time the play was over he had blown out
his lung capacity, I was trying to keep pace...After the play was stopped
Phil would hyper-ventilate while Stanford went back to the huddle, then he'd
let it rip, repeat, repeat.
Phil loved to
stand for even more volume, at 7'1", the blue hairs behind us didn't have a
chance. I do hope they enjoyed the game anyway...
What a game. I do
believe that was the best thing I've seen in purple and gold for about 10
years, well, black in this case. "Hell's Bells" was a nice touch
I think this team
has turned the corner. If there's a football God in Heaven we won't have any
other lineman go down with any injury. I could throw in a receiver or two,
but please God, no more linemen, okay?
Well all the
'naysayers' had their day, and now they're back with Oregon. Some things
just won't change. It's like Golden Tate's touchdown reception
against the Packers. Some Seattle fans complain that they don't want to win
that way. While an Oregon fan would expect it. Besides,
everybody does it...Yup, Seattle people, forget about all the pass
interferences penalties, and the roughing the Quarterback calls that kept
Packer drives alive. Don't even try to remember the Super Bowl job with the
Steelers. We just hate to win that way...
Against the ducks?
Whatever it takes, I'll take it that way...
And a good time
was had by all, minus the three Stanford fans. And maybe the 'blue hairs'
behind Mr. Phil...As we're leaving the game, both of us spent, Phil looks at
me and says; "Lee, if you ever have another extra ticket..."
"Yup, I have your
The ducks, now let
me tell you this...There's a new twist to this ball game...
coordinator Justin Wilcox, d-line coach Tosh Lupoi, and 'backer coach Peter
'The Sermonator' Sirmon...
Two upsets in a
row? Against two top 10 teams? Can lightning strike twice in nine days? Does
a cat have nine lives? If the Stanford Tree fell in the woods at a road game
would their fans show up? Errr, better scratch that last one...
Oh yeah, bring it
CAN YOU FEEL
Lee Groinman can be reached at