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Houston Astros Only Baseball Team Not To Allow Food Or Drink In Stadium

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(Blogger’s Note 3/14/12—This policy has now been changed! You can now bring food and drink into Astros games.)

USA Today reports that the Houston Astros are the only team in Major League Baseball that does not allow fans to bring either food or water into the stadium. You have to buy the overpriced and often yucky stadium food.

( Above–None of these good-for-you apples would be permitted at the Houston Astros game.  Here are many facts about apples. )

This despite the fact that the stadium the Astros play in was built in large part with taxpayer dollars.

( Below– A traditional  Easter meal of Slovakia. Easter ends with the  first pitch at the Astros game. Who has ever heard of Easter nachos? Please click here to learn about Slovakia.

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From USA Today—

“Most teams don’t publicize it, but at least 21 of 30 major league clubs allow fans to bring some food and drink items to ballparks, according to a review of team websites. Another eight allows fans to bring their own bottled water. One, the Houston Astros, prohibits all outside food and drink.”

Please click here for the full story. The section about food and drink at stadiums is at the bottom.

(Below–Please consume your dried squid before attending the game.)

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The price of food is high at the Astros’ games. Something like $4 for a water. $5 for a hot dog. You get the idea.

The Astros are the only team that can’t even allow you to bring in a bottle of water? They took the taxpayer money to build the stadium.

It would be very fan-friendly if the Astros would make some concession on the issue of concessions in this time of recession.

( Below–Deep fried giant water bugs are eaten in Thailand. You’ll have to finish that snack before your  ticket is taken at an Astros game. Here is information about water bugs.)

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May 13, 2009 Posted by | Houston | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Yellow Card If You Might Spread Swine Flu—Red Card If You Are Really Sick

The federal government will be handing out yellow cards to foriegn visitors arriving in U.S. airports to tell them how to avoid the Swine Flu and what symptoms to look for.

Many sports, including soccer, use yellow cards to warn players of misconduct.

Read information about these swine flu cards at Graphic Arts Online. Maybe Graphic Arts Online would like to design a Swine Flu logo.

Red cards, as you see below, are given in many sports if a player is to be ejected from the game.

Maybe people who arrive in America and who seem sick will be given red cards and ejected from the country.

( Please click here for Swine Flu information and for handwashing tips.)

April 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Is A Fan Of Pitching Over Home Runs

In a recent New York Times article, Chicago White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams says that his Chicago friend Barack Obama always focuses on pitching when he asks how the White Sox are doing. 

I found this an agreeable revelation. Pitching and fielding involve a measure of strategy and sophistication in contrast to the vulgarity of the home run. 1-0 or 2-1 are the ideal baseball scores.

Home runs are jarring. The idea of one swing producing as many as four runs is to me a violation of the context and proportion that I think forms the basis of legitimacy. A baseball game should be a slowly rising crescendo with the final note being a last out that seals a narrow lead. Home runs are events onto themselves that overwhelm the flow of the game. They are as much a stunt as anything else.

I can see Senator Obama as a fan of pitching. Tight. Controlled. Disciplined. Throwing every pitch like it mattered. Not looking for the home run and not losing his game when the other guy scores a run.

The best Major League pitcher of all time was Walter Johnson (Above) . Mr. Johnson played for the Washington Senators between 1907 and 1927. A winner of 417 games, no pitcher ever pitched so well for so long. 

Mr. Johnson was later elected a Montgomery County, Maryland County Commissioner and in 1940 was a Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress. Mr. Johnson lost 53-47 to Democrat William Byron.

A candidate for best Negro League pitcher ever is Satchel Paige (Below) . Mr. Paige pitched in the Negro Leagues from 1927 well into the 1950’s. He also was Major League pitcher between 1948 and 1953. Mr. Paige threw a wide variety of pitches and was known as the best not just among Negro League observers, but by baseball fans of the white-only leagues as well.    

November 6, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Despite Massive Public Subsidy For Stadium, Cincinnati Bengals Are Terrible Year After Year

Despite a massive public subsidy from the taxpayers of Hamilton County, Ohio to build a stadium, the Cincinnati Bengals football team have posted 0 wins and 4 defeats so far in the 2008 NFL season. This is a terrible record.

Not only are the Bengals terrible in 2008, the Bengals have had only one winning season in the past 17 years. 

The Bengals are possibly the worst team in all of professional sports. They may also be worse than any college, amateur or pee wee team.

This is the ninth season the Bengals have played in Paul Brown Stadium. This stadium has been paid for with hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. In these nine seasons, the Bengals have had one winning year. What a lousy team. They’ve let down the public in so many ways. With a free stadium, can’t they put a winning team on the field?

When Paul Brown Stadium was funded, at knifepoint as the Bengals threatened to move to another city, a lot of fuss was made about how the new stadium would economically benefit Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Has any public official who supported the deal ever checked back to see if the deal has really paid off for the people of Cincinnati and Hamilton County?

The Cincinnati Bengals stink year after year. They stink even after they are given the advantage of millions of dollars of free public money. 

Above is Paul Brown Stadium along the riverfront in Downtown Cincinnati. Each time I drive past that stadium, as I do in my trips home to Cincinnati, I think of what a failure of imagination and hope for the future it is for a community to spend millions on a football stadium, and not on the needs of average people.   

I think about how the Bengals bullied the public into approving the stadium deal.

And I think about how the Bengals stink year after year after year.

September 30, 2008 Posted by | Cincinnati | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Houston Astros Mark World Food Crisis With All You Can Eat Thursdays

The Houston Astros baseball team has introduced all you can eat Thursdays.

On Thursday home games you can pay $35 and, in addition to a seat, get unlimited hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn, soda and water.

Maybe this is being done in response to concern by the team that the rise in gas prices will hurt attendance this year.

Another option the Astros could consider is allowing fans to bring their own food in the stadium. This would lower the cost of going to a game. Other teams allow outside food.

In any case, this new offer is disgusting.

And meanwhile, much of the world is being impacted by increases in the price of food.

I’m not suggesting we poison the world with stadium food. Or that a person eating a meal of four hot dogs and three trays of nachos is denying a hungry person in Cameroon a meal of hot dogs and nachos.    

But what if the Astros donated $1 from each ticket on All You Can Eat Day to world food relief efforts? 

This would at least acknowledge that some people don’t have access to things like All You Can Eat Thursdays.

Above you see a picture of the world’s longest hot dog. Maybe instead of many hot dogs, All You Can Eat customers could be served a four or five foot long hot dog.   

Below is a picture of Zam Zam Cola. This brand is produced in Canada and is popular in Iran and in parts of the Arab world. I will have a Zam Zam with my five foot hot dog.    

May 14, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Texas | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

$165 Houston Rockets Ticket Buys Time For Reflection On Meaning Of The Shot Clock

 

Last night I attended the NBA game between the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors.

I don’t follow basketball. I went because I had free tickets.

You’ll think I am making this up, but the tickets I had sold for $165 each.

I figured that had to be the most expensive ticket. I looked it up. It is not. $ 165 is the sixth most expensive ticket.

For $165, one sits about 20 rows up and in the center court area.

The cheapest seat is $9.

You get the idea why these teams want to build new arenas and stadiums with expensive seats and sky boxes. People will pay big money to go to these games.

It’s less clear why the public is so often willing to finance these places with tax dollars.

I entered the so-called Toyota Center by walking over a sky bridge open only to what were termed “premium guests.”

I was a premium guest.

I voted against the publically financed construction of the Toyota Center both times it was on the ballot in Harris County.

The first time the public saw the question my way.

The second time the public did not.

At the end of the skywalk were two cheerleaders greeting Rocket’s fans. The cheerleaders are termed “Rockets Power Dancers.”

This was the fourth or fifth Rockets game I’ve attended. I’m always struck by how small the court appears in relation to the size of the players. ( Above is an 1890 picture of the first basketball court which was located in Springfield, Massachusetts. Springfield is the birthplace of basketball. )  

If you’ve never seen the famous Yao Ming in person, I can tell you this—He is quite tall.

Click here for some good information on basketball court dimensions and requirements.  

The 24 second shot clock is a disturbing aspect of NBA basketball. It leads to a lot of running up and down the court and a great deal of haste in shooting for a basket.  

A longer shot clock, or no shot clock at all, would lead to a more reflective and thoughtful game.

Poor shot selection by both teams last night seemed more a manifestation of the artificial constriction of the shot clock, rather than a honest reflection of the sincere desire of the players to score as many baskets as possible. 

The shot clock sends the wrong message—Everybody knows good things come to those who wait. 

Here is a history of the NBA shot clock. It’s said that the shot clock saved the game from tedium.

Tedium is underrated.  

Here are the 13 original rules of basketball from the 1890’s.  

Music was played over the PA system while the game is taking place. Often the music would stop when play stopped.

I found this odd. Isn’t the game enough?

Below is a picture of my favorite NBA basketball player ever—World B. Free.  Mr. Free changed his name legally from Lloyd B. Free to World B. Free.

December 31, 2007 Posted by | Cheerleaders, Houston | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments