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What's on Jenn's mind?

Vick's vile actions, two legendary stadiums, more

Posted: Thursday July 26, 2007 1:40PM; Updated: Thursday July 26, 2007 1:40PM
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Like all baseball fans do, Jenn Sterger fell in love with Wrigley Field.
Like all baseball fans do, Jenn Sterger fell in love with Wrigley Field.
Jenn Sterger
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What Jenn's looking forward to: While most people get depressed in the dark days of winter, this girl catches the blues in the heat of summer. Granted, it's not enough to make me need a therapist or anything, but I do go through some definite withdrawals from football season. The boys of summer are great, don't get me wrong, but I am looking for a bit of a more contact sport. NFL camps are getting underway very shortly, and this girl couldn't be more excited. Until then, left fields and left turns are enough to keep me from going completely insane.

On Jenn's Calendar: This week I'm off to Indianapolis for the "races." After Saturday's Busch series I am heading south to New Orleans for the AFL's Arena Bowl, where the San Jose Sabercats will see if they can continue their 12-game winning streak against the Columbus Destroyers. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, the AFL Board of Directors voted to bring their Championship game to New Orleans as soon as the city would allow.

I recently visited the Big Easy and fell in love with the city and its people, so I am anxiously awaiting my trip this weekend. Beyond the bourbon streets and bars, lies a city filled with amazing food, music, culture, and of course great people who will welcome you with open arms. Good luck to both teams this weekend, and thanks to an amazing city for sharing what they have to offer with both travelers and sports fans alike.

What Jenn's been watching: Baseball. And lots of it. When you talk about great Major League ballparks, three places come to mind: Chicago's Wrigley Field, Boston's Fenway Park, and of course, the Bronx's own Yankee Stadium. I had the fortunate experience of getting to take in games in both the Windy City and the Big Apple in the span of just a week. That's saying something. The two parks really couldn't be more different. Wrigley Field takes you back to the humble beginnings of America's favorite past time, with an old-time score board, an in-house band, and an ice cold cup of Old Style for everyone (over the legal drinking age, of course). The back wall is covered in a lush green vine and is noticeably unscathed by advertisers' gaudy billboards, with the exception of a few tasteful Under Armour ads. And of course, the best part of any trip to Wrigley: Take Me Out to the Ballgame. On my particular day of visit, Jim Belushi took his best shot at the tune. But to this day, no one truly does it the justice of legendary Mr. Harry Caray.

My trip to Yankee Stadium was the following Friday when the Yankees hosted my home team, the Devil Rays. I was given a tour of Monument Park, where droves of people of all ages waited in line to see the plaques. I was also impressed by the crowd of loyal Yankees fans seated in the right-field bleachers, who performed the "roll call." At the beginning of the game, they chanted each players name until the player acknowledged them, and they were very synchronized! Here's an example of what I'm talking about.

Both parks, though offer completely different experiences, and that's what every ballpark should try to capture. So if you have a list of things to do before you die, maybe cross off sky diving and add a tour of Great American Ballparks.

Athlete of the Weak: While there have been a number of athletes getting their wrists slapped lately, no one deserves a straight ass-kicking quite like Michael Vick. I won't list all the dirty and filthy details you have seen on the various news channels, because quite frankly, they make me ill. Vick was also told by the NFL to not report to training camp, and his sneaker deal with Nike is on an indefinite hold. Some even say that opposing teams in the NFL are champing at the bit to get their shot at the Atlanta QB. That is, if the PETA protestors and every dog owner in America don't get to him first. Hope those new shoes you came out with have rockets on the back of them, Michael. Looks like you'll need them.

Mail Call

Jenn, very simply. If you were Roger Goodell would you kick Michael Vick out of the league forever? -- Tom, Pensacola, Fla.

I think these athletes forget how fortunate they are to do something they LOVE for a living. They get paid to play a game, to represent a city, to represent fans, and to be a role model. The crimes that Vick is being accused of are beyond heinous, he has alienated more fans than not, and he was already a question mark in Atlanta due to his particular style of play and demeanor. I think that if Goodell doesn't extricate him from the league (if Vick is found guilty), the commish would be telling other athletes and fans that fame makes you above the law.

Jenn, do you have plans yet for the first weekend of the college football season? I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm getting fired up for the season. Which game will you be at for Week 1? -- Orlando, Little Rock, Ark.

With the first weekend of September quickly approaching there are, of course, a few games that stick out in my mind. Wake Forest at Boston College is sure to be a good matchup for Saturday afternoon. But my main event for that weekend?.. A tradition that has long been near and dear to my heart: The Bowden Bowl. Clemson and Florida State meet up in Death Valley, and the Seminoles are out for revenge on last years close loss. What a great way to kick off the season!

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