List # 22 – Today I Saw

My sweet hubby

Quail scurrying across the street

Leaves popping out on the trees in the front yard – seems like there weren’t any there yesterday

Way too much computer screen

54 registrations for our upcoming reunion!  Yea

Ended the day with a triple overtime game between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers – sadly, the Suns lost by just 2 points.

2 Sweet Friends + 1 Husband’s Birthday = 1 AMAZING Suns Game!

In case you haven’t heard, Terry and I had the awesome privilege of going to the last Suns home game of the season this past Tuesday against the Denver Nuggets.  And you know what made it the most fun EVER?  We got to sit in the FRONT row!!!  Yes, on the floor just a single NBA basketball player step from the court.

Let me start out by admitting that even though it was intended as an early birthday present for Terry (his bday is May 13),  I probably had as much or more fun than he did.  I was so excited that I could hardly sleep the night before and I kept catching myself just before I would blurt out something about it in the days prior.

You see, Phoenix Suns basketball is my absolute favorite sport to watch.  Even though Terry watches nearly every team sport with legs, and has tried to teach me about all of them, my first sports love is those “Sunnies” (as my son-in-law calls them).  I fell in love with them back in the mid-70’s in the early days of our relationship.  That was when he took me to a game and I thought that all they did was run up and down the court and whoever made the last basket won.  Now I know most of the players by name and position and can point out a pick-and-roll or an alley-oop when I see one.  I have realized that the reason I like basketball more than other sports is because it’s a more relational game.  There are no helmets to block their expressions and there’s constant movement and interaction between the players.  I love to isolate on one player and follow them on and off the court.  Not in a stalking sort of way, but like a proud mom watching their favorite “Sun” and their progress.  I generally choose my favorites, based on personality and temperament, not necessarily their accomplishments on the court.  Anyway, I could write a whole post just on my love of the game, but I’ll save it for another time.

Today I get to take you into some those special places where I (and some of you) have never been.  It was an experience I’ll never forget. I don’t want to say too much about where we got the tickets, but suffice it to say that there are a couple of angels out there that shared a little bit of heaven with us and we will forever be grateful. Do you think they’ll have basketball in heaven?  I think so, and the home team will always win.  🙂

Fun stuff!  Terry figured out that we were going to a game, which didn’t surprise me because I had taken him to Suns games for his birthday before. But he had NO IDEA where we would be sitting and the other treats that were in store for him.  It was so great to see his eyes open wide with surprise when we pulled up for valet parking, then walked into the building and found our way to the special entrance for these ticket holders.

We held 2 tickets for ROW A, Section 113 but I hadn’t showed them to him yet.  I didn’t tell him about the free food throughout the game at the AOT Club either.  I was trying to be discreet so as not to look like a total geek, so here’s a shot of the club from my camera location at my side.  To the right you’ll see the underside of the seats that are behind the basket.  Up ahead are the food stations where we had our choice of so many tasty treats.  One of my favorites was the 4-cheese mac-n-cheese.  Mmmm…it was good and probably tasted even better since I’ve been trying to watch calories lately and have been staying away from things like that.  There were several meat options and all the sides you would want.  Free beverages too.

We arrived fairly early because we weren’t sure how crowded it would be and weren’t sure exactly where we were going.  When we entered the club we were warmly greeted and got the low-down on how things worked.  Fortunately, we had plenty of time to have some dinner and even stop into the Team Shop.  Afterward we sauntered out to see the players warm up before the game started.  If we had chosen to, we could have stayed in the club and watched the players come out of the locker room and go thru the tunnel. It’s just beyond the eating area above.

These are really OUR seats for the night!  Yup, front row.  Our feet are on the sidelines very close to the baseline, directly across from the visiting team’s bench.  We’ve sat down in this area before to watch the teams warm up, but never for the whole game.

This is what the Denver warm ups looked like from our seats.  He’s standing between the 3 point line and the out of bounds line.

This is Nene Hilario coming on the court for the starting line up introductions.  Apparently he legally changed his name to just Nene, which is more of a nickname – Brazilian Portuguese for baby.  He’s good friends with Leandro Barbosa.

What I really need to know is how can I get one of those “PHOTO” stickers for the back of my shirt.  Of course my camera’s not as big as theirs, but it would still be fun to be able to wander around all over the place to take pictures.  And I must say that the male/female photographer ratio is very imbalanced.  I could help with that.

This is the opening tip off.

Since Denver is one of the most tattooed teams in the NBA, I wanted to try to get some pics of some of them for our son-in-law, Andrew’s benefit.  Chris Andersen is a prime specimen if you like tattoos.

Here’s a fun action shot with Grant and Amare making a great effort at guarding the Nuggets.
Sometimes this was the view that we had from our seats.  We’re willing to make that sacrifice for the location that we had.  I must say that the target was very tempting.
And of course we need a shot of LB since he’s our daughter, Amy’s favorite player.  This is the best one I could get.  The Brazilian Blur doesn’t stand still for very long.
Isn’t it interesting how intent the guys on the bench are watching everything?

Our favorite coach, Alvin Gentry!  He’s doing an amazing job this year.  I love the way he’s allowing the bench to play in tough stretches of the game. The young guys are growing more and more skilled and confident because of his trust in them.  Their new defensive emphasis really seems to be making a difference too.

The final score of the game was Suns 123 – Nuggets 101.  It was so fun to watch and even more so because they won the game!  What a special treat to be able to enjoy it from court-side.  Wow!  It was a night that we’ll never forget.  We were so thankful for the chance to do this.  That’s one thing that I can cross off of my “Bucket List”.

Steve Nash Carries the Torch!

Big news day!  Be sure to read all the posts…

You can just imagine how excited we were to see our own adopted Sun, Steve Nash as one of the final four people to carry the torch and have the honor of actually lighting the cauldron!  Wow!  I can’t even imagine how proud and excited he must have been to represent Canada in his own home province in that way.  Wow! WOW!!!!  I would have been crying my eyes out at that point.
See more on his comments here and here.

More News on those awesome Suns:

For those who aren’t basketball fans, sorry about these posts, but this is MY team and there’s been a lot going on lately.

Yesterday was Amare’s 26th birthday. It’s hard to believe that he’s Amy’s age.
Still no Barbosa…still home with his family (which is understandable).

Last night Shaq was thrown out of the game very early for fouling an opponent hard. It wasn’t really intentionally flagrant, just going for the ball and the other guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. He wasn’t hurt or anything, just hit the floor awkwardly. The Suns still won! Yeah!

Also in the same game Steve Nash had TWO BLOCKED SHOTS! For those who don’t know, Steve is 6′ 3″ in a land of many close to 7 ‘ and more. And here’s the kicker. When asked about his blocking contributions, Steve said, “That’s what I do.” Hilarious! He has such a great sense of humor and never takes himself seriously. For those who didn’t see them, you have to watch the videos of his Vitamin Water commercials on Amy’s blog here.
Love those Sunnies (as Andrew would say)!

Things are stormy for the Suns this week after Nash and Barnes’ suspensions and other team member’s fines.

Read more here.

I was also sad to hear that Leandro’s mom passed away. You could tell from interviews with him that they were a very close family. It’s been noticeable that she’s been on his mind since the start of the season and I’m sure it will be even harder for him now that she’s gone. Our hearts and prayers go out to him and his extended family in this difficult time.

Don’t you just LOVE Grant Hill?

Here he is prior to game 3, receiving the Joe Dumars Trophy presented to the 2007-08 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner. And this is the 2nd time he’s won it too. He just comes across as such a class act both on and off the court.

Read more about it here.

Well, I can’t spend too much time on line right now because game 5 of the Suns/Spurs series starts soon and we are praying that the Suns can win this one and go on to make history by winning the next 3 games after being down 3 to zip in the series. I know that they CAN do it. Question is: WILL they do it?

I have lots to post about our (24 hour turn-around) weekend trip to So Cal. I realized that we have made that drive across the desert somewhere between 50 and 100 times over the last 30 years and there are lots of memories tied up in that drive. more to come on that…

…I hope to be back online celebrating a Suns victory in the coming days.

Phoenix Suns with the Family!

Merry Christmas to Mom and Happy Birthday to Amy – and a great excuse for Terry and I to go to a Suns game!!!

It’s so fortunate for us that so many of our family members are Phoenix Suns fans because then we get to find reasons to go to games. This year for Christmas we gave Terry’s mom a personal gift certificate to either go on a weekend trip with us or to go to some kind of show or event and we would pay for it. After several months of debate, she decided that she wanted to go to a Suns game. What an awesome grandma is that, huh? It turns out that she had NEVER been to a regular season game even though she has been in the Valley since the franchise started!!! Can you believe it? We couldn’t either. So we were very excited to fulfill her request. Also, since Amy’s birthday was this week and she’s moving to L.A. and won’t have a chance to see her “Sunnies” very much any more, we asked her if she’d like to go to the game with us as her birthday present and, of course she said yes.

So, off we went to see them play. We were in for some extra treats as well! First of all they won by a huge margin. Then we got there early and were able to see Amare, Boris and Gordon Giricek warming up. And while we were wandering around before the game we walked by the stage where they tape the pre-game show and got to see some of the announcers doing the show. We also got to see my all-time favorite player, Kevin Johnson who just happened to be in town for a fund-raiser for his campaign for mayor of Sacramento. Awesome!

We all had a great time and got to see ALL the players contribute, which is amazing since they don’t always get to play.

By the way, I started my “Bucket List” and one of the things that I want to do before I kick the bucket is see a Suns game from seats on the floor. Can anyone help with that?