The Sneak

first_imgPlaying sports is an all-out, action-packed adrenaline rush. Watching sports isn’t quite as dramatic. Sure, the occasional foul ball gives us a chance to be heroes, but for the most part, being a spectator is pretty tame. There’s not much risk in buying a ticket and filing through the turnstiles.Unless, of course, you try to sneak into the stadium. It requires risk, athleticism, and ingenuity, much like the sports you come to watch.Let me be clear about one thing: I’ve never, ever run bandit in a race or not paid my entry fees for any event. I only sneak in to watch overpaid professional athletes in giant stadiums, and I do it solely for the challenge. It’s a way of turning a normally sedentary, passive activity into an athletic, active one.My sneak-ins started in 1995, when the Atlanta Braves were about to win their first (and only) World Series. I was in college at the time, and I couldn’t afford a stadium hot dog, much less a $1,000 ticket to the Series. So I headed down to the stadium for the final game, hoping to catch some tailgate parties. I had never witnessed a World Series championship, and I at least wanted to be near the peanut shells and spilled-beer smells of the stadium when it happened.It was a chilly, windy October evening. For the first few innings, I circled the stadium with thousands of other fans, who were holding up one, two, or three fingers, indicating how many tickets they were seeking. I tried waving a finger for a few laps. No luck.I kept walking in circles. It was getting really cold. I was ready to head back and watch the rest of the game at the bar when, suddenly, I saw my ticket inside. Beside Gate E, a television station had propped a hydraulic lift cherry picker against the stadium. Its mechanical arm, bent at the elbow, had a platform fist at the top, and the stadium ramps were right across from the platform. It was asking to be climbed. But the lift was only 20 yards from a ticket gate guarded by three security officers. I scouted out their movements and summoned up courage for another half-inning.Just as I was approaching the lift, a homeless guy with a scraggly yellow beard shuffled over to me, carrying a bottle of whiskey in a paper sack. I was expecting him to ask for money, but instead he raised his eyebrows and said, “You gonna climb it?”I nodded my head, and a wide, toothless grin spread across his face.“I’ll see what I can do ‘bout them security guards,” he said.He stumbled over to the gate and fell down, feigning injury. The guards reached down to move him out of the way. In an instant, I shimmied up the lift’s arm, grabbed the edge of the platform like a chin-up bar, and kicked my body to the top. Then I jumped across the two-foot gap that separated the platform from the stadium. I couldn’t believe it was me—college-educated, law-abiding me—climbing two stories in the air onto a wobbly platform so that I could illegally vault into a stadium.Suddenly, I heard a shout below. The guards were running up the stadium ramp. I sprinted away and disappeared into the crowd. A few minutes later, I was even lucky enough to find an empty seat in the nosebleeds, just in time to watch David Justice’s series-winning homer clear the right field fence.My toughest sneak-in challenge was the Super Bowl. I managed to see my hometown St. Louis Rams squeak past the Tennessee Titans at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.St. Louis never had a winning football season when I was growing up, but my dad and I religiously checked the standings every Monday morning and memorized back-page statistics on all the players. He took me to the stadium after home games so that I could get players’ autographs. We suffered through years of cellar-dweller seasons together. Now, St. Louis had finally turned things around and was going to the Super Bowl for the first time.I arrived at the Georgia Dome wearing a tie and sports jacket, and carrying a clipboard with some blank sheets of paper. I caught the door behind a media crew and crept into the building adjacent to the Dome. Inside, halftime bands were tuning their instruments.There was only one corridor between the building and the Dome: an outdoor walkway lined by at least 50 cops and security guards. They stood in two parallel rows and checked each person entering and exiting the Dome. It didn’t look like I could get any farther.Then I heard a faint hymn echoing through the parking deck above the walkway. It grew louder and more powerful. Walking down from the deck were 100 black women from the Georgia Mass Choir singing the praises of God.Divine intervention.I mixed myself in with the choir—a skinny, white boy surrounded by a sea of big blue robes—and pretended to be a manager escorting them through the security lines. I smiled, tried to look important, and never, ever made eye contact with a security guard. We passed through the last security post and walked through the ground-level doors to the Dome.I was in.The choir was headed straight onto the field for their pre-game performance. I was wedged in with them, headed for the field. I started to panic. For a second, I felt like The Naked Gun’s Frank Drebin about to impersonate Enrico Palazzo singing the national anthem. But I stepped aside at the mouth of the tunnel and ducked into a service elevator. I rode with three already-drunk beer vendors up to the stands.I watched the game from an empty usher’s seat near the Rams’ goal line where Mike Jones would make his last-second, game-saving tackle on the one yard line. Afterward, I called my dad from the stadium. He could barely hear my voice amid the buzz of the electrified crowd.“Can you believe it, Dad?”“I don’t know what is more incredible: St. Louis winning a Super Bowl or you sneaking in to see it.”My dad—a lifelong police officer—had never been more proud of his son.last_img read more


One killed in Jennings County crash

first_imgNorth Vernon, In. — The Indiana State Police and the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department investigated a crash that took one life Monday morning near State Route 750 and County Road 200 North.The report says Christean M. Price, 51, of St. Paul, was eastbound on State Route 750 around 8:45 when she crossed the centerline and collided with a car driven by Angela Abston, 49, of St. Paul. The Price vehicle landed on its side in the roadway and the Abston vehicle left the north side of the roadway before coming to a stop.Abston was pronounced dead at the scene. Price was airlifted to anIndianapolis hospital with serious injuries. Four passengers with Price suffered minor injuries.State Road 750 was closed for about four hours during the cleanup and accident reconstruction.The Indiana State Police were assisted by the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department, North Vernon Police Department, Jennings County EMS, Jennings County Fire, Indiana Department of Transportation, North Vernon Street Department, Jennings County Coroner’s Office, and Pearson’s Wrecker Service.last_img read more


Asare appointed as Media Officer of Baby Jet Promotions

first_imgBaby Jet Promotions has appointed renowned Sports Analyst Jefferey Asare as its new Media Officer.The boxing promotions owned by Ghana striker Asmaoah Gyan believes it is bringing on board one of Ghana’s most intelligent brains in boxing as part of its expansion plans.Asare’s appointment comes weeks ahead of Baby Jet Promotions’ next bout expected in late November or early December.The seasoned sports analyst with in-depth knowledge in boxing will be in charge of all media communications and promotions of the boxing syndicate of the Black Stars captain.Chief Executive Officer of Baby Jet Promotions Samuel Anim Addo announced the appointment of Jeffery Asare who also serves on the Media and Sponsorship Committee of the Ghana Football Association.“We are very happy to have the best boxing analyst in Ghana joining the Baby Jet Promotions family,” Anim Addo revealed. “His appointment takes effect immediately and we can’t wait to start working with such an experienced personality.”last_img read more


Juan Nicasio injury update: Phillies place frequently used reliever on IL with groin strain

first_imgThe Phillies placed reliever Juan Nicasio on the 10-day injured list Thursday with a left-groin strain, losing one of their most frequently used pitchers until past the All-Star break.Manager Gabe Kapler said Nicasio told the Phillies after Wednesday’s loss he aggravated the injury over the weekend in Miami, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. “I don’t know. All I can tell you is it’s bothering. It’s bothering me right now,” Nicasio said Wednesday after giving up a homer and three earned runs in only a third of an inning of a 9-2 loss to the Braves. “It’s been a few days that it’s been bothering me but I didn’t think it was anything significant but today it got a little worse so we’re going to take it easy.”Nicasio, who pitched 11 times in June and has appeared in 32 games this season, trails only closer Hector Neris (35) and Jose Alvarez (33) in appearances for the Phillies. Related News MLB trade rumors: Todd Frazier would be ‘OK’ if Mets dealt him “I’m not going to speculate or second-guess our pitchers,” Kapler said when asked if he would’ve preferred to know before Wednesday that Nicasio was hurt. “Our pitchers are tough. They fight really hard. They prepare themselves to pitch.”Nicasio (1-2, 5.24 ERA) had 10 scoreless appearances in June, bouncing back from an inconsistent start to the season, before he said he aggravated his groin Sunday against the Marlins. MLB All-Star Game 2019: Yankees’ Gleyber Torres added to AL team as injury replacement Red Sox’s Chris Sale (3-8) sounds off on ‘absolutely embarrassing’ first half Losing him will force Kapler to elevate another reliever into his bridge-to-closer role (Nicasio has eight holds) as the team continues to wait for David Robertson and Pat Neshek to return.The Phillies (45-41) enter Thursday’s game against the Braves 5 1/2 games back of first-place Atlanta in the NL East and tied with the Nationals atop the wild-card standings.last_img read more


SASOD launches violence against LGBT persons report

first_imgThe Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) on Thursday launched a complete report on violence and discrimination against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) persons in Guyana.The report stemmed from a study which was conducted by the Georgetown Law Human Rights Institute in Washington DC, and documented the views and experiences of LGBT persons in society.As part of the study, additional information was also gathered via interactions with Ministers, officials of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and representatives from other institutions across Demerara and Berbice.The committee was represented by the founder of SASOD, Joel Simpson and other representatives of the organisation, who explained the need for equality inSASOD founder Joel Simpson (left) along with other members of the organisationthe human rights sector, to every member of society.In relation to the high level of discrimination which LGBT individuals face in the workplace and other settings, SASOD has embarked on several initiatives to bring awareness to the public on the need for equal rights among all.“This is a report on social protection issues [and] discrimination in the workplace. We’ll be meeting with all the Ministries, the Guyana Police Force and very importantly, we’re doing a lot with faith leaders.“We’re heavily focused on movement building. We’ll be working a lot more directly with the partners – Guyana Trans United and the Rainbow Foundation so that we have a stronger front as a movement,” Simpson added.The organisation, based on the findings of the study, is calling for increased specialised training for officers of the GPF that would include how to deal with LGBT members, since violence and discrimination were preventative factors in embracing equality.last_img read more