So, what’s your favorite?

By on January 23, 2014

Like most of the rest of America probably was, I had my eyes glued to the television on Sunday for the AFC and NFC Championship games.

Since the Eagles were no longer in the dance, I found myself rooting for the Broncos and Seahawks. It seems to me that sports fans, when their team is not involved in the big game, often look at the two squads playing and root for the one who doesn’t have that one player – maybe two or three – that you love to dislike. Me included.

Last year, for example, although I didn’t have a huge reason to cheer for the 49ers in the Super Bowl, I did anyway because I really am not a fan of Ray Lewis. Guess how that worked out?

This past Sunday, however, Peyton Manning made it easy to pull for the Broncos. From a sentimental perspective, Manning is one of the all-time good guys, so I thought it was cool to see him get another shot at the Super Bowl.

In the other game, the fact that the Seahawks have never claimed a title gave them the edge in my book. When you look at it, the city of Seattle has won very little in its overall history. The Mariners have been shut out in the World Series. The Sounders have been blanked in Major League Soccer. Despite Richard Sherman’s post-game rant in his interview with Erin Andrews, I was happy to see the Seahawks win.

During the game, when Fox Sports came back from commercial breaks and showed pictures of the Seattle skyline, it actually brought back a lot of memories from a family vacation there last summer. During our few days in the city, Leslie and Kendall tolerated a trip to Seattle’s Safeco Field, where we (mostly Brooks, Leslie’s cousin John and I) enjoyed a 5-4 win by the M’s in 10 innings over the Chicago Cubs.

Perhaps in a few years, Lititz’s own Zach Shank, currently a prospect in the Mariners’ system, will be stepping into the batter’s box at Safeco. If that happens, I’d love to get back.

It’s a great stadium. Probably surpassed my expectations.

Allow me to segue from there to a recent sports talk show I was watching, where a guest, a Philadelphia sports writer, was asked to name the favorite stadium he ever visited, whether it be football, baseball, hockey, basketball or whatever.

I think his selection was the Green Bay Packer’s Lambeau Field, certainly one of the most iconic sports venues.

With the sports seasons preparing to change – the Super Bowl will be quickly followed by pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training, and March Madness, the Stanley Cup playoffs and NBA post-season gearing up a short time later – I thought it might be fun to ask Record Express readers to name the favorite sports venue that they’ve ever visited.

I’d love to hear from you. Email me at and tell me what your favorite stadium/arena/field happens to be, along with a sentence or two as to why it holds a special place in your heart. It can be a present-day field or one from the past. If I get enough replies, I’ll do a column in February based upon your responses.

I can tell you that I don’t have to think very long about my favorite ball park. I’ve had the privilege of getting to Boston’s Fenway Park three times in the past 20 years or so, and it never gets old. There’s just something about the history of that century-old structure, with the Green Monster looming in left field and the Pesky Pole in right, that makes it magical. Sure, there are beams in the vision lines, cramped, wooden seats with little leg room, and very narrow concourses to navigate. But it’s all part of the charming experience.

After watching Harold Baines hit a home run there off of Boston’s Aaron Sele in my first visit to Fenway, with Mike Mussina on the hill for the Baltimore Orioles, I saw the Red Sox’s Pedro Martinez pitch against the Phillies in 2001. Then six years later, my brother Steve treated me to a trip to Boston, as Curt Schilling squared off against the New York Yankees’ Roger Clemens on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter hit a game-winning homer over the Monster. Memories to last a lifetime.

I’m sure that you, too, have a special place that holds some cool memories. Send out an email and let me know.

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