Monday, September 18, 2006

A Weekend at the RCA Dome

It’s Monday morning and I am tired.  From writing all weekend?  No.  From staying up late reading a great novel?  No.  But I did have an exciting weekend. 


Saturday our high school football team played at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.  The flag football league got to ride a bus over and play a 15 minute game on the field before the high school game.  It was a great experience for the kids and adults.  My entire team made it.  The school took three busses just to carry the flag teams.  When we got there we couldn’t get in.  They raised a garage door for us and we went into one area.  Then we were blocked again.  Someone opened a side door but it was so windy that the kids had trouble walking through there.  They stopped us and opened another large, garage-like door that led into the dome.  Then we walked out of the tunnel and onto the dome turf where the Colts play.  It was huge.  We took a moment just to look up.  After a quick restroom break, we took our spots around the field while our high school team was warming up.  Once they left the field, we took the field for a quick game.  We scored first on a forty yard run on the first play of the game.  Then Kaleb, my son, returned a fumble for a touchdown.  The other team scored, then intercepted a pass and eventually scored again.  We finished the fifteen minutes tied.  Then we ran over and made a tunnel for the high school team to run through as they came out for the game.  After that, the flag players went to sit with their parents and we watched the high school game.


Sunday morning we got up, showered, and ate breakfast.  Then Kaleb and I put on our Payton Manning jerseys and took off to Indianapolis to watch the Colts play the Texans.  We went early to avoid all of the traffic and to walk around.  We parked in the convention center garage, next to the stairs.  The garage was actually cheaper than some of the outside parking that was further away.  We talked to some scalpers.  We already had tickets.  They gave us some free coupons for Rally’s.  We walked around Victory Field.  Kaleb thought it was neat to see the nice field and large stands.  There were tailgaters everywhere.  Then we went up on the walkway close to the gate we were to enter.  There were blow-ups and balloons everywhere, so we thought we’d check it out.  When we got to the top there were tents set up and people walking around.  A couple of guys were at the entrance to the walk way.  They were from Edy’s and gave out free Dibs.  They were really good.  Kaleb didn’t eat his fast enough and it eventually melted.  We walked around looking at all of the food.  Neither one of us was hungry.  Then we came up on a football toss game.  Kaleb got in line for it.  The guy told me it was for adults, too, so I got in line too.  Kaleb made some nice spirals but didn’t hit the hole.  I hit it on the second throw.  I got a shirt for him, but he got back in line and hit it, so he got a shirt and I got a shirt.  Then I signed up for the Sunday Indianapolis Star and got a free hat.  Kaleb quickly took it and wore it.  We then watched the pregame talkshow for Q95.  They mentioned face painting.  We had missed that, so we went back.  In the meantime a band had set up on stage and was playing.  It was the second in the area, because down off the road at the corner where we parked was a jazz band.  Kaleb got in line for the face painting.  We had fun joking around with the people from Edy’s and Kaleb got half of his face painted white and the other half blue.  Finally, it was time to head for the gate.  We stopped at an air force booth and I let him pick out something. 


We got into the dome really early.  The first thing we had to do once we were in the dome is get a big blue Colts finger that held up #1.  Then we went ahead and got our food.  Then headed way up to our seats.  We were three rows from the top, next to the jumbo-tron.  Someone from a local high school came by selling that day’s paper, plus a roster insert.  We bought one.  The bag also had beads in it, so Kaleb put those on.  One strand was blue; the other was silver.  We also got a large football card of Marvin Harrison.  We watched the guys warm-up and eventually the place began to fill up.  The pregame was exciting with the mascot, fireworks, and an American flag that covered the entire field.  I got a nice picture of it.  Once the game started we screamed and clapped like a bunch of maniacs so that the other team couldn’t hear the quarterback.  It seemed to work on the first two plays, when we sacked the quarterback, then recovered a fumble.  Then we got to see Manning take the field.  We scored quickly and then kept scoring the rest of the day.  Kaleb asked a million questions and I answered them all.  Actually, there weren’t as many questions as there had been earlier in the year at our first high school game.  He’s starting to catch on to the rules and a lot of the little things.  He had his program out and looked up the players as they made a catch, run, or tackle.  He learned the meanings of things on the scoreboard. 


It was an experience he will never forget, and of course, I won’t either.  And yes, I don’t feel rested after the weekend, but it was more than worth it.

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