KOBS: Eddie vs. Jamal, O’s bus and kicks with David Beckham

June 30, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

Today is a matchup between two men who, like the soccer players of Brazil, only need one name: Eddie vs. Jamal. Sure, Murray should run away with it today, but I think Lewis was a tad bit underappreciated here as a football player.

It’ll be a long time before we see another running back in purple who was that good. Funny, how they both wound up playing in Cleveland of all places, right? And weird how Jamal Lewis actually went to jail and Ray Lewis didn’t and Ray gets all of the heat from the fans in other cities. I’ve never heard a fan yell anything at Jamal about jail even in the worst cities on the road.

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The WNST bustrip yesterday was fabulous, despite the crappy ending. It was the first Orioles bus trip we’ve done in a long, long time and it was very rewarding. Lots of nice people wearing orange, great fans who drank some Miller Lite Collectors’ brew (they killed off the wheat, my favorite, pretty quickly) and we managed to avoid a rain delay.

In the end, we were on our feet in the 12th inning waiting for strike three and an Orioles victory when Ronnie Belliard jerked that ball into the left field seats.

So our first roadie of distinction in this century for the Orioles and they lose in Washington, D.C. on a walkoff homer in the 12th inning. It sucked having to look at their faces on the bus because we were all in a state of shock and disbelief. There’s NO WAY to lose in any worse fashion than that, and George Sherrill might’ve had Belliard struck out on the previous pitch. Well, aa least the D.C. fans weren’t taunting anyone on the way outta the stadium. It wasn’t like a Redskins game, where their burgundy and gold types can get a little chippy.

I’d say well over 90% of our crowd hadn’t been to the Nationals’ new stadium yet. I went about two months ago (even shot a video if you check in my video vault on wnsTV) and while it’s not the most impressive building I’ve ever been in, it’s a very nice crib for the D.C. crowd. Easy to get to from the Metro, nice spacious upper deck with plenty of good views of the field — everyone in Baltimore should see it and visit once a year. It’s a good time and a nice ballpark but certainly different from the Camden Yards experience.

The most glaring issue from yesterday is how incredible empty all of the seats behind home plate are for most of the game. Those seats are 85% empty for most of the game and are the priciest seats in the stadium. Of course, the Nats don’t have many “hardcore” fans yet. And every time someone would come up to bat, we’d all be saying the same thing: “Who the hell is THAT guy? I’ve never heard of him?” They’ve assembled a pretty anonymous bunch down there.

Our bus arrived quite early, around 11:15 and I have a friend who works for the D.C. United, who were playing the biggest game of their year just three miles away at R.F.K. Stadium at 12:15. So I hopped on the Metro and snuck over to the old stadium to watch David Beckham’s Los Angeles Galaxy battle the United.

The video is coming soon (there’s already a pretty cool piece on wnsTV of Beckham’s “bending it” on a corner kick that was about 15 feet from where I happened to be.

Lots of pretty girls, lots of kids who love soccer, lots of Beckham jerseys – just what you’d expect when one of the most famous men in the world comes to play soccer in an international city. But, also, a myriad of passionate support for the United from Barra Brava and the Screaming Eagles fan club/supporter groups.

Like I said, I’ll show you what I saw on wnsTV soon. I stayed for the first half and got back to the Nats-O’s game by the top of the 2nd inning. That D.C. subway rocks! It was a seamless, easy thing to do, attending both events. It was also impressive to see around 75,000 people turn up for sports within a few miles of each other.

One last thing: speaking of soccer, I’m really going to miss the Euro Cup now that Spain has run off with the trophy.

I watched about 90% of that tournament, most of it in the late afternoons on delay because I didn’t have anyone calling me or texting me the results to wreck it for me.

Soccer on the international stage in absolutely fabulous – the passion, the fans, the noise, the excitement and the want and will of the players is unrivaled here in America.

Now, I have to wait two more years for another World Cup to have that much fun.

But we don’t have to wait for another Orioles bus trip. We’re heading to Yankee Stadium in four weeks on July 30th. Hope you can join us!

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