DHS Teachers at Major Sporting events

DHS+Teachers+at+Major+Sporting+events

Harry Steinberg, Sports Editor

With the NFL playoffs upon us and the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament coming up, El Diablo reached out to DHS teachers to hear about the biggest sporting events they have been to in their lifetime. From the NCAA Final Four to the NBA Finals, DHS teachers have seen a lot:

Mr. Garner

Event: NFC Championship Game

Teams: Packers and Giants

Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI

Date: January 20, 2008

Final score (OT): Giants 23, Packers 20

Frigid. Breathtaking. Win or go home. The 2008 NFC championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants was one to remember, and DHS English teacher Dan Garner was in attendance for the matchup on January 20, 2008. Garner said his family has held season tickets since 1922, but this game was unlike any other in Packer history.

“It was freezing. It was super cold. I think it was like -3°F. It was the second coldest game in Packer history with an average temperature of -1°F. Super frigid, but it was great,” said Garner.

Garner had traveled all the way back to Wisconsin to see the game during his first year teaching at DHS. As the fourth-quarter came to an end, the game was still tied. In overtime, legendary quarterback Brett Favre threw an interception which turned into a Giants field goal: the Packers season was over.

“It went to overtime and it ended tragically. They lost unfortunately, it was brutal,” Garner said.

As the Packer’s Super Bowl hopes came to an end, Garner remembers the scene as he walked out of the stadium.

“No one was saying a word. Quietest I’ve ever heard 80,000 people be. No one said a freaking word. You could hear just the scuffling of everyone’s super heavy boots across this icy pavement, just totally dejected. I don’t even think we said a word to each other on the drive home,” said Garner.

The loss was especially painful for Packers fans. Not only was their chance at another Super Bowl victory gone, but the game turned out to be Brett Favre’s last game as a Packer as well. His last pass as a Packer was an interception.

“We didn’t know it was going to be his last game as a Packer. We didn’t know he was going to get traded,” said Garner. “It was cool because I was actually at Brett Favre’s first game when he came in as a backup quarterback. It was an interesting bookend to his entire 16 years.”

The loss came at the expense of Garner’s short term feelings about football. The pain of a playoff loss and the agonizingly slow offseason is sometimes hard to swallow.

“There was at least a month of sheer pain and agony, not even wanting to watch anything, bitterness watching the Super Bowl,” said Garner.

As for long-term feelings, Garner’s affection for the Packers and ability to see games in person has not changed.

“I’ve been back plenty of times since then. I usually go to about one a season now that I live out here, which is great,” said Garner.

Garland

Event: NCAA Men’s Division I Final Four

Teams: Georgetown, UCLA, Florida, Ohio State

Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA

Date: March 31st – April 2nd,  2007

Final score (Championship Game):

Student council advisor and history teacher Dale Garland is most known for being a race director of the world famous Hardrock 100 endurance race, but he is an avid college basketball fan as well. In fact, he is such a hardcore fan that he went to the NCAA Men’s Division I Final Four games even though his favorite team – the Duke Blue Devils – weren’t playing.

“I bought my tickets before the tournament, and I thought Duke had a pretty good shot of going. When they didn’t, I thought might as well go anyway. The Final Four is this huge corporate deal, you know that’s what everyone plays for. Just being able to a part of that excitement was really cool,” said Garland.

Both the semifinals and championship games were held in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. Finding a time to get away from school is a challenge for any teacher, but Garland made it work.

“I went by myself, but I had friends in Atlanta so I used it as an excuse to go see them,” Garland said.

Instead of picking a random team to cheer for from the four remaining, Garland enjoyed the games from a third-person perspective, and he didn’t have any real feelings for who won.

“I could appreciate good play on both sides. I was just going to cheer for college basketball. I don’t remember too much about the actual game to be honest,” he said.

Any sort of college event has a different type of energy than professional games. The events are more like giant parties, and the experience as a whole was Garland’s main takeaway from the trip.

“It’s a big party, and there is a lot of pride. I was just really energized by the camps,” he said.

The expense of the trip – and the lack of a favorite team – may have made the games a one time experience though.

“It’s a privilege, I’m fortunate enough that responsibility wise I could probably go again but I think having gone once – I don’t know if I would go again unless Duke was playing,” said Garland.

After all is said and done, the best time may be had from the comfort of a house on a screen big enough to see the action without squinting.

“The guy next to me was watching the game through binoculars. I like being at a live event and being around all the hubbub that’s around it, but to watch the game from that far away – I think I’d rather sit on my couch,” said Garland.

Logan

Event: Monday Night Football Game

Teams: Green Bay Packers vs. Denver Broncos

Location: Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO

Date: October 15th, 1984

Final score: Green Bay Packers 14, Denver Broncos 17

The Denver Broncos and the Green Bay Packers had an up close and personal experience with early Colorado snowfall on a October 15, 1984 – and so did history teacher Robert Logan. An avid Denver Broncos fan, Logan was at the game when the snow began to fall. Although many others were deterred from the primetime game, Logan withstood the snow and enjoyed the game.

“The ball was sliding all over the place. It was a crazy fun game,” said Logan.

Logan traveled to the game with his wife to enjoy the much anticipated match up. The blizzard conditions turned the storylines to the weather though.The gametime temperature was a brisk 32°F with three to five inches of snow falling during the game.

“It was a Monday Night Football game, and there was hardly anyone there. I was on the 50 yard line, second tier up,” said Mr. Logan.

“I was on the 50 yard line, second tier up and could see the 50 yard line”

“My recollection is that yes they won, and the ball was sliding all over the place and it was a crazy fun game, it was freezing out”

“There was hardly anyone there. It was a Monday Night Football game

“Just how crazy fun it was to have the snow, and the players sliding all over the place and not being able to control the game”

“The Broncos had John Elway, it made it much more interesting.

“The thing that’s different about it is that you get to choose what you watch oppose to what the cameraman decides for you.”

“If you’re at a live game, it’s a completely different experience”

“No difference with being a teacher”

“We are sitting in the snow, just totally bundled up and we are watching not moving. Just a really fun game.”

“I’m sure the pros though it was terrible game because they couldn’t do anything”

“The atmosphere is exciting”

“I would definitely go again, it’s just a really fun experience”

Dillman

Event: Game 3 of the 2015 NBA Finals

Teams: Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

Date: June 9th, 2015

Final score: Warriors 91, Cavaliers 96

For basketball fans, seeing an NBA Finals game is a dream come true. For any Cleveland sports fan, seeing their team in the championship of any sport is a hopeful wish that always seems to fall short. Before they lost the series as a whole though, the Cleveland Cavaliers won a few games. Business and marketing teacher Dave Dillman was there to witness one of the wins.

After going to Golden State and coming back with the series tied 1-1, the Cavaliers were in perfect position. Dillman went to Game 3 of the finals with his brother and his son, and the entire experience was unforgettable.

“The whole arena was just electric from the tip to the final buzzer,” said Dillman.

Dillman’s son’s favorite player, Matthew Dellavedova, took on a larger role than usual in the Cavs win. With starting point guard Kyrie Irving out, Dellavedova made some big plays that turned up the intensity.

“There were a couple of plays that Dellavedova made and the crowd went wild. It took it to a new level,” said Dillman.

The Cavaliers won the game 96-91. Afterwards, Dillman said he and his son went home and watched the recap of the game on ESPN. After the all the highlights and interviews were shown, it was 2:30 in the morning.

“It was very special night,” said Dillman.

Even with the Game 3 win, the Cavaliers were not able to win the series. Cleveland sports fans have not seen their team win a major championship since 1964, and Dillman has experienced all the hardships that has come with the drought.

“My brother and I have a pact. We have been waiting since 1964. The pact is that should a Cleveland team go, we will meet at the place of the game and we will be going to it home or away,” said Dillman. The agreement is deeply rooted and only understood by Cleveland sports fans.

“My wife doesn’t always like that pact, but in the end it will all be good. This has to happen. We’ve been waiting since 1964. I don’t want this to happen when I’m 100. I want to be there for that moment so that we can finally get this jinx off our back,” said Dillman.

So far this year, the Cavaliers lead the Eastern Conference with a 21-9 record, sparking speculation for what might happen in the postseason. If they were to make it back, Dillman would be there.

“I would do it all again. They got a win for that game, and that’s something that can never be taken away. For the Cavs, its unfinished business,” Dillman said.

“The fact that the Cavaliers came back from Golden State with a win was huge”

“It was the first ever NBA Finals victory for the Cavs at home in their 45 year history”

“I also got a chance to see the game with my brother and my son”

“The whole arena was just eclectric from the tip to the final buzzer”

“My son’s favorite player was in the starting lineup because Kyrie Irving was out”

“There were a couple of plays that Dellavedova made and the crowd just went wild, it took it to a new level”

“It turns out that after that game, he got taken via ambulance to the hospital with IVs all night to rehydrate and get back”

“That was the last game that the Cavs won in that series”

“The town was alive afterwards outside of the arena: horns honking, chants, people going to the ABC post game and cheering.

“It was a very special night”

“I remember coming home with my nine year old and we didn’t get back until midnight. Then all the interviews on ESPN were on and we stayed up till 2:30 watching postgame. He still talks about that experience to this day.”

“Advantages of being there is that you get to see it all, not just what they are producing. Even in the upper deck, you could see a foul that wasn’t called”

“As special as that is, we are not drinking alcohol but other fans are”

“So there could be some rude fans at a game, but fortunately there were some real positive fans. Making sure he could see – there were some fans that were looking out for him”

“My brother and I have a pact. We have been waiting since 1964 – that was when the Browns won the NFL championship. The pact is that should a Cleveland team go, we will meet at the place of the game and we will be going to it home or away.”

“If they were up, and it was a game 6 in Golden State, we would go and see the clinching game”

“We will somehow make it happen”

“My wife doesn’t always like that pact, but in the end it will all be good. This has to happen. We’ve been waiting since 1964. This must occur. I don’t want this to happen when I’m 100. I want to be there for that moment so that we can finally get this jinx off our back”

“It will carry over to other to other sports – the Indians are one piece away, but I may be 100 when the Browns win the Super Bowl. That’s the saying, the Browns are perpetually in year two of a five year rebuilding plan. For a Browns fan, the best day of the year is draft day.”

“I’m hopeful for next year. The hardest part is that the five year old wants to go, but the five year old isn’t going”

“A lot of people don’t understand if they aren’t from Cleveland or not NBA fans, they just take it for granted. We’ve been waiting since 1964.”

“I would do it all again. They got a win for that game, and that’s something that can never be taken away. For the Cavs, its unfinished business”

“It’s a long haul from Durango to see an NBA game. With the NBA finals in June, it fits in perfectly with the school schedule. To get to those, it’s a really big deal.”

Eldridge

Event: English Premiere League Game

Teams: Crystal Palace vs. Manchester United

Location: Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, United Kingdom

Date: September 2nd, 1992

Final score: Crystal Palace 0, Manchester United 1

As other teachers and students absorb themselves in the classic American sporting events, the rest of the world has it’s own sports obsession: soccer. In fact, many within the U.S. have also taken a liking to soccer including English teacher Aaron Eldridge. Eldridge is an avid Manchester United fan, but the first time he saw the club wasn’t even planned.

While visiting a former English teacher in Leeds, England, Eldridge said they wanted to see a soccer match but the hometown team didn’t have any matches.

“Manchester was pretty close, so they drove us over there,” said Eldridge.

During the game, Eldridge remembers the atmosphere the most. With stadium seats new to the sporting world, the matches became much more family friendly although not all the unruliness was eliminated.

“There was a guy sitting behind us that kept jumping up and screaming the most obscene things that I had probably heard at that point,” said Eldridge.

Actual gameplay was also less than stellar, Eldridge said. After a scramble in front of the goal in the 88’ minute, Mark Hughes put the ball in the back of the net to win the game 1-0. The biggest moment came away from the goal though.

“Chris Armstrong, an up and coming English striker, broke his leg in that game and was out for a year and a half,” said Eldridge.

As far as making it to other games in the future, Eldridge says he wants to but has yet to find the time. With the English Premier League beginning in August and ending in May, the only time to make the trip is during breaks. While he can’t make it across seas, he has been able to see a friendly in Denver in the summer of 2014.

Since then, Eldridge has had to settle for watching the games from afar. Being a Manchester United fan in Durango is tough though, and staying that dedicated is impressive.

“It was the first year they won the division league title in a while, and kinda started them on their whole rein of many titles in many years”

“It wasn’t a very good game. There was a scramble in front the goal in the 88’ minute”

“Chris Armstrong, an up and coming English striker, broke his leg in that game and was out for a year and a half”

“The thing that strikes me the most is the atmosphere. You’re very close to the field. This is when it was shifting from the hooliganism to more family environment.”

“They had just put seats in, the seats were kinda new”

“The whole stadium knows what songs to sing and when to sing them”

“It was a really really cool experience”

“THere was a guy sitting behind us that kept jumping up and screaming the most obscene things that I had probably heard at that point”

“I keep telling my wife on Saturday morning when I’m watching Premier League that we need to go see a game”

“It has become more of a family oriented environment. They still chant and sing but that sense of hooliganism is more out of the picture”

“The EPL season begins in August and ends in early May”

“Here I’ve been to Rapid games and WNT games when they are in Denver”

“I’ve never been to an American football game, I’ve never been to a pro basketball game”

“It’s easier to make the effort for something you really love”

“If Manchester United is going to be Denver, why wouldn’t I go?”

“I’ve always wanted to see a Bronco game at Mile High”