Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 21: Rome Braves; Rome, GA. Don't You Mean the Wigsphere? And the Scrappy Journeymen Feel Rome, Rome on the Range

Today, the Scrappy Journeymen headed home. It's not the end of our trip just yet; still the Gwinnett Braves to come tomorrow. But instead of shelling out the money for another night of hotels or campsites, we decided to head back toward Atlanta today. Which is perfect, because we wanted to hit up our favorite team's Low-A Affiliate, the Rome Braves.

We left Lexington around noon after hitting up a local Waffle House and at least stopping by Legends Field to take a look at the stadium. It looked real pretty, but it's impossible to know how good the game experience would've actually been. Regardless,  I insisted on stopping there to get a sweet Legends T-shirt with their mustachioed mascot on it, which I'd planned to buy during the prior day's game.
Dang that's a sweet shirt. And what's even sweeter? They had it in purple! In my size!

After that we headed south, forsaking the Colonel Sanders museum for a much more important destination: Knoxville! Knoxville! Knoxville! Both Ben and I concurred. Why Knoxville, you might wonder? Remember the 1982 World's Fair, and that sweet Sunsphere? Well, I had to see it. Why again, you ask?
I was expecting less well-kept tourist attraction and more dilapidation, wigs, and Al Gore.

Naturally, I had to indulge my inner Nelson and chuck a rock at it. Unfortunately, my arm was not as effective as Nelson's, as I was unable to bring the tower down in one shot.
Remember, everyone: we're parked under the Sunsphere.

Despite this most ignominious failure, we continued plowing south through Tennessee, where we encountered a most curious sign on a vending machine at a rest area.
Now, much like the Swedish chainsaw that warns you not to stop it "with your hands or genitals," the question that pops to my mind is: Someone had to try this - and complain - to cause this warning to be posted. Right?

At first I thought this was simply a sign put up by one of the "If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for you" type-folks, but Tennessee is a surprisingly cosmopolitan state. They even list distances on some roadsigns in kilometers.

Anyway, we arrived in Rome just in time for first pitch!


1.) I immediately headed off for dinner at "Bubba's BBQ Barn." This is a highlight in and of itself...

2.) ...But then I ordered the BBQ pork plate. True to name, it was served on a plate. But the plate was also...a Rome Braves frisbee! Flippin' sweet! Free frisbee!

3.) We walked up and got seats for $10 in the first row behind home plate. Bonus points for the ticket agent asking "Behind the net or not?" and putting us just outside the net's reaches when we asked for it.
Greater chance of a foul ball, but less chance of leaving with all your teeth. 

4.) Shout out to the girls running Bubba's who were serving the $1 beers. When the Miller Lite got super-foamy did they just give us heady beers? NO, because that's not the caring Braves way. They valiantly tried to find a less foamy tap, until I finally gave up and told her to just top it off with Bud Light. You'd have thought I'd just asked her to top it off with Malort! The girl looked at me confused like no one had ever ordered that before, and looked even more confused when I insisted it was all the same crap and didn't matter if it mixed.

5.) Shout out to our helpful seat neighbors, who held our food and beers while Ben and I climbed down into our seats. That's Braves hospitality right there.

6.) Of course someone recognized Ben's Kenny F'in Powers T-shirt. This is John Rocker country, after all.

7.) Admittedly this was our first Low-A stadium, but we'd been to High-A and even some AA stadiums without video screens. Not this one!

8.) Ditto for the actual upper deck.

9.) Theeeeeeeeee Chop when we scored or other awesome things happened. Nothing else needs to be said.

10.) Chick-Fil-A in the stadium? Delivered piping hot from a local restaurant? I LOVE THIS IDEA WITH THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS.
Just put it in my veins!

11.) Rome had an actual squad of Braves dancers/cheerleaders. And they displayed considerable skills. That's the first stadium we've been to of any (non-Major) class with cheerleaders.

12.) One of the players - I forgot to note his name - used the White Stripes' Icky Thump as entrance music. That's the first legitimately good entrance music I've heard all trip. Bravo, Bravos!

13.) The Dippin Dots were so frozen, the poor middle schoolers working the stand couldn't get them out of the serving cup! Ben and I had to stand there a full 3 minutes to get two rainbow sherberts. So, protip: don't pour Dippin Dots into wet containers. Got it?

14.) Larry the Cable Guy makes his first appearance of the trip (frankly, I'm shocked) via a "Git 'R Done!" over the PA with guys on base.

15.) Extra innings, finally! Despite the horror of blowing a 3-run lead across the 7th, 8th, and 9th, a walk-off Braves win in the 10th after a 1-out triple and a hit batsman made it all worthwhile!

16.) So, who's coming back with me for the Redneck Rummage Sale on 9/24?

Regularly Scheduled Metrics:

Price of Beer
8.5 pts: I think my third favorite 2 words in the English language, just behind "Open Bar" and "No Cancer," are "Thirsty Thursdays."

Most Caloric Concession Item
5 pts: Those BBQ nachos looked spectacular. They were more cheese than chip. I expect nothing less from Bubba's BBQ Barn.

Minor League Personalities
7 pts: Another near-perfect, sans Local Celebrity. Minor League Diehard? I'll count our neighbor who seemed to be rooting for both teams. Major League Fans? Yeah, Ben and I were actively discussing the future of our franchise if these were our Low-A guys. Drunkard? Thirsty Thursdays! I saw a couple. Teenagers on a Date and Families Out for a Nice Night Together? Check! Minor League Groupies? I'll count the cheerleaders I saw flirting with the players. 

Willingness to Give Random Bloggers Free Seats
0 pts: Meh, we're willing to pay for our franchise.

0 pts: Don't think the crowd reached critical mass for 'gating, unfortunately.

Funniest Roster Name
4 pts: Not on the Braves, but Xander Bogaertes (pronounced like Humphrey's name) caused us to turn our heads.

Promotion Quality
5 pts: What, you need something more than to see the Braves play? How about a schedule on the way out of the park? Or a free frisbee as your plate?

0 pts: I'm pretty sure Rome, GA has fewer slaves than ancient Rome...

Men's Room
2 pts: The downside of a modern park, I s'pose.

Bonus points:
+46 for my plate being a frisbee, +20 for Bubba's BBQ Barn, +5000 for first row with no net, +2323 for the girls who cared about our foamy beer, +76 for the helpful neighbors, +3737 for a KF Powers recognition, +31 for the low-A video screen, +5400 for the super cold Dippin' Dots, +1000000000 for the Chop, +2000000 for Chick-Fil-A in the park, +4000 for the White Stripes, +43567 for the cheerleaders, +1 for Git 'R Done, +298459837589 for our first extra inning game with walk-off Braves win

Total points: 98923874594500i28457e48831900.01 pts, to leap into the lead!

Final Take: It's the Braves. There was no way to even begin to approach scoring this one objectively, so we didn't even try. 8258092458094235/10.

1 comment:

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