Friday, December 23, 2005

Turning Back the Clock

As the Indianapolis Colts' dream of a perfect season comes to an end, I feel compelled to share this account I wrote on January 4th, 2003, of the Indy-JETS playoff game @ Giants Stadium.

*******The Time Machine: Ashleigh Manning*********

Boyz - never mind the fact that I was 0-4 in my BCS bowl wagers,and that I blew another 2 units on the Jets-Indy game - which I just got back from - this is one of the all time great stories.

I'm trying to figure out how to set the scene for you, so I guess i'll just write down everything I remember...

There's a guy at work who has seasons tickets for the Jets, and he has a mini-bus that he's converted to a tailgate party factory. Every week, they have a huge party in the parking lot at the Meadowlands. Me and the Big Show went with them to the Pats-Jets week 2 Pats romp. This week, they had about 40 guys, so they rented a luxury cruise bus, with a bathroom a video screen and all the accoutrements.

Leeroy hit a broker up for tickets. We bundled up, mixed a liter of vodka and tonic for the road, and called a car to take us to the game. We found the tailgate party in short order, pounded several beers, demolished trays of wings, boneless wings, veal, chicken, pepper steak, more beers, and pasta, then played catch with the sweet Jack Daniels mini-football that even I can huck for a 35 yard spiral. After pounding the liter of vodka-tonic, I mention that I bet at some point the score of the game will be 17-0, but I'm not sure for who... I manage to get offered 10-1 odds, but puss out and don't take it... This turns out to be a brutal mistake, as the JETS quickly take a 17-0 lead!

After a short wait to get into the stadium (we've been here for about 3 hours now) we grab more beers, and find our seats. This is unbelievable - there is not a SINGLE Colts fan in the ENTIRE place... Now, I'm no kinda Jets fan, but that's no fun... When I went to Jets-Fins Sunday night, it was sick, and there were numerous Dolphins fans to harass.

This time, we're in section 110, 30 yard line, 23 rows off the field, and the place is electric -Meadow Soprano sings the national anthem, 2 BlackHawk choppers fly over, and the Jets immediately begin their merciless romp.

So, it's Me, Leeroy, H0nus and Adam. Behind us, are the two best looking girls in the stadium, and I overhear them talking about how one of them went to UVA. They are with two guys, but sitting girl-girl-guy-guy - so obviously not 2 couples. The girl wearing a cowgirl hat has a deep southern drawl, and at some point takes off her gloves, and has a HUGE rock on her finger. She also has two GIANT diamond earrings.

So we're talking about how it's no fun without any Colts fans (even though I have $50 on Indy, and am secretly hoping they can at least cover the spread) and she interrupts:

"Why do you need Colts fans?"

and I'm like "It's no fun if there's no one to harass"

and she's like "Really? I don't get it."

H0nus is wearing a blue jacket, and so is the girl's friend, so I'm like "H0nus is a HUGE
INDY fan
!" - I'm yelling now - "And so is this guy -FUCK THE COLTS!!!!" Totally joking around, making the "This-guy-is-going-to-pump-H0nus-in-the-ass-because-they-are-both-Indy-fans-even-though-neither-of-them-really-are" motion.

So we mention that we're Pats fans, and she says "I know Brady, we're good friends" and we're asking her how, but she's being all coy about it, like "I'm not telling."

So I say "Did you go to Michigan?"
her: "No"
me: "UVA?"
her: "No"
me: (unfazed by her attempt to deceive me) :"Alabama?"
her: "Actually, I did go to UVA - how'd you know?"
me: "I just knew - I'm good like that."

Then I ask "Where's your husband - we saw your big rock earlier," and she says "That guy" and points to the guy in blue jacket who I was ripping on for being an INDY fan earlier. He is obviously NOT her hubby, because he's not sitting next to her, and he's not at all protective of her. So I retort "Whatever - if that was your husband he'd be sitting next to you."

In the meantime - the Jets are beating the shit out of the Colts, and Manning is Bledsoe-esque: coming to the line of scrimmage, audible-ing 4 times, and then burning a time-out. We are talking infinite shit about how Peyton is doing the leg lift silent snap but the center is missing the signal, so he has to do it again, and the girl behind me pipes in "No, he does that on purpose."

I turn around: "No he doesn't - it's loud and crazy, and center is missing the signal" She won't be swayed: "No, it's a silent count, and he does it a lot to fake them out, and then he fake counts hut-hut-hut-hut too." I'm like "Yeah whatever," thinking she's some kind of wanna be cheerleader or something...

Peyton comes out of the huddle, audibles 3 times, changes the play one more time (it's absolutely DEAFENING in the Meadowlands at this point) and burns a timeout... I think it's 24-0 now, and I'm screaming "WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU TALK ABOUT IN THE HUDDLE? HOW YOU WERE ALL GOING TO WEAR YOUR GAME JERSEYS TO HOGS AND HEIFERS TONIGHT AND TRY TO GET LAID? THEN YOU FIGURED YOU'D AUDIBLE AT THE LINE AND THE BURN A TIMEOUT?" and the guys in front of me are laughing like I'm Ray Romano or the King of Queens.

Suddenly the girl behind me asks me something like "How'd you know I had a ring?"
"I saw it when you took you're gloves off " I tell her. Also, I'm Kid Fuckin' Dynamite, Master of Subtle Observations and false tells. Did I mention it was HUGE? like 4 carats "and my friend was admiring your earrings." I continue.

She somehow ends up asking me how big I think her earrings are, and I guess 1.5 carats each. She tells me that one is 1.5, the other is 1.6, and then she asks me how much I think they cost. This is getting weird... ummmm...

I say "Hmmmm... I have no idea... 9 grand." Why are we having this conversation? She's clearly trying to tell me something.

She says "I saw the receipt. They were $25,0000, and that's with Peyton's 40% discount."

lemme pause right there....

I scream "HOLY SHIT - YOU'RE PEYTON MANNING'S WIFE!" and I'm totally kidding, turned around with my back to the field, yelling at the whole section, still joking "THIS IS MANNING'S WIFE!" and pointing with both hands.

She freaks out! "Shut up - don't tell anyone, they'll kill me!"

It's like the moment in Animal House where the boys walk into bar and the record screeches, and everything grinds to a halt: "Wait - you're serious?" She pulls out her license: "Ashleigh Manning"

My eyes widen and I almost shit in my pants from laughing... Unbelievable - here we are - RIPPING her husband for 90 minutes, and she's so scared of getting lynched that she doesn't let on at all, even after H0nus spouted "Manning sucks - I bet he throws at least 2 interceptions" (which he eventually did.)

So we promise not to say anything, and Leeroy comes back from getting beer with Adam, and we don't tell him what happened, only that we just had the greatest all time story, and he is dying to know, but we won't tell him, because we don't want Peyton's wife to get

Anyway, the Jets pound the Colts, and we leave with a good story, and a picture of us with Manning's wife on her camera - someday i'll be the "Who's this guy?" in Maxim.

***** End Time Machine*****

Happy Holidays to all.

-Kid Dynamite

No comments: