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Posts posted by BTHarner

  1. Obviously, many Americans are tired of the status quo, politicians who are more interesting in serving the special interest groups to whom they are beholden as opposed to serving their constituents., no doubt the reason many in his own party is working hard to derail his momentum. He needs to tone down his bombastic behavior at some point (no small task) and show he does indeed grasp many of the issues at hand. I just wonder if the Presidency, with all the checks and balances in place, might just be too boring for him.

  2. Hi!

    I must be alone in my opinion, but I beg to differ with the others in this thread. I really enjoyed John Tesh's play by play in 1996 - at least during the women's team competition. Some people felt he over emoted, perhaps this is true, but I felt his commentary helped build the drama of the events of the competition - especially for those of us who chose not to find out the events ahead of time. His call of those two nights are still one of the most memorable moments for me of the Atlanta Games. And don't forget he wrote the best network NBA theme song (Roundball Rock) ever!

    And a special shout out to BTHarner who says he's from Central PA. I happen to be from Western PA and I am pleased to greet a fellow Pennsylvanian on this website!

    Hi panamfan, welcome to the boards fellow Pennsylvanian. Hope you enjoy the forums.

  3. John Tesh spent too much time dwelling on Vitaly Scherbo's wife's near-fatal auto accident (which happened here in Central PA) in 1996 to show any bias towards anybody. Tesh is a great guy, who writes great music (I wish I could find a copy of the theme he wrote for CBS' 1983 and 1987 Pan Am coverage), but when it comes to sports commentary, yuk.

    I barely give the commentary a thought anymore, thanks to the proliferation of streaming coverage. Give me the OBS feed with no commentators and I'm in my happy place.

  4. Well, the AFC team is the home team in even numbered SBs, so Denver will have the choice of which uniform they wear,

    I am pleased with the matchup so I am staying neutral and just enjoying this special anniversary of America's premier sporting event. Just like 25 years ago and SB XXV, and that turned out to be my personal favorite until two years ago.

    I can't believe I have posted more about the Super Bowl on these boards recently than I have about the Olympics (I'm dealing with some serious frustrations there).

  5. Sadly, my Seahawks reign as conference champions came to and end today, but after one World Championship and almost a second one bookended by two near-miracle playoff comebacks, vs Atlanta in 2012 and Carolina today, my fellow fans and I can rejoice in what is the team's greatest era in its 40 year history, and I do not believe our time as contenders is over either.

    I have looked forward to celebrating Super Bowl 50 for some time, and I have watched one Super Bowl highlight film a day since the 50 day countdown a month ago. It has allowed me to relive some wonderful moments through the years. The NFL as a whole, may not be as fun as it once was (funny, how that seems to have coincided with Goodell's rise to commissioner), but this time of the year is still special.

    After SB 50 comes and goes, I'll need to come up with some ideas on how to celebrate the NFL's centennial season in 2019.

  6. Almost six months have passed since that magical Friday evening in July, Too bad that America Movil (whoever or what ever that is) has all the complete oc uploads blocked on YouTube, but I have my DVR recording that I can watch. That week at the Games was far and away my personal highlight of 2015.

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  7. The Sounders have gone a good job of gradually building up their fan base year-to-year. They would only open up about 28000 seats per game the first year and would increase that number by a couple thousand each year. I think the base number is now 40000, plus a few special occasions when they will open up the entire seating area. They are a model franchise, which rankles fans of some of the franchises who have been in the league longer. Now if only they can get over this playoff hump.

    I've been a big MLS fan since the beginning in 1996. The league will soon have 20 seasons under its belt. It has lasted longer than many pundits thought it would, and I thing it still has a tremendous future. The league has made all the right business decisions in order to get to where it is today, and it bothers me when fans impatiently implore the league to abandon what has worked thus far and become a more free-spending league. Of course these are the same fans who think our league should be like every other league in Europe. They are the people who decry the playoff format, the conference format, the lack of promotion/relegation, etc, This is America's league, so what if we are a little different. Sorry we do not have the bloated payrolls and star-studded rosters of the Euro leagues. What we have is the most competitive league in the world where anybody can beat anybody. After 20 seasons, MLS has nothing to apologize for.

  8. Sadly, day 16 has arrived and it is soon time to close the book on Toronto 2015. What a wonderful event it truly was. Now that it has been a week since I left the Games, I must say most of my reflections this week centered on the people we encountered. The volunteers, always friendly and helpful. The fellow spectators, who gave us a good-natured ribbing after finding out we were Americans. The athletes, some of which we got to see close up, who seemed to be having a great time, some even in defeat. Truly special memories to treasure.

    Even the aggravations I had written about earlier are starting to give me a good laugh. Especially the ones related to transit. When I planned this adventure, I wanted it to be the opposite of my trip to Atlanta in 1996 which involved four hours of driving each day to and from our Games Travel Agency assigned hotel in Greenville, South Carolina, That is why I booked a hotel early on in Mississauga, figuring I would be close to everything. I still think I spent at least two hours a day on trains, busses, and subways. Part of that was that I double booked events on several days. My wife and I have implemented a one event a day rule for any future trips to events such as these.

    I had stated previously that I was going to leave GB once these games ended. I think I will just cut back significantly given all the investment (mental, physical, and financial) that I put into these Games. For a year it seems like I have been fighting the naysayers both here and elsewhere, insisting that this would be a success, and I was right. After that, I believe a bit of a sabbatical is in order. Before I go I want to thank all the Toronto people here for their helpful planning advice and those who were of a great help during my attendance at the Games.

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  9. We have reached the end of our Toronto 2015 adventure. The archery competition was enthralling and Varsity Stadium an excellent venue (with the exception of one concession table for the entire crowd). The handball hall, which we visited tonight, did remind me of the venue when we were in Atlanta in 1996, perhaps the bleachers behind the goals might have been a little larger. The PASO logo doesn't bother me (although I think it is due for a makeover). It had been featured prominently in many venues, center court in handball and basketball and the start ramp at BMX.

    Eight days, ten sports, one OC, it's been a fun ride. The Games will be a big success, which thrills me given all the negativity in the build-up. I have a few pet peeves, one being that any anthem besides Canada, the US, or Cuba, was shortened beyond necessity (I heard a version of Mexico's today that I had never heard before). I also want to strangle the MLB schedule maker for having the Jays play at home during the Games, which made the commute from Exhibition to Port Credit a major pain in the backside tonight. These minor irritations will no doubt get lost in the wonderful memories when I reflect on this over the years ahead.

    Thank you Toronto. I will be back sooner than later.

  10. I agree the medal ceremony music is energetic, it just seems like something that belongs on Sesame Street. I guess I just like the triumphant sounding stuff.

    I finally lost my cool today at badminton when they tried to stuff twice as many people in the A category seats as there were spaces. When the ushers came up the steps and told everybody to slide closer together I snapped and told them they shouldn't have printed twice as many tickets as there were seats

    Wrestling had plenty of seats tonight, but people seemed to want to use the aisle next to where we were sitting as their personal social club. No ushers or security seemed to care that they were blocking other people's view of the action.

    It has now been a week since we left home and I can sense that we are getting cranky, that is no reflection on the wonderful time we have had here and all the friendly people we have encountered. It's just a combination of a breakneck schedule and some very short nights of sleep. Tomorrow in our final day at the Games we have archery at 10 and handball at 630..

  11. For the record, we did go to the zoo today and it did take forever to get there. Bus from Square One to Union Station, train to Rouge Hill, us to Meadowvale, another bus to the zoo.

    Tomorrow's agenda. A quick trip through the hockey hall of fame, badminton finals at 2 and wrestling finals at 8.

    The Argos will make a comeback once they move into BMO (hopefully). Actually I'm an Alouettes fan, but I love the CFL and will wear any team gear.

  12. Now that Kanye West has been confirmed, that's angered a lot of people here. Cue the typical whining of the Canadian nationalists, I hope to god, BTHarner, that you didn't have to deal with their nonsense. Toronto may seem nice to you but Canada is the most anti-American country in the world.

    That's okay. I bought and started wearing a Toronto Argonauts hat so I look like a native.

  13. I have handball on Friday by the way, and it is in Hall B of the Direct Energy Centre....that's where they had the Roller Figure Skating, you have absolutely no back support on those metal bleachers.

    Mississauga Transit or MiWay run the Pan Am Express 95? Can I assume you took the GO Train to Port Credit station and took the 95 from there, or did you go to Kipling Subway Station and transfer there.

    Actually it stops at Square One on the way. That's where we caught it.

    The last day of canoe/kayak was a mixed bag. Another oversold venue in which you had to scramble to get a seat, even if you arrive early. The weather was miserable, but you had the athletes mingling all about you, which was fascinating.

    Tomorrow Is our day off to do some sightseeing.

  14. I don't want to go back home. We are loving our time in Toronto. There have been some issues though. Here is a quick recap of our first four days.

    The opening ceremony was a very memorable experience and very much worth the price. It was ironic that on the bus we chatted up a nice gentleman and after a while I noticed he was with GB. He showed us around Union Station and escorted us to the Dome and even waited outside our section after the ceremony to get our impressions.

    The trip to BMX on Saturday was an adventure. I followed the directions on the triplinx app and wound up getting off at a stop the was separated from the walkway by a construction site which required some navigation that might have qualified as trespassing. The venue had seating for only 1000 so many of us sat on the hill opposite the grandstands which turned out quite nice. We were able to stretch our legs that were still a little cramped from the OC. The trip to judo was far more conventional and hassle-free.

    Attended the rugby finals on Sunday and had a few hours to explore Pan Am Park. The park is nice enough, but I would have thought there would be more interactive activities and more food options. The atmosphere at the rugby was incredible. BMO Field was rocking and it seemed that the roughly 25000 people in attendance were giving all the games-haters a collective middle finger.

    Today started at field hockey at the bucolic campus setting of the University of Toronto. Getting there via St George Station was great, leaving through Queens Park Station not so. The Games website said that station was 800 meters from the venue gate. It seemed like 800 miles. The Games signage disappeared halfway through the walk and I needed the help of the locals to find it. Beach volleyball was our second stop and that temporary venue is simply horrible. Take a seat cushion because the seats are uncomfortable (My backside still hurts) and flimsy (put any pressure on them and you'll think they might snap in half. It was an unpleasant experience and we left early.

    One major gripe I have is the lack of assigned seats for most venues. It seemed they printed about 10000 tickets for section 108 at rugby and you had people clogging the aisles asking if the empty seats were taken. That is just laziness on the part of TO2015.

    Overall, though, it has been a lot of fun. I'm feeling a little fatigued from constantly catching trains and buses and sitting out in the hot sun for hours on end, but I have a day and half break after the canoeing tomorrow to recharge my battery and see the sights.

  15. I can't believe that the plans I started to make a year ago on a whim (Let's book a hotel in case we actually go to the Pan Am Games) are so close to being realized. Should arrive at our hotel around 1pm Friday. Then within a few short hours we are off to the OC.

  16. Then go move to Baku if it is so wonderful, just don't come crying to us to bail you out after you've been imprisoned for being too opinionated. You've clearly fallen for a charade perpetuated by a totalitarian regime.

    BTW, "bitch-slapped," I do believe Throne's fa├žade of pretentiousness is crumbling.

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  17. Finally, all my tickets are here. Interesting to note that the OC is the only one where I have a specific assigned seat. All the others are sit anywhere you want within your assigned category or section. To be honest, when I look at the drawings of the field hockey venue, I can't help but think our seats will be on the ground.

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