An NFL of a Time

colt.gifThere’s a chance that I have once again egregiously misinterpreted data, but my research shows that the most opportune time to post a blog is on a Friday evening in the midst of Holiday season.

So here goes nothing, which is in fact not nothing, which is a double negative which may also mean nothing. Why do things always have to start out like this? Is it me? I’m going to just dive right into what this post is supposed to be about, before my tendency for self-sabotage reaches new depths.

Pictures from the Winter Meetings Gala at Lucas Oil Stadium!

Indy -- Lucas Oil Sign.JPG

The Gala is a Winter Meetings tradition that gathers nearly everyone from Minor League Baseball under one roof. This year’s Gala was the highlight of my time in Indianapolis, primarily because it gave me the chance to blow off some steam after three exhausting and stressful days. The imposing, poorly-photographed edifice you see above was the site of the Gala. It is also where the still-undefeated Indianapolis Colts play their home games.

Attendees had a sizable portion of the concourse in which to roam. A live band was playing, and food and beverage were plentiful and varied.

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Band.JPG 

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Food Spread.JPG

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Nachos.JPG
  

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Funny Car Grill.JPG
But the best part were the tours, which offered a chance to go “behind the scenes”. And the tours began in what is always my favorite part of any sporting facility — the hallways! In this case, hallways large enough to accommodate tractor trailers:

Indy -- Lucas Oil - Tour -- Empty Hallways.JPG 

From there we journeyed to the rather spartan visitors’ locker and training rooms.

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Tour -- Locker Room.JPG

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Tour -- Training Room.JPG

Along the way, I learned about the NFL’s official policy in regards to both equipment and non-contract bonuses:

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Tour -- Equipment Sign.JPG 

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Tour -- Contract Policy.JPG
The highlight, of course, was getting the chance to walk along the sidelines.

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Tour -- Me On Field.JPG

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Tour -- On Field 2.JPG

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Tour -- Horseshoe.JPG

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Tour -- Seatz.JPG

While the press box offered an aerial view:

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Tour -- Aerial.JPG

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Tour -- Aerial 3.JPG

It was up in the press box environs that I learned about the instant replay booth and its unfriendly policy toward guests:

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Tour -- Instant Replay.JPG 

On the way back down, I snuck into this room. It turned out to be a comedy of errors — I got stuck in there for 9 1/2 hours, caught hypothermia, and wasn’t even able to tap any of the kegs. Plus, I don’t even like beer.

Indy -- Lucas Oil -- Tour -- Beer.JPG

Outside of that little snafu, it was truly a fantastic night and a fitting end to my time spent in Indianapolis.

Goodbye, sweet capitol city. I shall never forget you.

isc2.JPG

Until Monday…

benjamin.hill@mlb.com
twitter.com/bensbiz

2 Comments

That’s quite an oh-by-the-way toward the bottom. That really happened and how?

Mark/MLB.com
http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com
@MLB on Twitter

I love the behind-the-scenes pics.

(Yeah, that’s right…sometimes I check out your blog entries weeks after the fact. WHAT!)

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