Results tagged ‘ Indianapolis ’

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Until Monday…

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

Indy-er Than Thou

herc.gifEvery so often, we face a challenge that requires us to display heretofore unknown levels of strength and commitment. How we respond to such challenges is what, ultimately, defines who we are as people.

I recently faced a monumental challenge, in that I had to upload all of my Winter Meetings photos to my laptop. I was successful at this Herculean endeavor, and what got me through the ordeal were thoughts of just how much my readership would enjoy viewing pictures of convention center hallways.

So, without further ado, part one of my Winter Meetings Photo Journal. Consider this a complement to my prior coverage, which can be found HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

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On the Minor League side of the equation, most of the Winter Meetings action took place at at the Indiana Convention Center:

Indy -- Convention Center Sign.JPG 

The view directly across the street:

Indy -- Outside Convention Center.JPG

And the scene inside. A huge portion of the Winter Meetings is spent traversing through corridors such as these:

Indy -- Convention Hallway.JPG 

Job Fair interviews took place in this room (each team received its own numbered table from which to conduct interviews):

Indy -- Interview Room.JPG

Meanwhile, Job Fair attendees prepared for their interviews in the Work Room. This area was a hotbed of Machiavellian machinations:

Indy -- Job Fair Work Room.JPG 

On Monday, I gave a presentation at the Bob Freitas Business seminar, entitled “From the Outside Looking In, A Writer Surveys the Minor League Scene”. The presentation was delivered three times consecutively, leaving me thoroughly exhausted.

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The following shot is from my final (and least-attended) presentation. It is taking all my willpower for me not to identify the individual who took a cell phone call without even leaving his or her seat.

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I spent much of Tuesday at the Trade Show. I’ll do a separate post on all of the free food I was able to score, but here are a few shots of the action.

Indy -- Trade Show Floor.JPG

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Indy -- Trade Show -- Largest Jersey.JPG

A physical manifestation of my subconscious:

Indy -- Trade Show -- Huge Thing.JPG

Breakin’ BBoy McCoy, performing at the Skillville booth:

Indy -- Trade Show -- McCoy.JPG

Posing with the one and only Dave the Horn Guy. I’m on the left.

On Tuesday evening I stopped by the Marriot Lobby, to see what was shaking on the Major League side of things. In a total deviation from standard operating procedure, a bunch of people were standing around with drinks in hand:

Indy -- Marriot Lobby.JPG

The scene where I was staying was quite different, however. The Crowne Plaza Hotel used to be a train station, and is attached to still-active Union Station. The building vibrated every time a train passed through, guests had the option of staying in Pullman Cars, and the lobby was populated by plaster “ghosts”:

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Check back tomorrow for the aforementioned Trade Show free food extravaganza. Friday’s post, meanwhile, will focus on Lucas Oil Field (home of the Indianapolis Colts and site of this year’s annual Baseball Gala). After that, the Indy well will have run dry.

But that’s okay. I’ll just take my bucket and find a new drinking supply.

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

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