Oakland A’s FanFest 2016

On Saturday night, I was walking down the street when I heard a young person refer to Freddie Mercury as “Frankie Mercury.” I hoped that the youth of America wasn’t as stupid as this person was. I think the warmer, drier morning aided my health. I could breathe easier. On CBS Sunday Morning, I watched a segment on Charlotte Rampling. I thought she had two of her best roles in “Stardust Memories” and “The Verdict.” My parents phoned me. I took a shower to wash the foul smell off me before I walked over to the BART station as it was opening at eight o’clock. I rode over to the Coliseum for the A’s FanFest. It was a shame that it was going on at the same time as one of the NFL playoff games. I stood in line outside the C Gate near some annoying, impatient kids. Two fans behind me argued about whether Sandy Koufax or Nolan Ryan was the better pitcher. My intention this time was to head straight for the memorabilia sale. I saw Rich Hill near the store entrance, signing autographs. As fast I thought I was, I couldn’t get into the store without another wait in another line. The jerseys were all too big for me. I concentrated on the caps, and I was glad to find two that fit. I think I’ll wear these two caps for most of the games this season. I looked through the baseball bats and decided that I wanted to buy one with Terry Steinbach’s name on it. It was because I once saw Steinbach gave a cracked to a fan behind the dugout before one game years ago. I was finally getting my hands on one of those bats. They were selling the DVD about the 2002 20-game winning streak for one dollar, so I had to get one. It was like the real story of Moneyball. I headed to the Oracle Arena to catch the end of a Q&A session with Bob Melvin, David Forst, and Mark Kotsay. Ruby Lopez was on hand instead of Kara Tsuboi. One other person whose absence was conspicuous was Billy Beane. I had a ticket for an autograph session, and I had to go upstairs for it. There was no crowd in front of me, and the player was Sean Nolin. I had him sign the cap I’d bought about forty-five minutes earlier. I took an escalator down to the main floor and made my way back to the Coliseum. I took a walk around to see all the activities. I saw two Raiders cheerleaders posing for photographs. I thought it would be too stupid for me to pose with them, so I walked past. I saw the Rickey Henderson, Dennis Eckersley, and Rollie Fingers Big Heads. A lot of fans wanted photos of them. I was killing time until my next autograph session. I decided to take the clubhouse tour. It was a long and winding line, and ahead of me was a woman who talked about the future of the A’s and the Raiders. We got a look at the weight room. It seemed to me that the last time I took this tour I saw some of the food the players ate, but all of that was closed off this time. The first locker I saw I the clubhouse was Barry Zito’s. Some of the framed Sports Illustrated covers had been on the wall for a long time. It was just after noon at this point, so I went to the line for the autograph session I’d paid for. What made the wait worth it was that we all got a baseball. It was the first ball I ever got with the new commissioner’s name on it. Mark Kotsay was distracted with the football game in front of him. He and Danny Valencia both signed my baseball, so I was satisfied. I wasn’t all that anxious to catch the Q&A session with Sean Doolittle and Sonny Gray, so I headed back for home. Attendance for this FanFest was affected by last year’s losing record and the football games that were on television. I didn’t get to see the World Series trophies. I didn’t have to buy individual game tickets this season because I now have a full season ticket. I didn’t see Coco Crisp on a golf cart this year. I sent out a text describing my experience at FanFest in three sentences. As I walked across the bridge back to the BART station, a young woman gave me a sample bottle of an organic drink that was green and didn’t look so appealing. I felt like I was a character from the movie “The Warriors” as I carried my baseball bat with me onto the train. When I got home, I had some macaroni and cheese, and I watched the second half of the game between the Broncos and the Patriots. I kept thinking that the Patriots were going to find a way to win, but I have to give the Broncos credit for being tough. The Cardinals didn’t look too good against the Panthers. Having seen Carson Palmer with the Raiders, I had the suspicion that he wasn’t going to look like a championship quarterback in this big game. The two plays that were absolute killers were the fumbled punt and the Carson Palmer interception in the end zone. Are the Broncos going to be able to hang in there against the Panthers, who looked overwhelming? I don’t know if I’ll be able to go to the Super Bowl next year. I was going to suggest to my friend that we either go to the All-Star Game in San Diego or to a Rams game. If the Rams play in the Los Angeles Coliseum, it would bring back memories of Roman Gabriel, Merlin Olsen, and Deacon Jones, especially if the team went back to the blue and white jerseys of old. I watched to the Robert Hilburn Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program on KCSN. He was still reviewing the best albums of 2015, playing songs by Alabama Shakes, Coldplay, Florence and the Machine, Joanna Newsom, and Chris Stapleton. I thought maybe I should listen to the Coldplay album in preparation for the Super Bowl halftime show. I watched the Johnny Carson show with Joan Embery, Sarah Miles, David Brenner, and Kreskin. I couldn’t help thinking that Kreskin was a big fake. Carson said that he thought Sarah Miles was an enigma. I remembered that she was in “Ryan’s Daughter.” The Columbo episode had Ricardo Montalban in it. A weather report helped Columbo get to the truth. I kept thinking that I really didn’t want to go to back to work on a Monday morning. Some of the people who died on January 25 include Al Capone (1947), Irene Castle (1969), Adele Astaire (1981), and Ava Gardner (1990). Today is a birthday for Alicia Keys (35) and Marcus Samuelsson (46). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for January 25, “Pantomime Quiz” won the award for Most Popular Television Program at the 1st Annual Emmy Awards in 1949. In 1961, “101 Dalmatians” was released. In 1970, Robert Altman’s “M*A*S*H” was released.

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