Wednesday, November 7, 2007

SI.com's NFL Stadium Rankings


I'm an absolute sucker for these things.

I spent part of my lunch hour pouring through the 1-32 rankings of every NFL stadium over at Sports Illustrated's criminally underrated website today. Considering one of the personal highlights of my 2007 is seeing three different Major League ballparks that I hadn't been to before, these subjective lists are a great way to kill 60 minutes.

There are seven different categories, each graded on a 10-point scale.

The text is a tad disjointed, since it's overloaded with partial quotes (and quotation marks) from fans who apparently responded via a survey of some sort, but that's a minor nit.

Oddly enough, despite my self-professed fanatical fan status, I've only been to one NFL stadium: Qualcomm in San Diego for a couple of Chargers v. Raiders tilts in 2000 and 2001. San Diego's football field is ranked 22nd, just below the Coliseum in Oakland.

Quick commentary on SI's perspective:

All regular season games (at Qualcomm Stadium) have been sold out since Sept. 27, 1998.

This comes with an asterisk, though. Our city council voted to buy all available tickets (and donate them to local schools) if the Chargers failed to sell out before the NFL's blackout deadline. This was a H-U-G-E deal locally as the Chargers stank up the joint in the late '90s/early '00s, but the city council's arrangement ensured that fans wouldn't miss their 1-15 team's home games every week. This deal expired a few years ago, right around the time the Chargers got good.

Many caution to stay away from Raiders games (in San Diego), when "notoriously drunk and rowdy" Oakland fans flood the Q.

True…to a point. Raiders fans in Southern California are mostly gangbanging holdovers from the team's days at the infamous LA Coliseum. But, the Chargers fans aren't all sweetness n' light white. They have a thuggish element that'll stab you just as quickly as any Raider fan will.

Rubio's Baja Grill… (is) tasty and capture(s) the essence of the range of San Diego sports fans…

Rubio's is the fish taco place that every write-up of San Diego food inherently MUST include. Truth is, their fish tacos are dry, bland and way overrated. They're also $1.99 in their restaurants and close to $6.00 if you buy them at the stadium and about the size of the palm of your hand.

There's lots of room, lots of beer and lots of girls in bikinis." There are other things, too, in this quintessential "laid-back," California "party atmosphere."

The above sentence describes the San Diego tailgating scene. The above sentence also doesn't nearly do the San Diego tailgating scene justice. It's all true and, regrettably, it was an identical atmosphere for San Diego Padres baseball games when the team played at Qualcomm. Many a weeknight "happy hour" was just caravanning down to the Q, buying some bleacher seats and getting plowed in the parking lot. Sigh.

"The immediate area is all a giant parking lot" "far from residential living." A short drive or trolley-ride away is Mission Valley, "a newly constructed neighborhood designed around shopping and eateries."

Umm…who wrote this sh*t? There are condos, literally, right across the street from the stadium and no less than a ½ mile away in any direction from it. And, Mission Valley isn't a "neighborhood", it's a gigantic outdoor mall with a bunch of little satellite bars, restaurants, hotels and mini-malls surrounding it. I'd share more corrections, but I plan to write SI directly with the rest of them. Harrumph.

(BTW…ESPN.com's Page 2 section did a similar write-up on baseball parks a few years ago. Twas an awesome little read in its own right.

1 comment:

mr. sanchez said...

the sad thing about rubio's is that their fish tacos are what they're most famous for, but it's the worst thing on their menu. everything else i've gotten there has been "delicioso".

muy delicioso