2012 in review: 2013 can’t get here fast enough

31 12 2012

2012. It’s over. Thank goodness.

I’d rather forget a lot of what happened this year. Lots of dead ends and roadblocks as far as the career. Still dealing with high cholesterol. Working too hard for too little money and missing quality time with loved ones.

But no living in regret. Only moving forward and trying to be positive. It really wasn’t all bad.

This was the year that my first child was conceived. The baby will be here at the end of February or early March, if it goes to term!

This was the year I saw my first Las Vegas superfight(s) in person. It was also the year I watched my Oregon Ducks finally win a Rose Bowl, standing in one end zone on the moist grass of the stadium in Pasadena watching the clock run out on Wisconsin. I lost my great aunt Agnes Romero earlier that New Years Day. It was bittersweet.

I taught/advised for two classes at Arizona State in 2012. Enjoyed both. Working with students was very rewarding. And I always make it a good time.

I traveled to El Paso, Texas, for the first time ever. I could have thrown a rock into Mexico in two places where I was.

2012 took me back to Washington D.C. for work, but also allowed for the chance to see friends and family.

In September I rode a hot air balloon for the first time. Probably the last, too, but I can say I did it and what majestic views I had from the air over the Valley of the Sun.

Over the Valley of the Sun in a balloon.

Over the Valley of the Sun in a balloon.

In the basket up high in the sky.

In the basket up high in the sky.

The view from above Cave Creek, AZ.

The view from above Cave Creek, AZ.

 

I went to a NASCAR race for the first time. It was actually more entertaining in person than on TV.

My wife really did a lot for us this year. All that and carrying a baby for months.

The year ended, strangely, so similar to how it began. With the Oregon football team. From Pasadena on Jan. 1 to Scottsdale for Fiesta Bowl media day.

2013 will bring major changes thanks to Baby Romero. But they will be welcome changes. It’s definitely time for something different. For my own family being my biggest reason for living.

Wishing a Happy New Year to everyone, and God bless. PS Thanks Mayans for… well whatever. The world didn’t end so I get to see my child grow up!





They did it!

4 01 2012

Jan. 2, 2012 was a great day to be an Oregon Duck. They won a Rose Bowl for the first time in 95 years with a 45-38 win over Wisconsin.

I was able to get down on the field for the last four minutes of the game, right after the fumble by Wisconsin that gave the Ducks the ball.

As the seconds ticked off, being impartial with my press credential and trying not to root openly for the school from where my entire family either studied or received bachelors degrees, in the city where I was born, was incredibly difficult.

I’d been to three previous Oregon Bowl games, including two Rose Bowls, and the Ducks had lost them all. Finally, on Jan. 2, they won a big one. The Granddaddy of Them All.

The gameday staff was very helpful and hospitable. The press box was fantastic and there was so much food. Seeing the game from there was wayyyy better than from the stands from a comfort standpoint, only thing was, no cheering. Small price to pay, beyond happy to be there.

Here’s what it looked like right after the officials called the game over. Watch the end when Puddles the Duck goes crazy.

More from down on the field:

I took a number of photos. See below for a few:

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My year in review, adios 2011

30 12 2011

Another great year in “mi vida deportiva,” but not just in my life of sports, but life in general. I’ll skip the worst of the year and focus on the best moments. Because I can.

Year 2 in Arizona is coming to a close, but it began with the BCS national championship game here in Glendale, and I was fortunate enough to cover it. Even though my beloved Oregon Ducks lost, I was pretty proud of their effort and I can say that I was there. 

Later in January 2011 I took my first trip to the new Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore., new home for Oregon basketball. Awesome place. I’ll always cherish old McArthur Court though.

In February my wife bought me an I-phone for Valentine’s Day. She keeps wanting me to say that the device has made my life better and easier, so I’ll say it: she’s right. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty sweet.

February and March were spent covering Major League Soccer training and baseball spring training. I was very busy, needless to say.

After celebrating the end of spring training with dinner at Morton’s — ooh, swanky! — baseball season began. I went home to Portland in April for my birthday and attended the inaugural Portland Timbers match at Jeld-Wen Field. It poured rain all night, but I was under the overhang and stayed dry and the Timbers thrilled the sellout crowd with the win.

Later in April I went to the two Phoenix Coyotes NHL playoff games against Detroit. The Coyotes got dominated but the atmosphere in Jobing.com Arena was fun. It’s cool to have an NHL team right in my own back yard.

At the end of the month I took my wife to see my favorite rap artist ever, DJ Quik. And we met Mr. Blake in person! Great night.

Then, it was off to see the world. Read the rest of this entry »





Thanks for everything, Kasey Keller (and more weekend links)

16 10 2011

After the Oregon victory over Arizona State, made that much sweeter as a Duck in ASU territory — and after attending the Phoenix Coyotes’ NHL home opener in Glendale Saturday, I came home and had DVR’ed the Sounders-San Jose match on Fox Soccer Channel. Knowing today was going to be a busy work day (like all NFL Sundays for me), I had to watch it last night and complete a recap as promised for Soccer by Ives. (see link to that story below)

Saturday, then, began at the 2nd Annual Arizona Taco Festival with Stephanie. We got full, fast.

The place in the photo above put a pineapple in my carne asada taco, estilo chilango I guess? Delicioso! There was also a lucha libre ring.

Came home and it was off to the Coyotes game. Big crowd, Phoenix beat the Winnipeg Jets, and I wrote a stream of stories about it. But man it was freezing in that arena! I still like hockey, though..

I don’t get out to Jobing.com Arena often so I took some pics.

When the game was over and I was done writing, it was off to the in-laws house to watch Oregon-ASU. At halftime I wrote this with a happy heart.

The game ended late, and I still had another commitment to fulfill. But I am glad I was up into the early morning watching Kasey Keller’s final home regular-season match. I got to spend more than a year covering the Sounders and Kasey was a big part of the coverage, his personality and honesty helping drive the stories I wrote.

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Four reasons to love Tucson

27 09 2011

The Romeros went to Tucson this past Saturday to see my Oregon Ducks play the Arizona Wildcats.

My team won 56-31. We sat up high in an Oregon section and had a blast watching the Ducks score seven touchdowns. I say seven because we missed the eighth, leaving early in the fourth quarter because it was late and it was a long drive back to Phoenix.

Certainly we weren’t leaving if it was a close game, but this was blowout city from the start.

 

That was one reason to like Tucson. Reason 2: Last time I saw the Ducks in Tucson, they won then, too.

Go Ducks!

I really have to give Stephanie a lot of credit. She went with me all the way to a place she clearly does not care for, as an Arizona State fan, and she was a good sport supporting me supporting my college. She even wore an Oregon shirt.

Reason 3: Love eating at Mi Nidito Mexican Restaurant.

Reason 4: The murals of Cesar Chavez and farmworkers on the freeway overpass bridge at the 4th Ave. exit off the 10 freeway.





Starting sports weekend with a celebration

24 09 2011

Big sports weekend for me. Off to Tucson soon to see my Ducks play the Arizona Wildcats — ESPN night game!

Last night I got to be up close and personal as the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrated clinching the NL West championship. It’s something they hadn’t done since 2007, and the team media relations people let media members down on the field to witness the moment right after the final out.

I also got into the clubhouse, where I found myself avoiding champagne being squirted and splashed everywhere. I got hit with a little.

It was quite a scene in there, guys drinking champagne and beer, running out of the clubhouse back onto the field, having their names chanted by fans. I guess you can’t expect a sellout crowd here in Phoenix for even a big game such as Friday night’s, in which the Diamondbacks were one win away from clinching the division, but about 42,600 was pretty big.

They had really nothing to cheer about until the final innings and at the end. But they were loud. And with the last out, here was the scene:

I wrote up a post with quotes from players and others associated with the team for SB Nation Arizona. Here’s video I shot of the party on the field, thanks to Seth Pollack for the cool flip cam.

 

 





Labor Day Weekend 2011 – Sade, College Football, Food & Film

5 09 2011

Let’s just take this one at a time.

Friday night was the Sade/John Legend concert in Phoenix. We went, and man that Sade put on a good show. I always kind of liked her music and took one for the team (aka wife) more than anything else in going, and I wish I could have heard the one song I wanted her to perform, but it was still quite a concert. Loved the mulitmedia action as the backdrop for the stage.

Video time:

Took a few photos with the Iphone too.

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When your favorite teams all win on the same day

1 04 2011

I feel sort of like Charlie Sheen (“Winning!”)

First it was Oregon Ducks basketball winning the CBI tournament championship game over Creighton at Matt Arena in Eugene. A 21-win season for the Ducks. No one could have predicted that, and now they get a trophy. Sure it’s a consolation prize but hardware is hardware and the Ducks had to win six games (five of them at home) to win this tournament.

Matt Court, when I went a few months ago.

It’s something to build off for next season.

Next, the Portland Trailblazers beat Oklahoma City in an important NBA game. The Blazers’ magic number for a playoff spot is two games. They’ll get in, it’s just a matter of whom they play in the first round. It has been another crazy year for the Blazers and yet here they are again right in the mix.

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A day in Eugene

17 01 2011

This weekend I was in Oregon with the family. The plan had been to buy some BCS champion merchandise, but Oregon didn’t win. So at the U of O Bookstore on Saturday, everything BCS-related was on clearance.

On Saturday, we took a somewhat spur-of-the-moment trip south to Eugene to see a basketball game at the new Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks lost, but what a facility. Back in the day I lived in the dorms that are now right next to the 12,500-seat arena.

Enjoy this video of the starting lineup montage and intros.

The arena is so full of cool stuff. And we all enjoyed the video of “Shout” by Otis Day and the Knights from the movie “Animal House.” Everything they do at the games has to do with the U of O experience and Duck tradition.

After the game it was across the street for some Track Town Pizza. We actually got a table! So delicious, just like I remember it in college days.

Things have changed and not changed on and around campus. I last went back in 2009 for a football game with my dad and before that, 2008 with my wife-t0-be. The arena dominates the east campus area. The bookstore is in the same place, but there are a quite a few newer buildings.

It’s always great to go back.





Still fresh in my mind

14 01 2011

Well it’s Friday and I’ve started healing after the the loss of my Oregon Ducks in the BCS title game. Soon enough I’ll be turning my attention back to soccer. MLS teams are headed this way next week, then sometime in February its the return of spring training.

What a week it was. I was at the game Monday and took some photos on the field late in the game and after it was over. Sharing them below.

 

Puddles rides by outside the stadium

They told Duck fans to wear yellow.

Fans going wild after Oregon's final touchdown. Man, I thought we might actually do it!

Ducks on defense

Timeout on the field.

Walking off the field

Confetti for Auburn after game ends

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