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.

In May my wife and I celebrated our first anniversary with a trip to London and Paris. Amazing. Loved every second of it and glad we didn’t spend inordinate amounts of time in museums and palaces, though they were nice.

That trip was unforgettable and we decided we have to go back to London, in part because we want to actually see Fulham PLAY in person next time! 

Paris was fantastic. Saw so much.

In June my sister got married in Pasadena. A great day for my family, and really enjoyed taking my Persian-Australian (and British) family to Tommy’s Burgers in Burbank. A cultural experience unlike no other for them!

A linkup with Fox News Latino got me into the 2011 MLB All-Star Game in Phoenix in July.  It was my second one.  To be there at Chase Field that night was special.

Later that month I went to Philadelphia to see an MLS match at PPL Park and a baseball game at Citizens Bank Park, both for the first time.

I also went to the Union-Real Madrid match. Man it was muggy in Philadelphia but the trip was OK.

In August I went to California for the annual Maria family reunion, and I got a surfing lesson (first time!) from my cousin Chip. To be able to get on the board and ride a small wave, if only for a couple of seconds, was worth the work it took to do it.

That month, my class at Arizona State’s Cronkite School of Journalism began, and teaching was a challenge yet very rewarding. My students were fantastic and the experience was very worthwhile. I’m back to teaching in about two weeks or less.

I also went to Flagstaff, Ariz. for two days of Arizona Cardinals camp in August. A lovely town, so green and clean up there in the mountains.

September started with the Sade and John Legend concert. Took one for the team (wife), but it was a pretty good show.

That month was a big one for live music. We saw Al B. Sure with Guy and Santana on the same weekend. Great shows!

September was huge. I was presented with a 40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40 award, which I humbly accepted and am very proud of.

I was at the ballpark when the Diamondbacks clinched the NL West division title at the end of September, and the celebration was fun. I was on the field to see it all, and in the clubhouse.

October brought playoff baseball, which I covered, then the Taco Festival with my wife in Scottsdale.

In November I covered the MLS Cup in L.A. as part of the Soccer by Ives coverage team. Fantastic trip, and time well spent with my sister and her husband. Even got to see a Kings hockey game at the Staples Center and see some celebs at The Grove.

In December my class ended, my life got slightly less busy and I made it home to Oregon for Christmas. The perfect way to end the year. I’ll start 2012 with a return trip to Pasadena to see the Ducks in the Rose Bowl.

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

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