Being the sports-minded girls that we are, Saturday was pretty much the best day ever for Nikki and me. We went to STL for the day to see the Illini football team take on the Mizzou Tigers at the Jones Dome at 2:30 p.m., then headed to Busch Stadium for the Cardinals vs. Reds at 6:15 p.m. We have had September 1st on our calendar since the MLB baseball schedule was released last winter when we realized that the Cardinals would indeed be in town when the Illini football team headed to STL for the Arch Rivalry game. In case you haven't noticed, Nik and I are pretty die-hard when it comes to our boys in orange and red, so to have both combined in one day was pretty amazing. Earlier in the week I had mentioned to a couple of people that the only thing that would make it even more perfect would be to somehow incorporate Illini basketball into the mix. The basketball team is currently on a trip to play several games in Canada so that didn't look possible... but funny enough at the pep rally put on by the Illinois Alumni Association we did see former Illini basketball player, Sean Harrington. Sean now lives in "The Lou" as earlier this summer he was named as Director of Basketball Operations for St. Louis University by new coach, Rick Majerus. So in a way we did get to throw Illini basketball into the mix. Here is a great photo of Sean Harrington walking past me :). Also is a photo of a gentleman at the pep rally that I readily admit may be more of a die hard fan than me. Please take note of his orange and blue beard... now that is team spirit.
After a stop at the Illini pep rally we headed to the Jones Dome for the football game. It was a great atmosphere and the dome is really loud. Obviously we were pulling for an Illini victory, but I give the team credit for coming back and having a chance to win in the final minute. It was a baptism by fire for backup QB Eddie McGee, who made some great passes, and just needs to learn to protect the ball. On random football game side note: Nikki sat next to Illini linebacker and super cutie, J Leman's, neighbors.
It was a little crazy transitioning to football from baseball. When QB Juice Williams got hit/hurt Nikki said "Look, they are taking Juice to the dugout, I mean clubhouse, I mean locker room. This was our first real look at back up QB Eddie McGee, who sorry Eddie, but we kept calling Willie McGee by mistake. Willie McGee if a former Cardinal, an MVP center fielder and WS champ who played in the 1980's. We were laughing about the mixing of sports when I said "Okay Willie, here is your chance... home run buddy!". Evidently I am prophetic, I had no sooner uttered those words when Eddie/Willie connected with WR Kyle Hudson for a beauty of a touchdown pass. Ironically Kyle Hudson is a 2-sport athlete at Illinois... he also plays CF for the baseball team.
We did notice that one of our baseball "traditions" does not crossover to football. Typically Nikki finds a hottie on the opposing team at the baseball games, and then when she mentions said hottness, the guy usually plays sucky, striking out, going 0 for, or giving up big time hits if the hottie is a pitcher. Well I mentioned that Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel was rather attractive... ooopps... this doesn't work in football... after the comment the Illini fumbled and Mizzou scored a touchdown as a result. My bad!
With sore throats from yelling so much, we left the dome and headed for Busch Stadium. We missed the first 1.5 innings but got there just in time to see Yadi hit his home run. We got to see one of our favorite Cardinal pitchers, Adam Wainwright... all of the Cards games we have been to this season and this was our first Wainwright start... what up with that? The baseball game had a much better outcome, the Cards won 11-3 and again the boys up from Memphis, Rick Ankiel and Brendan (I heart him) Ryan brought their bats. We had seats in left field and sawRyan Ludwick make an awesome catch in front of us.
All in all a splendid day!
Editor's Note: Yes, if you take note of the pic's at the beginning of the post, there was a wardrobe change involved in the ultimate double header... we may love sports but we are still very much girls. Plus, we had to fully support both our teams. We were clever and wore tank tops under our Illini shirts. Then once we got to our seats at the baseball game, much to the amazement of the folks sitting around us, we took off the Illini togs, pulled our Cards shirts out of our bags and put them on :)