OK, the closed sign has been flipped over. I am back.
Hopefully all of you are, too. Here's hoping my regulars didn't dry out during our week-plus hiatus. Therefore, drinks on me today.
I am flying to Florida Tuesday morning, so we'll be all about the Orioles for a week or more, probably starting Thursday. Some interesting storylines are already starting to develop and we'll get to many of them this month.
Not that you asked, but I had a good week off. Did a whole lot of organizing around the house, read a bunch and finished watching The Wire from Season One until the show's end (that was an offseason goal. Quick aside: Boy, is that drama gripping. And not just the fifth season, which hit home with a Baltimore Sun storyline.)
I also maxed out my iPod while buying/inputting a bunch of new music in the bar's jukebox. I got the new U2 CD and the new Jason Isbell one and downloaded The Gaslight Anthem's most recent offering, among others. Reviews are pending.
And I spent a bunch of much-needed quality time with my kids -- including taking my 10-year-old son to a Washington Capitals game, which several of you suggested.
Overall, that was a great call, though the game we went to was a Caps' blowout loss. The fans were primed to celebrate, but the Caps were buried early and the crowd was removed from the equation.
With all the red in the place, though, it wasn't hard to visualize how crazy the Verizon Center gets when the Caps are winning. And true hockey fans swear that there is no better experience than attending playoff hockey in a home arena.
I've never experienced that, nor have I covered/been to a March Madness event. But I have covered postseason NFL and MLB games, major college football contests, a key auto-racing event and one U.S Olympic trials.
For me, the two coolest experiences -- strictly from a stadium-energy standpoint -- were the World Series in St. Louis in 2006 and when the Ravens played in the AFC title game in Oakland back in 2001.
St. Louis is such a great baseball town and the place exploded when the Cardinals won. And even though the Ravens deflated the Oakland Coliseum crowd that year, the roar was thunderous in that stadium before and around kickoff. The Super Bowl, which is more corporate social outing than diehard fan celebration, paled in comparison.
One of the greatest things about sports is the energy that emanates from a crucial event. And that brings me to today's question.
Daily Think Special: Energy-wise, what's the best sporting event you ever attended? The one that the excitement was most palpable.