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What was your first major spectator sports event?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Fandom sometimes springs up randomly, but it is frequently passed on as a legacy from generations past. We have some passionate fans here, and I was wondering: What was your first big sports event? Are you still a fan of the team you cheered for that day?

For instance, we lived in San Francisco in the '60's, and my Dad and I would walk to 49er games in Kezar Stadium (in Golden Gate Park). The fans would all hit the bars on Haight and/or Stanyan Street before the game. The first game I remember seeing was the 1967 game between the 49ers and Rams. It was raining and we were surrounded in the end zone stands by drunk fans, who were shouting and throwing bottles.

The Rams still wore their old-school white & blue uniforms, and the Niners had their red jerseys/gold pants. Roman Gabriel did enough on offense, and Deacon Jones and the Rams defense absolutely pounded John Brodie and the Niners into the mud that day (The score was 17-7 Rams).

At the end of the game, the players had to walk through a walkway/tunnel covered by a chain link fence. My Dad put me on top of the fence and I could see fans spill beer on the players & yell at them. As a weary, mud covered Brodie came through the tunnel, I yelled, "Hey Brodie, you didn't eat your Wheaties today!", and he looked up and gave me a look like, "Give me a break, kid."

Over the years as a Niner fan, I lived through: the heartbreak of losing a 12 point lead to the Cowboys in the last 2 minutes in the early '70's; the terrible teams of the late '70's; The Catch in 1982 and the following 20 years of great teams/Super Bowls, and the bumbling of the current team.

(Note to Pats fans: If you've been a fan since Plunkett to Vataha or even Grogan to Morgan, then congrats - your loyalty has been richly rewarded. If you have no idea who those guys were, then you haven't suffered like I'm sure some other Pats fans did...)
post #2 of 12
Yankees/Brewers, a double header the season the Yankees played at Shea. Saw Hank Aaron.
post #3 of 12
I've been more interested in participatory sports, but I certainly consider myself a loyal if casual fan of all DC sports teams. Never been a season pass holder for any of them though. The first pro sports events I can remember attending were the old Wash Senators baseball games in the '60s. Frank Howard was the MAN. I saw a game or three most every season including during their last in 1971. I was there again when pro baseball returned a few seasons ago with Frank Robinson as manager of the Nationals. Hope to see them a few times next year in new baseball stadium.
I have followed the Redskins for just as long and fully appreciated the glory years from 83-91 when we made four superbowl appearances and won three in that time span.
Pro sports have been seriously hurt by the transitory nature of players these days. It's hard to have the same loyalty and devotion when the names all change in a few years.
post #4 of 12

Dodgers at the LA Collisium, I was probably 8-10 yrs old. Been a fan of the game ever since. Different team now tho. I don't bleed Dodger blue - no mo.
post #5 of 12
College: University of Washington vs. Rice in football. I was a Boy Scout and we put up the flag at the beginning of the game and showed people to their seats at Husky Stadium. UW trounced them. I was most impressed by the band, though.

Pro: Supersonics vs. Lakers in Seattle. L. A. had Wilt and Jerry West playing. I couldn't believe I was actually in the same room with them. Seattle had Lenny Wilkins and some other guys, don't ask me who, though.
post #6 of 12
Growing up in the Boston area I was fortunate enough to see all four major sports teams when I was very young during the 60's. They are all memorable.

1964 Red Sox vs. Yankees. My great grandfather took me. He was 84 at the time, I was 6. Although the Sox were terrible I got to see Mickey Mantle and that was awesome.

1966 Celtics vs. Knicks. Bill Russell's team went on to win their 8th championship in a row that year. Man he seemed like a giant to me.

1967 Patriots vs. Jets in Fenway Park. My dad was a season ticket holder with his two brothers. Babe Parelli and Jim Nance were good players for the Pats. Joe Namath, Don Maynard and George Sauer were even better players for the Jets. Jets won the game.

1968 Bruins vs. Canadians. Watching games in the old Boston Garden was special. Watching Bobby Orr play was even more special.
post #7 of 12
My grandfather lived in Sunnyvale, CA and my mother's best friend from college lived across The Bay in El Cerrito. We would visit both for a couple weeks each summer. While there we would always go to Candlestick Park to watch the Giants. The first year I remember was 1965. I grew up watching Juan Marichel play (my parents would always make sure to go if he was pitching) so I grew up thinking all major league pitchers kicked their leg up above their head.
post #8 of 12
Yale Bowl. Late 60's or early 70's. Went to nearly every home game for a few seasons. Lots of fun with dad. Back then Yale had a decent team and would fill the bowl every weekend (80K ppl). First pro spectator sport was at Yale Bowl also. The year the Giants played there.

After that it would be Bruins games at the old Garden starting in winter of 77-78. Terry O'Reilly, Stan Jonathon, Mike Milbury, Wayne Cashman, Gary Wensink, etc. Lots of fun games and lots of great fights.

Biggest game ever - any of the Michigan - Ohio State games. At the time I was there the Big House (I don't recall it having that name then) held just over 106K, I think.
post #9 of 12
Formula 1 race Watkins Glen. I cant remember anything because I was a baby, but I got photos taken with me in Emerson Fittipaldi's arms.

After that, soccer, New York Cosmos with Pele' at Giants stadium, that I remember.
post #10 of 12
I have vague memory of a Dodgers game at Ebbets Field with my grandfather & uncle, probably in 1951. No idea who played or won.
Cookie Lavagetto taught me to slid at Tinker Field in Orlando around 1957-58 when the Senators were based there for spring training.
Back in New York from summer of 1960, went to lots of Yankee games and saw plenty of Mantle-Maris-Berra HRs, but never once caught even a foul ball. Had the chance to meet and shake hands with Yogi a couple of years ago...didn't stop smiling for weeks.
post #11 of 12
I can't remember the very first time or who was playing but my dad would often take us to Forbes Field and watch the Pirates. We'd always sit along the line in shallow right field and I'd watch with fascination as Maz and Roberto performed their magic. I stuck with the team through the seventies and two more World Series victories but I lost the baseball love even before that.

My first pro football game was at Pitt Stadium where I watched the Steelers with Bobby Layne and John Henry Johnson battle Lombardi's Packers with Bart Starr, Paul Horning et al. Steelers played them tough in the first half but faded in the second, same old Steelers as we use to say. I still love to watch the Steelers and my loyalty as been rewarded ten fold. It will be sweet when the Steelers end the Patriots run in the play offs.
post #12 of 12
I think Fenway with a church group in the RF grandstands when I was about 6. Probably some noname team (for those days) like the Indians or Tigers or something . I didn't care I was having a good time. For years that was my only experience with the pro sports teams - through that group. Bruins were bigger in those days then the Celtics then the Sox and finally Patriots.
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