Thursday, January 20, 2011

Steelers-Ravens-Trip To Charleston (Part II)

Welcome to part two of my trip to Charleston and leftover thoughts on the Steelers-Ravens game. Click here to read part one.

I am not an aquarium aficionado, but the South Carolina Aquarium doesn’t come close to the aquariums in Baltimore, Boston, Atlanta or Monterey Bay. However, the South Carolina Aquarium does have Alabaster, an albino alligator, which is definitely something I’ve never seen before. Hmmm, perhaps, I am an aquarium aficionado!

(Alabaster barely moved while we were there, and we weren’t able to get a good picture of him. This picture is from Charleston’s ABC station via “the internet.”)

The aquarium is located right on water, and we saw several dolphins swimming. It was like the dolphins were mocking the other fish and animals. Yes Dan Marino, Mark Clayton & Lousaka Polite mocked Alabaster and friends. It definitely wasn’t Chad Henne; I don’t think he mocks anyone.

I'm not an offensive lineman and I'm not going to play one on the internet, but it seems to me that if you see the football on the ground and do not hear a whistle or see a referee waving his arms to indicate an incomplete pass, you pounce on said ball. Yes, I'm looking at you Ramon Foster.

With the Jets and Steelers meeting in the AFC Championship game, have you seen any articles where Neil O’Donnell, former QB for both teams, offers his take on the game and who he is supporting?

There is a plaque at Fort Sumter that commemorates all of the Federal soldiers that defended the fort during the Civil War’s first skirmish. I noticed that Captain Abner Doubleday was listed as a member of the 1st U.S. Artillery. I made a note of this and decided to see if this Doubleday was any relation to the supposed creator of baseball. Sure enough, it’s the same guy. According to Wikipedia, Abner Doubleday was “a captain and second in command in the garrison at Fort Sumter, under Major Robert Anderson. He aimed the cannon that fired the first return shot in answer to the Confederate bombardment on April 12, 1861, starting the war.” I never knew this.

I also learned that there were exactly zero casualties during the Fort Sumter battle. After the 34-hour siege, Major Anderson agreed to a cease fire (apparently it was not a surrender) in which the South Carolina troops took over Fort Sumter. The Federal forces were permitted to return to New York, but before leaving, performed a cannon salute. One of the cannons exploded prematurely causing the first fatality of the Civil War. Yes, the first Civil War death occurred during a ceremony.

The College of Charleston has a Cougar Club. Insert your own joke here (or actually in the comments section).

We stayed at the Embassy Suites in Charleston which is located in the original Citadel Military College. Pretty cool.

When is it a 15-yard penalty for blocking a player to the ground (Hines Ward on Ed Reed)? When is it not a penalty for head butting an opposing player (Ike Taylor on T.J. Houshmandzadeh)? Was the non-call on Taylor a make-up from the first penalty?

Doris Roberts, best known as Ray Romano’s mother on Everybody Loves Raymond, is now featured in a series of Zaxby’s commercials that were shown regularly during the Steelers-Ravens game. I really don’t understand using Doris Roberts as your celebrity spokesperson in commercials during football games, but I’m not Don Draper, so what do I know?

While I didn't actually see a Zaxby's (solid fast food restaurant in my opinion), I did locate, but not eat in, a Waffle House and Little Caesar’s. If only my vacation lasted longer!

Major plus for Charleston: Free trolley service to get around downtown!

Although we did not see a South Carolina Stingrays hockey game, there was apparently some type of youth hockey tournament in town. We met a family where the parents were originally from Pittsburgh and the father and son wore Penguins gear. It was cool (and somewhat random) talking to the father about the Penguins in the middle of South Carolina. (Well, technically the eastern coast of South Carolina.)

The Steelers were a different team coming out in the second half. I'd love to know what was said in the locker room during halftime.

That pretty much wraps up my trip to Charleston. Very cool city if you have a chance to visit. I didn't even mention the beautiful Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, the good restaurants, and overall friendliness of everyone there. In addition, I can't wait for Sunday's AFC Championship!

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