By David Krueger Herald Writer
A lot of people spent Saturday indoors. They stayed dry, caught up on some work, maybe finished a last-minute tax return.
My taxes remain unfiled because Saturday was an opportunity for the glorious, holy grail of Seattle sports: A Sounders/Mariners doubleheader.
Kyle Davis, a coworker in the sports department at The Herald, asked me if I was interested in attending the two games. And I was more than happy to accompany him to the MLS contest between the Sounders and the New England Revolution in the afternoon and the night game between the Mariners and their American League West rivals, the Texas Rangers, on Saturday night. I’ll tell you right now it doesn’t matter neither team won. I had a great time. I got to spend the afternoon and evening at two beautiful stadiums in downtown Seattle.
There’s a lot to plan when attending two sports events in one day. And I’m here to help.
First there’s logistics to think about. I normally drive around Seattle trying to find a cheap (i.e. free) place to park because journalism isn’t the best-paying gig. But my broke self can justify splurging $15 because I get to park my car for the whole day.
Then comes the most daunting task: figuring out how to dress.
There are several options for a two-sport day. There’s the “mix and match” strategy, which Kyle employed, with a Sounders jersey and a Mariners hat. A solid choice. We also saw the “perfect pair” a few times, where one person was decked out in Sounders gear and the second was in M’s attire from head to toe.
Finally, there’s the “switcher.” This was me. It’s the person that wants to be on top of everything, wearing a Sounders jersey and scarf to CenturyLink Field before switching into a Mariners jersey (Griffey, in this case because there’s no one better) for the night game at Safeco Field.
There were also several casually-dressed fans at the stadiums as well. In all honesty, it doesn’t really matter what you wear as long as you dress warm.
Because spoiler alert: It’s cold and it rains.
At the start of the game there was something we never expected to see: The sun. It didn’t last long. I do appreciate the rain holding out until the 70th minute of the Sounders game, although there was what we’ll call an “aggressive wind.”
I get soccer isn’t for everyone. A 0-0 tie — the score of the Sounders-Revolution game — makes some people feel like they got a bit of a bum deal.
But you go for the experience. It’s always fun to watch Sounders fans throw their scarves in the air — even though they’d probably rather keep them on in the 40-degree weather — and chant/harass the opposing team.
I’ve watched soccer matches in four countries on three continents and I’ll be honest, I rarely remember the final score. The best part is the experience. Seattle fans cheer like fans in Europe — and believe me, the Emerald City Supporters could give European-club fans a run for their money.
Sure, in a perfect world it wouldn’t pour rain for the last 20 minutes of the game. But this is Seattle and if you’re not used to the rain by now, I really don’t know what to tell you.
In between games we went back to the car to dry off — with a towel that I (brilliantly) brought along just in case — and warm up. We also dropped into the Seattle Team Shop on the walk to the car and I bought a Seattle Supersonics shirt because I BELIEVE!!!
After we were about 80 percent dry it was time to head to Safeco Field for the Mariners’ game and the beautiful party known as The Pen. I also had a chance to check out some of Safeco’s new amenities, such as Edgar’s Cantina.
Word has it that every once in a while the cantina’s namesake, Mariners legend/hero Edgar Martinez, will show up and hang out. He didn’t do so on Saturday night — at least we didn’t see him — but I was still able to try one of the specialty drinks: The .312.
Made of Campari, lime juice, soda water and Zac mezcal — which is a line of mezcal that Martinez and a business partner import from Mexico — the .312 is named for Edgar’s career batting average. It was quite strong — and warmed me up quickly.
In The Pen there were plenty of people wearing Sounders jerseys who had decided to “mix and match,” including Arlington’s Austin Defreece. The incredibly lucky Defreece said he has participated in several Sounders-Mariners doubleheaders.
“We knew we were going to the Sounders game and as long as we’re down here it was convenient,” Defreece said. “It was something else to do.”
“We thought it might be kind of fun to go to a Mariners game,” said Brock Binder, Defreece’s friend.
There was one hurdle for Defreece and Binder to clear before they were able to go to the games.
Fortunately, it worked out.
“My wife said it was OK,” Defreece said.
If you’re holding back tears thinking, “Oh no, I missed my chance to do something incredibly special,” fear not! There are five more soccer-baseball doubleheaders — once a month — until September.
And there are some good ones.
On June 8th there’s an opportunity to see a pair of rivals. At 1:10 p.m. the New York Yankees visit Safeco Field before the Sounders take on Cascadia Cup rival Vancouver at 7:30. On Sunday Sept. 29 the Mariners host Oakland in their regular-season (and at this rate, likely 2013-season) finale at 1:10 p.m. before the New York Red Bulls visit the Sounders at 6 p.m.
So it’s not too late. It’s still possible to enjoy the great — and likely wet — Seattle sports scene.
Sure the Mariners lost 3-1 and the Sounders played to a scoreless draw. But I left Seattle on Saturday night with a huge smile on my face — and it wasn’t just because of the .312. I got to spend an entire day watching sports.
Now it’s time to do my taxes.
I really need a refund.
I spent $15 on parking Saturday.