Hi Field Gulls!
Recently, I published an article on Antoine Winfield that enough of you seemed to enjoy that it inspired a small movement to help bring me over to Seattle to watch a game. Luckily, the Vikings are playing the Other Vikings on November 17th in what should be the premier matchup of the day (if you ignore Packers at Giants, Ravens at Bears, 49ers at Saints and RGIII at anywhere).
I've already secured tickets due to a generous donation from hairofthedawg, and all I need to do is make the flight over to Seattle, stay a couple of days and make the flight back to Minnesota. Danny and I will be hanging out, as he has the other ticket for what I understand are very good seats.
We'll be providing updates about the experience, and I'll be sure to write something lengthy about my time in Seattle. My plan includes diagramming a play or two and going through my thoughts at the moment the play was developing. I mutter a lot of things during the pre-snap motion, so I'll try to transcribe them for you when I finally write up the piece.
For what it's worth, I'm a fan of Sounders FC and a bigger fan of Seattle Reign FC (in theory. I should wait for more games, I guess). Both of those will change when time sees fit to bless the great state of Minnesota with its own soccer teams (you'd think with the world's largest soccer facility, that Minnesota would get a sniff...).
Here are the things I humbly request from the Field Gulls readership:
1. Tips on what to do in Seattle. It's not my first time there, but I haven't really done anything in Seattle, either. Your favorite cheap restaurant, bar, tourist trap, museum, etc. What do you like to do in Seattle?
2. Specifically, the location of a Vikings bar that I can visit at least once while there. I know one exists, I've seen pictures of it.
3. Also specifically, a place that serves excellent fish. Please.
4. A get-together. Why don't we turn this into Field Gulls gathering, so that all of you can meet up? I hear Seattle has a good tailgate scene, so we could all find a place to tailgate. Someone other than me would have to take the lead on this, of course. I don't know if tailgate lots have to be reserved in advance or what have you. If one of you has a tailgate spot reserved, that'd be better!
If someone could jump in on the comments and tell me how much a tailgate spot would cost, that'd be great. If we don't need to rent a grill, someone should let us know.
Anyone with a spot in mind should comment, and anyone interested in coming should RSVP via the poll. We'll throw up another post the week of the game to get a more solid number, but for now this is simply to get an idea of how many people will show up. (so it's not a hard commitment 7 months in advance). Anyone who can provide a grill (so we don't have to rent one) should volunteer one in the comments.
5. Assistance. The airfare should come out to around $480 and the hotel should come out to $160 or so on the cheap end. Some of you have offered to help subsidize my trip and that would be wonderful. I don't have a full-time job and have worked a lot of part-time jobs over the past year to cover my rent and whatnot. I'm not hurting for every day living by any means, but even a $600-700 expense stresses my budget a little.
There are a few ways to help, if this is something you can do. I have a PayPal account that interested donors could contribute to, and it turns out that you can donate to specific email addresses. I've added a donate button at the bottom of the post, but if you wanted to go through the process of going to the PayPal website proper and donating manually, donations would go to firstname.lastname@example.org - an email address I use to sign up for online accounts in order to keep my personal and professional accounts relatively spam-free.
I'll keep you updated on how much people have donated so I don't keep asking for funds when the goal has been met, although I'm not going to say no to more money either, because we have stretch goals!
A sufficient amount of extra money and I can help kick in for any reservation fees for the tailgate (or to reimburse the person who reserved it). Even more money, and I'll go shopping at your finest butchers for meat and sausages to bring to the tailgate. I'm good at grilling, so I can pitch in, too.
Any leftover money can be used to buy drinks at your favorite bar the night before or the night of the game. It's up to you. Seattle has a proud tradition of microbrews, so I'm going to let you a) bring your own beverages to the tailgate and b) choose the bar.
The other form of assistance you fine folks at Field Gulls could provide would be to set me up for lodging. If no one has any space they have the ability to provide, it will simply go to a hotel (and pay for cab fare to the game/tailgate party). I imagine cab fare will be about $40, so I'll make the lodging and travel estimate a clean $200.
I've been advised to find a way to ensure your trust that I'm not going to steal your money. I don't know the best way to do this, so I'm open to suggestions (the one rattling around in my head is providing my real phone number). What should be enough to tell the police if I've defrauded you? Someone suggested my real address, but after a really unsettling encounter with a commenter at the Daily Norseman (he's been banned, don't worry), I'm hesitant to do this. PayPal has a way of keeping a live counter up, but I'd have to switch to PayPal business, and that evidently also costs money. To recap, this is what should be in the comments: places I can go, things I can do, helpful volunteers (tailgate spot, equipment or lodging), and a location of a get-together bar. If you could also provide information on better airline rates (Alaska Airlines looked hard to beat, but then they only advertised prices for single flights—not return) or what you estimate the reservation fee for a tailgate spot to be, that would be great. I'll buy tickets as soon as we have the right amount of money.
EDIT: The PayPal button code keeps getting scrubbed, so instead head over to the website manually.
Latest Total: $1130.00
Lodging/Seattle travel: 100%
Reservation Fee/Renting a Grill: 100%
Meats (based on expected party size): 100%
Leftover money for drinks: $200
I'm not going to lie. Some of that leftover money might be needed to buy me food in Seattle. And if you guys give me an obscene amount of money, I'm flying first class. That's your warning.
UPDATE: We have hit our goals, but that's subject to change once we add more people to the party. Please vote in the poll. I will put up a post two weeks before the game to drum up additional support and expect the party size to increase somewhat significantly.
I don't know what we're doing about the tailgate spot/reservation, but I've reserved $90 for grill rental and buying charcoal, lighter fluid and a chimney. Probably some newspapers, too.