Monday, April 13, 2015

Back in the New York Groove: Trying out the Verizon Ellipsis 8 tablet at the Mets' Opening Day

Last week, Squawker Jon and I received an invitation from the good folks at Verizon for one of us to attend the Mets home opener at Citi Field, and try out one of their new products -- a tablet computer.  But since Jon was unable to attend, I went behind enemy lines to go to the game! I got to sit in one of the ballpark's suites, had free food and adult beverages, and got to watch baseball on a beautiful day. I also am getting to try out Verizon's Ellipsis 8 tablet for the next few weeks, which is pretty cool in and of itself.
We were in Verizon's suite, which is one of the swanky Sterling Suites. 

The ballpark at about noon.
So I put on my Citi Field All-Star Game shirt (I bought it after that game in honor of Mariano Rivera's farewell at the event!) and showed up at Shea Citi Field. I wanted to pull a Superman and wear a Yankee shirt under a buttoned shirt, but Squawker Jon thought that would be bad form!

Also, I have Verizon FIOS at home, and am very happy with them, so I was eager to try this tablet. And I used the tablet to take these pictures during the game, and I also have some observations about the Mets (and the Ellipsis 8) to share:

Best gift bag gift ever!
And yes, that is Matt Harvey's autograph!
Given that the Mets' seasons for this decade have been like this famous Family Guy joke -- "Here's the first pitch/And the season's over" -- today's game has to be a thrill for Mets fans. They drew their biggest crowd ever at Citi Field.

And even this Yankee fan can notice that there is a real buzz going on with the Mets this year. I remember what it was like in the mid 1980s, when the Yankees were on the decline, and the Mets were on the rise. History may be repeating itself. Mets fans are getting their swagger back.

Anyhow, I joined bloggers from Mets Chronicle and Mets Merized Online at the game, and we met some very nice people from Verizon, who showed me cool features on the tablet.

The suite was just to the left of home plate, and was pretty plush. Being in a suite really is the sweet life. There is a Mets employee who waits on you hand and foot, bringing you your drinks and catering to your needs.

The food was pretty tasty -- Pat LaFrieda's grilled skirt steak with salsa verde, chicken tenders with dipping sauce, Pat LaFrieda cheeseburger sliders, and two types of French fries. We also got cookies for dessert.

And we each got a Verizon backpack, which contained a Mets cap, some Verizon promotional items, Big League Chew, and an autographed Matt Harvey baseball! I couldn't believe it when I saw that in the bag! (Squawker Jon has already claimed the Harvey ball as his price for letting me have the ticket.)

The weather was beautiful, and it was exciting to see all the Opening Day to-do. We got to see the new big screen scoreboard, and watch and hear all the intros. The Phillies who got the loudest boos were Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, and Jonathan Papelbon (I joined in the boos for him!)
Pat LaFrieda cheeseburger sliders and fries
The seat I had was phenomenal!

The Grandyman is one of the photos on the walls outside the suite.

Matt Harvey, of course, was the Met who got the biggest ovation, with David Wright a close second. Harvey, of course, is full of swagger, and makes the Mets more exciting than they have been in years. Jacob deGrom showed why he won Rookie of the Year with his excellent pitching.

The 7 Line Army was out in full force in center field, and they even did a roll call for Mets players! (Speaking of them, do you know they have bought three sections of seats in Yankee Stadium for the Subway Series? Crazy!)

There was also a touching tribute before the game to the two NYPD officers who were slain, which had me teary-eyed. Very moving.

I hadn't been to an Opening Day for any team in many years. The last time I tried to go, in April 2004, for the Yankees home opener, I got stuck in traffic so bad that I literally never got to the game! So it was fun to be at an Opening Day, even if it wasn't for my team!

During the game, Edgardo Alfonzo came by to say hello and pose for pictures. So I met him and got an autographed baseball from him. Very nice guy -- looks like he is still young enough to play!

Shocker! I was caught hobnobbing with Mr. Met!
But don't worry. I am still a Yankee fan!
I also got to hang out with  Mr. Met. Longtime Squawkers fans know about the soft spot I have for mascots -- when I ran the All-Star 5K, I made sure I high-fived the mascots when I saw them at the starting line. And I once jumped off a food line at Shea Stadium when I spotted Mr. Met, so I was very excited to see him today, and to get my picture taken with him (and shake his hand!) Don't judge. (Although some of my Facebook friends have!)

The crowd stayed to the end, and seemed pretty excited. It seemed like people were even singing for Billy Joel's "Piano Man." After the Mets won, the PA system played "Back in the New York Groove" song.

After the game, I saw the SNY booth, and fans standing around and watching the broadcasters. I also spotted Coffee the dog again, posing for photos with Mets fans.

Throughout the game, I used the tablet to take pictures. The Verizon Ellipsis 8 is a pretty cool tablet. I am a power user of portable electronics, and I have at least a 90-minute commute each way to and from Manhattan for my day job. So I have used an iPhone, and iPad, and a Kindle to kill time. I have to say that I think the Ellipsis 8 tablet is perfect for commuting. It is a good size -- bigger than a smartphone, but smaller than an iPad.

The Verizon Ellipsis 8 --
it is an ideal tablet for surfing the web
during a long commute!
The Verizon 4G LTE is pretty fast, and you can connect almost anywhere. Also, the battery life is much better than my iPhone, which can run out of juice just going from Manhattan to Staten Island! I get to use the tablet on loan for the next few weeks, and I am really going to be sad to see it go -- it is very easy to figure out how to use, even without reading the directions!

In all, it was a pretty cool day. Thanks to Verizon for a memorable time! There is a real feel of what Pat Riley calls "the innocent climb" -- you can feel that this Mets team is getting fans excited, and could be really something. When Mets fans become completely insufferable again, though, I will know that the Mets are for real! (Although Squawker Jon is always kind of insufferable!)

No comments:

Search This Blog