I got a chance to attend a football game at East Campus Field on the campus of RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) this past weekend and I was extremely impressed.

A view of East Campus Field from the visiting sideline (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
I had emailed their athletic department a few days prior to the game and they accommodated my request for media credentials. They even told me where to park to make it easier for me, which I thought was pretty cool.

Since I had a media credentials I didn't need to buy a ticket. However, their ticket prices are $10 for premium seating and $5 for general admission.

RPI is located in Troy, NY which has seen a major infrastructure overhaul the last few years with many new hotels and restaurants being built around the campus.

I knew it wasn't going to take me to long to get to RPI from my house but I still got to there early because I didn't know the layout of the campus and was pretty positive I would get lost. Sure enough, I did. However, their was a security guard there who directed me to the parking lot.

After I parked my car I headed down to the field which was only a short walk away. The stadium is immediately noticeable as it's an actually stadium, not a field. You get the feeling immediately that it's something special.

After getting my media credential I walked up the ramp to the stands and down to field level.

Some the banners as you walk up the ramp to the stadium (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
The stadium was very clean and well maintained. You could tell the school takes great pride in it.

A view of the field when you enter it (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
One of the best things about the East Campus Field is their "jumbo" screen in the corner of the endzone. Not only does it give the feel of professional sports arena but also shows replays and graphics which is great for fans.

The scoreboard at RPI (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

The atmosphere of the stadium was also great as they had a pep band and cheerleaders. It made you feel like you were at a "big time" college football game even though it was only a small school.

I didn't get a chance to wonder around the stadium and check out their concession stand or "pro shop" but they had both.

Overall, the experience was great. The stadium was beautiful, friendly, and definitely a great place to spend a Saturday watching a game.

Here are some more photos of East Campus Field:

The stands at East Campus field prior to their game against St. Lawrence (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

The 50 yard line. (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

A view from the back corner of the endzone (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
Another view of the stands looking at one of the campus buildings (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
Last weekend, I got a chance to attend my first Union College football game in Schenectady, NY. It was definitely a nice experience for my first in-person college football game in a long time.

Union College is a nice little school tucked away in Schenectady, NY. Their football team plays in Division III and is a member of the Liberty League.

A view of the scoreboard and American flag (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
The field isn't hard to get to at all and almost all the parking for games are in the street adjacent to the field. The parking is free.

I didn't have to buy a ticket because I media credentials. However, the cost of a ticket was only $8 for an adult which isn't bad. There is a hill on the visiting team sideline where many fans sit and watch the game. I'm not sure if sitting there requires a ticket. If it doesn't then that's pretty cool.

A view of the hill over looking the field (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
The field itself is pretty basic with the normal stands and press box. Many fans don't sit in the stands but rather stand along the fence line or on the hill.

Stands and press box (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

The venue is pretty clean and well taken care of. It has a unique charm for a small school venue. One of the cool things that happens during the game is that at after every Union score they shoot off a canon. All though it's extremely loud, it's still pretty awesome.

After the game they allowed fans to go on the field and get autographs of the Union football team.

Overall, it's a nice little venue to visit on a Saturday afternoon to catch a football game.

Here are some more pictures of Bailey Field:

In the distance fans come down the walkway to the game (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

The football field is in the middle of the track (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

Press box (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

The turf looks really nice (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

The scoreboard (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

A view from the back of the endzone (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

A view from the visiting sideline looking at the home sideline (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

A shot looking the endzone and campus in the background (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

Here are photos of STAR WARS Night on September 4, 2016 at Centennial Field in Burlington, VT between the Lowell Spinners and Vermont Lake Monsters.

The Spinners defeated the 'Monsters 8-3 behind CJ Chatham who went 3-for-4 with three RBI.

Stormtrooper! (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
Matt McLean waits on deck to lead off the game (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

Dakota Chalmers (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

Here are photos of the high school football game between the St. Johnsbury Academy Hilltoppers and South Burlington High School Rebels from September 2, 2016 at Munson Field in South Burlington, VT.

The Hilltoppers scored 18 seconds into the game and cruised to a 41-7 opening week victory over the Rebels.

Here come the Rebels... (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

Here are photos of game one of the doubleheader between the Hudson Valley Renegades and Tri-City ValleyCats from August 22, 2016 at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, NY.

Spencer Moran pitched six solid shutout innings and Jonathan Popadics drove in Nathaniel Lowe for the lone run of the game as the Renegades defeated the ValleyCats 1-0.

Garrett Whitley signs autographs before the game (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

I'm not a New York Yankee fan. I'm not an Alex Rodriguez fan. I'm a baseball fan.

Many people will forever criticize him for the mistakes that he made off the field and rightfully so. However, you can't deny the talent that he was. He was one the greats regardless of what anyone says. It's easy for fans to sit back and talk the talk but Rodriguez walked the walk.

Alex Rodriguez before a game at Camden Yards (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
He was only nineteen years old when he came to the major leagues. He was a kid. Do you remember where you were when you were nineteen? You were easily influenced by the good people and bad people. Many of those influenced who you became years later.

Rodriguez was given so much at a young age but he still had to earn it. He still had to come to the ballpark every day. He still had to walk into the batters box. He still had a swing the bat. He swung 696 times and hit a home run, fourth all-time.

Yes, Rodriguez made mistakes but he still showed up every day to play the game.

Baseball is a game of numbers. So I'll leave you with these numbers...

.295 batting average, 696 home runs, and 2086 RBI

by Corey Mansfield

Vermont Bucks logo via their team website
The Vermont Bucks will bring professional football to the Green Mountain state this spring. The Bucks will be a part of the newly formed Can-Am Indoor Football League after their initial league, the American Indoor Football League folded last month.

Overall, I think it's a great idea. However, I have my reservations. Most professional sports teams at this level struggle to succeed and ultimately fail and fold within only a few years. The Bucks need to embrace sustainability and understand that building a solid fan base should be one of their top priorities.

The Bucks and most indoor football teams can viewed as "minor league football" as the major leagues would be the NFL. Like most "minor league" teams they will need to bring fans through the gates through various promotions and spark interest through innovation and affordability.

I've always felt one of the biggest parts of a new organization is their logo and branding. A great logo can spark interest and that alone can sell tickets. I'm not crazy about the Bucks logo, as a matter of fact I don't like it all. It looks rushed and too similar to the Fairfield University logo. I think a better logo would have been a different take on "Buck" and eliminating the "Vermont." Maybe the team could adopt an alternate logo with a shield design similar to this logo but with a buck, a football, and the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain in the background.

Former UVM running back, Bobby Mitchell (UVM archives)
Many young fans in Champlain Valley area know nothing about the history of the University of Vermont football program (Yes! At one point UVM had a football program but eventually folded in 1974).  I think it's important for the Bucks to embrace the roots of football in Vermont especially since they will be playing their home games on the campus of The University of Vermont. A few cool promotions they could do would be inviting some former UVM football players back and doing a bobblehead giveaway of the one greatest players in UVM history, Bobby Mitchell.

The Bucks need to have a great mascot. The Vermont Lake Monsters have one of the best in the business and many kids show up to games just to get an autograph or a photo with Champ. 

As of right now we don't know how much tickets will cost for the Bucks. Will there be a cost to park? All of this plays into the mind of the consumer when are deciding weather to buy tickets. If you are too cheap you can't keep the organization running and if you are too expensive then people won't go. As a consumer and a father of two, I wouldn't spend more than $15 for an adult ticket and $10 for a child for a football game of this level. That means for a family of four you'd paying $50 for game, assuming there is no cost for parking.

These are just a few suggestions I have but that's just me. I'm not in charge. There is still a lot to be determined about the Vermont Bucks. Hopefully everything comes together for them and the have long period of success and sustainability in Vermont.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the Vermont Bucks. So check us out on facebook and leave your feedback.

Here are photos of the game between the Auburn Doubledays and Hudson Valley Renegades on August 19, 2016 at Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls, NY.

Travis Ott worked six solid innings on the mound and the Renegades defeated the Doubledays 2-1.

Travis Ott (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
Ryan Ripken (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
Pre-game autographs (photo credits: Corey Mansfield)

Here photos of the game between the Aberdeen Ironbirds and Tri-City ValleyCats from August 18, 2016 at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, NY.

The ValleyCats defeated the Ironbirds 4-2 behind Alex De Goti, Chuckie Robinson, Rodrigo Ayarza, and Brauly Mejia who collect two hits a piece.

Chris Clare warms up before the game (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

by Corey Mansfield

Here's how some of the local baseball talent and former PGCBL players are doing in professional baseball. 

Ian Anderson, Danville Braves (Atlanta Braves) - The Shenendehowa product and third overall pick in the 2016 draft started his professional career with the Gulf Coast Braves but quickly moved up to the Appalachian League with the Danville Braves (rookie) He went 3 2/3 innings in his first start with Danville allowing one run and two hits.

JaVon Shelby, Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland Athletics) - The former Kentucky Wildcat and Amsterdam Mohawk (PGCBL) has struggled for the Vermont Lake Monsters in the New York-Penn League (short season-A). Shelby is hitting just .194 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 35 games for Vermont.

JaVon Shelby playing for the Vermont Lake Monsters (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

Keith Skinner, Staten Island Yankees (New York Yankees) -  The 2013 Amsterdam Mohawk has played in only eight games for the Staten Island Yankees (short season-A) this season. He's hitting .222 in those eight games.

John Sansone, Billing Mustangs (Cincinnati Reds) - Sansone is off to a solid start with the Billings Mustangs in the Pioneer League (rookie). The Florida State standout and 2013 Amsterdam Mohawk is hitting .285 with two home runs and 14 RBI.

Stephen Woods, AZL Giants (San Fransisco Giants) - The former UAlbany pitcher has been pitching well for the AZL Giants in the Arizona League (rookie).  Woods has posted a 3.13 ERA in 23 innings for the Giants rookie league team.

Mike Kaelin, Burlington Bees (Los Angeles Angels) - Kaelin has been solid since he was promoted to the Burlington Bees in the Midwest League (A). The former University of Buffalo product and Albany Dutchmen has posted a 1.64 ERA in 12 games for the Bees.

Jonny Reid, Auburn Doubledays (Washington Nationals) - The former Albany Dutchmen was outstanding for the Gulf Coast League Nationals (rookie) and was quickly promoted to their New York-Penn League (short season-A) affiliate the Auburn Doubledays. Reid, a southpaw from Azusa Pacific University has a 1-0 record with a 2.53 ERA for Auburn.

Jake Fishman, GCL Blue Jays (Toronto Blue Jays) - The former Union College standout has struggled in his first season in professional ball, posting a 4.80 ERA in 15 innings for the Blue Jays rookie league team.

Tyler Orris, Boise Hawks (Colorado Rockies) - The 2013 Albany Dutchmen has struggled with the Boise Hawks and is only hitting .178 in 19 games this season. However, Orris has hit safely in his last three games. Orris was a 33rd round selection by the Colorado Rockies in the 2016 draft.

Zach Remillard, Kannapolis Intimidators (Chicago White Sox) - Fresh off a college world series title with Coastal Carolina, the Cohoes, NY native tore up Arizona League (rookie) pitching with a .310 average in 13 games. Remillard was promoted to Kannapolis in the South Atlantic League (A) and has slowed down, hitting only .227 in 12 games.

Here are photos of the game between the Brooklyn Cyclones and Tri-City ValleyCats on August 7, 2016 at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, NY.

The ValleyCats jumped out to an early lead, scoring eight runs in the first inning and they didn't look back beating the Cyclones 18-4 on Sunday night.

Mets prospect Justin Dunn signs autographs for fans (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

Here are photos of the game between the State College Spikes and Vermont Lake Monsters on August 6, 2016 at Centennial Field in Burlington, VT.

State College defeated Vermont 3-2 in extra innings on Saturday. The game was scoreless through the first ten frames but the Spikes broke through with 3 runs in the top of 11th inning. The Lake Monsters mounted a comeback in the bottom of the 11th but it fell short.

From the depth of Lake Champlain... (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

Today, Miami Marlins pitching Michael Mader was traded to the Atlanta Braves along with shortstop Anfernee Seymour for pitcher Hunter Cervenka. Mader was also promoted to Double-A Mississippi in the Southern League.

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