Sports and Rec


Get Your Kicks

Catch the SACRAMENTO REPUBLIC FC when the team plays its first home match of the season March 28. It’s fun to watch the region’s wildly popular minor league team, even if you’re not a serious soccer fan. Much of the excitement comes from the Tower Bridge Battalion, 500 or so superfans who lead occasionally off-color chants. “It’s infectious,” says Republic founder Warren Smith. Last year, regular fans started up their own chants, sometimes with a call-and-answer format from opposing sides of the team’s temporary stadium, Bonney Field at Cal Expo. Landing tickets may be a little easier this year as ownership has added about 2,000 seats for the coming season.

If Fishing’s Your Game

Watch the experts when the BASSMASTER ELITE SERIES fishing competition comes to Sacramento for the first time (April 30–May 3). An estimated 15,000 people are expected at Discovery Park for the event, which promoters describe as a huge community party combined with a four-day fishing derby that draws 110 of the nation’s top anglers, including Auburn resident and former angler of the year Skeet Reese. Watching people fish may not be your idea of riveting entertainment. But Michael Mulone, a Bassmaster exec, says people of all sorts get drawn in, especially at the end of each day’s fishing when the competitors weigh their catches. The event has a $100,000 top prize and is televised nationally by ESPN2.

Runner’s High

Races abound for runners of all levels. Here are a few:

THE LUCKY RUN, a 7k, 7-mile and half marathon in Davis (March 7). Celebrates the start of spring and St. Patrick’s Day.

BLUE DIAMOND ALMONDS SHAMROCK’N 5K, half-mile kids’ leprechaun chase and half marathon (March 14–15). All races start and end at Raley Field and cross Tower Bridge. Kilts are optional.

GIRLS ON THE GO 5k, 10k and half marathon (March 29). All start and end at Crocker Park. It’s “a celebration of women of all sizes, ages and fitness levels,” but men are welcome to join in.

RUNNING OF THE ELK Half Marathon and 5k (March 29). Starts and ends at Elk Grove Auto Mall.

Catch the Kings

It’s been an up-and-down year. As usual. Before the season ends on April 15, you can see the Kings host Charlotte, Washington, New Orleans, Utah, Minnesota and L.A.

How To Speak Soccer

Even though Sacramento is a hotbed for soccer, lots of us don’t really understand the game—or its terminology. Not to worry. For the neophytes, here are a few things to say (or not say) so you’ll sound like an expert:

  • Refer to the playing area as the pitch, not the field.
  • Don’t mention the players’ “uniforms.” Instead, talk about how sharp they look in their kits. And, by the way, players wear boots, not cleats.
  • Never refer to a soccer “game.” Teams play matches. Notes Republic founder Warren Smith, himself a newcomer to soccer: “When you say you’re going to a soccer game, people know you don’t know the sport.”
  • Say nil instead of zero. The score may be one-nil or nil-nil. This is soccer. You can say nil a lot.