Saturday, 18 October 2014

Jeff Castner: Best Sports Venues in Indianapolis

Indianapolis is known as the home to one of the biggest sporting events in the history of modern sport: the Indy 500, which takes place every Memorial Day weekend at Indy’s Motor Speedway. As longtime Indianapolis resident Jeff Castner knows, his hometown is perhaps best known throughout the world for what is considered the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, though the large metropolis also contains numerous other professional sporting opportunities the casual visitor may not be aware of.

Lucas Oil Stadium
Lucas Oil Stadium is home to one of Jeff Castner’s favorite professional teams, the Indianapolis Colts, which keeps this enormous venue rocking every Sunday, and occasionally on Monday nights. Lucas Oil is also hosting the 2015 NCAA Men’s Final Four, and is home to the annual Big Ten Football Championship.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse
The Indiana Pacers have enjoyed much success in recent years, thanks in no small part to the raucous devotion of thousands of screaming fans who visit the Bankers Life Fieldhouse for every Pacers home game. As a Pacers fan, JeffCastner takes advantage of any opportunity he has to root on his NBA favorite, which promises to have another competitive and successful season.

Victory Field
Ranked as one of the best minor league baseball parks in the country, Victory Field provides the perfect venue for a family outing at the ballgame. Victory Field is a local favorite and continues to be upheld as one of the finest minor league baseball venues in the Midwest. Jeff Castner enjoys catching a game here whenever he can.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Jeff Castner: Sights to See in Indianapolis

Jeff Castner is proud to be a part of the Indianapolis community, and to share in the urban center’s many unique, inspiring and interesting things to both see and do. As a long-time area resident and Indianapolis enthusiast, Castner looks forward to sharing some of his favorite places to visit during his time away from work, particularly with those new to the city and the surrounding area.
Below, Jeff Castner gladly shares of some of his favorite places to visit in his hometown.

White River State Park
Known as the only cultural urban state park in the country, White River State Park skillfully blends numerous local cultural attractions with the creative use of green space, all of which can be experienced via bicycle, Segway, boat or on foot. Visitors new to Indianapolis have the chance to walk or ride to such local attractions as the White River Gardens, the NCAA Hall of Champions, the Indiana State Museum and more.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
No Indianapolis trip would be complete, says Jeff Castner, without a trip to the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the largest single-day racing and sprint events in the world. Home of the annual Indy 500, the century old Speedway is a must-see for families and sporting enthusiasts around the world.

Fountain Square Cultural District
If you’d like to visit a unique and historical part of the downtown area, one full of well-known restaurants, a vibrant arts and music scene and a plethora of shopping opportunities, says Jeff Castner, then take a detour through downtown Indianapolis’s Fountain Square Cultural District.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Passionate Packers Fan Jeff Castner Provides a Short Team History

The Green Bay Packers are notably one of the most celebrated and storied teams now playing in the National Football League. Jeff Castner, a lifelong Packers fan and knowledgeable football aficionado, is proud of the significant successes his team has had over nearly 100 years of existence, as well as the imprint the Packers have left on both the NFL and on the history of one of America’s favorite sports.

The Packers, as Jeff Castner knows, were first organized on August 11, 1919 on the second floor of the historic Green Bay Press-Gazette building, which continues to stand as one of Downtown Green Bay’s most significant and historical landmarks. Though many of the details of this meeting were never recorded, and remain unknown to this day, the term Packers was the result of the team’s original sponsor, the Indian Packing Co., who made the initial reference just two days following the initial organization.

A second meeting, held on August 14, 1919, featured 25 players, and resulted in Curly Lambeau, the current stadium’s namesake, being elected the team Captain, while George Whitney Calhoun was chosen as the team’s manager. The Packer’s first season, as Jeff Castner knows, resulted in 10 wins and just one loss, and most of the games featured opponents from nearby towns in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the area of Northeastern Wisconsin.

It wasn’t until August 27, 1921, that the then-young American Professional Football Association (now the NFL) awarded the then-Acme Packers of Green Bay an official franchise in the league. Since that time the Packers have established themselves to be one of the premiere teams in the history of football.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Jeff Castner: Studying Sports Fans

Jeff Castner lives and works in Indianapolis, Indiana, one of the great cities of the American Midwest. He has been employed at the same university for nearly thirty years, and has risen to become its Assistant Director of Operations. As such, he is responsible for making sure that the university runs smoothly.

When he isn't at work, Jeff Castner can often be found checking on the ups and downs of his favorite sports teams. He supports all of the local teams in Indianapolis, from the Pacers to the Colts to the minor league baseball Indianapolis Indians of the International League.

Jeff Castner knows that some people don't understand what it is about team sports that he and millions of other Americans find so captivating. On the one hand, Jeff Castner believes that if you have to ask, you'll never understand. Yet he knows that there is an entire discipline of studying sports fans, and it encompasses psychology, sociology, and even physiology.

There are a lot of important, fascinating, and surprising things that are associated with this topic, Jeff Castner knows. Fans get a lot out of identifying with a team, researchers say, in ways even players don't. The athletes are mercenaries, but the fan is permanent. The sense of goodwill, bonding and shared purpose that comes with being a fan has a ripple effect that can benefit all aspects of living.

Jeff Castner knows that if a team is doing well, it tends to reflect onto its fans in terms of bragging rights, status, and prestige. Studies have even shown that rabid sports fans have higher self-esteem and are less depressed, less alienated and less lonely than those who don't care about sports.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Jeff Castner: Indianapolis Cultural Districts

Jeff Castner is a Hoosier through and through. He lives and works in Indianapolis, where he is the Assistant Director of Operations at one of the city's leading universities. He has worked there, in different capacities, for nearly thirty years.

Jeff Castner is proud of Indianapolis, and says the city has a lot to offer ­– more, in fact, than most non-Indianapolis residents realize. There are six cultural districts in Indianapolis, he says, and each one is known for a certain distinctiveness, and forms a pocket within the social fabric of the city.

All of the Indianapolis cultural districts, Jeff Castner says, have their buzzwords and pet names. One of the districts is known as Broad Ripple Village, but is usually referred to simply as "The Village." Sitting close to Butler University, its many art galleries and studios, specialty shops and pubs enjoy lots of traffic from visitors to the city, who take advantage of a free shuttle service.
Another of its distinctive cultural districts, says Jeff Castner, is the Canal and White River State Park. These sectors sprang from the central canal of Indianapolis, and are newly inspiring as Venetian Canal look-alikes. White River Park hosts many famous museums and events, with the downtown Indianapolis skyline as its striking backdrop.

Fountain Square, Jeff Castner says, is mostly noted as an ethnic and artsy Mecca. The Square sprang from humble roots as a large apple orchard. Jeff Castner says it's a little different and offbeat today, but is still a very cool place to check out.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Jeff Castner: The Indy 500

Jeff Castner is an Indianapolis civic booster. He has lived and worked in the capital of Indiana for many years, and today is the Assistant Director of Operations at a leading university there. He calls Indianapolis one of the greatest places to live in all of the United States and says that there is no shortage of things to do there.

Jeff Castner is a big sports fan, but he is mostly partial to team sports. He likes to catch as many Pacers and Colts games as his schedule allows. But he is mindful of the fact that Indianapolis is home to the Indy 500, often called "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." 

As Jeff Castner knows, the Indy 500 was officially born in 1911 and has been a staple of summertime in Indiana ever since. It takes place ever year in May, over the Memorial Day weekend.

The Indy 500 is a huge event every spring. As Jeff Castner knows, the Indianapolis 500 Festival has been a mainstay in Indianapolis ever since it was created in 1957. The purpose of the festival is to organize community events that celebrate the race and its participants. It includes a big parade that is one of the most anticipated events of the season, and it culminates on race day.

Race day, says Jeff Castner, always begins bright and early with a rendition of "Back Home Again in Indiana," which is sung prior to the waving of the flag. 500 excitement-filled laps later, a winner is crowned with great ceremony. The winner steps into Victory Lane to be adorned with the traditional winner's wreath and receive the coveted sip of milk from the 500 Festival Queen, who is chosen from the group of princesses. The following Monday, the drivers and community members gather for the final farewell to that year's Indy 500, the Victory Banquet, where the drivers are honored and the festivities come to a close.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Jeff Castner: The Green Bay Packers

Jeff Castner is the Assistant Director of Operations at a major university in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he also lives. He is a huge sports fan who supports all of the local teams in Indianapolis, including the Pacers and the Indianapolis Indians minor league baseball team.

So it seems a bit of an anomaly to some of Jeff Castner's friends that he would also be a supporter of the Green Bay Packers. They know that Jeff Castner is a big Indianapolis Colts fan. But the Colts, says Jeff Castner, play in the American Football Conference, while the Packers are in the National Football Conference. So it's okay for him to root for Green Bay.

The Green Bay Packers, as Jeff Castner knows, are one of the most storied teams in National Football League history. The teams of the 1960s, coached by the great Vince Lombardi and led by quarterback Bart Starr, are among the most legendary in the game. Those teams won the first two Super Bowls and are recalled as some of the most dominant to ever walk onto a gridiron. Today, the Vince Lombardi Trophy is awarded to the winner of the annual Super Bowl.

The Indianapolis Colts had some great years too, winning Super Bowl XLI in 2007. That team was led by Peyton Manning, now the Denver Broncos' quarterback. But the Colts have Andrew Luck calling the plays, and as Jeff Castner knows, Andrew Luck is one of the most promising quarterbacks to come into the league in many years.

There could come a day when the Packers and Colts go head to head in the Super Bowl. If that day should come to pass, it's no contest. Jeff Castner will be pulling for the Colts all the way.