Sunday, November 29, 2015

Oakland Raiders Get The Win

(AP Photo/Aaron Josefczyk)

It wasn't pretty. The wet weather in Tennessee didn't stop the Raiders and Titans from utilizing their passing games to the hilt.  It would be the Raiders offense showing poise in their ability to execute in the final minutes to score a do-or-die touchdown to win the game.  

Sure the Raiders made us fans pace back and forth while cursing them on every fourth quarter play. But in the end, thanks in part to a fourth down holding penalty against a Tennessee defensive back, the Raiders persevered.

They overcame earlier mistakes, scored when they absolutely had to and intercepted the opponent on the final offensive drive that could have forced overtime.

Bottom line, the Oakland Raiders found a way to finish a close game on the road in the rain.  They ended a three game losing streak and are still alive for a playoff birth.  With teams focusing on stopping their once high-powered offense, the Raiders are fighting through the growing pangs of what it takes to be consistently great.  

I still say the Raiders are looking to rediscover their rhythm after that bruising Pittsburgh Steelers loss four weeks ago.  If they can find that early season magic that had them looking like true playoff contenders, I could see them ending this season with at least a winning record.  When was the last time we could say that about our beloved Raiders?

Good job today team.  Game ball to my boy #10 Seth Roberts for his career receiving day with six catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns.   Seth showed just how talented a wide receiver he is on both touchdown catches. Also corner-back David Amerson played lights out defense once again.  I love it when the Raiders win.  

Win, lose or tie

Final Score
Raiders 24
Titans 21

Friday, November 27, 2015

Mission H.S. Repeats As Turkey Day Champions

Thanksgiving is made up of food, family and football. Yesterday's holiday began in reverse order for me.  I attended the cold, blustery confines of San Francisco's Kezar Stadium to watch the city high school football championship game between the Balboa Buccaneers and defending 2014 champion Mission Bears.

I've followed the Bears these past few years as they've established a winning culture after years of being almost non-existent and/or non-competitive. The boys in yellow with brown trim didn't disappoint as they captured the city championship title for the second year in a row.

The Buccaneers didn't make it easy for the defending champions as they nearly shutdown the Bears running game, a ground game that featured mostly a quarter-back option play that was unsuccessful at least 80% of the time.  But the Bears stuck with it as the play became a factor late in the game by producing first downs against a worn down Buccaneers defense.

The first quarter, with one turnover by each team, was good indication of the defensive theme the game would take on.  I counted a total of ten turnovers, four fumbles and six interceptions, advantage Bears (4-2) on interceptions and dead even on lost fumbles (2-2).     

Both teams scored amazing 22-yard touchdowns in the second quarter, the Bears a finger tip catch and run and the Buccaneers a pinpoint pass and run after the catch.

One of the interceptions by the Buccaneers was run back for a dazzling 92-yard touchdown, but a penalty after the interception nullified the touchdown, Buccaneers ball at the 8 yard line. With zero seconds left on the game clock the Buccaneers took a knee to end the first half with the score Bears 8 - Buccaneers 7.

For all the hype about the Bears offense being a juggernaut, the Buccaneers were definitely putting them to the test.  They had to be proud of their first half accomplishment in limiting the Bears to one touchdown and a two point conversion by what looked like a "Refrigerator Perry" type lineman ( #74) bulldozing two yards across the goal line with little opposition. Yes, The Refrigerator of 1985 Chicago Bears lore. #74 Lil Fridge has a future in football.

To Be Continued..........

After chowing down a cost inflated ($5) coscto-like hotdog and watching the Bears cheerleaders whip and nae nae themselves on and off the field, the half-time intermission gave way to a much anticipated second half football game. The autumn air had gotten more frigid.

The third quarter opened with the Buccaneers throwing an interception early. A beautiful Bears 46 yard pass and run for a touchdown was called back due to an illegal offensive shift penalty. The quarter saw both Teams having success in the passing games. The Buccaneers passed their way to the five yard line before fumbling away an opportunity to take the lead. It was on a broken play (mishandled handoff) that looked like daylight up the middle, but the runner seemed to hesitate and the Bears came crashing in to cause the turnover.

In the fourth quarter, after the Bears forced two interceptions the defending champions implemented a short passing game that racked up YACs (yards-after-catch).  Good coaching adjustment on the Bears part got them to the 2 yard line where a short touchdown run put them up by seven points.  Lil Fridge couldn't duplicate his two point conversion run, but the Bears were now up by seven points with 4:53 left in regulation.

Bears 14 - Buccaneers 7

Adding insult to injury, on the next play the Buccaneers kick return runner was knocked down by his own man and lay on the field shaken up until trainers could come out and attend to him. At least he didn't fumble the ball.

With a last gasp effort and sensing the early celebratory antics of the Bears, the feisty Buccaneers led an all out attack by air and land.  Though the Bears, leading by seven, seemed almost destined to win the game, the momentum was clearly with the Buccaneers on this desperation drive with the clock winding down.

A long pass, a high jump and snag out of the air over defenders and what looked to me like a backward fall into the end zone gave the Buccaneers a touchdown with 1:22 left in regulation.  The Bears shadowy sideline and fans went silently cold. The Buccaneers side showed sunshine and unrestrained jubilation at the chance to tie or win the game.

And that is what every mind and heart was waiting for in this moment of truth taking place at frigid Kezar Stadium; trailing 14-13, what will the Buccaneers coach attempt; a field goal or a two point conversion.  Does he have a Lil Fridge secret weapon ready to be unleashed?  Does his field goal kicker have ice water running through his veins?  Can his defense hold up in overtime? Or, as many of us fans were asking, is there overtime in high school championship games?

With less time than it takes to say the Lord's Prayer, the Buccaneers offense lined up at the two yard line for the two point conversion.  It had all happened so fast that there hadn't been enough time for the Bears, nor its fans, to let tension or fear settle in.  

The snap, the hand-off up the middle.  An outstretched runner in white with an orange helmet closing in on the goal line mobbed by a sea of yellow. 

Did he make it? I and the fan in front of me agreed that from our angle it looked like he did. We fans watched the referee straddling the goal line at the pylon area.  He appeared to be surrounded by camera and video men, none of which were indicating a touchdown. The call took a lifetime. Controversy was immediately brewing, on the field and in the stands. Finally it was confirmed, he'd come up short. The two point conversion attempt had failed.

Bears 14 - Buccaneers 13

The following Buccaneers on-side kick was secured by the Mission Bears and after a few kneel-downs the horn blared out signaling that regulation time had expired. An ocean of yellow and brown rushed onto the field to celebrate a Bears championship season

The Buccaneers coach would be questioned and probably second guessed by many on the final play call to go for two points. To us fans who watched the game, we feel the Buccaneers and Bears both played like champions and represented San Francisco high school football honorably. The two squads gave us a filling start to our Thanksgiving Holiday. 

If any of the young men who played in the game should read this post, know that I and those standing in my section of the stadium, Thank and Salute you and your team for a competitive showing of commitment and character. Always remember, its more about how we measure up to the expectations we have for ourselves than how we measure up against others. Expect greatness. Give your greatest effort. Achieve success.

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender    - Vince Lombardi

11/19/2015 Giving his greatest: Balboa High football coach Edward Williams saves woman trapped in fire.

The AAA/SF Section Varsity Football annual Turkey Day championship game took place November 26 with Mission successfully defending their title with an exciting 14-13 victory over Balboa. The surprising defensive battle culminated with the Bears stopping the Buccaneers a half yard short of the goal line on a two point conversion try with a minute remaining. The victory not only gives Mission the section crown, but also sends them off to the CIF NorCal playoffs December 5th against a yet to be determined opponent. Congratulations to both teams on a very entertaining game, and all the best to the Bears as they head off to battle for a State title!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Warriors Ambush Lakers, Snatch Record

The Golden State Warriors now own the NBA record for most consecutive wins (16-0) to open a season. They did it with a laugh-er against Bobe Kryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Just a few years ago what Warriors fan in their right mind woulda thought that a visiting Lakers team could mean an early rest for the home team starters. Beating Annihilating teams like the Lakers, who've dominated the Warriors for decades, is just plain old poetic justice.

The Warriors put on a basketball team clinic tonight that had them up by as many as 40 points.  Almost everyone on the squad got into the mix and if you ask me, the fat lady was singing way before the first quarter ended with the Warriors leading 30-11.

As I post this they're winning 108-70 with 4:20 left in the game.  Like I said, a laugh-er. With former Warriors star Jason Richardson being honored at (R)oracle Arena, the night was made for record breaking championship basketball.

There's still a lot of basketball left to play in the season, but for now the defending NBA Champions can proudly stick this 16-0 record in their caps as they continue muscling their way toward another league championship. 

Oaktown, Oaktown!      Go Warriors!

Final Score
Warriors 111
Lakers 77

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday's Prayer - "OTHERS"

Dear Lord, 

Help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray
My prayer will be for - Others.

Help me in all the work I do
To ever be sincere and true
And know that all I do for You
Must needs be done for - Others.

And when my work on earth is done
And my new work in heaven begun
May I forget the crown I've won
While thinking still of ---  Others.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Solo Tha Secret

Long Beach Beats Ya'll

Thursday, November 19, 2015


In a different game with the same results, last night Steph led the Warriors to an unbelievable come-from-behind victory against the L.A. Clippers.  The defending Champions are now 13-0 on the season and receiving all the praises due a great basketball team.  

Even Warriors-hater analyst Charles Barkley, who proudly praised the Clippers formula for stopping the Warriors when they had them down by 23 points, acknowledged the dominance of the Warriors jump shooting as a team. All analysts agreed that Harrison Barnes play was key to the comeback.  

What I see in fourth quarter games once the Warriors start hitting those three-pointers are opponents fears and total shock at being .........Warriorized. They know it's coming and are unable to stop it.

It's official folks, the Golden State Warriors are UNSTOPPABLE!

Final Score
Warriors 124
Clippers 117

“We never feel like we’re out of it,” said Curry, who atoned for seven turnovers with 40 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals. “Whether we’re going to win the game or not, you never know, but the mentality of our team and the way that we play is to play like we’re never out of it and to keep fighting.”

Sunday, November 15, 2015

UFC 193 - Wowwee HOLM

Challenger Holly Holm takes down Ronda Rousey with a devastating kick to the head to win UFC title. The kick was setup by Holm's great footwork, spacing and plan of attack

Rousey appeared completely knocked out after going down from the kick, as the referee had to stop Holm from pummeling her face into oblivion. With Rousey's lip split in half, probably from an earlier Holm elbow delivered perfectly, she had to be helped up off the canvas and taken to a Melbourne, Australia hospital as a medical precaution. 

Holly Holm wakes up this morning not only as a new Champion, but as the Buster Douglas of 2015. Her win against the crowned queen of UFC was unexpected and the way in which she won was simply legendary.  

Prefight event with Holly (team Holm) in jeans

AttaGirl Holly, I never cared much for all the Rousey hype.  Her in the sexy black dress with the belt slumped over her shoulder kinda rubbed me funny. Promotion shot or not. She's already got two guest appearances in movies scheduled for production in 2016.  But Ronda is a tough cookie and I expect to see her back in the ring challenging for the title in the very near future.

Holly Holm ladies and gentleman.  Eye of the Tiger!