Saturday, May 23, 2015

San Francisco Giants Playing Like Champions

Early in the MLB season the San Francisco Giants couldn't buy a hit or a run. Now, with the pitching looking strong and the return of right-fielder Hunter Pence,  all seems right in the land of baseball. They've won eight out of their last ten and are currently 1.5 games behind the the division leading you know who.

It was the recent sweep of those division leading Los Angeles Dodgers here in San Francisco that told me our 2014 World Series Champions are back.  There have been some surprises, like Matt Duffy and Justin Maxwell.  There's also been some disappointment in third baseman Casey McGehee.  Baseball though is a long, roller-coaster season full of chance and change. I trust the organization to put the best team on the field that gives us a chance to continue our winning ways.

The Champions are currently in a 2-2 tied in Colorado; the second game of a double-header against the Rockies.  Giants won the earlier game 10-8.

Warriors 115 Rockets 80

It Was A Turkey Shoot In Houston...........

The Golden State Warriors dominated the Houston Rockets to take a 3-1 Western Conference Finals lead. You can't count the resilient Rockets out, but I most definitely heard the Fat Lady gargling midway through the third quarter.

League MVP #30 Stephen Curry, the Human Torch, singed the Rockets for 40pts. One of his high arcing layups over the outstretched hand of Dwight Howard was circus worthy.

His supporting cast played up tempo offense, stellar defense and rebounded like cwazy.  It was a Golden State Warriors road show, and all the Rockets fans could do was sit through it and sulk, while the Nationally viewing audience oohed and aahed all night long. Somewhere in Lithuania, former Warriors guard Sarunas Marciulionis is proudly smiling.

Yes Rockets fans, it was the Warriors who came into your town and burned down your basketball sports arena.  Not even your best fireman, James Harden, could douse the flames once the fire got started.

Looking Good Warriors, Looking Good!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Warriors Beat Rockets In Game 1

Western Conference Finals.  All that it was hyped to be.  The Houston Rockets came to the Oakland Oracle Arena and saw why the Golden State Warriors are the number one seed in the Western Playoffs.

The Warriors know exactly how to finish a game. They played their style of up tempo ball and clutch defense resulting in a 110-106 game 1 conference finals win.  It was electrifying.  

League MVP Stephen Curry showed exactly why he won the honor by not letting his team lose.  Can't say that for MVP runner up James Harden.  Harden was good, very good.  Curry however was legendary.  We might not see another player the likes of him for years to come.  So best tune into every Warriors game you can.

Can You Dig It!

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Thrill of B.B. King Rests At 89

His Blues music was revolutionary, his spirit uncontainable as he strummed away on his stringed instrument nicknamed "Lucille." A man who thrilled generations with a guitar playing style all his own has gone.   

B.B. King has passed away at a ripe old age and we who appreciate what he brought to this life celebrate the man, his music and legacy.  

B.B. taught us that every human being, regardless of social or economic circumstances, race or color, gender or sexual orientation, can experience the blues (sorrow). His style of playing the blues underscored how crying and singing away our suffering can aid in dispelling the winds of sadness and healing one's soul.  

Nobody intentionally invites life's physical, mental and emotional pains to their doorstep, but its a blessing to know that when they come knocking at our door there is a home remedy one can take to ease the misery and sadness they bring.  B.B. was the "other" Doctor King, healing hearts and souls while Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was actively attempting to heal the many ills caused by societal prejudice.

Blues music is that home medicine and B.B. King was one of the greatest doctors to ever administer doses of it to sick and suffering souls throughout the world. Doctor King might not cure the cause of your pains, but his blues music sure acts like a sedative, hushing the hurt long enough to allow a distressed soul to rest and regain its strength again.

The great Doctor has left the building, gone away for good. 
And now that he's free and gone, all we can do is wish him well.

B.B. King painting by artist Merryl Jaye

Friday, May 08, 2015

Welcome To Rugby (or Ruggedby)

I predict that this sport just might someday overtake American football as the number one sport in this country.  In the game above it was the All Blacks of New Zealand overtaking the American national rugby team in what would become a blowout. 

As a youngster I played a style of this game in the form of a freestyle grudge match (scrum), where whoever had the cajones to grab the ball off the ground and run was fair game for a mob of tacklers out to take his head off and strip the ball away. I always thought of it as a passage to manhood. No fear.

I loved that game.

Rugby football is a style of football that developed at Rugby School and was one of many versions of football played at English public schools during the 19th century.[1] The two main types of rugby are rugby league and rugby union. Although these two forms share the same objective of getting the ball over the line to score atry, the specific rules are different.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Celebrating MVP Curry

Last night I attended a night baseball game at AT&T park.  It was the 2015 version San Francisco Giants with World Series MVP Madison Bumgardner on the mound. MadBum was his 'fire-on-the-mountain' self, pitching a no-hitter into the 7th inning.  The Giants would go on to beat the San Diego Padres 2-0.

Leaving the park and feeling triumphant I spied out of the corner of my eye a T-shirt vendor yelling "Get Your MVP Merchandise." Figured I owed it to Bum, after pitching so MVP like, to purchase something with his name and/or picture on it.  

Then as I got closer to the vendor I saw yellow, heard the name Curry and before I could ask how much I was ordering a size Extra-Large.  The day mind you, had been full of the great bay area sports news that Warriors point guard Stephen Curry had won the NBA league MVP. 

Everyone, myself included, had heard the Warriors star make an impeccably touching MVP acceptance speech earlier in the day. So a big, bright-yellow Curry MVP T-shirt, fresh off the printing press was in order. I was all smiles with plans to wear it tonight while watching the Warriors vs Memphis game.

After walking about a block with the T-shirt over my shoulder I couldn't contain myself and had to take another peek at my MVP treasure find. It was then, under the brighter street lights, that I'd discovered a slight flaw in my MVP purchase.  The color was vibrant, the lettering and spelling flawless, but one of the two images printed on the front did not look like Curry at all.  Out of my mouth came a high pitched cry "Iguodala!" referring to Curry teammate Andre Iguodala.  

Actually the image in the #30 Warriors jersey looked like a cross between Igoudala and former Warriors guard Monte Ellis.  Maybe its the darker complexion and/or the facial expression. Maybe the goatee. Whatever the cause of the picture distortion, I was dumbfounded and felt cheated.  But the day was still a triumphant day.  So just as quickly my mood went from anger and disappointment to laughter and complete "Shit Happens" mode.

I will wear the T-shirt throughout the rest of the playoffs and hopefully will laugh all the way to a Warriors championship victory with MVP Curry leading the way.  If you've read all the way through this little sports encounter of mine then the least I can do is reward you with a peek at the T-shirt.

So go ahead my friend.  Look, Analyze and then Laugh at my little MVP treasure until your heart's content.  Go ahead, I can take it.  They can fool me once.  But you can believe when I hear a vendor yelling "Get your Champions T-shirt" next month, I'll be scrutinizing every inch of it.  And should I spy anything unusual or out of place, like Manute Bol in the team photo, someone's gonna get hurt.  

Congratulations Steph!

Fight of the $century

But Floyd, all over social media they're saying Manny Pacquaio chased you around the ring.  They're saying you ran away from a dogfight. Say it ain't so Money; Just say it ain't so!

Mayweather Fan Who Didn't See the Chase of the Century

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Raiders Draft A Gem

First Round Draft Pick (#4)

For an on-field scouting report, we have this tidbit from Rob Rang and Dane Brugler:

“Excellent quickness and balance to get a clean release against press coverage and to make defenders miss in space. Accelerates in a flash, generating the burst to gain separation from top cornerbacks. Makes the spectacular reception look easy with terrific hand-eye coordination and awareness to high-point passes. Competitive blocker."

Wow! Everyone Says He's Smooth.

A Big Play Baller and We Got'em.  
Time to start puttin' it down Raiders.

Welcome to the Silver & Black Smoothy!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Not Just Another Sports-Filled Weekend

All over the internet you'll find this weekend's buffet of sporting events being called one of the greatest ever.  I beg to differ on that. But I would say its one of the biggest sports betting weekend's in a long time. Las Vegas will have dollars falling from the skies by the time this sports betting weekend is over.

The usual events this time of year have arrived.  You get Kentucky Derby Horses on the run; The NFL Draft with folks holding their breath before each and every pick; Pro Hockey and Basketball should be entering round two of their respective playoffs, And then there's what I call the main dish on the menu, or what could be billed as The Main Event: Boxing, with Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.  

Without this long awaited match, the weekend sports lineup would be just another good show.  

Manny and Floyd are what make this weekend a great one.  Nobody I've asked is 100% sure who will come out victorious.  Though the price for tv viewing admission is $99.00, every sports fan I know is finding a way to watch it.
Ferris: Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

I overheard some radio talk hosts boycotting the fight because they can't find it in themselves to support the controversial Floyd Mayweather.  Their idea of having to explain the morality of Mayweather's celebrity status to their young kids, if their kids were old enough to understand, was just too much for these sports gurus to swallow.  I had a hard time listening to these guys. I was left wondering if sports figures have become so representative of all we fans stand for, that guys are willing to skip major sporting events to avoid being labeled a this or that.  Maybe it'll make some feel better about themselves by being able to say I did not support the so-and-so fight.  Come'on Man! It's a fight between boxers, not a religious leader conference.

If I judge every sporting event by past actions of the athletes, owners and/or league decisions, I might as well give up sports altogether and take up something like classical ballet or cooking competitions.  As radio host Damon Bruce always says at the end of each broadcast, "sports don't build character, they reveal it."

Folks, if you love sports as much as I, don't let your conscience get in the way of enjoying a once in a lifetime sporting event.  You can hate yourself later, that's what therapists are for, but please, don't pass up the opportunity to have witnessed a Manny vs Floyd type event, live.  

We sports lovers spend much down-time waiting for that matchup that defines why we love watching sports so much.  This weekend's sports lineup, climaxing with Manny & Floyd, is one of those defining moments. They don't come around as often as we'd like, but when they do we somehow make time for them. 

I don't know any of the horse's names that'll be running in the Kentucky Derby. I might catch a game or two of the NBA playoffs and highlights of NHL hockey. NFL draft day won't excite me beyond the Oakland Raiders #4 pick.  R-A-I-D-E-R-S

But come Saturday evening, when Michael Buffer stands in the middle of the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas and recites his infamous boxing slogan......'let's get ready to rumble'......I will be watching with maniacal anticipation; eyes wide, fists clenched, blood pressure pumping through the roof as Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather face off for what is undoubtedly the fight of this century.
Michael Buffer poster courtesy of painter Stephen Holland, Liss Gallery

How big is this fight?  It's so big that there's already a Wikepedia page about it.