Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Death Race 2006

Call me a sick puppy for this one. Front page headline in SF reads "Driver's Rampage." Its worth the read, trust me. If you were around in 1975 you may remember the movie "Death Race 2000," where hit and run driving is no longer a felony, it's Thee National Sport.

Here's the plot:
In 2000 America has been rebuilt by one man, the President has become an emperor. With this power he created the Race. Every year violent role-playing psychopaths are placed behind the wheels of high performance killing machines and sent across the country. Their goal? Finish alive with the most points from running down as many pedestrians as possible and it's all perfectly legal. See a line of doctors and nurses on the sidewalk? Thump, thump, thump: 110 points.

points are scored for every person killed, with different point values depending on the age, gender and importance of the person killed. According to the movie, the point system appears to be as follows:

* Male adult: 20
* Male teenager: 40
* Male infant/toddler: 70
* Female (any age): +10 point bonus
* Senior citizen (regardless of gender): 100

Back to the future in San Francisco, a seemingly normal young man got behind the wheel of an SUV and began a driving rampage that would leave one dead and fourteen injured. He started by collecting his one casualty in Fremont then must of figured the pickings were better in the big city. In San Francisco, with all the jaywalking homeless, outdoor cafe sitters and window shopping tourist available, our deranged driver suffered ecstasy overload and blew a fuse. He began his game of picking off people with his SUV and didn't stop until police rammed his car and pulled him out unfazed by the carnage he'd caused.

If points were being given for victims he wouldn't have scored in the top ten of a death race. But from the looks of it he was driving for bonus points when he hit an FBI agent out on a lunchtime stroll. It was said that there were many near misses of pedistrians, maybe our driver needs an eye exam.

In one case he hit two persons, then when the ambulance arrived and medics were attending to the injured, he returned to finish the job. Like a predator taunting his prey. Witnesses, and there's always witnesses after the crime, say when he rode past the second time he looked them in the eye with a hateful stare. He was probably mad that they'd taken points away from him by helping the injured.

One witness describes what he saw:

"I was in my car coming south on Filmore and the light turned green. Two seconds after my car was in the intersection I saw the SUV coming 35 or 40 mph and hit the main in the crosswalk. His body was thrown 25 feet. His body stuck to the grille of the car and was tossed off as the car turned right. If the guy had not turned right I believe this guy would have been run over completely."

Now, with the driver in custody, I wonder if pedestrians in San Francsico will pay more attention when crossing the streets? Mind you our death race driver scored points by driving on sidewalks as well. Suprisingly, he didn't score points by hitting any bicyclists although he did demolish a parked bicycle on the sidewalk. Boy, I bet he'll be pissed when he learns "Critical Mass" was just last Friday.

For the full story of this deathrace fiasco go to San Francisco Chronicle's "Driver's Rampage-Chaso In The Streets."

I seriously see a Hollywood Production coming out of this horror. Where is David Carradine these days?

Welcome Home 2006 Little League World Champions

Ryan Lane, left and Cody Walker look at the front page of the Atlanta Journal Constitution featuring the headline "World Champs" and a picture of them taken Monday moments after their team won the Little League World Series title, as they arrive at Hartsfield-Jackson International on their way home to Columbus, Ga., Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2006, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Imagine watching your kid on television hit the game winning home run in the little league world championship being played in Japan? You have to wait for his return to hug him and tell him how proud you are of him. Imagine the emotions taking over you as he steps off the plane with the rest of his championship team?

Well, that did happen to a lucky parent the other day and I'm sure she and her son are still on a high.

For those who missed it, Cody Walker slugged his team to victory with a two run homer off Japan pitcher Go Matsumoto. Cody may be the game MVP with that one swing of the bat, but the entire Columbus,Ga. team deserves the credit for a Championship Season fulfilled.

As a matter of fact, I'm sure all the proud parents of the Columbus,Ga. Little League Team are flying high as their kids settle in back at home as Little League World Champions.

Congratulations Kids, Well Done!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Raider Nation Celebration Day

I won't let the news of QB Jeff George being signed ruin my post celebration day today. the Raider Nation came out in full force to meet, greet and be treated to a fun-filled Raider Nation Celebration at McAfee Coliseum yesterday afternoon. Though there wasn't as much used team merchandise on sale as last year, many fans left with the looks of having participated in a shopping spree.

This being the second annual Raider Nation Celebration held at the Coliseum, the Raiders Organization knows how to make us fans feel an important part of the family. I only wish the national media could have been there to see the pride and passion of true Raiders fans minus the alcohol and tailgating fool who always seems to get tv coverage with his unsportsmanlike outbursts.

The Raider Nation Celebration is a day of true sharing and caring. Its what we as Raiders fans look forward to as much as seeing our team win. Its a day of sharing the pride of being home with the Silver & Black family both on the field and in the stands.

Many priceless moments, believe me. Watching a seven year old girl with eyeblack on and wearing a #18 Moss Jersey begging her mom for a new Warren Sapp #99 jersey in Black? Priceless!

A Blind thirteen year old with his walking stick and dark glasses walking unguided away from the front row of section 117 with an autographed football held tightly under his arm, his father trailing behind with a smile bright enough to clear their path? Priceless!

Randy Moss playing catch with fans in the stands opposite the main celebration area? And the fans continued throwing the ball back instead of keeping it? Priceless!

Seeing Raider Legend and Hall of Famer Jim Otto "JOG" from the tunnel when introduced wearing a big John Wayne smile and looking good in a black suit? Priceless.

Hearing the fans cheer just as loud for Run Run Jones, the leagues oldest and longest tenured equipment coordinator, as for Randy Moss during introductions?

And finally, seeing and hearing John Madden's introduction into the Hall of Fame as it played on the jumbotrons throughout the day, Priceless!

John Madden said it best during his introduction speech. "Stand and remain standing, this is our day of recognition, enjoy it."

Well John, if ever the Raider Nation Fans felt recognized and respected as part of the Raiders Organization, yesterday was that day for us.

Thank You Oakland Raiders Organization for giving us our day of Celebration once again.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

How To Reply To A Chain Prayer Email

I received a chain prayer email that suggested I forward it to 8 persons in order to receive a miracle from God tomorrow. Now I'm not the most religious guy on the net but I do know the difference between God's words and those of an IT addict with fundamentalist religious beliefs and a Jimmy Swaggert collection plate offering.

So I replied with the following humble yet questioning message to all thirty or so blessed souls who'd been sent this email of holy promise. Feel free to use it the next time you receive such a email blessing.

I truly appreciate these chain emails of shared blessings and prayers. What I fail to understand is the misunderstanding or superstitious belief of passing emails on to 8 people in order to receive a miracle from God.

Those of us who put God first in our lives count the numerous miracles God has granted us every moment of the day:

A respectful child
A proud parent
A wise grandparent
A loving brother or sister
A soulful church member
A humble stranger
A understanding friend
A helpful co-worker
A soothing pet
A new day
A meal
A home
A breath

If you havent looked upon one of the above as a miracle from God, then perhaps passing this email on to 8 persons will enlighten you to the miracles in your life tomorrow. But remember, God's been performing miracles way before he granted us email. Its our awareness that is sometimes lacking or distracted.

God Bless All of You!

note: We often take God's gifts for granted. Its when we find ourselves deprived of those basic needs in life that we become aware of God's blessings upon us.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Raiders Slay Lions 21-3

Simply Beautiful!
Moss 63 yard TD Catch

TD Randy Moss, 63 Yd pass from Aaron Brooks (Sebastian Janikowski kick is good), 14:00. Drive: 3 plays, 64 yards in 1:00.
TD Randy Moss, 25 Yd pass from Aaron Brooks (Sebastian Janikowski kick is good), 13:39. Drive: 9 plays, 59 yards in 4:29.
TD LaMont Jordan, 14 Yd run (Sebastian Janikowski kick is good), 8:51. Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards in 3:15.
FG Jason Hanson 38 Yd, 2:07. Drive: 8 plays, 62 yards in 4:03.

Friday night at the Coliseum was party time for the Raider Nation. With the team jelling and taking care of business on the field the fans were rollicking in the stands with preseason giddiness. Why? Because Our Oakland Raiders have heeded to the teachings of coach Art Shell. They've returned to their winning ways and are doing it in ol'skool Raiders style.

Offensive line play was brilliant. QB Aaron Brooks looks comfortable and is clicking with Randy Moss. Running game setup a clicking passing game. Defense shutdown pass and run. Special teams is giving opponents irregular cardiac palpatations while with the ball and causing cardiac arrest with their relentless pursuit of the ball. Penalties weren't much of a factor and no known injuries. A very productive night and quality victory for the Raiders.

Just to throw out some players who made outstanding plays tonight:

LB KirkMorrison, KR Chris Carr, RB Lamont Jordan, DE Derrick Burgess, DT Terdell Sands, C Corey Hulsey, T Langston Walker, TE Randall Williams, DB Tyrone Poole, SS Derrick Gibson, CB Stanford Routt, P Shane Lechler, RB Justin Fargas

The Oakland Raiders have been revitalized with strength, leadership and speed. Look out NFL, We're Back and Nastier Than Ever.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Raiders Center Jake Grove Shoulder Injury

Oakland Raiders starting center Jake Grove injured his shoulder in practice Tuesday and will miss this Friday's exhibition game against the Seattle Seahawks. A huge blow to an offensive line that allowed no sacks and great protection in the win over the 49ers.

This news comes a day after charges for assaulting a police officer were dropped against former Raiders center Barrett Robbins, an integral part on the team's 2002 road to the superbowl. Barrett unfortunately suffers from Bi-polar and we wish him well on his road to recovery.

In the meantime, little experienced OG, Corey Hulsey, will takeover center duties and coach Art Shell feels confident that Hulsey can get the job done.

Grove is scheduled for a second MRI on his left shoulder and I suppose he could be back soon, but from the sound of it the news ain't good. I like the fact that coach Shell is taking this bitter pill of news and using it as way to show confidence in backup position players with less experience. The message to backup players is "Be Prepared to Play."

Tainted Body Parts?

Somebody tell me just what the hell is going on in the medical field. We're paying high prices for what is supposed to be the best medical insurance money can buy and now this? And this isn't the first time either.

Oh, for those who didn't know let me bring you up to speed. Human Cadaver tissue is used regularly in routine operations these days. If you've had any knee or back surgery lately, chances are someone's uncle vinny from Hoboken,New Jersey, who died recently, played a small part in your surgical plan.

Wait a minute! Maybe I'm not the one to give you this news. I only came across it by chance myself. Here's a link to the story I found at of all places, Healthwatch:

"Body Parts Harvested in N.C. Recalled"

For us horror movie fans who pride ourselves on being able to sit through some of the most gory scenes and heartpumping suspense, real life stories like this are making Hollywood scare movies boring and unreal. Let's face it, we've reached a point where the real events happening in the world are scarier than fiction.

Monday, August 21, 2006

An American Tragedy

I watched the first part of a two part documentary called "When the Levees Broke", showing events that occurred before during and after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. HBO, along with Spike Lee has documented a tragic event in current American history that makes you take notice.

I watched hypnotized as I did almost a year ago when seeing CNN news reports on the effects of Hurricane Katrina in the gulf coast. I also wondered as before why? Why wasn't there help sent sooner?

After watching part one of "When the Levees Broke" I'm still wondering just what the hell has happened to America that a tragedy like this could occur in a modern city of ours?

The documentary isn't so much a finger pointing blame game, but a documenting reflection on what happens when tragedy strikes, help doesn't come and hope is fading fast. Individuals step up and help where American politics and whatever else prevents federal emergency assistance from immediate deployment.

One smack in the face to America was when Venzuela and other small countries offered assistance while FEMA promised but delivered very late. New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin talked about having the Canadiaan Mounties show up offering assistance before the American military showed up.

But again, it's not a documentary that judges or blames but one that puts you there with the people who lived it and watched loved ones die from it.

The filming and the music which accompanied it are a sort of homage to the courage of the survivors much like the many 9/11 documentaries except for the human aftermath. In 9/11 we related to the tragedy visually through the deadly impact of airplanes and the structural demolition of two buildings, no bodies and few survivors. In the Hurricane Katrina tragedy we saw the hurricane, saw the dead and watched in horror the hopeless aftermath where thousands of suffering survivors were stranded with little help. A Natural Disaster may have started this tragedy, but its obvious from the documentary that the breakdown in human response attributed to the disaster.

If I were a political science professor I'd assign the viewing of this documentary to all students. Be a student and watch this HBO show. Its smart to educate yourself about the country you thought you knew and the heroic potential of people like those you may know.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Witnessing Tiger

Tiger Woods won another PGA Tournament (the 88th annual PGA tournament) and we sports fans are fortunate to be alive to witness the coming of such a player.

I myself did not watch Tiger's latest championship tour but as you know, the media is hyping Tiger as the coming messiah of sports. They say there's never been one like him and most likely another won't come for some time. Sounds kind of christ-like to me.

I give Tiger credit for his hard work and dedication to the game of golf. Whether or not golfers are true athletes or deserve comparison to spiritual teachers is a debate I'll resurrect on another day. For now, Tiger Woods is yet again dominating his sport and the fans fully embrace him with their hearts and souls.

Here's a link to an interesting article by espn columnist Gene Wojciechowski: Woods is greatest individual athlete ever

The Battle That Wasn't

We came to the Oakland Coliseum expecting a Bay Area Football Battle. We left after witnessing two Oakland Raiders merciful kneeldowns to end the game in convincing victory.

The Raiders dominated the 49ers in all phases of a 23-7 win. Quarterback Aaron Brooks looked much better in his leadership performance today. He threw to his tight ends and running backs finally and he scrambled more. Quarterback Andrew Walter looked sharper as well. Watching the youngster play makes you want to just fast forward the deveolpment clock and see what he'll accomplish with experience.

Pass protection was improved, however I'm not sold on Lamont Jordan. To me he seems to dance to often when running, which is fine if you can shake defenders, but Lamont tends to get baked more than he shakes. He seems to always run toward defenders instead of around or away from them. He looks like a power runner trying to be a finesse runner. On the other hand I was very very impressed with the second string runners. RB Justin Fargas looked healthy and ran well, but the one that really impressed me was #42 ReShard Lee. Lee ran just the opposite of how Jordan ran. Lee followed his blockers, always moving forward, showed power, speed and finesse and looked like a tackler away from breaking a run wide open. The Raiders would be foolish not to give this newcomer a shot at running with the starting lineup. He might be the one to take over Zack Crockett's position. Sorry Zack, but I'd like seeing Lee and Jordan in the backfield with you relieving one or the other.

Wide Receiver Alvis Whitted and Doug Gabriel were active and looked good. Again, tight ends were effective. Randy Moss and Aaron Brooks haven't quite jelled yet but are getting closer. I saw Jerry Porter sneak onto the field, run a sprint route downfield to runoff his defender, then return back to the sideline. If he did more in the game I was not aware.

The Raider Defense is still playing better than last season. However, they didn't pressure the quarterback as much as I'd like to have seen. Rookie cornerback Michael Huff showed his first round pick skillz with an interception and return that should have gone for a touchdown but for his cleats getting tangled in the arms of a 49er quarterback. Huff will learn how to let his blockers annihilate an opposing quarterback's attempt at tackling during an interception return. Huff will have more chances this season I'm sure.

And so the Oakland Raiders are 3-0 in this 2006 preseason so far. Nothing to get all excited about, but the fact that the team is tasting what victory feels like is "soup for the soul" as they say.

If you missed it, there was a nostalgic video short that spliced in the old Autumn Wind highlight with current players quoting parts of the poem throughout. Good Job Raiders Marketing or whoever's responsible. Mixing the old with the new seems to be this season's theme. Just Win Baby....Now!

Oakland Raiders,

Friday, August 18, 2006

Battle of the Bay I

This Sunday will be the first of two meeting between Northern California's two NFL teams. This first battle counts for bragging rights up until the second battle which is scheduled for October 8, 2006, and counts as a regular season game.

I'll be there at the Coliseum cheering the Raiders on to victory. Looking forward to this, the first of two exhibition games at home. Who knows, maybe even Jerry Porter will play.

Not In Our House whiners!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Craigslist Collectibles

A visit to Craigslist revealed that I'm not old, I'm "Collectible." In craiglist's collectibles section I found a few items from my childhood listed along with some very interesting do dads. Actually not a bad place to search for sports collectibles. Only on the interent.

Mahogany round marble table----Nice - $170 (sunnyvale) pic

Capcom Rival Schools Arcade Game - $350 (hercules, pinole, san pablo, el sob) pic

American Girl (willow glen, cambrian)


Soul Caliber 2 Arcade Game - $500 (hercules, pinole, san pablo, el sob) pic

Capcom 1944 arcade game - $350 (hercules, pinole, san pablo, el sob) pic

Vintage table -------- Solid wood ---->> >Nice - $61 (sunnyvale) pic

Ohio State vs Notre Dame Fiesta Bowl Programs - $30 (vallejo / benicia / fairfield) pic





Museum piece, gold frame - $30 (berkeley) pic

LITE NEON - like new and many beer mirrors - $60 (san rafael) pic



Doctor Who pinball - $1100 (santa clara) pic

New Guinea Art - $2050 (concord / pleasant hill / martinez) pic

Late 1800's Domestic Sewing Machine - $125 (petaluma)

Original 1942 Coca Cola Tray - 2 Girls with a Car - $125 (petaluma)

Official Barry Bonds Bobblehead - $6 (oakland piedmont / montclair) pic

Vietnamese Laquer Wall Hanging - $125 (brentwood / oakley) pic

7,500 D/C&D/C VERTIGO COMICS! a 100! to a 150! titles! maybe more? (berkeley west) pic

antique large hanging french olive oil container." - $100 pic

Hooka pipe - $60 (santa cruz)


Thomas Kinkade~Golden Gate Bridge~S/N Canvas - $2300 (dublin / pleasanton / livermore) pic

Tonka fire truck transformer - $20 pic

Old Stationary - $30 (Sacramento, CA) pic

Sentry Fire Safe - $200 (san jose)

Unpublished Manuscript (san jose)

Lafayette Legacy Collection, Limoges ,France Plate 1 - $20 (san jose south) pic

Princess House Crystal, Avon (corte madera)

BEANIE BABIES (san leandro)

Clouds-Pottery from Folsom CA - $75 (Sacramento, CA) pic

victor - $1150 (hayward / castro valley) pic

light - $500 (hayward / castro valley) pic

record player - $400 (hayward / castro valley) pic

Beveled glass mirror---solid wood---Nice - $99 (sunnyvale) pic

Poo Bear Collectables (lower nob hill) pic

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Offensiveless Raiders defeat Vikings 16-13

Alright coach Shell, maybe its time to open that can of whuppazz you got stored away.

Asked if the Raiders are improving on offense, Randy Moss said, "I don't see it, Hell no, I don't see it."

Well you're not alone Randy, our offense looks lost and completely out of touch with any form of gameplan. While the defense and special teams are playing football, the offense is playing poker. They appear to be betting on big plays and bluffing their way toward running the ball.

Though they've won two exhibition games in like fashion, there's nothing for us fans to cheer about and plenty that concerns us. The Minnesota Vikings starting defense pressured Aaron Brooks and the entire offensive unit into an early submission, that is not Raiders Football. That familiar penalty flag made its seasonal debut for the Raiders showing that the more things change the more they remain the same.

But Hell, I ain't ready to throw out the new coach yet. Come on Raiders, get on the same page and make it work. I do not want to sit in the Coliseum this coming weekend and see our opponent (red & gold) claim Bay Area bragging rights for a day.

Don't make coach Shell have to open his can of whuppazz. You don't want him getting ugly.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Guess Who's Coming To Monday Night Football?

Along with the Oakland Raiders openning this season's Monday Night Football show comes a new guest. Tony Kornheiser, from the ESPN show "Pardon The Interruption," will be in the booth as the network takes over MNF broadcasting duties.

Kornheiser, the white guy, is the sportstalk guy I love to hate. Not that I like the other host, Michael Wilbon the black guy, any better, but he's a bit more tolerable. There's just something about Kornheiser that rubs my hide the wrong way. He's like the skinnier partner in siskel & ebert, God rest his soul. He plays devil's advocate and you'd swear he were actually the devil incarnate. He's obnoxuous, irratating and as arrogant as Lucifer himself.

For a scream-match show like "Pardon The Interruption" he probably fits the bill perfectly, but I'm concerned that his ranting and raving style will not go over so well in the broadcast booth. Football fans watching football games on tv want more of a style like what other host, Mike Tarico described:

"If I'm doing my job, I'll be like an offensive lineman or an official," Tirico said. "You'll know I'm there, but you won't really notice me."

If Kornheiser is unable to adjust his style to MNF, we fans may find ourselves petitioning ESPN to initiate the backup plan. There must be a redundancy plan I'm sure. Especially because Joe Theisman rounds out the group as the third host. So fans be ready, if you find yourselves missing the MNF voices of John Madden and Al Michaels in the booth, let ESPN know about it. Remember, this is ESPN's exhibition season also. And if it doesn't work during exhibition they need to be told so they can switch gears before the regular season. Remember Dennis Miller's failed attempt at MNF.

But for tonight I may not notice the booth so much because I'll be tuned in and ready for some Oakland Raiders football as they take on the Minnesota Vikings in this the first ESPN broadcast of MNF.

Are You Ready For Some Football Tony? You'd better be or else!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

So Long To A Worthy Opponent

There aren't many players from rival teams that us Raider fans praise. It's hard enough just saying broncos, chiefs and chargers in a sentence for us. But we recognize and respect any player who plays with the heart and determination to win at any cost.

Junior Seau was such a player. In playing 13 seasons for rival San Diego Chargers he's earned every bit of respect from the Oakland Raiders players and fans alike. A 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker, he's the type of player that makes others playing with him better. A natural leader and stubborn opponent is how I'd define Junior Seau.

When San Diego came to town we Raider fans knew that our running game would need to play with a bit more energy and toughness because Seau was on the other side of the ball. To us, San Diego and Seau were synonomous. Mention the town and the player immediately came to mind. Even during pre-game tailgates before a Chargers game in Oakland, San Diego fans wearing Seau Jersey #55 were treated decently.

I've said it before and as I watch Junior Seau announce his retirment tomorrow I'll say it again. "Junior, you should have been a Raider." If we'd had Seau during our three year playoff run things would have turned out differently I'm sure.

- Baltimore Ravens TE Shannon Sharp would've never broken free for a 96 yard touchdown run in the 2000 AFC Championship.

- New England Patriots QB Tom Brady would've been pressured and sacked following the tuck-ruled fumble in the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoffs. Heck, Junior would've gotten to him before CWood.

- Tampa Bay QB Brad Johnson would've been pressured into making the mistakes we know he's capable of in the 2002 Superbowl. Isn't he back to being a backup QB?

Maybe I'm just using the visions of Seau as a Raider to deal with my own Raiders nightmares. But if we could do it all again and were given a choice of one player to add to our roster, who better than Junior Seau in his prime.

Helmets Off to Junior Seau, a worthy opponent of the Oakland Raiders.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Show Me The Money: Maybe Poker is a Sport

I was wrong. Poker is a sport. That is if you based it on championship winnings.

Jamie Gold, a talkative former Hollywood talent agent, won $12 million dollars at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. And he gets to keep all of it to himself. No splitting it with coaches, sponsors, owners, agents, or investors. Now that's a true Champion.

Jamie won the $12 Million (boy I like how that sounds) in a 12-day marathon of no-limit Texas Hold'em that began with 8,773 players. They say by eleminating seven of the final eight players single-handedly that Jamie re-wrote Championship Poker history. I don't know much about Poker except that there's plenty of bluffing going on. I guess that makes Jamie one helluva bluffer and now a rich one.

Actually Poker is not a sport but a game or contest. Some may even refer to it as an addiction. But I bet if a top athlete was as good as Jamie at playing Poker he'd rather play in the High stakes World Series of Poker than risk bodily injury in a major contact sport. Hell, if Jamie wants he can buy in on a major sports franchise rather than play for one.

I only hope our Poker Champion doesn't turn out to be a flash in the pan with an addiction that leaves him penniless and just another Vegas story. After all, Poker is for gamblers and what else would a gambler with $12 million dollars do but stare at it for awhile then think of ways to win more. In other words gamblers gamble, and with winnings like this you can bet the champ will want to gamble with some of it. In the infamous words of Charles Barkley, "I don't have a gambling problem, as long as I have the money to do it there's no problem". Thanks Charles, spoken like a truely addictive gambler.

You gotta like Jamie though. Who do you think was the first person he called once he'd won the championship? His Dad who suffers from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Jamie my boy, addictive gambler or not, you are a Champion in my book. Congratulations!

Friday, August 11, 2006

"Not Everyone Was Meant to Fly"

This ad for Amtrak train travel caught my attention a few years ago. Yesterday as I watched breaking news reports about a foiled terrorist plot to blow up 10 jetliners traveling from Britain to the United States, I recalled that Amtrak ad with comfort.

You see, I am one of those persons who just "weren't meant to fly." Former Raiders Coach, now Hall of Famer, John Madden is one also. I've battled the fear for years and just when I overcame the flying part, terrorism struck the airline industry on 9/11/01. After five years of minimal flying I'm comfortable with taking to the air again, or at least I was until this mornings breaking news.

Today, instead of worrying about falling from the skies due to some mechnanical malfunction I have to sweat over the thought of explosive liquid ingredients brought onboard by disgruntled persons. Mind you these ingredients can be purchased by pretty much anyone, anywhere.

So now, with my flight fears jolted back to life full force like Frankenstein's monster, I'm forced to reconsider my labor day travel plans. I waited on hold with Amtrak long enough to realize that I am not alone with my reawakened fears of flying.

Last I traveled on Amtrak the service had fallen off due to fiscal cuts, delays were longer and the Amtrak employees seemed as disgruntled as any would be terrorist. But I rode the rails comfortably knowing that should any unexpected emergency arise, I could just get off the train, period. My thinking has always been that if a mechanical malfunction or explosion were to occur on a train, chances of survival would be much higher than in an airplane, regardless of statistics that show how safe air travel is "supposed" to be. My MacGyver instincts work much better on land than in the air or on the high seas.

Many people may find today's discovered terrorist plot just another inconvenience to their flight plan, God bless you brave adventurous souls. But for me, and I'm sure the many like me, its a sign that maybe I "Just Wasn't Meant to Fly."

As the Amtrak reservations agent takes my call I'm relieved to hear there's still available seating for my date of travel and destination. And should I get the urge to travel outside the country I'll visit a hypnotist first in hopes of being convinced that I really am MacGyver with nothing to fear.

I urge those like me to write their congressional representatives to support federal funding for upgrading the rail system here in the United States.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Battle on the Gridiron is Nothing Like War

I will never again compare football to war. The metaphor of comparing a sport to war just shows the civilian ignorance of what war entails. The saying really is an injustice to any soldier who's seen action during wartime. Here's a quote from a Lieutenant Yaron Nili who was about 30 yards away when a rocket hit in Israel killing 12 and wounding six Sunday:

"We heard a low whistle, then a blast and then a shock wave, and you felt the air moving past your face, it was hell."

That one quote put football and sports in their true perspectives for me. Football is a controlled and competitive game between young hired athletes. War is an uncontrollable hell of mostly involuntary young men. The bottom line is that Athletes get hurt during competition, soldiers die during battle.

World War II vets who played professional football knew this truth (Art Donovan said it in an NFL interview years ago) and its time I stop letting my emotions about football impede my reality of life.

I only wish that countries could settle their differences by playing football instead of engaging in war.

Raiders win Hall of Fame Game 16-10

As expected with their first exhibition game of the season, the Oakland Raiders came out with a vanilla offense and I was not impressed with what I saw early. They have the potential but need more time together. On the Philadelphia Eagles first offensive drive our defense didn't seem to know how to stop a thing. After that first drive, and with Donovan McNabb not on the field, our defense came together and made plays.

Special teams brushed off the rust and Sea Bass was probably our player of the game with three field goals, one from 51 yards out.

All in all a rusty game for the Oakland Raiders players and possibly coaches. We'll take the win, but there's work to be done. Definitely!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Finally, Coach John Madden is Officially a Hall of Famer

Coach Madden asks if he's actually been enshrined in the professional football hall of fame, the committee tells him "yes you have, now get your big butt outta here!" he does!

Me growing up on the east coast and not as a Raiders fan will always link Coach John Madden to the late great radio announcer Bill King's infamous Holy Roller call.

excerpt from Bill King's broadcast:
Stabler, while being hit, the ball squirted forward.(Raiders coach John) Madden is on the field; he wants to know if it's real. They said yes, get your big butt out of here! He does!

Though John Madden has become an icon of sports commentating and most fans under thirty know him more for his video football games than his coaching, I will always remember the round bodied, ruffled shirted, polyester panted coach with sideburns who looked as if he were having a conniption fit on the sidelines all the time. And that's what made Bill King's call on the "Holy Roller" play so classic.

For more on the Enshrinement of John Madden into the football hall of fame, here's a link (Coach Madden Enshrined)to a good write-up or you can visit

Congratulations Coach John Madden on being enshrined into the NFL Hall Of Fame.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Captivating Movie

I watched a simply made movie that had me (the horror movie buff who laughs at chucky and thinks Freddy's overrated) holding my breath in anticipation of the next scene.

The movie wasn't really a horror movie nor was it really an action or suspense movie either. I suppose you could call it a docu-drama based on actual events. Then again maybe it was all these and more. A movie that didn't need to narrarate the story but instead took you along for the ride as the event unfolds.

What was it about the movie that makes me write it up as a must see you say? It did the exact thing that a great movie classic is supposed to do, it drew you into its story and held you by the neck right up through the final movie credits. When the spell is broken you feel you were there.

That is what movies were meant to be, captivating.

I strongly recommend this movie as a must see for those of us who want more than the same old hollywood stuff. Watch it as a date movie or alone, and preferrably at night in a dark room. You'll want to tell friends about it, trust me.

Why Join

To Meet Other Raiders Fans. You Feel Me?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

And on the seventh day he spoke

Oakland Raiders Football owner, Al Davis, spoke on tuesday of John Madden, Art Shell, A new commisioner, disgruntled Jerry Porter and the past and future greatness of the Raiders. Big Al looked good and let everyone know that he's healthy and still wants to win.

read: Al Davis, 77, says he's in good health

When Al speaks, people have no choice but to listen. Al is a no nonsense leader who has nothing to prove to anyone in sports. He's pretty much been there and done that, but at 77 years old Al feels strong and ready to do some of the good things again, like winning a superbowl.

I've said it all before, Al and his love for the Oakland Raiders is unparalleled in sports ownership history. He loves the Raiders more than any of us fans could ever know. Sure we bleed silver and black, we don the colors and our emotions rollercoaster with every tough season. But Al, he bares full responsibility for the players, coaches and every aspect of the Raiders Organization including, as of this season, marketing tickets.

So whenever we Raider fans begin to feel frustrated, insecure or just plain tired of putting our trust in an inconsistent team of late, remember that there's a fan at the head of our team who's rode the highs and lows for 42 seasons. And who at this moment is as excited as a kid at the amusement park as he gets in line for this his 43rd season.

I ask you this, how many seasons have you been lining up to ride the Raiders fan wagon? That's what I thought.

It's okay, you're never to young or old to ride with the Raider Nation. Just jump in line with the rest of us and get ready for a fun and wild season as Al leads us to the Promised Land, again.

Rize Raider Nation, Rize!

Hear Al speak on Multimedia