Thursday, July 31, 2008

Horrific News Quote of the Day!

"They returned to the back of the bus to find that the person who was stabbing the person in the neck had now sawed off the head of (the victim)."
(CTV correspondent Murray Oliver in Winnipeg)

Please, someone pinch me and tell me the year is 2008A.D. and armed Barbarians are not gathering at the gates of civilization.

And I was just asking myself who in their right mind still travels Greyhound bus? Answer: Alfredo Garcia

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Newly Signed Linebacker Ed Hartwell

Just by his commitment to the Raiders alone, I'll say he's a keeper. Ed Hartwell comes to the Raiders after two seasons in Atlanta. Drafted in 2001 by the Baltimore Ravens, he had five years to learn from MLB Ray Lewis, one of today's best.

I don't know much else about Ed, but this following quote by him is what forced me to post him on my blog today. Any player, fan or casual observer of football who says the things Ed says about the Oakland Raiders is welcome on any blog of mine.

In Ed Hartwell's own words; "Becoming an Oakland Raider means more to me than just getting back on the field. It's a chance to play for the best franchise in football history. It has the best fans that any sport has to offer, a great cast of talented players & coaches, a legend as an owner, one of the best (attack style) defensive coordinators in the league in Rex Ryan, and most of all I get to be reunited with the best coach I have EVER played for Coach Don Martindale. I vow to do everything in my power to bring another Superbowl to Al Davis and the Raider Nation."

Honorable Mention: WR Marcel Reece

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Girls Gone WnbaWILD!

Unfortunately, the WNBA women's basketball league is getting huge press coverage today. Its unfortunate because the news has nothing to do with their skills as basketball players, but instead focuses on a bench emptying brawl between the Los Angeles Sparks and Detroit Shock.

Shocks and Sparks were seen and felt at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, in the form of punches, shoves, body slams and all out pandemonium. Actually, it didn't go down quite like that but it sure sounds good in a story doesn't it?

The truth is one player, an all-American rookie, got tangled up with the opposing team on one play. Then on the following play that same all-American player got tangled up again and in the infamous words of Peter Finch of the movie "Network," decided;

And The Rest is Herstory!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Al's Place For A Mean Steak and Beer

"A delicious steak that reminds you why man
decided to domesticate those dang cows in the first place"
customer's review

I was recently told of a place north of Stockton,Ca. that serves a mean grilled steak. Says they've been serving them since the 1930's. I hesitate to visit because today its supposedly a biker bar in GMC truck country. Need I remind you that I'm a six foot brotha from New York with good grammar who many country folk perceive as an uppity yankee. Of course some of these same folk are still angry they lost the war. The "Civil War" that is.

But what lengths would you go to get your choppers around a mean grilled steak? Especially here in cholesterol conscience California where eating rare cooked meats is like abusing a pet or something. Heck, I'll probably pay a visit to Al's Place just to be able to talk about it in front of those self-righteous salad eating city dwellers I always seem to dine around.

Al's Place, better known as Al the Wop's, is a bar and grill in Locke, California, (added to the historical registry in 1970) near Walnut Grove, Ca. The town was once populated by mostly Chinese and all businesses in town were Chinese. Not suprising since Chinese actually built the town back in 1915. But that was before 1931, before Al Adami bought Lee Bing's Chinese Restaurant on main street making it the only non-Chinese establishment in town.

I can only assume that Al himself was a good ole Italian tough guy with possibly a shady past and the cajones to open up shop where no wasp had ever been before. Coming from New York I know Italians, many good folks who honor family and community. So when I see the term "Wop" as part of a restaurant name I know that it must've been an Italian who posted it. Like with many cultures, you can call each other a term, but just don't let an outsider call you by it. I suppose Al must've figgah'd it be good for business.

Well, Al was right, he's outlasted many a business in town I'm sure. Were he still alive he'd be welcoming customers as he must've done from day one. Wait, is Al still around? I'll get back to you on that.

I only hope my cajones can match up in size with Al's though, because as much as I feel brave enough to tred into unknown territory, there's this distinct cautious flutter I get when I find myself around trucks with gun racks, hunting dogs, Confederate flags, gun show signs and signs with "Zeke For Sheeriff "on poles. Any chance there's some wise guy Italian running the joint these days? He I understand, "It's just business."

So, how far are you willing to go for a great juicy steak? Goto reviews on Al The Wop's to convince yourself its worth the travel and potential risk.

Negro League Baseball Sportscaster Passes

Honestly, I've never heard of the man. Never even thought there was anyone announcing negro league baseball games over the radio. Guess I should've asked my dad or uncles about it. They remember the negro league games and those associated with it. Supposedly, one of my great uncles played for a Jersey team.

In either case, its never too late to honor a man who had what all of us sports fanatics have in our blood; a passionate love for the game, whatever that game may be. Sherman L. Maxwell, announced negro league baseball games over the radio beginning in 1929. He wasn't paid any money for doing what he did. He kept box scores of games he witnessed and intervied players after games.

When he visited the National Basebal Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. in 2001, he told the Star Ledger then that "I never had a nicer day in my whole life - and I'm 93, so that's saying something." Hats off to Major League Baseball for recognizing the negro leagues and bringing back wonderful memories of negro baseball to a centenarian.

If only someone from ESPN, like a Bob Costas, had interviewed this man and picked his brain about the legends of negro baseball. Though the Newark Eagles out of Jersey whom he followed were no negro league powerhouse, I'm sure they played some of the best and Mr. Maxwell was most likely there, calling the game. Imagine, someone who can tell you about Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, manager Rube Foster and the list goes on. I hope to find out more about this pioneer of sports and fellow fan of the game.

Sherman Maxwell
"He Announced For The Love Of The Game"

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dave Wilson's Key Raiders List 2008

Came across some insightful Raiders team and player analysis for 2008 that deserves checking out. Dave Wilson's article "Across The Pond" points out the key players that'll help make or break this season for the Raiders.

JaMarcus Russell – QB
Kwame Harris – OT
Darren McFadden – RB
Javon Walker – WR
Tommy Kelly – DT
Gibril Wilson – S

Dave points out some promising aspects of this year's team ability. He also gives you a bit of a chill when highlighting the holes of our defensive line. Gotta give it to Dave, he's a passionate yet realistic Raiders fan unafraid to admit what could be weaknesses in the team, and that's what makes his Raiders Report so interesting. Honesty!

If you wanna begin the football season by saying, as every die hard Oakland Raiders fan pledges to friends, family and opposing fans each season, "This Is Our Year," then you should take a peek at Dave's assessment of the team and its key players for 2008.


Note: You can mail your Get Well Soon cards for former Raiders wide receiver Jerry Porter to the Jaguars facility in Jacksonville. After signing a $30 million dollar six year deal the the Jags, Porter underwent surgery this week for a hamstring tear and will miss the pre-season. At least now he has a doctor's note to explain why he can't perform.

Monday, July 14, 2008

First Ammendment Wrongs

In response to the Satirical Cartoon of Barack and Michelle Obama on this week’s New Yorker Magazine cover:

The magazine gives its reasons for why they put such a derogative image of a potential American President on their cover:

“Satirizes the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the Presidential election to derail Barack Obama’s campaign.”

Isn’t “Satire” supposed to be funny? Their reasons are neither funny nor reasonable to many Americans, especially those who see this Presidential Candidate as a hope for change in future American politics and racial attitudes. Insensitive and poorly thought out journalism like this is what continues to undermine the American people’s fight for justice and equality for all its citizens.

For a respected magazine like the New Yorker to cross the line toward inappropriateness at such a crucial time in American economics and politics gives fuel to the rumor that there is a contrived and coordinated effort from within to bring America to its knees, by any means necessary.

If, after the September 11th attack, the New Yorker printed the same cover with the likes of Pres. Bush and Vice-Pres. Cheney replacing Michelle and Barack, adding maybe a hanging painting of the smoldering WTC with oil drums rising from the ashes to go along with the Osama Bin Laden portrait, would the editor and all involved still defend such a picture? Would they ignore the sensitivities of families who suffered the loss of a loved one, all in the name of Satire? Would some Americans find it truthful or even funny? This “attack” on Barack and Michelle Obama is an “Attack on America” and what it is supposed to stand for.

My final question or maybe I should put it more in a statement than a question. Had the New Yorker consulted an African-American or any minority for that matter, about the offensiveness of this image, I’m sure they would’ve been told of its unpleasant inflammatory inference. Are we as a nation also still treating all Muslims and people of middle-eastern descent as terrorists?

Is it possible that someone will take responsibility and apologize for this juvenile decision so that we as a country can move on with a more refined Presidential race that’ll deal with the pressing issues we face as a nation? Perhaps!

I fear to think that someone paid a lot of money in hopes of damaging the “Barack For President” campaign. Yes, magazines sell to the highest bidders also. Or is it possible the owners of the New Yorker are just spreading their political wings and saying “to hell with the American public’s feelings.” In times of change, it’s always those with the most to lose, whether real or imagined, who perform such immoral and malicious acts.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Oakland Raiders Three-Headed-Monster Attack!

Remember Ghidorah aka Monster Zero? He was one nasty SOB, ripping through military defenses and causing havoc amongst the monster kingdom. In one movie it took a ferocious Godzilla, a teradactyl flying Rodan and Mothra the killer Moth ( remember it's 60's television) to bring down Ghidorah, and still he went down swinging.

In 2008, Ghidorah is what they're calling the Oakland Raiders projected trio of running backs. Each brings a little something different to the battle and all can cause havoc on an opponent.

Listen --->

There's a great article about this group of Raiders backs (The Three Headed Monster Of The Oakland Raiders) that convinces me we Raider Fans are in for a treat this season. We may not be so high on the receiving corps yet, but this Ghidorah of a backfield is looking like the answer to an offense that needs to attack defenses in multiple ways.

If we had to name this explosive backfield something that symbolizes mass terror and annihilation, I can think of nothing better than Ghidorah the three headed monster. With a weapon like Ghidorah, all we need is a decent offensive line and some creative play calling to subdue opponents this season.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Brother Who Was Passed Over

Fredo Corleone: I’m your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over!
Michael: That’s the way Pop wanted it.
Fredo: It ain’t the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says… like dumb… I’m smart and I want respect!

Every Family Has One. A Brother, Uncle or Cousin who feels he should've played a bigger role in the family business. He knows he's "Smaht" (smart). He just wants the love and respect of the family. Betrayal becomes his method of choice.

Here's a slideshow tribute to the character who first brought this family phenomenon to the world's attention. This is for Fredo Corleone, son of a Godfather, brother to a murderer. His own.

Do You Fill-up Using A Credit Card? Watch Out!

Call it false advertising, hidden fees or just plain old cheating. First we're told to be on the look out for suspicious terrorist activities, then the sub-prime mortgage debacle has us weary of home loans, why even the salmonella infected tomatoes didn't give me as sickly a feeling as the gas price hikes this summer.

And Now, on top of paying some of the highest gas prices this country has ever known, we're being warned to watch for hidden fuel costs when using our credit cards at the pump. Geez Louise!

I'm ready to purchase my own big rig fuel tanker, drive over to Tijuana, Mexico where gas is still a respectful $2.54 a gallon, and load up for the summer. What're they gonna do, arrest me for not buying American? Deport me for not spending $4.54 per gallon at Shell?

When does it all end I ask you? When will the auto and energy companies come up with an alternative to expensive fossil fuel or find ways to lower the cost? When will they decide they've gouged our pockets dry?

Answer: When us North American consumers begin flocking to Mexico for jobs, housing and reasonable gas rates at Flaco's Fuel and Fajita. Yo Quiero Flaco.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Barry Zito Pitches Giants Past Dodgers

Yes-in-deed, Barry Zito, the million dollar baby bust, pitched one helluva game in the SF Giants win over the L.A. Dodgers yesterday. After giving up back to back doubles to begin the game, Zito (4-12) hunkered down and began pitching his best game of the season at the Giants home park, possibly at any park.

For those Dodgers fans at the game who always seem to come to the Giants ballpark and treat it like Dodger Stadium North, by the bottom of the seventh they were quiet as church mice nibbling at crumbs. All that Dodger blue waiting for the Giants bullpen to blow it like the night before were left "scurrying" for the exit ramps long before Frank Sinatra's "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" began blaring out of the ballpark PA system.

I'll take the sounds of a swooning Frankie over booming fireworks on any fourth of July weekend game against the fodgers.

Barry Zito got the win, Brian Wilson got the save and the SF Giants gave us fans a rare San Francisco treat for the Holiday weekend, a home win over the stinking fodgers. Ray Charles couldn't have sang it better:

"America, America, God shed his grace on thee, and crowned thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea." Go Giants!

Final Score
Giants 5
Dodgers 2

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Nathan's Hotdog Eating Champ Retains Belt

Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, last year's Hot Dog Eating Champion defends his title in a sudden death playoff match.

Of course the competitor who forced joey to stuff down a total of 64 Nathan's hot dogs was former champion Kobayashi, the 128 pound eating machine from Japan. It's been two years since Takeru Kobayashi last held the belt and it looks like he'll have to wait one more to have another go at it. But he'll be back, you can bet on that. The fans want him and I myself am still looking for a Kobayashi T-shirt to sport. He's the main reason 35,000 fans showed up to watch the Coney Island competition.
In the meantime, 2008 Champion Joey Chestnut is enjoying his two year run and from the looks of it, has finally earned the respect of the once invincible Kobayashi. As they say in sports, in order to be the champ you have to beat the champ, and no challenger was able to beat Joey "The Champ" Chestnut this 4th of July.

So Joey, you've just won the 2008 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, what will you eat while at Disneyland?

Congratulations Joey "Jaws" Chestnut of San Jose, Ca., you've proven that you deserve to be crowned Hot Dog Eating Champion 2008. Now if only you could hold the belt up correctly. Video clips available on YouTube.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Warriors Lose A Leader

Looks like BD (Baron Davis), Golden State Warriors Point Guard, will be leaving the team to sign with the L.A. Clippers. Thanks for the highlight reel BD. Man's gotta do what a man's gotta due. BD is going back to the land he was raised in. No hard feelings about his departure. Can only wish him the best with the Clips. Though we're already looking at replacing him with Elton Brand of the Clips, I still feel that sinking feeling of losing more than I'll ever gain.

Baron Davis, "Former" point guard of the Golden State Warriors.



Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Our Boxer Of The Future

When I first saw this clip I just couldn't believe it. After playing it about three times I still just don't believe it. I saw Manny Pacquiao win his fourth title-weight belt this weekend with fast hands being the difference. If fast is what it takes to win championship belts these days, then 6-year old Golden Child Bam Bam, aka Pretty Boy, is destined to make Future Boxing History.

Anyone who tries to use the written word to describe the talents of this Gen-Z Boxer will easily run out of adjectives. He's simply what P.T. Barnum would call, "The Greatest Show On Earth."

Any Takers?