Friday, November 28, 2008

SF Turkey Bowl: Lincoln Defeats Washington

A Dynastic day for Lincoln High School's football team as they win their Fourth San Francisco Turkey Bowl in a row, historic.

I arrived at the game a few minutes into the first quarter and found that Washington had already scored and was leading 7-0. The long ticket and hotdog lines had worn me out and I mistakenly sat on the Lincoln side thinking it was Washington for some reason. I could've sworn Lincoln uniforms were white with red helmets and lettering.

It was half-time before I realized I was rooting for the Lincoln Mustangs and not the Washington Eagles as I'd planned. With my losing record at Turkey Bowl games I felt either I'd jinx the favored Mustangs into a loss or I'd enjoy my first win ever. I decided to stay the course with Lincoln.

And so it was that with 1:33 remaining in the first half and the Washington Eagles taking a 14-12 lead, that a little guy from Lincoln High would pull out the play of the game. Devon Marman, little brother to senior standout Deshon Marman with two touchdowns on the day, returned a kickoff 92-yards for a touchdown and the Mustangs would leave the Eagles gasping in their dust. The kick return was a momentum changer if ever there was one, and both teams sensed it.

The Washington Eagles would not give up the fight though and played a very aggressive second half, but so did the Mustangs. Lincoln caused at least two turnovers in the second half, one interception returned for a touchdown, and last years Champions had pulled off a Four-Peat in their championship victory.

Congrats Lincoln Mustangs for committing to achieving a SF Section Championship again

Lincoln players toss their principal, Ronald Pang, in celebration. Lincoln High defeated Washington High in the annual Academic Athletic Association SF championship game 36-14 at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. (Lance Iversen / The Chronicle)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How Sweet It Is!

The Oakland Raiders get a taste of sweet revenge on the Denver Broncos with a 31-10 drumming of Shanihan and his donkeys in Denver. The Oakland upset was so unexpected, even I, a disgruntled Raider fan who'd chosen to spend my Sunday at an outing with my Grand kids, assumed Denver would triumph with ease.

I think Ashlie Lelie, former Bronco, christened the victory best when he compared this payback win to the feeling of "getting back at your cheating girlfriend." I believe the Broncos and Lelie parted company after contract re-negotiations turned ugly two seasons ago resulting in his release.

In this victory, all aspects of the Raiders team shined with Lelie possibly being the brightest star. Lelie , who had a momentum changing 51-yard catch, caught four catches for ninety-two yards and a touchdown.

One could say that the Raiders paid back the Broncos in full for the opening Monday Night game in Oakland, a 41-14 embarrassment. I believe this Broncos loss is a bigger blow to them than ours was that opening season game. The Broncos came into this game as western division leaders with a chance to possibly go up three games with five remaining. Instead, they remain two ahead of San Diego (Colts 23 Chargers 20) and only three ahead of the Raiders .

I caught the final minutes of the game on the radio, then listened to every morsel of post-game coverage while driving back to the bay area. It was the sweetest two hour drive I've had in a long, long time. Just me, my radio and my Silver and Black pride shining and blowing in the breeze. Oh, did I mention I'd pulled over to take out my Raiders AFC Champions flag and attach it to the car for the victory ride home? Nostalgia? Yes, it was a joyous Sunday that almost made up for these past weekends of gloom. Almost.

Coach Tom Cable is the one who really surprised me with his after game talk. He said all the right things and sounded sincere about his belief in the team. Maybe big Al has finally found a coach who the players can and will respond to.

Hats off to cornerback Chris Johnson for playing like a pro and stepping up to the challenge of a Bronco passing game aimed squarely at him. C. Johnson defended valiantly and didn't give up anything worth much.

We all prayed for JaMarcus Russell and the Godmother he lost to cancer this past week. After seeing the young quarterback complete 10 of 11 for 152 yds. and 1-touchdown, I know he's going to be okay in this league. Yeah, we've got us a true leader at quarterback here in Oakland ya'll.

Let's not forget special teams. Punt returner Johnnie Lee Higgins does it again with an 89-yd return for a touchdown.Hey , whatever happened to that free agent returner that was brought in two weeks ago to compete for Johnnie Lee's returning duties?

We Raider fans should simply savor this win, a win that ranks right up there with the past few wins in Denver. More importantly though, this win should give us all a glimpse of what lies down the road for this team when its healthy with strong decisive leadership and executing like the machine it was built to be. Awesome!

Final Score
Oakland Raiders 31
Denver Broncos 10

A Glorious Win!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bay Area Basketball Legend Passes

There hasn't been much of late that the bay area can boast about when it comes to basketball. But there was a time..........

And Pete Newell is the man of that time. A coach and teacher, Pete is to west coast basketball what Kobiyashi is to competitive eating, a pioneer and innovator. He brought respectability to west coast college basketball programs.

Personally, I know little about the basketball era of 1959 when Pete led the Cal Bears to the NCAA Title. But after reading today's newspaper and internet articles about him I understand just how important a role he played in developing not only players, but coaches and basketball schemes. I think the SF Chronicle said it best:

"A Man Who Was A Legend To Other Legends."

It seems that more than anything, Pete was a great teacher of basketball. A Legendary Teacher!

Basketball Accomplishments as coach:

1949 NIT Championship (USF)
1959 NCAA Championship (CAL)
1960 Summer Olympics Gold
4 consecutive Pac-8 Titles (former Pac-10)
8 straight wins over John Wooden's early UCLA teams

Off the court Pete has a colorful history. He was a child actor who played in a number of Hal Roach's "Our Gang" movies. Imagine that, I've seen almost every little rascals still in print and never would've guessed that Pete Newell was one of the gang. He was also a steamship deck cadet, a WWII Navy seaman, author of numerous basketball instructional books, Husband and Father.

Peter Francis "Pete" Newell
(August 3, 1915 - November 17, 2008)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Golden State Warriors Rookie Yeah!

Anthony Morrow showcased his rookie skillz on Saturday with 37 points and 11 rebounds. This from a kid who after going undrafted planned to play in the Ukraine. Glad you decided to visit the Oakraine Anthony, we need you.

With Anthony's hot hand the Warriors defeated Baron Davis and the L.A. Clippers 121-103 Saturday. I missed seeing the game but hope to catch it on some type of cable/comcast replay. Coach Don Nelson and teamates all say they've never seen anyone with the hot hand that Anthony displayed. Let's hope the kid isn't a one-hit-wonder and can become a consistent contributor.

Just imagine when Monta Ellis returns. "Monta-To-Morrow", sounds like a winning combination don't you think?

Link to his interview on KNBR (6/25/08), Here.

Rest Well My Friend!

Alex De Castro, 18-years old, a true sports fan and friend passed away recently. My prayers will continue to go out to him and his family. It is when compassionate, young persons such as Alex depart this life that I find cause to pause and question everything about it. I suppose we question God as a reminder of our faith in him. God grant us Peace!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Crown em' In Cash

World Championship Poker Champion Peter Eastgate says about winning, "It's not about the money." Okay Peter, sure it's not about the money, it's about how you plan to spend that money. The 22-year old Champion is the second youngest to win it all.

Though I still don't consider Poker a sport, I truly admire any champion who can bask in the glory of his earnings upon victory. Give me one other sport where the Victor is given his winning purse on the playing field. Even Thoroughbred Horses have to return to the stables to chomp down on their winning bales of hay. Only game shows come to mind, and they usually give you a fake colossal check that's made out of cardboard.

Congratulations Peter!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide

The #1 ranked Crimson Tide defeated the #16 LSU Tigers yesterday in overtime 27-21. It's the first time since 1980 that an Alabama team has won a game while ranked #1.

The Crimson Tide now have a smash mouth new anthem courtesy of the "63 Boyz" to go along with that #1 ranking. So if your team is going down to Alabama to do battle with the Tide, they'd better bring they're bibles and a few choice prayers.

Give em' Hell Alabama!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Reasons Why Raiders Waive CB DeAngelo Hall

In his 8-game tenure with the Raiders, Hall was beaten 40 times for 552 yards on 66 passes thrown his way, according to data compiled by STATS LLC. He's given up more yards than any defender this season and is tied for third worst in catches allowed.

Hall does not have a skills guarantee for 2009, so the Raiders will not owe him a $9.05 million option bonus for the final six years of the deal. Hall also won't receive the $7.5 million base salary he was scheduled to make in 2009.

"When you're losing there's a lot of finger pointing," Asomugha said. "I don't think he's the one scapegoat. There's fingers pointed everywhere. I don't think it's just him. He was kind of singled out in regards of let's cut someone."

I agree with Asomugha, the Raiders needed a scapegoat and there was none better than D. Hall. I don't expect the team to win another game this season. Why? Chaos Theory!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Game Refund Request!

I went to the Raiders game this Sunday. I should've gone to church instead and prayed like a Saturday Night Sinner. There's no way to explain the humiliating play of the Oakland Raiders against the visiting Atlanta Falcons. I don't think God is a Falcons fan, especially after Mr. Vick's conviction of abuse to man's best friend. But there were no blessings being laid on the heads of the Raiders today. Not one hint of divine intervention to stop the bleeding on the field.

How bad was the game for the Raiders you may ask? The game was so bad that we fans were unable to stand up and cheer a play until many minutes into the third quarter. It just so happened to be a play that gave us our FIRST first-down of the game. Did I mention that the Raiders had -2 total offensive yards in the first half?

How bad was it? It was so bad that they not only booed the team, but booed the
Raiderette chearleaders also. Imagine that, football's most fabulous females being booed at the Coliseum. I Guess when the girls came out in the second half with jackets covering those enhanced mounds of milk and honey, the fans felt they'd been deprived of the one stimulating silver and black uniform on the field. One guy was heard yelling "Hey, What's With The Jackets?"

Seriously, I considered asking for a full ticket refund. I've been around long enough these past few years to see the Oakland Raiders play bad football, lousy football. But today they took poor performance to a new level. It wasn't the usual shoot themselves in the foot on third down kind of stuff, nor was it a blame it on the refs day. Oh no, this
debacle was a plain and simple case of hopelessness. The team all around just seemed as if they had no game plan, no incentive, no interest what so ever in playing the game at a professional level.

The Oakland Raiders have simply quit playing football as a team. Maybe there are some players trying their hearts out to make a play, but as a team they looked as if it were the last game of another losing season and they couldn't wait for the off-season to begin.

I believe what I saw is a direct result of losing a head coach early in a season. Lane
Kiffin at times had the team playing as a cohesive unit whether they were winning or losing. While Kiffin was coach, the team seemed as if they had something or someone to play for. Now, after two straight losses, the team appears lost without leadership. If leadership starts at the top, then the blame for what I saw today is at the top.

Our team has a serious problem, and the disease that was once lingering beneath the skin has
erupted and is leaking puss all over the playing field in front of the paying customers.

Is There A Doctor In The House!

final score
Falcons 24
Raiders 0

Synonyms for debacle:

Philly Celebrates Winning World Series

As much as I wanted to see the Cinderella Rays win it all, I have to take my hat off and applaud the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans.

After twenty-eight years, and only the second time in their 120-plus year existence, the Phillies are Major League Baseball's Champions once again. Known as the losing-est team in professional sports, no team from as desperate a city deserved it more. The celebration in Philadelphia the other day was definitely one for the ages. Mild mannered Chase Utley dropped an "f" bomb while addressing the fans at the celebration. The networks covering the event live were initially unable to beep out Utley's "World Fuckin' Champions" boast on-stage. It was awesome!

Congratulations Philadelphia Phillies for bringing home to your city and fans the 2008 Major League World Series Championship Trophy. You've come a long way from booing Santa Claus! Merry Fuckin' X-mas.