Thursday, January 28, 2010

Raiders Introduce Hue Offensive Coordinator

Now performing magic tricks for the Oakland Raiders, I give you Hue Jackson.

Yes, the Raiders have announced the hiring of Hue as offensive coordinator in 2010. I figure the bag will come off after Jamarcus is benched for Gradkowski, again. Until then, Hue will have the daunting task of developing the #1 draft pick into a quarterback the likes of Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens. Sorry Mr. Jackson.

My advice to Hue. Doublebag!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Barbary Plague by Marilyn Chase

It took a while for me to finish this book. Over a year to be exact. But picking it back up again was as if I'd discovered a new book. The story just took off and kept me reading for days. I found myself researching some of the San Francisco information I found in the book. Things like Islais Creek and Butcher town, Chinese Six Companies, 401 Filmore where the rat lab was, Charles De Young owner of the SF Chronicle, the old Hibernia Bank that somewhat survived the earthquake and Merchants Exchange which did survive it. One man though stands out above the rest; Dr. Ruppert Blue. A very well documented book. Below is my Amazon review:

5.0 out of 5 stars Medical Detectives Triumph Over Political Protest, January 26, 2010
This book was as interesting to read for its detection and triumph over bubonic plague as it was for the political powers too concerned with loss of profit to admit that plague even existed. The well researched study of plague in early 20th century San Francisco exposes the ignorance and evils of man during times of crisis. You'll learn much about the social conditions that can contribute to the spread of disease, most of all the human pride and ignorance that sways public opinion and leaves the unsuspecting public vulnerable to the spread of disease.

One of the lessons one comes away from this book with is how our news media has long been partnered with the politics of its day in revealing or concealing pertinent information that could have dire consequences on the people its supposed to inform. Funny how similar practices in journalism today are said to be politically motivated.

The book reads at times like a detective story, a medical journal, a historical guide, an old west novel, a racial profiling treatise, a political scandal, a battle diary, a post-earthquake memoir.

I've read a few books about various plagues and epidemics and usually the focus is on cause and effect. What was so engrossing about this book was the real life human aspect of dealing with the disease. There are heroes and there are cowards throughout. Author Marilyn Chase needs to be commended for her thoroughly researched book. Her ability to recreate early San Francisco and the peoples who populated it during the most trying time of its existence makes this story a historical classic.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Colts Saints Super Bowl

The New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts will meet in Super Bowl XLIV in Miami,Fl in two weeks.

Both these number one conference playoff seeds showed the importance of winning homefield advantage in the playoffs.

The New York Jets had Peyton Manning and the Colts reeling on the ropes after taking a 17-3 lead with 2:11 left in the first half. And the Minnesota Vikings would play the Saints to a draw in regulation, forcing over-time.

Both number one seeded home teams would triumph thanks in part to their home stadium fan noise. Though there may have been some questionable calls that favored the Saints, it was more the turnover prone Vikings that contributed to their loss. As for the Jets, losing their ground control running back Shonn Green and starting cornerback Donald Strickland was too great a handicap to overcome.

Either of the home teams could have choked and lost the game. Both had to overcome their feisty opponent and slam the door shut when the opportunity arose. Neither choked when that opportunity came, sign of a champion.

Now, these two number ones will meet head-on to see which has more championship heart than the other. Only one can wear the crown of Super Bowl Champion. Only one will hoist the the Lombardi trophy high into the Miami skies and be proclaimed the Greatest of 2009. Only one will win the honor while the other ............................

Only Two Weeks

Saturday, January 23, 2010

San Francisco Earthquake 1906

Excerpt from book "The Barbary Plague" by Marilyn Chase

At 5:12 A.M. On Wednesday, April 18, 1906, the ground beneath San Francisco convulsed. There was a groan of grinding mortar and a thunder of raining brick and stone. Twisting timber shrieked and snapped into splintered kindling. After forty-five seconds, the roiling paused a moment, and then a second shock wave hit, more violent than the first.

From a hundred fractured rooms came cries of shock and pain. Sleepers, hurled from their beds, threw coats over nightclothes, grabbed children and poured into the street. Some yanked frantically on bedroom doors, trapped in shifting frames that no longer fit. Buildings listed drunkenly off their foundations. Wooden cottages collapsed like houses of cards, rows of flats like dominoes. Brick facades peeled off and crashed into the street exposing what looked like a doll's house. Streetcar tracks buckled in serpentine snarls.

South of Market Street, where tracts sat precariously on landfill, the ground liquefied over ancient waterfront and wetlands. The four story Valencia Hotel, a working-class lodging house, sank into its fluid foundation. With only its top story protruding above ground, lodgers on the lower floors were submerged and drowned.

Dozens of small fires burst from toppled chimneys and cracked stove flues. Fire alarms stayed strangely silent. The alarm center on Brenham Place had been destroyed. At on station, fire horses bolted in fear, so firefighters had to tow their engines by hand. When they hooked up their hoses, only droplets trickled out so the firefighters siphoned leaky sewage to spray on the flames.

Steers being herded to the Potrero stockyards were spooked by the shaking and stampeded along Mission Street. To avoid being trampled, bystanders shot the crazed cattle between the eyes.

On Merchant Street, near the federal morgue and laboratory, fish dealer Alex Paladini was unloading the morning's catch when the earthquake disintegrated buildings around him, burying horses, drivers, wagons, and fish under tons of bricks and mortar. The steeds' necks protruded from the debris, their manes caked with dust, tongues lolling. The neighborhood around the morgue was now one giant street of the dead.

The ground shock savaged City Hall. Its regal dome teetered on empty ribs. All around it stretched acres of rubble. Before the day was over, flames devoured municipal records, incinerating all city history before 1906.

Mayor Eugene Schmitz closed saloons, imposed a dusk til dawn curfew and issued an executive order for federal troops to shoot looters on sight. The seat of government was moved from ruined City Hall to the Hall of Justice to the Fairmont Hotel then to a hall in the Western Addition, keeping one step ahead of the flames. The Mayor telephoned Los Angeles, imploring: "For God's sake send food."

Central Emergency Hospital collapsed, killing doctors and nurses. Its patients were moved to the Mechanics' Pavilion where the night before a roller skating tournament. Now it was a war zone, littered with broken bodies and doctors racing about in desperate triage.

As the Palace Hotel writhed and shuddered, beds bucking and chandeliers crashing, the tenor Enrico Caruso, fresh from singing the role of Don Jose in Carmen, was wrenched from his dreams into a nightmare. After throwing on his fur coat, the portly star ran into the street and headed north toward the St. Francis Hotel, where his opera colleagues had been staying. Some say he wept. "Hell of a place!" Caruso cried. "I never come back here." Upon his return to Italy, he kept his promise and never sang in the city again.

In Hayes Valley, a woman tried to cook breakfast on a broken stove and succeeded in igniting the walls of her frame house. The resulting blaze, called the "ham and eggs fire," ate quickly through the wooden Victorian neighborhood, growing into a major conflagration. Crossing Van Ness Avenue, it torched church steeples in its path, burning on to the Civic Center, where blowing cinders lit the roof of the Mechanics' Pavilion. As smoke seeped into the makeshift hospital, doctors again evacuated patients. As afternoon turned to evening, the "ham and eggs fire" roared south and merged with a fire in the Mission district.

A drunken munitions man, John Bermingham, carted explosives into Chinatown to demolish the wreckage and ended up starting sixty fires. As witnesses watched in horror, he lurched around setting charges that blew up buildings with people still trapped inside. Bodies flew fifty feet above the rubble, falling back into the flames below.

Atrocities were rumored - of jewel thieves cutting the fingers and ears from corpses, of bloodthirsty troops bayoneting innocent citizens. As teams of rescuers clawed frantically to free the injured from rubble, some lost a race with the approaching fires. One man, hopelessly pinned down by debris, begged his rescuers to kill him before the flames burned him alive. A gunman stepped from the crowd, gravely confirmed the trapped man's last wishes, drew a pistol, and fired. He then turned himself in to the mayor, who commended his humane act.

And all this after six years of battling bubonic plague in the city. Just when they thought they had control of the Chinatown rat population, which carried bubonic plague fleas, the earthquake hit and the rat population soared and spread throughout the city. It would be three more years before the last case of bubonic plague was seen in San Francisco.

The book was a great historical read and depicts how racism, political corruption and greed in city and state government can bind the hands of science and hinder solutions to health and social problems. Its no wonder that San Francisco was thought of as "Sin City" before Las Vegas at a time when Las Vegas was nothing more than a dry desolate desert.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

NFL Playoff Cinderella Wants A Crown

Of the eight NFL Playoff teams to play in this weekend's Divisional Playoff round, one looked like a hopeful Cinderella attending the ball thanks to a fairy godmother. Well sports fans, Cinderella is staying out past 12 o'clock midnight and wearing her divisional round crown to next weekend's AFC Championship game against Peyton Manning and the Colts in Indianapolis.

It doesn't seem possible, but the The New Jets are playing their Cinderella slippered selves toward Super Bowl XLIV with an upset win over the San Diego Chargers today. The Jets win was mostly ugly, but thanks to a number of mistakes and missed opportunities by the western division winning Chargers, the Jets find themselves one win away from the "Big Sheow."

You won't find one sporting fan outside of New York who'll give the Jets a chance next week against the Colts. Though the Jets have the number one defense, their offensive attack is limited to a grind-it-out style of rushing that produces few points. With rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez at the helm of this challenged offense, look for their defense to put globs of pressure on Peyton Manning next week in hopes their godmother will grant them a few game changing turnovers. Otherwise Cinderella will likely be exposed for what she is, a poor raggedy stepchild, sent home with shattered dreams and one glass shoe, broken.

Congratulations to my Hometown New York J-e-t-s

Final Score
N Y Jets 17
S D Chargers 14

*What doubters said about the New York Jets matchup against the San Diego Chargers

Friday, January 15, 2010

Al Davis Undecided On Coach? C'Mon Man!

"If He Only Had A Heart"
What the Hell is Al Davis cooking up over there at Raiders Headquarters? Why hasn't he announced the retaining or firing of coach Tom Cable yet?

There can be only one answer. Al has finally decided to grant Raiders fan wishes and hire a General Manager. Guess who?

Yes, the Oakland Raiders promote/demote Tom Cable to GM and are talking to various head coaching prospects.

I figure that big, bold fan Billboard pleading for the hiring of a GM got the best of Al and he's putting one over on those divisive fans.

I can see Al now in his high backed office chair, hands clasped together on his desk, saying to Jim Otto and the other flunkies, "They asked for it, they got it."

"C'mon Man"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

R & B Singer Teddy Pendergrass Dies

He was no Michael Jackson but what Teddy Pendergrass's music represented to Black males of my era was everything that made a woman comply to our sexual needs. I know, in today's world this sounds chauvinist and possibly abusive, but believe me when I say there was nothing abusive to females in today's lyrics. On the contrary, the majority of Teddy's fan base were female. He just had a way of going from soothing crooner to sexual master in a lust-filled way. Sing it Teddy!

Love T.K.O - The Essential Teddy ... - 1973
You're My Latest, My ... - The ... - 1973
Close The Door - The Essential Teddy ... - 1973

So what was it that made Teddy Pendergrass a sex symbol among Black women? Maybe it was his strong commanding voice which in song told a woman what he wanted, how he wanted it and desperately needed it Now! One thing men knew not to do when slow dancing with a woman to a Teddy tune was sing-a-long. If you simply kept your trap shut and nestled your lips and nose strongly against her neck and ear, you Were Teddy. That done, you had a strong chance of Turning off her Lights later.

There were R & B singers like Barry White, Al Green, Marvin Gaye and others who sang with male strength and need in their voice, but Teddy had that unique quality that spoke directly to a woman's sexual desire, no need to tease. Call Teddy barbaric and abusive in his sound and style, maybe even primitive, but the effects of his voice on women was and still remains, "Yes Daddy!"

I think a female could better write about the melting effect Teddy had on them. I'm just an ole skool Gee who benefited from Teddy's voice playing in the background while I danced the role of a hungry lion ready to feast on her luscious body.

Thanks for it all Teddy.

Teddy Pendergrass
(March 26, 1950 – January 13, 2010)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mark McGwire Should Just Shut-Up!

Okay, it was kinda relieving to finally hear former A's slugger Mark McGwire confess his baseball sins by admitting to steroid use. Regardless of his feelings about steroids not contributing to his power swings, McGwire at least admitted his use.

So WHY is he still going on about it and trying so hard to make us believe steroids had little effect on his play? The more McGwire talks the more he sounds untruthful about his full use of steroids and unacceptable of the advantages he gained from steroid use.

The more he talks the more former teammate, Jose Conseco, who claimed he and McGwire shot up steroids together in a clubhouse bathroom stall, sounds like a humbled saint. I may go out and buy a copy of Jose's book titled "Juiced" just to get a more saintly understanding of the steroid era truth, because Mark McGwire is surely not telling it all.

And let us not forget the reason McGwire is now confessing his sins; he's being offered a job in major league baseball. I'd rather see Pete Rose let back into major league baseball than see McGwire anywhere near the game after his selfish confession. At least Pete was eventually truthful with himself, baseball and the fans. Better yet, let's re-instate Shoeless Joe Jackson of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox.

I wonder what Bob Costas was thinking as he interviewed a sobbing, and allegedly repentant, McGwire? Costas gave McGwire every opportunity to come clean and finally show true remorse for using steroids. Instead, McGwire just shit all over himself, again and agan, without even a grunt. He sounded sorry for getting caught and felt more a victim of an era than a victimizer of steroids. There was no remorse for his steroid enabling feats of home run power. Fact is, he denied that steroids played a part in his home run production.

So is McGwire just delusional or was his 70 home run season just a blessed saint Mark displaying his natural born "Gifts from God?" Here's something to ponder,
the First of the Ten Commandments:

1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
You shall have no other gods before Me.

Mark McGwire confessed putting something before his "God Given" talent, steroids. It seems he's still putting desires in front of his God by accepting a MLB employment position without first doing full penance. That penance? Telling The Whole Truth!

Roger Maris, we fans apologize for Mark McGwire's transgressions as well as those of others in the steroid era.

Undisputed Home Run King:

Roger Maris
N Y Yanbkees Right Fielder
1961 season hit 61 Home Runs (Major League Baseball Record)

Most Home Runs in a Single MLB Season
Rank Player Team
1Barry Bonds San Francisco Giants
2Mark McGwire St. Louis Cardinals
3Sammy Sosa Chicago Cubs
4Mark McGwire St. Louis Cardinals
5Sammy Sosa Chicago Cubs
6Sammy Sosa Chicago Cubs
7Roger Maris New York Yankees
8Babe Ruth New York Yankees
9Babe RuthNew York Yankees
T10Jimmie Foxx Philadelphia Athletics
T10Hank Greenberg Detroit Tigers
T10Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies
T10Mark McGwire Oakland Athletics
St. Louis Cardinals
T14Luis Gonzalez Arizona Diamondbacks
T14Alex Rodriguez Texas Rangers
T16Ken Griffey Seattle Mariners
T16Ken GriffeySeattle Mariners
T16Hack Wilson Chicago Cubs

* = Steroid Era

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Why I Will Purchase Raiders 2010 Season Tickets

Who but R&B Singer Barry White could so boisterously express my undying love for the Oakland Raiders.

Win, Lose or Tie, Barry White told us why!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Bama Gave'em Hell, Wins National Championship


Nick Saban coached the Alabama Crimson Tide to this season's NCAA National Championship. The Bama players returned the favor by beating the Texas Longhorns in the BCS Championship game 37-21.

Texas lost starting QB Colt McCoy to injury early, but that wasn't what stopped the longhorns offensively. It would be the Crimson Tide defense that would crush the hopes of Texas time and time again.

Texas was able to come back from a 24-6 half-time deficit and make a game of it at 24-21 in the fourth quarter. But a crushing Alabama blindside blitz would cause Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert to fumble inside their own 10 yard line. Three plays later it would be Bama Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram (22 carries, 116 yards, 2 touchdowns) crossing the goal line and all but sealing the win.

Some will blame the absence of Texas starting QB Colt McCoy for their loss. Don't. The "What If" analysis of this game is simply too unpredictable to put on the table.

Congratulations Alabama Crimson Tide, #1!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Ravens Romp Into Playoffs Over Raiders

Marquis Victor Cooper
(born March 11, 1982,[1]; missing March 1, 2009)

Lost But Not Forgotten

Today's game between the Oakland Raiders and the Baltimore Ravens in Oakland was a good football game to watch. The Raiders were competitive through most of the game and even had a chance in the final three minutes to tie it. Unfortunately the defense had a bit of trouble stopping the Baltimore running game when it mattered most while the offense was back to fielding quarterback Jamarcus Russell due to a back injury to starting QB Charlie Frye.

Coach Cable didn't say it in his press conference, but the fact that Jamarcus gave up two turnovers in relief of a stellar earlier performance by Charlie Frye may have been the difference in the outcome. Though Jamarcus may have played his best pro career game, at one point he was 6 of 8 passing for 72 yards, his problems with pocket presence, field vision and holding on to the ball still loom large.

I will say though that the Raiders passing game was impressive and their third down conversion rate was much improved. But in the end it was another Raiders loss that could have and maybe should have been a win. Sure they were competitive, but six years of losing seasons makes a fan hungry for more than just giving it the ole college try. Much more.

So I say so long to this 2009 Raiders football season that produced 5 wins and 11 losses. We had some great wins against Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Denver. Some of the bright lights at the end of the tunnel:

Wide Receivers Louis Murphy and Chaz Schilens
QB Bruce Gradkowski
Safety Michael Huff
RB Michael Bush
Defensive Ends Matt Shaughnessy and Trevor Scott

Thanks Richard Seymour and Greg Ellis for bringing the veteran know how to our Defense and keeping us in many a game this season.

My off season wish list is for the Raiders to acquire beastly offensive and defensive lineman. Give our quarterbacks more time and protections, and give our defensive backs more quarterback pressure and we've got ourselves a playoff contender. Just wait'll next year.

Love U Silver & Black!