Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Cold Day In Hell










I've heard that Hell is a place of disappointment and frustration. I've also heard that its the anticipation of Heaven that makes Hell so.......hellish.

Think about it, you follow your spiritual leader's orders by drinking the poisoned Kool-Aid only to hear the demonic words "leaving paradise" as you take your last breath.

Or you find yourself swimming stranded in shark-infested waters and come upon a raft, only to have your emergency knife, secure in your utility belt, open and puncture a hole in the raft as you climb into it. And this after causing a bloody cut on your hand to dribble blood into the SHARK infested waters.

Hell is being put in a challenging situation and finding the path to success or safety either blocked, just out of reach or made more distant by your actions. Its making a choice to follow a path that initially looks promising but may eventually lead to your demise.

In a nutshell, Hell is sitting in a windy and cold football coliseum watching your team lose in the most torturous of ways. Your team executes some exciting plays and have you on the verge of crowning them heavenly winners, then they let their opponent dominate and humiliate them without putting up much of a fight. You're left cold, disappointed and wondering why you chose to follow this team in the first place. Why continue drinking the poison if you know it won't get you into paradise?

Today was a cold day in Oaktown as the Miami Dolphins came to town and showed us how a playoff caliber team competes and wins on the road. Yes, the Oakland Raiders were allowed to drink the kool-aid and discover the raft early in the game, only to find their hopes for reaching paradise punctured by a Dolphin's fin when the final gun sounded.
Hell is being allowed to hope when you're destined to face failure. Its facing cold after anticipating heat, its agonizing over defeat after expecting a win. Hell is being an Oakland Raiders fan......

Final Score
Dolphins 33
Raiders 17

Friday, November 26, 2010

KNBR's Torture After Turkey Day

Giants Series Clinching Games
Oct. 3rd - Padres 0 Giants 3



San Francisco Bay Area radio station KNBR broadcast a day of tribute to the San Fransco Giants run to the World Series Championship today. They did this by airing the Giants four series clinching games that ended with a game 5 victory over the AL Champion Texas Rangers.

Aired in four chapters, I just happened to catch chapter 3 which was game 6 of the NLDS against the Philadelphia Phillies in its entirety. It was as filling as the Turkey dinner I had yesterday.

Hearing Kruk, Kuip and John Miller call that torturous Pennant winning game made for a truly filling Thanksgiving Holiday buffet. I'll never get tired of re-living the Giants Championship season with all its trimmings. I listened and cheered as if I didn't know what the outcome would be. I suppose this is how fans of championship teams spend their offseason. Who Knew?

Anyone who says they play or watch for the love of the game hasn't participated in a World Series championship as a fan or player. The baseball season doesn't end for a champion, it just simmers and gets more flavorful to the palate like a good stew. You can put it in the refrigerator, take it out and heat it up a week later and it tastes better than the first spoonful. Like allowing the tenderizing seasoning overnight of meat, giving it time to sink in for better flavor. The Giants World Series win is the most tender and tasteful meat I've had the pleasure of putting on my barbecue since the Raiders won the 2002 AFC Championship.

Its my first championship and I'll never be the same as a fan because of it. I think all Giants fans feel the same way, we've been reborn and life is so full of ......optimism.


Don't talk to me about trades, free-agency or arbitration right now, I'm way too caught up in the afterglow of winning a World Series. I can't wait to see what Xmas Day 2010 brings to us Giants fans. Heck, I'd take a replay of the Giants Victory Day Parade over the Rose Bowl parade on television come New Years Day.

Let's Go Giants!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Thanksgiving Day Replay of 2007 eating competition appropriately titled the "MLE Chowdown." I'm still a loyal fan of Takeru Kobayashi's. He's the reason I began reporting on eating competitions in the first place. Who else but the eating Tsunami would challenge a live bear to a hot dog eating competition?

Enjoy Your Thanksgiving Day Stuffing!



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Antonio Margarito Post-Fight PIC


Margarito picture and article from Ariel Payopay blog, obviously a pro-Pacquiao blog


See what happens when you make fun of Freddie Roach’s parkinson’s disease on television? You end up with your face having a fractured orbital bone.

Pacquiao killed Margarcheato even with his 4.5 inch height, 6inch reach, 17lbs, and illegal Hydroxycut. Pacquiao even had the sportsmanship to chill out the last 2 rounds because he felt pity for his opponent. And the Pac haters are still coming up with excuses today. I told you guys not to worry about anything.

read on at Ariel Payopay.....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Raiders Ejected In Blitzburgh (I-W-U)

What does I-W-U stand for? "IT WAS UGLY!"

The Oakland Raiders visited the Pittsburgh Steelers in hopes of repeating their upset victory of last season. They not only lost but couldn't come close to their performance of 2009 at Heinz Field.

The Steelers defense kept the Raiders from doing what they do best, running the ball. Through penalties the Steelers kept giving the Raiders chances to take over the game, but the Raiders offense could only manufacture 3 points.

The Raiders defense initially showed up to play, keeping the Steelers off the board early. But you can't expect your defense to carry you on the road in a hostile environment against a championship caliber team. Ask D-fensive tackle Richard Seymour. Seymour, a main cog in the Raiders defense, was ejected from the game just before halftime. The cause; smushing a hand through the facemask of Steelers QB Ben Rothlisberger's after the play. After throwing a touchdown, Big Ben made some kind of remark that didn't sit well with Seymour. It Was Ugly.


My analysis is that the Raiders were outcoached early and often. While the Steelers pulled out a few trick plays and such to slow down and soften the Oakland defense, the Raiders added nothing to their offensive scheme; no screens, no reverses, no nothing. Oh, maybe I missed one wildcat formation that was forgettable.

QB Bruce Gradkowski should have replaced Jason Campbell earlier as Campbell was rattled and reverted back to his statue-like pocket presence. The team simply had nobody to rally around. Coaches weren't coaching, leaders weren't leading and the opposition was given enough time to reload, take aim and fire at will. It Was Ugly.

Leadership: The ability to keep your head about you when everyone else is losing theirs.

"IF" by Rudyard KiplingFinal Score

Raiders 3
Steelers 35

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tribal Sayings & Wisdom


"A Dog Has Never Called A Man And Then Beaten Him"

old Kru Tribe saying


I came across this saying in an African Treasury book of stories selected by Langston Hughes.
The Kru were a tribe from the interior of the country known as Liberia on the west coast of Africa. Its that old ancient wisdom that continues to make us think about and question man's ways.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR IS A GIANT - BUSTER POSEY

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey was voted rookie of the year in the National League. Amazing that a rookie could help lead his team to a World Series Championship. Ashkon was right; Hands-down Rook-ee of the Yeeeaaaar. Congratulations Rook!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Guess Who's Leading The AFC West Now?

AFC West Team....... W L T Pct Div

Oakland Raiders.......5 4 0 .556 3-0
Kansas City Chiefs.....5 4 0 .556 1-4
San Diego Chargers....4 5 0 .444 1-4
Denver Broncos........3 6 0 .333 1-3


Its official, with the Broncos putting a stomping on the Chiefs today, the Oakland Raiders at (5-4) are tie for the division lead. Oakland has the better division record and a win over the Chiefs which in my book makes the Raiders division leaders.

On a weekend that saw the Raiders rest, the AFC West is as open as the NFC West. Its anybody's division and the one who fights hardest down the stretch will earn it.

This bye-week saw the Raiders getting healthy with possible returns of key players. I heard on the blog wire that wide receiver Chaz Schilens was seen running drills and making cuts in practice. If we can add a Schilens or Murphy to Jacoby Ford in the receiving corps, imagine how the running game will benefit from that.

We're going into Pittsburgh next weekend to take on the Steelers who will probably still be pissed over losing to the Patriots tonight. So put on your colors Raider Nation and begin acting like a winner. We're the AFC West Division leading Oakland Raiders and we'll fight anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Win, Lose or Tie
Raider Til I Die

A Boxing David Pummels Goliath


Who else but boxing great Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao could move up in weight to take on a man who outweighs him by 15 pounds and give one of the most dominating performances of his boxing career? Goliath didn't have a chance.

Manny defeated Antonio Margarito to win the junior middleweight championship, his 8th. Margarito is a strong, determined mexican fighter who looked as if he couldn't believe the speed and skill of Pacman had rendered his boxing skills useless. After 12 bruising rounds and a gaping red cut under his right eye Margarito knew he was a beaten man. But give the Goliath credit, he never gave up the fight even when at times it appeared he should have.
The large Mexican fanbase at giant-sized Texas Stadium were shocked into silence at the chopping down of their Goliath. Filipinos in attendance had 12 rounds of karaoke practice in singing the praises of their native son Pacman. In the Philippines I'm sure that Frank Sinatra's "My Way" was probably unbanned in karaoke bars for a night, such was the celebratory mood of Pacquiao's countrymen.

As for Manny, he vowed after the fight to continue helping people through his political position and stated convincingly that he still wants to fight. When asked about Floyd Mayweather, Manny was as diplomatic as any congressman when he said he's not afraid to fight anyone.
At this point Manny is on top of the boxing world. If anyone out there wasn't convinced that Manny is the greatest boxer in this era, seeing him perform his David conquering Goliath act last night should erase their doubts.

Honestly, I had visions of Bruce Lee when watching Manny pounce around the ring last night. His speed, his grace and his intensity all warped me back to a time in the early 1970's where I sat mesmerized by a small muscled asian hero as he pounced around the Coliseum of Rome like a cat and kicked the shit out of American martial artist Chuck Norris. How ironic that today actor Norris is known for his current role as a Texas Ranger. Well young'ins, there was a time when the world was stunned by the dominance of a small asian fighter; that time is upon us once again.

Manny Pacquaio is our 2010 version of Little Dragon whipping tail.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Re-Living The SF Giants Amazing Championship Run

Its just as fulfilling looking back on the San Francisco Giants playoff run without the torture dangling around your neck. I don't know about other Giants fans, but for me the the more I think about what our team accomplished and how they accomplished it, the more I just simply can't believe it.

I know the theme song was Ashkon/Journey's "Don't Stop Believe'in," but Come'On Man, who had the Giants beating the San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers before coming home to hoist their first San Francisco World Series trophy to the Bay Area heavens?

October
1st........Padres 6 Giants 4
2nd.......Padres 4 Giants 2
3rd........Padres 0 Giants 3 (Giants 1 win clinches division title)

7th........Braves 0 Giants 1 (NLDS/Giants 3-1)
8th........Braves 5 Giants 4
10th......Giants 3 Braves 2
11th.......Giants 3 Braves 2

16th......Giants 4 Phillies 3 (NLCS/Giants 4-2)
17th......Giants 1 Phillies 6
19th......Phillies 0 Giants 3
20th.....Phillies 5 Giants 6
21st......Phillies 4 Giants 2
23rd.....Giants 3 Phillies 2

27th.....Rangers 7 Giants 11 (World Series/ Giants 4-1)
28th.....Rangers 0 Giants 9
30th.....Giants 2 Rangers 4
31st......Giants 4 Rangers 0

November
1st........Giants 3 Rangers 1


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When Baseball Is More Than A Field Of Dreams

Folks I introduce to you Josiah Viera. His story is one that trancends not only our love of sports, but our understanding and appreciation for what it means to be a living human being.

If I ever have the pleasure to meet Josiah, whether it be in this world or the next, I'd like him to know that the strength, courage and love of life he exhibited while on this earth has struck a spiritual chord in me that I thought only God could pluck.

Its a chord not of sympathy or pity, but one that vibrates with the beautiful essence of life itself. Its that sound inside of us that startles us to tears when it shakes us awake and reminds us that regardless of our current situation, we are and always will be in this wonderful kingdom of an almighty _ _ _..

Thank you Josiah for rekindling for us that message from our Lord so eloquently. We are blessed because you shared your love for this world and the game of baseball.



Book About Red Sox Curse from 1918 by Dan Shaughnessy


Just finished a great book about the curse laid on the Boston Red Sox in 1918 when they traded one of the greatest players that ever lived. There's a story of a San Francisco Giants curse that was lifted recently which allowed them to win this year's World Series Championship.

Curse The Fan Who Rejects A Good Baseball Story, November 10, 2010

This review is from: The Curse of the Bambino (Paperback)

The book "The Curse of The Bambino" is a great read full of colorful stories about baseball and the men who promoted and played the game. Sure I come to the book after the Boston Red Sox have won two modern day World Series, but good stories cannot be erased by events that occur after the fact. In fact, I'd say the story of the Bambino Curse was put in a time-capsule the moment the Sox finally won it all in 2004. And who doesn't like opening up a time-capsule and peering into a time and place that once was? Based on many reviews of this book I'd say there is one group unwilling or unable to look back; Red Sox fans.

I think what author Dan Shaughnessy did with the Sox curse is give a reader the full unbiased story from beginning to end. As a baseball fan you'll enjoy reading not only about Babe Ruth and owner Harry Frazee, but the many many ball players and incidents that mysteriously kept the curse going for over 90 years. I do feel for those Red Sox fans who lived and died during the era of the curse, never seeing their beloved Sox win it all. I believe this book is a tribute to those fans as well as fans of all sports who know the heartbreak of being close to winning it all only to have it snatched away in the blink of a interception, a three pointer, a goal, a putt or a sure out ground ball mysteriously rolling between two Buckner legs. Sorry Sox fans, it couldn't be avoided.

Dan writes like few other sports writers reporting on baseball. He mixes the old with the new, the facts with the myths and the heroics with the heart breaks. He's a reporter who isn't afraid to give his take on why the unexpected in sports can so easily become the expected. He gives us also a glimpse into the ever growing history of baseball, even throwing in the Jackie Robinson story. I never knew that Robinson's first tryout in the majors was with the Boston Red Sox, did you?

I really enjoyed reading my 2000 Penguin Edition of "The Curse of The Bambino," which features a picture of Bill Buckner's blunder on the cover. I refused to put it down at a time when my San Francisco Giants were exorcising demons of their own on the way to a Giants World Series Championship, their first in San Francisco ever. It was a season full of torture as well as triumph and it had a sort of unexplainable redemptive spiritual essence to it. Call it a reverse of a curse if you will, it was amazing. Mesmerizing right through to the victory parade down San Francisco's Market Street.

If you love the game of baseball, you'll appreciate the incredible stories that come with it. The Curse of The Bambino is one of those incredible stories that must be chewed on like tobacco in order to savor the juices, even if those juices are known to be hazardous to your health.

Great Job Dan!
9-4-1-8


Monday, November 08, 2010

Raiders Make Division Statement

The stage couldn't have been set better for a rivals game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders. Both teams are tasting chunks of success after suffering years of surviving on scraps from the banquet tables of Denver and San Diego.

The Chiefs have taken the reign of AFC West team-to-beat since week 1 this season. The Raiders, with a stout defense and a resurgent running game, are competing at a level few thought them capable of this year. The two teams mirror each other in many ways, however, its the Chiefs that seem to be the media's cinderella darlings coming into Sunday's game in Oaktown.

The Raiders were coming off two commanding wins and finally sold out their first game in eons. Leading in division wins (2) coming into the game, the Raiders could make a strong case for team-to-beat to beat in the division should they pull out a win.

The Raider Nation packed the Coliseum and the Oakland Raiders delivered. It wasn't always pretty and the Chiefs didn't just role over, but the Raiders exhibited a winning determination that teams of years past hardly ever showed.

Missing key starters on offense (Z.Miller) and defense (N.Asoumogha), the Raiders pulled together and inspired each other to greatness on a day that smelled of doom early. They overcame a 10-0 half-time deficit, a day of bad officiating that awakened conspiracy theory talk, injuries and penalties (15-140 yards). Upon all this they came back to tie the game in the last seconds of regulation, then win it in overtime after forcing the Chiefs to go three and out after getting the ball first.

Yes, it was a day that will go down as a Classic Raiders Win, and to have it locally televised means the SF Bay Area witnessed the Raider Nation's transformation from scrap beggar to banquet table host. It defnitely was an electric win that us fans are still savoring this monday morning. I hadn't seen the fans so hyped after a game since..........playoff days.

The Oakland Raiders head into their bye-week with a 5-4 record and leave the Chiefs (5-3) hovering at the corner of the banquet table trying to keep their guest pass valid. The Raiders currently own the only inner-division winning record at 3-0 while the Chiefs awake this morning with a 1-1 record and the Broncos (0-1) and Chargers (0-2) are groveling under the banquet table fighting for scraps.

Final Score - OT
Chiefs 20
Raiders 23











Game Ball To Raiders Rookie Jacoby Ford:
148 receiving yards
158 return yards(see espn)

note: I've already purchased SF Giants World Series gear, but leaving the Raiders game I couldn't pass up buying a classy Giants t-shirt with a sea of hands lifting the World Series trophy along with a caption below that read: "AFTER 56 YEARS THE TORTURE IS OVER"

Maybe just maybe, lightening will strike twice in bay area sports this year. From the look of all the Giants fans at the Coliseum wearing hints of orange and black with SF caps, anything is possible . Wow!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

What A Difference A World Series Makes


Today I awake to the unbelievable; the San Francisco Giants are World Series Champions. Giants fans who are not just bandwagon fans understand the feelings I'm experiencing this morning. They, like myself, awoke this morning and scrambled to read a newspaper headline just to be sure it all wasn't some freak dream. It wasn't.

I attended the last game of last season with glove and ball, feeling sadness afterward that the season had come to an end without my Giants going to the playoffs. And to put salt in the wound, the Dodgers had made the post-season. I blogged about my love of baseball and my Giants team. It was a "wait'll next year" moment for me. Now here it is the next year and my team are World Series Champions? Someone please, pinch me again and tell me I'm not dreaming.

November 2, 2009

Baseball Season Closed

So here I am, writing to keep from moping around, tossing my ball into my leather baseball glove over and over like a child who's playmate had to leave much too early. The baseball season is officially over at my home ballpark and sure there's the playoffs and a world series approaching, but without my Giants in it life just seems to carry a bitter taste about now.

Monday, November 01, 2010

WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS

Giants greet world series mvp Edgar Renteria at home plate after his 3-run smash homer

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

2010

TORTURE
NEVER FELT SOooo G-O-O-D

SF Victory Parade set for Winner's Wednesday