Sunday, July 29, 2012

Linebacker Chad "Go Kill" Kilgore is A Raider

On the day before their first training camp begins the Oakland Raiders signed 5th Rd draft pick, WR Juron Criner.  It was expected that the talented young man would be signed before training camp.  What wasn't expected are the two undrafted free agents, linebacker Chad Kilgore out of Northwest Missouri State and receiver DeAundre Muhammad out of Indiana, being added to the Raiders roster.

Receivers are a dime a dozen, but finding a good linebacker who can become a game changer is a rarity.  Raider Nation..... I give you Chad Kilgore, or "Go Kill." 

The way I see it, this young prospect has the on-field smarts and speed to make a difference on defense.  Based on the following footage, "Go Kill" can fight off blocks, shoot gaps, run down running backs, cover tight ends, hit and wrap up on tackles and basically make an offense alter their game plan.  Sure he might not have seen the upper echelon of college competition, but his instincts seem solid and it appears he loves the game of nasty football.  

The new version of Oakland Raiders, based on new GM Reggie McKenzie's vision, is going to be built with men who are football smart, athletic and willing to work hard as a team to win.  "Go Kill" definitely seems to fit that bill.  I'm picking this kid as one of the many surprise acquisitions for the Raiders.  You never know what rookie is going to step out of obscurity and have the league and fans comparing him to one of the greats.  Chad Kilgore could be that rookie.  Just "Go Kill" Chad, Just Go Kill!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012 Olympics Inspiration

I hadn't planned on watching the 2012 Summer Olympics, but thoughts of my acrobatic, ballet loving granddaughter, Amirah Deara, has me looking for the televised gymnastics schedule.

Today was meant to think of my Amirah Deara and remind her of just how much I love her.  Daughters and Granddaughters are like butterflies, beautiful and transforming. Both can bring out the humbleness of the coldest of men.  

Big Hugs Amirah Deara
Your Yah Yah!

Coming across an old used book titled "The French Doll" led me to this beautiful lullaby that sounds and smells just like my Amirah. Nite, nite!

French Doll (composed by William Gillock)

Friday, July 27, 2012

2012 Raiders Compare Well To 2002 AFC Champions

A license to dream, that's what I call training camp and preseason football.  Or call it caviar wishes and champagne dreams, because when it comes to preseason analysis of your football teams' chances to go to the Super Bowl, a fantasy recipe for success is the only way to define your promising outlook.  Last season's pork & beans finish is a distant memory as this season shows nothing but rich rewards.

And just how tasty is the fantasy of envisioning your team making it to the big show and winning it all? I'll tell you. It's tasty enough to believe the recipe that makes up the new team will produce the best meal you've ever sank your teeth into.   

After reading an article by Elias Trejo of the Raider Nation TImes, which compares the 2002 Raiders roster with the current one, I'm drooling from the mouth anticipating the Oakland Raiders 2012 season.  Its never too early to entertain a dream; that's how dreams become realities. 

Are You Ready For Some Football? 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Giants Showcase A Defense of Champions

Crawford in Action (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

I know it's only the San Diego Padres, but Damn, the Giants are playing like champions!  Last night's game at AT&T park had the Giants making plays on defense that reminded me of their world series playoff run.  

Another Angel Pagan diving catch and follow-up throw that should be replaying on ESPN at this minute; Pablo Sandoval at first base making an acrobatic, olympian double-play catch of a Brandon Crawford throw, and of course the Brandon Crawford walk-off game winning single.

Yes, the San Francisco Giants are adding up to the sum of all it's parts.  There are all-stars on the team, but every game seems to bring out the regular joe's pushing their game up a notch for a chance to go to the playoffs.  Last night Angel Pagan showed he deserves gold glove status and Brandon Crawford made a strong case for being more than just a regular Joe!

Final Score
Padres 2
Giants 3

- Oakland A's won their sixth straight game last night in Toronto, 7-2

- And just who the heck is Edinson Volquez? Padres pitcher battled Madison Bumgarner to a 2-2 stalemate.

Monday, July 23, 2012

NFL Football - Down With The Sickness

Tis the season to be jolly. Just like the days leading up to Christmas for a kid, the days leading up to NFL training camp is full of excitement and anticipation for any football fan.  

My Raiders will host the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 13th in Oakland for their first exhibition game.  Wow, silver and black football action less than three weeks away. I'm getting sick just wanting to wish it here tomorrow. Just like kids and christmas I tell you.  

If you're not down with the sickness of NFL Football, then you're just not down!

Penn State Penalty Phase

The statue of Joe Paterno was removed this weekend as the Penn State football program was heavily penalized for the child abuse cover-up scandal.  While many are discussing whether the penalty fit the crime, I'd like to keep the focus on the victimization of children.

There simply is no penalty big enough to fit "This" crime.  Penn State as an academic institution shares the blame with convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky. They did it for the money, plain and simple.  When those in charge of making decisions at large organizations choose to ignore and cover-up crimes against children, they deserve every punishment and criticism our society can legally heap on them when caught.  

For all the ugly and tasteless criticisms and images being shared on the internet about Penn State, not one is as ugly and damaging as the crimes committed against the victims of Penn State.

To the many victims of Jerry Sandusky & Penn State, both known and unknown, I apologize for being a part of a society that puts money ahead of ethics.  For those heroic victims who came forward and told their stories, sharing their pain, I thank you.  You have unveiled an evil that our society must better protect against. 

Hopefully we've learned a very valuable lesson about ourselves and the value of our children. Children are priceless, and any individual or institution that jeopardizes their safety should be exposed and made accountable for their actions. We may not be able to prevent every crime, but it is in our power to bring to justice the criminal(s) responsible.

Never turn a blind eye to abuse of any kind. Ever!

Bay Area Baseball Teams

Our Bay Area baseball teams are showing us and the league that America's past-time has not passed us by in 2012.  Since the All-Star break the San Francisco Giants are 7-2 while the Oakland A's, after sweeping the NY Yankees four games in Oaktown, are 8-1.  

It's summer baseball in the bay at its best.  The A's have to be the hottest team in the majors right now.  When you sweep a team that money and media are draped over like a cheap suit, it gets folks to talking. Hopefully the talk will continue to focus on the A's extraordinary play on the field and not on the empty seats at the coliseum.

As for the Giants, pitching has kicked in and is carrying them in close games, but they'll definitely need to address hitting with men on base.  This morning, after a twelve-inning loss to the Phillies, the talk is about slumping first baseman Brandon Belt.  Numbers don't lie, and Belt knows he's in a slump and wants to work through out. The team, holding to a mere 1.5 division lead, might not have the luxury of waiting for him to break through.  Time and pressure, time and pressure!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sparkle 2012 Coming in August

Don't know about you, but I was just hitting my teenage years in 1976 when the hit movie Sparkle glittered across the theatre screens.  Actors Irene Cara, Philip Michael-Thomas, Lonette McKee and Mary Alice gave us the Supremes-like story of three R&B singing sisters and their young music agent.  Sparkle would become a cult-classic among african-american audiences.  

The Vinyl LP soundtrack album, sung by Aretha Franklin, would hit #1 on the top R&B Albums list.  The song "Something He Can Feel"  hit #1 on the Hot Soul Singles list.  The sounds made that American Bicentennial summer something to rejoice and truly celebrate. Of course the album was produced by a musician I consider a genius,  the late Curtis Mayfield.

On August  17, 2012, Sparkle, the remake, will be released in theaters throughout the United States.  For many of us, it will be more than just another movie;  it will be like going home for a nice little summer vacation.

Dedicated to Songstress and Actor Whitney Houston

Monday, July 16, 2012

Remembering Myspace Raiders Style

I remember joining the social network Myspace in 2005, a few years after it had been launched.  I joined for two reasons, to meet other Raiders and possibly hookup with a hot babe.  Well, I ended up getting both and my adventure into the social web community took off, meeting new friends, sharing information and creating a page that showed loyalty to my Silver and Black Raiders.

Here it is years later and though Myspace is still alive and well, Facebook is now the big daddy of social networking.  I was all ready to jump in and use my experience from Myspace to meet, mingle and create on facebook when I first joined, but after a while I became suspicious of the site.  When news reports of personal information gathering and other behind the scenes Facebook activities confirmed my fears, I shut it down and revisited Myspace for the heck of it.

Most if not all of those I knew on Myspace are now on Facebook. But there are a few, probably the ones as protective of their personal information as I am, who are still using the old pioneer of social networking.  One is an old friend Jennifer, nicknamed Raidergurl.  

Jennifer bleeds silver & black as much as any Raiders fan and she's continued to represent the Raiders wherever she finds herself on the web.  When I first friended Jennifer she was sportin' a tight little outfight that seemed to be shrinkin' by the minute. I commented on the shrinkage being from a tear-soaked outfit while watching our Raiders stumble through another losing season.

That's right, Jennifer is one of the many Raidergurls found out their on the web who add beauty to our brutal style of football. She's a genuine second generation Raiders fan and I'm glad to see she's still representin' on Myspace with pride, poise and passion.

Good Lookin at you RaiderGurl

Sunday, July 15, 2012

SF Giants Back On Top in NL West

On a night when the L.A. Dodgers blew a game leaving the door open for the Giants to take over the division lead, rookie Giants catcher Hector Sanchez would make that door seem one in a dream, so close yet so far away.

Well, the dream ended in a fantasy finish instead of a nightmare as Sanchez, who was blamed for an error that allowed a score to run to tie the game, came up with the walk off RBI in the 12th inning.  You could argue that the error should not have been charged to Sanchez on the throw.  A ball in the dirt bounced away from him and , and, and, well, let's just say it was a keystone cops type play, ugly.

The Giants are now atop the NL West by a half game.  The celebration that Sanchez's RBI triggered last night expressed not only the teams' giddy emotions from a roller coaster ride game, but also the fans.  The Giants are torturing us again folks!

Final Score (12)
Astros 2
Giants 3

Branch Is Back!

The Oakland Raiders have signed franchise tagged player Tyvon Branch to a four year deal.  Branch has been a durable part of the Raiders secondary since coming in to the league in 2008.  Right-on Raiders for getting the deal done.

Branch, a fourth-round pick in 2008, has started every game the past three seasons and led the Raiders in tackles the past two years. He had 78 solo tackles, one sack, one interception, four passes defensed and one fumble recovery last season.

Branch's 327 total tackles over the past three seasons are the second most of any NFL defensive back, trailing only Indianapolis' Antoine Bethea, who has 340. 
espn new blog Bill Williamson

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Raider Nation Celebration

The Oakland Raiders will celebrate the start of football this year with the Raider Nation Celebration on Sunday, August 12 from 1 – 4 p.m. at Coliseum, in parking lot “B,” which is located on the south side of the Coliseum Complex.

It's the "Parking Lot B" part that makes me wonder what's the deal.  Is there some surprise in store where the Raiders will open the Coliseum gates and march us fans straight onto the field to the rallying battle cry of "The Autumn Wind?"  What gives?

I've been attending Raider Nation Celebration for years and I don't ever remember it being held in the Coliseum parking lot.  I'm sure there's a good reason for it, $$$$, but it don't matter, I'd go if it were held in a broke-down bowling alley in Bakersfield.  Well, then again, let's just be thankful for the damn parking lot!

Win Lose or Tie

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Melkman Earns All-Star MVP

SF Giants outfielder and fan favorite Melky Cabrera won the All-Star Game MVP as he and other Giants starters led the National League to an 8-0 laugher over the American league in Kansas City.
Mekly in orange spikes. Go Giants!
Melky, returning to the baseball stadium he played in last season, went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and scoring two runs.  The other San Francisco Giants (Matt Cain, Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey) were all factors in helping the National League win their third straight All-Star game and giving the NL home field advantage in the World Series.

The Giants are a half game back of NL West division lead and will need to continue their all-star style of play for them to make it into the playoffs.  They can do it, they've Got Melk!

Final Score
National League 8
American League 0

Friday, July 06, 2012

Serena Silences Howling Azarenka

The Beauty of Sports

I just love this jubilant picture of Serena WIlliams after her win over Victoria Azarenka in the Wimbledon semifinals yesterday.  Azarenka is known for her distinctive howling grunt when whacking the tennis ball.  Serena on the other hand is known for her rocket serve that simply disarms opponents, rendering them non-threatening.

The athleticism of Serena Williams is unmistakably the result of hard work and dedication.  This picture has captured it all and embodies the the essence of athletic achievement. 

This weekend Serena will team with sister Venus in the Doubles Finals.  That's one big Howl for Serena folks! 

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Bliss 2007


Meryem (Özgü Namal), a young woman of about 17 years old, is believed to have been violated, and her village's customs call for her to be killed to restore honor and dignity to her family and village. A young, newly returned war veteran and son of the village leader, Cemal (Murat Han), is ordered to take Meryem to Istanbul and kill her, but at the last minute he doesn't allow himself to complete the task and the two, now unable to ever return to their village, run away together. Eventually, they meet up with ex-Professor Irfan, a man who has decided to live on a boat away from his wife and limited life.
This movie is adapted from the international best selling novel by Zülfü Livaneli.[3]

SF Weekly

SF Weekly, the free alternative weekly newspaper in San Francisco, California, carries an article in this week's edition that begs to be read.  It's a breakdown of the U.S. economy, where we've been, where we are and where we're most likely heading if Wall Street and Washington continue doing business as usual.

No wonder I chose a sports blog over political and/or social opinion; the reality of economic and political conditions in the United States today are horrific.  You wanna see something really scary?  Step away from the fake reality television shows that divert you from learning what's really happening in today's world.  

The SF Weekly article, America's Petro-Terrorists by Pete Kotz, is a lesson in Conspiracy Tactics.  Not conspiracy theories, but tactics; how it was planned, put into action and continues to perform.  Yes, it's a scary article to read, but one that every American wondering what the heck is going on in this country must check out.  After reading this article you'll either feel like the 1% quoting Afred E. Newman - "What Me Worry?", or more like the 99% quoting a busted lipped boxer saying - "I Wuz Robbed!"


And just when I began reading about Offshore Investments and the Underground Economy. Timing is everything I tell you!

Largest black markets
Estimated annual market value
(Billion USD)

Total 796[12]
Marijuana 142[12]
Prostitution 108[12]
Counterfeit technology products 100[12]
Counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs 75[12]
Prescription drugs 73[12]
Cocaine 70[12]
Opium and heroin 65[12]
Web Video piracy 60[12]
Software piracy 53[12]
Cigarette smuggling 50[12

Too Much Magic by Jason Benlevi

Here's a book that's on my reading list.  It seems society is overloaded by technological gadgets these days, so much so, that many users are dependent on it to a fault.  We see a young generation who are super savvy with electronic devices but definitely lacking in basic communication skills.  And if that's not a shame, the morals and values of our society are disintegrating at a rapid rate.  Of course none of this is all Technology's fault, but the emphasis on plugging in and tuning out has definitely come to fruition.

This book goes behind the scenes of the magical technology curtain and gives us an inside view of what's driving it all and where we can end up if we're not careful.  Remember old sayings like "Too good to be true, "loose lips sink ships" and "Nothing is for free"?  Well it seems those lessons were pushed to the back burner when it comes to new technology use.  "Too Much Magic" shows the price we pay in privacy, child-rearing, relationships, education and other social values we once held to a higher standard. 

Publisher's Description Summary:
"What have you gotten yourself into? Your kids have never known life without a computer. They expect to be entertained everywhere, all the time. Your phone does things you still can't figure out. Everyone is tracking what you buy. People line up to get the newest gadget, yet every movie about the future portrays a tech world-gone-wrong. Yes -- something is wrong with this picture. The problem is not technology itself, but rather those who decide its course. 

Too Much Magic is the story of high-rolling venture capitalists, media moguls and marketeers using digital magic to distract us, invade our privacy, corrupt democracy, distort our human values, and sell us things we don't need. What does it cost us personally? While one generation harbors anxiety about technology, the next generation is incapable of doing anything without it, tethered to its wireless and social networks -- rendered clueless at performing simple tasks, like dating, without going online. Authored by Silicon Valley marketing-communications guru Jason Benlevi, Too Much Magic slices through all aspects of our accelerating digital lifestyle -- explaining how it is changing us, and who really benefits. Here's a clue -- without knowing the tricks, it probably won't be you" -- Publisher's description, p. [4] of cover.

Author Jason Benlevi: 
Let me be clear, I am a long-time lover of technology, I'm just not thrilled with the models that are evolving that are more focused on monetization for what are actually trivial applications of tech...or turning everything we do into just one more way to target people with advertising. We can do better.

Jason Benlevi Interview

Computer Glitch Blamed In San Diego Fireworks Malfunction 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Steve Nash Joins Los Angeles Lakers?

Phoenix Suns star guard Steve Nash has joined Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.  I've always thought of Nash as a stand up athlete and top tier basketball player.  His joining an enemy camp will sure seem weird for Suns fans.

There will most likely be more player trades and transactions before next season for both teams.  For now, the Nash trade is definitely the biggest NBA news since Lebron leaked tears all over the championship trophy.  I think this is bigger than Orlando's Dwight Howard pushing to be traded to the New Jersey Nets of Brooklyn.  Scratch That!

The Brooklyn Nets are sure encroaching on Oakland Raiders Colors & Logo. Watch-it BK!

Ol'Skool All-Star Raider Legend Passes

Big Ben Davidson was and always will be a Raider.  Though he played for Lombardi's 1961 Champion Packers his rookie season, he'll be most remembered for his 1964-1972 legacy with the Oakland Raiders.

Big, Bold and helping to set the tone that would become the Raiders Mystique.  He was a 6 foot 8 defensive lineman who played with a relentless passion.  He sported a handlebar mustache probably before A's pitcher Rollie Fingers, and he played Rexor in one of the all-time favorite he-man movies, Conan the Barbarian.

Big Ben, Still A Raider!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

A's Roll Red Sox With 2 Runs In 9th

The Oakland A's are a grind-it-out, never say die bunch of guys.  The boys in yellow made some fantastic defensive plays tonight, including a double play in the ninth off a Boston bunt that popped up and was gloved at grass top level before being thrown to first for the second out.  

Trailing 2-1, leaving the bases loaded in the 8th, the A's found a way to escape the top of the ninth without allowing Boston to add to their lead.  That set up a dramatic ending that I myself did not expect and could barely watch.

Somehow, someway the A's got the hits and scored the runs as a Coco Crisp sacrifice fly brought home the walk-off run.  It almost seemed like the Red Sox just folded under pressure, that pressure being the resilient A's players on the field and their loud-n-proud fans in the stands.  By all accounts Boston should've, could've had this game in the bag. Instead, they got bagged and bounced back to their hotel with the taste of blown save swirling around inside their mouth.

Coco Crisp, who also had a first inning two run homer, was the player of the game and received a well-timed, interview stopping pie-in-the-face as a consolation prize. Whoever it was that backpedaled past Crisp as he was proudly beaming into the camera with hands on hips in a trojan man-like stance, that pie pusher deserves a game ball.

What better way for Oaktown to bring in the Fourth of July Fireworks festivities than by lighting up the field with their sparkling play tonight.

The A's are closing in on a .500 record and are playing some damn good team baseball.  They're winning series in various ways, a definite indication of a contender.

As for the Boston Red Sox? They'll return to the Oakland Coliseum tomorrow for a third game. Can the Sox avoid getting swept for the Holidays?  Goood Luuuuk!

Final Score
Boston 2
Oakland 3

N.Y. Giants #10 Fever

These days, when you're the reigning Super Bowl MVP,  you don't go to Disneyland, Desi-land  comes to you.

#10 Eli Manning, You Da' Man!