Tuesday, August 28, 2012

SF Giants & Oakland A's Battling

With football season at the starting line waiting for the whistle to blow, I find myself torn between staying up with major league baseball pennant races and keeping an eye on the Oakland Raiders along with the rest of the NFL transactions, injuries and developments.  This is the time of year where being a multi-sports fan can get very hectic.  

For those who are mild fans of major league sports, thank your stars for being spared the addiction. Oh we fanatics are rewarded with the roller coaster ride of our lives, but the prep work is a mother.  You've gotta do your homework on players, coaches, team strengths and weaknesses.  And you have to know as much about division rivals and opponents as you do the team you're addicted to. Because to be informed is to be armed.  And you don't wanna go into a battle unarmed. In sports, as in life, that's just suicide.

So here we are about to enter September, the last month of baseball's regular season and the first month of football's. The SF-Oakland Bay Area baseball teams are in good positions to make the playoffs. They're overcoming injuries, scandals and competitors spending big money down the stretch for all-star caliber players. Both the A's and Giants are winning with fundamental baseball and a bunch of scrappy players who've chosen to make a run for the championship regardless of the odds.

Meanwhile the Raiders & 49ers are locked and loaded for a season like no other in recent memory.  The Raiders begin a season with a totally new regime and without the man who started their winning ways over 50 years ago, owner Al Davis.  The 49ers are coming off a trip to the NFC championship game and their second year coach expects them to show last season was no fluke.

It's gonna be a sports filled indian summer as the bay area welcomes back that winning feeling in sports.  When the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in fall 2010, nobody expected it.  Now not only are bay area fans expecting their teams to get to the championship, they expect them to get their and win the damn thing.

So get ready folks, the whistle has blown, the bell has rung, the gun has sounded.  We're off and running full speed ahead toward one goal and one goal only.  Winning It All!


Giants 3
Astros 2

Athletics 7
Indians 0

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity

Here is a college fraternity established in 1914 with a credo that includes general community service.  This image of a dapper suited gentleman with top hat and cane caught my attention.  The list of "famous Sigmas" includes many sports figures you might just remember.  

I don't know much about Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, but their mission statement being one of service is definitely in line with my life statement of service to humanity. The suit alone is priceless.

Go Sigmas!

Raider Defense Takes No Prisoners

Yesterday's Raiders game at the Oakland Coliseum (O.Co) was hopefully a showing of things to come.  Though starting Quarterback Carson Palmer's play is still not on par with elite QB's in the league, the offense found ways to move the ball and put a touchdown on the board with him leading them.  

While Carson puttered and sputtered in the first half offense, the starting Defense was putting a hurt on the Detroit Lions high ranking offense.  They put the starting Lions quarterback out of the game, shut down Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, the same receiver who put a dagger in the Raiders at O.Co last December, and they continued their domination over running backs.  For as much offensive fire power the Raiders have, the team has shown that the Defense will most likely reflect the teams' personality through the 2012 season. I can live with that!

Former Raiders coach Hue Jackson talked about 'building a bully' in Oakland. New head coach Dennis Allen ain't talking about building a bully, he's put the bully, fully assembled, out on the field for our unbelieving eyes to behold.  Yes indeed.  For those visiting teams entering the Oakland Coliseum this season, the inscription above the gates of hell need apply; "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here".

Meanwhile, the second half offense, though playing against a second string I'm sure, played some amazing football.  Led by backup quarterback Terrell Pryor, the Raiders offense struck big and often, producing 21 points to seal the win. Pryor, who looked awful in his last preseason performance, appeared to have found his leadership quality, field generalship and passing touch.  Two plays where he ran like a gazelle, and one touchdown pass he threw on the run that spiraled perfectly toward a receiver in stride were enough proof for us watching that Pryor's got definite star player skillz.

I must give more discription to that beautiful pass he threw to rookie WR Juron Criner for a  76 yard touchdown. Pryor rolled out right avoiding the rush and while on the run lofted a right-handed pass across his body that had arch, timing and accuracy as it landed at the right place at the right time. Criner, who is billed as having catcher's mitt hands, pulled in the pass with a reach-down grab as he regained his balance and took it to the house.

We Ready For Some Football Ya'll!

Raiders Roll (NFL Quick Take)

No Crying In Petaluma

Most likely, there were a number of mothers pitching baseball tears in Petaluma for their little league brawlers who made it to yesterday's U.S. Little League Championship game.  You mothers should know that your little men played like champions and deserve a champion's welcome home party.  

So moms, dry up those toddler tears and be ready to welcome home your Giant of a little man.  He may have left home a boy, but believe me, he ain't no little boy no moe! Life has thrown him a curve that will help shape his future as much as any parent's pampering can. How he and his parents respond to the adversity of losing on a national stage is crucial in both their development.

The Petaluma Little League team made all of Northern California (NoCal) as proud as a pumpkin's smile on Halloween.  Though  some Petaluma parents felt the heartache of the teams' 24-16 seven inning loss to Tennessee more than others, all will be able to celebrate along with the rest of NoCal as the historic, high scoring game becomes one of legendary proportions.

Congratulations Petaluma, You've Made History!

Good Luck Tennesse in your Battle Against Japan!

SERIES UPDATE:  Japan crushes Tennessee

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Beauty of a Giants Sweep of the Dodgers

Madison 8/20/12 Bumgarner
Giants 2
Dodgers 1       

Tim 8/21/12 Lincecum
Giants 4
Dodgers 1

Matt 8/22/12 Cain
Giants 8
Dodgers 4

Tonight it was Joaquin Arias who stepped up and slayed the Dodgers with his bat and one amazing fielding of the ball and throw to first for the out.  In left field Justin Christian would top that play with a diving catch that makes you go; Melky Who?

Damn, Damn, Damn Milk Man for getting caught.

Okay, back to the three game series between the two NL West teams battling for the division.

The San Francisco Giants are playing like a team with something to prove.  They went down to L.A. and handled the billion-dollar Dodgers like the hometown team were nobody's in a nothing stadium.  Seeing the Dodger fans and L.A. celebrities looking like they were watching a bad sitcom was the best Wednesday night show I've watched on television in ages.  There were Giants fans there cheering on the orange and black.  It was a huge series for the Giants to SWEEP and leave with a 2.5 game division lead.

Melky? We No Need No Stinkin Melky!

Joaquin 'Kobe' Arias

Democracy Being Sold Down The Drain

Here's an article that seems to confirm what many Americans and most of the 99 Percenters have been bi@tching about.  Our so called "Free Democracy" is being sold (via contributions) by those we elect to uphold and protect the American way of life, to those few who believe their riches afford them the right to make policy.  

When the 400 richest Americans are richer than the bottom 150 million, you can bet your last dollar that it occurred not by accident but by intelligent design. Its not all the rich that are the problem, but those without good economic conscience and little to no accountability for their depressing trickle-down economics. 

In the article "Democracy falling prey to moguls and magnates" by Robert Reich, the real crisis facing citizens of the United States of America is made clear and present.  It's not unemployment, healthcare costs, housing market or suspect financial institution practices. These are mere symptoms and side effects of the favored-contributor-disease.  The real crisis is in the selfish greediness of the rich contributors.  They simply want all the country's wealth without being accountable for collateral damage caused by their profit seeking warfare.  

Maybe I have fallen into the "seductive trap" that Mr. Reich so wisely warns about, but unlike some cynics, I believe the selling trend can be reversed and put in check.  If and/or when we wake up to find not California cities filing for bankruptcy but our Federal Government warding off international investors and lenders, then maybe Change we can All believe in will be at hand. 

Let's pray we and our system of government can check and balance itself out of doing business in the gutter, before finding our Democracy called on the international carpet to account for the fall of a once great empire.  

(Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California and former U.S. Secretary of Labor, is the author of the newly released "Beyond Outrage: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it," a Knopf e-book original.)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Raiders Review of First Half

The Oakland Raiders came into Arizona to play the Cardinals on three days rest after losing to the Cowboys Monday Night.  They look as if they've taken a step backwards from last season.  If the last six quarters of Raiders play is any indication of what to expect from the silver & black this season, I'd rather not watch.

First Half
Raiders 11
Cardinals 24

QB - Carson Palmer is off on his passes and has locked into one receiver, rookie Rod Streater. 
RB - Darren McFadden is the engine that runs the offense.  No DMC, No Go. Need More Reece.
OL - Without center Wiseniewski, offensive line is struggling to pick up blitzes and open running lanes. New blocking scheme suspect.
WR - Heyward-Bey ineffective, Jacoby Ford injured, Streater looks to be the veteran.
Coaching - Suspect (red zone play calling questionable)

Turnovers - 2 fumbles lost, 1 interception
Penalties - 2/17yds (they appear disciplined)

Defense - looked good for the most part. Sacks, a safety and short yardage stoppages.  One blown coverage in the red zone allowed a touchdown. 

Special Teams - giving up too many return yards, not getting enough yards on returns. Punt Blocked. Janokowski 3/3 on field goals.

I know it's still preseason, only the second of four games.  But Come'on Raiders, if you wanna begin to believe things have changed for the better, you have to start showing it on the field.

Its gotta get better. I know it will.

Maybe they're holding back. 

win, lose or tie!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

C Me Dance

C Me Dance Review

3.0 out of 5 stars Discover God's Blessing, Again!, July 20, 2011
This review is from: C Me Dance (DVD)
Let's face it, this movie is no "Fireproof." In the beginning I almost wrote it off as some type of teen-drama that was borderline annoying due to the corny teen acting. Then, as with characters in this movie, I found my attitude towards it transforming as the true message of this movie was slowly revealed along with a very convincing devil.

With God everything is possible, including the conquering of evil and the removal of fears.

So if you find yourself doubtful or fearful that the message in this movie is anything but divinely conceived, remember that evil feeds on our doubts and fears, causing us to renounce the actual blessings of God. What we think we know of God only scratches the surface.

As a child I once believed that the wind was God blowing the dust off my face and the rain was God's tears cleansing the world. I'd misplaced that belief somewhere along the path of life until I walked out of a hospital after a stay from a life threatening illness and felt God's breath and tears again. The near death experience reawakened me to the many mysteries of God. I believe that this movie uses death and the threat of death in the same way, to reawaken our awareness of God's many mysteries.

"Give your fear to God and watch him destroy the enemy!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Say It Ain't So Melky

San Francisco Giants slugger and MLB All-Star MVP Melky Cabrera was suspended today for 50 games.  He'll be eligible to resume play with the Giants in game 6 of the playoffs "Should" the team make the playoffs.  

Talk about crushing news!  I feel like Michael Corleone when he found out it was his brother Fredo who betrayed him:


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Armand Diangienda - A Blessing To The Congo

When I saw this 60 minutes episode featuring former pilot Armand Diangienda, the story touched me like a beautiful song.  If you've never heard of the Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra of the Congo, and trust me when I say you haven't, then this gem of a story set in the Congo is one you won't wanna miss.  It's a story of hope through music. More than anything though it shows humanity at work sharing and giving the gift that universally translates into friendship, fellowship and joy; the gift of music. Incredible!

19 Minutes of Tension (The Wager)

This short 19 minute film is a mental exercise in suspended reality. It stars a weird looking man the likes of bespectacled Les Nessman of WKRP in Cincinnati fame. He arrives at the apartment door of a younger man who's just opening it to go inside.  

Dressed in brown shoes, black socks, boxer shorts and a white tank top, the strange looking man, speaking in a strange way, offers to wager the younger man......."Big Time."  Carrying a bulky square, old fashioned suitcase that at first glance looks half the size of him, the strange man sounds as creepy as he looks. Not creepy in a scarred, psycho-type way, but more the normal, guy-next-door introvert who's mentally unstable.  

The Wager

Raiders lose to field goal in Exhibition (Come'on Man)

We know it's only the first exhibition game. We know there's a new coaching staff with a new playbook.  What we don't know is how the heck the Oakland Raiders could lose a home game 0-3 to the stumbling, bumbling Dallas Cowboys.

Don't tell me we played mostly our third string unit, or that the defense shut down the Cowboys offense for the majority of the game.  The half-time pee-wee league offensive teams looked more in-synch and competitive than the Raiders or Cowboys. Just so happens one of the pee-wee teams were Cowboys!

The game was pretty much an exercise in futility for all participants on offense.  Had Raiders running back Darren McFadden stayed in the game longer, the Raiders would've clearly blown Dallas off the field.  But give credit to Coach Allen for pulling DMac early, avoiding anything resembling an injury.  We fans saw enough to know that we got a running game as long as #20 stays healthy.  Only problem now is his main backups are out nursing injuries, and those who filled in last night weren't getting first downs.

I wasn't going to say it but what the heck. There was a Jamarcus Russell sighting on the field last night for the Raiders.  He came in the person of #6 QB Terrelle Pryor. His performance was the talk of us frustrated fans in the stands as our expectations of a young prototype quarterback were dashed and left damaged on the Coliseum baseball field.

After watching Terrelle Pryor attempt to run the Raiders offense, we know he can still run like he did in college two years ago.  Unfortunately, what we also learned is that he has little to no field vision and he simply can't throw a football.  I heard radio commentators say that coaches working with Pryor in practice corrected his bad footwork that caused throws to nosedive into the turf in front of intended receivers, however, the bad habit seemed to return with a vengeance in last night's real game situation. 

Today my Broncos buddy asked who "That" quarterback for the Raiders was running around like a chicken with his head cut off.  I could reply with nothing but the truth: he's why we play preseason exhibition games. If #6 continues in his slow to no pro development, I say we cut bait and cast for another third string quarterback to carry the clipboard this season. 

I hope I'm wrong about Pryor. Maybe you can teach good on-field decision making in a few weeks. Unfortunately, Pryor follows in the footprints of one JaMarcus Russell; a Raiders quarterback who's physical attributes and arm strength brought salivating promise but failed to deliver on the field. It was a costly Raiders experiment that failed so miserably it's earned the unheralded title of biggest bust in NFL history.  

Ironically, the Raiders player wearing JaMarcus's #2 jersey last night was the most impressive. Punter Marquette King boomed the majority of his punts as if he'd gone to the Ray Guy - Shane Lechler school for punting.  Us fans had been told about him, but seeing those punts of his hang up their in the coliseum atmosphere like a brown blimp taking pictures of the place was a thing of beauty to behold.  King has next to no chance of making the roster, unless he can see open receivers and get them the ball, but I'm sure other teams are licking their chops waiting for his cut date.

Almost forgot that our #2 quarterback, Matt Leinert, completed 11/16 passes for 98 yards with no interceptions. Rookie wide receiver Rod Streater had 6 receptions for 66 yards while veteran Jacoby Ford had a few drops. Again, the Defense was solid in stopping the run.

Friday, August 10, 2012

NFL Monday Night Raiders Debut

It's a new season and the Oakland Raiders will be driving a restored classic cadillac off the lot come Monday Nite.  The Silver & Black are rolling to greatness once again with new leadership mingled with an old playing philosophy; Just Win Baby!

I can't wait to see what GM Reggie McKenzie, Head Coach Dennis Allen and the rest of the revamped Raiders coaching staff have reanimated.  The cadillac ownership has passed down from late great leader Al Davis to modern generation Mark Davis.  The young Mr. Davis has fine-tuned, polished and put in place new drivers to steer the modernized team out of mediocrity and back to being an elite deluxe model. Raiders 2.0 Unveiled!

Monday, August 13th, we get to see that shiny refurbished silver and black classic come out of the gate and purr like a pretty haired panther before taking the field to battle the Dallas Cowboys in their first exhibition game. 

It's August 2012, the A's and Giants are in playoff races, the summer olympics are about over and done, and Summer Music Festival with Maze, Frankie Beverly, Pattie Labelle, The OJays, Babyface and more are lighting up the bay area this weekend.  What better way to bring in the football season than a Monday Night unveiling of the "New" Oakland Raiders at O.co? (Oaktown Coliseum)

Oaktown's Own Lucy Pearl

note: Niners will host the Minnesota Vikings tonight. Go Vikes! just kidding.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Giants Blast Cardinals In St. Louis

What can you say about the San Francisco Giants? Their leading a division that was just about promised to the L.A. Dodgers. They stick with a closer who really is not a closer and it shows. Their Big Bat has been out with a hamstring injury.  They acquire some good, not great, players who've been adjusting to their new team. 

All that said and the bottom line is they are winning games.  Tonight was new Giant Marco Scutaro's game to come alive and show his stuff.  Scutaro had a two run double, an RBI single and a grand slam home run for a total of seven runs batted in.  The boys are starting to show that playoff run fever. 

Ryan Voglesong pitched seven strong innings with Kontos and Jo Mijares closing out an inning each to preserve the shutout.  The game was nationally televised!

Final Score
Giants 15
Cardinals 0

Final Score
A's 9
Angels 8


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Striking Gold - Usain Bolt

Jamaican Sprinter USAIN BOLT struck a pose as he won the 100 meter dash in 9.63 seconds, setting an olympic record.  He is simply the fastest running human.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, sign that man to a Raiders football contract and get him on the field.

Congratulations Usain, you freaking animal!

In 2009, the Cincinnati Zoo's 8 year-old female cheetah became the world's fastest of all land mammals. Sarah covered 100 meters in a time of 6.13 seconds, breaking the previous mark of 6.19 seconds set by a male South African cheetah named Nyana in 2001. See video

2.Pronghorn antelope 61mph 
3.Lion 50 mph 
4.Thomson's gazelle50 mph
5.Wildebeest 50 mph
6. Springbok50 mph
7.Quarter horse 47.5 mph
8.Cape hunting dog45 mph
9.Elk 4572 10.Coyote 43 mph

Friday, August 03, 2012

Real Estate Ponzi Scheme

Amazing that investors are so trusting of real estate agents after all the housing market has been through.  Not all agents are crooked and deceitful, but it only takes one to make the whole basket smell rotten.  lately, it seems many in the basket are being infected.  

Real Estate Ponzi Schemes are popping up all over the country. Beware!

Jill Silvey, a professional looking 50 year old Santa Clara County real estate agent, just might be that one smelling up the basket here in the bay area.  Jill is in custody on $3 million dollars bail after trusting investors discovered she'd lied to and cheated them out of money.
View more videos at: http://nbcbayarea.com.

Albuquerque - Doug Vaughn

New Jersey - Solomon Dwek & the Rabbi

Peteluma, Ca. - Joseph  Baccala

St. Louis - Lawyer & Religious Leader

Ponzie Schemes run by Con Artists are alive and well and making a few wealthy and many less than wealthy.  Fortunately for the middle-class working stiff, the Schemers usually target wealthier fish.  

With the exposure of Bernie Madoff, Wizard of Lies, white-collar crime as they call it, is being looked at more seriously and prosecuted to the fullest.  Unfortunately for the victims, most if not all of the money they handed over to the Schemers is unrecoverable.  

Sentences for White-Collar Criminals: Too Harsh or Too Lenient?

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Gabby Is GOLDEN!

USA Olympic gymnast Gabrielle 'Gabby' Douglas won the women's all-around gymnastics title with an electric floor routine that "rocked" the arena.  It's her second gold medal.  You Go Gabby!

LONDON -- Might be time to get Gabby Douglas a new nickname.
Olympic champ works.

Known as "The Flying Squirrel," Douglas won the women's all-around title Thursday night, becoming the third straight American to win gymnastics' biggest prize and the first African-American. It's her second gold medal of the London Games, coming two nights after she and her "Fierce Five" teammates gave the United States its first Olympic title since 1996. The Associated Press

"I wanted to seize the moment," Douglas said.

Gabby, you've siezed the day!

The Eddie McGee Stories

Something about a player named McGee gives me instant gratification.  Don't know why, maybe a hometown sports hero with the name plays a part in my unusual interest.  

With the Raiders giving rookie receiver Eddie McGee from Illinois a look-see, I'm excited.  Looks as if the young man's impressing the coaches already, making the memory of former WR Louis Murphy a mirage.

I know next to nothing about the 24 year old, but finding a few articles on him satisfies my hometown McGee theory.  McGee played quarterback before switching over to wide receiver, but you don't need to hear it from me, here's the story: