Thursday, September 27, 2012

Catching Up On My Sports

While away from this blog I experienced LIVE my Oakland Raiders at home putting up a classic Victory over the Blitzburgh Steelers.  It was new Head Coach Dennis Allen's first victory. That's RB Darren McFadden above, finishing off his 64-yard touchdown run. Amazing!

Steelers fans came out bigtime, waving terrible towels and acting like they owned the Oakland Coliseum.  By the time the clock struck zero in the fourth quarter, the Raiders were celebrating a 34-31 Victory and all the yellow terrible towels were drenched in tears. Meanwhile, the Silver & Black clad Raider Nation was whooping it up like we'd won the super bowl.  The game was so emotional and tension filled that it left us fans exhausted with glee. 

If the Raiders, with a much improved Carson Palmer at quarterback, put together a playoff earning season, they'll point to this game as the springboard that propelled them. With a game day that began with Former Raider and Hall of Famer Marcus Allen lighting the Eternal Al Davis Torch, everything else that followed was pure sports gravy.  It was Electrifying! Just Win Baby!

In Baseball News, the San Francisco Giants clinched the NL West Division, earning their second trip to the postseason in three years.  Any threat their southern rival in blue may have presented was doused in an avalanche of Giants runs and wins.  The orange and black have stepped up their game. They're playing with an urgency to win and have called all hands on deck, including veteran slugger Aubrey Huff.  Manager Bruce Bochy continues daily to put together the player pieces that best matchup against the opponent. The Giants are the envy of the NL West and the nightmare of the rest. Go Giants!

The 49ers fell to earth with an ugly loss in Minnesota and the Green Bay Packers might've been "Tucked" out of a win in Seattle where the Seahawks got a gift from replacement referrees.

Today those same refs were given their walking papers as the NFL came to terms with the 'REAL' referrees and welcomed Ed ' Big Guns' Hochuli and his zebra-striped brethren back in time for the Thursday Nite NFL game. Warning, the agreement is tentative pending union approval.

This Sunday the Raiders travel to Denver to test their winning ways against the Peyton Manning led Broncos.  Coach Allen, Broncos defensive coordinator last season, returns to Denver for the first time to prowl the visitors side of the field dressed in black. Denver lost last sunday to the Houston Texans.

Finally, I've gotta give a shout out to the Spaniard, Sergio Martinez, who on Sept. 15th dominated Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. for 11 rounds in a WBC Middleweight Title Fight. 
The Argentinian showed true grit in surviving a twelth round in which Chavez could've and should've stolen the fight.  After Chavez scored a knockdown in the round, he couldn't score the knockout and the Spaniard walked away wrapped in a well earned middleweight belt Victory. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

East Coast Bias In Baseball? Again?

The SF Giants magic number to clinch the NL West Division pennant is 5 and the national media is still stiff-arming the Orange & Black. 

No headline news coverage of the Giants push for the pennant on major sports media outlets. Instead, we get how the L.A. Dodgers are making a run for the wild card.  Its as if the sports analysts and newsboys are still sulking about the SF Giants winning the 2010 World Series while their darling yankees looked on from a couch. 

Oh Well, its okay. It is what it is.  We won it two years ago with only local media support and if that's the way they want it, we'll show them again in 2012.  We no need no stinkin' national news print to propel us toward the playoffs.  We're bigger than that. We've a roster full of hard working men playing in a synchronized team-first style with awesome coaching.  We're Giants!

Let's Go Giants!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

San Francisco Giants - Magic #7

Yes indeed! The San Francisco baseball Giants are making us fans believers once again.  In a season marred by injury, controversy and un-Giants-like pitching, the Orange & Black are seven games away from sealing a trip to the playoffs; and not as a wild card berth.

I attended what'll probably be my last or next to last regular season game last night. It was an exciting battle against the Colorado Rockies.  The Giants came out of it unscarred with a decisive 6-3 Victory.  Tim Lincecum looked close to his old self, pitching six shutout innings, before leaving with the bases loaded.  Relief came in and quickly put out the fire before it had a chance to consume our lead. 

I haven't allowed myself to think playoffs just yet, but trust me, I got the fat lady in my closet tied and gagged, waiting for that magic number to become a playoff reality.

Lets Go Giants!

Steve Sabol - NFL Films

Its a sad day in the Pro Football world.  Steve Sabol has passed away.

Along with his Hall of Fame dad Ed, Steve was the heart and soul of NFL Films.  My condolences go out to the Sabol family.  Without the Sabol stamp on professional football, my fandom and many others might never have reached the heights it has.  

Mr. Sabol, Thank you for the lasting sights and sounds of our glorious sport.  And thank you for allowing us to dream greatness. 

Steve, We The Raider Nation Salute You!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Carson Palmer - Part of the Problem

Damn! Damn! Damn!  It's the third quarter and I've just watched Raiders starting quarterback Carson Palmer throw another errant pass. He ain't losing the game for us (Raiders 10 Dolphins7), but he damn sure ain't winning it.

The Raiders offense looks like they're on the cusp of doing some great things, but the inconsistent quarterback play and leadership of Carson Palmer is holding them back.

I've just about seen enough.  Carson has cost us a touchdown in the red zone.  Bring in backup Matt Leinert, Bring in the young and talented Terrelle Pryor.  We need someone at the helm of our offense that the young team can rally around and win with. We need him yesterday.

Oh Shit! Defense is beginning to look tired. Dolphins just scored to take the lead.  Just Do It Coach! Just Do It!

3rd Qtr
Raiders 10
Dolphins 14

Coach didn't do it and the day just got uglier and uglier for the Raiders in Miami.

It didn't happen for the Raiders today.  Maybe it was the 75% humidity that beat them and not Reggie Bush's two long touchdown runs / 172 total yards. Maybe.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Give Me Some More SUMO

Last weekend's Sumo demonstration in Japantown was a true sports fan treat.  Not only was it free, but it was up close and personal.

Though the host of the event reminded me of a over-the-top Las Vegas showman, his humor and educational value in sharing the world of Sumo was great. As for the Sumo wrestlers, they did not disappoint, strong as an ox and as fun and friendly as Barney.

It was obviously a promotional event to plug a main event to be held in Los Angeles later this month, so the wrestlers didn't really go all out.  But mind you, these guys are over 300 pounds of humanity, trained in an art of competitive combat. So any clashing of titans in the form of Sumo Wrestlers, no matter how fierce, is going to result in rolling thunder.

In a nutshell, the event was wonderful.  I had friends in town from the east coast who really enjoyed it, taking pictures and texting back to friends about what they were witnessing.  It was a perfect day for the outdoor Sumo demonstration and the sparse crowd allowed for close and unobstructed viewing.

The best part of the event might have been the end where children were allowed to go up against their Sumo Wrestler of choice in the ring. The children were as funny as ever with some being frightened and others being fearless as they entered the Sumo circle, squatted down into their crouch with fists planted firmly on the mat, face to face with a real live Sumo.  Clash of the Tot-ans.  Ever see 40 pounds go up against 380 pounds?  I did. It was an all around entertaining event, fun for the whole family.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Raiders Rebuilding Takes Time

A SF Chronicle writer said it best when comparing the Oakland Raiders return to glory with the building of Rome; It'll take time.

Last night's 22-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers left us Raiders fans wondering just how long will it take to see our team play with the magic of those long gone glory days.  With a rocking coliseum crowd thumping to the pre-game show by Ice Cube. Followed by a two jet fly-over by Travis Air Force base pilots while Gene Simmons of Kiss sang the national anthem, the night couldn't have been more prepped for a Raiders return to greatness. But something weird happened after the Raiders opening drive, which was going so well, ended in rookie wide receiver Rod Streater's fumble. 

The Raiders offense became a one man show where everyone, including the Chargers, had a sense of where the ball was going.  Still, Raiders running back Darren McFadden was elusively productive in gaining yards, but not so in touchdowns.

Like the Raiders defense most of the evening, the Chargers became rock-solid in red zone defense, forcing field goals when touchdowns were needed.  If it hadn't been for a complete special teams collapse, the Raiders might've been able to pull out a defensive victory. But that is a pipe dream that rebuilding teams can only fantasize about.  Sure defense can win championships, but not when the other two units (offense & special teams) are struggling.  

Raiders QB Carson Palmer looked better than he did in preseason, but its obvious that he misses receiving targets Danarius Moore and Jacoby Ford.  If last night's loss is any indication of what the 2012 season holds for the Oakland Raiders, then we should be prayerful that the A's and Giants promising playoff push continues.

Win, Lose or Tie!

Invictus (latin for Unconquered)

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Thursday, September 06, 2012


The Sport That Teases You With Anticipation

The courtship is over
The acquisition has been made
The foreplay has us excited
The wedding vows of team and fan are thus:

"I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all season long."

By the power invested in football you are pronounced Married to the Game.