Thursday, November 22, 2012

Warriors Golden State of Mind

Here's a link to a great article about the Golden State Warriors and their committment to helping San Quentin inmates in their quest for redemption; Hoop Dreams Behind Walls of San Q

The Golden State Warriors are actually showing signs of playoff caliber basketball early this season.  They're doing it without injury prone big man Andrew Bogut and a host of young players steppin it up.  Rookie Harrison Barnes has been very impressive.  It's still early in the season, but I like what I see in Warriors basketball. Seriously!

Here's another reason to write playoffs and Warriors in one sentence. Lakers early season struggles.

SF Turkey Bowl Notes

Giants Thanksgiving ReplaysGiants Thanksgiving Replays
We'll give thanks to the World Series Champion Giants by replaying their 3 series-clinching wins on Thanksgiving Day!
9am: NLDS Game 5 @ Cincinnati
1pm: NLCS Game 7 vs. St. Louis
5pm: World Series Game 4 @ Detroit

It really is a happy Thanksgivings Day.  Accompanied by the radio re-broadcast of San Francisco Giants game 7 playoff wins, the day just galloped by in amazing fashion.  The first game, which ended with the Giants 6-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, found me watching the annual San Francisco Turkey Bowl at Kezar Stadium. Last year's champion and this season's #2 seed Mission Bears (7-3) would go up against the #1 seed Lincoln Mustangs (10-1). 

I arrived just before the half as the Mustangs had setup another score after a long catch and run.  This was my second game this season, both in support of the Bears.  Arriving on the Bears side of the field I found myself surrounded by wandering and wounded Mission fans looking as if the sun-drenched side of the field had dried up all hope of a Bears championship repeat.

The Mustangs, with red cloaked screaming fans,hardly recognizable on the opposing shady side of the stadium, had dominated the first half with a 14-0 lead. They looked bigger, stronger and faster than my Bears, but you never could rule out the heart of a champion.

I'd see two touchdowns, one per half, called back on the Bears due to their playmaking quarterback crossing the line of scrimmage before making the touchdown throw. Those two penalties, at crucial points in the game, cost the Bears big time. 

The swarming Mustang defense, appearing to overpower the Bears offensive line in the first half, were held in check in the second half long enough for the Bears to come back and take a 21-14 lead. But a repeat of the first half's long pass play to setup a score gave the Mustangs a golden opportunity late in the game. 

Gotta give those Lincoln Mustangs credit, when opportunity presented itself, they grabbed it by the horns. The Mustangs would smash over the goal line to score on 3rd down and short, then would steamroll the Bears defensive front for a two-point conversion for the final points of the game.

As for the Bears, give them credit for playing like a champion. They overcame their own weaknesses to stand up and make those who came out to see them play very proud to be Bear fans.  But for a penalty called or not-called, they could easily have been bragging about repeating as champions.  Sure they lost, but they lost with the spirit of a champion fighting to the last tick on the clock. They never surrendered.

Congratulations Lincoln Mustangs!

Final Score
Mission Bears 21
Lincoln Mustangs 22

Note: Half-time saw a midfield tribute to former Polytech H.S. football players of old.  I sat with some of the oldsters, listening to stories of great plays and players from the 1950's-60's era.  One of the gray-haired  soldiers said he played in 1962, while another was on the 63 championship team.  One of the guys pointed out former 49ers coach George Seifert talking to a gentleman and watching the game not far from us. Seifert is a San Francisco native from the football era of these proud men.  Yep, it was a special day. 

I also saw an old friend and my former barber who coached Galileo H.S. football.  Check out his Minor League Football team, the Golden State Giants.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stanford Cardinals Shoot Down #2 Ducks

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 17: Quarterback Kevin Hogan #8 of the Stanford Cardinal passes the ball during the first quarter of the game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Wow, #13 Stanford Football Cardinals have beat the undefeated #2 Oregon Ducks in Eugene. The high powered Ducks offense looked as if they'd met their match in Pac12 rival Stanford.  Not only did the Cardinal defense limit the Ducks to 14pts in regulation, they forced a missed field goal in overtime before making a field goal of their own to finish the game. 

I partly blame the Oregon coaching staff; they simply didn't make the necessary adjustments to crank up that fearsome offense.  With #1 Kansas State getting blown out by Baylor, it looks as if Notre Dame might be wearing the number one crown this week. 

Congratulations to the Stanford Cardinals in sticking with a great defensive gameplan and making the offensive plays when it mattered most.

Final Score
Stanford 17
Oregon 14

Thursday, November 15, 2012

MVPosey 2012

San Francisco Giants All-Star catcher Buster Posey is named National League MVP.  And there my fellow Giants fans is the cherry on top of the World Series win. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

The 2010 World Champion/Rookie of the Year might've had three straight years of top league awards had it not been for an opponent's dirty slide at home plate that shelved him for the 2011 season.  But that's all in the past, Buster's future is shining brighter than ever.

Congratulations #28

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

League Lockout Looking Long

NHL Lockout 2012 is no laughing matter.  Hockey fans have fallen victim to that tailor suited monster called greed. The dispute is over the owners' desire to reduce the following:

Players' guaranteed share of 57% of hockey related revenues (HRR)
Introduction of term limits on contracts
Elimination of salary arbitration
Changes to free agency rules

So there it is, good ol' greed in all its fancy clothing putting a halt to a fun time for all.  There was a time when professional athletes played for the love of the game and admiration of the fans.  Those times have been replaced with owner and player desires for bigger slices of the profit. 

To date, 326 games have been canceled from the scheduled start of the season through the end of November. The season is currently scheduled to begin on December 1, 2012. Currently Scheduled that is, not currently ready to begin. We''re midway through November and the way I read the scoreboard the suits aren't backing down from the jerseys and both are in the penalty box. Come'on NHL, the Puck Stops Here! You tell'em dashing Don.

Don Cherry - NHL Commentator

NHL Lockout Update: More Games canceled

Monday, November 12, 2012

Missing In Action

Oakland Raiders Football, missing in action yesterday, rates little on the grand scale of things in the real world. Today we celebrate Veterans Day to honor all armed service veterans.  It serves as a reminder of the men and women who leave family and friends to defend our country with honor. 

Though many return to their civilian lives unscathed, there are those who've been scarred for life and still others who lose their lives in their loyalty to defending our country.  We salute all these Veterans today, those retired from active service as well as the ones who died while in service of their country.

I give a special honor and salute to those brave veteran souls who's whereabouts while serving have never been substantiated.  Today I salute the veterans who did not make it back to this country's shores. 

The MIA/POW veterans continue to serve our country as the ultimate example of bravery and courage in battle.  The family and comrades who carry that small glimmer of hope for closure on their whereabouts might never know how their lives ended except for one small thread of truth; that their sacrifice so that others may live in a free democracy was not in vain.

To the Prisoners of War and soldiers Missing in Action
We Salute You!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

College Football - AGGIES!

Are you watching this?  #1 Alabama against #15 Texas A&M in Tuscaloosa. Only one name defines this hard fought football game; Manziel!

And there it is LIVE! Johnny Manziel throws a 24 yard cross field touchdown pass right after completing 42 yarder to tough guy WR Ryan Swope.  If LSU made Alabama sway from pressure last weekend, The Aggies have the Crimson Tide drunk on the ropes.

Between Aggies QB Manziel and their no-huddle, no substitute offensive execution, the Crimson Tide defense has been made to look pedestrian at best.

Oh boy, here comes Alabama with a long catch and run into the endzone untouched. QB AJ McCarron shows the arm again in his 52 yard pass.

Texas A&M 29
Alabama 24

Oh boy, Alabama defense has awakened and has stopped Texas A&M.  With 4:37 remaining and the ball, Alabama can and does get a big pass play to set them up for the go ahead score. Now the Aggies appear drunk on the ropes. 


4th and Goal Alabama at the 2.  Interception by Texas A&M.  Beautiful! It's their third forced turnover. Defense!

We could be looking at a change in the rankings folks.  1:36 left in this College Football Classic. It really doesn't get any better than this.  And it ain't over until the fat lady sings. With 1:25 to go, the big girl's humming. Bamma jumps into the neutral zone before the punt.  Aggies granted first down on penalty. Fat lady is singing like a seasoned soprano.  Bryant-Denny Stadium (capacity 101,821) silenced. Manziel kneeldown secures victory.

Final Score
Manziel 29
Alabama 24

Incredible Game!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Atta-Girl Sam

Its not often that I fall for a youtube video that's gone viral.  But every now and then one comes along that blows my socks off. Yesterday's posting of a young girl playing in a youth football league left me sockless.

Her name is Sam Gordon, and the highlight reel shows this eight year old girl demonstrating to her Youth Football League team what commitment to excellence is all about. Sam outruns, out tackles and all around out hustles much of the competition on the field. She's a natural!

Sam plays offense, defense and special teams and judging from this 2012 highlight video, her dad is very proud of her every move on the field. 

Raider Nation salutes and congratulates Sam on having the heart of a top competitor and family who allow her to express it.

More about Super Sam
Salt Lake Tribune article

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

44th President Prevails In Re-election

Election Day Gangnam Style
America Re-elects Barack Obama for President

Parody Videos!

Say No To GMO's?- Vote Today!

There are many political choices you'll make today when voting.  One that I'd like to think many Californians agree on is Proposition 37.

If approved, Prop 37 would mandate labels on “raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if the food is made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.” It would also prohibit any food with GM ingredients from being labeled as “natural.”

Mainstream scientists say there is little evidence that there are any harmful health effects associated with consuming GM crops. So why if its not harmful are the big food companies against gmo labeling?  I believe its because we here in this great consumer country don't wanna be reminded that "We Are What We Eat!" Educate yourself about genetically modified foods. What wasn't deemed harmful yesterday could be banned for causing serious illness tomorrow.

I don't believe in telling people how to vote, but I do believe being informed and seeking out truths helps one make a clear and conscience decision on election day. 

Read more:

Monday, November 05, 2012

Raiders Football

If the term rebuilding means tearing out what's decayed and replacing it with new or refurbished materials, then I'm all for it. But what I'm seeing in the Oakland Raiders rebuilding phase are good materials being wasted with faulty installation and all around bad planning.

I'm convinced it ain't the players that have the newly coached Raiders looking up from a 3-5 record.  I believe its the installer of the game plan not fully understanding how the parts work together.  Let's face it, our leadership are still trying to figure out what works and what doesn't while better planners would've assessed the problem and addressed it more quickly.

We all remember how long it took the staff of former head coach Tom Cable to tear out the faulty pipe that was QB Jamarcus Russell. Well in 2012 the fault again lies with the coaches not making the proper adjustments in a timely manner.  It took'em at least six games into the season to realize the offensive zone blocking scheme didn't fit, was leaking and needed to be replaced.  Now it seems other parts are leaking and they're doing their best to patch up the holes, but the opponents are simply exploiting those weaknesses.

Rookie running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Doug Martin, ran through the supposedly powerful Raiders run-defense like it was a computer and he was a new virus infecting it.   Martin took over the Raiders and the game in the second half as he piled up 251 yards (franchise record) and four touchdowns.  Give the Raiders credit, they fought back through injuries and all to make it a three point game with a chance to tie or win it in the final minutes. 

But just like a poorly rebuilt structure, when the pressure is turned up that's when the foundation gets tested and there lies the danger of flaws in the design. The Raiders design could not hold up against Buccaneers pressure and simply crumbled after a last gasp attempt to seize the day.

This morning my faith in the Oakland Raiders is truly being tested.  I no longer have high expectations for this year's team.  I'm finding it harder and harder to attend games and watch them through to the end. Cracks are beginning to leak in my armour of hope and I'm getting all wet inside. But I'm a silver & black soldier and I've been through tougher Raider Nation times (see Jamarcus).

While there's still eight more games left in this season I wanna see the Oakland Raiders do whatever it takes to shore up their armour and come out fighting like every play is a means to their survival.  No more leaky pipes. If its broke or leaking, address it immediately. 

Win, Lose or Tie!!!

Final Score
Buccaneers 42
Raiders 32

Saturday, November 03, 2012

College Football

While (1)Alabama and (5)LSU have amassed a total of only 3 points (LSU) in the first quarter, the (4)Oregon Ducks and (17)USC Trojans have lit up the Los Angeles Coliseum scoreboard as they end the first half 34-24 Ducks.

(4) Oregon 34

(8-0, 5-0 Pac-12)

(17) USC 24

(6-2, 4-2 Pac-12)
It seems Oregon has had chances to put away USC but the fast striking Trojan offense, west coast style, continues making big plays to keep them close.

As much as I wanna see former Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin and his Trojans drop in the AP Poll, I've enjoyed the offensive fireworks produced by both teams and look forward to a second half full of explosive offense.

Meanwhile Alabama's offense has their running game going and are on the march. Bama just missed connecting on a long pass that would've been a touchdown. The southern style defenses are dominating this game.

What a day of football.

(1) Alabama 0

(8-0, 5-0 SEC)

(5) LSU 3

(7-1, 3-1 SEC)


Crimson Tide vs Tigers

Ducks vs Trojans

Friday, November 02, 2012

How The West Won - World Series Domination

For my own personal baseball pleasure and anyone else who might wanna re-live the San Francisco Giants World Series SWEEP of the Detroit Tigers.  Looking back, you gotta say it was the best of times!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Land of the GIANTS!

San Francisco, known for its lavish Halloween street celebrations, outdid itself this year with an October 31st celebration like no other. 

The San Francisco Giants paraded down market street to the cheers and applause of fans decked out in their best orange and black costume.  It was in celebration of their winning major league baseball's 2012 World Series.  They won it in the most unpredictable way; a four game SWEEP of the media tagged best pitcher, hitter and team in major league baseball, the American League champion Detroit Tigers.

The parade was a time for players and fans alike to finally let their hair down, forget expert analysis and predictions and bask in the glory of Total Victory.  Throughout the post-season the Giants and their fans have been given little if any credit from national media for their accomplishments. 

Yesterday's victory parade erased all that. Other clubs and their fans should learn from the Giants 2012 success. If you hang your hopes of championship success on what people think and say about your ballclub, you're doomed.  Trust in the unseen things that are almost never talked about in the media; trust in your teams' belief in themselves and their dedication to their fans. 

The San Francisco Giants took two very important lessons from the Hunter Pence speech during the divisional series. They learned to put their trust in one another completely and "never-say-die" when facing post-season elimination.  These lessons are what carried the Giants to their World Series Championship.  For anyone who attributes Giants success to luck or a fluke, they're either unable to admit when they're wrong or just plain jealous.

The Giants played exceptional defense to backup extroadinary pitching. Manager Bruce Bochy would've made the late great chess master Bobby Fischer proud with his gameday manueverings. Without Boch, this doesn't happen a second time in three years and maybe not even the first time.

So look at us sports world, look at superstar-less San Francisco Giants in their diverse beauty and glory.  They've got a formula for winning and We Believe the key ingredient in that formula is commitment to each other.  I am very proud of my team and city.
Let's Go G-I-A-N-T-S!
Congratulations Giants!

Sports Illustrated World Series Predictions