Saturday, December 21, 2013

Damon Bruce's Novermber No-No

Last month KNBR radio host Damon Bruce delivered an interesting diatribe on how womens' take on sports is turning men into wimps. To say it wasn't received well is an understatement.

As I've told my grandson in the past when ready to comment on his grandmother's uninformed take on sports; "you can think it, but just don't say it!"

Oh well, Damon and I ain't related so he did what any unsuspecting, politically incorrect male would do;  he went out on a limb and said it.  He paid the price with a brief suspension. Now the Holidays are here, along with college bowl games and NFL playoff seed positioning. Its the season of joy and forgiveness and the Damon Bruce bonehead play seems to have been forgiven.  

For the bunch of wimps who overreacted to Damon's show, get a grip.  For the men and women who love their sports gritty with game face on and agree that there's no crying in sports, Damon said what many of you think.  He might be the most courageous radio sports host out there when it comes to truths in sports.  And he's one of the few who works alone, not needing a setup man to bounce his opinions off. Have you noticed the Howard Stern-esque female ad-lib voice in sports talk these days?  Yep, you can think it, but just don't say it unless your are ready to face the consequences.

You may not agree with all Damon says, but as one of my favorite freedom of speech lines so eloquently states; "I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

Huffington Post: It's A Man's World

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Raider Greg Podcast Moment

Checked in with Raider Greg's "RaiderNationPodcast" and caught myself agreeing with much of what was being said about the team after the Thanksgiving Day Meltdown against the Dallas Cowboys.

Now after the New York Jets loss, the feelings expressed by callers to the podcast after that Cowboys game sound frighteningly on the mark.  Problems in coaching on both offense and defense are pointed out. Coaches unable to make the necessary adjustments throughout the game.  Raider Nation is frustrated, looking for anything to hang our hopes on during this time of rebuilding.   

And just to reiterate, why the hell was vertically challenged Jacoby Ford targeted for a jump ball in the endzone over a Cowboys defensive back who's intercepting leap made the height differential obvious to all viewers? Valid question. Coach Dennis Allen pinned the doomed play on QB Matt McGloin's inexperience.  I don't know about that......Dennis.

The beauty of the podcast though was that to a man, each and every caller swore their continued allegiance to the Oakland Raiders.  Not a hint of jumping ship or discontinuing support.  

Now, I don't know why other fans love their football team, but this is exactly why I love my Raiders and the Raider Nation. There aren't many non-winning teams in any sport with fans as loyal as us; loyal and full of future hope.  But as one caller said, its frickin' hella hard being a Raiders fan these days. 

Win, Lose Or Tie!  

A Change is Gonna Come

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Aaradhna - I'M Never

A song and songstress that brings joyful thoughts of my daughter to mind.  May she have all the joy, security and promise of a loving and caring family man by her side. 

Love You Kiddo!  Dad.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Some Good, Bad & Ugly in Raiders Loss

 The Good

Its really not worth discussing yet again.  The Oakland Raiders, my football team (win, lose or tie) simply couldn't get the job done on the road again.  I know they're missing pieces due to injury, but all teams are beat up this time of year.  

The Raiders did show plenty of grit in clawing back into a game that saw them down 20-3 to the New York Jets at half-time.  The offense, with all their ineptness at times, did enough to win this game.  It was our defense that got faked and fooled throughout the game by a so, so Jets offense.  Geno Smith, over rated.  Ironic that his style of playing quarterback mirrors Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor.  There was a Pryor sighting in the game, but for unknown reasons the Raiders went back to Matt McGloin.  I agree with the McGloin move.

I'm lovin' the Rod Streater/Andre Holmes receiving duo. Holmes had a breakout game on Thanksgiving last week against his former Cowboys team. The athletic 6' 4" target continues to bond with his quarterback. Atta-boy Holmsy!

Its simple Raiders Fans; our Defense hasn't been the same since D.J. Hayden went down for some reason.  I don't know, there may have been some issues before that, but there was a time this season where our defense was ranked ruthless against the run and sustainable against the pass.  Today proved them weak and vulnerable in both categories. Something broke and didn't get fixed.

Finals Score
Raiders 27
Jets 37

ESPN - Missing Kirkland vs Tapia Boxing Slugfest

Yes folks, what's missing in this mornings ESPN online headlines is what might've been some of the best rounds of the year in professional boxing.  The undercard fight of James Kirkland vs Glen Tapia began with a fury of blows exchanged and ended with what looked like a crushing concussion causing TKO.

Tapia came out in the first round with one purpose and one purpose only; to knock Kirkland the freak out.  He came close!  But close in the world of boxing can be very painful. Painful as in three rounds of pain inflicting blows with each man refusing to give an inch while taking a mile of punishment.  It truly was a contest of wills, and the action could not continue at that opening pace with little defense evident.

As the fighters punched themselves drunk, it became clear that Kirkland, maybe through his intense conditioning regimen with female trainer Anne "Brown Sugar" Wolf, was the stronger, more powerful gladiator.  Kirkland, or "The Mandingo Warrior" as he's called, withstood the best Tapia had to give.  Tapia could not stay the course and eventually looked sleep on his feet as the referee came in to stop the fight in round 6 and save maybe the career of Tapia.  

Unfortunately for Tapia though, Mandingo was in Warrior mode by the time of the stoppage.  He caught the unprotected Tapia with a hellacious blow to the head that snapped "Jersey Boy's" head back and saw his body slump against the ropes and into the arms of the referee.  

Jersey Boy from Passaic was for all intents and purposes a car wreck on the NJ turnpike, needing cleanup and escort to the shoulder of the boxing ring. In hindsight, it was obvious that Tapia was asleep on his feet in the final seconds before the stoppage and was no doubt groggy and lifeless in his corner between those final rounds.  

But gotta give Jersey Boy his props, whenever the doctor talked stoppage or the bell rung for the next round, he was up off his stool in a flash, throwing punches and connecting. Problem was those punches were landing on the grill of a mack truck coming head-on with no intention of engaging brakes

I'd like to think that any other boxer besides Kirkland would've crumbled from the barrage of blows Tapia was connecting with.  But the Mandingo Warrior isn't just any boxer, he's one on a who's been through incarceration, did his time and with comback complete, refuses to let anything diminish or take away his light middle-weight title.  And so the beating that Tapia took from Kirkland was nothing personal, the Jersey Boy just got in the way of an unstoppable force traveling the boxing championship circuit.

Rigondeaux and Macklin both win decisions

ESPN Headlines Nov. 8, 2013

In The Words of Robert Reich - Let's Debate!

in·tel·li·gence ( n-t l -j ns). n. 1. a. The capacity to acquire and apply knowledge. b. The faculty of thought and reason. c. Superior powers of mind

No, I do not claim ownership of such a mind.  My intelligent quotient is just a tick below or above average at best, depending on my mood. The pendulum seems to swing more toward the above direction when listening to Commonwealth Club speakers such as political economist Robert Reich.

Funny thing about intelligence; it can be somewhat infectious when the conduit of communication between speaker and listener is clear and to the point.  Robert Reich has the ability to breakdown the many cogs that make the economy go or stop.  He's been around the political stage long enough to put a finger on the pulse of our country's economic issues and provide trusting feedback on ills threatening its health.  

The most recent prognosis that 'doctor' Reich forecasts states that our economy is depressed. The upside of the is that our nation has the self-healing antibodies to ward-off the illness and return to a healthy, vibrant, self-sufficient organism.

Mr. Reich, as with past commonwealth club speakers I've heard, makes a good argument in the dietary changes proposed for improving our nation's economic health.  When he identifies the spending power of customers/consumers as the life giving blood flow of our economic system, the idea of wealth in the hands of the few seems ludicrous.  

Pay a middle-class working man good wages and sustain the pool of buying power in an economy. Good pay also gives hope and encouragement to the poor; that their reach upward and out of poverty is realistically attainable.

What I liked most about Mr. Reich's chat was his manner of sharing truths about our country's present economic condition and offering up solutions to remedy the problems we face.  The former U.S. Secretary of Labor uses knowledge, thought and reason in coming to his conclusions on how best to treat our diseased economy and bring financial health and well-being to a nation who's citizens continue to suffer the effects of depression.

As for the challengers and non-believers who feel Robert Reich's ideas are far-fetched and threaten the future health of our country, don't hide in the shadows and whisper your disapproval in the ears of media, come forward into the light and debate the man.  I'll betcha, he'll whip some sense into you.

American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator.
Robert Reich -  Inequality for All

"A Fredo Moment"

When the nation’s economy foundered in 2008, blame was directed almost universally at Wall Street bankers. But Robert B. Reich, one of our most experienced and trusted voices on public policy, suggests another reason for the meltdown. Our real problem, he argues, lies in the increasing concentration of income at the top, robbing the vast middle class of the purchasing power it needs to keep the economy going. This thoughtful and detailed account of the American economy—and how we can fix it—is a practical, humane, and much-needed blueprint for rebuilding our society.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Mandela (1918-2013)

 Nelson Mandela, being a serious amateur boxer (heavyweight), trained alongside professional boxers in Johannesburg. This was while he and Oliver Tambo were operating South Africa’s first black owned law firm. In his autobiography he speaks fondly of his time at the boxing gym at the Donaldson Orlando Community Centre (DOCC), which he joined in 1950.

Is it any wonder the man remains an iconic symbol of Fight & Resistance against Injustice.  This man touched not only lives but civilization.  For us who'll remember his fight for justice, participate and pass it on. Teach those too young to have seen a Mandela, be a Mandela.

Rest Well Brave Warrior!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Golden State Warriors Incredible Comback

Warriors Come Out To Play
After falling behind by 27 points with 9:20 left in the third quarter, the Warriors outscored the Raptors 64-28 the rest of the way. Here's how the teams compared over the final 21:19.

Warriors Raptors
Points 64 28
FGM-FGA 21-37 10-28
3-pt FG 10-20 1-9
TOs 3 8

Oh Yeah, the Golden State Warriors found a way to finish off the Toronto Raptors after being down by as many as 27pts.  I didn't see the full game, tuning out and writing it off as a loss after seeing how out of synch and out-hustled the Warriors were early.  The Raptors were hitting shots like it was their home court. It wasn't.

Down by 17pts at the half, they say newly signed veteran Jermaine O'neal delivered a locker room speech that was "Hunter Pence-esque," igniting a hunger in every Warriors present.  They came out, watched the Raptors continue their shooting clinic through most of the third quarter, then began a hunting clinic of their own on both offense and defense.  The fourth quarter saw the Warriors outscore the Raptors 45-15 in a historic comeback win. The entire team was in a zone.

Oh Yeah, these are not those same old Warriors of post Curry and Klay years.  These Warriors bring a brotherhood to their game that says "This is where we fight. No Retreat, No Surrender."  Its gonna be a helluva a season with them laying down Spartan law and pulling out games like these.  Be ready coz We Ready!

Final Score
Raptors 103
Warriors 112

Can't Be Touched

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Fan Cam Dance Battle in Detroit

Its truly a gotta see moment!

It really is hard to say who won the battle.  I'd of paid to see it.

MSNBC story

Monday, December 02, 2013

Friendship On Friendships

Again I am reminded of the gift that human brotherhood brings to a life.  If ever I write up a bucket list, I must remember that time spent with true friends is more rewarding than all the places, peoples and activities ever dreamed of.  I just had the time of my life being a friend to friends. Blessings to Ed & Susan.

The Greatest of delights
and the best of joys
is to know that
people like to
be with you, 
and to know that you like to be close to them.
Maxim Gorky

To be true friends,
you must be 
sure of one another
Leo Tolstoy

When I have opened my heart to a friend,
I am more myself than ever
Thomas Moore

Don't walk in front of me
I may not follow
Don't walk behind me
I may not lead
Walk beside me
And just be my friend
Albert Camus

Hockey Tough - San Jose Sharks Baby!

Saturday night's NHL matchup between the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks was a reminder of just how tough the game  and its players are. In Hockey, push comes to shove at the drop of the puck and the action is as brutally competitive as any contact sport. 

I would guess that Hockey and Football employ the only professional competitors tough enough to last a round against the ultimate tough athletic competitor; the Boxer.  Name me another sport where an injured participant would have his eyelid sliced open in order to continue competing?  I know, Rocky Balboa is fiction, but its damn good fiction. 

The San Jose Sharks finished off the Ducks with a save in the shootout period, winning their 6th game in a row.  Their last five wins close-out a great home stand.  Saturday's 4-3 win was just some all around great play by all the Sharks players. Goalee Antti Niemi's gloved catch for the save was a perfect example of shot anticipation, concentration and athletic reaction that are skills needed to play the position. Niemi has mastered the position.

The scary puck to the face injury that Sharks Joe Thornton sustained was final evidence that reveals the toughness of Hockey players one and all.  Joe went down from a puck that ricocheted and hit him in the eye socket.  He was able to return to the game with impaired vision and an ugly black and blueness surrounding the eye.  But Joe's a gamer, and when asked after the game about the injury he responded with a classic line that hints to Raiders pride; "It's Hockey Baby!"   Attaboy Joe!

Bay Area, get ready for a hot sports winter.  The Sharks and Golden State Warriors have plans to carry us into May/June springtime playoffs.

# Name Height Weight Date Of Birth Age Birth Place
18 Mike Brown   5' 11" 202 Jun 24, 1985 28 Chicago, IL, USA
37 Adam Burish   ** 6' 1" 195 Jan 6, 1983 30 Madison, WI, USA
88 Brent Burns   6' 5" 230 Mar 9, 1985 28 Barrie, ON, CAN
39 Logan Couture   6' 1" 200 Mar 28, 1989 24 Guelph, ON, CAN
10 Andrew Desjardins   6' 1" 195 Jul 27, 1986 27 Lively, ON, CAN
9 Marty Havlat   6' 2" 210 Apr 19, 1981 32 Mlada Boleslav, CZE
48 Tomas Hertl   6' 2" 210 Nov 12, 1993 20 Praha, CZE
81 Tyler Kennedy   5' 11" 185 Jul 15, 1986 27 Sault Ste. Marie, ON, CAN
12 Patrick Marleau "A"  6' 2" 220 Sep 15, 1979 34 Aneroid, SK, CAN
43 John McCarthy   6' 1" 195 Aug 9, 1986 27 Boston, MA, USA
8 Joe Pavelski   5' 11" 190 Jul 11, 1984 29 Plover, WI, USA
42 Matt Pelech   6' 4" 230 Sep 4, 1987 26 Toronto, ON, CAN
15 James Sheppard   6' 1" 215 Apr 25, 1988 25 Halifax, NS, CAN
19 Joe Thornton "C"  6' 4" 220 Jul 2, 1979 34 London, ON, CAN
13 Raffi Torres   ** 6' 0" 215 Oct 8, 1981 32 Toronto, ON, CAN
57 Tommy Wingels   6' 0" 200 Apr 12, 1988 25 Evanston, IL, USA
# Name Height Weight Date Of Birth Age Birth Place
22 Dan Boyle "A"  5' 11" 190 Jul 12, 1976 37 Ottawa, ON, CAN
61 Justin Braun   6' 2" 205 Feb 10, 1987 26 Minneapolis, MN, USA
5 Jason Demers   6' 1" 195 Jun 9, 1988 25 Dorval, QC, CAN
27 Scott Hannan   6' 1" 215 Jan 23, 1979 34 Richmond, BC, CAN
52 Matt Irwin   6' 2" 210 Nov 29, 1987 26 Brentwood Bay, BC, CAN
7 Brad Stuart   6' 2" 215 Nov 6, 1979 34 Rocky Mountain House, AB, CAN
44 Marc-Edouard Vlasic   6' 1" 205 Mar 30, 1987 26 Montreal, QC, CAN
# Name Height Weight Date Of Birth Age Birth Place
31 Antti Niemi   6' 2" 210 Aug 29, 1983 30 Vantaa, FIN
32 Alex Stalock   6' 0" 190 Jul 28, 1987 26 St. Paul, MN, USA
** = Injured Reserve

Saturday, November 30, 2013

NCAA Football Rivalry Week - WhaddaWeek!

Its what you could call the best weekend of college football, Rivalry Week.  I wore my Michigan jersey earlier in the week in hopes that it would give them an early advantage on #3 Ohio State.  Today the Buckeyes squeaked out a win over the Wolverines in a game that went right down to the last seconds, a failed 2pt conversion attempt by Michigan. It was their 110th meeting and folks are calling the game an "instant classic."

Final Score
#3 Ohio St. 42
Michigan 41

After last night's civil war game between Oregon State and #13 Oregon, I knew today's college rivalry games would be full of back and forth play making, underdog grit and last minute miracles.  With what I can only call fluorescent looking uniforms, the Beavers and Ducks clashed in a colorful contest that was tied 17-17 at half-time, and didn't let up in the second half. Oregon State played like a red-headed stepchild wanting respect from a step-sibling.  The Beavers didn't get the win, but all will agree they earned the respect of the Ducks and the college football world.

Final Score
Oregon St. 35
#13 Oregon 36

There were many games today that had underdogs gaining respect and in some cases upsets over their ranked conference rivals. But none, and I mean NONE, was bigger than the Alabama vs Auburn game that matched winners of the past four BCS championships.  It was the #1 Crimson Tide versus the #4 Tigers.  To put it into perspective, the ending fireworks saw mouths drop open, beer spilled over and heads shaking in disbelief on an eye popping return off a failed field goal attempt. The game has altered the BCS bowl picture and analysts are already anointing the final play as one of the best ever.  It was goliath vs goliath and the rankings were thrown out the window.  There are more rivalry week games to be played tonight, but none, and again I mean NONE, can end with as big a bang as this Alabama vs Auburn classic.

Final Score
#1 Alabama 28
#4 Auburn 34

sportingnews pregame matchup

Friday, November 29, 2013

Galileo Lions Roaring Victory In Turkey Day 2013

#3 Galileo Lions RB Ronzel Fox displays cheetah speed and elusiveness in Turkey Day game.
photo by Lacy Atkins, The Chronicle

It was a Thanksgiving Day high school championship football game that'll go down as one of the most competitive, see-sawing competitions in recent Kezar Stadium history, and mind you Kezar has seen 90 of them overall.

The defending champion Lincoln Mustangs (7-4) received the ball first and their big, bruising offensive line dominance appeared as if the defending champs would pound the ball straight down the (11-1) Galileo Lions gaping throats all day.  The smaller Lions simply couldn't stop the Mustangs power running game, especially on third downs.  

It didn't help the Lions cause that they kept with the onside kickoffs from the start; why? nobody seemed to know.  Could've been a threatening Mustang return man but we never got the chance to see.  Of their five or so onside kick attempts the Lions recovered zero.  The onside kick was almost the Lions undoing; almost.

Usually I write about the game day atmosphere with highlights of the on field action slipped in.  This year's game pace was so fast that I hardly had time to look up from my notes to catch the explosive and gritty action on the field, much less the excitement reflected in the stands.  It was the methodical Mustangs rushing against the fast strike Lions passing. Each scored damaging blows to the other in the first half. The 14-16 Mustangs lead at the half gave no indication of how the second half would play out. The game would have to fall to a big play on defense to determine the outcome, otherwise the teams seemed ready to battle it out tit for tat.

Halftime gave me a breather and time for a bathroom run, but that was it.  I think the 1972 Woodrow Wilson Warriors high school footbeall team was scheduled to be honored at the half, but I saw none of it. 

My quick visit with former Galileo asst. coach/player and current coach of the PCFL's Golden Gate Giants , Hudari Murray, was brotherly as usual. I'm proud of my brotha Dari and his community activism; providing guidance, leadership and a positive path for high risk inner-city youth.  I urge others in the community to help support Coach in anyway they can.  Its about more than just football; its about the future of San Francisco youth.  You can hear Coach voice his concerns about SF youth and need for community support here: "guest speaker Hudari Murray."

Now back to the AAA championship game.  The biggest highlight for me, if I had to choose one, was definitely the fourth quarter over the shoulder interception snag and 59yd gallop by Lions #40 Lala Haro.  We all watched as Lala shoved would-be tacklers aside, utilized his own blockers and rumbled down the sideline before running out of gas and being tackled two yards shy of the end zone.  The play was a definite morale boost to the Lions and a potential dagger to the Mustangs hopes of a comeback.  And yet the Mustangs did make it close, real close.

The 59 yard romp by Lala should go down as one of the greatest defensive plays of any championship game played here at Kezar.  The stakes, the timing, the tenacious will to push through the fatigue and put your team in position to take control of a hard fought game.  On the drive the Mustangs would've taken a lead had they scored. While Lions quarterback Kyle Nelson was stellar in the passing game, the bend but don't break play of Lala and the defense makes this Lions championship one to savor.

Congratulations Galileo Lions on your 2013 

AAA Turkey Day Championship

Here's my unofficial notes on the game:

G - Galileo (Home)

L - Lincoln (Visitor)

G - onside kick, L recovers at midfield
L - rushes, first downs, rushing touchdown
L - 2pt conversion good  6:49 1st qtr

0-8 L

L - kickoff returned to midfield
G - 3rd down pass comp, personal foul, 16 yd rushing TD by QB
G - 2pt conversion good  5:27 1st qtr

8-8 Tie 

L - stopped on 4th and 1  9:00 2nd qtr
G - 1st down pass, #3 ronzel fox long run nullified by penalty
G - 4th down pass incomplete, L ball on 38yd  5:49 2nd qtr

L - First pass complete, 1st down 4:23 2nd qtr
L - nice run from 30 yd to 9 yd ln
L - rushing 5 yd TD
L - 2pt conversion good  1:18 2nd qtr

8-16 L

G - 54yd pass completion and run on 2nd and 2 from 36yd  0:28.6
G - 2nd and 2 from 36yd, touchdown
G - 2pt conversion fail

14-16 L

L - returns kickoff 54yds to 44yd line, last man saves td


L - kickoff
G - 2nd down 80 yard touchdown run by #3 ronzel fox   11:14 3rd qtr
G - 2pt conversion no good

20-16 G

G - onside kick fair caught by L
L - pounding the ball, rushing touchdown  3rd qtr 4:10
L - 2pt conversion good

20-24 L

L - kickoff, late hit penalty, ball to midfield
G - QB rushes 24yds to 31yd, facemask penalty puts ball on 13yd line
G - pretty floater touchdown pass  3rd qtr 3:24
G - 2pt conversion good

28-24 G

G - onside kickoff again recovered by L
L - ball on 32yd, marching no defensive line penetration by G
L - pass interception by #40 Lala Haro returned 59yds to 2 yd line
G - QB rushes 2 yds for touchdown  4th qtr 9:08
G - 2pt conversion no good

34-24 G

G - another onside kickoff recovered by L
L - continues incurring penalties on big gains
L - 24yd rushing touchdown, appeared to have fumbled into endzone
L - referees huddle and call TD 4th qtr  4:48
L - 2pt conversion no good

34-30 G

G - gets ball, QB sacked back in territory
G - punts to midfield  4th qtr 2:52
L - marching into redzone, running game still strong, converts on 4th and 2
L - first quarterback option run of day fumbles, G recovers ball  4th qtr 1:06
G - two kneeldowns, ballgame

Final Score
Galileo Lions  34
Lincoln Mustangs  30

The SF Chronicle gives a good breakdown of the AAA championship game in today's edition; Galileo's Speed Conquers Lincoln.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Two Turkey Day Games of Interest

 Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Today I'll attend the San Francisco High School football championship game between the Lincoln Mustangs and Galileo Lions.  Galileo won the thrilling season matchup 34-33.  Lincoln won last year's championship game over the Mission Bears 22-21, converting a two-point conversion in the final seconds.

Today's game should be no less a thriller than the earlier season matchup.  These are the two teams expected to compete for the city championship this season and here we are.  Get ready to get down with some traditional high school football action.

Place: Kezar Stadium
Time: 11:00am
Teams: Mustangs vs Lions

My second game today will be watched on television as the Oakland Raiders visit the Dallas Cowboys.  The Raiders are coming off a disappointing loss at home to the Tennessee Titans in the final seconds of a game they should've won.  We'll see how the team responds to that loss.  With the eyes of the football world on the silver and black today, Its time to put up or shut up.  

Raiders Football Today!

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Grandfather's Prayer

Just a praising shoutout to my grandson Andrew, who I am so proud of.  He's coming upon two years of being baptized in the house of the Lord.  The knowledge and understanding that comes with faith in a higher being is the strength that sustains us believers through life. Yes, to have faith is a blessing unto itself.

To feel the comfort of knowing that my faithful grandson Andrew is never alone and always has the best adviser on this earth to consult, what more could a grandparent ask for. Congratulations for seeking and finding the sacred way my son.  I am mighty glad and joyful in this day.

Bless you Andrew, on your amazing spiritual journey through life. May you recognize God's gifts to you and never thirst for more than what the Lord gives you.

Your YahYah

PS. Kiss Amirah-Deara for Me.

Raiders Couldn't Top Titans at Home

"The Raiders defense played well in spurts but allowed Tennessee's offense to convert 10 of 18 third-down plays, including four of five in the final period."

This line from the Oakland Tribune pretty much sums up the game.  Even the Sebastian Janikowski two missed field goals, as unprecedented as they were, didn't cost the Raiders the game as much as the defense giving up so many third down conversions.  They stopped the run but the passes by Tennessee Titans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick killed the defense.  And I must give credit to Fitzpatrick, he may not have blazing speed but his elusiveness in the pocket almost seemed magical.  The Raiders defense just couldn't touch him.

While our receivers seemed to always have a Titans defender draped all over them, the Titans receivers appeared to always be running in space wide open for a reception, and more times than not caught the pass. It was frustrating to watch.  

For us fans who were surprised and tickled pink that our Raiders were even in the hunt for a playoff spot, the verdict is in; we ain't good enough this season.  Who knew that losing rookie corner DJ Hayden would cripple our pass defense.  No, can't be that.  Just a bad day for a defense that's been carrying the team all season. And the sputtering offense didn't help. Painful loss!

Final Score
Titans 23
Raiders 19

Article: Fan jumps from upper deck

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

NFL Player Safety Question and Answer

While tuned into the O'Connell & Steinmetz show on 95.7FM The Game, I listened while both, call-in fans and guest interviewees, took cracks at answering the following question:

Should The Consumer/Fan Care About Player Safety?

One of the two show hosts made a very good point about how anyone playing sports takes on a certain amount of "assumed risk" when participating.

Former Tennessee Titans tight end Frank Wychek, who admitted to his share of concussions incurred while playing professional football, expressed his concerns about player safety but also worries that the changes in the game are making it harder for defensive players to play with a passion and fans to appreciate that part of the game.

Frank Wycheck says he's totally against the new NFL rules

As for the Best Answer I heard from a call-in fan, that goes to a caller by the name of Shaun.   Shaun represented the primitive man in all us fans right down to the core.   He spoke for all those who love good'ol fashion defense with names like Butkus, Nagerski, Lambert, Lott, Deacon, Alzado and Long, just to name a few.  The lasting line of Shaun's that stuck with me and I'm sure other listeners was this:

Sometimes You Gotta Carry People Off!

Shaun, I couldn't have said it better. It might not sound politically correct, but we're not talking politics, we're talking Football, American Football dammit! And in American Football, you launch, you horse collar, you collide with abandon, whatever it takes within your athletic ability to keep that opponent from attaining his goal. And yer damn right, Sometimes a player injured by a defenders hellacious hit must be carried off the field.

Article: Can Madden shift attitudes on player safety?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Former Raiders LB Thomas Howard RIP

Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Thomas Howard died Monday as a result of a car accident in Oakland, California. Howard played for the Raiders from 2006-2010.  

Always A Raider!
(July 14, 1983 – November 18, 2013) 

 Prayers and Blessings out to the Howard Family

Patriots Lose on Controversial Non-Call: I'm All Broken Up Inside

 The Rule In Question

As the rest of the league shows bits of sympathy for the New England Patriots losing on a controversially bad non-call last night, we Raiders fans are reminded of that preposterous, conspiracy filled, bad call that allowed the Patriots to steal a playoff game from the Raiders and launch the careers of Tom Brady and Bill Belichik.

Yes my friends, its time once again to shine the spotlight on the 2002 AFC Divisional Playoff game where the "Tuck Rule" echoed like the shot heard around the world.  

Last night's Patriots 24-20 Loss to the Carolina Panthers was due to Cam Newton and company outdueling New England. The non-call was right.  

The analysts and experts will talk about the reversal of the pass interference call the rest of this week and then it'll be forgotten.  As for the Tuck Game, its still talked about and still unbelievable. It's just one of those games that sticks in the craw of Raiders fans and just about any fan that detests bad calls changing the outcome of games. The bad call against my Raiders cost us a possible trip to a super bowl. They don't get much worse than that.

One Raiders fan said it best in a comment to an article in the Charlotte Observer:

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 19, 2013 10:51:21 AM
To all panthers fans, as a long suffering but fanatical raiders fan, i cant help but invoke karma in the end zone last night, it wasnt a championship game, it wasnt snowing, but didnt Mr.Tom celebrate another bad call some years ago? How about the tuck rule? He didnt scream at the refs when he fumbled and cost the raiders a trip to the super bowl. The Panthers won, Pats, tuck it in and move on

We Raiders fans have endured the baddest of bad calls, non-calls and questionable penalties against our team since forever.  We survive, endure, pick ourselves up and move on. We expect other teams to do the same.  But the one thing we don't do is forget, ever.  To forget an injustice is to accept a lie.

Here you go Pats fans, chew on this while you suffer what seems an injustice.  Maybe it'll make the Panthers win easier to swallow. Maybe!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Game Ball To McGloin In 28-23 Win

What can you say?  Rookie quarterback Matt McGloin led the Raiders to a convincing road win against the Houston Texans.  Did you see the release on the kid; quick, sharp and more times than not, accurate.  Sure the Texans gave up some turnovers early for good field position, but McGloin still had to get it into the endzone.  The kid did just that, making the redzone his playground with two perfectly placed passes for touchdowns in the first quarter.

"This is what happens when preparation meets opportunity," McGloin said. "I've been prepared for a while now to get in there. My team really supported me."

Raiders receivers are still dropping way too many balls, but thanks to McGloin it didn't seem as critical.

I'll say it, McGloin should start over Terrelle Pryor.  He's more decisive and doesn't try to do too much.  I think he took one sack all day.  No interceptions or turnovers for McGloin.  Running back Rashad Jennings did his thing, consistently grinding out four to five yards early in the game.  Then he broke a long beauty late in the third to put the Raiders up 28-17. 

Drive info: 1 plays, 80 yds, 0:13

The offense went stale after the big play, going three and out more times than I can count.  But that Raiders Defense is a keeper.   They limited the Texans to 90 yards rushing. I think I overheard that the Raiders are #5 in the league against the run.  

Defense T-A SCK INT FF
M. Jenkins 10-2 0.0 0 0
Ke. Burnett 7-0 1.0 0 1
C. Woodson 5-2 0.0 0 2
L. Houston 3-0 1.0 0 0
N. Roach 3-1 0.0 1 0
B. Ross 3-0 0.0 0 0
V. Walker 3-0 0.0 0 0
P. Adams 2-1 0.0 0 0
T. Porter 2-0 0.0 0 0
P. Sims 2-0 0.0 0 0
C. Chekwa 1-0 0.0 0 0
J. Hunter 1-0 0.0 0 0
S. McGee 1-0 0.0 0 0
S. Moore 1-0 0.0 0 0
D. Muir 1-0 0.0 0 0
J. Crawford 0-1 0.0 0 0
U. Young 0-2 0.0 0 0

With the offense unable to get first downs late, the defense played through their fatigue limiting the Texans to two field goals in the second half.  The Defense ended the game with a goal line stand, denying the Texans a first down at the two and a touchdown to WR Andre Johnson in the endzone.  The story for the Texans will be the heated exchange on the sideline between QB Matt Schaub and Johnson after their failed last play.

Today's win keeps the Raiders mathematically alive for a playoff spot. They're one game out, imagine that!  The Raiders played team ball thanks to an unflappable general at quarterback and a stingy defense.

Credit to the offensive game plan, coaches sticking with the run while letting McGloin pass at will.  Solution to a weakened offensive line; quick pass decisions and release......

Welcome Back WR Andre Holmes. Yes, I too thought that leaping sideline catch was good.  TE Mychal Rivera was a weapon.  Marcel Reese did a helluva a job blocking and helping move the pile on runs by Jennings.  Rod Streater, Danarius Moore, and I'll throw in Jacoby Ford for good measure, put in very good work.  Great win Raiders! Great Finish!

Final Score
Raiders 28
Texans 23

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Nuttin But Strings - Backup QB Starting For Raiders

The scrambling quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, Terrelle Pryor, is out this week with a knee injury sustained two games ago.  Pryor did good to play in the last game but was definitely affected by the injury.

In comes the Second String, the Backup, the Fill-in.  Matt McGloin will be over center come Sunday against the Texans in Houston.  It'll be the first start ever for the rook and all my prayers and hopes are with this young man from Penn.  I saw him throw in training camp and liked the kid.  He threw a very nice on the mark deep ball for a touchdown in one of the exhibition games.  

Its not McGloin I'm worried about though, its the offensive line.  I believe we have some guys back from injury, but the adjustment from a scrambling and elusive Pryor to any other quarterback is big.

Though I don't expect much from McGloin, I'm pondering the possibility that maybe, just maybe, this could be a game of positives should the rook show some grit and win the damn game.  Its not all on him, but he's the cog that makes the machine work, the puppeteer that's pulling the strings.The field general.

Raider Nation 
 Here's #14 QB Matt McGloin

To the sound of "Nuttin But Strings"
Just Do It Matt!