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