Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Warriors Win #68 In Overtime

The Golden State Warriors are on the brink of history as the NBA regular season comes to a close.  After somehow, someway getting to overtime to defeat the Utah Jazz tonight 103-96, the Warriors have a franchise best win-loss record of 68-7.


That's seven losses with none occurring at home. Also, no back-to-back losses; no two game losing streaks. It's an incredible feat that might never be duplicated in the NBA.  The Warriors are still chasing the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls 72-10 season, a league best.  There's seven games left with two of those games against the 63-12 San Antonio Spurs. 

The playoffs are right around the corner. The Warriors would and should probably rest players, but when your chasing greatness its all hands on deck.  The team is somehow finding different ways to beat teams that are bringing their best. The sooner Andre Igoudala get's back from an ankle injury the better. Meantime, every able body is contributing to give the defending champions a much deserved place in the NBA history books.

Just keep chopping wood and carrying water boys, The fruits of your labor will fall from the tree when ripe.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Raiders Ink Penn and 6'4 Andre Holmes

RAIDERS  are now the only team with all 5 offensive linemen owning grades of 79.0 or higher—no other team has 3.

There you go Raiders.  That's how you get it done and keep the good chemistry flowing.  Veteran players Donald Penn and Andre Holmes were both re-signed to the team this week.  Penn plays a huge role on an offensive line that now has depth and experience. Here's what offensive line coach Mike Tice had to say about the organization's commitment to improving the O-line:

“People understand that the most important person on the field is the quarterback,” Tice said, “and you have to take care of him. (General managerReggie McKenzie) has done a great job of giving us the tools we need to do that, at a very high level.”

There should be no excuse for a poor running game this season, even with injuries. The O-line can get the job done for both rushing and passing to be successful.  Maybe we'll even see shifty running back George Atkinson, Jr. make a case for more playing time if the line opens holes like I believe they will. It all begins up front, and from what I see up front for the Raiders, this is the season to truly believe. The O-line makes the Oakland Raiders offense a "Potential Juggernaut," not my words but those of senior editor Jerry Knaak. And trust me, Jerry's been around football for a while.

As for the six foot four wide receiver Andre Holmes, who I've cheered for the past two seasons.  Holmes was given a one year deal to return as one of the tallest targets for Raiders quarterback Derrick Carr.  He might not be the most explosive, but he knows how to use his height and body positioning to beat defensive backs to the ball.  Not scared to go up high for a ball, he'll usually get that much needed first down in a final drive with the game on the line. The game might continue changing, but you still can't teach height. 

And the bonus with Holmsey is he knows how to get into the endzone.  Yes, #18 Andre Holmes is gonna be a big offensive piece that opponents will have to contend with once again.  Welcome Back Holmsey my boy, welcome back!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2014 Repost - Virginia Cavaliers #1

No Brackets For Me To Fill Out.  Just proclaiming the Virginia Cavaliers as my team to survive the tournament. As a #1 seed they're favored to possibly win it all; a feat the Cavaliers have yet to accomplish. 

They do have two NIT championships (1980, 1992) but Hunger for an NCAA trophy.

My loyalty has less to do with dominant basketball skills than with personal family region. For the birthplace of my parent's, parents.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Empire of Illusion - Chris Hedges

We now live in two Americas. One—now the minority—functions in a print-based, literate world that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The other—the majority—is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. To this majority—which crosses social class lines, though the poor are overwhelmingly affected—presidential debate and political rhetoric is pitched at a sixth-grade reading level. In this “other America,” serious film and theater, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins of society.

Above is the Amazon introduction to a book by Pulitzer-Prize winning American journalist and author Chris Hedges.  His 2009 book, Empire of Illusion, is a warning and wake-up call to Americans. Here seven years after it's publication we see more clearly much of what Mr. Hedges revealed about our government, society and cultural beliefs. It's a book that I hope to share more about once I've delved more into it.  But I urge all American citizens out there, especially the younger generation, to pull up any interview online with Chris Hedges talking about either this book or some of the other issues he's tackled in books.  The man has a way of pulling back the mask of economics, politics, racism, etc... and exposing what lies beneath the surface; and what's hidden underneath is not always pretty.

Hedges has spent nearly 20 years as a foreign correspondent in war torn areas around the globe. He's seen firsthand the devastation of war. You can't help but listen and like what drives this man to stand up and shout out against the wrongs of governments, corporations and war. He's educating the masses as best he can to the dire future facing our country and perhaps civilization as a whole. His strong family/community values are unalterable and his principles seem tested and true. 

Truths about ourselves almost always taste bittersweet when coming from an outside critic. But with all the "illusions" that we as a country have adopted as our way of life, better we welcome the view from a man who's spent many years outside of our country learning about peoples and cultures we've been deceived to believe are evil, than continue drinking the kool-aide of a cracked and crooked, corporate controlled media.

Have we become a society in denial about who we as a country truly are? Is our capitalistic empire crumbling beneath our feet and we're too busy watching the latest "America's Got Talent" or "America's Top Model" episode to care? Pick up a book, listen to a podcast, stream a video or if fortunate to be in the right place at the right time attend a lecture where Chris Hedges is sharing views on where we as a nation have been, where we currently are and warnings to where we might end up if we continue on this empirical path of illusion. Let's end the spectacle and let literacy triumph.

Article on effects of Digital Distractions: Why can't we read anymore?. by Hugh McGuire

Saturday, March 12, 2016

March Madness - It's Not Always Just About Basketball

The NCAA basketball tournament begins this coming week. College kids, both athletes and fans, should be getting into the madness that is march college basketball.  But it seems there's another sport that has caught the attention of college campus life across these United States.

Politics and the race to the white house 2016 has all the competition, intrigue and mud slinging to attract the reality tv generation and some.  The political arena this season is full of terrible actors and actresses trying to win the role of our country's next Commander-in-Chief. Can't we just fire them all and bring back the British rulers. 

Meanwhile, there's March Madness to contend with on the basketball court. I'm guilty of not paying much attention to college basketball this season. When you have the hottest basketball team with the hottest player on the planet in the Golden State Warriors and Steph Curry, who needs NCAA basketball. 

The Warriors are a record setting 58-6 as they try to close out the regular season with the best record ever in league history. I do hope to sprinkle in some college hoops this month, but we Warriors fans have waited so long for a winner that we are just beside ourselves when it comes to our NBA champion basketball team. 

Who knew that watching championship pro basketball can make a sports fan one dimensional. Nothing in sports today compares with watching the Golden State Warriors play their style of basketball. Definitely not an annual college tournament. 

But the presidential race, with its cartoon caricatures and controversial moments, is garnering attention from sports fans and regular civilians alike. And it should. For as important as electing the next leader of our nation should be, the contestants make it a painful and shameful competition to watch.

I'll take watching the 89th Scripps National Spelling Bee competition set to run from May 22-27, over viewing anymore political hate mongering.

So bring on college March Madness.  Let's indulge ourselves in seeing a cindefella or two break the heart of a powerhouse team. And bring on the presidential primaries. Let's see a few more political campaign riots spice up the 'breaking news' reports that have become anything but breaking or news these days.  

In the SF-Oakland bay area, our eyes are on the prize of our glorious NBA team breaking records and winning another championship.  We may be the only fans of anything these days who are not mad, but united and glad to have our dog in the race. It doesn't bite, piss on or piss off anybody. All our dog does is win baby!


Wednesday, March 09, 2016

NFL Football Returns To Los Angeles

With the start of today's NFL free agency market there was a sighting of nostalgic proportions.  An NFL team has Los Angeles preceding it's name across the wires. Not since 1995 has there been a professional football team calling the City of Angels its home. And not since Christmas Eve 1994 has there been an NFL game played there, "The Day the NFL Died in L.A.." The cherry on top is the team now calling it home has a long, rich history with Los Angeles. 

The St. Louis Rams are no longer. Beginning this season the Rams belong to Los Angeles once again and will be playing their games in the city they called home from 1946-1994. The franchise was originally founded in Cleveland in 1936 and who knew that they were named after the Bronx, N.Y., Fordham Rams.

I grew up in New York and remember watching the coach Chuck Knox led L.A. Rams go up against the Jets, Giants and Bills.  They were a good team with some very good, unforgettable players like Jack Youngblood, Merlin Olsen and Jackie Slater to name a few.  The L.A. Rams had one particular running back who I remember as always doing damage. I hardly ever hear his name brought up these days, but back in those ground control frozen tundra days he was the Rams winning edge over most opponents.

He wore #30 and his name was Lawrence McCutcheon.

From 1972-1979 he ran fast and hard in helping the Rams win the NFC West division title seven straight years. The San Francisco 49ers were abysmal during much of that era and the Rams owned the division while Atlanta and New Orleans struggled as most expansion teams do for years.

I don't know all McCutcheon's stats, but he rushed well over 1,000 yards for five straight seasons, all of which he made the Pro Bowl. He wasn't big but had a way of making tacklers miss and punishing them if they took a wrong angle on him.

McCutcheon was also a threat as a receiver and punt returner. He played with some memorable Rams quarterbacks:  Jack Hadl, Pat Haden, Joe Namath and James Harris, the first black player to start a professional football game at quarterback. 

The 1970's had some great, bruising running backs who could run with power and finesse. McCutcheon was a product of that style of play and could be mentioned right up there with the best of those times.

Earl Campbell, Franco Harris, Marv Hubbard, Walter Payton, O.J. Simpson just to name a few.  You'll find his name on most "best of" 1970's running backs lists. I found one list on a site named, that lists McCutcheon at #5 out of twenty. 

It's no surprise that the Raiders, "team of the decades," have two running backs listed; the late great Marv Hubbard and the great Mark van Eeghen. Raiders RB/KR Clarence Davis, given more carries at running back and barring knee injuries, could've easily made the list. Davis is a Raider Legend!

Lawrence McCutcheon joined the Rams front office after retirement and has been a part of the Rams family for 38 years.  He'll be returning to Los Angeles with the team to begin a new chapter in the long, rich history of the Rams franchise.  

Welcome Home Lawrence McCutcheon and 
The Los Angeles Rams, Welcome Home!

Note: RIP Mack Herron, the littlest big man in 1970's running backs
(July 24, 1948 - December 6, 2015)

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Raiders Getting Early Jump On Free Agency

The NFL Free Agency market opens tomorrow afternoon.  The Oakland Raiders are reported to have reached an agreement to sign former Seattle Seahawk linebacker Bruce Irvin, a top five free agent.  Second in cap space, the Raiders are expected to make a splash in free agency and the draft.  Irvin gives the team a hefty splash of defensive versatility as he rejoins former Seahawks coach Ken Norton. Defense wins championships!

I'd also heard rumor of a top offensive guard/tackle free agent signing by the Raiders. Kelechi Osemele, a five year veteran from the Baltimore Ravens is reported to have agreed in principle to a deal with the Oakland Raiders. This signing is huge for the Raiders O-line. Kelechi O is listed as top-top free agent.  

GM Reggie McKenzie has improved each year with making good off-season acquisitions. Finally, Reggie has the cap space and money to get elite soldiers. Also, the Raiders are sparkling with potential to be a great team. Good players wanna be a part of great teams. The missing parts that'll make the Raiders engine roar are out there. Go Get'em Reggie!

With the Golden State Warriors wearing championship rings around Oaktown, the Raiders are just itching to become the next big sports story in the bay. We could see some football championship rings being worn around Oaktown in the very near future. Can't Wait!

Northern Kalifornia has waited way too long for the return of a Raiders winner.  The Wait is over son, say hello to Kali:

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Buggery On The High Seas

Just a Cheech & Chong Memory that sprung up out of nowhere. Guess It came to mind after I checked in on a good friend who now lives on a boat. The bay area has been experiencing rain storms with heavy winds.

As for the fate of seaman Kelly after the whipping of his sissy snitching accuser, one can only wonder.