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Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Merry Christmas

Hoping everybody at the GAB has a wonderful Christmas

OH Thursday
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Merry Christmas

      

Merry Christmas and Harry New Year to all of my fellow gabbers.

I hope you all enjoy your Christmas and enjoy the time with your families and the traditions you’ve built over the past.

 

I am thankful for the Gab and the friends I’ve made here and look forward to the New Year.

 I’ll be kicking the New Year off with Lanz in our usual Thursday spots next week.

Buzz from the Bleachers
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

Welcome to Christmas Eve, Gabbers. In a few short hours, all the shopping, wrapping, and planning pays off. You'll get to see the excitement and thanks in the eyes of loved ones. Now, my wife decided to start grading my gifts. Not in a malicious way, but she just does. She admitted to me that she generally takes a few gifts into account. I got an A this year, because she picked out earrings she liked and enjoy the Donatello seat pet I got her.

One of my favorite gifts all those years ago were video games. One year IHM, my sister, and I got a Super Nintendo for Christmas. It was probably one of the greatest gifts we got, certainly that I got. We got other systems, but that was my favorite.

Video games remain one of the top gifts for the holidays. I always loved getting them. My purpose today is top give you some of my favorite retro sports games. I will break them into categories as best I can. I haven't owned all of them, but these are the best IMHO.

Basketball: NBA Jam/NBA Jam TE

Basketball games have really come a long way. Early on, they were pretty clumsy with rough movement and blobs for characters. NBA Jam took a different concept: two on two games. The game is far from realistic in terms of play, but it is a lot of fun. The biggest regret with the game is that licensing laws prevented some of the greats from appearing in the game. Jordan was never on a team. Barkley and Shaq were in early versions, but not all. Still, this game had smooth movements and eventually featured decent rosters. We will go ahead and forget the more recent versions of the game.

Baseball: Frank Thomas' Big Hurt Baseball

IHM was pretty psyched when he unwrapped abaseball game featuring his favorite slugger. This game was huge because it featured state of the art graphics. Everything looked crisp. It had full rosters. KEn Griffey Jr. was in the game despite the release of his own baseball game. (Griffey's game came with a special bat controlller for more realistic hitting.) Big Hurt also featured mini games like the home run derby. Mark Grudzielanek could really rake.

Boxing: Mike Tyson's Punch Out

EA has done great things with the boxing game. Heck, I remember some of the old Atari boxing games. They were fun, but were too close to rock em sock em robots. Punch Out brought the name recognition of Tyson with a great storyline about an up and comer named Little Mac. Little Mac had to fight some weirdos just to get a shot at Tyson. The series is so popular it's been remade and Little Mac has appeared in the newest Smash Brothers.

Extreme Sports: California Games

Atari had a lot of great games that were fun despite the sprites and graphics. California Games was definitely one of these. This game was great because it featured a lot of events like surfing, mountain biking, and hackey sack.

Fishing: Fishing Derby

This was a game I loved. It was simple. You had to out-fish the man on the next pier. The complication was that damned shark who lurked near the surface and ate the fish as you reeeled them in. The shark was the equivalent of the dog from Duck Hunt. You loved to hate them both.

Football: Techmo Superbowl

Long before John Madden came to dominate the sports video game world, Bo Jackson and Techmo had it under control. This game was terribly hard for passing, but running the ball brought success, just like the NFL of old. The fun thing was witnessing how over powered Bo Jackson was. You never lost if you picked the Raiders.

Hockey: Blades of Steel

Unlike several games on this list, this one held no association with the NHL. It merely holds the distinction of being the first hockey game to feature fighting. The graphics would make kids laugh today, but it was great to be able to drop the gloves and go at it. That was enough for it to succeed. There's a lot to love about hockey, but fighting is secretly a fan favorite.

Racing: Pole Position

Atari never had a better racing game than pole position. It had great graphics and great coloring. The action was simple, but going off road meant your car would blow up. The plus side is you'd respawn after 3-4 cars went by. It was a really bummer.

Skateboarding: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater

The spirit of the early 2000's/late 90's was bottled in these titles. This game combined trick skating and a great sound track into a sure fire winner. Fans could play along and learn the tricks while tuning into the X Games. Fans could choose from skaters like Hawk or use codes to get bonus characters like cops or Spiderman.

Bonus skiing: Ski Free

This was an old computer game. The idea was to rush down the mountain avoiding trees and dogs and hitting jumps. If that wasn't hard enough, they sent the yeti after you past a certain point. No one out runms the yeti. You just had to hit a jump before he reached you. If not, he ate you up. That yeti is still terrifying.

These games and many others have been brightening holidays for years. Did you have a favorite? Be sure to let me know. Merry Christmas Gabbers!

The Celtics and High School Basketball Update
Category: User Showcase
Tags: NBA BostonCeltics HighSchoolBasketball

 

BOSTON CELTICS

For the second time in a week, the Celtics face off with the Orlando Magic. But this time around, the Celtics ended up on the wrong side of the final score, losing 105-100.

While that score may suggest to you that the Celtics fell in a close game, don't let it fool you to the reality of what unfolded in the game.

The Celtics got pasted throughout most of the game. The first quarter saw the Magic up 26-9. At halftime, the deficit was 23 points at 53-30. In the second half, Boston trailed by as many as 27 points.

And then came a huge rally. They outscored Orlando 35-15 in the fourth quarter but despite what was I'm sure a pyrotechnic offensive explosion, it was once again a case of too little, too late. The Celtics find themselves at 10-16.

The loss is disappointing enough, but when you factor in that the Celtics have won 12 out of the previous 13 games against Orlando, it is downright depressing that Boston can't even beat other bad teams now.

Tyler Zeller (pictured below) led the team with his second straight 22 point performance. He added 10 rebounds for a double double.

Avery Bradley (see below) added 20 points and Kelly Olynyk had 14 points (another bad shooting night at 5-12 though) and 8 rebounds.

Brandon Bass scored 11 points and newly acquired point guard Jameer Nelson (see below) scored 9 points with 11 assists.

These kind of games are really tough to take and become more and more disheartening as the losses pile up.

 

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

ORR Boys Varsity - The Bulldogs remained undefeated by virtue of their 84-58 demolition of GNB Voc-Tech last night. Raekwon did not score in the game.

Wareham Boys Varsity - The Vikings beat Fairhaven 56-42 last night to raise their record to 3-1 (2-0 in conference play). I also learned that I have another former player on the team besides Josh (who didn't score in the game). Mark ended up with 2 points in the box score.

It should be an interesting clash when both of the above listed teams clash on Saturday December 27th at ORR. Wareham has ruled the conference for almost a decade outright or via shared conference crown. But ORR might just have their best team ever and is blowing out teams. I'm going to the girls varsity game scheduled to tip off before the boys varsity game, so I might end up staying for this one.

Bristol-Plymouth Girls Varsity - Savahna told me she did okay in the game, but her team lost 44-27 to Holbrook and drops to 1-2 on the season.

Upper Cape Girls Varsity - The Rams moved to 4-0 with their 45-39 defeat of Old Colony last night. According to the newspaper account of the game, they had a better shot selection and turned up their pressure defense. Michaela had a season high 10 points in the game.

Wareham Girls Varsity - The Vikings picked up their first win of the season by beating Fairhaven 36-29. Tieyanna had 5 points in the game while Kali added 4 points. However, it was Gabby who, for the first time, led the team in scoring. She hit four three pointers and finished with 13 points. I'm hoping that this is a sign that she is finding her footing on the varsity team.

Sturgis East Girls Varsity - The Storm lost their 2nd straight game to open the season. Nantucket crushed them 46-25. Isabella didn't score in the game, but the newspaper published photos from this game in their Tuesday edition and online. She was featured (in white uniform) in the large above/below the fold photo on the front page of the sports section and in the background of one of the photos in the online gallery.

The online pic:

The newspaper pic:

 

Deep Thoughts 12-24-14
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Dad remembered Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo MVP? New Triplets Dr. Shaq on accountability

 

Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. As my dad would have said today…Merry Christmas Eve Gift. It was something he always said on the morning of Christmas Eve. I won’t hear those words any more as my dad passed on December 19th. During his illness, I wrote about my prayer for a Christmas miracle. My dad was restless the last night, so my sister and I got him up to watch a bit of late night TV. Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire was on. I did not pay much attention to the movie, but found comfort in sitting with my dad. He finally said he was tired, so we put him back to bed, for what was to be the last time. I have no words to describe the sadness the next morning brought to my family. It was something that we realized was approaching, but I suppose we are never ready for the end of a loved one’s life. This was my father, my rock that is no more. I prayed for a Christmas miracle and I suppose in his own way, my father delivered one to my family. Life goes on, but nothing is the same. We must take comfort in knowing that my dad is in a much better place…sticks in hands, playing again. For those of you in the Austin area that would like to attend the celebration of my dad’s life…it will be at the First United Methodist Church in Killeen on December 29th at 2:00pm.

 

 

 

                            

      

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                   A song for my dad...I'll be seeing you dad.

 

 


 

 

 

A funny thing happened to the Cowboys on the way to their annual December collapse…they won. I have said repeatedly that I sensed something different about this Dallas team. The ability to run the football has given Dallas a toughness that they have not had before. Much of this success must be attributed to the offensive line of the Cowboys. I suppose it should be no surprise that three Cowboy offensive linemen were selected to the Pro Bowl.  Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and Tyron Smith are 3/5ths of a line that has delivered a running attack and protection for Tony Romo. As I look around the NFL, I don’t see an offense as balanced as the Cowboys offense. No, the Achilles heel of this Cowboy team is the defense…but I don’t think that Andrew Luck would say that the defense is all that bad either. Is this team good enough to win a super bowl? I honestly don’t think the Dallas has quite enough talent for the Cowboys to win it all. But, considering that I did not expect the Cowboys to even win 8 games, this season has been a pleasant surprise.

Suddenly folks are beginning to notice the numbers that Tony Romo has put up this year…as in MVP numbers. Yes, I remember the past years of failure. I understand that Romo has never won a super bowl or really led a team to any playoff success to speak of.  But the MVP award is for performance in the current year. While DeMarcus Murray has been a workhorse, it has been Tony Romo that stepped up to take the Cowboys on winning drives to beat Philly. When Romo was hurt against Washington and the loss to Arizona, it was pretty clear how pedestrian this team became without Romo leading the offense. It has been said that MVP awards are won in December…so let’s take a look at the numbers.

 

http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/photo/2014/12/23/0ap3000000448700.jpg

Yes, I realize that these numbers only comprise 3 games, but if people are going to bash Tony Romo for his inability to play well in December, it is time that we acknowledge how well the man is playing this December. Performing at a high level is a tough task in the NFL and especially at the QB position. It appears that Romo has finally taken the step to become an elite QB. Now, I suspect that it is very unlikely that Romo wins the MVP this year. That is not how it works. The numbers are only part of the equation in determining an MVP…ultimately; it will take a super bowl victory for Tony Romo to attain the respect needed to win this award.  After all, the MVP award is as much a popularity contest as anything else. I do have to say that watching this Dallas offense, I am very much reminded of the triplets of yesteryear. Romo, Murray and Bryant are a formidable trio in their own right, but until they win it all…none of them will receive the due that they deserve.

 

 

http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/photo/2014/12/23/0ap3000000448706.jpg

 

The season's yardage numbers have Tony lagging behind the other MVP candidates. In reality, Dallas has not needed the passing yards as they have in years past. But, it is the balance of the Dallas offense that has allowed the Cowboys to win this year. The accuracy and lack of intereceptions has made this season one to remember for Romo.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Last weekend, Hoov talked about the lack of accountability in our country. The more that I think about that comment, the more I realize he is right. Many in our country want to blame others when bad things happen. It is fine to put your arms in the air as a protest, but a more productive act would be to take time for your kids. Make sure our kids were receiving an education, as there are many that simply fall through the cracks. I caught a bit of Bryant Gumble’s HBO sports show this week.  They had sort of a round table discussion that included an interview with the tutor that busted North Carolina…Mary Willingham. As she talked about what went on at Chapel Hill…it made me realize what a mess college athletics has become. Student athletes reading Dr. Suess because this is their reading level is more than scary, it is criminal. Schools have lowered their standards to achieve athletic status…and that reads MONEY. There has been an argument that student athletes should not be paid because they are receiving an education for their athletic efforts. Given the scenario at Chapel Hill, this is a completely bogus thought. If this is happening at one institution of higher learning, it is surely happening at other universities across the country. There is one athlete that has taken education to the highest level. This person is Dr. Shaquille Oneal. Yep, after earning his undergraduate degree from LSU in 2000, Shaq received his MBA online from the University of Phoenix. Now, Shaq has completed his doctorate degree from Barry University in Miami. In Shaq’s own words, it is not how much money you make, the question is are you educated enough to keep it? You may be surprised to learn that Shaq owns over 150 Five Guys restaurants, car washes, fitness centers, a shopping center and even a few Vegas night clubs. Clearly, Shaq learned early that the money would not last. Early in his career, he received a call from his banker scolding him for spending a million dollars in 30 minutes. Apparently, Shaq stopped in an LA Bentley dealer and was pissed when the salesman questioned his ability to purchase a car…so he bought 3. Too often, this is what happens to athletes with their first pocket full of money. Luckly for Shaq, he figured out that he needed to be educated to hang onto his money. It is time for athletes and actors who are parents to put their hands down and work on accountability with their kids. I think that the best way to ensure a future is to lay the law down with their kids. Shaq credits his parents with his education, as probably many of us with degrees do as well. If it is time for a change, the change needs to be to get an education and breathe easier…


I would like to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas. This is the time of year that is special for families and I hope that this holiday finds you in the company of those you love.


That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…

 

People laugh when I say that I think a jellyfish is one of the most beautiful things in the world. What they don’t understand is, I mean a jellyfish with long, blond hair.

If you’re a boxing referee, it’s probably illegal to wear a bow tie that spins and changes colors.

 

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…

 

 

 

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