I hope your July 4 holiday was wonderful. Here in the Northeast US, it was all about Hurricane Andrew. The day was a complete wash out. We just kind of stayed inside, drank beer and played “Walking Dead” branded “Risk.” This was a bit of a dumb idea, because there’s a ton of stuff going on in that game, and we didn’t really read the directions very well, so it wasn’t long before the board was overrun with “walkers” and
All I can say is wow. The US Mens’ Soccer Team hit the knockout round of 16 and played 90 minutes of scoreless soccer, against a team widely regarded as their superior. Ok, in the end Belgium got the best of the American squad, but in the extra time it got real quickly. Belgium scored twice, but the US got one back. If the first 90 minutes represented everything you, dear reader, hate about soccer, the additional 30 minutes had to represent what the game offers you.
American keeper Tim Howard was just ridiculous in goal, saving 16 shots. Now, hockey goal tenders display mastery by their shots defended – soccer is no different. It was all about Howard, who set a World Cup record for number of saves in a game. Were it not for his effort, the US loses this game in regulation, likely 2 or 3 to nothing. If you watched that game and still were not thrilled by soccer, then you already had your mind set.
Of course, the internet had an answer. #thingsTimHowardcouldsave began trending after the game with absolutely brilliant content. My favorite has to be Howard saving Mufassa (of “the Lion King.”)
So, as it’s wont to happen when I’m left to my own devices, my mind went awanderin and I went from an article reporting that the tomb of Vlad the Impaler (the basis for the legend of Dracula) had been found in Italy, to an article demonstrating why the first was ridiculous and stupid. And of course, from there I decided to look at impaling, and then a list of brutal torture methods. Now, I have to admit, I hadn’t heard of a good portion of these methods and frankly the ones I hadn’t heard of are by far the most ghastly. I mean what’s the most horrible aspect of this is that someone actually thought these things up. #2 on the list is quite possibly the most horrible thing I’ve ever thought about. One has to look at the illustration and ask what was going on in these guys lives that they said, “yeah, I think this is where I want to go.” #18 is pretty frigging awful to think about too.
It’s pretty remarkable how creatively awful people can be.
The MLB All Star roster was released this weekend, which serves as a reminder that the season is almost half over. It seems like a week or so ago the 2013 Champs received their rings at Fenway Park. Now at the almost-half point, the 2013 champs are dead last in the AL East. It’s been a pretty bad season for the Boston good guys and what’s really funny about it is that when the 2013 season opened, my joke was who was going to be worse the Yankees or Red Sox. Well, after over-achieving last season, the Red Sox are where I expected they’d be a year late. This is not a good team. And yet, it’s substantially the same one that won it all last year. Hard to figure this stuff out. I will submit this, though: it’s better to have a fantastic year and suck the next year than to be mediocre. Especially in Boston. Mediocrity breeds hand wringing and angst. Going wire to wire in first and winning it all and then sucking breeds emotion. It sucks to suck, but the balm of a championship does soothe the burn. But talk about torture methods, how about watching your team sink to the bottom after being on top.
It’s back to work today, so I hope you enjoyed your freedom weekend. Back to the grindstone, recharged and relaxed.
WOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Hey there and welcome all you Gabbers & others to my NASCAR updates & other fast stuff. It was awesome to find out we had some others checking in on us here in our Gabtopia. Check out the Thank you blog on the front page for a big thanks to all the hard work we Gabbers put into our writing. I just want to say thank you to any one who peeks in on us and reads or comments. It makes it all worth while. Great to know you're there and of course welcome to The Gab.
I was supposed to watch the Daytona Coke Zero 400 but it got water logged. Rain spoiled a lot of the Daytona weekend. Lots of crazy occurances went on too. Full Buck Moon isn't due till Saturday the 12th of this month. What is a Full Buck Moon any way? And shouldn't that be in the Fall?
Listening to my iPod with my new ear buds. Bought some for a $1 at the Dollar Tree. Then I spent $19 for Sony ear buds and guess what? No difference. Wish I had my ear buds with the volume control back. They sounded way better and I really liked that volume control on the wire. Gardening accidents suck. Best be using a safety mind set when snipping away at herbs from now on.
BARNEY HALL TO CALL IT ONE LAST TIME
The Daytona race will be Barney's last play by play race he'll be calling for MRN Radio. For 50 years we heard him calling the race. He could paint a picture with words like no other. I often said he could make a dozen snails sliming their way around Daytona sound exciting. He has that certain something I think all broadcast journalists should have or cultivate. Don't just take the lazy mans way out and show a picture. Describe what you're seeing. For many years I would turn the sound down on the tv and listen to Barney call the race. He was way better then the tv booth guys. Now at 82 years old I guess it's time to move on and enjoy life a bit. Good luck Barney in the next phase of your life.
MOST POPULAR DRIVER VOTING HAS STARTED
Time to cast your vote for the most popular NASCAR Cup driver. You have till 8pm on Nov 17th to cast your vote. Rules?
----> 1 vote per person per email address per day
----> Candidate to vote for is a Sprint Cup driver entered in every points race from Jan 1 2014 to July 5, 2014.
Those crazy cats at Reddit.com are at it again. They're planning on making Josh Wise the most popular driver and unseating Dale Jr. They got him sponsorship for a few races and they got him voted into the All Star race beating out The Danica. So it will be interesting to see if they can do it again. I'd like to see it. This has been interesting to watch. Good luck Josh.
NASCAR RE-EVALUATING SOUVENIR ROW
If you've been to a NASCAR race you've walked past the souvenir haulers. Some times drivers actually hang out in them helping to sell stuff or sign autographs. Business has dropped off though. Track attendance is down. Revenue went from $2 Billion to $1 Billion.
NASCAR is taking suggestions on how to set up for souvenir sales. Their thinking of a tent store. The NHRA teams do that. I like that better. Easier to see stuff that way. Right now it's 20 plus trucks going to 36 races. That's a lot of diesel fuel and truck driver salary. I think a lot of fans are getting their stuff on line too. I know I do. Much easier.
More safer barriers were installed along with crossover gates just in time for the race this weekend. Due to some freak accidents where drivers hit interior walls , almost all the interior walls have safer barriers on them. They also added the barrier starting at turn #3 to the exit of turn #2. Thats 2400 feet of safer barrier. Now we'll send out Jeff Gordon and see if he can find another spot that needs some.
They also added 6 crossover gates for fans to get from the grandstands to the football field (tri-oval grass) faster.They used to have removeable staircases.
So it sounds like the upgrades are moving right along at Daytona.
HOT AUGUST NIGHTS
No it's not a Neil Diamond album. It's a car event in Reno, Nevada. The Barrett Jackson Cup is up for grabs once again. How do you get it? Well you fix up a car and enter it. So if you have a custome car you've been itching to show off to the world then this is your chance to win $30,000. AND you'll be on an episode of the Barrett Jackson Auction. There will be 4 runners up winning various prizes including money.
I had this last week but I'll talk about it again. Pretty much it's a high speed rolling chess match more like crap shoot. Doesn't even matter where you qualify. Drivers drop to the back and then make their way to the front all race long. Till the end. You know when they start doing stupid stuff that creates wrecks.
Kasey Kahne won the Nationwide race this weekend. Been a long time for Kasey. Nice picture of him with his trophy and car owner Dale Jr up top there. During practice one of the turns on the 2.5 mile track got a pop up shower. Before any one could warn the drivers they were in it and a lot of them wrecked. The race was just as crazy.
The rain played havoc on practice as well as qualifying for the Cup guys too. The race was post poned till today at 11am and that's maybe they can get it in before more rain comes. David Guilliland is on the pole. Only the 3rd pole in the guys career. So that should tell you just what a crap shoot it is. I picked 3 Hendrick boys (Jimmie, Jeffy & Dale Jr), Terry Labomte and Landon Cassill for my salary cap league. Picked Dale Jr for my Streak. A wreck could take out 1 or all my guys. Most likely will too. Good luck to you and your fantasy picks.
KENTUCKY RECAP & POINTS LOOK SEE
That Keselowski dominated & won the race last week. He even ended up with 4 stitches in his hand from a champagne bottle when the celebration in victory lane got too wild. He got his stitches out on Friday and doesn't expect any complications from it. He's ready to race.
Keselowski got most laps led with 199, Logano got 37 & Ky Bu got 31 laps led. They're the only drivers to lead laps. THAT'S how dominant Keselowski was. I still can't believe his car passed inspection after the race.
So this leads me to points as of now. We're 18 races gone and after Daytona is in the books, it's 8 races till the Chase. Some boys need to gitty up or shut up. Time is about to stomp on a few of them.
Top 10 in points : Gordon 1W - Johnson 3W's - Dale Jr 2W's - Keselowski 2W's - Kenseth - Edwards 2W's - Logano 2W's - Newman - Harvick 2W's - Ky Bu 1W
Menard - Larson - Biffle - Bowyer - Kahne - Stewart are 11th thru 15th.
Hamlin is 16th with 1W.......Ku Bu is 25th with 1W. These 2 would be in because of their win. Kahne & Stewart would be knocked out.
Larson is the highest placing rookie at 12th. Dillon is next at 17th. Congrats to these 2 guys. Great showing in your rookie year.
Where's The Danica? 27th. Lets go girl. Time to gitty up.
So I hope everyone had a nice safe holiday. I'll be celebrating today....right after the race....if there is a race.
Perhaps I spend too much of my time in my car and perhaps I listen to sports talk radio to excess, but I think one of these two things is about to change. Since I can't stop driving to work, I guess it must be option "b." The source of this discontent is the latest chapter in the Off-Season of LeBron (not to be confused with the Summer of George). Four years ago we had the extravaganza that brought us the so-called "Big Three." James and Bosh joined with Wade in Miami and a dominant force was born...4 title series in 4 years with 2 Championships. Not a bad return on the investment. Those contracts all came with 4 year opt-out clauses, now exercised by all three players. Presumably, the plan was to allow the players to re-sign, for LeBron at the MAX and everyone else at some lesser number. Which is where we are now...another circus while LeBron - and to a lesser extent Wade & Bosh - hold the NBA hostage to their contract expectations.
Which brings me to my main point...its buried in here somewhere folks...which is that listening to the talking heads, you would think the NBA has only 6 teams. Here is who is in the NBA: the Lakers, Celtics, Knicks (who knows why?, they stink), Heat, Bulls and the goody two-shoes, Spurs. Every other team is extraneous to the league. Why not contract the NBA to 8 teams - we'll keep Houston & OKC for balance - and put the rest of the unfortunate NBA fans out of their misery. The fact is, unless LeBron chooses you, you are not moving into the elite winners circle. Half the NBA franchises have never even played for a title and over the last 30 years you have 9 different champions...so who cares about the Wizards, or even more remote, Sacremento. You have the formerly up & coming Clippers once again overshadowed by the Lakers & Kobe - all of which revolves around saga #2, the Carmelo Anthony Summer...again only 6 teams in the NBA.
I can't stand it anymore...it is going to leave me no choice but to listen only to the MLB or NFL Networks. (Training camps open in about 4 weeks - wahoo!!).
Here's a breath of fresh air for tennis...slightly more obscure than the 24 other NBA teams is Wimbledon. At least with Eugenie Bouchard in the Women's Final today, we have someone new on the scene that plays exciting tennis. New names and faces are a plus...while on the Men's side of the draw, we have more of the same...Who Cares? versus Never Heard of Him. A bit harsh I guess since Federer is such a distinguished champion, but really, since McEnroe, has there been anyone worth watching?
Break up the Cubs....farm system. The Cubs raided the A's cookie jar taking their top two prospects for Jeff Samardzija. The Cubs have actually amassed a wealth of young talent...if half of that talent develops into bonafide major league players, they may be competitive in a year or two. I guess when you've waited over 100 years, what's a couple more?
I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! Enjoy the 5th as well (that is "the" 5th, not "a" 5th!)!
Well it's been a week around here at my house, my laptop crashed for good last weekend so I spent the week looking for a suitable replacement just so I could start classes again on Monday. I am not too sure whether or not I have quite yet, as I am trying this one out for the time being. The Beezer mentioned he was having insurance issues and I feel his pain, before I went to have my shoulder operated on a year or so ago, they made me go through all of the same shit he is going through now. Hope you get better soon man, cause I know it sucks really bad.
IHM, are you still not convinced after the way the Tigers handled the A's this week that everything is going to be okay. I wanted to apologize to you first and foremost, because it was while I was trying to reply to your post to my blog last weekend that my laptop decided to croak. It really sucked, because I was also trying to weigh in on your weekly grumble. And because of my laptop dying, I got my ass kicked my most everyone in my fantasy leagues, I am looking forward to playing the Beeze again to see if my team is on the right track heading towards the playoffs. Got to beat the best in order to be the best, and right now he is the best in our fantasy league....
Did you not see the way the Tiger's handled the A's this week? This is the turning point of their season, and everything will be okay my brother just ask AFD....
Anyway now on to the reason we are all here, and what it means to me. My grandma was a history buff, could tell you just about anything you wanted to know about anything including nursing. I remember one day she was talking about the meaning of Independance Day, and so I think of this
If it wasn't for George Washington and everyone else standing up to the King of England and giving them the preverbial finger, then we would not have the freedoms that we have today. LeDouche wouldn't be able to be who he is a carpetbagger who moves from team to team when ever the mood strikes him. We wouldn't have Baseball, we would have cricket (don't quite understand this one) and our football would be fucking round, instead of its present shape and it would be called rugby instead........
While I was working Sunday, one of our young cashier's was watching the World Cup in the breakroom I believe it was Uraquay and I forget the other team. She couldn't understand why there were so many different colors on the Uraguay team, and because they don't teach real history in high school, and apparently not much in college either, I had to remind her that the slave route went around South America into the Dominican and that's how they got to America in most cases from either Africa or England. It's pretty sad that when I have to give the history lesson that our sorry ass education system can't give to our son's and daughters......
The 4th shouldn't be about BBQ's and beer, as it should be remembered as a celebration of our freedom. Freedom we wouldn't have if not for those who perished in order for us to gain our freedom. We should remember those who served both past and present, and those who passed during troubled times. Sure we celebrate those days, but we should remember today as not one for lighting off fire works, or going to a parade, or attending a ballgame at our favorite teams ballpark. It's about those who passed protecting us and giving us the country we live in today.
Truth be told, as fans of sports we know that the 4th means we are only a few weeks from training camp beginning, not that I am sure I wouldn't want to root for another team rather than the Lions. I am not really sure what they were doing this offseason outside of having an I Hate Millen draft, are we sure he wasn't in the Lion's warroom again making decisions? Did he tie up Lewand and Mayhew and lock them in a closet, so he could screw the Lions over again for the next 10 years? And just to clarify I was talking about Matt Millen, IHM is too damn smart to screw up this team, hell he probably could do more good.....
I have decided that I am going to obtain my substitute teaching certificate from the State of Michigan, and work as a substitute teacher this fall. I am not sure how I will do, and who knows, I just may continue on and receive my teaching degree especially after what I mentioned earlier in my blog, sounds like they need it.....
On Monday I was watching the 84' Tigers reunited for the most part, those who weren't dead or working somewhere else. What kind of struck me odd, was that Alan Trammell was there, Sweet Lou (hadn't seen him since he retired), but no Kirk Gibson? If Tram could make it and he is your bench coach, WTF Kirk you not good enough? But Rajai Davis provided us with his own Kirk Gibson moment, when he cleared the bases with a walk-off grand slam.
My favorite line is from Sparky Anderson when he tells Gibson "He doesn't want to walk you," and two pitches or so later Gibson damn near hits the ball to the back of the upper deck in right to seal the deal. It makes you wonder this though, are the 2014 Tigers this good? I think so, and I will tell you why. IHM, back in the 80s there was no such thing as a set up man or barely even a closer, so teams didn't worry much about this because Petry, Morris, Wilcox were always out there at least 8 innings unless they struggled. Ask your dad, Willie Hernandez had a lot of 9 out saves in 84' and pretty much was the reason they won. During those days in order to win, you sacrificed your stats for victories. The other they sacrificed their egos, ask Stevie Y., the Wings didn't win a Stanley Cup until they sacrificed their personal stats under Scottie Bowman for playing better defense, which led to more victories and the Stanley Cups...
The Tigers have one thing that most teams don't have, 4 quality pitchers. If Verlander, Scherzer, Sanchez and Porcello are going right, for which they are, they are inning eaters. They will take the strain off the young bullpen, and make things easier. IHM just watch what I say, it's the only they will win, and win it all. The Tigers of the 80s had more bench players than pitchers, Sparky never carried a lot of pitchers because of the horses he had going out there night after night, sometimes on 3 days rest.
The 14' Tigers have sacrificed their stats in order to win, and to me is why they will be World Champs. You have to take baby steps in order to grow, and there have been plenty of bumps the past 3 years, but this my friend is the year of the Tiger..........
Thanks for stopping by, and I apologize to those I couldn't respond to last week. Don't forget to visit Hal on the other side, as I am heading out to the campgrounds to hang out with mom and dad for the day.......