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NASCAR Update And Other Fast Stuff 12-14-14
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NASCAR Tony Stewart Kevin Harvick Joey Logano Richard Petty Kyle Busch

                          

Oooo hey there. Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. I think george has a point there. Don't you? Another annoying human habit is touching the glass on a door you're opening. Do you really have to? That's what handles are for. 

Been a busy week for Santa's helpers. We've been packing NFL hoodies, sweat shirts, jackets and scarves for all the good NFL fans out there. It's been a tough pack for about 4 weeks now. The jackets and hoodies don't fold real nice. They create issues but volume is our friend. Santa will have no Debbie Downers. So maybe if you were on Santa's nice list, you have NFL gear coming your way.

So lets see what's happening in the land of Left Turns.

MORE SURGERY FOR TONY STEWART

He just had the rod replaced in his leg right after the last race of the season and now it is said there will be #5. Doctors aren't happy about how slowly it's healing. The goal is to not have that rod in there in the future. Stewart says it still hurts but is optomistic that when the rod is out that the pain will go to. 

I hope so. February is around the corner. Stewart plans on being at the Chili Bowl next month to help with track preparation for the dirt track midget race (wingless sprint cars). So far I don't see any NASCAR driver entries on the list.

DALE JR"S BEST SELLING DIE-CAST

Not only is Dale Jr's Daytona 500 paint scheme the #1 best selling die-cast of the year it's the #1 best selling die-cast car in Lionel Racing history. While Dale Jr took like 6 spots on that top 10 list Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Austin Dillon got spots to.

WATKIN'S GLEN GETS GRANT FROM NEW YORK

The track will have it's repave and updates courtesy of a $2.25 million grant as well as $12 million in private funding. The repave is scheduled after the Cheez-it 355 race weekend.

                  

LOGANO GETS MARRIED

Fiance Brittany Baca picked the date 12-13-14 so it would be easy for Joey to remember. He is a busy guy. Honey moon is in Costa Rica for 5 days. 

Congrats to the new couple.

NASCAR TO LET TEAMS DECIDE JUST HOW MANY LUGNUTS TO TIGHTEN

Is this bizaare or what? They have decided to let them tighten all 5 or just 2 or 3 or however many they want. No morte monitoring during the stop. Sort of opens things up for disaster if you ask me. There's a lot of gamesmanship in NASCAR. This is why I call it a high speed rolling chess match. Always decisions to be made at every pit stop.

Now NASCAR is not letting them completely off the hook here. If they lose a wheel during the race they will be penalized. That I find a bit stupid. If your wheel comes off the car while you're driving, I'm sure you're about to get penalized right into the wall or into another car. They didn't state just where this penalty falls on their scale yet.

Now I can see how this 2 or 3 or 4 lugnuts could play into the hands of a crew and driver willing to take the chance. If you come in for 2 or 4 tires during a late race caution with like 5 to 10 laps to go, you might want to roll the dice to get that extremely valuable track position. AND THEN you hope they stay on for the restart and possibly the win.

Something to look forward too in the 2015 season.

                    

NEWS OF THE DANICA

Besides the who's going to be her crew chief thing, there really isn't any news. Just thought you all needed to hear that name.

WANT A NEW RACING CAREER?

The Roush Yates Racing School of Technology will be open for classes in February of 2015, Their 36 week program will make you an entry level machinist. You'll be machining engine blocks and cyliders before you know it. No word on tuition costs. I didn't look it up.

KEVIN HARVICK NAMED DRIVER OF THE YEAR

17 journalist and broadcasters got together and voted. The catagory was for all drivers of every racing series. Harvick beat out Tony Schumacher (2015 Top Fuel Dragster Champion) and Erica Enders Stevens (2015 Pro Stock Champion) by taking over half the votes. He gets a trophy and Tissot wrist watch. 

DUMBASS THAT CLIMBED FENCE CONVICTED

The race fan that climbed the fence at the Richmond race in September was convicted of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. He got 12 months in jail which 11 months were suspended and a $100 fine. His lawyer says he has post truamatic stress disorder from his military service and has other conditions as well.

Harry Potter says...HORSE HOCKEY. So do I. What a dumbass.

THUNDERBIRDS TO DO D-500 FLYOVER

The U S Air Force Thunderbirds are due back at the Daytona 500 for the 5th straight year to provide the thunder over the opening ceremonies at the Daytona 500 in February. 

YEAH!!! 

                  

I think that picture says it all. F you to the bleeding hearts. They should all be sitting on stools facing the walls every day they are in those camps alive. Don't move for ANYTHING. 

So everybody have a safe weekend.

And I'm outta here.....

 

 

 

Back To the Future: High-School Championship
Category: NCAA
Tags: ART SHELL HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL JIM MORA NEW ORLEANS SAINTS OAKLAND RAIDERS
This is what the Louisiana state championship trophies look like, can't get it to show up: https://theknightswhosay.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/lhsaa-trophy.gif

I hope filing it under ncaa is ok.

I haven’t written about high school sports since high school, but I had to comment about the high school I went to winning its first state championship since 1960. Hopefully it’s an interesting story. Some may know or be able to figure out the school, but I’ll avoid mentioning names.

What made it even stranger is that in watching the clips posted online (I subscribed to nola.com’s YouTube channel mostly for LSU content a while back), I saw a familiar face. It was the coach who had left my school in 1996. I honestly thought I was imagining things until I heard his name. He didn’t look much older either.

I’ll just call him Coach M. Since he left for a rival school, he wasn’t exactly my favorite person at the time. He did not do particularly well at that other school and had gone into other lines of work, although he had returned briefly to my school as an assistant at some point between the two stints. I would find out this was his first season back as head coach.

The administrators who were there while I was a student were all gone, so I guess that helped lessen any misgivings as well. Still, I’m sure some were skeptical he could just pick up where he had left off as a head coach. An NFL situation I thought of was Art Shell’s ill-fated return to the Raiders. Unlike Shell, however, it seems that Coach M had really kept up with the game.

I also compared it to Jim Mora (Sr.), who also left the Saints rather suddenly when I was in high school, coming back to the Saints and at least going to the Super Bowl in his first season.

Mora presided over a lot of improvement in New Orleans but was not able to win a playoff game with the Saints (although the Saints did have a first-round bye one season).

Coach M had won playoff games but had come up short on at least a couple of occasions in the semifinals. I mentioned the prior state championship had been in 1960. That was before the Saints even came into existence.

One difference is in recent years, the Saints did better than had ever done before. They won a few playoff games, won the Super Bowl one season, and made the conference championship in yet another season. But I’m pretty sure my junior year (two seasons after Coach M left) was the last time my high school had made the state semifinals. So I guess that all helps you imagine why it was so surreal.

After a bit of an upset in the quarterfinals (#6 over #3 on the road), it looked like it might be another year where they made it to the semifinals and fell short, which happened three times while I was there.

The last two games were remarkable too. In the last few seasons, my high school played really well against a rival school from the same district but ultimately came up short in both the regular season and the playoffs. That school was seeded #2 and had won the previous two state championships, as well as the district championships, and was undefeated. Somehow my school had them on the defensive all right, and my school prevailed,

In the finals, my school played a school that had 26 state titles. That school also did not exist in 1960. To be fair, it is a smaller school, so it wasn’t in the same classification in most of those years.

It was a low-scoring game with a lot of turnovers, but it seemed that the school that was used to state championships would pull it out when that school took a 14-7 lead into halftime (after a long drive to end that half) and still led 14-10 after the third quarter.

A number of second-half drives by both teams had stalled (or ended in turnovers) right outside of field-goal range, and obviously one ended in field-goal range. The other team got as close as the 25-yard line, but apparently that wasn’t quite a comfortable enough distance.

The player of the game was a running back, so the success my school had was mostly on the ground. But somehow with about 9 minutes to play, they drew up and completed a long touchdown pass of 45 yards. The team only had 112 yards of passing the entire game, including that play, against 217 rushing yards.

A combination of running down the clock and good defense took care of the rest of the game.

Normally you get more used to things like this after you find out, but due to the result, it’s only gotten more surreal since seeing that video. What adds to it is I ran (without much success) on the cross-country team in high school, and when I graduated we had never won a state championship in that sport. This was not the cross-country team’s first state title since I graduated; but it still adds to my feeling of disbelief to know my school holds what I consider the two biggest state titles of the fall, both of which seemed so elusive 10-20 years ago.
The Celtics Report 12/13/14
Category: NBA
Tags: NBA BostonCeltics RajonRondo JeffGreen MarcusSmart KellyOlynyk TylerZeller MarcusThornton

 

The Boston Celtics found themselves in the midst of a four game week between last Sunday and Friday night. It started out quite nicely but by the end of the week, the team had once again crashed and burned.

Between the shuttling of some combination of Dwight Powell, James Young and Marcus Smart off to Maine again during this week and the injuries sustained by both Young and Smart, you have to start wondering if this is turning into a bit of an individual lost season for those players.

As for the game action...

In the first of a back to back set of games against the Washington Wizards, the Celtics saw an 18 point lead at the start of the fourth quarter cut to just 2 points as the Wizards staged a rally that saw Boston nearly helpless to stop from happening.

The situation nearly got worse as Avery Bradley took and badly missed a three point shot. But the Wizards got nothing out of their proceeding trip down the floor. Showing a gunslinger mentality, Bradley took another three from essentially the same spot on the floor he'd just missed from and buried the shot. It was a back breaking type of basket and the Celtics went on to win 101-93 for their third win in a row.

Jeff Green (shown below) led the team with 25 points and Marcus Thornton had 21 points off the bench.

When you include that devasting three pointer Bradley made, he finished the game with 11 points and Jared Sullinger had 10 points and 10 boards. Rajon Rondo (shown below) had himself another triple double performance with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

Unfortunately, aside from some incidental action, the good news for the Celtics kind of finished after this game.

The next night, Boston was on the road for the second game against Washington. While a vastly entertaining game was to be had for those who watched the game purely as a basketball exercise, the Celtics 133-132 double overtime loss was irritating on a number of fronts.

The Celtics trailed by as many as 23 points in the game before a huge rally by the reserves put them back into the game. Rajon Rondo was benched for the last 27:51 of the game (including both overtime periods). You can read what you want into it but neither coach Brad Stevens or Rondo have been saying much in the way of a detailed explanation as to why the arguably best player on the team got benched.

Maybe it was a message to the rest of the team to raise their games instead of relying on one particular player to bail them out. Or maybe Rondo was playing so badly that Stevens HAD to get him out of the game. I don't know. But it will be interesting to see how this plays out. If the benching was a one time only move of "shock and awe" to get attention of team on a night when they were playing as if they shouldn't be on an NBA roster, it might be a good thing. If it is something Stevens feels he has to do on a number of occasions, it will almost certainly alienate his point guard and lose effectiveness in motivating the players on the court.

More depressing than the loss itself (something that is bad enough) was the fact that the Celtics had a 7 point lead in both overtime periods and still couldn't close out the game. I know that the other team has the ability to make great shots just as much as the Celtics do, but blowing that kind of lead once is bad, doing it twice is a result of some truly shameful team defense.

As it was, Jeff Green once again led the team wtih 28 points. Marcus Smart (see below) was back in action for the game and he had a career high 23 points. Kelly Olynyk was huge with 19 points and 11 boards. Brandon Bass scored 19 points of his own. Evan Turner scored 18 points, had 8 assists and grabbed 6 rebounds. Tyler Zeller hit for double figures with 10 points.

 

In their game against the Charlotte Hornets, the Celtics led by 5 points at halftime but saw their momentum (and lead) evaporate in the second half as Charlotte got a huge game from former Celtic Al Jefferson. He finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds.

Once again, the Celtics had a chance to win this game. But instead of their defense letting them down, this time it was their offense. After they got within 2 points in the fourth quarter, Boston missed their next four shots and had four turnovers in a stretch of game action that killed any hope of a victory.

Jeff Green and Marcus Thorton had 16 points apiece to top the scoring chart for the Celtics. Brandon Bass added 15 points and Tyler Zeller finished with 13 points and 7 boards. Rajon Rondo (shown below) was back from his benching and went for a 12 point, 10 rebound and 10 assist triple double.

Kelly Olynyk (photo below) started off well in the game, scoring 8 points in the first half. But he faded in the second half and didn't score again.

Finally, last night (Friday) against the New York Knicks, the Celtics saw the positive vibes from their three game winning streak evaporate completely as they lost for the third straight time. Despite the 101-95 loss, Brad Stevens was quoted as being happy to see Jeff Green (shown below) growing more as a scorer. Green had 28 points and 6 rebounds as he led the scoring for Boston yet again.

During the game, Marcus Smart was injured again. He was forced out of the game with what was reported as an Achille's strain. It is certainly better news than if it was a tear, but as I mentioned at the start of the post, this is another injury for him (the second notable one of his rookie season). You have to wonder if the team is going to get any sustained looks at him without Smart winding up hurt.

Tyler Zeller (see below) scored 19 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Marcus Thornton and Evan Turner dialed up 13 points apiece. Kelly Olynyk added 11 points. Rajon Rondo scored just 2 points but had 10 assists and 7 rebounds.

So with their record now at 7-14, the Celtics once again are faced with the opportunity to figure out a way to come together as a team that finishes out everything from an individual play to a full game. Or they can once again head towards an epic collapse. While you hope for the best, it is just so hard to figure out which team might show up on a night to night basis, you can't blindly believe that the Celtics fortunes will turn around.

And as the losses pile up, you can only wonder how long it will be before the trade rumors that are constantly swirling around Rondo get turned up on the high flame once again.

But the overall faith in the Celtics remains, no matter how frustrating their performances have been.

GO CELTICS!

 

 

Storminnorman's Sports Blog 12/13/14
Category: FEATURED

Hello Gabbers and welcome to another edition of Storminnorman's Sports Blog, the Heisman Trophy edition. This is one of my favorite Saturday's, because it's Army-Navy game day. It doesn't matter who wins the game, it's always fun to watch even when both teams aren't good, because the game always means something to the players.......

I am only to imagine, that this song was written to speak out against the war in Viet Nam. What I don't understand is why those who served in this war, are so disrepected by the United States government who sent them. Isn't it a shame that our own government can't take care of them, like they take care of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, by ensuring they have the same types of medical coverage and priviledges? It isn't their fault they were involved in that so-called "police-action," which has the same type of similarities of those who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will leave you to ponder this for a moment.......

No offense, but I hope the Bengals defense christens him by making his ass a part of the turf. I hope he spends a lot of time on his back, this will knock some of the cockiness out of him, it's too bad he's not starting against a good defense like the Seahawks, who would eat his ass alive.

Not to say that the NCAA playoffs are rigged, but I wonder how many different ways they will try to ensure Florida St. a chance to repeat as champions?

By the time I get home from work tomorrow, Marcus Mariota should have a Heisman Trophy to add to his list of accomplishments during his college career. The question I have, is why did it take so long for him to win it? Mariota has been a winner at Oregon since day 1, and has led his team to major bowl games every year? Did anyone hear if he has decided to leave after this year and go pro? It would be a shame, because the playoffs are geared for Oregon to make it next year also....

Well the losing streak in Detroit ended at 13-games against the Suns tonight 105-103, I was beginning to wonder like the coaches and players were, if they were ever going to win another game this season. I read an article in the Detroit News, where Larry Brown had called Stan Van Gundy earlier this week, and told him to "stay the course," while they lose Greg Monroe to free agency at the end of the season, Gores needs to open his wallet and show Monroe the money, afterall, he has been here for the entire rebuilding process when they dumped their championship team to rebuild. It's only fair...........

Rick Porcello is a Red Sox now, good luck because if I remember right he didn't pitch very well in Fenway Park. I'm not too sure why they wanted Cespedes in Detroit, and for that matter Simon. Makes you wonder if Dombrowski spiked his egg nog before making these deals......

The Lions play the Vikings on Sunday, hope I get home in time to see them take them out. I also hope the losing streak in Buffalo continues for the Packers 0-6 would mean the Lions are back in first place heading into Chicago. I don't mind personally if they don't win the division, it would be nice to have the two seed and home field, but making the playoffs as a wild card might not be a bad option either.

Hat's off to Kevin Harvick on winning driver of the year, not that the voting is a science. It should be given to the Sprint Cup Champion anyway......

That's all I got, have a great week!

 

 

Saturday's Showcase - 12/13/14
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

Welcome to the weekend version with your host, the Bad Penny himself…UNCLE B.O.B.   This weekend should be the big Christmas Parties (work and home) weekend for many.  I wish you all an enjoyable and safe time if you partake in the parties.  

Today is a very busy day for the ole hermit known as myself as I will be attending the Wreaths Across America ceremonies this morning, which is honoring vets by putting holiday wreaths at the graves of veterans.  I will also be putting the finishing touches on tomorrow’s town VFW Kids Christmas Party, and participating in the town parade doing some advertising.  

Before you all head out to start your weekend, let me drop a few tidbits on ya:

Weather.  Yes, the “Storm of the Year” hit us here in NORCAL, and my house wasn’t without damage.  Heavy winds blew off shingles and exposed wood, and the rain got in and caused water leak in my bedroom.  Small price to pay I suppose for getting water out here.  Need a new roof anyway and I expect we’ll be getting that in the next few months.  For the time being, temporary fixes are in order.

Ugly Sweater Craze.  Before I start, This ugly sweater fetish has got to stop.  People look like damn fools and in a few years they are gonna regret getting their picture taken.

Sons of Anarchy.  I kept hearing about this show, about a biker gang located in Northern California, so Tuesday I finally took a peek at what it was all about.  Well, it was the series finale of all things – a two hour show.  What got me interested was the references to the areas (cities and towns specifically – Stockton, Lodi, etc.) near where I live. 

I watched it and it was definitely better than that garbage reality show “The Devils Ride”.  Wasn’t too keen on the ending, but it is what it is. 

Pretty good show with Peg Bundy, her rack, and Jimmy Smits, and others.                 

UFC.  C. M. Punk saw how bad the direction in WWE was going so it makes sense that Phil Brooks goes to the UFC.  And why not?  Lesnar, Lashley, and Bautista all tried it to varying degrees of participation and success.  But at age 36, can he hang with the Middle and Welterweights who are bound to be much younger?  My understanding is that Brooks/Punk holds multiple black belts in jiu-jitsu and practices kenpo.  Question is, does he have real wrestling in his repertoire?  I’m not a UFC guy, but I think I’ll watch this just to see how he does. 

WWE.  Vince McMahon going on Stone Cold’s Podcast and publicly saying that his talent basically sucks and needs to step up is a cop out – perhaps Vince and HHH need to take their own advice and step it up.  The talent is there – it’s creative that’s the problem the same ole shit week after week is what’s driving people away.  How many weeks in a row do we have to start off with 20 minutes of talk and end with the same ten guys charging each other in the ring.  It’s the same shit and people are tuning out and not going to shows like they used to.  Take the chance, feature Cesaro more and if he sucks on the mic, work with him – hell, bring the Rock in to teach him.  More Cesaro and less Big Show and Mark Henry is a good thing!

It’s like anything else in business nowadays, leaders blaming workers rather than stepping up their own game, thinking outside the box, improving their leadership and communication skills, and skillfully influencing employees to do better, and making things better for everybody – apparently it’s easier to remain with the status quo – which increasingly has a short shelf-life and publicly call out your workers and throw them under the bus.  News Flash Vinnie Mac:  The Rock, Stone Cold, HBK, and the Undertaker aren’t coming through that door - Work with what you have. 

Memo to WWE:  When Sirius XM has a two hour wrestling show and all they talk about is Ring of Honor and how much better their product is than yours, it pretty much tells you all you need to know about your product.

WAIT, WHERE’S THE SPORTS YOU SAY???

NBA.  Well, I guess Tragic the Myopian (err Earvin Johnson) is at it again, adding his voice to something that isn’t really welcome (what else is new with this clown?).  He actually had the audacity to say that losing is the best option in the NBA and that he advocates the Lakers losing so that they can get a high draft pick.  That ought to make Commissioner Adam Silver real happy - one of the greatest players of all time advocating losing.

That Carmelo Anthony is such a badass eh?  Threatening to kick his teammates asses after games?  Uh yeah tough guy.  Hey Melo, just admit you signed with the NY Tricks for the money then planned to engineer a trade.  It's easier that way then having to go through all your drama - yet again.  

NFL

  • I wasn’t really that in tune with what was going on with Darren Sharper, but damn.  The State of Lousisiana AND the Feds want some of this guy for Date Rape, and just this week he was indicted?  WOW.  Dude could have a life-long reservation at the Graybar Motel? 
  • Was horrified Tuesday to hear of the car accident of Cam Newton.  That’s scary, and it has nothing to do with Football.  Best wishes to Mr. Newton for a speedy recovery.
  • How funny was it to see Kaepernick get into a verbal w/Oakland LB Sio Moore and Kaep telling him “I’m coming for you in the 2nd half?”   Hey Colin, how bout focusing on your own play rather than letting opponents get into your freaking head?
  • Adrian Peterson's appeal was denied.  So what, he gets paid and he's fresh for next season, wherever he ends up.  Seattle?

MLB Winter Meetings.  Just wanted to try to keep it about stuff we haven’t already talked about.

  • I don’t know about the rest of you, but I absolutely LOVE the Nelson Cruz to Seattle signing.
  • I’m trying to understand San Diego wanting to trade Yasmani Grandal plus some for Matt Kemp.  San Diego should be looking at Kemp’s many, MANY injuries.
  • And once again the threat of “New Stadium, or the team moves”.  This time its in Tampa.  If I’m the politicians there I just laugh at that prospect, call their bluff and say “Did you see what a new stadium did for Miami?”.  Story is right here.
  • Apparently Jon Lester is going to the Cubs and a ton of people are saying that the North Siders are “winning the offseason.”  Well, let me introduce you to a quote from former MLB Pitcher and now SF broadcaster Mike Krukow:  "I heard someone say the Cubs are winning the offseason. Well, when the Hell have you ever seen a parade for winning the offseason?"

Christmas Music.  DJ Uncle B.O.B. is back with a few more video carols for your pleasure.  The first is in honor of our Boston contingent here at the Gab:

Let me say this, I love when the Pops do this, but I also found a version performed by the United States Marine Corps Chamber Orchestra here, so I’m putting the same song on twice: 

One final one is R&B, may I present one of my favorite songs from Mr. Donnie Hathaway:

 

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