Welcome to the tantrums, where my wife came home safe after almost a week at those fires, literally just in time for her 48th birthday, so we hit the new Brazilian Steakhouse! I can’t tell you all enough, if you haven’t gone to one of these and you have some extra cash, by all means go. It is well worth the price in my opinion. Anywho, I’ve got a lot I want to share this week and precious little space to fit it all in, soooooo…
Douche Bag of the Week. Going to COSTCO to get shopping done isn’t a bad experience, there’s always the free food, but what I want to talk about is the ongoing issue of censorship, and last Tuesday, I found out that they are taking Dinesh D’Souza’s book “America” from their shelves because ALLEGEDLY, COSTCO is a major Obama supporter. If this is true, this should send chills throughout everyone everywhere. What folks, you don’t think that when the Republi-tards get back in power that their supporters won’t remove pro-democrat stuff from their shelves? This is getting Orwellian and I'm seriously beginning to question how much more regular joe six-packs are gonna take.
For that COSTCO, you get the award. Enjoy your award…
Well, I guess after it got out and outrage grew, COSTCO reversed course and put the book back on its shelves. No boycotts here, just me saying they’re douche bags. I’ll still continue to shop there because after all, they have good deals and as consumers, we all need that.
All-Star Weekend. The Family B.O.B. 2014 Baseball Adventure continues with the surprise that my son Jerry was invited by a friend to attend the Home Run Derby at Target Field last night, and here are some pics…
The first pic was one I found on the net as a rainbow was going through. The other two are from Jerry on top of the Budweiser suites. As it turns out, Jerry has a friend from high school who works for Budwesier in some big wig way, and he is a guest in their area of the stadium. Free food, free alcohol, and free room to stay in. Thank you Tanner, and we’ll see you again in a few weeks.
Candlestick Park – Final Farewell. If you’ll bear with me, I am going to be as Keith Olbermann put it, “bathed in nostalgia” for this part of my blog. It’s a bit of a diversion for me, but I hope you’ll read on. Thanks to my daughters boyfriend, Family B.O.B. had the great pleasure to attend the final athletic event ever at Candlestick Park:
I came, I saw, I conquered the weather. As we know Mark Twain is alleged to have said “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.” Well I’m here to tell you that while that may be a tad bit excessive, I was warmer at an NFL game on December 30th than I was last Saturday Night, July 12th. As expected, the wind was blowing hard, the fog came in after the game hiding the Super Moon, and everybody was wearing sweaters, hoodies, and jerseys and jackets of both San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins. Vendors were selling Hot Chocolate. But that in no way dampened the enthusiasm of the fans that came.
Candlestick Park hosted its final football game: a charity flag football game (to benefit SFPD and SFFD charities) between a team of Joe Montana’s 49er legends versus a team of Dan Marino’s all-stars. 60 retired NFL players, many hall of famers were on hand to play. Montana, Young, Rice, Craig, Rathman, Lott, Charles Haley, John Taylor, Dwight Clark, and it really was a nice trip down memory lane. Meanwhile on the other side were Dan Marino, Drew Bledsoe, Dave Krieg, Mark Jackson, Ed McCaffrey, James Lofton, Anthony Munoz, Tony Casillas, Tim Brown, & others. These guys might be our age, but some of them still have some magic left, there were some cuts and jukes that made me think they’ve still got it.
The game was two running clock 40 minute halves, and an 80 yard field for all the old farts. They had to cross 20 yards in four downs to continue drives. To the delight of the nearly 30,000 who showed up, Joe Montana took snaps and hit Jerry Rice repeatedly, as did Steve Young after him. If I recall correctly, Rice has two TD's and Steve Young scrambled for another.
In the second half Tim Brown scored a touchdown for the NFL All-Stars and he lifted his jersey to show Raider t-shirt underneath and the predictable outrage (all in fun this time) occurred.
Marino's All-Stars came back and took a lead, but with 6:00 left to go, Joe Montana came back in and drove his team down the field one last time. There was a play where Joe Montana took the snap and hit Steve Young on the left side with a Screen Pass. Young scrambled, then tossed it back to Montana who scrambled a bit, then found Jeff Garcia down the field for a 15 yard game. The crowd went nuts!!!
With seconds left and the 49ers at the two yard line down 40-39, there was some weird commotion on the sidelines and nobody could see what was going on. The ball was snapped, Montana rolled right, drifting, drifting, drifting, throwing the ball into the back of the end zone and it was caught by EDDIE DEBARTOLO, JR., the owner of those great 49er teams who was wearing a 49er jersey with the number 1 on it!!! Yeah, it was scripted to look like “the catch”, and you know what? Not one person of the 40,000 gave a damn. The place absolutely erupted! The 49er legends “won” the game 45-40.
Montana took the mike and said thanks to the fans for the years of support, made some vague references to not being too sad about leaving the ole park, and made some wisecracks about the biggest expense to the game was the ice needed for the old bodies – and the beer in the locker room. Kinda douchy, but that’s expected of him. Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience seeing the 49er legends one final time in “action.”
After the game while exiting the stadium, I got to thinking about all the history of the place I was about to walk out of for the final time. As silly as this sounds, I was kind of sad, but then I thought about all the great memories this place hosted. I could sit here and waste keystrokes and bore you with print, so really the best I can do is put up video highlights I found on YouTube. It was a great video, and I hope you enjoy watching when Football was pretty damn special, at least to me:
I also remembered the great moments as a Baseball park as well despite the fact that between 1960 and 1999, the Giants only won two National League pennants (1962 and 1989), but Lordy did they have some name players: Mays, McCovey, Marichal, Cepeda, Will Clark, and characters like Gaylord Perry and enigmas like Dave Kingman. Again some cool videos on YouTube. The first one was about the early years with some 60’s music and some pics of the Beatles performing there:
The second baseball video comes from MLB and it includes mostly 80’s stuff, including the Grateful Dead doing the National Anthem:
The Beatles performed at the Stick in 1966, and as fate would have it, it was the final live event that the Beatles ever performed as a group. Speaking of fate, the final event for the old park? Yeah, Paul McCartney in concert in a few weeks from now, 48 years later.
Traffic sucked, parking was worse, weather was always iffy, seats and aisles and walkways were cramped, prices were outrageous, bathrooms were too small even for guys, and yet we always came to enjoy some damn good football and baseball. “The Stick” has a date with the wrecking ball, so the physical structure will be gone forever, and while most everybody is celebrating new digs and glad to be gone, the history of the Giants and 49ers in this 54 year old stadium will always live on and NEVER fade away, and that should be celebrated by all NORCAL sports fans – it was a dump, but it was our dump!!! Farewell Candlestick, and thanks for the great memories. In honor of the old park, this was what was played after the game and speeches:
Okay Cleveland...You had your fun...You had your excitement...Now it's time for your friendly wake up call...It's time to relax Cleveland...
Hey...Listen up...I said relax!
What part of relax don't you understand...Well maybe you two can have a few more minutes....
So why am I telling Cleveland to relax...Because this city went bat-shit crazy over LeBron James deciding to sign with the Cavaliers...And him and his sweet, well thought-out essay he co-wrote with a Sports Illustrated hack...Yeah, it was well written...It was good...But these dopes in the media act like he woke up Friday morning and did that shit...He had been working with this SI guy, Lee Jenkins for a couple weeks...Seriously, dude said so in an interview on Mad Dag Radio...All last week, the sports media world was talking about 2 things...Johnny Manziel possibly doing blow...and "Where will LeBron sign?" James played the media last week as well as he plays basketball...
And Cleveland...This is my hometown...As much as I rag on it, I love this bitch...But this city disappointed me with their begging for James to come back...Just 4 years earlier so many of them were mother-fucking him...Me, I had been trashing him for a good 3 years before that...But it was nice to not be alone anymore...But last week, they were swinging on his nuts again...And those dopes on WKNR....Go find that audio...These two clowns, when the news broke, you could hear them cumming and crying while they squealed like little school girls...I wanted to puke in my cheerios...
So Cleveland was thrilled with the news...People who burned jerseys 4 years ago were heading to the store to get a new one...Whatever tool-bag...But I finally was completely sickened, and embarrassed by my city, when multiple people in the local media, besides the average joe idiots said, "This is one of the greatest days, possibly the greatest in Cleveland Sports History!"
Are you for fucking real? Seriously, you cover sports in this city and you said that Jim Donavan? Oh he wasn't alone...A fuck-ton of his fellow media members said this shit...How about you idiots read a fucking book! Shit, Google something other then LeBron James!
I know the Browns have sucked balls for ages, but they were the shit many years ago...8 League Championships...AAFC Championships (4) 1946, 1947, 1948, and 1949...NFL Championships (4) 1950, 1954, 1955, and 1964...Jesus Christ, one of your "Journalism" brothers that this area loves so much, Terry Pluto wrote a book titled "When All the World was Browns Town"
What the hell is the matter with you assholes?
Yeah, the Indians have only won two Worlds Series, but shit that 1948 team was stellar...And I think Larry Doby being the first black player in the AL, just a couple months after Jackie Robinson broke in, would rank higher then James signing with the Cavs...What about Frank Robinson being the first black manager in baseball...With the Indians...Oh, and in his first at-bat as player manager, he just hit a HR...Thats' not fucking sweet at all right...
If you really think a player signing to your local team is the greatest sports moment ever, then you need to walk away from sports...
Cleveland fans for years have patted themselves on the back for being such loyal and devoted fans...(I would consider the 455 straight sellouts at Jacobs Field to be a bigger deal)...The national media also from time to time talk about the great fans in Cleveland...What made Clevelanders so tough and loyal?
It was all the downs...Not the few and far between ups...Not the highs, but the lows...The fucking Drive...The fumble, that made me cry...Jordan's jumper over Ehlo...Red-Right-88...The '95 Indians losing to the Braves...The Braves who couldn't even sellout for their playoff games...The '97 Indians, a cock-strong team, one out away...Beaten by a Marlins team that was rented, and sold off weeks later...Yeah, that one hurt like a bitch...How about my Dad seeing the '54 Indians, one of Baseball's best teams ever, lose it to the Giants...
It's those painful moments, that made Clevelanders tough...After those defeats, Cleveland came back to the respective stadiums, and rooted for their teams...Clevelanders didn't take off Chief Wahoo cap...They didn't say fuck it, and throw away there Browns gear and sell their season tickets...They were right back there next year with that stupid dag mask on, throwing dog biscuits at opposing players...
In my opinion, those losses are great Cleveland Sports moments, because we didn't burn the city down and riot like Vancouver...We took it on the chin, and came back for more...The Cleveland that I love would have never begged a guy to come back, and wouldn't have acted so insane if he did...The Cleveland I love would not be going crazy for an egotistical rookie QB who parties constantly and acts like an ass...I understand...Clevelanders are thirsty for a winner...Thirsty for positive coverage in this town...I hope we see it...But we're better than this...
I finally made it back to Atlanta this week, but my hopes of connecting with Sully were dashed by corporate executives. It was a long shot given the schedule while I was there, but I always hope to connect with him. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to hit up Sully because it’s always worth the time spent. This is the time of year my job changes from sitting around eating bon bons and giving advice to sitting around eating bon bons and crunching excel spreadsheets, then going around telling people what data I uncovered. The real problem is that it comes at the expense of vacationing on a beach somewhere.
Futures at Fenway. We went to the 9th "Futures at Fenway" Sunday. Short season Lowell Spinners played Mahoning Valley (OH) Scrappers at Fenway. The Red Sox affiliate was 1 out away (sound familiar anyone?) from a 1-0 win when somehow the Scrappers, a Cleveland Indians affiliate, scored 6 runs with 2 out in the 9th. Um. Ouch. When Shane Victorino was introduced, the fam couldn't figure out why everyone was cheering, so I calmly explained this guy happens to have the same name as a current Sox player. Oops.
I promise this will be the last soccer post for a while. Really.
This week saw the remarkable exit of host Brazil from the World Cup. Germany displayed dominance early and never relinquished control. 7-1 final – and you thought there wasn’t enough scoring in soccer. Not only scoring, but some of the most dominant displays of offense while scoring that I’ve seen. Just a ridiculous overpowering of the hosts unlike anything I could’ve imagined.
I’m hopeful Brazil is a much more forgiving place for soccer failure than, say, Columbia. In 1994, when the World Cup was hosted by the US, the US and Columbia were in the same grouping. In group play, Andres Escobar was charged an “own goal” against the US in a game won by the US 2-1, and thus contributing to the exit of Columbia from the tournament – ultimately won by Brazil. A couple weeks later, he was gunned down in a parking lot in Medellin.
That’s some hard core stuff.
Before Sunday, Germany and Argentina had met for the final 2 other times with the record split between them. Of the 21 championships, only 8 countries have won it. Consider that. A quadrennial tournament involving 64-countries and only 8 have ever won. Kind of reminiscent of 1950’s/60’s NHL dominance by the Habs, or the half century long dominance of Major League Baseball by the Yankees. Argentina went into the game as the 1986 Champion, there on the back of two of the most unusual goals in soccer history: “The Hand of God” and “The Goal of the Century” Diego Maradonna was a beast. Germany last were champions by defeating the reigning champs Argentina – who, as just discussed, won 4 years previously against England.
Those refs should be eternally thankful English fans aren’t quite like Colombian drug dealers when “correcting” for mistakes.
Here’s a video of the “Goal of the Century.” You should watch this even if you can’t stand soccer, because it shows just such amazing control and skill. You have to appreciate what Maradonna does here.
Germany reigns. 203 countries enter the competition, 64 countries get in. 800 some games. 4 year journey to this point. And then... After 113 minutes of scoreless action, Mario Gotze drilled a shot home to seal the World Cup deal for the Germans. Is there a more odd name than Mario Gotze? How many Germans do you know named Mario? Do yourself a favor, and click that link, because it's a pretty awesome goal. Bear in mind, the US lost to this same team 1-0. If nothing else, you have to believe the US Mens National Team has a ton of potential. They're ready for the world stage.
In other news, there was some movement in the NBA free agent market.
While trying to comprehend how the Emmy Awards failed to nominate Tatiana Maslany for her performance as the lead in multiple roles on Orphan Black...
Don't forget, you can follow me on Twitter: @TheOneTrueJay
A bit of sad news to report this week as a former player I helped coach back in the 97-98 season was killed in a motorcycle crash on Wednesday. RIP, Ryan.
Ryan was a great kid to coach from what I remember even though that season wasn't great in terms of overall success.
My buddy Brian coached Ryan a few times and has always said that Ryan was the best kid he ever coached because he was talented AND coachable.
BOSTON RED SOX
The Red Sox haven't raised the white flag on the season officially, but this past week did bring about one move that showed they are on their way to acknowledging they likely won't be defending their World Series championship.
Boston designated catcher A.J. Pierzynski for assignment. This move was made instead of the expected trade of pitcher Jake Peavy. Since Pierzynski was found wanting in a number of statistical categories, the Red Sox let him go and promoted Christian Vazquez from the minors. Reportedly, they fast tracked him by only 6 months since the club had planned/hoped to bring him up next season.
But then you had the an article released on Thursday that had anonymous players going to management and making it known they didn't want Pierzynski (pictured below) in the locker room anymore. He was, according to what is said in the article, a dark cloud that didn't really fit in.
This couldn't have been surprising to management or the players though, could it? Pierzynski has a kind of SOB reputation around the majors. But I guess if you combine that and lack of production, they decided half a season was enough. You can check out the article HERE.
By the way, though this ripping of a player comes from other teammates this time, one has to wonder if anyone leaves the Red Sox these days without being victimized by bad press put out by the team.
Cleveland Cavaliers - Now that LeBron James has returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the rest of the free agent dominos should fall into place pretty quickly. This makes me rather happy as it was nearly as annoying trying to watch any sports broadcast on ESPN this time around as it was for "The Decision."
The brother of a friend of mine works for the Cavs organization, so I'm sure he'll be pretty excited about his return. As for my friend Chad (born in Ohio, lives in Massachusetts but retains a die-hard Cleveland sports fandom), he's got to be ecstatic that LeBron is back in town.
The Cleveland fans are likely ecstatic that King James is coming back, but acceptance of their happiness has to be tempered by what they did when he left.
Probably the most excited has to be new Cavs coach David Blatt. Talk about walking into a great situation. Before the announcement, getting an NBA job was a great thing for Blatt but you kind of knew he was getting a job that was going to come with a lot of challenges. But with LeBron back in the fold, his job may not be easy, but it sure got EASIER.
Boston Celtics - The Celtics closed out the Orlando Summer League with a 3-2 record to finish in fourth place. While you always want to win when you lace up the sneakers, winning these summer leagues is usually a bit of a secondary consideration because you are trying to get a look at your new draftees and those players looking for a training camp invite or to stick with the team.
Mike Moser did well enough to earn a training camp invite from the Celtics. But the two players I was most interested in seeing how they did were Phil Pressey and Chris Johnson. Both played for Boston last season but are in the precarious position of having to fight for limited roster spots after draft picks and free agent signings have occured.
Pressey's fate will be known pretty soon as his contract for this upcoming season will be guaranteed by July 15th. Johnson has a longer wait before finding out if he still has a home with the Celtics. I really hope both stick around. I know the team was bad last year, but both players displayed good hustle and earned their spots.
I know it is a business and both might actually have to seek employment elsewhere but it doesn't mean I necessarily have to like that notion.
The New York Liberty continued their mini win streak to start off the week with a surprise 87-80 victory over the Minnesota Lynx. A photo of assistant coach Katie Smith from the game is below (taken from Getty Images).
But the Liberty came back down to earth when the San Antonio Stars beat them 80-66 and the LA Sparks knocked them off 68-54. The two losses dropped New York to 7-13 on the season.
The Liberty were also involved in a trade this week. For my money it has to be one of the more surprising trades given two of the parties involved. For those that follow the WNBA, you know that Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer is also the team's GM.
He traded Delisha Milton-Jones to the Atlanta Dream and in return got Swin Cash. So why is that surprising? Well, Cash played for Laimbeer during the Detroit Shock Bad Girls glory days, but the success was marred when Cash left the team after a falling out with Laimbeer. There was no love lost on either side. So while Cash's playing skills have eroded over the time they've been apart, seeing her and Laimbeer back together is a rather stunning development.
One more thing. You can check out a video story on how Katie Smith is transitioning from a player to a coach HERE.
HIGH SCHOOL SUMMER BASKETBALL
I attended my first high school girls summer basketball league game of the season on Thursday night. The Wareham girls were playing against New Bedford. It seemed kind of a mismatch from the tip as Wareham (a Division 3 school) raced out to an early lead against New Bedford (a Division 1 school).
The lead just seemed to keep growing as only 5 girls showed up for New Bedford. Wareham had 9 girls and they played well for most of the game. They ended up winning 53-29 to raise their record to 2-3 on the season. Of the 9 girls that showed up for Wareham, I had a hand in coaching 6 of them so it was nice to see them play a decent game.
As for the Upper Cape girls basketball team, apparently they are content to rest on their laurels. After playing in a summer league the past two years, it paid off for the team as they finished this past season with a 21-3 record (best in team history) and a state vocational school title.
So naturally you'd expect that they'd be back at it this summer to keep their game sharp during the offseason and hopefully developing their skills to try and get even better for the winter. And you'd be wrong.
Apparently no one bothered to organize a team until it was too late and they couldn't get into a league. And I didn't see any of the girls that would be returning to the team talking about playing either. A couple of them are playing on a travel softball team, so they could be excused for not playing basketball. But what about the other girls, most of whom will provide the bulk of the offense next year?
While I know my opinion doesn't matter to any one at UCT, I think not playing in a summer league this year is a huge wasted opportunity to build upon last year's success.
BOSTON COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Men's Team - The non-conference schedule for the men's team was released this week and I had to let my buddy Brian know that his team, Providence College, would be playing AT Boston College on December 5th. His response to me was that it was great news because he likes to go to Conte Forum and watch it resemble a game at the Dunkin Donuts Center (where PC plays their home games).
And while there wasn't a date given yet, the ACC home schedule for BC will include a visit from Louisville. Depending on when that game is supposed to take place, it might be a game I want to go see.
Women's Team - The Twitter feed for the women's team has been pretty active during the offseason as they've been posting photos and tweets about the team working out in preparation for the season. They also had pics from the BC basketball camp as well.
Oh and you can check out an interview with Karima Gabriel HERE.
A couple weeks back I wrote a brief little rant about how badly the new website design/layout for SI.com was. Two weeks into the redesign, nothing has changed and Sports Illustrated has issued zero response to readers complaints. And now they've taken that deafening silence to a new and utterly cowardly low.
Their Facebook page had been inundated with people complaining about the new site. Post after post complained about things not working, being unable to easily navigate the site and calling for the return of the old site. And yet nothing was done or responded to by the company.
And now I discovered yesterday that the SI Facebook page has been redone so that users can't post anything on their own to the page. They can only respond to articles posted by the magazine. That little box that says "Write something"....GONE. As are the posts that had been there under the "Posts to Page".
I can't definitively say it was because of the ceasless complaints but the circumstantial proof is in the pudding, don't you think? Utter cowards is what they are, they can't stand to see that their new design for the site is akin to New Coke and so they ignore people who tell them so.
SPORTS LOGO CLOTHING
The local clothing outlet store is having their big yearly Pro Sports tent sale over these next two weekends. I made my trip yesterday and came home with 5 new T-shirts. And managed to represent all four MAJOR sports teams with my purchases.
I picked up logo shirts for the Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics. I also grabbed a Tom Brady #12 and Vince Wilfork #75 Patriot T shirts as well. Not a bad haul for less than 35 bucks.
Food - My buddy J.D. takes a taste of some summer seasonal beers and tells you his thoughts in this article.
Movies - This week I watched the movie 300: Rise of an Empire. I was rather unimpressed by it. It felt like more of the same as the original 300 movie. It has the same "been there done that" feel as The Hobbit movies do in relation to the Lord of the Rings movies.
Oh, and if you haven't checked out the new Transformers movie yet, you can read the Pop-topia.com review of it HERE.
TV - My recap of the next to last episode of 24: Live Another Day can be read HERE. The season finale is tomorrow night and it will need to cover a heck of a lot of ground.
At the beginning of the season, Kiefer Sutherland said that this would be his last go-round as Jack Bauer. But fans of the show got a tad bit excited when news broke that the show would be holding a panel at San Diego Comic Con on July 24th. That news led rise to the rumors that they'd announce they were doing another event series.
But I think the chances of another series being announced is 50-50 at best. Depending on what happens in the finale, the panel could simply be a wrap up and thank you to the fans.
On August 1st, Netflix will premiere the six episode final season of the crime series The Killing. The first three seasons aired on AMC. I'm bummed that I'll have to wait for this to come out on DVD to see it since I don't have or plan to get Netflix but going by the trailer for the season (which you can see below), this looks like it could be one hell of a conclusion to the series.
Books - I finished the Robert K. Tanenbaum legal thriller Tragic this week. While a lot of the books in the series feature out of the court room action, this book stayed focused mainly on criminal trials. It meant for less blood and bullets overall, but it was still a really good read.
Music - My KNAC.com review of the new Ronny Munroe solo album Electric Wake can be seen HERE. I posted the link on his Facebook page and the page for his record label. Both hit the like button and Munroe shared the link himself.
The video for the song "United" is below.
I also picked up the deluxe edition of the new Judas Priest album Redeemer of Souls this week. This particular version of the album comes with 5 bonus tracks so I spent the extra few bucks to pick it up. A review will be forthcoming.
I've got one final music note. Classic Rock Magazine gave away the debut album of a band in a recent issue. As near as I can tell, the CD hasn't been officially released in the U.S. yet. The self-titled CD from the Australia-based band The Dead Daisies turned out to be a heck of a straight ahead rock and roll record. I'm planning to do a review of it at some point but I really enjoyed it. I'm a bit bummed out because I found out the band was playing last night as the opening act on the Lynyrd Skynyrd/Bad Company tour that was in my area. I was trying to go but couldn't swing the finances. But you can check out the band via their video for the song "Lock and Load" below. Oh, and this particular track features a guest appearance by Slash.