While possibly headed towards a Internet hiatus as my home computer seems to have died on me as of yesterday (Saturday September 5th)...
Don't forget, you can follow me on Twitter: @TheOneTrueJay
Denver Broncos - So...Wes Welker gets banged up on the field for his 3rd concussion within a year and everyone is concerned for his future welfare.
But a couple of days later, the concern goes out the window when his 4 game suspension for PEDs is announced. Apparently he decided to do some extracurricular celebrating at the Kentucky Derby and now he's going to pay the price.
You can imagine that Peyton Manning isn't going to be very happy with this turn of events. His initial comments gave you a little insight to what he was thinking. You know that "It's a self inflicted wound" can't bode well for Welker when he returns to the field.
Of course, you do have to wonder just how stupid Welker has gotten. PEDs? Really? For a guy who built is rep and career on being the scrappy underdog type of player, he's not going to get any sympathy for cheating this way.
I'm in two leagues this year, but for the first time I wasn't actually involved in the live drafts for either of the leagues. I got my teams autopicked and will have to see how I do with the computer's idea of stocking my team.
Is anyone else not quite feeling ready for fantasy season this year? I know that missing the live draft didn't bother me much at all. Could that be a sign that the allure of fantasy football is fading?
Typical, eh? Last season I rooted for the Chicago Sky as my secondary WNBA team because they had Carolyn Swords on the team. They cut her before the season this year and my fandom left with her.
And then earlier this week, the Sky advanced to the WNBA finals. ARGGGHH!
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
The high school season has gotten underway and while I have decided to pull back on my attendance at the fall sports events, I will still follow them through the papers.
Upper Cape Girls Varsity Soccer - The Lady Rams got off to a 0-1-1 start by tying Holbrook at nil and then losing to Bishop Connolly 2-0.
Wareham Girls Varsity Soccer - Despite a reported improvement in overall play, the Vikings dropped what is at least their 37th game in a row, falling 2-0 to GNB Voc-Tech.
Wareham Girls Field Hockey - The season opened with a 3-2 loss to GNB Voc-Tech. They lost on Friday to Apponequet 6-0.
Wareham Girls Volleyball - Their season opened with a 3 games to none loss to GNB Voc-Tech. Against Bishop Connolly on Friday, they lost 3-0 as well.
Here's some photos of my ex-players in action during the Voc-Tech match:
Wareham Football - I ended up attending this game because my girlfriend's daughter is in the marching band, so I promised to attend a game to see her perform. As for the game, Wareham went up 12-7 early but Bishop Stang rallied back to take 15-12 lead before a 64 yard punt return for a TD gave the Spartans control of the game and they rolled to a 42-26 victory over the Vikings.
One of my ex-players on the team is Josh, and he scored a 3 yard touchdown early in the game.
BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES FOOTBALL
The BC Eagles opened up their season on Friday night and unfortunately for them, they came away on the wrong end of a 30-20 score versus Pittsburgh.
Tyler Murphy (pictured below) was again the main star for the Eagles. The QB had a relatively inefficient night throwing the ball (10-27 for 134 yards and a TD while getting sacked 4 times) but he rant for 104 net rushing yards and another score.
But the Eagles defense gave up 416 yards of total offense including 213 rushing yards (and a TD) to Pitt's James Connor.
TV - The A&E network screwed over fans of the series Longmire this past week when they canceled the show after three seasons. It was a cancelation that reportedly took TV industry insiders by surprise. As a big fan of the show, I'm fed up with how A&E does business. They've fallen so far into the abyss of TV programming, there's really nothing left on the network I would watch without feeling the need to apologize to the entirety of mankind for doing so. (Yes, Storage Wars...this means you!)
And in really good news, the first season of the Robert Urich/Avery Brooks series Spenser: For Hire was released on DVD through Warner Archive's MOD program. I ordered it and now I'm in the midst of watching it. Though Robert B. Parker (the author of the Spenser prose novels) was not thrilled with Urich's portrayal, I've always loved him in the role and am a bit overjoyed that this show is now on DVD. Oh and Avery Brooks as Hawk still resonates strongly to this day.
I also picked up the second season of the sitcom Benson this week.
Books - I finished reading the Carol O'Connell book The Chalk Girl this week. I'm a bit behind on that series as the paperback was released in 2012, but the series heroine Mallory (don't call her Kathy), a sociopathic NYPD detective, is always a fascinating read and this entry in the series is no exception.
I also picked up the new Patricia Cornwell paperback called Dust. It is the latest in her Kay Scarpetta series. Now I just need to catch up on the series as I'm three books behind in reading.
Music - You can check out my review of the Night Ranger concert I attended back on August 20th via this KNAC.com link.
I also picked up a couple of new CDs. I went back in time a bit and picked up the first Night Ranger CD Dawn Patrol. And coming back to the present, I picked up the new Accept CD Blind Rage, which comes with a bonus DVD featuring a 22 live concert performance.
In sad news, one of my favorite singers passed away this past week. Survivor vocalist Jimi Jamison died at the age of 63 from a heart attack. His work with the band will always remain a highlight, but his earlier work with the groups Target and Cobra as well as his solo career and collaborative projects are also well worth the effort of tracking down.
Jamison was my first close up brush with rock star fame as I saw him with Survivor in 1986. During the encore of "Eye of the Tiger", I got to exchange a high five with him. At the time, it was quite a moment for me.
One of my favorite songs from his Survivor material is the track "It's the Singer Not the Song". You can check it out below.
His voice is one of the most underrated of the entire AOR genre and instantly identifiable. Though 63 may not seem young, it is still far too soon for his voice to have been forever silenced. RIP, Jimi.
While still psyched about the concert I saw this past week...
Oh, and don't forget you can follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay
LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES
The New England representative Cumberland, Rhode Island got knocked out in the beginning of the week though they did play well. The thing most people will take away from their games is the rather strong oratorical presence of the team's coach. He sure has a way with making speeches that serve to inspire his young charges.
His speeches were so good that ESPN was running them as highlights on Sportscenter AND during broadcasts of other LLWS games.
As for Mo'ne Davis and the team from Pennsylvania, they lost their last two games in Williamsport. She got tagged with the loss in the first of those two games. Of course, you could chalk up the end of their run to the fact that Davis realized a dream of all athletes this week when she was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Yes, the curse lives!
The U.S. title game was played by teams from Nevada and Illinois. I saw the end of the Illinois/Rhode Island game and their reliever came in and just killed the Rhode Island batters. And he did it with a deadly serious look on his face that brought to mind any number of major league closers.
Illinois beat Nevada to win the US title and advanced to play in today's final against South Korea. The Koreans beat the defending Japanese champions to seal their berth in the title game.
The New York Liberty closed out their season with wins over the Washington Mystics and Indiana Fever. Each game was decided by the score of 73-61. But the Liberty's record of 15-19 kept them out of the playoffs again this year and my interest in the league pretty much ends.
I'll keep tabs on the playoffs to see which team wins, but this has been a hard year for me in terms of my WNBA fandom. I wasn't a fan of any active player this year and the Liberty never got on track enough to convince me they were going to make the playoffs.
As for next season, who knows what is going to happen.
BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
The school's website has published another interview with one of the team's players. This time around it is junior to be Alexa Coulombe. You can check out what she had to say HERE.
There is a men's summer basketball league here in my town and their season is winding down. An article in the local weekly paper featured the league's founder bemoaning the state of the attitudes of the players while saying it might be the last year for the league because of said attitudes.
My question about this was how did he just notice this trend NOW? The piss poor attitudes of the players (some of who coach or coached at one time or another in the youth league) has been atrocious for years. This is not some new development.
I follow the local paper's sports editor on Twitter and earlier in the week he mentioned that there was a number of fights in the parking lot during one night's games.
It's good that the league is there for men still looking to play basketball in a competitive fashion but it is entirely facetious to act as if this year's attitudes are the straw breaking the camel's back when it comes to continuing to have the league at all.
Books - I finished reading the Louise Millar novel The Hidden Girl this week. I am hopefully doing a review of the book soon, but the main thrust of my review won't be positive. It was billed as a psychological thriller but for me it was 300 pages of annoying characters and their interactions before getting about 5 minutes of actual thrills. Very disappointing.
Music - Fair warning, there's a lot of music stuff this week.
My latest CD review on KNAC.com is for the brand new Kix CD Rock Your Face Off. After I posted it on the various places I pimp out my reviews on Facebook, the band shared the link on their FB page and it got a lot of likes and shares. The band also responded to the review in a quickie message to me. Oh and the singer for the band Hellion hit the favorite on the link when I tweeted it out so that was cool too. You can check it out the review for yourself HERE.
I picked up the new Unisonic CD Light of Dawn this week. Yes, there will be a review forthcoming.
I've got a couple of new songs for you to check out this week. The first is the new single from John Mellencamp. The song is called "Troubled Man" and you can check it out via this Youtube link.
The second song is from the band Soulbender. This is the side project of Queensryche guitarist Michael Wilton. The song is called "Turn Anger Up" and you can check it out via this Youtube link.
Finally, this past Wednesday I attended what is likely my only concert of the year when I saw Night Ranger at the Zeiterion Theater in New Bedford, MA. It's about 25 minutes from my house so this was perfect. I'm planning on doing a full review of the concert at some point but I will say that I had a blast at the show as the band just rocked out. The high energy show was filled with one great song after another. I was about 5 feet from the stage so when the guitarists came up to the edge of the stage, I could see up close and in detail as their fingers flew across the fretboard. It was just something great to see.
Of course, the odd thing about going to the show on Wednesday is that less than 24 hours later, one of the band's guitarists (Joel Hoekstra) announced he would be leaving the band to join up with Whitesnake. This meant I was even more happy I'd seen the band play on Wednesday.
While horrified at someone posting a nearly 30 minute video on Youtube of my 1988 junior prom (THE HORROR! THE HORROR!)...
LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES
I know that a lot of people kvetch and moan about the Little League World Series and every year I mention how I absolutely love it. Well that time of year is upon us again and the games have gotten underway.
I'm rooting for Cumberland, Rhode Island this year at the moment. The team is the North East US representative and I always follow whichever team ends up getting that bid. They lost to Texas in their first game on Friday night but there is still time to bounce back.
They are playing Tennessee as I write this on Saturday night and they are currently up 5-2 in the 4th inning. Cumberland was still up 5-2 going into the top of the 6th inning but Tennessee put 5 runs on the board to take a 7-5 lead. But the Rhode Island boys rallied back for a walk off three run bottom of the 6th and a thrilling victory.
There's a team from Chicago that made a big splash in their first game with one of their players hitting 3 homers (and a triple) in their debut.
And let us not forget the team from Pennsylvania. They've got the young girl Mo'ne Davis as their pitching star. She throws a 70 mile an hour fastball and she has been overpowering batters. In the game that got them to Williamsport, she threw a complete game shutout with 6 strikeouts. And on Friday, she became the first girl in the 75 year history of the Little League World Series to throw a shutout. Tennessee was the victim as she had an 8 strikeout day while giving up just 2 hits.
While the story is obviously going to get a lot of play because this is a girl doing so well in the boy dominated LLWS, I'm simply enjoying watching her dominate in her performance. Best of all, she seems thoroughly unaffected by all the media attention and shoutouts from pro athletes she's been getting.
It was another busy week for the New York Liberty. Sadly things didn't go well for them. The week started with a 90-76 loss to the Indiana Fever. They followed that up with a 76-64 loss to the Phoenix Mercury. Then came another game against the Fever and they lost that one 76-63.
The team just doesn't have the personnel on the roster that will allow them to truly compete with the league's best teams. Bill Laimbeer's magic touch with roster moves hasn't really panned out over his two seasons in New York thus far.
Unsurprisingly, my WNBA season will end as the regular season ends, another depressing season soon to be in the books.
BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
This week you can check out an interview with senior Victoria Lesko as she prepares for her final season with the Eagles. The interview can be read HERE.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
The girls track coach at Wareham High has run a fitness camp for all female athletes this summer. The local paper had an article last week that included quotes from Paige, one of my former players. She is in the photo below (2nd from the left). Here's the article.
Comic Books - The Boston Comic Con was held last week. I was unable to go and that bummed me out a bit because I would've loved to have met creator Stan Sakai. He's celebrating 30 years of work on his comic series Usagi Yojimbo. While I can't share a photo of me with him (since I wasn't there obviously), you can check out this interview with Sakai reflecting on the 30 year journey with his "Ronin Rabbit".
Toys - I don't really collect much in the way of toys, but when I saw they were coming out with some old style action figures for the Firefly TV show I knew I had to pick them up. Two of the figures were released this week and I picked them up at my local comic shop yesterday.
Books - This week I finished the Daniel Silva thriller The Heist. It is the latest in his Gabriel Allon series and like the rest of the books in the series, this one was a fantastic read.
Music - You can check out my review of the new Overkill CD White Devil Armory via this KNAC.com link.
The new Accept CD Blind Rage comes out on Tuesday August 19th. You can check out the lyric video for the song "Final Journey" below.
While enjoying the slow introduction of the Firefly universe to Julie...
By the way, after just the pilot and 3 episodes, she has declared, "This is a great show!"
YOUTH SPORTS CATCH UP
A couple weeks back I learned some news about a couple of my former players but I didn't include the news here until now.
Sam (pictured below with clipboard) coached the local high school boys summer league team for the second season in a row. His dad is the varsity coach and Sam appears to be following in the footsteps of his grandfather, father, uncle and an aunt.
The team was the top seed in the summer league playoffs, but I haven't yet found out how the playoffs have gone for them.
The other player's news is not as good though it currently has a happy ending. Cody played for me for three seasons (I coached his sister and brother as well.). He was in his freshman year at the Mass Maritime Academy when he was diagnosed with a form of cancer. I didn't even know about it until I saw an article in the paper a couple weeks ago on his mother riding in the Pan Mass Challenge.
From what I was able to learn from people close to the family, he's in remission right now but it was a tough road to get there. Cody and his mom art pictured below.
ED O'BANNON LAWSUIT UPDATE
The news came down on Friday night that the judge in the O'Bannon lawsuit vs. the NCAA ruled largely in favor of the plaintiff. I am not nearly well versed enough to go into details about the rulings, so just check out this article.
When you combine this with the news that the NCAA is ceding some of their control to the 5 power conferences, the face of big-time college sports is about to get a huge makeover.
Of course, whether this will be for the good or the bad has yet to be determined but it will create a new tiered level of NCAA "citizenship" between the haves and the have nots of colleges. And at least some of the players will be seeing some money beyond the mythical scholarship to attend the school.
It is a long time coming given the billions the NCAA has raked in over the decades but let's hope that things don't blow up in everyone's face as this new day in college sports begins its shakedown cruise.
BOSTON RED SOX
As the Red Sox continue their one step forward, two steps backwards way, there were a couple of notes on players that caught my eye. Mike Carp was designated for assignment and ended up being claimed on waivers by the Texas Rangers.
So in his quest to play more, he's gone from the last place team in the AL East to the one of the worst teams in the entire major leagues.
Oh, and in a sign that these trades are not going to work out all that well for Boston, recently acquired Allen Craig is already on the disabled list. He sprained an ankle according to reports and now joins Kelly Johnson as new Red Sox players doing nothing to help the club.
And sadly, the season of Shane Victorino is officially over and done with. He could just never get healthy and this week he finally gave in and underwent season ending back surgery.
In off the field news, it appears Red Sox honcho Tom Werner is one of the three finalists to replace Bud Selig as the commissioner of baseball. I really do hate to be so pessimistic, but given that he's part of the "brain trust" that has destroyed the Red Sox in 2 of the last three seasons, do you really want to give him the chance to screw up the entirety of major league baseball?
The New York Liberty had a busy week this past week with three games on the schedule. They knocked off the Dream 83-76 but then inexplicably laid a huge egg by getting crushed by the Mystics 79-46. On Friday, Tina Charles led New York back from that pasting and to a 71-66 win over the Sun to up their record to 12-16 for the season.
While this isn't tied to any of the games mentioned above, here's a Getty Images pic of Katie Smith from the July 6th game against the Minnesota Lynx.
In other Liberty news, the team waived Leilani Mitchell this week. She's been "suspended" for the entire season in a procedural move and spent her time in Australia. It was never really going to work out for her in New York with Bill Laimbeer in charge (he reportedly didn't like her skill set) so this move was inevitable.
In other league news, San Antonio Stars player Becky Hammon (pictured below) will be retiring at the end of the season, but she won't be out of work long. She's been hired to be the first full-time female assistant coach in the NBA.
While she was out injured last season she got permission to attend practices for the San Antonio Spurs and Greg Popovich must've liked what he saw because he added Hammon to his staff for the upcoming season.
I've never been a big fan of Hammon (really hated how she got a bogus Russian citizenship so she could play in the Olympics for them), but this next chapter of her life should prove very interesting. So good luck to her as she embarks on her coaching career.
BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
You can check out an interview with BC's Lauren Engeln HERE!
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
I thought I had attended my last high school summer league game a couple weeks back, but this past Wednesday, the playoff schedule aligned with mine and I was able to see the Wareham High girls play against Coyle-Cassidy. The Vikings led 20-15 late in the first half and then things just completely fell apart for them as Coyle-Cassidey went on a 40-13 run when I finally had enough and left with 43 seconds left in the game.
While I coached a number of the girls on the team, this was just an abysmal performance by the team. While they were winning things were fine. But when faced with adversity on the court, they played out of sorts and with no depth of understanding in terms of how to play as a team. It was worse than playground basketball to tell the truth.
You've got selfish players who think they are the only ones who can do anything. That might be a forgivable attitude if they didn't then proceed to screw up in the same old ways they used to do while playing youth league.
Shot selection was a joke and worse yet, the shots were so weak they sometimes barely hit the front of the rim.
Players were constantly out of position defensively leading to a number of second and third chances for Coyle-Cassidy.
The varsity coach was watching the game and I can't imagine anything he saw in the second half of the game pleased him. The summer league coaches really didn't seem to make any adjustments to the game plan. Either that or the players simply didn't bother to follow through on any of the suggestions.
Music - On Sunday last week, I woke up to the news that my all-time favorite band, Savatage, would be reuniting for the first time in over a decade. They are set to play a live set at the 2015 Wacken Open Air festival in Germany. If I had thousands of dollars to make the trip I would have. But I guess it is a good thing that I didn't have the money because the 75,000 tickets for the event sold out in 12 hours.
I'm hoping that the event streams their set online, or the band records the show for a live CD release.
I have to be excited about the reunion even if it is in Germany because it just wouldn't be financially feasible for the band to play any kind of tour here in the States.
Also, I received the brand new CD from the band Kix in the mail on Friday. It is called Rock Your Face Off.
Movies - I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday with that certain someone special. I am not writing a full on review of it but my brief review is that the film was rather fun and outstanding. I don't normally go to see a film more than once in the theater, but I would definitely pay to see this movie again. So much in the way of fun, and both Rocket and Groot were hilarious. I was initially worried that the abundance of humor in the trailers would hurt the overall product but instead it really did well at lightening the more dramatic portions of the movie. A job well done.
Fans of the classic science fiction TV show Babylon 5 got some potentially good news this week when it was announced that creator J. Michael Straczynski is going to reboot the franchise as a movie. He's looking to get the film made and on screens by 2016. I'm very cautious about a full reboot as this would seem to be set up as. This would be because my fandom for the TV leaves it as quite possibly my favorite TV show ever. But I'll wait to see the movie before making any final judgement. You can read the news article HERE.
Books - I picked up the new Greg Rucka thriller Bravo this week. Oh, and I received that book from Atria Books so I can do a review. The book is The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar. I also picked up the new Carol O'Connell novel It Happens in the Dark.
Greetings From the Hoodwood where it just seems like things are a little unhinged.
Now normally, I would have all sorts of hyperbole and hype here, but I am having some pc issues. So right now, you will get the condensed version that will be added to today. Please accept my apologies.
NBA: The nightmare scenario
By now you’ve likely seen the gruesome injury that Pacers superstar and leading scorer Paul George suffered this past weekend. I won’t do anything gross like show a replay, but the reactionary mentality of some talking head is laughably nauseating. The fact that NBA players have been competing internationally for the past 22 years and this is the first major injury that has happened should dissuade those that are saying that this is proof positive that NBA players should not be playing in the these tournaments. So what if this had happened 2 months from now in a meaningless preseason game in Muncie? What if the injury had happened in a charity event? Mark Cuban has been extremely vocal on his dislike of using pro players for international competition and has advocated using under 23 players for World Cup, Olympic competition and other international events. I think his position is based purely on self-serving interests. Cuban is merely voicing what the other less locaquious owners want to say. They want a piece of the action in this international tourney, they would rather say help stage an international tourney like the World Cup and be in control of it or at the very least get some sort of cut for their players playing in it. Unlike soccer where the national team players get paid and get bonus money for playing in the World Cup, players on the national basketball team aren’t paid. Now the Pacers have insurance that they will likely use to offset the loss of George this season and the money that they have to pay him. They will likely also get a salary cap exemption from the NBA but they have dropped from and Eastern Conference title contender to also ran. Remember that Lance Stephenson bolted for Charlotte last month. Which leaves the Pacers with Roy Hibbert as their centerpiece this year…oy vey.
NFL: Dalton gets paid…is it worth it?
Since Hoodwood is close to Cincinnati, I have had an interesting view of the machinations going on with the pro football team of the area re-signing Andy Dalton to a lengthy contract. The Bengals inked the 4th year quarterback to a contract that could be worth up to $115 million. Now I have to admit that when I first heard about this. I wanted to break out the Picard meme asking rhetorically “what the fuck is this man?” But the more I look at the deal and the way it’s structured, the Bengals might be looking rather smart. The contract gives Dalton 2 more years with incentives that will pay him $25 million but it has opt and boosts that if Dalton plays bad in the next two years the Bengals can jettison him with little financial hardship. If he plays good, the contract keeps paying out, with financial flexibility that will make Dalton the 4th highest paid QB in the game. This keeps the Bengals franchise tag clear, which might be used on his favorite target AJ Green who will be looking to make (well deserved) Megatron money here soon. The detractors are numerous and loud, pointing to Daltons 4-8 record against the Bengals main rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh and his 0-3 record in the playoffs which none were close and Dalton made critical errors in all of them. Dalton to his credit has stepped up to try to be the face and voice of the franchise and has played by and large very well during the season. He has more playoff starts than either Boomer Esiason or Carson Palmer. Has thrown for 80 TD’s in three seasons and has a respectable 30-18 record which is better than the much more ballyhooed Tony Romo who is 24-24 in the past 3 seasons with zero playoff appearances. But now the pressure ramps up on Dalton who has not parlayed regular season success to playoff success and it could be not only his fate but Marvin Lewis’s that hang in the balance for it.
To Jim Kelly and Andre Reed who at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony hooked up for one last more pass. Reed who was inducted in the Hall this weekend spoke glowingly about his teammate who is battling cancer and Kelly was on hand to throw Reed a completion which they did some 664 times over their Hall of Fame Careers. Here’s to Reed for being part of a great hall class but to Kelly too who is taking the fight to cancer and I’m hoping is on hand for many more induction classes.
To Maryland basketball recruit Trayvon Reed that was arrested for shoplifting less than $6 of candy then compounded his stupidity by resisting arrest and breaking the hand of one of the officers trying arrest him. Now Reed is facing felony charges in addition to being dropped like a hot potato from Maryland’s recruiting class. Slap to Reed for throwing away a bright future.
Slump? What Slump Dale Jr. wins the Poconos again…he’s in the catbird seat for the big money title chase
Hey weren’t youse the World Champion Red Sox a few months ago…now a fire sale? Wow
David Wilson of the G-Men will have to call it quits due to a neck condition…that’s a crying shame.
Ray Guy made the football hall of fame…it’s about damn time
Tony Bosch of Biogenesis surrendered to the DEA..what secrets will he reveal?
I think Kirk Gibson is a punk for targeting Andrew McCutcheon with a “purpose pitch” he should be suspended
Ill add more as the day goes. Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans