Tagged with "Sports"
Sunday Musings #164
Category: User Showcase
Tags: NFL NBA FantasyFootball NewYorkMets NewEnglandPatriots BostonCollegeWomensBasketball WNBA BostonRedSox HighSchoolSports BaltimoreRavens

While still stuck without my own personal computer... (So yes, my "up to date-ness" ends on Saturday morning before this week's college football games kick off.)


Don't forget that you can follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay


NFL

New England Patriots - I watched most of the Patriots game last Sunday. But with the team up 17-7, I fell asleep. And that's when the Dolphins decided to wake up. Despite missing 3 of their starting linebackers, the defense just killed the New England offense after going down by that 10 point margin.

I woke up when it was 20-20 and wished I was still asleep as the Dolphins went on to win 33-20 and hand the Patriots their first opening day loss in 11 years.

My buddy Brian (a big Dolphins fan) had to be ecstatic watching the defense manhandle the Patriots offensive line. The Pats managed just 89 rushing yards and sacked Tom Brady four times.

Brady threw for 249 years and a TD, but after going up 17-7, it seems he was on the run for the rest of the game.

After all the preseason talk of how different the defense looked and played, it was more of the same because the defensive line couldn't stuff any holes and the Dolphins run game took advantage with 191 rushing yards. Knowshon Moreno was practically unstoppable with 134 of those yards.

This can't be what Bill Belichick planned for, but this game showed that the Patriots aren't quite ready for primetime yet. It also demonstrated AGAIN, that the preseason doesn't mean a darn thing.

Baltimore Ravens - Video footage from inside the elevator that now former Ravens running back Ray Rice beat the crap out of his fiancee (now wife) surfaced this past week and as soon as it got out (TMZ gets another "scoop"), the Ravens terminated Rice's contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.

I have strong feelings about domestic violence, let that be clear. But for me, despite the reported ugliness of the new footage (I refuse to watch and help TMZ make more of a name for themselves), I have to wonder why the NFL didn't kick Rice to the curb the first time around. He certainly deserved it. 

Suspending and firing him at this point seems like they are punishing him twice for the same infraction. And on that point alone I'm a little annoyed at the NFL.

Ray Rice is certainly a scumbag, the video definitely confirms that I'm told. But the league punished him once. However ridiculously bad they handled it the first time around, I can't imagine the player's union isn't going to raise a stink on general principle for a player being punished twice.

Minnesota Vikings - It isn't a good time to be Adrian Peterson. Last week reports surfaced that he reportedly told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that he wanted to play for Dallas. That could not have endeared him to the Vikings ownership, coaches and other players. And the fan base was likely enraged.

And then on Friday, news broke that he had been charged with child abuse in Texas for using a switch to spank one of his sons. SAY WHAT? 

DUDE! How goddamn stupid are you? You used a switch on your son? Have you conveniently forgotten that just last year a son you didn't even know you had was beaten to death by your baby mama's boyfriend? I'm all for discipline but let's get serious here, using a switch may have been a time honored idiotic tradition back in the day but in the here and now, that crap just ain't gonna fly with law enforcement. Oh by the way, the guy who killed that son of yours goes on trial for second degree murder next month. MORON!

For those fantasy football people that have Adrian Peterson on their teams, better make adjustments to your roster, the Vikings have benched him for today's game against the Patriots.

FANTASY FOOTBALL

I actually managed to split my two leagues during Week 1. I really have no confidence in my lineups so getting even 1 win was pretty sweet. Of course, I'm favored to lose in both leagues this week so I might be writing with a "woe is me" vibe next week.

MIRACLE ON ICE USA HOCKEY TEAM NEWS

Just a bit of sad news...Bob Suter, one of the players on the 1980 Lake Placid hockey team that stunned the world by beating the Russians, passed away this week. He was 57 years old. He was a scout for the Minnesota Wild (and father to one of their players, Ryan Suter) as well as a youth hockey figure. 

He's the first of the players from that team to pass away. You can read more about his life here.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Alabama - The Crimson Tide once again dominated their opponent last week. But it didn't help them keep their #2 ranking.

Despite beating Florida Atlantic University 41-0, the Tide dropped to #3 in the rankings after voters/computers factored in the strength of schedule angle in the Oregon-Michigan State game. Oregon won that game going away and they vaulted up to #2.

As for the FAU game, the Bama defense gave up just 145 yards in total offense (57 rush, 88 pass) and had 3 sacks. 

Given that the game was a blowout, both Blake Sims and Jake Coker saw time at QB. Sims threw for 214 yards and 2 TDS, while rushing for another. Coker had 202 passing yards and a TD. He got sacked once.

The team as a whole rushed for 204 yards, with Kenyan Drake leading the way with just 45 yards (with a TD run). Amari Cooper was the biggest offensive star as he racked up 189 yards receiving and caught a TD pass.

(I'll write about this week's Alabama home game vs. Southern Mississippi and the Boston College home game vs. USC next week.)

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Boston Red Sox - As if the season wasn't going badly enough for the Red Sox, second baseman Dustin Pedroia's season came to an early end when it was announced that he would be undergoing season ending surgery on his hand.

The Boston Herald had an interesting article that broke down all the injuries Pedroia has suffered in recent years and questions whether he'll ever be the same player he was before all the injuries.

Texas Rangers - The Texas Rangers were stunned a bit last week when manager Ron Washington resigned. The Rangers have been playing really badly this season, but Washington wasn't in danger of being fired after 1 down year.

While no specifics have been given, the resignation was termed by Washington as being done to deal with an "off the field personal matter."

The cynical SOB I am, the first thing I thought of was that he'd been caught using cocaine again. I really hope that isn't the case because it would be yet another sports related disappointment and at the rate they are coming these days, the sports pages might just as well be the front pages of a newspaper.

New York Mets - As if the simple fact of being the New York Mets and stinking to high heaven wasn't enough, now we have the story of team COO Jeff Wilpon being sued for discrimination by a female former team executive who became pregnant while unwed. Reading the story, apparently Wilpon acted like a total dick and is seemingly about to pay the price for it. 

It makes me wonder just what is going through the minds of the "men" who run sports teams and or play the games. It is a different world these days, you bumbling Neanderthals!

You can read more about that story here.

BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

The women's basketball schedule was released this past week and while they will play ten teams that made the NCAA tournament last year, I have to say I'm slightly disappointed with the slate of home games they'll have this year.

Since I can only attend Sunday games, I can't even think about seeing them play Duke this year. And then there are the teams I'd love to see them play but they are road games: Stanford, Hartford and Louisville.

I'm really psyched to see them play Notre Dame which is the biggest Sunday game on the home schedule, so I'll be getting tickets for that one. After that I don't know which games might strike my fancy. The remaining Sunday games (after the first of the year that is) feature Syracuse, North Carolina State, Florida State and Virginia Tech (which is the final regular season game of the season AND Senior Day.)

You can check out the full schedule here.

WNBA

New York Liberty - Assistant coach Katie Smith has apparently decided to start writing a weekly blog on her website. The first installment breaks down some of her adjustments from being a player to becoming a coach. You can read it here.

Phoenix Mercury - Congratulations go out to the Mercury after they swept the Chicago Sky and clinched their third WNBA title since 2007.

NBA

Atlanta Hawks - It's been quite a week down in Atlanta hasn't it? First the majority owner Bruce Levenson announces he's selling his share of the team after an email he made with huge racial overtones was made public.

Well, I suppose owning up quickly to his rather stupid views is a point in his favor. And it saves NBA commissioner Adam Silver from having to deal with a Donald Sterling sequel to oust an owner clearly out of step with society at large.

And then on Friday it was announced that Hawks GM Danny Ferry was taking an indefinite leave of absence for his role and comments in the seemingly growing story. I don't know why he wasn't fired because he will never be accepted by the players and fans again.

And this brings up a question for me. Am I the only one in the world that was raised properly? 

Where does all this hatred come from? I mean, I was always taught that you don't hate someone based on the color of their skin. I worked in youth basketball for 25 years and when I first started out, there was a knock on the league that only the black coaches won championships. Which was entirely BS even then, but I'd say winning 10 titles as a head coach (11 if you include the one I was an assistant coach for) put that lie to rest.

And why would anyone these days make such sweeping generalizations about players or a race of people? Maybe I've somehow managed to maintain a sense of naivety about race relations but I've yet to meet a person of another color that I've hated based solely that their skin wasn't as white as mine is? For cripe's sake, the man I considered my basketball mentor was a black man whose death from cancer devastated me.

Generally when I've disliked or yes even hated someone it is after I get to know them as a person, and it is based on their personality or attitude...NOT THEIR SKIN COLOR!

I'm a stick in the mud about some stuff in this world but I can't imagine the mindset of people who hate or discriminate against someone for reasons of their skin.

It seems that the powers that be running NBA ballclubs really need to either get with the times or get the hell out of the game. Or maybe it would be enough for them to simply grow the hell up!

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

Wareham Girls Varsity Soccer - The team dropped a 2-0 match to Fairhaven on Monday to start off their week. They lost to ORR on Wednesday 6-0. Meanwhile, the JV team which has one of my former players (Gabby) on the team lost 5-0. 

On Friday, the Vikings varsity managed to find the net but lost to Dighton-Rehoboth 6-2 for their 40th straight loss. Brianna had 8 saves in the game while Paige was cited in the paper for impressing with her play.

Wareham Boys Varsity Soccer - The Vikings fell to Dighton-Rehoboth 6-1 for their fourth straight loss to open the season. My ex-player Eoghan assisted on the team's only goal.

Wareham Girls Volleyball - The team dropped their match with Fairhaven by the score of 3 games to none. But the team got their first win on Wednesday night when they beat ORR 3 games to 2. They are now 1-3 on the season.

By the way, you can check out an article (with a couple of quotes from one of my ex-players Rae-Lyn) about the only boy playing on the WHS girls volleyball team here.

Friday's match against Dighton-Rehoboth saw the Vikings win 3 games to 1 to up their record to 2-3. Rae-Lyn had 6 digs, 18 kills and four aces in the match.

Wareham Girls Field Hockey - The team lost to Dighton-Rehoboth on Wednesday by the score of 7-0.

Upper Cape Tech JV Football - The team lost to Mashpee in their season opener but my girlfriend's son Connor said that he led the defense in tackles for the game.

Wareham Varsity Football - While the team has an off week this week, I wanted to make sure I included a photo of one of my ex-players from the opening game. Josh (#10) scored a TD in the game and is being looked upon to be one of the team's top offensive contributors.

By the way, to show you how far the Vikings might have to come this year, Bishop Stang (the team that beat them last week 42-26 last week) managed to somehow lose their second game on Friday night 46-2. And that is not a typo, they managed just TWO points against their second opponent after demolishing Wareham's defense the week before.

MISCELLANEOUS

Movies - I saw the movie Draft Day this past week. It had a few relatively preposterous scenes but overall I actually liked it. The one problem the movie demonstrates so aptly is that the best possible GM candidates for the team are in Hollywood working as scriptwriters. The actual GMs the team has had over the years keep the fanbase in the eternal but fruitless hope that they will ever actually build a contender.

Books - This week's book purchase was the paperback edition of the Sara Paretsky mystery Critical Mass. It is the latest in her V.I. Warshawski series.

Music - I went out to see a cover band called Sound Tower last Saturday night with my girlfriend. The guy who owned the Rock Is Life.com site that I wrote reviews for in the past is the band's frontman but I'd never seen them live before. We stayed for two sets and I found it quite enjoyable. I really liked their cover of the Bad Company song "Can't Get Enough". You can check them out at http://www.soundtowerrocks.com

Here's a pic of me and Julie at the show:

You can check out the new Mr. Big song "The Monster In Me" here (Youtube Link).

Movies (Fan Films) - I'm a big fan of the show Firefly and the follow up movie Serenity. And this week brought a new fan film based in the same universe. The film is actually getting positive reviews online and I thought you all might like to check it out. You can see it HERE!

 

 

 

 

Sunday Musings #163
Category: User Showcase
Tags: NFL DenverBroncos BostonCollegeEaglesFootball Fantasy Football WNBA ChicagoSky HighSchoolSports

 

 

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

NFL

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.

FANTASY FOOTBALL

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?

WNBA

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:

Erica



Raelyn (#9)



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.



MISCELLANEOUS

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.

Hey Hey, Labor Day!
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Labor Day sports NFL MLB Labour

 

It's here --- the unofficial end of Summer. Labor Day Weekend! And a happy one to all those of you who actually have a job. With about half the country on some form of the dole, maybe we should rename it Labour Day, after the British party whose marvelously creative political trick (i.e. buying votes with other peoples' money) has been such a smashing success for the past 50 years --- well, for them anyway. Ah, but politics aside, it's a fascinating time on the sports calendar.

Baseball is in the stretch run. Last year we had dark horses, and one of them not only won the AL pennant but cruised through the postseason in dominant fashion. This year, they're making a last-ditch run for the honor of first-to-worst, but time's running out with fewer than 30 games left on most schedules. The real battle is between the Rangers and Rockies.

But it's not like dark horses are gone. The Royals continue to hold a marginal lead over the mighty Tigers. And while it's hard to call the cash-rich Angels a dark horse, it wasn't that long ago that their position in the AL West looked like wildcard or bust. Did the A's really trade away their offense with Cespedes to get Jon Lester? Is Price going to put the Tigers over the top? Strange how things have been working so far. Now the Tigers and A's face a new challenge besides first place --- another dark horse. The Yankees? Dark horse? This year, yes. And they're coming on. Just the thought of having pinstripes hot on your tail must do something to you. And speaking of dark horses --- is that Seattle just a game out of the wild card? As in ahead of the Yankees even? Yup. And Cleveland's only a game behind the Yanks.

In the Senior Circuit, the seasonally on/off Nationals continue to hold a lead in the East, but is that the ubiquitous Braves six games back? And the Cards, who bolstered themselves with John Lackey, are looking up by a game at Milwaukee. At this point neither team seems to grasp the urgency, both having lost three straight. And the perennial dark horse Pirates have taken their cue, winning three straight and making it a 3-horse race. Out West, the money-dripping Dodgers (aka Yankees West) are in the lead, but could that be upstate rival San Fran closing fast? It's a 4-horse race for the wildcard.

And as baseball reaches its climax, college football starts with a bang. Who saw A&M eating SC for lunch? Manziel Who? And NFL football sits waiting in the wings. The final preseason week didn't really tell us much, but it said a lot to GMs around the NFL. What that may have been only now begins to drip out. Rosters will change in the next week, not just by subtraction but by addition. Not much, mind you, but some. Don't expect too many more Logan Mankins blockbusters. The Patriots have a monopoly on late preseason moves like that.

So who's looking good coming out of the preseason? In the AFC, everyone seems to think Denver is the team to beat. The Broncos were convinced their drubbing in the Super Bowl was due to bad officiating in the secondary, so they pushed for rules changes. They've been pretty unpopular, though truth be told it was getting a little silly watching every pass turn into a gang fight at the far end. Week 4 saw a subsiding of calls, but it'll still be tighter and that still ought to help Denver, though it didn't help them keep Welker on the field.

But anyone who's seen New England and Cincinnati may be excused for thinking in other directions. The Patriots are the antithesis of Denver's load-up strategy, opting instead for a big picture analysis even with Tom Brady's 'window'. The Bengals, with Dalton playing well, are awesome. Denver may find out that the Super Bowl was no rules fluke. Even the Chargers might have something to say in their own division. And the Colts had better hope the Texans aren't back with a revamped offense and a quarterback (whoever that may be) who can operate it. It's turning out Clowney may have been more of a damaged-goods dice roll than anticipated, but with or without him the D looks solid.

And in the NFC, what to say about the Niners? Their starting lineup has been possibly the worst in the league so far, especially the offense. Is this the result of dangling Harbaugh as trade bait in the offseason? Whatever it is, they have their work cut out. Seattle, despite offseason losses, is run by a guy who knows how to handle roster volatility thanks to his time at USC. Down south, the Saints look good again. Atlanta remains a question mark, and Carolina is not off to a good start despite having a strong defense again. Up north, it's Green Bay as usual it seems. And Philly ought to cruise in the struggling NFCE. All in all, there's no question Seattle looks the most impressive so far.

So long Summer. This year's edition, at least around here, was absolutely marvelous. A short requisite heat wave, not a brutal one. Wonderfully temperate weather. Lots of sunshine. Cool August nights. Hope yours was as good, and your Autumn follows suit with nice warm/cool weather. No snow for Halloween please! Not even for Thanksgiving! Christmas? Ok.

 

Sunday Musings #160
Category: User Showcase
Tags: LittleLeagueWorldSeries WNBA NewYorkLiberty BostonCollegeWomensBasketball HighSchoolSports

 

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.

You can read more HERE.



WNBA

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.



MISCELLANEOUS
 

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.

Sunday Musings #159
Category: User Showcase
Tags: YouthSports BostonRedSox NCAA EdO'BannonLawsuit WNBA NewYorkLiberty BeckyHammon HighSchoolBasketball BostonCollegeWomensBasketball

 

 

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?

WNBA

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.

MISCELLANEOUS

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.

If you do need a fleshed out review you can check out my buddy Kayode's Pop-topia.com review.



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.

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