Monday, December 29, 2014

Yep's, Nope's, and Maybe's

I know I have been absent for a long time, but I have time on my hands and thoughts rolling around in my planet-sized head, waiting to get out!
 
So here we go!

Yep
I didn't believe I would live long enough to see a Duck win the Heisman trophy.  But, here he is,  Marcus Mariota, a nice kid who has stayed out of trouble and goes out of his way to accommodate fans.  We should all thank his folks, Alana and Toa for letting their son attend Oregon.  He is the contradiction to the idea that nice guys finish last.

Nope
Gotta slam Cam.   After scoring on a run play in the Panther's game with Atlanta, Newton went into a prolonged TD act.  Can't figure out why he wasn't flagged for excessive celebration - oh yeah, that's right Cam doesn't have to play by everybody else's rules.  He is special.....ask the NCAA.  I'm still waiting for the investigation at Auburn, get ready to give back the Heisman, unless your Dad has sold it already.

Maybe
The Lions.   We have seen huge progress moving their 7-9 record of a year ago to 11-5.  It has even prompted me to buy my first Lion's fan gear.  I just don't see progress in QB Matthew Stafford's consistency.  OK, maybe one more year under new coach Jim Caldwell will do the trick, all Lions fans have their fingers crossed.  I know the season isn't over, but their playoff game with the very hot Dallas Cowboys could turn into a laugher unless the Detroit offense comes back to life.
Yep
The Red Wings.   Picked to be near the bottom of the NHL, the Wings have been putting together a solid year, even leading the Atlantic Division for a time.  A side note: Wings Legend, Gordie Howe, is on the mend from a stroke he suffered in October.  Way to bounce back Gordie!
Nope
Ndamukong Suh.  Is this guy ever going to get it?   His fines now add up to over $200,000!  The latest for his Lion Two Step on Aaron Rogers.  

Hate to admit he is an Oregon born kid, Suh attended Grant H.S. in Portland.  The University of Nebraska must have corrupted him, you know, with all the night life and distractions that Lincoln has to offer....

Maybe
Hroniss Grasu.  The All-American center may make his return in the Rose Bowl, something that could provide a lift to the team.  Another kid easy to root for, Hroniss has kept his nose clean and responded with with two All-American nods and two first team All Pac-12 honors.   Welcome back to the middle of it all!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Oh Me Of Little Faith

As the first half ended in the Oregon/MSU game, 
I found myself irritated, doubtful, befuddled.
 
One of my fellow Ducks reminded me "This team has talent, they just have to make it work."  An optimist who had earlier shown signs of fleeting faith, he sent us the reminder to watch for the cream to rise to the top.   





Sure enough, Mariota and Ifo came in to save the day.



















Me, I have filled a cup to 50%
to practice seeing the glass half full.  


Saturday, July 19, 2014

All-Star Bests & Worsts

Recent year's All Star games have been a bit of a snooze, but this year's edition kept me watching from start to finish. It even got cheers from from my 2 year old grandson!  The following gives you an idea of my hits and misses from Tuesday's classic.






Best:
Miggy HR










  
 


 
Worst:
Adele Dazeem's rendition of Forever Young & The National Anthem







Best:
Jeter's 2 hits in his final All-Star Game





   




Worst:
Adam Wainwright not keeping his mouth shut












Best:
 Mad Max picking up the win












  


Worst:
Victor Martinez not getting to play






 



Best:
Fernando Rodney shooting his arrow into the Minnesota night






 


Worst:
John Lester and Chris Sale letting the NL back in the game




Gotta finish with a Best:
V Mart can't play, roster spot opens up for Ian Kinsler

Friday, July 11, 2014

Best Minor League Mascots

Minor League Baseball is, and should be, all about the entertainment.   The following are my top 15 mascots in the bush leagues, but with questions:





#15 - New Orleans Zephyrs
  Do orthodontists get in free?








          #14 - Richmond Flying Squirrels
           Is Bullwinkle a season ticket holder?



 


#13 - Akron Rubber Ducks
  Is bathtub seating available?



 



               #12 - Jupiter Hammerheads
                 Does the organist play Mack The Knife?






 



#11 - Toledo Mud Hens
  Do they ever call them the Mudville 9?








                      
                    #10 - Vermont Lake Monsters
                      Does Nessie do play by play?





 
#9 - Hickory Crawdads
  What is crawfish pie?







 #8 - Montgomery Biscuits
  Can you get gravy with that?






#7 - Albuquerque Isotopes
  Do your players glow at night games?









                               
#6 - Eugene Emeralds
 Did you get a permit to cut that tree?









#5 - Lansing Lugnuts
  Do your players ever get torqued off?







                               


        #4 - El Paso Chihuahuas
         Did the mascot ever work for Taco Bell?
                                "Yo Quiero"


#3 - Batavia Muckdogs
   Do you have any players named Bouche'?






                                    

                                    #2 - Casper Ghosts
                                    Are you friendly?




#1 - Las Vegas 51's
How come ET's never calls us?


Monday, July 7, 2014

Return To Innocence

Following the anniversary of arguably the most famous speech given in sport,
video
I wonder will we ever see the likes of someone as gracious as Lou Gehrig in pro sports?     I can't think of one athlete that can hold a candle to the Iron Horse.   Not in football, not in today's baseball, not in my beloved hockey, and certainly not in basketball.  Money has made all the difference.  Guys like Gehrig played because they genuinely loved the game, still retaining some of that child-like innocence that we all had when we first picked up a bat.   Do me a favor, after you listen to Robert Redford, go dig out that glove and go play catch with your kids or grandkids.   See if some of that joy you experienced trickles back to you.   I think you might be surprised.
video

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Baseball, A Crazy Game

Our national pastime, gotta love it for its characters, quirks, and zaniness.   Here's a few to ponder.

1 - Beards
     C'mon, don't you remember when baseball heroes advertised for shaving cream?  Now we get this.  Yikes!


2- Fingernail Polish
    The new trend of catchers wearing polish to make the signs easier to see seems a little strange .  Are you are telling me that in over 130 years of pro baseball that pitchers couldn't see 1 for a fastball and 2 for a curve?  Good guessers, those pitchers.


3. Pitchers Hats

   Don't think this will catch on.

4. And now for today's final baseball quirk.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Pac 12 Sell Out


The Pac 12 announced the site for the next three Football Championship games as newly opened Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, home of the 49'ers. The only power conference that did not host their season finale in a "neutral" site, Commissioner Larry Scott must have felt a need to follow what the popular kids were doing.   Levi's is neutral if you aren't Stanford or Cal.  This "neutral" site is only 15 miles from the Stanford campus and a short trip across the bay from Berkeley.  Rewarding the team with the best record was unique to the Pac 12, but follow as a little puppy Scott must, and off the Pac goes to the glitz and glamour of the Big Pants.  So long college atmosphere, hello Hollywood.



I have been an outspoken opponent of college athletes receiving pay for play, but what the hell, if the conference is rewarding a pro stadium with the game, pay the kids.





Hey, and how about if we make going to classes and earning credits optional.  If the Pac 12 is in for innovation, take it all the way.  Is Commissioner Scott, a modern day version of Mr. Applegate from Damn Yankees, willing to ink more deals?



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Sport Is All About

Many great sports stories have been written by great individuals and great teams.   On Saturday another was written by an unlikely group of determined athletes. 
 
Diminutive Union College defeated mighty Minnesota to win the NCAA Hockey Tournament. 

What is so amazing about Union?   Let's go inside the numbers.

Scholarships
Minnesota: 18 ;  Union: 0
Enrollment
Minnesota: 50,000 ; Union 2,200
NHL Draftees
Minnesota: 14 ; Union 1
Years In D1 Hockey
Minnesota: 66 ; Union: 10

We love to root for the underdog, and by all indications, Union should have been a big one one. It just seems somebody forgot to tell them.  The little guys from Schenectady beat the Gophers 7 - 4 to claim the 2014 NCAA title.
 Well done, Dutchmen!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hockey Mascots

As promised here are the mascots of the NCAA Hockey Tournament Teams:


Boston College Eagles










Colgate Raiders












Denver Pioneers?  
Apparently DU has no official mascot, they have an unofficial mascot named Denver Boone.   This has sparked quite a bit of controversy at the college and an ongoing debate as to the nature of their mascot ensues.   I kinda like him.






Ferris State Bulldogs










Minnesota Golden Gophers
Apparently no issues with the orthodontically impaired student population.






Minnesota Stare Mavericks









North Dakota. 
No mascot until 2015. 
Previously had been the Fighting Sioux.






Notre Dame Fighting Irish
What about the Irish pacifists?










Providence Friars






Quinnipiac Bobcats










Robert Morris Colonials










St. Cloud State Huskies










U Mass Lowell River Hawks







Union College Dutchmen
No matter how much I tried I could not find a mascot for the team, apparently they like the name, but live in fear of offending those of Dutch descent.  Why not Hans Brinker, he of the Silver Skates?  Just an idea....










Vermont Catamounts (a local term for cougar, derived from cat of the mountain)




Wisconsin Badgers