Archive for the ‘ Thoughts ’ Category

Olbermann vs. The State of Indiana

 

This morning I came across this video laying out the situation in Indiana with their newly passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act. How I did not hear about this (probably because it Indiana) blows my mind. But this is ridiculous. How a state in 2015 thinks that they have the right to protect expression of religion, by allowing businesses to refuse sservice to another person based on religious grounds is absurd. This seems eerily close to the Jim Crow laws of over 50 years ago.

But more importantly, Olbermann and even Charles Barkley, have said that the NFL, NBA and NCAA need to vacate the state of Indiana. This would include events such as the NFL Combine, this years NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four and next years NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four. But the real issue is, will the respective heads of the major leagues in sports including the NCAA make the powerful move to boycott the legislation. Last year the NFL made a great step by standing up to the state of Arizona when they were poised to do something similar. So now all of these leagues are forced with a decision. BOYCOTT NOW! No human being should ever be discriminated for what their religion, skin color, general beliefs or appearance. It is 2015, we all at some point need to realize that the world we live in is evolving and that while traditional beliefs are what got us to this point, but at some point those beliefs evolved just like we as humans have.

Your move NFL, NBA, and NCAA. I am watching closely. It may be too late for this year’s Final Four. But a serious stance can be made going forward. Make the right decision.

Hurricane Sandy, the Aftermath

A photograph of Manhattan during the blackout courtesy of New York Magazine

Wow. What a week it was last week. I mean let’s just say I was one of those people who COMPLETELY overlooked all of the Hurricane Sandy hype. Alright, maybe hype is the wrong word to use, but nonetheless I was not buying it. Maybe it was me being the California kid at heart or that Hurricane Irene from the summer before did absolutely nothing, but I was not scared.

I spent Sunday, my last ful day with power, enjoying some of the NFL games, the lull of the World Series (more on that later) and primarily wondering what would actually happen. Mayor Bloomberg had prepared the city for a major disaster, and I for one am very happy he did. He shut down the subways and bus lines, also all lines of transportation in and out of manhattan.

Well Monday night, the madness came. While watching movies on Netflix, go figure, the lights started to flicker on and off. Around 8:30 pm, the lights finally went off. Followed by a few rumblings, later followed by a boom. I’m not sure which actually came first, primarily because once the power went out, things started to change. The first night was not too bad, but worst was ahead.

High winds, heavy rain, trees being ripped from their roots, and complete destruction was ahead. Oh not to mention, lower Manhattan became the dark zone. Something straight out of the movie ‘I Am Legend’ which coincidentally was based in Manhattan. But that was the tip of the proverbial iceberg. No cell service for about a mile, no running water, and also no heat. Initial reports said a few days with no power, but my thoughts were that we would be missing power, heat and cell service indefinitely. On a bigger scale, it would mean that I would miss the World Series aftermath, the start of the NBA season and possibly the Presidential election.

I didn’t miss much with the World Series. It was short, uneventful, and definitely something I was not upset I missed. Not so much the fact that the Giants won again, very disappointing for Athletics Nation, but the fact that the Detroit Tigers did not put up much of a fight. Once Pablo Sandoval went all Ruth/Jackson/Pujols with his 3 home run performance in Game 1, the series was all but over. But due to Hurricane Sandy, I was not able to really get immersed, especially with every commercial break during the actual World Series cutting to some preview of the devastation that was coming.

Baseball wasn’t the only sport affected by the Hurricane. The NBA season tipped of Tuesday night, the first full day of no power in Lower Manhattan, and was to be followed Wednesday with the New York Knicks traveling to Brooklyn to face their new crosstown rivals. Well thanks to Hurricane Sandy, there would be none of that. The devastation was too much for the city to handle at the time. But come Friday, the defending champions the Miami Heat would be coming to town. Luckily, the Knicks were playing for more than themselves that night. They came out and manhandled the Heat, led by Carmelo Anthony. It was a good sign for the city, one that needed to come back from all the devastation the week before.

Mayor Bloomberg even went as far as to cancel the NYC Marathon. At first he had stated the Marathon would go on as planned, but that was before the full extent of the damage to the city had been assessed. But after much scrutiny, he decided to cancel the Marathon, citing it would take many of the cities resources away from the relief effort.

Not only did Hurricane Sandy ruin a whole week at minimum for many people living on the East Coast, but it also has affected the sports world, along with the political race. Something to think about for the future, LISTEN to the weather! First the Hurricane, then Nor’easter that came yesterday. It was one hell of a 10 days. Let’s just hope I never have to go through it again!

Frustrations from the Other Side of the Bay

On what we all knew would be a rough month for the Oakland A’s, things seem to be taking a turn for the worst very very quickly. After starting the week with 2 straight victories at home over their division “rivals” the Angels, the madness of the 6 game losing streak began.

A costly error by Daric Barton led to the Twins beating Oakland in extra innings. The following day, Tyson Ross exits the game after only 7 pitches. The A’s lose 11-1 to the Twins, completing the 2 game sweep. Only 2 games, but losing it like this to the worst team in baseball, unacceptable. It later came to the surface where Tyson Ross and Brandon McCarthy would be going on the 15 day DL with minor injuries.

Coming into the series with the defending World Champs, weird to say this I know, the A’s were reeling. 3 starting pitchers on the DL, a shaky bullpen of late, and the worst being the lack of offensive production. The struggles weren’t going to get any easier with Oakland facing the likes of Vogelsong, Lincecum, and Sanchez respectively.

Friday night, after giving up a run in the first Trevor Cahill dominated the Giants. He only allowed one hit and one run through 6 innings, yet was lifted for a pinch hitter when Oakland had a run in scoring position with 2 outs in the 7th and the score tied 1-1. Now on this front, I more blame Bob Geren for poor managing rather than the A’s lack of offense. Cahill had been dominating the Giants, only allowing one hit and seemed to be getting stronger and stronger as the game went on. I understand that you it’s more important to get that run home, but the team’s strength is preventing runs more than scoring. Yes, Freddy Sanchez made an incrdedible play to save the run, but in that sequence, the A’s lost Hideki Matsui, Cahill and Conor Jackson in that sequence. Chalk that up to a fail on Bob Geren’s part, especially when he saw Jeremy Affeldt warming up in the bullpen. DOUBLE FAIL. The A’s ended up not scoring the rest of the game and Brian Fuentes ended up losing it in the 10th (surprise, surprise).

Saturday, Bob Geren put out a questionable lineup against one of the NL’s elite pitchers in Tim Lincecum. A lineup top to bottom with only 9 total homerun, yes 9. Most of those coming from Josh Willingham. So naturally when a team is struggling to score runs, and they are against one of the best in the game, its going to be tough to scratch out runs. The end result, Lincecum throws a shutout, making the A’s bats look silly in the process.

Sunday things seemed to be looking up. Going into the bottom of the 8th, Oakland led 4-2. But then more late game meltdowns by Oakland. First Nate Schierhotlz takes Grant Balfour out on a pop up that carried over the short right field porch at AT&T park, with a little help from the wind. Then, our “failure of the week,” Brian Fuentes goes 2 innings in the extra frames, only to give up the winning run to Darren Ford and the no-name Giants lineup.

Maybe I’m just a bitter A’s fan, but I think that the San Francisco Giants aren’t really that good of a team. Shown by this weekend, they seem to be a team who is average, with extraordinary pitching and just the right amount of luck in San Francisco. Shown by the A’s 9 straight losses in San Francisco. There is nothing to fear about this team but their talented rotation, which as far as I am concerned, the A’s have out-pitched this year so far.

Last night was rough, and by rough I mean season altering rough. The A’s managed only 1 run against the Angels, and managed to stay in the game until the bottom of the 8th. Why? Our pitching as always. The offense could not muster much, yet our pitching gave up 1 run. In that fateful 8th inning, Fuentes took the mound in the game again with the score tied late on the road. Once again, the same result would pan out, another loss for Fuentes, his 4th in the last week, dropping his record to 1-7 on the season. He has acounted for 24% of the Oakland losses this season. As an A’s fan this frustrates me, based on our pitching leads MLB in several categories or is at the top, yet we seem to lose games because of our pitching. Very confusing. Then Fuentes goes on to rip Bob Geren to the media. Really? Come on, just because your not doing your job means you need to put the blame on others. Yet I do feel for the guy, but before you air out your issues to the media, try and keep it in house. 6 losses in a row is tough, but when everyone in baseball knows the team is bickering, not a good look.

At some point something’s gotta give, whether its shaking up the roster with more offense through trades or through the farm system, we have to do something soon. Especially when this could be a year we could potentially make a run. We will see, this 6 game losing streak needs to end, and our team needs to unify. Maybe when the injuries stop, maybe we can get some momentum.

Quick Ode to Sports

So today i decided to check out a highlight of the Syracuse v. UConn game once again. That game was the BEST college basketball game ever. Not that it went 6OT’s or had a ridiculous box score, but it was the way syracuse came back to beat uconn down in the last ot. All the excitement from the NBA Playoffs had made me realize how amazing sports is. I have been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember, no matter what sport. I have always enjoyed seeing great college basketball games and matchups and after seeing the ones i have this year; Bulls v. Celtics 1st Round Series, Syracuse v. UConn Big East Tourney, the list goes on. I have finally come to the conclusion that we are all witnesses. Not just to Lebron James and his greatness, but to all the amazing athletes around the world, setting records and giving 110% everyday. For one, i have to applaud the sports world, despite all the controversy that goes on, they never cease to amaze me, never can be spoiled, and def have no reruns.

The Hangover 1.18.09

So we come into this new week wondering a few things, how are the Cardinals the NFC Champions and what happened to Joe Flacco? The Cardinals punched their ticket this afternoon with a convincing 32-25 Win over Philadelphia today in the NFC Championship game. Larry Fitzgerald today cemented himself as one of the most dynamic receivers in the NFL with his game-changing performance of 9 catches for 152 yards and 3 Touchdowns. Fitzgerald today proved that he alone could lead the Cardinals to yet another victory, and is in position to do so again next week should he put up another performance like the one today. In the other Championship game, the Steelers made Joe Flacco show his experience by forcing 3 interceptions, with one being returned for a touchdown along with his 13-30 passing for only 141 yards. Hey Joe, next time change your diaper before you go to the playoffs because today you really stunk it up. The Steelers won the game 23-14 and will be going to their 2nd super bowl in 4 years. So there we have it, 2 weeks from today Super Bowl XLIII with the Arizona Cardinals matching up against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hmm, I can’t help but notice this has the feel of the World Series. One team nobody expected to be there opposing an opponent who most expected to get there. Well unlike baseball, I’m picking the upset. Cardinals should take this one, but not by much giving them their first Super Bowl title in franchise history. Dang 66 years was too long.

So did anyone catch the Lebron James commercial. There had been a lot of hoopla and hype for the last few weeks about a big announcement on 1.18.09 and that we would have to brace ourselves. Well in case you didn’t catch it, here’s the video. 

Oh and maybe it’s just me, but I am getting the vibe that Peyton Manning and Lebron James are somewhat competing for the title of the most marketable athlete. I mean Lebron has that other State Farm commercial as well as his newest Nike Commercial. But, Peyton did have some very funny commercials with Mastercard. #1 #2 #3 and his very most recent #4. His appearance on Saturday Night Live was hilarious too. Check the videos here and here

In other news, the much anticipated film Notorious came out friday with much hype. Apparently this movie is a big hit with many people showing up at the box office to see it. So basically i must be one of the few hip-hop fans who isn’t in too much rush to go see this flick. Hmm, maybe i should check it out. 

On a very good note for all of us baseball fans, pitchers and catcher report to camp in just 24 days. Big news for all of us anticipating what is going to go down this season. yet there is one big problem, many big names stars such as Manny Ramirez, Ken Griffey Jr., and Adam Dunn (to name a few) are still free agents. Along with these players still being free-agents, we have the 2nd installment of the World Baseball Classic this year and from the looks of it, the USA is in trouble. They lost Alex Rodriguez to the Dominican Republic and they seem to lack a lot of punch in their lineup that they had in 2006. Hey, my guess is we shock the world and make the Semifinals, whoo hoo!

This should be a good week, I make my return to Santa Barbara and get to enjoy one last week of doing nothing before school starts! Maybe this week some of those big name free agents get signed.

Thoughts

What is it about me lately that has wanted to express my inner feelings? I have never ever had the feeling where i have felt the need to get so much off my chest. I have the feeling that the first love a man feels is always his toughest to get over. No matter how terrible the outcome or result, there is something that keeps him around. Maybe this is truth for me. I feel as if i have gone through a tough heartbreak and now its time for me to move on and be me. This time I will have to be stronger and me. I have to be more assertive. I felt as if I have reached that peak in my life where i have more of a killer instinct when i comes to meeting women. But hey, only time will tell. Hopefully the future holds something bright for me.

Relationships

What makes us fall in love? Why do we fall in love? Sometimes we fall in love because we fell like we can compliment off another one’s companionship or sometimes we just fall in love because it happens. There is always something good about falling in love. Its that amazing feeling you get when you have met someone special and feel as if you can never leave their site for fear you will never see them again. Have you ever had that feeling?

But once you finally end that relationship, do you ever have that feeling that there was more you could have done? Sometimes is it best to be friends with someone who you once had a sexual relationship? Why do women rip out men’s hearts, and why must we act like we are really hurt to finally get a response. What can we as men do in the future to ensure that we can be better and the best? 

Why aren’t relationships just plain and easy? No effort, no heartbreak, and no remorse. Sometimes i have the feeling that it is better off being single and keeping your options open as opposed to being tied down to one woman. Maybe its me just being 22 years old and wanting to be young and single. Who knows… Alfred Tennyson once said, “I hold it true, whate’er befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most; ‘Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all.” Is this truth or just fantasy? I Will leave on this quote from C.S. Lewis..

“Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.”