Monday, April 04, 2011
Sunday, March 06, 2011
For the third time this year the Bulls beat the Heat- this time in Miami. Each win has been equally impressive. The first in Chicago w/out Lebron, the second with Lebron in Chicago and today's in Miami after the overcoming a 15 pt deficit. A couple of takeaways.
First the Heat desperately needed to win following 4 straight losses. Second Derrick Rose again being clutch in the fourth quarter. Third Lebron, Wade and company unable to close yet another game. The Bulls and Rose are finally starting to get some national exposure, but are still generally flying under the radar.
There may be some huge implications with this game. If the Bulls can maintain the 2nd spot in the East that they now have, they will not have to face the Knicks. Also, in the case of a tie with the Heat, the Bulls have the advantage.
One issue that the Bulls have to overcome on the road is playing to their competition. They must get better on the road and today seemed to show that they are on their way. The bench has been solid and having the five starters healthy and gelling is finally showing its true composition. But the biggest advantage the Bulls have this season in Thibs. Tomorrow Chris Paul and N.O.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Sad to see you go.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
So, I'll watch any sport. No acess to curling 'cause I dont have cable, but have been enjoying some of the newer sports - that crazy 'downhill' ski race bewtween four dudes? The snowboard deal where I'm not sure what the rules are. I dont have limitless interest in it - but NBC also packages thing nicely to keep me watching.
Of particular enjoyment to me is the shorttrack racing. I find it thrilling because the race can be won in the last moments. likewise, ever present is the chance of being tripped - and losing the race @ the last moment. Then there is the stratgy as to when to pass those ahead of you - how and when? And if you are leading, you have to defns your place. Although this is a newish sport, I find myself completely wrapped into these races when they are on the telly.
Then there is ice skating. Yes, I enjoy. To be fair, a bit-o-it is to ogle babes in tite shorts. Of course. But it's fun to watch the skill present in all the skaters. I like is ice dansing, actually, a lot. Taneth Balbin - loved her i Turino 2006 - has been a favourite for four years.
And hockey. The interest in the Olympic hockey tournement in chicago is great because of the involvement of so many Blackhawks. Sucked to have to listen to the US-Canada game mainly on the radio-only saw last 10m. Like most Hawk fans I worry about injuries. But, also, I enjoy the game.
And it's also easy to watch w. Mom. She likes the Olympics. No need to worry about Fassbinder or Kurasowa films for her to be bored by. And the rest of the family njoys it - Nephew.2 had an amusing "USA Curling Now" post on his fb.
And, needless to say, the Olympics are ending soon. Still a lot of stuff to come, but the end is already in site. So, again, i'm gonna try and watch what i can. I do enjoy it.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Dated a girl from Nebraska way back when. Lovely girl - she was my First Love and all that goes with that. Do wonder from time to time whatever happened to her(though I know what she's has to be doing tonite) - but past is past. As w. all relationships, things that mattered to her became concerns of mine. She was a massive fan of the NEbraska huskers football team - and, in a fashion, so did I. Even went to a game in Fall of 1990 - they were playing Northern Illinois, so, well, I of course rooted for alma mater #2. But, generally, I rooted hard for them even after Q and I broke up. So, in the 1993 season, when they were playing Florida State in a bowl game (after the Irish had beaten Colorado) I was totally going for Nebraska - both for Notre Dames sake (hopeless dream - we really needed a playoff that year) and for Nebraska.
The next year Nebraska did the unbelievable - they beat up hated Miami in the Orange Bowl and won the national Championship. This was after Q and I stopped talking (we'd talk again) for a few years or so and so while i celebrated, i also celebrated for m old love. They went on to win three of four national championships in a row, but by then i was tired of the team. They were a delight as an underdog - but generally I got tired of them.
Well, tonite I am a Nebraska fan once again. This time, its that old campaign that I have foremost in mind - the NEED for a NCAA Division 1 Footaball Playoff. beginning of the day, there were six undeafeated teams. Two played each other - 'Bama downing #1 Florida. Nebraska, 9-3, plays Texas (12-0). Then comes three 'lessor' teams - TCU, Cincinnati, and Boise State. If Nebraska beats Texas, that means Alabama will be the obvious #1 team going into the bowl season - but the other three undefeated teams all have a claim to play 'Bama in the so called "National Championship Game". The last two years I felt that a roll of the dice would have as much claim to legitimacy as the teams paired in the "National Championship Game" - and if Nebraska can upset Texas, then I feel that this years claim that somehow the two teams matched up in the so called "National Championship Game" once again is a sham.
Funny - the last few years I wanted ALL of the undefeated teams to lose, totally muddying the waters. This year, my tac has been to keep several teams undefeated - which means that w. a Nebraska win, there is one clear team that desrves a high ranking - but three others that have equal claims to play in the final game. Lets go Huskers!
We'll get a playoff system for the NCAA Div. 1 sometime. Makes too much sense. Fuckheads who clamour to keep the bowl system as is really remind me of the Birthers and anti HealthCare reform people. We must progress.
Oh, and as the NCAA season is coming to a close, we all know what we can expect soon - the DCS 16 team playoff matchups show on the DCS network. It'll be good.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Its also kool to read about MLS. Nobody ever writes book treatments on the league - its sorta like going to a Chicago library and having to suffer through the bunches of Cubs books by dudes from Iowa looking for the meaning of life by attending every game in the bleachers some summer or other - to get to the good stuff by Roeper, Veeck, Lindberg, Rogers, etc etc etc... and this is by a senior editor of SI. Plus, he more or lss had full access for the story these last 16m. It was a compulsive read that led me to dragging out my Bexx LA Galaxy shirt this last week - outstanding.
But boy this book puts Bexx in a silly lite. There are two main charges against him. One was that although he was made captain of the team when he came to LA - but when things went bad, he never acted like a captain. A captains job is to lead the team both on and off the field - yet Bexx kinda just disappeared as time went on. Landon Donovan, the greatest player America has ever produced so far, was really miffed by this - HE was the man who had to give up the captains armband to Bexx, and the team was close to his heart. He knew how to lead - but he was no longer captain.
The other charge was his 'people'. In his second LA season the coach was fired and Bexx's 'people' got their choice put in. Ooops!! Ruud Guillet, who I saw play in his day (TV only) turned out to be a spectacularly bad choice. Believe it or not, but its takes a special kinda coach to have success in MLS. A MLS coach has to know all of the weird rules that MLS has and European leagues do not: salary cap, college players, different types of player designations (MLS teams can have a few foreign players, a few "junior" foreign players, etc etc etc ... Guillet didnt do any of it - and Bexx never rallied the team to fix things. Then, when Guillet was fired, Bexx just gave up on the team and played out the string.
Still, Im a fan of Bexx. Im pretty mellow and forgiving even though I do get miffed @ times over his conduct. I wanted to see him play when LA visited Chicago in August, and was sad that he had to miss the game because he was red carded the previous game (1 game suspension). However, Bexx is the enemy this Friday - it's Fire -v-Galaxy @ 10pm Central.
Other things: The pay disparity. Some players make ..... gasp ..... $12,000 a year. Several players do. Maybe 5-7 on the roster are paid this badly. So, MLS mite claim to be a 'major' league compared to Europe and Mexico - but Im thinking that even the 20th player on San Luis or Paris St. Germaine or Hibernian make tonnes more than ..... $12,000 a year. Even I made more than that last year.
And the MLS hotel policy. MLS makes sure that its teams stay in cheap hotels - not like, fex, the Sox having guys stay in A class hotels on their road trips. So when LA came to play the Fire in 2007, the team stayed near Midway airorts "Hotel zone" near 65th and Cicero. The players were warned to not go out of their hotels because the neighbourhood was 'too dangerous'. The writer made it out to be an industrial wasteland - ad their are RR tracks nearby. But overall that hood is actually pretty safe. It petty much is a residential neighbourood (yes, I know, a major airport is also smackdab in th middle of that hood - but trust me, go two blocks on any side of Midway airport and its all nice bungalows, bodegas - and the original irish food factory in Chicago, Winstons. And a White castle. So, I know the hood to be safe, although maybe a writer from elsewhere mite think otherwise.
Friday, July 24, 2009
As always, "Where were you?". I was working @ school, but aware the boys were inaaction, I rocked the transistor radio. however, we were in the auditorium, so I couldn't listen to the game. By the time the school program was done, we took th kids to wait for dismissal in the lunchrooms - here I turned on the radio. But the reception sucked - I had to huddle near the window to get anything in, and was joined by some kids. We joined as the Sox made the last out in the bottom of the ninth - and was taken abit back when the Comiskey crowd roared as the Sox made their last out. Then Ed Farmer, St. Rita grad and Sox announcer, said alog the lines of "Sox up 5-0 and were headed to the ninth and you never know what will happen." Instantly my lifetime of fandom triggered into me that someting was up - and, judging by the circumstances and context, it could only mean one thing - a no hitter by Burlhe was going into the final three outs. The call 'no hitter!' went out in the lunchroom - more kids came over.
We listened to the ninth. The reception sucked, and we struggled. Honestly, I was totally calm during Wise's Catch because I had no idea it was such a difficult catch - it just registered as an out. But we celebrated when the final out went down - and then started spreading the news. Glorious. but I didn't know the special natute of the lastest Burlhe nohitter until 20m after it was over. When I got into the car to drive home, I turned on the car radio (nice reception) and only learned that it was a perfect game. Wow!!
I have said this before, but because the game was a day game over by 3.15pm, we were able to celebrate all day. It was kool - the whole talk of the day was on the game, replays of the games hilites, and rbroadcasts of the game on TV and on the radio. it was a holiday, a party, a carnival all day long. "Hey - did you hear about the Sox game?" Phone calls - "Hey - did you hear??" So rare, so kool.
And its always nice when the Sox make the national news of the day - President Obama in the Sox jacket before the All Star game last week, for example. But the most special touch was charli gibsond introduction to the 5.50p ABC National News. After he introduced the main three or four news stories they were going to cover that day, he then said "And there's been a perfect game in baseball today, but .... there's a catch." Kool as hell.
As for calls to instant hall of fame status for #56 is silly @ this stage. Sure, World Series champ, (and a save), the perfect game, no hitter - people even proffer a single home run he hit earlier this year to his rsume. But he's got 139 career wins. Two 19 win seasons - no 20 win season. No Cy Youngs. But, he's only 30, and if he stays in the majors longer that he says he wants to stay, he may rack up enough wins to be seriously considered. He has to get to two hundred career winds before any serious talk can even begin. But, all of these things are really nice if he stays productive.
Much love to Dwayne Wise. Great catch. Great call by Ozzie to take out Carlos Quintein and put in Wise for defensive purposes. Of course, the two will always be linked - the press on perfect games is the 'spectacular defensive effort that typically accompanies them - Wise's catch becomes one of only eighteen such efforts. And the the hush over the crowd the instant the ball left the bat on Wises Catch - both on the endless replayed audio versions (radio and TV) was striking. Boy - endless replayed. All day and nite. Such a festival all day.
Much love to Josh Fields. Hopefully its not, but it mite be his most famous grannie as a Sox player - we're hopinf for many more in the 'black. As the game links Burlhe and Wise, Fields joins in - his was the big hit in this one of eighteen unique games in major league history. Some reporters were asking him about his grannie being overshadowed in a perfect game - I'm knowing that Burlhes game will only ever magnify his hit in Sox and Baseball history. And he was the first baseman, the absolute link to perfection in this game - had he dropped the ball, it woulda been disaster. But he got it done.
Much love to Alexie Ramirez - his was the flawlessly fielded and thrown last out.
Much love to Miguel Castro. He was the catcher, and the last in the line of "perfect game" links-forever for this game.
Fun, festive. Miss the game - here's all the outs.
Monday, July 13, 2009
But the soccer book. Remember,it's a total survey. 900 p. is long, but when yr talking about the entire history of soccer - well, things are introduced, and y'd like the author the delved deeer - but always there is the need to get along to the next spot in soccer history. More to-do reading, I guess. Already have ordered books from the library to carry on. But the brush of interest its sparked in me ...
Another funny aspect is that the author writes that rarely do y get a global history of modern times w/ the USA playing only a small bit part. 3p on the early 1900's, 3 more again for NASL in the Seventies, and then five pages on 1994, MLS, and 1999. Im experts on that shit (well,not the early 1900's). Fun to rad and educate meself on all this stuff. Do read. Like y will, huh?
Really interesting and what really caught me from the beginnnig was ... well, the beginnings of soccer. Started bigtime in England and Scotland and spread from there. And how it spread - and the 'choices' different nations made to either adapt soccer or somehting else as the national sport was the killer hook. First off was the decision 'footablls' rule. In the beginnings th rules were just being made up - there was soccer, Gaelic Football, Aussie rules football, rugby, American football - each of these sports were linked way back, but in each country the top game evolved differently. And the interesting part id is that in many ways each country that has an alternative "main" football type sport tends to be an ex colony of britain - and in many ways, the choice of that sport was made in opposition to Britain. So, we have football. - well, baseball, is also a huge sport as well America football was the choice made here btween soccer w/ hands or soccer w/out hands. In Ireland, it was Gaelic football - or Gaelic, as they call it - in South Africa Wales, and New Zealand it was rugby,and thn you got Aussie rules. All kool sports. Reading thise early history seemed a lot like when I was doing my heavy reading two years ago on the early days of the Christian church. Beginnings. Beginnings of the early League, Cup, and eventually internqtional soccer very interesting.
Again, a dynamic of opposites were @ work in determining if soccer became a huge success in a new country - and every country where soccer hit had a different storyline. For example, in some countries the game became to be a symbol of working class pride and was in opposition to another sort the local elites liked better. Some places there was huge ethnic or religoius pride - one thinks of Celtic in Scotland. Other places it was nationalistic - think Barcelona. And etc etc etc... Every picture has a story.
Im nearing the end. To me, to finally come up to modern days - and actually start reading the parts where I lived through - is intoxicating. Rememebr, this is a survey - so I fully know there will not be pages after pages of Chesterfield -v- M'boro in the F.A. Cup Semifinals of 1997
the 91st through 93d minute of the 1999 champions league Final.
Shit - the Chicago Fire won't even get a mention - but that's the beast of the book. Secondary reading, as always, needed.
But since I became a 'made soccer man' in the late Seventies, and an 'internationalist' since my first World Cup perused (1982) and 100% totally committetted/everysecond of every game/ dying during World Cup 1986 - Ive follwed a great deal of the modern game. Obviously, in context, the growth of soccer here as been phenominal since when I first started watching. The book is dicided up into periods, although there is alot of overlapping. So, it examines different parts of the world and the growth or progression of the game in each area. Strted in Britqain, but then its spread to Euroe - then, of course, South America - and the rst of the world. But it hopscotches back and forth trying to give a balanced view of its growth. So, around 1974 soccer started to become really capitalised in a global sense of the word. It really showed in the World Cups - and even I can sense that. Here, I cant remember if the 1978 World Cup was onair here - dunno. But I can totally remember the 1982 World Cup going on - the team to follow especially was Northern Ireland that World Cup. but the big marketing change had come between 1974 and 1982 - 1978 being an abberation because it was being held in Argentina, thn totally rightwiing nazi types running everything there. But in 1982 - the golbal phenomanom had reached a new level - and so i could pop in on Moho that smmer, and sureenught, there was Spain taking on whoever, followed by whoever playing whoever..
The next breaking part is 1990 - Im into thats action finally, and familier names and teams and incidents and contexts from around the world has finally arived. Heaven. Or, as close to heaven as I can get outside of that 91st through 93d minute in 1999. To this day the memory of that afternoon ...
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Drove down to Joliet (not actually a bad ride - 57 to 80 and yr there in less than 30m) and it was an easy find. I'd looked up the maps beforehand, so I knew it would be easy to find - smack jabble i the middle of the downtwn area. I love little downtown areas - or really built up neighbourhoods inth city that have that 'Main Street" feel - and I like Joliets. Gf and I went to et there once on the return from Bald Eagle watching once - funny i missed the girl a lot as I was driving on 80 and walking about joiliet. I also like that Joliet is a river city - so, taking I-80 there involved the inevitable dip into the river valley when nearing the city. Not sure if this is endemic to all river areas - guess not - but it is typical of many. Always love that huge dip down.
Too cheap to pay for parking, - $1 - i parked on the street a block further on. Got in rite on time and sat gen admission for all of $6 - not too cheap for that. Immediately I found a seat behind the Mustang dugout amongst the ita crowd. I remember a Sox-Cubs gaeme maybe 10ya when there was a serios raindelay and most of the fans had split. When the rains stopped the crowds migrated in back of their teams dugut. Similar.
Rita went up 2-0 in the first - but the bad guys responded with one in the bottom half. We went up 3-1 in the second- but then three runs in the next 2 New Trier innings finished the scoring for the game. Rita came close again and again - but was never able to break through. 3-4.
I discovered HS baseball is much like all HS sports - don't expect these kids to make the play. In S basketball, that fouling @ the end of the game really reqally works beause there are no Reggie Miller 90%+ freethrow shhoters here. So, in HS baseball - really run that ball out - you never know when the other team will fuck up.
And guess what - Rita really fucked up - FIVE ERRORS!!!!! FIVE FUCKING ERRORS. Ashamedly, New Trier had none, although their play was sloppy at imes. But it got me thinking - was it a case of the uberrich north shore suburban school being disciplined where the city kids were not? Not really - St. Rita is not actually an 'inner city school', and parents have to pay to get there kids into Rita - abd these parents generally have been in th country for sometime now, are college educated, all that - plus its a Catholic school. So, not that - I've seen their basketball team be ripped apart by City teams again and again.
Methinks it was just that New Trier was the better team this nite. Maybe even the next nite.
But the deal is is that the team lost. I headed out for a drink or four.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
What I have noticed is that the top three hats that men wear are: NY Yankees, LA Dodgers, and yes the Chicago White Sux, I mean Sox. The reason? Italians are known for their love of the color black in their fashion. Although LA are known for their color blue, men sport an all black cap type of LA's hat. This black hat is known with NY and WS. NY and LA are obvious abbreviations for the 2 most populated cities in the USA, so that's probably why I see the MOST LA and NY hats. My reasoning for seeing a few, not many, WS hats is because it is an all black hat (yes, I may dare to say that I actually almost barfed when I saw a Sox hat all the way in Tunisia, Africa).
In conclusion, I believe men fashion these black caps for fashion rather than loyalty for a certain baseball team. I also think that this is similar to some men in the United States who wear soccer jerseys because it looks fashionable rather than knowing anything about/ watching the sport regularly.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
As many of you now, Bonnix has not been a Chicagoan all his life. He spent 10 years away in the Bay Area. Upon return to our fair city, he spent many a days programming away trying to stay out of the cold that is Chicago. The only thing that got him through this return to Chicago was listening to Mac, Jurko and Harry on WMVP ESPN Radio 1000.
Sadly, last month this Heavy Fuel Crew was put to rest as Dan McNeil was fired. He had been skating on thin ice anway lately, with many suspensions and on air melt downs. Furthermore, the trio that got me through many cold Chicago afternoons had lost their luster and was no longer very good. Too much about Mac grilling or his autistic son. Who really cares about his son anyway.
So it is for the best that Dan McNeil, who mercilessly made fun on Mike North upon his departure from the Score, was unceremoniously let go. Still, as you often, incorrectly no doubt, feel that you intimately know radio personalities, it is with a heavy heart that I learned of Dan McNeil's demise.
Read more here