Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Hold that Tiger" as the song rolls on from the band

It wasn't as easy as it should have been for LSU, considering Auburn only scored three points against a really bad Mississippi State team, but a game it was and a victory is all that matters. I tried not to get to upset that for a minute there it looked like without last years squad LSU didn't look like the defending champs of the SEC. Nonetheless the defense and the out right gutsy play calling by Les Miles and crew was all that was as last year. It is going to be as tough as always in the SEC but man it sure makes for better Saturday night games than say USC vs. OSU any day, would you not agree? LSU wins 26-21 And they did so with the backup QB, he made plays when needed and man that defensive line pressure was a thing of beauty, it obviously won the game sure enough.

Wait...FSU just threw another interception..wait..

I like many of you bought into the hype, I allowed myself to think that even though Florida State Seminoles had played subpar opponets thus far it was only the begining. Well folks they had their first true test, and they failed miserably. They had seven turn overs and five of those being interceptions, let us not forget the eleven plus penalties. This "dag gum" team has lost to Wake Forest yet again and let me tell you if it were not for the tenacity of our defense and the lack of Wakes ability to Dominate in the red zone, the score would have not been 12-3 but 50-3 Wakes average starting field position was our thirty yard line and yet they only managed twelve points. I hope the offense and all other critics recognize how good our defense is again this year. You cannot expect a defense to be on the field for all of the plays and with no help from the other side of the ball, I however do not believe all is lost. I mean it is only the third game and our first test, you can't fail someone this early into the season. Let us not forget last years debacle however and hope that maybe the next time FSU takes the field against Colorado they can get some type of quality offensive help, other wise it will be another hard year to swallow and a very tired and frustrated defensive squad. O well lets get to Jacksonville next week and turn it that saying is just getting really old around here isn't it!??

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The other "Dark Night"

I was sitting in the dark alone, waiting for the end to come to this tired soul. I'd been abandoned by those who I thought were dedicated as I. Moment after moment I fought to go on, though fatigue was settling in, and was sure each time I could go easy into the night. And finally as I could take no more, my edurance had not forsaken the fifthteenth inning the All-star game came to an end. I had done what only a few were inspired to do, stay up all night watching a game that knew no end and didn't care that we had to get up early the next day for work. I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!!

It wasn't the most offensively explosive outing we had ever seen, but it had all the dynamics we baseball purists have come to love, timely hits and great defense when required. There have been a lot of mixed thoughts about how long and how ridiculous such a game that essentially means nothing to the season as a whole. But did you not enjoy the fact that their where bases loaded or either a runner in scoring position on several occasions, with a play at the plate with each ground ball or pop fly. It was exciting to watch the game transcend from a pitchers duel to a defensive battle, it was baseball as we all grew up playing. Sure it almost became a disaster when each side came down to their last pitcher and might of had to put in a fan from the stands to finish the game, but would you really want a repeat of the joke that was...a tie ballgame called by the Commissioner himself?

I would like to see the pitching roster expanded so that we don't see this again, if a guy has pitched that close to the All-star game prior and isn't supposed to pitch then give each side the ability to retain more help in the bullpen. There are great many players who don't get selected to the game that would or should be voted in by the coaches as alternates, its what we did in Little League and beyond. I would not want to see a set inning or time frame to end such drama as we , or I had the priveledge to witness.

It was a fitting end to the Yankee Stadium era, a long night and all the right reasons to be happy you were there when the last run crossed the plate. There are a few things in life that we wish could last forever, seeing the last All-star game in the hallowed Yankee park is one of them. If you didn't get that then in some way you don't get the tradition of the game of baseball. It's being called into the house by your Mom late at night and not wanting to as a child, it's about the first time you went to a real game and wished you could stay forever, and finally it's about seeing your team pull through even though every bottom inning you were told " it aint' over till the fat lady sings,"... folkes she not only sang, she danced and cried and made us smile!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Home Run Derby...whose at the plate?

As we say goodbye to Yankee Stadium with this years Home Run Derby, I cannot help but feel a little slighted by the number of non participants. Where are the big names we have come to expect to see blast their way into he night sky, I'm not trashing the current crop this year by any means. I like most of you don't feel as connected to them, or should I say am not salivating over them as we come to in the past. When you have such a momentous occasion like this, the changing of the guard if you will, closing a historical venue like Yankee Stadium you deserve more. How can Alex Rodriguez not participate as one of the few Yankee possible Home Run threats. It's appalling to think an excuse like not wanting to change his batting form could fly in virtually his greatest chance to pay homage to his career with the Yankees. He isn't the only Big time player not putting his mark on history, but at least some like David Ortiz have a legitimate excuse, having just come off the disabled list.

I can recall when just like the NBA slam dunk contest, that the field was loaded with Allstars so many you were bound to watch with great excitement. This Derby isn't for us the adults, it's for every "Tommy and Jimmy" who grow up admiring these players and get a thrill out of seeing them all together on one field showcasing their talents by blasting dreams into the night sky. Baseball should have made an exception this time to allow these children the honor of seeing "their guy" show up even if he wasn't going to actually player in the Allstar Game. No matter the names and faces, it's still about Baseball. It's about the atmosphere surrounding the game itself, and the history of the miracles that once was. As we grow tired of the steroids and the whose not getting into the Hall of Fame, and whose out with the latest "babe," we can hold onto the traditon that keeps us coming back to the game as we once did as a child. We can forget if only for a few hours that these guys aren't here just for the money, and that they are here too for the love of the game. Yes it has to a love affair for someone to sit for perhaps three to four hours watching what most folks would consider a game that moves too slow. I say it is the slowness of the game that makes it unique, it takes you back to a time where not everything had to be in the here and now. It reminds us of cool breezes in the shade and the warm glow of the sun as we smell the green grass that marks the wide open space that allowed us to run free. Never was it more difficult to be called in for dinner or for the darkness of night when you and the boys had a heated game going and the only thing that mattered was who was going to go home first. Nothing else mattered except that we could do it all over again the next day. Oh what a time it was with not a care in the world but the next great game to be had as you emulated your hero as you hit the ball with the flare of giants.

No matter the unfamiliar name at the plate this Home Run Derby, take in the ambiance of the moment. Try to recall the voices of Vin Skully and Joe Gargiola as they made you feel apart of something clearly grand. When these guys tee it off and make you smile and measure the distance the ball went, relax and enjoy the game as it is and as it once was in Yankee Stadium for the last time...The House that Babe Ruth built!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tennis embodies the spirit of a champion.

It was a banner weekend for tennis, both for the women and the men. Taking center stage yet again the sisters Venus and Serena had another show down that did not disappoint, you could feel the power and speed through the televison being displayed. Venus taking the singles title and then both combining for the doubles title. I hope that when little girls see the dominace that women have in this sport that they feel as compelled as these two to get involved and know that there is a future that can be obtained through hard work and the desire to compete on the highest of levels.

As for the men, the story was pure electric as one of tennis' greats fell for the first time in five consecutive Wimbledons. Rafael Nadal was able to endure the challenge of beating Roger Federer in what can only be described as a fight to the finish. Both would only go down swinging and in the end history was shattered and made at the same time. On one hand history was prevented by Federer not gaining his sixth straight title. But not to be outdone was Nadal beating perhaps one of the greatest wimbledon tennis players in recent history and in return making a little history himself by becoming only the second Spainard to win the Wimbeldon crown.

All in all it gives way to focus on the upcoming events with high expectations not only for these four but for the up and comers waiting to make their mark in the sport. Truely tennis is one of the great arenas to witness strength, power and finese. Most of all the mind skill needed to endure the challenge faced when two titans meet face to face and the body gives more than it ever could have expected to...mind and body and spirit..the mark of a champion.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Win or's Brett Farve

Brett Farve... coming or going again? I don't care which team you route for you as a fan want this guy to come back. It's like when Jordan retired and came back only to win more championships, of course you want this guy on your team. I know its a PR nightmare, you do not want to be the franchise to kick its hero to the curb, it however has been done before. Just think back to the 49ers of the Joe Montana, Steve Young era. Montana went to play for the Chiefs, with moderate success. I don't think that the Packers have that QB waiting in the mist, like a Steve Young. They claim to need to move on, but when do you move on is the problem. I love the Denver Broncos, and the Miami Dolphins...can you name their championship years after their number ones retired?? When Elway left the game the Broncos were coming off back to back Superbowl victories, without Elway the running game was their only focus, the great Terrell Davis lost his ability to play tackling a player out of bounds after an interception. The Miami Dolphins stayed pat with Jay Feidler, hoping he could be a quarter of the great Dan Marino, how'd that work out? The Dolphins haven't been close to the hunt on offense since Dan took center stage at his Hall of Fame induction , and they showed past video performances.

The Packers have to be careful, on one hand Brett could probably take them back to the playoffs and maybe closer still to the Superbowl. However if they wait one more year and only get to the door and not even knock then will it be a failure. I believe that when a player has given what these three icons have to an organization that they should be able to call it quits when they feel its time and not when the team need to move on, after all they were one ice bowl game away from the Superbowl. You have an unproven QB waiting to take the snap, but is every other facet of your team as ready. If Rodgers struggles and the newly found running game falters, what have you left then, nothing but what if and could have. Forget about the direction of the now and focus on the duty to win now, is he your best option or isn't he. Have The Packers soured on the antics every year of wether to retire or not, that too could be there hesitation. I hope that they will be able to look past that aspect and look to what it will take to lead them where every other team would love to be, one game away from a chance at greatness and not just on archives.
Photo Courtsey of WireImage.