Category Archives: Sports

Another Year 2022

I went to my first professional rugby game tonight, the LA Giltinis hosting the San Diego Legion.

A fun game, with the Giltinis winning 26-13. I only understand the big picture on the rules and I’m totally ignorant of about 99% of the nuances and fine details, but it was still a fun experience!

The Los Angeles Coliseum has hosted two Olympics, the LA Rams, at one point way back the LA Dodgers, and for decades the USC Trojans. It seats 93,607 currently. The Giltinis drew maybe 2,000 today, so it’s an interesting experience in a stadium that big.

It was a fun day.

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Filed under Los Angeles, Panorama, Paul, Photography, Sports

Play Ball

So, they finally made a deal and Major League Baseball will at last get going, a month or so late. Spring training will start on Sunday and will be about three weeks instead of six or seven weeks, and opening day will be pushed back a week.

But the games originally scheduled for that first week will be re-scheduled, not cancelled, so we’ll have a full season.

A couple of COVID-related rule changes will be abandoned, which I think is great. I was not a fan of having games in double headers only being seven innings instead of nine, and the whole “start with a guy on second base in extra innings” was particularly stupid.

The designated hitter is now universal, which is meh to me. I liked the strategy in having to work around someone who realistically can’t hit (especially since most of them couldn’t bunt or do much of anything else these days) but I also like the offense, so that’s a wash.

Expanded playoffs? Okay. At least it’s not the NHL or NBA where half the league gets into the playoffs every year.

I know that I should be pissed off and I probably swore that I would never go to a game again, but we all knew that was just a temper tantrum with nothing behind it. If they had blown off half the season, or more? Sure, maybe it would have happened. Now? Sorry, I just don’t have the energy or the willpower to turn my back on one of my lifelong major sources of entertainment. There’s too much that sucks these days to give up something I have so much of a connection to, even if they did piss me off.

I’m weak.

Sue me.

But as with this strike or lockout or “work stoppage” or whatever you choose to call it (don’t explain it to me, I don’t care) I have to wonder. It doesn’t matter if it’s baseball or teachers or grocery store clerks or steel workers or whatever. In the end, when you come to a deal and move on, is there one, single compromise or agreement that couldn’t have been made BEFORE the “work stoppage?” One? Anything?

Or did you just waste all of that wear and tear on our nerves, all of that stress, all of that anger, just so that everyone could have a temper tantrum and a glorified dick measuring contest in public?

 

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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, LA Angels, Sports

No Adrenaline Left Today

If you know me at all or even if you’ve just read this site regularly at any time, you know I’m a huge Kansas City Chiefs football fan.

If you follow US football at all, you know that the division final playoff games were this weekend, including tonight’s Chiefs game vs the Buffalo Bills.

You might have heard that it was possibly the greatest playoff game in league history. It’s at the very least on a very short list.

We watched, of course, but I also recorded the radio broadcast with Mitch Holthus, the “Voice of the Chiefs,” so I could listen to it later. We love Mitch’s broadcasts!

This is the recording of Mitch’s signature call of “Touchdown! Kan-Sas City!” from the winning touchdown in overtime.

I, meanwhile, while extremely happy that we won and will move on to the Conference Championship game next week at Arrowhead Stadium, am nonetheless a wreck, drained, exhausted.

With all due respect to next week’s opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals, can I please request that we be ahead of them by about 35 points by the end of the 3rd quarter so that my heart will hold out for the actual Super Bowl?

Please?

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Filed under KC Chiefs, Sports

Random B&W Memories – Pushing Fifty Years

Not sure what random chance dredges this up, but from about 48 years ago here’s one of my high school football games.

The odd thing is that I’m not even sure who was taking the pictures. There are photos of me on the sidelines, so it wasn’t me. It’s my film, and the way it’s cut tells me that I developed and printed it. And I know that I scanned the negatives a few years back. So it’s not someone else’s pictures. But I wasn’t the photographer.

My family never came to any games, so it wouldn’t have been them. A friend? Maybe.

Anyway, you can rest assured that we lost. We were 0-8 that season. THAT much I remember!

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Filed under Photography, Sports

Back At The Field

Between life and the pandemic and quarantine and more life, it’s been like three years (maybe four? No, gotta just be three. I hope!) since we were last at an Angels game in Anaheim.

Thanks to my sister, who had tickets that she couldn’t use, we’re out and about, watching batting practice and breathing in ballpark air.

We got here early enough so that I had time to find one of the most wonderful gifts I’ve ever received – a memorial brick out in the courtyard at the main entrance, which our kids got for me!

See it?!

It’s hot dog time! Plenty of time tomorrow for more stress and deadlines. Tonight, we play ball!

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Filed under LA Angels, Sports

Leaving Las Vegas

Our four days in Las Vegas were up. Leaving town we passed a site where I expect to return some day as a sworn enemy.

“There is evil there which does not sleep…”

But why “as a sworn enemy” you might ask if you’re not familiar with American professional sports? “Evil”?

Oh. Yeah. That.

My current masks have attracted a bit of  notice in Las Vegas. This is a good thing!

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Filed under KC Chiefs, Photography, Sports

2021 – Three Months In

So on the one hand in the blink of an eye, on the other hand with the passing of a couple of eons, we’re now three months into 2021, almost 25% of the year gone by.

Okay, it’s definitely better than 2020. We did have that whole little attempted coup on January 6th and we had to put up with “the previous guy” for about three weeks in January. But those are small potatoes compared to the unrelenting disaster that 2020 was.

Since then, the vaccines have started to flow, there were actual plans put forward to get them into arms, the infection rates and ICU usage rates are way down, and if we can avoid being morons (the percentages of folks not wearing masks at all or just not attempting to wear them properly at today’s Opening Day baseball games don’t bode well) then in another three months we might actually be able to see the end of the tunnel instead of just a dim glow off in the distance.

And MLB’s Opening Day is here! There’s still an undiluted joy to seeing and listening to the game, to hearing the crack of the bat, to feeling that pop of the glove into the catcher’s mitt, to smelling the cut grass of the field. Okay, so we weren’t there, and it will probably be late May at the very earliest and probably early June before we can get to a game. It was just the smell of cut grass from our back yard, but any port in a storm!

While most stadiums were at 20% or maybe 50%, at least one stadium will be at 100% capacity when they open at home next week. That’s just stupid, which raises the immediate question – is we talking about a stadium in Texas or Florida? (It’s Texas.)

Welcome to spring. Wear your mask, even if you’ve been vaccinated, especially if you haven’t. Stay safe, stay socially distanced. We want you alive and well to actually hang out at a game in July. Or August. Or better yet, June! But September at the latest…

We don’t have a clue what we’re doing, do we? One foot in front of another.

Masked.

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Sports

Unanchored

Sunday nights seem to be the worst.

The whole world’s going crazy and it’s getting harder to hold on to a sense of balance. So much going on at home, trying to just hold on to a sense of normalcy in our own bubble. So much to do at work, trying to carry my weight and help where I can for those who need it. So much to do at the hangar as we’re shut down but still trying to survive. So much to going on across our country as actual forces of evil are trying to divide and destroy us from within.

Am I doing enough? Or am I doing too much and will I recognize the straw that breaks the camel’s back? Or does that whole “you’re stronger than you know” thing still apply and I need to buck up, get my ass in gear, and do even more?

Overlying all is a growing anxiety and fear over the COVID-19 virus. We’re still healthy, but know folks who aren’t, and have seen just how bad it can be.

Where’s the center in all of this? Where’s the balance point? Or is there one, or is it constantly shifting and moving?

There’s a little bit of relief on the weekend as we can force ourselves to make time to relax, to watch a ballgame or movie. But even there I feel a constant dread, a guilt, a pressure that time is being wasted when I watch that game or show. Which I know is wrong, but which in turn just feeds into the cycle of angst.

Baseball is back, which is good – but I can’t help but feel that the other shoe is going to drop any day, with a whole COVID outbreak that could devastate a team, teams, or the league. Hockey and basketball return this weekend, and pro football is less than six weeks away. Who even knows if we’ll get college sports in the fall.

So much uncertainty, so much stress, so much impending doom. But tomorrow we’ll tackle it all again and do our best. Mainly because we really don’t have any choice. As the saying goes, “The only way out is through.”

But Sunday nights seem to be the worst.

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Deep Thoughts, Sports

Someplace Special – April 08th

Fenway Park, Boston

August, 2004. I took most of the family (The Son was overseas in the Air Force) to Boston. Being us, we had to go to a baseball game there in what was to them a new baseball stadium. In what was to me a cathedral, and old friend, a long-lost happy place.

It had been sort of a shitty vacation up to that point. We had been up in Vermont visiting my mother, which was nice, and had gone to visit Montreal, which was nice right up until our car got broken into, our luggage and my briefcase stolen, and we got the pleasure of spending most of the next three days trying to cancel credit cards and bank accounts before the identity theft got too bad.

We were going to the 2004 Worldcon in Boston and knew the Angels were in town against the Red Sox, so we spent more on 3rd row seats behind the Angels dugout than we spent on airfare. (Thank goodness the tickets had been left in Vermont and weren’t in my stolen briefcase!)

The Sox were up early and after seven innings the Angels were losing, 10-1. The Daughters had brought their rally monkeys (which were ALL the rage that year) and were waving them wildly despite the score. And we scored two in the eighth inning. And then scored four in the ninth inning…

I remember having at least one guy still on base and maybe two, so the tying run was at the plate before they finally got us out and won the game. A lot of the Boston faithful had left early, but those that remained were giving us some serious stink eye.

It was glorious.


I know the world has an abnormally high ratio of shit in it right now – but it also still has a lot of good things, and good things that will come back to us. It’s important to remember that. So let’s remember that and hold onto it when we need it.

Our family and many others are missing the simple pleasures now, like going to a ballgame, or even just watching one on television. It sucks. It’s a constant, nagging reminder that things are not right.

But so far we’re all healthy – I hope you are too. This will pass, and the baseball games will return.

We need to be doing this now in order to help as many of us as possible be around when they do.

Wash your hands. Wear a face mask. Maintain physical distancing.

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Filed under LA Angels, Photography, Sports, Travel

“It’s Not The Years, Honey…”

“…it’s the mileage.” – Indiana Jones

Yes, that is my toe starting to stick out of the left shoe. Running shoes do that after enough miles.

We were reminded at the beginning of the week that:

  1. The COVID-19 virus situation was getting worse (based on the situation in Italy and how little was being done in the US)
  2. The stock market was expected to dive even further (based on the futures market over last weekend)
  3. He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named was still in the White House (which explains a LOT about items #1 and #2)
  4. We had the freakin’ time change to Daylight Savings Time to mess with our heads.
  5. There’s a Friday the 13th today! (I’m 100% ***NOT*** superstitious, truly, but hey, sometimes an omen is an omen, know what I mean?)

CONGRATULATIONS! We all survived it!

With all of that “doom and gloom” on the horizon, no one was even warning us that the NBA, NHL, MLB, NCAA, NASCAR, MLS, and every other capitalized sports acronym on the planet was going to pull the plug.

Hell, Disneyland is shutting down! I believe that’s actually mentioned in the Book of Revelations as one of the Seven Signs of the Apocalypse.

There might not be toilet paper in the stores (there probably is if you just bother to go to the smaller stores instead of Costco) but there are a gazillion alternatives – if you don’t believe me, read the words of someone much more erudite than me.

Let’s be smart as a society, even if we have a world class moron as a “leader.” Ignore what he says and listen to the actual doctors say. A key is going to be “smoothing the curve,” spreading out the growth of COVID-19 so that people who get really badly infected and need ICU beds will have them over four to six to twelve months instead of all needing them at once in four to six weeks. It’s not rocket science.

Wash your hands.

Stay home if you’re sick.

Help others in need.

Then wash your hands again. Seriously.

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Filed under Health, Photography, Sports