Domers 27 - Navy 21. Bastards.
Domers 27 - Navy 21. Bastards.
Holy shit… Navy had no business winning that football game, in fact if it hadn't been for our own version of "The Miracle at the Meadowlands" we wouldn't have. Late in the game Temple was leading by 7 and they could have taken a knee and run the clock down to about 7 seconds remaining before they had to punt, instead they choose to run the ball and attempt to pick up a first down. Shortly after the handoff Temple's freshman running back was stripped by Navy's Ross Pospisil and Clint Sovie took it from there running it 42 yards for the game tying touchdown. In the OT, Temple went for a touchdown on 4th and a goal from the 1 but were held and Navy was able to score on their possession.
All in all, it was a heck of a day for Navy – It was Senior Day which is always a nice occasion, the Zoomies beat Army so the Commander In Chief Trophy stays with Navy another year regardless of what happens versus Army, and today's win was the team's 6th of the year making them bowl eligible for a 6th straight year. A good day.
...Navy makes the program's 1,200th game a success (BTW - 1,200 games is #2 all time behind Rutgers who have played 21 more games then we have), and it makes the Mids 5-3 on the season.
I'll be back tomorrow with a Pumpkin Push race report...
…To vote for Obama on Nov. 4th – He's driving one of the worst professional football team owners, Wayne "all I care about is my wallet" Huizenga, to sell his stake in the Miami Dolphins sooner rather than later;
(The sale) date will be December 30. The reason? Huizenga wants to set the date of the sale before the end of 2008 because he believes Barack Obama will be elected president and will implement tax policies that are less favorable to billionaires who sell their businesses.
As Seahawks season ticketholders since 2002, Mr. Jones, Timmah, PDub, and the Boiler have seen our fair share of halftime "shows". There have been some good ones (the Grambling State Tiger Band), some bad ones (a group of unknown rap artists), and some really questionable ones (like having the University of Oregon marching band play the day after the F*#king Ducks crushed the UW). Sunday however brought one that I really don't know how to catagorize so I'll let the video speak for itself. Ladies & Gentlemen I present the University of Idaho Vandal Marching Band, "The 2008 Sound of Idaho";
A couple of notes about the video and show; in case you can't quite make it out, the band is banging on plastic recycling bins (I though a "Stomp" show had broken out). Also, though you might not be able to see it, the tuba section are wearing dresses (picture evidence is here). I did a bit of sleuthing and found out that the dresses in question are old Vandal cheerleading skirts from the 60's, seems that the tuba section wore them as a joke at one game during the 80's and a tradition was born (Thx to "mafarnz" for the info).
BTW - If you'd like to see the full performance (including the passing of said recycling bins) you can find it here.
I wanted to give a very belated, but much deserved shout out to our friend Fina who ran in her 1st 5k race (the Seattle Iron Girl) a couple of weekends ago and did AWESOME! Congrats Fina, you did great!
Coming soon - Race report from the Run Wild 5k, a great weekend of football and WNBA action, and the Idaho Vandals "Sound of Idaho" Marching band…
It's Friday morning and after a long evening of work I'm a little less than motivated right now. I'm going to go meet up with some former co-workers from a little company called Precedent Systems Inc. for lunch this afternoon and I'm just looking to make it through the morning. So it's Friday, I figured I'd check in and see if the Sports Guy, Bill Simmons had his weekly picks up yet. Nope, but then I notice something about the Olympic Men's Basketball Gold Medal game and give it a click… (it's well worth a read if you've got a couple of minutes).
I watched that game. I wasn't going to, well at least not all of it. I was meeting Mr. Jones & Timmah for breakfast and then we had tickets to the hospitality suite at the 18th green of the Boeing Classic Sunday morning, which meant an early (5:30am) wake-up call for me (I love my disease…), so I figured I'd watch Team USA get a good 20 point run and then call it a night, bed by midnight. Or not…
What followed was one of the greatest basketball games I've ever seen, one of my top 10 Olympic moments (oh, there's a blog entry), and probably in my top 25 all time all sports events. Yes it was that good, and nobody saw it. Some folks saw the score and figured it was a blow out, or saw some highlights and thought they got the game. They didn't. The game was on from the opening tip – Spain had nothing to so they played that way, lose and fun, tossing up shots that had no business going in but did. They played a defense that at times really confused Team USA, and ripped through the USA defense like a hot knife through butter. If you play fantasy basketball, find out where Ricky Rubio is going and draft him, at 18 he was phenomenal, just an amazing talent.
It's easy to say that Team USA was just a bunch of pros, and who cares, but this team was different. They did care, they enjoyed the Olympics and embraced the spirit. They went to other venues and events, they stayed in the Olympic Village, and when Spain pulled within 2 points with about 8 minutes to play, you could see in the timeout huddle that it mattered to them. And when the final buzzer sounded there was no posing and no chest beating, there were just 12 guys jumping around like they'd won an Olympic Gold Medal.
So I got about 3 hours sleep, kept myself from yelling so loud that I'd wake the neighbors, and saw one of the best most exciting basketball games ever.
Q: Brady's out. That really sucks. But it could be worse - you could be a Seattle sports fan. Let me break it down for you: The Mariners are struggling through one of their worst seasons ever. Our Sonics, the only team to win a professional title in Seattle, moved the team to Okla-friggin-homa and stuck us with the Storm. And the Seahawks -- in Holmgren's final year, mind you - are now without their TOP FOUR RECEIVERS! Imagine losing Moss, Welker, Gaffney AND Kelley Washington. Plus our quarterback is having back problems (including rumors of bulging discs), and our best running back left last week's game with an injury. Of course, a 6-10 record might win our division, which means we get to lose in Round One. Oh, and the travesty that was the excessive celebration call on Washington's Jake Locker. But on the bright side … well, I give up. Be thankful you don't live in Seattle. - Dan, Seattle
Sports Guy: I have to say, that made me feel a little better. Maybe the good people of Seattle should form an organization called "It Could Be Worse," in which they send e-mails to suddenly traumatized sports fans from other cities to talk them off the ledge.
First off I have to take issue with the crack about the Storm, they're a great team and, unlike the NBA, they play real basketball (you know, shooting, passing, dribbling, half-court offense, that sort of thing). That said, I can actually add a couple to Dan's lament – The Storm, on the verge of making a playoff run, with 4 legitimate Hall of Fame players, find out their starting center and 2 time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson will have surgery rather than return to the team after the Olympics. And WSU plays its first game in Pullman under new head coach Paul Wulff and suffers its worst loss in school history (sorry Mr. Jones, Fina, etc…).
Just not a good month to be a Seattle sports fan…
As has been discussed previously in this space, I've been feeling a little overwhelmed and under trained the last couple of weeks, so I decided to take advantage of the weather forecast for today and head to Tacoma for the 9th Annual Bank to Bay 5k. I wasn't really looking to travel 50 miles to do a 5k, but I needed to race and that was really my only option, so away I went.
The problem with making a last minute decision to do a race (I decided yesterday morning) is that you don't always have things planned out well in advance. I was supposed to be up at 5am but somehow my alarm didn't go off (I wondered if I had maybe missed it, but the L&T doesn't miss those things and she says it didn't go off), and that seemed to put a rush on the morning. I got a little bit of coffee and some food, collected my gear and took off. I realized a block away that I'd forgotten a hat so I turned around and got that, but it wasn't till SeaTac that I realized I'd also forgotten my goo. But to paraphrase a favorite saying of mine, if you've got your shoes, you can run a race. I had my shoes (so I had that going for me, which was nice), so next stop Tacoma.
This was my first Bank to Bay run and if wasn't such a long drive it definitely would not be my last. Even though I got a late start, there seemed to be plenty of time. The registration process was great and really well staffed. The race t-shirt was a New Balance technical-T (running shirt), and if you're into the "swag" thing there were plenty of tents giving away plenty of stuff. Most importantly, the lines at the Honey Buckets weren't too long. Overall the race had a nice community feel to it, and with about 2,000 runners there was enough space to move about, but enough people to get the pre-race energy buzz going.
The run itself started with a slight incline and then took a pretty good decent (oh oh - what goes down must come back up…) which explains my 8.27 first mile. I saw that on my watch and thought that I better reel it in a little bit (actually what I thought was "oh shit"). I backed off the pace a bit over the next mile which had a couple of rollers in it, but nothing huge. The 3rd mile was the toughie with the aforementioned climb back up and took me 10.37. Overall I finished with 28.48, which given how little of any sort of training I've done over the last couple of weeks I'm pretty pleased with. I'd like to get below 28 before the season is over, but we'll see. As for the Shave Your 5k, I'm down 2.27.
As for the 39 County Challenge – Last year I read an article about some folks who were running at least one event in each of the 50 states. I don't like running that much, but thought it might be fun to run an event in every Washington county (there are 39 of them). Previously I only had two (King & Snohomish) but traveling to Tacoma helped me cross another off the list. Only 36 more left…
Yes I enjoy holidays, and of course Christmas and my birthday are great, but the annual draft for the fantasy football league that I'm in is one of the highlights of my year. I get to set around with 7 friends and for 3 or so hours we talk football, crack wise, and laugh a ton. It's really a great way to spend the evening before the NFL regular season kicks off.
I'm ready for some football…
For those interested, here's the roster for the 2007 MFL League Champion Coupeville K9s (probable starters)
QB – Payton Manning, David Garrard (who has IBD [Crohn's]), and Jon Kitna (a little Central Wildcat pride)
RB – Marion Barber, Brandon Jacobs, Michael Turner, Fred Taylor (and his groin)
WR – Marques Colston, Anquan Boldin, Jerricho Cotchery, Santana Moss, Nate Burlson, Vincent Jackson
TE – Chris Cooley / K – Adam Vinatieri / Def – New England
This morning was the 25th Annual Firecracker 5000 (I'm pretty sure it was my 10th or so, I skip if the weather is really bad) and after "Twilight" the may be the toughest sporting event I do all year. It's not the distance, it's just a 5k, and while the course is challenging (it's around the Seattle Center with a fair amount of elevation gain) that's not the tough part. It's the start time – 11:55pm. It's a challenge to get your mind, body, and nutrition right to run at midnight. Normally race mornings follow a pretty set pattern, but it's hard to follow that when you've got to get a full workday in beforehand. The other part is that you know it's coming, so you get the normal pre-run jitters but rather than have them for a couple of hours you get them all day.
I think I did okay nutritionally, having a really good pasta "dinner" around 3pm, then the L&T and I went to the Storm game (we're half-season, season ticketholders – Storm won 84-71) which was a good way to pass the time. I even did a little addition carbo loading while there with a Hefe Weizen (had to, we're 4-0 when I have a beer during the game, I'm not breaking that streak). After dropping the L&T home and putzing around home for a bit I headed back down to Memorial Stadium about 10:45pm for check in. I figured it would be a good night when even with the crowd (there were probably 1,000 runners) there was no line! Woohoo!
The run got started right on time (a very rare occurrence) and off we went for 2 laps around the Seattle Center. One of the things I really like about this race is the atmosphere, among the runners that normal buzz is amplified by a shared feeling of "what are we doing running at midnight". Along the course drivers honk and shout encouragements, and folks at local watering holes stand on the sidewalks to give high-fives. It's probably the vibe of the event that keeps me coming back.
As for the nuts and bolts, not very good actually – Official results had me at 30:51 (I had 30:49) 59th out of 79 in my division. The was pretty warm and humid to run in and my pace was obviously down from previous events, but I still had a good time which in the end is all that really matters.
...Reason #268. I will readily admit that the vast majority of my reasons for not doing Tri's are swim related (the L&T once made the very astute observation that I’d rather be ON the water [surfing, sailing] then IN the water [swimming, diving]). That said the one little “intro” Tri that I did only had like 50 or so people in the water and I still got beat up.
Don’t believe me? Watch the “training” video below for proof…
h/t to the Athena Diaries
Thanks to the L&T for forwarding me this link to this interview of the CycleU Director Sportif, and one of my favorite coaches, Craig Undem. It's a great piece on accelerating your training by doing more hills (advice I'm trying to put into action). Besides being an excellent coach Craig's great attitude and his firm belief in the power of the mind and the effects of positive thinking is contagious and something I'm striving to learn. As I was typing this up, the CycleU newsletter arrived and I thought I'd share this bit from his "From the Dean" column;
"I remember when I first started racing I would always keep my expectations low, after all there are so many things that can happen in a race: flat tire, someone crashing me out, just not feeling it, better competition showing up from out of town... So many variables, why get your hopes up?
"I'll tell you why. Because you have to! There is no power in lowering the bar just so your precious ego won't get hurt if you fail. There is no energy to kick ass from mediocre goals that don't fully challenge you to be all you can be. There is so much more you can do if you put yourself on the line and go after a big challenge instead of shooting fish a barrel."
Not much I can add to that, except maybe Twilight here I come…
I really enjoy playing golf. I don't get to play as often as I would like because of the weather and other time commitments, but it's always great when I do get the chance. Well yesterday was one of those chances, and so with three of my very dear friends – Mr. Jones, Timmah, and Fina – I officially opened my 2008 Golf season. We teed it up at Lynnwood Golf Course, a nice par 65 that even though it's located in a very suburban setting, is actually quite pretty and serene. It's also nice because it's relatively flat which means it's eminently walkable.
The jokes were the same as they are every golf outing (which at times made me feel a little bad for Fina, our [that is to say Jones, Timmah, and I] antics are funny to us, we laugh every time, but I doubt they were quite as amusing to her), and I thought we all played okay. Fina, who is pretty new to golf, came within a couple of inches of at least to par holes, and my new irons and fairway woods seemed to help my normally erratic play (I was still erratic, just closer to the hole). All in all a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
First and most importantly congratulations to Kansas for winning the NCAA Div I Men's Basketball Championship (and to Timmy for wining our friendly, in no way gambling [because that would be illegal], pool). It was a great finish to a very good tournament, and it answered a question for some – Why, many wonder, when a team is behind, do they start fouling the other team. Well, because sometimes the team that's ahead can't shoot free throws. That was the case for Memphis tonight who had several chances to put the game away but then went 1 -5 from the "charity strip". The Jayhawks were well coached and played smart basketball in the closing minutes of the game and in overtime, and deserved the title.
Gotta give a shout out to Kirkland's Jennie Reed who won the World Championship keirin title in Manchester, GB on Sunday. Though she's now living in Southern California (there aren't any keirin races up here), she got her start in track cycling out at the velodrome in Marymoor Park. Congratulations Jennie!!
The NCAA Div I Men's Basketball tournament started yesterday, and while there were some good games (Duke winning by 1 point), it would be hard to beat a couple of today's games. Two games (both in Orlando, man did they get their money's worth today!) went into overtime with the underdog winning I the last seconds. Both Western Kentucky and University of San Diego won with last second shots that crushed the favorites in both games. And the best part is that at least one of them will be playing next weekend. On the other hand the favorites (Drake and Connecticut [sorry Drew]) saw their season come to an end and the sinking of a last second shot. I think it was especially hard on UConn, as they fought back from 11 points down early in the second half, sent the game to OT, and seemed to have it in hand only to lose on a semi-heave. That's why I watch.
Speaking of watching – Thank God for teh interwebs!! Through the miracle of modern technology I was able to watch both games on my laptop at work. It was kind of background for most of the day, but I will admit to pretty much just watching the last 10 minutes of the USD v. UConn game.
Two very important points need to be made before I go further –
1 – I think it's fantastic when anyone goes out and does any distance at any speed. As far as I'm concerned, unless you're one of the pros there's no difference between any of us regardless of the speed at which we finish the course. This is not an indictment of people who walk, which leads me to my second point.
2 – There are times during some 5k's and 10k's when I walk. Again, this isn't about speed, it's about common courtesy, and when I have to walk on the route I follow these guidelines myself.
Having said, and meant, all of the above; if you walk, and by "walk" I mean that you're at the start planning to walk the whole course with no intent to run, but if you walk at these types of events, would you please try and follow some simple rules which will make everyone's day a bit more pleasant;
– If the event you're participating in has "flights" or "seeding" try to respect that. It's really not done so that you'll finish even later than the pros, it's so that those who are trying to run, maybe for an age group prize, or maybe just a personal best, but it gives those people a chance to realize their goals too.
– If for some reason you just have to start in the first wave, or with the 7 minute per mile folks, please try to stay to the edge of the route. You know you're not going to run there's no reason to be in the middle of the street in the middle of the pack. At that point you just become an obstacle.
– The subset of that is not to walk 5 abreast. It's great that you're all together, and shared suffering is one of the really cool things about group events like these, but again you become an obstacle for others to try and get around.
– If you ignore both of those and just decide that you've paid your fee and that entitles you to walk in the middle of the road from the front, then don't be angry when you get bumped and jostled and cut off. See the thing is, I paid my entry too, and I followed the event organizers' recommendations and I'm trying to run. There's a critical mass of bodies trying to fit into a small space, and you've become a very slow fish in a very fast tide. You're going to get bumped. I'm sorry, I'm not aiming for you, but honestly, I don't usually feel too bad about it either.
With that off my chest, the L&T and I did the annual St. Patrick's Day Dash this morning and with the exception of trying to dodge the reasons for my rant above, we had a good time. The weather wasn't great, but it wasn't raining so that was nice. This is a point to point run, with the start at the Seattle Center and the finish near Seahawks Stadium so you park at the finish and bus to the start. The line for those buses was unbelievable, it took us about 45 minutes just to board, but had the benefit of getting off the bus and starting within 5 minutes. Thanks to my offseason workouts (InCycle rocks!) my time was the best I've done in a long while (splits of 9.22 / 9.04 / 10.14 [I'm not sure what happened there]). After the run it was breakfast at the Blue Star Café, which we've decided to tell everyone is the worst place for breakfast in Seattle. It's horrible, and you should never eat there which will make it much easier for us to get a table…
There's an old adage that "all politics is local" and I think that applies to sports just as much. You root for teams based on connections, and based on that, as much as I dislike dynasties, I'll be rooting for the Patriots. Why? Two reasons – Eckel and Belichick.
While certainly not the best student (he was the Class of 2005's "Anchor Man", finishing last in his class) Kyle Eckel was an absolute beast at Navy, and as a fullback was instrumental in returning Navy Football. In addition to being named the Army Navy game MVP twice he is among the all-time leaders in carries, yards, and touchdowns. He was signed to the Patriots' active roster in October of 2007, and in addition to seeing some playing time with the offense has had a very good year with special teams.
As for Belichick, his ties with Navy football go back over 50 years. Bill is the son of legendary Navy coach Steve Belichick. Coach Belichick was involved with the Naval Academy for 50 (yes, that's correct, Five Zero years) including 33 years as an assistant football coach and professor of physical education. Bill has in the past discussed his connection with the USNA and speaks fondly of his time learning the game by watching his father in Annapolis, and in 2006 moved his family's historic football book collection to the Naval Academy.
Tomorrow, I'm a Patriots fan.
Between the last playoff game and the Super Bowl there are two weeks. Two weeks of interviews, press conferences, practices, pundits, and buildup to the biggest football game of the season. I used to read about the teams and the game during those two weeks, but it was never a big deal to me. That changed in January of 2006…
Growing up I wasn't a big football fan, instead it was mostly baseball. Still living in Northern California my parents, and by extension I, followed and rooted for the San Francisco 49er's. The 49er's won Super Bowl XVI in 1982, which was nice, but nothing too exciting. Years and events passed, and I'd watch a game if it was on and usually watched the Super Bowl, but it still wasn't something I was passionate about. Then I met the L&T who was passionate about football and in particular "her" Seattle Seahawks. She was a fan, so I became a fan (which wasn't easy back in those days because the team wasn't always that good). In 2002 I took it to the next level join 4 of the best guys on the planet
The 2005/2006 Seattle Seahawks' season was a magical thing to be a part of. By finishing the regular season 13-3 (including a meaningless week 17 loss at Green Bay) the Seahawks had secured the #1 seed in the NFC and the road to the Super Bowl would go through Seattle, and the 5 of us would be there to watch it. After the bye week, Seattle opened the post-season beating Washington 20-10 and the next week beat the Carolina Panthers to win the NFC and the right to go to the Super Bowl.
And thus begun two of the most fun (and probably least productive) weeks I've ever had as a sports fan. When I was home, the NFL channel was always on, away from home there was a ton of Seahawks talk, the web the sites that I frequent were all talking about the game. It was fantastic! Media day, team practices, interviews with players on NFL Total Access, features on the team, replays of all our games, as well as planning to go to Vegas to watch the game. It was just fun to be a Seahawks' fan.
The problem is, now that I've experienced it once, it's hard to watch all the same stuff, but about a different team. Sure, I'll read the articles, and I'll watch the game, but unlike all those years before 2006, now I know what I'm missing…
Like Navy, the Utes come into Thursday's Poinsettia Bowl at 8–4 (5–3 in the Mountain West), and like Navy this is their 5th straight bowl trip (records for both schools). Similar to Navy's new head coach Ken Niumatalolo whose first game will be the Poinsettia Bowl, 2nd year Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham was an assistant coach with the Utes before taking over for a departing Urban Meyers just before the 2005 Emerald Bowl (which Utah won 38–10 over Georgia Tech).
In a year where Navy had trouble stopping just about everyone (99th in total defense) they face good Utah offense (stats below) that ranks 47th matched with a Utes defense ranked 15th in total defense. The good news is that Utah's weakness seems to be the run, which is obviously a great thing for Navy.
If Navy can play "Navy Football" – Lots of rushes (they're 1st), maximize their time of possession, minimize both play mistakes (-1 in turnovers) and mental mistakes (1st in both fewest penalties and penalty yards/game) – Then I think they got a good shot at betting a good, and very hot Utah team (the Utes have won 9 of their last 10).
Offense Navy Utah
Scoring 479 306
PPG 39.9 25.5
Rushing Yards 4,218 1,964
Avg / Game 351 163.7
Avg / Attmpt 5.7 4
Rush TDs 51 16
Passing Yards 1,117 2,390
Att-Comp-Int 122-67-4 374-226-12
Pass TDs 7 17
Defense Navy Utah
Scoring 438 187
PPG 36.5 15.6
Rushing Yards 2,072 1,560
Avg / Game 172.7 130.0
Avg / Attmpt 4.2 3.6
Rush TDs 24 12
Passing Yards 3,186 2,273
Att-Comp-Int 372-257-9 414-209-16
Pass TDs 31 7
Great Navy win. Reggie Campbell with a rushing TD and a 98 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, then directs the band in the playing of the alma mater. Great win. San Diego here we come…
Look, I know everyone thinks that whatever their school plays for is the most important rivalry going, be it for the "Apple Cup", "The Axe", or the "Old Oaken Bucket". Truth is rivalry games are one of the coolest things about college football, and I enjoy watching all of them. Still…
Look, I know I'm not unbiased here, it's well established where my loyalties are. But when I watch all of the other games, I can't help but come to the same conclusion that John Feinstein did – Army v. Navy is the purest rivalry in sports (fantastic book, the L&T bought me a copy when it was originally published, but I wouldn't read it till Navy stopped what was a 5 game losing streak to Army).
Back in the day, Army v. Navy was the only game played on the first weekend in December, but because of championship games, and Div-II playoffs, that's changed. Still, if you love football, want to see young men leave it all out on the field, and then embrace like the brothers they are, tune in to your local CBS affiliate at 9am (PST). I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
Let Army v. Navy week begin! Go Navy! Beat Army!!
BTW – Found a great summery of every Army v. Navy game played here.