UCLA v. Utah

Hello loyal fans.  It is hardly worth discussing UCLA’s upcoming game against the Utah Utes.  Coming it at 0-2, I can only assume that Utah has no chance whatsoever against the mighty Bruins.  Utah is fighting off a number of injuries to starters while the Bruins come in relatively healthy.  Last year UCLA dominated from start to finish, ultimately winning 31-10.  The only real concern is the general lack of offensive production from Ben Olson last week.  I still do not understand why people think this guy is so great.  I have yet to be impressed with his performances.  I think, once again, our victory will hinge on the ability of the defense to make up for offensive failures.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to view the game this week.  We need to start playing some real teams so we can garner a spot on national television…although who knows if that would help.  Teams like Central Michigan and Purdue are on ESPN, Texas is playing UCF and that will be broadcast as well.  I wish I could blame it all on the East Coast Bias, but USC is on every week…and we beat them last year!

Quote of the Day:

“The other team’s quarterback must go down and must go down hard.” – Keith Olberman

Published in: on September 15, 2007 at 9:42 am  Leave a Comment  

U-C-L-A, Fight, Fight, Fight!

Hello loyal fans. I have a bit of Eight Clap in my heart here on opening day. My mighty Bruins travel north to the land in which I live to visit the hated Stanford Cardinal (a color…as a mascot…what a bunch of idiots). You see…our rival is supposed to be USC, but I hate Stanford so much more than I hate USC. I do not cringe when I think “Trojan”…I even named a fish after USC’s venerable mascot…but when I think Stanford I become sick to my stomach.

Allow me to list the top three things I despise about Stanford:

1) That stupid tree…

stanfordtree

2) The band which accompanies the tree…

stanfordband

3) The color cardinal…

stanfordcardinal

Hopefully this game is not a repeat of the game two years ago. You see…at that game UCLA had to fight back from something like 21 points behind in the fourth quarter. Despite that having been the best game ever (and yes, I was there) I want to crush the Cardinal early this time!

GO BRUINS!

ucla

Quote of the Day:

“I want every man, woman, and child on his feet…” – Old Guy

Published in: on September 1, 2007 at 11:07 am  Comments (2)  

UCLA Only 25? Bah!

Hello loyal fans. I must express my indignation about the Rivals.com analysts’ assessment of the mighty Bruins. They have ranked my UCLA Bruins as merely the 25th best team in the nation! Outrageous! The boys in baby blue are certainly better than that! This is a crime against humanity and all that is good in the world. I refuse to stand for this transgression. Someone must pay for these wrongs against my person.

Quote of the Day:

“A Trojan grad and a Bruin grad were on death row. The warden came to them to ask them if they had any last requests. The Trojan said, “I’d just like to hear ‘Conquest’ one last time.” When the warden asked the Bruin what his last request was, he replied, “kill me first.” – Source Unknown

“Members of the USC football team were placed in a remedial English class. “Because we are all new on campus we are going to start with the basics,” the professor explained. “Does anyone know what comes after a sentence?” All of the players raised their hands. “The appeal!” they all shouted with pride.” – Source Unknown

Published in: on July 18, 2007 at 2:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

College Football Is Coming

Hello loyal fans. It is time to start getting ready for college football season! Games are a mere seven weeks away (UCLA opens up September 1st against the hated Stanford Cardinal) and summer practices begin August 6th.

The defense, as usual, should be strong, and I think we should have a solid season if the offense can hold things together and manage to be productive. Chris Markey gives us a solid option at tailback so it sort of hinges on the play of our quarterbacks. I can not decide whether I would rather have Ben Olson or Patrick Cowan leading the offense. I really despise left handed quarterbacks, but at least you know what you are getting with Olson. I was less than impressed with Cowan’s consistency last year late in the season (despite his huge win over USC)…still he does bring a sort of flair to the offense which was lacking under Olson. In the end, it doesn’t really matter. Victory shall be ours! And, maybe we will manage to win a bowl game for a change…

fbucla

Quote of the Day (click to hear the song):

We are the Mighty Bruins,
The best team in the West.
We’re marching on to victory,
To conquer all the rest.

We are the Mighty Bruins,
Triumphant evermore.
You can hear from far and near,
The Mighty Bruin roar!

U…C…L…A

U-C-L-A! Fight! Fight! Fight!

Published in: on July 11, 2007 at 11:21 am  Leave a Comment  

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Hello loyal fans. I caught the tail end of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest this morning (it ran from 9:00am to 10:00am PT) and that is some insanity. 30,000+ people showed up to watch a bunch of grown men cram as many hot dogs down their throats as they could in a 12 minute period. Interestingly, all this competitive eating stuff never seemed to be much in the public eye until a little guy from Japan named Takeru Kobayashi ate a ton of HDBs (that’s the “official” abbreviation for “hot dogs and buns”…to be used only by competitive eating insiders no doubt) a few years ago. Now, it seems to be all the rage. ESPN broadcasts events live…and not on “The Ocho” either…the real ESPN.

Still, the hype around this thing is absurd. I turned the program on with roughly three minutes left in the contest and about ten minutes left in the program. At that point, American favorite Joey Chestnut was ahead by 2.75 hot dogs. The looming question for all loyal eating fans: Can Chestnut hold off the Japanese HDB assassin and restore America’s glory?

The future of Western Civilization hinged on the eating prowess of the 215 pound Vallejo native.

As one hyped up commentator exclaimed excitedly with roughly one minute to go, “This will be the greatest moment in American sports if Chestnut can bring the belt home to the U.S.!”

As it turned out, Takeru Kobayashi spit out three HDBs with only seconds to go and Chestnut won with a total of 66 HDBs. The aforementioned commentators, I think, can express our national jubilance far more eloquently than I:

“[Chestnut] is a true American hero!”

“The Mustard Belt is back in America!”

“He may have righted the course of this nation!”

That is right! The course of our nation is righted! The war in Iraq will end, poverty will disappear, Israelis and Palestinians will kiss and make up, and the terrorists will put down their suicide bombs and pick up hot dogs!

Yes, Takeru Kobayashi is dead…at least in terms of Competitive eating…and all is right with America! The great Japanese menace has been banished once again! Like Godzilla, he came from the ocean to steal what was rightfully America’s: being able to eat a lot of stuff! Like Godzilla, he was defeated (please do ignore that Godzilla was a metaphor for the U.S.).

All I can say is: GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Happy 4th of July people.

Quote of the Day:

“July 4. Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than in all the other days of the year put together. This proves, by the number left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so.” – Mark Twain

Published in: on July 4, 2007 at 10:38 am  Comments (3)  

Going To A Giants Game…

Hello loyal fans. Let me begin by saying how much I hate the Giants. Sure, I live in the Bay Area, but I just can not cotton to those prissy little spoiled brats across the Bay, even though they have former Padres manager Bruce Bochy at the helm. I should clarify that this is not just Barry Bonds hating…I do not care for the man, but it would not be enough to make me dislike a team. No, I just do not like them. I never have and I never will.

But, I look forward to seeing the game and the stadium. Life is good when you are sitting in a plastic seat looking up at the clear blue sky and down at the bright green grass while eating a ball park hot dog covered in mustard and onions. Delicious.

What would make this a better experience would be if the Padres were still in town. But, as Mick Jagger once said, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you might find, you get what you need.” All will be well if Barry Bonds strikes out a few times and the Diamondbacks win.

Quote of the Day:

“Well, beat the drum and hold the phone – the sun came out today!
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.
A-roundin’ third, and headed for home, it’s a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.” – Centerfield, John Fogerty

Published in: on June 30, 2007 at 9:28 am  Leave a Comment  

The Aforementioned Baseball Cards…

Hello loyal fans. There can be no dispute that I am a collector of things. The current fascination is, of course, the coin thing, but over the years of my life I have collected many different things. One of the first was, as with many people I suspect, baseball cards. So, what with it being summer vacation and all, I decided it was time to sort of organize all those baseball cards I have had floating around for the last fifteen to twenty years. At some point they were all organized and in notebooks, but that time had long passed.

Once again, they are all in books. It is hard to imagine that I spent a good 30 hours sorting the darn things, but I did. When you have roughly 4,500 baseball cards it just takes a while, especially when your neuroses compel you to organize them first by team (alphabetical by division), then by year (oldest to most recent), then by brand (in alphabetical order), and finally by card number…suffice to say, there is a bit of OCD in that experience. But now they can sit in a storage box in the closet in perfect order, and there is satisfaction in that.

The most disturbing aspect of this entire experience was the burning desire I felt to purchase more baseball cards. I actually went out and purchased several 2007 wax packs. I really can not explain why…it just felt right. I think, however, the next step in the process will be going through the checklists for the cards I have a lot of and seeing just how close I am to complete sets. I am fairly certain that I have every 1988 Donruss card issued (I purchased several boxes at some point in the early 90s). I am also likely very close to having every 1990 Topps (I simply bought a lot of those…at 50 cents a pack, what nine year old kid wouldn’t?).

For those of you too young to recall these, here is a sample (The 1988 Donruss is on the left, the 1990 Topps on the right):

88Ryan 90ryan

To those accustomed to the modern glossy, embossed (I would call them “fancy pants”) cards of today, these are nothing close in comparison. The printing quality is weak, they are generally off center, and the card stock is very low quality…but that pretty much sums up my youth. I have to say, however, there is a certain simple beauty in these virtually worthless pieces of cardboard. As I was going through the cards I noticed a distinct trend…the last singles I have any of (and small numbers at that) are from 1994. I can’t even imagine why that might be (where is a damned “eye rolling” smiley when you need one?). I also noticed that 1994 Donruss is a beautiful baseball card. There is just something I really like about it, though I can not put my finger on just what it is. Perhaps it is the beginning of that glossy card blended with some subtle gold embossing. The card is just very nicely designed.

94donruss

Quote of the Day:

“Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.” – Ted Williams

Published in: on June 22, 2007 at 3:39 pm  Leave a Comment