Archive for the 'Sports' Category

Tornado Boy is Back

Friday, April 11, 2008

Hideo Nomo is back in MLB. This makes me happy, because he’s one of my favorite athletes.

When I wrote about him 5 years ago, I said that one of the reasons I liked him was because of his insistence on sticking with his unorthodox style. Well, at 39 and having recovered from many injuries, he’s proven his perseverance by doing exactly the opposite of that. He stopped using his trademark windup style that earned him the nickname “Tornado Boy” — and is pitching only from the set position, even when there’s nobody on base. Apparently he has learned that his big windups were putting too much stress on his elbow, so in order to stay healthy he is only using the set position. At his age, he has lost velocity in his fast balls — so he’s relying more on his forkballs. He’s definitely had to adjust his pitching philosophies because he now has fewer weapons.

An ordinary player might decide to simply retire. But with Nomo, it shows that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep doing what he loves doing — playing in the Major League Baseball.

For the past two years he went from one team to another, mostly in minor leagues. He even played in the Venezuelan league, always hoping that he would someday come back to the stage that he believed he belongs. He doesn’t make much money in MLB standards, and he’s now relegated to being a reliever instead of a starter that he was for most of his career.

But Tornado Boy marches on. I think it’s an inspiring story. He would disagree, but I’m certainly inspired by his determination!

Who’s got two thumbs and is $70 richer today? This guy.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

ncaa 2008 winner … kansas and me

Thanks to Kansas, I have won the office pool. I hated Bill Self when he left Illinois to coach for Kansas, but boy, this guy can recruit or what? The title game was an exciting one, too — with the last-second 3-pointer to push the game to OT and all. I just love this stuff.

And not to brag, but this is the third year in a row that I’ve picked the eventual winner of the tourney. And in 2005 I had Illinois picked when they lost in the final — how could I not?

Coming soon: another blog post

Monday, January 21, 2008

Yes, you read about it here first, folks. Yummy or Crummy will be adding another blog post here sometime in the very near future. Do hold your breath, and don’t sit back and relax, because before you know it my new blog post will kick you in the teeth and throw you down like your daddy never could, no matter how much he drank.

Congratulations, me

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I bowled a perfect 300 today in Wii bowling today!

perfect 300 game in wii bowling

Niners sweep Seahawks

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Me at Qwest Field. Click to see more photos in Flickr.

Russell took me to the Niners-Hawks game on Thursday. Last time the Seahawks played in Seattle at night, it snowed like hell and the city was paralyzed. This time, a crazy windstorm hit the city, and whole two days later we still don’t have power at home. Crazy!

Anyway, I enjoyed the game very much. Not just because I’m a Niner fan, but because Qwest Field is a great place to watch a game, and our seats were pretty close to the endzone.

As expected, some idiots made ridiculous remarks at me just because I was wearing a red hat, a red jacket, and cheering for the Niners. (Sheeesh, some people…) For most part the crowd was tame and reasonable. We made conversations with both the Hawks fans and the Niners fans. Everyone was in good spirits, enjoying the game, despite all the wind and the rain — at least until the Niners broke the game open with the fourth-quarter comeback. But I didn’t get any plastic bottles thrown at me or anything — so I’m happy! I hope to come back for another game, when things are a bit less wet — so that I can worry less about being cold and drink more beer!

So Taguchi avoids sports cliché nicely

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Taguchi’s HR fuels rally as Cards pull even in NLCS

More than the fact that a Japanese player was the hero of the game, I’m happy that So Taguchi’s rare post-game interview resulted in some quotes that sound comical, yet very true and devoid of any clichés we’re used to hearing from professional athletes these days.

I can’t explain. It’s unbelievable. Who expected that I would hit a home run? Maybe nobody. Even me.

Here’s another one.

I couldn’t recognize what happened. I didn’t know, what should I do. So I just run.

Kind of refreshing to hear an athlete telling it like it actully happened, huh? These days, post-game interviews are filled with nonsense clichés that it makes you wonder why the reporters even bother to ask the questions. We can all think of other lines Taguchi might have uttered had he been paying attention to his teammates:

“It was a must-win situation.”
“You dream about this as a kid…”
“I was focused on doing my job.”
“I was just trying to give us a chance to win the game.”
“We showed a lot of heart today.”

Let’s hope nobody will tell Taguchi how to respond if he gets to be a hero again!

More quotes from The Sports Cliché List

Why do people love to hate the Yankees?

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Tigers eliminate Yankees

Yankees Suck
Photo by Bethany on Flickr

Sounds like a dumb question, doesn’t it? Everyone knows they have the most money, the winningest history, and the most celebrated group of players. They are expected to be competitive every year, and the players and the fans seem to assume as much. The owner is often depicted as a crazy and controlling boss. These days, at least outside of Bronx, it seems difficult to find someone willing to admit that they are a Yankee fan, or even that they don’t hate the team. The default reaction from ordinary fans of baseball when they hear of Yankees has become a mixture of contempt and disapproval.

I, for one, never fully understood why all the things listed above meant that the Yankees are evil, and deserve to be hated by everyone. Sure, they have the most money, so that allows them to lure the best players with huge contracts. But that’s because they earned it, no? The Yankees play by the same rules, however full of holes those rules might be. Sure, they’re lucky to be in one of the biggest markets in the country. But a quick look at other sports will tell you that it is in fact possible to have a dynasty-level team in cities other than New York (e.g. LA Lakers, Dallas Cowboys, SF 49ers).

Their history is something different — something other teams can’t necessarily attain easily, no matter how much money they might come up with. But isn’t this something that should be respected by fans who appreciate the sport? While every sport has a dynasty team that’s both revered and hated, the balance with the Yankees always seems to tilt towards hatred, instead of reverence of what they have accomplished. I’m sure big contracts have a lot to do with their ability to acquire big-name players, but the history factor is also huge, in my opinion. The players know, the minute they become a Yankee, they will be booed everywhere they go outside of Bronx. I think what motivates them besides the money is the chance to play for the most famous team in the world. I don’t care if you’re the punkest band in the world — if you had a chance to play at Carnegie Hall, you would take it, the fan opinions be damned.

Someone at work told me that what you think about the Yankees determines if you’re an elitist or a populist. I disagree — I don’t like to think of myself as an elitist, just because I don’t question the general consensus that the one who seems to have it all is automatically bad. I feel like I’m a populist because in the end I see all teams to be equal (or having equal opportunities), and for most part you should root for whatever team for whatever reasons you feel like, without worrying about how others might label you. I say “for most part” because I do think you should be consistent and principled in your rooting ways. For example, I know someone who would root for all three Carolina basketball teams (Duke, Wake Forest, UNC), sometimes switching during the same year. Or, I understand that you don’t need much of a reason to hate the Yankees if you’re a Red Sox fan. But most people out there should have their own reason for liking or disliking a team, instead of easily giving into the more-money-equals-evil convention.

To prove that the Yankees are not as dominant as people think — they just got eliminated in the playoffs, making 2006 the sixth consecutive season without a World Series title, and third consecutive without an American League pennant. According to their entry in Wikipedia, they are way behind their normal schedule of a WS win every 3.9 seasons, and an AL pennant every 2.8 seasons. I would say you are a hypocritical elitist if that doesn’t get you to rise up in full support of the Yankees!

St. Louis Blues

Sunday, June 29, 2003

The Team Imperium arrived on Friday in Belleville, IL like a storm, and left two days later with an insatiated appetite for a goal — and a bad hangover. I expected the weekend to be a learning experience for me, but not for the whole team! Some of these guys are the best I’ve played with, and no doubt this was a humbling weekend for them.

In summary:

The good: The weather was not stinkingly hot, and people generally had a good time without breaking any bones (well, except for Mike’s nose). We didn’t lose the competitive spirit until about 10 minutes were left to go in the last game, when we were down 0-4. We all believed we could hang in there — which we did very well for the first half in all three games.

The bad: We were held scoreless for the entire tournament. Our defense (where I played) allowed 9 goals in three games. Which is worse? Hard to say. But it’s easy for the offense to get frustrated when the defense keeps allowing goals, and it’s not exactly easy to run at 120% to defend your goal when on the other end we’re hardly attacking the opponent’s.

The bottom line: I’m grateful that someone asked me to participate, and I’m glad that I said yes. Exposing myself to higher caliber of players made my weaknesses crystal clear, which gave me new motivations to improve and well-defined goals to shoot for.

Prairie State Games

Friday, June 27, 2003

I’m going to join the Team Imperium in soccer at the annual Prairie State Games. We’ll play at least 4 games in 2.5 days against some of the best amateur teams in the state. Fortunately for us, the temps won’t quite hit the 90′s according to the weather forecast…. With no rain in sight, it should be a beautiful weekend. I’m not expecting much, just to have fun. Wish us luck!

Japan loses to France, Columbia

Monday, June 23, 2003

Considering how they were playing before the Confederations Cup began, everybody will agree that Japan played better than expected. But the goal was always to advance to the next round, and now that was not achieved, will JFA act to make some changes, or continue to sit on their asses, proclaiming the blind support for Zico?