Monday, June 30, 2014

Sorry Mexico, He Made the Right Call

After watching the foul given to Arjen Robben in the Netherlands/Mexico game enough times, my belief is confirmed: It was a foul.

Did Robben exaggerate the foul, which may have led to a call? Absolutely. But that doesn't mean it wasn't a foul. In fact, had Robben not exaggerated, the ref probably doesn't give him the penalty. However, that's the ref's fault; not Robben's.

A foul is awarded when a player obstructs another player. He doesn't have to be tripped. The player doesn't have to hit the ground. And Robben was CLEARLY obstructed. Had he merely stumbled over Marquez's leg, and almost got the ball, the ref likely doesn't make the call. But in such a moment, why should Robben do that? He was obstructed. Marquez missed the ball. He hit his foot, and nothing else. Knowing this, Robben exaggerated the play and received the call.

Make no mistake though: it was a foul. Not as bad as it looked, but knowing the refs, he had to let them see it.

Now we have the Mexican Coach going bananas over the call, and claiming "El Tri" is out of the cup because of it. It's a convenient excuse, and if I were him I'd be repeating it over and over. That's because he decided at the 57th minute of the game to take his best player off the field, and attempt to try and hold off one of the world's best offenses for 35 minutes. Instead of making his best defense a good offense, he attempted a shell. When that happened, Mexico lost. The Netherlands were marching down the field for most of the second half, and dominating. But Coach Herrera doesn't want to focus on that. No. He wants to focus on the foul.

In other words, ignore his weak decision to try and maintain a soft one goal lead against a world power.

Well guess what? He's wrong on both accounts.

And if you don't want a penalty to be called, keep the opponent out of the box. Mexico couldn't do that for nearly an entire half.

That's why they lost.

Not because Robben forced the ref to make the RIGHT call.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The MEAT of Gary Oldman's Comments

From Playboy:

PLAYBOY: What would you do with fuck-you money?

OLDMAN: Well, I sometimes joke that I would just slip away to Palm Springs or someplace and close the gates, find refuge behind the hedges. Right now, for instance, just financing a film, getting studios to part with their money and the sorts of things studios are doing, it’s just a crazy, crazy time. I have a script I’ve written called Flying Horse. It’s about Eadweard Muybridge, the 19th century photographer who arguably invented cinema and had a very interesting life. It’s been nearly two years trying to get money. I have my cast pretty much, but the funding isn’t there. Partly it’s the subject. If it had zombies and Leonardo DiCaprio in it, people would be falling over me.

If you haven’t seen Seduced and Abandoned, you should. It’s a documentary with Alec Baldwin about raising money at the Cannes Film Festival. They try to finance a fictional movie that’s a little like Last Tango in Paris. You see how insane these people are. One guy actually turns to Alec and says, “You were great in that submarine movie. Do you think you could have a scene in this one that takes place on a submarine?” I can understand why someone like Mel, for instance, would finance his own movies now, because it has all become so crazy.

PLAYBOY: Mel Gibson?


PLAYBOY: What do you think about what he’s gone through these past few years?

OLDMAN: [Fidgets in his seat] I just think political correctness is crap. That’s what I think about it. I think it’s like, take a fucking joke. Get over it. I heard about a science teacher who was teaching that God made the earth and God made everything and that if you believe anything else you’re stupid. A Buddhist kid in the class got very upset about this, so the parents went in and are suing the school! The school is changing its curriculum! I thought, All right, go to the school and complain about it and then that’s the end of it. But they’re going to sue! No one can take a joke anymore.

I don’t know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all fucking hypocrites. That’s what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word nigger or that fucking Jew? I’m being brutally honest here. It’s the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy. Or maybe I should strike that and say “the N word” and “the F word,” though there are two F words now.

PLAYBOY: The three-letter one?

OLDMAN: Alec calling someone an F-A-G in the street while he’s pissed off coming out of his building because they won’t leave him alone. I don’t blame him. So they persecute. Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him—and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, “That fucking kraut” or “Fuck those Germans,” whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That’s what gets me. It’s just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone, that we all stand on this thing going, “Isn’t that shocking?” [smiles wryly] All right. Shall I stop talking now? What else can we discuss?

PLAYBOY: What do you think of the pope?

OLDMAN: Oh, fuck the pope! [laughs and puts head in hands] So this interview has gone very badly. You have to edit and cut half of what I’ve said, because it’s going to make me sound like a bigot.

PLAYBOY: You’re not a bigot?

OLDMAN: No, but I’m defending all the wrong people. I’m saying Mel’s all right, Alec’s a good guy. So how do I come across? Angry?

PLAYBOY: Passionate, certainly. Readers will have to form their own opinions.

OLDMAN: It’s dishonesty that frustrates me most. I can’t bear double standards. It gets under my skin more than anything.

PLAYBOY: Who speaks the truth in this culture, in your opinion?

OLDMAN: There are a number of people. A voice I particularly like is Charles Kraut-hammer. I think he’s incredibly smart. I think he’s fair, very savvy and politically insightful, so I enjoy watching him. There are artists as well, like David Bowie, where there’s an autonomy. He recorded his most recent album and didn’t even announce he was doing it. He was in a position where he thought, Listen, I haven’t produced anything for 10 years. If this is no good, then I can just put it in a cupboard and no one need ever know. But he wrote the songs, picked the cover. I’ve always admired David. I’ve known him about 30 years. We’re friends. And David can constantly reinvent himself because he’s so talented. He has a point of view.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


We call it that here, and it's fine.

When explaining to a 10 year old, which I do often, the difference between passing the ball to the lead outside foot, as opposed to both of his feet head on, they immediately understand the difference. For if I pass the ball to a teammate's lead foot, going forward, I am instructing him to do something: GO FORWARD. My pass has told him that, but you can't hear it.

If I pass it straight to my teammate's feet, not in front, or behind, I'm telling him something completely different: Scan the field...maybe pass it back to me.

But lets say my teammate is making a run from the outside into the middle of the field, and I pass a ball to him that is right at his two feet, while he's on the move. Is that good, or bad? What if he has to pause for half of a second to gather it, push it forward, and find an open man? Is that different from me passing him the ball slightly in front of his run? I mean, he can't use his hands to catch it, and then run, right? He has to gather it with his feet, while running, keeping his head down to gather ball, but also looking up to see what's happening at the same time, right? Because if another teammate is making a run from the opposite side of the field, slashing inside, behind a defender, it matters if my initial pass is slightly in front of my teammate, right at his feet, or slightly behind.


It usually isn't.

But I'll wait for it. I'll watch for hours until it happens.


Everything I do is a conversation with another player, at all times. And the conversation is changing every second.

Mistakes are magnified in ways you'll never see. You see a guy passing the ball slightly behind a guy. Me? I see a guy who if he had played the ball in front of the guy he would have seen his teammate streaking in for the next pass; maybe a shot on goal. I see a guy whose head I want to tear off for being lazy with his pass, and not precise. You see nothing. You see "it's boring." I see? Opportunity missed. Opportunity lost. And the field will NEVER look the same again.

And when I explain to a 10 year old, for the first time, the importance of making the right pass at the right time, they get it. In that moment, they start to recognize that it's not just sport, but it's chess on the run. It's strategy. It's precision. It's patience. It's beautiful. It's teamwork. It's hours of training. It's impossible. But when it is possible?

It's heaven. It's beauty. It's life. It's everything.

For those of you who don't get it? Truth is, I'm sorry for you. It's truly your loss. Go throw a ball into a hoop, and like a simpleton, enjoy that. Sometimes I do. In fact, I'm damn good at it. When I play like Pete Carill would have wanted I think about soccer.

If you think it's impressive that a Quarterback can throw a ball to a player whose feet get to do one thing, hands another, with the QB knowing exactly where he'll be, then you have no idea about the essence of this game we call soccer. That amazing play? It's easy.

If that's what's "heaven" for you, again, I'm sorry for you.

For those of you who think shooting a basketball 24 feet into a hoop, or dunking it, is awesome? Great. At times it is.

Soccer it is not.

The guy to my left has no idea what soccer is, but he loves it, watches it, and roots for his team. Hopefully he's learning. Maybe I'm willing to explain.

I love it because I understand it to an entirely different level from this guy on my left, and like him, it moves me. It's joy, it's pain, with every pass. Every play.

The guy on my right? He can't even stand to watch because he knows more than I'll ever know. He's levels above my understanding. It's his joy. And his pain. Both those things are magnified compared to mine. The more you know, the more you feel it.

When all is said and done, it's a sport like no other. As unpredictable as the weather. And as beautiful as well.

For those of you that don't understand what a 10 year old gets to learn, I'm sorry your dad gave you a bat and a glove. he deprived you. He should have made you play.

And for those of you who can't understand how something so "boring" can illicit so much joy in others, pause for a moment. Who is right here: the faithful with experience, or the unknowing without it?

For those of us who know about the intricacies of every single moment, consider yourself lucky. We have run, dribbled, passed, shot, settled, trapped, and volleyed. We get it. We're lucky to have done so. Especially as Americans.

Everyone else in the world knows other sports exist. They're allowed to play them. But they don't. It's not because they're bad sports, or that they can't do it. No. It's because they've played the most rewarding sport, and know it's the only one that truly matters.

In fact, there are days when I think it's the only thing that matters at all. And that's what draws us.

Again, I'm sorry for you if you don't get it. Try to learn to, but if not?

Shut the fuck up.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Kidnapping Soldiers

I have to say, one of the dumbest arguments I've heard the past two weeks by people like John Boehner and Mike Rogers. It goes something like this, "We negotiated with terrorists. Now they know we'll negotiate. Now our troops are more in danger of being kidnapped because they know there's value in that."

Seriously? Do you think: 1) Terrorists don't recognize the value in kidnapping our soldiers/Americans? 2) That the only thing preventing them from doing so is their own desire?

If they could kidnap our soldiers, they would kidnap our soldiers. They just can't. So they don't.

But for a moment, if you believe this nonsense, consider this: If in fact negotiating for Bowe Bergdahl's release did increase a terrorist's desire to kidnap our soldiers, isn't it quite possible then this would stop a terrorist from killing them?

Yeah, that.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Judge Rules Tenure Unconstitutional in California Schools

I haven't read too much about this yet, but based on this, I have a feeling I would probably side with the judge:
In the ruling, Judge Treu agreed with the plaintiffs’ argument that California’s current laws make it impossible to get rid of the system’s numerous low-performing and incompetent teachers; that seniority rules requiring the newest teachers to be laid off first were harmful; and that granting tenure to teachers after only two years on the job was farcical, offering far too little time for a fair assessment of their skills.

I believe in teachers unions. I believe in better pay for teachers. I believe in public educations.

I don't believe in maintaining poor teachers at the expense of students. There needs to be a system that protects both sides, but the kids probably need to come first in that equation.

It should be noted, Judge Treu is not some right-wing hack, which I so often see in Federal cases. He has decided a few high profile cases over the years, and I've agreed with him on the ones I've looked into.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Bowe Bergdahl Supporters and Detractors...Same People

Pretty awesome reading the Tweets of Conservatives who wanted Obama to bring home Bergdahl IMMEDIATELY, but now hate Obama for doing so. Are you surprised?

Quick Sports

I was wondering yesterday if there's a more unlikeable guy than Lebron James in sports (only afterward did he have to be carried off the court)?

Then I started wondering was it always this way, that so many athletes were sooo disliked?

In questioning this, the first team that came to mind were the Detroit Pistons from 1988-1991, led by Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer and Rodman. But they wanted you to dislike them. They termed themselves "The Bad Boys." The '85 Bears weren't universally disliked even if they were obnoxious. Guys like Tom Brady, you "hate" him on the field, but off it, do you really? There are countless other franchises, and specific teams, people have come to loathe, but I get the sense the dislike for certain athletes has changed quite a bit.

Is it the "me" culture that so many athletes seem to rejoice in being part of?

I'm not sure Lebron's TV special where he announced the taking of "his talents" to South Beach is the only reason for the dislike. I definitely didn't like him before that. The whole smacking of the chalk before games in Cleveland was pretty lame, and still is. It's quite "me", and I think that's very different now than it once was.

But it's not just Lebron. We hate Tebow, Johnny Manziel, Lance Armstrong, Manti Te'O, Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez, Mike Vick, Kobe, Tony Romo, and many more! Tebow, in his defense, is equally as loved, even if he's no longer an athlete.

Even with all those mentioned, I still dislike Lebron more, and there are dog-killers, liars and cheats in that list. Not sure why, either. Michael Jordan is the greatest hoopster ever, and he has a lot of skeletons in his closet. And while feared by opponents, and despised on the court by fans, he was pretty much universally loved for his greatness. Lebron? Meh.

Makes me wonder if the way we dislike athletes, and the reason(s), have changed? Have they changed, so now we dislike them more?

Vernon Davis's comments about his "brand" certainly aren't helping.

Oh, and with regard to the dislike for Lebron, it will only grow. My prediction is they'll win the title again, and him being carried off the court will be an image we see for the rest of our lives. I pray that's not the case.


Speaking of players who are hard to like...Colin Kaepernick epitomizes such an athlete. Yet he'll be in San Francisco for as long as they think it's necessary to pay him his guaranteed $60 Million dollars.

I can't back track from my beliefs about this guy, so I may as well state them again: I don't think he's a great quarterback, nor do I think he'll ever be one.

Can he win? Sure. He has proven that. BUT...can he win on his own is the question? Meaning, does he have the mental capacity to carry a team on his own shoulders the way a Steve Young did?

In my opinion, what Kaepernick lacks is the ability to throw players open when they're covered, to read defenses at a high level, and throw touch passes when necessary. When the pressure is on it seems he either has to have a specific play called for him in order to succeed, or he'll rely on the simplest option available, which teams can defend.

His flaws are hard to rectify at this level. You can either do it, or you cannot. Luckily for "Kaep", he has physical skills superior to most others, which tend to mask his deficiencies, but are dominant enough that a great coach can a lot out of them. At the same time, his primary skill is running, but usually Quarterbacks who run get themselves into trouble, be it a knee injury, concussion, you name it.

So I'll go out on a short limb here and say Kaepernick will not be the 49ers QB for 6 seasons, and will not be paid the entirety of his contract. Nor will he will the team a Superbowl.

Sorry, folks, but if history is a guide, NFL windows aren't open long. Kaepernick's low salary enabled the team to buy other players. His high salary will turn the table on that.


News that former University of North Carolina shooting guard Rashad McCants didn't do his own school work in college, and was merely there to play basketball, isn't very surprising. I would be a lot more surprised to learn the University of North Carolina didn't have a program to funnel their star athletes through school, and onto the playing area.

The most telling quote from the news story is this:

In 2014 Rashad McCants said, "College was a great experience, but looking back at it, now it's almost a tragedy because I spent a lot of my time in a class I didn't do anything in."

I asked a few months back on my radio show if these athlete-students would be better served if we took away athletic scholarships altogether. I still wonder this today. McCants, and countless others, have been shortchanged by the system that exists. Regardless of what you think about their "opportunity."

Of course, Head Coach Roy Williams is denying this ever took place.

"I strongly disagree with what Rashad (McCants) has said. In no way did I know about or do anything close to what he says and I think the players whom I have coached over the years will agree with me. I have spent 63 years on this earth trying to do things the right way and the picture he portrays is not fair to the University or me."
Stop lying. You knew. They all know.

So in addition to being a shitty basketball coach, he's also a dishonest leader of youth. Sweet. And please, don't kid yourself. He's a pretty shitty basketball coach.

There are undoubtedly a great number of athlete-students who do things the right way; taking their studies seriously; doing their own work; not getting into trouble. There is no doubt. In fact, maybe even the majority. However, there are countless others, many who are star athletes within different programs, that take the opposite road. All along the way the program is there to support them. I'm sure there's even a disconnect between those who do it right, and those who do it wrong, both sides not sharing with the other.

So when the defenders of Coach Williams, North Carolina, and every other school start to come out in support of these people and institutions, realize their collective defense means very little to the reality of what is actually happening. To no one's surprise.


Speaking of poor decisions by a college coach, Oregon's Dana Altman has some 'splainin' to do.

A female student at the school has accused 3 players of sexually assaulting her at a party. One of them already had a case pending against himself from another school!

Why would Coach Altman sign a transfer from Providence College who already was in the midst of a sexual abuse investigation?

Not a good look for the University of Nike.

I hate to judge a book by its cover, but after watching Jason Calliste throw a player to the floor, my gut told me this team has some serious discipline issues. It wasn't just this incident that made me question Oregon Athletics, but rather it was more the final straw. In addition to Colt Lyerla's drug issues, the snowball incident on campus, the players suspended from the Oregon team, and now this, Calliste's action was merely a summation of how I perceive them to be.

Win at all costs. Even if takes a few guys who may have assaulted women.


I understand why Oakland Raiders Cheerleaders are suing the team, and I'm sure the incidents aren't isolated to just the Raiders. I think it's wrong to grope anyone. I think it's wrong to underpay someone. I think it's wrong to force anyone to be publicly embarrassed (even if your job is sort of an embarrassing joke). I think all this is wrong.


I don't necessarily think it's wrong for their to be some type of weight requirement for cheerleaders. I mean, the job is to LOOK GOOD. And in America we define looking good as resembling someone who looks like this. If you don't want to live up to this standard then this line of work probably isn't for you. That, or maybe you should be a cheerleader in Nigeria or Ghana, where men seem to like heavier women.

But come on. I support most of your argument. That's just a bit too much even for me.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bowe Bergdahl Bullshit

I'm listening to the Bowe Bergdahl, faux conservative outrage on the radio, and seeing it on TV. It's pretty lame, typical, but as to be expected.

I have no idea why we traded this guy for accused terrorists. It's not something I really think about much. My gut tells me there's more than meets the eye here, and that this trade merely represented something in return, like information. But again, I have no idea. One should assume the Obama Administration knew this guy may have abandoned his unit, and that a firestorm would begin because of it. So there had to be a reason they did it.

I will say this though: It's easy to be a reactionary, cancel parades, call this guy a traitor, all while he can't defend himself. That's easy. It makes people look like tough guys. It gives cover to people who nearly always support the military by allowing them this one time to say, "I wasn't for THAT guy!" It's easy.

What's hard though is asking why this guy may have abandoned his unit, if he in fact did. What made him take this course of action? Was it a mental issue? Was he always going to do this, or did the war do it to him? Did he show signs of "weakness", or an indication that he was "cracking?" And if so, did someone monitor him, or was he expected to go out onto the battlefield and shoot people, regardless of how he felt? Maybe had he gone back out there he would have killed some of his own? Sure, he signed up as a soldier who wanted to defend the country, but maybe he started to break during the war?

I ask these questions because what he did wasn't common, or seemingly normal. So if it was abnormal, why don't we start addressing the reasons that caused this in the first place before we place this guy behind bars?

Oh, I know why. Because those making the noise were the ones that put out soldiers there in the first place. An issue they've been ignoring since the war began.

I'm tired of listening to people who never fought in a war, and avoided serving in them, discuss how a war may have affected an individual.

Monday, June 2, 2014

It's a Dirty Job...

This article in the NYTIMES discuss how politicians in coal rich states are against Obama, and for coal, regardless of which party they're in. Democrats have a bigger problem here due to their connection to the President, but even they are hedging their bets.

Natalie E. Tennant, a Democrat running for an open seat in West Virginia, struck a similar tone. “I will stand up to President Obama, Gina McCarthy, and anyone else who tries to undermine our coal jobs,” she said Monday, referring to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, which is proposing the emissions regulation.

Pollsters suggest it's not as big an issue as some may suggest:

“People on the Republican side overestimate the feelings for this and on our side, Democrats are scared for no reason,” said Andrew Baumann, a Democratic pollster. “Some Democrats assume anything about global warming is a political loser. And that’s just not the case.” He identified races in Colorado and Iowa, with growing renewable energy sectors, where confronting global warming can help the Democratic candidate in hard-fought Senate contests “if they play it correctly.”

I don't buy the above argument as it relates to coal. In the aforementioned states, global warming issues play differently. Iowa is about corn, and ethanol fuel, so you can win with Obama on that. Colorado is about snow, and how it affects their economy. Warming hurts that. In Virginia there's a diversity of issues, so the environment may not resonate at the same level as it does in Kentucky, but the coast/ocean does play a role.

In West Virginia and Kentucky they have very little to care about when it comes to the environment other than the effect on their jobs. Democrats either have to be for the jobs, or they will probably lose. Most people care about themselves, and the red states prove that every time.

The real issue here comes down to the honesty of the politician, many who are at the mercy of this issue. Clearly, the trend is toward cleaning up the environment, and trying to hold back problems related to warming. But that's a loser in red states. So you have to decide: do you stand on principle; do you stand for the environment, or do you stand for the short-term job aspect of your constituents, and votes against a cleaner environment going forward?

My gut tells me that regardless of the party the self-interested will always be just that.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Marin Game Poll

Do you want to play the game vs Marin this weekend? free polls