Category Archives: Sports

Time to start thinking about snow?

This summer has just flown by, and here we are at the edge of fall. A friend reminded me that yesterday was the deadline for the early season pass discount for Summit at Snoqualmie. I went snowboarding a few times this past winter and it finally clicked for me. I’m excited to go even more this year, so a season pass made sense.

The last time I bought a season pass to a ski slope was probably my last year of highschool, almost 10 (!) years ago. The little slope in my hometown, just a 10 minute drive away, was Ski Sundown. Check out the impressive trail map, and the whopping 625 foot vertical drop! Compared to Snoqualmie, it just ain’t much at all. And Snoqualmie is considered one of the smallest slopes around these parts! It’s hard to believe that Sundown can charge $200 more for their season passes compared to Snoqualmie (probably due to less competition in Connecticut, so Sundown’s essentially got a monopoly?)

It’s a little unfair to compare the two or to complain about Sundown, since I’ve got so many fond memories there. Since it was so close, we could easily go 3-4 times some weeks. There was the ski bus that took us straight to the hill from school, one afternoon per week, and almost every weekend we’d go for a half day, or some night skiing, or both. Some nights it was so quiet, you felt like you had the whole mountain to yourself. There were rarely lines for lifts, unless you went on a holiday weekend. But I also grew up skiing thinking that icy terrain and that horrible scraping sound under your feet was just normal conditions. Little did I know…

The days are getting shorter again in Seattle, which means only one thing… Winter isn’t too far away.

A Double Let-Down: Or a very long argument about Gay Marriage

**Update 2 – My original post regarding both Floyd Landis and the Washington State gay marriage decision has turned into a very lengthy “debate” on gay marriage. See the comment thread below.

**Update – More news and enlightenment coming out regarding Landis and testosterone. This Testosterone 101 article at VeloNews is especially good. It could be a real shame if this is a false positive, or a fluke sample, because Landis’ reputation really is ruined already.

Floyd Landis, the hero of this year’s Tour de France has tested positive for “high levels of testosterone”. I hope he’s got high levels of testosterone, he’s a guy! Oh, they probably mean abnormally high levels of testosterone. After the rollercoaster Tour and the impressive comeback by Landis, this is a big let-down, but not entirely surprising. This just goes to further tarnish the reputation of pro-cycling. Heck, we have diving and head-butting in soccer, juicing in baseball and cycling, sexual assaults in football and basketball… and we call these people professional athletes? Role models? And they’re paid millions for it?

And then there was yesterday’s decision by the Washington State Supreme Court to uphold the ban on gay marriage. Eli Sanders at The Stranger sums up the details of the ruling quite well. Reading some of the quotes from the justices is just painful: “…limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples… furthers the well-being of children by encouraging families where children are reared in homes headed by children’s biological parents.” Awesome! This decision not only bans gay marriage, but returns all foster children to their biological parents, reunites divorced parents, and makes sure all women are married before they give birth. Impressive!

Materazzi Kicked Zidane’s Ass

It’s getting late now, but I still had to join in and beat on this long-dead horse. It really frightens me how many people have jumped to Zidane’s defense. Of course all of the French papers, and Chirac have all declared him a hero, but why? Maybe in France they don’t teach the whole, “Sticks and stones…” rhyme. Sure, I definitely agree that Materazzi is a dickhead. He’s a dirty player, he’s a punk, and he’s no more than a school-yard bully. He kept pushing Zidane’s buttons until he snapped. That’s exactly what the bully wants. Constant picking, insulting and bothering rewarded at last by a response from the victim. Materazzi wins. Hands-down. Zidane cracked, and he got in trouble with the principal, and as a valuable penalty-kicker, he was out for the final shoot-out.

What I really don’t buy is the rebuttal that, “it was a very personal insult, so it was justified.” Zidane made his annoucement today that he was sorry, but not regrets (is that a cliche yet?). He described Materazzi’s insult, confirmed by various lip-reading translators, as something about his mother and his sister. Translators also threw religion and race into the mix. Who knows what was really said, but I can tell you that the majority of the above reasons don’t warrant violence (I think I learned that in kindergarden). Aren’t the majority of the problems the world’s facing right now having to do with racial, religious or familial differences (let alone revenge and retaliation)? I can’t imagine what the nerves and energy of the World Cup must be like, but… oh, I don’t know. Just play the game. Leave the punkass Italian kid alone. Karma takes care of things just fine without your head-butting help.

Tour dis-Grace: What’s Left?

None of the top 5 finishers from last year are riding in this year’s Tour de France. Lance has of course retired, and the other 4 have all dropped out on drug accusations, along with many of their team members. The pro-cycling world was torn apart by the names released with the Spanish probe into doping. The prologue stage begins tomorrow and the Tour continues for a few weeks. Who’s left? Maybe Lance should have stuck around for one more.  Of course he’s been thoroughly accused himself.  Armstrong is busy fighting off Greg Lemond’s charges, and the whole world of pro-cycling, past and present, has turned into a spectacular cat fight.  If everyone is doping, then doesn’t that just create an even playing field where there’s no advantage to cheating anymore?  I wonder why the US cycling team trains in Spain and has historically seen a lot of the same doctors and trainers as the accused dopers?  File suits and counter-suits all you want, but the reputation of virtually everyone seems tarnished beyond recovery.  This year’s Tour de France will certainly be interesting, but for all the wrong reasons.

The US vs. the World… Cup

While the rest of the country is whining about the Jerry Stackhouse
suspension, and poor Shaq getting knocked down in the completely-uninteresting NBA finals, the United States put on a good show yesterday in their World Cup game against Italy. The game was incredibly exciting, but for most of the wrong reasons. The US was playing strong, dominating early, with some good opportunities, but Italy scored first with a header, 22 minutes in. And that’s pretty much where the normal game ended.

Just a couple minutes later, the US tied the game 1-1. But wait… it wasn’t the US that actually put the ball in the goal. The Italian defender tried clearing the ball, but the bad kick just bounced it right into his own goal. Hey, we’ll take it.

And then the fouls and red cards start flying. McBride elbowed in the face… and then some poor tackles by the US also called red. The US news coverage of course considers the follow-up red cards completely ridiculous, but others are a bit more neutral on the matter. Here are the foul/red card video highlights. Regardless, it’s still unfortunate to see both teams lose men and play short-handed. You can find a full-game highlight reel here.

But thanks to Ghana’s amazing upset over the Czech Republic (highlight video) earlier
in the day, the US still has a slim chance of moving on in their bracket. First, they absolutely need to win against Ghana on Thursday, and then Italy would need to beat the Czechs. Or, if Czech beat Italy (or tied), it’d come down to goal differntial, and we’d need to beat Ghana by 4 points. It’s a long-shot, but the World Cup has already shown that crazier things could happen.

And lastly, here’s a video of an amazing lead-up to a perfect goal by Argentina.

D-List Celebrity Sighting

Santino at the Game

At the Mariners game on Sunday, sitting down the aisle in the same section was Santino Rice from Project Runway. He was pretty easy to spot. For those of you who don’t even know who that is, or even care, just check out this video (YouTube) from VH1’s Best Week Ever, which sums up Santino’s character pretty well. I snapped a couple other photos, but decided not to be too paparazzi-ish.

Just a short run in Boston

My sister is off and running again, this time in the Boston Marathon. Unlike the NYC Marathon which she ran previously, not just anyone can run this one with a lucky lottery number placement. Sarah’s time was good enough in the NYC Marathon that she got an invite to Boston. That’s right, she didn’t just run to finish, she ran to do well!

She’s only a short ways in at the moment, but with a pace that seems consistent with her last run. Projected finishing time is right around 3 1/2 hours. Stats are loading slow on the Boston Marathon site, but if you want to check out bib # 11720, you can see how she’s doing. Go Sarah!

UPDATE – She’s passed halfway at 1 hour, 42 minutes and is keeping just about the same pace of 7:51 per mile, and a projected finishing time of 3 hours, 25 minutes.

UPDATE 2 – She finished! Official time of 3:32:06. Her pace slowed a bit from the first half, but I’ll cut her some slack. Boston is known as a rather hilly marathon, and the 20,000 people that run it are tough cookies. Overall place: 6656th, and she placed 1137 out 8000 women.

Huskies Defeat the Huskies!

Despite numerous turnovers and looking like they had lost it in regulation, the Huskies managed to eke out a victory over the Huskies in overtime. In the final minutes of regulation, the Huskies got a lucky three-point play to cut the Huskies lead. And then in the final seconds, the Huskies sank a three-pointer to tie it with the Huskies. In overtime the Huskies pulled into a small lead, which the Huskies couldn’t quite break. It was an exciting game until the end as the Huskies tried hard to bring it back to a one-shot game, but the Huskies held them off. Go Huskies!

Bowling Team Names

It’s almost as if there’s an unspoken rule that bowling team names require bad puns. Here are some bowling team names from my company’s annual bowling tournament…

  • The Lucky Strikes
  • Rolling Pins
  • Spare Me
  • Foot Fungus Freaks
  • Pin Pals
  • Ten Pin Wizards
  • Split Happens
  • The Thunderballs

Proposed team names, but unused…

  • The Gutter Brawlers
  • Wholly Bowlers
  • We’ve Got Balls
  • Split Ends
  • I Can’t Believe It’s Not Gutter

bowling
bowling by Ginny

Naming Your Own Bowling Team
Are you still looking for a good name for your bowling team? None of the above team names suit your fancy? There are some simple rules you can follow to creating your own team name. First, start with a word related to bowling. Here’s a table of some of the most common bowling-related words and terminology:

strike spare split
gutter ball pin
tenpin bowl lane
alley bowling gutter ball
league frame roller
finger shoes beer

If you want to avoid a pun or play on words, you could simply pick one or two of the above words and put them together, adding an adjective for a little more pizzazz. Go for something with a good ring to it, or a little alliteration. For example:

  • Super Strikes
  • Crazy Pin Lane
  • Bad Ball Bowlers
  • Smelly Bowling Shoes

You would probably agree that these are pretty boring. I highly recommend you explore the puns and wordplay. A good start is to think of a common phrase that happens to use one of the words in the chart. Simply reuse that phrase and you automatically have a bowling team name with a double meaning. For instance, “Spare Change”, “Going on Strike”, or “Alley Cats” are regular phrases that work well for a bowling team. In the original list, “The Lucky Strikes” and “Rolling Pins” both followed this rule of thumb.

If you want to get even more experimental and want a more complex pun, you can try thinking of words, phrases, movie titles, or celebrity nams that sound similar or rhyme with bowling terminology. In the list at the top, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Gutter” is amusing because it replaces “Butter” with “Gutter”. Or try swapping similar-sounding words in and out of a bowling phrase. Here are a few more ideas along those lines…

  • Gutter Bawl
  • Changing Lanes
  • Alley McBowl
  • The Mis-Splits
  • Gutterfinger
  • The Tenpin Commandments
  • Axis & Alleys
  • Split-finger Fast-bowl
  • The Pin Pricks
  • The Incredibowls

Of course if you want to be the team dressed to impress, (or a bunch of hipsters), grab some proper bowling shirts and stencil on your ironic team name!

Good luck naming your bowling team! Have you come up with any great team names? If so, feel free to add them below.

Go Fish Eagles!

Update — In an unprecedented turn of events, Seattle claims the championship afterall, as Paul Allen buys the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Is a Seahawk a real animal? No, but a “Sea Hawk” is, and it is another name for the Osprey. It can also be referred to as a “Fish Hawk” or “Fish Eagle.”

It’s a gorgeous sunny day here in Seattle, the first we’ve had in a couple weeks. This only adds to the already high excitement and buzz around the city before the Superbowl this afternoon. Walking around the neighborhood, everyone is smiling and saying hi to each other, people are carrying cases of beer around at 10:30AM, and setting up kegs on their porches. There were some severe wind storms yesterday, and many people still without power around the area, but it is still shaping up to be a great game day. Find a place to hunker down, drink some beers and cheer for the Seahawks during this Xtra-Large Superbowl.

My bet:
Seahawks take it 24-14
MVP: Hasselbeck