Saturday, August 30, 2008

If you will legally change your name...

at least have it translate to something grammatically correct. 85 in spanish is really Ochenta Cinco. This guy may be an total ego maniac but the NFL is a more interesting place with him in it. So far no arrests or drug busts or assault charges.


Bengals WR Johnson reportedly changes name

CINCINNATI (AP)—Maybe receiver Chad Johnson can go by the name that his head coach hates.

The Cincinnati Bengals receiver has legally changed his name to Chad Javon Ocho Cinco in Broward County, Fla., a switch that became official this week, according to several media reports. Johnson, who lives in Miami, didn’t return a message left on his cell phone Friday night.

“It’s something I don’t think anyone has ever done before,” he told the team’s Web site. “Have I ever had a reason for why I do what I do? I’m having fun.”

Two years ago, Johnson gave himself the moniker—a reference in Spanish to his No. 85—and put it on the back of his uniform before a game. Quarterback Carson Palmer ripped it off before the kickoff. After the season, coach Marvin Lewis—who dislikes Johnson’s attention-getting stunts—referred to the receiver as “Ocho Psycho.”

Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan said the Bengals had no comment on the matter.

Johnson has been a concern for the Bengals this season. He unsuccessfully lobbied for a trade in the offseason, threatening to sit out if he didn’t get his way. When the Bengals refused, he relented and showed up for minicamp, but complained that his right ankle was bothering him.

He had bone spurs removed from the ankle and was limited at the start of training camp. In the second preseason game, he landed awkwardly and temporarily dislocated his left shoulder. Johnson is wearing a harness and expects to play in the season opener against Baltimore.

Devil With A Blue Dress On

In life, somethings change but take a while to implement. The Tampa Rays were laughing stocks for all of their miserable existence. But they got a solid plan and stuck to it. Now they can possibly be the only team in a hundred years to go from worst record one year to the best. And that's why Sports is the best thing to watch because of examples like these. We can predict all we want then the story line unfolds before our eyes. Then reanalyzed then we think we are smarter then something else surprises us. Lather , rinse , repeat. Anthony Robbins once said the past does not always equal the future. The Tampa Rays must have been paying attention. Congrats!!!

About the title. That is a title of a Mitch Ryder/ Shorty Long song. The Rays till last year were the Devil Rays. They dropped Devil and fined all the media a dollar every time they said Devil Rays after the name was shortened. Well Tampa, go ahead and fine me now.


Zobrist hits grand slam in Rays’ winPreview | Box Score | Recap | MLB.TV Archive

AP - Aug 29, 9:18 pm EDT 1 of 8 MLB Gallery ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—The Tampa Bay Rays cleared another hurdle in the effort to distance themselves from their woeful past.

Ben Zobrist hit a grand slam, Cliff Floyd drove in five runs and the AL East-leading Rays guaranteed their first-ever winning season with a 14-3 rout of the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.

“Going into spring training I knew we were better,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “We just didn’t know how much better. Eighty-two wins is a big moment, and I want this to be the standard of what we do, to get that number on an annual basis.

“You’ve got to break through the barrier eventually. We’ve done it, now let’s move on down the road.”

Floyd had a two-run double, Zobrist hit his slam and Gabe Gross added a solo shot during a seven-run fourth that made it 10-0.

“It was contagious,” Zobrist said.


Scott Kazmir (10-6) allowed three hits and three walks over 5 1-3 scoreless innings. The left-hander has won 10 games or more in four straight seasons. Tampa Bay joined the 1968 Oakland Athletics as the only teams to have five pitchers 26 years old or younger with 20 starts and 10 wins in the same season.

“It’s been a great season and we’re showing no signs of letting up,” Kazmir said.

Tampa Bay (82-51) is 4 1/2 games ahead of second-place Boston, which beat the Chicago White Sox 8-0. The Rays, an AL-best 50-19 at home, had never won more than 70 games in a season before this year.

“They’re on a roll right now. They’re playing very well at home,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.

Carlos Pena and Floyd drew bases-load walks—the last two of four consecutive two-out walks by Jeremy Guthrie—to give the Rays a 3-0 lead in the second.

Floyd had put Tampa Bay ahead 1-0 on a first-inning RBI double, and added a sacrifice fly during a three-run sixth that extended the Rays advantage to 13-0. He had a homer and two RBIs in the Rays’ 3-2 win over Toronto on Thursday.

Baltimore Orioles catcher Ramo…

AP - Aug 29, 10:06 pm EDT
Guthrie (10-11) lost his third consecutive start, giving up seven runs, seven hits and six walks in three-plus innings. It was shortest start of his career.

“I didn’t feel great physically,” Guthrie said. “At the same time it doesn’t mean I can’t pitch well.”

Tampa Bay also got a solo homer from Shawn Riggans in the eighth.

Juan Castro and Aubrey Huff had RBI doubles for Baltimore, which has lost eight of 10.

Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora left the game in the third with a strained left hamstring. He was hurt trying to beat out a ground ball with two and two out in the third.

Mora is hitting .393 with 12 homers and 49 RBIs since the All-Star break. He’s not expected to play in the final two games of the series Saturday and Sunday.

Baltimore catcher Ramon Hernandez was ejected by plate umpire Sam Holbrook in the fourth. After the Rays had gone up 10-0, Hernandez argued with Holbrook after a check-swing by Tampa Bay’s Akinori Iwamura was called a ball.

Baltimore Orioles' Melvin Mora…

AP - Aug 29, 9:48 pm EDT
Orioles reliever Fernando Cabrera, who allowed the homers to Zobrist and Gross, drew the ire of Trembley for flipping the ball into air when he left the mound.

Cabrera apologized after the game for his action.

“He was frustrated that he gave up the home runs,” Trembley said. “I’ll deal with it. When I say I’ll deal with, it won’t mean that I’ll ignore it. I’ll deal with, which means I’ll do something about it.”


Kazmir threw 102 pitches. … Orioles RHP Daniel Cabrera began serving his six-game suspension for throwing at the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez on July 29 after the ruling was upheld by Major League Baseball. … Rays 3B Evan Longoria (right wrist) made around 70 throws, but hasn’t started hitting. … Tampa Bay C Dioner Navarro (hamstrings) could start Saturday after being out of the lineup three consecutive games. … The Rays released LHP Kurt Birkins, who was pitching for Triple-A Durham.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Oscar and Manny Not as Credible As You Might Think

Manny talk of any kind sickens me. In this country they treat him like he found the cure for cancer. And it's not like we are talking a real role model here. I admit I am not the biggest boxing fan but might as well quote an expert. The proposed fight in December made front page news here in this attention starved country. I knew in my gut something was wrong with this picture. I mean the fight not the title picture of Oscar. Might as well hear it from a boxing expert. Somebody who is objectively covering this event with the emotion and the false patriotism removed. Somebody actually viewing it from a boxing angle.


Oscar takes low road in fighting Pacquiao
By Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports

Aug 26, 2008
Apparently, Oscar De La Hoya didn’t feel like waiting for the outcome of WBO junior flyweight champion Ivan Calderon’s bout on Saturday before choosing his next opponent.

Seven months after fighting a super lightweight, De La Hoya decided on Thursday to drop a class and take on a lightweight when he announced he’d be facing Manny Pacquiao on Dec. 6 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

No word on whether he gave serious consideration to either Sky Low Low or Little Beaver.

De La Hoya is embarrassing himself and the sport he professes to love by refusing to fight the real challengers in his division and picking on a guy who has only once fought above 130 pounds. But for this fight, De La Hoya will make Pacquiao fight at welterweight.

It’s a farce.

Yes, it’s going to be a big event. Yes, it’s going to generate tens of million, perhaps hundreds of million, dollars.

But De La Hoya is hardly covering himself in glory fighting a man so much smaller. This is a fight pitting a one-time middleweight champion against a one-time flyweight champion.

Thank about that: De La Hoya won a world title belt in the 160-pound weight class. Pacquiao won one in the 112-pound class.

The bout will be fought at welterweight, which has a weight limit of 147 pounds. De La Hoya hasn't’t made 147 since he knocked out Arturo Gatti on March 24, 2001.

By fight night, it will be seven years, eight months and 13 days since De La Hoya stepped onto a scale and weighed 147 pounds

And so as not to be confused with how great the disparity in size between these two men is, realize that a month before De La Hoya manhandled Gatti, Pacquiao weighed 122 for a Feb. 24, 2001, victory over Tetsutora Senrima.

De La Hoya said he decided to purse the fight because he felt challenged. His ex-trainer, Freddie Roach, who trains Pacquiao, suggested Pacquiao could win because De La Hoya no longer can pull the trigger.

And it’s true that De La Hoya hardly looked sharp in his last outing, a win over Steve Forbes. De La Hoya won nearly every round, but was sloppy and failed to assert his size.

Pacquiao’s best chance to win this fight is if De La Hoya is, indeed, over the hill. That’s where the intrigue in this fight lies.

Pacquiao is, as De La Hoya repeatedly noted during a conference call to announce the bout on Thursday, the faster man. And at this stage of his career, he’s clearly the more skilled and talented man.

But he won’t be able to stay outside and use his quickness to outbox De La Hoya, because he is giving up five or six inches in reach, an extraordinary figure for a guy who can’t afford to get into a shootout.

And while Pacquiao is one of the hardest hitters at both super featherweight and lightweight, it’s difficult to imagine he’ll be able to hurt De La Hoya. This is a guy who went 24 rounds with Shane Mosley and 12 rounds with Felix Trinidad, both of whom were among the hardest punchers at either 147 or 154. He was never seriously hurt, or even rocked, in either of those fights.

Pacquiao’s power won’t be the same at 147 as it was at 135 and it’s clear he won’t hit as hard as either Mosley or Trinidad did.

There’s no way to get around the fact that De La Hoya is flat-out ducking WBA welterweight champion Antonio Margarito.

That’s the fight that he should have taken and the match that would have made sense. Margarito, though, would have mauled De La Hoya and the Golden Boy wants no part of that.

Pacquiao deserves credit for taking on the challenge that De La Hoya would not. He has so many physical disadvantages, but he took the fight regardless.

He even had the pluck to say that he expects to be stronger than De La Hoya.

“He’s taller than me, but I believe I’m going to be stronger,” Pacquiao said.

That’s unlikely, but good for Pacquiao for believing it. It’s too bad De La Hoya no longer has that kind of competitive spirit. Oh, he tried to act as if he took the bout when he heard Roach suggest Pacquiao would win the fight because De La Hoya can no longer pull the trigger.

He said that got his competitive juices flowing and made him decide to try to make the bout.

“When people started saying, ‘Manny can beat you,’ and ‘Manny can knock you out,’ and especially when Freddie Roach started saying ‘Oscar can’t pull the trigger,’ or ‘Manny Pacquiao, the fighter I train, can beat you,’ it started to become a challenge to me,” De La Hoya said. “Now, it’s very personal, especially when Manny Pacquiao beat all the legendary Mexican fighters from Mexico. To me, it’s a challenge. People are talking.

People are talking that Manny Pacquiao can beat me. Well, we’ll see Dec. 6.”

Nice try, Oscar.

This fight has nothing to do with De La Hoya’s competitive spirit or belief he has to defend the honor of beaten Mexican fighters.

He took the fight for the money.

He’ll get paid more – far more – to face Pacquiao than he would to fight anyone else who was in consideration.

At least speak the truth, Oscar.

But De La Hoya is so much into image and saying the right thing, that, as Jack Nicholson said to Tom Cruise in “A Few Good Men,” he can’t handle the truth.

Or at least admit it.

Admit you’re fighting for the money and no one complains. It’s a hard business and a dangerous game and every fighter, even ones who have made more than a quarter of a billion dollars in the ring, deserves as much as possible every time out.

But it’s ridiculous when De La Hoya attempts to frame it as a competitive challenge.

If he wanted a challenge, he’d be fighting Margarito. He wants a payday, so he’s fighting Pacquiao.

De La Hoya, who also backed off his earlier vow to retire after this fight, will only lose this fight if he’s totally shot.

And though he’s just 3-3 in his last six and looked less than intimidating against Forbes, another much smaller man, he figures to be greatly motivated for this one and should assert his physical superiority.

Given that he’s now not committed to retiring, at least there’s hope.

Sky Low Low may yet get his shot at the Golden Boy.

Kevin Iole covers boxing and mixed martial arts for Yahoo! Sports. Send Kevin a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

Lady Golfers English Language Mermaids Banderas Public Relations and the Marketplace

Let's try to look at this practically. Steve Carlton played a team sport and he was one of 25 players on one team. The LPGA is an individual sport. A considerable amount of revenue that the golfers can hope to earn will come from American fans , TV stations and sponsors. Any kind of spectacle based business relies on marketing. Specially one that draws in as little revenue as the LPGA. Who owns the league? They can make rules subject to the established labor code.

Every year, watch the NBA Playoffs. The league forces the players to meet with the press. They have a responsibility to say something to the fans. Because who pays their salary? They are fined by David Stern for no shows during the press conference.

No one is forcing the foreign players to play in a league that mostly plays in the U.S., it's their choice. They can always earn in their own country and speak their own language entirely.

Back when I was in high school. Splash with Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah and John Candy was a huge hit. I heard something back then that really struck me. Somebody commented that no matter where you went on TV , one of our stars was there to plug the movie. The players compete among each other yes but the league competes with every form of entertainment out there. There has to be some connect.

Good sound bites are always good promo for anything. If your sponsorship money will come from American companies , it's a good idea to have those sound bites in the language of the audience. This is a good example of having your cake and eating it too. People leave their local tour to compete in the best tour . But the language of the tour and the location of the tour is a predominantly English speaking place. Public relations is part of the game folks. Plus it's an individual sport. Nobody really cares if Ichiro does not speak too much English because they don't need him as much to save baseball. But if you are top 20 earner on the LPGA tour and you can't speak English , that is an entirely different ballgame so to speak.

Never forget this. When any athlete on the LPGA tour speaks to Mike Tirico of ESPN , she is not addressing Mr.Tirico, she is addressing not only women's golf fans but all of the ESPN audience. ESPN is giving a chance to get their attention. I'm sorry but a translator hurts that chance.

Again let me step outside of sports to give you a real life example. Antonio Banderas, even before he learned English was a very very accomplished actor in his native Spain. Some would find that good enough. Nobody forced him to go to Hollywood to go on and make Mambo Kings, Zorro and Desperado. That was his choice. Part of his commitment to his choice is to cater to his prospective audience and learn how to speak and act in English. That was part of the price he had to pay to broaden his horizons. I would like to think we are richer for it.

I will leave you with a few questions: 1) where does the money come 2) where does the league play? 3) what do the sponsors want? 4) is there a competition for sponsors? 5) how well off is the LPGA compared to other forms of entertainment? 6) What responsibilities do the players have to market their own league?

Make sure you listen to Colin's take on all this which is not identical to mine and the three different videos included. ( in the blog section)


Golf-LPGA players told they must speak English from 2009
Aug 27, 7:11 am EDT

Buzz Up PrintLONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - The world’s top women golfers will be required to speak English from 2009 under new rules introduced by the LPGA Tour.

“We’re focusing on the fact that we’re in the sports entertainment business and we have to interact with fans and sponsors,” LPGA deputy commissioner Libba Galloway told the USA Today website (

“This is not meant to be punitive in any way. There are very few players who don’t speak English.

“We don’t think suspensions will happen but if they do we’re not going to say, ‘Boom, go home and try again next year’,” she added. “We’ll work with them on identifying areas for improvement.”

There are 121 international players from 26 countries on the United States-based LPGA Tour, including 45 from South Korea alone.

Mexican Lorena Ochoa tops the LPGA’s 2008 money list with Taiwan’s Yani Tseng fourth and young South Korean Park Inbee ranked fifth. The website said the South Korean players were told at a mandatory meeting on Aug. 20 at the Safeway Classic that from 2009 all players who have been on the Tour for two years must pass an oral English test.

Galloway said the “measurement time” would be at the end of 2009 and players who fell short would be provided with resources such as tutoring.

Leading Korean golfer Pak Se-ri supported the stance.

“We agree we should speak some English,” she told Golf Week. “We play so good overall. When you win, you should give your speech in English.

“Mostly what comes out is nerves. Totally different language in front of camera. You’re excited and not thinking in English,” she added.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, Editing by Clare Fallon)

Good Thought That I Need

Always , always be listening , watching and reading something new . You never know what you will pick up. Oh yes I will be the first to admit I am cynical in this blog. But once in a while something positive comes along that can help you improve someone' else's outlook and even your own. I heard this today and it reminded me that I have to more in improving people's lives and to share more positive things to y'all. Hope you can take the one minute to listen to him say it.

If you need to know more about the source, I included the two links below:


When people need love and understanding the most is when they usually deserve it the least. - Lou Holtz said on ESPN Radio Aug 28, 2008 (sound clip included in this entry).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Mentality that leads to Zero Medals for the Philippines

Why The

Has No

I made up this quiz a couple of years ago. I dare anybody ask these questions to the majority of this nation and get something more substantive . You give this quiz to the typical Pinoy and the only question they will get right is basketball. The majority have not heard of ESPN nor would they care if they did. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but don't whine about not placing top 3 in the world every four years. This is indicative of the consciousness of this culture. It is what is. By itself there is nothing wrong with that. How anybody expects the culture to produce world class competitors in sports they do not have a clue about is beyond lunacy. We don't care in years not divisible by four yet we will belly ache when we get goose egged during the Olympic years. We get what we deserve based on what we put in. Olympics when done right (without chemists) can teach us all one thing. There is no instant gratification. Maybe all the people here expecting medals but only know basketball can learn that.


Interviewer: Can I ask you some questions about sports?

Typical Pinoy: Sige.

Interviewer: What is the fastest sport?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : What is the roughest sport?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : What is the game of inches?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : What is the sport of Kings ?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : What is the most physical sport?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : What is the thinking man's sport?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : What is the coolest sport on ice?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : Name an indoor sport?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : Name an outdoor sport?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : What is America's pasttime?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : What sport consistently draws the highest TV ratings in the US?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : What sport consistently draws the highest TV ratings in Canada?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : What sport consistently draws the highest TV ratings in China?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : What sport consistently draws the highest TV ratings in Jamaica?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : What sport is played outdoors that requires 22 players on a field all wearing helmets?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : What sport is played outdoors that requires 22 players on a field all not wearing helmets and only one person per side can legally touch the ball with their hands ?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : What sport uses a ball that is not round and is thrown forward?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : Name a sport where the defence has the ball ?

Typical Pinoy: basketball

Interviewer : Thank you for your time.

Typical Pinoy: Anong thank you?? Madali naman yung tanong mo!!!

I Guess This Means I am safe?

So that's the ticket. get really fat by unhealthy means to stave off execution. Seems to be working for this guy. He is a changed man??? Anyone of us would be "changed " with a stay in big house with a death sentence. His crime happened in 1986 and its 2008. Anyone changes in 22 years. Excuse not good enough.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A death row inmate who says he's too fat to be executed received poor legal help during his trial and later when he appealed the death sentence, his lawyers said Monday during a clemency hearing.

It's the second time that Richard Cooey, convicted of killing two University of Akron students in 1986, has asked the state for mercy.

The Ohio Parole Board denied a similar request five years ago, and Cooey came within a day of being executed in 2003 before a federal judge issued a reprieve.

In a lawsuit filed this month, his lawyers said that executioners would have trouble finding Cooey's veins and that his weight could diminish the effectiveness of one of the lethal injection drugs.

Cooey stands 5 feet 7 and weighs 267 pounds. His execution is scheduled for October 14. It would be the first execution in the state since the end of a moratorium while the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed Kentucky's lethal injection procedure.

Cooey didn't attend Monday's clemency hearing, and neither side argued the merits of the obesity lawsuit.

His lawyers said that Cooey's original defense team didn't properly present evidence about the effect of beatings he received as a child, as well as the impact of Cooey's alcohol abuse.

Cooey, 41, isn't the same person who committed the murders and is remorseful to the point of self-loathing, said Dana Cole, a University of Akron law professor who represented Cooey at the parole board hearing.

"If he's killed on October 14, we will kill a changed man," Cole said. "He's not the same man who committed these crimes."

Larry Whitney, one of Cooey's lawyers from the 1986 trial, said he and fellow defense attorney Roger Davidson did everything they could to present Cooey's psychological makeup and background to the three-judge panel trying the case.

The judges "obviously felt that the mitigation we presented did not outweigh the aggravating factors in the case," Whitney said.

Parole Board member Sandra Mack questioned whether Cooey has ever acknowledged his role in the crimes.

"This just does not sound like someone taking responsibility for the major part he played in killing these young women," Mack said.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh reviewed graphic details of the rape and murder of the two students. Cooey and his co-defendant met the victims after throwing chunks of concrete off an overpass and striking their car.

Walsh also reviewed Cooey's unsuccessful attempt to escape from death row in 2005, when he used a homemade ladder constructed of rolled-up magazines and sheets to scale an outdoor recreation area wall.

"In the 22 years since the defendant committed these brutal acts, he has never demonstrated one second of genuine remorse for murdering these two young women," Walsh said.

Cooey's accomplice, Clinton Dickens, was not eligible for the death penalty because he was 17 at the time of the murders. He is serving a life sentence.

The parole board will make a recommendation to Gov. Ted Strickland on Tuesday. Strickland can follow the board's ruling or make his own decision.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Filipino Olympic Effort and Results my reaction

One day my Olympics posts are gonna end. But not when there are just easy targets for me to expose my unique brand of warped words. A fellow Multiply mate brought out his frustration at R.P.'s Olympic team bringing back the exact same thing they always bring back. Nothing. Heck I was vacationing here in 1984 when we had the exact same discussion. Back when local TV was way more relevant to me than it is now. Well you can read my two different responses to the two different posters below. My own words as usual are in red italics. Plus read everything I previously said on the topic. Medals rarely mean authentic victory or superiority. Marion Jones, mega medals, mega cheater . Previously worshipped now correctly vilified. I have come to my own particular paradigm on the topic from years of reading about sports, competition and politics. Heck in our country it is enough that the elected officials and the law enforcement community cheat. We all know that. I rather lose in the Olympics where winners often cheat than to win and have the other shoe drop. Filipinos only care about basketball as a sport to spend their time on. I deal with it by not caring about local TV or sports sections. They don't target people with slightly broader horizons. They target basketball fans and M.P. fans. Don't believe me , read the columns. Who is really really surprised? The best go to basketball and they rarely achieve international acclaim. Then the leftovers are the pool to which we somehow have to build a competitive Olympic team.What's funny is no country is myopic as the Philippines in terms of basketball so it's their leftovers that beat our best. Go chew on that one .

Excellence comes from competition. Somebody point to me if there are amateur programs like the NCAA that have serious competition to forge such "medalists" in the different Olympic disciplines? Oh yeah discipline, organization and Philippines all in the same sentence. Silly me. Before I get hate mail on that sentence please look at our law and order situation, or how many drunk drivers are imprisoned or our stupid corrupt Senators or try lining up for the MRT without getting cut off or the quality of our jeepney and bus drivers. If that's all perfect go ahead and lambaste me. If those things don't at least partially define our country and our mentality again take your shots.



for chrissake!

rp athletes did us proud - cojuangco

"Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose "Peping" Cojuangco said all the members of the 15-man Philippine contingent made a performance "we all can be proud of" despite their failure to win a single medal in the XXIX Olympic Games"

Can you fahking believe that?

be proud of the fact that the games exposed us amateurs? the reality of how much we now lag behind?

even before the games got underway, everyone accepted the fact that there was no way we could have won any medals. sports illustrated picking harry tanamor to win silver was a pleasant surprise. but one had to hope. you'd think they put up a better fight and at least come close to winning a medal.

i guess what was frustrating was once the games started, everyone just dropped like flies. with no semblance of a fight. it was like the athlete's went to beijing for a token participation. i mean how else can you interpret all of them being eliminated in the first round eliminations.

and then they tell us to be proud of that fact? they're telling is to be proud of mediocrity? why do we always have to sugar coat and massage the ego of athletes and officials?

no wonder.

michael phelps has won one more medals (of any color) participating in 3 olympics than onlindapilipins participating in 19 olympics.


cornholiogogs wrote on Aug 24

It is very easy to reduce the evaluation of the Olympics to a one variable equation (medal count). My personal observation is we are drastic under achievers in terms of international sport because we are so myopic in focusing on basketball. We are the only country who's consciousness in terms of team sport is the game with the hoop is at about 95% when we are so genetically at a disadvantage. Our country's best athletes don't consider anything else. We truly deserve our obscurity .

As per relevance of medals you may read what I said previously:

(read reason #1)

Our country is not perfect but it helps to realize what lengths China went through for their dominance at these Games. Hope I make some sense. Peace!


evildeathbeast wrote on Aug 25
Maybe this will be the wake-up call the country needs.

Govt should spend more on sports programs that we can excel in. Not the ones we suck at (basketball!). How can we expect to get any medals kung hindi naman tinutulungan NG SAPAT ang mga atleta natin? Pero, if you think about it, we're not really a sporty people. We don't take sports seriously. I don't remember any PE class that I took seriously. I don't remember a PE class that anyone took seriously. Kung bata ka pa lang hindi na naituro sa iyo ang halaga ng sports, how can we develop Olympic class athletes? To real Olympic class athletes, sports is not a job. Sports is not for recreation. Sports is their life! I bet si Phelps kahit sa bath tub nagba-butterfly yun! Pero sa Pinas, pano mo gagawing buhay ang sport mo kung wala kang pambili ng lunch??

Lagi na lang ang focus sa basketball. We like the sport not because we want to excel in it, but because it makes us feel more "American". I am not the sportiest person, but looking back, it was mostly because there weren't any options to choose from when I was a kid. Basketball lang! Eh di ko siya trip. Sorry na lang ako. Sorry na lang lahat ng hindi trip ang basketball. Nerd kaming lahat. Tapos. Kasi sa Pilipinas basketball=sports.

Our standing in the Olympics paints a pretty accurate picture of our standing as a country: kulelat.

We shouldn't be ashamed of the athletes that went to Beijing, they did their best. We should be ashamed of the system that did not support them while they went out there to fight for our country's honor.

ev**********t said
We shouldn't be ashamed of the athletes that went to Beijing, they did their best. We should be ashamed of the system that did not support them while they went out there to fight for our country's honor.


cornholiogogs wrote on Aug 25 (response to above purple paragraph)

That is so true. If they did the best with what they had and they carry our colors proudly that is all we can ask for. Look at some of the countries who did medal, in terms of chemicals, paper shuffling, massive financing. I still strongly recommend reading
which even pokes holes at the American development system and they only got the most medals overall.;_ylt=AukpwftkGOjQf4GUJGvvbmi7KZt4

Besides why spend money on athletic development when it can be used to fuel corruption and the lifestyles and egos of senators , congressmen etc? gerwinco thanks for a thought provoking post that has different people all giving different points of view and supported. All you guys welcome to discuss topics in my page.

How to follow the NFL in this place Part 1

Although this is specifically for the NFL group, this concept is applicable to many many topics.

What you need is :

1) Internet access

2) an MP 3 player

then learn how to do this

A podcast is a series of digital-media files, which are distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and computers. The term podcast, like broadcast, can refer either to the series of content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also called podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster.

The term is a portmanteau of the words "iPod" and "broadcast",[1] the Apple iPod being the brand of portable media player for which the first podcasting scripts were developed (see history of podcasting). Such scripts allow podcasts to be automatically transferred to a mobile device after they are downloaded.[2] As more devices other than iPods became able to synchronize with podcast feeds, the term was redefined by some parties as an abbreviation for the backronym "Personal On Demand broadCASTING".[3][4][5]

Though podcasters' web sites may also offer direct download or streaming of their content, a podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added, using an aggregator or feed reader capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom.

Once you get all that in place a good place to start is

It may not be the only place but a good place specially if you are fond of any American sport like baseball , basketball, golf etc.

The NFL is the dominant sports league in America and ESPN covers it appropropriately .

ESPN Sports Daily, Mike and Mike, Tirico and Van Pelt , Thundering Herd, PTI will cover almost any topic football first in season before covering anything else. I suggest trying them all and stick with what works with you if any.

If you are truly hardcore, then listen to Football Today done by Scouts Inc. Jeremy Green, son of Dennis Green. Believe me, he will assume you know something about the game so be warned if you are a novice.

I don't watch TV, it takes me forever to watch a movie. But I am a podcast junkie. I will suggest even more NFL podcasts for you guys . I use Itunes and see no reason to use anything else to compile my podcasts. It does not matter if your player is an Ipod or not. Oh yeah, everything I recommend will be free.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cinderelly Cinderelly

I promised I would not do a review on this and I am really not. I quite enjoyed it and the kids Matthew and Andrew quite enjoyed it too. I can not elaborate but sets, costumes, songs all that was cool. And no it's not based on the Disney adaptation so my title is a misnomer. There , I came clean.


Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga's star turn playing the chimneysweep-turned-princess of the title in the international tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella will receive a cast recording.

Launched in The Philippines (Salonga's native country), the tour will play in mainland China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

"The timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality, charm and elegance. Originally presented on television in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella was the most widely viewed program in the history of the medium. Its recreation in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren was no less successful in transporting a new generation to the miraculous kingdom of dreams-come-true, and so was a second remake in 1997, which starred Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as her Fairy Godmother. As adapted for the stage, with great warmth and more than a touch of hilarity, the hearts of children and adults alike still soar when the slipper fits," state notes on the Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals website.

The international tour of Cinderella will be produced by Broadway Asia Entertainment.

During the original run of Les Miserables, Salonga performed the role of Eponine (she can be seen in that role on the 10th anniversary concert video). The performer, who was last seen on Broadway in the 2002 revival of Flower Drum Song, won the Tony Award, among other honors, for her Broadway debut in Miss Saigon. To non-theatregoers, she is best known for providing the singing voices to two Disney heroines--Jasmine in Aladdin and Mulan. A performer since childhood, she has been seen in numerous shows in the Phillipines. She has also released numerous solo albums; "Inspired," on the Sony BMG label, will be her latest.

Visit for more on Broadway Asia Entertainment. Visit for more on Salonga.

Who Says NFL Preseason Games are Worthless?

The argument before has been why charge full price for these games when you barely see the quality stars play and the games don't count for anything. My personal opinion it is a crime that the owners can do this.When some of these guys will be beer delivery men , airport baggage specialists or worse CFL starters in 2 weeks. Anyway one thing a pre season game can be significant is you can say " I was there to see the play that ended ___________ 's season.

Oh yeah on a personal note, the last NFL game I ever saw in person was a pre season one between the Colts and Seahawks in 1993.


Pro Bowl DE Osi Umenyiora hurts left knee

By TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer 35 minutes ago

Buzz Up

In this Feb. 3, 2008 file photo, New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora reacts during NFL football practice in East Rutherford, N.J. Umenyiora hurt his left knee and was carted off the field in the second quarter of the Giants' annual preseason game against the New York Jets on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008.
In this Feb. 3, 2008 file phot…
AP - Aug 23, 8:52 pm EDT

* NFL Gallery

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)—Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora injured his left knee in the second quarter of the New York Giants’ preseason game against the New York Jets, but coach Tom Coughlin said that early indications are that he did not suffer ligament damage.

X-rays taken during the Jets’ 10-7 win were negative. An MRI is planned on Sunday.

“I talked to him when he was in the locker room, in the training room,” fellow defensive end Justin Tuck said of a halftime exchange. “Obviously, he was down. It’s unfortunate when any injury occurs, but hopefully, it is nothing serious and he will not miss any time.”

Umenyiora left the locker room before the game ended and was not available for comment.

Umenyiora told Tuck that “he was good,” Tuck said.

The two-time Pro Bowler was hurt with 10:48 left in the half on a third-down incomplete pass by the Jets’ Brett Favre.

Defensive tackle Barry Cofield did not get a chance to talk to Umenyiora but he recalled the play.

“It looked like he was turning the corner and just kind of took an awkward step,” Cofield said. “The turf is hard and playing at that speed on that edge, you can tweak things.”

The 26-year-old could not put any weight on his leg. He was helped off the field with his arms wrapped around the shoulders of two trainers.

Coughlin said Umenyiora was in pain.

“The doctors told me there was no ligament damage,” Coughlin said when pressed.

Umenyiora started all 16 games last season and had 52 tackles and a team-high 13 sacks. He added seven tackles in the Giants’ run to the Super Bowl.

The Giants are a bit thin at defensive end this season with the retirement of seven-time Pro Bowler Michael Strahan. Justin Tuck has replaced Strahan. New York also signed veteran Renaldo Wynn in the offseason.

If Umenyiora was sidelined for any considerable time, the Giants could move strongside linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka back to defensive end. He was switched to linebacker last year so the team could put its best 11 players on the field.

“You are always concerned any time a player like that goes down,” Kiwanuka said. “That’s not good. We know the type of player he is and if he can come back he will. But we have the personal to step up in his absence.”

Kiwanuka sidestepped moving back to defensive end, saying that decision is up to the team.
Kick off the season! Sign up for Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football '08 today.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My thoughts on the US Medal Count

And this applies to every Olympics. No society has as many different big money pro sports leagues than the US. In order of relevance (TV ratings) NFL Football, Major League Baseball, NBA Basketball and NHL Hockey. Hockey still plays their stars in the multi millions so I include them in my list. Unlike the Major Soccer League who pays their "star" in the multi millions. Americans still have a lot of their most excellent athletes playing Wide Receiver, Quarterback, Center Field, Shortstop , Point Guard etc. Usually these guys are not part of the Olympic feeder system and won't even push the guys who are there. As Wetzel states, the accumulation of cash is a big motivation for those who pick the sport that they do. So if the US does not do well in a venue like the World Cup of Soccer, it's no big deal to me. It is not indicative of their overall athletic ability. And I will always hammer this point, 90% of Olympics sports dwell in relative obscurity in years that are not divisible by 4. This is the ultimate question, which system would you rather live in or should I say live under??? That is the real winner.



U.S. will be rocked by China’s heavy medals

By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports Aug 22, 3:45 pm EDT

BEIJING – Across the Chinese media, the story has hit saturation coverage. China, once mocked as “the weaklings of Asia,” is going to win what it calls the total medal count for the Beijing Games.

China, like most of the world, values gold medals above all and only counts them in the standings. With 47 and counting, its total dwarfs all other nations. The United States is second with 31.

In the U.S., all medals are counted, so the Americans still hold a lead (102-89 after Friday’s competition) by that standard. The U.S. is trying to retain the total medal supremacy (by its count) it’s held since boycotting the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The U.S. has won the most golds since 1996.

In China, the accounting differences don’t matter. By the Chinese’s standard, this is over. And that’s the only standard. They talk about China’s victory all day on state-run television. Stories are all over the nation’s government-controlled major newspapers.

“China’s Gold Boom!” screamed one show on CCTV.

The difficult thing for the Americans to stomach is the situation is unlikely to change in future Games. This isn’t a one-time surge by a host nation. This isn’t even a run of great success.

China’s system of athletics places value on the medal count above all – as opposed to professional success or athlete choice. Whether the U.S. holds on this time or not, eventually China’s system, coupled with its 1.3 billion people, should be unstoppable.

The U.S. can’t and, despite USOC claims, probably won’t want to compete in the same manner.

“China has been systematically targeting every single available medal, and we’re going to have to do that in the future,” the USOC’s Peter Ueberroth said. “It’s going to be very difficult (to dislodge China). The resources that they put toward their Olympic team and the population base and the dedication is fantastic.”

The proof of America’s challenge was in successful American athletes all over Beijing the last two days.

There was Hope Solo as she climbed a gold medal stand for women’s soccer, Tayshaun Prince as he grabbed a rebound in a men’s basketball semifinal victory over Argentina, and Jennie Finch as she teared up at winning just silver in what is expected to be the last softball competition. All are world-class athletes and all helped deliver a medal. If the goal is the medal count, though, none of the three may have maximized their ability.

If they had competed in individual sports where they could’ve racked up multiple medals, rather than be part of a team that won just one, those three could have been more valuable by medal count standards.

In China, they wouldn’t have had a choice. A sports star, like the property a house is built on, is owned by the government. The pursuit of sport is for national pride. The motivation is societal, as opposed to capitalistic in the United States.

China selects athletes at young ages and pushes them into sports in which their expected body types might thrive. In the U.S., an athlete is allowed to follow his own path to success or failure.

The results are dramatic. In an effort to bolster its Olympic standing – the total medal count – China embarked on a program in which it placed particular emphasis in competitions that awarded many medals and where world competition wasn’t particularly robust. As recently as 1988, China won just five golds.

In these Games, it has been powered by eight golds in weightlifting, seven in diving and five in shooting. While the Chinese have won their share of heavily contested competitions, such as women’s gymnastics, the focus on more obscure sports has paid dividends.

China doesn’t apologize for it. Nor should it. It has its goal and the perfect plan to attain it.

In the U.S., the athlete’s goal is most often himself. The two sports that siphon off the most male athletes are football and basketball. Combined, they yield just a single medal.

Would Jake Long be a great hammer thrower and thus valuable to the USOC? Considering his powerful 6-foot-7, 315-pound frame, long arms and quick feet, it stands to reason yes. Long, though, was the first overall pick of the NFL draft and signed a contract worth $57 million to block for the Miami Dolphins.

No one in their right mind in the States would expect him to do anything else.

In men’s basketball, where the U.S. is favored to win gold, imagine the value the players would have if they broke off into individual pursuits. LeBron James as a heavyweight boxer? Prince and his 6-8 height and 7-2 wing span as a swimmer? Michael Redd as a dead-eye shooter (rifle, not jump)?

If they were Chinese, they might produce many medals rather than a combined one.

While some Chinese athletes make considerable money in endorsements and performance contracts – hurdler Liu Xiang’s likeness is everywhere here – the lack of professional sports opportunities create a mindset foreign to America and conducive to Olympic glory.

Then there are Solo and Finch, two high-profile female athletes. The U.S. is particularly strong in women’s sports, although much of it is in team competition. Just on Thursday here, American teams in beach volleyball and soccer all won gold. Softball won silver, and basketball and indoor volleyball each advanced to gold-medal games.

That’s an enormous amount of gifted athletes producing just five potential medals. And softball is slated for elimination from play after these Olympics.

Team sports, thanks to Title IX legislation from the early 1970s, have been a powerful and positive force in the lives of American girls, whether they reach this level or not. It’s a system that remains the right one for the United States and through the years has produced 2,200 total medals (over 900 of them gold), more than twice any other nation.

China is coming, though. America will have to accept that what’s best for it may not be best for nationalistic headlines or prideful medal counts.

Soon enough, the Chinese winning the medal count won’t be a question of accounting or even such big news.
Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist. Send Dan a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.


Updated Aug 2

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hypocrisy at the Olympics

Remember my Olympics rant just as it began? Out of my 8 reasons why I am turned off #4 was leadership. But that article was referring to Juan Antonio Sammaranch who left around the Utah WInter Games. Well this Dan Wetzel column proves that "the apple does not fall from the tree". Based on what I see here, Rogge does not seem to pick his spots well. I want to thank Bolt for one thing. Giving the shows I listen to somebody else to talk about that is 1) not initialled M.P. and 2) not American. I mean the attention given to he who must not be named by me was of Pacquian proportion . Believe me that is a deja vu that I do not enjoy. Reason why I hate attention given to he who got 8 golds in the pool is where were all those fans this time last year? What else do these people root for between Olympics? Kohoutek? Also you may notice hypocrisy not only in the 2008 Olympics but in this blog. For a Kill Joy like me , I must have milked the Olympics for about two dozen blog entries. Anyway click the links and enjoy Mr. Wetzel's fine column.


Rogge rips the wrong guy

By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports Aug 21, 10:40 am EDT


BEIJING — Jacques Rogge is so bought, so compromised, the president of the IOC doesn’t have the courage to criticize China for telling a decade of lies to land itself these Olympic Games.

All the promises made to get these Games — on Tibet, Darfur, pollution, worker safety, freedom of expression, dissident rights — turned out to be phony, perhaps as phony as the Chinese gymnasts’ birthdates Rogge was way too slow to investigate.

One of the most powerful men in sports turned the world away from his complicity. Instead, he has flexed his muscles by unloading on a powerless sprinter from a small island nation.

Rogge’s ripping of Usain Bolt’s supposed showboating in two of the most electrifying gold-medal performances of these Games has to be one of the most ill-timed and gutless acts in the modern history of the Olympics.

"That’s not the way we perceive being a champion," Rogge said of the Jamaican sprinter. "I have no problem with him doing a show. I think he should show more respect for his competitors and shake hands, give a tap on the shoulder to the other ones immediately after the finish and not make gestures like the one he made in the 100 meters."

Oh, this is richer than those bribes and kickbacks the IOC got caught taking.

All the powerful nations — including the United States — have carte blanche at the Games. They can pout and preen, cheat, throw bean balls, file wild complaints, break promises that got them a host bid, whatever they want. They can take turns slapping Rogge and his cronies around like rag dolls as long as the dinner with a good wine list gets paid.

A single individual sprinter? Even if you don’t like his manner, that’s whom Rogge deems it necessary to attack, to issue a worldwide condemnation?

"I understand the joy," Rogge said. "He might have interpreted that in another way, but the way it was perceived was ‘catch me if you can.’ You don’t do that. But he’ll learn. He’s still a young man."

Perceived by whom? Old fat cats making billions of Olympic dollars on the backs of athletes like Bolt for a century now? They get to define this? They get to lecture about learning?

Bolt is everything the Olympics are supposed to be about. He isn’t the product of some rich country, some elaborate training program that churns out gold medals by any means necessary.

He’s a breath of fresh air, a guy who came out of nowhere to enrapture the world with his athletic performance and colorful personality. This is no dead-eye product of some massive machine.

He was himself, and the world loved him for it.

On his own force of will, Bolt has become the break-out star of these Games. He saved the post-Michael Phelps Olympics. It wasn’t so much his world-record times, but the flair, the fun.

No one at the track had a problem with this guy; they understood he is everything the sport needs to recover from an era of extreme doping. The Lightning Bolt made people care about track again, something that seemed impossible two weeks ago.

"I don’t feel like he’s being disrespectful," American Shawn Crawford told the Associated Press. "He deserves to dance."

Apparently, Rogge would prefer 12-year-old gymnasts too frightened to crack a smile.

IOC President Jacques Rogge (seen here on August 18) said Thursday he will decide in October at the earliest whether he seeks another mandate next year in Copenhagen. The 65-year-old Belgian said that he would not just take into account how the Beijing Games had been perceived when taking his decision but also set them alongside the other three that have taken place during his reign.

It got better when, in the same press conference, he pretended to forget all the lies China told him to get this bid, all the troubles, all the challenges, and praised the host nation. Yes, these have been an exceptionally well-run Games from a tactical standpoint, and the Chinese people have displayed otherworldly kindness.

None of which denies the promises broken, the innocent jailed, the freedoms denied — the kind of issues someone with Jacques Rogge’s standing should be talking about.

He has no spine for that. Not for China. Not for any big country. He had to criticize someone, he had to make headlines, he had to show he was a tough guy. So who better than someone from somewhere that can’t ever touch him back?

Yes, Usain Bolt is the problem of the Olympics. He’s the embarrassment. He’s the one who needs to learn.

Sure, Jacques, sure.

Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist. Send Dan a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Will I ever get used to this?

I am not coming down or making an ultra harsh blanket statement on the topic. Just saying it's so weird to see this phrase:

and her wife

and wondering if I will ever get used to it. And as some of you know I am a George Takei fan.


Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi looked absolutely lovely at their wedding last weekend. Hopefully the dynamic duo will be together forever.
photo by Lara Porzak/ - August 16, 2008


Ellen DeGeneres

Portia de Rossi

George Takei

Monday, August 18, 2008

Flashback to 1990 SFU

Flashback to 1990 SFU

I am watching for who knows how many times Apocalypse Now. A movie so twisted that it's so good. It's a surprise everyone of the key players survived the experience.

  • Lawrence Fishburne was 14 and was on drugs like just about everyone else on the set.
  • You could write a book about Brando's problems
  • Charlie Sheen almost died
  • I wonder how much of Dennis Hopper was acting?

Sofia Coppola witnessed all this. After all that goofiness, Taking Winona Ryder's place in Godfather and directing Bill Murray in a drama must have been a breeze.

OK but I did not write this to talk about a Vietnam movie. I wrote this to talk about one of my earlier terms in SFU. It was a Sociology class. And we were in our small weekly discussion groups lead by a teaching assistant (graduate student).

We were saying our names. Then he said "Emilio Estevez" (you know Martin Sheen's son/ Charlie's brother) . You can tell. He hated this ritual and he also could not lie. A little bit later in the term a bunch of us were talking . He was telling us how stupid people were asking if he was named after him. The guy was about 20 in 1990. Its not like Emilio was a celebrity in 1970.

Yes this is a stupid story to remember 18 years later but hey , that's me.

Pat Riley and the Departing Warrior

I try to have my old books around for the simple reason that I never feel I get 100% out of them the first time around. Also many times something will not make as much as sense as it can to you because you may lack life experience at that point. Anyway I was flipping through this book and came across this blurb. And it reminded of a previous blog entry that you might remember. You also know Pat Riley as the coach and or President of the Lakers, Knicks, Heat. I first read this book in the mid nineties.


Riles' Rule of the Departing Warrior

When the do-or-die gladiator hangs up his sword, the fear and awe that marked the team's respect of him during his reign may turn to resentment and turmoil. The Warrior's departure may throw his own team off-balance on leaving, as much as his aggressiveness earlier undercut the team's opponents on the field.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Elvis Pop Up See See Rider

More Elvis on his 31st Anniversary. Enjoy!!!!

Urgent from Gogs Garbage Videos

or Third Sign of the Apocalypse.

Four score and twenty three years ago when I came up with this crazy idea and worse roped in people to help execute that vision , I thought of this song. Even from the title, what comes to mind? I thought so. Yes that is Benjie Lopez.

Second Sign of the Apocalypse

Expect stupidness and a lot of thinner people . Otherwise don't press play. And yes there is one more.


Burning Love Pop Up

The King is alive! At least in my Multiply. I don't know if it says it in the pops but Burning Love was Elvis' last Top 10 hit , 5 years before his death.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Heartbreak Hotel Pop Up

It was 31 years ago. I will not lie and tell you like it was only yesterday. That was a long time ago. It was during the time of the San Agustin fair. I was grade 6. The news said Elvis was dead. In the days of 5 channels, no Internet if you knew of someone and you were grade 6, they were a celebrity. Little did I know I would be in a band singing Elvis covers 15 years later. I think the tapes of those are burned so don't sweat the thought just yet. Anyway I will upload these Elvis Pop ups to give you a lot of info in a short period of time. Sorry the VHS flickers a bit.


Comeback performance in ’68 saved Elvis

On anniversary of death, fans remember TV special as highlight for the King

updated 1:23 p.m. ET Aug. 13, 2008

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - When Elvis Presley made his TV special in 1968, he was coming off a string of forgettable films and a long dry spell on the charts, and the rock ’n’ roll music he’d helped pioneer had given way to the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.

It was a tough time for a comeback, but Presley, looking fit and tan in black leather, pulled it off with one of his best performances ever.

"You can argue that it was the highlight of his career. He had been treading water for eight or 10 years," said Alan Stoker, a historian at the Country Music Hall of Fame, where Presley has been a member since 1998.The 40th anniversary of what’s known among Elvis aficionados as "The ’68 Special" is getting attention as fans gather in Memphis this week to mark the anniversary of the singer’s death from heart disease and drug abuse on Aug. 16, 1977.

Presley’s Graceland mansion has opened an exhibit dedicated to the program, RCA has released a boxed set of all the music, and Steve Binder, the TV show’s producer and director, has published a book, "’68 at 40: Retrospective."

"He said he was fearful of doing television, because aside from the ‘Ed Sullivan’ exposure, television had been a fiasco for him," Binder said in an interview. "He said, ‘Television is not my turf. I’m not comfortable in a television studio.’ I said, ‘Why don’t you make a record and I’ll put pictures to it."’

And that’s pretty much what they did for the hourlong show, which aired Dec. 3, 1968, on NBC.

The original idea, the one Elvis’ manager, Col. Tom Parker, had in mind, was a Christmas special with Presley singing holiday favorites.

But Binder wanted Presley doing his own songs and doing them alone instead of with guest stars — a departure from Christmas specials of the day.

The real breakthrough, though, was offsetting the big-production numbers with a loose, in-the-round performance — raw and unscripted — before a small audience.

"We’d start shooting at 9 or 10 in the morning and go until we were done, then he’d go into his living quarters and invite friends and they’d jam to all hours of the morning," Binder recalled. "I was amazed by all the energy, enthusiasm and fun going on after a hard day’s work. And it was like looking through a keyhole at things you were not supposed to see. I thought, ‘This is better than what’s going on on-stage with the pre-planned numbers."’

Parker hated the idea, but Binder persisted until Parker allowed him to recreate the backstage jam session for the camera, bringing in Presley’s longtime guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer D.J. Fontana and other friends to help make him comfortable (it had been seven years since Presley last did a live concert).

"There was no plan at all. I mean absolutely nothing," Moore recalled. "He didn’t know what he was going to do. I knew he was going to pull out some of the old songs we’d done, that kind of thing. But that was it."

Only part of the improvisational footage appeared in the TV special (RCA released a full uncut version later), but it was the highlight. At 33, Presley was handsome and in fine form, telling stories and joking with the musicians.

At first, he seemed nervous. "This is supposed to be like an informal section of the show where we faint or do whatever we want to do, especially me," he cracked before his first number, "That’s All Right."

But by "Blue Suede Shoes" he was in control, swapping his acoustic guitar for Moore’s electric and stomping his feet through bluesman Jimmy Reed’s "Baby What You Want Me to Do."

Moore said Presley knew what was at stake.

"Because he hadn’t been touring — he had gotten into the movie thing — I know his feeling was ’I’m getting back before the public this way,"’ he said.

The show started a golden era for Presley that included his hits "Suspicious Minds," "In the Ghetto" and "Kentucky Rain," as well as a run of successful Las Vegas concerts and a January 1973 TV special, "Aloha From Hawaii," his last big artistic statement.

By the mid-’70s Presley had become a caricature of himself. But that night in ’68, he was a young man fighting to re-establish himself.

"I think it was the honesty," Binder said of the show’s success, "the fact that he wasn’t controlled, wasn’t reading prepared lines. It was raw and it was powerful, and I think it was who he really was."

© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Olympic angle you never considered

Olympic angle you never considered

Or at least me. Eric Kuselias on the other hand leaves no stone unturned to bring you solid sports journalism. . You come to my blog for the unusual, the unconventional well this is it. I won't even say it and I will let him introduce it. You'll have to download the sound file.
Once you listen to it all I can say is about Olympic performance . 

Sorry. Audio is here 

and actual file is here

Pau Gasol Sings

Read the different viewpoints. Of course when you ask any question , ultimately the answer leads to money. As in the Euro in this case. Where things are not as politically correct as the US. Anyway, make sure you download the song to hear Pau Gasol sing .

The Spanish National Team posed for a advertisement in which the team members each used a gesture popular for making fun of Asian people. From Pau Gasol to Ricky Rubio, each member of the team used their index fingers to pull up the corners of their eyes, mimicking the eyes of an Asian person, or in this case, a Chinese person.


BEIJING – When Jason Kidd logged into a laptop to see the Spaniards with his own eyes on Wednesday morning, the photo appeared just as described to him: Here were National Basketball Association players giggling like schoolgirls as they posed with fingers pressed against their temples in a squinty-eyed pre-Olympic salute to China.

Before long, Kidd considered the consequences had those giddy European faces been substituted with those of Team USA.

“We would’ve been already thrown out of the Olympics,” he told Yahoo! Sports. “At least, we wouldn’t have been able to come back to the U.S. …There would be suspensions.”

And for his European peers, well, Kidd suggested, “They won’t do anything to them. It’s a double standard.”

For Spain, there are several NBA players, including the Lakers’ Pau Gasol and Toronto’s Jose Calderon, in this unnerving team photo. They wore Spanish uniforms and had the federation’s seal on the floor. It ran as a full-page advertisement in a Madrid newspaper, an advertisement for a national team sponsor. This wasn’t an impromptu shot, but a carefully calculated choice.

Gasol is too smart, too sophisticated, to have let this happen. After practice Wednesday, he suggested that he wasn’t troubled with the photo on the merits of longstanding racial implications as much as he thought it wasn’t funny. The sponsor pushed and pushed them to pose, he said. They broke him down.


“It was supposed to be a picture that inspired the Olympic spirit,” Gasol said.

And how’d that work out, Pau? Just imagine what would’ve happened had that explanation come out of the mouth of Carmelo Anthony? Here’s what: Stern would’ve been on the next plane to China to work the damage control.

The Spaniards made a deplorable circumstance worse with dense justifications and a sense that they had done nothing wrong and nothing offensive. When they were hemming and hawing, digging a deeper ditch, Kidd talked at Team USA’s practice. He was curious how the Spanish players were spinning this.

“They have some explaining to do,” he said. “They’ll come up with something good.”

Gasol and Calderon aren’t just accountable to Spain on this Olympic stage but the global corporate entity that pays them more than $130 million in pro contracts. The NBA could’ve delivered a ready rebuke on Wednesday and there was none.

They’ll dock you $50,000 for ripping an incompetent official, but you can get a pass on an orchestrated racial slur? Gasol is kidding himself to say that he was pushed into it. Do you think Kobe Bryant would’ve been pressured to pose this way? LeBron James? Gasol is a serious, sensitive player with the prestige and clout for Spain to step up and say: Forget it, fellas. This isn’t happening. Only he didn’t.

As much as anything, this episode feeds a prevailing feeling among African-American NBA players that they’re the constant scapegoats for whatever issues – real or perceived – plague the sport. Without the public demanding a pound of accountability for European players, do they get a pass?

“The simple question is, ‘Would Stern and the league hold the American players accountable?’ And I think the answer to that is yes,” one NBA general manager said. “So why wouldn’t he hold the ‘other’ NBA players accountable – unless the rules only apply to the American players.”

So far, there’s nothing out of the league office. Rest assured, unless there’s an outcry over that photo, the NBA will wish this story away. Maybe the league will even issue a mild rebuke. It won’t be enough. Maybe this doesn’t rise to a suspension, but there should be significant fines and a bold condemnation. There needs to be a message delivered to NBA players everywhere: When you earn your money with us, you are always on the clock. Kidd, Kobe and LeBron understand it. It’s time the rest of the league does, too.

As some suggest he’ll do, Stern can’t dismiss this as the business of a federation team. These are NBA players returning to NBA cities this year. Never mind the host country and millions of fans here, but consider the Asian-American season ticket holders in cosmopolitan cities such as Toronto and Los Angeles. One of the reasons the New Jersey Nets traded for Yi Jianlian was to market him to a large Asian-American base in Metropolitan New York.

The NBA is a global league, so understand: Whatever the summer uniform, it’s the players who are forever representing the logo. The idea that Stern shouldn’t act on this behavior because it falls under FIBA and Spanish rule is ridiculous.

“We could say that too, but at the end of day, we are still representing the NBA,” Kidd said. “No matter if we’re saying (the actions) have nothing to do with it. At the end of day, we have to go back home, and our jobs are there.”

Stern is walking a slippery slope here, balancing relationships and partnerships in China and Europe. Already, there are jealousies developing in Europe over the way Stern is fawning over the Chinese market. Some European teams have told American marketers and agents that they’ve felt neglected in Stern’s wanderlust for Asia. FIBA is the governing body for European basketball and they’ve already dismissed this as a non-issue. That’s FIBA’s right, but the NBA has a different responsibility here. It has to take the higher ground.

“It would start an international riot if we did it, but they aren’t us,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “It’s low-rent stuff, but FIBA won’t do squat, so (the) NBA would show them up with any punitive action. I would be shocked if the NBA does any more than condemn (the) action.”

These Games have been a fascinating illustration in the complexities of the NBA’s globalization. The Americans have been treated like rock stars in China. Team USA has handled everything with grace and good humor. After too many trips overseas when this wasn’t the case for America’s national team, it sure is now.

Yes, there are different attitudes in the world, different sensibilities in Europe and North America. But for the NBA, there can be just one set of right and wrong. There should be only a strong voice and strong action now. No one should have to call for accountability from the Spaniards – the way that they would for Americans. Once and for all, David Stern has to be clear that there aren’t rules and responsibilities for different athletes, and different backgrounds – just those for an NBA player.

Adrian Wojnarowski is the NBA columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Send Adrian a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.