My year in review, adios 2011

30 12 2011

Another great year in “mi vida deportiva,” but not just in my life of sports, but life in general. I’ll skip the worst of the year and focus on the best moments. Because I can.

Year 2 in Arizona is coming to a close, but it began with the BCS national championship game here in Glendale, and I was fortunate enough to cover it. Even though my beloved Oregon Ducks lost, I was pretty proud of their effort and I can say that I was there. 

Later in January 2011 I took my first trip to the new Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore., new home for Oregon basketball. Awesome place. I’ll always cherish old McArthur Court though.

In February my wife bought me an I-phone for Valentine’s Day. She keeps wanting me to say that the device has made my life better and easier, so I’ll say it: she’s right. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty sweet.

February and March were spent covering Major League Soccer training and baseball spring training. I was very busy, needless to say.

After celebrating the end of spring training with dinner at Morton’s — ooh, swanky! — baseball season began. I went home to Portland in April for my birthday and attended the inaugural Portland Timbers match at Jeld-Wen Field. It poured rain all night, but I was under the overhang and stayed dry and the Timbers thrilled the sellout crowd with the win.

Later in April I went to the two Phoenix Coyotes NHL playoff games against Detroit. The Coyotes got dominated but the atmosphere in Jobing.com Arena was fun. It’s cool to have an NHL team right in my own back yard.

At the end of the month I took my wife to see my favorite rap artist ever, DJ Quik. And we met Mr. Blake in person! Great night.

Then, it was off to see the world. Read the rest of this entry »

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Thanks for everything, Kasey Keller (and more weekend links)

16 10 2011

After the Oregon victory over Arizona State, made that much sweeter as a Duck in ASU territory — and after attending the Phoenix Coyotes’ NHL home opener in Glendale Saturday, I came home and had DVR’ed the Sounders-San Jose match on Fox Soccer Channel. Knowing today was going to be a busy work day (like all NFL Sundays for me), I had to watch it last night and complete a recap as promised for Soccer by Ives. (see link to that story below)

Saturday, then, began at the 2nd Annual Arizona Taco Festival with Stephanie. We got full, fast.

The place in the photo above put a pineapple in my carne asada taco, estilo chilango I guess? Delicioso! There was also a lucha libre ring.

Came home and it was off to the Coyotes game. Big crowd, Phoenix beat the Winnipeg Jets, and I wrote a stream of stories about it. But man it was freezing in that arena! I still like hockey, though..

I don’t get out to Jobing.com Arena often so I took some pics.

When the game was over and I was done writing, it was off to the in-laws house to watch Oregon-ASU. At halftime I wrote this with a happy heart.

The game ended late, and I still had another commitment to fulfill. But I am glad I was up into the early morning watching Kasey Keller’s final home regular-season match. I got to spend more than a year covering the Sounders and Kasey was a big part of the coverage, his personality and honesty helping drive the stories I wrote.

Read the rest of this entry »





Writers write, and I did a lot of it this week

17 09 2011

Can’t stress the title of this post enough. If writing is what you do and what you like, you do it as often as you can. So I write during a lot of whatever spare time I find when not editing or teaching.

Allow me to share with you a look back on my week of writing.

On Monday it was Arizona State football. QB Brock Osweiler is fantastic with the media. Read about his roommate on the road in this early preview of the ASU-Illinois game. 

Wednesday, my short story about Vancouver Whitecaps defender Jordan Harvey appeared on Soccer by Ives. He looks exactly like former Portland Trailblazers center Joel Przybilla. Here’s what Joel looks like:

Thursday I got kind of fired up about the Dodgers-Diamondbacks, Clayton Kershaw-Gerardo Parra flap. So I took this view for SB Nation Arizona. 

Read the rest of this entry »





Many reasons to like September

31 08 2011

As we bow out of August and roll into September, why not start this with an Earth Wind and Fire classic?

I like September because it reminds me of the first signs of autumn, except where I live the leaves don’t change colors or fall off, but at least I have that memory from being in the Pacific Northwest.

I like September because college and pro football are getting started.

I like September because baseball playoff races get exciting.

I like September because of Labor Day, even if I haven’t had one off for a while. Someone’s cooking somewhere, and I’m eating!

I like September because there’s usually a big boxing event in Vegas every year in the month. This year it’s Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz. I hope Ortiz flattens Pretty Boy Floyd and shuts his ever-yapping mouth. Time for him to be humbled.

Speaking of boxing, did you see what Oscar de la Hoya revealed?  Wow. I’m not surprised about the marital infidelity, but the drugs and alcohol were shocking to me. Always had a lot of respect for Oscar and I hope he gets help for his issues. He made bad choices but he’s human and America loves a comeback, right, Michael Vick/Plaxico Burress fans?

I like September because it’s my sister’s birth month. But I miss being around more often for her celebrations. Sorry, Shelli.

I like September because soccer in the U.S. is heading down the stretch, and just getting going around most of the rest of the world.

Hope everyone had a good August — mine was very busy — and wishing you all a happy September.

 

 





First trip to Flagstaff, AZ

15 08 2011

Took a two-day work trip up north from Phoenix to Flagstaff, Ariz., to cover two days of Arizona Cardinals training camp Sunday and Monday.

Flagstaff is great. Nice little city, historic Route 66, better-than-I-thought hotel room and lots of pine trees, mountains, clean air. And Northern Arizona University, home of Cards’ training camp and some really great buildings and facilities.

I cruised through town and around campus on Sunday and managed to take a few pictures. I’d come back here in the summer to get away from the Phoenix heat, it’d be a nice getaway.

It poured soon after I arrived in town. Thunder and lightning and cool temps.

Campus soccer pitch amid the pines

Cardinals running sprints inside Walkup Skydome

This sign greets all those sea-level opponents who play the NAU Lumberjacks at their house.

See next page for the Double Rainbow!

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Too much going on… and it’s only kind of fun

30 07 2011

Here is where we are today in sports:

-NFL training camps are under way after a wild three-four days of free agency courting. Lots of new faces with different teams. The Seahawks could have handled the Matt Hasselbeck departure better, but the guy has a place in the Ring of Honor waiting for him at CenturyLink Field and it totally deserved. Best QB in franchise history. I’ll be a Tennessee Titans fan on many given Sundays this fall.

I always didn’t look forward to camp starting when I covered the Seahawks. It meant the start of a lot of work between then and the end of the season, whenever that would be. And I still don’t like them. Just too much stuff to sift through thanks to the lockout and hurried pace of everything.

-In baseball, the trade deadline fast approaches and I would have thought there’d be a few more moves, but they could happen last minute. Here’s hoping the Pittsburgh Pirates find a way to win the NL Central.

-In soccer, a lot of leagues are about to start their regular seasons. In MLS, the season is into the second half. I want to see what teams are for real. Sure, the MLS All-Stars vs. Man U was kinda blah, especially without Chicharito, but it’s over, and now we can get down to real business. So whom should I be watching in the U-20 World Cup? The U-17 tournament was fun, and not just because Mexico won.

-In the NBA…. lockout. Yawn, wake me up when they end it and guys get to work. I could care less about all of these contrived exhibitions and glorified pickup games. I’d rather watch Streetball or AndOne Tour or whatever it’s called. Work it out, millionaire-zillionaires. I want a season. I like watching my Blazers. I like going to Suns games here. I am so not interested in stars talking about going to Europe to play. Anything I watch from Europe will be soccer.

Lastly, shout out to the Sons of Ben guys who were very complimentary of my Fulham jersey I wore to the Real Madrid-Union match last Saturday. It’s the third kit from last season and looks like this…

And now…  in honor of having received my tickets to the Santana concert  the other day, here you go…





The birthday post 2011

13 04 2011

It was a good day.

Getting older can be a drag but I like to think of myself as just “old school.” It’ was great to be surrounded by my Arizona family at dinner tonight and they’re such thoughtful people. Two of my nieces (5 and 8 years old) picked a card for me and a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card, which means that tio has to buy them donuts! Smart move by those kids but I’m happy to do it.

The best sobrinas in the world!

My mother- and father-in-law gave me some cash, more gift cards from my sister- and brother-in-law and my oldest niece, and last but certainly not least, this from my wife.

Yes, we are going to London and Paris next month so I’m going to need it!

And this… autographed by some guys I used to spend a lot of time with in Seattle — Matt Hasselbeck, Lofa Tatupu, Darrell Jackson and Shaun Alexander. Thanks Frank Alcocer for the assist.

Tomorrow we’re going to see my family in Oregon and it will be a busy weekend. It will include being at the first home game in the history of the Portland Timbers tomorrow night at the remodeled and renamed Jeld-Wen Field. So anyone in Portland who reads this, look for Stephanie and I at the match!

Last thing, this is the place where I thank everyone on Facebook/Twitter/text who wished me a happy birthday. Wow, just amazing how many people out there care and I appreciate you taking the time to wish me well. You made my day.