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 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 »


The day before the start of a new EPL season

12 08 2011

I look forward to Saturday’s opening of the English Premier League with added enthusiasm having been to England last spring.

You might recall reading on this blog our (mis)adventures at Craven Cottage. I will see a live match in England someday.

Thankfully, the old stadium along the banks of the Thames was spared from the recent riots, and its Fulham v. Aston Villa in the morning. I’m happy to see the match will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel at 11:30 a.m. my time tomorrow, right about the time I am done with teacher orientation at Arizona State!

Yes, someone has decided I can be of help to younger minds. Crazy. Something new, but something to look forward to.

I am now squarely in the camp of those who cannot root for big-money teams in the EPL. No Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Man. U., just can’t do it. I would take Manchester City ahead of all those teams. Typically one to pull for the underdog or average club, I’ll roll with the Cottagers.

So that’s where it stands. Two things from Friday — saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes and liked it, went to Arizona Cardinals headquarters in Tempe to hear coach Ken Whisenhunt and it was strange to be back reporting on the NFL.

Enjoy Soccer Saturday everyone. Time for me to start following Paris-St. Germain again, too – is it OK to have a favorite team in every country or just one in Europe? Help me out.

Me in the PSG store on the Champs-Elysees in Paris in May

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…