September 01, 2006


My personal football season kicks off with the USC Trojans taking it to Arkansas.  ESPN2 for those of you who'd care to watch it too!

Rusty predicts a whoopin'.  I agree.

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September 03, 2006

That time of year again...

It's officially football season.  Why all of a sudden I like football, I have no idea. But over the last decade, I have really built up a love for it.

As a girl, I hated it.  couldn't relate.  Too violent.  Silly.  Boring.  A waste of my precious reading time.  An obstacle to GOING HOME, PLEASE, until halftime or the end of the game after lunch at my Grandmother's house on Sunday.

Now I can't wait.  College, NFL, I don't care.  I watch it like one of those freaks with a fantasy team.  I know the teams, the coaches, the players.  I'm still learning the lingo, like "west-coast offense" and "slant pass into the flat", but I get it.

I appreciate the nuance of it.  Learning the strengths and weaknesses of the your own team and the opponent.  Special plays that are emblematic of  your own offense or defense.  the irony of the detailed and meticulaous preparation required to bash your opponents brains out.

From a scientific point of view, it's interesting too.  Sociologically, it's entertaining to watch men bond and reinforce social norms over some beer and pigskin-related violence.  Evolutionarily, it's amusing to see us put men dressed in costumes that emphasize their "manliness" (broad shoulders, thighs, and calfs; small waist, flat stomach.  Think about where the pads are and how different it makes them look...) up on a pedestal.  The ugliest-ass football player can still get a hot chick, just because he's a baller.

So, I've been immersed in it since yesterday morning.  GameDay came on at 7am, and since then I have been making up for a winter and summer of lost time.  I think I watched all or part of at least 7 games yesterday, between 4 channels.  And I am quite proud that I called that Tennessee stompin' of Cal.

Ov-er-ra-ted clap clap clapclapclap!

I was also rooting for GTech, mostly because I'm a Trojan fan and ND is anathema to me, but I was glad to see a good game, and I think GT still busted a lot of the ND hype.

Texas, Auburn, and OSU all played chump games (yes, Wazzu is a CHUMP team), so I'm waiting to see how good they REALLY are.

In other news, JD Booty lives up to the hype and my Trojans are starting to look like new faces in old places.  If they keep it up, the rest of the NCAA better watch out.

Biggest Chump of the Week: Wisconsin Lutheran, who lost to Valparaiso 54-0.
Happy Surprise of the Week: Navy beats ECU
I Expected it of the Week: Richmond beats dook.  By a shutout.
Shit Call of the Week:  A tie: The questionable helmet to helmet on GT vs ND, and the non-whistle which took a TD away from my Tar Heels, leading to a Rutgers score and victory.

Bad Officials of the Week:  Again, a tie: Pac-10 ref crew at the UofO/Stanford game and the Big 10 crew running the ND/ GT game (both for blown replay calls)

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September 26, 2006

Full circle

Over the last several years professional teams and colleges alike have been tripping over themselves in a rush to sell the "naming rights" of their home stadiums and arenas to corporate partners for a boatload of cash. Because of this a number of historic stadium names have been lost. Some examples: Candlestick Park, long home of the Giants and 49ers is now Monster Park, it's 3rd or 4th name; and New Jersey's Brendan Byrne Arena, long home of the NHL's Devils, is now the Continental Airlines Arena.

Colleges too are jumping on the bandwagon. Syracuse plays in the Carrier Dome (which ironically enough has no air conditioning!), and the University of Missouri briefly named its on-campus arena Paige Arena, after Elizabeth Paige Laurie, a Wal-Mart heiress, at least until her roommate at USC (that's right, she was not a U of M student, either!) revealed that Miss Laurie had engaged in academic dishonesty and subsequently left the university.

But the trend has now come full circle. Officials in Glendale, AZ announced today that the naming rights to the new Cardinals Stadium have been sold. To the University of Phoenix.

Now I know that U of P is a corporate entity more than a school, but it is deliciously funny to see a corporation pay to call a stadium "University of [anything] Stadium".

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November 10, 2006

Best Birthday Present yet....

USC REALLY DID beat Texas in last year's Rose Bowl National Championship game.

...although this is a DAMN close second. Oh my......

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October 21, 2007

Picture Pages

Lots of new pictures on the Flickr site, including several that are Public!
Here are a couple of favorites:

Descent in Tandem
The US Navy's Leapfrog Parachute team. Very cool. The first time I have ever seen them, although I have seen the Army's Golden Knights MANY times.

The Hallowed Halls
The LA Coliseum, home of the Trojans

Snuggly Puppy!
Our Princess, cuddled up last night in a blanket

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January 02, 2008

Of Parades and Politics

So you may have seen that there was much hoo-hah about a float honoring the 2008 Beijing Olympics in yesterday's Rose parade.

I was front and center for the spectacle, and my take on it may surprise some of you.

We left the house at 5:15 am, drove to a nearby church, parked the car and had a lovely pancake breakfast, then we walked to Colorado and Orange Grove, where our seats were located in the Grandstands, just to the side of the HGTV booth.  We were asked to be in place by 6:30 AM so that the Parade organizers could stage the "opening number".  We were in our seats at about 6:15.  I people-watched until the parade got going, and hubby took a catnap or two, wrapped in our warmest USC gear and sitting on a thick blanket instead of a cold metal bench....

What happened was that a protest was organized wherein people were supposed to stand and turn their backs on the float as it passed, a sign that you disagree with China and it's human rights abuses.  There was a pro-float group on our left, and an anti-float group on our right.

Here is the very beautiful and fun float in question:

First of all, where we were, VERY few people stood other than the few who were present specifically for that purpose.  Most of us were too busy taking pictures of an adorable float and the acrobats and dancers hired to accompany it down the parade route.  The few who did stand were real assholes about it, getting in front of people taking pictures and trying to be dickheads.

Which really detracts from a message of human rights and peace, in my book.

I hadn't really known how I was going to react.  I am no fan of China's human rights practices, but at the same time, I had no animus against the float itself or the actors and dancers paid to make it fun.  As the float passed us, and the spectacle unfolded, I came to a realization:  The Rose Parade is not a venue for politics.  The parade is about fun and spectacle and celebration.  It's a moment for the thousands of kids who raised millions of dollars  JUST TO BE THERE IN THE PARADE to enjoy their (cold) morning in the sun.  It's a celebration.  It's for the kids.  Kids and politics shouldn't mix.

There were two beautiful little girls sitting in front of us.  They were enchanted by the lion dancers and plate spinners and acrobats.  As the float in question passed, and the little girls couldn't see it, they were debating their favorite floats.  One preferred the circus float and the other preferred the Princesses and Rose Queen with their bouquets and big pearl crown.  They could give a crap about China.  They just wanted to see the floats and dance to the bands.  Which is what the Parade is all about.

So keep the politics out of the Parade.  Protest before the parade, stage a vigil at the float viewing sheds tomorrow and the next day, but keep it away from the magic of New Year's Morning.

Our kids have so little innocence anymore, and are severely short on magic.  The Rose Parade gives them at least a couple hours of kid fun.

And for the record, this protest was, IMO, a truly cheap political stunt.  Why, you ask?  Well, first of all the float wasn't funded by the Chinese government, it was funded by a coalition of American companies and individuals, most notably the Avery-Dennison Corporation, a worldwide manufacturer of paper and office products based here in Pasadena.  Furthermore, the float didn't promote the Chinese government, either.  It promoted the 2008 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Beijing.  And don't the Olympics themselves promote equality and human rights?  So if they were protesting the idiocy of the International Olympic Committee being bullshitted about human rights improvements by the Chinese government, I'd almost understand the sentiment, but protesting China just makes it a cheap, opportunistic stunt staged for the TV cameras.

More pictures of the Beijing 2008 float can be seen along with the rest of my 2008 Rose Parade pictures here on Flickr.

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