As the song says, “It never rains in California”, but I retort, that “it always rains in Seattle.” Tell me, why I would fly to Seattle in December, and go to a Niner-Seahens game on a cold and wet December night. I must have a very good reasons.
Yes, my buddy, Big Bob, who moved to Idaho, will meet up with me for the Niner game. We were at the NFC Championship game in Los Angeles last January. If you thought that was crazy, sitting in the freezing cold and rain is even crazier. He even went to Green Bay to see the Cheese heads on the “Frozen Tundra” of Wisconsin last January.
Though I have visited Seattle numerous times in the past, both for business and pleasure, winter is not an ideal time to visit. I have seen relentless rain, heavy snow, and bitter wind and cold here. The snow may have been the worst, since it paralyzes the city. Why? The downtown streets are so hilly and steep. Even the police and fire do not have tire chains or snow tires!
But the main reason I am here is the game, not because Seattle is any good. Maybe the Niners can win a game in a hostile stadium? And clinch the NFC West and a playoff home game or two??
The best way to reach the stadium is the Sound Transit (light rail) from downtown to the ballpark. The senior fare is a dollar, as I recall. In fact, I will use the light rail to get from SeaTac Airport to downtown before meeting Big Bob.
I have been to the Mariners baseball stadium (Safeco?) before, but never to Lumen Field where the Seahens play. In fact, I also went to the old (now imploded) Kingdome, perhaps the world’s worst indoor stadium every built!!!
We are fortunate that Lumen Field is not located in Petaluma (haha). I expect we will be outnumbered by about ten to one, Seahens fans to Niner fans. Oh well! Big Bob is a former SWAT trained officer, marksman, and crisis negotiator. No worries!
I was hoping to see our next great QB, Trey Lance, but he is out for the season. We get another season of Jimmy G (now injured, yet again), though he might get us into the playoffs and Super Bowl. Then again, maybe not. But I think we are in a better place than the Seahens. It seems like they got rid of Russell Wilson just in time! And now our hopes depend on Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy, the last player drafted in 2022.
But I love Seattle, any time of year. The average daily high temp is 53 F., making December the coldest month of the year here. It will be coldest at kickoff time! And an average of 14 days of rain. Weather update: the highs are in the 40s, lows in the 30s. Burr!!!
Fall is a great time of the year for sports fans. College and pro football are the big draws. But it is also time for the Fall Classic, the Major League Baseball World Series, a uniquely American event that has no equal in the world. As a kid, the games were rarely on television, and certainly not in prime time. I was fortunate to get to attend several World Series over the years.
In the 1970’s, I lived and worked in the City of Alameda. Many of the Oakland Athletics players came into the pharmacy where I worked. The most frequent customer was Dagoberto “Campy” Campaneris, the shortstop of the 3 times world champions in 1972-1973-1974. He came in about weekly and gave game tickets to us whenever we wanted them. The crowds were never very big during the season, since the owner was Charlie Finley, a wild and crazy promoter, who happened to make a fortune selling insurance in the Midwest.
As the team started getting better, we got a little more interested in his free tickets. When Oakland won the American League Playoffs in 1972, we finally had our chance. But our ticket source said he had to give the tickets to his relatives who came in from the Dominican Republic to see the World Series. So, we went with Plan B. We bought from a scalper at the game, after waiting until the first pitch was thrown. We were always able to get our tickets for less than face value. In addition, we would ride my roommate’s Harley over to the game, park up close, and leave the parking lot at game’s end with no problem.
The 1972 Series was against the Cincinnati Reds, and the dreaded Pete Rose. Our tickets were near the left field foul line. We let him know, even back then, that he was a bum. I think Oakland won the Series in 7 games, and without the team’s big star, Reggie Jackson. The most memorable side bar of this Series was the ball girl out in left field. It was Debbie Sivyer, who would become Debbie Fields, of Mrs. Fields Cookie fame. A World Series game produced much more excitement than a regular season game. We went to games 3 and 4, won by Oakland.
The 1973 Series was against the New York Mets, who also had an aging star, the greatest player of all time, Willie Mays. The Giants had traded Willie to the Mets during what would be his last season in baseball. Though he was a mere shell of himself, it was a thrill getting to see him play in the World Series. The Designated Hitter rule was in effect for the very first time. And crazy Charlie Finley fired the Manager, Dick Williams, after he WON the World Series for Oakland. It was also the last World Series that sold separate programs for their home games. Though not as exciting as winning the previous year, it was still a big thrill for us fans, who had to put up with the eccentric owner.
In 1974, the opponent was the hated Los Angeles Dodgers. The Series went to only 5 games, and the big star for Oakland was Rollie Fingers, the ace reliever who would become a Hall of Famer. After several years of Finley’s ownership, the team was in constant turmoil. They fought in the clubhouse but won on the field. It was hard to explain. The Dodgers’ starting pitcher was Andy Messersmith, a fellow Cal graduate, and a successful challenger to the baseball free agency rule. This would be the last of the World Championships until 1989.
By 1989, the Oakland Athletics were very different. They were owned by the Haas Family, of Levi fame. The Manager was Tony LaRussa, who made a name rescuing animals, as well as managing the baseball team. Our dog Buddy is a rescue from his Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF). The big stars were Dave Stewart and Mark McGwire. This unique World Series was known as the Bay Bridge Series, since the opponent was the San Francisco Giants. It lasted a record 14 days, due to the Loma Prieta earthquake on October 17. It was the last World Series televised from start to finish by ABC. Al Michaels, the ABC announcer, was nominated for an Emmy for his eyewitness account of the earthquake. Fortunately, I went to Game 2 that was held in Oakland. Little did we know what would happen a few days later. It was probably the weirdest World Series on record.
Oakland made the World Series the next year as well but were swept by Cincinnati in 4 games. We were not able to attend the World Series in 1988 against the Dodgers. But the excitement of attending a World Series game has no equal. I don’t know if it is the television and newspaper coverage, or the stadium decked out in flags and banners. All the fans seem energized, buying souvenirs and food. The field looks greener, and beer is colder, and peanuts seem more fragrant. It is the Fall Classic for a good reason. It excites all of us. I will leave it up to you to decide if it measures up to the Super Bowl, Olympics, or the Masters.
I also went to Game 2 of the 2010 World Series, won by the Giants. I bought from a scalper, for only $500. We were in the 5th row behind Third Base!!!
Fast forward to today: Sadly, the Oakland Athletics may end up in Las Vegas. But in fairness to them, I think they have always taken a back seat to both the Giants, Niners, Warriors, and the Raiders. Yet they field a very competitive team every year and develop great players over the years.
Fresno State visits Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field (University of Connecticutt) for the 1st time. Frederick Rentschler was the founder of Pratt & Whitney, & Rentschler Field was the airstrip where the company tested its engines. Columns around the stadium capture some of that history, including aviation pioneers who visited this site, like Charles Lindbergh & Amelia Earhart.
Of course, UCONN is best known for their men’s basketball team. The UCONN Huskies have won four NCAA Championships, including 2014, when they beat Kentucky. I was at the game, in Dallas, at the Jones Dome, attended the free Springsteen concert the day before, and also the March Madness Block Party (Jamfest) all weekend long. They also won in 2011, 2004, and 1999. Pretty impressive!
Visiting some of the colleges and universities back east can be quite interesting. When I attended the University of North Carolina post grad program, we also visited Duke University, and found their great golf course, the Washington and Duke Golf Course. My friends went to the Cal game at Notre Dame, and enjoyed the Irish campus, with Touchdown Jesus.
In trying to recall some of my visits to stadiums, I remember: US Naval Academy, US Air Force Academy, University of Michigan (Big House), University of Oklahoma, University of Colorado, Ohio State, University of Washington, the Los Angeles Coliseum (UCLA and USC), Stanford Junior University, San Jose State, University of Hawaii (Aloha Stadium), and Arizona State University.
If you get the opportunity to travel with your favorite team, I strongly suggest going. You will not regret it.
Actually, from the time I first set foot on the UC Berkeley campus as a sophomore in high school, I fell in love with the UC Berkeley campus. It became both my dream and a goal through my high school years to matriculate to Berkeley. The day I received the letter in the mail, during my senior year of high school was one of the happiest days of my young life.
Most people here in the Valley consider me to be a Berkeley liberal. I just consider myself a liberal, though I think I became that way in high school, thanks to friends like Mario Olmos and Bob Osganian.
But here are some unique only in Berkeley quirkiness:
THE NOBEL IS THE WORLD’S most prestigious award for academic, cultural, and scientific advances. A Nobel Laureate will, apart from the award money, get a medal and diploma right from the hands of the Swedish king. But for some, there is more to winning the prize than international prestige and a fatter bank account: a parking space on an overcrowded campus.
At the University of California, Berkeley, it’s easy to spot the bright blue signs (above) marked “Reserved For NL/Special Permit Required At All Times.” NL stands for Nobel Laureate, of course, and the spaces are reserved for the elite faculty who worked tirelessly for decades to win some coveted parking.
The Berkeley tradition dates back to 1980, when Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He wanted a spot, so he simply asked for one. The parking wish was granted, and it’s since become standard practice—one that apparently sticks in the craw of the Laureates over at Standfurd Junior University.. I think this is just great!!!
SITTING ON THE QUAD OF Berkeley campus (in Sproul Plaza) is an unassuming monument to the Free Speech Movement that one could easily miss even though it supposedly consists of an endless tube of unregulated space that rises forever upward into space.
Located in front of Sproul Hall, the monument was set flat into the walkway in 1989. The physical portion of the monument is simply a round cement stone with the bold statement carved around its perimeter reading, “This soil and the air space extending above it shall not be a part of any nation and shall not be subject to any entity’s jurisdiction.” In the center of the stone disc is a small hole that simply holds a patch of soil, but it is the invisible space rising directly above the hole that is the actual monument. As the disc says, this tiny tube of unregulated space is meant to be a place where protesters, free thinkers, and spitfires can say whatever the hell they like, and as it is worded, that privilege extends all the way into space and beyond. I never realized it was there! But I was there, back in 1964, trying to avoid getting caught on TV or in a police force roundup.
IN 1902 THE FAMOUS 12TH century bell tower known as the campanile in the Palazzo San Marco in Venice, Italy came thundering to the ground. Miraculously no one but a resident cat was hurt in the unexpected catastrophe. The beloved tower was rebuilt “as it was, where it was” in 1912.
UC Berkeley campus architect, John Galen Howard, had visited Venice in the 1890’s, and had the chance to see the San Marco Campanile before its collapse.
Looking strikingly similar to that other famous tower, the Campanile on the campus of UC Berkeley has stood a lynchpin on campus since its cornerstone was laid on March 8, 1914. The Campanile is constructed of 2,800 blocks of Raymond granite quarried from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, over 500 tons of structural steel, and Alaskan marble. The belltower is a gothic architectural form, built in a Neo-Classical way.
Hiding inside its dry climate-steady walls are some fossils belonging to the University of California Museum of Paleontology, many of which come from the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.
The twelve bells that make up the original carillon were gifts of Jane K. Sather (who also donated the funds to construct the tower, itself) in 1914, but because of war-related delays, they were not installed until 1917. The largest of the bells, weighing in at 4,118 lbs. (the smallest is 329 lbs) is inscribed with the words by UC Berkeley Professor Flag: We ring, we chime, we toll, Lend ye the silent part Some answer in the heart, Some echo in the soul.Sather Tower, or as we affectionately call the Campanile, is our most visible landmark on campus. I am always drawn to it when I am on campus, or at a football or basketball game nearby. I remember the days when beleaguered or failing students jumped off the tower, before they glassed in the viewing areas. In fact, we will have lunch in the shadow of the Campanile, at the Faculty Club.
So, now you know a little bit about the campus I love so much. I was last here in January for a Cal-UCLA basketball game. I am back today, headed up to the Faculty Club for lunch. Go Bears!!! As I have written many, many times. We may not get to the Rose Bowl on January 1, but we will always win Nobel Prizes!!!
Has it really been about five years since I trudged up to Memorial Stadium in Berkeley for a Cal football game? Have I given up the notion that my Golden Bears will play in the Rose Bowl on January 1st one of these years, while I am still alive? We have not been to the Rose Bowl since January 1, 1959. We played the heavily favored Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big 10 and lost 38 to 12. But we were the 16th ranked team in the country. Joe Kapp was the star QB for the Bears. He later became the Head Coach.
Believe it or not, I was in Pasadena on that fateful day in 1959. Our family was visiting relatives who lived within earshot of the Rose Bowl. I could hear the PA announcer and the cheers of the crowd from their front yard. We were celebrating the great Japanese tradition of Shogatsu at a home in Pasadena. We attended the Rose Parade earlier that day as well. Perhaps I knew I would one day be a Cal Bear, but I had no idea we would never return to play on January 1st!
I was just thinking about how proud my parents must have been, with their oldest son going to college. I remember they came up for “parents weekend” so we walked the campus, went to the football game, then had dinner at Spenger’s. Another time, they came up to visit, so we ate at the infamous Larry Blake’s Rathskeller on Telegraph Avenue. My how things have changed!
With college football becoming a big money game now for most big schools, I doubt we will ever make it back, at least under the current rules and qualification system. For one, Cal learned the hard way, not to cheat their way to a championship, though other schools tend to play fast and loose with the rules. In addition, the academic side of the University will not allow for below average admission for football players. Nor will they give football players and other student athletes any slack on academic progress and performance. Other schools, whose names I won’t mention, tend to make their own rules, but never seem to get caught.
But on this lovely Saturday, I am meeting my buddy Webb, and going to the Cal Arizona Wildcats football game. When I was an undergrad here, I never missed a game. Now, Cal football seems to have lost its charm, as we are not competitive any longer.
We will start the day by having lunch at the famous Faculty Club on campus. Then, we will stagger our way up to Strawberry Canyon where Memorial Stadium sits on a giant fault. Speaking of faults, it may not have been the best idea to remodel the old stadium. Stadium debt absorbs 20% of the athletic budget, or roughly $18 million of the $89 million budget. The principal will not begin the paydown until 2032, when yearly payments rise to $26 million. In 2053, there will be a lump sum due of $82 million.
Ironically, the coach with the best winning percentage is Jeff Tedford, who record was 82-57, with the most wins and bowl victories of any Cal coach. He is now serving his second term as coach of our local Fresno state Bulldogs, his alma mater. But, I digress.
Will we have a decent team this year? We emerge relatively unscathed, but battered and beaten by a trip to South Bend, Indiana last week to play the Golden Homers? Will we ever recruit another 4- or 5-star athlete? Will we ever have a first team All American again? I cannot even remember who the last one was, either Cam Jordan (Saints), Keenan Allen (Chargers) or Aaron Rodgers (Packers)??
We almost beat Notre Shame!!! I would imagine their athletic department budget is about triple the size of ours. But, I can say they rarely win any Nobel prizes or Pulitzers.
Today’s game is against the Arizona Wildcats. Go Bears!
But I love my Golden Bears, even though we will not get to Pasadena on January 1 in my lifetime!!!
“Having hobbies in retirement is so important for keeping both your mind and body busy,” says Craig Kirsner, president of retirement planning services at Stuart Estate Planning Wealth Advisors in Coconut Creek, Florida. “You’ve probably worked for decades and now you have to keep busy in retirement as well.”
These hobbies can keep you productive and fulfilled throughout your retirement years:
Stock market trading.
So, naturally, I have my own take on retirement, having been retired now for 14 years. Mental and physical exercise are at the top of my personal list. But first, let’s talk about those listed above.
Pickleball seems easier on the leg joints than tennis, racquetball, and squash. I would say the jury is out for joints in the arm and shoulders.
I love writing, as you know. It keeps me busy, and it requires that I read a decent amount for both pleasure and research.
I did my share of stock market trading in the 0s and 90s, but now, I leave it up to the pros. Plus, I do not have time to do it responsibly.
I hate gardening, as it reminds me too much of farming. I hate pulling weeds. But I do enjoy picking persimmons, and dehydrating them for friends and family.
When I travel, I do copious amounts of walking and exploring. Not so much around home. I am no longer a real hiker, though I love places like Arches National Park, the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Bryce Canyon National Park.
Though golf is excellent exercise, particularly if you walk, I no longer play. Why? It takes too much time, and I can’t hit the ball more than 260 yards anymore. It has taken the fun out of golf for me.
I have done volunteering since my college days. After graduation, I added places like the Berkeley Free Clinic, Medshare, medical reserve corps, and the American Red Cross. But I pick and choose my spots carefully, avoiding things like radiation (Fukushima), and earthquakes (Haiti).
I enjoy mentoring young future health professionals. I am mentoring two future nurses right now. And even in adulthood, some people need mentoring, not just professionally, but personally, and financially.
They left off two of my favorite activities, travel, and cycling. Both require an active and well-prepared approach. Travel requires planning and execution. It also involves knowing your limits, as I have found out in older age. Cycling has been a godsend for exercise and meeting people, both here at home, and abroad. But I do not cycle crazy miles, and I tend to cycle every OTHER day now.
Finally, I love to read books. And I mean good books, such as the classics, nonfiction, mysteries, and biographies. Not only do they keep the mind active, for me, it provides information for future trips and emails.
As Satchel Paige said, “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you!!”
We are tired of the hot weather! This weekend will range around 110 or higher in the great Valley. I think we need to drive over to the Monterey Peninsula and cool off!! I am sure Lexi would welcome her walks in cooler weather as well.
But first, on the way, I think we need to stop at the factory outlets in Gilroy for a little retail therapy. Then after lunch, perhaps In N Out Burger, we will finish the drive to Monterey. Hopefully, we can visit a few dear friends during our visit. Also, I want to take Lexi to the beach, maybe drive 17 Mile Drive, and have some seafood pasta at Abalonetti on the Monterey wharf.
For a real change of pace, I think I will hit one of the wine tasting rooms in Monterey. I tried Caraccioli (tasting room) in downtown Carmel. In fact, it was so good, I went two days in a row!!! Their brut rose’ is very good, I bought one, though a bit pricey. More affordable is their Rose’ of Pinot Noir at only $30 a bottle.
The highlight for me is taking Lexi for a walk on Carmel Beach, running along the shore, while gazing up at the Pebble Beach Golf Links. She loves the beach and does not mind the sand in her little paws. She also enjoys the beaches elsewhere, though the sea lions were barking aplenty at the Monterey Wharf.
One of our dear friends down here is Big John, over at the Inn at Spanish Bay. We have know him for over 25 years, when he was still a waiter at Abalonetti. He has been the head bellman at Spanish Bay for over three decades now. He told an interesting story about us at the President of Pebble Beach’s retirement dinner. Upon leaving our little cocktail party during a stay at the Lodge at Pebble some years ago, he saw the light was on in the President’s office. He would see the “boss man” arrive at 6am every morning as well. He figured if the President was willing to work that hard, so would he and his staff!!
A few other places down here catch my attention. Thinker Toys is a great toy and hobby shop in downtown Carmel. We also like Hedi’s Shoes on Ocean Avenue. We buy our Hoka 1’s there. And our Turkish lamp store is also on Ocean Avenue. But best of all, I found some Turkish Delight at a store on Cannery Row. the owner says it is 100% imported from Istanbul, since he cannot buy the right ingredient here.
The weather has been great, in the 60s and 70s mostly, while back home hit record heat in the 110+ range. I highly recommend this form of therapy, both for physical and mental health. Sheri even bought a jacket!!
And maybe best of all, we found a pretty good Chinese restaurant in Monterey, with excellent chow fun, and Peking spare ribs!!!
The US Tennis Open starts today. It is a great event, though not quite as majestic as Wimbledon. Watching on TV, I see familiar faces, including Brad Gilbert, who I saw as a snotty little kid in Oakland back in the 70s. People change, the world changes. What can I say?
Enjoy the Open.
Written in 2008.
Having been a very avid tennis player and fan most of my adult life, I jumped at the chance to attend the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadow, New York during the 80’s. I was going to Chicago and Atlanta on business anyway, so it fit right in. I got the tickets from the Northern California Tennis Association, for which I was a committee volunteer. During a meeting, the Director asked if anyone wanted the tickets, and I said YES. Do you remember who won the Men’s title in 1982?
Chicago and Atlanta were just a couple of stops on the way to the big event. A friend from Chicago was planning to meet me. That did not work out, but I decided to go anyway. I landed at LaGuardia Airport around midafternoon and found a hotel room at a nearby Marriott. If you have never flown over the New York skyline, the Empire State Buidling, and the Statue of Liberty, it is a fabulous, and inspiring sight.
I called my cousin to see if he wanted to have dinner and go to the Open the next day with me. He and his parents picked me up, took me to a Long Island sushi bar, and showed me their home on Long Island, right across the street from the Bethpage Golf Course. They also showed me the sushi bar they were planning to open very soon. Chet, the Jet (he was a hockey player), who later became a physician, said he would meet me after work the next day. I gave him one of my tickets and hoped for the best.
At this point, I must tell you that New York cab drivers are in a league of their own, for good or bad. A good one is invaluable, a bad one is the biggest jerk you have ever met. I got a good one to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadow, site of a former World’s Fair, and just a train track crossing from the Met’s Shea Stadium. The Open has been held here since 1978, and actually began in 1881 in Newport, R.I.
The tickets that I had were good for both the day session, as well as the hard-to-get evening session in the Stadium court. The thrill of the day session was that matches were held on multiple courts, so that you could always find a good match. And I could get a front row view of all the well-known men and women players. The grounds also had several hospitality and merchandise tents, as if New York was not expensive already. I did buy T shirts, caps, and towels for my friends back home.
I wandered the many courts, looking for a good match. I found some people I knew, believe it or not. The first was one of the referees from California, who I knew through my own tennis competition and volunteer work. The second was a player, Ann Kiyomura from San Mateo. She played a great match against Kathy Jordan from Stanford and upset her in 3 sets. She offered tickets for the next day, but I told her I would be on my way home by then. Most people do not know that Annie, at the time, had won more Junior tennis titles than anyone in history. She never became a big star, but she did win the Wimbledon women’s doubles one year with a gal from Japan.
Her younger sister Vicki lives in the South Bay, and we played in the same tennis club and circle of friends for many years.
The worst part of this whole day was the cost of food. I think a hot dog and a soda were almost $10. But it was such a great experience, I said what the heck. It brought to mind a scene from Seinfeld, where Jerry and George went to the Open. Jerry met a deaf linesperson, while George was gorging a big ice cream, all over his face, while the TV cameras were trained on him.
Another nice thing about wandering around is getting to see the up-and-coming young players in practice or in junior matches. We also got to see the better players and their coaches working out on the practice courts. One of the big sensations back then was the infamous Dr. Renee Richards, formerly Richard Raskin. One look at her/him, and you could tell something was not right. Also, tennis groupies followed the good-looking young players around like horseflies. By the way, the winner this year was Jimmy Connors.
As the day wore on, things quieted down a little, at least for New York. I stayed all day since I was having so much fun. My evening Stadium ticket would get me into the evening matches shortly. When I entered the Stadium, I tried to find my seats. It turns out they were box seats, right near many of famous people. I saw the likes of Dan Rather, Jack Kramer, Walter Cronkite, Althea Gibson, Johnny Carson, and Donald Dell. We were about 8 to 10 rows from the court and could hear the players talk to the referee.
Chet finally showed up mid match. The second big match of the evening was Ivan Lendl and Tim Mayotte. The crowd was going crazy since Mayotte looked like he would upset Lendl. Around 10pm, the crowd began to stir to the point where it was a big distraction. Chet said we had better get moving. We were about to get hit with a sudden East coast downpour in a matter of a few more seconds. We got to shelter in time, but it looked like the matches would be called for the evening.
About an hour later the rain let up, and we headed for the taxi and train area. Chet wanted to make sure I got a cab back to the hotel safely, so he waited with me. I guess we waited too long, as very few cabs were going by. We were joined by another young man attending the Open and looking for a cab back to his hotel as well. We waited and waited.
Finally, out of the darkness came a cab. We asked how much, and he replied $50. Chet told him to get lost, that he was ripping us off, and should be reported. He came back again in about 10 minutes, wanting $60 and started to insult us by calling us country bumpkins, and that we should be grateful he was around to take us to our hotel. Again, Chet told him to get lost.
He came back a third time, wanting $75 and started swearing at us, in prime New York cabbie vernacular. We were ready for him this time. The other fellow and I engaged in some rather spirited banter with him, while Chet let the air out of his tires on the passenger side. When he finally took off, he was running on his tire rims on the right side, and never came back. We finally got an honest cabbie, dropped Chet at the train station, and got back to our hotel.
As you can guess, New York has never been one of my favorite places. The City is just too out of control. The unending energy courses through you as you walk down any major boulevard, board the subway, and walk around Times Square or Wall Street. I just do not feel that I am in control. But you can easily see why New Yorkers responded so well to the 9/11 disaster, as they are tough, resilient, and never give up. For me, I need a little more space and time. It is a crazy place, and you must go there at least once in your life.
Fast forward to 2022: You probably know I attended the French Open in Paris back in May. That makes three of the four Grand Slam tournaments. The only remaining Slam is the Australian Open in Melbourne. I think I would rather go back to Wimbledon or the US Open than trek on over to Oz.
Wimbledon remains probably the best sporting event I have attended. It ranks above the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, the Olympics, the Indy 500, and the Kentucky Derby, in my opinion. Whichever one you choose, you cannot go wrong. Some friends are going to the Indy 500 next year. I think I will wait until my lowly Cal Bears play in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day!!!
From the SF Chronicle: Bay Area broadcaster Joe Starkey, famous for his call of “The Play” in 1982, will retire as Cal’s football radio play-by-play announcer after the 2022 season. Starkey’s “the band is out on the field” call 40 years ago is widely considered one of the most recognizable calls in sports history. However, his legacy extends far beyond a single moment or play.
I remember (Nov. 20, 1982) that call so vividly, even though I was in the car with my then baby (not quite 2 years old) son. We were running and errand, and we stayed in the car to listen to the end of the game. Earlier in the afternoon, I was watching TV and hoping we would beat the Standfurd Indians.
As time was running out, a Cal player (Paul Najarian) faked an injury so the clock would stop before Standfurd kicked the clinching field goal. Sure enough, there was enough time for a last second (4 seconds remained), desperation kick return. Cal only had ten players on the field!
I remember a few of the names (involved in the five lateral play) who carried the ball, Richard Rodgers, Sr, Dwight Garner, Mariet Ford, and mostly safety Kevin Moen, who ran the final yards and bowled over the now infamous trombone player in the end zone. The place went crazy, Starkey was screaming, almost in a soprano voice. There was chaos on the field. But, after much discussion by the officiating crew, they signaled touchdown!!! Bears win!!!!
In his 47 years calling the Bears, Starkey has been on the microphone for 538 of 545 Cal football games. His 500th game came Sept. 29, 2018, against Oregon. I wonder who will try to replace him??