Saturday, November 13, 2010

101 Pieces of evidence that prove O.J. Simpson murdered Nicole

This is a good summary of the evidence against Simpson in the horrendous murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.  He doesn't mention the irregularities in collecting evidence, but in the end, it is damn near impossible to believe that OJ didn't commit the murders,

101 Pieces of evidence that prove O.J. Simpson murdered Nicole


Friday, November 12, 2010

Dave Niehaus, 1935-2010


Dave Niehaus, the lead announcer for Mariner radio and television broadcast for the entire history of the club, has passed away of a heart attack at his Bellevue home.  He was 75, and is survived by his wife Marilyn, their three children: Andy, Matt and Greta and six grandchildren, Zach, Steven, Dave NiehausMadeline, Alexa, Audrey and Spencer.  He witnessed 5,284 of the 5,385 games played by the Mariners since their inception - only health issues or family weddings and funerals could keep Dave from the booth.

Photo from the Seattle PI

Clearly, God needed an announcer, and he drafted the best. I will never forget all the games I went to with a radio and earphones so I could listen to Mr. Niehaus tell me about the game I was watching. He wrote poetry on the fly, and made even the 100 loss seasons interesting. I was so happy for him when in 1995 Edgar doubled in the winning run in the division series, and he called the play. I was overjoyed as a fan, but I was even more overjoyed that this man, who'd called so many stinkers with good humor, was living a dream with the 95 team and he was calling playoff games at long last. I think that the man who loved calling games and teaching us about the game is the poster boy for life well-lived. He said he'd never worked a day, because if he hadn't been in the broadcast booth he'd have been in the stands.  I will miss him every game - though I love Rick and Dave and Mike, I will always be aware that Mr. Niehaus' sonorous voice is now silent.

Indeed, baseball will never be the same for me.  Mr. Niehaus was more than a great voice, more than a student of the game, more than a trusted figure in the clubhouse, he was a genuine and grounded man who valued each relationship in his life - even his relationship with the Mariners fans, most of whom he never met. 

My memories of Mariner baseball all revolve around Dave, and when I was traveling in the car I'd know instantly when I'd found the Mariners game on the radio dial.  From the lowest growl, "strike one", to the most ebullient "and this one will fly,fly, fly away...My, Oh My", Dave's manner and voice were unmistakable.  I was at the last three games of Junior's consecutive game homer run, the playoff with California in '95, the playoff win over the Yankees.  When Edgar nailed that double and the winning run crossed the plate, I wanted nothing more than to hear what Dave said.  After so many years, so many bad teams, it was a moment that I felt was somehow especially his.  He called blowout losses in a colorful and never beaten down way.  He taught the game to an entire region of fans, play by play, situation by situation.  We knew the look on the manager's face, the feel of a breeze when it kicked up, the excitement of every great play, and the greatness of some plays we might not have noticed were great (like the amazing movement on Jeff Nelson's slider when it was really biting, or an at-bat when Edgar fouled off ten or even fifteen pitches, fighting to get one he could drive). 

I was lucky enough to grow up in a time when a centerfield seat was $1 and I'd be at the game 30-40 times a season when I was in high school. I went with whatever friends I could round up, and even alone sometimes.  I'd have an earphone in one ear and sit at the end of the group of my friends just so I could hear Dave's call of the game and my friends both.  Back then, I was a statistics freak, and it got to the point I could calculate batting averages on the fly during a game.  I secretly hoped I could somehow be a stat guy for the broadcasts, so I could hear Dave every play  of every game (and travel with the team for 162 plus spring training). 

I heard Chuck Armstrong say that he wanted to have the number 162 on his headstone.  I can't think of a better summation of what Dave was.  He was there, almost every game the Mariner's ever played from the first pitch of the first spring training to the conclusion of last season.  35 years of excellence.  I know that the first few games I hear next season, though I love Rick and Dave and Mike, I will feel a sadness that Dave's voice is missing.  Though he was in the booth and I was in the car, or listening in bed, or listening at the game, I felt somehow that he was speaking to me from the next seat, like a friend I went to the game with.  The fans loved him, and I think he returned the sentiment. 

Rick will do a great job, and has done for 24 seasons now with the M's, and I am glad we have such a fine announcer to step in.  When Pete Gross passed away, it took me a couple of years to get used to the new announcer, and I still miss the sound of Pete saying "Touchdown Seahawks".  I know that I will miss Dave's "My, oh my!", too, and more deeply.  But I'll miss so much more.  It will be a bit like the Mariners will have a new personality, and I know Rick and whomever the team adds to the broadcast booth will do a great job.  But it won't be Dave.  I love the Mariners and have been at the ballpark hundreds of times since the Opening Day that launched the expansion team.  And Dave was my shepherd through the sights, sounds, breezes, brawls, highs and lows of most of those games.  Thank you Mr. Niehaus.  I'll never forget all those hours we shared over baseball - Mariners baseball. 

Godspeed Sir, and may your family be at peace.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Seahawks Pounded Again, Outscored 74-10 in Last Two Games; Fall to 4-4

There isn't a lot to say in the last couple of weeks for the Seahawks, except that those clamoring for Matt Hasselbeck's demise might consider that with the offensive line injuries, retirements and poor play that we've seen these last three seasons, I don't think any big time QB would do much better.  I recall being at the Kingdome for a game against the Vikings way back when, and seeing Fran Tarkenton scramble between 30-35 yards backwards and god knows how far laterally before eventually completing a pass.  There are very few Fran Tarkentons, and very few quarterbacks who could survive, let alone consistently get points on the board with this line play.  I'm not calling out the line, exactly, since it is tough enough to play well when there is unit cohesion and time in a system (this line has had more shuffling in the last three years than most decks at the Muckleshoot Casino, and three systems in the past three years.    Matt Hasselbeck has done his best - which is still damn good - and better than most, but there's only so much a guy can do with no seven step drops possible, and two steps protection on a three step drop.

Another indication of O-line play is the half yard a game drop in average yards per carry for Marshawn Lynch since he's arrived from Buffalo.  Yep, the Bills winless Buffalo Bills managed to block consistently better for this running back than the Hawks have (each over a four game period).  And I have never seen a more ballsy, tough, inspiring run that one particular play Lynch had today.  He broke several tackles and then pushed a scrum of at least seven defenders forward another four yards.  It was as if he were saying to the rest of the team, and the O-line in particular, "Come ON, guys, let's go!". 

When reserve Charlie Whitehurst - playing for the concussed Hasselbeck - made his throws, it is easy to see the arm strength and poise that made Carroll want him.  He's reading defenses a little like a QB making his first start, but the man has an arm, and stays calm.  There were drops, including the painful bobble but Mike Williams in the end zone that not only killed the touchdown opportunity, but gave the Giants the ball and deprived Seattle of any points.  Especially when the QB is under such pressure, the receivers need to make big plays, and damn near every one of them let balls go through their hands, bobbled, dropped and tipped passes that were perfectly catchable. 

And while the defense has been pounded, to their credit the Hawks defense has held strong early in games, but with time of possession ratios like sixteen minutes for the opponent and nine for the Hawks, they are bound to wear down.

Luckily, when you play in the NFC West, 4-4 puts you in a first-place tie, and the Vikes OT win over Arizona gives both the Rams and the Hawks a bit of a cushion. 

So, halfway through the season, what do I think of the Pete Carroll stewardship?  I think that he will build a consistent and tough winning team, given time.  His enthusiasm, very good staff, excellent attention to both sides of the ball and the special teams, and most especially the willingness he's shown to let competition decide the starters, and even the roster, and to make as many transactions as it takes to get the best team he can on the field, I believe the Hawks will do very well over the next four or five years.  I hope the owner gives him that sort of time.  I hope that the QB coach is as good as Holmgren was, and Zorn became (as QB coach under Holmgren), because I'd love to see touch, reading defenses, check-down decision-making and great footwork added to the cannon of Whitehurst.  I want Matt to get one more shot at the big one, and that won't happen without an O-line.  And when Matt hangs 'em up finally, it would be great to see a guy groomed, practiced and ready to step in (Aaron Rogers style).  I actually thought the Hawks would be more like 3-5 at this point, and a few things break right they could just make the playoffs,  Even a first round loss would be a good step back toward the great teams the Hawk's have had in the past.

NFL Game Center: New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks - 2010 Week 9

Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
As always, the photos we use are either my own, or in the public domain. Please let me know if there are any errors and I'll correct them immediately.