Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Passing Of Oscar Madison

I love the Odd Couple. I enjoyed the movie, but I LOVE the TV show. Jack Klugman was a fine actor. He passed away on Christmas Eve. Oscar Madison was one reason why I wanted to be a sportswriter in high school. He's the reason I blog about sports now.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Drop Dead Hockey Date Jan. 14th

It seems as if the NHL has set a drop dead date of Janurary 14th to see if the season can be saved. My sources say that a 48 game season could be had if games start to play in mid Janurary.
Lets hope something can be worked out soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I Was A Sports Writer...For One Day

I was driving home tonight, and a thought popped up in my mind. I had a one day experience as a sports writer for my local town paper, The Daily Democrat in Woodland, Ca.
All I remember is answering an ad in the classifieds about a part time sports writers job. This was in the fall of 1995. I had previous experience writing for my highschool paper, The Woodland High Orange Peel. Keep in mind I hadn't written anything set for publication in five years at the time. I had dreams about being a sports writer in high school. My dreams were crushed when I met a beat writer for the Sacramento Bee. She covered the A's. This was at the 1989 All-Star Game in Anahiem. I approached her after the game. I told her what I wanted to do for a career. She looked at me and said, "That sounds great, but get into a business where you can make some money. There is no money in writing." I couldn't believe she would say something like that. I thought if she was unhappy with her job, then why pursue it for myself?
So after high school I gave up writing and ended up lost.
I still read the sports pages everyday. Over the years I thought writing was my calling. So the ad in the paper was a answer to my prayers.
So I called the paper and spoke to the sports editor. He had me come to the office and do a typing test. I remember it was just re-typing a wire story from Pittsburgh. I think about the Steelers. I took a very long time to type the story. Then he said I had two choices. Cover a girls tennis match at the local racquet club, or cover a boys soccer game. I chose the soccer game.
So I then made preparations for the game. I bought a note pad, pens and pencils, and a tape recorder. I wanted to show I meant business.
So I show up to the game and do my pre-game interviews with the coaches. I identified myself as "Felix Castaneda with The Daily Democrat".
I walk up to the pressbox and find a place to sit. There were a few other people in there.
Then the game begins. Then two things occur to me. One, I hated soccer. Second, I knew nothing about soccer. So I'm sitting there asking questions about the game I'm supposed to be covering.
After the game I do my postgame interviews with the winning goalie who didn't speak English.
So I go home and write my story. My deadline was midnight. The game ended around 7pm. Five hours to write the story, no problem!
Big problem.....I didn't have a computer. I wanted to submit my story looking as professional as I could. So I eat dinner and write the story. Woodland didn't have a Kinko's at the time. So I went to Davis and typed my story. I remember referring to assists as "set-ups" and trying to be witty by saying, "the winning goalie had the night off, he didn't even need to show up as the Woodland defenders help keep the attackers away from the goal net". I then realize the story is costing me money. After the computer time, tape recorder($35), and the other materials, I was out almost $60!
Its almost midnight and I finally submit my story in the overnight box at the newspaper office. I went to bed thinking I had a future in the business.
I woke up and discovered I was dreaming. The sports editor calls me and say he got the story and in his words it was "Alright, it was okay". He told me he was going to publish it but he said I had a lot of work to do if I was going to be a sports writer. He said he would get back to me for a future assingment. I never heard from him again. My dreams crushed again.
I remember thinking it was cool to see my name on a byline, and I could say I had published work. But no one cared. Neither did I. I threw my copy away.
I hated that bastard since. But I have grown to love soccer over the last few years!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Vintage Golf Clubs

There is someone in Napa who is buying or in my mind stealing vintage golf clubs out from under me.
This morning I had some extra time to kill, so I went to a local thrift shop.
In the golf club bin I found a vintage Maxfli-Dunlop 3 wood. In great condition. It was only a $1. Problem was, I didn't have any cash on me. I used my cash the night before to fill up my tank. I thought, "hmm, a tiny church thrift store, no one will buy this. I'll come back at lunch."
Well flash forward four hours. I'm thinking all day that three wood is going to be a great addition to my vintage set of golf clubs. I drive to the thrift store, get out of my car and walk in. I head straight to the golf club bin to grab my treasure. And to my horror, its gone! I walked around the store several times hoping to find it in a wrong place. I curse myself and walk out empty handed. I violated a rule in thrifting. If you see something you like, get it. Or else someone else will snatch it up. Just like someone out there in Napa who is also into collecting vintage golf clubs. This person(s) also walked away with very old 1930's golf clubs. The clubs didn't have the current number system on the irons. They had the names Niblick, Mashie Niblick, Spoon, etc. I didn't buy those right away because I was researching how old the clubs were. A few days later they were gone.
Just yesterday someone told me if it wasn't there when I came back to buy something at a thrift store, it wasn't meant for me. Maybe somewhere out there the PERFECT 3 wood is out there for me!

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Race For 100 Days

Today is December 7th. There are 24 more days left in the year. I have been out running 88 days. This morning will be the 89th day. I'm trying to reach 100 days of running so I can say I ran almost a third of the year. I would be well over 120-150 days if I hadn't fallen ill in Janurary and half of Feburary. I lost twelve days for going to a strike store when the grocery strike happened last month. Then there was the great rainstorm last weekend.
So as of now, I'm gunning for 100 days. Next year I'm setting a goal of 150-160 days. I also want to do a half marathon. So I need to build up endurance. Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta run!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sacramento Granted USL Expansion Franchise

Well the big news yesterday was the United Soccer League Pro Division announced a new expansion team set to play in 2014. The team will play at Hughes Stadium on the campus of Sacramento City College.
In other news, the City of Elk Grove announced their intention of building a MLS specific stadium to attract a team for the region in the future.
It looks like soccer fever has hit Sacramento. Question is, will the region support soccer?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

College Hockey is Good Hockey

Damn this NHL lockout. Didn't they learn anything from the last lockout in 2004?
I'm dying to see hockey. Right now I'm watching Boston College vs Boston University. The Battle for Commonwealth Avenue. I'm a Boston College guy.....go Eagles!