Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Truly Awesome Power Of Travis Hafner - Deadspin

More Pronk worship.
The Truly Awesome Power Of Travis Hafner - Deadspin

Respect the Pronk

Here's a good argument for Travis Hafner ("Pronk,") my new favorite player. (It's a close contest as to whether I like Pronk or Ichiro more.) The fact that it lightly tweaks Big Papi at the same time is nothing but a plus :)

Sportszilla and the Jabber Jocks: Respect the Pronk

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Ultimate Beer Run in the Czech Republic - New York Times

It puts a smile on my face to read travel articles about places that I've been - especially when the article confirms my experience or impressions.

I was in Prague and Pilsen about 6 weeks ago, and toured the Pilsner Urquell brewery mentioned in the article. Also, as luck would have it (I swear I didn't plan this), my hotel in Prague was a part of the Staropramen brewery.

I tried to take a tour of this brewery as well, but alas, tours weren't conducted in English on the day that I tried to attend.

The Ultimate Beer Run in the Czech Republic - New York Times

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Boston sports - I'm sick of it.

Is anybody else sick of Boston sports? Maybe it's because the Patriots AND the Sox are both enjoying a good decade, or maybe it's because of ESPN's proximity to Boston, but I'm getting sick of Boston overexposure, especially stories about how glorious Boston sports are, how sweet it was to break the Babe Ruth curse, the genius of Bill Belichek, about how perfect Fenway Park is, how passionate New England fans are, and how the Sox-Yankees rivalry is among the best in sports. Bill Simmons ("The Sports Guy,") is Public Enemy #1 is this regard, and now it's Papi vs. Larry. EVERY city can make similar analogies (Edgar Martinez vs. Dave Krieg? John Elway or Patrick Roy?), but for some reason, because it's Boston, it's elevated to an obscene level of importance.

The reality is that....

-until the first Patriot's SB win in 2002, Boston had won a lot of nothing, with 64 combined sports seasons without a win. (i.e NBA, + MLB + NFL + NHL.)

-Boston's sporting futility - particularly regarding the Sox - has more to do with ingrained racism than the Bambino. It's convenient to hide behind the Babe, but being the last MLB to grudgingly integrate, and a well-documented bias against minorities by the Yawkey ownership have been the biggest reasons for the Sox futility.

-Fenway is the LAST place in the Majors that I'd pay to see a game, and that isn't even based on the fact that the ticket prices are obscene. With seats sized to 1918-sized people, rats running at your feet, and zero amenities, like reasonable access to parking, Fenway blows. The field isn't much better. While others have a special place in their hearts for the Green Monster, I'll always think of it as the joke that made Wade Boggs a HOFer, and kept the Sox from developing any good pitchers - ever. (Seriously - name one of consequence.)

-there's absolutely nothing special about the New England sports fan - certainly when compared to New York or Philadelphia. Every northeastern city has rabid fans - check out how Buffalo goes nuts for the Bills (for example), and acidic sports talk radio.

-Sox-Yankees isn't a rivalry so much as a domination. Rivalries (like Duke-UNC or even Dodger-Giants) are never as lopsided as Sox-Yanks.

From the Wikipedia: The Yankees have the advantage in the all-time series with a record of 1,060-879 (.547) through the 2005 season. The Yankees also hold lopsided advantages in World Series Championships (26 to 6) and World Series appearances (39 to 10).

(Yes, the Sox would need to sweep the 19-game season series from the Yanks for the next 10 years to pass them in head-to-head records.)

Even during the recent period of competitiveness (since about 2000), while the Sox and Yanks have played some meaningful games, the Yanks have still won the division everytime, with the Sox as lucky wildcards. If it weren't for game 7 of the 2004 ALCS, would the Sox have ANYTHING to crow about?

(For the record, I'm not a Yankees fan.)

Thanks for hanging in while I vent. Does anybody else feel the same way? Page 2 : Larry Legend vs. Big Papi

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China
Click to go to my online photography

World sun clock

Uncommon Man's Creed

"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I wish to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "this I have done." All this is what it means to be an American." -- Anonymous