NCAA Bracket Update, Round of 16, by Chuck Strom

The two biggest takeaways from yesterday’s Round of 16 action was Oregon’s advancement in a nail-biter over Michigan and Arizona’s demise to #11 Xavier in a similarly close contest. Kansas still looks like the most dominant team in the tournament, which bodes ill for Oregon, its Elite Eight opponent. My bracket is still . . . → Read More: NCAA Bracket Update, Round of 16, by Chuck Strom

The San Francisco Giants Pay Off Their Mortgage, by Chuck Strom

Found this item today buried in a Ringer article about the Oakland Raiders and their pending move to Las Vegas: the San Francisco Giants just sent their last mortgage check for AT&T Park without even issuing a new release to mark the occasion:

http://www.sfchronicle.com/giants/article/Giants-pay-off-AT-T-Park-prepare-for-another-10952512.php

The windfall isn’t expected to impact the Giants greatly. The . . . → Read More: The San Francisco Giants Pay Off Their Mortgage, by Chuck Strom

California’s Snowpack, 2015 and Now, by Chuck Strom

The Gray Lady, otherwise known as the New York Times, posted a photo comparison between the current Sierra Nevada snowpack and that of two years ago:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/03/22/us/california-measuring-snowpack.html

The difference is striking. Not that California’s out of the woods yet. The state used a lot of its groundwater to make up the shortfall two years . . . → Read More: California’s Snowpack, 2015 and Now, by Chuck Strom

A Noble NBA Experiment Gone Awry, by Chuck Strom

One of the noticeable characteristics of the NBA nowadays is the constant din of music, promotions, giveaways, and dance routines during a game. Hardly a moment, even during time-outs, is allowed to go empty, possibly out of the fear that if fans’ attention is allowed to lapse for even a second, they will lose . . . → Read More: A Noble NBA Experiment Gone Awry, by Chuck Strom

NCAA Bracket Update, Sweet Sixteen, by Chuck Strom

The initial weekend of the NCAA Tournament laid further waste to my bracket. As of the Sweet Sixteen, only ten of the spots are occupied by winners I picked. The East Regional was the worst, where I picked only one of the four winners. I’m sure I have a lot of company here, though, . . . → Read More: NCAA Bracket Update, Sweet Sixteen, by Chuck Strom

NCAA Bracket Update, Day 1 by Chuck Strom

My perfect bracket is already history with Day 1 not even half over—#12 Princeton lost to #5 Notre Dame, though the tightness of the game suggests the reasonableness of the pick. Oh, well. Maybe there’s a consolation prize out there for me.

Also saw that my alma mater, UC Davis, won their play-in game . . . → Read More: NCAA Bracket Update, Day 1 by Chuck Strom

It’s March – Time for NCAA Bracketology! by Chuck Strom

Monday Night: 3/13/17 – Most of the interest in NCAA basketball, I suspect, comes from the gambling opportunity offered by the March Madness Tournament. It also doubles as a free lottery ticket if you take one of the many free online bracket challenges, in this case Yahoo Sports. Only a few days remain before . . . → Read More: It’s March – Time for NCAA Bracketology! by Chuck Strom

The Washington Wizards Are On The Rise. The Sacramento Kings? Not So Much, by Chuck Strom

Last Friday evening, my wife held a ladies’ bunco party at my house. Needing to make myself scarce, I paid a return visit to the Kings in Sacramento to see them play the Washington Wizards, who have been a rising team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference as recently described in The Ringer:

https://theringer.com/nba-washington-wizards-scott-brooks-john-wall-bradley-beal-33e6a60ed931#.4j9ntquc1

The . . . → Read More: The Washington Wizards Are On The Rise. The Sacramento Kings? Not So Much, by Chuck Strom

Sacramento’s New NBA Arena Raises the Bar For The Rest, by Chuck Strom

Last Sunday I visited the new arena for the Sacramento Kings, the Golden One Center, and what I found made every other NBA venue look like a D League gym. On the outside, the building resembled with its aluminum skin an alien spaceship that happened to land downtown—the roof has enough solar panels . . . → Read More: Sacramento’s New NBA Arena Raises the Bar For The Rest, by Chuck Strom

Greetings From Waterlogged CA, by Chuck Strom

Those of you who have heard about the problems at Oroville Dam in northern California may wonder if I am among the 180,000 people that have had to be evacuated. Fortunately, I live about 50 miles north of the affected area, so I have been able to stay put. It was reported that . . . → Read More: Greetings From Waterlogged CA, by Chuck Strom

GOAT Notes On The Recent Super Bowl, by Chuck Strom

In the wake of the New England Patriots’ recent come-from-behind victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, many commentators have seen the game correctly as a final exclamation point for the legacies of quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick, and the current New England Patriots sports dynasty: seven championships, two additional Super . . . → Read More: GOAT Notes On The Recent Super Bowl, by Chuck Strom

Freedom Isn’t Free: At the Writers Resist in Portland, by Chuck Strom

Last Sunday, writers and activists gathered at Writers Resist, an event held in over 100 venues in cities across the nation to commiserate and find ways to respond to the unthinkable turn of events from last November 8. In Portland, about 600 people came to the Aladdin Theater to see Cheryl Strayed and other . . . → Read More: Freedom Isn’t Free: At the Writers Resist in Portland, by Chuck Strom

A Genuinely Terrifying Story in The New Yorker, by Chuck Strom

Dexter Filkins, the primary Middle East correspondent for The New Yorker, has written a genuinely terrifying story about the Mosul Dam in Iraq. The terrifying part is not that the dam was temporarily occupied by ISIS, but that it sits on a foundation of soluble rock and requires a constant flow of concrete . . . → Read More: A Genuinely Terrifying Story in The New Yorker, by Chuck Strom

Chip Kelly Out With 49ers—Hope He Rented Rather Than Bought, by Chuck Strom

This may seem naïve, but I was actually a little surprised to hear that Chip Kelly was fired as coach of the San Francisco 49ers after their 2-14 season. No one realistically could have expected Kelly to win with the worst roster in the league, and hopefully he will get some benefit of . . . → Read More: Chip Kelly Out With 49ers—Hope He Rented Rather Than Bought, by Chuck Strom

The World of the Warriors Has Turned Upside Down, by Chuck Strom

I thought I had heard everything in sports, but now we have the New York Yankees accusing the Boston Red Sox, with their recent trade for Chris Sale, of being the Golden State Warriors. Who would have ever thought that the original Evil Empire would be looking up at the Dubs?

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/18223011/new-york-yankees-gm-compares-red-sox-warriors

This . . . → Read More: The World of the Warriors Has Turned Upside Down, by Chuck Strom

Ten Sports Books For That Special Someone On Your Christmas List, by Chuck Strom

Sports books don’t come anywhere close to romance novels in their share of the publishing market, but there are still enough of them out there to present a bewildering array of choices for someone looking to purchase a gift for that special someone who likes to consume sports on the page as well as . . . → Read More: Ten Sports Books For That Special Someone On Your Christmas List, by Chuck Strom

A Little Nature Photography to Brighten Your Day, by Chuck Strom

The photos of Mt. Shasta were taken in the morning of Friday, November 11 on my way from California to Portland. Those of Multnomah Falls and the Columbia Gorge were taken on Saturday, November 12.

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Multnomah Falls

South view of Mt. Shasta

North view of Mt. Shasta

Mt. Shasta from Weed

Mt. Shasta from I-5

Columbia Gorge

A New Player on the Portland Microbrew Scene, by Chuck Strom

Welcome to the Labrewatory.

A new and imaginative microbrewery, the Labrewatory on NE Russell Street, has arrived on the scene in Portland. The owners, Chris Sears, Patrick Walsh, and Joe Watzig, invite larger brewers in the area to use their four-barrel system to experiment with recipes that would be more expensive to attempt on . . . → Read More: A New Player on the Portland Microbrew Scene, by Chuck Strom

A New NBA Season in Portland, and The Blazers Are Wearing Their Track Shoes, by Chuck Strom

At a time when diversions from real life seem more welcome than usual, it is a pleasure to announce the start of the NBA season and the return of the Portland Trail Blazers to the Moda Center. Last Friday, the Blazers took on the Sacramento Kings in a tight, high-scoring contest that went into . . . → Read More: A New NBA Season in Portland, and The Blazers Are Wearing Their Track Shoes, by Chuck Strom

The Chicago Cubs Are World Series Champions, by Chuck Strom

No, the title is not a misprint. In fact, this post is mostly an excuse to write that line, which has been so long in coming.

One person with extra motivation to be happy today is Aroldis Chapman, who escaped by the narrowest of margins the fate of becoming the latest victim of the . . . → Read More: The Chicago Cubs Are World Series Champions, by Chuck Strom