Wait Until Next Year: Looking Forward For The Blazers, by Chuck Strom

As expected, the Golden State Warriors rolled over the Portland Trail Blazers with such confidence that a concert was scheduled at Oracle Arena on the same night that a Game 5 would have taken place. The handwriting on the wall was evident after Game 1, when Portland guards Damon Lillard and CJ McCollum shot . . . → Read More: Wait Until Next Year: Looking Forward For The Blazers, by Chuck Strom

Madison Bumgarner in Dirt Bike Accident, by Chuck Strom

Just heard that Giant pitcher Madison Bumgarner just banged up his ribs and pitching shoulder on a dirt bike. Out six to eight weeks. A “What were you thinking?” moment if there ever was one. Reminiscent of former Giant second baseman Jeff Kent’s injury from popping wheelies during spring training in 2002. The Giants . . . → Read More: Madison Bumgarner in Dirt Bike Accident, by Chuck Strom

April Baseball: Life In The Club Section, and Matt Cain Lives For Another Day, by Chuck Strom

For those who like to attend professional sports, the world has become increasingly segregated, with stadiums featuring luxury boxes and exclusive club sections with comforts and amenities above what is normally available to the average fan. Fortunately, at least at AT&T Park in San Francisco, it is possible occasionally to crash the party . . . → Read More: April Baseball: Life In The Club Section, and Matt Cain Lives For Another Day, by Chuck Strom

Basketball’s New NCAA Champions, Fresh From The Gridiron, by Chuck Strom

Given that last night’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship was played in a cavernous NFL stadium, it seems appropriate that it eventually resembled a football game, with lots of hard contact as North Carolina and Gonzaga struggled to deny each other anything close to an open shot. One has to wonder how much Portland native . . . → Read More: Basketball’s New NCAA Champions, Fresh From The Gridiron, by Chuck Strom

A Point And Two Rebounds Short, by Chuck Strom

For most of the second half of the North Carolina/Oregon NCAA Men’s Semifinal on Saturday, the Ducks were ice cold from the field and beaten regularly on their own glass, yet they managed to cling to life by drawing fouls and going 25 for 28 from the line. As often happens in such games, . . . → Read More: A Point And Two Rebounds Short, by Chuck Strom

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