San Francisco Giants Fan Fest 2014: Success This Time, and Worth the Wait, by Chuck Strom

At the O’Doul Gate

At the 2013 San Francisco Giants Fan Fest at AT&T Park, I waited the entire day on the field for an autograph, left empty-handed and resolved never to do that again. This year, I had my daughter Jillian with me and didn’t want her to endure such a frustrating and . . . → Read More: San Francisco Giants Fan Fest 2014: Success This Time, and Worth the Wait, by Chuck Strom

The 2014 Golden State Warriors – Well Worth The Price Of Admission, by Chuck Strom

Despite their second-round series loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the 2013 NBA playoffs were truly a coming-out party for Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Since 1994—basically a generation—the Warriors had been one of the least relevant franchises in all of sports, with the exception of an upset against the Dallas Mavericks . . . → Read More: The 2014 Golden State Warriors – Well Worth The Price Of Admission, by Chuck Strom

A Better Performance, But The Same Result, By Chuck Strom

To anyone who saw the Seattle Seahawks beat down the San Francisco 49ers in the second half of the recently concluded NFC Championship Game, the surprise was not that the 49ers lost, but that they came so close to sending the 12th Man home to an off-season of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Instead, . . . → Read More: A Better Performance, But The Same Result, By Chuck Strom

A Tribute to Candlestick From An Unlikely Niner Fan, by Chuck Strom

The online magazine Grantland featured a farewell essay to Candlestick Park, where the San Francisco 49ers played their final game on Week 16 before winning three more games on the road to earn themselves their third straight trip to the NFC Championship Game. The essay, titled “Closing the Cave of the Winds,” is notable . . . → Read More: A Tribute to Candlestick From An Unlikely Niner Fan, by Chuck Strom

Thoughts on the 49er/Packer Game, by Chuck Strom

Watched the whole game yesterday. A few observations:

1. The cold didn’t impact the game as much as people thought it might. Not a lot of slipping or sliding going on, and both teams were able to throw and catch the ball. The kicking game was affected, though. Kickoffs were noticeably shorter even on . . . → Read More: Thoughts on the 49er/Packer Game, by Chuck Strom

Peter Jackson Has Jumped the Shark, by Chuck Strom

As the title suggests, I am about to disparage Peter Jackson’s latest installment of his Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug. Before I do so, however, I should point out a few things. I am as familiar with the Tolkien literature as anyone could be without being totally obsessive, having read most of it . . . → Read More: Peter Jackson Has Jumped the Shark, by Chuck Strom

Everyone Loves Kalle Anka

Here’s an article in Slate on Sweden’s love of Donald Duck, or Kalle Anka, which literally translates to Charlie Duck. It’s an interesting take on Swedish culture and the appeal of similar cultural icons, especially during the holidays.

– Chuck Strom

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2009/12/nordic_quack.html

49ers/Packers Playoff Preview, by Chuck Strom

If there never was a reason before to eliminate divisions in the NFL conferences and go to a playoff structure seeding teams strictly by their regular season record, there is now. There is something unjust about a team tied for the second-best record in the NFC being rewarded by a first-round playoff game in . . . → Read More: 49ers/Packers Playoff Preview, by Chuck Strom

Turning 50 At The Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

The author at 50

When you go to baseball games, what you see at the park can be totally at odds with what happens over the rest of the season. Last October, I watched the Cincinnati Reds beat the Giants nearly to death 9-0 in the second game of the playoffs, which everyone in . . . → Read More: Turning 50 At The Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

Timmy’s Coming Back! by Chuck Strom

Lincecum 2012 NLDS

A few months ago, San Francisco Giants announcer Mike Krukow said that baseball players generally do not sign new contracts with their old teams when they include a pay cut. Worse than a loss of income, he suggested, a cut brings a loss of status that players prefer not to endure . . . → Read More: Timmy’s Coming Back! by Chuck Strom

Feeling the Magic, by Chuck Strom

Jillian with Posey jersey

A week before the All-Star Break, I took my daughter Jillian to AT&T Park to see the Giants play the Dodgers. On the way down she asked if an outfielder had ever caught a fly ball with his bare hand.

“Yes,” I said. “Kevin Mitchell did it in ’89 . . . → Read More: Feeling the Magic, by Chuck Strom

Before Midnight: A Postscript, by Chuck Strom

Last week, I was in Sacramento and saw Before Midnight at the one theater in the city where it played. Those who have seen Before Sunrise and Before Sunset will find the format familiar. The setting is gorgeous–this time in the south of Greece–and the conversation is engaging and intense, with a few more . . . → Read More: Before Midnight: A Postscript, by Chuck Strom

Movies Where People Really Talk to Each Other, By Chuck Strom

Before Sunrise, Directed by Richard Linklater, Columbia Pictures, 1995.

Before Sunset, Directed by Richard Linklater, Warner Independent Pictures, 2004.

Those of you who listen to NPR or read the New York Times probably know already that a third movie in director Richard Linklater’s “Before” Series has been released recently: Before Midnight. In this installment . . . → Read More: Movies Where People Really Talk to Each Other, By Chuck Strom

Don’t Worry, Papa’s Working, By Chuck Strom

When worlds collide, we often get comedy. A story on National Public Radio this morning showed how this can happen even in the most traumatic situations. Apparently, kidnapping is a booming business in Latin America. The Morning Edition host, Steve Inskeep, interviewed a woman in Venezuela whose adult daughter had been kidnapped. While negotiating . . . → Read More: Don’t Worry, Papa’s Working, By Chuck Strom

Warriors! Come Out To Play! By Chuck Strom

As of this writing, the Golden State Warriors are tied at two wins apiece with the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Western Conference semifinals. This is their best showing in the playoffs since the 1970s, when Rick Barry was setting records for free throws with his trademark granny shot. Fans of NBA basketball . . . → Read More: Warriors! Come Out To Play! By Chuck Strom

Tonic for the Soul: Raising the Flag on Opening Day, By Chuck Strom

“The cast of an off-Broadway production of Jersey Boys sang the national anthem, and the bearers unfurled the flag at a run until it nearly covered the outfield.”

After the San Francisco Giants won their championship in 2010, I wish that I had attended Opening Day the next season. Until then, I had thought . . . → Read More: Tonic for the Soul: Raising the Flag on Opening Day, By Chuck Strom

Metallica Night at AT&T Park, By Chuck Strom

The members of Metallica, including vocalist James Hetfield and guitarist Kirk Hemmett, live in Marin County and attend Giants games regularly

At nine in the morning on Friday, my wife called me at my office. “It’s Metallica Night at AT&T Park,” she said. “I think you should go.”

That sounded a lot better than . . . → Read More: Metallica Night at AT&T Park, By Chuck Strom

Quest for a Third Ring: 2013 San Francisco Giants Season Preview, By Chuck Strom

Baseball writers currently use a lot of sabermetrics to judge a team’s prospects for an upcoming season, carefully calibrating the odds of individual players either regressing in their performance or breaking out to their full potential. Sophisticated as they may be in their analysis, however, their predictions still center on two factors: past performance . . . → Read More: Quest for a Third Ring: 2013 San Francisco Giants Season Preview, By Chuck Strom

Two Days before September 11, By Chuck Strom

A couple of years ago, National Public Radio ran a story about people recalling what they had done on the day before September 11, 2001. Perhaps the most notable aspect of the story is that people actually recalled in detail what had happened that day, as opposed to September 11th itself. A few people, . . . → Read More: Two Days before September 11, By Chuck Strom

An Extended Glimpse of Baseball’s Past, Now Available on DVD, By Chuck Strom

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. . . → Read More: An Extended Glimpse of Baseball’s Past, Now Available on DVD, By Chuck Strom