in the world of sports, it's not often that you have a weekend where all the stars just seem to align. it's the reason sports betting parlays have such big payoffs. well this past weekend, i should have been in vegas.
oakland a's advance to alcs
first and foremost, the oakland a's have FINALLY advanced to the american league championship series. after losing 4 straight division series (all game 5's), the a's completed a series SWEEP of the minnesota twins on friday. i can't even begin to express how happy i am. it felt SOOOOO good to have that unfair label of "chokers" removed from the a's (read the next section to see who the REAL chokers are).
because of the game times, i was able to catch the end of all 3 games during my lunch break from work with my buddy jochem (ok, maybe i sneaked out at 3:30pm to watch game 3 but it was friday!!). and what can i say, the a's kicked butt. no question about which team played better. i'm sick of hearing about how the twins "gave" the series to the a's. how about a little freakin credit? to the rest of the nation, the a's are either chokers or they get lucky. haters.
my mvp for the series: marco scutaro. 4 rbi scoring doubles in 3 games. 'nuff said. oh, the a's pitching was pretty damn good too. but that's to be expected.
yankees CHOKE AGAIN
with yet another record breaking payroll of $200 million (that's so ridiculous i can only laugh), the new york yankees once again CHOKED. yes, i said CHOKED. the HEAVILY favored yankees lost to the detroit tigers on saturday, thus losing the series 3-1.
now let's review the facts. the yankee's 2006 payroll of $200 million is $80 million MORE than the 2nd highest payroll in baseball, the boston red sox (another bunch of chokers). the oakland a's have a 2006 payroll of $62 million. i'll give you some time to digest that ...
yes that's right. the difference between the yankee's payroll and the 2nd closest team is MORE than the entire payroll of the oakland a's. again i can only laugh. and you wonder why i swore off baseball. it's a joke. look at their lineup: damon, jeter, abreu, arod, giambi, posada, matsui, williams ... that's a freakin' fantasy baseball team!!
and yet, they lost again. and let's not forget the biggest choke job in the history of sports: losing 4 in a row after leading the alcs series 3-0 to the red sox in 2004, the first such occurrence ever in the history of the sport. now who are the real chokers?
cal bears back in the top 10
if you're a bears fan or pay any attention to college football, then you know how cal embarassed themselves opening weekend on national television. with their highest preseason ranking since 1952 of #9, they got their asses whooped on espn by then-23rd ranked tennessee, 35-18. that loss dropped them to #22, and had everyone wondering if cal was indeed a fluke.
well thankfully not. the cal bears have since won 4 straight (scoring 40+ in every game), bringing their ranking back down to #16, and clearing the way for the big showdown this past weekend against #11 oregon.
ranee and i were lucky enough to get tickets from her brother so we attended the big game (not THE big game, but a big game nonetheless). we decided to head to berkeley early to walk around, eat, and of course drink. turns out it was homecoming weekend so the campus was packed. TONS of people everywhere, including lots of annoying oregon duck fans. you can't tell me oregons fans actually enjoy the sound of those "quack" whistles right?
the game itself was amazing. we had really good seats (row 12 down near the field) but were unfortunately (or fortunately) seated near the visiting oregon section. sadly for oregon, the cheering between the opposing fans was more competitive than the game.
cal took control from the start, with an interception on oregon's first play of the game that lead to a quick score. 7-0 after like 3 minutes. cal never looked back, exciting fans play after play. we were really spoiled with this game. 3 interceptions. 6 touchdowns including a 65-yard punt return. another 40+ score for cal. end result: #16 cal over #11 oregon, 45-24. needless to say, my voice was gone after the game.
so after 5 straight impressive victories, cal is back in the top 10 right at #10. seeing that tennessee is now ranked #8, that first loss really wasn't that embarassing or unexpected. tennessee was just inaccurately ranked at #23 to start the season. let's hope cal can continue to ride this momentum, hopefully to a rose bowl bid.
next big game: 11/18 vs. usc (at usc)
niners win "battle of the bay"
and finally, the "battle of the bay" in the nfl this past sunday was won by the san francisco 49ers. now although i'm 49ers fan (the raiders were in la when i was growing up), i don't exactly hate the raiders (i still have oakland pride) so the victory was somewhat bittersweet.
both franchises are going through rough times right now, so it's hard being happy as a bay area football fan. but the niners are looking better and better (maybe alex smith will finally live up to his contract and #1 pick potential). can't really say the same for the raiders. poor al davis.
regardless, the niner's victory completed a successful 4 for 4 parlay weekend for me!!