I have to say that basically certain events of the last few days have inspired this blog, sadly, for the wrong reasons. But before we get to that…
I guess I wouldnt be called the most passionate fan of any team, in all truth. Yes, there are a few teams (a couple who will be mentioned shortly) that I support, and follow, but get crazy about them, no chance!
Two of ‘my teams’ big rivalries are actually being played out today. The Buffalo Bills are playing the New England Patriots, and we Bills fans are supposed to hate the Patriots. So fine, one of my best friends is a big Pat’s fan. Do we have a rivalry over this, hell no! We might tease each other a little, but thats about as serious as it gets! Fine, I can dislike the Patriots, but thats more down to how good they are, rather than anything else. I mean, I dislike the big football teams over here for the same reason, and nothing delighted me more than when a minnow like Leicester won the Premier League last season, believe me!
The other tonight, I’ll be watching some of later, thats my Dodgers, taking on the San Francisco Giants in the last game of the regular season. Having said that, we could still have as much as 3 more games tomorrow, due to ties, play off venue deciders, and the like. But regardless of that, it will be Vin Scully’s last stand, as he’s said he’s not commentating on the play offs, so… Thankfully ESPN UK are covering that game tonight, and I only hope its his commentary we get.
But yes, Dodgers supposedly hate the Giants, but with me, no, I fail that test too. I know who I want to win, but… whole different game! There are still fans on the boards saying that unless we win the World Series, the season has been a disaster, oh please, be real!
But fine, the one that has annoyed me the last few days. Yes, the Ryder Cup. Dont get me wrong, I understand people wanting their country/continent to win, but there are levels of passion that are good, and those that are wrong. Sadly, the last few days, a small number of Americans (though the noise level suggests more) have acted like rabid idiots, rather than fans. It got so bad yesterday, and that is saying something, that fans started being ejected from the golf course, for their abuse of European players! I know, it was a long day, and maybe beer played a part? Equally, the awful behavior of Trump, and his followers, may lead people to think abuse of this kind is permitted? May be his type of followers doing this, who knows?
Either way, as a British born Ameriphile, its embarrassing! I thought the behavior at Brookline was awful, but I think this has almost topped that, at best. Yes, I know, my American friends are not the type that do this sort of thing, and I do appreciate that. The people who do, wont read this, so…I know, its been a while since the US won, but please, win it fairly, not in this matter.
OK, rant over!
The video. If anyone had told me that a cover of a Simon and Garfunkel song could challenge the original, I might have laughed. But fine, this does!
Despite my complete lack of a competitive nature, mentioned recently, I still enjoy doing sports competitions nowadays, even if my research is a little more limited than it used to be, given I can no longer get hold of sporting newspapers, and the like, to garner information.
But yes, there are some sports I’m betting at, than others! The craziest, is horse racing, I seem to be able to read jump racing decently, but as has been proven this summer, flat racing leaves me blank. Doing so badly this year, that of serious entrants, I’ve currently got 1 behind me. Yes, that bad! Yet I can get close to the Top 10 when it comes to jump racing, ah well…
Football/Soccer (depending on where you’re reading this) is a sport I have zero interest in, but given a stat based formula seems to work for it, I’m never going to set the world alight, but I do OK.
NFL is something I can do OK on, though given that with a few exceptions, any team can win, any week, I suspect a fair amount of luck is involved in that?
However, there is one sport where this number crunching machine seems to do well, golf. Yes, the Betfair competition, where you pick 5 players for each tournament, and get points for your best player, I made the play offs, which started this week, just like the PGA, though only 12 of us play on, for 8 more rounds, to declare a winner. Regular season, I came 4th, out of about 30 regular players. Yes, 3 prizes, so no working out where I’m not going to finish lol!
More incredibly, is the one on CBS Sportsline, where you pick 1 player from each of 4 tiers for 20 odd weeks, and score whatever your players score. So yes, being the US, there are about 35,000 players in there. Me, as I type this, 26th! Yes, wow! I might fall, or rise a few places yet, but done OK, sure have.
Why am I good at golf? I think its because if there was ever a stats related sport, its this one. Players like certain courses, and if they’ve done well there in the past, they’ll probably do it again! So yes, number crunching past results in tournament, course, and current form (all easily available in these internet days) seem to bear fruit.
So some think I know my golf, but me, I know its just my number crunching skills, really. Just like a computer, or a robot, or… 😉
The video. Usually when golf results are declared, though of course, next week, in the US, it will be Monday, because the bank holiday is a week behind ours! But generally…
Yes, fine, I’ve never been the most competitive person in the whole wide world, but even by normal standards, I’ve been amazed at just how competitive some folk are! I know that sports people have to be, and I guess some of the fans get dedicated, but even so… As for workmates, and quizzes, well…rolls eyes…
So fine, lets start with work. The training group I’m currently with, are halfway through our 2 week training period, for technical services, as mentioned last weekend. Its certainly been interesting, even if I might be grateful that I wont be putting theory into practice. But a lot of it is just doing what the system tells you to do (something I would enjoy), so I’m sure I could cope with that. But seriously, if anyone asked me anything ‘outside the box’, I wouldnt be a lot of use. But fine, this isnt about that, its about the daily quizzes we get to do, a combination of work related questions, and general knowledge stuff, where people get way too competitive. Fine, I know some of the stuff, probably more than I wish to comment here, but all the same, I treat it as fun, and a challenge, but nothing more. But, some of the others, seriously…No, I’m too laid back, clearly!
But OK, a group of people managed to top that today, at least in an online, sporting sense. Yes, baseball! Now this morning, when I got up, I saw a group of Dodgers fans commenting that they were writing off this season as a disaster, and criticizing the front office for decisions made by them.
Which might be fine, if they were actually having a bad season, but they’re not! Before today’s games started, an hour or so ago, they were 2 games off the divisional lead, with about 50 games to go. And as for the 2 extra wild card teams that will get in, they are top of that table, 3 games clear of anyone else! Well, sorry, but if thats a bad season, I really am Jean Harlow! I might wish I was, but seriously…are people really that competitive? I guess some are, clearly?
No, I have no desire to be like that!
3 other pieces of sporting information relating to today.
First, in Baseball, its possible that today, Ichiro Suzuki will join the 3,000 hits club, for Miami, the 30th player to do so. Thing is, when you add in his Japanese hits earlier in his career, he’s approaching 5,000, and he’s probably top of the table. If it doesnt happen today, it will very soon, he only needs 1 more! Secondly, in the same sport, Alex Rodriguez announced his retirement today, he retires on Friday. I suspect it was fait accompli, given his less than stellar season, but all the same, he’s been quite a player, but…for the fact his career is seemingly tainted by Performance Enhancing Drugs. How well he would have done without them, we will now never know. Given that he played for the Yankees, my sympathy would be limited anyway.
The last one is a golf one. Earlier today, a thoroughly nice guy (as much as I know) called Jim Furyk shot the first 58 on the PGA tour. So OK, its only a Par 70 course, but its still amazing, and a first, and so…The funny point? He was so far back before this round that he wont win the tournament anyway!
So fine, to the video. Something I’ve no real inclination to be, unless it happens to just come along my way. But being intensely competitive about it, no thanks!
So fine, lets have a rare blog of late, that isnt about me!
Due to this new fangled thing called work, I missed most of the first 2 days of the Open Golf last week, but I gather the advantage of being out early Thursday/late Friday was quite significant this year, over being drawn the other way around. Two of the big beneficiaries of this seemed to be Stenson, and Mickleson. However on Saturday, which I saw some of the play of, the leaders all had the same chance but these 2 drew clear of the rest. In theory, a 4-5 stroke lead over the next player was catchable, but pretty much it looked like it might be a 2 horse race. Fine, it was, but in quite an incredible way.
In truth, it wasnt long on Sunday afternoon before it was genuinely a 2 horse race, as they pushed on, and the rest of the field didnt. In truth, it didnt matter, as they had the 2 amazing scores of the round, and when you think Mickleson shot a 6 under par 65, and lost ground on Stenson, its quite something to think. Yes, Stenson shot an incredible 63! And to think, before that pair started out, the ‘experts’ were saying any score in the 60’s would probably win it!
Its strange, most gripping golf tournaments have a group of players, and you’re trying to work out who will win. This had just 2, and yet, almost to the end, you were still wondering who was going to win! In the end, they finished 11 shots clear of any other player!
Oh, in other news, I have now been offered the other job, the one I wanted, in Bradford, starting towards the end of next month. Beyond perhaps taking the week off beforehand (I have a podiatrist appointment that week, so would be easier not to fit in around shifts), I plan to work, if possible in this job up till then. Why, I need the money, pure and simple! Of course, if they want to convince me to stay by ‘interesting’ methods, they are welcome to do so!
Why? Simple, better money, better hours, more interesting role, and cheaper travel, whats not to like? Fine, I’ll have to start paying for lunch again, but seriously…?
The video, back to the golf. If those two had sung to each other on Sunday, this would almost certainly have been the song!
Yes, I’m a bit of a sucker for contests, principally free ones, that might at least give me a bit of joy, if I ever won one. I know, stop laughing, with my record, I’m about as likely to win one, as swimming the Atlantic, but anyway, I give it a go.
So, I admit it, each time there is one, I give the Pick 6 on Channel 4 a go, even though my horse tipping skills were never great, and even less so nowadays. But someone might be going to win £10,000, and if I enter it, well, yes, fine, I enter it, and make a losing entry, for sure! Something went wrong last Saturday, I actually picked the first 2 winners, but it went rapidly downhill from there!
The one sport I do decently on contests on, is Golf. I assume its because there is a major stats element to selections for that sport, aided by the fact there is a major ‘horses for courses’ feel to the game. Hey, there is one running on CBS at present, where I am 52nd overall, out of over 15,000 entries! I know, cant last, but the prizes are only open to US residents, so its just practically for fun. But yes, loving doing it.
About the only other sport I do much fantasy stuff on, is the NFL. Again, I know a bit, and as they only play once a week (a major reason I do not look at baseball games), I can find the time to do my entries. Skill level? Modest, I do decently, but never threaten to win anything, for sure.
So yeah, now I’m going to do a contest on a sport I know little about, and care for even less, football, or soccer, as they call it, depending which side of the pond you’re reading this. In truth, the last few weeks of the season, I was doing some silly game, attempting to pick 6 correct scores on English football, for £250,000, if you got them all right, but lets just say I never got close!
Next month, something that would have driven me nuts, if I was still in a betting industry call center, will happen. Euro 2016, or something like that? Yes, that big a football fan, arent I? Well, one company that I may not ever work for, but have great social media contact with, is The Hager Group. The reason I probably wont work for them? They’re in Europe, and my foreign language skills nowadays wouldnt pass muster. Shame, because they seem a nice set of people to talk to, but anyway…Fine, they’re running a prediction competition for Euro 2016, and I’m going to give it a go. If you want to, the link is http://www.hagergroup.com/en/media/online-prediction-game/1024-783.htm and I’m sure they’ll appreciate your entries. Some nice prizes, by the look of it, for those who like gaming, and things, by the look of it. Yes, again, I’m not a major gamer in the slightest, so I may not be the expert to say things like that, and I certainly dont need a football, at my age. All irrelevant, the chances of me finishing anywhere close, has to be zero, or less!
OK, if anyone wants to give me any helpful tips for selections, feel free, I havent a clue! But fine, it should be good for a giggle, if nothing else. And hey, someone has to come bottom, it might as well be me!
Right, the video. What I might have for about 5 minutes of the first game, just maybe?
Ah, you would need to think laterally to get the video from that title, but its worth going on, I’ve found a real vintage gem for you tonight.
So, lets have a little sport tonight, for a change, shall we? If anyone offered a leading golfer a hole, just over 120 yards long, as a par 3 hole, they’d think piece of cake, and be thinking of getting a birdie, or so you’d think? But yet, this humble sounding little hole, gives golfers nervous nights, just thinking about it. Why, because this week, they are playing at Sawgrass, and we’re talking about that infamous 17th hole.
Yes, thats the one, a small island green, surrounded by water, which seems to attract golf balls, as if they were on magnets! I cant imagine there are many top golfers, who at some time, havent dumped at least 1 ball into that watery grave. If I remember rightly, many years ago, someone kept dumping balls into the water, and took 13 shots in all (including lots of penalty shots) before completing the hole.
I could brag that I’ve had a hole in one at that infamous hole, and be telling the truth. Oh fine, its a kind of cheat, as that was on the Tiger Woods golf game for computers, created around 2003. Yes, fine, I also dumped a few balls in the water, too.
But yes, I have no idea what standing on that tee, looking at all that water, and that tiny green is like, but it would be terrifying for me. I know these professionals are far better golfers than me, but anyway…eek! But yes, its going to be fun watching the best golfers attempting to land golf balls, on that tiny little green, and not into the water over the next 4 days.
Right, the video. Any British readers here, will probably know the AXA Medical advert on TV by now, I’m sure. What many may not have realised, is that just over 60 years ago, this song topped the British Charts. And yes, amazingly, I’ve found a video of that original song, from 1955! Fine, the quality isnt great, hardly surprising really, after all these years, but, readers, let me introduce you to Kitty Kallen
Right, fine, as my readers probably know, I’m a bit of a 30’s baby at heart. When it came to beauty gadgets back then, some of them look terrifying to modern eyes, and you could say this was one of them. Before the late 30’s, if you wanted your hair permed, this was your way of getting it done!
Yes, fine, once, and only once, I’d love to have my hair curled, as close to that method as is now possible. If anyone reads this, and feels up to the challenge, shout with a comment!
Alright, lets get away from the ‘cheery’ stuff of late, to somewhere that truly is a fond memory. Less specifically, Los Angeles. More specifically, and in a sense, a million miles away from the buzz of Hollywood, Pacific Palisades. Yes, this gorgeous piece of heaven is just over an hour away from Hollywood by bus, but in a sense, its a whole different world, and I love it!
Ironically, I first found this haven of peace, purely by accident. My April trip, my plan was to get a bus to Beverly Hills, look around there, and go back to my hotel afterwards. Thing was, I didnt read the journey plan correctly, and the bus (service number 2) doesnt actually go into the centre of BH, but stays on Sunset Boulevard, passing the edge of town. By the time I realised I’d missed it, I decided to stay on the bus, and see what happened. I did consider getting off in Westwood, and having a look at UCLA, but something kept me on the bus. Eventually I saw the approach of a small town, and decided I’d get off there, and have some lunch. Yes, that was Pacific Palisades, and having eaten, and had a walk around town, I’d fallen in love with this peaceful oasis.
So fine, the decision to go back there, in October, was an absolute certainty. Lunch in the same place, a walk around town, and then a stroll down the canyon, to the ocean. It might yet be the last time I walk by the Pacific Ocean, but I hope not. Due to an accident, the bus journey back was not one for fond memories, taking about 2.5 hours, instead of the just over an hour that it should be! But anyway…
So why, now, am I reminiscing about this place? Simple, if you follow golf at all, this weeks tournament is taking place at, yes, you’ve guessed it, Pacific Palisades! No, I never saw the Riviera Country Club up close, not really the sort of place a humble girl like me would go, just like that. Not really of great interest as such, anyway. But yes, its nice, for a few days at least, to see somewhere I have such good memories of, again.
Hopefully, hopefully, one day, somehow, I will return! No idea when, unless a wealthy LA citizen wants to make me his amour, mistress, or courtesan, at present. Or just offer me a job, hint, hint! But yes, at a time of low feeling, its nice to see somewhere that fills me with nothing but good memories.
The video. Yes, a clue in the title, I guess. Just remember, when this was recorded, this lady was approaching her 65th birthday. The song was a major hit for her, when she was 18! But I loved this song then, and still do now.
Yes, alright, I know the NFL pre season play started last week, but today marks the Bills first foray into play, and at the moment of writing (30-13 in 3rd quarter), its going surprisingly well. Of course, as the cynic in me would point out, when they were reaching the Superbowl 4 times, we used to lose virtually every pre season game, so…who knows? 4 weeks from now, we will know a lot more, and 6 weeks from now, I’ll be watching a game or two hopefully while in the US. Of course I might get to see some on Sky Sports before then, but anyway…
No, I dont expect anything amazing from them, but for a few more weeks at least, I can dream.
The other ‘funny moment’ tonight is that I’ve got the US PGA golf on TV, coming from…Rochester, New York, where I was in April. Well alright, just outside the city, at Oak Hill, Pittsford, but its given as a Rochester address lol! 😛 I will always have fond memories of my time there, thats for sure. Given that I never got to Buffalo, I might still get back there sometime of course, would be nice.
And yes, the other regular occurrence fast approaching at this time of year, my next holiday trip to the US, back to Richmond in Virginia, after 13 years! Still less than the gap between visits to Rochester, so… Meeting up with Kate again will be really good too. And yes, guilty, next years destinations are all planned out too, if not sure which order yet, but it should be Albany, and Kansas, all things working out. So many possibilities for 2015 though, no idea how that will all play out yet, but pretty much all east coast, or mid west at most, which will please my old body.
On other matters, no, I havent seen the photo book display yet, hopefully soon, and I can post something here.
Oh, and on a more depressing front, the Premier League football season starts next week, ah well, cant have everything, I guess?
Right, given most of what I’ve talked about, the video is topical. But its not the original artists, but these are two young ladies I could quickly become a fan of. Hopefully medical people wont get a surprise with the tagging here lol!
Its amazing just how many times, and how often sports commentators can put their feet firmly in their mouths. And yes, alright,.its so funny when it all goes wrong for them.
All summer long, the Sky cricket team have been going on about how brilliant the England cricket team are, and how only the weather stopped them being the No 1 team in all 3 versions, and then they play against a decent team, and oh dear! Things looked so bright for them on Thursday, a great start against South Africa, but since then, oh dear! A quick collapse on Friday, but still they were saying how the bowlers would do so well. Err…
South Africa declared today at 637-2, a lead of 252 over what England managed with all their batsmen! Still, as they were saying even then, the wicket is so good, that England will just bat out for a draw. Next time I looked, they were 65-3! By the close they’d reached 102-4, but still 150 behind, with a full day to play, and most of their batting gone! No, by then I watching another sport (more in a moment), so I have no idea how the awfully biased commentary team coped with that.
Ah, but I was still going to watch a sporting collapse, little did I know. Yes, the end of the Open. I turned on to hear the BBC commentators saying that Adam Scott only had to keep going to win the title (4 clear, with about 4 holes to play), and they couldnt see him not doing that. Oh. dear, 4 over par for the last 4 holes, and he presented the title on a plate to Ernie Els!
I know, I’ve never been in that position, nor am I ever likely to be, so I have no idea how hard doing what they do is, but I suspect its not easy. But its not them that amuse me, its those commentators who only succeed in putting their feet in their mouths, and not learning by it. I know, live commentary doesnt give you time to think too much, but clearly in the case of the cricket commentators at least, they get provided with rose tinted glasses.
So, in tribute to those clever folks behind the microphones, I pay respects with…
Well Northern Ireland certainly is in golf at present! And as it is the Ireland Golf Union, well…think they need to bring the Irish Open north of the border now though! Congrats Darren btw, even if I doubt very much he will ever see this lol!
Irony is, an Ulsterman was favourite for the golf with us at work, but not Darren, was Rory McIlroy, no surprise there really after the US Open.
Not really much else to report at present, but thought I’d better let people know I was still alive lol!