A Thorough Look Before We Turn The Page
December 30, 2013

With just hours to go in 2013, close to a million people are getting ready to assemble in New York's chilly Times Square to see a ball drop. Hundreds of thousands more are lining the streets of Pasadena in balmy weather to see a parade and/or a football game. Many of you are likely doing neither, but have your own special plans to ring in a new year. While Kathy Griffin rehearses the many ways she'll embarrass Anderson Cooper, and Ryan Seacrest has yet another night on television with little talent himself, but lots around him, let's take a look at the 2013 we're leaving behind...(continued)

Candlestick Not Worthy of its Farewell Game
December 23, 2013

I'm not a Bay Area sports fan, so excuse me if I don't get all misty-eyed when it comes to the San Francisco 49ers, and the farewell game at Candlestick Park. Even locals will tell you the place is a dump. Giants players will show up for the demolition next year, and will line up to be the one to push the plunger. The stadium is done as a sports venue, but the Niners and Atlanta Falcons tonight gave it a memorable sendoff. Maybe better than it deserves...(continued)

Gold Sox' Bass Dealt to Houston
December 16, 2013

It's nothing comparable to the World Series, or even a Pirates-Royals interleague game in June, but for baseball fans, agents, players, and general managers, the highlight of the off season is the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings—which were held last week near Orlando. And while there were several notable deals made, one that fell under the radar of the media is of particular interest to this area. A former Gold Sox player was traded...(continued)

Now THAT Was Football!
December 9, 2013

I spent most of Saturday watching the big college football games. The biggest were the SEC Championship and the Big Ten Championship, but as big as those games were, they were both played indoors. When Auburn beat Missouri in the Georgia Dome, all eyes of the sport turned to Indianapolis where it was snowing, but the game was being played in a dome. If you wanted cold weather football, though, it turns out that all you had to do was wait 24 hours...(continued)

Thanksgiving Weekend: Family, then Football
December 2, 2013

Many families have Thanksgiving traditions. Some have a family football game in the back yard. Some have small gatherings with small meals. Apparently some now shop all day, making it one new holiday tradition to get the biggest deal possible for the next holiday. I get to celebrate Thanksgiving with my mom, uncle, and two generations of cousins that I usually only get to see once a year. Not a bad tradition if you ask me...(continued)

Remembering Even Though I Wasn't There
November 25, 2013

Everyone who is old enough remembers November 22, 1963. Three shots rang out, the President was dead, and so was an era in American history. It was a turning point, the unofficial beginning of the sixties. More assassinations, civil rights, and Viet Nam would follow. If you were old enough, you have a story. I wasn't even born yet, but somehow still feel connected...(continued)

'Miracle' Bails Out Auburn
November 18, 2013

It was not Flutie to Phelan in 1984. It certainly wasn't the United States hockey team beating the Soviet Union in 1980, and it definitely didn't involve a long white-haired guy with a staff emerging from a mountain with two stone tablets (and it didn't involve anyone turning water into wine either if you prefer a New Testament reference), but everyone is calling the late Auburn touchdown to beat Georgia a miracle...(continued)

0-10 But Still A Fun Season
November 11, 2013

They say you can't win them all, but winning one would have been nice. At KNCO, I was fortunate in being given the assignment to broadcast one of the most storied high school football programs in the state. It didn't matter that Nevada Union figured to have a down year—any time spent in a play-by-play booth is quality time. The Miners had a new coach, a young team, and a brutal schedule, and even as an impartial observer, 2-8 looked like an optimistic prediction, but both wins that I had picked would have to come on the road...(continued)

Sawx in Six; Baseball Over
November 4, 2013

I only attended one Dodger game this season. It was a Sunday night. National television. Possibly even a World Series preview involving two teams that made a mega-trade with each other the year before. The Los Angeles Dodgers against the Boston Red Sox...(continued)

A Drama of Errors
October 28, 2013

They are the best that baseball has to offer. They won the most games in their respective leagues. Pitching, key hitting, and defense got them to where they are today. The Boston Red Sox have scored the most runs in the majors. The St. Louis Cardinals are clutch, with the best batting average when a runner has gotten as far as second base. So now that these two teams have collided for baseball's championship, what is everyone talking about? Errors and crazy plays. And we love it...(continued)

It Wasn't Supposed To End Like That
October 21, 2013

It was a story made for Hollywood. A lowly baseball team. It's evil owner replaced by a beloved sports figure. But then injuries and lackadaisical play put them in an early hole. But wait, a Cuban kid no one has seen before emerges, and the hobbled power hitting shortstop returns. Mired in last place, the rejuvenated gang goes on a tear. They put together a winning streak no one has seen in decades. They not only win the division, but they obliterate the competition. They make the playoffs. They're two wins away from the World Series. You can feel the drama. Then they lose 9-0 in St. Louis and have to go home. Done. Gone...(continued)

Near-No Nos Plentiful in Post Season
October 14, 2013

They say that great pitching beats great hitting, or in spring training they'll say that the pitchers are ahead of the hitters. With maybe the exception of Davis Ortiz' grand slam on Sunday, that seems to be the case in the playoffs as well...(continued)

Four Games In A Day Worth Staying Home For
October 7, 2013

If major league baseball is going to have four playoff games in one day, it should be on a weekend. But the schedule is what it is, and fans were treated to a quadrupleheader today. Now, you may not believe this, but it actually is a little taxing to watch four games in one day. I decided to play hooky from work (actually had a comp day and got permission in advance) and give it a try...(continued)

Bring On The Braves!
September 30, 2013

It was far from the MLB Fan Cave, a giant Las Vegas sports book, or even the pub down the street, but I had my own Baseball Central going on in my little apartment this weekend. With a television, radio, computer, and a tablet. I could watch three games at once, and listen to another. It was pretty cool, on my own small scale, even if just for a few hours...(continued)

Emmys, Pennant Races Mark 'No Football Weekend'
September 23, 2013

I'm not sure why I watch the Emmy Awards anymore. I don't watch any of the shows. Most are on premium cable like HBO or Showtime, and others I just either don't have time, or am simply not interested. About the only shows I still watch are The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family, and I actually missed most of the latter last season. I just like awards shows I guess...(continued)

'Manning Bowl' Blacked Out in Norcal
September 16, 2013

Thanks a lot Raiders. Or maybe I should say thanks a lot Raider fans. Enough of you bought tickets that the blackout was lifted, and we got to watch the Raiders-Jacksonville Jaguars game Sunday. What a thrilling matchup, an inept team against a more inept team, with fans that remind you of something out of a Mad Max movie. It's not like there was a better game on or anything. Oh yeah, there was...(continued)

The Top Ten Iconic Stages in All of Sports
September 9, 2013

Before Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka took the court for the Women's Final of the United States Open Tennis Championships Saturday, CBS announcer Bill MacAtee referred to Arthur Ashe Stadium as “one of the most iconic stages in all of sports.” While the sentiment of the moment was not lost on the occasion, and a little hyperbole allowed, I got to thinking. Just what are the most iconic stages in all of sports? Ashe probably is just as iconic as Stade Rolan Garros in the tennis world, but neither compare to Wimbledon. I've put together a list of the Top Ten. See if you agree...(continued)

Are You Ready For Some Football? I'm Not.
September 2, 2013

The calendar has changed to September. The kids are going back to school. There was even an autumn-like rain shower today. That must mean its football season, right? You can't stop the calendar, but to answer the proverbial question posed every week by Hank Williams, Jr.—No, I'm not ready...(continued)

Max Gets the Call, Then Gets Hurt
August 26, 2013

When Max Stassi was drafted in the fourth round by the Oakland Athletics in 2009, he figured to be on the fast track to the big leagues. Gold Sox manager Jack Johnson predicted he would be in the majors in 3½ years. Injuries and a trade, however, seemed to slow down his progress. But on Tuesday, while in Double-A Corpus Christi, he got the call...(continued)

We'll Likely See Fewer of These
August 19, 2013

I keep hearing over and over again the rallying cry “as long as they get it right”. That is, no matter how long it takes, or what the process, if officials ultimately get the call correct, it's worth it. Major League Baseball is on the path of instituting an expanded replay system that could not only slow down the game, but reduce the conflict between umpire and manager...(continued)

'A-Rod' Not 'A-Gone' Just Yet
August 12, 2013

Bud Selig screwed up. Again. We've been used to that over the last 15 years or so, but this was a relatively easy fix. We have to hand it to the Commissioner of Baseball that Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, Everth Cabrera, and more than a half dozen players you have never heard of have been suspended, but Alex Rodriguez is still playing...(continued)

Ode to Gold Sox 2013
August 5, 2013

The Marysville Gold Sox have just completed their 11-week, 48-game season, and as has become somewhat of a tradition the last few years, I concluded the final broadcast wit a little poem of recaps and thank-yous. For those of you who listened, thanks, and I hope you enjoyed it. To the rest of you, you may not know all of the references, but I hope you enjoy it anyway...(continued)

Baseball Bids Bye Bye Baby to Braun
July 29, 2013

I've been really busy with amateur baseball this week, and haven't had a lot of time to see what's happening in the big leagues. The 2013 Gold Sox season ends on Sunday, and it's hard to believe that the season has gone by so quickly. More on that next week, but here are some of the observations from these past seven days...(continued)

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, It's Finally Happened!
July 22, 2013

Many people have been waiting for this moment for weeks. Months even. Some thought it would never get here. Everybody's been talking about it, and there have been bets on when the moment would finally arrive. I think Kate Middleton had a baby today, but that's not what I'm talking about. The Los Angeles Dodgers are in first place!!!...(continued)

Too Many All-Stars
July 15, 2013

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the hottest team in baseball and only have one All-Star representative. The Oakland A's are in first place in their division and only have one All-Star (a second was named, but to replace the first). Despite that, there are too many guys picked to play in Major League Baseball's mid-summer classic...(continued)

The Puig Show, Batting Out of Order, and More
July 8, 2013

How can a guy who has only been in the Major Leagues for a month be considered worthy of making the All-Star team? One big leaguer said it's a joke. Many don't think a rookie with that little experience belongs. That's probably the case, but then again, we haven't seen the likes of Yasiel Puig...(continued)

It's Not About the Road, It's About the Trip
July 1, 2013

In retrospect, the Marysville Gold Sox picked the wrong week for their only overnight road trip of the season. While temperatures continue to top 110 degrees this week, it is 60 in Arcata, with no mention of rain in the forecast. Last Tuesday and Wednesday, there had been periods of rain on the coast, while temperatures in Marysville and Yuba City were quite mild. But of course, the only thing you can actually do about the weather is complain about it...(continued)

I Read Somewhere That Miami Won
June 24, 2013

It was epic. A classic. Unbelievable. At least that's what I heard and read about the NBA Championship series, won in seven games by the Miami Heat over the San Antonio Spurs. I didn't watch. I don't have time. I should also admit that I didn't really care, other than I wanted the Heat to lose. I used to watch everything, but unfortunately sitting on the couch doesn't pay very well....(continued)

Coworker: Give Dodgers Six Weeks
June 17, 2013

I don't really know what to write about this week. I'm busy with work and baseball, I haven't watched a single dribble of the NBA Finals, not one shot of the Stanley Cup finale, didn't see any golf this weekend, and the Dodgers continue to hope that they at least can achieve mediocrity by the All-Star break. None of that really adds up to much, does it?...(continued)

'Redhead from Merced' Gets Major Call
June 10, 2013

It was a warm May Saturday in 2007, just before Memorial Day. The Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox would play their third game of the season that night. New team owner Tom Lininger recalls a 6-foot-5, 235 pound redhead walk into the clubhouse with his gear and say, “Hi. I'm here to pitch.” That guy is now in the big leagues...(continued)

Dismal Dodgers Defer to Defector
June 3, 2013

The MVP-caliber center fielder is hurt. The left fielder is hurt. The shortstop is hurt. The catcher is hurt. There is no real third baseman. The bullpen leads the majors in losses. The once pitching-heavy rotation only has one healthy guy. Oh yeah, the team payroll is over 200 million dollars. Ladies and gentlemen, meet your 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers...(continued)

Two Jobs Twice As Good As None
May 27, 2013

For the last few years, when the Marysville Gold Sox began their collegiate season, it meant I had a job. It was only for 11 weeks, but it was something. I always joked that the Gold Sox gig is a perfect second job, but a lousy first one. Well now I've gotten what I have been joking about. I'm actually moonlighting these days...(continued)

Kings Staying, Mattingly (Reportedly) Leaving
May 20, 2013

It seems like a lifetime ago, but my life used to revolve around the Sacramento Kings. I had a job as statistician for Gary Gerould and the radio crew. I attended every home game (for many years driving 90 miles from Chico), I would drive to Oakland when the Kings played the Warriors. I was in studio for a lot of road games. But when Sacramento almost lost their team this week, I didn't really care...(continued)

Bad Week, Bad Job for Major League Umpires
May 13, 2013

Which is worse? When an umpire looks at a television replay and still gets the call wrong, or when an umpire doesn't even know the rules to the game he is calling? It's a new debate among fans. New Yorkers had Willie, Mickey, and the Duke in the 1950s, and now we have Angel Hernandez and Fieldin Culbreath. Who is the bigger bonehead? The choice is easy...(continued)

In Sports These Days, The Bays Have It
May 6, 2013

This has not been a good week to be a transplanted southern Californian. The Lakers got swept, the favored Clippers got brushed aside, the Angels have the worst offense in the American League, and oh yeah, the Dodgers lose all three games by one run in San Francisco. The Los Angeles Kings at least now have won a game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and you know you're reaching when you have to bring up the Ducks...(continued)

Lakers Done Early, Howard Done Earlier
April 29, 2013

I used to really like Dwight Howard. He even might have been my favorite player in the NBA. He was certainly in my top five, and maybe my favorite non-Laker. That was back when he was in Orlando. He turned into a crybaby before he was traded to LA, and as the only guy to look to on an injury-depleted roster, he got kicked out of the final game of the season, with the Lakers getting blown out at home...(continued)

Lakers Earn Playoff Cameo vs. Spurs
April 22, 2013

When the Utah Jazz lost their last regular season game of the year Wednesday night, Laker fans could celebrate the clinching of a playoff berth. Yay for them. The Kobe-less, and maybe the Nash-less basketball squad from Los Angeles made the NBA playoffs. Big deal. When the Lakers beat Houston just hours after the Jazz loss, it meant the Lakers will lose to the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, instead of the top-seed Oklahoma City Thunder. Whoopee...(continued)

Not A Great Week—Sports Or Otherwise
April 15, 2013

Today was Patriot's Day. The annual Massachusetts holiday honoring the midnight ride of Paul Revere now features a Red Sox game in the morning, and then the sellout Fenway Park crowd spilling out onto the streets of Beantown to catch a glimpse of the Boston Marathon. An estimated half a million people line the streets to watch over 20-thousand runners. Some crackpot knew that, and decided to plant bombs near the finish line, killing at least two and injuring close to two hundred...(continued)

In A Tourney of Upsets, the Favorite Wins It
April 8, 2013

For most of the three weekends of play it was a basketball tournament of upsets. UCLA and Gonzaga were bounced early. Harvard got their first NCAA win. LaSalle and Florida-Gulf Coast picked up two wins each, and advanced into the Sweet 16. Wichita State got all the way to the Final Four in Atlanta. But starting with 68 teams, and after 67 games, it was the top-ranked team in the whole tournament that won it. Louisville defeated Michigan 82-76 Monday night...(continued)

Play Ball!
April 1, 2013

I'll admit Ferris Bueller may have had a better day off than I did, but mine was pretty good. After all, Opening Day of the baseball season should be a holiday, and I decided to make it one. I used my first KNCO vacation day to mostly sit on the couch. I felt a little guilty about it at first, but Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers made me forget about that in a hurry...(continued)

UCLA Out of Tournament, Howland Out of a Job
March 25, 2013

They won the Pac-12 regular season title. They defeated nemesis Arizona three times. They qualified for the NCAA Tournament. But they also lost to Washington State, USC, and Cal Poly, and were clobbered by Minnesota in the Tourney's first round. After ten years, and at one time three straight Final Fours, UCLA has fired its basketball coach...(continued)

Nevada County. Comedy Central?
March 18, 2013

No one would blame you if you didn't associate the greater Grass Valley/Nevada City/Rough and Ready general area with comedy and laughs, but maybe you should reconsider. Locals will tell you that Andy Samberg is here from time to time, and is now engaged to a Nevada City woman. Paul Reiser decided to get back to doing standup last month, and picked Grass Valley's Center for the Arts to do it. Opening for him was Steve Hytner, known to you and me as Kenny Bania from Seinfeld. Not exactly A-listers, sure, how about Dana Carvey?...(continued)

International Brawl Gives Credibility to WBC?
March 11, 2013

If you missed it, it wasn't one of those pushing-and-shoving matches that baseball normally sees when the benches empty. It was a real fracas. A melee. A rhubarb, as the late Red Barber used to call it. So much for the World Baseball Classic being a glorified exhibition. This was serious...(continued)

Just What Exactly Are We Sequestering Anyway?
March 4, 2013

So let me get this straight. First we had the fiscal cliff. We made some sort of deal to avoid that, but then along comes the debt ceiling. Somehow that came and went, they were able to raise the ceiling or something, but now we face the sequester. Does anyone know what that means? Are we all gonna die, or is it something you can put some ointment on and it will clear up. Congress? Mr. Boehner? Mr. President? Anyone?...(continued)

Seth MacFarlane Not the Worst Oscar Host Ever
February 25, 2013

It's the struggle-of-life paradox I learned when I was a teenager: You need to work to make money so you can afford to go out and do stuff, but often you can't go out and do stuff because you have to work. I am working now (which is a great thing), but that means I didn't have a lot of time to take in all of the Oscar-nominated movies this year...(continued)

One Hell of a News Week
February 18, 2013

As you walk into the cozy little newsroom at KNCO Radio, there is a rather small standard definition television mounted in the upper left corner. It is usually tuned to CNN with the sound down, and at noontime we check out the local stations to see what stories they lead with in their newscasts. This week, the volume was up on many occasions, and when people in the news business are watching, you know there is something going on...(continued)

Jonesin' for Baseball? Get your fix here.
February 11, 2013

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series, the low payroll Oakland A's actually won their division. Washington and Baltimore got good, Toronto could win the AL East, the Yankees and Red Sox are down, the Los Angeles Dodgers have money to burn, and Tim Lincecum cut his hair. As John Lennon...(continued)

Super Bowl Over: Bring On Baseball
February 4, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII is in the books. Harbaugh beat Harbaugh, and for the first time in the entire history of the National Football League, the San Francisco 49ers are Super Bowl losers. I'm happy about that, even though the Baltimore Ravens had to hang to pick up their 34-31 victory. I'm not thrilled about the Ravens...(continued)

Aussie Open: A Great Break From Football
January 28, 2013

This is what the NFL calls the bye week. It's the week of no football, which is supposed to be used by the players to rest up for the big game. It also allows the media to focus on ridiculous statements by current or former athletes, or something that someone said on a talk show that wouldn't be news otherwise. For me, it's a good time to watch some tennis...(continued)

Super Bowl XLVII (also known as Harbowl I) Set
January 21, 2013

Sometimes I wonder why I watch sports. It seems more often than not, teams I want to win lose, and vice versa. Out of the four possible Super Bowl matchups going into Sunday, San Francisco-Baltimore is the one I didn't want the most. So, of course, that's what happened...(continued)

Who Needs Ricky? Tina and Amy Rule the Globes
January 14, 2013

It's been in the back of my mind for a couple of years. I started thinking more about it recently, and last night, I came to the realization. I have come to terms with it. I'm ready to admit it publicly. It should be announced to the world. I'm in love with Tina Fey...(continued)

Tide Roll Again: Third Title in Four Years
January 7, 2013

It was supposed to be a dream matchup. Alabama, the SEC juggernaut, where college football is king. Notre Dame, an undefeated season and seeking a return to glory, after being king of the sport's mountain for years. It didn't turn out that way...(continued)

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