Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Birthday 2023 - The Anti-Vibe, Very Good B-Day Week

Wednesday was my birthday.  The celebration lasted a full week as we had some neighbors over last Saturday, and this week we went to see Austin FC play Vancouver.  In the middle was the big day.  I'm now 48.  

Holy cats.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

The League Goes to Austin FC's first Play-Off Match

Sunday, October 16th, I attended my first Austin FC match at Q2 Stadium here in sunny Austin, Texas.  

This was a somewhat unlikely event.  I've tried many times to get into soccer, but it never really worked for me.  European leagues play on European time, and I don't speak Spanish to keep up with the best soccer in my hemisphere.  And, honestly, cable has usually done a terrible job of covering MLS, the US's soccer equivalent of the NBA or MLB.  Over the years I was more interested in the US Women's National Team - because of the best sports-watching moments of my life is and always will be Brandi Chastain's penalty kick in the 1999 FIFA World Cup (yeah, the one that ended with Chastain whipping off her jersey).  That moment made a 24-year-old me cry.

Anyway, I was astoundingly skeptical of Austin taking on an MLS team.  It was originally pitched very badly by the owners looking to move here,  They made some weird moves along the way - like trying to just say they were going to build their stadium on highly utilized public land in incredibly dense areas of town, something not agreed upon by City Council or anyone else.  It would have created innumerable issues from traffic to environmental, and was kind of ugly and brazen, demonstrating they did not know Austin and did not share the values of Austinites.  

You don't just drop a massive stadium on Town Lake and think no one will notice.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

UT Longhorn Volleyball Fought Hard

Man, that was a heart-breaker. Not only did we have to say good-bye to Steven and Lauren, but the National Volleyball Championship was on TV with our UT Longhorns. Unfortunately, despite winning the first two games, Penn State came from behind to win. Here.

I say... oh, well. UT kicked ass. They played amazingly well against an equal opponent, and the games were very close.

I've been pretty focused on football, but the Longhorns had an amazing season by any standard. Heartbreakingly close to a National Title, but they made a fan out of me. Next year, I'm definitely hanging out on Wednesdays to go to the games.

Friday, December 18, 2009

UT Longhorn Volleyball in National Championship


I keep forgetting to say anything about this, but on Saturday at 7:00, UT's Longhorn Volleyball team is on ESPN or ESPN2 (I forget) playing Penn State for the National Championship!


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Bowl Schedule 09-10

Well, the Bowl schedule is up, and UT did manage to land in the National Championship. Pretty cool that two teams I follow (UT and OU) have each had a shot in back to back years.

I am, of course, a Longhorn by academic and professional affiliation. But these days I work with 17 other universities, and so my professional affiliations spread a little outside of that particular scope. But as a sports fan, I bleed orange. Just don't tell anyone.

Its sort of cool to know I will want to watch all five BCS games and a load of non-BCS bowls.

The Rose Bowl on New Years will be the scrappy Ducks versus the Buckeyes, and I think the Ducks stand a darn good chance of winning that one.

The Sugar Bowl (also New Year's Day) will feature the former National Champs and team who was ranked #1 all season against Cincinnati. I watched Cincinnati play three times this year, and I think this could be a surprisingly even match-up.

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 4) will feature Boise State (who I don't care about) versus TCU (whom we should ALL care about). TCU will spend the next month whining about how they should have been in the Championship Bowl, so its a chance to see what they've got against a serious challenge.

The Orange Bowl I'll be watching mostly because its on, but GT and Iowa...? Could be fun.

And, of course, my Longhorns in the National Championship. Versus Alabama, who seems superior in so many ways. It's my sincere hope that the Longhorns will embrace their underdog status, just as UT did in the 06 Championship, and play against an over confident Alabama. Or... Alabama could just walk all over my pals Colt and Kindle.

C'est la vie.

Some other bowls I'll consider watching:

12/22 - Oregon State in the Maaco Bowl.
12/26 - Pittsburgh in the Mieneke Car Care Bowl
12/28 - A&M in the Independence Bowl
12/31 - Houston in the Bell Hleicopters Armed Services Bowl
12/31 - Oklahoma in the Sun Bowl
1/2 - Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl
1/2 - Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl

That's a lot of football, but I have a lot of time off from work.

UT (barely) Beats Nebraska: Headed to National Championship Game

(editor's note: This is being written at about 1:30 AM Sunday. If the BCS comes out tomorrow with a different ranking than I expect, and UT is NOT in the championship, I will not be entirely surprised. But it @#$%ing better not be Alabama and Florida)

At this point, I guess it means that the worst ranking UT will pull this year is #2? Which I can hardly complain about. Something tells me the other bowls will be the ones worth watching this year. So if you can't find me end of December - January 7, I'll be camped out and watching football.

Dear TCU Fans,

Hey! Feeling cheated that UT is headed to the National Championship and that you're going to have to play in some other stinky bowl game? Let me introduce you to me, this time last year when Oklahoma got to play in a National Championship game that we knew they weren't going to win while UT pondered how we'd beat those guys...

The BCS is ridiculous. You now have your own taste of it. And let me further instruct you that after watching the Cincy game today and the Alabama game, I sincerely doubt that UT would beat those guys either. But funny thing: UT started out ranked very high, played very well in most games, and won every game. That could be TCU next year if your team isn't a fluke this year.


The League

UT now isn't going off to play in a bowl game with decent ratings that nobody will remember by July. UT is going off to get their asses handed to them by an overwhelmingly superior Alabama. And, I assure you TCU fans... you would not win that game, either, and for the rest of his life Colt McCoy will have to live down the whispers that he (despite breaking school and NCAA records) and his team were always frauds.

I would love to believe UT is going to win against Alabama, and I will be wearing burnt orange the whole week leading to January 7th. But I'm not laboring under any illusions. The divine providence which gave UT a win this evening will most likely not replicate itself in Pasadena.

I'm just glad to follow a team that's strong enough that even when the offense decides to go bonkers for the game, the defense can win it. And if you look at the TAMU game, vice-versa.

Nah. If you want to catch a good bowl game, I'm going to recommend the Ducks in the Rose Bowl, or wherever the hell Cincy winds up. Those guys are insane.

But you can't say UT didn't keep it interesting the past two weeks.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Go Ducks!

Go Ducks!

I know who I'm cheering for in the Rose Bowl.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

UT/ TAMU Football Game 2009

Well, @#$%. That was interesting, wasn't it?

I watched with the Steans-half of the family, all of whom were variously shouting in shock, dismay, anger, despair, etc...

UT's much-hyped defense were given a real run for their money by the Texas A&M offense who seemed to have their number, and whose tape Nebraska will be watching closely come the Big 12 Championship.

Colt had a terrific game which was overshadowed by the collapse of UT's defense and A&M's seeming ability to move the ball at will. Colt was responsible for 5 touchdowns and a total of 470 yards or so. That's... really good.

Anyway, this was a good game for UT fans and maybe for the UT players to be reminded that a powderpuff schedule isn't going to prepare you for a national title game, and that mayhaps your ranking isn't going to be so solid come Sunday.

TAMU didn't get the win this year, but come 2010... man. It's gonna be ugly.

The Origins of the Horns Hand Sign

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Senior Day at UT Football

after yelling so much at the game, I am a little hoarse.

Well, I was expecting UT to spank Kansas. And had they not given up a ridiculous kick return, UT would have had an even better game.

Anyhow, hopefully we'll still be voted in the top 3 or four this week, given the decisive 50-21 win.

Jamie, Jason, The Admiral and I attended this evening's contest on the University of Texas campus. I yelled. A lot. Its what I do.

It was Senior Day, which meant the final home game for players like McCoy, Shipley, Muckleroy and Houston. No doubt 2010 will be another building year as QB Gilbert figures out if he can fill the shoes of his predecessors (speaking of, James Brown was at the game! That's some mid-90's UT flashback material.).

But it was also Senior Day for dozens of members of the UT marching band, sideline crew, cheerleaders, dance squad, and limitless drunk kids in the stands. Colt and his crew were gracious, and a huge number of fans remained in the stands to salute the seniors and give them one last Texas cheer.

Anyway, a lot of fun.

It was also the first game Jamie and I have attended together, which seems odd, given that we've been together since '95. But there you have it. I think she had a good time, even if she disappeared for 30 minutes in pursuit of a hot cocoa. I'm chivalrous, but not "30 minutes standing in line for cocoa during the 3rd and 4th quarter" chivalrous.

We cheer a lot together at home, but its more fun to cheer with 103,000 of your closest friends.

And, hey, Fantomenos, saw that Oregon score and highlights. Holy smokes.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Red River Rivalry 2009

Well, the Texas/ OU game is done for another year. Texas claimed a victory at 16-13.

I'll be curious to review the statistics later, and I am sure fans will have differing opinions as to what the game meant.

In my opinion, the Texas offense played mostly poorly, and it was clear OU's defense had done their homework in preparing for the offense. To compound things:

Passing game:

Whether its due to having an offense that can't run a pass play, or Greg Davis going senile, UT ran play after play aimed at passing for only a few yards. This included when UT would earn yet another penalty or sack and wind up with 20 yards between themselves and a first down.

The issue with running these short routes seemed to be that OU anticipated every route, meaning that our receivers could never truly get open, or do much more than wind right back up at the line of scrimmage.

At any rate, UT's passing game is looking a bit sad compared ot last year.

Running Game

If you give the ball to Fozzy every play, they will figure it out.

The Pitch Play

Greg Davis, it seems you are letting the kids with whom I played backyard football circa 1982 design your "trick" plays. They don't work, they make Colt look unhappy. Stop it.


For a game that, at last check, wound up with 215 yards in penalties, I didn't think the refs were particularly whistle-happy. Whatever thought might have once been a part of football that meant "just let them play" has been scrapped, but apparently nobody notified Texas's line, who had multiple holding calls, costing us 5-10 yards on what seemed to be a play per drive (at least), and which injured almost every opportunity Texas had all game to move the ball.

OU was responsible for what had to have been an equal or greater number of penalties, leading to UT's victory, as UT moved the ball almost entirely off of penalties during some drives.

UT's Defense

Played very well. Aside from a few mistakes, which are just inevitable, I don't think I've seen those guys play this well all year. If they can keep that up, its going to help make up for the weak offensive line, and whatever is going on with the 5 yard offense.


It's hard to tell if Colt McCoy is struggling, or if he simply has no help. In the first half, the line was offering him no time to find a receiver, but whether the receiver was open or not, he wasn't able to make much happen until he decided to start running. Unless he's a threat to do more than pass, it seems like the opposing defense isn't having too hard of a time shutting Colt down and/ or sacking McCoy.


Look, OU didn't look any better than UT. At least not after Bradford went down with an injury early on. I am of the opinion that, had Sam remained healthy, UT would have gone down in flames.

I am happy that UT won. I'm just not impressed at all with how UT's offense played. I like a "W" as much as the next guy, but as this isn't as straightforward playoff situation, and this widely-televised game is going to be considered by voters, how the game was played is an issue.

The bottom line is that UT hasn't had a game where they looked terrific this season, and I remember laughing out loud along with everyone else when I saw the cream-puff schedule Mack brown got for his team.

When UT won the Rose Bowl and took the 2005 Championship, part of what made the year so amazing was that expectations were not for a championship, UT had a rigorous schedule, and right up til the week of the game, ESPN (who is always looking at Pete Carroll with dewy eyes) didn't think UT stood a chance. Getting a soft schedule and looking bad when you win those games doesn't make the ranking feel terribly legit.

There's a lot of season left yet for the Horns to either make it or break it.

UT fans have a reputation, I guess, for being fair weather fans because of the nature of the fan base to be critical. Yes, its easier to be a fan when they are winning and playing well. But find me a UT fan who doesn't find a reason to complain about Greg Davis once per game, and I'll show you someone who doesn't watch the games and care.

A truly great Texas team is still fresh in the minds of many UT fans, and, unfortunately for the team, every play is compared a bit with WWVYD? And, of course, the knowledge that when you're on top and there's this much season left, there's nowhere to go but down.

I, personally, don't want to see UT wind up in another Texas or Alamo Bowl. And certainly don't want to see another team we've beat wind up ahead of us in the rankings once again.

Let's all also hope Sam and other injured players get healthy soon.

Texas Fight!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gameday: Longhorns keeping it interesting...

Before I begin, I just want to say, I told co-worker Otto on Friday, as my last words before we parted ways "Texas will win, but its going to be ugly. I'd say we'll win by 10." I am Carnac the Magnificent.

I had no expectations at the start of this season for the mighty Texas Longhorns. As much as I would love a victory in a BCS bowl each and every year, that's just not realistic. So if we can get a winning season, and Colt McCoy has a final year worthy of his career at the University of Texas to date, then... good enough.

Shipley played great as always

Fans took it for granted Texas would roll over Louisiana-Monroe, and they did. And then, last week, against Wyoming, most fans were expecting a 45+ win, and were left scratching their heads when UT looked less than stellar in the first half, only seemingly waking up in the second. Sure, they won 41-10. But it wasn't a slam dunk 41-10.

(editor's note: For some reason I wrote "34-10" initially for the 2009 Wyoming/ UT score. It was late. I was full of cheese and sausage. I have no idea where I got that number. Let that be a lesson to you when you try to blog when you should be asleep.)

And so onto this week.

You have to admit, Colt's inability to complete a pass longer than 5 yards and a secondary that seemed utterly perplexed for the duration makes for an exciting game.

I honestly believe Colt just had a rough half a game (maybe the offensive half, but...), and that the issues with the secondary are correctable. But there's no doubt that something looks off with a team that's got some inflated currency in the polls.

Obviously neither issue was a game-ender, but it does say there's a lot of work to do before UT plays OU in Mid-October.

Speaking of OU... after a tough first week, they've already found another Heismann contender in Landry Jones. Holy crow, is that guy good. Sam may be out of a job even if he wanted to come back in a week or so. But good news for Sooner fans is that they are, minimum, getting a sneak peek of the possibilities for next year.

Also watched the U. Mich./ Eastern Michigan game, just'cause. Not as interesting as the UCLA/ Minnesota game.

Meanwhile powerhouse schools like USC and BYU were taken down this week, giving all those pundits room to pause (as if USC doesn't ride a largely unearned wave of LA-centric good press every season). Today I laughed and laughed (with a hint of madness) when I saw the clips of the final moments of the USC/ Wash game.

Finally saw the Florida highlights. Man... Those guys are really a #1 team. If Texas had to play them... yeesh.

But... let me be blunt. I was not only unhappy that Texas lost to Tech last year, thus screwing up our BCS standing, but, if I may, Raiders fans might note that UT fans did not tear bleachers from the stadium and storm the field (we save that for OU and TAMU games, thank you).

So, yeah. There's a certain relief that Tech (one of about four schools who consider UT their primary rival. You are not. That's OU, whom we respect and fear. Then TAMU, who is our sabre-rattling cousin who shows up on the holidays drunk and looking for a fight) is out of the way, with a mark in UT's win column. Had UT let this one slip away at home, we'd be kissing this season good-bye. I can wait for the OU game before we do that.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Snake Grows Foot, Terrifies League

Shoemaker just posted this elsewhere

I am going to go to bed and hide beneath the covers now.

Added Shoemaker found item bonus!!!

Collinsworth on his Romantic Life

I don't know Cris Collinsworth from his actual NFL days, but I've sort of loathed the man as first the host of Fox TV's "Guinness Book of World Records" freak show, and then as an NFL commentator and host.

Leaguers, I present to you: Collinsworth, the man in his own words:

Vera Lynn, Solomon Kane, K in hospital

Vera, what has become of you...?

Vera Lynn has hit the top of the UK album charts at age 92. Former teenagers may remember Vera Lynn's name from the Pink Floyd album, The Wall.

The RAF is kind of awesome, even when singing

I'm not entirely clear on why Lynn is having a resurgence at the moment, but the Andrews Sisters better start polishing their dance shoes.

Moster-Fightin' Puritan Solomon Kane headed for theaters

Do you like awesome things? I do.

Robert E. Howard was a prolific guy in his short life. You probably know his most famous work, Conan, thanks to the 1980's Arnie movie.

While a lot of Howard's work (Kull, Red Sonja, Thulsa Doom) is sort of cut from similar cloth, Solomon Kane is a puritan with a bible and a gun who doesn't take kindly to supernatural terrors.

While The League is often disappointed in the final products Hollywood churns out as they adapt different characters (I mean, I almost wept through the last 2/3rds of Van Helsing), you have to hope that some of these will wind up okay, just by statistical probability.

Also, Kobayashi is in this movie. Go figure.

I suspect this is going to be really bad, but... what the heck. I want to see what they do the idea.

College Days

Ever wonder what college was like for The League and JAL?

Metaphorically, it was exactly like this...

credit for the clip: co-worker Adam of A&M

Kristen Doing Better

You probably missed it, but Jamie's soon-to-be sister-in-law (finance of The Dug) landed herself in the hospital over the weekend. She had a routine if not-minor surgery, and seems on her way to recovery.

This is good.

K and Dug are getting married in a few weeks at the end of the month (where I am performing a singing solo. They just don't know it yet).

So let's all wish K a swift recovery, so we're not wheeling her up the aisle on a dolly.

K has been around for a number of years now, and is already in the McB family by default, the wedding just making official how everyone has felt for a good long while. So, yes, we want her in top fighting form for the wedding, but we mostly just want her back to doing backflips as soon as possible.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Longhorns (Football) Season Opens

Texas Fight!

Texas had its season opener against punching bag team University of Louisiana-Munroe. Texas won. By a lot. I missed the game as I was at a lovely wedding, but all of us with smartphones were sneaking looks at scores during the reception.


Anyway, we're off and running with another season of Texas Longhorn Football!

Sounds like OU had a spot of trouble when BYU took Sam Bradford down a bit hard on a tackle and injured his shoulder (a sprained AC joint?) Anyway, they start the season with an L, which I really wasn't expecting. It's going to be a crazy season.

OSU played really hard against the Georgia 'Dawgs and earned a win starting in the second quarter.

Baylor won, and the clips I saw looked really good.

I can't start raving about the Mighty Longhorns yet, as I've only seen highlights. But I did see Shipley had something like 180 yards and Chiles got a touchdown in his new role as, I believe, running back.

It could be a very good, Big 12-winning, sort of season.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Roller Derby stuff

In the run up to the release of "Whip It!", I expect to see a bit of buzz around Roller Derby.

Pop Candy is a pop culture blog where The League has actually received at least two mentions in the past. Blogger Whitney Matheson is on vacation, and so called upon her pals to fill in for her while she's getting tanned, rested and ready for Fall '09.

One guest blogger was an Austin-area Roller Derby Queen of the Flat Track.

She gives you a primer on what to check out before you check out "Whip It!".


Monday, August 17, 2009

Usain Bolt: Fastest Man Alive

Usain Bolt is really, really fast

Last summer I watched a whole lot of the Olympics. Even synchronized swimming.

One highlight was Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, he of the chest-thumping and golden shoes.

Some people criticized Bolt for undue celebration, but... dude. Bolt is The Fastest Man Alive, and he proved it on the biggest stage imaginable.

Well, without so many cameras on him, Bolt just beat his old record in the 100m Dash.

Read about it here.

What can you say other than that the guy is absolutely amazing?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Well, shoot

It seems the Cardinals, whom I chose to cheer for, lost Superbowl 43.

I was really pulling for Warner and the gang. Ah, well.

Monday, January 05, 2009


UT wins Fiesta Bowl

So... UT won the Fiesta Bowl. Who'da thunk it?

I certainly thought UT had all the potential in the world to win and SHOULD win, but given how 2009 had been going so far, I sort of figured... eh, why get your hopes up? In fact, I predicted UT would lose by 14, just to make myself feel better.

Well, UT won this evening in Glendale versus the Buckeyes. Heck of a game once we were in the second half. Colt, Cosby and the rest managed to pull a rabbit out of their hat that I confess, I wasn't sure they had in them (if it had been VY, then I would have believed it, but...).

I am really happy for the UT Horns and am optimistic that next year can be just as great.

Now to look forward to Thursday's game, which I am guessing will be pretty crazy. I am unsure who I am rooting for yet, as both teams were impressive as heck all year (and I seriously question whether UT could beat either team at this moment).

Salvation Army Red Bucket

So I want to both report on how we did and thank some folks for the success of this year's first foray into the Virtual Red Bucket as the League of Melbotis had its first fundraiser.

Our projected goal was $300, and we managed to raise $360! Not bad, everybody!

We'll be back next year (or perhaps in June) with another go at it. I like the idea that maybe I can use LoM for good, occasionally.

So who can I thank?

My in-laws, Dick and Judy get a shout out. My own folks, KareBear and The Admiral. Jason, of course. The Doug gave, as did Heather Wagner. Matt M. and Erik Z. chipped in. My Arizona pal Maria Hanlin gave, too. JimD was more than happy to throw a few clams in the bucket.

PLUS, I had reports from Leaguers such as Carla and Nicole (and Justin?) that they'd found a real bucket out there and made sure to help out. And poor Simon tried to make a donation, but the website apparently was displeased with his Canadian money. So special salute to Simon for trying and trying.

Melbotis Tributes

Thanks so much to all for their support.

Randy makes mention of Mel at his site.

Lauren draws a lovely image of Mel and invites you to join in.

Jason says good-bye.

And so does Jamie. I know how hard writing this must have been for her, and I think its a lovely tribute to our guy. Also here.