Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Good Tidings for the Dogpatch

New basketball court

After breakfast with fellow Metblogger Richard Ault at Just For You on 22nd, I found this shiny, bouncy new basketball court on Minnesota Street.

Olympic torch route now shrouded in mystery?

logo_page.gifThings got kind of crazy in Paris last week, and San Francisco is certainly bracing for tomorrows run. Will we get a chance to see the Torch on it’s only pass through the US? Hard to tell, as the Mayor announced that the published route for the Torch run “may” change. The intent seems to be to “adapt” the route as protests may interfere with the planned route.

“Newsom said the planned 6-mile torch route along the central waterfront and around Fisherman’s Wharf could change up to and even during the relay. Police said security plans would include having officers run alongside torchbearers to protect them and the flame from any protesters who might try to disrupt the run.”

Note that the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee sent out a team of 30 flame attendants selected from the People’s Armed Police to escort the flame throughout its journey. Which means that it may be hard to see the Torch at all behind the massive throngs of security officials from the SFPD and Chinese government.

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyways, be careful if you are going to watch or protest this event. It’s looking like things may get a little crazy.


The current published route has the Torch ceremony beginning at 1 P.M., in McCovey Cove and wrapping up at Justin Herman Plaza. (SFGate Map of Run Route)

There was a Tibet Rally and Peace March today (h/t to SFist). There will be music, speeches and a candlelight vigil tonight at U.N. Plaza Downtown. On hand will be Richard Gere and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. (h/t to Pacifica Riptide)


Goddesses of Victory invade Union Square

That column in the middle of Union Square, it’s topped with the goddess of Victory on top. Well her Greek name is Nike, and this weekend below her a whole tent city has been set up for thousands of athletic women from all over the country that are in town to participate in the 2007 Nike Women’s Marathon.

There’s an “expotique” built up around the concepts of fun & fitness, and Nike’s offering runners free manicures, massages, and a heads up on all sorts of Nike related whatnot. This popular and completely sold out annual event has brought in heap loads of dough for Luekemia & Lymphoma related causes, an estimated some $40 million in the first three years. This year, the event’s 4th, is expected to pull in over 18 million alone, from the efforts of some 20,000 participants, up from 15,000 last year, registered from 11 countries & all 50 states. All the slots were filled in just 3 and a half days, and I even saw registration spots being auctioned on Ebay.

Like the sneakers, this isn’t a one size fits all race, so there’s also a half marathon for those who don’t feel up to the whole 26 mile challenge.

On Sunday, the runners leave Union Square at 7 am and head through the downtown financial district past the TransAmerica tower, along the Embarcadero past the Wharf, and Marina Green into the Presidio and out to the Great Highway, through Golden Gate Park and south along Lake Merced, finishing just north of the Great Highway along the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, event organizers have even set up randomly placed DJ stations, and live entertainment options to keep the runners entertained all the way to the sea. If you’d like to see the 26 mile course breeze by in about 11 high speed minutes via streaming video, click on the windows media file link below the jump:

All Star Hub Bub All Over SOMA

If the ubiquitous banners weren’t enough, anyone lingering anywhere along the route to the ballpark would be blind not to notice the All Star Hub Bub. I wish I had brought my camera to capture the sights:

The capsized wooden boat in McCovey Cove, and the distraught guys from Boston and dozens of others who’d brought their own rubber rafts but were denied launch by the Coast Guard.
Michael Baron’s pic sourced via Flickr

The mini carnival of sponsor tents & inflatable nightclubs etc set up across the water with their silly games & prizes and the kids & adults alike clamoring for free fruit flavored sample bottles of Phenylalanine laced “wellness” water and bite sized candy bars.

There were the abundance of cops, lingering at every intersection, and even some lounging at Phil’z Coffee, and the cheering crowds for Vlad, who impaled balls into the stands, but never once near the water, and had to do his interviews through a translator.

“Bezbol Been Barry Barry Good To Frisco… “at least this week.

That’s even if Barry decided to abuse his hometown fans by sitting out the Home Run Derby while supposedly taking up Jay Z’s offer to hang out a few blocks away at a 3 level nightclub party at Roe. When I went by a bit ago there was no sign of Barry or Jay Z out front, but a sizable contingent of glamour junkies in front of a well lit entry backdrop featuring various logos. Those who strutted by included former sportscasters and b-list rappers..hardly an H to the izzo Hollywood affair, but it’ll do on a Monday night in a sleepy little fishing village like ours I suppose.

I believe this All Star phenomenon has mostly peaked, as I write with smoke from tonight’s 11 pm fireworks show still fading in the air above the waterfront. It’s all over tonight but the paddy wagon rides from a scattered few drunken brawls & the sound of the can collectors.

By 5 pm Tuesday the ceremonial joust between visiting millionaires will be almost underway and the merchants can count the proceeds, no doubt including the Giants who’ve set up two additional Dug Out souvenir retail outlets across from the ballpark to reap the benefit of America’s never ending obsession with crap. Post yer fave “ALL STAR WEEK ” experience, sighting or whatnot in the comments…

Sunday Run Down : Aids Life Cycle, Alcatraz Triathalon, Union St Fest & Mamma Jamma

At the Cow Palace on Sunday, hundreds of bicyclists will head off on 7 day 575 mile journey to LA to raise money for AIDS charities.

The Escape From Alcatraz Triathalon starts on Sunday morn, drawing 2000 competitors from all over who start the event swimming from Alcatraz bright & early at 7am. There’s also a Fitness Festival expo open to the public near the finish line at Marina Green all day as well.

For the less athletic looking for things to do, the Union Street Festival is a short walk up from Marina Green, which will be winding up as well.

If yer out and about strolling through North Beach, consider Sunday’s Mamma Jamma “East Side Stories” at Rosewood Lounge which kicks off at 2 pm. It’s the first event of the summer for this crew who promise to highlight artists, revolutionaries and producers within 50’s, 60’s soul, 70’s RareGroove and funk, Latin jazz, afro cuban, bossa nova, samba, reggae, rocksteady, dub, nu jazz, broken beat and doo wop scenes.

Further down from Broadway at 750 Kearney, the Chinese Cultural Center will be showing Chinese made documentary films beginning at 1 pm.

More Info on the films, Sunday’s Union Street Festival entertainment schedule after the jump, and info on the seriously skilled selectors who will be dropping the needle on some ol school grooves at Mamma Jamma’s “East Side Stories” event.

The Warriors Phenomenon

I’m not much of a professional sports fan, and when I am, I’m usually a baseball fan. However, above all, I’m an underdog fan, which explains why I like the Twins (that and the fact that I grew up in Minnesota) and hate the Yankees (the consummate overdogs of all sport). I don’t know much of anything about basketball, but even though I’m in the middle of finals, I’ve been hearing about the Warriors’ playoff run (as has everyone who doesn’t live in a cave on Angel Island, I deem).

Indeed, even if I hadn’t seen today’s Chronicle story on the Warriors’ hair or their blog about the playoff run, I’d have heard the people walking down McAllister Street (where I live) today chanting “LET’S GO WARRIORS!” and the loud but unintelligible PA system broadcasting what I can only assume is a play-by-play.

And so, like another (former) denizen of the Civic Center area, I will jump on the bandwagon to support our local underdogs in a sport of which I know little. Let’s go, Warriors!

Ejection & Rejection: Warriors

I watched the tail end of the game at a pizza slice place in Fisherman’s Wharf. The guy who worked there was trying to explain to me the impact of the defeat, mentally and emotionally, in really broken English. Then he asks me, “Where are you from?” and I had that sad local shame feeling that he couldn’t somehow magically tell- and my dumb questions about the playoffs didn’t help. A muni driver kept popping his head in to check the score on the TV. How sucky would that be to be a basketball fan, on duty during the last few seconds of the game. I hope that a bus load of people weren’t hanging out on Beach while he was checking, though.

So… Jackson, please get off the court in a reasonable amount of time, next time you’re ejected, no matter how lame the call is. Watching you have these histrionics on the court while we’re waiting to wrap up the game just is not fun, and doesn’t help the underdog appeal at all.

I’m enjoying the Charles Barkley roasts going on in the Chron and elsewhere– supposedly he doesn’t like the Bay Area. My reaction to that, and the Conan uproar is: who cares? Baron Davis: still totally rules. Funniest newsbit is Jackson’s quote re: Barkley- the fave 5 will be all junk food “Chuck’s a big eater.”

New Crush: Baron Davis

OK so I have cable now and can watch the Warriors in HD (and yes, just watching because they’re finally playing well…). Last night’s game was great, and I have a new crush on Baron Davis. That’s news! He’s so good, and sarcastic. The ejecting-move last night, clapping with the Dallas crowd on his own technical foul- could have been, as King Kaufman says in his article, a kind of “yes I screwed up, it’s funny” clapping or it could be a “you ref’s are great, yes you are” kind of clapping. Nonetheless, I hope the home game is a different story for my man Davis. Also another point in his favor- as he’s escorted off the floor, he goes quickly and nicely whereas Jackson puts up a time-consuming tantrum. Oh so silly: Nelson fining the players. Whatev.

The REI Night Kitchen

No falling naked into large vats of dough, but it did feel warm and cosy, coming in from a dripping black night, to buy skiis at the REI on 9th and Brannan, 8pm, right before close. They have this board behind the register showing inches of snow at various ski places. I asked if they did that because so many people asked- my friendly sales man (needed a break, everybody else was leaving, he was closing, but still kind of nice and mellow) said no, they just helped get people excited. Well REI was selling out of men’s gloves so in a strange market economy despite no snow, or little snow, there was still a rush to consume, shop and plan. Talked to another worker about popular bikes. He was saying bike messengers are sawing off the flat handlebars so they can squeeze through traffic. I try to ogle my fair share of fixies around the Mission but hadn’t seen the sawed off handlebars. This was my second sportsstore in thre days- hit Sports Basement (no cross country skiis) on Sunday. I almost wonder if we go there when it’s raining just to remember that we mostly get summery sunny weather and more opportunities to bike/sail/swim/run etc. Hmmm. Camera is coming back soon from the Canon repair shop, and I’ll post with photos, I swear.

Today’s NFL Games

jeff%20house%20front.jpgWas once the Willow Glen home of Jeff Garcia

What does my hometown, the Willow Glen area of San Jose, have to do with today’s NFL games?

The AFC: Indianapolis at Baltimore. (1:30pm. ch 5) This game will feature one of my taxi customers NFL referee Bill Leavy. Get it right Bill!

The NFC: Philadelphia at New Orleans (5pm. ch 2) Jeff Garcia NFL quarterback now working magic with the Philadelphia Eagles, lived in Willow Glen when he was with the San Francisco 49ers. When Jeff was recognized around town at the local market or pizza joint he was always ready with a smile and a wave. Garcia grew up in Gilroy, and he needs to come home to California. I know it most likely isn’t in the cards, but I would love to see Garcia picked up by the Oakland Raiders. Go Jeff!

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