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Monthly Archives: August 2010

This blog is a Kitsap Sun reader blog. The Kitsap Sun neither edits nor previews reader blog posts. Their content is the sole creation and responsibility of the readers who produce them. Reader bloggers are asked to adhere to our reader blog agreement. If you have a concern or would like to start a reader blog of your own, please contact sunnews@kitsapsun.com.

Fantasy Football

This is the week that most fantasy football leagues start drafting. If you’ve never played fantasy football, I encourage you to join in the fun by playing in at least one league. Here’s why…

1 – It gives you a broader scope of the NFL. You find yourself being interested in players outside of your personal favorite team.

2 – You get to watch ESPN and the NFL Network on Sunday nights to see all the highlights.

3 – You become addicted to the little boxes on the TV showing the fantasy stats, praying that your guys are scoring touchdowns and making plays.

4 – It’s free. Now you may have leagues that have a buy-in with prizes at the end….that just adds to the flavor and fun.

5 – If you’re a female and think this isn’t for you, think again. I play in leagues against many women, including my two daughters. Let me tell you that the women are the fiercest competitors!

The greatest value however is the camaraderie. I started a league on ESPN about a dozen years ago with a few friends. One of my pals invited members of his family from all over the country. I got the opportunity to at least “virtually” meet them all. My friend’s father became one of the most colorful members…often trash talking his kids and just simply enjoying himself. He passed away a couple year ago during the football season. George was a Marine veteran who loved his Steelers and loved playing fantasy football with his family and people he never met in person. We re-named our league the “Leatherneck Memorial League” after him and our draft will be held this Saturday. I’m sure we will talk about him.

Fantasy Football is back and if you even like football, consider joining in on the fun. This week will be dedicated to Fantasy Football. Each day, I will bring my predictions, my stories, and my opinions for your consumption. I look forward to your participation.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Tough Loss for Auburn

Tough loss last night for Auburn in the Little League World Series. I was watching the game on television in a Pittsburgh sports bar before catching my plane. I was pumped when the boys from Washington took a 5-3 lead in the 5th inning. I just red the results of the Texas comeback win this morning on ESPN.

Great year and effort for the kids from the Northwest. It’s exciting to see a local team to a national stage. Gets me excited for Kitsap County’s own Babe Ruth 13-year old World Series in 2012. Some of the Little Leaguers you will see on ESPN next year may very well be playing in our tournament.

Planning is now going full steam ahead for the 2012 Babe Ruth World Series. I am excited to be on the board as Director of Public Relations and we can use all the help we can get. Follow the progress on our Facebook page.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Pirates, Northwest, and the Coolest Bathroom Ever

I went to PNC Park last night to take in the Pirates-Cardinals game. Here are my impressions of the evening…

1 – It’s a beautiful ballpark. A couple years younger than Safeco Field, it has a spectacular view of the downtown skyline in Pittsburgh. It appears to be smaller (fences too) as there is considerably less seating in the outfield than Safeco. That being said, it has a cozier feel. I still like Safeco Field the best, but PNC Park is right there. A great place to watch a game and enjoy.

P.S. The food was also less expensive!

2 – The Pirates actually won for us with a little help from a couple NW homies. Ryan Doumit (Moses Lake) was the catcher and played well. Evan Meek (Inglemoor HS in Kenmore) picked up the save (even though he gave up a run). He got out of a bases loaded, one out, and Matt Holliday at the plate situation.

Ronnie Cedeno (the former Mariner) played flawlessly at shortstop and made the final out. He also had a double. Lots of other ex-Mariners in the stadium including Ryan Franklin and the now third-string catcher Jeff Clement.

3 – It’s amazing that a guy who has been dead for 37 years is still so idolized. Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, who died in an airplane crash on December 31, 1973 on a humanitarian mission, had more #21 jerseys than anyone else. The Bucs have memorialized him on the field with a 21-foot right-field wall (where he roamed for 20+ years). Clemente was a legend and continues on in Pittsburgh after nearly 4 decades.

4 – After the game, we went to the Jerome Bettis Grill for dessert. My cousin told me about the cool men’s bathroom. Yes, you read me correctly, the cool men’s bathroom. I had to check it out.

Guys, when you walk in and hang a right into the urinals, you see a huge one-way window. You ge to look out but nobody else can see in. Kind of like NCIS! As you are taking care of your business, you can casually look at all the people in the bar, the myriad of big screen TV’s, and keep tabs on your girlfriend if you need to (I didn’t even have my wife there, so I simply gazed at all the people and activity). Now THAT is a cool men’s room!

A very fun evening. That’s what going to baseball games is all about….a wonderful setting with your family, a Pittsburgh cheese steak and beer, a home team win, and a trip to the coolest bathroom ever!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Book Review – Win Forever by Pete Carroll

I just finished reading Pete Carroll’s book, Win Forever. I have to admit when I picked it up at the airport to read on my trip, that I wasn’t planning on being overly impressed. I thought I was simply getting a football book and I wanted to learn more about the Seahawks new coach. I have to say that I’m very impressed.

The Win Forever philosophy espoused by Carroll is one I have always held but never able to express as well as he has. The whole concept is about competing (which we heard from Day 1), but not only in football but in life. I walked away with a couple of pages of notes on themes I will carry forward into my personal and professional life. When that happens, you know a book has been valuable.

I find it fascinating that when Carroll was hired at USC after nearly 18 years in the NFL as a coach, coordinator, and head coach, he was thought to be a “pro guy” and wouldn’t succeed on the college level. Now, 10 years later, he is thought of as a “college guy” who can’t possibly inspire men. Ironic.

In reading Carroll’s book, I genuinely come away liking the guy, the coach, and the traits. I believe the guy is a winner. The process in Seattle will not be quick, but I believe there is a purpose behind it. Heck, he started out 2-5 in his first 7 games at USC. From then on, it was a glorious ride.

I recommend the book for a couple of reasons:

1 – It’s got a terrific message. The philosophy of being positive and competing in all you do resonates in everyone’s life. I walked away pumped up and ready to play!

2 – Get to know the coach who is leading your team. Yes, I know he came from our arch-rival, however so did his protege Steve Sarkisian and he turned out okay so far. In fact, his Trojan background quickly faded with success, and I anticipate the same with Pete.

I’m glad I bought the book. It’s an insightful, compelling and good read.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

On the Road in Pittsburgh

Sorry for missing a few posts this past week. Last Friday I traveled to Pittsburgh to take my two daughters back to college. I am here through Thursday. Here is a brief recap of sports related adventures and thoughts I’ve had since then…

1 – I picked up Pete Carroll’s new book, Win Forever, at Sea-Tac before heading out. I almost finished it on the flight over. I am pleasantly surprised and find the book fascinating. I have a couple short chapters left and when I’m done will give a book review. Stay tuned…

2 – I am excited to meet an old rival this week. I’ve been part of a Fantasy Football league for about the past dozen years. The league includes a friend whose family has played and they are all over the country, BUT are all originally from Pittsburgh. One of the combatants, the Steel City Irons is my pal’s sister, Susan. She is a past champion and a solid competitor. In fact, she has inspired my girls to play Fantasy Football. Regardless, I’m going to finally meet the Steel City Irons (who once beat me in the Super Bowl) on this trip tomorrow. I think I probably owe her at least a mocha for the thrashing…

3 – I can’t tell you how many welcome signs I’ve seen here in the Pittsburgh area all reminding me that I’m in “Steeler Country.” Ugh! There are too many constant reminders of their 2005 championship over the Hawks. One day….one day…

4 – I think we are going to catch a Pirates game on Tuesday. They are playing the Cardinals and Albert Pujols. I love going to other stadiums in any sport, and getting the chance to watch a potential Hall-of-Famer. The  Pittsburgh stadiums are gorgeous from the outside and I’m looking forward to the game.

5 – Missed the Seahawks on Saturday but I heard they played well. After reading Coach Carroll’s book, I must admit I am excited for the season and to watch them compete.

6 – M’s lose 10-0 yesterday. I guess the Daren Brown honeymoon period is over after leaving the Big Apple…

7 – Lou Piniella officially retired this week to take care of his ailing mother. Lou is first-class all the way. Thanks for everything you did for the Mariners and baseball, Lou. You will be missed!

More this week from Pittsburgh as I do my Charles Kuralt impersonation!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Next Year’s Mariners Lineup

It’s time to call a spade a spade for the Seattle Mariners.

This year, we were filled with hope coming off an 85-win season. We added Cliff Lee, Milton Bradley, and Chone Figgins and hoped that we would get decent performances form the offense so that we could pitch and play defense into the AL West crown. Obviously, that didn’t happen…in a BIG way.

It’s time to admit we are rebuilding and get some of the kids down in the minors a chance to play, fail, and ultimately see if they are the guys who can bring us back into being a contender. We keep hearing about how great the farm system is since Jack Zduriencik came in and started doing his thing. As an old Seahawks motto from days gone by once said, “It’s NOW Time!”

Here’s how I’d like to see the starting lineup look for next year…

C – Adam Moore       He’s played pretty well of late and he was supposed to be our savior at the position. We’ve got to let him play every day.

1B – Justin Smoak    He was the prize jewel in the Cliff Lee deal. Time to deliver.

2B – Dustin Ackley   Our #2 overall pick is playing well in Tacoma. Time to see what he can do in the bigs.

SS – Josh Wilson      A better bat than Jack.

3B – Matt Tuiasosopo Has been great the last few days after being bad for a couple of years. He needs reps and consistent play to see if he can play at this level.

LF – Michael Saunders    I’ve been impressed with this guy. I think he can have a break-out year in 2011.

CF – Franklin Gutierrez   Duh!

RF – Ichiro Suzuki    I hear the rumblings about trading him. No way. This guy is a future Hall of Famer and a 200-hit a year guarantee. We need him at the top of the lineup.

DH – Russell Branyan   A veteran leader with pop in his bat. Good guy in the clubhouse.

Chone Figgins needs to be traded to a team that will contend. We can free up that money and continue to work on the areas of weaknesses. Milton Bradley – see ya! The pitching staff is pretty deep and I like the young arms. We may need to find a closer, though.

Bottom line – It’s time to move on. This is a project to be contending in 2012. To do that, we need to find out who is good and who isn’t. The only way to do that is to let them play. We may not win a ton of games, but at least they should be fun and exciting.

P.S. We’d better hire a manager who knows how to handle young players.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

PGA Recap – USA Golfers Blow Another Chance at Major

I feel terrible for Dustin Johnson.

The ruling of grounding his club in a sand trap penalized him 2 strokes and cost him a chance to compete in the playoff with eventual winner Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson. I thought it was a horrible situation. The “sand trap” in question was outside the ropes; had been trampled on by the crowds; and quite frankly didn’t even look like a sand trap! Even Sir Nick Faldo in the booth said he wouldn’t have thought it was if he was playing it. Unfortunately, the local rules which were clearly disseminated (or not so clearly for Johnson) stated that anything that even looked like sand in this unique course with over 1,200 sand traps, was to be considered sand. I’m only thankful Johnson didn’t make the 5-footer for par that would have won him his first major for about 7 seconds before even worse tragedy.

In the end though, Johnson can only blame himself. He needed a par to win and to make par on the brutal 18th hole, you need to put it in the fairway. He didn’t. Not only that, he was way right outside the ropes. This was his opportunity. He didn’t have to be long (which for him he could have gone with a 3-wood); just straight. Opportunity lost.

The other American in the fray, Bubba Watson, is a great story. Known as an erratic, long-hitter, he reminds me of the Kevin Costner character in “Tin Cup,” a little. He played a tremendous final round and found himself in a 3-hole playoff with Kaymer. After taking a 0ne-stroke lead after the first hole, he watched Kaymer make a terrific birdie on 17 to square the match. Watson held an advantage after the drives as aymer had a poor lie. All Watson has to do is work the ball up the right side (his lie wasn’t great either) and put the pressure on the German. Instead, he goes for the oin, comes up 30 yards short, and plops it in the water. Kaymer plays smart in and wins the tournament. Opportunity lost for Watson.

Martin Kaymer from Germany takes the PGA. Loius Oosthuizen from South Africa took the British Open. Graheme McDowell from Ireland is the US Open champ. Only Phil Mickelson can raise the USA banner in majors this year with his dramatic win in the Masters. Americans were all over the leader boards but made terrible gaffes when the pressure was on in most. A learning experience for many of them. This is now truly an international game with golfers from China, South Korea, and all over the globe competing as the best in the world.

Next up – the Fed Ex Cup finish (led by South African Ernie Els) and the Ryder Cup. Should be a fun end of the season. Let’s hope the American can find a way to keep their composure under pressure.

P.S. Tiger Woods was bad over the weekend again, but not as bad as the previous week. Expect hi to be named to the Ryder Cup team by captain Corey Pavin. He’s too good in match play where spectacular once in a while is rewarded more than in medal play.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Don’t Look Now, But…

The Mariners are 4-1 under new skipper Daren Brown. What if he goes 30-13? Is he a consideration for the permanent job? I know it’s early, but just saying…

My call for the PGA championship….Dustin Johnson. He learned from a horrendous U.S. Open Sunday. He’s a big hitter and if he can find his putter, watch out.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

PGA Championship – Moving Day

Saturday is “moving day” in the Majors. They are out early finishing the 2nd round due to fog delay yesterday.

  • I’m watching Ernie Els park his Mercedes and walk out with his cadie. Funny that his caddie is Dan Quinn, who is a former NHL player and a tremendous golfer who competes on the celebrity tour.
  • My picks will probably make the cut, but I’m liking how Matt Kuchar is playing. He has had a fine year – currently #7 on the Ryder Cup list. I also like Dustin Johnson. This guy has been solid at the other Major championships. He might be due. Brendon De Jonge just shot a -6 for the 2nd round catapulting him into contention.
  • Tiger has rebounded and stands at -3 for the tourney. This could e an interesting weekend if Tiger goes low today.
  • Whistling Straights appears to be just a brutal course. The 18th hole is a treacherous 500-yard Par 4. If it comes down to 4-5 players in the last 3 groups on Sunday, that hole will play huge factor.

I love the majors. Looking forward to a lot of great golf…

PGA – Round Almost 1 Done

Fog made the start of the PGA a problem so the first round isn’t quite in the books. My picks – Bo Van Pelt and Jeff Overton – didn’t necessarily burn things up and both finished +1, which is 5 shots off the lead. Still in contention. Tiger and Phil were better at -1. Bubba Watson and a guy I’ve never heard from are tie for first. Watson is decent, but I don’t see it. If Tiger and/or Phil play well tomorrow, they may be the favorites going into the weekend. Should be fun…

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved