Olympics: Women’s Figure Skating

Last night I watched and enjoyed something I usually detest and run away from. My wife was watching Women’s Figure Skating, and I decided that I needed to spend some time with her doing something she liked. Now granted, I was’t glued to the set, as I did have a baseball magazine with me, but I did want to watch some of it with her. Now before I say anything else, I must say I normally don’t watch this, so if any figure skating experts read this, forgive any “green” comments.
I think I saw four routines. The first one that really grabbed me was Fumie Suguri of Japan. She looked really smooth, and didn’t make any mistakes I could fiind (granted, I’d probably miss a lot being a neophyte). After her routine, I thought she was really good – and she was, but she didn’t place first (I think third). She also caught some of the stuff that’s thrown on the ice at the end of routines, which my wife said wasn’t normally done.
I did not see the routine of Irina Slutskaya, who is the one name I know from past competitions I’ve heard about. I knew she’d be good, and she was in first place the whole time I watched. I’ll have to watch hers on a rerun.
However, I have to admit to being totally surprised at how transfixed I was by the routine of Sasha Cohen. Normally I don’t pay this close attention (Yeah, yeah, skating’s on – where’s my baseball stuff?) – but this was very impressive. Yes, she took first place with her routine. But that’s not why. Normally skating doesn’t interest me – for the most part I feel that all of them have certain things they all do, and personal interpretation of said moves is something that escapes me. I generally feel they all look the same. But not this one. There was something extra in here – energy, style, smoothness – I don’t know what, but wow was it impressive. I even asked my wife not to delete the event off the TiVo, that I’d want to watch it again. Not only that I told her I wanted to watch the long form skating on Thursday night with her. Cohen looked good on the ice, it seemed perfect to my eyes. She did something impressive, and that’s actually make me want to watch skating again. That is an accomplishment with me of epic proportions.
You can see her routine over at NBC’s website for the olympics here.

Sasha Cohen

A bonus at the Dallas Stars Game

Thanks mom!
Last night I went to a Dallas Stars game. I normally only go to one or two a year, mostly because of the price of the tickets. Even with the (small) reduction in price since the NHL has come back from the strike, their tickets are still stupid expensive. Anyway, my mother bought me a 10 ticket voucher pack for the 2006 season of the Texas Rangers for Christmas. She ordered it early, and because of that, they gave you a voucher for a couple of free Dallas Stars tickets. I turned in the voucher for the game last night, and they were pretty good seats. They were Sec 326, Row A, Seats 1 & 2. It was the first row of the upper deck right at the blue line behind the visitor’s bench. Were pretty good seats, especially for free (they were valued at $65 each). Here’s the view from where I was sitting:

Anyway, in the first intermission, they started showing a bunch of promos and whatnot on the screen, and one of them was a request for people with cel phones in the arena to text message something to a specific phone number, and you’d be entered in a drawing for a prize. So I did it as a goof, not thinking anything of it, nothing ever happens. Well, in the second intermission the friend I was with went out to get a beer, and while he was away, I got another text message back from the place I sent the submission to. Figured it was a “If you want more information on our radio station (it was a station sponsoring this), send here”. That’s not what it was. It was a message saying “Congratulations, you’ve won the autographed jersey, please report to Guest Services behind Section 102”.
I had won an authentic Dallas Stars Jersey that was autographed by most of the team. From the looks of it, it’s not the entire team, but there’s a good number of players on there. It was incredibly cool. Anyway, I told the people sitting next to my friend where I was going, and took off for Section 102. After a few questions to prove who I was, they handed me the jersey you see in the picture below. They did give me a bag to put it in, which was probably a good idea. :)
I get back to my section, and my friend who was back at that point saw me with the bag and said “You did win the thing, didn’t you?” – he thought I was just goofing on him telling him I won that while I went off to the bathroom or something. I became a mini celebrity for a few minutes when all the people aruond me realized that I had won the jersey. The friend who went with me was annoyed, as he had entered the thing too, and they gave away just one of these for the entire arena, so I was pretty darned lucky to get it.
And the game itself was quite good, the Stars tying the game with less than 60 seconds in the third period, and then winning it in the shootout.
So thanks Mom – I had a great time at the game, and the jersey was extremely cool – I’ll probably get it framed and hang it on the wall. Here is a picture of it hanging on one of the racks that is in my office today.

Dallas Stars Jersey

The Longhorns

0105vince2.jpg

I’m not the biggest college sports fan. I far prefer the pros. However, one can’t help but be enthralled by this game. It was a great game all around. One of the few that’s ever come close to it’s hype. #1 vs #2 ranking, both 12-0. Came down to the end of the game. I saw the first half of the game at a bowling alley, as it was league night for me. The two alleys next to mine were vacant, so the employees put the game on the overhead monitors for the unused lanes, that was cool. Whenever the Longhorns did something, the entire house pretty much erupted. It was a great feeling.
Even the Major League Baseball Site got into it with an article about the game, also speculating on the possibility of a Rangers / Astros World Series. :)
Saw the fourth quarter at home, and wow, what a finish. Congrats, and what a performance by Vince Young.

How to wash a baseball cap

Anyone who knows me knows I love to wear baseball caps. Always have. Part of the problem is that I live in Texas, and if I wear one outside in the summer for more than a few times, they tend to get nasty. The immediate response is “get another one”. That’s fine, except..
To me the only cap one should buy are the fitted kind. The “one size fits all” with the plastic snaps in the back are NOT the kind to get. They never fit right; the fitted ones just feel so much better. New Era 59/50 fitted cap all the way. The problem with that is that they’re not cheap. This past season, the price of them was raised to $28 per cap. One can usually find a discount here and there, but they’re still too damn expensive.
Today as a lark I ran across this link online which talks about how you can wash your baseball caps. Check it out, it’s got some interesting insight, as well as some amusing remarks about the oddball looks you’ll get from your wife/girlfriend about theories on how things should be washed. :)

2005 NFL Sunday Ticket Spreadsheet Schedule

Since I live in Dallas, and have the hell of living in Cowboy land, one majorly huge lifeline for me is the NFL Sunday Ticket package on DirecTV. It allows me to watch pretty much whatever game I want, so I get to see all the Eagles games, and Steeler games (my wife’s from Pittsburgh) without having to sit through the agony of all the Dallas Cowboy games.
NFL Sunday Ticket ScheduleAnyway, for the last three seasons, I’ve put together a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet containing the entire NFL Season Schedule for all the NFL Sunday Ticket channels. You can download it, print it, and have the entire schedule on one page. This also includes the Monday Night Football games, the Sunday night ESPN games, as well as the oddball extra games (Thanksgiving Thursday, etc).
DirecTV has not yet published their HD scheduling information, so I decided to release this now, and if/when they put it on their site, I’ll update the spreadsheet. I know I said I’d do that last season and didn’t, but I hope to keep on top of that this year. Anyway, attached to this message is my 2005 Edition of the NFL Sunday Ticket Schedule Spreadsheet.
I primarily have done this for the folks on the DirecTV forum on the TiVo Community Forums, but this year since I have an active blog, I’ll mention it here, too. You can download it here:
http://www.siegler.net/2005nflsundayticket.zip
If you use it, please drop me a line. I don’t want anything, just curious to know who might be using it. I wasn’t even going to do one for the 2005 season at all, because I didn’t think anyone used it, but someone wrote me and asked if I was going to do it, so I did.

Look out Cleveland Indians & Washington Redskins

The political correctness people are soon to come after you. I know it’s been tried already, but the stupidity that is “pc” in our culture has struck another blow for inaneness. This news story tells us that…

The NCAA banned the use of American Indian mascots by sports teams during its postseason tournaments

Excuse me? Why is the postseason any different than the regular season? Oh yeah, money. Might offend some advertiser. It’s OK to be offensive when no one is looking, but when someone who pays the bills is there, OH NO – don’t be a bad boy! I think I’m gonna go out and buy merchandise by these teams immediately.
Just wait till PETA thinks animals are being harmed because all the animal team names. That’s another group of people (PETA) that need to be eliminated from the earth, or at least prevented from reproducing.

ESPN heads towards the Dark Side

I read this story this morning, and it signals to me the end of ESPN.
Why? The article talks about having “less games”, and more original movies and series. That’s the exact path MTV started down ages ago, and now they’re completely irrelevant. Their name has nothing to do with their programming. If ESPN starts down that path, they will become something that SPORTS FANS won’t care about. And that’s who the network was created for. SPORTS FANS.
We don’t care about original programming, we don’t care about movies, we care about the SPORTS – and that is something that must be foremost up front. Like the M in MTV, the S in ESPN is about Sports. It’s not EMPN, it’s about the sports!
As Yoda said, �If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.� Don’t do it ESPN. Don’t let the lure of cheap programming ratings ruin what is your reason for living. SPORTS.

A new blog for me

Those of you who know me know I love baseball. I’ve been running a fan website for the Texas Rangers sine December of 1998. It’s been fairly popular, even making it into the stadium program for 3 months last year!
However, I finally decided to blogify my Rangers site. I turned my news section of the site into a blog. So if you want to see my latest, go visit my Rangers site here:
http://www.rangerfans.com

The New York Yankees

THE YANKEES STINK!
OK, that’s not my main reason for this blog entry. It’s a rather amusing little article I just saw on ESPN which projects the Yankees lineups through the year 2010. It’s quite amusing, check it out.
I have to say I’m not fond of the projected 1B in 2009 and 2010. :)

Bonds, Giambi, steroids, and my kid

You know, it’s funny, now that I find I’m going to be a father, I don’t look at this Barry Bonds / Jason Giambi / steroids fiasco with the eye of a sports fan..
I look at it with the eye of a father who thinks “How the hell am I going to explain this to my kid”, with me having to tell my kid that their “heroes” (some hero, eh) has been doing a bad thing to cheat.
I find that my thoughts on a lot of things have changed since I found out I’m going to be a father.