Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 2 from Nationals

Smart me. Skipping out on work to watch trains on Day 2 of Nationals. Seriously, waiting for nothing to happen is boring as hell. Not much really happened anyway on Day 2 except for Field Events, the end of the decathlon and heptathlon, lotsa prelims, and the 3k steeple. Only one of OWU's finest competed on Day 2: Sarah Bechtel in the pole vault. She cleared 3.39 meters, but fell short of All-American honors. Those vaulters can go ridiculously damn high.

Since, I missed most of the races from the day, I give the race of the day to the Men's 3k Steeplechase. It was a very close race for the entirety, but with about 600 to go, Dickinson's Kent Pecora got accidentally pushed into the infield for 5 steps or so (note-you're only allowed 3 consecutive steps on the infield otherwise you are disqualified). Pecora then proceeded to act like he was shot out of a cannon, absolutely flying in the last 600 meters to win. Officials ruled it was incidental contact that caused this, and that Pecora would not be disqualified. My pick to win the race, Nick Kramer of Calvin College, finished 3rd.

More to come from Nationals!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 1 from Track Nationals

Hosting Track Nationals = awesome. The amounts of free stuff you get are ridiculous. So far, I've racked up 2 t-shirts, a polo, a draw-string bag, a water bottle, and some other assorted crap. I also bought some other shit as well. Again, not every day you host nationals. Working Track Nationals, especially during the down time = frackin boring. I have never been as bored as I've been in my life. We essentially had to stay in the muddy hospitality tent with shitty views of the track waiting for our next assignment, which I could have to wait an hour for. Eventually, I got so bored that I went and ran errands, and it's a good thing cause the skies opened up and let forth a hell of a downpour while I was gone. And, I wasn't there. Winner = me.

Oh, yeah, there were races, throws, and jumps as well. 5 OWU athletes competed on Thursday. Cara DeAngelis ran in the 1500 preliminaries, and was unfortunately 2 spots from making the finals, finishing with a time of 4:37. The 4x400 team of Sean Patrick, Matt Martin, Ethan Freet, and Silas Jolliff finished 14th out of 16 with a time of 3:17, a disappointing end to the season after claiming All-America honors in Indoor (good news though, 3 out of 4 of them return next year). Freet also ran in the preliminaries of the 400 hurdles and finished in the 4th fastest time of 52.57 seconds, making it to the finals on Saturday.

The race of the day yesterday was, of all things, the men's 10k. I know, you're thinking "how the hell can 25 laps be interesting, especially laps 3-22?". Of course, being a distance runner helps. But, I seriously couldn't turn my head away from this race. From the outset, Eric Kleinsasser of Occidental took a large lead for the first 7 or 8 laps. Of course, common wisdom of 10k says that "he who takes a large lead early in the 10k will die hard". And, what do you know, he dies and the pack catches him! The pack remains pretty much intact until about 3200 meters to go (or so), when Mike Spain of North Central and Thomas Breitbach of Wisconsin-Eau Claire break away from the field. Now, usually the winner of the 10k is usually settled with 1200-2400 meters to go. Not today folks. The longest race on the track, 10,000 meters, 25 laps, is settled...


Yes, a sprint down the last 200. Mike Spain won with a time of 29:58 (which is not even his fastest). Being in the stands and watching, it was ridiculous.

Day 2 of Nationals coming tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2011 NCAA DIII Outdoor Track and Field Nationals

This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Ohio Wesleyan, the school which I'm currently attending and getting an education from, is hosting the NCAA DIII Outdoor Track & Field National Meet! YAY FAST RUNNERS! Being a member of the OWU Track & Field Team, this is a big deal to me, and to the entire team. Not everyday that you compete for a school that is hosting a national meet, such as this.

The best sprinters, runners, throwers, jumpers, and vaulters from DIII Schools across the country will compete at OWU's Selby Stadium. But, screw them, we only care the OWU athletes competing in this meet. Turns out, we got 8 of them; 4 men, 4 women. So, here's a breakdown of each runner, what they have accomplished, and what event(s) they are racing/jumping/throwing in this weekend.

Starting with the men:

Ethan Freet, SO, London, OH

Freet, at the 2011 NCAC Conference Meet, dominated the sprinting events, winning the 55 Meter Dash, the 200m, the 400m, was a part of the winning 4x200, and winning 4x400 teams. For the entire season, Freet has been close to the top in every event he ran in. It's safe to say he's a boss.
Freet will be competing in the 400m hurdles and the 4x400.

Speaking of the 4x4, here is the rest of the 4x4 squad:

Matt Martin, SO, New Brighton, PA

Sean Patrick, SR, Delaware, OH

Silas Jolliff, SO, Cardington, OH

On the women's side:
Emily Amburgey, SO, Germantown, OH

Amburgey qualified for Nationals in indoors for the high jump. She also won All-NCAC Honors in indoors and outdoors for the high jump. She also has competed in the hurdles and long jump this season.
As you can probably guess, Amburgey will compete in the high jump.

Sarah Bechtel, FR, Bellefontaine, OH

Bechtel won the pole vault in both the NCAC Indoor and Outdoor Conference Meets. Her highest vault was at 3.55 meters. She also competed in the hurdles this year.
Bechtel will compete in, you guessed it, the pole vault.

Cara DeAngelis, FR, Norton, OH

DeAngelis has been very under the radar (kinda because one of her teammates steals the spotlight from her, but more on that later), but has become one of the strongest distance runners on the OWU Team. She won the 1500m at the NCAC Outdoor Conference Meet, and took 2 3rd place finishes in at indoor conference. She also hit NCAA Provisional Qualifying times in the 1500 and 5000m.
Cara will compete in the 1500m this weekend.

Kat Zimmerly, SR, Edinboro, PA

What hasn't she done? Kat was All-American in Cross Country this past year. She won the mile and 3k at the indoor conference meet, and won the 3k steeplechase at the outdoor conference meet. She has school records in everything it seems like, 3k steeple, 5k, and then decided to set the record in the 10k.
Kat will compete in the 5k.

Stay tuned for more information and updates from the meet!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Timothy James Thomas, Jr.

He is the goalie-god. Nuff said. Game 6 Wednesday in Tampa!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Great Ryan Kalish Chase: Episode 3

We're back with another episode. Since my last Kalish update, his prices have tanked. Kinda helped by his partially torn labrum in his left shoulder, which happened on a diving catch. Not good to see him go down, but it's helping me with buying his autos cheaper!

I went through a Kalish buying skid, though. When you're short on money, you kinda don't want to spend money on any type of cards, even if they are of the guy you are crazy-collecting. During a double Ebay Bucks day, I decided to throw a dollar twenty-five at his Bowman DP&P Rookie Card, then threw my Ebay Bucks certificate and 2 cents at his Bowman Platinum rookie card. Note-Bowman Platinum is not all that it cracks up to be, in my opinion.

Then, as you know, prices tanked on everything his. So, I decided to make a run at an auto. I made a couple of runs at some assorted autos: 09 Bowman, 08 EEE, 11 Topps; nothing too serious though. But, the only one that I made a serious was his 08 Bowman Signs of the Future Auto. It's not the greatest design for an auto, but I'm happy, it's another Kalish Auto.

Final Price: $3.60

Even his low numbered shit fell hard. There was a 2010 Sterling Gold Refractor #'d/50 available for $.99 with no bids with about 9 hours to go. Of course, I decide to throw a bid at it. And, I looked to have the winning bid into the last minute. Then some jackass made a last minute snipe and won it for $1.83. SCREW YOU JACKASS!

More Kalish shenanigans to come, as there are more cards on the way!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Kollect Kalish

Just wanted to make it known to the world.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What's Wrong With the NBA?

Haven't posted for a while, but there is something, not necessarily card related, that needs to be posted. *Disclaimer* - I am from Boston, but I do not mean this as being a sore loser for the Celtics losing.

Is there anything wrong with the NBA? Really, did I just say that? There can't be anything wrong with the league, it has everything going for it. Stacked teams a la the 80s Celtics and Lakers, endless amounts of superstars, their athleticism is off the charts, the Memphis Grizzlies of all teams knocking off the Spurs, showing that there are signs of parody in the league. Yup, they have everything going their way.

Yup, Arnold said it, the NBA is not all it's cracked up to be. The NBA is not about fundamental basketball anymore, it's all about flashy dunks, highlight-reel layups, and rainbow 3s. In other words, it's become a SportsCenter Top 10 Plays show.

Basketball is completely unwatchable. The game is boring. I even tried watching March Madness and got bored, and I usually love March Madness. The NBA has more talent than college, and it's even more boring than the college game.

Why is it? Basketball does not have a good rhythm to it like it used to. In the early 2000s, the game had a flow to it that today just seems to be lacking. In all honesty, though, I really can't explain it. I was much younger then, only 9 or 10, but I still enjoyed the game. It's turned into a street game on the court. Everyone is so talented and athletically gifted, but there is also a lack of fundamental basketball it seems. So while there are some great games, there are also plenty of games that are just plain sloppy. I personally don't want to watch sloppy basketball most of the time, I want to watch good games.

The NBA needs to be watched in person. The only basketball game I attended last year (2010) was a Celtics - Trail Blazers game in Boston. I thoroughly enjoyed that game. It was exciting, I got into the game quite a bit, and it was an extremely sloppy game! If you told me that I had won Celtics Season Tickets for life, I'd be very happy and probably become a fan again. But, when I go home and watch it on TV, the game is painful to watch because of the sloppiness. And, since Celtics tickets are now so expensive, and there are no teams in Central Ohio, I have to watch games on TV.

Super teams are a part of the NBA's culture, always have been, always will. But there is one team that has put an extremely bad taste in my mouth and has aided in my lack of enthusiasm for the NBA: the Miami Heat. Sure, I got a little excited when Boston put together their Big 3, but they at least did it the right way, no TV specials or bullshit. LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh put themselves above the game and basically said we're better than everyone else and we're gonna beat everyone else. They're proving that they can beat everyone else now, but when the biggest superstar in the league goes on National TV to announce where he will play and then a giant party ensues on South Beach where they say they will win 10 championships and what-not, you gain a lot more haters than supporters (me being one of them).

Which leads me to LeBron, possibly half of what is wrong with the NBA. Memo to LeBron: grow up. Everyone one knows you are one of the greatest basketball players on the planet, but could you please stop acting you have been wronged by America and need to prove something to us. You put this upon yourself. You took an hour-long special on ESPN to announce to everyone, including the teams you interested in signing with, where you would play basketball this season. You helped create the unnecessary introduction of the 3 Amigos on stage in South Beach. You keep blowing up your Twitter feed with immature and unnecessary comments about redemption and karma (Twitter should be outlawed in 50 countries by now, but anyway). You sort of apologized to Cleveland fans by saying your sorry how "this" all happened. And, you also go down to one knee and look very emotional after beating the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semis.

Sure you are a great player, but leave the bullshit at the door. If you want to be better than Jordan, you have to act like a man. I know you're smart, just act like it. Man up, and say the way you went about the Decision was a stupid decision and that you are very sorry to the people you have pissed off. That so difficult? And, I pose this question, if the league's premier superstar is immature and arrogant as they come, what kind of image does this pose with the rest of the league?

There is one last thing wrong with the NBA: the national coverage. ESPN does a pretty job with covering baseball, and I love Matthew Barnaby and Barry Melrose covering hockey, but they are awful in their coverage of football and basketball. Plus, their image of turning into CNN for sports isn't helping them either. They get too swept up in talking about legacies and how great this one play was and what-not. I really don't care. Give me the basic stuff, no twitter feeds, no touch boards, no opinions from both sides, just the basics and maybe a little extra coverage from special events. Then cut to baseball highlights. And their national game coverage is just as horrendous, they seem to have no grasp about what they are explaining to their audience. Give me Gorman and Heinsohn any day over what they have.

So, what's wrong with the NBA? Well, I just gave it to you.

I'd be interested to hear reactions to this, feel free to leave a comment. But, please, do not say that I'm pissed off about the Celtics losing (because I'm not really a Celtics fan), or that I'm ranting against LeBron James (sure as hell looks like it, but I'm only pointing out that he's immature and doesn't know how to handle the spotlight).

Back to regularly scheduled cardbloggery.