Sunday, March 19, 2017

ESPN's E:60 Pin Kings

source: Vanity Fair
L: Alex DeCubas R: Kevin Pedersen
After spending most of the day watching March Madness, I switched to ESPN's E:60, a sports newsmagazine similar in concept to ESPN's excellent 30 for 30 series.

Originally aired in August 2016, Pin Kings is the story of wrestling teammates Alex DeCubas and Kevin Pedersen of Palmetto High School in Miami, Florida.

Without giving away too much, their careers after high school went in drastically different directions. Click here to read about the truth-is-stranger-than fiction story from ESPN writer Brett Forest with additional reporting by Jon Fish.

Here's the trailer:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

source: Chicago Film Festival
L to R: Vera, Jill and Thomas Sung
After months of anticipation, I finally got to see the Steve James ("Hoop Dreams") directed documentary Abacus: Small Enough to Jail this past weekend.

From the Abacus movie website, "Accused of mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Abacus becomes the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The indictment and subsequent trial forces the Sung family to defend themselves – and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community – over the course of a five-year legal battle."

On the surface, it's a David vs. Goliath story. Underneath, it's a complicated, nuanced, story of the Chinese (American and foreign-born) experience.

Which is exactly why I wanted and needed to see this film.

For those friends that couldn't attend but want to see the film, there's great news. It will be released in theaters June 2017, and it will be on a future showing on PBS's Frontline. GO SEE IT.

And if you still miss it, set aside your undivided attention for about 15 minutes and read Jiayang Fan's New Yorker article, The Accused. It's a great detailed read about Abacus which includes information about the Sung family that wasn't in the movie.

Here's the trailer:

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Team Tang

source: PBA
For professional bowling fans who missed last week's USBC Masters, the winner of the tournament was no surprise (Jason Belmonte). But two of the finalists, brothers Darren and Michael Tang of San Francisco were.

The USBC Masters was Darren's second TV appearance within 3 months, only a few months after he got his PBA card. Michael is still an amateur.

To see how Team Tang made the stepladder finals, here's the shootout match with Martin Larsen and Bill O'Neill.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

An Assist Away From The Basket

source: SFGate
As the weekend winds down, it has turned out to be one of the most memorable.
  • Lunch with a longtime dear friend I don't see often enough. Made it extra special when he offered (I graciously accepted) to pick me up at my office. 
  • San Jose State bowlers Darren and Michael Tang bowling in the stepladder finals at the USBC Masters. Fourth seed younger brother Michael defeated Martin Larsen and big brother Darren to lose to Jason Belmonte in the championship match. 
  • Set a personal new high scratch series in my last squad at the Chinese-Japanese New Year tournament at 4th Street Bowl.
  • Stephen Curry offers big assist during a team timeout. A female fan tried her hand at skee-ball to win some cash. She wasn't doing well and a towel-headed Steph sneaks in for the $5K assist. 

You the man, Steph.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bowling's Big 4 Split Converted

Tomorrow for me will be business as usual. Work at 8 am, then league bowling at 6:30 pm. Therefore, no big 4-day weekend.

In bowling, the Big 4 is known as the 4-6-7-10 split. The closest I ever came was picking it up was to knock out the 6-10 (2 end pins on the right) that deflected to hit the 7 pin (far left pin).

PBA bowler Jason Sterner converted it in 2014:

Sunday, February 12, 2017

British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) - 2017

While most of the United States is likely watching the Grammy Awards, my remote will be switched to BBC America to watch the BAFTA awards.

If you've never watched a BAFTA awards show, it isn't all that much different than its American counterpart. Only with a distinct English tone.

Host for the 12th year in a row is Hugh Laurie's Jeeves and Wooster co-star, Stephen Fry.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

2016 PBA Player of the Year - EJ Tackett

source: PBA
E.J. Tackett
No brainer here. He won the PBA World Championship in December (see December 11, 2016 entry) to finish with 4 PBA titles in 2016.

Congratulations to EJ Tackett, 2016's PBA Player of the Year.

And his dominating presence continues. He climbed the stepladder to win the 2017 DHC PBA Japan Invitational last month.

See for yourself.