Monday, December 30, 2013

Dom Barrett, 2013 PBA Championship Winner

Two days ago I said I'd write my last blog post for 2013. I fudged. I couldn't help it. Especially when it comes to bowling.

As I wrote on November 2, I'm a big Dom Barrett fan. Yesterday on ESPN, Dom captured his third PBA title (and first major), the PBA World Championship. His first, in 2011 (2011-12 season), when he won the Scorpion Championship.

Dom's opponent in both matches, Sean Rash.

For anyone who's seen Dom bowl before, it was unusual to see his emotional outburst at the end of the match. He also didn't realize he still needed 8 pins to seal the win. But the normally cool and calm Dominator collected himself and bowled a strike on his last ball.

I've included video of both matches. Watched them several times and will watch again. Ecstatic to see Dom getting recognition in the United States.

Can't say it enough. Congratulations! Best wishes on your pending nuptials to Cassie in April.




Saturday, December 28, 2013

End of 2013 - We May Never Pass This Way (Again)

As 2013 comes to an end, my biggest highlights this year:
But it's also been bittersweet. We lost 3 classmates this year. Two of them, Jenny and Wendi, were part of our senior class homecoming court. The other classmate, Bob, was in my 8th grade class and worked at the same place I did while I was a student at Ohio State. 

While at the airport on the way to my high school reunion this past August, my former college roommate notified me a friend of ours from Ohio State passed away suddenly. I felt so badly for her because they were very close. It'd only been a few months earlier when Vish sent me a Facebook friend request. Unfortunately, that was my last direct contact with him. My next contact to him was my condolences to his friends and family on his online obituary. 

The silver lining in all of this is that I've reconnected (hopefully permanently) with long lost friends and family. As I get older, the passing of friends and family comes around more often than I'd like. We begin to see "life is short" is magnified much, much more. It can be hard, but don't be afraid to reconnect with someone special you haven't seen and/or heard from in awhile. 

I'll close with a corny dedication to Jenny, Wendi, Bob, Vish and Amy's mom Anne. Sorely missed, but never forgotten. Cue video. 


Friday, December 20, 2013

Father and Son Bowl Perfect 300 Game - Same Team, Game and Night

image source: Facebook page of Derby City Bowling, Louisville, Kentucky
L: James Stringer Jr., R: James Stringer Sr.


James Jr's.Twitter ID: @Lil_J_88

I love seeing families bowl together in leagues and tournaments. A teammate from my Wednesday night league and his dad bowl, but on different teams. My Sunday practice is with my Wednesday team along with the dad's team. The dad, Steve, bowls with Monica and Walter, who are wife and husband.

Not rare, yet not all that common, do we hear about family members bowling perfect games. But to me, it is the ultimate accomplishment when they can do it on the same team on the same night. Kathy, my Monday league teammate, is friends with a father who did this with his daughter.

So when James Stringer Jr., of Louisville, Kentucky and his dad, James Stringer Sr., both bowled 300 on their Tuesday league night December 17, they did exactly that. 

Congratulations to Big and Lil J! I somehow get the feeling you guys will repeat.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2013 GIBBY Award Winner - Pitching Performance of the Year - Tim Lincecum, SF Giants

image source: MLB.com

A big congratulations to San Francisco Giants Tim Lincecum as winner of the 2013 Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards (GIBBY) - Pitching Perfomance of the Year.

Timmy pitched the no-hitter on July 13, 2013.
As was noted in my blog entry on that date, it was the 7th no-hitter in San Francisco Giants history (15th in franchise history) and the first no-hitter in San Diego's Petco Park.

Buster Posey, who caught Tim's game, also caught Matt Cain's June 13, 2012 perfect game. Buster is the only catcher in Giants franchise history to catch 2 no-hitters.

And, if you're so inclined to watch, FlyingHellFish99 was kind enough to put San Francisco's broadcast of the game on YouTube. In HD too.



Saturday, December 07, 2013

Happy Birthday Johnny Bench!


image source: rantsports.com

Wishing Hall of Fame legend Cincinnati Reds catcher Johnny Bench a very Happy 66th Birthday!

One of my favorite JB appearances was in 2009. Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres had been having a very difficult time to get actor George Clooney to appear on her show. Ellen found out through Clooney's ER co-star Noah Wyle was that Clooney was a huge Big Red Machine fan.

So Ellen enlisted the help of former 2nd baseman Joe Morgan and JB to play catch outside Clooney's trailer. It worked. Below is the video. I couldn't stop smiling. Especially when Clooney gushed how much he admired Joe and JB.



Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ohio State versus Michigan - History of Rivalry

image source: runnerspace.com

Some of my favorite team rivalries include:
  • San Francisco Giants versus Los Angeles Dodgers (baseball)
  • North Carolina Tar Heels versus Duke Blue Devils (basketball)
  • Alabama Crimson Tide versus Auburn Tigers (football)
  • USC Trojans versus UCLA Bruins (football)
  • Oklahoma Sooners versus Nebraska Cornhuskers (football)
  • New York Yankees versus Boston Red Sox (baseball)
But for me, what separates rivalries above all others:
Ohio State Buckeyes versus Michigan Wolverines.

Why? It began for me as a 9-year old growing up in Columbus, Ohio. Woody Hayes was the Ohio State coach. His former assistant coach, Bo Schembechler was the Michigan coach.

As Wikipedia describes it:
"The Ten Year War is the informal nickname given to the series of college football games in the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry, played between 1969 and 1978. This series of games pitted coaches Woody Hayes of Ohio State and Bo Schembechler of Michigan against each other in classic teacher-versus-student matchups. In most contests, the Big Ten conference championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl were at stake, and in some cases, a possible national championship."

It became the subject of a 2007 HBO documentary. See for yourself:



Wow, oh wow. This year's game, another one right down to the end. Ohio State 42, Michigan 41.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

49th QubicaAMF World Cup - Women's Final - Cherie Tan vs. Caroline Lagrange

image source: QubicaAMF Bowling

Best 2 out of 3 games wins. And it took all 3 games for a winner to be decided in the second ball of the 10th and last frame. Nail biter of a match between former Wichita State Shocker Caroline Lagrange of Canada versus Cherie Tan of Singapore.

Caroline, no stranger to the tournament, won in 2009. Cherie is a member of the formidable Women's Singaporean team and teammate of 2013 USBC Queens Finalist/2012 QubicaAMF Women's Champion Shayna Ng and another former Wichita State Shocker, Jazreel Tan.

I previously wrote about Shayna on September 5 and Jaz on June 3.

Here's Caroline's 2009 championship match versus UK's Zara Giles.



And, big thanks to the Russian network who helped Bowl.com provide a very high quality HD video feed. I felt as if I was in the bowling center itself (located in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk, Russia).

Below is this morning's semifinal and final match. The semifinal match was Cherie versus Aumi Guerra of the Dominican Republic, 2010's and 2011's champion.



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Remodeled Landmark's Embarcadero Cinema


















On November 5, SFGate ran an article about the makeover of Landmark's Embarcadero Cinema in San Francisco's Financial District.

Yesterday, I went there to see "Blue is the Warmest Color". It's been nearly 4 years since my last visit. While the theater still shows arthouse/independent/foreign films, there were some major changes and upgrades made.

They include:
1. No ticket line. At the theater entrance, there are several large touch screen computers that give you the option to purchase, pickup or order tickets for a future showing. You can still buy tickets from a human being at the concierge desk just past the bar and lounge.


















2.  Bar and lounge. Lounge area has tables and seats for about 12. You can also sit at the bar to order food such as Southwestern Egg Rolls and adult beverages such as beer and wine.

3. Large, roomy leather seats with cup holders on both arms with a button to control how far back you want to recline. So far back that it'd be very easy to fall asleep during the film. As a result of the larger seats, the seating capacity is greatly reduced and increases the probability of a sold-out showing.



For me overall, the experience is very enjoyable. Very much like going to an invitation-only film festival. If you want to see a wide release film yet still have the fancy food and drinks, then I recommend Theater 1 at the Sundance Kabuki in Japantown.

Will I come back? Absolutely.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bowling Area Etiquette

National Bowling Center, Reno, Nevada
My July 20, 2010 blog discussed my annoyance with bowlers (most of them recreational and inexperienced) who fail to observe lane courtesy. In short, if there's a bowler on either side of you on the lane ready to bowl, step off the approach and let the bowler bowl.

What experienced bowlers also know is that beyond the area behind the approach, there's an etiquette observed there too. This area is where bowlers sit or stand when they're not bowling.

They keep the area behind the approach free of debris and liquids. Failure to do so can make bowlers slip, stick and/or fall on their next turn.

Last Sunday at practice and this past Wednesday in league, a few bowlers and I experienced some footing problems because bowlers before us didn't keep the area clean.

My sliding shoe got stuck near the foul line after I threw my ball. Fortunately, I didn't fall and my ball only missed the mark by a few boards. But a senior male bowler several lanes over from us did fall. He got up after a minute or so. I was relieved to see he was OK. House maintenance came by later with scouring pads and towels to both pairs of lanes and cleaned the up the sticky areas.

It's scary for anyone to lose his/her balance and fall while throwing/rolling a very hard 10 to 16 pound ball on a hardwood (or laminate wood) floor. In some cases, a fall can result in a twisted ankle, dislocated shoulder, bruised hip or broken wrist. I have fallen before and it's not fun. The game's focus ends up on not to fall rather than hit your mark.

So, for those of you casual/recreational bowlers that plan your next group outing, please confine food and drink to the counters or tables where the house balls are kept, usually behind the sitting area. I cringe whenever I see someone grab pizza or fries in one hand, ball in the other hand, walks to the lane approach, and then goes to bowl.

What I find worse are clueless league bowlers that use powder to get their shoes to slide. I don't object to use of the powder (it's not enforced but is illegal in my Monday league), I object to the bowler who leaves the excess without regard to other bowlers who may slip on it.

I'm done. Rant over.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Mr. Barrett and his Domination


image source: PBA.com

Pro bowling fans know the World Series of Bowling Championships have been underway all week. For me, it was very exciting to read:
  • Marshall Kent (Robert Morris University's bowling superstar) land as top seed in the Scorpion Championship as an amateur. This is Marshall's second appearance in a TV final. He was in the U.S. Open finals this past summer in my birth city of Columbus, Ohio (see July 28, 2013 blog entry).
  • Clara Guerrero, the third female bowler (following Liz Johnson and Kelly Kulick) in PBA history to make a TV appearance in the Cheetah Championship, and...
  • Dom Barrett emerge as the number 1 seed in the Chameleon and World Series Championships.
My admiration for Dom goes back about 3 years, when I first saw him on YouTube bowling in the 2008 Weber Cup. I included him in a March 29, 2012 blog entry featuring a 2011 Weber Cup video of Dom bowling for Team Europe versus Team USA's Tommy Jones. 

What sealed me as a fan was his 2009 Ten-Pin Masters Final match against Australian sensation and fellow Storm Pro Staffer Jason Belmonte. It was quite the sight to see a low-key, clean-cut, boyish Dom have a very loud legion of fans (aka The Domination) cheer for him in the Barnsley Metrodome. 

My favorite part: the celebration after Dom won the match. Take careful notice on the backs of the T-shirts Dom's fans wore that day. Below is video of the final game in the title match. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Viral: The Ohio State University Marching Band


image source: tbdbitl.osu.edu

As an Ohio State alum, I am beaming with pride to see the Marching Band (aka The Best Damn Band In The Land) going viral on the internet this past week. The tributes to Michael Jackson and Hollywood Movie Blockbusters, wow to the nth degree.

Featured this morning on NBC's Today Show, these impressive and no doubt difficult moves the band practices to perfection used to be mapped out with dots on paper. It is now done through the tutelage of an iPad app. In case you didn't see it, here's the Today Show's segment:



And for those of you too preoccupied choosing this year's Halloween costume the past 2 weeks, here are the full video clips of the Michael Jackson and Hollywood Movie Blockbuster shows.





Anyone who's ever been in marching band in high school and/or college, the world now knows band nerds are truly cool.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Terrell Owens to bowl in PBA World Series of Bowling


image source: PBA

On March 13, my blog entry discussed Terrell's attempt to bowl at the elite level. Can't say I was surprised to see so many negative comments when he bowled at the USBC Championships in May and his upcoming debut in the PBA World Series of Bowling at South Point in Las Vegas this weekend. However, most that follow the sport of bowling closely support TO's efforts.

Longtime PBA veteran bowler Norm Duke said it best:
"It's unfair for all the bowlers in the world to compare him with us...He does have a pretty good fundamentally sound bowling game, but we should be fair to him. He knows his role here. He wants to see what it is like."--Associated Press, October 24, 2013.

For those naysayers that likely didn't know, Terrell's average during the USBC Championships was about 167. Not great, but not terrible either. It's my guess Terrell will do better than he did in March.

Best of luck to you this weekend, T.O.

Monday, October 21, 2013

2010 MLB World Series Film



image source: Fanpop

On Wednesday, October 23, begins the 2013 World Series between 2 red-themed teams, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox. Both teams are not strangers to the series, with Boston making their last appearance in 2007, and St. Louis in 2011. Both teams won their series.

I've been revisiting film clips the past few nights from other recent post-season games, including the 2010 World Series, the first championship for the Giants in the San Francisco era. I was able to find on YouTube the full length film chronicling San Francisco's run to the Fall Classic.

Watching the film last night felt like seeing it for the first time. Many of the key players for the Giants in 2010 were not on 2012's team. Cody Ross and Juan Uribe are now with different teams. Brian Wilson spent most of 2012 on the disabled list. Pat Burrell retired. Aubrey Huff and Freddy Sanchez are not actively playing baseball at this time.

Thanks to michael2damax at YouTube for posting it. In case you haven't seen it, here it is:



Narration by actor and comedian Rob Schneider.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Remembering Loma Prieta Earthquake, October 17, 1989

Today is the 24th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area. Epicenter was in Santa Cruz, California. As I tweeted earlier this morning, my longtime and dear friend Jeff drove me to San Francisco International Airport on a flight to visit family and friends in Columbus.

I've copied from George Kelly (@allaboutgeorge on Twitter) a series of tweets from other Tweeters, including mine, of their memories on this date. I was fortunate not to have felt it, but will never forget the impact it had on everyone else living in the area.

As extensive as the damage was to much of the Bay Area, it could have been a lot worse. The San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's were set to play in a first-ever Bay Bridge World Series and traffic was light that day because many were preparing to watch the game.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Weber Cup XIV - 2013


image source: Weber Cup

UPDATE October 13, 2013 - Team Europe rallies to a 17-14 win over Team USA. Congratulations to Mika, Stu, Dom and Martin!

Battling as we speak is this year's Weber Cup match between Europe and the United States. The United States got off to blistering start, leading 5-1. Like the recent America's Cup, a big rally from Team Europe has surged them back into contention. Europe is only 2 matches down.

As of this blog entry, United States 10, Europe 8. First team to reach 17 points wins. Competition ends tomorrow.

This year's rosters:
Team USA (same as 2012): Chris Barnes, Bill O'Neill, Tommy Jones and Mike Fagan.
Team Europe: Mika Koivuniemi, Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen and Dominic Barrett.

Looking very forward to the video of the matches in early 2014.
Go USA!

Saturday, October 05, 2013

League Bowling Blog - Gutter to Glory

image source: guttertoglory.com , Roto Grip

A month into my 6th season of league bowling (yes, it will eventually match all these years I played league softball), I'm not perusing as many YouTube videos as I did in the past 2 years. I do continue to follow all levels of bowling from league and local tournaments to the WTBA and PBA.

League scores from the 2 centers where I bowl regularly can be found at leaguesecretary.com. My Wednesday league has its own website at chinesebowlingclub.com under the Friendly Trios icon. Our stats are usually updated Saturday nights. I just checked the site and see results for this week are already in. If I bowled well (which I did), I'm always anxious to see how well I did against everyone else.

Statistics are a great way to help track progress. More importantly for me is practice and to watch others practice. When appropriate, I'll chat with other bowlers during practice and league play for their feedback. I can usually determine that with a "nice shot" compliment, or hear a self-deprecating remark about the errant shot he/she just made.

Which leads me to Zak Becker's and Tim Merath's blog, Gutter to Glory, sponsored by Roto Grip. As fellow league bowlers, they write about their bowling experiences I can relate to in so many ways. The screen shots of their scores on their blog and Twitter look so much like my scores, good and bad. They express frustration with inconsistent scores, how to adapt to changing lane conditions, and a ton of other minutiae bowlers only know.

If you find this kind of bowling minutiae fascinating, you can follow Gutter to Glory on Facebook, and Tim's Twitter account, @guttertoglory. Good luck to Zak and Tim. My goal this season is the same as Zak's, a 165 average.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers pitcher, 21 wins


image source: ESPN

Before the current era of specialized relief pitching, a starter with 20 wins earmarked whether or not you had a very successful season. If you had 30 wins like Dizzy Dean of the St. Louis Cardinals did in 1934, or Denny McLain of the Detroit Tigers with 31 victories in 1968, it was phenomenal.


Today's era of pitchers are categorized into specialized roles. They include starter, long relief, setup, and closer. There's also the 100 pitch limit teams usually restrict to a starter. If he's taken out because of the pitch count and hasn't completed 5 innings yet his team wins the game, the starter cannot be credited for the victory. So if a starting pitcher wins 15 or more games now, it's a great season.


And this is why another Detroit Tigers pitcher, Max Scherzer, who earned his 21st win last night is remarkably special. Congratulations, Max. Good luck to you and the Detroit Tigers in the post-season. Your brother Alex would be very proud. 


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Happy 63rd Birthday, William James Murray


image source: Esquire Magazine

Wishing Todd DiLaMuca, The Lounge Singer, Carl Spackler, Ernie McCracken, Herman Blume and my favorite, Dr. Peter Venkman, a very Happy Birthday.

Here's a video of WatchMojo.com's Top 10 favorite Bill Murray performances:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Remembering Ray Dolby


image source: Dolby Labs

On September 12, 2013, sound pioneer Ray Dolby passed away at his home in San Francisco.

From the improvement (no hiss) in cassette recordings to the "Dolby Sound" in the classic blockbuster "Star Wars", music fans and moviegoers know they'll get the ultimate audio experience.

It may be dated and too brief, but here's a clip of the "test" sound I always immediately recognize as Dolby. I know then the movie I'm about to watch is going to sound awesome.



Rest in peace, Mr. Dolby.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Shayna Ng's cropped look


image source: Bowl.com

This afternoon, ESPN2 aired (tape delay) the USBC Queens finals. Congratulations to the top seeded player, Diana Zavjalova, who emerged as this year's winner.

Throughout the week, I followed a few live broadcasts of match play on Bowl.com and read updates on Facebook. Without fail, there was someone, usually male, who commented negatively about the sport, a player, or whatever else can be criticized. And like an ex-boyfriend I was with for 7 years too long, he opined negatively on a topic he doesn't know well.

Which brings me to the comments said about Shayna Ng. With her cropped hairstyle and no makeup, several (all men) asked if Shayna was a man. It got me upset as it's a topic all too familiar to me. I wore short hair most of my life and have had more than my fair share of being mistaken for a man.

Then as I read further along in the comments, a Singaporean (Shayna is from Singapore) clarified the reason for Shayna's cropped look. And if those same smart mouths bothered to watch the telecast, they would have heard announcer Dave Lamont mention it as well. She shaved her head for the Children's Cancer Foundation, Hair for Hope 2013 Campaign. So far, Shayna's pledges have more than doubled the target amount.

Way to go Shayna.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

2013 USBC Queens Finalists




image source: Bowl.com

Today is the finals match of the 2013 USBC Queens Tournament. It is being taped today and will air on Sunday, September 8 on ESPN2 at 11:30 am PT/2:30 pm ET. I'll be bowling my very FIRST senior tournament during that time, so this is already programmed into my DVR.

This year's finalists have a great mix of backgrounds. The top 2 seeds are from Europe and Asia. The remaining 3 seeds are from places I call home, San Francisco Bay Area and Central Ohio.
  1. Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, currently a bowler at Webber International University.
  2. Shayna Ng, Singapore. I blogged about Shayna previously on May 20, 2013, where she won the 48th Annual Qubica AMF World Cup.
  3. Leanne Barrette-Hulsenberg, 1999 USBC Queens Champion. San Francisco Bay Area native. I saw her bowl in a junior-adult tournament last year in Dublin, California.
  4. Jennifer Petrick Higgins, 3-time member of Team USA and currently resides in Westerville, Ohio.
  5. Lynda Barnes, 1998 USBC Queens Champion, San Francisco Bay Area native, bowled at San Jose State and married to PBA great Chris Barnes
Here's a video profiles of the finalists. Good luck to all. 


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back-to-back slams, Hunter Pence

*UPDATE: Evan Gattis of the Atlanta Braves takes over as having the longest home run of 2013. He hit a 486-foot home run against the Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank Park.

As of tonight, the San Francisco Giants are in a tie for last place in the National League West. Post season hopes gone. And extremely unlikely they'll repeat as World Series Champions. But there's a hard working, even harder playing Giant who has played in ALL 132 games of the 2013 season to date. His name is Hunter Pence. He plays right field.

Hunter's consecutive game streak almost ended in last night's game against the Colorado Rockies. Rockies batter Michael Cuddyer crushed a hard, deep fly ball Pence tried to catch, running full speed. Here's the video:


After a few minutes, Hunter got up, understandably dazed. Still wobbly, he jogged back to the team dugout. Remarkably, he only had the wind knocked out of him and played the rest of the game. Tonight, sans cobwebs, the wall slam a semi-distant memory, Hunter does the slam again. With a bat. 476 feet over the fence. And now the longest home run of the 2013 season. Watch and admire:



Wow, perhaps Hunter should slam into walls more often.

*UPDATE: September 27, 2013. As no surprise to Giants fans, Hunter Pence wins Willie Mac Award. Named after former Giants great Willie McCovey, the award exemplifies the spirit and leadership McCovey showed consistently throughout his career. Former recipients include Matt Cain, Buster Posey, Ryan Vogelsong and 2-time winners Mike Krukow, J.T. Snow, and Bengie Molina.

Friday, August 23, 2013

San Francisco, 30 year anniversary


Today is my 30th year living in San Francisco. My brother Sherman and family friend Stan (the photographer of this picture) drove out with my 1980 Toyota Celica GT Liftback (pictured behind me) from Columbus, Ohio to San Francisco, California.

The road trip took about 4 1/2 days. Sherman and Stan did most of the driving. The first 2 days we were on the road 12-14 hours and then stopped for the night. From Salt Lake City to Reno, it took about 8 hours. From Reno to San Francisco, about 4 hours.

First stop - Lawrence, Kansas (I-70 West)
Second stop - Cheyenne, Wyoming (I-70 West to I-25 North to I-80 West)
Third stop - Salt Lake City, Utah (I-80 West)
Final stop - Reno, Nevada (I-80 West)

While my recent visit to Columbus was the most fun I had in the past 2 years, San Francisco is and will always be home. After 23 years of residency in the Inner Richmond and Inner Sunset neighborhoods (see 25th anniversary blog entry), I am back to living in the same neighborhood where I started (and where the above photo was taken), the Outer Sunset.

In the 30 years I've been in San Francisco, many friends and family from Columbus have moved and are now scattered across the country. With the help of Facebook, Skype, Instant Messaging and other social media forms, communication is easy, fast and reliable. I rarely hear the term "long distance call" said anymore.

Here's to another 30 years. And if I'm still spry and feisty in 2043, it's my guess a 5 1/2 hour flight to New York will be reduced to less than an hour. All the better for this future old "fog blogger".

Thursday, August 15, 2013

World Tenpin Bowling - now on Twitter

image source: WTBA

With the new season of league and professional bowling starting in the next few weeks, the international arm of professional bowling, the World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA) established a Twitter account (@WorldBowling).

The organization has 112 member federations and is divided into 3 zones: American Zone (Pan-American Bowling Confederation), Asian Zone (Asian Bowling Federation), and European Zone (European Tenpin Bowling Federation). The PBA is among the member federations most familiar to bowlers and fans of bowling.

For me, the WTBA is a great resource on bowling around the world. The past season included stops in Japan, Finland, South Korea and Qatar. Many of the bowling match videos I've posted on previous blog entries are part of the World Bowling Tour/WTBA.

Looking forward to a new season.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Whitehall Yearling High School - 35th Year Reunion, Class of 1978


My post on Twitter (lchin2) today, "Sore jaw and cheek from too much smiling & laughing at last night's reunion. Efforts not to be labeled 'Whatever happened to ?' continue."

We had a blast. Here are a few, partially edited Facebook comments from fellow classmates (last names omitted for privacy):
++++++
From Joe, our DJ for the evening, "...if it weren't for you, this would not turn out as great as it did!!!! You guys did A awesum job. The class reunion was a huge success!!! I hope you all liked the music I played. It was my pleasure to do this for you. I enjoyed all your company and cant wait 5 more years..."

From Sue, who attended her very first reunion, "... i have to admit, i was nervous because i hadn't seen anyone since graduation and this was my first reunion. everyone was so warm and welcoming and i hope i got a chance to speak with everyone. if i missed you, i'm so sorry! some of you haven't changed at all and others, well, i admit i had to look at name tags but that's the old age in me. it was so wonderful to see you all and i can't wait until the next reunion! will post pics today or tomorrow. lani - so glad u changed ur mind and came. i loved spending time with you and talking with you! janet - so disappointed you couldn't make it...hope to see you next time around. love to all!"

From Mike, "Just wanted to thank everyone involved for their efforts at making this reunion a really nice event. I know there had to be a lot of effort put into planning and organization.

It was great to see so many people, many of whom were distant memories, or that I had no memory of at all. Interesting how some people are easily recognizable, while others, even some that I am friends with here on FB, I really didn't recognize without prompting or a picture. 

It was nice to share (too little) time with people, and I apologize I didn't do very well at getting to talk to everyone. I assure you that, even if we didn't have a chance to talk, or, if I never knew you very well, that I value our connection to each other.

It renews my personal convictions, that I try to practice in my life, of not alienating anyone, being rude or obnoxious, and just being a decent person, accepting of people who ever they are. I have always tried to be one to Forgive, forget, and move on.

I was impressed at how well everyone got along, had fun, and enjoyed each other's conversations, evidently a lot of you have those same feelings and convictions in life. 
What a truly special group we grew up with, and shared some wonderful experiences.
I Wish everyone well, and hope we are able to do this together many more times as we continue our personal walks through life."
++++++
To my beloved classmates, see you in 2018!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia

image source: 2013 World Games

UPDATE - August 4, 2013 - Congratulations to Daria Kovalova for capturing gold in the Women's Singles. Daria defeated Kelly Kulick, 428-425.
-----------------------
Tomorrow in Cali, Colombia is the conclusion of the 2013 World Games.

Bowlers I have written about in previous blog entries (November 4, 2012 and May 20, 2013) such as Daria Kovalova (Ukraine), Birgit Poppler (Germany), and Aumi Guerra (Dominican Republic) are among those shown in the above video as participants in the Women's Bowling venue.

Kelly Kulick, last week's Women's U.S. Open runner-up to Liz Johnson, represented the United States. Kelly and PBA tour pro/2012 Weber Cup member Mike Fagan won the gold medal in Mixed Doubles.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lipton 2013 Bowling's U.S. Open - Notes on the Finalists

image source: Bowl.com
From left to right - Jason Belmonte, Pete Weber, Marshall Kent, Wes Malott, Kelly Kulick, Liz Johnson, Diandra Asbaty, Danielle McEwen.

Yesterday, this year's Bowling U.S. Open in Columbus, Ohio was the first of its kind to be open in 3 centers - Columbus Western Bowl, Wayne Webb Columbus Bowl, and Holiday Lanes.

What wasn't mentioned but very visible on the jerseys the finalists wore: 7 of the 8 bowlers are sponsored by Storm Bowling. The only non-Storm bowler, Wes Malott, is sponsored by Roto Grip and a member of Storm Nation. Storm Bowling purchased the Roto Grip brand name in 1997.

As I wrote in my August 26, 2012 blog entry "Bowlers in the Family", the bowling community is very closely connected. Some facts about the finalists in this year's tournament confirm their closeness:
  • Liz Johnson (Women's Division) and Wes Malott (Men's Division), today's champions, each earned $50,000. The Battle of Sexes match that followed after their championship matches was a PBA semi-final rematch from the 2005 Banquet Open. Liz defeated Wes, but lost in the final match to Tommy Jones. Liz earned an additional $10,000 for defeating Wes a second time.
  • Pete Weber, son of Dick Weber. 
  • Jason Belmonte and Diandra Asbaty are 2 of the 3 founders of the bowling experience group - International Art of Bowling.
  • Marshall Kent and Danielle McEwan are Team U.S.A. members and entered the U.S. Open as amateurs. Marshall is a student at Robert Morris University and Danielle attends Fairleigh Dickinson University. The romantic in me thinks it's very sweet that they are also boyfriend and girlfriend. Both of their Twitter profiles show pictures of them together.
@Danielle_McEwan
@MarshallKent299
To me, it's beyond awesome that Danielle and Marshall made the U.S. Open finals at the same time. I've become a fan. Danielle is 21, Marshall is 20 and excited to know they will be a big part of professional bowling's future.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lipton 2013 Bowling's U.S. Open - Columbus, Ohio

image source: Xtra Frame

Tomorrow is my sister Cindy's birthday. It's also the start of one of the world's biggest professional bowling tournaments, the Lipton 2013 U.S. Open in Columbus, Ohio, where she lives.

That's not all. The tournament will be held in 3 bowling centers: Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl (host facility), Columbus Western Bowl, and, drum roll please, Holiday Lanes in Whitehall (as shown on the PBA schedule). Whitehall is where I grew up.

Holiday Lanes holds a very special place in my heart for many reasons. As a kid, I bowled there in the 1960's until the early 1980's. It was open 24 hours a day and had 56 lanes in 3 sections. Dad rented a locker there to store his 16-pound Ebonite Gyro. When we were on summer vacation from school, Cindy, Sherman and I bowled there Sunday nights. After Dad and a few of his restaurant staff got off work, they would meet up with us. With sore thumbs and limbs from bowling countless games, we'd then go to breakfast at Western Pancake House (near Eastland Mall).

From one of the Sunday nights bowling, a female night manager taught me how to use my thumb for aim and a 4-step delivery (which I still use today). From their pro shop, I got my first bowling ball. It was a 12-pound, hot pink, plastic Columbia 300. I bought it to bowl in my first formal league from work at The Limited (now Limited Brands) while I was a student at Ohio State. On my last visit to Columbus, I drove there to see it and parked for a few minutes to reminisce. Had I packed my ball and shoes, I definitely would have gotten out to bowl a few practice games.

I'd love to be there in person to watch. But as I can't, the next best way would be to check out the free trial subscription at Xtra Frame and watch from the luxury of my cushy recliner. If so inclined while reclined, you can get started with the promotional video here:



Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Freakin' Fantastic Outing - Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants


image source: SBNation.com

Tonight, Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants pitched his first no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. Final score: Giants 9, Padres 0.

Timmy's no-hitter is the 7th in San Francisco Giants history (15th in franchise history) and the first no-hitter in San Diego's Petco Park. The previous no-hitter was Matt Cain's perfect game on June 13, 2012. Buster Posey caught both games and makes him the first catcher in Giants history to catch 2 no-hitters.

Backed by some terrific defensive plays from right fielder Hunter Pence and 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval, it took Tim 148 pitches to complete his game. He walked 4 and struck out 13 batters.

Here's video of all 27 outs and the on field celebration.



Two Cy Young Awards, 2 World Series Championships and now, a no-hitter. Pretty impressive for someone who just turned 29 last month. Way to go, Timmy. I'm sure your dad Chris couldn't be any prouder.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Asiana Airlines Flight 214


image source: ABC News

Yesterday, the world got news from the city I call home when a Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crashed at San Francisco International Airport. While any airplane crash is serious, this one could have been a lot worse. Confirmed on Flight 214: 291 passengers and 16 crew members. As I write this blog entry, 2 confirmed deaths (2 Chinese teenage girls), and 49 injured. The flight originated in Shanghai, made a stop in Seoul and final destination to San Francisco.

Despite SFO being one of the busiest airports in the world with delays and closures due to fog and/or rain, plane crashes at SFO don't happen often. The last plane crash was in June 2008, where an ABX cargo plane caught on fire. The pilots escaped uninjured. The last crash with fatalities (all 3 on board were killed) was in December, 1964. The highest number of fatalities, 19, was in October, 1953.*

For those who have never flown on a plane or have a fear of flying, the above statistics reinforce airplane crashes are rare. Especially when you take into account how many flights around the world take off and land without incident on a daily basis.

My biggest worry when it comes to flying - the gate to where I need to catch a connection is on the other end of the terminal. Or worse, if the connection is at a completely different terminal. The comfy slip-ons you thought would ensure a speedy and uneventful trip through security are about to get a real test "run".

*news source: Bill Van Niekerken, San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Simon's Cat in Gromit Unleashed

image source: Simon's Cat

Several years ago, I came across a YouTube animated video that reminded me so much of Jawa, a Snowshoe cat that I once co-parented with an ex-boyfriend.

After finding a series of other charming videos with the same cat, I found out the animator is Simon Tofield and became a Google+ follower of Simon's Cat.

So this morning, when I see on my Google+ page Simon's Cat and my favorite claymation pooch Gromit together, it was a match made in animated heaven.

The latest video (see below) features Mr. Tolfield sketching his perpetually hungry kitty on a giant sculpture of Gromit to help raise funds for Aardman's (the animation studio for Wallace and Gromit) children's charity.

And in case you're curious (as cats notoriously are), here's the video, "Cat Man Do" that started it all for Simon's Cat:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Twinkie Twinkie Little Star, How I Wonder Where You Are...


In less than the reported 45-day shelf life of a sponge cake classic, wonder no more. After a forced bankruptcy in November 2012, the Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever - coming to stores July 15. No more secret bids on eBay, the suggested manufacturer's retail price for a box of 10 is $3.99.

Be prepared. Sugar rushes and empty store shelves here we come. Need to know exactly when? Here's a link from hostesscakes.com for the countdown clock.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Remembering James Gandolfini, via The Simpsons


image source: James Gandolfini Online

Yesterday, many of us were shocked and very saddened to learn actor James Gandolfini passed away while vacationing in Rome, Italy.

My former high school classmate Coleen is a huge fan. One of her cats is named Tony, after Mr. Gandolfini's best known and most prolific role in "The Sopranos". Prior to "The Sopranos", I'll always remember his pivotal supporting roles in 2 John Travolta films, "Get Shorty" and "A Civil Action".

Without premium cable, I wasn't able to follow "The Sopranos" as closely as I would have liked. Other than the mighty Tony himself, what stood out for me was the ultra-cool opening theme. When "The Simpsons" dedicated an episode with their version of it, you knew it had to be something good.

Here's the video clip:



 And here's the original opening with the real Tony Soprano:
 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ken Griffey Junior and Senior


image source: Seattle Times
Ken Griffey, Junior (L) and Ken Griffey, Senior (R)

As we reach the end of Father's Day, there have been many sweet, touching pictures and stories of fathers and sons. Anyone who's been a regular reader on my blog for the past year has probably wondered which father and son I'd feature from baseball or bowling.

Bowling, without a doubt, hands down, it's Pete Weber and his dad, Dick Weber. I'm a big admirer of the elder Weber. As for Pete, let's just say I respect his accomplishments tremendously and leave it at that.

In baseball, it'd be easy for me to pick the most well-known father and son in the San Francisco Giants organization, Bobby and Barry Bonds. They both wore the same number, 25. I've got a lot respect for both of them, but I don't have an emotional connection with either of them.

So why Ken Griffey Junior and Senior? I grew up a Cincinnati Reds fan at the height of their Big Red Machine days in the 1970's. The number 2 batter and right fielder in that lineup was Ken Griffey (not yet known as senior until his son came up to play in the majors). He was fast, strong, and played his position well. To me, Senior looked more like a running back in football than he did an outfielder in baseball.

When Junior made his sensational start for the Seattle Mariners, it was so easy to like him. I rarely saw him play without a smile. He looked like the grown up little leaguer out there having fun. His home run power AND his extraordinary ability to shag flies must have made opposing teams cringe.

In the 1990 and 1991 seasons, Junior and Senior played together for the Mariners. They fulfilled the dreams many fathers and sons have - to play next to each other in Major League Baseball. They hold the MLB record for father-son career hits, at 4,926. It's my guess this record will hold up for awhile.

Here's a YouTube video clip highlighting some of their time together, which includes a back-to-back home run for father and son.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Daria "Dasha" Kovalova


image source: Wichita State Bowling
 
Continuing on my quest to find competitive women's bowling outside the United States, this week's profile was a Wichita State teammate of last week's profile, Jazreel Tan. Her name is Daria Kovalova (also known as Dasha) from Ukraine.

For those of you not familiar with college bowling, Wichita State is to bowling as Kansas is to basketball, a perennial powerhouse. Current PBA bowlers Chris Barnes and Sean Rash are former Wichita State Shockers.

Three of the four finalists in the 2013 Women's Intercollegiate Bowling Championships video I included in last week's blog entry were from Wichita State: Jazreel Tan, Tannya Roumimper, and Dasha.

Like Jazreel, Dasha has captured a few bowling titles outside of Wichita State. In 2011, Dasha won the Girls Singles and All-Events European Youth Championship and in 2012 defeated Birgit Poppler in the Women's European Champions Cup (see November 4, 2012 blog entry or YouTube video below).



As Dasha is only a freshman, she's got a very bright future ahead of her. It's really a shame there's hasn't been a full women's tour since 2003. I have no doubt bowlers like Shayna Ng, Jazreel Tan and Dasha would be a big part of it.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Jazreel Tan



image source: Wichita State Bowling

My May 20, 2012 blog entry featured the 2012 AMF Qubica World Cup Women's Final match between Shayna Ng (Singapore) and Aumi Guerra (Dominican Republic). Aumi was the defending champion but was no match for Shayna.

No stranger to winning and a teammate of Shayna's on Singapore's National Team is Wichita State senior Jazreel Tan. Some of her accomplishments include: 2-time Collegiate Bowler of the Year (2010-11 and 2011-12), 1st Place -2012 Kuwait Women's Open, and Singapore's National Champion in 2004 and 2006.



I've also included a 2013 USBC Intercollegiate Women's Semi-Final featuring Jazreel.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

SF Giants' Angel Pagan, Walk-off Inside-the-Park Home Run


in photo left to right: Marco Scutaro, Angel Pagan and Andres Torres
image source: Jeff Chiu, AP

In baseball, scoring a walk-off run is always exciting. For those not familiar with the term "walk-off" run, it means the home team scores the winning run in the bottom inning to end the game before finishing the inning. The home team can "walk off" the field immediately afterward.*

A lot rarer and perhaps more exciting is an inside-the-park home run. It is usually a hit well placed beyond reach of the outfielders. By the time the ball is retrieved and thrown back to the infield, the batter has touched all bases and made it to home plate to score.

For the first time since Rey Sanchez of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays did it in 2004, my beloved San Francisco Giants accomplish both feats this afternoon. It comes from leadoff hitter Angel Pagan.

With the Giants down 5-4 to the Colorado Rockies in the bottom of the 10th inning (Giants were down 4-0 in the 4th inning, Giants tie game 4-4 in the 7th, Rockies take lead 5-4 in 9th), Pagan hits a deep driving shot to right center field that bounces off the outfield wall. The rest is history.

A heart-pounding finish I'll never forget.

Here's the video (web only):



*information source - Wikipedia

Monday, May 20, 2013

Shayna Ng, Singapore vs. Aumi Guerra, Dominican Republic


48th Annual Qubica AMF World Cup - Women's Final
Shayna Ng, Singapore (L) versus Aumi Guerra, Dominican Republic (R)

On my October 7, 2012 blog entry, I wrote about how much I enjoyed watching women's bowling outside the United States. Pictured above is a screenshot at the start of the women's final match. Both Aumi and Shayna are fairly well-known in World Bowling Tour circles. As of March 29, 2013, Shayna is 10th in the Women's Division rankings.

Courtesy of The International Art of Bowling (led by pro bowlers Diandra Asbaty and Jason Belmonte), I've included a YouTube video (see below) of the match from Poland. You may notice one of the few viewers with a front row seat watching the match is none other than former President Lech Walesa.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Brothers Jay

As this is Asian Pacific Heritage month, I want to acknowledge 2 people who were born, raised and educated in my native city of Columbus, Ohio to Chinese parents. They are John C Jay, and his younger brother, Ben. Their parents, Gim and Jan Jay, operated and ran Crestview Market in the 1960's until their retirement in the 1980's. Crestview Market was a primary supplier to most of the Chinese restaurants in greater Columbus, including my family's, Jong Mea.

In Ben's student days at Ohio State, my family saw him often, as he made many deliveries to Jong Mea. When he wasn't working or in school, he was involved in numerous sporting activities, which is why his current occupation comes as no surprise to anyone who knew him growing up.

After Ben received his bachelor's degree in accounting at Ohio State in 1981, he began his varied and very successful athletic administration career. In summary:
  • General Manager, Redwood Pioneers, a minor league baseball affiliate for the California Angels. 
  • Director of Operations, Cleveland Indians. 
  • Master's Degree, athletics administration, The Ohio State University. 
  • Assistant Athletics Director for Business and Finance, Fairfield (Connecticut) University. 
  • Associate Commissioner for Business and Finance, PAC-10 Conference. 
  • Senior Associate Athletics Director for Finance and Operations, The Ohio State University, and as of January, 2013,
  • Athletic Director, University of Hawai'i, Manoa
Below is a YouTube video interview with Ben after his appointment as the new Athletic Director at the University of Hawai'i.


Ben's older brother, John C Jay, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Ohio State in 1971. John's career began in New York at Bloomingdale's in the menswear and home furnishings department. In his 12 years at Bloomingdale's, he moved up the ranks to become Executive Vice President, Director of Creative and Marketing Services.

In 1993, John moved to Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, Oregon. As partner and global executive creative director for W+K, he led campaigns for Nike, Coca-Cola and Microsoft. He also established satellite offices in Tokyo, Shanghai and Delhi. In honor of his parents and school roots, he established the Gim and Jan Jay Scholarship Fund at Ohio State to provide financial assistance for students of Asian descent who seek careers in visual or performing arts and design.

As of January 2013, W+K appointed John as lead for their new unit, W+K Garage. From Kiran Aditham's article listed in the Agency Spy section of Media Bistro, the creation of Garage "will serve as a multidisciplinary creative agency for the connected age, focused on the concepting, creating and investing in innovative experiences, content and technology."

I've included a video interview of John from November 2011:



From this Asian-American, Columbus native and Ohio State alum, way to go. You homeboys make us proud.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Six-on-Six Basketball

For any girl that grew up playing any kind of organized basketball prior to 1970, you may have played under rules different than today's game. It was called six-on-six, or girls basketball, or sometimes referred to as "granny-style basketball".

The most archaic aspect of the game was that a player could play only half-court defense or offense. Never both. There were no centers and only forwards could shoot the ball. If the old girls rules applied today, we'd never experience seeing the visual wizardry of outstanding college guards like Jennifer Azzi, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird or Dawn Staley.

A variant of the girls rule (played in New Jersey until 1975) allowed 2 players to play full-court, 2 players half-court on defense and 2 players half-court on offense.

Although these rules began their phase out in 1958, it took 37 years for the rules to be phased out completely. The last 2 states to play six-on-six basketball were Iowa in 1993 and Oklahoma in 1995.

The below YouTube video is taken from an Iowa girls state championship game played in 1976. The quality is rather poor, but from the fan turnout and pace of the game, it's understandable why Iowa was one of the last states to phase out a popular and very successful school sport.

Monday, April 29, 2013

If You Let Me Play Sports


This past week, a former classmate posted on Facebook a softball team photo from the summer before my sophomore year in high school. I played summer league softball from 7th to 11th grade. It was competitive, intense, and provided some of the best times I had growing up.

My first organized team was in 5th grade as an intramural basketball player. Mr. Hefner appointed me as one of the team captains. A noble, but unsuccessful effort as we ended the season with no wins. What I remember most was not how bad we were, but how exciting it was to be on a sports team.

My brother and I were very fortunate that our parents fully supported our love to play sports. For some kids, particularly girls, this wasn't always the case. The above picture is from a 1995 Nike ad that provided compelling reasons on why girls should play sports.

Here's the YouTube video (web access only):
Over a decade later, the commercial remains one of Oprah's all-time favorites. Mine too.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pin Gods


image source: Larry Locke Films


About a year ago, I wrote a blog entry about the bowling documentary, "A League of Ordinary Gentleman". While fulfilling my fix of endless bowling videos on YouTube, another documentary that came out 10 years earlier came up on my suggested viewing list. The film's name is "Pin Gods".

Like "A League of Ordinary Gentlemen", the documentary follows 3 bowlers: Anton "Sonny" Pavelchak, Bob Vespi, and Tony Rosamilia. Their ultimate goal is to become the next PBA legend, Walter Ray Williams, who is briefly profiled in this film. Walter Ray was one of the 3 bowlers closely followed in "A League of Ordinary Gentlemen."

What is more evident in "Pin Gods" is how difficult and grinding it is to become even remotely successful on the PBA tour. For me, I found "Pin Gods" to be good viewing but not as good as "League", mostly because I'm a big bowling fan. However, it's not something I can recommend to the casual sports fan.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sweet Caroline

Where it began
I can't begin to knowin'
But then I know
It's growing strong...



For those in Boston, my thoughts are with you.

Music and lyrics by Neil Diamond

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jerry Lucas - NCAA 75th Anniversary March Madness, All-Time Team


image source: News-Herald

Last week, the NCAA celebrated their 75th Anniversary All-Time March Madness Team. An awesome list of legends which include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (formerly Lew Alcindor), Bill Walton, Bill Bradley, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Patrick Ewing, Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, Michael Jordan, Danny Manning, Hakeem Olajuwon, Oscar Robertson, and Jerry West.

Last but not least is an Ohio State legend, Jerry Lucas. His former Buckeye teammates include Bobby Knight and John Havlicek. Most know Lucas had a successful pro career in the NBA with the Cincinnati Royals, San Francisco Warriors and New York Knicks. Unlike today, where most top-caliber college players leave school early to play in the NBA, this wasn't a career option Lucas thought was available to him.

But what many probably don't know - *of the 150+ schools that recruited him for an athletic scholarship, Lucas enrolled at Ohio State on an academic scholarship (at his insistence). He chose Ohio State because they were the only school to talk to him about academics first. In his 4 years at Ohio State, Lucas earned his bachelor's degree in 3. He spent his senior year of eligibility in post-graduate studies.

Jerry Lucas retired from the NBA in 1974.  In 1996, Lucas was named one of the 50 Greatest NBA Players. Lucas is now a public speaker, educator and memory expert.

*source - Wikipedia

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Cool Hand Luke


image source: Robert Deutsch, USA Today Sports

A little more than a week ago, Luke Hancock, a relatively unknown player transfer from George Mason University got our attention. He ran from the bench to aid his fallen teammate, Kevin Ware. He comforts Kevin which enables Kevin and the Louisville team to regain their composure and win the game against Duke, 85-63, to reach the Final Four.

Two days after the Duke game, "Cool Hand" Luke comes off the bench to score 20 points in their semi-final match against Wichita State. Near the closing seconds of the game, he misses a second free throw attempt and immediately shifts into defensive mode. From the missed shot rebound, he ties up Wichita State's Ron Baker in what many consider a questionable jump ball. Regardless, this enables Louisville to regain possession and win the game, 72-68.

In the championship game against Michigan, Luke shoots an eye popping 5-for-5 from 3-point range. At game's end, he scores 22 points. The first four shots enable Louisville to eliminate a double-digit deficit (the second in as many games) in the first half of the game and defeat Michigan, 82-76. Luke's stats for the entire Final Four tournament, 8-for-10 shots made. ESPN.com's Eamonn Brennan's blog post in Men's College Basketball Nation writes a great detailed account of Luke's accomplishments in the Final Four.

For me, this year's Final Four was the most exciting series of games I've seen at least 15 years. It started with my alma mater, Ohio State, and their attempt to make to the Final Four for the second consecutive year after making the Elite Eight. Then the emotion of the Louisville-Duke game snagged me hook, line and sinker. Their chemistry and the ability to come-from-behind reminded me so much of my beloved San Francisco Giants, who fought off 6 elimination games to win the 2012 World Series.

Congratulations to Coach Rick Pitino, Peyton Siva, Russ Smith, Tim Henderson, Gorgui Dieng, Wayne Blackshear, Chane Behanan, Mike Marra, Stephan Van Treese, Logan Baumann, Jordan Bond, Montrezl Harrell, Zach Price, Michael Balfour, Mike Marra, and Kevin Ware.
Best wishes to Luke's ailing dad, Bill, and the rest of the Hancock family.

And the man we won't forget, Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four Tournament, Luke Hancock. The force was with you.