Monday, October 20, 2014

Goodbye to Buck Shaw ... Raiders Football ... and Wondo Fantasy Football Update (Spoiler Alert - I'm winning)

     I really enjoyed watching Chris play with the National Team the past two weeks … their results could have been a little bit better but I have such fondness for those guys and that team and it was great seeing Chris getting the privilege to wear the US Badge again.  But we have even more relevant items to blog about on this Award-Winning – yet recently neglected – Blog.

     Last Saturday night I walked out of Buck Shaw Stadium with a small twinge of fond memories.  It is a miserable place to go to a professional soccer game but it is a wonderful place to watch a professional soccer game.  Beyond all of that- my fatherly-soccer-memories will always be Buck Shaw Centric.  I was fortunate enough to have so many personal memories there that will stay with me forever.  I have enormous appreciation for all the fans that stuck it out at Buck Shaw and we all look forward to the new John A. Wondolowski Stadium @ SJC (people are starting to call it JDUB@SJC). 

     Best memory ever at Buck Shaw???? – I have too many fatherly memories and I don’t want to bore anyone with that … I have a tie for first place that is not totally Wondo-Centric.  The night we clinched the Supporter’s Shield – after the game the Players really showed a close love with the fans … and Lenny Wig Night – because I wish I was the one who invented that night –the concept and the finish.


     The Wondo Family have been Raiders fans forever … even including a couple of years when they decided to play in Los Angeles.  The family has season tickets thanks to Aunt Wondo – and the Wondo Boys go to virtually every game.  So it was great this past Sunday when Chris was able to be a guest of the Raiders and kick field goals on the field at half time.  He did OK kicking field goals in his running shoes (Quakes fans would have been proud) – but he essentially was the warm up act for the frisbee dogs.  Nevertheless we had a blast and A Pequena Chefona enjoyed sitting in the suite and providing crumbs in the carpet for the janitorial crew.  Chris drilled 45 yard field goals and Grand-Dude fed Chefona in the Suite. Great seeing Sam Cronin and Jason Hernandez there as well – they didn’t boo Chris’ 55 Yard Field Goal attempt that missed short by a yard or two as loudly as Chris’ brother did.


     Just a quick update on the Wondo Boys Fantasy Football League … that includes my three sons, myself, my two sons in law, and two close FoW (Friends of Wondo).  Long story a little shorter – one guy is in first place at 6-1 (Oh – that would be me) and everyone else is so far behind that it hurts my feelings to think that they are my offspring, sons in law, and close friends.  I suspect they are trying – but I cannot prove that based upon demonstrated performance. 

     Here is the result of our Fantasy Football League … nobody in the family is talking to me (the sons in law have Joanne in their camp) … and yet – no matter what I do I just keep winning.  In some ways it is a curse to be this good at Fantasy Football but – I am learning to live with that curse. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Cal Football Defense - Saying Goodbye to Buck Shaw Stadium - and Fantasy Football Update

Cal Defense – Saying Goodbye to Buck Shaw Stadium – and Fantasy Football Update

University of California Golden Bears – and What They do When the Other Team Has the Ball
     As an Old Blue (UC Berkeley Alumni) – there have been precious few times in a football season when my alma mater is 4-1 and their one loss came on a Hail Mary pass as the last play of the game.  However I can say that, while I am happy about our record, I cannot believe that there is a FBS team at 4-1 that has chosen to rest all of their players when their defense would normally be on the field.  You have to go way back to --- well … I guess only last year actually … -- to see a defense that looks similar in that their mission is to get off the field quickly after yielding a touchdown as quickly as possible.  It is disheartening – but (cynically) it may show what you have to do if you want to increase graduation rates.  I love my Bears --- but I think we should on-side kick after every score and just go for fourth down every single time.

Goodbye Santa Clara University – Buck Shaw Stadium – Home of the San Jose Earthquakes
     I am not a fan of Buck Shaw Stadium – although to be fair I have said many times that it is a great place to actually watch a game because it is kind of like it is being played in your back yard.  If you have ever been to Stubbs BBQ for a concert in Austin, Texas ... You'll agree that Buck Shaw is to soccer what Stubbs BBQ is to concerts.  But it is not a professional stadium and when they stop fans from entering or exiting because the guy carrying the cones from the visiting team is walking by … that is beyond rinky-dink.
     In just a couple of weeks the Earthquakes will play their final game at Buck Shaw Stadium as they prepare to move to their own new stadium by the San Jose Airport.  And … despite the fact that I have never been a fan of Buck Shaw Stadium … looking back I am a fan of Buck Shaw Stadium.  Because it has given me special Dad moments there.
-          First MLS goal that I saw Chris score in person
-          Goal that Chris scored to set an Earthquakes all-time scoring record
-          Goal that Chris scored and then came over and kissed A Pequena Chefona
-          Being able to be so close and enjoy the Ultras (Chefona dances to their songs) 
-          Having an intimate soccer experience that most dads will never have
o   (I still don’t like the place … but wow has it given me great memories)

Fantasy Football Update
     The Fighting Basset Hounds are now 4 wins 1 loss in the Wondo Family Fantasy Football League.  Of the 8 teams in the league … the Fighting Basset Hounds find themselves at the “top of the table” as soccer people like to say.  In addition – through the first 5 weeks – no team has ever scored more points in one week than the FBH did in Week One.  We have had to deal with adversity – injuries, suspensions, bad attitudes, poor performers and egos … but our management philosophy has helped guide us to the lofty place that we sit today - JUST WIN BABY.
     Our position in the standings? Far above my sons Chris and Stephen – in fact, you would probably need a telescopic rear view mirror to even see Chris or Stephen from our place in the standings.  I have even started rooting for both of them … because (1) they are my sons and I care for them and (2) they are embarrassing the crap out of me right now.