Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Spectators Should Expect to see Changes Made to Olympics

This is a guest post co-written by Nerissa Barry and Daniel Fielding. Any comments and queries can fielded to Nerissa via

The United States Olympic Committee USOC is not only looking to further the athletic accomplishments but also making sustainable environmental changes to the Winter Games. And with the bid for the 2022 games being awarded in 2015, they must be able to move fast with their efforts. The quest has already started in naming Andrew Liveris and Dow Chemical as the worldwide partner in the Olympics for the next decade. 

During the last Winter Olympic Games (the Vancouver 2010 games), the United States garnered the most number of medals with 37, broken down into 9 gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze. Thanks to American dominance in snowboarding (i.e. Shaun White), Nordic combined (i.e Lindsey Vonn), speed skating (i.e. Shani Davis) and skiing, it only makes sense that the United States should host the 2022 Winter Games. With possible venues like Denver and Reno-Tahoe, the USOC is looking to prepare a bidding process with the International Olympic Committee in hopes of bring great changes to this world celebration.

After the controversy over what transpired in securing the Salt Lake City bid, USOC Chairman, Larry Probst hopes to rebuild relationships first with their international counterparts before releasing all information concerning the bid. What we do know is that there is a lot of talk about making the Games more environment-friendly, and with this, the United States could put themselves in high bid mentions with what they're looking to add to the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

Why are these changes such a big deal? As fantastic and unifying as the Olympics are, it's quite a carbon-rich event. Over 2/3 of the estimated carbon emissions from the event come from some of the 1.5+ million attendees traveling (mostly via airplane) to and from the event.

While the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics made great efforts to showcase conservation practices and sustainable energy sources, USOC members and sponsors are looking to go the extra mile on becoming a greener Olympics with these proposed plans:
  • Solar power - Used to light lawns, courtyards and streets at several venues, including the Olympic Village. A 130 KW photovoltaic system illuminated The National Stadium, where events such as athletics and football were held. 

  • Water Conservation - Waste water collected from the Qinghe sewage treatment plant was filtered and used for the various heating and cooling needs throughout the Olympics site, yielding a 60% savings in electricity. Rainwater was collected from around the grounds, collecting over 75,000 gallons by using water permeable bricks, pipes and wells installed on roofs, roads and green areas.

  • Natural Light - Remember the famous 'Water Cube' where the aquatic events were held? The walls of the National Aquatics Centre provided natural light, and for the interior of the building, specially designed 'beam-pipes' funneled sunlight into corridors, toilets and car parks at venues, including the Olympic Green. 

  • Recycling - The 2008 Olympic hosts aimed for a 50 per cent recycling of waste including paper, metals and plastics at venues. A modest expectation, considering that a test run carried out during the 11th World Softball Championships held in 2007, achieved a nearly 90 per cent recycling rate. 

The IOC saw the opportunity to promote sustainability in the Olympics in 2008, helping provide the filtration and insulation for the events. That vision has progressed to include dozens of other products which will help reduce waste and promote conservation. You can expect these products to appear at the coming events over the next decade and be a part of the USOC recommendations.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Blog Outsourcing - 12/27 edition

Welcome to the latest edition of The Victory Formation!

This is going to be the final Monday of 2010. The countdown has begun to the beginning of a new year. A new decade even. Everyone is looking forward to it. The new year brings new hope and a brighter future. Although for some, they want to get away from 2010 as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, due to the stroke of luck that Christmas fell on a Saturday this year, our office decided to have no work on Friday (a.k.a. Christmas Eve). Considering that last year was the first time that I had to work on Christmas, it is something I am reluctant to do and it was very satisfying to be spending the holidays with family.

The better news is that I also get New Year's Eve off, so I am also going to spend the arrival of 2011 with my family instead of being holed up in a cubicle.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Blog Outsourcing - 12/20 edition

Welcome to Today's edition of The Victory Formation.

Christmas is just a few days away. It's this Saturday already and we can already feel the moment is just upon us. The midnight masses have already commenced. The traffic has been horrendous with all the sales that have popped up. After all, it was payday weekend and the bonuses have already arrived onto the payroll.

Over the weekend, I decided to give back and do a charitable venture. It is important that we remember the true meaning and spirit of the holiday season. It's not just about the ancillary parts. The truth about the holiday is that someone was born that was of importance and value. That individual would also remind us of a particular passage entitled Matthew 25:40.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Younghusbands on RX 93.1

Thanks to Fran for the interview of James and Philip Younghusband that was aired last Saturday.

The Azkals made their media rounds to let people know about their campaign in the Suzuki Cup.
(They're already in Indonesia by now, prepping for their 2 football matches against them.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Blog Outsourcing - 12/13 edition

Hi and Hello to the latest edition of The Victory Formation!

It's only 12 more days until it is Christmas and some can already feel it in the air, with Christmas parties, decors galore and the tunes that become Last Song Syndromes.

Meanwhile, the economy's hard times have spread everywhere. It seems unthinkable, but maybe it is time for the four major pro sports to think about advertising as a proverbial option for revenue. Look at futbol / soccer. They have been doing this for a long time and it brings in big revenue. Even a team like FC Barcelona (who hasn't received payment for jersey sponsorship ever until the start of next season) eventually had to capitulate and accept the harsh reality. (Considering that UEFA just tightened qualification rules for Euro football.)

At the same, I find it interesting that the Qatar Foundation (who will be joining UNICEF on the FC Barca shirt) just swooped in with a deal. After all, the Qataris have money to burn and a sneaky and smart plan that could be very beneficial. This might be something to work on for Qatar since they have 12 years to define a generation of football players.

As such, teams that are in such dire need of cash, like the NBA-owned Hornets, might want to look into this. The WNBA already has companies like Microsoft, Farmers Insurance and Foxwoods for shirt deals.

Speaking of football, the Motherland's National Team just had their send off party earlier today. They have made the semifinals and they will face Indonesia in a supposed to be a "home-and-home," but apparently we do not have the facilities to support a FIFA event. For more details, read this recapper of the state of Philippine football.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Where Can I Have A Local Football Stadium

The success of the Azkals in the AFF Suzuki Cup has been a total shock and surprise to everyone. Even for the coaching staff and players. Now, with recent developments, we will be forced to have a "home" game elsewhere. I hope that the team is not discouraged with this chain of events but focus on the task at hand, which is to play against Indonesia in the semifinals. (Home-and-home is scheduled at December 16 & 19).

Given that, I was thinking about how we can get more facilities that can feasibly support a football stadium there. Here are 11 probable options we could go take a look-see.

1. Bacolod. They have the closest thing to a football stadium (Panaad) that can host such an event. Come to think of it, it already hosted the futbol matches when we hosted the SEA Games. That stadium would have been the likely place to have the home match, but the AFF said no. They have someone in politics who is a definite and genuine sports supporter / benefactor in Rep. Monico Puentevella. They also arguably have the most ardent fans of the sport in the country.

2. Iloilo. Similar to Bacolod, but my friend did tell me about the passion of the Ilonggos regarding futbol.

3. Tubod, Lanao del Norte. There is already a facility in place (the one they used for the Palarong Pambansa).

4 & 5. General Santos City, South Cotabato and Alabel, Sarangani. Quick, someone get Rep. Emmanuel Pacquiao on the phone.

6. & 7. Clark, Pampanga & Olongapo City. Hoping that the Lotto Winner (outlet where winning ticket was sold came from the area) would be kind and benevolent enough to bankroll building one.

8. Laguna. Trace College has a quality aquatic facility, so why not have a football facility. Someone suggested having it placed near Brent in Mamplasan.

9. & 10. City of Manila & Pasig City. Manila is home to the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex & Pasig is home to the Philsports Complex. Those two facilities need a major upgrade fast. Plus, it is very accessible to almost everyone.

11. Pasay City. The SM Group has long been planning to build a coliseum facility in the turf near the SM Mall of Asia. Why not go one step further and build a mega-facility instead ala LA Live. It would definitely benefit the university they own (NU).

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blog Outsourcing - 12/6 edition

Welcome to today's edition of the Victory Formation.

This is the first Monday of December and I can smell the sweetness of the Holiday season. With the Holiday season comes the shopping experience. Once the days come closer and closer to Christmas, the madness draws more and more.

My mom really needed a technological upgrade, since she has been missing out on being a part of the pictures. So I took her to a nearby sale to help her in purchasing a brand new point and shoot camera. Afterward, I managed to help her with a brand new laptop for work usage, although it looks like my younger sister will be taking advantage of it more. Nothing like taking advantage of a little family time together.

On a personal footnote: My alma mater seals their case as the best collegiate team in the Motherland. Nonito Donaire stakes his claim as a top P4P fighter. And yes, we pulled off a miracle.

Hereforth are the linkage.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

TWTWTNBA: Post-Thanksgiving Assessment (West)

This is a monthly check-up of the League. Yes, people will say this is too early, but with slightly more than a month in, it would be a good time to take an early temperature reading on where we are.

Friday, December 3, 2010

TWTWTNBA: Post-Thanksgiving Assessment (East)

This is a monthly check-up of the League. Yes, people will say this is too early, but with slightly more than a month in, it would be a good time to take an early temperature reading on where we are.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Blog Outsourcing - 11/29 edition

Welcome to the latest edition of The Victory Formation.

Well, I was pretty much silent on the site the past few days (but not necessarily on Twitter). I spent the long weekend (yes, I did not have work during Thanksgiving weekend) out in a province called Iloilo. I attended a blogging summit there and at the same time, finally met some of my distant relatives. It was a wonderful experience simply because they welcomed me with open arms. The atmosphere is so homely that it felt absolutely bittersweet leaving yesterday. The food was great. It was as though I was rejuvenated. Only drawback was that I really need to learn the dialect, but it's ok. That will come in due time.

I did try to catch up on whatever I could, so I knew about what went down on Black Friday at Tuscaloosa and Reno.

Yes, I did trade away Dwayne Bowe and Marcedes Lewis for Michael Turner and Knowshown Moreno. Am I a fool, maybe. Then again, I thought, the Burner would be a good oomph to couple with Chris Johnson. Sucks to bench the Charger D/ST simply because of the Peyton-Manning-on-a-primetime-night rule.

Hereforth are the links.

Two straight slugfests that happened on Sundays (the other one being the Seymour ringing the Clock Tower). Victims apparently both deserve it. Most satisfying thing about that one unlike the previous one, the old Houston natives get bitch-slapped by the new Houston natives.

Law of Gus Johnson gets buzzsaw'd in Oakland? Must have used it up during the Andre Ward fight the night before. Then again, check this out for classic Gusorgasms.

Go Chargers... Go... And all of a sudden, the AFC South tightened up.

This search will take a while. Besides, Gruden in college might be Bobby Knight / Frank Martin x 1000. Heard this before, too. South Beach is a front running sports town. It's unfair that they have 4 franchises and a place like Seattle only has 2.

Love the Black Eyed Peas, but as a Super Bowl Halftime performer? Really? In Arlington? Jerryworld? Really. Imagine if it was Carrie Underwood-Fisher or Jessica Simpson-Johnson?

Montreal is a championship team. Again.

The sooner they break up, the better. Can't wait until the Huskers paste the Sooners and win the Big XII.

Now this is how you acknowledge a mistake. Besides, having Wisky ahead of Ohio State is karmic justice for the Little Sisters of the Poor. Speaking of karmic justice, he got his, too.

No one gets heartbreaking losses more than the Buffalo Bills. No wonder it elicits reactions like this. I hope it will not elicit this kind of reaction:

This is the least of their worries for the Miami Heat.

Never knew that Singapore gets attention for this...

Yes, he will definitely brag about this one. As if it will make him more lovable.

Great weekend for South Bend. They finally beat USC (admittedly, this was the best time to do it, while they are in a state of flux), then they win the Old Spice on Trey's turf.

Quo Vadis, Bill Lynch... Ricky Bustle... Robbie Caldwell... Hello Dan McCarney. And obviously, he took his cue from Chris Ault & Bill Snyder.

5-star Dimitar Berbatov.

Btw, the El Clasico will be on later today. Watch it. It is one of the best soccer rivalries.

Kudos to the guy who edited this mashup masterpiece. Because, Lebron seems to not get it, yet.

The piss-drinker wants a third shot, but it'll probably be unlikely.

The NHL in flowcharts. Cool. They also have anti-Dez stuff like this. Speaking of Dez, his alma mater gets beat inspite of this awesome defensive play.

Definite tearjerker material. Legit, too.

Simple preview of Sparty and his homies vs Lefty and his homies. Meanwhile, let the fighting Miz's celebrate something. (Weird note, look at the picture on the link, there is a guy eerily reminding me of the British version of the Office.)

This is in homage to Leslie Nielsen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blog Outsourcing 11/24

Welcome to the first Monday edition of the Victory Formation.

This week was the first time I had to reformat my laptop. It finally conked out and I sort of panicked. Had it repaired to the nearest technician and prayed that all of the important stuff gets retained. Honest to goodness, it was secured with everything intact. Yes, my precious pictures, music, videos and documents are still here.

The best thing about having my laptop reformatted is that I decided to dump Windows Vista and go with Windows 7 as my OS. Had to reinstall applications that I use, like Destroy Twitter and Skype.

I presume that we will need a new set of picture logos. I hope they can produce more classics on the way.

Onto the links:

Yes, the story on the classic GIF earlier.

He definitely pulled it off. He can now do the Booker T routine.

Looks like this will take a while.

Someone posted the video yesterday. Here are some pictures with captioning. The best thing about the clip was that how Rudy gave the Heat bench a death stare.

This one is for Danny Ferry. And Danny Green.

So what if we are 1-13. Blake Griffin owns Timofey Mozgov.

Is the best way to waylay a woman is to say that she's a man?

You can never take away baseball from Lou Pinella.

This was definitely the after-effects of his brief foray into cannibalism.

RIP Pat Burns.

He got Knocked Out. (here's the clip).

He also got knocked out. (here's the clip)

Blake Hoffarber. Feels like he's been in college since forever.

Still the same issues for Tar Heel Nation.

Good news for Kwsn & Cycledan.

I know Lefty will dismiss this news as irrelevant, but this is important, for me in particular, here in the Motherland.

This happens when you have a really bad loss.

Welcome to the BCS Top 10, Michigan State.

Nawlins is sizzling, get even better, and we face them next... *smh*

Who knew the Raptors can beat the Celtics...

Perfection? Only if he will get punched in the throat.

More bad juju in South Beach.

Who wants the Astros?

The Pirates continue the purge. Who wants Zach Duke, Andy Laroche and Delwyn Young?

Terry Collins as the cure for what ails the Mets.

Congrats to the Colorado Rapids. and Hello to Sporting Kansas City.

Gus Johnson covered this game. That's all that needs to know.

And because it was Survivor Series.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blog Outsourcing - 11/8

Welcome to the latest edition of Sparty and Friends.

Patphish posted a message on my Facebook informing me about some guy coming in 60 Minutes. It is nice to have the US President being the intro story before Manny Pacquiao. Managed to see that a few minutes before the end of the Chiefs-Raiders game, so I was able to see the segment in full afterwards.

I was not really surprised with what I saw there. Pretty much a rehash from what I have seen all around. Just another puff piece for the American audience, as if you did not know, he will be engaged in what could be the most action that can be seen in the new Cowboys stadium for the rest of the year, because I am sure Cowboys fans would agree.

Meanwhile, the concern still remains in his condition. I still believe that he has too many distractions at this point, with the relative Rocky analogy of the first Clubber Lang fight fitting. Still hoping for a win this weekend, though. Still think there is still bad karma for Margacheato.

Here are the links:

Nate Newton slimmed down. Yep. He took the fast way, though.

Ted Leonsis is in touch with the fanbase. No, I don't think Mark Cuban ever thought of it.

Even with this, it is still a pain to see them in a game.

Kobe earned his pay. But Rashard Lewis? It remains to be seen.

McDaniels is part of, but not entirely the reason why they have issues.

Probably did not learn from Pete Rose. Never bet on baseball.

You probably did not notice it. Anyway, she's still hot.

Sports averting another evil plot by the North Koreans.

Texas cashes in their chips. But their football team still stinks right now.

The Cam Newton situation being the illustration of the state of college football.

This Miracle cost more than 300k.

It must be the grass, Les... Because the Mad Hatter pulls it off again.

Oregon still remains on top, but is that really their new basketball court?

Haitian amputees can still play ball.

Yankees raring to prime up their offer to Cliff Lee.

HS Football ma-trick-culation.

Austin Collie got jacked up. Hope he's fine.

Time for some dynamite.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blog Outsourcing 11/1

Welcome to today's edition of Sparty & Friends.

Today is a new month, November. Yes! Another month to enjoy. Another month to savor. And I cannot wait for next week, when the clock moves. That means an extra hour for me to ensure the best quality links and post to cover almost everything. Also means December is fast approaching. And thus, 2011 beckons.

Today also serves as a All Saints' Day. It is tradition here in the Motherland to spend the day with your departed ones. This year, though, with the day falling on a Monday and that All Souls' Day (November 2) not being declared as a special non-working holiday, most have decided to spend time on Sunday instead of usually staying late today.

That is why I am crafting the post this morning instead of the usual late afternoon, because I will be at the cemetery with the loved ones to commemorate the dead. Next week, with the clocks having moved by then, it will be something different.

Meanwhile, enjoy the weekend. I know I did and so should you.

Mizzou got whacked. Like we were all not surprised by that happening.

Some also felt this was inevitable: Sparty getting shelled by the Hawkeyes.

Fire Joe Morgan may just happen. Really.

Didn't this guy participate in the White Sox World Series, too? Then again, considering that there was pot in the area...

Time to reminisce about the Babe.

I am very sure he'll also provide you assistance with flaxseed oil and the works.

I am sure the writer of this article probably thought that he would have made a better partner for Maria Sharapova.

One-arm catches are the norm for him.

Another sign David Stern is against the hip-hoperation.

Just in case people are wondering why Jose Guillen is not DH'ng for the Giants.

Tales of fandom. I can surely understand his sentiment.

I am sure you make a joke out of this news bit.

You know Da Bears are really that bad right now.

I am sure Derek Dooley or Houston Nutt are making initial inquiries.

Toronto > Cleveland > Boston > Miami, right?

That's some special water.

From the looks of things, they might the reasons why the Rangers might lose the series.

Yup. It has gotten ugly in Austin. Baylor still has a chance at the Big 12 Title Game.

In this day and age, almost anything is possible.

Stern and Goodell want a stake in Europe.

More Craig James is a douche stuff here.

Good to know you regret, Lebron. Too bad you did not think of it BEFORE you screwed Cleveland.

Just as we all thought. Clemson disappoints yet again.

We already have one spot locked up in a bowl.

Derek Dooley need to recreate a new image for the Vols.

Nope, this is was not aided by Reggie Bush. He has nothing to do with this $70 million facility.

Iowa just got punk'd. By the NCAA.

Randy Moss is the least of Childress' concerns right now.

To end the show, here is Nelly telling it like it is.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The West on a Tier - An Alternative Look at the Western Conference

You have seen the Pacific, Northwest & Southwest Divisions as previewed by someone. Time to put in my two cents on the picture.

Yes, I know the season has started. Been a little busy. And as per someone's wishes, the Miami admiration / bashing via the one-off posts will be kept at a bare minimum.

Here we go.
1st Tier: The Champs

Los Angeles Lakers

What I Like: Adding Steve Blake, Theo Ratliff and Matt Barnes is certainly a huge upgrade.

What I do not Like: Injury woes with Andrew Bynum still dogging them.

The one key factor: Pau Gasol. He's gonna carry this team (especially early on) with Kobe taking it nice and easy due to his knee issues. I think he will be in the 20-10 range this season.

2nd Tier: The Wily Veterans
Dallas Mavericks

What I Like: Having Tyson Chandler to lob to for Jason Kidd. Dirk being Dirk. Mark Cuban. The possibility of Mavs games at the Jerryworld.

What I do not Like: Kidd is 38. He's reduced to shooting threes at this point.

The one key factor: Do the veterans still have it in them? They always seem to come up short. Dirk has logged in a lot of minutes as well and can he withstand the long season (although he did not participate in Istanbul).

San Antonio Spurs

What I Like: They are the most fundamental team on earth. They'll bore you to death.

What I do not Like: Injury concerns with Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.

The one key factor: DeJuan Blair as the starting center of the Spurs. Timmy D's is in the downward slope of his career. He needs to help him carry the weight, so to speak.

Utah Jazz

What I Like: How the Jazz stole Al Jefferson the way the Lakers stole Pau Gasol. A stud PG in Deron Williams. Jerry Sloan still coaching the pick & roll.

What I do not Like: The hole in their shooting guard position, because Portland millsap'd Wesley Matthews after his playoff performance. All up to CJ Miles and Raja Bell.

The one key factor: Whether AK-47 will return to his peak form. If not with the Jazz, he's a good expiring contract to use as an asset.

3rd Tier: The Wildcard

Oklahoma City Thunder

What I Like: Pretty much everything. I got a mancrush on this team, have to admit.

What I do not Like: They don't have a savvy veteran leadership who would say, "I've been here before." Does Mo Pete apply in this case? Law of averages? (They were pretty much injury-free last year.)

The one key factor: Can they handle the pressure of being one of the top teams in the conference? Lots of eyes are on them. Will they live up to the expectations? Remember, they were one-and-done last time.

4th Tier: Central Question Marks

Portland Trailblazers

What I Like: Brandon Roy. Their head coach Nate McMillan. The mix of good veteran leaders and youngsters.

What I do not Like: Greg Oden going the Sam Bowie route. And he did the Brett Favre (even though he predated it). The lingering row between Miller and Roy.

The one key factor: Injuries have kowtowed their chances to succeed the past few seasons, especially last year. I know Sam Presti has seen what the Blazers have gone through, because what Portland was before, Oklahoma City is now.

Houston Rockets

What I Like: Kevin Martin and Aaron Brooks shooting lots and lots of FT attempts. That and Luis Scola.

What I do not Like: None, really. But if pressed, probably the Chinese obsession in All-Star voting.

The one key factor: What Yao Ming can do in 24 minutes/game. Career wise, that would be translating into 14-7 with 1 blk.

Denver Nuggets

What I Like: The altitude factor. Chauncey Billups. The promise of Ty Lawson. The Fight against Cancer by George Karl.

What I do not Like: The atrocious neck tattoos on Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen.

The one key factor: The Carmelo situation, also known as the white elephant in the room. Everything follows once that is settled. Could last as long as Lebron's.

5th Tier: Good, but not THAT Good

Phoenix Suns

What I Like: Alvin Gentry's version of the SSOL. Steve Nash. Jared Dudley. Josh Childress. Sideshow Mel a.k.a Robin Lopez. Alvin Gentry's daughter (she's an avid tweeter.)

What I do not Like: Too much wings, which may result in Hedo playing PF. God held him.

The one key factor: As always, the medicine men of the Suns. Grant Hill was finally healthy. Imagine that.

New Orleans Hornets

What I Like: Current GM Dell Demps used to play in the Philippines as a reinforcement. The Skip Prosser connection (CP3 / David West)

What I do not Like: Still bogged down by bad contracts (although not as much as before). Marco Bellinelli starting alongside CP3. I still remember Marco as the Summer League stud.

The one key factor: How Monty Williams fares in his head coaching debut. I think I still have his NBA trading card. My how old I am.

6th Tier: On the Cusp

Los Angeles Clippers

What I Like: Admittedly biased, I like almost everything with them. Starting with Blake Griffin.

What I do not Like: Knowing that the Clipper malaise is just around the corner, waiting and waiting. Losing Steve Blake to the other side of Staples.

The one key factor: Baron Davis. All I ask him is to Getcha Head in the Game. And stay healthy, too.

Memphis Grizzlies

What I Like: How these guys can go up and down the court and showcase their athleticism.

What I do not Like: They'll be making a lot of financial decisions this coming offseason, starting with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Still think they overpaid Rudy Gay.

The one key factor: Will Mike Conley be the PG that can run this team? They need a capable PG to run an offense.

Sacramento Kings

What I Like: The young cast of characters. The uptempo nature of Paul Westphal.

What I do not Like: Logjam with Cousins, Dalembert, Landry, Thompson at the bigs and Garcia, Greene, Casspi at the wings.

The one key factor: #Reke4ROY is over. What's the next step for Tyreke? His development will determine if they would be able to go up to the tier above within the next two years.

7th Tier: Needs Reimaging

Golden State Warriors

What I Like: Steph Curry, who is one of the smartest young studs out there. The fans who stood by with this team even when they stink, and out here, there are a lot of people I know who trace their links to the Bay Area who love them as well.

What I do not Like: How this team is really that bad defensively. Dorell Wright starting at the 3. Monta Ellis, because he really is overrated.

The one key factor: How Keith Smart will do in his first head coaching job. Will he keep the Nellieball concept? Based from how things are, he just might.

Minnesota Timberwolves

What I Like: As a Clipper fan, having their first round pick in 2012 (Thank you, Marko). Kevin Love.

What I do not Like: David Kahn running this franchise, knowing Stephen Curry could have made wonders.

The one key factor: The potential of Michael Beasley could be realized. Or it could set them back so far...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The East on a Tier - An Alternative Look at the Eastern Conference

You have seen the Atlantic, Southeast & Central Divisions as previewed by someone. Time to put in my two cents on the picture.
1st Tier: The Big Threes
Boston Celtics

What I like: Having a chip on their shoulders. Because quite simply, all the attention in South Beach just set off a rejuvenation of Beantown. In addition, the continued evolution of Rajon Rondo into the post-PGA Tour leader. Their bench depth, by the way, rivals Orlando's.

What I do not like: Perk being unavailable until post-All Star Break, because again, they never lost with the Pierce-KG-Ray-Rajon-Perk starting 5 in the postseason. Looks like the O'Neals will have to do until then.

The one key factor: the Celtics medical staff. I hope they can be a creditable facsimile of Phoenix, because the health of their veterans will dictate how far they can go.

Miami Heat

What I like: Having three superstars team up like this will be something worth paying attention to.

What I do not like: How they are really dependent on the glue guys. Already a bad sign with Mike Miller being out until next year.

The one key factor: Lebron. It's all up to him. He needs to prove himself and show it.
2nd Tier: Armed to the Teeth
Orlando Magic

What I like: Their depth comes in very handy, as they can go big or small.

What I do not like: Rashard Lewis not stepping up to the value of his contract. Having to rely on Vince Carter. PG drop-off after Jameer Nelson

The one key factor: Will Dwight mature enough? Better yet, will the Olajuwon apprenticeship pay off?

Chicago Bulls

What I like: The development of Derrick Rose and the fiery yet possibly annoying Joakim Noah.

What I do not like: Their chase of Carmelo Anthony, because there really is not a fit for him with the roster as currently constituted. Carlos Boozer's injury history.

The one key factor: Tom Thibodeaux. A definite upgrade over Vinny Del Negro in coaching acumen, but the players liked Vinny.
3rd Tier: Good, but not THAT Good
Atlanta Hawks

What I like: They're high-flying. They're exciting. The Philips Arena is said to be called the "Highlight Factory".

What I do not like: That ridiculous contract of Joe Johnson. Still lacking size on the bench save for Zaza Pachulia.

The one key factor: Jamal Crawford is in a contract year. And is still seeking an extension. He could make or break them.

Milwaukee Bucks

What I like: The #FearTheDeer concept. Squad 6. Brandon Jennings.

What I do not like: The trend of Scott Skiles burning people out the next season. Lack of a veteran PG to guide Jennings (like how Luke Ridnour played last year). Balancing minutes with the swing wings (Delfino, Maggette, Salmons, Mbah a Moute, Ilyasova).

The one key factor: Andrew Bogut being back in form after that horrific injury. Huge drop-off, although the Bucks made moves to shore it up. but still...

Charlotte Bobcats

What I like: C & C (Music) Factory in Gerald "Crash" Wallace & "Captain Jack" Stephen Jackson.

What I do not like: As pointed out, high probability of the "checking out" concept, from Larry Brown to Jackson. Boris Diaw out of shape again.

The one key factor: DJ Augustine being asked to play the right way. Raymond Felton bolted to the Knicks, and the promise of Shaun Livingston remains unfulfilled. Could be a bit too much.
4th Tier: Mediocrity Reign
Cleveland Cavaliers

What I like: JJ Hickson looks primed to emerge.

What I do not like: Small forward rotation is composed of Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon and Joey Graham. That happens when the person who they called "Quitness" leaves them on a lurch.

The one key factor: How Byron Scott can properly channel the energy that came after The Decision.

Philadelphia 76rs

What I like: Doug Collins being the taskmaster on this underachieving bunch.

What I do not like: Elton Brand being a shell of his former Clipper self.

The one key factor: Jrue Holliday. He's going to be given the keys to the offense.

New York Knicks

What I like: Exciting offense. The SSOL is always fan-friendly. Having a decent point guard like Felton running the team. Adding people who knew about it helps (Amar'e and the former Warriors who ran a similar offense dubbed as Nellieball)

What I do not like: Eddy Curry's still on the roster.

The one key factor: The Carmelo Sweepstakes. If the Knicks can find a way to get him without having to trade away Gallinari, it would be great.

Indiana Pacers

What I like: The acquisition of Darren Collison, making the team less scrappy.

What I do not like: Josh McRoberts starting at the PF position.

The one key factor: the PF position. Currently held by McRoberts, but Psycho T is creditable backup. Danny Granger can play it in a pinch.

Detroit Pistons

What I like: Hard to find one, honestly. Rip Hamilton running through screens the way he does it is something worth seeing as a basketball nut.

What I do not like: Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon, the overpaid guys not starting. Jonas Jerebko being out.

The one key factor: The ownership situation. Who takes over this franchise? That then dictates the next step, which is the idea of trading Rip Hamilton and or Tayshaun Prince.
5th Tier: Needs Reimaging
New Jersey Nets

What I like: The Russian Billionaire. Jay-Z. Brook Lopez and Devin Harris. The signings, because they acquired role players that can contribute immediately.

What I do not like: Not playing in the Barclays yet (Brooklyn), being stuck in the nowhereness of Newark.

The one key factor: Avery Johnson and Devin Harris. Avery was the coach during Devin's first few seasons in the league.

Washington Wizards

What I like: The development of John Wall, the acquisition of Kirk Hinrich.

What I do not like: Unproven mettle of their big men. Josh Howard being hurt.

The one key factor: What they will actually do with Gilbert Arenas. He's such a wildcard that could help or hurt them. The contract is definitely a huge millstone.

Toronto Raptors

What I like: The cosmopolitan surroundings of Canada. There has to be a reason why Hedo decided to party party last year.

What I do not like: The fact that they are a mess. Period.

The one key factor: Someone has to step up and lead this team. Whether it would be either of Calderon / Jack or Bargnani remains to be seen.

5 Things I Learned about Miami and Boston

Yes, I know it is one game, but it's nice noting observations about it, given the buzz it generated. Normally, it takes 20-30 games for teams to figure things out, so people can take me with a grain of salt.

1. Boston definitely has a bench. No Delonte? Marquis Daniels was adequate. So was Nate Robinson. Jermaine O'Neal was just fine. The Drunken Seal that is Big Baby was just awesome.

2. Motivated Shaq. Just 18 minutes, but the way he played at the start of the game set the tone for the C's. 9-7-1 = Perk numbers. The O'Neal's have a pretty defined role, that is to hold the fort until Kendrick returns.

3. The absence of Mike Miller hurts. James Jones and Eddie House played 26 minutes each. Mike Miller would have been better out there. I would think he would be getting 30 minutes at the most, like Udonis Haslem.

4. Dwayne Wade is cold. I believe this is the first game the player formerly known as Flash played after his hamstring injury. And it showed. 4/16 shooting. 6 turnovers. Speaking of cold, Chris Bosh was abysmal.

5. Lebron looked like Lebron we knew in Cleveland. 42 minutes. 31 points (10/21 shooting). 4 rebounds. 3 assts. Had to deal with Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and even Marquis Daniels all night long. The 3rd quarter was the Lebron we expected. He had a hand on the last 14pts the Heat scored in the 3rd canto.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blog Outsourcing 10/25

Welcome to today's edition of Sparty and Friends.

I finally figured out the concept of the NFL Red Zone Channel. Nope, our cable provider does not have the service. Fortunately, as someone who has somewhat mastered finding the craft online, I managed to get access to one for free and as such, managed to watch it early this morning. No wonder people have been bedazzled by it. You get to watch snippets of every game and its highlights all around. Really neat, especially for fantasy owners. Also for the fastfood generation, who always wanted things in a snap like that *snaps fingers*.

That's the best way of keeping in step with everything, how you go about securing information and knowledge. It's such a godsend. I hope that my bandwidth will continue to allow me such liberties.

Anyway, the NBA is opening this week. With talks of the upcoming lockout looming, the House of Stern stated the possibility of contraction as an option if not payroll reduction. But be'fore they think of that, they should think of get the owners to get a hold of themselves when they just hand out contracts like that of Darko's and Joe Johnson's and David Lee's.

Hereforth are the links:

Typical Favre game in the Favre Bowl. Then Brad threw him under the bus. No end to the drama anytime soon.

The Champs got schooled by the black punter for 68 yards. Madden Curse?

Steelers get another lucky officiating break. It does not matter that the ref was a Pittsburgh native.

Who knew the Bills could score 34 and STILL lose? On the other hand, the Ravens ALLOWED 34 points. What gives, Ray Lewis?

The Raiders placed the Broncos out to pasture, even Mr. Prejean got to play.

We have seen this before in San Diego, but if Norv pulls off another great end to the season.... He seems to push his good luck altogether.

Da Bears need line help, stat.

Oh, John Fox has never had a 10-loss season ever. This win might be a good start.

You have two weeks, Michael Vick, because Titans took care of Kevin Kolb. It has now turned in the modern equivalent of Van Brocklin and Waterfield.

We all know Craig James is a douche.

Need 14 pts from Ahmad Bradshaw.

Is this a Heisman moment? Still have the Iron Bowl...

Giants now back home, where they may see Vlad the Impaler on the field.

John Farrell in T.Dot.

Where should Cliff Lee go?

Jamie Dixon, all-around good guy.

Party pooper, I tell you. Karma bites back.

Be prepared to shell out huge ka-chings...

You know, Hines is correct with this one.

Heat fix hole with Jerry Stackhouse.

Will Jerryd Bayless be the Collison fix?

Here's the new Linkin Park song to close it out.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thinking Aloud about the "Jacked Up" Sunday

Just saw the clip now and I thought about everything that happened last weekend, including the hit on Eric Legrand (here is the latest on him).

I, as a fan, truly enjoy the experience of watching football. It has been said to be gladitorial (Spartan, one might say) combat on cleats. Injuries come with the game and people have (in general) accepted it. Some may be too much, but if that is how you can ensure stoppage of play, you have to do it. (admittedly, the Meriweather hit was a bit too much and the Hoodie understood that very very well by benching the guy)

I understand the concern about head injuries and thus the reason why there was such a reaction from the House of Goodell, but how this has gotten out of hand is a little disconcerting. However, the discussions have piqued my interest on what really is the solution to the problem.

The NFL has reached a dilemma. Faced with its ethos, tradition and essence, against science and safety, and against the almighty ka-ching. It is up to them to do the next step.

And finally, just checked it now, the DVD is still available on NFL store.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blog Outsourcing - 10/18

Welcome to today's edition of Sparty and Friends.

Whilst most of the S&F community met up down south (those who were not there expect pictures from those who attended), I was also in a family reunion as well.

A year ago today, my father moved on. I wrote about it two days after he passed. As custom, we commemorate it with prayers and food. It has been a year and we managed to cope and survive his absence. I miss him truly and I hope he still watches over us wholeheartedly.

What I always remember about my dad's final day was that CC Sabathia won. I watched it with him that morning. He loved the sport. Did not find it boring. He liked the aspect of pitching because he used to pitch. Monday mornings were great for him thanks to Sunday Night Baseball. The adage is definitely true: Sports is truly a father-son bonding experience.

And for those who need to know, I am perfectly fine (so far). Yes, there is a supertyphoon that (as of this writing) just made landfall in the Motherland, battering anything in sight in the Northern portion of the island. Here is an illustration of Megi.
Hereforth are the linkage madness taken over the past few days (to cover for the missing links):

The ALCS has had one script so far. The only difference is the 8th inning. Who knew, Colby Lewis? And now, Cliff Lee looms.

Great pitching duel got spoiled by a Cody Ross in the NLCS. Good thing Roy Oswalt was stellar in pitching AND hitting in Game 2, with a little J-Ro insurance. Unfortunately, if you were in a certain area, you might have missed it. The masses always lose out on business vs business scuffles.

From the not-that-Hot Stove: Lilly extends, Sandy Alderson (& Tony LaRussa?) primed to be a Met, Eric Wedge brushing up on his Wii skills.

How do Yankee fans remember Freddie Sez?

Brent Musberger trying to hip. Not quite, though.

Buckeyes fail the #1 test. Again. Now the pressure is either in Norman or in Eugene (take your pick). Looks like Corso's gonna be at a unbeaten clash.

Texas sends Nebraska a parting gift.

Meanwhile, Vanderbilt has a shot of leading the SEC East if they beat South Carolina. This is the same Vanderbilt that got shellacked between the hedges 43-0. That's because Kentucky football avenged the basketball team's loss against the Gamecocks. Btw, Randall Cobb, Kentucky will always be a basketball school first. Spurrier's crew still have the lead because Gators did what they never did under the Zooker, lose three straight.

If you were a Golden Gopher, is it basketball season already? Football season is already over for someone. And no, Tony Dungy is not coming through that door. He's enjoying the coach's clicker too much.

When you think 65-43 in the SEC, it would be college basketball. Thanks to Cameron Newton and the atrocious Auburn defense, it is now possible on the gridiron. Meanwhile, the previous trendy pick to the Heisman got jacked up by the Fighting Stanzis.

Meanwhile, the little-engines-that-could juggernauts in Boise, Fort Worth and Salt Lake City just keep chugging along.

The latest on Eric Legrand. I am sure you all remember Adam Taliaferro very very well. To Schiano's credit, he did seek input for JoePa on handling this situation.

Bad news for the preseason Big Televen favorite. Hope he can come back next season.

The NFC West being the worst division in football? Nope. Seattle, San Francisco and St. Louis won today (Arizona is on a bye). Compare that to the AFC West, which had Kansas City, Oakland, Denver and San Diego all losing. (San Fran faced Oakland and St. Louis faced San Diego)

Panic averted in Minnesota. Jerry Jones may be calm right now, but he's definitely stewing inside Jerryworld.

So far so good for Deion Branch.

Why the NFL blackout rule is nonsense.

Here's a Diddy story. It is said that one reason why Jamie Foxx was selected for Any Given Sunday is that P.Diddy threw like a girl.

All this needs is Brent Musberger and Beano Cook or Keith Jackson and Pat Summerall doing studio booth action.

How people take football really seriously.

Because we need more hockey.

This must be a continuation from his HOFer speech.

One solution for this: better scheduling.

To end, here is the something from The Killers.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blog Outsourcing 10/11

Welcome to today's edition of Sparty and Friends.

Normally, I compose this post around two to three hours before it is posted to ensure I have the latest news. This week, I will be a preoccupied with certain matters, so the post was created a little earlier than planned.

Yesterday was 10-10-10. Lots of stuff involving the number 10. If you are a porn addict, yesterday was special because it was X.X.X. Here are some interesting things that involve the number.

13 NBA players wore the number last year. (Best known ones: Jonny Flynn, Eric Gordon, Mike Bibby, Leandrinho Barbosa)

17 NHL players wore the number at the start of this current season (Best known ones: Marian Gaborik, Brenden Morrow, Patrick Sharp)

5 MLB teams retired the number for someone (Sparky Anderson - Reds, Dick Howser - Royals, Phil Rizzuto - Yankees, Ron Santo - Cubs, Andre Dawson & Rusty Staub - Expos)

The St. Louis Cardinals won 10 World Series.

The number was retired in Minnesota for Fran Tarkenton and in Atlanta for Steve Bartkowski.

The 10th pick in NBA draft in 1998 was Paul Pierce. He might be the best player ever drafted at that spot, although Brandon Jennings (2009) and Brook Lopez (2008) each have a bright future ahead of them.

In the history of the NFL Draft, the 10th overall pick produced Marcus Allen (1982), Rod Woodson (1987) and Jerome Bettis (1993). It also produced Matt Leinart (2006) and Travis Taylor (2000). Remains to be seen where the likes of Jerod Mayo (2008) and Amobi Okoye (2007) will go.

Pele (for Brazil) and Maradona (Argentina) wore the number 10. 10 also means perfection in gymnastics, as demonstrated first in 1976 by Nadia Comaneci.

Hayden Fry has the 10th most wins in College Football. Bobby Bowden, Vince Dooley and George Welsh each had 10 bowl losses.

And of course, she is a ten, too.

Now to check out the links:

The Reds had no chance against the Phillies. No chance in Hell.

Brooks Conrad just committed another error.

The Rays are alive. Yankees pleased both aces (Lee for Texas, Price for Tampa B) will be both unavailable against CC for Game 1 of the ALCS.

This will be an interesting week in the Bay Area. Oakland outplays San Diego, ending a long losing streak against them. Then, there was the Niners meltdown by Alex Smith. Battle of the Bay next week. This after the way they lost and its aftermath last week.

More drama for Albert Haynesworth. But the Redskins pull out a win out of the hat. Peyton Manning looms next Sunday night, freshly disposed from finally removing the Chiefs from the ranks of the unbeaten. Mercury Morris can now celebrate and enjoy the moment.

Aaron Rodgers with a concussion. Am I ready to start Carson Palmer in the imminent future?

Admittedly, Tom Brady needs the haircut.

Hockey trying to reach back to their roots with their looks.

Speaking of which, only in Canada.

The Islanders have a feel of a college team. Imagine listening to someone call one.

Yep, it is hockey season alright.

And you think fans are already shortchanged with the putridness of a team...

Maybe this recruit can help reshape the downtrodden Colorado State Rams.

Chart action on baseball only Miz would love.

This link is because there is a horse movie out there.

You should play to win the game, not get intimidated and forfeit.

Things are getting really bad when someone bet against his own team AND earned a profit doing it.

With the Red Sox possibly having Liverpool as their bosom buddies, time for people to learn a little soccer lingo.

A sample equation of the Goodell formula.

So, why do people cheat in running events. On a Motherland note, there was a huge run yesterday.

Have you been here?

So, why did you really retire?

The NFL's alter ego as the No-Fun-League strikes again.

Charlie Davies was in a car that ran 125. He was fresh from that accident that cost him a World Cup spot. Good thing he was not driving.

We now know who is Cigar Man. Now we can finally move on.

The end is near for Tiger Woods. Lee Westwood is about to be The Man (at least for a week).

Excuses. Excuses. Urban just got outfoxed by the Mad Hatter. So be it.

Tobacco is bad for your health, I tell ya.

Here is a song from Ten to end the day.