Super party creates super fun despite loss

Super Bowl parties are usually fun events regardless of who wins or loses, even if it’s your region’s team that loses because of super poor officiating that nullifies the most spectacular comeback in football history. No one disputes the incredible performance of the Baltimore Ravens in the first half or the opening of the second half. What’s amazing is what happend after the Ravens took a 28-6 lead and the lights went out at the Superdome in New Orleans for a half hour. Eric Child was not cheering for either team, but loves football and got what he wanted: an exciting game at his private Super Bowl party.  The party crowd seemed to be most excited about Beyonce’s sexy half time performance, as some people left after that, assuming that the San Francisco 49ers had been blown out 21-6. Then the Ravens opened the third quarter with an amazing kickoff return for a touchdown to make the score 28-6. But the mood of the pro-49er crowd that stayed didn’t die, although the stadium lights did die for about a half hour. Then the 49ers came storming back with two quick touchdowns and suddenly the score was 28-20. From there it became anybody’s ball game as the Ravens simply outlasted the 49ers with a little help from absent-minded officiating. Had the officials done their job, which […]

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Saturday Night Lights

Are you ready for some football? Saturday night, professional football made its triumphant return to Sacramento. The 20,000 fans who packed into Hornet Stadium were treated to a barnburner, as the hometown Mountain Lions battled back from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit for a dramatic victory over the visiting Florida Tuskers. For many fans, the evening was a win long before Daunte Culpepper found Rod Windsor deep down the sideline for the game-winning 33-yard touchdown pass with 37 seconds remaining. Two hours before kickoff, the parking lots surrounding Hornet Stadium at Sacramento State were packed with joyous revelers, basking in the opportunity to cheer for professional football right here in the City of Trees. "Sacramento is hungry for sports" Bob Rowe of Sacramento said. "This is just what we needed." Rowe, who looked like a one-time offensive lineman and cut an imposing figure in his 1970s-era Jack Youngblood L.A. Rams jersey, had been there with his wife Annie since 4:15 p.m. They were at the head of a group of perhaps 200 revelers who had turned a swatch of grass between Lot 7 and the frontage road into a tailgating Shangri-La. It was akin to a big-time college atmosphere, and for a split second I was reminded of a pilgrimage I made to "The Grove" at Ole Miss for the Alabama game last year. The […]

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In the Meantime. . .

        Think back to your freshman year of high school.  Imagine you just went through an especially excruciating day of what was surely an excruciating year.  You slept through first period, missed a quiz, got pantsed on the green (or a comparable humiliation), your crush pointed out that you had a "bat in the cave," and everybody laughed at you . . . you get the idea. Murphy saw your day, and was so moved, that he wrote a law to commemorate it.               Fourteen-year-old you somehow made it through this day from Hell.  You got home, got to your room, locked your door and laid on your bed, overwhelmed with a soul-crushing angst that only a 14-year-old can feel.                You put an album in your CD player (In my case. Depending on your age, it could also have been a tape deck, record player, eight-track,  MP3 player, or a phonograph.), and played it from beginning to end, as loud as you could get away with.               By the time the record ended, you’d steeled yourself for whatever humiliations the next day might bring.               What album did you just listen to?               I listened to Helmet, "Meantime."               Helmet, an alternative rock metal band that originally formed in 1989 in New York City, (and was pivotal in my surviving freshman year) opened its fall tour last night with […]

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Athletes > Cancer

 Celebrity athletes are just like you and I. Well, maybe not just like you and I, but similar. They are like richer, better-dressed, more-fit versions of us (Or, in Scot Pollard’s case, just richer). The similarities were on display at the second annual Athletes vs. Cancer golf tournament at the Woodcreek Golf Club, hosted by Matt Barnes on Saturday. Barnes founded the AVC to honor his mother, who passed away from cancer in 2007. Their mission is to "support research, create awareness, provide screening opportunities and deliver support to cancer patients." The tournament featured many athletes with local ties, among them former Kings Chris Webber, Scot Pollard, Bobby Jackson, Doug Christie and Brad Miller. I’m a huge sports fan, an avid golfer and I’ve lost two uncles to cancer. When I heard about this event, I jumped at the chance to attend. Heres how it worked: Teams of four paid $2,500 dollars to play in the tournament. Each foursome was joined by a celebrity. There was a shotgun start: All the teams started simultaneously on different holes. (Or almost simultaneously, as there were a few more teams than holes). The tournament was a scramble, meaning each team member tees off, then they pick the best ball of the five. Everyone takes their next shot from that spot. Rinse and repeat until ball enters cup. Scrambles […]

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We Talkin Bout Practice?

 After months of hard work and preparation, your Sacramento Mountain Lions took to the practice field for the first time Thursday morning.   The first day of Mini Camp, which takes place at Grant High School, started off with some stretching and calisthenics. They then broke off into smaller groups for position drills. They finished off with about 45 minutes of very high-energy seven-on-seven drills.     Some impressions from the first day:    Daunte still has a cannon. He completed a couple of really nice deep balls, including one along the sideline that was 50 yards in the air easy. He struggled a bit on the shorter routes, but that is to be expected.  The back-up QBs looked pretty darn good too. Both Shane Boyd, who I remember from his days playing at Kentucky, and Justin Goltz, who was the Mountain Lions first pick in this year’s draft out of Occidental, had moments of brilliance in the seven-on-seven drills. The linemen are big, the skill guys are fast. This is by no means a case of Daunte Culpepper and the 50-some-odd dwarfs. They have surrounded Culpepper with a lot of talent. Nearly all of the players on the roster are former Division 1 stars, and most have spent time in NFL camps. The Pac 10, in particular, is well represented, with 17 former Pac […]

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