Sunday, December 22, 2013

This Morning's NFL Highlight


In case you can't read the text associated with the above image link, it's Matt Cassel's latest INT. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Why I Watch Twitter During Football Games

There's no way CBS's New York studio will cut into your game to show you highlights like this.

Monday, December 09, 2013

On To Bigger (And Hopefully Better) Things

I can understand moving to Wyoming for at least $750K for 5 years

There are lots of hurt feelings right now when it comes to Bison nation here in North Dakota. Our head coach at North Dakota State on Sunday morning confirmed that he was moving on after the season to the University of Wyoming and trying to make the program there relevant in any conference they are in. For a man who came to NDSU in 2003 and made the program a National Championship powerhouse and stirred the echoes of the past National Championship teams, he needs to be allowed to go out when he wants. Not be criticized for a decision that will further his career and maybe allow him another challenge.

Coach Bohl (pictured above) is now in a no-win situation. If he does deliver the three-peat for the Bison, the narrative will be that the players overcame the distraction that the coaching staff made with this announcement that the Head Coach and up to 5 assistants are cutting ties to the program after the season. If the Bison lose in the playoffs, the narrative will be that the coaching staff were not totally focused on winning with NDSU because of their future with Wyoming. Coach Bohl said that he had taken the program as far as he could. If he feels that way, then it is the correct time to go and find the next challenge.

From this one Bison fan, I want to say "Thank You" to Coach Bohl. Not just because of the on-field success and making NDSU a hot spot for college football, but the things that you did with the program off the field. Taking the players up to the children's hospital and making the day for children that cannot get out of the facility. For making the players realize that football is a part of their life, not their whole life. For being a stand-up guy and providing an example to the men under your charge. I wish you all the success in Laramie and hopefully that it is true that Wyoming will be joining the Big 10 shortly. I believe that you can turn the program around there and be a major player in any conference that Wyoming is in. I know that there is one more Wyoming Cowboy fan in North Dakota today.


Tale of Two Halves

The Cleveland Browns were coming to town. 4-8 record, should be a win as long as the New England Patriots don't play down to the visiting team. Hoping the defense does the best they can with what's left in the cupboard. Again. Another game where New England spends all of the first half on the field with shovels digging a hole.

You try googling "New England Patriots Shovel" and get back to me. 

Granted, the hole was only two field goals deep. It's becoming a worrying trend, though. If they keep this up, one game they'll end up in China at halftime, which could be problematic. I don't think they have a place to carry their passports in those uniforms.

Actually closer to Australia. Try it yourself, here.

There were no adjustments made at halftime with the exception of "see these plays? Execute them." Er, not that kind of execute.

Not a firing squad.

They did some of that, as well as losing Gronkowski to injury. Or as my daughter calls him, the Dunkin Donuts man. Hard to argue against that designation. Not posting a photo or .gif of that, I am tired of seeing it.

That didn't last long.

I wouldn't blame the player for the hit. T.J. Ward is just doing his job and playing hard. Coach Belichick understands he's just playing the game.

Let the hate flow through you. (™Lucasfilm)
The Patriots did the impossible again, coming back to win the game, 27-26. Incredible finish to a wild game. A nail biter, heart attack special kind of affair. Yes, there was a late penalty with 40 seconds left in the game. This makes the Patriots 1-2 in end-of-game deciding calls. They are a magnet for this kind of nonsense this year. Having said that, one call rarely decides a game. There is every single play up to that point. The pass interference call yesterday that some people are screaming about?

Some people, fig. 1

 Guess what people? The Patriots were down 12 points with 2:39 to go. One pass interference call doesn't give you two touchdowns. One pass interference call doesn't give you a free onside kick recovery. In fact, the last time the New England Patriots recovered an onside kick was January 1st 1995, 18 years ago against the Cleveland Browns. Despite the onside kick recovery,The Patriots still lost that game long ago against the Browns' fourth year coach, Bill Belichick. Last night's kick qualifies as a piece of art. Cleveland Browns players, catch that kick, the game is over. You win.

Like the Mona Lisa, but in pads.

One pass interference call doesn't explain why the Browns called their last timeout with 0:35 seconds to play, when they didn't need to stop the clock. Surely the pass interference call explains wasting the timeout when they could have run one more play, gotten 5-7 yards closer and made that kick to win the game.

Achievement not unlocked.
The New England Patriots scored two touchdowns in thirty seconds. The pass interference call helped, to be sure. It didn't execute all of the rest of the plays they needed to pull out a win, and the Cleveland Browns defense certainly didn't do their job and stop them.

Maybe the next time these teams play it can be fun times in Cleveland.

Credit to my daughter for this awesome video.

Feel free to tell me how wrong I am in the comments.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Great Season, Black Bears

Well, the Maine Black Bears won their first ever Colonial Athletic Association Championship and were ranked #5 at the end of the season, enabling them to host their first-ever home playoff game at Alfond Stadium.  So Shelly and I decided we'd brave the potential cold weather and drive up to see the game.  Oh yes, cold it was.
Unfortunately for the Black Bears and their fans, they ran into a hot UNH Wildcat team, one which had beaten them in the last regular season game and earning themselves a berth in the tourney.  Bad luck for Maine because they'd have to see the Wildcats again, after they demolished Lafayette in the first round.  Maine just made too many mistakes when it mattered most and fell in this game 41-27.

From my seat, row 1 on the 50 yard line.

A quick anecdote about the above picture.  I was working on the Island of Vinalhaven with no cell reception and asked Shelly to try to get tickets for this game.  She's such a sweetie.  First she tried to get seats with backs but they were all sold.  So then she just tried to get what she thought were the best seats available.  LOL  As experienced fans, we know that the first row is not usually the best seat, being so low as to be blocked by everybody walking by or by trash cans, as you can see in the picture.  I took this photo standing up and I did move the trash can.  The other funny thing about this is that one of the two seats we bought was not a permanent seat but a folding chair, which I took.  Gotta love her, she tried.  We had a good time and maybe the Bears will continue to get better.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013


This is little bit late so sorry on the that. I thought I would give a short rundown on our top game. This was played November 24th at Saskatchewan, between the Saskatchewan Roughcriders and the Hamilton Tigercats. The game was the 101st Grey Cup Game, played in -1 conditions which was a vast improvement over the minus 15 conditions during practice week. The Roughriders were the favorites and they played that way from the opening despite starting out with a three point deficit on the opening plays due to a Tigercat field goal. The Ticats then fell apart and allowed seventeen unanswered points, the Ticats then got another field goal. The Riders then scored within another fifty-one seconds, and went into half-time with a 31-6 lead. This was the first time ever that a team had scored thirty one points in the history of the previous 100 years. The Ticats had a decent third and at the start of the fourth were down 31-16. But the final quarter was not to be a Ticat revival, instead, the Riders scored two more touchdowns while the Ticats had only one more and left the field with a 45-23 final. The one thing I have always noticed about our final game was the closeness at the end of the game but alas this was not to be, my only hope now is for my B.C. Lions to be there next year, as we are hosting the 102 Grey Cup.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Not a photoshop. 

When it comes to history being made in sports, you can often see it coming. The Stanley Cup Finals. The World Series. The Super Bowl. Almost any playoffs. I'd include golf, but we all know it's not really a sport. With the aformentioned events, you know it will be history of some sort. That doesn't always make it special. That brings us to Sunday Night Football this past Sunday. After the first three Patriots offensive possessions (and they were indeed, offensive) each ended with them coughing up the ball, history did seem to be taking place. A smackdown of historic proportion was in progress. The culmination of injuries to the Pats, Peyton Manning's monster season continuing and a few good bounces made it look like the reality of this season was setting in. This team, battered, bruised and delving deep into the roster, was hitting the wall. Somehow, they still managed to find a way to win. By halftime, my heart sunk. it was 24-0. The team left the field to a chorus of boos, which they earned. The mood was such that you were seeing statistics like this:

Not good. 

Some people changed the channel, some went to bed. At that point, Eeoyre had nothing on me. Still, the Patriots are my team. I watch. Maybe, I think, they can score a touchdown or two and it won't look so bad on the score sheet by the end of the game. Deep inside me, the thought was there. I tried to not even think it, as not to jinx it, as if that would make a difference. Had I really turned into one of those guys?

I kept watching because it was half over and I thought... maybe. Just maybe they can put up a fight and come back. Wouldn't that be something? All of those fans that left early because it was a blowout, the ones who'll lie and claim they stayed the whole time if they did come back and win. They'd miss a chance at history. Don't get me wrong, it's one game. It doesn't mean much of anything, except it does. If these guys can take the kind of beating they did in the first half and come out and turn it around, that means something. It means they have all of those cliches you hear at the press conferences about character and leadership and resilience. Doesn't matter, can't happen. Won't happen. Probably won't happen. Wouldn't it be amazing, though, if it did?

It did. No other way to explain this. 

We all know now that is exactly what happened. They came out of the locker room after halftime and played incredibly. One play at a time, they strung together offensive drives, scoring 21 points in the third quarter alone. Took the lead, won in overtime. 73 minutes and 4 seconds of football later, there it was. History. The biggest comeback in New England Patriots history. I had doubts that they'd even win before the game started. I was never so glad to be wrong.

This is why you never leave a game early. I never have and I never will. You don't know what could happen, and unless you are watching, you'll miss it. Watching the highlights instead, it's just not the same. Sure, you'll see what happened, but you won't feel like this:

I'm not even sure what this is, to be honest. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

'cause every little thing gonna be alright

Modern technology can be awesome.  The above video is a montage of fan-recorded video taken during The Flyin' Hawaiian's grand slam in game 6 of the ALCS.  It is indeed pretty sweet.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tweet Of The Weekend

I think it's a 100% safe bet we've seen the last of JaMarcus Russell as an NFL quarterback.

Special Day

It's not often that you get to do something you love (attending your teams' games in person) and share that experience with someone you love, someone who's grown up so fast and has made her dad very proud of who she's become, someone who still as an adult likes to spend time with her dad.

So I got to do this yesterday by taking my daughter to her very first live Bruin game for her birthday.  I'm not going to talk much about the game, other than to say the Bruins won in OT on a great pass from Jarome Iginla to David Krejci, who took his time until Cam Ward had finally committed and put the biscuit in the basket.  Cam Ward, who usually stands on his head against the Bruins, did so again on Saturday, being in large part the reason this game went into overtime instead of being an absolute Bruin drubbing (and a little of the old Bruin penchant for not being able to finish great opportunities.)  The game could have easily been 9-2 in favor of the home team.

I will share one anecdote:  I had decided when I purchased these tickets that it was her first game and her birthday, and so I wanted good seats for the money.  My memory is always horrible, so when I go to games, I'm always looking back at my ticket stub to remind myself firstly which section, then what row and what seat.  Somehow in getting to our seats I had section 305 in my head.  So when we sat down 9 rows up in the balcony but on the corner, I was kinda confused...did I somehow select seats other than those I thought I was buying, did the system screw up and give me different seats?  Oh well, we're here and let's make the best of it.  Ten minutes before puck drop the rightful owners of those seats showed up and when I went to pull mine out of my wallet to prove I was in the right place, imagine my surprise to be reminded my ticket said section 301...duh, center ice.  Sheesh, I'm getting old but my daughter got a great chuckle at her dad's expense.  She also bought dad a beer!

Enjoy these pics.

TDGarden, which sits above North Station, the 90th Bruin season log and a piece of the new cable stay bridge over the Charles River in the background

Orr to Sanderson to Orr!

My darling daughter with proud dad in his Don Sweeney sweater

Faceoff from our seats

PS  I find this stuff kinda minor league but it made me laugh.  On the jumbotron when the Bruins score a goal, they've started showing famous dances.  On the first Bruin goal it was John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever" and on the second goal it was a montage of Bill Cosby dances from "The Cosby Show."

Monday, November 18, 2013

Go Black Bears

This is as much talk about college football as you're ever likely to get out of me.

The University of Maine Black Bears are your 2013 Colonial Athletic Conference Champions, their first CAA championship and first conference championship since I think 2002.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Madness of another sort

Madness of another sort would be being 130 pound high school safety, seeing this coming your way at full speed and getting in its way.  The first time it's playing hard-nosed football...the second time would be insanity.

Sports gone mad

I don't know how to write about this but this incident shows just how out of whack our society has become in so many respects, and in this instance regarding sports (amateur at that!) in particular.

"Johnson was 9-0 as a starter this season and looking toward the CIAA conference championship game against Virginia State to further cement his legacy at the school. During the CIAA football banquet on Friday afternoon, though, some Virginia State players had some other ideas in mind."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tweet Of The Week (So Far)

The only thing better than a so-called Fat Boy Touchdown is one followed by a dunk. Is this awesome or what?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Now That Is A Fan

While I will never be able to grow a beard like that or ever be able to root for the Washington Capitals, you have to respect a guy who is willing to support his team and his favorite player like this.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

One of 50,304 Finishers of the New York City Marathon 2013!

After waiting three years, I finally received an entry into the New York City Marathon through their lottery system.  I had never been to New York City either, so I couldn't wait to have a running/sightseeing tour of the five boroughs - Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx.  My training strategy was to be fit enough to run at a comfortable pace so I could enjoy my surroundings and the entertainment on the course. 

The security for this race was nothing like I have ever seen in the other races I have done.  On Sunday morning at about 6:30 a.m., I hopped on one of the hundreds of buses to the start.  We had a police escorted ride to the start village at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island with traffic breaks and all.  It was actually very cool!  I sat beside a gentleman from Germany on the bus, and he was quite an interesting fellow.  I asked him how he liked our beer, and he told me he wouldn't even pour Coors, Miller, and Budweiser in a donkey's ear!

(Waiting at the New York Public Library to get on the bus to the start.)

Once we arrived, all of the runners had to go through security.  We were given a special clear bag at the pre-race check-in, and that was the only bag we were allowed to bring in with us.  We were not allowed to bring in sleeping bags or blankets like they had allowed runners in previous years.  There were policemen everywhere -- and I mean everywhere -- on land, in the air, and on the water.  So I made sure I brought a lot of extra clothing that I could leave in the donation bins while I waited approximately two hours before my wave started.  It was in the low 30s that morning, and it was only expected to get to about 50 degrees with wind gusts of 20 to 30 miles an hour.

(Getting in to the start village at Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island)

While waiting, it was fun to observe all of the other runners and the security measures in force.  There was security up on top of the bridge, and there were helicopters flying back and forth, and police walking all around the runners' village, some with bomb-sniffing dogs.  When it was time for my wave, (Wave 3), they called us to the start line. 

For each start, they shot off a howitzer cannon and played Frank Sinatra's New York, New York.  The first 1.75 miles is running over the Verrazano Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the USA.  That ended up being one of the coolest parts of the race because as we were running over the bridge, an NYPD helicopter hovered right beside us to ensure our safety across the bridge.  Runners were stopping and taking pictures of the helicopter.  That was really, really cool, and I felt so safe...I actually felt safer during this marathon than I've pretty much ever felt in my whole life!

Running across the bridge was also the coldest part of the race, being so high up, the wind was really whipping in your face.  The views from the bridge were also spectacular.  You could see the city and the Statue of Liberty.  I just kept telling myself during this race to slow down and enjoy it!

After the bridge, you run through Brooklyn for quite a few miles, up to the halfway point to be exact, and you run through many ethnic neighborhoods.  There was lots of cheering and all different kinds of entertainment.  In total, I've read that there are 2 million people cheering you on throughout this course.  It is simply amazing, and really makes you smile pretty much the whole time you're running!  I actually was getting choked up during the first 10 miles of the race because I couldn't believe I was running this marathon, the largest in the world, with runners from 109 countries!  My favorite part of the race was in Brooklyn, somewhere between miles 5 and 10, a huge gospel choir standing on the church steps and just belting out some superior gospel singing.  I really thought about stopping and just staying there to listen to them for a while because they were so good.

Then between miles 10 and 11, you enter the Hasidic Jewish Community, and it is super quiet because Sunday is a workday for them.  They were dressed in their black suits and hats.  It was very interesting to see.

The halfway point is in the middle of the Pulaski Bridge before you enter Queens for two miles.  By the halfway point, I was still feeling really good, so I decided to speed it up a little bit.  I was really just hoping to run the whole marathon at a 10:00 minute pace, but I was consistently running a pace of a little under 9:30.  I told myself not to speed up until after the halfway point.  In a marathon, the race really does not begin until mile 20.

After Queens, you run over the Queensboro bridge and into Manhattan.  On all of the bridges, there are no spectators, so it's super quiet.  The Queensboro Bridge was especially so, but as you run down the ramp on this bridge, the crowds start getting even larger and it's very loud and motivating running through Manhattan.  Miles 18 through 20 take you through "El Barrio" and Harlem, then over the Willis Avenue Bridge and into the Bronx.

Finally at about Mile 22, you enter Central Park.  I was feeling great as well in the second half, and I was able to pick up the pace a little knowing in the back of my mind that the wall was going to sneak up on me at any time.  And as expected, I started to feel dull at Mile 22.  So I would say I didn't enjoy Central Park as much as I had hoped to.  Then I was about a quarter of a mile from the finish when I heard my daughter Nikki shouting "Mom!!!!" And Ted shouting "Jeanie!!!!"  I looked over and was so excited to see them because I didn't expect to see them at all during the race with security measures being what they were and no one being allowed near the finish line unless you had a special ticket.

(A quarter of a mile before the finish.  I look better than I felt!)

When I heard them, it took the pain away, and I jogged to the finish with a time of 4:07!  People who knew I was running the race would ask me what I expected to run the race in, and my standard answer was that I didn't have an expected time.  I really no longer wish to run a marathon for time because it is very difficult to do.  You can't enjoy the experience if you have to keep looking at your watch and analyzing your pace.
When I saw that I ran a 4:07, I was kind of surprised.  I knew I was fit enough to do it, but I just didn't expect to run that fast.

After crossing the finish line, you have to walk and walk, and I started to feel a little woozy, but after about 15 minutes I was feeling okay.  I just wanted to get to my family.  We had set up a meeting place prior to the race as they had advised everyone to do because of the tight security.  So I kept walking until I found everyone.  (It was a kind of "Yo Adrian" - Rocky kind of moment.) I just wanted to use the bathroom, sit down for a few minutes, and drink a Coke (my usual procedure after an endurance event).

The average pace for a woman in the 50-54 age group was 4:57.  I ran the average pace for men 25-29.

Here's my tracker breakdown.  I ran a consistent pace throughout the marathon.  I came in #262 out of 1,654 in my age group.

Jeanine Huebner48468FSan MarcosUnited States
5K 11:02:45 AM0:29:5902:45:20 PM09:39
10K 11:32:01 AM0:59:1502:42:43 PM09:33
MILE 8 11:48:40 AM1:15:5402:41:20 PM09:30
MILE 9 11:58:01 AM1:25:1502:40:55 PM09:29
15K 12:00:58 PM1:28:1202:40:42 PM09:28
MILE 10 12:07:10 PM1:34:2402:40:04 PM09:27
MILE 11 12:16:34 PM1:43:4802:39:59 PM09:27
MILE 12 12:26:02 PM1:53:1602:40:03 PM09:27
20K 12:30:03 PM1:57:1702:39:59 PM09:27
MILE 13 12:35:34 PM2:02:4802:40:16 PM09:27
HALF 12:36:45 PM2:03:5902:40:44 PM09:28
MILE 14 12:44:55 PM2:12:0902:40:04 PM09:27
MILE 15 12:54:25 PM2:21:3902:40:10 PM09:27
25K 12:59:27 PM2:26:4102:40:13 PM09:27
MILE 16 01:03:37 PM2:30:5102:39:46 PM09:26

MILE 17 01:12:30 PM2:39:4402:38:56 PM09:24
MILE 18 01:21:16 PM2:48:3002:38:01 PM09:22
30K 01:26:53 PM2:54:0702:37:30 PM09:21
MILE 19 01:30:02 PM2:57:1602:37:12 PM09:20
MILE 20 01:39:16 PM3:06:3002:37:04 PM09:20
MILE 21 01:48:19 PM3:15:3302:36:44 PM09:19
35K 01:55:30 PM3:22:4402:36:58 PM09:20
MILE 22 01:57:43 PM3:24:5702:36:51 PM09:19
MILE 23 02:07:41 PM3:34:5502:37:35 PM09:21
MILE 24 02:18:14 PM3:45:2802:38:54 PM09:24
40K 02:26:42 PM3:53:5602:39:24 PM09:25
MILE 25 02:28:07 PM3:55:2102:39:25 PM09:25
MILE 26 02:37:46 PM4:05:0002:39:39 PM09:26
FINISH 02:39:57 PM4:07:1102:39:57 PM09:27
The next day, as I was checking over the results, I decided to look at the Boston Marathon website, and I saw that I had qualified for 2015!

Overall, my experience at the NYC was awesome and an experience I will never forget!

Many thanks to Fred Lebow, the founder of the New York City Marathon.
(Statue of Fred Lebow in Central Park near the finish line)