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)