This is an amazing, well-produced video of SF Giants World Championship Parade.

Last year I posted a cool skateboarding video that won Transworld Skateboarding’s inaugural Skate & Create video competition last year. The 2009 Skate & Create competition winner, by etnies, is pretty awesome as well. However, I still like last year’s winner more because of the music by The Dodos.

Usain Bolt shattered his own world record in the 100 meters in Germany earlier today with a 9.58 second performance.  This man is an alien. (Link)

There were no skate commercials when I was growing up.  Let alone sweet ones like this one.  This extended commercial features P. Rod and Ice Cube and even has a guest appearance by Kobe.  I don’t even skate and I would consider getting a pair of these kicks.

It wouldn’t be 4th of July without Nathan’s hot dog eating contest in Coney Island.  Joey Chestnut of San Jose defended his title by eating 68 hot dogs, with buns, in 10 minutes! Check out the video.  Have a happy and safe 4th of July holiday!

Kobe and Fisher After Finals Win

Kobe and Fisher After Finals Win

The Lakers won their 15th NBA Chmpionship and Phil Jackson won his 10th as a coach.   The Lakers now trail the Boston Celtics by only two, and it looks like this young Lakers team may be the team to catch up to the Celtics’ record of 17 NBA Championships.

In this video, these guys setup a BlackBerry Storm to control an RC car using Bluetooth.  Supposedly, the engineers at McLaren saw their video and contacted them about Lewis Hamilton driving a real F1 car using the BlackBerry Storm on the track.  I am not sure if this is fake or not, but either way it is a pretty cool video.

Tiger Woods announced he would play next week after 8 months of recovery.  Sweet!

TWS Skate-and-Create DVS

This is one of the coolest skateboarding videos I have ever seen.  The video was made by DVS and won the Transworld Skateboarding Skate-and-Create competition this year.  Good concept, great tricks, and amazing lighting put this one up there with the old Powell-Peralta classics.  I wasn’t a big fan of the music initially, but then it grew on me.  Is this The Killers?  Anyway, the visuals are just stunning.  Big ups.

This video shows that Phelps may have been too aggressive in one of his victories.

Tiger Woods will have surgery on his left knee and will be out the rest of the year.  His left knee injury has been bothering him for the last 10 months despite winning 9 of 12 tournaments he entered and winning the U.S. Open Championship a couple of days ago.  The moral of the story: Tiger Woods with a broken knee is still better than all other golfers in the world.  Damn.

The Lakers started trailing the Celtics last night in the third quarter and then basically gave up on the game.  The final score had the Celtics up by 39 points, the largest margin of victory ever for a title clinching game.  I certainly hope that the young Lakers bench remembers what losing feels like so that they can get their shit together for next year.  I think that with Andrew Bynum back in the lineup they have an opportunity to get back to the Finals next year.

Big ups to the Boston Celtics, they totally deserve the trophy this year.  They outplayed the Lakers.  They had the heart and intensity to win the championship.  Kevin Garnet, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen played a great game.  I bet Kevin Garnet is happy to finally get the win.  He’s one of the best players in the game and unlike many other great players (John Stockton and Karl Malone come to mind) he finally has a championship ring.

I believe that the Lakers can win tonight and again on Thursday to win the NBA Championship, becoming the first team in history to comeback from a 3-1 deficit to win the Finals.  Do they believe they can win!?  I know Kobe knows how to win, but does the rest of the team?  Can they do it?  Just one more win tonight to tie the series and force a game 7.  Go Lakers!

The Lakers blew a 24-point lead against the Celtics tonight.  I was stunned, the crowd in the Staples Center was stunned, hell, even the Lakers were stunned.  Chalk it up to inexperience, but it happened.  With the loss the Lakers have probably sealed their fate, since no team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Championship.  I really hope they pull it off, but it is highly unlikely that they can win 3-in-a-row against the Celtics, with the last 2 games in Boston.  Then again, I didn’t expect them to reach the playoffs and let alone be in the finals.  One thing is certain, they sure could use Andrew Bynum right now.

I have been waiting all week for the start of the NBA Finals.  Watch ’em!

One of the biggest rivalries in sports is still alive.  In the 1960’s it was Wilt Chamberlain vs. Bill Russell, in the 1980’s it was Magic vs. Bird, and now in the 2000’s it’s Kobe vs. Kevin Garnet.  It’s funny how the old becomes new again every 20 years or so.  I cannot wait for the two biggest dynasties in basketball to meet again in the NBA Finals.

The Los Angeles Lakers beat the San Antonio Spurs tonight to win the Western Conference and head to the NBA Finals.  The Lakers came back from a 17-point deficit and made it look easy, almost like they were toying with the Spurs knowing they could come back at any time.  Kobe dropped 39 points on the way to the Lakers 100-92 win.

It was only fitting that an almost teary-eyed Jerry West presented Mitch Kupchak with the Western Conference trophy.  Clearly, it was Kupchak’s trades at the beginning of the season that made this win possible.

Even without their starting center, Andrew Bynum, the Lakers are in a good position to win the NBA Finals.  The supporting cast members around Kobe have settled into their respective roles and have proven that they can perform under the pressure of the playoffs.  Now they have to prove that they can handle the pressure of the NBA finals.

Here’s hoping that the Lakers win four more.  Go Lakers!

Nobody, absolutely nobody, would have picked the Lakers to be the top seed in the West heading into the playoffs.  But guess what player haters!?  The Lakers are the top seed in the West once again and will have home court advantage through the playoffs!  The Lakers have held the No. 1 spot in the West total of 14 times since the conference format started in 1970.  Kobe also had his 4,000th career assist in last night’s game, making him only the 16th player in NBA history to move past that 21,000 points and 4,000 assists.  I smell MVP and perhaps another ring!  Go Lakers!

Representin' with My Jersey

The Lakers could have traded Kobe when he had a meltdown, but they didn’t.  The Lakers could have traded Bynum when they received offers earlier this year, but they didn’t.  The Lakers could have given up on playing defense this year, but they didn’t.  The Lakers almost blew a 30-point lead last night against the Hornets, but they didn’t.  Where does that leave ’em!?  Pacific Division Champs with home court advantage and with an opportunity to be the top seeded team in the Western Conference.  I thought that they would simply miss the playoffs–again!

I was so happy about the news this morning that I dusted off my old Lakers shooting jersey (pictured here) that has been waiting to be worn until the Lakers were contenders again.  I wore my jersey proudly today and even had four or five people to express their support with "Go Lakers!"  In San Francisco!  That’s crazy! Not since the Kobe-Shaq days has there been this much excitement about these guys. If the Hornets lose one of their last three and the Lakers win two of their last three, including games against the Spurs and the Kings, they will be the top berth team in the Western Conference heading into the playoffs.  Go Lakers!

This was the question being asked by everyone along the planned Olympic Torch route by fans and protesters alike.  Where was the torch!?  Nowhere near the original route (see map below) because the route was changed at the very last minute.  Even members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors didn’t know about the route change ahead of time.  There were people that came from all over the Bay Area to see the end of the torch run at Justin Herman Plaza who were denied because the torch never got there.  I was bummed that I couldn’t leave work to go see the historic run, but I would have been really pissed if I got to the Embarcadero and there was no torch.  I guess it was a pretty good call not to go.  In all fairness, Newsom warned everyone that this might happen, but it still sucks.  It’s interesting to see the national news coverage from CNN, not nearly as much detail as what you get from SFGate on a local event.

Torch Relay Route Map

Please notice the extra special fuckery of starting at the planned start
of the original route only to almost immediately drive away.  Surprise bitches!

After the craziness in Paris and on the bridge, Mayor Gavin Newsom said the planned 6-mile torch route along the central waterfront and around Fisherman’s Wharf could change up to and even during the relay.  I guess they are going to try and keep the fans and the protesters guessing as to the route until the very last minute.  I predict chaos and hope to be able to get away from work to see it first hand on Wednesday afternoon.

Protesters in Paris were so rowdy that officials extinguished the Olympic Torch and rushed it onto buses at least five times during the parade route.  The Olympic flame itself, lit from the birthplace of the ancient games in Olympia, Greece and used to light the torch, continued to burn in a small lantern inside the bus.  Things got so ugly that the last part of the torch relay was cancelled.  The torch was was to head into a sports stadium in south of Paris at the end of the relay.

Please keep in mind that the protests in London and Paris were in places where there isn’t a large Asian population.  San Francisco will likely have many Chinese and Tibetan people organizing to support and protest the torch relay respectively. And it seems that nobody is on the wrong side of this issue, which makes it complicated. With charged emotions on both sides, expect there to be a brouhaha during the torch route on Wednesday.

The Olympic Torch relay in San Francisco will start at AT&T Park and will make its way up the Embarcadero to Aquatic Park.  It will then return through Fisherman’s Wharf and down the Embarcadero to end its journey at Justin Herman Plaza across from the Ferry Building.  This short 6-mile route will be run from 1:00pm to 3:30pm on Wednesday afternoon.  Let’s get ready to rumble!

Protesters in London tried to snuff out the Olympic Torch during relay but failed.  The torch goes on to Paris tomorrow and will be in San Francisco by Wednesday morning.  Stay tuned for similar mayhem when the torch arrives here.

We walked over to Union Square yesterday not to participate in the Human Rights Torch protest, but to check out the size of the crowd.  Surprisingly, there were only a couple of hundred people there.  There were a bunch of cameras and news crews, so the event was well publicized.  But the attendance was expected to be a couple of thousand.  The guy on the microphone was not very charismatic and couldn’t seem to get the whole crowd excited about the cause.  It seems to me that  the whole protest was a big bust.

Today, the Chronicle ran a story saying that most Asians in San Francisco are fretting at the disrespect being shown to the Olympic Torch by these protests.  Many believe that the Olympic Torch relay should be a celebration of the strong cultural, historic and economic ties between San Francisco and shouldn’t be disrupted by political demonstrations.  Maybe this explains the low turnout yesterday in Union Square which is only a few blocks from Chinatown.

Asians in the city are also not at all pleased about a resolution passed by the Board of Supervisors that called for Gavin Newsom to receive the Olympic Torch with "alarm and protest."  A local attorney and community leader said the following:

"We understand your rights of free speech, by all means, but be a gracious host, be sensitive to the fact that in San Francisco one-third of your inhabitants are Asians…Many of us, Chinese Americans, in the city, we may not be supporting the Chinese government, but to politicize this game and to use this torch relay as a platform to bash China to me is unacceptable."

Since the Olympic Torch is only visiting San Francisco in North America, if public demonstrations or public officials do something to insult the Olympics it will only further sully the image of San Francisco in the eyes of the rest of the country, and the image of America in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Human Rights Torch

Woman holding the
Human Rights Torch.

Three separate torches will be running through San Francisco this week.  First, the Human Rights Torch will be making its way through downtown today, starting at 11:00am in Union Square.  On Tuesday, the Tibetan Freedom Torch will make its way through The City.  And finally on Wednesday, the Olympic Torch will make its way through The City on its only North American leg.

Many of the people attending the rallies and events are expected to protest the Olympic Torch when it is here on Wednesday.  The protesters just need a couple of days to practice yelling at some torches before the real one arrives on Wednesday.

Hopefully, the only thing burning will be the torches and the protests will remain peaceful.  A bunch of angry protesters with their own torches certainly wouldn’t be a good idea.  You should consider coming out to Union Square today to see what the controversy surrounding the Olympic Torch is all about.

Everyone has seen the after-Super Bowl Disneyland spots where an athlete is caught right after the game saying, “I’m going to Disneyland!” Well, one of the NFL cameramen that make those shots happen is from the Bay Area and was interviewed by the Chronicle. Interesting read.

Bonds says in an interview that if the Baseball Hall of Fame decides to display his marked 756th home run ball he will not show up to his own Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony. I guess they should consider that fair warning. That ball was purchased by fashion designer Mark Ecko. He held an online vote on whether he should send the ball to Cooperstown as is, send it with an asterisk (to acknowledge the public suspicion that Bonds used steroids) or send it into outer space in a rocket. The asterisk won.

Barry Bonds will not be in a Giants jersey next year. Will he retire? Many say that his ego is way too big for him to just want to sail into the sunset, but unless he’s not willing to lower his salary demands he’s not going to play for anyone.

Marc Ecko, the person who paid more than $750k for Barry Bonds’ 756th home run ball, has setup a website to ask what to do with it. The options are 1) send it to Cooperstown, 2) send it to Cooperstown with an asterisk branded on it (eluding to Bonds’ alleged steroid use), and 3) blast it into space.

Bonds has come out and said that he thinks the whole poll idea is stupid and that Ecko could find better uses on spending three quarters of a million dollars. Although Bonds will never admit it, this whole incident with the ball has probably hurt his feelings a little bit. Bonds added, “all those options don’t weigh anything…in baseball, that number (756) stands.”

Ultimately, I don’t think that Marc Ecko is a baseball fan with a lot of money. I don’t even think that he likes baseball. He is simply a businessman that saw an opportunity in getting way more than $750k of publicity for $750k. Because you have to admit, even if you didn’t know who the hell Marc Ecko was before this publicity stunt, you sure know who he is now.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup. He didn’t even have to show up and play the Tour Championship to have won the FedEx cup because he was so far ahead in the standings. He’s a freak of nature that will continue to win the cup no matter how many changes are made in the scoring method over the coming years. Unless they change the rules to say that Tiger Woods must play blindfolded he’s going to continue to win–and I still would bet on Tiger with a blindfold on. Big ups to Tiger.

Barry Bonds Hits 756th Home Run

When I heard the fireworks I knew something was afoot. I had just gotten back from Orlando a few hours earlier and was dead tired and sitting on the couch watching stuff off the TiVo. The fireworks were going off and then it dawned on me: there’s a game tonight, those fireworks are a little earlier than usual, and Barry must have hit the home run we’ve all been waiting for.

I quickly turned the game on to see Barry talk about his accomplishment and see the replays–it was awesome. I wish he would have done this last week, when we were at the park for two games. Even though we never sit in the outfield, I thought it would have been cool to catch that ball. Even if the guy that caught it almost got the crap beat out of him in a huge bruising stampede for the ball.

Mama and I were able to go to tonight’s game thanks to the generosity of a co-worker that is a season ticket holder. We were there for Barry’s last two at bats hoping to see some history (since he’s only two away), but no homer, only a base hit. Adding insult to injury, the Giants lost to the Braves 4-2. Crappy.

Bonds Mania

San Francisco has gone batty about Barry Bonds since Thursday, when Barry Bonds hit two homers at Wrigley Field. City Hall is dressed in orange lights and a Giants flag adorns the mayor’s balcony (see photo right). More importantly though, tickets for next week’s home games are going for as much as $500 apiece, especially in right field, where Barry’s home runs usually land when they don’t land in the water. It’s happening very very soon!

This guy from Taipei can shoot 140 balls per minute and make damn near all of them.

Camacho at Sentencing

Hector “Macho” Camacho, a former super featherweight, lightweight and light welterweight boxing champion, is now a convicted felon. He plead guilty to a 2004 burglary in which he climbed through the ceiling of a computer store and left with seven laptops and about $5,600 in checks and cash. The judge sentenced him to the maximum 7 years in prison, but suspended 6 years of the sentence.

Camacho claimed he was “trying to retrieve his computer and was ‘crazy’ on tequila” when he broke into the computer store. Based on his sentencing guidelines, the judge may have actually believed his story. Camacho may be able to serve the remaining 1 year of his sentence under house arrest in Puerto Rico if authorities in there agree to monitor him.

That’s not the end of his problems. He was found with a stash of Ecstasy when he was arrested for the burglary charge and must return to court to deal with those charges later this month. Can you believe this guy was the world champ before Oscar De La Hoya!?

The Lakers were knocked out of the playoffs last night by the Suns. Warriors still in it.

Tiger Woods won his seventh straight PGA Tour start by winning the Buick Open yesterday. Tiger was quick to point out that his is not a worldwide streak, as he lost a match play tournament in Europe, and came in second place in tournaments in Chile and Japan.

Still, this is an amazing feat considering that many pro golfers have seven wins for their whole career, let alone seven in just one year. Tiger now has 55 PGA Tour wins (77 total) since starting his pro career in 1996. In contrast, Phil Mickelson, the #2 ranked player in the world, has 29 PGA Tour wins (33 total) since turning pro four years earlier in 1992. Damn.

Mike Tyson was arrested and released on felony cocaine possession charges and now admits that he is in the throws of a heavy cocaine addiction. Can this guy’s life get any sadder?

The NBA season starts tonight with a TNT double-header. The first game will be the Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat and the second game will be Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers. I am looking forward to see if the Lakers have what it takes to make it all the way this year.

NBA Commissioner David Stern urged his players to leave their firearms at home when they leave their homes. He continued, “It’s a pretty, I think, widely accepted statistic that if you carry a gun, your chances of being shot by one increase dramatically.” Damn, how bad are things when your boss feels that he has to have a press conference to tell you to “leave your gun at home?”

Oracle bought the naming rights to the Oakland Arena, but the Warriors *still* suck.

Mike Tyson, former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and ear biter, said during a recent press conference that he wants to fight a woman, professional boxer Ann Wolfe. Since at this point Tyson cannot beat any male professional contenders, I guess that’s a good idea. Later in the press conference he said “It’s all fun. I’m not Mike Tyson,” referring to the fierce 20-year-old champion whose career was turned upside down by a prison term. It’s sad to see how far this guy has fallen.

Tiger Woods won his fifth straight tournament this weekend. Keep in mind that many pro golfers go months or even years between victories. This latest win brings his win percentage this year to a staggering 50 percent. That’s amazing!

The big story of this year’s PGA Championship is that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will play head-to-head in a threesome that will also include Geoff Ogilvy. The three are the winners of the British Open, The Masters, and the U.S. Open respectively and historically the winners of the first three majors of the year start together at the PGA Championship. Whether they all finish together is another story. In any case, it should be fun to watch the top two players in the sport go head-to-head. Stay tuned.

After 27 years of being eligible and missing the cut, John Madden is finally being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Madden was so excited about finally making it into the Hall that he boarded a plane for the first time since 1979. I was surprised to find out that Madden grew up in Daly City and played junior college football at the College of San Mateo before transferring and playing college football and baseball at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. Even though I am not a big football fan, I gotta give it up to Madden.

Barry Bonds’ 715th home run ball sold today for $220,100 on Ebay. The guy that caught the ball has famously said that he would use the proceeds of the sale as a down payment on a San Francisco home. Nice catch!

San Francisco is still in the running for 2016 Summer Olympics.

Golf phenom, Michelle Wie, withdrew after nine holes on Friday due to exhaustion. This girl obviously needs to take it easy. She’s sixteen and is furiously trying to make a PGA cut by playing every single day and flying to tournaments every other week. There’s no need for that. Just chill Michelle, if you make the cut at 17 or 18 it’s still an amazing record!