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What my musings are all about...

Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.

The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.

The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pigskin, B-Ball and Karate


I know a hell of a lot more about basketball than I do about football, but there are common denominators that can be applied to all sports, the two main ones being: Offense and Defense. When both stink, it doesn't matter what sport, from curling to NFL football, the team or individual athlete stinks.

I've been holding my nose watching my "San Jose" 49ers this season and the odor is not getting any better. The problem is two-fold: Trent Balke and Chip Kelly. It's Balke's responsibility as GM to provide his coach and staff with quality players at all positions. This has not happened. It is Chip Kelly's responsibility as the head coach to prepare his players to play and to devise a scheme on both ends of the field enabling them to compete. This has not happened. In my opinion the hires, the trades and the drafts Balke has made seem weird or dumb. In Kelly's case, he just seems like he's over his head - a strong college coach, but a lousy pro coach. Believe me there's a big difference in the two levels. Considering the history of the NFL, there have only been about ten coaches who were successful in college and the pros. Chip is not going to join their ranks. What is finally telling for me is the 49ers lack of enthusiasm and energy. The athletes step on the field an already defeated team.


The  Sacramento Kings made a huge mistake not drafting Marquese Chriss of the University of Washington (and a local kid) in the first round. The young power forward is starting for the Phoenix Suns and showing tons of promise. Of course Marquese has to grow as a player, but he is not a project the way the King's Greek is. A slow footed big man??? Really, Vlade? How many teams are winning with slow footed bigs these days? 

As for the present team, I got to hand it to Dave Joerger, he's got a team composed of a bunch of vets (Cousins excluded and apologies to Rudy) who'd have a hard time being starters on any other team in the NBA playing well on both ends of the court. Not well enough to win, but not embarrassing themselves. Once Coach  Joerger can get his men to become a fourth quarter team, they might win some of the games that they presently can't close. I suspect that if, and its a big IF, the Kings management can provide Coach Joerger with some talent, he'll bring winning seasons to Sacramento.

However. (Isn't there always a however?) Why is  it that the Kings can't play consistent aggressive defense, particularly in the fourth quarter? In most cases when that is the question, the answer is the team is not in shape physically. Might that be possible?

Karate   by Stanley Plumly

If I could chop wood.
If I could just cut through
this furniture.

the paraphernalia
of blocks
and stacks of boards,
wedged and

if I could break the back
of a single two-by-four,

if the Japaneses instructor would only
lay his little building
of bricks
in front of me,

if I could only drive nails
deep into the hard rose of the wood.

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