Showing posts from March, 2006

Sports: and Bruin Fans

Re-live the memories ...

One week ago ...

From the CBS coverage with announcers Gus Johnson and Len Elmore ...

From the UCLA band section through a personal video camera ...

Undoubtedly, these Gonzaga-UCLA video links and others like it are circling the globe among Bruin fans!!


Go Bruins!!!!

Sports: Bruins going to Indy for the FINAL FOUR!


Here is the complete play-by-play on

Memphis loves to run and UCLA put the brakes on. It wasn't a pretty game. It was hard-nosed defense by both sides but UCLA managed to squeeze out enough offense to get the lead and hang onto it.

UCLA got their first lead, 4-3, at the 16:24 mark.

They kept it between 4 and 10 throughout most of the game.

On paper, you look at the individuals on this team and you wonder ... how can they win?

The individuals are good players but nobody on this team is a lottery pick.

Afflalo might be a late first round pick. Farmar perhaps late first round or early second round. Hollins, with his increasing presence, might now be on some NBA GM's list for a second or third pick in the draft.

Basketball though is a team game and clearly, right now, the Bruin team is more than the sum of its parts.

Mighty Bruins
lyric by Barbara Lamb and Don Holley
music by Bill Conte
We are the Mighty Bruins,
The best team in the West.
We’re marching on to victo…

Sports: UCLA vs. Memphis

Am nervous again!

UCLA maybe drained from the tough fight against the Bulldogs.

Memphis is well rested from their easy win.

In my following of UCLA, the regional finals have been ugly affairs in 2 of 3 cases.

In 1992, UCLA went to regional finals sporting a 28-4 record. They had beaten Indiana in the pre-conference schedule. But on that Saturday in the regional, the Bruins got beaten like a drum. They were down 20 or so and I was hoping for a 2nd half comeback. It didn't happen. I don't recall they ever made much of a dent in the deficit.

In 1995, UCLA won an exciting end-to-end high scoring contest with Connecticut. I saw the game on videotape. I had planned several weeks earlier on visiting a friend who was a student at William and Mary College. Thus, I set the VCR to tape the game while I was away. As I drove home, I heard on the radio that UCLA had won. I watched the tape of the victory well past midnight!

In 1997, UCLA had a brawl for the regional semi-finals against …

Devotional Thoughts: Should Christians pay taxes?

Am looking at Matthew 22:15-22.

This is the famous story where questioners try to get Jesus to answer about paying tax to Rome.

The Pharisees were there. These were Jewish religious leaders of the day. Modern day Judaism is from this brach of Jewish thought. During Jesus time, there were other branches of Jewish belief: Essenes (mystics and they separated themselves to communes), the Sadduces (ran the Temple) and the Zealots (wanted to overthrow Rome).

The supporters of Herod were there too. Herod was the Jewish political leader. Pilate was the Roman political leader.

Some in the audience would want to hear Jesus say, don't pay taxes, overthrow Rome!

If he said that, they could try to arrest him for trying to start a revolution.

Jesus answered the famous answer, give me a coin, whose face is on it?

The people said, Caesar's.

Jesus then says, give to Caesar what is Caesars and to God what is God's.

Bottom line: pay your taxes.

Today, as we approach April 15, tax due date h…

Devotional Thoughts: Its about honoring the King

Am looking at Matthew 22:1-14 this morning.

Jesus tells many stories in the Gospels to illustrate the Kingdom of God.

Since we live in a representative democracy the notions of a King and a kingdom seem a bit foreign to us.

In the USA, about 1/3 of the people might like the President at any given time. 1/3 don't like him (and someday her) and 1/3 don't even know who is President!

I have seen the White House a few times in my life and I always thought of it as a pretty big house. Then in 1999, I visited Vienna and saw some Palaces. I think the White House could fit in some of the gardens of these places!

From 1993-1997, I lived in the metro Washington DC area. In 1996, I voted for the guy who lost. Thus, when 1997 rolled around for the Inauguration, I had to decide if I wanted to go to Pennsylvania avenue to see the parade. These events only occur every four years and I felt as an American citizen who lived close enough to go, to go and celebrate American democracy. I did…

Sports: The gutty little Bruins onto the Elite Eight!

UCLA 73 Gonzaga 71.

Did you see that?


I've seen my share of basketball games and this has got to be one of the wildest finishes I've ever seen.

9 times out of 10, the comeback comes up short and you say, they had heart to fight their way back.

Tonight, the gutty little Bruins were left for dead and somehow found a way to get back into the game and then, incredibly, to win it.

Next up: Memphis. Saturday. 4 PM PST.

Go Bruins!

Sports: Basketball Verbal Brawl

Tonight. Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. UCLA Bruins.

In this LA Times story we get these lovely quotes:Asked at a Wednesday news conference why Gonzaga and UCLA don't play each other more often — Gonzaga won their only previous meeting, 59-43, at Pauley Pavilion in 1999 — Bulldog Coach Mark Few placed the blame on his UCLA counterpart, Ben Howland.

"One just needs to look at his schedules at Pittsburgh and Northern Arizona," Howland's previous head coaching jobs, Few said, "and you'll find he's the greatest scheduler in the history of mankind. Thank goodness for Dan [Guerrero, UCLA's athletic director] or else they'd be playing Alabama AT&T and four non-Division I schools. If Ben ever gets the schedule away from Dan, look out."In this other LA Times story we get these tidbits: Asked what he expects the Bruins to throw at him, Morrison said there are all sorts of possibilities.

"I've seen triangle two, box and one, face guard, beat the … o…

Sports: Bruins versus Gonzaga Thursday Night

A bit of bad news for the Bruins. Farmar who has had ankle problems
for much of the season injured his left wrist and right thumb in the Alabama game. Excerpt:An MRI exam and two X-rays on the left wrist of UCLA point guard Jordan Farmar, who was injured in Saturday's victory over Alabama in the second round of the NCAA tournament, were negative.

Still, Bruin Coach Ben Howland isn't happy seeing Farmar wearing a brace on the wrist, which is slightly swollen, or the sight of minor swelling on Farmar's right thumb.

"I'll be fine," said Farmar, who insists his ability to control the ball or shoot it will not be affected by the injury.

Farmar was hurt breaking his fall with both arms after colliding with several Alabama players as he drove down the lane with a little over six minutes to play Saturday.Hopefully, Farmar will be closer to 100% than to 50%.

The key to UCLA's chances in the Gonzaga game may rest with Collison. Darren Collison is the freshman back…

Sports: Let the madness begin!

Irish Trojan Brendan Loy is on a roll posting about the NCAA brackets!

The inconsistency of some of the seeding seems to be the complaint I'm hearing on TV and radio.

I can see their point.

Then there are complaints about who got in and who didn't.

I dunno... when you get to picking the last 4 teams for at-large bids seeded around the 13-seed level, I am not going to express a lot of confidence that team A is that much more deserving than team B.

Is the sixth team in a power conference really more deserving than the second team in a mid-major?

Is the ninth team in a power conference really more deserving than some of the other bubble teams out there?

Anyway, as for UCLA, I am a fan and am hoping they can pull together a good run.

Some have gone as far as to say, National Championship!

Some other fans are saying, Final Four!

Realistically, they were probably a #3 seed and thus "expected" to get to the Sweet Sixteen but no further.

As I see it, the media buzz around the Pac10…

Sports: UCLA Bruin Basketball, Return to Glory?

The Bruins took the regular season Pacific-10 title. On Saturday, they added the title of Pacific-10 tournament champions.

When the year started, I figured they were likely to come in third behind Arizona and Washington. Instead, Arizona has had a rough year (finished 4th) and Washington had one bad patch in their conference play that allowed UCLA to take the title despite being beaten by Washington twice this season.

On Saturday afternoon, I attended my fifth basketball game in 48 hours.

I blogged about the Big West tournament including my two days of watching games on Thursday and Friday evenings. The posts can be found in the links below:

Day 4
Day 3
Day 2
Day 1
Preview, part II
Preview, part I

In the Pacific-10 post-season tournament, I rooted for UCLA (Biochemistry, 1986) and followed their fate. They had easily defeated Oregon State and Arizona setting up the final game with the California Golden Bears.

The seats were a little more expensive than seats at the Big West Tournament and th…

Devotional Thoughts: Justified Judgement

Am looking at Matthew 21:33-46 this morning.

Jesus is continuing his running commentary on the state of religious affairs with the religious leaders of the day.

As I was reading, I was thinking, if Jesus showed up at the Temple say at 10AM and engaged in a running dialog with them until 4PM, how many pages would the transcript be?

What we have in the Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) isn't a exhaustive word-for-word recounting of these conversations. In those days, they couldn't replay an audio tape or review the videotape.

If one were to take a purely "naturalistic" (no divine intervention) view, what we have would be highlights of what stood out in the mind of the writer.

We see this in the newspapers today. Suppose Prime Minister Tony Blair visits President George W. Bush and they hold a joint news conference. The only place you will find the whole thing would probably be CSPAN. But if you read the newspaper, a hard copy or an internet site, what we get are s…

Devotional Thoughts: you decide - whose authority ... will you follow?

Looking at Matthew 21:23-32. A series of dialogs with the religious leaders of the day. It continues on in verse 33-46 but will only take a look at the 2 shorter episodes this morning.

Previously, Jesus had chased out the merchants from the Temple.

The religious leaders wanted to know, on whose authority did Jesus upset the apple cart?

Jesus could have answered them but sometimes it is better to answer a question by asking a question!

So Jesus asked them, "Did John's baptism come from heaven or was it merely human?"

The religious leaders were stuck. If they said human, the crowds would object because John was viewed as a prophet which would be of god and heaven. If they said heaven then they should have accepted John which they didn't. So they said, we dunno!

Jesus said then, I won't answer your question.

But they knew the answer. They had a "problem" with authority because they didn't want to follow John nor Jesus.

Jesus then sticks it to them wit…

Culture: Southern California Curling Club!

At the moment, it is a Yahoo! Groups with the plan being to have an Open House to introduce people to the game and gauge the level of interest.

When: April 23rd, 2006
Where: Ontario Ice Rink in Ontario, California.

Sports: Pac10 showdowns

The regular season is about to come to an end and UCLA, California, Washington and Arizona are all in position to take the Pac10 title. UCLA faces California tonight. Washington faces Arizona on Saturday.

The following week is the Pac10 post-season tournament where these four teams are expected to face off in the semi-finals and finals.

UCLA beat Arizona twice and Washington beat UCLA twice but Arizona beat Washington! California split with Arizona and Washington. As you can see, all very evenly matched.

Will any of these four teams run the table and go 5-0 and claim a higher spot in the NCAA?

Or will the teams continue to beat each other senseless?

California has a huge frontline. Washington has a tough senior point guard. Arizona has athletic players with an eye for offense. UCLA relies on their 2 guards and good team defense.


UPDATE: Whew! Down 11 at the half, the Bruins came back and it was bearfight to a tie in regulation. But the Bruins took over in OT for the win!…

Culture: New Web page about the Da Vinci Code

The movie is coming out soon. I read the book and reviewed it back in 2004.

Here is a web page for those who want to dialog about the film.

In one of the articles, Hugh Hewitt says:The release of The Da Vinci Code provides a unique opportunity to discuss the person of Jesus Christ with many people who would otherwise never welcome the opportunity. Which is why savvy Christians welcome the hoopla around both the book and the film: It will launch a million conversations, and if you are prepared, those conversations will have a vital and long-lasting -- even eternal -- impact on their lives.

Unprepared, you can confirm the worst stereotypes about Christians as intolerant and ignorant. I'll be checking back in as more materials are posted.

I certainly hope there will be lots of dialog about the movie.

Christians believe that Jesus is the Lord and Savior of all humanity.

The Da Vinci Code says that Jesus was just another human being and had children with Mary Magdalen and that the church …