Archive for the Sports Category

Loyalties

Posted in Sports on November 11, 2009 by garyyfong

As some of you may know, besides the home teams (Sonics, Seahawks, Sounders), I’m a Laker and Yankee fan. This lands me a lot of “bandwagon” comments even though the people immediately around me for a long time know I’ve been a Laker and Yankee fan since high school and stuck with them during the times when they looked utterly awful.

So I’ve decided to compile a list of teams/players I’m a fan of that currently aren’t doing so well so in the future when they arise, I will have unequivocal proof that I’m not just “jumping on the bandwagon”.

New York Knicks
Scuderia Ferrari (F1)
Kimi Raikkonen
Matt Leinart
JaMarcus Russell
San Diego Chargers
UCLA – UW is #1, but IF, and I mean a BIG IF, I had to pick another Pac-10 team to root for it’d be UCLA.
Terrell Owens (He’s definitely on the decline, but his entertainment value gives him a mention here.)
Sasha Vujajic (no, I don’t believe he’ll ever be great in basketball, but he’s dating Maria. I’m a fan of that.)

Bonus: 2 teams that aren’t terribly good right now that will be real good soon but I will definitely not be rooting for…
Clippers & Thunder

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Snowstorm

Posted in Christmas, Food, Sports on December 22, 2008 by garyyfong

Paritally torn MCL or not, you know I CAN’T miss what could be the biggest snow in Seattle in years. I HAD to go play in it… thus after spending what was essentially Friday night- Sunday afternoon in bed, I went to snowboard in my Newcastle neighborhood. I hiked all the way up this one hill where my friend lives which I thought would be a decent hill to board on…

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It seemed like at least a 15 min hike up the hill with a bad knee in snowboarding boots but I made it…

The result:
20ish seconds of “fun”.  I put fun in quotes cuz after coming down the hill I realized a fatal flaw in my logic in doing this. There is a reason why we all pay $50 or whatever for ski lift tickets. Any hill that’s steep enough to allow you to board down, probably isn’t worth the hike up. By the time I got up this hill I was tired as hell and sweating like a mofo. And it was barely steep enough for my to board down. Barely. I didn’t get good speed and had to really work to keep myself going :p

So after just one run, I went straight home, took a shower cuz I was sweating like I just played 2 basketball games,  made a bowl a ramen, and sat down to watch football.

Top 10 Dream Jobs

Posted in Careers, Dreams, Sports, Travel on October 8, 2008 by garyyfong

Some of you may be happy with the job that you have and picture yourself doing what you’re doing for the rest of your life. Some of you may be content at where you are now, not sure what the future will bring, but you’re satisfied in your near future. And then there are some of you that absolutely hate what you are doing and desperately wanting to get out, fast, only to be hampered by the recent economic nightmare.

Well, where ever you are, I’m almost positive that there are times at your job where you crumple up a piece of trash, raise up your hands, get on your toes, and for a second pretend you are Kobe Bryant as you shoot the trash into the wastebasket. Maybe not Kobe Bryant. Maybe not even basketball. But something along those lines. You get what I mean. I say almost positive cuz I’ve recently talked to a friend that actually thought that was strange and claims he only thinks about stuff he can actually do. Well that’s no fun. Maybe I can’t throw a real football 70 yards, run a sub-10sec 100m, or do a 360 dunk or a regulation basket. But it’s only pretend, and if I saw a 8 foot basket while I’m playing ball you knowI’m gonna try that dunk. Ha ha. It’s just something you do. Aspire to be something great, and in a sense, indulge a little to your imagination.

So, what would you like to do if you could have any job in the world? Since this is kinda about dream jobs, let’s put a cap on somewhat realistic careers. We’ll define “realistic” as being an actual job that any human could attain, given the right God-given born talents, skills, and opportunities. So in other words, no, you can’t be Superman. And no, you can’t be the benevolent emperor of the world (both of which would be top choices for me haha). Although I suppose if you had enough charm or political tact you could marry your way into royalty or work your way into sole leadership like Caesar. But let’s throw that out. Also, don’t let money be a factor, pretend whatever you do pays the same bills any other job would. So you can’t say I wanna be an oil tycoon just cuz you’d have all the money in the world unless you are really interested in the part of looking for oil and running a business. In fact, let’s take out a ridiculously large amount of inheritance too so you can’t say you wanna do nothin but have parties on your yacht in the Mediterranean. So that rules out being Batman as well.

Now that we have “dream job” defined, what will it be for you? Comment at the bottom at what your dream job would be. To give you some ideas, here are my top 10 dream jobs.

#1. Formula 1 Race Driver for Ferrari

Not a big surprise for those that know me right? Yeah, I’d drive for any team in Formula 1 even as a test driver, but we’re talking absolute dream job right? Of course driving is my #1 passion and Formula 1 is the pinnacle of competitive driving. Plus I love to travel across the globe. Pulling multiple G’s in the corners while zipping around the track in an absolute state-of-the-art engineered driving machines at over 200 mph at tracks across exotic locales; couldn’t get any better for me. Unless, of course, I’m the top driver of my favorite team with the fastest car. (I’m also gonna lump WRC Driver here too because “Driver” is what this really is. Even though rally racing is a completely different skills set and I think all rally drivers are crazy. Also this will effectively lump in major racing championships like Euro-LeMans, etc. Not NASCAR or Indy Car or any other forms of glorified drag racing tho.) If any of this is a surprise to you, you obviously don’t know me.

#2. NFL (Football) Quarterback

Ok, this is a tough one for me because #2 and #3 are soooo close! I guess it comes down to that I think football is the sport that would make your friendships tighter than in #3. But it’s close. I love the game of football and the quarterback is the guy who (under normal circumstances) has the ball the most. Not that I wanna be a ball hog, but I just love to play and want to be a part of every play. Also usually the quarterback has the most control of how the game goes and is also leader of the team. A great quarterback is usually the best player on the team too. In my pipe dream world I’d wanna be as great a quarterback as Tom Brady, but also be as fast as Randy Moss, and as quick as Chris Paul. Oh oops, wrong sport.

#3. NBA (Basketball) Mega-Star

Notice that I didn’t pin down a specific position because I’d want to be a versatile player who could play multiple positions like a Kobe, LeBron, KG, or KD. I’d probably most like to be a Kobe to LeBron size player so I can get some good speed and flashy dunks. Ha ha. Maybe it’s #3 cuz it’s football season. Or maybe it’s cuz the Sonics left and Ray Lee still drinks starbucks.

#4. A-List Actor

Obvious choice. This is the one job on this list in which part of the job could be to do multiple things on this list. Acting and making movies is fun for me and the traveling is also another big plus.

#5. Superstar Singer

Come on, you knew this was coming. I love to sing. Traveling on tour would be great. It would be awesome if I was actually HK Superstar. Or American Superstar. Or both.

#6. FIFA (Soccer) Mega-Star Forward

This could be a surprise for you. I actually do like soccer a lot. It’s fun and any job where part of your job is to stay in top physical shape is good for me. I think if I had to choose a position it would be forward because I like to take it to the house and shoot. But in modern soccer, like basketball, a lot of the positions are not totally rigid so it really doesn’t matter what position I play. Plus soccer is the main sport in most of the world, which mean global exposure and travel. That’s cool with me.

#7. Top Ranked Tennis Player

Much like the same reasons why #6 is on this list, I love to play tennis too and the job consists of staying in top form. You also get to travel to compete at opens worldwide. And if you aspire to be something of course you aspire to be the best. (Ok, I know Federer isn’t the current #1 but he most definitely is the #1 of the past decade, I’d take #1 of the decade by far and current #2 over current #1 any day.) Not saying that it’s the main reason, but having some smoking hot women tennis players you see day in-day out is a major perk.

#8. Supermodel

You can call me shallow but if I’m wishing I could be anything I don’t see anything wrong with wishing I was insanely good looking on top of having a good personality. And really, your job would be just to look good. Besides staying in shape which I’ve pointed out is something I’d like as part of my dream job, there really is no work involved. And again I love to travel. Also again, working with women supermodels is a nice perk too.

#9. World’s Fastest Man

This actually requires an incredible amount of work. I know. Ok, not that I’m close to being anywhere near as fast as Usain Bolt, but from experience, besides just God-given genetics, once you are running up there at your peak in 100m sprints, to gain a tenth of a second faster takes a huge amount of training. Sometimes even that training for speed wouldn’t even matter cuz it’s about training for a good jump on the start as well. One tenth of a second is a lifetime when you’re running sub-10sec 100m. But world’s fastest man is quite an accomplishment, and if I could I so would. Also I guess if all this is dream jobs anyway, I could “dream” that I could be a genetic freak that doesn’t have to train 24 hours a day, can eat the oiliest of foods, and still easily run sub-9s.

#10. Big Time Engineer

No, this is not what I am now. I’m an engineer, but not at all big timing. By big timing, I mean like engineering engines for BMW’s next M5, or engineering the longest cable stayed bridge in the world, the tallest skyscraper in the world, physics defying landmarks, or the world’s first acrology. That’s what I envisioned when I went into engineering. Using new innovations, technology, and materials. Not saying that wouldn’t be where I’m headed towards in the future, but that is definitely not what I’m doing right now. No such glory, no such glamour, no such challenge or interest.

Honorable Mention. Bus Driver

No joke, when I was little, when I was asked what i wanted to be when I grew up like any other kid, I actually in fact wanted to be a bus driver cuz you get to drive around the city all day. My parents were, not surprisingly, terrified. I mean, I guess not so much in a calm easy going town like Seattle, but this was when I still lived in Hong Kong. If you’ve been there, you should know that driving a bus there would be challenging and take a LOT of skill, concentration, and extreme sense of awareness. It is nothing like the chill type of driving done here. You bet if I was a bus driver in HK I’d push it to the limit. Also, in a big city like HK, you won’t get bored as easily because there’s always so much going on.

So there you are, my top 10 dream jobs (+honorable mention) if I could have any job in the world. Go ahead, imagine what you’d like to do, and don’t forget to write it in the comments below!

There is such a thing as TOO good

Posted in Formula 1, Sports, Travel on September 30, 2008 by garyyfong

It’s Monday, my most hated day of the week. I could complain about how tired I am. I could complain about how my fellow HS class of 2003, Dan, just turned 24 which reminds me that I’m getting older as well. I could complain about how summer has officially ended and we’ve got about 9+ months of gray, rain, and cold ahead of us. I could complain about how for the 3rd time in 4 weeks my favored fantasy football team got blown out due to different people under-performing. I could complain about how much I hate my job and that I’m ready to quit if it wasn’t for the economy being so bad that it’s tough finding a better job here or in Asia, effectively throwing a big wrench in my plan for the semi-annual HK trip. Lastly, after seeing this last weekend’s F1 race, I could complain about how my favorite driver once again ended with zero points along with my favorite team and thus making his chances at repeating his championship almost nil.

But surprisingly, I’m actually not too bummed by those things. Yeah, I’m most bummed about my job and my trip but I’ve still got time on that issue. The weather is still nice out which is holding my Seasonal Affective Disorder off for now. And as bad as bad fanatsy team was this week, I know with the players I have they won’t stay bad all year and I’m like 100% sure I’ll make the playoffs.

What’s got me so rattled is how AMAZING something was that I only witnessed through a video from the screen of my computer. Have you ever loved something so much it made you cry? How you ever needed something so bad you can’t sleep at night? I’ve experienced that feeling now. Knowing there is something so special and great but also knowing you can’t have it at all is the worst. The Formula 1 race this past weekend. It was SO awesome that it made me a bit sad that I wasn’t there to experience it first hand and I will never get that chance on this inaugural race again. Despite Raikkonen crashing out and Ferrari not scoring any points at all due to some bad breaks, I could not take my eyes off the race. It was that cool. The first F1 night race EVER set against a wildly amazing backdrop.  

With its similarities in the  skyline overlooking the water, the culture,climate, cleaniness, captialism, democracy,and even proximity to what is obviously one of my favorite cities (Hong Kong), Singapore had already been one of my favorite cities in the world after only going there once years ago. Watching this race taking place there tugged at the very core of my soul. Not being there for it all really rips my heart out.

Those pictures did not serve it any justice. If you are interested, do visit the following links to more pictures from the official F1 site. Those don’t serve it justice either. You should see the breathtaking shots they took in the video of the race. And I bet physically being there would have been even better by a 1,000-fold.

http://www.formula1.com/gallery/race/2008/801/

http://www.formula1.com/gallery/race/2008/801/special.html

I felt a tingling sensation all over my skin seeing that amazing track at night. I’m not joking when I say I felt chills up and down my spine from the spectacle. AND I’M ONLY WATCHING IT ON A FREAKIN SCREEN!!! I can’t imagine how great I would have felt had I physically gone like I planned to (see previous post). I totally and utterly regret so much that I didn’t just go on my trip as planned. There is, afterall, such a thing as too good. So good that it makes you disappointed. My friend informed me after the race that the price for admission to the race ran $1200. And you know what my immediate thought was? ONLY 12 hundred? I would have paid double that on top of airfare,hotel, etc. now that I saw what it was like. The cars at night looked absolutely amazing. With the lights glaring off the fresh paint of every pinnacle of racing engineering machine streaking through the brightly lit track. The sparks flying off the titanium bottom of every car from the bumps of a street circuit.The excess fuel catching flame at the end of the exhaust. The action, drama, and excitement of a brilliant street race. And the whole atmosphere of a night race at a place like Singapore. Wow.

Unless one day there’s a night race in Hong Kong, this was the race I think I would’ve most wanted to go to EVER. The inaugural Singapore Formula 1 Night Grand Prix. The following ones in the upcoming years will never be the same as the first, but they are still already about as appealing to me as attending the Monaco Grand Prix would be.

Had I been the winning driver of that race, I KNOW, that even at my age as I am now, had I won the race and immediately dropped dead after getting the trophy, I KNOW I would’ve die a happy man with the biggest and most ridiculous smile you’ll ever see on my face.

New Beginnings

Posted in Football, Sports on September 16, 2008 by garyyfong

After years away from Xanga entries, I’ve now official started again anew. (For the abridged version, Just skip to the paragraph before the bullets.) I was gonna start the Monday after the Olympics but after a series of random dumb events, it became a frustrating Monday and so I thought it wasn’t an ideal time to have a fresh new start. Today isn’t exactly the most exciting day of the year, but then again I never liked Mondays and with the weather so nice out, it’s as good a day as any regular Monday.

Since I’m on the theme of new beginnings, I’ll start off this blog about something new I’ve started. I’ve been a football fan as long as I could remember but I’ve never attempted to play fantasy football. I tried fantasy basketball before and at first I’m checking in on my team and my stats multiple times a day. But then as the season plays out I get more excited about the success, or lack of, of my favorite team or players. Then real life takes over and I totally forget about the fantasy team and never check it again (I still won the first half of that season despite having started 2 weeks AFTER everyone else until at mid-season it made everyone redraft and by then I had long forgotten about it). So despite my excitement for fantasy football now, I’d expect to follow a similar trend now as well. Although being in front of a computer at work all day could maybe keep me interested during the whole season.

Anyways, my first crack into the world of fantasy football started out really well. Or at least, what was considered very well. Because of my inexperience and possible eventual indifference to fantasy football, I joined a league of 6 teams with some friends who are also noobs. Having the 5th pick, LT, AP, Westbrook, and Addai were no longer available when I was up. So I picked what I considered the best pick for that situation, Tom Brady, considering that I’m in a 6 team league and although the then so-called “elite” RBs were taken, a bunch of “good” RBs were left on the board for me to scoop later.

Nevertheless, I’m pretty happy even now about the moves I made with the knowledge I had, or didn’t have. I’m not really bitter or have any regrets about my decisions because I still believe I made the right choices. I ended up with Brady, T.O., Marion Barber, T.J. Housh, Antonio Gates, Steve Smith, Carson Palmer, Dallas Clark, Chris Chambers, Maroney, Michael Turner, Bears D/ST, Fred Taylor, and the San Diego Kicker. With a small exception of Fred Taylor, I have absolutely no regret whatsoever considering not knowing how the season will play out thus far. But then this is about when things start to go downhill.

Again to reiterate, I don’t regret these moves, blind luck of the draw just screwed me. They were either good moves at the time, or at the very least reasonable judgement calls I had to make. In other words, not blatantly bad calls, but they just lucked me out of points.

Week 1:

  • 4th Round (24th overall) pick Chad Johnson was dropped to waivers. No one picked him after waivers cleared, I had an extra slot in WRs since Steve Smith is suspened. So I picked him up, and started Chad in front of Chambers, who then scored 10 points as opposed to 2 from Chad.
  • Antonio Gates goes on record as to saying himself that he is not 100% and does not expect to contribute as much as would be expected. I start Dallas Clark instead of Gates.
  • I see Bears playing Peyton Manning and the Colts. I see Vikings playing brand new QB Aaron Rodgers. I drop Bears for Vikings D/ST.
  • Maroney or Turner? Run against Detroit or run against Kansas City? Judgement call: Chiefs suck more and Brady opens up run game more than Ryan will. Start Maroney.
  • 3 of my starters, Brady, Clark, and Barber, gets knocked out of their games. Brady: 1st qtr, 3 fantasy points, out for season. Clark: 1st qtr, 0 fantasy points, didn’t play week 2, still questionable. Barber, not as bad, we’ll see tonight.
  • As if Brady’s season being over is not bad enough, New England splits the running between different backs, Maroney has a very quiet game.
  • Michael Turner lights it up against Detroit, scores 34 and tops fantasy scores for week 1.
  • My backup QB Palmer has horrible game, thus affecting my starters Housh & Chad to have a quiet game.
  • Meanwhile, Chambers, who got bumped by the newly acquired Chad, scores 10 points as opposed to 2 from Chad.
  • Gates scores 10 points despite his injuries, as opposed to Clark’s big fat 0.
  • Aaron Rodgers’s Packers reduces my Vikings D/ST to 1 fantasy point.
  • Bears score 13.

Week 2:

  • Decides to pick up Philip Rivers off standard weekly waivers to replace Brady. Most likely will start him against Denver as opposed to Palmer against Tennessee.
  • When thinking about picking up Cassel to put in back pocket, decides why not try to trade Chad for Cutler to put in back pocket since I eventually can’t have 2 Bengals receivers during their BYE.
  • Trade declined. Ok, no prob. Drop Brady to pick up Cassel.
  • Guy I was trying to trade for Cutler with offers me Brett Favre instead of Cutler for Chad. I accept. Since I have Favre, I cancel my waiver claim to Rivers.
  • Someone drops Santonio Holmes! I use my #2 claim order to get him and prays #1 doesn’t get him. He doesn’t, and I sucessfully drop Fred Taylor for Holmes.
  • With T.O., Housh, Holmes, and Chambers and 3 WR starting slots, I sit Chambers.
  • After struggling to decide on the judgement call as to start Palmer against Titans or Favre against Patriots, my friends agrees it’s a tough call eventualy just says maybe Favre late Friday night. I say oh what the hey, I’ll start Favre. I try to do it on my iPhone cuz I’m not home. It doesn’t allow me to switch the lineup on the espn site because maybe there’s some flash which the iPhone won’t handle. I think nothing of it, I’ll do it later at home.
  • Bengals have an early game so at 9:00 am I wake up in bed remembering I need to take Palmer off the starting lineup and put in Favre. But I was really tired, and I didn’t really feel like getting out of bed that early. I had trouble deciding anyways cuz it was a close judgement call. Forget it, I’m too lazy to get up for that. I go back to sleep.
  • Palmer has another horrible game, bringing Housh down with him.
  • Favre does slightly better, not great, but scores 11 points. That’s 10 more than Palmer scores.
  • Rivers, who I would’ve picked up and started if I didn’t get that reverse offer of Favre for Chad, goes off and scores 33 points.
  • Vikings D/ST does really well… until at the end against Manning. Ends up only scoring 6.
  • Chambers, who again got bumped by a new acquisition, Holmes, scores 20 as opposed to Holmes’s 10.
  • I start Turner since Maroney is splitting carries, and Turner only manages 4 points against Tampa Bay. But still better than Maroney’s 1 point.

It can only get better now tho right?