Archive for Sports

My first pickleball paddle

The very first time, playing it with my own niupipo paddle -:)

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Darryl Strawberry 

A big man walked over, someone said to him, “Hi Darryl.”

He replied, “How you doing.” Then sat down quietly by himself.

Me, his fan, couldn’t help but went over, asking for a selfie. He obliged.
“May I take a photo of you?”

“Sure.”

Before I left, I said, “You’re the first baseball player I’ve known.”

“I appreciated it. I appreciated it.”

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Attending my first Pickleball tourney

APP (the Franklin NYC Open, May 25-29) at Flushing Meadows, New York, the venue of US Open, home to tennis.

This is the first Pickleball tournament I attended. Nearly exactly eight year ago, New York Times had an article, A Funny Name, a Serious Sport. Pickleball, Anyone?

Well, they’re not exact has arrived but is getting notice. Many my tennis friends have taken it up and I was introduced to it by a tennis buddy. Today, I see plenty of my tennis friends there, most of them are volunteering. The ticket is $20 per head (with fees and sales tax comes to $22.5), through TicketMaster – for once, it doesn’t charge an arm and leg. For some reason, their scanner wasn’t working, so they let us in.

The prize purse is $125,000the largest prize purse of any pickleball tournament where no appearance fees are included.

The venue is hosting two events today. The other one is Yeshiva University’s commencement, which is taking place at Arthur Ashe’s Center Court.

The Globe Unisphere at the park, looks wonderful.

 

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The Sixth Man, 2019


The Sixth Man (2019) by Andre Iguodala (1984-).

I picked this book randomly, without knowing who he is. His diction keeps me going. Then the stories. He raised many valid points and the writing is good (with Carvell Wallace (1974-).

不知道他是何方神圣 就开始听,也真够大妈的.
开始听下去是他的声音好听
然后
内容好

这本书和前不久 擅嘴巴/打脸王的自传 Will (2021) 都有一个特点: 严厉的外婆+注重教育的妈. (题外话: 爸爸都去哪儿了?)

很少留意🏀. 迈克尔·乔丹退休后 更是没了任何兴趣. Iguodala的书值得看/听 是他非常明确体系.
大学运动员要不要或者应不应该有收入,一直是个争论点. 他坦坦荡荡的阐述他的观点.
我听完后 看了些书评. 很多人说他的回忆录是关于种族. 不完全同意:也可能他善于隐藏? 比如他说 🎾 ⛳️ ⚾️ 🏒️ 可以随心所欲转职业 但是??🏈就不可以… 但没有中学大学的体育 🏀 他会不会也有今日? A问题好大 留给大人物吧 🤣

Chris Mullin (1963-) 是我们当地的🏀名人. 好像安居乐业在我们隔壁村 🇮🇪人堆. 时不时会撞见他. 一次他坐在我旁边. 大妈刚想问他 他就走开了. 大概是聪明😂

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The doping teen from Russia

The Russian gold medalist Anna Shcherbakova (2004-)

The Russians went to Beijing Olympics under the ROC banner (Russian Olympic Committee), a shell corporation for Russia due to drug scandal (csce.govIn 2016, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov blew the whistle on Russia’s state-run doping program,…). One would think that they’ve learned something … Then the scandal of figure skater Kamila Valieva (2006-) tested positive for trimetazidine on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, at her country’s 2022 Figure Skating Championships in Saint Petersburg, became known AFTER she helped to secure the Russian team gold medal.

Lonesome Dove

The scandalous decision to allow her to continue, not only angered the average spectators/couch potatoes like me but her fellow figure skaters as well: Tara Lipinski ( gold 1998) and  and Johnny Weir condemn the decision; Kristi Yamaguchi (1971; gold medal in 1992) weighted in, said she began to compete at age of 13 and managed it well.

Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that because of her age – 15, is protected and would suffer “irreparable harm” if not letting her to compete. What kind of bullshit is this? IF she wants world glory and decided to compete with adult, then she is under the same rules as everyone else, regardless in age.

In the end, the druggie teen lost, so did World Anti-Doping Agency WaDa and Court of Arbitration for Sport.

… and more …

One FB user wrote: “… Anna Shcherbakova delivered extraordinary performances placing first place in the women’s competition. At the completion of the event no one was embracing her. No one was congratulating her. No one was rejoicing with her. She awkwardly stood silent, alone and seemingly lost while her coaches abandoned her to console her distraught teammates. Just plain insanity. She just won a gold medal! …”

I watched her on Youtube, found her to be very beautiful and, it was a pleasure to watch her skate. …

Sorry have to ask, is she clean?

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Beijing Winter Olympics 2022

Kamila Valieva (2006-)


A very controversial Olympics (XXIV, Feb 4-20) to say the least.

91 nations with nearly 3,000 athletes in 109 events in 7 sports. The slogan is Together for a Shared Future 一起向未来 and it was opened by president Xi Jinping.

Russians go there under ROC banner because their old doping scandal. Why would they be allowed to compete in the first place?

  1. How many people are still watching the Olympics nowadays?
  2. 11 countries diplomatic boycott the game, incl. US, UK, Canada and Australia, Taiwan, …
  3. the covid-19 pandemic or Omicron is still raging …
  4. Putin of Russia is about to invade Ukraine
  5. The athletes switching their alliances, high profile such as Eileen Gu and massive foreign athletes playing for the Chinese ice hockey teams
  6. A mother of eight in Xuzhou is chained by her neckMrs. Xi for real or made up by wishful thinking netizens.
  7. Credit Suisse revealed: unmasks criminals, fraudster and corrupt politicians 

The winter games? Seem the least interesting subject. And the bad judges … “Who’s f***ing judge?” fumes Fanny Smith of Switzerland. 

 

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Yankees vs Tampa Bay Rays, 1:0


1 E 161 Street
Bronx, NY 10451

My first time to Yankee Stadium, attending the last regular season game against Tampa Bay Rays. It’s a must win for Yanks (92-70), which they did, and meaningless one for Rays (100-62), which is the best in baseball this season (they won AL Pennants last year, 2020). It’s a boring game because only one run scored by the Yanks, which tied them with Boston Red Sox – they’ll play one game to decide the wild card into the playoff. It’s a boring game, only one run scored by the Yanks. We left at the bottom of 7th inning and, then stood to watch a few seconds more when Rays was in the scoring position.

The stadium was built in 2009, costing $2.3 billion ($1.2 b is from public subsidies). The surrounding area is slightly better than Shea/Citifield, but without much potential for betterment, where as Mets @ Flushing, I’m still hopeful that Mets’ could make their home a great place to be.

Our gear arrived in time for the game. We only spotted one couple with Rays caps – we’re in the sea of Yankee fans. The thick and sturdy road side bars are for safety?

   

Babe Ruth (1895-1948) was once a Yankee. What did they do in 1949 and 1961? The street vendors sell water for $2 a bottle. The next generation of baseball players!

 

Forbes ranking rates Dallas Cowboys, NY Yankees and Knicks as the top three most valuable teams ($5+ in billion.

目测 戴养鸡🧢 的中国人多过其它任何一个队 不知道为什么. 最近五年价值最高的职业队是达拉斯的小牛队🏈 养鸡屈居小二, 虽然养鸡赢了27个🥎冠军 牛5才个🏈冠军. 不过鸡队的建队时间比牛长一倍. 挺怀念🐔队的前乔治 Steinbrenner (1930-2010), 和大嘴巴 床铺有一拼.
为了来看这场比赛 特意买了TB的🧢.
七个inning 没有一个run, 🥱

By the way, Tom Brady plays his old New England Patriots

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A Funny Name, a Serious Sport. Pickleball, Anyone?

I was doing some research and came upon this six years old article on pickle ball.

The New York Times by By Peter T. Kilborn, May 14, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Va. — MAYBE it was the whimsical name — pickleball — that got baby boomers to try the game. A hybrid of racket and paddle sports, it was not notably new. Pickleball began on Bainbridge Island, Wash., where legend has it that Pickles, the resident cocker spaniel, would chase the errant ball. It was Pickles’s ball, thus the name.

Here and there, mostly in the Northwest, pickleball drew some interest. But nearly a half-century since its creation, pickleball has reached critical mass. It has hooked the hardy and quick among the 77 million Americans who began streaming into retirement three years ago at 65. “That is where the growth is coming from,” said Justin Maloof, executive director of the USA Pickleball Association in Surprise, Ariz. The association counts 150,000 active players now, almost triple the number in 2010, and Mr. Maloof is sure there are many more he can’t track.

Too impatient for golf, too prudent for skateboards and skis, and too mobile or proud for shuffleboard, boomers are carving up underused volleyball, basketball and tennis courts to bring pickleball to their gyms and parks, their country clubs and retirement communities. Players are “picklers.” They “pickle.” Lose, they’re “pickled.”

Perhaps no organized sport since baseball, football and basketball matches pickleball’s seduction of so wide a swath of the population. Last year pickleball was admitted to the National Senior Games, the first new sport in 20 years. States, counties and cities are adding pickleball to their games. The District of Columbia does not have a single permanent pickleball court, but in March the city added the sport to its senior games.

Pickleball’s precursors are tennis, table tennis and badminton. The game is played on a smooth, hard surface, usually concrete, blacktop or a gymnasium floor. The court resembles a tennis court, but its net is a bit lower. It doesn’t have alleys for doubles (although the game is often played in doubles), and at about half the size of a tennis court, it is more like a badminton court. The ball is hard, hollow and perforated, a modified whiffle ball.

Like table tennis, pickleball is played with a paddle, about 8 inches wide and 15 inches long, including the handle, faced with plywood, graphite or composite. In singles or doubles, players serve underhand and diagonally from one side of the baseline, then the other. The ball must bounce before the serve is returned, and, unlike in tennis, the return, too, must bounce. Then volleying, or hitting midair before a bounce, can begin.

The play can be dainty and slow, or it can be fast and ferocious. Pickleball’s appeal to older adults lies in its kindness to joints and bones. Most play doubles, so they can hit most balls within one or two steps.

Pickleball can stir resistance from neighbors. They complain that the incessant thwhack of the paddles rattles their ears worse than children slamming skateboards on asphalt. In 2009, two homeowners sued the Rockford Park District in Illinois to stop pickleballing at new courts that the department installed near their homes. In January, the court ruled for the parks. Buy a house near a recreational park, the court basically said, and you set yourself up for some noise.

Near the community clubhouse of the Heritage Hunt retiree development of $250,000 to $700,000 homes in Gainesville, Va., 40 miles west of Washington, are two pristine tennis courts that are not often used for tennis. Three years ago, Esta Gladstone, 70, a resident and semiretired photographer, beat back the tennis lobby to lower the nets two inches and paint red pickleball lines inside the white tennis lines.

Twice a week, Ms. Gladstone assembles players for two hours of doubles. On a sunny and brisk Thursday in April, 10 showed up. The first was Jill Devanney, 53, a former tennis player. Tennis, she said, had become too fast and muscular. She can control a pickleball better. “It’s more of a finesse game,” she said.

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Next was Ronald Foltz, 71, a retired map services worker for the federal government. “He’s spanking new,” Ms. Gladstone said. “You get a new guy like Ron and pair him with a good player. That’s how you get them into the game.”

“You need good enough knees,” Ms. Gladstone said, “a good back, good eye-hand coordination, good balance. That probably eliminates two-thirds of the people who live here.”

When newcomers appear, she checks them out. “Are you well enough to play?” she asks. “I can tell immediately who should come back, but I can’t tell them that.” Watching Mr. Foltz start, she said, “He’s qualified.”

She dispatched him to play with experienced players like Ralph Tapp, 70, who spent a career with the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Marketing Service. He wears a deeply carved gold rock of a ring. It commemorates the 40th anniversary of his Oklahoma State University basketball team’s winning the Big Eight Conference in 1965. “I’ve been playing this for five or six years,” he said.

Mr. Tapp is tall, limber and strong, and lethal catching a lob that he slams at his foe’s toes. Wilier players like Ms. Devanney tend toward “dinking” the ball — tipping it barely over the net, which, with a twist of the wrist, produces a little bounce.

Pickleball is going pro, though not to the level of the N.B.A. At national tournaments, men and women grouped by age, like 60 to 65, 80 to 85 and 85 and up, vie for cash prizes up to $1,000. Businesses like Pickleball Mall and Pickleball Rocks! have surfaced to sell and produce game gear, joining older companies like Pickle-ball Inc., which was formed in 1972.

As a measure perhaps of septuagenarian aspirations, manufacturers label their paddles with names like Enforcer, Storm, Attack, Avenger, Blaster, Stryker, Kryptonite, Predator and the $100 top-of-the-line Whomper. Hyland’s Inc., a homeopathic medicine company in Los Angeles, sponsors the new online Pickleball Channel with its Hyland’s Leg Cramps, quinine-laced tablets that ease the pain of fierce play.

Last year, the once all-volunteer Pickleball Association hired Mr. Maloof, a former executive director of Coyotes Ice, the owner of the home arena for the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team, to manage the association. In February this year, he started its first website. He said 527 pickleball locations opened in 2013, bringing the total to 2,281.

Also last year the association organized its fifth and biggest national tournament with 594 players from 39 states and five countries. It has recruited 700 volunteer regional “ambassadors” to promote and teach pickleball. The game has caught on outside the United States, notably in British Columbia, the northern neighbor of Washington State, and lately in Spain and India.

For the hardy and quick, pickleball is easy to learn. A good paddle costs around $70 and the ball $2. With portable nets and posts, players can set up a court on any hard surface for less than $300.

Helen White, 61, is the Pickleball Association’s ambassador for an area around Arlington, Va. Last year at the National Senior Games in Cleveland, she won a silver medal for her 60-to-65 women’s age group. Retired from a web management job at AARP, Ms. White brings beginners together with experienced picklers to learn and to play. “It’s all about living your passion,” she said. “Getting older adults to play sports.’ ”

One Saturday, Ms. White assembles a group ages 56 to 84 in the gym of a public recreation center on Georgia Avenue in Washington. She lays out two temporary courts and hands out paddles and balls.

“Hold the paddle,” she says, circling around them. “Shake hands with it. Walk around and try balancing the ball on the paddle. Bounce it up and catch the ball on the paddle. Walk around doing that. Bounce the ball off the paddle five times. Find your sweet spot.”

“It’s fun,” said Helen Quick, 72, a former health care contractor and Planned Parenthood official. She and Kathleen Grant, 69, a former public policy mediator, were in a dance class a year ago when they came upon Ms. White. They are advanced picklers now. “It’s social,” Ms. Quick said. “I love the movement. I love hitting the ball. You laugh a lot.”

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On the rock

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Jimmy Ma

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