March 31, 2009

YouTube delays Northern Rangers video


We shot a Northern Rangers video today along our hike of the Coal Creek Trail.

YouTube has been performing maintenance since I got home and I haven't been able to upload it.

Sorry for the delay, it will be up tomorrow though.

High School Sports Feature: South Kitsap soccer


The Narrows League opener for South Kitsap High School vs Olympia High School was deadlocked at 0 until the 33rd minute. Then Justin Moore found himself with a one-on-one situation with the goalie.

Moore, a senior, scored 12 goals last year and was named as a first-team all-Narrows League selection at forward. I bet you can guess how that one-on-one situation ended.

If you said with the South Kitsap Wolves taking a 1-0 lead, you would be correct.

After Moore's goal, it didn't take long for the Wolves to add another. Four minutes later the score stood 2-0. For the second goal, Kaleb Craig had a free kick from 25 yards out. Jason Skolnik headed the free kick into the goal.

Later in the game, Moore showed why he has already signed on to play at Western Washington University as he faked out a defender and put in his second goal of the game. Making the score 3-0.

Olympia kept the goose egg off the scoreboard as Ryan Lawrence put a kick in at the 60th minute.

The Wolves moved to 2-0-0 overall and 1-0-0 in league play. South Kitsap hasn't trailed this season at any point.

Epic Photo: Me in 20 years

Yep. This is what I have to look forward to.

Man gets DUI for driving motorized Bar Stool

While the initial reaction to the photo above may be "Where can I get one?" - a word of caution - Motorized Bar Stools usually lead to DUIs. Go Figure.

MARCH 31--In a law enforcement first,
Ohio cops this month arrested a man for drunk driving on a motorized bar stool. That's right, a motorized bar stool, which can be seen below in a police evidence photo. According to cops, Kile Wygle, 28, crashed his bar stool near his Newark home earlier this month and called 911 due to his injuries. When an officer arrived and asked Wygle what happened, he answered, "I wrecked my bar stool."

So please, put deep though in what you're going to motorize and make sure that you can't just pull up to the bar with it. Although I might recommend that somebody out there figure out how to motorize a sofa. I think that might be the next logical step we take as a species. 

Oh, and make sure you don't disturb the neighbors.

Wygle's homemade ride is powered by a Briggs & Stratton lawnmower engine. Wygle noted that the bar stool could hit nearly 40 miles per hour, but that he was only going 20 when he wiped out late in the afternoon on March 4 (a witness told police that he spotted someone driving a "strange motorized machine" before the crash). A plastered Wygle, who failed a series of field sobriety tests, was charged with DUI and driving with a suspended license, both misdemeanors. His bar stool was not impounded.

Hence it will not be available at a police auction. Dammit!

Candidates for the WSU head coaching job

Brandon Hansen - Led his NBA Jam team to a 50-0 record and unlocked the Rookies team. Also have watched "Hoosiers" completely drunk more than any man on earth (except for Bill Simmons) and could grab onto the leg of a player better than Jeff Van Gundy.

Gargamel - I'm sure he would have no problem bending the rules a little to get the top recruits and if they lose, he could always blame it on "those pesky smurfs!" in post-game interviews.

Isiah Thomas - Well, WSU wont have to worry about any NBA team snatching him away.

Gene Hackman - Did you see the work he did in "The Replacements" and "Hoosiers?" When he's not busy kissing Barbara Hershey he can sure get the most out of his players. And there's got to be a Jimmy Chitwood-esque player floating around somewhere in the Palouse. The only thing is, WSU boosters would have to hold a home-town meeting at a barber shop and tell Hackman things like "This is the way we do things in Pullman" and "Are you a god-fearing, upstanding, Christian man" just to get the full effect.

Paul Wulff - As long as he wears those sweatpants during games, he can win as many basketball games as football games and we'd be fine with it. And Casey also wants him to find a hat that fits.

Bobby Knight - It's obvious he wants to get back into coaching judging from the way he brings a yellow notepad on screen during his ESPN gig. Why not have him bring his sweater and throwing ways to Pullman where he's sure to pack all the seats at Beasley and make every media person tippy toe around the Arena. Not to mention that he also plays Guitar Hero.

Epic Video: Indiana Jones and the Song of Theme

March 30, 2009

High School Sports Feature: Moore resigns after 23 years as Prosser football coach


Everyday Just South of North highlights a different high school from the state of Washington.

I came across this article in the Tacoma News Tribune and knew I had to share it. While I was growing up, Prosser High School was known for football.

This article was written by Scott Spruill of the Yakima Republic-Herald on March 27, 2009. Just South of North takes no credit for this work. It was simply a great story and needed to be shared.

PROSSER – Tom Moore has found a way to blend the two things he covets most — family and football. But to do so means Prosser must find a new head football coach for the first time in 23 years.

In a move to spend more time watching his sons play at Boise State University, Moore, one of the most successful coaches in state history, resigned from the Mustangs’ head job on Thursday.

"I love coaching here and I don’t want to retire, but I’m a dad before I’m a coach," Moore said Thursday afternoon. "I still want to coach — I’m addicted to it. But the right thing for me to do now is step down as head coach."

Moore, who will continue teaching physical education at Prosser High School, is still very much committed to the program he built into a state power and he wants to remain on the staff. He plans to apply for the program’s freshman coaching position.

So here’s how that resume will read:

In 23 seasons, Moore produced an astounding .860 winning percentage with a 234-38 record. Four state championships, four runner-up trophies and 21 league titles.

Under Moore, Prosser’s program became known for its prolific offense with state and national records to its credit, including those set by his sons, Kellen and Kirby. They will now both be a four-hour-plus drive away with home games on Saturday and some weekdays.

After a redshirt season at BSU, Kellen Moore won the starting quarterback job last fall and guided the Broncos to a 12-1 season. He completed 69.4 percent of his passes for 3,486 yards and 25 touchdowns.

And now Kirby Moore, a wide receiver, will join his brother after setting national records for touchdowns in a season and career.

"Last season was pretty stressful trying to do everything," Tom Moore said. "I missed three (BSU) games, and on this end I missed some film sessions and cut short some things. It’s wrong for the head coach to miss anything. It’s not fair to the players."

Prosser athletic director and vice principal Casey Gant said the district will open the position next week with May 1 as the target date for having a new head coach in place.

Moore had a staff filled with former players who came through his program, and defensive coordinator Doug Fassler is a longtime assistant. What Moore is hoping for is simply a juggling of job titles.

"It’s like we told the players today, this program has always been about we and us," he said. "Hopefully what happens is we reorganize a little and keep it going."

Can a coach of such prominence handle a secondary role in the same program? And would he create an uncomfortable situation for the new head coach, who has the final say in who the freshman coach will be? Gant isn’t worried about that.

"It would be difficult, like raising a child and then watching somebody else take over," he said. "But Tom has never been a me-me guy. He would take a lower position because he has a passion for the game and cares very much for the kids and the program."

Moore’s resignation follows the same move by his best friend Craig Beverlin, who stepped down at Kamiakin earlier this year after 25 seasons. Both are originally from the Midwest, and it was Beverlin who alerted Moore to the Prosser job in 1986.

But while Beverlin is clearly intent on retiring, Moore sees many years ahead even if not as a head coach. "I’m not leaving and I’m not retiring," he said. "Football is a year-round thing and I still enjoy that. The fun part are the kids and the practices we have. I enjoy all of that, and I still want to contribute here."

Friday Night Lights coming back on NBC


I love high school football. Therefore I love shows about high school football.

I don't watch much television, but there is once show that I watch faithfully and that is NBC's Friday Night Lights.

Well, good news for me because a source close to the studio has released that NBC has signed on for two more 13-episode seasons going through 2010-11.

"Friday Night Lights," a Texas football-and-family drama starring Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, has struggled in the ratings but has been a critical bright spot for NBC, drawing consistently good reviews and Emmy and Peabody awards.

You might remember Kyle Chandler from Early Edition. Early Edition was about a guy who got the newspaper one day early. He would then try to stop the bad events that were going to happen. All the while with people thinking he was simply crazy. It was on the air from 1996-2000.

See Ya Tony Bennett!

Hey Coug fans, remember when this football season made this year feel like the worst ever?

Well it just fell down to a whole new level.

Men's basketball coach Tony Bennett will take Virginia Job.

A source close to the school's search confirmed the report this afternoon. Virginia fired coach Dave Leitao recently.

Bennett was a hot item a year ago after taking the Cougars to a second straight NCAA tournament. He turned down a chance to go to Indiana, and also rebuffed advances from Marquette and LSU.

Coug fans... get off the ledge, seriously. There's more coaches out there. Maybe his dad will come back... who wouldn't want to come to Pullman? 

Somebody better lock all the windows above the second level on the WSU campus now.

Epic Video: Tree Cutters Rule!

So we try to be all about the outdoors here at Just South of North. However, after watching this video, we're pretty sure the outdoors is screwed.

Epic Photo: Bailout stadium opens its doors

Citi Field, the new home of the New York Mets, opened its doors for the first time to host a college baseball game. Georgetown beat St. John's 6-4 on Sunday and the 22,397 attending made up the seventh-largest crowd ever to watch a college baseball game.

Well that's great, since we all paid for it in the form of bailout money for Citi Bank (the stadium's sponsor), I'm glad that the venue will get used. Unlike Safeco Field this year.

Washington Huskies Weekly Update

Starting pitcher Danielle Lawrie continued her dominance this past week for the #2 ranked Washington Huskies softball team in a game at #3 ranked Stanford that the Huskies ultimately lost. Lawrie struck out 16 batters over 8 1/3 innings on Saturday in a 1-0 loss in 11 innings. The winning run scored when a Cardinal was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded (talk about clutch, I remember my first year in fast pitch, high on base percentage, not so good batting average because of hanging over the plate).
Also in the game Ashley Charters extended her hitting streak to 12 games. UW had a few opportunities to score but could never get anybody home, ala the Mariners of last year, you know bases loaded nobody out then, popout, strike out, screaming line drive to a diving first baseman who snags a Sportscenter highlightesque ball. The Dawgs had a chance for revenge on Sunday in Palo Alto but were shut out again by the mighty Cardinal. The Huskies have one more chance to beat Stanford in the regular season on May 7th when they come into Seattle for a visit.
The weekend trip wasn't a total loss for the Huskies as 5 Dawgs qualified for the West Regionals at the Stanford Invitational in Casey's favorite event, the pole vault. Leading the way for Washington was sophmore Scott Roth who vaulted for the first time outdoors in almost two years. Roth took first in the event by clearing 17-feet, 8 1/2 inches which was better by 4 inches than runner up Robert Low of BYU. Taking third was fellow Husky Jared O'Connor.
Next up for the Huskies track team is a visit to Tucson, Arizona for the Jim Click Shootout on April 4th. Yeeee Haaaaaa!!!!!

Reasons why you're still single... trucks.

You're spending way too much money on gas to drive your 4x4 man pickup to your office job in Spokane every day. Howie Long wouldn't be happy with your 14 miles per gallon mileage. Please put your man step back up.

Epic Video: Bobby Knight, Coach K, Rick Pitino and Roy Williams

There's so many things that are great about this Guitar Hero commercial... so let me tell you them... the thought of Bobby Knight playing Guitar Hero, Rick Pitino jamming on the drums (watch him, he really goes after the song), Coach K doing the same on the guitar (by far being the most active coach in the commercial), Bobby Knight sliding into the frame and then his tantrum at the end. This is sheer comedic genius.

What to do now that the Zags are out of the Tournament

Obviously Spokane sports fans must be in a bit of a conundrum now that Zag fans aren't playing anymore. And there aren't a whole lot of alternatives, luckily though we've come up with a few ideas.

Watch Adam Morrison play for the Lakers - wait scratch that, sit on the bench for the Lakers.

Play pick up basketball - And get beat by that crafty Church League old guy that has somehow mastered the hook shot and doing as little work as possible while playing basketball.

Bloomsday - And judging by the physique of those sitting courtside at Zag games... you'd better get running right now.

Find out what Sean Mallon is doing these days - Something tells me he's at an Irish pub somewhere.

Try to analyze who the Seahawks are going to get in the NFL draft - and freak out when they take a Div. III defensive tackle with "plenty of heart and good character."

Turn your gold into cash - Everyone is doing it these days and I'm sure your gold is perfectly safe in the mail. Nobody is going to mess with it, and I'm sure the company is trustworthy enough to send some money back.

Dress up like a Cowboy and challenge people to "Draw!" - Casey keeps doing this. I don't know why.

Use your twitter account to count down the days before college basketball season starts back up - Also make sure you keep track of how many times Mark Few's name gets tossed around for possible jobs.

Practice your Ronny Turiaf voice - For some reason, my impression always sounds like a Russian Astronaut.

This should keep everyone busy, and keep in mind there's always baseball this summer. And also keep in mind that you dont have to watch just the Mariners. Mix it around, I hear the Blue Jays won't lose 100 games this year. Give them some support.

March 29, 2009

Naked pole vaulter runs through the streets

I found this on Comcast Sports. Someone, give him clothes!

A French pole vaulting champion ran naked with his pole through the streets of Paris and posted the video on the Internet, hoping to draw attention to his quest for a new sponsorship deal.

Romain Mesnil, who won a silver medal at the 2007 Athletics World Championships in Osaka, was sponsored by Nike but says his contract expired last year and was not renewed.

"It was probably for budgetary and strategic reasons. It's the crisis," he wrote on his Web site.

Many athletes have reported difficulties obtaining corporate sponsorship as companies cut costs because of the global economic downturn.

In his video, Mesnil runs with his pole as if preparing for a vault at tourist spots like Montmartre and the Pont des Arts across the River Seine. A black square has been added to the footage to cover his groin area.

The video has succeeded in drawing attention to Mesnil's plight, at least in France. It was broadcast on prime-time state television news bulletins.

Here's the video:


Eastern football to play at Qwest in Seattle


CHENEY, WA. -- The Eastern Washington University football team will play five home games in the 2009 season, and one of them will take place across the Cascade Mountains on Halloween Day.
The Eagles will host Portland State on Oct. 31 in a Big Sky Conference game that begins at 1 p.m. at Qwest Field in Seattle. It’s believed to be the first time in Eastern’s 100-year football history that it has played a game in Seattle. The Eagles will play their first game in the Puget Sound area since Oct. 30, 1982, when Eastern won at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.

October 31st, you can bet your socks that the Northern Rangers will be at that game. We'll blog and vlog about it and even wear our red swim caps to the game. Go Eagles!

Chiefs move on to second round of playoffs

The Zags weren't the only team in March Madness as the WHL Playoffs are now in full swing. The Spokane Chiefs knocked off the Seattle Thunderbirds in the first round of the playoffs in front of a crowd of 6,000 last night - four games to one - after a 5-3 victory.

“It wasn’t the cleanest win,” Chiefs coach Hardy Sauter said, referring to Spokane’s eight penalties throughout the game, including five in the third period. “We have to find that fine line between strong and penalized. Tonight at times I thought we didn’t make the best decisions, but at the same time we have to stick up for ourselves too, so all in all it was a pretty good effort.”

Problem is, next up is the Vancouver Giants, the one-seed in the playoffs. They went 59-9 in the regular season and have looked pretty much unstoppable. They also swept their first series of the playoffs 4-0. Looks like somebody is going to have to give them food poisoning. Is there a willing burger joint in Spokane that wants to do that? (I mean a restaurant already did that to the Chiefs this year, you'd think they could at least do it to the away team for a change)

Go to work as your favorite or un-favorite athlete

Dylan Kitzan over at Unforgivable has a hilarious article about going to work pretending to be certain athletes. We'll take an excerpt to give you a taste at just what kind of cards he's dealing...

Alex Rodriguez. Isn't there an office pariah at all large companies? By wearing a pinstriped #13 jersey to work, you'll be admitting that nobody likes you and you'll pretend like you don't care. Like Armstrong, you'll be one of the best at what you do and, like Armstrong, you may or may not take a little out of the cashier's till when nobody's looking. Unlike Lance, however, you'll lie about it until it's proven in black and white, thanks to a newly-installed security camera, that you did screw the company over. Then you'll offer fake apologies, with zero regret, hoping to brush the incident under the rug. You insist that you haven't done that for years, but your co-workers and supervisors know better. Bonus points to anyone who runs into work and slaps the coffee out of someone's hand.

There's also a Manny reference, hence the Manny picture above. Seriously, go and read the entire article - all the bases are covered.

Seattle Sounders FC equal Mariners win total from last season

Okay, that's a bit on an overstatement but the last time an MLS expansion team started the season 2-0 they went on to win the league championship. Not to break out the champagne just two games in, but it is nice to see a Seattle sports team do good this year for a change.

Last night the Sounders beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 with one goal coming from the fine man to the right of this article. Fredy Montero already has three goals in two games - which is pretty awesome in soccer, I hear. Seattle Goalkeeper Kasey Keller (not to be confused with our very own Casey Knopik, who couldn't stop a soccer ball from hitting a fly) had his second shutout of the season and is playing well.

It was also the second consecutive sellout for the Sounders, 28,548, who braved the damp conditions to watch the game. Keep in mind we're in a down economy, and it's soccer in America, and the NCAA Tournament was going on in the same time.

Yeah I'd say the Sounders have some fan support, for now at least.

Outdoor Photo of the Week

Just South of North is starting a new weekly feature titled, "Outdoor Photo of the Week."

These photos will showcase the beauty of the outdoors and the wonder that is the Pacific Northwest.


Buckley, Washington received five inches of snow on March 29, 2009. Buckley sits at an elevation of 700 feet in the foothills of Mount Rainier. Snow isn't a common thing here, especially so much at the end of March. (Photo by Al Knopik, Buckley, Washington)

Think you've got a great outdoor photo? Want to see it hosted on Just South of North. Send your submissions to justsouthofnorth@gmail.com.

Please include your name, a short caption about the photo (date, location, and what makes it special) and your location.

Check back each Sunday for a new Outdoor Photo of the Week.

March 28, 2009

Epic Video: Don't Judge Too Quickly

Northwest forms of public transportation

In case you haven't noticed, you pretty much have to own a car to survive in the Northwest. No taking the subway anywhere like in New York. Luckily, if you're resourceful, you can use these other forms of public transportation.

1. Your buddy's car with him driving - Just tell him your car is in the shop.

2. Hanggliders - This is if you like heights and don't mind the occasional rough landing. Think about it though, you won't have to worry about sitting next to that strange guy who talks to himself on the bus.

3. Horses - We still use horses in the Northwest. In fact, I saw tumbleweeds the other day, HERDS of tumbleweeds. So basically we haven't progressed much since the 1800s. Ask Casey, he keeps walking around in a cowboy hat, chaps and boots - challenging people to a gun fight at the OK Corral. Luckily, most people just point and laugh.

4. Trains... not the passenger ones - Nothing wrong with hopping on freight trains and riding the rails. Just make sure you packed a lunch and make sure the train isn't headed to someplace like Montana.

5. Turning into a bat and flying places - Ask the people of Forks, WA about this, I hear they have a vampire problem.

6. Hiking - Who needs to go to the mall quickly when you can walk up and OVER a mountain. Just make sure it's not a Volcano.

7. Put a bunch of balloons on a lawn chair - This is actually called a Redneck Airline.

8. Use the Spokane International Airport - that doesn't have any international flights.

9. Sled dogs - If used properly not only can they be used as public transportation, but they can poop on your ex girlfriend's lawn.

10. Using this restroom.

Well this pretty much sums it up about Gonzaga...

Was trolling the Spokesman's blog for fan reactions to the 98-77 drubbing Gonzaga took last night against UNC and somebody pretty much nailed it on the head.

Zags got a great seed in the tourney….beat a 13 and a 12 seed. When all is said an done…the best win was probably their win at Tennessee.

I think this team has become the team that the pre morrison teams loved to play.
-RobH

Couldn't agree more. Last nights loss showed that Gonzaga isn't quite the national powerhouse we thought - despite all the star recruits - and they still haven't matched the level of the 1999 Zag Elite Eight team. My friend Colin told me last night after the game (Colin, by the way is a ravid Maryland fan, you know, a program that has won a national championship) "They're a Top 20 program but not a Top 10 program."

They've become a much-hyped squad that the 1999 team would have loved to face in the Tournament.

March 27, 2009

Reasons why you're still single: You're stupid CBS

Tonight, instead of switching over to the GOOD game of Kansas and Michigan State, stupid CBS kept leaving it on the Gonzaga game. By the way, Gonzaga was getting beat by over 20 points. Nevermind that the KU and MSU game was tied at just under a minute. Oh no, let's watch the Zags get their butts kicked. CBS, you stink.

Gamma watch to undergo torture test


Reactor Watches claim to make the Best Built Sport Watch in the world.

I personally hadn't ever heard of Reactor, but listen to this. The company is so confident in their products that they are attaching a watch to a shipwreck under the ocean and leaving it there for three years. Yes, three years!

To leave no doubt about the company's “best built” claim, Reactor recently attached a stock Gamma watch to a shipwreck submerged in 300 feet of saltwater off the Southeast coast of Florida, where it will remain for three years, exposing the watch continually to harsh conditions.

Now if their watch withstands this test, that would be the best marketing stunt ever. I only have one question, will it be set for daylight savings time?

The watch that was submerged back in February as the Reactor Gamma.

Here's a bit about these Gamma watches:

Gamma is the latest evidence of Reactor's quest to build the best sport watch possible, starting with a massive 45.5mm dia. case for easy viewing, then adding the thickest ever application of Superluminova for extreme low-light performance. Other key features include a 10-year power supply, 300M depth rating and an anti-reflective coated crystal for easy viewing under water.

This watch runs around $350. So a bit pricey, but still, it is an amazing watch.

Epic Video: Full Court Shot

All I can say is wow.

Epic Video: Xavier's coach was apparently a child phenom

Apparently Xavier head basketball coach Sean Miller went from this...


to this...
Getting older rocks, doesn't it?

Cat people must be stopped: 80 cats found in single home

What causes people to collect cats like stamps? I mean at what point does a situation like this seem normal...

One New Jersey SPCA official said it was probably the worst case he's ever seen.

An estimated 80 cats and one dog were found Thursday living in a home in a million-dollar neighborhood in
Morris County.

SPCA spokesman Matthew Stanton said there was 2 feet of feces in one room of the home on
Farm Road in Chester Township. Investigators wore masks to help them breathe through the stench of urine, Stanton said.

What the hell? I mean wouldn't you be like:

"Honey, we've got way too many cats in here. I count 80 cats at least. That's a lot. I don't think it's normal to have 80 freakin' cats in the house. Oops, I think I just stepped on like three cats. I can't even get to the bathroom because there are so many cats in this house. I've had enough, I'm going to a Holiday Inn Express."

But hey, at least they didn't have a mouse problem...

Epic Photo: Guys vs. Girls

What goes through your head when someone says, "Hey, lets go for a beer."

This is what goes through both a girls mind and guys. What a difference.

Predator X was a real sea monster

Growing up I loved dinosaurs. I thought it was fascinating learning all about them. Huge giants that used to roam the same land and seas that humans do now.

The most feared of these was the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Until recently. Enter Predator X.

Now you fellow comic book nerds out there may be saying, "Casey, Predator X was in Marvel comics. Predator X was created by scientists. It was designed to hunt and kill mutants and was a perfect example of extreme genetic engineering."

Well folks, Predator X was real. And he was pretty darn scary.

Predator X remains was discovered last year in the Arctic. The area that it was discovered is so close to the North Pole that scientists are only able to excavate up there for three to four weeks a year.

The fossil remains of this sea reptile were excavated from the permafrost of Svalbard, a group of islands in the Arctic Ocean. Dubbed “Predator X”, the creature was at least 50 feet long and weighed at least 45 tons. It is now believed that the animal was not a dinosaur but a
pliosaur, a large, short-necked reptile that lived 147 million years ago.

While it is not the largest sea creature ever found - that would be the 75ft ichthyosaur - Predator X was extremely deadly. It had a ten-foot jaw with a bite force of 33,000 lbs per square inch. To put that into perspective, the Tyrannosaurus Rex 3,000 lbs per square inch. It could have crushed a Hummer!

And if Predator X's bite wasn't a enough to put nightmares in your head at night, it had also evolved to not just swim through the water, but blaze through it.

Predator X also had two hind-fins, which scientists were confused by, as only the front set are necessary for swimming. However, it was deduced that these back fins gave the creature an extra boost of speed when it went in for the kill.

The shape and the size of the brain most closely resembles today’s most perfect predator: the great white shark.

Talk about a lethal creature.

Epic Video: This is what rough seas look like

Here's another reason (other than jellyfish) I wont go out on the ocean. Small boats and rough seas. This isn't even the major part of the storm. Something tells me I couldn't be a sailor.

Why I will still be the Gonzaga hater today...

Gonzaga matches up today against UNC, as expected all of Spokane is behind their team. Everyone except for me. Why am I still drinking from the haterade? Because it's hard to kick old habits.

However, I will no longer say that Gonzaga is overrated, because they have certainly vindicated themselves as a Sweet Sixteen team and pretty much made me look like an idiot.

But...

(1) I can't stand it when a local Spokane radio show makes excuses for why Mark Few doesn't talk to the local media. It's alright for the Zags to snub Spokane? eh...

(2) I have UNC winning the entire NCAA tournament. Not sure how that happened, but it's either me or Gonzaga, and I'm going with my bracket.

(3) I'd rather have Gonzaga lose a close matchup with UNC than get "Duked" in the Elite Eight with whichever super-physical team they match up with. The finesse team in college basketball is now dead.

Say hello to the Big East.

(4) I'm grouchy. Ask anyone. I should be all green and live in a garbage can.

Zags play UNC, 7 p.m. today on CBS. Don't miss it. I need to find some TarHeels gear.

We interrupt March Madness to remind you that Cougar Football still stinks

If you're Paul Wulff right now you've got to be enjoying life, not only did your former school get hit with NCAA sanctions after violations by you and your coaching staff, but you also have to figure out this whole 2-11 record thingy last year.

And if you want to hear how the Cougs are doing in Spring Football, read Vince Grippi of the Spokesman-Review, he's got a great sense of humor and probably needs it.

...Marshall Lobbestael, coming off an off-season lowlighted by knee surgery and an alcohol violation, lofted a perfect pass to tight end Tony Thompson during a 7-on-7 passing drill. The connection was good for what passes for a touchdown in the drill and ignited a celebration.

As in Lobbestael awkwardly sprinting/jogging the length of Washington State’s Rogers practice field in an attempt to chest-bump an excited Thompson. The ensuing contact was more like a clumsy man-hug than demonstrative chest bump.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2009 Washington State Cougars!

March 26, 2009

Chiefs Update: Second Round in Sight

It may be a blessing in disguise for the Spokane Chiefs, as they sit just one win away from a date with the Vancouver Giants in the Western Conference semifinals, but their three wins over the Seattle Thunderbirds in the first four games of the opening round have come in a variety of ways.

Last Friday, in the playoff opener, Chiefs stud Drayson Bowman tallied twice and Spokane goaltender Dustin Tokarski turned aside 31 of 32 shots as the home team eked out a win in a defensive struggle, 2-1.

The next night was more of the same, except the opposite, as the Thunderbirds defeated Bowman 2-1. Calvin Pickard, the game's first star, made 33 saves on 34 shots to get his first career playoff victory.

With Seattle claiming home ice advantage after stealing a win in the Lilac City, the Chiefs turned the tables in a big way, scoring twice on the power play and penalty kill and getting a pair of goals and assists from Levko Koper in a 5-1 blowout. The win was a stark contrast to the first two games in Spokane, in which the Chiefs failed to score on special teams and got no goals from anyone not wearing #27.

That success continued into Wednesday's game, as Spokane took a stranglehold on the series by defeating Seattle 3-2. Each team tallied twice in the first half of the first stanza, but settled down from there on. The lamp was only lit halfway through the second, when Ondrej Roman decided to start contributing to the Chiefs again with his first of the playoffs, which stood as the game-winner. The Chiefs special teams continued its superior play, scoring once in five power play chances while killing all three of Seattle's man advantages. In all, the T'Birds are just 1 for 15 in the first four games of the series (being outscored by Spokane yet again on their own power play), while the Chiefs have scored three times on just 14 power plays.

And not to sound like hockey's version of John Madden, but if you don't score against the Chiefs, you won't win a long series versus them. With six goals in four games, Seattle is fortunate that they get to return east for a Game 5. By comparison, the Giants, who lurk on deck for Spokane, scored 17 goals in the first two games of their series against the Prince George Cougars and, needless to say, went on to a victorious sweep.

For Spokane, it's nice to be up 3-1 in the series, but without Jared Cowen, the offense will need to put up big numbers in round 2 (yeah, assuming they finish the job Saturday, Sunday or Tuesday night). So far, they've scored 11 goals in four games, but nearly half of them came in one game. Game 5 could be a golden opportunity to get their top lines clicking and the timing would be perfect, as Spokane is 0-2 on the season against Vancouver.

First things first though. Seattle has an explosive offense, capable defense and a goalie who is looking to make a name for himself and escape his brother's shadow. Spokane needs one more spectacular performance to force a rematch of last season's second round. Go Chiefs Go!

Epic Photo: We love being right here at Just South of North

It may not happen very often, but when it does, we like to gloat a little. Villanova 77, Duke 54.

Puke on Duke

In case you didn't notice from Brandon's previous posts, this is an "anti-Duke" blog. These are the shirts that we are wearing to watch the game tonight:

Reasons you're still single: You root for Duke

Duke's crowds remind me a Star Trek convention. You guys are ridiculous (We're just going to be bashing Duke all day here at Just South of North).

Video games you played as a kid - if you were a loser

1. Bubble Bobble - This "non-violent" alternative to NES games were pretty much for parents and kids that didn't want to squish Goombas and Bowser. Lame.

2. Mario on Game Boy -
Not to confused with the second Mario game that came out on the original Game Boy, which was amazing, this was the first Mario Game Boy game where our hero was approximately three whole pixels (see photo). No joke. And don't try playing the Game Boy in the dark, it doesn't work.

3.
Jeopardy - You try answering 1980s questions that required you to type in the answer with your NES pad. Yeah I couldn't get a question right nowadays much less when I was twelve.

4. The
Addam's Family - You played as Uncle Fester and killed Aliens, which really had nothing to do with the movies. Great marketing ploy fellas.

5. Any sports game other than
Tecmo Bowl and Blades of Steel on the NES - Let's face it, sports games before the SNES and Sega really sucked badly.

6. Not Mike Tyson's
Punchout - Generic Punchout? Thanks Iron Mike for losing your endorsement, now I get to play Mr. Dream.

7.
Tetris - Everyone had Tertis and the only people that played this game were our parents ... for hours... while we watched ... and cried.

8. Dr. Mario -
Same as above except now you have viruses. Played this game a couple of weeks ago and it still really sucked. I've decided that Mario just shouldn't go into the medical field.

9.
Pac-Man - What's next? Porting Pong to the Nintendo? Oh wait, I think they did that...

10. Final Fantasy -
Trying to get a 12-year old kid to play a role-playing game is like trying to get Wesley Snipes to do his taxes.

Epic Photo: Duke sucks, well we hope Duke sucks tonight

Duke tips off tonight again Villanova in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament and we hope they lose (Well just me, I don't know about Casey, his fiancee is a Denver Broncos fan... you never know). Just look at the photo up there? How can you root for a team that looks like a collection of players that should be matching up in chess matches.

By the way, if you watch this game on CBS - look in the stands for Villanova fans because apparently they all look like Paulie from the "Rocky" movies. No joke. Even the women.

And don't forget Gonzaga tomorrow. I certainly won't pass up the opportunity to bash them any way I can. They already proved me wrong like three times this year. Will they continue to make me look like a complete idiot?

The Kid Who Climbed Everest


Those readers who follow Just South of North on a regular basis will have noticed by now that we here at the blog think that Bear Grylls is pretty much the coolest dude ever.

Some people have even labeled us as having a "man crush" on him. No, that doesn't mean we are in love with Bear, that means we admire him.

According to Urban Dictionary, the definition of a man crush is: When a straight man has a "crush" on another man, not sexual but kind of idolizing him

Yes, it does appear that JustSoN has a man crush on Bear.

But why? Well, the answer to that question is simple. The man is a badass.

I recently bought one of his books through Amazon.com (It just arrived today, so that's what made me think of this post) and I am very excited to start reading it.

The book is "The Kid Who Climbed Everest: The Incredible Story of a 23-Year-Old's Summit of Mt. Everest."

Here's the synopsis: "Everest," writes British climber Bear Grylls, "is no place to prove yourself. The likelihood of reaching the summit is so slim that you're inevitably setting yourself up to be disappointed."

But, Grylls continues, mountains are most definitely an arena where alpinists express their deepest drives, and he had more ambition than most. Badly injured in a parachuting accident in 1996, he resigned his army commission and cast about for a new career--a decision he succeeded in putting off by enlisting in a climbing expedition to the world's tallest mountain. Now, Grylls points out, the odds of a well-conditioned climber's making the summit of Everest are something like one in a hundred; for climbers under the age of 30, who lack the experience and conditioning that age brings, those odds slim down to 1 in 1,000. Twenty-three at the time, Grylls took his chances nonetheless, despite the "sinking feeling that I had just made a commitment that was going to drag me a little too far out of my comfort zone."

The book sounds awesome. And once I'm done with it, you better believe I'll write my personal review on JustSoN. Also, I'm going to order one of his survival books. Because I figure what better way to learn all the traits of survival, then from the guy who constantly beats the wild in Man Vs. Wild.

And I got some Bear Grylls pants recently for camping in. They are a special brand from a UK company, Craghoppers. I'll get the chance to use them for the first time next week when Jeff and I continue our training for Mount St. Helens and the Wonderland Trail. After that I'll let you know how they work.

March 25, 2009

Dwight Howard is a god

I watched Dwight Howard absolutely crush the Boston Celtics on the boards tonight, which allowed his squad to squeak out a 84-82 victory over the defending NBA Champions. That clinched the Southeast Division for the Orlando Magic and moved them percentage points ahead of the Celtics as the second-best team in the Eastern Conference (behind Cleveland of course).

And I don't know if it was the high definition TV I was watching, or the fact that he wears jerseys two sizes too small but my god - Dwight Howard is ripped. That is probably why he was able to get 21 Rebounds and 24 points tonight. He's like an athletic Shaq, complete with the goofiness that makes you want to root for him.

The only knock I have against Howard is sometimes he disappears offensively in big moments of the games, but seems to be able to make clutch rebounds - if that is even considered a viable stat - possibly the best clutch rebounder in the game. Nobody can touch him when he wants to ball.

And if you didn't notice, we're headed to one of the best NBA playoffs in recent history. We've got Cleveland, Boston, Orlando and LA all looking very good. I could very easily see any one of those teams winning a championship.

And the best part is Dickie V won't be calling the game.

Epic Video: Where the Wild Things Are movie trailer

Just saw a link to this. This looks freakin' rad. I remember it being an awesome book as a kid, and the effects look pretty darn good and not too CGI. Definitely be watching this one in theaters.

High School Sports Feature: Issaquah Baseball

Looking to build on the last two years of success when Issaquah High School won the 3A state title in 2007, then took 3rd in state in 2008, things may be a little more difficult for the Eagles. This season Issaquah is making the jump to the 4A KingCo Conference where they will have to tangle with the likes of Redmond, Woodinville and Bothell as well as their neighbor Skyline.

There is plenty of reason for optimism for the Eagles since they field what some people are calling the best outfield in the Northwest. All three starters are back from last year. Spencer Rogers, a junior, as well as seniors Miles Perkins and Brennan Miller form the talented trio. The star of this group is definitely Rogers who hit .487 last year as well as leading Issaquah in hits, runs scored and doubles. Perkins (.328 average) and Miller (.321 average) were no slouches at the plate either.

So far this year Issaquah is 2-0 (1-0 league) after they beat Garfield on Tuesday by the final of 6-1. Pitcher Shane Yarnell surrendered only 2 hits while striking out 5 in 6 innings of work. The Eagles will take on Eastlake at home on Thursday at 3:45. As always weather permitting.

High School Sports Feature: The WIAA is just plain money-hungry

No, not the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association but rather the Wisconsin organization that does the same thing. Except they're a bunch of money-grubbing buggers.

The problem with high school athletic associations is that they're bureaucratic, unwavering to their ridiculous policies and largely driven by money. Look at the sponsors at the state tournaments. Guess who sees the money from that? The associations.

Taking advantage of kids? I'd say so.

No the WIAA has just ratcheted it up another notch. They tried to sue a newspaper corporation for webcasting one of their sanctioned games AT PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS. Hmmm. Well now the Newspaper corporation is filing a countersuit, because well, the WIAA are a bunch of douchebags.

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association and Gannett Co. filed a response and counterclaim in federal court in Madison on Tuesday against the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.

The WNA claims the WIAA is violating newspapers' rights under the Copyright Act by granting exclusive contracts to private companies covering tournament events

WIAA spokesman Todd Clark declined to comment, saying he hadn't seen the WNA's counterclaim. Jerry O'Brien, an attorney representing the WIAA, said he had a chance to scan the filing but would need time before he'd be able to comment on specifics of the case.

The WIAA filed its lawsuit in December against the WNA and Gannett, which owns The Post-Crescent of Appleton, after the newspaper's Webcast of a high school playoff game Nov. 8.

The WIAA says one of its contracted private partners owned the Webcast rights to the event and is owed a fee. But WNA lawyers contend that the host schools, all public, didn't object when The Post-Crescent streamed the game and three others over the Internet.

Dan Flannery, executive editor of The Post-Crescent, said reporters used the schools' press boxes to work in and provide audio for the Webcast. But Gannett newspapers did not receive permission and did not use a streaming Internet report on four other games it wanted to cover.

So now you can't cover events unless you pay the WIAA a contract to do so? Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the worst sports organization in the entire country. I've been reading quite a few stories for months now about how the WIAA really restricts access to their events (largely photography) and even tries to censor stories coming out of the tournaments.

Yep, this is high school athletics. At it's worse.

Honestly, the WIAA has no right to privately contract out the coverage of their tournaments but that's business I suppose. (Oh wait this if for the kids right) And what cracks me up is with this "contracting" they usually contract out photographers as well to sell photos to parents. The photographers that they usually contract out that can take exclusive photos for sale are some of the worst out there. If you want to get a blurry, out of focus picture of your kid, go to any state basketball tournament and these scourges of society with their bulging beer guts will be prancing around like their god's gift to photography charging you 30 dollars for absolute photography crap.

They're the same guys that show up to your child's soccer games and try to sell you photos of your kid. Same guys. Creepy. Lazy. And the only thing on their minds is making money, not trying to take good photos.

And in general that's what the WIAA is trying to do, make money. They're not worried about the well-being of the kids or running a smooth tournament. All their worried about is the color green. Shame on them.

Epic Photo: Curt Schilling's Ankle

Curt Schilling announced his retirement on his blog a couple of days ago, and I must say, I'm sad to see the Red Sox pitcher go. In terms of all-time favorite players for me, he's right up there because he's not afraid to speak his mind, he looks like he should be a truck driver and he's probably the best post-season pitcher ever (look up his stats, I dare you). I haven't been this sad since the Pope died.

So to salute him, here is Curt Schilling's ankle right before he pitched in Game 6 of the legendary 2004 American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees (Where the Sox came back from a 3-0 series hole, but you already knew that). That's the infamous "bloody sock" game where his white sock was soaked in blood from his recent ankle surgery.

Hmmm, anyone want to tell me that he faked the bloody sock? I'll print this photo off and mail it to you.

March 24, 2009

I'll say it, I like chick movies


So tonight I was hanging out with my sister and my fiance. They decided that they were going to watch Twilight.

And I must say that Brandon will now forever call me a teenage girl. Why you might ask? Not simply because I watched the movie. Oh no. But because I actually enjoyed the movie.

It doesn't take much for me to be entertained when it comes to TV shows and movies. Give me a good storyline and I'm set.

While I won't rank this movie in my Top 10 list (this list includes Transformers, Batman Begins, Dumb and Dumber and Any Given Sunday) it was very good. And if one day I was flipping through the channels, I would probably stop to watch it.

Epic Video: The French are strange

I have nothing against French people. Just watch this video staring Pat and Stanley.

Why the World Baseball Classic works... the US didn't win.

You know what makes terrible television? Spring training baseball.

That's why I'm thrilled about the World Baseball Classic that blesses us with its presence every couple of years. I think it's set at the right time, does a good job of mixing major-league players with international players and the passion behind the countries is fantastic.

The passion from everyone except the US. While Japanese fans dressed up like samurais and flew all the way to LA to watch their team win the World Baseball Classic last night 5-3 in the bottom of the 10th, Americans are just complaining about it. 

"Team USA is handcuffed because they're more concerned with getting players ready for the season than winning" and "The best players don't even play for Team USA" and "The World Baseball Classic is hurting our players." ... sounds like a bunch of sore losers to me.

First, if Team USA wants to be a glorified spring training team, then by all means they can do that. They still got to the Semi-finals of the World Baseball Classic despite a laundry list of injuries. Second, it's a pretty damn good team either way - any team with Pedrioa, Youkilis, Jeter, Dunn, Rollins and Wright in the same lineup would win some games. In fact that's probably going to be your 2012 Yankees right there. 

And if you are worried about injury to the players on your favorite team, maybe someone should enlighten you to the fact that it's actually possible for you to injure yourself during Spring Training because those are live games too, believe it or not. While the Red Sox probably took the brunt of the injury bug with Pedrioa and Youkilis getting hurt, it was more of a rash of bad luck than actually playing wear and tear in the World Baseball Classic. You can get hurt walking your dog (it has happened in baseball) or sneezing (again, it has happened). This doesn't put them in any more inherent risk- and believe me, the powers at be for Team USA are making sure that those players are avoiding a potential risk for injury as much as possible.

So is the only real reason you people hate the WBC is because the US hasn't won the two times it has been played? Are we suddenly Atlanta Braves fans now? That's half the fun, rooting for teams like the Netherlands and Korea. Following players you would otherwise have no interest in. It's pure and simple baseball joy. 

It's not a heart-pounding as the World Series, but it certainly has it's dramatic moments and is overall a very fun ride. So please, spare me the criticisms, maybe it's Americans that should take a long look at themselves in the mirror and realize that maybe our arrogant view of the world is a bigger problem than the actual setup of the WBC.

Epic Photo: AIG takes some heat


Well this is what happens when you spend bailout money on bonuses. Pure Awesomeness. That's the chairman of the board for AIG by the way. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Cars cheaper than mine

Tato Motors has release the world's cheapest car - at just over $2,000 - allowing impoverished people to experience the joy of owning an automobile.

The Nano, a pint-sized vehicle designed to make car ownership accessible to millions of the world’s poor, finally goes on sale in India next month. Whether it will revolutionize the global auto industry — or turn around its manufacturer’s fortunes — has yet to be seen, and other automakers will be watching closely to see how consumers respond to the car. So will environmentalists.

“We can do what most countries felt could not be done,” Ratan Tata, chairman of the sprawling Tata group of companies, said at a launch ceremony Monday, as the swelling strains of the theme song to “2001: A Space Odyssey” died away in the warm night.

While not available in the US, otherwise I'd be buying one right now, automobile makers have got to be slapping their heads now. Is this the new face of the auto industry? Who would shell out $20,000 for a gas-guzzler when all you need is this thing for the morning commute. Any thoughts?

Oregon Parks and Recreation photo contest.


Yesterday I came across an article in The Oregonian that discussed an upcoming photo contest for the Oregon Parks. I thought I'd share their offer with you. It seems like a great idea.

Sharing an experience in an Oregon state park could lead to two weeks of free camping.

That's the prize in the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department's third annual Go Click! photo contest.

A 14-day state park camping package will go to the grand prize winner of this year's contest, in which amateurs of all ages are invited to enter from now until Aug. 1. The top two runners-up will receive free 24-month passes to state park day-use fee areas.

The contest, in its first two years, drew more than 3,000 entries, and coordinator Jennifer McCormick of OPRD is looking forward to seeing its popularity continue.

"We're building an impressive photo album," she said. "It already shows the huge number of ways people enjoy their parks. The contest has proven to be a great outlet for people to share
their experiences."

Photos judged the best of the lot will receive more exposure this year. Besides displaying the top selections at the Oregon State Fair in August, OPRD will post a number of entries still to be determined on the Web and ask the public to pick the grand prize winner and runners-up.

"Our panel of judges have had a hard time picking winners," said McCormick. "This time we're going to let the public decide."

Entry rules and ways to compete will remain the same.

"It's pretty simple," McCormick said. "Just make sure you're in a state park and have your camera ready to take pictures of the scenery and people having fun."

All photo entries must be digital and uploaded to the OPRD Web site. The contest rules are online at www.oregonstateparks.org/goclick.

Both first-place photos in the contest, thus far, have featured scenes on the south Oregon coast. Patricia Davidson of Coos Bay claimed the top prize in the first contest with a photo at Sunset Beach. Alan Hirschmugl of Gresham shot last year's grand prize winner along the shoreline at Cape Blanco State Park.

March 23, 2009

Epic Video: Minesweeper The Movie

Oh man, I am so pumped for this movie! What could be better than this? Maybe a Solitaire movie.

Student kicked off bus for breaking wind


In Lakeland, Florida a student was given a three day suspension from the school bus for using his gas to make other students laugh.

Apparently he let off some stink that made it hard to breath.

It's not against the rules to fart, but it is against the rules to cause a disturbance.

I find this interesting for a number of reasons.

First, what did this kid eat before hand to cause that smell? I want to know, so I can test it out at work.

"What is that smell? It's making my eyes water!"
"I don't know, but I think it's coming from Casey's cubicle."
"Why do you think that?"
"Because the plant outside his office is wilting and there is a strange green cloud in the air."

Second, I smell (total pun intended) a law suit in the making. You aren't allowed to discriminate against people due to sex, race, education, etc. But you can because of their smell? Dang. Maybe that's why I failed all those job interviews. I should have showered.

Third, he was making people laugh. So really, this kid was really just the class clown. Remember, Dumb and Dumber when Lloyd lights his fart on fire? Everyone laughed. Poor class clown. I bet Jack Black never got kicked off a bus. Actually, he probably did for a good ol' laugh from a "pull my finger" joke.

Washington Huskies Weekly Update

Well the Washington Huskies basketball season is over after a 76-74 loss to the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday in Portland at the Rose Garden. UW came back from a 14 point deficit and almost won the game but ultimately came up short. A huge sequence took place with about a minute left in the game when the Huskies had the ball and had two shots blocked by JaJuan Johnson of Purdue. First Johnson blocked Isaiah Thomas then Quincy Pondexter.
The Huskies were led by Thomas (24 points), Pondexter (20 points and 10 rebounds) and of course Jon Brockman (20 points and 18 rebounds. 60th double-double of his career). Those 3 combined to score all but 10 of the Huskies points for the game. In my opinion the biggest key to the game was the virtual no shows of every other Husky besides Thomas, Pondexter and Brockman, with the exception of Venoy Overton who played great defense but didn't adjust to how closely the officials were calling the game.
Now that the season is over for the Dawgs most people think of what could of have been. I like to look into the future and think of how good this team will be next year. Granted the Huskies will be losing two major pieces to the team in Brockman and Justin Dentmon but they also gained a lot of experience and it was amazing to see how much better Quincy Pondexter played this year. UW will return 3 of the 5 starters as well as the top 4 guys off of the bench.
The recruiting class for 2009 is also going to be key as the Huskies have the #13 ranked class according to ESPN. They will bring in the #2 rated point guard, 6-3 Abdul Gaddy along with versatile power forward Clarence Trent, guard C.J. Wilcox and Junior College power forward Charles Garcia, Jr.
I'm disappointed the season ended for the Huskies but I am also amped for the possibility of what the Dawgs can do next year.