Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bad DC Sports Day

Saturday, August 26, 2006
1. The Atlanta Braves beat the Nationals 10-1
2. Los Angeles Galaxy spank D.C. United 5-2. First time I have ever witnessed a shellacking like this in person.
3. The New England Patriots hammered the Redskins 41-0. The 'Skins fall to 0-3 in the preseason.

When I got the Sunday paper I immediately went to the comics section. While this days results may look ugly, all is not lost. One, the Nats are a bad team and will finish in last place again this season. Two, D.C. United left a couple key players out of the starting line up last night. They have a large lead in the Eastern Conference and can afford this luxury. Still, the fact they are 0-2-3 in their last five league matches concerns me a bit. It's a long season and teams have let downs. I am confident Peter Nowak and the coaching staff will get this team back on track in time for the playoffs. And finally, the Redskins are playing what amounts to practice games. Sure it hurts to see them 0-3 and slapped around like they were last night but Joe Gibbs has been there before. In 1982 they were 0-4 in preseason and they won the Super Bowl. in 1991 they went 1-3 and won the Super Bowl. When the NFL season begins in a couple weeks, look for a different Redskin team to be out there.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Lazy Days of Summer

Not a lot going on since we've been back from vacation. A couple more pictures of Benjamin as he's learning how to stand up. Our little guy is ten months old on Friday!

"Sweet, Daddy's Terps football tickets arrived!"

"Daddy says once I learn how to push this, he's got a
bigger one of these in the garage that I can use and
its even got a motor!"

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Rookie Dad: Month 10, A Vacation

All good things have to end and our vacation to South Carolina ended and we made the long drive home today. We made great time and got home in time to see Tiger Woods win the PGA Championship for his 12th major title. Our vacation enabled us to futher bond with Benjamin. How so? Since I leave for work at 6:00 AM and Weena drops Benjamin off at day care at 7:30 AM, we miss a majority of his day. When he was born, I had a couple weeks off but a lot of that was spent running errands and making sure Benjamin and Weena were comfortable. I took a week off in June, however this was used to shuttle Benjamin to his first day care place and I stuck around the house in case he had separation anxiety and needed me to come get him.

Our vacation was pretty much Benjamin 24/7 and it was great. We goofed off and played around a lot and watched him crawl, crawl and crawl some more. He played at the beach and loved the sand and water. We got to spend all this time with him and that was precious. What was also great was my Mom got to further bond with him as well. He loved his Grandma time! We also see he loves to watch people and in various places he would smile and wave to everyone passing by. He's developing quite a personality as he grows.

So to recap this, we got a lot of sun, sand, surf and must important, relaxation. One year we may end up renting a beach cottage so more family can spend time together. I remember these vacations as a kid where various relatives would come spend time with us and we had a great time. I want to do this with Benjamin and our families.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Benjamin's PGA Championship Preview

"A Cinderella story outta nowhere. About to become the Masters champion..."

"Caddy, I mean Daddy, give me my eight iron"

The last major of the year, the PGA Championship, begins tomorrow through Sunday at Medinah Country Club in Illinois. Here is Benjamin's list of who he likes.

Tiger Woods: He's on a roll with two wins in his last two starts. A win here would give him 12 majors and player of the year.
Phil Mickelson: Lefty hasn't played very well since he collapsed on the 18th hole at the U.S. Open in June. Defending champ and could win player of the year should he win here.
Chris DiMarco: Second at the British Open. He's contended before and lost in two other major championship playoffs. He's got the game, can he finally seal the deal?
Ernie Els: Third at the British Open, contended at last week's event in Colorado. Seems to have recovered from last season's knee surgery.
Jim Furyk: Former U.S. Open champion who hits the ball straight and far. He will contend this week.
Vijay Singh: Two time PGA Champion. Sure he's 43 and his game is slipping a little but never rule this guy out.
Davis Love III: Tough year with one top ten finish. He covets a Ryder Cup spot and a win gets him on the team. 1997 PGA Champion.
Retief Goosen: Does well on tough golf courses. Just look at his two U.S. Open titles. Probably the most consistent clutch putter out there.
Sergio Garcia: Nearly won here seven years ago in 1999 as a 19 year old. Very talented and contended in the British Open before faltering. Tremendous talent.
Long Shot Pick-Colin Montgomerie: Nearly won the U.S. Open because he kept his ball in the fairway. He has a chance here because Medinah is set up to be one of the longest courses in major championship history.

Benjamin's pick: Tiger Woods
Daddy's Pick: Jim Furyk

Monday, August 14, 2006

Beach time!

Benjamin had his first day at the beach today. He played in sand, waded in the water and wrecked one little sand castle Mom and Dad built for him. He didn't put any sand in his mouth, which was my concern. He and Mommy hung out for an hour as we didn't want to expose him to too much sun while Daddy swam, read and snoozed on the beach for almost four hours.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Getaway time!

Left Northern VA: 7:30 AM
Arrived at Pawleys Island SC: 6:30 PM

We stopped twice. Once for a one hour lunch and again to get gas and to feed and change Benjamin. He was a true champ the whole ride down but got a little cranky at the end because when we got to within 80 miles of my Mom's place, it was gridlock at 501 South. Took us two and a half hours to go that 80 miles. The cause of the back up was road construction, plus this is one of the last beach week's at Myrtle for the locals as schools start August 21. Normally the trip is eight hours without a stop but we had thought it would take between nine and ten with a couple stops.

I got through the drive ok, only two flip offs at SUV's tailgating me in North Carolina. Weena sat in back and took care of Benjamin's needs. Thank you XM Radio for the tunes. I could not have made it without a great selection of music at my fingertips.

Golf, beach time, some shopping and we're checking out the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Friday night.

I promise some beach shots of Benjamin to those family members who requested these.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

D.C. United 1, Real Madrid 1

Seattle, Washington
D.C. United 1 (Eskandarian, 25th minute)
Real Madrid 1 (Cassano, 22nd minute)

Real Madrid opened the scoring in the 22nd minute as Antonio Cassano nailed a 17 yard strike just out of goalie Troy Perkins reach and off the inside of the left post. D.C. United's goal was a thing of beauty. Freddy Adu crossed the ball from the right side to midfielder Josh Gros, who passed it to Christian Gomez. Gomez found Jaime Moreno, who dropped the ball backward into the path of an advancing Alecko Eskandarian who blasted his shot into the lower right corner. Beautiful!

These are my two favorite teams. I have seen ten Real Madrid matches at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid over the years and have followed D.C. United since its beginning in 1996. I have been waiting for these two teams to play for a long, long time. I was bummed out that this match couldn't be played in Washington, DC but was happy these two were playing. While I love Real Madrid, I was rooting hard for D.C. United to win this. One, they are my hometown team. Two, they were clearly the underdog. Real Madrid's payroll is over $200 million dollars while D.C. United's is not even $2 million. David Beckham, who grosses a reported $30 million a year, $2 million dollars is probably used as tip money. Real Madrid's starting goalkeeper Iker Casillas is 25 and a member of Real Madrid's two European Cup championship teams. D.C. United's goalkeeper Troy Perkins is also 25. He works a part time job at a mortgage banking company. Yes I want Real Madrid to win La Liga in Spain and the European Cup, but I had to put my loyalty to them aside for this game.

Recaps of the game:
United Passes Test
Recap in El Pais (Spanish)

More highlights

Some other observations:
D.C. United coach Peter Nowak had one of the greatest sideline interview quotes ever:

Comcast Sports Color commentator Garth Lagerway: “So Peter, are you going to keep the stars in and try to win or are you going to sub some people in?"

Peter Nowak: "We're playing Real Madrid for Christ’s sake!"

Not a bad week for Peter Nowak, who coached the MLS All Stars to a 1-0 win over English Premier League champion Chelsea last Saturday in Chicago.

Kudos to whoever brought the large Screaming Eagles banner to the game. It was prominently displayed and got a lot of tv time. For those who don't know, the Screaming Eagles have provided passionate support for D.C. United and have promoted Major League Soccer through their contributions in the community since the club's inception in 1995. Your's truly is the SE Treasurer.

For more info on Real Madrid, check out this article in the Post:
Real Madrid Reigns in Spain -- and Beyond

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods won his 50th PGA Tour event today, shooting his 4th straight 66 to win the Buick Open by three shots. He is the youngest to get to fifty PGA Tour wins at 30 years, 7 months. Jack Nicklaus, who held this distinction before Woods broke it today, was 33 years old when he got his 50th win.

Tiger simply knows how to close the deal when he is ahead after three rounds. He's won twenty one straight tournaments when he's ahead by more than one stroke after three rounds. Put it this way, there are no closing 75's for Woods. He gets it done, period.

In ten years he'll easily break the PGA Tour victory mark (Sam Snead 82). Along the way he'll pass Nicklaus in number of professional major titles (Nicklaus 18). His 2006 numbers are as follows: Eleven events, four wins, one major and over $ 5.1 million in earnings. Greatness, plain and simple.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

More Benjamin pics!

Various goofy shots taken of Benjamin tonight. His hair is getting long but there is a tradition from the Philippines that parents do not cut the hair of their child until he or she is a year old. This gives them long life. He's motoring around on the floor, doing the Marine's crawl so I installed a gate at the entrance of the basement to keep him from falling down the stairs. I've also plugged up all electrical outlets. Every day I see something I need to take care of. No complaints.

He's doing very well in day care. He plays with the other kids in his group, he sleeps and eats well, sort of like me when I was in college. At the end of the day I pick him up and he waves goodbye to all the kids and staff. We love the new day care center we picked out. It's so close to home. While we've had rearrange some financial priorities (Big screen TV fell from a high of #4 to #43 on my top 50 list), it has been well worth it.

Pretty soon he'll be walking. We are excited. Stay tuned as my Rookie Dad season continues.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Random Stuff

Nothing much is going on except it is very hot and my day consists of driving to work, staying indoors all day, picking up Benjamin and playing with him in the house. Can't wait until things cool down so we can take him for walks in the stroller.

Couple thoughts:
Redskins training camp is here. If it cools down I may head over to an afternoon session as their camp is in Ashburn, not far at all from Casa Benjamin. Redskins Training Camp Preview here.

D.C. United lost 2-1 to Salt Lake the other night for their first loss in 14 games. They are comfortably ahead in their conference so I'm not worried as it had to end sometime. Even the club has moved on from the loss. Read more here.

The Nats and Orioles made no deals at the baseball trade deadline. I don't know what the Orioles plan is but it looks like the Nats will try hard to sign Alfonso Soriano, who will be a free agent after this season, and build the team with Ryan Zimmerman and Soriano as the show pieces. Stay tuned...

George Pelecanos has a new book coming out next week. Dave talks about him here in his blog. The next time you are in a bookstore, pick up one of Pelecano's books. For more, the Post online had a chat with him this afternoon.

Vacation in less than two weeks. We are driving to Pawleys Island, South Carolina for a week of relaxation. Can't wait to get some golf in and see Benjamin playing around on the beach....