Saturday, October 31, 2009

USC vs Oregon - Oregon wins 47 to 20, shakes up BCS and Pac-10

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Game over: Oregon 47, USC 20 and Southern Cal gave up a shocking 619 yards of offense to Oregon according to Kirk Herbstreit on ESPN's telecast of the game. The Oregon Ducks have scored more points against a Pete Carroll-coached USC team than anyone in his career.

Oregon students storm the field and jump as one. They're spilling over the wall and onto the field and the Oregon Duck's getting rolled! These folks have lost it!

It's an amazing win for a team that started the season with the Legorette Blount issue against Boise State and now finds itself as the team Boise State was rooting for today.


Now, the Pac-10's a mess. Oregon is undefeated while Arizona, Stanford, and Cal are in a deadlock for second in the conference at present with Cal - having beat Arizona State today 23 to 21 - now solidly in the hunt for the Pac-10 Championship should Oregon stumble toward the end of the season.

Given that Oregon's next game is at Stanford, that could happen because the Cardinal's coming off this bye week. Two weeks to prepare for Oregon at this moment in time is just perfect.

Wow, what a day. Happy Halloween!

How far will USC drop is anyone's guess but I think they'll switch places with Oregon which was 10th ranked going into this game.

Stay tuned.

USC vs Oregon - Oregon blowing out USC with 12 min in 4th

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In the USC vs Oregon game, Oregon's currently blowing out USC 41 to 20, with 12 minutes to go in the 4th quarter.

This is huge! It's what Cal fans hoped for as well!

Oregon's playing like a national championship contender, with their quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who's ran eight times for 75 yards and completed seven of eleven passes for 93 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the first half alone.

Now, according to ESPN's Brent Musberger, Oregon has 540 yards of total offense.

Oregon's lethal combination of a short passing game using "bubble" passes to the wide receivers and a spread option running game is giving USC fits just as they did to Cal's defense earlier this year.

It's now 44 to 20 and USC's totally pasted.

If this score holds with now just 8 minutes to go, USC will have the same number of losses as Cal and should drop a bunch in the BCS Standings. All of this is much to the happiness of Boise State fans, who hope that they leapfrog TCU in the BCS race.

Stay tuned.

Cal v. ASU - Kevin Riley's gutsy play gets 23 to 21 win!

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Cal quarterback Kevin Riley just put in the defining, gut-check, performance of his career. The junior signal caller did what kids dream about: directing his team to a come-from-behind fourth quarter drive that ended in a field goal to give the California Golden Bears their all important sixth win, 23 to 21.

Cal is now 6 and 2, bowl eligible, and could run the table to go 10 and 2. The dream of a Rose Bowl bid is now one step closer to reality.

Cal started the game with a plan to get the ball to star running back Jahvid Best by land and by air. The first play was a fake out of the "cockeyed I" formation, where Best was placed at fullback. He ran to the flat to make a catch and pick up about nine yards.

Then Cal Offensive Coordinator Andy Ludwig put Best in at the wing position in a three-receiver set, and had him run a delayed fake pattern. Riley found him and Best scored a touchdown to put Cal up by two scores. Cal rolled up over 200 yards and 15 first downs, and Riley was 15 of 23 for 182 yards before the half.

But then the wheels came off as Ludwig and Cal Head Coach Jeff Tedford fell into the bad habit of trying to throw deep, which takes time, and placing Riley in a position to be rushed and sacked. (Bleacher Report called the offensive play calling "offensive" and I agree.)

Riley fumbled the ball three times in this game, all on pass attempts. ASU's offense had enough chances such that, eventually, they took the lead by one point, and Cal's fantasy season that could lead to The Rose Bowl seemed in trouble.

That's when Kevin Riley went to work.

Getting the ball deep in Cal territory with just over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Riley threw for 22 yards, and in a moment, the Golden Bears were at midfield. Then after a penalty for offensive pass interference, deft pocket movement by Riley caused Cal to regain the lost yardage, then pick up a first down a play later. Cal was in the Red Zone.

And while a questionable fake-run-throw by Shane Vereen out of a variation of The Wildcat formation almost worked, Cal's second field goal in the last quarter (the first one was missed) sealed the deal. Game over.


Free Chipotle burrito at Chipotle Mexican Grill for Halloween - viral?

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Ok, Chipotle Mexican Grill offering a free Chipotle burrito is nice and great for Halloween. If you walk in with a costume, you get a free burrito. But how did this message, this keyword, go viral?

As I write this, it's the number 2 most searched Google Trend. I'm not kidding. The source city for this search was Minneapolis, MN, with five percent of total traffic.

But think about what that means.

It means that in some way Chipotle Mexican Grill was able to send press releases and activate a small number of blogs to push that result and then once it hits Google News, the other newssites will pick it up.

Of course, one has to have some kind of national event to be able to trigger such a search, as well as a national brand. Chipotle Mexican Grill qualifies here.

This is no small event folks. Anyone who pays attention to online marketing trends should look at this development. Because now, you're probably thinking "Shut up, Zennie, and just tell me where I can go to get a free burrito in my costume!"


In the Bay Area, there's no Oakland Chipotle Mexican Grill - and how many things do we want in Oakland, but still don't have? - but there's one in Berkeley on 1050 Gilman Street and a bunch in San Francisco and Walnut Creek. In Atlanta there's one in Buckhead and four more in the metro area. But since you may be partying in Buckhead, go over to 3424 Piedmont Rd NE.

But I really am impressed at the 21st Century Marketing effort. It's cheap, fast, and efficient. BRAVO!

But does it change the idea and face of what news is? Yes, and while we should be concerned, the answer is not to kill the approach but for news outlets to copy it.

Stay Tuned

Halloween in San Francisco and Oakland - wild, crazy and safe

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The fact that the San Francisco Bay Area has a double-digit unemployment rate hasn't stopped people from coming out to celebrate Halloween.

BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit System that was not going to offer 24-hour service in the wake of the closure of The Bay Bridge, reversed its field and did so, producing what just by looking had to be a record number of riders.

I've never seen BART so crowded, so consistently, in one night. And well-costumed,as you will see in an up-coming video. (I wanted to take a vlogging break, but in the case of the person you're going to see, I could not resist.)

Man, I should have. There were the two women who openly boasted to anyone on the crowded train car we were in of their sexual prowess and love for women unless the man understood their love for women and wanted to "play."

Just seeing the winces of some of the riders was a riot. I could not stop laughing! Loved it!

The previous night I was at the Fox Theater Halloween Masquerade Ball dressed all in black with sunglasses in my best effort to channel Jack Nicholson. I spent most of my time with my date and a group of folks drinking a lot of wine and eating burritos.

That was fun.

So Friday was a pre-planned little work day for me, but I had to at least get into San Francisco and see friends, and along the way, view how BART was responding to its new higher level of importance in the Bay Area socio-economy, and I give it an A! People seemed happy, and save for one fight at 12 Street Oakland City Center Station when I returned to Oakland, there was no incident I saw.

Cougars in Emeryville before Halloween

While I was having a mello Friday, a popular blogger friend of mine told me about a "Cougar Party" held in Emeryville that night. If you're not "up" on the term, a "Cougar" is woman over 45-years old who openly chases men under 30. Here's an example from the Showtime telecast "Californication" featuring Pamela Adlon as Marcy Runkle:

Marcy's Cougar Party on Showtime:

Since I'm 47 but commonly mistaken for 30 or even 28, I can say I'm aware of the Cougar nature. But I digress. He invited me to go, but I respectfully declined, and because I've been very fortunate not to need to attend such events, regardless of age.

And for the record, a lot of women over 45 look like they're 28 themselves. Credit better food, nutrition, vitamins, and the gym.

Whatever you do, Happy Halloween, and don't drink and drive!

Cal v. ASU - Kevin Riley takes 138.49 passer rating to Sun Devil Stadium

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After a big win against UCLA at The Rose Bowl and Washington State at home , The California Golden Bears are ranked 24th in the nation, in BCS contention, and face another big Pac-10 game against The Arizona State Sun Devils today.

This game is also important because Cal's 5 and 2, and a win puts them at six victories and in "bowl contention" which means the Golden Bears would be picked for some bowl, somewhere, even if it was the Tidy Bowl.

(But Old Blues like myself want the Rose Bowl, and are hoping and praying for Oregon, USC, and Oregon State to tumble. Oregon must beat USC later today.)

Cal's two big weapons are Heisman Trophy contender Jahvid Best and Kevin Riley.


Yes. Kevin Riley.

The man who I once said could overthrow Iran has settled down and into a passing rhythm, completing over 50 percent of his throws (99 of 183) and for 1,454 yards. But here's the real interesting ESPN stat: Riley has thrown for 11 touchdowns verus two, just two, interceptions.

One of them I and other Old Blues painfully remember as the one that brought an end to a glorious opening drive against USC, and started what turned out to be an awful game.

(I am really tired of losing to the USC Trojans.)

But all of this gives Riley a really good 138.49 passer rating as of this writing. Against Washington State last week, Riley threw just 18 times, but completed 12 for 229 yards and three touchdowns against one interception.

And here's the amazing stat I came up with myself based on the ESPN numbers: every time Riley completes over 60 percent of his passes, Cal wins; when Riley makes less than 40 percent of his throws, Cal loses. It's that simple.

This also gives greater value to all the blogging and yammering I've done regarding the need for Cal to have a great, consistent short passing game. A short passing game is a complement to the running game, keeps the ball moving, keeps the quarterback's jersey clean, frustrates the defense, and scores points.

Riley's rediscovered consistency must be maintained if Cal's to get to the Rose Bowl. Much of the credit for Riley's improvement must go to Cal Offensive Coordinator Andy Ludwig, who's game plans have been more intelligent and imaginative in the way they attack defenses (The Wildcat!), and who reportedly finally got "in the face" of the offense and lit a fire under their butts.

Nice job.


Miley Cyrus pole dancing, crotch grab gets award from AOL

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Miley Cyrus has scored a new awards, thought something tells me the teen pop singer didn't go after it. She was voted the Worst Celebrity Influence of 2009 by America Online's JSYN (Just So You Know) website.

Miley Cyrus's stripper pole dance number at the Teen Choice Awards was the reason. 42 percent of the website poll participants picked Miley Cyrus for the award, and that was before her crotch-grabbing performance at a concert in Chicago last Tuesday. Here's the vote breakdown:

Worst Celeb Influence:
Miley Cyrus - 42%
Shia LeBeouf - 3%
Britney Spears - 27%
Kanye West - 19%
Vanessa Hudgens - 9%

Now regarding that crotch-grab, it was something PerezHilton took note of at his blog. In the photo over at his site, its obvious to me she's trying to channel Britney Spears and Madonna's past concerts, but at 16 she only succeeds in making people talk about her.

Which is what she wants.

Awards like this are just more publicity for Miley Cyrus, and the whole deal helps her sell records. It's Miley's World, we just live in it.

Michelle Malkin's "media justice" blog post just plain stupid

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Michelle Malkin - the female Asian blogger who pals around with White Supremacists - is known for sloppy, mean, anti-intellectual, and just plain stupid political blog posts and this from a really smart person, which is why I'm getting after her.

Michelle Malkin's new blog post on "The Media Justice Mob" gets the stupid award. Skipping over well-known liberal online publications like DailyKos or MediaMatters, or an organization like The Obama Administration, Malkin puts a spotlight on two website organizations,, and The Praxis Project, and writes that they are:

Marxist-inspired activists seeking to crack down on conservative political speech under the guise of combating “hate” and crusading for “diversity.”

And Michelle calls these two organizations a "mob"

A mob is defined as a crowd. This is not a crowd.

And what's wrong with diversity? C'mon, Michelle. Geez.

Bay Bridge Closure update - BART offers 24-hour service!!

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After all of my blogging and yammering, here for example:

BART's offering 24-hour service starting tonight.

According to the BART website:

BART will run hourly, overnight service to 14 selected stations on Friday, October 30th into Saturday, October 31st. Additionally, if by 3 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday October 31, Caltrans officials have not announced that the Bay Bridge will re-open, BART will run trains Saturday night into Sunday morning as well. BART does not plan to run overnight service from Sunday night into Monday morning.

The stations include Embarcadero and Downtown Oakland, 12th Street.

I guess this means CalTrans gave BART the funds to do it. Great!