Sunday, November 22, 2009

BART Officer breaks window with drunk's face - why? Take my poll.

I'm in Georgia as I write this having flown most of the day from San Francisco to Chicago to Atlanta. So just when I think I've only got to pay attention to my Cal Stanford Big Game videos and my Oakland sim, I have this CNN-and-SFGate-reported news of a BART officer smashing the face of a drunk man by the name of Michael Joseph Gibson into a window on the West Oakland BART Station platform.

So I immediately went to YouTube and found this video:

And showed it to my mother who said "Why did he have to throw him into the window."

Exactly. Why?

Here we go again. Another predictable argument between those who justify police' violent actions and those who question it. I am tired of the dichotomy, so I decided to create a poll to learn what others think.

While the officer's action is questionable, that his presence was desired is of no question. In the video as the officer hauls Michael Joseph Gibson off the train and before he reaches the window, we can hear people clapping, so BART riders wanted this guy off the train.

That happened.

But the other action of the head against the window is to me a case of putting too much super hot mustard on a really good hot dog: it makes it hard to consume, but one can still eat it.

To BART's credit, it's not sitting on this issue; it responded rapidly, issuing a press statement and holding a press conference within moments.

BART Spokeman Linton Johnson said to CNN's Don Lemon this evening that "We decided that we wanted to take appropriate steps and let people know about this video... We want to do a full investigation...We will look at all the facts."

Johnson went on to say that most of Michael Joseph Gibson's injuries came from his arm and not his head. It's hard to tell that from the video but I can't help but wonder if there's another video out there with another angle. There's got to be at least one more - even if it's the station video. It's out there. I know it.

BART's not releasing the officer's name. He's new to BART Police according to Linton Johnson, but Linton says he's not had any incidents while with BART Police.

But the way Linton made the statement does open a new question about the officer's past. In looking at the video it seems like the officer took a little too much action - again too much hot mustard - but overall Michael Joseph Gibson was out of line and what I go with is the people on the train were applauding the officer.

Again, whatever Michael Joseph Gibson was doing, it's obvious he didn't have a fan base on the train.

What do you think of the BART Officer's actions? Take my poll:

More fun surveys on

Cal 34, Stanford 28 - Golden Bears win a Big Game for the ages!

Cal 34, Stanford 28; Cal Golden Bears win Big Game! Remember that because a lot of Cal alums, including me, will never forget it. When a beaming Cal Chancellor Robert Birgeneau roams the Stanford field after the victory, shaking hands and posing for pictures, and says "This was one of our greatest wins", you know it was a special game.

It certainly was.

It was one for Cal's football history because it marked the first time we beat Stanford to keep them out of a big game after the turn of the century. We've beat Stanford before to harm their bowl hopes - but never The Rose Bowl.

Rather than snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Cal did the opposite. Moreover, it happened at Stanford. The win and the significance of it, made the song "You know it. You tell the story. You tell the whole damn World this is Bear territory!" mean more than just words. Stanford Stadium became "Bear territory" with Cal students, alums, faculty and staff storming the field, all singing that song again and again and again.

It was a beautiful moment in time that, but for a few key moments during the game, may not have come to pass.

Lining up and kicking a field goal to put Cal up 34 to 28 did not sit well with Cal fans; we wanted a touchdown purely out of respect for the yardage-chewing prowess of the Stanford Cardinal offense, which needed a touchdown and an extra point to take the game from Cal.

While the Cardinal didn't perform well enough to win, Quarterback Andrew Luck, Running Back Toby Gerhard, and the Stanford Offensive Line had put together a 1:46 second drive to score just moments before.

No Cal fan wanted to see a repeat of that process, yet because of the Cal field goal after wasting third down by lining up to have Cal Quaterback Kevin Riley run left to a point between the hashmarks at the 11 yard line, the stage was set for that to happen.

It almost did, with a game Andrew Luck working to prove one could put the game in his hands and win, teaming up with the fleet Gerhard to move the Cardinal to within the Cal 20 and then down to first and goal to win the game. The next play for me happened in slow motion: at the Cal 3-yard-line Luck dropped back to throw, had a good two seconds to read the defense and pick a receiver, but instead threw an interception.

Cal Linebacker Mike Mohamed's pick of Luck's pass in the end zone caused Cal fans to erupt in a massive outpouring of emotion: yelling, hugging, kissing, crying, and just smiling. It was a good win. No, it was a great win. A win I'll blog more about tonight after I'm off my plane to see family for the holidays back east. A lot of comments; a ton of video.

Afterward, at a raucous tailgate party thrown by my Cal buddies, someone turned on the song We are the Champions and we all sang, loudly and badly. For that moment - for that time last night - we were champions. Cal beat Stanford in what will go down as one of the greatest games in Big Game history.