Posted by: alexchap30 | October 14, 2017

Remembering Craig Pitti

Remembering Craig Pitti

“Someone go out and guard the left handed guy with the yellow shoes.” I was at an adult league basketball game at Novato High School playing against a team called “Coaches Convention”, and this was the first time I met Craig Pitti. I didn’t know it at the time but Craig would soon become a friend who would have a lasting impact on my life. Craig passed away today (10/13/17) at the far too young an age of 40, but the friendship, mentorship, and lessons he taught to me and so many others will continue on.

The Los 2

Back to the dusty gym in Novato. The year was 2009 and I was transitioning to a life after college. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so in the meantime I played a lot of basketball. I had recently enrolled in a teaching program at Dominican University but I wasn’t sure if that was what I wanted to do long term. I was playing for a soon to be disbanded basketball team and I was looking for a new group of guys to play hoops with. As it so happened one of the guys in the league was an old basketball coach of mine, Chris McCune. Chris pitched the idea of bringing in an undersized, unathletic power forward to Craig and Dan Curtaz who, thankfully for me, were receptive to the idea. Meeting Craig and the rest of the guys on the old “Coach’s Convention” men’s league team was an important moment in my life and showed me the huge impact that one can have as an educator.

After my initial season on the team, I began to get to know Craig a little bit better. We both taught History, enjoyed watching the 49ers, shopping at Trader Joe’s, and playing and coaching basketball. Craig had a genuine way of making you feel valued, and it was impossible not to like him because he told the best stories.

Pit in the huddle

Ah yes… the stories. Once I became part of the men’s league basketball team I started to learn the culture of the team. On the floor the team, which had subsequently changed its name to Rise and Fire, liked to shoot a lot of three point shots, play fundamental basketball, and bark at the referee’s a little bit. But it was the post game trips to Maya Palenque in Novato which were the real event of the evening.  And in the post game festivities, which always took place on the patio of Maya rain or shine, Craig was the center of attention. The team would always laugh, think, and listen to what he had to say. Craig had a way of telling stories that instantly hooked the listener and getting the inside scoop from someone as well connected as Craig always felt like a special privilege.

There are too many Maya memories to mention, but one story stands out as I think back on all of the entertaining evenings on the patio, and that was the night that we won our first men’s league title together with our current roster. We were all in good spirits after a team victory and the laughs, tacos, and bufff-alo sauce (™:Chad Stuart) were flowing. I felt a real sense of pride that evening and I was excited to get to spend the evening with my friends.  At the end of the evening we took a photo with our favorite bartender Carlos. The giant smile on my face was always how I felt playing basketball with this great group of guys.

The Los First Ship.png

Although basketball was the activity that brought Craig and I together, it was not the only avenue in which Craig affected my life. Early on in our friendship Craig served as my content supervisor while I was finishing my credential at Dominican. Although he always liked to downplay the role in which he played, Craig was instrumental in helping me become a better teacher. He went out of his way on several occasions to have conversations with me about what life in the classroom was like, and how to engage students. When I took over a History position at Tomales High School and had no Economics curriculum, Craig was happy to send along a couple of his favorite projects and some great supplemental reading ideas.

Timeout Pitti.jpg

I will also never forget how Craig would go the extra mile for San Marin students and the Novato community. One really bizarre example of this was when, as athletic director, Craig couldn’t find a volleyball coach. The two options that Craig faced were either canceling the season which would have meant letting down a number of students who were excited for the season or coaching the team himself. To anyone who knew Craig the decision was obvious…the season must go on. Craig then reached out to me to see if I would be interested in being his assistant coach. I didn’t have any experience but I thought it would be a fun experience. Coaching volleyball with Craig for that season turned out to be a lot of fun, and Craig had the team motivated to play every game. Seeing Craig build relationships with his students and the different teams he coached was always something that inspired me. Craig was always there for his students.

I would be remiss if at some point in this tribute I didn’t bring up Craig’s basketball coaching skill and the joy he got from this pursuit. For eleven years Craig was the head coach for San Marin basketball. During this time he mentored, taught, and shaped a number of young men in the Novato community. Craig had a real gift of connecting with people and building them up when they needed it. It is a real testament to his greatness that so many of his players come back to see him and are quick to thank him for his selflessness and passion for the game.

Sideline Pitti.jpg

Each year coming to watch the Mustangs was a blast. In different years the team would take on a different personality and it was fun watching many of the players progress through their high school careers. However, the 2011 season stands out as one of the most exciting times in Mustang history. Craig led a talented group of players to a league title, and several shocking victories which ultimately culminated in a North Coast Section title. There are so many many fond memories that I have from that season, but I think I will leave you with this clip which was taken at the end of the NCS title game and shows what Craig Pitti is all about (link).

And, what the heck, one more video from the shocking upset of mighty Bishop O’Dowd. (link) If you listen really closely you can hear Superfans Matt Kinney and I screaming in the background at the end of the game.

Away from the court Craig loved to golf and spend time in Tahoe relaxing. I was fortunate to tag along with Craig, Chad Stuart, and the rest of the men’s league crew for a weekend in Tahoe to watch the opening round of the NCAA basketball tournament a couple of years back. Once again there are too many great stories to write them all, but a favorite story from the weekend centers around the hype of Craig’s favorite coffee shop, The Tahoe House. All year I had heard stories at Maya about this mysterious and delicious cup of coffee that was beyond my wildest dreams. Being somewhat of a coffee snob I dismissed these claims and assumed The Tahoe House would be an OK cup of coffee and something I could soon forget about. However, when I walked in for the first time I knew I had found the best cup of coffee in the United States. Drinking that cup of coffee and enjoying a cinnamon knot was even sweeter hanging out with a great friend like Craig. I still take my family to the Tahoe House and it is a tradition that I am proud to carry on. Drinking a cup of coffee at this place will always remind me of my buddy, Craig.

Fireplace Pitti.jpgLake Tahoe Pitti.jpg

Tahoe House Pitti.jpg

Finally, who could forget the Pitti Christmas party. Family and friends were important to Craig and every year Craig brought everyone over to his place in Novato to celebrate the holidays and to show off his skills on the guitar. The guitar itself is a great metaphor for Craig. Craig did not grow up playing the guitar but later in life realized that it was something he wanted to learn how to do. Instead of making excuses about being too far behind, Craig instead picked up the guitar and started playing. In that respect,  you could see that Craig was dedicated to lifelong learning and figuring out how things worked. In the education field this is known as growth mindset and you saw this whenever Pitti took on a challenge. I will always remember the buffalo dip that Craig’s mother Kathleen would make. I would remember to save calories on the day of the Christmas party because of the unique and delicious grub. In addition, I will always remember Kristen Pitti’s positive energy and how much she supported her brother. She would always cheer the loudest after Craig would grace the room with one of his newest Pearl Jam covers.

Holiday Sweater Pitti.jpg

Thank you for being such a great friend, mentor, and a positive influence on my life Craig. Although you are gone you will never be forgotten. Your service to your school, students, family, friends, and community are a true inspiration. I am forever grateful that you guys brought me into your group and helped me grow into the man I am today. Basketball season will never be the same without you, but I promise we will carry on the lessons that you taught us all. Thank you for being you.

Always your friend,

Alex Chapman
Oh…and what tribute to Craig would be complete without a song from Pearl Jam. (link)

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Posted by: alexchap30 | August 11, 2017

2017-2018 English Premier League Predictions

One of my favorite times of the year is the week leading up to the start of the English Premier League (EPL) season. The sweet slowness of Summer is still a reality during this week, transfer talks in the soccer world have reached a frenzied pitch, and I get to make my predictions for the upcoming season.

Now, if I am being honest, I don’t always do very well on these predictions and they should only be used as musings and a little bit of extra context as you start the season. Most notably last season, I had Manchester United winning the league and they limped along to a sixth place finish. I also did not see the blistering season and finish of Tottenham. I have to give the Spurs some credit as they played an entertaining style of football. The team also has quite a bit of young talent on the roster this season (Dele Alli anyone?!) and they look to continue on their upward trajectory.

While there are always some whiffs when it comes to my projections and previews, I can sometimes get it right and call out things that I am seeing that concern me. Last year (link to last years preview) I called two of the three relegated teams and nearly hit on the third. I was especially harsh on Sunderland who I believed lacked any real punch. In short, Sunderland appeared to be a team destined for a drop.

Before I get into my final table and give you a few players to watch, I wanted to go back to my favorite soccer memory and one of the happier days of my life. The day is December 31, 2011. I had woken up extremely early (5am) to watch the ESPN fixture between Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers. ESPN was broadcasting the match which meant that my favorite commentators Ian Darke and Steve McManamon would be calling the game. In hindsight this is probably the biggest reason why I braved the 5am hour. Anyway I remember waking up that day in a great mood. It was like waking up on the wrong side of the bed but the exact opposite. As I drank my first cup of coffee and watched the soccer match the power United side started imposing their will on the game. However, in the second half a few moments of brilliance by Blackburn brought them back into the game despite the United attack. I especially remember the brilliance of Blackburn player Yakubu in that game as one of the teams at the bottom of the table knocked off Manchester United. For additional thoughts on the game here are a few quick links.

  1. Yakubu penalty kick (link)
  2. BBC Breakdown of the game (link)
  3. Lineups (link)

Anyway, after the game I remember thinking how much fun the EPL game was. As this match came in the earlier days of my soccer journey it is a day I come back to from time to time. This day also stands out as I got to go to the Asian art museum in San Francisco later that morning to ring their giant Buddhist bell to ring in the new year.

Thank you for going down that rabbit hole with me (link).

Now…on to the 2017-2018 season!

As usual in the EPL, there are about five or six teams with a realistic shot at winning the league this season. And while I agree that it is kind of a bummer if your favorite team is not in that group it is still better than a lot of the European leagues where the race is between two, or in many cases, one team. Of course the beauty of international club soccer is that even if your favorite team is not competing for the title all of your matches count as you try to avoid relegation.

After a little bit of research here are my predictions for the 2017-2018 EPL Season.

2017-2018 Final EPL Predictions

1. Manchester City

2. Chelsea

3. Tottenham

4. Arsenal

5. Manchester United

6. Liverpool

7. Everton

8.  West Ham

9, Newcastle

10. Leicester City

11. Stoke

12. Crystal Palace

13. Bournemouth

14. Southampton

15. Swansea

16. West Brom

17. Brighton

18. Watford

19. Burnley

20. Huddersfield

So for the record I have Manchester City winning the league this year. Sadly this is the year we say goodbye to Watford, Burnley, and newly promoted Huddersfield Town. Don’t worry Huddersfield, you will always have this memory (link).

Players To Watch

1. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)- my pick for player of the year

2. Paul Pogba (Manchester United)- disappointed a bit last year..but ready to bounce back (link)

3. Wayne Rooney (Everton)- the legend going back to his boyhood club is must watch TV.

4. Javier Hernandez (West Ham)- Chicharito is on the Hammers?!?

5. Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)- I put him on the list every year because of his creative passing abilities (link)

6. Harry Kane (Tottenham)- I was torn between writing down Kane who most fans know and Dele Alli..but I already got a clip of Alli so here is a shout out for Kane.

As usual, feel free to post your comments and thoughts in the box below. I look forward to an exciting season.

 

Posted by: alexchap30 | July 31, 2017

Updated Favorite NBA Player List

Long time blog readers might remember a column where I listed my Top Ten NBA Players of all time (link). However, times change and so do lists. I am going to condense that ten player list into a top 5…but you will get video highlights for each player unlike last time.

Keep in mind, this is not necessarily a list of the five greatest basketball players of all time. Instead it is a list of my favorite guys to watch. I am happy to listen to any comments or lists that you might have.

Without further ado…here is the list.

5) Dirk Nowitzki (link)

basketball

4) Isiah Thomas (link)

 

3) Kevin Garnett (link)

2) Michael Jordan (link)

1) Larry Bird (link)

Posted by: alexchap30 | July 31, 2017

Song of the Summer 2017

It is good to be back in the blog world after an extended absence. I wasn’t sure if/ when I would be back, but I knew when I woke up this morning that I was in the mood (Talib Kweli- In the Mood) to write.

I am excited to be reprising one of my favorite columns this evening, Song of the Summer. For those of you who didn’t read my post in 2015 about the birth of the Song of the Summer, here is a quick recap. Back in 1998 (already nineteen years ago?!?) my great friend Michael Ravina and I were in his pool, enjoying the Summer, and talking about whatever soon to be sophomores in High School talk about. In our case the conversation inevitably revolved around sports, getting our license, and the game of ping pong.  This particular afternoon was a hot one so we decided we would be in the pool for much of the afternoon. Our favorite radio station at the time, 106.1 KMEL, seemed to be playing a new track quite a bit. That song was Ghetto Superstar (link) by Pras, Maya, and ODB. The two of us enjoyed the song so much that on the spot we anointed it “the song of the Summer.” Basically each Summer one track would be called Song of the Summer and with the playing of that song a story for a particular time period could be recited.

One of the interesting parts about this tradition is that each Summer a track tends to emerge. This Summer one track emerged fairly early on and I knew it would be the song of the Summer. The song was Goosebumps by Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar.

For those of you who may have been living under a rock for the last couple of months, Kendrick Lamar is legit. Kendrick Lamar is a hip hop artist who raps about his experiences growing up and is just incredibly smooth on all of his tracks. For more information about Kendrick Lamar check out his website (link)

The first memories that come to mind when I play this song are of me playing this song on my way to my Summer administrative classes, and listening to this track with a Peet’s ice coffee as I ride around Terra Linda checking out the architecture and different neighborhoods. On several occasions I also used this track as a pump up song on my way to play noon time basketball at the YMCA.

It will be interesting to see what song emerges next year in the 20th annual song of the Summer. og

Posted by: alexchap30 | August 12, 2016

2016-2017 English Premier League Predictions

It is that time of the year once again…it’s time for my yearly EPL predictions. With the kickoff of the 2016-2017 season a mere five and a half hours away, I felt I would weigh in with some of my thoughts.

Last year was another exciting season in the most prestigious league in the world. Leicester City, who was once ranked at 5,000 to 1 odds to win the title, came from out of nowhere to stun the soccer world and capture their first EPL title. I had them finishing 19th…so yeah…I got that one wrong. However, I did say to those who follow the blog to watch out for big seasons from Harry Kane and Georginio Wijnaldum which I did get right.

Before I get to the power ranking and final table prediction I have a quick tangent I want to go off on. I was not happy with this years Euro Cup. Despite great coverage from ESPN and an expanded field, the product was simply not enjoyable. Teams, such as the eventual champion Portugal, played cagey, defensive soccer. There was no real ambition or desire to go forward and stretch the opponent. Teams simply played conservative and waited huge chunks of time for one opportunity to counter attack. Many countries flat out parked the bus in front of the goal and waited for a shootout. Quite simply it was not the type of soccer I enjoy watching. I had high hopes for Euro 2016, but I was ultimately let down.

However, I am ever the optimist and I firmly believe that those lame tactics will not tarnish and destroy the EPL product and that we will see consitent, exciting soccer this season. And now, without further delay, I unveil the final table for the 2016-2017 EPL season.

2016-2017 Final Table Predictions

  1. Manchester United
  2. Arsenal
  3. Manchester City
  4. Chelsea
  5. Tottenham
  6. Liverpool
  7. West Ham
  8. Everton
  9. Leciester
  10. Stoke
  11. Southampton
  12. Middlesbrough
  13. AFC Bournemouth
  14. West Brom
  15. Crystal Palace
  16. Watford
  17. Burnley
  18. Sunderland
  19. Swansea
  20. Hull

So for the record we have Manchester United winning the title. Arsenal, Man City, and Chelsea will qualify for Chapmions League. And, sadly, Sunderland, Swansea, and Hull will be relegated. It is especially painful for me to put Swansea in the relegation category because I have really enjoyed watching them play the past few years. However, I just do not see enough talent on Swansea’s roster to see them doing very much this season. I did pick Leciester to finish 19th last year so you just never know.

Players to Watch 2016-2017

  1. Paul Pogba
  2. Sergio Aguero
  3. Romelu Lukaku
  4. Mesut Ozil
  5. Saido Berahino

 

 

Posted by: alexchap30 | August 6, 2016

Disco Inferno

There is really no way around it. I suppose I should search for some deep analogy, or profound reason why this is so…but instead I am just going to come right out and say it. I love disco! There is an energy around the genre that is inescapable, and I am left with the realization each time that I listen that the disco bands in the 1970’s were just plain cool. From the outrageous outfits, to the memorable beats the genre is just infe081227172428_500w_500hctious and makes you feel good.

And as I share my love for disco, I think it is important to note that the absolute apex on the cool-o-meter was the late 1976 release of the song Disco Inferno by The Trammps.

Disco Inferno would have been a tour de force on its own, but the song became even more recognizable and popular as it was paired/ featured prominently in the movie Saturday Night Fever (link). The song seemed to speak for an entire generation, and as the beat played one seems to be swept away in the
times.

Breaking down the video is another favorite pastime of mine. A few things that stood out on my most recent viewing of the video. In case you wanted to follow alon
g and do the same (link)hqdefault

  1. Those outfits!- The creamsicle tuxedos are amazing. If one
    were to ask what the perfect blend of orange and white looked like I would have to direct them to this video. The shoes are also incredibly polished and accentuate the entire outfit. It is also an amazing feat that all members of the group match perfectly.
  2. The dance moves- Very simple yet incredibly fitting for this video. Lots of 1-2 steps and finger wagging. Not exactly Michael Jackson doing the robot in Dancing Machine…but still pretty impressive.
  3. The Dance Floor- When you can include that much orange in a video shoot you have to consider it a win. I also like the lights that are lining the orange and black stage.

Here are some additional links in case you haven’t gotten enough of the cultural phenomenon.

  1. Disco Inferno extended version (link)
  2. Scene from Saturday Night Fever (link)
  3. Featured on Soul Train (link)
  4. Soul Train Part 2 (link)
  5. Wondering around New York (link)
  6. In New Jersey in 2005 (link)
Posted by: alexchap30 | June 23, 2016

Top 10 Rage Against the Machine Songs

Although I listed to a lot of hip hop music growing up, I consider Rage Against the Machine to be one of my major musical influences growing up. I still remember walking around the College of Marin campus listening to The Battle of Los Angles on my disc-man.

When I transferred to the University of San Diego my roommate Paul and I would spend long minutes looking through our CD collections before always deciding to play some Rage as we got pumped up for our intramural basketball games. Along with Red Hot Chili Peppers Rage was the most common choice of music to be playing when we would have people over at our Lido Court house in San Diego.

To this day I still enjoy going through the catalog and rocking out to different songs in the collection. And the amazing thing about Rage is that, with a few exceptions towards the end of Renegades, all of their songs are good.

However, I am a man who enjoys lists and power rankings. So with that as a backdrop, I decided to examine which songs were truly the cream of the crop in the Rage Against the Machine discography. As always this list is just my personal opinion. Feel free to chime in with your own favorite songs or albums. Is there a song that was a noticeable snub? The list will go from 10 to 1…with 1 being the top song in the collection.

Top 10 Rage Against the Machine Songshqdefault

10) Born of a Broken Man (link)- One of my most listened to Rage songs. I used to listen to this song a lot my junior year of high school. My brother would often complain that I would wake him up by playing this song first thing in the morning.

9) Voice of the Voiceless (link)- Another track from the brilliant album The Battle of Los Angeles. 

8) Killing in the Name (link)- One of the all time Rage hits. When I saw Rage Against the Machine at Rock the Bells a few years back they came out to this song. The crowd went absolutely ballistic upon hearing the opening chords.

7) Revolver (link)- One of the more under rated Rage songs on the album Evil Empire. 

6) Calm Like a Bomb (link)- The track is amazing, and I also appreciate the use of the oxymoron in the title.

5) Roll Right (link)- Great baseline. Great song. Great band.

4) Bulls on Parade (link)- Probably the biggest hit from a group that made nothing but hits. What an amazing song to get you fired up for something. I like listening to this song before my men’s league basketball games.  Sure I get some strange looks in the parking lot, but the gym knows I mean business.

3) Township Rebellion (link)- I always liked this song but it wasn’t until the 2010 World Cup in South Africa that it vaulted into the elite status for me. As people around the world noticed South Africa during this tournament…Rage kept delivering their message of standing up to injustice and oppression. The song highlights historical inequalities within the country that are important to remember.

2) Down Rodeo (link)- Another Rage song which highlights the inequalities within a country. In this instance the country is the United States and the inequality comes in the form of economic injustice. Rage always had a social conscious which was important to me as I was coming up in the world.

1)  Wake Up (link)- Perhaps a bit of a surprise at the top spot. Wake Up has long been one of my all time favorite songs. The message of being vigilant and being an informed citizen speaks to me. The dangers of giving up your rights is a powerful one. And then there is the final scene of the movie The Matrix which uses this song to perfection. That also helps in any power ranking. (link)

Posted by: alexchap30 | December 31, 2015

Top 5 Hip Hop Songs of All Time

I love hip hop. The genre has always been something that I have been attracted to. I grew up listening to 2Pac, Wu Tang Clan, and DMX. Many of my all time favorite formative memories involve hip hop in some capacity. So even trying to create a favorite hip hop artist or song list was always going to be impossible. I think in the end my endless love for the genre is why I decided to make this a top 5 list instead of a top 10. If I had pushed this list to ten then I would have felt like there would have been some noticeable slights. However, with only five songs to pick as the elite of the elite I didn’t have to feel bad about hurting feelings and I could really focus on what the all time slappers were. 

I am sure that this list will cause a lot of debate and second guess….which is the point. I would love to hear what your favorite hip hop tracks of all time are. Please feel free to post your fave five in the comment section below.

The list will go from 5 to 1 (with one being the greatest/ most influential track of them all).

5) M.O.P- Ante Up (link)

4) The Game and 50 Cent- Hate It or Love It (link)

3) Mobb Deep- Shook Ones Part II- (link)

2) Snoop Dogg- Gin and Juice (link)

1) Wu Tang Clan- CREAM (link)

What I noticed about the list is that a lot of the songs are at least ten years old. In addition, a majority of the top 5 songs came from East Coast rappers. I considered a number of Snoop Dogg songs when I first started thinking about the list (Gin and Juice was always going to make it…but a few others were cuts that just missed out).

Thoughts? Comments? Clear snubs?

 

Posted by: alexchap30 | August 17, 2015

Jam of the Day (7/18/15)

I get asked the following question all the time…..What kind of music do you like? What are you grooving on right now?

Well, I often say, it depends on my mood. I listen to jazz, funk, disco, and classical amongst other genres. However, if you really know my musical taste you would know that I have a soft spot for old school hip hop. The 1990’s produced a bevy of amazing artists and tracks. It was a golden age for the hip hop genre. The tracks seemed to have a message and the hip hop game seemed to mean something.

As I was going through some of my favorite YouTube videos, while waiting for an evening basketball game I stumbled upon this track. The combination of Big Punisher’s rapping skills and the smooth beat make this a classic.

As an end of summer treat…..enjoy. (Link)

Track: You Came Up

Artist: Big Punisher feat. Norega

Posted by: alexchap30 | August 16, 2015

Summer 2015

The 2015-2016 school year will be starting up this coming week.  With the finals hours of summer slowly ticking away I thought I would look back at the top moments of the past few months. Below are some of the moments that stood out to me for one or more specific reason. The whole summer was a success but the moments that you will soon see are ones that I will remember for a long time to come.

The list is not written in any specific order but rather it is a running diary of things that came to my mind.

1) Taking BELL students to the Disney Museum in the Presidio. 

I had a chance to work Summer School for the BELL program this summer and it was a blast. Each day that I went into school I had a chance to grow as an educator and work with fantastic people.  I was hired as an Instructional Coach which meant that I got a chance to observe teachers and help design lessons. All of this was important and worthwhile, but for my money the highlights of the program were the days that we got to take the scholars on field trips. The best of the field trips, in my opinion, was when we took the group to the Disney museum in San Francisco. It was the first time I had been to the museum and it was really cool to see all of the art and artifacts from the many Disney films. There was also an exhibit by Salvador Dali which really added to the experience.  The students really enjoyed getting out of Marin, and I heard a lot of positive reviews as the group walked through the different rooms.

2) Taking the Health CSET

On a whim a few months back I decided I wanted to challenge myself and take another CSET. I thought about what the most realistic option would be and decided that it would be interesting to learn more about Health. I really enjoyed the process that led up by the test. By studying each evening I felt like I had a task and a purpose to continue moving forward. I also learned a lot about nutrition and healthy eating. As strange as it sounds I actually really enjoyed the test as well. There is a nervous energy that goes along with taking a test and it was fun to stretch the brain muscles. I will find out the results in about a month and keep the audience posted.

3) Lunch Basketball at the YMCA

Another important goal that I set for myself this summer was to get back in basketball shape. After summer school ended I had a chance to get down to the noon runs at the Terra Linda YMCA. This was great on a number of levels. Firstly, it was nice to catch up with a lot of the guys who I don’t have a chance to see too often throughout the year. In addition, the exercise was consistent and by the week of week 3 I was getting back to making moves that I routinely pulled off in my younger days.

4) Manchester United vs Barcelona at Levi’s Stadium

At the end of July I met up with my tailgating homies, Nelson and Damien, and we headed to Levi’s stadium to watch soccer giants Manchester United and FC Barcalona do battle on the soccer pitch. As a soccer junkie that was a fantastic treat for me. It is not often that giant clubs like these roll through town.

It was cool to reunite the tailgating crew for a non 49ers event. This is the 2nd time the crew has assembled for a non football game and both times have been epic. We indulged in sausages and chicken wings and made bold proclamations for the game. The game also lived up to my expectations as there were a number of goals, crisp passing, and big stars showing off their ball handling skills. It was also a major bonus that we had some of the only shady seats in the stadium (man is it hot in Santa Clara in July).

5) Rogers going away dinner at Sorella’s in Fairfax

After three years working at Davidson, my good buddy Keith Rogers ended up leaving to go back down to Los Angeles to be closer to his family and to get married. While we were bummed to be losing Rogers we wanted to show him how much he meant to us by throwing him a going away dinner. The week after school ended a group of Davidson teachers (Casey, Sarah, Kobe, myself) took Rogers out to Fairfax for a nice Italian dinner. The courses kept coming and the company was great. From the Caprese salad, to the pasta, to the steak I still dream about the different courses and the next time we can host an event at Sorella’s. For more information about Sorella’s follow this (link).

And as a follow up to this post, although we will nit have a chance to see Roger’s every day this year I will be going down to his wedding in November. Congrats Raji!

 

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