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Monday, June 20, 2016

Jose Canseco Goes from Outfielder to Outsider in The Truth Hurts

Posted By on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Baseball Superstar Jose Canseco - BO PARKER
  • Bo Parker
  • Baseball Superstar Jose Canseco
Jose Canseco remembers Oct. 17, 1989, vividly. The Oakland A's powerhouse was running sprints at Candlestick Park, just 30 minutes before Game 3 in the World Series against the San Francisco Giants.  

"I suffered from migraines, so I remember running toward the outfield and suddenly feeling a little bit nauseous," he told SF Weekly.  I was thinking, "Oh my gosh, this can't be happening now — getting a migraine before one of the games in the World Series."  I turned around and looked up and could see the lights waving back and forth like 15 to 20 feet either way. I thought, "What kind of a migraine is this where I'm hallucinating?" Then you hear a huge earthquake hit, so it made sense that the ground was moving under me, and that's why I was feeling out of balance, and the lights were shaking in the aftermath."

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Walking, Preparing, and Letting Players Be Themselves: Inside the Mind of the Giants' Bruce Bochy

Posted By on Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 1:30 PM

  • Courtesy of The Commonwealth Club
  • Kim and Bruce Bochy

There were jokes about it being an even year, the same as in 2010, 2012 and 2014 when the Giants won the World Series; the size of Giants' manager Bruce Bochy’s head; and about his recent frequent trips out to the mound to talk with struggling pitchers. In the conversation between Bochy and former Oakland A’s president Roy Eisenhardt at the Commonwealth Club on Tuesday, the subjects ranged from walking as a way to deal with stress to the Major League strike in 1994 to thinking through a game ahead of time.

We all have stress, Eisenhardt noted. But perhaps Bochy, with a team to manage, and the cameras, fans, players and coaches watching what he does, has a little more than his share. So how does the two-time National League Manager of the Year deal with it? Not surprisingly, Bochy, who wrote The Book of Walks with sports writer Steve Kettmann, takes to his feet.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

$5M of Weaponized Tackiness: Super Bowl City Is a Depressing Bore

Posted By on Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 4:30 PM

  • Peter Lawrence Kane

I went to Super Bowl City, and it's absolutely terrible. It's a boring, badly planned surveillance state by and for people with shitty taste that manages to be as crassly commercial as a mall with lackluster foot traffic without any kind of glitz or spectacle. It is a tableau of weaponized tackiness, a failure of urbanism, and an irruption of banality into a public space with enormous potential. For $5 million — or whatever the true cost of San Francisco's sporting-event-by-proxy turns out to be — we should have gotten a lot more than this half-assed carnival of the jejune.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Rep SF: tony.psd

Posted By on Tue, Dec 15, 2015 at 10:30 AM

  • Courtesy of Tony Robles
Riding the wave of an unprecedented 24-0 winning streak, the Golden State Warriors are solid gold. In the flurry of the championship chaos, and in the midst of Steph Curry ascension to the best player in the NBA throne, anything that features those bright cobalt and sunshiny yellow colors — that indicate we are all winners—has been appearing left and right. There is one brand, however, that has always repped the Bay, but especially the Warriors hella hard — tony.psd.

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bike Racing and Food Trucks at Marin's CykelScramble Festival

Posted By on Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Mike Woods of Optum Pro Cycling - CLIF BAR FACEBOOK
  • Clif Bar Facebook
  • Mike Woods of Optum Pro Cycling

Watching kids on bikes as they sped over dusty hills used to be an exhilarating group activity back in the day in my East Bay hood. Those bike kids were cool and fierce, and of course the first movers at break dancing (BYO cardboard!) and skate boarding in later years. An upcoming bike festival called CykelScramble at the Marin County Fairgrounds potentially offers some killer bike relay action, with the added bonus of tasty Off the Grid trucks, and a beer and wine garden with pours from Lagunitas Brewing Company and Clif Family Winery. An evening concert featuring Cold War Kids and Geographer will wrap up the day, and you can BYO blanket and lawn chairs. Insider tip: keep an eye out for the friendly yet often large birds that like to roam the grounds (feeding them is always a no-no).

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

We're Getting a New National Monument 100 Miles Away

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 6:28 PM

The Eel River - JIM ROSE
  • Jim Rose
  • The Eel River

Did you know that California has nine national parks, more than any other state? We were tied at eight with Alaska until 2013, when President Obama elevated Pinnacles National Monument to national park status.

The other eight parks, many of which are spectacular and all of which are worth visiting, are Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Lassen Volcanic, Redwoods, and Channel Islands. The Golden State has plenty of national monuments, too, from Lava Beds to Muir Woods to (technically) the entire California coastline. And as of last Friday, we have another, the 331,000-acre Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, the second-largest in the state.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

San Francisco Is the 4th Best City for Parks, 52nd Best for Recreation

Posted By on Wed, Jul 8, 2015 at 11:59 AM

Dolores Park, if not the crown jewel of S.F.'s park system, then at least worth trashing on a regular basis. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Dolores Park, if not the crown jewel of S.F.'s park system, then at least worth trashing on a regular basis.

We’re always suckers for highly specific ranked lists of cities, even when they’re transparent marketing ploys that we can rip to shreds for their absurd methodologies. But here are two that seem pretty worthwhile, the Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore (where we’re no. 4!), and WalletHub's survey of the best and worst cities for recreation (in which we come out right in the middle).

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Monday, March 30, 2015

WrestleMania Weekend in Review

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 12:13 PM

Seth Rollins in his Sunday best after hijacking the WWE title. - DON FERIA/AP IMAGES FOR WWE
  • Don Feria/AP Images for WWE
  • Seth Rollins in his Sunday best after hijacking the WWE title.

Since the beginning of civilization, people have gathered to tell stories. Whether it was around a campfire, in a theater, or on the silver screen, stories of larger-than-life characters have always captivated the (perhaps) overly creative minds of Homo sapiens. The medium in which these stories are presented changes with time, but the themes tend to remain the same (e.g. good vs. evil, David vs. Goliath, coming of age). But whatever your preference of medium or theme, it’s clear that as a species we are suckers for a good story.

Which is why it’s even more impressive that despite wide-spread criticism of lackluster storyline building, and a stadium that contained some empty seats, the superstars of WrestleMania 31 put on a spectacle that truly lived up to the title of “the show of shows.”

Some fans in attendance were casual, others were children, and still others sported neck tattoos of their favorite star’s logo (Yea, I saw you with the Jeff Hardy tat). But no matter their level of devotion, if they came to see the story of WrestleMania 31, they left with a smile. I’m not sure who came up with that “money can’t buy happiness” saying, but if they stood at the gates of Levi’s Stadium on Sunday and saw fans shell out a record-breaking $12.6 million, they might be forced to reconsider some of their beliefs.

SF Weekly was at a variety of wrestling events throughout the weekend. Here are some quick reviews and analysis of each.

WrestleMania 31 High Spots:

Rhonda Rousey and The Rock:

East Bay boy Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (HAYWARD, represent), squaring off with Triple H (an abbreviation of the character's full name, Hunter Hearst Helmsley). - DON FERIA/AP IMAGES FOR WWE
  • Don Feria/AP Images for WWE
  • East Bay boy Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (HAYWARD, represent), squaring off with Triple H (an abbreviation of the character's full name, Hunter Hearst Helmsley).

UFC Champion Rhonda Rousey made a surprise appearance, jumping the guardrail (with some encouragement from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) to face off against HHH and Stephanie McMahon. After a war of words, she gave HHH a judo throw and Stephanie a standing armlock.

UFC fighter Ronda Rousey makes a surprise appearance at WrestleMania 31 on Sunday. - DON FERIA/AP IMAGES FOR WWE
  • Don Feria/AP Images for WWE
  • UFC fighter Ronda Rousey makes a surprise appearance at WrestleMania 31 on Sunday.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Go Do This Thing: Wrestling Voice Jim Ross Brings One-Man Show to San Jose Today

Posted By on Sat, Mar 28, 2015 at 11:49 AM

click image Jim Ross No Mercy 2007 - LICENSED UNDER CC BY 3.0 VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Jim Ross No Mercy 2007
Jim Ross’s voice is the sound of wrestling. Whether it was backstage brawls, drive-through weddings, or Mankind getting thrown off the Hell in the Cell – you could always count on good ol’ JR to be right by your side, carefully guiding you through the surreal storylines of the WWE. Well, unless he was busy getting lit on fire by Kane.

JR was the man who told us why we should care about the slobberknockers unfolding on our TVs every Monday night. He laid out the storylines, crafted by a team of writers, one frantically shouted phrase at a time.

We caught up with the former WWE announcer and head of talent relations to talk about WrestleMania, his one-man show, and the Voice’s new home – The Ross Report podcast.

SFW: Let’s talk about your one-man show. What can fans expect?

Jim Ross: My show is humor-based but I don’t know that I’m a standup comedian, maybe a half-assed humorist at best. I tell stories about things I saw and the crowd finds it to be very entertaining. So there’s 20-30 minutes of stand-up and then I turn the show into a super-sized Q&A session. That’s what makes every show different.

What's the Q&A part like?

I think fans enjoy that part the most because I don’t restrict the topics so they can ask whatever they want. If you pay your money to come to see me you should be able to ask any question you want. The follow ups are often very unique. So it’s a wide range of topics, a conversation, and I’m going to be the GPS. Sometimes the topics are funny and sometimes their poignant. I’m not there to debate, it’s all subjective. It’s entertainment. I also clarify some old wrestling myths.

My background is not unlike the fan base. I think if you follow the genre of pro wrestling you know it’s a rather unique fan base in that there’s not much middle ground. You either love it passionately or are generally disinterested, like NASCAR. I was a fan first and got in the back door of the business. I thought it would be a good summer job, and 40 years later my college is still waiting for me to come back for my degree.

How did it go last year?

It was a blast. Last year I had Jim Cornette and Steve Austin drop by on the second show. They were originally just coming to see the show but we turned them into surprise guests. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of opportunities to do that this year with some of the people who are coming. It’ll be people that the fans know. It’s a simple straight forward show. It’s a way of giving back a little bit to all my supporters over the years. We’re doing it 1-3pm on Saturday. That way if people are going to the WWE Hall of Fame they can still come.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Daniel Bryan Sees WrestleMania Main Event as "a personal failure"

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 4:25 PM

Daniel Bryan, the WWE superstar whose signature “Yes!” chant took hold in the Giants’ dugout during their World Series run, has returned to the ring (and the Bay) after recuperating from a neck injury.

Bryan was the star of last year’s WrestleMania, but as the big show comes to Santa Clara Sunday the fan favorite finds himself buried among mid-card contenders. Arguably one of the best physical performers on the company's roster, and certainly one of the most popular with the fans, Bryan considers his  absence from this year’s main event match as a “personal failure.”

We caught up with the stereotype-shattering, eternal underdog to talk about his recovery, WrestleMania, and his love of San Francisco foodie culture.

SFW: Last time we spoke was at the Be a Star event in Santa Clara. You were telling me you didn’t know when, if ever, you’d return to the ring, and that it might take a month for each inch of your nerve to recover. Tell me what changed?

Daniel Bryan: So I started going to see this guy Greg Roskopf in Denver. He founded this thing called Muscle Activation Techniques. Carson Palmer, a quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals who was having a horrible shoulder problem, went there and had great success with the treatment. He could barely even pick up a football at the beginning of the season. Then, all of a sudden, after this treatment he’s the starting quarterback.

I was debating having a Hail Mary surgery on my elbow but my naturopath said “Before you schedule your surgery do you want me to see if you can get in with this guy?” I jumped at the chance.

The treatment was two straight hours of relatively painful stuff, but all of a sudden my strength was back. That had happened before, but in the past, when it came back, it only lasted 30 minutes or an hour. When Roskopf worked on me it came back for five days. I’ve only had two treatments and my strength has held up all the way till now. The last time I saw him was in November, so my strength has been holding up for months. And he said if it ever goes down to come see him again.

I can’t describe why it works — I’m not a therapist. But when he started he said, “If I can help you, I’ll let you know.” Then he started working on me and said, “Yes, I can help you.”

(Watch this video of the match in which the trouble with Bryan’s injury started. He hits his head after a suicide dive to the floor. He feels something is wrong but keeps going, climbing the top rope and delivering one of his signature dropkicks. That’s when he gets what wrestlers refer to as a “stinger.” It’s a pleasant-enough sounding slang term that means you have temporarily loss of feeling in your arms. Bryan would continue to wrestle for months after this injury, until he was forced to have surgery to correct the problem. And no, this is not part of a story line.)

Since you’ve come back from your injury you haven’t eased your style very much, if at all. I was interviewing Jim Ross and he said he had a private phone conversation with Steve Austin about that bump you took from Luke Harper. Can you talk a little bit about that bump, how you’re feeling, and how your injury has been holding up in the ring?

I actually feel real good. The only time I’ve had any setbacks was that match against Luke Harper. That was the only time I had some stuff going down my arm. Mentally when I came back I thought, “I’m not going to do any of this stuff. I need to wrestle an easier style.”

But the problem is I love doing this. I get excited when I’m in there.

Shawn Michaels trained me when he had what was supposedly a career-ending back injury. So we were training in a boxing ring and he was teaching us how to take a back body drop, which is one of the bigger back bumps. I was training with Brian Kendrick, who came into the WWE around the same time as me, and we were taking back body drops and were doing them OK.

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