#Sports Talk ~ Super Bowl 50 ~ Game and party over! by guest author, Allan Freidson


And the trophy goes to the Denver Broncos!
And the trophy goes to the Denver Broncos!

Since I used this space for a pre-Super Bowl blog Susan suggested I do the same now that the game has been played. My first thought is I am glad I don’t currently have a sports financial advisor, known to some as a “bookie,” because I would have given the points, taken the over, and lost a whole bunch of money when Carolina failed to show up.

Peyton Manning, quarter back of the Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning, quarter back of the Denver Broncos

As for the game itself, the Broncos defense was fantastic and I thought the Panthers defense also played very well. Neither offense did much so the fantastic defense prevailed over the very good one. How’s that for in-depth analysis?

party food

The only other thing I want to note is the phenomenon that is the Super Bowl party. I wasn’t invited to many before I met Susan, but I do remember one I attended in January, 1985 while still living back East. San Francisco was to play Miami in Palo Alto and while the Niners weren’t my team I was soon to move to that area and was busy embracing everything about my new home. I don’t remember who hosted the party or why they were kind enough to invite me, but I do know that the group was clearly divided into two camps. One group wanted to watch the game and the other was much more interested in conversing. And, yes, there were men and women in both categories. Anyhow, as the curmudgeon I was then and remain to this day I wanted to watch the game, at least while it was competitive, and found that difficult to do with all the noise. So now I mostly watch alone, which strikes me as what I deserve.


But going to the Safeway this past Sunday several hours before the game merely to get some stock items reminded me that Super Bowl parties are alive and well. No place to park in a rather large lot and inside reminded me of a scene I hadn’t seen since Christmas Eve. So Super Bowl games may come and go, some more memorable than others, but those parties are here to stay whether I want to go or not. Sounds fair to me.

#Sports Talk~ Super Bowl 50 by Allan Freidson, guest author

Hello, my name is Allan and I am the loving spouse of the usual inhabitant of this space – Susan Clark. Since I am a huge sports fan and this is Super Bowl week Susan suggested I pen a little something about the occasion.


The 2016 edition takes on more significance than others for those of us residing on the Monterey Peninsula because the game is to be played only an hour from here in a city named Santa Clara. That city is an hour north of us and about the same distance in the other direction from San Francisco, the host city for the event. Partying all week in San Francisco and making the drive to the game on Sunday is nice work for those who can make it happen.


A tasty alternative is to spend the week in Carmel or Pebble Beach before heading to the game, and if that is your choice please take the time to pay my wife a visit and let her show you the house you need to buy immediately. In fact, if you are coming our way at any time for any reason please let her do the same. That said, some Super Bowl memories are in order.

1117 Sawmill Gulch, Pebble Beach offered at $1,295,000
1117 Sawmill Gulch, Pebble Beach offered at $1,295,000

Having spent the first half of my life in our nation’s capitol I always have rooted for the Washington Redskins (sorry for the nickname) and as such I have seen my team play in five Super Bowls, winning three and losing two. I attended two, a victory and a loss. Interesting enough, both of those games have a connection to Susan even though I didn’t know her at the time.

red skins helmet

The years were 1983 and 1984 and my team won the first and got destroyed in the latter. Since my memories of the 1983 Super Bowl are a whole lot better I will start there and devote many more words to that experience.

1883 logo

The 1983 game was played in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and although still living back East I jumped at the chance when my cousin offered me the opportunity to join he and his wife at the game. Now, my cousin barely can tell the difference between a football and a piece of squash, but he was in advertising in Washington and through his job had a shot at some tickets and thought…actually, I don’t know what he was thinking, but he wanted to go and had a flight arranged, so off we went. Turns out Susan’s parents were living in Florida and her father was a fan of the loyal opposition that day, the Miami Dolphins . . .


. . .  and her brother, who also lived in Washington D.C. had tickets for Susan and her parents as well as for himself to see the game.  So there we were on game day seated on opposite sides of the field although not knowing each other from the other 100,000 on hand.

red skins- players

Washington won that day and I finally got to experience the feeling of rooting for a team that won the biggest game of the season. And don’t feel badly for Susan’s father because a decade earlier his Dolphins had defeated the Redskins in Super Bowl VII and to this day remain the only team to win all their games in the same season.

dolphins - in play

And as for the 1984 game, it was played in Tampa not that far from where Susan’s parents lived. But, again, we didn’t know each other then so she wouldn’t have minded that I beat it out of Tampa in a big hurry after the Raiders, then of Los Angeles, left my Redskins for very dead. At least I had the prior year’s win as consolation and later on in the 80’s they won another one. At that time I still had not met Susan but we did meet in 1990 when she sold me a house and thankfully (for me) agreed to see me socially after the house closed. So it was that we were together when shortly thereafter Washington won their last Super Bowl. Watching me watching that game on television no doubt convinced her it was good to be nowhere near me for those prior Super Bowls as my behavior during that game, although non-violent, did not come close to reflecting the way anyone over the age of 9 should act over a football game.

Super Bowl 50

Now the fans of Carolina and Denver will have a go at the experience while those of us without much of a rooting interest simply will watch in amazement at how the Super Bowl has evolved. Enjoy.


#Super Bowl 50 ~ #Levi Stadium


It’s almost here! Super Bowl 50 will take place this Sunday February 7th at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara.  However, the host City is actually San Francisco  with events going on all week long.  All this week leading up to Sunday’s game are several fan events taking place in downtown San Francisco.
aerial moscone

NFL Experience Driven by Hyundai will take place at the Moscone Center through Sunday February 7th. It’s been described as a Theme Park for football! Offering participatory games, displays, entertainment attractions, youth football clinics and free autograph sessions from NFL players.

Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco
Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco

All the media has converged upon the City.  Even the Dan Patrick sports show is being televised from San Francisco with their studio set up in the Presidio with the amazing back drop of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Having spent most of my life in the City by the Bay, I never get tired of looking at the amazing Golden Gate.  All week Dan Patrick has been interviewing every football player known to man – particularly the ones who have participated in the crowing glory of football . . . the Super Bowl!

Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers
Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers

Soon we will know who will wear the crown and those lovely Super Bowl rings.  Will it be the Denver Broncos or the Carolina Panthers.

Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers

Some say the Panthers can’t be stopped, but we’ll have to wait until Sunday . . . in sports as in life, you just never know.

Happy #Groundhog Day ~ #AT&T Pro Am Pebble Beach

Happy Groundhog Day! February 2nd 2016
Happy Groundhog Day! February 2nd 2016

Happy Groundhog Day, my dear readers!  Talking about Groundhog Day brings me back to my teaching days when every holiday and event on the calendar became a teaching opportunity and something to talk about other than readin’, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic  . . . and it always rated a new Bulletin Board!

GH hole gh hole-2

The tradition of this day goes back centuries and even to the ancient Romans.  The early European Christians celebrated Candlemas Day Feb 2nd celebrating Mary’s ritual purification.  If the sun came out that day, there would be 6 more weeks of winter.  The Europeans watched the hibernating animals like bears and badgers as a tip off to winter’s end.  When the Germans immigrated to Pennsylvania in the 1880’s they started keeping an eye on the groundhog as a harbinger of a possible early spring.

GH hole


And so, the American tradition began and now February 2nd brings the most-watched weather forecast of the year—and the only one led by a rodent.

groundhog looking

Legend has it that on this morning, if a groundhog can see its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If it cannot see its shadow, spring is on the way.

Speaking of Pennsylvania, “Punxsutawney, PA is home to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, the organization we associate with Groundhog Day due to their iconic tradition of getting dressed up in suits and tails for the annual prediction. Its first celebration was on February 2, 1887 on Gobbler’s Knob, a hill in the city where the prognostication has taken place every year since.  Early on it was just a small ceremony in Punxsutawney attended by locals. Now the prognosticating of their mascot, Punxsutawney Phil, is broadcast all over the world.”*

Bill Murray as he appeared in the movie "Groundhog Day"
Bill Murray as he appeared in the movie “Groundhog Day”

It’s impossible to talk about Groundhog Day without thinking of Bill Murray’s iconic movie entitled “Groundhog Day“.  Murray plays a weatherman out to cover the annual emergence of the groundhog from its hole in Punxsutawney PA.  He gets caught in a blizzard that he didn’t predict and finds himself trapped in a time warp living the same day over and over and over again until he gets it right.

Bill Murray GH day

 He appears opposite the lovely Andi McDowell in the movie which I’m sure will be playing on all the movie channels tonight.

Andie McDowell as she appeared in "Groundhog Day"
Andie McDowell as she appeared in “Groundhog Day”

Living on the #Monterey Peninsula with the #AT&TProAmGolf Tournament about to begin in Pebble Beach, it’s impossible to think of past tournaments without thinking of Bill Murray and his antics on the course.  He was always the live wire who kept it fun for the spectators – from his crazy hats to his hilarious stunts.

bmfunny hat

In fact, he was horsing around so much with one lady spectator one year she fell into the sand trap!


 The fans all loved him.

As I look at the celebrity list of the 2016 golf participants I see Kenny G, Andy Garcia, Huey Lewis, Chris O’Donnell, Mark Wahlberg, Ray Romano (more about him in a future post), but NO #Bill Murray.  Perhaps another “character” will emerge from the line-up to take his place – but he is a hard act to follow.

bm clowing

The #2016 AT&T Pro Am Golf Tournament will be played in Pebble Beach February 8-14 beginning with practice rounds on the 8th.  The actual tournament will be played from Feb 11th – 14th.  If you are not able to come to the tournament in person catch the televised Saturday play when all the celebrities will be playing on Pebble Beach Golf Links.  You’ll be able to not only see great golf, but you’ll get to experience the amazing views and what we that live here get to experience every day.  Who knows, it might even encourage you to move here!

AT&T Pro Am Golf Tournament ~ Pebble Beach Golf Links over looking Carmel Beach
AT&T Pro Am Golf Tournament ~ Pebble Beach Golf Links over looking Carmel Beach