Tiger Who?

Archive for January, 2008

Large Professor Scores with Late Fireworks

He was in, he was out, and — ultimately — back in. We’re talking about Rancho Mirage homeboy and all-around man-about-town Jaime Las Palmas, whose presence was up in the air until just prior to tee-off. Las Palmas took in Llama Links for the first time with a blend of befuddlement, amazement, skepticism, and — foremost — confidence. His skills are documented and well honed by daily rounds at the club. Would those skills be on display on this day?

It was clear early on that the great equalizer that is Llama Links didn’t have a JLP walkover in mind. Indeed, when the last divot landed, the whole round was turned on its ear, with JLP posessing no skins to speak of and the spoils instead shared among the remaining dark-horse duo, Large Professor and MADDOG. Click here to view the table for the 2008 Llama Links Skins Series.

To his credit, JLP played admirably during his first round on the Llama, consistently racking up tidy pars — no mean feat due to Llama Links’, er, unique course conditions. But bird is the word that earns skins at Llama Links, and it was MADDOG, not JLP, that struck first — on the hardest hole on the course, no less.  

The third hole — “Pachinko” — features a sloping, postage-stamp green ringed with danger. Thick bramble shrouds the green right and back, the vaunted Pachinko tree looms on the left, and abundant condo windows beckon errant shots and repair checks. As a topper, the green’s elevated configuration spells trouble for any shots that come up short. 

MADDOG was unflappable, undaunted, and undeterred by these intimidating hazards as he stepped into the tee box with three skins riding. He steeled himself, then nutted his tee wedge, flying it within 12 inches of the hole, then tapped in to collect the first three skins.

Throughout the round, Large Professor consistently came up short and left (puzzling — he usually misses right??) and never threatened while Las Palmas and Maddog flirted with opportunities to skin on holes 4-8. Ultimately, no birds flew on those holes, carrying 6 over to 9.

Much to the chagrin of the visitors, Large Professor’s wedge came alive just at the right time, as he stroked it true and put his tee shot on the dance floor, leaving a white-knuckle 5 footer for the birdie while neither JLP or MADDOG got close enough to threaten. The Professor rattled home his one-putt to claim the 6 skins in what essentially amounts to highway robbery.

Pub Wisdom knows LP’s not proud and will take ’em where he can get ’em. Better luck next time.


Highlander Betwixt the Sticks for L.A. Galaxy?


Big West Keeper of the Year Charles Alamo, who helped UC Riverside end its season with a 1-1 draw against defending national champions and No. 9-ranked UCSB, was selected by the Galaxy in the MLS draft. Could he man the net for the Galaxy in the near future, rolling with Becks and Landon? 

Only time will tell if we will, indeed, remember Alamo. For now, live it up. Good on ya.

Big Trainers to Fill for Scotland’s New Boss


Former Ipswich Town baller and Southampton boss George Burley takes over as the new boss of the Scottish national side, filling the considerable trainers left behind by new Birminghan boss Alex McLeish.

I know how Chelsea fans felt when Mourinho boned out… No matter how good Burley may be in the future, we KNOW what McLeish accomplished. It’s been a little more protracted than the Chelsea situation, which unfolded quickly. Twas sad to see McLeish go, and while the sting is tempered a bit here months down the road, this announcement dredges up the bitterness over his departure more than creating confidence in the new man.

As an aside, what ever happened to Motherwell boss Mark Maghee?? Seemed like his appointment was a foregone conclusion…

At any rate, welcome, George. Now get to work.

Cuban Conguero in Command: Francisco Aguabella


Skin is in: Aguabella owns it on 1/12/2008.

Jazz lives because the music is more important than the business. It lives because you can see and hear people like CuBop/Ubiquity recording artist Francisco Aguabella up close. You can participate in the show, not just watch/listen. You’re there. You can rock up to members of the pantheon at intermission and rap with them.

Jazz lives because there are places like Steamers, a jazz club in Fullerton, at which I was pleasantly surprised — nay, blown away — by the experience. In “the city,” you’d pay $12-24 to see one set of someone the caliber of Francisco Aguabella, not to mention his kick-ass band. That set’d be about an hour long, maybe a little longer. At Steamers, two full sets for $8 — on a Saturday night?!? That is SOLID.  Seriously, the OC has one of the coolest, most rootsy establishments in the entire So Cal jazz scene.

Hat’s off to Terence Love, the owner of Steamers, who takes pride and interest in every detail it seems. The food rocks, the help rocks. Easy ins and outs… Can’t wait to go back. Saw Banda Brothers, Poncho Sanchez, Joey DeFrancesco, and others on tap. The real deal.

Jazz lives because jazz lovers appreciate their players more and more, instead of cycling through “stars” faster than Britney goes through rehabs. Francisco’s not a young pup, but he commands the congas. He’s a pleasure to listen to — it’s just and right that he plays to a packed house in Fullerton.

Jazz lives through players like Mr. Aguabella. Jazz lives, apparently, at Steamers.

Roddy on Rampant Rangers


“A domestic treble (Rangers 2-0 Dundee United), a £700 million reconstruction of Ibrox and its surroundings, a player who blithely turns down a £9 million move to the Premier League. Suddenly, in the midst of bleak midwinter, shafts of warm sunlight are beaming down upon Rangers fans.

One should say at once that, of the three talking points mentioned above, the most substantial is the first. Rangers have overtaken Celtic with a game in hand – against St Mirren tomorrow night – which, if they win, will put them four points clear of the defending champions. January could see them maintain pole position in the title race, reach the CIS Cup final and stride on in the Scottish Cup…”

Read the rest of Roddy Forsyth’s column in the Telegraph here.

Travesty at Stamford Bridge

A Special Report by Rocket Morton


Vibe Me: Friendly Stamford Bridge Environs

Our train filled with blue as it lumbered along the London underground towards Stamford Bridge. As we emerged from Fulham Broadway Station, it was a cold, crisp, sunny afternoon in west london. We were ready to take on our worthy vistors from the north, Newcastle United. Hopefully the actual Chelsea players in this momentus and costly match were too.

I planned to drink several pints. This was necessary to keep warm due to even colder temperatures in our skyway seats.  But, as I settled into my seat, lo and behold, I spied a giant lineup of space heaters across the terrace. Enough to warm the entire upper stand. Thank you, Roman. I drank the pints anyway.

As I watched the players warm up, the man next to me was with his son. They had meat pies and something that looked like a churro, or maybe it was a hot dog.  Meat pies smell incredible on a cold day. And to think I could have had one with my pint earlier. Instead, I had fallen to the temptation of the street cheeseburger only minutes before. Next time, meat pie. 

This game was going to be played without Frank Lampard, John Terry, Makalele, Carvalho, Cech, Ashley Cole and Cudicini. I tried to get my fellow supporters to start singing “Oh..No…Hilario,”  but no one would join in. 

Michael Essien was in, Mikel was in, big man Alex would be shoring up the back and covering up for Ben Haim’s gross errors. Joe Cole and Kalou must be counted on to take us to victory

The entire stadium let out the loudest cheer, by far, for a Newcastle player.  He was back, the faithful servant, Damian Duff. It felt like the old days, well actually just a few years ago, seeing the Irish international run all over the field. Bridge and Beletti would have their hands full locking down the wings this icy afternoon. I must also say, my level of excitement plummeted when I realized that Newcastle would be led up front by Obafemi Martins, a particularly deadly striker. The small corner section of Geordies filled the bridge with song. I felt a bit uneasy when the opening whistle blew.

At the half time whistle, with Chelsea up 1-0 on an Essien goal, our entire stand emptied to get beer and more pies. To my surprise there was no line.  Beer and wine were distributed with such ease and efficiency. Everyone laughed when they televised our end of the stand only to see there was not a soul left out there. We watched the replay of Essien’s first half goal from every angle.  It was, in fact, a garbage goal. All credit to Essien — everybody likes players who take out the garbage. OK, finish that pint and get back out there for the second half start. 

The second half was a travesty. Nicky Butt fell down into the ball, which in turn went into the goal. 1-1. The Matthew Harding stand went silent. The silence, however, was broken by the visiting Geordies singing, “You’re not singing anymore!” Chelsea fans errupted. The buzz was back. Perhaps this might turn out OK — there was still plenty of time for the Blues to nick a goal. What occurred next was indeed a travesty — even worse than Newcastle’s equalizer. But this particular travesty actually benefitted Chelsea. 

I can say it — we were sitting right on the line — Kalou was offsides. The winning goal should not have stood. The supporters at my end of the stand went silent. When the goal counted, people went nuts. I looked around and every person was smiling, just like they got a surprise Christmas present several days late. More like, they just got away with stealing a Christmas present. I guess they did. 

Damian Duff was replaced by Viduka in the 89th minute. He went off to loud cheers and applause from the adoring supporters. When the final whistle blew, it was announced on the loudspeaker that West Ham had beaten Manchester United. Chelsea had closed the gap a few points. Mikel didn’t get a red card. More Christmas presents for everyone.