EppsNet Archive: San Jose

NARCh Wrapup

As expected, Mission Black Ice 93 and the Mississauga Mission Rattlers reached the Bantam Platinum finals, with Black Ice winning 4-3. The Colorado Kodiaks won the bronze medal, which you could think of as the gold medal for the rest of the field, because no one was in the same class as the Rattlers or Black Ice. My son’s team, Revision Devil Dogs, had a killer draw: three of their four round-robin games were against the three medal-winning teams. They tied the Kodiaks and lost the other two. Had they been able to beat the Kodiaks — and the Kodiaks’ goalie made a tough save at the final horn — the Devil Dogs would have advanced to the playoff round and the Kodiaks would have been ousted. Final thoughts In a way, I’d like my son to win every tournament he plays because I want him to be happy, but… Read more →

Happy 17th Birthday

My son turned 17 today at the NARCh tournament in San Jose and he went with his teammates to Applebee’s for dinner. The boys know that he doesn’t like to be the center of attention for things like having “Happy Birthday” sung for him in a restaurant so I’m sure they made every effort to prevent that from happening . . . Read more →

NARCh – Day 2

Two more round-robin games on Day 2 . . . Game 3 – Mississauga Mission Rattlers Remember when I said Mission Black Ice is the best 16-and-under team I’ve ever seen? I may have spoken too soon on that. I’ll be shocked if the Rattlers and Black Ice don’t face each other in the final to find out which team is really the best in the universe. The Devil Dog goalie was great yesterday but not today. He gave up eight goals, should have stopped about five of them, but didn’t get much help from his teammates either. Final Score: Rattlers 8, Devil Dogs 0. Ouch.   Game 4 – Colorado Dynamite Both teams came into the game with a good chance of slipping in to the playoff round as the fifth and final seed with a victory. It was a very even game — too even. The game ended… Read more →

NARCh – Day 1

The Devil Dogs played two round-robin games on Day 1 . . . Game 1 – Mission Black Ice 93 Black Ice is from New York. They’re a great team. Best 16-and-under team I’ve ever seen. In fact, they’re better than any 18-and-under team I’ve ever seen. What a juggernaut! The Devil Dog kids looked nervous. They looked tight. They didn’t handle the puck cleanly. Black Ice was ahead 3-0 after the first period. The Dogs tightened things up and played a scoreless second period. I wanted to say something encouraging to my boy after the game. “You played them even the second period,” I said. “No we didn’t,” he replied. “Well . . . on the scoreboard you did.” Final Score: Black Ice 3, Devil Dogs 0   Game 2 – Colorado Kodiaks The Dogs matched up better physically with the Kodiaks than with Black Ice although the Kodiaks… Read more →

Leaving Tomorrow for NARCh

We’re heading out tomorrow morning for NARCh in San Jose — the grand finale, end-of-the-season roller hockey tournament. The tournament’s actually been going on for a week and a half but Casey’s division — Bantam Platinum — doesn’t start till Tuesday. Bantam is the 16-and-under division, with a DOB cutoff date of December 31, so this season’s Bantam players are kids born in 1993 or 1994. The Platinum division is the AAA division. Most tournaments call the skill divisions A, AA and AAA, but NARCh calls them Silver, Gold and Platinum. So Bantam Platinum is 16-and-under AAA.   In order to play at the NARCh final, your team has to play in a regional qualifying tournament. Based on your results in the qualifier, the tournament committee either assigns you to the Silver, Gold or Platinum division, or — if it’s a close call — they assign you to two divisions… Read more →

Notes From Interstate 5

It poured rain all the way from San Jose to Los Angeles . . . “It’s a good day for cows,” I say to my son, as we drive by a field of happy-looking bovines. “It’s raining,” he points out. “I don’t think cows mind a little rain. They get to eat lush, moist grass. Instead of dry grass. Do you like to eat a dry salad with no dressing? You don’t, right?” No answer. “I’m trying to think like a cow here.”   “My phone would go out right in the middle of a text message,” the boy says. “That’s awful,” I say in mock sympathy. “It is,” he says. “It was a thoughtful, heartfelt text message.” “How thoughtful and heartfelt can a text message be? Aren’t you limited to 160 characters?” “Not to Verizon numbers.” “Oh. Well, that is disappointing then.”   We’re driving past an agricultural area… Read more →

NARCh Winternationals – Day 4

Semifinal This one was like a replay of the third round-robin game. Final Score: West Coast Warriors 2, Devil Dogs 0   “They couldn’t buy a goal,” one of the moms said. “Are you allowed to buy goals?” I asked. “We need to make a new rule for that,” she said. The Warriors went on to lose 5-1 to NorCal Riot Black in the 16U final. That score surprised me, since NorCal couldn’t score on the Devil Dogs and the Devil Dogs couldn’t score on West Coast. I’ve got to find out if any parents stayed to watch the final. How did NorCal get 5 goals on the West Coast boys? Whatever they did, the Devil Dogs should start doing it . . . Read more →

Hockey Parents

Originally uploaded by lippo At hockey tournaments, especially travel tournaments, there’s a lot of down time between games. I usually bring a book to the rink so I have something to do. Nobody else does this. Nobody. In hockey circles, I’m known as the guy who brings books to the rink. This weekend, we’re at a tournament in San Jose. One of the dads from our team — I think he’s a copier salesman — says to me, “I can’t understand why anyone reads fiction.” He says it, not in a rude way, but not in a complimentary way either. I say, “Oh. Well, I can’t understand why anyone lives his whole life inside his own head and never gets curious about what life looks like to other people.” So I probably won’t have to talk to him the rest of the season. Later the same day, this guy knocks… Read more →

NARCh Winternationals – Day 3

Game 4 The Devil Dogs are running into hot goalies. They’ve been shut out two games in a row, this one a scoreless tie against undefeated NorCal Riot Black. Final Score: Devil Dogs 0, NorCal Riot Black 0   The tie is good enough to put the Dogs in tomorrow’s single-elimination round against the West Coast Warriors — who beat them yesterday — with the winner playing NorCal Riot Black in the final. Read more →

NARCh Winternationals – Day 2

Game 3 The West Coast Warriors are a team of big kids from British Columbia. The Devil Dogs had some trouble dealing with their size and speed. And the Warriors’ goalie played a great game. Final Score: West Coast Warriors 2, Devil Dogs 0   The final round-robin games are scheduled for tomorrow. Depending on how things go, the Devil Dogs could be the top-seed for the single-elimination round or they could get knocked out of the tournament. Their game is against NorCal Riot Black, who are undefeated at 3-0. Read more →

NARCh Winternationals – Day 1

Game 1 Everybody wants to score goals; nobody wants to play defense. Everybody wants to make a big play; nobody wants to make the little plays. The kids came out too revved up, made a lot of mistakes and were fortunate to win the game. Final Score: Devil Dogs 5, Silicon Valley Quakes 3   Game 2 The boys calmed down and played the best game I’ve ever seen them play — and I see every game. Final Score: Devil Dogs 4, NorCal Riot Red 0   Two round-robin games left, against what look like stronger teams. Read more →

A San Jose State Fan

There were some San Jose State fans at the game . . . as we were walking in, we saw a guy wearing a blue and gold T-shirt that said “The Only Trojan I Need Is On My D*ck” (The asterisk was actually on the shirt. Wouldn’t want to offend anyone.) “Enjoy the game,” I said to him. Final score: USC 56, SJS 3. Read more →

Matt Barkley

We saw Matt Barkley play his first college football game today, a 56-3 win over San Jose State. If he turns out to be as good as a lot of people think he is, that will be a cool thing to remember . . . Read more →

The Winchester House Effect

Background The Winchester House in San Jose was built by Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester (“The Gun That Won the West”) Repeating Arms Company fortune. After her daughter and husband died, she came to believe that the family was haunted by the ghosts of people killed by Winchester rifles. She consulted a medium in Boston, who told her to move west and build a mansion that would never be finished. As long as she kept building, she would never die. (Whether or not you believe in spiritualists, you’ve got to give high marks here for originality.) In 1884, Mrs. Winchester moved to San Jose, which was then a rural community, and bought an eight-room farmhouse. She kept builders employed at the house 24 hours a day for the next 38 years, until her death in 1922. By that time, the house was four stories high (it had been seven… Read more →