Saturday, July 31, 2010

Whats on the Pacific Men's Basketball Docket This Year....

For those of you get the "Pacific Digest" mailed to you on a quarterly basis from the Pacific Athletic the latest edition you'll find the Athletic Department Calendar for 2010-11 that also includes...yes, you guessed it....the Men's Basketball Schedule.

While the schedule isn't totally complete (TBA's for home games on 11/20, 12/11 and 12/21) here are the non-conference highlights (I'm guessing all Pacific fans can guess who we play in conference):

Non-Conference Away:
11/12: UTEP
11/15-16: Pre-Season NIT @ UCLA (Pacific, UCLA, Pepperdine & Nevada- since we play Pepperdine again, I'm guessing our first game in the Pre-Season NIT is vs. Nevada).
12/4: Texas A&M
12/18: New Mexico State

Non-Conference Home:
11/7: Chico State (Pre-Season warm up I'm guessing)
11/20: TBA
12/1: Pepperdine
12/11: TBA
12/14: Santa Clara
12/21: TBA

The Tigers Start Big West Conference play on 12/28 with a trip to Cal State No-Place...err...I mean Northridge.

So what say you Tiger fans...or College Basketball fans in general....what do you think of the Tiger's Non-conference schedule?  Glad to see Coach T. loading up with some quality games?  Suprised that it looks like some teams are afraid to come to the Spanos Center (yes, I'm talking to you Fresno State...and Cal...and San Diego...and Gonzaga...and the list goes on and on)

'Till next time Spot Fans....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Spot gets some airtime....

You know that nothing good can come out of putting a microphone in front of your's truly!  Yet as luck would have it...Matt Beckwith from Podcast Stockton did a short little interview with the Spot in his new role helping out the California Cougars.  Out segment starts at minute if you wanna get a good chuckle (hey, I'm able to weave in Ron Burgandy AND Jack Tripper into the interview!), then take a listen!

Interview with Podcast Stockton

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lights, Dugouts...and some really great Softball

Well Spot fans...when it comes to college programs with a track record of success here in the Valley, we usually think of Pacific Basketball and Volleyball, Fresno State Football, Modesto Christian Basketball (ok, so maybe they're a high school team, they could probably take out a few college teams with all that talent!)...but tucked away on the University of the Pacific campus is a program that has consistently produced winners, yet hasn't gotten the attention of it's more well known brethern...the Pacific Tigers Softball Team.

Led by Coach Brian Kolze (whom the Spot can tell you from personal experience, is a GREAT guy...and hooked the Spot up with Ms. #1's now favorite gray Nike Softball hoodie)...Pacific Softball has produced 11 NCAA tournament apperances, 1 College World Series apperance, 1 Super Regional apperance...and one coach with a great profile story done on ESPN. 

Yet with all the success, the program, seeking to keep up with the "jonses" of West Coast Softball, continues to seek ways to improve.  Pacific currently plays it's home games at Bill Simoni Field, which, while being one of the best places to catch a game that your's truly can think missing two key ingredients...lights and actual dug outs.

That's where the Pacific Athletic Department's "Lights, Dugout, Action!" campaign comes in.  Just why does the home of Tigers Softball need lights and dugouts?  Well who doesn't like to catch a game under the lights in the cool spring air?  And wouldn't a night game...or two...or three make it just that much more convenient for you to take a nice break from your work week routine and catch some Tiger Softball action?  As for the dugouts...come on now...doesn't every ball field worth it's weight in rawhide and aluminum bats need a dugout?  Remember how fun it was to be in your little league dugout singing "we need a pitcher....not a belly itcher...)...shouldn't your Lady Tigers get to do the same? (ok ok, maybe minus the "belly itcher" chant!)

So what say you Tiger fans and alumni?  Coach Kolze and his Lady Tigers have given us a program that we can be proud of...a program that has produced winners on the diamond AND in the classroom....if you're like me and feel like it's time we show him a little appreciation then just click HERE and get ready for a little Tiger Softball under the lights!

'Till next time....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Oh Canada.... home and native land...oh Canada...oh who's the Spot kidding, eh?  It was another wonderful Saturday night at the "Wagon" as the FC Gold Pride took out the Philadelphia Independence (interesting side note sticking with the independence theme that only your's truly would know...Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom" was done in honor of tennis great Billie Jean King, who at the time was a member of the Philadelphia Freedoms of World Team Tennis, and her victory over Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes" ...'cause I live and breath this Philadelphia freedom) 2-0 on what was billed as "Canada Day' at the Wagon.

Whats that you say? "Canada Day"?  Yes, there are still people out there who believe that Canada is actually an independent country, and not the 51st State of the United States that we all know it is (yes, that was for my Canadian relatives in the lovely Toronto area!).  In a performance that was fitting for "Canada Day", both Gold Pride goals were scored by Christine Sinclair, who is, you guessed it, Canadian (from British Columbia to be exact).

Per usual, we have the post game interviews...special warning for this week's interviews.  The Spot had to use his allegedly "smart" phone (Samsung Code to be exact) which didn't pick up the answers to well, especially with the background either pump up the volume or pay close attention for this week's Q&A.

The Gold Pride's next home game is their "Think Pink" game August 7th at 7pm vs. the Chicago Red Stars.  But just as important, lets all gear up for their August 14th, 7pm "Tweetup" game vs. the Washington Freedom...and yes...the "tweetup" was the brain child of your's truly (ok, more like I stole the idea from the SF Giants who had one in April...but hey, all's fair in sports and social media!).  So if you're on Twitter, call in for special "tweetup" ticket rates and stay after the game to meet up with FC Gold Pride players who are also fellow "tweeters"!

'Till next time....

Post Game Interviews (sorry for this week's sound quality!):

Marta (yes, as usual, it's in Portuguese) 

FC Gold Pride Coach Albertin Montoya

FC Gold Pride 'Keeper Brittany Cameron

Friday, July 16, 2010

Twitter me this...Twitter me that...

Well my fellow Spotonians....It's a Thursday night...and while getting ready for my trip to the ever so lovely San Luis Obispo area...and after taking in a pretty damn exciting Stockton Ports game (walk off Home Run win + Thirsday Thursday $2 dollar beer night = SOLID!) I decided...yep, time to give out a little more social media love.

But who does the social media love go to this time?  No, not the University of Utah, this time it goes to my favorite women's soccer team (NO NO NO, not the one Playboy puts out every four years!)...the FC Gold Pride.  And just what has the FC Gold Pride done to earn such love?...they're having a "Tweet Up!"  A "Tweet Up" you ask? make a long story's a bunch of people who use twitter and  "Tweet" with each other...meeting up in person to mix, mingle, have a few adult beverages...and just all in all have a good time.

The Gold Pride's Tweet Up is scheduled for their August 14th game vs. the Washington Freedom with special $12 dollar tickets (it's $12 dollars people...that's less than it costs to park your car for 10 minutes in San Francisco!) and with Gold Pride players (and fellow tweeters) Kristen Graczyk (@kristengraczyk) & Candace Chapman (@chappie95) along with Gold Pride GM Illisa Kessler (@fcgoldpridegm) all scheduled to appear at the post game Tweet Up to meet and greet the fans....and yes tackle those tough Tweet Up questions! (here's to hoping none of the questions involve "bieber fever" or "do you follow Ashton Kutcher too?") .  For more information on the Gold Pride's Tweet Up...just click HERE.  In the meantime...kudos to the Gold Pride for coming up with new ways to reach out to their community and fan base.  The more one thinks about it...the more sports and social media are a match made in heaven...and it's always good to see a team like the Gold Pride tackle something new and innovative to make the game just that much more of a memorable experience!

That's all for now Spot back to your regularly scheduled programing....

Monday, July 12, 2010

World Cup withdrawl and other topics of note....

Yes, its the day more Copa del Mundo.  The Spanish are the champions, and say what you will...they win ugly...they're boring...they only win 1-0...they still win...and when you get to that level in the world of sports...that's all that matters.

So how does yours truly deal with "World Cup Withdrawal Syndrome"?  Well for starters, we still got lots of great soccer here in Northern California.  The FC Gold Pride of the WPS currently sit in first place, the San Jose Earthquakes take on Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premire League, and Stockton's own the California Cougars look to make it three straight playoff seasons starting this fall.  Speaking of Stockton....

That brings us to the other reason for this post...Football (specifically the College variety, I'll leave the NFL to the big boys at the big networks) doesn't start till late August, so just what will the Spot talk about between now and then?  Never fear fans...I've got LOTS to talk about!  In the upcoming weeks you'll see stories about my comical attempts at rowing (OK, at least I think it's funny!), my trip down to Cal Poly SLO to see how their Athletic Department does its marketing on the beach (oh no, spending time in San Luis Obispo, its rough I know!), why Stockton is lagging behind other cities in landing or creating compelling sporting events and yes, there is a rumor that the Spot might put on the old school roller skates and do a little roller derby!!

That's all for now Spot fans...'till next time....

Friday, July 9, 2010

Social Media Marketing and the Sports World: Utah Utes Women's Soccer

On occasion, your's truly likes to take himself semi-seriously and actually take a look at some rather interesting and timely topics when it comes to the world of sports.  Well, I woke up this morning and decided, "today, will be one of those days".

As we all pretty much know, the Spot loves his soccer.  He loves it in all shapes and forms...from the World Cup, to WPS & MLS, to the indoor's fun, it's exciting, and hey, I'm Portuguese, there's some sorta law saying I have to dig the footy!  In the pantheon of the soccer landscape that we have here in the United States is one branch of the soccer tree that, unless you go to the University of North Carolina, doesn't get that much attention...Women's College Soccer.  Now in most places, it gets about as many fans in attendence as there are those taking an o-chem final...which is unfortunate since it is the college scene that gives us our stars of the National Team....the women who bring home the Olympic gold and that we'll be seeing in next year's Women's World Cup.

Now, most programs and athletic departments could just accept the status quo...that women's soccer is a minor college sport in most places, and let it play away in relative obscurity...or, they could do something about it, and try to not only grow the sport, but the strength and popularity of their program.  After all, more fans equals better game day atmosphere equals more revenue for the program equals an easier time recruiting wise.  Of course that leads us to the question...and they're going to afford this how?  Let's face, college athletic department's today are run like a buisness.  You put your resources...and dollars...into those sports which bring in the dollars for your department.  In other'll see a whole lot of advertising and marketing for football, men's basketball and even women's basketball (if you happen to be a resident of Storrs, Conneticut) but not so much for women's soccer.  So this begs the question...just how do you do expand the reach and popularity of your program if you don't have the resources dollar wise...well the answer might come soon enough, and it would be coming from the University of Utah.

Utah you say?  Hot bed of soccer in America? (ok, to be fair, Real Salt Lake are the defending MLS Champs and they do a good job of filling up Rio Tinto Stadium).  Well, it seems as if the Lady Utes have developed quite the marketing campaign that intergrates both their internet web page presence, facebook, and's called "Show your Scarf"...and the Spot likes it!  

The "Show your Scarf" premise is fans love their soccer, if you go to the official web site for Utah Women's Soccer, you'll see that for the whopping total of $20 dollars you get a Utah Utes Women's Soccer Scarf, which also doubles as your season ticket!  Don't know about you, but sounds like a deal to me.  But the fun doesn't end there, and that is where "Show your Scarf" comes into play.

The Lady Utes, you see, are making their campaign interactive, and asking fans to "show your scarf".  They are asking fans to take pictures with their scarves...well, where ever!  Around campus, around town, Times Square, get the point.  Once you take your pics showing your scarf, they then ask you to upload it to team's facebook page and to post it on twitter, using the hash tag #sys (for show your scarf of course!)  so that anyone in the twitterverse (as they call it) can just type in #sys and up will come links to fans of the Lady Ute's...with their scarves.  Already you have pictures of the #sys campaign with scarves on the John Stockton Statue (John Stockton, Steve Nash...looks like point guards from the Northwest all love the soccer!), outside of the Utah State Capitol and yes, even scarves on a buffalo!  Of course, for a more in depth look at the #sys campaign, I suggest you head on over to the blog of Lady Utes Assistant Coach Mariel Wilner , a fellow social media enthusiast who gives a detailed account of what the #sys campaign hopes to accomplish and how they plan on doing's a great read for us social media types!

So what does the Spot thing of this?...He likes it, he loves it, he wants some more of it!  It's a great marketing campaign using minimal resources dollar wish to create the greatest possible buzz....they may want to pattent this one, because if it succeeds it could be a model for programs across the country (are you listening my alma mater, University of the Pacific?)...oh yeah, and the scarf is pretty snazzy too...I'm definitley ordering one!

That's all for now...till next time...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Spotlight on....The Atwater Aviators

Yes Spot fans...your's truly has been a little pre-occupied con el Copa del Mundo it's time to bring things back closer to home and put the spotlight on a local team that's been on a tear of late...the Atwater Aviators of the Pacific West Baseball Leauge.

After having started the season 3-13...the Aviators have taken off (yeah yeah, pun intended) and are 10-1 in their last 11 games to currently stand 13-14 overall, and 9-7 in leauge.

What has led to this current  hot streak?  Well, on a team full of college baseball players from across the United States, its none other than local product Kori Melo. The Aviator's 10-1 run began with the game in which Melo joined the Aviator's roster and the Merced College product (now playing for Newman University) takeover of both 3rd base and the lead off spot in the batting order have helped propel the Aviators (ok ok today's story is just full of puns....I can't help it!) on their current tear through the PWBL.

Interested in seeing if the Aviators can keep up their hot streak?  Just wanna support some great local baseball?  Then catch the Aviators July 8th thru the 11th as they take on the Clovis Reds and the Sacramento Legends at Atwater's Memorial Ballpark.  It's sure to be a great time on a hot summer night...and that  you just can't beat!

'Till next time....

Friday, July 2, 2010

It's the 4th of July Weekend!!....

It's the 4th of July Weekend Spot fans....which means lots of BBQing...lots of...umm...."adult beverages"....and lots of getting out and about!  Still looking for some ideas on the "out and about" portion of the weekend....well lucky for you, the Spot has some suggestions!....

Friday July 2nd and Saturday July 3rd- Modesto Nuts v. Bakersfield Blaze- John Thurman Field- Modesto: Both games start at 7pm, both games feature post-game fireworks and you can run the bases with your lil' ones after both games...really, can you go wrong with either date?  The Spot thinks no!

Saturday July 3rd
Manteca 4th of July Parade- Gonna be in Manteca this weekend?  The California Cougars will be!  They'll be having a float in Manteca's annual 4th of July Parade, starting at 10am on Saturday.  Rumor has is the words "free" and "candy" will be associated with their float entry also!

Elk Grove 10k/5k Run 4 Independence- Elk Grove Regional Park: Race starts at 8am.  Click here for more information.  Proceeds go to benefit Elk Grove Food Bank Service.

Sunday July 4th
Stockton Ports v. Modesto Nuts- Stockton Ballpark- Stockton: The Ports take on their rivals from Modesto with a 7pm start.  The Ports will wear special "Stars and Stripes" jerseys to be auctioned off after the game...and of course, the biggest (and only) fireworks show in Stockton this 4th!

Monday July 5th
World Team Tennis- Sacramento Capitals v. Newport Beach Breakers- Capitals Stadium- 7:30pm-Roseville:  Who wants to hang with Chang?  6-Time World Team Tennis Champions Sacramento Capitals kick off their 25th Anniversary season with former French Open Champ Michael Chang on the Roster.  Keep that Wimbeldon fix going with some great tennis at Capitals Stadium that is...yes...set up at the Westfield Galleria I hear some shopping multi-tasking?!?!

Big Creek Lumber Criterium- Castle Commerce Center- 8am- Atwater:  Need to get fired up for the Tour de France?  Then head on down to Atwater Monday morning as the Big Creek Lumber Criterium brings professional cycling to the valley for the 2nd time this year.  It's a great way to support a new valley event...and get yourself in the mood for this month's tour de lance...err...I mean France!

Well...there you go Spot fans! Take your pick of events and have a great time this 4th of July weekend!...'till next time....

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Where's my Vuvuzela!!

Well Spot's day 2 of  no World Cup games and it's got the Spot asking...where's my Vuvuzela?!?!  No no no...actually, it's given the Spot some time to look at the upcoming Quarterfinal matches and give his take on who's moving on....

Friday's Matches:

Brazil v. Holland- 7am- ESPN- Yes, we all know everyone is picking Brazil in this one...and the Spot does think KaKa looks quite snazzy in the mock t-neck set up...but...the Spot's dad did pay for a Univ. of the Pacific Education by making Gouda, Edam and a whole variety of other Dutch I'm going with Holland on this one...2-1 for the Dutch.

Uruguay v. Ghana- 11:30am- ESPN-  Uruguay has one of the world's best goal scorers in Diego Forlan of Atletico Madrid.  Ghana took out our boys in blue last you really need to ask who I'm pulling for in this one?...Uruguay with the 3-1 victory.

Saturday's Matches:

Argentina v. Germany- 7am- ABC- Let's face it, this is more worthy of a World Cup Final then it is of a Quarterfinal...but alas, we have Diego Maradona's boys v. the team that puts the TEAM in team.  While Germany may function as a well oiled unit, 11 guys working together and not one star that sticks out, they still haven't had to face anyone who can even hold Lionel Messi's shin guards yet...Take the Argentines, 2-1, Messi with both goals.

Paraguay v. Spain- 11:30am- ABC- The Spanish took out my Portuguese...which probably wouldn't of happened if one Cristiano Ronaldo spent less time with the Armani Underwear and more time learning how to be a team player...but I much as I hate to say it, the Spanish are just that good...and Paraguay wasn't exactly impressive in their win over Japan...take the Spanish, 3-0...oh, and By the Spanish Goalkeeper Iker Casillas...nice job on the girlfriend!!

There ya go Spot do my picks stack up against yours?  Am I right on the money, or do you think I'm a little off my rocker?  Only one way to find out...enjoy this weekend's games!!