Monday, September 14, 2015


   Cambria Tennis Club play cancelled Monday because of strangeness on the courts. Locals haven't seen this substance for quite a while. Measurable rain in September! Remnants of a tropical storm delivering a small gift and we hope a signal of the rainy season which begins next month.
    Glad to give up play for rain and oh how we hope some of this rain gets to the tragic fires burning upstate.
     A Game of Love
   In case you missed it, a real life fairy tail played out at the US Open Tennis Championship this weekend. Flavia Pennetta, ranked 26th defeated her life long friend and unranked player Roberta Vinci. That's the stat. As Chrissie Evert said, she's never seen such a happy scene after a match. Vinci came out of nowhere to upset the famed number 1, Serena Williams to get to the finals.
    The charismatic and charming Italian women, roommates when they were young, wowed the tennis world with enthusiasm and delight. Upon being presented the US Open Trophy, Flavia announced that a month ago she had decided to retire at age 34.  
     It was her first major championship and she is the oldest US Open Winner. You can't make up a better story line. Hope you can get a chance to see video of Vinci and Penetta in the trophy presentation. Their smiles and antics will make you smile.
     On the men's side the #1 Novak Djokovic beat #2 Roger Federer. I'm a fan of both men, but had hoped the 34 year old Fed could manage another win. He's won 5 but still plays with a grace and elegance that is unmatched.  Even Djokovic said he's the greatest player of all time.

    We victims of traumatic brain injury pay close attention to the latest research on details of legacy affects. In the last couple of years we all have duly begun to pay attention the tragedy being inflicted on football players after years of serial concussions.
     A good friend and one of the more studied and wise people I know says as "anti-American" as it may seem, it is time to outlaw football, until and unless it can be proved that new helmets and rules can prevent what is now common place-serial concussions and the damage they extract. 
    A couple of high profile NFL suicides has further opened the door on what is one of those obvious issues hiding in plain view. By the time a kid has played junior league, high school and college football, he has rattled his brain thousands of times. 
     Will Smith stars in an upcoming film the NFL would like to see go away. We are told the story line has been tweaked a bit to soften the blow, but Concussion is on path to create a new public awareness-long overdue.

sharing the water
   One of the many Humpback Whales that have summered near the shore from Cambria to San Simeon.
         Sea Otters have become cohabitants as well.
     Tourists have taken to the San Simeon Cove too, sans wet suits.  More evidence of the warmer than normal currents.

   See you down the trail.


  1. I love otters, of the sea and the brooks. Nice photo. And congratulations on finally getting some rain. You'll probably be like Phoenicians, who instead of running inside when it rains, run outside to absorb some of that glorious and rare moisture.

    1. Indeed! This morning people on sidewalks were lifting up their arms as in praise, or facing up to the sprinkles. Lots of smiles and no umbrellas in site.

  2. Several years ago Riedell the equipment manufacturer came up with a helmet insert that measures impact. Above a certain level, the insert sends a message to an IPhone or tablet alerting the coaching staff. The player would then head to the bench and go through a concussion protocol. Westlake High (a football power here in SoCal) in 2010 offered Westlake parents a chance to buy the custom inserts for a money losing price of 35 dollars a player and Riedell would furnish the staff with the rest of the electronics. Riedell wanted to get a handle on how the system would work in a high level HS program. Out 90 players in the system, only 31 parents opted for the devices. It seems nobody wants to face the reality of concussions. On another health note, remember when staph infections were causing pro football players to miss games on a regular basis? Not anymore, the reason there is a Canadian Company called Sani Sport who manufactures a device that cleans and disinfects protective gear. The NFL, NHL, MLBB, NBA etc all use the system. The major cause of school absences for high school athletes is infections of all kinds. A friend owns a Sani Sport regional franchise, he says the high schools do not want any discussion of infections, much less concussions. His take is they'd rather have kids get hurt rather than take responsibility for things they can actually prevent.

    1. Such ignoring of responsibility sounds criminal, or should be. As we learn we should mature, as people and as civilization.

  3. I read that 30% of retired NFL players will show signs of brain damage, to one degree or another. It's hard to imagine any other profession that would withstand that statistic without some rather major changes.

  4. I suppose boxing might be afflicted as well. I have been a boxing fan many years, but have also urged the use of protective head gear that could record strikes, velocity and etc. Such data could be used for safety and health benefits as well as scoring.

    I can't offer a solution, but football needs to enter the 21st century in terms of safety. As it is now it is a tragedy playing out slowly in front of our eyes. Yes, some players are well paid, but the league and the owners are paid astronomically more.

  5. I'd love to see a whale up close. So far they've eluded me. Have a great week, and enjoy that rain. I know California needs it desperately.

  6. I think the answer to concussions in football is not improving the helmet.
    Rather, it's ELIMINATING the helmet.
    Think about it ....

    1. As always, you are a revolutionary thinker. Strangely, your radical suggestion makes sense, in a game changing way.