Whale Watch or Shark Baiting

(thenotsomorningshow.com)- As the whales have been migrating along the southern California coastline, photos have been popping up on the internet of whale sightings taken from boats around the Dana Point Harbor and in the Cove at Laguna Beach, California.

Troy Liposec grew up in San Clemente and has spent much of his life in the Pacific Ocean as an avid surfer. This past winter Troy decided to take on the hobby of whale watching, which for most, if not all of us, would require a boat charter.

Not Troy. He has videoed several of the same photographed sightings, taken quite a bit closer than what the captains of the boats are willing to attempt. Of course boat captains have a boat, crew and paying customers safety to be concerned with.

Troy regularly takes his stand up paddle board out between  2-4 miles, though some days he doesn’t need to go out nearly that distance, looking for and finding whales and other sea life. His idea is to use his GoPro camera to find and video blue whales, the largest animal in recorded earth history. In doing so he has some unique footage, what could beat the feeling of being alone on the sea and running into a 10,000 pound grey whale, or two.

Listen to the comments of this boat captain who was on a whale watching charter three miles off the coast witnessing Troy being approached by two grey whales.

Perhaps this is not too complimentary, here is the view Troy had of a similar event.

I have been calling Troy “Sharkbait”, he in turn has invited me to paddle out with him. I can’t help but be reminded of the old joke punchline, paraphrased…
“I don’t have to out paddle the shark, I just have to out paddle you!”

So if you are on your boat and see a man on sneaking up on whales on a SUP, say hello to Troy for me. Unless he is paddling at a very quick pace and is pulling away from a second paddle boarder.

Thanks Troy, you are on.

Mike Lips

photo credit: Troy Liposec

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Fixing the Classic

classicfix300x120An open letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and the games fans from Mike Lips, baseball fan.

Re: Fixing up your classic

***

Dear Commissioner Manfred,

I realize this letter likely finds you busy with multitude of issues there at your office, you can trust me when I say things are tough in mine too, or we could have gotten together sooner. I will take my share of the responsibility and with it, take this time out of my schedule to write you.

We have had to deal with some of the same work related issues as you where we are at, it is tough in management sometimes. I have lost some of our best performers over some zero tolerance violations, but there are rules in place, and it is not fair to my employees who adhere to them if we let offenders off lightly. Well, you know what I mean.

But I digress Rob, if I may be so informal, the real purpose for this note is to tell you that people are starting to notice the poor quality classic you have been taking to work. It began with stares of disbelief, followed by titters of laughter, and now has many simply shrugging their shoulders. Many others feel you are unaware of how embarrassingly out dated your classic has become.

Baseball gives you the World Series to show to the fans as the culmination of your years work. Oh, the Fall Classic, once the greatest thing in American sports, of course that was a long time ago, before our time right Rob?

The mid-summer classic, or All-Star game, is the ride you have been taking into the playoffs for 11 seasons now, the only problem with this, your all-star game ride is not a classic.

It’s a clunker.

But it is a nice fixer upper!

The idea to give the game more meaning by rewarding the winning league’s team with the home field advantage in the World Series, began in 2003, the decision came the year after the 2002 all-star game was played to a 7-7 tie in Milwaukee, an 11 inning game in which both teams ran out of players to use in the contest, though both rosters consisted of then 32 players (now 34? 36?). This was not the first All-Star game to end without a winner, the 1961 contest in Boston was tied and called after 9 innings due to rain, MLB did not make any rash movements then, since… it was an exhibition! A show! The game had no meaning or bearing other than letting the fans see the best players all on one field at the same time. Coincidently Milwaukee was also home of the team formerly run by your predecessor Bud Selig, surely it left a bad taste, but what was created in response is, in a word… What?

Does the National Football League or National Basketball League let their all-star game have any bearing on their playoff systems? Of course not, that is just silly, don’t you agree?

You have initiated a few changes to this event in an attempt to drive up interest among television viewers, the two day idle window both before the game led baseball to contrive some time filling competitions for television audiences, most noted is the ‘Home Run Derby’ competition held on the eve of the game.

Enough of the history, how do we make the game an interesting exhibition again, and give the public something that we can enjoy as fans?

Here is the idea, bring something to the event for the fans that any one who ever played in a baseball game can relate to, each of us who grew up choosing teams in our local neighborhood games, from the first picked to the last picked, everyone who showed got into the game. Sound familiar so far Rob?

A simple idea taken from the sandlots of our youth. You could include it with the Home Run Derby contest.

Bring both managers meet out to the mound with a baseball bat. A coin flip to see who tosses and who catches the bat, and hand over hand until the bat handle is covered gives one manager the first choice in the all-star draft! All 68 players are picked one by one to select the two rosters, American and National League players playing side by side, a true exhibition game.

Think of the viewing public, who would not tune in to watch these selections? Simply take a look at the crowd for the NFL draft on television, which all-star would be the MLB version of Mr. Irrelevant? Imagine the office pools and interest in this option, after all this works for the entire month of March in college basketball.

It’s so simple a kid could have thought of it, one did, and they still use this method to this day with no complaints, well, little complaints. Isn’t that the games biggest draw for the fans, how many times have we heard a player tell us how lucky he is to be paid to play the same game he played as a kid?

Then you won’t have to ride that same old classic we are tired of seeing and being reminded of into each October, and we could talk about all-stars through the summer.

If you still feel the need to have the event tied to home field for the World Series, you can use the managers coin toss, it really carries the same weight as your current jalopy, commemorative coins reading “My team won the World Series home field” on one side and “This coin cost us a championship” on the other?

Anyway, got to get back to pressing issues here, this was a nice chat, until next time.

Sincerely,

Mike Lips

P.S.- A similar note should be on file in your office, wrote to Bud a few years back, a few times, never got a response. I think the NFL’s Roger Goodell has access to your mailbox, have you seen what they started?
Roger, if you are there, call me, you and I need some chat time!

LA Rams Day in the Life June 28, 1970

My first day on the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum field, running an out pattern and catching a pass thrown by one of my childhood L.A. Ram heroes, in front of my father, a lifetime Ram fan. Sounds like a great story, let me share a little more detail.

It was my only time on the field and the pass was thrown by defensive back Clancey Williams, one of six Rams players present for the event. My father had received tickets and brought his oldest son, which fortunately was me, just shy of my 9th birthday.

These were pre-digital days, my father brought an Instamatic camera to commemorate the date for history. With the photographs, after 45 years let’s go back and review the afternoon.

A day in the life of a Rams fan: June 28, 1970.

69Rams357x242In 1969 the Rams, coached by George Allen and led by league MVP quarterback Roman Gabriel reached the playoffs only to fall in Minnesota, in the first of cold weather playoff wonder loses, 23-20.

That afternoon was about a new season, my father and I arrived at the Coliseum and made it down to the field. Where I, with dozens of other children, listened as each player imparted some wisdom which has long since escaped me. Then we ran some light drills and got a our player autographs.

The I was there moment! Keep in mind these pictures were with an Instamatic camera not digital. I imagine my father, a huge Ram fan, was still quite frugal, he found the family camera had film in it with several shots available, and with 6 players, he needed 6 pictures.

The Los Angeles Rams players I met that day, in no particular order, with a brief player bio and the photo description.

Rams23.320x267Alvin Haymond #23-

Kick off and punt returner, led the league in punt return average in 1969 (13.8) and in kickoff return yards in 1970 (1,022). Listed as a defensive back on the roster, but was used almost strictly as a kick returner. My favorite player. Haymond returned the second half kickoff on opening day 1970 for a touchdown against the St. Louis Cardinals in the Coliseum, that game was blacked out locally, we will get into black outs more later.

You can just make out my cowlick at the bottom of the photo to the right, just under the sun hat. Does it look like Alvin and my pop are having a stare down.

Rams57.320x315Doug Woodlief #57-

Linebacker and career Ram, after just completing his 5th and most productive season with the team, it was also his last.

Woodlief was out of football before the 1970 season started. He had started 11 games the prior season, coach George Allen was big on defense, but he liked older experienced defenses.

This time, if you look to the bottom left of the frame. See the cowlick? That’s me.

rams32.320x273Jack Pardee #32-

Linebacker, college Hall-of-Fame. The only person to be a head football coach in college, the Canadian Football League, the World Football League, the United States Football League, and the National Football League. 1970 was the last of 14 seasons for Pardee with the Rams, he followed George Allen and his “Over the Hill” gang to the Washington Redskins.

I think it’s him anyway. He’s wearing Pardee’s uniform, he’s there with several other bonafide Ram players, and look, there’s my cowlick!

Rams24.320x281Clancy Williams #24-

Cornerback, another career Ram, Clancy had some big interceptions, including returns for touchdowns against the Colts and the Packers in a division rivalry games.

I am assuming that my father was more adept by now with the camera and timed this picture just a smidgen better than the previous, or later, images, my best guess is that is my arm waving the autograph sheet in Clancy’s face.

I can’t see the cowlick here.

Rams44.320x292Nate Shaw #44-

Defensive back, an All-American in college out of USC, Shaw was beginning his second and final year with the Rams and in the league.

This was obviously a defensive day for the Rams and the crowd, even though they had a league MVP at quarterback, George Allen touted his D.

Bam! Cowlick in front.

Rams17.320x305Ritchie Petitbon #17-

Defensive back. Pettibone had quite a career with the Chicago Bears before coming to the Rams, and also followed coach Allen to the Redskins in 1971.

Apparently I was wearing Packer colors to the event… they didn’t sell team jerseys to the public in 1970.

There’s the cowlick!

*****

This is the welcome piece, after 21 years it took a few weeks for me to accept not that the Rams are coming back, but how I will accept them. I didn’t have much to compare this to, after much reflection I can be the bigger person and accept the Rams back in the fold.

My cowlick hasn’t been gone as long as the Rams, but I’d welcome it back too.

More LA Rams history coming.