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Heavy Metal Football

18 Aug

I grew up in Tampa Bay, Florida so naturally my favorite American football team has always been the Tampa Bay Buccaneers … but I guess I’ll be supporting a Los Angeles team from now on.

My favorite rock band, KISS, have just purchased their own professional American football team!

They’re called L.A. KISS.

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Not a very good football team name … but that’s the name of the band, so I guess it can’t be helped.

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Japan: East Asian Soccer Champions

29 Jul

I’m not really a big soccer fan.  But yesterday Japan and Korea played the championship game of the East Asian (Soccer) Cup.

So I watched their soccer games on TV yesterday,

Japanese and Korean sports teams have a rivalry…so people in both countries really want their team to win every time these two countries compete.

Countries that play in the East Asian Cup are: Japan, South Korea, North Korea, China, Taipei, Hong Kong, Australia, Guam, Macau, and the North Mariana Islands.

(South) Korea and Japan made it to the final round. They played the championship game in Korea yesterday.

First the women’s teams played.  The South Korean women’s soccer team beat the 「なでしこジャパン」 (Japan women’s soccer team) with a score of 2-1.

But in the men’s championship match, the “Samurai Blue” (Japan men’s soccer team) beat the South Korean men’s soccer team with the same score (2-1).

So, now the Japan men’s soccer team are the 2013 East Asian Cup champions.

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Did you watch the games?

Meet The Superhumans

1 Sep

The 2012 Summer Paralympics Games commenced three days ago.

It’s unfortunate that the Paralympics or Special Oympics don’t get as much recognition or fanfare as the “regular” Olympics…because I think the athletes of the Paralympics and Special Olympics are amazing.

In fact, I wrote a post about them a couple of years ago…with special focus on one Japanese Paralympic athlete from the 2010 Winter Paralympics who overcame tragedy in his life twice.
(Click here to read it.)

Anyways, have you seen the promotional ad for the 2012 Summer Paralympics that are currently underway in London?

It’s titled “Meet The Superhumans“! It’s a great ad…here it is:

Summer Olympics 2012…so far

30 Jul

Everyone, I’m sure, knows that the 2012 Summer Olympics are underway…and that they games are being hosted by London.

Have you watched the opening ceremonies?
Did you see “James Bond” escort the Queen of England to the games by helicopter…and “the Queen” parachuted in?
And Mr. Bean playing with the orchestra? David Beckham driving a speed boat? And the “legend” himself, Muhammad Ali?

It was a pretty good opening ceremony. I enjoyed watching it (on television…I’ve never seen an Olympics event “in person”. The closest that I came was when my wife and I took the 新幹線 (bullet train) to 長野 (Nagano, Japan) in 1998 to see the “Olympic city” atmosphere).

Anyways, are you watching any of the games?
Which events do you like best?

Last night, I watched Japan “almost” get gold in men’s judo…but lost to Georgia.

So far, the top three countries with medals won are China, America, and Italy.

Japan is currently in 15th place.

Ichiro was traded to the Yankees

24 Jul

I’m not a big baseball fan but I have written a few baseball related posts…including two about Ichiro Suzuki.
( Click here to read the post I wrote about Ichiro playing baseball in Japan against Japan…and click here to read my post about Ichiro and the rest of the “Samurai Japan” team).

Even to someone (like me) who isn’t a baseball fan, it’s well-known that Ichiro was a member of the Seattle Mariners MLB team…but that’s no more.

Ichiro was just traded to the New York Yankees.

(Picture from the New York Yankees website).

And, in a bit of ironic fate, his first game as a player for the Yankees is today…against his former team, the Mariners!

Ichiro played for America in game against Japan in Tokyo

26 Mar

The American Major League Baseball (MLB) teams Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics (A’s) are here in Tokyo, Japan now to play a total of six pre-season games at the Tokyo Dome.

They’re scheduled to play two games against each other on 2012 March 28th and 29th.

But before those games, the two American teams will play games against the Japanese baseball teams the Tokyo Giants and the (Osaka) Hanshin Tigers.

Today the Seattle Mariners played the Hanshin Tigers and lost.

Ichiro (Suzuki) and the Seattle Mariners lost to the Hanshin Tigers in the Tokyo Dome today.

And then, after that game, the Oakland A’s played the Tokyo Giants and won.

This was third-generation Japanese, Ken Suzuki's (of the Oakland A's) first trip to Japan.
The A's beat the Tokyo Giants in today's game.

Tomorrow, the two Japanese teams and the two American teams will change opponents (it will be Oakland A’s vs Hanshin Tigers and then the Seattle Mariners vs Tokyo Giants).

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(Images in this post are from SeattlePi.com, VancouverSun.com, and 読売新聞.co.jp).

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Volleyball World Cup

19 Nov

Have you ever watched the volleyball World Cup championship games?
They are held every four years…and this year (2011) was one of the years that the matches are held. They are currently winding down…the women’s games ended a couple of days ago and the men’s will finish up soon too.

Did you know that Japan is always the host nation of the Volleyball World Cup?

Italy are the champions of the 2011 Women’s Volleyball World Cup. The American team are the second-place winners and China came in third.
Japan’s team are the fourth-place winners.

America came ahead of Japan in the final results, but Japan beat the U.S. (3 sets to zero) in the Japan vs USA match.

Since Italy, America and China came in first, second and third place (respectively), those teams qualified to play in the Olympics in London next summer.

Congratulations.

Am I Evel?

17 Oct

If Evel Knievel hadn’t died four years ago, today would be his 73rd birthday.

Coincidentally, Evel Knievel spent the last few years of his life in Clearwater, Florida...the same town that I grew up in!

Do you know who Evel Knievel was?
Maybe only Americans recognize that name…and maybe only Americans who are at least my age.

When I was a child in America during the 1970’s, Evel Knievel was one of my idols.
He was a daredevil stunt motorcycle jumper who often jumped rows of cars and trucks with his Harley-Davidson motorcycle on live television.
He also attempted jumps over the Caesars Palace fountains, lions, rattlesnakes, tanks of sharks, and the Grand Canyon!

Evel Knievel jumping the Caesars Palace fountains.

He crashed many times and he’s listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having sustained the most broken bones in his lifetime.

When I was a kid I had an Evel Knievel lunchbox and motorcycle rider toy.

Did you know who Evel Knievel was? Did you watch his jumps on TV?

Evel Knievel 1938 October 17 – 2007 November 30, R.I.P.
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Also, today is the 21st anniversary of the day I came to Japan. I came here on 1990 October 17.
I can’t believe it’s already been twenty-one years…I’ve lived in Japan longer now than I lived in America!
Japan has changed a lot since I first came here.

The World Champions

18 Jul

I wrote this post about the Women’s Soccer World Cup championship game being played by Japan against the USA today.

As you probably already know, Japan won the game in penalty kicks.

Here’s a video I found on Youtube that shows the penalty kick attempts by both the USA and Japan.
The announcers in the video sound English. I don’t often watch TV in English anymore…so what mostly got my attention when I watched this video was the way the announcers butchered the Japanese players’ names! 😉

The video ends before it has a chance to show Japan’s team celebrating their win as the 2011 Women’s World Cup Champions.
But here’s what it looked like:

Did you watch the game?
It started at 3:45AM Japan time so I didn’t stay up to watch it. I saw the highlights on the news this morning.
On the news here, they also had a Japanese reporter and cameraman in a sports-bar in New York during the game to get the American fans’ reactions.
Each time the U.S. team scored a goal, the Americans in the bar erupted into a “USA! USA! USA!” chant.  I guess I’ve been living in Japan so long that I was taken by surprise a bit by that. It was like a culture shock! 😉

This Sunday’s showdown: Japan vs USA

15 Jul

From 2011 June 26 until this Sunday (July 17th), the Women’s World Cup international soccer championship games is being held in Germany.

On Wednesday (July 13th), two semi-final matches were held.
America played against France and Japan played against Sweden.

The U.S. and Japan each won their games with a score of 3-1.

So, now the final match for the 2011 Women’s World Cup Championship will be held on this Sunday, 2011 July 17th.
Japan will play against the U.S.

I’m not sure which country to support!
I’m American. I was born and raised in America. But I’ve been living in Japan since 1990…most of my life now. Japan has become my home.

Well, I’ll support both teams. 😉

Have you watched any of the 2011 Women’s World Cup matches? Will you watch the championship game on Sunday?
Did you watch the Japan vs Sweden game last Wednesday? After Japan won that game, the team members held up a banner thanking the world for supporting Japan after the 2011 March 11 disaster.

Their banner said:

To Our Friends Around The World
Thank You For Your Support
“.

The Japanese Womens soccer team holding their banner