SAILOR BOY: We sailed all the time when we were younger. And by "sailing" we mean "sitting in a sailboat." Our various boated friends would tack ceaselessly out through the Alamitos Bay channel while we popped open a Blatz and whined "Why don't you either learn how to sail straight or else get a motorboat?"
Even though we can't drive a boat, we can watch us a sailboat regatta, and the Granddaddy of All Regattas, the Rose Bowl Regatta, will be carving up the waters off the Long Beach coast on Saturday and Sunday.
Sailors from some 40 high schools (including Wilson and Poly) and 30 colleges and universities (including Cal State Long Beach) will be competing in the races, piloting two-person 14-foot CFJ sailing dinghies on two courses starting at 11 a.m. both days.
The Rose Bowl Regatta, sponsored by the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, is one of the largest sailing events in the country. The best viewing points are from the Belmont Pier and along the beach side of the Peninsula.
BIGGER BOATS: Looking for something a little more bellicose and beefier than merely watching some 14-foot dinghies skipping around offshore? Let us suggest a visit aboard a couple of tall ships that are in port through Jan. 16. The brig Lady Washington and its archenemy the topsail ketch Hawaiian Chieftain are visiting Rainbow Harbor and offering walk-on tours, Battle Sails (with real cannon fire) and Adventure Sails that are a tad more peaceful.
Battle Sails are recreations of your typical 18th-century naval skirmish, featuring close-quarters maneuvers and real (loud) cannon fire, without cannon balls, which takes a bit of the horror out of your afternoon. They go from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Jan. 12-13. Tickets are $60; $50 for students, seniors and active military; and $40 for children 12 and under.
Adventure Sails are more of a family affair, with participants getting a chance to help with ship chores, sing sea chanteys (alas, family-oriented ones) and listen to maritime tales. The Adventure Sails go from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday and Jan. 13. Tickets are $39 for all ages.
Reservations are recommended for the sailings. For those and more info, call 800-200-5239, or visit www.historicalseaport.org.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Any time you want to think that the old days were the best days, recall that in those days college football was dead and done with by the end of the first non-Sunday of the year. Now, thanks to modern technology and glorious, glorious greed, the season now stretches longer into the year.
What's likely to be the most-watched BCS Championship Game airs, or cables, at 5:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN and it locks two of the country's most popular teams, Alabama's Crimson Tide and Notre Dame's Fighting Irish into a cage just to see what happens.
A fact that went tragically unheralded this week is we won the 2012 Press-Telegram Football Forecast.
We bring this up not to cover ourself in glory - that is for posterity to do - but rather to show that we're not just yakking like a guy who calls in to radio sports-talk shows when we assure you that, despite Alabama being favored by to win by 10 points, they will, in fact, lose by 9. Our Holy Mother Church didn't come this far to get beat by a state that still plays Lynyrd Skynyrd albums.
FRIDAY PLAYLIST: You know what all the kids are doing these days? They're watching football games on TV with the sound off listen to songs that have to do with the opponents' teams and heritages. The reason you don't know about this is you're not cool. Here's your BCS Championship lineup: