Tuesday, December 31, 2013

UFC 168 Recap

Prelims: http://www.playersview.net/ufc-168-prelims-uriah-hall-stops-chris-leben-end-first-round/

Main Card: http://www.playersview.net/chris-weidman-retains-middleweight-title-ufc-168-gruesome-injury-anderson-silva/

The Rose Bowl Helping to Decide the National Championship

http://www.playersview.net/100th-rose-bowl-game-national-championship-rose-bowl-game/

The Rose Bowl Game isn't just the most famous and oldest bowl game in college football. It's also a bowl game that has had as much to do with deciding national champions as the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, or Cotton Bowl Classic.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Michigan St. & Stanford in the Rose Bowl Game

http://www.playersview.net/100th-rose-bowl-game-rose-bowl-game-history-michigan-st-stanford/

A look through the Michigan St. Spartans and Stanford Cardinal in the Rose Bowl Game. The teams meet in the 100th Rose Bowl Game on Wednesday with kickoff at 5:10PM ET.

The Rose Bowl Game's Best Performances

http://www.playersview.net/100th-rose-bowl-game-performances-cant-forgotten/

Every bowl game has its collection of great performances within. This is my collection of what I believe are the best performances in Rose Bowl Game history. With the 100th Rose Bowl Game around 48 hours away, I'm going full speed ahead in my look through the game's rich and long history.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Notre Dame & Alabama in the Rose Bowl Game

http://www.playersview.net/100th-rose-bowl-game-notre-dame-alabama-rose-bowl-game/

Two of the most recognizable, winning, and iconic programs in the history of college football are the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Alabama Crimson Tide. So it should be no surprise that both programs have some history in the Rose Bowl Game. The teams are a combined 5-1 in their Rose Bowl Game appearances.

UFC 168 Predictions

UFC 168 is one of the biggest cards of 2013 for UFC. The promotion for years now has tried to finish each year with a stacked card and have succeeded once again with tonight's. In accordance with other UFC cards where I have given predictions, I'm not predicting every bout on the card, just the ones I am most confident in or have a ready prediction without having to do too much research on the bout's participants.

I did pretty well predicting bouts at UFC 155, but not even close to as well at UFC 167. I'm hoping tonight will be a change from last month. With that in mind, I predict that the following fighters will taste victory tonight at UFC 168:

Anderson Silva
Ronda Rousey
Josh Barnett
Jim Miller
Dustin Poirier
Uriah Hall

Player's View Awards 2013

http://www.playersview.net/peyton-manning-headlines-2013-year-end-awards/18/

The site that I am currently writing the most for, Player's View, have compiled votes from their writers and editors for various sports categories (best NBA player, best NFL players, worst call, etc.) in order to create an awards slideshow. Not all my votes ended up being winners, but most of them did.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Who to Watch at UFC 168 Outside of Silva/Weidman II & Rousey/Tate II

http://www.playersview.net/steal-show-ufc-168/

UFC 168 is headlined by the title rematches between Chris Weidman & Anderson for the middleweight title and Ronda Rousey & Miesha Tate for the women's bantamweight title. Both title holders, Weidman and Rousey, won their respective first encounters with their opponents Saturday night.

However, the card is a really good looking one and is full of places where a bout or fighter could come along and steal the show. I go over the best opportunities for a fighter or bout to steal the show Saturday night.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Rose Bowl's Greatest Moments

http://www.playersview.net/100th-rose-bowl-game-moments-stand-test-time/

To start my countdown to the 100th Rose Bowl Game, I've written about what I believe are the greatest and most historically significant moments in the game's history.

Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2013 Preview

http://www.playersview.net/inoki-bom-ba-ye-2013-keeps-new-years-eve-mma-tradition-alive/

The tradition of an MMA show being held on December 31st in the country of Japan will continue for at least one more year with Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2013. The event is being promoted by Antonio Inoki's Inoki Genome Federation, a pro wrestling promotion that also has MMA and kickboxing bouts on their cards. Inoki is also the one who promoted the first MMA-themed show on New Year's Eve.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Total Wrestling Magazine Issue 3

http://www.twmag.co.uk/Magazine/TW3.pdf

Issue three of Total Wrestling Magazine is out and it's another quality issue that includes interviews with Jim Ross and Jim Cornette; they're not as controversial as the TWM interview with Davey Richards, but still great interviews.

My articles are on pages 30 and 42.

My Recap of Glory 13

http://www.playersview.net/nieky-holzken-wins-inaugural-welterweight-championship-tournament-glory-13/

The kickboxing promotion Glory had another card televised on Spike TV this past weekend. At the card was a one-night tournament to crown the promotion's first welterweight champion, a brutal knockout, the retirement of a legend, and a few upsets in some bouts that weren't televised.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Carlos Condit/Tyron Woodley at UFC 171

http://www.playersview.net/carlos-condittyron-woodley-official-ufc-171/

This weekend, it was made official that Carlos Condit/Tyron Woodley will join Johny Hendricks/Robbie Lawler on the UFC 171 main card. This already makes this PPV a showcase for UFC's welterweight division with a new champion being crowned in the Hendricks/Lawler bout due to GSP vacating the belt, as well as a probable #1 contender being determined with Condit/Woodley.

My Prediction for Chiefs/Colts Today

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/12/pro-football-game-of-the-week-indianapolis-colts-vs-kansas-city-chiefs/

The Colts and Chiefs both have plenty to play for on Sunday; the Colts are playing for a better spot in the AFC playoffs after already clinching the South division while the Chiefs are still in the hunt for the West division title. The Colts definitely appear more vulnerable than the Chiefs, but when you play the Redskins and Raiders in straight games, you might look better than you actually are.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

HBO Vs. Showtime Analysis

http://www.playersview.net/can-hbo-vs-showtime-rivalry-bring-anything-boxing/

The two big premium cable channels that air boxing is HBO and Showtime. Their rivalry has cooled down for the last decade or so, but has heated up recently. The catalyst for the renewal of this rivalry was Floyd Mayweather leaving HBO and signing with Showtime.

UW-Whitewater Wins Division III College Football Championship

UW-Whitewater 52, Mount Union 14

Friday night saw my home state UW-Whitewater win their fourth NCAA division III football championship in five years, and do it at the expense of the team they beat in those other title game wins, Mount Union. This was the eighth time in the last nine years that these two names have met in the Stagg Bowl (named after Amos Alonzo Stagg) with Whitewater winning the last four and five of the eight title games between the two teams.

For Mount Union, it was only their sixth loss in the last eight seasons, five of those losses coming to Whitewater in the title game.

This game is noteworthy as all of the other title games in this rivalry were decently close while this one was a blowout, and that's putting it nicely. The game was close throughout the first half with Whitewater seemingly one step ahead. Then in the second half, everything went Whitewater's way; they outscored Mount Union 31-0, Mount Union continually made defensive mistakes with multiple pass interference penalties benefiting Whitewater, Mount Union committed turnover after turnover, and Whitewater simply saw blood and didn't stop until they had the kill.

There are no two teams that have done more in division III football history than these two. Even though Whitewater still has a long way to go to match Mount Union's long-term success, they are certainly on their way.

This was a very fun football viewing experience, as has been watching this rivalry take shape over the last nine seasons. I hope it continues and expect to see a ninth title game between these two next season.

Andre Ward Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place in Boxing

http://www.playersview.net/andre-ward-good-good/

The key difference between individual and team sports is that in individual sports, being a great winner doesn't always get you the money and fame that winning in a team sport generally does. Andre Ward is such a case in boxing. Ward has all the credentials a fight fan could ask for when it comes to being a true champion and a great boxer. Unfortunately, that isn't enough in the fight game sometimes and Ward's lack of major bouts is showing that to be a sad reality in his career.

Friday, December 20, 2013

What Shane del Rosario's Death Certificate Says

http://www.playersview.net/shane-del-rosario-died-natural-causes/

Shane del Rosario died on December 9, almost ten days after being taken off life support following two heart attacks and going into cardiac arrest Thanksgiving weekend. He was only thirty years old with a career record of 11-2 in MMA and 8-1 in kickboxing.

Glory, the New Face of Kickboxing

http://www.playersview.net/glory-become-next-k-1-kickboxing/

Following in the footsteps of K-1, Glory has taken over as the global force in kickboxing. They have been around for a little under two years and have already made a name for themselves. Spike TV will air Glory 13 on Saturday night; that event takes place at the Ariake Coliseum in Japan.

Examining Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.'s Behavior Issues

http://www.playersview.net/julio-caesar-chavez-jr-needs-change-good-boxing/

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.'s behavior both in and out of the ring has not been the best endorsement for himself or the sport of boxing. He is by no means special in this department, but because he's so young and potentially has so much time left in the sport, it would benefit him and the sport if he would grow up a bit.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

At Least Somebody Understands the Phil Robertson Controversy

http://progressiveviewfromthemiddle.com/2013/12/19/phil-robertson-supporters/

The controversy surrounding Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty and his comments in a GQ interview is NOT a first amendment issue. I've seen politicians, fans of the show, and those who agree with Robertson voice that sentiment, but they are all wrong in their belief that Robertson's first amendment rights are somehow being infringed upon because his comments have caused a stir.

Is Robertson in jail for what he said? No. He's free to say what he wants and has exercised that right. The fact that he wasn't arrested and put in jail for his comments proves that this isn't a first amendment issue.

The part that people forget, even though this story isn't a new one in any way, is that the companies that advertise and sell all the Duck Dynasty merchandise that is in stores as well as the channel that airs the show and made these people famous in the first place also have the right to not support someone who is going to negatively effect their bottom line. Again, this isn't anything new, but because it's someone on a popular (something that makes me sick) show who may have a view on gays and black people that plenty of Americans share, though they don't express it until someone else takes the hit for those views, suddenly means the first amendment is under attack.

NO! Robertson exercised his first amendment right, but what all of the people who believe he has somehow been wronged have to remember is that we all have to be held accountable for what we say. Words and actions both have consequences, and those consequences are greater when you're a public figure, even if you're only a star of some bullshit reality TV show. What he was quoted as saying is something that has upset people and if those people are potential customers and/or viewers, companies are going to exercise their right to say, "we're not going to let you (one person) take us down because your views are those that this company isn't going to support and/or don't agree with."  Not to beat a dead horse, but this is nothing new and happens more and more as there are more and more famous people who are famous for next to nothing and talk without thinking about the potential consequences of their words.

It was a GQ interview for crying out loud, did he not think people were going to read it? Or was he just plain ignorant as to how people react to things even the slightest bit controversial in today's society? Maybe because he framed it around his religious beliefs and that he was alive in the 60's he thought people wouldn't get bent out of shape about it.

The big positive I can see coming out of this is that hopefully it is the beginning of the end of a shitty show and maybe begins to shine a light on the fact that reality TV stars (like those on Duck Dynasty or the Khardashians) aren't people who should be given as much TV time as they've gotten over the last ten years or so because they offer very little to society other than trashy or low-brow entertainment. Those kinds of entertainment are fine in small doses, but not when it's the only thing people will watch. Then the problem lies with the people just as much with those on these shows.

Not a first amendment issue, so move on people.

Velasquez/JDS IV Will Happen, It's Just a Matter of When

http://www.playersview.net/cain-velasquez-junior-dos-santos-destined-fight/

Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos have fought three times for the UFC heavyweight title in the last two years. Velasquez has won two of the bouts and the issue should be settled. However, if JDS continues to be the best heavyweight in UFC not named Cain Velasquez, how can they not fight a fourth time?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bellator and Pay-Per-View Not a Good Match Right Now

http://www.playersview.net/now-isnt-time-bellator-mma-pay-per-view/

Bellator's unsuccessful attempt at running a pay-per-view this year demonstrates that the promotion is on the rise, but isn't at the point where one PPV, let alone regular PPV's, is an option. The attempted PPV was their Bellator 106 card that ended up on Spike TV when Tito Ortiz had to pull out of his bout with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson due to injury.

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Prediction for Ravens/Lions Tonight

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/12/pro-football-game-of-the-week-baltimore-ravens-vs-detroit-lions/

This week, Monday Night Football has a game with big playoff implications for the teams involved. Both the Ravens and Lions are in the hunt for their respective division titles, and that is likely the only way either team is going to make the playoffs. It's crunch time people, time to see who can step up and make a run toward a playoff berth.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Memo to Georges St. Pierre: Please Retire, It's Not Worth The Risk to Keep Fighting

http://www.playersview.net/georges-st-pierre-retire-right-now/

Georges St. Pierre relinquished the UFC welterweight title on Friday, but did not announce his retirement. An example, in my opinion, of "close, but no cigar." I believe that GSP should retire right now for a variety of reasons, and none of them have to do with my dislike of the "lay and pray" technique that GSP has used in several of his recent title defenses.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Marvin Miller Should Be In the Baseball Hall of Fame

http://www.playersview.net/marvin-miller-baseball-hall-fame-disgrace/

Marvin Miller's name is one that should have been in Cooperstown in the baseball hall of fame years ago. But it still isn't. Why? I have my thoughts as to why.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

No Tailgating at the Super Bowl? Really? Unfortunately, Yes.

http://www.playersview.net/tailgating-super-bowl-xlviii-painfully-wrong-decision/

The Super Bowl committee has banned tailgating from this year's game. Let that sink in for a moment. I know it may not seem like much to some, but to me it's some bullshit.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mark Hunt & Antonio Silva Had a Classic Bout Last Friday. What They Need is to Have Another

http://www.playersview.net/mark-hunt-antonio-silva-must-fight/

The main-event of last Friday's UFC card in Australia was Mark Hunt & Antonio Silva. It turned out to be a wild and bloody brawl that featured one of the best complete performances of Hunt's career. In the end, nothing was settled and a rematch seems absolutely necessary.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

My Prediction for Saints/Panthers Tonight

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/12/pro-football-game-of-the-week-new-orleans-saints-vs-carolina-panthers/

The lead in the NFC South is on the line tonight. The New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers are both 9-3 and are both looking for the inside track on a division title and home playoff game. The Saints have been practically unbeatable at home, but the Panthers are on a hell of a winning streak entering this game. That and Drew Brees versus Cam Newton is another in a line of great Sunday Night Football quarterback pairings this year. The ability for networks to rearrange the times of football games has really benefited NBC this season and this is another example with Packers/Falcons being the original Sunday Night game this week.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Boxing's Light Heavyweight Division Heading Toward Unification? Maybe

http://www.playersview.net/light-heavyweight-unification-possibly-coming-boxing/

Boxing's light heavyweight division currently has three champions: Sergey Kovalev, Adonis Stevenson, and Bernard Hopkins. All bring something to the table and all are deserving and dominant champions. With Kovalev and Stevenson winning by knockout back-to-back last weekend in Quebec, the topic of unification in the division is one that the promoters of these boxers and the organizations whose belts these men hold have to seriously look at.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Tom Brady/Peyton Manning Debate and How it Has to End

http://www.playersview.net/lets-stop-tom-bradypeyton-manning-debate/

There's no doubt that history will recognize Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as two of the best quarterbacks in NFL history and the two best of their time. That should be good enough for fans of both, but it's not. Every time a game featuring the Brady versus Manning QB matchup comes around, the same debate begins: who is better, Brady or Manning? It's pointless, it doesn't impact either man's legacy or stature, so why even have it?

My Prediction for Seahawks/Saints Tonight

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/12/pro-football-game-of-the-week-seattle-seahawks-vs-new-orleans-saints/

Russell Wilson versus Drew Brees headlines Monday Night Football this week. However, this game has other sub-plots to pay attention to. Such sub-plots include how the Saints will deal with the elements if weather ends up really bad, whether or not Rob Ryan's defense will continue to play well, the 12th man versus the Saints, and the fact that this game is for the top spot in the NFC heading into next week. That last one in particular is important because that means that tonight's winner gets an edge in the race for home-field advantage through the NFC playoffs with around a month left in the regular season.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Prediction for Patriots/Broncos Tonight

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/11/pro-football-game-of-the-week-denver-broncos-vs-new-england-patriots/

Like I need to give a detailed description of why I'll be watching this game and why this game is important. It's the Patriots & Broncos, it's Wes Welker's first trip back to New England since becoming a Bronco, and something else. What is it? It's on the tip of my tongue. Oh yeah, I got it. IT'S BRADY VERSUS MANNING! I rest my case.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

UFC 167 Predictions

Last time I posted predictions for a UFC show on here was last month for the Velasquez/Dos Santos III pay-per-view. As memory serves, I did pretty good that night. So with tonight's card being a particularly big one, I figured I'd make some more predictions.

Just like last month, I'm only making predictions that I'm very confident in, so not every bout of the card is going to have a prediction from yours truly.

Anyway, I believe the following people will win at UFC 167:

Donald Cerrone
Josh Koscheck
Rory MacDonald
Chael Sonnen
Johny Hendricks

That's right, I'm putting it out there. I want GSP to become a fighter again and not a lay & pray pussy who believes the best way to beat an opponent is to lay on top of them while lightly tapping them to produce the illusion of striking. The only way that can happen is if he gets blasted, and I believe Johny will catch him late in the second round with one of those monster punches that puts him on his back and out of the conscious world. Then and only then will the REAL GSP return to MMA and not the man so scared of potentially losing (a risk anytime anyone gets in the ring/cage) that he has resorted to what (in my opinion) amounts to a stall tactic when used over and over and over and over and over and over during a five-round bout. Take out the Condit and Koscheck (Dec. 2010) bouts and that's been GSP for the last four years, and unless he's stopped, it's just gonna be the same boring bouts for the rest of his career.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bill Burr on Conan and Hilarious While There

Bill Burr is one of my favorite active comics. He is no-nonsense in his approach with much of what he says not being that popular with people, and not even in that bad of a way, but in a p.c. kind of way. He's very funny and shows in these vids from his time on Conan that he can be just as funny in a talk-show setting as he is on stage. Of course, if you like these clips you should hunt down his stand-up. I'll probably end up posting some on here, but you should hunt down some regardless. It's very funny stuff.

All videos from YouTube:


Talking about the Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah:



Talking about people on the Internet:



Talking about Steve Jobs:



Talking about mascots in sports:



Talking with Elijah Wood about safety and guns:


Talking about the Paula Deen controversy:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

MMA: Kazushi Sakuraba Vs. Royler Gracie (Pride 8)

Kazushi Sakuraba is my favorite mixed martial artist of all time. There have been plenty that have come along that are better fighters and have done more in the sport, but for historical significance and entertainment value, few beat Saku. Part of my love for Sakuraba has to do with being a pro wrestling fan and an MMA fan. Sakuraba was the first and one of the few fighters in MMA's history that has incorporated elements of pro wrestling into his fighting successfully. This had to do with Sakuraba being a shoot-style pro wrestler for nearly five years before he started fighting.

Sakuraba's gift to MMA history was being the first Japanese fighter to defeat a member of the Gracie family in a sanctioned bout in nearly 50 years when he achieved such a victory in late 1999. He would go onto beat three more members of the family and become known as "The Gracie Hunter."

This is Sakuraba's win over Royler Gracie in the main-event of Pride 8. There is some controversy with the bout's finish, but it's obvious throughout that Sakuraba was the dominant fighter. A large weight advantage in favor of Sakuraba--completely opposite to almost every bout Sakuraba had in Pride--may have helped him, but it was more his leg kicks and mat ability that allowed him, a Japanese fighter, to dominate a Gracie. This win alone made Saku a star in Japan and helped begin MMA's meteoric rise in the country.

From YouTube:

Examples That George Carlin Was Always Ahead of His Time

George Carlin is the greatest stand-up comedian to ever live in my opinion. There are those who throw out names like Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, Robin Williams, and Eddie Murphy. Look, I enjoy watching and hearing all of these comedians, but none of them are even close to Carlin. Why? Because Carlin was consistently great at his craft for over 30 years, right up until his death. None of the names I mentioned above were alive long enough to be able to match that kind of quality productivity or they had a long run of greatness that amounted to 1/3 of Carlin's run of consistency, if that.

It's not just his long run that made Carlin the best, it was his usage of language that was on a level that no stand-up comic before or after him has been able to touch, his ability to make you laugh & think at the same time and do it routinely throughout a show, and the way he would dissect little things in everyday life--things you wouldn't think would make up a stand-up comedy bit--while making you (wait for it...) laugh and think.

He is the greatest, deal with it. And deal with the fact that it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that a comic will come along that can top him as the best ever.

All videos from YouTube:

From his last HBO special. This shows how Carlin was still sharp and and hilarious right up until the end:



A more serious take by Carlin on the topics in the above video during an interview on Tavis Smiley's show:



An example of Carlin's immensely brilliant use of language at, of all things, the National Press Club. This is just a segment of Carlin's one-hour "talk" and is from 1999 in case anyone is wondering about when this took place:



Carlin's comedic take on things in sports. Yes he's against the Redskins name long before the debate over the name got as heated as it has gotten in the last 10-15 years, but he's also for the touchdown celebrations and all of the so-called "unsportsmanlike" celebrating:

A New Touchdown Dance in Wisconsin

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/vod-wisconsin-rbs-melvin-gordon-james-white-start-182536876--ncaaf.html

In this world of touchdown dances and crazy celebrations in sports, why shouldn't my home state get in on the action? James White and Melvin Gordon, two Wisconsin Badgers running backs, have a touchdown dance that has caught on around campus simply because both men are in the end-zone so much this season. It's a fun little dance; nothing special or intricate, but fun nonetheless.

GO BADGERS! They are 7-2 right now, but it's a tough road to the finish with Indiana, Minnesota (the Paul Bunyan Ax Game) and Penn St. remaining. Hopefully I'll be watching them in a bowl game on January 1st once again, even if it's not the Rose Bowl.

Is the U.S. Heading Back to the 19th Century?

http://www.alternet.org/economy/7-signs-america-has-regressed-back-harsh-cruel-19th-century?page=0%2C0

I didn't live in the 19th century (I'm pretty sure anyone reading this didn't either), but I do enjoy reading up on history. Sadly, this article does nail some good points about how the U.S. is going backward in some key areas of life and how people are treated in this country. That's just my opinion and I HIGHLY doubt that everyone is going to agree with me on this one.

So are we heading backward? Read this and judge for yourself.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Some Interesting Horror Movie Ideas From True Stories

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/5-Terrifying-True-Stories-Deserve-Horror-Movie-Adaptations-40046.html

Some of the stories and people mentioned in here would make subjects for potentially good horror movies, but more importantly, they'd be subjects that would make for creepy horror movies. That's really the key: to get under people's skin throughout with a main character and/or antagonist that rubs people the wrong way, but they can't help but watch out of sheer curiosity.

For the record, the Dyatlov Pass Incident was covered on an episode of "Dark Matters" last year, if any of you get the science channel. That was a 15-minute or so segment, but a movie lasting between 90-120 minutes could be made just off of the different theories in an investigative setting, or maybe just a horror film dealing with one of the conspiracy theories regarding this incident.

With the Gibbons sisters, it'd almost be like giving those two girls from The Shining their own movie.

NFL Team Logos if They Were Fat

http://kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com/2013/10/32-team-logos-fat.html

Just pick your team and have a good laugh at you and your team's expense.

Usain Bolt Ate WHAT?!

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/olympics-fourth-place-medal/usain-bolt-says-ate-thousand-chicken-nuggets-during-201309856--oly.html

I had to read this one to believe it. Granted, with what we know about the intense and sometimes borderline crazy preparation athletes go through, this shouldn't be as big of a shock as it is, or at least was to me. But it was a shock to me when I first read it because it's still hard to fathom the greatest track athlete of his time scarfing down fast-food during the Olympics. He could be bs'ing, but who would go to the trouble of making up a story like this so long after the fact, and for what purpose?

So, is this something that will add to Bolt's legend or one of those facts that will sound funny as a trivia answer someday?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pro Wrestling: Atsushi Onita vs Akebono (Exploding Barbed Wire Landmine Deathmatch) (Zero-One/Ribera 8/26/2012)

This is the main-event to a show that was co-promoted by Zero-One and Ribera Steakhouse, a popular restaurant in Japan for pro wrestlers from around the globe. The card itself was actually very good looking on paper. This was the main-event because of the entertainment value of the big spots (i.e. the explosions) and because it was the only match where the participants were in a specific feud with one another; this came near the beginning of a feud between Onita & Akebono that would last into 2013 with another deathmatch between the two at a Ribera/Zero-One co-promoted show.

From YouTube:




Pro Wrestling: Tiger Jeet Singh Vs. Atsushi Onita (Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match) (FMW 9/19/1992)

Here's something for the hardcore wrestling fans. This match features two of the innovators of hardcore wrestling in the promotion that was ECW before ECW existed. This was another in a long line of FMW matches that featured Onita facing and beating legends of hardcore wrestling. This match takes place at Yokohama Stadium at a time before Kawasaki Stadium became the regular home of FMW's anniversary cards and other major cards involving an Onita death match of some kind.

From YouTube:



Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Prediction for Saints/Cowboys Tonight

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/11/pro-football-game-of-the-week-new-orleans-saints-vs-dallas-cowboys/

Sunday Night Football is indoors tonight with the Saints and Cowboys going at it inside the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints are undefeated at home while the Cowboys are less than impressive on the road so far this season. But hey, Brees versus Romo is a hell of a QB matchup, and hopefully there's no blackout. Yes, I know the Super Bowl was over nine months ago, but any joke about that blackout won't be getting old with me any time soon.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My Prediction for Stanford/Oregon Tonight

http://www.hubsm.com/hubsm-cfb-game-week-5-stanford-cardinal-vs-3-oregon-ducks/

It's rare that the biggest college football game of any week takes place on a Thursday. That is exactly what's happening this week with a Thursday night treat featuring two Pac-12 teams in the BCS top five. It's Stanford/Oregon with the winner very likely winning themselves a berth in the Pac-12 championship game (since both play in the same division) and keeping their national championship hopes alive. Stanford is at home and De'Anthony Thomas boasted about how Oregon was going to score 40 on Stanford; two things to think about regarding this game.

Monday, November 4, 2013

My Prediction for Packers/Bears Tonight

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/11/pro-football-game-of-the-week-green-bay-packers-vs-chicago-bears/

The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears comprise the most historic rivalry in pro football. Tonight the two teams meet at Lambeau Field. Both come in needing this win for different reasons in regards to the race for the NFC North; the Packers need it to move into sole possession of first place while the Bears need it to force a three-way tie at the top with them being one of the three.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Prediction for Florida St./Miami (FL) Tonight

http://www.hubsm.com/hubsm-cfb-game-week-7-miami-fl-hurricanes-vs-3-florida-st-seminoles/

College football's big game this week is a rivalry that is getting a shot in the arm: Florida St. versus Miami (FL). With both teams in the top 10 and undefeated for the first time in years, this year's installment is more in the spotlight than any FSU/Miami game for about the last decade. Though if you look at the point spread, this game isn't perceived as though it's going to be close. Do I agree? Read on and find out.

Friday, November 1, 2013

My Writing for 11/1/2013

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/11/wild-weekends-back-as-the-real-fun-is-about-to-begin/

The return of my football column, Wild Weekends. I took a few weeks off, but I'm back and it was a pretty packed week last week. There was Missouri/South Carolina, that crazy final quarter between the Cowboys & Lions, the weird game between the Broncos & Redskins, the BCS top four all dominating in games they should have dominated, and my take on which team outside of the BCS' automatic-qualifier conferences I would like to see crash the party this year.

Pro Wrestling: Nobuhiko Takada Vs. Vader (UWFi 12/5/1993)

The biggest shoot-style wrestling match in history.

This match was so big that UWFi was able to hold the show in the 40,000+ seat Jingu Stadium, and it sold out. Vader was the WCW champion at the time while Takada was defending UWFi's world title. UWFi was the best at the full presentation of shoot-style as a form of wrestling that closely resembles a shoot (actual) fight. Other shoot-style promotions have done the style as well or better than UWFi, but as for overall presentation, nobody can compete with UWFi. This may be one of the best examples as this pro wrestling match has the feel of a heavyweight title boxing match thanks to not only the wrestlers involved, the legends on hand, and the venue, but how it is all presented and put together.

Also, I'm one of those that isn't convinced Vader's arm was legitimately broken at the end of this match. The only reason is that Vader's famous match with Ric Flair at Starrcade in '93 was around three weeks after this match. For those that have seen the Vader/Flair match in question, Vader was stiff as all hell that night, so what else is new, right? But it's hard for me to believe that a man, even as tough as Vader, would be able to use an arm the way Vader did in the Flair match just three weeks after it was broken. True or not, it takes nothing away from the moment, atmosphere, or match itself.

From YouTube:


Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Pro Wrestling Treat on Halloween

http://placetobenation.com/pro-wrestling-halloween-bucket-of-treats/

This is a collection of videos that fit the theme of Halloween. This collection showcases some of the zanier and creepier characters that WWE have attempted while also showing the characters with an edge, like Jake "The Snake" Roberts, at their best. The Undertaker and The Ultimate Warrior are also all over this collection, but it's Halloween, so yeah. There's also a video in there of the divas in costume from about five years back, so it's not all about the actual in-ring action and storylines.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Prediction for Cowboys/Lions Tomorrow

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/10/pro-football-game-of-the-week-dallas-cowboys-vs-detroit-lions/

The Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions comprise my pick for NFL game of the week this week. Both teams bring in great offenses and poor defenses, almost guaranteeing a college football-style offensive shootout. It's Romo versus Stafford, Megatron versus Dez Bryant, and Murray versus Bush. I'm looking forward to this game and football fans should be too.

My Prediction for South Carolina/Missouri Later Today

http://www.hubsm.com/hubsm-game-week-5-missouri-tigers-vs-21-south-carolina-tigers/

The Missouri Tigers have gone on a tear this season. They have gone from the other Big 12 team that came to the SEC to a legitimate SEC East and SEC conference title contender. They're at 7-0 and have beaten Georgia and Florida in their last two games. Today, they get the other big dog in the SEC East, South Carolina. The Gamecocks have had their issues this season to be sure, and if they want any chance to win their division and play for the SEC title, they must win this game.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Writing for 10/24/2013

http://www.hubsm.com/ruslan-provodnikov-overpowers-mike-alvarado-10th-round-stoppage/

Mike Alvarado/Ruslan Provodnikov was a boxing match that I anticipated from the moment it was announced. Both are fighters who bring the action, bring the excitement, and bring the big slugfests that help make boxing exciting. This was one I was anticipating from the moment it was announced.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Prediction for Broncos/Colts Tonight

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/10/pro-football-game-of-the-week-denver-broncos-vs-indianapolis-colts/

Some say you can never go home again, but Peyton Manning will be. Tonight, Manning brings the Denver Broncos to Lucas Oil Stadium, the place where Manning played home games as a member of the Indianapolis Colts for over a decade. Now the man who's looking like the next Manning, Andrew Luck, leads the Colts as they try to bounce back from a Monday Night loss. The Broncos look to remain undefeated and give Manning the satisfaction of beating his old team the first time he plays them at home after going to a new team.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My Predictions for Cain Velasquez/Junior dos Santos III & Other UFC 166 Bouts

Tonight is the big fight when it comes to MMA. Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos will do battle for the third time with the UFC heavyweight title on the line. They first fought on a nationally televised card in November 2011 where they were the only bout nationally televised; dos Santos won that night with a first-round TKO less than two minutes into the bout. They fought again last December at UFC 155 and Velasquez spent five rounds beating the tar out of dos Santos before winning easily by decision.

As for tonight, I see a bout that is something like a combination of the first two between Velasquez & dos Santos.

Velasquez is still going to be landing his combinations and will still stay relatively outside because his reach and accuracy will allow him to land effectively like he did last December. I do see dos Santos trying to take it to the ground early for two reasons: 1) to see if he can do it and 2) because dos Santos has put his ground game to more use than Velasquez and it could help dos Santos gain control of things early. I think this will be the most competitive of the three bouts between Velasquez and dos Santos, but I just think that Velasquez has made such a leap throughout his game that it'll end up being too much for dos Santos.

I'm predicting it will be Velasquez over dos Santos by TKO late in round three or early in round four.

I also predict the following fighters will taste victory tonight at UFC 166:

Daniel Cormier
Gilbert Melendez
Hector Lombard
Gabriel Gonzaga
Tim Boetsch
George Sotiropoulous
Sarah Kaufman

My Prediction for Clemson/Florida St. Later Tonight

http://www.hubsm.com/hubsm-game-week-3-clemson-tigers-vs-5-florida-st-seminoles/

The big game this week in college football is an ACC rematch that produced quite the game last year. Clemson/Florida St. holds with it ACC title and national title implications as both teams are currently in the top five, but with tough non-conference games still left on their respective schedules. Between Tajh Boyd versus Jameis Winston and both defenses being in the top 10 for points allowed, this game has plenty going for it and should be fun.

Friday, October 18, 2013

My Writing for 10/15/2013

http://www.hubsm.com/timothy-bradley-impressive-split-decision-win-juan-manuel-marquez/

My recap for the Juan Manuel Marquez/Timothy Bradley bout last weekend. It didn't end up as good as I was expecting it to, but Bradley still put on a great performance. Marquez looked his age for the first time ever, but I'm still confident he's going to keep fighting; he doesn't have to, but he will.

Monday, October 14, 2013

My Writing for 10/12/2013

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/10/wild-weekends-injuries-controversy-and-some-wild-finishes/

The latest installment of my football column, Wild Weekends. This week: games with controversial (and one sort of funny) endings, lots of injuries, and a few things having to do with the game that are outside of the game.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Prediction for Saints/Patriots Later Today

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/10/pro-football-game-of-the-week-new-england-patriots-vs-new-orleans-saints/

A Saints/Patriots game usually would be the talk of football. It's still this week's game of the week, but it doesn't quite have the same luster it would normally have due to the Pats' injury woes this season. Still, it's Brady versus Brees and the Pats are at home, so it still has enough for people to be curious if not pumped up for it.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Prediction for Florida/LSU Later Today

http://www.hubsm.com/hubsm-game-week-10-lsu-tigers-vs-17-florida-gators/

Florida/LSU is usually a very rough and tough SEC football game. If you want a recent example, just look at last year's 14-6 win for the Gators in a game that was dominated by running and very good defensive play. I don't think today's game will go quite the same way, but I expect the same competitive game that usually takes place between these two.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Funny Letter Regarding Government Shutdown

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/10/08/applying-government-shutdown-logic-to-the-baseball-playoffs/screen-shot-2013-10-08-at-11-59-41-am/

This is apparently an actual letter sent from an Atlanta Braves fan using his team's loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division series of the National League playoffs as a metaphor for the conservative & Tea Party stance on Obamacare helping to lead to the current government shutdown that has been in place for nearly two weeks. Funny, funny stuff.

On a personal note: FUCK THE BRAVES! I'm not a Dodgers fan, but I couldn't be happier that the they're out of the playoffs. Any team who has the self-serving stance, that the Braves demonstrated this season, that they are the only team who can exact revenge after being "wronged" on the field doesn't deserve a thing. And no, as a Wisconsin native, this isn't just about the Carlos Gomez/Brian McCann incident. That was the last straw, but my ill feelings toward the Braves had been building throughout the season for multiple incidents where they exacted bullshit baseball revenge for guys walking out a home run, something that apparently makes pitchers feel unusually butthurt. Don't want them to walk out a homer, don't serve them up one. The fact that Gomez did it to a pitcher that had beaned him multiple times and was thus getting revenge on him showed how full of shit the Braves are with their reaction, specifically McCann's bullshit of blocking home plate so Gomez couldn't touch it after hitting the homer.

Total Wrestling Magazine Issue 1

http://issuu.com/rjtrpublishingltd/docs/twf1

The first issue of an online wrestling magazine that I'm a part of. I love the look and the content, hopefully you will too. My article starts on page 28, but please look through the rest of it as there's a lot of good stuff within.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Writing for 10/10/2013

http://www.hubsm.com/miguel-cotto-vintage-3rd-round-tko-delvin-rodriguez/

My recap of Miguel Cotto's dominating TKO win over Delvin Rodriguez last weekend, as well as what the future might hold for Cotto.

http://www.hubsm.com/wladimir-klitschko-normal-self-still-dominates-alexander-povetkin/

My recap of Wladimir Klitschko's sloppy yet dominating successful heavyweight title defense over Alexander Povetkin. Despite a subpar performance, Klitschko's historically good title reign continues full speed ahead.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

My Prediction for Colts/Seahawks on Sunday

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/10/nfl-game-of-the-week-indianapolis-colts-vs-seattle-seahawks/

The Seahawks made a big comeback and scored an overtime win on the road last week. I don't believe in lightning striking twice, but if the Seahawks' defense can stop Luck early and often, it may not need to. This is a very intriguing to me, pity I won't get to watch it with the Packers/Lions being the Fox noon game in my area. Not that that's a problem.

My Prediction for Stanford/Washington Later Tonight

http://www.hubsm.com/hubsm-game-week-5-stanford-cardinal-vs-15-washington-huskies/

College football's game of the week is out west with Stanford and Washington hooking up in a top 15 showdown. Both are undefeated and have looked impressive, though this game will go toward showing how for real Washington is this season.

Friday, October 4, 2013

My Writing for 10/4/2013

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/10/wild-weekends-offense-offense-and-a-little-bit-of-defense/

The latest installment of my football column, Wild Weekends. This week: LSU & Georgia produce a classic, Oregon and the Denver Broncos continue to dominate, the Chiefs are 4-0 while the Giants are 0-4, and Lane Kiffin finally gets fired.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Writing for 10/1/2013

http://www.worldboxing101.com/2013/10/01/adonis-stevenson-closer-to-light-heavyweight-supremacy-after-dominating-tavoris-cloud/

My recap of the Adonis Stevenson/Tavoris Cloud bout from last weekend. Could Stevenson/Hopkins or Stevenson/Kovalev be in the works for 2014? Boxing fans hope so.

http://www.worldboxing101.com/2013/10/01/julio-cesar-chavez-jr-gets-away-with-robbery-in-decision-win-over-brian-vera/

My recap of the controversial Julio Cesar Chavez Jr./Brian Vera bout from last weekend. The bout was controversial both in its build, the negotiations involved with keeping it from being canceled, and the decision at the end of it.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

My Prediction for Dolphins/Saints on Monday Night Football

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/09/pro-football-game-of-the-week-miami-dolphins-vs-new-orleans-saints/

Both the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints enter Monday night as 3-0 teams. The Dolphins have gotten there with a win over the Browns and then straight wins over good quarterbacks; the Saints have gotten there with an improved defense, Sean Payton back as head coach, and Drew Brees playing almost like Drew Brees, which has been good enough. The Dolphins come in with something to prove to the rest of the league while the Saints come in simply looking to stay undefeated.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Prediction for LSU/Georgia Later Today

http://www.hubsm.com/hubsm-game-week-6-lsu-tigers-vs-9-georgia-bulldogs/

The SEC is once again the center of attention in college football. Personally, I love it and this game could prove to be a very offensive one not unlike Bama/Texas A&M a few weeks ago.

Friday, September 27, 2013

My Writing for 9/27/2013

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/09/wild-weekends-disappointing-dull/

The latest installment of my football column, Wild Weekends. I go over all the great quarterback matchups that were on the NFL schedule last week, but ended up failing to materialize. That and the games weren't that great in most cases. I also go over a topic that is really beginning to piss me off these days in college football: teams being demonized for slaughtering teams they're supposed to slaughter.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Writing for 9/25/2013

http://www.hubsm.com/jim-ross-retirementfiring-end-era-pro-wrestling-announcing/

Jim Ross was recently fired, or retired if you believe what he and WWE are saying for PR reasons. In reality, Ross was fired after a somewhat disastrous WWE 2K14 panel discussion; disastrous in the sense that it didn't follow the script given by those in charge and that the wrestlers on the panel chose to tell wrestling stories more than shill the video game.

http://theinscribermag.com/george-zimmerman-trial-conversations-country-needs/

After a long while, my second (of two) articles regarding the George Zimmerman trial. This one consists of the issues surrounding the case that didn't get nearly the amount of airtime or attention they needed and deserved.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Prediction for Stanford/Arizona St. Later Today

http://www.hubsm.com/hubsm-game-week-5-stanford-cardinal-vs-23-arizona-st-sun-devils/

This week wasn't anywhere near the best one when it comes to the games on the schedule. And the early slaughters throughout college football seem to back this up. However, the one game this week featuring two ranked college football teams playing each other could turn out to be an entertaining game in a day with few.

My Writing for 9/20/2013

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/09/wild-weekends-a-special-sunday/

A special installment of my Wild weekends football column. This one deals with a special Sunday I had last week watching football. Doesn't sound that special? Read on and find out why it was.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Prediction for Eagles/Chiefs Tonight

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/09/pro-football-game-of-the-week-philadelphia-eagles-vs-kansas-city-chiefs/

The NFL game of the week isn't generally the Thursday game, but this week it is. Andy Reid makes his return to Philadelphia less than a year after his 14-season run as Eagles head coach ended. He brings in a Kansas City Chiefs team that has already matched their win total (2) from last season while the Eagles have Chip Kelly as their new head coach and his fast-paced running offense, made famous during his time with the Oregon Ducks. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Writing for 9/18/2013

http://www.hubsm.com/hugh-douglas-firing-espn-example-karma/

Hugh Douglas was fired last month from ESPN after a very Riley Cooper-like incident. I bring Cooper up because Douglas was one of those vocal against Cooper, only to repeat the actions himself that got Cooper in trouble in late-July.

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/09/wild-weekends-a-saturday-focused-on-one-game/

The latest installment of my Wild Weekends football column. Included this week is Johnny Football against Alabama, The four-game Big Ten/Pac-12 series (including that messed up finish to Wisconsin/Arizona St.), and Michigan & Notre Dame still worn out from their game against each other.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Prediction for Manning Bowl III

The Pigskin Report is having some technical issues today (UPDATE: this article is now on The Pigskin Report website), so I'm posting my prediction here:

NFL Game of the Week: Manning Bowl III
By Phil Clark

Brother versus brother is somewhat rare in the sports world. So when it happens, it always is a big story. Today is another installment of pro football's biggest brother versus brother matchup: the Manning Bowl. Peyton and Eli Manning have become to the of the NFL's best and most polarizing quarterbacks, with three Super Bowl rings (2 for Eli, 1 for Peyton) between the two of them.

The brothers have met twice, both with Peyton playing quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. In 2006, Peyton's Colts edged Eli's New York Giants 26-21; the Colts went on to win the Super Bowl that season. Four years later, Peyton torched the Giants while Eli was kept in check and the result was a 24-point Colts win.

Today is a far different day from either of the previous meetings between the brothers Manning. The most glaring difference will be that Peyton is now quarterback of the Denver Broncos. Eli is still with the Giants, but his Giants team is also far different from even the team that lost to Peyton a few years ago.

The glue for the Giants for many years was their punishing defensive line and the ability of their defense as a whole to not give up massive amounts of points. That kind of defense likely won't be on display today if the nearly 300 passing yards and 36 points they gave up last week to Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys is any indication.

Peyton's ability to adapt is unlike that of any quarterback of his generation. This allowed Peyton to immediately produce with a new group of receivers after a year on the shelf with neck and spine issues. One season is all Peyton needs at this point in his career to become acclimated with his receivers, as well as playing in the increased elevation of Denver, Colorado. Last week's seven-touchdown performance against the Baltimore Ravens showed how well Peyton and receivers are in sync.

Eli's advantage in this area is that he has had multiple seasons to throw to his two top targets: Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. Hearing that Eli has thrown a touchdown to either man has become so commonplace, you'd think these two receivers were joined at the hip with Eli.

Neither team has a spectacular running game, but the Giants have showed in the last week that they are worried about there's. David Wilson lost two fumbles and the Giants decided they needed another running back. So they worked out several big name running backs without a home and ended up bringing back Brandon Jacobs, who last played in New York for the Giants' last championship team in 2011.

The Broncos didn't do any better running the ball in week one, but don't have any anxiety in that department. Their running attack is stocked with the men the Broncos have known would head their running game since the beginning of training camp: Ronnie Hillman, Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball.

If anything is going to determine this game, it's going to be turnovers. The Giants committed six last week against the Cowboys and dug themselves into a three-score hole because of it. The Broncos lost two fumbles against the Ravens, but it didn't end up costing them as the Broncos never trailed by more than a touchdown in the game.

The Broncos' defense did allow Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco to enjoy a productive first half, but because of the Broncos' offense scoring over and over, Flacco was forced to throw over 60 passes because of the increasing deficit his team faced. Lucky for the Giants, Eli is used to throwing that many passes in a game.

Eli will likely have to throw 60 times, but I still don't think it will matter. The Broncos offense will continue to roll up tons of yards and points, and will stay out of reach for most of the game, leading to Peyton going 3-0 against his little brother.

My prediction: Denver (-4) 38, New York 31

2013 Season
Straight up: 1-0
Against the Spread: 1-0

My Final NFL Division Preview Article for the 2013 Season

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/09/2013-nfc-west-preview/

My NFC West preview.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

My Writing for 9/12/2013

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/09/wild-weekends-big-games-shocking-results/

Another installment of Wild Weekends. This week's installment o f my football column focuses on opening weekend in the NFL, the rough starts for Texas & USC, the biggest college football games from last week, the debut of the Eagles' new offense, and the hit Clay Matthews put on Colin Kaepernick last Sunday.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Writing for 9/11/2013

http://www.hubsm.com/michigannotre-dame-means-college-football/

It will be a sad day for college football next year when the Michigan/Notre Dame rivalry comes to its conclusion. Hopefully the day will come when the rivalry is revived, but the Fighting Irish apparently don't see such a day coming any time soon. Sad stuff when a rivalry that is so good and important to the game has to end.

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/09/2013-nfc-south-preview/

My NFC South preview. It's late, I know. But read it anyway.

My Writing for 9/10/2013

http://theinscribermag.com/syrian-conflict-country-moral-authority-world/

I haven't written anything on politics for a while, so when Robert Cobb of The Inscriber asked me to write something on potential U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict, I decided that would be the subject matter. I plan on continuing to write political articles off and on, but anyone that knows me or reads my writing or checks out this blog knows that I'm a sports writer first. With that in mind, my political writing will be off and on like it always has been. Enjoy.

Monday, September 9, 2013

My Writing for 9/9/2013

http://www.hubsm.com/ohio-state-head-coach-urban-meyer-will-never-escape-reputation/

Urban Meyer is an easy man in college football to think of as a villain. His time as coach of the Florida Gators was incredibly successful on the field, but just as notorious for his players' behavior off of it. But is it all Meyer's fault?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Prediction for Green Bay/San Francisco Later Today

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/09/nfl-game-of-the-week-san-francisco-49ers-vs-green-bay-packers/

I was born and live in Wisconsin. And being the football nut that I am, the Green Bay Packers are obviously the team I'm cheering for every week they are playing. But does that mean I'm going to pick them every week they're playing? Read on to find out.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My Writing for 9/7/2013

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/09/2013-afc-south-preview/

My AFC South preview.

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/09/2013-nfc-north-preview/

My NFC North preview.

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/09/2013-nfc-east-preview/

My NFC East preview.

My Writing for 9/6/2013

http://www.hubsm.com/hubsm-cfb-game-week-14-notre-dame-fighting-irish-vs-17-michigan-wolverines/

This week's college football game of the week was a no-brainer, no matter the rankings for the team or any factor like that: Michigan Vs. Notre Dame. One of my favorite college football rivalries, and it's a shame that the Fighting Irish have pussed out of the rivalry due to the ACC move. It's a shame.

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/09/2013-afc-east-preview/

My 2013 AFC East preview

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/09/2013-afc-west-preview/

My 2013 AFC West preview

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

My Writing for 8/31/2013

http://www.worldboxing101.com/2013/08/31/vitali-klitschko-from-boxer-to-president/

Vitali Klitschko, current WBC heavyweight champion, is done fighting in 2013. But he's keeping busy with politics as a member of parliament in the Ukraine. However, the champ has bigger political aspirations than that and after his boxing career ends, he may end up at the top of the political world as well.

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Writing for 8/24/2013

http://www.hubsm.com/thehubsm-college-football-preseason-heisman-trophy-favorites/

My preseason Heisman Trophy favorites. These are the guys that stand above the rest in college football and are the men most likely, in my opinion, to be the finalists for this year's Heisman Trophy.

Two quick spoiler alerts: anyone who follows college football even a little bit will be familiar with these guys, so no surprises, and 2013 is going to be another "Year of the Quarterback" in a long line of them over the last 15 years.

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Writing for 8/20/2013

http://www.hubsm.com/it-was-roh-1-ovw-1-on-top-of-summerslam-2013/

The top two matches of last Sunday's SummerSlam pay-per-view from The E featured ROH vs. OVW matches. In both big matches, both participants famously came from either Ring of Honor (ROH) or Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) before coming to The E.

The matches were the main reason (practically the only reason) I bought the PPV in the first place, and boy was I glad I did. Punk/Lesnar ended up being an instant classic with Bryan/Cena being in the same area of awesomeness. These were easily the two matches that stole the show, even though everyone knew that was going to happen the moment the matches were announced.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Writing for 8/15/2013

http://www.hubsm.com/darren-young-comes-out-as-first-openly-gay-wwe-wrestler/

Last week Darren Young came out as the first openly gay active WWE wrestler. This is the article I wrote in reaction to that decision.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Chael Sonnen: I Love it When This Man Talks

http://www.411mania.com/MMA/news/294078/%5BVIDEO%5D-Chael-Sonnen-has-a-Poem-For-Shogun-Rua.htm

Watch this and tell me that Sonnen is not the best interview in MMA, possibly in the sport's history.

And any wrestling fan that sees this and doesn't get a vicarious thrill out of it doesn't know the mostly lost art of being great on the mic. Sure there's still C.M. Punk, John Cena, Kevin Steen, and Steve Corino that are great on the mic; there's also a host of others that would be good on the mic if given the proper time. However, mic work seems to be a lost art these days in American pro wrestling. Quite sad if you ask me. Kinda makes me wish that Sonnen goes to The E when he's done in MMA. Even if it's for a little bit, the mic work would be PRICELESS. A potential Punk/Sonnen face off on the mic would be the stuff that dreams are made of.

My Writing for 8/14/2013

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/08/what-nevin-shapiro-really-bought-in-coral-gables/

Nevin Shapiro definitely spent a lot of money in Coral Gables. He's in jail for running a nearly $1 billion Ponzi scheme and is the one responsible for the scandal that the Miami Hurricanes football team has faced over the last couple of years. He deserves to be in jail because he's a scumbag and the fact that he basically stole that much money from many people proves that. Ironically, I'm not really that pissed about Shapiro's spending in Coral Gables, except for one thing that he bought. That is something I'm very pissed about.

http://www.hubsm.com/major-league-baseball-limp-wristed-biogenesis-punishments/

My take on the Biogenesis scandal that resulted in Ryan Braun's suspension for the rest of the regular season, the suspension of a dozen other players for the rest of the regular season, and the attempted suspension (that still has to go through arbitration) of Alex Rodriguez. In typical fashion, MLB blew it when it came to making this case a platform for real change in the game and how it treats those who use performance enhancing drugs.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tetsuya Naito wins G-1 Climax 23

Today Tetsuya Naito won the 23rd annual G-1 Climax tournament in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Naito is supposed to be one of the hopes of the future for the promotion and for the most part, he has embodied that inside the ring. Naito won the final in what was not quite a torch-passing moment, but definitely a symbolic moment as Hiroshi Tanahashi, current ace of the promotion and of Japanese pro wrestling as a whole, put Naito over for the tournament win. Tanahashi is still tremendous in the ring and may be currently in his apex years, so it was big that Naito got the win over him, but the torch is still firmly in Tanahashi's hands.

I should have had more faith in Naito. Hell, I picked him to win it all last year, and even though that didn't happen, I probably should have seen it coming this year. Naito came back just a few months ago from knee surgery that stemmed from an injury he suffered in last year's G-1 tournament and hasn't been booked in any distinct way to make you think there were big plans for him in the second half of the year. This win, even though it looks like he'll go after Masato Tanaka and the NEVER (an offshoot brand of New Japan's) openweight title instead of the recent G-1 tradition of going after the IWGP title right away, is huge for Naito and means that plenty of attention will be given to his major matches for a while. Hopefully this means that Naito has finally arrived in the main-event scene of New Japan after being so close to that position over the last couple of years.

As for me and my picks, I ended up 41-48-1 (.456) for the tournament. Not bad considering I didn't have the results in my hands before they happened ala an interesting story regarding WWE pay-per-view results this year being leaked prior to the events. I wasn't able to call either finalist either, but I still think I did okay for myself. The injuries to Hiroyoshi Tenzan (rib) and Hirooki Goto (broken jaw) caused each of their final three matches to be automatic losses via forfeit weren't disastrous to my picks, but since we'll never really know how those matches would've gone if Tenzan & Goto were healthy, that could've kept me from .500 for all I know.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Pro Wrestling: Mitsuharu Misawa Vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (AJPW 9/1/1990)

The Rematch.

Misawa had won in June and his singles push to the moon and beyond had begun. So had the Jumbo's Army versus Misawa's Army feud, resulting in a time for All Japan when they were having six-man tags that were legitimate match of the year candidates on a regular basis. So imagine what the singles and tag matches in this feud were producing in the ring.

This is, of course, the next big Budokan Hall show after Misawa/Jumbo I, so what other match could be the main-event?

I personally think this is a better match than their match in June, but nothing can beat that moment of Misawa getting the pin on Jumbo. However, this match more than makes up for the fact that it doesn't possess a history-changing ending. It still had the big match feel the first match had, probably more than the first match because of that match's result.

From YouTube:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pro Wrestling: Atsushi Onita vs. Genichiro Tenyru (Explosion Bomb Barbed Wire Cage Death Match) (FMW 5/5/1994)

Back to the glory days of hardcore wrestling. This was the usual Onita deathmatch at Kawasaki Stadium at the beginning of May. In this case, needed a major name for Onita for this card. Thanks to Onita's connections to All Japan, where he formerly wrestled, and that Tenryu was pretty much a freelance wrestler by this point despite being part of WAR (Wrestling And Romance), they got him. Obviously this isn't Tenryu's norm, it definitely is Onita's by this point, but he makes the best of it.

From YouTube:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pro Wrestling: Mitsuharu Misawa Vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (AJPW 6/8/1990)

Welcome to the true beginning of the 90's for All Japan. Just months after Genichiro Tenryu's shocking departure from the promotion for a big payday with Super World Sports, Giant Baba (All Japan's President and booker) needed a new star, and though he had a foursome that would dominate the decade, there was still questions about who would become the star to lead the promotion. This match sealed Misawa's fate as that man and history has shown Baba made the right choice. Granted Toshiaki Kawada or Kenta Kobashi would have been just as good choices, but Misawa did have a special connection with the fans almost from the beginning.

Ironically, this was Misawa's first major singles match as himself and not Tiger Mask II, who he'd been wrestling as pretty much since his debut in 1981. Jumbo had been arguably the best worker on the planet for basically his whole career (he debuted in 1972) and was the perfect man to not only put Misawa over in a major singles match at the famed Nippon Budokan Hall (where this match takes place), but make him a star in the same match.

There was also an awesome story I read in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter regarding this match where Baba was still conflicted as to the result. Then he was told about how Misawa's merchandise was flying off the shelves that night and he made up his mind that Misawa was going over. The plan had been for Misawa to go over, but there was always time for an 11th hour decision going the other way. Someone, it may have been Jumbo though I'm not sure at this moment, asked if it would be a countout of some kind--a cop-out finish and almost a standard one for big matches in AJPW during the 80's. Baba's answer said it all: "No."

Oh, and I forgot to mention the incredible run of business this match started for AJPW. The promotion went on a run of about 200 straight shows in Tokyo with sell-outs and sold-out Budokan Hall for almost every major event for the next decade. And the Jumbo's Army versus Misawa's Army feud became, in my opinion, the archetype for how a truly good & effective young versus old feud in any promotion in any country is supposed to be booked.

From YouTube:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Writing for 8/6/2013

http://www.hubsm.com/collegiate-athletes-should-have-the-opportunity-to-profit-from-their-name/

Johnny Manziel might be in trouble because he may have profited from signing autographs. Personally, the rules against this are complete bullshit and I finally had to write something about it. The fact that Johnny Football is at the heart of this because of this particular incident is just simple coincidence. This has been an issue that has been building for years and hopefully will get more attention and backlash against the NCAA soon.

http://www.hubsm.com/philadelphia-eagles-wr-riley-coopers-controversy-has-been-insane/

My take on the Riley Cooper controversy. Simple as that. Quick spoiler alert: I don't understand or agree with the outrage.

Kickboxing & MMA: Jerome Le Banner Vs. Bob Sapp (K-1 12/31/2004)

This was an interesting fight in that it was a four round fight with two rounds of kickboxing and two rounds of MMA with the rules and gloves changing for each round. Considering Sapp had some MMA experience and Le Banner had one career MMA bout three years to the day before this, and Le Banner was of the more accomplished kickboxers in history at this point while Sapp was on the downswing, it's not that hard to see which rounds would be dominated by each fighter. Still, it is an interesting concept and very fitting for a New Year's Eve show in Japan. Interestingly enough, this concept wasn't used again to my knowledge after this.

From YouTube:


Monday, August 5, 2013

Pro Wrestling: Genichiro Tenryu Vs. One Man Gang (AJPW 1986)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YrSPQ2en1k

Here's a little something to bridge the gap between fans of Japanese pro wrestling and fans of WWE, at least old-school WWE. Fans of The E in the 80's likely remember Gang, or maybe hardcore WCW fans remember his brief run in 1995-96. As for Tenryu: he hits hard, but was still coming along at this point, best known for being Jumbo Tsuruta's tag partner. By this point in his career, Tenryu was visibly destined for bigger things. This match, however, is more about Gang.

Art Donovan Dead at 88

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000226150/article/art-donovan-pro-football-hall-of-famer-dies-at-88

Donovan was long before my time, but I have seen my share of film from those days and am very aware of his career. He was part of a couple of NFL championship teams in the late-1950's with the (then) Baltimore Colts and Johnny Unitas. Donovan was on the Colts for the "Greatest Game Ever Played," also known as the 1958 NFL championship game.

From everything I've ever read or heard about him, Donovan seemed like a very nice and funny guy who made people laugh and made people happy to be around him. My personal memories of Donovan consist of three things: interviews and game film of him that I saw, him being a guest announcer for WWE's King of the Ring pay-per-view in 1994, and a cameo on the Nickelodeon show "Pete & Pete" when I was a kid.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My Writing for 8/3/2013

http://www.worldboxing101.com/2013/08/03/a-trio-of-one-sided-bouts-last-weekend-in-china/

My recap of a trio of bouts from China last weekend. The bouts were broadcast on HBO and featured the second pro bout for Zou Shiming, who won two gold medals in boxing at the Olympics while representing China.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pro Wrestling: Combat Toyoda vs. Megumi Kudo (No-Rope Electrified Barbwire Deathmatch) (FMW, 5/5/1996)

Some more hardcore wrestling to bring to you, but this time it's with the ladies! And yes, these ladies can wrestle and they can fight. Hence, the stipulations for this match. That and it's Toyoda's retirement match, so I guess she wanted to go out with a bang, pun intended.

This match has actually gotten quite the following over the years, and fans & followers of FMW have put this one numerous times as one of the better FMW matches in the promotion's history.

From YouTube:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

G-1 Climax 23 Predictions

The biggest wrestling tournament in the world is upon us. New Japan Pro Wrestling's G-1 Climax tournament has grown into not only the crowning of a new #1 contender for the IWGP title in a tournament format, but a summer pro wrestling event. So much is this so that Ustream has a deal where you can buy all of the tournament shows in a bundle at a price that is a discount compared to buying them all separately. Some people may think King of the Ring is the best tournament in pro wrestling, but it has nothing on this tournament. The matches and the drama has been top notch for the majority of the history of the G-1. For a lot of the 2000's the tournament relied on a heavy outsider presence, but has slowly gone back to being strictly a New Japan tournament; this change has mirrored the promotion's rise back to prominence, a rise that is ongoing.

The G-1 Climax tournament has been mostly a points-based block system in the 22 previous installments of the tournament, though there have been some single-elimination tournaments. This year will stick to the norm with two blocks of participants and nine matches for each with the block winners advancing to the final.

This year I'm trying something something new and potentially disastrous: I'm picking each match of the tournament. Below I have each block and have indicated my picks for each match of the tournament. I figured that it would be fun and maybe a chance for me to show off if I can get enough right.

Block A
Hiroshi Tanahashi (2007 G-1 Winner)
Kazuchicka Okada (2012 G-1 Winner)
Togi Makabe (2009 G-1 Winner)
Katsuyori Shibata
Hirooki Goto (2008 G-1 Winner)
Satoshi Kojima (2010 G-1 Winner)
Tomohiro Ishii
Lance Archer
Davey Boy Smith Jr.
Prince Devitt

Tana
W
W
W
W
W
L
L
W
W
X
14
Okada
L
W
W
W
W
W
L
L
X
L
10
Makabe
W
L
W
W
L
L
W
X
W
L
10
Shibata
W
W
W
W
W
L
X
L
W
W
14
Goto
W
W
L
W
L
X
W
W
L
W
12
Kojima
L
L
L
W
X
W
L
W
L
L
6
Ishii
L
W
W
X
L
L
L
L
L
L
4
Archer
W
L
X
L
W
W
L
L
L
L
6
DVS Jr.
L
X
W
L
W
L
L
W
L
L
6
Devitt
X
W
L
W
W
L
L
L
W
L
8


Devitt
DVS Jr.
Archer
Ishii
Kojima
Goto
Shibata
Makabe
Okada
Tana



Block B

Yuji Nagata (2001 G-1 Winner)
Shinsuke Nakamura (2011 G-1 Winner)
Minoru Suzuki
Hiroyoshi Tenzan (2003, 2004, 2006 G-1 Winner)
Tetsuya Naito
Toru Yano
Yujiro Takahashi
Shelton Benjamin
Karl Anderson
Kota Ibushi

Kota
W
L
L
L
L
L
L
W
L
X
4
Karl
L
W
W
W
W
W
L
W
X
W
14
Shelton
L
L
W
W
W
W
L
X
L
L
8
Nagata
W
W
W
W
L
L
X
W
W
W
14
Nak
W
W
W
W
L
X
W
L
L
W
12
MiSu
W
W
L
W
X
W
W
L
L
W
12
Tenzan
W
W
L
X
L
L
L
L
L
W
6
Naito
W
L
X
W
W
L
L
L
L
W
8
Yano
L
X
W
L
L
L
L
W
L
W
6
Yujiro
W
W
L
L
L
L
L
L
W
L
6


Yujiro
Yano
Naito
Tenzan
MiSu
Nak
Nagata
Shelton
Karl
Kota



G-1 Climax 23 Final Prediction: Nagata over Shibata


Just like this year's NCAA tournament, I'm going a bit out of the box with my predictions while trying to remain as logical as I can be. Granted, my NCAA tournament picks didn't go quite as well as I'd wished. Anyway...

If New Japan doesn't want to give Shibata an IWGP title shot in 2013, this is the best way to go about it. With a strong showing like this in the G-1, Shibata can coast through the rest of the year with his usual crowd-pleasing performances while tagging with Kazushi Sakuraba. With Nagata, it makes sense from a business standpoint no matter which venue the ensuing IWGP title match takes place: if it's in October or November when New Japan regularly has a Sumo Hall show, I can see them having him in the main-event with one of their usually loaded cards; if it's in late-September in a smaller venue, I can definitely see them having Nagata challenge for the title. Nagata still has it in the ring, the crowd still loves him and Okada needs new challengers since it really doesn't look like he's losing that belt in the near future.

All in all, this looks like another really good G-1 in the making. One block is pretty unpredictable while the other has the current IWGP champion, numerous people he's beaten in previous title matches and previous G-1 winners, all of which makes a prediction very difficult. This is what I came up with, let's see how I do.