Monday, December 31, 2007

The One Thing I Don't Want Brought Back From the 1980's NBA

In the Lakers-Celtics game today both teams wore throwback jerseys. Usually I support this activity, though as the picture shows the Lakers took things just a little to far; They busted out the 1980's short shorts.

Those shorts weren't a good idea back in the 80's and they're not a good idea now. Anyone remember the last time a Laker pulled the short shorts routine? It was back when Shaq put on a pair of John Stockton's size 32 shorts in the locker room to protest some players being fined for their shorts being too long. Luckily for all of us I couldn't find any video or images of Shaq in those shorts.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

But I Read it on the Internet...

One of the most interesting sites on the web is Yahoo Answers. The concept is simple, ask a question and people post an answer. What makes it interesting to me is how accurate some of the answers can be while others can be far from true. Slate has written a really good article covering the site's strengths and weaknesses.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Happy Larry Bird's Birthday!

It's that time of year again. Everybody take a little time out of your day and wish that Larry and Magic were back on the hardwood.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I Should Be Used To It By Now...

I knew that the Marlins would eventually trade Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera, and I knew I wouldn't be happy when the trades happened, but I didn't think both players would go in the the same trade. For some reason that makes it more annoying.

I also know that this is the way the team goes. We get great young players, let them mature, find a way to win a World Series with them, then trade them for new young players to restart the cycle with. I know this, but I still hate to see them go each time.

Maybe I can convince the Marlins to trade me to Detroit too, after all, they've now got Dontrelle, Miguel, Edgar Renteria, Pudge, and Sheffield. I'd feel right at home rooting for all those old Marlins.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Canes Will Be Back...Soon...But For Now...

The criteria for the Heisman Trophy is that it should go to "the most outstanding player in college football." Look at Tebow's numbers, he has literally done things that nobody has done before (Over 20 TDs both rushing and passing). As CBS noted during today's beating of the Seminoles Tebow has more rushing TDs than the running backs that have won it in the past, that is on top of his 29 passing TDs.

If this guy doesn't win the Heisman then I'll finally give up trying to figure out what the voters really are looking for.

Friday, November 23, 2007

This Story Makes my Head Hurt

Ok, let me get this straight;
This guy was a preacher,
he got abducted by satanists who brain washed him under threats of harm to his family,
he took up a new identity,
he then became a mayor,
and now he has resigned that position because of all of this?

Wow, just, wow.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

My Philosophy on Holidays

Rocky: "Listen, uh, I don't want no turkey anyway, you know."
Adrian: "But it was Thanksgiving."
Rocky: "What?"
Adrian: "It was Thanksgiving."
Rocky: "Yeah, to you. But to me it's Thursday. Right?"

Monday, November 19, 2007

Best Campaign Commercial Ever

I'm what you might call a connoisseur of political campaign commercials and this, my friends, is the best one ever.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Random Realization:

One of the worst minor frustrations in life is cooking yourself spaghetti only to realize you don't have any spaghetti sauce.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Gain an Hour, Lose a Day

I, like everyone I assume, loved getting the extra hour of sleep we got last night. My only problem is that yesterday was so hectic that I still think it's Saturday.

Yesterday started with the MPRE (the ethics part of the bar exam) at 9:00 A.M. It lasts 2 hours and 5 minutes and I actually enjoyed it, it reminded me a little be of being back in an undergrad ethics course. I'm not sure how I did (I think pretty well), but at least if I do have to take it over I know I'll have fun. The only bad part of test was my exit. After finishing a little early I turned my test in and headed for the door. Instead of explaining my troubles I'll just show you this video estimating what I looked like;


Straight from the MPRE a group of us went for lunch and drinks, a good time was had by all. Somehow after lunch I wound up going shopping with two friends to help one of them decide on her wedding dress.

What can I say, my opinion on women's fashion is universally respected. Growing up with 2 sisters and occasionally shopping with Jessica for formal wear back in the day gives me all the training I'll ever need to dispense opinions on dresses. Even still, I did kind of stick out in the Mt. Lebo dress shop. It's not every day that a bald, bearded guy in a hoodie with flames going up the sleeves and a flaming skull with a sword going through it printed on the front hangs out in a wedding dress boutique for a couple hours.

Back in the dressing room the options were narrowed down to three dresses, which I got to see. My favorite of the three (which looked great) was the one that got purchased.

Seeing as the dress shop was in Mt. Lebo we were able to visit Angelina at work and even got to spend her lunch hour with her. Good thing too, she's worked a ton lately.

After a great visit with Angelina my friends and I headed straight to Sharon's house, where she had prepared a ton of Italian food for a dinner party. In addition to stuffing ourselves the sport of Dizzy Sumo was created (just picture a sumo wrestling match combined with a dizzy bat challenge).

After that I got back home at midnight and went to sleep and used that extra hour. I woke up at 8, which is pretty early for me on a day off, so that's good. But, on the down side I still think it's Saturday, oh well.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

And I Still Have Mine

So I'm reading over Deadspin today and they linked to 100% Injury Rates' celebration of the 21st anniversary of the William "Refrigerator" Perry G.I. Joe action figure. I suggest you read it, it's a great post that includes images of all the advertisements for it and everything. It also gives the back story on why they chose the Fridge for a figure (it includes Rocky). Not only did I get one of these when I was a kid, but I still have it to this day, it's one of my most prized possessions.
Here's the commercial from back in the day.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

In a Rivalry it Always Matters

I had to spend far more time in a Dave & Buster's than most people could have stood, but it was more than worth it to watch the Canes pull out a victory against FSU in Tallahassee (not that I don't like Dave & Buster's, but anything gets old after too long). Sure, both teams are mediocre this year, but it was a very fun game to watch and thankfully it may have brought the concept of offense back into the rivalry.

The rest of the schedule this year looks tough for UM, but hopefully we can overachieve and really make something out of this season.

In other news;

-Congratulations to Vanderbuilt, beating a top 10 team for the first time in 70 seasons. If you're an SEC fan with a soul you are at least a little bit of a Vandy fan and always hope they can pull out a big win after so many years as the doormat of the conference, just so long as that win isn't against your team.

-I could watch a Tim Tebow quarterbacked team play all day every day. It's just a pleasure. While watching UM-FSU on the screen directly in front of me Florida v. Kentucky was on. Getting to see all 3 (historyically powerful, sorry USF. I've enjoyed your run this year and have rooted for you, but you need to string a few good years like this together before you make the "3 teams from Florida" into the "4 teams from Florida) Flordia teams play simultaniously was nice.

Now I'm off to the Fox and Hound for UFC 77, what a great day.

I'm not saying Philly is Miami or Anything...

but this poll saying that Philly "is home to the least attractive people in the United States" is totally off. Just the fact I spent last summer in Philly should bump them up in the ratings a few spots.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Great Weekend

I'm busy but I figured I'd let everyone know what a cool weekend I've got coming up. Tomorrow at 6:30 AM I fly out for Philadelphia, at 4:20 PM tomorrow I've got an interview, on Saturday I'll be finding a place in Philly to watch Miami v. Florida State at 3:30, and I'll finish up the weekend by watching UFC 77 Saturday night before flying back to Pittsburgh at noon on Sunday.

I'm really excited about the interview. I can't wait, the rest of the stuff is just icing on the cake.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Best Story in Sports is Over...or is it?

So, I get home from work today and suddenly I read that Randy Couture has stepped away from UFC and his heavyweight title. For a second I was shocked, but then I got hopeful (you'll see why). This story appears to have 2 elements, at least that's what Randy is saying;

1) Randy wants Fedor;
At 44 Randy has been pushing for UFC to sign Fedor Emelianenko, the fighter many consider to be the best heavyweight in the world. Simply put Randy wanted to end his career fighting to determine for certain who is the best fighter in the world.

Earlier this week Fedor was signed by M1, another MMA promotion, making a potential Couture v. Fedor match up just about impossible. With Randy now stepping away from UFC he might be able to sign with another promotion (M1?) depending on the wording of his contract. Even though he had 2 more fights on his UFC contract this article says that he could wait 9 months for his contract to lapse and then be free. That seems a little suspect to me, but I hope it's true.

In everything I've read quoting straight from Randy he has used the word "resign" not "retire." Until I hear something different I think there's a reason behind that.

Lastly, in his last fight he broke his arm while defeating Gonzaga. If he's got to wait a while to fight because of his contract it's not like he's losing time, he wouldn't have been fighting anytime soon to begin with.

2) Randy's Respect & UFC's new perception challenge, what they pay the fighters;
Regarding UFC's showing Randy respect, I'll just say this; I've always been mystified by the fact that Dana has always pushed Chuck Liddell as almost the singular face of the UFC when he is really a bland guy. Sure, Chuck is a great fighter, but when he talks he puts me to sleep. Dana made a pretty big mistake in my opinion by focusing primarily on one fighter (Liddell) when he has a ton of more interesting guys on the roster (Rampage). I mean come on...Just once I'd like to watch a UFC commercial with Rampage and not have him only referred to as "The man who knocked out Chuck Liddell" how about showing that he's MMA's most charismatic athlete. Even many non-UFC fans at least know Liddell, I just think Dana should have cast his net a little wider to they might know Liddell and Randy, Liddell and Rich Franklin, etc.

On to the pay...
Here's a good article on this issue. The sport had to fight long and hard to be considered legitimate and not barbaric. They've had great success on that front. Now something new might have popped up.

I've heard a lot of veteran mixed martial artists rip UFC for the amount they pay their fighters. For example, in a Frank Shamrock interview he said that UFC really stands for "You Fight Cheap." Now Couture has brought up that issue. We all know that Randy wasn't starving, in fact he was getting paid well, but if you Google "UFC Payouts" and look down the card it's interesting. The top guys get a ton, as they should. However the lower you go the pay seems pretty pathetic for world class professional athletes. These guys only get to fight a few times a year and have to find a way to pay for training and life in general. Here's an example, the payouts from UFC 70 (Information from the Nevada State Athletic Commission)

-Gabriel Gonzaga ($60,000) def. Mirko CroCop ($350,000)
-Andrei Arlovski ($160,000) def. Fabricio Werdum ($80,000)
-Michael Bisping ($24,000) def. Elvis Sinosic ($8,000)
-”Lyoto” Ryoto Machida ($40,000) def. David Heath ($6,000)
-Cheick Kongo ($40,000) def. Assuerio Silva ($8,000)
-Terry Etin ($12,000) def. Matt Grice ($3,000)
-Junior Assuncao ($6,000) def. David Lee ($2,000)
-Alessio Sakara ($20,000) def. Victor Valimaki ($3,000)
-Jess Liaudin ($6,000) def. Dennis Siver ($3,000)
-Paul Taylor ($8,000) def. Edilberto Crocota ($4,000)

I'm not saying for sure that the guys in the low and mid card certainly deserve a lot more money, but if you look at the numbers it looks like they might. Dana might want to be ready to explain the fair market value of a mid card fighter...then again I'm probably the only one who cares about the legitimate fair market value of a mid card mixed martial artist.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I Wonder When They'll Diagnose This Disorder

Tonight I'm at the library putting the finishing touches on a writing project. I've been really diligent too, I haven't done any online shopping and I haven't gone to any web sites to distract myself like I sometimes do (except for posting this of course).

However, even at my most diligent I can't ever seem to just sit down and study continuously like most of those sitting around me. Every 10 minutes or so I find myself getting up and walking around for no reason.

I was going to the bathroom. Did I really need to use the bathroom? No, but I was going anyway.

Once the bathroom got boring I started looking out windows and reading stuff on the professors' doors.

Now I've gone to just walking laps around the third floor...

I'm going to leave before too much longer.

I've always thought that hanging out too long at the law school makes you a little bit crazier, now I'm certain.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Preach!

At pitt law we have an attendance requirement. Most of the students hate it, I've heard a lot of professors say they think it's stupid. I would rant on this a bit more, but this post from Quizlaw summarizes my opinions perfectly.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

0-4

The Dolphins are killing me, just thought you should know that.

Monday, September 24, 2007

This Is Why IP Law Is Great!

This video is pretty interesting.
Lets say that a company uses a random picture of you that a friend of yours posted online in one of their ad campaigns, do you have a claim against them?

Ok, It Has Been A While

I know, I haven't posted in a while. I've been busy. I'll ease my way back into regular posting with a link to this post from Bad Idea Blue Jeans. It shows how Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen looks a lot like Karl Childers from Sling Blade.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Short Update

School has started, but I've only had one class so far. Wednesdays and Thursdays are stacked for me, so I'll have a better idea of how much I like this semester's classes in the next 48 hours. So far I'm liking it though.

For those interested, I'll have a lot more pictures of my time of Philly online soon. Probably over the weekend.

I'm still waiting for pitt to receive my loan money (or more likely realize that they have received my money). It's nothing egregious yet, but given the school's past track record I'm keeping an eye on it.

Lastly, if you're wondering why I'm hyping the sport of mixed martial arts and the UFC so much lately I have a television recommendation for you. The show is Human Weapon, it's on the History Channel Fridays at 8:00 PM, with replays at 10:00 PM and Saturday mornings at 2:00 AM. In the show two guys go around learning about and training in the fighting style of the country they're in and at the end they take on an experience fighter in their own fighting style. This show is so good it took Angelina from hating mixed martial arts to enjoying it on Saturday night as we watched Randy Couture continue his title reign even though he broke his arm in the fight.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I Want To Apply, Who's With Me?!

Deadspin has posted the application to be on the newly revived American Gladiators. As Deadspin points out "It's 22 pages, and, sadly, requires only one poem or rap. (And a drawing of yourself.) This show's gonna rule."
And yes, for those of you wondering, it does actually ask you to make up a poem or rap and draw a picture of yourself.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

American Gladiators Is Coming Back!

The Saturday morning staple from my childhood is on the way back! I wonder if I'll be able to remember these new shows as well as I do the originals.

If You've Got No Plans This Weekend, This Is An Option

After creating 2007's most exciting moment in sports by wining the UFC World Heavyweight Title at the age of 43, Randy Couture is back this weekend for his first title defense.

If you need to catch up on the Couture story check out Spike TV tonight at 10:00 as they devote two and a half hours of programing to him. The weigh in for Couture's defense against Gabe Gonzaga can be watched online tomorrow at 6:50 P.M. Then, of course, there's the actual fight Saturday Night at 10:00, if you don't want to order it at home you can always head out to one of these locations.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Last Day At Work

I had an excellent last day at work, it assured me that it was worth doing what I had to do to get here. Thanks to those who made it possible, particularly Mom and Dad. I celebrated after work by eating nachos for dinner and then spending an hour and a half roaming around the Art Museum steps.
If you're wondering how anyone could hang around the steps that long I'd encourage you to try it some time. Just watching people's reactions to climbing up the steps is priceless. Plus, it's the only place I know of where six preppy college guys will jog by you, in the rain, while singing eye of the tiger in unison.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

You Win Mr. Wilbur Sargunaraj, I Checked Your Blog

The Internet is a vast resource that can be used for seemingly endless educational endeavors that can make you a better, more informed, person. Yet, for some reason I quite often choose to watch stuff like this.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Irony Of Biblical Proportions

Usually I’d think that a news story about somebody going to jail for violating the Clean Water Act would be kind of boring. That is, of course, unless the person being prosecuted was named Charles Moses and his alleged violation was attempting to part the waters of an Idaho creek.”

Friday, August 03, 2007

If My Family Lived A Few Centuries Ago

So, I was messing around with my graphic design software tonight and starting using the family crest section of my clip art. After altering a few of the designs I wound up with something that I liked and then slapped our name on it, resulting in what a Samons family crest might have looked like if it were a few hundred years ago. There are a couple things I'm not sure about in the design though. First, it could be argued that instead of an eagle I should have used an image of a miniature dachshund. Also, the eagle looks quite a bit like it came straight off the hood of a 1970's era Trans-Am. Other than those possible flaws I like it. I might print it on a shirt when I get back to pittsburgh.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

If You Only Watch One Movie This Summer...Don't Watch This One


Quizlaw.com posted this reaction to the trailer (seen above) for what is being billed as "the first documentary about the U.S. law school system." I've got to say that I agree with just about everything the fine folks at quizlaw said. I hate to judge an entire movie by it's trailer, but honestly, given what I'm seeing I think I almost can. I encourage you to read the quizlaw post, they hit on just about all my complaints, but I've got a little to add.

Instead of watching this documentary, let me save you $10. Just sneak into any law school orientation later this month and you'll probably hear everything this movie will tell you; "Law school will change you, hopefully for the better" "Law school will teach you how to think" "You will never think the same way again." If this is true of anyone's law school experience then I am profoundly saddened that they developed so late in life. I'm not saying that I haven't gained anything from law school, I've gained a lot. But, if law school totally revolutionizes you as a person you're probably either buying into the hype way too much or you never bothered to critically think about much in your lifetime.

From the looks of the trailer the film is just going to reiterate all the things that law school professors and deans say when they want to make the law school experience seem venerated and novel. In reality many of us who have gone through, or are going through, law school know that these these kinds of statements just show how antiquated and flawed the law school experience is.

I sincerely hope this is just a very poorly done trailer, as quizlaw notes, there's a lot of potential on this subject. I know this first hand. There's a reason that my friend Danny left an "end of the intramural volleyball season" party at MadMex wondering why there weren't any television shows based on the lives of law students.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Googling Yourself: An Exercise In 21st Century Narcissism

Because, as Terrell Owens would say, “I love me some me” I googled my name this evening. I do this regularly, but this is the first time I’ve noticed any meaningful changes in the results. Here’s what I found:

- Another Adam Samons has popped up in the first page of results for the first time. Apparently this Adam Samons has an Xbox, because the link is to his Xbox Live online gaming statistics. I hope he keeps playing and improving his stats, do our name proud Adam, or else I’ll have to buy an Xbox and challenge you to a game of Madden 08 for the right to use our name in online gaming.

- The link to the NLSA newsletter that I contributed to has remained remarkably high in the google rankings for my name.

- My mixed martial arts and wrestling interview recaps for Between the Ropes continue to increase the overall number of returns for my name.

- My brain bowl stats are getting a little scattered in the mix. So, to make me feel better about this I’m going to do some reminiscing on my time on Valencia’s team. Here goes:

The 2003 NAQT Sectionals : This was probably my favorite tournament ever. The long lost Jason Thorpe, James Baker, Angelina, and myself combined to win the tournament, insuring that at least one team from Valencia would get to go to Nationals at UCLA (thanks to the strong performance by our other team whom we beat in the finals of this tournament 2 teams got to go to UCLA). Why is it my favorite? I averaged roughly 20 points a game. That was usually what I did on a good day, however, that wasn’t any normal day. I had James Baker on my team and he averaged 120 points per game. So, even with Baker scoring like a maniac I was able to maintain a respectable average. I’m frusturated that for some reason this seems to be the lowest ranked result of all my stats.

My stats from the 2003 Nationals at UCLA: I wound up with a 14 point average, had a great time, and rode a mechanical bull at Saddle Ranch the night before the tournament started. I’m content with that.

Fall 2002 ACF at UF : 18 point average, and a good time in Gainesville. Annoyingly, my stats from the 2003 tournament show up on top of these. The 2003 tournament was my worst statistical outing ever, but at least my team won, beating FSU in the finals.

Lastly, the page chronicling our 2003 year: There are a couple of inaccuracies (1. I was the second highest scorer at Dalton by average, 2. I was not involved in a swimming race at a hotel in L.A., in reality I was watching Syracuse win the NCAA Basketball Tournament) but this is a good read for some good old fashion community college nostalgia.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

UM Is On The Way Back, So Of Course I'm Going To Take Some Credit

I really liked UM's hiring of Randy Shannon when I first heard it. Now, I love it.

Back on December 31, 2005 I noted how the UM football program had lost its way. You might remember that I suggested 4 simple steps to start getting the program back on track. Today I learned that Shannon has taken action and partially fulfilled step #2. That's right folks, my favorite rapper/1st Amendment and copyright law pioneer, Luther Campbell is back in the fold.

Here's the news from the Miami Herald:
"Rapper Luther Campbell says he appreciates how Randy Shannon has welcomed him back to the UM family. 'Randy called the first recruiting day and said, `Luke, I want you to come down here.' And I said, 'You sure?' He said, 'Yeah.' Whatever I can do to help him out, I'm here for.''

Campbell runs an Optimist club in Liberty City, and some of those players could end up Canes. Shannon invited him to bring 8,000 kids to the Georgia Tech game.

Campbell, aware UM had tried to distance itself from him, said, ''I understand they were trying to clean up their image, but I wasn't part of the problem. All I ever did was tell Jerome Brown, Melvin Bratton, Darrell Fullington to go in the right direction.'' But Campbell won't ask for a sideline pass: ``It's too hot.''

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

If This Were True I Would Vote For 4 More Years Of George W.

George W and I have had our ups and downs. I like that he's the first president to try and privatize social security, but beyond that we haven't agreed in quite a while. He took a proposed surplus from Clinton and instead of addressing the national debt, the Social Security problem, or the even bigger future funding problems with Medicare-Medicaid he gave us tax cuts. Don't get me wrong, I love tax cuts, but it's not wise to cut taxes when the nation has so many future financial obligations that it won't be able to cover. And don't even get me started on his foreign policy.

So, could anything save my opinion of George W? Yes, if this story were somehow true: Bush Proposes Sending Transformers™ to Iraq

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Nostalgia

Most of you know that I have boycotted all ESPN "sport news" programing (Sportscenter, Around the Horn, etc.) for a little over three years now. I do watch live or taped sporting event though, which means most of ESPN Classic's programs are Kosher. So, I just turned on ESPN Classic and was treated to a great blast from the past, American Gladiators. I used to watch this show every weekend because it came on right before wrestling on Saturday mornings.

However, something weird has happened. As soon as the episode I'm watching right now started I vividly remembered its original broadcast. I don't just mean I'm remembering stuff as the show goes along, I remember the entire program and it's not even over yet. So, I looked up some info on this episode and apparently I am perfectly recalling a program that first aired in January of 1992 (I know the page says it first aired on a Wednesday, but it was syndicated, hence it was airing on Saturday in Orlando).

So, why is it that my mind retains such a detailed knowledge of an American Gladiators episode from 15 years ago? I don't know, I just wish I could find a way to harness this kind of mind power on a more regular basis.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Prediction

The toxicology reports on Benoit will be coming out tomorrow, so I've got a (pretty obvious) prediction. Should the reports come back and show no steroids in Benoit's system the media will let this story die a quiet death over the next week. I doubt that the reports will come back clean, but if somehow they do the media will have lost their easy answer to this story and no longer have the attractive "STEROIDS" headline to lead with on this story.

If, as I expect, the reports do come back showing roids in Benoit's system expect this story to stay around even longer. Also, expect to see a lot of specials on the dark side of the wrestling industry, I hear CNN is producing one already.

No matter what way the reports come back I hope that the increased scrutiny on wrestling continues.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Apparently Merriam Webster Smells What the Rock is Cook'n

The Rock's impact on our society and the English language can no longer be denied. I say that because the word Smackdown, a phrase he coined, has been added to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.

To me this is like the fact that Rocky won the best picture Oscar in 1976, it's a total argument ender when people try to belittle the Rock's cultural contributions.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Due To Popular Demand...Pictures!

Here's the ridiculousness that I'm living in, truly, I don't want to leave.
Here's what I see on my right when I'm sitting on the couch in the living room:

Here's a better view from that window:

This is the view of the street below. The Irish Pub that Rocky Jr. hangs out at in the movie is at the top center of the picture. It's where the sidewalk becomes brick:

Another view of the skyline, this time you can see some of the street also:
And here's what I see then I sit on the couch and look to the left:
The only really notable thing from this window that can't be seen in the other is a church next door. Right now the sun is in the way, so check back for an update with a picture of the church. For photos from outside my apartment you can click here for my webshots album with 25 pictures and guest appearances by Jonathan, Rocky Balboa, and the House of Cheese.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Not Liking What I'm Seeing From POTUS

I could rant a little, but instead I'll just say I'm not thrilled with George W's latest decision. But on the bright side, he does look sharp in a fighter pilot outfit.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Updated with Jericho Video & Comment: Benoit Part 3: Odds and Ends, Plus Chris Jericho

First up, if you don't really have a desire to read all of the lengthy posts I've done regarding Benoit (I know I wouldn't) and want to know which one is really the best/most important I'd direct you to watch the Jericho videos in this post and read "Benoit Part 2: The Media's Coverage and Some Context."

Now, onto the topic. If you want to see a possible train wreck tonight, watch Hannity and Colmes on Fox News at 9:00 eastern, they’re having the Ultimate Warrior on. Let’s just say that Warrior is, um, a pretty direct individual with interesting ways of stating opinions. For example, his opinion on gay people; “queering doesn’t make the world work.” Though he can be a smart guy at times, so it should be interesting.

Now, onto the almost funny way the media has sounded on this story. Beyond the media’s attempts to dumb down this tragity into just a roid rage it’s also clear that prime time cable news shows don’t really do any research on their stories at all. This isn’t a surprise of course, the format is largely to get two people with divergent opinions and let them scream at each other, whether or not either of the opinions is valid. So, it’s to be expected that there would be mistakes when covering wrestling, but some of the mistakes have been so stupid that they’d be hilarious if the story weren’t about a double murder. I’m not asking they be wrestling experts, just that some semblance of decent research be done. Here are a few examples;

They’ve not asked anyone to let them know the right terminology for stuff: On MSNBC Dan Abrams repeatedly mentioned that “Chris Benoit met his wife during a pro wrestling stunt.” Sure, wrestlers might on occasion do things that look like stunts, but I don’t think Chris and Nancy met while he was jumping off the top of a cage (and besides, that would have been refered to as a spot, not a stunt). The met when a storyline involved them getting together romantically, similar to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie getting together during the filming of a movie. Somehow I don’t think I’ll ever hear somebody ask either of them if they met “while doing one of those make believe story things you guys do” or during a “movie stunt.”

Wrestling is always stupid and fake, until they need it not to be: On Fox news, while apparently trying to build a case for Benoit clearly being a monster for the last 20 years or so one reporter (I think Geraldo, so that pretty much explains it) mentioned that they called him “the Crippler” because he broke another guy’s neck in the ring by dropping him. That’s all (mostly) true, but what’s inaccurate is that it was mentioned as though it were done intentionally. Maybe it’s just me, but I think if you’re a person who wants to break a guys neck because you’re crazy there are more direct ways of going about it than throwing him up in the air and hoping he lands wrong. The humor in this to me is how often the “wrestling is fake” manta is trotted out in the mainstream press. It’s true, wrestling is scripted and they aren’t trying to hurt each other, until now apparently, so I guess Geraldo thinks that the guys really are trying to kill each other.

Finally, a mistake on Nancy Grace shows what is probably the clearest lack of research. One night she asked a guest if Benoit’s demotion from the elite Four Horsemen to Raw could have caused depression. It’s not wrong if you don’t follow wrestling to think that question makes sense, unless you’re hosting a national news program, in which case it just makes it clear you’re idea of research for your main story was to have an intern look at Benoit’s Wikipedia entry for a minute and a half and scribble down some notes. Even worse, she asked a similar question again the next night about whether Benoit's move to ECW was a demotion (Below are videos of Chris Jericho on her show where this all gets cleared up for her). If you’re still wondering what was so incorrect about that question here’s the shortest explanation I can give:

4 Horsemen = a group of four guys Benoit was a part of 8 years ago in a now defunct wrestling organization.
Raw = One of three separate brands on which wrestlers wrestle for WWE. Benoit had just been moved from Smackdown to ECW, to become the ECW champion on the show he missed on Sunday.

So, asking if he was demoted from the Four Horsemen to Raw is like asking if a football player is being demoted by being moved from the defensive line of the Miami Hurricanes to the Houston Texans (and then getting the team wrong on top of that).

What’s scary to me isn’t that reporters aren’t wrestling experts, it’s that they probably do just as little research when reporting on stories about politics, war, and other important major stories. Even worse, professional wrestling is way simpler than the other types of stories these networks cover on a daily basis.

***************************
Finally, here’s the video of Chris Jericho’s (One of the best wrestlers ever, friend of Benoit’s, and now semi-retired at a young age) appearance on Nancy Grace last night. He’s been the best and most articulate wrestler guest I’ve seen on these shows.

Chris Jericho Part 1

Chris Jericho Part 2

There, near the end of part 2 I think Nancy Grace sums up a lot of the media's problem here. She says she wants an answer like "it was steroids" so that she can feel more comfortable with what happened. She may want that to be a simple, comforting answer, even I may, it would be nice if we could just say that was it. Sadly though we can't and I think Jericho makes that point rather well.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Benoit Part 2: The Media’s Coverage and Some Context

Fair Warning: This post (or possibly these posts) will probably get a little long. Also, I haven’t really proof read them either, so there could be misspellings and such. Lastly, I’m not a doctor or psychologist, so my attempting to diagnose anything would be stupid. With that said, I have spent a lot of time over the years reading about the medical and psychological effects of activities such as wrestling, MMA, football, hockey and the impact of the drugs that their participants often use. Where I notice that I’m relying on my amateur knowledge of the effects of drugs or concussions to make an inference without something I could cite too (I don’t have time to properly cite this thing) I’ll put in an (*) to acknowledge that I’m just guessing.

Here are elements to this story I feel need to get more coverage to have a better understanding of what occured and have a better chance of making things better in the wrestling industry.

1) Chris Benoit’s 40 years before his monstrous acts of last weekend:

What makes this murder shocking isn’t that a man killed his wife and kid. While that’s about as heinous an act as a person can commit it happens far too often. What is really bizarre and strange is that the guy who did it was as highly respected in his profession as Benoit was. I’m in no way trying to resurrect his character, he doesn’t deserve that, I’m just trying to show how surprising these actions really were.

Before Monday you would be hard pressed to find a person who knew Benoit that had a negative thing to say about him. I’m not saying that as though I knew him (I’d never say that of someone I’ve only seen on television), I am saying that from the prospective of someone who has heard and read the comments of his co-workers for years, all praising him as one of the most solid and respectable guys they knew, one of the few guys that they seemed to trust enough to be honest with. In wrestling that is truly a rarity. When a wrestler looses his job, or retires, or just needs some extra cash he or she will often do what is called a shoot interview. Basically the idea of a shoot interview is to give your opinion on anything backstage, your fellow wrestlers (coworkers), your boss, anything, and sell it online. Obviously, as a result if you’ve ever pissed off anybody in wrestling it’s likely that you’ll be vilified eventually in an interview somewhere. Despite this all anyone ever heard about Benoit was glowing.

On the tribute show aired Monday before all the facts were known (at least on the eastern time showing, more on that in a later post maybe) various friends-coworkers gave their memories of Benoit (you can find them on youtube if you want). I’m sure most people look back to these statements retrospectively and say that his friends and coworkers were simply canonizing a guy because he died, that’s not the case though. Had you asked those same people for their thought on Benoit a week ago you would have gotten basically the same answers (albeit without the tears). That's why the fact this guy was a monster is so surprising.

Information has come out regarding previous troubles in Benoit’s marriage, in 2003 his wife Nancy filed for divorce and a restraining order citing threats to her and violent outburst where he had destroyed furniture. Does this mean there was a domestic violence problem in the marriage? Possibly, maybe even probably, honestly we’ll never really know whether, or how often, Benoit had been violent with his family before this weekend, we just know it happened to some degree. Either way it does show that there was some darker side to the guy described by so many that knew him as a great family man. It’s also in stark contrast to a man whom Linda McMahon described (on Good Morning America today) as taking off back home from the tour whenever he could to see his family, even if it was for only 4 or 5 hours. Honestly, it’s puzzling to try to figure out cases like this and we’ll never really have a full picture.

What I find particularly interesting is the description of his actions in the restraining order. He’s cited as threatening his wife and breaking furniture, that sounds pretty characteristic of roid rage (*). These rages are often described as outbursts of aggression, one former user has said his rages mirrored a much more violent version of a childish tantrum. Steroids effect everyone differently, but what is known is that the body stops producing enough testosterone naturally if steroids are abused and this often lead to a various levels of depression that don’t stop once you’re off steroids.

So, what does all this mean? In my summation it looked like Benoit was a class act to everyone around him, except for his wife and kid (at least at times often enough that she thought about leaving). I also think it shows that the media has run to quickly blame roid rage (to the exclusion of any other factors in many instances) for these murders. Steroids certainly played a part in creating an unstable Chris Benoit, but we won’t know if roid rage could have been a major cause specifically in the deaths until the toxicology reports come out in a few weeks. If roids were in his system the rage could have been a big part of the murders, but “roid rage” as the media is hyping doesn’t last for an entire weekend (* That’s what every roid abuser I’ve heard say anyway). Basically, roid rage can’t really account for as much of this as the media has credited it.

Until the reports do come I wish many of the major media outlets would stop their typical “guess at one simplistic answer (roid rage) and repeat it until it becomes a fact in the people’s mind.” While I’m very happy that the steroid (and other substance) issue is finally getting a level of scrutiny it has deserved for some time, I also think the truly disturbing/complex nature of these events can only be seen with a broader view of the situation. What follows are some issues that possibly (probably in my opinion) played as big a role in causing Benoit to snap.

2) The destructive wrestling lifestyle, it’s more than just steroids:

There truly is no off-season in pro wrestling. These guys work every week of the
year without ever really knowing when their next time off will be. While you can ask for and receive time off it’s not like many guys feel comfortable doing that until they’ve achieved a high level of success late in their career. (Benoit recently took 4 months off to spend with his family). Too many performers seem to let themselves get caught up on the never ending hamster wheel of touring, especially if they have a work ethic like Benoit was said to have.

Next, consider the physical trauma of their job. Sure, wrestling is scripted, but that doesn’t change the hits that a wresters body takes jumping, landing, and falling. As my favorite wrestler of all time (among a couple), Arn Anderson, once said about the level of wear on a wrestler’s body due to a match “it’s like getting into a car crash every night you go into that ring.” It’s not hard to see this either, talk to any former wrester and they’ll probably give you a laundry list of aches, pains, and future health problems their doctors have told them are just around the corner (if they’re old enough they’ll just tell you about their current health problems).

Because of this lifestyle it’s easy to see how so many wrestlers wind up taking various uppers to get themselves primed for show time, downers to be able to get rest afterward, steroids to keep their physique unnaturally ripped, alcohol to forget the fact you’ll be on the road for the foreseeable future, and of course pain killers to dull the pain. In many (most?) cases wrestlers who abuse drugs aren’t doing it for recreation, they’re doing it to function.

How is Vince McMahon supposed to remedy this? Simple, have definite (and sufficient) time off scheduled for each performer on the roster and stagger their time off so that WWE can still tour year round, it just won’t expect every wrestler to tour year round with it. It’s not like they can’t handle a guy’s absence, they have to do it often when guys get hurt (i.e. the Undertaker not too long ago).

3) Head trauma:

This is kind of a continuation of #2, but more particular to Benoit. His style was very high impact, former WWE wrestler, Harvard grad, and concussion expert Chris Nowinski had this to say; "he was one of the only guys who would take a chair shot to the back of the head, which is stupid.” On top of that Benoit utilized a lot of headbutts, including a diving headbutt from the top rope. That’s a lot of trauma on a part of your body that shouldn’t be rattled on that regular of a basis. As we are just now seeing with retired NFL players, repeated head trauma has a lasting effect, causing depression, mood swings, etc. (to see what I’m talking about google Andre Waters, an NFL player who recently committed suicide). Did repeated head trauma contribute? We might not know unless Chris Nowinski gets his wish, he’s trying to get Benoit’s brain analyzed. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard anything about this happening. If they don’t look at it one possible key element in this whole tragedy could go unrecognized.

Honestly, this factor is the most uncomfortable for me to think about. The head trauma of NFL players, NHL players, boxers, wrestlers, and mixed martial artists is basically a requirement in what they do. The only thing I think that can be done here is for Vince to hire psychiatrists and require mandatory periodic checkups (hopefully even brain scans).

4) WWE’s Drug Policy:

After the death of Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit’s best friend, WWE started a new, allegedly strict, “Wellness Policy.” At first it did seem to really be working (*), (even though their standards for a failed test were loose, there’s an article in the New York Sun that discusses this in more detail than I can here). As a fan you saw you could see many guys getting smaller, more natural looking (*). Also, you often heard about suspensions for violations. Eventually this seemed to change. Guys got bigger, suspensions seemed less frequent. Did the policy that WWE has continually cited help some? Yeah, but it didn’t seem to be enough, or at least not strictly enforced enough over time (not speaking for Benoit, just generally to keep guys off the juice).

The answer here is simple, make the Wellness Policy what it should be. Make the tests stricter (requiring lower levels for a failed test like the Olympics or MLB) and add a mental health component as described above.

5) Lastly, Just Plain Bad Genetics and Experiences:

The guy’s best friend died not to long ago, to hear him say how much that hurt him (if you don’t mind the creepy overtones of seeing Benoit discuss his best friend’s death) click here . If you don’t want to watch the video he holds himself together for most of it, saying how Eddie was the one guy he could go to with personal problems, was his best friend, etc. At the end he breaks down as he thanks Eddie for making such a positive influence in his life.

On top of Eddie’s death there was the story we just learned about his son’s Fragile X syndrome. Obviously this was hard on the family. For some letters from families who have had to deal with it click here.

BIG TIME (*) HERE (I’m not diagnosing this as what caused Benoit to do this, I’m just saying I read an article and noticed some similarities): Lastly, it’s long, but here’s an article about the psychology of fathers who kill their family, refered to as “family annihilators.” To shorten it here’s the most relevant part:

“The profile of a family annihilator is a middle-aged man, a good provider who would appear to neighbours to be a dedicated husband and a devoted father,' Levin said. 'He quite often tends to be quite isolated. He is often profoundly dedicated to his family, but has few friends of his own or a support system out with the family. He will have suffered some prolonged frustration and feelings of inadequacy, but then suffers some catastrophic loss. It is usually financial or the loss of a relationship. He doesn't hate his children, but he often hates his wife and blames her for his miserable life. He feels an overwhelming sense of his own powerlessness. He wants to execute revenge and the motive is almost always to "get even".'

Research from the States shows that family annihilators rarely have a prior criminal record. However, many experts believe there is often a prior pattern of domestic abuse. A report published two years ago in Britain by Women's Aid, called Twenty-nine child homicides, found that, out of 13 families studied, domestic violence was a feature in 11. In one of the other two cases, the mother spoke of her ex-partner's obsessively controlling behaviour.'To the outside world, these crimes seem to come out of nowhere,' continued Levin. 'The perpetrators have not previously been involved in criminal behaviour. Nor do they tend to be on drugs or drinking heavily when they commit the crime. However, if psychologists had seen them in advance, they would have spotted the warning signs. They would have noticed how the person reacted to things not going his way - the irrational rage and the blaming of others. These people often also regard their partner and children as their own possessions.'

In the majority of cases, if the perpetrator fails in his own suicide, as in the Hogan and Hall cases, they almost always plead some form of insanity.

But Levin rejected this: 'These are executions. They are never spontaneous. They are well planned and selective. They are not carried out in the heat of the moment or in a fit of rage. They are very methodical and it is often planned out for a long time. There are certain people the killer blames for his problems. If a friend came along, he wouldn't kill him or her. He kills his children to get even with his wife because he blames her and he hates her. The killer feels he has lost control. Annihilating his family is a way of regaining control. It is a methodical, selective murder by a rational, loving father. That's why it is so terrifying.'

Although these cases are more common than child murders by a stranger, they often do not receive the same media coverage. Part of the reason is that the perpetrator often takes his own life as well - meaning there is no court case. But Levin said he also felt people were reluctant to think too much about such abhorrent crimes.”

In conclusion, steroids certainly played a role in making Chris Benoit an unhealthy person, but there was a lot more that caused Benoit to have a complete mental breakdown and do what he did.

Benoit Part 1: How I Felt as the Story Broke

On Sunday I was about 30 minutes away from heading out to watch WWE’s pay per view when I read online that Chris Benoit wouldn’t be able to make it due to a “family emergency.” While it was out of the ordinary for Benoit to miss a show his absence was understandable given his reputation (obviously until Monday) as one of his profession’s preeminent family men. Since his match was my main motivation for going to watch it I decided to skip it.

Then Monday came along. I got a text from Angelina’s cousin asking what happened to Benoit, after sending a reply regarding his latest wrestling move (he was going to ECW), I figured something more serious might be what he meant. It was most certainly more serious.

As I logged onto the web I saw a picture of Benoit’s Face with 1967-2007 underneath it. After so many wrestling deaths I can’t say I was bowled over or anything to see that Benoit had died. Sure, I was still pretty surprised, but I had long worried that a guy built like Benoit, so much muscle with such a small frame, would eventually have his heart go out (ala Benoit’s best friend Eddie Guerrero). Then I read that his whole family had died, that’s when some shock set in. At first I figure something like carbon monoxide poisoning, but pretty quickly dismissed that as the police would have easily figured that out by the time I heard about the deaths. In a matter of minutes I quickly ran through the possible innocuous scenarios, but the rational side of me knew that none of the really could explain it.

By the time my sister called to make sure I had heard the news I had realized that this story would not be in any way normal and that there was no way for the entire Benoit family to be innocent. I had rationally figured there was a good chance Benoit had killed his family, but I still wasn’t able to fully comprehend it during the conversation. All I really thought at that time was that no matter what the story wound up being it was going to be really bizarre. In fact, Connie can probably attest to this fact as I continually repeated this thought during our conversation (probably more to reinforce this to myself than her).

Sadly, the situation was bizarre, way more bizarre than I figured then and it continue to get even more bizarre seemingly by the hour. Here’s how strange this whole thing is, my favorite active wrester died on Monday and I was never really sad about it, shocked for a few fleeting seconds, but never really sad. Moreover, I never will be sad about him dying. My thoughts and prayers still go out to the families impacted by this tragedy and others like it that occur all too often.

P.S. If you want to know where the best centralized location for news on the story is in my opinion I’d have to direct you to the Pro Wrestling Torch . It’s strange that a wrestling news site is the best place for real news, but then again this whole thing is strange.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rocky Jr. is My Neighbor

On top of all the other reasons Philadelphia (generally) and my apartment (specifically) are great here's one more. It's just to the right of the apartment building where Robert (Rocky Jr.) lives in Rocky Balboa. The Irish Pub that Rocky's son hangs out at after work (Pictured above and seen in 3 scenes in the film) is also across the street from my building. Ever since I moved in I thought it looked like the place in the movie, but I just today did some research and paused the movie to make sure since there is another Irish Pub like that in town.

Also, my building's entrance can be seen in one scene in the film. After Rocky's son exits the Irish Pub and heads across the street to his apartment (the building next to mine) Rocky stops him to let him know he's thinking of fighting again. Behind Rocky throughout the scene is the entrance to my place. If you've got the DVD this scene starts at 38 minutes and 54 seconds into the movie.

In a related note I played trivia at the bar next to the Irish Pub last night and it was pretty easy. So please people, come visit me so we can have a formidable team. As an added bonus we can reenact the scene from Rocky Balboa on the walk home across the street if you'd like. I'll even let you choose which character you'd like to be.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I'll Let Apollo Creed Speak For Me

After having lost my wallet and having somebody else eat my cheese steak you might think Philly would be annoying me by now, that's not the case. I'm still impressed with the town. There's pub trivia 5 nights a week (I did rather poorly last night), more historic American sites than you can imagine, a great job, friendly people (a surprise to me), great food, and highly informed baseball fans (since the Phillies are in the NL East it's easier to have a good conversation about the Marlins). To sum up my feelings on Philadelphia after one week here's a quote from Apollo Creed in Rocky 1 which I'm watching as I do laundry;

"Reporter: Apollo, how do you like the city of brotherly love?
Apollo Creed: Well, just being in Philadelphia makes me feel patriotic. Beautiful people in a beautiful city coming up to me on the street wishing me the best. I love my Philadelphia brothers and I'm proud to be an American."

Another Lesson from Philly

The first lesson was never pull money out of your wallet when you’re so tired you feel like a zombie. Today’s lesson is similar, never leave anything of your's unattended under any circumstances anywhere. Ever. Here’s the story.

I had my first cheese steak at Gino’s today, it’s the place across the street from Pat’s King of Steaks where a scene in Rocky was filmed. The food was great, but there's a lot more to this story.

After getting my order and sitting down I noticed that the tables had pictures of famous people who had eaten there, my table had a picture of Bill Clinton among others. I took one delicious bite out of my cheese steak and realized that I had forgotten to get napkins. So, I left my food and went about 10 feet to the condiment stand where I picked up my napkins. I tried to return to my table but noticed that my food wasn’t where it was before, but rather one table over which had a picture of Clay Aiken among others (what a step down). In addition to being in a new location there was a Gino’s “speak English” t-shirt and bumper sticker sitting there along with, what appeared to be, my cheese steak with a single bite taken out of it and a Pepsi. I was confused to say the least, I’m probably a little more patriotic than the average person, but I don’t think it’s so obvious that the owner’s of Gino’s would just throw free merchandise my way.

I decided I’d sit there for a little bit to make sure nobody wanted to claim the shirt, or what I thought was my sub. After about a minute and a half I decided I might as well eat, so I had the sub and decided to hand around a minute and see if somebody was missing a shirt. Eventually the guy one table over (in what turned out to be my original table), who looked startling similar to me, started to look for something. He turned around and asked if that was my shirt, I replied that it wasn’t it was just sitting there, so if he bought one it was probably his. At this point it became quite obvious to me that this guy had gone to get napkins at the same time I did and sat down at my table, so as a result we wound up eating each other’s subs with one bite taken out of them. While I had figured out what had happened, apparently the other guy didn’t, or just didn’t want to mention it. I sat there for a minute as he continued to eat, waiting for him to turn around and ask “hey, did we eat each other’s order’s?” but he never did. After a minute I thought that the whole interaction would be too awkward and just decided to leave.

I don’t know if the guy ever came to the realization that he ate my cheese steak and I his. Oh well, it tasted great no matter whose order it was.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Today's Reason to be Pround that You're an American:

We've got the hot dog eating record back!!!!!!

I've long been a fan of Takeru Kobayashi, the Japaneesse guy that comes over here every July 4th and wins the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. However, as much as I have enjoyed and respected Kobayashi's work I've also longed to see one of my countrymen rise up to challenge his gastrointestinal dominance. In last year's Nathan's Contest Joey Chestnut gave him a run for his money, this weekend Joey went ahead and took Kobayashi's record. Chestnut polished off 59 and a half hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes to win the southwest qualifier for this year's Nathan's Contest.

I'm thrilled we've got the record back, but don't get satisfied Joey, America needs you to take back that mustard yellow belt in about a month. If you need any motivation watch Rocky 4, it's always work for me.

Friday, June 01, 2007

First Night in Philly and Other Stuff

Remember last summer when the area where I worked always seemed to have slightly bizarre things happening around it? I'm not saying that where I live this summer will be anywhere near as entertaining as that, but out of my bedroom window I can see a Hollywood Tan tanning salon. I walked by while they were closing and saw the employees leaving. I guess they must get free tanning there or something because they looked like full sized Oompa-Loompas. Will these tanarexics be as menacing as last summer's chef infestation? I don't know, but it's a strong start.

In other news the Orlando Magic hired UF head coach Billy Donovan. I have mixed emotions about this. Yes, I'm a Cane, but I've never lost all of my affinity for the Gators and I really like what Billy had going on with UF's basketball program. With that said there was never a better time for him to leave than right now. So, hopefully UF can stay on track even with the loss of Donovan.

As for the analysis from the standpoint of the Magic; this move is easy to criticize, you can count on one hand the number of great college coaches who were able to successfully make the jump to the pros. With that said I still like this hire. The Magic have had a tendency to hire old(er) coaches that haven't exactly gotten all they could have out of younger players (though in many cases these young players were bad draft picks to begin with). The only exception to this was Doc Rivers, a younger coach who, for a time, got a lot out of role players and younger guys who hadn't been given a chance yet (Ben Wallace, Chucky Atkins, etc). Basically my hope is this, the young and flashy Donovan focuses on getting as much as he can from his very talented young base (Nelson, Darko, Ariza, and Howard) while we hopefully see some return on the investments in younger players who we draft like Redick, who Brian Hill hardly even tried to use last year.

Can Donovan be one of the few college coaches to make the jump successfully? Nobody knows, but he's got a great foundation so it's all pretty much up to him.

Lebron is this year's Wade and other stuff

After D-Wade had his coming out party in last year's playoffs it looks like Lebron figured it was time for his coming out party in this year's playoffs. Last night he had 48 points in the Cavs double OT victory in Detroit. Even more amazingly Lebron had 29 of the Cavs last 30 points, including all of the team's last 25 points. This is why I love basketball, because one man can load a team up on his back and will them to victory if he is good enough. In no other sport can this happen in exactly the same way; football: no, to many different position and you only play one side of the ball. Baseball: Same. Hockey & Soccer: If your goalie isn't good you don't have a chance.
Now I'm just waiting for the D-Wade vs Lebron match up in the playoffs. It's coming, hopefully next year.

I made it through security and am flying without an ID again. I'll be in Philly for the summer by 7:00 tonight. I'm very excited.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Rampage Wins!

The most charismatic athlete in the world today now has gold around his waist! I hated to see Chuck Liddell lose, but I love Jackson too much for that to really matter. Once again, if you're not watching MMA and the UFC right now you're missing out on the best sport going today.
Here are some quotes so you can understand my enthusiasm for Mr. Jackson;
"Interviewer: Rampage, what do you see in the future outcome of this fight?
Rampage: Man I ain't got no crystal ball, I just got two balls, know what I'm sayin?"
"That money would look GOOD in my pocket. I want the money, you know what I could do that with money. You dont know what i could do with that money, I could do some THANGS with that money"
"Quadros: where do you see yourself in 2 years?
Jackson: Lets see right now im 23, so in 2 years I see myself at 25"
Rampage describing his fighting style: "I fight whupdatass style"
Rampage describing how he got into MMA: "My friends from college took me to a show, and these wrestlers up their kicking ass. I was like damn, you could get paid for kicking ass, and you don't go to jail? Sign me up! 2 months later I was fighting dawg!"

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Random Thoughts and Observations While in Philly Part 2:

-First observation is never...EVER.... pull money out of your wallet the morning after you've had as tiring a day as I did yesterday. Have cash in your pocket and pull it from there with your wallet safely stored in your bag. If you don't follow this advice you might end up in my position, roaming downtown Philly with little money and no identification.
- I can offer a life tip from this experience: no matter what your state government tells you to do, do not cut up or discard your expired driver's licenses if you have them. Same thing with school IDs. I know that those in power will say that this could lead to Identity theft problems, but I'll tell you that they come in handy in my situation. I was fortunate enough to find my expired license and expired school ID in my bag. Hopefully this will be enough to get me back home (at least Southwest seems to say so). So, I might be dumb enough to lose my wallet at the MOST inopportune time ever, but at least I'm smart enough, or enough of a pack rat, to keep items which just became very valuable.
- I don't think a person can judge a city in only a couple of days, unless you're stranded in said city barely any money and no ID. In fact, I think a person in this situation can probably judge a city best. My opinion of Philly, love it even more today, every person I've interacted with so far has been really helpful and courteous. I'd have to say that Philly is beginning to challenge Miami for the title of "Adam's Favorite City in the Universe." They might pull into a tie by the end of summer.
- My new apartment has a pool on the roof with a view of the skyline. Also, it has an awesome gym. I don't think I'll be ready to leave in 10 weeks.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Random Thoughts and Observations While in Philly Part 1:

- I got about 15 minutes of relationship advice by eavesdropping on a woman's conversation on the way in to Center City. Apparently if you or your partner do 66% or more of the talking in a relationship your relationship has issues. She also said that to be a leader in a group you need to talk %10 more than the other people (by proportion) in your group (I didn't say that very clearly. Example: if you're in a group of 3 you need to do 43% of the talking). Glad to know I don't have to ready any self help books for a while thanks to that woman, she admitted to having read them all.

- Philly's public transit seems awesome so far. I love it. Now if only they could work on the airport...
- If you ever come to Philly do yourself a favor and take the public rail into downtown and then find a place to rent a car. I know it's adding extra steps, but if you go into Center City this way the town looks amazing. If you rent a car at the airport and drive north into the city your view will be tainted by the refineries and stuff.
- I owe much of my success in life to modern technology. After hearing some people on the airplane talking about the old days of having to type out term papers on typewriters I realized I never would have even gone to college if I had to do that.

- Lastly, if you're looking for entertainment this Saturday night then find a place in your area to watch UFC 71. I'm hoping for Rampage Jackson in an upset. He's probably the most charismatic athleat around today. He's a walking sound bite. If he were in any sport other than MMA you'd see him everywhere.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Hey, I realize this is a little late (there are only 5 minutes left in Mother's Day), but I finally found the right way to express to all the mom's out there how much we appreciate all you do. Thanks Mom, and take it away Mr. T.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Cure for the Brady Quin Blues.

A lot of fellow Dolphins fans are angry that the team didn't choose Brady Quinn with the ninth pick last Saturday. If you're one of those angry masses then this should cheer you up. It's a video of Reagan Mauia, the 300 pound fullback we drafted in the 6th round. I'll let the video speak for itself.

I'M THE JUGGERNAUT, BITCH!
credit to the Dan Le Batard for alerting me to this.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Small Bit of Substance

I've posted the video from Tuesday's Daily Show interview with John McCain. It's interesting since it's the first time I've heard one of the major presidential candidates answer any substantive questions any issue, here the only issue really discussed is Iraq. McCain's campaign is in a bit of trouble and I don't think he really helped or hurt himself with any of his answers, if you were likely to vote for him before the interview I don't think he lost you and if you weren't voting for him I don't think he did much to win you over either.

And here's part 2;

2 Things

First: This video is amazing. It's a guy making a behind the back, falling out of bounds, assisted by the net, basketball shot. Just watch it, I can't really explain it well.

Second: If you're looking for interesting PBS viewing I'm currently watching a show called Secrets of the Dead: The Battle for the Bible. It's a good documentary detailing the struggle to get an English translation of the Bible into the hands of everyday people. Here's a page with a description of the show and a place to check your local listings.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Dream Realized.

Last year during the summer I would occasionally see and chat with Darren, a guy I know from law school, on the bus to our jobs and at the gym in the afternoon. I became jealous of his job once I found out the firm he worked for had a really relaxed dress code, specifically Darren was able to wear shorts to work. As a result I half-jokingly told some people that I was only going to apply to the firm where Darren worked for my employment this summer (which is now only a couple weeks away). Well, when I said that to some friends a few months ago my dreams were dashed as they told me that Darren worked for an all Black law firm (Darren is an African-American). Luckily the story doesn't just end here anymore…

As most of you know I recovered from my disappointment and secured a job I wanted really badly with the RIAA this summer. Well, that news got even better yesterday. When talking with my boss about what days and hours I’d work she let me know that the dress code at the RIAA was really relaxed, so relaxed in fact that I could wear shorts! I suppose the moral to the story is never give up your dreams or something like that.

Friday, April 20, 2007

My Study Break This Weekend

Are You Like Me?
Are you…
1. A fan of boxing?
2. Disenchanted with the current state of that sport (even with the De La Hoya – Mayweather fight just around the corner)?
3. Looking for something to fill that void?






If any of the above statements describe you then watch (or record, or Tivo)
UFC 70 at 9:00 pm eastern on Spike Tv. Some of the best sports programming I’ve seen in the last year has been in the fast growing sport of mixed martial arts and this is a chance to watch what was supposed to be a pay per view event for free on basic cable (This fight card was originally intended to be broadcast on HBO, however the UFC and HBO couldn’t get a deal done in time).

If you’ve never watched UFC before, or if it has been a while for you, be sure to watch a few fights before you make up your mind one way or the other. What looks like a boring fight with two guys just rolling around to a beginner is likely a very exciting fight with both guys going for various submission moves.

Here are a few pages to read if you’re new to the UFC or mixed martial arts in general:

  1. General Facts On the UFC and mixed martial arts
  2. Rules of the UFC
  3. Descriptions of the fighting styles you'll see
  4. Video's of techniques used in the Octagon
  5. History of the UFC company

Also, I just realized that the countdown show to UFC 70 will be showing on Spike from 6:00-7:00 (followed by two more hours of some older fights being shown before the show), so that would be one good way to understand the background behind the fights taking place on the show at 9:00

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Enough Already

I can’t go to a news website without seeing pictures of the Virginia Tech killer holding weapons and looking menacing, I’m tired of it. The kid was disturbed, he was angry at the world, and he came to the conclusion that the only notable thing he would ever do with his life would also be the most despicable thing a person can do. He shipped a box to NBC with a lot of pictures and videos for one reason, because he wanted to go out and be remembered, for the world to hear him vent and complain. I understand people are curious to watch this stuff to understand how somebody could do such a thing (even I was at first), but they’re not going to find any definitive answers, the simple answer is that he was disturbed and wanted the world to see him to vent his frustration. The news companies are complying in making his dreams come true and I’ve given him 158 words too many. If I’m going to try to dissect anybody’s psyche in this whole situation I’d much rather look toward people like this holocaust survivor professor who dies saving his students.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Yeah, What He Said

This quote from Deadspin.com sums up how I'm feeling a little bit more often lately;

"not to be a big freaking cliche or anything -- "My Gosh, the inexorable forward march of time sure does strike me, as someone in my mid-twenties/early-thirties, as something that is unique and particular only to me!" -- but seriously, though: The fact that Drew Bledsoe retired yesterday legitimately does make us feel pretty old."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bat Boy and NCAA Bracketology

First off, let me make it clear that I'm pulling for UF to go all the way in the NCAA Tournament, both because of my past as a Gator and because my bracket depends upon it. With that said I have to make an observation. UF star Joakim Noah is one of the uggliest basketball players in the history of the game. We're talking Dennis Johnson level ugly here. Need proof? Here's Bat Boy from the Weekly World News

and here's Joakim Noah after winning last year's national title.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I'm making a visit to Orlando in a year

Ok, maybe I'll be there to visit before then, but certainly I'll be in Orlando on March 30, 2008 when WrestleMania 24 comes to the Citrus Bowl.
My only question is what are they going to do if it rains? I guess I might find out.

I've been busy...anybody need a t-shirt?

Work, job searching, school, my new entrepreneurial pursuit, that's why I haven't updated in a while. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel now though, so a more complete update is soon coming.
For now just enjoy these stupid things said in court.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

It's Spring Break week. I just want to let you guys know that if there were any way to make a living by just siting around watching the Game Show Network all day I would certainly do it.


I'm going to Philly tomorrow, so I've got to finish mapping out all the Rocky filming locations I want to visit.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Buy this month's Atlantic Monthly

Or just read this article from the link on their website. It's about effective cheap private schools in developing countries as opposed to under performing free government sponsored alternatives.

Wow

Last night I saw why mixed martial arts is the fastest growing sport in America. Let me set up the scene for the Heavyweight Title Fight.

Credentials: 2 time Lightweight Champion of the World, 2 time Heavyweight Champion of the World, UFC Hall of Famer.
However, Couture is 43 years old, he retired over a year ago after being knocked out in 2 of his last 3 fights. In his past he’s had trouble fighting large heavyweights and great strikers (boxers/kick boxers).

Now meet Heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia:

30 years old. 6 feet 9 inches tall, 265 pounds, so he’s a very large heavyweight. Also he’s one of the best strikers in the heavyweight division, largely because of his 86’ inch reach (11.5' inches longer than Couture's reach). He’s got a professional record of 25 wins and 2 losses. He's so tough that he broke his arm in a fight a couple of years ago and lied to a referee, denying it was broken, just so he could try to get his fight continued.

Here's a picture that should help you understand the size difference
All totaled, you can’t discount Couture, but it looked like it would be a tough return to the sport for him. Well, it didn’t work out that way. Couture dominated Sylvia in every way possible for all 5 rounds to become 3 time Heavyweigh Champion. It was truly one of the most amazing performances I’ve seen in sports in quite some time. It felt like I was watching a real life version of Rocky 6. If you get the chance I highly recommend you watch a replay or pick up the DVD of this when it comes out.