Monday, December 31, 2007
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
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
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
Friday, November 23, 2007
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
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
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.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Here's the commercial from back in the day.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
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.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I'm really excited about the interview. I can't wait, the rest of the stuff is just icing on the cake.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
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
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
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
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
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
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
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
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
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
- 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
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.''
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
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
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
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
Friday, July 06, 2007
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:
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
Friday, June 29, 2007
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
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.
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
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
"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."
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
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
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
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
- 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
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
And here's part 2;
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
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.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
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:
- General Facts On the UFC and mixed martial arts
- Rules of the UFC
- Descriptions of the fighting styles you'll see
- Video's of techniques used in the Octagon
- 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
Thursday, April 12, 2007
"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
and here's Joakim Noah after winning last year's national title.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
My only question is what are they going to do if it rains? I guess I might find out.
For now just enjoy these stupid things said in court.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
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
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.