adj. lacking in vitality, force, or conviction; uninspired or uninspiring

The ancient Greeks felt that people are known by the heroes they crown. America is a nation of hero-worshippers. We hoist them on pedestals where the adulation lasts until someone better comes along or said hero’s reputation becomes tarnished. It’s during times of great national stress that our need for heroes becomes feverish. During such times, the crowning of a new hero makes us feel like things are gonna be OK…

By hook or by crook Tom Brady was on the path to becoming this year’s Super Bowl Hero and it appears the “stars” were aligned correctly because Tampa Bay won last night’s game by a mile. It was a strange game that really should’ve been played at the end of 2020 – a strange year. It would’ve made more sense.

In addition to being weird, the whole Super Bowl “experience” yesterday was lackluster.

Unlike the NBA which is fast-paced and athletes highlight their abilities by taking on a number of positions – all in a single game – footballers are defined by and confined to their positions on a team. As a result, at any given point in time there are very few NFL players who are EXCITING to watch. Their team may not win the game, but you sure as hell have a good time watching “that guy” do his thing – and do it with PIZZAZZ. Patrick Mahomes is one of those guys.

Even when struggling under the Buccaneer’s defensive line, watching him throw passes was still magic. He reminds me very much of Steph Curry (PT/SG for the Golden State Warriors). Whether on the court or the field both men OOZE pure joy. They are loving what they’re doing! (No small feat in the the “No Fun League”.) But aside from watching Mr. Mahomes, the rest of Super Bowl LV felt soulless – and that goes for the commercials. (In what universe could anyone call those “Super Bowl Ads”?)

Yep, in spite of Brady’s win at home (a first in Super Bowl history) I doubt if it will be remembered as memorable in any way.

If not for the wonderful company and good food, I would’ve changed the channel…

A small shoutout to the Halftime Show. Although I couldn’t stand the singer it was visually entertaining. I especially liked the backdrops and the lights on the dancers’ gloves but what was up with those mask-like face coverings? They reminded me of what Claude Raines’ character wore in The Invisible Man.

In terms of excitement, Kitten Bowl 2021 was more thrilling BUT I do have a couple of beefs:

  • What a lame excuse for their Kitten Halftime Show. I’m seeing more and more of this and it sucks: running video clips found on the web. If I wanted to watch video clips of cute cats I can see those anytime, anywhere. It was a cheap move which I hope they don’t repeat next year.
  • Hallmark’s website for the Kitten Bowl usually showcases the teams and profiles each of the cat-aletes. They did neither this year.
  • I was also disappointed they didn’t have the Cat-lete Card Creator where you can upload a photo of your cat and create your own Kitten Bowl Trading Card. Diego has three:  2017, 2018, and 2019.

Thank God(dess) football season’s over.
Now we can all focus on BASKETBALL.

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Before I get to 2020’s MLB and NBA season, I’d like to give props to three other sports organizations that have kept us entertained during these MADNESS-driven months:  WWE, AEW, and UFC.

UFC’s Dana White never took “never” for an answer and has given us some fantastic matches. Kudos! Of the two wrestling factions, AEW is clearly the winner but fans are still happy to have WWE provide weekly entertainment.

The 2020 MLB season is finally here! Double-header tonight starting NOW on ESPN. More on Friday. The NBA re-starts the season next week on July 30, 2020. Since the Warriors are out of the picture…GO CLIPPERS!!!! GO KAWHI!!!

On The Herd this morning, Colin suggested that the broadcasting companies place fans in the stands via CGI. That’s a fantastic idea and I hope the PTB listened in.

Before I go, here are a couple of sports-related ads I’ve seen this week that are particularly awesome. (See if you can spot one cat-lovin’ baller in the second video.)

(Now, back to the game…)

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Jericho Delivers

During this time of MADNESS when sports entertainment companies are taping shows in empty arenas, AEW has consistently outshined WWE – largely due to their recruiting “…a loud contingent of wrestlers to take the place of fans and add an energy to the room that might otherwise be lacking.

On last night’s Dynamite, Chris Jericho joined Tony Shiavone in the broadcast booth to add his unique style of color commentary.

Bleacher Report:

This week, it was Chris Jericho filling in on color commentary—making what might have felt like a lifeless display of wrestling-by-the-numbers feel very vibrant and alive.

It shouldn’t really come as any surprise that Jericho sat down, sipped a bit of the bubbly and totally owned the broadcast booth. He’s been owning everything he does in a wrestling ring for almost 30 years now.

He didn’t just fill time or manage to get by without embarrassing himself. He actively added to the show throughout, a complete and utter delight in a time when we all could use a smile or two.

It’s not just that he was funny throughout—though he was. What took his appearance to the next level was the way he managed to get the talent over in the ring while also delivering line after funny line.

Best of all was his infectious enthusiasm. He wasn’t in pure heel mode. He was the obnoxious Chris Jericho we love to hate, sure, but the version of Chris Jericho who didn’t try to hide that, in his heart, he’s a wrestling fan just like us.

Jericho is a jewel. Here are my favorite “Jerichoisms” from last night:

“Shaking hands and kissing babies didn’t get Chris Jericho anywhere.
He made it when he started kissing hands and shaking babies!”

“She went from Ace Frehley to Gene Simmons in the same match!”

“There better be a wardrobe malfunction here.”

(referring to AEW’s Production Team)
“Even if they are a bunch of idiots.”

“I’m animated!”

“He almost spent 30 days in the doghouse…”

“Shut up, Pineapple Pete!”

(to Ref Aubrey Edwards)
“Count faster!”

“That’s the smartest thing you’ve said all day, Tony.”

“He’s got that Canadian tenacity.”
(Chris being Canadian himself…)

(to Tony Schiavone)
“I’ve been doing this for 30 years – I know you’ve been doing it for about 115…”

(referring to Cody Rhodes)
“Cody Exotic”

And check out this HILARIOUS clip from last week’s Dynamite:

Watch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 5:00pm PT on TNT.

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Wrestlemania 36

The 36th annual WrestleMania marked the first time the “Super Bowl of sports entertainment” was broadcast over two nights. Due to the MADNESS it was filmed at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL SANS live audience.

I knew going in that this year’s WrestleMania wasn’t going to be an over-top spectacle like it normally is, but it still seemed strangely FLAT. Simply put, it lacked ENERGY. The wrestlers most certainly “brought it”, but there was very little color commentary (Where the FUCK was Gronk?) and no cheering/heckling from the sidelines (Where the fuck WAS Gronk!?!). I reiterate:  Where the FUCK was Gronk during the matches? If he was ringside the whole time why weren’t we hearing from him? What a waste of his talent and personality. It would’ve been great having him join Michael Cole as a Commentator. I blame WWE for this mis-step.

As far as the matches themselves go the women of WWE provided the most entertaining, energetic, and loudest matches of the two-night event (Winners in BOLD):

  • WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship: The Kabuki Warriors (C) vs Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross (Cross has enough wild energy to power the states of California and New York – combined!)
  • RAW Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (C) vs Shayna Baszler
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship Fatal 5-Way: Bayley (C) vs Sasha Banks vs Naomi vs Lacey Evans vs Tamina
  • NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (C) vs Charlotte Flair

Kudos ladies!

My next favorite match was the Triple Threat Ladder match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship, with reigning champion (along with The Miz) John Morrison defeating Jimmy Uso (of USOS) and Kofi Kingston (of New Day) , thus retaining the belts for himself and The Miz.

Saturday night ended with the Boneyard Match between The Undertaker and AJ Styles – with ‘taker putting Styles 6 feet under!

The other five matches were anticlimactic for me – especially the WWE Universal Championship title match between Braun Strowman (last-minute substitution for Roman Reigns) and Goldberg (C). That one was way too short.

I was upbeat about Sunday’s matches, but only two stood-out:

  • Otis vs Dolph Ziggler – with Otis winning the match AND the girl (Mandy Rose).
  • Last Man Standing which pitted Edge (winner) against Randy Orton. This was a grueling fight that took us backstage, around to the main stage, then behind-the-scenes once more for the grand finale.

I was very disappointed in the Firefly Fun House match. I expected “The Fiend”/Bray Wyatt (with the help of his creepy little “friends”) to subject John Cena to something more twisted and perverted than what transpired. Yawn. (Although I LOVED the Vince McMahon puppet, complete with horns.)

I opted-out of the main event [Drew McIntyre defeated Brock Lesnar (C) for the WWE Championship belt] in order to watch this week’s episode of Westworld.

(There’s always next year – where WrestleMania 37 will take place in Hollywood!)

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This Weekend’s Not Just For Sports Fans!

ESPN has grabbed COVID by the reins and stepped-up the sports game, providing a weekend of FUN SHIT! Stock-up on beer (Corona?) and pizza.

Saturday:  UFC Day

All times are Eastern

  • Noon-3pm:  UFC 25 Greatest Fights: Nos. 1-4
  • 3-4pm:        Demetrious Jonson vs Henry Cejudo 2
  • 4-5pm:        Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz (both fights)
  • 5-5:30pm:    Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustaffson 1
  • 5:30-6pm:    Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs Dan Henderson
  • 6-7pm:         Kelvin Gastelum vs Israel Adesanya
  • 7-8pm:         Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Conor McGregor
  • 8-11pm:        UFC 244: Masvidal vs Diaz

(This is the FUN SHIT right here…)

Sunday:  OCHO 8

All times are Eastern

  • Midnight:  Johnsonville ACL Cornhole Championships: 2020 Kickoff
  • 2am:        World Axe Throwing League: 2019 World Championship
  • 4am:        U.S. Open Ultimate Championships
  • 6am:        2019 Spikeball College Championship
  • 7am:        2019 Las Vegas Highland Games
  • 7:30am:    Putt Putt Championships
  • 8am:        2019 IDEAL Electricians National Championship
  • 9am:        E:60 as part of The Ocho
  • 9:30am:    51st National Stone Skipping Competition
  • 10:30am:  2007 World Sport Stacking Championships
  • 11:30am:  2019 World Sign Spinning Championship
    (Hands down, my favorite. These spinners ROCK!)
  • Noon:       2006 Krystal World Hamburger Eating Championship
  • 1pm:        2006 Johnsonville Brat Eating World Championship
  • I’m a BIG fan of Japanese competitive eater
    – and Guinness World Records holder –
    Takeru Kobayashi
    (who WON both competitions)

  • 2pm:        European TramDriver Championship
  • 3pm:        2019 Stupid Robot Fighting League
  • 3:30pm:    46th Annual Cherry Pit Spitting Championship
  • 4pm:        Professional Arm Wrestling Championships
  • 4:30pm:    2019 Golden Tee World Championship
  • 5pm:        2018 Classic Tetris World Championship
  • 5:30pm:    E:60 on ESPN 8 Presented by Liberty Mutual
  • 6:30pm:    America’s Dodgeball Continental Cup: USA vs Canada
  • 7:30pm:    2019 Jelle’s Marble Runs
  • 8pm:        Slippery Stairs: College Tour
  • 8:30pm:    2019 Death Diving World Championship
  • 9:30pm:    Dodge Juggle 3
  • 10:30pm:   Moxie Games 3

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