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

ℳ –

Saving the Day from COVID-19

In the midst of the craziness surrounding the current pandemic – where the World of Sports has metaphorically died – an unlikely white knight has arrived to save us from being bored to death:  Professional Wrestling. I for one will be eternally grateful.

Last Friday, WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) aired Smackdown – minus live audience – from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL. It was awkward and apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought so:

WWE SmackDown’s Empty Arena Show Was Weird and Important

It was a different atmosphere on SmackDown before any WWE broadcast before it. The seats in the Performance Center were empty, and there were no reactions during entrances or matches. Triple H opened the show by explaining that the Performance Center is typically used for training future talent and reassured the WWE Universe that they wanted to help them forget about the outside world and put a smile on their faces.

While there was plenty of awkward silence and limited in-ring action, Triple H’s commentary has been praised for its laid back and insightful nature. WWE even still continued the build to WrestleMania…

The big draw leading up to Wrestlemania was the announcement that former NFL Footballer and über personality, Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski is joining the ranks of WWE. In addition to Gronk hosting this year’s Wrestlmania, the “Super Bowl” of wrestling will make history as the first to span multiple nights (April 4-5, 2020) and will be available on PPV and the WWE Network. Wrestlemania 36 also marks the return of the Undertaker (going one-on-one with AJ Styles in a “coffin match”, ‘natch) and a personal favorite of mine, Goldberg – who will be defending his WWE Universal Championship against Beefcake Roman Reigns.

Last night, AEW did a better job with TNT’s Dynamite. While also airing sans live audience, they managed to infuse the two-hour show with plenty of energy and razzle-dazzle.

Matt Hardy Debut Puts Exclamation Point on Surreal AEW Dynamite

The show opened the only way it could, with the one man capable of making sense of this strange time in professional wrestling in the ring by his lonesome…Cody Rhodes stood straight and tall and set the tone for the equally impeccable show to follow.

“Recent events have really put into perspective how small we all are,” Cody said…”It has also clarified for me how big and how important the service we provide is.”

On the independent scene, where wrestlers work without guarantees, the potential of months passing without an opportunity to earn their keep has created a minor panic.

Wrestling needed a win—and AEW delivered.

From the opening match between Best Friends and The Lucha Bros to the reveal of Brodie Lee as The Dark Order’s Exalted One, to the tremendous six-man tag between The Elite and Inner Circle, the show was firing on all cylinders…

AEW, perhaps learning from its rival’s example, made a subtle adjustment to the empty-arena concept, having heels come sit on one side of the ring and babyfaces on the other. Their energy and enthusiasm helped fuel the performers in the ring and brought what might have felt like an emotionless display of acrobatics to life.

“As a new company, AEW doesn’t have as much financial security as WWE at a time like this. As Omega said, we don’t even know if there will be a show next week, but the Superstars appeared dedicated to putting on the best show they could.” link

I’m hoping that doesn’t happen. WWE may have the big name, but AEW has the better show. There’s some real wrestling going on there…and great commentating by the inimitable Jim Ross.

ℳ –

My Top 5 Favorite Super Bowl 54 Commercials

‘Kayso even though I did NOT watch the game yesterday (Another FUCK YOU Award has been issued) I DID tune in to the commercials.

The past decade (at least) the Super Bowl Commercials have been boring, lame, or both. This year I was pleasantly surprised by how funny, clever, and (sometimes) touching they were. Yeah there were still a few duds, but they were in the minority.

So here are my 5 top picks:

  1. Rocket Mortage: Get Comfortable – featuring Beefcake Jason Momoa
  2. NEXT 100 || NFL Super Bowl LIV Commercial – the commercial seamlessly morphed into live footage. Brilliant and very emotionally charged. (How many NFL Super Stars can you spot?)
  3. Facebook Groups: Ready to Rock? – I’m not a fan of Facebook, but I like their commercials – especially this one that uses Twisted Sister‘s “I Wanna Rock“. \m/\m/ (and how ’bout those cameos by Chris Rock and Sly…)
  4. Well, it wasn’t the Super Bowl Halftime Show but hopefully that put a smile on Dee Snider’s face.

  5. Walmart: Famous Visitors – I literally DESPISE Walmart, but I have to admit this one made me laugh out loud!
  6. Cheetos: Can’t Touch This – It’s Hammer Time!

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

  • Tide: Laundry Later – A very clever series of commercials with a running gag!

  • Doritos: The Cool Ranch – featuring Lil Nas (Loved his horse!) and Sam Elliott.
  • Amazon: Before Alexa (Again, all about the cameos.) – DRAGON!
  • Discover: No, We Don’t Charge Annual Fees (More cameos…)
  • Michelob Ulta: Jimmy Works Out – featuring Jimmy Fallon and Jon Cena.
  • T-Mobile: Mama’s Tests – featuring Anthony Anderson and his Mom (Who are you in a club with? LOL!)
  • Jeep: Groundhog Day – featuring Bill Murray (Natch!), Sonny & Cher, and the cutest groundhog EVER!
  • Toyota: “no title” – featuring Cobie Smulders (I just had this washed.)

ℳ –

Reflecting on yesterday’s tragedy

By now most of you have heard about the tragic death of former NBA star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other passengers. I became a basketball aficionado pretty recently so I never saw Kobe play, but I do know that he ranks among the top NBA players EVER. What I do remember is that Kobe – along with Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Michael Jordan – was a name you recognized even if you didn’t follow sports.

A few things about him I did not know until yesterday:

  1. His NBA career spanned 20 years – all with the L.A. Lakers.
  2. He grew up in Italy and played on the “Cantine Riunite” youth team in the early 1990’s.
  3. He is considered one of the elite NBA players of all time; and of those only Chamberlain, Moses Malone, and now Kobe Bryant are no longer living.
  4. In 2018, he won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film (Dear Basketball) which was based on a poem he wrote when he announced his retirement.
  5. He started the Mamba Sports Academy in Southern California.

Like I said, I wasn’t familiar with his basketball prowess. Hearing about those killed – especially the young people who were aboard the helicopter – was heartbreaking. The young lives cut short. But most of all, I thought of those they left behind who began their day like any other day, not knowing they would never see their loved ones again. When accidents like this happen in the public eye it reminds all of us just how short our time on this planet can be; and while my first thought was that we should “live today like it’s our last”, the Fort Worth-Star Telegram said it best in this editorial:  A wish for Kobe Bryant’s family: They were all in a good place with nothing left unsaid.

ℳ –

Beefcake::Derrick Henry

n.  an attractive man with well-developed muscles

In the run-up to this Sunday’s final playoff games, I thought it would be appropriate to do a Post on an NFL player who’s not only BEEFY but (as the league’s leading rusher) is red-hot right now.

Derrick Henry
Running Back for the Tennessee Titans

A growing number of Titans have jumped on the plant-based band wagon – a movement started by Henry. (2018)

“What started as a couple’s personal undertaking has become a full-fledged Titans plant-based meal movement that is entering Year 2 of the program. It began when Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan decided to try a plant-based diet nearly a year-and-a-half ago, enlisting the help of his wife, Charity, to join him and re-educate herself to cook vegan. Morgan’s teammates saw, smelled and tasted the food that his wife made during the 2017 season. One-by-one, players asked to join the vegan meal plan, and they were sold.”

ℳ –