Saturday, January 31, 2009

UFC 94: Two Sentence Predictions.

St. Pierre shows Matt Hughes the benefits of tight, tiny, "junk enhancing" shorts.

The trouble of having the fight of the year in January, is that there are still 11 months to get beat out. BJ Penn and George St Pierre face off tonight in what I feel should be the best fight in recent memory. Before we get there though, there are 4 other fights on the televised card, so without further come dem picks.

Clay Guida vs. Nate Diaz (LW):
How long before Guida goes for a take down and ends up in a guillotine? I say Round 2. Diaz submits Guida

Karo Parisyan vs. Don Hyung Kim (WW):
If Karo comes mentally ready to fight, he should be able to use his "gorilla strength" to peel the Korean banana. This one is going to the cards with Karo "The Heat" Parisyan the victor.

Stephen Bonnar vs. Jon Jones (LHW):
It's hard for me to pick Stephen "Gatekeeper" Bonnar, being he hasn't beaten anyone outside of a decision victory over Kieth Jardine. If Jones can be the first black guy in the UFC to actually show some ground defense I like his chances. Jones via KO in the 2nd.

Lyoto Machida vs. Thiago Silva (LHW):
A bout between two Brazilian undefeated fighters. Machida is on another level and he'll show why he deserves the title shot tonight. Machida via decision

BJ Penn vs George St Pierre (WW):
I love BJ Penn, but he will need a perfect performance to win this. St. Pierre puts his name in with Anderson Silva and Fedor Emelianeko as the best pound for pound fighter on the earth with a victory tonight. St. Pierre wins via TKO Round 3.

A special thanks to Julio, for if not for him I would have to be at work during these occurrences of fisticuffs.

Sean "The Muscle Shark" Sherk loses a row of teeth after being floored by Penn.


The Aftermath: (Spoiler Alert)

UFC 94 in a word was "anticlimactic". All but two fights went the distance towards a decision, but they were entertaining battles. The event did set a very good foundation for the rest of the year though. Guida levels up, BJ Penn gets to go back to lightweight and get that division moving again. Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida proved why 205 is the best weight division in all of MMA and GSP just might be the best fighter anyone has ever seen. Though only one of my predictions came true, I still got 4 out of the five winners correct. The following is a breakdown of the now its time to get down.

Guida defeats Diaz via decision: Except for a couple of kimura attempts, Guida controlled the fight. Just goes to show that wrestling has it's place in MMA and like it or lump it fighters should learn take down defense and escapes.

Parisyan defeats Kim via decision: Just like I called it, but this one could have gone either way. Much more interested in Kim's future than Parisyan's right now, even though Karo is coming off a very significant injury.

Jones defeats Bonnar via decision: (you noticing a trend?): I'm not sure if Jones was ever really in trouble. The spinning elbow was a nice strike, but totally illegal as it landed behind Bonnar's head. Only 21 years old is Jones and he looks like another Anderson Silva in the making (sans the bjj skills).

Machida defeats Silva via KO: (finally a finish): It finally happened, Lyoto got around to knocking someone out. Silva may have landed a few punches, but was otherwise rendered ineffective due to Machida's speed and technique. Can't believe I've got to wait for Rampage Jackson to fight Jardine before we see Lyoto challenge for the title. Machida vs. Evans would be a spring/summer blockbuster fight, but you know...politics and all.

St. Pierre "works" Penn to a referee stoppage: The guy doesn't stop evolving and he may hold the belt until 2011 or so. Also, why boo Thialgo Alves? That fight is gonna be butter.

Great card on paper, but the night overall held very few surprises or notable moments. Affliction thus far has the best card of the year.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

R.I.P OG Helio Grace

You probably have heard of Royce Gracie, but his impact on MMA couldn't hold a candle to his father's contributions to the world of martial arts.  Helio Gracie died this morning at the age of 95.  14 years after his brother and co founder of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Carlos, passed.  To put it briefly they developed a style of combat where differences in strength and athleticism were overcome by the perfection of a technique.  Gracie Jiu Jitsu uses leverage to end conflicts instead of solely relying on strikes.  I've never taken a single jiu jitsu class, but the proof is in the product.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is in the tool box of any top mixed martial artists.  They have Master Helio Gracie to thank.

If every senior citzen could kick my ass the way Helio could've, I wouldn't cut in line so much at Golden Corral.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Wrestler: A Movie Long Overdue

Before you go see this movie, do yourself a favor and view this list of wrestlers that have died since 1985 (The year of the first WrestleMania) before the age of 65 (average retirement age). The list doesn't just include wrestlers, but also people who played vital roles in producing this sort of entertainment (referees and managers). The list is riddled with world famous stars, young men who died in tragic accidents, classic cases of depression leading to drug abuse and men who just didn't know when to quit, or at least refused to give up the spotlight. The Wrestler follows the latter.

Considering how popular pro wrestling used to be and the success of Mick Foley's book about his career in the sport, I would have thought that a movie like The Wrestler would of been made about ten years ago. Focused on the twilight of his career, the film follows the trials and tribulations of a once famous pro wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke) as he flips between retirement and further risking his health in an high impact sport. As a former avid pro wrestling fan the movie definitely found a home, but like the main character it has it's share of flaws.

Randy's path downward is like that of a washed up rock star, which in turn makes the movie predictable in some respects. You know he is going to stay on the path of self destruction, but you find yourself hoping otherwise to no avail. There's a formula at work, but it doesn't ruin the movie. The acting and pace keep your mind off the fact that there isn't much to the story you haven't heard or seen before.

Marissa Tomei's plays a stripper...I'll let that sink in, because it took me an hour after the movie to realize that I saw Marrisa Tomei shake what her mother gave her...let's just say her mother has good taste. As an aging stripper struggling to make money, her character parallels that of Randy's successfully, creating another arena he needs to find balance within.

Overall The Wrestler is a gripping film that forces the audience to share the roller coaster that is Randy's life. Though the film is mildly formulaic, it is also one of the few movies I would pay full price to see again. Also gives you something to think about next time you are channel surfing and come across today's wrestlers following the same path.

Also got to see GlenGary GlenRoss this weekend. Just got to say this may be one of the best scenes ever in any movie ever...ever! Definitely one to check out if you haven't yet.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

You Know Who is Awesome...

...EXILE...Thats who is awesome

Check out his new album "Radio". It's very easy on the ears. He also looks like my old friend Ben Shelton I used to go to high school with. He was really good on a bmx and built his own truck. Last time I saw him it was at Buffalo Wild Wings a few years back and he was still really nice. But yeah,...Exile...check him out.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Real Niggas Don't Wear Snuggies

I went back to Richmond for the holidays and during my visit I stopped by the Nelson household to wish them a festive yuletide. Upon walking into their home I thought I may have stumbled upon some weird ritual or wizard convention. Shaun's wife Angela was wearing one of these:

That my friends is a Snuggie. The blanket you can wear around the house and that better be the only place you wear it unless you want to be permanently hugging yourself in your all white state issued Snuggie.. I laughed a lot at her fleece night gown and even dawned it myself for a second. OH the comfort!

I had yet to see the commercial for the Snuggie at that time, but when I did I remembered why I've never bought anything from an infomercial. It's always the same people overly enthralled with the product in question. Dozens of people smiling like lobotomized Wal-Mart greeters pretending to do "everyday things" made easier by way of the Slap Chop.

A good reason for this personal ban is that I'm not a rich man. I won't lie, when I saw the ads for the Shamwow and Magic Putty I gave serious thought towards breaking my oath to not buy into products that can't make their way to an actual bricks and mortar store. If Target choses to stock a cookie shaped cookie jar instead of your product then you really need to step your game up.

My favorite infomercial product of all time would be a commemorative plate of anything. From Obama to Operation Desert Storm to the television series Good Times, people must have the need to show their support through their fine china. Personally I'm waiting for the Oakridge Boys commemorative plate series.

Hey check it out...I made a comic strip. Click to enlarge:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pigeon Forge: The Ressurection

Forgive me for staying on this topic too long, but here is one photo that I wanted to post.

This is what happens when Asians and blacks team up to eat pancakes.  Bears get effed up on the real.  Look at Dave scurry up that tree!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pigeon Forge: The Dead Blog

Updating on my 18 hour vacation to Dollywood, I regret to inform you that I was only able to take one picture during my visit.

On my way back, we stopped at Flapjack's Pancake Cabin. I didn't eat a scale model cabin made out of pancakes, but I did eat a lot of blueberries and drink a lot of coffee. Unable to purchase batteries for my digital camera (Tennessee law prohibits the sale of batteries to black people on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays) I started to feel bad that I didn't have any souvenirs of my time in Pigeon Forge excluding the harmonica I bought at the gas station. So while we ate I snapped this picture of Captain Lou Albano's lesser known brother, Ensign Phil Albano, from under the table.

Thus caps my trip to Pigeon Forge/Dollywood/Gatlinburg, Tennessee. If I learned anything from this trip, it is that I need to keep doing new things. Even if that means driving two hours to a tourist trap so shameless that it would make Graceland blush.

Here's to you Cpt. Lou...wherever you are.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee: Live Blog

Where the hell am I?

What the hell is this place?

Who moved Myrtle Beach to the mountains?

Where can I find a "Can't Touch This: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina" t-shirt besides my father's dresser?

I'm in Pigeon Forge....not to be confused with Pigeon Ford.

So Dave came into town on his way to chill with his cousins at this log cabin in Sevierville, TN and I decided I would take my 18 hours off from work to do something new. My biggest regret is that I didn't buy any batteries for my camera before I left. Not only is this the home of Dollywood...

...but it's also the home of outlet shopping and all-you-can-eat buffets (that's not a fat joke). It's like I woke up in BF Mangino's heaven...

...(okay that was a fat joke). You can also play a round of mini-golf on a go-kart track while eating your body weight in pancakes here in Pigeon Forge. I have my heart set on a trip to Flap Jack's Pancake Cabin in the morning. If it's anything like I'm expecting I should be devouring a scale model cabin constructed entirely out of pancakes in mere hours.

On the way here I got stink-eyed from some guy at the gas station and then I ate a very mediocre sandwich at the Atlanta Bread Company, which I assume is Ted Turner's attempt at a Panera.

I think I'll stick with Panera where they don't build your hopes up for some good ol' potato soup only to tell you "We're all out of bread bowls". If you introduce the option of turning my dishes into food...don't take it away from me in the blink of an heart can't take the torture.

Any way...back to Pigeon Forge.

Where the hell am I?

I will try my damndest to get some pictures on the way out tomorrow.