Archive for October, 2009

Pass the Mic

Posted in MMA with tags , , , on October 28, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley
gold-rogan

Golberg & Rogan neither look nor sound the part of a quality broadcasting duo.

“The Ultimate Fighter” series got it right by broadcasting fights with raw sound clips.  There is no noise from an audience. The sounds from the arena mainly consist of the combatants’ teammates yelling words of encouragement.  The absolute best thing about TUF, above anything else, is that there are no commentators to jabber on pointlessly during the fight.

Those of us who forked over $50 for UFC104 were afflicted to listening to Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg sound like a couple of high school girls with a crush for Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

Rogan and Goldberg were not at all objective for Machida-Rua.  Their support was clearly in favor of Shogun.  Machida-Rua was not the brutal display of disciplined violence that was anticipated, although you wouldn’t know that by listening to Rogan & Goldberg.

Rogan and Goldberg showered Rua with praise in every exchange with Machida.  It could have been because Rua actually kinked Machida’s seemingly invincible armor or maybe because the UFC wants Anderson Silva to move up to light heavyweight.  Silva said he would not commit to a run at light heavyweight as long as his teammate and good friend, Lyoto Machida, was champion.  With Shogun as champ, it would open the flood gates for the Spider to run through that division as well.

I really don’t want to go the whole conspiracy route, but nothing is lamer than Rogan and Goldberg’s calling the action for the UFC.  The UFC should hire HBO’s Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant to help polish Rogan and Goldbergs’s skills.  In fact any major boxing broadcasting team could teach these 2nd rate hacks how to properly call a fight.  Both of them should drop their pom-poms and cheerleading act. It’s pitiful and they sound like a couple of bitches.

There are two sides to every fight.  Both sides should be heard.  Every person who steps in the cage deserves the same amount of respect as the other.  Rogan and Goldberg should be thrown in the cage as a painful reminder of that every athlete deserves a fair shake.

Advertisements

NFL Throwdown Week 7

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , on October 27, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley
  • Joining Vernon Davis in the “Back From the Dead Club” is Alex Smith.  He played great in a surprise appearance against the Texans.  A late rally against the Texans is nothing to sneer at.  Hopefully Smith can continue where he left on off on Sunday and keep himself out of the Ryan Leaf and Andre Ware conversations.
  • The Texans are finally realizing their potential and did so by staying healthy.  Then Andre Johnson gets hurt.  Kevin Walter go ahead and pinch yourself.  You’re the #1 receiver now.
  • The Packers got their confidence builder before their rematch with Favre & the Vikings by demolishing the Browns.  Let’s start a pool on when Derek Anderson will complete at least 50% of his passes.
  • The NFL’s biggest studio gangster, Larry Johnson, rips head coach after another embarrassing loss.  LJ tweeted (funny how all these tough guys tweet their thoughts instead of coming out and dealing with the issue head on) that the coach is too inexperienced for the job.  Maybe he needs to reflect on his 2.7 yards a carry and take care of his job before worrying about someone else’s.
  • The Colts and Rams…ah you already know what happened here.
  • Someone needs to explain the difference between a trip and pass blocking to the referees of the Vikings-Steelers game.
  • The Patriots travel across the pond to route the Bucs in a game that wasn’t all that impressive for their part.  At least with the upcoming bye week they can regroup and play like the team we all remember.
  • The best highlight of the Jets-Raiders game was Mark Sanchez trying to be smooth and snack on a hot dog during the game.  It was even better than JaMarcus Russell finally getting benched.
  • The Bills beat the Panthers.  Not even T.O cares.
  • Carson Palmer is a showoff.  At least that’s what Jay Cutler said anyway.
  • The Eagles get a sloppy win over the lackluster Redskins and the ESPN crew continues to kiss Donovan McNabb’s ass.
  • The Saints let any doubt about them to rest with one of the biggest comebacks in team history against the Dolphins.
  • You know Ricky Williams laid off the wacko tobacco last week so he could focus on getting back at the Saints with a solid game.  It was all for nothing, Ricky.  You go back to burning now.
  • Damn the Cowboys.  Better yet damn the Falcons for allowing the Cowboys to give the sports media something positive to say about them.
  • The Cardinals won the most boring Sunday night game of the season thus far over the Giants.

 

Mailbag: Tossing the Pigskin

Posted in NFL with tags , , , on October 26, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley
This is repulsive and paltry all at the same time.

This is repulsive and paltry all at the same time.

Dallas,

Love your columns so I figured I’d drop you a line and hope you’d comment. Are you as sick as I am of the throwback uniforms? Hey Commish, I get it it’s the 50th anniversary season. And I get the NFL is a business but stop trying to suck the fans dry with merchandise sales and get back to Football. Hey if I want to see the Broncos and the Jets duel it out I don’t want to feel as though I’m watching Oregon vs. Boise St on that god damn blue field. Enough is enough!”

– Super Dave

Chalmette, LA

I could not agree more, Dave. Roger Goodell does have a business to run but he can tone down the NFL Shop propaganda. He should be satisfied with the fact that his hard working American fans continue to spend their disposable income on his product during these trying times. You’re 100% right that all the throwback uniforms used for games is more about the commercial aspect than respecting the history of the game. Why else during those throw back games the first commercial you see during the break are the NFL Shop commercials showcasing “the average” fan in retro NFL apparel? It’s disgusting. While other major sports have seen their numbers decline over the past decade the NFL has grown exponentially. Apparently the NFL is not content with being the biggest sport in the land until they suck all they can out of the paying customer. Plus some of those uniforms are flat out hideous. Seeing them once was enough for me. It’s like you said, “Let’s get back to football”. Well put my friend.

There are a lot of teams that wish they had a guy like Bush to make big time plays such as this.

There are a lot of teams that wish they had a guy like Bush to make big time plays such as this.

Reggie (Bush) sucks. Pierre Thomas is coming up big after Deuce’s departure. Like Deuce, Thomas is a power runner you need late in the game. Reggie couldn’t take it up the middle if his life depended on it. The very few times he has done it the hole was big enough for my 80 year grandfather to run through without being touched. He has to have an open path to the outside to get any kind of yards. His big expectations didn’t last long. Instead of doing commercials with Jared for Subway I think he should be a spokesman for Butterfinger with the performances he’s been putting on lately. Pierre Thomas is an up and coming back and not a pansy like Reggie. He’s better than Reggie by a mile. He’s been taking more of Reggie’s playing time and Reggie is becoming expendable.”

-Louis

Picayune, MS

Bush has already been exposed as someone who cannot ever be an every down back with his style of running. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he sucks though. He is an exceptional athlete and Sean Payton has recently utilized him as a situational back. As the season rolls on, then the playoffs, watch how valuable of an asset he’ll become. Payton will work him into a role that will cause problems for opposing defenses. Just like today in the Dolphins game. Reggie on the reverse was golden and how about that 5 yard leap for the pylon? It’s those kinds of plays that will make people accept him as a role player. Those overhyped expectations that preceded him out of USC are rarely ever realized. Regardless he is still special player and certainly not expendable.

The real issue with Bush is that he appears to have gotten soft. That is the Kim Kardashian effect. Although Pierre Thomas is not the sole reason the Saints have a power running game this season. You also have to thank Mike Bell for that. Unlike other running back combinations, Thomas and Bell are sharing a more even split of the carries than more conventional tailback duos. With both Bell & Thomas the Saints have been able to not miss Deuce as much.

Shogun Will Get Shown The Door By Machida

Posted in MMA with tags , , , , on October 21, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley
Machida pummeled a prime and game Rashad Evans his last time out. Will Rua fare better?  Probably not.

Machida pummeled a prime and game Rashad Evans his last time out. Will Rua fare better? Probably not.

There’s an old saying that you’re not really the champion until you successfully defend your title.  The last man to do it in the UFC’s light heavyweight division was Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. That was 3 champions ago.  Since then every man after Jackson has failed to retain the title in his 1st championship defense.  That streak will be broken when current champ, Lyoto Machida, disposes of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua like last Sunday’s sale papers.

Rua is a great fighter and legend in the sport, but this is not the same “Shogun” that dazzled us in Pride.  There’s no doubt he can still fight at a high level but he got his shot by knocking out Chuck Liddell whose jaw is softer than a bowl of Jell-O these days.  Age and too many wars in the cage will do that to you.

Rua’s KO of Liddell would be more valuable circa 2005.

Rua’s KO of Liddell would be more valuable circa 2005.

I love Chuck Liddell as much as the next guy but he has been put to sleep 3 times in last 5 fights including his last 2 outings.  A win over “The Iceman” doesn’t raise your game much these days.  Had it been done 4 years ago then that would be a different story.  Today beating up Liddell really just amounts to having a famous name on your resume, nothing else.  So why Rua’s victory over Liddell constituted a title shot is beyond me.  The only logical explanation is that the UFC brass had to throw Machida a bone so he would not sit idle for too long.

This Saturday you will see the most destructive Machida yet. He is going to show the world that Rua’s title contending victory was nothing more than record padding.  It’s sad but true.

Rua’s previous 2 fights prior to knocking out Liddell:  submission loss to Forrest Griffin and a lackluster TKO win against a 44 year old Mark Coleman.  Not exactly the track record one would want before taking on one of the sport’s elite fighters.

Even so, Rua-Machida is an excellent fight because both men will bring it.  When the cage door closes anything can happen.  Rua can win the fight.  He will certainly come guns blazing.  While I can make a list of reasons of why Rua can win the fight, it doesn’t compare to the list of reasons why Machida will win the fight.

Machida will win, and then he can focus on his 4 additional desired defenses before taking on Brock Lennar.  That‘s a topic for another day though.  The bottom line for this Saturday is that the legend of Machida will grow and it will be at Rua’s expense and reputation.  That’s the fight game and that is what you can expect at UFC104.  It will be exciting…while it lasts.

NFL Throwdown Week 6

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley
  • Who dat say gonna beat them Saints? Not the Giants. Who dat! Who dat! Too bad that the overly critical Troy Aikman fails to give the Saints credit for smashing the Giants.  Aikman suggests the Giants were overrated.  I suggest Aikman forgot that the Giants won the Superbowl 2 years ago, were the #1 seed last year and the favorite to represent the NFC this year.  The Saints are the best in the NFC point blank despite the grumblings coming from Minnesota.
  • In Favre we trust.  His 58 yard perfect clutch throw in the 4th quarter set up the winning score and also notched his 41st 4th quarter comeback.  Favre’s resurgence has it feeling like it’s 1998 all over again.   Except with much more gray hair.
  • I wonder if Ray Lewis & Ed Reed will cry that it’s not fair that Favre and Peterson are on the same team.
  • Derek Anderson improved from his week 5 outing of 2-for-17 passing to 9-for24 this week.  A-Rod’s postseason batting average is higher than Anderson’s completion percentage.   With quarterback play like this it makes you wonder if Brady Quinn was really doing that bad.
  • Like I said before when bad football teams meet (Panthers vs. Bucs, Chiefs vs. Redskins & Rams vs. Jaguars) the end result are some very compelling football games.  (Panthers, Chiefs and Jags all narrowly won their games)
  • The Bengals’ roar was reduced to a meow as the Texans clipped the cats’ current streak.  The Texans went from almost winning to actually winning.  Something has to be said about that.
  • How in the hell can the Eagles’ defense allow sad ass JaMarcus Russell to do that to them?  Then the high-flying offense was shot down by a pathetic Raiders defense.  On any given Sunday anything can happen but there is no excuse for that is there?   C’mon man, it’s the Raiders!
  • Donald Driver rewrote the Packers record books, as he is now officially the most prolific receiver in the team’s history. That is the only noteworthy news that came from their 26-0 shellacking of the helpless Lions.
  • Apparently last week’s return of Matt Hasselbeck was just a mirage because he didn’t show up this week.
  • The Cardinals wanted to remind the 49ers that the NFC West is still a 2 horse race.
  • Rex Ryan’s Jets crashed and burned for the 3rd straight week.  The little black box said that their 3-0 start was mere beginner’s luck.
  • The Titans scrimmaged the Patriots, which was good because Brady was looking to fine tune his still rusty skills.
  • If you wondered what it would take for Vince Young to finally get some action then your question was answered this week.  The answer is a 52-0 deficit.  Things are looking up for Young though and it may only take another 6 weeks for some playing time when the Titans play the Colts on the road.
  • Jay Cutler is kicking himself in the ass.
  • Matty Ice and the Falcons are staying as close as they can to the Saints. Tony Gonzalez is wondering why he didn’t leave K.C. sooner.
  • The Broncos stampeded through the Chargers.  Josh McDaniels is a genius.  Mike Nolan was not a good head coach but he is an excellent defensive coordinator. Even with all their success people still tend to label them this year’s Titans. Is Hatorade the nation’s favorite drink these days?
  • Was it me or was it really nice not to be subjected to another Dallas Cowboys game in primetime?  It was even better not to have a Cowboys game at all.

UFC106 Forecast: Carwin Beats Lesnar

Posted in MMA with tags , , , , on October 19, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley
For the first time Brock Lesnar will have a fair fight on his hands with his physical equal in Shane Carwin.

For the first time Brock Lesnar will have a fair fight on his hands with his physical equal in Shane Carwin.

I do not know former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir personally.  I couldn’t tell you the names of his children.  I can’t tell you what his favorite television show is and I can’t name his favorite ice cream flavor.  One thing I can tell you is we both agree Shane Carwin will defeat Brock Lesnar at UFC106.

I agree with Mir that UFC heavyweight champion Lesnar will not be able to bully the equally as large Carwin as he did with Mir.  For the first time in Lesnar’s career he will face someone as monstrous as he is.  When that natural advantage is taken away from Lesnar it will be interesting to see how he handles it.  The hulking Carwin will make things uncomfortable for Lesnar.

Gabriel Gonzaga questioned Carwin’s punching power. Then he became Carwin’s latest 1st round KO victim.

Gabriel Gonzaga questioned Carwin’s punching power. Then he became Carwin’s latest 1st round KO victim.

One thing fans love about Shane Carwin are his very heavy hands.  His wrecking ball mitts can end a fight quicker than it takes for Bruce Buffer to make his cheesy “I-will-forever-be-in-my-more-talented-brother’s-shadow” announcements.  Just ask Carwin’s opponents.  All of them have been stopped in the 1st round.  Lesnar doesn’t like to get hit.  Just watch the early moments of the 2nd round in his rematch with Mir and you can clearly see the effect on him from Mir tagging him.  Mir got Lesnar’s attention in the 1st round too although Lesnar would never admit it.  Lesnar’s body language said it all.  Carwin’s power is unforgiving and can put anyone on Queer Street.  Carwin should be regarded as the better striker.  Lesnar’s chin has never been checked before but Carwin may be the just the man to do it.

Lesnar holds an advantage on the ground as a former NCAA Division I wrestling champion.  Carwin is a Division II champion.  There’s no denying there is a difference between the two divisions but shared wrestling partners suggest there is little disparity between Lesnar and Carwin.

More and more Lesnar’s familiar advantages are slipping.  Carwin has enough wrestling credentials to suggest this fight will remain standing longer, which works to his advantage.  Not to mention he should also have good enough takedown defense to fend off Lesnar’s bull rushing attacks.

The biggest knock on Carwin is that he has never seen the 2nd round in any of his 11 fights but that is no fault of his own.

If Lesnar wants to avoid the smelling salts he’ll try to keep Carwin on the ground which may not be as easy as it was against the much smaller Mir.

If Lesnar wants to avoid the smelling salts he’ll try to keep Carwin on the ground which may not be as easy as it was against the much smaller Mir.

The chief concern regarding Carwin’s chances is the fact he continues to hold on to his primary profession as an engineer.  Brock Lesnar is a full-time fighter.  While Carwin is training around his work schedule, Lesnar’s only focus is beating Carwin.  He works towards it all day while Carwin delicately balances his cage life with his home life.

It is not uncommon for fighters to hold on to their original means of employment until their fighting careers really take off.  Although at this stage, on the verge of a championship fight, Carwin’s double dipping could lead to disastrous results.

Shane Carwin is too smart to allow that to happen.  Lesnar is the company’s cash cow these days and Carwin knows full well what knocking off the beast of Lesnar will do for his future.  Brock Lesnar made the heavyweights relevant again to fight fans and Carwin is ready to reap the benefits of it.

The odds makers have Carwin as a 2-1 underdog due to Lesnar’s advantages on paper. The savage Lesnar has everyone wondering if there is any stopping him.  His recent demolitions of Heath Herring, Randy Couture and Frank Mir are good reasons to assess that…on paper.

There is no denying what Lesnar has been able to accomplish in such a short time in the sport.  It is truly astonishing, and this post will be in the minority in saying this, but Carwin has the intangibles to upset Lesnar.  Also Lesnar’s overconfidence may very well be his undoing. The man, who was once promoted as “The Next Big Thing” in the WWE, is about to receive his next big reality check.

MMA Has Mainstream Acceptance

Posted in MMA with tags , , , , on October 14, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley
Rampage has the howl down pat but we’re all anxious to see how he does with “I pity the fool”.

Rampage has the howl down pat but we’re all anxious to see how he does with “I pity the fool”.

Dana White was recently interviewed by Jim Rome on his show “Rome Is Burning”.  In the interview White says that MMA continues to fight for respect. While that is true when he compares ESPN’s decision to air ping-pong over MMA, it does not necessarily ring true as far as mainstream acceptance overall.

MMA has made it.  It is accepted by mainstream audiences.  There are a few detractors but even they cannot downplay the recent strides achieved by the sport. 

Go ahead and say it because it’s true.  MMA stars are cashing in on their sport’s popularity.  Many high profile fighters will be out of action for better paying gigs in Hollywood. From rap stars to reality stars, everybody wants to be in the movies. 

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is looking to channel his inner Mr. T as “B.A. Baracus” in the “A-Team” remake.  The movie already has a built in audience and they could have gone another way, but they chose Jackson instead of going for a more established actor or an unknown.  The studio realizes the added element he brings to the film and they cast him for it.

Not to worry Gina-holics.  She’ll return to the cage in due time so she can pound the crap out of someone for our enjoyment.

Not to worry Gina-holics. She’ll return to the cage in due time so she can pound the crap out of someone for our enjoyment.

Gina Carano was awarded most exceptional role ever offered to a mixed martial artist, male or female.  She has the leading role in Steven Sodenberg’s next project, “Knockout”.  Previously, films starring MMA fighters were straight-to-DVD quality, with the obvious exception of the forthcoming “A-Team” remake, but “Knockout” will be an honest-to-God Hollywood picture with the trademark Sodenberg thriller trimmings.  A Sodenberg film is nothing to scoff at.  It’s about as big as it gets in Hollywood.  Carano continues to break barriers for the sport with her latest epic accomplishment.

“El Matador” Roger Huerta is latest on a growing list of MMA stars that would rather sip latte in a trailer on set than hit the heavy bag in a gym.

“El Matador” Roger Huerta is latest on a growing list of MMA stars that would rather sip latte in a trailer on set than hit the heavy bag in a gym.

Roger Huerta decided to see their single films and raise them a career.  Jackson and Carano will eventually return to the sport that made them famous, but Huerta on the other hand said “adios.”

Cung Le has made so many movie appearances he has failed to defend the middleweight title he won 2 years ago.

Chuck Liddell was a guest star on HBO’s Emmy Award winning “Entourage” and also had a recent stint on “Dancing With the Stars”.  Then Elite XC airs on CBS, and in the near future so will Strikeforce.  Hell, even Marge Simpson is scheduled to rain elbows on the Ultimate Punching Championship in an upcoming episode of “The Simpsons”!

With that being said, it’s apparent that MMA is now accepted by mainstream standards.  Movies and television are the biggest proof of “making it” in the eyes of the public. 

So the obstacle is now conquered and the quality of the projects being offered is respectable.  Fighters love it.  Promoters hate it, but breakthrough success is never easy and always at a high price.  It’s a price well worth it though as MMA continues to push forward as a major sport.