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US Open. Football. Wrestling.

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Hawk 34

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It’s Friday night, and I’m anti-social. It used to be that I spent Friday nights at home because I always worked Saturday mornings but here, I really don’t have any out.

 

I’ll address non-real life issues first

 

The US Open

 

No, really. I like tennis. I was fairly good at in high school recreation, and should have been on the main team but I was busy with Baseball and speech tournaments to devote myself to Tennis. I wasn’t physically designed for competitive tennis anyways. However, I obtain interest in the sport from time to time…

 

Tennis hasn’t been significant in the grand scheme of things in this country since Pete called it quits and America stopped caring about the other Williams sister while the good and better looking one started getting distracted by the prospect of being Paris Hilton’s sidekick on the red carpet.

 

Roddick was a failure in more ways then one. Product of hype followed by a couple years of mainstream popularity thanks to his looks and relationship with once relevant musical pop star turned Independent movie queen, Mandy Moore. He never reached that level the mainstream and tennis enthusiasts felt he could. Granted, that could change since he still has time.

 

Roger let’s be realistic. He’s a fantastic player, easily the best since Pete retired and might end up better then him in the end but he doesn’t sell to anyone outside the tennis world. He could end up with more grand slams than you can count but he’ll probably be met with a resounding “who?” for the remainder of his career. Obviously, that doesn’t help Tennis get back to its peak.

 

From a female side, none of the girls are really at that level that reached in the old days or even just 5 years ago. Maria is good looking and she isn’t an Anna (which is good for the credibility of the sport) but it’s dying to produce new superstars.

 

Also, he is irrelevant these days but fuck you, Marat Safin.

 

As for the important thing…

 

Andre Agassi.

 

On the surface, Agassi is an impressive story all in itself considering how he virtually disappeared for years while Pete became the official top dog. He kept himself in the news with his failed publicity stunt marriage but came out looking like gold by rejuvenating his career not just on the court but on the market.

 

He improved on that by marrying the beloved and sweet hearted Steffi Graf. It’s funny seeing her in the stands as a tennis wife, because for a brief moment you trick yourself into forgetting she was once who she is. I feel for their kids if they ever go into tennis. That’s like being the son of Michael Jordan and whatever great woman’s basketball player that exists.

 

This is Andre’s last stand. Obviously, the crowd is responding accordingly in the manner in which you expect people to behave in a locale known as “Flushing Meadows”. Appropriate. I can tune out the crowd once they get really ridiculous. Leena mentioned that “no one should announce retirements” and I can see the point in that but in the case of Andre, I don’t think he needed to make that official announcement. The writing was emphatically on the wall in bright flashing neon reminiscent of his old fashion style.

 

Putting that aside, how could you not be sucked into this? You don’t have to enjoy tennis or understand the logic of the game, Agassi is such an incredible and captivating persona that you won’t realize that you spent 4+ hours watching intently to a game you otherwise wouldn’t give a shit about.

 

It probably ends now and that’s for the best really. It’s a good way to go out by losing to the appointed “future” (although, that ship is sinking) and he’ll probably put up a competitive fight through sheer willpower alone. It’s better this way, instead of getting spanked by a superior talent and limping away. Andre had a phenomenal career that had so many valleys, but he leaves a gracious superstar. It’s not that commonplace in sports and it’s not so common in a sport that an entire nation forgot about, but it’ll remember for a couple more days when they watch an old broken man have his last dance.

 

 

 

 

Football (Pro and College)

 

I can’t really explain it, but it happens with seemingly more dramatic fanfare and pomp each late summer heading into the breach of fall. Football season approaches and there is this palpable intensity permeating throughout this country. It doesn’t matter if you are a die hard fan of the Cowboys, Miami Hurricanes or even the dregs of NCAA DIV. II…You get anxious to the point, you begin to dream, eat, sleep and breath football.

 

It’s beautiful and oddly enough, it never dies down. In baseball, you go through lulls. In Basketball and Hockey, it becomes a waiting game until the playoffs finally arrive. Football, on each pro and collegiate level never ceases to lose interest. College football has a built in curiosity that locks in the fans and because of the nature of the NCAA Div. 1, every game literally counts. The whole season is a virtual playoff. Of course, 95% of the entire league is pretty much automatically exempt from the thought of contending for the national title. That’s one of the few negatives about college football. This season, you got the usual suspects getting pre-season hype and attention for legitimacy in contending for the championship.

 

Ohio State, Texas, USC, Notre Dame (making their first trip to the upper echelon in a few years), West Virginia (the annual sexy pick), Auburn, Florida and LSU.

 

It’s drastically early to seriously predict the championship contenders but rest assured this regular season won’t end without the annual pointless, meaningless and fruitless debate over the supposed necessity of a playoff system and of course, the traditional BCS bashing routine. It’s the same article every season with the occasional changed team. Right now, take confidence that a minimum of two teams will cry foul about being “screwed” out of the BCS bowls, a team ranked 10-15 spots lower then those teams will obtain one of those cushy spots via the privilege of being the best of a lesser conference.

 

Random Championship Game Prediction

Florida over Ohio State

 

 

NFL is scripted a little differently but the act usually plays out the same. The usual suspects will be legitimate threats, an unexpected team will rise from the dead to baffle the fans and pundits equally and the league will enjoy divine parity throughout the land creating a greater opportunity for increased ratings and sales revenue. This is a key season for the new commissioner, Roger Goodell (seriously, like that name doesn’t lend itself to a deluge of bad puns). While the league isn’t going to collapse with his arrival, it’s important to see how he implements his own touch and maintain the effective standing of the league.

 

 

 

A lot of questions were being asked locally about the status of MVP candidate and rising superstar, Carson Palmer and his recovery from the devastating injury he suffered last January. That has been defiantly answered in the eyes of fans, pundits and most importantly, Carson Palmer. He’s ready to go. His physical skills are still intact and that mental block has been lifted.

 

With a healthy Palmer, there’s little doubt that Cincinnati’s offense is insane and rivals the Colts in explosiveness and with a change in Indianapolis’s running game, Cincinnati is operating with a squad that remains intact from the past season with more familiarity and comfort within the system. The defense will remain a sketchy issue. The ability to capture turnovers is fantastic, but not when you allow runners to destroy you. The Bengals have looked nothing short of brilliant in the pre-season, but that’s the pre-season.

 

Does that make them the overall favorite? No. A questionable defense and a quarterback recovering from a serious injury creates skepticism. The favorites, across the board are the usual suspects of Indianapolis (with the window rapidly closing), Carolina (with additional offensive help in Johnson), Pittsburgh (The defending champs, minus the Bus and EL), Seattle (faced with the Madden and SB Curse simultaneously) and the perennial favorite that you can’t overlook…New England.

 

Miami is the sexy pick for this season, while a legitimate Wild-Card contender, I don’t buy them as SB contenders.

 

Don’t forget that Reggie Bush is going to rebuild the city of New Orleans with his magic feet.

Don’t forget that Michael Vick is a natural athlete that you can’t contain, unless you watch all the other teams who have managed just that.

Don’t forget that T.O plays for Dallas and he might have some problemswith the coaching staff. Universe outside his planet.

Don’t forget that Peyton Manning can’t win the big one.

Don’t forget that Larry Johnson is the ultimate fantasy player…

Don’t forget that Brett Favre should have retired after-all.

Don’t forget that Matt Millen is a idiot.

Don’t forget that the NFL owns your soul.

 

Regular Season Predictions With Little Thought Implemented

AFC East: New England, Miami, Buffalo and New York

AFC South: Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Houston and Tennessee

AFC North: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cleveland

AFC West: Kansas City, San Diego, Denver and Oakland

Wild Cards: Miami and Jacksonville

 

NFC East: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington and New York

NFC South: Carolina, New Orleans (yes, there is always a team like NO doing this) Atlanta, Tampa Bay

NFC North: Chicago, Green Bay (really easy schedule gives them 5 wins, which might be enough for 2nd), Detroit and Minnesota (I just sense a really miserable season, again for these guys)

NFC West: Seattle, St. Louis, Arizona and San Francisco

Wild-Card: Philadelphia and St. Louis (I think the North is complete crap and the east will play each other, leaving St. Louis to waltz in there)

 

Super Bowl Pick

Carolina over New England

 

 

 

Wrestling

Raw is a joke. It’s all McMahon and all DX. It’s 1998 without everything that worked. Smackdown is still vacant in the Cincinnati area and unlikely to return for the time being. Still clearly designed as the C show and the atrocious Eddie Guerrero exploitation persists.

 

ECW is the only interesting thing going in WWE land and that’s only for the voyeuristic aspect of watching a train wreck. CM Punk is “shockingly” (in the eyes of jaded internet fans) getting a modest mid-card push without losing any of the values and principles that made him so endeared to the independent fan base to begin with…well, other then his standard 30 minute promos and 60 minute matches.

 

However, squashing nobodies isn’t what Punk deserves. However, if being a bright spot in between WWE’s second helping of Raw on Tuesday nights on Sci-Fi and avoiding being a part of the main act is all Punk is getting, it might not be a bad deal after-all.

 

Remember most were adamant that Punk would regret turning TNA down on the basis of no television exposure only to have TNA sign with Spike days after finalizing the deal with WWE? That Punk would be wasted and reduced to nothing, and would have thrived in TNA.

 

Aside from the possibility of one more match with Joe on PPV, what else would Punk obtained in TNA that he didn’t in OVW and WWE as of right now.

 

Punk will eventually move into actual programs and meaningful matches, in ECW already he has reached a audience twice the size that TNA reaches. In OVW, he spent a year under the mastermind of Paul Heyman as they worked to create the BEST televised wrestling show in 2005 and half of 2006. Had fantastic feuds and was the flagship for that promotion. He improved on his skills and became a tighter performer.

 

All working with TNA would have done is let him work ROH. Punk did EVERYTHING possible in ROH except win the Pure title. While the prospect of Punk/Kenta sounds bad-ass, the world will keep spinning.

 

Speaking of ROH, BJ Whitmer is a legitimate badass motherfucker. After tearing two ligaments and destroyed ankle cartilage last March, he continued working at a high level including two sadistic matches in Cage Of Death and the Barbed Wire match with Necro Butcher…he finally was forced to take surgery. The Summer of ROH was fantastic with the hot Nigel/Danielson matches, emergence of stars like Davey Richards, the CZW/ROH blow off, KENTA performances and the superb Briscoes/Aries and Strong matches. The Glory By Honor V weekend is really packed…it includes but not limited to…

 

9/15

Danielson Vs Aries

KENTA and Marufuji Vs Briscoe Brothers

Samoa Joe Vs Roderick Strong

Daniels Vs Nigel McGuiness

 

9/16

KENTA Vs Danielson

Strong and Aries Vs Kings Of Wrestling

Naomichi Marufuji Vs Nigel McGuiness

 

SPECIAL GUEST: Bruno Sammantino

 

With Morishima, Yone and Sugiura in attendence both nights.

 

Speaking of Independent wrestling, I really need to pimp Cheerleader Melissa/Mschief for putting on a EXCELLENT Falls Count Anywhere match for the SHIMMER promotion. SHIMMER is an exceptional promotion based completely around Woman’s Wrestling.

 

Personal Life Shit

Didn’t think I could go a whole blog without sprinkling some personal life shit, right? Actually, nothing too much to report. School has just been completely fantastic and I’m blown away by how much I’m digging this current semester. It’s not all related to academics though. Another one has come around…

 

To be honest, I’m sorta growing nervous about it…I haven’t really felt this way since a 18 months ago. Hard to believe it was only 18 months ago…but life sure has changed since then. I’m probably over thinking this too much. This is exactly why I said I wanted to avoid this stuff for the whole semester. I couldn’t go 2 weeks.

 

 

It’s funny that I’m stressing about the start of something that might be nothing while in just 7 days, my sister will be married. Next Thursday is the bachelor party. It’s a all day thing of Golf, Reds Game and Strip Club appearance. I don’t get the concept of bachelor party, okay, I do but I think it’s dumb. I don’t need an excuse to see someone dance naked in front of me, that sort of thing loses its appeal (in this context) after the first time. I don’t drink either, so the entire purpose is lost on me but I guess I have to partake because it’s only proper or something, according to my sister.

 

Jesus, this was really long. Im that bored…that’s enough for now.

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