sports

How Much Money Does It Cost These Days To Watch Sports on Television?

Last weekend I had the desire to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Sunday.

I knew that it was that time in the season for NBC to take over coverage of the races.

Okay.  No problem.  I’ll just check the local NBC channel and . . . . . . . there’s no race coverage.

Strange.  I’ll check it again.  Maybe it’s a race on the west coast and it has a later start time.

Nope.  There’s no mention of any NASCAR race at all on NBC on Sunday.  That’s rather peculiar since the local NBC channel has been covering races in the second half of the season for years now.

Just for fun I decided to do a search for “NASCAR” in the program guide for television.  Sure enough, it was listed.  It was being broadcast live on an NBC channel.  The only problem was that the race was being broadcast on NBCSN, NBC’s premium channel that they use for live sports.  As you can guess, my wife and I don’t receive that channel.  We just have a basic package with Dish Network.

So no NASCAR races for me while they’re being broadcast on NBCSN.  That’s not really a problem as NASCAR has been going downhill for a while now, and it’s actually difficult to sit and watch a race from start to finish.  These days I’ve mainly had the races on television as a background noise while I’ve been working on my computer.

It’s still annoying though that as long as NBCSN is broadcasting the races, then I won’t even have the option of watching them unless I upgrade to Dish Network’s “America’s Top 200” package (or higher).  I’m sorry, Dish Network, but we cannot justify spending the extra money on a vast majority of extra television channels that we will not watch.  It’s not worth it paying the higher monthly fees just for a couple of extra channels. Read more…

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - July 21, 2015 at 11:13 pm

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Washington Redskins and Political Correctness

In a ruling made public today, the U.S. Patent Office ruled that the Washington Redskins NFL team’s nickname is insulting to Native American Indians, and the team’s federal trademarks on the name must be cancelled.

It’s really no surprise that the U.S. Patent Office made the ruling against the NFL team.  There has been momentum in the federal government for the team to change its name.  Yes, it’s the government pushing the team to change its name and not the general public and those fans who pay the fees to sit in the stands for each game.

Why is it such a big deal for the Washington Redskins to change their name?

logo for the Washington Redskins

The truth here is that it’s all about political correctness.  That’s it.

It doesn’t matter that the term “redskin” was frequently used throughout the American Indian Wars when the Indians were also thought of as bloodthirsty savages and fierce warriors.  Back then the redskin term would strike fear into the hearts of their opponents.

Nor does it matter that the team has been using the name Redskins since 1933, a name that has been in place for over eighty years.  The team has had a trademark on the name since 1967.

In addition to that, most polls still show that the vast majority of people want the Washington Redskins to continue using that name.  These are the everyday people who purchase tickets, buy merchandise, and support the sponsors’ products.  These are the people who matter the most. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - June 18, 2014 at 2:07 pm

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Michael Sam and the St. Louis Rams — LGBT Politics At Work

It was major news when defensive end Michael Sam was selected in the 2014 NFL Draft to play football for the St. Louis Rams.

He was selected in the 7th round of the draft, the 249th overall pick this year.  The 2014 NFL Draft had a total of 256 college football players selected to advance into the NFL.

So why would somebody picked 249th out of 256 slots make the news?  After all, many players selected that late into the draft won’t make the final roster to play on the team.  The odds of them playing on Sundays are pretty remote.

The reason that Michael Sam made the news yesterday is that he is going to be the first openly gay player in the NFL.  The news footage went so far as to showing Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend after receiving news of being selected to play for the St. Louis Rams.

Michael Sam announced his homosexuality to the world on February 9, 2014, after he finished playing college football for the University of Missouri.  However, Michael’s college teammates knew about his homosexuality when he told them back in August of 2013.  He chose to keep the media out of it until he finished playing college football.

This is LGBT politics, plain and simple.

If Michael Sam was not gay, it’s doubtful that he would have been drafted into the NFL at all.  From what I understand, he didn’t preform that well at the NFL Combine and didn’t impress the scouts.  The fact that he’s a homosexual is what focused the media on him, and that’s what got him drafted at the end of the NFL Draft.  If he was a good player and did well at the Combine, then he most likely would have been drafted sooner.

But he wasn’t.

Drafting Michael Sam near the end of the draft is making a statement.  It’s the St. Louis Rams deciding to play along with politics and get extra positive attention from the media, political organizations, celebrities, and even government officials as well.

Now St. Louis is stuck with Michael Sam whether he’s any good or not.  Should the Rams decide to cut him for any reason, the media is going to strike back with a fury.  It’ll be viewed as a hate crime since Michael is gay.  There will be boycotts and serious negative attention on the Rams, from the coaching staff to the team’s owner.

Nope.

St. Louis won’t dare cut him from the team. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - May 11, 2014 at 8:17 pm

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Pay College Football & Basketball Players — And Remove Them From Classrooms

It seems like this push for paying football and basketball players only continues to gain momentum.

This concept is being accelerated by the recent push by the Northwestern University football players to establish their own players union.  The players are serious about taking things to the next level.  It’s just a matter of time before other schools join the bandwagon.

We also know that many of today’s college football and basketball players aren’t the best of students.  There have been many claims and allegations of the student athletes taking slack classes so simple that third-grade students could also pass them.  These classes are nothing more than a way of boosting a player’s GPA so that they remain academically eligible to continue playing their respective sport.

It’s a complete disgrace to the true student athletes.  Some of those players are literally dumber than dirt.

The time has come to finally make it official and pay the college football and basketball players a salary —- as long as they’re also removed from the classrooms.

One of many college football stadiums across the country.

It’s been long argued that the players have already been receiving a salary when you factor in their scholarship to play a sport while attending classes.  When you factor in the costs of tuition, books (Yeah, I know.  Like most of those guys really need books.), housing, food, plus the attention from the media, that’s a “salary” of maybe $40,000-$80,000 over a four-year period, depending on the college itself.

But apparently that’s not enough according to many people.  Those college players risk serious injury, so it’s time to pay them more.  The college itself also makes a ton of money on the players, especially during good seasons, so the players should also receive some of that money as well.  It’s not enough that they are receiving a free academic ride plus medical care plus national attention.  They need more.

So be it.

I’m tired of these arguments.

Cut the players from the classroom and just make them regular athletes.  Give them a salary with bonuses thrown in as well.  Whatever.  We all know that the college classes are a waste of time and money on most of those athletes anyway. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - April 3, 2014 at 11:12 am

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The Stupidity of Today’s College Athletes

Earlier today an interesting article from the Mail Online (an online newspaper in England, mind you) exposed academic fraud at the University of North Carolina (UNC).

According to the article, a former professor came forward with proof of academic fraud favoring some of the college’s football and basketball players.  It’s part of a scandal involving fake classes for some college athletes.  These “classes” are used to boost the grade-point-average of the “students” so they can remain “academically” eligible to play their sport.

Standards don't matter if you're an athlete.

UNC isn’t the first college to have allegedly given academic short-cuts to its college athletes.  Many of today’s top college sport programs are rumored to have fake classes, fake jobs to funnel money to players, or a combination of the two.  Sadly, the academic standards for most of the football and basketball college athletes are so low that it’s an insult to all of the honest students.

The example of academic dishonesty in the article from the Mail Online shows an essay called “Rosa Parks: My Story.”  The essay, written by an unknown student athlete, clocks in at only 146 words, has several grammar errors, and isn’t even close to being properly formatted.  It’s a giant mess crammed into a single paragraph.  Kids in elementary school could have written a better essay.

The sorry excuse for an essay received a grade of an A-.

A poorly written essay that was also plagiarized.

What makes the paper even worse is that it’s also been plagiarized.  Other people have pointed out that the essay was basically copied straight out of the book Rosa Parks: My Story.  Is it a coincidence that the book has an age range of “8 and up”? Read more…

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - March 28, 2014 at 8:49 pm

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Movie Review – Varsity Blues (1999)

In western Texas, high school football is life.

Released in 1999, Varsity Blues takes a look at living in the small (fictional) town of West Canaan, Texas, and the town’s obsession with high school football.  The head coach of the football team has been with the school for the past thirty years, bringing them two state titles and twenty-two division titles.  But as we see in Varsity Blues, it takes more than a cruel and abusive coach to win a football game.

Varsity Blues (1999) - movie poster

Directed by Brian Robbins, Varsity Blues stars James Van Der Beek as John “Mox” Moxon, an academically-gifted football player who dreams of leaving Texas and pursuing a college degree at an Ivy League school.  He’s the second-string quarterback and takes over the team when the starting quarterback is injured during a game.  Jon Voight also stars as Bud Kilmer, the head coach of the West Canaan cougars football team.  Coach Kilmer has been with West Canaan for thirty years and brought football glory to the small town.  He’s a hard coach who will do whatever it takes to win.

Supporting them are a cast of characters including Paul Walker as quarterback Lance Harbor; Ron Lester as offensive lineman Billy Bob; Scott Caan as wide receiver Tweeter; Amy Smart as Julie Harbor, John’s girlfriend; Thomas F. Duffy as Sam Moxon, John’s father; and Ali Larter playing the role of Darcy Sears, a cheerleader who likes to seduce the star players.

Varsity Blues (1999) - An advertisement for Lance Harbor, starting quarterback for the West Canaan coyotes.

Varsity Blues (1999) – (c) Paramount Pictures

Varsity Blues begins about halfway through the football season at West Canaan High School.  West Canaan is a small town in western Texas where the local football players are treated like royalty.

Up first we’re introduced to John “Mox” Moxon (James Van Der Beek), the second-string quarterback for the West Canaan coyotes.  Mox is popular and has a girlfriend, but he aims for something more in life than just football.  He knows that he’s not going to have any playing time on the football field.  Instead Mox focuses on academics and he’s waiting to hear from Brown University.

Mox’s father, Sam (Thomas F. Duffy), has different beliefs.  He’s a former West Canaan football player from the early days of Coach Kilmer’s career at the school.  Sam believes that his son should be starting on the team, and he instructs his son to pray for playing time in the games.  On Fridays in the fall, Sam’s complete focus is on that night’s high school football game.

Outside of Mox’s home we meet Billy Bob (Ron Lester), a large offensive lineman for the football team.  He’s been playing football with Mox and the other guys since they were pee-wees.  Billy Bob is a large guy who also has a pet pig, Bacon.

After picking up Mox, Billy Bob drives to Lance Harbor’s (Paul Walker) house.  Lance is the starting quarterback for the football team, and a billboard outside of his home proudly advertisers the All-Texas star football player.  Lance has already accepted an offer to play football next fall at Florida State University. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - November 14, 2013 at 12:28 am

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When Will Georgia Tech Ditch Paul Johnson And The Triple-Option Offense?

Last week the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets faced off against the Virginia Tech Hokies.

This was the first real test for the Yellow Jackets against a decent team.  After destroying Elon in week number one, GA Tech easily beat Duke in their second game, but they had a hard time winning their third game against the North Carolina Tar Heels.  The game against VA Tech would help indicate whether or not GA Tech really had a good team this season.

The same test could also have been said for Virginia Tech.  VA Tech lost their opening game against Alabama, they easily beat Western Carolina, but they had a hard time beating East Carolina and Marshall.  The Virginia Tech teams from just a couple of years ago would have given Bama a run for its money and then destroyed everybody else.  But apparently things are different this year.

Go Jackets!

The game itself between Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech was mostly a stalemate.  Neither team looked that great on the playing field, and when the Yellow Jackets were down by seven points in the fourth quarter, that sealed their doom.  The Yellow Jackets had NO PASSING GAME at all.  It was hilariously bad when they tried to throw the ball and move down the field late in the fourth quarter.  A major fault in the triple-option offense was again exposed, and Georgia Tech lost the game.

This is one of the reasons why you don’t see the triple-option offense at this level in football.  It may work in the FCS and lower programs when you’re playing against slower and weaker defenses, but in the FBS and NFL it’s a different story.  The defenses become progressively harder and they’ll continually expose the flaws in the offense.

Could the triple-option offense work for a school like Georgia Tech?

I believe it could work if they had the right quarterback.  You need a tough guy who can read the defense, know when to pitch the ball or carry it himself, and somebody who can throw accurate passes when it’s needed.  That last part is critical when you’re behind in the game and don’t have ten minutes on the game clock to slowly march down the field.  Sadly, that last part is also one of the areas where Georgia Tech has been severely lacking for many years now.  In the era of Paul Johnson, how many passing quarterbacks are going to want to play in his system knowing that he’ll be running mostly running plays?

Honestly, when was the last time that Georgia Tech had a quarterback who was consistently accurate at throwing passes? Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - September 30, 2013 at 10:53 pm

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Movie Review – Necessary Roughness (1991)

What happens when a prestigious college football program is caught in a major scandal, loses all of its players and coaches, is not allowed any scholarships, and IF it wants to continue with its program, then is has to recruit players from the student body?

The answer is a film like 1991′s Necessary Roughness.

In Necessary Roughness, Texas State University is basically handed the “death penalty” by the NCAA.  They lose all of their players, coaches, and the ability to award football scholarships.  In order to have a football program, the school needs to conduct tryouts from the active student body.  In this case, the end result is a comedy of amateur student athletes trying not to get killed on the playing field.

Necessary Roughness (1991) - movie poster

Directed by Stan Dragoti and with music composed by Bill Conti, Necessary Roughness stars Scott Bakula as Paul Blake, a 34-year-old farmer who is recruited to play college football for Texas State.  Hector Elizondo plays the head coach Ed Gennero, a straight shooter who runs a clean program.  Robert Loggia plays assistant coach Wally Rig.

Supporting them are Sinbad as Andre Krimm, a graduate student who is still eligible to play ball; Jason Bateman as Jarvis Edison, the son of a very wealthy alumni; Kathy Ireland as Lucy Draper, a female soccer player recruited to be the team’s kicker; Harley Jane Kozak as Dr. Suzanne Carter, a teacher who remembers Paul Blake from years ago; Larry Miller as Dean Phillip Elias, an administrator who’s against the football team; Fred Thompson as Carver Purcell, the president of the university; and Rob Schneider as Chuck Neiderman, the radio and P/A announcer for the football stadium.

Necessary Roughness (1991) - Texas State University President Carver Purcell asks Ed Gennero if he would like to coach the new football team.

Necessary Roughness (1991) – (c) Paramount Pictures

Necessary Roughness begins with an ESPN SportsCenter broadcast with Chris Berman talking about a major scandal that occurred at Texas State University.  What was once one of the top football programs in the country has been reduced to nothing thanks to recruiting violations, steroids, illegal payment to players, and grade tampering.  The coaches were fired, the scholarships were removed, and all but one of the players were kicked off the team.  It’s basically the “death penalty,” such as the one that occurred at Southern Methodist University back in 1987.

After the broadcast, Texas State University President Carver Purcell (Fred Thompson) approaches Ed Gennero (Hector Elizondo) and inquires about him being the new head coach at the university.  Gennero is nicknamed “Straight Arrow” as he once kicked five all-American players off a team for violations of team rules.  Purcell tells Gennero that there won’t be any pressure from the boosters.  All he has to do is run a clean program.  Gennero accepts the proposal and becomes the new head coach of the Texas State Fightin’ Armadillos.Once arriving at Texas State, Gennero talks his old friend Wally Rig (Robert Loggia) to help coach the team.  They’ll split it right down the middle.  Gennero will control the offense while Rig has the team’s defense.

All but one of the previous team’s players were removed, and since they cannot use any scholarships to attract players, Gennero has to recruit directly from the student body.  They hold an open tryout session and have the best students join the football program.  As we see, many of the new players are oddballs who really don’t belong on the playing field.  Even the team’s quarterback has trouble throwing the most basic of passes. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - August 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm

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Movie Review – Any Given Sunday (1999)

The professional level of football is one of the most intense sports in the world.

Those athletes are modern day gladiators, warriors of the gridiron.  To successfully play (and survive) at this level requires absolute strength, ability, and intelligence on the playing field.

And when it comes to the professional players off the field, for many of them it includes lavish parties, hot women, being the center of attention in the media, and a fair share of drugs as well.  For the ultimate highs on the field you’ll find the ultimate lows off of it.

Any Given Sunday, a 1999 football film directed by Oliver Stone, takes the audience into the darker side of football and what it takes to survive playing at that level.  In the film we see the starting quarterback get injured in the second half of the season.  He’s replaced by the second-string quarterback who gets injured the next play.  So it’s up to the third-string quarterback to not only prove himself but also survive on the playing field.  We see the inexperienced quarterback make a name for himself but at the cost of alienating his teammates and coaches.  Glory and stardom go to his head and it threatens to tear apart the team, just as they’re reaching the playoffs.

Any Given Sunday (1999) - movie poster

Any Given Sunday stars Al Pacino as the Miami Sharks’ head coach Tony D’Amato, an aging man who has won a championship with the team.  Cameron Diaz plays the role of Christina Pagniacci, the new owner and general manager of the team.  Christina inherited the football team from her father when he recently passed away.  She demands changes to the team, and if the city of Miami won’t build them a new stadium then she’ll move the team to Los Angeles.  Dennis Quaid is Jack “Cap” Rooney, the experienced quarterback who’s injured and forced to watch the game from the sidelines.  He only has a year or two left before retiring from the sport.  Jamie Foxx has the role of “Steamin’ ” Willie Beamen, the third-string quarterback who quickly becomes a star when he gains his confidence and shows off his skills on the field.  However, he’s also young and lets his ego get the best of him, and it nearly destroys the team.

Supporting them are James Woods as Dr. Harvey Mandrake, the team’s somewhat unethical physician; LL Cool J as Julian “J-Man” Washington, the team’s running back; Lawrence Taylor as Luther “Shark” Lavay, the captain of the defense; Jim Brown as Montezuma Monroe, the Defensive Coordinator; Aaron Eckhart as Nick Crozier, the Offensive Coordinator and future head coach; Matthew Modine as Dr. Oliver Powers, the assistant doctor; John C. McGinley as Jack Rose, a sports reporter who despises Coach D’Amato; Elizabeth Berkley as Mandy Murphy, a prostitute; and finally Charlton Heston as the Commissioner of the league.

Any Given Sunday (1999) - Starting QB Jack Rooney is injured and taken off the field.

Any Given Sunday (1999) – (c) Warner Bros.

Any Given Sunday follows the Miami Sharks as they play in the second half of the 2001 season.  The Sharks play in the Associated Football Franchises of America (AFFA), and they’re striving to make the playoffs and earn another Pantheon Cup Championship.  It’s been four years since Miami last won the championship, and the team’s owner, the media, and the fans are wondering if head coach Tony D’Amato (Al Pacino) has what it takes to earn another championship.

The film opens in the second quarter in a game against the Minnesota Americans.  The Sharks have lost their last three games, but they’re still in the hunt for the playoffs.  Starting quarterback Jack Rooney (Dennis Quaid) takes a serious hit and is injured.  He has to be helped off the field and taken back to the locker room for imaging.  D’Amato sends in the second-string quarterback, Tyler Cherubini, but he’s also hit hard and is taken out of the game.

Now it’s up to the third-string quarterback Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx).  Beamen has been passed between several teams in the league for the past few years, but he’s seen little (if any) actual playing time.  In the huddle Beamen pukes, something that becomes a tradition for him during the remaining games.  Beamen’s inexperience shows as he not only doesn’t know the plays, but he also throws an interception before halftime.

Coach D’Amato gives the team a rousing pep talk during halftime, and in the second half they start playing better.  The Sharks make a comeback but ultimately lose the game to the Minnesota Americans.  Now they have four losses in a row and it’s seriously questioned if they’ll be making the playoffs. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - August 17, 2013 at 8:55 pm

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Movie Review – Friday Night Lights (2004)

In honor of the month of August and the rapidly approaching football season, today we’re taking a look at high school football in the film Friday Night Lights.

Released in 2004, Friday Night Lights is based on the true story of the Permian High School football team in 1988 and their run for the state championship.  The school is located in the city of Odessa, Texas, a region of the country where people are fanatic about their local high school football teams.  Out there football isn’t merely a sport but an obsession.  It’s a way of life.

Friday Night Lights (2004) - movie poster

Directed by Peter Berg, Friday Night Lights is based on the book Friday Night Lights: A town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger.  The film stars Billy Bob Thornton as head coach Gary Gaines.  Supporting him are Lucas Black playing the role of quarterback Mike Winchell, Garrett Hedlund as fullback Don Billingsley, Derek Luke as running back James Miles, Lee Thompson Young as running back Chris Comer, and Tim McGraw as Charles Billingsley, Don’s alcoholic and somewhat abusive father.

Friday Night Lights begins with scenes from around Odessa, Texas.  As we can see, it’s a oil-driven but still desolate area.  Dirt dominates the landscape and trees are few and far between.  That doesn’t really matter though as it’s August and the local people once again have football fever.  Some of the sports talk on the radio questions whether head coach Gary Gaines is the right man to lead the team to a state championship.  NOTE – In reality, Odessa, Texas is a medium sized city with the metro area containing about 250,000 residents.

Friday Night Lights (2004) - The first day of football practice.

Friday Night Lights (2004) – (c) Universal Pictures

The Permian High School football players gather at the football stadium and begin their practice sessions guided by Coach Gary Gaines (Billy Bob Thornton).  In attendance in the stands are parents, members of the media, and talent scouts from college football programs.  Out on the playing field we see highlights from star players such as quarterback Mike Winchell (Lucas Black) and running back James Miles (Derek Luke).  Fullback Don Billingsley (Garrett Hedlund) has poor ball-handling skills and keeps fumbling.  His father, Charles Billingsley (Tim McGraw), is furious with his son’s mistakes, and he goes onto the playing field to yell at his son. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - August 5, 2013 at 12:02 am

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Movie Review – Bloodsport (1988)

Some people fight for honor.  Some do it to prove something about themselves.  Others do it for glory.

The stakes for fighting are even higher when it involves a secret, full-contact tournament that puts the world’s best fighters against each other once every five years.  That tournament is called the Kumite.

Today we’re taking a look at one of my all-time favorite films, Bloodsport.

Bloodsport (1988) - movie poster

Released in February of 1988, Bloodsport tells the legendary tale of Frank Dux, the first American to win in the Kumite.  We have a flashback to his intense training and then follow along the three brutal days of combat at the Kumite, a secret, full-contact tournament held in Hong Kong.  It’s not all fun and games as Frank Dux witnesses his friend fall to the hands of a brutal fighter, and he has to constantly elude two government agents who want to return Dux back to America.

Directed by Newt Arnold and with music by Paul Hertzog, Bloodsport stars Jean-Claude Van Damme in the starring role of Frank Dux.  This was the film that launched Van Damme’s career as a martial arts action star.

Supporting him in this film are Donald Gibb as Ray Jackson, another American fighter, Bolo Yeung as Chong Li, a brutal South Korean fighter who was champion at the previous Kumite, Roy Chiao as Senzo Tanaka, Frank Dux’s mentor and sensai, and Norman Burton and Forest Whitaker as Helmer and Rawlins, two Army Criminal Investigation Division officers who try to stop Frank Dux and return him to America.

Bloodsport (1988) - The arena is ready for the Kumite.

Bloodsport (1988) – (c) The Cannon Group

Bloodsport begins with a segment of shots showing a team of people in Hong Kong cleaning and preparing the area for what will be the Kumite, a full-contact martial arts tournament that pits the best fighters in the world against each other.  Mixed into the shots of the arena’s preparation we see a variety of fighters continue their training and final preparations before leaving for the Kumite.  Amongst them are a South Korean master fighter named Chong Li (Bolo Yeung) and an American tough guy named Ray Jackson (Donald Gibb).

At the ending of the opening segment we’re introduced to Captain Frank Dux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) of the U.S. Army.  He’s performing spinning kicks and working out at the base’s gym when a lieutenant informs him that the base commander needs to speak with him.  Apparently word is out on the base that Frank Dux intends on spending a few days in Hong Kong to compete in the Kumite.  Unfortunately, the U.S. Army does not want to have one of its officers be badly injured or possibly killed in the tournament. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - July 29, 2013 at 11:14 pm

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London 2012 Olympics – Opening Ceremony & More!

Olympic rings

The world watched last night as the city of London, England, welcomed everybody with an elaborate opening ceremony for the official start of the 2012 Olympic games.

Technically, the women’s soccer teams began playing two days prior to the opening ceremony.  As we know, with the massive tournament bracket and the high number of teams, it takes like forever for sports like soccer to be played at the Olympics.  But that’s a different issue.

Right now the spirit of the Olympics rests in London, half a world away from the site of 2008’s summer games in Beijing, China.  In 2016, the summer games jump south of the hemisphere to be hosted in Rio de Janeiro, South America’s first time hosting the event.

There was much fanfare and a high production level for London’s opening ceremony.  It had its good moments (like the Industrial Revolution), the bad moments (the lame music segment from the 1970s to today), and its weird moment with that video clip featuring James Bond (played by current James Bond actor, Daniel Craig) and Queen Elizabeth II.

The Industrial Revolution segment of the opening ceremony was just plain cool.  From the people representing the workers to those representing the company owners and overseers to the raising of the smokestacks, that was one really cool segment of the show.  Since it’s so hard to find a taped copy of the opening ceremony, here’s a great video clip showing the rehearsal of the Industrial Revolution, complete with the music loud and clear:

London 2012 Olympics – opening ceremony – Industrial Revolution (rehearsal)

As far as the segment of the opening ceremony celebrating England’s fame in music, that part started out fine with the famous “British Invasion” music from the 1960s, but it became really lame when it hit the 1970s, 80s and beyond.  Now if Iron Maiden was playing instead of that rap music then things would have been a little bit better.  Actually, it would have been a LOT better.  Eddie would have been more lively on camera than those later shots of what appeared to be a bored Queen Elizabeth II. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - July 29, 2012 at 2:27 am

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Giving the ‘Death Penalty’ to Penn State’s Football Program

The shocking sexual abuse trial of former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has rocked not only the world of college football, but also the nation as a whole.

Sandusky has been found guilty of 45 counts of child molestation, many of them taking place on or near Penn State University.    He met all of his young male victims through The Second Mile, a program he founded to help troubled youths.  Sandusky is currently in prison awaiting his sentencing.  It’s safe to say that Jerry Sandusky will live the rest of his pitiful excuse for a life in a state prison, never again setting foot in the outside world as a free man.

As far as Sandusky, it’s case closed.  He’s been convicted and it’s up to the state of Pennsylvania to handle his sentencing and punishment.

Former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno served over Sandusky for thirty-one seasons from 1969 to 1999.  Paterno had known about Sandusky’s sexual attacks against young boys.  Paterno, more interested in protecting his image along with the images of the university and its football program, chose to look the other way.  Joe Paterno informed his superiors of Sandusky’s actions, but he failed to pursue any legal action against Sandusky or seek help for his victims.  Thanks to today’s society of worshipping athletes and athletic programs, those cries for help fell upon deaf ears.

Just say NO! to Joe Paterno's statue.

Joe Paterno was fired as Penn State University head football coach on November 9, 2011.  Many students and football fans in Happy Valley, PA rioted when the news was announced.  Later, Penn State players were crying that they missed the presence of their idolized head coach. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - July 17, 2012 at 6:17 pm

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Red Bull Events From Soapbox Racing to Crashed Ice

Recently I’ve been seeing TV commercials advertising an upcoming Red Bull Soapbox Race here in Atlanta, GA.

I’ve known about Red Bull Air Racing for quite some time, although it is rather disappointing that my TV channels no longer air the air races.  But Red Bull Soapbox Races with a wide (and wacky) variety of cars and competitors?  Now that has entertainment written all over it.

Check out some of the action from previous Red Bull Soapbox Races!

Red Bull Soapbox Race – Los Angeles (2011)

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Red Bull Soapbox Race – Guadalajara (2012)

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Red Bull Soapbox Race – Belgium (2012)

We know that Red Bull sponsors some pretty wild events.  Take a look at a few other events sponsored by the energy drink. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - June 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

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NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – 2012 edition

The month of March has arrived, and to way too many people that means only one thing:  college basketball.

Specifically, March Madness and the quest for the championship.

People will spend days analyzing and making predictions, only to be shocked when the upsets occur.  Personally, I could care less.  While I don’t mind watching the occasional game on TV, basketball (any level), is just not my thing.  If people want to spend time on the whole “bracketology” crap and everything associated with it, then that’s their problem.

So what happens when it’s time to fill out a bracket just for the fun of it, and you really don’t know anything about the teams this year?  That’s where the coin comes into play.

Yes, folks, the infamous coin has returned.  I had to switch coins this year as my normal one grew legs and walked away.  Let’s hope that this alternate coin has a little bit better luck than the previous two coin predictions.

2012 college basketball bracket --- coin's predictions

For the 2012 season, the coin has predicted Colorado, Memphis, Montana and Purdue as the Final Four teams.  The University of Colorado is predicted to be the overall winner. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - March 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm

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Oklahoma State University Women’s Basketball Plane Crash

As most of you probably know by know, the college sports world was rocked once again by the announcing of the deaths of Oklahoma State University women’s basketball head coach, Kurt Budke, and assistant coach, Miranda Serna, from a plane crash that occurred around 4 pm Thursday afternoon.

And as it’s been posted by the news media and sports history buffs, this is the second time in ten years that Oklahoma State has lost part of its basketball program in a plane crash.  In January of 2001, ten people affiliated with players and coaches of the OK State men’s basketball team died after their plane crashed in Colorado following a basketball game.

Budke and Serna were en-route to Little Rock, Arkansas, on a recruiting trip when their single-engine plane went down and crashed in mountainous, heavily-wooded terrain.  It’s also been reported that the pilot of the aircraft was eighty-two years old.

Personally, I have no idea who Budke and Serna were.  I don’t follow men’s or women’s basketball programs, college or professional.  However, from what I’ve seen so far, it sounds like both people were well-liked and respected in their field, and this is a tough loss and serious blow to not only Oklahoma State faculty and students, but fans of the sport in general.

For the crash, I haven’t seen any details yet about the make or model of the aircraft, or any other conditions of the flight.  It was reported that the aircraft was built back in 1964.  For anybody who’s flown general aviation, you know as well as I do that this is a moot point.  Most Cessna trainers were built in the early 1970s, and many aircraft from the 1960s are still very much flyable as long as the aircraft’s owner(s) keep up with the required maintenance.

It was also reported that the pilot himself was eighty-two years old.  The pilot’s age may have very well been a factor.  Hunters in the area reported that they heard the aircraft’s engine sputter before it took a nosedive and crashed into the hilly terrain.  So far I haven’t heard any reports of pieces of the airplane falling away from the aircraft.  Was the engine sputtering and presumed engine failure caused by a mechanical issue, or was it related to pilot error? Read more…

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - November 19, 2011 at 1:54 am

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The Mafia of Penn State Football

This past week has been nothing but sickening when following the most disturbing of news out of the Penn State football program.

Yes, Gerald (aka Jerry) Sandusky is complete scum and deserves to rot in jail for the rest of his natural life.  One could only hope that he learns new definitions of pain and suffering at the hands of his fellow inmates in the general population of a federal prison.

Yes, former head football coach Joe Paterno deserved to be fired immediately and not allowed to resign at the end of the current year.  It’s time somebody finally put his massive ego and arrogance in its place.

Penn State fans rioting and flipping over an ABC news van after firing of Joe Paterno

And yes, all of those fans rioting at Penn State, and the football players nearly crying because JoePa wasn’t on the bus or coaching their team are complete fools.  To side with Joe Paterno, one of many people who could have stopped Sandusky from raping teenage boys YEARS ago, is to side with child rapists and all power to the almighty athletes.

Go ahead and read the Grand Jury report on Jerry Sandusky. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - November 15, 2011 at 6:44 pm

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College Football 2011 — Let The Games Begin!

This is it!

It’s finally arrived!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS BACK!  HOORAY!

After waiting all winter, making it through the spring, and counting down the days through the brutally hot summer, the wait is finally finished.

College football games already started on Thursday.  My school dominated its opponent on the road.  There were two more games tonight.  Baylor just defeated TCU after the horned frogs made a Herculean comeback and briefly held the lead in the fourth quarter.  And tomorrow, the first Saturday of the college football season, is FULL of college football action from noon ’til midnight.

college football

Yes, my friends, college football is BACK!  🙂

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY

Miss. State is my alma mater.  I’ve been a diehard bulldog fan since being accepted by the university back in the spring of 1998.  Bully is a cool bulldog and the town of Starkville will always hold a special meaning to me.

Being a bulldog fan now is more exciting than ever.  Head coach Dan Mullen is an offensive MASTERMIND, a true genius in the sport.  With his leadership and tactics the football team has improved by leaps and bounds.  “National Championship” has never been in the vocabulary for my school’s football team (best of luck to anybody who thinks they can conquer the SEC West), but to have a consistently good football team capable of beating that team up north and winning in bowl games is acceptable enough by many of us bulldog fans. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - September 3, 2011 at 1:44 am

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NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – 2011 edition

It’s that time of the year again, sports fans!

MARCH MADNESS!!!!

Ahhhhhhhhh!

Okay, maybe that’s taking it a bit too far.  I know that there’s a huge craze for college basketball, but I’m not one of those fans.  So far this year I’ve seen all of one game and half of another.  That’s it.  But I still like March Madness because every game counts and anything can happen.

This year I filled out two brackets.  The first bracket is a continuation of picking every game by the flip of a coin.  The coin is a 1987 $1 gaming token from the Circus Circus Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.  For those of you keeping track, that is the same exact coin that was used in last year’s coin-flipping tournament bracket.  Yeah, exciting stuff.

basketball tournament bracket - coin flippingThe coin is predicting a tournament victory for Purdue University.  Highlights include Ohio State and Duke losing in the first round, and UTSA and Richmond both advancing to the Elite Eight.  Wouldn’t that be entertaining? Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - March 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm

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Super Bowl XLV – Random Thoughts

Last night was one of the best Super Bowl games that I’ve seen for quite some time.

From the Packers’ giant lead in the first half, to the Steelers’ heroic comeback in the second half, to the nail-biting final drive of the game, that was one epic battle.  The fact that my favored team won the game made the night a little bit better.

But what is a Super Bowl these days without a bit of controversy and some disappointment?

From Christina Aguilera screeching and ruining the national anthem (aside from forgetting some lyrics despite there supposedly being a teleprompter) to the absolute disgrace of a halftime show starring the Black Eyed Peas, the live entertainment failed miserably.  Fergie, you’re lucky that Slash didn’t crack his guitar upside your head for ruining “Sweet Child o’ Mine.”

And of course, at least two commercials had questionable content.

Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

Doritos – Best Part commercial Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - February 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Categories: marketing, sports   Tags: , ,

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