August 16, 2019
While Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback to Ben Roethlisberger Joshua Dobbs has had some positive plays since joining the team a few years back, he now may be facing a roster elimination over the course of the next three preseason games.
That’s because Mason Rudolph who was drafted last year is thought by many to be the eventual successor to “Big Ben.” That and the emergence of an undrafted kid this year that has the nickname “Duck.” Devlin Hodges has opened eyes thus far at training camp in Latrobe, and in his first NFL appearance last week at Heinz Field, Duck partially led the Pittsburgh offense to a win over Tampa 30-28.
Dobbs vs. Rudolph vs. Hodges Who becomes #2 & #3?
In the process, Hodges completed eight of 14 pass attempts good for 79 yards including a touchdown. Mason Rudolph starts tomorrow night in Pittsburgh when the mighty Kansas City Chiefs come to town but Hodges will get playing time again so says Mike Tomlin. If you are wondering where the nickname Duck comes from, it has nothing to do with football. The explanation from Hodges:
“It’s definitely not because I throw ducks. I won a national duck-calling contest years ago. Lots of times as a QB, if your nickname’s Duck, that’s usually not a good thing.”
Out on TribLive, they have posted a poll asking the question, “If the Steelers were to trade one of these quarterbacks, who would you like to see shipped out?” When I checked the poll this morning, with 411 responses in, the results were this:
Josh Dobbs-82%, Mason Rudolph-10%, Devlin Hodges-9%
Uh oh. Not that these results would have any impact on Mike Tomlin’s decision on who the two backups to Roethlisberger will be but Hodges is doing all he can to unseat one of the two before him. His college credentials are solid. Despite coming out of a small school like Samford University, Hodges graduated as the NCAA FCS all-time king in passing yards with 14,584. That broke the record held by the late Steve McNair that the former Tennessee Titans quarterback set in 1994.
Hodges was also the winner of the Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Year three of his four years at Samford. In 2018 he won the Walter Payton Award given to who is deemed the most outstanding offensive player in Division I’s subdivisions. As an indication of his success with Pittsburgh this summer, the “Duck” has taken more reps in practice than any other fourth quarterback on the roster in the last several years.
For the record, last year Hodges completed 388 out of 550 pass attempts for an impressive 70.5% completion rate. In his four years at Samford, Hodges finished with a 69.1% mark. He also went over 4,000 yards passing twice at Samford. His high mark for touchdown passes was 36 in 2016 and he finished with a career total of 111. That’s an average of nearly 28 touchdowns a season.
The downside to Devlin Hodges’ college career is that his interceptions were a bit high. 16 last season and 11 the year before. 41 in four years which is a little over 10 for an average of this four years at Samford. He was also sacked 70 times or 17 ½ per season. But another positive is that he can fill in as a punter. From 2016-2018, Hodges punted 23 times for a 36.0 average.
As for his team, the Samford University Bulldogs led by head coach Chris Hatcher went 6-5, 7-5, 8-4, and 6-5 in Devlin Hodges four years there from 2015-2018 respectively. They made the I-AA/FCS playoff twice in those four years in 2016 and 2017 where they lost in the first round to Youngstown state three years ago 38-24 and then to Kennesaw State in 2017 28-17. In the Youngstown State game, Hodges completed 33 passes and threw for 372 yards including three scores.
In the loss to Kennesaw state, Hodges threw the ball an incredible 66 times, completing 39 while nearly throwing for 400 yards passing (396). He was picked off once and could only find the end zone once. The bottom line is that Devlin “Duck” Hodges is a very serious threat to make this roster and if I were Mike Tomlin, I would send the more than often less impressive Joshua Dobbs packing and take my chance with the two younger men who have shown much more promise.
Tomorrow night UFC 241 goes down in Anaheim, California and for a fight card that has 12 bouts on it, the lineup is very top heavy as far as good matchups go. The main event is the heavyweight championship rematch between the current title holder Daniel Cormier and the man he knocked out to win the belt, Stipe Miocic. Then there is a highly anticipated fight as the co-main seeing Nate Diaz making his return to fight Anthony Pettis.
Before I make my predictions on the major fights of the card, a few comments from some fighters who have reacted to the video TMZ Sports has released showing former champion Conor McGregor punching a patron of a bar in the face after words were exchanged. Three fighters speak their words below, one in support two very critical.
“It's crazy. All media stayed quiet; nobody posted about this. I can't imagine if I punched this guy how many media are gonna post it and talk about me. This is like really, really bad thing. Like, even if this old guy on video punch your face 10 times, you can't punch this guy's face. You can't. This is like impossible. We have to respect all people. I don't understand. I think these people have to go jail, brother. They have to go jail. This happened in Ireland? What happened about Ireland government? ... We guys from Russia have problem with visa, but why this bullshit guy don't have problem with visa in U.S.A? How U.S.A. can give him visa or something like this, respect or job? These people, they have to go jail. This guy McGregor has no class, no respect. This is very bad for sport. Some things he's doing are good for sport, but right now, he without his mind. He lose his mind. It's crazy and government has to smash him.”
“It was crazy, but who knows what that dude said? I’m sure something was said for him to do that. He’s not going to punch somebody in the face for no reason.”
“Somebody get me in contact with the old man. He deserves a real shot of whiskey instead of that trash the little guy was trying to force him to drink.”
No matter what your opinion might be, McGregor is nothing more than a punk. This is a man with two kids and a girlfriend he has yet to marry despite her giving him two children. He may even have a third if the accusations from one Terri Murray are true in which she says she had a one night stand with McGregor in 2017 and nine months later she gave birth to a baby girl. You tell me, does this child below resembles the MMA fighter? Khabib is right…Conor McGregor has ZERO class and has been consistently getting himself into legal trouble most of it in a violent way.
Now I pull out my MMA crystal ball and this is what I think about the big fights of UFC 241 working from the bottom up.
Raphael Assunção vs. Cory Sandhagen (Bantamweight)
Sandhagen is coming off the biggest win of his career when he defeated John Lineker in a decision last April. He has lost just once in his 12 fights that to Jamall Emmers in a unanimous decision while fighting in the Legacy Fighting Alliance in 2017. Assunção on the other hand has been in 33 fights winning 27 but he has fought some of the best fighters of his division. That includes Marlon Moraes, Alijamain Sterling, and T.J. Dillashaw. Assunção also lost to Urijah Faber with no surprise that it was a rear naked choke. I think experience wins the day here and Assunção gets the decision nod.
Derek Brunson vs. Ian Heinisch (Middleweight)
Like Sandhagen, Heinisch is taking a big step up to fight a much more experienced guy in Derek Brunson. Also like Sandhagen, there is only one loss on Ian Heinisch’s record. That loss was to Markus Perez who put an arm triangle on Heinisch to finish him in just one round. Since then, the American born Heinisch has won his last five fights in a row three by KO and two by decision. Brunson once thought to be a contender for a title has had an up and down career. In 26 fights he has lost seven. Two of those seven came in his last three fights where he lost to Israel Adesanya and Ronaldo Souza, two very good fighters.
In fact, Derek Brunson has lost four of his last seven. He is coming off a victory over Elias Theodorou but before beating Lyoto Machida and Dan Kelly, he lost to Anderson Silva and Robert Whitaker. Like Raphael Assunção, he’s fought some of the best MMA guys out there. That will give him the edge and Brunson wins by decision.
Now the top heavy card of UFC 241…
Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa (Middleweight)
This one should be a doozy. Between the two there have been 28 fights and just three losses and they all belong to Romero. Romero lost two of his last three outings to Robert Whitaker in what was supposed to be a title fight but become Romero missed weight it became a non-title bout and then the other loss was a first meeting between the two fighters. Both results were decisions.
For the undefeated Costa, since turning pro in 2012 he has won all of his 12 bouts 11 by knockout and one submission. That means NO ONE has gone the distance yet with the rising star. In his last two fights, Costa knocked out Uriah Hall and received Performance of the Night honors and previous to that was a TKO victory over Johny Hendricks.
This is a fight that could go either way but my gut is telling me Costa remains undefeated winning by decision.
Anthony Pettis vs. Nate Diaz (Welterweight)
This fight is so razor close it can easily go either way. This is the most difficult pick of the night for sure. What I can say is that Nate Diaz is absolutely one of the most dangerous fighters in all of MMA. He is well schooled in all aspects of mixed martial arts and can beat you in a number of ways be it by striking, on the ground, or with kicks. He likes to talk about how he is one of the originals and that he wants to beat the “Wheaties box dude” that is Anthony Pettis who once appeared on the cereal box.
Diaz began his pro career in 2004 and along his fighting path has lost 11 of 19 fights while knocking out just four opponents but submitting another 12. He has had just one shot at a UFC title and in that he lost to Benson Henderson by decision. Nate Diaz was however, the WEC light champion a belt he won by submitting Hermes Franca in 2006 which led to his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter 5 which he won.
Nate Diaz has fought the some of the best fighters of his era losing to men like Clay Guida, Gray Maynard, Rory McDonald, Henderson, Josh Thomson, Rafael dos Anjos, and Conor McGregor. He has beaten the likes of McGregor, Michael Johnson, Jim Miller, Donald Cerrone, Takanori Gomi, Melvin Guillard, and Manny Gamburyan.
As for Pettis, he’s been around for a long time too getting his start in 2007. He has won a UFC title, the lightweight belt when he submitted Benson Henderson on August 31, 2013. Many will remember that fight for the crazy head kick Pettis landed when he used the Octagon cage as a springboard to throw the kick. But his competition has been much stiffer that that of Diaz’s.
Pettis also lost to Clay Guida, and fought Eddie Alvarez (loss), Rafael dos Anjos (L), Gilbert Melendez (win), Donald Cerrone (W), Joe Lauzon (W), Jeremy Stephens (W), Henderson (two wins), Edson Barboza (L), Max Holloway (L), Charles Oliveira (W), Jim Miller (W), Dustin Poirier (L), Michael Chiesa (W), Tony Ferguson (L), and in his last fight a spectacular knockout of Stephen Thompson that saw “The Wonder Boy” go to sleep.
When the first round of this fight begins, don’t go looking for a beer. This is going to be a war from the get-go. Both men have said there will be no ground game it’s toe-to-toe. If that becomes the case, watch for Diaz to get bloody. He’s a bleeder but has a granite chin. He’s only been knocked out once that to Josh Thomson who stopped Diaz with a barrage of head kicks and punches.
Anthony Pettis has been knocked out twice. Tony Ferguson scored a TKO when Pettis’s corner put an end to that affair. Max Holloway finished Pettis with a TKO using a body kick and following it up with strikes. If this fight does go the ground, I believe Diaz has a MAJOR advantage. Nate Diaz can stop you in an array of moves on the ground.
Leading up to this fight, Anthony Pettis has done most of the yapping while in his usual self, Nate Diaz is just the cool, laid back dude who doesn’t talk a lot of smack and says F-YOU to everyone. He throws caution to the wind and could not care any less about what anyone thinks evident of his lighting up of what he said was CBD during his open workout and not a blunt or joint as some may have expected.
Again, this is an EXTREMELY difficult fight to pick. My gut says Pettis wins in some fashion, but my brain is saying that Nate Diaz is such a warrior and he never panics so I’m going to use my head and say that Diaz wins by submission in the third round.
Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic (Heavyweight)
Now for the big one…literally. Stipe Miocic is a big dude. He’s 6’4” and is about 242 pounds. Daniel Cormier is only 5’11” so he gives away five inches in height. At the face offs the other day, Miocic made the champion look small. While he was champion, Miocic defended his title three times which is the most in UFC history for his division. He has 18 wins and just three losses on his record, last year’s loss to Cormier and a loss to Junior dos Santos and Stefan Struve where “The Skyscraper” scored a TKO and the also former champion dos Santos getting the unanimous decision.
In between losing to dos Santos and then Cormier, Stipe Miocic won the belt from Fabricio Werdum but along the way to that title bout he had won six straight fights some before winning the title and then those three defenses as he defeated Alistair Overeem, dos Santos by TKO, and then silencing the monster known as Francis Ngannou.
Daniel Cormier will stand across of Miocic again, shocking him last year with an unexpected knockout and the former Olympian loves to boast about how he is the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time). But he has not earned that label because there is a man out there who convincingly defeated Cormier…twice. Jon Jones was the victor and the light heavyweight champion has not lost yet. Jones may be the G.O.A.T. and not Cormier.
But Cormier does have a nice resume. He competed in the 2004 Olympic games but finished in fourth place. He was the Strikeforce heavyweight champion winning the belt from Josh Barnett. He also won a title in the King of the Cage organization and in the XMMA league. As well known he was the light heavyweight champion but won that belt when it was vacated by Jones who had to forfeit his title because of his PED usage.
Then Cormier became a two-division champion simultaneously by scoring the win over Miocic last year. 22 fights total and just one loss OFFICIALLY. When Jon Jones beat him the second time around, that decision was turned into a no contest because of the PED violation. Jones knocked him out with a head kick that left Cormier crying in the Octagon afterwards.
You talk about someone that has another fighter’s number and that would be Jon Jones simply owning Daniel Cormier. If they fought 10 more times, Jones would win them all. For that reason, he can’t be the G.O.A.T. But he talks like it anyway. Cormier has won seven straight fights split by the no contest and in his 22 wins has scored 10 knockouts and five submissions.
Again, this fight is difficult to pick. I think the first meeting was a fluke and this time if they start exchanging strikes it will be Miocic who gets the better of it. Cormier may be looking to go with his bread-and-butter of getting his opponent in a clinch and then riding him to the canvas where he uses his body weight to gain the advantage in domination of controlling the clock. Is Miocic strong enough to escape that? I’m not sure.
I believe the end result will be Miocic becoming the first man to stop Daniel Cormier and it will come by way of strikes and score a TKO when the referee calls that bout to a halt.
August 15, 2019
As the Pittsburgh Steelers opened their 2019 preseason with a rather impressive victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-28 on Friday night, the weekend ended on a sad note when their wide receivers coach Darryl Drake suddenly passed away early Sunday morning at the young age of 62.
The official cause of his death has not been released yet but it affected the team deeply. The official announcement from President Art Rooney II was as follows:
“We are at a loss for words following Darryl Drake's passing this morning. Darryl had such an impact on the players he coached and everyone he worked with throughout his entire career. He was a passionate coach and had a tremendous spirit toward life, his family, his faith, and the game of football. Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Sheila, his three daughters, his grandchildren, and his entire family during this difficult time.”
Mike Tomlin also spoke to the media regarding the loss of his coach:
“Darryl was a close friend and had a tremendous impact on my coaching career. He was an amazing husband, father, and grandfather, and it is difficult to put into words the grief our entire team is going through right now. Darryl loved the game of football and every player he ever coached. We will use our faith to guide us and help his family throughout this difficult time. My heart and our prayers are with his wife, Sheila, and Darryl's entire family.”
This was just the second season on the sidelines with Pittsburgh for Drake where he had previously held the same position with the Arizona Cardinals from 2013-2017 and with the Chicago Bears from 2004-2012. Drake also played football, first for Western Kentucky University as a wide receiver finishing his career there in 1978. He did make it to the pro level joining the Washington Redskins in 1979 then heading north where he played in the Canadian Football League with the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1981 then returned to the NFL for a short stint with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1983.
Before coming to the NFL, Drake held a number of positions for these college teams:
A New Level of Ridiculousness
The Antonio Brown saga has reached a new level of stupidity. Not only has the former Steelers standout sidelined himself with an injury to his feet from going unprotected into a Cryotherapy chamber in France, now comes word that he is refusing to report to the Oakland Raiders because the NFL will not allow him to wear the helmet he has placed on his head for the last 10 years.
Because his helmet of choice exceeded the 10-year age limit, the league has ruled he can not use it. Therefore, Brown is threatening retiring over the issue and at worst if he is forced to wear it, he has indicated that he will hold the National Football League liable if he suffers a head injury while wearing the helmet they are forcing him to wear.
Even more idiotic is that his new head coach Jon Gruden stands behind him on the issue. However, what else would Gruden say anyway? His front office gave A.B. millions of dollars in a trade with Pittsburgh to play in Silver and Black and not Black and Gold so this is what “Chuckie” said:
“There's been a lot of reports out there. I can't say I agree with all of them. But I support this guy. I think that's what needs to be said. This foot injury wasn't his fault. This was a total accident. It really wasn't his fault and it's a serious injury. I know some people are smarting at it, but it's really not a laughing matter. The guy was hurt, he's innocent, and he didn't do anything wrong. And the helmet thing is a personal matter to him. He has a strong feeling about what he's worn on his head and we're supporting him. Whatever his decision is, we'll stand by it, but we're confident that he's going to be a huge factor for the Raiders for years to come.”
Good luck with that Gruden. The Raiders are in for a very long and trying season if Brown does in fact end up showing up. But the longer he is out, the more drama there will be for the league’s absolute #1 drama queen.
Riding the Tank
In the NBA often you will hear the term “tanking.” That usually refers to a team that stops trying to win games in an effort to finish with a worse record so that they can obtain a better draft pick. It appears that the Pittsburgh Pirates are “tanking” in Major League Baseball. The first half of the season prior to the All-Star Break, the Bucs were competitive and even within reach of a wild card or better a division title shot.
On Sunday, July 7 the weekend before the break, Pittsburgh was 44-45 and 2 ½ games behind first place. Since that time, the team has gone 3-24. That’s right you did not read wrong. They have lost 24 of their last 27 including their eighth straight loss yesterday to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates have lost nine of their last 10 and their season was over a long time ago. They are now 15 ½ games back in last place and they WILL NOT be catching fourth place Cincinnati who holds an 8 ½ game lead over the hapless Buccos.
It’s gotten so bad for Pittsburgh that they have now given up 644 runs to opponents this season while scoring 100 less. It will be interesting to see how many fans show up at PNC Park the rest of the way for the final 45 games. The last time the Pirates were home on August 7, only 12,885 showed up to watch the Milwaukee Brewers hammer the Bucs 8-3. First half offensive star Josh Bell has slumped as well in the second half now hitting .284 and only having 29 home runs has relinquished the RBI lead to Freddie Freeman who with 95 runs batted in is now two ahead of Bell. Once among the home run leaders, Bell is not in the pack anymore falling far behind the N.L. leader Christian Yelich who has smacked 39. While the Pirates’ faithful did not expect a division title this season and perhaps not even a wild card, this is not what they thought would be the end result.
A Real ZZZZZ Fest
This past Saturday MMA was back in action with “UFC Fight Night: Shevchenko vs. Carmouche 2.” If you hung around long enough to watch the main even between flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko and Liz Carmouche, did you then make it through all five rounds? In a very uneventful bout, Shevchenko played it safe and carried Carmouche for five rounds, never really putting her in much danger and for Carmouche, she never even got close enough to the champion to sway the judges in her favor.
It was a “safely” fought fight for the champion which came to a surprise after her tremendous knockout by a head kick to Jessica Eye her last time out. All three judges scored the fight 50-45 and it was truthfully that much of a disparity. The highlight of this card had to be in the co-main event where Vicente Luque rearranged the face of Mike Perry over three rounds and winning a split decision in a fight that really could have gone either way. But Perry had his nose broken in what has to be the worst broken nose ever in the MMA.
Coming next weekend is one hell of a card at UFC 241 when the rematch between heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and former champ Stipe Miocic goes down. Miocic tries to get his belt back from the man who took it and he says he will become champion again. In the co-main, it should be fight of the night when two men who have have smack talked each other for years and were supposed to fight earlier than this go at it. Anthony Pettis takes on the returing Nate Diaz in what even might end up being the fight of the year.
Yoel Romero fights Paulo Costa in what should also be a great fight and then there are nine other fights on the card. My predicions on the big fights of the main card come later this week. In other UFC news, another great matchup was made this weekend when at UFC 243, Dan Hooker gets into the Octagon with Al Iaquinta on October 5 in Australia. That will on the same card as the middleweight title bout between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whitaker.
Simply the Best
In other sports news, if you like gymnastics then you know that Simone Biles has won the United States title this past weekend and she did it with emphasis. She became the first woman in almost 70 years to win a sixth American title. She also landed what is deemed a very difficult triple double.
Ex-Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and current Oakland Raider Antonio Brown simply can not stay out of the headlines.
Brown who has missed most of Oakland’s training camp thus far, has not participated because of what was originally termed a “foot issue.” Now the real reason has surfaced. A.B. is not taking part with team practices because he put himself into a cryogenic chamber but did so without the necessary footwear.
As a result, he suffered frostbite to his feet and this is the reason he is not taking part in training camp. The facility Brown was at was in France which makes this situation more ridiculous. There are plenty of such chambers here in the U.S. so why go overseas for use of the machine?
Also why not just jump in a tub of ice water like most athletes do? Brown is a prima donna and has such a big ego he probably ignored any advice on properly using a cryogenic chamber and now he’s paying the price. Such injury cause by cold therapy such as this is not uncommon and track star Justin Gatlin experienced the same misfortune.
While a guest of TMZ Sports this week, Gatlin said the following:
“It was a disaster. I had, like, boils and blisters all over my ankles. He's not going to be able to run those routes properly without healing his feet totally. Every day I had to get those blisters popped by hand by a therapist. It just got really, really bad.”
How bad? Take a look…
As the NFL season inches closer, the Cleveland Brown believers appear to still be onboard. Over on theScore.com they are looking ahead to the season.
AFC North betting preview and predictions
C Jackson Cowart, theScore.com
The Cleveland Browns are good, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in transition, and Marvin Lewis is not the coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. What's going on in the AFC North? Arguably no division saw bigger turnover in the offseason than this one, with Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell leaving town and Odell Beckham Jr. joining the mix in Cleveland. The AFC North is one of just two divisions with a plus-money favorite (NFC North), and while bettors are fading the Browns as division winners, they're pounding them as Super Bowl contenders.
Here are the best bets, value plays, and picks to avoid in the AFC North for 2019.
Steelers under 9 wins (Even)
Pittsburgh won nine games last year, then lost the core of what made the team so dangerous the past few seasons. However, bettors are still riding the over on the Steelers' win total and betting them to a tie atop the division at 7-5 odds.
Brown and Bell are gone, and even the biggest fans of JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner can acknowledge the downgrade for a team that's relied on offensive firepower for years. The defense was average across the board last season, with a near-worst special teams unit. Is there any reason to expect improvement in 2019?
Ben Roethlisberger led the league with a career-high 5,129 passing yards last year but owned a virtually identical touchdown and interception rate from his 2017 season, so it's hard to expect growth for the 37-year-old quarterback.
Better chemistry is really the only selling point for improvement, and that's not enough to replace two All-Pro offensive talents and fix a leaky defense.
Bet to avoid
Anything on the Browns
Let's be honest here, we have no idea what's going to happen in Cleveland this year. Improvement feels imminent from last season's 7-8-1 record - especially after acquiring arguably the most talented receiver in football - but it's dangerous placing too much stock in a young team.
Baker Mayfield may be a future star, but he also ranked 22nd in quarterback rating (55.7) in his 14-game debut and showed his youth with high INTs (14) and a low completion percentage (63.8). The defense, littered with young stars, ranked 27th in Pro Football Focus' team grades in 2018, and Cleveland's special teams unit was 30th.
It's also foolish to chase the market, which has already pummeled the Browns' odds into the ground to win the Super Bowl (20-1) and AFC (8-1). If you think Year 2 is the time to bet on Cleveland's storybook season, all the power to you. It's smarter to wait.
August 7, 2019
This morning while listening to the Golic/Wingo Show on ESPN, they had mentioned a sport called “Chess-Boxing.” It is a combination of two men or women playing a game of chess in a boxing ring then boxing. SAY WHAT?
I thought this was a joke until I got to my computer and researched this so-called sport. Folks…IT’s REAL! Believe it or not, it is actually an organized sport complete with a world champion. It’s no joke. This exists. Golic and Wingo also had mentioned professional stone skipping and wait…professional championships of “Rock-Paper-Scissors.”
I kid you not. I looked up all three sports and there in plain site were videos of these sports complete with spectators. I was dumbfounded. I mean, what does it take for some people to be entertained? Give me a good movie or documentary, or preferably a game in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, from time to time a playoff or championship game in the NBA, a good boxing or MMA match and I’m entertained by television.
But to sit down and watch one of these ridiculous sports (which I might add includes the ridiculous entertainment industry known as professional wrestling) or even worse attend one of these events, would make me as moronic as those who do. What is wrong with these people? Pay money to go and watch two people have a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors?
Now given the problems of the world, sports has always been a good distraction from more serious issues taking place on planet earth but what these type of events do is dummy us down. These made up sports are so utterly ridiculous for the intelligent and common sense people of the world it leaves us scratching our heads and asking are we really this dumb?
Any of the “sports” I speak of in this blog today I found either on Google or Wikipedia so you can look them up yourselves if need be. I began with the top of Chess-Boxing championships and if you think I was kidding or it isn’t real, then just look below.
This idiocy was created by a Dutch performance artist named Iepe Rubingh. Reportedly, it is most common in Germany, the United Kingdom, India, and Russia. The last champion crowned in Europe was in 2016 when Italy’s Sergio Leveque won the heavyweight championship held in London as he defeated Daniel Wakeham who represented the United Kingdom.
What are the rules? 11 rounds which consist of six rounds of chess and five rounds of boxing, and to win you must either win the chess match or win the five rounds of boxing. Incredibly, incredibly STUPID. Just like boxing, the rounds are three minutes in length.
So are you interested in even more stupidity? I mentioned the Rock-Paper-Scissors championships. Again, this is NO JOKE. In fact below you can watch a version of their televised championship held in Las Vegas where $50,000 in prize money was on the line.
These idiots even have their own web site at https://www.wrpsa.com/rock-paper-scissors-world-championship.
Wait…it gets even better or worse in my opinion because I found this video of the 2017 World Stone Skimming Championships. I used to do this as a kid. Find a lake, pick up a nice flat stone and see how many times I could make it skip. Now, people are winning prize money to do this. How much athleticism does it take to play Rock-Paper-Scissors or skip a stone across water? I seriously hope these morons are not calling themselves “athletes.”
This topic simply does not get any better. There is an actual organization called the “North American Stone Skipping Association”(NASSA) and its founder is Coleman-McGhee who created this in 1989 out of Driftwood, Texas. There were sanctioned world titles that from 1989 through 1992 held in Wimberley, Texas and then a world championship that takes place in Cadaqués, Catalonia, Spain. This event has noted world records such as number of skips which was set by Kurtn “Mountain Man” Steiner who had a stone skip 88 times across water done so in 2014 in the water below the Red Bridge in the Allegheny National Forestlocated in Pennsylvania. Last year’s champion was Peter Szep of Hungary.
I thought this ridiculousness would stop with the aforementioned but no, I found an article on the Huffington Post that lists the world’s most “bizarre” sports. Right at the top of the list is a competition you simply won’t believe…
This is not a joke. You can find this list of not-so-popular “sports” on the Huffington Post at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/10-super-weird-and-bizarre-sports_n_55f09755e4b002d5c077e25c.
Their list of 10 bizarre sports are:
1. Wife Carrying
2. Chess Boxing
3. Cheese Rolling
4. Extreme Ironing
5. Egg Throwing
6. Underwater Hockey
7. Shin Kicking
8. Toe Wrestling
9. Sepak Takraw
10. Musical Canine Freestyle
If you are not going to visit this site, then I give you to video from one of the “wife carrying” events:
This whole blog stems from not just the Golic & Wingo Show but an article on ESPN that details their ESPN8: The Ocho show:
Since 2017, ESPN8: The Ocho has showcased the wider world of underground sports. This year, you not only can watch 24 hours of the wackiest events programming from around the world, you also can learn how to play them from the comfort of your own backyard or living room.
The bottom line is our country and our world has lost the interest and ability to make itself wiser. The internet and social media outlets are hugely to blame for this. Not just everyone but the future generations of young people who are locked into their cell phones and devices are being exposed to not just this type of stupidity, but so much other garbage they can find on the internet and through social media.
While the internet, Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube can have very important uses and pathways to excellent research and information, those outlets are being polluted with absolutely bullshit. It’s making the world dumber and only those who intend on using them for improving themselves or becoming wiser are the ones getting any benefit from its use.
To have an event like “Wife Carrying” or “Shin Kicking” just makes anyone with common sense roll their eyes upwards in disbelief. In addition to these idiotic events, another problem with the world is those of prominence and in the spotlight setting terrible examples. Take for example the recent viral release of Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield at a Major League Baseball Cleveland Indians game seen on video with a beer can biting into it and chugging the booze down. Real nice.
This is the example we want our youth to see? A moron acting like some teenage idiot. But Mayfield is not alone in this…just watch the video below of others who play his position repeating the act of showing the world they can chug a beer. I’m still shaking my head.
Can we talk REAL sports now? Brought to my attention this morning was the Pittsburgh Steelers top rookie this year, Devin Bush and how in an interview someone asked him about how he tried to damage the midfield logo before his Michigan game against Michigan State last year. He was asked if he would do the same to the Baltimore Ravens this year and while he gave a joking answer to that, if you never saw him doing the Michigan State thing, here it is below and for the record, his Wolverines defeated their arch rivals 21-7.
The Steelers are preparing for the first preseason game which takes place at Heinz Field Friday night when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to town. In the news this week was also the fact that Ben Roethlisberger’s Hampton Township home in Pittsburgh is up for sale so whomever purchases the house gets a swimming pool with the #7 emblazoned on the pool floor.
Speaking of NFL player’s homes for sale, Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bundchen have reportedly put their mansion up for sale which they paid $4.5 million for the land and then built this fortress which is being reported at a sale price of $39.5 million. So I ask you, if you made millions of dollars, would you really need to have a home like this for two parents and two children (a third which time is split with his ex-wife)?
As a follow-up to last Saturday’s Colby Covington/Robbie Lawlor UFC bout, Covington’s victory has led him to a matchup with the real welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman on November 2 for the main event of UFC 244. The fights will be in Madison Square Garden. On October 5, Holly Holm climbs back into the Octagon for a fight with Raquel Pennington. Since defeating Ronda Rousey for the title, Holm has lost five of her last seven including her last fight a devastating loss to the champion Amanda Nunes who landed one of Holm’s bread and butter moves, a head kick.
Pennington and Holm have fought once before with Holm the decision winner but Raquel Pennington in her last seven fights has a reversal of Holm’s record at 5-2 including having won four in a row before losing two straight to Amanda Nunes and Ermaine de Randamie. That card on October 5 will be in Australia as a part of the main event championship bout between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whitaker.
Back to Covington for one other thought, if you missed his post-fight interview in the Octagon after defeating Robbie Lawlor, evidence of how much an idiot Covington is came out in his words:
“Let's talk about a lesson, Robbie Lawler should have learned from Matt Hughes. Get off the tracks when the train is coming.”
This in reference to former champion MMA fighter Matt Hughes who’s vehicle got stuck on a railroad track and the collision caused serious damager to Hughes. This had no humor to it whatsoever and was incredibly disrespectful. Let’s hope Usman shuts him up.
I’ll save the Pittsburgh Pirates for last since they are stuck in last place in the National League Central Division and appear to headed for a finish in the basement. Another baseball night last night and another loss for the Bucs. That’s another four in a row for those who are counting, eight of the last 10, 65 losses on the season, 13 games behind the Chicago Cubs who are in first and 6 ½ behind Cincinnati now who is one slot ahead of the Pirates. Wild card? Forget about it. 11 games back.
August 6, 2019
Each year around this time, I download the entire NFL schedule and then predict the winners week-by-week. I tally up the results and come up with division winners and wild card teams and then project who I think will win this season’s Super Bowl.
The results are in and some may immediately call me biased because I have my Pittsburgh Steelers winning their seventh Lombardi Trophy. Scoff at that if you will, but even without Antonio Brown on the field, this Steelers team in my estimation is going to actually be a BETTER team than what was in 2018.
The crop of new rookies will have an impact, JuJu Smith-Schuster will step to the plate in replacing A.B.; James Conner will return with something to prove; Devin Bush is going to wow fans; and quite simply, the chemistry is way better. There will be no distractions and the team already seems focused.
Here’s how I see it playing out:
One other noteworthy item of the day, it’s in Major League Baseball where yes, the Pirates lost again but more interesting is the fact that the New York Yankees continue to rip the cover off the ball. Just in Camden Yards in Baltimore alone, the men in pinstripes have stroked 32 home runs this season, the most by any one team in one park as a visiting team in history. The old record was 29 by the Milwaukee Braves who slammed 29 dingers at Crosley Field in Cincinnati way back in 1957.
August 5, 2019
Much to the delight of Pittsburgh Steelers fan everywhere (or most I’m sure) is the fact that ex-Steeler Antonio Brown has been a non-participant in the Oakland Raiders annual training camp thus far. This due to what A.B. terms a “foot issue.” Reportedly, it’s blisters giving Brown the problems and as of right now his participation is based on a day-to-day consideration for taking part in team activities.
Naturally, the once excited Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is no longer gleeful about his newly traded for toy:
“I think we're all disappointed. We think he's disappointed. We'd like to get the party started. We'd like to get him out here. He's a big part of the team. I want the guy out here as soon as possible. I'd like him to never leave and stay in the huddle every play. But life goes on and you've got to continue to work, and the other guys got to take advantage of these opportunities, and so far, they have.”
It already seems like it’s going to be a LONG season in Oakland filled with drama and talent from A.B. unfulfilled. You have to love it when an athlete squawks and boasts like Brown has done and then they can’t walk the walk from their talk the talk.
A Raider and a Hall
Oakland got another dose of a downer this past weekend when in less than a week a second legendary NFL player passed away. This past weekend it was former Raider Cliff Brank who reportedly died from natural causes in a hotel room. He was 71. Nick Buoniconti is the other veteran player who died as the ex-Miami Dolphins linebacker died on July 30.
Last Saturday, a handful of new enshrinees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame were inducted and they were:
Champ Bailey, Pat Bowlen, Gil Brandt, Tony Gonzalez, Ty Law, Kevin Mawae, Ed Reed, and Johnny Robinson.
In my opinion, Bailey Gonzalez, and Reed are definite worthies. If I was a voter, Mawae would not have gone in but replacing him would have been Alan Faneca. Robinson was voted in by the veteran’s or other special committees as was Gil Brandt and Pat Bowlen. Ty Law? He was a very good cornerback. One of the best ever? I don’t buy that.
Ahhh those Pittsburgh Pirates. They are having an absolute horrible second half to the 2019 season. Another weekend passed and another two out of three losses. Now the Bucs are 48-63 and 12 games behind first finding themselves in the basement of the National League Central Division falling further back from fourth place Cincinnati who is now 7 ½ back from the Cubs. Pittsburgh began their fade shortly after the All-Star game and it’s been a deep drop since.
Fire the Ref
Is Herb Dean the worst referee in the UFC? If he wasn’t before last Saturday, he is now. On the main card of UFC on ESPN Covington vs. Lawler, Dean was involved in two main card fights and he COMPLETELY blew both of them.
In the middleweight scrap between Geral Meerschaert and Trevin Giles, it went to a third round but in that last five minutes, Meerschaert caught Giles in a guillotine choke that Dean failed to see so even after Giles tapped Dean did not see the tap and got down on the canvas to check on Giles still not realizing he was already unconscious and had tapped so Meerschaert kept the hold on Giles neck much longer than he should have and Giles just fell limp.
Move to the co-main event and we had what was thougtht to be might possibly be the fight of the night. Two warriors, Jim Miller and Clay Guida. The end came quickly as Miller also caught Guida in the same choke Meerschaert had Giles in. With Guida not moving and not trying to escape, Dean lifts his right hand which is limp. Not once, not twice, but a third time each time it was obvious that Guida was out cold. Still, Dean did not separate Miller from his choke hold despite Guida being asleep.
This is certainly not the first ime Herb Dean has been smack in the middle of a controversial ending to a fight. His blown decisions are countless and when Robbie Lawlor fought Ben Askren, here he thought Lawlor was sleeping but he was not and Askren was awarded a gift victory. Herb Dean is the WORST referee and he should not be allowed to be in the Octagon for another bout again.
In the main event, the interim welterweight champion is Colby Covington who may have now surpassed Ben Askren as the most obnoxious and annoying fighter in the UFC. His opponent Robbie Lawler gave THE MOST lifeless, uninspiring and disappointing efforts I have ever seen since I began watching MMA.
After Covington easily defeated Lawler by scores of 50-44, 50-45, and 50-45, the fight was so one-sided that you wonder if Lawler had any positive moments in the bout. He did not. Covington threw 534 strikes to Lawler’s 264. Covington landed 89 significant strikes while the former champion nailed just 50 none of which had any impact. 13 takedowns for the interim champ, none for Lawler. Add an additional six for Covington and he also had three submission attempts.
The cage control? Out of control. Covington had 10 minutes three seconds of control. That’s nealry the entire fight. I thought when Lawler entered the Octagon breathing heavy, something was wrong. Be it nerves or he was trying to pump himself up, whatever he was doing backfired. In a big way. The old Robbie Lawler was a beast. An animal. He threw caution to the wind and would walk through an opponent’s offense.
This was not that Robbie Lawler on Saturday. For whatever reason, the former welterweight champion did not throw enough strikes, failed to go on any sort of attack, got tired, and worse, could not defend takedowns or get out of ground control. It was easily his worst performance ever and I think he should have retired.
As for Covington, he was invited for an interview post fight with Kumara Usman right there and the television crew knew what they were doing putting them side-by-side. Obviously an argument broke out and all kinds of smack talk. It was stupid. Covington is an ass and is so completely unprofessional. He believes he is the greatest welterweight ever so hopefully someone will punch him or submit him out of that dream soon.
August 1, 2019
So former UFC champion Cain Velasquez who took a long layoff because of an injury, returns to the Octagon only to get squashed by top contender Francis Ngannou by way of a TKO in the first round just 26 seconds in.
Prior to that fight, Velasquez had not fought in nearly three years his last bout a TKO over the retired Travis Browne. The Mexican born fighter lost his title by submission to Fabricio Werdum in 2015 and he has only fought 17 matches in his MMA career that began in 2006.
Now it appears he is leaving the UFC and MMA fighting in the rear view mirror as Velasquez is taking his shot at professional wrestling. I’m not a fan of pro wrestling and the way people and fans take it seriously is such an embarrassment. This is nothing more than what the WWE stands for … ENTERTAINMENT. Sure some of those involved may have some athleticism about them, but it does not necessary require those skills to be a part of it.
If you can put on a good act and follow a script, you qualify. In my opinion, Cain Velasquez is taking the “Ronda Rousey” path out of staying in mixed martial arts. By that I refer to her losing two straight bouts in horrible fashion then heading for pro wrestling and not attempting to resurrect her MMA career.
So Velasquez will turn his back on the UFC for now and become an “actor.” In Mexico they call pro wrestling “lucha libre” and they had one very famous wrestler from the country, Mil Mascaras. Is the former UFC heavyweight champion trying to follow in the footsteps of the masked wrestler?
Velasquez’s debut takes place this in two days on Friday night, and he will be climbing through the ropes sporting a mask. In the words of the late Myron Cope, YOI! As a combat athlete, there is no worse way to embarrass yourself and ruin your legacy that to make your next career in pro wrestling. It’s fake, it’s acting, and it’s scripted. Ronda Rousey looked like a complete fool when she did it and she’s already exited her attempt at this type of entertainment or so it seems.
“This could be the future for me. Anything I can do, I try to be the best at it. I'm very competitive in that way. I'll bust my ass to get every move down and also to sell every move. ... I want to be a black belt in lucha, if they gave out belts. That's my goal -- to be the best luchador that I can be.”
His very good friend and current heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier added this beauty:
“Cain is a phenomenal athlete and I believe he will do fantastic. He has dived headfirst into learning how to wrestle. He has never cheated anything in his life and that's the approach he has taken to learning professional wrestling. He's full go. I am so excited for him.”
Back part of what Cain said … “I want to be a black belt in lucha?” WHAT? Dude…it’s scripted! You can only be as good in pro wrestling as the promoters of that entertainment want you to be. If you are charismatic and have an outgoing personality whether it’s a positive light or you are dubbed the evil enemy that’s how you establish a big name in this crap. It’s not up to Velasquez.
For the record, reportedly there will be 10,000 plus at the Mexico City Arena to witness this joke.
In baseball, the Pirates wrapped up their series that included a brawl with the Cincinnati Reds yesterday and it was with yet another loss. The trade deadline is over so how did Pittsburgh do?
Grades for every team following the MLB trade deadline
Jason Wilson, theScore.com
Holding onto Felipe Vazquez is smart considering how team-friendly his contract is. Moving veteran Corey Dickerson makes sense, even if the return was relatively negligible.
July 31, 2019
It’s no joke anymore that the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates simply don’t like each other. Just as they have done so many times in the past, yesterday was yet another bench clearing brawl between the two teams.
It’s a bit ironic that these two teams have taken a share of last place in the National League Central Division this season with the Bucs the current basement dwellers. The funniest part about last night’s fiasco is that Yasiel Puig was one of the biggest culprits in the thrown down and following the game he was traded to Cleveland.
After spending the first six years of his career in Los Angeles, Puig’s stay in Cincinnati was short lived. He joined the team prior to the start of this season. He got tossed from last night’s game and he has had a history of possessing a short fuse. The bottom line here is that neither team will be in the playoffs this year and it appears the Pirates will finish in last place with the Reds just above them.
Meanwhile, the Buccos are about to lose again to the Reds as they are down 4-0 in the 8th inning and the time of this writing. Additionally, there is a report out that outfield Corey Dickerson has been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies and it’s a shame Andrew McCutchen suffered a season ending injury because then it would be TWO ex-Pirates in the Phillies’ outfield.
One of the most pleasant surprises in Pittsburgh Steelers training camp thus far is the skills being shown by wide receiver Diontae Johnson one of two selections in the third round of this year’s draft. Johnson is pushing second year man James Washington for a backup role to Donte Moncrief and it might not surprise some that the rookie could supplant Moncrief before the season is over.
Highlights from Diontae Johnson’s college career at Toledo University can be seen in today’s videos to the right. With that said, some buzz about Moncrief vs. Washington vs. Johnson was out on the internet today.
Bold NFL training camp predictions for all 32 teams
Jeremy Fowler, ESPN.com
Donte Moncrief will emerge as the No. 2 wide receiver.
The Steelers are pleased with Moncrief's progress and playmaking in the offense and believe Ben Roethlisberger can elevate his game. Young receivers Diontae Johnson and James Washington will remain in the mix on the outside, but Moncrief's veteran savvy and athleticism should fend them off for the short term. --
As I often do, I close out today with something from the MMA world. Over on theScore.com today, their primary story on the cover page is an announcement that Conor McGregor’s “Proper No. Twelve” Irish Whiskey is not available in Canada. THAT’S PERTINENT MMA NEWS? Give me a break. Who gives a rat’s ass?
For the record, the very much absent from the Octagon McGregor said this about that announcement:
“I am proud to bring Proper No. Twelve to Canada, where many of my fans and friends live. Many thousands of Canadians have asked for Proper, and we have now delivered our delicious blend of golden grain and single malt. This is pure liquid gold aged four years in bourbon barrels.”
Fans and friends? Far and few between I’d bet on. This weekend has more UFC action with an interesting main and co-main event in Newark, New Jersey at the Prudential Center. There we have Robbie Lawlor returning again to fight big mouth Colby Covington in the five round main event. In the co-main it is Jim Miller and Clay Guida which should be a really fun fight to watch.
July 30, 2019
It’s official Pittsburgh Pirates fans. The Bucs have hit rock bottom and not just by holding onto last place in the National League Central division.
Last night the Pirates lost to the team that used to sit in last place in the division, the Cincinnati Reds and lost in a most embarrassing way. Not only did Pittsburgh trade Jordan Lyles to the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the game he was also scheduled to start Monday night’s game.
So replace him, manager Clint Hurdle sent an inexperienced Alex McRae to the mound, a man who had not yet started a game in the major leagues and a player holding a 0-3 record. End result? McRae gets shellacked and the Pirates get spanked 11-6. The worst part of the game? The most embarrassing aspect? That the Pirates surrendered 10 of those 11 runs in just ONE inning.
The onslaught came early. Cincinnati put up a 10 spot in the second inning and only scored one run after that. This is the 9th straight loss for the Pirates and they haven’t had a losing streak like this in eight seasons. In 2011 they lost 10 in a row. For McRae, he was only able to get four batters out as the Reds experienced their biggest outage since 2015.
For Cincinnati it was role reversal as they yielded 10 runs in a single inning to division rival St. Louis just a little under two weeks ago as that score was much closer than what took place last night. The Cards won that game 12-11. In that ill-fated second frame, the Reds hammered out six hits and earned three walks. 13 batters came to the plate in just the second inning. A grand slam by José Iglesias was part of that 10 run outburst.
To add insult to injury, Cincinnati saw every player that came to the plate in the second inning also cross home plate for a run. The Reds have not done that since 1975 when they accomplished the feat against the Los Angeles Dodgers. That was the year of the “Big Red Machine.” The Reds also scored 10 times in an inning on August 24, 2015 when they beat up on the Tigers. For Clint Hurdle, times are tough. In this stretch since the all-star break, the Pirates have led an opposing team just three times once the fifth inning has been played.
“It's hard right now, there's no doubt about it. We battle adversity in different areas just about every night”
One other topic today worth mentions. Kudos BIG TIME to UFC fighter Cris Cyborg who is standing up the “bully” known as UFC President Dana White. Cyborg says she will not sign a new contract with the UFC until White apologies. Her comments:
“Of course he has to apologize. I think he has family, he has kids. ... I don't know if he has a heart, but I think what he's doing is not just touching me because he doesn't like me. He's touching the people around me, he's touching my family and it's not right. I'm suffering bullying. Where is the code that you don't do this? He is the boss. How does the boss make fun of his athlete? ... You have to have rules. This is not right. Every woman deserves the right to go to work in an environment free of sexual harassment, online bullying, and work place intimidation.”
It's a shame that more fighters are jumping on Cyborg's bandwagon especially the female fighters. If that was the case then perhaps we could rid the sport of Dana White once and for all.