Sunday, January 29, 2006

State of Fear

I finally finished the last 70 pages of Michael Crighton's latest book over the weekend (I read the rest over break - the fact I put it down for a month should tell you something). It's a really bad novel. Boring characters, ridiculous plot (they tease the death of the female protagonist about 8 times, and after about 2 it's the boy who cried wolf), overt propaganda disguised as storytelling. But what bothered me the most about it was the fact it was a prime example of the very problem he wrote the book to criticize.

Crighton's basic thesis is that people form opinions about subjects they know little to nothing about. This information then gets passed along through people, and it creates entire networks of false thinking that become common knowledge. Essentially, he is saying, science should be science and it shouldn't be politicized. He uses this to take to task environmentalists generally and global warming as a concept specifically. I'll completely bypass the political motives of that move, and that specific debate. The problem is, if his point was that people should get information and not just repeat what they hear, his book does an awful job of applying that. He has these artificial dialogues between the Super Genius that represents his points and knows all of the facts, and these ignorant archetype characters that don't know a damn thing about the subject or even possess basic common sense. He then cites a bunch of one-sided footnotes and makes his own scientific argument under the guise of fiction. If the goal is for people to read information for themselves, and not just be motivated by politics, this book doesn't have the effect at all. It is so one-sided that it will serve as ammunition for ignorance, just for the side that Crighton is on. It passes along the message that there is a correct, enlightened view and a stupid, poorly-thought out and formed view. The people who already believe in the former won't look for additional information to research. The latter group will just dismiss it as silly, false propaganda. And thus his whole point, about integrity in science, is completely undermined. The better book would have been one where he makes you think that one side is right, and then he flips you over to the other side, and then flips you back again. I thought this is where he was going with the book for about 250 pages, and when I realized I was wrong, I quickly lost interest. Nobody likes art to beat you over the head with a ham-fisted message, even if you agree with the basic point. State of Fear is quite the failure in that and many other regards.

Rumble Fallout

First and foremost, I'm glad that Rey Mysterio was put over in the Royal Rumble. The one positive that could come out of the beginning of this year is WWE making a new superstar out of someone that can actually produce in the ring (and has charisma and is marketable to boot). I don't know how WWE is planning building to WrestleMania, but I would just go ahead and make Angle-Mysterio face-face for the title, with Angle as the subtle heel superb wrestler against the smaller guy that by all rights doesn't stand a chance (think Bret-Shawn WM12). These two had a really good match at SummerSlam 2002 where they weren't given that much time, and given a 25-30 minute match, they could easily steal the show. If Angle's injury doesn't let him wrestle at Mania, give the spot to Chris Benoit. The idea is to get the best match possible to put over Rey and make him look like a million bucks. Orton is treading water right now. I don't see him working as champion, so I wouldn't put him in the title match. And now that Angle has beaten Henry, get him as far as possible away from that man as possible. That's not the way to protect a guy who's really hurt.

As far as Raw goes, what HHH wants, he gets. I don't really see any good arguments for Cena-HHH as the Raw title match over something involving Edge, but that's what they decided upon. I figured they would do a 3-way. The interesting thing at Mania is whether the crowd turns on Cena, or whether they turn on both of them.

Other than that, Royal Rumble was another indicator of how far WWE is detached from pro wrestling. They're putting over the Boogey Man in major matches now, for no discernable reason. He's just a joke gimmick that can't work, and will never draw. There is no potential in the guy for him to warrant a major push. He's an amusing, weird gimmick. He's not a pro wrestler. That lack of understanding was driven home by the inexplicable amount of time given to Ashley-Mickie. It's the Russo mentality where anybody can be a wrestler. And then of course, there's Team Spirit, where you take guys that actually do have potential, and give them such goofy gimmicks they'll never be over. If I had control of WWE, I would seriously cut about half of the roster, hire a ton of guys from TNA/independents, and repackage half of the guys left from WWE. It's a real disaster area right now.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Royal Rumble Match

I was going to do an "odds of winning the Rumble" bit, but when I went to to get a list of participants, they had done the exact same thing, so I'll just do it in free form. This is a really weak card, and that's not a good sign for Mania. The Rumble match itself will pop a buy rate on its own, but the relative lack of interest in the show itself is telling as to future interest. Based on the wrestlers announced, there are very few with a chance of winning. There isn't much of a chance with "surprises," either, so there are few candidates. There are a few who I refuse to completely count out, either because of their stature as a star or because they are getting a solid push that WWE might want to continue: Lashley, Chris Benoit, Chris Masters. Rob Van Dam I could conceive as well, although Dave openly laughing at that proposition makes it seem extremely unlikely. It's just that with him gone for so long, and with the fans always being behind him, he's one of the few guys they could really break out through Mania. They might do something with Shawn Michaels to let Vince screw him, but I don't expect that one either. That leaves 3 candidates: Randy Orton, Triple H and Rey Mysterio. Of those three, HHH is most likely in my mind, because he hasn't been put over that strong since his return and he unquestionably wants back to the top. It won't help the show any (although it probably won't hurt either), but they would be better off trying to get someone else over. Orton's also a possibility given he's probably challenging Angle at Mania, but I don't see HHH featuring Orton over himself. And then there's Rey, who is the best choice, and who they are teasing might win, but I don't expect to given Angle is a face on SD and they are intent on pushing Orton. One thing to watch for is Rey getting over huge even in losing. I think people will want him to win, and hopefully they will get the reaction where the fans are even hungrier for Rey in a more prominent spot in he barely loses, rather than them just being discouraged.

Ginsburg at UCLA Law

I just got back from a Q&A session with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the law school. I was lucky enough to win in a lottery they had for students who wanted to attend, and I camped out in the 3rd row. It was fun. Ginsburg was rather evasive at times, which was surprising to me. Maybe it shouldn't be, given she is a judge. A lot of her answers seemed to revolve around the point that the law has come a long way on a variety of issues in the 20th century, which one wouldn't necessarily expect given she has always been an advocate for change on and off the court. You could also sense her pride in advancing rights for women through the law, rightfully so. She was very likeable, and spoke highly of her departing/departed colleagues O'Connor and Rehnquist.

Da Vinci Code

This is a bit of a random note from a while ago, but I thought about it watching a preview for the film of the Da Vinci Code last night. Da Vinci Code is a fun book, but it is essentially the same novel as Angels and Demons, which was written before and I think is better composed. The Catholic church sort of flips roles in the two books, though, and the outcry against the Da Vinci Code from the church was I think a large part why it got more attention and was a bigger deal.

Ricky Davis-Wally Szczerbiak Trade

I really like this trade for the Celtics. It's a typical NBA "our junk/borderline junk for your junk/borderline junk trade, but I think the Celts make off much better. Understand first, that I think very, very little of Ricky Davis. He seems to me one of those talented NBA players that is never going to be a major part of a championship contender, and thus putting him on your team and giving him a prominent position is counterproductive to real building. Obviously, not everyone feels that way, and Davis has his supporters. But I would take Wally over him. From there, it just gets better for the Celtics. They get rid of Mark Blount's contract, which is a huge positive. They have to deal Marcus Banks, but he's nothing special. And they get a number one. Olowokandi stinks, but his contract is expiring. I don't like much of what Danny Ainge has done, but this is a good deal to me.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Masters Fans Unite

I went to Best Buy today and picked up the Superstar Graham DVD. As I was leaving, the censor was set off, so the guy checked my stuff. He saw the Graham DVD, and the following conversation transpired:

Best Buy Guy: You like wrestling?

Me: Yes.

Best Buy Guy: You watch wrestling today?

Me: Yes.

Best Buy Guy: You like the Masterpiece?

Me: No.

Best Buy Guy: Why not?

Me: He's an awful wrestler and he has no charisma.

(no response)

Me: Well, that's just my opinion, anyway.

I'm not a Biter, I'm a Writer

Cam'Ron has a lot of people buzzing after dissing Jay-Z pretty hard this week. I'm not a big fan of the move, because I like both of them, and it's obviously a move done to build interest for Cam's album coming out next month. That said, the thing that really bugged me about it was Cam releasing an attack on Jay-Z backing a refrain made by some ignorant people on the net, which is basically that Jay-Z bites other people's material. This irritates me to no end. When Jay quotes famous lines by BIG or Pac or Slick Rick, he is not "stealing" or "biting" their material and packaging it as his own. Rather, he is paying homage. He is giving tribute to the people that came before him by quoting their lines, like a Tarantino invoking the French New Wave. He knows people know these lines. It's not like he's stealing lines written on some unknown mixtape. So Cam's completely wrong on that front, and I hope Jay doesn't feel the need to defend himself.

Guerrero Book

I read Eddie Guerrero's book yesterday and today. I really breezed through it, as it was a good read. There are so many wrestling books now that it's tough for individual books to define themselves. I think Guerrero's book is in the B+ range as far as WWE efforts go. The two traits I look for the most in these books are honesty and comprehensiveness. Guerrero succeeds on both counts. He is honest about himself and his fellow wrestlers. He acknowledges when he was wrong, and when he thinks he was right. He is critical of himself, critical of others, but fair. You believe what he says. It is also comprehensive. It hits all the major points of his career, and doesn't short change any period. That's really important, because too many books will just give an outline of a career but won't really take you through comprehensively, and particularly for bigger stars, I want that longer story. I don't want the abbreviated version. It's depressing at points because of Eddie's passing, but not overwhelmingly so. The picture of Eddie and his wife at Christmas 2004 is a real heartbreaker though. It's a recommended read, albeit not a must read.

Response from Leonsis Regarding Ovechkin/Capitals

I got an e-mail from Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Capitals, regarding what I wrote the other day about Ovechkin and the Caps. He was very nice, as he was the few times in the past I had interactions with him. As I am apt to do, I stated my points very forcefully and they probably came across stronger than they should. He noted that many of the mid-level free agents that the Caps pursued ended up getting longer term contracts than we agree are worth taking on for a young team. As I understand it, the plan is to let the elite of our younger players develop, while preparing for the arrival of farm players like Eric Fehr, a probable high draft pick in this year's draft, a few complementary players via trade or free agency, and the return of Alexander Semin. Semin is a real key, as he's an explosive talent that the Caps are trying to bring from Russia back to the States.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

More on UCLA Profs / Bruin Alumni Association

Since this story is getting a lot of press nationally now, and I actually have first hand knowledge of the situation, I figured I'd add a little more on the situation. For the uninitiated, a small group of UCLA alumni have founded an organization devoted to "exposing" liberal faculty members. They report on the ones who are the "worst," and are offering money to students to give them notes from classes. The bottom line is that for the most part the organization is going to get nowhere. See, here's the thing. There are two basic possibilities when it comes to classes taught by "radical" professors. Either it's a basic course, or it's a course that's explicitly political. If it's the former, professors will keep politics out of the discussion to an extreme. Sometimes I think it's silly the way they try to avoid taking a stance. So for example, Professor Zasloff taught me torts. Great professor. Kept politics completely out of the discussion, and if anything was constantly playing devil's advocate against the way students thought. If a student takes notes on his lectures and gives it to those people, it's not going to produce anything, because he isn't spewing propaganda at every turn. He isn't at all, actually. The other type of class is explicitly political, like the Women and the Law class I'm taking with Professor Littleton right now. Another great professor. The course materials are quite explicitly political. It is a course on feminism. It is open in the sense that all views are welcome, but it is taught with an interest in women's issues that would be very hard to categorize as conservative. If you aren't interested in these topics, you aren't going to take the course. I'm pretty confident in saying no one would volunteer to give notes to these idiots even if they were paying $1,000 rather than $100. I know I wouldn't. So if there are potentially members of the class receptive to the Bruin Alumni Association point of view, it isn't going to be a class where those people get what they are looking for. And classes that would have overt political content are advertised as such, and I doubt anyone receptive to the Bruin Alumni Association would enroll in them. It's a dead-end, putting aside normative judgments.

Redskins Pull Coup

What a brilliant move by the Redskins today to sign Al Saunders as offensive coordinator. This offseason really reflects the positives and negatives of Daniel Snyder. On one hand, the Redskins don't have their 1st or 4th round draft picks. The constant free agent signings are coming back to bite them, with an avalanche of unmanageable contracts falling upon them. There is no fiscal discipline and a weak overall direction. There is no understanding that in the NFL you need to build through the draft to put together quality players that are affordable. On the other hand, the Redskins now have as star-studded a coaching staff as any team in professional sports. They have a coach with 3 Super Bowls, and a whole host of assistants with experience in higher positions than they now occupy (former HC Joe Bugel, former OC Bill Musgrave, former DC Dale Lindsey, former DC Greg Blache), not to mention one of the best offensive coordinators in football and one of the best defensive coordinators in football. Even if they have to let some key players go, they are going to have some great schemes to work with.

Antonio Davis

I don't get why Antonio Davis is such a difficult case for David Stern. Yes, there is a rule against going into the stands, and the NBA is conscious of that following the Ron Artest incident. But there has to be some sort of reason to enforce a rule. Two principle possibilities exist. Either A) the conduct itself is morally wrong, bad, or somehow deserves punishment or B) you want to deter the conduct because allowing it can lead to bad effects. I think everyone agrees A doesn't apply. Davis did nothing wrong. He was protecting his wife, and used no violence. Leaving the bench isn't itself inherently bad. Should NBA players be punished if they leave the bench for the stands when a gunman walks onto the court and starts firing? So clearly we have to go to B to justify a large punishment. And I don't see what purpose deterrence in this case serves. It's not like there will be some rash of players running into the stands to protect loved ones. It was an odd instance, not likely to be replicated. Moreover, even if you do punish him stiffly, a player is unlikely to be deterred anyway, given a loved one is in danger. Finally, no one is going to extend a ruling on this to mean you will be treated more lightly for running into the stands to attack someone for any reason. This is clearly distinguishable, and players, arbitrators and fans are smart enough to understand the difference between this and the Artest/Jackson/O'Neal incident. So give him a slap on the wrist, perhaps, but a punishment of more than a fine or 1-2 games is to me fundamentally unjust.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wrestling DVDs of 2005

As I 've said many times before, while WWE has been awful as far as the current product for years, at least they do an awesome job now of producing DVDs and to a lesser extent, books. That has resulted in an influx of great product about wrestling's history. Here is my listing of the best compilation DVDs of the year. I may do this for book's later, but first I have to get through some of the books in my stack (Dillon, Guerrero, Matysik), and that's going to take a while given my workload this semester. Here are my rankings, based on the major releases I watched:

1. Forever Hardcore. This documentary was better than the Rise and Fall of ECW. It was more honest, and had a comparable lineup of the most important players in the company's history. It also is more authentic to have someone outside of WWE telling the story, given the ECW narrative always standed in opposition to WWF and WCW. This is a great documentary that comes highly recommended.

2. Jake Roberts. Jake is such a fascinating character. Listening him to speak is mesmerizing, and it doesn't really matter how much of what he says is true, and how true it is. This set also includes lots of interviews, which were always a strength for Jake. I don't think it's possible to put Jake in front of a camera and have him talk and for it to not come out entertaining. His RF shoot was also great.

3. Rise and Fall of ECW. Also an excellent documentary, and definitely worth picking up as well. It also has the benefit of ECW matches and the ability to actually say ECW. But it doesn't tell the story quite as well as Forever Hardcore.

4. Bret Hart. The documentary here is fascinating, because you finally get to hear Bret and WWE telling the story at the same time. Bret also seems in better spirits than in some of his previous shoots, and he gives more of himself. The emotion at times is very touching. The negative at least for me is that I have seen most of the matches on this DVD many, many times.

5. Road Warriors. This is a really fun trip through memory lane, with classic Road Warrior matches and promos. Animal doesn't seem that astute, and his semi-kayfabe attitude is a minor turnoff, but they have other people telling the story well.

6. Greatest Stars of the 80s. The plus on this is lots of clips and perspectives on a variety of 80s stars. The minus is that there isn't much depth and you don't really get as much insight into who the wrestlers are as you do in other releases. It's a fun watch, but definitely not a must see.

7. Ultimate Warrior. I didn't find the comedy that amusing, and Warrior not being there hurt the DVD. They were too malicious at times, and it's weird to release a DVD presumably bought by fans, but designed just to bury. Still, I enjoyed watching it.

8. Undertaker. Bottom of the barrel. Just matches and promos, and no insight behind the scenes. Most of the matches aren't that good, and they are heavily skewed towards later stuff. This is recommended for Undertaker fans only. Other fans won't want to watch this much of him.

Other DVDs that come with a particularly strong endorsement: WrestleMania XXI, ROH Manhattan Mayhem, ROH Kobashi v. Joe, PWG Battle of Los Angeles.

McCarthyism Close to Home


What a disturbing story. I've already had classes with 3 of the 8 "radical professors" in the law school. Hopefully I'll have classes with all so I can get a feeling for their evil propaganda. I feel so brainwashed!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Greatest Story Ever

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Alexander Ovechkin

I don't think I've mentioned this, but I went to a number of Caps games over winter break, and it's such a joy to watch Alexander Ovechkin. This kid is so incredibly good. It bugs the hell out of me when people who haven't watched much at all of him say Crosby should be the Rookie of the Year because he has this intangible it. I remember some writer on CNNSI or CBS Sportsline wrote that and I've seen it repeated elsewhere. If Ovechkin doesn't have it, nobody does. He plays hard, he checks hard, he has amazing puck handling, an awesome shot, great passing, great teammate, nice guy. He is one of the best players to ever play for one of my favorite teams.

And all this makes me really depressed to see him surrounded by a bunch of losers. This kid is a gem, and yet they aren't surrounding him with the talent that he deserves. The NHL deserves to see what he can do with people on his line other than Chris Clark (no, you shouldn't know who that is). The Capitals are supposedly in "rebuilding" mode this year, but that's BS. Their owner Ted Leonsis, who I always used to like, has basically punted the season, with the goal of just spending as little money as possible. I can see wanting to build a team from the bottom, but that's not what the Caps are doing. See, if you're rebuilding, you send out young guys to the ice. But that's not what the Caps do. They send out a bunch of 27-33 year old fringe players who have never made it in the NHL and never will. They aren't the future of the franchise. They're just bums. And then there's Ovechkin. He's not the part of any rebuilding plan. He's too damn good. He's one of the best players in the NHL already. He elevates the entire team. He doesn't need to gain experience in the NHL. So in the offseason, I really, really, really hope Leonsis opens up the checkbook and adds just two players. He doesn't need to go out and build a contender. But at the very least sign two high skilled players to stick on the line with Alexander so that we can see just how good he can be. He more than deserves it.


I got an e-mail from Phil Glick last week asking me about how I would book WrestleMania, and it was a really tough thing to think through. There are just so few matches that have been set up by WWE that people are interested in. At this point it's really too late, as you need to build throughout the year. The only way to save the show is Hulk Hogan vs. Steve Austin, and that doesn't sound like it is going to happen. John Cena vs. Edge, John Cena vs. Triple H, Randy Orton vs. Kurt Angle, Vince McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels...none of these are terribly appealing. I think at this point you just use WrestleMania as a rebuilding period. Put over some guys to try to elevate them. The problem is WWE has gotten rid of so many potential stars, and brought in and pushed so many total losers. The only three guys on the midcard/undercard who I think are worth elevating are Shelton Benjamin, Rey Mysterio and Rob Van Dam, so I would give them prominent matches and put them over established stars. Shelton Benjamin vs. Shawn Michaels is a natural, if they just dumped the moronic Mama Benjamin character, and had him become Vince McMahon's hired gun to take out Shawn Michaels. Really, it's the only idea I can come up with that I really like for WrestleMania. Rey Mysterio I would consider pushing to the top, but since Kurt Angle is staying a face on Smackdown, their options there are more limited. Rob Van Dam is tough as hell to find an opponent for as well. WWE needs to be thinking really hard about this, because this is shaping up to be much more like WrestleMania XIX than WrestleMania XXI. And it doesn't look to be very good in the ring either.

UFC Picks

Tim Sylvia vs. Assuerio Silva: I think Sylvia is a slightly higher caliber fighter, and he has been much more active in recent years. Assuming Sylvia is focused and isn't taking Silva lightly, I see him scoring a knockout win.

Stephan Bonnar vs. James Irvin: This is a real pick'em. Irvin has not looked good in UFC, being knocked out by Mike Kyle and dominated by Terry Martin prior to his explosive knee for the win. However, he still has a strong reputation and as impressive a record as Bonnar. It will be interesting to see how Bonnar does. I'm leaning towards Bonnar.

Chris Leben vs. Jorge Rivera: This should be a standup war. It will be another strong test, as the more legitimate Ultimate Fighter guys are moving up in caliber of opponent. I think Leben will make a good showing, but I think Rivera is a better striker. Rivera with the win.

Drew Fickett vs. Josh Burkman: Fickett's the better fighter, and he'll win.

Spencer Fisher vs. Aaron Riley: This should be an entertaining fight, as Fisher is a fighter on the rise and Riley always is entertaining. Riley has been tested by tougher opponents, which could give him the edge if he's still on top of his game. Really tough one to pick, but I favor Fisher.

Jonathan Goulet vs. Duane Ludwig: I'm biased. I've always really liked Bang Ludwig, a protege of Bas Rutten and one hell of a fun striker. So I'm picking him against a fighter that's on a tremendous roll and should by all rights take the fight.

Melvin Guillard vs. Josh Neer: It's do or die time for both these guys, as the loser isn't likely to get too many good opportunities in the future. I think Neer takes it.

Jason Von Flue vs. Alex Karalexis: Karalexis is a joke. Von Flue by knockout.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Pride and UFC

When wrestling fans write to me about trying out Pride or UFC, I have always said that Pride is the better first choice, because it is more like American pro wrestling. And along those lines, for most of their existences, I've been a little more entertained by Pride. I look forward to both, but I've gotten more excited about Pride's biggest shows. I watched Shockwave last week, and the previous excitement just wasn't there. It wasn't a bad show, but I wasn't as thrilled to see every match. Part of it probably has to do with the fact the 3-way Nog/Fedor/Cro Cop program is played out, as is the Wand/Rampage feud. But for whatever reason, I look forward to UFC shows much more than Pride these days. UFC has all sorts of fun stuff coming up. After some very weak lineups last year with low level fighters, UFC has some deep cards scheduled with great main events and great depth as well. I recommend everyone check out Ultimate Fight Night next week. I have two TVs so I can tape one and watch the other, but UFN will likely blow Raw away. This is the best lineup they have had on free TV. Tim Sylvia v. Assuerio Silva is a solid heavyweight fight, and it will answer some questions about how good Sylvia is relative to mid level guys who have fought in Pride. I like Sylvia. Stephan Bonnar and James Irvin is a really interesting fight. They both like to bang and will go at it. Irvin is naturally small to be fighting a Mike Kyle, and Bonnar is more his size. It could go either way, but I favor Bonnar. The fight of the night could be Chris Leben vs. Jorge Rivera, which will likely be a standup war. Rivera is a stiff challenge and naturally bigger than Leben, and I slightly favor Rivera, but that is a total pick 'em. Not to mention Drew Fickett, Aaron Riley, Josh Neer and the return of Duane "Bang" Ludwig, along with the Ultimate Fighter guys. That is a really interesting lineup. Then UFC 57 is another great lineup, with Frank Mir, Babalu v. Van Arsdale, Sakara, Buentello, Diaz v. Riggs and more underneath Liddell v. Couture. I can't wait for that as well, and UFC will be back a month after that with Penn v. St. Pierre, Franklin v. Loiseau and maybe Griffin v. Ortiz as well. It's a fun time to be a UFC fan.

Sean Taylor

I tend to be a very forgiving person. I loathe passing judgment on other people, and when it comes to sports, I have forgiven just about every mistake made by a pro athlete. I've defended Barry Bonds, Terrell Owens, Sammy Sosa (even as he stunk up the joint for the Orioles), Ron Artest, Roberto Alomar....the list goes on. But I don't have a defense for Sean Taylor, who was fined a game check for spitting in the face of an opponent, for what apparently was a second time. This guy is a major league creep. After all the crap he pulled in his rookie season, I remember reading articles in the Washington Post that tried to essentially babyface him. There were people talking about how he's a good guy, but he makes mistakes as to who he hangs out with. BS. I'm a Redskins fan, but he has been screaming out for harsher disciplinary action for his entire pro career. The NFL should have suspended him for at least one game, and maybe even the entirety of the playoffs. I would just as soon cut the guy. He's not worth the headaches.

To Strip or Not to Strip

Today in my first women and the law class, the professor (the head of UCLA's women studies department, who seems great, by the way) asked us to anonymously write down what we thought would signal that we have arrived at a point where men and women in the United States are treated equally. You got all the responses one would expect. Death of gender stereotyping. Female president. Salary equality, or at least comparability. And one person wrote down, "women stop stripping, and men stop paying to see women strip." Now, I've been in a strip club exactly once in my life, and no question strip clubs perpetuate sexism, but geez, if eliminating the desire in men for lap dances from attractive women is one of your primary goals towards a more equitable society, I don't think you're going to get very far.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

PWG Results

The attendance was pretty solid given there were less names than usual. Strong show, albeit not as consistently good as PWG’s better events. In typical PWG fashion, the show started an hour late, and lasted until almost midnight on a 7PM bell time.

1. Chris Hero beat Claudio Castagnoli with a frankensteiner. Castagnoli played heel. This was a very entertaining opener, and one of the best matches on the card.

2. T.J. Perkins beat Alex Koslov with a cradle.

3. Topgun Talwar and Los Luchas beat Disco Machine, Ronin and Nemesis when Luchas hit dual somersault sentons on Nemesis. This match kind of fell apart.

4. Joey Ryan beat Human Tornado to retain the PWG title. Tornado played it more serious since he was in a title match, but his charm is his carefree attitude and watching him play angry and intense doesn’t work as well. Scorpio Sky was the special enforcer, but he ended up having a three-way collision with Tornado and a chair that cost Tornado the match. Tornado and Ryan argued after.

5. Chris Bosh beat Scott Lost in a number one contender’s match. The story is essentially Lost is caught in between the feuding Bosh and Ryan.

6. Chris Sabin beat B-Boy in a really good 2 of 3 falls match.

7. Super Dragon and Davey Richards beat El Generico and Quicksilver in a great brawl to end the show.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Playoff Picks

I don't really get the common thinking on this weekend's Wild Card games. They actually seem to me pretty easy games to pick, although I guess we'll see. I think the Jags are the worst team in the AFC playoffs and don't stand much of a chance against the Pats. I don't understand at all why the Steelers are favored against the Bengals. As Bill Simmons pointed out, the Bengals beat them at Pittsburgh just a few weeks ago, and then lost some insignificant games. This is at Cincinnati, and the Bengals are hungry for a playoff win. They've also got a much better offense and Marvin Lewis knows how to create a defensive game plan. I really like the Bengals in that one. I also really like the Redskins. I just don't like the Bucs all that much, with an inexperienced QB and a team that has mostly beaten up on bad teams. This is a really good matchup for the Skins. Panthers-Giants is to me the toughest game to call. I favor the Panthers, because I've never thought that much of the Giants, and the Panthers are built for the playoffs. Obviously getting DeShaun Foster running for solid gains is the key.

LA - Nice Place to Be

It was pretty damn cold in DC. Get back in LA, and it's 85 degrees. Totally clear sky. It was definitely one of those days where I could understand why so many people live here. Then to boot, I went to McCormick & Schmick's on Rodeo Drive (I highly recommend this to those coming to LA - it's the incredibly nice area in Beverly Hills with all the designer shops, but you can get free valet parking for 2 hours, get a happy hour meal for only $2 plus the purchase of a drink and feel like someone important at a lower price than McDonald's), and ran into Bill Maher. One of my first celebrity sightings in LA, and I'm a big fan of Maher so it was a cool deal. The one negative was all the people in Texas t-shirts. I swear 1 of 4 people I saw (this was the day after the Rose Bowl) was wearing a Texas shirt. I go to UCLA, so I'm not exactly a big fan of USC, but it was so obnoxious. Don't those people have any alternative attire? I wish they were doing that in a place like Philly. Made me regret rooting for Texas.