Okay, I feel the need to throw in a few thoughts on the once proud sport of boxing after this whole Pacquiao v. Bradley debacle.
More than once, I’ve mentioned on Twitter that boxing is a sport that lives and dies by the heavyweight division. No amount of Pacquiao-mania or clamoring for him to fight Floyd Mayweather is going to change that fact. Oh, sure, the Sugar Ray Leonard’s and Oscar de la Hoya’s of the sweet science had their days in the sun, but when one gets right down to it, those guys are the exceptions that prove the rule. Think for a minute about what the vast majority of the legendary fighters in boxing history had in common. Jack Dempsey. Joe Louis. Rocky Marciano. Jersey Joe Wolcott. Ali. Joe Frazier. George Foreman. Mike Tyson. Evander Holyfield. They were all heavyweights, and without a true heavyweight that can give the sport a significant shot in the arm, boxing will continue on its downward cataclysm.
Certain folks also mentioned after the decision came down in that fight that we shouldn’t have been surprised about the fact that boxing, like college football, is often little more than a deviant beauty contest. Maybe so, but I also think it’s something that a lot of people take for granted. Take for example the recent rash of people around here that keep getting hit by TRAX trains. TRAX trains are still undefeated against any and all comers, human and mechanical. Yet, people still take that fact for granted. Thus, by my own admission, I pretty much took the whole beauty pageant aspect of boxing for granted, if only for a brief moment.
This is probably the part of this diatribe where I mention that UFC is picking up where boxing left off, and for the mere purpose of conventional wisdom, I’ll agree. However, here is what annoys me about UFC. It’s a Saturday night and I’m looking to watch a Giants game or a Sharks game or maybe just share some laughs with some good friends and possibly hit on some strange women. I’ll walk in and a bouncer–all this at sports bars, mind you–says “nope, it’s $10 to get in tonight”. What is this, Studio 54? One day, I asked one of the bartenders why they did such a thing during UFC fights and here was the reason. People who show up to a sports bar to watch UFC 1476 or however many they’ve had up to this point will go to the bar, watch the fights often for several hours and not order anything. Not beer, not food, not booze, nothing. You’re lucky if you even get them to drink water. So to offset that, there’s a cover charge for all UFC fights.
(I’m sorry, if you willfully participate in such a thing, you’re cheap. You may blow your entire net income on creatine monohydrate and Tapout gear, but you’re still cheap. Reconsider some life choices. And yes, I’m fully aware of the fact that I can say that in the comfort of this space on the internet without having my face rearranged. Deal with it.)
My own bad habit in these weekly entries of discussing Bay Area sports too much is about to occur again, but I have to mention the nearly perfect form of poetic justice that is watching Joe Nathan pitch a 1-2-3 9th inning today for the Rangers against the Giants this afternoon. Giants GM Brian Sabean could use some frequent humility, given the fact that the genuflected Billy Beane doesn’t have what Sabes does–namely a World Series title. If you only knew how often I laugh at the fact that the guy who traded a potential premiere closer for A.J. Pierzynski has a ring.
While we have debated back and forth about the sorry state of our the athletic department, the current mentality of the fan base and so forth, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the USC game might be a much more important game in the lengthy history of Utah football than we may realize. I say this especially if both teams are still unblemished going in. Do you see this game as one that is every bit as gigantically huge as the 04 BYU game or the 2008 TCU game? The fact that it’s in early October may not lend itself to such anticipation, but I’m also very curious to find out if I’m the only person that has this mindset about the SC game. Or could it be that we’re going to have games like this every year from now until the Mayans decide to clean house?
I’m sure I’ll have more things to interject, but I also have an event that is often more terrifying than a Mayan apocalypse or even 5 minutes of public speaking: a first date. Weep for the future.
Mac Goes Second
I weep for boxing, I seriously do. I mean I’m old enough to actually remember my dad listening to Muhammad Ali on the radio for goodness sakes, so it’s hard to see what its become. I’ve always had a dream of wearing a tux and sitting ringside for a heavyweight title fight. Now I’m not sure why I’d do it.
But UFC, man for the life of me I just can’t get into it. I think it might start with uber-douche Joe Rogan and then the legions of uber-douches who wear Afflicted T-Shirts and thing Joe Rogan is funny. There used to be something classy about a title fight. Seriously, go back and watch some documentary footage of Ali-Fraizer I at Madison Square Garden, then see what Walt Frazier wore to that fight. I would in my life like to spend a week dressing like Walt Frazier from the 1970′s.
But back to these classless idiots from UFC. The thing about UFC fans is that they all think they’re actual UFC fighters. In law school I was talked into going to cage fighting in a bar called The Grail in Post Falls, ID. I honestly imagine a UFC event is pretty much that with douchier guys, hotter but douchier girls and Joe Rogen. Do you think I’m wrong?
As for the USC game, I will say it right freaking now. Its the most important game in Utah history, at least in terms of what winning it could mean. Yeah the Sugar Bowl was big, but this one is to put us in the national title game. USC will likely be #1 and if not certainly top 3. Winning that game has to make us odds on favorites to win the Pac-12 and we’d likely host the title game. Now if we lose, life will go on but this is one of those moments in life that could redefine Utah Football FOREVER.
I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on something you mentioned as a throw away line last week and that is the Jenny McCarthy vehicle Whore Island err Temptation Island err Love in the Wild. Do you recall the old Playboy channel? Isn’t it time we have a show like this where we get to finally watch these people have dirty sex via hidden camera? Hasn’t society just sunk to that point. I mean we’re at a point where NBC thought what the hell lets recycle Temptation Island.
As a side point, there is no better sex on the earth than the sex that the Bachelor gets on those final three dates. Those chicks have to put it all on the line. But I wonder what do the final three dudes do on the Bachelorette, I mean do they see who washes the chicks hair the best? Shouldn’t you be ashamed for just going on the Bachelorette.
I suppose I’ll wrap it up with that wonderful point. I’m moving this week so Raider will be forced to carry the load a bit more this week. I hope to be back Tuesday, but you know those fine folks at the Comcast.
Quite honestly, I’m not sure what troubles me more right now: the fact that I’m about to dispense some trivia I have in my head about the Bachelor or that the Sharks are officially the only California hockey team without a Stanley Cup. These are the types of things that make drinking Windex seem like a good idea.
You probably don’t remember the first season of The Bachelor. Lucky you. Well, to save you the trouble, ABC decided to pick this guy named Alex to be the focal point of this contrived little harem. For my money, the hottest woman of them all was a Kansas farm girl named Amanda. She was about 6’1 and looked like it might hurt her back to carry her breasts around all day, so naturally I have to root for my “type”. Anyway, Amanda the Amazon woman took down the title and Alex decides he wants to “try a relationship” with her. You idiot! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you want to screw around with a relationship? Its truly this reason out of just about all of them is why I got around to loathing The Bachelor.
(Speaking of that show, one of these days I’d love to solicit the opinion of Twitter’s very own @LostTacoVendor on that first season of the Bachelor if for no other reason than I would love to find out just how out of the mainstream I truly am).
Joe Rogan is a guy I’m rather neutral toward, but a mere mention of that name around my Mom and all of the sudden she turns into this pre-teen little girl. It’s very Bieber-esque. Its also unsettling to see that type of behavior out of your own mother. But that is just me.
And man, do I ever agree about large numbers of people who watch UFC. It reminds me of the kids I knew in high school who were into wrestling, and I mean really into it. Cauliflower ear just doesnt seem like something that would appeal to me.
I also have to admit that I’m currently in the throes of a major allergy attack, so if I seem a bit off of my game this week, that would be why. Any help from you or your readers would be greatly appreciated.
Hey, is there anything about the MWC you do miss? I’m just not sure if another PAC-12 school can truly replace the odd fascination I have with New Mexico.
And if the Thunder win the NBA Title (I think they take it in 6, BTW), would that be enough to get some riots going in Seattle?
This week has been a long one for me as well. Hence the reason this weeks Thursday’s with Raider will be on Friday.
I have to say I feel your pain about the Sharks because they have more and better fans than both the Kings and Ducks. I’m guessing there are around 10,000 hard core Kings fans for whom things like Marty McSorley make them weep. And for them I am truly happy. When your team always sucked and then you win, wow that feels good. But as I did in 2002, with my California turned Anaheim Angels, part of you is really irritated with all the people who turned up with all new gear pretending to be big time fans. Part of me felt like you should have to take a test and know who Brian Downing and Gary DiSarcina or at least Rod Carew were to buy Angels championship gear. Or make a line of gear for the real fans.
Of course I feel that way about Ute fans who came along after 2004 as well. But then again Ute fans who lived to see Tom Lovat feel that way about me. Maybe its a circle of life thing.
Your high school like all high schools had girls who slept with wrestlers because they thought they were sexy. I always found wrestler groupies troubling, I think I find UFC girls in the same category. Isn’t that odd, for most anything I guy does, there are chicks who will bang him simply for doing that. You my young Jedi simply need to find the Master Control Operator sluts (I think that’s what you do) and its on, on like Donkey Kong.
Your comment about your mom and Joe Rogan has unsettled me to my core. I don’t even know how to process that information.
As for the MWC, there is a great deal I miss about it. I think of the MWC as a Wyoming town. We could both go back to our respective homes, run into our respective old friends and enemies, and its like life never went on for them. While I wouldn’t go back, we have no sense of history with the Pac-12 and that is going to take time. I mean I have an irrational hatred of Arizona State, how long is it going to take before my hatred is rational. It’s hard being the new guys at the party and we’re going to be that in the Pac-12 for awhile.
Plus I think some MWC teams deserve better. Wyoming has great fans and the school just lost the geographical lottery of being in Wyoming. Why does Kansas St., or Iowa St deserve better? New Mexico has great fans. Hell they’d support a winning football program too if they could ever manage one. Honestly one of the few things I won’t miss in BYU.
The thing you have to realize about all people from Seattle is that in their minds they are way too cool for school. They would never riot, but if an entire city could shut down while everyone drank coffee, bitched and said nasty things about Oklahoma City, that could be Seattle. Unless you could make rioting itself seem cool (see WTO Riots for an example) then they’re all in. Or a demonstration, an anti-Thunder demonstration accomplishing nothing, also very Seattle.
I’m actually being too hard on many Sonic fans now. The Sonics go back to when Seattle was very much a blue-collar city full of hard-asses who did actual work and all of whom would like to club like baby seals the very people I’m speaking of. It is for them I feel bad.
BTW, you should watch Talledega Nights and then an episode of the current Bachelorette. Because there is a moment where Ricky Bobby’s wife says, “I am a drivers wife, I do not work.” As you know Emily was engaged to some NASCAR guy who was killed in a plane crash and she still intends to live a drivers wife’s lifestyle. You can practically hear her say that phrase to every guy. There is also a guy from Utah named Jef with one F who has the stupidest hair I’ve ever seen.
So here is something irritating. I just moved from a Cox to a Comcast area. Comcast is one of the few companies that allow use of the Watch ESPN App. But get this, you have to have Comcast TV and get ESPN to use it. So I ask, why the hell do I need this APP if I can just turn on my TV and watch ESPN?
Also, I can’t stop singing Call Me Maybe. The girl who sings it is Canadian so she probably won’t turn into a whore. Food for Though.
I feel as though I must begin with…perfection
.Also, allow me to address the Parker Van Dyke commit courtesy of Larry, our new Lord and savior. Aside from being a) a local kid from East High, b) a kid thats going on his mission, c) perfect in every way, he’s going to transfer eventually right? In fact, that is going to be my default reaction for every Ute hoops recruit for the foreseeable future. Will I be right every time? No, of course not. But I believe I can safely deduct that every recruit will transfer or become Cameron Koford 2.0 and be correct more often than not.
For the most part, I agree about bandwagon jumping and especially with your Angels in 2002. From my vantage point, that year was almost set up for us as a “revenge tour”. We beat the Braves as revenge for 1993, the Cardinals as revenge for 1987, and then theoretically either the Yankees avenging 1962 or the A’s for 1989. Though it didnt work out quite like that, I do think the Halos did us a huge favor. Could you imagine the asterisks that people would have attached to the 2002 Giants, for Bonds if nobody else?
What is rather remarkable is that I’ve been in showbiz in one form or another for my entire adult life, and as such, I’ve never meet a designated “groupie” for whatever it is I do. Maybe my ex-girlfriend, but I will have to share a story of that relationship in a more private setting, as I don’t want to repulse your readership.
One thing I’ve yet to do since I moved here is go to Lagoon. In my days in Green River, that place fascinated many a child. Popular attraction, but not as long of a wait in line. The Knotts Berry Farm of the Intermountain West, if you will. Although, since I can’t drink while I’m there, the whole experience may not appeal to me. Did Lagoon capture the imagination of young Evanstonians?
What I’m about to write may involve all capital letters, so for that I apologize. But yesterday I’m on Twitter checking out some remarks from Raiders mini-camp. Sure enough, Matt Leinart is just getting rave reviews about the “zip” on his passes. Now, ordinarily I’d be fine with this except for one thing…IT’S FRICKIN’ MINI CAMP! I’m not going to clamor for what is for all intents and purposes a better Kyle Boller because IT’S FRICKIN’ MINI CAMP! You are not talking me into this, people. You’re not talking me into this type of support because of performances in the middle of frickin’ June. Calm down.
If you think that was bad, wait until you get a load of the Sharks fan base over the next few years.
First I must apologize to both Raider and our loyal readership. Between moving this week, having one mover cancel on us, then Comcast being well so very Comcasty and finally there being Father’s Day and my family expecting me to spend time with them, well the conclusion to last weeks Thursday’s With Raider got pushed to today. It’s my fault, sorry.
As for baseball, doesn’t it seem like we have a whole new generation of pitchers expecting to pitch to guys on HGH, but now that they aren’t on HGH, the pitchers just seem to be dominating. Didn’t we have years in the HGH era where there were zero no hitters and now its like they’re happening daily, let alone these perfect games?
Also isn’t it about time we just let a computer call balls and strikes and put most of the calls to some umpires in the booth in front of high speed cameras?
Am I too hard on baseball?
Lagoon was a magical place for all young boys in Evanston. There were rides and girls who weren’t all part of the same gene pool. Girls who were quite unlikely to talk to us because the pick up line, “how about we get some wine coolers and go do it in the back of my pickup” were less sophisticated than they were used to. Every year we had Senior Skip day where most of the class in fact headed to Lagoon. Now those places seem like hell to me and in not many years my son will force me to go to them. Circle of life I suppose.
As for Mr. Van Dyke and Utah Basketball. It’s probably better that we landed him than not landing him, but he isn’t going to play until 2015-16. My wife will be a doctor by then. How excited should I be about this? My view on this whole Larry thing is this. New coaches shouldn’t come in and be significantly crappier than the coach they replaced. We went from 14 wins to 6 wins. And if we get past 14 wins this coming year, its because they managed to make the schedule just that very crappy. So we’re looking at year three of the Larry era to get much better than the Boylen era? Why did we do this again?
And I’ll end there know that if any of the Larry Lapdogs (I owe our friend Pat a royalty for my continued use of that term) are still reading me, they’re screaming about how I don’t understand uniform design and inbounds plays.