Sunday, December 31, 2017

Khabib Nurmagomedov Is the Ideal Fighter

Khabib Nurmagomedov had another dominant performance this past weekend, this time against Edson Barboza, who is known for finishing opponents with some of the most brutal kicks in all of mixed martial arts. Although Barboza was able to land some hard leg and body kicks early on, Khabib just kept walking through them. In the third round, Barboza nailed Khabib with a spinning back kick to the head, and Nurmagomedov just kept walking forward. At this point, you could see the defeat in Barboza's eyes, and he dutifully took his punishment for the remainder of the fight.

This is why Khabib Nurmagomedov is the ideal fighter. And when I saw that, maybe I should clarify that he is my ideal fighter, but honestly, I don't see how he is not a top-5 favorite fighter for anyone who watches mixed martial arts.

My favorite all-time fighter, and a huge reason I fell in love with the sport, was Wanderlei Silva. Silva's wrestling was absolute shit, but all the dude did was charge forward and try to separate his opponent from consciousness as quickly and violently as possible.

He did this with no concern for his own safety as he was willing to take some punishment in order to get what he wanted. It is not an intelligent way to fight, but it damn sure is entertaining.

But as anyone who frequents this blog knows, I love the sport of wrestling. I believe that it is not only the best fighting background, but it is also just beautiful to watch. Although most people would agree on the first part, the latter usually gets some raised eyebrows. It may be more psychological than physiological, but it is damn near impossible for me to watch someone go out and remove a person from their feet against their will. Ben Askren is the poster child for this in mixed martial arts as he used his Olympic-level background in wrestling to physically dominate every opponent he faced and retire with an undefeated record.

And it's not like I don't enjoy the striking side of mixed martial arts. I just prefer for it to be on a grounded opponent. I think all males, and possibly a good portion of females (I really can't speak for them) have imagined what it would be like to get in a fight. You can imagine yourself standing and trading blows. You can imagine yourself winning, and if you're realistic, you can probably imagine what it's like to be losing a fight on your feet; it's not ideal, but you can at least imagine the scenario.

What nobody imagines is the feeling of getting in a fight and being on the ground as strikes rain down. The feeling of being trapped where your only two options are to take punishment and hang on. There is no escape. I have trained those scenarios in safe environments, and it still makes me a little ill to my stomach thinking about it. Although it is forgotten due to his fighting style later on in his career, Fedor Emelianenko was a monster at this in his prime, as he would get on top of guys and brutally pound through their defense. His opponents' only escape was if the ref decided to show mercy and restart the fight on their feet.

That's why Khabib is so much fun to watch. He combines aggression, wrestling, and a physically dominant style. There are only three things on his mind: Pressure, pressure, and pressure. He will take some punishment from good strikers, but it never deters him. He refuses to give his opponent room to breathe, because he knows that eventually he is going to get a hold of his opponent, and once he does, they are going to be in a world of hurt.

Khabib has ridden this strategy to an undefeated record in his career, and maybe the craziest thing is that everybody knows the strategy to beat him. Be able to strike at range and have excellent movement in the cage. It's easy to say but incredibly difficult to do. Barboza was able to do this for about half a round before he let Nurmagomedov get to him, and then he took a beating for the rest of the round and never looked the same the rest of the fight. After the fight, Khabib said that he could have finished the fight but wanted to fight longer to give himself more time in the cage. He finishes opponents as he pleases.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is the ideal fighter, and if he's not already your favorite fighter, just know that you are wrong, and you need to remedy that situation immediately.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The 45 Most Important Players to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty - #35 Ed Nealy

Ed Nealy
Ed Nealy was a player who was consistently underrated and overlooked. This man was so disrespected that in college, he was one of the subjects of the 1981 Washington Post article,  "Who Are These Guys?; Kansas St.: Short, Fat and Still Alive; Kansas State? Yes, Kansas State." But he found his niche and made positive contributions to every team that he was on. Now, that being said, Nealy may have had the lowest ceiling of any player in the NBA, but the man did everything he could to reach that ceiling. He was one of Michael Jordan's favorite teammates, and Jordan thought everybody sucked - that is, everybody except for Ed Nealy.

During all four years at Kansas State, Nealy put up between 9.8 and 11.3 points per game while getting 8.2 to 9.1 rebounds per game. The only thing that changed was his efficiency improved every season. This was enough for him to get selected in the eighth round by the Kansas City Kings, which yes, was a NBA team.

Ed Nealy never set the world on fire during his eleven-year NBA career. His career highs were 4.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.2 blocks. But you knew what you were getting with Ed Nealy, nothing special, but nothing harmful either, as you knew he would take up minutes and not screw up.

After an initial run with Chicago from 1988-1990, the Bulls traded for him on February 25, 1993. What did the Bulls give up? A conditional 2001 second round draft pick. Not only is that pick so far down the road, but it was also not exercised. Even funnier is that this was the second time the Bulls traded a conditional pick for Nealy, and the first one was also not exercised. As the Dire Straits once beautifully sang, "Money for nothing, and Ed Nealy for free."

Down the stretch, Nealy played in 11 games. He did what Ed Nealy always does, plays solid basketball in totally forgettable ways. It was not enough to earn him any playing time during the playoffs, but he did enough for a championship ring which isn't too bad of a haul for a guy that people kept overlooking.

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss Share Everything

Something odd has been going on during the last month of NXT. It has been subtle, but it has been fascinating to watch things unfold. The tag team of Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss have been having very weird interactions together when speaking with competing NXT tag teams. It all started when they ran into the Street Profits who were admiring a Maserati.

As Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins were waxing poetically about the car and how one day, you and I may be lucky enough to afford one after hard work, Sabbatelli and Moss came up to tell them to get away from the car. But it was a little odd, as it wasn't Sabbatelli's car, and it wasn't Moss's car, instead, they claimed duel ownership, referring to it as "our car." I have a wife, and if we saw somebody messing with my Volvo, I still would not refer to it as our car. It's my car. I mean, my relationship is pretty solid with my wife right now, but clearly, we are not on the same level as Moss and Sabbatelli.

But it does not appear to be a sexual thing. In the below video, they make it clear that they are better dressed, drive nicer cars, and get finer women.

I mean, yeah, they might be bisexual, or they could just be trying to overcompensate for their homosexuality as they feel it might hinder their chances at success. But I think I'm going to take them at face value here, and say that they like the ladies.

So what does this mean about their relationship? Here's my theory: They really like nice stuff, but they're still just in NXT, so they don't quite always have the money to get what they want. So instead, they pool their resources together so they can upgrade their situation. Here's how it all started:

Tino: I think I might treat myself, you know get a Volvo.
Riddick: Woah, I was thinking about getting a Volvo too.
Tino: So, then we'll have two Volvos?
Riddick: But we only have one parking spot, so should we play rock, paper, scissors to see who gets the Volvo?
Tino: Wait a second, what if neither of us get a Volvo, but we both get what we want.
Riddick: What do you mean?
Tino: Instead of fighting about who gets to have a Volvo, what if we pool our resources together and get one Maserati? That way, we don't have to worry about the parking space issue.
Riddick: Bro.
Tino: Dude.
Riddick: Chicks?
Tino: Yeah.

And it just escalated from there. I'm sure one time they were at a restaurant, and they both wanted burgers, so instead, they shared a steak. Instead of both of them getting a 50 inch TV for their rooms, they got a 70 inch TV for the living room. I also imagine that sometimes it backfires on them, like the time they were both going to get queen-size beds, but instead went in and got one California King. That one, they didn't think through.

When I first figured it out, it seemed odd, but the more I think about it, the more beauty I see in the evolution of what a friendship can be. They're the Upgrade Guys, The Splitsies Chums, The Divide It Dudes, The Even Stevens, or, my personal favorite, Sharing Is Caring.

I can't wait to see where it goes. Knowing these guys, we haven't seen the half of it.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The 45 Most Important Players to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty - #36 Mark Randall

Mark Randall
Mark Randall ended his collegiate career with heartbreak as his Kansas Jayhawks lost to the Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA Finals. He put up 18 points with ten rebounds in that game, but it was not enough to overcome the dynamic duo of Christian Laettener and Bobby Hurley.

Although his college career ended in disappointment, he had to be happy a few months later when he was the Bulls first round pick in the 1991 NBA Draft. The Bulls were coming off of their first championship and Randall was hoping that he could help them to a few more down the line. As a very good college player, it seemed that he would at least find a role as a big man off the bench.

Unfortunately for Randall, the Bulls returned all 12 players from their championship team the previous year. Barring injury, that didn't leave a whole lot of room for anyone to make contributions to the 1991-92 squad.

Still, Randall got his opportunity early in the season. He played in 15 games, almost exclusively in mop up minutes, but still, he got some time on the court in a good amount of the games early on that season. He didn't do anything particularly well as he basically accumulated one great game in 67 minutes. 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists, although the 8 fouls would have been an issue.

And then everybody got healthy and Randall was squeezed out. He was waived on December 30, 1991 but was quickly picked up by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He played a few more seasons in the NBA but never had any meaningful minutes. Still, he parlayed his limited time with the Denver Nuggets into a position as Community Ambassador, a position he still holds to this day.

Even though he probably couldn't take on Michael Jordan in basketball, he'd give him a hell of a run on the links as he is a 1 handicap golfer.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

How To Make Money Online: Freelancer

Freelancer is a website that connects people who need specific creative work done with the creative types that are willing to do freelancing work. You probably could have guessed that from the name, but now that we're all on the same page, let's make this short and sweet. I've barely done jackshit on Freelancer for two reasons.

The first reason is they try to upsell you on things, and I was not committed to losing money. I am offering my service for people, so no, I am not going to invest in their made up programs to prove myself.

The second, and much larger issue, was that all of the best projects were for females only. Like, check out this description.

Project Description

I am looking for a female, African American woman who not only writes powerful Slam Poetry but also performs it will. I need a customized poem written based on an empowerment topic, which then needs to be recorded by the individual, and sent to me. It will be used for an empowering video project,
I mean, that sounds perfect for me as I should probably make a career in slam poetry. Just check this out.

Basic, B-A-S-I-C
What you can't see
Is how you're hurting me
With the twisting of my left titty
But I feel the itch
And I've got that twitch
To leave you in a ditch
So here's the sitch
You're gonna need a stitch
You basic bitch.

See? You don't need to be African American woman to slam. But alas, when will the white male finally get a break in this unfair world?

This wasn't the only great opportunity I missed out on though.

Project Description

I need someone to write me an erotica story in the fantasy department with Goddess and Demon Queen with Amazon height of 11feet tall compared to the main male character who is only 5feet 6inch
I'll join the main setup of the story with the description I WANT SERIOUS AND OPENMINDED WRITER ONLY

I could write the shit out of that erotica, especially when it comes to Amazon women making love with below average sized men. I mean, here's just a sample of what I could do.

The basketball looked like a softball in the palm of this Demon Queen. It was clear that she could post up Rebecca Lobo with ease. Brittney Griner would have been jealous of her exotic beauty. She told me, "Remove your clothes so I can see your Sue Bird." I did as I was told, and oh golly, did my Bird sing.

See? That is both serious and open-minded. But alas, this was another contest only open to females, which is dumb, because I would have name dropped at least 100 WNBA players had I been able to write it.

So my overall review is that Freelancer sucks, that is, until someone is hiring a white male to write WNBA Slam Poetry.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The 45 Most Important Players to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty - #37 Keith Booth

Keith Booth
Keith Booth was drafted in the first round of the 1997 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. It must have been a dream come true, coming from a powerhouse program like Maryland and going to the elite NBA franchise, the back-to-back champion Chicago Bulls.

Keith Booth did a little bit of everything for Maryland as he averaged nearly twenty points, eight rebounds, and two and a half assists per game. For the Bulls, he did slightly less. During the Bulls final title year, Booth played in just six games for a total of 17 minutes. During his senior season at Maryland, he averaged twice that many minutes per game.

But impressively, he managed to stay on the team for the entire year, and he was a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line. Had the Bulls needed to ice away a game, they definitely could have gone to Booth, although they never actually did.

Still, he won a title with the Bulls, and even stuck around for another year for the strike-shortened 1998-99 season. Unfortunately, an uptick in minutes for Keith Booth was not enough to replace Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman as the Bulls went from 62-20 in 1997-98 to 13-37 in 1998-99. Even the free throw magic from 1998 was gone as Booth shot just 50% that following year. But hey, Keith Booth got to start four games, so that's pretty cool.

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Monday, December 18, 2017

The 2018 Breakout Stars of NXT

Despite another year of losing a ton of incredible talent, NXT remains fairly strong going into 2018. You've got plenty of Indy darlings like Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano, and The Undisputed Era (featuring Adam Cole, bay bay). WWE also has home grown guys with Street Profits, Lars Sullivan, and Heavy Machinery. It's a place where you're always bummed about guys leaving, but there is always enough to keep you excited about the future. And I have some picks for 2018 that will help that future become even brighter.

Why should you listen to me? Well, last year, I absolutely nailed this list. Akira Tozawa won the 205 Title, Mandy Rose made it to  Raw, Patrick Clark went from weird dude to totally beloved, Montez Ford is one half of one of the hottest tag teams on NXT, and Andrade "Cien" Almas is NXT Champion. Like, I don't know if that can possibly be topped. So instead of going with the method used last year, I'm going to take bigger risks and go even more obscure for my picks for 2018.

Babatunde Aiyegbusi
As you can probably tell, Babatunde has not gotten his NXT friendly name yet, although just shortening it to Babatunde is definitely an option. This dude is massive. How massive?
He's so massive that he took Brock Lesnar's jersey number with the Vikings. Dude is 6'10" and 350 pounds, and in WWE terms, that means he's over 7 feet tall and well over 400 pounds. I have seen him a few times, and he moves well for a man his size. Also, they are starting to experiment with his character which means he should get the chance to debut in 2018. And with his size, he will definitely make an impact.

Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler
You remember Wesley Blake from his time as a tag team champion with Buddy Murphy. You remember Steve Cutler from losing a lot. But together they are a couple tough biker types, but that's not important. What is important is that Wesley Blake calls everything garbage, and the whole world is going to learn to love it. He's done it at various house shows, and it will be as over as a Tye Dillinger "Ten" chant. In relatively safe matches, they have shown good teamwork which makes me think the wrestling acumen is there enough for them to be an interesting tag team in the next year with a 100% chance of them feuding with Street Profits.

Demitrius Bronson
My darkest of dark horses, and that is not meant to be a racial thing. I have never even seen Bronson wrestle in person as I think his only action came in a squash match against Heavy Machinery. Bronson is a former running back who has now transitioned into the world of professional wrestling. I am judging him off nothing more than giving a really fun promo at an NXT house show in Largo where he had the whole crowd singing "Ooh yeah" at everything he said. I don't know how to express how fun the "Ooh yeah" was, so you're just going to have to trust me on it. As I said, I have no idea where he is wrestling wise, or really anything outside of a fun promo, so it could turn out to be a 2019 pick, but I hope he's given the opportunity to make an impact in 2018. Also, fun fact, the photo above is from his LinkedIn profile.

Dan Matha
Dan Matha actually made his NXT debut. Remember these vignettes?

It seemed like he was being positioned to be a destroyer of worlds who would come in and overwhelm the talent at NXT. Then he debuted and...

...well, that didn't go as planned. But Samoa Joe is gone from NXT, and although Matha has not made an appearance for over a year, he is still a massive dude, and when I saw him in person this past weekend, he showed some charisma and wrestling skills in his match against Danny Burch. I don't think they are going to be looking to do anything with him anytime soon with Lars Sullivan taking the position of bald white monster currently, but WWE will always find a spot for a guy with Matha's attributes.

Zelina Vega
The least dark horsiest of any of my picks, but I needed to pick a lady, and Zelina Vega, although obvious, was really the only reasonable choice. She has a strong history in wrestling, and she has already shown a ton of charisma as the manager for Andrade "Cien" Almas, so it's just a matter of her transitioning from manager to wrestler. When you look at the women's roster, you have some options like Nikki Cross or Peyton Royce, but it wouldn't be too surprising to see Ember Moon hold the title for a while before eventually being knocked off by Vega. Even if Vega doesn't win the title this year, she will surely make an impact on the division and is a no brainer for a huge year in 2018. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The 45 Most Important Players to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty - #38 Joe Courtney

Joe Courtney
Joe Courtney was never a guy who would wow anyone with his statistics. Even in college at Southern Mississippi, his senior year only led him to scoring 8.6 points with 5.3 rebounds per game. But what he lacks in per game stats, he more than makes up for it with the fact that he has played for a lot of different basketball teams. I mean A LOT of different basketball teams. I was going to write them out, but that seemed like an incredible pain, so here it is from Wikipedia:

1992–1993Sioux Falls Skyforce
1993Rockford Lightning
1993Chicago Bulls
1993Golden State Warriors
1993–1994Phoenix Suns
1994Milwaukee Bucks
1994–1995Mexico City Aztecas
1995Cholet Basket
1995Rockford Lightning
1995–1996Cleveland Cavaliers
1996–1997Quad City Thunder
1997Philadelphia 76ers
1997La Crosse Bobcats
1997San Antonio Spurs
1997Fórum Valladolid
1997–1998Rockford Lightning
1998Idaho Stampede
1998–1999NKK SeaHawks
1999Cincinnati Stuff
1999–2000Panteras de Miranda
2000–2001Idaho Stampede
2001Krka Novo Mesto
I counted 22 stints with 20 different teams. And that doesn't even mention that he went to two schools for college. Joe Courtney got around.

Like many of the early names on this list, Courtney was signed for the 1992 preseason before being released before the season began. But he showed enough for the Bulls to bring him back in January of 1993 and signed him to a ten day contract.

He actually ended up getting two ten-day contracts. Why did the Bulls give him that extension? Well, it probably had something to do with this:
Courtney would end up playing five games for the Bulls over that 20-day stretch, and he was pretty solid, accumulating 34 minutes of action, accumulating 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, an assist, and a block. He also managed 9 fouls, but at least he made an impact.

Unfortunately, the Bulls were done with him after those 20 days as the Bulls decided not to keep him around for the rest of the season. But things worked out well for Joe. First off, you should definitely check out his YouTube page. Don't watch the self-help videos, but do watch that he posted every single highlight of his NBA career. It's awesome, because I would do the exact same thing if I had played in the NBA. Also, probably more importantly, he started a business in Scottsdale, AZ and even wrote a self-help book. Joe Courtney got around, but it seems like he settled into a pretty good place.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Iowa Wrestling: Who Has The Best Shot At A National Title in 2018?

Wrestling season is finally upon us which means we are just four months away as I stand alone on a mountain, screaming at the top of my lungs that you should be watching March Matness instead of March Madness. Again, nobody will hear my screams. Iowa lost a lot of talent from last year's roster, so they are more in a rebuilding mode, but it is Iowa, so it's not like they aren't going to be incredibly good. Do they have a realistic shot at winning the team title? Well, that depends, is it realistic to expect both Penn State and Ohio State (and possibly Michigan) to all miss weight at the national tournament? If so, they definitely have a shot at the team title.

But I'm going to focus on the individuals today and go through who has the best shot at making an impact on a national level. We'll start at the bottom and move our way up to the Hawkeye that will lead this team to glory.

10. Justin Stickley - 125
This is the biggest wildcard on the team. At wrestle-offs, he dominated Perez Perez, so he really couldn't have looked much better without getting pins in his matches, but that isn't a ton to go off of. This isn't a super loaded weight class. I think everything went right for Darian Cruz at the NCAA Tournament, and I don't really see him as a threat to repeat. The two real studs this year are Nick Suriano of Rutgers and Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State. Stickley doesn't appear to have the horsepower to be a threat, but I do think he will get better as the season goes along. But he's got a lot of ground to make up if he even wants to qualify for the tournament.

Of course, that all changes if Spencer Lee burns his redshirt and wrestles this season. Spencer Lee is a SPECIAL wrestler. He lost one match during his high school career, and that was with a torn ACL against Austin DeSanto, who has been tearing things up at 133 this year. If he does wrestle, he's top-4 and without a doubt, a threat to take him the National Title. He dominated the UNI Open this past weekend and just off that, I'd probably put him at #2 or #3 on this list, and that may be too low.

9. Paul Glynn or Philip Laux - 133
The bad thing about this team is that it's going to be tough for Iowa to have an individual champion this year. But the good thing about this team is that it has no notable weak spot. I fully expect Iowa to qualify guys at all ten weights, and it's pretty reasonable to think that all of them could even be seeded. Philip Laux has been a solid backup for Iowa the past couple seasons, but he never really shined. Paul Glynn beat Laux in the wrestle-offs, but then lost to a guy that Laux beat at the Luther Open. Since then, Laux has seemed to take over the weight class. Both of these guys should be tough, but neither will provide much of a ceiling for this weight. I can see a few wins at the tournament, but I don't see All-American status for the Hawkeyes this year.

8. Vince Turk or Carter Happel - 141
If you would have asked me where Turk should be after the Iowa City Duals, I would have had him in the top five. Turk was injured in his first match last year and was out for the year, but he looked great early on. After that, he has stopped looking great as slow starts have doomed him in recent matches. The issue with this weight class is that it is very deep, but there aren't unbeatable monsters at this weight. Dean Heil always finds a way to win at the top, but everyone else is in that same grinding, close decision style. If Turk can grind with the best of them, he could pull some upsets and find himself wrestling in the quarterfinals on Friday morning. The floor is very low as it wouldn't be shocking if he went 0-2 and was eliminated from the tournament, but I think he has the potential to at least win a couple matches this year.

7. Cash Wilcke - 197
This may seem low, considering Cash Wilcke is one of the few returning Hawkeyes that competed at last year's NCAA Tournament. Not only that, he made it to the Round of 12, just one win shy of All-American status. But my expectations aren't that high for Wilcke, because EVERYTHING went right for him last year. He won so many close matches in that tournament, and had there not been an injury right before the tournament, he wasn't even going to qualify to make it. He made the most of his opportunity, so hopefully it's a sign of things to come, but he's still going to be doing his best to grind it out as an undersized 197 which is not an easy thing to do. I think he qualifies on his own merit to the NCAA Tournament, but I think the blood round is likely where his ceiling lies at this weight, and I think he'll have a lot of trouble repeating that performance.

6. Joey Gunther or Kaleb Young - 174
I'll admit that I thought Kaleb Young would take this weight convincingly from Joey Gunther, but Gunther won the wrestle-off in overtime, so he's getting the first shot at the starting gig. Both guys are wrestling up a weight class from last year where Gunther won a couple matches at the NCAA Tournament and Young had a very impressive redshirt year. I see these guys as having the potential to be ranked in the 10-12 range by the end of the season. Although on seed alone, that falls short, you never know how things may go at the NCAA Tournament, so it wouldn't be crazy to see them being a threat to be a low-level All-American this year.

5. Alex Marinelli - 165
Super recruit, Alex Marinelli, is finally ready to shine for the Hawkeyes after an impressive redshirt year last season. Still, even though his season was impressive, he did falter when taking on top notch competition. He's going to be very good this year, but 165 is stacked at the top. If everything breaks right, I could see him in the top five, but I more see him as a likely All-American, and my prediction is probably sixth for this season. The thing with Marinelli is the ceiling isn't great this season, but the floor is pretty high as he's a takedown machine who is going to be tough to upset at the tournament.

4. Sam Stoll - Heavyweight
Although this is Stoll's third year as the starting heavyweight for Iowa, we still really don't know what his potential is when it comes to the NCAA Tournament. I mean, is he going to beat Kyle Snyder, a man who is on his way to becoming the greatest American wrestler ever? No, he's not going to do that. But he could give just about anybody else a run for their money. Unfortunately, he was hurt going into the tournament during his freshman year, and an injury ended his sophomore year before he had a chance to compete at the tournament last year. I would say that he is at least an All-American this year. I think Coon will likely lock up that number two spot, but I could see Stoll anywhere from 3-6 this season. He's a big dude who can give anybody troubles.

3. Brandon Sorensen - 149
I only see one possible loss from Sorensen against anybody in the 149 pound division, but that one loss is nearly guaranteed against Zain Retherford who will likely be battling his teammate for the Hodge Trophy as college wrestling's best wrestler. I think Sorensen will be wrestling in the finals on Saturday night, but I do not see a way for him to get past The Zain Train.

2. Michael Kemerer - 157
Read above, but replace Zain Retherford's name with Jason Nolf's, and you pretty much have the same story. I give Kemerer a slightly better chance of upsetting Nolf, but the odds still aren't great. He got handled both times they wrestled last year, and even if Kemerer has improved, it's not like you can expect Nolf to stagnate. I see Kemerer making the Finals, but there is no logical way to pick him to upset Nolf at this point.

1. Pat Downey - 184
For my top spot, I am selecting a man who is not even on the Iowa Wrestling team at the moment. Downey is currently finishing his degree up at Iowa State University with the plan to be a graduate transfer for the Hawkeyes once the second semester begins. He's not technically a part of the team yet, so this is definitely a risky pick for my best chance of winning a National Title in 2018, but this is not the strongest Hawkeye team ever, so it's worth taking the risk. Pat Downey, despite being a senior, is one of the greatest mysteries in college wrestling. He started his career at Nebraska, never wrestled, and transferred to Iowa Central Community College to wrestle for a year. After that, he transferred to Iowa State where he wrestled at 197 and took fifth place, and very easily could have taken third had he not lost in sudden victory to former Hawkeye, Nathan Burak. Last year, he went 7-0 in limited action, mostly at his more natural weight class of 184, but got in trouble, and was unable to compete in the NCAA Tournament. Over the offseason, he beat Gabe Dean in freestyle but lost to the defending national champion at 184, Bo Nickal. Both Nickal and Downey are big move guys, and I really believe anything could happen when they square off. The weight class lost a ton of talent this past year, and Downey should immediately be considered a top-4 wrestler, even with a limited track record of success. At this point, there is no way to consider Downey the favorite, as Nickal has gone out and won an NCAA Tournament, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if Downey is standing atop the podium on Saturday night, that is, of course, if he actually joins the Iowa Wrestling team. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The 45 Most Important Players to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty - #39 Matt Steigenga

Matt Steigenga
So let's just start off that Matt Steigenga's story is probably going to be better than any story on this entire list. After an esteemed career at Michigan State, Steigenga was drafted in the second round of the 1992 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls. You are probably thinking that he was a little known player during the Bulls first three-peat, but you would be wrong. Steigenga didn't get his chance in the NBA during those early years, but honestly, I'm not sure if he would have wanted it any other way.

Instead of playing in the NBA, Steigenga played for the following teams:

Tau Ceramica - Okay, nothing too special about that. It appears it was a Spanish league team.

Grand Rapids Hoops - I love the simplicity of this name. The Hoops, just naming necessary items for playing the game of basketball. I would like the Washington Redskins to finally change their name to the Washington Endzones.

Rochester Renegade - Note that this does not say Renegades, which can only make me assume that it is an homage to the 1990s classic television show starring Lorenzo Lamas.

Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins - I love this name so much. I love that the team has a sponsor. I love that it is a Japanese league, because of course it is. And I just love sticking two words together to make an alliteration but not make any sense. That is the very definition of Japanese entertainment. Steigenga spent four years with them, so he must have loved it.

Quad City Thunder - I know this may seem like a letdown, but this is my hometown team, and it's the reason he was able to finally sign with the Chicago Bulls during the 1996-1997 season.

Since his CBA season had concluded, he went back to his home in Milwaukee. Bored, with nothing to do, he gave Bulls General Manger Jerry Krause a call to see if he could score some tickets for a Bulls game. Krause asked him to play instead. The Bulls signed him to a contract that day, and he played a couple nights later. Seriously, this story is insane.

As for his contributions, he played in a total of two games for the Chicago Bulls, he made one two-pointer and one free throw; he attempted a three-pointer but could not hit the trifecta. But that was about the only thing he didn't do on the court, as even in limited time, he managed a steal, a block, two assists, and three rebounds. Hell, he even fouled a guy. Oh yeah, and his one two-pointer was a dunk off an alley-oop. I bet you wish there was a highlight video of this, and I have a new respect for YouTube because there definitely is a highlight video of this.

Steigenga didn't make the active roster for the playoffs, but he was on the team, so instead of getting tickets for a single game in April, he sat right behind the bench for the Bulls entire championship run.

Matt Steigenga may have not played long in the NBA, but he had a hell of a career. And he's got the ring to prove it.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

I Accidentally Crashed an AIDS Race

I went for a run on Saturday morning. I wasn't too enthused about it, because the winter temps were in the low 60s, and now that I'm a namby pamby, this is stocking cap weather for me. I delayed as long as I could, but winter is here, and finally, around 9:00 AM, I made my way down to St. Petersburg to go run down there.

I found a nice little 2-hour parking spot and started off on my run. As I turned towards the water, I saw a police officer and a whole lot of runners up ahead. I decided to go in the opposite direction of the runners, and that way I would cross paths with them for a short while, but then I would clear them and be on my way.

After a few blocks, I saw that everyone was coming from my left, so I just headed straight and found a quieter stretch. Then, after a few more blocks, as I kept chugging forward, the course had apparently turned back as I was right in the middle of the damn run. There were no side streets to turn down, and I was basically just stuck.

I'll be honest. I kind of liked it. I was passing fools left and right and leaving them in my dust. There were people along the path cheering people on. Then, I ran into a conundrum. Up ahead, there were people on both sides of the road looking for high-fives. Clearly, they wanted to high-five the people that were supporting the AIDS run, not some random dumbass. But, it would be rude to deny somebody a high-five. I was cruising, so they may not even notice that I wasn't in the race, so I did the polite thing and high-fived the shit out of them. It was exhilarating.

I was at full swagger at this point as I was running real fast and taking advantage of every high-five imaginable. I decided to take it to the next level, and instead of giving somebody a high-five, I paid tribute to the nWo and The Elite and gave a woman the too-sweet sign right to the palm of her hand. That old lady was probably super confused, but I had a HUGE smile on my face.

Then the race turned down another street and I saw the finish line up ahead. It was at this time that I knew my time was done. I would likely be found out, and I also wasn't ready to end my run in less than two miles. I cut through the cone barrier and headed up another street towards my own finish line.

But the accidental AIDS run did have a positive impact on me. I would like to not only declare myself, but this entire blog, anti-AIDS...but very pro AIDS runs.

Friday, December 8, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Former Donald Trump Advisor, John Miller

***Guest Post from Lukewarm Jonah***

We have an amazing scoop here at The Jonah Show.  I’ve managed to find John Miller, former Trump employee and secure an interview.  He didn’t want to be on tape, but graciously agreed to let me transcribe our interview.  Truly, this is a major break for us to interview someone who was very close to the now president of the United States.

Jonah: First of all, thank you so much for being here.

John Miller: My pleasure, thank you for having me.

Jonah: Let’s dive right into it, what is your relationship to President Trump?

Miller: I worked PR, public relations for him in the early 90’s.

Jonah: Just a business relationship then?

Miller: Well, a business relationship, but also a friendship.  He trusted me, he knew I was good at what I do, so he hired me in a professional manner.

Jonah: I have to ask about the famous 1991 People magazine article that got a lot of press a few months ago.

Miller: Go ahead.

Jonah: Thank you, first of all, was that you on the tape?

Miller: Yes that was me.

Jonah: You know a lot of people who heard that thought it sounded like Mr. Trump.

Miller: I can understand people hearing those similarities but it was definitely me.  I remember doing that interview.

Jonah: OK, now that we’ve got that out of the way, what about  the things you said during the interview?  Were they all true?

Miller: Well, no, not all of them.

Jonah: So you lied during the interview?

Miller: I did my job to promote Mr. Trump and in doing so said some things that weren’t exactly true.  I was a publicist, part of my job was spinning things positively, and sometimes that included embellishing certain things.

Jonah: What in particular did you embellish?

Miller: I mean, I don’t know exactly what was said and what was an embellishment.

Jonah: I’m going to go through a few claims here and you tell me whether they were true or whether they were, as you say, an embellishment.  Is that OK?

Miller: Yes that’s fine.

Jonah:  Alright, did he ever date Carla Bruni, the former first lady of France?

Miller: No, I don’t believe I ever said he did.

Jonah: Let me look here, well no you didn’t say he ever dated her but you implied that she was interested in him.

Miller: That’s PR.

Jonah: Fair enough.  The article does outright state that Madonna called and asked Mr. Trump out, so I ask you did Madonna ever call and ask out Mr. Trump?

Miller: No, they were at the same charity event and they talked and who knows what they talked about?

Jonah: But just to be clear, the part of the article that states Madonna called and was interested in dating Mr. Trump is false.

Miller: Yes, that part was embellished.

Jonah: Moving on, you talk about how well Mr. Trump is doing financially in the article.  Was that true?

Miller: What you have to understand is that when you’re a businessman like Mr. Trump, you have to portray a certain image.  I was helping him portray an image of a successful businessman.

Jonah: Are you saying that wasn’t the actual case?

Miller: Well I’m sure you’re smart enough to have done your research.

Jonah: About how he filed bankruptcy because of the Trump Taj Mahal that is mentioned in the article?

Miller: Yes, it’s all public record so I’m sure you know all about it.

Jonah: So all the talk about how well he was doing was false?

Miller: Well as I’ve said I’m sure you’ve seen the records, so no, obviously he wasn’t doing that well financially but he had an image to portray.

Jonah: You also talked about some of Mr. Trump’s exes and made some interesting claims about them.  I’d like to ask you about some of those claims.

Miller: Alright, go ahead.

Jonah: Did Ivana want to get back with Mr. Trump?

Miller: Not to my knowledge no.

Jonah: So she wasn’t calling or contacting Donald to try and get back together?

Miller: No.

Jonah: Did Mr. Trump have three other girlfriends living with him when he was with Marla Maples?

Miller: No, of course not.

Jonah: So why did you say that?

Miller: I’ve already explained, it’s PR, it’s an image.

Jonah:  Do you see anything wrong with what you did?

Miller: Not really, I was just doing my job.  PR is a complicated business and I did what I was supposed to do.  We all have to make sacrifices and choices about what we do for work.  We all do things that we don’t necessarily want to do, but need to do.

Jonah: OK, well what do you think about Trump’s situation with his press secretary now?

Miller: Well I can tell you that if I was his press secretary, we wouldn’t be getting made fun of.  I do feel sorry for some of the people who have gone through the position, especially Sean.  I know that Mr. Trump’s message can be, let’s say confusing.

Jonah: What do you mean by that?

Miller: Well, you understand that I spun certain things in a positive light.  That was my job.  The press secretary’s job is to deliver a clear message from Mr. Trump.  His message can be a little all over the place, a little disjointed.

Jonah: Go on.

Miller: The thing is, when you know Mr. Trump, and you know how to stay on message, then you can get across his point.  What Sean had to do was figure out what Mr. Trump wanted to say in a short amount of time, and the problem is his opinions change quickly.  What Sean had to deal with is delivering a message from Mr. Trump that could change.  You see, I just had to stay positive and stay on message.  Sean didn’t know how to stay positive and stay on message.  He got rattled, and to be honest his message was more complex than the message I had to deliver.

Jonah: What would you have done differently?

Miller: I would have kept things simple.  You need very basic, very general ideas.  You don’t stray from those, keep it simple.

Jonah: But these are complicated issues that he’s dealing with, and as you said Trump’s opinion, and therefore message can change in a short amount of time.  How would you deal with being sent out to say one thing, and then hours later being contradicted by Trump?

Miller: Honestly, there are things about Mr. Trump that will never change.  If you really know what’s important to him, things like his image, you can go out there and say things that won’t be contradicted.  The real problem is the complexity of the issues that these press secretaries have been dealing with.  I can go out there right now, take questions without ever talking to Mr. Trump, and be able to give passable fluff answers that I know won’t be contradicted by Mr. Trump because I know him and know what he’s looking for.  If I really got pressed on some specific issue, I’d just have to respectfully answer that Mr. Trump was looking into that issue and considering all sides.  He’s doing his research and should have a concrete stance after he’s consulted some experts.  You see if you don’t know something, you don’t want to admit that, and you don’t just want to say a stance that might change.  That makes you look stupid, and it could make Mr. Trump look stupid.  It all goes back to keeping it simple and staying positive.  It really is PR, you make Mr. Trump look good and you look good.  It’s that simple.

Jonah:  Well there’s been a lot of turnover in the position of press secretary.  Would you consider taking the position if it opens up again in the future?

Miller: I would think about it, but to be honest I’m more comfortable behind the scenes.  I do public relations, I help promote other people, but being in front of the press every day isn’t my idea of fun.  I’d rather see my name mentioned briefly in an article about someone else, then be the focus of the story.

Jonah: It seems like Trump could use some of your PR right now, his approval rating keeps falling lower and lower.

Miller: He definitely could use my talents right now, there are a lot of scandals that won’t go away and if I was running his PR people wouldn’t be getting distracted by his random outbursts, they’d be getting distracted by good news.

Jonah: On those scandals, the one that keeps hanging around are his ties to Russia.  Are you aware of any business dealings he had there?

Miller: I’d rather not answer that question.

Jonah: We’ve had a very open and seemingly honest interview up until now, but this question you don’t want to answer?

Miller: That is correct.

Jonah: You’re smart enough to see how that looks to the average person, we’ve been having a nice conversation then suddenly you don’t want to answer a question.  You know how that looks right?

Miller: I have no comment on that issue.  In fact, we’ve spoken for quite some time and I have other work to do.  I’d like to wrap this up if we can.

Jonah: Well, OK then.  I want to thank you for your time Mr. Miller, I really do appreciate you taking the time to speak with me today.

Miller: No problem, you have a good day. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The 45 Most Important Players to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty - #40 Ricky Blanton

Ricky Blanton
Ricky Blanton was a throwback, spending five years in college at LSU. He even averaged over 20 points and eight rebounds per game during his senior season. He impressed enough that he was drafted in the second round by the Phoenix Suns in 1989. Fun fact, that draft pick originally belonged to the Chicago Bulls but was traded along with Ed Nealy for Craig Hodges. He didn't make the Suns, but he kept on grinding.

He was brought on during the 1992 preseason by the Chicago Bulls, but he failed to make the team. Still, he kept sharp with the Wichita Falls Texans. I checked, and yes, Wichita Falls is in Texas. It paid off for him in February of 1993 when the Chicago Bulls signed him to a 10-day contract.

Blanton made those 10 days count as he got in two games, threw up seven shots, hitting three of them for a total of six points. He also managed three rebounds, an assist, and not one but two steals in his limited time. The Bulls won both games by 18 points, tying him for the greatest winning percentage of any player in NBA history.

Unfortunately, the Bulls hubris got the best of them, and they did not renew his contract. The Bulls would go on to lose games during that season, but they did still manage to win their third title in as many years.

Ricky was the ultimate victory cigar. That's why I call him Ricktory Blunton.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Post Y2J Crisis: What Happened After Chris Jericho Made His WWE Debut - Part 3

For those who missed it:
Part One
Part Two

When we last left off with Chris Jericho's WWE career, he was losing almost all of his matches, and it was to benefit the likes of Prince Albert and The Headbangers. But now, Jericho was ready for greatness, he was ready for his first memorable long-term feud in the WWE. He was ready to take on the man, the myth, the leg...wait, rewind. The woman, the myth, the legend, Chyna.

Chyna had most recently feuded with Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett had a reign of terror on women where he literally just kept beating up and demeaning women for months straight without anything bad happening to him. I thought about writing about it, but it is SUPER uncomfortable and should probably never be mentioned again. Anyway, Chyna beat Jarrett for the Intercontinental Title. In fact, she beat him so badly that he was on WCW the next night.

This led to her first title defense feud, and Jericho was the ideal foil for Chyna. He started by challenging her but getting attacked from behind when he was not paying attention. Then he challenged her to an intergender tag match where he would take a random female fan and take on her and D-Lo Brown. That random female happened to be Stevie Richards in a dress, but it still counts. Either way, Chyna stripped down Stevie and her and D-Lo got the win. Maybe things weren't quite looking up for Jericho yet.

Then, looking for an easy victory, Jericho challenged Stevie Richards to a match. Stevie came out dressed as Chyna and Jericho delivered a beating to him. But then Chyna came out and hit Jericho with the Intercontinental Title with the ref distracted, and yes, Jericho lost to Stevie Richards. While Jericho was trying with Chyna, it also turned into a Stevie Richards feud, because, you know, Jericho wasn't enough of a personality to feud with Chyna, so getting Stevie in there made sense. Stevie would lose to Chyna dressed as Jericho, and then cost Jericho a match against The Godfather by dressing as a ho and costing him the match.

But Jericho bounced back with a blistering promo on Chyna on the Raw before he would challenge her for the Intercontinental Title at Survivor Series.

He was so confident in his abilities that he promised to have a sex change if he lost to Chyna. Finally, after all the back and forth, Jericho met Chyna at Survivor Series in what was a surprisingly good match. There was back and forth, false finishes, and an entire crowd of Jerichoholics which the WWE couldn't possibly ignore. Unfortunately, your hero and mine, Y2J, was beaten by a Pedigree off the top rope for Chyna to retain her title.

The following night on Raw, Y2J was clearly distraught.

He tried to put on a brave face, but he got distracted and lost to, "The Vampire Before Vampires Were Cool," Gangrel. Jericho would get his revenge against Chyna later that night.

Because of Jericho's mighty strength, hammering a mallet near Chyna's hand caused vibrations that broke Chyna's hand. By doing this, Jericho proved that women are not as tough as men.

He used this momentum to take out the World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry in his next match. After that,he took out The Godfather, because apparently Jericho was not only portrayed as sexist but racist as well.

He decided to use this momentum to challenge Big Show for the WWE Championship in a No Disqualification Match. Things were going well for Jericho until Chyna came out and hit him with a mallet. Then things were not going as well as Big Show picked up an unconscious Y2J and chokeslammed him for the win.

A week later, Y2J had finally recovered from his concussion enough to not only interrupt Mick Foley talking about making the New York Times Bestseller List but also face him in a match.

"The only reason anybody bought your book in the first place is they were hoping that you would die at the end of it." That one made me laugh out loud. It also featured Jericho proclaiming that he would write his own book. And then, despite being hit with the Intercontinental Championship by Chyna, Jericho recovered to still beat Mike Foley.

In the week leading up to his second match against Chyna at Armageddon, he tagged with Al Snow and had a no contest against The Rock n' Sock Connection on Raw before losing to Road Dogg due to Chyna interference on Smackdown.

He had his second shot at Armageddon, the last PPV of 1999, and would get the chance to the right the wrong of losing to Chyna. Amazingly, Y2J carried Chyna through another entertaining match, which included Jericho boxing, kicking, and even dropkicking the thumb that he had injured weeks earlier. After a back and forth battle, finally, your hero and mine, Y2J, overcame the odds and made Chyna submit to become the new Intercontinental Champion, a title he would hold a record nine times.

Despite Jericho being the clear heel, the crowd exploded in cheers when Chyna finally tapped out.

Finally, after months of losing to mid-level talents, and being an afterthought in more important feuds, Y2J, Chris Jericho, had risen up to get his first WWE title run. Still wrestling at the age of 47, he will go down as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. It wasn't a smooth run, but there was no man or woman that was going to stop him on his way to the top.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The 45 Most Important Players to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty - #41 Jo Jo English

Jo Jo English
Jo Jo English did not come along at the right time. He managed to play three years with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s and was only a part of one championship team. Even that was only for a short period of time.

English went undrafted in 1992 but signed on with the Bulls for the preseason. Although he didn't make the team, he made a positive impression as the Bulls brought him back on December 2nd. Although his time with the Bulls didn't last long, he did manage to play in six games and accumulate 31 minutes of playing time.

In that time, he was not very good. He attempted three three-pointers but didn't make any. He attempted two free throws, but he missed them both. He did have three steals, but he also had four turnovers. Even though he was a rookie, the Bulls had seen enough after just 13 days and released him on December 15th.

Jo Jo did not do a ton to help that 1993 NBA Championship team, but he was a part of it. And he had a much larger role the following year as he not only played in 36 games during the regular season, he even played in seven playoff games. Oh, and I guess you could say he had quite the impact in the playoffs.

And that brawl with Derek Harper got him suspended for a grand total of one game. Had this happened during a championship season, Jo Jo would probably be 20 spots higher. Unfortunately, I was unable to confirm whether Jo Jo said this during the exchange:

Get out (leave) right now
It's the end of you and me
It's too late (now) and I can't wait for you to be gone
Cause I know
About her (who) and I wonder (why)
How I bought all the lies
You said that you would treat me right
But you was just a waste of time

might be thinking of the wrong Jo Jo.

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Monday, December 4, 2017

The Least Party Boy To Ever Visit Key West

Key West, Florida is a place that many consider to be the closest thing to Paradise in the United States. An island with beautiful weather where people hang loose and party hard. Over Thanksgiving, I visited Key West, and I totally get why people enjoy it so much. But at the same time, I learned that I am officially the least party boy to ever visit Key West.

And I did give it a try. When we got in town, after eight hours of driving, we went out to one of two breweries in Key West. I have to say it was a little too nice, and the beer was just fine. This was followed by a Cabaret Show. Although I wouldn't say I was excited by it, I was at least intrigued by it. Now, I didn't really get many details for the show, so I assumed it was going to be a raunchy show full of transvestites. Instead, it was just one transvestite who was paying homage to his lady heroes. I found out that I don't know jack shit about gay icons. I couldn't tell you a single thing that Liza Minnelli or Bette Midler has done, and I'm not sure if I could name three combined songs between Cher and Reba McEntire. I couldn't even spell Minnelli or McEntire without looking it up. So, yeah, it was just a transvestite doing impressions of these ladies and making crude jokes for easy laughs. It was fine, but I was hoping to have my traditional Iowa values assaulted, and this fell well short of that.

Oh, there was also a two-drink minimum, so I started off with an old fashioned, because I am a pretentious prick. Well, they showed me, because they put club soda in it, and it tasted awful. I decided to go for a water for my second drink, which they luckily did not screw up.

The next day I hung outside all day, alternating between getting sun, and hopping in the ocean and pool. We then went out to the Elks Lodge, which was probably my favorite bar of my entire time being there. They had $2 beers and $3 select mixed drinks. One of those drinks just so happened to be a White Russian, which I probably haven't had for a decade. It was more hilarious than good, but it was still enjoyable.

We went to grab dinner at Garbo's, and I would highly recommend that as I had a fish burrito that made my mouth burn with delight. It had a great kick to it. We then went to Key West's second brewery, and they had a total of three beer options; it was fine. We went to another bar where I sat there, listened to some live music, and waited for my wife to give me the go-ahead to go home. I was back by 10:30, and I would have been fine had that been two hours earlier.

It turns out that had I stayed out later, I could have watched Gravy Wrestling. Although I was slightly bummed at first, as I started to imagine the people who would willingly wrestle in gravy the night before Thanksgiving, I realized that I likely didn't miss out on anything.

On Thanksgiving, I was offered a Colorado candy bar, so that was cool. At this age, I'm too much of a square to actually partake in that, but at least I had the opportunity.

Honestly, my highlight was on Friday when I ditched everyone to go Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. Not only did I get to see a cool old fort from the 1800s, but they also had a really nice beach. It was a totally relaxing day and well worth the $2.50 admission. I also went to a free aquatic museum and watched a 3D video of fishees swimming around. It was awesome.

So, yeah, I went to the party capital of the USA, and my highlight was going to a state park and a museum. I am officially The Least Party Boy to Ever Visit Key West.