Thursday, January 15, 2009

You gotta fight for your right to party

Look! Words!

--Of course it seems like it shouldn't be this way, but only the Knicks and Bucks average fewer blocks a game than the Rockets. For their part only 4 other teams get blocked as often as Houston does. Awesome.

--The Pacers and Clippers are the only teams with more losses by 3 points or fewer than the Rockets. Houston has five such losses while San Antonio leads the league with a 7-2 mark in that department.

--The Cavaliers have the league's best winning percentage and have knocked it out the park against the West. Cleveland is 10-1 (Hornets) against Western Conference opponents this season while the Celtics, for instance, are 8-5.

--Devin Harris is having a good season on the court and, judging by his apparent girl who was on Stern the other day, a good season off the court.

--I'm supposed to be surprised Isiah Thomas' brother, Preston, was charged with public urination after relieving himself near a Church? Isiah hasn't blamed it on his daughter yet so that's nice.

--Can't congratulate Myron Rolle on his decision to forego the NFL for now and head to Oxford as part of his Rhodes scholarship. He puts the 'student' in student-athlete.

--Of course Pittsburgh's Mayor Luke Ravenstahl submitted a petition to change his last name to Steelerstahl. At least he's not betting pierogies against Maryland crabs with Baltimore's mayor who I presume is in jail for something or other. I saw Hard Times at Douglass High, no one gets out of Baltimore alive.

--Does anybody believe Michael Irvin's drive-by turned Cowboys-lovefest story?

--I like Barry Zito despite being the most overpaid pitcher in baseball history this side of Mike Hampton, but seriously Barry, Paris Hilton?!

--Should taxpayers be heavily burdened with paying for sports stadiums? Of course not. Is that the way the game is played? Of course. Is the Dynamo ownership asking for too much from us and the city? Hell no. The stadium cost is $85 million of which $60 million is going to be paid by the ownership. It is asking for $10 million from the county that will go towards infrastructure and public amenities in the surrounding area. The rest of the jack comes from federal tax credits and other things I have no idea about. I just know this city has shelled out a helluva lot more for other stadiums and this is peanuts in comparison. And I'm not comparing here, but just because it's funny (unless you live in NYC) taxpayers are right now getting touched up for $325 million for the new Yankee Stadium.

Quick Hitters and Random Thoughts

--24 may still be cliche, but this season is much more promising than recent editions. The biggest surprise yet? Incredibly these words were uttered, "They got outside the perimeter." They did?! Nobody gets outside the perimeter on 24. I honestly think they threw that line in there to make fun of themselves. Just to let you know if you don't play, everyone drinks when someone "gets outside the perimeter" on 24.

--Sadly the last episode of Friday Night Lights was this week. I think it begins this week on NBC.

--Even with the zero amount of success The Spirit "achieved" Frank Miller may be given Buck Rogers to direct?!

--Your Crazy Wannabe Relative of the Week comes to us from Missouri. Miguel Paul is on the basketball team and is listed in the media guide as a first cousin of Chris Paul. So when a senior student went to do a freelance interview for a Missouri station he was a little surprised that Chris said he had no idea who he was talking about and had never met him. MP3, oh yeah, liar's nickname is MP3, said they had met before and he didn't go to Wake because he wanted to make his own path. Uh-huh.

--There are hail marys and then there is a teenage ballboy casually rolling up on Ana Ivanovic and asking her to marry him. Her answer, "Okay, maybe when you get older." That kid won't sleep for days, she shoulda never said 'maybe.'

--I'm not saying it's over NKOTB, but seriously New Kids you're performing on a weekend cruise...

--Judging by her expansion on the show, $5 says Rachael was halfway through this pasta mosaic before someone told her it was an image of her.

--Chopped = Yawn.

--Jennifer Hudson and Faith Hill are your Super Bowl singers.

--Live Daily Show on Inauguration Day?!

Almost here...

--For some reason actual research was needed to come to this conclusion: Drinking more than 7 cups of coffee a day could increase tendencies related to hallucinations. No doy (Doy = Word of the Day).

--A Gossip Girl spin-off set in the 80s?!

--Chevy Chase on Chuck?!

--How terrible are this season's supposed Top Chefs? And don't complain Ariane (sp?) you shoulda been gone after you made deviled freakin' eggs.

--The Sci Guy (go to guy for hurricanes) on the chron's site has a blog entry up titled "Should Analtech Change Its Name?" Yes. Yes, it should.

--A Steve McQueen biopic in the works?! Anytime I think of Steve McQueen (not very often) I'm reminded of his taking Ali away from my boy Robert Evans. About time for another viewing of The Kid Stays in the Picture.

Questions, comments or if this week you lost the best grandmother a punk kid could ever have...

Jared Barnes was cool enough to ask me to contribute my bad predictions to his awesome brawl sports blog on the chron's site. I'll post the main events here and of course you can get the full rundown on his blog.

UFC 93: Henderson vs. Franklin preview and predictions

UFC 93 Odds: Dan Henderson (-140) vs. Rich Franklin (+100)

In the UFC 93 main event, former PRIDE champion Dan 'Hendo' Henderson will fight former middleweight champion Rich 'Ace' Franklin in a UFC light heavyweight fight to determine who will be the next coach on The Ultimate Fighter.

While Franklin was dominating the middleweight division of the UFC, Henderson was doing the same in PRIDE FC. During that time MMA fans often wondered, who was the better champion between the two?

Well, neither of them are champions anymore and both of them seem more interested in fighting as a light heavyweight than a middleweight these days, but hey, it's still going to be great to find out how these two fighters stack up head to head.

Panel Predictions:

Jared Barnes: This fight is a toss up, but for the sake of predictions I'm going with Franklin. While Henderson's wrestling is world class and he has the power to finish any fighter at any time, I think Franklin is going to find a way to win.

Franklin is a better striker, has better Jiu-Jitsu and is going to be the much bigger fighter. I expect him to do everything he can to take advantage of his reach, stay on the outside and score points on the judges cards by peppering Hendo with quick short strikes.

I think the deciding factor in this fight will be how Franklin reacts when Henderson catches him in his clinch. If Franklin can get out of it quickly or somehow score a takedown from the clinch I really like his chances. If he gets caught in it he could be in for a lot of trouble. I don't want to say Anderson Silva Muay Thai Plum kind of trouble, but pretty damn close.

This fight is so hard to call because it's impossible to predict where the fight will take place. If the majority of it is standing and exchanging strikes, I like Franklin. If the majority of it is spent in the clinch, I like Henderson. If it hits the ground I wouldn't know who to give it to, but I'm fascinated to see how it'll play out down there.

Prediction: Franklin by decision

Danny Vara: Full disclosure on the main event, Dan Henderson was the first (and yes only) MMA fighter to come in studio with us so I've been a Henderson mark ever since. Dan certainly hasn't taken the easy road since coming back to the UFC.

He took on the man, the myth, the Rampage and lost. The loss against Anderson Silva was mostly because he fought a guy named Anderson Silva. All that before handling jiu-jitsu phenom Rousimar Palhares.

I think Rich Franklin has the advantage while they are on their feet despite Dan's always dangerous right hand. If and when it goes to the mat I expect Dan to keep Rich down there.

I never understood why Matt Hamill didn't try more aggressively to take Rich down and keep him down. I know Rich is versatile, but it just seemed Matt fought the perfect fight...for Rich.

I'm interested to see if Franklin will utilize his kicks as often as he did against Hamill. These guys both have power and stamina and this has the makings of a great fight.

Prediction: Henderson via decision

Jeremy Botter: A few years back, this would have been a dream fight. Right now, it's just a placeholder main event on a show that will probably be seen by few people.

It's a placeholder because it has no real mainstream appeal, and it doesn't really even hold much appeal for the fighters involved. The winner of the fight moves on to become the coach of Team USA in the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, but Rich Franklin wants no part of the show. He also doesn't want to move back to middleweight so soon after establishing himself in the light heavyweight division, mostly because he knows that he'll never get a title shot as long as Anderson Silva holds the belt.

This fight is basically a pick 'em in Vegas. I'd consider Henderson to be a slight favorite, mostly because he's going to be much stronger than Franklin and his greco work will be able to negate many of Franklin's strengths. But there's no real way to pick a definite winner, and I'm not even going to try. I think this fight will go the distance, with neither man gaining a clear advantage on the other, and the end result will be a close split decision.

Prediction: close split decision

Michael Safovich: Franklin has a great striking game and the reach advantage over Hendo. However, Henderson will pull his usual take down moves and get Franklin to the ground where he will have advantage in wrestling.

'Ace' Franklin needs to keep on his feet against Hendo where he stands a good chance to wear him out. However, Hendo has been known to take some heavy punches from fighters such as Carlos Newton and still keep his stance. This will be a close bout where strategy plays a great roll.

Prediction: Henderson via TKO in round 2

The Brawl Sports Panel picks Henderson 2-1-1, who are you taking and why?

• • •

Meet The Brawl Sports Panel:

Danny Vara is the editor-in-chief (and they just don't hand these blogs out to anybody) of

Up until New Year's Eve he co-hosted a nightly sports talk show on SuckRadio 610 (not bitter one bit, thank you very much) in Houston. For the past six years he covered boxing events for HBO imploring people to pay good money on PPVs all the while hoping listeners could decipher the coded language he used to signify don't waste your money on this snoozefest.

Danny watched the first few UFC PPVs back in the day because it was new and different. Then he got much more into boxing until he flipped on the television one night and stumbled upon The Ultimate Fighter finale featuring Forrest and Stephan.

Needless to say that stoked the combat sports fire much more so than say the undercard of de la Hoya/Pacquiao. Danny realizes most of the people here are hardcore MMA people who were that way long before Griffin/Bonnar, but he thinks he has just as good a chance as anyone else at making unbelievably poor predictions.


  1. Ironically enough, I was watching the season finale for season 4 of The Office tonight and was thinking, "Damn, I miss Holly". I then venture on to the world wide web, only to find this:

    How is your Californication journey goin? I really dug the first season, but felt like they tried a bit too hard in the second season to make it more like "The Wacky Misadventures of Hank Moody!!", but at least it ended well.

  2. - Obviously Preston Thomas wanted to beat the lunch rush to Red Lobster and didn't have time to find a bathroom.

    - Michael Irvin is a huge douchebag, but I still love it when he wears fur.

    - - cutline of 2009 so far.

    - Awesome ballboy story, but not as this one. I saw Beyonce at the 59 Diner a few years ago and slid her my digits. Haven't heard from her yet, but I'm sure she'll call any day now. She's so coy.

    - Lost rules. It's about time to get my freckles fix. Damn, I love bad girls!

  3. Jeff81 -

    Californication is, unfortunately, still in its Netflix envelope. Too many damn shows started up this week that I haven't had a chance to get into it yet. But LZ has been hammering on me to watch it so I'll start after the games on Sunday.

  4. I cannot wait to see Freckles. how that lil hobbit/Charlie managed to pull her, lose her, and pull her again i'll never know.

    Love hearing Isiah talking about Red Lobster.


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