Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Roger Daltrey!

Since I am always on top of things, I'm going to send out early birthday wishes to The Who's Roger Daltrey. The frontman from Shepherd's Bush turns 65 on Sunday.

"Real Good Looking Boy" is a song that The Who recorded back about five years ago - with Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer fame on bass - and this above video has some very cool highlights of Roger and the boys.

Happy Birthday Ric Flair...Now Stay Retired!

I share a birthday with Don Shula, while one of my nephews and Ric Flair share a birthday (February 25) - although my nephew is 14. Happy birthday to him (I actually already wished him a happy birthday and am sure he doesn't read this blog) and the same to the 60-year-old Ric Flair. Glad to see you on W.W.E. t.v. recently, but just hope you don't kill your legacy and get back in the ring at any point. Do all the autograph signings you want, but you had one of the perfect sendoffs that any athlete or entertainer has ever had. Don't tarnish it. But even if you do, I hope you had a happy birthday!

Oh yeah, and Mr. Flair is coming to Danbury.

Don't Know How You Found Me But....

Happened to Google my name and came across a link to a Website that I did not recognize. When I clicked it on I discovered that they used one of my poems, "Awakening," to accompany their pictorial of flowers. Thanks my friend - whoever you are - in Germany. I'm flattered! Here is the link.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Reading Between The Blue Lines

John Tortorella has stressed that no player on the New York Rangers should blame Tom Renney for their failings. However, after last night’s game he lamented the team’s lack of conditioning and wondered if they were in good enough shape to play the up-tempo style that he wishes to deploy.

Meanwhile, Tom Renney sat down in an exclusive with Larry Brooks of the New York Post – does any other hockey writer ever outscoop this guy? – and made some interesting comments about the team’s leadership. Basically, Renney said that it may have been too much for the team to lose veterans like Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan.

Renney said that losing Shanahan was his fault, while Jagr’s was more of an economical move. Renney tried to stress that he wasn’t cutting down the leadership abilities of Scott Gomez or team captain Chris Drury, but I took away from the interview that he wasn’t too thrilled with Drury as a leader.

The interview is here.

Three Counts

Some random thoughts on what’s going on in the mat game right now….

My pal Kevin Eck of the Baltimore Sun commented that Tuesday night’s Jack Swagger-Christian match is an early contender for best on t.v. this week. I agree with him, but will add that I think it is an early candidate for match of the year – t.v. or p.p.v. Swagger was able to showcase his power and amature background, while Christian displayed some of the unique moves he has in his repertoire. Swagger is the real deal and hopefully this feud with Christian will elevate his star power.

Another future star is Tyson Kidd. E.C.W. has a real gem in Kidd and I can’t wait for Evan Bourne to come back so the two can put on some exciting matches. No need to waste Bourne's time with Mike Knox.

Speaking of Knox, I'm glad that Jamie Noble is OK after temporarily losing feeling in his fingers due to receiving Knox's "corkscrew" finisher.

Manu's W.W.E. legacy never really got off the ground. Too bad he was let go.

Vince McMahon is rumored to be the man to induct Steve Austin into the W.W.E. Hall of Fame. Smart move, if this is indeed the case.

Freddie Prinze Jr. has left the W.W.E. as a member of the creative team for the Smackdown brand.

Somebody recently complained about the lack of promos on the E.C.W. show. Huh? I like the way E.C.W. is structured – four matches, minimal promos, a recap of Raw/Smackdown, some solid young stars and it’s only one hour.

The W.W.E. doesn’t have many great talkers right now, so I think they are smart to go with less promo time. I wish the other two shows would follow suit. Chris Jericho on the other hand, is a great talker and seems to bring out the best in others. Cases in point: Rowdy Roddy Piper delivered one of his best promos of his career a couple of weeks ago on Raw, while Rick Steamboat did the same this past Monday night.

Good interview conducted by Michael Landsberg with Mick Foley and Ted DiBiase (the father) up on the Off The Record Website.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sather Saves Only Himself

Yesterday’s firing of New York Rangers Head Coach Tom Renney is the result of a horrible summer 2008 for Glen “The Savior” Sather. He struck out by losing Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan and then struck out some more by signing Wade Redden to a ridiculous contract.

Renney played a system that stressed defense, defense and even more defense. There was no margin for error at all. But, Renney felt that he was doing the best with what he was given. Now we will see if the bombastic coach John Tortorella can right the ship of the New York Rangers. We will see more fire, more brimstone and more up-tempo hockey. But does the new coach have the horses?

Initially, yes, I predict the team will surge. But as presently constructed, the Rangers are neither fast enough or good enough to play a run-and-gun style. Somehow, though, a good coach lost his job while a bad G.M. sits and collects his paycheck week after week. It doesn’t really matter to Sather if defenseman Wade Redden wakes up from his season-long slumber or if Chris Drury plays with a bit of snarl, because the G.M. has the luxury of never getting fired no matter the results. I bet Tom Renney wishes he had the same deal.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Who - Athena

Tomorrow all of the love songs will be rolled out for St. Valentine's Day. Sticking with that topic, I have decided to post The Who's "Athena" off of their 1982 album It's Hard. Purportedly, Pete Townshend wrote this song after an encounter with actress Theresa Russell. He promptly fell in love with her and his subsequent frustration of being rejected by the married woman is conveyed in this song.

Cane Dewey

I’m finishing up Mick Foley’s first book, Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, and I am reminded of a promo he cut in 1995 while a member of Extreme Championship Wrestling. Foley was trying to convince his rival, Tommy Dreamer, to go to W.C.W. and take Ted Turner’s money over wrestling for the hardcore E.C.W. Foley talks about how he saw a sign in the audience which said, “Can Dewey,” a reference to his son. Many regard this as one of the best promos in wrestling. The freedom which promoter Paul Heyman gave his wrestlers back then made the renegade E.C.W. a big hit – especially, for those that had grown tired of the wrestling product being offered by Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff.

I remember when E.C.W. was aired back in those days on Sunday nights at 11. Good times, indeed!

No Way Out Preview and Predictions

This Sunday the W.W.E. presents No Way Out. Here is a look at the card:

World Heavyweight Title Elimination Chamber Match
John Cena puts the World Championship up for grabs against Kane, Kofi Kingston, Mike Knox, Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio. I'm a little surprised that Kofi Kingston is in this match, but am hopeful that he gets a good showing that will elevate his career. I'd be shocked if Cena doesn't retain.

W.W.E. Championship Elimination Chamber Match
Edge defends the W.W.E. strap inside the cage against Big Show, Undertaker, Triple H, Jeff Hardy and Kozlov. The second of the two "Chamber" matches is more intriguing than the first. You could essentially make a case for anyone winning - except for Kozlov, perhaps - and you would also expect Matt Hardy to somehow get involved. I like Triple H to take home the title, which would set up a championship match between Hunter and Randy Orton at Wrestlemania.

Randy Orton vs. Shane McMahon (No Holds Barred Match)
The only way I see Shane winning this one is if he gets help from someone like Triple H or "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Otherwise, it will be too much for Shane to overcome Orton and "Legacy."

Shawn Michaels vs. JBL (All or Nothing Match)
These two have made lemonade with this hole-filled storyline. A Michaels win will put this feud to bed.

E.C.W. Champion Jack Swagger vs. Finlay
Swagger has lost cleanly two straight weeks in non-title matches on t.v. which means that he wins Sunday. But not before Christian gets involved.

Chris Jericho-Fan Altercation

Chris Jericho ran into some fans recently that take pro wrestling a bit too seriously. Let the video tell the story.

Odds & Sods

Some quick, random thoughts on the 13th....

What was the rush to get through this so-called stimulus bill? Seems to me like there was not enough debate.

At some point in time, President Obama is going to have to hold a press conference and let the American people know what our goals are in Afghanistan. Won't he?

People who cheat deserve to be criticized, however, some of the A-Rod talk is sanctimonious and borders on absurd. "A-Rod ruined the sanctity of baseball" or "He ruined MY Sport!" C'mon get a grip and a life!

Sean Avery will be a Ranger any day. During the regular season, the Rangers have won with Avery. The playoffs are a different story and isn't that the time that really matters in the N.H.L.

Nice signing by the New Jersey Devils in plucking Brendan Shanahan from the free agent wire. With the projected March return of Martin Brodeur, the Devs are poised for a lengthy playoff run.

The Knicks have five more wins right now then they did at this time last year. Wow!

Whatever happened to the New Jersey Nets?

Funny that the price of movies is not commensurate with the quality.

I have more to post, but I'm going to wait until everyone has arrived before I write more.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Two Debuts On E.C.W.

I got a good laugh last night when Christian came out to interrupt Jack Swagger’s promo – thank you E.C.W. writers! You see, for weeks, even months, some Internet wrestling “experts” have been claiming they knew exactly when Christian would appear and that their “sources” told them Christian was going right into a W.W.E. title program with then-champion, Jeff Hardy. I even read one writer back up his claim by saying he was good friends with Christian and so therefore no one should question him! Funny stuff.

Good to see Christian back in the W.W.E., but let’s get this straight, Vince McMahon isn’t going to take someone that was a star in another promotion (in this case T.N.A.) and immediately put them on top. Christian will get there, jut not yet. His match against Swagger was solid; I came away, though, more impressed with the former two-sport athlete from Oklahoma University then the ex-T.N.A. Champ.

The other debut on E.C.W. that gave me a little juice was seeing Tyson Kidd (formerly known as T.J. Wilson), accompanied by his real-life girlfriend Natalya Neidhart. Bret Hart wrote in his book about Wilson training in Stu Hart’s legendary dungeon in Calgary where some of the top stars in wrestling have learned their craft. Kidd and Harry Smith (Dave Boy’s son) were tag champs in F.C.W. up until about six weeks ago. When they dropped the belts it looked like they were being brought up to the Smackdown roster as the “new” Hart Foundation. That idea obviously has been scrapped as Smith appears to be headed to Raw to become the fourth member of “Legacy.” Tyson Kidd is one to watch and if they let Kidd and Jamie Noble wrestle for more than five minutes, the two should be able to put on some solid matches.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Who - Heat Wave

I’ve had enough of the snow! The only time I like the falling white stuff is when I get a day off out of it, otherwise, ugh! I don’t necessarily want a heat wave either, I just like this song - "(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave" - covered nicely by The Who in the above video. Of course, the tune was originally and most notably done in 1963 by Martha and the Vandellas (known as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas from 1967-1972).

The Move That Ended Bret Hart's Career

The above video shows the brutal mule kick from Bill Goldberg that Bret Hart was the unfortunate recipient of, which caused Bret to suffer a concussion during their match at Starrcade 1999. Bret Hart has said that he may have suffered up to three additional concussions during matches over the course of that day along with the days immediately following Starrcade. Bret stated he wasn't aware of the severity of his injuries because he didn't see a doctor right away. He also said he felt badly that someone as good-hearted as Bill Goldberg was responsible for hurting him.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin Meets The N.W.O.

When the N.W.O. (Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) invaded the W.W.E. they were not greeted too kindly by Steve Austin. Although they offered Austin a "peace pipe" of sorts, he wasn't biting! Oh yeah, and as far as that Austin-Hogan match at Wrestlemania XXV - don't even dare to dream!

Adam Graves vs. Matthew Barnaby

The above video is a classic fight between Adam Graves and superpest Matthew Barnaby. These two must have been exhausted after their brawl was over!

Adam Graves Night

The big week at Madison Square Garden (Kobe, Graves, Lebron) continues tonight when the New York Rangers will honor one of their most beloved, Adam Graves. There is plenty of debate – as there usually is – about whether or not Graves’ jersey should be raised to the rafters of MSG. Forgetting all of that, I’m excited to watch The Garden honor Graves as only they know how to do. Meanwhile, Larry Brooks wrote a fantastic column this morning in the New York Post about Adam Graves here.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Rock Meets The N.W.O.

The above video is a very memorable moment from a 2002 Monday Night Raw in which The Rock meets the N.W.O. - Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. This is quite contrary to the horrible ending to last week's show. Hopefully tonight will be more noteworthy!

Pepsi's Generation

I'm not a Pepsi drinker but I really like this new commercial that the soft drink company has come out with featuring The Who's "My Generation." They aired a similar Bob Dylan Pepsi commercial during the SuperBowl, which was one of the few that I liked. What happened to the days when commercials during "the big game" had a big-game feeling? Regardless, I'm looking forward to seeing this spot on t.v.

So Long "Rangers Report"

I’ve had a few staples in my links section since I began this blog back in 2006 such as SteelYankee, Drudge Report and a few others. But one that I am now going to remove is "The Rangers Report." The blog is courtesy of The Journal News and was written by Sam Weinman. Sam now moves on to and the Rangers blog is now left in the hands of Rick Carpiniello. Ugh!

Carpiniello almost always comes across as a bitter sports journalist and even worse has this weird “Single White Female” obsession with former Rangers coach Colin Campbell. I’m going to have to find another good Rangers blog or at least a solid hockey one. My jaw dropped when I saw that Carpiniello was back on the beat for the Rangers - the fans deserve better. Sports are supposed to be fun, right?