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Archive for December, 2008

Hoops Addict Article - 12 Lessons from 2008

2008 has come and gone, and Trev learned (at least) 12 things. Take a look, maybe you’ll learn something.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Canned Coaches of 2008

Gibbons, Melrose, Nolan, and others sacked this season in accordance with poor team performance…but who’s really to blame?

Someone has to be held accountable when a team is failing to live up to its perceived expectations, and the finger is almost always pointed at the head coach. The coach serves as a scapegoat, when the real problems lie in upper management and ownership. The GMs and owners are the real culprits to blame here.
More after the jump!

The Origin of the Hat Trick

A couple of weeks ago, the Pittsburgh Penguins matched up against the New York Islanders in a game that resulted not only in a 9-2 dummying of the Islanders, but a re-writing of the history books as well. No, unfortunately this was no picture perfect, trophy-worthy moment in time; it was barely a memorable moment at that.

Pittsburgh’s Petr Sykora put an end to one of the longest streaks in NHL history after scoring his first (yes that’s right, his FIRST) career hat trick that night. Prior to his trio of goals, he held the record for the longest streak without a hat trick by a player who had at least two goals in previous games. Sykora went a total of 38 games being just a goal short, which would explain why he’d gone over 10 seasons without one.
More after the jump!

Hoops Addict Article - Lakers Deck the Halls

Big Three, meet a full 12 man team. The Lakers ‘decked the halls’ with the Celtics on Christmas Day. But does it matter in the grand scheme of a full season? Trev examines.

Hoops Addict Article - The Face of Global Basketball

North America, Europe, China…basketball is truly becoming a global game. The face of that game? Raptors Assistant GM Maurizio Gherardini. Trev takes you on a trip around the basketball world.

Hoops Addict Article - A Christmas Gift from the NBA

Lakers v. Celtics (not to mention the rest of the 12/25 schedule) is a true gift for NBA fans on Christmas Day. Trev, for one, is thankful.

Brian Burke and Puck Bunnies

So who’s not sick of hearing about Brian Burke and the god-damn Leafs? Because I know I am. With the lack of any original headlines in the NHL this week, I decided to examine a more pervasive topic; one at least more amusing than yet again new high hopes for Toronto. I introduce to you: NHL stars and their running mates- girlfriends, wives, and puck bunnies.

Hollywood and professional sports seem to go cosily hand in hand; actresses, singers, and models seem to be leaving their mark around the league. I’m guessing the guys don’t mind the attention…however; it may be the ones with wives that have a bit of a problem.
More after the jump!

Lay and Pray? Stop Whining

   On the last episode of The Ultimate Fighter we saw Frank Mir throw a bit of a temper tantrum anytime Ryan Bader had Eliot Marshall on the ground. Frank Mir actually echoed the remarks of Junie earlier in the season when Junie was upset about the wrestling match he felt Efrain had put on. Mir also commented following Bader’s fight that he had seen a great wrestling match, but it was boring.

   Here is the thing that frustrates me; it’s a sport that was originally created to put combat disciplines against one another to see which would prevail. The sport has evolved like crazy, fighters are now well rounded, but it is still a sport made up of a few base disciplines. Guess what? Wrestling is one of them

   If a strong wrestler can hold you down and control you, it may not be entertaining, but he is controlling the fight in a dominant position. Most people like to cry foul and state that it is a strategy to not lose, but they are not attempting to win the fight. I disagree; I believe that by completely nullifying the skills and abilities of their opponent they are earning their victory. It is up to their opponent to sweep, pull a submission from their back or scramble for a better position a la the UFC’s resident Jack-in-the-box, Chuck Liddell.

   UFC commentator Joe Rogan can be heard in various fights, even as recent as Wednesday’s Fight for the Troops event, pleading that fighters be allowed to fight. I couldn’t agree more, I’m grateful that Pride’s yellow card system hasn’t been adopted in North American MMA because it penalizes a fighter for executing a smart game plan.

   So am I an advocate for a card full of one-sided matches controlled by superior wrestling? No, I’m an advocate of fighters coming into a fight prepared for any situation, and not crying if they can’t work themselves off their back. Don’t call your opponent one-dimensional just because you wanted to sprawl and brawl (I’m looking at you Heath Herring).

   Many people say that PrideFC’s soccer kicks and head stomps should be brought to North America because it makes MMA a more realistic fight situation.  Well I doubt that a wrestler in a real fight would choose to stand and bang because the crowd doesn’t understand the technical chess match that is a ground fight. And no, it isn’t only a chess match when it is between two Jiu-Jitsu black belts. It takes real wrestling skill, not just heavy hips, to hold down a competent mixed martial artist.

   Tomorrow night I’m interested to see if Vinny will show that a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one way to avoid being pinned for 3 rounds.

So do you agree? Disagree? Let’s hear it.

Hoops Addict Article - So Long, Sam

Sam Mitchell if officially out. Trev examines the move.

Reflections on The Ultimate Fighter week 11 (or is it 12? do weeks without episodes count?)

So here we are at the end of Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter, and we have back-to-back episodes to say goodbye.

We begin with Ryan Bader vs Eliot Marshall.

The fight went all three rounds and is pretty simple to summarize: Bader took Eliot down and put him against the cage. Bader controlled Eliot until the ref stood the fight back up and then took him down again at will. This was the pattern for three rounds.

Bader won via unanimous decision and moved to the finals.

Mir spent most of the fight calling for the ref to stand them up and calling it a good wrestling match. He then commends Bader after the fight for winning with a limited set of abilities. I’m sorry, but he was able to utilize his superior skill and control the entire fight. If Eliot was indeed the better fighter he could have done a number of things: Sprawl and out strike Bader, work back to his feet from the ground, sweep Bader, or perhaps submit him from his back. Instead he laid on the ground with Bader in his guard.

More after the jump!