Okay, I like other people got suckered into thinking FCW was closing down. Reliable wrestling websites also got suckered, so I don't feel as bad. Here in the response by WWE:
WWE.com has addressed the online rumors that Florida Championship Wrestling is shutting down, vehemently denying the “erroneous” report by an “unreliable online news source.”
The WWE website reached out to WWE’s Executive Vice President of Talent, Paul Levesque (Triple H) to address this issue:
“It is absolutely not true. FCW is not closing. I don’t know how the rumor started but I believe it’s a situation where the ‘dirt sheets’ want to believe they have the scoop on everything. If anything, we are in the process of ramping up our entire developmental system. It’s the lifeblood of our company. It’s what feeds our future and in no way are we going to close it down.”
Triple H acknowledged that there are plans to overhaul the developmental system and revealed that there is a “major announcement” coming shortly after WrestleMania regarding the future of WWE developmental:
“WWE’s developmental system is being revamped, not shut down. If anything, it’s going to get bigger and better than ever. WWE Developmental cultivates the future talent of WWE. By no means is it going to get smaller or shut down.”
Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. I know that March is known for being windy, but I am ready for this month to segue to the lamb part. After a week of cloudy windy weather, we finally had a calm day. Of course, some of this is because of a late night filled with thunderstorms Monday night. After going months without rain, Texas has begun 2012 with plenty of rain. The storm we had dumped another 3 inches on Austin, but from what I have heard the hill country got perhaps twice that much. The last report I heard was that Lake Travis was rising about 6 inches an hour. Since the lake is only 46 percent full, we have much room to go. I remember an old guy told me years ago that water was one of our most valuable resources and that one day I would realize just how important it was. If you know your US history, you will probably remember that most range wars were fought over water or at least the rights to the water. If we are indeed headed for a warming trend, water may become an expensive necessity. What a depressing thought...time to talk sports.
Of course any sports discussion of late has to start in Denver. I am not sure why Peyton chose Denver, but I think it will be a good fit. I could not envision Manning in Miami, but I really thought he might consider San Francisco. One thing that I do like is that Manning made his brief tour and made a quick decision. I really don't get the animosity toward John Elway and John Fox for courting Peyton Manning. Elway and Fox did not draft Tim Tebow, but they played the hand that they were dealt last year. So here's the deal. Life is not fair. Sometimes you get screwed over and you move on. As an owner, John Elway has every right to choose to upgrade any position, even if it means sending Tim Tebow down the road. Any objective fan must admit that Tim Tebow will never be what Peyton Manning is...a HOF QB. There may be some disgruntled Denver fans now, but I suspect a Super Bowl trophy will quickly quiet any discussion regarding Tim Tebow.
I have always admired John Elway and I think that this is one reason that Manning chose Denver. John Elway is Bronco football and wants nothing more than to bring winning football back to Denver. For those that weep for Tim Tebow, stop it. Tim Tebow is a professional football player and will land on his feet. The best thing that could happen to Tebow is that he is cut loose and allowed to cut a deal with the team of his choice. Tim Tebow is unorthodox and is a very raw QB, but one thing he has going for him is that he can play football. In the right situation, Tebow can be successful under center or perhaps another position. It is rather funny to think that if Tebow had not rallied Denver to the playoffs last year that the Broncos might not have been able to lure Manning to Denver.
Why not keep Tebow and allow him to "season" under Manning's tutelage? There are several potential reasons, but I suspect the main thing is that Fox and Elway did not see Tebow as the long term answer at QB. Another likely thought is that with Tebow in camp, the controversy would linger and provide a distraction. By putting all of the cards on the table, Elway allows Tebow a fresh start somewhere else and the Broncos can more quickly become Manning's team. For those that assume that Denver will coast to a playoff spot next year, the schedule looks daunting: Texans, Patriots, Ravens Bengals. Saints, Patriots and Steelers await the Broncos next year. Oh and by the way Peyton, the Broncos play all of their home games outdoors...
The Houston Astros announced today that they have acquired LHP Kevin Chapman from KC for Jason Borgeouis and Humberto Quintero. Borgeouis showed promise last year, which is surely why the Astros decided to send him to KC. Maybe Chapman will turn out to be great pitcher, but I am not holding my breath. But I am still looking forward to the MLB season!
Last week I mentioned that I was heading to the southern Texas coast with my son for a few days for fishing. I have to say, that this trip far exceeded my expectations. Fishing trips do not always involve "catching"...but this one certainly did. We took a 30 minute boat ride last Friday to a remote island south of Baffin Bay. The wind blew the entire time, but the fish did not seem to mind. Saturday night, I easily caught 100 trout by myself off the dock. I kept 10 and released the rest as we literally ran out of room in the ice chests. It so happened that our trip coincided with the black drum run. They loved the shrimp we offered.
This was the largest drum that we caught this day, it was 35 inches long and was too big to keep. It sure was good to see my son smiling. I was smiling, but that fish was biting the hell out of my thumb.
This was back in Corpus Christi we weighed in 300 lbs of fish.
This is the cabin we stayed in. It was "rustic" but did have direct TV so we could watch March Madness. They also have fresh water that is piped in
This was an incredible smoker. It was a stainless steel storage bin before it was converted to a supreme smoker. We enjoyed smoked chicken and tenderloin. They had a shrimper tote the cooker to the island for them.
The cooker has fire bricks inside the box and two racks to place meat on...really cool!
Packing up to go home. Notice that Blake has his suitcase in a plastic bag. It was a pretty bumpy, wet ride.
Here is a shot from the dock. The Gulf of Mexico is 20 miles or so across the bay.
I love to dive. I have been on numerous dives to Cozumel and would go tomorrow. But, damn if I would dive with Tiger sharks...
I had high hopes for the Westwood Baseball season. Blake began the season on a tear, but the team struggled to close out games. We have lost in every manner possible. We have lost pitcher's duels, slug fests and everything in between. It is sad to see the season slowly slip away and to see the players begin accept losing. All I can do is watch. After years of coaching, watching is the hardest thing I have ever done. So many things I would love to say. Words of encouragement formulate in my head, but I am a spectator now. I have an idea for shoring up the rotation, but it is quickly dismissed...a dad has no voice in rotations. My son hates to lose, and all I can do is watch...
Thank goodness there is summer baseball.
That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey:
"If you ever go temporarily insane, don't shoot somebody, like a lot of people do. Instead, try to get some weeding done, because you'd really be surprised."
"Marta said I don't seem to like to read fiction very much. 'I guess you're not an `afictionado',' she said. Poor Marta. For all her reading, she doesn't even know the right word."
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own...
Well, March is still Mad around here. Not the good "What Me Worry?" kind either. Things continue to go a bit crazy with everyone's bracket certainly in shambles as mid-majors have created some big upsets. Though I will admit, much to ScottJax's pleasure, I may have been hasty in my judgment of the Big East. At this point, they've got 4 of 9 still standing. That's better than what I imagined. Syracuse has had some tough games, but they've pulled through. Cuse has a tough test in Wisconsin, but I think they still have the speed to get by the Badgers.
Everyone's favorite match-up seems to be OSU vs. Cincy. I'll admit I'd love to see this match-up more often. It would certainly be too big a gamble for OSU to actually do, which sucks that they put their own rankings above the enjoyment of the country's (and their own state's) sports fans. Wanna make people forgive you for doing blatantly stupid things with your football program, schedule Cincy. Schedule them in both sports.
Keeping on the hardwood for a moment, I was caught by a strange piece of footage recently. The Golden State Warriors recently decided to retire the number of their beloved Chris Mullin. I grew up admiring Mullin. He had great hustle and work ethic and was a very good forward. He was the man in NBA Jam. Not to mention my bro and I donned the flat top out of reverence towards him in our middle school basketball days.
I challenge anyone to find anything more essentially 90's than this pic. If you do, however, feel free to post it below.
Unfortunately, the Bay Area fans patience ran out right in the middle of what should have been a great moment for the man. While current owner Joe Lacob was trying to speak during the ceremony, fans began to boo him relentlessly. Mullin tried to appeal to the crowd. Didn't work. Rick Berry tried to save the day and appeal for decency. Didn't work. these folks were just pissed.
I suppose I can understand. If my team was that bad I'd be pissed too. It took me a while not to just feel snarky towards the Lions. I still can't not mentally boo or laugh every time Matt Millen shows up as a college football expert on ESPN. I get where these guys are coming from.
The only thing that gets me is that they could boo Lacob anytime. You didn't have to boo while you were supposed to be celebrating a legend in your franchise. Brings signs to games. Wear bags on your heads. Hold Sell the Team, Lacob rallies. Let Mullin have his night and respect him if he asks for your cooperation. (I also found it laughable that ESPN would categorize Bay Area fans as "typically well-behaved". In light of their behavior during last year's season opener and at Raider games, that label should be stripped.)
Strange bit of news from the NFL. Houston agreed to trade LB DeMeco Ryans to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2012 fourth round draft pick. I realize Ryans has been hurt and they have a new stud in Cushing. His production was down to a mere 64 tackles in 16 games this year, but it still begs questions. Why couldn't they get more? Is there anything the Eagles and public doesn't know?
In an effort to support Frag's cause of raising awareness of our small market teams, I am disappointed to announce that the Royals may not have closer Joakim Soria for a good part of the season. Now, as a Tigers fan, it is a little easier knowing they won't have that stud if we need a late game come back this year, it's a bummer for baseball. A lot of folks have the Royals picked as a sleeper team. I'd like to see them come up and help push the Tigers, while they do make me nervous with the amount of young talent on their roster. The loss of Soria is a blow, but hopefully one they can brush off or remedy.
As for more competition in the AL Central, I've been hearing a lot about a young pitcher on the White Sox: Chris Sale. A lot of analysts have placed him a s a big time sleeper. He's been impressive in spring training. His last appearance against Cincy gave him a stat line boasting 6 shut out innings while allowing 2 hits. While Sale has been used in the bull pen and has gotten about 12 saves over his two year career, he's looking good in the rotation. The most he's pitched in games has been 3 innings against the Royals on July 20, but he could be a scary addition. I'm also interested to see if Jake Peavy can regain his form as well this year. An improving Peavy and rising Sale could well more than make up for losing Buehrle over the off season.
That's it for me this week. Thanks for stopping by and giving us a read. Feel free to leave your comments and try to out 90's my Chris Mullin Starter ad. Looks like another nice weather weekend and hopefully that means continued domination for me in a renewal of my backyard touch football games. I leave you as always with this week's vocab.
lightweight reader, noun
Someone who gets sleepy or passes out shortly after starting to read.
"Im so screwed for this test, I didn't study at all."
"Why not? We had all week!"
"Im a lightweight reader man, I never made it past section one."
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where many of the locals are experiencing situations like this
The weekend had its share of wild games, though none were buzzer beaters there were some show shockers Norfolk State and Lehigh stunning Mizzou (your humble scribes West regions Final Four Pick) and Duke. Norfolk State was making its maiden NCAA appearance as the MEAC champ Spartans traded shots with Mizzou like they thought they were Kansas and walked away with only the 5th #15 seed to down a #2. Meanwhile a few hours later, The Mountain Hawks seemed to be undaunted by the name Duke and repeatedly made big shot after big shot and stunned Duke to match the feat. The last time it happened was in 2001 and it happened twice in 6 hours.
That was me last year, moms didnt want me near her remote this year, and the Lady Bandit was none too happy that I blew out her remote watching all the basketball over the weekend (The leadoff pic)
Hoodwood seems to always be the center of the action in sports, and March Madness is no different. There are no fewer than 7 of the remaining sweet 16 teams within a 3 hour drive in any direction. Your humble scribe's beloved alma mater Cincinnati among the teams still dancing into the second weekend of the tourney. Also in it is Cincy's crosstown brawling partner...errr rival Xavier as well as MAC champ Ohio and Big Ten powerhouse Ohio State. This region has long been a hotbed of college hoops and that fact is magnified now. Your blue bloods are still in it with all 4 #1 seeds still lounging in their respective corners of the NCAA dance hall, too cool to really dance while teams like Ohio, NC State and Baylor are doing their best dances. It really is the most wonderful time of the year.
Bearcats-Bucks: The Rivalry that never has been
Two teams that are very close in proximity will be facing off in of all places, Boston. The Cincinnati Bearcats and Ohio State Buckeyes will clash in a regional semifinal game, the schools are about 100 miles apart and have very loyal fan bases. But the teams have only faced each other three times previously in the last 50 years... you read that right. Three. Two of those times were in the National Championship where to Buck fans chagrin the Bearcats came out on top. Another bit of irony in all four meetings, none of them have been in the state of Ohio. Ohio State looks at Cincy as an annoying little brother that is out of its league and the animosity goes a lot deeper. State has long maintained that it loathes to play teams in state because if it plays one, the other schools would want their shot. Also, State loathes to even consider other schools in the state, and losing to them hurts their sizeable ego. Its not like the two teams havent had an opportunity. Ohio State has encouraged teams to play them...in Columbus of course and not have to return the trip and there have been plenty of teams that go there, get beat and go home. The Bearcats have wanted a home and home series, this is something that the Bucks have resisted. In 1994 with the Cavaliers about to move from the deep suburbs back to downtown Cleveland, the idea was floated for a college-pro doubleheader to help open the Cavs new arena. The Bucks with a strong following in the Cleveland area was a natural choice as one of the collegiate teams. Cincinnati had been to a final four and an elite eight in the two previous seasons and was seen as a rising power and was tabbed as the opponent. The Bearcats signed off, as always ready to play anywhere anytime. The Bucks wavered. They had a llist of stipulations. They wanted to be designated the home team and this not be a "neutral site game" The Bearcats shrugged and agreed. The Bucks then wanted the lions share of the tickets for their fans, to be able to bring only their band and cheerleaders. The Bearcats reluctantly agreed. Keep in mind that a couple networks got wind of this possible matchup and were wanting to broadcast it nationally, so there was a time critical element to this. The Bucks still wavered and then demanded an extra game to played in Columbus. The Bearcats again agreed, but requested a game to be played in Cincinnati. Concerned about playing a road game at the Shoemaker Center which was fast getting a reputation as a tough place on visitors the Bucks demanded that the game be played at the downtown arena and the Bucks be the home team for this as well. The Bearcats were not keen on that and were willing to drop the Cincinnati game. But then at the last minute the Bucks backed out of the game all together. Left holding the date and the arena were the Bearcats. Undaunted, the Bearcats head coach Bob Huggins contacted Temple coach John Chaney and asked if it was okay to add an extra game to their annual meetings. Chaney agreed and the Rock N Roll Shootout was born. The game was well received and the Bearcats would play in Cleveland annually for the next ten years and established a stronger foothold in a territory that had long been mostly a Buckeye recruiting ground before. You can bet that this high stakes game will be for than state bragging rights, will it lead to a series? Its anyones guess.
Manning goes to...Denver??
The Broncos look to be the winner of the Manning sweepstakes. Manning is set to sign a 5 year $96 Million dollar deal to be the Broncos starter. This is a move that some in Bronco nation see as a step to returning them to the cusp of a Super Bowl, while the Tebow faithful see this as a dastardly betrayal of their chosen one. I am rightly puzzled by this move, Manning would have been a much better fit in San Francisco where the pieces for a frightening squad was already in place. With Randy Moss and Mario Manningham joining forces with All-Pro TE Vernon Davis to push Michael Crabtree. Mix in the redoubtable running of Frank Gore and the solid stout defense in place the Niners needed one more element. Alex Smith, while serviceable would not have engendered the raw fear that a Peyton Manning would have brought. The Niners would have been a formidable squad on par with the last three Super Bowl winner. Forget the hype you saw in Philly for the supposed dream team. This would have been a nightmare for the other 31 teams, a locked and loaded Niners team with a hungry QB eager for redemption. Instead, Manning chooses his boyhood idol in Elway and a Broncos team while a playoff team last season still has lots of holes. Not to mention a fan base deeply divided over the status of Tim Tebow who will likely be traded rather than stew on the bench behind the Canton bound legend. But where would Tebow (and his flock) go? Many say back to a Florida based team. But Jacksonville has Gabby Gabbert, and the Bucs have Josh Freeman. The Dolphins complicated matters with the signing of wily vet David Garrard and openly courting Alex Smith. An intriguing possibilty is the Pats in a H-Back situation behind Tom Brady with the coach that drafted him originally for the Broncos in Josh McDaniels.. In any case the Manning sweepstakes has a surprise winner, but if it will make the Broncos a winner is still yet to be seen.
Dwight Howard Goes...Nowhere????
There was another sweepstakes of sorts. Dwight Howard was looking for his big payday and the Magic looked to be parting with another cultivated superstar to richer pastures like Shaq O'Neal did in 1996. The Magic looked to trade Howard ahead of his opt out year. But Howard threw the NBA for a loop when he decided to waive that opt out option and play the rest of his contract which runs through next season. Which means that this time next year we will be going through the same drama but the stakes will be higher as the Magic will have no safety net. If they cant get comparable value for Howard or re-sign him to a deal the Magic will be left without a marquee player once again. You know that the usual suspects in the Lakers, Mavs, Nets and Bulls will be looking to deal for the uber talented Magic big man.
PHAT DAP/HEAD SLAP
To the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers Monday night who got the unpleasantries out of the way right of the bat. Lining up their 4th line goon squads for the opeing faceoff, the longtime rivals started playing the feud, There were a number of fighting majors handed out at 19:57 of the opening period. After the fights were broken up and the bad blood (and there was lotsa of blood spilled at MSG) The Rangers won the game 4-2 clinched a playoff spot for the earliest time in 20 years and strengthened their Eastern Conference lead.
To the NCAA who pressured Kansas State into suspending Jamar Stephens for getting $200 for grocery money. Now keep in mind that this player was not getting paid to play. He had money wired to him from an DC Assualt president Curtis Malone. Malone who isnt a booster didnt believe that sending Stephens money was a violation. Stephens was suspended for what would be his final game of his senior year a 79-59 to Syracuse. I still think that players should get a stipend since they cant get a job or receive money.
The New York Rangers and new Jersey Devils have had a great rivalry for many years...And this year, with the Rangers on top of the Eastern Conference for most of the season, their opponents have tried to come at them with a tougher game...Problem is, no team plays tougher then the Rangers...Hard-nosed, grinding hockey...Everyone checks...Everyone blocks shots...Everyone forechecks...And a number of the guys will drop the gloves if needed...
So Monday night the Devils came into Madison Square Garden, and their douchebag coach, Peter DeBoer thought he'd try to send a message with the starting lineup he submitted...He put his thumpers, Cam Janssen, Eric Boulton, and Ryan Carter out there...Pissed off about this, Rangers coach John Tortorella didn't hold back, and he sent Mike Rupp, Brandon Prust out there...Oh, and he sent big defenseman, Stu Bickell out there to play Center...
Here's what happened next...
Way go DeBoer...Not only did you fire up the Rangers squad, but you got the Ranger faithful all fired up too...MSG was rocking from the opening brawl and seeing Carter's blood scraped off the ice...
And then, less than a minute and a half later, The Rangers scored...Momentum was on the Rangers' side all night...
As the game continued, it came out that New jersey's David Clarkson kept running his mouth...So finally Mike Rupp told him, "If you keep talking, I'm going to knock you out on National TV." Rupper rules!
Rupp didn't get to pound Clarkson, but the Devil douche took some hits...
The game had a playoff atmosphere...Which most Rangers/Devils games do...But it was clear, the opening fight sparked the entire team...Every player was skating with a purpose, and playing with the highest level of intensity...Just what they needed to stop a minor skid they've been on...And with their 4-2 victory, they clinched a playoff spot...Thanks DeBoer!
Nothing with guys like Callahan and Del Zotto getting healthy, and Ludqvist over the Flu, they're looking to hold onto the top seed...
So for the rest of the NHL, playing the Rangers is going to be hard enough on you...Don't be stupid like the Devils, and make the night even harder on yourselves...
Oh, and Toronto, way to show about against your rival, Boston Bruins...Maple Leafs, how does that 8-0 ass beating taste...All of Canada should be pissed that the Leafs are such a fucking Joke...