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Archive for the ‘Time Outs’ Category

All Out Blitz – The SEC Reigns

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The fourth week of the college football stanza could quite simply be labeled the weekend of the SEC. While USC and Oklahoma enjoyed the pleasures of a bye-week (that’s two for USC already), the boys from the south played a whole lot of football, giving the college football world a good idea about the talent these teams have.

Yes, the NC State/ECU game was entertaining, as was UNC/VTech. Notre Dame/Michigan State was fun too, but obviously, the real fun came after the Spartans dispatched the Irish again. These games also showed why the SEC has superior football. The talent on display down south is eye-opening, and just think, Vanderbilt has entered the top 25 as well; meaning no easy wins this season.

Rounding up college football after the jump >>

Thank God It’s Saturday – Week 4

Bama versus Arkansas
Do you know what tomorrow is? Of course, it’s Saturday, but for college football, it’s so much more. There are a ton of big games worth watching this weekend so let’s get started.

CFB overload after the jump. More college hotties too >>

Where Do Foam Fingers Come From?

You know those “We’re No 1″ fingers you see at every sporting event in the world? Where do these things come from? From foam monsters, of course.

Foam Monster
Click for bigger image

Apparently, they cut them off at the game and make the monster suffer through the indignity.

Originally found here (via here).

NFL Preview – A Quick Look At The AFC East

Bill Belichick

Welcome to the first annual NFL Preview. In this little segment, I do what the title infers — that is, preview each conference in the NFL. Just because, I am starting with the AFC East and working my through to the NFC West.

These previews will feature the teams in the order I expect them to finish in along with a brief outlook and a spotlight on the franchise’s hottest cheerleader. You know, the important stuff.

With that, let us begin the build up to the NFL, starting with the team that got really, really close to perfection last season:

New England Patriots

Tom Brady

It’s going to be really hard for the Patriots to improve upon last season’s regular season perfection and it’s unreasonable to think they can duplicate this feat. However, the Patriots offense — as long as Tom Brady, Wes Welker, and Randy Moss are healthy — is as potent as any in the league. During last season’s eye-popping run, the Patriots scored a total of 75 touchdowns to their opponents 34.

If Kool-Aid man Laurence Maroney can provide a consistent running game that improves over last year’s 835 yards to take some of the pressure off of Brady, the offense will continue to smoke unprepared foes.

The defensive side of the ball, however, still remains suspect. There is talent with Richard Seymour, Rodney Harrison and company, but they are one year older. For a defense that started to show its age late last season, there are areas of concern. Are the linebackers too old? Can they recover from the loss of Asante Samuel?

All things considered, the Patriots have a pretty easy schedule and because of that, they will be in a position to represent the AFC in Super Bowl XLIII. Expect the Pats to finish 13-3 and to win the AFC East.

Hottest Patriots Cheerleader
Lots of choices here, but for my money, it’s the rookie Asia that really stands out.


Although, Bill Belichick’s cougar comes in a close second.

Read the rest of the AFC East preview >>

Slow Posting Ahead

Gone Fishing

Yes, it’s that time of year. The time when the sporting world slows down to catch its breath and let baseball do its thing. While I’m not the most avid of baseball fans, I do appreciate the sport, especially AFTER the All-Star Game. Anyway, after today, I’ll be gone until next Monday — although, a live-blog of the hot-dog eating contest may be in order — so I can enjoy the independence given to me by our founding fathers.

After all that’s done, it’s back to the grind but the posting will probably remain fairly slow as we (the Ticket Solutions crew) preps the site for the upcoming football seasons. Anyway, enjoy the Fourth of July festivities, be safe, and make sure you don’t blow yourself up — or any toilets either:

Like I said, be safe.

Apparently, Mike Golic Has A Twin

I was watching Deal or No Deal last night — girlfriend’s request; well, that and no NBA Finals (btw, where the hell was Haley?) — and when I saw the contestant, the first thing I thought of was, “damn, is that Mike Golic’s long-lost twin brother?” Take a look for yourself and see what you think.

First, we have last night’s contestant, Adam “Mike Golic’s Twin” Hansen:

Mike Golic's Twin

Followed by the inspiration for this post, Mr. Notre Dame himself:

Mike Golic

That’s awfully close to spitting image territory — at least from where I am sitting. Bonus: the contestant acts similar to Golic when he gets excited.

When I saw Hansen jumping up and down last night, I had a mental image of Golic doing the same thing when Greenberg disagrees with him in the morning; or when he goes off on one of his rants. Kinda like the David Lee from the Knicks tirade sound bite ESPN played over and over.

Where’d We Go?

As Michael’s shrug indicates, we’ve been a little absent this week because we are on business trip in Long Beach, California (sorry, no drama in the LBC to report) for a conference. We’ll have some periodic posts with maybe a guest shot or two until we get back into town on Friday.

Don’t worry, we haven’t abandoned you.

Make sure you are enjoying the NBA Playoffs because while the Eastern Conference looks a little bland — save the Sixers/Pistons — the Western Conference is FOR REAL. The only question I have is will these west coast teams use all of their gas getting to the NBA Finals where the Celtics will probably be waiting for them?

It’s going to be an interesting month or so. I’m also starting to believe the Pistons are going out in the first round. The Sixers have beat them three times in-a-row now (counting the regular season) and Detroit looks really lethargic. If they fail this miserably, Flip Saunders won’t survive the trip home with his job intact.

Anyway, we’ll be back sporadically this week, so don’t abandon us either. ;)

Kids And MMA: Exploitation or Not?

MMA KidsLast week, we discussed a typical Sean Hannity overreaction in regards to kids participating in MMA.

Because he personifies the term “helicopter parent” that wants every precious snowflake protected — unless you are a child from New Orleans, apparently — and because he apparently toes the McCain party line (MMA is equivalent to cock-fighting), he seems to think all things MMA are bad for society and when kids are involved, it’s only for exploitation purposes, with the organizers being the only beneficiaries.

In my previous post, I mainly ripped on Hannity for typical mouthpiece overreacting but after that, I thought I could add some more substance to the argument and so I picked a random martial arts dojo that taught children who participated in various tournaments (you know, these existed LONG before the MMA craze took over the fighting world) to get a better perspective.

The sensei I decided on was Pat Betterton of Tristar Martial Arts (found through a random Google search) and we discussed the topic in some depth. It just so happens Pat was a great choice for this particular subject because he teaches children combat skills and he sees the benefit of their participation on a daily basis. He’s also a McCain supporter, meaning he’s not being disagreeable just because he’s not a Hannity fan.

Here are some of the things I learned from speaking with Pat in regards to kids participating in MMA:

Pat feels participating in Martial Arts training and the tournaments and competitions involved gives children a great sense of self-worth. It also provides a good set of moral values because you realize there are things bigger than your own minor existence. The confidence children get from this type of training is undeniable as well. Pat has directly observed trained children become more confident, more obedient towards their parents, and teaches them discipline and the benefits of hard work.

Most of which are foreign concepts when dealing with children and the youth of today.

Betterton also believes kids with a strong knowledge of self defense have a great sense of confidence and that there’s no greater test than pitting yourself against an opponent’s abilities. No teams. No one to block a shot if the man you are guarding blows by you with a clear path to the basket. The increase of self-reliance is also a noticeable benefit.

Based on these two simple paragraphs, you’d think parents would be signing their kids up for Martial training by the boatload but I suppose their MySpace appointments would interfere.

Of course, this really doesn’t address Hannity’s exploitation argument, but Pat and I discussed that as well. You see, the “MMA” acronym is a powerful marketing tool that instills images of Kimbo Slice and busted up faces in the eyes of most of the soccer mom crowd. So when people see the words “kids” and “MMA” in a sentence, they tend to think the kids are in there beating the crap out each other for a bloodthirsty crowd, while the organizers are making Don King-like money.

This is not the case.

Whether it’s MMA or just a standard, run-of-the-mill Martial Arts tournament, most instructors don’t make a “living large” salary from their efforts. In fact, Pat made a point to tell me most of money for the tournaments his kids participate in comes directly out of his pocket. He’s paying for the travel and perhaps even the entry fees.

Tickets to these events are not astronomical either. Most tickets costs $2-3 and these arenas are not usually filled to capacity as it is. I’m not sure who is going to be making a killing off of these kids, but it won’t be their trainers… In fact, Pat was discussing an event in Madison Square Garden and the entrance fee to it was only $10. So no, there’s not a goldmine of money waiting for people willing to have children compete in an octagon.

Betterton also feels the spectators are there to support the children, not for the exploitation factor and that kids are participating for the love of the competition, not for some potential shot at fame. If that’s what you want for your kids, put them on VH1 with Danny Bonaduce. As it stands, it seems like the area for exploitation is minimal, as well as the idea these kids are getting beaten half to death.

Maybe Hannity was afraid these kids would be going up against the likes of Kimbo Slice or Anderson Silva.

I would like to send a hearty thanks to Pat Betterton for helping me with this topic.