Pick a side!* I am very excited that the Giants and the Packers are facing off in the playoffs tonight. Not because I'm particularly a diehard fan of the Giants (I grew up in NY, have always liked the Giants, but developed a Bucs loyalty in Tampa when they still had those horrible orange jerseys with that weird Johnny Depp-like pirate logo where the thing looks like it has a rose in it's mouth - very tough for a football player to wear), but I live in St. Paul, Minnesota, the crossroads of Packer and Vikings fans. Everything around here is colored yellow ("gold") and purple or green. If you wander into the wrong bar on a Sunday you will see a bunch of people with fake cheese on their heads stand up and mimic an official as they yell "And that's another Green Bay Packers' FIRST DOWN!" then sit down and cheer. So when you live in that environment, and you don't really care one way or the other for either team...you take advantage of your chance to be obnoxious back. And I have a 1956 World Champions New York Football Giants #16 Frank Giffford (the MVP that year) throw-back jersey to wear. So my first and primary goal for today is to find a bunch of Packers fans to watch the game with. I aim high for entertainment on Sunday afternoons when the temperature drops below zero.
* The midwestern Packers/Vikings color scheme is very convenient and cheap for branding, you can buy everything in yellow, and print in one color, depending on the team. Must be how they save money for all of that beer and cheese.
* The New York Rangers are on NBC today for the NHL game of the week. It's a day of watching my favorite winter New York teams play! Go G-men! Go Rangers!
* Does anyone know where Obama stands on anything? I haven't heard him say anything of substance yet. Hmmm.
* Last night I went to BW3s at about 11:00 p.m. Normally, BW3s is pretty slow on Friday or Saturday night at that time...but when we walked in, it was hoppin' and there was only 1 table left in the corner. As we snagged it, we saw that the fuss was about the pay-per-view Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title bout between BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson. We happened to walk in just as they were taking to the octagon, so we saw the whole thing! Wahoo. And then there were some other fights. Two more, if I remember correctly. Here's a recap of what you, too, could have seen for about $487 on pay-per-view (slight exaggeration):
** Bouts are in five-minute rounds, FYI. (I learned that last night.)
** The first bout, the guy who ultimately won - Penn - knocked Stevenson onto the mat in about 4 seconds, and they basically laid on the floor hugging for five minutes. One time, Penn swung at Stevenson's forehead with his elbow and created a blood geyser in the dead center of his forehead. Cool. But basically they just hugged and spooned on the floor for five minutes. Exciting. I can't believe people can actually commentate that. Then the fight ended about 2 minutes or so into the second round when Penn turned Stevenson's head purple. Well, purple and red, cause blood was everywhere. Cool again.
** I can't figure out how you hire announcers for this support. "Look, he's holding him on the ground!" "Look, he's holding him tighter!" "Ohhh, they are slippery, all covered in blood!" "He's holding him again!" "OH, he got away!" "Oh, he caught him again!" Apparently, stuff was happening - enough to write an article about it, read the story about the title bout. It's kinda funny to read.
** Then, in an attempt to make everyone believe they were at a WWE event instead of UFC...the guy who lost the title belt when he was suspended for taking nandrolone came into the ring and trash-talked the new champion.
** Joe Rogan does post-bout interviews and color commentary. Yes, THAT Joe Rogan. I didn't know that. Apparently he has been doing it forever. Or ten years. Whichever is longer. He's pretty much a tool.
** The second bout lasted about 19 seconds. No joke. I think one guy tripped the other and he bruised his hammy. Done. Champion crowned.
** The third bout lasted 1:30. No joke. One guy held the other down. The other got away. Then he hit the crap out of the first guy's head and an official wearing rubber gloves stepped in to stop him. No fun there.
** The ring official wears rubber gloves. That's funny.
** Yes, I definitely see why people pay $487 to see that. Or go to BW3s and buy a $4.75 beer and watch it instead. Or accidentally walk into and watch it without knowing it's happening.
* I did find a new name to add to my favorite athlete names list, which currently consists mainly of Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikkonen, and Temu Selanne. Check this one out, and say it out loud: Alessio "Legionarivs" Sakara .