Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday Smorgasbord 5-13

  • Pro boxing is dead right? That's what some want you to believe especially with Ultimate Fighting (aka, "Mixed Martial Arts") growing by leaps and bounds but last week's Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fight set records for buys and revenues. That $120 million is 70.5% of HBO's boxing Pay-Per-View from last year (in 11 events) and about 60% of what the UFC and WWE did last year (in 10 and 16 events respectively). Of course, reading this article you realize that MMA took off because they cleaned themselves up and became, well, more like boxing. But what has driven boxing down more than a lack of stars was the rampant corruption among the dominant figures of the sport, it is only a matter of time before they show up in MMA. But as long as boxing can continue to set records, they'll stay at home.
  • I have to say, I am getting rather tired of this whole Floyd Landis saga. Now Landis is claiming that USADA wanted him to rat out Lance Armstrong. The question I have is, why now? Why did Landis wait so long to make this accusation? Better yet, is anybody surprised that the real "target" is Lance Armstrong? Quite frankly, nothing about this sordid tale is very surprising to me any more and both sides have the ugly stench of corruption all over themselves.
  • D.C. United's Bobby Boswell has been getting some attention for claiming that he plays simply for the love of the game. I'm not in any position to say that really is or is not the case but, like others, I will point out that Boswell could end up getting a megadeal from a European team after this season. At that point, will his love of the game, team, or the ability to be financially set win over? (On a side note, Ben Olsen writes 100 year old checks???????)
  • I went to my first Nats game this season on Friday night and saw the end of the eight game losing streak. I also saw the seeds being planted for another long slide as starting pitcher Shawn Hill went down to injury before the sixth inning. It shouldn't be too surprising that the Nats swept the Marlins for their first series win of the season and the first sweep of series since last September against Arizona because the team has not been getting blown out by their opponents. So far they've lost by more than 4 runs nine times but only twice in their last 10 losses. The biggest problem for the Nationals is their razor thin depth and even smaller margin of error though a number of breaks went their way this weekend. This three game streak actually puts them a half game ahead of Kansas City for dead last in MLB overall.
  • BTW, what's the deal with playing the bottom of the ninth inning after 1:30 in the morning local time in May? Don't these umpiring crews have any sense of decency? If I hadn't still been awake after helping my church raise over $6K for a non-profit pro-life OB/GYN center (deal with it) I certainly wouldn't have been watching. As a matter of fact, I was trying to go to sleep at that point.
  • I've been watching most of Game 2 of the Detroit-Anaheim Western Conference Finals and I am shocked and amazed as to how quiet it is in Joe Louis. You'd think these two teams were playing a game in the middle of December and not for a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. (So I don't ever want to hear about how quiet the Phone Booth is in December ever again.) There has been wide mention of the problems Detroit has been having with playoff ticket sales this year. Could it be the same complacency that hit the Atlanta Braves? In winning 14 straight division titles, the Braves couldn't give away tickets for the first round series for good portion of that streak. Could that be a part of Hockeytown's woes?
  • And speaking of the Braves, this week the Nats stay at home by hosting Atlanta for four games starting tomorrow and then the stench of the B.O.'s and their fans infect RFK over the weekend. D.C. United heads up to Toronto for their first game against the newest MLS franchise. Toronto BTW not only got their first win yesterday, but finally scored a goal. Street Sense heads to Bhawlmuher to run in the Preakness and the America's Cup Challenger Semifinals will hopefully start in the waters off of Spain this week with the lone American entry, BMW Oracle, taking on the surviving Italian entry, Luna Rossa.
  • As always please send all comments, questions, suggestions, corrections, criticisms, and suggestions for a really late Mother's Day gift to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com.

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