Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ultimate Nonsense

A big story in Las Vegas for the last couple days of my vacation was the Renato "Babalu" Sobral - David Heath light heavyweight "fight" on Saturday night. It was an under card bout that made headlines because Sobral not only badly bloodied Heath, he also choked Heath unconscious after Heath tapped out. Sobral claimed he did that because Heath "has to learn respect."

Does any of this sound familiar?

And what may you ask was Heath's transgression that required the lesson in respect?

Heath mistook Sobral for Oedipus.

This of course folks is what we're told by our Ultimate Fighting on Ice (UFOI) friends is the "fastest growing sport in America." Yet there's some outrage (at least what you can find considering the massive coverage this "sport" gets) over Sobral's actions, including the Nevada State Athletic Commission withholding part of Sobral's fight purse while they investigate his actions. Furthermore, there's talk the "fight" won't even be aired. (Gee, I wonder why???)

I know I'm beating a dead horse folks, but if even the powers-that-be in the UFC are sickened by these kinds of actions, just what in the world is it going to take for powers-that-be in the NHL to finally get the message that the NHL needs to clean up its act? Note too that Sobral's antics were not well received by the 11,118 (which is less that what the Caps and every other NHL team averaged last season) in attendance. If actual UFC fans don't like to see guys bloodied beyond recognition and knocked completely out, what does it say about UFOI advocates who worship and go to extraordinary lengths to defend blood and KO's on the ice?

In news that I "missed" while I was gone, the Caps resigned John Erskine Bowles for the next two seasons. At over $1 million for the next two years, I really have to wonder about this for a couple of reasons. #1. Erskine-Bowles wasn't a hot commodity last season considering he wasn't signed until the night before training camp opened. For the life of me I just can't figure out what he did to raise his stock so high that we not only qualified him, but gave him a two year contract to sit in the press box/play in Hershey. #2. With the logjam on the blueline, his value as a "depth" defenseman becomes highly suspect. While he's by far the most physical of the "depth" defensemen (which is a stretch because he whiffs more than he actually hits), he'll only serve to impede the progress of a younger player with greater upside. And should we trade one of the youngsters for the much needed "veteran physical blueliner," Erskine-Bowles becomes even more obsolete.

But hey, it's great work if you can get it. You'd could almost be forgiven for thinking that this contract is nothing more than an attempt to hit the league's salary floor but that isn't going to be a problem for the Caps this season or next. But one thing is for certain, Sections 204 and 205 at the Phone Booth should be well secured during the upcoming season.

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