Friday, August 24, 2012

From Champ to Chump

For years my go-to argument about why MMA is better than boxing is because one central body makes the fights, always pitting the champion against the best contender. Until now. Light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones refused to fight Chael Sonnen after his scheduled opponent, Dan Henderson hurt his knee and pulled out of their title fight at UFC 151. As a result, UFC had to cancel the entire event, the first time in 11 years that has happened.
Dana White and UFC fans are furious at Jon Jones over this. Jones, on the advice of his trainer Greg Jackson, declined to fight Sonnen with little more than a week’s notice. Even though Sonnen normally fights at 185 lbs instead of 205, and wasn’t even in training for a fight.
I understand why Jones wants to protect himself from a loss against an opponent he is not ready for. But this happens quite often, fighters get hurt weeks or days before the fight, and the code of honor in the UFC dictates that you just take on the next challenger, especially since he’s usually someone less threatening than the original opponent.
But I think this is an instance where the UFC has become a victim of its own success. Because there is so much more at stake financially with being a top fighter, and especially a champion, those fighters are less willing to take risks. This is one example, Jones not willing to risk his title. We have recently seen a big increase in the number of fighters pulling out of fights due to injury. Dan Henderson probably could have fought with this injury but wouldn’t be able to perform at his absolute best. And he didn’t want to take that chance in such a crucial fight. I believe other fighters who recently pulled out of fights for injuries, may have ignored those same injuries 5 or 10 years ago.
I also think this is manifesting itself in individual fights. I have detected a big increase in the number of decisions, and boring fights. Fighters seem a lot less willing to “stand and bang,” knowing a loss, especially one by knockout would hurt their careers.
But I don’t think Jon Bones Jones realizes the damage he has done to his reputation. Just a year ago he was a great young fighter, the rising star of the UFC with strong mainstream possibilities. First, he got drunk and wrapped his Bentley around a pole which hurt him with the mainstream audience. And now he did this which has totally turned off serious MMA fans.
I still think he will have a long and successful MMA career, he just has too much talent for it not to happen. But he will never again be a fan favorite. He will be the Floyd Mayweather of MMA.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Think Jim Joyce is Square with the Universe Now

Umpire Jim Joyce is best known for royally fucking Armando Galarraga's "perfect game" but now he’s done something to more than make up for that mistake.
When Joyce arrived at Chase Field to umpire a game between the Diamondbacks and Marlins he saw a stadium food service worker having an apparent heart attack. Joyce quickly jumped into action, performing CPR and trying to revive her with the defibrillator.
Paramedics arrived on the scene had to revive her again. But they did and the woman is going to be ok.
Joyce worked home plate that night because it was his turn, even though his fellow umpires wanted him to take it easy at third base. He said he'd rather stay busy behind home plate rather than move to third and think about the incident for the entire game. I suppose his blown call, which he handled with extreme grace, has been nagging at him for two years. Now he has something else to think about it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Song of the Week

"Tonight (Best You Ever Had") - John Legend featuring Ludacris

The rare R&B song I played for Mrs. Poop that she actually liked.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why I Believe What I Believe

Most of you know me as a pretty logical guy, too smart to believe in nonsensical things such as horrorscopes, ghosts, psychics and anything else people can conjure up.
But there are some things I do believe in.
First of all, I believe in me. I believe what happens to me is up to me, because of what I do.
I also believe in luck, but I also believe that luck favors the prepared.
And through a life spent marveling at things that happen for no explicable reason, I've developed a healthy admiration for the force that put Mark Feinsand on the same plane as Master Bates two days after I e-mailed MB to ask him to reach out to Feinsand. And then got him to stumble upon my blog, after MB challenged this mysterious force to prove its existence. I call that mystical force "The Universe."
I first started to believe in the Universe after the lowest moment in my life. I've written about most of this before but never in this way, so bear with me.
After Mrs. Poop had a miscarriage we weren't sure how long it would be before they let us try again. When we were given the go-ahead we were ecstatic that she got knocked up again so quickly. But then disaster struck. We went for what was supposed to be a routine ultrasound and just like the first time, there was no heartbeat and they couldn't find the baby.
After two of the hardest days ever, we had an appointment on a Friday morning for an ultrasound to confirm the miscarriage. Then on Thursday, Mrs. Poop was scapegoated at work for a problem that had nothing to do with her. They threatened to reassign her to another area of the hospital (it never happened, so don't worry), and then a few hours later we were scheduled to get final confirmation of another miscarriage.
You probably can't even imagine how she felt, losing her second baby, and her job over the span of a couple of days.
But a funny thing happened on the way to rock bottom.
We heard a heartbeat. The baby we now know as Chase was there the whole time, just chilling in Mrs. Poop's uterus, his heart beating, a sound so wonderful, it brought tears to my eyes.
Later that day the universe sent Mrs. Poop an e-mail (using me as its conduit) which said "Sorry about your job. But you can have your baby back. Love, The Universe."
I know that we are all very lucky in the way things turned out because I wouldn't trade Chase for any child in the world. And I will gladly worship whatever mysterious force brought him to us.