Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wait...There's More

I mean, now I have a forum...why stop there?

Not really sure, but anyway, I have plenty more to say, so sit back and enjoy...

The poker boom is coming to an end. Just like basically everything else ever put on TV that made good ratings. Start off with a great concept. Announcing the WSOP on ESPN, then installing "pocket cams" so viewers could see the whole cards of each player and study how the greats play each hand. Then, what really got the ball rolling was an unknown, accountant from Tennessee (Moneymaker), won the 2003 Main Event, followed by Greg Raymer, just a simple online player who won $5 million. Now, it's getting completely ridiculous. To say TV poker jumped the shark is not even putting it into words. Literally around 10 shows have spun off from ESPN's coverage. At one point last year, there was eight hours straight of poker programming spread out over 5 different stations (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, FSN South, Turner South). Sadly, this has got to be adding to the amount of people induced by gambling addiction each year. Seeing average people winning millions of dollars on TV only adds to the pipe dreams of everyday people, thinking they can go to Vegas, play in these tournaments, and take down braclets and truckloads of cash. The game of high-stakes poker is only cut out for a select few, and for most, including myself, this is no world for anyone to cross into. I am writing a paper on online sports gambling and poker, so more statistics and other information will be posted fairly soon. I just wanted to throw that opinion out there. Basically, I'll accept if they show the World Series because it's the biggest event in poker, but can we stop with the "Superstars" and "Poker Dome" shows? Come on now

I was just watching Sportscenter, and I saw how the network is promoting the Monday night game between the Bucs and the Panthers. I gotta say, last week must have been absolute hell for the advertising department to spice up that Seahawks-Raiders game. I mean seemingly NBC has fell into a ton of good games this year on Sunday night (Broncos-Pats, Colts-Pats, Seahawks (healthy)-Bears, and this week's Bears-Giants to name a few). Did it not seem like last year, every game on prime time completely sucked? It was brutal to watch. It seemed like double digit favorites were playing every single week. That was completely frustrating. The NFL needs to adopt a substitution policy. Within two or three weeks, the NFL should be able to switch out a sorry Monday night game for a game of greater significance, or slotting a good afternoon game for the Sunday night game. The game this week does have divisional implications, so there is actually reason to watch. Hopefully it's better than that "Deion Branch-Randy Moss matchup" we had last week. Brutal.

This is my last year at South Carolina. Which means, in two weeks, I'll be attending my last tailgate as a student as the Cocks take on Middle Tennessee St. The season started off with so much promise, now we're fighting to become bowl-eligible. Three games against top-15 talent, and we lose by 7 or less. Yikes. Anyway, back to tailgate...where can you find a better time than that? Not that I have done this, but you could just walk down to the fairgrounds by yourself, ya know, maybe with some beer en tow, but I mean, walk up to someone flying a Cocks flag, and not only will they befriend you, but they will offer you food, a chair...more beverages, it's incredible. For some, the idea of southern hospitality has gone by the wayside. I noticed this when I moved into my place this year. In trying to introduce myself to my neighbors, I was often greeted with a cold shoulder. I thought, "well, this is strange, I remember meeting four or five really good friends my freshman year within about a half-an-hour." It strikes me that, as a freshman, you definitely have a better chance meeting people when you live in the dorms, because everyone there is in the same boat. Everyone is excited, and at the same time, a little scared by leaving their familiar surroundings. Now, people are just going through the motions, like they aren't open to making new connections. I say this about a general population and in no way does this reflect every southerner at USC. Anyway, tailgate is going to be great, and, hopefully, we get a Florida bowl game and do it all over again. That's a big "if," but ya never know.

Another noteworthy event coming out today, Tyler Brayton, DE for the Raiders, was fined $25,000 and Jerramy Stevens, TE for the Seahawks, was fined $15,000 for their incident on Monday Night Football. The "incident" being that Brayton kneed Stevens in the balls after a questionably late hit on Brayton. So the guy goes a little overboard, gets kneed down there, and gets fined 15G? This is the NFL at its finest. I am not saying this is as malicious as the Haynesworth incident, but how does a guy getting kneed in the crotch lose money, and the guy performing the act only gets ten grand more than the victim of the blow. Not saying there should have been a suspension here, but either Brayton should be fined more or Stevens not at all. Just absurdity, I just wanted to point that out.

Jeff Gordon got married again. I mean I hate Jeff Gordon, don't get me wrong, but I have to say, as a fellow man, I really hope this one works out for him. He got absolutely screwed in his last marraige. I mean Gordon was at his absolute peak, winning championships and cashing in big time off of his endorsements with Pepsi and Dupont. Then, half of his money, poof, gone. Unbelievable. So, here's to the former "Rainbow Warrior," may he get lucky...just this once though.

Speaking of NASCAR, Tony Stewart won another race on Sunday at Texas in the Dickies 500. This is "Smoke's" 3rd win in the last eight races in the finals for the "Chase For The Cup." As an avid Tony Stewart hater, I love how he's managing to pull of all these wins when they count for nothing. He plans on being a "spoiler" for the ten drivers still eligible for the chase. Spoiler? Ouch. That's nice Tony. Keep on doing what you're doing kiddo, you know, ramming people, then afterwards, saying how everyone can't drive. That's nice. And that's why people like him. Because he's aggressive, successful, and talks a lot of s*it. Great, well, better luck next year there Mr. Reigning Champ. Anyway, another driver I want to get to is Dale Jr., who pulled out a miraculous comeback at Texas, coming all the way from 42nd and a speeding violation on pit lane to finish 7th, moving him to 3rd in the points race, 78 points behind Jimmie Johnson, who leads the Chase. Not a huge Junior fan, but I have to give hime credit for this, as he was apparently battling the flu all day as well. Also, big shout out to Denny Hamlin (my driver by the way). He is currently in 4th in the standings, 105 points behind. With two races to go, and Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart continuing to ram people, you never know? Go #11 is all I have to say.

The Coaches vs. Cancer Classic tipped off the other night, signaling the beginning of college basketball. You have to love college basketball. You can never be sure if one week you will be experiencing complete duds, and then the next, be witnessing two or three of the best games of the year. The polls also fluctuate throughout the year with great variability. In this day in age, there is no sure-fire #1 team. Honestly, I think Florida is a good team, but #1? This will not last into the new year, I can almost guarantee that. USC beat them twice and almost beat them a third time in the SEC Champoionship game. So, I'm not throwing too much stock into UF right now. Also, never count out those BC Eagles as long as Jared Dudley is on that team. Completely biased, but he's in the top 5 as far as underrated players in the nation go. Also, watch out for UNC and, of course, Ohio St., with their 2006 edition of the "Fab Five."

I'm pretty sure that's all I have to say as of today, but again, as shown by this, I'm sure something will come up, and there are very good odds that I won't be updating this nearly as enough as I really want to. All right, have a good night everyone. Peace.


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