Friday, July 31, 2009
I know, I know. You guys all hate me. I'm sorry I haven't been doing my usual Monday-Tuesday article but I've been crazy-busy. However, I do promise that an article is coming this Monday or maybe even before that. But in the mean time I'm going to give you the first pop-culture Top 5 Friday in Chit-Chat Sports storied history. It's going to be a short one so bare with me until Monday.
In light of the greatest entertainer/most famous human being ever, Michael Jackson, passing away last month, I've decided to come on and give you the Top 5 greatest Michael Jackson songs (not videos because we all know what number 1 would be) of all time. After I list the 5 I'm going to give you the Honorable mention list, because when your talking about Mike there is just way too many great songs. So let's get started....
5) The Way You Make Me Feel - Bad - Are you ready for the cheesiest line of the blog? -We all know how this song made us feel, If you know what I mean.- Talk about a classic song though. Great message, great execution. If this song doesn't jump start any relationship then god help you.
4) PYT (Pretty Young Thing) - Thriller - If there was ever a "best MJ song without a video" this would be it, hands down. I'll be completely honest with you all, I had no idea what this song was until the Jabowockeez performed it on ABDC. But since then I can't stop listening, warranting number 4 on this list. "Pretty Young Things, repeat after me!!!"
3) Black or White - Dangerous - You could always count on Mike to bring down the racial/sexual/prejudice boundary. And this song was the poster child for what Michael did in his career (no pun intended). Black or White sent the message out that it doesn't matter what our skin color is or what religion we believe in or whether we were male or female, but that we were all human. And aside from those reasons, you could play this song 45 times in a row before it even has a chance of getting old.
2) Man in the Mirror - Bad - The most well written song of Michael's long and storied career. At one point in everyone's life, they listened to this song and said, "Wow, this is what I have to do." We all need to start with the man in the mirror. This is by far the most well executed song from MJ. Along with the live performances, the number 1 song is lucky I didn't decide to throw Man in the Mirror at 1. But I couldn't put it over...
1) Billie Jean - Thriller - The Greatest MJ song of all-time. Don't try to argue with me. It's number 1, clear-cut. The video was classic, even though we had no idea what was going on in it. The beat hits so hard and every time you hear it you can't help but just bop your head like you were going to choreograph an MJ concert. How can you not have the original Moonwalk song number 1? Tell me how this Motown 25 performance isn't number 1 all time?
There you have it. I know it was quick but well worth it. Here's the honorable mention songs that had me pondering...
Remember the Time
Don't Stop Til You Get Enough
Wanna Be Startin Somethin'
Friday, July 24, 2009
I have no worthy articles to bless you with this week. Mainly because all of the sporting world is reporting about whether or not Brett Favre is going to play, and whether or not Michael Vick is going to play. Quite frankly, I'm completely sick of it. Who wants to hear about more Brett and Michael stuff when you get enough of it through ESPN because ESPN reports every single thing that Brett Favre is doing every day. Here's a sample transcript of the Brett Favre headlines from ESPN:
Sources: Brett Favre throws passes to a few high school receivers.
Sources: Brett Favre talks to a doctor about getting his 250 game-straight-arm checked out because he may want to be healthy for the rest of his career.
Sources: Minnesota Vikings players want Brett Favre.
Sources: Someone inside the Vikings organization says that Brett Favre would have already said no to playing if the major stars on the Vikings weren't clamouring for him to come to the Vikings.
What has reporting come too? We have to settle for Brett Favre's everyday occurrences instead of talking about real intriguing sports ideas like, how the Cowboys will fair without T.O. this year, who will rise out of the tough American League East, or maybe the Erin Andrews video.
So since it is indeed Top 5 Friday, and we had a blockbuster deal in baseball today, I'm on to give you guys my top 5 hitting tandems in baseball today. These hitters are most likely in the 3-4 spots maybe the 2-3 but we'll see how it goes. So let's get started...
5) Lance Berkman - Carlos Lee - Houston Astros - This was the toughest one to decide on because I was going to throw in Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria but Lance and Carlos take it by a nose. Lance has been solid for years now and Carlos Lee has the ability to put the ball over the fence at any moment during an at-bat. Pencil them in at number 5.
4) Raul Ibanez - Ryan Howard - Philadelphia Phillies - The single biggest surprise in baseball this year is Raul Ibanez. We all knew that Howard would put up 45 homers, and he will continue to do so until hes 35. But Raul Ibanez this season puts this tandem at number 4. They have the most feared lineup in all of baseball with these two all-stars in the middle of it leading the charge.
3) Joe Mauer - Justin Morneau - Minnesota Twins - Joe Mauer is the single best contact hitter in baseball and now he's added the Power element to his game. Justin Morneau is a former AL MVP (which Derek Jeter should have won) who puts up great numbers every year. Between the two of them they're going to have 70 home runs this year and probably bat .320. Definitely worthy of number 3.
2) Albert Pujols - Matt Holiday - St. Louis Cardinals - Some may question why these guys are number 2 until you remember that Albert Pujols has a chance to win the TRIPLE CROWN. Then newly acquired Matt Holiday adds national league experience to an already murderous lineup. You can expect 15-20 home runs from Holliday in the second half in that lineup and about 20-25 more from Pujols, warranting them number 2.
1) Mark Teixiera - Alex Rodriguez - New York Yankees - Trust me this isn't the homer pick. I am indeed a Yankee fan but how can you not put these two as the top hitting tandem in baseball. Since A-Rod's May 8th return, the Yankees have the best record in all of baseball. Tex is having an MVP type season batting in front of A-Rod, and A-Rod is being himself hitting a homer every 16-17 at bats. Ask Roy Halladay who the best hitting tandem in baseball is, and you'll find these two names at the top of his list.
So that's it. You're top 5 1-2 punches in baseball. Next week I'm thinking about going to pop culture for a top 5. Keep checking to see my next article in the upcoming week.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Today is the start of a brand new segment for Chit-Chat Sports that I believe is going to stick for a while. We're going to call it 'Top Five Friday.' Throughout the passed five or six years, my best friends and I have always had heated debates on certain events/players/plays and basically anything. Many of these debates ended up with us arguing for our 'Top Five' of that particular category.
So in light of our ridiculous arguments that we've had in the past, I'm going to write a short blog post every Friday with the headline, 'Top Five Friday.' The top 5's will range from anything in sports to pop culture, but most of them will be sports related.
So I figured the first one should be something pretty big and something everyone can relate to. So the very first edition of 'Top Five Friday's' is going to be the most exciting players to watch across all sports. Now keep in mind this isn't the best, or my favorite, or the most likable. This is strictly the most exciting players to watch. So let's get started with the first Top 5 Friday...
5) Rafael Nadal - Tennis - This pick may be a little biased because of my love for watching tennis, but I guarantee you if you put on a Rafael Nadal match in a major tournament you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Nadal goes against the grain of your traditional Tennis player. He wears the cut sleeves T-shirt, the bandanna, and the cargo shorts. However, he is exactly what Tennis needed. Nadal plays a style that we haven't seen since Andre Agassi. He races down every ball, never takes a point off, and meanwhile hits absolutely ridiculous winners with impossible angles to do so. I strongly suggest you watch Rafael Nadal next time you can; he is truly a special athlete.
4) Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers - As much as I don't want Kobe to be on this list, he is. If there was a list for the 'top 5 first half most exciting players' then he wouldn't be on them. But when it comes to the 4th quarter, there is no better closer in basketball then Kobe Bryant. If there is less then 4 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, you almost know for a fact that Kobe is going to hit a dagger, or a ridiculous shot to get his team the victory. Kobe is quite possibly the most clutch athlete in the NBA and that warrants him being on the Top 5 most exciting athletes list.
3) Tiger Woods - Golf - This is probably the wrong time to be putting Tiger on this list, seeing as he just missed the cut at a major for only the second time in his career today. But when Tiger is healthy there is nothing like watching him on Sunday. You might say, "Well how can any golfer be on this list?" Do me a favor. Next time there is a major on TV and it's the final round on Sunday (except for this one) force yourself to watch the entire round. Chances are you're going to see Tiger trying to make a crazy comeback, winning a sudden death playoff hole, or holding off a charging competitor. The final rounds of any golf major are beyond exciting, however if Tiger's in the chase, it's a whole different experience.
2) Larry Fitzgerald - Arizona Cardinals - I don't think there is another player in the NFL that is as exciting as Larry Fitzgerald is. All you have to do is go re-watch last year's Superbowl and that is all the footage you need. Larry is on his way to becoming one of the greatest receivers to ever do it, and he does it with out-of-this-world type plays. Larry Fitz makes catches that no one has ever seen before. His combination of size, speed, hands, and willingness to go up and get the ball wherever it is, makes him the most dynamic/exciting receiver in the game. It's those memorable catches that we see week in and week out that warrants putting him number 2 on this list.
1) Lebron James - Cleveland Cavaliers - Is there even a debate as to who should be number 1? It's almost automatic at this point. Lebron James is the single most exciting athlete in any sport. The best part is, he's only 24. Which means the best is yet to come from Lebron. The thing that makes Lebron so exciting is that we all expect him to do something spectacular. So when it actually happens it gets blown out of proportion and covered on ESPN for days later. A perfect example was his buzzer beater against the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. It wound up being a top 12-13 buzzer beater all-time because of the hype surrounding Lebron. Everyone questions whether or not he can be that clutch type of player and I believe he is well on his way. As far as exciting goes, there's no one close. Lebron driving to the hoop with a big guy standing under the hoop is probably the most exciting thing to watch in sports; because you know that big guy is going to be on Lebron's next poster at all local Nike outlets.
So while we debate and argue over this top 5, I'm sure that no one can argue that these guys aren't in a league of their own.
Honorable Mention: Alex Ovechkin, Adrian Peterson, Ed Reed, Derek Jeter
Expect a top 5 post every Friday from now on. They're going to be fun.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
In case you haven't heard about this UFC 100 fight that is taking place tonight, then you've come to the right place if you were unable to see it.
Now let it be known that I am, in no way shape or form, a fan of the UFC. I have been pro-boxing for the past 5 years that the UFC has been blowing up. Boxing just appeals to me more than UFC does. It's probably been instilled in me by my dad, but I just find the history and the classic fights of boxing more appealing than the UFC. However, I felt so compelled today that I had to give you a running diary of my first full UFC experience.
So sit back, put your seat belts on, and place your seats back in an upright position and tray tables locked in.
10:00 PM EST - Kristen and I are on our way over to Vinnie's for the fights. Not sure how I feel about the UFC still...contemplating turning around.
10:03 PM EST - Arrive at my cousin's house. Looking at the ring, Ooops the Octagon, and there is blood all over the mat. So this is how UFC rolls, huh? I have to say, it's kind of awesome.
10:05 PM EST - I'm so out of my element right now. There's all sorts of Octagon's and all-black dressed referees. Where are the ropes? Where are the boxing gloves? I'm in a new world. I might like it.
10:10 PM EST - So apparently there's an undercard just like boxing. Hey! This might not be too bad. First fight is coming up.
10:15 PM EST - OUR TALE OF THE TAPE!! Wow what an upgrade of announcers from boxing. Ok Ok, first thing I'm impressed by. Wait, Joe Rogan is an announcer for the UFC? This is when you know it's going to be a good night. (I can't help but think about Dave Chappelle's FearFactor skit with Joe Rogan). This first fight is between the UFC version of Ricky Hatton, and the only Japanese UFC fighter I've ever seen.
10:17 PM EST - The Japanese fighter apparently is a singer as well. He has sung in front of 20,000 fans before. Why are the Japanese good at everything?
10:19 PM EST - Oh My God the Japanese guy just got straight up kicked to the balls. I don't care whatever you've ever heard...getting kicked in the crown jewels is BY FAR the worst pain a guy can endure. There's nothing that's even in the same ball park.
10:27 PM EST - First fight is rather boring. But Kristen likes the Japanese fighter in this contest because his shorts are cooler. I have to agree. He seems more aggressive and excited to be there. This is UFC 100! How can you not be excited for this!?
10:33 PM EST - We're going into the third round. Basically all of this is leading up to Lesnar-Mir. Which is the real reason I have this laptop on my lap.
10:36 PM EST - Ridiculous Superman punch off of the cage. Now that, was cool. Fight ended. Winner by Split decision, Yoshihiro Akiyamahsiakishiskiakhsikikahku (aka the Japanese guy)
10:41 PM EST - Have to say, I was impressed by all the pre-fight antics. The announcing. The bloody ring. The round girls. But the first fight, not so much. Hopefully this gets better quickly.
10:45 PM EST - This second fight is between the American Dan Henderson (USA! USA!) against this fruitcake Brit Michael Bisbing. Bisbing came out and was dissin' the US right off the bat. You know you can't come to the US and start lashing out against us and not expect an irrelevant blogger to tear you to shreds. So this should be fun...
10:46 PM EST - OUR TALE OF THE TAPE!!! Haha, that is my favorite part of UFC matches by far. What a great saying.
10:50 PM EST - Bisbing is about to get knocked out in the first round. Nothing would make me happier. Bisbing reminds me of a 6'1" Penis with an accent. What a clown.
10:59 PM EST - Wow. I think Bisbing just died. That may have been the biggest punch Ive ever seen. Holy Jesus. Right hand from Henderson just sent Bisbing all the way back to Manchester.
Now he's up asking what happened. That's what happens when you decide you wanna talk garbage on the American with the big right. Hey Bisbing, tell me how that mat taste.
11:02 PM EST - Already love Dan Henderson. Still talking garbage to the knocked out Bisbing. He may be making his case for The Sports Enthusiast's favorite UFC fighter. Actually I'm already nominating he and Chuck Lidell because Chuck beasts in the video game. The hometown kid Frank Edgar is the third nominee. Let's try and get 5 by the end of the blog and I'll pick my favorite at the end.
11:11 PM EST - Quick question. How do you get ito the Octagon. I haven't seen the door yet. I feel like they should be forced to climb in. That would be so entertaining.
Side Note: These past few dudes have been so hood. I thought the UFC was full of hard rock, head banging type of music fighters. But no, we got some real hood flavor in the UFC.
11:20 PM EST - Don't really know how I feel about his uniform, but Georges St. Pierre is definitely in the 5 I'm nominating for my favorite UFC fighter. Just has a swagger about him that can intimidate his opponent.
11:35 PM EST - Georges St Pierre is going to win this fight barring any miracle. Time to get prepped for the big fight. Lesnar/Mir.
11:48 PM EST - Georges St. Pierre still the champion. I loved his corner men the most.
"Calm down, Georges"
"Calm down, breathe"
Pretty comical if you ask me.
12:00 AM EST - It's getting close to my bed time, but we're still live from the $50.00 feed of UFC 100. Brock Lesnar might be the biggest freak of nature I have seen since Lebron James. He is an absolute tank. I'm not sure how I feel about Frank Mir. He just doesn't have enough pre-fight buzz for me to pick him. So I'm going with Brock Lesnar because A) He is huge B) My cousin's name is Brock C) He has the sickest tattoo I've ever seen.
12:01 AM EST - Frank Mir comes out to "So Amazing" by Kanye West, dancing and bopping his head. This was definitely the corniest moment of the night. Wow Frank. You have no chance.
12:08 AM EST - Checking in 7 minutes later to tell you that Brock Lesnar is still big as hell. Maybe the biggest human in that state right now.
12:10 AM EST - Referee tells the two fighters to make it official and touch gloves. So since they didn't touch gloves, is this not official?
12:16 AM EST - Lesnar beat the living crap out of Mir's face in the first round. Let's see how he fairs in the 2nd.
12:21 AM EST - Lesnar just beat the living crap out of Mir's face in the second round. Let's see how he fairs in the hospital.
12:23 AM EST - Totally classless by Lesnar. I was all about him before the glove touch, now he can go scratch. Lost a lot of potential new fans tonight. Including me.
Final thoughts on my first UFC experience. The sport has a chance to be a major sport in this country. However, the major sports pride themselves on class and three out of the 8 fighters showed absolutely no class tonight. And the biggest name on the card showed the least amount of class possible. I may be hooked on some of this sport, but I'll take boxing any day of the week. Sorry UFC fans. Overall it was a solid night.
Now for the winner of The Sport's Enthusiast's favorite UFC fighter..........It's a tie between Dan Henderson and Georges St. Pierre. I just couldn't choose. Goodnight All.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Why, hello there Chit-Chat Sports followers. It's been a minute since I've been on to share my deep revelations with you. I decided to go back to Chit-Chat Sports as the official name. I don't know what I was thinking when I changed the entire site to "The Sports Enthusiast." However that will remain my self-proclaimed nickname for the blog. So you can either call me T-DeRigg or The Sports Enthusiast. Any other nicknames are going to need pre-clarification by either myself or Showtime.
A lot as happened in the week that I have not written. The NBA Free Agency period has begun and about 7 teams have already gotten better just by signing one player. The Champion Lakers got better signing Ron Artest. The Spurs got better signing Richard Jefferson. The Cavs got better signing Shaquielle O'Neal. The Celtics got better by signing Rasheed Wallace. The Pistons got better by signing Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon. The Magic got better by signing Vince Carter. Hell, even the Mavericks just got better signing Shawn Marion.
There's so much happening right now it's so hard to keep up. But I just wanted to touch on a little NBA before I got into the real purpose behind this article. And here we go...
On to some real talk.
Anyone who has gone to college and lived in a dormitory knows that a cardinal rule of the male presence in a dorm is the absolutely ridiculous amount of video games that must be played. It's as much of a tradition as fireworks are on the fourth of July. Specifically in your freshmen year, most of your time is devoted to competing against your roommates or dorm-mates in any video game possible. And of course most of these wind up being sporting video games.
They range from your obvious crown jewel, Madden all the way down to Fight Night and FIFA. But no matter what anyone ever said in the history of sports video games, there have always been illegal teams. (At least 5 of my buddies just shook their head yes. Yes Tommy!)
Let's define the term "illegal teams." What I mean by this is that the team that you are selecting to use, is so far beyond the normalcy of a usable team, that the team can make even the worst players at that particular game, good. The team is so "illegal" that both users can just see the name or logo of that team and automatically look at each other and just smile and shake their heads no. Of course everybody has that friend that HAS to be that illegal team because they suck so bad at the game, they need every possible advantage. Unfortunately for him, this was my boy Ski, who always managed to somehow be the NBA Live 03 Lakers. But that's another blog for another day.
So let's get into the top 10 "illegal teams" of all time.
10) NBA Live 1999 - Chicago Bulls - As we all know, the greatest basketball player ever was on this team. His rating was a 99 overall at just about everything. And if you don't know about overall ratings then you should stop reading this article right now and go turn on a video game console and change your life. These Bulls had the 98 rated Scottie Pippen and the 99 rated PLAYER99, which we all knew was Michael Jordan. Pop in Live 2009 and trade Kobe onto the Cavs and you'll get the 99' Bulls. Completely unfair.
9) Tiger Woods PGA Tour 05 - Tiger Woods - This could really just go for any of Tiger's video games. But this year was significantly ridiculous. We used to play hours of this my freshmen year and Showtime and I were forced to use players to the likes of Jon Daly, and Mike Weir. We had heated battles.
8) Fight Night Round 3 - Jermaine Taylor - This might shock you to be in the top 10. But I guarantee you if you popped in this game right now, you would not lose a fight with Jermaine Taylor. His career has been sub-par, but at the time this game came out he was on the rise. So of course his video game statistics were extremely inflated. Jermaine had the sickest counter-hay maker in all of Boxing video game history. Just ask Showtime.
7) Ken Griffey Junior Baseball 1994 - Seattle Mariners - I don't think there's ever been a better video game baseball player in history than 94' Griffey. On top of that you had Randy Johnson as your pitcher. In a one game series, which most of your classic dorm room battles were, how did you ever lose with the Seattle Mariners. Wayyyyyy too illegal.
6) NFL Madden 2003 - St. Louis Rams - The greatest show on turf was the 6th most illegal team in Video game history. Just ask me how you defend this: Kurt Warner off an MVP season, Marshall Faulk on the cover, Tory Holt, Isaac Bruce, Kevin Curtis out wide. Not too mention THE single most overrated defense in history. Anyone who played with the Rams never lost. Therefore forever placing them in this exclusive group.
5) FIFA Soccer 2006 - Brazil - This is the game that started so many heated battles in college. And when I mean heated, I mean that we used to have a scoreboard on our wall to remember the wins and losses because we used to be at each other's throats about our current records. My boy Ski still owes me money from the beatings that I put on him one night. It was absolutely unreal. But Brazil was BY FAR the most illegal FIFA team of all time. You had Ronaldinho in his prime, a goalscoring Ronaldo, a young Robinho, a young Kaka and then you had some goalie who's rating was a 94. This used to cause so many fights that, I'm still surprised to this day that the RA never had to break us up.
4) NFL Madden 2009 - New England Patriots - Due to the team's 18-1 season and the single greatest offensive explosion in NFL history, the Madden 09' Pats ratings were so inflated that you couldn't even pass them if you wanted to select a team around them. I mean seriously they were so illegal that I don't even think I ever played them in my Madden 09' history. Tom Brady 99 rating, Randy Moss 99 Rating, Welker was a 92 rating, Lawerence Maroney who was hurt all year was somehow still an 88 rating. And contrary to their offensive buddies, the 03' Rams, they actually HAD a ridiculous defense. Wow I'm glad Madden 10' is coming out soon.
3) NFL Madden 1996 - Detroit Lions - The Lions were used for one reason, and one reason only. Barry Sanders. Barry was quite possibly the second most unstoppable player in video game history. The funny thing about this was that Detroit didn't have one other player that you could have named. I honestly could not even name you their QB without looking it up. But when you had the ball and you called that HB Dive, there was absolutely no one who could stop you. And when I say no one, I mean NO ONE. If they actually had another player they could have been number 2.
2) NBA Live 2003 - Los Angeles Lakers - Ohhhhhhhhhhh my god was this team so illegal. Here is a classic example of why the video game ratings need to be updated every day. Of course the Lakers had already had 90+ rated Shaq and Kobe. But this was the year that they had signed Karl Malone (arguable the best PF ever) and Gary Payton (top 10 PG all time). Now, Malone and Payton were on the downside of their careers, but this apparently does not effect video game ratings. So both of them, probably because of their names, were rated in the high 80s low 90s. So when you trotted out the starting lineup you had a 90-Payton, 95-Kobe, 80-Devean George, 90-Karl Malone, 96-Shaquielle O'Neal. And here is the worst part. I had to play this team virtually every day because my boys could NOT beat me in this game.
I ran with the Seattle Supersonics (an honorable mention for this list) and I threw Brent Barry at the point, Desmond Mason (most overrated dunker) at the 2, along with Ray Allen (greatest 3-point shooter in video game history) a young Rashard Lewis and an extremely overrated 3-point shooting Vladomir Radmonovic at the 5. I seriously never saw more threes sink in a video game year in my life. So all my boys had to use the Lakers because I was just that good. Yea, I was.
1) NFL Madden 2004 - Atlanta Falcons - And number 1, the granddaddy of all illegal video game teams, the 2004 Atlanta Falcons. Anyone who has ever played this game knows exactly why they are number 1. You see, this was before Madden was tweaked to be more realistic to modern play. So the traditional quarterback was a drop back passer and occasionally you would have a 75 speed quarterback that you would have to deal with. But never before 2004 was a quarterback's speed even approaching 80. Hell, some running backs didn't even have an 80 speed.
And then came along Michael Vick. The cover athlete. Everyone knows that the cover athlete was always enhanced even if he wasn't a top player in the game. So Michael Vick had a ridiculous 2003 break out season, therefore making his rating in the 90s. But this wasn't the problem. The problem was that Michael Vick's speed rating was a 94!!! Vick was among the fastest players in the game, let alone a quarterback.
So every time that you would drop back with Vick, you had SO many options than you ever had before with a QB. You could basically take off and run whenever you wanted, you could then heave the ball 60 yards down field because his throw power was a 96. I mean how could you game plan against this guy? This was before DE contains and QB spying linebackers. There was no way to guard Vick when you played against the Falcons. Vick is responsible for the most verbal fights between competitors in history. And every time that Vick did something incredible in the game and you lost, you would just be like, "Well that's what happens when you use the Falcons!"
That is why he is the single most unstoppable-illegal video game player of all time. Thus making the Falcons, the most illegal team in video game history.