Friday, October 29, 2010

Dropping Links: Friday, October 29, 2010

Your Friday morning fix of links from around the sports-related blogosphere.

- PastaPadre has details on the newest Madden 11 roster update, which should be released today.

- I've never been a fan of FOX Sports' Sunday NFL pregame show, mostly because it's just a group of guys talking over each other and laughing. Bob's Blitz passes on the statistics: The crew spends 11% of the time they are on camera laughing.

- The guys at I Hate JJ Redick reviewed NBA 2K11. I might have a review up in the coming week, so stay tuned for that.

- The former Syracuse star Wesley Johnson's first NBA basket was a ferocious slam dunk. Sharapova's Thigh has the video.

- Cagewriter ranks the incoming WEC veterans that will be absorbed into the UFC roster.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

WEC will merge with UFC in January

Dana White announced today that the long rumored WEC-UFC merger will become official in January 2011. All members of the WEC roster will become UFC fighters, with WEC featherweight champ Jose Aldo and bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz become champions in the same weight class in UFC. The new UFC lightweight champion will be determined when the winner of the WEC lightweight title contest between Ben Henderson and Anthony Pettis faces the winner of the UFC lightweight championship bout between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard.

White gives all the details in the following video interview with Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com:

Why football won't decline in popularity like boxing

Shutdown Corner today sheds light on three columnists who think football could some day fade out of popularity much like boxing has. (Here, here, and here.)

The articles surmise that since the dangers of football are becoming more apparent and concussions are on the rise, parents won't let their children play the sport at all, which will eventually lead to a downturn in the quality of the competition. That would, as a result, decrease interest in the game.

I understand the idea and it's not far fetched to think that someday the NFL won't be as popular as it is today. Baseball was once America's Pastime and that has been overshadowed by the NFL. But there are so many other factors that make the NFL as popular as it is.

Football Sunday is an event. People gather to drink, eat copious amounts of unhealthy food and watch a whole day's worth of action on the gridiron. Baseball, on the other hand, is a marathon of a season, with games played every night for seven months. There are few groups of friends who say, "Let's all get together and watch the Pirates-Cubs game" in mid-June. Every game means something in the NFL and whether you're a fan of an always-good team like the Patriots or a perennial loser like the Lions, there is that "anything can happen" factor that makes pro football so great.

The main reason boxing has fallen so hard is because of a lack of superstars. Sure, if the NFL didn't have Peyton Manning, Chris Johnson and the like, it might not be as interesting but people are faithful to their teams and not individuals. Boxing, though, is an individual sport and relies more heavily on its stars.

There are no marquee fights anymore. The last hope of reviving the sweet science was a fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio and that was totally botched. Besides those two, there are few others that could be considered "household" names.

And let's not dismiss the impact of MMA. UFC has clearly surpassed boxing as the prime fighting sport in America and I doubt the UFL will be overtaking the NFL in ten years.

The idea is probably correct - if people stop wanting to play football, the quality of the sport will diminish - but it doesn't seem like we'll see a decline in America's favorite game any time soon.

(Photo courtesy AP)

Dropping Links: Thursday, October 28, 2010

Your daily look around the blogosphere...

- The already delayed NBA Elite 11 will be moved to EA Sports' Tiburon studio to be finished, making it more likely that the game won't release at all this year. With the NBA season starting and the game's competitor, NBA 2K11, being released three weeks ago, it seems like Elite won't tip off until next season.

- With the World Series under way, The Hall of Very Good contributor Kevin Chanel has a nice read on Tim McCarver and his "McCarverisms."

- TNT's Heat-Celtics opener was the most watched regular season NBA game in cable television history.

- Speaking of the Heat, the NBA is beefing up security for the team's road games, thanks to LeBron James and Co. quickly becoming the most hated team in the league.

- MJD of Shutdown Corner has the absurdly premature playoff picture for this week, with the Giants and Steelers taking the top seeds in the NFC and AFC, respectively.

In case you missed it, Bob's Blitz has video of the Lakers' ring ceremony from Tuesday night.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Video: Michelle Beadle spoofs LeBron's new Nike commercial

As much as I dislike Colin Cowherd and ESPN's SportsNation program, I am a big fan of Michelle Beadle, dating back to her days with the YES Network and as Michael Kay's sidekick on ESPN Radio. Since I just posted LBJ's new Nike commercial, below is Beadle's parody video.


Best part? "Should I do what you want me to do and just start the show? Nah, I think I'll just take bites of this delicious pink doughnut."

The new Nike LeBron James commercial

Here is the new LeBron James commercial that everyone is talking about. Thoughts after the clip.


While I get that LeBron feels a little slighted by all the haters out there, that's the price you pay when you decide to create a superteam. In time, no one will care and he'll be loved again (except maybe in Cleveland) but for now he just needs to ride it out. Making a commercial about the whole situation seems to be stoking the fire more than trying to calm it down, but to each his own.

I like the commercial itself for it's artsy-ness (is that a word?) even if it is a little weird at times.

Guess who's back...

This guy.

(And the crowd erupts with indifference...)

After three months of ignoring the blog, it's time to get at it again. Thanks for anyone who happens to be checking out the old abandoned storefront and for those of you who have tweeted and emailed during this hibernation period to see what was up.