As Raw went off the air tonight, many pro wrestling fans were left staring at the television with their jaws dropped, their eyes wide open, and a prolonged “oh my gosh” feeling. Upon knowing that CM Punk is set to walk away from renewing his contract with the WWE, he delivered a shoot promo that was probably the greatest of the past five, maybe ten, years. Punk let it all hang out from airing his true feelings about his treatment, and his time with the company. It made for riveting television right before his mic was cut off as Punk was just about to delve into McMahon personally, along with the WWE’s Anti-bullying campaign. Kudos to the WWE for allowing Punk to air as much as he did as well. Anyhow, for those that missed it, or for the diehards that simply want to watch it again, below is the awesome promo by CM Punk.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
History was made last night. And while it seems the majority of those around me are celebrating this radical change and momentous occasion, I lack the the same type of enthusiasm. Truthfully, I’m not excited at all. At. All. There is a part of me during this history changing time that feels disappointed, and the other part of me knows that this is more that just a milestone for “change”, of the positive kind.
Of course, I am talking about the passing of the bill here in New York State that will now legalize same-sex marriage.
I've always been brutally honest with this little blog called Dome Pondering, and in the past I have admitted that I do not support same-sex marriage.
I understand that I am now in the minority, but I still (and will always will) remain firm to this belief. Even though, it seems many have either have had a change of mind, or have just gone with what has become popular, almost fad-like, in supporting the same-sex marriage cause, I still remain true to the sanctification of marriage being between a man and a woman.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
- LeBron James announcing that he was “taking his talents to South Beach”. Ugh…
- The Miami Heat celebration. Double ugh…
- The anticipated Celtics/Heat opener and hearing the Celtic fans chant “Ov-er-Ra-ted” at LeBron and company. A rare moment for myself enjoying listening to a Boston crowd.
- Watching Kevin Love transform into Wilt Chamberlain against my New York Knicks, and going for a remarkable 30-30 game.
- Blake Griffin having his coming out party, and his superstar initiation ceremony game into stardom, by throwing down dunk after dunk, specifically one om Timofey Mozgov, and another sweet one on Danilo Gallinari…
- …and how nasty was that dunk on Mozgov? Wow.
- LeBron James’ return to Cleveland, and the monster game he had in his return…
- …and the way the Cleveland Cavaliers refused to fight back in front of a passionate crowd that night.
- The Knicks having yet another wonderful week scheduled by the NBA, and coming up short three times against top opponents.
- And oh yeah, ESPN refuses to show this, but how about my man Amar’e Stoudemire dunking on LeBron down in Miam…er South Beach (that is the cool phrase for the place, right?).
- The Los Angeles Lakers destroying the Cleveland Cavaliers by 55 points.
- The Melodrama, and the constant debate of what is a fair trade to acquire Carmelo Anthony.
- The Spurs switching up their style, and becoming the best regular season team in the NBA.
- …then bowing out to the exciting Memphis Grizzlies.
- Kevin Garnett being ousted for his over-the-top antics by Spike Lee, and Charlie Villanueva.
- The Cleveland Cavaliers losing 28 straight games…a North American record. Maybe they were burning Cavs jerseys after “The Decision”, and not necessarily LeBron jerseys?
- The sudden resigning of Jerry Sloan.
- The Heat constant drama. Whether it be their inability to beat teams over .500, their inability to close games, or their inability to be liked, it was all Heat, all the time!
- Serge Ibaka being robbed in the dunk contest in one of the greatest dunks ever in the history of the contest.
- JaVale McGee’s side-by-side backboard dunk.
- Demar Derozan insane athletic ability.
- And of course Blake Griffin, period.
- And yes, a very entertaining dunk contest this year.
- Carmelo Anthony finally being traded to my New York Knicks for what seems like bunch of players, staff, cab drivers, hot dog vendors, shares of Bank of America, Ellis Island, Nathan’s, and anything else Jim Dolan could have sent to Denver to land the superstar.
- …and those awesome commercials welcoming home Carmelo Anthony.
- …and yes, the night he debuted. Awesome night.
- …and while we’re at it, the year the Garden returned.
- The sudden trade of Deron Williams to the Nets. And the realization that the Nets and their move to Brooklyn is very real.
- Nick Young’s insane 360 layup. A for sure nominee for DP “That Was The Greatest Play You Will Ever See By a Shortstop” Award.
- Chris Bosh crying after more regular season Heat struggles.
- Playoff basketball finally returning to Madison Square Garden.
- The Knicks being swept, yet, battling through all their injuries to make it a “close sweep”.
- The Heat warming up (no pun intended), and LeBron James becoming superman in the NBA Playoffs.
- The Los Angeles Lakers being swept by the Mavericks in the 2nd round.
- An amazing, amazing, amazing, NBA Finals.
- Despite shrinking from the moment, which included an 8 point performance, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade havj g the audacity to poke fun at Nowitzki’s illness in game 4, otherwise known as “cough gate.”
- And finally, Dirk Nowitzki’s amazing run that captivated a nation through his will to win, his sheer determination, and most importantly, his likeable humility.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I miss college baseball. I miss everything about it. From the double headers, to the sound of the metal bats, to the sheer camaraderie and overall enthusiasm surrounding the game. It was a special time for yours truly. For four years, I had the opportunity to enjoy college baseball. And while it was at the DIII level, I knew that it was nothing to be scoffed or taken for granted. In fact, I barely played, and was often one of the few men out of the bullpen, but I simply just enjoyed being around the field, around the game, and around the atmosphere.
See, as a child, I was born with two club feet, a congenital deformity that causes the foot to be completely rotated at the ankle. While my right foot happened to work itself out, my left one never did, and needed surgery to correct it. After several surgeries, and a pin inserted into my left leg, a fixture still in my foot today, my foot was placed in a cast for almost a year to correct. After removal, the doctor stated the surgery would cause permanent lack of development in the area from my left calf to foot area, and because of that, being physically active would be difficult if not non-existent.
Fast forward twenty years, wearing a uniform on any field was an accomplishment in my eyes. Simply being able to defy those odds, and overcome the constant pain, baseball was worth it. I love baseball. And I still do. And while I never was that great of a player, or the greatest runner, I can punch the keys away today knowing that I worked as hard as anyone to not only stay on the team, but improve to the point where I had my moments during this special time. In fact, not only did I manage to overcome physical disabilities, but I also managed to pick up pitching at the collegiate level, and stick with it for the duration of my college career. An accomplishment looking back on, that I think is crazy, but amazing, as well.
So yes, I was a slightly below average player, and considering my lack of experience compared to my teammates on the hill, I managed to pick up one collegiate win (although on a technicality that the starter did not go the qualified amount of innings) in my hometown of Brooklyn, NY. I also enjoyed a half-season of being perfect (Yes, I sported a 0.00 ERA for while). And was able to watch my college roommate, and 1/3 of my best man trio for my wedding, play some of the best third base that I’ve ever seen in my life.
Looking back, I just enjoyed it. And sometimes, the moments where I took the game a little too seriously, mostly my senior year, I wish I could just go back and change.
As the Regional and now Super Regional NCAA Baseball tournament are wrapping up, I find my self wrapped up in every game. I enjoy just sitting there watching the same nuances of the game that I enjoyed during those four years. The sitting on the buckets. The spitting of seeds. Playing with the different grips on the baseball. Yelling “baaack” for every pick off attempt by the opposing pitcher. And the list can go on and on. Every game, every moment, every pitch, many of these memories come flooding back to me.
Watching these teams play, I enjoy the spirit, the fun, the thrill, and even the sheer urgency of a senior laden team on the railing looking on during an elimination game. It’s a certain relational experience that can’t be had watching a Major League Game.
It’s not often that I give major kudos to collegiate sports, but I really believe of all the NCAA post-seasons there are, collegiate baseball is the best. The best team wins. No computers. No fad/gambling pool creations. And no RPI’s and fluke victories. Just a bunch of kids playing with a chance to make it to Omaha (which is such a cool concept), to be crowned National Champions.
I’ve never had the privilege or the ability to play at that level. Heck, I barely hung on at the DIII level. However, the NCAA baseball tournament will always relate to every person that laced up a pair of spikes. There is a line in the movie, Friday Night Lights, that refers to grasping the moment of a special time saying, “After this, it’s just babies and memories”.
Those memories – triumphs, failures, and obstacles – during this special time will always remain. And every year, regardless of what school name is written across their chest, we will all live vicariously through the collection of student-athletes who are now in their time.
A time they too will soon realize, will stay with you forever.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
In the following Pondering 10 list, yours truly will give his All-Time Promo Men Wrestlers. Before I do, just a mention of some of the few that didn’t quite make the cut: Bubba Ray Dudley, Scott Steiner, Arn Anderson, William Regal, Road Warrior Hawk, T.A. Magnum, JBL, Mick Foley, Jeff Jarrett, Goldust, Ted Dibiase, Mr. Anderson, and Dusty Rhodes. Of course there are a few other managers, but we’ll keep this list strictly for in-ring performers.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Monday, June 06, 2011
Friday, June 03, 2011
After 19 years, Shaquille O’Neal has decided to hang it up. In typical Shaq fashion, his retirement press conference was full of jokes, laughter, and of course to my dismay, a subtle rib at the New York Knicks for their sudden shakeup and yes, mismanagement. However, as Shaq finally hangs them up, the reflection on his career has begun.
Luckily, I was able to witness such a dominant player in my lifetime. Heck, in an era today where the NBA has become a guard league, true centers are very few and far in between. Nonetheless, Shaq brought a distinct and unique style of force, dominance, agility and quickness that has never been seen by center in the NBA. From his powerful dunks, his quick drop step, and his demonstrative mannerisms after flushing it, Shaq will thoroughly be missed.
Shaq’s ability to entertain will sorely be missed as well. While I’m sure he’ll land somewhere (most likely ESPN) as an analyst in attempts to rival TNT’s Charles Barkely, the nicknames, dances, jokes, and hilarious interviews will never, ever, be duplicated.
That’s without mentioning the music, movies, wrestling appearances, and other various projects he participated in.
On and off the court, Shaq was the complete entertainer.
And although sometimes Shaq’s light-hearted side lead to some of his negative moments as a pro (not coming into camp in shape, waiting to have surgery during the season, and insulting other players), his overall impact on the game of basketball, entertainment, and pop culture, is enough to hide such valleys.
In the end, Shaq’s retirement has been a long time coming, as it is always tough watching an aging superstar perform at a mere shell of his former self. However, we are here, and ultimately, we are all thankful we were able to watch such a unique athlete and entertainer for 19 years.
Here are two videos that I absolutely love, and that emphasize and standout for me in regards to the career of Shaquille O’Neal.