Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I Hate Having Feelings For The Knicks


I'm not even sure what to say anymore. I've held off until late February to finally sound off on what has been an absolutely atrocious New York Knicks season. Abysmal. Pathetic. Sorry. Despicable. Ridiculous. All adjectives that also come to mind in the event you don't find "atrocious" accurate enough. 

It's all too hard to understand my relationship with my beloved New York Knicks. I love them just about as much as I hate them. Really, that wraps it up in a nut shell. It's a fandom only a few select other fanbases (Mets and Browns?) can understand. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Pondering Pictures #37

Then and Now - March on Washington


Credit: Popperfoto, Lonely Planet/Getty Images

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 2/23/14

3 Up

1. Springfield, MO - While under unfortunate circumstances, it was cool to see the community of Springfield, Missouri come together to remember, remember Hailey Owens, a ten year old who was abducted and killed recently. 10,000 people marched to remember Owens. Hopefully, all take a stand to rid their community, as well as others in their communities, of these awful occurrences.

2. NFL Banning "N-Word" - It's nice to see the NFL joining the movement to begin eliminated the N-Word, all forms of it, out of the lexicon of all people. Of course, it's ironic they remove just the N-word while the "Redskins" remain a team name, but we'll let that slide on the Rundown as much as they have over the past four decades.

3. Barry Bonds - Regardless of what your position is on Bonds and PEDs, you can't deny that he has plenty of baseball knowledge to offer younger players. It is good to see one of the greatest all-around players welcomed back after being vilified for something we now see many have done.

3 Down

1. Brazil - While I am eagerly anticipating the World Cup, I can't help but understand the fierce protests going on within the country of Brazil against the World Cup, FIFA, and it's own government. With a country lacking many basic needs for it's people and a corrupt government, watching more money that it's people agreed to poured into hosting the World Cup is tough to take without remiss.

2. U.S. Hockey - From the women being inches away from solidifying a gold medal and being stunned into taking home silver, to the men who were blanked against rival Canada, and then shutout from medaling, U.S. Hockey really took a beating this week.

3. Al Roker - The idea he continues to harp on Mayor DiBlasio's decision to keep schools open during a mini-storm is laughable. You made your point, Al, let's move on. He's clearly just looking for attention now.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Despicable Me 2 (2013)

What is it about?

Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain league to help deal with an old villain who could rise to power again. Gru eventually deals with family, love, and the changes of being a good guy.

Who is in it? 

Steve Carrell - Gru

Kristen Wiig - Lucy

Eduardo/El Macho - Benjamin Bratt

Friday, February 21, 2014

Pondering with Plumtree - Who Is On Your TNA Mount Rushmore?

Pondering with Plumtree is a column on the popular blog, TNAsylum, that is written by yours truly. The blog is focused towards being a fan site for TNA Wrestling fans where they can get news, rumors, opinions, and any and everything else, TNA Wrestling. Known as "The Haven for TNA Wrestling Fans", I'm hoping to bring some of my thoughts to an already impressive roster of columnist for as long as the site will have me. You can read the latest column here, or in the text below.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Pondering 10 - Reasons to Watch Winter Olympics

During the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver, I hashed out some words regarding my true feelings on the event - it wasn't the Summer Olympics. It doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I enjoy the summer season, but I discussed why I felt like the Winter Games paled in comparison to it's summer counterpart for three reasons - true world competition, money, and overall sports (The Olympics: Winter Games Just Not The Same).

Nonetheless, with Sochi being a focal point of the world right now, I figured I would give the Winter Olympics some love and even offer up my top ten reasons for enjoying them. So with that said, here is the latest Pondering 10 - Top Reasons to watch the Winter Olympics.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Jeter's Retirement Officially Ends My Childhood


After what has been a brutal month at work for me, as is the case with many who work in college athletics, I really haven't had the time to sit down and punch the keys on the impending retirement of Derek Jeter. 

I stepped out of the Subway last Wednesday on my way to work to walk past a bar, like many others across the world, that usually has sports programming on it. As I walked past the glass windows I noticed all of the screens on the MLB Network with the red ticker on the bottom scrolling "Breaking News" and many people staring up at them. I couldn't make out the text, but I knew the highlight package above the red ticker had a Yankee involved as I managed to recognize the uniform.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 2/16/14

3 Up

1. Enjoyable Job - Even after the past two weeks I've endured at work where I averaged about 65 hours each, I didn't mind it too much. It's weeks like the past two that I truly realize how much I enjoy doing what I do for a living. And at times, just thanking Jesus that I have a chance at a career, and a honest living. 

2. Hockey - I enjoy Olympic hockey over the product the NHL produces. I say it every four years during the Winter Olympics. Once again, hockey delivered another wonderful, dramatic, story. And again, the sport, especially the NHL, has a chance to capitalize on the casual interest.

3. Baseball is Back - I cannot express how happy I was to watch baseball today. College baseball between LSU and Grambling State University in the Urban Invitational - the MLB Network is the greatest thing ever. Ever!

3 Down

1. Lady Faking Rape Accusation - I'm sure women like this are why the real women who are unfortunately assaulted in this cruel world have a tough time coming forward. Ugh...unbelievable.

2. Weather - When will it stop snowing here in the Northeast? Seriously. I'm really sick of this weather. I pretty much ready for Spring at this point. 

3. NBA Slam Dunk Contest - ZZzzzzzzzzzzz. Wow, that contest was the runs. Not only were the changes and rounds confusing, but they did more to damage the event than the original rules the league felt were outdated. The free style round does nothing but desensitizing the audience to the athleticism and spectacular-ness of dunking. And there is a winning team with fans voting for a "Dunker of the Night"? Yup, the runs. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Beginners (2010)

What is it about?

Oliver learns to come to grips with his father's two major announcements, being diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the other one being that that he has always been gay. He copes with how it affected his past, the changes it brought, and how he views the future.

Who is in it?

Ewan McGregor - Oliver Fields

Christopher Plummer - Hal Fields

Melanie Laurent - Anna

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Last Vegas (2013)

What is it about? 

Four childhood friends get together to throw a bachelor party and to attend the wedding for one of the members in their group. In the process, they end up discovering new life and a few lessons even at an elder age. 

Who is in it?

Robert De Niro - Paddy

Michael Douglas - Billy

Morgan Freeman - Archie

Kevin Kline - Sam

2014 Bucket List - #23 Do 50 Consecutive Pushups

 

Pushups were once a dreadful task for me to do. Throughout High School, with a 6'5'' frame that I wasn't close to even filling out, I was lucky to push some of my body off the floor with my wiry arms. Obviously, as I got older, I got stronger. And as I became more educated, thanks largely to a Master's degree, and bunch of money to get said degree, in the sports sciences, I learned the the proper way to weight train and build lean muscle.

So as 2014 came about, unlike others who have goals to go to the gym more often, my goal became to fill the void days in which I'm unable to get to the gym. You know, for those pesky days when I get home late from work, it's snowing outside, or a task to fill my "rest" days.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

For No One To Care - Feedback and Different Perspectives


I love when people are able to share, debate, articulate, and work through the issues in this race we call life in a respectable and enlightening way. Quite frankly, it's the essence at which this blog was created more thirteen years ago, and it's the sole purpose I continue to keep it alive. We all struggle to make sense of things, and life simply looks on in repose. Just as the moniker reads above. 

So you can imagine the joy I had engaging with some who had feedback shortly after posting some immediate thoughts on Michael Sam's announcement this week (For No One To Care - Isn't That What We Want From Gay Athletes Like Michael Sam). The exchanges were interesting, especially the amount I received at two o'clock in the morning here on the East coast.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

For No One To Care - Isn't That We Want For Gay Athletes Like Michael Sam?


With the recent announcement from Michael Sam of the University of Missouri, the sociological topics of whether professional sports are prepared for gay athletes is at the surface of discussion and thought. It's a valid question as our society continues to integrate and accept homosexuals in the many facets in which we operate. 

Sam, a potential future NFL'er, announced to his teammates prior to this collegiate football season that he was gay. To the respect of his teammates, it never became an issue as 1. not one of them decided to leak it, and 2. it never truly mattered to them. As always in sports, the bottom line is, can you play? And Sam, a projected 3rd, 4th, or 5th rounder, can. Performance will always remain the driving force of sports.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Fast and Furious 6 (2013)

What is it about? 

Hobbs seeks the help of Dom and the crew to take down a criminal mastermind in exchange for pardons and freedom for them all. 

Who is in it? 

Vin Diesel - Dominic Toretto 

Paul Walker - Brian O'Conner

Dwayne Johnson - Hobbs

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 2/9/14

3 Up

1. Video Seeing Rain for First Time - This video is completely cute. Adorable. Absolutely just melts your heart. Makes you wonder when do we become jaded regarding the simple things in life? How many of us say, "ugh, it's raining" as opposed to the reaction of this little girl. 

2. Exonerated Murder Charges - This could easily be a "down" due to our justice system failing these two men. However, we'll focus on the positive and be thankful the correction was made even after twenty-one years of wrongful imprisonment.

3. Kevin Durant - These dude is simply amazing to watch. Durant is the template everyone guy goes for in the create-a-player in a video game. It's just amazing to watch him play...even when he goes for 41 against my Knicks. 

3 Down

1. Sochi Problems - As someone in the Sports and Event management field, to see the utter failings and lack of proper management from the Russians for the Winter Olympics is embarrassing. Accommodations are incomplete, security has been compromised, competition courses aren't up to par, and some athletes have threatened to leave. Russia should be highly embarrassed. 

2. Danish Zoo - I've never been one to be called an animal lover, but even I know what this Danish zoo did was completely wrong. 

3. Man Shoved By Marcus Smart - First, let me say, Smart was wrong for shoving him. He needs to keep his composure, regardless of whatever what was said to him. 

Yet, with that said, that man who feels he could yell anything at college kids because he throws a money into a booster club for Texas Tech should be ashamed of himself. Real tough guy yelling things to incite a twenty-year old. Good job, tough guy. 

Friday, February 07, 2014

The IF Factor: Questions Answered #341-350

341. If you were to name the one possession that means the most to you, what would it be?

I would say my car. Worked hard to purchase it. It's still the most expensive item I've ever bought. And it's something I use to take me on many travels and many experiences. 

342. If you had to name a person who was the most important role model in your life, who would it be?

Tie. Both of my parents. The idea of migrating to a different country with nothing - no higher education, skills, or friends, and eventually buying a home and having enough to formally retire is something I couldn't imagine myself ever having to do.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Dome Pondering Movie Review: The Breakfast Club (1985)

What is it about? 

Five high school students, with five clearly distinct stereotypes, are forced to spend Saturday detention with one another where they eventually learn about one another and the issues they each face aren't as clear as perceived on the surface.

Who is in it?

Emilio Estevez - Andrew Clark

Judd Nelson - John Bender

Molly Ringwald - Claire Standish

Ally Sheely - Allison Reynolds

Anthony Michael Hall - Brian Johnson

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Super Bowl 48 - All About Legacy and History


Legacy and history describe the fallout from Super Bowl 48 (I'm so sick of roman numerals). Yes, the game was an absolute dud, and while the media and those that drum up debate, talk, and of course, the over reaching hyperbole (ESPN) to keep the focus on the "Big Game", you could not steer away from those two aspects once again - legacy and history.

Of course, why be coy regarding the issue of legacy? It's quite obvious Peyton Manning had ridiculous societal standards set for him coming into this game. Peyton needs another ring to validate his career! One Super Bowl victory really isn't enough to call Peyton Manning one of the greatest of all time! Following a rather disappointing game, the rhetoric began on whether Manning was an all-time quarterback, and everyone dissected and scrutinized how he would be remembered. Some even claimed his brother, Eli, was better than he was because of the Super Bowl victories scoreboard between them - 2 to 1.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

(Super) Sunday Sundown Rundown - 2/2/14

3 Up

1. President Obama - Despite a State of the Union address that left yours truly on the fence (2014 State of the Union Reaction), how the President handled his now traditional pre-Super Bowl interview, this time with Bill O'Reilly, was pure class. O'Reilly was obnoxious, pushy, and combative, but the POTUS stayed poised and answered some tough questions pretty well.

2. Super Bowl Halftime - Bruno Marks killed it. Red Hot Chilli Peppers were awesome. Actually, they were the best part of Super Bowl Sunday.

3. European Wrestling Fans - This past week TNA Wrestling had their annual UK tour and all of the shows were said to have been fantastic. In fact, the unofficial challenge has been thrown out to U.S. fans and others all over the globe as the UK showed how passionate they are about the art form.

3 Down

1. Super Bowl - Ugh, what a snooze fest. I know it's really not the fault of anyone (well, sort of the Broncos fault), but that was as they say, "the runs". Well, at least baseball is one the horizon. Yes!

2. Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death - I hate hearing stories about talented individuals who have had their lives cut short due to self-inflicted demons. No death is greater than another, but there is something about the ones where you knew the person was their own worst enemy.

3. Chris Christie - Christie went from a guy that was heralded for his handling of Hurricance Sandy and even thought of as a possible Presidential candidate to now being wrapped up in corruption and now this story. Politics, eh?

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

What is it about?

Kick-Ass returns with a group of inspired citizens who also become "super heroes" to fight the evolved "Red Mist" who vows revenge against everyone Kick-Ass knows. 

Who is in it? 

Aaron Taylor-Johnson - Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass

Chloe Grace Moretz - Mindy Macready/Hit-Girl