My opinions, not necessarily my work.

The Hamilton Steelers and the start of a love affair

Family notwithstanding, there has not been anything that I have loved longer than football (soccer).

I’ve loved bands for 20 years.

I’ve loved co-op video games for at least 10 years.

My love of footie has been around for 25 years or so.

It all started on a warm sunny Sunday night when I talked my mom into dropping me off at Brian Timmis Stadium to watch the local powerhouse Hamilton play league powerhouse Vancouver 86ers.  Can’t remember who won, who scored or who played, but that was it.

I was hooked.  The Hamilton Steelers were my heroes.  Soccer was my sport.

I went to as many games as I could for a kid with no money.  It was a blessing to live 10 blocks away from the stadium as I probably could go as long as I didn’t bug anyone for a lift.

From there, the cult and mythos of the Steelers was born.  The second best team 4 seasons consecutively.   It was tragedy, drama,  adventure all rolled into one.  My heros weren’t Maradona or Pele or Beckenbauer,  but rather Alex Bunbury,  Dino Perri and Lucio Ianiero.  All three played for the Canadian Men’s National Team and I SAW THEM PLAY IN PERSON!

The sad part is that kids will very likely never have that feeling again.  Today, premier league matches are easily available on Canadian television every weekend and if you have the money,  ALL games are available. If you’re internet savvy, any game is available to watch.

The ability to grow a local legend in your backyard is nearly impossible.  Any talent will eventually walk away for greener pastures and small clubs cannot afford to retain their talents even at a small scale.

Based only upon my opinions as an armchair sports business nerd,  a soccer fan and a realist, an academy based professional system is the only means forward as a viable investment model (both talent and financial) to survive as a club (and not just as a franchise) and as a genuine part of their community.

I would like to see kids one day find the civic pride in a football club of their own.  See kids and young men become members of the national team and be celebrated for their accomplishments outside of the clubs confines. I would like to see a club be a beacon of promise of good football and be a benchmark of where players go to become experts in their craft.

So if anyone has $30 million and a philanthropic streak about them, I have some ideas…

TNA Impact Wrestling

I love pro wrestling.  Don’t give me the “fake” stuff, because I know it isn’t.  It is predetermined, but it isn’t fake.  Guys get hurt.  Fake would be safer.

I like the pageantry, the gimmicks, the egos,  the stunt work,  the angles, the music and entrances,  the athleticism, the in ring story telling.

TNA is the #2 wrestling promotion in the United States. Their shows are regularly broadcasted on Spike TV. They feature a large number of talented wrestlers who have not made the move to WWE and have acquired some talent who used to be in WWE and are having a second chance.

Some of the biggest differences between tna and wwe include match length, edgier storylines, stronger lightweight divison (they’re typically faster and take crazier stunts), creepier gimmicks (stalker, a possessed man with nothing to lose, knocking out a wrestler’s father) and a smaller production budget.

Now not that my opinions mean anything, but here is what I like about TNA.

Ethan Carter III. He’s perfect.  He’s got the look, his entrance is excellent especially the camera angle him basking in his own entrance video and music.  His facial expressions are comedic gold.  He can wrestle and he’s funny.  Very entertaining.

Mr. Anderson’s entrance.  He’s so over with the crowd on the microphone.

The BroMans is a terrible name but Zema gets them so over, especially with the clubbing air horn ( ba-ba-ba-baaaaaa ).  It’s good heat that they need.

Things I think should be changed:

What is wrong with this sentence: “From the island of Samoa,  the Samoa Submission Machine,  Samoa Joe”. I get it, he’s Samoan. Come up with some other adjectives and replace a reference.

Guys who need better entrance music : Bobby Rude,  Samoa Joe

I understand that it is a necessity but they need to stop recording so many shows in one night.  The crowd was so dead (May 30/14) that you could hear conversations and the bad piped in crowd noise.  It’s killing the show.

Also, stop hot-shotting title wins. The Chris Sabin win was bad, and the Eric Young one was crap too even though he’s deserving of it. I hope they can keep the belt on him for a bit.

Studies on wine

Like clockwork, there’s some study praising the benefits of drinking one glass of wine with dinner. Fantastic words like “prevention”, “antioxidants” and “orgasmic” often litter the report. Well, if the latter appeared, I’d try to drink the sour bitter stuff.

I accept that wine can promote snobbery as is customary who once read an article in a free newspaper or a pamphlet from an LCBO. The wine industry got smart and threw money at science demanding them to come up with some positives to overshadow these pseudo-pompus assholes. And it works

Secretly, I’m waiting for a grape war to break out and the big winners will be the science people who dig up these facts, then play them off one another. Like, the cabernet sauvignon unearthed some fucked up shit on those merlot wanks. Merlot promotes infertility.

Then Big Merlot fires back that cab sav is the wine of choice of murderers.

Further division shakes the vineyard peace as fault lines form region to region : Australian cab sav doesn’t harm the environment like the Chilean version.

Then the white wine makers finally get a spine and throw in something like red wine is 18x more likely to promote brest cancer.

Man, if that happens, I have a list of 28 people that I will need to call and laugh at, accusing them of whatever their favourite wine is.