by Mike Booble

About The Author

If brains were gasoline Mike would have enough to power an ants motorcycle around the outside of a penny. Would be funny if it wasn't true. Sports, sports, sports. Often times he said if he didnt do SOMETHING in the industry in would be a complete waste of his childhood. Crisis averted. 
Cancer Sucks And So Do You?

       First, let me send well wishes to one Roman Reigns. Cancer affects everyone in some form or fashion. The disease doesn't give a shit about your age, race, religion, gender, economic status or physical prowess. You could look like Roman Reigns or be built like….well….me. Cancer doesn't care. Here's hoping he opens up a can of whoop ass once again and returns to the familiar LOL, Roman wins.
       That last part, the LOL, Roman wins is in part what I'd like to discuss. Part of me is so happy that so many people reached out on social media to show their support. In this very strange time we live in where our President mocks sexual assault victims, blames victims of hate crimes for the crime committed against them and endorses a regime that admitted to killing a journalist that opposed it, it is nice to see some good in people for a change.
       However, a larger part of me wants to call most of those people out for being the fake, self absorbed pieces of shit they really are. I'm talking about those people who boo Reigns mercilessly for doing nothing more than what his boss asks of him. I'm talking about those who chant the idiotic “You Can't Wrestle” to a guy actively wrestling. What if I went to the gas station you work at and started chanting “You Can't Pump” you know, the thing you're probably doing? Wouldn't be very smart would it? Instead how about being creative and going with “You Need Practice” or “Improve Selling”.
       Yet those aren't even the worst of it. I promise, no guarantee, a large portion of those phony smarks are the same ones who tweet death threats and thoughts of ill will to him and his family. Don't believe me? Do a quick Twitter search for anything before October 22, 2018. You find the kind of hatred and vitriol normally reserved for terrorists, rapists and Chris Benoit.
      The kind of keyboard warriors who pretend to hate him, secretly envy him because they loathe themselves and wouldn't dare say anything to his face for fear of getting their ass beat.
       The snarkiness and hatred for someone essentially in a play is R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S. Especially someone who by all accounts is nothing but a stand up guy outside the ring. He's a great ambassador for the company and a great lesson in humility. Let us not forget that he failed a PED test a few years ago. It came out that the substance was a diuretic but is often used as a masking agent. He took his lumps, took his punishment (Losing to Jinder) and worked his way back to the top.
       I'll admit that a lot of my annoyance with Roman fans and fans in general is the unwillingness to go along with the show. The need to boo the good guy and cheer the bad guy. The seemingly endless bitching about creative by people without a creative bone in their body. I've never understood this mindset. When you boo the good guy you're actively fighting creative, making their job harder, instead of just being an important part of the show, trying to be THE show.
       But my biggest annoyance with fans, my biggest gripe is the sheer hypocrisy of their fandom. A few years ago the #cancelwwenetwork was trending on Twitter after the vocal fans (Not the majority mind you) complained about the finish of a Royal Rumble. If I'm mistaken and it wasn't a Rumble, bite me. Anyways, how can all these fans, week after week, month after month, year after year complain about creative, complain about storylines, pushes (or non pushes) and still pay the $10 a month for the network? If it was as terrible as they made it out to be they would've canceled long ago. Only a moron pays for something on a recurring basis if they hate it. If I hate a certain type of music or show or movie I don't watch or listen. I certainly don't keep paying for it over and over again. I hate Julia Roberts so I do all I can to not see anything she's in. And I'm better for it.
       Meanwhile, these idiots bitch and moan yet shell out money for tickets and merch and replica titles to show how much of a fan they are just so they can bitch in order to show how much of a smart fan they are which really just makes them annoying jackasses who don't know shit about writing a television show or booking a wrestling event.
       Where is this outrage and #cancelwwenetwork when the company they claim to hate is still (as of this writing) accepting what amounts to hush money from Saudi Arabia. As a publicly traded company consumers could actually affect change, even if on a temporary basis, and force a corporation to not ONLY think about the bottom line but other human beings.
       To sum up; anti-Roman fans can suck it. Fans who think they know better than creative can suck it. Fans who've never read a book let alone been in charge of one can suck it. If you wanna keep your subscription by all means do so. Just dont come at me with a moral high ground argument or fake praise for something you hate yet would give up everything to be.
   And as always, I'm Mike Booble and that's my opinion.
by Mike Booble

About The Author

If brains were gasoline Mike would have enough to power an ants motorcycle around the outside of a penny. Would be funny if it wasn't true. Sports, sports, sports. Often times he said if he didnt do SOMETHING in the industry in would be a complete waste of his childhood. Crisis averted. 
To Watch or Not To Watch

       As the NBA season gets underway the biggest question has almost assuredly been answered. The Warriors, barring significant injury, will three-peat as champs. The talent they bring back is staggering and around the 1st of January will add DeMarcus Cousins, a significant upgrade from Javale McGee. But as with any sport in any year where a significant favorite resides for a championship, one must look closer, a little deeper for stories worth following.

       The obvious, at least for the first few weeks would be LeBron going to the Lakers. And from a league perspective this is a very good thing. The Lakers, second maybe only to the Yankees as far as popularity both home and abroad are ratings juggernauts when they're terrible and you add the G.O.A.T to that mix and in an 82 game season you might realistically get 40 games nationally televised.

       And because the Lakers will be on TV a lot a byproduct of that will be the continued development of Lonzo Ball and Brandon
Ingram. The best part about LeBron being on the Lakers? If Lavar starts to run his mouth he might be banned from the Staples Center and if that doesn't work Lonzo might be traded to China. So It's a win for everybody.

       How about Kawhi Leonard being traded from San Antonio to Toronto? Will that impact Philly and/or Boston and their race to lose to the Warriors in the Finals? Do we even care?

       Look, Kawhi is a good player, maybe even a great one, but he's boring AF. Like everyone who plays for San Antonio he's so uninteresting. He won't be resigning in Toronto so the only real intrigue is whether they'll trade him before the deadline and set themselves up for the future.

       Then there are smaller stories; Gordon Hayward returning to Boston for hopefully longer than one game. The continued rise of Philly. DeAndre Ayton, the No.1 overall pick in this years draft having the fate on the Phoenix Suns placed on his large, bribe taking shoulders.

       The end of games, specifically the 4th quarter also received a boost with the news fans can now purchase the 4th quarter of games for $1.99. Only the strongest of fans can watch an entire non-playoff game so this seems like a very good first step in holding onto that younger generation so desperately coveted my major sports leagues.

       Growing up I was a huge NBA fan. As the years have passed and my loyalty to a particular team has waned I find myself a little apathetic towards the season. The draw, the best part of an NBA game, the thing that it has over any other sport, is the fact that it's fast paced. On almost a play by play basis you marvel at the best athletes in the world as the make the most aerial of feats seem too easy. A 360 dunk is mundane. Half court shots are practiced pregame and perfected in game in a Globetrotter like spectacle envied by anyone who's ever dared dribble a ball.

       Overall the NBA is in a great place financially. Ratings are strong nationally. Jerseys are a constant wherever you look. Celebrities still fight to been seen amongst the graceful giants. And yet, as the common fan, I can't help but feel that something is off. I'm not as pumped as I used to be or.should be. Maybe that's because I no longer play, either competitively or casually with friends. If feels like a bit of my childhood has been lost. Maybe I take a hard dive back into the sport I once loved. Maybe I find a new generation of players to admire the way I did LeBron back in high school. Or maybe my passion will ever burn as hot again. Maybe I sit and admire the athleticism from a distance, dream of past glory on the court, and forever regret that I never dunked a basketball. Whatever the case, strap in, it will be a long, short, dull and exciting season. And let's go Warriors.

       And as always, I'm Mike Booble and that's my opinion.
by Mike Booble

About The Author

If brains were gasoline Mike would have enough to power an ants motorcycle around the outside of a penny. Would be funny if it wasn't true. Sports, sports, sports. Often times he said if he didnt do SOMETHING in the industry in would be a complete waste of his childhood. Crisis averted. 
UFC 229: MY Balls Was Hot

     I’m not even sure where to begin. For those of you who watched UFC 229 you know, it was a success, as well as a massive failure. It was the most talked about UFC event in a very long time and the most infamous event the company has ever had. The hype surrounding it was incredible. Laws were broken. Religion and politics invoked. Two all-time great fighters, in their prime, deciding who could go down as the best fighter of their generation.
   
     Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, two very different personalities with two very different fighting styles, coming together in a perfect storm of sport, political discourse, subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) racism and a dolly. For the hardcore fans, this a fight that had been brewing for years. Khabib an undefeated, untested, unrivaled grappler, who mauls people the way a bear does (he legitimately wrestles bears btw) and one of the most effective, accurate and powerful strikers pound for pound MMA has ever had in McGregor.

     The fight was already a big deal before Khabib cornered Artem Lobov in a hallway, backed up by a dozen or so of his closest friends and gave a very indirect, direct message to one Mr. Notorious. Conor, never one to turn down an opportunity to inflict mayhem on the world surrounding him, hopped a plane from Dublin as soon as he saw the video and made his way to New York City to even the score. What followed on that loading dock at the Barclay’s Center was something only Vince McMahon could draw up. The only thing missing was a seven-foot giant turning over the bus.

     From that moment on, it became the biggest fight in UFC history and the biggest fight in combat sports that could be made, outside of Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua. However, the moment the fight was announced it took on a very different vibe from the normal Conor fights. There was no world tour. There weren’t multiple press conferences. Interviews with each fighter were scarce until fight week and even then, only a select few were given the luxury of talking to either of the two combatants. It seemed very personal. At least on Khabib’s side.

     In retrospect allowing Conor to continually bring up politics and religion seems like a bad idea. But hindsight is always 20\20. But keeping an eye on the big picture, one could see the inevitable outcome of such a personal conflict. And yet, this is where UFC and boxing are supposed to be superior. Unlike “beef” in baseball, basketball, football or hockey, at the end of the day, two parties will be locked inside a cage or step between the ropes and fight. Posturing, shit talking, showmanship, it’s there in all sports. But other sports either ban fighting altogether or only allow a weak version of it, with both fighters armed to the gills in pads, really in no danger of being hurt. Not the case in MMA or boxing. All of the shit talking, posturing and showmanship is done with the intent of fighting. This is what makes Khabib’s actions so terrible for not only him, but the organization, and the sport as a whole.

     Tyson v Holyfield. Fan Man. Mayweather v Judah. The Malice in the Palace. These kinds of incidents while not normal, are not exactly unheard of. So, what makes Khabib any different? Tyson and Holyfield, I more or less chalk up to idiots drinking and starting a riot. Fan Man was an entirely separate, very weird thing and if you’ve never heard of it, look it up. Mayweather/Judah was really just a boxing thing. The whole scene took place in the ring, was just between the two fighters and the camps, and in the end, the fight continued. Khabib took everything Conor said, internalized it, let it stew, marinate and eventually boil over to a one-sided beatdown of the seemingly superhuman McGregor. Then the fight ended.

     The fight ended in convincing fashion. Unlike in boxing where the biggest events are often marred by horrific judging, there was no doubt who the better fighter was. So much so, there is almost no reason for the rematch, besides financial gain. Honestly, another fight should go about the same way. The beauty of combat sports lies in the fact that at the end of the day, after all the talking, you have to fight. It can be settled. And Khabib did that. He won the fight. All the talking and nonsense coming from McGregor didn’t matter. Khabib showed who the better man was.

     Then, after getting McGregor to tap, he taunted him (understandable), yelled at Conor’s corner (again, understandable) and leaped over the cage, into the crowd, to go after other fighters in Conor’s camp. What?! Khabib went from a conquering hero in the minds of a lot of people to that drunk guy at a bar who wants to fight everyone. He turned into Debo during that fight with Craig, challenging anyone and everyone to “come get some.” From a business side, Khabib is an idiot. He was a made man. The guy who beat the guy. More people were watching him than ever before. More people now know his name than ever before. Unfortunately, it’s not because of the dominant performance he had inside the octagon. It was the actions outside of it that will live on forever. A massive fine and lengthy suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission will soon follow. He will likely be stripped of his title. All of this a virtual certainty because the Governor of Nevada was in attendance and had to be rushed out of the arena when shit hit the fan. Guess who oversees NSAC? Yup, the Governor. Good luck with that.

     Conor, for his part, isn’t a victim, in the “normal” sense. Sure, having two cowards jump the cage and attack you from behind sucks and no one deserves that, not even McGregor. And real quick, those two idiots, both fighters under contracts to UFC. Well, I should say they were. Good luck with that paycheck. You just pissed off the head of the biggest organization in a sport where the fighters are paid a laughable wage already, even in the UFC. Great career move morons.
As many people have pointed out online, Conor took it there. Dana White said as much in his post-event press conference. The issue between the two camps is no longer sports related. In White’s words “it’s street shit.” Save for a few skirmishes on the strip, the Vegas Metro Police did an amazing job containing and ultimately ending the chaos. As noted above with other incidents, once they start they’re almost impossible to stop without serious damage being done. But make no mistake, this is not over. I’m sure at some point we’ll get that rematch. It might be the only time in fight history where the two fighters will never be in the same room until that cage door is locked on fight night.

     That was a long recap to arrive at the point of this; what's my take? Who do I blame? Who was right? Who was wrong?
It's a hard question to answer. In these circumstances, I tend to believe 99% of what's said, is for the show. Politics, religion, race whatever, I believe for the most part it’s all an act. The goal is to get inside your opponent’s head. Get them so angry and ready for vengeance they’re thrown off their game and you take advantage. And it has worked for McGregor in the past. He did more or less the same to Jose Aldo, and Aldo entered that cage so hell-bent on revenge he got caught with a counter left and knocked out 13 seconds into the fight. That was Conor’s goal here. Khabib did a much better job managing his emotions, until after the fight. At the end of the day, that’s all people are going to talk about. And it’s a shame. As I said, Khabib’s performance was impressive. A career-defining win that will be an afterthought to a career detouring decision.

     Conor is not an innocent victim here. Having anyone entering the cage, ring or field of play is a no-no, at all times. That's where he gets the pass. And refusing to press charges on the idiots strengthens my point on that. He didn’t really care about the fight after the fight. But what led to all this, what caused all of this, he carries a large part of the blame for. Even as a part of the act, you have to be aware of your surroundings. You have to understand, especially with something so personal as fighting, a lot of people are not going to take it as entertainment. It will be very, very personal for them. If your Conor and you’re going to go down that road, you have to be ready to deal with the consequences, and by some measure he was. But make no mistake, he has no one else to blame but himself, for the fight, and the fight after the fight.

     Lost In all of this is what should’ve been the two highlights of the night. The Co-Main, Tony Ferguson and Anthony Pettis, put on the fight of the night and showed why people love this sport. It was Mortal Kombat come to life. Crazy kicks and punches, a crimson mask covering a crimson mask, broken hands, this fight had everything and more. And yet, before that fight, the highlight for me was Derrick Lewis. I cannot do it justice in print. If you have not seen his post-fight interview, go to the UFC YouTube page, and find it. You will not be disappointed. I’ll leave you with a little teaser;
 
Joe Rogan: Why did you take your pants off?
Derrick Lewis: My balls was hot
Joe Rogan: I understand
 
      If that isn’t enough to get you to watch, if you have it, lose my number. It only got better from there. And as always, I’m Mike Booble and that’s my opinion.
by Mike Booble

About The Author

If brains were gasoline Mike would have enough to power an ants motorcycle around the outside of a penny. Would be funny if it wasn't true. Sports, sports, sports. Often times he said if he didnt do SOMETHING in the industry in would be a complete waste of his childhood. Crisis averted. 
THE END OF AN ERA

       It is the end of an era. Stability has been replaced with uncertainty. The promising, which gave way to the expected has now become the forgotten. Two score and five years ago, George Foreman demolished Joe Frazier to become Heavyweight champ, on what was to become modern day PPV, broadcasted by HBO.

       After Daniel Jacobs faces Sergey Derevyanchenko on October 27, at least for the foreseeable future, live boxing will no longer exist on the most watched premium cable channel.

       As an avid boxing fan, the sweet science was really the only reason I subscribed to HBO in the first place. I like enough shows now to probably warrant keeping my subscription, but it's not a guarantee.

       While this news is somewhat saddening, it’s by no means unexpected. Since Floyd Mayweather signed his six fight, $180M dollar deal, HBO has been in a steady decline.

       Except for Canelo Alvarez, they have not had a viable PPV draw since Manny Pacquiao was knocked unconscious by Juan Manuel Marquez in December 2012. GGG delivered the only consistently high ratings during World Championship Boxing or Boxing After Dark on the regular paid channel. And the only shoulder programming, “The Fight Game" has gone from a refreshing look at the sport to a spiteful, vindictive self-serving television show that's basically unwatchable.

       In the last 40 plus years a who's who has appeared over twenty times for HBO, names like Mayweather, Pacquiao, and both Oscar de la Hoya and Roy Jones Jr, with 32 appearances a piece.

       Non competitive fights, mixed with competitive fights between unknown fighters and the lack of any fights whatsoever have taken their toll on the viewership of HBO Boxing and the media's reluctance to cover it. The most prominent of pundits if given the choice almost always pick some other card as opposed to the one airing on HBO and a lot of the times the decision isn't hard.

       For the better part of three years Peter Nelson, President of HBO Sports has been asked over and over again about HBO's commitment to.boxing and time and time again he would reiterate that HBO was still in the business of boxing but were being selective of the fights they pursued and aired.

       Showtime ’s aggressive expansion into the realm of prize fighting, along with ESPN signing a long term deal with Top Rank amd the successful launch of DAZN (pronounced Da Zone) even without HBO boxing is the healthiest it's been in awhile. It also releases a lot of the top talent out of their contracts, allowing them to fight on other more accessible networks and also free up commentary to pursue other opportunities.

       Like in wrestling, never say never. This may be for all intents and purposes a retirement of sorts, do not be surprised if HBO makes a return in a few years, at least if a massive PPV presents itself. For now, fans of the sweet science on the O.G. network can enjoy a vast library and begin counting down until the return that will happen.  Someday.

As always, I'm Mike Booble and that's my opinion.
by Mike Booble

About The Author

If brains were gasoline Mike would have enough to power an ants motorcycle around the outside of a penny. Would be funny if it wasn't true. Sports, sports, sports. Often times he said if he didnt do SOMETHING in the industry in would be a complete waste of his childhood. Crisis averted. 
CANELO VS GGG 2: THE RECAP

       Ok, so I was wrong. Technically. I picked GGG to win by split decision. And I was close. Oh so close. In the end, Canelo got the nod 115-113 on two scorecards with the other being a draw. And you know what? I can't be mad at that. It wasn't a robbery. A lot of the rounds were close. I gave the 12th to GGG, the two judges who scored it for Canelo did not.

       I scored the fight 116-112 for GGG, or 8 rounds to 4. Myself, along with a lot of the experts going into the fight said GGG needed to be more aggressive. He wasn't. They said he needed to take more risks. He did. Kind of. He needed to land big, clean shots. And oh boy did he do that. But a funny thing happened. Canelo took all of it. Not just all of GGG’s power, he did so walking forward, pushing the action, staying off the ropes, fighting like GGG, while fighting GGG. Incredible.

       The lead up to the fight had Abel Sanchez, the trainer for GGG saying how the pressure was on Canelo to come forward and make it the fight fans want. He talked about how Canelo stayed on the ropes the whole first fight and refused to stand and engage in the center of the ring. He promised, he being Sanchez (pronouns pal) that if Canelo obliged, not only would the fight be more exciting, it would allow GGG to display his power. Canelo did so GGG did. And in the end, it didn't matter. Apparently Canelo’s chin is made out of Vibranium.

       A hellacious back and forth from the opening bell, both fighters tired and bloody, neither giving an inch of space. To be fair GGG’s chin is nothing to scoff at. Canelo brought the thunder and GGG shook his head and walked forward. Canelo doing work to the body, GGG jabbing like his life depended on it. It was high level prize fighting, from two of the top five fighters in the world. And thank God it was.

       The main event saved this PPV from certain doom and untold amounts of backlash. The card had three undercard fights, all fights decent on paper that turned into complete and utter mismatches. Three early knockouts had the undercard completed by 6:30 local time which meant fans had to endure ONE AND A HALF HOURS of stalling by HBO to get the fight into the ring as close to 8pm as possible.Let me repeat that:

ONE. AND. A. HALF. FUCKING. HOURS.

       I get it. You don't plan for early knockouts. But they happen. With that amount of time instead of boring fans with talk why not just show the first fight? What better way to get fans re-hyped than by showing why the need for a rematch existed in the first place.

       This fight, a fight of the year candidate, lends itself to a third fight, for a couple of reasons. The judging after the first fight was trash. The second fight, although Canelo came away with the win was not convincing. If the scores had been flipped in GGG’s favor the reaction would've been the same. 60/40 in favor of the decision. A third fight might be needed just to see if a clear winner emerges. Although after seeing 24 incredibly competitive, close rounds, no guarantee we get that.

       Second, it's the biggest fight financially for either fighter, especially on Cinco de Mayo weekend, when the trilogy fight would likely take place.

       If you didn't get a chance to see this fight if given the opportunity I highly recommend it. It's as good a reason as I can give why I love this sport and why it's my favorite sport. The intrigue, momentum swings, brutality, beauty and blissful excitement are what set prize fighting apart from other sports. UFC has their biggest fight ever in about three weeks. Yes I will watch, but good luck topping that.

As always, I'm Mike Booble and that's my opinion.
by Mike Booble

About The Author

If brains were gasoline Mike would have enough to power an ants motorcycle around the outside of a penny. Would be funny if it wasn't true. Sports, sports, sports. Often times he said if he didnt do SOMETHING in the industry in would be a complete waste of his childhood. Crisis averted. 
GGG vs CANELO: THE SEQUEL
       What is the best thing about a grudge match? Is it the intensity of the numerous stare downs that line the path on the way to a big fight? Is it the back and forth on social media and between the two sides? Or could it be the debate between pundits and experts, each hanging their hat on a particular outcome?

       One might say all the above when discussing the merits of a grudge match. And certainly the fight this weekend between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez has everything you could want for a fight-of-the-year candidate, making this a can’t miss for fight freaks around the world.

       As with any big fight, three questions loom:
  • Who will win? Simply put this is the biggest question and the one that really matters.
  • Who should win? This question is very analytical in nature and depending on the side one takes really strengthens and solidifies the argument for each side
  • What is the best outcome for fight fans? This question is one that seems a little selfish but I'll explain

       Canelo is the biggest star boxing has in North America. He's the favorite fighter of a rabid fanbase that almost single handedly keeps the blood flowing of an otherwise antiquated sport in America. Without that Latin, specifically Mexican, fanbase boxing would in fact be dead as has been claimed by writers for over a hundred years.

       GGG is the best in the latest line of European imports to take the boxing world by storm. A high level amateur career combined with incredible punching power makes him a top 3 pound for pound fighter and the second best non-american fighter, behind Vasyl Lomachenko.

       Canelo is a lot younger than GGG. Barring any significant injury or another failed PED test conventional wisdom says he’ll be on top of the sport long after GGG has faded. A good looking, exciting fighter with mainstream crossover appeal very similar to his promoter Oscar De La Hoya, the immediate future of boxing in America needs Canelo to win. His lack of English is a detriment in the long run but it can be worked around. Ever since Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao relinquished their spot atop the sport, Canelo has been the only reliable PPV attraction for both promoters and networks.

       GGG winning isn't a bad thing for the sport. Not in the immediate sense anyways. A win, especially a dominate one, cements his place as the best Middleweight in the world and really proves that the horrible judging that led to a draw after their first fight was indeed a joke. The issue, should GGG win in convincing fashion, is a lack of any significant fight on the horizon.  All other high level competition are tied to other networks making a big fight all but impossible to make. Unfortunately it's been proven that unless across the ring from Canelo, GGG cannot carry a PPV. Where as Canelo can generate 750k to 1M buys regardless of who he fights.

       So I guess it's that time. Time to make a prediction on a fight that's as close to a 50/50 fight as you can get.

PREDICTION: GGG SD12

       Now I get to attempt to answer the first two.questions, the who will and who should. Their first fight was very close although somewhat lackluster given the punching prowess of both fighters. GGG started very slowly, seemingly hesitant to get into Alvarez’s punching range for fear of his power. Canelo, clearly not in as good of shape as previous fights faded drastically in the middle rounds, allowing GGG to take control of the fight. The last three rounds were close, ultimately I gave Canelo 2 of the final 3 and had GGG winning 8 rounds to 4, 116-112.

       I see this fight following a somewhat similar path, although I do believe GGG will come out far more aggressive now that he's taken Canelo’s power. Canelo, I believe, will try to bait GGG into a firefight, opening him up to Canelo’s counter punching, some of the best in boxing. With a more concerted effort by GGG to the body, especially if he traps Canelo on the ropes I believe Canelo fades late and GGG gets the decision. However, judges for whatever reason really favor the way Canelo fights, see last years scorecards and the the card CJ Ross turned in after the Mayweather fight that had Canelo winning a fight he clearly lost every round in. I see one of the judges giving Canelo the nod but GGG coming out on top of the other two.

And as always, I'm Mike Booble and that's my opinion.
by Mike Booble

About The Author

If brains were gasoline Mike would have enough to power an ants motorcycle around the outside of a penny. Would be funny if it wasn't true. Sports, sports, sports. Often times he said if he didnt do SOMETHING in the industry in would be a complete waste of his childhood. Crisis averted. 
College Football Karaoke

I miss sports.  I miss the joy you get watching a favorite team or player. Having friends over to watch a fight or go to a bar to debate who's the best player in a given era. Instead the debates are whether players should be allowed to kneel (they should) or whether Urban Meyer was punished enough for his role covering up, then lying about, domestic abuse by a former coach (he wasn't).

While those stories and others like them are still there like the proverbial elephant in the room, the first full Saturday of college football happened, and in doing so reminded us of why we love sports in the first place.

Whether it's the Iowa football team continuing to wave at the children's hospital outside the stadium or College Gameday arriving on campus….and the signs. Oh the signs.

It's Oregon fans arguing whether to continue “Swag Surfin”, something started by now former coach Willie Taggart. Or on the 10 year anniversary of Appalachian State beating Michigan in the Big House almost doing it again to Penn State.

75,000 people singing “Country Road". Chip Kelly beginning his journey as UCLA coach, and losing. A Pac-12 team losing an important game. College Football is back baby!

All of that and as we enter September Major League Baseball, specifically the postseason, is beginning to come into focus. The NFL begins play next weekend. Two GIGANTIC fights in the next 40 days on PPV. And not to alarm you….but 45 days until the NBA regular season starts.

This time of year is my favorite in the sports calendar because of all the things I just said. It's a time when sports does what it's designed to do. Become an escape. An escape from whatever problems or stresses you have in your life, at least for a few hours.  It's when an event doesn't matter to your everyday life yet for that precious little bit is the only thing that does.

But the best part, for me, is the reminder that Notre Dame sucks. Rudy is a garbage movie about a talentless liar who got lucky to get into a college football game, once. And now to the tune of “Take Me Home, Country Roads"

Notre Dame,
Rudy Sucks,
It's A Lie,
He's A Scrub,
Joe Montana,
Really Hates Him,
Called Him Out,
On His Shit.

And as always, I'm Mike Booble and that's my opinion.
by Mike Booble

About The Author

If brains were gasoline Mike would have enough to power an ants motorcycle around the outside of a penny. Would be funny if it wasn't true. Sports, sports, sports. Often times he said if he didnt do SOMETHING in the industry in would be a complete waste of his childhood. Crisis averted. 
Death or Football: The One-Sided Debate

“You need a water break? Water is for cowards. Water makes you weak. Water is for washing blood off that uniform and you don't get no blood on my uniform, boy you must be outside your mind. We are going to do up-downs until Blue is no longer tired, and thirsty.”
-Denzel Washington as Herman Boone in Remember The Titans

That movie came out in 2000. NFL player Korey Stringer died as a result of heat stroke in August, 2001, a death that brought changes to how players practice and their access to water and a team physician at all times.

Sadly this was not the first case of a player dying because of heat stroke, and it has happened since. The scarier part is that this is far more prevalent in high school and college football.

Later on in Remember The Titans an assistant coach tells Washington's character that “this is high school football we’re not in the Marines here.” But anyone who's ever played football knows that, almost to a man, this is the exact mindset coaches have.

Just last year, three players at the University of Oregon were put in the hospital for the same issues that killed Stringer. And this past May, a Maryland player died because he was denied water and access to medical staff, something the university said just this week they “accept legal and moral responsibility” for.

That sounds like a confession to me. Anyone who was involved in this young man's death should do jail time, for murder. Those three players at Oregon were thankfully ok, but the strength and conditioning coach was suspended and deserved to be fired.

And yet, I talked to more than a few people who saw nothing wrong with what the coach did. Players just need to toughen up was the prevailing thought on sports talk radio. Shockingly, almost every person who shared those sentiments were parents.

If you're not a parent, contrary to popular belief you still have a basic understanding of how not to put a child in danger. Don't leave them in a hot car. Make sure all firearms are secure. Teach them not to accept rides from strangers. But surprisingly, it seems, a lot of parents would be ok if their child died, of a preventable, treatable cause, while playing football, in the name of toughening them up. Amd if they're not ok with their child dying, or at the very least being seriously injured, why are they ok if it happens to someone else's kid.

That mentality is fucked. Football is not important. It's not. It’s a game played by roided up frat boys who compare themselves to soldiers going to war, which by the way, is.far more disrespectful to the actual men and women of the Armed Forces than kneeling for a shitty song, but I digress.

Once again, as I've said before, it'll take a needless death to make obvious change. Why mandated water breaks, access to medical personnel and sufficient protection from the elements aren't already in place 100% of the time at 100% of football programs I'll never understand.

It's ok to have players on a team that hit women, rape women, murder people and/or animals yet call those who want water or reasonable medical care cowards.

The next time this happens, and believe me it will, don't ask yourself; What if this was my kid? Instead ask yourself what if it was someone else's kid? Better yet, understand that as a decent human being you shouldn't want anyone treated like this. And if you subscribe to the notion they just need to toughen up or that's how it was done when I played, just know you're a terrible person, and should have your kids taken from you, because you're a terrible parent.

And if by some miracle you feel this way and do not yet have kids, do the world a favor and avoid procreating.

As always, I'm Mike Booble and that's my opinion.
by Mike Booble

About The Author

If brains were gasoline Mike would have enough to power an ants motorcycle around the outside of a penny. Would be funny if it wasn't true. Sports, sports, sports. Often times he said if he didnt do SOMETHING in the industry in would be a complete waste of his childhood. Crisis averted. 
Keep Kaepernick Out of the NFL

I'm glad Colin Kaepernick isn't in the NFL.
I'm glad his 59.8 completion percentage is no longer on a team. Furthermore I'm glad we won't be seeing him kneeling during the national anthem before anymore games.

I'm glad Colin Kaepernick isn't in the NFL because of one reason; he's too good for it. Not on the field but off of it. He refused to “shut up and dribble” before Kobe Bryant wrote a terrible poem that won him a Grammy.

LeBron James and the Miami Heat wore black hoodies to protest the murder of Trayvon Martin. Kaep refused to stand for an anthem he felt no longer represented him or those like him. One player is out of the league, blackballed by old white men who refuse to acknowledge the racial biases of the police force in this country. The other just signed with one of the two most prominent franchises in American sports and whose career has continued to flourish.

I'm glad Kaep is out of the league because the league is not a place for the morally uncompromised. The NFL is a place for Greg Hardy who despite his continued refusal was found guilty of domestic violence against his then girlfriend. Despite this, even after being suspended by Commissioner CTE...errr… Goodell, he continued to draw his $15M dollar salary. What a punishment.

The league is for players like Josh Brown the former Seahawk and Giants kicker who admitted in a court of law to terrorizing his wife. He actually used that word. And got suspended ONE GAME.

Big Ben has been accused of sexual assault multiple times and was suspended for six games….although that was reduced to four once he agreed to undergo a “professional behavior evaluation", which I guess is someone telling him don't rape people but if you do pay them off before they go to the police.

Jameis Winston is probably a serial sexual abuser who is good at football so I guess no problem there.

Ray Rice was caught on video punching a woman in an elevator and was suspended two games….eventually….after public outcry reached fever pitch….oh and that was AFTER Commissioner CTE and his sycophantic yes men saw the tape in private before it was publicly available.

Kaepernick is a great role model for high school players and college players alike. You know who else should be a role model? Coaches. Coaches like Urban Meyer who as of this writing is still employed by Ohio State as their football coach..I suspect he’ll be fired shortly for helping to cover up one of his assistants domestic violence but only as a way for Ohio State to save face P.R. wiwe not because it would be justified to fire him without cause. But rest assured he will be considered as the next coach of the Cleveland Browns or some other sorry franchise in a year.

The latest twist and turn in the Colin Kaepernick story revolves around this years Madden game. Turns out one of the songs on the soundtrack featured a rapper name dropping Kaep. Sort of. I mean his name was dropped but EA Sports, I'm sure on behalf of the NFL,  censored his name. They then tried some weak ass b.s. about how he's no longer apart of the NFLPA but since that does not apply to the soundtrack they came back with the typical it was a mistake yada yada yada…..

Time and time again the NFL has completely fumbled this entire situation. Even the fact that players are kneeling instead of refusing to stand came about because an actual veteran, Nate Boyer, former NFL player, got together with Kaepernick to come up with a way to voice their opinion without inadvertently disrespecting the military.

Lost on everyone who's against the players kneeling is the fact that a protest isn't supposed to be convenient. It is by nature supposed to be disruptive. To combat this Commissioner CTE implemented penalties this upcoming season penalizing a player who kneels. Opting instead to give them the option to just stay in the locker room during the anthem….ya know….like what every player did before 2009 when the USO wrote them a fat check for fake patriotism.

Like I said before...unless you enjoy sexual assault, domestic violence, concussions, the covering up of the cause of said concussions or fake controversy about players disrespecting the military, the NFL isn't a place for you. And thankfully Colin Kaepernick falls into that category. I can only hope players from both teams during a given game protest, nullifying the NFL's penalty and shoving their hypocritical stance right up their racist, bigoted asses.

Once and for all fuck off NFL, Commissioner CTE and anyone else who agrees with them.

As always, I'm Mike Booble and that's my opinion.
by Mike Booble

About The Author

If brains were gasoline Mike would have enough to power an ants motorcycle around the outside of a penny. Would be funny if it wasn't true. Sports, sports, sports. Often times he said if he didnt do SOMETHING in the industry in would be a complete waste of his childhood. Crisis averted. 
Coma Inducing Rage Bait and the Art Of The Deal

The Major League Baseball trade deadline came and went with a flurry of activity, as always. Over the next 24-36 hours you're going to read grades on how each team did. You'll hear sports talk radio lament about the trades their teams made, or didn't make. And fans by the truckload will take to Twitter to rejoice or regurgitate the moves their GM.

I don't care about grades. I don't care if Player X is a short term rental or if it helps set up Team Y for the future. I don't even care what my team does….to an extent. I guess if the Cubs traded Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javy Baez for two 5-gallon Gatorade jugs and some BP balls I'd be a little upset. But in general I don't care.

This actually leads me to a pet peeve of mine. The over discussion by media and fans about player salaries. I've never given a second thought to what a player makes. When A-Rod signed his (at the time) record setting deal my first thought was “wow, that's a lot of money.”

Immediately my brain reminded me that he signed with Texas and that was the last time I gave a shit about A-Rod until he was traded to New York and got into a fight with Jason Varitek.

But along with the nauseating discussion of salaries comes the equally annoying discussion, or tantrum, fans and media have about Player X’s decision to sign with Team Y. The most recent example of this would be Kevin Durant leaving OKC for the Golden State Warriors.

Durant was torched by over sensitive fans, fans, none of whom were Thunder fans, for joining a team that knocked him out of the playoffs. He got the negative reaction to the old saying “if you can't beat ‘em, join ‘em.” The pissing and moaning that went on and still does to a degree was reminiscent of the hypocritical rhetoric that comes out of Washington during election season.

Pretend for some reason you work at Walmart and like your job but strongly disliked your co-worker. Say Target approached you to come work for them. For almost double the money. And no more annoying co-worker. Say the store was closer to your house. The benefits were better. Of course you would take the job. So this backlash over Durant taking a better job is nothing but fake outrage. If you're a Rockets fan and Durant goes there I promise you're not calling him soft. You're counting the days until you can raise that championship banner.

Bryce Harper wasn't traded by the Nationals before the deadline. Seems like a dumb decision since it's unlikely he is going to resign there this off season. Most projections have him signing a 10-year $400M contract. Only a few teams can afford that. And when he signs with one of those teams there's going to be the usual uproar about the Yankees buying championships or the Red Sox signing him so the Yankees wouldn't. The Cubs/Dodgers will make a play but not really be in it. The GM of the Nats will be dragged across the coals for not trading him when they could to maximize his value. And it won't matter. The world will move on. The contract will only seem outlandish until Mike Trout signs a bigger one. And on and on and on.

The same discussions every offseasons are mind numbing. I can only dream of the day when people stop caring, like I do, and count down the days to the season. Stay in the know about your favorite team and give no fucks about anyone else's.

As always I'm Mike Booble and that's my opinion.
by Mike Booble

About The Author

If brains were gasoline Mike would have enough to power an ants motorcycle around the outside of a penny. Would be funny if it wasn't true. Sports, sports, sports. Often times he said if he didnt do SOMETHING in the industry in would be a complete waste of his childhood. Crisis averted. 
The Ineptitude of the Obvious

UFC on Fox 30.
Dustin Poirier def Eddie Alvarez TKO2
Jose Aldo def Jeremy Stevens TKO1
Joanna Jedrzejczyk def Tecia Torres UD
Alexander Hernandez def Olivier Aubin-Mercier UD

Despite UFC referee Marc Goddard being compete trash at his job, the main card from Calgary was a fun watch on Saturday night.
Correctly stopping the action during the main event when Alvarez landed a 12-6 elbow, allowing Poirier to recover and get the stoppage roughly a minute later, it was his actions earlier in the night that left those of us who follow scratching our heads with an all too common problem.

During the Henderson - Aubin-Mercier fight Goddard stood the fighters up for “lack of action". Even a BJJ novice like me knows that while punches aren't being thrown that doesn't mean work isn't being done. There are subtle movements and tweaking of positions that may go unnoticed to the untrained eye, but it's in those situations where the refs need to be:
a) better trained, 
b) aware of not only what fighters are in the cage but what their strengths and weaknesses are,
c) have a working knowledge of all disciplines in the cage they might encounter.
That last point could be as simple as basic sparring in all the disciplines or as intense as a requirement that all officials be proficient, at least a blue belt, in all disciplines.

Unfortunately for the UFC and MMA as a whole, the problems in refereeing extended to the judges table.  They user the 10 point-must system normally reserved for boxing, but that scoring system doesn't take into account wrestling, jiu jitsu or Muay Thai. Judges, as well as fans, do not understand top position, pulling guard, sweeps and transitions, sprawling or full guard.

In addition to the scoring system that isn't in line with the current iteration of the sport they have a lot of antiquated rules that have not allowed for the natural evolution of the sport.
For instance, the 12-6 elbow I spoke about earlier. That move is illegal. But a spinning heel kick to the jaw is not only ok, it's encouraged and splattered all over the highlights. That is essentially like hitting someone as hard as you can in the face with a wooden bat. That's ridiculous.

Furthermore the weight cuts are incredibly unhealthy for the fighters, with a lot of fighters being pulled from cards week of or hours before or being allowed to fight after missing weight, sometimes by SEVEN pounds. The UFC isn't gonna change until a fighter dies on the scales which is par for the course for major sports.
Dale Earnhardt had to die on the track before NASCAR made the outside retaining walls safer. MLB finally added netting to the end of the dugouts after a four-year old girl was nearly killed by a foul ball.
What makes the MLB situation inexcusable would be the horrifying incident during an NHL game. A fan died after being struck by a puck that flew into the stands in 2002 before they raised the height of the boards surrounding the ice. That's 16 years before MLB implemented the netting.

The unwillingness of leagues to adapt and change leads to frustration from the fans and confusion from the commentary booth and on the part of the athletes. It just seems like death is the only viable option to open discussion about change to a sport. You'd think those in charge of BILLION dollar businesses would at least be disingenuous enough to pretend to care about player safety, at least when it comes to the bottom line. When in reality any changes made would be made to protect the respective leagues from lawsuits. But I guess when you make millions every year on the bodies and minds of athletes what do you risk as an owner or a commissioner?

As always I'm Mike Booble and that's my opinion.

by Mike Booble

About The Author

If brains were gasoline Mike would have enough to power an ants motorcycle around the outside of a penny. Would be funny if it wasn't true. Sports, sports, sports. Often times he said if he didnt do SOMETHING in the industry in would be a complete waste of his childhood. Crisis averted. 
LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan.

Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback.

Serena is the greatest tennis player ever, male or female.

Floyd Mayweather, in the ring, is better than Muhammad Ali.

Star Wars sucks.

Nirvana is worse.

John Cena is the greatest WWE superstar ever.

Do I have your attention now?

Somewhat controversial takes, I'll grant you that but all arguments I vehemently believe in. #hottake isn't a new phenomenon. The rise of the internet has given a place for the Devil's Advocate to dwell. Message boards, blogs, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram have become a haven for political arguments, disparaging remarks regarding today's athletes as compared to those of days gone by and clickbait articles that thrive in the echochamber of today's news cycle.

My goal, at least of of them, is to offer a somewhat contrarian point of view to the sports world. That may not always happen. Often times, as with the NFL's kneeling controversy, I tend to side with the rational, everyday average sports fan. But there are a lot of topics/issues/teams/players etc that I go against the grain on.

If you've made your way to this website, I'm assuming you're familiar with either the content of this site, know me personally or both. If not, welcome. Like a lot of others this is not my first foray into the sports blogosphere. It is however the first time on a platform that will offer  support as opposed to just a host for the domain.

If you are familiar with the content of this site you should know that I've been a fan since day one. Some might even say THE #1 fan. Getting to know those behind the mic has been a real pleasure and now having the opportunity to contribute to this passion project, even in a small way, s an awesome feeling.

Beyond just the contrarian takes I might have I aim to do No Sell Entertainment justice. By giving me a platform to voice my opinions while simultaneously creating entertaining, easily digestible content they've entrusted me to add to the legacy that has been created since that first episode of the Monday Night War Stories.

The topics at the beginning of this post are ideas I'd like to revisit as time allows but day-to-day this will be fairly topical. Thought provoking, debate sparking bar talk is the goal, becoming Skip Bayless is the unattainable nightmare. As I post articles I welcome feedback, differing views or evidence to further illustrate the point I was making. I look forward to our journey together.   

As always, I'm Mike Booble. And that's my opinion.

(And yes, this idea is shamelessly ripped off from James E. Cornette)