It’s tough to sum up my feelings around my first WrestleMania weekend after hearing of the Ultimate Warrior’s death late last night. He was one in a million, a superhero to millions of kids in the early 90s, but most importantly, after hearing him speak at the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony Saturday night, I can say that he was a good man who cared more about his wife and daughters than anything else. After hearing Scott “Razor Ramon” Hall and Jake “The Snake” Roberts discuss losing everything and hitting rock bottom before getting their lives straightened out, it was refreshing to hear Warrior speak about his ability to hold onto his wife, work through his problems and start what seemed to be a very happy family.
RIP Warrior. You will be missed. Read more
Inside the historic Chelsea Market building in New York City sits a 900-square-foot room at the offices of Major League Baseball Advanced Media – the nerve center of Major League Baseball’s expanded replay system. Last winter, the thirty clubs of Major League Baseball (MLB) unanimously approved the expansion of instant replay at the conclusion of MLB’s quarterly owners meetings held in Orlando, Florida.
According to Paul Hagen, senior sports columnist of mlb.com, “every play of every game this season that is subject to review will be analyzed in this room by at least one umpire and one trained technician. Whenever a manager formally challenges a call, or after the sixth inning, if the umpires on the field simply want a second opinion, this is where the ultimate decisions will be made.”[i]
Essentially, an umpire will sit at a replay station on the right side of a cubicle with several high-definition monitors (twelve different camera angles surveying the action) in front of him. To his left will be a technician with several smaller shots of various angles. The replay official has three possible calls: Confirmed: if replay shows clear evidence that the on-site umpires got it right. Stands: the replay was too close to tell one way or the other. Overturned: if there is inarguable evidence that a mistake was made.
Perhaps the question that resonates amongst those fond of America’s pastime is exactly how – if any – will this new phenomena detract and/or aid this already stirring professional sport? One could in fact make a compelling case, like Will Leitch from over at Sports on Earth, whether all this is actually necessary. Leitch’s argument, supremely, sits on the fact that this seems to be a lot of work for plays that are seemingly inconclusive. Read more
Well, this is a surprise. Here I thought that I would be writing a column the week after WrestleMania XXX glamorizing fellow Wise Guise writer and friend Warner Russell and I enjoying the festivities in New Orleans. We had a memorable few days: I got to meet up with John Cena, and Warner met Hall of Famer Mick Foley. We laughed, cried and nearly fell asleep during the Hall of Fame ceremony. And then we waited in an hour-long line to enter the Superdome for the big show Sunday afternoon. Read more
When Marvel Studios unleashed “Captain America: The First Avenger” three years ago, the reaction was generally positive. Granted, it was about as cookie-cutter of an origin story as you could put to film, but the performances from a solid cast made the whole thing come off as a worthwhile production.
Still, speaking for myself, the first installment of the famed World War II hero came off as a chore to sit through. We all knew the film was just a prelude to “The Avengers,” which would roll into theaters the following summer. Marvel knew they had to introduce Cap to audiences before brining him onto the team. Read more
Football has the Super Bowl, film has the Academy Awards and for those of us who grew up fans of the lucrative world of sports entertainment that is WWE, professional wrestling has WrestleMania.
The once-a-year spectacle has played host to some of the greatest moments in the company’s history. Every spring, followers of Vince McMahon’s brainchild are treated to an almost religious experience of high-profile matches and celebrity appearances. Read more
Some family and friends were surprised when I told them I would speak at my mother’s funeral. They would’ve been more startled had I told them I wrote no remarks before stepping up to the podium that day. I wanted everything to come from the heart and the moment.
As I began my short walk to the stage, I had no clue how I was going to begin. And then, it hit me. “Back when I was at Ole Miss, I wrote for the student newspaper,” I said. “The beginning to one of my favorite columns I wrote was ‘Saturday was the worst day of my life. It was on that day my mother asked me to be her friend on Facebook.’” Read more