The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Catching up…

I’ve had a somewhat hectic time of it myself lately, so now it’s my turn to catch up…

– Tim Sylvia should never be allowed to fight again, anywhere, in any discipline. Right now, I would not bet money on him if he were trading shots with a yellow belt at the Tiger Schulman karate school. No intelligent onlooker would take his loss as a black mark on MMA, as he barely qualifies as a serious MMA fighter at this point.  Whatever chin he had is completely gone, and on a serious note, any future fights he agrees to have to be seen as a serious risk to his health. This is a guy who has proven over his last 4-5 fights that he is virtually incapable of defending himself against competition of any class, and he is unable to withstand any solid contact from that competition. One would hope that he wakes up one morning and makes an executive decision to not spend his golden years drooling on himself…he can say that he is a former champion and that he competed at his sport’s highest level for a time (the relative lack of quality of the heavyweight division at the time notwithstanding). Please do yourself a favor and retire, Tim…before people start Photoshopping you into the Punch-Out screen of Glass Joe’s record (From: Paris, France – Record: 1-99, 1 KO).

– I mirror the sentiments that Brendan posted in his post on Mitsuharu Misawa’s death. I would say in addition though that serious questions have to be answered as to why Misawa was still wrestling in high-impact matches at this stage of his career…or, more accurately, why he was wrestling at all. Back in the glory days of All-Japan Pro Wrestling, the guys on top of the promotion had a well-documented series of matches that took an increasing toll on their bodies. They were doing things in the ring that rarely have been eclipsed today, and they were doing it on a basis so consistent that the only wonder is why they didn’t break down sooner. As a side note: when I say “they”, I’m mainly talking about Toshiaki Kawada and Kenta Kobashi in addition to Misawa – the other top guys such as Jun Akiyama, Akira Taue and Vader normally were generally not on the receiving end of the highest-risk bumps…the most cringe-worthy stuff was always in the Misawa/Kobashi/Kawada matches.

I forget if it was last year or the one before, but I was in attendance when Misawa came to Ring of Honor to have a match with Takeshi Morishima for the GHC World Title. If anyone doubted that it was highly dubious for Misawa to be wrestling main-event level championship matches (with the higher level of intensity that it entails), those doubts were cruelly quelled by that match. Misawa was miles off the pace, and moved so gingerly and could do so little that it was frankly embarrassing. The crowd didn’t boo or vocally pan the match out of respect for the man’s career, but he also didn’t get the raucous reception that Kobashi did for his landmark match with Samoa Joe. It was clear to anyone there that night that Misawa should either retire immediately, or at the very least follow the route that Giant Baba took late in his career, and work in the low-impact opening comedy matches.

If I’m Kenta Kobashi right now, I seriously, SERIOUSLY think about retiring. It would be a brave and difficult decision with Pro Wrestling NOAH starved for established star power, but he took the same level of punishment that Misawa did, and has to be at the same level of risk. Not only that, but he’s already had brain issues, cancer and his knees and arms are shot. What can you possibly have left to prove, Kenta? Please, bow out and let your family enjoy your company in your elder years. If not that, there’s always the route Kawada took – he very smartly joined Pro Wrestling HUSTLE some years back, which is a promotion entirely centered around low-impact comedy matches. At this point, the greatest risk to Kawada’s health may be the pre-match dancing that he sometimes indulges in (the joke being of course that Kawada was famously stoic and devoid of any nonsense in his AJPW days).

At any rate, I fear that this may not be the only death coming from that generation of wrestlers. Kobashi, Yoshihiro Takayama, god knows who else. I sincerely hope I’m wrong, of course.

– The USA continued their streak of doomed-to-fall-short performances today with a 3-1 loss to Italy. We actually led at the half thanks to the Italians taking a silly penalty, but they were always in an enviable position once Ricardo Clark stupidly got sent off in the 37th minute. If you give the reigning World Cup champions an extra man for that long, it’s rarely going to go well for you. Adding insult to injury was the fact that New Jersey’s own Guiseppe Rossi scored the equalizer and the insurance goal…all we can do is dream about what might have been had we been possessed of a soccer federation competent enough to sell players on Rossi and Neven Subotic on our side. I know it’s a tough sell when Italy is such a world power, but you have to at least TRY to publicly go the route of pitching the idea that they could be an absolute legend in this country, whereas in Italy you’re just another guy who has no guarantee of serious playing time once the games start to matter.

– UFC 99 was Lay-and-Pray central. I was not amused. That said, Franklin-Silva was a lot of fun and the decision for Franklin was correct. No complaints there.

– I also mostly mirror Brendan’s point about the Real Madrid situation – I have no sympathy for sides crying out with the poverty defense. Everyone wishes they were the big man at the table, but there’s only so many of those spots and those outside of it frankly have to be more realistic about their aims and goals.

That said, I don’t know if Real is spending their money as intelligently as the other sides mentioned in that post. Chelsea were smart enough under Mourinho to build a coherent side – along with Ballack and Lampard and Drogba was the wonderful Claude Makelele…and when he started to falter, Michael Essien was brought in. As for Manchester United, along with Rooney came vastly underrated players like Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher. They also spent their money on a largely impenetrable defense (maybe not so much now, and maybe not so much against the very best teams, but it sure does do the job against everyone else)…can you envision Florentino Perez seeing the point of buying Nemanja Vidic? Even when they did pull off a coup of stealing a defender from United, they opted for the clearly past-it Gabriel Heinze. I’m not saying that you have to build entirely with defense – Barcelona has proven to be extremely successful with a shaky back four and a clearly second-rate goalkeeper…but they have been built to keep the lion’s share of possession, where Yaya Toure breaks up attacks and then feeds to Lionel Messi and the rest of their stellar attacking players.

What is Madrid’s plan? Answers on a postcard…

– The Lakers won the NBA title in a finals devoid of drama. It’s nice, but I’d absolutely trade it for a Stanley Cup for Montreal or even a World Series for San Francisco…

– …speaking of which, the Giants are SIX games over .500 and have the 6th-best record in baseball. I think I’m going to have to start paying attention…

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June 16, 2009 - Posted by | MMA, Other NBA, Other Soccer, The Arsenal

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