1st and Ten - The Weekly Tendown - November 22-28 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Welcome to issue 3 of our newest feature here at TBOR; last week, you learned of my admiration for the giant balls of Larry David, Bill Belichick, and Will Phillips.  Oh - and Publix has a secret liquid which kills all germs, so that's probably going to hit the scientific journals very soon.

Here's the best thing that happened this week:


Adam Lambert Is Not Your Babysitter

My favorite part of Adam Lambert's AMA performance last Sunday night wasn't the actual performance (I like the song; it's top end on what is, frankly, a little disappointing first album; but my tolerance for camp is fairly low). My favorite part wasn't even the straight from the playbook reaction - a small but vocal conservative outrage (the best quote - "America's children are literally under siege!" which is probably hyperbole unless "America's Children" is the nickname Lambert has given to his testicles) leading to Lambert's de-booking from Good Morning America (nobody buys records anymore except for country music fans; that's why the real most interesting occurrence at the AMA's was Lady Gaga losing the Best New Artist fan text vote to a country group that not only didn't I know then, but I don't know now and I looked up the name a day and a half ago in preparation for this open - and because of that, it's not exactly a Tiger getting the hell beaten out of him by the hot Swedish wife Brenda Ritchie style and then frantically fleeing into a fire hydrant level of cover up to imagine some co-ordination between the two ABC shows to ratchet up some level of publicity for everyone).  My favorite part wasn't even the rank hypocrisy by the CBS Morning Show hosted by.....Paula Zahn?...Ray Gandolf?...Ethan Frome? the hell is that show still on the air...when it, within the same story, showed the Madonna/Britney makeout from whichever MTV Awards that was, and then blurred the image of Lambert's boy on boy kiss from the night before. 

That was pretty good though.  Lambert correctly pointed out that it was an obvious double standard - earlier in the night, Janet Jackson grabbed a backup dancer's crotch (recreating a moment from a, what - 15 year old video?) which went without comment, and as the Britney kissing her grandmother moment illustrated, faux lesbianism has been incorporated into our collective sexualization.  The engine which runs our cultural acceptance of sex is straight dude orgasm - that's why Viagra commercials run all Sunday afternoon. 

My favorite part was Lambert's response to the "what about the children?" question by the predictably vapid morning host...Kathleen Sullivan?...Frank Reynolds?....Tammy Sytch?...

"I'm not your babysitter."

And then he sang another cut from the album - the seemingly prescient selection of Whataya Want From Me:

Just don’t give up I’m workin it out

Please don’t give in, I won’t let you down
It messed me up, need a second to breathe
Just keep coming around
Hey, whataya want from me
Whataya want from me
Whataya want from me

Because then I realized that it was entirely a playlet.  Team Adam Lambert, with an album coming out, in his first significant public act since American Idol, scripted this entire event, from soup to America's Children.  The decision was made to not play up to an assexual contest winner image ("Bet ya thought that I was soft and sweet" was a lyric from the song at the AMAs) but instead go full on gay - (there's a song on the album that uses a the masculine pronoun to refer to a love object - I don't know if I've heard that before from a male singer - we get a lot of non gender specifc references in songs - but not "there he goes, my baby walks so slow" which is a lyric from yet another of the songs on the album (It's not bad, just a little disappointing - the best song, by the way, and by a good margin, by the current crop of Idols is Allison's "Friday I'll Be Over You").  In a show filled with big hitters (Jay Z, Green Day, Gaga) it was Lambert who was the main event; he pressed the only button that can still get some mainstream traction (and did so in a slow news week) and didn't respond to the questions with "oh, gosh" apologies - instead he furthered the story by recognizing the political dimension to the coverage - even having a song at the ready to seemingly respond to the attacks.
And scene.  Well done, Sir!
That's my favorite thing this week.  After the jump - The Remaining Ten!

The Weekly 10 - Week 13 College Football Picks

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Cincinnati -21 Illinois (loss)
Boise -14 Nevada (loss)
Boise v. Nevada under 70 (loss)
Clemson -3 SCarolina (loss)
NCarolina -6 NC St (loss)
Florida St. +24.5 Florida (loss)
Geo Tech -7 Georgia (loss)
Arizona -3 Ariz St. (push)
Miami -6.5 SFlorida (win)
Lock: Navy -9.5 Hawaii (loss)


But those early season winning works sure were fun. 

I Pick Every NFL Game - Week 12

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Looks like I was a week early in the concussion talk; the NFL announced over the past week a policy change, requiring some level of outside consultation in determing the nature of the head trauma suffered by the players.  How seriously the league will (or can) take this is up in the air; Roethlisberger and Warner both took head blows last week and very deftly their organizations refused to specifically attach the word concussion to the results.  The plan is for Ben to play (he's my QB on the only of my 3 fantasy teams that still has reasonable playoff hopes; I have to decide between he and Flacco) I don't think there's a Warner decision yet (I remain a Leinart fan; I'd like to see him get a couple of weeks behind center).  With the collective bargaining agreement coming due soon and the cultural wheel on head injuries turning a little bit, it will be interesting to see how football balances what is, essentially an almost untenably violent sport with emerging sensibilities on concussions.

Packers -11 Lions (win)
Cowboys -13.5 Raiders (win)
Denver +7 NYG (win)
Colts -3.5 Texans (win)
Bengals -14 Browns (loss)
Redskins +9 Eagles (win)
Buffalo +3 Miami (win)
Ravens -2.5 Steelers (win)
Arizona +.5 Titans (loss)
Seattle -3 Rams (win)
Atlanta -12 Tampa (loss)
Jets -3 Panthers (win)
Niners -3 Jags (win)
Chargers -13.5 Chiefs (win)
Vikes -10 Bears (win)
NE +3 Saints (loss)

My worst college week and my best NFL week.  What a difference a day makes

A Talking Point You May Have Missed

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Occasionally, I'll have a student whose understanding of American history is largely informed by conservative talk, who will be of the belief that civil rights legislation largely came out of  the conservative movement. 

They know, after all, that Lincoln was a Republican - and that many of the southern leaders supporting segregation were Democrats.  And that's pretty much the extent that is demanded by Rush and Hannity.

Now, you and I know that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was fought for and supported by the left and (eventually) mainstream Democrats (although Democrats and Republicans were far behind the American Communists in their civil rights support - the connections between the communists and civil rights were noted by all the red baiters at the time, and probably appear somewhere on Simple Jack's chalkboard) and signed by Lyndon Johnson.  And you and I know that establishment Republicans opposed it, and have continued (to this day) to oppose many civil rights measures as examples of big government, or social engineering, or special treatment for minorities.  You and I know that the passage of the Civil Rights Act split the Democratic Party, and the southern Democrats who had made up the "solid South" since the formation of the Party under Andrew Jackson, left to become Republicans.  You and I know that the Republicans used a "southern strategy" of race-baiting to forge 40 years of electoral victories.  From the election of FDR in '32 through LBJ winning in '64, the only Republican elected President was Ike, who not only won WWII, but coined the term "military-industrial complex" in a speech which would cause him to be labeled anti-American by Fox were he to give it today (I never thought the deified Reagan his ownself would be too liberal for the Republicans, but take a look at this purity test) But after '64 - after '64 - the next 44 years saw only 2 Democrats elected to the White House - and both of those were from southern states.  Until Obama.  Who apparently is both our first black and our first Nazi President.  What are the odds? 

A congresswoman from North Carolina stood on the floor of the House of Representatives last week and said that not only were Republicans the real environmentalists - but they passed Civil Rights legislation without the help of the Democrats.

You can see discussion of this here. 

It's being called revisionist history, but that's not what it is.  Revisionist history is fine.  No reason why the first historian to get a crack at something automatically should be believed.  What's happening here is just false.  2+2=5 level of false. 

This level of false is not singular.  I'm uncertain what Simple Jack's 100 year plan will actually consist of, aside from planned marches on the anniversary of the I Have a Dream speech and an anti-Obama rally on 9/11 - but there does seem to be styled an "educational" component where he will look to roll back the past hundred years of US history - as instead of locating all of America's sins in the 1960s (which would be the typical conservative lament - I mean, they apparently now love the part where they were pushing for civil rights legislation when the Democrats were smoking dope and listening to Country Joe and the Fish) he's fixated on the Progressive Era as the source for all evil.  You know, all that health and safety legislation that brought the US out of the Gilded Age (and was the first stage in saving capitalism; what Simple Jack sees as the dawn of socialism was actually the softening of capitalism's edges enough to prevent the type of radical change seen elsewhere in the world.  The New Deal was the second stage; and if its introduction here rings a bell it should; recall the stimulus package comparison to the New Deal - one of the current conservative claims is the New Deal made the Great Depression worse.  It would be sad if it weren't getting in the way of your life right now.  The problem with Obama's stimulus, according to most economists, is it wasn't nearly large enough - but instead of a second massive round of stimulus, which is what we need - we'll be interested primarily in deficit reduction.  Republicans always talk deficit when they're not in power to dramatically raise it with trillion dollar wars and tax reductions for the wealthy.  But the "tighten our belts" mantra is going to frighten Obama, who thusfar has shown as little political will as could have been expected, and the Democrats, playing as "conservatively" as do my Niners in first halves, are showing just as strong a result.  I knew I could shoehorn sports into this parenthetical if I made it long enough.  Sports!)  There is an undercurrent of Simple Jack's blackboard presentations where he fixates on the word progressive as being related to communism and Nazism and ACORN and Bernie the Toiletless Nextdoor Neighbor (which would be news to Fightin' Bob LaFollette) and it seems to me as if the conservative re-education plan involves a broadside at this portion of US history.

Which makes sense.  If the FDA was proposed today it would be seen as government intrusion upon the relationship normal, every day, middle Americans have with their butchers.  The tea parties would be BBQs where godfearing carnivores would scream "If You Want my Tainted Bratwurst You'll Have to Pry it Out of My Cold, Dead, Chubby Hands."

(If you haven't seen this little slice of American ugliness, you should. )

For virtually everyone who will ever read this - the idea that anyone could believe that the civil rights movement in this country was conservative - Republicans fighting those liberals at every turn (and look how African-Americans have paid them back, voting with the Democrats at a 90+% clip ever since) is just fantasy-land stuff that isn't worth any more of your time than wondering if the world really is going to end in 2012 (I have students who believe that too). 

But there's a congresswoman who believes it -who believes it and has said it. 

Your tax dollars at work.

I wish there were a better movie than Mike Judge's Idiocracy that I could reference that so starkly demonstrates a United States of Amnesia, where we so quickly unlearn truths that took generations to acquire (the film's a bit of a mess).  But until then, that's the dystopian look at our future which strikes me as most worthy of your notice.

Palin/Simple Jack in 2012.  Things have taken a bad turn.

Your Athlete of the Month, November 2009

Manny Pacquiao

Runners-up: Chase Utley, Hideki Matsui, Steve Nash

I think I have a good line on Athlete of the Year now, it's a tight race, but I've settled on where I'm going to go absent something unexpected in December.  Also, there will be an Athlete of the Decade awarded as well. 

Fox Math

Monday, November 23, 2009

Aw, Fox (this time it's the Chicago affiliate).  You're my hero. 

The Shotgun

First Half: Alex Smith, 3/7  5 yds  3 sacks  17 offensive plays/6 shotgun
Second Half: Alex Smith 13/26  222 yds. 3 TD/1int  0 sacks  29 offensive plays/28 shotgun

I'm unsure why this is complicated.  We're 4-6.  There's no pressure to win a title this year, contend for a title this year, or even back into a wild card spot. 

Open up the offense.  Jesus. 

1st and Ten - The Weekly Tendown November 15-21 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This is episode two of our new weekly feature here at TBOR - The Tendown!  Last week, you read about Mad Men, strawberry pancakes, my selection of Jon Stewart as Entertainer of the Decade, the best North American wrestling match of 2009, and many, many more.

So - what's the best thing that happened this week...


If Only There Were a Horrible Name That I Could Call You That Would Make You As Angry As I Am...

I've been excessively excited about the Seinfeld reunion all year, and it's not really because all 4 actors will be at the same place at the same time, that doesn't give me the feelings - it's because the Seinfeld story continues - Jerry's the sperm donor for Elaine's daughter; George invented the I-Toilet app then invested all his money with Bernie Madoff; hey look - it's Bania!  Bania!  And that would be good enough - but what Sunday's penultimate episode of this season of Curb (question, is the word penultimate overly used, and if it's overly used is that by pretentious writers who want the reader to know that they know the definition of the world penultimate?) the best thing that happened last week were Larry David's gigantic balls.

Larry David's fearless in the way that only someone with go away money can be; so on the episode of Curb likely to draw more attention than any other in show history, he not only undertakes an attempt to rehabilitate Michael Richards ("it's been 3 years, don't hurt me"), but covers whatever offense might be taken to that with a show long joke about a 9 year old girl's "pussy."

(Hey, that's gonna lead to an unsettling new google search that will now find me.  Welcome devotees of child porn!  I got nothin' for you, but if you also enjoy leftist rants and the german suplex, stick around).

Larry David isn't going to earn another dollar by saying Michael Richards doesn't need to be Jimmy the Greeked, but he does what he wants.  Very, Very early in my life (uncomfortably so) I recognized very clearly, in maybe what is the only fully realized thought I've ever had that seemingly hit me from nowhere, my only real epiphany - that there were many times in life where you don't have a choice, that you need to toe the line or the cost will simply be too great - and my goal would be to make those times as few in number as I could get away with.  I wanted a life where I did what I wanted.  I don't know if that's made for good choices more often than rule following would have, and I am not necessarily advocating the Jividen plan as a way to success.  But I tried.

Larry David clearly gets to do that now.  He does what he wants.  I'm looking forward to tonight.

After the jump....The Ten Next Best Things that happened this week (get it, first and ten?  Huh?  Huh?)

The Weekly 10 - Week 12 College Football Picks

Friday, November 20, 2009

Overall: 66-43-1
Locks: 8-3

Nebraska -16.5 KSt (loss)
TCU -31 Wyoming (win)
New Mex St. +30 Nevada (loss)
New Mex St. v. Nevada under 60 (loss)
Oregon St. -31.5 Wash St. (win)
Memphis v. Houston under 75 (win)
UCLA -4.5 Ariz St. (win)
Tennessee -17 Vandy (loss)
Baylor v. Texas A&M under 61.5 (win)
Lock: Iowa -10 Minnesota (win)


My Ballots - 2009 Cy Young/MVP AL/NL

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Congratulations to Tim Lincecum.  I'll have more about that this weekend on the Tendown.

1. Albert Pujols
2. Adrian Gonzalez
3. Dan Haren

NL Cy Young
1. Dan Haren
2. Javier Vazquez
3. Ubaldo Jimenez

1. Zach Greinke
2. Joe Mauer
3. Roy Halladay

1. Zach Greinke
2. Roy Halladay
3. Mariano Rivera

Survivor Series Preview - 2009/Best ever Survivor Series Matches

Survivor Series is Sunday from...little help...where is Survivor Series...Los Cruces?  Red Rocks?  Where the hell is Survivor Series?  DC.  Boom. 

For those of you unaware, I've been doing previews/reviews of WWF/E PPVs for my long time occasional writing partner Kirk Hiner since right after WM XII.  Kirk and I are both 39 and have been wrestling fans our entire lives, so we span the full Wrestlemania era; in the summers of 1990 and 1991 we would sneak into his shuttered fraternity in undergraduate school to watch WWF programming (see, cable television was hard to come by for impoverished college students in northwest Ohio two decades ago).  We've seen multiple PPVs together; Kirk attended Wrestlemania VIII (yes, that's how old we are, we bought tickets, with our grown up money, for Wrestlemania VIII) and we were at the greatest ever Survivor Series, '96 in MSG (on my myspace page, now behind the firewall, is a pic of us holding up our tickets) Kirk doesn't really watch anymore, relying on my quarterly updates - I a little more than that.  Don't judge me!

So, if you aren't Kirk, you can read this if you like, but it's really not for you. 

1 WWE Title: John Cena (c) vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels
-When last we left at Summer Slam, Orton was the champ - he and Cena feuded all autumn, switching the belt back and forth (a pretty bad feud, by the way - I have a post where I list every 4 star match in WWF/WWE history with Dave Meltzer's ratings for comparison with mine, we've grown further apart as the years have gone in our qualitative evaluation of top end WWE - but never further apart than a particular Orton/Cena that I thought was really more theater than wrestling and he gave 4+ stars ).  Hunter and Shawn are still doing their tired DX act - the program here is there isn't one; it's 3 babyfaces just having a match to see who wins the title.  It seems unlikely that's how it ends - there's really only two ways to work a 3 way where two of the guys are friends; TNA just did one (a 4 3/4 star match with Samoa Joe/AJ Styles/Chris Daniels which was either TNA's best ever match or their second best ever match - those three guys had the other contender for that title 4 years ago) and they took the two babyface friends (Styles/Daniels) and broke them up before the match.  WWE didn't do that - they are going into Survivor Series with Michaels/Hunter still supergood close buddies, which means one of them is turning on the other (and I assume taking the strap).

-There's nothing Hunter could possibly do to make me remotely interested in another match he'll ever have in his career.  He's dead to me.  But Shawn could turn heel.  A heel turned Shawn Michaels - a full on heel turned Shawn Michaels and I'm on board.  I really hope they go that way.  If I had to bet, Hunter turns.  This match will be okay, others will like it more than I. 

(edit, I'll go 3 1/2 here, albeit on the lower end of that number which will keep it out of the top ten- it was just fine, right about as expected absent the turn - maybe next month)

Someone bought the Silverdome for half a million dollars.  That's it.  The whole Silverdome.  Half a million dollars. 

2 World Heavyweight Title: Undertaker (c) vs. The Big Show vs. Chris Jericho
-Punk was Smackdown Champ when last we were here; he's one of my guys, and I enjoyed his being on top (Punk/Jeff at SummerSlam is WWE Match of the Year; that's a minority view - a true view, but a minority view).  But he dropped to Undertaker in October.  Jericho and Show are still tag champs, but they've got a business relationship gimmick - not friends, not enemies, just business associates.  The Show can't work even a little bit.  I'm assuming the Undertaker keeps, I probably won't like this match so much, others will like it a little more than that. 

(edit - maybe 2 1/2, again, as expected)

3 Batista vs. Rey Mysterio
-Batista just turned; he and Rey are legit friends and they've tried to pump up their on screen friendship to give some gravity to Batista's turn.  It's a good turn, his jackass heel character is significantly better than the alternative, neither version can work much.  Rey apparently is going to shut it down with a knee surgery (Rey keeps missing Wrestlemanias, as detailed in the Counterfactual; this one will be 3 in the past 4 years assuming he's still out).  So Batista's gonna hurt him.  I would guess we're building to a Batista/Undertaker thing. 

(edit - maybe 1 3/4, it was a squash, fine for what it was but it wasn't much - I assume they shut Rey down now)
4 Team Kingston (Kofi Kingston, Montel Vontavious Porter, Mark Henry, R-Truth, and Christian) vs. Team Orton (Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, CM Punk, and William Regal): Five-on-five Survivor Series Elimination match

5 Team Morrison (John Morrison, Matt Hardy, Evan Bourne, Shelton Benjamin, and Finlay) vs. Team Miz (The Miz, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, and Jack Swagger): Five-on-five Survivor Series Elimination match

-We've got 3 elimination matches scheduled (the women are the third, so no preview, as it will be pointless); Kingston's getting a TV push in a program with Orton and it seems to be taking hold (he's good, he wouldn't be my first choice for this push, but they could do worse), I wouldn't be surprised to see them book Kingston strong over Orton here such that they can keep this going.  MVP/Mark Henry are a filler babyface tag team (MVP is good, or was, he hasn't been in a position to do much in awhile; you know Mark Henry's deal) I guess they're feuding here with Legacy (Dusty's kid Cody, and Ted, Jr.) they're both fine, it's Ted they like and the working assumption is a face turn is coming sooner than later.  No way to tell yet if either of them can work.  R-Truth is Ron Killings; he's been nowhere since coming back from years in TNA, but now is feuding with Punk, who has been a top guy (and successfully so, at least seemingly - and certainly successful from a work and a character perspective) but they've buried him here.  And you know Christian, he's terrific - currently babyface ECW Champ - feuding with Regal (so good for the Counterfactual!  Look at all the workers!  I heart Survivor Series!)

John Morrison is the former Johnny Nitro, babyface (wow, can he not talk - he can work, but he cannot talk) IC Champ.  The Miz is the kid from the Real World, heel US Champ - they were longtime heel tag partners, now broken up and on different shows.  Miz has really improved, both on the stick and in the ring - he still wouldn't be in the first 20 guys I'd want to see in his spot, but I don't hate him.  The rest of the babyface team is made up of good workers they don't care about - Matt, Evan Bourne (a terrific high flyer, he's Matt Sydal in the Counterfactual) Shelton and Fit.  The heel team has two super green guys they really like (Hunter, apparently loves them both) McIntyre and Seamus (two UK guys both doing killer gimmicks on different shows).  Dolph Ziggler is Nick Nemeth, a good amateur wrestler - and Jack Swagger is Jake Hager, a better one.  They're both young but good (you'd like Swagger).  I'm going to tag them up (spoiler alert) in the Counterfactual next year (babyface team in my world, call them D1, for Division One). 

Let's say faces go over in the first match, heels in the second. 

(edit, let's say 3 1/4 for both of them, maybe the top end of 3 1/4 for both - I liked them both just fine, the book was exactly as I expected - the downside of their pushing the young guys they're pushing is it means they won't push the young guys I want them to push; if it was Danielson getting the Seamus push, I'd be really excited).
6. Women.

-That's it.  They say the new Hart kids (Davey's son Harry and TJ Wilson) are going to wrestle dark (Harrys fine, TJ is really good) and that would be good for the Counterfactual.  And anytime they want to bring up Low Ki and Bryan Danielson (I've lost you now, I know - but remember how I told you in '96 you had to start watching Benoit/Eddy/Dean? - if the opportunity ever presents itself, we're gonna have a similar conversation) that would be great. 

So, I'm not expecting much work - but I like Survivor Series matches, so I'm looking forward to that.  And if they turn Shawn and not Hunter, I'm popping. 

There's lots of room to crack this list as Survivor Series has historically been the weakest of the big 4 events; after just the top few, this is really not a great list -
Here are the Top 10 Matches in Survivor Series History.

1. Bret Hart d. Steve Austin ('96)
2. Bret Hart d. Shawn Michaels ('92)
3. Bret Hart d. Diesel ('95)
4. Shawn Michaels d. Bret Hart ('97)
5. Eddy/Chavo d. Angle/Benoit and Edge/Rey ('02)
6. Jericho/Christian/Orton/Steiner/Henry d. Michaels/RVD/Booker/Dudleys ('03)
7. Sid d. Shawn Michaels ('96)
8. Strike Force/Young Stallions/Rougeaus/Bees/Bulldogs d. Hart Foundation/Islanders/Demolition/Bolsheviks/New Dream Team ('87)
9. Bob Backlund d. Bret Hart ('94)
10. HHH d. Ric Flair ('05)

I Pick Every NFL Game - Week 11

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Why did Brian Westbrook play last week?

Westbrook was knocked out two weeks prior; this comes on the heels of multiple studies detailing the impact of concussions on retired NFL players - and those studies come as part of a larger movement to more clearly recognize what role it is that concussions have played regarding extreme depression in retired athletes.  Malcolm Gladwell recently wrote in the New Yorker that the concussion evidence is such (and the impossibility of disentangling football from causing those injuries) that, in our lifetimes, we will see football as we know it disappear.  You'd think that in the middle of that, a high profile player like Westbrook wouldn't take the field two weeks after getting knocked out - a professional boxer, you know, a lawless sport like boxing - a professional boxer can't fight for at least 30 days after getting knocked out - but in the corporate NFL, 2 weeks go by and a running back is right in the game again. 

The evidence of brain trauma caused, really just by playing the game of professional football is stronger than the evidence of harm by (here it comes) steroids, I'd suggest.  The difference in interest the media has in talking about both subjects is titanic (well, to be fair, the media never cared about steroids in football, just baseball, and it stopped.  Once the Sports Industrial Complex drove over Barry Bonds for years guys like Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez largely got a free pass.  It's a better position we're in now, but forgive a Giants fan if he can distinctly recall every Bonds at bat having to include a disclaimer "remember, what you're seeing isn't actually happening" - but ARod just won a World Title and if the word steroid was uttered at any point during the Series I missed it) and that allows Westbrook, hardly an obscure player, to maybe have ended his career by playing last Sunday. 

Dolphins +3 Panthers (win)
Lions -3 Browns (loss)
Jags -8.5 Bills (loss)
Steelers -10 Chiefs (still alive in the suicide pools, and I've got the Steelers this week)(loss, and that ends my suicide dreams)
Colts -1 Ravens (win)
Pack -6.5 Niners (loss)
Vikes -11 Seattle (win)
Redskins +11 Cowboys (win)
Saints -11 TB (win)
Cards -9 Rams (loss)
Jets +10.5 Pats (loss)
Bengals -9 Raiders (loss)
Eagles -3 Bears (win)
Falcons +6.5 NYG (win)
Denver +2.5 SD (loss)
Texans -4.5 Titans (loss)


1st and Ten - The Weekly Tendown!: Nov 8-14 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Welcome to the first ever TenDown, my countdown of the ten best things that happened this week.  Actually, it's a countdown of the best thing that happened this week - followed by the next ten runners-up.  Sure, some of this may actually have happened prior to this week - but if it didn't happen to me until this week, it didn't happen.  We live in a DVR world of time shifting and whatnot, I do not fight the tide.  I am the tide.  And whatnot. 

The best thing that happened this week.....


Something happened, something terrible, and the way people saw themselves is gone.
-The Mad Men season finale was Sunday; although receiving the accompanying critical acclaim, at no point has Mad Men really been the best drama on television.  It's been on the short list since ep 1, but with Wire/Shield and then season two of Breaking Bad (not to mention its peer group, Friday Night Lights and Big Love) there's never been a point where I would have definitively said, "that's the best drama on TV."

Until this season, specifically, until this week.  Mad Men has always deftly played with its being a period piece, trying to co-opt the style of the late 50s/early 60s without the historical substance of the era acting as a barrier to modern viewers.  In other words, you could appreciate the Mad Men universe even without appreciating the real universe in which it was historically situated. 

-That's really ended (and for the better) this year; race/homosexuality/the women's sphere were all infused in front burner storylines all year - and building our readiness toward thinking of Mad Men as less stylized contemporary drama and more an insight into a pivotal moment in US history (sort of the way the Wire was about urban 21st century America - that you could watch it as much for socio-political insight as for entertainment).  In the season finale, clearly Mad Men is staking out an historical view - that the Kennedy assasination marked the end of the "Mad Men" post WWII era of American history; Draper and his gang of bourgeious revolutionaries leave the comfort of Sterling-Cooper to go into business for themselves, and Betty leaves her marriage (and her two older children; Betty, if you're unaware, is a pretty crappy mom) with a similar motive in mind.  A loyal viewer might be uncertain about season 4 - the show as it as been thusfar is clearly gone - the ad agency is now in a hotel suite and Betty Draper's on a plane to Reno - but that, of course, is the whole point.  If the death of JFK is the big bang that creates the new America (a reductionist but defensible proposition) an America which could not have been imagined even three years previous - that's the sensation Mad Men created Sunday.  It has taken the combustible uncertain soup of the time and risen from it a new world.

Mad Men is dead.  Long live Mad Men.  The remaining ten after the jump:

The Weekly 10 - Week 11 College Football Picks

Friday, November 13, 2009

Locks: 8-2

Cincinnati -9.5 WVA (loss)
Clemson -8 NC St (loss)
Northwestern -5 Illinois (win)
Houston -4.5 UCF (loss)
Iowa +16.5 Ohio St. (win)
N Texas v. FIU under 64 (win)
La-La v. Mid Tenn under 53 (win)
UAB v. Memphis under 63 (win)
ECarolina +5 Tulsa (win)
Lock: Arizona +3 Cal (loss)


Ft. Hood and Donald Sterling

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I overheard a couple of students this week talking about the Ft Hood killings, attributing them to Muslim extremism, calling those killings "terrorist" as opposed to criminal in nature - and saying that it was evidence of Muslim hatred of Christians, that you won't hear the truth about Muslim hatred of Christians anywhere but Fox News, but it's just so obvious.

Here's O'Reilly

"You can't kill all the Muslims," O'Reilly says.  So you need to win them over. 

Be good, by implication, if you could kill them all - or, to be more charitable to Bill - it would just be easier.  Sure, it sounds like Bill O'Reilly is saying that the main problem with genocide is its impracticality, but it could be I'm predisposed to looking at Fox News in the worst possible light.

It's not as if, after all, that Fox had to apologize yesterday for using fake news footage.  Or that, at that original event (the 9-12 festival of dumb set up by Simple Jack) Fox "reported" news about cheering crowds while prodding the cheers on.  Or that, without even the slightest amount of shame, they cropped a Joe Biden criticism of John McCain's campaign quote "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" in order to criticize Biden as if he was asserting the underlying idea himself.  Or that, on April 3 - Hannity called Obama anti-American and played a clip of Obama's speech in France saying "there have been times where America's shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive" - but then not playing the very next line of the speech, where Obama criticized unwarranted, relfexive anti-Americanism in Europe.  And certainly Fox News would never run a graphic to say that a Republican congressman with a bent toward underage male pages was a Democrat.  Or then repeat that error here with Republican Governor Mark Sanford.  And Rupert Murdoch couldn't have said he agreed with Simple Jack's comment that the first African-American President in US history was a "racist" with a "deep seated hatred of white people" with the comment about Obama "he did make a very racist comment, about, you know, blacks and whites and so on."

Do you know, incidentally, to what Murdoch is referring?  I mean, on a "reasonable minds can differ" basis - what has Obama said that could be construed as a "very racist comment about, you know, blacks and whites and so on."

I mean, Fox, as the mainstream media keeps telling us, is a legitimate news organization and should be treated as such by the Administration.  So none of that could have actually happened.

What did actually happen is Ft. Hood - and if you were to spin this forward and tell me the evidence conclusively indicates this was a religiously motivated act of terrorism, that doesn't shock my conscience.  Fox has certainly labeled it as such, O' Reilly this week said he was certain of it. 

What also doesn't shock my conscience, or surprise me, is terrorism explicity based on Christianity or Judaism.  Greenwald writes today about an alleged terrorist in Jerusalem saying that he has "no doubt God is pleased."  Greenwald writes of the numbers, the scores of reports of Christian "fanatacism" in the military; and Jeremy Scahill has written multiple pieces in the Nation about the allegations regarding Blackwater, this piece specifically discusses the allegation that founder Erik Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe."

Cries to investigate Muslim extremism grow exponetially from the right - but silence from all corners on Christian extremism. 

This springs to mind similar hypocrisy in a couple of other places.  A right wing punching bag is ACORN; they're one of the main connections on Simple Jack's chalkboard of madness, ACORN advocates for the poor and working class - and ACORN was singled out for malfeasance from some of its workers and singled out by a federal law that banned it from receiving federal funds.  ACORN's received a total of 53 million federal dollars over the past 15 years.

Pfizer paid 2.3 billion in civil settlements and criminal fines this year and received 73 million in federal contracts ion 2007.  Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrup Grumman have paid 3 billion in fines and settlements since '95 - and in 2007 they received 77 billion in federal contracts.

And that doesn't even bring us to Halliburton, this is just a detailing of Halliburton crimes as of 2003, and the amount of money Halliburton receives every day due to its Iraq War is about what ACORN got in its entire existence.

And no anti-rape legislation is needed to protect the employees at ACORN.

What's the sports tie in to all this?

LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling just agreed to a nearly 3 million dollar housing discrimination settlement; the largest settlement of its type in US history (this comes after paying an undisclosed settlement in 2005, what was disclosed was his requirement to pay almost 5 million in plaintiffs legal fees)  Sterling's amassed a litany of complaints of sexual harrassment, age discrimination, and racial discrimination (including a suit by longtime general manager Elgin Baylor, one of the greatest players in NBA history) And despite notoriously running as bad an organization as exists in professional sports - the Clippers franchise that Sterling paid 12 million for in 1981 is now worth almost 300 million dollars.   His tenure is Charlie Comiskey like; the type of archaic, destructive ownership style that I'd say would be better suited in professional wrestling, except even Vince McMahon could not get away with the behavior that has marked Sterling's tenure.

The hypocritical element of this is it takes place in David Stern's NBA - an NBA with a dress code policy for its players - because baggy clothes, see, don't project the right image for the league.  Do-rags, chains, jerseys, pendants worn outside shirts are all examples of clothes banned by the league since 2005.  The hip hop influence after all isn't the image of itself the league wants to present. 

Me, I don't care for dress codes.  Never supported one yet, unlikely I ever will.  Like banning endzone celebrations in the NFL (or banning, hell, any expressions of enthusiasm in college football) I read them as attempts to enforce majoritarian taste under the cover of meaningless words like "professionalism".

But how threadbare is the argument that the image of the NBA is harmed by a backup center wearing excessive bling when the owner of a 300 million dollar franchise in Los Angeles racks up millions and millions of dollars of discrimination settlements. 

Could be that it's entirely the function of a news organization being willing to carry the water for a cause.

Fox News has reported, on a constant, perhaps daily, basis since 9/11 that Muslims = terrorists.  To some percentage of the population that's all it takes for it to be true (like health care reform is a march to Nazism).  Acts in the name of other religions are ignored.

Fox News took on ACORN - it becoming the embodiment of the black/liberal/corrupt takeover of the US government.  So ACORN loses its funding.  While the exponentially larger corruption by other corporations goes undiscussed.  And so those companies continue to receive your tax dollars.

And the equivalent of Fox News, the Sports Media Industrial Complex, spends years hammering modern athletes (specifically basketball players) as gangsters and thugs - and the NBA responds by dictating how large can be the pants the players wear.  Meanwhile - Donald Sterling, according to testimony, said "black tenants smell and attract vermin."

And goes unpunished by the league.

I Pick Every NFL Game - Week 10

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Record: 60-67-2

Hey, coming Sunday is my new feature here at TBOR - 1st And 10: The Weekly TenDown where I countdown the very best things of the week.  These picks are unlikely to be considered.

Niners -3 Bears (win)
Jets -7 Jags (loss)
Broncos -3.5 Skins (loss)
Bengals +7 Steelers (win)
Bills +6.5 Titans (loss)
Vikes -16.5 Lions (win)
Saints -13.5 Rams (loss)
Falcons -2 Panthers (loss)
Miami -10 Tampa (my suicide pick this week) (loss - but a suicide win)
KC +2 Oakland (win)
Seattle +9 Arizona (loss)
Packers +3 Cowboys (win)
Eagles +2.5 SD (loss)
Pats +3 Colts (win)
Ravens -10 Browns (win)



Monday, November 9, 2009

Last year, I was able to begin the college basketball season with my preseason top 25 (national title pick - Carolina) and my player of the year pick (Blake Griffin).  This year, all I can do is this:

I'll take Kansas.  Rock Chalk Whatnot. 

The other thing to report is a new feature here at the Blog of Revelation - a Sunday (I think, I've had this idea all of 2 hours) look at my Top 10 of Everything (I'm workshopping a title.  Aggregate something.  Deca something.  Dunno.  ).  The premise is a weekly countdown of the ten best things of the week.  Some sports, some politics, some pop culture, some foods I ate.  There aren't  really parameters; I like making lists, I like obsessively recording my behavior; I like to compare incomparable things; I like putting artificial structures on all areas of my life.  I've already started compiling contenders from the past two days (I think the rating period will be Sun-Sat, that allows me to write it on Sun) and that's also fun to do. 

Maybe it'll be worth reading, maybe not.  That's not a "under promise, over deliver" tactic, that's a "I don't have the slightest idea what it will wind up being" thought. 

But I'm looking forward to doing it.  Gotta do something now that the college picks have nosedived.  Nosedove?  Is it nosedove?

Match of the Decade: The 50 Best Professional Wrestling Matches of the 1st Decade of the Millennium

Saturday, November 7, 2009

This isn't in order (I mean it is, it's in chronological order, which is, contrary to popular opinion, an order) but not in qualitative order, which is implied by it being an end of decade list.

It is the end of the decade, incidentally.

Stephen Jay Gould wrote about this ten years ago, although not in the context of professional wrestling, curiously enough, that the cultural context in which we record time is more important than the actual math.  Meaning - the decade started in 2000 and ends this year; our ability to discuss time (for example, if I talk about the Sixties, that discussion includes 1960 and doesn't include 1970) supercedes the year zero never existing.  For whatever reason, a debate existed ten years ago regarding when it was we should celebrate the turn of the millennium.  I was foresquarely on the 2000 side and for that reason.  The talking about time is more important than the actual recording thereof.

Anyway, I haven't ranked these 19 matches (beyond separating them from the rest of the matches of the decade) I have no good reason for that, other than time doesn't permit the rewatch.  This is because, as I've often said, regardless of how we talk about time, try to control it, try to contextualize it (this reminds me, I'm meaning to write about a footnote from Chuck Klosterman's book about time travel) time has a mathematical existence that is beyond our ability to harness. How we think about a thing doesn't fundamentally alter what it is. It's silly to think otherwise.

See what I did there?  I go both ways!


Anyway - in chronological order (which is very real, no matter what I say) are the 19 best wrestling matches of the decade (which ends in 2 months, no matter what you say). Following this are the 31 remaining to fill out the top 50 (subject to change, I have six months left of 2009 to watch)

Kenta Kobashi v. Jun Akiyama (December - NOAH)

Mitsuharu Misawa v. Jun Akiyama (July - NOAH)

Bryan Danielson v. Low Ki (March - ROH Round Robin Challenge)

Chris Benoit  v. Kurt Angle (Jan - WWF Royal Rumble)
Mitsuharu Misawa v. Kenta Kobashi (March - NOAH)
Kenta/Naomichi Marufuji v. Jushin Liger/Takehiro Murahama (July - NOAH)
Kenta Kobashi v. Yuji Nagata (Sept - NOAH)

Kenta Kobashi v. Jun Akiyama (July - NOAH)
Kenta Kobashi v. Akira Taue (Sept - NOAH)
CIMA v. Susumu Yokosuka (Sept - Dragon's Gate)

Kenta Kobashi v. Kensuke Sasaki (July - NOAH)

Kenta v. Bryan Danielson (Sept - ROH Glory By Honor V)

Kotaro Suzuki/Ricky Marvin v. Taiji Ishimori/Rocky Romero (Feb - NOAH)
Briscoes v. Roderick Strong/PAC (May - PWG)
Bryan Danielson v. Nigel McGuinness (Sept - ROH Driven)
Taka Michinoku/Dick Togo v. Kota Ibushi/Madoka (Dec - KDojo)

Masato Tanaka/Shinjiro Otani v. Yuji Nagata/Manabu Nakanishi (May - Zero 1)

Kenta v. Katsuhiko Nakajima (Feb - NOAH)
Kenta v. Jun Akiyama (May - NOAH)

That's the top 19; the 19 best matches of the decade. Here are the 31 remaining to round out the top 50(without months or full names, that time thing again)

Kobashi v. Takayama (NOAH)

Bryan Danielson v. Low Ki (ECWA)
Kobashi v. Akiyama (NOAH)

Kobashi/Shiga v. Akiyama/Saito (NOAH)


CM Punk v. Chris Hero (IWA-MS)
Kenta/Marufuji v. Kanemaru/Hashii (NOAH)
Kenta/Kotaro v. Ibushi/Mikami (NOAH)
Yuji v. Nakanishi (New Japan)

Kenta/Marufuji v. Misawa/Ogawa (NOAH)
Kobashi v. Takayama (NOAH)


AJ Styles v. Samoa Joe v. Chris Daniels (TNA)
Low Ki v. Kenta (ROH)
Taka v. Kaz Hayashi (All Japan)

Briscoes v. Aries/Strong (ROH)
Kenta v. Marufuji (NOAH)
Kenta v. Marufuji (NOAH)

Marufuji/Briscoes v. Marvin/Sydal/Aoki (ROH)
Briscoes v. Generico/Steen (ROH)
Yuji v. Tanahashi (NJ)
Marvin/Kotaro v. Iwasa/Arai (NOAH)
Kenta/Ishimori v. Marufuji/Ibushi (NOAH)
Yoshino/Doi v. Yokosuka/Saito (DGate)

Aries v. Nigel (ROH)
CIMA/Dragon Kid/Saito v. Yoshino/Doi/Horiguchi (ROH)
Marufuji/Nakajima v. Kenta/Ibushi (ROH)
Kenta/Ishimori v. Kotaro/Kanemaru (NOAH)

Kotaro v. Nakajima (NOAH)
Kenta/Go v. Nakajima/Kensuke (NOAH)
Davey Richards v. Shingo (DGUSA)
AJ v. Joe v. Daniels (TNA)
Yuko Miyamoto v. Masashi Takeda (Big Japan)

The Weekly Ten - Week 10 College Football Picks

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Overall: 57-32-1
Locks: 8-1

Iowa -16 Northwestern (loss)
Pitt -20.5 Syracuse (win)
Rice v. SMU under 57 (loss)
FIU v. Mid Tenn St. under 54 (loss)
Houston -1.5 Tulsa (loss)
Houston v. Tulsa under 67.5 (loss)
Minnesota -7 Illinois (loss)
Air Force -16.5 Army (win)
Alabama -7 LSU (win)
Lock: San Jose St. +14 Nevada (loss)

3-7.  Wow.
Locks 8-2

For those of you who invested with me over the course of the season, you're welcome.  You're free to go.  Everything ends.

I Pick Every NFL Game - Week 9

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


My long, slow march to losing the vig continues. 

Jags -6.5 Chiefs (argh - look, I would have told you a week ago that Jags +3 Titans was my favorite NFL line of the year, and that went against me by 4 scores, so laying this much wood seems like error, but there you go) (loss)
Ravens -3 Bengals (loss)
Indy -9 Tex (loss)
Redskins +10 Falcons (loss)
GBay -10 TB (loss)
Arizona +3 Bears (win)
NE -10 Miami (push)
Saints -13.5 Panthers (loss)
Seattle -10 Lions (I'm leaning toward taking Seattle in the two suicide pools I'm in; yes, I'm aware.)(win)
Niners -4 Tennessee (loss)
San Diego +4.5 NYG (win)
Philly -3 Dallas (loss)
Denver +3 Pittsburgh (this is the line I like this week; do with that what you will) (loss - that's what you should have done with it)


AFraud - The Choking Dog/Why Boo Brett?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Alex Rodriguez you may have read somewhere is the 27th greatest regular season performer in the history of major league baseball.

Probably, you've also spent years reading about how he suffered from some fatal spasm of self doubt during pressure situations that made him not as valuable a post season performer as the guy who plays next to him (the guy that carves the gravestones was more right than not - and Larry did kill that swan).

After last night, here is Alex Rodriguez's career postseason batting line: .295/.402/.560. 

Derek Jeter's is .311/.383/.479. 

It's not that he unburdened himself by admitting his steroid use (because, after all, virtually no one thinks he told the entire truth).  And it's not that Kate Hudson has somehow refocused him (if Goldie's girl's ladyparts were magic, wouldn't the Black Crowes have sold a helluva lot more records?)- it's this:

Alex Rodriguez is a better postseason hitter than Derek Jeter.  Not just this second, for the totality of their careers. 

And of course, at .305/.390/.576 to .317/.388/.459 - ARod's a better regular season hitter than Derek Jeter.   

Not to mention that while ARod is still 7 runs above position with the glove for his career, despite giving back value now as a slightly below average third baseman - Jeter is 181 runs below position at shortstop, his lack of range making him an all-time bad glove, costing the Yankees games virtually every season of his career. 

(listen to the guy who carves the gravestones - he is very, very wise).

They're both going to the Hall of Fame and perfectly reasonably so - but this idea, birthed by the mainstream media and embedded in our collective sports consciousness, that Jeter is Captain Clutch while ARod (until the ninth inning last night) somehow got the yips in the big moments, just isn't borne out by the facts. 

Unrelated, save for their iconographic status, the Favre booing was interesting to me yesterday.  I had an inexact, but reasonably close parallel in my own sports fandom - my quarterback was Joe Montana, and after a very public squabble with the 49ers, despite his past heroics he was pushed aside for a younger model.  I very distinctly recall my reaction when the Niners - the team of my boyhood, who remain, along with the baseball Giants, the biggest allegiances to any institution I have in my life (no school, church, country or employer is even in the same conversation) went to Kansas City in 1994 to play Joe's Chiefs. 

I rooted for Joe. 

And it wasn't that hard; Joe was my guy; he had won me 4 Super Bowls.  There would be a whole lifetime left of Niner football (unless we move to LA; I've been saying this all decade, until there is a new stadium built you really can't feel confident that team isn't going to skip town) but Joe Montana had a very specific expiration date.  And I didn't make a utilitarian calculation - I did what sports fans do and I operated from my gut (which is why you think Jeter's clutch and ARod chokes; why you think Jeter's a good fielder - it just feels that way to you - but you're wrong) I wanted Joe to win.  And I was mad at my team for sending him away.

Over the years, some of that feeling (most of it) has softened - at the time, I thought the organization was making a mistake - Steve Young ran too much, not waiting for plays to develop - and the team didn't have confidence in him and, even in his state of decline, Joe was still more likely to win us titles. 

Yeah, that was wrong.  Steve Young's the 7th greatest regular season quarterback in NFL history; and no, he wasn't Montana - but in 1994, he was the better player.  Young wasn't the bad guy; the organization wasn't the bad guy; there was no bad guy - two objects can't be in the same place at the same time; and the 49ers had two Hall of Famers at quarterback, one of them had to leave.

But 15 years later, despite that, I'm still glad Joe won that game, and still glad I was on the right side that day.

Sure, the Chiefs aren't the Vikings - had Joe gone to Dallas, perhaps to replace an injured Troy Aikman - it would have been incredibly painful; and I get that Favre's "will he or won't he" shtick may have worn some Packer faithful down (I wrote this in the summer of 2008). 

But the booing...I am unsure I get that.  I get not making my choice and instead rooting for your team over your guy.  I do.  Reasonable minds can differ.  I get feeling a little betrayed.  I get wishing he would just go away and certainly get hoping he doesn't win a Super Bowl in a uniform that isn't yours.

But I have to say, I legitimately do not get the booing.

2009 Wrestling Matches of the Year

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Edit - I've watched the full year; December will go on the 2010 list.  These are the best 42 professional wrestling matches from 2009

So, where are we in consideration of professional wrestling's best match for 2009?

I've seen everything from WWE and TNA through October, the first DGUSA PPV, and the occasional wayward match or even card from the second half of the year for other organizations.  Beyond that - I'm through June; I've got all the first half of 2009 watched that I'm likely to watch.  It is possible a significant workrate match from the first half of the year (non Mexico, I watch almost no Mexico) has slipped by me, but I've endeavored to see everything.  This being the end of the cultural decade; a wrestling MOTD list will also pop up at some point. 

There are two five star matches that I've seen so far this year:

Kenta v. Nakajima (Feb Noah) 5 stars
Kenta v. Akiyama (May Noah) 5 stars

I'm leaning Kenta/Akiyama as my current MOTY choice, but I wouldn't tell you it was wrong to prefer the other. 

The remaining matches are all of the matches that I've rated at 4 3/4, 4 1/2 thusfar.  Half of the matches on this page are Kenta matches.  Which, perhaps, is one of the reasons he's just blown out his knee.  Regardless, he's the wrestler of the year by a zillion miles. 

Kenta v. Nakajima (Mar Noah)
Kenta v. Kotaro (Jan Noah)
Doi v. Kanemoto (Mar Dragon's Gate)
Akiyama v. Go (April Noah)
Ishii v. Inoue (Apr NJ)
Tanahashi v. Goto (May NJ)
Tanaka/Sekimoto v. Miyamoto/TSasaki (Apr Zero One)
Nigel v. Marufuji (ROH - Dec 08)
Nigel v. Kenta (Mar -ROH)
Kenta v. Davey (Apr -ROH)
Danielson v. Black (May - ROH)
Sekimoto v. Sai (May - Zero1)
Kenta v. Marvin (June - NOAH)
Kenta/Go v. Nakajima/Kensuke (June - NOAH)
Marvin v. Ishimori (May - probably Kensuke Office)
Tanaka v. Hidaka (May - Zero 1)
Kodaka/Takeda v. Miyamoto/TSasaki (May - Big Japan)
Kanemoto v. Devitt (June - New Japan)
Kenta/Go v. Nakajima/Kensuke (June - NOAH)
Kenta v. Go (May - NOAH)
Ultimate X (Oct - TNA Bound for Glory)
Yoshino/Hulk/Pac v. Dragon Kid/Iwasa/Tozawa (July - DGate)
Danielson/Strong v. Kenta/Ishimori (July NOAH)
Danielson v. Doi (Nov DGUSA)
Richards v. Shingo (aired Nov DGUSA)
Joe v. AJ v. Daniels (Nov TNA Turning Point)
Hero v. Ryan (July - PWG Threemendous)
Miyamoto v. Takeda (July - BJapan)
Kenta/Ishimori v. Danielson/Strong (July - Noah)
Ibushi v. Harashima (Aug - DDT)
Kaz v. Kondo (Aug - All Japan)
Danielson v. Hero (Sep - ROH)
Danielson v. Hero (Sep - PWG)
Kotaro v. Nakajima (Oct - NOAH)
Miyamoto v. TSasaki (April BJapan)
Richards v. Aries (Nov ROH)
Doi v. Hulk (Nov DGate)
Ibushi v. Ishikawa (Nov DDT)
Davey v. Danielson (Sept ROH)
Danielson v. Nigel (Sept ROH)

Your Athlete of the Month - October, 2009

Cliff Lee.

Runners Up - Jared Allen, Andre Eithier, Alex Rodriguez.

Lee joins previous months' winners Fitzgerald, Holmes, Moore, James, Messi, Federer, Buehrle, Bolt, Brees in the race for Athlete of the Year for 2009.  That winner will join the decade's previous athlete of the year winners: Woods, Bonds, Armstrong, P. Manning, Bush, Federer, Brady, and Bolt - one of which will be named Athlete of the Decade. 

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