Boxing is Dead. Long Live MMA

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Does anyone realize how big boxing used to be? There is a reason that Muhammad Ali is considered one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century. He was the biggest name in the biggest sport of his era. Now I'm a sports fan. I regularly watch all of the three major US sports and I watch SportsCenter when there is nothing else to turn to. But I can't honestly think of the name of a single boxer who is still currently fighting. I think there is a Russian boxer named Klitchko, they may be two of them who are brothers, but that's about it. Heck, do a Google search on the word "boxers" and you don't get anything of relevance. It goes to show you how out of mind that sport is.

But to make matters worse there is a sport now called MMA that is really gaining traction and it is everything that boxing is not. I was flipping through the channels this weekend and stopped on a fight that was being shown on CBS. Now, I'm not a boxing fan. I'm not a fan of watching people get beat up, but I have to admit I was actually interested in the fight that was happening. There was action. It was fast. Guys were actually getting hit. And the match was over relatively quickly. The last fight, Fedor vs. Rogers, was over about 7 minutes into the fight. Just the right chunk of time in our ADD culture.

Contrast this to boxing. Most of the time fights go the full amount of rounds. Guys are throwing punches but nothing is really landing. You can go the full match and not really watch anyone get in any trouble. And of course, you end up getting some sort of split decision. How boring is that. I don't think I've ever been able to watch a boxing match end to end because it just takes too long and it is too boring.

If boxing can't capture the attention of a mainstream sports fan like myself yet there is an alternative like MMA available that can, what chance does boxing have to survive?

You Know Your Cat is Fat When ...

Saturday, September 12, 2009
You have to buy a dog harness rather than a cat harness.

How to Cook A Steak Without a Grill

Saturday, September 05, 2009

I'm a dude. I like meat but I do not like to cook. Actually, it is not so much that I do not like to cook as much as it is that I do not like to spend lots of time cooking. To that end, I am always looking for a way to cook good food with as little effort as possible. I just found a fantastic way to accomplish this by cooking a steak without a grill.

I started out with a nice ribeye steak I got from Trader Joe's. It cost me about $8.00 and it was big enough to feed both myself and my fiancee. Not too bad for a decent cut of meat. The way I prepared it was simple.

I let the steak come to room temperature and then I glazed it with a light coat of oil (try to find an oil that won't smoke too much, because you are about to create a lot of smoke). I seasoned the steak with some salt and some ground pepper and that was it. Good steaks should not need lots of seasoning.

I turned the oven on to 500 degrees. I put a skillet in there (make sure your skillet can go up to this temperature). I let the stove come up to temperature. After a few minutes I placed the hot skillet in an oven set to hi. Then I did the following:

  • Cook on one side for 30 seconds
  • Flip and cook for 30 seconds
  • Place back in oven and let sit for 2 minutes
  • Flip and continue to cook for 2 minutes
  • Remove steak from oven and skillet. Let sit covered for 2 minutes. (This is important. Do not skip. The steak will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven)
And that was it. The above comes out to a medium rare steak so adjust times accordingly to get the steak the way you like it.

That was seriously it. A total of 5 minutes of cooking and 2 minutes of letting the steak rest. The steak comes out remarkably tasty and juicy. I was shocked how easy it was. The perfect guy recipe.

Since When Does Shaq Play Defense?

Sunday, June 14, 2009
There are rumors right now that the Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to trade the Phoenix Suns for Shaquille O'Neal. After getting knocked out of the Eastern Conference Finals by the Orlando Magic, the Cavaliers are looking for an answer to Dwight Howard. And they think Shaq is the answer.

I hope this trade happens so maybe finally people will finally realize what I've been writing about for years. Shaq is not that great. True, he was at one time a dominant offensive player. The guy was fantastic on the low block. But he had one HUGE flaw. The guy just does not play defense. And now a team wants to trade for him so he can play defense.

Yeah, big mistake. Cleveland would be dumb to make this trade. Shaq can not play defense and he clogs up the lane. Think Lebron has a hard time driving the lane now when people pack the lane. Yeah, have him try it when the opposing team's center is just camped right in the middle of the paint.

Please let this trade happen. I really am interested in the outcome.

NFL Rookie Contracts

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Detroit Lions came to an agreement with Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford. The deal is a reported six-year, $72 million. The deal can actually be worth up to $78 million if he achieves all his incentives.

Now those that read this blog know that I do not really care what athletes get paid. I am all for people making as much money as possible. Nobody is forcing the Detroit Lions, or any other NFL team, to give athletes this money. I think it is stupid to do, but at the end of the day the free markets should dictate how much money athletes can make and how much money teams should keep for themselves.

What is of particular interest to me is how on earth the NFL got to a place where NFL rookies are paid such crazy contracts. In the other major sports, rookies have to "make good". That is, the big contract does not actually come until a few years after they have been in the league and have proven that they are worth the money.

This is not the case in the NFL. The big contracts are usually given right out of college, before any of these athletes play one down on an NFL field. This seems a little odd to me and I am not sure how this sport got here. As an owner, I would be hesitant to throw this kind of money on an unproven athlete. Worse yet, these contracts use a significant portion of a team's salary cap. More than any other sport, Football is ruled by its salary cap. A team's success is very much correlated by how well they are able to manage their cap. Yet teams are willing to throw that out the window on unproven rookies.

Further, I am not sure how the NFL veterans let this happen. Do they really have so little bargaining power? Why would they allow rookies to get these types of contracts when it directly affects how much they themselves can receive. You would expect it to be like other unions. Those who are already part of the union receive the better benefits and higher salaries. They are the ones who are voting on the rules of the contract and labor agreements. You would think they would create rules that favor those already part of the union rather than those that are coming in.

How would you feel if you are a NFL player making $3 million per year. You are busting your ass and doing great. You may even be on the cusp of a pro bowl selection. Your next contract might net you $4 million if you are lucky. And then you see a player like Matt Stafford, who by his own admission admits he may be a crap shot, get something like $12 million/year. Would you not think this is a little bit unfair?

I Know I Am Old

Saturday, April 11, 2009
because it is strange to me that there are people born in the 90's who are now in college.

Asian Names Are Hard to Pronounce

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I've written in the past how it can suck to be asian. Now, government official Betty Brown from Texas gives yet another reason why it sucks to be asian. Our names our hard to pronounce.

No wonder we have it so tough. People are having a hard time pronouncing our names. I mean, just look at the name of the man she was directing her comments to. His last name was "Ko" Damn those two letters, what the hell can they mean? Other common names like, "Lee", "Yao", "Sun" can be extremely confusing. Not at all like nice easy "American" names like "Jake Gyllenhaal", "Shia Labeouf" or our Governor "Arnold Schwarzenegger".

I guess Asian people will never be able to be successful in this company or be able to fit in so long as we have these strange foreign names that people just can't figure out how to spell.

What the Heck Happened to Scrubs?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I was excited when I learned that Scrubs was coming back for one last season. It had been one of my favorite shows in the last several years and it really bugged me that they did not finish the series off right because of the writer's strike. So when I heard the series was back on, I eagerly awaited some fresh new episodes and what I hoped to be a satisfying conclusion to the series.

But seriously, WTF? The season has been quite a disappointment. The shows just are not as funny as they used to be. I think it is mostly because they seem not to have too much of the regular cast on (J.D. has not been in at least two episodes this season and only Elliot and Turk were in this last one) and are focusing a lot on some newer characters. Perhaps they are getting the viewers ready for a whole new cast, which is just a bad idea, but it really disappoints me to see the series like this.

The new shows have their moments, but it just isn't like the Scrubs of old which at times was just completely off beat but always funny. I would have rather had the show just end last season in a half-complete state then for it to just kind of limp to the finish line like this.


Sunday, March 29, 2009
Every year I post something on my birthday, so this year should be no different.

Yesterday, I turned 31. I blew right past 30 and have now landed at 31. What a year. I barely remember most of it. I would like to say it was not a very exciting year. It certainly started off that way.

I am getting to the point where it seems like the days, weeks, months and years kind of blend into each other. When I have conversation with old friends the talks are brief even though we may not have talked for several months. Not much changes in my life. Work is work and life is life.

However, this year a few big things have changed. The biggest event of the year is that I got engaged. I will admit, I never thought I would get here. I never thought I would meet someone who fits me so well like my fiancee does but here I am six months away from my wedding. By the time I write this post next year I will be a married man.

Work has definitely changed from last year. At this time a year ago, work had gone from something new and exciting to something kind of mundane. I was not thrilled with my position, something that would get worse in the months that followed my post last year. But things at work turned the corner. We had several layoffs and reorganizations. My role is quite different in the company now and for me it is a much better opportunity. This is exactly the type of growth and opportunity I wanted for myself when I quit my last job so I am very happy that at least this part of that risk ended up paying off.

There are still some challenges in front of me, things are not perfect, but work rarely if ever is. I actually was able to convince a good friend and an old co-worker to come work for me, so it kind of feels like old times and that makes it kind of nice.

There have been lots of little changes. The kitty is still great. He has become more needy as he gets older and now has a very annoying habit of meowing constantly at the most inconvenient of times. Nevertheless, we still love him and I think he is mostly content with his life. I definitely do not play as much basketball as I used to. Too bad really. I do no think I've played a game of basketball this calendar year, something that would have been unheard of just a year or two ago. Most of it is lack of time, some of it is lack of motivation. However, I do plan to eventually run in a marathon. It is something I will have to pick up in the coming months if I want to be in shape for it next year.

It is hard to imagine that 31 will be as good as 30 but I certainly hope it is. The wedding is going to be lots of fun and work is on the uptrend. While I think most of my focus will be on wedding planning and the new responsibilities at work, I am also thinking hard about what I am going to do not in the next year, but in the subsequent following years. By this time next year, I hope to have an idea about long term prospects that today I just do not have a plan around.

Why I liked Field Trips

Friday, March 27, 2009
Yesterday, as I walked past a group of kids on a field trip, I had a flashback to my childhood. I suddenly recalled a major reason I liked field trips when I was growing up and it makes so little sense to me now in retrospect.

When I was growing up, my elementary school did not allow us to bring sodas in our lunch. This was particularly frustrating for me since I was a sugar fiend and they were easy for me to get since my father had mountains of soda for his restaurant.

However, this rule did not apply to us when we went of field trips. For whatever reason, we were allowed to bring cans of soda in our lunch when we were not going to school and were instead going on a field trip. Why on earth would my school make this distinction. I can understand why they would not want kids drinking soda. Besides the health issues, you get hyperactive kids if they are drinking a ton of soda.

But why would they allow it on field trips? Was it ok that I was rowdy on the bus? Did they not care if I was all hyped up in public since I was not as much their problem?

The Lobster Dribble

Saturday, February 14, 2009
A few months ago, there was tremendous controversy about Lebron James and his "crab dribble". See the video below.

Believe me when I say this. I've played a lot of basketball in my life, and you can call it whatever you want, but Lebron James traveled. It was blatant and I applaud the referee for giving the proper call despite the fact that it might have changed the game. A travel is a travel no matter what the clock says.

But I had to laugh when I saw this video of Corey Maggette against the Atlanta Hawks.

The guy literally travels about six times in a six second period of time. For those who are not familiar with the rules, you can not pick up you feet as soon as you catch the ball or you come to a complete stop after dribbling. Since this is an even more blatant disregard for the rules, I decided to call it the "Lobster Dribble" since it is an even better version of traveling.

This is seriously one of the craziest things I have ever seen in a game. What makes it even worse is that the referee is standing right there. What the hell? And, to top it off, Maggette COMPLAINS about the non-call after he turns the ball over. No wonder so many people are disillusioned with the NBA