Sunday, October 26, 2003

#65. Josh Beckett, Florida Marlins, World Series Champions

It was all thanks to Josh Beckett.

The Florida Marlins won the World Series last night, the franchise's second title in its short existence. Was it thanks to Pudge Rodrigez? Or Dontrelle Willis? Nope. Was it thanks to Steve Bartman? Nope. Beckett, baby.

And the aces were supposed to have been Roger Clemens, or Pedro Martinez. The Yankees didn't make it to the World Series because of the Rocket, however. Or because of Aaron Boone's miracle mash. You can thank Jason Giambi, who otherwise is out of place in this Bombers incarnation. His two home runs did more to end the Red Sox dream than anything else. What did he do at the World Series?

To tell you the truth, I have no idea. I didn't watch much of any of the six games, mostly due to the fact that FOX comes in sporadically on my TV (and thusly I will be watching the station on another one when 24 soon returns). But Beckett was the man. No doubt about it. He was a secret weapon in the play-offs. Now we'll see what he can do for the Marlins next season, when he's been exposed as the phenomenon he is.

Hats off to him and the Florida organization. Now let's see someone new muster repeat titles. The Yankees are clearly through.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

#64. Mark Henry, Goldberg

Okay, so Mark Henry, of all people, has given Goldberg a run for his money. Henry is an Olympics weightlifter who made a splash in 1996, drew the attention of the WWE (then still known as the WWF), and was eventually drafted into the roster. He went nowhere, and he went there for the duration of every stay he had in the company. Some of the gimmicks they cooked up for the guy were downright embarrassing. He was always referred to as "The World's Strongest Man," and there often token attempts to capitalize on that, though never substantially as far as his actual ring work was concerned. Wrestling pundits attributed this career limbo to the fact that the guy wasn't really much of a wrestler, to which I counter such a problem has failed to hold back many other famous grapplers. It might also be said that his problem was his lack of charisma, and that would not be unjustifiable. If Mark Henry was known as "The World's Strongest Man," that's all he was known as, other than a company baffoon.

But this past Monday, he wrestled world champion Goldberg and gave "Da Man" a run for his money (and Triple H's money, but that's a matter of storyline), signifying the first time Henry has been taken seriously as a competitor in WWE. To this I say, not all that surprising. When the Smackdown! brand wanted to give champion Brock Lesnar a monster of a challenge, they turned to the Big Show, a behemoth who had never before been in a position to truly be taken seriously in the company. Lesnar was a dominant superstar, so they needed a guy who could physically appear dominating. The rest would be a matter of playing out a realistic challenge in the ring.

Goldberg has always been portrayed as a dominating superstar, and as much as it made him a star in his early WCW days, it became detrimental as he became a regular feature. He was no longer exciting to watch because he had become a predictable element. Henry's recent elevation reveals that WWE realizes this. There are no other big men available in the RAW roster to act in this role, so Henry assumed it as a matter of convenience. It's really a win-win situation. If it works, that is.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

#63. Big Brother, White Stripes

Hey ho. Just checking in. Back a few weeks ago, Jun won Big Brother, which I'm more than pleased about, given that she only had to defeat Alison, who is the worst kind of schemer imagineable, the unconscienable.

But enough about TV matters. And strangely, that's all I was interested in taalking about. Ah, well. A grassroots literature magazine recently started in my community beckons, and perhaps I'll have something to say about that. Just not now. Now I call it an entry and bid adieu to the phantom reader.

Hey, here's an extender. I recently saw the video for the White Stripes' new single, "The Hardest Button to Button," and it's as imaginative as the rest of the output from this duo. Kudos to the super band that isn't yet truly accepted into the public eye. I can't imagine with all this talent that they will be denied it for much longer.


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