Saturday, February 27, 2010

Calling Out TSN... Again!

I know that the Olympics are option one-through-100 right now for coverage on

I get that. I wasn't looking for front page coverage.

But when I flip to the MMA page of "Canada's Sports Leader," I was hoping to see some coverage of Victoria native Sarah Kaufman.

Without a mention of the tiny terror on Monday or Tuesday, I took to passing along a link to one of the two feature-length pieces I penned on my fellow Islander earlier in the week, offering up more than 600 words for free simply to see a friend and worthy fighter get the coverage she had earned.

Still nothing, not even a "thanks but no thanks" email from TSN.

Friday, Sports Illustrated's MMA & Boxing page not only featured Ms. Kaufman as the main story by their head writer Josh Gross, but also ran a link below that to a Q&A with Kaufman courtesy of a certain someone who moonlights as a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report.

Saturday, both pieces were still up there, logging time and getting Kaufman some press coverage in our neighbor to the south.

Here at home? Nothing.

Waking this morning, I thought for sure they'd have something on Kaufman up at TSN.

I mean, all she did last night was put on a dominant technical display against Takayo Hashi to claim the Strikeforce Women's Welterweight title and extend her record to 11-0.

Sports Illustrated covered the event, with Kaufman as the poster child for the post-fight coverage.

TSN? Not a word.

They've got a two-day old story on Brock Lesnar's response to Frank Mir's stale comments from last week, a subsequent piece about Mir's apology to Lesnar from earlier in the week, and a blurb about Ben Rothwell, a fighter recently scratched from UFC 110 who will now be facing Gilbert Yvel at UFC 115 in Vancouver this summer.

Not one of those fighters is from Canada.

Here's what I don't understand - and hope to one day have answered by TSN:

How can you have a dedicated MMA page that gets updated fairly frequently and not have a single reference to the Canadian girl who just extended her winning streak to eleven and won a championship?

Yes, the UFC is the biggest name in the business, but they're not the only game in town. It's not like TSN has some kind of exclusive deal to only talk about the UFC, at least not that I know of anyway.

They show highlights of Canadian golfers in each PGA Tour event on the calendar, show the stats on every Canadian kid on an NCAA roster on the ticker during college basketball season, but a Canadian fighter goes out and wins a title in a major organization and "Canada's Sports Leader" doesn't even mention the achievement?

Kind of disheartening that at a time when national pride is riding high and we're trumpeting the accomplishments of Canadians to the world, a newly-crowned world champion can't get a single sentence put down about her successes.

Congratulations Sarah.

C'mon TSN... get with the program.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Long Overdue Update

Well, I've moved again...

No, we're still in Victoria, but my MMA writing talents have jumped ship one last time.

MMA Madness is now my home, and we're set to do some big things. I know everyone says that, and I've said it before about every site I've worked with, but this time it actually is different and will come true.

A collection of colleagues I respect and admire have banded together to form a great writing team, and they've brought me along for the ride. Yes, I'm being humble for once. These guys are all far more experienced than me and I've learned a great deal in two weeks.

In addition to continuing some of my favorite columns that I have brought with me on each stop of this MMA writing odyssey of mine (Punch Drunk Predictions, 10 things we learned last night), I'm going to get a chance to showcase the fighters, promotions and emerging talents from my home and native land.

Canada is loaded with up-and-comers and great promotions that haven't gotten the attention they deserve, and I intend to be the one who helps shine a little light on things up here in the Great White North, starting with TFC 10: High Octane two weeks from now in Edmonton.

There are several irons in various fires right now - big things are coming people and they're coming to MMA Madness.

Bookmark it and be back regularly... or else I'll hunt you down and choke you out!

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Time for the Oly... Oh Wait... I Don't Care

Call me un-Canadian.

Call me a grinch.

Call me whatever fun curse word you're currently favoring these days.

The Olympics are a joke to me.

Don't get me wrong - I'll watch some stuff here and there, but as a whole, I just don't get it.

Actually, I think the problem is that when I look at the Olympics, I basically see the same things that take place throughout the sporting year.

With the exception of hockey, why all of a sudden are Canadians (or people of any country) glued to their televisions to see how a skier they've never cared about before makes out in the Giant Slalom?

Newsflash: they've always been Canadian, they've always competed for Canada against skiers from other nations, and the races have been held on Canadian soil countless times each year. Nothing has changed...

I love my country a great deal - though some will surely argue that point after reading this - but the two weeks of faux-patriotism and nationalism makes me want to vomit. Hockey is the only "event" that comes to mind where things are different at the Olympics, and so suddenly having a vested interest in how Canada does makes sense to me.

Everything else? The same.

It's not like Jeremy Wotherspoon will leave Vancouver, rejoin the Amsterdam Ice Bandits of the International Speed Skating Association and help them defeat their arch-rivals from Belgium.

But it's "The Olympics" and everyone is supposed to be super-excited and wear overly expensive Canada gear that can only be purchased with VISA, the Official Card of the 2010 Olympic Games (or cash), and be deeply tied to how Jeff Pain and Jon Montgomery do in Men's Skeleton.

Call me whatever you will - unpatriotic, buzzkill, douche, whatever - but be sure to actually call me in a month's time too...

I'll be looking for updates on how your favorite skier or figure skating is doing in regular competition and laughing every time someone says, "Who?" once the Olympic glow washes away.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mindboggling: People Born After Appetite for Destruction was Released

So we're in the warehouse last night, you know, picking produce, and the initial guitar strums from "Paradise City" come over the radio.

I immediately crank it up, start playing air guitar and wonder why the guys I'm working with aren't doing the same.

One has an easy excuse: he's from India. In the two or three years he's been here, there are more important things for him to learn than the sonic awesomeness of Guns 'N Roses.

But what about the other guy? He's Victoria born-and-raised. What's his excuse? The answer blew my mind...

"Gio, when were you born?" I questioned, knowing where the response was going to lead me.

"1991, why?"

My mind exploded, and not in the good way like when you just read something that makes the world make sense or you see the greatest fight you've ever seen.

This was a "holy shitballs I never thought this was possible and can't comprehend it right now" kind of mind explosion.

There are people out there - a great number of them actually - who were born post-Appetite for Destruction.

Let's get something clear: it's not so much the fact that people have continued to give birth to infants post-1987 that rattles my brain, but more that this album was one of those seminal albums of my youth, a "remember where you were when you first heard it" kind of monster that shook the foundations of my musical being.

And no, I'm not exaggerating in the least.

To these people, "Sweet Child O' Mine" isn't the song me, Jeff Sanislo, Joel Richardson and Jason Morris ripped for Grade 7 airband, it's classic rock. They were one when Nevermind changed the way a whole collection of disenfranchised kids looked at the world. Well, they still looked at it the same, but at least now they had someone to point to and say, "See? He gets it."

What shook me even more than the realization that Appetite wasn't relevant to this entire demographic was thinking about music actually was meaningful and the music of their generation.

Let's say you're six or seven before you can really start making your own choices about music. Before that, you're listening to whatever everyone else is listening to, whether that's mom, dad, brother, sister or whoever.

That means for people born in 1991, we're looking at '97 as the earliest chance to decide "this is my kind of music." The popular choices at the time where:

  • "I'll Be Missing You," then Puff Daddy's anthem to the fallen Notorious B.I.G. - chances of these kids knowing the beat was jacked from The Police: 250 to 1.
  • "Barbie Girl"
  • "Mmmmmbop"
  • Anything by The Spice Girls
Let me put it this way - Britney Spears still hadn't happened...

I learned last night that I came along at a great time; I have gotten to experience the awesomeness of Guns 'N Roses debut album, the entire Grunge era, and classic hip hop that wasn't sampled or made by computers and focused solely on asses, guns, drugs and money.

Realizing some people were born after Appetite for Destruction kicked in the door blew my mind, but it also made me understand how lucky I am to be 31...

I've grown up with changes and experiences that are routine and normal to most, and that's kind of cool.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go make a mixtape of all the awesome music that happened before this kid was born so he can understand how great it used to be.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

If You've Got Time to Put on Your Lacey Red Thong...

You've got time to put on real pants and shoes!

No, I'm not talking about the lovely Ms. Alyssa Milano, pictured here with her red thong whale tail showing to illustrate the term and so I don't have obvious porn as the picture on my somewhat family friendly site.

I'm talking about the absolute ghetto child we (Sarah and I) saw yesterday morning as we went to the grocery store. I understand that Saturday mornings can be tough, especially if Friday night was a monster, but this was too much.

This lass caught our eyes because instead of wearing actual shoes, she had on slippers, and not even like hilarious old man sleepers that could conceivable pass as shoes. These where the stylish version that she obviously paid way too much for and wants to get as much use out of as possible.

Good for a chuckle and a headshake, but fair enough. We've all been the hungover mess that desperately needs a Booster Juice (as this treat was enjoying), but here's the kicker: superstar drops something, crouches down to pick it up and out pops a lacey red whale tail.


Two things: (1) they're either the same lacey red numbers you wore out to skank it up the night before and are therefore a biohazard at this point, or (2) you went to the trouble of putting on your little red numbers but couldn't do better than slippers, sweatpants slit up the back of the legs and a brown, fur-trimmed parka to finish the wardrobe?

I know I look far from ready for the runway when I'm riffling out to grab six or eight things at the store or stopping for coffee after dropping Sarah off in the early morning, but this was too much.

Somewhere, her mother thinks she's raised a charming, well-put-together young lady, when in reality, her offspring is out schlepping it through the strip mall, sucking back a Booster Juice looking ghetto fantastic with her lacey red whale tail.

So help me if I have daughters... this shit ain't happening in my house.

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