Wednesday, March 27, 2013

If I Were Booking WrestleMania 29....

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and I tried to stick with the current storylines as best as I could. Some things have changed since then but these could still work.

Dark Match – Divas Championship that no one cares about

U.S. Heavyweight Championship – The Miz (challenger) vs. Antonio Cesaro (champion)
The Miz comes out with Ric Flair at his side. It’s a great match, back and forth, between both. Near the end of the match, Fandango comes out with two dancing partners. As he is watching the match The Miz locks in the Figure Four to Cesaro. Flair gets excited and starts dancing. He hops up on the apron to “distract” the referee while The Miz keeps cinching in the Figure Four. Flair comes through the ropes, yells “Wooo!” and drops an elbow on The Miz!! OMG. Just as quickly, Fandango leaps into the ring and covers the immobile Cesaro and gets the three count. Fandango screams “You will know my name!!” and then smiles and offers Flair one of his dancers as the leave the ring together.

Your NEW U.S. Heavyweight Champion – Fandango.  

Fatal Four Way – Tag Team Championship Match – Team Hell No (champions) vs. Prime Time Players vs. Broadus Clay and Tensai vs. Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes (challengers)
Crazy weird fight and brouhahas break loose all over the place. At one point Broadus and Bryan are in the ring while everyone else is on the outside except Kane, who is on the apron. Broadus is destroying Bryan, but he makes an escape and tries to tag Kane. Kane jumps off the apron and walks away. Bryan is devastated as he watches Kane leave – then from behind Clay and Tensai double team Bryan and get the pin. Then the dancing begins…  

Winners and NEW Tag Team Champions – Broadus Clay and Tensai  

Intercontinental Championship – R-Truth (Challenger) vs. Wade Barrett (champion)
Blah-blah-blah. Barrett wins with Colin Farrell at ringside to promote their crappy movie.  

Winner and still Intercontinental Champion – Wade Barrett  

Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler with AJ Lee and Big E Langston
One of the best matchers of the night. Both combatants have control at certain points. AJ and Big E try to get involved on certain occasions. At one point, when Dolph is incapacitated at ringside, Big E tries to interfere. Vickie comes out and starts wailing on AJ while Chris locks Big E in the Walls of Jericho. Booker T comes down and throws out everyone from ringside. Vickie and AJ fight back up the ramp as Big E tries to break them up. Chris and Dolph go at it. Dolph tries to hit the Fameasser, or whatever he calls it, but Jericho pulls an amazing counter and locks in the Walls of Jericho. With no one to help, Dolph passes out and loses the match.  

Winner – Chris Jericho  

Mark Henry vs. The Big Show
This is a Body Slam Match, the person who can body slam the other wins. Both go back and forth and near the end (thank god), Big Show hits Mark Henry with the punch. Mark doesn’t flinch. Big Show looks at his fist and hits him again. Once again, Mark doesn’t flinch. Mark yells “This is what I do!” Big Show looks at his fist and walks out of the ring. As he is walking up the ramp out comes Alberto Del Rio, RR, Sheamus and anyone else who has been victimized by the punch. Big Show goes back down to the ring and gets bodyslammed by Mark Henry and the ring collapses.  

Winner – Mark Henry  

War Games Match – Two Rings Enclosed by a Cage: Sheamus, Ryback, Orton and HHH vs. Team Heyman – the Shield and Brock Lesnar
Earlier in the month, Brock accepted HHH’s challenge with one caveat: if he wanted a fight they were going to do it on Heyman’s terms, which is the War Games. Triple HHH agrees and gets Sheamus, Ryback and Orton to be his partners. Longest and most brutal match of the night: Team Heyman wins the coin flip and gets the first entry at 5 minutes. Match starts with Ambrose and Orton. In succession, here are the entrants: Rollins, Sheamus, Reigns, Ryback, Lesnar and HHH. Trips and Lesnar go off into their own ring and proceed to get into a bloody mess together. After the beating commence, the Shield tries to protect Lesnar from HHH, but then Vince, Steph, Shane and HHH’s kids come down to ringside to cheer HHH on. With this the faces fo wild and it ends up with Ryback and HHH double teaming Lesnar and HHH pedigrees him and gets the pin. HHH walks off with his family. Once they get to the top of the ramp, HHH thanks the fans and officially retires.  

Winners – Sheamus, Ryback, Orton and HHH  

World Heavyweight Championship Match – Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter (challenger) vs. Alberto Del Rio (champion)
This is a back and forth match; where even Zeb Colter and Ricardo Rodriguez get into a ringside scrap. Both competitors put on their finishing moves, but Jack is close to ropes when ADR puts on armbar so he gets a reprieve. ADR kicks out of Swagger’s finisher and Zeb jumps up on the apron. Jack goes over and Zeb hands him a foreign object. ADR comes over and drop kicks Swagger and he knocks Zeb off the apron. But Jack gets up and hits ADR with the brass knucks and gets the three count. Just as he is celebrating AJ comes down to the ring and distracts Swagger as Ziggler and Big E come from behind and beat him up. Dolph then cashes in the MIB and gets the three count.  

Your NEW World Heavyweight Champion – Dolph Ziggler  

The Streak Match – CM Punk vs. The Undertaker
This is going to be an awesome match. Longest match of the night with both contestants going back and forth. After about 35 minutes Taker hits a Tombstone but Punk kicks out of it. After more action Punk hits the GTS. But Taker kicks out. Punk hits the GTS again, Taker kicks out. One last time Punk hits the GTS and Taker kicks out. As the last GTS is being put on Taker, Mick Foley comes down to ringside. He pleads with Punk, “He’s not human, you can’t win!” Punk listens to Foley and walks away, being counted out. Foley convinces Punk to give him the urn. Taker goes to 21-0, but Punk doesn’t lose. Once Punk is counted out Foley jumps in the ring and screams at Taker – “This is for Hell in a Cell” and takes the urn to Taker, beating him within an inch of his life. As Foley is leaving, Kane meets him on the ramp and beats him to a pulp. He them slams Foley off the ramp. Kane then gets the urn from Foley, he then lifts it up in the air at ringside. Taker rises. Kane and Taker hug and lift the urn together in tribute to Paul Bearer.  

Winner – Undertaker  

WWE Heavyweight Championship Match – John Cena (challenger) vs. The Rock (champion) Typical WWE Heavyweight match with both guys having runs of success. It’s pretty much just like last year’s match except the ending – as the match is finishing Punk comes down and watches from ringside. He does not interfere, however. Cena tries AA and Rock kicks out. Rock tries Rock Bottom and Cena kicks out. Vince comes down to the ring and it looks as if we may have another “corporate champion” as it was back in the Attitude Era. But then, The Shield comes down from the stands and seeks justice after their loss in War Games. They beat down Rock, Cena and Vince. CM Punk just watches and then walks away at the end of the match, laughing, but taking no credit for The Shield. Match ends in a double count out after The Shield triple power bombs both Rock and Cena. They kidnap the WWE belt and tell everyone that the champ won’t get it back until justice is served. End of show.  

Winner – no one. Double count out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

#pray4rebecca

The #pray4rebecca t-shirt was created via the CustomInk website. The shirt is pictured below. Go to the CustomInk site and fill out the information then return here and use the PayPal button to pay for your shirt. Let's show Rebecca how much she is loved!!

Front Back

Put shirt size in notes

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Cardinals and Scottie Pippen


I grew up in Central Illinois, just north of Peoria, in a little town called Chillicothe. It was a big baseball area and the fan lines were drawn between the Cubs and the Cardinals. It was almost as if the AL only existed to get beat in the All-Star Game and then play in the World Series. My family was a die-hard Cubs family. I liked to tell people, once I got to college and beyond, that where I grew up you rooted for the Cubs or the Cardinals and my Dad brought me up right. Yes, there as quite a bit of playful animosity between the two fan bases since they were rivals, but other than 1984 when the Cubs finally went to the playoffs after 39 years, the Cardinals ruled the rivalry. As I have grown older the “playful” part of the enmity has gone by the wayside. It’s nice to have a rival – I’m a huge Bears fan and we hate the Packers, but I respect loyal Packers fans – but there is an underlying issue that has been bothering me for a while….and I think I might have stumbled across some reasons as to the purpose of this enmity.

Let me go back to my Little League days to help explain my theory. I LOVED Little League. After Valentine’s Day I would get the itch for practices and bug my Dad about signups. I lived for the summers when I could play all day and all weekend. My birthday was in the middle of August, which doesn’t seem like a big deal at first glance, but my parents started me in school early. I was always the youngest person in my class. As the related to Little League, I hardly even played with my classmates. Most of my teams consisted of guys who were a year behind me in school. I also had an older brother, two years my senior, who played as well. I always watched and studied my classmates and my older brothers teams and noticed a few interesting tidbits.

I can’t explain it, but there was always one guy who was far and away the best player. Usually, this was the guy who matured the fastest and therefore could throw faster and hit it further than the rest of the team. Two names stand out for me, Bill Akright and Dana Bannister. Both were absolute flamethrowers who scared the bejesus out of any little kid, like me, who had to face them. Now, I’m not tooting my own horn, but I was a pretty good ball player. Never the first pick, but I considered myself a dirtbag who would do anything to win. Consequently, there were times where I got called up to the leagues above me to substitute for missing players. A very cool reward…unless I ended up having to face Akright or Bannister – then it was just making sure I didn’t piss down my leg as I walked to the plate.

A little about me: yes, I was a scrappy ballplayer, but once boys got to the age where physical things started to happen, I stalled. To say I was a late bloomer is a gross understatement. Let me put it plainly for you – the day I graduated high school I was 5’3” tall….and I had grown about 3 inches the last nine weeks of my senior year. Make sense now? I digress. When I played Little League these giants throwing BB's at what seemed like 100 mph scared me to death.  I didn’t back down but I was never hugely successful when I got called up. I liked playing with my own age group. Again, there was always the easy first pick for any coach putting together any of my teams. After that though, it got interesting. After the mega-starts were a lot of really good ballplayers. At the time, I liked to fancy myself as one, but who knows how they looked at me. These guys were so close in talent that the position they chose could make all the difference in the world in getting noticed. My brother is a great example of this – he was a catcher (I was too, but also played the other positions up the middle of the field in 2B and CF) so he set himself apart. Was he the mega-star? No. But he was a really good player who played a vital position. One thing that always bit me and my brother in the rear in Little League was that we didn’t play the political game. We didn’t toot our own horns and neither did our Dad. Our play would tell the story. I understand that choice.

So how does this all this relate to Cubs and Cardinals fans? Let’s connect the dots. There were three major types of players in Little League – the mega-stars, the really good players who had to be political to get ahead, and the little scrappy guys (like me) who just wanted to play all day long but would never carry a team. I think we can correlate each of these players with a team in MLB today – the mega-star would be the Yankees. 27 World Championships is all we need to day about that classification. The really good player would be the Cardinals – 11 World Championships, great history, but will never reach the Yankees level. Finally, the little scrappy kid – that’s the Cubs – think Squints from the movie “The Sandlot” or Tanner from “Bad News Bears”. He needs a LOT of help from better players to help them win. In my opinion, Cardinals fans HATE being the really good player who never seemingly gets his due. They want to be the alpha dog who can preen and pose while everyone ooh’s and ah’s at their greatness. That’s not going to happen – ever.

We can classify this as the Scottie Pippen complex, if I may. He is one of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time. But he will never be Mike. When Michael went to play baseball and Scottie was left to be “the man”, what happened? Nothing. Once Scottie left Chicago did he ever win anything? Nope.
For me, the classic example was Wilber Marshall. LOVED this guy when he was with the Bears; he was my second favorite player after Walter. He was a beast. But when he became a FA he bolted to be the man in Washington and…..he was never the same. Yes, he won a ring there but he was never the main cog of the defense.

This is the problem with Cardinals fans. They want the adulation for being a Jordan when they are a Pippen. Let me clarify – there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a Pippen. But you can’t expect to be looked at as a Jordan when you aren’t Jordan. That’s the Yankees. So to make themselves feel better – they pick on the Penny Hardaway of the group, the Cubs. Yes, we’ve had a few great years but could never put it all together to win the title. The more Cardinals fans feel disrespected, the more Penny gets derided.

Yogi Berra had a famous line as he was talking to Bernie Williams during the 1999 ALCS. He said, “"Relax. We've been playing these guys for 80 years. They're never gonna beat us." What a dig! There aren’t many things more derisive than indifference. The Yankees (until 2004) were indifferent towards the Red Sox because they knew they would always beat them. Why aren’t Cardinals fans like that towards Cubs fans? Can we help it that the media is fascinated with the “lovable loser” tag (I HATE that moniker)? That we have an historic ballpark with ambiance in a great neighborhood that sells out every game? It is not our fault, as Cubs fans, that the media has made the club and their fans darlings because of on the field failures; billy goats, called HR shots, Leon’s glove, Bartman….it’s all a fascinating story. But if I was a Cardinals fan (and I shudder at the thought) I would have indifference towards the Cubs until they actually won something. 

Give it a try Cardinals fans, ignore us. Enjoy being Scottie Pippen. Maybe someday we will get a chance to be Jason Terry.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

By the way....

Even though I sent them in late, the uniforms below made it to the contest at http://www.uni-watch.com/. If you'd like to vote for my entry, go to the site starting this weeked and vote for my Barons design.

Thanks!
Crull

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Uniform Design

Our friends over at Uni Watch recently had a contest to redesign the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins uniforms so that the mascots would be less offensive. I chose to take on the Indians. One of the stipulations was choosing a name that had significance to the city and/or team. They gave some suggestions and I decided on one that they suggested - Barons. Here are my designs for the Cleveland Barons:

Home Uniform

Away Uniform

Alternate Uniform
Hat


Let me know what you think....

BTW, Paul Lukas has also issued a challenge on ESPN.com to rename and redesign the New Orleans Hornets logo and uniforms. Details here. I think that's my next uniform.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Meyers Leonard Gets a Surprise...

This is the best...



Meyers Leonard's brother, Bailey, returned from Afghanistan...Meyers did not know he was retruning and Bailey surprised him by showing up at the shootaround before the Michigan game on March 1.

Thank you Bailey for your service.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Full MiLB Sports Marketing Project

If you read my last post, and from the looks of it, no one did - I recently assigned my sports marketing classes a project where they needed to come up with the name of a Class A Chicago Cubs affiliate that was coming to our area. They needed to procure a sponsor for the stadium, name the team, create a logo and promote a press conference where they would reveal the aforementioned tasks.

Now that we are at the end of our unit they are building upon that base with the rest of their project. At this point, they have to:
1. Design home and away uniforms, as well as a cap
2. Create an Opening Day promotion for both adults and children. They need corporate sponsors for both promotions.
3. Create a local 30 second television commercial, design a billboard and choose four locations to put them around the city, and create a social media campaign as well.
4. Finally, thanks to Benjamin Hill at Ben's Biz Blog, they are creating a unique food item to sell at the stadium. It must be indigenous to the area, not already created/sold at another establishment, and be unique enough to draw fans on it's own accord. It can be a contest or just a grandiose item. The students will then build these food items in the FACS kitchen next week.

I'm pretty excited to see what I get. There were a couple of groups where I had to strongly suggest they go back and reconsider their team names and logos (I have a lot of comedians as students). Once the project is finished I will post results here.