Re: Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia

I’m pretty sure these guys were the officiating crew in Lusail this morning.

Obviously, I didn’t watch because fuck getting up at 5 a.m. to watch a game I have no interest in, but I was curious enough to check the score while I was preparing the girls’ breakfast, because frankly I thought Argentina was a strong contender to win it all.  Lo and behold, the crooked number was next to Saudi Arabia, and I’m just like wtf?

Naturally, the red flags start popping up in my head, because on paper there was absolutely no way in hell’s hell that Saudi Arabia should have any business defeating Argentina, much less competing with them in the first place.  But being in Qatar, the Islamaphobic conspiracy is that the royal family or something must clearly be paying off the refs or something in order to buy wins for the Saudis.  Sure, they still had to get the ball into the net a few times to equalize the great Messi and then take the lead, but some outside interference could help with that.

The game summary was especially interesting, because after the Saudis took the lead early in the second half, the six yellow cards that were issued to them throughout the rest of the game clearly says that they were not being shy about physically defending their side of the field, and took it too far multiple times.  The ten offside penalties by Argentina probably says they were pressing, and bad officiating will call offsides if someone farts on the pitch.

My favorite though is the fact that Saudi Arabia only took two shots on goal, and they both happened to go in.  That truly is some Game Genie-like luck and accuracy, that I’m hard pressed to believe that even the greatest teams in futbol history have ever achieved.

Regardless of all the skepticism and bad jokes, the reality is that Argentina still shit the bed and suffered probably one of the most humiliating upsets in World Cup history.  Whether they were completely looking beyond the team in front of them, or maybe some of their 900 kilos of imported meat to circumvent Islamic restrictions went bad on them, but the fact of the matter is that no matter the interference and impartiality of the officiating, they still let a tremendously inferior team get the ball into the back of their net twice.  

They’re in one of the weaker groups, and on paper, should by any right still make it out, but they’ve got no more breathing room at this point, but historically some powerhouse always gets owned in groups, and based on this clown car performance, it might just be Argentina, regardless of they were tampered with or not.

I don’t think Kenny Omega’s heart will ever be with AEW

I was perusing through my YouTube recommendations, and I came across this clip of Kenny Omega challenging Will Osperay, and what caught my attention was the fact that it was dated just a day ago.  Perplexed, I bit, and I watched this not just impressive for Kenny Omega, but a very impressive promo in general, where yep, Kenny Omega was challenging Will Osperay, at WrestleKingdom, New Japan’s version of Wrestlemania.

It was a very thoughtful, impassioned, and good promo, that doesn’t just flex Omega’s fluency in Japanese, but just the whole package of delivery, context and dialogue were fantastic.  It was without question one of the best promos he’s cut in ages, and without any doubt, better than any promo in English he’s ever cut for AEW; that company he helped found, and is an EVP for, regardless of what kayfabe stripping of titles Tony Khan might have declared.

What I’m really getting to is exactly what the title of the post is; no matter what he accomplishes in AEW or the role he plays in AEW, I just can’t believe that at any point, his heart will ever truly be in AEW, because Kenny Omega is such a monumental weeb that has already given his heart to Japan, and by proxy, NJPW.

Forbidden doors and all those buzzwords that love to be thrown around in the current era of the business, but it’s just silly to me that AEW’s (arguably) biggest star is loaning himself to NJPW, and if I’m a betting man, will probably put on the greatest match he’ll have had over the last 3-4 years.  Dave Meltzer will jizz out 7+ stars to describe the match, and international buy rates of the show will probably benefit from this match being announced. 

And it will all be under the umbrella of another promotion.

NJPW will own all the footage of the match, and AEW won’t be able to show any clips of it.  Omega will go from having a mega Broadway of a match against Will Osperay in the Tokyo Dome, and then two weeks later be selling for Orange Cassidy and the Best Friends in Nassau Coliseum with the Young Bucks, whom I also don’t think they really care nearly as much about AEW as much as they do their YouTube channel.

The Oracle (me) says that Omega does the job, because he’s still kind of on the mend, on the later stages of his career, while Osperay is still very much rising to his prime, and logic dictates that another promotion’s guy shouldn’t beat the house talent, but when it comes to AEW and their relationships with other promotions, it always seems like they usually win out, even if it means Omega absconds with the IWGP United States championship.  It’s not like they haven’t done it before.

But I also think that there’s the possibility that this booking was reactionary to the WWE loaning out Shinsuke Nakamura to Pro Wrestling NOAH to have a match against the Great Muta who is kind of a (endless) retirement tour, since both events are on New Year’s, and if that’s the case then Osperay wins, with probably there being a fuckton of interference in order to keep heat strong for the future.

I could expound on a variety of opinions, but ultimately, it all boils down to this hunch, this feeling, that I just don’t think Kenny Omega’s heart will ever really be with AEW, no matter what Tony Khan pays or does for him to try and win it. 

I’d love to see the outtakes of the promo, because it probably took 28 takes at the part where he said he was surprised to have gotten the call from NJPW, because in reality he probably reacted like Stewie Griffin finding out he was going to Disney World at the opportunity to perform for NJPW again.  Frankly it’s like the best of both worlds for him, because he gets to keep his AEW paycheck going, but he gets to go to Mecca and perform at the Tokyo Dome against an incredible talent like Osperay.

The Qatar World Cup is going to be not great-great

It’s not that I’m an Islamaphobe, it’s just that I happen to disagree with a lot of their cultural customs, and when it comes to things I’m interested in, I tend to be disenchanted with whenever an Islamic country hosts things, but imparts their, what I think are archaic and frighteningly draconian, rules and customs onto them.

I have little interest in whenever the WWE runs events in Saudi Arabia, regardless of the egregious amounts of money that clearly sways them, and I can say that I have fairly similar opinions about the World Cup being held in Qatar, right fucking now, instead of the usual summer in which most World Cups tend to be played.  The difference is, professional wrestling is still fairly niche and there are way less people interested in the industry than they are about futbol, and the whole every-four years aspect about the World Cup makes it harder for me to ignore regardless of my disagreement about Qatar.

There’s no doubt in my mind that there’s a yacht full of money somewhere involved to where FIFA agreed to have it in Qatar, but what has been ironically entertaining is the sheer amount of disdain and expectations of utter failure and ownage that the event as a whole is being scrutinized over, and after day 1 of the World Cup, it appears that the watching world is in for a great ride in the sense that it might just be a brilliant shitshow.

Obviously, Qatar really has no business being in the World Cup, only being allowed to play by virtue of an archaic rule that gives the host nation a spot in a group, and it was no more evident when they became the first host team in World Cup history to ever lose their opening game.  Now I’m not the biggest futbol enthusiast in the world, but I thought there was a constantly missing “in X amount of years” because the World Cup has been going on for a long time, and even if it’s every four years, surely in some point in time a host country had to have lost at some point, especially since the United States hosted in 1994.  But no, it really has been a 92-year streak where the host nation, has never lost their first match; sure, there’ve been some draws, but still no losses.

Until Qatar, who was basically de-pantsed in 15 minutes, allowing Ecuador to score twice, and basically never challenge them for the remaining 80 minutes of the game.  Every opinion that Qatar didn’t belong was validated, and frankly, I’m looking forward to their next two matches, and hoping they don’t score a single fucking goal, which is a very viable possibility.  They may never even have a single target shot on goal.

Amusingly, it seemed like the refs might actually be as unimpressed and disenchanted with being in Qatar as most peoples’ opinions are; I figured they would have all been bought off, like most host nations tend to do with the refs, and Qatar was going to win the match.  But be it Qatar’s lack of skill, the refs ambivalence of being there, or whatever circumstance, Qatar players were getting nailed with fouls and yellow cards at an alarming clip, and I before I sat down to start watching, I knew the narrative already.

But the best part was undoubtedly the seas of empty seats throughout the arena, and the cameras catching locals leaving the game while it was still going on.  Much has been made about, how being in an Islamic country means no alcohol at the stadium (unless you’re a VIP in a VIP lounge apparently), as well as the reported attempts to basically buy influencers to pretend like they were having a great time, but once the matches begin, Qatar gon’ Qatar, and fans who can’t have a good time are going to bounce, and clearly Qatari fans are pretty fairweather, and don’t want to stick around if their team is getting trounced.

Either way, it’s only been a single day, but I have to say that the Qatar World Cup has delivered on its fuck-uppery in an entertaining way so far, and I’m kind of looking forward to seeing what ironic bullshit is going to emerge in the coming weeks of play.  Also, I’m looking forward to being able to make the obvious dad joke on Thanksgiving about how I’m going to watch futbol instead of football americano, because again, of Qatar’s bullshit demands, we have World Cup over Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving Day just so happens to be the day in which Korea has their first match where they’ll probably get trounced by Uruguay but I’m obviously still going to watch because O Pilsung Corea motherfuckers

An unprecedented level of ownage

Fascinating: Scottie Pippen’s ex-wife, Larsa Pippen comes out and confirms relationship with Michael Jordan . . . ‘s son

It’s no secret that Michael Jordan was a pretty ruthless competitor in his playing days.  Although he seldom would admit to it, I think it was pretty obvious that winning alone wasn’t enough for MJ, but to demoralize and destroy his opponents in the process.  If the phrasing of owning others existed during his heydays, MJ probably ended his career basically having owned the entire NBA.

However, usually MJ’s ownage was limited to his opponents, most notably Patrick Ewing or any center who played for Georgetown.  It’s not to say he didn’t try to impose his will onto his own teammates present or past, but if there was always one guy that throughout his career was (mostly*) spared from getting owned by His Airness, it would’ve been the right-hand man, the #2, the Robin to Batman, Scottie Pippen.

*there are random clips out there of some exhibition one-on-ones between the two that never seem conclusive nor apparent that either were ever taking it serious enough, but MJ probably won those too

Over the last two years though, whether it was a ploy to help drive up buzz for his autobiography, or perhaps it was sour grapes over some of the narrative in The Last Dance, Scottie Pippen has been vocal and been saying some perceivably controversial things about his relationship with MJ, the Bulls, and his career in general, with not everything particularly positive.  Now Pippen has always struck me as a pretty bitter guy who holds grudges, but he’s always been pretty silent in regards to his relationship with Jordan.  But I guess after nearly two decades from their peak playing days and no real chance for MJ to extract retribution on the court, Pippen has taken the gloves off and has decided to take some swings.

But no problem, MJ doesn’t need a court or even a basketball to remind Pippen who god is.  In fact, MJ doesn’t even need to do anything himself in this case, because his son Marcus is the one doing it, revealing that he’s in a relationship with Scottie’s ex-wife, Larsa. 

Honestly, more than likely this has nothing to do with MJ at all, but by virtue of being the blood of Jordan, he still gets credit for the ownage of Scottie Pippen.  I mean, this is an unprecedented level of ownage here, because it’s not like MJ is the one nailing Scottie’s ex, but his fucking son.  Obviously, Larsa Pippen** is older, but by virtue of being a glorified gold-digging Instagram model, still looks pretty amazing with a plastic body, is still a catch for Marcus Jordan, but it’s a pretty crazy scenario where Scottie Pippen is getting owned by not just Michael Jordan, but MJ’s kid, is the one railing his ex-wife.

**a more passive ownage is the fact that Larsa never dropped the Pippen name, even in divorce, from what I presume is her means to remain tanginally celebrity, but without having to put up with actually being in a relationship with Scottie

Obviously, the chances of MJ himself orchestrating this as a means for punishing Scottie for coming at the king are very slim, so much as it’s happenstance of his son getting involved with a plastic cougar.  But it’s fun to theorize the narrative that it was.  And for a guy like Scottie Pippen, who’s always been kind of a bitch in life; being underpaid for an eon, could never win without MJ, is an infamously shitty tipper, and bitter about everything, it’s just entertaining to see him get owned yet again, but on a level that seems pretty legendary, in the grand scale of ownage.

Sports have too much fucking money vol. 1,232 feat. Jason Heyward

Impetus: the Chicago Cubs release Jason Heyward after seven years of his eight-year contract

Between 2008 and 2009, Jason Heyward was one of the most hyped prospects in baseball.  After the 2009 season, he was the de facto #1 prospect in baseball.  In the Spring Training of 2010, Heyward emerged onto the radar of the national spotlight when he clubbed a home run so far, it left the ballpark and shattered the windshield of a car in the parking lot.

He was so good, he forced the Atlanta Braves to put him on the Opening Day roster instead of taking part in the traditional practice of stashing him in the minors for two months in order to ensure that they can keep him for an additional year of indentured servitude known as team control, instead of getting to free agency.

That Opening Day, Jason Heyward took the first step to immortality by launching a three-run home run in his very first at-bat.

To this day, I still consider that day and that moment, one of the most magical sports memories I’ve ever had.

He performed so well through the first few years of his career, it became very apparent that he was going to become problematic in the sense that as he grew closer and closer to free agency, he was going to command a tremendous amount of money, and as any Braves fan can explain, the Braves absolutely do not like to spend money.

The inevitable became fulfilled when the Braves shipped him off to St. Louis for his contract year in exchange for a pitcher who still had team control available to him, and Heyward unsurprisingly put up a monster year for the Cardinals.  He went into free agency in as optimal position as a player really could be in.

And the Chicago Cubs came knocking, as they signed him to an 8-year, $184 million contract.  Jason Heyward had accomplished what just about every professional athlete strives to do; make it to the big leagues and perform well enough to where you can make it to free agency and cash in on a monster megadeal.

But then something interesting happened: Jason Heyward basically forgot how to play baseball.  From the moment he suited up for the Cubs, he was mostly an offensive liability, hitting .245 and OPSing .700 between 2016 and 2022.  Almost all of his value came from the fact that he was still a reliable glove in the outfield, winning two Gold Glove awards.  That, and the fact that as a person, Jason Heyward has always been a pretty outstanding human being, personable, polite, philanthropic, and just a great teammate, as many of his peers have attested.

Continue reading “Sports have too much fucking money vol. 1,232 feat. Jason Heyward”

Permanent damage

An email late Sunday night came from #1’s preschool, stating that someone in my my child’s class had just tested positive for COVID.  They were at school on Friday same as my daughter.  But not only was my child exposed, this past Friday was also a special day in which several of the classes had a singing day where they all got together, and parents were invited to watch the children participate on the stage.

So instead of one child exposing a classroom of 13 kids and three adults, this child instead exposed four classes, all their teachers, and all parents who came, including me.  Despite the fact that I still mask up in public places and large groups of people, this doesn’t change the fact that not just one of my kids, but both of them, since I had brought #2 with me, were exposed on top of the nearly 60~ish people that were present on Friday.

Seeing as how #1 was already showing some sneezing, coughing and runny nose that I originally thought was just another run of the mill cold that she seems to get every single month, now it’s probably most likely COVID, but it’s something that has yet to be determined, because trying to swab her nose and run a rapid test is about as difficult as Left 4 Dead on expert mode, and two days past exposure, it’s already too late to try and protect ourselves in the house.

Another email Monday morning confirmed the spread, as both of #1’s teachers had tested positive and class was effectively cancelled, which was fortuitous considering we had already kept #1 home for safety purposes to begin with.

This is the world we live in now, where COVID is still all over the fuckin place, and the vast majority of people just accept the fact that everyone is bound to get it at some point, and they’re somehow okay with that.

And then there are people like me who get pissed and get mad over the spread of a plague that has basically killed six million people since 2020, and we’re the ones told to get over it or accept that it was bound to happen, when people continuously spread the disease like it were the common cold.

No, I won’t accept it or get over it.  I will always be upset, I will always be mad, and I will always be frustrated with how the world is being so inconsistent and cavalier about coronavirus.  And even more so when it afflicts my family, because people are so stupid, so selfish and so ignorant to the fact that we live in a world where a potentially lethal virus is just floating all over the place and we’re okay with not masking up and protecting ourselves because it’s uncomfortable or it’s hot or fogs up our glasses when we wear them.

I’m the one who has to disclaim that I’m the social outlier these days, that I don’t feel comfortable in crowds or clam up when I see anyone sneeze or cough out in public because I want to be safe or keep my kids safe.  And yet, I’m the one who has to be concerned about the optics of not wanting to go into the office or into a crowded conference room, because despite the fact that people and businesses all like to talk a big game about how they take health and safety seriously, hardly anyone is actually demonstrating it in their actions.

It’s frustrating all the people and business out there that pretend like they care about people who try to take care of themselves or their families, but there are all sorts of inadvertent consequences to those who actually do.  It’s frustrating being an outlier who still takes things seriously, and being seen as a paranoid pariah instead of someone who is just trying to be safe.

I think this is what we call some permanent damage on account of the pandemic, and I don’t believe I will ever be able to readjust to a life being like it was pre-COVID, and it’s frustrating that I’m the one who is treated like the weirdo.  Because I value safety.  Seems legit.

If life were wrestling, Stacey Abrams turns heel now

I never wanted to be a person whose gave much concern over politics, but maybe it’s a symptom of getting older, or the world is just getting so progressively fucked up that people like me are organically becoming more aware of them, but I’ve found myself caring enough to the point where when the political season starts heating up, I feel the need to ignore everything, because I care, and I’m treating the whole thing like how I treat sports game that I’m vested in.

That being said, I can’t say that I’m the least bit surprised at the results of Georgia’s political battleground, namely the two key races that most people have been paying attention to.  Despite all of the available facts out there, Georgia unsurprisingly embarrassed themselves on a national stage, by having a legally brain-dead Hershel Walker garner so much voter support, that his deadlocked race against Raphael Warnock is now headed to a dreadful run-off race next month.

To my recollection, Democrats haven’t won a single run-off since I’ve lived here or paid any attention to, so instead of losing in November, Warnock seems destined to lose a bigger and more scrutinized race in December, because from what I can observe, the Democratic party can’t seem to put together a single winning strategy against the formulaic low-fruit smashing tactics of the GOP.

But the main point of this post is about Stacey Abrams, who lost for the second time to Yosemite Sam for governorship of Georgia.  I can’t say that I’m at all surprised by this outcome, but I was hoping that Sam’s bickering with the orange guy in 2020 would have done enough damage to him to where it might have shifted some voters to not vote for him, but when it really comes down to it, and the exit polls kind of confer, Stacey Abrams being both black and a female just makes it way too hard to overcome both racist and sexist reflexes of the Georgia voters that actually decided to vote.

According to census numbers, Georgia has about 7 million people who are of voting eligibility, but only about 4 million people actually voted.  Obviously, this isn’t to say that both Abrams and Warnock’s chances of victory would have been improved by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s still frustrating to learn that nearly 3 million people just didn’t vote at all.  If I’m a Hershel Walker supporter, I’m just as frustrated by this, seeing as how the margin of voters between Warnock is what’s sending this to a run-off in the first place.

Either way, to no surprise, Abrams is taking her loss with dignity and class, as was the case the first time around.  She vows to continue to fight for Georgians, and is saying all of the right things that those in the political career should be saying.  But honestly, if I’m Stacey Abrams, and life were actually professional wrestling, at this point I’m fucking sick of Georgians, tired of trying to win Georgia, and I’m turning heel on the state and vowing to move onto bigger and better things.

3 million motherfuckers not voting at all?  What’s the point of Fair Fight when there are a bunch of people who just don’t want to fight at all?  Twice now, Georgians have left Stacey down by not turning up to the polls, and she’s basically had to eat a shit sandwich twice over now.

Abrams is no stranger outside of Georgia too, as she was one of the names that was on the short list of potential Vice President candidates.  Who’s to say that after jobbing twice to Dutch Mantell that she just stops giving a fuck about Georgia and doesn’t move on to bigger and better opportunities in Washington? 

Frankly, I think it would tickle me delirious if Stacey Abrams were to go have a press conference on WSB to announce what she’s going to do next, and unleashing a scathing promo on the state of Georgia, that she’s sick and tired of trying to prop this sexist and racist backwater state up to civilized standards, and that she’s peaceing the fuck out of here, before dropping the mic.

As she gets down from the podium, a bunch of white rednecks in UGA sweatshirts are seen throwing Bud Light bottles and toilet paper rolls onto the stage, like a 1998 episode of WCW Monday Nitro.

At this point, I can’t say I’d blame her.