Conor McGregor Done? Hold Up

(Photo via wikipedia.org)

“I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.” ­ Conor McGregor, 19 April 2016, 2:29 PM

These were the retirement words issued by Conor McGregor, the most electrifying UFC fighter the world has seen since Brock Lesnar, Tuesday afternoon.

You’re kidding me right? Well, luckily, he actually was.

On Thursday morning, McGregor (19-­3 MMA, 7-­1 UFC) made a statement that he was infact NOT retiring and is ready for UFC 200 against Nate Diaz (19­-10 MMA, 14-­8 UFC). “I am paid to fight,” McGregor wrote (via Facebook). “I am not yet paid to promote. I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting. There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop.”

I found it surprising that a proven, humbled fighter like McGregor pulled a retirement stunt for publicity. In fact, McGregor states that he “retired” to avoid the press and all the PR that surrounds this upcoming fight. His first loss in UFC came at the hands of Diaz at UFC 197, in which McGregor was humbled about the loss, but attributed it to busy PR and hectic schedule. What he wasn’t aware of was that his retirement tweet gave him more publicity than he thought. But it also helped the UFC. “There had been 10 million dollars allocated for the promotion of this event is what they told me,” McGregor wrote yesterday. “So as a gesture of good will, I went and not only saved that 10 million dollars in promotion money, I then went and tripled it for them. And all with one tweet.”

Well played Conor. Hungry as day one.

– M. Fritz

Wrestlemania Wasn’t Wrestling

(Photo via wrestlezone.com)

Dallas, Texas seated 101,000 wrestling fans in the AT&T arena on April 3, 2016. A house in Bridgeport, Connecticut seated 11 raging wrestling fans in a living room.

11 friends gathered in a living room at 5pm with 100 buffalo wings and buffalo chicken dip ready to go ­(sounds like the start of a sick joke). To some, wrestling is a joke. To others, it was their childhood­their heroes, their dreams, their entertainment. “Wrestling is fake, it’s not real,” ­well no shit. We know it’s not “real”. But when you have 11 friends, all 20 and 21 years of age, something special happens when watching Wrestlemania: you have fun again.

I haven’t seen a live Wrestlmania in about 6 years. I had high hopes. Wrestling is not what it used to be. Gone are the days of the “WWF Attitude Era” with blood, sex, and anything crazy. We accepted that this era of wrestling is different.

We sit around and get ready. We see a Long Island boy win his first ladder match for the Intercontinental title. We see creepy Uncle Rick and his daughter Charlotte ring in a new chapter for women’s wrestling. We see AJ Styles get his first long-­deserved Wrestlemania match. We see our favorite legends return for a segment. We see Brock Lesnar take Dean Ambrose to suplex city 13 times. We see the Phenom take down the Prodigal son. We see the King of Kings get dethroned and the rise of the Roman Empire.

Wrestling isn’t Wrestling. It is a 32 year on­going male soap opera story. It is sports entertainment. It is a production and a business.

Wrestlemania 32 didn’t show wrestling, it showed surprises. It showed the Beast taking down the fringed­-lunatic. Wrestlemania told a story of the Prodigal son, coming back to take what is rightfully his from his father, and ultimately failing. We saw a man fall 35 feet off a cage through a table onto cement. Wrestlemania isn’t just good guy versus bad guy. Wrestlemania told a 2 year story of a man trying to win his prize from his boss who keeps holding him back for 2 years.

Wrestlamania wasn’t wrestling. Wrestlemania was 11 college friends reliving their childhood. Not all the matches were good. But the memories were.

Summerslam at Barclays center, here we come.

– M. Fritz

Olympics In Question

(Photo via rio-de-janeiro-travel-information.com)

In one of our recent podcasts, we addressed the impending threat that the Zika outbreak poses on the Olympic Games in Rio. Just today, a German doctor came out with reports that he believes the virus doesn’t pose a threat to athletes. The report did go on to say that athletes and travelers should be cautious, but that there is no need to panic.

We need to hold our horses and stop getting so worked up. It is only nature that we fear the unknown. Every animal including humans has a natural fear of something they do not understand, especially if it seems to pose a threat to our existence.

We need to look at history as an indicator. Look at the “modern plagues” that we have over come just in our lifetime; ebola, swine flue, bird flue, and the list goes on. We fear Zika now because it is new. The fact is that modern science and medicine are able to solve these problems quicker than we can imagine. I think we, and especially athletes, need to take time to make a fully educated decision before making statements about whether or not they will be competing in Rio.

– R. Ilardi

A Game Winning Goal, for Dad

(Photo via gametimect.com)

West Haven, Conn.­​

We’ve all played sports. We’ve all dreamed of hitting that walk off home run or that overtime buzzer-­beater to win the game. But maybe, more importantly, we’ve all played games with pent-­up emotion.

West Haven Notre Dame’s Doug Caliendo played a game with a burden that most of us fear, to have to play­ a game the day his father passed away. His father, Lou, lost his battle with stomach cancer last Wednesday morning, just hours before his son’s game. The Green Knights held a moment of silence for Lou before the game against Northwest Catholic.

The game carried on as any ordinary hockey game does. Catholic led the Green Knights 2­0 seconds into the third period, until the Knights tied it up, a goal that would go on to force overtime. Only 23 seconds into overtime, Green Knights defenseman Doug Caliendo received the puck and had a chance to make something special happen. Caliendo made a move and scored the game winning goal to give the Green Knights a 3­-2 win in the most dramatic fashion.

It’s a storybook ending that’ll give you goosebumps. Moments like these are what constantly remind us why we play sports and why we love the game.

– M. Fritz

Lady Gaga Causes Vegas Uproar

(Photo via fansisded.com)

Just when you thought her music was the worst thing Lady Gaga could have ever done to society, she takes it even farther. I wasn’t crazy abut the decision when I heard she was chosen to sing the National Anthem, but I was like, ‘whatever, I should be drunk by that point anyways.’ Then I heard that the over/under on time of the song was 2:20, and I got to thinking.

I thought instantly to take the under. Lady Gaga doesn’t have the voice to drag out the long notes, so I thought it was a safe bet. Gaga then finished singing in about 2:10, right when I went to high five my friend, and Buzz correspondent, known formally as “the shark.” Just as we celebrated our imaginary winnings, Lady Gaga resang the last line.

I nearly sharted on the shark’s lovely couch cover. She resang the final line and went longer than 2:20. Vegas decided to pay the under, but people who chose the over are in an uproar. If you ask me, this is just another reason society doesn’t need lady Gaga. As if her meat dress wasn’t enough of a warning sign.

– R. Ilardi