Once again, I find myself back at the keyboard looking to inform and reveal. Here’s a few items resting near the cerebellum.
The Kansas City Chiefs tragedy is sinister sadness. A 25 year old player, Jovan Belcher, with no previous history of violence or criminal nature, suddenly sinks multiple rounds of ammo into his girlfriend right in front of her mother and the couple’s 3 month old daughter. He then drives to the Chiefs training facility next to Arrowhead, contemplates his whole life in front of head coach Romeo Crennell and general manager Scott Pioli, thanks them, and blows his head off. What flicks the switch in a seemingly normal guy? Friends can tell me the couple fought a lot and I will shrug. My wife and I spit fire at each other but we don’t want to shoot each other. She gets home late from a concert and he flips out. I’m not buying. The mother of the woman lives there and helps out. What went on here? Did medicine play a part or is this an old fashioned “he just snapped and got homicidal” blame? We do all have the ability inside of us and that is the lesson here. Belcher was a normal guy accordingly to his neighbors and teammates but had demons lurking inside. What happened? Bad things. He took his life outside the home field and tomorrow a game will be played there with 60,000 fans going nuts. Maybe they will feel a hint of regret for watching football. Instead of honoring the dead and giving 48 hours for a small city to digest a large wound, the NFL and Chiefs are moving forward in order to stop their own bleeding. I am not crying for Belcher or his demons here. He took a 22 year old woman out of this world and left an infant all alone. That’s punishable by death and would have come from chemicals if it didn’t by his own hand. While Crennell and league officials decided to play as scheduled in order to keep everything normal, it will be hard to keep my focus off that poor mother and three month old. Inside of 2 hours, the mother lost her daughter and watched her granddaughter become an orphan. The little girl lost both her parents on one morning before her first Christmas. That’s life. At one moment, it’s all fun and games, but the next it goes down in flames. Tragic. Fuck…
A night of boxing concluded just a few moments ago. Middleweight champ Austin Trout took down one of my favorites Miguel Cotto in a closely contested fight that judges had Trout running away with. That’s boxing judges for you. We have no idea what they are doing down there. Cotto and Trout fought a healthy 12 rounds that Miguel just didn’t have the stamina and ability to finish strong enough to win. If he would have won, a highly lucrative payday awaited him in a fight with red haired power fist gunner Canelo Alvarez, who was ringside to watch another payday for him go up in flames. Cotto split the first two rounds but surged from rounds 3-6 and seemed to take control. However, in the 7th and 8th rounds, he stopped connecting, got pushed back and just couldn’t figure out a way to bust down the brick wall of defense Trout put up. Cotto didn’t lose to a chump. Trout is a middleweight undefeated champ who brought his A game. He was the expert counter puncher to Cotto’s power attack. Miguel is a proud man and will climb back into the ring in 2013. Trout may get a shot at Canelo and get destroyed. I do have a feeling Trout will give Alvarez a small run for his money with his counter punching ability. This isn’t Josesito Lopez we are dealing with here. Trout walked onto the big stage, beat Cotto on his Puerto Rican powered turf in Madison Square Garden and deserves a shot at the next stage. Canelo will take him down but the future remains uncertain for Mr. Cotto. His options aren’t desolate. If Amir Khan beats Carlos Molina this month, Cotto could take on Khan, beat him and get back into the favor for a big fight. However, Cotto could retire. I’ve always respected his true grit, hard work, soft spoken attitude and solid career. You can always count on an entertaining fight with Cotto on the card. He at least delivered that to his hometown glory crowd of native Puerto Rican’s on Saturday night.
Side Note. Showtime announcers suck. They can’t carry a tune next to HBO’s expert team of Lampley, Kellerman and Roy Jones/Larry Merchant. Pauli Malignaggi is also the worst color analyst of all time. An overrated boxer and an even worse boxing commentator. He should have been used as a between round sparring partner for the tiring fighters. Nothing gets more praise than Max Kellerman strumming the post fight ring in his black and white suit asking painfully honest questions. HBO kicks Showtime’s ass in the presentation department.
Upon watching the Andre Berto-Robert Guerrero fight, I can say it was a good bloody battle but it wasn’t knock me on my ass entertainment. Most of the fight saw the two fighters clutching and holding while firing short uppercuts. Guerrero rocked Berto early, Andre survived, won a few rounds, lost with dignity and Robert Guerrero was impressive but it was overhyped in my opinion. I will not forget Jim Lampley’s famous words during the final round, a rally cry for ringside boxing announcers in close fights. “You don’t play boxing. You just do it. It’s more than a sport. It’s a way of life.” Strong words.
My biggest problem with GOD is figuring out his relation to real life events. Where is he? What is he doing? How can he get involved? The answer always is, “there’s no fucking way he exists.” Seriously, the only reason people believe in GOD is because they want to think there is a higher meaning or cause to their lives. They don’t want to believe that the malicious acts of a Chiefs player can come from his life experience but instead be the will of God. I am sure the GOD suckers will tell you there was a good reason a mother and father were taken from a 3 month old girl. NO! If GOD was ever around, he isn’t anymore. I picture GOD sitting at a poker game with other people a long long time ago and they were talking about the next phase of the world and the future of mankind and what could happen. When faced with the true vicious ability at the base of a person’s life, GOD was horrified. He threw in his cards, got up, found a horse and never came back. One man can’t be the owner of this unpredictable rock called Earth. We are on our own. Politics is a fine example of showing the control we have in our lives. We have as much control as we allow ourselves. Nobody is helping or waiting. It’s just us. Please stop leaning on this weakening crutch. It’s embarrassing. Believe in life instead. Leave the complicated ideals of religion to phony politicians and people who need to make a living giving self help classes.
Cardinals Notes. Free Jon Jay. I want to see Jay get the respect he deserves. I don’t view him as a must keep player but I also don’t consider him expendable. He doesn’t get enough credit for his gold glove caliber defense and his .300 tuned leadoff bat. He needs to improve in certain areas but is a damn good cheap ballplayer. I think the most intriguing battle in spring training will be for the fifth spot in the rotation. Lance Lynn won 18 games but weakened down the stretch and showed a vulnerability atoned to his young age and lost his cool on the big stage. Joe Kelly got robbed of several quality starts, improved down the stretch and was a valuable asset in the playoffs. Trevor Rosenthal is being told to train in the offseason to be a starter. He wowed people with his high velocity, calm nerves and quality off speed pitches. These three men fight for the last spot, unless Jaime Garcia’s shoulder blows up and two of the above mentioned righties are needed. Let me say it again. The Cards need insurance behind Rafael Furcal. His elbow could blow at any time. Daniel Descalso can’t start more than 100 games. His bat simply isn’t good enough. Kolten Wong can’t be rushed too soon to Busch. Get somebody there on a 1-2 year deal to cover shortstop and second base. Thank me in July.
The Rams can hang with the 49ers and possibly beat them. We learned that lesson three weeks ago in San Francisco. Cory Kaepernick will start for the 49ers and prove to be a mobile double threat against the Rams defensive attack. The Rams will have their hands full with a defense in San Francisco that ranks 2nd against the run and 4th against the pass and is 2nd in their own in rushing yards. I didn’t predict the Rams giving a chance against this team in November much less having to shoot themselves in the foot to earn a tie, but this rematch won’t be easy. The 49ers are out to prove they are the far better team, but the Rams will hope to use the homefield edge in their favor and upset the division leader. I expect a close and hotly contested battle and one that will be decided by the coaches ability to adjust quickly to tactics from the other sideline. Can Jeff Fisher outthink Jim Harbaugh? That’s the real game. The other is the dependability of the Rams offensive attack? Give Steven Jackson the ball 30 times and let him wear down this tough defense because the last time I checked, he dragged 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis down the field the first they met. Pound the ball, work the smart passes and play bloody nosed defense. I expect to be entertained.
I have never been a crazy NCAA basketball fan but it’s hard to deny the vast intelligence and animalistic integrity of SLU coach Rick Majerus, who succumbed Saturday night to complications due to heart failure. A well known basketball tactician, Rick also loved to eat, tell stories and win basketball games. He had the Billikens headed in the right direction. A big loss for the college basketball world and sports universe in general. Personalities and legacies never die.
Tomorrow, I will watch Killing Them Softly, starring the underrated actor Brad Pitt as a mob “fixer” brought in to clean up the robbery of a mob funded poker game. Andrew Dominik writes and directs, and he drove Pitt to one of his best roles as Jesse James in The Assassination of Jesse James by The Coward Robert Ford, a dark tale that truly captured the James we all knew from the books. The dialogue and acting looks dynamite in the trailer and tomorrow morning at an early bird show, I will find out if my suspicions are true. You can read the review of Film-Addict critic Landon Burris on this film right here.
Things I Want To See-
*Rams wide receiver Brian Quick play a pivotal role in a Rams upset on Sunday. He needs more looks. Bad practice to waste big size and talent.
*The NHL and NHLPA come to an agreement on the lockout, one way or another, by the end of the year. Get to it boys or call it on account of stupidity.
*Jason Motte get a lucrative 3 year deal from the Cardinals. 3.5-5 million will be the annual fee and Motte earned it with an extraordinary year.
*David Freese, Allen Craig, Jay and Rosenthal to remain Cardinals for years to come, while getting spring looks at Oscar Taveras and Wong in 2013.
*Zero Dark Thirty, the film about the killing of Osama Bin Laden, directed by Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow.
*Employment to be a vibrant and sticking department of the Buffa Household. Ronnoco isn’t the greatest gig in the world but I make it work like I have to. They wouldn’t pay you if it was a fun job.
*Pacquiao-Mayweather Jr. in 2013.
*Working all week, working out, running, being a good husband and father and cleaning the house takes its toll. I collapse around 930 pm during the week. Early for me.
With that small note about the working man timeline, I leave you. Boardwalk Empire presents its season three finale tomorrow and I am telling you it will be a bloodbath, one body after another. As bad guy thorn in side villain Gyp Rossetti told a woman after she asked what happened to Nucky Thompson, “He got what we have coming our whole life. Just sooner.” Cannavale is so good that he has risen the game of actors like Steve Buscemi, Charlie Cox, Shea Whigham, and Micheael Kenneth Williams. Fantastic show.
Thanks for reading and goodnight,
Dan L. Buffa