Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Revisiting the 2002 Florida State Seminoles


While exploring through stacks of old VHS tapes, I have been discovering some gems. Back in the early 2000s, I taped a lot of shows, especially national shows that had something to do with Florida State University. I already posted here about the binge drinking show that focused on Florida State students. My most recent find is a 2002 ESPN broadcast about the Florida State Seminoles football team.

2002 was an interesting year. FSU was a few years removed from their national championship. A few of their experienced coaches left. A lot of the high caliber talent was gone. By 2002, they were attempting to rebuild. Unfortunately, the coaching wasn't as good and neither were the players.

This 2002 show was a blast from the past. I was a student at FSU and went to most, if not all of the home games in this show. I remember the Notre Dame visit to Tallahassee well. That was ESPN College Gameday's first visit to Tallahassee in a long time. The day before the game I got longtime broadcaster Lee Corso's autograph on an FSU campus map. After I got his autograph, he asked for another copy of the map to find his way around campus. I still have my signed map.

After the game the next day, my roommate, a friend, and I were swarmed after by the Irish fans after the Notre Dame victory. Many of them didn't have nice things to say about Corso, an FSU alumnus. If I remember right, one Irish fan threatened Lee Corso and called him a "pygmy". My friends and I had to leave as it was getting a little hostile.

The whole video is full of great memories. Even the commercials. Check it out.

FSU Football 2002 ESPN Show from JordiScrubbings on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Curveball at the Crossroads on the Suncoast News Network


A few weeks ago, I made an appearance at the BookStore1 Book Fair in Sarasota. It was my second year doing their book fair. It is an fun experience at an awesome independent bookstore. Great people and a great time.

As an experienced author at their book fair, BookStore1 asked me if I would be willing to media appearances for them in regards to the book fair. Of course I agreed. All appearances are good appearances.

I was mentioned in the Sarasota Observer news website:

Bookstore1Sarasota book fair spotlights community of local authors

Here is my brief interview on the Suncoast News Network:

Big thanks to Bryn and the great folks at Bookstore1 for the putting on the book fair and for having faith in me to talk about their event to local media.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Review of Springtime for Kaiju in Tampa


Giant monsters invaded Tampa on April 29th, 2023. Good monsters took to the squared circle to take on bad monsters, led by the infamous Dr. Cube.

As a fan of pro wrestling and a fan of kaiju, I have wanted to see Kaiju Big Battel for years. The idea of Godzilla and Mothra-type monsters duking it out in a ring with buildings and other props at their feet absolutely intrigued me. Unfortunately, Kaiju Big Battel doesn't come to Florida very often. Last Saturday, it finally happened at the Orpheum in Tampa and I was there.

Typically, Kaiju Big Battel happens in a wrestling ring. I am not sure if they didn't have ring because of the rain or because they just didn't have a ring. I do know the roof of the Orpheum is too low for an indoor ring, especially if giant monsters are the combatants. So instead of a ring, barricades were erected to protect the crowd from the giant monsters. Of course, some giant monsters took their battle to the people and engaged in combat amidst the crowd. What a sight that was!

It is impossible not to have fun at a Kaiju Big Battel show. It is mostly-wholesome fun for the whole family. As you can see from the picture above, kids sat ringside and kids were involved as managers during the show. There was even a kid bell ringer. I wonder if Kaiju can be a gateway drug to human-based wrestling. Has anyone gone from rooting for giant monsters to rooting for John Cena?

My second observation is that Kaiju Big Battel is about story telling. Kaiju isn't technical wrestling. There is no Bryan Danielson versus William Regal catch wrestling. There are big monsters hitting each other. There are clear good guys and clear bad guys and they fight. No tweeners. No heel turns. No flip-flopping. The storylines are simple. While too many wrestling promotions complicate their shows with complex storylines, Kaiju keeps it simple. The simplicity makes it fun.

To the benefit of first-timers or casual fans, the announce team helps out by encouraging booing the bad monsters and cheering the good monsters. I enjoyed this and think other wrestling promotions, on and off our planet, could try to duplicate this concept. If wrestlers don't do a good enough job conveying their good or evil, the announce team can tell the crowd who to support and get chants started.

The props also make the matches fun. Cardboard boxes painted to be buildings, bottles labeled "Sleep medicine" and "NRG Drink", pillows, pool toys, and even a Pikachu doll were used in the monster battles. Imagination is important. Kaiju encourages the audience to let out the kid in them. Of course a pool float wouldn't be used in a battle between a giant mosquito and an intergalactic alien robot, but in the pit of doom, a pool float is not a pool float. In Kaiju Big Battel, a pool float is a weapon of mass destruction.

Overall, there were 6 or 7 matches in the two hour event. It depends if you want to count the main event as one match or two, as it turned into chaos and more monsters descended to the pit of doom and chaos broke out before the grand finale. For a niche extravaganza, there was a good crowd of 200 or so, which is not bad considering the bad weather and the other events going on around Tampa - music festivals, NHL playoffs, and several other concerts. But for those who value intergalactic, time-travelling conflicts between giant monsters, Kaiju Big Battel was the place to be.

I would definitely go to Kaiju Big Battel again. As they say, Monsters are real and Danger can happen!

Monday, March 13, 2023

Following Fonzie: A Month on the Road with Wrestling Legend Bill Alfonso


Following Fonzie: A Month on the Road with Wrestling Legend Bill Alfonso from JordiScrubbings on Vimeo.

In 2010, I had the interesting pleasure of working with pro wrestling personality Bill Alfonso on a documentary. We met at an All-Stars Wrestling show in Tampa, where I was doing social media. If I remember right, Fonzie told one of my friends he wanted to put something together to show his life. I had a camera and some spare time, so I volunteered.

Fonzie was an interesting character. He was full of wrestling knowledge. He worked for WWE, WCW, ECW, Championship Wrestling of Florida, and dozens and dozens of other organizations throughout the world. He worked for Dusty Rhodes, the Briscos, the Funks, Paul Heyman, Vince McMahon, and many other promoters. He knew the business and almost everyone in it.

For a month, Fonzie and I travelled around Florida. We went to Ocala to see the Funks, we went to Minneola to see the Anoa'i Family, we went fishing, and we regularly went to famed Tampa restaurant La Teresita. Along the way, I had a chance to learn about pro wrestling from someone who had been a referee, a manager, and a backstage hand for over 25 years. I had a chance to be a fly on the wall during conversation between Fonzie and WWE Hall of Famers. It was a crash course I will never forget.

In total, I had over 12 hours of footage. In 2016, I created an hour long movie with the intent to post it online. Unfortunately, my hard drive crapped out. The movie was gone. Fortunately, I had backups of all the footage on a portable drive. In late 2022, I started recreating the movie.

Currently at 1 hour and 6 minutes, it could be a little tighter. But I think I did a good job, especially considering it is by far the longest video project I have ever worked on.

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Curveball at the Crossroads on Tampa Bay Morning Blend

Doing interviews for Curveball at the Crossroads has been an exciting and fun experience. I have done several podcasts and radio shows, but I had never done television. Until this week. I recently had the opportunity to visit Tampa Bay Morning Blend and talk about my book with co-host Teyonna Edwards.

I'll be honest. I was a little nervous going into this interview. This was much more professional than a podcast. If I flub a sentence in a podcast, no one cares. Although Tampa Bay Morning Blend isn't live, I still wanted to make sure I did it all in one take. I also didn't know how much time I had. Turns out, I had a little over 5 minutes. Definitely enough to talk about the book, but I have done 30 minutes about the book. I had to make sure I got in the important selling points. I think I did that.

Shout out to my good friend Nick Major for suggesting I contact the show.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Thoughts on pro wrestler attacking fan

I have so many thoughts on this. Not a show goes by without me interacting with wrestlers. That was the point of the afro years ago - to draw their attention. That said, I never cross the line into personal, racial, or religious. Gotta keep it character based.

I can make a long list of wrestlers who have "interacted" with me at indy shows. Whether its yelling back, ripping off the afro, or grabbing a sign from me, it's all been part of the show. And you have to roll with it. If you want to be "part of the show", you have to know the line. Heels are assholes. They flip hats, they rip signs, they insult your mother. Touching the wrestlers is wrong. You don't throw watermelon back at Gallagher. 

By the way, the whole thing looks like a work. Look how the fan feeds his back to Joe Black who clubs him with forearms. No uppercuts, no chokes, no real fight moves. Compare to when Seth Rollins choked out a mark who jumped the rail on RAW.

If it is not a work - life is a work, btw - that fan should be barred from that promotion forever. But there are other promotions and the odds he and Joe Black cross paths again will be pretty high. Then when Joe Black and the boys whoop his ass (the whole locker room, because if you mess with one, you mess with all) , the way wrestlers would have back in the day, he will learn not to teach the wrestlers.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Curveball at the Crossroads on


A few months ago I connected with Chris Vitali and the folks at BallNine is a new baseball website that focuses on the stories of people involved in the game. They have interviewed many interesting former players, coaches, and other personalities. And their graphics are top notch. They are definitely recommended.

As the lead of a website dedicated to the stories of baseball and as a former musician, Chris was very interested in my novel Curveball at the Crossroads. We talked for a few months about doing a podcast or video interview. Unfortunately, BallNine suffered some personnel setbacks that set Chris and his team back, as setbacks normally do. But a few weeks ago we finally made it happen.

This was a fun interview. We covered the influences of the book, how it came to be, how to purchase it, and of course, we talked a little Rays baseball.

Great interview, great host, and great subject matter. But I might be biased.

Monday, February 6, 2023

The Tallahassee bar scene when FSU was a top party school

Hard to believe 20 years has past since I was a college student. Those days seem so long ago. Days of classes on the weekdays and football games on the weekend. Nights of college bars and local bands and drinking. A lot of drinking.

From 1995 to 2005, Florida State University was regarded as one of the best party schools in the country. Florida State and partying went together like lamb and tuna fish, peanut butter and jelly, and spaghetti and meatballs. The party scene was so insane, it spawned the career of comedian Bert Kreischer, whose entire schtick early in his career was drinking and partying. It also spawned the band Creed, but that's an article for another day.

I arrived at Florida State in 1999. After a year of hanging out in the dorms, by my second year I was part of the bar scene in Tallahassee. Looking back, I am not sure how I survived the debauchery. Drinking and going out was one of my main hobbies.

Another one of my hobbies was recording any show that featured Florida State. I left college with several VHS tapes of FSU-related shows, from WWF events in Tallahassee to a show that ranked FSU as one of the most progressive protest schools in the country. But the highlight of my video collection was a 2002 MSNBC investigation on college drinking that featured Florida State in more than half the show.

A few months ago, I finally digitized my VHS collection. This weekend, I finally uploaded the FSU college drinking show on Vimeo. I would have put it on youtube as well, but it is too long. Maybe if I get 1,000 subscribers to my youtube I will put it there too.

So without further ado, not that intended to ado, but if I did ado, I will ado no further. Here is MSNBC Investigates: College Drinking.

College drinking 2002 - Florida State, etc from JordiScrubbings on Vimeo.

Friday, January 27, 2023