Friday, August 29, 2008

Snowman of the AfroSquad Writes about Wrestling

Once again he is back with his 'fro intact.

Got The Man shakin' and quakin' from his quick attack.

Florida wrestling fans, this blog is for you!

I had another great Thursday night at Florida Championship Wrestling.

Last Saturday I ordered a couple afros for some of my homies, and they arrived via UPS just as I was leaving my driveway on my way to the show. This marks the second emergency shipment of afros that UPS has delivered "just in the nick of time."

When I got to the show, I traded a few afros with the Bourbon Street Mafia for a BSM shirt. Now the BSM and the 'fro Army have officially formed an unholy union. (The only thing that could make us more powerful would be the assistance of a Gargoyle and a Zombie Pimp!)

At the beginning of the show, I tossed Dusty Rhodes an afro. He donned the 'fro, and it was quite possibly the greatest moment in Afro-Squad history! (Does Dusty need a special Afro-Squad name?)

In my eyes, Afa stole the show again for his reckless ass kicking of Stu Bennett. The most entertaining part is that Afa seems to be the most "over" guy in the building, but he is supposed to be a heel. I hope having an entire Army of afro-wearing lunatics chanting "fear the 'fro" doesn't hurt your popularity.

I was also impressed with Natalie Neidhart and Beth Phoenix's style as a tag team. They even finished with the Hart Foundation's "Hart Attack." I wonder if we'll see them working together in the future.

Kafu's wife sat by us. Although she wasn't too excited about having her picture taken, she was a fun addition.

I'm really starting to enjoy Kafu's gimmick as well. He is the "master of the Claw hold," which is a great throwback to the '80s. Jordi Scrubbings saw Kafu in the grocery store last week, so we tried to harass Kafu about his shopping list. (He apparently loves cheese!)

I also have to hand it to Angela Fong for posing for pics with the Afro-Squad Army.

I got to talk to Diana Hart for a few minutes too. She seems like a really sweet lady. As Georgia Smith joked about her mom, "she talks just like Bret." (Their accent is almost identical.)

Once again, FCW Andy (AKA Original Jit) and his Dad epitomized what wrestling fans should be. Those guys breathe wrestling.

Finally, will somebody tell Jack Gabriel to put some pants on? Hey, Eric Perez ... if you post a blog comment ... I'd reply "Oh Yeah!"



Gone with the wind like Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Stay tuned next week for even more Snowman ...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Meet a Bartender: New Staff Edition


Real Name: Jordi?

Where are you now?
Tampa, FL

Favorite Sports Teams:
New York Mets, Tampa Bay Rays, Brevard County Manatees, Florida State Seminoles

Favorite Current Player(s):
Kerry Wood (token Cub), Tim Wakefield, R.A. Dickey, Prince Fielder (calm down, he went to my HS), Tim Lincecum, all LOOGYs.

Favorite All-Time Player(s):
Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish, Rusty Kuntz, Howard Johnson, Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez.

Memorable encounters with MLB players:
When I was 10 I went to a spring training game, got myself a hot dog, lathered it up in mustard appropriately, when ex-Met Roger McDowell came up alongside me and said "Excuse me." Well, of course, I moved out of the way.

Then like twenty years later I crashed the 2006 General Managers meeting in a Disney hotel. I met or saw Tommy Lasorda, Ozzie Guillen, Cal Ripken, Jim Leyland, Darryl Hamilton, Bryan Harvey, and Scott Boras. I hate Scott Boras.

Player(s) you'd sit and have a beer with:
Joel Zumaya, Nolan Ryan, Ralph Kiner, Billy Brewer, Roy Hobbs, Rube Waddell (do they have to be living?), Hack Wilson, Ty Cobb, and J.O. Sampson.

Player(s) you absolutely despise:
Bobby Bonilla, Chipper Jones, Kenny Rogers, Vince Coleman

Best baseball video game of all-time:
I am going to go with Little League Baseball for the NES. Just slightly over Basewars. Yeah, I haven't played much video games since the reign of George the Elder.

So whatcha drinkin? This being a saloon and all:
La Fin Du Monde. It's French for The End of The World. Before you get your panties in a bunch that you let in someone who speak a wee bit of Francais, rest easy. La Fin is brewed in the mean streets of Canada. Probably in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

What about Beecake?
Never much of a fan. Until he did the Barbershop and Shawn Michaels kicked Marty Jenetty through the glass window. Or like when he got in that motorcycle accident and smashed his face into a million pieces. Wait, B-e-e-c-a-k-e? I don't know no Beecake, I thought you were talking about Brutus "The Barber".

Favorite sports card(s) you own:
Sorry. I was fortunate enough to sell my cards and have them pay for my college education. Oh, you didn't do that? What, no one wants your eighteen 1993 Mike Piazza Topps regular edition rookie card? Sucks to be you.

Ketchup on a hot dog. Yay or nay?
You don't put ketchup on a hot dog. That's like putting the Spicy Brown on a steak.

Who do you consider your nemesis?
The Man. Somma bich constantly holding me down. One day I'm gonna stick it to The Man and give The Man some whatfor. Oh, and Bryan Maddox.

If you could be any movie character, who would it be?
Elliot Richards in Bedazzled. Or Joe Dirt.

Favorite thing you've written for TMS?

Well, due to process of elimination, it would have to be this. Either that or a comment. I do like to bring the humor in the comments. Yeah, remember that one comment? Yeah, that was cool.

Thing you've written you're most ashamed of?
Dear Thunder Matt Crew,

I am just starting my own blog. I found yours and thought it was really funny. Can you give me any pointers?

*This is referring to an email Jordi sent us nearly two years ago asking for advice. Because we being a 6 month old blog obviously had all the answers. I still have that email saved but I'll spare him the embarrassment of posting it here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tending Bar over at Thunder Matt's

Way back in my younger days, many, many, many moons ago, I worked in a bar in Tallahassee. Actually, to be honest, I didn't really work. I just kinda stood behind the bar, played music, and handed beers to the few friends or homeless vagabonds who showed up. After two weeks of this routine, the bar told me they were going with the "hot-girls-behind-the-bar" strategy and that I wouldn't be working there anymore.

And that was the end of my life as a bar keep. Until now.

Last week, I received and accepted an invite to write for one of my favorite blogs: Thunder Matt's Saloon. I've long been a patron of Thunder Matt's little corner of the blogosphere and it's an honor to be welcomed into such a circle of greatness.

If you are not familiar with Thunder Matt's Saloon, they are the geniuses who brought us such legendary posts as:

Underrated/Overrated: Condiments

The Fantasy Hurricane League

The Thunder Matt Beer Project

and 50 States/50 Bands

So what will I bring to the Saloon? Well, I'm not quite sure yet. Hopefully, I'll bring my legion of two or three faithful readers. But other than that, as long as they don't decide to replace me in two weeks with pictures of hot chicks, I think I'll be alright.

By the way, don't worry - The Serious Tip is not going away. I'll still be here. I'm just branching out.

(P.S. That's not really Thunder Matt's Saloon, that's a picture of a place called "Matt's Saloon" in Prescott, AZ.)

Friday, August 22, 2008

The AfroSquad and Florida Championship Wrestling

All wrestlers have to start somewhere. Contrary to popular belief, the warriors of the squared circle don't magically appear buff, bad, and quick with the mic. Although some ride the tail of a comet to quick success, many toil in the trenches seemingly for eons awaiting their chance. They wrestle in flea markets, fairs, VFWs, YMCAs, and any other place a promoter can set up a ring.

Perhaps the highest level of "minor league" pro wrestling is Florida Championship Wrestling, the WWE's training school. Recently relocated around the corner from my crib in beautiful, sunny Tampa, Florida, FCW is the starting point for many wrestlers, male and female, trying to make it to the absolute pinnacle of their profession.

Needless to say, being that wrestling and the Afro-Squad go together like lamb and tuna fish, the Snowman and myself have been frequent patrons to FCW's weekly events.

So now, without further ado, I bring to The Serious Tip the first appearance of the Snowman. Hopefully this goes better than "Hercules in New York".

The FCW show last night was a lot of fun. In fact, this may have been the most enjoyable show that I've seen to date.

The Afro-Squad Army was in full force, and the crowd was a blast. A group of fans known as the Bourbon Street Mafia have joined alliances with us, so our posse is getting bigger.

I am finally getting to know some of the spouses and family in the audience. Big Titan's wife Desiree sat next to me for a while. I haven't seen him wrestle yet, but he is billed at "7 foot tall and 340 pounds." He is recovering from surgery, and should be back in a couple weeks.

Afa's match was a blast too. The ringside announcer Bryan Kelly (WXJT Channel 4) was also a lot of fun. He interacted with the Squad a lot. It was his birthday, so we got a happy birthday chant going.

Since it is a small crowd, we were able to interact a lot with in-ring announcer Angela Fong and Dusty Rhodes. We cheer when Angela bends over to get into the ring. We also cheer when Dusty sits down. (Wait for it… - Shhhhh - Yeah!) Dusty, Angela, and Bryan were a lot of fun. Interaction is part of the game.

We've also figured a way to make Eric Perez's matches "interactive." "Oh Yeah" is said whenever he hits somebody.

D.H. Smith (Davey Boy's son), Eddie Colon (Carlos's son), Joe Hennig (Curt's son) and Afa Jr. are some of the organization's second generation wrestlers. Nattie Neidhart (Jim's daughter) and Ted DeBiase Jr. are recent second generation folks from there.

"Extreme Dan" and FCW Andy (AKA Original Jet) sported 'fros throughout the night. They made that stuff look good. "Electric Cami" also looked smashing with her long curly dew.

At the end of the show I got to meet Diana Hart and Georgia Smith. Diana is Davey Boy Smith's ex-wife (and Stu Hart's youngest daughter) and Georgia is their daughter. They just moved to town from Calgary, and will be attending the shows from now on. I gave them an invitation to join the Afro-Squad Army at ringside. They were also accompanied by another Hart daughter, but I missed her first name.

Anyway, that's it for this week's report. Please check out the pictures and leave comments. Hopefully some of the spouses and wrestlers won't be too shy to comment.

Thanks, Snowman. Wait, no mention of the Great Jordi? Maybe next time.

And oh yeah, Mr. The Man, we haven't forgotten about you. Quit holding people down or else.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thoughts on The Dark Knight

I know this is way past its point of relevance, but I wanted to wait until everyone had a chance to see The Dark Knight at least twice before throw my thoughts out for consumption.

- Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am in the middle of reading a biography on Albert Einstein. The idea that Einstein believed that there was a rule for everything is similar to ideology of Batman. Throughout The Dark Knight and other Batman stories, Batman sides with organization, process, and order. There is a formula to life. A routine to be followed. Batman's outlook on life can almost be summarized with Einstein's famous quote, "God doesn't play with dice".

Batman's villains in The Dark Knight, on the other hand, represent the various stages of chaos. Two-Face is chance personified; and hence represents life and our existence on Earth. To date, we still can't figure out why the third rock in our solar system was the one to spring life. So far, the odds are against life in the universe. We are the result of chance.

Then there is the Joker - utter chaos. There is no definable rhyme nor reason to the Joker's actions. He is the big bang theory personified. He is the quantum mechanics to Batman's theory of relativity.

- One more point: Several other sites, most specifically, called the Joker a terrorist. Others said The Dark Knight is a statement on the war on terror(ism). What these writers barely mention is the origin of the Joker's tactics. The writers of The Dark Knight had clearly studied the courses of action of successful insurgencies and guerrilla fighters.

(Warning: If you have not seen The Dark Knight, you might not want to read any further. I'm about to mention parts of the movie.)

For example, the flaming firetruck? Ripped from the streets of Mogadishu or Fallujah. The attack on the helicopter? Although the Joker didn't use an RPG, that was from Mogadishu, site of the book "Black Hawk Down". The cell-phone activated bomb? Only seen time and time again by U.S. troops in Iraq; they call them I.E.D.s - or improvised explosive devices. And then of course, there was the exploding hospital. That can be traceable to either the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the Oklahoma City bombing, or even the attack on the World Trade Center.

What Batman and the authorities of Gotham City never attempt to do, and this honestly surprised me, was to go after the Joker's logistics. To quote Jack Nicholson's Joker, "Where did he get those wonderful toys?" The bombs, the guns, the rocket launchers - they had to come from somewhere. The Joker either had a warehouse full of munitions or he was being supplied by somewhere. Attempting to eliminate that source would definite have put a hamper on the Joker's ability to cause chaos.

But then again, "The Hunt For The Joker's Logistics" would not make for a very exciting movie.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Joining Forces with the AfroSquad Again

Once again, I joined forces with the fine upstanding gentlemen of The Although it has been a while since the last official collaboration between the legendary "Snowman" and myself, during the past few months we have had numerous lawyers, agents, and other affiliated moneymen crossing the "t"s and dotting the "j"s to facilitate a final merger. And now I have proud to announce The Serious Tip and The Afro-Squad have officially come together and are out to put "The Man" on notice.

So what does that mean for you, loyal reader?

Well, first, you can expect more content. That's always a good thing, right? For those unfamiliar, The Afro-Squad specializes in pure funkiness, with a smattering of beautiful women and a touch of pro-wrestling commentary and interviews.

Is The Serious Tip going away? Will it be taken over? No and No. This merger is merely cross-promotional. The Serious Tip will be linking to new content on The Afro-Squad and The Afro-Squad will be linking to new content on The Serious Tip. On those occasions where we collaborate on a project, well, expect that to be on both sites.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

LL Cool J in St. Petersburg, FL, Aug 2nd, 2008

I am going to go out on a limb and say that LL Cool J is underrated.

How many performers (rock, rap, country, whatever) have continued to be mainstream for 23 years?

23 years.

Think about that. In 1985, "We Are The World" was recorded; Mike Tyson made his professional debut; Wrestlemania began; New Coke was released; the original Nintendo hit the market; Reggie Bush, Kiera Knightley, T-Pain, and Dwight Howard were born; and LL Cool J dropped "Radio".

Granted, LL has had some albums that weren't all that good. But his name carried weight. If Run DMC is the Beatles of rap, then LL Cool J is the Rolling Stones.

Yet, unlike the Stones, LL Cool J isn't charging 200 dollars for a live concert. As a matter of fact, thousands of Rays fans got to see LL perform Saturday night for only the cost of admission. That's right, for the cost of a ticket, I got to see LL Cool J, pretty much for the great cost of "Free".

(Question: who pays for these shows? Are they sanctioned by MLB? Or are the summer concerts paid for by the teams themselves? These are the things I wonder about.)

Although the accoustics of Tropicana Field are not the greatest, LL put on a really good show. He performed somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 songs, to include "I'm Bad", "Radio", "Mama Said Knock You Out", and his verses from the "Flava in Your Ear" remix and the "I Shot Ya" remix. He also did a few songs from his upcoming Exit 13 album.

Overall, I was impressed. Even though the show was a safe, family-friendly mix of his classics and new songs, LL Cool J still has the ability to rock a mic and move a crowd. Given his continued appeal, I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few hits on his new release and LL kept on going for another few years.