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!