Friday, January 29, 2010

Scott Steiner and Crystal Pepsi, A Winning Combination

I get bored pretty easily, and when I get bored, one thing I like to do is watch old-school pro wrestling videos. Wrestling today kind of sucks, but I was a huge fan of it back in the 90s and early 2000s, so every once in a while (more often than I would care to admit), I go back and watch whatever interesting there is to find. Today I decided to watch random videos of everybody's favorite roid-rager, Scott "Big Poppa Pump" Steiner, whose promos are almost as legendary as his 26 inch biceps. So, without further adeiu, here's a review.

Scott Steiner turns on his brother, joins the nWo

- For the few of you that read this and know wrestling, you know what the nWo (new World order) is all about. For those that don't, the nWo was a stable of bad guys that ran roughshod over WCW for about three years until they did everything they could possibly do with the concept and then the nWo just disappeared without much of an explanation. Anyway, Scott and his brother Rick were feuding with the nWo's Scott Hall and Kevin Nash (the Outsiders) over the WCW Tag Team Titles. Their final battle would be at Superbrawl in 1998. The clip starts with Rick beating on both of the Outsiders, clearing the ring. Rick and Scott then do their trademark pose in which Rick crawls around the ring like a dog and stops under Scott, as if Scott is a master holding back a pitbull. But unsuspectingly, Scott double-axe handles his brother a couple times, gives Rick a tiger bomb, and decks the Steiners' manager Ted DiBiasie off the ring apron. Rick kicks out of a pin attempt, and gets trapped in the Outsiders' corner, but all of a sudden Rick starts beating the hell out of anyone in his path. Finally, Nash knees him in the back, setting him up for Hall's finisher, the Outsiders' Edge. It takes him two times, but finally Hall lifts Rick up and throws him down for the three count. Match ends, Scott hands over the tag Titles to the Outsiders as DiBiasie is helped to the back looking as if he's in tears. According to announcer Tony Schiavone, this is one of the worst moments in the history of the sport, but he says that about everything.

Scott Steiner meets Mark McGwire

A few months later, Steiner was in, as he put it, "the show me state of St. Louis, Missouri.", and the hot topic was Mark McGwire breaking the single-season home run mark. Well, Steiner, in his quest to recruit the "top elite athletes" introduces Mark McGwire to the crowd. Out comes Steiner's nWo buddy Buff Bagwell dressed as McGwire as a referee brings him to the ring on a bicycle. What a grand entrance. Buff McGwire enters the ring, saying he's a big fan of the nWo. Bagwell then pops some steroids, which not only is a dig at McGwire, but also part of Buff's workout routine, so it's all good. The two then claim that the batting practice Cardinals jersey they picked up at a souviner stand is the very same jersey McGwire wore to break the home run record. After Steiner tells "McGwire" that he's stupid and he sucks, the two try to burn the jersey, but the idiots can't light the thing. Finally, they just settle for burning Buff's cardinals' cap, as he throws his wig and the jersey into the crowd. All in all, this was about as funny as The Magic Hour.

Scott Steiner kicks Buff Bagwell out of the nWo

A few months later, it's March of 1999, and Steiner has lost his World Television Title to Booker T due to an inadvertent chair shot from Buff Bagwell.  After running down Cincinnati for a minute as only Scott Steiner can (the Bengals suck, the Reds suck, you're all ugly, blah, blah, blah), Steiner gets down to business, saying Bagwell committed a mental fumble the night before. Bagwell's like, yeah, whatever, but Steiner grabs him by his surgically repaired neck to get Buff's attention. Scott's all like, maybe we should get rid of you Buff,  you might not be the stuff, while Bagwell's like, well check out all the Buff signs in the crowd, maybe you're jealous Scott Steiner. After Bagwell says "This is getting out of hand" literally four times, the two drop their mics, shake hands, and hug. Until Steiner turns that hug into a belly to belly suplex.  Steiner gets a chair, and hits a downed Bagwell three times across his surgically repaired neck. He then puts on the Steiner Recliner, a move that puts pressure on the neck. Steiner, having made his point, leaves to the disgust of the announcers and the crowd. The two would go on to feud for about a week, as I recall, before they moved on to other things.

Now, you're wondering why the heck I put Crystal Pepsi in the title of this post. Well, I'll tell you. Yesterday, I was hanging out with some friends when the topics of soda came up (Note, if you have a conversation with many of my friends, the topics of food and drink will come up often.) Anyway, we start talking about Crystal Pepsi and how good it was (although to me, it tasted like someone mixed up flat 7-up and Pepsi), and the Crystal Pepsi commercial with Van Halen's "Right Now" playing. Well, I hadn't seen it in a while, and so I decided to seek this out today. I had forgotten how pretentious and stupid the commercial actually was. Here's the video so you can see for yourselves:

Right now, the future is clear of Crystal Pepsi, or is it? and did we really need to see a man in a speedo diving through clouds. I mean, what the hell was that about?  Somebody please tell me, because I have no idea.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics, Game 7, 1982 Eastern Conference Finals

So, I just finished watching Game 7 of the 1982 Eastern Conference Finals between two of the greatest teams of their era, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics. The 76ers had blown a 3 games to 1 advantage in the 1981 conference finals, and were on the verge of doing the same thing this time. However, the 76ers rallied, came together, and beat the Celtics in Boston Garden by the score of 120-106. A few observations from the game:

- The player of the game, according the CBS, was Julius Erving, which, to be kind, was an interesting choice. Erving played well, scoring 29 points and provided excellent help defense, but at no point in the game did he seem like the best player on the court. That would be Andrew Toney, who scored 34 points and was the main man responsible for putting the game out of reach. Toney scored 14 points in the first quarter, seemed to struggle for the next quarter and a half, and all of a sudden as the Celtics cut their deficit to 2, Toney caught fire, making jumper after jumper no matter what the Celtics tried to do to stop him. The C's threw M.L. Carr, Gerald Henderson, Danny Ainge, and even Larry Bird at Toney, but no man was able to stop the onslaught of Toney. No wonder they called Toney the "Boston Strangler"

- The 76ers had a huge backcourt edge in this game, not only because of Andrew Toney, but also because of point guard Maurice Cheeks. Cheeks did a masterful job of running the Sixers offense, finding the open man often (11 assists) and driving into the lane seemingly at will. None of the Celtics guards were quick enough to handle Cheeks. At one point Cheeks blew by M.L. Carr so quickly that Carr barely had enough time to turn around and watch Cheeks lay the ball in. The only Celtics guard that had a chance of guarding Cheeks was Henderson, but he was in foul trouble for most of the game, and therefore, the Celtics were forced to sit Henderson for large portions of the game.

- I do wonder, however, if things would have different if Celtics' point guard Tiny Archibald didn't hurt his shoulder in Game 3 of the series. Heck, I think things would definitely be different if Archibald was in there. He was quick enough to keep up with Cheeks, and more importantly, Archibald would have done a much better job of running the Celts' offense, which looked out-of-sync without their floor leader. From what I saw, Henderson, Carr, and Ainge are not traditional point guards, and while Larry Bird possessed great floor vision and excellent passing skills, it's not the same as having Archibald, who could handle the ball, find the open man, and hit an open jumper if need be. Maybe I'm overstating Archibald's talents, but I believe the Celtics would have won the series had Archibald not messed up his shoulder.

- The 76ers had the backcourt advantage, but the Celtics were definitely stronger on the frontcourt. Of course, when you have three guys who would eventually be in the Hall of Fame in the frontcourt, you're going to have an advantage against anybody, but I digress. However, Bird did not have a particularly good game, and, quite frankly, they didn't play McHale enough. McHale was the best player on the court in the first half, and the 76ers had no answer for him. After all, Caldwell Jones was on Robert Parish, and Bobby Jones had to guard Bird, so that left McHale with Mike Bantom, Dr. J, and Darryl Dawkins guarding him for the majority of the game. For some reason, McHale did not play the entire third quarter, even as the Sixers were pulling away, coach Bill Fitch left McHale on the bench. I think that's a slight mistake on Fitch's part.

- Darryl Dawkins was pretty lousy in this game, he had no chance against Parish or McHale, he wasn't much of a rebounder and generally made the 76ers a worse team when he was on the court. At least Caldwell Jones, the 76ers starting center, could provide rebounding and some defense, although he was out of his element if Parish drew him out of the paint, which Parish did often. No wonder the 76ers traded for Moses Malone after the season.

- I was impressed, however, with the way Bobby Jones played. He scored when the 76ers needed him to, got key rebounds, hustled for every loose ball, and while he didn't shut down Larry Bird, he did at least keep contain Bird. To me, both Jones and Maurice Cheeks have been a little overlooked as the years pass by, because both of those guys were excellent players, and yet you hardly hear anything about them.

- As I said earlier, the Celtics backcourt was over-matched. Danny Ainge had his moments, but he also committed two absolutely stupid turnovers in the third quarter which led to the Sixers going on a run that would eventually put the game out of reach. As for M.L. Carr and Chris Ford, well, they brought very little to the table, at least for this game.

- Watching Julius Erving on a fast break is one of the most majestic things in the history of sports. He soared to the basket like a eagle and made every dunk look effortless. He had a couple of dunks in this game, and it was something else, let me tell you.

- The coverage of this game was provided by CBS, and they had an annoying tendency to cut away to each team's head coach, or to the fans, while the ball is being moved around in the post. They missed a couple of made shots because the director decided that the audience just had to see Bill Fitch chewing on his towel, or some fan with a stupid hat. Way to go, CBS of 27 years ago.

- As for the commentary, Dick Stockton still had his fastball at this point, so he was good. The color anaylst, Bill Russell, had some insightful things to say, but often times sounded as if he had never done television in his whole life. I mean, he wasn't annoying, but there were times where he would struggle with what to say next and stammer around for a few seconds before making a point that was somewhat obvious. At least he was better than Rick Barry and Isiah Thomas, and did remain neutral throughout, despite his obvious connections to the Boston Celtics organization.

- I must admit, I had never heard of Mike Bantom before today, and I like to think of myself as somewhat of a basketball expert. Apparently he made the All-Rookie team in 1973-74. Who knew? He played a good bit in this game, I think he only scored once, but did a good job on the glass when he was in. This ended up being Bantom's last season, so he missed out on the Sixers' title in 1983.

Overall, this was a fun game to watch, although no where near as memorable as these two teams' Game 7 from the year before. Of course, the Lakers went on to beat the 76ers in the NBA Finals, but at least the 76ers beat there arch-rival to get there and exorcised some demons from 1981. Towards the end of the game, the 76ers were very jubilant, and the Celtics fans chanted "Beat L.A" as the game wrapped up. I thought that was pretty cool of the fans to do that.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks, Game 2, 1993 Eastern Conference Finals

Earlier today, I watched Game 2 of the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals between the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks. The Knicks won 96-91,taking a 2-0 advantage in the series. Of course, they would lose the next four games, but things were looking good at this point, at least. This is the game where John Starks dunked on Michael Jordan late in the 4th quarter (Although really, Starks dunked on Horace Grant, Jordan just happened to be in the vicinity at the time). A few thoughts in no particular order.

- The game was pretty even in the first half. Jordan had 25 points in the half on 7-16 shooting, but he was having trouble finding good shots. Scottie Pippen played well, and the other Chicago Bulls hardly put up any shots. The game turned the Knicks' direction in the third, as Starks got on a mini hot-streak and Chicago couldn't buy a shot for about five minutes. The Knicks held a double-digit lead for most of the second half, but the Bulls did come back and make a game out of it, and if Bill Cartwright shot better than 1-4 from the free throw line in the final minute, the game might have turned out differently.

- Doc Rivers was very effective in this game, scoring 21 points, getting to the free throw line 10 times (making 8) and was the main defender on Michael Jordan for much of the game, until he was victimized by a leg cramp. Rivers guarded Jordan more than Starks or Anthony Mason did, and was a large part of Michael's 12-32 shooting from the field. I guess I've forgotten since Rivers is now coaching the Celtics, but make no mistake, Doc Rivers was a heck of player.

- Will Perdue and Stacy King, however, weren't very good. Perdue was especially ineffective in this game. In fact, the whole Chicago frontcourt struggled. Bill Cartwright didn't play particularly well, Horace Grant had a bum ankle, and played like it (2 pts, 2 reb). The only somewhat effective big man in this game for Chicago was Scott Williams, and he fouled out in the fourth quarter as the Bulls were trying to make a comeback.

- Charles Oakley was a demon on the boards, grabbing 16 rebounds and shutting down Grant for the whole game. Oakley also hit two big free throws in the final seconds to ice the game for good, and skying up for a key rebound towards the end as well, which astonished Marv Albert and the other guy doing commentary on the MSG network. Just another day at the office for Oakley.

- Patrick Ewing played well, but one thing I did notice was that he did not challenge the Bulls centers enough on offense. Instead of posting up and backing down on guys like Will Perdue, Ewing would too often settle for a fade away jumper. Considering the ineffectiveness of the Bulls front court, Ewing should have dominated this game, and, although he played well (26 pts, 10 reb, 11-25 from the field), he failed to impose his will. However, the Knicks won, so I guess he did fine.

- There were six technicals in this game, all of them called by Bill Oakes. Quite a few of them were rather fishy. The biggest two occurred in the fourth quarter, when Oakes ejected Scottie Pippen for throwing the ball at him. Marv Albert and the other guy questioned the call, saying Oakes has a reputation for a short fuse. Seeing him in action, I would have to agree. It was a stupid move on Pippen's part, however. Up until this point, Pippen was the most effective player on the court for Chicago, so obviously his loss was major. Then again, as soon as Pippen left, the Bulls went on a 12-2 run and got within 4 points, so you never know with these things.

- Not to be outdone, Greg Anthony committed a really dumb foul on Jordan with about 4 minutes to go in the fourth. As Jordan drove to the basket, Anthony just threw himself at Jordan, hoping to knock him on his ass, I guess. It was clearly a flagrant foul, and Anthony was ejected. What made things worse was that Rivers had just left the game with leg cramps, and so, because of Anthony's stupidity, and because the Knicks didn't have a third point guard (unless you count seldom used rookie Hubert Davis), Rivers had to hobble around the court on one good leg for the rest of the game. Just a dirty play by Anthony, no wonder everybody hated the Knicks during this time period.

- Charles Smith looked shaky throughout, turning the ball over a few times. Let's just say after watching him in Game 2, it's no surprise he couldn't put up a layup in the final seconds of Game 5.

- Trent Tucker and Rodney McCray played for the Bulls. Tucker even hit a wide open three. I had forgotten they even played on the Bulls.

- After watching this game, the Bulls looked vulnerable. Grant was banged up, and the rest of their frontcourt couldn't match up with Ewing, Oakley, and Anthony Mason. John Paxson was a huge defensive liability. Jordan was getting banged around by Starks and Rivers, and the Knicks were a deep team that wasn't afraid to bang. Plus, after this game, the Knicks extended their home winning streak to 26 games. I was reading some articles on the game on the Google News Archive, and the consensus seemed to be that the Bulls' run was over, and that the Knicks would go on to face the Suns (or the Sonics, although most people thought Phoenix would win out), in the finals. Of course, all that did was piss Jordan off, he got hot, and the rest is history. But the point is, it wasn't inconceivable at this point that the Knicks would run the Bulls over on their way to the title. In my opinion, this team was a little better then the '94 Knicks that went to the finals.

- At the very least, a Knicks-Suns final would be very interesting, although I'd have to give the Knicks an advantage because there is no way Oliver Miller and Mark West could stop Ewing, while Oakley and Mason would eventually wear down Charles Barkley. The Suns would have the advantage in the backcourt, as Kevin Johnson and Dan Majerle were better than Rivers and Starks. The Suns were a deeper team with Danny Ainge and Tom Chambers coming off the bench, and the Suns had a slight advantage at small forward (Richard Dumas/Cedric Ceballos-Charles Smith/Mason). But, ultimately, the Suns would have no answer for Ewing, even if were to settle for fadeaway jumpers too much. I think the Knicks would win the hypothetical Finals in six.

Well, I think I wrote too much about a game that happened 17 years ago, and a lot of it is just rambling. Oh well. I forgot to mention that Jerry Seinfeld was at the game, and they had an interview with him and Seinfeld made a couple of jokes I don't remember. So, there's that. It was interesting to see a big game where Jordan came up short, and Bill Oakes giving a technical to anyone that looked at him funny. Next time I do this, I won't wait 10 hours until writing something, so there's that to look forward to.


Hello, I'm just a guy with a blog. For now this blog will be about my observations after watching old basketball games on YouTube. This blog might evolve into something else, stay the same, or be forgotten about in a few weeks. I guess we will see. Anyway, feel free to enjoy if you want to, or not.