Monday, November 29, 2010

The 200th Canon Review Post

Before I begin, I must state that originally I was going to do a review for Fable III, but it occurred to me that I probably haven't played enough of the game to do a proper review on it. So, I'll hold off on that for a while, and hopefully I'll be able to deliver a proper review by the end of the week. Also, even though it may not seem like it judging from the infrequent updates on this blog, I do have a few other ideas I've been working on. So never fear, there will be more coming at the Canon Review in the near future. Just not tomorrow, as I will be busy and unable to be on the internet for any long period of time. But after tomorrow, you will be able to see the 201st post on The Canon Review. That's probably the least exciting announcement you will hear all weak, but it's an announcement nonetheless. As for me, I'm still in mourning over Georgia Tech's loss to Georgia on Saturday. I mean, you don't expect a kicker that has made 77 extra points in a row to miss one that would tie the game against their biggest rival and cost the team the game. Yes, it's good that the Falcons won against the Packers and the Hawks won three straight games in four days, but damn it, it would have been sweet for the Yellow Jackets to beat the Bulldogs. Now I have to hear UGA fans brag all year about their team's superiority over Tech, to go along with the taunting I receive from my sister after Tech lost to her school, Kennesaw State University, in basketball just two weeks ago. I don't really have a point here, just ranting.

Anyway, if you have an idea for a future post on the Canon Review, then let me know about it either by leaving a comment on the blog or by sending me an e-mail at It could be about nearly anything, from a movie to a book to the nine greatest fly outs in the history of baseball to whatever your heart's desire, provided it's an appropriate topic of course. So, in honor of the 200th post in Canon Review history, I leave you with two totally unrelated videos:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs, Game 6, 1967 Stanley Cup Finals, May 2, 1967

Ninety-three years and a day ago, the NHL was formed. The original NHL has five teams, one of which played four games before shutting down, and of the four, only the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs (which in 1917, were known as the Toronto Arenas) survived. In tribute of this fact, I have decided to watch a classic hockey game featuring the two original teams of the National Hockey League. This particular game took place in 1967, and is notable because this is the last game the Toronto Maple Leafs have played in the Stanley Cup Finals up until now. Meanwhile, teams like the Colorado Avalanche, Anaheim Ducks, and Tampa Bay Lightning have won Stanley Cups while the once proud Maple Leafs just can't seem to find their way to claiming Lord Stanley's prize. So, here are a few observations about the last Stanley Cup win for the Toronto Maple Leafs:

- These teams were so loaded with talent that you could swing a stick in any direction and most likely hit a Hall of Famer. For the Maple Leafs alone, there were 10 players that suited up in this game that would go on to be elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame, including both goalies (Terry Sawchuk and Johnny Bower). Not to be outdone, the Canadiens dressed six men that wound up in the Hall of Fame.

- Not only were the Maple Leafs loaded with talent, they were also, shall we say, experienced. Bower was the oldest player in the league at 42, but he had some contenders for that title on his own team, as defenseman Allan Stanley was 40, center Red Kelly was 39, Sawchuk and defenseman Tim Horton was 37, and defenseman Marcel Pronovost and right wing George Armstrong was 36. To say the Leafs were full of veteran presence would be an understatement.

- However, no matter how old they were, these Leafs could still play. Sawchuk was by far the player of the game, saving 40 shots and making even the toughest saves look easy. Sawchuk made a lot of key saves, but he was also helped by the Maple Leafs' veteran defense, particularly Pronovost, as the Leafs kept the Canadiens at bay and made the Canadiens take the majority of their shots from a long distance. Kelly had a strong game, as he had two assists in what proved to be his final game, and it was the team captain, Armstrong, that put in the empty-netter in the last minute to seal the game for Toronto. Not only that, but Armstrong, along with forwards Dave Keon and Ron Ellis, helped throttle the potent Montreal power play.

- Even though it came in a losing effort, the best individual play came from Montreal left winger Dick Duff. In the middle of the third period, Duff took the puck back in his own zone, raced across the ice, put a big time deke move on Tim Horton, skated around Allan Stanley and firing an off balance shot past Sawchuk for Montreal's only goal. Duff's goal not only cut the lead to 2-1, it also woke up the Canadiens, as they began to press harder and harder for the tying goal, but Sawchuk recovered quickly and stood strong.

- I must say that I haven't watched a lot of hockey from the 1960s, so this was a bit of a different experience. For one thing, only two players on the ice were wearing helmets, and the Montreal goalie, Gump Worsley, didn't even wear a mask, which to me seems like a rather bad idea, but since Gump played well into his 40s, I guess it worked for him. Sawchuk had a mask on that looked to be made out of plastic and made him look like a demented horror film character, well that, and his constant stoop that had developed from years of playing goalie. In fact, if you were to take a look at the short, stocky Worsley, and Sawchuk, who stood and skated as if he were in constant pain, you would never guess they could be fast enough to play goalie, but by golly, both men played quite well, as Worsley also made over 40 saves, including a few that were rather spectacular.

Well, I guess that's enough for now, as I am tired and I want to go to bed. If you have any memories or thoughts about this game, then I would like for you to post those in the comments section. Also, if you have any ideas for future posts, then let me know about them either by leaving a comment of by sending me an e-mail at

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Canon Wrestling Review: ECW It Ain't Seinfeld: May 14, 1998

On May 14, 1998, while the rest of the world was watching the final episode of Seinfeld (actually, in my house we taped Seinfeld and watched WCW Thunder that night, then watched Seinfeld the next day), ECW decided to hold a wrestling show at the Elks Lodge in New York City, and many ECW diehards came out to see the show. In hindsight, it was probably the right decision, as the Seinfeld finale was probably the most disappointing in the history of television, but that's a topic for another day. But was It Ain't Seinfeld a better show? Well, there's only one way to find out.

The first match of the night is between Justin Credible (w/ Jason and Chastity) and "Dynamic" Jerry Lynn. Joey Styles claims that Jerry Lynn is underutilized in ECW. Well, that would change. The two do a series of tieups to start, then Credible gets frustrated and shoves Lynn down. Lynn responds with a takedown and punches. After a series of leapfrogs, Lynn catches Credible with a spinning back elbow that gets a two count. Lynn whips Credible and Justin flips over the turnbuckle onto the apron, where Lynn charges and knocks Credible into the guardrail. Lynn then catches Credible with a baseball slide that sends Credible over the rail, and then performs a running somersault plancha off the apron onto Credible. Back in, Lynn gets a two count, then uses the "Minneapolis Jam" legdrop to get another two count. Lynn attempts a suplex, but Credible sneaks out and drops his opponent with a reverse DDT. After brawling with Lynn, Jason throws Credible a chair, and Justin uses it to steal Raven's drop-toe-hold into a chair, which gets a two count. More brawling by Credible in the corner, and a powerbomb from a seated position in the corner gets a two for Credible. Credible slows the match down with a chinlock. Back up, Lynn comes off the ropes with a sunset flip and a two count, then gets flattened by a diving clothesline. Credible gets a chair and dives off the top rope, only to get the chair jammed into his face by Jerry Lynn's boot. Dropkick by Lynn into the chair in front of Credible's face, then Lynn follows with a bulldog out of the corner onto the chair. Cover, only gets two. Lynn charges at Credible, but Credible ducks and Lynn goes flying to the outside of the ring. Jason interferes with a backbreaker on Lynn and rolls Lynn in. That gets two, and so does Credible's sloppy looking running spinning DDT. Vertical suplex attempted by Credible, but Lynn counters with a snap suplex while Chastity goes to distract the ref. Lynn to the top, only to be shoved off by Jason. Credible sets up Lynn for That's Incredible, but Lynn reverses, and hits Credible's own finishing move on him to get the three count. Not a bad opening match at all. I'll give it a 3 out of 5.

Next is the legendary Sabu (w/ Bill Alfonso) against the decidedly less legendary Danny Doring. Sabu is all over Doring to start the match, attacking him with punches and an elbow drop. He sits Doring up, and then catches him with a slingshot side-kick. Sabu sets up Doring in the corner, grabs a chair, and throws it in Doring's face, which made me laguh, at least. He then launches off the chair to dropkick Doring in the face. Cover, but Doring kicks out. Sabu continues the assault with a drop kick to the knee and a back body drop. Doring reverses an irish whip, only to take another dropkick to the knee. Sabu sets up a table between the guardrail and apron. Doring takes off with a suicide dive, only for Sabu to shrug him off. Sabu sets Doring up, sets up a chair and the ring, and launches himself off the ropes to elbow drop Doring through the table. Back in the ring. Alfonso holds a chair over Doring's head, and Sabu legdrops the chair into Doring from the top rope. A camel clutch is applied by Sabu, and Doring taps out. Really, this match was just an exhibition to show off Sabu, but at least it was entertaining and Sabu didn't blow anything, so I'll give it a 1.85 out of 5.

Jamie Dundee comes out to the ring, and dances some (quite poorly, I might add) before grabbing a mic. Dundee doesn't seem to think highly of the women of New York or the fans in the crowd, stating that one fan reminds him of his nuts (I don't know how, but that's what he said). Dundee continues to insult the crowd, and throws a remark about Francine's promiscuity in before his opponent, Dundee's opponent is one-half of the Tag Team Champions, Chris Candido, who is accompanied by Francine. Before the match starts, Dundee propositions Francine to dump the zero and get with the hero, which proves to be unsuccessful. The match starts, and Dundee surprises Candido with a springboard body-press out of the irish whip and a pair of hip tosses. Candido consults with Francine while Dundee flexes. Back to action, Candido unloads on Dundee with knife edge chops, and goes to whip Dundee into the corner, but is reversed. Dundee follows up with a cartwheel into a karate chop to the shoulder. Well, I haven't seen that before. Candido is unimpressed and shoves Dundee down a couple times. Dundee decides to try and intimidate Candido with some crazy-looking martail arts poses, but gets clotheslined for his efforts. New Jersey Jam by Candido gets a two count, but Candido follows up with a delayed vertical suplex which also gets a two count. The two do a series of moves out of the corner which ends with Dundee bulldogging Candido from the second rope and getting a two count. Candido catches Dundee with a back suplex and goes for another vertical suplex, but Dundee gets out and eventually throws Candido to the outside, then catches Candido with a plancha. Some brawling on the outside of the ring follows, with finishes with Dundee rolling Candido back in and climbing the top rope, only to get caught and take a superplex from the top rope. Candido follows with a diving headbutt, and gets the three count and the victory. Not too bad of a match, although Dundee's constant obnoxiousness kind of took away from the match. I'll give it a 2.5 out of 5.

Up next is the team of the Full Blooded Italians (Little Guido and Tracey Smothers w/ the Big Don Tommy Rich) to take on the team of Super Nova and the Blue Meanie. I expect that there will be at least one dance-off in this match. Tommy Rich asked to be introduced as the newly elected President of Italy. Well then. The match starts with Nova and Smothers in the ring. Smothers takes the advantage with punches, but Nova counters with a series of arm drags before Smothers tags out to Guido, who also takes an arm drag. After an irish whip and leapfrog sequence, Guido tries to hurracanrana Nova, but takes a powerbomb instead. Meanie comes in, and Guido retreats. Tommy Rich grabs the mic, and yes, we're about to have a dance off. Smothers, the winner of the 'John Travolta dance award' according to Rich, cuts a rug, then Meanie somehow does even worse than Smothers before getting referee John Finnegan to dance, and he outdances everyone. Dropkick from behind by Smothers onto Meanie, and the FBI get into Finnegan's face. They go to attack, but Finnegan ducks, bounces off the ropes, and clotheslines both FBI members, and then follows up with a pair of hip tosses. Rich comes in, only to get shoved down by Finnegan, who is on fire right now. Guido charges at Finnegan, but he ducks, and Meanie catches him with a backdrop. Smothers follows, only to get knocked back by Meanie, and Meanie and Finnegan double clothesline Smothers over the top rope to the outside. Only in ECW. Nova with a suicide dive on both FBI members. Rich then gets involved and attacks Nova, eventually crotching him on the guardrail and rolling him back in the ring. The FBI double team Nova with a double clothesline and the Paisan elbow drop, which gets a two count. Guido and Smothers continue to attack Nova while Finnegan, apparently calling the match evenly again, restrains the Meanie. Smothers irish whips Nova, is reversed and tries for the Sunset Flip. Nova counters with the legdrop, but Smothers then catches Nova with a forceful dropkick that gets a two count. Tag to Guido, who is in control for a few seconds until Nova uses a reverse Russian leg sweep to send Guido down. Tag to Meanie, who fires a pair of dropkicks on Guido and Smothers, and then powerslams Guido out of the corner for a two count. Here comes referee Jeff Jones, and he squares off with Nova as Meanie and Smothers brawl on the outside. After a shoving match, Jones kicks Nova low, and Guido tries to take advantage with a swinging neckbreaker. But instead, Nova reverses it, and hits the Novacain (a reverse STO, and rather poorly done I might add) on Guido while Finnegan DDTs Jones. After Finnegan disposes of his fellow official, he delivers the three count and Nova and Meanie win the match. Well, that was strange, but entertaining enough. I'll give it a 2.1 out of 5.

Lance Storm, the other half of the Tag Team Champions, comes out to wrestle the next match against Balls Mahoney, probably the best wrestler ever with the first name Balls. Although I must say I do like Balls' Pantera T-Shirt. Lance and Balls start out trading basic wrestling holds, and not surprisingly, Lance gets the advantage on most of them. Lance comes off the ropes after an irish whip and misses a cross body block as Mahoney ducks out of the way. Balls follows up with a spinning heel kick that makes Lance Storm land face first on the outside of the ring. Balls uses a bell and a broken table leg to continue his assault on Storm. Then Balls takes a chair to Lance Storm's back, and follows up by dropping him throat first on the guardrail. Balls tries to dive on Lance from the apron, but Lance moves and Balls lands chin first on the guardrail. Back in the ring, Storm gets a two count after a dropkick, and comes back by whipping Balls into the corner and hitting a cartwheel body splash on Balls. Two count after a bulldog by Storm, and Lance slows the match down with a chinlock. Balls gets back up, and catches Storm's superkick attempt and counters with punches and a superkick of his own. Balls then decides that now would be a good time to take his shirt off, which doesn't do the viewing audience any favors. Powerslam by Balls gets two, and Mahoney goes to the top for an elbow drop, but misses. Storm hits the slingshot clothesline from the apron, and gets a two count. Storm goes to the top and dives, but is caught by Mahoney who sets him up for the Nutcracker Suite. However, Storm gets out and gives a spinning heel kick. Storm grabs a chair and gives Mahoney one of his trademark chair shots, which predictably does not effect Mahoney at all, and Balls fires back with punches. Storm reverses an irish whip into the corner and charges, but Balls drops him over the apron. Unfortunately for Balls, Storm lands on his feet, and as Balls goes to hit Storm with the chair, Storm uses a springboard dropkick to drive it into his face to get the pinfall victory. Nothing really worth writing home about, so I'll give it a 1.4 out of 5.

Joey Styles is in the ring while the fans chant 'Seinfeld Sucks', but is interrupted by Taz, who I guarantee is about to drop a few f-bombs. Sure enough, Taz uses the f word to describe his new belt, the FTW championship. Since he can't get a shot at Shane Douglas's world title due to Douglas's injuries, caused by Taz, Taz has decided that the next logical step is to make his own championship. He challenges Douglas to come out and take his title, but instead Bam Bam Bigelow comes out. He disputes Taz's claim of being a World Champion, and states to Taz that if he wants a piece of Douglas, he'll have to go through Bigelow to get him. Taz has no problem with that, but ECW does, as referees come out to keep the two apart. Bigelow decides to pick up one referee over his head and chuck him into the crowd, and oh here go hell come as the two trade punches and drop to the mat before additional security breaks it up.

Mikey Whipwreck gets a chance to regain the Television Title he once held against the current champion, Rob Van Dam (w/ Bill Alfonso). The match starts with Van Dam hitting a couple of punches, then flatting Mikey with a lifting double underhook facebuster. When Mikey sits up, Van Dam knocks him back down with a spinning heel kick. Back up, RVD irish whips Mikey and catches him with a dropkick on the rebound. Another spinning heel kick by RVD, who follows up with a corkscrew leg drop. To the outside we go, and RVD tries to whip Mikey into the guardrail, but Mikey is able stop himself and Russian leg sweep him into the guardrail. Whipwreck follows up with a suicide dive, but Alfonso then interferes, and RVD is able to regain the advantage. Whipwreck is whipped into the guardrail, and like he's done after every single move thus far, Van Dam showboats for the crowd. Mikey gets crotched on the guardrail, and Alfonso holds up a chair in front of Whipwreck so Van Dam can hit a modified Van Daminator. Back in the ring, Van Dam sets up a chair and monkeyflips Whipwreck spine first onto the chair. Five-Star Frog Splash from Van Dam, but he doesn't attempt a cover and Whipwreck gets back up. Van Dam kicks out quickly after a Sunset Flip, and Whipwreck tries to attempt a Victory Roll, but Van Dam drops him and uses Sabu's camel clutch. Mikey gets crotched on the top rope, and Van Dam uses a standing heel kick to send Whipwreck flying to the outside. Van Dam an Alfonso take forever to find a table, and eventually set one up between the apron and the guardrail, in the exact same spot where Sabu set up a table earlier tonight. Van Dam then crotches Mikey on the guardrail, and nearly clips the table as he corkscrew leg drops Whipwreck. Back in the ring, Van Dam goes for another monkeyflip, but Whipwreck counters with a bulldog onto the chair, and nearly gets a three count after a sunset flip. Whipwreck then uses the chair to his advantage, by drop toe-holding Van Dam face first into the chair, then driving his head into it with a legdrop. Mikey goes to the apron, but Alfonso grabs his leg, and this allows Van Dam to hit the Vandaminator. Alfonso sets up Mikey on the table while Rob Van Dam tries to mimic Sabu with a triple jump dive, but here comes Sabu, and he stops RVD to elbow drop Whipwreck through the table himself. Van Dam is not happy, so he springboards off the chair to hit Sabu with a kick. The two fight it out until Candido comes out, and the two double team RVD because they are teaming up together in a future match against RVD and Lance Storm. Sabu hits Air Sabu off Candido's back, and Candido power bombs RVD before Lance Storm comes out, The four fight it out until the locker room empties to separate the men, making this match a no contest. Just as well, because it was just one RVD spot after another without any cohesion and there was too much time in the match where nothing happened. Plus, RVD was just terrible at selling back then. I'll give it a 1 out of 5.

Up next we have Bam Bam Bigelow coming out for the second time tonight, this time to face Axl Rotten, who comes out wearing an Insane Clown Posse shirt. Bigelow starts the match by attacking Axl from behind, and is all over Rotten as he backs him against the corner. Bigelow charges into the corner and hits one avalanche, but Axl moves after a second attempt and grabs his chair. Rotten hits Bigelow in the back three times with the chair, and the third one sends Bigelow down. Axl charges at Bigelow and tries to hit him in the head, but Bigelow moves, and then scoops up a stunned Axl to deliver the Greetings from Ashbury Park. That gives Bigelow the victory. Well, that was quick. 1.1 out of 5.

The Dudley Boys (Bubba Ray, D-Von, Big Dick) come out to the ring with Joel Gertner and Sign Guy Dudley and grab the mic. D'Von starts by telling the crowd to 'shut the f up', and promises to mess up anyone in the crowd who says anything, which does not silence the crowd to say the least. Bubba Ray takes the mic, and from there the crowd only gets more riled up, as they nearly entice an overweight man to jump into the ring. Trash fills the ring, and some idiot even throws a chair, yet Bubba and D'Von continue to egg the fans on. Some kid threatens to jump from the balcony, so the Dudleys try to goad him into it some more before the kid elects to simply moon the Dudleys instead. Joel Gertner is handed the mic and goes through his usual introduction, but in the middle of it, the kid jumps from the balcony, and eventually jumps the guardrail before security gets in there to keep him from the ring. Good thing, because the kid was about as big as one of Dick's legs. Anyway, the trash is eventually shuffled off to the side of the ring, and here comes the Dudley's opponents in the main event, Tommy Dreamer, the Sandman, and Spike Dudley (w/ Beulah McGillicutty).

Sandman has to get his pre-match smoke and six pack of beer in, so his team's entrance takes about five minutes overall, what with everyone throwing down a few and all. There's a big standoff to begin that takes a few minutes and involves both Bubba and Beulah insulting the other's appearance in between. Finally, Dreamer and D'Von start the match for their respective teams. They tie up, seperate, and stall some more. After some punches by D'Von and a rope-running sequence, Dreamer's sunset flip is blocked by D'Von for a two count, then Dreamer rolls back D'Von for a two count of his own. Back up, Bubba Ray and Spike are tagged in for their teams. Spike charges Bubba twice but is shoved down, then gets caught, picked up, and slammed down to the mat with the Bubba Bomb. Irish Whip into a backdrop by Bubba Ray, and he continues to pound away on Little Spike. Bubba backs Spike into the corner and charges, but Spike moves and fires away at Bubba with shoulder blocks and punches. Spike climbs on Bubba Ray's shoulders and delivers a huracanrana. Spike comes back with a pair of running flying forearms sandwiching a headscissors takeover, and Bubba has to back away into his corner. Big Dick Dudley is tagged in, so Spike decides to do the smart thing and tag in the Sandman. The match slows to a crawl as the two stare each other down and the Sandman tries to go after the other Dudleys on the apron. After a pair of tie-ups, Sandman goes after Bubba again before locking Big Dick in a side headlock. However, Dick shoves Sandman into the ropes and knocks him down hard with a shoulderblock on the rebound. Sandman flips out of a back suplex and clotheslines Big Dick, who answers with a clothesline of his own to knock down the Sandman. Powerbomb attempt by Big Dick, but the Sandman punches his way out of it and knocks Big Dick flat on his back and gets a two count. Sandman clotheslines Big Dick over the top rope, and oh here go hell come as all six man battle on the outside. Bubba gorilla presses Spike and drops him throat first onto the guardrail. Everybody's fighting everybody now and eventually both Bubba and D'Von get thrown over the guardrail, allowing Spike to dive off the turnbuckle onto Bubba and D'Von in the crowd. Dreamer and Bubba are back in, and Dreamer nearly gets a pinfall after a slingshot splash. Irish whip, Bubba ducks a clothesline and flattens Dreamer with a back suplex. D'Von and Spike come back into the ring, and Spike slips out a body slam and huracanranas D'Von down to the mat. Stratusfaction by Spike gets two. Back up, D'Von reverses a whip into the corner, only to get a boot in the face. Spike leaps to the top and jumps, only to land into a waiting D'Von's arms, who then powerslams Spike down. The two roll out, and now it's Big Dick and Sandman enter the ring. Big Dick climbs the top rope (huh?) but Sandman catches him and ties him in the tree of woe. Bubba Ray and Dreamer come back in, and Dreamer and Sandman proceed to tie him up in the tree of woe in another corner. D'Von and Sign Guy also get tied up in trees of woe, I guess and chairs are planted in front of their faces. Dreamer, Sandman, Spike, and Beulah all baseball slide right into the chairs, knocking the Dudleys out. Gertner comes in to challenge Beulah and do his best Ric Flair impersonation in the process. A tie-up ends when Gertner plants a wet one on Beulah. Bearhug by Gertner, but Beulah gets out of it and low-blows Gertner, following that up with a DDT. Dreamer and Sandman line up to annihilate Gertner, but the Dudleys come to the rescue. Spike leaps from the top, only to get caught by Big Dick. Total Penetration by Big Dick (yes, that's the name of his finisher, which is basically a Baldo Bomb) and the Dudley pile on Spike for the three count. But they're not done yet, as Bubba smacks Sandman with his own cane. New Jack comes out with his trash can of weapons, and each Dudley (save Spike) takes a variety of cookie sheets and trash can lids and other various weapons, including a doll with a wooden stick in the middle of it, to the head, clearing them all out of the ring. Gertner for some unknown reason challenges New Jack, and Sandman grabs him from behind, allowing New Jack to annihilate (actually, he barely hit him) Gertner with a guitar. Post match, Dreamer, Sandman, and the rest stand tall in the ring. Wow did this match take a long time to get going, between the Dudleys nearly causing a riot, the Sandman and his team's rather long entrance, and all the stalling in between. I mean, it's one thing to build suspense, but this was a bit much. The match itself suffered from too much down time, so I'll give it a 1.78 out of 5.

Overall, the show started out well, but the last three matches kind of brought everything down. Still, it wasn't too bad of a show, and there were some definite highlights. So I'd give It Ain't Seinfeld a 4.7 out of 10, as it wasn't the best ECW show, but it wasn't too bad. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any thoughts about this or other posts, or ideas for future posts, than let me know about them either by leaving a comment on the blog or sending me an e-mail at

Monday, November 22, 2010

Canon Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I don't know if you've heard, but this weekend the new Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 was released. As you might expect, it did quite well at the box office this weekend, as every Quidditch loving muggle went out and saw their man Harry and his pals battle the forces of evil or something. I don't know, I'm not that far into the Potter saga. I did not go and see this movie (although my sister did), so you may be wondering why I'm even mentioning Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1. Well, it's for the hits that come along with mentioning a popular topic like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1.

Now that that's out of way, today's review is actually of the fourth novel in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter saga, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In this novel, Harry Potter doesn't actually touch the Goblet of Fire, but it dramatically changes his life and nearly gets him killed anyway. Yes, once again, poor Harry tries to go through another year at Hogwarts, a school for wizards, without causing too much trouble, but trouble has a funny way of finding Harry Potter and his friends. For one, his wand gets jacked at the Quidditch World Cup, and is later used to summon the Dark Mark of Voldemort, the most evil wizard in the world and the man that killed Harry's parents. Also, this year at Hogwarts, an old tradition is restarted with the revival of the Triwizard Cup, a competition between a wizard or witch from three rival schools, Hogwarts being among them. Even though the competition is limited to students over 17, Harry somehow gets picked by the Goblet of Fire. This comes as a surprise to Harry, considering he didn't try to enter the tournament. So, in addition to all of his troubles with mastering magic, Harry now must compete in a tournament that requires him to complete tasks that are quite advanced for any wizard, much less a fourth year student at Hogwarts, and figure out who entered him in the tournament, as he has a feeling that once again, somebody wants Harry dead. All that, and more, can be found in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. A few notes about this book, and there are SPOLIERS ahead, so proceed with caution.

- The first thing I noticed about this book is that it is a lot longer than the previous three. At 754 pages, this book is nearly as lengthy as the previous two books in the series combined. However, like the previous three books, this book only covers one year in time. It just so happens that a lot more seems to happen this year than in the other three years.

- In the Goblet of Fire, there are many other subplots going on along with the main narrative (which is basically Harry vs. Voldemort) which expand the Harry Potter universe. For example, there's the Quidditch World Cup, which is pretty much like soccer's World Cup only without vuvuzuelas and concealed to most of the public by an insane amount of magic. Plus, there's the introduction of two new wizardry schools, Beauxbatons, which seems to be a French school, and Durmstrung, which seems to be a Russian or Eastern European school. This, I felt, was a welcome change to the story, as it showed that the world of magic is not just merely confined to Hogwarts. If anything, I would have liked a bit more information about these two schools, particularly Beauxbatons and their competitor in the Triwizard tournament, Fleur Delacour, as there really wasn't any depth to her character.

- There are many new characters in The Goblet of Fire. One of which is a nosy newspaper report for the Daily Prophet named Rita Skeeter. Skeeter is the worst kind of journalist, one that isn't above bending the truth or using espionage in order to write a more compelling story. Skeeter causes a lot of problems for Potter, particularly when Draco and his fellow Slytherins start feeding her information. If I were an ameteur psychologist, I'd say that the creation of Skeeter was the result of the author's frustration over her coverage by the media, but I'm not and besides, Rowling denied that notion. Still, I do wonder.

- Also, Hogwarts once again has a new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher. This time it's a former auror (basically, an investigator and capturer of dark wizards) named Mad-Eye Moody. Why do they call him Mad-Eye, you ask? Well, it's because he lost an eye during his career as an auror, and decided to replace it with a magically enhanced eyes that can rotate 360 degrees and see through anything, walls, invisibility cloaks, a dragon's belly, whatever. Perhaps an airport should hire Mad-Eye Moody as their security officer so they don't have to violently pat down passengers anymore.

- This book not only takes a turn in the length of the book, but also seems to take a more adult turn in general. For the first times, relationships and romance become a theme in the book, particularly with Hermoine and Ron. Harry and his cohorts act more like teenagers in this book rather than kids, and there are times where Harry feels uneasy about being so heavily protected, as if he thinks he knows all the answers like any other teenager. Also, there are more disturbing scenes in this one, such as, well basically everything that happens after the third stage of the tournament begins. Also, this was really the first Potter book that ended on a definite down note.

- One thing that kind of annoys me about the Harry Potter books is that most of the student body at Hogwarts seem to have a short memory. Once again, Harry finds himself in a perilous situation not of his doing, and once again, most of the school hates him for it. Never mind that Harry's saved their sorry butts on more than one occasion. This time, even Ron gets into the spirit, as his jealousy over Harry rears its ugly head after Harry is announced as the fourth member of the tournament. Sure, Harry could have handled himself better in their mini-feud, but is it too much to ask for a little understanding, Ron? In fact, even when they were getting along, Ron grated on my nerves for most of the book, as his new favorite hobby seemed to be complaining.

Overall, this wasn't too bad of a story, although I did find a couple of plotholes, and everything just seemed to wrap up a little too conveniently, if you will. Nevertheless, the story itself was very suspenseful, and kept me wanting more. Overall, I'll give Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire a 7.02950 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any comments about this or previous posts, or ideas for future reviews or posts, than share them either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Canon Review List-A-Mania: The Ten Worst Trades in Atlanta Braves History

A few days ago, the Atlanta Braves pulled off a blockbuster deal, sending 2B/OF Omar Infante and RP Mike Dunn to the Florida Marlins for 2B Dan Uggla. Uggla, although not the best defensive player around, has shown rare power for a second baseman, becoming the only second baseman to put together four consecutive seasons of 30 or more home runs. Plus, the Braves get the added bonus of Uggla not killing them year after year, and if he comes anywhere close to his career .354/.399/.652 line at Turner Field, than the Braves should be very pleased with Uggla. Yes, on paper, the Uggla trade looks like a good idea and gives the Braves the right-handed power bat they've been looking for since Jeff Francoeur failed to emerge and was eventually traded. But often times, the trades that look good on paper turn look awful on the field. So, with that in mind, here are the ten worst trades in Atlanta Braves history. (Note: this list is the ten worst trades in Atlanta Braves history, so trades the Braves made while in Boston and Milwaukee were not considered).

Honorable Mention:

June 13, 1976: traded 1B Darrell Evans and INF Marty Perez to the San Francisco Giants for 1B Willie Montanez, SS Craig Robinson, INF Mike Eden, and OF Jake Brown 

Yes, the Braves did get a solid 2 years out of Montanez (.302/.339/.441), although it wasn't worth giving up a player the caliber of Evans, a power hitter who could play both third and first and was one of the most patient hitters of his era.
June 23, 1976: Traded OF Lee Lacy and RP Elias Sosa to the Los Angeles Dodgers for RP Mike Marshall

Marshall pitched well for the Braves, but only lasted three months with the team. Meanwhile, Lacy, although not a superstar, was a decent player with speed, while Sosa put up a 2.24 ERA out of the bullpen from 1977-1979.
September 8, 1969: Traded OF Mickey Rivers and P Cliff Compton to the California Angles for RP Hoyt Wilhelm and RP Bob Priddy 

While Wilhelm pitched well down the stretch for the 1969 Division Champion Braves (one earned run in 12.1 innings), Rivers went on to have a solid career, hitting .295 and stealing 269 bases as one of the best leadoff hitters of the 1970s.
10. August 3, 1990: Traded OF Dale Murphy and SP Tommy Greene to the Philadelphia Phillies for RP Jeff Parrett, OF Jim Vatcher, and INF Victor Rosario 

Anytime you trade your franchise player for over a decade, there will be some backlash from your fans. Needless to say, the Braves fans were less than thrilled about this trade, as many frustrated fans expressed anger over the deal, even chanting "We Want Murph" when Jeff Parrett made his Atlanta debut. Heck, I cried after hearing on the radio that Murphy was traded. Yes, Murphy wasn't the player he once was (.232/.312/.418 with the Braves in 1990), but it was just assumed by the Braves faithful that the Murph would finish his career in a Braves uniform. That said, what makes this trade bad is that the Braves got absolutely nothing in return for one of the best players in team history. Vatcher and Rosario combined for 36 plate appearances in a Braves uniform, while Parrett put up an ugly 6.33 ERA in 1991, earning his release. Murphy had a decent season and a half for the Phillies, but he was not the same player that dominated in the 1980s. To make matters worse, Greene turned into a good pitcher for the Phillies, throwing a no-hitter in 1991 and going 16-4 in 1993. He also won the clinching game in the 1993 NLCS for the Phillies against the very organization that traded him. The lesson here is, if you're going to trade your franchise player, you'd better get more out of him than two non-prospects and a middle reliever.

9. December 10, 1985 - Traded RP Steve Bedrosian and OF Milt Thompson to the Philadelphia Phillies for C Ozzie Virgil and SP Pete Smith

From 1982-1984, Bedrosian was a key part in the Braves bullpen. In 1985, the Braves made him a starter, and Bedrosian wasn't so good (111 walks, 7-15 record). As one of Bobby Cox' first moves as GM, he sent Bedrosian and speedy outfielder Milt Thompson to Philadelphia for C Ozzie Virgil and prospect Pete Smith. The Phillies put Bedrosian back in the bullpen, and 'Bedrock' excelled, winning the Cy Young Award in 1987 after a 40 save season. Thompson proved to be a solid outfielder for a number of seasons, providing his teams with top-notch defense and speed for a number of seasons, and hitting over .300 in 1987 and 1991. Virgil did make the All-Star Game in 1987, but his .242/.330/.411 hitting and sketchy defense over three seasons in Atlanta left something to be desired. Smith, meanwhile, would become one of the most frustrating players in Braves history, as he had great stuff and showed flashes of greatness (including a 7-0, 2.05 ERA in 12 games in 1992), but for whatever reason, just wasn't able to put it all together. Bedrosian, interestingly enough, would come back to the Braves in 1993, and put together two solid seasons before struggling in 1995 and retiring shortly after.

8. December 13, 2003 - traded SP Adam Wainwright, SP Jason Marquis, and RP Ray King to the St. Louis Cardinals for RF J.D. Drew and C Eli Marrero

The problem with this trade was not the players the Braves got, as Drew was awesome in 2004 (157 OPS+, 6th in the MVP voting) while Marrero hit .320 as a fourth outfielder. However, both Marrero and Drew left after the 2004 season. Meanwhile, Marquis went on to have a few solid years with a number of teams, but the one the Braves really miss is Wainwright, as he has become one of the best pitchers in the game for the Cardinals, finishing in the top thee in the Cy Young voting over the past two years. At 28, Wainwright is still in his prime, and should continue to dominate for the next few years, haunting Braves fans. That said, I can see why the Braves made the deal, as they needed a power bat and pitching prospects are iffy, but sometimes trades just go against you.
7. December 22, 1999 - traded LF Ryan Klesko and 2B Bret Boone to the San Diego Padres for OF Reggie Sanders, 2B Quilvio Veras, and 1B Wally Joyner

At the time, it seemed as if this was a rather even trade. The Padres traded for power in Boone and Klesko, while the Braves traded for speed in Veras and Sanders (also a power hitter) and in Joyner, the Braves got an insurance policy for Andres Galaaraga, who was recovering from a bout with cancer. While Galaaraga played strong in 2000, the players the Braves received in this trade didn't do so well. Sanders, in a stretch of playing for seven teams in seven years, hit well in every year except in 2000, where he hit .232/.302/.403 in 377 plate appearances. Joyner hit .281 off the bench, but had little power and just lasted one season with the Braves. Veras wasn't a bad player for the Braves (.376 OBP), but had trouble staying healthy, and after two years the Braves gave up on him. Meanwhile, Boone had a three-year stretch of 100 RBI seasons from 2001-2003, and Klesko proved to be a valuable player for the Padres, putting up a .279/.381/.491 line during his seven seasons in San Diego. If the Braves had elected to keep Boone and Klesko, they might have won another pennant or two under Bobby Cox.

6. March 25, 1997 - traded CF Marquis Grissom and OF David Justice to the Cleveland Indians for CF Kenny Lofton and RP Alan Embree

In Spring Training 1997, the Braves had a glut of outfielders. There were veterans Ryan Klesko, Marquis Grissom and David Justice, who was coming off of injury. Not only that, but youngsters Jermaine Dye and Andruw Jones were seemingly ready to play. The Braves decided to remedy this problem somewhat by trading two good outfielders in Grissom and Justice for one great one in center fielder Kenny Lofton. Entering 1997, Lofton had won four straight Gold Gloves, led the American league in stolen bases for five straight years, and at the age of 30 and entering a contract year, seemed poised to have the best year of his career. While Lofton did hit .333 and finished 8th in the NL with a .409 on-base percentage, he also led the league in caught stealing with 20, and just didn't seem to fit in with the ballclub. Embree, meanwhile, lasted a year and a half with the Braves and pitched well as a left handed specialist before moving on. While Grissom never was the same player after the trade, Justice continued to be a power threat for the Indians and Yankees, putting up a 1.013 OPS in 1997 for the Indians and hitting 41 home runs in 2000. Meanwhile, Lofton left the Braves after the 1997 season, only to sign with the very team that traded him, the Cleveland Indians.
5. March 27, 1997 - traded RF Jermaine Dye and RP Jamie Walker to the Kansas City Royals for OF Michael Tucker and 2B Keith Lockhart

Just two days later, the Braves still felt the need for a left-handed hitting outfielder, even though they just traded one in Justice. So a deal was struck with the Royals that send prospect Jermaine Dye, who had a solid rookie year in 1996, hitting .281 with power. But the Braves had Andruw Jones coming up and felt they needed a left-handed outfielder to platoon with Jones. So off Dye went, along with Rule 5 pick Walker, for Michael Tucker and Keith Lockhart. Tucker and Lockhart both had their moments with the Braves, as Tucker actually hit the first home run in Turner Field, while Lockhart lasted six years in Atlanta, primarily as an infield reserve. Meanwhile, while Walker would have some good years out of the bullpen, losing Dye really hurt, as Dye became a very good player. Dye is a two-time All Star, a former Gold Glove winner, has four 100+ RBI and four 30+ home run seasons to his credit, and also won the World Series MVP with the White Sox in 2005. Yes, the Braves did win nine division titles without Dye, but giving up a player of his caliber for two spare parts is never a good idea.

4. November 17, 1975 - traded OF Dusty Baker and 1B Ed Goodson to the Los Angeles Dodgers for OF Jimmy Wynn, OF Lee Lacy, OF Tom Pacoerick, and 2B Jerry Royster

Baker hit .321 in 1972, and over the next three seasons was a solid outfielder for the Braves. But the Braves felt they needed a power boost, so they sent Baker and bench player Goodson to the Dodgers for Wynn and the others. Wynn was the key player in the deal for the Braves, as the "Toy Cannon" was expected to give the team a bigger home run threat. Wynn lasted one season in Atlanta, and while he led the NL in walks with 127, he also hit a mere .207 with 17 home runs. As for the others, Lacy was shipped out of town in the middle of his first season, Pacoerick played two seasons for the Braves and had an OPS of .684, and Royster lasted nine seasons for the Braves, and in only one did he put up an OPS+ over 100. On the other hand, Baker had eight solid seasons for the Dodgers, winning two Silver Slugger awards and a Gold Glove and putting up a .281/343/.437 line with a 117 OPS+ during his stint in Los Angeles.

3. May 19, 1973 - traded 1B Andre Thornton to the Chicago Cubs for 1B Joe Pepitone

It's bad enough that the Braves didn't know what they had in Thornton, as they traded him away before his first major league at-bat. What made it worse was the fact that Pepitone played a grand total of three games for the Braves before deciding that he had had enough and decided to retire only a week after arriving in Atlanta. Meanwhile, Thornton put together a heck of a career, finishing with three 30 home run seasons, two All-Star game appearances, and a career line of .254/.360/.452 with a 122 OPS+. Not bad for a guy traded for a washed-up first baseman that lasted a week.

2. July 31, 2007 - traded SS Elvis Andrus, RP Neftali Feliz, P Beau Jones, SP Matt Harrison, and C Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the Texas Rangers for 1B Mark Teixeira and RP Ron Mahay

The problem with this trade was not the return. After all Teixeira played very well in his 1 year in Atlanta, hitting 37 home runs and driving in 134 runs in 157 games with the Braves. The problem was that not only did they get just one year out of Teixeira, but they gave up way too much for him. Although Jones has yet to reach the big leagues, and Harrison and Saltalamacchia have yet to stick in the bigs, there's still time for each player to reach their potential. As for the other two, Andrus made the All-Star team as a 21 year old and hit .294 with 8 steals in the postseason for the Rangers, while Feliz set a rookie record with 40 saves on his way to being named the 2010 rookie of the year award. With both Andrus and Feliz barely over drinking age, the sky's the limit for them, and if they continue to improve, this might become the worst trade in Braves history in a couple of years.

1. August 28, 1983 - traded CF Brett Butler, 3B Brook Jacoby, and P Rick Behenna to the Cleveland Indians for SP Len Barker and $150,000 

The Braves were in the middle of a pennant race and were desperate for pitching. When teams get desperate, they tend to do things such as trade for a pitcher with a 5.11 ERA and sign him to a multi-year deal well above market value. Furthermore, the Braves sent two future All-Stars in Butler and Jacoby to the Indians, although they were aloud to stay with the Braves until the end of the season. That probably made things a bit awkward for Butler, the team's starting left fielder at the time, as the Braves were trying to clinch a postseason berth. Anyway, Barker didn't last very long with the Braves, pitching until 1985 and putting up a 10-20 record with a 4.64 ERA while with the Braves. Meanwhile, Jacoby was a good, if not great, third baseman for a number of years with the Cleveland Indians, making a couple of appearances in the All-Star game. Butler, meanwhile, went on to become one of the best center fielders in the game, finishing his career with well over 2,000 and 554 stolen bases, which currently ranks 24th in MLB history. Because the Braves got so little in return for two future All-Stars, the Len Barker deal is the worst trade in the history of the Atlanta Braves.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any comments about this post or ideas for future posts, than send them this way either by commenting or by e-mail at

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Canon Review Presents: Wrestling Botches Volume 1

The idea for this next review comes from Canon Review reader Dickson S., who describes his request as follows:

"Post three separate videos with three of the worst botched wrestling moves that you can find. This can be from any federation and from any time period in wrestling."

So, per his request, I have decided to watch a few matches which contains some bad botches and review them, so enjoy.

Match 1: Sid Vicious vs. Nightstalker, Clash of the Champions 13, November 20, 1990

This match is considered to be the worst in wrestling history, and for good reason. The comedy starts early, as Sid cuts a promo before the match, but the audio is so bad that you can hardly make out what he's saying. His opponent is the Nightstalker, a.k.a. Bryan Clark, Wrath, Adam Bomb, etc. The two have a shoving match to start. Test of strength, Nightstalker tries to break it with a kick to the ribs, but Sid fires back with three of his own that barely grazes his opponent. A shoulderblock is attempted but does nothing, and the two have a staredown before Sid leaps into Nighstalker's arms for a bearhug. Sid breaks it, but Nightstalker puts him back in the bearhug. Finally, Sid gets out and backs Nightstalker into the corner with some toe kicks and punches, but the Stalker fires back with a knee to the ribs. He follows up with a few more knees that are supposed to be to the ribs, but are all over the place. More knees and punches to the gut and back follow, before they seem to run out of ideas and the Nightstaker just holds Sid against the ropes for a few seconds. Here comes Curtis Hughes. Sid disposes of the Nightstalker with a back suplex where Nightstalker lands hard on the mat. Vicious then nails Hughes on the apron while Nightstalker gets right back up from the suplex. Nightstalker gets his AXE and tries to hit Sid with it, but ends up hitting the turnbuckle instead. Hughes enters the ring, the three just stare at each other for a second before Sid kicks Hughes in the gut, picks up the axe and shoves back the Nightstalker with the handle, and then covers the Nightstalker for the three count. Post match, the Nighstalker and Hughes try to attack Sid, and Jim Ross gets in the spirit of things by calling Sid 'Luger'. Eventually, Sid rolls out. The only good thing you can say about this match was that it was short. 0.012 out of 5.

Match 2: Bobby Eaton vs. Glacier, WCW Nitro, January 6, 1997

This is the opening match of the first Nitro of the new year Yep, WCW clearly put their best foot forward with this match. Glacier comes out with his elaborate entrance and shows off his martial arts skills. Tie up, Glacier escapes with a leg sweep that sends Eaton down. The two exchange blows before Glacier gets the advantage with a pair of hiptosses and an armbar. Back up, Eaton whips Glacier to the ropes and tries a leapfrog, but for some reason Glacier decides to somersault right towards Eaton's leg and trips Bobby up. Glacier takes advantage with a japanese arm drag and body slam. He sets Eaton up, and kicks him in the face before Eaton could get his hands up to block it. Cover, Eaton kicks out at one, Glacier continues to hook the leg before Eaton gets him off with an eye gouge. Back up, Glacier finishes off Eaton with a Chyronic kick and gets the victory. These two just had no chemistry, and the match was made worse by the fact that the announcers talked about everything but the action in the ring. 0.64 out of 5.

Match 3: Daniel Puder vs. Kurt Angle, Smackdown, November 4, 2004

This video took place during the Tough Enough competition of 2004, which took place each week on Smackdown. Kurt Angle came out and challenged the Tough Enough competitors to a wrestling challenge. After quickly disposing of one of the competitors, Angle asked if anyone else wanted a piece of him, and Puder volunteered. As Puder steps into the ring, Michael Cole boasts that Puder is a cagefighter from the UFC, which is odd because Puder has as many fights in the UFC as I do. Angle and Puder start grappling for position, and Angle backs Puder up against the corner. As Angle drags him out of the corner, Puder drops to the mat and puts Angle in a keylock. At first, Puder doesn't have it on all the way, but he's able to get a deeper hold on it, and really starts to bend Angle's arm. Before Puder can break Angle's arm, the ref quickly counts to three as Puder was on his back at the time, saving one of the WWE's top starts from getting embarrassed by a rookie. In hindsight, it was probably not the best idea to put those two in a free-for-all type competition, as the consequences could have been worse. Afterwards, Angle spews some nonsense about how none of the Tough Enough wrestlers are tough enough to compete in his ring. At the end of the day, nobody got hurt by it, although both Puder and Angle still talk about the incident to this day, claiming they could kick the other's ass in a shoot fight and other nonsense. I'll give it a 1.5 out of 5, because it was kind of funny seeing Angle get shown up like that.

Match 4: Rob Van Dam vs. Sabu, Ladder Match, ECW August 16, 2006

This match is for a title shot at the ECW Title at Summerslam 2006 against the Big Show. The two trade off holds to start, Sabu whips Van Dam into the corner and tries to springboard off the ropes, but Van Dam is one step ahead, as he springboards off the second turnbuckle to deliver a kick to Sabu's gut. Van Dam goes for a cover IN A LADDER MATCH, then remembers where he is and legdrops Sabu. After a back elbow, Van Dam leaps to the top, but Sabu crotches him. Sabu sets up a chair and leaps on the same corner, but ends up falling groin first on the top rope. Van Dam decides it would be a good idea to leap from the top rope to grab the contract, but it goes about as well as you would expect. Sabu clotheslines Van Dam over the top rope. Sabu goes for a ladder, but RVD cuts him off and the two go back into the ring. Sabu whips Van Dam into the corner, springboards off the second rope and catches Van Dam with a sick tornado DDT. Sabu grabs the ladder and sets it up on the apron, only to take a baseball slide from RVD into the ladder to his face. Van Dam continues his assault with a pescado, catching Sabu and the ladder and driving the ladder back into Sabu's gut.

Back from commercial, RVD has Sabu hanging over the guardrail, and does his trademark twisting leg drop off the apron onto Sabu. Back in, Van Dam grabs the ladder, only for Sabu to dropkick his knee, sending Van Dam face first into the ladder. Sabu follows up with a sick Arabian Facebuster to the back of RVD's skull. Sabu tries to climb up the ladder, but RVD thwarts that attempt by tipping the ladder. Sabu lands on his feet however, and sets Van Dam up for a triple jump moonsault using the ladder. However, Sabu trips while trying to leap off the edge of the ladder, and RVD covers up the mishap by legdropping Sabu. The ladder is now set up in the corner, and RVD whips Sabu against the ladder. He tries to do a monkey flip to Sabu, but Sabu moves and RVD lands on the ladder, only to monkey flip the ladder onto Sabu. Van Dam sets Sabu on the ladder and attempts rolling thunder, but ends up landing back first on the ladder instead. Triple jump moonsault by Sabu connects, although Sabu's knee ends up in RVD's gut. With RVD draped over the downed ladder, Sabu attempts an Arabian face buster, but RVD moves, and Sabu nearly breaks his tailbone. RVD tries to climb the ladder, but Sabu pulls him off and RVD lands face first on the mat. Then Sabu just throws the ladder onto a downed RVD. Van Dam knocks Sabu down, and then hits the Five Star Frog Splash. Sabu rolls out of the ring while Van Dam sets up the ladder. He climbs up, then has to wait a few seconds before the Big Show arrives to interfere. Van Dam leaps onto show, but gets caught, and slammed out of the ring through a table set up at ringside. Big Show calls for the contract to be lowered, and it is. But Sabu leaps from the top and attempts a huracanrana on Show. That doesn't work, but after a few seconds of stumbling around, Sabu is able to reach the lowered contract and win the match. Then he gets powerbombed. Post match, Show destroys everybody. Despite the various botches, this was shaping up to be an exciting match until booking got in the way and Big Show interfered. I'll give it a 2.3 out of 5.

Ecw.16.08.2006 - Rob Van Dam Vs Sabu - Ladder.Match
Uploaded by dido67. - Basketball, baseball, pro wrestling and more sports videos.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any comments about this or previous posts, or ideas for future reviews or posts, than share them either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fun with YouTube Recommendations: November 17, 2010

As you may know, I suck at intros, so today I'm not even going to bother with one and jump into the post. Now let's see what YouTube tells me to watch, shall we?

Video 1: David Hasselhoff at Berlin Wall, 1989

If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it's that Germans love David Hasselhoff. Here, Hasselhoff is live in concert, performing the song "Looking for Freedom" at the site of the Berlin Wall, which had been broken through just a few weeks before. In this video, Hasselhoff is wearing a leather jacket covered with flashing lights along with a piano-key styled scarf. The audio in this video isn't very clear, but the song is rather catchy, as most of it is just Hasselhoff singing "I've been looking for freedom". It's kind of hard to believe that the 'Hoff' was such a big deal that he sang in front of hundreds and thousands of people at the Berlin Wall on New Year's Eve 1989, but here he is, and supposedly the song 'Looking for Freedom' was an unofficial anthem behind the destruction of the Berlin Wall. An odd part of this video is that about 3 and a half minutes in, a firecracker comes flying at the stage, and if Hasselhoff wasn't ducking at the time, the firecracker would have hit square in the face. Instead, it went just over Hasselhoff and hopefully didn't do any damage.

Video 2: ABC "You'll Love It" 1985 Show Promos (3), 1985

This video is three separate promos for action shows on ABC, "The Insiders", "Spencer for Hire", and my favorite, "MacGyver". That in itself wouldn't be too bad, but ABC made the puzzling decision to write up a promo in the style of Randy Newman's song "I Love L.A." and hire the world's worst Randy Newman impersonator to sing the songs. The lyrics are unintelligent, the singing is pretty bad, and the "Spencer for Hire" promo is kind of creepy, as half of it just shows Spencer with his hands rubbing women's faces. Each promo ends with the chorus "On ABC, you'll love it, just you and me, you'll love it, on ABC". Which raises the question, who or what is the me in 'just you and me'. Is it ABC? Is it MacGyver? and why is it just you and me? Could I watch the shows with my wife or father or whoever, or does the presence of anyone else in the room causes one not to love ABC? I think I've over thought this silly little lyric, but still.

Video 3: Colts at Bills 97' Prime-Time

This video is highlights from a 1997 game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Buffalo Bills from the old ESPN show NFL Primetime, hosted by Chris Berman. The '97 version of Berman wasn't as annoying as today's version, who seems to shout every other word and is now 100 percent reliant on shtick when he does highlights now. Anyway, the Colts came into this game without an offensive touchdown scored during the season. Considering this was week 4, that is a bit of a problem. But never fear, the Colts score early and often here, building up a 26-0 nothing lead against the Todd Collins-led Bills. However, the young Collins, with some help from RB Antoawn Smith, leads the Bills all the way back, and with less than two minutes, the Bills have a 37-29 win. After a late hit sidelines QB Jim Harbaugh, the Colts backup, Paul Justin comes in and leads the Colts downfield, eventually throwing a touchdown to Marvin Harrison with nine seconds left to cut the lead to 2. On a two-point conversion, Bills S Kurt Schultz just bearhugs Harrison before the pass is thrown, but remarkably the ref doesn't call pass interference, and the conversion is no good. Despite recovering an onside kick, the Colts can not score and the Bills steal a victory. Good stuff, but that is one of the most blatant no-calls of pass interference I have ever seen, and I've watched a lot of football.

Video 4: Tommy Dreamer call out The Dudley Boyz

This video is from an ECW show in 1998. Tommy Dreamer enters the ring wearing a Nirvana shirt. Apparently, he is not happy that the Dudley Boyz have recently injured his girlfriend, Beulah McGillicutty, with their 3-D finisher, so he calls out any of Dudleys. Like any good ECW wrestler, he curses a lot while calling out the Dudleys. D-Von comes out wearing a pink tanktop and answers the call. Tommy has the advantage and starts firing away at D-Von, but if you attack one Dudley, you attack them all, as the rest of the Dudley crew comes out. They beat on Tommy some and Tommy takes a 3-D himself. While the Dudleys stomp away, New Jack, Spike Dudley, Axl Rotten, and Balls Mahoney come out, and they chase the Dudleys out of the ring. Afterwards, a message proclaims that ECW has no cross-dressing basketball players and no Hulk Hogan. Well, good for them.

Well, I'm getting tired so I'm going to go to bed. Tomorrow, I'll have an all new Canon Review for you to feast your eyes on. Thanks for reading, and remember, if you have any ideas for future reviews, or comments about this or previous reviews, then send them to me either by e-mail at or by leaving a comment on the blog.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Canon Review Presents: Christmas Commercials

Yes my friends, it is that time of year once again. Where Santa Claus becomes a bigger television presence than Jay Leno, where beer companies trot out videos of horses riding through the snow, where store after store talks about their place being the best place to go for your holiday shopping. Yes, Christmas is coming, and with that comes tons and tons of commercials proclaiming 'Happy Holidays' while trying to convince you to buy some overpriced junk in the spirit of peace and goodwill. So with that in mind, Canon Review reader Dickson S. came up with a topic to review. He describes it as follows: 

"Find and post three really terrible Christmas commercials off of and explain why you think they just are not very good. Christmas is coming around once again and I always hate with a passion most all of the Christmas commercials. See if you can find ones from years past. I know I remember some that make me hurt already. Good luck!"

Well, all right then. Let's get this started, shall we?

Video 1: 1980's 7-Up Christmas Commercial

Like many a Christmas commercial, this one features Santa Claus and his elves and is set at the North Pole. Apparently in the 7-Up version of the North Pole, the elves look exactly like miniature replicas of Santa Claus, white beard and all. Anyway, it's a hard day's night up at the North Pole, as Santa is bushed and the elves are fatigued after making Cabbage Patch Kids or whatever. So Santa goes to the fridge, which is filled with nothing but 7-Up. He uses some sort of summoning power to grab a can and takes a sip, which inexplicably sends the elves into some sort of euphoric tizzy. The elves themselves start drinking seven up and act as if there isn't a care in the world. I guess 7-Up is much like an alcoholic beverage to the elves. To me it tastes like flat Sprite, but to each their own I suppose. I'll give it a 2 out of 5.

Video #2: Dad Got Hosed: Verizon Christmas Commercial

If there is anything I detest in this world, it is cell phone commercials. They're all stupid and either showing off a bunch of apps you don't need or full of the type of people you wouldn't associate yourself with because they're either too self involved, greedy, or both. In this wonderful commercial, a father is reviewing what he gave his kids, which are two of the hottest cell phones around at this time along with an entire network of creeps following their every move, making sure that they always have a signal. Meanwhile, the father asks his kids what he got, and after one of them weakly responds 'aftershave', dad corrects her by saying "Dad got hosed". Well, isn't that a lovely message to send during the holiday season. Yes, nobody likes getting aftershave, but thanks a lot dad, for making everybody feel awkward about enjoying their new phones. Also, I'm not exactly sure what he expected his kids to get him, and besides, isn't Christmas more about giving than receiving? Not according to the good folks at Verizon. I'm giving this crap a 0.29 out of 5.

Video #3: Funny N64 Christmas Ad - 1998 

This title is clearly a misnomer, because there's nothing funny about this ad whatsoever. In this commercial, four teenagers sing a spoof of Jingle Bells voicing their displeasure over their Christmas gifts. They continue to sing by explaining that instead of CD no one knows, they would have rather gotten games for the N64 like Turok and South Park. Well, it could be worse, they could have gotten Superman 64. I don't know how hearing a bunch of spoiled brats singing off key makes anybody want to play Nintendo 64 games, but what do I know? I'll give it a 0.50 and stop thinking about it.

Video #4: 1980's Kentucky Fried Chicken Christmas Commercial

Although the original request called for three, here's an extra bad commercial. In this commercial, an Ebernezer Scrooge character is befuddled by the high prices of Christmas shopping. Lucky for him, Kentucky Fried Chicken has a deal, selling a nine piece box for $5.59, and a 15 piece bucket for $9.29. Well, old Scrooge went a little bit overboard after hearing this news, as the end of the commercial shows Scrooge in front of a giant pile of boxes and buckets of chicken. So, either everyone he knows is going to get some second-rate fast food chicken, or Scrooge is stocking up for the apocalypse. Even so, I'd rather deal with this commercial than an ad with a bunch of spoiled teens singing poorly. I'll give it a 1.4 out of 5.


Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any thoughts on this or other posts, or ideas for future posts, than share them either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Canon Review 2010 NFL Preview Mid-Season Review

With every team now playing at least half of their schedule, I figured that now is a good time to look back at how my predictions for the 2010 NFL season stack up so far.

AFC East:(*=Wild Card)

Predictions:                              Current Record:

1. New England Patriots          1. New York Jets (6-2)
2. Miami Dolphins*                 2. New England Patriots (6-2)
3. New York Jets                     3. Miami Dolphins (4-4)
4. Buffalo Bills                         4. Buffalo Bills (0-8)

Well, it looks like I was wrong about the Jets, as RB LaDanian Tomlinson has made a huge impact on the Jets' offense, and QB Mark Sanchez has cut down on his turnovers and has had more good games than bad. Defensively, the Jets aren't quite as dominant as last year's squad, but they still are one of the best defenses in the NFL and the Jets look as if they will battle the Patriots for the AFC East squad right down to the wire. The Patriots, in spite of trading WR Randy Moss, are still one of the top teams in the league. But last week's loss to Cleveland raised some questions about the team's once stout defense, which ranks 29th in the league after week 9. Miami just benched their starting quarterback, Chad Henne, as their offense has struggled to put up points. But their defense, led by OLB Cameron Wake, has been solid, and the Dolphins have survived a brutal schedule to remain at .500 thus far. The Dolphins' schedule in the second half is a bit easier, but they'll have a tough time catching the Patriots and Jets unless they can beat both teams on the road. The Bills have been called the best 0-8 team in NFL history, which still means that this season has been a disappointment. With QB Ryan Fitzpatrick developing into a legit starting-caliber quarterback, all hope is not lost in Buffalo, and look for the Bills to get at least one victory, possibly as soon as this Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Overall, I'm sticking with the Pats as division champs, but the Jets will make the playoffs instead of the Dolphins.

AFC North:

1. Baltimore Ravens                1. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)

2. Pittsburgh Steelers               2. Baltimore Ravens (6-3)

3. Cincinnati Bengals               3. Cleveland Browns (3-5)

4. Cleveland Browns                4. Cincinnati Bengals (2-6)

My Super Bowl pick at the beginning of the season, the Ravens, still look strong, but they seem to make a habit of letting inferior teams hang around before finally closing them out. With S Ed Reed recently rejoining the defense that has gotten great years out of DT Haloti Ngata and ILB Ray Lewis, and QB Joe Flacco having an excellent year thus far on offense, the Ravens may be the favorites in the AFC to reach the Super Bowl. The Steelers went 3-1 without QB Ben Roethlisberger, thanks to a stifling defense and the excellent play of RB Rashard Mendenhall. With Roethlisberger back in tow, another Super Bowl run is definitely in reach for Pittsburgh. The Browns, in spite of a muddled quarterback situation, have played tough all year and can claim victories over the Saints and Patriots. With QB Colt McCoy solidifying the quarterback situation and RB Peyton Hillis playing at an All-Pro level, the Browns are capable of winning on any given Sunday, and even though a playoff birth is unlikely, they are a team not to be taken lightly. Despite WR Terrell Owens playing like the T.O. of old, the Bengals are one of the NFL's most disappointing teams, as QB Carson Palmer has played much worse than his reputation and the team has made a staggering amount of mental errors. Overall, I still have the Ravens and Steelers making the playoffs, with the Browns and Bengals switching places.

AFC South:

1. Indianapolis Colts                1. Indianapolis Colts (5-3)

2. Tennessee Titans                 2. Tennessee Titans (5-3)

3. Jacksonville Jaguars           3. Houston Texans (4-4)

4. Houston Texans                   4. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4)

The Colts have suffered a ton of injuries on both sides of the ball, but as long as they have QB Peyton Manning, it would be foolish to count the Colts out. The Titans are tied with the Colts and with the teams playing each other twice in the second half, the Titans will control their own destiny in the AFC South. If WR Randy Moss can provide the Titans with another deep threat and open up the field for RB Chris Johnson, then the Titans will be a dangerous team, provided that QB Vince Young stays healthy. The Jaguars are a roller-coaster team, looking dominant one week and absolutely dreadful the next. Despite an improved TE Mercedes Lewis and the continued excellence of RB Maurice Jones-Drew, look for the Jaguars to continue their inconsistent play. After beating the Colts in week one, the Texans looked as if they turned the corner, but their defense has been hurt by injuries and poor play, hampering a top-notch offense powered by RB Arian Foster. In the end, I can't go against the Colts, and I see no reason to change my preseason picks.

AFC West:

1. San Diego Chargers            1. Kansas City Chiefs (5-3)

2. Denver Broncos                  2. Oakland Raiders (5-4)

3. Oakland Raiders                 3. San Diego Chargers (4-5)

4. Kansas City Chiefs             4. Denver Broncos (2-6)

The Chargers have a high-powered offense led by QB Philip Rivers and a solid defense, but have been historically bad on special teams, allowing three return touchdowns (including two in one game) and five blocked punts, half of the entire league's total of blocked punts thus far. If the Chargers can get their special teams under control, they could once again return to the playoffs. The Chiefs have been a pleasant surprise thus far, behind a top-notch running game powered by RBs Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones, and a defense powered by the pass rushing of OLB Tamba Hali and solid play from ILB Derrick Johnson and rookie S Eric Berry. With an easy schedule remaining, the Chiefs have a good chance to win the division. The Raiders have won five games for the first time since 2002, as RB Darren McFadden has become the player the Raiders hoped he would be after picking him in the 2008 Draft. With a solid defense backed up by CB Nmandi Asomugha, the Raiders aren't going away anytime soon. The Broncos have gotten solid play out of QB Kyle Orton and CB Champ Bailey, but have struggled because they can't run the ball (2.9 ypc) and can't stop the run either (allowing 4.6 ypc). Unless they find a solution to those problems, 2010 will be a lost season for the Broncos while the other three teams fight for the division crown. At the end of the day, look for the Chargers to once again reign as division champions despite a tough challenge.

NFC East:

1. Dallas Cowboys                   1. New York Giants (6-2)

2. New York Giants                 2. Philadelphia Eagles (5-3)

3. Washington Redskins         3. Washington Redskins (4-4)

4. Philadelphia Eagles             4. Dallas Cowboys (1-7)

Looks like I was dead wrong about the Cowboys, as their dismal play has gotten their coach Wade Phillips fired. Their offense has been bad, and their defense has been worse. The Giants have gotten some talk thrown their way as being the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, and with an offense powered by WR Hakeem Nicks and RB Ahmad Bradshaw complimented by the pass rushing exploits of DE Osi Umenyiora and the defense, the Giants have the look of a top-notch team. The Eagles' season may not have gone exactly as planned, but QB Michael Vick has revitalized his career and made the Eagles a dangerous team in the process. The Redskins are fortunate that they are 4-4, as QB Donovan McNabb has not played well and the team has allowed more yards than they've gained in every game thus far this season. With an opportunistic defense led by CB DeAngelo Hall and the return game exploits of Brandon Banks, the 'Skins should continue to hang close with most teams, but unless McNabb gets back on track, then this looks like a 7-9 team at best. In the end, look for the Giants to win the division, while the Eagles take one of the two wild-card spots.

NFC North:

1. Green Bay Packers             1. Green Bay Packers (6-3)

2. Minnesota Vikings*            2. Chicago Bears (5-3)

3. Chicago Bears                     3. Minnesota Vikings (3-5)

4. Detroit Lions                       4. Detroit Lions (2-6)

The Packers have suffered a lot of injuries, but thanks to a breakout season from OLB Clay Matthews and a solid performance from QB Aaron Rodgers, the Pack remain the favorites in the NFC North. When the Bears keep the turnovers down and protect QB Jay Cutler, they're a capable football team. Otherwise, the Bears can look as bad as any team in the NFL. The Vikings are a colossal mess, with rumors of coach Brad Childress's job security, the saga of WR Randy Moss, and the scandal involving QB Brett Favre contributing to a lost season in Minnesota, despite the best efforts of RB Adrian Peterson. The Lions are 2-6, but have lost 5 games by fewer than eight points, and have actually outscored their opposition by 15 points. But with QB Matthew Stafford likely out for the season, the Lions may struggle to reach 5 wins, even with super rookie DT Ndamukong Suh. The Packers are probably the only above average team in this division, so they should coast to a division title.

NFC South:

1. Atlanta Falcons                    1. Atlanta Falcons (7-2)

2. New Orleans Saints*           2. New Orleans Saints (6-3)

3. Carolina Panthers                3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-3)

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers      4. Carolina Panthers (1-7)

The Falcons just became the first NFL team to reach seven wins this season, in part because that they played 3 days before everyone else this week, but nevertheless. With WR Roddy White having an All-Pro season and QB Matt Ryan maturing into one of the NFL's top quarterbacks, the Falcons are living up to expectations. The Saints have had some bumps in the road and injuries have hampered their running game, but QB Drew Brees and company have an easier second half schedule and should compete for the NFC title. The Panthers have a decent defense, but their offense is historically bad, and it wouldn't be surprising if the Panthers didn't win a game for the rest of the season. Despite coach Raheem Morris's claims, the Buccaneers are not the best team in the NFC. They are a lot better than I picked them to be though, as QB Josh Freeman may be the most promising young quarterback in the NFL. The Bucs are going in the right direction, but the Falcons and Saints are just too tough for them to overcome. Look for Atlanta and New Orleans to make the playoffs.

NFC West:

1. Arizona Cardinals                1. St. Louis Rams (4-4)

2. San Francisco 49ers            2. Seattle Seahawks (4-4)

3. St. Louis Rams                    3. Arizona Cardinals (3-5)

4. Seattle Seahawks                4. San Francisco 49ers (2-6)

This division is just as bad as most pundits predicted, and it is likely that the division winner will finish with a .500 or worse record. The Rams have received a huge boost from rookie QB Sam Bradford, and most of their recent high draft picks such as DE Chris Long are starting to play up to their draft positions. At the very least, the Rams have finally emerged from the doldrums of the past few years. The Seahawks got off to a hot start, but have been blown out in the last two games by the Raiders and Giants. If QB Matt Hasselbeck can come back from injury, the Seahawks should be a factor in the NFC West. If the Cardinals could get decent play from the quarterback position, then they would probably lead the division. Unfortunately for Arizona, neither Derek Anderson or Max Hall have proven to be the answer, and Arizona will spend the rest of the season struggling to find a consistent offense. The 49ers still have ILB Patrick Willis, RB Frank Gore, and not a whole lot else. However, other than a game in Green Bay, the 49ers have a rather easy schedule down the stretch, so it wouldn't be surprising if they get on a run. Ultimately, I really don't know who's going to win. I guess I'll go with the Rams since they seem to be the team that's the hottest right now.

AFC Championship Game: Ravens over Colts
NFC Championship Game: Packers over Falcons
Super Bowl: Ravens over Packers

If there's one thing for certain in the NFL this season, it's that there is still no clear-cut favorites to win the Super Bowl. You can make a case for the Jets, Patriots, Colts, Ravens, Steelers, Falcons, Saints, Packers, Giants, and perhaps the Eagles to be the top team in the NFL. Since my Championship Game picks are all among the favorites, I see no reason to change course now, although I do have my doubts about the Colts being able to beat the Steelers or Patriots with all of their injuries.


Preseason Picks:

1. QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (192 completions in 303 attempts, 2,300 yards, 15 TD passes, 9 interceptions, 90.6 QB Rating)
2. QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts (228-351, 2478, 16-4, 96.1)
3. QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots (166-261, 1826, 14-4)
Dark Horse: QB Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (212-338, 2265, 16-5, 91.9)

Current Favorites:

1. Manning
2. Brady
3. QB Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (215-329, 2944. 19-8, 102.9)
4. OLB Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers (10.5 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 TD)

In spite of losing three of his top four receivers and his top running back due to injury, Manning still is playing at his usual level, making a star out of previous unknown TE Jacob Tamme and having the Colts on the top of their game. Brady also has taken a subpar supporting cast, on paper at least, and led the Patriots to a 6-2 record. Rodgers and Ryan are definitely very valuable to their teams, but it will be hard for them to get votes over Manning and Brady. Rivers is third in the NFL in QB rating and leads the league in touchdowns and yards. If the Chargers could block on punts worth a damn, Rivers would be the frontrunner for MVP Awards. In his second year, Matthews has become the biggest defensive impact player in the NFL, and a 20 sack season is not out of the question for the pass-rushing specialist.
NFL Most Outstanding Offensive Player:

Preseason Picks:

1. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings (180 attempts, 857 rushing yards, 7 touchdowns, 26 catches)
2. Aaron Rodgers
3. Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans  (178, 721, 8)

Dark Horse: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals (42 catches, 510 yards, 4 TDs)

Current Favorites:

1. Rivers
2. Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans (157, 864, 9 , 32 catches)
3. Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons (70, 934, 7)
4. Peterson

Although the Vikings have disappointed, Peterson has continued to shine and has even improved, as his fumble problems of last year have largely disappeared. Rodgers has been solid, but Rivers has performed at a much higher level. Johnson may not run for 2,500 yards this year, as he predicted, but 1,500 seems like a safe bet. Foster has come out of nowhere to become the most productive back in the NFL this season, while White has taken his game to another level to become the most productive receiver in the league. As for Fitzgerald, the poor quarterback play in Arizona have hampered his numbers, although he still remains a top-notch player.

NFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player:

Preseason Favorites:

1. DeMarcus Ware, OLB, Dallas Cowboys (8 sacks, 1 fumble recovery)
2.Troy Polamalu, S, Pittsburgh Steelers (2 INTs, 32 tackles)
3. Patrick Willis, ILB, San Francisco 49ers (54 tackles, 1 sack)
Dark Horse: Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets (2 fumble recoveries)

Current Favorites:

1. Matthews
2. Haloti Ngata, DT, Baltimore Ravens (5 sacks, 32 tackles)
3. Tamba Hali, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs (8 sacks)
4. Aqib Talib, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5 Ints, 1TDs)

Ware may have eight sacks, but other than that his play has been spotty at best, and the rest of the Cowboys' misfortunes won't help his cause. Polamalu's return has solidified the Steelers defense, although he may not have the individual numbers to get POY consideration, Willis has once again been spectacular for a struggling 49ers team, while Revis has struggled to stay on the field due to injury. Matthews is the odds-on favorite right now, but it would be unwise to ignore Ngata, as he is the best defensive lineman in the game. Hali has sparked the Chiefs' Renaissance, while Talib has proven to be an impact player for the surprising Bucs. 
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year:

Preseason Picks:

1. Ryan Matthews, RB, San Diego Chargers (87 carries, 382 yards, 2 touchdowns)
2. Jahvid Best, RB, Detroit Lions (107, 345, 4, 41 catches, 356 yards)
3. Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams (171-292, 1674, 11-8, 75.9 rating)
Dark Horse: Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys (38 catches, 435 yards, 4 TDs, 2 punt return TDs)

Current Favorites:

1. Bradford
2. Bryant
3. Mike Williams, WR, (36 catches, 559 yards, TDs)
4. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Steelers

Matthews and Best were supposed to carry the rushing load for their respective teams, and each player has for the most part, although the Lions would probably like Best to improve on his 3.2 ypc. Bradford has been everything the Rams could have hoped for, while Bryant has been one of the few positives in a season full of negative for Dallas. Williams, a fourth-round pick, has emerged as Josh Freeman's favorite target in Tampa Bay, while Pouncey has stepped into a starting role for the Steelers and excelled for the most part.
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year:

Preseason Picks:

1. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit Lions (6.5 sacks, 24 tackles)
2. Eric Berry, S, Kansas City Chiefs (2 INTs, 33 tackles, 2 sacks)
3. Rolando McClain, ILB, Oakland Raiders (26 tackles, 0.5 sack)
Dark Horse: Derrick Morgan, DE, Tennessee Titans (1.5 sacks)

Current Favorites:

1. Suh
2. Berry
3. Earl Thomas, S, Seattle Seahawks (4 INTs, 30 tackles)
4. Koa Misi, OLB, Miami Dolphins (3.5 sacks, 14 tackles)

Suh, the second pick in the draft, has quickly become one of the most dominant lineman in the NFL from day one. Berry and Thomas have been key components in the improvements of the Chiefs and Seahawks, respectively. McClain has been decent for the Raiders thus far, while Morgan has made very little impact for the Titans thus far. Misi has given the Dolphins a second pass rushing threat besides Cameron Wake. Ultimately, Suh is going to run away with this award, even if he struggles with extra points.

Coach Most Likely to be Fired: 

1. John Fox, Panthers
2. Lovie Smith, Bears
3. Jack Del Rio, Jaguars
Dark Horse: Andy Reid, Eagles

With the Panthers at 1-7, it's only a matter of time before Fox gets fired. The Bears may be 5-3 and the Jaguars may be 4-4, but both Smith and Del Rio could ultimately lose their jobs if their respective teams falter in the second half. Reid's Eagles have played well thus far, so he should be safe. As for other coaches in danger, the Cowboys' Wade Phillips has already lost his job, while the Vikings' Brad Childress seems to have lost the respect of his team. Other coaches that could be in trouble include the 49ers' Mike Singletary, the Browns' Eric Mangini, the Bengals' Marvin Lewis, and the Texans' Gary Kubiak.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any comments about this or previous posts, or ideas for future reviews or posts, than share them either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at