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The Friday Five: The “Is This Just The Saturday Six?” Edition!

Welcome ladies and germs (nyuck nyuck) to another edition of the Friday Five. I am writing this brand new intro late Friday night, because there have been two stories developing over the last 24 hours that are getting a ton of news that I feel I need to talk about, so the format of the column is going to be a little bit different this week. I decided to drop a few bits that I had written in order to kind of buzz through a couple of issues that while they are the big news that will be taking center stage this weekend, my opinionated self feels the need to rant about them.

We’re going to start this week with some of the news from the world of sports that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

“I’m…I’m really not quite sure what this is all about, either,” Clemens said in the imaginary press conference he held for me.

MLB: Roger Clemens, who last pitched in the majors for the New York Yankees in 2007, has returned to pitching. The 50-year-old will be making his first start Saturday with the Sugar Land Skeeters, a minor league team in the Houston, Texas area. Where this all ties back into the majors, however, is that recently, Houston Astros’ owner Jim Crane has recently stated that he is considering letting Clemens return to the majors for his team and actually making a start for the team. Clemens infamously appeared on a list of names during investigations for performance-enhancing drugs. Should Clemens return, he’d be on the short list of 50+ year-old professional athletes. There have been reports that his fastball is hovering around 87 or 88 miles per hour, so it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility for Clemens to maybe find some sort of success if he were to return to the bigs.

NHL: Unfortunately for hockey fans, the NHLPA and the NHL are not any closer to reaching terms for a new collective bargaining agreement. Every news update about the situation that I read depresses me more and more, as the last time the two sides couldn’t agree on terms, we lost an entire season and the league has not been the same since. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has stated that the two sides agree on some pretty fundamental issues, and it is hilarious to me in this day and age, that the owners and the league don’t want to budge on the issue of money with the players, you know, the people who actually DO the thing that people want to see? What happens with a lockout? Sure, the players don’t play for the NHL, but they can go elsewhere and play. They can keep busy and keep making money. The owners lose out, and the FANS lose out. I pretty much always side with the players in these situations due to the fact that they are the ones engaging in the activity that entertains me, putting their bodies on the line for the sport they love. Bettman and the owners need to smarten up before we lose any games this season, but that isn’t likely. My only hope is that they can still have the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium, because I want to go to a Winter Classic!

NBA: The only other team I want to see succeed in the NBA is hurt, a lor. The LA Clippers have three of their biggest names sidelined with injuries in the offseason, and if they’re lucky, it won’t have too much of an impact on the team as the regular season begins. While their in-house rivals the Lakers have been making huge moves in the offseason, adding Steve Nash and Dwight Howard into the fold, the Clippers have been banking on the return of Chauncey Billups, who helped the Clippers to become a much improved team, and they definitely felt a loss when Billups lost the season with injury. Chris Paul is going to miss some time with surgery on his thumb, and Blake Griffin is still nursing the knee injury that eliminated him from the gold medal winning Olympic team. I hope for a strong return for all three of these men so that they can pull ahead of the Lakers and lose the stigma of being the other L.A. basketball team.

Aww, don’t cry big buddy! Someone will want you!

NFL: It certainly does seem to be raining shit on Anthony Hargrove. The former New Orleans Saints defensive end was cut at the end of the season, was then served with an 8-game suspension by the NFL, was picked up by the Green Bay Packers and now has been cut by the Green Bay Packers. The sad thing for Hargrove is that the Packers wouldn’t have even had to use a roster spot for Hargrove due to his 8-game suspension. What this means for the DE’s career remains to be seen, but he has not been having a good couple of months, that’s for sure.

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, I react to the big news, in a big way, for the very first time…

 

7 Fingers, 7 Titles. Although I’m sure Lance has one finger he’d like to hold up to the USADA right now…

Cycling: 7-Time Tour de France winner (and I will always call him that) has been stripped of his entire career because he has quit the fight against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. He is banned for life from cycling events, his wins have been erased, and there is now a huge gap in the winners name area for the sports single biggest race. Armstrong has fought tooth and nail to deny doping allegations from everyone, but he says he is just tired of having to fight with the agency. From what I am seeing, this is not an admission of guilt, but even if he did use performance-enhancing drugs, does anyone really mind? We’re talking about a guy who had so much cancer, that even his cancer had cancer. He fought a disease and was able to remain at the top of his sport. Now, let’s take a quick moment to draw attention to the fact that there is NOBODY who DOESN’T use P.E.D.’s in this sport. Everyone is doping, and everyone is getting away with it. It’s riding a freaking bicycle. The rampant drug use throughout most of the competitors in this sport is insane to think about, and every guy who is yelling at Armstrong for doping is most likely guilty of it themselves. If you want to asterisk his wins, fine, I’m sure he can’t be bothered by the decision. His company and his career have been and hopefully will continue to be an inspiration to anyone out there fighting the odds, and doing what everyone is telling them can’t be done. I respect the hell out of Lance Armstrong, and will always consider him a cycling champion, even if the sport doesn’t agree.

And now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I need to turn my focus to a sport that I have been following since before I can remember. And no, I’m not trying to earn cool points, but I do remember my dad and his buddies ordering the single digit UFC pay-per-views and marveling over Royce Gracie, so with that being said, I feel I have a little bit more of an emotional investment in MMA than many others…

MMA: Jon Jones, you absolutely suck. There Chael, I said it for you this time, even though you’re much more entertaining than I. About 3 years ago or so, I picked up my monthly issue of Fight! Magazine, and saw Jon Jones on the cover. The cover story on this young man was extremely interesting and well written and introduced the readers to a young man full of fire for his sport. My dad and I had a conversation about how we liked how he came across in the interview, and both hoped for success in his future. And then his star began to rise. After a crazy spinning back elbow that dropped Stephan Bonnar, and a few impressive victories over some mid-level talent, I knew the future would be bright for the young man. And then something happened that I think changed Jon Jones, and it is a classic case of having too much too soon. Jones won the UFC Light Heavyweight Title at a very young age. He has yet to truly be challenged in the octagon, and has been finishing fights, something that other champions haven’t really been doing lately. His star was on the rise, but recently he has been showing an extremely bratty attitude. He recently got in trouble with the law over a DUI, but was rewarded for this behavior with major sponsorship deals. Chael Sonnen recently made comments about moving up in weight to the LHW division, and in typical Chael Sonnen fashion, made comments calling out the champ. Jones was staring down the barrel of quite the challenge in heavy handed Dan Henderson, when Henderson was pulled from the fight due to injury, and Jones did something that showed just how young, immature, and not ready for the spotlight he was, he refused to fight. Chael Sonnen was the only man who stepped up to the plate to face Jones in 8 days at UFC 151. Chael, who is a middleweight (185) who has been looking to his first fight in the 205 division against Forrest Griffin, would have been horribly out of shape for the move-up in weight. Chael states he keeps himself in good shape between fights, but good shape and good fighting shape are two completely different worlds. Jones could have had an easy time against a man with no preparation, but instead took his ball and went home, and now the UFC brass has decided to cancel the entire event. This decision I feel shows a number of different things, namely how the UFC hasn’t built-up enough stars across the board, as they felt nobody would want to buy this show without a LHW title fight, but most importantly, because of Jon Jones still being a child, there are a number of other lower-tier fighters who will not be receiving a pay day because of his decision not to fight. Even though he had a full camp. And would’ve been fighting a much smaller guy. Who hadn’t been training at all. With arguably the greatest corner man in the business, Greg Jackson. All I know is that a lot of the respect I gained for Jones in reading that Fight! Article years ago has dwindled in recent weeks, because he is acting like a spoiled little child, and not like the man he needs to become.

That will do it for me this week, hopefully next week multiple events in the world won’t conspire against me at the same time and delay my lovely opinions from you loyal readers like they unfortunately were next week. I’m so sorry to have held you all in such anticipation, and I hope that my rants have done more than enough to make up for it, so until next week, I will leave you with a gem of commentary in the spot that I forgot last week, but I promise is going to be the ritual for the end of my column…

The Most Unintentionally Dirty Thing Said In Sports This Week!
“You can’t drop these balls in there any better,” Jon Gruden.

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About lostcitysaint

I am a 25 year old manager of a chain record store. I am heavily into sports, music and all things geek. I am tattooed, chubby, bearded and awesome. Straight Edge. History major. Hopeful musician.

View all posts by lostcitysaint

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