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Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/25/22

3  Up 1. Albert Pujols - 700 homeruns is insane. Even through a generation of steroids, the number is incredibly exclusive (sans, you know, Bonds). So much props to Pujols who literally puts himself in some rarified discussions among the game's greatest.  Here are some quick thoughts from yours truly on Pujols hitting 700 .  2. PATHFINDER - The fight against cancer just got a smidge better. GRAIL announced results from their PATHFINDER study that may have found ways to provide early detection screening to significantly enhance the discovery of cancer well before symptoms begin.  I accidentally ran into this story - why isn't this more headline news? SMH.  3. Pandemic Over? - The World Health Organization (remember them, before everyone suddenly became public health experts) described COVID as an "acute global emergency". Going even further, announced that 20M global deaths were avoided last year due to vaccines. Just outright amazing.  3 Down 1. Brett Favre - No resp

5 Thoughts on Pujols Hitting 700

It almost feels like the negative vitriol that surrounded Major League Baseball and its labor issues have dissipated into an air of forgetfulness and forgiveness. A season that has brought us old-school lore with the chasing of historical numbers by way of Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, and the likes of a modern-day Babe Ruth, in another dominant season by Shohei Ohtani, would ultimately do that. Sprinkle in some amazing rookies on the rise, and all of sudden it's, what did I say about baseball's treatment of fans? It's been some season... In this post, I want to focus on Albert Pujols...the "King", the "Machine", one of the greatest ever. After hitting a historic 700th Home Run ( by the way, I definitely predicted that back in March  - just humble-bragging a bit), I wanted to drop five (fitting, yeah?) thoughts on Albert Pujols:  GREATEST EVER?! - Pujols' career often feels like the Angels' years were some sort of nightmare or a bad edition in a

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/18/22

3 Up 1.  Yvon Chouinard - Nothing says big baller like announcing you're donating your company's worth to the mission of fighting climate change. Sure, there are some tax benefits (let's not be silly), but that's still a pretty damn impressive thing to do. Wish we saw that more from billionaires.  2. Aaron Judge - Well, the big fella is on his way to breaking the record of 61 home runs (whether you think it's just the American League record or the in fact still the single-season home run record is up to you). I just hope he does it over the next two days at Yankee Stadium, on YES, with Michael Kay on the call. It'll be a damn shame if it happened on Apple TV where it happens in a vacuum and most fans will be unable to experience history. That would be awful for baseball.  3. How The Word is Passed - This is a selfish "Up" from me because I finally finished this book that has been on my list for a while - and it is a must-read for all. I'm a big

CM Punk's Press Conference Backlash - Hard to Root For

I've always found the pro wrestling press conference to be an interesting dichotomy of the essence of the art form. In an era where kayfabe is dead (or not what it used to be) and the lines are immensely blurred between real life and storyline, or at times, mixed in for engagement, interest, and controversy, the press conference schtick, and the pre-show round tables, sit in this odd space.   Does it live within the space of the pro wrestling world through the illustrious glory of kayfabe? Or is it a real, authentic, full-access medium to the real matters pertaining to the business of the product?  Maybe, I'm the only one being worked. Possibly.  As you can imagine, this is where my thoughts sit in regard to the now infamous CM Punk presser following AEW's Double or Nothing pay-per-view (or premium live event, if that's your vocabulary). I can't help but ask myself multiple times, "Why?" in response to the entire ordeal. And not in an intriguing way, but o

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/11/22

3 Up 1. September 11th - A forever "Up" to those we lost, to those we ended up losing to the after effects, and to the loved ones who endure every year. It doesn't get any easier. Of course, I'll never forget that day in NYC.  2. Uvalde Community - All of the schools in Uvalde, Texas returned to school today. I can't even imagine the thoughts, courage, and heartache of parents, kids, and everyone in that community for the start of the school year. Especially at the Elementary School.  2. Meghan Markle - After everything that has gone down, and the way she is seen (and treated) by those within the Royal family (and those who are loyal supporters), Markle showed up. And she didn't have to. That takes some serious guts, some confidence, and ultimately, massive integrity.  3 Down 1. Queen Elizabeth II - I'll just say it....I don't get the hype around the Royal Family. It's just not my thing. And considering the world history there from that bloodline,

WWE Clash at the Castle Review: "My Favorite Event of the Year Thus Far"

I haven't jumped completely in on the Triple H era mainly because I've already found myself "out-of-practice" in making the WWE part of my typical routine. Just when the product got bad enough,  I called it quits on the weekly watching but still would check in for big shows. Then, Vince hung it up and Trips has taken the wheel, and now, it's obvious there is substantial momentum in the product. I felt it - and it's easy to do so. Yet, after watching Clash at the Castle , I'm here to tell you that I may just give the company a chance once again. The WWE has that kind of equity with me (and really, it will forever be so for many of us pro wrestling fans from the 80s). This event was just outstanding from start to finish. Quite frankly, it was my favorite event of the year thus far.  Is Triple H that good at this point and moment in wrestling history, or was Vince McMahon that bad at this point...and moment in history? Something has to give.  Regardless, here

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/4/22

3 Up 1. Serena Williams - Well, the GOAT finally ran out of steam this weekend in her US Open loss to Ajila Tomljanovic. Williams made that last set all kinds of dramatic with her refusal to be put away. Not sure what else there is to say - she's one of the greatest athletes of all time. And if you've followed this blog, you know that she's been one of mine.  If this is it, thanks for the memories, Serena.  1A. Ajla Tomljanovic - I'm also giving Tomljanovic some MAJOR props as she handled being a part of this moment perfectly. From not giving into the moment and remaining competitive, to displaying amazing poise while being asked tough questions about Serena following a victory - her victory! How can you not be impressed by her? 2. Labor Day Weekend- While summer is unofficially over (why does summer have unofficial beginnings and end in Memorial Day?), I just felt like this Labor Day was needed for everyone. Summer, and the intense heat, provided a summer unlike any ot

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/21/22

3 Up 1. FDA Hearing Aids Over Counter - Yay accessibility! With the FDA approving hearing aids for over-the-counter sales, the valuable tool will become more accessible and affordable for millions. Think about that - such a simple move opened it for millions! At the core of all of this is a peak into health care and how such small needs, when made more accessible, can be for the greater good.  2. Gas Prices - Well, the price continues to drop. It's nice seeing a 3 in front of the price of gas. Hopefully, the trend continues. Can we get it under $3?  3. Albert Pujols - I predicted it in my MLB Crazy Predictions post, but who takes that seriously? I certainly don't. But seriously, as much fun as it is hoping Judge can chase down 61 home runs, is not Albert's run at 700 just as much fun? Even more so, a remarkable story considering his age and improbability? 3 Down 1. Random Floods - It's easy to put the crazy hot weather and heat waves across the globe here as a "d

Impact Wrestling Emergence 2022 Review: "...Just Solid - So Freakin' Solid."

It probably won't come as a shock to anyone who follows this blog that I will say the following statement: Impact Wrestling may just be the most consistently entertaining and fresh - very important adjective here! - wrestling product that I've engaged with over the past two years. It's just always there, as solid as it can be. No real highs, or lows that push me away as a fan - just good, consistent, thorough, solid pro wrestling enjoyment.  Now, make no mistake about it, over the past summer, I found myself a whopping thirteen weeks behind this solid product in favor of the still new (and intriguing) AEW product and my on-again-off-again hope in the WWE due to nostalgia. However, trusty-work-from-home days have allowed me to binge watch (and work, of course) and it certainly opened my eyes to a new experience when it came to wrestling. Removal from the episodic style habit, and the feel of episodes bridging together seamlessly.  Also, remove from the internet culture of we

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/14/22

3 Up 1. Little League Kid Hit in Head - If you haven't seen the video of the kid who was hit in the head by a wild pitch, and proceeds to first base, then to the pitcher's mound to console the opposing pitcher to was distraught over the action, then please do. Easily my favorite thing this week. And a stark reminder that there is good in the world.  2. Women Athletes Retire - Serena is hanging it up after the US Open. I saw it coming, but it's just tough to fathom when it becomes real. We'll have time to give Williams her flowers, but let's do so for Sylvia Fowles and Sue Bird - both legends in women's basketball who finished up remarkable careers today.  3. NEW CDC Guidelines - Okay, so most probably don't care about the CDC going forward. Has the pandemic officially been called off yet? Regardless, if the CDC is saying that quarantine (ah yes, that noble concept that once again feels as foreign as it was when it was introduced) is no longer needed, then we

Dope Sports Threads - WNBA Signature Shoes (Stewart & Della Donne)

Signature sneakers for WNBA athletes? Ummm, yes, please!   This has been a long time coming. Since the debut of those signature Sheryl Swoopes from Nike , the market has not seen many women athletes given signature kicks, and more importantly, a platform for little girls and fans of the WNBA to emulate their favorite players and superstars - you know, the way we've always had it with our male athletes.  I want to live in a world where yes, little girls too can get excited about rockin' their favorite female basketball player's shoes. Shoes that are in their size...made for their feet.  Lately, we've seen a slow trend back into this space as the WNBA continues to gain popularity with a devoted following (like myself), but also as companies look to diversify their portfolio in a sports world that is ever-evolving.  I feel like Candace Parker helped revitalize that with the "Exhibit" line under Adidas. The design was endorsed, but not necessarily a signature shoe

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/7/22

3 Up 1. Vin Scully - The baseball world lost the absolute best to have ever done it behind the mic. As someone who frequently watched Dodgers games for more baseball after the Yankees wrap up, I had the privilege years ago to have Scully guide me soothingly through nine innings of baseball as if he solely was talking for and to me. That was the ultimate magic in his communication. So good. He'll be missed.  2. Democrats - Sure, I've been hard (and skeptical) of Dems during this administration for not getting enough done. But gotta give them their due, they had a week! From passing a bill in support of Medicare for Veterans to the big one in locking in the Inflation Reduction Act, it was a big week for the Blues.  3. Economy adding 528, 000 Jobs - I keep reading and hearing about a potential recession on the loom (this millennial can't endure yet another economic setback - come on, we've suffered enough!). Yet, just this week, the job market has added almost 530K new job

SummerSlam 2022 Review: "It Was Just Wild."

With the recent announcement of Vince McMahon retiring ( my thoughts on Vince's legacy ), and really, the appointment of Paul "Triple H" Levesque holding the golden pen as the lead for creative going forward in the WWE, that ultimately was the biggest draw for me heading into SummerSlam. I wasn't sold on the main event or the big stadium. It was the possibility of a "new era", and also the fact that SummerSlam (like Wrestlemania and Royal Rumble), needs no general intense build-up for me because well, it's already engrained into my being. It's nostalgic, it's tradition, it's...SummerSlam. WWE can keep that trademark tagline if they like. Free of charge.  Nonetheless, as someone who has generally watched less and less WWE programming in my pro wrestling fandom, I was so intrigued to see what felt like the beginning of not just a post-Vince era, but an era that possibly could pull me in on a weekly basis. You know, the way Triple H's NXT u

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 7/31/22

3 Up 1. Bill Russell - It amazes me how much we overlook Russell whenever we get into these talking head debates of "Best Ever". If "ring culture" is going to run the day of arguments, it should start and stop with Russell.  Yet, beyond that, Russell was a better person than he was a baller. Our country lost a super impactful person today, and truthfully, one of the remaining originals of the civil rights era.  Thank You, Mr. Russell.  2. Aaron Judge - My guy is on pace for 69 home runs this season. That's just video game-like. I don't think I've ever witnessed a season like this from a Yankee since Alex Rodriguez's 2007 campaign. And dare I say, Judge is beginning to approach a Bonds-like level in how opposing teams are pitching to him.  Open up the checkbook, Steinbrenners.  3. Mega Millions Winner - Apparently there is a ticket sold in Illinois that is the winning ticket for the Mega Millions Jackpot of $1B. Congrats to the holder(s) of that winni

Wrestling with the Legacy of Vince McMahon

I never thought the day would come that Vine McMahon would NOT be a part of the WWE. Not that I didn't believe he didn't age, but because that's all wrestling fans know. And everything about him and his past has overcome periods of doubt that we thought a change - of any kind - would occur.  In many ways, McMahon is synonymous with the term "wrestling", as is the WWE.  But here we are. Change of the guard.  It's hard for me to understand or capture everything that is Vincent Kennedy McMahon (and yes, I announced his name in my head in that classic Mr. McMahon character voice). As a pro wrestling fan, I owe so much to him for providing moments, emotions, and memories that bond my relationships with my father and closest friends; have narrated the chapters of my own life; and yes, have shaped my own life with sayings, reactions, and thoughts conditioned by my fandom.  He's the brains behind it all. He's the man that deserves so much of the credit for it.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 7/24/22

3 Up 1. Codifying Same-Sex Marriages - In a world where things feel like we're headed backward, or at the very least, are aiming at stripping the fundamental freedoms and rights of many, this felt like a small win. I'm giving it an "up" for the sole reason that there is resistance to what feels like a movement that benefits some - we've seen this before in our history. Also, it gets an "up" for realizing the Dems could do something - anything. Because they haven't... 2. Hall of Fame Inductees - It's always cool to see baseball honor its greatest of the greatest. Yes, we complain about it every January, but by July it's legit a celebration session. I just wished they wrapped these ceremonies into the All-Star break. Why does it compete with actual games?  3. Marvel Announcements - SOOOOO many announcements of anticipated movies, shows, and outright goodnight from the Marvel world. The next five years look great if you're a fan. And that Bl

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 7/17/22

3 Up 1. NASA Webb Telescope Pictures - It's definitely a nerdy thing, but it is also a tremendous wonder to see the photos that came back from NASA's Webb Telescope. The photos, super crisp like we've never seen before, are images that make you wonder how big the Universe is, and truly, how small we are. Just a fantastic image.  2. Buffalo 'Tops' Reopens - After the hateful shooting that rocked its community, that very Tops Supermarket has reopened in Buffalo. The store serves as an epicenter for that very community, and while it'll be difficult, it's just good to know they are moving forward, rebuilding, and reconnecting.  3. Bartender Left $4,000 Tip - I'm a sucker for stories of the human spirit and just outright goodwill. Imagine the heart of a single mother bartender when a patron leaves a $4,000 tip on a $176 bill. That's cool stuff.  3 Down 1. Uvalde Shooting Details - The details and video coming out of the Uvalde Shooting investigation is d