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50 Wins and the #2 Seed

The New York Knicks are the #2 Seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.  Unbelievable.  Oh yeah, they also put together an unbelievable fifty-win season to do so.  I've already expressed some thoughts on this season - from the trade of RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to Julius Randle's injury and obvious absence to the brilliance that was Jalen Brunson - there has been so much to take in, and appreciate.  I can't say it enough - I love this team. THIS team.  Just a few other quick thoughts as we reflect on 50 wins and the #2 seed before heading into a tough first-round series with either the Miami Heat or Philadelphia 76ers:  I know Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the hot narrative for MVP and there is a big-time Serbian in Denver who easily makes a claim for the award once again, but damn it, Jalen Brunson deserves recognition and some lower-place votes. That's all I'm asking for... Speaking of giving flowers to Jalen Brunson, it's about time a real basketball dis

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 4/14/24

3 Up 1. Gun Control? - Wow. We have somewhat new gun legislation - so it is possible?! Of course, I'm being a bit cheeky in regards to the recent new plan to offer background checks for gun purchases, which really is a big part of the gun control debate. No?  2. Solar Eclipse - I didn't get a chance to experience it, but the idea of it is rather cool. Our world - and universe - is a remarkable experience and thought.  3. Women's Basketball Ratings - The boost continues as women's hoops continue its surge in ratings, interest, and overall star power. It will likely continue next week with the WNBA Draft.  3 Down  1. Iran Missiles on Israel - The entire saga in Gaza continues to get more complex. Throwing Iran into the mix, and now the US intercepting drones and missiles, the entire thing is super sad as innocent people continue to be killed.  2. Tennessee Teachers Carry - Well, just when we thought the gun debate was moving toward a reasonable decision, we get the sta

WWE Wrestlemania XL Review: "I absolutely loved this Wrestlemania"

It's easy to get caught up and become a prisoner of the moment. Especially in today's world where the latest moment is ostracized, super-analyzed, and hyperbolized - it's very much the clickbait, social media, microwave society we live in.  Yet, even after acknowledging that (as well as my Tribal Chief, of course), I still come to this feeling that Wrestlemania XL is one of the best Wrestlemania's, ever.  Yes, ever!  I don't need Triple H's metrics and benchmarks to influence me. No, no, no! In terms of hype, storylines, payoffs, match quality, and just overall fun - this entire weekend was amazing.  I'm slightly skewed in my preference as well. This was my son's first Wrestlemania as a pro wrestling fan. Having him at my side cheering on his favorites, getting caught up in the drama, and even crying at the end of the night because his Tribal Chief lost to "that no good Cody" added to the overall appreciation of the event.  So yeah, I have some

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 4/7/24

3 Up 1. Wrestlemania 40 - I don't think it's hyperbole, WM40 is likely to be remembered as one of the best Wrestlemanias of all time. A memorable and happy ending likely will encourage that narrative as well.  2. Women's Basketball - A HUGE weekend for women's basketball! First, Iowa and UCONN smash (!!) the ratings record on ESPN (for ANY televised basketball game) then we get a great championship game. The women's game has amazing storylines, superstars, likable individuals, and overall, a better quality of game.  And of course, the WNBA draft is next Monday. Keep it rolling, ladies!  3. Pig Kidney Transplant - I can't (still) can't believe this is real, but the patient who received an A.I. generated pig kidney in a transplant has officially gone home. Still a wild story, and something to keep an eye on.  3 Down 1. Earthquakes - Well, first it was the devastation in Taiwan that injured thousands, killed 25, and left destruction. Then on Friday right here

NXT Stand and Deliver 2024 Review: 'For super casual NXT fans like me - no complaints here'

It's become officially a tradition that NXT Stand and Deliver makes Wrestlemania weekend feel like the ultimate wrestling weekend - as if it isn't already. There is just something about a major show being held midday on a Saturday, among the hype for the already dual night of Wrestlemania - that just emanates and screams - wrestling fans, don't go anywhere all weekend.   Nonetheless, NXT Stand and Deliver 2024 for this super causal NXT viewer was entertaining. I was well aware (and followed) the story of Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes (more on that in a bit) more so than the other happenings, but that didn't matter. The show offered many reasons to check out Shawn Michaels' project on Tuesday nights.  With that said, here are some quick thoughts on NXT Stand and Deliver 2024:  - Baron Corbin is amazing on the NXT brand. For many reasons, he just never clicked for me on the major brands - and that very likely might not even be his fault. I didn't think Axiom an

Quick Ponder: Free and Guarded

Stay free. But keep the gate to  your peace, guarded.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 3/31/24

3 Up 1. Bridge Workers - In all of the wreckage and tragedy that occurred and has been discussed in regards to the Baltimore Bridge Collapse, there are bridge workers who raced to stop cars from crossing the bridge upon hearing the ship's "Mayday" alerts. Those are some real unsung heroes who likely saved many lives.  2. Social Media Changes in UK - Social media reveals itself more and more as a plague on society. Well, recent sanctions (and changes) by social media companies in the United Kingdom are making social media more responsible for children. I'm curious to see the data of results in human changes following these initiatives.  3. Easter - He. Is. Risen!  3 Down 1. Baltimore Bridge Collapse - Such an awful story. Each day reveals how precious our lives are, and just how random it can be. This recent story carries so much from safety, appreciation of life, and the long lengths many go to in the international trading industry.  2. South African Bus Crash - An a

Brunson's 61 - "We Finally Have Our Guy"

It was about ten years ago. I got on this site and marveled at the performance of Carmelo Anthony in Madison Square Garden vs. the [then] Charlotte Bobcats. Then Carmelo decided to go bonkers. 62 points! I had that feeling again tonight with Jalen Brunson scoring 61 points in a loss .  It was one point short of the Knicks single-game scoring record, and the third 60-point performance in the history of the franchise. But after tonight's loss to the San Antonio Spurs, in a game that likely will be discussed as the game Victor Wembanyama started to put it together, Jalen Brunson secured 61 points in what may be the best offensive game for a New York Knick that I've witnessed in my lifetime.  Yes, Melo's 62 was remarkable. There was the recent gem by Julius Randle last year against the T-Wolves where I thought he would smash Melo's 62 (and break the record in MSG) before the wheels fell off like this game did.  How can I forget Allan Houston's 53-points against Kobe

Predictions and Wild Guesses for the 2024 MLB Season

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports After an off-season where the Los Angeles Dodgers spent the equivalent of a nation's GDP to acquire talent - I'm not sure if that's factual, but it felt like it - the 2024 MLB Season is finally here.  Sure, this Yankees fan is not just annoyed with the big spending of the Dodgers, but yeah, secretly envious as well. That used to be us, man!  Regardless, baseball is back on the docket. While my beloved New York Knicks have my attention and all of my heart, including what has been a fun March Madness period for men's and women's basketball, it's soothing to have baseball back. I can't explain what it is, but baseball just does that for me.  Nonetheless, let's do what we do in this post every year. Here are my wacky predictions and wild guesses for the 2024 season.  --- STANDINGS (WINS) AL EAST Orioles - 93 Yankees - 90 Blue Jays - 85 Red Sox - 82 Rays - 80 AL CENTRAL Twins - 88 Tigers - 86 Guardians - 81 Royals - 70 White Sox -

Would You Rather: Questions 181-190

It's been a while since I've done one of these - three years in fact. Yes, three years! Jumping back into the wacky world of these questions, and stimulating some ponders along the way... 181. Would you rather the aliens that make first contact be robotic or organic?  Well, this is a weird one. I'll go organic as it feels there would be more of an opportunity to connect as living beings. Robots just sound evil at the core - showing no compassion or empathy one what would likely be an awkward initial encounter.  182. Would you rather lose the ability to read or lose the ability to speak? Easily lose the ability to speak. I'm not sure I even want to talk to people all that much anymore - I'm kidding, sort of. Losing the ability to read gives up too much of yourself, and the ability to function independently.  183. Would you rather have a golden voice or a silver tongue? Golden voice. Give me the ability to sing, perform, and be a rock star. A silver tongue is nice, an

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 3/24/24

3 Up 1. Nigeria Children Released - The kids are home. I can't imagine the horrible feeling that so many parents in Nigeria felt this week when over 300 children were kidnapped from school by Boko Haram. Can we finally stop these abductions? Also, it's a shame these stories aren't covered enough in the States.  2. Genetically Engineered Kidneys - Well, we are not placing artificial pig kidneys in humans to save lives. Even better? The practice can likely end dialysis as we know it. Pig kidneys! Such great (and weird) news! 3. Avoid Government Shutdown - Biden passed a bill that will keep the government running for a few more weeks. I guess, that's a good thing?! Why is the government always close to shutting down?!  3 Down 1. Moscow Terrorist Attack - An unfortunate event as terrorist attacks by ISIS still exist. So many innocent people died over geopolitical posture and global political movements. Yeah, it doesn't seem fair to me either. But that's life...I gu

Quick Ponder: Audit Your Validation

Audit where your  validation comes from.  Keep your worth, and source, centered. 

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 3/17/24

3 Up 1. Virginia Ends Legacy Admissions - There is the obvious on this, right? Like, why is this even a thing to begin with? I'm very curious to see the effects of this in Virginia. For all of the discussion on race-equity-based admissions, and affirmative-action measures, legacy admissions have long gone without scrutiny.  2. Kyrie Irving Buzzer-Beater - Look, this is at #2 for mere appreciation of basketball - at the purity and poetry of it. Irving, arguably the most skilled player ever (despite his actions and your opinions of him) hit a game-winning left-handed (!!) hook shot from 16 feet out to win a game. It's simply unreal. It's a thing of beauty (and such difficulty!).  I'm headed out to the driveway to try it - we all know you will too.  3. COVID Anniversary - Ah yes, we'll continue to remember mid-March for COVID. But let it now steer you away from other thoughts on how the world was reduced to essentials. Let's never lose that outlook.  3 Down 1. Bo

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 3/10/24

3 Up 1. Wrongly Convicted Man Released - A wrongly convicted man was released in Philadelphia after 30 years -30 YEARS! Each time there is a story like this I am filled with many emotions. But the biggest one is that I'm happy to see justice done correctly. Peace be to that man.  2. Caitlin Clark Effect - Clark continues to scorch the sports world as the Big Ten Championship (in which Clark participated) garnered the highest ratings for a regular season women's basketball game. I really can't wait to see what she does this season with the Indiana Fever.  3. Instagram/Facebook Outage - It was for a mere few hours. But you know what? It was glorious. Remember the world before social media? Ahhhhhh, reality... 3 Down 1. Biden vs. Trump II - Well, now it's official after Nikki Haley officially suspended her campaign. It's the most inevitable (and possibly unwanted) rematch in the history of anything. It really does beg, can we not do better?  2. Haiti Gang Violence - Ha

Give Me A Vision: Thoughts on Current NWA Product

Who is the audience for the NWA?  That's a recurring thought for me after attempting to give the National Wrestling Alliance another shot with its change to the CW App.  We all know the product's reputation and common critique - it was fascinating and promising before COVID-19 dropped an elbow drop the likes it has yet to recover from. There was some intriguing talent, a notable and credible world champion, a catchy theme song, and a comfortable niche and presentation that separated the product from everything else.  The NWA captured right out of the gate quite possibly what Billy Corgan and his vision set out to do - capture the past with a blend of the current. Or...that's what the NWA is supposed to be. Right?  Quite frankly, the NWA is the historian's historian's nostalgia. Many pro wrestling fans under the age of forty recall WCW, ECW, and the days of Stone Cold smashing beer cans as the "good ol' days", while the NWA is for a generation that'

Dome Pondering Movie Review: The After (2023)

What is it about? In a short film, a grieving man confronts his past when he comes face-to-face with a passenger.  Who is in it? David Oyelowo - Dayo Jessica Plummer - Amanda Amelie Dokubo - Laura  Favorite Scene: It's an extremely short film, so...the final few moments.  Favorite Quote:  None. (not much dialogue) Review: This eighteen-minute masterpiece is amazing. You're absolutely taken on this ride of emotions that ultimately leaves you with a great realization of questioning what we value in life.  The lead character, in eighteen minutes, is powerful. His grief is carried through the film, exploding at the end. It very much leaves the viewer with so many questions - what was his life before the tragedy? What was his life after that moment? Did he ever reconnect with that family? Did he rediscover happiness?  Again, a very, VERY, powerful eighteen minutes that will jolt the heart, mind, and soul about life, what is important, and what we overvalue in its place.  Grade: 4/5

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 3/3/24

3 Up 1. COVID-19 - Oh hey! Remember this ol' pandemic virus? Most of us have put COVID-19 far behind us. However, updates such as the United States population is 98% immune and that the CDC now recommends lesser and looser restrictions for infected individuals is a far road from just four years ago. Regardless of how you feel about the virus, we've come a long way.  2. $1 Billion Donation - A lot of billionaires do some wacky stuff. Ruth Gottesman did something really cool here. She helped give four-year students at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine free tuition. Pretty cool.  3. Sting Retirement - 40 years of pro wrestling for Sting. It's been a great ride for Sting, carving out one of the most interesting legacies in the industry without relying so much on company backing. Farewell, and thanks for the memories.  3 Down 1. Gaza Attack - So unfortunate to see the ongoing attacks in Gaza. Hundreds were injured and/or killed this week just standing and waiting for aid.

Quick Ponder: Parenting, Mentally

Always,  in a state, of sacrificing for the best,  neverendingly, worrying about the worst,  with moments in between. That's where I mentally live.  Parenting.  Always. 

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 2/25/24

3 Up 1. Odysseus Spacecraft - It's pretty cool that the United States is landing on the moon again. Unlike the first time where it gripped the nation, this story feels rather niche. Regardless, still very cool.  2. Beyonce - First black woman to top the country chart. Read that again. That's so awesome. And just another nod to Beyonce's legendary career. 3. Ashwath Kaushik - Imagine being 8 years old and defeating a Chess grandmaster? That's what Kaushik did becoming the youngest player ever to do it. Imagine that? Eight years old!  3 Down 1. National Shortage of Teachers - We are already seeing the teaching profession taking a hit regarding interest and quality. Now, the dilemma gets more complex as more and more teachers are taking advantage of their vacation and sick days, combined with a shortage of substitute teachers.  When I was growing up, subs really had it tough. I can't even imagine what it is like now.  2. Femicide in Kenya - The nation of Kenya is unde

2024 NBA All-Star Weekend Thoughts

There's something wrong with the All-Star Game.  Yeah, we've definitely had this conversation before. Expect to pick up this very discussion (again) in July when Major League Baseball has their version in the "Mid-Summer Classic" when it is the ONLY current topic to bounce around in the stratosphere of sports discourse.  What's wrong with the All-Star Game?!  I'm not dismissing the obvious - yes, the NBA All-Star Game is very much at an alarming point of necessary refinement and change - evaluation is needed. What we saw on Sunday night was not disappointing, but outright embarrassing. Also yes, gone are the days when the game flooded your television screen at a respectable 6:30pm on NBC, and you were wowed by the athleticism and star power of the first half of the game, and treated to what felt like the world's best players playing pickup basketball on the grandest stage.  Now? Not so much. So yeah, we got the message. The outrage - and shock TV and hot t

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 2/18/24

3 Up 1. Beyonce Country Music - Bey Bey is sure to annoy a lot of people with the release of several country songs that will climb the charts. The question looking forward will be if "Country America" will accept it. If they do, The Queen is about to add to her legacy for sure.  2. Caitlin Clark Breaks Record - Well, she did it. And she did it with quite the shot. Clark is box office and is quickly becoming one of the biggest attractions in basketball. I just don't see how Clark leaves Iowa for the WNBA, and the awaiting Indiana Fever.  3. Jenny Cavnar -  The Oakland A's appointed Cavnar as the first female primary play-by-play announcer. That's really cool. The A's are an absolute mess. This, is definitely a win for the franchise One of the few they'll get this year. Yeah, I went there... BTW - I'm hoping they stay in Oakland.  3 Down 1. Chiefs Parade Shooting - Guns, guns, guns. Can't enjoy anything, anymore.  2. Kelvin Kiptum Dies - The world re