Zack Greinke: ‘I could play for the worst team if they paid the most’

Shortly after Zack Greinke signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in December, he made a surprising admission: It came down to the money. The Dodgers deal will earn him as much as $159 million over the next six years. That’s why he signed with them.

Very often, when it comes to pro athletes and big contracts, either the player or his agent will say “It’s not about the money,” at some point during the process. Most of us recognize it as a lie — or at least a form of denial, a rationalization presented to protect the athlete from looking like a greedy bastard because he wants, or just signed for, more money than he will ever need.

Greinke, as we already kind of know, is different. And yet, he’s no different. In a report published Monday by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Greinke reinforced what he said in December.

Greinke reads everything, hears everything and seemingly knows everything. He wants the record straight, and he works at keeping it that way.

And money in free agency, to him, was no small thing.

“It’s obviously the No. 1 thing,” Greinke said. “I could play for the worst team if they paid the most … If the last place team offers $200 million and the first-place team offers $10, I’m going to go for the $200-million no matter what team it was.”

You hear that, Houston Astros?! OK, so that’s not exactly the situation presented to Greinke this winter.

The other leading contender for his services, the Texas Rangers, were prepared to spend well over $100 million to sign him. They’re one of the best teams — better than the Dodgers, probably. They just didn’t want to offer Greinke an opt-out clause after three years which, as Heyman points out, also is about the money.

Nobody came at Greinke with an offer of $10, of course, or even the major league minimum of $490,000 per year. So he undercut the first part of his own quote a little bit.

But do I believe him that he’d play for the Astros if they offered the most money? Well, yeah. The only other sticking point might have been Houston moving to the AL. No more pitchers batting, which Greinke has been looking forward to.

How often has anyone cut through the crap and just said, “Yeah, I wanted to play for this team because they were the highest bidder”? Not too often. But personalities such as Zack Greinke don’t come around too often. Yeah, he liked the idea of playing for a flagship franchise, and possibly living on a beach in southern California (if there could be helicopters), and that new Dodgers ownership would spend money until they won all the world championships! All of that quality of life stuff is nice.

But it’s not as nice as money.

NFL thwarts Manning in attempt to honor Unitas

Ravens QB Chris Redman did what Colts QB Peyton Manning wanted to do, but Redman’s black high-top cleats won’t cost him nearly as much as it would have Manning.

Redman probably faces a first-time uniform violation of $5,000 for wearing black high-tops in Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in salute to Johnny Unitas, who died of a heart attack last week.

Manning was told by a club official — after speaking with a league authority — that he would face a fine of at least $25,000 if he defied the edict by wearing the black shoes. A league spokesman denied that a specific $25,000 fine was threatened, but conceded that the Colts were told that it would be a steeper fine than normal because Manning had been formally denied permission.

In other words, don’t ask.

Redman privately approached a Ravens official with his desire to honor Unitas. Instead of seeking league approval, the quarterback was told to “just do it” without saying anything. Manning went the route of protocol by seeking permission from the NFL. Once it became public with a rejection, the lines were drawn.

“That was the mistake — if (Manning) just wears the shoes without any fanfare, this is a different deal,” a league official said.

Manning was willing to pay any amount of fine, sources said, but felt the public controversy was a dishonor to Unitas.

The league’s uniform policy stipulates that a team must declare itself a “black shoe” team or “white shoe” team prior to the season. Both the Colts and the Ravens chose white shoes. Had they selected black shoes, there would have been no violation.

Both Redman and Manning had personal affection for Unitas. Redman, like Unitas, was a former Louisville quarterback and was counseled frequently by the former Colt great in recent years. Manning said Unitas was an influence on his father Archie, a onetime NFL great.

Manning also was the winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the nation’s top collegiate quarterback in 1998. At the ceremonies, Manning presented Unitas with a pair of his Tennessee black high-tops (size 14).

Exclusive: Philadelphia will host WWE’s Royal Rumble in 2018

Philadelphia’s rich history of professional wrestling will get even richer in 2018: The city will host the WWE Royal Rumble at the Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 28.

The Royal Rumble is one of the WWE’s “big four” events, which also include WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and the Survivor Series.

Philadelphia hosted the Royal Rumble in 2015, which brought 17,164 fans to the Wells Fargo Center. But that was before the WWE changed its strategy: Now, it presents multiple events surrounding its “big four” extravaganzas, all at the same venue.

Auxiliary events Raw, Smackdown Live, and NXT — the company’s developmental program that has morphed into its own thriving brand — will also also take place at the Wells Fargo Center Jan. 27-30 next year.

On Jan. 27, 2018, WWE will present a live special from NXT called NXT Takeover. WWE’s main television programs, Raw and Smackdown Live, will be held at the Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 29 and Jan. 30, 2018.

Ticket information for all events will be announced soon.

“WWE has enjoyed a very special relationship with the city and its fans over decades, and that important heritage made Philadelphia a very natural choice to host this unprecedented four-night celebration,” John Saboor, WWE’s executive vice president of special events, said in an interview Wednesday. “Our decision to place next year’s Royal Rumble celebration in Philadelphia is truly another exciting and important step in the continued growth of WWE’s four largest annual events.”

Saboor said one of the reasons Philadelphia landed the Royal Rumble was that WWE has appreciated the city’s passion and pursuit in hosting major events, including its most notable event, WrestleMania, which the city has bid on in recent years.

Saboor also said the WWE would work with the city on other ancillary events to help celebrate the Royal Rumble, including community and charity activities.

When it came to clearing the dates for WWE, Wells Fargo Center president John Page said that it wasn’t an issue and that the venue jumped at the opportunity to host the Royal Rumble again.

“When you look at what WWE has been able to accomplish in terms of their live-event programming, to be able to bring four events to Philadelphia, it’s huge,” Page said.

“The wrestling community, there’s nothing quite like it from an entertainment value,” he added.

“When they presented us the opportunity to essentially put a bid together, we were very excited about it. Albeit, it was a little bit different from before, the attractive nature of it really showcased four successive nights, it’s something you don’t get the opportunity to do very often.”

He said it also meant a lot to Comcast Spectacor overall, as it owns NBC Universal, the television home of WWE.

This year is the 30th edition of the Royal Rumble, which will be held Sunday at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Fans here can watch the event live on the WWE Network starting at 5 p.m.

How an ex-NFL player is on the verge of becoming a wrestling superstar

In 2012, Quinn Ojinnaka had a solid NFL career and a healthy bank account that allowed him the freedom to do whatever he wanted. While that may be something that most people only dream of, the man affectionately nicknamed “Moose” simply wasn’t happy. So he decided to trade in the shoulder pads for a pair of spandex and live out his childhood fantasy of becoming a professional wrestler.

It all sounded like a dream come true, but in reality, when he told his wife about his plans, she responded with divorce papers.

“The first person I told that I was retiring from the NFL to become a pro wrestler was my ex-wife and her reaction was that she hated it and that I was being selfish for retiring at a young age,” says Ojinnaka as he walks through the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on a warm February afternoon. “One of the biggest reasons why we split up was because I was leaving all this money on the table for something that was just a maybe.”

His dream is no longer a “maybe” because in 24 hours, the 6-foot-5 former offensive lineman will step into the ring against the man who just so happens to be his favorite wrestler, New Japan Professional Wrestling’s heavyweight champion Kazuchika Okada, at independent wrestling promotion Ring Of Honor’s 14th Anniversary show.

Today, Ojinnaka is one of the brightest stars on the independent wrestling scene and happier than he’s ever been, which proves the sacrifices he had to make were all worth it.

“It’s funny how my ex-wife laughed at me and called me an idiot when I quit football to become a wrestler,” he says with a pregnant pause and a grin on his face as he refers to a recent post he made on Facebook. “But who is the idiot now?”

It’s hard not to notice Ojinnaka. His presence simply demands attention. Throughout the conversation, people stop and stare. Some immediately recognize Ojinnaka and take selfies with him while others unfamiliar with his background whisper to each other and stare in awe. He exudes big business and, to many, it’s only a matter of time before “Moose” heads to the WWE.

“He’s a thoroughbred,” longtime WWE commentator and talent scout Jim Ross told Yahoo Sports. “He has that competitive edge from being in the NFL and you don’t check that at the door. He has a truly fascinating upside with his agility, physicality and competitive drive to be the best. He has special skills that you simply cannot replicate and I would be shocked if he’s not in the WWE in the next few years.”

Ring of Honor has proven to become one of the premier breeding grounds for WWE superstars including CM Punk, A.J. Styles, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Samoa Joe and others. And with this being Ojinnaka’s fourth year as a professional wrestler, there is a possibility that the 31-year-old could eventually joint the ranks of some of ROH’s illustrious alumni in the WWE.

But in order to get to where he is today, he had to endure the backlash from his unpopular decision to walk away from a lucrative career in the NFL.

“My brothers hated it and didn’t understand how I could give away millions to do something stupid and fake,” Ojinnaka says. “Other than my mom, everyone took it the wrong way and said it was stupid. But that made me work harder to prove them wrong.”

Before football consumed his life, Ojinnaka was infatuated with professional wrestling. Born and raised in Maryland, a 7-year-old Ojinnaka happened to stumble across the 1992 WWE Royal Rumble when the consummate showman Ric Flair emerged on the screen. “I was watching this as a kid and said, ‘What the hell is this?’ ” Ojinnaka reflects. “I liked what I was watching and this guy was instantly my favorite wrestler. I told my mom that whatever this was, I wanted to watch it every single time it is on.”

But it wasn’t until Ojinnaka saw Razor Ramon, a Cuban-American intimidator from Miami, that he realized he wanted to be a professional wrestler.

“From watching him I thought I could actually be him,” Ojinnaka says. “I’d dress, walk and talk like him. It came to a point where I said that I wanted to be a wrestler so I could be just like him.”

Despite his love for professional wrestling, Ojinnaka found success as a football player. After a stellar high school career at DeMatha Catholic High School in Maryland, Ojinnaka went to Syracuse where he was dominant as an offensive lineman. His athletic prowess led him to being selected in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons and his financial future was set. But professional wrestling was still in the back of his mind.

“All of my teammates in college and the NFL would tell you that I would be still watching wrestling whenever it came on,” Ojinnaka says.

No matter how well he was doing on the field, the idea of becoming a professional wrestler was gnawing at him. When he was traded to the New England Patriots in 2010, Ojinnaka began to realize that he wasn’t getting any younger and if he was going to chase his dream, he needed to do it sooner than later.

“When I got traded to the Patriots was when I saw the real life of football and that you won’t play for the same team for the rest of your career and that’s when I got tired of it,” Ojinnaka says. “I was always in a bad mood and realized that the only way I could make myself happy was to chase this dream to become a pro wrestler.”

From 2010-12, Ojinnaka played for the Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams before getting released after his second stint on the Rams in October 2012. But instead of chasing down another team, Ojinnaka decided go after his dream. And with a pretty significant amount of money saved up due to his frugal spending habits, he decided that there would be no better time than the present to see if he had what it took to become a professional wrestler.

“When I decided I wanted to become a wrestler, I knew I could take six months to a year and focus on becoming a wrestler,” Ojinnaka says when referring to his healthy nest egg. “I didn’t need to have a backup job. I could wake up and go to wrestling school and be dedicated.”

Ojinnaka began his training in 2012 under the tutelage of retired WWE and WCW star Curtis Hughes at WWA4 Wrestling School in Atlanta. To prove his dedication, Ojinnaka drove an hour each way to the wrestling school four times a week from November until his first match in April the following year.

Transitioning from getting hit on the football field to taking bumps in a wrestling ring didn’t prove to be too difficult for Ojinnaka as his natural athleticism allowed him to quickly grasp the moves and techniques necessary to begin his new career. Ojinnaka had his first wrestling match against indie talent AR Fox in a match that he says he hated despite the praise he received by those watching. “I was more nervous than I was in my first football game,” Ojinnaka says with a laugh. “I was actually shaking in the ring while I was running my spots.”

Although he was green, his physical ability, size and determination was undeniable.

There are those that think that the only reason Ojinnaka was given an opportunity in Ring of Honor was because of his NFL background. That couldn’t be further from the truth. He had to chase them down to get their attention, literally.

“Ring Of Honor told me to keep showing up even though I wasn’t promised a spot,” Ojinnaka says. With the money he saved up, he would travel wherever ROH was having a show just to prove his dedication and determination. “It got to the point where someone would be hurt or miss their flight and they’d ask me to be in a match.”

On June 19, 2014, Ojinnaka signed a two-year contract with Ring Of Honor and officially began his journey to become the greatest professional wrestler in the world. But life on the road with a bunch of wrestlers versus the lavish life of traveling with an NFL team would take some adjusting.

“Financially, it’s definitely an adjustment,” Ojinnaka says. “In football you’re making hundreds of thousands of dollars weekly. In wrestling you’re making maybe $500 a week.”

But despite the financial differences, Ojinnaka says that he enjoys the camaraderie travelling with fellow wrestlers more than he did the NFL.

– – – – – – – –

Over the past 18 months, Ojinnaka has showed tremendous growth and become a fan favorite. A strong showing during a tour in Japan further certified his growing presence as a future star in this business and led to Ring of Honor booking him for a match against Okada in their biggest show of the year.

It’s apparent that Ojinnaka was both nervous and excited at the opportunity. With several combat sports journalists in attendance, including lauded pro wrestling reporter Dave Meltzer, Ojinnaka realized the opportunity to impress.

“It’s like I’m a kid preparing for the first day of school and I can’t sleep because I’m excited to see all of my friends,” Ojinnaka said with a wide smile stretching across his face. “He’s my favorite wrestler in the world and I’m so excited.

“Moose” would end up losing to Okada but the spirited affair allowed him to show off his athleticism while telling a story where the up-and-comer may be an extraordinarily talent but the experienced champion eventually gained the upper hand. Wrestling is funny that way where the loser can come out as the winner with the fans for exceeding their expectations. Okada would leave “Moose” alone in the ring as the arena swelled with chants of “Moose! Moose! Moose!”

A couple of hours later in his hotel room, Ojinnaka was visibly pleased with his performance. While his fellow wrestlers are preparing for a night on the town, Ojinnaka was contemplative and reflective.

“That was definitely the best match of my career so far but I have a tendency of saying this after every match,” Ojinnaka said. His phone filled with text messages from friends who enjoyed his match and echo his sentiments. “I have people tell me that I’m on a great pace for only doing this for three years but I don’t want it to mess with my focus. I just want to continue to get better.”

On June 19, Ojinnaka’s contract with Ring Of Honor will expire and there’s a distinct possibility that he could be headed for the big stage in the house that Vincent K. McMahon built.

Despite the acclaim and fitting the WWE type (big, strong and athletic), Ojinnaka isn’t concerning himself much with the future, as he is too busy enjoying the present.

“I haven’t thought about what’s next yet,” Ojinnaka says. “I love Ring of Honor and I’m the happiest that I’ve ever been in my life, hands down.”

Ultimately, the sacrifices were all worth it.

“Money doesn’t make you happy,” he says. “I’m way happier doing this than playing football. Football wasn’t happiness to me. That was a job. This isn’t a job. This is me doing something I love.”

86 Deceased NFL Players Test Positive for Brain Disease

A total of 87 out of 91 former NFL players have tested positive for the brain disease at the center of the debate over concussions in football, according to new figures from the nation’s largest brain bank focused on the study of traumatic head injury.

Researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University have now identified the degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in 96 percent of NFL players that they’ve examined and in 79 percent of all football players. The disease is widely believed to stem from repetitive trauma to the head, and can lead to conditions such as memory loss, depression and dementia.

In total, the lab has found CTE in the brain tissue in 131 out of 165 individuals who, before their deaths, played football either professionally, semi-professionally, in college or in high school.

Forty percent of those who tested positive were the offensive and defensive linemen who come into contact with one another on every play of a game, according to numbers shared by the brain bank with FRONTLINE. That finding supports past research suggesting that it’s the repeat, more minor head trauma that occurs regularly in football that may pose the greatest risk to players, as opposed to just the sometimes violent collisions that cause concussions.

But the figures come with several important caveats, as testing for the disease can be an imperfect process. Brain scans have been used to identify signs of CTE in living players, but the disease can only be definitively identified posthumously. As such, many of the players who have donated their brains for testing suspected that they had the disease while still alive, leaving researchers with a skewed population to work with.

Even with those caveats, the latest numbers are “remarkably consistent” with past research from the center suggesting a link between football and long-term brain disease, said Dr. Ann McKee, the facility’s director and chief of neuropathology at the VA Boston Healthcare System.

“People think that we’re blowing this out of proportion, that this is a very rare disease and that we’re sensationalizing it,” said McKee, who runs the lab as part of a collaboration between the VA and BU. “My response is that where I sit, this is a very real disease. We have had no problem identifying it in hundreds of players.”

In a statement, a spokesman for the NFL said, “We are dedicated to making football safer and continue to take steps to protect players, including rule changes, advanced sideline technology, and expanded medical resources. We continue to make significant investments in independent research through our gifts to Boston University, the [National Institutes of Health] and other efforts to accelerate the science and understanding of these issues.”

The latest update from the brain bank, which in 2010 received a $1 million research grant from the NFL, comes at a time when the league is able to boast measurable progress in reducing head injuries. In its 2015 Health & Safety Report, the NFL said that concussions in regular season games fell 35 percent over the past two seasons, from 173 in 2012 to 112 last season. A separate analysis by FRONTLINE that factors in concussions reported by teams during the preseason and the playoffs shows a smaller decrease of 28 percent.

Off the field, the league has revised safety rules to minimize head-to-head hits, and invested millions into research. In April, it also won final approval for a potential $1 billion settlement with roughly 5,000 former players who have sued it over past head injuries.

Still, at the start of a new season of play, the NFL once again finds itself grappling to turn the page on the central argument in the class-action lawsuit: that for years it sought to conceal a link between football and long-term brain disease.

The latest challenge to that effort came two weeks ago with the trailer for a forthcoming Hollywood film about the neuropathologist who first discovered CTE. When the trailer was released, it quickly went viral, leaving the NFL bracing for a new round of scrutiny over past efforts to deny any such connection.

The film, Concussion, starring Will Smith, traces the story of Bennet Omalu, who in 2005 shocked the football establishment with an article in the journal Neurosurgery detailing his discovery of CTE in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster. At the VA lab and elsewhere, CTE has since been found in players such as Hall of Famer Junior Seau, former NFL Man of the Year Dave Duerson, and Colts tight end John Mackey, a past head of the player’s union.

While the story is not a new one, for the NFL, it represents a high-profile and potentially embarrassing cinematic interpretation of a period in which the league sought to refute research suggesting football may contribute to brain disease.

From 2003 to 2009, for example, the NFL’s now disbanded Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee concluded in a series of scientific papers that “no NFL player” had experienced chronic brain damage from repeat concussions, and that “Professional football players do not sustain frequent repetitive blows to the brain on a regular basis.”

In the case of Omalu, league doctors publicly assailed his research, and in a rare move, demanded a retraction of his study. When Omalu spoke to FRONTLINE about the incident for the 2013 documentary, League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, he said, “You can’t go against the NFL. They’ll squash you.”

In a conversation with FRONTLINE, McKee said that her biggest challenge remains “convincing people this is an actual disease.” Whatever pockets of resistance still exist, she said, have primarily come from those with a “vested interest” in football.

“People want to make this just Alzheimer’s disease or aging and not really a disease,” according to McKee. “I think there’s fewer of those people, but that’s still one of our major hurdles.”

Usain Bolt stops interview to hear the U.S. anthem

It’s a Caribbean thing. From the first day of school it’s drilled into us to stop what we’re doing and immediately stand at attention for the national anthem. More so for the national anthem of another nation when showing deference.

he deserves all the medals that he earns need more people with respect like this. Seriously, he’s an amazing athlete and an amazing person. Just a really good example of a person doing everything right.

Jamaicans are taught to respect a nation’s anthem, even if it is not their own. This isn’t a deference to America, but just gesture of goodwill for another nation’s anthem in general.

I legitimately got a little misty eyed. Fuck, I love our national anthem. I’m pretty sure he was trying to sing along as well! Made me like him like that much more.

I was never sure if I liked him, but this solidified himself as deserving of all the credit he has ever been given. Even Jamaicans cannot resit the sound of freedom

It’s nice to actually see a foreign national actually respecting us enough to stand attentively and listen to the national anthem when it’s played. I’ve gone to a few baseball games with some of my fellow undergrads (they’re from ‘Inglin), and they talk to each other, keep their hats on, and are just generally disrespectful throughout the entire song. It really pisses me off. If I went to a sporting event in another country, I would at least be respectful enough to shut the fuck up and be respectful during the playing of THEIR anthem.

The Olympics are an international affair, and all countries are supposed to receive equal respect at all times. The fact that countries are expected to lower their flags is bullshit.

He asked if it was live because he also wanted to respect the interview because they can edit it out if it wasn’t, damn commie.

The Sandman Entrance – ECW One Night Stand 2005

It kinda sucks wwe didn’t pay for the rights to enter sandman for the network, tried watching it in better quality on the network and it is not Metallica what so ever

Drunk JBL immediately after: “That was great! Too bad he has to wrestle now…”

We need Grado vs. Sandman in a Fan Participation Karaoke match.

Explore the possibility of an Enter Sandman/Like A Prayer mashup.

Sandman always had a great entrances, but he couldn’t wrestle if his life depended on it.

It fit him perfectly though. He literally looked like a guy that you’d get into a barfight with. You can repackage people all you want, but there aren’t many wrestlers out there that have a style that goes all the way through to the gimmick.

That’s what Paul Heyman described him as. People didn’t care about how bad Sandman was, the 5 minutes of intro were good enough for a lot of people. That’s wrestling though and Heyman understood that. Not every match has to be a flippy shit fest with two midgets going at it in Japan getting 5stars.

always a great entrance and a complete shit wrestler but this particular one just felt really special because of the event itself was pretty much the best sendoff ecw could of gotten (to bad they and tna just couldn’t leave it alone after this but the next year had a great sabu and rey mystero match and the rvd moment)

it was great to experience that on live ppv, this was the thing that made me go back and watch old ecw because this i was around 10 when the ppv happened and my mom’s bf i guess watched ecw back in the day and had ecw barley legal 97 on ppv so after this i had to go back and watch that ppv and watch ever i could, now with the network i have everything to bad they aren’t uncensored with the right music

That’s one of those things that had to be absolutely amazing to experience.

I am completely unable to watch anything ECW related on the Network due to them changing the themes to some piece of shit bootleg crap. And don’t fucking tell me it’s because of music rights, I already know that. It doesn’t make it suck any less. It completely ruins the entire feel of the event.

Try watching a Gangstas match when the same fucking turd of a “rap song” plays for the ENTIRETY OF THE MATCH.

The dude next to Sandman a
t the beginning took Marking Out to a whole new level. He was beating himself up with the Kendo Stick!

I think when he returned in ’99 right before November to Remember was better. The ECW Arena went crazy when the lights came on and the Sandman was there

As one of the lucky ones to have been at ECW One Night Stand 2005 & 2006, I can fully agree that this Sandman entrance was one of the most epic moments with a crowd at any sports/wrestling/concert act ever.. I get chills when I remember how that energy level in the Hammerstein was off the chart!

Truly thankful that I was able to attend both of these events live.

I actually kind of wished they has used the Motorhead version of Enter Sandman since Vince wasn’t willing to fork out the money for the rights to use Metallica’s version on the DVD.

It actually does feed into the animosity towards Triple H (who has had three ORIGINAL themes done by Motorhead if you include Line in the Sand for Evolution). Plus the fact that Vince did pay for the rights to use The Memory Remains on DVD’s that have Tripe H vs Undertaker from WM 28.

David Beckham Crazy Pass

Beckham at Madrid was most definitely not his prime. This isn’t bias either, I think he peaked between 1999-2001 and got lost in his celebrity afterwards.

Once he started to believe he was a central midfielder and needed to move inside, he wasn’t anywhere near as effective. Beckham at his best worked like hell on the right and delivered great crosses. By sticking rigidly to the right, he freed up Giggs to wander on the left.

he way I see it is he was in his mid 30s when he came back, yes he wasn’t spectacular but that wasn’t what I was trying to say. I meant that he stepped up his game from the relatively low level (sorry Americans) of MLS- where he had dropped the ball on his career, to be able to play to a high standard in Europe.

I think the age he came back to Europe is the same age Gerrard is now he’s leaving for MLS, you’ve got to respect that.

I can’t really remember his performance against us, but we were trouncing them way before he came on. God I miss that United. He almost scored a cracking volley though didn’t he?

If I remember that tie correctly, the whole of AC Milan didn’t look like they could cope with top level football anymore. There’s not much sense in judging a player (or a team) solely off of a game and a half IMO.

when we need extra support in the middle. Most notably he started the 99 champions league final from centre mid – but this most mostly because Keane and Scholes were suspended.

He more often played centrally for England. For a number of years he was by far the best England player and was moved centrally to help the team when they lacked real quality down the middle.

Yeah I agree with you I didn’t phrase it correctly really, what I meant was he is another player am glad I saw in his prime (Man Utd title winning years) and think it’s sad when people say he is overrated or just an occasionally good player. He could change games and had so much to offer several teams with different mechanics, this pass wasn’t a one-off.

Beckham didn’t “believe” he was a CM for Madrid, he was placed there initially but he moved out right the next season and was there most of the time especially as Figo began to decline.

Becks was MOTM in the 2004 Clasico.

Peak Beckham may have been 1999-2001 but ask any Madrid fan he did quite well at the Bernabeu.

Beckham was the ideal outside midfielder to play wing backs. I will never forget the pace gary neveille used to put on as he passed to beckham them stonked forward past everyone. But as beckham could himself put the ball in a pin regardless it left defences so confused. Do we track neville or stay with the ball.

Beckham had the least superstar game for a player who was as marketed as him. He was a hard worker with a great cross and good passing. The one magical aspect that he had to his game was his free kicks. I remember when I he moved to LA I heard someone say that he won’t make the game bigger in America. Not because he won’t play well, but because he isn’t the type of player to score hat tricks and if he does score it’s never going to be spectacular unless it’s a free kick. He basically was kinda boring on the field with one or two great highlights here and there.

Simracing Moment

Reminds me when during the first lap of qualy I found out my gas pedal wasn’t working properly and I had only 80% of the power. In the next few minutes I had to fix the issue or I’d start last.
It was an awesome feeling when I managed to identify and fix the problem in 10 minutes and do 1 hot lap before the session ended.

It wasn’t nearly as awesome when my USB hub reconnected mid-race on IRacing with a damaged car. No FFB, no sound, no TrackIR (and I had to alt tab to the client to re centre it since the wheel buttons weren’t working) and all my pedals calibrated incorrectly. Needless to say I didn’t last very long. It felt very novel retiring from a virtual race due to literal mechanical issues though.

I’ll send it to him! From what I understand the difference is that OBD is only on newer cars, and has a set amount of things it can tell you depending on the brand?

This system uses mobile data, so if someone tries to break in to your car you can get a text or a call. And its accellerometer can tell if they try to put it on a truck. Then you can use the gps to track where they are taking the car, so I guess its a quite advanced alarm system in addition to the measurements..

They are just starting, but some of the places that I’ve heard about is that chevy, an offroad jeep, some streetrace cars and a tractorpulling team. I think I recall him talking about some boat as well.

DK2 is much better, easy to see where I’m going, but still waiting on more sims to support it. Currently only Live for Speed works with it but I think Assetto Corsa and iRacing will support it within a couple months. The developers or rfactor 2, the sim in OP’s vid, don’t seem interested in adding support until it’s more widely used.

The resolution is still a bit low and there is still a bit of a screen door, but the immersion more than makes up for it.

The dashboard will get cut off, but you don’t need that in a racing sim, because you can get all the info you need on the HUD. Seeing the track in realistic proportions is far more important, because this makes it easier to hit your marks and follow the racing line. Having a realistic FoV also makes corrections easier to pull off, because slight changes in where the car is pointing are much easier to spot.

I don’t actually play any flight sims, but I would assume that what you see in front of the plane is generally not that important, while the instruments in the cockpit are. As a result, using a higher FoV in a flight sim makes sense, but that does not mean the same is true in a racing sim.

It all worked perfectly as designed, but the idea that when I looked left my steering wheel stayed in front of me but the centre monitor now showed the left of centre view is just… wrong.

It might work better in Flight Sims or something that aren’t quite as time-sensitive, or have the need for having a feel for the direction of travel vs sliding/yawing. TrackIR in a box in London if someone wants to give me £5 and pick it up.

Big Show at No Way Out 2005

This was the pinnacle of what a great heel should be. I firmly believe JBL was the best and most traditional heel during the Ruthless Aggression era. He was always so much less impressive both physically, aesthetically and booking wise than the face but would always find some technicality to exploit and would rarely win cleanly. He may come off as moronic on commentary but I believe JBL has one of the greatest minds in wrestling and one of the smallest egos when it comes to the business side of things at least.

I agree wholeheartedly and I’ve seen quite fair share of wrestling mind you. Started around the time Austin won King of the Ring and been watching ever since (save for a break) and no one has really been a better heel than JBL. I mean as a testament I fucking loved APA and thought his Blackjack phase was pretty badass but he managed to get under my skin so much as JBL. Never have I ever been happier to see someone lose their title than with JBL. Will definitely give this a read.

Edit: Wow fantastic read and really hits the nail on the head when it comes to being an effective heel. JBL definitely has one of the best grasps of the business and really comes off as a wrestling nerd (in a good way). I wonder if he actually does anything behind the scenes and if not he should be like A.S.A.P, this man knows how to make money (in more ways than one come to think of it).

Revisionist history will cast this as a time in the WWE where JBL was killing it as the top heel but truthfully having sat through it all I can tell you that the over whelming crowd and fan base was bored out of their minds. What JBL describes is not a great way to make the crowd hate the heel character, it’s a great way to make them hate you as a wrestler. People genuinely hated JBL at this period and maybe the arugment can be made that this is the same thing a heel heat, but I don’t buy it. People were bored of him, he was boring, his promo’s were boring, his schtick was boring, his style boring, etc.

I look at a guy like JBL who believed that this was the best way to get over as a heel and then compare him to a guy like Kevin Owens and realize, what JBL was doing was lazy, it wasn’t quality heel work at all. He painted with the same broad brush in every city he wrestled in. Owens gives the people entertaining wrestling but he listens to the crowd, the type of “not giving the people what they want” that he works with is an effective style woven from actually listening to the crowd and playing it up.

You chant for Sami Zayn? I go out of my way to mock his injury in a match.

You want a high spot? I go through the effort to build that spot, tease it, and then take it away from you.

You decide you’re going to be edgy and join my corner as a fan? I make you seem like an idiot and blast you.

JBL’s heel work was again broad strokes. He’d basically tell you “You’re not getting a toy from me.”

Kevin Owens packs the crowd in his car, hypes them up the car ride, brings them into Toys R Us, breaks down why the toy is amazing, offers to buy it for you, takes it outside and breaks it in front of you. It’s actual genius heel work because it not only makes it impossible for anyone to cheer for him but does the next level heel thing of making it so much easier for the face to win the crowd over. All Balor has to do after Owens has teased and taken away is actually deliver and the fans love him.