SBS Film Vault: Over the Top

Written by :
Published on : February 24, 2017

 

 

Sylvester Stallone was straight killing the 80’s. He was stacking hit after hit while juggling multiple franchises. Sly was flying high. In 1987, he returned to the sports movie world but this wasn’t another installment of Rocky, this was a little diddy about a truck driver finally trying to do right by his son. It’s all about family but with a solid jolt of sweaty arm wrestling. Not only is Stallone the star but he also helped write the script so you know it’s good. Now, for your nostalgic viewing pleasure, the SBS Film Vault proudly presents Over the Top.

 

The Story

Stallone plays Lincoln Hawk, a trucker who is meeting his 12-year-old son, Michael, for the first time. Hawk picks him up from the military academy at the request of the boy’s dying mother who just wants the father-son team to finally meet. It’s a rocky start as Michael and Lincoln are worlds apart but the road proves to be bonding ground. At their first pitstop, Michael learns why Hawk is so famous. A rando challenges Lincoln to an arm wrestling match and Stallone goes to work. Michael loves it as much as we do.

 

over-the-top kid

 

There are many classic scenes and lots of action but in terms of story, this tale is about a father and son creating the framework for a real relationship. This is a sports redemption story but the redemption is about the modern American family, where maybe everything isn’t all perfect. This is the hero step-dad movie.“One great weekend can fix it all!” Oh, also there is also some big tournament in Las Vegas, because there always is some big random thing in Vegas. Life-changing prize money and a new Semi truck. How convenient.

 

Arm Wrestling

The first battle we see is Hawk vs. Smasher. Hawk draws him into the trap then rotates his grip and destroys. This is when we learn that Lincoln is not to be underestimated. The next match we see is Hawk’s son Michael against, let’s call him “Arcade Bully.” It’s best 2 of 3 and Bully wins the first. Lincoln gives Michael a pep talk and he wins the next two. It must be the good genetics.

 

After all that and a bunch of family stuff, we have the tourney in Vegas. Huge stakes, Hawk sells his truck and bets the money on himself. AKA the American Dream. The tournament is kind of like the end of Karate Kid, it’s a double elimination round robin. Meaning you gotta lose twice to be kicked out. Hawk loses early, using up his one life-line. But Stallone rallies like a mother. He kicks ass and makes it to the finals against the 5-time champ, Bull Hurley. A giant, bald, beast of man.

 

Over-the-top arm

 

Before the finals, we see a confessional style interview with Lincoln Hawk where he explains that when he turns his trucker hat around, it’s like a switch. That wakes the truck-sized engine in Hawk’s body. I could tell you how the last round goes but you know. Still go see it, because it’s even better than you imagined.

 

Hawk or Hawks?

While watching the film, half of the time it seems people say “Hawks” instead of “Hawk”which is the character’s correct last name. Makes me think that the issue was so bad on set that the editors just used the best footage and didn’t care if the names were wrong. At least everything was in focus. New drinking game: pick on of the two variations and drink every time they say the opposite. Either way, you get drukn.

 

 

This is the movie Stallone made after Cobra but before Rambo III, just let that venom sink in. Head-esplode! Sly for president. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the grandpa/bad guy is TV’s Robert Loggia. Stupid’s Alex’s favorite. Alright, your assignment for this week is to arm wrestle someone.

 

Switch.

 

 


Las Vegas Gets a Hockey Team

Written by :
Published on : June 24, 2016

 

Well, it finally happened. Las Vegas is getting a pro sports team. Maybe not the one they wanted, but it’s a start. I had previously explained why Vegas should never get a franchise but apparently, the NHL, its commissioner and its Board of Governors aren’t listening. Some of you may be asking “hockey in the desert?” but Las Vegas doesn’t care, they just want their own toys to play with. Plus, there are already teams in Tampa, Phoenix, Los Angeles and where ever the hell the Florida Panthers play.

 

First, can we just acknowledge that this hockey team is a big test for Las Vegas. Like if they do well here then maybe the MLB, NBA or even the NFL may see it as a realistic option for the future. It’s kind of like Home Economics class when they used to make kids take care of a baby doll as a weird parenting test. I still don’t think it’s a good idea to have pro squad in Sin City. So if Vegas wants to prove me wrong then it better take good care of that fake baby.

 

baby cart

 

There are just so many pitfalls in Las Vegas that could sink a player, coach, team or whole organization. Maybe the NHL was the easiest league to land but they are now the crash test dummy, and I don’t know if you’ve heard this before, but hockey players like to party. Most of them are crazy, fighting, drinking, millionaires from other countries who are here to work and have fun. They routinely get into brawls, destroy hotel rooms and engage in all-manner of wild debauchery. Let’s just remember Jarret Stoll from the Los Angeles Kings and his fun time at the Vegas pool.

 

Second, this is a new expansion team. That means the NHL will grow to 31 teams. That seems odd. Literally. Adding only one new outfit still doesn’t balance the realign they did not long ago. The last expansion teams were in 2000 but they added both the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets to keep things even. This big Vegas win is all thanks to billionaire, Bill Foley, who paid $500 million to the NHL to get a team in Nevada.

 

 Bill Foley

 

The Las Vegas crew won’t start playing until the 2017-18 season. But they will name the team near the start of next year so they can start selling merchandise. That means they don’t have an official name yet. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch some ideas for what the Las Vegas team should be called. They didn’t listen before but they can totally make up for it by using one of my great ideas for a name.

 

-The Las Vegas Hitmen

-The Las Vegas Skating Slots

-The Las Vegas Hotel Rooms

-The Las Vegas Buffets

-The Las Vegas Magic Shows

-The Las Vegas Pawn Shops

-The Las Vegas Street Walkers

 

Let’s keep the brainstorming going. Maybe the team can get a corporate sponsor so the whole rink is just frozen Smirnoff Ice. The Russian players will love it and all want to play there. Maybe then Pavel Datsyuk will stay in the NHL. Also, there should be slot machines in the stadium themed after each player on the roster. Did we mention every seat has bottle service? You got it, for $600 you get a bottle of vodka and some Red Bulls and maybe a few hotdogs. Classy.

 

This has disaster written all over it. But someone paid half a billion dollars to make it happen. In somewhat unrelated news, the city of Quebec’s application for an NHL team was deferred. They had all the credentials and correct paperwork but maybe lacked the palm-greasing capital. So hockey moves from Canada to Vegas, baby.

 

The Las Vegas team will get to enjoy an expansion draft where they can buy the contracts of players from your favorite team. Each organization can save a certain number of players but that will leave many on the trading block. Details of the expansion draft rules and other info can be found in this article from NHL.com.

 

Bust.

 

 


UFC 196: Best MMA Event Ever!

Written by :
Published on : March 7, 2016

 

Wow, just wow. What a night of top shelf fighting entertainment. UFC 196 was one for the record books. The pay-per-view saw major upsets, a belt changing hands and more than just a little blood. I’ll admit I haven’t seen all the other UFC events but my interest has been growing and I’ve been lucky enough to catch the last few. And hands down, this was the best night of fighting I’ve ever seen.

 

 

Going into the contest, the major storylines centered on champs Holly Holm and Conor McGregor. Holm famously knocked out undefeated Ronda Rousey in her last match to claim the Bantamweight Championship. It was her first defense of the title against Miesha Tate. Most gave Holly the advantage because of her longer reach and because she beat Ronda, who has already beat Tate twice. But fighting doesn’t work like that. You can’t assume someone will win based on similar opponents. It’s more Rock-Paper-Scissors than you think.

 

Miesha Tate is a baller. I didn’t originally think she had much of a shot but she earned my respect. She scrapped the entire time, took some damage but waited for the right windows and she made the most of them. Her takedowns were the difference maker. The scoring was close going into the final round and she knew she couldn’t leave it up to the judges. A quick move and the fighters were locked up. Tate got behind Holm and locked in the rear naked choke and it was over. Give Holly credit, she battled and escaped an insane second round to take back control but Tate was better in the end. Hats off. After it was over, I thought “there is no way to top that” but then the main event started.

 

 

I like Conor McGregor. He is funny, charming and looks like he is truly enjoying himself. I was pulling for him but Nate Diaz had other plans. These two got into right away and the fists were flying. Diaz didn’t look to be in great shape and Conor opened his face instantly. Seemed like this battle was going to be over soon. But then a funny thing happened, Nate didn’t go down. He kept getting rocked but never faltered. In the second round, another funny thing happened, Conor got a little tired, lowered his guard and got hit. Hard. That was the turning point. Diaz took over after that. A few brutal strikes and the dynamic completely shifted.

 

Nate Diaz got McGregor on his back, delivered some wicked blows before clamping into a chokehold. And just like that, it was done. I was stunned. Maybe Conor was too aggressive and wasted too much energy early on but the real takeaway is Diaz’ toughness. Man can that dude (his brother too) take a punch. His chin is granite. There is just no quit in him. I think that resiliency confused and frustrated Conor. Maybe it got in his head a bit. Either way, Diaz stayed on his feet and weathered the Notorious storm and deserved to win based on guts alone. Oh yeah and there was so much blood. Like Mortal Kombat amount of blood.

 

UFC 196 screen

 

This was a huge win for President Dana White and the rest of the UFC. It’s great to have stars like McGregor and Rousey but it’s better to have upsets and some real competition at the top. Those undefeated streaks need to end. This sets up great rematches and creates new and interesting stories to follow.

 

No, thank you UFC 196. It was truly epic. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

 

 

Pass the band-aids.

 

 


Why Las Vegas Will Never Get a Pro Team

Written by :
Published on : February 29, 2016

 

 

Los Angeles has finally got its own NFL team and who knows, maybe in another year they will have a second one. But what about Las Vegas? They would literally kill to have an NFL team or any pro franchise for that matter. The real question is: will any league be bold enough to move a team to Sin City? It’s a large market, there is money and celebrity there. I’m sure they could find investors for a stadium very easily but there seems to be an unspoken rule that everyone has agreed on to leave Nevada out.

 

Not every state gets a big four (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) team. Just ask Iowa, Nebraska, Alabama, Connecticut, Kentucky and 18 other states how it feels to be left out. That number is a little misleading because D.C. has pro teams but not technically Virginia. Also it’s the New England Patriots, so that covers all those little east coast states and it’s the Carolina Panthers so South Carolina has someone to root for but has to drive out of state to see a ‘home’ game. Still a large chunk of the country is forced to pick a neighboring state’s team as their own. After hearing that, it doesn’t seem strange that Las Vegas is teamless.

 

gronk-partying
                                                                            Gronk in Vegas 

 

I don’t buy that it is just a shortage of teams and not everyone gets one. The main reason Las Vegas doesn’t have a pro squad is because of concern with ethics and morality. Not a year goes by without a pro athlete getting in trouble in Vegas. It’s a playground. Any league or team owner is nervous about planting a franchise in the center of party hurricane. All of the big sports want to maintain a family friendly image and Vegas doesn’t fit that model. I know the city tries to appeal to everyone but the common perception is still hookers, gambling and drugs. That doesn’t fly with modern sports marketing.

 

I almost forgot the billion dollar elephant in the room: gambling. This is the other major hold up. How can the casinos and the league both expect there to be no insider information changing the betting lines if Vegas had a team? The temptation is too great. It’s just begging for some huge scandal that no one wants. Just imagine, a team doctor knows a player is hurt, maybe tips someone off or gets a friend to place a bet based on that knowledge. Yes, that can happen in any state but the access in Nevada makes it too easy.

 

pete rose bar
                                                                        Pete Rose’s Bar in Vegas

 

Look at Pete Rose, he is banned from the Baseball Hall of Fame for betting on the games. Some folks want to get Rose into the hall while most don’t think he has done enough to change his image. The guy still lives in Las Vegas. He is a gambler and that’s why the MLB won’t take him. If Pete ever wants into Cooperstown then he needs to move from Vegas and check into rehab for gambling. Once again, it’s about perception. People think if you live in Nevada then you spend all your time on the strip, in casinos and clubs. Whether it’s true or not.

 

At the end of the day, I can see how the draw could lead a team to move to Las Vegas but seeing all the potential potholes makes me think no owner will risk the money. If you were GM would you want your star player hanging around Vegas every weekend? Not me. There is simply too much temptation and too much that could go wrong. With all that said, I hear rumors of the Raiders making a Vegas bid. The city has also been courting NBA teams so only time will tell. But I’m saying it now, pro sports in Sin City is a bad idea.

 

Cash me out.

 

 


Warren Sapp: Scumbag

Written by :
Published on : June 27, 2015

Once upon a time Warren Sapp was just an opinionated clown who didn’t know what he was talking about; a hotheaded antagonist who got his kicks from happily skipping through the opposing team’s warm up session, getting into altercations refs and opposing coaches, and pretty much making a fool of himself. And for a while it was pretty funny.

This is the same man that claimed that the NFL was a “slave system” because he was fined $50,000 for running into an official before a game in 2003. Well Mr. Sapp, that same “slave system” helped you garner contracts worth an estimated $72.6 million between 1998 and 2004, so save us your sob story and claims of discrimination. A normal person would kill for the opportunity to earn that much money by doing something that they love. I suppose you would also suggest that it’s the system’s fault that you squandered those riches and had to file for bankruptcy in 2012.

Warren’s ludicrous claims about the structure of the NFL system and his money problems aren’t really the focus of this discussion though. What we are really here to talk are his alleged legal transgressions of the past few years. Transgressions that cement his status as a true scumbag, not just a loud mouthed buffoon.

Let me start by saying that in accordance with the foundations of our legal system, Mr. Sapp is indeed innocent until proven guilty (except for the crimes that he actually pled guilty to). But that’s not to say we can’t go over his alleged crimes and transgressions as evidence of his questionable character.

We will begin all the way back on February 6, 2010, the day before Super Bowl XLIV. Sapp was partying at the Shore Club Hotel in Miami Beach. An argument ensued with a female and she later alleged that Sapp choked her and threw her down. Upon further investigation, improprieties were found in the alleged victim’s account of the incident and the charges were dropped. While there was no further legal action, the damage was already done to Sapp’s public image and broadcasting career, and he was immediately terminated from his position at NFL Network.

After a couple of years the dust settled and he was given another broadcast gig at NFL Network. That is, until 2015, when the Super Bowl festivities and the month of February proved to once again be his Achilles heel.

This time Warren was charged with solicitation and assault on February 2nd for paying two women $300 each to perform sex acts and then roughing them up after an argument over the money. He wouldn’t get off the hook so easy this time, and later pled guilty to both charges in exchange for the completion of two separate counseling programs and payment of restitution to both victims. After all of this one would think that he would want to keep a low profile and stay out of trouble, but it seems that he just can’t help himself.

In what is becoming a common theme for the hall of fame defensive linemen, Warren Sapp was arrested on three counts of domestic violence after an April 28th, 2015 incident with his girlfriend at what the media has called a Las Vegas resort (in reality M Resort is 20 minutes outside of the city in Henderson); the same girlfriend who stayed with him after he was caught with two prostitutes. What a way to repay her for her dedication to him.

The latest incident featured Sapp throwing a drink in his girlfriend’s face, biting her finger, throwing a belt at her, and stepping on her face with his 300lb-plus frame. If that doesn’t scream scumbag I don’t know what does.

The media usually gives people at least one chance, if not more, when it comes to things like this. After the charges in 2010 were dropped, Sapp was given a second chance and after a few years he regained a place in the broadcast media world. Now he has begun to display a clear pattern of violence against women it’s hard to believe that the public will be so forgiving. And they shouldn’t be.

Warren Sapp faces up to 18 months in jail for his current charges and if you ask me he should serve every single day. There is no excuse for domestic violence and it is clear that he needs to be punished severely. No matter how you spin it, this man has a problem, and someone of his large physical stature presents a very real threat to the women around him. He could easily do great harm to most full grown men and the harm he could bring to a woman, should he keep on this path, could be deadly. He has grown into an abusive criminal, and there’s nothing funny about that. All we can do is hope he gets locked up and take solace in the fact that we will probably never have to hear his baseless, idiotic rants or see his stupid face on TV ever again.


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