Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway
Source: Haiku Deck

Thursday, February 27, 2014

ZHGB-TV: Biography of Barbara Eden- The Baby Jeannie Comes to America's Homes

Source: ZHGB-TV-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

There is much more to Barbara Eden than her hot baby-face looks but it is really difficult for me to get past that and her role as Jeanie on the NBC hit 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeanie. I have, I believe, three seasons of it on DVD, even though it went off the air about 5 years, before I was even born, but when I think of Barbara, or Barbie as I call her, I still remember that baby face she still has today as she now approaches the age of 80 years.

When it comes to sexy women and not just little baby cuties who look like little girls their whole lives, but sexy developed women who still have baby faces, Barbara Eden may be the cutest woman to ever come out of Hollywood.  If you combine that with great, quick comedic wit and timing and the ability to be adorable and funny at the same time while still knowing what the hell she is doing, you are talking about a great entertainer, with fans always coming back for more.

What comes to mind about Barbara Eden as well as her movies like Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter with Tony Randall and Jane Mansfield, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea with Walter Pidgeon, Five Weeks in a Ballon, and other movies that I believe led to I Dream of Jeanie in the mid-1960s is that people appreciated her looks and her great comedic wit and timing.
ZHGB-TV: Barbara Eden Documentary

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

67 Stats: Video: Jerry Jones vs. Jimmy Johnson: The Story of Jerry's Cowboys

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

As good as the Dallas Cowboys were in the 1990s with their three Super Bowl championships, three NFL championships, four conference finals appearances, and five NFC East titles and a lot of playoff victories, they could've been so much better had Jerry Jones gotten out of Jimmy Johnson's way and let him run the Cowboys' football operations department concerned with who was on the team and so forth and let Jerry worry about what Jerry is good at, which is managing the finances.

Jerry Jones had and still has the title of General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys even though he is also the owner of the franchise. But everyone in and around the NFL, and the fans as well, knew who was calling the football personal shots in Dallas, which was Jimmy because Jimmy was making the personal decisions, which was part of his job and in his contract. Jerry handled the contract negotiations of players that Jimmy wanted to sign and bring back but the Cowboys of the 1990s were built by Jimmy Johnson.

Jerry Jones wasn't an NFL man before purchasing the Cowboys in 1989.   He was someone who learned very fast on the job, but Jimmy Johnson was his man to run the team and they had been childhood friends in Arkansas. Jerry knew Jimmy's college football career very well at Miami Florida and in Oklahoma and had the guy he wanted all along, but he couldn't handle Jimmy getting the credit for building the Cowboys and returning them to power in the 1990s.  That is why they broke up.

In 1989 Jimmy Johnson inherited a 3-13 Cowboys team from 1988 with a huge deficit when it came to talent, especially young talent and young veteran talent, with most of their star players making their mark in the 1970s and early 1980s. Jimmy saw this right away and decided that the best way to rebuild the Cowboys was to get worse before getting better and releasing or trading or asking veteran Cowboys to retire to make room for college draft picks and young talented free agents.

The Cowboys went from 1-15 in 1989 to 13-3 by 1992, winning back-to-back Super Bowls in 1992 and 1993 and doing it all through the draft and signing young talented free agents and trading for those players. That is how Jimmy Johnson rebuilt the Cowboys and he deserves most of the credit for this.  Had Jerry Jones' big fat ego not gotten in the way, Jimmy would be in Dallas probably 10 to 15 years and we are talking about perhaps the greatest NFL dynasty in history.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Boxing Universe: Video: ESPN's SportsCentury Evander Holyfield: The Warrior Who Wouldn't Quit

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I don't believe Evander Holyfield is an underrated boxer or an overrated boxer but he gets the respect that he deserves from the fans and media people who've covered his career and are familiar with it.  I've seen most of his fights as a heavyweight because he became a heavyweight when I was in junior high and high school in the late 1980s and early 90s. He gets the respect that he deserves as a four-time World Heavyweight Champion and a warrior whom you literally had to beat the hell out of to stop because he didn't know how to quit.

Evander Holyfield was a beefed-up heavyweight unlike a Muhammad Ali, George Forman, or Larry Holmes, who were simply born to be heavyweight boxers as well as champions. Evander wasn't born with that type of body even though he was 6'2", which is a good height for heavyweight boxers, but was still fighting at 185-190 pounds in his mid- and late twenties and bulked up and got to 205-210 by the time he started fighting as a heavyweight because he was dominating the cruiserweight division as the world champion and needed bigger stronger competition, which is what he got.

Evander, not being the natural heavyweight that he was, had to go through a vigorous training program to put on the legitimate muscle so he could not only fight as a legitimate heavyweight but also as a strong, successful heavyweight. By 1989 he was not a knockout artist who could take you out in a couple of punches but someone who could avoid getting hit and take huge punishment, as he did against George Forman and Riddick Bowe, but also beat the hell out of you with a variety of different punches from a variety of different angles with great hand-speed and solid punching power.

One good thing about Evander's career was that he was in the prime of his career as a heavyweight in the last good decade of the heavyweight boxing division in the 1990s, which meant he was in a lot of great fights, and it's the warrior in him taking on these bigger stronger fighters like George Forman, Larry Holmes, Buster Douglas, Riddick Bowe, Michael Moorer, and Ray Mercer and later in his career, Lennox Lewis, that empowered him not to take on a lot of these fighters, but to beat most of them simply by always going at them and refusing to be beaten.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Learn How to Box: Video: FOX Sports: Beyond The Glory Documentary Joe Frazier

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Joe Frazier was called Smokin' Joe Frazier, but I call him Iron Joe Frazier, even though Mike Tyson now owns that nickname, but that is exactly what Joe was.  He came from a generation before Iron Mike. But Joe Frazier had that iron face, neck, head, and hands.  He descended from sharecroppers in South Carolina and made it up to Philadelphia, where he learned how to box in the 1960s.  He was an Olympic champion at the 1964 Summer Olympics.

Joe Frazier had an iron body and came from a hard-scrabble environment that gave him an iron mentality.  No one was going to stop him. I believe that is what primarily contributed to Joe Frazier's style as a boxer.  He would close off the ring, especially against tall fighters, and you have to know that Joe Frazier was 5'10," if that.  Joe did cut off the ring and went right at you and dared you to stop him.

Joe Fraizer had an iron face and neck to go along with iron fists, and when he hit you, he broke bones and dared you to hit him back, and what you had to do was to basically try to kill him before he killed you. Which is what Muhammad Ali did to him in Ali-Frazier III and what George Foreman did to him when he beat him for the World Heavyweight Championship in 1973:  punch Joe as hard as you could over and over to prevent him from hitting you.

Learn How to Box: Video: FOX Sports: Beyond the Glory Larry Holmes

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Larry Holmes is the Rodney Dangerfield of heavyweight boxing, but he also deserved a lot of respect, because we are talking about one of the top three to five heavyweights of all time, who beat everyone in his prime except for Michael Spinks, a fighter he should have beaten. But if you look at the list of opponents he beat in his career, it is right up there with the list of Muhammad Ali when you are talking about Ken Norton, Ernie Shavers, Leon Spinks, Gerry Cooney, and many others.

A good way to look at the dominance of Larry Holmes is to look at the fact that he was the boxing heavyweight champion of the world for 7 years, from 1978 to 1985, when he lost to Mike Spinks for the first time. He was one of the most talented and intelligent boxers of all time, a huge man with great power and a devastating jab who pounded his opponent the whole fight until he finally fell.

The reason Larry's qualities are overlooked is that he was unfortunate enough to pop up in the same generation or era as Muhammad Ali, who is perhaps the most popular heavyweight of all time as well as the best. And another reason has to be the fact that Muhammad and Larry were similar fighters in style--tall, strong guys with agility and great jabs. Unfortunately, he lost to Mike Spinks, a bulked-up heavyweight, and lost that fight plus the rematch to Spinks because he fought with an inadequate strategy and moved far too much when he should have just pounded Spinks the entire time.  Fighters forfeit respect when they lose to people they were expected to dominate.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Paul Woods: Video: CFL 1994-Week 1: Baltimore Stallions @ Toronto Argonauts: Baltimore First Game in the CFL

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The first Canadian Football League game ever for the City of Baltimore, Maryland, which was starving for major league pro football again to the point they would take a CFL franchise to show they can and will support good pro football. This is not a shot at the CFL, of which I'm actually a fan and watch their games in America, but Baltimore is one of the greatest pro football cities in North America, with a long proud rich tradition. It is the only city to win the NFL Championship, including three Super Bowls, the United States Football Championship in 1985 with the Stars, and the Canadian Football League's Grey Cup in 1995 which you could make the case was the North American gridiron pro football championship in 1994 and 1995. The Baltimore Stallions played both games against the Vancouver Lions in 1994 and the Calgary Stampeders in 1995.

1994-95 was the final chapter in the Baltimore journey to be an NFL city, again by not only getting the Stallions as an CFL expansion franchise, but supporting them very well, and I believe they even led the CFL in attendance. Keep in mind an American franchise leading the Canadian Football League in attendance, but they wanted the NFL back in Baltimore so much that they would support another style of gridiron football from another country.

Thanks to the CFL and football fans of Baltimore and the State of Maryland in general and perhaps the Delmarva area and Southern Pennsylvania, Baltimore proved that they were an NFL-caliber market again after losing the Colts in 1984 and losing out on NFL expansion in 1993, that the NFL was losing money by not having a franchise in this great football city and market, and that the State of Maryland deserved its own NFL franchise again as well.  Now it has two:  the Ravens and the Redskins, who play about 40 miles apart from each other.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

XFL 2001: Video: XFL 2001-Week 2-Las Vegas Outlaws @ Memphis Maniax: Full Game

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Well I’ll give the Xtreme Football League as it was called not my name for it, but what they called it credit for a few things actually. But the first one not being their best credit. Is that combining pro football that is major league football NFL talent all over the XFL with pro wrestling was an interesting concept. But something that will probably never be done again for good reason. World Wrestling Entertainment Vince McMahon’s company are the people who produced this league and the games.

The XFL didn’t die after one season because they lacked talent or didn’t have the right coaching or anything really having to do with football. The XFL died because it was run by WWE. And having WWE personalities all over the league and turned the XFL in not so much a pro football league. But a celebrity reality show that was designed to look like a concert or a show and not football games. Which is not what football fans want to see which is football.

If you are familiar with the WWE and what they do and then watch a XFL game, the only thing that is different about either show is that instead of watching pro wrestling you are watching what is supposed to be pro football. But with all of these wrestling personalities involved in the production. And their little wrestling segments involved in the programs as well. Instead of seeing a serious pro football game and show that is only about pro football.