Nats Rocky Start; Wiz Rocky Finish; WWE; + One More Thing

Stevie and Joe talk about all kinds of things on the latest episode of the DTC podcast. First, the Wizards are sliding into the playoffs seemingly ill prepared to face the Raptors or Celtics, while the Capitals are set to begin their championship chase with less pressure than years past. After that the boys get a mile wide and a mile deep on all things Nationals from pitching to hitting to the general sense of fear die-hard fans are starting to feel as the bats keep going cold… for Zimm, ice ice cold. Finally what would a S&J show be without some political chatter and a discussion about TV ratings including the dumpster-fire known as “GetUp” on ESPN. Tune in and share this podcast!

An American in England

In America, sports are life. Abroad sports are really expensive, and kinda weird too.


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Growing up in the United States, I was always surrounded by sports.  I grew up playing soccer from a very young age.  My dad was born and raised in Egypt which may have had a huge impact on him teaching both my brother and myself the skills and purpose of soccer while we were toddlers.  As we got older, he taught us not to use our hands to touch the soccer ball, he taught us to work as a team, he taught us how every player and position on a team is important no matter what.  These values were instilled in us since we were little and carried over into our youth, teenage, and adult sports lives.


It wasn’t just him though that taught us these values and lessons.  It was all the coaches, senior players, sports channels and competitions around us going on that pushed us to be better.  These skills we then took into our professional lives and incorporated into our jobs and friendships.  We learned how to help others that couldn’t help themselves.  We learned how to lead and take ownership when things didn’t go our way.  We learned never to give up because of how “big” or “tough” our opponent was.


So what is the point of all this?  It’s because I no longer live in America.  I no longer live in a country where sports are a massive part of my life.  I don’t work in a school that competes against other schools in several different sports like: basketball, American football, cross country, volleyball, baseball, and so many other sports.  Yes sports are played in schools and there are competitions, but they last only a few weeks and that is it.  The main sport is soccer, or football as it is called in the rest of the world including here in England.


This is the main sport that is really pushed for children to play.  There are other sports such as rugby, general athletics, tennis, cricket and netball that is played, but the attitude and competition is not as heavily focused on.  Hopefully this will give an understanding of why my worldview and opinion is what it is.


In America, I remember only having basic cable in one of my rooms from an old t.v.  But I also remember watching American Football games and basketball games in the evening before I went to bed.  On Sundays I remember watching hours of American Football after church with my friends at either someone’s house or at a sports bar.  I remember spending countless hours watching Baseball and American Football or Basketball, or overlaps of those sports come playoff time for some.  There was an endless selection to watch.


This was when we just had cable.  It started with ESPN, then ESPN2 then HTS, MASN, and so many other sports channels were added.  These were all included in our package.  I am aware that now there is NFL Pass and NBA and NHL passes to watch your favorite teams and more games.  But this is in addition to quite a few games already easily available and accessible.  At the time (about nine years ago now) the cost was about $60 a month just for cable without the additional passes.


Living in England now, it is completely opposite.  Yes there are sports and after the 2012 olympics there has been a push to get more clubs and different sports introduced to children, but it is not as televised.  In order to watch similar sports like in America, you have to purchase Sky Sports or BT Sports.  Depending on t.v. packages this can cost the equivalent to about $35 just for a few sports channels.  Understandable as well is that because of the five hour time difference between England and the East Coast of America, games start anywhere from 8pm here to midnight.  If a game lasts two hours, I would be awake until 2am and then have to wake up early for work.


For me the issue is the price paid for the amount of sports content provided.  If my t.v. package was £50 a month, and add another £25, I’m spending more money just for a few more sports.  There is an ESPN network here, but focused more on the British type sports as I mentioned above (with F1 and cycling included).


I guess I wanted more “free” sports to watch to push my children to be more competitive.  I want them to have more options and a variety of sports rather than be limited.  I want them to be pushed by coaches and teammates to better themselves.  I watch an EPL highlight show with them called Match of the Day and Match of the Day 2 with them.  This is just focused on football (soccer) and I watch and analyse what goes on with them.  These matches are aired on Sky Sports and BT Sports, and I am not paying the additional money just to watch matches on the weekend and occasionally during the week (unlike NBA, MLB and NFL games which are usually on daily from what I remember).


The push for sports is very different.  Where we have sports bars, they have pubs that televise soccer games (rugby as well is starting to grow in our area).  Where we have schools competing in numerous sports from a young age, they have the same, but on a smaller scale.  Where we had free sports daily, the only free sports we get are cup games (in soccer) or athletics.


It is not the fact that it is so different, it is just that it is not what I am used to.  I am not used to the sports that are aired, but it has taken me time to get into them and I will watch them, when they are aired for free at home.  I could go to the pubs to watch, but I’m used to watching sports from the comfort of my own home.


Overall I’m indifferent, now, to sports being aired here and which sports I consume.  I watch highlights on Match of the Day and Youtube channels for American sports.  What I miss is the constant sports news about what I am interested in.  If you’re just into soccer mainly and have the channels, great.  If you grew up in a culture where sports was so prevalent in almost every conversation from middle school to your professional career, then you will notice something is missing. And that something is very expensive if you want to have it back.


In short, my kids will view sports as a smaller part of their lives than I did. Sports outside of America just aren’t as important to the general public. Sports figures in America have real power because they are seen and heard my millions of people on a daily basis. I miss watching sports, I miss playing sports, but living abroad it just isn’t as important to me anymore and too expensive to keep up with. Don’t take your sports for granted America… and to the athletes that play them, you have a real platform and real power, be careful how you chose to use it.

The Money Fight; What’s Next?

I am Conor f-ing McGregor! I just made more money than thousands of people [combined] will see in their lifetimes. I am young, strong, healthy, and tremendously confident. I had my first professional boxing fight with one of the greatest boxers of all-time and almost put him down on a couple of occasions. Now, the million-dollar question, or rather 100 million dollar question, what do I do next?

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The answer: whatever you want. The UFC, the boxing world, and now even the WWE, all want a piece of Conor, and who would blame them? With the amount of money McGregor generates, he is going to have plenty of suitors. All this means, that Conor, can go where he wants and do what he wants. It doesn’t matter what he does, he will produce revenue, A LOT of it. Unfortunately, for those suitors, his price tag just increased tremendously too. While his fight with Mayweather produced a significant amount of press for the UFC and the sport of MMA, the ramifications, are not going to hit (no pun intended) them in pocketbook. McGregor is now worth considerably more, deserves more, and is no doubt, going to ask for more.

When you think about it, McGregor looked very good against an experienced all-time great. He won 4 out of the 10 rounds, connected with one hell of an upper cut in the first round (which was a sign that this was going to be a real fight), and almost knocked Mayweather out in the beginning of the of the 8th round. Conor for the most part held his own well until he faded in the later rounds. Some boxing purist would tell you that the fight was not a true boxing bout. True to a degree, but who cares? For the casual boxing fan, you couldn’t have asked for a better fight.

Now the flip…

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I am Floyd MONEY Mayweather! I am about to join the billion dollar club with the likes of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. I have a perfect boxing record that’s now better than Rocky Marciano’s record. I don’t have anything left to prove. I have my promotion company that’s going to ensure I stay rich. What do I do next?

The answer: retire. And stay retired! put the gloves up for good. What we witnessed on Saturday night was an old vet, who is finished. He looked old, he was slower, and he made a first time professional boxer look like he belonged in the ring with TBE (The Best Ever). At times, Floyd looked like he didn’t really want to be there or even cared about this fight. He let McGregor hit him with illegal hammer-fists and even grab him from the back. Where was the finesse? Where was the passion?

Truth is, it doesn’t matter. As a fan, we’re happy you saw a good fight and that your money was not wasted on a Mayweather vs Pacquiao type of bout. If you were Mayweather you were happy to make a whole lot of money and get to 50-0. If you were McGregor you were happy you made more money in one night than all your peers in the UFC will ever make, and you looked decent doing it.

From the beginning, this fight was about one thing, MONEY. It did not disappoint as the great spectacle that most thought it would be. That’s the thing though, it was just that, a spectacle. A lot of money was made for these fighters and the gap between boxing and MMA got a lot closer, that’s true. MMA likely has more eyes on it today than it did back in June, before the fight was announced, and so does boxing for that matter. What does it all mean in the end? It means two very smart businessmen just cashed in on millions of dollars made of off trash talking and hype. Now both men can do whatever they please… so did anyone really lose? If $100 million in the bank is losing… I hope I lose too, at everything… while laughing all the way to the bank!

Written by DTC Special Guest/Contributor: Mina “20”

Squared Circle Magic; The Fight

“He’s better than I thought” Those were words spoken by Floyd Mayweather after his mega fight with Conor McGregor, but it might as well have been spoken by anyone that watched it. While highly anticipated, no one really knew what to expect and most assumed that this was done as just another money grab by Mayweather and his team. After all, McGregor had fought as many boxing matches as me heading into this fight. Moreover, this fight felt hastily put together, set to occur only a couple of months after its surprise and stunning announcement in late June. Despite all of this, Mayweather-McGregor gave us all the highlights and excitement that Mayweather-Pacquiao failed to do.

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It was only a little over 2 years ago that Pacquiao fought Mayweather in what was then billed as the “Fight of the Century” Boy, was that a spectacular over-statement! After generating Pay-Per-View and ticket sales records, the only thing that the fight delivered was an endless stream of memes following the fight. It was became known as a disgraceful fight, one that many spoke about as the beginning of the end of boxing. Mayweather prevailed in a unanimous decision, but it felt like we all lost after that fight. When Pacquiao revealed after the fight that he’d injured his shoulder in training, boxing fans and commentators were furious given the profit that the fight generated for the superstar boxers and their promotion teams. Mayweather would go on to fight Andre Berto in September of 2015 and after easily handling Berto in another boring fight, Mayweather then called it a career with a 49-0 boxing record, matching Rocky Marciano’s record at the time of his retirement.

Even with all those facts, the atmosphere at the start of this fight was electric and the anticipation could be felt throughout the arena. Not even the PPV issues that delayed the start of the fight could bring down the hype as the boxers made their way to the ring. A decidedly pro-McGregor crowd brought an even greater level of energy and made you believe that Conor really had a shot, despite all that was said leading up to the fight. Conor seemed to feed off that energy in the first couple of rounds, generating palpable buzz about the prospects of him actually being able to pull this thing off. Conor looked loose, he looked locked in, and even displayed some of the cockiness that has made him of the biggest personalities in UFC. He taunted Mayweather at the start, putting his hands behind his back daring Floyd to attack. Throughout the first couple of rounds, Floyd displayed his typical defensive style, just trying to survive the onslaught at the start. McGregor looked strong, like he belonged, and that Mayweather was in for a tougher fight than expected.

The McGregor onslaught continued into the start of round 3 as he continued to mix in jabs and uppercuts that connected unlike anything that we’d seen on Mayweather in his last few bouts. After sitting back in typical Floyd fashion in the first couple of rounds, Mayweather changed his approach. Known as the greatest defensive boxer of all time, Floyd unexpectedly went on the offensive against McGregor. As if he remembered that Conor had never boxed before in his life, Mayweather began to deliver shot after shot to a stunted McGregor. Even more unlikely, Mayweather began to come forward, taking the fight to McGregor, more so than he had done in recent years. After being out-punched in the first few rounds, Mayweather became the aggressor and started landing more and more blows. The middle rounds of the fight brought even more Mayweather aggression as he continued to land blow after blow to the body and head of McGregor. After an early flurry, McGregor looked gas and was quickly fading.

An underrated storyline of this fight was the fact that McGregor had never before been involved in a fight longer than 25 minutes. Many of Conor’s fights ended within the first couple of rounds, one of them just 14 seconds into a fight. Even those that gave McGregor a chance because of his background in MMA were worried about his endurance should the fight go more than just a few rounds. The fatigue and exhaustion manifested itself as the fight got deeper and deeper; that’s when Mayweather began to assert his dominance. Starting in the 6th round, Floyd moved forward on Conor and began to methodically take him apart. It looked like it was only a matter of time before Mayweather finished him off. Staggered in the 9th round by Mayweather’s continuous assault, Conor was a sitting duck at the start of the 10th. Though he came out punching at the start of the 10th, McGregor finally wore down and Mayweather put together a combination that completely threw Conor off-balance and forced the referee to stop the fight. Mayweather had his victory, his place in history, and some redemption from his last couple of underwhelming fights.

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While it would be too premature to say that boxing is back, this fight went along way to reconciling some of the bad feelings that boxing fans had developed towards the sport in recent years. The excitement this fight delivered will go a long way towards revitalizing the sport. With another highly anticipated bout between Canelo Alvarez and GGG in only a couple of weeks, the sport will once again be thrust to the forefront of the sports world. For McGregor, this was a display of his resolve and his determination and put him in a huge spotlight with those not familiar with his work in the UFC. Despite the loss, this was a huge win for both McGregor and the UFC.

In spite of all the odds, the biggest winner was Mayweather. The fight that McGregor brought to the boxing ring quieted the talk about this fight being merely a money grab. With a win in a thrilling and intense 10 rounds, Mayweather showed his adaptability and malleability as a boxer even this late in his career. He won not by being defensive but by being on the attack, a nice change of pace from previous fights. While you won’t convince boxing purists that Mayweather’s record-breaking win should count towards his boxing record, the way McGregor battled made this feel more like a boxing match and less like a joke in their minds. Backed by this record-breaking win, Mayweather (as he announced in post-fight interviews) can finally retire as the greatest winner in boxing history.