Well it’s the early hours of Sunday morning and I’m surfing the net to see what’s taken place on the sporting landscape by way of the results as it relates to certain events . My day was spent in the company of one of my buddies as I accompanied him to watch his son participate in a karate contest. The event itself was a spectacle to watch, as there were kids of all ages competing . Think ‘The Karate Kid’ but with more of today’s attitude. In the end my buddy’s son didn’t make it beyond the first round of the competition. But his effort was a gallant one and I commended him on that. He in return promised that he’d do better the next time. And who am I , not to take him at his word ?
In so far as the day’s events panned out. In college football we saw a couple of upsets. Not that some weren’t expected. But the one that came as a complete surprise to me , was the defeat of FSU Seminoles at the hands of another instate team in the guise of the USF Bulls . The USF Bulls you might say ? Well in the Big East they’re a team that’s seemingly now on the rise and look for not only acceptance but also respect. Well South Florida’s totally unexpected but yet exhilerating defeat of the Seminoles 17-7 in Tallahassee , has got tongues wagging on the Bulls’ main campus in Tampa. What this win will do for USF’s program can’t be fully quantified. But one can expect that there’ll be a great deal of talk about the loss and why it happened. I for one think that on the day not only was this Jim Leavitt coached team ready . But their desire to win , was simply greater than that of the Bobby Bowden coached Seminoles. Wherein , a loss of this measure hasn’t been felt within Talllahassee, as it relates to one of the lesser programs within the state of Florida. The loss has to be a profound embarrassment for not only Bobby Bowden. But also for the Florida State Seminoles’ football program.
It’d be an understatement to claim that this program has regressed. Inasmuch , as Bowden is considered to be a great coach and the respect which he’s brought to the Seminoles’ program during his tenure. It must now be stated that for all sense purpose the game has now passed Bowden by. He may well be the figure head to the Noles’ fans. But as a coach in recent years , even with him having named a successor in Jimbo Fisher . The program if anything has taken several steps backwards. It now meanders between average and bearly consistent by way of the football now being played. Especially at their home venue of Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahasee, Florida. Long thought of a bastion of college football pre-eminence. For all sense and purpose the stadium and the fans are no longer viewed as a factor when it comes to intimidation.
The problems for the Seminoles on Saturday were far reaching. And it stemmed from their ineffectiveness on both sides of the ball when it came to their play. So much so, that USF were able to have their way with this team as they forced several fumbles and made the Noles’ quarterback , Christian Ponder fear for his life, each time he was in possession of the ball. He was harrassed throughout the game and his offensive line offered about as much protection for him as a wet piece of two-ply tissue paper would be to someone with a cold. He was sacked 5 times during the game and to add further to his own personal tales of woes. Ponder rushed for total net loss of minus 11 yards on six rushing attempts.
If fault is to be apportioned for this loss then a great deal of it has to be placed at Bobby Bowden’s door and that of his coaching staff. There’s no drive or determination coming from the team , much less there being any at all coming from Bowden, himself. He lauds over all that he surveys , still thinking that not much has changed from the glory days when one viewed Bowden and the program with a great deal of respect. And for the eighteenth ranked Noles , we’re liable to see them slip further down the rankings after this loss and in essence out of the national picture in terms of a major bowl appearance.
For coach Jim Leavitt and his USF Bulls’ program this gives them something to build on. No one essentially thought that the’d be able to go up to Doak Campbell Stadium and seemingly make the impossible happen . But they did and they’re to be commended for it and the effort put forth. They played with such zeal that it was hard to discern which was the ranked team and which one was not. It was if Bowden’s players were like several deers caught in headlights as they attempted to cross the road in-front of oncoming traffic. As the game progressed and with the team not being able to make a play of any substance. The nightmare was about to become a reality for the Florida State Seminoles.
It’s not often that I’m made to eat my words concerning a boxing match. I think of myself as someone who’s knowledgeable enough about the sport. And certainly this wasn’t the case surrounding the events that took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. On Saturday night WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (38-2, 37 KO’s) successfully defended his title against the challenger Chris Arreola (27-1, 24 KO’s) in a bout that was scheduled for twelve rounds.
I looked at this fight as a chance for the challenger in the form of Arreola to live up to the hype. But unfortunately the only thing that the challenger managed to live up to. Was the fact that always a tin can then you’re liable to be pounded like one. The effort put forth by Chris Arreola was about as banal as they come. He showed little if anything of a fighter who wanted to defeat the incumbent champion. His performance was lackluster and devoid of anything worth mentioning.
And at a time when the sport and in particular the heavyweight division yearns for someone to come along and show some moxy. Unfortunately for the fans in attendance at the Staples Center and those watching at home or from whatever else venue that they chose. Arreola forgot the presence of mind to bring his moxy into the ring and put it on display against Vitali Klitschko. The champion for his part put up a clinical display of boxing. Albeit , that it wasn’t necesssarily artistic in its portrayal. He dissected his opponent with ease using his jabs and a flurry of upper cuts as and when needed.
On appearance this bout had the basis of being an action packed event. Both boxers were known for their punching power. And the chances were that we were going to see that on display from both. I’d mentioned this in passing to an acquaintance of mine. Chris aka sportshchump (http://sportschump.net) as he’s known around the blogosphere. I’d remarked to him ,that this bout would in effect either be a barnburner with a great deal of action. Or it’d end up being a bore and complete snoozefest ! . Unfortunately my prognostication proved to be true , because what action that took place in pursuance of this title fight , only came from the champion, Vitiali Klitschko.
The bout itself lasted ten rounds . Wherein, the champion bewildered his opponent by simply jabbing away at his torso. In particular wit a flurry of body shots and occasionally taking aim at Arreola’s often open guard -making use of his head as a pinata. As alluded to earlier , the challenger offered up little in the way of resistance or determination. And this lackluster performance in all honesty does nothing to legitimize the health of the heavyweight scene. Vitali Klitschko can’t be blamed for his opponent’s lack of will or presence of mind to fight. I place this squarely on the shoulders of the promoters and the sancitioning body for this particular event. Dan Goossen ,as the promoter and the World Boxing Council (WBC) have once again shown us why the sport is on a downward slide into oblivion. It won’t be long before a sport such as dwarf tossing will outstrip the sport of boxing in terms of its popularity. One can surmise that they believed Arreola to be the #1 challenger for Klitschko’s title. But in all honesty this bout was hastily put together, merely to avail the promoter and sanctioning body a way of making untold millions in terms of selling the broadcast rights of the bout worldwide. Had they really sought some real credibility in making a desired match. Then they’d have gone about their job with a great deal more diligence.
Two sporting events that took place on the same day. In both cases , each in their own way failed to live up to expectation. Merely because one of the participants in each event didn’t all have have the stomach to be competitive. Nor did they have much to offer by way of an apology to their fans. Hell can’t have frozen over , so what did I actually miss here ?
NB : Should you at all be interested in seeing my original article concerning this bout and my prognosis on it all. Then just click on the text link provided below.