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The Pro Wrestler Part 4 (A real story, not a Hollywood story)

Part 4 in the series

By: Mr. Holmes

Needless to say I was very nervous walking to the school; so many thoughts were running through my head.  I thought if I could just get in the ring and take that first bump maybe I would be ok.  The school started at six. Of course, I got there at 5:30 as I had no idea how long it would take for me to walk down there.  Mike was not there and neither were any of the other students. But, who was there was all the muay thai students setting up the ring at the gym.

It was my first day so I did not know who to talk to or anything. So, I was standing there waiting for Mike when this asshole comes up to me and says, “Get out of here you fat fuck.”  At this point, I kind of freaked. I was a young kid and not very confrontational so I just said “fuck this” and left.  I have become much harder since then and if that same thing happened today I probably would be in jail for assault.  What saddens me is that I never ran into that guy again for the whole year. Maybe he died or maybe he moved. In all the time of me going to that school I never saw him again.

I walked home like a little girl and started to pack my bags when there was a knock on my door. It was Mike; I explained what happened to him, (I left out the part of the muay thai guy shaming me) telling him I was there and nobody else was so I told him I thought I went on the wrong day.  He said he was just running late that day and I should start tomorrow at six.  In a very odd way, Mike Shaw always had the ability to calm me down and make me believe in myself without ever being an asshole. I think he knew my psyche right away and knew what I was going through.

The next day, I got to the school the same time Mike did.  We talked for a while and we walked in the school.  Some of the other students were there and already in the ring warming up taking different moves.  Some were working on hip tosses.  A hip toss is when one person sticks his arm underneath the armpit of another and flips him over so one person is lying flat on their back.  The person taking it basically does a front flip with the person giving the maneuver guiding them over.  I thought, no way my 380 pound (at the time) fat ass could flip over; boy was I dead wrong.   I barely touched any of the other students that day.  Mike got in the ring with me and started showing me the very basics like locking up, running the ropes, taking bumps, and basic chain wrestling.  I would see and learn later on that this was very rare for Mike, as he hardly ever physically got in the ring. The first day went very well; I was kind of a natural at it.

I was a natural at it because of countless hours of studying wrestling tapes from all over the world.  I watched all wrestling shows and tapes twice–the first for entertainment as of course I was a huge fan, the second in slow motion to study how they did things.   I was ahead of the game before I even stepped foot in the ring.   I studied all information on the internet, television or in magazines on pro wrestling in preparation for wrestling school.

Before I get back to the story, I owe thanks for much of my early prep to the person who is (besides my wife of course. Don’t get mad honey!) my best friend in the entire world, my first cousin Steve.  When we were little kids growing up we would “fake wrestle” at the backyard of grandparents’ bar, Joe’s Lucky 13.  Steve was the best athlete that I had ever seen.  He was an outstanding amateur wrestler and played varsity baseball as a freshman. The list goes on and on. He loved watching pro wrestling.  He got me into it.  He was five years older than me and we were both only children at the time, so I was his de facto little brother.  He terrorized me for years when we were kids, making me fake wrestle all the time with him when I didn’t want to.   I got the snot kicked out of me by Steve when we were kids but I never hated him. He was my hero and my role model when I was growing up and in writing this I am so happy he did that.  He made me into a man and developed my love for pro wrestling.  He taught me how to play every sport and to be tough.  I just want to thank him here and say I love you.  I could not have had this amazing story and fulfilled my dreams without youimage.

So, I was a natural on day one. Then I got my clock cleaned taking a clothesline from this 5ft 11′ blond haired kid who weighed maybe 160 pounds at the time.  I thought to myself, who is this asshole and by god does he know this is entertainment?!  He called himself Supreme Brett Powers and he talked like he was a game show host.  Needless to say I was not fond of him the 1st day I met him.  Given time, though, I became so close to him that he stood alongside me the day I was married.  That story comes next week…thanks for reading!

October 6th, come to Escanaba, MI at the Delft Night Club for UPW Pro Wrestling featuring the King of the U.P. tournament and watch as Judge Jesse and Mr. Holmes take on Romeo Valentino and Vito Von Guido in a Police Brutality Match (handcuffs and nightsticks are legal) for the UPW Tag Team Championship. Doors open at 6:00p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Check out UPW’s page for more info: http://www.upwprowrestling.com/

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2012 Fantasy Football Prep 101: Sleepers and Busts

Sleepers by definition are typically players that outperform their generally perceived value. Now some people think that sleepers are players that few people have heard of and might be fantasy football relevant.  I would call those type of players deep sleepers and in a league of 10 to 12 teams deep sleepers do not usually need to be considered until they “wake up”.  That being said here are my sleepers for the 2012 fantasy football season.

SLEEPERS

Brandon Pettigrew: He very well could be the Rob Gronkowski, or at the very least, Jimmy Graham of this season. He is on a pass first team with a top quarterback. He has a top flight wideout beside him to take some of the attention of the defense and he has received increased redzone looks.

John Skelton: He should beat out a very pathetic looking Kevin Kolb to become the starter in Arizona. That being the case he will have an outstanding wideout to throw to in Larry Fitzgerald. Last year the Cardinal quarterbacks threw for nearly 4000 yards and 21 touchdowns. Building off the experience from last year he should be able to improve those TD numbers and cut down on the INTs.

Greg Little: Brandon Weeden is an unknown quantity. What is known is that he should be throwing the majority of his passes to Little. With the addition of a legitimate running back in Trent Richardson the passing game should be better than last year when Peyton Hillis was hurt for much of the year.

Cedric Benson: The Green Bay Packers signed the veteran running back. Normally someone signed this late in the preseason is just roster fodder or battling for a backup spot. Not in this case. Alex Green is coming off a knee injury and James Starks has yet to show that he can be a starter in the NFL. I think Benson will push Starks and eventually take the starting job. In the very least he will get the majority of goalline carries something that the Packers were unwilling to give to Starks last year.

Kyle Rudolph: Another tight end on the sleeper list. Why? Well because tight ends were fantasy gold last year if you were lucky enough to have one of the top ones. I think that Mr. Rudolph has a chance to join the low end of those top tight ends. This is because his quarterback, Ponder, needs a safety blanket like Rudolph to throw to. I expect Rudolph to get a lot of redzone looks this season.

Antonio Brown: I know many of you are thinking how can Brown be considered a sleeper. He had over 1000 yards last season, but only 2 touchdowns. I expect that number to go up, dramatically. This should be especially the case considering his chief competition for touchdowns has been a hold-out for much of training camp.

Robert Meachem: He has Phillip Rivers as his quarterback. There is no established #1 receiver in San Diego and I think that Meachem will end up being Rivers primary target all season.

Doug Martin: Tampa Bay is ready to make a change. They are tired of Blount, especially the fumbles, and will look to give Martin a chance to prove himself. I think Martin takes that chance and runs with it. 1000 yards and 8 TDs is not out of the question if Blount is completely out of the picture. That might not happen so 700 yards and 5 TD might be more what happens. Still worth a late round flyer.

Tim Hightower: Looked like he would be the man last year for the Redskins and then he got hurt. He is still recovering from that injury but I believe come the 1st week of the season Hightower will be the starter and primary goalline back. The only concern is the injury and the potential of RG3 of stealing goalline plunges.

Willis McGahee: McGahee had a decent season last year losing opportunities to the likes of Knowshon Moreno, Lance Ball and Tim Tebow. He now has a legitimate threat in quarterback Peyton Manning to take eyes off of him. This could be the chance McGahee has been waiting for.

A bust by definition is a player that under performs compared to common expectations. That being the case here are my fantasy football busts for the 2012 season.

BUSTS

Torrey Smith: Smith will get the majority of the defensive game planning geared towards him in pass defense. With Boldin showing his age defenses will key on Smith. Couple this with Ray Rice in the the backfield and I do not see Smith having a season close to last year. Expect a big regression.

Matt Forte: Forte got paid. Last year Chris Johnson got paid and look what happened. The biggest concern looking at Forte is the addition of Michael Bush to the Bears’ roster. Bush will steal carries especially around the goalline. This will diminish Forte’s value immensely.

James Starks: The addition of Cedric Benson to the Packers’ roster says two things. One, that the Packers’ running backs are not very healthy right now. Two, that the Packers’ are not convinced Starks can handle the load. Last year Starks was less than impressive in a shared backfield. I think he is looking at sharing a backfield again if not losing out entirely and becoming a backup.

Andre Johnson: He will get his yards if he stays healthy but he has yet to have a season with double digit touchdowns. People continually place him in the upper class of receivers but unless you are in a league the really rewards receptions and receiving yards over scoring he just does not justify that status.  Additionally he is coming off an injury that might slow him down this year.

Maurice Jones-Drew: Two words HOLD OUT. Hold outs rarely turn out for NFL players. This is especially the case for NFL running backs. IF he plays this year he will be a shadow of his 2011 self. I would stay away from any hold out player. The longer the hold out the farther away I would stay.

Percy Harvin: Migraines! Plain and simple he will miss games. Everyone sees him as this tremendous value as a deep threat and return man but his inability to stay healthy combined with a run first offense led by Christian Ponder means that his value is less than many other receivers that might not be household names.

Tim Tebow: Tebow-mania aside his have very little fantasy value. You do not get points for having a quality locker room guy on your squad. People he is a backup quarterback. If somehow he is able to unseat Sanchez this is about what you can expect maybe 1800 yards and 10 passing touchdowns, 600 yards and 5 touchdowns rushing. If that sounds good to you go ahead and snatch that up. He reminds me a lot of the next player on the list, Mike Vick.

Mike Vick: Another player that continually gets overvalued. Vick had career seasons in 2011 and 2010. He passed for a career high in yards in 2011. In 2010 he passed for a career high in touchdowns  and rushed for a career high in touchdowns.  Based on his 2010 season people were expecting more. They shouldn’t have. Prior to joining the Eagles, Vick had never passed for over 3000 yards or over 20 touchdowns. Now many would point to running ability as the counter to his lower passing numbers.  The yardage is nice but aside from 2002, 2006 and 2010 he has not rushed for more than 3 touchdowns in a season. The 9 he had in 2010 was a career high which was previously 8 in 2002 when he was a much younger man.

Mike Wallace: Same thing as MJD, he is a HOLD OUT! In his absence Antonio Brown has asserted himself as a go to receiver. It may be just my perception but players that hold out seem to get hurt and have sub par years. I could be wrong.

LaGarrette Blount: He is on his last legs in Tampa Bay. They may give him the chance to start the season as the #1 but I feel that he will be solidly outproduced by Martin.

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2012 Fantasy Football Prep 101: Wide Receivers

Now we proceed on to the wide receiver position. This is typically considered the 3rd most important position on any fantasy football team. I would argue that this is no longer the case. I think in the pass first/running back by committee world in which we now live in wide receivers have taken a much more important role in the world of fantasy football. I think this is especially the case with the top end elite receivers. The argument can be made that  receivers are a dime a dozen and can be gotten cheap in the late rounds. True for your run of the mill average receiver, but not of the elites. In the end it might just depend on how your league is set up. In many leagues the teams start two WR and two

Starks: I’m a starting RB in the NFL that makes me more valuable than any WR in fantasy football.

RB. In this situation it may be that RBs are more important because they are typically more consistent, but in the Pabst and Blatz Fantasy Football League we  start three WRs. Now I think because of this WRs are more important in our league because I could have 3 dynamic top tier receivers in my lineup especially if everyone else is going the tried and true method of running back then quarterback early on in the draft. I would put up three top tier WR against two good RBs and a middle of the road WR any day of the week. In the end it’s the team with the most points that wins. It doesn’t matter what position scored the points.

So as before to properly prep we should look at how the players panned out the year before. Below are the 2011 stats , including scoring totals based on the Pabst and Blatz FFBL scoring system. 1 point for every 25 yards receiving, 1 point

Jennings: Are you going to tell him or should I?
Rodgers: Let the kid have his moment.

for every 25 yards rushing, 6 points for every touchdown rushing, receiving or returning. Other ways receivers can score in our league are catching conversions, running in conversions, and passing touchdowns. As for the large majority these are not significant numbers I have not included them in this analysis. It is important to note that many leagues have now begun awarding points for number of receptions. If this is the case, receivers take an even more important role in the world of fantasy football. Last year’s stats:

Calvin Johnson, aka Megatron, was the class of the field last year. He was joined by, no surprise,  a Packer wideout in the top 2. The surprise was that it was Jordy Nelson and not Greg Jennings. Now we had some players that we have come to expect in the top performers like Larry Fitzgerald, Vincent Jackson and  Wes Welker. There were some surprises like the afore mentioned Jordy Nelson, Victor Cruz, Laurent Robinson and a comeback from Steve Smith. Biggest letdowns were from Dwayne Bowe, Anquan Boldin, Mike Williams and Santonio Holmes. An argument could be made that Reggie Wayne was a big disappointment, but people should have seen that coming with the QB situation in Indy.

Now let’s take a look at some projected stats for the upcoming year. Here are some of my own devising:

The projections show 5 tiers. Tier one players should be drafted early. Now if you are doing your draft strategy old school that means take your first WR in the 3rd or 4th round. If, on the other hand, you heed my advice I would take any of the players in the 1st or 2nd round. Tier two players could be taken as high as the 3rd round, but look to pick them up in the higher mid rounds. Tier three players you could take a flyer on in the high mid rounds otherwise take them in rounds 6, 7 or 8. Tier four players should be taken in the final rounds of a draft. The one good thing about receivers is that there are a lot of them so you may find some value in rounds 13, 14 and 15. Tier 5 guys probably should not be on your roster unless your are playing a gut feeling that this could be the year. These guys can be picked up off the wire IF and when they become relevant.

Brian Hartline: Wait, wait, wait…. you are telling me that I’m not relevant!
Me: Yes
Hartline: Oh, OK

Again Calvin Johnson is projected to be the top fantasy performer at wideout. I firmly believe that there is no way in this world that he can match his yards and/or touchdown totals from the year before. Still he has been a solid performer in the past and if Matt Stafford stays upright he could have another big year. Jordy Nelson and Victor Cruz are #2 and #3 on the list but take caution as both share the roster with another very good receiver that could steal some of their thunder.

Keep and eye on: Brandon Marshall could be looking at a very good year. One reason, he will have a competent QB. The second reason, the QB is the same one that used to huck the ball to him in Denver when he was fantasy relevant. In a chuck and duck offense Jay Cutler finally has some one to chuck to. Robert Meachem  could have a good year in San Diego, as well as, Darrius Heyward-Bay in Oakland.

Rookies:  Justin Blackmon might have a decent year in Jacksonville if they find someone that can throw a pass. Michael Floyd could end up the #2 in Arizona and in that case would have numbers similar to those predicted for Andre Roberts. Kendall Wright, in Tennessee, has Kenny Britt and Nate Washington ahead of him but Britt could be looking at a suspension for a little drinking and driving. In that case Wright could get a chance to establish himself and have a fine year.

Handcuffs: Handcuffing isn’t something usually done at the wideout position but in some cases, especially with pass happy teams, it is good to have the 3rd or 4th WR just in case the starter goes down. That being said who are the pass happy teams? Well they are the Packers, Saints, Lions, Patriots, Giants and Chargers. You could throw in the Falcons and Cowboys also.  The handcuffs would be James Jones and/or Randall Cobb with Jordy Nelson or Greg Jennings; Lance Moore with Marques Colston; Titus Young with Calvin Johnson, Deion Branch with Wes Welker; Domenik Hixon with Victor Cruz or Hakeem Nicks; and Eddie Royal with Malcom Floyd.

Words of Caution: Kenny Britt is looking at a suspension in Tennessee. The “new” offense in Pittsburgh will feature lots of running and high percentage short passes.  Dez Bryant has an outside chance at facing some suspension time. Andre Johnson is coming off an injury. Santonio Holmes may have to deal with Tim Tebow as his QB at least part of the time. Sidney Rice is coming off injury. Brandon Marshall can go crazy from time to time. Last but not least Randy Moss and Chad Johnson are OLD!

TOP 10

#1 Calvin Johnson Calvin got a job! That job is destroying defensive secondaries. He is good at his job. He can only catch what is thrown to him. Matt Stafford is good at throwing to him. Matt Stafford gets hurt….A LOT!

# 2 Jordy NelsonIt must be the visor because last year Jordy had a hell of  season. Ok, ok…so Jordy Nelson does not wear a futuristic eye visor and fly around the galaxy but I am willing to bet that is what most of you thought about this guy. Expect him to be flying around the field and to catch plenty of touchdowns. It helps to have Aaron Rodgers on your team.

# 3 Roddy White Matt Ryan likes to throw the ball and someone needs to catch it. For awhile that only person to catch it was Roddy. Now there is Julio Jones. I don’t think this takes away value but adds chances that White will no longer get 100% of the pass defense game plan focused on him.

#4 Larry Fitzgerald: Even with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton throwing the ball good old Larry had a fine season. If one of these jokers ever puts it together look out. It does not look too good for that happening so expect your typical lunch pail, punch in punch out performance from Larry.

#5 Wes Welker Wes got PAID! What happens when players get paid? Typically they do NOT go out and have a career year. In fact typically they have an off year. Many times this can happen because there was a hold out situation. Wes did not hold out. That being said Tom Brady is still the QB and he loves him some Welker.

Burritos as big as your head!

#6 Victor CruzHe came out of nowhere last year to become a fantasy darling. He won a superbowl. The downside is that teams can prepare better for him now and Hakeem Nicks should be healthy. Still he should have another great season.

Hello? What? Matt Cassel is still the quarterback. Really?!

#7 Dwayne Bowe   He had a moster year in 2010. 15 touchdowns. Matt Cassel really liked to throw his way. Cassel got hurt last year and Bowe suffered. Here is the deal though Cassel is not a good quarterback so he had better be throwing all his passes to Bowe. A rebound is highly likely if the quarterback play is decent. 

#8 Greg Jennings What two players from the same team in the top 10. Why? Because Aaron Rodgers is the QB. Why not 2 from the Patriots or Saints? Rodgers doesn’t spread it around as much. As a result both Jennings and Nelson can have huge years. But as the picture shows Jennings in now in Nelson’s shadow. Whether that will be good or not only time will tell.

  #9 AJ Green Andy Dalton pretty much has one target and that is AJ Green. There is concern about a sophomore slump for both Green and Dalton, still I think Green will have a great season.

#10 Brandon Marshall Really? This guy! I remember way back when he was something but now? Well he now has a quality QB in Cutler. His yardage never went away in Miami even when there was no one else the secondary needed to worry about. He will have a very good year in Chicago.

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