Surge of adrenaline: Martinez’s boardwalk blast a breath of fresh air

Crown his ass

There was a moment on Saturday night, right after Paul Williams crumpled to the mat, when even Sergio Martinez had yet to fully register what had taken place.

It reminded me of watching Piazza’s post-9/11 homer floating past me in the upper deck at Shea. Watching the formerly feared Williams sprawl face-first on the mat, time slowed to a crawl as our minds furiously processed what we had seen. And as Martinez’s jubilation took hold, everyone erupted, regardless of rooting interest.

A moment like that is a reminder that through all of the issues and nonsense boxing fans are privy to, it finds a way in the end to give us something to hold on to.

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For boxing purists, war by the shore trumps last week’s blockbuster

Marquee event The fact that Manny Pacquiao’s whitewash of Antonio Margarito last Saturday drew anywhere between 1.25-1.4 million pay-per-view buys, depending on who you ask, is a testament to two things: the popularity of Pacquiao, and the effectiveness of the HBO 24/7 program.

Tonight’s Paul Williams-Sergio Martinez rematch in Atlantic City, which I will be attending, has neither of those aspects in its favor. But while last week’s spectacle was valuable in that it showed that boxing could still be a major mainstream draw, the vibe for tonight’s fight from fans and writers actually possesses more excitement.

Last week’s fight was for everyone. This one’s for us.

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The Afternoon Before: Watered-down NFL invokes ghosts of past

As per usual, my weekly thoughts on football. I’ll offer my standard disclaimer that I don’t claim to have any substantive knowledge about the sport itself.

Check out the jackets on Rice and Young

When I was in high school in the early-to-mid 90’s, NFL hierarchy was far more readily defined. You had the Cowboys, the 49ers and Packers in the NFC, and the Bills leading a pack of AFC also-rans that also included the Chiefs and Steelers. It was sort of comforting to always be able to easily differentiate between the haves and the have-nots.

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The Weekly: On our way to Columbus

Here’s the latest installment of Nick Benvenuto’s college football picks. Coming off a 3-0 week, I’d say Nick’s on his game. Now’s the time to three-team parlay those picks down there! I also look forward to hearing Nick’s take after attending Ohio State vs. Penn State this weekend.

Chris Rainey was arrested in September for aggravated stalking, which clearly sounds like a made-up crime. Free Rainey!

Don’t sleep on The Weekly!  After getting a slow start out of the 2010 gates, we’ve chopped all the way back to the .500 mark with our first undefeated week of the season. 

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The Afternoon After: Sound and fury signifying… something

For the first time of the 2010 season, I went back to personal favorite football haunt Houlihan’s. No LT this time, but it was still a good time. As always, I offer the disclaimer that I’m hardly a football expert.

These aren't the guys, but they might as well be 

With the baseball season’s conclusion giving me a modicum of free time, I ventured back to familiar haunt Houlihan’s in Secaucus for the first time this season, and was unfortunately confronted with exactly what I go there to avoid:

Screaming, irrational fans. Specifically, two of them, loud enough to drown out a jet engine.

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The Afternoon Before: Fantasy, gambling make NFL bulletproof

I continue to get closer to game time with this. This week, it’s because of a writing assignment for my day job, and taking down my Halloween decorations – which takes longer for me than it probably does for most. Regardless, I’ll try to scale this a little earlier in the week (i.e. not within 12 hours before the games start).


I work for a website devoted to a sport other than football, and it’s always the same routine when I work on Sunday. Everyone sits around and lobbies for the Colts to throw it to Pierre Garcon, or for the Giants to offer goal-line scraps to Brandon Jacobs, or some such.

Some might have been surprised by last Monday’s ratings, when a horrible Jaguars-Titans blowout beat a good Rangers-Yankees playoff game in the ratings, but it’s really not a shock if you think about it. Fantasy leagues and gambling have become the bedrock that forms the foundation for the entire sport of football.

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The Weekly: Choppin’ wood and lookin’ good

Here’s the latest installment of Nick Benvenuto’s The Weekly. I’ve enjoyed reading his picks and takes, and though I haven’t mentioned this to him yet, maybe he can offer up some thoughts on the Cam Newton situation, as I know he’s a fan.

Ramon Broadway's Razorbacks look to take down Spurrier

For those of us who’ve played sports our whole lives, you get used to hearing coach after coach give you the same clichés over and over again.  Some of them find ways to be unique, but most are pretty lame. 

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