Saw the "Road To" special before Raw tonight, so that one got me interested again. Nice to see the guy didn't lose his foot (owwwwwwwwww...). Anyway, what's important.
The production work is MUCH improved. An actual studio set, someone else on the announce team to make us forget they still have REGGIE THEUS, and a VERY Fox Sports-like look for the game of the week. But I don't get the division names... X and Y Divisions? This ain't TNA, and unless you're going by chromosomes (which they clearly AREN'T)... they couldn't do something a little more sensible? Maybe Eastern and Western (despite the fact that none of the teams have, ya know, HOMES and all)... Either way, I watched it before, I'm watching now.
I didn't see the preview special, but I've got it on in the background right now, and I'm so far, I keep thinking of one thing. The XFL.
They seem to be pushing this similar to the way they pushed the XFL before the media jumped all over themselves to bash it. They've got new snazzy production work, NBA stars RAVING about the quality of play (and all that note, PLEASE keep Shawn Marion away from a microphone), etc. Not that any of this is a bad thing. I thought that they way they were marketing the XFL as an "alternative" to the NFL was a good thing. I just noticed it, is all.
They should have Shaq doing color, though. I loved the commercial where the Big Aristotle was talking about the "airialocity" of the players. In his HIGH SCHOOL JERSEY, no less. God, you just gotta love that man.
"So you're Ben Affleck. You're sitting next to Jennifer Lopez, who's your fiancee, you're eating a eight-foot high sundae, and members of the Boston Red Sox are coming up to you and asking for autographs. If that's not heaven, what is?" - Tony Kornheiser, PTI
I think the difference between this and the XFL is twofold: a) The XFL went out of its way to challenge and put down the NFL, and I don't get that vibe from Slamball yet. b) XFL tried to start big, with shows on three networks and tons of mainstream publicity; Slamball is starting small, mostly creeping around under the mainstream's radar.
Oh, and one other important difference: The XFL's players generally blew. Slamball's players ... well, I won't hold my breath waiting for one of them to be snapped up by a NBA team, but they seem good at what they do.
I kinda miss being able to see two games in an hour, but I can see why TNN, er, Spike would want to stretch the season out longer so as to have more first-run programs to fill its schedule with. And it was a good game tonight, at least, although the timeouts flew a little too frequently for my taste. C'mon, it's what, five minutes a quarter? Who needs that many timeouts? Especially when other aspects of the game (e.g. substitutions, face-offs) are designed to avoid stopping the action as much as possible.
"I do have a degree in electrical engineering... from almost 20 years ago. Punchcard systems were just becoming obsolete, we had rotary phones in the dorms, and a modem was still a gizmo the size of a shoebox into which you squooshed the phone receiver itself. In short, we lived like animals.
The instant obsolesence is why I became a writer. The rate of punctuation in a sentence doesn't double every 18 friggin' months, and you never have some 22-year-old looming over your shoulder, shaking his head, saying "dude... you're still using adverbs...?"
... to play in Italy??? This reminds me of MJ's first retirement, when a Ukranian team named (and I'm not making this up) Tiit offered him a huge - well, huge for anyone else besides Michael Jordan - contract to come play for them.