This has been turned out to be a damn good reality series after a shaky start. Luke Cummo has proven himself to be the hero of nerds who wished they could fight everywhere.
Or at least my apartment.
Rashad Evans matured immensely as a fighter and, he'd probably admit, as a man. Starting as a showboating hotdog and ending by taking a third fight, taking instruction from the man he'd earlier claimed he lost respect for.
Brad Imes comes out of nowhere (Arena Football is nowhere, I looked it up) with size being his big strength and lack of experience working against him. But he has a cool cowboy hat and an "Aw shucks" personality. Watching him in the semis, I thought that if the fight game doesn't work for him, he has a marketable look and a great size that somebody in Connecticut could get behind.
And Joe Stevenson. The presumptive favorite from the beginning, he's been walking through everyone without taking anyone lightly. He's intense, he's focused, he's lethal.
Well I like the show so far, but I thought this season was much worse than last year I don't like Rashad or Imes as much as Forrest and Stephan. And Stevenson is the only one of this year's crop that I think would compete with last year's crop of Quarry, Diego, Koschek and Leben. There was a lot of guys this year who seemed to quit or not try very hard and it made for mostly boring matches, with a few exceptions.
That being said, it was fun to see Rashad and Von Flue being continually written off and yet make it to the semis. And I believe Cummo and Imes were both the last one chose in their weight division.
I like Cummo, but I think Stevenson wins fairly easily, although I'm pulling for Cummo. I think Rashad beats Imes and they better hope the main event is really good because I don't see either of these matches being as good as Griffin-Bonner last year.
I missed the last of the semi's earlier in the week, but I'm watching it tonight, so I haven't seen Joe fight and I haven't see Brad fight since his first one.
Based on what I've seen so far with Rashad and Brad, I'm thinking Rashad by decision. Brad's huge and I don't know that Rashad can finish him. That said, with the progress Rashad made during the course of the show, he's going to be that much better by tomorrow night. I'll be interested to see how much better Brad looks compared to his previous fight.
For Luke and Joe, I'm really pulling for Luke. Not so much because he's an underdog, but Joe just grates on me for some reason. Luke may fit somehow fit the nerd/underdog image, but he's a SCARY nerd/underdog. He's proven to be explosive standing up and when on the ground, he worked constantly. Joe needs to put Luke away quick or I think he's in for a bad night.
Even though it's not on the show, I really want to see Franklin/Quarry. :-)
NEWLY ADDED FOR (WELL, WEEK OF) 9/9: Pursuit of Equality (The W at Amazon) Dunno, but it's from "gay interest" publisher Prerogatives Ballou (2008) Documentary following high school marching band (9/10)