Thursday, February 28, 2008

N.H.L. Trade Deadline Recap

It's been a couple of days since the National Hockey League's trade deadline came and went, so I guess I needed it all to settle in before I was able to form an opinion on it. As I perused the transaction wire Tuesday night, the words 'overpaid' and 'boring' kept going through my mind.

None of the New York area teams did anything very significant, much to the dismay of many. However, as a Rangers' fan I'm glad they did not catch any of the big fish that were out there, because the price would have been way too heavy. But the market determines how these things go and due to the fact that so many teams are in contention for a playoff spot, there were more "buyers" as opposed to "sellers."

Brad Richards will definitely help Dallas, Marian Hossa WILL NOT push the Pens any further in the playoffs and though Brian Campbell was a nice pickup by the Sharks, they will have to overpay financially for him.

It still boggles my mind that the N.H.L. lost a full year of play and yet Chris Drury, Daniel Briere and now Brian Campbell are all allowed to walk out of Buffalo. Why bother being a fan of the Sabres if they refuse to open up their purse strings now and again?

There wasn't anything that jumped out at me as the kind of deal that maybe went under the radar. Seeing Sergei Federov in Washington is interesting, but would have been more exciting if Federov was 10 years younger.

It is good to see Adam Foote and Peter Forsberg back in Colorado with Joe Sakic. Although it would be nicer if the Avs found a way to make the playoffs.

For a list of the deals, click here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

John Cena Disses The Rock

The U.K. Sun has an interview on their website with W.W.E. superstar John Cena in which he sounds off on a variety of topics. Most notably Cena talks about Dwayne "The Rock” Johnson and his frustration with the fact that Johnson has not appeared in a W.W.E. ring since 2004:

"What I kind of get peeved about — and this is my Achilles heel — is that I've wanted to do this my whole life. At one point Rock loved wrestling and wanted to do this all his life. So explain to me why he can't come back. Simply put it's because he wants to be an actor and there's nothing wrong with that. He's very good and very successful. Associating with sports entertainment doesn't do much for his acting career — I get it. Just don't f*** me around and tell me that you love this. That's the only thing that gets me really p***ed off. Our fan base have so much admiration for him, he's got to respect that. He doesn't give anything back."

Cena also comments on what he thinks should happen to those who gets caught using illegal performance enhancing drugs:

"Anytime somebody is busted in our system it's a 30-day suspension. You know what it should be? Call the authorities and have somebody f***ing go to jail."

Meanwhile, The Rock will be inducting his father, Rocky Johnson, and his grandfather, Peter Maivia into the W.W.E. Hall of Fame on Saturday March 29. No word yet if he will be making an appearance the next day at Wrestlemania 24. The Rock is currently filming the movie, Witch Mountain, a remake of Escape from Witch Mountain (1975).

For more on the story and the audio of the interview, click here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Separated at Birth?

Are Hillary Clinton and Macaulay Culkin separated at birth?

What say you?

N.H.L.: Let the Trades Begin!

Well, today is one of my favorite days on the sports calendar: the N.H.L. trade deadline. Things are quiet as of right now, but will most likely become pretty hot and heavy before we get to the 3 p.m. deadline.

So far though, Vinnie Prospal got dealt to Philly from Tampa and Dan Boyle signed a six-year, $40 million contract extension with the Lightning, thus former Conn Smythe winner Brad Richards is likely on the move.

I doubt the Rangers will do anything of significance. The Blueshirts are interested in plying Rob Schremp from the Edmonton Oilers. Hugh Jessiman could be going the other way in that deal. Peter Forsberg is back in the National Hockey League and with his old team, the Colorado Avalanche. The Swede signed with the Avs yesterday for the remainder of the season. Colorado also activated Joe Sakic from injured reserve.

There are so many teams that are in the hunt for a playoff spot this year that there are few sellers, but usually the way it works is when one deal gets completed, the dominoes start to fall. I’ve heard a couple of general managers say that they expect it to be a busy day. We’ll see.

I remember in 1994 when the Rangers – while sitting in first place - went out and nabbed Brian Noonan and Stephan Matteau from Chicago for Tony Amonte; traded Mike Gartner to Toronto for Glenn Anderson (never liked this move); and snatched Craig MacTavish from Edmonton for Todd Marchant (MacT was a great penalty killer and superb on draws). But that was when Neil Smith was the general manager. Don't get me started there...

Smith had a couple of clunkers - like in 1996 when he sent Ray Ferraro, Ian Laperriere, Mattias Norstrom, Nathan Lafayette and New York's fourth-round draft choice (Sean Blanchard) in the 1997 draft to L.A. for Marty McSorley, Jari Kurri and Shane Churla - but his gaffes were not nearly as numerous as current G.M., Glen Sather.

For example, in 2002 "the savior" traded Filip Novak, Igor Ulanov, first and second-round picks in 2002 and a fourth-round pick in 2003 to Florida for Pavel Bure and a second-round pick in 2002. Bure was a great hockey player, but at that point in his career was running on two bad wheels.

The Rangers would do themselves right by doing nothing today. Other than the Montreal debacle, the team’s chemistry has been at its best the last couple of weeks. They are not going to be able to fleece anyone because of the high demand right now. I’m very intrigued by the New Jersey Devils, however. Sitting in first place, I could see them looking for a “home run.” Hate to blow my own horn, but you'd have to go back to a previous post where I applauded the hiring of Brent Sutter as the new Devils' coach. He's not right for every team, but Sutter has been the right fit for this team. Now let's see if the Devs make a blockbuster that could put them over the top.

We shall see.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Flashback: Ric Flair Joins The World Wrestling Federation

It was the summer of 1991 and Ric Flair had amazingly just gotten fired by Jim Herd, the president of World Championship Wrestling. Flair had a $25,000 deposit on the “big gold belt” which Herd refused to return to Flair. So the “dirtiest player in the game” took the title with him to the World Wrestling Federation.

Before he made his debut on television, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan showed up with the World Championship belt on t.v. I remember this angle very, very well and it is one of my two favorites since I have been watching wrestling. Vince McMahon really pulled off quite a maneuver by not only getting Ric Flair from the archrival W.C.W./N.W.A., but also the World Championship belt. A lawsuit ensued and eventually Ric Flair sent back the “real” World Championship and got his $25,000 deposit, as well. Enjoy the above video. The late Gorilla Monsoon (holding the microphone) and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart do a great job of faking their shock at the appearance of the World Championship!

Flashback: The "Original" Midnight Express' Stunning N.W.A. Debut

The second of my two favorite storylines is featured in the video above. As many wrestling fans may already know, there once was a tag team known as the Midnight Express managed by Jim Cornette. The team originally comprised of Randy Rose, Dennis Condrey and Norvell Austin. Eventually it became Condrey and Bobby Eaton. However, while in the N.W.A. after a run with the tag team titles, Condrey was dropped in favor of “Sweet” Stan Lane.

Condrey and Rose would reunite in the A.W.A. and align themselves with an upstart manager named Paul E. Dangerously, a.k.a. Paul Heyman. They were known as the “Original” Midnight Express and the video illustrates how the three made their presence felt when they jumped to the National Wrestling Alliance, soon after Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane had dropped the tag team titles to the Road Warriors.

This is just absolutely classic television. By the way, for those that don’t know, the commentators are Tony Schiavone and David Crockett. The latter could quite possibly be the worst broadcaster in the history of just about anything, but admittedly he sold this moment pretty well at the time.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Sort of Homecoming: The Dudleys and Wrestling Come to New Rochelle High School

New Rochelle will never be the same after April 5! That’s because pro wrestling is coming to New Rochelle High School. They’re promoting the Dudley Boyz - or Team 3D as they are called in T.N.A. - as being featured on the independent card. Brother Devon (pictured to the left of Brother Bubba Ray) is an alum of N.R.H.S., where he played varsity football. For more on the event, click this.

From where I sit, these two are the best tag team in all of wrestling today, and are one of the greatest tandems ever. I also think that aside from the McMahons, that they should be considered the "first family" of wrestling. I mean just look, we've had Spike Dudley, Big Dick Dudley, Dudley Dudley, Sign Guy Dudley, Little Snot Dudley, Dances With Dudley, Chubby Dudley, Studley Dudley and who could ever forget Lady Dudley. Royalty, no doubt!

Odds & Sods

Mild, hot or spicy?

I read a report this morning that said that the fallen debris from the U.S. spy satellite that the navy shot down is not hazardous. For me to say I am skeptical of that report is an understatement. No I’m not going to pull a News12 and go all Henny Penny The Sky Is Falling (another childhood favorite of mine) on you. But I am leery. For more, see the report that was released in the days after 9/11 that said the air around the World Trade Center was safe.

There is no question that Barack Obama may be the best public speaker since JFK, but when it comes to the issues, the press doesn’t seem to report much on where he stands. As usual, they go for the “sizzle” and not the “steak,” so to speak.

Glen Sather has a huge decision to make before this Tuesday’s N.H.L. trade deadline. He has to decide if he should deal Jaromir Jagr or not. I hope he doesn’t, but if he trades Jagr he better get back a rock of a defenseman that can anchor this young blueline for today and the future.

The Rangers have a huge weekend coming up with a game in Buffalo and one at home to Florida, after blowing a 5-0 lead against Montreal Tuesday night. Speaking of which, the Blueshirts absolutely did not deserve a point out of that one. The shootout is entertaining, but if you are going to keep it I’d rather see the N.H.L. change its rule to two points for a win and none for a loss. Why should a team get rewarded for losing?

Again, the shootout is entertaining, but it really doesn’t cut it for me in terms of validity. No other sport has a skills competition to determine the winner of a game. Does baseball have a fielding contest? Does football have a passing contest between the quarterbacks? Why don’t we just have a wing-eating contest and call it a night?

Newspaper blowhard Phil Mushnick wondered recently how Andy Pettitte can be such a God-fearing man when he took HGH in the first place? Very simple answer to that one: Andy Pettitte is human! Just because someone is "religious" or "spiritual" does not mean that they are perfect and I have never heard Mr. Pettitte claim to be without fault. But what separates Pettitte from the others is that he stood up and took responsibility for his actions. Mr. Mushnick would do well to remember what a great man once said:

"Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone."

I saw that someone was on my blog from Rancho Mirage, California and that they left a comment. Only one person I know of from Rancho Mirage and that’s Anne Rice. Go here to see.

Mild, hot or spicy?

Hockey Hits

I know N.H.L. Commissioner Gary Bettman wants to take the physicality out of hockey, but the above video is evidence as to why he shouldn’t. What I’ve wanted to tell all of these stuffed shirts for the last few years is that they need to leave the game alone! Worry about the marketing stuff, not what takes place on the ice. Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart” provides the music for the video.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thomas Scot Halpin, The Man That Filled In For Keith Moon Back In 1973, Dies

It was 1973 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California, and an inebriated Keith Moon had passed out. Pete Townshend asked if there was anyone in the audience who could play drums. Scot Halpin stepped up and filled in for Moon. He would go on to win Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Pick-up Player of the Year Award.” Halpin died on February 9 at 54. For more on the story, click here.

That's the only time that Moon was unable to perform at a concert, which is strange because his drinking really picked up around 1976-77, when The Who were not touring as much.

Keith Moon died in 1978 after attending a film preview with Paul and Linda McCartney of The Buddy Holly Story. He had overdosed on a drug intended to curb his drinking.

Monday Night Raw Redux

Last night was an extremely fast-moving Monday Night Raw from Anaheim, California. The crowd was OK, but not nearly as vocal as the one in Las Vegas for No Way Out. Here’s what came out of last night and some thoughts:

John Cena defeated Randy Orton in a non-title match to make the main event at Wrestlemania a "triple threat" match. Triple H, the special ref, nailed both with a pedigree at the end of the bout. So it will be Triple H-Randy Orton-John Cena vying for Orton’s W.W.E. Championship in Orlando on March 30.

Big Show apologized to Floyd Mayweather for his actions at No Way Out but then challenged “Pretty Boy” to a match. The W.B.C. Welterweight Champ accepted. Reportedly, Oscar De La Hoya has turned down a role in the contest and Rey Mysterio is set to undergo surgery on his torn bicep muscle Friday, which will sideline him for up to six months. No doubt there will be some kind of match involving Show-Mayweather at Wrestlemania with the buildup to it being something to see. Will it be a boxing match? Wrestling? Tag team? You’re guess is as good as mine…

Fresh off her Marilyn Monroe pose, Lindsay Lohan was backstage yucking it up.

Big Show did indeed get his nose broken by Mayweather Sunday night. Shawn Michaels also broke his nose in a collision with Chris Jericho at No Way Out.

Jericho was notably absent from last night’s broadcast, especially when Hornswoggle was getting unmercifully pounded by JBL while Finlay was handcuffed to a ring rope. Mr. McMahon had already whipped “Horny” prior to the JBL beating. Several people thought that this segment inside a steel cage was overdone. I was a bit surprised at the level of cruelty, even on a wrestling show. So this all means that McMahon-JBL will face Finlay and someone else at ‘mania. Who? Mick Foley is probably the favorite, or maybe Umaga?

Jeff Hardy and Mr. Kennedy won qualifying matches for the “Money in the Bank” ladder match at Wrestlemania.

Maria defeated Beth Phoenix after the supercurvy Candice Michelle made her way to ringside to distract her archrival, the "glamazon." Santino Marella had a “contract” in his hand that said that Maria could only pose in Playboy if she beat Beth Phoenix. Incidentally, the match was non-title.

Shawn Michaels came out and announced that Ric Flair will be the first active wrestler to be inducted into the W.W.E. Hall of Fame. The induction ceremonies will be held in Orlando on March 29. This clearly begins the setup for Michaels-Flair at ‘mania. Although a tear did not leave my eye like Shawn Michaels, watching the old footage of Flair from his National Wrestling Alliance (N.W.A.) days in the ‘80s made me very nostalgic. Ric Flair’s interviews on the Superstation WTBS on Saturday nights were “a happening.” Great stuff! But I suppose all things must pass…

Keep it in the Ring!

Monday, February 18, 2008

No Way Out Recap and Wrestlemania Predictions

The W.W.E. put on another outstanding pay-per-view last night. Las Vegas was the scene for No Way Out, which has set some things up for Wrestlemania. Here's what happened:

The show opened with Chavo Guerrero retaining his E.C.W. Championship in a bout against former champ, C.M. Punk. The match started off a little slow, but soon turned into a very good one. There was an awkward part of the match - which I don't know if it was planned or if C.M. Punk went away from the script. Punk executed suplex after suplex after suplex on Chavo, that type of sequence of moves was a signature of the late Chris Benoit. The fans instantly booed Punk! Announcer Joey Styles started to say that "perhaps Punk was doing it in tribute to..." before Tazz jumped in and pointed out that the fans didn't like it.

I've read that CM Punk has been in hot water lately because he is not following the way his matches are supposed to go. Could this have been another instance? The W.W.E. has done everything to make it as though Benoit never existed since the events of last June, I can't imagine this episode went over very well. Strangely, I haven't seen any reference to this at all on the Internet. Am I the only one who has picked up on it? Doubtful. But I'll keep looking to find some thoughts on what actually took place.

The second match of the night was the guys from Smackdown inside the "elimination chamber." The Undertaker won a really, really good match. I had low expectations of the bout, but Undertaker and Batista carried it. Hornswoggle also appeared from under the ring to throw Finlay the shillelagh, which backfired.

Ric Flair then made Mr. Kennedy "tap out" with the figure four leglock. It's clear to me that Flair needs Shawn Michaels to give him that one last great wrestling moment at Wrestlemania.

Edge then defeated Rey Mysterio Jr. in another good match. Mysterio fought with a torn right bicep muscle, so I give him major kudos for even showing up. Edge will defend the World Championship against The Undertaker at Wrestlemania.

After the match, Paul "Big Show" Wight returned. He came down to the ring and told the fans how happy he was to be back. Show said he lost over 100 pounds and at first came off as though he was going to be a "good guy." Big Show then turned heel by grabbing a doubled-over Mysterio and dragging him into the ring. Show mocked Floyd Mayweather, who was sitting at ringside.

The W.B.C. Welterweight Champion was shown on t.v. supporting Mysterio before his match with Edge. He jumped into the ring to defend Mysterio when Big Show was going to beat him up.

Mayweather landed three punches to Big Show's face, which left him bleeding from his mouth. "Pretty Boy" then ran into the audience, with Shane McMahon stopping Big Show from pursuing Mayweather.

We'll find out more tonight on Monday Night Raw as to where this is going. Big Show has been off for a year and was training for a career in boxing, which he reportedly has abandoned. Rumors are swirling that we could see a Wrestlemania tag team match pitting Big Show and Oscar De La Hoya against Rey Mysterio and Floyd Mayweather.

John Cena then beat Randy Orton via disqualification. This was a very good match and I think that Orton gets better and better each week. The W.W.E. title, of course, does not change hands due to a disqualification or countout. So Orton retains.

The Monday Night Raw "elimination chamber" match was the last on the show. I enjoyed it but did not like the outcome. Triple H hit his patented pedigree move on Jeff Hardy, but did so by driving Hardy's head into a steel chair. Being inside a cage, I don't see the need for chairs, however, maybe Hardy will say that he got jobbed. Ditto John Cena. This could then set up a "fatal four way" at Wrestlemania.

So in summation here are my Wrestlemania predictions:
W.W.E. Champ Randy Orton vs. Triple H vs. John Cena vs. Jeff Hardy in a "fatal four way."

Edge defending World Title against The Undertaker is a done deal.

Big Show & Oscar De La Hoya vs. Rey Mysterio and Floyd Mayweather.

Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels.

JBL vs. Umaga.

More on Raw tomorrow...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Inside The Squared Circle: Sean Waltman Update, No Way Out Preview & Predictions, Hulk Hogan/Eric Bischoff Start New Promotion, Latest On Paul Heyman

First off, congratulations to Sean Waltman for taking up the W.W.E.'s offer to their former stars to go to rehab on their dime. Waltman, 35, has wrestled as the "1-2-3 Kid," "The Kid," "X-Pac"and "Syxx" among other names. Waltman joins Jake Roberts, Ron Simmons and Scott "Razor Ramon" Hall as recent wrestlers that have gone to get help. I hope for the best for him and the others.

Tomorrow night is the latest W.W.E. pay-per-view, No Way Out, emanating from Las Vegas, Nevada. Overall, it looks like a really good show.

Here's the card with some predictions:
John Cena vs. W.W.E. Champion Randy Orton
I think Cena regains the title, but I've got a feeling that there will be some kind of finish that involves Triple H and/or Jeff Hardy. The winner of this one goes on to defend the title at Wrestlemania against the winner of the Monday Night Raw "elimination chamber" match.

I could see either a Triple H vs. Cena vs. Orton match at Wrestlemania or perhaps a Hardy-Cena bout. Hardy is on a roll and the fans would be really upset if he doesn't get the belt put on him at some point. Whatever, John Cena most likely wins this one.

Rey Mysterio vs. World Heavyweight Champion Edge
This could be a great bout, however, Mysterio injured a bicep muscle in a match in Chile this week. Although, says he will be able to compete tomorrow night, I wouldn't doubt if there was someone that filled in for the masked Mysterio. Kane? Big Show? Someone else? Regardless, Edge retains.

Raw Elimination Chamber
At Stake: A W.W.E. Championship shot at WM 24
This one has the better participants of the two "elimination chamber" matches. Jeff Hardy, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, JBL, Triple H and Umaga will all do battle inside this absolutely sick structure. So who will win?

Shawn Michaels is the front-runner to wrestle and retire Ric Flair at Wrestlemania, so that takes him out of the picture. Chris Jericho was already given a title shot and really hasn't been as over with the fans. So he won't win it. JBL needs some more matches before he gets a championship match. Umaga headlining Wrestlemania is not something that most would foresee on the horizon. So that leaves Triple H and Jeff Hardy. I like Triple H in this one. Somehow, someway he will be part of the main event in Orlando, Florida.

SmackDown/E.C.W. Elimination Chamber
At Stake: A World Championship match at WM 24
Batista, The Undertaker, Big Daddy V, M.V.P., Finlay and The Great Khali will all duke it out in this one for the right to face the World Heavyweight Champion at the Citrus Bowl. This really isn't that strong of a match, to be honest. I'd really prefer to see Kane replace Khali, but nobody has asked me. Undertaker or Batista are the favorites, but I like 'taker (15-0 at Wrestlemania) to win and thus face Edge at the big event on March 30.

E.C.W. Champion Chavo Guerrero vs. CM Punk
This could be a classic for old-school wrestling fans. I see Guerrero holding the title for a while. Particularly, if the W.W.E. intends to induct his late brother, Eddie, into the Hall of Fame in March.

Ric Flair vs. Mr. Kennedy
Flair's illustrious wrestling career is close to being finished, but thankfully it won't be Ken Kennedy that will end it. That honor is being reserved for the showstopper, Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania. I bet Flair makes Kennedy "tap out" to the figure four leglock.

In other news...
Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff are reportedly very close to opening their own wrestling promotion that will rival Vince McMahon's W.W.E. The Sun has the story here.

The Sun also has a story on Paul Heyman's latest venture here.

Smackdown's Dave Batista would probably be none too thrilled to learn that when you Google "steroids," his picture pops up!

Keep it in the Ring!

Derek Jeter and The Who

The only person as cool as Denzel Washington and myself (haha); Derek Jeter in a new commercial for Gatorade with The Who's "Sparks" playing in the background.

Martha Wainwright "B.M.F.A." Live at Glasto 2007

In the above YouTube video, Martha Wainwright performs "B.M.F.A." at last summer's Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, England. I read recently that the song is about what she perceives are her father's poor parenting skills, ouch! Funny thing is that she and her old man, Loudon, have played together a number of times. However, I doubt that they will be collaborating together on this song anytime soon. The chances of that, are like what my old friend Gorilla Monsoon would say, "highly unlikely."

Warning, contains explicit lyrics.

Martha Wainwright "B.M.F.A." and Grey's Anatomy

I've never watched the show Grey's Anatomy, but this is a recorded version of Martha Wainwright's highly-expressive song, "B.M.F.A." featuring scenes from the show on the video. I love this song and Martha Wainwright's unique voice!

Caution, the lyrics may offend some.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Eminem to W.W.E.?

In what has to be one of the craziest rumors I have heard in – well, at least a week – rapper Eminem is said to be training vigorously for a roster spot in the W.W.E. Although, he’s still about three or four months away from his debut, the Grammy-award winner is said to be very serious about a wrestling career and is taking lessons in the fine arts of grappling.

This is all according to a Website called which backs up its report with a source from inside Marshall “Eminem” Mathers’ inner circle. There’s been a great deal of speculation recently that the W.W.E. will sign a celebrity with a checkered past, such as Britney Spears or former newscaster Alycia Lane.

My question is, will Eminem pay his dues and go down to work in the W.W.E.’s developmental league in Florida? John Cena and Randy Orton honed their craft in Ohio Valley Wrestling (O.V.W.), so why should Em be any different?

This is one of those rumors that I hope was started by a fool and therefore not true!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Inside The Squared Circle: Candice Michelle Return, Bruno Sammartino Interview, A New Lashley? Rockers Reunite? Benoit News, Against All Odds Results

We shift gears to something that is mostly much lighter than my previous post...

Candice Michelle (featured above) is said to be very close to stepping back inside the squared circle. has an interview with Bruno Sammartino. The “Living Legend” expresses his opinion on a variety of topics including the W.W.E. Hall of Fame and his contentious relationship with Ric Flair. Clicking me will refer you to the interview's location.

The W.W.E. has signed a Bobby Lashley look-alike by the name of Tyrone "The Panther” Evans. He’s a former Arena Football League player and a current independent wrestler. He’ll go to their developmental league in Florida.

Speaking of the real Bobby Lashley, it has been reported that he earned $250,000 at Wrestlemania last year as Donald Trump’s representative in the “Battle of the Billionaires” match against Vince McMahon’s rep, Umaga. Lashley won the bout, so McMahon had to have his head shaved. Lashley recently quit the W.W.E.

Rumors are running around that Shawn Michaels will be reuniting with former tag team partner, Marty Jannetty, at some point after Wrestlemania. Here’s the big question: Why?

Expect Shane McMahon to appear on Monday Night Raw in the next few weeks in order to set up a Wrestlemania match in which Vince and Shane will team up against Finlay and a tag team partner – Mick Foley anyone?

In more serious news...Sadly, a U.S. judge has ruled in favor of Hustler Magazine publishing nude photos of the late Nancy Benoit. The pictures were taken by a radio disc jockey nearly 25 years ago. Nancy Benoit’s mother is filing the suit and says that her daughter never gave permission for the photographs to be used.

The W.W.E. Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be taking place on Saturday March 29. Incredibly, there are some folks that believe Chris Benoit should be inducted! Like our old friend Gorilla Monsoon used to say, “highly unlikely.”

The W.W.E. is hopeful that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be able to induct his father, Rocky Johnson, and his late uncle, Peter Maiva into the Hall. It all depends upon The Rock’s filming schedule for Witch Mountain.

Results from last Sunday's T.N.A.'s pay-per-view, Against All Odds in Greenville, South Carolina:

T.N.A. World Tag Team Champions A.J. Styles and Tomko defeated BG James and "Bullet" Bob Armstrong.

Traci Brooks beat Peyton Banks in a "T.N.A. Knockouts Grudge Match."

Scott Steiner defeated Petey Williams.

Eric Young wins a "World Drinking Championship" match against Cowboy James Storm.

T.N.A. Women's Title Match: Awesome Kong powerbombs ODB.

Abyss wins a "Barbed Wire Massacre" bout against Judas Mesias.

Robert Roode vs. Booker T ends in a double count out.

Team 3D and Johnny Devine lose a "Hardcore Street Fight" and the X Division Championship to The Motor City Machineguns and Jay Lethal.

Kurt Angle retains the T.N.A. World Championship against Christian Cage.

I'll make predictions and preview this Sunday's W.W.E. pay-per-view, No Way Out, later this week!

Until then...

Keep it in the Ring!

Next Stop For Mughniyeh: Hell!

Having been on the run for years with a significant bounty on his head, time has finally run out for one of the most dangerous men on the planet: Imad Mughniyeh. A reputed terrorist who spread nothing but murder and hate around the world is finally dead. Thank God! I wrote about him on this blog in August, 2006, right here. The below story about his demise comes to you courtesy of the Associated Press:

Hezbollah Says Top Militant Is Killed

Feb 13, 8:07 AM (ET)By SAM F. GHATTAS

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - Imad Mughniyeh, the militant accused of attacks that left hundreds of Americans and Israelis dead, including a U.S. Navy diver during the infamous 1985 hijacking of a TWA jetliner, has been killed, Hezbollah said Wednesday.

The militant group blamed Israel for the assassination - a charge the Jewish state denied - but it did not say how he died. However, Middle East media reported he was killed in a recent car bomb in Syria.

His killing is a major blow to Hezbollah, which fought Israel in the summer 2006 war in Lebanon, and its Iranian and Syrian backers.

Mughniyeh, who had been in hiding for years, was among the fugitives indicted in the United States for the 1985 hijacking of a TWA airliner in which a U.S. Navy diver was killed. He was also suspected of masterminding attacks on the U.S. Embassy and the Marine base in Lebanon that killed more than 260 Americans in the 1980s when he was then the Iranian-backed Hezbollah's security chief.

Mughniyeh, 45, was also the reputed leader of a group that held Westerners hostage in Lebanon, among them journalist Terry Anderson, a former Associated Press chief Middle East correspondent who was held captive for six years.

Mughniyeh is also believed by Israel to have been involved in planning the 1992 bombing of Israel's embassy in Argentina in which 29 people were killed and the blast at a Buenos Aires Jewish center two years later that killed 95.

Mughniyeh is on an FBI wanted list with a $25 million bounty on his head. The bounty is equal to that the U.S. has put for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

"With all pride we declare a great jihadist leader of the Islamic resistance in Lebanon joining the martyrs ... The brother commander hajj Imad Mughinyeh became a martyr at the hands of the Zionist Israelis," said a statement carried on Hezbollah television.

The announcement came a few hours after a late night explosion in Damascus destroyed a vehicle. Witnesses in the Syrian capital said at the time that a passerby was killed as security forces sealed off the area and removed the body, but authorities there would not give details.

Iran's English-language satellite station Press TV on Wednesday said the person slain in the Damascus explosion turned out to be Mughniyeh. It said an Iranian school and a Syrian intelligence office were in the same area of Kafar Soussa where the explosion occurred.

Press TV reported that Mughniyeh was leaving his house and about to get into his car when it exploded. However, LBC, a Lebanese television station, said Mughniyeh was attending a ceremony at the Iranian school in Damascus and was killed as he left the function.

Iran celebrated the anniversary of its Islamic revolution this week.

Israel denied killing the militant.

"Israel rejects the attempt by terror groups to attribute to it any involvement in this incident. We have nothing further to add," read the statement from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office.

Syria has not commented, nor did Hezbollah explicitly link his death to the Damascus bombing, which would be an embarrassment for the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad for hosting him.

Mughinyeh's killing is the first major attack against a leader of Hezbollah since the 1992 helicopter strike that killed the Hezbollah secretary-general Sheik Abbas Mussawi in southern Lebanon.

If Israel proves to be involved in the assassination it would mark a bold move by the Israelis inside Syria and could draw Hezbollah retaliation.

Hezbollah did not threaten immediate revenge. But its al-Manar television, which broke into Quranic verses after the announcement, broadcast another statement from the Shiite Muslim militant group, saying a funeral will be held on Thursday.

It urged supporters to turn out in its stronghold in south Beirut to "carry on our shoulders a leader we were proud with his leadership and a martyr we're honored by his martyrdom."

"Let us make our voice heard by all the enemies and murderers that we will make victory no matter how the sacrifices are," Hezbollah said.

The assassination also sends a powerful warning to the Damascus-based leaders of Hamas, the Palestinian militant group which is backed by Iran. In 2004, a Hamas activist survived a similar bombing that destroyed his vehicle on a Damascus street shortly after he and his family stepped out.

Hamas condemned the assassination.

"We condemn this crime and we emphasize the Muslim nation must rise up to confront the Zionist devil which is back by the Americans," said Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Samir Abu Zuhri.

The announcement of his death said Mughniyeh for 20 years has been the target of "Zionists and oppressors" - in Hezbollah and Iranian parlance a reference to Israel and the United States.

Mughniyeh was Hezbollah security chief during a turbulent period in Lebanon's civil war. Little has been known about him since the end of the 15-year conflict and Hezbollah has regularly refused to talk about him.

Wednesday's announcement of his death was the first mention of him in years.

But American intelligence officials have described Mughniyeh as Hezbollah's operations chief, who was believed to have moved between Lebanon, Syria and Iran in disguise.

Mughniyeh's last public appearance was believed to be at the funeral of his brother Fuad, who was killed on Dec. 12, 1994, when a booby-trapped car blew up in the southern suburb of Beirut.

In 2006, Mughniyeh was reported to have met with hardline Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Syria. Tehran and the country's paramilitary Revolutionary Guards have never publicly disclosed the extent of their links with their protege Hezbollah.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Inside The Squared Circle: Three Former Wrestlers Check Into Rehab and W.W.E. Pays the Cost

Back in September, World Wrestling Entertainment (W.W.E.) offered free drug rehab to its former employees. Below is a copy of the letter (courtesy of the Pro Wrestling Torch) that was sent out and signed by Vince McMahon:

Over the last ten years, an inordinate number of wrestlers have passed away. Some of those deaths may in part have been caused by drugs and alcohol.

In an effort to prevent such tragedies in the future, the W.W.E. is willing to pay for drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation at a certified treatment facility chosen by W.W.E. for any performer with a prior W.W.E. booking contract who may need this service. The W.W.E. will pay for this service in full.

There is no cost to you or your family. Help will be provided regardless of the circumstances of your departure from the W.W.F. or the amount of time you performed for the W.W.E.

If you do not have a drug and/or alcohol problem, but know you know a former W.W.E. performer who does, we are asking you to try to help them by encouraging them to take advantage of this opportunity.

Liz Difabio has been appointed as a representative in this matter. Liz has been with the company for over 24 years and has been directly involved with the majority of W.W.E. performers who have received treatment for substance abuse. She understands emotions that individuals and family members go through in this process. Any conversation you have with Liz will remain confidential and will not be released to the public.

In many instances, an individual in need of help is in denial and will not want rehabilitation. There are professional intervention companies that will help persuade that person that they need treatment. Liz will be able to facilitate such interventions, should they be necessary. An intervention and treatment will be at the cost of W.W.E. exclusively.

This service is being provided for performers with a prior W.W.E. booking contract only. No family or friends. Please reach out to Liz if you think you might have a drug or alcohol problem or if you know someone who does.

We all need to do anything we can to help prevent another tragedy.

Vincent K. McMahon
Chairman, World Wrestling Entertainment

I don’t expect such “trustworthy” journalists as Nancy Grace, Geraldo Rivera or Phil Mushnick to cover this one, because that would mean they would be discussing solutions rather than problems. News12? Nah, they are too busy reporting on such groundbreaking stories as the cold weather in February!

Seriously, though, there have been three wrestlers that I know of that have taken Vince McMahon up on his offer. Jake “The Snake” Roberts is nearing completion of his rehab stay and thanks Vince and the W.W.E. effusively on his MySpace page. Recently, Scott “Razor Ramon” Hall and Ron Simmons have also gone to rehab via the W.W.E.’s offer.

In the case of Simmons, he is a semi-retired wrestler and current employee of the W.W.E. Ron Simmons' resume is very impressive. He is the first recognized World Champion in pro wrestling history (Bobo Brazil won the N.W.A. World title in the early ’60s but the win was not recognized), a former All-American at Florida State University, played football for the Cleveland Browns in the N.F.L. and also played for several teams in the U.S.F.L. In addition, his number “50” is retired by F.S.U.

Scott Hall recently worked for W.W.E. competitor Total Nonstop Action (T.N.A.) where he no-showed a pay-per-view in which he was a part of the main event. Hall, who gained notoriety in the 1990s as “Razor Ramon” was always a problem from what I have read and based on things I have heard other wrestlers say about him.

I’m glad these guys are going to get help and I hope more current and former wrestlers reach out for help if they need it. The W.W.E. received a great deal of negative press – some of it deserving while some of it not – during the Chris Benoit double murder-suicide that took place last June. But I think that the promotion is taking a positive step in trying to help its former stars.

I’m sure there are plenty of detractors for one reason or another. I read that “Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino ripped the letter up in a rage when he received it. Why? The letter was sent to ALL former wrestlers so it wasn’t meant to insult anyone.

I think it is so sad that Mr. Sammartino is so darn bitter toward pro wrestling. The guy had two reigns as World Champion in what was then known as the W.W.W.F. (World Wide Wrestling Federation) which totaled nearly 12 years. No one will ever break his record as having the single longest reign as World Champion – nearly eight years! Sad, that although he has valid points about the way wrestling has evolved, he is largely ignored and instead seen as an angry, bitter and jealous man.

The W.W.E. can certainly be ripped for some of their past racy storylines, but in this case Vince McMahon and the W.W.E. have done the right thing. I still say that each individual has to be held accountable for the choices they make. There are too many folks who say that Vince McMahon made these guys drink, do drugs or shoot steroids. The fact that also gets left out is that although today there is only one major wrestling promotion left, many wrestlers that have died do to drug use never even worked for Vince McMahon. If Nancy Grace and others even bothered doing their homework they would illustrate that not all wrestlers work or have worked for the W.W.E.

Was World Class Championship Wrestling and the people that ran it in Texas to blame for three of the five Von Erich boys taking their own lives? I’d also like to see Time Warner, which owned World Championship Wrestling in its final days, follow a similar path that Vince McMahon has with this offer.

Regardless, any way you cut it, the W.W.E. has taken positive action.

Separated at Birth?

Are these two separated at birth: Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee (pictured at the top) and actor extraordinaire, Kevin Spacey (featured below)? What say you?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rockestra Theme

Paul McCartney got together with a bunch of artists to record Rockestra in late 1978. The above video is a performance in London of the "Rockestra Theme" at the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea. The intent of the concerts was to raise money for war-torn Cambodia.

The Who's Keith Moon died a month before the original recording of the song, otherwise he would have been involved. I'm so glad Pete Townshend didn't wear one of those ridiculous looking silver suits that all the others are wearing.

Nonetheless, it's quite an impressive lineup of rockers.

"Lucille" From Rockestra

This is a performance of Little Richard's "Lucille" from the same Rockestra concert which I write about in the above post. I've read that Pete Townshend was particularly thrilled to finally get to perform alongside one of his idols, Hank Marvin of The Shadows.

NYPD Blue: Sipowicz Lie Detector Test

I really miss the show NYPD Blue! This is a classic moment in which Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) uses a unique method to interrogate an alleged murderer. If memory serves me, this is from the second season.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Ghost of Owen Hart?

Stories of Owen Hart's "ghost" have been making the rounds the last few days. From what I have been reading, his "ghost" has been spotted along with occurrences of flickering lights inside the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. That venue is where Owen tragically fell to his death during a W.W.E. pay-per-view event on May 23, 1999. Fortunately for fans watching at home, they did not see the fall, which was due to a malfunction in the pulley system that was lowering Owen down to the ring. Owen was entering the ring from the rafters as part of his "Blue Blazer" gimmick at the pay-per-view which was eerily called Over the Edge. I'll always contend that had Owen lived, he would have gone on to greater fame than his older brother, Bret. Owen was that good in my estimation! For more on the story, click here.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Anne Rice's New Book

I have been wondering when the release of Anne Rice's new book will be, so I emailed her and inquired:

Dear Anne,
I am eagerly anticipating the release of your new book. I was wondering when it will be released in hardcover? Paperback? Thanks very much. Your work has had a huge impact on my life!
Best of luck,

She wrote back to me with this:

Sean ---- Thank you. The hardcover of Christ the Lord, the Road to Cana will be published on March 4th. I imagine the paperback will come a year later. I'll post news on my website when I have it. We are about to put up some early reviews, letters, and acknowledgements. We also have two Youtube films (links on the website) about research materials that went into the writing of both books. Let me thank you again for your interest. I'm truly grateful. Anne.

It's really a thrill for me to hear back from someone whose work I so greatly admire. For the cold-water throwers out there, yes, it is her and not an assistant. She says on her website that she replies to as many emails as she can get to. Apparently, she got to mine!

Can't wait to read the book!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Inside The Squared Circle: Two Weeks Of Raw Results, Bizarre Storyline Coming To Raw, Where Was Triple H?

Due to the W.W.E. going on tour to Alaska, South Korea and Japan, they taped two episodes of Monday Night Raw last night. Both tapings naturally occurred in the same arena in Austin, Texas. Here are the results with some comments:

The show opened with a contract signing between Randy Orton and John Cena for their W.W.E. Championship match at No Way Out on February 17. After Cena signed the contract, Mark Henry came down and distracted Cena, which allowed Orton to nail Cena with the “R.K.O.”

Kelly Kelly & Mickie James defeated Beth Phoenix & Victoria.
-They’re building on this whole angle that Mickie can’t beat Beth Phoenix. But the other story I saw in this was that Phoenix took off right after her tag team partner Victoria got pinned. The only women’s match I would really be interested in seeing, is Phoenix defending the W.W.E. Women’s Championship against Victoria at Wrestlemania.

Mr. Kennedy def. Super Crazy.
- Everyone talks about how talented Kennedy is, but I find him to be a bit of a bore-snore.

Carlito and Santino Marella beat Brian Kendrick and Paul London.
- Can’t understand for the life of me why they are burying Kendrick & London.

Cody Rhodes & "Hardcore" Holly defeated Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch.
- Eventually Cade will turn on Murdoch.

Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho & Shawn Michaels defeated JBL, Umaga and Snitsky.
- Very good match. But I could do without seeing Snitsky's brown teeth up close!

Cena wins arm wrestling match via disqualification over Mark Henry.
- Predictable finish with Randy Orton getting involved. However, Cena was ready for Orton, who ended up turning tail and running out of the ring. Cena then picked up the huge Mark Henry in a “fireman’s carry” and slammed him, showing an unbelievable amount of strength.

- Triple H was tending to a family emergency and was not at either taping. From what I have read, a Triple H promo may be taped at the W.W.E.'s Stamford, CT. headquarters and inserted into next week’s episode.
-Paul London, Lance Cade and Val Venis all returned from injury.
-A promo was aired hyping Candice Michelle's return. Incidentally, her Go Daddy Super Bowl commercial got axed.

*SPOILERS* Raw Results for Next Week
Hornswoggle defeated Vince McMahon in a no disqualification match.
- Finlay interfered by hitting Mr. McMahon with a shillelagh. A segment is aired showing Vince saying he would fire Finlay. But later on he goes back on that and instead announces a steel cage match the following week (2/18) against Hornswoggle.

Chris Jericho defeated JBL.
- After the match, Umaga comes to the ring and attacks both men. I guess this shows that JBL's money hasn't persuaded the "Samoan Bulldozer" to take his side at No Way Out.

Paul Burchill beat Brian Kendrick.
- Paul Burchill and Katie Lea debuted with their "incest" angle. Good grief is all that comes to my mind!

John Cena defeated Mark Henry.
- After the match Cena and Orton have an in-ring stare down

Mr. Kennedy calls out Ric Flair and then attacks his supposedly injured leg.
- The Flair retirement storyline hasn't gotten me just yet. A Michaels-Flair match at Wrestlemania would, however!

Melina beats Maria.
- Didn't we just see this match a couple of weeks ago? The reported outcome is that Jillian Hall distracts Maria by kissing Santino Marella. Santino then blames it all on Playboy and tells Maria that she has to choose him or Playboy next week. I bet this is really funny! I find Marella to be hysterical!

Jeff Hardy defeated Shawn Michaels.
- Even though I know the outcome, I can't wait to see this match!

Keep it in the Ring!

One Giant Loss!

The above is evidence that I, indeed, am on top of things. I heard about this t-shirt which you can purchase over at a site called Quite humorous, if you ask me!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Hitting Number One!!!

I don't put a whole lot into rankings and such, but this one feels GREAT! Click me!

Super Odds & Sods

What an amazing win for the New York Giants last night! I’m not shocked, but I am really, really happily surprised! This Giants’ defense just played absolutely unbelievable and basically tossed a perfect game against New England. I really can’t imagine them having played any better. No matter what sport, I love watching great defenses and to me this 2007-2008 Giants defense was great! The above two men, Osi and Michael, are definitely one of the best defensive end tandems in the history of the N.F.L.

Quote of the night came from Giants' running back Brandon Jacobs: “We won the Super Bowl! We won the Super Bowl! We upset their asses!”

The Giants weren’t the only ones that had a super day on Sunday. The New York Rangers overcame a three-goal deficit to win on the road against Montreal in an afternoon game. For the Blueshirts, this is their third straight win and they have now won three of four since the All-Star break. Incredibly, the Rangers had four rookies in the lineup on Sunday that all played vital roles in the win: Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Marc Staal and Nigel Dawes.

Last year, Sean Avery gave the Rangers a much needed shot in the arm that propelled them into the playoffs. This year, however, I’m counting on the youth of the Broadway Blues to get them charged up for a playoff run.

Ah yes, once again the dreaded three-goal lead reared it's ugly head!

For whatever reason, Alex Kovalev always saves his best for his former team, the New York Rangers. Yet, I get tired of hearing that New York made a mistake trading him. Kovalev did two tours with the Rangers and underachieved. Whatever it was, it just wasn’t a marriage meant for the long haul. But he was an invaluable piece of the puzzle in 1994.

I’m voting for John McCain tomorrow. From the beginning I liked Duncan Hunter and Mike Huckabee, but Hunter’s campaign went nowhere, and I am just not very sold on Huckabee. I respect McCain’s service both in the military and in politics. He’s a straight shooter, which is refreshing. I just wish that conservative talkies like Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh would stop bashing McCain and get behind him.

I’m not going to rule out Mitt Romney or Huckabee having a “super” day tomorrow, mostly because this country loves governors! It’s been a long time (JFK) since the folks elected a senator. But I think that trend will change this year!

I feel bad for Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan and all the others. I even feel sorry for Tom Cruise. I just can’t stand to see people get beat up on. It’s like in a schoolyard where you have one kid being beaten up by thirty! Wow those thirty are really proving their toughness! Look, you won’t see me giving up Pete Townshend’s music for Britney’s, but I don’t ever want to live a life where I have no compassion for others. Sadly, that’s what I see from way too many people!

Brock Lesnar did not have a super Saturday, losing to Frank Mir in 1:30 of the first round at the UFC pay-per-view. I’m really, really happy I didn’t exert any energy in going to watch this bout. I would have been super – there’s that word again – disappointed.

Finally, Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, so you might want to go head on over to Super Duper Weenie tomorrow and load up on "fat" Tuesday.

Hey, I couldn’t say “supersize” it, that’s just too easy.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Who "It's Not True"

I've been hitting some home runs lately with my recent finds on YouTube. This song is from The Who Sings My Generation album.

It's a video of the band performing "It's Not True" on some show. I've replayed this one at least a dozen times already! The album was released in 1965 and this performance took place in 1966.

I don't think they ever released the song as a single, or if they have ever done it in conert very often either. Anyway, enjoy!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Van Halen Covers "Magic Bus"

On their current tour, Van Halen (with David Lee Roth) have been covering The Who's "Magic Bus." Nice job, guys! Of course, I prefer The Who's version, especially the live one they did on the Live At Leeds album, but VH doesn't disappoint! The above video was done at a Van Halen concert in November 2007.

Van Halen Covers "Won't Get Fooled Again"

Long before Van Halen covered "Magic Bus," they also did a good job with Who classic "Won't Get Fooled Again." Van Halen included the song on their Live: Right Here, Right Now (1993) album. The above video is of the band with Sammy Hagar performing "Won't Get Fooled Again" in the studio. Great job, guys!

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

I saw this movie when I was a little kid on channel 11 or channel 9, not sure which one. Either way, the movie was pretty scary and didn't disappoint me when I recently found it on YouTube. I decided to post part one above. It's called Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973), starring Kim Darby and William Demarest.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Super Bowl Prediction

Everyone else has their thoughts on the Super Bowl so I suppose I will add mine. I really have no idea what to expect from this game. The Giants defense is good enough to keep Tom Brady and company at bay, but for how long is anyone’s guess. The "Blue Blue" defense has to play four perfect quarters, which is a lot to ask.

One could make an argument for this game going in any number of directions. I don’t think it will be a blowout, but I’m going to go with the Pats in a close one. Some weird score like 26-16 or 23-17. I have a feeling that this could be a boring game, though. I have no idea why Plaxico Burress had to go and shoot his mouth off. Of course, New England doesn't need any extra motivation, but just play the game! I also think the whole Tom Brady ankle deal is a ruse.

I’m a Giants’ fan, so I’m pulling hard for the G-men. But I think the Pats, will indeed, stay perfect.

Incidentally, go check out the above football cake at Carvel!

The Best Book Ever?

I recently saw this debated someplace as to what the best book ever is and I think it is a bit silly, only because there are just so many great ones to mention. But I, nonetheless, will add my two cents (with inflation shouldn't it be more?).

As a child I absolutely loved Where the Wild Things Are. In fact, when my mother would take me to the library, I would go straight for that book. I'd say as an adult that really anything that Anne Rice has authored, particularly, Lestat, Memnoch the Devil, Blackwood Farm (gave me nightmares) and Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt are all top-notch.

As far as the classics go, The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald) and A Farewell to Arms (Ernest Hemingway) are probably at the top of my list. Nonfiction books that stand out for me are In Harm’s Way (by Doug Stanton which is about the USS Indianapolis, and one that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!), Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand (who wrote the book while suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome) and From Beirut to Jerusalem (Thomas Friedman). From the true crime category: Serpico by Peter Maas, Gotti by Jerry Capeci and Gene Mustain and The Westies by T.J. English, are all must-reads. But, like I said, there are just so many that I love and have read that I can’t name them all.