The Train Daddy is back, and the heat is on in Middle Tennessee as the area prepares for Bonnaroo. Record highs are expected for the four-day music festival, and the 75,000-plus attending have no problem being high! I love music, but the love I have for sports isn’t even comparable. I love the lineup at Bonnaroo; it’s crazy good. The Chili Peppers, The Beach Boys, Radiohead, Phish, my man Mac Miller, Ludacris, The Roots, the crazy Alice Cooper, Kenny Rogers—it doesn’t get much more diverse than that, and there are many more legends and up-and-coming bands taking the stage at Bonnaroo. But it’s not the Train Daddy’s style to attend the Roo. I am not a fan of dirty, sleep-deprived, overcrowded fields of passionate drug-using music fans; that’s not describing everyone, it’s the stereotype, right? Of course, there are music fans that just go for the love of the music or the outdoors and stay away from drug use. But for a young cat heading to his first music festival, it’s a whole other world, and once in the world of the ‘Roo, it’s not the police in charge—it’s the 75,000 passionate music fans. This festival has the best music this country has to offer, but I would much rather spend my money on a trip to a white sandy beach. A beach is a true paradise for the Train, a tropical drink with a little umbrella in hand, Jimmy Buffet karaoke music in the background living life with no shirt, no shoes and no problems.
When someone asks me to explain why I love sports so much and have such a fiery passion for the game, it’s easy to explain. The Romans loved sports as I do. Granted, many people ended up dying from their idea of sports, but it was a group united cheering on their favorite gladiator. These days we don’t allow men with swords and a coliseum of hungry tigers to have a battle royal to the death for the enjoyment of the crowd, but the similarities of a modern football game and the gladiator games are very close. People gather, we all enjoy great food and beautiful women surround us. The gladiator games were a way for the royalty to keep the common people happy and entertained. Today football, baseball, basketball, soccer, rugby, these games keep people happy and entertained. It’s quite different compared to the days of the Romans, but the battle between two opposing teams still presents the same passion as it always has, and that is the reason I love sports so much.
Rugby is a sport I have always loved, and after four years of writing sports articles for The Pulse, I have rarely if ever brought up the game of rugby. I played rugby for OHS and the Murfreesboro Mud Dawgs the first year the Tennessee Rugby League was created, and since those days in 2001, the league has flourished. The first season ever in ’01, The Mud Dawgs won the very first championship vs. the Brentwood Brumbies, and the following year we finished runner-up to Brentwood. Those were the early days of what has become a league with teams from all over the state and a much more defined rulebook.
Rugby is a game of no pads and relies heavy on teamwork and trust. You hit hard, you play smart and you will win. Rugby is a true gladiator sport! Just this past weekend, the 2012 USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship was held in Philadelphia and the championship game was Arizona vs Dartmouth. After Dartmouth knocked off the favorite Cal, who ended up finishing third, Dartmouth dominated the championship game versus Arizona and adds another banner on the Big Green wall. Now don’t get me wrong, football is hands-down my sport, but unless you have played rugby, you just don’t know of what I speak. You can pound, hit, take someone’s head off and then cheer a victory with your teammates. It’s a true Gladiator event!
Let’s talk basketball and playoffs, baby. It is primetime, and prior to the playoffs, I had Miami and Oklahoma battling it out for the championship. If you don’t believe me, go back and read my past articles. Now this article was written smack in the middle of the Conference Finals, and without a doubt, I am taking the heat over the Celtics. The other game has me riddled because my heart rolls with Oklahoma City and my brain rolls with the Spurs and as I am writing this article the Series is tied 2-2. The Spurs dominate at home, and the Thunder dominate at home. What gives and who will steal a game at the other’s house? The Spurs are boring and damn good; Tony Parker is a beast player, a jazzy shooter and fundamentally sound. Parker and the big boy Timmy Duncan, they’re nasty! Oklahoma City is the sexiest team out there; Kevin Durant is a beast all around, and Russell Westbrook, who currently holds the NBA record for longest active games played streak and registered the fifth highest scoring average in the league. The duos were both named to the All-NBA Team, and with a solid surrounding cast it will be interesting to see if they can top the Spurs. No Chris Bosh for now, but Dwayane Wade and Lebron James don’t flinch an inch. Boston has what it takes, but as of press time the Series is 2-1 in favor of the Heat, and I am confident they will win the Series. The real kicker here, ladies and gentleman, is whoever wins the Series between the Spurs and Oklahoma will win the championship, Boom Shaka Laka!
So let’s wrap it up, always something every gentleman out there should do. The LA Kings are dominating and up 2-0 on New Jersey as of press time, taking the first two games of the Stanley Cup on the road. I was disappointed at the showing of the Predators after knocking off the Red Wings, but the dominant performance of LA is well deserved and they are aiming for their first Stanley Cup Championship since their creation in 1967. Sorry for no love, New Jersey, but losing the first two home games of a best of seven is like peeing on your face; it is no good. So we have much to look forward to; everyone out there enjoy the end of hockey, enjoy the end of basketball and pray for the return of the best sport in the world, “God Bless Football”! CHOOO-CHOOO.