The greatest show on earth


Every year I am blessed to have the opportunity to travel across the Ocean to the US of A. For some unknown reason I am considered a bit of an expert in the field of online intellectual property protection (or domain names) and so annually I head off to the sunnier climates of the west coast of America to DOMAINFEST – the biggest meeting of minds in the domain name world. Let me give you a moment to pick yourself off the floor with this news. I am sure you all think a trip around DFS sounds more fun, but let me just say two words to you from last year – Playboy Mansion.

I cannot believe that people do not know I went there last year. After all I do not like to talk about it. This year there was no visit to the best adult theme park in the world but it was still going to be an enjoyable trip, albeit very very busy. First up was a trip up the Pacific Highway to San Francisco, then a few days and nights in Santa Monica before a flight back eastwards to New York City. There, I would divert across to New Jersey, down to Philadelphia before finally returning to TBIR Towers and the welcome bosom of CMF.

Sounds like hard work doesn’t it? But mixed in there was a bit of fun as well. First up would a trip to see the legendary LA Lakers play, followed by a second NBA game in New Jersey and finally we would be experiencing a real Super Bowl party, in New York, amongst the New York Giants fans who would be competing in a replay of the 2008 final against the New England Patriots in Indianapolis.

LA Lakers 106 Charlotte Bobcats 73 – The Staples Center – Tuesday 31st January 2012 7.30pm
It isn’t long ago since the Lakers were the biggest brand in US sports. having won 16 NBA Championships and worth a staggering $643m according to Forbes magazine. They are also one of the oldest franchises in the NBA having “moved” to LA in 1960 after starting life as the Minneapolis Lakers (Minneapolis is the “land of a 10,000 lakes” – hence the name). They have been able to field some of the most famous names in basketball during their history, including Shaq O’Neil, Magic Johnson and more recently Kobe Bryant who still captains the team today. Also in the roster is Ronald William Artest Junior, or as he is better known as today, Metta World Peace.

“Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world,” World Peace said in a statement released after the name change court hearing…right. Continue reading

The greatest show on Earth


It’s easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you’re a winner, when you’re number one. What you got to have is faith and discipline when you’re not a winner. Vince Lombardi

Tomorrow sees the XLV Super Bowl in Dallas. The Lombardi trophy is being contested by two small town teams in the grand scheme of American affairs. In one corner are the record six times trophy holders Pittsburgh Steelers who are looking to win the title for the third time in past six years, whilst in the other corner is the team of Lombardi himself, the Green Bay Packers.

Much has been made in the past of the “weather effect” of the advantages of teams from the south playing in the Super Bowl final. Virtually every title decider in the past two decades has been played in the warmer southern states such as Florida, California and Arizona, and that has been said to have a detrimental effect on teams from the chilly north. But not this year. For a start both the NFL and AFL champions come from the north, and secondly the snow that has hit Texas this week has made the city look more like Chicago than the hot, dry desert state we all know it as. Continue reading

It could never happen here…could it?


First published in 2010 this article covered the US sports league that had more column inches written about the actual players than the action itself…The league has now been rebranded as the Legends Football League but is still going strong.  In fact it has expanded globally with leagues in Canada and Australia, and a Europa League due to start in 2015 featuring teams from Dublin, Manchester and Barcelona.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the US.  The biggest day of celebration in North America.  Christmas is a time for presents and for outlandish house decorating, Halloween is the new Easter but for sheer gluttony nothing can beat Thanksgiving.  It is all about eating as much as you can, crashing out on the sofa and watching 10 hours of American Football.

It is hard for us Brits to imagine a similar situation. Our biggest day of celebration is still Christmas Day.  Sure, we pig out just like the Americans, we crash on the sofa in a slumber but when we turn on the TV we have repeats of lame comedy shows, a James Bond film and the Queens speech.  The thought of our overpaid, overhyped footballers turning out on Christmas Day is simply unimaginable.  For one thing we do not have a transport infrastructure that actually works on Christmas Day meaning travel to and from games would be nigh on impossible if you did not have a car.  But it was not always the way.  Games were played in the English leagues on Christmas Day right up until 1959. Continue reading

They must be Giants


We have forged some strong links over the “Pond” in the four years since we started our blog, ironically off the back of a visit to a “soccer” game in Orlando which was billed for publicity purposes as Columbia v Mexico, but on attending blatently wasn’t.  We have interviewed some of the best known exponents of the round ball version of football who are based in the states, such as TheOffside.com’s Daryl Grove and EPLTalk.com’s Christopher Harris as well as players such as Miami FC’s Martyn Lancaster. But we had never got a real insight into what the American’s call Football which at the top level is better known as NFL.

We like to model ourselves at TBIR Towers a little bit like Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, sitting around all day thinking up ways to bring amusement to the general public.  So when they brought out the fantastic “An Idiot Abroad”, featuring Karl Pilkington, we had an idea.  What if we send our overseas based writers off to watch the local sports and get them completely immersed in the experience?  Genius if I say so myself.  Two quick phonecalls later and we had arranged for our Englishman in New York Luge Pravda to hot foot it down to the new Giants stadium at silly o’clock in the morning for a game.  Over to you Luge:- Continue reading