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1 hour ago, Astro Hollywood said:

There's a story in Bret's book about the WWF staying in a hotel in Liverpool on one of the European tours, where Spurs were booked in too. Both crews were drinking in the bar together, and there was a lot of banter about wrestling not being a real sport. It ended up kicking off, with Sid and Ahmed Johnson going mental, tipping tables over and threatening to punch Gary Mabbutt's eye straight. "I'm on the insulin!" he begged, but they lifted him up on Man Mountain Rock's shoulders for a Doomsday Device.

Suddenly Vinny Samways climbs up on the bar and undoes the top button of his jeans. The rest of the footballers immediately make a bolt for the exit, as they know what's coming. He doesn't even get the whole thing out, just the head. But it's enough. He peels back the foreskin, which makes this crinkling sound like ripping up old lino, and the fucking stink just floods the place. The WWF lads go down one after the other, and even the hard nuts like Haku and Paul Roma are left convulsing. Harvey Wippleman went blind for six months. I don't care how muscley you are, you're not fending off willy-stink with a takedown.

Diesel was the last to drop, because he's the tallest, so the pong took a bit longer to reach him. Bret quotes him in the book as saying "in all my years, I have never smelled a dick that rotten. Pee-yew!" before he face-planted.

 

Just what I needed to read today. Astro does it again

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Not the type of post that normally gets nominated for post of the year (Not enough chips or shitting) but this post from Lister is absolutely tremendous, explaining everything you could need about the

chokeout with yet another piece of fried gold:  

I thought I’d cracked a funny but then Pat brings his dinner.     

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32 minutes ago, air_raid said:

Everyone’s already said it but LOD were an absolute powerhouse in the stardom stakes. It’s incredible how big a deal they were considering their first and famous run was barely two years on TV. Yes, they did great things everywhere else but you say “Road Warriors” to a casual and they’ll think Mad Max or nothing. “Legion of Doom” stands next to Hulk Hogan, Bulldog and Jake The Snake next to all the names that kids who grew out of it when their balls dropped still remember.

My first exposure to wrestling involved LOD. I was at my mate Gareth’s house and I don’t know whether it was the Albert Hall tape or on telly but what I remember was a Rockers vs  Nasty Boys match and the fellas in red with spikes. Later as my interest grew round my mate Simons house, just prior to my lend of Mania VI, I saw LOD in his huge collection of black pre-SummerSlam and yellow post-SummerSlam trading cards, and then his sadly curtailed Hasbro collection, which went LOD vs Nasty Boys, Undertaker then, errr, Virgil. The Ghostbusters figures got plenty of run outs in his fed. Of course his LOD Hasbro lost their black spikes like plenty of peoples seem to. I simply never bashed mine into others with enough force. I ended up ruining them anyway by painting their red pads black with acrylic paint, but later acquired replacements for both Hawk and Animal who both still have all their spikes. But I digress.

My second wrestling tape watched ever was Survivors 90, and watching these boys come out to team with Warrior and Texas Tornado won me over in seconds. Later on as a smark I’d deride the PPV for the number of cheap eliminations but as a child, them not being beaten in the match and ejected for being TOO VIOLENT made them unstoppable beasts. By the end of the same weekend I’d seen Survivors 91 and watched them as tag champions beat IRS and the Natural Disasters(!) by themselves. Job done, I was a fan. Their contribution to SummerSlam 91, the second best tape from 1991 and one of the best WWF shows ever, is similarly note perfect, and if you forgive the non-finish they achieve a very entertaining match with the Disasters at Rumble 92.

I’ll be honest ; there are a few acts that didn’t translate the best when going to the WWF from somewhere else but LOD weren’t one. The subtle changes to their act were all worth it. Obviously Iron Man was a non-starter but in comparison to their WWF tune, I don’t have it as the clear winner like many do. OK, Iron Man gave a great sense of foreboding doom for jobbers on old NWA tv but the adrenaline produced by a crowd going mental from an LOD entrance during the bright colours and cocaine Silver Vision glory days, I consider unmatched, and it was a worthy successor in the “Oh SHIT” stakes to “Here comes the Ax.... here comes the Smasher...” Speaking of Demolition, giving them the bright red shoulder pads to instantly distinguish them from Demolition, The Powers of Pain and every other black leather-clad knock off that had entered the marketplace was a stroke of genius. Between the Hasbros, the shoulder pads, the T-shirt and the wrestling buddies, they had the best merchandise after Hogan. Absolute stars, and I loved them.

It was a shame they weren’t maximised in 1997 or 1998. I should have known things weren’t going to plain sailing on the first night back when they weren’t even allowed to put a pin on The Headbangers in front of a Manhattan Centre obviously pleased to see them. They were treated like chumps several times on their way to EVENTUALLY winning the belts which took way too long. There’s an alternate universe where Steve Austin has a blow off with Bret at SummerSlam and Owen and Smithers do the honours clean for LOD for the belts but that would have been a bit too “happy ending” for 1997. They were a victim of timing twice, firstly by having their balls cut off when the office decided to run with the Outlaws, then after coming back with a refreshed look and Sunny(!) they still didn’t get their heat back when the office decided DX would get turned and the Outlaws weren’t heel chickenshits waiting patiently for their execution. People say they were washed up but at the time I still wanted them to be on top again.

As for Animal specifically, he was great. I never consider either him or Hawk inferior in terms of entertainment, intensity or enjoyment watching them in the ring. Every Animal match you knew you’d get a great drop kick for a chunk of muscle, a shoulder block which absolutely shit on Warriors, and a cracking deep scoop powerslam which I always fake remember him eliminating people from Survivors matches with. Absolute brick shithouse, threw smaller guys around with ease, and great fun whenever he collided with chunkier lads like the Samoans, Steiners or Disasters. Underrated in the strength department and even though it wasn’t LOD, I’d have loved to see his team with Crush get a chance on TV in 1992 after Hawk went AWOL. It’s a tragic byproduct of his era that when I heard he’d died at the age of 60, instead of thinking what sad news, I was impressed he’d made that number given he’d lived through all the steroids and coke. Following Hawk around for so many years can’t have been good for him either. Always seemed a nice bloke on the DVDs, indelible influence on tag wrestling (stating the obvious) and I’m happy I got to see a Doomsday Device in person as a kid. Rest in peace Animal, thanks for all the powerslams.

TELL EM HAWK!

Lovely LOD tribute by @air_raid in the Animal thread.

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33 minutes ago, JNLister said:

So here's what to look for if you watch on TV.

The Very Basics

  • If Biden wins huge, we could get an "official" call during tonight.
  • If Biden wins clearly/comfortably it may well be clear tonight but won't be "officially" declared and he won't do a victory speech.
  • If its a very close result either way, we probably won't know the winner for several days.

Bear In Mind
There's no such things as official results on election night in the US. Individual states count their votes in different ways, but most take much longer than a night to complete the count, for example because they have to assess provisional ballots (where somebody isn't on the registered voter list) and in some cases, wait for postal votes that were sent before election day but delayed in the post. Instead the "wins" on the night are TV network projections, which I'll discuss later on.

Exit Polls

Unlike in the UK, the main purpose of US election polls isn't to try to quickly forecast the result. Instead it's more to get demographic data to analyse later, which is where you get stats like "Clinton did badly with working class white rural men". This year they'll be particularly limited as the people in polling stations today are likely very unrepresentative of voters overall. In fact some exit polls will actually include more traditional phone polling done in the past few days which is more representative but loses the advantage that you definitely know people in normal exit polls have indeed voted and not changed their minds.

In short, take no notice of any news about exit polls.

Results

Unlike the UK, votes are counted at individual polling locations (known as precincts.) Each county (a part of a state) collects the results from individual precincts and announces a running total. The state officials then gather together all these totals and calculate the overall winner in the state, often a matter of weeks later.

TV stations with time to fill will display all manner of running totals in states. Normally you should be very wary of getting too excited about these unless the station is doing a good job of explaining which type of precincts are already accounted for. (For example, if most of the votes counted so far are from city centres, the total will favour the Democrats and doesn't necessarily suggest they'll win overall.)

It's even more complex this year as you need to know if a running total is made up of votes cast on the day, early in-person voting (done before election day), postal voting, or some combination of these. That's because different types of votes are likely to lean more or less to a particular party than the state overall.

In short, don't take too much notice of any running vote totals unless the commentator/analyst is explaining how they affect expectations of the final state result.

Projections

The closest thing to official results on the night are network projections. They employ the American versions of John Curtice to keep an eye on a wealth of data combining known demographics in a state, exit polls and the actual reported precinct results. They will "project" a winner in a state (also known as "calling" a state) when they have enough data to be 99.5% confident that will indeed be the result. It's almost unheard of for a projection to turn out wrong, the last notable one being Florida in 2000 (which networks retracted shortly afterwards.) The people who decide the projections (usually branded "decision desk") are editorially independent even if the network has a clear political bias.

Only when a network has projected one candidate winning enough states to add up to the necessary 270 Electoral College votes will they call/project them as winning the Presidency. That's even the case if they've projected individual state results that make it absolutely obvious one person will win overall. Because many states will be slower than usual in counting this year, it's unlikely but not impossible a Biden win is projected/called on the night.

A Trump win would almost certainly rely on winning states that won't be called on election night, so it's virtually impossible he's projected the winner on the night. That's important to bear in mind if he claims victory. 

States To Watch

As noted, you need 270 electoral college votes to win. Clinton won states worth a total of 232. The final poll averages have Biden ahead by more than six percentage points in all of these states plus Wisconsin and Michigan, which would take him to 258. It's not impossible that he loses a state where he's that far ahead, but it would require a huge polling error, bigger than anything that happened in 2016, and to the point that it would have to involve a major structural problem with the way polls are done, rather than just being a case of polling only being an estimate.

If we take a six point lead either way as the threshold for a competitive state that could plausibly go either way, there's seven decent sized states potentially up for grabs. In order of how likely Biden is to win based on polling, they are Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio and Texas. (Iowa, plus a couple of places in Nebraska and Maine which aren't winner take all are in the close category, but don't have enough Electoral College votes to make much difference.)

Assuming Biden does indeed win the Clinton states, Wisconsin and Michigan, he only needs to win one of these seven states. Trump needs to win all seven. Biden was ahead in the final polls in five of the states.

While Pennsylvania should be the easiest for Biden to capture, it's also the one likely to take the longest (several days) to count enough votes to project a winner. Florida, North Carolina and Arizona are all likely to count quick enough that it's likely there'll be a projected winner on election night unless they are very close. If and when any of them are called for Biden, you can pretty safely conclude he's the next President, even if no networks "officially" call it.

Note To The Nervous

There's obviously a risk of what Nate Silver euphemistically calls shenanigans with results being challenged in courts. The important thing to remember is that Trump can't simply rock up to the Supreme Court tomorrow morning and be all "Hey Amy, I can haz election win?"

He'd have to find some legal challenge that would likely involve disqualifying/not counting a batch of votes that was Democrat-heavy enough to change the overall state result. (That challenge would eventually end up in the Supreme Court.) He'd then have to do that in the right state or combination of states (which means multiple cases, all of which he eventually wins) to change the overall Electoral College result.

That means Biden would be more comfortable if he gets to around 300 Electoral College votes, which would mean even "losing" Florida via the courts wouldn't cost him the Presidency. Get to 320 and he could survive "losing" Florida and Pennsylvania and at that point Trump's team would have to throw in the towel, even if he doesn't concede.

There are other ways Trump could attempt to "steal" a win despite the vote outcome, but you're basically into guaranteed extended riots territory and it's unlikely the Republican establishment would get behind that.




 

 

Not the type of post that normally gets nominated for post of the year (Not enough chips or shitting) but this post from Lister is absolutely tremendous, explaining everything you could need about the US Election. 

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57 minutes ago, Astro Hollywood said:

Actually, I have a story about this. A few years ago, I ended up back at someone's house after an ICW show in Glasgow, and a load of the wrestlers and crew were there, I think because the house was owned by one of their sisters. I was mooching around the kitchen, but they had a pretty big garden, and the ICW lot were all gathered out there, so I went out to have a look. As I was coming out, Mikey Whiplash ran past me back into the house with Grado following behind, and Grado gave me this look like "ye don't wanna see that, pal," shaking his head.

But I'm a curious guy, so I head down to the bottom of the garden, where I saw this silhouette stood on the water butt, surrounded by a small crowd, who were all cheering and pumping their fists. As I got closer, I set off the neighbour's security light, illuminating the scene. Atop the butt, Vinny Samways dropped his jeans and took it out. I tell you, they fucking stopped cheering when he cranked back the foreskin. "That's a remarkable whiff," said Ian Krankie (who'd done a comedy run-in with a chair at the show that night), before falling unconscious on top of his wife, and ironically, shielding Wee Jimmy from the worst of it, saving her life. All the plants instantly wilted, and I turned tail and ran, with the stink-cloud off his beller chasing like a swarm of angry bees. I slammed the kitchen door behind me, but it started coming through the catflap, so Grado hurled himself down, sat with his back up against it, buying everyone enough time to get out of there. Bravest thing I ever saw. I heard the skin all fell off his back as a result and took about six months to grow in again.

It’s a true story this time. Astro’s stories are the highlight of the forum this year.

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11 hours ago, SuperBacon said:

I was 5 when I fell in love with Maradona, so he’s sort of always been part of my life.

“There he is, fucking CHEAT!” I remember my Dad spitting at our shitty little TV.

I have no idea what he’s talking about of course, I just remember seeing this man in his lovely blue and white shirt with incredibly short shorts booting the ball up in the air over and over again, and juggling it with his shoulder. I had recently started playing football myself and all I now want to do is go outside and try this. He was instantly the coolest person I’d ever seen. 

Diego doesn’t have the best tournament (it will become apparent to me years later why), neither do Argentina despite getting to the final (nostalgia burns bright with this tournament as it really wasn’t great), and in my 5 year old eyes he is overshadowed by Gazza.

But when we go out to play on the concrete ‘pitch’ outside after every match, I’m of course Gazza, but my sister and the older kids all argue about who is Maradona. He is the one they all want to be. It never occurs to them that they can all be Maradona if they want, but this was how we played.

Later that summer when the VHS tapes of the World Cup are released, I watch them over and over, falling in love with Hagi, Schifo, Matthaus and Maradona. The number 10s. These players to me were what football was all about: fun, free and artistic. The glory game and all that. 

Someone gives me a tape of 1986 World Cup highlights and I can sort of see why my Dad called him a “cheat”, but also why everyone else calls him a genius. 

At that age, I loved England and was devastated when they lost to Germany in 90 and then got dumped out of Euro 92, but seeing Maradona rise above Shilton and punch it in didn’t bother me. I loved Diego more. Fuck Shilton. 

I adored retrospectively seeing him single handedly winning the World Cup. No one has ever done that before or since (possibly Ronaldo in 2002 but that is a massive stretch and I’m dismissing Pele because I can). It made me sort of resent Andreas Brehme for years weirdly. How dare he deny Diego a second victory?

Then 1994. No England, so no guilt in supporting West Germany and Argentina. I don’t even know if I was aware of the drugs ban then, but I just remember being so happy to be able to see him play again. And then going mental when he banged in that goal against Greece and his subsequent celebration.

And then he was gone. For years. We didn’t have the internet, and so used to have to make do with random sightings on Trans World Sport or something. He was always around, and there were snippets of news here and there of him shooting at people, or being in fights, or not being well, but he was always here.

His book was released (which is fantastic by the way) and the documentaries, and it seemed like he was beginning to be at peace with himself and face his demons.

It’s only in the last 10 years or so I reckon that public opinion on him has changed massively. On my estate growing up, even though the kids all wanted to play like Maradona, to the parents and older kids he was just another cheat, and to admit that you loved Maradona was to be honest, probably risk a lashing off the belt (yeah my Dad wasn’t great). 

I was devastated this afternoon, and I still am. I went for a long walk to clear my head and have a few fags, and then felt really silly for being so upset about someone I don’t know. But it’s not the person so much I suppose, as what he represents. He is the beauty of football. 

When I came home, I spoke to my step brother in Naples for a while, and if it’s fair to say that if I loved him, well then Davide was obsessed. It’s really easy to overlook just how important he is to the people of Naples, and how huge them winning the scudetto in 1987 and 1990 was. 

Naples is a very unique and special place, and you can be very ‘high class’ from there and still be looked down upon by the rest of the country, so the poor really are treated incredibly badly and Diego was their physical representation on the pitch. He spoke for them. Davide was 15 when Napoli won their first. He credits him as changing his entire life.

My step mum, who has no time for football and lived in Naples during the 1980s tells me how he transformed the city and made them all feel proud again. She said wherever you went it was chaos, and the celebrations lasted months. She once saw him in a restaurant and said it was like the Pope was there, such was the fervour of the people around him.

The first time I went there, I went out on my own and found myself in a cafe with a load of old boys and despite not speaking the same language, we started talking about him and you could see just how much he meant. My brother said Naples would weep tonight for the son that they loved more than they loved Italy.

He was a complicated lad, and my favourite Diego was angry indignant Diego. Kicking the shit out of the Bilbao pussies, the DIRTIEST look he gives the England team lining up in 86, chatting shit about Pele and my favourite; screaming “Hijo de puta” at the whole stadium after the Italians had booed the Argentine national anthem before the 1990 final. He was fucking SEETHING, and rightfully so. They did betray him then. Bastardos.

I don’t know where I’m going with this, or why I’ve written it, but I’ll massively miss him, and am welling up again. The best player of all time. My favourite player of all time. He had two dreams: To play in a World Cup with Argentina, and win it. He did both in the greatest way. I hope he’s happy.

“The mistakes people make shouldn’t affect football. I made mistakes and I paid for them. But the ball is always clean”

This is one of my favourite clips of him. He's SO happy and proud, I love it.

(Sorry for the ramble but didn't want to clog up the death thread.)

Edit: anyone that hasn't seen it, Asif Kapadias documentary is on More 4 at 1.15am.

I rarely if ever nominate for threads like this, but this post really had it all.

A relevant, touching subject, some interesting personal insight, and a video at the end that raises a smile. What's not to like? Bravo, sir.

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