Articles by Travis MacKenzie

Other Sports

UFC’s hype lacks substance

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Ultimate Fighting Championship has one clear advantage over its main competition in the world of combat sports: Promotion. UFC President Dana White has the vast majority of the top talent in the sport of mixed martial arts, knows how to properly match that talent up with opponents, and knows how to make a run-of-the-mill matchup seem important. This makes it tough for any form of organized fighting…

Football

The Cost of Contending

We all know the story of Kurt Warner. He started at quarterback for only a single year in college, playing for an unheralded Northern Iowa Panthers program. Unsurprisingly, the NFL failed to come calling in 1994. After missing a year of competitive play, Warner never gave up his efforts at getting a shot at the big time. The hard work officially resumed in 1995, with the Arena Football League’s Iowa Barnstormers. After three successful years…

Football

Bill Cowher better suited for broadcast

A long-standing annual NFL tradition continued on Monday, December 29th, 2008. On the day following the conclusion of the latest season, unsuccessful coaches found themselves among the ranks of the unemployed. Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel, Detroit Lions bench boss Rod Marinelli, and, surprisingly, the New York Jets’ Eric Mangini were the first three victims to feel the ax. One person immediately became a popular candidate for all three vacancies. For nearly two full seasons,…

Other Sports

Making a case for The Contender

Sports haven’t been truly appreciated recently on television. Live games are slowly but surely all migrating to cable, with both Monday Night Football and the Bowl Championship Series, undoubtedly marquee sports properties, calling ESPN their new home in recent years. In fact, even Stanley Cup games are now being placed on cable in the United States. Outside of live events, the picture is even worse. Prime time programming has never been friendly to the world…

Football

All they needed was two

I’m not one to switch favourite teams in sports, so it can’t be said that I’ve had much success as a fan. What I’ve gotten out of the four major team sports are the 1992 and 1993 Toronto Blue Jays World Series wins, and, more or less, nothing else. Those two wins are likely to be the greatest memories of my life as a fan. This year, however, I’ve discovered a clear number three: The…

Other Sports

Valuev-Holyfield, what boxing has come to?

Boxing certainly is not a perfect sport. Mismatches often happen, thanks to promoters looking to build up their fighters’ records. The results of matches being left in the hands of opinionated, inconsistent judges is also a much-too-frequent occurrence. What might be the sport’s absolute worst aspect, however, is shown case-in-point by this Saturday’s Nikolay Valuev-Evander Holyfield fight. It’s bad enough that the 7’0″, 320-pound Valuev has been artificially boosted into the echelon of top-flight heavyweights…

Football

Who’s next in the Buffalo-Toronto series?

The Buffalo Bills have six more chances to get this Toronto thing right. After more than nine months of heavy fanfare, the Bills completed the first of five regular season games (in addition to three exhibitions) to be played at the Rogers Centre over a five-year span. The game was the first real shot at making Toronto a “Bills town”, but the hypothesis did not pan out as intended. The final result of the day…

Other Sports

Another shot at saving boxing

If the sport of boxing is on the comeback trail, this Saturday evening will certainly be a part of the hike. Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao will be the two combatants to enter the ring in the latest effort to rejuvenate the sport, and it will likely be a try that eclipses the previous attempt, at least in terms of in-ring action. The sport’s true decline took place somewhere between June 8th, 2002,…

Baseball

Dogging Orlando

With baseball’s silly season officially underway, we’re getting very close to the point of players putting their pens to outrageous contracts. It will undoubtedly be interesting to see where this year’s big-name free agents end up, specifically CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Francisco Rodriguez. Even the trade market heats up at this time of year, with San Diego’s Jake Peavy possibly being the best player who will switch teams this offseason. The most fun part…

Football

Should the NFL care about Vegas?

It’s a given that, every once in a while, a referee will make a mistake during a sporting event. As much as leagues attempt to prevent it, it will happen. We’re all human, and corrections will often be made. A week 11 NFL football game, however, certainly raised the question as to what extent fans are entitled to be outraged about these mistakes. With five seconds to play in the San Diego Chargers’ Nov. 16…