MIKE Raffone Reporting On…The Jock Strap

Hey, sports fans!

This is MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Check out the attached one minute video (guaranteed to make you laugh) that I recorded with my buddy, Boomer in Studio M – my very own virtual ESPN Sports Center type studio.

As the sports world’s premier uber-humorist, I report on a seemingly non-sensical mix of sports topics. In this video we pose the question, “Why’s a jock strap called an athletic supporter?”

Expect to see plenty more of these MIKE Reporting On…videos of me on top sports web sites as well as on Jumbotrons in arenas and stadiums across the country.

Yup, I report on “really important sports stuff” like The Jock Strap, Dippin Dots, Quitting Spitting in Baseball, The Sports Bra, The Worst Job in Sports, Why is Curling an Olympic Sport, The Worst Mascot in Sports, The Ivy at Wrigley, Ain’t Over “til the Fat Lady Sings, Kaka’, Pa-role Models, Change is Needed (on our President’ Jump Shot) and lots more!

Email me and let me know what you think of our MIKE Minute monologues.

Straight talk. No static.

MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Little Dippin’ Dots Put a Big Hole in Your Wallet

No trip to the ballpark is ever complete without splurging on a cup of Dippin’ Dots for dessert.

For the uninitiated (and foodie famished sports fans out there), let me introduce you to this salivary sensation. Dippin’ Dots are those awesome tasting, cryogenically frozen ice cream pellets you can only get at a ballpark. These tiny bursts of chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and banana deliver an instant brain freeze and zero in on cavities you never knew you had.

Personally, I just LOVE Dippin’ Dots, even if a little cup of these micro-sized treats compete with the cost of my monthly mortage payment. The age-old adage “No Pain, No Gain” isn’t limited to sports pursuits; it applies to Dippin’ Dots, too – even if eating Dippin’ Dots requires absolutely no athletic effort. After all, if paying $20 for parking, $50 for aerial seating, and shelling out $8 for a chemically-induced hot dog isn’t enough pain for your wasting wallet, topping off your sports-induced economic suicide with a chillin’ cup of Dippin’ Dots can really set you back.

But don’t deny yourself this dream dessert delicacy! Just take some recession-proof advice from me. In these times, you can justify the Dixie cup-sized serving of Dippin’ Dots for another $16.95. Just remember to pop those Dippin’ Dots one microdot at a time. . . .and don’t forget to eat the dots real slooowww. That way, at a unit price of 75 cents a dot, you can say you got your money’s worth.

Straight Talk. No Static.

MIKE  – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays’ Fickle Florida Fans

What a difference a year makes in West Central Florida!

Late last Summer Tampa Bay area baseball fans fell foolishly for the Cinderella story surrounding their once woeful Rays.

Nightly, cowbell carrying crazies crammed the Trop, wildly rooting for the eventual American League Champs.

Off-season prognosticators predicted another pennant for the talent brimming Tampa Bay club. Season ticket sales surged, expectations soared and West Central Florida newborns were named after favorite Rays players.

But, a significant September slide more than sullied Rays fan faithfulness for their once (albeit only one year) beloved Boys of the Bay!

Late August and early September AL Wild Card games drew dismally at the domed dungeon of the Trop. Though the Rays were close contenders in the Wild Card race, the Rays fickle fans were embarrassingly absent during these crucial contests.

This weekend West Central Florida’s fickle fans furthered this un-fascination with their lackluster local lads as Major League Baseball’s best ball club, the Bronx Bombers, bopped into the Bay area.

Sadly more Yankee pinstripe jerseys populated the seats in St. Pete than Tampa Bay blue in the half-filled Trop. Florida’s fickle fans more than likely focused on football and stayed home.

A season brimming with expectation ended on a sour note for the Rays.

So, let’s see next year in West Central Florida if the fervent fan following from 2008 for the Tampa Bay Rays continues or the only things filling seats in St. Pete’s Trop are jerseys from visiting teams or the apathetic NO SHOWS where fickle Florida fans should be sitting.

Straight talk. No static.

MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Burr…in Dallas Cowboys’ Billion Dollar NFL Digs!

America’s Team…of intrigue that is…the Dallas Cowboys had their house warming party turn chilly last weekend as the NY Giants dampened the debut of Dallas’ Billion Dollar Digs before an NFL record crowd and an expectant national television audience on ESPN.

If the Boys don’t bounce back tonight with a big win against Carolina, and if their quixotic QB doesn’t play well, the climate in Cowboy country could become far frostier following Dallas’ second straight prime time appearance in what’s only the third week of the NFL Season.

Grumblings, grunts and groans surfaced soon after last Sunday’s surprising stumble. Cowboy faithful, to include legendary RB Tony Dorsett, quickly criticized the Cowboys’ current QB Tony Romo, while meddling megalomaniac owner Jerry Jones dispelled Dorsett’s doubt’s and rallied around the rattled Romo.

Disgruntled Dallas diehards blamed Romo’s wretched 29% QB rating for last Sunday’s Giants loss on everything from porous pocket protection to post Jessica Simpson stress disorder.

Expectations in Dallas aren’t just high, they’re stratospheric! So, tonight’s ESPN Monday Night Football Carolina contest clearly looms large for the Cowboys.

Count on the Cowboy QB controversy to continue until the immensely talented Romo raises a Lombardi Trophy while wearing silver and blue.

Otherwise, Dallas’ splashy Billion Dollar Digs will become increasingly bitter cold!

Straight talk. No static!

MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Barack Obama: Change is Needed!

The media continues its love affair with our country’s new President in spite of Obama’s recent slippage in the polls.

Candid shots of the most powerful man on the planet still populate papers and web sites around the globe.

However, last week’s video images of our President playing basketball begs me to bug Barack Obama again concerning his recent campaign slogan that….. Change is Needed.

Absolutely, Change is Needed….. on our President’s jump shot!

The Commander-in-Chief loves basketball, but hoop fans everywhere are horrified by the alligator arm push shot that the Prez thinks is a sweet stroking J.

Barack’s lefty J’s got a wrong ragged rotation. It’s an o-ba-ma-na-tion as it looks like a wounded duck wobbling helplessly to the rim… begging to find bottom!

You know, with all the talk about national health care, maybe some Shot Doctor somewhere should share his medical skills and correct this frightful fling of the new leader of the free world.

Because change here….. is desparately needed.

Straight talk. No static.

MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Basketball Hall of Fame: Air Jordan…..Now Grounded!

His tears were genuine.

He appeared poised, once again, to soar above all mere mortals in the basketball world.

However, the monumental chip on Michael Jordan’s shoulder loomed larger than any words 23 uttered at last week’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Jordan’s inexplicable words at first baffled, and then essentially grounded perhaps the Game’s greatest player in the eyes of expectant, but then bewildered contemporaries, teammates, coaches and fans.

On a special night when MJ could have perpetuated his larger than life legacy, he tethered himself to the induction ceremony’s podium in a self made pair of cement Nike Air Jordans.

Jordan unnecessarily took shots at vanquished opponents and coaches…..when none were necessary.

Jordan pontificated about his profound competitivenes…..when no one ever questioned it.

Jordan punctuated his speech with selfish, snarky remarks…..when he should have followed the new Hall of Famers previously inducted that evening with self-less comments filled with grace and heartfelt thanks.

The audience laughed awkwardly at MJ’s snide comments and applauded dutifully when 23 exited the dais. Sure, perhaps the best player on the planet was acknowledged and rightfully so. However, a once adoring basketball world was left to wonder what Michael still wants to prove.

In the eyes of many that evening, Air Jordan’s hubris grounded himself! However, here’s hoping that the next time 23 takes a stage somewhere, Michael leaves the monumental chip in the locker room…..allowing him to soar once again to basketball greatness untethered and unencumbered.

Straight talk. No static.

MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

http://www.facebook.com/theemikefans

US Tennis Open: Serena Williams Needs a Tennis Ball Binky

Serena Williams - Source Wikimedia James Boyes

During Saturday’s US Open Semi Final match, Serena Williams would have been best served by voluntarily stuffing the same ball into her mouth that she rudely offered to shove down the throat of a timid line judge.

A make-shift “tennis ball binky” probably would have saved the whining Ms. Williams an inevitable suspension. More importantly, the “fuzzy round pacifier” would have pre-empted the reigning champ’s awkward threats and classless profanity laced tirade before a shocked Arthur Ashe Stadium Center Court crowd and a perplexed television audience.

Compounding her embarassing exit, the petty, potty-mouthed Williams pouted at the post match press conference, nervously fidgeting and never apologizing for her bratty boorish behavior. However, this petulance is what we’ve come to expect from Serena – YES, a world class tennis player and a winner of 11 Grand Slam tournaments, but, NO, not a champion YET… in the eyes of most until she learns to comport herself with dignity and grace.

Serena’s recent temper tantrum only adds to a growing fan discontent for her feigning mystery injuries when beaten, criticizing the ratings sytem when she’s not on top and failing to genuinely credit her victorious opponents.

The tennis powers must act swiftly and strongly against the shameless Serena.

Time to grow up, Serena. Watch your mouth, bite your lip and curb your tongue. You can do it!

Otherwise, a “tennis ball binky” should be the only piece of equipment you ever take to a match.

Straight talk. No static.

MIKE – thee American made voice on sports!

http://www.facebook.com/theemikefans

NFL Eagle’s QB Michael Vick is NO Vick-tim!

With a new NFL season scheduled to kick-off today, my timing is perfect to post this blog.

So, say what you want about Michael Vick.

Continue your debate.

Present your premise that Michael paid the time for his crime. Defend your dissertation that Michael has yet to pay a societal penalty.

Stand with the SPCA and protest games in which the new Eagle plays. Support the NAACP that Michael deserves a second chance.

Agree passionately with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to reinstate Vick. Disagree vehemently with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to reinstate Vick.

However, in spite of all the difference of opinions, we should all agree that Michael is NO Vick-tim and has never claimed to be a Vick-tim in the adversity that he created.

#7 has publicly pleaded for forgiveness, openly displayed remorse and genuinely accepted responsibility for his deplorable decisions.

Lefty never upbraided his upbringing, never pinned his predicament on his posse and never cited some outrageous excuse like Gremlins in his Gatorade for his thuggish behavior.

The beleaguereed Vick stepped up BIG when most other celebrity felons quickly shrink and shrivel from the spotlight.

I personally will root for this electric QB to succeed in what will evolve as a microscopically watched second chance…..because Michael’s certainly NO Vick-tim!

Straight talk. No static.

MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Seinfeld Over FIFA Soccer

In nearly every country across the globe soccer reigns supreme. Yet here in the USA, “The Beautiful Game” pales in popularity. American sports fans would rather watch Seinfeld reruns over FIFA soccer any day of the week because a deft, one touch pass leading to a goal still cannot trump barbs exchanged between Jerry and Kramer or Elaine and George.

Last night’s 1- 0 USA victory over Trinidad in a World Cup qualifier proves my point. The game wasn’t even broadcast on cable television, yet a litany of Seinfeld reruns was available for the viewer. Sadly, true soccer fans had to log onto to www.ESPN360.com to witness Ricardo Clarke’s exciting goal from 25 yards out to give the Americans the win, putting them in first place in the Americas’ FIFA World Cup Qualifying Bracket.

Plus, last week, FIFA announced that the USA squad inched up to the #11 slot and Brazil nudged Spain again for #1 status as the world’s best team in the world’s most popular sport.

But, do Americans really care? The answer simply is NO!

American sports fans can’t stomach much soccer, and I know why. It’s the exxagerated histrionics. Sure, low scoring games probably bore modestly inquisitive American fans, but what really irks American fans is the overly dramatic actions of the gel-infused artsy-fartsy guys sporting knee socks, neon colored tee shirts and animated attitudes you’d normally attribute to overly pampered 5 year olds.

I know, I know, Americans revel in the soap opera antics of the WWF, but the drama queen dilettantes of soccer are far too melodramatic for the traditional, 3 yards and a cloud of dust American male mentality.

Want to argue my point? Tell me you haven’t guffawed at these over-reacting “athletes” every time they get touched. They get kicked in the calf, but by the way they jettison to the ground you’d think they got shot by a stinger missile. Next, tell me you haven’t grunted as panicking paramedics race onto the pitch with their all-too-familiar stretcher in a mad dash to resue the injured player. And tell me you haven’t shouted “disgratziad” as succouring soccer teammates hover around their fallen comrade, scream wildly at the ref, and practically recite the rosary in a last rights gesture for the teammate who’s precariously fighting death’s door.

Now…..if all this nonsense is not enough, you’re expected to stand up and cheer once play resumes and the injured player suddenly, as if risen from the grave, miraculously sprints into the thick of the action like he’s running in the Boston Marathon.

These silly shenanigans play way too much like a bad Italian Opera for gutsy American sports fans. So, that’s why American sports fans, if given the choice, will gravitate to a silly show about nothing and will always, yes always, choose Seinfeld reruns over soccer.

Straight talk. No static.

MIKE – Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

ESPN Foolishly Foments NCAA College Football Chippy Chatter

Although his punch paled to the devastating damage Kermit Washington’s delivered to Rudy Tomjanovich’s face in the 70’s, LaGarrette Blount’s jarring jab to Boise State’s Byron Hout’s jaw proved plenty powerful. The Oregon Running Back’s knuckle sandwich certainly served as fodder for a sports media food fest for the past three days.

Talk of Blount’s postgame punch punctuated tv and radio programs and inundated internet sites, first dissecting the jab, then decrying this now remorseful athlete’s uncalled for and unsportsmanlike act.

Sure, an excessively harsh one year penalty banning Blount from playing immediately followed, as did a tamer one game suspension for the taunting Hout. However, was this ugly incident inevitable? And were these two adrenaline induced athletes solely to blame? Or, did ESPN’s constant chippy chatter concerning its coverage of this collegiate clash contribute to the scary scenario of last Thursday night?

Absolutely! Da da Dunt!

ESPN’s cheeky chatter preceding the Oregon / Boise State matchup foolishly fomented this fated football fracas…. like churning chum in shark laden waters. The Worldwide Leader in Sports erred in its responsibility to deliberate pending trouble………… instead of instigating it. You bet execs in the Bristol’s hallowed halls know it, too!

Expect ESPN to exercise more cautionary coverage of tonight’s pre-game handshake of two rabid rivals Miami & FSU in another classic college football kickoff. Otherwise, continued chippy chatter from the Network could incite a potent punch far more horrific than Kermit Washington’s haymaker in Houston.

Straight talk. No static.

MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!