Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Regular Season Ends On a Low

After every loss, the UCSD men's soccer team seems to rebound with no problem at all.

Leo Der Stepanians/
Guardian

After losing to California State University Dominguez Hills and Sonoma State University, the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds respectively in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, in back to back matches, UCSD went on an eight-game streak without a loss, compiling a record of 6-0-2.

The great streak came to a halt, however, when they traveled to Cal Poly Pomona to face a talented Buffalo team. Their loss in Pomona displayed their injury woes, as Brady Bernard and Ryan Mizumoto were among those missing.

Before the final stretch toward the playoffs, the UCSD men's soccer team partook in an alumni match on Oct. 28 featuring UCSD soccer players from years past.

The older team received a surprise: one of the previous UCSD players, Robert Cramplit, flew all the way from Japan with his wife to play in this game. The game was a great one, ending in a 4-4 tie.

""It was a wonderful event to partake in,"" said head coach Derek Armstrong. ""Seeing previous players from older days mixing with the new talent we have was nice.""

After the Alumni match came United States International University on Oct. 30, the last match for the Tritons before they play rival Sonoma State University on Friday. This game was no easy task. USIU is a Division I school that has won 14 games this year, beating teams with great winning records.

The game was a struggle from start to finish. USIU was hot, and its strength and quickness hurt the wounded Tritons. The game ended in a 3-0 victory for USIU, as its dominance could be accredited to their Division I stature.

""They were very good, being more physical and pounding the ball around the field,"" Armstrong said. ""With Brady [Bernard] and both Ryans [Blair and Mizumoto] out, we couldn't handle them.""

It is obvious to see that the UCSD men's soccer team is ailing, struggling to find offense and a consistent rhythm.

""We must regroup our team for the championship run,"" Armstrong said. ""We will have Brady Bernard and Ryan Blair back, so we should have all the elements to win.""

While commenting on the Somona State match, Armstrong said he expects a ""good match from both sides and a tight match throughout.""

""We don't know if they know about our injuries or not, and I have yet to hear of any major news concerning them,"" Armstrong said. ""If they take us lightly, we have the capability to win the match.""

As for the CCAA championship games the UCSD women's soccer team plays on Thursday, starting off the postseason. Then on Friday, at a time to be announced, UCSD will face Sonoma State University for a chance to play the No. 1 seed, CSU Dominguez, in the CCAA Championship match.

""Who doesn't want another shot at Dominguez Hills?"" asked freshman Jeremy Cookson. ""They're definitely a great team and I'd really like a chance to play them again. But we'll see. From here out all that matters is the next game. We can't get ahead of ourselves.""

At the end of it all, Bobby Saadati was the leader in points for the Tritons, amassing 22 points with nine goals and four assists. Though injured, Bernard placed second with nine points on two goals and five assists. UCSD accumulated an overall record of 11-4-2, going 9-3-2 in league play.

Tritons Triumph, Win CCAA

The Tritons' women's soccer team walked all over Cal Poly Pomona on Friday night 3-1, then came home to defeat Point Loma Nazarene 1-0 in a real squeaker on Saturday.

Leo Der Stepanians/
Guardian

The Cal Poly game was to decide the California Collegiate Athletic Association championship. Both teams were already assured of meeting in the first round of the playoffs, and this game was for bragging rights.

With a win, Cal Poly could claim a share of the CCAA championships. With a Triton loss, UCSD could be in jeopardy of losing its No. 1 ranking in the upcoming CCAA tournament.

UCSD came into the game firing on all cylinders with no intention of letting Pomona share its title, and within 50 seconds of the whistle blowing, the Tritons already had a 1-0 lead over the Broncos.

Leo Der Stepanians/
Guardian

UCSD's Laura Dooly scored the first goal off a corner kick from teammate Julia Cuder.

A scant two minutes later, UCSD increased its lead to 2-0 on a beautiful 22-yard kick from Cuder.

At this point in time the Tritons, up 2-0, and only three minutes into the match, hit a bit of a slow spot, at least offensively.

For the next 40 minutes of the game, UCSD and the Broncos traded stabs and jabs into each other's territories to no avail.

However, at the 42-minute mark, Cal Poly finally got on the board with a goal by Michelle McConnel.

UCSD, like the fifth-ranked team it is, did not let the goal affect it, and 10 minutes later Cindy Dostalek scored on an assist from Cuder to extend the lead back to two, going up 3-1, to cap scoring for the rest of the game.

""The game against Cal Poly was 100 miles per hour the whole game,"" said head coach Brian McManus.

Cuder had a great game for the Tritons and was involved in all three Triton scores with two assists and one goal.

Pomona's loss dropped its record to 14-4 overall and 10-4 in league play. The win for UCSD bumped its record to 14-2 overall and 12-2 in league play.

The Broncos and the Tritons will meet again on Nov. 2 in the semifinal round of the four-team tournament to decide the CCAA championship.

The Tritons returned home on Saturday to face the Crusaders of Point Loma Nazarene.

A partisan crowd of just over 1,000 people showed up to watch UCSD wrap up its regular season, and even though the game was not a league game it still had playoff implications, and there was some good action on the field as the Tritons defeated the Crusaders 1-0.

""It was a great atmosphere out there, and it was a tough game also with the rain and everything,"" McManus said. ""Our girls might have been a little tired from the night before.""

It was a tight match from the start and a defensive gem for both sides.

The Tritons finally broke through, however, on a goal from Dostalek, who took a through-ball from Jessica Cordova and drove it into the back of the net.

The lone goal was all the Tritons needed, as goalie Carolyn Cadei played her first complete game of the season and had two saves for her first collegiate shutout.

The two wins this weekend give UCSD a stellar 15-2 regular season record, and a 12-2 record in league.

""These last two games really give us a head of steam going into the playoffs,"" said McManus.

By winning their last games the Tritons assure that they will be ranked first in the CCAA tournament and have had a superb season in their freshman year in Division II.

Greed and Avarice Rule Our Sports World With an Open Pocketbook

I have a confession to make. I have become disillusioned with professional sports. An avid baseball fan, I didn't watch one game of the World Series. I haven't watched a whole pro football game this year. Heck, I barely watch ""Sports Center"" anymore.

It's not because I see football players in the news more than I see them on the field, not because I couldn't stand to see those damn Yankees win their thousandth championship, and certainly not because I'm busy doing interesting things and don't have the time. It's because I can't make myself watch two characterless teams stumble against each other to win more money.

Back in the day, the extra cash the players earned from winning a championship used to mean something. The athletes all wanted that money in order buy a house, a car or to invest it.

Nowadays the players can find championship-caliber cash buried in their couches. When the average baseball player makes around $1 million a year, an extra couple thousand is nothing.

After being fined for the Piazza fiasco, Roger Clemens probably lost money in the World Series. Yet the players still strive for it, which reveals the greed and avarice of professional sports.

The Yankees aren't a team; they're a collection of mercenaries hired by the manager to win at all costs. The money cycle perpetuates itself, so the richest team in baseball wins more money to wallow in, while the small-market teams fall even further behind.

An examination of individual players does not present much hope. The players, especially the superstars, are important because they represent the team. It's almost as if the media has realized that the terms ""Yankee,"" ""Padre,"" ""Charger,"" or ""Laker"" have lost all meaning. Sure, there's the history of each franchise, but with athletes hopping from one team to another each year, it's practically impossible for a team to establish an identity.

I mean, look at the NBA -- practically half the league got traded this year. Overnight, the Orlando Magic became a force to be reckoned with by acquiring Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady, while the mediocre teams got even worse.

These athletes, instead of differentiating themselves from the owners, have subscribed to their system. With a few notable exceptions, most pros have sold their pride for pieces of green paper.

Instead of focusing on the sports they play, pro athletes today are concerned with more than just the game. The most blatant example of this is the commercials athletes make. Turn on the TV and they're in ads for soup, dot-com companies, even real estate.

These commercials have absolutely no point other than to garner humor by showcasing the athlete's terrible acting skills. I could understand if the athletes needed money, but when the league minimum salary is a couple hundred thousand, I'm pretty sure the athletes aren't strapped for cash.

Some pros have even dabbled in the fields of music and acting, which I can't understand. I'll admit, some of them have real talent (some have no talent), but if they are good enough to be bored with their sport, then they shouldn't be among the privileged few allowed to play a professional sport for a career.

So where do you go to see athletes chasing dreams and glory, instead of dollar bills? Why, you have to look no further than college teams. While big colleges have begun to focus on individuals as well, they still remain more team oriented than the professional leagues.

These athletes aren't concerned with big contracts, nor trying to fulfill incentives -- in fact, quite the opposite. They use sports as an outlet to retreat from the pressures of class and social life, while the pros have no such concept.

Whether you believe it, college athletes have more of an incentive than pros to play hard. Multi-millionaire superstars know they will not be benched no matter how badly they play, since it will be equivalent to the franchise admitting they had made a multi-milliondollar mistake.

No -- first the coaches will be fired, and then the manager, and then maybe the superstar will be traded for a couple hundred thousand less than what he was earning.

College athletes, on the other hand, are quite aware of the fact that they can be replaced any time. They are reminded every day that someone is sitting on the bench behind them, waiting for the opportunity to prove they can start. The starters in college play their hearts out every day in order to ensure they'll be playing tomorrow.

I encourage all the readers to go out and watch some college athletic events, where you'll find pain, sweat, emotion, blood, tears and most importantly, heart.

Cal Poly Pomona Sours UCSD's Winning Streak

The UCSD men's soccer team rode into the Cal Poly Pomona match on a hot streak, unbeaten in its last eight matches.

The Broncos came into the match with a record of 7-8-3 overall and 4-6-3 in league play. The Tritons were 11-2-2 overall, and 9-2-2 in league play.

With the loss of Triton midfielder Ryan Mizumoto, UCSD had to step up on the field and make something happen. This was the match to determine where their weaknesses were, leading into the CCAA championships and hopefully the NCAA Division II championship match.

While playing well, the outcome was not good for the Tritons. Pomona prevailed in a close 2-1 game to end league play matches for the 2000 season.

Pomona scored early, with two goals within the first 10 minutes of play. John Picco found the net first, and a Pacual Villegas goal was assisted by Theo Hetherington to break things open.

The game was 2-0 going into halftime, and UCSD's Daniel Appel came out and scored an early second-half goal to make things interesting.

From then on, no team found the net, and the game ended 2-1. The Tritons only had three shots on goal, compared to eight by the Broncos.

""We were all off,"" said Triton midfielder Sean Summers. ""We couldn't get anything going early, and the conditions made it tougher. This was the last league match for Pomona, so they sent off all their seniors and played all of them. They were pumped, and we couldn't play against their enthusiasm.""

UCSD must find their stride in time for playoffs. Hopefully they will be able to look back to their eight game win streak and recapture the feel they had there.

The Tritons finished with a league record of 11-3-2. This sets them up as either a No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the CCAA Championships beginning Nov. 2.

UCSD will play on Nov. 3 against Sonoma State, a team the Tritons lost to earlier this season. The winner will then go on to face the CCAA favorite, the first-ranked CSU Dominguez Hills.

Can Anyone Stay Awake For Baseball?

The World Series came to its less-than-stunning conclusion last week when the New York Yankees unceremoniously disposed of the cross-town rival Mets, four games to one.

This was the Bronx Bombers¹ fourth title in five years and their 26th overall. Well, whoop dee freakin¹ doo.

There is something wrong with the World Series today, and it does not lie only with the Yankees winning and the buying of another title by a big-market club. No, it is more fundamental than that.

The starting and finishing times for the World Series are ridiculous. On the East Coast, the games begin any time between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and don¹t finish until well after midnight.

Over here it is not so bad, with everything three hours earlier, but for the area where the teams are actually located, it is amazingly late.

Now, for people like us, college students who are used to late nights and weird time schedules, ending a game after midnight is no biggee. The problem with this game schedule is for the youngsters. What are the children to do?

Youngsters can¹t stay up past midnight watching baseball. I mean, elementary school students need their rest and have bedtimes well before the game is over because they must be at school the next day. They can¹t, or at least shouldn¹t, be staying up until the next day.

That includes the many watching the games on television. What about those who actually make it to a game? Say a contest ends at 12:30 a.m. After the drive home and everything, it would be 2 a.m. before Junior hits the sack.

Yeah, give a 9-year-old five hours of sleep, I¹m sure he¹ll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next day, ready to learn.

Baseball is killing itself in this aspect. It isn¹t appealing to youth. It does not affect the children out here so much, but the young Yankees and Mets fans¹ only memories of the game will come from ³Sports Center² the next day.

I think that baseball should go back to the way it was and have World Series games start in the afternoon. This is the way it was for many years, well before lighted stadiums made nighttime games possible and fat television contracts dictated which direction the institutions should take.

Yes, children had school and adults had work during the games, but certain things would mysteriously take place when the World Series came about.

School kids would come down with some sort of cold the day of a game. Parents with jobs would all of a sudden have some family matters to take care of at home just before the time of the first pitch.

In other words, children would ditch and working people take the day off from their jobs to head to the ball park or to the television or radio to catch the game.

If that was not the case, school kids and workers would sneak in radios to quietly listen to the action transpiring somewhere on a magical diamond.

Some schools and work places would go as far as to broadcast the World Series itself over intercoms. This is how big the Series was. It was practically a national holiday.

Am I advocating children skipping school and adults leaving work to watch a game? Yes I am. Am I suggesting that the World Series should sit right next to math and history at school and to meetings and clients in the work place? Again, yes.

The World Series is tradition. It is as American as apple pie. Why must these traditions be smothered?

Baseball needs to look at itself in the mirror and realize what it is doing to itself and its fan base. The Series used to be something so special that the nation would shut down just to watch. Now sleepy-heads with things to do the next day fall off to dreamland, only to witness special memories on the next day¹s highlight show.

Women's Volleyball Splits Homestand

The Tritons' eagerly anticipated homestand fell slightly short of expectations this weekend as they split a pair of California Collegiate Athletic Association matches.

Leo Der Stepanians/
Guardian

RIMAC Arena hosted the two fierce conference showdowns, which pitted UCSD against Cal State University Stanislaus on Friday night, and Cal State University Bakersfield on Saturday.

Friday night, the Tritons thoroughly dominated the visiting Warriors of Stanislaus, sweeping them in three games. The most difficult set was the first, as the two teams went all the way down to the wire before the Tritons could finish Stanislaus off 15-13 and avoid extra points.

The next set saw a more composed UCSD meticulously dismantle the Warriors, taking the game 15-9. From there on out, it was easy sailing as the Stanislaus squad folded like a Tyson opponent, essentially packing it in and allowing the Tritons to waltz away with a 15-4 third-game victory and the match as well.

Dianne Camarillo led the way for the Blue and Gold, compiling a match-high 10 kills. Leslie Punnelli also had a strong showing Friday night, notching 16 digs in the effort. Jennie Wilson added to the barrage, chipping in with eight kills, while teammates Shannon Hawes and Kathleen Kentz had seven kills apiece.

The vanquished Warriors were led by the play of Angie Tribble, who picked up eight kills and 12 digs in the loss.

The Tritons came out Saturday night looking for more of the same polished play that had netted them the sweep the night before. It was not in the cards, however, as CSU Bakersfield overpowered UCSD, taking the match in four sets.

Perhaps it was fatigue, or maybe the players were looking forward to donning their outfits for some trick-or-treating Tuesday night, but for one reason or another the Tritons could not get it together in this match.

They faltered early on, losing the first set 15-12 before giving their most heartfelt performance of the night in the second game. Down 12-4, they rallied back and then fell behind again 14-12. The Tritons would not back down, though, and took it to extra points to win the set 16-14.

The inspired play that UCSD exhibited in the second set soon ran out, however, and it went on to drop the final two sets 15-9 and 15-8.

Saturday night it just was not there for the Blue and Gold, as it was out-hit by visiting Bakersfield at a 0.213 to 0.035 clip. This defeat marked the first loss of the season at RIMAC Arena for the Tritons.

Standout efforts for the Tritons came courtesy of Laura Sinter, who had 16 kills and 16 digs on the night. Punnelli also had a solid night with eight kills and 14 digs, while Jessica Barter was hooking up her teammates all night, picking up 34 assists.

With the split over the weekend, the Tritons' record stands at 14-3 in CCAA play and 20-5 overall.

UCSD next heads out to Phoenix where it will lock horns with Grand Canyon University in an important CCAA showdown on Wednesday night that may have postseason ramifications. It will then return home for a two-game headstand, where it will attempt to topple CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU Los Angeles.

Triton Weekend A Letdown

The Tritons went 1-3 in last weekend's NorCal Water Polo Tournament, beating Air Force 12-9 and losing to UC Berkeley 9-6, Pepperdine 10-5 and Long Beach State 5-2.

David Pilz/
Guardian

In the two-day tournament, which ran from Oct. 21to Oct. 22, UCSD drew Air Force first.

Although Air Force has not been nationally ranked this year, it is still a very good team and came out swarming in the first quarter, staking a 2-0 lead when time had expired.

UCSD could have clammed up at this point. All season long the Tritons have come out and been able to stick it to people in the first quarter and establish themselves, but for the last couple of games at UCSB and Long Beach State, they have not been able to do this.

Falling behind early again could have disheartened the Tritons. However, UCSD did not let the early score affect it and stormed out in the second quarter attacking Air Force up and down the court, scoring four goals.

""We did not let getting down early affect us, even though it is something we have been having problems with,"" said head coach Denny Harper.

Perhaps because of letting its guard down a little on the defensive end, UCSD allowed two goals. The second quarter ended tied, 4-4.

Not looking to let up the pressure, the Tritons decided to keep attacking the Air Force defense and came out for the third quarter in a feeding frenzy.

Air Force was not to be intimidated however, and in a rabid, dog fight-like, offensively charged third quarter, reminiscent of the Rams-Chiefs game, the Tritons scored six goals to Air Force's five.

By the end of the fourth quarter UCSD had slogged its way to two more goals and the defense had held Air Force to a big fat bagel to make the final score 12-9, Tritons.

Jonathan Samuels scored four goals for UCSD and Vladimir Djapic and Justin Wylie added two goals apiece.

The tournament had 16 teams competing and because of space and time constraints, only two pools were available, UCSD was forced to paly its second game a scant three hours after their first.

Unluckily for the Tritons, its second game was against Cal, a team who even at full strength the Tritons would be hard pressed to handle.

The game started out slowly and evenly with UCSD hanging tough, and Cal went into the second quarter with only a 3-2 lead. It looked like a re-match of earlier in the season, but then Cal took over, outstripping UCSD to take a 6-2 halftime lead.

The Tritons fought valiantly in the second half, narrowing the gap to 7-5, but in the end Cal was too much for them and they fell, 9-6.

""This was our best game of the weekend,"" Harper said. ""We were really happy with the way we played in this game, even though we did not win.""

Samuels posted three more goals for the Tritons.

The second day UCSD had a chance to place as high as fifth in the tournament, but an early morning loss to Pepperdine made it impossible for it to place any higher than seventh, and with its mid-day loss to Long Beach State, UCSD ended up placing eighth.

Despite its disappointing showing at the tournament, UCSD has something to look forward to, as in the next couple of weeks it will play five home games. This will give the Tritons time to regroup for a season-ending push toward championships.

This Sunday the Tritons match face Clairemont College at 12 p.m.

San Fran Bummed Out by UCSD

No, those were not overeager witches breaking out their broomsticks for a quick pre-Halloween jaunt that you may have seen Friday night in San Francisco.

Those were simply members of the UCSD women's volleyball team grabbing theirs for a dominating sweep of San Francisco State in SFSU's own arena, appropriately titled The Swamp.

The play of San Francisco State looked like something that belonged submerged in the goopy detritus of some dank bog somewhere, at least in contrast to the superb play of UCSD.

The three-game sweep showed the Tritons in solid form; they executed their plays cleanly and made few mistakes after the first game.

Early on was a slightly different story, however, as the Tritons were still probably thinking of the late-night, five-game shocker they pulled out against Sonoma State on Friday. The first game went to extra points to squeak past SFSU 16-14.

Once the cobwebs cleared, however, it was Tritons, Tritons, and more Tritons for the remainder of the match. The team gathered a collective second wind and went on to take the final two games in a steadfast and decisive fashion, with scores of 15-4 and 15-6 to collect the sweep and the all-important Collegiate Conference Athletic Association win.

Leslie Punelli led the way for the Tritons with her 12 kills and 18 digs, while teammates Kathleen Hentz and Dianne Camarillo also stood out among the bolstered UCSD attack, both with at least ten kills apiece.

These three players continue to dominate as they have all season, and alongside players like Laura Santerre and Jennie Wilson, they form the core of the Tritons' winning formula and keep head coach Duncan McFarland smiling.

With this win the Tritons improve their glowing record to a stellar 19-4 overall, with 13-2 tally in conference play.

The lowly San Francisco squad fell to 3-15 and 1-14 overall.

The Tritons have another big weekend ahead of them as they will once again face off in two huge divisional games, this time against Cal State Stanislaus on Friday at 7 p.m. and Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday at 8 p.m.

This two-game series marks the return of our beloved Tritons to our very own RIMAC Arena after two consecutive weekends on the road.

Come out and support our squad as both of these opponents are fierce Triton rivals and will surely be gunning for them this time around after earlier losses. The white-hot Tritons, though riding high on their winning streak will hopefully continue their victorious ways and you should be there to see it all go down.

Women's Soccer Clinches a Playoff Berth With Win

Coming into this year, many questioned whether UCSD athletics would be able to compete with the new Division II competition our teams would be facing.

The Triton women's soccer team has answered that question with a definitive ""yes.""

With two big wins this week against Grand Canyon University and California State University San Bernardino, the Tritons made big strives toward excellency.

The women's soccer team clinched a berth in the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship Tournament after a 4-0 stomping of the Grand Canyon Antelopes on the road Friday.

Erika Alfredson was on a tear again, scoring two goals on six shots. She also had an assist.

Cindy Dostalek and Elizabeth Hughes each added a goal and Christy Abizaid contributed with two assists.

Triton goalkeeper Kami Poma had one save in 70 minutes of work and Carolyn Cadei had four in the remaining 20 minutes of play.

After the playoff-clinching victory, the Tritons headed home for a huge match against San Bernardino.

Earlier this season, the two teams had gotten together to rumble in San Bernardino, and UCSD suffered one of its two losses during their first ever CCAA match, losing 4-2.

This time around, the Coyotes were no match for UCSD as the Tritons trounced the visitors 3-2.

""I just think we've matured since that time with nine first-year players,"" said Triton head coach Brian McManus. ""The first game of the season we weren't quite ready. I think as the season's gone on we've gotten a lot better and a lot tougher.""

The Triton received their goals from a trifecta of players. Alfredson was up to her old tricks with the team's first goal off a Hughes assist.

Jessica Cordova got in on the fun after a Dostalek assist opened her up for another Triton goal.

Julia Cuder rounded out the scoring with a shot off of an Abizaid assist.

Poma was rarely tested, needing to make only two saves.

Next up for UCSD is a pivotal contest against Cal Poly Pomona, which shares with UCSD a position atop the CCAA Southern Division standings. The Tritons, who downed Cal Poly 1-0 in overtime this year, will win the South with a victory. If Cal Poly wins, they may take the crown.

""We're just going game to game, taking it as it comes,"" McManus said. ""We've got a big game to see who wins the South. We're a first-year squad. The conference has proved it's tough. It's going to be a tight game; a very, very tight game. ""

The Tritons, who now stand at 11-2 in CCAA play and 13-2 overall, will head to Pomona on Friday for a match at 4:30 p.m.

Tyson-Golota Fight A Mere Joke

I don't know how many of you decided to fork out the exorbitant sum that it took to purchase a viewing of the Mike Tyson vs. Andrew Golota fight on Friday night, but my roommates and I were unfortunately among your ranks. What we saw was the poorest excuse for a heavyweight fight since Tyson decided to give Evander Holyfield some free plastic surgery almost three-and-a-half years ago.

For those of you who haven't heard, here's what happened. Tyson tagged Golota in the first round and knocked him down. The second round was pretty much a waste. Before the third round could even begin, Golota quit and walked out of the ring.

The most entertaining part of the match was seeing Golota walking down the path to the locker room, all the while being pelted by beers from disgusted fans.

In my house there were about 30 angry people yelling obscenities at the television, my girlfriend and me included. We were all thoroughly pissed about the outcome, and we pretty much assumed that we had been duped into tuning into a fight that was fixed from the beginning. But later we heard some information that made us all feel like we belonged in Satan's constituency.

It turns out that Golota not only suffered a concussion from his two-round brawl with Tyson, but he also received a broken cheekbone. Feeling bad, I began to think about whether we, as fans, have the right to expect people to fight to the brutal end against animals like Tyson.

First of all, I considered whether our assessment that the fight was rigged was accurate. After doing quite a bit of thinking, I came to the conclusion that Golota didn't go into the fight looking to take a dive.

My evidence is twofold. First of all, in the interview after the fight, Golota looked greatly distraught about the occurrences during the six minutes of fighting. It was clearly not the look of a man who had come to Michigan looking for a quick payday.

Second of all, and more importantly, I figured if Golota wanted a quick score, he could have had it much faster. Tyson absolutely demolished him with a knockout blow at the end of the first round. Golota staggered and then hit the mat.

If this man wanted to take the money and run, there is no way he would have got up from this shot. He would have meekly stayed sitting on the canvas, counting his millions as the referee quickly counted him out. But Golota didn't do that. He got up and stood in with Tyson for another round before quitting, taking unbelievable punishment that he could have easily avoided if he wasn't looking to win.

Although I had solved to my satisfaction the controversy of whether this fight was prearranged, at least in Golota's mind, my real question was whether this fight should have taken place at all. My conclusion was a resounding no!

These men are completely unstable, and their track records prove it. Golota has a history of mental health problems and also has a problem keeping his punches away from his opponents' genitals.

Tyson's problems have been well-documented and range from something as simple as asocial behavior to something as serious as rape. Clearly, these people are not in the right physical and mental state of well-being to put themselves in the middle of a ring punching the tar out of each other. But who in his right mind would do that anyway?

Heavyweight boxing has become an absolute circus. This fight encompassed everything bad about the sport. Tyson received $10 million, while Golota received $2 million for six minutes of work.

Like many of the marquee heavyweight boxing matches of recent years, this one ended by some completely unexpected freak occurrence. It gypped the people who paid for the fight out of their hard-earned money, and the sport of boxing out of its integrity. In the last five years, we have seen fights end because of people biting off others' ears, random head-butts, boxers having nervous breakdowns in the middle of the ring and, in the case of Golota, simply quitting in the middle of the fight and delivering blows to his opponent's groin one too many times (which he did on two occasions, both times against Riddick Bowe).

And who gets screwed when this kind of garbage goes on in the ring? People like you and me. We tune in and hope to see a real classic, like the first battle between Holyfield and Tyson, but for every one of those there are 10 Tyson vs. Golota matches.

I have seen enough of these episodes that I will never again pay one red cent to watch this crap. I can do many things with $50 that would be much more fulfilling than watching two social deviants dance around and beat on each other for five minutes before one of them gets sick of it and does something that ends up getting him disqualified. There is also a much better way to use my time than to watch an entire undercard of fighters that I have never heard of waiting for the big match-up to arrive, only to be thoroughly disappointed once it does.

So, for those of you who are loyal Reality Check readers, add heavyweight boxing to NBA basketball on the list of garbage sports that this writer will never again become interest in.