Bourdain Takes the Gold in Jiu-Jitsu

April 18, 2016

By Karen

I seldom write about Anthony Bourdain anymore, but I still keep up, and just saw something amazing I have to share in case any of my former fellow Bourdainiacs are still reading.

If you haven’t noticed, Tony has become a household word. Last week on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah and a guest threw the name “Bourdain” around as if the entire planet knows who that is. I also just saw him referenced in an article in Conde Nast Traveler as some standard for travel.

Tony took up jiu-jitsu a year or two ago, inspired by his wife Ottavia and daughter Ariane, who both practice the art. BTW, Happy Birthdays, ladies! (They both celebrate one in April.)

Upon earning his blue belt, Tony just competed in his first competition, in the Blue Belt Masters 5 Middleweight Division at the IBJJF New York Spring International Open Championship.

He won and took home the gold.

Here’s a video on Fight Sports of the whole match-up. It’s not exactly action-packed, but more a test of brute strength, with Bourdain mostly keeping his opponent pinned to the mat for about 5 minutes…

Flograppling.com filmed from another vantage point and included much more of Ottavia and Tony’s trainer cheering him on. At the end of the match, it also clearly shows the phenomenal shape Tony’s trained himself into. He’s approaching 60 on June 25 with six-pack abs and not an ounce of fat.

For old times’ sake, Cats Working extends 12 paws up and a hearty “Congratulations!” to Anthony Bourdain on his milestone victory, and wishes him many, many more.


This Cat’s Purrfect Superbowl

February 4, 2016

By Adele

For starters, we’ve finally learned how high the NFL can count in Roman numerals — XLIX.

(If you have any idea what that number is without a Superbowl attached to it, you must not be a football player. You’re too smart.)

The other day CBS This Morning previewed some Superbowl commercials, including one for Heinz with a herd of “hotdogs” running through a field. What some mutts won’t do for 30 seconds of fame. Sheesh.

Anyway, it reminded me there’s a Superbowl coming and I realized it’s become a vast terrorist organization right on American soil when I saw…

Superbowl 50

An ARABIC number! Why aren’t Donald Trump and Ted Cruz demanding the NFL’s immediate deportation?

Cats Working readers know there’s no love for football here, but this is one Superbowl we can’t ignore because it’s between CATS and HORSES.

OK, they call themselves Panthers and Broncos.

For once, I’d like to see kicked to the sidelines all the concussed humans who prance around in tight little pants while REAL cats and horses play the game.

You’d see so much galloping up and down the field, nobody could keep track of yards.

If any horse had a down, depending on its severity, that horse might have to be put down on the spot. Talk about suspense and violence.

When cats made touchdowns, you’d see true athletes leaping OVER the goal posts.

What you WOULDN’T see is any butt-fondling or players writhing on the ground in big gay heaps. It would be claw vs. hoof competition at its finest.

But, sadly, this Superbowl will be all human again, and it will undoubtedly drag into Downton Abbey, so we won’t be watching.

Cats Working roots for the Panthers, naturally, but won’t hold a grudge if the Broncos win, since some of our best friends wear saddles.


Good Luck at Belmont, American Pharoah

June 5, 2015

By Adele

There’s no point analyzing or speculating on the third Triple Crown race, the Belmont Stakes, Saturday, June 6. We’ve got a horse within a whisker of being crowned for the first time since 1978, and I’m not going to jinx it.

It may bring good luck to actors on Broadway, but the one thing you never, EVER say to any horse before a big race is, “Break a leg.”

Now that American Pharoah is on the verge of making history, they’re emphasizing the fact that he’s the great-great-great grandson of Secretariat, who happened to be born not too far from here, in Doswell, Virginia, in Caroline County.

And my colleague Max never tires of reminding me that he was born in Caroline County. However, we don’t know, and he doesn’t remember, if he was brought to Richmond from a kill shelter or if someone found him dumped on the side of the road. (Considering how annoying he is, I suspect it’s the latter.)

And I never tire of reminding Max that Caroline County is the final resting place of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bombing creep’s big brother, because nowhere else would have him, even to throw dirt on him.

But I digress…

Firing Line and Dortmund are skipping the Belmont after failing to outrun the Pharoah in the first two Triple Crown races. The field will consist of only 8 horses, and only one (Madefromlucky) didn’t run in either of the previous Triple Crown races.

American Pharoah is the only horse to run all three, so he’s the least rested before the longest (1-1/2 miles), most grueling race. He’ll be in post position 5.

On his first spin around the Belmont track earlier this week, trainer Bob Baffert said Pharoah ran the wrong way, but he seems in fine spirits.

Cats Working wishes American Pharoah the best in winning the Triple Crown, and may all the horses cross the finish line safely.


The 2015 Preakness Conundrum

May 15, 2015

By Adele

After watched the Kentucky Derby on May 2, my little kitty heart is in pieces — three to be exact — going into the Preakness Stakes on May 16.

I had rooted for Big Brown’s son, Dortmund, to continue his lifetime streak with a 7th win in the Derby, but he came in third, behind American Pharoah and Firing Line. Dortmund had outrun Firing Line in their previous two races, so the Line showed Dortmund what hell payback can be.

American Pharoah and Dortmund are both trained by Bob Baffert, and he has them stabled at Pimlico side-by-side, so they’re practically roomies.

Once any horse wins the Kentucky Derby, I believe it’s poor sportsmanship to wish him not to take the Triple Crown, so my fair side wants to see American Pharoah win the Preakness.

But deep down I still want Dortmund win it. Baffert says this may be Dortmund’s race because he’ll like the distance, shorter than the Derby by 1/16 mile.

And then we have poor Firing Line, who’s endured second-place finishes in his last three races against these two, yet he’s gamely trying to win for the fourth time.

All three have to be pooped, since the Derby was only two weeks ago. For the Preakness, American Pharoah and Dortmund forebodingly drew post positions 1 and 2 at the rail, respectively, while Firing Line got the far outside pp 8.

That’s the good news. Only 8 horses in the field this time. Mr. Z (pp 3) and Danzig Moon (pp 4) also ran in the Derby, placing 13th and 5th, respectively. The remaining 3 horses are new faces, and I’m not considering any of them.

All eyes will be on American Pharoah, Dortmund, and Firing Line in this year’s Triple Crown menage à trois. If American Pharoah can’t do it, then I want Dortmund and Firing line each to win the Preakness and Belmont and make it a team triumph.

As always, may the best horse win, and may they all cross the finish line safely.


A Cat’s 2015 Kentucky Derby Picks

May 1, 2015

By Adele

I couldn’t be more excited about the Kentucky Derby May 2 because I have a special favorite at last. At 3-1 odds, it’s Dortmund, son of 2008 Derby and Preakness winner, Big Brown.

Like dear old dad, Dortmund comes to the Derby with an unbeaten record. He’s 6-0, after winning the Santa Anita Derby on April 4 by 4 1/4 lengths. He’ll be in post position 8 under jockey Martin Garcia. Dortmund is the first of Big Brown’s progeny to show the potential to fill Brownie’s horseshoes.

Dortmund’s got a half-sister by Big Brown named Puca running in the morning in the Kentucky Oaks, the derby for fillies. She’s only won one of her 6 lifetimes starts, and starting on the outside in pp 14, but we’re rooting for Puca.

But I digress…

Dortmund is competing against two horses who each twice came close to winning in Dortmund’s last 4 races, if not for him. Ironically, all three are running side by side from the gate, with Bolo (30-1) in pp 9 and Firing Line (12-1) in pp 10. Will they be the most motivated to make Dortmund eat their dust?

The race also features a couple of other celebrity kids…

Materiality (12-1) in pp 3 under Javier Castellano also comes to the Derby with an unbeaten records, but he’s only run 3 previous races so far. His dad is Afleet Alex, the amazing horse who got clipped in the stretch and stumbled badly in the 2005 Preakness before winning it in record time, and then winning the Belmont. It was heart-stopping. If Materiality has half of his dad’s gumption, I’d say he has a shot to show.

And then there’s Keen Ice, son of Curlin, Big Brown’s old nemesis. Keen’s in pp 13 under Kent Desoremeaux. His odds are 50-1 because he’s only won one race in 7 so far. But I wouldn’t mind if he showed, too.

The people’s favorite is American Pharoah. For some reason, he’s considered the most talented horse, having won 4 of his 5 lifetime races, usually leaving the contenders far in his wake. He’s in pp 17 under Victor Espinoza with 5-2 odds.

Dortmund seems to like taking the lead, but when he can’t, he has this secret extra gear that kicks in as he’s heading for home. I expect this Derby to be dominated by Dortmund and American Pharoah, and I’ve got paws crossed that Dortmund’s winning streak will continue so he can make his dad Brownie proud and revive the Triple Crown dream.

May all the horses run safely across the finish line.


ENOUGH About the Footballs Already!

January 23, 2015

By Adele

Here we go again with another big “scandal” in football. The New England Patriots won a game playing with soft balls. Oh, the horror, the stain on humanity!

It was the top story last night on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams. It was the top story this morning on the Today Show and CBS This Morning.

If the United States’ shameful absence from the recent mass demonstration in Paris wasn’t a clear enough signal to the world how far up our own asses our heads are these days, then anyone tuning in to what’s passing for “news” here right now would see it.

While Americans agonize over whether beloved Patriots quarterback Tom Brady knew his balls were soft, here’s what else we’re largely ignoring…

  • Netanhayu’s in cahoots with Boehner to make Obama seem out of the loop on foreign relations (as if Obama needs any help)
  • Islamic terrorists are about to behead 2 Japanese hostages
  • Measles are making a comeback because we allow idiot parents to not get their kids vaccinated

Yeah, yeah, I know. “Deflategate,” “Air of Deception,” or whatever cutesy name you want to call it, has big implications for the upcoming — oh, gasp, swoon! — SUPERBOWL!!!

And once again I’m going to remind you that football is a GAME, people. It’s not real. Never has been. Anyone who makes a living off football is one lucky SOB and a leech whose “job” is sucking bucks out of fools willing to pour money into it (i.e., fans).

There’s NOTHING about football that has any business dominating the news — ever.

Fine, anyone who must waste time on sports nonsense, go ahead and hash out with your ilk your burning “issues” on the sports pages of newspapers or in online forums. Discuss it all you want on ESPN. But the mainstream media needs to STOP rubbing the rest of our noses in this crap.

Any country that inflates men in tight little pants who prance around a field carrying soft balls into a national crisis is a country that’s going downhill fast.


Football Players Behave Badly and that’s NEWS?

September 16, 2014

By Cole

Earlier this year, the media couldn’t report enough about racism in basketball, as if nothing else in the world mattered. Now it’s off-the-field brutality in football.

Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice clocked his fiancée in an elevator, knocked her out, and dragged her off like some caveman, and it was all caught on tape.

It wasn’t until video of the actual punch leaked out that the NFL’s male brass were shamed into meting out some actual discipline against Rice.

Rice is now unemployed, the woman he socked is now his wife, and she blames everybody for embarrassing and humiliating them. But if Mrs. Rice thinks her husband’s aggression was a one-off and she’s willing to risk getting decked again the next time she pisses him off, who are we to judge?

Rice being exposed as a batterer has sent football’s skeleton’s flying out of the closet. I’ve seen so many reports of NFL players raping and beating women and children, I can’t begin to count or keep them all straight.

These are brawny guys who train every day to be vicious brutes on the field. It’s disingenuous to be shocked when they practice their lethal skills off the field.

It’s like being surprised when a pit bull who’s been raised to win dog-fights chews up a baby.

If anybody should be shocked, it’s the players themselves. The public LOVES watching them be savage. That’s football. Men crashing in to each other to inflict as much pain as possible, while leaving everyone intact enough to stand up and do it again.

For a handsome living, these guys willingly get their brains scrambled and their bodies broken. Why is everyone stunned when they become unable to discern their “enemies” in the game — the pretend war — from their “enemies” in reality? Why do we expect them to be able to switch their inner bully on and off?

All you football fans who claim to be appalled by these abusive players’ behavior have only yourselves to blame. Your ticket purchases finance their lessons in assault, and your cheers and adulation egg them on to commit it.

If you don’t like the result, then find a less bloodthirsty sport to squander your weekends on.


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