Combative behavior, questionable motives and secret operations. No, I'm not talking about Roger Clemens and his three-ring circus on Capitol Hill. Save the drama for someone with less important issues to discuss. In fact, I won't even bother you with my two-bit opinion of steroids in baseball. Good or bad? You decide!
Nope, I'm going to hit you with a few Tulsarrific issues instead. Let's begin.
Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird. Are these ridiculous Chuck Norris facts still funny? The jury is out. Admit it--they still strike a smile. Right?
Why am I leading a Tulsa sports column with Mr. Walker, Texas Ranger himself? His World Combat League is set to throw down in T-Town this Saturday.
The event is an all-day affair. The day starts at 2:30pm with an appetite wetter. The preliminary Eastern Conference battle between the New York Clash and St. Louis Enforcers along with the New Jersey Tigers facing the Miami Force sets the mood.
An evening showdown between the Los Angeles Stars and Denver Fury along with a friendly soirée between the Texas Dragons and your Oklahoma Destroyers starts at 7:30pm.
Why are they "your" Destroyers? Dale "Apollo" Cook coaches the team. That should be enough. Here is a quick background:
For those not familiar with the WCL, it's a hardcore kickboxing league brought to you courtesy of Chuck Norris. This isn't your burgeoning mixed martial arts style fighting.
All action takes place on the feet. Well, unless one of the combatants gets knocked out.
Boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do are some of the techniques utilized.
Do they use a ring or a cage? Neither. Imagine a circular mat with a slight tilt to the middle similar to a sumo arena--minus the big guys in diapers, of course.
The Oklahoma team is anchored by Tulsa's beloved Thomas "Thunderkick" Longacre. You'll be hard pressed to find a louder or longer ovation for a team or a player than the one I heard for Longacre in the Brady Theater during his boxing exhibition two years ago. Tulsa loves him. Especially the kids.
Also representing northeast Oklahoma is David "The Knockout Artist" Taylor. He went 2-0 against this Texan team last month. One of the wins? You guessed it. KO!
There are girl fights (For those of you who like that sort of thing). Each team has a girl. Jeri "Fist of Fury" Sitzes hails from Missouri but fights for Team Oklahoma. She's also coming off of a big win in her last fight. She could probably kick your ass. Bonus.
Interested in a day or evening of brutality? Contact 214-276-6907 or visit exposquare.com for ticket information.
Keep this in mind: If you have five dollars and Chuck Norris has five dollars, Chuck Norris has more money than you.
Change in Scenery
"Why is Tulsa ignoring one of its most successful sports teams?" This was the tag line that accompanied a Tulsa 66ers cover story I penned a few weeks back. Oh, the irony.
By now you have heard the Tulsa 66ers will head south next year to inhabit the newly erected SpiritBank Event Center in Bixby. They will continue to call themselves the Tulsa 66ers--not the Bixby CornShuckers, as some have suggested.
It makes perfect sense. I contacted the 66ers front office on numerous occasions while working on the story. Yes, I do work on the stories.
I sought interviews with several key members of the organization. The requests ranged from players to coaches to ticket sales to the president. The players and coaches were eventually made available. I'm not sure Coach Meyer was aware his time was given to me. In fact, I'm sure he had no clue I was coming to the team's afternoon practice.
This struck me as odd. Here is a team with low attendance figures. I'm not talking about the paid attendance mind you. We're talking "butts-in-seats" attendance.
The team has always been generous in past dealings. I can say the same for every organization or university in town. Very Oklahomian of them.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to say I deserve special treatment. This isn't a whine session.
Typically, when free publicity is available, teams are extremely cooperative. This is the same team that jams my inbox with daily electronic updates. Sometimes twice a day.
So the story's deadline passes and we go to press. A few days later, the rumors emerged. A day or two later, the press conference announcing the move took place.
It was a relief. I figured I had pissed someone off in the organization. Glad to hear they were just in deep negotiations. They were trying to keep things under wraps. Covert operations on their secret move to Bixby, Oklahoma. Whew.
At the end of the day, we know two things for sure. The new arena in Bixby will suit the needs of the team better than the "dilapidated by comparison" Expo Square Pavilion.
We also answered our own question heading into next year. Why is Tulsa ignoring one of its most successful sports teams? Because they moved to Bixby. Granted, Bixby will fill the gym. They'll want a return on their investment.
Also, since the cover story was released, the team has suffered two huge losses, though not on the court. The Milwaukee Bucks recalled rising star and team leader Ramon Sessions, and the Dallas Mavericks followed suit by recalling Nick Fazekas.
No offense to the other players, but losing the top two performers on the team will likely take some getting used to. On the bright side, Adam Harrington won the D-League Three-Point Shootout last weekend. So they have that going for them, which is nice.
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