Annabella’s Epiphanies Resurrected From the Dead


Yes, it’s true. Annabella’s Epiphanies has been resurrected- for now.

Before I get to the goods, thanks is in order- to all of you who have supported me and my blog, Annabella’s Epiphanies, a big thank you. I would not be where I am today had it not been for this blog and all who have followed my work. Some of you may be wondering where I’ve been, others know. This is, for the most part, for those who followed until I disappeared, and for those who continue to find my blog on search engines world-wide.

When I started this blog, the technical aspect of my writing was hideous to say the least. (Trust me, I’ve looked back.) Perhaps it was because I started this blog as an experiment.

On the other hand, the content seemed to strike a chord with an insane amount of people. In short, Annabella’s Epiphanies circumstantially became a platform for my writing career.

A few months into Annabella’s Epiphanies and a lot of research later, I got an opportunity to write an opinion editorial (op-ed)  for the Daily News Journal. That op-ed morphed into a year-long gig. A few more op-ed’s and I was off to the sports section, where I became a regular guest NFL columnist. (Thank you, Greg Pogue.)

During this time, I was doing triple duty dabbling in some side projects; to be specific, I was volunteer blogging for a cause near and dear to my heart. I also spent a short time with a “start-up” NFL website. (Which turned out to be an epic fail and shall remain nameless.) Nonetheless, I was able to maintain some kind of consistency with Annabella’s Epiphanies.

February 2010 changed all that.

Almost simultaneously, I received two semi-permanent job offers. The first was from a man who had found me through my various articles and blogs floating around the internet. His company, iTrip, was looking for a person to write three blogs a week pertaining to the vacation rental industry. I knew nothing of vacation rentals and very little about travel, so I was quite enthralled that he was asking me to be the face of their blog. I learned quickly and soon picked up the title of  social media marketer as well. (I should add that the pay was not bad either, but I didn’t like that I was made to look like a ghost writer over half of the time.)

The Murfreesboro Post, a local, independent newspaper came next. With a human interest piece under my belt and pro football still in season, the editor decided to throw me back on the NFL wagon. (Good choice. No, really, the editor said so herself.)

All Things Must Come to an End

Sometimes things happen that are out of our control, as was the case with iTrip. I had to resign due to an unexpected obstacle, but I’m not one to believe in coincidence. Even before the aforementioned obstacle, I was beginning to feel weary. I wanted to get back to writing about my true passions-  football, sports entertainment, (WWE and TNA) entertainment, op-ed’s, and of course, my personal memoir. Now, that’s exactly what I’m doing.

I will be blogging on Annabella’s Epiphanies as often as possible, if even only to update you all on my freelance writing adventures.

Again, thank you all so much for making writing worth doing.

See you soon!

Former Titans QB Steve McNair Laid to Rest Today-Just One More Perspective


 

 

McNair-Donn Jones-APLast week’s tragic death of former Titans quarterback Steve McNair, and the disturbing circumstances surrounding the case really put things into perspective.

For several years now, there has been a growing trend; an infamous trend that has seen the deaths of many posh superstars whose advantageous lifestyles have seemingly destroyed them. There was WWE superstar Eddie Guerrero, who died in 2005. Then, two years later, the murder/suicide involving yet another WWE superstar, Chris Benoit. A few months prior to Benoit’s death, ( not so surprisingly) Anna Nicole Smith was found dead, and one year after her death came the highly unexpected deaths of actors Brad Renfro and Heath Ledger.

Now, in the year 2009, and in about two months time, we have seen the deaths of actor David Carradine, Ed McMahon, actress Farrah Fawcett, infomercial icon Billy Mays, (the last three being the only three to die of natural causes) and “The King of Pop,” Michael Jackson. McNair’s name being added to this dreadful list hit a little too close to home.

I’ll be the first to admit, I am a huge Steve McNair fan, so much so, that when he was traded to the Baltimore Ravens in 2006 I became a part-time Ravens fan. The derision shown to me by fellow Titans fans was to be expected, after all the Baltimore Ravens were a long time rival.

Cat calling or not, I was unwavering in my decision to follow the Ravens, because it was Steve “Air” McNair whom I was truly a fan of, even after he began taking media and fan criticism for his susceptibility to bodily injury. Of the many quarterbacks in the league, both past and present, I can’t readily recall another quarterback who took as much punishment on the field as McNair did during his 13 years in the NFL; not to mention the number of injuries he played through to lead the Titans  on to victory. Outside of football however, he seemed to struggle with ambivalence.

McNair’s affinity for the Nashville and Middle Tennessee communities has been well documented through his extensive charity work, his eagerness to interact with fans, and his notably popular football camp for kids. It’s clear to me and to those who were closest to him that he had good intentions and a good heart, but it’s important to remember that celebrities are human beings too. It is too often that we forget this, and in doing so we unintentionally put these celebrities up on Mt. Olympus alongside all the other mythological Gods. When we do this, we lose sight of human nature, which is plagued by mistakes and lessons to be learned. McNair certainly made plenty of mistakes in his personal life, namely the DUI charges and the rumors that have circulated for years about his being unfaithful to his wife.

These allegations don’t make him a bad person, but rather a person who repeatedly made bad judgment calls. There is an old adage, “When you play with fire, you’re bound to get burned.” Knowing what we know now, that Ms. Kazemi murdered McNair and then took her own life only adds more questions, dousing an already fulgent flame with an insidious amount of gasoline. Perhaps what makes this particular situation so difficult, is that deep down we know that there are consequences for our actions.

By no means did McNair’s misleading behavior give Ms. Kazemi the right to take a life, no one should be able or willing to make that judgement call, but as a grown man, McNair was responsible for his own actions. He was a married man dating a 20-year-old woman, Sahel Kazemi, who just two days prior had been arrested for her own DUI as McNair sat next to her in the passenger seat. He then made the decision to bail her out. Had he not made these decisions, maybe he would still be alive, but we can’t dwell on what could have been. The only thing we can do is hope to move on eventually, while learning the hardest of  life’s lessons and keeping the fondest of memories in mind.

Number 9 will be sorely missed, and most assuredly, never forgotten. McNair-Donn Jones-AP-2

The WWE Creative Team Rises from the Dead


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Until very recently the storylines in the WWE had become vacuous and stale. An ex wrestler, and new found buddy of mine brought up a pretty valid point. It seems that during the time the WWE’s ratings were dropping like fried insects from an outdoor bug zapper, Vince McMahon was trying to re-focus his attention on the “realism” of wrestling. This could have been a disastrous move. The WWE is a worldwide phenomena, but not because of the wrestling alone, not any longer.

It’s no secret that the WWE’s success comes from the malevolent rivalries and the often outre storylines; afterall, it is called sports entertainment. To try and go backwards, when wrestling was just wrestling is not plausible. Those times have long since died, and the outing of this type of wrestling as being fake is indelible. This is not to say that the grappling techniques, or the in ring action is fake, but rather the scripting of the storylines and the win/loss scenarios. Real fans of wrestling know all to well the strain that is put on these performers bodies on a weekly basis, it is no easy task to maintain the physical attributes neccessary to withstand the kind of punishment they take. One has to admire the Ric Flair’s, Hulk Hogan’s, Shawn Michael’s, and Undertaker’s in this business, all of whom have wrestled off and on for over two decades.

So, is it really that much of a shock that the near non existant storylines, and the mostly short lived, hollow rivalries didn’t fly among the WWE Universe?  

To the Rescue!

 In recent months, the creative team has saved face by producing several new storylines. The Orton vs. Mcmahons’ feud was a brilliant move, bringing back shades of the popular “attitude era” of the nineties and early 21st century. Even more impressive is the teams idea to pull a switch by turining the Mcmahons’ role face, and the antagonist (in this case, Randy Orton and Legacy) as the heel. It’s the Stone Cold storyline all over again, with a few variations. The Edge, Vickie Guerrero, and Big Show storyline also shows signs of the “attitude era.” Who could ever forget the Kane and Tori storyline, or the Kane, Lita, and Edge storyline, which then turned into the Matt Hardy, Edge, and Lita storyline? Better yet, who could forget the Trish Stratus and Vince McMahon storyline? Thats classic entertainment.

One of the storylines that hasn’t seemed to be as effective as others in the past, is the Hardy brothers betrayal storyline. It’s been done again and again. We saw it with Bret and Owen Hart and Edge and Christian, (who aren’t really brothers by the way) among many more. The Hardy Boyz are arguably the most popular brother tag team the WWE has ever seen, which is why I believe it isn’t working so well. However, I do think it could be the right call for a short term period. It will finally give Matt Hardy an opportunity to create a separate identity, away from his fan popular brother Jeff.

 Overall, I’d say it’s a job well done. Kudos to you WWE creative team, we look forward to more entertainment!

WWE Supplemental Draft Recap 2009


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There were a few more surprises left in store during today’s supplemental draft on WWE.com, and as I expected, my draft pick percentages climbed the charts.

Prediction one- One of the Bella twins would go to Raw. I should get half the points for this call, because both of  the Bella twins landed on Raw.

Prediction two- Hurricane Helms would go to ECW.

Prediction three- Natalya going to ECW.

Prediction four- Zack Ryder going to ECW, though I thought Curt Hawkins would go with him, as there is no real tag team competition in the ECW anymore.

Surprise, Surprise!

In my draft follow up article, I mentioned that Christian and Evan Borne would jump ECW’s ship; they stayed on board. I don’t understand the reasoning behind this, there are other superstars who would fit better on ECW’s roster. Brian Kendrick for instance, who’s counterpart, Ezekiel Jackson landed there. Instead they split them up, and sent “The” Brian Kendrick to Raw……What?

Another candidate for ECW, Charlie Haas, was sent to Smackdown-When was the last time he even stepped in the ring? Dolph Ziggler joined him too, and while I find Dolph to be both entertaining and a good wrestler, he’s still in the grooming stage.

Festus was split from Jesse and is going to Raw…..Need I say anything more?

A nice surprise was seeing Cryme Tyme’s JTG and Shad going to Smackdown, while Carlito and Primo moved to Raw.

John Morrisson did wind up jumping ECW’s ship, but that was no shock, he’s been primed for solo superstardom for sometime now. He will call Smackdown his new home.

Brand jumping doesn’t only happen during the draft, I still have a hunch we’ll see Christian and Evan Borne jump before the years up. Here’s hoping.