The Weekly Snitch: Jan. 19, 2010
Fighting, bull riding and basketball dominated the sports scene in Sacramento recently. A mixture of the three in a Northern California city proved quite interesting.
Sacramento a destination for MMA
Urijah Faber deserves a ton of credit for helping World Extreme Cagefighting grow to what it is today. But apparently, the city of Sacramento deserves a ton of it, too.
According to Sherdog.com’s Jake Rossen, Sacramento is the place to host WEC events. Just look at the comparison.
“Is Urijah Faber a draw in Sacramento?” Rossen facetiously asked. “WEC 46 drew $550,215 in live gate receipts and a crowd of 8,818 attendees; the Faber-deprived WEC 45 in Las Vegas last month drew 1,741 fans for a $102,700 gate. If there were ever a case to be made for pinning company hopes on one guy, this is it …”
It’s not opinion anymore. It’s fact. Faber is the face of the franchise. But the good news is that it looks like Sacramento may be the home for it, too.
While Zuffa, which owns the UFC and WEC, is based in Las Vegas, Nev., where the most high-profile pay-per-view fights typically take place, Sacramento is becoming the most-regarded spot for WEC events. Should Faber win the belt back, it will become even more so.
And it’s not just because Sacramento likes watching Faber fight. ARCO Arena had huge success hosting its first-ever UFC event when UFC 65: Bad Intentions came to town offering two title fights on the card. Sacramento loves the sport of MMA, and while the rest of the nation is “catching on,” Sacramento has been aboard for years. The city deserves every reward it gets from here on out, hopefully starting with the hosting of Faber’s championship fight this summer with Featherweight champ Jose Aldo.
Cowboys in Northern California?
There sure are. Never was it more evident than last weekend, when Professional Bull Riding, Inc. came to town to display some of the world’s best riders in ARCO Arena on Friday and Saturday.
As part of the “Built Ford Tough Series,” which takes the best riders from city to city around the country as they battle for season-long points and cash, the “Sacramento Classic” had the PBR pit stop in Sacramento. It was the fourth event in the series, which has riders compete from November all the way through October.
Cowboy J.B. Mauney had a field day in Sacramento (read the whole story here), winning the $10,000 Cooper Tires Matchup in a head-to-head competition with Kody Lostroh, but also taking the Round 2 victory, which ultimately led to the Sacramento Classic event title.
In all, Mauney took home $34,010 for the weekend’s efforts.
While Sacramento may not be the “cow town” it once had a reputation of being before, it was nice to see the crowd embrace a sport other than basketball and MMA. Hopefully it shows promoters out there that Sacramento welcomes all big sports shows with open arms, and they see that like the miners realized in its historic past, the place is a gold mine.
Kings keep losing
January has not been kind to the Sacramento Kings. Amidst several reports of the team’s success in the early going, the young squad is still sitting two games behind last season’s win total, and the struggle is mounting as the month continues.
After completing the 2009 portion of the season at 14-17, things looked bright. But the Kings have fallen fast, starting January with a four-game losing streak and winning only once all month so far to start 2010 at 1-8.
Currently, the Kings are on a road trip that has them traveling all along the east coast. They’re slated to play six games in nine days, a grueling schedule for a team that has a reputation for being terrible on the road. While a few losses away would be acceptable, though, it’s Sacramento’s home record in January that’s stifling. The Kings went 1-3 at home this month, a place they’re supposed to excel at.
The slide has to stop if the Kings want to succeed again. With three possible playoff teams left this week in Atlanta, Orlando and Miami, that’s going to be hard to do.
Kevin Martin has shown some spark in his return, contributing a heavy load of points to the effort, but the Kings keep losing anyway. Time will have the team meshing and where it needs to be, but with six games left in the month, it is important the Kings start turning things around now, or one month of bad play could haunt them the rest of the season.