Every single thing I know about Baltimore, as a city, is based on The Wire. Nearly everything I know about San Francisco is based on Full House. Both are all time great shows. Each series remarkably captures everything I stereotypically believe about each respective city. Basically it boils down to this, Baltimore is scary, San Francisco is soft.
Baltimore plays San Francisco on the Super Bowl this year.
Ray Lewis is Omar Little. Colin Kaepernick is Danny Tanner.
And fun fact, Joey Gladstone is actually half brothers with Jimmy McNulty and I’m not making that up, it was explained briefly in on of the deleted scenes of season three.
Fourteen years ago, the 49ers played the Packers in one the greatest playoff games in NFL history. It went something like this. (Watch the whole drive, Vintage Steve Young + Pat Summerall play-by-play + Nervous Brett Favre + Emotional Terrell Owens = AMAZING)
Something bigger than a San Francisco win happened on that drive. After four years in the NFL, Terrell Owens transformed from hardworking slot receiver into the biggest diva the league had ever seen.
Today, the Packs and Niners faced off again in the playoffs. Again the Niners won and again another four year receiver tilted the balance, Michael Crabtree hauled in 9 receptions for 119 yard and 2 touchdowns in route to the 49ers stomping out the Packers in a one-sided affair. Then Michael Crabtree, known mostly as a former first round pick and mild disappointment, marched into the post game press conference dressed something like a Lenny Kravitiz impersonator (for reference he usually dresses like this).
And just like that, a Diva is born.
Oh yeah, and of course 2 Chainz was there. Because, why wouldn’t he be?
Today was an internet day for the ages. At 12:00 pm EST, the entire internet community sat at the edge of its seat waiting for 12:01 to drop. Then is came. And it was tremendously disappointing. But, then, without even missing a beat, the internet redeemed itself. Then, almost immediately after it’s redemption, the internet just got totally weird with it.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you were probably too busy checking your Friendster account or responding to emails via Hotmail, and should probably take a step into 2013 and learn how to effectively use the Internet (or as you refer to it “the web”). But, I digress.
Yesterday, former mouseketeer/punk’d hall of famer/Mr. Beal, Justin Timberlake sent out a very cryptic tweet.
Thursday, January 10th, 2013 at 9:01 am PST...—
Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) January 10, 2013
This led to millions of post-teen teenie-boppers and fedora wearing enthusiasts to clamor that, perhaps, a new JT single was on the way. And even more possibly a Justin Timberlake – Jay-Z – Beyonce ménage à trois, of sorts, would shatter everyone’s universe come January 10th, 2013.
Instead we got this.
A freakin’ teaser trailer. Who sends out a teaser tweet, to tease a freakin’ teaser trailer?!? This is what we call, overselling and under-delivering. I speak for the entire internet when I say, so disappointed. Let’s just say a minute long video of Justin Timberlake’s back is not what we were expecting.
But then, not even a minute later, Beyonce released this via tumblr:
Destiny’s Child is back together!!! (still waiting for the Anjel reunion). The internet rejoiced (can we all just spend the rest of the day watching the Say My Name video on loop). Now before everyone gets too excited, this is just an announcement and it’s basically the same thing Timberlake just did, so why the double standard? Well, because Beyonce actually knows how to do things. Unlike Justin, she doesn’t hype the world up for a lame one minute Youtube video, instead she just drops unexpected greatness and peaces. She’s has a history of this type of behavior. She’s awesome.
So, while the internet buzzed about a Destiny’s Child reunion and a Justin Timberlake comeback, it seemed like only a matter of time before Carson Daly announced a TRL relaunch. Then the internet decided to get weird. Like really weird.
This is Sammy Sosa, yes the real Sammy Sosa, and this is his Pinterest. How can I be so sure? Because he captions every one of his awkwardly posed photos with, “Sammy Sosa. Yes, I’m the real Sammy Sosa, and this is my Pinterest.” WHAT!?! This is just odd. It’s an entire wall of pictures of Sosa in a suit or a sweater sitting in chairs, leaning on chairs, showing off his computer, posing with framed photos and pointing. Somehow I feel like the Mayans predicted this..
Here it is. The first ever power rankings of what I deem important/what’s amazing/what I’m thinking about right now at this exact point in time.
Notable omissions the Knicks/honey nut cheerios, NFL playoffs, Jimmy Fallon
My main source of “entertainment” for the last week has been watching old/newish Charlie Rose episodes on his site. I’ve gone into my Charlie Rose fetish (sorry for that visual) in previous posts, so I won’t bore you, but two things hold it back from being higher on the list, 1) for some reason the site ceases to exist between midnight and 1 am (?), 2) no video pre-2010 works. What the ‘F’ Charlie?
Girls is due back on TV soonish, like this Sunday, I think. I’ve already made my love of this show known and I’m ready for my next dose of Hannah. Plus, Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino aka Troy Barnes shows up this season, so that should be good. I’m totally all in on Girls II: Electric Boogaloo.
6. Platinum Coin
If you’re not following this news story, it’s just ridiculous, supposedly there is a slim chance that the government will mint a 1 trillion dollar coin to avoid a debt crisis. File this under the “it’s just crazy enough it might work” level of governance. While I’m not an economist, this is just plain stupid and I kind of hope it happens.
5. Kristen from Top Chef
If you’ve watched Top Chef at all this season, you’ll probably agree it’s been a pretty boring season. Outside of Kristen, no cheftestant has any personalty. And outside Kristen, no cheftestant has a chance to win. Mixing her boyish haircut and abnormally long neck, she wins nearly every challenge and makes me super jealous whenever Stephon hits on her.
4, Baseball Hall of Fame
Things I hate, cheaters (it’s number one on my list). Today, the baseball Hall of Fame elected exactly zero new members, I kind of thought Craig Biggio would get in, he’ll get it eventually, but more importantly the BBHoF gave a big fuck you to known steroid cheat-faces like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, it also gave a kind of nut tap to, guilty by bacne association, Mike Piazza. I don’t care if these guy had Hall of Fame credentials even before they cheated, they disgraced the game and deserve to be punished.
Rihanna themed tumblrs is one of only two reasons I still frequent tumblr. She is the sexist human being alive (I will fight anyone that says otherwise) and Pour It Up is already in heavy consideration as my favorite song of the New Year (even though I guess “technically” it was released last year). I’m going to say it again, if anyone knows RiRi pass her my digits (631-680-1023).
2. Arrested Development
I’ve totally jumped back into binge watching Arrested Development on Hulu over the last week. It’s even funnier then I remember. I laugh out loud at least four or five times each episode. Add to that, the recent announcement of new episodes coming May and, yeah, I’m excited.
1. New Girl
I’m just going to say it, New Girl is my favorite show on TV right now. I’m fairly sure Nick Miller is based on my life. Zooey Deschanel is absolutely adorkable (I hate that I just used that word, but it’s perfect). And Nick and Jess GIFS are the number two reason I still pay attention to tumblr. I love everything about this show and I don’t care if that somehow makes me less of a man. (more of my thoughts on New Girl here)
Norm MacDonald is writing for Grantland. NORM IS WRITING FOR GRANTLAND!!!! This is already the best news of 2013.
Who cares if I haven’t watched golf in 8 years? It’s Norm for cry-sake!! NORMMMMM!!!!
In the 2006 NFL offseason the Dolphins needed a quarterback They were about to sign Drew Brees to a long term deal. All he had to do was pass a physical.
Instead the Dolphins training staff failed him, the front office traded for a washed up Dante Culpepper and the Saints inked Drew Brees to a six year $60 million deal. and in doing so, saved football in New Orleans, stole three Super Bowls from Tom Brady, and transformed Eli Manning into a Hall of Famer.
Don’t believe me?
Here’s what could have been.
- Dolphins sign Drew Brees.
- Needing a QB,the Saints draft Vince Young number two overall.
- The Titans then take Matt Leinart number three.
- Allowing Reggie Bush to fall to the Jets at number four.
- The Dolphins coming off a 9-7 year, only get better with Brees at the helm and make the playoffs.
- Without Brees running the show the Saints miss the playoffs.
- The Dolphins play the Colts in the first round of the playoffs. Against a notoriously bad Colts’ defense the ‘Phins upset (what would ultimately be the Super Bowel champion) Colts. Robbing what would have been Peyton Manning’s first title.
- With Manning out of the way the Patriots march to the Super Bowl and beat the Rex Grossmen led Bears as Tom Brady hoists his fourth Lombardi trophy.
- Following a successful season, Nick Saban declines the Alabama offer and stays in Miami.
- Alabama hires Houston Nutt from Arkansas and ‘Bama toils in mediocrity for the foreseeable future.
- The Saints drafting in the top ten, take Ted Ginn Jr.
- The Dolphins draft Dwayne Bowe with their first pick (in the early 20s) and (instead of John Beck) they take LaMarr Woodley in the second round.
- In the regular season, aided by a strong pass rush and improving passing game the Dolphins beat the Pats in one of their two regular season match-ups.
- Going into their week 17 match up against the Giants the Pats are 14-1. Not playing for perfection they rest all their starters and fall to 14-2.
- The ‘Phins make the playoffs again and start to emerge as a perennial contender.
- The Saints with Vince Young as their franchise player continue to flounder.
- The Super Bowl pits the Pats vs. the G-men. Without the pressures of perfection on them, among other factors (the Giants not having week 17 as a true barometer) the Pats win back-to-back titles. Tom Brady wins his fourth ring tying him with Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.
- With the effects of Katrina still lingering and the Saints being terrible for years now, ownership sells. The new owners announce plans to move the franchise to L.A. in the upcoming season.
- The Titans (who are atrocious, thanks to the ineptitude of Matt Leinart) draft Darren Mcfadden with a top five pick.
- The Saints draft Vernon Gholston in the top ten.
- The Dolphins hit gold late in the first round with running back Chris Johnson.
- The Saints are predictably awful again and fire Sean Payton by mid-season.
- The Dolphins fueled by Drew Brees, Dwayne Bowe, and Chris Johnson march through the AFC.
- With back-to-back Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady on the shelf, the Dolphins go to their first Super Bowl since 1984.
- The Dolphins take on and crush the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
- The Saints move to L.A. and hire Cam Cameron as their head coach.
- The Saints finally give up on Vince Young and draft local college Superstar Mark Sanchez in the top five.
- The Jets draft Josh Freeman later in the first round.
- The Jets miss the playoffs.
- The Dolphins win their division for the second straight year.
- The Saints go 0-16.
- Brett Favre leads the Vikings to a Super Bowl match up against the Colts.
- Manning finally get’s the monkey off his back and wins his first a title in his twelfth NFL season.
- Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators win their third BCS Championship in four years, cementing Tebow has the greatest college quarterback of all-time.
- The Los Angeles Saints fire Cam (obviously) and hire So Cal favorite Pete Caroll.
- Missing out on the Pete Carroll sweepstakes, the Seattle Seahawks hire Jason Garrett.
- Sean Payton gets hired to replace Jason Garett as Cowboys’ offensive coordinator.
- With Drew Brees and Tom Brady in their division Rex Ryan decides he needs pass rushers to be competitive, the Jets draft Jason Pierre-Paul in the first round.
- The juggernaut Dolphins make a second Super Bowl in three years, but lose to the Packers.
- Sean Payton takes over as Dallas Cowboys head coach.
- Without JPP’s two sacks, safety and blocked field goal, the Giants lose to the Cowboys in Week 14.
- The Cowboys win the division and the Giants miss the playoffs.
- Tom Coughlin gets fired and after eight season, the former number one overall pick, Eli Manning is widely considered a mild disappointment.
- Belichick’s Patriots face Saban’s Dolphins in the NFC championship. Peter King hypes it as a chess match between the two best coaches of the last decade. Belichick wins.
- Without the Giants in their way Tom Brady and Bill Belichick win their record breaking sixth Super Bowl.
So there you have it. The only reason Tom Brady isn’t the unquestioned Greatest Quarterback of All-Time is because the Dolphins failed Drew Brees on a physical six years ago.
Ain’t that some shit.
First and foremost, you should know, at heart, I’m a huge sports nerd. While other kid’s my age were devouring the Harry Potter novels, I was nose deep in Michael Lewis’ Moneyball. Second and secondmost, you should know that in college I once uttered the words, “All I want to do is create my own stat.” A pretty lofty goal for someone still not 100% on their 8x tables. While other freshman were trying to sneak beers past their RAs and smoking weed out windows (to cover the smell), I once spent an entire week trying to invent a stat that valued position scarcity in Major League Baseball. (After a long arduous process I basically re-invented VORP expect 1000x less complex.)
Six years later I’m back at it. Expect I’ve shifted my focus to basketball.
I was born in 1988. I started watching basketball sometime in the mid-90s. (I’m not sure the exact year my NBA consciousness kicked it in, but I can definitely remember MJ’s first retirement.) This means during my basketball watching lifetime, I’ve witnessed the greatest player of all-time, fifteen absolutely monster stars and seven arguably monster stars.
(in no particular order)
Arguably Monster Stars
** Jury’s still out on: Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love.**
Like a snowflake or a Stanley Kubrick movie, no two star players are alike. No player has Dirk’s combination of size and shooting. No player has Barkley’s combination of lack of size, girth, misappropriated athleticism and rebounding prowess. John Stockton could shoot 40% from three and pick up double digit assists in his sleep. Steve Nash could also shoot 40% from three and pick up double digit assists in his sleep, but they did it so differently Nash runs and guns, while Stockton was a master of the half-court offense. Reggie and Ray could both shoot the lights out, but Ray (at least at the beginning of his career) could take players off the dribble while Reggie was busy breaking my heart.
We accept these players as unique talents. We accept all of them, but one. There is one player we will not accept as a unique basketball talent. It’s why, for the last fifteen years, one question has been asked a million times every season.
Who’s the next Jordan?
Is it Kobe? Lebron? DeMar DeRozan?
The simple answer is no one. Jordan is Jordan. Kobe doesn’t score as efficiently. Lebron passes too much. And DeMar DeRozan is – well – DeMar DeRozan.
But, Who’s the most Jordan-like? That’s the question I set out to answer.
Who can dominate a game like Jordan? Who can change a game with his prodigious scoring ability? Who can score as efficiently? Who showcases an inside/outside game with the same tact? Who can impact games, not only on the offensive end, but at defensive end as well? Who has the all-around dominate Michael Jordan Game?
I looked at efficiency, scoring, free throws, rebounding, assists, perimeter defense and outside shooting, threw them all in a pot added some broth a potato and, baby, I got a stew going.
It’s called the Jordan Stat.
Unlike ESPN, I don’t have a team of interns to run numbers on numbers on numbers, but I did my best to run the numbers on the guys that I thought mattered.
I ran numbers from single seasons, careers, playoff runs and single games. The stat is simple. A score of 100 is Jordan-esque, the closer to 100 the more Jordan-esque you are.
LeBron James – 89.9
No surprise here. LeBron’s ability to get to the hoop, defend the perimeter and control the flow of the game is the closest to Jordan you’ll get. Of course the numbers also show some differences. LeBron doesn’t take the initiative to score as much as Jordan (which everyone already knows) and he jacks up too many inefficient threes (something he’s starting to limit).
Larry Bird – 86.9
Bird and Jordan’s games are similar, in the fact that they were both dominant multi-faceted wing players. While Bird rebounded more and hit more threes, he didn’t force as many turnovers or score with the same volume as #23.
Dominique Wilkins (Hawks Years) – 86.7
I limited Dominique’s number to only his Hawks’ years considering how hard he fell the second he left. I was a little surprised to see him finish ahead of players like Kobe and Clyde, but the numbers love his volume scoring at a surprisingly efficient rate.
Kobe Bryant – 86.1
Quick thing about Kobe, there’s no doubt that his early years playing next to Shaq skewed this number. He’s post-Shaq Jordan Stat is 91.2, a full point higher than Lebron’s.
Other interesting Next Jordan Candidates (and Clyde Drexeler)
Dwyane Wade – 85.8
Kevin Durant – 85.3
Tracy McGrady w/ knees (pre-2010) – 84.5
Carmelo Anthony – 83.5
Allen Iverson (pre-wilderness) – 81.5
Clyde Drexler – 79.2
Paul Pierce – 76.2
Michael Jordan (first championship season) 1990-91, 104.0
Jordan has a few 100+ scores. Since the stat is based on his career averages it makes sense that his best years would be better than his average years.
Kobe Bryant 2005-06, 101.3
Kobe’s most Jordan-esque year and the only single season I tested that came out over 100 since Jordan’s retirement. The only other player not named Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant to achieve a 100+ season (that I tested) was Bernard King’s injury shortened 1984-85 campaign (101.9).
Tracy McGrady 2002-03, 99.8
One of the most underrated/forgotten great individual seasons in recent history. With 32.1 ppg, 5.5 assists per game, 6.5 rebounds per game, a terrific steal rate and a propensity to get to the line, Tracy achieved one of the most Jordan-esque seasons ever.
Dwyane Wade 2008-09, 98.2
Jordan led the league in scoring eleven times, so it’s understandable to have a Jordan-esque season you’ll have to score A LOT. This was Wade’s only scoring title, but what pushes him so close to Jordan was his terrific perimeter defense and, more than just the volume, his scoring efficiency.
LeBron James 2007-08, 96.3
Oddly enough James’ Heat numbers are not nearly as Jordan-esque (though they’re still pretty high) as his Cleveland numbers. This is simply due to the fact that he was asked to score more while at Cleveland. In Miami he’s able to play a more Magic-esque game (what I suppose he always wanted in the first place).
Other interesting Next Jordan Candidates (and Pippen doing his best MJ impression)
Kevin Durant 2009-10, 93.1
Allen Iverson 2004-05, 90.2
Carmelo Anthony 2009-10, 89.0
Scottie Pippen (Jordanless-Bulls) 1993-94, 79.6
(some of the best individual performances of the last decade and one gratuitous Michael Jordan moment)
MJ Game 4 vs. Suns (1993), 132.7
Kobe’s 81 point game, 206.7
LeBron Game 6 vs. Celtics (2012), 121.0
Dwyane Wade Game 3 vs. Mavs (2006), 118.9
MJ 1993 Playoffs, 103.0
Jordan’s first last Championship run. Chicago swept through the first two rounds easily. Then Jordan delivered a triple-double and a 50 point game against my beloved New York Knicks to send them packing in the Eastern Conference Finals. Jordan finished his ungodly playoff run averaging 41 ppg, 8.5 rpg and 6.3 apg in the Championship series aginst Charles Barkley’s Phoenix Suns.
LeBron James 2012 Playoffs, 91.8
LeBron’s first Championship run (note first, I expect a few more on the horizon), where he proved the haters wrong. This run featured a few AMAZING individual performances. Most notably including his transcendent 45 point, 15 rebound game 6 against the Celtics and a championship clinching triple-double against the Thunder.
Kobe Bryant 2009 Playoffs, 90.1
Kobe’s first non-Shaq title.
Dwyane Wade 2006 Playoffs, 86.1
The run that propelled Wade from great player to all-time great player and for a second (even if it was just a second) made, “Is Wade better than LeBron?” a plausible question.
So, who’s the next Jordan?
Great players can have Jordan-esque games here and there. Great players can even throw up some aberrational Jordan-equse seasons (keyword aberrational). In the end Kobe and Lebron are the closest things we have to “the next Jordan” and even they are pretty far off.
Like I said, the only Jordan is Jordan, at least according to the Jordan Stat.