Well, folks, Tom Brady and the Patriots have gone out and made some noise yet again in the world of football. Thats for another place and another time, however. We have more important things to discuss.
Last night, Michael Irvin and Cris Carter went round by round in picking their 2015 Fantasy Pro Bowl teams. It’s a great twist on a game that has been rather ho-hum for most of its existence. Maybe we can do the same.
If you have been following Wayniac Nation from day one, you know we like to have some fun. We don’t do things the run-of-the-mill way. Whether it be comparing every horse in the Belmont Stakes to a Batman movie or picking the THE ALL-TIME FICTIONAL HOOPIDITY DOOPITY ALLY OOPITY BASKETBALL MOVIE TEAM (it’s right HERE if you forgot it), we are always trying to have fun.
What we are going to start doing today is “drafting” the All Time Over Inflated Football Movie Roster. The rules will be the same as in the basketball and baseball (if you forgot the baseball team, it’s right HERE). The players have to be fictional. They can’t be actors playing real players in a bio pic, but it can be athletes playing a made up character. Likenesses of real players make the cut, so all of the players in The Replacements (which was loosely based on the 1987 NFL strike) are in play.
What we are going to do differently this time around is put each position to a vote. Normally I would break down each character and pick, but I think it’s time for Wayniac Nation to get involved. So clear your schedule and get your Netflix ready. Today, the Nation will name the greatest fictional Quarterback in movie history!
Well, folks, we have the rare chance to watch history yet again. This Saturday, California Chrome goes for the first Triple Crown win since 1978. Wayniac Nation welcomes back The @SportIlluminati, our in house odds man and horse racing expert. Heim nailed the Preakness with his unique approach. This time, he gets even more creative. So, fire up the Batman signal and sit back and enjoy your Belmont Prediction Special, courtesy of the one and only Sport Illuminati:
There are ten horses looking to spoil the Triple Crown effort of California Chrome. On the surface, it’s hard to make a strong case for any of the others. Much like my favorite superhero Batman, what you see on the outside is a hard shell of what lies beneath. As with Batman, each of these horses present a little bit more than what appears. So, I am going to break down the participants of this race using the different actors who have played Batman over the years. In essence, each of these horses mirrors one of the actors in one way or another.
Ladies, gentleman, and those who don’t fit in to those categories at Wayniac Nation, I would very much like to introduce our newest guest writer and Horse Racing expert, The Sport Illuminati. Chris is an old friend of mine. When I say old, I mean we are the same Little League team 30 years ago! We also would go to the Meadowlands every Wednesday night in high school and he taught me everything I needed to know about the world of horse racing. We would win some money here and there, regardless of the fact that each week we both had to bet on Hooter J despite his inability to EVER win! When he approached me about having a Preakness piece on the Nation, I thought there would be no one better to deliver it. So without further ado:
THE @sportsilluminati PREAKNESS PREDICTION SPECIAL
The year was 1978. Hungry Hungry Hippos was all the rage, everyone’s favorite humble basketball player Kobe Bryant was born, and the last Triple Crown winner, Affirmed, won the Preakness. In honor of this accomplishment and that wonderful year, I have paired a 1978 movie with every horse in Saturday’s Preakness.
Dynamic Impact(12-1) The Deer Hunter: Much like this film, Dynamic Impact started his career off slow (lost first 3 races as a two year old) but has made an impressive go at it as of late winning two of his last three starts. Like the cast of this movie (Christopher Walken Robert De Niro Meryl Streep) Dynamic Impact will have staying power and at 12-1this horse can be an interesting play in exotic betting.
General A Rod (15-1) Foul Play: Although this horse didn’t impress in the Derby finishing 11th, he has a new jockey with Javier Castellano. That change will be significant as Castellano has won the Preakness riding Bernardini in 2006. Like the movie, General could be considered a mystery in this race with an undertone of comedic value. If he can get near the lead at the offset, we can see a laugher in the making. If this horse is going to win, it’s going to happen early and going away.
California Chrome (3-5)
Jaws 2: Will Chrome be one of the few horses that runs as well as his first big performance or will we see a bust in the making? He has a cough which the media is trying to make into a big deal (it isn’t), and his slow finish time at the Derby has raised a few eyebrows. The only real obstacle is his short rest time between races. Chrome is used to a month between races, not two weeks. I feel this horse hasn’t “jumped the shark” yet and could make chum out of this field.
Ring Weekend (20-1) Dawn Of the Dead: This horse has been a Florida staple this year winning the Tampa Bay Derby but losing as the favorite at the Calder Derby. Like this zombie classic, this horse has been dead to early bettors and will have to move faster than a zombie out of the gate if he has any shot of being in the mix.
Bayern (10-1) Grease: Bob Baffert is going light to the Preakness with only one entry and feels this speed horse has as good a shot as any. Rosie Napravnik is a Pimilico fixture and could use her familiarity to the track as an advantage. Like the movie, Bayern could draw female bettors with a female jockey aboard. This horse is “grease lightning” but needs to prove he can sustain that energy throughout a 1 3/16 mile.
Ria Antonia (30-1) Halloween: Late to the party, this long shot is looking to capture her first win as a three year old in the Preakness. While many people see this horse as a trick to bet considering her 6th place finish at the Oaks, the switch in jockey to Calvin Borel may be a treat to bettors. Borel is not adverse to winning big races with long shots. Ria Antonia hasn’t faced this group of horses before so the unfamiliarity may actually work to her advantage. She’s not scared by her competition.
Kid Cruz (20-1) Up In Smoke: Kid Cruz won his last race at Pimlico. To win this race, this field needs to come out of the gate fast so he can come from behind and dust them down the stretch. Like Cheech and Chong, Kid Cruz is a high-flying, low rider that can make bettors smile when all is said and done.
Social Inclusion (5-1) Animal House: Speed horse who comes to the party early. The question is whether he has the staying power to keep the pace down the stretch. A 3rd place in the Wood Memorial and best Beyer Speed of 108 will get bettors’ attention. This horse will factor and possibly upset a lot of the betting elite as he makes a mess of the parade when all is said and done.
Pablo Del Monte (20-1) I Spit On Your Grave: Trainer Wesley Ward held out this horse from the Derby to focus efforts on this race. Not a fan of dirt, Pablo Del Monte’s success has come on synthetic tracks. Always 2 steps behind his competition (2 third place finishes in 4 stakes races) Pablo will have to rise up to her enemies and find that eternal voice to slay them down the stretch. The problem is he is an early speed horse and that will be a tough task to accomplish.
Ride On Curlin (10-1) Superman: Much like the Superman saga, we have a 4th different jockey riding him in his last 4 races. Also like the Superman movies, we always go in expecting some high flying action but leave a bit disappointed by the results. What can make this trip any different? A small field of horses makes it easier for this horse to stay out of traffic which is its kryptonite. Off the pace or in the lead, the key for this horse is to see daylight throughout his ride.
My personal opinion is its going to take a wilted effort by Chrome and a spirited effort by anybody else to beat the heavy favorite. After his Derby performance, I am hard pressed to see California Chrome having trouble in this smaller field and shorter race. That said, anything can happen and I am looking to make a couple of $$. After hitting the $340 exacta at the Derby, I am going with another 4 horse $5 exacta box ($60 investment).
Predicted Final Finish:
3: California Chrome 6: Ria Antonia 10: Ride On Curlin 5: Bayern
The 27 months of NBA playoffs are upon us. The twelve year journey to anoint the 2014 NBA Champion started a week ago and I guess it has been entertaining. I haven’t watched a single minute and unless the Spurs make the Finals, I most likely won’t.
What I did watch, however, was a bunch of basketball movies and clips to prepare for this week’s post. Based on the success of my Fantasy Dream Amazeballs All-Hollywood Baseball Team I have put together a hoops’ movie team in honor of the NBA Playoffs. The criteria will be the same. There will be no real players, so that eliminates pretty much the entire cast of Like Mike (thank god) except Bow Wow and Morris Chestnut. Nor will Michael Jordan from Space Jam or Leonardo DiCRAPio’s Jim Carroll from Basketball Diaries be considered for the starting line-up. Earl “The Goat” Manigault is also ineligible, despite the movie rumored being a nearly fictional account of his life. Just like last time, likenesses and characters based on real players are perfectly acceptable. Real players playing fictional characters are also welcome. So, sit back and enjoy your Sunday with the:
THE ALL-TIME FICTIONAL HOOPIDITY DOOPITY ALLY OOPITY BASKETBALL MOVIE TEAM
Point Guard: You would think Wesley Snipes is the greatest athlete of all time! He had TWO characters in consideration for the baseball roster and now makes his case for basketball. Sidney Deane (White Man Can’t Jump) was flashy and loud talking but he had some mad skills to hold his own against anyone. His passing ability was uncanny. Deane’s counterpart, Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson, White Man Can’t Jump) has a deadly three pointer, but he may be too old to contribute to this team. Can he still drive to the hoop and lead this team? Well, if Harrelson can’t cut it as Billy Hoyle, maybe he can as Monix (Semi Pro). Monix was the aged, knee-less, veteran who came in and helped turn around the Flint Tropics dream season. Sure, Calvin Cambridge’s (Lil Bow Wow, Like Mike) entire playing ability was dependent on MJ’s magic shoes, but wasn’t everybody’s back then? Lola Bunny (herself, Space Jam) was bound for WNBA stardom. Despite the MonStars cheap shots and over powering size and demeanor, Lola never backed down and took it right to them.
Starter: I’m going with Lola here. The other guys in this category are good, but they are either hustlers or destined for a bench role. Plus, Lola showed no fear against monsters for crying out loud. That’s who I want manning … er, womanning … er, wasckily wabbiting my team.
Shooting Guard: This category is over flowing with stars. Jesus Shuttleworth (Ray Allen, He Got Game) immediately comes to mind. He is raw, but man can he shoot. He has a jump shot that is strikingly similar to NBA star Ray Allen’s, which I still think is the prettiest natural shot of our generation. Clarence “Coffee Black” Brown (Andre 3000 Benjamin, Semi-Pro) not only gets a look due to his overwhelming basketball skills, but he has the heart of a champion willing to sacrifice everything to play for a loser.The lovable Air Bud (Buddy, Air Bud) gets some love because he’s so damn cute. Plus, like Ed the chimp on my baseball roster… he’s a freaking animal! Tell me you wouldn’t pay some serious duckets to watch a dog break some ankles and drop some dimes. Lewis Scott (Damon Wayans, Celtic Pride) was so good Daniel Stern and Dan Aykroyd had to kidnap him.
Starter: No question it is Shuttleworth. As we learned in Big Lebowski, nobody f’s with da Jesus!
Small Forward: Another position full of elite athletes and superstars. Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox, Teen Wolf) is a mixed bag. If he shows up as Scott Howard, this team is screwed. But if he shows up as The Wolf… look out! Howard turns from a 5-foot, seventh man off the bench type of player to a guy who can dunk like MJ by simply adding some fur. Jimmy Chitwood (Maris Valainis, Hoosiers) is the game changing character based on Bobby Plump. The downside to Chitwood is all that he can do is shoot. As much as he brought to that amazing run, if he goes ice cold, his team is in trouble. Moses Guthrie (Julius “Dr. J” Erving, The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh) saved a whole damn city. If you haven’t seen this cult classic go watch it. It is a terribly fun movie about a failing basketball team formed around their star player’s zodiac sign, Pisces (hence the fish), to win basketball games. Jamal Wallace (Rob Brown, Finding Forrester) is one of the more unheralded basketball movie stars due to his youth and raw talent. He was heavily recruited by private schools across New York and showed he’s got serious skills on the floor and in the classroom. Butch McRae (Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, Blue Chips) had it all: ball handling skills, a nice shot, and a beautiful house for his mother.
Starter: I’m going Guthrie. He’s Dr. J and that means two things: awesome dunks and an even more awesome ‘fro!
Power Forward/ Center: I’m clumping these two positions together, because let’s face it, that’s how it works these days. Tim Duncan may be the best power forward to ever play the game, but he still has to match-up at center sometimes. I want my big men to have that same ability.
Somehow, the dreadful Flint Tropics send their third candidate to roster consideration in the PF/C category. Team owner, leader, and all around entertainer Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell, Semi Pro) has more dance moves than basketball skills, but he can still ball. Neon Boudeaux (Shaquille O’Neal, Blue Chips) is just as much a beast on the floor as the man who played him. You need a monster dunk or complete domination inside the paint? You simply call on this Neon blue-chip prospect. He may have earned a Razzie Nomination for his acting, but we are judging on ball skills here. One of the many degrees of Kevin Bacon gets the final nod. Saleh (Charles Gitong Maina, The Air Up There) was not only the savior of Jimmy Dolan’s career, but he saved his own tribe with the game winning shot against the evil mining company.
Starters: Neon and Saleh. Talk about Towers of Power. These guys could rival Tim Duncan and David Robinson. Neon, with more natural skills, will probably slide into the four while Saleh will man the center position. Besides, any player that you can mistake for the cartoon MonStar Pound from Space Jam is ok in my books.
Monix gets the nod to back things up at the point guard position. Sure, he’s older than Harrelson’s Hoyle, but all Hoyle has is a sweet shot and that was mainly when he was left wide open. Monix still has the heart to cut to the hole even if he can barely walk. Chitwood makes the squad because as a situational player there will be very few better. Down by three with just seconds left? Run the picket fence and get Jimmy open… just don’t get caught watching the paint dry! JamalWallace makes the team as a reserve because of his raw ability to swing from the two to the three and his basketball and regular IQ reign supreme to just about everyone else on the court. Moon meritsa roster spot on notoriety alone. If we need a quick promotion, Moon is the man. Scott Howard gets the call, but he is only allowed to play when donned in fur. I want The Wolf. The last guy to round out the bench is someone that wasn’t nominated for a starting role, but he stepped up when the Beavers needed him most. Chubby(Mark Holton, Teen Wolf) turned from zero to hero when he simply crushed the Dragons. How he fit into those 80s shorty short uniforms is amazing in itself.
Head Coach: Edwina “Eddie” Franklin (Whoopi Goldberg) certainly deserves some consideration because she turned around a dismal New York Knicks team after being the female Spike Lee. However, she won’t coach my team simply because I despise the Knicks and rather see them stay in the basement. In fact, I could watch a two hour movie about how bad the Knicks are, but that movie would be called 2013-14 season. The man I want at the helm has a shaky past and an unprecedented way of handling his offense. He found the best ways to utilize each and everyone of his players, even if it was getting Ollie in there for a few under handed free throws. No one was better at motivational speeches and when the team needed a fire lit under it’s ass, he’d go off the deep end and get ejected. Norman Dale (Gene Hackman, Hoosiers) is my guy. He will lead this team to glory.
Did I get it right? Sound off and let me know if I gave the wrong players a start or if I left someone off entirely. Until then, check back in 7.5 million hours when we finally name the 2014 NBA Champion!
It’s hard to believe that another winter has come and gone. Opening Day (the American one, not the Australian one that put Kershaw on the DL) is here and the boys of summer are ready to get back it. 30 baseball teams will take the field over the next few days to get their 2014 season rolling.
What if there were a 31st team? What if there was an All Star line-up of all the characters from baseball movies and T.V. shows clumped into one mega-team? It would be an insult to call this a Dream Team, but that is what we are talking about here. There needs to be some guidelines though. I can’t take players from movies or shows that are actual players. That eliminates Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, the entire Chicago Black Sox and a bevy of others. Characters based on actual players (like the ladies in A League of Their Own) or a likeness of an actual player (like the ghosts in Field of Dreams), however, is allowed. With these rules in place, my prep work began. I had to dig deep. Some of these movies I haven’t seen in a while. Some are outright terrible, but they all deserved consideration. After much deliberation I narrowed it down to a few players at each slot. Here’s a look at a position by position breakdown of the one week training camp (and by training camp, I really mean me sitting in front of my Smart TV and watching classic clips on YouTube to remind myself how great some of these characters were) held to see who made the cut.
The Fantasy Dream Amazeballs All-Hollywood Team
Catcher:Aside from the outfield, this was the closest position battle. There were quite a few players to choose from, but four took it down to the wire. Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis, A League of Their Own) definitely deserves consideration. She was the heart and soul of the Rockford Peaches and was hands down the best player in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Crash Davis (Kevin Costner, Bull Durham) also enters the debate. His downside is that he is a career minor leaguer. His upside is his willingness to be demoted to help tutor the future of baseball. Hamilton “Ham” Porter (Patrick Renna, The Sandlot) is not only a great catcher, but he is a historian, a comedian, and one of the best s’mores chefs in the land. What can’t you say about Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger, Major League)? He came out of retirement to lead a team of nobodies to the playoffs and win the heart of Rene Russo.
WINNER: Taylor. His experience, baseball sense, and ability to leg out a bunt with no knees make him the leader of this squad.
First base:There haven’t been many great fictional first basemen through the years. Stan Ross (Bernie Mac, Mr. 3000) was a superstar for the Milwaukee Brewers, except it took him until the end of his selfish career to understand what being a team player really meant. And he NEVER GOT HIS 3000th HIT! Let’s face it. Bertram Grover Weeks (Grant Gelt, The Sandlot) was a junkie. He introduced the whole team to that Chew and disappeared in the ’60s on some drug bender and was never seen again. That doesn’t help much with team chemistry, and what players that use drugs ever pan out as All Stars? Jack Elliot (Tom Selleck, Mr. Baseball) didn’t knowwhen to hang it up and had to end his career in Japan. That doesn’t sound like someone I want anchoring my first stop around the bases.
WINNER: You think I would choose any of these bums? Hell no. My first baseman is Toby Whitewood(David Stambaugh, the original Bad News Bears). He really was the most unheralded star of Chico’s Bail Bonds as Kelly Leak always stole his thunder and pulled a beauty of a hidden ball trick in the field at the Astrodome.
Secondbase: This came down to a two man… er, player competition. Tommy “Repeat” Timmons (Shane Obedzinski, The Sandlot) is the third member from The Sandlot team to make the list. Tommy was better at constructing things than he ever was at baseball. Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh, A League of Their Own) is a hard hitting, hard to look at basher. But if we were picking on pure looks, Tom Selleck and that legendary mustache would already be on the team.
WINNER: Hooch. Let’s spice it up and give this team some variety. On the plus side, she shouldn’t be a distraction in the clubhouse.
Short stop: I allowed Gus (Rob Schneider, The Benchwarmers) a very quick tryout, but in the end, no matter how much he changed, he was a liar and a one-time bully, and I’m not looking to run a Miami Dolphins locker room with my squad. That means this was a simple one-man battle.
WINNER: Tanner Boyle (Chris Barnes, the original Bad News Bears) This is the second Chico’s Bail Bonds alum to crack this squad, so it tells you a little something about Buttermaker’s bunch. Boyle was a little sloppy, but who on the Bears wasn’t? He was the spark plug though and the toughness this team needs.
Third base: Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell, League of Their Own) was a brash, overly confident vixen of a baseball player, but she had guts and could play the hot corner pretty well. Ed (Ed) was a freaking monkey, and do you think I would pass on giving a monkey a try-out at third base? Do you know what kind of revenue a third base-monkey would generate? Especially if he smoked cigarettes? Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernsen, Major League) was a snide and snooty little brat, but we’re talking baseball skills here.
WINNER: Dorn. When he isn’t ole-ing the ball and worrying about his contract amenities, he can straight up field. We also know he is clutch at the plate delivering timely hits at the end of that one-game playoff series with the Yankees. He also delivers a hell of a sucker punch.
Outfield: This was hands down the toughest position battle. Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford, The Natural) didn’t even need to show up for try-outs. If he wants to play and his side is all healed up, he starts on my team, no questions asked. That sliced the competition down to just two slots. I was able to remove Bobby Rayburn (Wesley Snipes, The Fan) from the conversation because I’m not allowing one actor to occupy the last two spots in the outfield. That means Willie Mays Hayes (Wesley Snipes, Major League) is in the mix. The guy flat out flies on the base paths, plus he has the Richard Sherman ego on top of it. Kelly Leak (Jackie Earle Haley, the original Bad News Bears) has a leg up on the competition because he smokes cigarettes and drives his motorcycle right onto the field and, well, I’m afraid of telling him no. Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez (Mike Vitar, The Sandlot), more lovingly known as Benny the Jet, is borderline. First of all, did he ever play one single position in the entire movie? Secondly, aside from his speed, he has a marginal skill set. The Ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta, Field of Dreams) was invited to try-outs because technically, he isn’t a real player. And even the specter of Shoeless Joe hits a hell of a lot better than some living ball players (paging Mr. Uggla). Pedro Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert, Major League) is a hulking beast of a man. He needs to still get a better grasp of that curve ball, Jobu.
WINNERS: Hobbs, Leak, and Hayes. He may run like Mays but he hits like the leadoff guy I want in my line-up. He will man center field while Leak, who shifted from third to outfield in Breaking in Training, will man left. With Hayes’ swagger and Leak’s bad boy attitude, teams will fear us. Having Hobbs patrol right quietly will install fear by silence.
I’m keeping Cerrano as my DH, though, and I am also keeping Benny the Jet as my utility guy, so here is the batting order:
CF — Willie Mays Hayes
SS — Tanner Boyle
3B — Roger Dorn
RF — Roy Hobbs
DH — Pedro Cerrano
LF — Kelly Leak
C — Jake Taylor
2B — Marla Hooch
1B — Toby Whitewood
Pinch hitter/runner: Benny the Jet Rodriguez
My offense is stacked, but wait until you get a load of the pitching. As far as I was concerned, there wasn’t any competition when it came to the starting rotation, the middle reliever, the set-up man, and closer. So, without further ado, here is your staff:
The Ace — Amanda Whurlitzer (Tatum O’Neal, Bad News Bears) She’s sneaky and sly and has quite a mouth on her, but she can flat out throw and hold her own with the big boys.
Chet Steadman (Gary Busey, Rookie of the Year) The Rocket is a crafty veteran who happens to be played by one of the funniest living specimens on the planet. There was no way I was leaving Busey off this team.
Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner, For the Love of the Game). Costner lost out on Crash Davis, but he gets the nod on the mound. I wanted to leave him off entirely because the S.O.B. no-hit the Yankees but he’s too good to deny.
Eddie Harris (Chelcie Ross, Major League). If he can’t get it done with that old rubber arm of his, then he has an arsenal of Crisco, Bardol, and snot hidden away to sneak one by any batter.
This spot was a toss up. Both were youngsters and both had promising futures. It came down to Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh (Tim Robbins, Bull Durham) or Henry Rowengartner (Thomas Ian Nicholas, Rookie of the Year). It was a really tough choice, but it came down to the fact that Nuke winds up with Susan Sarandon and Rowengartner got to have pretend sex with Tara Reid. I choose Tara Reid… I mean, Rowengartner to round out the staff.
The bullpen is the most fun part of this team. There will be a lot of money spent on fine wine, hookers, and bail when the three of them go out to celebrate. Sam “Mayday” Malone (Ted Danson, Cheers) is the unquestioned elder spokesman of the bullpen. He cleaned up his act, so he should be a calming influence on his other two compadres. Kenny Powers (Danny McBride, Eastbound and Down) may just be an average American with extraordinary hair, he may be a bit of a xenophobe (or patriot depending on who’s definition you use), but he will blow anyone away with his stuff. The closer is Rick Vaughn (Charlie Sheen, Major League). This is a no brainer. Not only does he hit triple digits on the radar, he’s one of the most memorable sports characters on this list. He’s the Wild Thing baby, and we all know that’s winning.
Now, who in their right mind would want to manage this bunch of A and B-List, ego-driven celebs? I wanted to go with Lou Brown (James Gammon, Major League) for the job he did creating that peal away stripper. Ultimately, Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own) gets the job because he uttered one of the most famous lines in baseball movie history: “There’s no crying in baseball.”
There you have it, folks. It may very well be the greatest roster ever established. Until next time, enjoy your Final Four and happy opening week of baseball.