Sunday, January 27, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
We haven't seen much of Venom during the first three episodes, but she's got a real "old-school" feel to her. Zap, Skye, and the rest of the 1980's female crew would be proud. Bleached blonde hair, broad shoulders and an adam's apple - she's a real throwback in every sense of the word.
I think now's a good time to bring up this article from the NY Daily News, which details the original Gladiator's rampant drug use, sexual misconduct and that "half the team was a lesbian at one point.". Apparently during the late 80's, becoming a lesbian was something you could catch like a common cold. Who knew?
Hellga, the Gladiator's resident Viking, looks like she's straight off a stint at the Norfolk Correctional Center for women, and personally scares the shit out of me. NBC.com says she "hits with the force of Thor's hammer" which I don't doubt for a second. She's probably got Thor's hammer hanging between her legs too! Am I right? Huh guys?
Don't tell her I said that.
Nevertheless, the countdown is on until Hellga changes her name to "The Caveman" or something and starts competing on the male side. I can't wait!
Titan has emerged as the trash talker of the new stable of Gladiators, which really isn't that interesting except when you realize that he's the only one who can string more than three syllables together without clenching his fists, screaming into the camera and smashing his head through whatever object is closest. Besides being a pompous asshole, his other hobbies include: admiring himself, oiling himself up, injecting steroids in his bulbous ass, arm-wrestling Hulk Hogan for dibs on the tanning bed, and being named in the Mitchell report.
According to his bio, Toa is competing as a Gladiator in order to bring pride to his native people, drawing power from his fallen ancestors and the sacrifices they made in order for him to be there. Very inspiring, no? Ehhhh.... not so much. All he's done so far is run around without a shirt on, screaming into the camera while flapping his arms like a hawk, stomping his feet, banging his chest and wearing more mascara than my Aunt Gladys. Way to do your heritage justice. Toa Getting a job at Wal-Mart would have been more culturally significant for native people, at least they would make him wear a shirt there.
Oh Crush. You vixen. Crush has quickly emerged as the most attractive female Gladiator on the show.... what with her traditional beauty, her feminine physique, and of course the fact that she's the only one who sits down when she pees. I'm just kidding. Militia does too. Crush's "other job" is a rising mixed martial artist, where she's equally as popular because: A) everyone loves a cat fight. B) Everyone else besides her is really ugly in that sport too. C) Everyone loves a cat fight. Meee-ow!
There's a long list of reasons to be terrified of Wolf. He's 6 foot 4. He weights 225 pounds. He has the most intimidating facial hair of any Gladiator except for Hellga. He even plays up the whole Wolf thing by howling in the face of anyone who gets within 10 feet of him (Seriously). Look at this guy. He looks like the type who would smash a pool cue over your skull in a bar because he didn't like the way you were "eyeballin" him. But according to his Gladiator profile on NBC, his real name is Don Yates, which automatically makes him 99% less tough. Don Yates? What the fuck? Sounds like a guy who should be selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, not putting America's middle class in a world of hurt in a reflective lycra one-piece. Can he at least go by Donny Yates? It's only 2 more letters and it's so much more bad ass.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
It's difficult to find a modern athlete who is willing to backseat their personal stats & notoriety while letting the good of the team ride in shotgun, up front. Finding two of them at the same time, gunning for the same spot? Almost unheard of. The Raps have been THAT lucky so far, with neither Ford or Calderon having any problems (publically, at least) with splitting the position down the middle. But with Calderon emerging as one of the best young point guards in the league (see below) and Ford having an equally impressive season (save for some bad luck), it's hard to believe that this can go on for much longer.
Calderon has quietly become one of most efficient players in the league. Check out his per-48 minute stats through December 14th - 18.7 points, 5 boards, 14.1 assists, 1.54 steals and only 2.4 turnovers. If you want an example of the type of year that Calderon is having, per 48-minutes, he scores more than Jason Kidd, hands out more assists and only turns it over half as often. His 14.1 assist per-48 mark is actually second in the NBA right now, trailing only Steve Nash. And by the way, TJ Ford is fifth on that list.
I know what you're saying. There's a lot worse things that could happen to your team than having two great young point guards and you know what, you're probably right. But in some roundabout cruel way, it's going to be even more excruciating to see one of them slip away, maybe even for nothing in return. It wasn't too long ago when there wasn't enough room in the T-Dot for both Vince and Tracy McGrady and they were cousins for pete's sake. Family, and they still couldn't find a way to share the spotlight with each other. So pardon me if I'm a little cynical when it comes to the chances of this working out and the Raps keeping them both.
And don't we deserve a break as Raptors fans? Ever since Alvin Williams fell apart like a stale wagon wheel, the PG spot in Toronto has been an absolute disaster. We signed Mark Jackson, who was like 49 at the time. Then you had the Rafer Alston experience, which you couldn't forget even if you tried, sort of like the basketball equivalent of your mother dating an abusive alcoholic for 8 months while you're growing up. That season was followed up by the Year of Mike James, where he treated the 05-06 season like it was a personal 82-game shooting practice. Now we find ourselves with two fantastic PG's but all I can think about is which one we're going to lose eventually! You can't win.
Is there any way that this point guard partnership can survive long term? I doubt it. Eventually Ford or Calderon will want to have sole possession of this team and they'll deserve it. I believe that Calderon is satisfied with backing up Ford this season, but what about 2 years from now? He's definately getting offered a starting spot by a team this summer, along with a nice payday. It'd be hard to see him turning that down for a backup role. I only see three scenario's for this situation, since playing them both at the same time is too much of a defensive liability:
Trade Calderon (or Ford) at the deadline this February. All signs indicate that Ford is their guy in Toronto long term, so I'm going to assume that Calderon would be the one to be moved. Don't forget that one of the reasons Ford was brought in is because of his close friendship with Bosh, which is another big reason why he won't be traded. Shouldn't Ford's history of injuries become a factor at some point though? He's already missed an entire year with a neck injury, has had a couple of scares since then, and now this year has already missed a stint of games with a stinger and was taken off the court on a backboard three nights ago. Questions about TJ Ford's long term health have got to be the elephant in the room for the Raps front office. What are the chances that Ford has to retire over the next 5 years? I hate to say it but they've gone up over the last two months. Way up.
Calderon walks this summer. If Calderon keeps playing like this all year, it's hard to imagine his stock getting any higher than it will this summer. He'd be an upgrade at point guard for more teams than you'd think, and is still getting better (only 26). Maybe I am underestimating Colangelo, which now that I think about it... is probably pretty stupid, but I don't see him convincing Calderon to stick around for the mid-level exception and 20-25 minutes a game behind TJ Ford for the next 3-5 years.
Sign-and-Trade this summer. The more I think about it, the more likely this situation seems. In the short-term, Ford and Calderon are both a huge part of what the Raptors are doing this year and there'd be a huge outcry in Toronto if they traded one of them three-quarters into the season. There's still the odd chance that a team with a lot of young talent (Atlanta, for example) would make Colangelo an offer in 2 months that he couldn't refuse, but I doubt it. I'm also giving Colangelo the benefit of the doubt and assuming he has a plan for all of this. That plan may possibly include hypnotizing Jose Calderon but nevertheless, I think he's a smart enough guy not to let him walk away for absolutely nothing.
Deep down I really hope I'm wrong. I'd love for Calderon to accept a permanent backup role and for Ford to say he's okay with never averaging more than 30 minutes, but even in the most optimistic of my daydreams, I find that unlikely. There's sure to be a lot of interesting possibilities out there, and like I said, I trust that Colangelo has a plan. I just pray that it doesn't include Rafer Alston.