Friday, November 12, 2010

2010-2011 College Basketball Preview (Part II)

The Club Trillion College Basketball Preview moves on, as today we talk about guys who look the part, guys who kinda suck, and guys whose lunch money we could easily steal.  As a reminder, I’m in charge of the FIFA and college basketball sections and my good friend Keller is in charge of the professional wrestling section (just so you know who to be pissed at if we somehow offend you). Now let’s get to it. 5…4…3…1…off blast!

(By the way, if none of that made sense to you because you missed Part I of the Club Trillion College Basketball Preview, you can get up to speed by clicking here.)

At first, this category might seem like it’s focusing on fashion, but in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I think of fashion as people using their clothing and whatnot to mask their insecurities and try to be cool.  In other words, fashion is for vaginas.  What we’re doing here is analyzing the guys who use their “gear” as a way to accentuate their attitude.  They don’t wear this stuff to make it seem like they’re cool.  They already know they’re badass.  These guys dress the way they do simply because it’s comfortable and that’s how they like it.

FIFA: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

No homo, but real talk I’ve always been a little fascinated with the long hair pulled straight back look.  This is most likely because both of the male members of the original DX rocked this hairstyle in two completely different yet completely perfect ways.  Seeing Triple H and Shawn Michaels raise hell and crotch chop all through my childhood made a lasting impression on me and I’ve been a fan of long hair ever since.  It should be noted, though, that the DX/Sergio Ramos long hair look is the only long hair style that’s awesome.  Examples of guys’ long hair looks that suck include the Bama Bangs, the Emo Bangs, the Polomalu, the Shaun White, the Bieber (Bama Bangs except the hair goes over the ears), the Asian Mullet, the Efron (pretty much a combination of the Bama Bangs and the Bieber), the Joakim Noah, and the Home Improvement Kids.

What makes Sergio Ramos stand out is that he takes his long hair to the next level with a subtle skinny headband.  By also wearing a sweatband on his wrist with the occasional long sleeve jersey, Sergio Ramos has the exact look I would have if I were a soccer player (again, no homo).  Unfortunately, a quick Google Image search of him shows me that he can be a little feminine off the field sometimes, which is pretty discouraging really.  I’m going to chalk up this perceived femininity to the fact that he’s European and it’s well-known that all Europeans are a little light in their loafers.  Nonetheless, the FIFA version of Sergio Ramos looks pretty badass and that’s ultimately all that I care about.

Pro Wrestling: “Ravishing” Rick Rude

When I was a kid, I absolutely hated Rick Rude. I disliked vegetables. I didn’t care much for girls. But I completely and unequivocally hated Rick Rude and would cheer for whoever he was wrestling to kick his ass every time one of his matches was on. As I got older, I really started to wonder why young me was such a dumbass on all those things (except for vegetables. Those still blow). The more I caught Rude’s matches, the more and more I started to like him. In fact, he was awesome. He was from Robbinsdale, Minnesota, and the only people I’ve known from Minnesota have been Jared Allen, two swimmers who bite the lids off beer cans to open them, and a total babe who owns multiple animal shirts, so he was good from location alone. Add in a mustache so manly that it generated testosterone into the air the way that trees generate oxygen to go along with the fact that he gyrated his hips inappropriately at both females and males alike, and already you can tell how stupid young me was for hating him. But the biggest thing I missed as a youngster when it came to Rick Rude was just how ridiculously awesome his ring attire was.

The first place to start is his robe. While not known for his robes in the way that Ric Flair (the runner-up in this award, obviously) was, Rude’s robe was still an integral part of his look. Adorned with jewels and with “Simply Ravishing” written on the back with a pair of lips, the robe worked on two levels. The first was that it was cool in its own right. The second level was that he used his robe as a great reveal, putting down audience members and reminding them that he was the sexiest man in the room and they were about to see for themselves. When he opened his robe, they’d get a glimpse of not only his steroid-perfected body, but also of the tights that lay him claim to this award for best use of gear. It’s an interesting dichotomy.

A quick aside: to the reader that doesn’t know any better, it would seem like Rude might have been gay. Between the bedazzled robe with big red lips on them and an entrance song that sounds like if Val Venis’ music had been composed for a Christmas present shopping montage in an 80s movie, to the untrained eye Rude would appear to be a homosexual character. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Rude would routinely bring female fans in from the audience to make out with him in the ring, leaving them swooning messes when he was done with them. He would even adorn his tights with female faces to show just how much of a ladies man he really was.

But back to the tights. You see, Rude wins this award because there has never been a wrestler in history with cooler tights than his. The exact look varied, but they almost always had either his face, some girl’s face, or something relevant to whatever angle he was in. When Rude was facing the Ultimate Warrior, the Warrior’s face ended up on Rude’s tights (if you’ve been clicking these links, you’ll see that Rude has a go-to pose, not unlike Same Face Guy). When Rude won the Intercontinental title, where a face would normally be was instead now an airbrushed rendering of the belt itself. Of course, Rude still had a picture of himself puckering his lips, just on the back of his tights now. With gear like Rude wore, it would be wrong to give the award to anybody else.

College Basketball: E’Twaun Moore (Purdue)

E’Twuan Moore’s look varies from time to time, but the reason he’s on the list as the best use of gear in college basketball is because of his occasional combination of shirt under the jersey and single sweatband on his wrist.  But, you might be saying, aren’t there tons of guys who wear shirts underneath their jerseys?  Yes, yes there are.  But in case you haven’t figured it out, sweatbands being worn on the wrist gets all sorts of bonus points in my book.  This is mostly because ever since Michael Jordan came along, everyone abandoned the wrist and started wearing their sweatband on their forearm.  Very few people have the audacity to take it old school and throw that sumbitch on their wrist, which is why I think it’s so awesome when someone does, especially when that someone is one of college basketball’s better players.

The truth is that picking Moore for this is somewhat reverse racism, but it makes perfect sense so I’m not going to apologize.  Even though there are tons of white guys who wear a wristband and a shirt under the jersey, the reality is that pretty much every one of them looks like a dweeb.  It’s a universal rule in society that black guys make everything cooler and this case is no different.  When a white walk-on wears a shirt under his jersey, he looks like he’s doing nothing but trying to hide his scrawny arms.  But when E’Twaun Moore dresses exactly like said scrawny white walk-on, he somehow makes it look awesome, simply because he’s smooth on the court (and he’s black).  And that’s ultimately what sets Moore apart from everyone else.  There are plenty of guys that look cool, per se, but only E’Twuan Moore really looks smooth, which is a completely different thing in the same way that William Buford will tell you that your “ol’ girl” and your “main squeeze” are completely different things.

For this category, we’re taking a look at guys who have become famous to the point that people who don’t pay all that much attention just assume these guys are really good.  In reality, they’re decent, but these guys are by no means as good as their level of fame would suggest.  An example of the type of person we’re dealing with here is how chicks who don’t watch basketball assume that Lamar Odom is one of the five best players in the world because he’s always on Keeping Up With The Kardashians and he’s won a couple NBA titles. Sure he’s a great player, but by no means is he as good as a majority of girls probably think he is (Now that I think about it, Hank Baskett is another example for the same reason as Odom, except Hank Baskett really does suck).  You get the idea.

FIFA: Ronaldinho (AC Milan)

In all honesty, Ronaldinho was the single reason I ever started to care about soccer and consequently FIFA in the first place.  Thanks to the combination of his crazy ball handling (or is it ball footling?) skills and the increasing popularity of the internet when I was in high school, a friend of mine showed me a few highlights on YouTube and I was mesmerized to the point that I decided to give soccer a chance.  I haven’t looked back since.  My guess is that there are tons of people like me who never knew anything about soccer but know about Ronaldinho because they saw a few YouTubes of him and were blown away at what he was capable of (mostly because it was fake). In fact, if my circle of friends are any indication, Ronaldinho is one of the most famous soccer players in the world to Americans.  Unfortunately, though, no matter how famous he is, at the end of the day his game is pretty much all show and doesn’t translate to FIFA all that well.

There’s no denying that the real Ronaldinho’s ball footling ability is pretty f’ing nuts, but the problem is that it there really is no place for it on FIFA to me.  I play a very disciplined, fundamentals-oriented brand of soccer when I play FIFA and Ronaldinho’s flashy brand of soccer just doesn’t fit (kinda like how it didn’t fit with the Brazilian national team, which is why he was left off their World Cup roster this year).  Besides, even if I do want to get flashy, I can just use Barcelona and Messi because he’s probably got better ball skills anyway and is much, much faster than Ronaldinho.  Plus, if I’m playing with AC Milan, I’m running everything through Ibrahimovic, if for no other reason than he can kick the piss out of the ball and I really want to see him burn a hole in the virtual net like he’s an on-fire Chris Mullin on NBA JAM.

Pro Wrestling: The Miz

I hate to say this, because he dresses like a total doucher and clearly used steroids and his previous fame to help him get where he is today, but I respect the hell out of Mike “The Miz” Mizanin. Here’s a guy who we only knew liked pro wrestling because he (awesomely) used to proclaim himself “The Miz” and cut loud promos when he was on the Real World: New York. This took guts because it always annoyed Coral, and she had huge boobs which he effectively ruined his chance of seeing by acting like a pro wrestler. Even later, when he’d used his fame from being a dominant player on the Real World/Road Rules Challenge to secure a spot WWE Tough Enough, The Miz worked his ass off to improve his in-ring skills after he got cut, and eventually got a full-time contract. All of this aside, for the amount of fame he might have to the random person on the street, The Miz still, well, sucks.

This might not be the case in 5 years, because he has natural charisma and is continually trying to get better. In fact, he even stopped wrestling in ridiculous-looking board shorts and moved on to actual wrestling tights, which can only mean good things. But at this point in his career, the recognition that The Miz gets as a pro wrestler from the casual fan or random stranger would make you think he’s been a multiple time Heavyweight champion. While he has had reigns as the United States champion and the tag team champion, The Miz has yet to serve any meaningful time in the main event scene. So despite his fauxhawk and half-Mystery Method, half-Tool Academy wardrobe having a high Q score with the general public, any pro wrestling fan will tell you that The Miz just isn’t as good as you think he would be.

College Basketball: Matt Howard (Butler)

If for some reason you don’t know who Matt Howard is, maybe referring to him as “the big white guy on Butler who had the dirty stache last year” will help jog your memory.  Thanks to an improbable run by Butler to the National Championship last season, Howard and his mustache got all sorts of national publicity, and rightfully so.  After seeing his mustache on CBS, college basketball fans collectively flocked to the internet to research Howard a little bit, and were probably surprised to find that he was the Horizon League Player of The Year in 2008-2009 before his teammate (and my high school teammate), Gordon Hayward, took the honor from him the following season.  Upon learning this information, the casual college basketball fan referred to the Morrison Theorem (wispy mustache + mid-major conference player of the year = someone who isn’t to be f***ed with) and assumed that Matt Howard must be one of the best players in college basketball.  Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

Before Butler fans get upset with me (“you’re just hating cause we beat you last year!”), let me first say that I have the utmost respect for Matt Howard.  As you should know by now, I’m a fan of both mustaches and wearing a shirt under the jersey, which is why I want so badly for Matt Howard to be good.  Sadly, the only thing keeping this from happening is that his game consists of nothing but pumpfaking, throwing elbows, setting illegal screens, and flopping so much that even Butler fans get uncomfortable with it.  Again, I’m not hating on the kid, because I did every single one of those things when I played in high school and practiced in college.  But that’s the problem – I can do all of these things (not to mention the fact that there’s a 45-year-old version of Matt Howard in every church league in America).  As much as I respect what he does and I think of him as an inspiration to all of us pumpfaking/flopping guys, the bottom line is that he simply isn’t that talented.

(Now that I think about it, this is more of a compliment to him than anything else.  The guy gets more out of his abilities than anyone in college basketball, which is something to be proud of, I guess.)

This category is simple.  We have no doubt in our mind that if we wandered into a dark alley to find these guys perched up against a wall with a leather jacket on and a look in their eye that suggests they want to anally rape us, we would not only deny all access to our buttholes, but we would also kick so much ass and take so many names that we’d probably get a key to the city or whatever it is they give all those awesome superheroes like Daredevil. 

FIFA: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

First and foremost, let me make it perfectly clear that the real life Messi would beat the snot out of me if we were ever to fight.  Sure he’s only 5’7”, but the dude is one of the best athletes alive and is lightning quick, so there’s a very good chance that he could beat me silly before I’m even done with my warm-up jumping jacks (even if it is a spontaneous street fight, going through a proper warm-up routine is still very important).  There really is no disputing who would win this fight because I fully admit that I would stand no chance against him.  But, as is the consistent theme with this preview, I’m not concerned with the real life Messi.  I only care about the FIFA version of Messi, and it’s clear to me that I would make virtual Messi my b*tch.

To confirm my point that I could destroy the virtual Messi, I decide to create myself on FIFA 11 and compare my relevant attributes with Messi’s.  Here’s what I found:

Shark vs. Messi

As you can clearly see, Messi has better body control than me but I more than make up for it with both my strength and aggression.  And isn’t that really what would matter most in a street fight?  Virtual Messi’s best attributes suggest that if we were to fight, he would do nothing but duck and run away.  Meanwhile, I’m bringing a nine inch and 54 pound advantage to the table, not to mention my 91 in strength that would surely break his jaw in two.  As much as you might want to side with Messi, the bottom line is that scientific data shows that I would have no problem opening up a can of whoop ass on a virtual Messi in a street fight (two Stone Cold references in one sentence!).

Pro Wrestling: Bob Backlund

I thought about going a few different ways with this one. At first I considered picking the cruiserweight who I thought was the biggest pussy (probably Scotty 2 Hotty, just so I could do the Worm over his lifeless body), but then I realized that the smaller guys are usually legit, real-life badasses, like the “Lethal Weapon” Steve Blackman. So that probably wouldn’t be a great choice. Then I thought about going with someone like Sid Justice, who is arguably the most physically intimidating man with a blonde curly mullet to have been alive in the 90s, but who is also famous for being incredibly soft outside the ring (and for having arguably the most gruesome injury inside it. Click at your own risk). This was a man who once used a squeegee in a street fight with Brian Pillman, so maybe he’d be a good choice for a street fight against me. But even Sid, who was billed at 6’9” and 320 pounds and once went by the name Lord Humongous in the ring before everyone associated it with Greg Oden, had the wherewithal to stab Arn Anderson with scissors in his next out of the ring fight, so he’s probably not a safe bet for a victory. Then it dawned on me: Bob Backlund.

Backlund has the strange distinction of being one of the longest reigning WWF champions of all-time (over 5 years) while also being the loser of the fastest championship match in history (8 seconds, to Diesel/Kevin Nash). He also serves as exhibit A as to why I strongly believe all redheads should have some sort of facial hair to help offset how it looks like you have no hair  on your face at all from your eyebrows and eyelashes being so light. Seriously, there is absolutely no way that I lose in a street fight to a man who looks like a 60 year old version of the Gingers Do Have Souls kid. Backlund was apparently an accomplished amateur wrestler, but Adam Morrison is living proof that the better you are as an amateur, the more you’re likely to suck as a pro. Besides, this is a street fight. I’d like to see Backlund try and give me a single leg takedown while I’m hitting him in his temple with a lead pipe and/or stabbing him in the torso with a knife. Those are legal in a streetfight, right? Actually, on second thought, I’m not sure I’d even need them. Again, this is what Bob Backlund looks like. Just like he lost the 1996 Presidential election, Bob Backlund would get dominated in a street fight against me.

College B-ball: Mick Cronin (Cincinnati’s Head Coach)

Even though I couldn’t find Mick Cronin’s height with a quick Google search, I did discover that Bob Huggins is about 6’3” (one inch shorter than me) and Cronin comes up to Huggins’ shoulders.  Maybe you don’t know this, but this means that Mick Cronin’s face is at a perfect punching height for me.  As I would make contact with Cronin’s schnoz, my arm would be perfectly parallel with the ground, which I’m sure John Brenkus and his Sport Science would tell you is how to get optimal force behind a punch. Translation: Mick Cronin would be f’ed if we were to engage in fisticuffs.

Should the fight move to the ground and take on more of a wrestling dynamic, I’m just as confident that I could destroy Cronin.  My guess is that he’d be a wiry little fella that could escape from all sorts of holds and whatnot, so I’d focus more on restraining him with one arm and beating him senseless with the other.  As much as I’d love to put him in a camel clutch until he’s unconscious, I’d probably have to be a little more offensive and find a way to land a few punches instead.  Surely it wouldn’t take much more than two or three solid shots to the kisser before he’s had enough.  Of course, there’s always the chance that he’s a black belt in karate or Billy Blanks Tae Bo, which would throw a huge wrench in the system, but I still think I’d have the upper hand because I’m not afraid to play dirty and hit below the belt if that’s what it takes. ___________________________________________________

In case you don’t follow me on Twitter or your friends who added me on Facebook haven’t broke the news to you yet, I’m proud to announce that after months of begging HOMAGE, we  finally released the “FUNDAMENTALS MONTAGE!!!” shirt yesterday.

Before you complain about the price, please keep in mind that this isn’t your standard t-shirt, as this will undoubtedly be the softest shirt you will ever own in your life (unless you have the CLUB TRIL one).  Also, 10% of all sales for the rest of the month will be donated to Movember and will ultimately help with prostate/testicular cancer research.  So basically you can do your part to help fight cancer by getting an unbelievably awesome and soft shirt.  I’m pretty sure this could be the definition of a win-win. ___________________________________________________

Today’s Great Mustache In American History is brought to you by Dale Earnhardt.

Even though I spent my childhood cheering on the Rainbow Warriors and the 24 Dupont Chevrolet of Jeff Gordon, I have no problem admitting that Dale Earnhardt is the greatest NASCAR driver of all-time (Gordon and Earnhardt were bitter rivals for those of you who think you’re too cool to follow NASCAR). Most people are of the opinion that Richard Petty is the best ever, but I’m giving Earnhardt the nod, if for no other reason than Earnhardt had a better mustache.

I was going to highlight some of Earnhardt’s finest moments, but then I realized that those of you who follow NASCAR already know how awesome he was and those of you who don’t follow NASCAR wouldn’t care anyway.  So instead, I’ll just link you to a tribute video on YouTube that made my a little teary-eyed and you can do what you want with it.

Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder