Sunday, March 22, 2009

March (Commercial) Madness

So I would just like to throw out there the fact that I've really enjoyed the tournament-themed commercials running during this year's tournament so far.

What Nike's Jordan brand has done with their "Become Legendary" commercials is great. However, I don't think anything tops the latest Vitamin Water commercial I saw this weekend.

The commercial shows Christian Laettner re-enacting "The Shot" over and over again with different items: a banana peel, a piece of wood, a towel and finally a Vitamin Water bottle.

The final shot occurs outside of his house, and then shows his neighbor getting the mail from his mailbox. Oh, did I mention that his neighbor is Rick Pitino? You know, the guy who coached Kentucky when Laettner's Blue Devils made that shot in the NCAA tourney all those years ago.



I think it's a great concept for a commercial, and that it's good that Rick Pitino can look back on that devastating moment and make light of it.

I also love it because I hate the Kentucky Wildcats (naturally, as a Gator fan/student). So this commercial just works on so many levels for me.

Celebrating the Birthday of the NBA's Human Anti-Highlight Reel

Today, March 22, is the 37th birthday of the one and only Shawn Bradley.

Any NBA fan knows that the nickname "The Human Highlight Reel" belongs to Dominique Wilkins, and deservedly so. But I'm only mentioning that because Bradley was probably the NBA's Human ANTI-Highlight Reel while he played.

His whole career was a set of highlights... from the wrong perspective.

Bradley was the second overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft out of BYU, and made a 13-year career with the 76ers, Nets and Mavericks out of being dunked on by pretty much everyone in the league.

In honor of his 37th birthday, I'd like to take a look back at his illustrious career:



Noticeably missing from that Top Ten list: Tracy McGrady's infamous "gravity-sucking" dunk on Bradley from the 2005 playoffs.



Now, Bradley's whole career wasn't spent getting dunked on. My personal favorite highlight of him was against the Miami Heat, back when Rafer "Skip to my Lou" Alston was playing for the other team in Florida instead of for the Orlando Magic.

Down two with 2.5 seconds left in the game, Miami is inbounding the ball. Alston comes off a pick by Brian Grant at the top of the key, down to the corner three, Caron Butler inbounds it and fading both backwards and to his left, Alston releases a three over none other than... Mr. Bradley. To this day, it still stands as one of my favorite Heat games of all time.




So with that, I would like to wish you a happy birthday, Shawn Bradley! May your retirement be less embarassing than your NBA career. But hey, at the end of the day, you're the millionaire, not me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Brackets!

As promised, people, here are my two official brackets. I'm still torn on a lot of the picks, but whatever, no one is going to have a perfect bracket, right?



So before I leave you all for a day in front of my television watching the games, here's a little bit of info on the pool I'm in:

146 brackets have been entered, at $5 each. That's $730, not too shabby. I'm not 100% certain how it's divied up in the end, but I'll wait till the time comes to worry about that. The pool consists of people from Miami, up to Gainesville, through Tallahassee, up to Pennsylvania and end in Maine. Pretty impressive, if I may say so. That being said, enjoy the tournament, folks!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Let the Madness Begin

So last night was the "opening round" game of the NCAA tournament, more commonly known as the play-in game. Morehead State knocked off Alabama State, earning the right to play Louisville in the first round.

I don't know about you all, but I was certainly cheering for Alabama State. Not that I'm a fan of the team, nor do I really know anything about them. However, their center has the most badass name I've heard for an athlete in a while: Chief Killingstallionsims.

The guy is almost 7-feet tall, and he only averages 8.5 points per game. But the name more than makes up for it.

Really, I just wanted to be able to hear one of CBS' announcers say the guy's name for 40 minutes. I'm sure at least one of them would screw it up, or at the very least, comment on it.

However, I don't know what's more disappointing: the fact that Alabama State wasn't able to advance to the first round, or that he was left out of the 2009 Name of The Year Bracket.


By the way, I will be back later this afternoon with my (two?) official brackets that I'm entering into my annual March Madness Pool, so stay tuned.

EDIT: Okay, I lied. I'll be back in the morning with my brackets. I'm still debating on some of the picks and doubting my initial thoughts on a lot of the games. So I will post them when I finish, but surely before the games tip off in the early afternoon.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Commercial Remix, Anybody?

Does anyone else think Gatorade should just call up Dwyane Wade and LeBron James and do a remake of the classic Michael Jordan vs. Mia Hamm commercial from the 90's?




After Wade decided to go all "this is my house," on everyone since the All-Star break, LeBron decided to answer with three consecutive games with a triple-double.

Then Friday night LeBron went off for 51 against the Kings in overtime, adding nine assists. Saturday, Wade poured in 50 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists to knock off the Jazz in triple overtime.

Forget about Kobe for a minute. Forget Dwight Howard, Chauncey Billups, Paul Pierce and the rest of the MVP-wannabes. Wade and LeBron are trying to make this a two-horse race to the finish.

The end of this season for these two players from the 2003 Draft class is becoming a big game of "anything you can do, I can do better."

I for one, am enjoying it, and think Gatorade should hop on that train and get these two in there for a remix to the classic MJ commercial.

Miami is Wade's World, And We Are Just Living In It

Early in the second half of today's Heat game against the Utah Jazz, Dwyane Wade surpassed Alonzo Morning as the franchise's all-time scoring leader.

Zo finished his Heat career with 9,459 points in 593 games. Wade needed 21 points Saturday to surpass that total. He scored 50.

That puts Wade as No. 1 on the Heat's all-time scoring list at 9,489 so far.

Wade is in the midst of completely re-writing the Heat record books.

He is closing in on the best single-season, scoring-wise, in Heat history. A record he already holds from his NBA championship season (2,040 points).

He is already first on the Heat's all-time steals list. Eight in rebounds (just ahead of Shaq), second in assists (behind Tim Hardaway), and currently fourth in blocked shots (just behind Shaq).

Soon enough, Wade will likely own every major statistical record in Miami Heat history. He is already the greatest player in Heat history, and the records are mere formalities. Some even say he's already the greatest athlete in Miami sports history.

Either way, this is Wade's World, and we are just living in it right now.

Monday, March 9, 2009

So Dwyane Wade is Pretty Good at Basketball

In case you didn't see the highlights and coverage practically on loop on ESPN late tonight, it's safe to conclude that Dwyane Wade is decent at basketball.

Since the All-Star break, the league's leading scoring (29.4 ppg) has been averaging 36.5 points, 10.8 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.8 steals.

Monday night he finished off the Bulls in 2OT with 48 points, 12 asissts, 6 rebounds and 4 steals, not to mention a steal with a few seconds left followed by the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer.

Obviously, I'm a big Miami Heat homer, and have been talking up Wade's surreal season from the beginning, but I'm serious when I say he deserves some serious MVP consideration, and it seems ESPN is finally buying into the Wade hype. (Tim Legler even said on SportsCenter that he would rather watch Wade than any other player in the league).

Most of the season ESPN has been all about LeBron James and Kobe Bryant... but more so LeBron than anything. Since Wade's ridiculous tear since the All-Star break though, it seems people in the media are beginning to take Wade's MVP-caliber play seriously.

If you ask me, Wade does more with less than LeBron or Kobe. He has no Mo Williams like LeBron does. He doesn't have a Pau Gasol like Kobe does. He has a young, inexperienced team, that will go as far as he takes them.

Before the season, I pointed out that Wade was out to redeem himself and prove to be one of the game's elite. That preseason statement seems to be coming to fruition, and the rest of the league is beginning to realize it, too.

This is not the same Heat team that finished last in 2008 with a crippled Wade. They are no longer pushovers. Teams will now fear coming to play against Miami, because Wade knows how to protect his house, which is why he is as deserving of a candidate as there is for the MVP this season.

And yes, this is still D-Wade's house, and he won't let anyone forget it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Best. Prank. Ever?

I say: quite possibly.

It is March, so before the real madness begins with the field of 65 in less than two weeks, let's start off with this bit of madness from the guys over at College Humor: 500K Shot a.k.a. Best. Prank. Ever.

What makes this prank so great, is that the guy was able to convince an arena full of fans to go along with the prank just minutes before. This arena packed with college students helps convince this guy that he actually made a half-court shot... blindfolded... for half a million dollars.