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The Disney Channel Original Movie Manifesto

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This isn’t a slideshow.

Just wanted to get that out of the way early for all of you out there so you don’t have to spend 120 clicks and page loads to get through Bleacher Report’s “Top 25 Eastern European WAGs of the Bass Pro Series.”

With that said, I can’t ignore that Complex Magazine dropped down and got their Bleacher Report on in December with this “Top 25 Disney Channel Original Movies”. It was pretty solid and for the most part they didn’t have any glaring omissions or discrepancies in their rankings. Having “The Color of Friendship” a spot ahead of “Jett Jackson: The Movie” was a lapse in judgment but TCOF won an Emmy so I can’t be too critical of its placement.

Here’s the thing; I’m not going to rank the movies. I’m just not going to do it. I’m not that guy. I’m not above the game. But because I respect the game however, we will use the Complex rankings as a contrast point as we go through and hash all this out.

DISCLAIMER: I write this piece with great pride and great prejudice.  All of us have had a different experience with Disney Channel Original Movies (hereafter referred to as “DCOMs”) and we all have different memories and opinions of them now. Age is a big deal. I was born in 1986 so I was hitting the prime of DCOMs at the age of about 14. If you were 18 in 2000 you probably would have missed this wonderful experience and if you were 10 you would have looked at these movies in a much different light.

Considering all that, looking back at the DCOM universe is like looking back through a kaleidoscope. It’s just a little bit different for each one of us, but it’s always beautiful in its own unique way. With all that out of the way and speaking of beautiful, let’s get started…

ZENON: THE PRISM

Everyone has their own DCOM experience, so there has to be an origin point of where we all can gauge exactly what perspective we have. That point is Zenon; the prism through which we can understand and define each person’s individual experience.

When “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century” came out on January 23, 1999, I was 13 years old. This was the perfect age to experience Kirsten Storms, who was also 13 in the movie, but more importantly – was 15 in real life. Among many transcendent casting choices in the history of DCOMs, this may have been the most impressive, because when “Zenon: The Zequel” came out in 2001, Zenon Kar was 15 played by a 17-year old Storms, who much like Lindsay Lohan at that age was at her aesthetic peak. Two years did this:

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So for me and many others born from 1985 to 1988, a 15-year old Storms in 1999 and a 17-year old Storms in 2001 were both dangerously well-timed as our emotions towards the opposite sex were developing.

As previously stated, if you weren’t in that window, the DCOM experience was probably very different for you. This has to be understood when considering how you personally viewed these movies. This is why Zenon may hold a very special place in the hearts and sexual development of many 23 to 28-year olds you know today.

So the prism through which I write this is the prism of hitting Zenon in the sweet spot, and all opinions and sentiments written forthcoming should be known to be from that perspective. I also want to acknowledge that in the previous sentence I incorporated the phrase “hitting Zenon in the sweet spot” and did not make any kind of euphemism or innuendo whatsoever. Impressive, I know.

The other pillar that Zenon serves for our purposes is as a cutoff point. This whole thing can be a jumble when dictating what is and what isn’t a DCOM. So Zenon will be our point of reference again. Here is a rough breakdown of what we are dealing with movie-wise here:

Disney Channel Premiers (sometimes also known as “Premears” – see what they did there)

54 movies beginning in 1983 with “Tiger Town” and going all the way up to 1997’s “The Paper Brigade” (more on this later).

Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs)

Currently at 97 movies, beginning with “Northern Lights” in 1997 and now the most recent being 2013’s “Teen Beach Musical” which someone apparently forgot to give an actual name.

“Zoog” Disney Channel Movies

Scholars and historians have been at odds to determine what, if any, the distinction is between the “Zoog” movies and DCOMs. The Disney Wiki has the breakdown at 43 Zoog movies and 48 DCOMs. Most of the heavy hitters are considered under this Zoog category (Brink, Zenon, Tsunami, etc). They list the oft-unlisted gem “P.U.N.K.S.” which introduced us all to Jessica Alba, and they omit “The Paper Brigade” altogether.

This is where Zenon continues to act as our final modifier for this exercise. Not one of us could sustain through all 97 DCOMs; it’s cross-generational and everyone has a different timeframe. No one who was old enough to watch and enjoy “The Paper Brigade” for instance would also be able to watch and enjoy “High School Musical” in the same way; it’s just not possible. Enjoying “High School Musical” is a task in itself. So we will consider everything from “The Paper Brigade” up to “Zenon: Z3” which came out June 11, 2004 officially a DCOM.

The post-Z3 world was an incoherent mess that had a bunch of Halloweentown sequels including “Halloweentown High,” “Return to Halloweentown,” and “The Halloweentown Chainsaw Massacre.” All the magic was officially ruined when “High School Musical” came out at the beginning of 2006. There were five or six Cheetah Girls movies in this retard soup and once everything was burned to the ground in 2007 they released the sequel to “Johnny Tsunami” and officially pissed on the ashes. That movie will not be mentioned or named. The only thing that ending it at Z3 really robs us of is the Lebron James-like rise of Aly Michalka through the more recent DCOMs. We were robbed of seeing exactly how she got to the point that she was averaging a triple-double every night. For example:

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How there wasn’t at least a conversation about an edgier Zenon reboot with Michalka before she blew up is one of the all-time “left on the table” moments in Disney history. Maybe in television history. It kept me up last night.

Anyway…from “The Paper Brigade” in 1997 to “Z3” in 2004 we have 50 movies we can consider fully certified DCOMs. I’m including “P.U.N.K.S.” because it had Brandon Baker before “Tsunami” and was the first time we got the privilege of laying eyes on Jessica Alba. I’m excluding “Northern Lights” in 1997 because Diane Keaton was in it, no one watched it, and it sounds like an Emily Bronte novel.

Also not including “You Lucky Dog” because it’s about a dog psychiatrist played by Kirk Cameron who can read dogs’ minds. At one point this could’ve been promising but after “Kirk Cameron and Bananas” happened we really have to omit anything Cameron related.

Like I said before I’m not ranking these. I’m not James Franco I can’t just do whatever the fuck I want. I have some discipline and respect.  There’s too much nuance and too many gaps to just line em all up. The only way to go is to break this down pyramid style and I will humbly do my best to do justice to this masterpiece collection. In that spirit…

THE WORLD BEFORE DCOMs

Life before DCOMs was rough and sparse. Like the ABA before the merger there were different rules, and the memories for those of us who grew up with the NBA are hazy to nonexistent. However, you have to know where you came from to truly appreciate where you are now. That’s why 1995’s “Escape to Witch Mountain” deserves to be mentioned.  There are aliens and purple energy and Ari’s wife from Entourage and a mountain, but most importantly we were introduced to DCOM legend Erik von Detten. EvD is a gift that we would have to wait three years to open. It also unfortunately gave us this gift that we’d wait 14 years to open and then immediately return. I’m sure The Rock kicked that mountains ass in a sweet cut-off though.

The other pre-DCOM worth mentioning is the rollerblading movie before the rollerblading movie, “Airborne” from 1993. It’s about a kid who loves to surf who was displaced from his home to an unfamiliar world where he excels at a new sport – this plotline may sound familiar. And it begins the clichéd downhill rollerblade race ending that we see pop up in later in movies like “Brink!”, “Shakespeare in Love,” and “Schindler’s List.”  It also gives us a young Seth Green, a young Jack Black, and this Wikipedia synopsis of the ending:

An aggressive and athletic Snake reaches the finish first for Mitchell’s team, but two preps swiftly follow suit. Needing only one more person to win and with Blane in sight of the end, he decides to barrel into Mitchell but poorly times his attack and instead lands in the waters below. This leaves Jack and Mitchell in clear sight of the finish line, as they approach in tandem victory to the cheers of their awaiting schoolmates, and kisses of respective love interests. Mitchell has finally earned the respect of Jack and his friends, and he is lifted on the shoulders of a cheering crowd as the movie ends”

And yes, the ending is as epic as that paragraph describes. Don’t even bother watching it.  It makes me physically upset that I didn’t write the phrase “and kisses of respective love interests” in that paragraph. Absolute fire.

Okay, so now that we’ve mentioned the OGs, we can get into it…

LEVEL ONE: Those That Exist So That We May Know What is Better

Under Wraps, Can of Worms, Stepsister from Planet Weird, Ready to Run, Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire, The Ultimate Christmas Present, Hounded, The Jennie Project, Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge, ‘Twas the Night, The Scream Team, You Wish!, Right on Track, Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook Off, Pixel Perfect

15 Movies here that will get us started on the base of our pyramid. There may be one in here that you particularly enjoyed – maybe something hit close to home and you have a special place for it. Maybe you were one of those freaks that was into the whole “Halloweentown” thing and you actually know who this “Kalabar” jamoch is and why his revenge is important enough to get a subtitle. Nothing wrong with that…but just know you are absolutely wrong for liking it.

Diamonds we can pick out of this Level One rough: “Can of Worms” gave us Erika Christensen, who we later got to enjoy in the “Leave it to Beaver” reboot and “Swimfan.” We saw Tahj Mowry and a very young Shia LaBeouf in “Hounded,” which was almost enough to sneak it out of the first tier, but it also had Ed Begley Jr. in it, who really loves the environment and definitely isn’t crazy.

Some of you may have liked some of these movies but it’s hard to make an argument for any of them to crack the top 10 let alone the top 25. Not one was in the Complex top 25 and there is a reason for that. We move on.

LEVEL TWO: Women Be Shoppin’

The Color of Friendship, Rip Girls, Quints, A Ring of Endless Light, Cadet Kelly, The Cheetah Girls, Kim Possible Movie: A Sitch in Time, Gotta Kick it Up!

You can probably pick up what I’m putting down here just by the context clues. Positives here: A young Camille Belle, a pre-Marissa Mischa Barton, Hillary Duff and CCR in the same movie, and Eric Matthews as Ron Stoppable.

I personally didn’t really enjoy any of these, but I know that many of the ladies out there did and therefore we oblige them and give them their own level. I don’t support domestic violence and I think Chris Brown is an animal…however, if there was a female I may hit it’s probably going to be that girl from “Quint.” A lot of pent-up resentment for me there for some reason.

The whole Kim Possible era is worth mentioning because it’s tough to handicap after the fact. They had a great formula: spy cartoon, CCR voicing the main character, Christina Milian killing the theme song, and a voice-over cast that included Will Friedle, Tahj Mowry, Nicole Sullivan, Kirsten Storms, Gary Cole (yup that’s Lumbergh), Patrick Warburton, Patton Oswalt as Professor Dementor, Rider Strong as someone named Brick Flagg, and a naked mole rat. Despite all this, I can’t ever really remember enjoying the damn thing I just remember that stupid four-note beepy ringtone thing they always played with it.

I was always impressed with Kim though for extending her career beyond her Disney channel fame which was always a difficult task; she got a haircut, a boob job, and a headset and had a good run as a spokeswoman for eSurance.

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 LEVEL 3: Never Go Full Retard

Miracle in Lane 2, Tru Confessions, Rain Main

Frankie Muniz is handicapped, Shia LaBeouf is special and holy hell I’m depressed. Just remember, Shia’s got chops man. Megan Fox and robot movies aside, kid can act.

LEVEL 4: WHOA!

Horse Sense, Jumping Ship, The Other Me, Going to the Mat

We must pay respect to the Disney Channel Royal family – The Lawrences. “Brotherly Love” was solid and there was nothing wrong with their collective jump to movies. “Horse Sense” left out Matthew, who was busy tearing up the college years of BMW and dating Rachel, who was a good foot and a half taller than him, but the whole gang got back together for “Jumping Ship” in 2001.

Andrew had a couple solo projects – surprising considering he was The Hapsburg Prince of the clan – with “The Other Me” and “Going to the Mat.” Both were pretty forgettable, as have been The Lawrence Brothers as a whole as time has gone on. After Matthew played a Sidney Crosby-like character in “H-E-Double Hockey Sticks” I was convinced he was destined for big things. This was not he case however. He flamed out after “The Hot Chick” (or during it more likely) and we haven’t heard of him since.

LEVEL 5: If You Bought the VHS It Was Acceptable

Halloweentown, Up, Up and Away, Phantom of the Megaplex, The Poof Point, Full Court Miracle, Don’t Look Under the Bed

Now we are getting somewhere. These were slightly more memorable and had a little bit more substance to them than just the base-level DCOMs. On the Complex list, we have #9, #19, #20, and #24 here on Level 5.

I really don’t get the whole Halloweentown thing. Didn’t like it, never watched it more than once, and was disgusted at all the attention it got. I simply put it here because it would be complete personal bias to put it any lower. I had devout allegiance to R.L. Stine and the cinematic adaptation of “The Haunted Mask” that Goosebumps put out on VHS in 1996. I wasn’t going to waver and it felt wrong to have more than one childhood Halloween movie. I was a loyal kid growing up. That’s why if anyone suggested playing Perfect Dark to “change it up” instead of hammering Dual RCP-90s all day in Goldeneye I went into anaphylactic shock.

This was a solid group; you had Erin Chambers for all you ginger ninjas out there, the movie that inspired Benjamin Button, a fantastic adaptation of “Phantom of the Opera” which none of knew was an adaptation of “Phantom of the Opera” at the time, and a politically-correct box-checker about a black family of superheroes that did about as much for racial progress as “Hangin with Mr. Cooper” did.

LEVEL 6: Too Famous for Disney

Get a Clue, P.U.N.K.S

Person 1: “Hey Matt, I think Lindsay Lohan was hottest in Mean Girls.”

Person 2: “Hey Matt, I think Lindsay Lohan was hottest in The Parent Trap.”

Look, neither of you are wrong. Both have valid arguments, but I’m going to split the difference and go with “Get a Clue” Lohan as my favorite Lohan – it’s where you can kiiiiiind of see the shame spiral get started.

From 1998 to 2004, LiLo went Parent Trap – Life Size – Get a Clue – Confessions – Mean Girls and was poised to absolutely take over the game. The cliff that she falls off of after “Mean Girls” could be arguably the most drastic in the history of IMDB pages. Draw a line after “Mean Girls” and its astonishing where her career ended up. Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

Alba as we all know did the opposite, and snuck up on all of us in 1999. Here is the craziest part: Alba was in two legitimate movies in 1999 other than “P.U.N.K.S.”: “Never Been Kissed,” and “Idle Hands.” Her performance in “Idle Hands” was all-time breakout hotness type stuff playing the love-interest of a burgeoning Devon Sawa.

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Jessica Alba: 1999 :: Mike Trout: 2012. A five-tool rookie year like we’ve never seen before. Talent is just talent people.

LEVEL 7: Executing the Formula

The Thirteenth Year, Genius, Alley Cats Strike, The Luck of the Irish, Motocrossed

When Zuckerberg had the idea for DCOMs as an undergraduate at Harvard, these five movies were what he had in mind. Each of these succeeded as the perfect execution of the DCOM formula. A solid plot, great young casting, some involvement with a sport, and a predictable yet solid and entertaining conclusion. These are all memorable, rewatchable, and each cannot be scoffed at if someone were to say that one of these was their favorite DCOM.

A couple things in Level 7 DCOMs worth noting:

– The kid who played the main character in “The Thirteenth Year” was named Chez Starbuck. How he didn’t end up doing porn is one of the great DCOM mysteries (I can’t confirm he didn’t I am just assuming).

– “Alley Cats Strike” is the third greatest bowling movie of all time. Chew on that for a second. Behind “Kingpin” and “The Big Lewbowski,” the 2000 DCOM comes in third without much argument. Bonus: it gave us the introduction of Kaley Cuoco.

– The only problem with “The Luck of the Irish” was the fact that Ryan Merriman was an absolute embarrassment at basketball.  He right-hand power dribbles his way through the whole movie, culminating in a final game where he pulls of the greatest steal in the history of basketball:

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He made that steal on his way to leading the Soaring Eagles to the win after being down 72-64 with a minute to go and an evil leprechaun playing for the other team. All for a kid with no left hand.

– Finally, I still can’t decide if Andy Carson from “Motocrossed” was hotter with short hair or long hair. I’m not sure what that says about me but I feel like Talon felt the same way.

LEVEL 8: Lead Pipe Locks – Movies from Shows

Jett Jackson: The Movie, The Even Stevens Movie

These were no-brainers. Jett Jackson was one of the greatest premises in television history, and making a movie out of the thing was about as sure a bet as you could make. And of course, the thing delivered. Jett Jackson and Silverstone’s worlds became one in a genius writing move that had Jett actually save Silverstone, Artemis, and Hawk from Dr. Kragg at one point. Great stuff. My only overarching disappointment with Jett Jackson is that the whole half tucked-in buttondown thing that JB did never really caught on. Beckham even tried to make it happen.

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“The Even Stevens Movie” was what it should have been – a more ridiculous longer episode of the show. They grabbed Beans, went on a family vacation that turned out to be a reality show, and hijinx ensue. It was sort of ahead of its time with the whole reality show thing. Clearly “Influenza: The Musical” was a more culturally significant event I’m not going to argue with you, but unfortunately that can’t be considered.

TIER 9: The Elite

Smart House, The Zenon Trilogy, Johnny Tsunami, The Paper Brigade

First of all, we’ll get the WTF moment out of the way. Guess who directed “Smart House”? LeVar Effing Burton. I’ll give you all a minute to wrap your heads around this. The guy who was on “Roots,” hosted “Reading Rainbow” for a thousand years, and was on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was also responsible for one of the greatest DCOMs ever. That’s range.

After that, you have Ryan Merriman again, solidifying his place on the DCOM Mount Rushmore alongside Brandon Baker, Lee Thompson Young, and EvD. There is no female version of Mount Rushmore because K-Storms is so far ahead of everyone else it’s not even a discussion.

“Smart House” was great, gave us the second best DCOM original song, and helped launched the 4-month career of red-headed-step-child-boy-band Five with “Slam Dunk Da Funk”. I personally thought “When the Lights Go Out” was their crowning achievement but SDDF was their most popular and was incorporated into the movie seamlessly.

Let’s finish this though – so what was the best DCOM original song? I’m surprised you even have to ask. Of course it’s Protozoa’s “Supernova Girl” from Zenon. Another reason why these movies are in a level of their own – they launched chart-topping hit singles. “Supernova Girl” was the #1 song IN THE ENTIRE GALAXY. Protozoa ain’t nothin to fuck wit.

We’ve covered Zenon enough so we can move right on to another tour-de-force performance by Storms and segway right into “Johnny Tsunami.”

Before we get into all the great things about JT, lets first address the huge Asian elephant in the room. Yes…the actual Johnny Tsunami, Johnny’s grandfather, happens to be Shang Tsung from “Mortal Kombat.”

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This was brushed over in the movie and is rarely brought up, probably because of the damage it would have done to all of us back in 1999. Luckily I did not realize this until I was mature enough to handle it. I mean the guy killed Lui Kang’s brother for seemingly no reason whatsoever…then retired to Hawaii and became a surfing legend. #doublelife

Basically here is how JT happened: They said, alright let’s get Brandon Baker, the kid looks Hawaiian and he’s an up-and-comer here so we can let him drive this thing. We’ll take our two most marketable stars right now – Storms and Lee Thompson Young – and flank him with crazy talent. We’ll take the basic plot of “Brink!” because that killed, add snow and make pretty much the same movie.

Translation = They were not fucking around. They knew this thing was going to be legit and they made sure it had no chance at failing. Bravo Disney Channel.  You pulled it off. There are many who claim this as the best DCOM ever and I can’t say I really have an argument against it. I may not agree, but I can’t argue with you.

“The Paper Brigade” gets the mention here as THE most underrated of all DCOMs. This is partly because some may not consider it a DCOM. However, being someone who once had a championship fantasy football team named after this movie, and wrote under the pseudonym “Gunther Wheeler” on fantasy message boards in high school, I may be slightly biased.

Kyle Howard and Joseph-Gordon Levitt were neck and neck back then and there careers forked in very different directions. Crazy that it was pretty much a toss-up between the two back then.

LEVEL 10: When you woke up this morning did you say to yourself “Today I’m gonna talk,” or “Today, I’m gonna skate”?

Brink!

This was the first one that landed. The first DCOM to define the rest. Brink! was the domino that started this whole thing. This was The Blueprint. All others that followed must pay tribute to what Brink! allowed them to do.

The movie was shot in California – the whole thing was sunny and fun to watch. EvD’s hair was the only hair to ever approach Shawn Hunter level.  You had the definitive DCOM good vs. evil contrast with Team X-Blades and Soul-Skaters/Team Pup ‘N Suds, even with Brink going to the dark side and then triumphantly coming back. The movie made rollerblading cool. Think about that. Rollerblading now is something you can’t legally do until you tell your parents you’re gay. After Brink! it was a legitimate activity.

If this movie didn’t affect your childhood in a positive way then you probably are having trouble transitioning into a functional and successful adult. Fear not, though – thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can relive all the soul-skating magic in one click. And that’s the only way we can really send this thing out. Thanks for wasting all that time reading this and here is another 96 minutes you can waste. Also, if anyone has a Team X-Blades tank I will gladly take it off your hands for a fair price.

X-Blades Tank

 

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Aaron Rodgers, the Indianapolis Colts, and The Gyllenhaal Switch

I’ve been taking a stand for a few years now that angers people:  “Batman Begins” is better than “The Dark Knight.” Sorry I’m not sorry. I would watch “Batman Begins” before “The Dark Knight” ten times over. There are two words that bring me to this shocking conclusion and two words only: Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Her selection in “The Dark Knight” to play Rachel Dawes, the love interest of Bruce Wayne/Batman, is very much like the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. No one saw it coming and it’s not a whole lot to look at on the surface.  Every time she is on the screen it angers me to the point where I cannot enjoy the movie. Even when she isn’t in the scene…in the back of my mind I know she is lurking somewhere and  shall be on screen wasting my time and Batman’s time once again.

I have nothing against Maggie Gyllenhaal personally. She seems like a very nice woman and I’m sure that she is. It’s not even really that I can’t buy into the “hey-audience-pretend-not-to-notice” actress swap they pulled because Tom Cruise told Katie Holmes she had to worship an alien race that came out of a volcano instead of filming the second Batman movie (I wish I was making that up).

This is not an adequate replacement.

It is just preposterous to me to believe that Bruce Wayne would go to such lengths to save Maggie Gyllenhaal. I watch the movie waiting and hoping for Christian Bale to turn to the camera and say “Eff this. I’m not wasting any more precious time saving this 7.  There are much more important things going on here.”

You tell me which is more believable: A mastermind criminal nicknamed “The Joker” places a bomb on two ferrys – one transporting criminals and one normal citizens – and gives them each the ability to detonate the opposing ferry’s bomb while he watches from an abandoned skyscraper OR Maggie Gyllenhaal playing an attractive and compelling love interest.

For me, if Katie Holmes is in “The Dark Knight,” I’m 100% on board. Gyllenhaal ruins it for me. Luckily, the movie was good enough and had enough going on despite her that it was still well-received and very successful.

Now if you were to take a movie that was not so good…perhaps a movie that was completely reliant on its attractive female lead – “The Gyllenhaal Switch” as we will call it just won’t fly.

For example…how do these sound?

“Tomb Raider” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.

“Into the Blue” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.

“Entrapment” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.

“Desperado” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.

“Summer Catch” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.

“Striptease” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.

You get my point. If you Gyllenhaal Switch any of these movies they turn into unwatchable turds. What if Aladdin went into the market and saved the poor cloaked girl stealing an apple…and when the hood came off it was not Princess Jasmine…but it was Princess Maggie? Animated Disney movies might have ceased to exist at that exact moment.

Fortunately for us, none of these things happened.

Unfortunately for the 2011 Indianapolis Colts, they were forced to pull off their own Gyllenhaal Switch. (and I’m not saying this because Curtis Painter is about as attractive a woman as Maggie Gullenhaal).

Curtis Painter also the son of Dr. Okun from Independence Day..."peace....nooooo peace"

The Colts had to take their charismatic, compelling, sexy leading actress and replace her with someone who was the 8th hottest chick in “Mona Lisa Smile.”

This has caused the Colts to be 0-12 this year with basically the same supporting cast as 2010.  The Colts were the movie “Tomb Raider” and Peyton Manning was a young, busty Angelina Jolie. Gyllenhaal Switch that shit and you go from a 10-6 playoff team to not winning a single game through twelve weeks.

This made me wonder. If the Colts were “Tomb Raider,” what are the Packers this year? Is Aaron Rodgers as valuable to his team/movie as Manning/Jolie? If you take him away, are the Rodgers-less Packers as bad as the Manning-less Colts?

This is Peyton Manning.

Using some statistical comparisons to Peyton Manning and the 2010 Colts, we can try to get that answer.

There are 3 ways to compare the situations. The first is comparing Peyton Manning’s 2010 season with Aaron Rodgers’ 2011 season (projected out to 16 games):

2011 PACKERS: RODGERS (Projected)

2010 COLTS: Manning (16 games)

Record

16-0

10-6

Yards

5,125

4,700

TDs

49

33

INTs

7

17

Comp. %

70.6 %

66.3 %

NFL Rank

3rd

1st

Sacks

39

16

QB RTG

125.3

91.9

PPG

35.0

27.2

TOP

31:37

29:55

Rodgers statistically is better across the board. More yards, TDs, Comp %, and QB rating while having less INTs and no losses (so far).  From an individual standpoint, Aaron Rodgers in 2011 is much better than Peyton Manning was in 2010. The statistical difference (especially TD-INT ratio) alone could be worth an extra 4-6 wins depending on how the Packers finish the season their last 6 games.

If you go to the next level metric-wise, you can compare the two quarterbacks with some stats help from Football Outsiders.  Using their QB metrics (DYAR, DVOA, and EYards – All explained here, we can get a better idea of just how valuable each QB is to his respective team.

2011 PACKERS: RODGERS (Proj: 16 games)

2010 COLTS: Manning (16 games)

DYAR

1,720

1,679

DVOA

55.0 %

25.0 %

Eyards

4,432

6,032

The two are almost exactly the same when it comes to DYAR – which compares each player’s production versus what the average quarterback would produce in the same situations in relation to total yardage. In DVOA  – which measures the value of each player on each play over what the average replacement would be – the advantage goes significantly to Rodgers; he is that much more valuable than whoever his replacement would be on each play. The final stat, EYards – “Effective Yards,” which measures how effective a player is beyond just the sheer numbers (and based on usage) – goes to Manning. Looking at the 3 next-level stats, Rodgers is worth more every play while Manning is worth more because of the volume of how much he was used…so their respective values to their teams somewhat evens out.

A good comparison here is Brookyln Decker in the movie “Just Go With It” against Jolie in “Tomb Raider.” When she is on screen, Decker’s performance in “Just Go With It” is off-the-charts. Scene-for-scene, it’s arguably some of the best stuff we’ve seen in cinema in quite some time. Jolie on the other hand is the entire movie in “Tomb Raider.” It’s 100 minutes of Jolie being consistently hot. Her usage rate is nuts.

Rodgers is much like Decker. You would probably give Decker – a blonde Victoria’s Secret model crossed with a Hooters waitress – the slight edge over Jolie – brunette, extremely attractive, and almost equally as endowed, but with a few extra years and the burden of being somewhat of a legitimate actress.

Looks just like Aaron Rodgers to me.

So statistically, both QBs are about as valuable to their team; just in different ways. You may even give Rodgers the edge.  Now we have to look at some other factors, though – the supporting casts.

The 2010 Colts and the 2011 Packers were both lacking high-producing backfields and both had similar weapons as far as receivers and tight ends go (very good – with Manning dealing with some WR injuries throughout the year). From an offensive line standpoint, the 2010 Colts gave up only 16 sacks – which was 29th among quarterbacks – while Peyton was 1st in pass attempts – an incredible job by the line.  While some of this can be attributed to Manning, Aaron Rodgers in 2011 is on pace to be sacked 39 times. So offensively, both teams are very similar – with the Colts having better protection.

On the other side of the ball, both team’s defenses were not particularly good. Two defensive stats can be used to compare these: the NFL Total Defense Rankings (based on yards per game) and Football Outsider’s Defensive Efficiency Ranking (“Defensive DVOA”):

2010 IND Defensive DVOA = 8.2 % (24th)

–          Total Defense: 341.6 ypg (20th)

2011 GB Defensive DVOA = 12.3 % (26th)

–          Total Defense: 397.8 ypg (31st)

Comparing the two, Indianapolis had the better defense…or to put it more appropriately, Indianapolis’ defense was less awful. Green Bay’s 2011 defense is among the very worst in the league.  While they do have quite a few take-aways and have had some opportunistic plays, from an overall standpoint they have been one of the worst in the league.

Finally. with the hypothesis – the Packers losing Aaron Rodgers – you have to take into account whoever the replacement would be. As an example, here is how the Colts’ Gyllenhaal switch fared this year:

2010 COLTS: Manning

(16 games)

2011 COLTS: QBs (Proj: 16 games)

Record

10-6

0-16

Yards

4700

3106

TDs

33

13

INTs

17

15

Comp. %

66.3

56.1

NFL Rank

1st

26th

Sacks

16

33

QB RTG

91.9

71.8

PPG

27.2

14.5

TOP

29:55

25:27

The Colts’ QBs have been well below average. It is arguable that you could say Matt Flynn would fare better than the Colts’ group of Gyllenhaals (Collins/Painter/Orlovsky). If you give Flynn the benefit of the doubt and say he would be average, the difference between Rodgers 2011 season and Manning’s 2010 season would most likely be about the same as the difference between Flynn’s potential average season and the Colts’ QBs in 2011. (Note: Flynn looking like Matt Damon does not warrant a comparison in this NFL-to-Hollywood analogy).

With Flynn as the unknown entity in this situation, it is conceivable that as a QB with almost no experience, Flynn could be just as bad as the collective of Colts’ QBs this year – which would make the drop-off in quarterback play for the hypothetical Rodgers-less Packers that much more pronounced.

Considering everything – Green Bay defense, offensive line, and backfield – without Aaron Rodgers this team doesn’t win 6 games. It looks like Manning (10-6 in 2010) is going to be worth about 10 wins if the Colts’ stay on their valiant path to 0 wins. By all statistical indication, Rodgers is worth at least 10+ wins, and if the Packers finish 16-0 with him, they would be at best 6-10 without him. I say closer to 4-12.

So the conclusions we have drawn here are as follows: the 2011 Colts are “Tomb Raider” without Angelina Jolie, Brooklyn Decker in “Just Go With It” may have the highest VORP (VORA?) of any actress in any movie ever, and The Gyllenhaal Switch is the opposite of The Ewing Theory.

Oh yeah…and the 2011 Packers might be as bad as the 2011 Colts without Aaron Rodgers.

*** I’d also like to point out we went 1600+ words without “Tim,” “Tebow,” or “Jesus Christ” being any of them. Your welcome.

Major Parity and The 2011 PGA’s Best Bets

Quick, name the last 12 PGA major winners.

Okay.  That wasn’t fair.  This is no easy task.  You need a little more time.  Go ahead and pull out a pen and paper or a Word Doc or your iPad or Twitter or whatever.  You have five minutes to see how many you can get…go.

………

So here is your answer in reverse chronological order:

Darren Clarke (2011 Open Championship), Rory McIlroy (2011 US Open), Charl Schwartzel (2011 Masters), Martin Kaymer (2010 PGA), Louis Oosthuizen (2010 Open Championship), Graeme McDowell (2010 US Open), Phil Mickelson (2010 Masters), Y.E. Yang (2009 PGA), Stewart Cink (2009 Open Championship), Lucas Glover (2009 US Open), Angel Cabrera (2009 Masters), Padraig Harrington (2008 PGA).

If you notice, not one of those names is repeated at any point in that list.  The last 12 major winners have all been different.  In the scoring spirit of oft-used Cosmo/Better Homes and Gardens/Tiger Beat/Cat Fancy  “How Well Do You Know Your Man” Quiz.  Here is how you can measure yourself as a golf fan in 2011:

Yeah, I took it. So what.

10-12 Correct: You either work for the PGA, are on the PGA Tour, or you actually made the Wikipedia page that lists the PGA major champions.

6-9: Congratulations you are a about as good as it gets for a golf fan.  This is the only realistic range that someone who is not professionally involved in golf or sports media in some way can hope for.

2-5: You are the average golf fan.  To be honest, you probably didn’t even waste your time trying this little exercise, but this is most likely where you would’ve wound up anyway.  Your answers were probably Clarke (because it happened ten minutes ago), McIlroy, Mickelson, and then maybe one or two you remembered for some ransom reason.

1: You are Y.E. Yang.

Golf has fallen into a grey abyss that it has not seen in some time.  It’s not just the loss of Tiger, but the lack of a semblance of dominance from anyone.  McIlroy did his best to spike the pulse, but his performance is starting to look now more like an anomaly than something to expect (for now).

Going into the final major of the year, tomorrow’s PGA Championship, golf is in a very interesting place. And while every other major has something distinguishing about it, the PGA lacks a little bit of that sizzle. The Masters – the “tradition unlike any other” – has Amen’s Corner and the green jacket and that subtle hint of chauvinism that every traditional golf club should have. The Open Championship – which used to be The British Open – but apparently has changed at some point without anyone in America’s approval – has the linx courses and the pot bunkers and the birthplace of golf.  The US Open has the amateurs and the club pros and the great stories of qualifying.

The PGA is consistently the least-exciting of the four, with the only real saving grace is that it’s the last meaningful tournament of the year.

Oh wait, I forgot about The Fed Ex Cup! I’ve been keeping track of the points all year!  It’s a dogfight for seventh place right now: Mark Wilson is 15 points ahead of Gary Woodland who is 43 points ahead of Webb Simpson. I can’t wait to see how it shakes out.  American golf without Tiger!

Speaking of the striped one, the PGA does have a nice convergence of storylines at the moment – probably the best it could have possibly hoped for.  It won’t sniff Jersey Shore ratings (the premiere episode this season got an 8.8 to the Stanley Cup Final Game 7’s 8.7), but it should do better than expected.

Adam Scott is interesting because he has a new long putter and is finally playing well.  I think he has a new caddie as well.  Tiger has sat out the last two majors and is claiming he is finally “back in shape,” and in an unrelated circumstance also has someone new on the bag. This alone should keep people interested, and if the golf gods choose to give us a gift, Tiger and Adam will be in contention on the weekend and maybe even – I don’t even want to jinx the possibility because I’m so excited.  (If you know what I’m talking about by the context clues you are probably as potentially torqued about the idea as I am.)

Unfortunately, Tiger’s game is nowhere near Atlantic Athletic Club-level and Adam Scott usually does his best Anne Frank impression on the weekends of majors.

Tiger played the Bridgestone Invitational last week and finished in 37th at +1.  This is a tournament he has won seven of the thirteen times he has been in, once by 11 strokes.  His game is not there.  Tiger Woods will not win the 2011 PGA Championship.  Sorry to everyone out there who is rooting for him (you guys do remember the whole scumbag sex-crazed adulterer thing right?)

So the question now is who will hoist the Wannamaker Trophy on Sunday evening? Well, as the last 12 majors have taught us, the field is about as wide open as you can get.

The favorite is McIlroy, anointed as the next big thing after his US Open tour-de-force this year.  He has been playing well lately, especially in the states, but Atlantic Athletic Club’s main defense this week will be its tight fairways, and sitting at 140th in Driving Accuracy, I don’t think Rory has another US Open-like driving performance up his sleeve.

The rest of the bunch shakes down like this:

We start, naturally, with the number one player in the world – Luke Donald.  He finished second last week and is statistically dominant in all the right places: 1st in Scoring Average, 1st in Top Tens, 4th in Putting, 38th in Driving Accuracy.

Right behind him is fellow countrymen Lee Westwood, who has finished in the top three in five of his last eight major championships. I’ll be honest, I think the winner comes from one of these two chaps, and my money is going to be on Donald to get his first. However, there are 154 others in the tournament, so we continue.

Phil, Bubba, and Dustin Johnson are too shaky off the tee.  Nick Watney can’t be trusted after last year’s final-round 81 at Whistling Straits in this same tournament.  Jason Day is probably still a year away.  David Toms won it last time at AAC, but he’s too old (that was ten years ago). Martin Kaymer won it last year, but he has been a ghost after that. Rickie Fowler is too bright (not talking about intelligence).  We previously mentioned Adam Scott’s affinity for hiding, and you can put Sergio right next to him in that attic.

The only other guy who I can see taking this thing convincingly that would not surprise or shock anyone is Steve Stricker.  This may be the 44-year-old’s last shot; but his game and his putting are good enough for him to win.

With the field this wide open and no one being under 10-1, this is an excellent opportunity to take a few fliers on some long-shots and potentially have a big payday.  If you are into betting favorites, here are the three I suggest you choose from in making a larger, more confident bet:

Donald (12-1)

Westwood (12-1)

Stricker (22-1) – these are still great odds by the way and he is the 9th favorite.

With the way this course is setting up, it’s going to come down to two things: fairways in regulation and putting.  This is one reason why Luke Donald’s statistics set up so well.  If you simplify it down to Driving Accuracy and Putting, you get my mid-range sleeper with fantastic odds:

Zach Johnson (45-1) – 8th in Driving Accuracy and 8th in Putting

He has the best combination of the two of anyone on tour, he has won a big tournament before, and he is just enough under the radar to make himself – and you – some nice coin.

After that, because this is really a tough tournament to handicap, there are some guys that are getting fantastic odds for the caliber of player they are, regardless of whether they are playing well or how the course sets up for them.  Here are your long-range fliers to have some fun with:

KJ Choi (60-1)

YE Yang (80-1)

Fredrik Jacobson (80-1)

Brandt Snedeker (90-1)

Angel Cabrera (110-1)

Brian Gay (200-1)  – who is 3rd in Driving Accuracy and 25th in Putting.

Now hopefully Adam and Tiger cross paths at some point so this thing stays interesting.  Just in case that doesn’t happen, I will be making a few wagers so my interest can be piqued from Thursday to Sunday in the tour’s final big tournament. Either way, don’t be surprised to see a 13th straight different major winner on Sunday.

One of these men is a sneaky choice to win the 2011 PGA Championship and the other one is Zach Johnson.

Hey Chad Pennington, Relax with the Comeback Player of the Year Bullshit

ESPN.com – Hard-luck quarterback Chad Pennington tore an anterior cruciate ligament in a pickup basketball game and will undergo surgery next week. Pennington’s agent, Tom Condon, said in a news release Thursday that Pennington will have the operation April 7 and well-known surgeon Dr. James Andrews will perform it. The release did not say which knee Pennington injured. The former Jets and Dolphins quarterback is now a free agent. The 34-year-old Pennington twice has been selected the NFL Comeback Player of the Year, but he lasted just two plays last season with the Dolphins before hurting his right shoulder again. He had surgery on it for the fourth time, but said he wants to try to return to the NFL this season.

If I’m James Chadwick Pennington, I’m not buttering my own toast let alone playing pick-up basketball (and by “buttering my own toast” I mean literally buttering his toast and also masturbating). Especially considering his history, and the fact that “playing pick up basketball” is at the top of the list of “poor off-season decisions for athletes” along with being on a sex boat, trying to kill farm workers with a machete, wearing sweatpants while carrying your gun in a New York Club, running an underground dog-fighting ring, hiring someone to kill your wife, riding in a limo with Ray Lewis’ limo driver, using a cell phone to facilitate a drug deal, “training” with Baron Davis, or anything involving a motorcycle.

Greinke goes down like two weeks before this from playing ball, and the anti-gunslinger has no reservations about going out there and potentially ending his career. This is the same Chad Pennington who is throwing rainbows and sunshine passes every Sunday and was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship while at Marshall, but decides to go rogue and play pick-up basketball when he isn’t even signed yet this year? Dangerous and not smart. I’m not buying it.

Pennington is clearly setting up shop to make a run at Comeback Player of the Year in 2012. He’s already the only player in history to win the award twice (2006 and 2008), and has really nothing else going for him. Why not take a dive in a pick-up game, relax for the entire year and ramp up for 2012? This way you have nothing to lose. Either you kill it and make it number three – pretty much locking that record up for the history of the NFL, or you fail miserably and everyone feels bad for you because you got hurt. Shit is genius.

Either way, he needs to come back and play a little more, and hopefully play poorly. James Chadwick currently has the All-Time NFL record for Completion Percentage at 66.0%. I looked through some NFL records, and I can’t find more of a joke than this. The only thing that comes close is “Most Consecutive Completions in a Game,” which is 24 by Donovan McNabb. How he went 24 passes without throwing a check down 90 miles-an-hour at someone’s feet or skipping a comeback route five yards in front of his receiver is beyond me. Pennington has never made a Pro-Bowl yet he holds the All-Time Completion Percentage record. Other records Pennington holds: “Only Quarterback in NFL History to Have Never Thrown a Pass Longer than 25 Yards,” “Most Lob Passes in One Game (24),” and “Only NFL Player to Miss a Game With a Yeast Infection.”


Straight Cash Homie: NFL Playoff Picks for Saturday

As Wes Welker would say, it is time to put your best foot forward.  This is arguably one of the best weekends in sports: Week 2 of the NFL Playoffs.  You still get four games in two days, you don’t have any shitty wildcard teams left, and you have fantastic matchups where teams are playing as hard as possible because a win means a conference championship game.  I suggest just sitting back and enjoying the 48 hours of football.  However, if you’d like to make things a little more interesting, risking some of your hard earned dollars on the outcomes of these games can be fun too.  For those of you doing the latter, here is how you should play it for Saturday, we’ll do Sunday tomorrow.

Saturday, 4:30pm – STEELERS (-3) over Ravens

Ben Roethlisberger has never lost to Joe Flacco

Ben Roethlisberger has not lost to the Ravens in six games.

Ben Roethlisberger is 8-2 in his career against the Ravens

Ben Roethlisberger is going to take the Ravens into a bar bathroom and have his way with them.

Why do I begin with three legitimate sentences and one other sentence about Big Ben?  Because Big Ben does not lose these kinds of games.  He doesn’t lose many games in general, but especially not second-round home playoff games against the Ravens.  You may not like him, his face may look like a Salvador Dali painting at this point, and he may not make the best off-the-field decisions, but the guy wins football games.  Herm Edwards texted me something interesting the other day: “You PLAY to WIN the GAME.”

I can’t explain it.  I can’t quantify it.  I can’t even give you a score because it does not matter.  Ben will find a way to win this game and you can take that to the bank.  The only way this thing goes south for Pittsburgh is if Troy gets hurt.  In case you forgot the last time these two teams played, Polamalu literally single-handedly won the game with his absurd blitz off the edge resulting in a Flacco fumble and a Steeler touchdown.  I am confident he will be on the field and effective.  So confident in fact, I have dust off Punxsutawney Polamalu.

Gun to my head, I say take the Steelers and lay the three points.  I’m not excited about it, but you can’t not bet on NFL playoff football.  I won’t be mad at you if you take Baltimore, but know Big Ben wins this game somehow.  Trend right now is 62% of the public is on Baltimore (+3).  This is the highest of any of the games this weekend.  Like I said, I’m not mad at you, but how can you all be betting against Big Ben?  You’re not betting on the Ravens unless you think they can win.  You NEVER bet on an away dog in the playoffs unless you think they can win.  At least I hope you aren’t doing that.

 

Saturday, 8:30 – FALCONS (-2) over Packers

Another game that is a complete coin flip.  So why am I still doing the Dirty Bird?  Why the hell not?  Matty Ice wins games at home.  I’m not going to get cute here, I like what Green Bay has going on.  Rodgers is a stud, that defense is solid, and they should have run up on the Eagles.  On the other side, I don’t like the running back situation, Donald Driver is 80 years old, and they don’t have anyone to cover Rowdy Roddy White.

My only worry…Are these Falcons the same exact team as the 2006 Schottenheimer Chargers? Let’s analyze:

Regular Season Record: 2010 Falcons 13-3, 2006 Chargers 14-2

Stud Young Quarterback: Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers

Top 5 Running Back: Michael Turner, LaDanian Tomlinson

Go-To Tight End: Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates

Big-Play Wide Receiver: Rowdy Roddy White, Vincent Jackson

Good Regular Season Coach Unproven in the Playoffs: Mike Smith, Marty Schottenheimer

It was a little too quiet of a 13-3 season in my opinion.  If they didn’t have that big game against the Saints this would have been the most under the radar 13+ season since the 2006 Chargers.  The parallels are all over the place for me.  This team is built to win at home and in the regular season.  The Chargers ended that season with 10 straight wins, went on bye, then lost to the Pats at home 24-21.  This Falcons team has come in winning 9 of their last 10, went on bye, and now face the Packers at home.

This scares the hell out of me.  However, I believe in Mike Smith more than Schottenheimer.  I HATE Philip Rivers with a fervent passion and I like Matty Ice – especially at home.  I think it’s a good game, but that crowd should be into it and I think Green Bay got beat up a little bit last week and won’t be able to run the ball.  Atlanta has the second best run defense in the league and THE BEST RUN DEFENSE AT HOME IN THE LEAGUE.  That’s enough for me to say they aren’t the 2006 Chargers…I hope.

Steelers and Falcons are the picks today.  Good luck!

The Real Tiger Woods Press Conference

What Tiger really said wasn't what he was really thinking.

Watching the Tiger press conference at Augusta yesterday, I couldn’t help but yell answers to his questions before he got a chance to.  So I figured I’d dive inside Tiger’s head and see what he was really thinking when the media asked him all those questions.  Here are the real questions asked and the answers Tiger would have, or should have given.

Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of The Masters, I am pleased to introduce to you four-time Masters champion, Mr. Tiger Woods:

“Well it was really great to get back out there today.  Being out in public and seeing all the fans was really nice; especially because Elin can’t do anything to me while I’m around so many people.  It was good to see all the guys again, too.  Most of them never liked me personally anyway, so it’s fun having awkward conversations with them while in their head they’re wondering whether or not I had sex with their wives (sorry David Toms she is way too hot for you anyway let’s be honest).  It was also really good seeing mi hombre Sergio.  It’s been almost eight months since the orgy in San Juan.  That Spanish bastard really helped me work on my game.  He really is the best wingman ever.  The accent absolutely kills.

Anyway, after I answer these questions today, I want you all to leave the other players alone and not ask them questions about me.  I want to apologize to them for beating all of their asses the last five years, while I also had the hottest wife on tour and was running through girls on the side Wilt Chamberlain style.  I can’t imagine the jealousy and anger they must feel.   I would appreciate it if you let them focus on this week’s tournament.  Okay boys, fire away.”

Q: Tiger, You said in some recent TV interviews that everything was in the police report, but the police report didn’t contain what it was about the injuries that sent you to the hospital.  Can you tell us what they were?

“Well when Elin hit me with the driver I sustained a mild concussion.  When she got the three iron it cracked four of my teeth and knocked the front two out.  The nine iron to the crotch after I crashed the Escalade and got out was the worst, which is why I was blacked out from the pain on the street.”

Q:  In the five weeks since the accident, when you went into therapy, why didn’t you speak to the police, any of your corporate sponsors, any of the media that have covered you year round?

“Well, my lawyers told me if you guys asked me that to just keep muttering nonsense and then saying ‘letter of the law’ a bunch of times, but to be honest with you I didn’t talk to anyone because Elin took my cell phone.  You think after some of the texts she saw she’d let me keep that thing?  Some of those were bad; I don’t even know where I came up with that stuff.  Anyway, me and the boys went out on my yacht and cruised around the Caymans for a while, so I wouldn’t have gotten any bars with AT&T out there even if I had a phone.  The women there are beautiful and relatively cheap by the way.”

Q: What’s been the most difficult thing for you to deal with these last couple months?

“Clearly it’s not having sex with anyone.  I mean, I was having a lot of sex.  I was like Peter North for Christ sake.  A close second would be the homicidal wife who is a mix between Lorena Bobbitt and Ashley Judd in Double Jeopardy at this point.  Let’s just say I don’t get much sleep.”

Q: Tiger, you won a lot of golf tournaments over the last five years living a pretty secret life.  How were you able to do that?  And secondly, what kind of golfer will you be now without that secret?

“Yeah that was a good run, wasn’t it?  I thought that’d never end.  Good times.  Anyway, I think it was mostly that people just assumed things weren’t happening.  People would see me at a club doing yay off one of the Kardashians and they’d say “Man that black guy doing all the drugs looks just like Tiger Woods.”  I never really hid it; people just assumed it wasn’t me.  And to answer your second question, I’m probably going to suck because I’m on so many sexual repression drugs.  I’m actually on a drug called Antiviagra.  That’s a real thing.  I haven’t had a boner in months.”

Q: Tiger, you’ve been known as a great proponent of drug testing on the PGA tour.  As you probably know, Dr. Anthony Galia was arrested with performance enhancing drugs in his possession.  As you also know, Dr. Galia said he has been to your home four times.  Why did you feel it was necessary to have this particular doctor come to your home and what specifically did he do for you?

Definitely straight. No question.

“Ga-leeee-aaa! That’s my dawg right there.  That dude has some of the craziest shit…I can’t even remember half the stuff he gave me.  He did fix my knee up pretty good.  With Tony G there is really a don’t ask-don’t tell kind of thing going on, so even if I did take some PEDs I’d have no idea.  Let’s be honest though guys this is golf.  Besides Camillo, the whole tour is just fat guys or skinny guys.  Steroids won’t help you in golf.  (By the way, Camillo is gay.  Like really gay.  Like Nathan Lane wearing a Zac Efron tee-shirt as a guest on Ellen gay.)  Plus, you think I would take something that shrinks your balls?  Did you not read US Weekly?  All I was doing was having gratuitous amounts of crazy sex.  I was like R. Kelly at a middle school.  Steroids would have been the opposite of performance enhancing if you know what I mean.”

Q: What were you anticipating today to be like?  How nervous were you today and now sitting here?

“I figured mostly everyone would be pussies.  There were probably a few brave fans who came here planning on yelling something funny, but once they got a glimpse of the big cat over here they were too scared to say anything.  That’s mostly what happened.  I mean, some of these people cheered for me today!  I lied to everyone and committed egregious adultery for five years while almost ruining the sport of golf and they were still cheering for me.  Colin Montgomerie must feel like shit right now.”

Q: Tiger, you and the rest of us discovered a lot of media we didn’t know existed before the accident.  What’s your response to mainstream media?

“My response is that you guys did a terrible job.  Who were the first people on the scene of the crash?  TMZ?  Does anyone know what that even stands for?  You guys couldn’t find me for like two months but the people who follow Lindsey Lohan to Starbucks every morning got me.  Nice work CNN.”

Q: It’s been reported that you took prescription drugs Ambien and Vicatin.  Can you speak to when you started taking those, if you need them for tournament golf if you did, and what you needed them for and if you’ve ever been treated for them.

“Yeah I used to take both when I was recovering from my injury and when I needed to sleep.  But like I said before, I live with Tanya Harding now so I don’t exactly want to take a pill that will make me unconscious for long periods of time.”

Q: Tiger, how is your knee?

“Haha, my knee?  It’s fine, who cares?  Way to waste a question douchebag.  I hope your editor doesn’t fire you.”

Q: Tiger you had said you were in some form of a rehab.  Can you talk about that and what the rehab was for?

“Yeah Elin made me go to this sex rehab thing.  She said if I ever wanted to get back with her I’d have to do it.  It was a nice place.  They had pictures of all the athletes that had been through there before like Travis Henry, Shawn Kemp, and Calvin Murphy.  It’s like the Cooperstown of fathering illegitimate children.”

Q: What was it for?

“I just said; it was so I could have a chance of getting back with my wife.  If that happens, then I get the sympathy back and then the female fans.  Then I change my number, get the sponsors back, and eventually I’m back to making all that cash.  Kobe explained this whole thing to me you should talk to him.”

Q: Tiger, you said in your statement that you felt entitled throughout the years.  How were able to rationalize that while you were still winning golf tournaments?

“Because I was still WINNING GOLF TOURNAMENTS.  I was living like Hunter S. Thompson and still wiping the floor with everyone on Sundays.  What would any other man have done?  I bet if Jim Furyk didn’t look like the crippled dude from X-Men he would be running around with pornstars every night too.”

Q: Could you of played better if you had more discipline in your personal life?

“I honestly don’t know.  Maybe my lifestyle fueled my ability to perform on the course.  Maybe the invincibility gave me this uber-confidence that no athlete besides Jordan has ever reached before.  Maybe I could have eliminated the guilt and become a more centered, focused performer.  But maybe that would have leaked a weakness into my game that effected my ability to win.  I really don’t think it’s possible to know.”

Q: Tiger when you made that statement in February, you said you might not be back this whole year.  Did you genuinely believe that at the time?  And coming back, is that entirely your decision, do you do that with the blessing of your family and your wife?

“Yeah definitely not, I was playing The Masters the morning after the crash when I was trying to figure out the shit-storm that was about to hit.  Elin is cool with me playing.  It gets me away from her and the more money I win the more she will get if she divorces me.  It’s a win-win for her.”

Q: Will Elin and the kids be joining you this week at the Masters?  And it not, is that a sign that she’s not ready to support you yet and you should you be making this return so soon?

“Haha yeah, Elin’s not coming.  Let’s be real here.”

God life was sweet.

Q: Tiger, we’ve come to know you as a guy who controls things around you pretty tightly.  With all the reports that have come out, whether it be text messages or whatever, it leads me to wonder why you would leave so many loose ends, and is there almost some element of you that maybe wanted to get caught?

“Pretty sure I didn’t want to get caught.  I had sex with whoever I wanted, whenever I wanted to, and then went out and got paid a lot of money to beat a bunch of fat white guys playing golf on the weekends.  If that’s not the American Dream, I’m not sure what is.  I had sex with Oprah.  O-P-R-A-H.  You bitches didn’t find that one out, but it happened.  Dr. Phil worked the camera and shouted out suggestions.  Have any of you ever had sex with the richest black woman on earth?

Alright listen guys this is getting a little boring here.  None of you are going to ask me anything good except Plaschke with the ‘What was the rehab for?’ one.  That was ballsy.  I always thought you were a pussy on Around the Horn too.  I’m meeting Sergio at The 19th Hole and who knows what that’s going to turn into.  You guys all have a good week, I’ll see you on Sunday when I throw that green jacket on again.  Fo shizzle.”