Shaq – Biggest sports star of the modern era?


Today is a sad, sad day. My heart cries out a lonely song. I knew it was coming; hell, we all should have seen it coming: Shaq has retired. I would have Shaqrificed my left leg to give Shaquille O’Neal one last shot at recapturing his old form, but the time was right.

The Shaqtus, The Big Leprechaun, The Big Shamrock, The Big Aristotle, The Big Baryshnikov, Shaq Daddy, Shaq Fu, The Diesel, Superman (the original Superman, Dwight…other than the real Superman). If there is one thing that can not be debated, it’s that no celebrity figure in modern or ancient times (like the ’80s) has had such an uncanny knack for self proclaiming highly entertaining nicknames. (And as a quick aside, Shaq has asked fans for help creating his nickname in retirement. My choices: The Big Early Bird Special or The Big Arthritic)

But Shaq’s late-career knack for using nicknames to stay relevant while the Lego pieces he called body parts kept falling apart and eroding his play was only one small part of why I am convinced Shaq was the biggest sports star of the Millenium Era, which I’d describe as the era of athletes that dominated the sports landscape in the decade before and after the year 2000.

First, I am well aware Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretsky and Dale Earnhardt were competing in part of this era and were bigger stars than Shaq, but the fact is all of them belong to a different time. Jordan’s title-winning Bulls will always be tied to the very end of the NBA’s Golden Age of Magic, Bird, Barkley, Isiah, etc. Gretsky was still The Great One in the ’90s, but his star status was never the same after peaking that first year after leaving Edmonton for L.A. Earnhardt was the last great driver of NASCAR’s Budweiser-Swilling Go-Fuck-Yourself-Because-Mustaches-Are-Awesome Real Redneck era; not the $500 sunglasses, pussy fight, manicure-before-the-race era NASCAR is enjoying today.

Still, the Millenium Era has some impressive stars – Tiger in his prime, Roy Jones Jr., Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Allen Iverson and Shaq’s own personal nemesis Kobe, the Tommy Gunn to Shaq’s aging Rocky.

Roy Jones in his prime was incredible – as dominant and entertaining as Ali, but his terrible attempt at a rap career alone is enough to dim his star under Shaq’s. And for anyone who wants to hate on Shaq’s rap career, don’t forget The Diesel put out a platinum album in ’93, followed that up with a gold album in ’94 and, the ultimate testament, even Biggie gave Shaq props for his rap skills once upon a time. Sorry, Roy.

Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire – juice. Enough said. (Did you know Barry Bonds’ head grew like an inch in circumference from the start of his career to the end? Seriously! Look it up. But it was just the flax seed oil, right, Barry?)

Derek Jeter? Jeet is a mega-star no doubt; anyone who’s ruled the Big Apple for 15 years and banged the crazy out of Mariah Carey is, but the fact is the guy’s just never been that great of a baseball player. I’m sorry, dude is a savvy, smart, classy guy, but Yankees fans are convinced whoever is the face of their franchise gets to take ritual baths in the semen of Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio and Mickey Mantle, therefore making them equal to all former Yankee greats.

Tiger? Tiger owned this title before his little penchant for nailing anything with a pulse and a vagina, pulse optional, went public. You simply cannot be the biggest sports star of an era if you are picking up waitresses at the IHOP and driving them back to their trailer after banging them. That’s not even Class A minor league baseball level. That’s your drunk redneck uncle in Reno shit right there. The man might have won majors at a never before seen pace right through the heart of the Millenium Era, but Tiger’s head and body are so broken down now that even the mystic healing powers of Shaq’s Icy/Hot can’t heal him.

Whereas Shaq’s star has faded steadily over the past four seasons due to age an injury, he’s remained a pretty desired commodity for quality teams with legit title hopes. Contrast that to Iverson, who fell so far from grace so fast that he hopped on a plane thinking he had been banished to the NBA wasteland of Memphis only to walk out of the terminal in Turkey, less than two years removed from scoring over 25 per game with ‘Melo on a solid Denver team. A.I. hasn’t commented on the rumors that he was checking out Osama bin Laden’s crib in Pakistan ahead of his tryout with the Islamabad Goatherders of the Pakistani Basketball Association.

Lastly, Kobe, who has the wonderful distinction of being the face of the NBA for those terrible couple of seasons when he surpassed Shaq as the Lakers top weapon and before everyone could run to Lebron as fast as they could just so they didn’t have to pay attention to Kobe whining anymore. So why is Shaq bigger than Kobe, who the NBA always worked harder to promote than The Diesel? A) Shaq was better than Kobe in each of their primes. Shaq was literally unstoppable and played a one-of-a-kind game that no one has or ever will play again. Kobe is great at rising to the occasion, but there are literally dozens of players in the past 20 years that can pretty much do what Kobe does. B) Shaq was a legitimate cultural phenomenon when he blew up in the mid-90s. Kobe, pretty much, was the pretty boy primadonna that girls thought was cute and Europeans liked because he was a fan of soccer, both of which just annoyed most American fans. C) Shaq never raped anyone (Oh, right, Kobe never did either…). D) Kobe’s one extra title will never erase Shaq dissing him over and over again in impromptu raps.

But enough of those other guys. This is a celebration of Shaq, and he makes his own case for greatest sports star of his era, and one of the tops of all time.

As a player, Shaq tallied: 6 NBA Finals appearances, 4 NBA titles, 3 Finals MVP awards, 1 NBA MVP award (a travesty perpetrated by Karl Malone loving voters), 15 All-Star appearances, 14 All-NBA team awards and 3 NBA All-Defensive Team awards. He ranks 5th all time in NBA scoring, 12th in rebounds and 7th in blocks

As a celebrity, Shaq cut four rap albums (one platinum) and scored a Billboard top 40 hit; starred in his own Super Nintendo video game (Shaq Fu); swam against Michael Phelps, boxed Oscar de la Hoya and took on Olympic beach volleyball gold medalists Misty May and Kerri Walsh in his reality TV show Shaq Vs; starred as Neon in all-time classic sports flick Blue Chips then set a new standard for acting athlete ridiculousness by starring as rapping genie Kazaam and a kid-friendly Robocop in Steel (hate on Kazaam if you will, but no terrible box office bust is cited with more regularity by nostalgic 20-something potheads than Kazaam); and proved he has the best dance moves of any plus-7-footer in history, first by throwing down with the Jabbawokeez in the greatest All-Star game entry in sports history then schooling Justin Bieber in a Shaq Vs dance off.

Seriously, who the hell can top that combined resume? If all this Shaq nostalgia doesn’t have you a little misty to see the big man go, something is just plain wrong with you. We’ll miss you, Big Shuffleboarder.

Best (or least lame) commercials of Super Bowl XLV


As someone who considers himself a serious sports fan, and who has been a faithful Green Bay Packers fan since Don Majkowski was tossing the pigskin to Sterling Sharpe, I must say I’m a little embarrassed to be writing a blog about the best commercials of the Super Bowl in the immediate aftermath of the Pack taking the Vince Lombardi Trophy back to Title Town. But dammit, I committed to writing this blog before the game and I’m not going to let the torture of watching three hours worth of 30 second clips that try way too hard go to waste.

And if the Native American-looking guy in Black Eyed Peas is willing to wear a magic spaceman suit with light up panels so that Fergie doesn’t kick him out of the group, then I can suck this one up and bloviate about some failed efforts to try and make me buy shit. And by buy shit, I mean buy cars. I did the math — in the four and a half hour Super Bowl broadcast, 20% was actual football game, 5% was animals acting like people, 2% was promo for Johnny Depp movies, 15% was Fox Network jerking off to the military and the remaining 58% was car commercials. Jesus, automakers, you have a couple of good months and all of a sudden you’re dropping cash on Super Bowl commercials like you’re Charlie Sheen in Hookers and Blow Mart. And Chevy was the worst offender. Hey, Government Motors, we remember that bailout, dammit. Wasn’t it like 12 days ago? Don’t you still owe me a few billion dollars?

I’ll give Chevy a pass, though. Automakers have to advertise to compete, and GM dropping $3 million per Super Bowl spot was still a better display of decision-making than putting BEP on at halftime. We all knew that performance was going to be atrocious so let’s give the Black Eyed Peas a little credit where credit is due. If Fergie didn’t make it painfully obvious enough, at least they were actually singing (hence them just standing in the middle of the stage. You don’t want to hear Fergie trying to sing while winded after an overexuberant bump-and-grind on Slash). And, because his contribution to BEP can’t be overstated, at least Native American dude provided solid entertainment standing there as a human Simon game while the “talented” members got to use the microphones.

Without further adieu, and as my beer starts to get warm, I give you the best, or least lame, 2011 Super Bowl commercials.

5.  “Misunderstanding” – Chevy Cruze

Why? Because old people are funny. You don’t do high brow humor with only 30 seconds in your pocket. You pretty much aim for the lowest common denominator, and old people are simply the low hanging fruit of low brow. Whether it’s old people pooping themselves or falling and not being able to get back up, nothing says LOL like the deterioration of the aged.

4. “Tiny Dancer” – Budweiser

Why Budweiser elected to make this a 60 second spot for three seconds of payoff at the end, I don’t know. But I guess I’d rather have 57 seconds of bad commercial, including forced gratuitous appearance of Budweiser Clydesdales, followed by three seconds of funny than just 60 seconds of bad commercial. This got me to thinking, though. Apparently, nothing can seem bad when it involves a large group of people singing Tiny Dancer. It makes me wonder: Did Almost Famous just trick us into thinking it was a good movie because of the group Tiny Dancer scene? Isn’t it suspicious how blatantly talentless Kate Hudson has appeared in every movie since starring as the precocious Penny Lane. People, we have been hoodwinked!

3. “Hungry Pug” – Doritos



Yesterday’s Super Bowl commercial comic gold: knocking people down. Today’s Super Bowl commercial comic gold: Pugs in slow motion. The best entry from Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl contest has both paid tribute to its forebears and set the new gold standard in TV ad humor in one seamless effort.

2. “Poundin’ Beaver” – Bridgestone

You see, the guy saves the beaver by swerving to miss him, then some time later, the beaver saves the guy by gnawing down a tree to block the road and save him from driving into flooding river. Now that’s 30-second storytelling, folks. Of course, you don’t give a shit about the story, or the fact that the guy’s Bridgestone tires made it all possible, because who the hell even pays attention to what tires they’re buying? Ask any non-NASCAR fan what tires they want on their car, know the answer? “Uh, are those the cheapest ones?” Anyways, while you didn’t remember this commercial was about tires, you do remember it making you spit up 6 ounces of partially digested queso on your girlfriend’s cat when that crazy beaver gave the dude a chest pound.

1. “The Force” – Volkswagen

Heavy borrowing of iconic pop culture? Check. Funny animal faces? Check. Close up of creepy baby doll? Check, check and check. VW had the commercial comedy formula brewing on this one. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this was the only truly GOOD commercial of the entire Super Bowl. But watch the commercial again and pay particularly close attention to the Darth Vader kid’s body. You can not tell me that “kid” is not actually a midget! I am convinced, and that is why “The Force” is my pick as the best commercial of Super Bowl XLV.

Craziest politicians of the 2010 election


Every politician is crazy. I don’t care if it’s local, state or national. They’re all crazy.

Think about it. Who wants to spend 120 hours a week every campaign season (also known as ‘always’) shaking disease-ridden hands, holding shit-stained babies and groveling to the lowest common denominator of quasi-humanoids on the planet? I’ll tell you who – egomaniacal, megalomaniacal, narcissistic, hollow, powerteet-suckling, detached-from-reality nutcases.

They’re not moral-less or without values. Give them credit for caring about something so deeply. The vapid windbags just don’t seem to function on the same plane as the rest of society. They’re like “special” kids who somehow truly think they’re special; they’re what would happen if you gave a bunch of kids with Down’s Syndrome a box full of Superman capes and told them they could fly. It’s not pretty.

So given LND’s high opinion of politikind, you might say it is rather difficult for the trio of LND staffers to pick one list of the craziest politicians of the 2010 elections. In fact, LND once had four bloggers. We assigned him the task of listing the craziest politicians of all time, and you know what happened? He exploded. Yep, his head popped like a watermelon in a Gallagher routine.

But don’t worry about me. I just had Christine O’Donnell summon Beelzebub to make a pact with me to prevent spontaneous combustion. And I’ll get used to the penis thorns, I suppose.

Speaking of O’Donnell, what better way to start our list of LND’s craziest politicians of 2010

Christine O’Donnell, R-Del., candidate for the U.S. Senate

I promised myself I wasn’t going to get angry, but, seriously, Delaware? You gave one of the most popular Republicans your blue state has ever seen the boot for a pair of Sarah Palin-endorsed breasts that will scorn you when you touch yourself while thinking about them. This is what happens, America, when you let Palin make decisions for you: You get an anti-masturbation crusading airhead who has giggle parties on the Bill Maher Show about her witchcraft dabbling. Delaware has been fighting douchebaggery along its borders with Philadelphia and Jersey for years, but now they are under attack from within. The First Staters need to stiffen up, rise to the occasion and stroke those ballots until they blow their collective load all over O’Donnell’s candidacy. Good judgment is always easier once you expel that demon from within.

Linda McMahon, R-Conn., candidate for the U.S. Senate

I’m not sure who’s crazier – Linda McMahon, wife of WWE founder and walking steroid cabinet Vince McMahon, or her Senate opponents in Connecticut, who have stretched the “She’s the crazy wrestling lady” thing about three yards out of bounds. Ok, I do know. It’s McMahon. Sure, her opponents are retarded enough to run campaign ads with her repeatedly kicking a guy’s nuts inside a WWE wrestling ring, but Linda McMahon was the one actually kicking a guy’s nuts inside a WWE wrestling ring. Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being associated with professional wrestling, it just probably means you’re not fit to fill a seat in the most prestigious legislative body in the world. Sorry, Jesse Ventura, I wouldn’t have voted for your steroid-induced bald head either, even if I did have that poster of you in the American flag bandana and hammer pants in my room for like four years. I will give Linda this: She is a role model. On the eve of the election, McMahon held a rally at the University of Connecticut before having to be whisked away when a scuffle among supporters and protestors turned into an all out royal rumble.

Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., candidate for the U.S. Senate

Joe Manchin, the current governor of West Virginia, wants so badly to distance himself from the party that has delivered his state’s senators to the Senate every year since 1958 that he’s actually willing to shoot Democratic dogma right where the sun don’t shine. West Virginia Dems have always been a little different – that’ll happen when you mix poor inbred day laborers with possum-huntin’, moonshinin’ uneducated rednecks in one big bowl – but Manchin is going far beyond the typical “I don’t toe the party line” shtick. He so desperately wants to not be a Democrat, he refuses to even feel blue. And shooting that cap and trade bill for his coal-staters? Well, shooting one of President Obama’s flagship policy initiatives is probably the closest Manchin can get to actually shooting Obama right in the face. Now, shootin’ up negroes – there’s something that’ll fly with West Virginia voters.

Phil Davison, R.-Ohio, candidate for Stark County, Ohio, Treasurer

If you haven’t seen the video, just sit back, make sure all sharp objects are put away, do not eat or drink anything for fear of choking and click here to see THE MASTER … OF COMMUNICATION!!! Keep on pacing, Phil. That’s the way to get that crowd feeling nice and comfortable.

Jimmy McMillan, The Rent is Too Damn High Party-N.Y., candidate for  New York Governor

The name Jimmy McMillan sounds like a Ben Affleck character in a movie about two down-on-their-luck Irish kids from the mean streets of Boston. Or, in other words, a guy from any Ben Affleck movie. But, in reality, McMillan looks like Samuel L. Jackson had he beaten out Anthony Hopkins to play John Quincy Adams in Amistad. Frankly this man – nay, this legend – is both hands down the craziest politician in America and the most entertaining. “Listen! Someone children’s stomach just growled. Did you hear it?” We here at LND hear you, Jimmy, and we don’t know how New York could possibly not vote for the man who is going to provide a “roof over your head, food on your table and the money in yo’ pocket” over a couple of “Politics as Usual” candidates who have not heard you and taken seriously the best, most rock solid campaign platform since Sally Jones won third grade class president with her grassroots “Pizza Every Day for Lunch” Party movement. I mean, has there ever been a greater need for New Yorkers than making the rent not so damn high? I think not. Get on board, people.

Ain’t nobody gots to know: Most shameful celebrity you’d do


Most men have experienced this moment of shame: You’re hanging out with your friends at a party, some girl straight out of Where the Wild Things Are starts putting the “I’m lonely and will lick your toenails” vibes on you, and, before you know it, your will fades and you bail out the back door with Broomhilda while praying no one notices. The next day the inevitable happens: “Hey dude, where’d you go last night during the party? We ended up playing some sweet strip beer pong with these Swedish exchange chicks.”

You panic. They can’t know you put your James in The Giant Peach. So you lie. “Um, I shat myself. Yeah, damndest thing. That Natty Light wasn’t sitting right with some oysters I ate, and I up and shat my pants. Had to go home.”

“What? You ate oysters?” the response comes. “Whatever dude. Let me tell you about these Swedish girls.” Crisis averted. You would rather have the world think you pooped yourself than know you played pig in Butterfaceandeverythingelse’s swamp blanket.

On the flip side, who hasn’t played the old celebrities I most want to bang game? May the overly intense, three-hour debate over Angelina Jolie, Scar-Jo, Jessica Alba, Megan Fox and Emma Watson ensue (Wait, Hermoine’s 18 now, right? Yes? Sweet.) This classic late night debate is most likely to result in pseudo-gay man wrasslin’ as testosteroned up dudes let out the sexual frustration accumulated from the fact they have no more chance to bed any of said super hotties than my spayed dog has a chance of giving birth to a litter of Thundercats or Matthew McConoughey and wife Camilla Alves have of giving birth to a baby genius (“Vida is Portuguese for life, and that’s what God gave us this morning,” McConoughey said about the naming of his most recent child in January. Nice observation, Matty. Is your next child’s name going to mean “Slimy, gross and kind of blue” in Chinese?)

Anyways, so what would happen if we combined the reality of “Girl I’d do if no one was looking” with the surreality of “Celebrity I’d most want to touch with my nasty bits?” Surprisingly, an amazing smorgasbord of kink, shame, infectious disease and nightmares.

In order of least to most shameful, here are the celebs I’d do the Hokie Pokie with if nobody ever had to know:

6. Brooke Hogan

Brooke is young, nubile, supple … and like 7’3. Unless you’re into playing little spoon while Yao Ming with tits makes you suck your thumb and think of a happier place — like a prison shower — you should probably pass on this one. And considering Brooke’s weird Daddy-can-you-rub-my-ass relationship with fake wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, you’d probably end up in a tag team match you would not want aired on pay-per-view, Brother.

Shame factor: 5 out of 10. Failed pop starlet Amazon women that have public pseudo-sexual relationships with their flamboyant fathers should not be served as a side dish with your summer sausage. Brooke is also stronger than you, so that’s never great for the old pride.

Scar factor: 8 out of 10. If Hulk didn’t actually participate, he would at a minimum be contractually obligated to be in the room encouraging his daughter to show you how a real man puts a penis in a Figure Four.

5. Betty White

Every man aged 25 to 61 has had this discussion: Which Golden Girl would you do? The problem is, with the sad passing of sassy Southern hussy and No. 1 pick in the Golden Girl fantasy draft Rue McClanahan (Blanche Devereaux), 88-year-old Betty White is now the last surviving Golden Girl. Close your eyes, keep a doctor on call and get ready to feed this leading lady of senior comedy your Snickers bar because you know there’s no denying the Jupiter-like gravitational pull of doing the no pants dance with a Golden Girl. Just be gentle; Betty is the last of her kind.

Shame factor: 6 out of 10. Banging an octogenarian is never something you should strive for, but Betty White is hot with the hipsters right now so you’d actually accumulate cred with the under-25s.

Scar factor: 8 out of 10. If you’re lucky, Betty dies before insertion. If you’re unlucky, she starts telling stories about milking goats in St. Olaf mid-act.

4. Courtney Love

Pros: You would be following the footsteps of rock legend and sultan of slacker cool Kurt Cobain; you already know her boobs are surprisingly exquisite thanks to The People vs. Larry Flynt.

Cons: You would be following in the footsteps of the roughly 9,000 mascara-wearing, indie rockers that have turned Courtney’s vagina into Seattle’s own Cave of the Winds; syphilis

Shame factor: 8 out of 10. Having sex with a heroine addict is never something that’s going to go in your trophy case, but if Courtney actually chose to have sex with you your only choices would probably be do it or be stabbed in the neck with a used drug needle.

Scar factor: 7 out of 10. Most likely, your retinas will survive the sight of her needle-pierced body, but Courtney Love is a dirty enough human being that you’d probably need a psychologist to help you bury the experience deeper than the real gun Courtney used to off Kurt.

3. Rachel Dratch

Former SNL funny woman Rachel Dratch is the sort of sad troll woman that, if you agreed to bang her only if she wore a bag over her head, would have a bag at the ready to pull out of her purse. But on the upside, you can feel free to use old Peter Wifebeater to unleash your shame and anguish on Rachel because to her it’s just going to feel like the same ugly stick that’s been beating her since birth.

Shame factor: 9 out of 10. In a long history of unattractive female SNL alums, you will have landed your jet plane in the Kyrgyzstan of female comediennes. Frankly, you’d probably be better off with Gilda Radner’s corpse.

Scar factor: 6 out 10. Although she looks like the lovechild of Rodney Dangerfield and Rex from Toy Story, Rachel is a very funny lady. She’ll teach you how to turn your pain into joy for all, which it will be for your friends when you show them a picture of Rachel and they think you had sex with Elijah Wood.

2. Amy Winehouse

See Courtney Love; increase alcohol, heroine, cocaine and horse semen levels in the blood stream tenfold. If your friends found out you had sex with Amy Winehouse, they would probably excuse themselves to wash their bodies with steel wool. Don’t expect them to return your phone calls, either.

Shame factor: 8 out of 10. Having sex with a passed out near-corpse is not a good start, but the Winehouse costumes your friends will wear each Halloween to mock you for years to come will haunt you.

Scar factor: 9 out of 10. When Amy overdoses while you’re balls deep in a vagina full of war stories more graphic than the storming Normandy scene in Saving Private Ryan and then vomits on herself, you will not be the same. The constant mental image of her snaggle tooth staring at you while you were doing your dirty work would not sit well, either.

1.  Hillary Clinton

Quite literally, you would be suckling from the teets of power. You know you’d do it. You’d rub Hildawg’s nub until she promised you a minor ambassadorship. Most dudes would dust off the cobwebs collecting around Madame Secretary of State’s little diplomat just in the hope Bill Clinton would find out and send a personal thank you letter for getting that righteous hag off her Monica Lewinsky high horse.

Shame factor: 8 out of 10. One phrase: Pant suit. What could be worse than the morning after making the Queen of the Rainbow Pant Suits scream until she saw ROY G. BIV? Peeling off that primary color pant suit to see the horrors of what lies within the Secretary’s chamber to begin with, that’s what. Also, if you are playing sloppy seconds to Slick Willy, you are not leaving a lot of room for self respect.

Scar factor: 10 out of 10. Do you honestly think there is any chance Hildawg’s flower has been watered since the Lewinsky scandal? Not a chance, and that was 1999, probably 8 years after President Clinton actually last regulated that Superfund site. That woman has a lot of demons pent up. There’s no way your Secretary of Snake is going to compromise with Hil’s wide side. She’s going to have you tortured like a Guantanamo Prison inmate, and believe you me you don’t want any part of that water board. Good luck.

If you actually put your bologna poney in any of these cows’ pens, LND won’t mock you. In fact, we will honor you with the Hillary salute.

Better MTV show – Jersey Shore or RW/RR Challenge?


The case for The Real World/Road Rules Challenge

As a long time fan of both the Real World and Road Rules series, I could not have been more excited in 2002, when MTV introduced The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons.   Other than the original Real World,  which basically started reality television, this was the best idea MTV ever had.  Take these people that you have grown to know via your TV screens, and pit them in athletic, mental, and psychological competition.  Over the years this show has taken on a life of it’s own.  It has morphed into it’s own weird subculture of people that apparently have no jobs other than winning the occasional $10 grand on a challenge. They all live with each other in LA and just travel the country getting appearance fees (and and giving out STDs) at random night spots.  Since being on this show has become their job, contestants seem to openly admit to steroid use to try and gain an advantage.  This, in addition to the well stocked alcohol cabinet provided by the show’s producers, leads to great roid rage moments as well as dramatic meltdowns.  Great moments in the history of the show include Brad getting eliminated on the word “thrown” from a spelling bee by spelling it “thron”, the psycho CT hooking up on the roof of the house, then trying to murder the son of one of the Commodores, and Big Easy (who is pushing 350) collapsing during a challenge, and his teammates trying to drag him to the finish line while his eyes rolled back in his head. Of course there was also the watershed TV moment when Shauvon burst one of her breast implants after falling during a challenge.  I cannot wait for the twentieth iteration of the show, Cut Throat, to start.  This show has become the fourth major sport in my household.

The case for Jersey Shore

Speaking of openly admitting steroid use, Jersey Shore has to be the most entertaining trashy show on TV right now.  I wasn’t crazy about having the same cast be in season 2, but Snookie, the Sitch and crew have taken their act to a new level.  My favorite moments of this season all involve Snookie,  including the rant about Obama raising taxes on tanning (which in her words John McCain never would have done, because he could use a tan) and Ronnie’s realization that Snookers couldn’t have written him the anonymous letter because it contained the word “wisely” which is apparently too big of a word for the Round Mound of Rebound Hookups to use.  One advantage the Shore has is that the cast doesn’t get kicked off for fighting, which seems to happen every week (the forthcoming JWoww/Sammie Sweatheart fight looks awesome, but also seems like a huge mismatch since I’m still not convinced that JWoww isn’t a drag queen with breast implants).  It also has a huge advantage in the ratings as it is averaging 5 million viewers each week.  If there is one flaw that can stop this show, it’s that the show is getting too popular and the cast just might get a little too self aware – which can lead to a Dick Vitale-style caricature of the cast’s former self.  These people have turned into real stars – Forbes estimates that the Situation will make 5 million dollars this year (which makes me want to bash my head with a sock full of quarters. 5 mil? really?).  Of course there is always the hope that “caricature” and “self-aware” are both too big for Snookie’s vocab.

Verdict

This is a topic near and dear to me as I thoroughly and unashamedly enjoy both of these shows, but I think I have to give the edge to the Challenge because it has managed to entertain me for 15+ seasons.  Now if only MTV would wise up and make a Real World/Jersey Shore Challenge.

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