NBA Finals, FIFA, Point Break, USWNT, a Yorkie, and more: Monday MashupPosted: June 1, 2015
Welcome to the Monday Mashup. This weekly feature will cover several sports and entertainment items in brief. The subjects of this week’s batch of unsolicited opinions include Cavs-Warriors, the new Point Break, FIFA, Michael Bennett, Johnny Manziel, the Women’s World Cup, and Yorkie Murder.
Point Break Remake
Will: Confession time: I have never seen the original Point Break. This is cause enough for have me banished from Earth, or at least America, but that’s the way it is. I thus have a tough time evaluating the new Point Break trailer, or perhaps I’m freed from the would-be shackles of comparison.
The thing opens with an allegedly ancient proverb: “There are some men who do not fear death for they are more afraid of not really living.” As for the validity of this proverb, I can only say this: When you Google it, Point Break is the first search result. Search “The unexamined life is not worth living,” however, and you’ll get heaps of stuff on Socrates. Take that for what it’s worth.
We then see a couple dudes skydiving out of a plane, releasing a giant cube full of cash, and then releasing their parachutes in some kind of cave. Smash cut to Johnny Utah, played by — pause for Googling — Luke Bracey, talking plan of action with his EFF-BEE-EYE higher-ups. We then see not-Keanu go deeper into the undercover rabbit hole as a bunch of dudes do some super extreme stuff, presumably committed crimes in the process.
The best compliment I can give this trailer is that parts of it made me think of The Fast and the Furious.
Ben Harp: Do you think that taxpayers would like it Utah, if they knew that they were paying a federal agent to surf and pick up girls?
Johnny Utah: Babes.
Ben Harp: I beg your pardon?
Johnny Utah: The correct term is babes, sir.
That was 1991. Or, as I call it, the year The Silence of the Lambs stole all of Keanu Reeves’ Oscars. What an atrocity.
I believe that, like me, the people who will enjoy this movie are extreme athletes, using their skills to disrupt the international financial markets. And they won’t care who gets killed in the process.
Will: Grantland’s Brian Phillips covered it nicely. It’s an easy thing to joke about, especially with a guy whose surname sounds like “bladder” at the center of it, but these are real crimes with real victims — especially the literal hundreds who are literally dying building the stadiums for the World Cup in Qatar.
From Phillips: “That these crimes have been carried out by clowns doesn’t make them any less serious. That their victims aren’t acknowledged in the official paperwork doesn’t make them any less real.”
Derek: Yes, one needs to do no more than Google the human rights … controversies? Is that what we call them? The “controversies” in Qatar? I don’t want to get sued.
I must admit joining the rest of the world in giving a silent fist pump upon hearing the news. The folks at FIFA have long been known as scoundrels, and I shall enjoy their incarceration the same way I enjoy seeing my least favorite characters on Game of Thrones receive their comeuppance.
Naturally, ol’ Sepp got re-elected the next day. Let’s hope that’s short-lived. Know any judges we can bribe?
Will: It’s gonna be great. The Warriors are damn good. They were best in the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency this year. Stephen Curry is perhaps the best shooter ever. Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut are among the finest defensive frontcourt players in the league. They have an army of 6-7 wing players to throw at LeBron.
Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving is hobbled. The Cavs will be relying heavily on guys like J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Matthew Dellavedova. They have to decide how they’ll match up with Curry, Klay Thompson, and Harrison Barnes defensively. Most every measurable will suggest that the Warriors are the decidedly superior side.
We still got LeBron tho.
Derek: I’m always excited for a championship game/series with tortured fan bases. Now, no one can touch Cleveland. We all know that. That’s why I’ll be rooting for them. But the folks in the Bay Area, despite their NFL and MLB success, haven’t had a reason to cheer in the NBA Finals in 40 years.
I got to watch Stephen Curry in person one time. It sucked. I had hoped either we (Appalachian State) would win, or I’d get to see Curry drop 60. Neither happened. He got in early foul trouble and played less than a half, and we still lost by 18. Still, I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for my former SoCon brethren.
Not this time. You Bay Area people just won the World Series, and you’ve had more than your share of success with the Niners and Raiders in the past. Cleveland hasn’t won anything, and they’re the underdogs due to injuries to Kyrie and Love. I won’t feel sorry for the Warriors if they lose. Go Cavs.
That football player who killed a Yorkie
Derek: Alleged dog-killer Prince Shembo is 6 feet tall and 254 pounds. This is a Yorkshire Terrier:
They are 6 or 7 inches tall and weigh about 7 pounds. In Shembo’s defense, he didn’t mean to. Oh, okay then.
Will: I’m generally not a fan of tiny little purse dogs. I occasionally joke that they are the perfect size to be punted. I JOKE about that — you don’t actually KILL a YORKIE. My god, man. I’d expect better out of a man named Prince. In addition to whatever discipline he gets for this, he should have to do karaoke to “When Doves Cry,” but replace “doves” with “Yorkies” every time.
Johnny Manziel’s incident
Derek: This is the greatest and most important news of the summer. Luckily, we have a Browns fan to break it down for us. I think I speak for the entire Sports Monocle readership when I say I can’t wait to read his analysis.
Will: The report tells us that an 18-year-old kid pestered Johnny over the course of multiple hours at a hotel pool. Johnny was just trying to kick it with his lady and some friends, and this guy wouldn’t leave him alone. Johnny was polite “the first 10 times [the fan] sought a picture,” but politeness was not enough. The interloper went on to say that Ryan Tannehill is better than Manziel — such a weirdly specific insult — and at some point Johnny chucked a not-quite-full water bottle at him.
I’m proud of Johnny. I think he’s growing up right before our eyes. As a younger man, he might have shoved this fan into the pool before answering a call on his money phone, but not this time! He’s maturing. Good on you, John Football.
Michael Bennett’s contract
Derek: I’m all for contract holdouts. I bear no ill will toward Michael Bennett. He’s still one of my favorite Seahawks players despite being an offsides machine. Nothing wrong with making as much money as you can, when you can.
Now, for the obligatory “however.”
However, he’s one year into a four-year contract. He can skip the “optional” OTA’s if he wants, but I don’t understand why anyone would skip training camp and incur fines. You really have zero leverage when you’re one year into a four-year contract. At that point, it’s probably a more fruitful endeavor to fire your agent than to hold out from training camp. I just hope he doesn’t employ The Percy Harvin Method, in which he tries to drag the entire team down to his level because he’s unhappy.
Will: Michael, bro, you’re already making $7-plus million a year, and you’re guaranteed $16 mil total. I would bet that most casual NFL fans couldn’t pick you out of a lineup. Maybe take it easy on this one.
The Women’s World Cup
Derek: Women’s soccer is dope. It’s the greatest women’s sport of all. In some ways, they’re much tougher than their male counterparts. In my (admittedly limited) time watching international women’s soccer, the only team I can recall taking dives were the Brazilians. Apparently a quota had to be met, and they weren’t shy about trying to meet it.
I’m not in the States, so I can’t gauge everyone’s level of excitement, but I hope people are just as pumped for this as they were for last year’s World Cup. As an American, I’m arguably even more excited to watch the women because we have a legitimate chance of winning.
Do yourself a favor and check it out. Unless your ethics and morals prevent you from supporting FIFA, in which case we have nothing to talk about.
Will: Based on my limited research, which is to say no research at all, the American people aren’t 100% behind our soccer-playing ladies just yet. Cleveland is also not a soccer hotbed; maybe things are different in the Pacific Northwest.
I caught some of the US-Korea match Saturday, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. International soccer is the best soccer, and there’s something magnetic about the women on the US side (and I don’t just mean the, erm, aesthetic appeal of players like Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux). I respect the hell out of them. The women’s game doesn’t get the attention or money that the men’s does, but the American ladies are legit the best in the world at what they do. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Go, go, USA.