IDGuides: The Legendary 13 Heavyweight Boxing Champions of All-Time

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Throughout the 20th century, professional boxing, particularly the ‘Heavyweight’ division carried with it a folklore quality as an intricate part of American sporting society. To be crowned the ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’ was to be recognized as the baddest man on the planet. The pugilist of all pugilists. The man standing on top of the proverbial mountain, relishing in the proud defense of all worthy title challengers. Prize fighting in the 20th century captivated the collective imagination of American society in ways that the modern incarnation of the ‘Sweet Science’, frankly, falls short. Reasons for the demise  in the overall popularity of boxing are many and varied, however it possesses a rich and colorful historical tapestry that is unmistakeable. Among the men who have valiantly fought their way into the hallowed halls of championship pantheon, are some whose talent, courage, personality, and influence transcended that of a mere champion, and into the rarified air of legend. Perhaps even more profound today, than ever before. The following list aims to highlight 13 of these legendary men who ruled the ring, and by extension, the entire world once upon a time.



 

#13. Evander Holyfield / 44 Wins 10 Losses 2 Draws 29 KO

Evander-Holyfield

Nicknamed the’Real Deal’, Evander Holyfield held world championship titles in the cruiserweight division as well as the heavyweight division. Currently, Holyfield is the only man to have won four (4) Heavyweight Championships including the WBA, WBC, IBF titles, all in 1990. He held them all again in 1993, followed by another WBA, IBF in 1996. In the year 2000, Holyfield won his fourth WBA title. He notoriously suffered a graphic ear injury at the hands of Mike Tyson during a 1997 title fight named the ‘Bite Fight’. Graphic meaning the ‘helix’ section of his ear was bitten off by Tyson prior to his spitting it on the blood stained canvas at their feet. Never known for being a naturally graceful speaker, Holyfield’s accomplishments in the ring did all the necessary speaking on his behalf.



 

#12. Lennox Lewis / 41 Wins 2 Losses 1 Draws 32 KO

Lennox Lewis

Lennox Lewis holds the distinction of being the very last ‘undisputed’ unified world boxing heavyweight champion. An accomplishment earned from his 1999 defeat of Evander Holyfield (2nd fight) that unified the WBA, WBC, IBF, and vacant IBO title. Lewis is also the only non-American citizen to hold a place on this list, as he is a dual British and Canadian citizen. Lewis is widely considered by boxing purists as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, his 2002 sound defeat of Mike Tyson part of that credit.



#11. Charles”Sonny” Liston /  50 Wins 4 Losses  39 KO

Sonny-Liston

Throughout his career, Sonny Liston was notorious for his physical toughness, imposing demeanor, and savage punching power. His reputation for hanging out with real life gangsters only added to his mystique of being a tough guy with bad intentions. Liston won the world heavyweight championship with his 1962 physical pounding, 1st round knock-out of Floyd Patterson. Later he became infamous for being knocked out by Muhammad Ali via the legendary ‘phantom punch’ in their controversial 1964 contest. It was rumored that Liston was heavily intoxicated the night before the fight which perhaps helped explain his unexpected loss, as he was a 7 to 1 favorite to win going into the contest.



#10. William”Jack” Dempsey /  65 Wins  6 Losses  11 Draws  51 KO

Jack-Dempsey
Jack Dempsey

During the ‘roaring’ 1920’s in the United States, a boxer known by some as ‘Kid Blackie’, and many as ‘The Manassa Mauler’, became a pop cultural icon. His real name was William ‘Jack’ Dempsey and he was the World Heavyweight Champion from 1919 to 1926. Dempsey was known for his vicious fighting demeanor and brutal punching power. He was easily the most popular fighter of the 1920’s largely due to his ability, and arguably due to his representation of his race at the time. Often his fights broke financial records, with attendance records in tow. His 1927 rematch against Gene Tunney became the first million dollar gate in American boxing history, bringing in approximately $2 million dollars. A figure that in today’s money would equal about $15 million. Rumors persisted that Al Capone had tried to have the fight fixed, with Dempsey refusing to have anything to do with it. ‘Kid Blackie’ was one of the greatest fighters of his era, and of all-time.



#9. Kenneth Howard Norton, Sr. /  42 Wins 7 Losses  1 Draws  33 KO

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Ken Norton

Many people would be surprised to hear that Ken Norton, Sr. also had a 3 fight trilogy against Muhammad Ali. This was besides the fact that he was the WBC world heavyweight champion in 1977 – 1978. Norton was a great fighter with a smooth and powerful style that went along with his sculpted, muscular physique. He beat the great Ali in a 12 round split decision in March of 1973, a fight in which he broke Ali’s jaw. He went on to lose the next two matches, although it was argued that he had in fact won the third. Nevertheless, Ken Norton was one of the greatest heavyweight champs of all-time and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992.



#8.  Larry Holmes / 69 Wins  6 Losses  44 KO

Larry-Holmes

If one were to look up greatest ‘left jab’ in boxing history, there would likely be a picture of Larry Holmes directly beside it. His left jab was that good, that great. Larry was never a flamboyant champion, nor was he a flashy champion, but he was undoubtably a great champion. He was the WBC heavyweight champion during the years of 1978 – 1983, as well as the IBF champion from 1983 to 1985. As champion, he achieved 20 successful title defenses, as well as defeating an aging Muhammad Ali, his former sparring partner, in 1980, one of only 5 men to ever do so. His 1985 loss to Michael Spinks left him one victory shy of Rocky Marchiano’s 49-0 career record. Holmes fought and defeated some of the best fighters of his era with victories over the likes of Earnie Shavers, Ken Norton, Gerry Cooney, Tim Witherspoon, Carl Williams and Marvis Frazier. Holmes was great, period.



#7.  John Arthur “Jack” Johnson /   73 Wins 13 Losses  10 Draws  40 KO

Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson (1878 – 1946)

Over the course of his life and career, Jack Johnson also known as the ‘Galveston Giant’ was a lot of things. Among them was being the very first African American world heavyweight boxing champion starting with his World Colored Heavyweight Championship in 1903, a title he held for a record 2,151 days. He became the overall world champion in 1908, his reign ending in 1915. This was significant because this happened during the height of ‘Jim Crow’ America. Johnson didn’t make things easier for himself by flaunting his many interracial relationships in public which ultimately led to his arrest on racially motivated Mann Act federal charges in 1912. Johnson was famous, infamous, and notorious concurrently. By winning the title in 1908 he started a nationwide movement in the white community calling for a “Great White Hope” or a white someone to take the title away from the black skinned Johnson. His 1910 defeat of anointed ‘great white hope’ James J. Jeffries in Reno, Nevada caused riots all over the country on July 4th.



#6.  George Edward “Big George” Foreman /  76 Wins  5 Losses  68 KO

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Before George Foreman was the affable pop culture icon that he is today, he was a mean, freakishly strong fighter who routinely knocked his opponents into next thursday. Before he was the villain in the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ fight against Muhammad Ali, he was a two-time world heavyweight champion, as well as an Olympic gold medalist. Foreman was awesome in his prime. He would strike the fear of God into his opponents, and with good reason. He absolutely destroyed both Joe Frazier and Ken Norton in succession. He was on his way to beating Ali as well, until he ran out of gas in the later rounds. Nevertheless, Foreman was one of the very best heavyweight champions of all-time. For certain.



#5.   Michael Gerard “Mike” Tyson /   50 Wins  6 Losses    44 KO

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Mike Tyson was a force of nature. He came virtually out of nowhere to flip the world of heavyweight boxing on it’s ear. During his prime in the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s there was no greater box office attraction fighter on the planet earth. A Mike Tyson fight was an event that brought out the A through Z list of the who’s who of American society. Tyson rarely disappointed, as he routinely dispatched his unfortunate opponents one after another in less time than it took to use the restroom. True story. He became the youngest undisputed world heavyweight champion at the tender age of 20 years, 4 months, and 22 days. Mike Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by extreme knockout, a dozen of those mere seconds into the very first round. In 1986 he won the WBC title by beating Trevor Berbick. In 1987, Tyson won both the WBA and IBF titles making him the first heavyweight boxer to possess the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, concurrently. His career flamed out due to legal and personal difficulties as the flash and excitement were soon a thing of the past, but for a moment in time Mike Tyson was an American supernova.



#4.  Joseph William “Joe” Frazier /   32 Wins  4 Losses  1 Draw  27 KO

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‘Smoking’ Joe Frazier had the greatest left hook in the history of heavyweight boxing. His left hook was otherworldly, and he threw it with bad intentions behind it, every time. Frazier was an intense fighter who embodied toughness. He was an Olympic gold medalist who later became the undisputed world heavyweight champion in 1970. He successfully defended that title in a fight against Muhammad Ali in Madison Square Garden in 1971 in what was termed the ‘fight of the century’. Joe’s professional career spanned the years 1965 through 1976. Joe Frazier’s punching power was legendary, as was his relentless aggressive boxing style. His three fight series with Ali are legendary for all-time. Joe Frazier was one of the greatest prize fighters of his era, or any other.



#3.  Rocco Francis ‘Rocky’ Marciano  49 Wins  0 Losses  43 KO

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Rocky Marciano was a professional heavyweight fighter who never lost a professional fight. True story. Rocky held the world heavyweight title from September 23, 1952 until his retirement in April of 1956 (49 -0). Marciano defended his world title six times fighting opponents such as against Jersey Joe Walcott, Roland La Starza, Ezzard Charles, Don Cockell, and of course his war with Archie Moore. Rocky was an Italian rock of a fighter who had a chin as solid as his right cross, and he knew how to win a fight. He is widely considered, and with good reason, to be one of the greatest boxers of all-time and that isn’t really debatable. His career knockout percentage of 88% is among, if not the highest recorded rates of all-time. There aren’t too many positive things to say about Rocky Marciano that hasn’t already been said, at length. #Great.



#2.   Joseph ‘Joe’ Louis Barrow /   66 Wins  3 Losses  52 KO

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Joe Louis was also known as the original ‘Brown Bomber’. Louis was the pride of African-American culture all throughout the World War 2 era of America and beyond.  He was the  world heavyweight champion during the years of 1937 until 1949. He is widely considered one the best of all-time, and in many circles simply the best, period. Louis was the face of pro boxing  during the post Dempsey boxing era. He earned a glowing reputation for being a wholesome, all American fighter with a hardworking ethos during an era when boxing was being invaded by unsavory underworld mobster figures. It’s been rumored that Louis never took a pay-off, ever. A huge accomplishment for that era. The ‘Brown Bomber’ gave millions of African-Americans hope and pride during a difficult time in our history.



#1.  Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali   /    56 Wins  5 Losses   37 KO

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What can you say about the man who called himself the greatest, and could back every word of it up? You’d just have to call him the greatest, no? Personally, I feel that Muhammad Alis greatness as a fighter, and he was great, almost pales in comparison to his influence and inspiration as a man, and political figure. Was Ali controversial? Sure. Polarizing? You bet. Ali became a political icon in an era where many political icons were born, and far too many died, the turbulent and politically transcendent 1960’s. By his refusal to be inducted into the United States armed forces to go fight in Vietnam, Ali took a stand and made a personal, professional, and financial sacrifice that frankly, not many athletes before or since would have the guts or intestinal fortitude to accomplish. He believed in religious freedom, and racial justice and he did something more than just talk about it. Becoming the world heavyweight champion at the age of 22 was a surprise as he shocked the formidable Sonny Liston in 1964. The rest as they say, is history. Hats off to the greatest fighter, and arguably greatest person of all-time.

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Idiots Guide: 12 Amazing Veteran Hollywood Character Actors

More often than not the unsung hero(s) in a great film are the supporting characters. The actors who provide the critical down fill of the cinematic pillow. Sometimes it’s comic relief, sometimes it’s the dramatic voice of reason, all the time it’s great acting. Even though they don’t get star billing, and far too often don’t receive star treatment, their overall thespian contributions provide a profound cinematic glue. In short, these actors are huge on talent and performance. This list aims to illuminate some of the better veteran character actors whose work and contributions haven’t been given the type of shine that they richly deserve. Many of these actors are still working today, some have slowed down, and some have left this earth. Whatever the individual case may be, enjoy these actors, and look out for their work. Trust me, they’re worth it.

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#12. John C. McGinley John C McGinley

John C. McGinley is a Hollywood mainstay who’s career has seen him portray more than a few recurring film and television characters including the brilliantly obnoxious, and acerbic Perry Cox (Scrubs), the monotone suit Bob Slydell  (Office Space), a homicidal Marine Cpt. Hendrix (The Rock), the jovial and juvenile Wall Street broker Marv in Oliver Stone’s (Wall Street), and an excellent short recurring appearance as CIA Agent Tom Card in the vastly underrated USA network show (Burn Notice).

#11. Giancarlo Espositogiancarlo-esposito-

Giancarlo Esposito had an accomplished acting career before he became very well known and awarded for his Gustavo Fring role on the runaway hit AMC series (Breaking Bad). A role which earned him a ‘Best Supporting Actor in a Drama’ 2012 Critics’ Choice nod. That same year he was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series’. Prior to his television success Esposito had memorable roles in a number of hit films including several with Spike Lee, (Do the Right Thing), (School Daze), and (Mo’ Better Blues). There were also his roles in Abel Ferrara’s (King of New York), and Bryan Singer’s (The Usual Suspects).

#10. Keith David Keith David

You’ve probably seen Keith David‘s work in more than a few memorable films including (Crash), Spike Lee’s (Clockers),  (There’s Something About Mary), (Pitch Black), (They Live),  (Barbershop), John Carpenter’s (The Thing), as well as Oliver Stone’s (Platoon), and Darren Aronofsky’s (Requiem for a Dream). He’s acted in several television projects as well including the NBC comedy series (Community).

#9. Sam Rockwell Sam Rockwell 2

Sam Rockwell is an interesting case study as his career has oscillated between leading roles and supporting roles when typically ‘never the twain shall meet’. For the purposes of this list we will focus on his work as a supporting actor while taking nothing away from his leading role work. His better supporting roles include (The Green Mile), (Galaxy Quest), (Frost/Nixon), (Iron Man 2), (The Assassination of Jesse James), (Cowboys & Aliens), and (The Way, Way Back). Sam is a gifted actor and if you didn’t know before, you know now.

#8. Isaiah WashingtonIsaiah-Washington

Isaiah Washington is a supremely talented actor known for his roles in film and television. His notable film roles include a two of Spike Lee’s (Clockers), and (Get on the Bus), as well as (Dead Presidents),  (Love Jones), (Soul of the Game), (Always Outnumbered), (Bulworth), and (Out of Sight). His television credits included a 3 season regular role on (Grey’s Anatomy), and some early (Law and Order). Isaiah’s work is always on point and he leaves an indelible mark on the characters that he plays. He’s very good.

#7.  Ed Harris Ed Harris

Any way you want to slice it, Ed Harris is  bad-ass actor. Throughout his career, Harris has brought an intensity to his dramatic roles that is rarely equaled, and always respected by his peers. His performance in Dave Foley’s film adaptation of the David Mamet classic ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ was spellbinding. He has also brought out the hammer in other notable films including  (The Right Stuff), (The Abyss), (Nixon), (The Rock), (A Beautiful Mind), (A History of Violence), (Gone Baby Gone), (Gravity), and a gritty performance in  (The Way Back). Ed has been nominated three times for an Academy Award for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ one for (Apollo 13), one for (The Truman Show), and one for  (The Hours). He was also nominated for ‘Best Actor’ for his portrayal of Jackson Pollock in (Pollock), a film he also directed. Ed Harris is about as good as character acting gets in the business.

#6. Luis Guzman Luis-Guzman

Luis Guzman is the quintessential answer to the age old ‘Who was that guy who was in that movie?’, question. Why? Because he’s been in more movies than pretty much any actor I’ve ever heard of. Besides the fact that certain directors worship at the altar of Guzman (Steven Soderbergh, Paul Thomas Anderson), he is a great character actor. Audiences are so used to seeing him in films it’s difficult to pin-point any one film he’s been in, crazy stuff. Keeping his list of film bonafides within reason wasn’t an easy task, however here are a few of the very many, (Out of Sight), (Carlito’s Way), (The Salton Sea), (The Limey), (Traffic), (Boogie Nights), and (Magnolia).  Guzman’s career started back in 1977 and he has starred in over 100 films and television projects (90+ films). You’ve seen his work.

#5. Delroy Lindo Delroy-Lindo

Did you know that Delroy Lindo is British? True story. What isn’t surprising is his body of work and the immense talent that has helped create it. Lindo brings a style and gravitas to his roles that is unique and compelling. He is difficult to ignore on screen. Lindo has had a long and fruitful career that began back in 1976, and his filmography includes some great films, several with Spike Lee at the helm, (Malcolm X), (Clockers), and (Crooklyn). In addition he has impressed in (Get Shorty), (Gone in 60 Seconds), and (The Cider House Rules). To watch Delroy perform is to be entertained and enthralled. A great talent.

#4. Danny Aiello Danny Aiello

Danny Aiello‘s role as Brooklyn pizzeria owner Salvatore Frangione in Spike Lee’s classic film (Do the Right Thing) earned him a well deserved Academy Award nomination for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ back in 1989. Danny is a proud Italian-American actor who brings the hammer to all of his roles, including  (Once Upon a Time in America), (The Godfather Part II), (The Purple Rose of Cairo), (Moonstruck), (The Professional), (Two Days in the Valley), and a humorous turn in the underrated comedy (Hudson Hawk). Aiello is one of the unsung greats in the annals of Hollywood character actors.

#3. Samuel L. Jackson samuel_jackson 2

When it comes to prolific character actor careers, Samuel L. Jackson holds significant space as one of the icons. Audiences started to take notice of Samuel in the 1990s with his early roles in films such as (Jungle Fever), (Patriot Games), (True Romance), and (Jurassic Park). However, he became a bonafide superstar in 1994 with his role as ‘Jules Winfield’ in Quentin Tarantino’s all-time classic crime film (Pulp Fiction). He followed that film with  roles in additional Tarantino pictures like (Jackie Brown), and (Django Unchained). His non-Tarantino efforts include (Die Hard with a Vengeance), M.Night’s (Unbreakable), (Shaft), (Black Snake Moan), and even a turn in the controversial (Star Wars prequel trilogy). In all, Sam has appeared in well over 100 films in his career. Need I say more?

#2. Christopher Walken Christopher-Walken 3

Not to be outdone by the aforementioned actor, Christopher Walken has had an equally if not even more prolific acting career in terms of the sheer number of film appearances. There are some who would opine that Walken plays the same character time and again, and perhaps that is debatable. However, what can’t be denied is that his on-screen presence is transcendent, and it works like a charm. Among his memorable films you’ll find (The Deer Hunter), Woody Allen’s classic (Annie Hall), (The Prophecy), (The Dead Zone), (A View to a Kill), (True Romance), and of course Tarantino’s (Pulp Fiction). Walken’s work speaks for itself, awesome.

#1. Philip Seymour Hoffman /  July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014PHILIP-SEYMOUR-HOFFMAN-02

In 2014 the world of entertainment lost one of it’s most gifted and talented thespians in  the form of the sudden passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman. In terms of sheer character acting ability there is the late Mr. Hoffman, and then all of the rest. He was in a class by himself, an assertion that would be quite difficult to contend. Philip was that great. He brought a uniqueness to every character he portrayed with such gravitas, it compelled audiences the world over. His onscreen performances captivated audiences largely due to the fact that he compelled them to share the emotion. Hoffman earned numerous honors in a career that was cut short. Some more notable films include (Boogie Nights), (Happiness), (The Big Lebowski), (Magnolia), (The Talented Mr. Ripley). His portrayal of Truman Capote in (Capote) earned him the Academy Award for ‘Best Actor’. The reality is that more often than not Philip Seymour Hoffman was the very best actor on the screen.

AMERICANPOP33: UnLuCkY 13 WORST MOVIE SEQUELS / 20th Century

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For any true fan of exceptional filmmaking, there is perhaps nothing worse than an awful sequel. A bad sequel is a blight on society, an insult to the moviegoer, and a disgrace to the original property. In fact the better the original film, the more insulting the sequel. Most of the time it’s a studio trying to beef up their fiscal bottom line by releasing a sequel to a proven box office success. Studios know that fans of the original are going to go see the sequel at least once and that usually generates enough money to justify its creation in the first place. In short, it’s a cynical corporate money grab that often leaves fans of the original hot under the collar. The worst part is that many times there was no sequel necessary. This is a shameful practice that has proliferated since the 1980’s, continues to this day and is showing little sign of slowing down. Can anyone name all of the ‘Friday the 13th’ sequels and remakes off the top of their head? How about the ‘Rocky’ franchise? ‘Aliens’? ‘Halloween’? ‘Jaws’? The list is virtually endless.

 

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This movie is so terrible that…seriously I can’t. Just God awful. Trust us. Ugh.

#13. Fletch Lives (1989) 

Fletch Lives

‘Fletch’ (1985) the original was quirky, entertaining and very funny. It’s a film that has a cult following, especially among fans of Chevy Chase. For reasons that remain unclear (outside financial) 4 years later ‘Fletch Lives’ (1989) was released. A decision that was and continues to be a terrible idea. All you need to do is reference the musical montage scene which takes place on a southern plantation with busty chested caucasian field hands, Chevy Chase singing and dancing cartoon characters, to realize the depths of the absurdity. Yes, this film qualifies as a certified piece of garbage. View at your own risk.

#12. Teen Wolf Too (1987) Teen Wolf 2

To be fair it is difficult to follow up a Michael J. Fox film in the best of circumstances. However, it would also be fair to mention that the original ‘Teen Wolf’ (1985) didn’t need a sequel. Jason Bateman took over the reigns as the high school wolf turned collegiate canine in the sequel ‘Teen Wolf Too’ (1987). A regrettable decision for the otherwise solid comedic actor. The good news is that he was still a young actor who was able to outgrow, and advance his career in spite of it. The bad news is everything and everyone else involved in the production of this barely watchable monstrosity.

#11. The Crow: Salvation (2000)The crow 2

The original film ‘The Crow’ (1994) is an all-time cult classic with more than a few death themed ironies. The tragic accidental death of star Brandon Lee on the set topping the list. Lee’s death caused production setbacks, and almost doomed the films release. However, it was completed and a classic was born. The problem was with the ill-advised decision to make a sequel, ‘The Crow: Salvation’ (2000). Let’s put aside the fact that the films premise was contrived and made sense only to avian species, Eric Mabius’s acting performance had none of the gravitas of Brandon Lee. In addition, director Bharat Nalluri’s film version was simply not in the same class of the Alex Proyas original. This sequel was awful.

#10. Batman & Robin (1997)batman-and-robin-movie-poster

Warner Brothers put ‘Batman & Robin’ (1997) on a production bullet train following the commercial success of ‘Batman Forever’ (1995). Both films were directed by Joel Schumacher, and the second was considerably worse than the former. Regardless of the commercial success of ‘Forever’, it was not a good film. ‘B & R’ turned out to be far worse. Val Kilmer and George Clooney were both terrible choices for Bruce Wayne (Batman) but Kilmer gets the slight nod between them, probably because of Tim Burton’s involvement. The initial ‘fight’ scene in ‘B & R’ takes place in a museum turned ice hockey rink between Batman, Robin and Mr. Freeze, with villainous hockey ghouls skating around with a diamond the size of Saudi Arabia. Get all of that? It’s that’s bad, seriously bad. Luckily for true fans of the Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan revived the franchise with excellent films starting in 2005. The 1980’s -1990’s properties were cartoonish attempts to insult our collective intelligence’s. ‘B & R’ being the worst film in a large barrel of film excrement.

#9. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) Wall Street 2

Oliver Stone’s ‘Wall Street’ (1987) is an exceptional film with amazing performances by Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor. It is so good in fact that it is credited as being an archetypal example of 1980’s Wall Street excess. It is also responsible for pop culture catch phrases like ‘Greed is good’. The original Wall Street is an all-timer, there was never any reason good enough to make a sequel to this film. But make a sequel they did…23 years later…’Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ (2010). Stone returned to direct this picture, but that fact in and of itself doesn’t validate it’s production. The sequel fell short of the original in almost every way imaginable, including the directing, sorry Mr. Stone. Shia LaBeouf’s performance was lacking to say the least, and not credible in every other way. Michael Douglas failed to recapture the glory of the Gordon Gekko of 1987, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Talk about a tough act to follow. The financial upheaval of 2008-2009 was the reasoning behind this sequel, but like the crash, it left audiences bewildered and wanting…to leave the theatre. #No Bueno.

#8. Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986) Poltergeist 2

‘Poltergeist II: The Other Side’ (1986) is another in a long line of ill-advised sequels. In this case to ‘Poltergeist'(1982). The fact that it returned the original family didn’t make for a decent movie, it made for a feeling of incredulous shock. The same family is once again dealing with malevolent forces after their daughter, Carol Anne. What are the chances you ask? Me too. What are the chances that studios produced a third Poltergeist? Very good actually, they did it again in 1988 with Poltergeist III (also terrible, btw). The original sequel received so-so critical reviews and the box office numbers weren’t nearly as good as the original, although it did make some money, an estimated $40 million. Which made it a very expensive bad movie that was nominated for a ‘Razzie Award’ highlighting an awful performance by Zelda Rubinstein, for Worst Supporting Actress. The other actors and performances weren’t much better, if not flat out worse. Watch this one as a comedy.

#7. Carrie 2: The Rage (1999) 

Carrie 2

The Rage: Carrie 2 is the God awful sequel that was 23 years in the making. The original ‘Carrie’ was released in 1976, this latest incarnation in 1999. Perhaps producers spent the intervening two decades thinking of ways to ruin the Stephen King classic, and royally piss off die hard fans of the original. Mission accomplished. Director Katt Shea’s sequel was a box office flop (losing $5 million) and a critical laughing stock. Apparently Carrie White’s half sister Rachel carries the same telekinetic powers, and predilection for using them in a vengeful, albeit extraordinarily predictable manner. A gold star if you can sit through this.

#6. Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) Speed 2

Let’s face it, somehow, someway, Keanu Reeves has a knack for starring in successful films. From films that are silly and sophomoric in tone ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’, to science fiction classics like the ‘Matrix’ franchise. It seems that Keanu has the magic touch. The same goes for ‘Speed’ (1994) which came out of nowhere to become a surprise commercial success. In fact,  it was honored with not one, but two Academy Awards. (Sexy things like Sound Editing & Sound Mixing) in 1995. The movie was pretty damn good. The story of an LAPD officer trying to save civilians from being blown to bits on a city bus that is wired with explosives tied to fine print details. You would think that this fantastic premise would be a one off type of event. However, you would be wrong. Producers couldn’t stop themselves from the allure of the quick, cheap sequel buck, and released the completely unnecessary ‘Speed 2: Cruise Control’ (1997) with A. Jason Patric instead of Keanu Reeves, and B. Sandra Bullock returning to collect an easy paycheck, presumably prior to reading the script. When she did get around to reading it, she found that the creative team of Jan de Bont, Steve Perry, Michael Peyser, and Randall McCormick had traded in the speeding city bus, for the molasses speed of a cruise liner. How fast is a cruise liner? Answer: Not very. Big mistake. Bad movie. Brazen money grab. Bullshit idea.

#5. Staying Alive (1983) 

Staying Alive

A cursory glance at the one sheet movie poster of ‘Staying Alive’ (1983) and you might get a deja vu feeling that ends with Channing Tatum in ‘Magic Mike’. After a quick double take you will find that it’s the 6 year in the making sequel to ‘Saturday Night Fever’ (1977). ‘SNF’ was a runaway commercial success that facilitated the popularity of the era’s trendy celebration of disco culture. ‘SNF’ made John Travolta a bonafide star of the time. However by the time of the sequel in 1983, the disco craze had become over medicated. The  theme song of the same name was performed by the Bee Gees and basically the only thing that was memorable about this film. The main character Tony Manero is now moved out of Brooklyn, and living in a Manhattan flophouse. The tone of the film is sour and cynical, and it doesn’t really get better although they try to resurrect it by films end. It’s not a good film, but I won’t trash it much more than this…because well, disco is dead.

#4. Son of the Mask (2005) 

Son of the Mask

Let’s face it, the original film ‘The Mask’ (1994) was a huge hit almost entirely due to the  legendary Jim Carrey, and his transcendent on screen gravitas, and comedic performance. When you think of an actor ‘carrying’ a film, ‘The Mask’ featuring Jim Carrey as Stanley Ipkiss is what you think about. With that being the reality, any sane person would ascertain that making a sequel WITHOUT Jim Carrey would be film suicide. Well, producers  Erica Huggins and Scott Kroopf did, and it was. Nothing personal against Jamie Kennedy and Alan Cumming, but their combined performances do not a Jim Carrey make. Not even close. Watching this film without Carrey makes you realize just how talented he is, as the plot is mind numbingly ridiculous, but the latitude for comedic genius is vast. As it turns out, too vast for Carrey’s replacements to cover. If you have children that you need to pacify for 94 minutes, this movie will work as a mighty elixir for you. Children are transfixed by the ‘Mask’. If you have 94 minutes of your life you want to regret wasting?

#3. Alien 3 (1992) 

Alien-3-poster

‘Alien 3’ (1992) is the third installment of the popular ‘Alien’ (1976) franchise. The original was released in 1979 and the second in 1986, this third release follows the second in terms of timeline, but compared to the first two, it kind of sucks. No, it definitely sucks. There are many reasons for this, among them were the various difficulties in pre-production and production. There ended up being several different screenwriters involved as well as numerous directors on the project, not exactly a recipe for success. Finally, a young and talented director by the name of David Fincher began shooting…without a completed screenplay.  It should come as no surprise that Fincher has since disowned his involvement in this film as he was given virtually no time to prepare, and constantly forced to re-shoot scenes with script rewrites on the fly. Production was constantly hampered by studio interference. The result was the #3. spot on this list for worst sequels. In fact, of the entire Alien franchise, part 3 is the only film that really isn’t any good at all.

#2. Rocky V  (1990) 

Rocky 5

In my opinion, if Sylvester Stallone would have halted the production of his ‘Rocky’ franchise after ‘Rocky IV’ (1985), it would have gone down among the very best film franchises, ever. The original ‘Rocky’ (1976) was raw, gritty, and compelling. The second ‘Rocky II’ (1979) was inspirational and triumphant. The third Rocky III (1982) starring a primetime ‘Mr. T’, was highly entertaining and solidified the franchise as one of the best. The fourth ‘Rocky IV’ (1985) was good but not as good as the previous three, and would have been a perfect conclusion to the franchise. Sadly however, you guessed it, producers dipped their pen in the ink one time (and more) too many, with the release of ‘Rocky V’ (1990). Oy vey! #5 was awful is many ways, where to start? The late boxer Tommy Morrison, played a terrible character, and he was an equally terrible actor. The plot was stupid. Sly looked old by design and it wasn’t sexy, at all. Stallone later acknowledged his disappointment with this film. Amazingly, there have been two additional releases under this franchise in the years since, bringing the grand total to seven with the 7th being ‘Creed’ (2015) which was a decent film. ‘Rocky V’ though? Garbage on a stick.

#1. The Godfather Part III (1990) Godfather 3

Any endeavor to make a sequel of perhaps the greatest film(s) of all-time would take ‘brass balls’ so enormous, that a wheel barrel would be needed to transport them across the studio lot. ‘The Godfather’ (1972) and the second film ‘The Godfather Part II’ (1974) were basically a single 7 hour epic film spilt into two films, released two years apart. The originals are arguably the greatest crime family drama in the history of film. You would think that if any film had a legacy that was too sacred to interfere with it would be ‘The Godfather’. Sadly, and with great regret, I must inform you that ‘Godfather’ with the release of  ‘The Godfather Part III’ (1990), was sequel-ed. Violated by cynical hands squeezing easy money out of a classic original film. It took 18 years but it got done. Not only is the third installment of the ‘Godfather’ series inferior, it’s borderline insulting. This of course is an opinion that is in stark contrast to the fact that the film earned 7 Academy Awards including, yes believe it or not, Academy Award for Best Picture. It wasn’t the best picture. It shouldn’t have been made. It pales in comparison to the original two in every imaginable way. I, like any true ‘Godfather’ fan, choose to simply ignore the existence of the 3rd film. It’s easier to pretend that it doesn’t exist than to acknowledge it. In 2015 HBO released ‘The Godfather Epic’ which is a chronological edit of the original two films over 7 viewing hours. The 3rd is mercifully omitted, and with every good reason under God’s glorious sun. ‘The Godfather Part III’ is a disgrace. Yes, I said it.

Idiots Guide: 7 Questions every Human Being wants Answered

 

Life's Big Question logo

As the reigning intellectual life form on this planet, we human beings have the unique ability to contemplate our existence in the universe. It is highly unlikely that a lion, or your family pet would have the intellectual curiosity, or conscious motivation, to ponder the meaning of their existence. Humans can and therefore, we do. People have always had existential questions, lots of them. In many ways, it is the pursuit of these answers that has motivated profound human advancement. The reality is that for all of our  intellectual and scientific gains, there are certain questions whose answers are out of our purview. We simply don’t know, and will likely never know. In some instances we have substituted blind belief for empirical evidence. Scientific theory instead of concrete proof. Among this sea of questions, there are several that every human being to a man, would figuratively or literally, die to know the answer(s) to. This list highlights what we feel are the top 7 questions that human beings around the world want answered.

#7. Is there LIFE after DEATHis-there-life-after-death

At the time of our earthly demise, conventional wisdom says that we should walk ‘towards the light’. The problem is that nobody knows for sure what that light is, where it leads to, and who if anybody is waiting for us there. There is nothing more human than wondering what really happens when our lights go out. Is there really a Heaven? Hell? If so, for which place do I qualify? Better still is the question surrounding the concept of reincarnation. Do we get to come back? Have we been here before? Does it operate on a lottery system? Perhaps a demerit system? Are we afforded a choice? Do horrible people come back as insects? Is there extra credit for martyrdom? These are the kinds of existential afterlife questions that human beings would like to know. Even though 7 out of 10 Americans believe in an afterlife, 10 out of 10 Americans can’t know for sure. Getting concrete answer(s) to these questions has been virtually impossible because deceased persons typically have a  difficult time giving afterlife depositions. Human beings would like to know is there really life after death? Or does everything just go dark forevermore?

#6. Who Shot John F. KennedyJFK Target

Look, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Stevie Wonder can see that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone. There is no way that little twerp shot Kennedy by himself, from that little window, if at all. Be honest, that’s what your horse sense has always told you. You trust your common sense don’t you? The Kennedy assassination is the greatest ‘who done it?’ in American history. In fact the only thing we know for certain about the assassination of John Kennedy, is that he was shot to death. Everything else is just another ingredient in conjecture soup. The mystery surrounding the murder of JFK is the conspiracy that defines modern conspiracy theory. It seems illogical that the assassination of an American President could be a perfect murder, meaning that someone and/or group of someone’s got away with it clean. The fact of the matter is that people/persons murdered President John F. Kennedy on November 22nd in the year of our lord 1963. Human beings the world over would really like to know who was responsible.

#5. What came before the BIG BANGbefore big bang

There is a broad consensus among the world’s distinguished scientists that the beginning of the universe and by extension, the world that we live in, materialized with a singular ‘Big Bang‘ event some 14 billion years ago. In other words there was nothing and then bang, the universe was born. This of course begs the pseudo-obnoxious, though completely understandable question, what happened before the big bang? What was the nothing? There was no light, no matter , no energy? Who or what threw on the light switch? The process of trying to think this question through is a recipe for a migraine headache. It’s similar to trying to explain the starting point of a circle, but worse because why was the circle drawn to begin with? Who drew it? Here’s something else to consider, there was actually no ‘big bang’ at all. At the moment of the beginning of the universe there was no light, and no sound because matter didn’t yet exist for sound waves to vibrate. Technically the big bang was a profound expansion event that happened in complete silence. Human beings would really like to know what happened before the big bang. We’ll address the who, what, and why questions a bit later.

#4. Which came first? The Chicken or the EggWhat-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg

This is a question that virtually every human child has queried and pondered, yet somehow through adolescence, adulthood, and parenthood have never proposed or received a satisfactory answer. If the chicken came first, then who, or what made the chicken? If the egg came first, then who the hell laid it?  This is a riddle whose answer is elusive, and certainly a question for the man upstairs, if he exists, and if he’s a man at all, but I digress. Human beings want to get to the bottom of this damn chicken and egg controversy.

#3. What happens inside of a Black Holeblack hole

Apparently, ‘Black Holes‘ rule the universe. The mere mention of black holes instill fear. The gravity of a black hole is so strong, it is defined as absolute, meaning that it can crush and/or swallow anything in the universe, including stars, planets, galaxies, and even light, which is the reason that they’re black to begin with. The question that no man has ever been able to answer is what happens inside of a black hole? Some people have theorized that the inside a black hole is the doorway to another dimension, a place where space and time meet at as a singularity. Get all of that? We can never explore the inside of a black hole because once you’re in, that’s it, there’s no way to get back out. Wait, that’s not entirely true, sometimes a super massive black hole can spit out light and energy when it starts to eat too much too fast. Either way, we can’t explore it. It would be nice to know what happens inside of it. Inquiring minds would definitely like to know.

#2. Have we been visited by Aliens? Do Aliens existdo-ufos-exist

A rumor is not just a rumor when it doesn’t die. According to the most recent surveys, around 7% of human beings worldwide claim to have seen an unidentified flying object (UFO), and 15% of humans know of someone who has. Eyewitness descriptions of abductions by ‘little green men’ have been fairly consistent across the globe, and over time and geography. Then of course there’s the mystery surrounding the Roswell incident, and Area 51. Claims of massive government cover-ups abound. Confirmation of the existence of extraterrestrial life would certainly turn mankind on it’s ear. Which ear and to what degree is unknown. However, the question still remains, do aliens really exist?

#1. Is there a God?

is there a god

As of 2016 there are approximately 4,200 religions practicing in our world. This number does not include your uncle Barry’s garage band turned Fender™ cult. It is possible however that all of these religions are worshipping the same God. It’s also possible that 4,199 of them are worshipping the wrong God. The truth is that nobody really knows for sure if God exists. There are millions upon millions of people throughout the planet who believe for sure, however, they don’t know for sure. Depending on the religion, the return of God to earth is foretold by prophecy. As of today there has been no confirmed sightings. It would be safe to venture that human beings the world over would really like to know for absolute certain in the existence of God. Personally, if God were to make himself available for questions, I would have many pointed questions for him. Not the least of which would be an answer for the abject misery, suffering, and tragedy experienced by innocent human beings throughout world history. The answer to that question would be almost as important as God’s existence in the first place. One step at a time though, the question still remains. Is there really a God? Humankind would really like to know, in place of profound belief.

Idiots Guide: All-Time Skateboarding Legends

Street skateboarding is a grassroots phenomenon that is uniquely American in application, and has grown into a world-wide obsession with it’s fans. There is a cowboy mentality that is engrained in skateboarding that is very appealing to those who are familiar with the joys of riding the deck. Skateboarding has long outgrown it’s underground roots and has become part of the mainstream. It’s part of the ‘X-Games’  group of sports with millions of fans and participants world-wide. This list highlights some of the legendary pioneers, and high priests of the skateboarding universe.

skate logos

#10. Bruce Logan 

Bruce Logan

Bruce Logan started his skateboarding odyssey back in the 1950s. His first skateboard was built using a two-by-four attached to round roller skate wheels. He went on to become one of the very first skaters to be considered ‘Pro’, meaning he was paid through sponsorship. Logan is given credit for bringing skateboarding overseas as an international sporting event. His travels around the world throughout the 1970’s were legendary. Logan won dozens of World Championships and titles. He later went on to start the skateboard company ‘Earth Ski’ with his brother Brad. He is a Hall of Fame skateboarder. (2009)

#9. Patti McGee

Patti McGee

Patti McGee was the world’s first female professional skateboarder. In 1965 she became the first Woman’s National Skateboard Champion. In 1964 Patti set the world record as the fastest female to ride a skateboard posting a speed of 47mph while competing at the Dick Clark World Teen Fair. Patti McGee became the first female to be inducted into the National Skateboarding Hall of Fame in 2010.

#8. Stacy PeraltaJay_Adams

Stacy Peralta is an elder statesman of the old school professional skateboarders from the Zephyr Competition Team, known in popular culture as the ‘Z-Boys’ from Venice Beach, California. Peralta became the highest-ranked professional skateboarder in the world at the age of nineteen. He then partnered with skate manufacturer George Powell and formed the Powell-Peralta skate company. Later, he formed the Bones Brigade, a skate team that consisted of the best skateboarders of the era. Peralta and his ‘Z-Boys’ peers  revolutionized the sport of skateboarding. He went on to become a prolific film and television producer, and his work has become a huge part of the culture.

#7. Steve CaballeroSteve-Caballero

Steve Caballero began skating as a professional during the 1980 season. His premiere was at the Gold Cup series at the Oasis Skatepark. He is credited with the invention of  the ‘Caballerial’ (Full Cab), as well as the boarding trick called the ‘Fakie 360 Ollie’. Caballero’s legend is rooted in his predilection performing difficult tricks and stylish air move variations. He also holds the record for ‘highest air’ achieved on a half pipe. Caballero was named “Skater of the Century” by Thrasher Magazine in 1999.

#6. Mark GonzalesMark Gonzales.jpg

Mark Gonzales is known as “The Gonz” in skating circles the world over. His legacy is founded as being one of the pioneers of modern street skateboarding.  His fame was solidified in 1984 when he was the cover model for Thrasher magazine in the November issue of that year. He was riding an Alva board, who was his board sponsor. He is known for performing a trick called the ‘Beanplant’. In 2011 Gonzales was named the “Most Influential Skateboarder of all Time” in the December 2011 issue of Transworld Skateboarding magazine. His sponsorships have included Adidas, Krooked, Spitfire, Independent, Supreme, as well as Fourstar.

#5. Rodney Mullenrodney mullen

Rodney Mullen is known in the skateboarding world as a magician of sorts. He is credited with inventing all kinds of crazy skateboarding tricks, including but not limited to moves like the ‘Flatground Ollie’, ‘Heelflip’,  ‘Impossible’, ‘Kickflip’, and the ‘360-Flip’. In 1993 Mullen came out with a slick new trick called the ‘Darkslide’, and he has coined upwards of three dozen tricks in his illustrious career.

#4. Stevie WilliamsStevie_Williams

Stevie Williams is an iconic professional African American skateboarder. He is the founder of the American skateboard company ‘Dirty Ghetto Kids’ or DGK. In 2011 he was named one of the ’30 Most Influential Skaters of All-Time’ by Transworld Skateboarding. Stevie became a part of the Chocolate Skateboards team in 1999, in the same year he joined the  DC Shoes team which he later released a signature model sneaker for in the year 2000. Stevie Williams has used his prodigious skateboarding talent to create a prosperous brand name for himself, and is one of the true legends of the skateboarding game.

#3. Tony Alva

Tony Alva

Tony Alva is one of the all-time greats of skateboarding, period. He was one of the original members of the famed ‘Z-Boys’ otherwise known as the Zephyr skateboarding team. He was named one of the ’30 Most Influential Skaters’ of all-time by Transworld Skateboarding magazine in 2013. Alva’s skating style was revolutionary for the era as he used a groundbreaking free form surfing type style that has been admired and replicated in the decades ever since. He started his own skateboard company at the age of nineteen in 1977 called Alva Skates, making it the first company owned and operated by an active skateboarder. Alva Skates is also known as being the first company to use Canadian maple plywood in the construction of their skateboard decks. His legend is just as solid.

#2. Jay AdamsJay Adams

On August 15, 2014 the world of professional skating lost one of their own, they lost a true legend,  Jay Adams. He came to prominence as a bad boy member of the original ‘Z-Boys’ skateboarding team. Often referred to as ‘The Original Seed’ of street boarding. He is widely considered one of the archetype street skateboarding talents of all time. Adam’s life was featured in the 2001 award-winning documentary ‘Dogtown and Z-Boys’. His energetic and hard charging surfing type style made Jay an all-time legend.

#1. Tony HawkTony Hawk

It would be next to impossible to have any conversation regarding modern skateboarding without Tony Hawk‘s name being mentioned. Tony is considered by most observers to be the most successful, popular, and certainly influential vertical skateboarders of all-time.  He is famous for being the very first skater to perform a ‘900’, a trick with the completion of two-and-a-half mid-air revolution on a board. A move that was previously considered more mystical than doable. Hawk has made countless appearances in films, television, video games, and events. He is a huge part of popular culture, and one of, if not the most influential skateboarders of all-time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Idiots Guide: 16 Players to Watch in 2016 NCAA Tournament

It’s that time of year again. The madness of March is upon us. Last second buzzer beaters, cinderella slippers, unlikely stars, controversial selections and omissions, cold tears of defeat, and warm tears of joy. You will find all of these things and much more, every March Madness season in the United States of America. Isn’t it amazing? The drama and intrigue that surrounds a nationwide ‘win or go home’ NCAA basketball tournament is something that can’t be duplicated anywhere else on this earth. It’s a yearly reminder of that long held American belief that anything is possible. Regardless of the fact that most of the Goliath’s end up winning most of the time, it’s the possibility, the hope that this will be the year that a merry group of David’s might win the whole cake. This list serves to highlight some of the more exciting players to watch out for this 2016 tournament season.

us college basketball

#16. Tyler Ulis /  Kentucky 

Tyler Ulis

Tyler Ulis is arguably the best point guard in the country, and his floor general play has allowed Kentucky to perform at a very high level as tournament play begins.  This 5’9 speedster is definitely a player to watch in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

#15. AJ English / Iona AJ English

A. J. English is a gifted 6’4 senior guard out of Wilmington, Delaware, and the son of former NBA sharpshooter Alex English. The Gaels of Iona are looking to make waves in this years tournament, and English is scheduled to carry the weight. A must see player.

#14. Jakob Pöltl / Utah Jakob Poeltle

Jakob Pöltl is the nimble 7’0 center for the Utah Utes who has emerged as a potential lottery pick in this years NBA Draft.  A native of Vienna, Austria, our crystal ball tells us that Jakob will likely be one of the main reasons for Utah’s success in this tournament.

#13. Isaiah Whitehead /  Seton Hall  whitehead

Isaiah Whitehead is a talented 6’4 sophomore guard out of New York City. He is also a must watch player as his Seton Hall Pirates look to make some noise in this years tournament. Fresh off of a Big East Tournament title, Whitehead and company are just getting started, and a white hot team as play is set to begin.

#12. Denzel Valentine / Michigan State Denzel Valentine

Denzel Valentine is the 6’5 senior guard for the newly crowned Big 10 Tournament Champion Michigan State Spartans. He is also the heart and soul of this team as they move towards the tournament with guns blazing as a number 2 seed.

#11. Yogi Ferrell / Indiana Yogi-Ferrell

Yogi Ferrell brings his 6’0 frame and tenacious play to the tournament as his Indiana Hoosiers look to regain some of the glory of decades past. The Greenfield, IN native is set to put the icing on an illustrious 4 year career at Indiana University. A must watch player.

#10. Dillon Brooks /  OregonProgressive Legends Classic

Dillon Brooks is the 6’6 sophomore forward for the number 1 seeded Oregon Ducks, and one of the best players in the country. He brings his 17 points and 6 rebound average to the tournament with an Oregon team that carries high expectations for success.

#9. Domantas Sabonis / Gonzaga Domantas Sabonis

Domantas Sabonis is the 6’11 sophomore forward for tournament mainstay Gonzaga Bulldogs out of the WCC. The Kaunas, Lithuania native is a force to be reckoned with patrolling the Gonzaga front court. His success will be directly tied to the Bulldogs success.

#8. Brandon Ingram / Duke 

Brandon Ingram, Luke Kennard

Brandon Ingram is the electric 6’9 freshman guard for the  Duke Blue Devils. Conventional wisdom would state the Grayson Allen is the key to Duke’s success in the tournament, but upon closer inspection, it will be the play of Ingram in addition to Allen, that gives Duke the edge it needs to advance deep into the tournament. Watch out for this ‘superfrosh’.

#7. Marcus Paige / North Carolina Marcus Paige Carolina

Marcus Paige is the 6’1 senior guard who leads the North Carolina Tarheels into the 2016 tournament with a head full of steam. His ability to slash and get to the basket in concert with his ability to shoot from the perimeter makes Paige a player to watch and admire.

#6. Buddy Hield / Oklahoma Buddy Hield 2

Buddy Hield is the explosive 6’4 senior guard and heartbeat of the Oklahoma Sooners. We project Hield to be a much better pro than his much hyped peer Ben Simmons. Skeptical? Watch Buddy Hield perform in this years tournament and get back to us. We’ll wait.

#5. Ryan Anderson / Arizona NCAA Basketball: UNLV at Arizona

Ryan Anderson is a stout 6’9 senior forward for the Arizona Wildcats, and a lock as a lottery pick in this years NBA Draft. Arizona’s good fortune has a great deal to do with the exceptional play of Anderson, and their push through the tournament will be no different.

#4. Malcolm Brogdon / Virginia Brogdon Virginia

Malcolm Brogdon is a 6’5 senior guard and backcourt glue that holds the Virginia Cavaliers together. He brings his 19 point, 4 rebound, and 3 assist per game average into this years tournament with a confidence that borders on bravado, and with good reason. Great guard play is the key to tournament success, and Virginia has that in spades.

#3. Jamal Murray / Kentucky jamal-murray Kentucky

Jamal Murray is a great deal of fun to watch play the game of basketball. Prior to his playing days at Kentucky, the 6’4 freshman guard had experience playing for the Canadian national team, and has performed at a high level against pro talent. This kid is the real deal, and probably the number 1 reason that Kentucky will make serious headway in this years NCAA tournament.

#2. Georges Niang / Iowa State Niange, Georges

Georges Niang is Iowa State’s 6’8 senior forward and perhaps the best reason for their success this season and moving forward through the tournament.

#1. Gary Payton II / Oregon State Gary Payton-II

Gary Payton II is the 6’3 senior guard for the Oregon State Beavers, and the son of NBA legend Gary Payton Sr. He is supremely athletically gifted and a genuine star coming out of a talent rich Pac-12 conference. When we talk about players to watch, Gary Payton 2.0 is the kind of player that we are generally referring to. The Beavers go as Payton goes. #MustWatch

AMERICAN POP: Greatest Daytime Soap Operas of All-Time

 

Although the daytime and/or primetime soap opera genre isn’t uniquely American, it can easily be argued that nobody does them better. In the days before women were active and enthusiastic members of the daytime workforce, soap operas were as much a part of daily life as breakfast in the morning. Viewership patterns, show allegiances, and coffee table gossip were legendary among the soap fan.  Soap operas were perhaps the most addictive, non-narcotic product consumed in America during the mid to late 20th century. Let’s put aside the campy melodrama, comical acting, painfully predictable story lines, and the occasionally extraterrestrial dialogue, and concentrate on the fact that fans had a truly visceral connection to these characters. People loved these programs. It meant something to them. As a child I witnessed my mother jettison flatware into the sink out of frustration, and at other moments, exude shrieks of joy, for the sake of All my Children drama. It wasn’t very long after beginning my journey into intellectualism that I came to realize the absurdity of this genre. Nevertheless, I couldn’t then, and can’t now, ignore the popularity, and yes, societal impact these programs had on millions of American viewers, as well as fans the world over. This list highlights some of the best of them.

 

#15. As the World Turns / CBS / 1956 -2010

As the world turns

This soapy soap was created Irna Phillips in 1956 as a spin-off/sister show to another legendary soap, The Guiding Light. This show appeared on television sets across America for the better part of 50 years! Which gives the phrase ‘show of a lifetime’ some context, and places it among the longest running shows of all-time.

#14.  Knots Landing / CBS / 1979 -1993

 Knots-Landing

This soap was a popular and predictable family drama spin-off, of the national obsession primetime soap, Dallas. It followed the lives of four married couples, and cul-de-sac neighbors as they lived their melodramatic lives in 1980’s-1990’s suburban Los Angeles.

#13. Santa Barbara / NBC / 1984 – 1993 Santa Barbara

Did you know famous film actors such as Robin Wright Penn, and Leonardo DiCaprio performed in this soap? True story. The plot revolved around the lives and times of the Capwell family and their dramatic feuds with their rivals, the Lockridge family. The city of Santa Barbara was never big enough for these families, or any of the others.

#12. Melrose Place / FOX / 1992 – 1999 Melrose Place (good)

Creator Darren Star’s primetime soap Melrose Place was a monster hit, with the location being as big a star as any of the actors. The plot line follows the glamorous, and sometimes  ridiculous lives of a strikingly good looking  group of 20 and 30 somethings as they co-habited an apartment complex named ‘Melrose Place’ located in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. The beautiful women and hunky men were an easy mask for this insufferable weekly melodrama. Stars such as Heather Locklear, Alyssa Milano, Brian Austin Green, and Courtney Thorne-Smith carried this show to great soap opera heights.

#11. Falcon Crest / CBS / 1981 – 1990Falcon Crest

Viewers were given a whimsical look inside the California wine industry and the wealthy families involved in it, on Falcons Crest. The weekly feuds between the Gioberti and Channing families brought viewers back time and again (227 times) to get a glimpse.

#10. The Bold and the Beautiful / CBS / 1987 – Current Bold and beautiful

Bold and Beautiful was created for CBS by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell as a spin-off/sister show to the popular ‘Young and the Restless‘ property. This show was set in, you guessed it, Los Angeles, with some of the characters from ‘Y &R’ crossing over.  The plot line followed the Forrester family and the issues surrounding their successful fashion empire, Forrester Creations.

#9. The Young and the Restless / CBS / 1973 – 2012 Young restless 2

The ‘Young and the Restless‘ metropolitan characters of fictional Genoa City, Wisconsin  were indeed young, and certainly restless. Beautiful also, with stars like Eva Longoria, Shemar Moore, and Tatyana Ali having made their contributions to the cast over time. The plot line followed the trials and tribulations between families of ‘haves’, the Brooks family, pitted against the ‘have not as much’ working class family, the Fosters.

#8. Beverly Hills 90210 / FOX / 1990 – 2000Beverly Hills 90210

Beverly Hills 90210 was a worldwide smash hit at the peak of it’s popularity. Many of it’s young actors went on to have very successful careers post zip code melodrama. Including Hillary Swank, Shannen Doherty, Tiffani Amber-Thiessen, and Luke Perry. This show followed the lives of upscale suburban Beverly Hills High teenagers (and one James Dean type outsider). Throughout the 1990’s and into 2000, the drama in and around the Walsh family was irresistible.

#7. The Guiding Light / CBS / 1952 – 2009 *Longest Running Soap Opera of all time. guidinglight 2

The Guiding Light is currently listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running drama in American television history. In other words, it ran for exactly 57 years. Meaning that a person could have been born, gotten married, and watched the continuing storyline(s) with their grandchildren. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

#6.  One Life to Live / ABC / 1968 – 2012One life to live

One life to Live was created by Created by Agnes Nixon for ABC television. What made it significant was it’s groundbreaking use and/or portrayal of ethnic characters. In addition it made the leap into portraying characters of varying socioeconomic backgrounds, and spoke to social issues of the day. If for nothing else, kudos to One Life to Live.

#5. General Hospital / ABC / 1968 – Present General Hospital

General Hospital. Alright, ready for this? It is listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running American soap opera in production. Also as the third longest-running drama in American television history. In addition, it is the world’s third longest-running scripted drama series in production. Did you get all of that? The plot line revolves around…you guessed it, a hospital.

#4. All my Children / ABC / 1970 – 2011 All My Children (1985)

Truth be told, this show was my mothers personal favorite. I have her to thank for the reason I am familiar with Susan Lucci.  Was it great? Probably. For a soap opera. It was for a time the most widely recorded show in the United States, and in the 1978-1979 season it was ranked No. 1 in the daytime Nielsen ratings. It was created by Agnes Nixon, and set in the fictional suburb of Pine Valley, Pennsylvania.

#3.  Days of Our Lives / NBC / 1965 – 2013 Days of Lives 1

The popularity of Days of Our Lives is palpable, it is one of the longest-running scripted television series in the history of the world. It aired every day of the week from 1965 until 2013. It also holds the distinction of being syndicated in dozens of countries. So, yes it was very popular with the kiddies. Husband and wife co-creators Ted and Betty Corday have a lot to be proud of with the success of this soap.

#2.  Dallas / CBS / 1978 – 1991 

Dallas (good)

Did we ever find out who in fact, shot J.R.? Sure we did. In fact the 1980 Dallas ‘Who Done It’ episode continues to sit as the second highest rated prime-time episode, ever. Who can forget the Ewing family? All of that oil wealth made for devilishly greedy, self centered characters that American audiences couldn’t get enough of, seemingly ever.  Larry Hagman was perfectly cast as J.R. and he truly seemed to enjoy being the man everyone loved to hate. Someone did shoot him, right?

#1. Dynasty / ABC / 1981 – 1989 Dynasty

No primetime soap opera encapsulated the greed, excess, and gross consumerism of the 1980’s better than Dynasty. The Carringtons were unapologetically wealthy and they loved to flaunt it at every turn. Created by Richard and Esther Shapiro for ABC primetime, Dynasty did not disappoint. Neither did the performances from stars such as  John Forsythe, Linda Evans, and Joan Collins. Dynasty did more than hold it’s own against it’s competitor Dallas, as it was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Drama Series every calendar year from 1981 to 1986. It took home the award in 1984.