Fan On The Couch Mailbag
By Tony Maglio
Thanks to everyone who submitted questions and congratulations to everyone who won tickets to Friday’s Nets/Pacers NBA D-League contest. I wish it could have been a better game, but this is the life we’ve chosen as Nets fans. I want to send a special “Thank You” to Patrick Quinn with Nets Basketball who helped us out with the ticket giveaway. Pat’s a great guy and a terrific ticket agent; I suggest you use him for all your Nets ticket needs. Tell him the Fan on the Couch sent you, offer him some Fruit by the Foot and he’ll hook you up.
Contact him at:
I won’t be able to get to all the questions in this installment, but I’ll try to get to as many as I can. Continue to email any questions you’d like to see answered in future mailbags to Tony.Maglio@NetsAreScorching.com. For now, on to the questions after the jump…
Who is your favorite Nets player, and explain why you believe him to be the most valuable player in your eyes.
Favorite and most valuable are two different things. For starters, choosing your favorite Net is like choosing your favorite child – if you had 15 children who weren’t very good at basketball; it’s impossible. Similarly, picking the most valuable player on a 3-37 team is like picking the funniest Adam Sandler movie in the last decade – there isn’t one.
If you had the ability to start your own NBA team composed of famous people who aren't professional athletes, who would be on your team? Also, how do you think your team would do against the Nets?
Great question. Let’s start with the easy one, the Center. Obviously he (and since there was no co-ed stipulation, they will all be “he’s”) has to be tall. That eliminates the vast majority of actors. You didn’t stipulate that the famous person needed to be living, so I’m taking 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln (6’4”) as my Center and captain. He’s under-sized and skinny, but he’s a long defender, a tough guy, and a smart player. Honest Abe would lead by example and wouldn’t tolerate any division in the locker room. Plus he’s got that European scratchy beard thing going on, and that’s going to make posting him up uncomfortable for the opposing team. I can see Lincoln as a double-double kind of guy who adds 4 blocks (and Mutombo bony finger-waves) a game.
Chevy Chase is my Power Forward. If you’ve seen “Fletch” then you know his attributes: He’s 6’4” (with the afro 6’9”). Good dribbler. Really creates excitement. Four million dollars a year, but he earns every nickel. Plus, this is a selfish move for me in two ways: 1) Chevy Chase is my all-time favorite comedic actor, and 2) perhaps this would mercifully cause the cancellation of “Community”.
At Small Forward I’ll take President Obama (6’1 ½”). Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t think this guy is as good at basketball as we’re supposed to believe. That’s mostly hype and political strategy. However, he’s built for the position (in celebrity world where everyone is shorter), he likes to play, and I get the feeling my team would get some calls if we have the leader of the free world. Also I like the idea of having a lefty swingman. I do have concerns of having one Republican President and one Democrat on the floor together. Although if my less-than-average knowledge of history and politics serves me correctly, I think the Democrats and Republicans switched sides at some point last century, so chemistry should not be a problem. I probably should have consulted Wikipedia on this one.
My Shooting Guard is Anthony Anderson. I know that might seem ridiculous, but I watched a lot of “Hangtime” when I was a kid - I don’t think he ever missed a shot. He was like 5’5”, 450 lbs but he rained threes – and you need an outside game to win in today’s NBA (just ask the Nets). Also, considering his TNBC high school inexplicably didn’t have a full basketball court, I assume he’s good in the half court offense – another NBA necessity. For the sake of team-building, I’m willing to ignore the fact that the best player on the Deering Tornadoes was a girl, and also, “Kangeroo Jack”.
My point guard is Matt Damon. I doubt he’s any good at basketball, but I think he would get so deep into the role he would start putting up Deron Williams numbers almost instantly. The biggest attribute for a point guard is his ability to share and make others look better. Damon gave Ben Affleck an entire career when he put his name on “Good Will Hunting”, which turned into a hot wife when he got a role in “Pearl Harbor”, which turned into a beautiful family when they had two daughters, which ultimately turned into a career for Casey Affleck - THAT’S how good Matt Damon is.
As for the second part, my team would probably play the Nets pretty tough. Even though they come from different eras, genres, and occupations, the mere fact that I don’t have Terrence Williams virtually guarantees that my group is the more cohesive unit. A seven game series could go either way, but since the Nets probably won’t be involved in a seven game series for another twenty years, I’m going to break the individual match-ups down Sebastian-style and let you decide:
Devin Harris vs. Matt Damon
I want Jason Bourne on my side when the benches empty, but for a brawl – not when sending out the starters. Harris is significantly quicker than Damon, and his ability to get to the line could be the difference maker in this match up.
Advantage: Devin Harris
Courtney Lee vs. Anthony Anderson
One guy can only play defense, the other can only shoot - and neither of them can act.
Chris Douglas-Roberts vs. Barack Obama
Both guys are early into careers with a lot of hype. CDR’s having a tough time dealing with losing; Obama’s struggling to get a healthcare bill passed. But in the end, the first is a one-dimensional player and the latter is the Commander-in-Chief.
Advantage: Barack Obama
Yi vs. Chevy Chase
We’ve all enjoyed Yi’s new aggressiveness, and missed his ability to shoot the J. He’s also a major defensive liability. Chevy Chase may not be a professional basketball player, but he carried “Saturday Night Live” in the 70’s and “Caddyshack”, “Vacation”, “Fletch”, and “Christmas Vacation” in the 80’s.
Advantage: Chevy Chase
Brook Lopez vs. Abraham Lincoln
Abe Lincoln may have freed the slaves, but Lopez is a 20 and 10 guy. The only time Brook usually struggles is with the bigger, stronger centers in the league – so he shouldn’t have much trouble with a sinewy, technique player like Lincoln.
Advantage: Brook Lopez
Should the Nets sign Snooki to a 10 day contract? She seems to be more physical than any one else on the team. She can really take a punch and give the team the energy it needs.
Do you think a team consisting of the cast of the Jersey Shore would fare better or worse than the Nets did against the Celtics?
Wow two “Jersey Shore” questions in one mailbag. I think I’m the only person that I know who refuses to watch this show. I’m not offended by the Italian stereotypes and slurs, I just don’t watch it for the same reason I avoid the shore in the summer – because I hate these people. I hate them in real life, so why would I like them on TV? But since I feel an obligation to our readers, to properly answer these questions I’m actually going to try to subject myself to an episode of this garbage.
I’ll address David’s question about signing Snooki to a short contract first. The answer is no. While she might be able to take a charge and her face is leathery and orange like a basketball, the girl is like 4’7”. Also, she is clearly not in game shape. There is no way this girl could run the entire length of the court. She’s built like a mini-Dejaun Blair – except I think she has darker skin. Also I’d question her basketball I.Q. (and I.Q. in general). Watching her try to figure out how to use the house phone is like watching my dog trying to figure out a mirror. Plus she shows up late to work, and she’d drink more at halftime than Ron Artest.
Ian’s question is a little more complex. On the surface, it would seem like the “Jersey Shore” eight-man rotation must be worse than the Nets eight-man rotation, but the Celtics game was particularly terrible - I’m going to need to study game film of both broadcasts. Since Mark already did a terrific Celtics recap, I’ll spare you that re-run and get right to “Jersey Shore”.
I’m watching the premiere episode to get to know the cast. Mike “The Situation” got to the house first and wondered aloud if any of the roommates would be “jerk-offs”. While I haven’t met the rest of the cast yet, I would venture that the answer to his question is a resounding “yes”. As the rest of the Mensa members file in, I get a pretty good idea of the competition here and I’m ready to weigh in before this episode even ends.
As disgraceful to the NBA as the Nets were vs. the Celtics, I can’t even make a joking case for “Jersey Shore”. While the guys are muscular, they’d never pass a drug test (or a basic literacy test). Even ignoring that fact, did you see them playing the boardwalk basketball game? Only the girl (could be Jwowwww or Sammi or the other one) made a basket. The guys were throwing air balls from five feet. Which further proves my theory that guys who get too deep into lifting weights (or water sports) do so because they can’t play real sports.
Also, have you ever played basketball with gel in your hair? It very quickly turns into a sticky mess. Once these guys started sweating they would essentially glue themselves to the court. No contest, Team “Jersey Shore” gets shut out by the Celtics (and Sammi Sweatheart screws KG over for Rajon Rondo).
Who do you think will win the Super Bowl this year? Well also who do you think will be playing in the Super Bowl?
With this Haiti crisis happening, can you please provide a list of reputable organizations that we can donate money to help the cause?
Ah the Super Bowl, finally I can talk about winning teams. I waited to answer this after the games this weekend so I can avoid looking foolish if my teams lose before the column runs. That turned out to be a smart move – because I originally had Cowboys vs. Chargers (which was significantly less of a smart move) in the big game. I don’t know why we all jump on the Chargers bandwagon year after year, but maybe if Nate Kaeding didn’t get as nervous in the playoffs as I get every time Terrence Williams brings the ball up court, I could have at least been one-for-two.
So now I have a pretty good shot at getting this right. In the NFC I have to take the Saints because we all saw how important home field is in these loud domes. I think Saints/Vikings will be the best game that we’re going to get for the remainder of the playoffs, but the crowd is the X-factor. An amazing number of weapons in this game – think the opposite of Nets/Pacers but just as high-scoring.
I think the Colts will beat the Jets in the AFC Championship. I have a torn rooting interest because although I’m a Giants fan, I always root for local teams when mine is out of it. However, the Jets are virtually unwatchable and I like to see Peyton Manning win. He’s the best quarterback of all time and the fact that people choose to ignore that is baffling to me. I cannot believe that people are questioning his winning the MVP this year. They won’t be after he makes Mark Sanchez look like Mark Sanchez.
This will be the only interesting remaining possible Super Bowl match-up. I think the Saints are too much for the Colts, and they win 31-24 (sleeper MVP: Robert Meachem). This kicks off the greatest party in the history of New Orleans, which is saying something considering this is the town that invented beads-for-flashing. Book a ticket NOW.
Your other question is the best question I received this week because it’s clearly the most important. I may just be an idiot who writes jokes, but I am an idiot with a forum so I feel an obligation to urge our readers to donate to this cause. Charity in general is very important, but this goes beyond charity and enters necessity. The devastation in Haiti is beyond catastrophic and it would be inhumane for people who have the means to help to ignore that call.
While there are many reputable and great charities responding to this crisis, unfortunately there are also organizations that take advantage of generosity during a time of need. I donated to the Red Cross International Response Fund and Save The Children. You can donate $10 to the Red Cross easily by texting “Haiti” to 90999, and the donation will be added to your phone bill. Another great option is the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. If you have not yet donated, please do. And if you’re on the fence about donating, watch about five minutes of CNN and then grab your credit card.
Since I don’t want to end this on a melancholy note, but I don’t want to cheapen the importance of the Haiti crisis by following it with a joke, I will let Josh Boone do it for me.