The Ringer’s “Rewatchables” Podcast STINKS.

This headline comes as no surprise when coupled with the live action shot above of “The Sports Guy” attending a baseball game. Seriously – who can value the opinion of a man who still wears undershirts with his Polos (picture taken in 2016) + allows for a hat to sit on his head that way? A man of his celebrity status leaving the house looking like Steve Bartman sans headphones is patently absurd, and I shall not turn to his recommendations for anything other than Los Angeles Chinese Food.

Side Note: Simmons and “his buddy” House put me on to Yang Chow when I lived in SoCal. Amazing spot, even if House tried to ruin it for me by savagely and joyfully slurping the squiggly remnants of his Hot ‘N Sour soup. Fortunately, the grotesque evidence of this act seems to be deleted from the internet. RIP, Grantland.

The inspiration for this blog comes from ATrain (sharing my disdain for the options/results) sending me the following poll yesterday:

simmonspoll

Couple things grinding my gears here…

  1. Don’t even put this up as a poll. “The Program” is the only rewatchable one of the bunch, and it’s a damn classic.
  2. If you’re going to do this poll, you have to include “Necessary Roughness,” “Little Giants,” and “School Ties” ahead of the other three. “Titans” is an ok flick, but it’s far from rewatchable when compared to my choices. Plus, I’d rather watch Denzel in at least three other roles. Plus plus, I’d rather watch Opie and Avon in their natural habitats on “SOA” and “The Wire.” Plus plus plus, the white coach’s daughter in “Titans” is an annoying fucking twerp. Plus plus plus plus, Gosling can’t be taken seriously as an Alphamale in any role after his turn as the white DB who can’t cover anyone. I’m officially out on “Driver” after having the revelation that Gosling’s athlete role was a HS version of a past his prime Jason Sehorn. Not to mention the dude who takes his starting job is played by none other than Donald Faison. Gosling, you’re out!
  3. America is getting collectively stupider and “The Replacements” beating out “The Program” is concrete evidence of our ongoing intellectual crisis.
  4. “Draft Day” being a part of this poll confirms my belief that Simmons feels about Kevin Costner the way Louis C.K. feels about Ewan McGregor. CK’s bit is below for those whom don’t get that reference, and I firmly believe this because “The Rewatchables” has done at least four Costner movies (including “Four the Love of the Game”) while still not covering “Cliffhanger,” “Demolition Man,” “Pulp Fiction,” “The Rock,” “Aliens,” “In the Line of Fire,” “Surviving the Game,” Karl Urban’s “Dredd,” “Caddyshack,” “Slapshot,” “Miller’s Crossing,” and many more flicks that never get old.

This poll is only the tip of the iceberg for The Ringer’s bastardization of the criteria for “rewatchable” flicks. They’ve done “Titantic,” “The Notebook,” “Gone Girl,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Dave,” “The Hangover,” “Ocean’s 11,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Creed,” “You’ve Got Mail,” “Moneyball,” and FUCKING “INCEPTION” before the flicks I listed above.

Side Note 2: PBM hates “Inception” as much as any movie that’s ever been made. If you like it, you’re a moron whom has never tried their hand at being a creator in their life. I’d rather watch Ned Beatty get fucked in “Deliverance” on a loop for two hours than watch “Inception” again.

Sure, they’ve gotten some selections right. “Point Break,” “Diehard,” “Lebowski,” “The Town,” “Con Air,” “True Romance,” “Blue Chips,” “Face / Off,” “White Men Can’t Jump,” “Old School,” “Step Bros,” “Reservoir Dogs,” and “Major League” have been discussed by Simmons ‘n Chumps. However, with their glaring omissions and those omissions being replaced by the likes of “Dave” and fuckin’ “Titanic,” I really don’t care what Simmons has to say about tried and true rewatchable classics.

But hey, since I’m forgiving a guy who has started a pursuit of a career as an educator, I’m going to help out ‘ol Sports Lad and his team. Here’s a few lists sorted by category that those mutts can turn to the next time someone suggests “Draft Day” as an actionable item for their shitty podcast.

Sports Rewatchables

  1. “The Program”
  2. “Necessary Roughness”
  3. “Kingpin”
  4. “School Ties”
  5. “Slapshot”
  6. “Mighty Ducks”
  7. “Little Giants”
  8. “Days of Thunder”
  9. “Warrior”
  10. “Caddyshack”
  11. “Happy Gilmore”
  12. “Mr. Baseball”
  13. “Hoosiers”
  14. “Dodgeball”
  15. “Side Out”
  16. “The Air Up There”

…..1,075. “The Blindside”

Borderline Sports Rewatchables

  1. “The Last Boy Scout”
  2. “Sudden Death”
  3. “Talladega Nights”

Absolutely Essential Rewatchables

  1. “Pulp Fiction”
  2. “Cliffhanger”
  3. “Die Hard 3”
  4. “Demolition Man”
  5. “The Rock”
  6. “Surviving the Game”
  7. “The Client” (Simmons and his merry bad of idiots did “The Firm.” Because of course they’d pick the wrong Grisham adaptation.)
  8. “Big Trouble in Little China”
  9. Urban’s “Dredd”
  10. “My Cousin Vinny”
  11. “No Escape” (Liotta, not Owen Wilson. Fucking duh.)
  12. “Miller’s Crossing”
  13. “The Ref
  14. “In the Line of Fire”
  15. “Boogie Nights”
  16. “Bad Boys”
  17. “Bad Boys 2”
  18. “Trading Places”
  19. “Coming to America”
  20. “Tropic Thunder”
  21. “Captain America: Winter Soldier”
  22. “Bridesmaids” (how do they pick “Best Friend’s Wedding over this?!? Oh yeah, I know how. Simmons has the final say.)
  23. “Knocked Up”
  24. “Gone in 60 Seconds
  25. “Spiderman: Homecoming”
  26. “Goonies”
  27. “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom”
  28. “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade”
  29. “The Other Guys”
  30. “A League of Their Own”
  31. “Burn After Reading”
  32. “Fargo”
  33. “Shotcaller”
  34. “Fury”
  35. “Minority Report”
  36. “Go”
  37. “Under Siege”
  38. “The Equalizer”
  39. “John Wick”
  40. “Guardians of the Galaxy”
  41. “Thor: Ragnarok”
  42. “Overboard”
  43. “Rushmore”
  44. “Out of Sight”
  45. “Lockout”
  46. “Mrs. Doubtfire”
  47. “Se7en”
  48. “Mallrats”
  49. “Sicario”
  50. “Hell or High Water”

1,324, 761. “Proof of Life”

Wait…shit. Fucking Simmons already did one on “Proof of Life!” This blog will self-destruct in 5…4…3…2…1!

Shit, again! That’s what I get for using a “Mission: Impossible” reference. Luckily, their is an episode of The Rewatchables on that forgettable as fuck movie for those who didn’t get my joke.

I gotta end on a high note…here’s the best of Alvin Mack to send you into Saturday Night. He’s the stud linebacker from “The Program,” and you’ll see why he deserves his air time.

Adios, rail riders. Don’t forget to tip your servers.

Side Note 3: I wish I’d covered “Necessary Roughness” more. Both Mack and Latimer (juiced up DE from “The Program” seen in the third clip above) take on supporting roles, and Robert Loggia + Larry Miller put on Tour de Force performances as a coach and the villainous dean respectively. I think Train and I are going to do a combo “The Program” / “Necessary Roughness” podcast to make up for me glancing over the Fighting Armadillos in this blog. Stay tuned.

Reviewing “Far From Home” + Adoring Jake Gyllenhaal & Tom Holland

If you haven’t see most films in the MCU and plan doing on so, you might want to stop reading. I’m going to talk about them in detail that could be considered “spoiling” them, and it’s necessary. In fact, if you’re behind in your plans to watch all of the MCU and haven’t read / have an understanding of the comics then you’re clown shoes. Viewing these films without having the slightest idea of Stan Lee’s true vision for the characters is how the Tobey Maguire Spidey got love and TOPHER FUCKING GRACE PLAYED VENOM. It’s how James McAvoy butchered Professor X while Mystique became a hero instead of a ruthless assassin, and for just to further enrage me, had zero attention given to her being Nightcrawler’s mom despite her saving a young Crawler in “Apocalypse” AND sharing the screen/aligning with his father Azazel in “First Class.” It’s how Oscar Isaac is merely the second worst bastardization of an iconic villain on film…his Blue Meanie styled Apocalypse was only bested (worsted?) by the second antagonist of Andrew Garfield’s Spidey run.

poc

Who was that, you ask? Jamie Foxx. His acting and the atrocious costume design turned Electro into a bright blue, evil blend of the main bad guy from “Blade 2” + Ray Charles + Vincent the cab driver from “Collateral.” How does the comic book’s dopeness get supplanted with an aqua “Walking Dead” extra?!?!?

electro

Now that we’ve established my belief that peeps who don’t have a shred of comic book influence + rep Marvel films are the worst, let’s dive into Spiderman: Far From Home via Jake Gyllenhaal’s masterfully designed Mysterio costume.

jakeg

For the nebs of the world – Mysterio’s real life name is Quentin Beck. His backstory differs in how its presented in Far From Home, but the changes make sense when weighed against the current political climate. His villainous ways are nearly identical to the source material – Mysterio controls super advanced illusion tech and displays hyper intelligence. He manipulates the world’s reality with the purely egotistical and maniacal thought processes in order to present himself as a hero. Sound familiar, rail riders? Gyllenhaal channels Quentin Beck’s charismatic, superficial persona with ease. Lots of modern stars probably could. It’s the “reveal” that he’s the villain of this flick that separates Jakey G from his peers. If I spoiled him being the bad guy of this movie for you, I hate you and I’m glad I did.

I’m going to get back to JG’s place among his contemporaries after I chuck some praise the way of Tom Holland. Holland’s Spidey is VASTLY SUPERIOR to Tobey’s and Garfield’s. Tobey couldn’t convince us he was a kid, and Garfield has one of the stupidest, ginger/emo faces in the world. In order to play Peter Parker aka Spiderman, it is paramount to be able to age yourself down. Spidey is a teenager! Imagine your 16 year-old self getting insanely awesome super powers and then figuring out how to handle the next day(s) of your life – it’d be awesome, but most teenage dudes are bumbling morons. Tobes and Garfield didn’t convey this even for a minute in their Spiderman renditions…Holland NAILS IT. Spiderman: Homecoming, his first full-feature appearance as Peter Parker, is just as good as Far From Home. Keaton’s performance as The Vulture is truly epic, but it’s Holland who ends up stealing the show. He seamlessly and effortlessly hooks you into the belief that he’s a teenage doofus, and he does so in the face of source material plot changes that shouldn’t enhance his on-screen presence. The MCU WAYYYY over emphasizes Ironman / Spiderman’s relationship. I believe they did this as a way to ease Holland into the part. It was a strategic, albeit silly decision to have him on screen with Downey’s perfected, almost too good portrayal of Tony Stark. Holland didn’t seem to mind in the slightest, and managed to sway me in FAVOR of the Stark / Parker paternal bond that I was witnessing unfold on screen. The kid has chops. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say he’s peerless among the new crop of leading males. His versatility, musical ability, and genuine charm has him running laps around Garfield, Miles Teller, Tye Sheridan, and Ansel Elgort. Taron Egerton is his closet competition, but him doing an Elton John impression isn’t nearly as impressive as what Holland has done with Parker (side tangent: Garfield, Elgort, and Egerton have all be sabotaged by Jamie “Trash Heap” Foxx. Garfield and Electro, Elforgt and his absurdly terrible gangster role in “Baby Driver,” and Egerton via the shitshow that was Guy Ritchie’s “Robin Hood.” Interesting or nah?).

holland

If you don’t get the “Dunny” usage, you need to get way wiser. Parker is from Queens, Mobb Deep is from Queens, and bad asses from Queens use “Dun” instead of “son.” You’re welcome.

Last note on Holland’s performance that I have to crush on – he CRUSHES a scene where he officially steps into Ironman’s shoes as the lead dog super hero alive. It got dusty, folks. Ya know, because Ironman died in “Infinity War.” I’d be remised if I didn’t throw some love Jon Favreau’s way. He’s really great as Happy, Ironman’s best friend and assistant. He’s even better as Spidey’s new father figure.

Now…back to my mainest man, Jake G. This movie cemented something for me that I’ve believed for a long time. Jake Gyllenhaal is the greatest actor of the LOADED Generation X / Millennial crop. He’s better than Leo, Pitt, Hardy, Bale, McConaughey, Cooper, Fassbender, Damon, both Afflecks, Gosling, Idris, Wahlberg, Joaquin, and Emeka Okafor. The one thing missing from his resume was ownership of a true blockbuster role, and that mission was expertly accomplished. His resume now contains standout performances with unparalleled range. Donnie Darko, Moonlight Mile, Brokeback Mountain, Jarhead, Zodiac, Love & Other Drugs, Source Code, End of Watch, Prisoners, Enemy, Nightcrawler, Southpaw, Demolition, Nocturnal Animals, and Far From Home. No other modern actor touches that variety or sniffs the consistent excellence within it. I’m not any other actor in history can do it, but I won’t go that far. I don’t give a flying fuck how many statues he has, because he should’ve gotten one for at least three of those roles. 2014 was the biggest robbery, as he didn’t get nominated for Nightcrawler ahead of DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort, Bale’s turn in the absurdly overrated American Hustle, and Wooderson’s coronation via Dallas Buyer’s Club. If ya didn’t appreciate JG before this blog, please do so now. And don’t be like Train and avoid these two excellent Spidey flicks. Hopefully this blog will finally get him to watch some supremely entertaining, surprisingly touching, and damn near perfect summer movie action.

Last stop, family! Tip your servers.

PBM gives Zion & his Pellies their Nickname + Examines the Brow Trade

I just saw the image above on IG asking for a nickname for this duo and had to blog it. I’m inspired to write a free agency preview post tomorrow, so this is a mere taste of things to come. I will also give shine to the Raptors/Kawhi in said post, because someone needs to do that and it sure won’t happen as long as LeBron James is in the league + fans get treated as bigger than title teams.

Ballislife asked what should the duo nick\name be for Zion and Lonzo? I’m going on the record again with many fellow sports nuts, but it might the first time hear in steadfastly believing Zion is to be called the “Zion King.” People never hesitate to take the shine off of “legends,” right? Let’s put some gas on LeBron’s supposed burning desire to be the consensus best of all time. I love it. Magic Johnson tried to be Mufasa in LA, but instead of LeBron being the king in waiting he went full Scar and killed the man who built the pride of the Lakers. Scar brings in his hyenas (Brow as the Whoopi Goldberg one and two other middle levels in my prediction) and the lush Lakers franchise gets burned to the ground serving the undeserving usurper aka LeBron/Scar. Enter young Simba aka “Zion King” to best his false royal uncle and scene.

In all seriousness, that nickname is gonna be what I use. The question that made me jump out of bed to write this post was about the duo. I’m going to give the duo nickname I threw out to the whole Pelicans team (like “Lob City,” “The Bad Boys,” etc.). They’re to be called “STEADY LOBBIN” and only that in my presence. I shouldn’t have to explain why, but I will because pop culture history isn’t relevant to Gen Z. The only things that are seemingly allow you to do very little to be entitled a “legend” or “The GOAT.”

That’s one of Wayne’s four best track ever along with “6 Foot 7 Foot,” “Let The Beat Build,” “Shine,” and his “AMG Cannon Remix.” Zion plays in New Orleans and this track has the two biggest N’awlins Hip Hop stars to ever do it going BANANAS on a fire beat. You’re welcome to all the people who care about making nicknames with purpose. No more initials only nicknames and no more allowing guys to give themselves a handle (Kobe…this is on you).

Why do I think the Steady Lobbin’ goon squad won the deal? Because they got a better package than last year by snagging the fourth pick. I believe if they hold on to it they will select DeAndre Hunter or Jarrett Culver.  Either one will provide Zion a true roll dog to go out and claim the league as his own. Hunter reminds me of a Kevin Love/Lamar Odom hybird while Culver is a lot like young Igoudala. Not too bad as for as ceiling goes, eh? They also got a guy an Ingram who has shown he can be a Tayshaun Prince level talent with the right leadership. Luke Walton’s pre-LeBron year showed this. When LeBron stabbed Walton while looking right him as opposed to the back, Ingram regressed and LeBron publicly showed his disgust quite literally removing himself from the current team’s plans. I can’t wait to hear the next generation speak freely on LeBron…narrative change shall come in time.

The other two young players they got have serious value as well. Hart should be a better because he will know his job every night. He’s Jrue’s backup, and I expect a bounce back season from him. Lonzo might not be here long, as rumors suggest he’s being packaged for more draft assets from a few teams, a few sign-and-trade scenarios, and my personL fav of him and the number four pick to Memphis for Ja Morant. Then we could the Zion King and Ja Rule. God damn, I’m good.

Lakers Likely Destined for Migraines Instead of Champagne

For those of you thinking the Lakers are title contenders, please stop. They have no one other than LeBron, Brow, and the young asset kept in the trade for Brow. That player is Kyle Kuzma, and there was no way I thought he would survive the complete disrespect he showed for Bronnie during LIVE GAME PLAY!

LeBron is going exact his pound of flesh…you can put a guarantee on that. Maybe he’ll convince Kuzma to sign a cheap deal in a year or so and then leave the team because he always does that upon his ideas not panning out to his liking. I hate this trade because it has no foresight and it has no contingency plan. Please don’t compare it to what Masai Ujiri did with the Raps…that’s as foolish as you can get, family.

Why is it different, you ask? It’s different because Ujiri traded a guy (DeRozan) who obviously wasn’t good enough to be the best dude on a championship team. It’s different because Ujiri didn’t gut an existing roster  + a top 5 pick to snag a former finals MVP (The Klaw) along with a title winning combo forward who shoots 3’s + plays defense (Danny Green). It’s different because Brow has zero young, potential all star talent to groom waiting for him like Kawhi did with Siakam. It’s different because Kawhi is a true leader with compassion whom knows how to win via building team culture. Did you see what he said to Lowry after the deal for him happened?

Nothing like Kawhi to Toronto is like Brow to the Lakers because of those reasons. Above all their totality different scenarios because of Brow’s consistent nagging injury history compared to Kawhi’s refusal to let what happened to Durant happen to him + Kawhi’s skillset and championship pedigree transcend Brow’s sporadic elite play. Brow is now going to have the expectations of both the irrational Lakers’ fan base AND the delusional, narcissistic LeBron whilst attempting to contribute at a level foreign to him. Not to mention that LeBron most likely dictate that the Lakers spend their remaining dollars on either Kyrie or Kemba. That leaves five or six roster spots for guys willing to take the league minimum to be a clown in LeBron’s quest to have his career be more than a three ring circus (I’M EN FUEGO TONIGHT).

This FA class is truly incredible, but it lacks guys who are likely to do that. I just don’t see em. Best case scenario yields Nene, Ariza, Dudley, Barea, and other gas with seemingly have little to no gas in the tank filling out a roster that includes Unk Drew or Kemba. The Warriors were able to pull off having a similar top heavy roster because they possessed THE THREE BEST SHOOTERS EVER IN A SHOOTING OVER ANYTHING LEAGUE in addition to locked-in deals for the donkey, Iggy, and Livingston. Also, the Splash Brothers took pay cuts to make it all work. LeBron is reportedly asking Davis to sacrifice his trade kicker in order for his grand plans to come together. His first public interactions with his running mate included asking the man to toss aside over 4 million bucks…what a prick.

2019-06-17
The King’s road includes steep taxes for franchise’s fans and teammates. NO EXCEPTIONS.

So if LeBron didn’t need so desperately want the Finals spotlight to be off Kawhi and the Raps epic title run he would have 8MM more to find true support for his squad. How can the Lakers allow this to happen? How can people view this as anything other than Bronnie once again trying to take the quickest road possible to a title? He is the “Scorched Earth” ruler of the NBA. He dries up his new land’s resources and leaves them to live in futility. If he was a truly great leader and basketball mind, he would have at the very least waited to pull this off under a handshake agreement. You then do not waste all your cap space on a shoot first PG that isn’t your boy like you think he might publicly state to be. Kyrie hates LeBron…that will end horribly for both of them. Signing Kemba is not as bad as Kyrie, but it limits them presently and completely murders any chances for long term success.

LeBron’s Scorched Roster Plan vs. PBM’s Collectivist Approach

Bron’s attempting to have himself, Brow, Kyrie/Kemba, Kuzma, and then a whole bunch of guess taking the league minimum. We mentioned those names…it’s not pretty. The best values in this righteous FA class aren’t taking less 3.5/5MM a season. Sorry, LeBron, You’re overdrawn, pal. Here’s what I’d try to make happen.

  1. Kemba is priority #1. He’s actually better than Kyrie now and will not do anything other than be NAILS in the clutch. Plus, no past cat fighting. He’s cheaper than Brow.
  2. Sign JJ Redick to a 16-18MM deal. LeBron needs shooters around him.
  3. Sign Paul Millsap to your mid-level exception to nurture your young talent base (he nailed that job in Atlanta and Denver).
  4. Draft Jarrett Culver with the #4 pick. Igoudala the remix, baby.
  5. Execute a sign-and-trade with Sacramento sending Kuzma to them for Willie Cauley-Stein and a future second round pick. Willie does everything LeBron hates and brings true toughness with him. Young
  6. Execute a sign-and-trade with Charlotte to send Lonzo to them (another Hornet named Zo) along with Hart for Jeremy Lamb. Lamb is Kemba’s boy and already said he wants to anything to play with him forever. Including a pay cut. Lamb also is turning into a Lou Williams level scorer.

LeBron’s Lakers:

Starters: Kemba/Kyrie, Brow, Bron, Kuzma, and someone who isn’t better than Rodney Hood.

Bench: Barea, DeAndre Jordan (if he agrees to take piss), Nene, and G-league callups. Think Alonzo McKinnie’s bum ass for a comparable player.

PBM’s Lakers:

Starters: Kemba, Redick, Bron, Culver, Cauley-Stein

Bench: Lamb, Ingram, Millsap, and more money to fill out your bench with guys like Dewayne Dedmon, Wayne Ellington, Wes Matthews, and the re-signed phenom…Alex fuckin’ Caruso.

My team has shooting, quickness, depth, and the blend of players to beat anyone this season and barring disaster any team for the long-term future. LeBron’s squad has three dudes who all need tons of touches and zero flexibility or room for injury. Brow gets injured A LOT, man. He literally MUST stay healthy. Their bench will be worse than Golden State’s this year by a wide margin. Their core isn’t as beautiful, too. Not to mention nothing close to Draymond, yet Kuzma might have his attitude. Keep on PUSHIN, young buck!

Judge PBM has reached his verdict / sentence for the case of the Usurper known as LeBron, the LA Lakers, and dumb basketball fans vs. Common Sense and Hoops Fans with Brains. LeBron is to be exiled from his delusional reality and receives a lifetime sentence consisting of being properly educated in how to truly embody greatness. He also may never post on Instagram again as well as renounce his intentions to be a Global Icon. Lastly, he is to refer to Michael Jordan as the GOAT and wear the number 37 for the rest of his career (his likely Finals record when it’s all said and done). The Lakers rceive what LeBron is giving them…enjoy your futility LeBron Stan’s are allowed to continue to be morons. May God have mercy on your silly, foolish fouls. Thanks for coming to my NBA court room, fam.

The Blues are Stanley Cup Champions. Real news, and it’s spectacular.

PLAY GLORIA…just after this highlight package. Because holy fuck…the Blues won the Stanley Cup for the first fucking time in my lifetime!!!

Ok. For the last 15 hours or so, I’ve been in and out of sleep and reveling in my favorite team of all the teams I root for winning their first championship in team history. They did so against the Boston Bruins, whom represented the city that triumphed over St. Louis three times in my lifetime when competing in title games / series’. I was at Lehigh University for two of those moments in time – the ’01 Super Bowl and the ’04 World Series. New England kids attend that college, if you didn’t know. It wasn’t pleasant. The 2013 World Series was far removed from ya boy being heckled by a stream of Massholes as I was living in LA, but it was spearheaded by David Ortiz in gruesome fashion (we’ll get back to Big Papi later in this blog). The Cardinals losses don’t stay with me at all – they won titles in 2006 + 2011 to alleviate that pain. The Rams game hurt a lot…but it to has lust it’s edge due to Stan Kroenke being a sniveling turd + the Patriots beating the shit out of everyone (except Eli Manning, of course). I don’t think I’d be blogging anytime soon had the Bruins won last night, friends. That pain would’ve transitioned to suffering quickly, as my life as a Blues fan was littered with heartache. I can’t even say heartbreak, because they never were in position to truly sever my aortas. Let’s go to my fan history with the Blues first to gain appropriate context, rail riders.

Part One: Irrelevance & Failure Of The Worst Kind

I was born in 1982. The Blues became my bedrock team due to my pops’ acquisition of dope season tickets (we had a partial plan – my bro got ten games, and I got ten games. Those game selection drafts were hectic) all through high school. From my first day on Earth until I left for undergraduate school, the Blues won exactly won game after the 2nd round of the playoffs. One fucking game. Ironically enough, PBM & The Train attended that game together! One of my first truly belligerent evenings at a sporting event, as we led chants for two hours that mostly revolved around former Blues defensemen Bryce Salvador. Don’t ask. Common themes throughout that sustained above-average play that yielded basically nothing? Inconsistent goal tending, questionable coaching (guys too old or too new to the bench to inspire greatness), and a lack of depth on the grind lines / back end that constantly got exposed by legitimate contenders. From 1990-2001, The Red Army Redwings team, The Avalanche All Star squads, and the likes of Mike Modano’s Stars, Pavel Bure’s Canucks, Roenick’s Blackhawks, Doug Gilmour’s Maple Leaf’s, and Owen Nolan on the Avs & Sharks all owned the Blues in the post season. Countless moments of brutality took the form of ex-players like Gilmour, Brendan Shanahan, Cliff Ronning, Geoff Courtnall, Steve Duchense, and even the iconic Brett Hull either winning championships elsewhere and/or knocking us out of the playoffs along the way.

After some forgettable and downright pathetic years in the first decade of the 21st century, the Blues saw their season end at the hands of the physically dominate, eventual champion LA Kings a couple times (the teams this year’s championship squad most closely resembled). The rival Blackhawks vanquished ’em once or twice (not fact checking). Brent Burns beat the shit out of us nearly single handedly in their second WCF Finals appearance of my lifetime, and they most recently bowed out to the PK Subban-led Predators in lackluster fashion. That Predators loss killed me…their arena was once known as “Blues South” due to their fans still preferring “The Dukes of Hazard” live shows, and even they reached a Cup Final before I saw my Blues get to one. Also, post-2001 managed to keep the trend of beloved Blues winning Cups elsewhere intact. Chris Pronger snagged a cup or two, and TJ Oshie got one last year in DC. So yeah…up until January of 2019, being a Blues fan has really, really sucked. They never truly bottomed out aside from the Mike Kitchen, Andy Murray, and Davis Payne coached squads of the mid-2000’s. Those shitty years yielded only our captain, Alex Pietrangelo, via the draft. Any other relevant players we drafted either got moved before they blossomed or have made their way back to the team under current management. Little did I know it, everything about this magical season started in 2010. Following the aforementioned stretch of futility, the Blues brought in Doug Armstrong to run the show.

Part Two: Doug has strong arms, but he keeps skipping leg day.

Armstrong’s drafts since he took over as GM have yielded the following members of this year’s cup winning squad:

2010: Jayden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko

2011: Joel Edmundson, Jordan Binnington (he’d was an after thought for this long…even with Jake Allen, Brian Elliott, and Jaro Halak serving as glorified turnstiles)

2012: Colton Parayko (3rd round steal – Rakes finally become the standout we’ve wanted. AS games deluxe going forward, kids)

2013: No players on current team drafted, but we didn’t pick until 47

2014: Robby Fabbri, Ivan Barbashev, Sammy Blais

2015: Vince Dunn

2016: Armstrong shipped our first rounder this season to Buffalo for a guy named Ryan “Factor” O’Reilly. Pros of that deal? He won the Conn Smythe, baby.

2017: Robert Thomas

2018: N/A

In this same time period, Armstrong executed big ticket trades for playoff MVP O’Reilly, rock solid veteran Jay Bouwmeester, and equal parts skill / toughness 1st-line center Brayden Schenn. He also landed defensemen Carl Gunarrsson and Robert Bortuzzo + invaluable forwards Oskar Sundqvist and Zach Sanford in what at the time could have been considered minor / throwaway roster moves. The group we saw for the majority of this cup run included FA signings David Perron (coming home to the team that drafted him as the only player with Stanley Cup experience on the roster), Tyler Bozak and Pat Maroon. Sidebar: Perron is a psychopath. Don’t let him in your homes. The captain  Pietrangelo and Alexander Steen were the only men on this year’s roster pre-Dougie Biceps. This man went out and snagged a title team over the course of eight seasons, and he did so on probably his last shot before he was fired! Incredible. If only had started doing squats and lunges sooner! By this I mean hiring a coach who inspired more than a “Muskrat” nickname (Ken Hitchcock) or one who only inspired me to want to punch him in the face (Mike Yeo). His box jump of faith? To put faith in a guy he drafted in his second year with the team.

Part Three: Chief’s Mentality Breeds Fearlessness & Eventually Wins

I’m not sure the general public / Joe Fan knows that Craig “Chief” Berube won a Stanley Cup as an interim head coach. He joins Jack McKeon and fuckin’ Ty Lue as the only coaches to win pro sports championships with the interim tag. He’s obviously more McKeon than Ty…but I had to document that for the slow folk. Berube won the title saying things like this:

My dream is that Berube, Binnington, and hometown hero Pat “Big Rig” Maroon (signed a bargain bin, one year deal this past off-season) all get contract extensions at the same celebratory press conference. I want Bouwmeester to sit up there too, as Armstrong seemingly inexplicably extended his deal another season before those other three. Coined “Slowmeester” by myself and others, he was getting healthy scratched and looked terrible for at least two seasons. Or maybe it only seemed that way, because our former goaltender Jake Allen couldn’t stop a shot to save his damn life. Regardless, Doug was spot on and I was dead wrong.

Ok, time to backtrack. Here’s the last portion of how this all came together. Armstrong lunged at the opportunity to finally shitcan Mike Yeo in November. He installed Berube as the Interim HC for the remainder of the year. The team didn’t take him right away, and actually played below .500 hockey for his first six weeks. However, it only took about a month for them to adopt the demeanor their new HC played with during his NHL years – Berube is an all time leader in penalty minutes and was a legendary tough guy. The first dude to go full Chief? That’d be Bobby “Ya Know” Bortuzzo – take a look.

That’s Zach Sanford whom Borts is raining haymakers down upon. In practice. Holy fucking shit, right? It needs to be noted that both of these dudes had shining moments / big goals in the Cup run despite being shuffled in and out of the lineup all season. That fight and the subsequent fire it lit under the team triggered the subsequent magic. The team came out of the holidays and into 2019 playing like a Blues squad I’d never seen before. Steady, tremendous play from its top skill players such as O’Reilly, Tarasenko, Schenn, Parakyo, Dunn, Bozak, and Pietrangelo combined with ferocious third and fourth line play spearheaded by youngsters Thomas, Blais, Sanford, Barbashev, and Sundqvist. They won 11 games in a row upon the insertion of the 25-year old Binnington in between the pipes. Without the fight, I don’t think we get here. Without Berube, we don’t get the fight.

Berube did way more than encourage tough, relentless hockey at all times. He was consistent with forward lines and defensive pairings, and he pulled the plug on Jake Allen despite his absurd contract. He turned the keys over to Binnington, and Binner never looked back. As the team climbed from last in the league to eventually jockeying for the top seed in the West, other forces were at play that hadn’t come into the public eye yet. All us Blues knew at the time was that for the first time in history we had a team that could wreak havoc in the playoffs, and just maybe could play into the month of June.

Part Four: New Style of Play Meets an Inspirational Tidal Wave

PLAY GLORIA! I’m not covering this element. It’s been beaten to death, and I don’t care if you don’t understand why it’s our victory song. Google it, or just listen to Y98 in STL. “Heat Is On” – you’ve been replaced. Last thing on Gloria – you’re a moron if you don’t think a Nelly remix is DEFINITELY on the horizon…

I think it was after the first round Winnipeg series that we met Laila Anderson. I was at the close out to that one, and I had already placed tons of inspirational emphasis on it being our anthem singer’s final season with the team due to having MS. Sidebar: Jaden Schwartz arrived in this series. He never looked back after essentially wining games five & six with his play in key moments.

Please know this…I LOVE CHARLES GLENN. Really gonna miss you buddy.

I banked on this being enough, right? Hollywood material all day, yo. Charles is a local legend for Christ’s sake! Charles’ story become a near after thought once Laila Anderson became the face of our fan base (fuck you, Jon Hamm. Shaving your beard…Burroughs through and through, man).

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

It’s so dusty, right? I can’t believe Boston thought Big Papi delivering a message following getting shot in a Dominican night club could rival Laila’s story….! FOH, Beantown. Did Laila hoist? You’re damn right she did!

Ummm…excuse me for a minute. I gotta clean my face again of all this salty residue. Been happening a lot today. Here’s the backstory on Bortuzzo’s nickname as I handle that:

And we’re back! And we’re really just back to say that we’re done. The Blues won the cup. That’s how they did it. I’m in LA for work and will be busting ass to get back to the Lou for the parade on Saturday. Gotta change my flight, and that’s gonna happen. Unreal, family.

Wait! One last thing – my little bro attended game seven in Boston. He ran into a fellow Blues fan we sat next to at game four of the Sharks series. I have dubbed him “Space Eater,” as he was the most invasive person I’ve ever encountered in my life. The dude in front of him called the usher on him due to his massive presence, and Space Chomper was warned to take it easy. He chose to heckle the snitch with the time-honored “are you gonna call your mommy again” for the remainder of the game. He had on homemade, forged autograph laden jean shorts. He attended game four solo dolo. And ya know what?!? His devouring of space has become endearing to me in hindsight, and my little bro seriously befriended him last night! Befriended him to the point that we’re all going to a game together next season. Here’s live-action shots of the muncher of space – my bro got before and after pics:

space eater

THE BLUES WON THE CUP! THE BLUES WON THE CUP! GREAT GOD ALMIGHTY, THE BLUES WON THE STANLEY CUP!

PBM is at peace. Later, y’all.

PBM’s Game Two Adjustments

Game 1 of this year’s Stanley Cup Finals was the biggest Blues game I’ve ever watched. It was quickly supplanted by tonight’s game, and will only be rivaled by future games in this series. The game didn’t go so well for my beloved Blue Note. They were completely dominated in the final two periods and could’ve easily lost 7-2 or 8-2 as opposed to the game’s 4-2 final score. Am I worried? Of course I’m a bit worried. Am I freaking out? Not in the slightest. This Blues team has fed off of adversity, and I honestly don’t believe this series could pan out any other way if the Blues are too hoist Lord Stanley’s goblet. Coach Craig Berube has pushed all the right buttons, and has made seriously savvy in-series adjustments throughout the playoffs. Here are the ones that I’d make following what we saw in game one.

Forwards

Keep the top line of Tarasenko, Schenn, and Schwartz intact. They all played relatively decent, and Schenn was one of the few Blues players skating with Boston all night.

Time to breakup Thomas, Bozak, and Maroon. They were nonexistent in the second half of the San Jose series, and really bad in game one. Boston is essentially a more talented San Jose, so let’s shake up something that hasn’t been effective since round two. Move Thomas up to line two with O’Reilly and Blais. I love the idea of our regular MVP in ROR skating with two tenacious kids who don’t show fear. Going to need them to rattle Boston’s second line and especially Jake DeBrusk.

Bozak centers the third line with Perron and Sundqvist. Bozak’s playmaking with Perron’s nose for the net + the man who I affectionately call “Hank” could wreak havoc against the slower Boston “grind” lines.

Produce a true checking line of Barbashev, Steen, and Maroon as our 4th unit. Barbie and Big Rig together would bring some thump back to Boston, and I think the Blues need to hit as much or more than they have all year to have a shot against the Bruins.

Line 1: Tarasenko-Schenn-Schwartz

Line 2: Thomas-O’Reilly-Blais

Line 3: Perron-Bozak-Sundqvist

Line 4: Steen-Barbashev-Maroon

Defensemen

Break up Parayko and Bouwmeester – they’ve been our most consistent pairing and we need to spread out their solid play. I can’t believe I’m writing that about Bouwmeester, by the way. He has been my least favorite Blue for the better part of three years, and was a disaster against Winnipeg. Since round one, Jay has been fantastic. I’d like to put him with Pietrangelo. Petro’s horrific game one was overshadowed only by how terrible Joel Edmundson played. Petro’s mishaps didn’t translate to power plays and/or goals like Joel’s, but if you watched like I do you saw them. He couldn’t settle the puck – as my old coach used to say, he had the “hands of a rapist.” Get back to sculpting, Petro.

The Blues miss Vince Dunn. The Spittin’ Chiclets podcast referenced that he may be close to returning, and if he is, I’d like to pair him with Parayko. They’re our two best offensive defensemen, and we need to skate the puck up the ice rather than force passes into the neutral zone in order to have continued success against the aggressive Bruins’ frontline. If Dunn can go, Edmundson has to receive a healthy scratch after his game one performance. Bobby Bortleservice aka Robert Bortuzzo and Hot Carl Gunnarsson can stay together as our third pairing because they’ve been quietly consistent following Dunn’s untimely injury.

Pairing 1: Bouwmeester-Pietrangelo

Pairing 2: Parayko-Dunn (or Edmundson)

Pairing 3: Bortuzzo-Gunarsson

I’m positive these changes won’t all go down, but I’m even more positive we will see a few if not several new looks from Berube tonight. This game is literally the largest game of my lifetime as a Blues fan, and I’m not wigging out. That will only happen if we go down 2-0. Can we please hit the fucking music? PLAY THAT WOMAN’S SONG!

Defining Greatness: NBA Dynasties

All aboard, rail riders – if ya not inspired then ya leave something to be desired. Because ATrain is lighting fire to TV’s Iron Throne, and Prone Bone Malone is about to ignite a pyre inside ya NBA comfort zone. Time to disown any falsities about building truly great teams – LeBron fuckin’ James, you might want to see what I mean. High beams and bright lights brought out their pinnacle performances…and made PBM a cynical hoops snob who reps tough for Michael Jordan’s ish. Unwarranted and abhorrent stat-laden truths shall be ignored! Triple doubles down twenty don’t mean a thing in this hoops forum. So sip a couple or blaze some flowers, baby. Maybe you’ll see the choice is yours, but just know there are consequences when blueprints aren’t followed true to form.

Elements of an NBA Dynasty (Post 1980-Present)

Get ready, laymen hoops watchers (I’m looking at you, gym teachers of the world). I’m about to present to you the surefire, five component formula to apply to understanding whether you’re watching a dynasty in motion or if you’re watching an easy-bake championship grab that isn’t built to last.

Component #1: Three finals victories with relatively close to the same player and management personnel. The Showtime Lakers, Bird’s Celtics, MJ’s Bulls, Kobe/Shaq Lakers (kind of an outlier – we’ll get to that), Duncan’s Spurs, and the present day Warriors (The Durant signing will also be addressed – truth be told, they don’t need him) all fit the bill. Sorry Bad Boys Pistons and Hakeem’s Rockets…you’re out. That eliminates personal bias, fools. Those are my two favorite teams ever. Joining them on the outside looking in are the Kobe-led Lakers of the late 2000’s and the LeBron/Wade Miami squad.

Component #2: Your head coach is Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, or Steve Kerr. Unless your core is Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish, and Dennis Johnson. Then whomever Red Auerbach appoints as coach is sufficient. No team in history had ever held four players of that caliber at the same time until KD went ring chasing. And Auerbach did so via the draft and savvy trades…not one single FA signing during his all-time great executive tenure.

Of the last thirty nine seasons NBA, twenty seven of the championship winners come from a team coached by the aforementioned men or was built by Red Auerbach. Riley was the lead executive behind the three championships won by the Heat (pre-LBJ title included), so really 30/39 title winners had these legendary basketball brains at the helm. Point being? EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP AND COACHING ARE EXTREMELY FUCKING IMPORTANT FOR SUSTAINED GREATNESS IN PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL. Longevity is an impossibility when individuals place themselves above their franchises! I wonder whom I’m thinking about right now…

 

Component 3: Three foundational players attained through the draft. You may also draft two and attain one via trade if the trade acquisition is done in the prime of their careers. Exception here for the Shaq / Kobe Lakers three-peat. Having the most dominant big of that era and the best wing of all time other than MJ supersedes any formula. Especially when they’re surrounded by championship pedigree players like Robert Horry, Ron Harper, Derek Fisher, and others. SHEEEESH.

For each squad, I’m assigning one of their core three ballers to one of Newton’s Laws of Motion. Because it’s all about continued forward motion for dynasties – moving forward to repeated championship seasons for a singular franchise = ultimate success. Here’s Newton’s laws for those in need of a refresher:

First Law: If an object is at rest, it remains so, and if it’s in movement, it will keep moving at a uniform velocity until it is affected by an external force.

Second Law: Force is equal to mass times acceleration.

Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

The Showtime Lakers (coached by Pat Riley):

First Law: Magic (drafted), Second Law: Worthy (drafted), Third Law: Kareem (traded for)

Magic was the engine. Worthy was unstoppable along side him on the break. If a team made the mistake of challenging Kareem, they saw the entire makeup of the second greatest player of all-time’s repertoire on both sides of the ball.

Bird’s Celtics (assembled by Auerbach):

First Law: Kevin McHale/Robert Parrish (drafted via trade and trade for – SAME DAMN DEAL!!!), Second Law: Dennis Johnson (traded for), Third Law: Larry Bird (drafted)

When McHale was in the zone, the Celtics were unbeatable. One of the best offensive post-games of all-time along side Hakeem, Kareem, Duncan, and Shaq. DJ was the guard version of Pippen – apparently all the way down his dong size. Bird was unflappable and if you engaged him via words, he ate your soul verbally and with his game.

MJ’s Bulls (coached by Phil Jackson):

First Law: Jordan (drafted), Second Law: Horace/Rodman (drafted/traded for), Third Law: Pippen (drafted)

The Bulls might have flummoxed Newton. They really only needed Mike and Scottie to cover all three laws. Jordan actually did it himself, but that makes sense because he’s the GOAT. I settled on this because when MJ sat for reasons unknown, the dynasty stalled. Horace/Rodman handled the enforcing via very different skills/tenacity, and Pippen is arguably the best two-way player ever outside of MJ, Hakeem, Duncan, Kobe, and LeBron.

Duncan’s Spurs (coached by Gregg Popovich):

First Law: Duncan (whom gracefully passed his spot here to Kawhi – both drafted) , Second Law: Parker (drafted), Third Law: Ginobili (drafted)

Duncan got to San Antonio and the winning never stopped. Parker’s speed ate teams for all three meals. If you challenged this team, Ginobili dunked on your head.

Shaq/Kobe Lakers need not fit this portion of the programming. Phil coached them for the record.

Splash Bro’s Warriors (Coached by Steve Kerr):

First Law: Steph (drafted), Second Law: Draymond (drafted), Third Law: Klay (drafted)

I’ll say it again, Durant doesn’t matter for this blog’s material. As ATrain stated to me via phone the other day, Durant being a Warrior is more important due to him not playing for a team that could potentially derail this dynasty. Steph’s shooting has changed the league and kept them moving forward, Draymond’s energy overwhelms teams with it’s size/force/acceleration, and Klay has made more big stops and big shots than anyone other than his teammates over the past five seasons.

Pretty simple, no? I’ll mention it here that Kerr played for both Phil and Pop + studied the finer points of each’s vastly different styles. Kerr is damn legend.

Component 4: Established veteran players with a willingness to sacrifice individual output for the good of the team. Essentially, teams whom avoid what Pat Riley coined as “the disease of more.”

Showtime Lakers: Michael Cooper (five rings), Byron Scott (three rings), Kurt Rambis (four rings), AC Green (three rings), Mychal Thompson (two rings – KLAY’S DAD!!), Jamaal Wilkes (three rings), and Bob McAdoo (two rings)

Wilkes and McAdoo were both All-Stars in hugely reduced roles – especially a former MVP in McAdoo. Cooper, Scott, and Green played their formidable years with the same teams instead of fleeing for a bigger spotlight. Mychal fathered Klay – one of many connections between each of these dynastic squads.

Bird’s Celtics: Bill Walton (two rings), Danny Ainge (two rings), Scott Wedman (two rings), Gerald Henderson (three rings), ML Carr (two rings), and Cedric Maxwell (two rings).

Walton was a former MVP playing as a 6th man. Ainge stayed despite other offers (and went back to the finals as player three times + won a ring as a GM). Maxwell was the MVP of their finals victory and the key piece of the trade Auerbach made to acquire Walton. Wedman was a 2x All-Star who went from playing 36 mins/game and averaging nearly 20pts per to playing 15 mins/game and scoring only 6pts per. What would John Lithgow call this noble act?

 

Jordan’s Bulls: John Paxson (three rings), Bill Cartwright (three rings), BJ Armstrong (three rings), Stacey King (three rings), Ron Harper (five rings), Will Perdue (four rings), John Salley (four rings), Toni Kukoc (three rings), Luc Longley (three rings), and a bunch of other dudes who stuck around during either three-peat.

The most astonishing thing when you look back at the Bulls is their limited roster turnover every year during each three-peat. In addition to having the GOAT player, the arguably GOAT coach, and a top ten two-way player of all time the Bulls had serious consistency in their locker rooms. Take notes, Daryl Morey and Rob Pelinka/LeBron James. More championship connectivity to call out – Kerr (he’s the only person involved with three of the dynastic organizations – UNREAL when truly appreciated), Harper, Perdue, and the aforementioned Ho Grant earned ‘chips on more than one of these profiled squads. Salley and the aforementioned Rodman were both 2x title winners for the Bad Boy Pistons. Rodman won five tiles throughout his NBA career.

Duncan’s Spurs: Steve Kerr (five rings), Mario Elie (three rings), Will Perdue (four rings), Bruce Bowen (three rings), Beno Udrih (two rings), and Robert Horry (seven rings).

This component is where the Spurs differ from most – due to the spread out nature of their success, their title teams consistent presences were the three laws of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili. Duncan won five rings, and the other two men won four. What the Spurs culture fostered was sincere talent taking lesser roles in order to get a title (both homegrown or acquired via trade/FA) – for most of the men about to list, it was their sole journey to the promised land. They include David Robinson, Sean Elliott, Michael Finley, Boris Diaw, Stephen Jackson, Steve Smith, Kevin Willis, Brent Barry, Danny Green, and Speedy Claxton. I credit this anomaly to the iron rule of Popovich + consistency of Duncan. Kerr’s and Perdue’s second appearance each in this component must be noted.

Shaq/Kobe Lakers: Robert Horry (seven rings), Brian Shaw (three rings), Derek Fisher (five rings), Rick Fox (three rings), Ron Harper (five rings), Horace Grant (four rings), Devean George (three rings), AC Green (three rings), and John Salley (four rings).

Glen Rice popped his head in here for a ring. As did Mitch Richmond. The Lakers core of Shaq/Kobe was bolstered each year by Horry, Fisher, and Fox more than the others. Like I said, a third law need not apply to Shaq + Mamba.

Splash Bros. Warriors: Andre Igoudala (three rings), Shaun Livingston (three rings), David West (two rings), JaVale McGee (two rings), and Zaza Pachulia (two rings).

This component is tough to apply to the Warriors due to the Durant element. However, the three laws of the Splash Bros. + Donkey have been joined by Iggy and Livingston the entire run. Kerr is their coach (Kerr’s NBA life is unmatched – need to say this one more time. Didn’t even mention his two FINALS clinching shot until now!) They’ve won three of four titles (soon to be four of five), and half of their chips are going to be without Durant on the floor. The one finals they lost, they shouldn’t have. They were up 3-1 and officiating decisions were HIGHLY questionable. If they had won in ’16, there would be little debate in calling them the greatest team in modern NBA history.

Component Five: A transcendent player that defines or co-authors their era’s largest moments.

Showtime? Magic Johnson. The best offensive PG of all time who could play every position on the floor due to his incomparable size + speed + handle combination.

Celtics? That’d be Bird. An offensive assassin who’s game hadn’t been seen or replicated until Durant (the best offensive player in the modern aside from MJ and apex Shaq).

Bulls? The GOAT. Michael Jeffrey Jordan. I’ve discussed this in length…read my past “defining greatness” blog.

Lakers? Shaq w/an assist from young Kobe. The most dominant offensive big man since Wilt, and he did so against vastly superior competition. Although Hakeem ate him up in their finals showdown (mandatory PBM Hakeem dick tug). Kobe won three rings as the second option and another two more as his team’s undisputed alpha dog. He’s a B+/A- Jordan at his best, and a top-ten player of all time.

Spurs? Duncan. The most consistent superstar of all time and the best power forward to ever lace them up. Duncan vs. LeBron in the NBA Finals? 11-5, Fundamental. I love that stat.

Warriors? Steph Curry. The greatest shooter to ever live. He is rivaled only by his two teammates for this honor, and it needs to be mentioned that he has won at every level he’s played at. Remember Steph in college? The guy beat future NBA all stars while playing with dudes whom are selling real estate and trading stocks right now. In an era where shooting is the undisputed king trait needed to win, Steph wears the crown. Piss off, kid from Akron.

And that concludes this edition of “Defining Greatness.” Be well, Rail Riders. And don’t quote stats if they don’t have wins behind them. Peace.

Need bangers? I can give ’em to ya.

Watch the whole clip or skip to 1:08 for context…I can give it to ya.

Happy Friday, Rail Riders! It’s you mans, PBM, and I’m coming in HOT with bangers to kick off your weekend. Let’s start with two joints from the Super Group Pivot Gang. Love these dudes – bunch of original rhyme slayers led by Saba and Joseph Chilliams. Their track “Blood” is the one that put me on to them.

The track “Edward Scissorhands” is what sold me on them permanently.

“You don’t got to trim your bush, you don’t got to Edward Scissorhands!” Bar of the century, kids.

If Pivot Gang’s sound is too modern for ya, then rock with Benny the Butcher. He’s as throwback as they come, man. Conjures up “Cuban Linx” and “Infamous” vibes every time I hear him bust into a beat. “Fast Eddie” is my favorite joint from him, but his whole catalogue is on point.

Ya boy PBM has been on a soulful kick lately, and tracks like “Thinking ‘Bout You” are at the crest of that wave. Deante’ Hitchcock is a self-proclaimed Outkast disciple and he brings the flavor of someone who should believe such a bold declaration. His track “Postlude” is straight fire too, as is “Ascension.”

This track is a bit older, but I’m just now getting it into rotation.

The lyrics paint the message. The beat is fire. It’s alllll legit in that banger from EARTHGANG.

Last one will be left to the man with the best drop in the game right now…”TO BASS BE THE GLORY!” Here’s Bass Santana’s THUMPER “Mix It.”

Updated PBM Playlist on Spotify. Peep game, and be safe out there this weekend.

Ezekiel Elliott is a Man Without a Country.

Last night in Dallas, my beloved St. Louis Blues stole game three from the Dallas Stars to take a 2-1 series lead in the 2nd round of the NHL Playoffs. St. Louis local Pat “Big Rig” Maroon scored a beastly goal in the games closing moments. It was beautiful. The Blues are my favorite team in any sport of all-time…I love this franchise. It is because of that love that I am delaying posting a comprehensive blog about them until they do something I’ve never seen them do in almost 37 years on this Earth: make the Stanley Cup finals. And guess what, PBM disciples? It’s gonna fucking happen. You know why? Because the STL native, belly button on display, chipmunk looking-fuck better known as Zeke Elliott showed up at the game last night in a fanny pack. He showed up to root for the South Stars! Take a gander!

zeke_stars_game

Fuckin’ traitor! ATrain defended him by saying athletes do this all the time – his beloved Anthony Rizzo is from Florida and he is now a Blackhawks fan. Whoopty fuckin’ doo! Good for the guy from a state that has no ice in it! Zeke grew up in a town that literally and physically bleeds Blue…shit, the Blues even share the same colors as his damn high school. Burroughs grads (aside from Jon Hamm) are such clowns.

I got past the near guarantee of bozo-esque living from this particular JBS alumni by having Zeke on my cutthroat fantasy keeper team ever since his arrival in the league. He brought me a title. I named my dog after him. I forgave him for choosing the Fuckeyes over Mizzou. And then he goes full fanny pack and sells out the Note for the prospect of some local ad money. I guess national brands aren’t lining up with offers for a chipmunk-faced butthead who gets handsy with the ladies. Chase that car dealership spokesmen clout, Zeke. I only have this to say to you, my guy:

avon

Guess what though, Rail Riders? This really is the Blues year. Zeke’s mutant mimicking behavior sealed it. We’re going to bash his adopted Stars, and then we’re going to shit on his other adopted hometown’s team, The BJ’s, in the Cup. It’s going to happen as Big Motherfuckin’ Rig takes his place on the homegrown STL athlete Mt. Rushmore with David Freese, Stan Musial, and Ozzie Smith.

BIGRIGMOCKUP

Now hit the music!

No More Parties in LA

 

I love making cross-cultural comparisons. Not like Bill Simmons does in his current form, but I’d be lying if I didn’t credit his younger, hungrier self for showing me the brilliance of using this method for humor + universal relevance. In my brain, I tend to use Hip Hop, wrestling, the NBA, and epic film or TV as baselines. Hip Hop is far and away my most used medium to cross-cultural compare because I know the most about it, and MC’s are highly visible publicly + in their art.

Now…I always thought I had LeBron pegged with Drake as his perfect MC equal. They’re both front running dudes who don’t have an ounce of “hard life” in them. They constantly are positioning themselves as the leaders of their craft without acknowledging era-specific advantages and/or glaring flaws that distance them from the true greats. It’s seemed like a match made in fake beef wins + meaningless stat accumulation heaven. Turns out Drake is actually a far better match for Steph Curry…you can’t ignore the fact that Drake is the biggest hitmaker alive and Steph being the GOAT shooter. They make their teams better (get Drake on a feature and explode), and neither one is a disruptive emotional being. Where does his leave the false prophet LeBron James?

ENTER LEBRONYE WEST.

I mean…just the wordplay is enough for me to be encapsulated with joy. But when you look at the complete and utter chaos + dysfunction of LeBron’s Lakers season, doesn’t it remind you of the false idol “Yeezus?!?!?” The two of them leave their hometown for LA with delusions of grandeur and their sights set on expanding their brands wayyyyy outside of their lanes – LeBron to join the iconic Lakers + produce films/TV/music and Kanye to bolster his media exposure through a marriage to Kim Kardashian + run for President + who knows what the fuck else. Each one fell of the rails really damn quickly – I don’t know if each one realized that the team/family they were joining was a false bag of goods or if their complete lack of self awareness simply caught up to their lifestyles, but you know the rest of the story. Let’s go over LeBron first because it’s so damn glorious to see all of it together:

  1. Got an absolute legend to step down out of nowhere – Magic basically pulled an Irish Goodbye
  2. Drank wine on the bench while nursing injuries
  3. Was all alone + fake crying while he passed Jordan in total points
  4. Got another team’s GM fired + torpedoed his chances at landing a premier free agent this off-season
  5. Missed the playoffs
  6. Got a game winner blocked by Mario Hezonjia

7. Throw an inbounds pass off the backboard as the Lakers playoff chances CRUMBLED due to his need to push for a trade for Anthony Davis

8. Got bitch made/forcefully shoved into a defensive position by Kyle Kuzma

9. Can’t get anyone to join him in “Space Jam 2” – rumors say Chris Bosh and Wade are in…so the Monstars are jacking the powers of a guy who had to retire b/c he almost died + a retired dude. That’s worse than Shawn Bradley, man. Honestly, if he wasn’t devoid of a semblance of creative impulse, he should have just used his Lakers teammates. Rondo, JaVale, Lance, and Lonzo/Ingram would be perfect Monstars! LeBron’s a moron.

10. Stole the plot from “The Running Man” to make a CBS show…with Tebow tied to it. Didn’t realize people like “The Running Man” because of death + comedic villainy, and the show tanks instantly.

11. Served as the Fake A&R for 2Chainz’s latest effort that was Tity Boi’s worst in years. Didn’t realize that knowledgeable people such as myself know what A&R’s do, and that there was no way he was inputting lyrics into Genius and/or negotiating features. He DEFINTITELY wasn’t clearing the fucking samples. LeBron’s a huge fucking moron.

12. Distanced himself from legends such as Kareem, Duncan, Kobe, Magic, and Russell in the All-Time greatest player rankings.

13. Was such an ass clown that it finally feels like everyone is tired of his antics, and expects a SHRED of maturity or awareness from him.

I’m engorged by that list. Kanye’s disruptive nonsense wasn’t as diverse, but extremely disturbing and indefensible nonetheless. The guy had the audacity to call slavery “a choice” and openly support + kiss the ass of our racist, buffoon of a President with zero regard for how people would receive such brazen ignorance. Didn’t turn out so well for him, I’d say. His “masterpiece” album “Yandhi” has been shelved (just like LeBron’s 4th championship hopes), and he lost the support of long-term allies such as Jay Z, Talib Kweli, Tip, and Common. I’m going to go ahead and say LeBron’s glass of red on the bunch was Kanye’s rocking of the red “MAGA” hat….SHEEEEEESH.

I’m working on developing a LeBronye West character – I hope to debut him when more of the Space Jam 2 cast is released. Hopefully each of these men will continue to surround themselves with people who don’t have the answers…I really like watching douche egomaniacs face consequences.