Dunson Checks In

 Tiger Woods' 13 minute apology has been roundly criticized for it's dry, insincere scripted delivery and lack of a power point presentation.  I for one haven't seen a high profile speech against a more painfully monotone background since John McCain's green screen RNC speech.  Tiger's "wood"en delivery should have made Gepetto proud.  Unfortunately neither he nor A-Rod learned from Mark McGwire's tearful admission or Kobe Bryant's 2003 press conference, the gold standard of apologies.    
In the spirit of Tiger Woods', Terminator-like recitation, I've uncovered a list of athletes who've borrowed extensive story archs from small screen and silver screen storyboards.

Manny Ramirez- Inspector Gadget
You can dispute their methods but you can't argue with the results.  For years the clumsy and half witted Inspector somehow thwarted the diabolical Dr. Claw with tha assistance of his niece Penny.  Conversely, Manny Ramirez was a central figure in the Red Sox ultimately thwarting their 86 year drought despite stumbling over his own trousers.  13 year old girls are allowed to ride along to take down criminal masterminds but they are strictly barred from major league clubhouses.  There's no crying in baseball.  Therefore, Manny Ramirez settled for a lucky midget in the clubhouse. Literally.  Inspector Gadget was unique for the bionic gadgets built into his body and with the aid of performance enhancing drugs Manny was given increased power through his bat but could not increase his IQ score.

Shaq and Dwight Howard- Woody & Buzz Lightyear

Just as Shaq tosses barbs at Dwight Howard for running with Shaq's old Superman moniker, Woody didn't take it too kindly as Buzz quickly becames Andy's favorite new toy.  Nevermind the fact that neither of them actually owns the rights to Superman.  Shaq has had it in for Dwight Howard for years while Howard has looked to the Big Aristotle as a mentor.  While Disney Pixar's Buzz and Woody battle for dominance in Andy's room, Dwight Howard is building his legacy in the backyard of Disney Studios.  The Magic and Cavs are runaway favorites to escalate their "Man of Steel" debate into June's Eastern Conference Finals while Disney returns to Andy's toybox, sometime this summer.  
Somewhere in this summer's Toy Story 3, or a joint promotion for the Finals, Shaq and Dwight Howard's action figures have to cameo on Andy's floor tugging over Superman's cape.  Bench the Kobe Lebron puppets.  There's no argument, this has to happen.

Phil Jackson- Gandalf
Gandalf established himself as the most powerful wizard in the world through the Lord of the Rings trilogy as he led Frodo the hobbit on a treacherous mission.  Meanwhile, Phil Jackson In almost 2 decades as a head coach, Phil Jackson has earned 10 rings as head coach by guiding His Airness, Michael Jordan as well as His Heirness Kobe Bryant to the promised land.  Although, Gandalf's wizarding archnemesis throughout the trilogy was the powerful Saruman, Phil Jackson's only head coaching rival has been the ghost of Red Auerbach.
After winning 6 championships in Chicago, and three peating in L.A., Jackson stepped away from the Lakers in 2004 only to return in 2006 to surpass Auerbach's 9 championships 4 years later.  Gandalf also appeared to have fallen only to be reborn as the most powerful wizard in Middle Earth.  Phil Jackson doesn't believe in magic but he has earned his moniker as the Zen Master and professional basketball's Lord of the Rings.

Lebron James- John Connor Connor has been preordained as the leader of a future Resistance since the early 80's while prognosticators dubbed The 'Bron, King James before he'd finished his senior season at St. Vincent St. Mary.  However, a pair of recorded private incidents put a dent in their respective images last summer.  The actor behind John Connor wailed on a crew member, while Lebron ordered his Nike henchman to seize an unflattering video of The King getting slammed on .

Roger Goodell- Principal Joe Clark
Some of these just write themselves.  The NFL was in dire need of a displinarian to bring order to the National Football League after the retirement of Paul Tagliabugue in 2006.  Following a scandalous season of troubling player headlies, Goodell implemented a tougher, more stringent Players Conduct Policy.  Similarly, Crazy Joe Clark was hired to turnaround a school plagued by drugs and gang violence.
Principal Clark's first act was to expell troublemaking students.  Goodell's tenure as commissioner has been notable for his lengthy suspensions of Pacman Jones, Tank Johnson, Chris Henry and Michael Vick among others.

Josh McDaniels- Damien Cockburn rookie head coach bears an eery resemblence to Tropic Thunder's fictional director Damien Cockburn. and yep that is his last name.  In his directorial debut, Cockburn is unable to reel in the egos of his supernova cast which results in an insane plot to complete the rest of his film.  McDaniels' inaugural season was also corrupted by a multi-million dollar roster of personalities.  His first malcontent, Jay Cutler negotiated his trade out of town where he proceeded to throw away the Chicago Bears' season.  Brandon Marshall and McDaniels appeared to have patched up his relationship with Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall until benching Marshall and then sentencing him to street clothes in the Broncos regular season finale.

Ray Lewis-Jules Winnfield

Ray Lewis, once considered the hardest hitting linebacker in the NFL apparently studied from Winnfield, the bible quoting, gun toting hitman sporting an afro that appeared to have been dipped in grease.  Winnfield gave up the life of a hitman after an assailant misfires 6 shots at him from point blank range and searches for redemption.  Conversely, Ray Lewis sought redemption after witnessing a double murder during Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta.  In the decade since then Lewis has turned to God and staked his claim as a first ballot Hall of Famer in Baltimore.  Opposing ballcarriers and receivers will know His name is the Lord, when Ray lays his vengeance upon thee!

Tim Tebow- Adam Fenton
Off the field, Tebow presents a friendly demeanor and strong Christian beliefs but on the gridiron, his killer instincts are comparable to Frailty's eery killer Adam Fenton.  Through the course of Frailty, Felton is revealed as a small town sheriff who moonlights as a serial killer/demon hunter.  Tim Tebow doesn't quite kill opposing defenders but he does counter his meek off-field persona with a frightening brutality towards persuing tacklers.  You never suspect until the end, that Adam Fenton is THE GODS HAND KILLER, just as not many outsiders expected Tebow to convert from a bruising fullback option to a Heisman Trophy winning passer between his freshman and sophomore campaigns.  History repeats itself this spring as Tebow's throwing mechanics, and coverage reading skills have been bashed ad nasueum.

Brett Favre- The Bride "most dangerous woman in the world" shares a thirst for revenge with Brett Favre.
For most of his adult life, Brett Favre, the most prolific gunslinger in NFL history served the Packer faithful and returned them to relevancy.  Left for dead by the Packers, Favre returned from retirement in 2008 to play for the New York Jets.  Left for dead by Bill and the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, Bearix Kiddo set out to exact revenge on Bill.  However, Favre truly found his legs under him with the Minnesota Vikings after head coach Brad Childress coaxed him out of retirement.  The Bride successflly killed Bill using the "Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique". Favre's 2 year quest for revenge ended in convincing fashion as Favre threw for 515 yards, 7 touchdowns and did not urn over the ball against his former team.

Pete Carroll and Pete Carroll- Michael Scott & Ryan Howard
For the better part of the decade Pete Carroll, Lane Kiffin, Michael Scott and Ryan Howard have been the most unorthodox yet successful salesman in their respective industries.  Kiffin and Carroll have built enormous hype around themselves which they've used to sell recruits to their programs.
Both Carroll and Scott endeared themselves as immature but likeable managers of prosperous football programs/paper supply branches.  Although, neither behaved like they were doing any work, Pete Carroll headed the most successful college football of the decade while Scott manages the most profitable regional branch in an economic downturn.     

Lane arrived at USC as the young, brash quarterbacks coach whereas Ryan Howard fell into the role as the prodigal son of branch manager Michael Scott.  
Pete Carroll's dream was to return to the NFL but it was then offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, whom Al Davis and the Raiders surprisingly handpicked to helm their franchise.  At 31, Kiffin was tthe youngest head coach in NFL history.  Kiffin's television alter ego, Ryan Howard was promoted from temp to corporate after secretly interviewing for the position, Michael Scott prepared for. Ryan Howard was the youngest Vice President of the North East Region in Dunder Mifflin history.
One year later, Howard was fired and despite surviving the canablistic Al Davis, Kiffin was simultaneously fired as well.

After Ryan's brief stint at a bowling alley and Kiffin's tenure at Tennessee, the geographical equivalent of a bowling alley, they've each returned to their original destinations.  Now as head coach of the USC Trojans, Ryan Howard has returned to coach the USC Trojans, as Lane Kiffin settles into a slightly more respectable return to Dunder Mifflin.  I think I'm beginning to blur reality and fiction.

Michael Vick- Earl Hickey
Vick, who lost his lost his $100 million dollar contract in the summer of 2007 identifies with the former troublemaker who gets struck by a car after buying a winning lottery ticket.  To get karma back on their side, both set out to pay restitution by compiling a list of the lives they've negatively impacted, and embarking on a personal mission to set things straight.    
Conversely, Hickey also spent half a season in a minimum security jail whereas Vick was sent to the big house for 2 years proving the old adage that the arch of justice tips towards the wealthy, famous and fictional television protagonists.

Allen Iverson- Detective John McClane
John McClane was pre-9/11 Jack Bauer. McClane was depicted as an 80's cop with a reckless disregard for authority, whose job is constantly threatened through 4 films but is spontaneously partnered with an eclectic revolving door of less heralded co-stars for comic relief.  Allen Iverson spent a tumultous decade feuding with head coaches and teammates while singlehandedly lifting the franchise on his shoulders with a mix of pedestrian sidekicks.McClane spent the entire decade with his marriage on the rocks, while Iverson was perennial trade bait and in the end both partnerships dissolved.
McClane's film heroism usually landed him with mulltiple wounds and injuries that any normal human being would have succumbed to in the original.  Iverson's career was also remarkable for the physical abuse his small frame withstood as he remained an elite scorer.

Geno Auriemma- Nick Marshall
As the protagonist of What Women Want, Nick Marshall is a ladies man and ad salesman suddenly blessed with the gift of hearing the thoughts of women.  Geno Auriemma is a man blessed with a similar ability to relate with young female athletes.  Marshall develops a professional rivalry with his female boss and for over a decade, Auriemma has traded national championships and verbal jabs with the winningest coach in college basketball history, Pat Summit.

Speaking of What Women Want...

Tiger Woods- John Tucker

John Tucker's life is just a tamer tween comedy version of The Tiger Woods Saga.  John Tucker is the high school basketball star who secretly dates a trio of girls, pleging that each is "the one".  Ultimately they discover his mult-tasking habits and set out to ruin his life by scheming to publicly humiliate Tucker.  The fictional Tucker convinces the girls who he dates to keep their relationships secret by telling them that his father does not allow him to date during basketball season.  If only Tiger Woods' plan to conceal his many girlfriends from his wife was fire-proof.



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