Possible NFC North Reality Shows

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By the TSB Staff

Since the NFC North in 2009 seems to be the ultimate reality series in professional sports right now. I asked my staff to  analogize the players and coaches in the division with some of the tv show “characters” currently dotting the reality show landscape.

JAKE MCCORMICK

This is an easy one. Despite my vocal criticisms of VH1 and their mind-numbing switch from “Behind the Music” type programming to mindless trapclap like “Brooke Knows Best” marathons, I must admit I watch a lot of their reality dating shows. I love the creatures that come out of their holes in the ground to proclaim their love for aging rock/rap stars. But the best analogy I can give involves the Vikings, Brett Favre, and Daisy of Love.

Daisy is (obviously) looking for love, but was shunned from her “true love” Bret Michaels in “Rock of Love 2,” and finished second to a mature girl with less baggage and much more potential. She didn’t get along with everyone on the show, and was very shady when talking about her living situations (she lived with her “ex” boyfriend). She was the Brett Favre to Bret Michaels (or Ted Thompson’s) Aaron Rodgers (Winner Ambre Lake).

Fast forward to the fourth episode of “Daisy of Love.” She has really taken a liking to a guy named London, who is a flashy rock star-type, but is also a big flake and whines for no apparent reason other than he isn’t getting his way. As a result, he leaves before elimination, leaving Daisy bawling in her room and unable to give out her Rock Star chains. This obviously upsets the house, since none of the other guys liked London because he was a cocky but waffling douche to her. As the show goes on, we get hints that Daisy is still hurt by London’s premature departure, and her chemistry isn’t as strong with the other guys. So, with four guys remaining in the competition, Daisy’s sidekick Riki reaches out to London and persuades him to come back and resolve the issues between him and Daisy.

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Obviously the rest of the guys hate his guts, and he knows it all too well. But he gradually makes it to the finale episode, and when faced with a decision between Flex, a guy that is much better for her and different than her usual drama-loving boyfriends, and London, who is like every other immature guy she has dated, Daisy says the following: “I need Flex, but I want London.” Thus, she chooses the guy everyone loved to hate, and they all learn to live with it even though everyone involved with the show (including Riki) thinks she made a mistake. I’ll leave you to fill in who is who between the Vikings organization, Favre, and the players. This analogy makes too much sense to me.
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SOXMAN

Cheaters staring Brett Favre.

When Green Packer Packer fans suspect their long-time boyfriend is cheating on them with another team, our cameras are there when the confrontation takes place.  Will Brett score with another team?  Don’t miss another great season on the NFC.

Flavor of Lovie.

Lovie Smith is in search of a wide receiver for his bachelor quarterback.  Will Lovie’s idea of ball romance agree with Jay’s desire to command an offense?  The balls will fly and players will run all season long in the most offensive show to come out of Chicago in years.

Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood.

Starring Aaron Rogers who teaches people it’s ok to be second despite the speedy deliveries of passes to Greg Jennings.  In the end, you will go to the land of make believe to see what life would have been like if Brett Favre was never born.

The Girls Next Door.

Starring the Detroit Lions offensive line.  Only Mathew Stafford will not be pillow fighting cuties.  He’ll be participating in the “Amazing Race,” trying to escape linemen out for his head.cedricbensonjersye

PAUL M. BANKS

“Elimidate” starring Brian Urlacher

He’s a man known to reap the “strange” out there in the Chicago nightlife; on a level even more intense than Kyle Farnsworth or Mark Grace. Everyone has an Urlacher story. Some even have a paternity suit.

“The Shark Tank” starring Matthew Stafford

ABC’s Sunday night series is probably the only reality series I actually like these days, but this show isn’t about aspiring entrepreneurs pitching panels of venture capitalists, it’s Stafford being put into open water surrounded by blood and chum (his 0-16 Lions teammates) as the sharks, opposing defenses circle around.

“Blind Date” starring Brett Favre

I always loved the little drawings, graphics and thought bubbles that comprise each episode of this series. My dream job is to be the person who gets to write the funny observations and insults of those who participate on this game show. Actually my dream job is any job where I get to rip on people. But what if John Madden who has the biggest man-crush in the history on man-crushes on Favre, also came out of retirement just to cover a few games featuring the man who complete him? He’d no doubt manipulate the telecast to draw hearts and write amorous sayings all over the screen, and somehow the show ends with Madden and Favre in a hot tub…ugh….

Illini Rarely Survive Tourney’s First Weekend

Paul M. Banks

In order to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, a team must go 6-0. Out of the 6 rounds within which a team may be eliminated, the University of Illinois has the most issues with the second round. Since 1995, the Illini have qualified for the tournament every year but three.

In those 11 March Madness appearances, they were ousted in exactly the second game on 6 occasions (’06, ’03, ’00, ’98, ’97, ’95) – more than half the time.

If seedings hold this year, it will occur yet again. Illinois is seeded 5th in the South Region and many experts project them to get past 12th seeded Western Kentucky in the first round, but lose to 4th seeded Gonzaga in the second.

You might know the Zags as that team who in recent years have made a lot of noise knocking off high seeds during the first couple rounds, but can’t seem to duplicate that same success once they get seeded near the top of the bracket themselves.

So why has Illinois struggled so mightily in the tourney’s second round? Well, the first (and only) win over a higher seeded team in school history occurred in 2004, when Deron Williams’ 31 points led the 5th seeded Orange and Blue over the 4th seeded Cincinnati Bearcats. This moment was immortalized on an episode of “The Newlyweds,” a low-brow reality series airing on MTV in those days. Viewers witnessed Jessica Simpson’s ex-husband (and die-hard Cincinnati fan) Nick Lachey feel deep depression as the Illini routed the Bearcats.

If the Illini buck this recent trend and survive past the round of 32, they might have to do it without their glue guy and top defender, Dr. Chester Frazier. The senior point guard who broke his hand in practice last Thursday is also the team’s biggest hustle guy on the court as well as and emotional leader. His health status and Illini tourney history are two things to consider when filling out your bracket this week. Of course, this advice is purely for novelty purposes; nothing to do with gambling. If you bought stocks recommended on CNBC’s “Mad Money,” and they later tanked you wouldn’t take it out on Jim Cramer, right?

The Un-Real Housewives of Atlanta


By Desiree Prieto

“If it doesn’t make me any money, I don’t do it.” “People are intimidated by my success.” “I don’t keep up with the Jones’s, I am the Jones’s.” This suburban bubble of land rovers, Porsches and fake benefit events exists on the Bravo show The Real Housewives of Atlanta. We’re told we’re watching a reality show about rich, talented and insanely beautiful women. What a parody, because it only takes a few minutes to learn we’re actually watching a group of untalented, ungrateful –and let’s not forget vapid—women, who don’t understand there are currencies of wealth other than money.

Yep, we’ve all heard the saying, ‘money doesn’t buy you class,’ but now we get to watch it in action. Throughout the show, a group of five women boasts their ‘talent,’ ‘skills,’ and ‘hard work’ by turning their pretend hobbies into a career.

There’s Kim Zoliciak, an overwhelming blond who not only compares herself to the next Carrie Underwood and Cher, but also thinks she’s black for some reason and is aghast to learn that professional singers take vocal lessons.

Second, is Sheree Whitfield, the ex-wife of NFL player Bob Whitfield. She’s an aspiring clothing designer, albeit unoriginal, albeit, someone should tell her the show is not called the Real Ex-Wives of Atlanta.

Third, there’s Lisa Wu Hartwell, wife of NFL Player Ed Hartwell. You’d actually kind of like Lisa, if you could get past her self-proclaimed business woman status, as a jewelry designer, fitness instructor, real-estate mogul and clothing designer.

Deshawn Snow, the wife of Cleveland Cavaliers Captain Eric Snow (who happens to be a great guy) plays foundation president, and ambitiously throws a benefit to raise a million dollars in one night. Forget the fact that all-the-while she’s revealing her crazy scheme to disapproving, somewhat practical friends, she still manages to go thru with the financially fruitless disaster. But, at least most of the women try to work. Nene Leakes, aka, the loser of the group and wife of a real-estate agent, never really articulates her career. Although, we learn she talks trash for a living, perpetuates an outdated black stereotype, is a ‘hater’ and says things like, “we’re paying for our son’s college out of our pocket.” Whatever that means, because if we’ve learned anything from this silly reality show, it’s that everything, including money, isn’t real.

Periodically, producers make an attempt to humanize or real-ify the lives of the five women. NeNe learns for the first time on the show that she doesn’t know who her real father is, and Lisa’s husband will move to Oakland to play for the Raiders while she is alone in Atlanta with their baby. We also learn these women are mothers, but we can’t help but wonder what values these parents impart, as most of us grew up with parents who taught us to live humble and giving lifestyles, or the complete opposite of what is portrayed here.

How has reality television become so obviously un-real, that now, most budding adolescents aspire to grow up and become the exact opposite of what our parents’ taught us? Perhaps we’re not all taught to “think outside the box” after all, but instead to be the box that sits inside our living rooms.

Click here to check out Desiree’s blog “Gal About the Globe.”