In case you don’t watch every show on DVR or online and can’t fast forward through every commercial break, then I’m sure you’re more than aware of Friday’s upcoming release of “Angels and Demons.”
The critics are saying: “Better than ‘The Da Vinci Code’ in every way imaginable!”
I would hope so, “The Da Vinci Code” blew. And the critics at Rotten Tomatoes agreed with me.
I keep hearing how great Dan Brown’s books are. It’s a shame they can’t make movies to match. But while watching some playoff basketball this week, you just couldn’t avoid “Angels and Demons” promos. They were everywhere. In fact, I was watching a baseball game online via MLBTV and a graphic for the movie popped up on the screen during the telecast, causing the announcer to ask “What is it Halloween?”
With “Angels and Demons” singed into my brain, it got me thinking. What about the Angels and Demons of the current sports world? Why not, right?
And no, Timmy Tebow can’t be an angel because he’s God reincarnate himself.
Also Known As: Kaner
From: Michael Landon’s puffy cloud in “Highway to Heaven.”
Case For Wings: The first overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Kane looks more like a choirboy than a hockey sniper. The 5-foot-10 baby-faced right wing won the Calder Trophy last season and followed that up with a 25-goal, 45-assist season this year. Paired with fellow youngster Jonathan Toews, Kane helped lead the Baby ‘Hawks to their first playoff series win in 13 years. His eight playoff goals leads the Blackhawks and includes a hat trick in the series clincher against Vancouver Monday night. Oh, and he’s American. Hooray, Winter Olympics!
Age: 24 going on 40
Also Known As: The Chosen One and King James
From: The birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous and the hub of American rubber.
Case For Wings: There’s no doubting LeBron is heaven-sent. I mean we’re already bearing witness. I mean look at it, if that isn’t divinely inspired advertising, I don’t know what is. LeBron was long ticketed as the heir apparent to MJ and the savior of Cleveland, not just the franchise, but the entire city. Is this the year for LeBron? He’s already claimed the MVP and it looks like the Cavaliers have a walkover to the NBA Finals.
Age: Says he’s 29, but he’s from the Dominican, so he’s probably 37.
Also Known As: The Machine
From: This place.
Case For Wings: As of now, he’s an angel because he seems to be clean. (Though we thought the same of A-Rod and Manny Ramirez). But until Pujols gets pinched (if he ever does), he’s baseball’s last great hope. Pujols came out of nowhere in 2001 to win the NL Rookie of the Year and has been named to seven All-Star teams in his eight seasons. For his career, he averages 42 home runs and 129 RBI a season with a .334 batting average. Gaudy numbers. Plus, he’s a heart-warmer and won the 2008 Roberto Clemente Award for outstanding community service. Pujols’ daughter has Down Syndrome and his foundation helps similar families as well as impoverished families back in the Dominican Republic. I know as a Cubs’ fan, I’m supposed to hate this guy. And I do the 17 times he plays the Cubs, but other than that, it’s pretty hard to dislike this guy.
Also Known As: Eldrick
From: Cloud Nine, God’s Par-3 course.
Case For Wings: The winner of 14 Majors, Woods is the best golfer in the world, and arguably the greatest athlete in the world. After undergoing knee surgery, Woods returned after an eight-month layoff and wasted little time reasserting his dominance. At the Arnold Palmer Invitational he came back from five strokes down entering the final round to win on a 16-foot birdie putt on the final hole in what turned into a TV ratings boom for NBC. The man single-handedly carries the sport. He’s the only person to be named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year more than once. And when he’s not scaring the rest of the PGA Tour, he’s making babies with a hot Swedish blonde model. Oh, and he’s heavily philanthropic. He built the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim and his Tiger Woods Foundation, which focuses on improving the health, welfare and education of children.
Also Known As: Pac-Man nad The Mexi-Cutioner
From: General Santos City, Philippines
Case For Wings: An Angel of Death – but an angel nonetheless – Pacquiao is the best pound-for-pound fighter going right now. And after overmatching Oscar De La Hoya and exploding the back of Ricky Hatton’s skull, there’s really only one challenge left: Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather. Phillips introduced me to Pacquiao in 2005 when the Pac-man fought Erik Morales in the first of their three-bout saga. I was hooked from then on. In a sport that many had lost interest in, Pacquiao is exactly what boxing needs: an exciting, relentless, offensive fighter with lovable charisma.
A national hero, recording artist and actor back in the Philippines, Pacquiao ran for a congressional seat in his homeland, but lost because voters wanted him to continue fighting. He says he will enter politics when he’s done fighting to help promote the interests of the Filipino people. One of Time Magainze’s Most Influential People in the World in 2009 in the magazine’s Heros and Icons category, Pacquiao is beginning to gain the attention stateside that he has long deserved. Now, here’s hoping Pretty Boy Floyd takes the bait.
Also Known As: A-Rod, A-Fraud, Gay-Rod, Bitch Tits
From: A very conceited planet
Case For Horns: Has stolen from the rich to give to himself. Aside from his completely rehearsed public persona, he’s also been a serial cheater in more ways than one. Jose Canseco – who has never been proven wrong on any of his allegations – claims A-Rod was using steroids when he was a member of the Texas Rangers. A-Rod denied it. Oh hey, guess what? He’s also been known to cavort with manly women not married to him. Oh, and I’m not referring to Madonna there, at this point there’s no way she isn’t a man.
He’s also widely regarded as the best baseball talent of the past 25 years, yet it has recently been revealed that he was likely using steroids as far back as high school. If he has been using since he joined the Yankees – some allege that he has – he’s obviously not using them after October 1. Despite his enormous talent and signing the two richest contracts in baseball history, “Bitch Tits” has yet to win a World Series.
Also Known As: Skeletor, That Crazy Old Bastard, Beelzebub
From: Somewhere between the eighth and ninth circles of Hell
Case For Horns: He seems to have derived pleasure from torturing a loyal fanbase for the better part of two decades. Davis also used his incredible powers of evil football sorcery to bring Art Shell back from the dead, only to let this zombie of offenses past die after one season. Following that he created the entity known as “Lane Kiffin” that broke with its master after year and a half, and has since gone on to terrorize SEC fanbases. Kiffin has truly proven to be the spawn of Davis.
Davis’ love of 40-yard dash times and strict adherence to the “micromanagement by crazy owners” principle has helped create a master race of inept ownership in sports. Men like Daniel Snyder, Jerry Jones and Ramon Calderon have closely followed Davis’ example and have created their own evil, torturous regimes.
Age: 35, but it’s all relative since the world didn’t seem to exist before he was spawned
Also Known As: T.0., Team Obliterator, Terribly Overrated, Too Old
From: Alabama, but currently resides in his own world
Case For Horns: He may be the Anti-Christ. He gets people to follow him before destroying their hopes and dreams and leaving everything they love in a heap of rubble. San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas have been torn up Cloverfield-style during his multiple reigns of terror. Now he’s moving on to Buffalo to wreak havoc on a new organization. Do the people of Buffalo really need another disappointment?
He has the uncanny ability to charm people, putting them under a hypnotic spell that leaves them constantly repeating the phrases “He’s learned his lesson,” “He’s misunderstood,” and “He’s a great teammate.” His sorcery knows no bounds. He’s also supremely talented, which shields the eyes of observers from his obvious personality disorders. He also likes to stab former friends in the back.
Also Known As: The Joyless Wonder, Nancy Intensity, Urban Crier
From: Ashtabula, Ohio
Case For Horns: He’s created a Stalinist regime at the University of Florida using the trickery of the spread offense. In the wake of his success and two national titles, he’s instituted a hard-line approach to dissent about the Florida program. He’s basically said fans are either with them or against them. He’s even drawn the ire of some Gator fans by claiming that any criticism of the program means they aren’t real fans. He’s also claimed that former players who criticize anything about the team or program will no longer be welcomed back into the football office or on the field during games. This attitude about who is a real Gator and who isn’t is curious coming from Meyer, since he only became a Gator in 2005. Um, Urban? You went to Cincinnati. Wouldn’t that make you a Bearcat? And could you act like you’re enjoying yourself once in a while? Watching you coach is painful because you look so angry all the time. Lighten up, dude.
Aside from his antics while being drunk with power, Meyer has also been accused (behind the scenes mostly) of being one of the dirtiest recruiters in the game. On top of that, some ex-players have publicly claimed Meyer treats his players like shit. But success blinds followers to evil and Meyer has been successful. Plus, he got his master’s degree at Ohio State and was an assistant coach at Notre Dame. Do you need any more evidence that he’s evil?
Also Known As: The Rocket
From: Dayton, Ohio
Case For Horns: One of the most decorated pitchers in baseball history, his legacy has since gone from golden to garbage in the span of about a year. Despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, he still denies he’s ever used any type of performance enhancing drugs. Two close friends – Brian McNamee and Andy Pettite – have both claimed under oath that Clemens wasn’t just a steroid user, he actively sought out new and better drugs to maximize his performance. Oh and he may have banged an underage chick for a while. Even if that is speculation, his 10-year adulterous relationship with her is not.
He also had some, uh, “strange” pregame rituals. In his book The Yankee Years, Tom Verducci conducted an interview with Yankee trainer Steve Donahue. Donahue claims that on days he was scheduled to start, Clemens would take a whirlpool bath at the highest temperature “He’d come out looking like a lobster.” Then, the money quote: “Then Donahue would rub the hottest possible liniment on his testicles.”
A guy who takes a boiling bath then has someone else rub his balls with scalding hot liniment? Yeah, no way he isn’t in league with Satan.