Month: August 2014

Gamedays Are Back

College football kicks off tonight as #9 South Carolina visits #21 Texas A&M. A major clash to kickoff the “barely” advertised SEC Network and a juicy appetizer to wet our taste buds for another thrilling Saturdays of Fall. While most of our football obsessed nation is waiting for Sundays to arrive once again, down in the South Saturday is Football Heaven. It’s all they talk and care about, followed by Friday nights in a distant second. The NFL barely registers on Sundays in SEC country cause that is race day.sec

Professional sports are more entertaining than its collegiate counterpart, simply for have a collection of the world’s best talents competing against one another. However, college football comes the closest to matching its professional counterpart. There is no more exciting sports feeling than walking a college campus on a Saturday. The grills are smoking, every cooler is packed with beer, and hundreds of thousands of fans bristle with excitement in the anticipation of kickoff. The buzz is unparalleled anywhere else in sport.

I witnessed this first hand in college at Notre Dame. The population of South Bend more than doubled on Saturday Gamedays as fans poured in to watch the most losses over any four year stretch in school history. It didn’t matter, people still came to cheer and hope. Sports fans root for their team to feel part of something bigger, a community. Nowhere else in sports is that feeling stronger than in college football. The love of tradition and camaraderie pours over the throngs of tailgating supporters. The feeling only strengthens as fans step into the stadium to root on their team. The band plays the fight song, the crowd sings it word for word, and then the team marches out onto the field into pure mayhem of joy. Win or lose, it is an amazing experience that feels fresh every single time.

The greatest sight on Earth, so much free food and beer to be had.

The greatest sight on Earth, so much free food and beer to be had.

College football’s appeal goes beyond the excitement of tailgating and hearing the band play, the game itself has gotten much closer to the NFL level in the last decade. In the 90s, when I first started watching college football, the triple option was still a popular offense and something that would never be seen on Sundays. Now, college offenses have become so layered and advanced that NFL coaches actually borrow from the college ranks to improve their offense. No NBA team is looking to the college ranks to steal the “let’s pass it around the perimeter for 20 seconds then force up a three” offense. The Utah Jazz is the only team to borrow from college by starting five white guys. 

Five Bold Predictions for the 2014 Season

1. Two SEC teams will make the inaugural College Football Playoffs – Since a special committee is overseeing the selection of the four teams to compete in the first ever playoffs the SEC will be graded on a curve due to its recent success.

2. No Pac 12 team will make the playoffs – The Pac 12 is a slaughterhouse this year, tougher than even the SEC. No team will make it out undefeated and since the conference does not get the respect it deserves the committee will not be grading on a scale leaving the Pac 12 out in the cold. Apologies to the Duck, Bruin, and Tree nations respectively.

3. A QB will not win the Heisman – Todd Gurley will and he is a running back from Georgia. Gurley is a beast and with the departure of three year starter Aaron Murray he will be depended on immensely throughout the season. Total season stat line prediction – 1,836 yards, 15 TDs, 49 catches for 423 yards and 3 TDs. A monstrous season combined with being the lone SEC representation and Quarterback fatigue leads to the Heisman win.

We'll be seeing a lot of that beautiful smile this year.

We’ll be seeing a lot of that beautiful smile this year.

4. Wisconsin is the lone undefeated team when playoff starts– The Badgers toughest game of the year is this Saturday against LSU. Gary Andersen brings some of that Utah State flash to the offense, which combines nicely with the power running game and he out Madhatters the Madhatter Les Miles for the win. After the big victory the Badgers get to feast on this tasty schedule, vs W. Illinois, vs Bowling Green, vs. South Florida, @Northwestern, vs. Illinois, vs. Maryland, @Rutgers, @Purdue, vs. #22 Nebraska, @Iowa, vs. Minnesota. A cake walk of a regular season schedule which will allow them to add more wrinkles into the offense and gain momentum to topple Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship.

Where will the top ranked teams lose? #1 Florida State goes down on Thursday 10/30 at Louisville, as a lackadaisical Seminoles team is overwhelmed by a raucous, drunk Louisville crowd decked out in Halloween costumes. #2 Alabama falls on the road to a hungry LSU team on November 8th. #3 Oregon loses twice, first to Washington at home in a letdown game after defeating UCLA on the road, and then in the regular season finale at Oregon State as it has been too long since the Beavers won the Civil War. #4 Oklahoma loses on the road to the “Bro King” and part time Ryan Gosling impersonator Cliff Kingsbury and the Red Raiders of Texas Tech.

5. Florida State will repeat  as ChampsWait, this isn’t bold, it is as safe as they come.  Is it though? So many people jumped on the FSU bandwagon over the summer that it began to tip and frighten everyone into nitpicking every little thing that could be wrong with this team. Thus leading to a ton of people jumping off the bandwagon and calling the team overrated or saying it will collapse under the pressure of repeating. Not me though, I’ll stick with the pick, FSU back-to-back.

Five Good Bets for the Weekend

1. Rice (+21.5) over Notre Dame – Notre Dame does not cover big spreads, especially in its opening game. It is far too high and moved a half a point in the last two days giving Rice a three touchdown advantage. Notre Dame will win the game, but not by three touchdowns. As an added insider tip, I will be attending the game on Saturday and they’ve lost four of six games that I’ve attended since graduating with the most losses of any class in Notre Dame history.

2. Georgia vs Clemson (O/U 54.5) – Take the over. It is set too low since both teams have new quarterbacks, but there are so many weapons on each side of the ball and a ton of new defensive players for each team as well.

3. Florida State (-18.5) over Oklahoma State parlayed with the under (O/U 63.5) – Florida State’s defense is tremendous and given months to game plan for the high octane Oklahoma State offense will lead to it dominating on Saturday. This will keep the scoring down and Florida State will cruise to a 38-10 type victory.

4. Wisconsin (+5.5) over LSU – The Badgers are going to win the game, getting the 5.5 is just a bonus.

5. Alabama vs West Virginia (O/U 55.5) – Take the under, Nick Saban still hasn’t selected a new quarterback and will rely on his defense to annihilate any hope West Virginia has. It will lead to a victory, but not many points will be scored.

The Tallahassee Police won't reveal this, but we've confirmed that is Jameis' "O" face.

The Tallahassee Police won’t reveal this, but we’ve confirmed that is Jameis’ “O” face.

College Football Playoffs

First Round:

1. Florida State over 4. Georgia

3. Alabama over 2. Wisconsin

Championship

Florida State over Alabama

 

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2014 Emmy Preview: Best in Show

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Emmy Day has finally arrived. Be sure to scroll through the rest of the Emmy preview on our homepage, but now it is time to preview the big two, Outstanding Drama and Comedy Series. Genre’s have become a bit muddled in Television over the years. When the Television Academy of Arts first gave out awards it was easy to distinguish between comedy and drama, but now the lines are blurred. It is great to honor two top shows rather than just one, as the Oscars do, but in some ways it dilutes the value of the Emmys.

A best show in television Emmy in which genre is thrown out the window would bring a lot more prestige to the series that wins it. However, as exciting as that sounds, there is so much quality television on-air that narrowing it down to even ten nominees is a daunting task. Voters would also elevate Drama series over Comedy, just as the Academy Awards do with film, and many deserving comedy series would be left out in the cold. This would be a far bigger tragedy than the dilution of the current Emmys by splitting them into two categories. Let’s take a look at this year’s nominees and see how they compare to the field of the “Tommy Awards.”

Outstanding Comedy Series

Emmy Nominees: ORANGE

Orange is the New Black, Netflix (3/2) – The new kid in town, Netflix, has found a lot of success in its early years of original programming. At least we can assume based on buzz and awards, but since Netflix does not release its viewership numbers there is no definitive way to know. But no one foresaw this series about a women’s prison being its biggest creative success. The show is fresh, riveting, and funny. It has the largest ensemble cast of any comedy and the fact that it is easy to remember the backstory on all of them even when they spend several episodes offscreen speaks to how well the characterization of each one is done.

Modern Family, ABC (2/1) – The three-time defending champ has seen its odds shift from (4/1) to (2/1) in the last month, which speaks to the power this traditional sitcom has over Emmy voters. It seems improbable that it would win four straight in its first four seasons. Yes, Mad Men just accomplished this feat on the drama side, but its fourth season is the best of the series and was also a fresh new creative direction. Modern Family, on the other hand, has grown more tired and repetitive with each passing season. veep_still_-_h_-_2014

Veep, HBO (3/1) – An all-timer that works on so many levels, political satire, dysfunctional workplace comedy, terrific performances, vulgar humor, etc. It should’ve topped Modern Family last year and upped its game again this season by taking Selina Meyer out on the campaign trail in an effort to become the next President of the United States. Selina and an outrageously expensive wooden crate equals pure comedic gold.

Louie, FX (10/1) – Any show that comes so singularly from the genius mind of Louis C.K. deserves to be amongst the best shows in television. It is not always laugh out loud funny, but C.K. is such a keen observer of human nature and how we function as a society that he always has something interesting to say.

The Big Bang Theory, CBS (10/1) – It’s surprising that with all the love Emmy voters have shown Modern Family they have failed to crown this more classic and successful throwback sitcom as Best Comedy Series. It is a well executed show that delivers punchline after punchline. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but succeeds ridiculously well at what it is trying to do.

Silicon Valley, HBO (30/1) – I have to plead ignorance on this one, having only seen the pilot episode of which I was not a fan. From what people tell me the show improved markedly as the season went along. It is by far the most surprising nomination in the category, but then again given HBO’s track record of lobbying for and getting the most nominations I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised.

Tommy Nominees: 600x400_broadcity_new

Orange is the New Black

Veep

Louie

Broad City, Comedy Central – Stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson shared my Outstanding Lead Actress award and led by their brilliance Broad City is the funniest new show of the year. It is ballsy and absurdist at times, but executes its ridiculous premises with ease. Glazer and Jacobson’s chemistry is so strong that the show could put them in any situation and mine comedy out of it.

Inside Amy Schumer, Comedy Central – Comedy Central has really come into its own the last few years and if this category was made up completely of its shows I would not take much issue with Key and Peele, the above mentioned Broad City, Review, and Nathan for You all worthy nominees. But Schumer gets the nod for the funniest sketch show on TV. A star on the rise, Schumer flips feminine stereotypes on its head and does so with unabashed brashness.

Shameless, Showtime – This is where the blurred lines of the comedy genre comes into play. Do I honor more traditional, network comedies such as Parks and Rec and Brooklyn 99? Or go with another Comedy Central sketch show such as Review or Key and Peele. Or honor the strangeness of FX with “Seinfeld on acid” It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Wilfred, or Legit. All of those shows are worthy of recognition, but the last spot goes to Showtime’s Shameless. A category flipper from drama to comedy, this bold show does not fit either genre. It simply is what it is, nothing else, and what it is, is brilliant.

Best Bet: 

This is a wide open category with Silicon Valley serving as the lone “happy to be here” show. Any of the other five have a decent shot at winning. It feels like a good category to take a long shot. Modern Family fatigue seems very legit this year and the chances of four-peating feel a lot slimmer than (2/1). Emmy voters may not be ready to honor less traditional shows, such as OITNB and Louie. HBO’s track record in comedy is less successful than the drama side, eliminating Veep and Silicon Valley. This leaves Big Bang Theory at (10/1). Emmy voters may feel more comfortable voting for something more traditional as well as honoring far and away the biggest scripted hit on television.

And the Tommy Goes to…

Veep. The best comedy on television. It works on so many levels. While Broad City and Inside Amy Schumer made me laugh harder, no comedy left me more satisfied than Veep. Tremendous writing for a powerful lead performance with a splendid supporting cast around her. Veep has it all, including the honor of taking home the Tommy.

And the Emmy Goes to…

Orange is the New Black. The only thing I’m sure of is that Modern Family will fall. It is a wide open field behind it, but tonight just feels like a coronation of Orange is the New Black. The only thing that might prevent it from dominating is that the entire second season, which is not eligible till next year, has been watched by voters and is better than the first. Perhaps this makes them hesitate and wait till next year to crown it, but I’m banking on it only improving its chances this year.

 

Outstanding Drama Series

Emmy Nominees: 301px-BBS5

Breaking Bad, AMC (1/5) – Let’s remove the suspense, Breaking Bad should and will win this award. There is no one else to bet on and no case to be made for any other show. Yes, True Detective was fascinating and the performances from its two leads made it riveting. Game of Thrones is a true splendor to watch and more than deserving of a win in any other year. The only knock against Breaking Bad is the split season format in which AMC aired it. I’m not a big fan of this “split season” format as it is only used to cut down costs since everyone involved gets pay raises in each new season. It is obviously a terrific business plan as it saves money, increases streaming viewing of previous seasons, and led to a finale audience of over 10 million people.

But there should be a creative consequence in that the show cannot be eligible for awards until the entire season is completed. Last year, the first eight episodes were not nearly as deserving of the win, but when combined with these final 8 to form the complete 16 episode season then Breaking Bad becomes an even bigger favorite. It is the same reason why Mad Men shouldn’t be nominated this year for the first 7 episodes of its final season. A Mad Men season has a certain rhythm to it as it builds upon each previous episode to a satisfying conclusion. By splitting the season in half AMC has disrupted that rhythm and the seventh season of Mad Men is not complete, which is why it joins Downton Abbey and House of Cards on my undeserving nominees list.

Tommy Nominees: 

Breaking Bad, AMC – The Champ, plain and simple.

True Detective, HBO – Admire the balls on HBO for submitting in the drama series category instead of miniseries in which it would’ve most likely won, but Fargo would make it closer than expected. It will forever be remembered in the history of television thanks to the brilliance of McConnaughey and Woody.

Game of Thrones, HBO – A grand Hollywood epic that airs 10 weeks a year on our TV screens. Tied with Breaking Bad as far as entertainment value and deserves this award at some point in its run.

Boardwalk Empire, HBO – The best example of a novel format on TV. The whole of each season is more satisfying than each individual episode. The execution is simply remarkable.

Orphan Black, BBC America – All conversation about Orphan Black starts with Tatiana Maslany’s performance, as well it should, but behind that performance is the best thriller on television. The action packed thrills combined with the heart that Maslany’s performance brings makes this the most enjoyable show to watch.

The Good Wife, CBS – Grading a bit on a curve for this nominee, but The Good Wife continues to provide an example of the advantages to network television, the biggest being the extra episodes, 22 compared to 8, 8, 10, 12, and 10 from the other Tommy nominees respectively. While most other network shows view this as a burden, Good Wife sees it as an opportunity for more character study.

The Champ Says Goodbye

Back to tonight’s winner. Breaking Bad leaves an indelible mark on the television landscape and it will forever be debated amongst the best show’s of all time. As much as I’m against split season’s getting nominated twice, this show and especially this final season deserves at least two Emmys for all it has accomplished. Vince Gilligan is a television genius and the premise behind this series may never be topped, but the execution of the brilliant premise is what makes this an all-time great.

2014 Emmy Preview: Outstanding Lead Actress Comedy

Over the weekend we discussed the rapid decline of the Lead Actor in a Comedy series category, which has led to an era of dominance by Jim Parsons. This category is on the verge of having an actress win it three years in a row. However, unlike her male counterpart it is not from a dearth of competition, but rather sheer brilliance. The only question to ask in this category is can anyone stop Julia Louis-Dreyfus?

Nominees

When you come at the Queen, you best not miss.

When you come at the Queen, you best not miss.

 

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (1/4) – Emmy royalty, she has won four awards and received 15 nominations, eight for lead and seven for supporting actress in a comedy series. All signs point to her taking home a fifth golden statute tomorrow night. Veep is the best comedy on television and Dreyfus is the main reason why. The way she rips through the profanity laced Iannucci dialogue or plays Selina Meyer’s determination to matter in Washington is pure gold. Right now she is playing in a higher league than the rest of her competition.

Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black” (9/2) – Fan opinion is split on Piper Chapman as a character. Count me amongst the fans, as a suburban boy she reminds me of home. But even the haters must admit that Schilling’s performance is impressive and worthy of a nomination. It is hard to match Jenji Kohan’s last leading lady, Mary Louise Parker from Weeds, but Schilling seems to have a great grasp of Kohan’s wry sense of humor and brings it out in her performance.

Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” (7/1) – This was Poehler’s worst season on the show, which is still better than 99% of the female leads in comedies. Another black mark on the Emmy’s record. It astonishes me that Poehler has never one for playing Leslie Knope a character that against all odds has become more iconic than Michael Scott from The Office. Over the past six seasons no one has been better at making an audience run the gambit of emotions than Poehler as Knope. She makes us laugh, cry, get angry, laugh even harder, feel embarrassed, and then laugh harder than we thought possible. Sadly it appears,  just like Carrell, Poehler will never take home the gold.

Lena Dunahm, “Girls” (30/1) – I hate Dunham with a fiery passion, but that she brings such passion out of me may speak to the level of talent she has. I’m just not sure if my hatred is jealousy or because she actually sucks. It is a complicated matter and I need to explore my feelings on it further before I decide if she is worthy of this nomination.tumblr_mp5tiekfvN1r0dgn4o1_500

Melissa McCarthy, “Mike and Molly” (30/1) – Everyone loves Melissa McCarthy. Except for Jenny McCarthy, but that is a complicated story. She is a bona fide movie star that seems to crap out hundreds of millions in box office. But that does not mean she is delivering an Emmy worthy performance on TV. First off, the material she is given is not nearly up to the caliber she deserves. This shouldn’t count against her, but it only allows her to glide by on tired gags. Emmy voters quickly realized that Jason Segal’s movie success did not translate to a stellar performance on How I Met Your Mother and must do the same with McCarthy. This will be the last year she gets nominated.

Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie” (30/1) – Falco sneaks in to the field because she has won this award playing this character before and she is a phenomenal actress. However, Nurse Jackie is suffering creative fatigue and Falco has been forced to cycle through the same character beats as earlier in its run. Again, this is not her fault, but it also lessens the appeal of the role.

Snubs

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, “Broad City” – An Emmy first is needed, nominate a pair of actress for one spot. Broad City is the best new comedy of the year and also the comedy that made me laugh the hardest. The credit all goes to Glazer and Jacobson who not only serve as the show’s stars, but its creators as well. The majority of scenes in the show feature just the two of them improving off one another. Their chemistry is unmatched on TV today and it is impossible to separate them.

Rossum has grown to outshine the immensely talented William H Macy on Shameless.

Rossum has grown to outshine the immensely talented William H Macy on Shameless.

 

Emmy Rossum, “Shameless” – This is a tough year for Shameless to submit in the comedy category. It spent the previous three seasons in drama, while being a twisted dark comedy about a family surviving on Chicago’s South Side. Then switched to comedy and delivered its most dramatic season yet as the weight that the Gallaghers have been holding up all came crashing down on top of them. The focal point of this crash was Rossum’s Fiona whom nearly killed her toddler brother by leaving cocaine out on the table, then proceeded to have a prison arc of her own, but without all the humor that Schilling got to play with on Orange is the New Black. Never the less, comedic or not, Rossum deserves more recognition for her work on the underrated Shameless.

Best Bet

There is a great case to be made for a Schilling win. Orange is the New Black is a trendy new show that has a groundswell of support and might have a huge night, racking up award after award. Schilling could very well be a beneficiary of that support and topple Queen Dreyfus. But in reality talking up anyone else in this category is like betting on Floyd Mayweather’s next opponent. Yeah, it sounds fun and tempting to correctly pick the man that takes him down, but in the end Money Mayweather is going to win by decision. Bet big on Dreyfus.

Should Win 

Dreyfus is the Queen, but Veep has a tremendous supporting cast, while Glazer and Jacobson carry the show on their own. Yes, it is cheating to pick a pair over one person, but it takes something special like this to topple a legend. And while Veep is a better overall show, no one made me laugh harder than Jacobson and Glazer on Broad City.

Will Win 

This is the biggest lock of the night. Dreyfus makes it a three peat. You’re welcome Pat Riley. She is just too good and Emmy voters love her too much for anyone to beat her.

2014 Emmy Preview: The Jim Parsons Award

images (7)

Bazinga! Sheldon Cooper’s catchphrase has been appropriate for the man who plays him at the Emmys as of late. Jim Parsons has won three of the last four Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Emmys and received his sixth straight nomination for his starring role on The Big Bang Theory. As much as this era of dominance has upset people, especially considering that Steve Carrell never won one for the iconic role of Michael Scott, it is really not surprising looking at the current state of comedy in television.

The television landscape has changed dramatically over the last 20 years with an expansion of cable networks producing original programming, which has led to new digital platforms, such as Netflix and Amazon, now producing its own original content as well. It has led to a saturation of the market that has lowered viewership of most watched programs and created niche programming that allows people to find the shows that best fit their taste. Comedy has been most affected by this change in that it has moved away from the standard sitcom to an array of tastes that range from dark absurdist, to satirical, to sketch show, to whatever the hell Nathan Fielder is doing.

The variety makes it difficult for Emmy voters to select male leads to nominate since the traditional form they’re used to is all, but disappeared. Parsons is really the only traditional male sitcom lead left that is worthy of a nom, which explains why he wins the award so damn much. Look at the field for this event 20 years ago in 1994.

The former King of this category, Frasier Crane.

The former King of this category, Frasier Crane.

1994 Nominees

Kelsey Grammer, “Frasier” (Winner)

John Larroquete, “The John Larroquete Show”

Jerry Seinfeld, “Seinfeld”

Paul Reiser, “Mad About You”

John Goodman, “Roseanne”

 

Five nominees all from successful sitcoms and all with big name cache. Grammer won four lead acting Emmys for his role as Frasier Crane. Larroquete, while not as successful as a led, won four straight Supporting Actor in a Comedy Emmys for his performance on Night Court. Jerry Seinfeld is Jerry Seinfeld, enough said there. It may be easy to forget now, but Reiser was a big name in the 90s and Mad About You a smash hit. He received six nominations without ever winning. Finally, the multi-talented John Goodman starred as Roseanne’s husband on a smash hit sitcom that was deemed revolutionary for its time. He topped Resier with seven nominations for this role without ever winning. Now, look at the field for this year’s event.

Nominees

Jim Parsons, “Big Bang Theory” (1/1) – As mentioned he is a three time winner and the only traditional sitcom lead actor in this field. Say what you will about Chuck Lorre, but his formula works and a big reason why is the actor’s ability to nail the punchlines while remaining in character.

Ricky Gervais, “Derek” (3/1) – Gervais has been an Emmy staple ever since bringing The Office over to the US. Derek is a special project for him and completely different than anything else he has done. It is a dark comedy on the surface, but packs a lot of heart and filled with wry observations of human behavior. It will be interesting to see how voters compare this performance to a traditional comedic one like Parsons.

William H. Macy, “Shameless” (4/1) – The result of Emmy voters not finding leads from traditional sitcoms to nominate is turning to famous actors on television no matter how good or comedic the performance is. To be fair Macy is excellent on Shameless and the show’s consistent supply of humor. The only argument against his nomination is that he is far from the lead. If he were nominated for a supporting role it would make sense, but he seems out of place in this category.

Louie C.K., “Louie” (5/1) – There is no doubt about whom the lead is on this show, in fact C.K. quite literally does it all on his titular program. Louie is a result of C.K.’s brilliant mind and while it is not always traditionally funny, but never boring. For all the accolades he receives as a stand-up, writer, and director, C.K. is also a brilliant actor more than deserving of a nomination.

Matt Leblanc, “Episodes” (18/1) – “Hey it’s a former sitcom star on a Showtime comedy. It must be good, let’s nominate him.” The thought process of Emmy voters, despite being oh so wrong.

Don Cheadle, “House of Lies” (30/1) – “Hey it’s a movie star and Academy Award nominee starring on a Showtime comedy. It must be good, let’s nominate him.” While Cheadle is his usual charming self and does what he can with the material given, the material is too awful to validate a nomination.

Snubs

Andy Daly, “Review” – Review is a fun twist on the sketch show format. Daley stars as reviewer of life, Forrest Macneil. The premise allows for a variety of concepts that break up the show into three or segments of different things that people ask Forrest to review. However, instead of having each review standing alone with no consequences, like every other sketch show, every review impacts Forrest’s life mostly in negative ways. It eventually leads to him ending up divorce and bankrupt, but his unwavering desire to continue reviewing life.

Jake Johnson, “New Girl” – Johnson has really grown into the role of Nick Miller over three seasons. After Max Greenfield grabbed the early headlines with the much showier role of Schmidt, it would’ve been easy for the producers to turn New Girl into “The Schmidt Show.” However, it stuck with its other stars and for good reason as Johnson has become the most consistent supply of laughs and heart on the show.

Best Bet

Jim Parsons fatigue is very possible this year. But if it happens is there any viable candidate to step up and win? The best bet is voters awarding C.K. for all that he does on Louie. At (5/1) it is a great payout if they go in this direction. download

Should Win

Louis C.K. In a weak field he deserves to be recognized for the incredible work he has done. It is more than just rewarding him for writing, directing, producing, starring, and editing the show, he has also delivered a tremendous performance over the last four seasons. It is hard to say if it is more deserving than the others and Daly gave the best performance of the season, but I’m going to break my own rule of ignoring past seasons and awarding the Emmy to C.K.

Will Win 

The Parsons juggernaut rolls on to a fourth Emmy. Gervais is one for one when getting nominated in this category, but he’s made enough enemies in Hollywood that it will be difficult for him to get the necessary votes. Everyone loves Parsons and he is a throwback sitcom start that stands out in this list of nominees.

2014 Emmy Preview: The McConaissance vs The One Who Knocks

Yesterday we went over the stupidity of Tatiana Maslany not getting nominated despite giving far and away the best performance on television. Her male counterparts do not suffer from such an egregious snub. Yes, Jeff Daniels and Kevin Spacey have no business being nominated, but the formidable foursome of Jon Hamm, Bryan Cranston, Matthew McConaughey, and Woody Harrelson are all there. Since no one outside of these four actors deserve to win the Emmy it is hard to get too upset over snubs, but I’ll try anyways.

Undeserving Nominees

Then put an end to your performance, Frank.

Then put an end to your performance, Frank.

 

Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards” – Oh man, look at that Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood manipulative and cunning with his grand monologues direct to camera. Is there no end to his brilliance? Spacey’s campy, over-the-top, scene chewing performance would be highly entertaining on a Funny or Die video or maybe even a feature film, but over the course of a 13 episode season it is just grating. A lead character doesn’t need to be likable, but he should be at least interesting and multidimensional, ala Tony Soprano. Underwood is a cartoon villain in the flesh. Just like House of Cards is a 80s primetime soap opera masquerading as quality television, Spacey is delivering an annoying, over-the-top performance that dupes everyone into believing it is brilliant. Tone things down and find some humanity in the character, Kevin, and oh yeah, learn how to throw a fucking baseball.

Jeff Daniels, “Newsroom” – Daniels is not undeserving because of his performance. In fact it is a great acting job considering Aaron Sorkin’s writing lends itself to falling down the same overacting well that Spacey did. He’s undeserving of nomination simply because he stole the award last year over far more deserving performers, top of the list being six, now seven, time nominee and zero time winner, Hamm as Don Draper. It would be perfectly acceptable for Daniels to take the sixth spot in this category every year. A nice face to pop up at the show, but to actually win the damn thing is unacceptable.

Snubs

Michael Sheen, “Masters of Sex” – Sheen is a brilliant actor able to slip into the skin of an array of characters with ease. He does it again as the cold, calculating, sex research pioneer, Dr. William Masters. Sheen brings out the humanity in this cold scientific man, especially in scenes he shares with the equally brilliant Lizzy Caplan. It is not a showy role, but rather reserved and complicated one, which is more difficult to pull off effectively. An actor of Sheen’s brilliance playing the complicated role of a real life figure is more than deserving of a nomination.

Hugh Dancy, “Hannibal” – It is rare for a broadcast network lead to break into this category with all the powerful male characters on cable these days, but Dancy’s Will Graham belongs in the conversation with his cable counterparts. It is the quieter role of the two leads on this psychological thriller, but with his arc of getting arrested and constantly having to deal with his own fragile psyche Dancy pulls off a memorable performance deserving of more recognition.

Best Bets

There are only two people to bet on in this category since only two people have any chance of winning, McConaughey and Cranston. It comes down to odds, McConaughey at (4/9) or Cranston at (3/1). Any time a former three time winner with a submission episode that was the best episode of television last year has (3/1) odds, you have to take it.

Should Win

Could Don slow dance his way to Emmy gold? Unfortunately not.

Could Don slow dance his way to Emmy gold? Unfortunately not.

 

Breaking my own rule of only considering the current season in which their eligible, but only slightly because he was still absolutely brilliant, Jon Hamm is the most deserving actor in this category. Don Draper and Walter White are pantheon characters in the history of television and will always be linked together since they appeared on our screens over the same time period. Cranston is absolutely incredible and the journey he took from High School Chemistry teacher to Drug Kingpin was unlike any ever seen before on TV. However, Hamm’s performance as Don Draper is slightly more impressive.

The character beats of Walter White are easier to see as the plot directs the changes in his attitude. Cranston nails all of these, but it becomes a showier performance thanks to the extreme change in White. Draper is a more muddled character, by design, and therefore more difficult to nail down. Yet Hamm knocks it out of the park. While he never gets badass lines to say like “I am the one who knocks,” or “Now, say my name,” he is able to floor me with the slightest facial movements that speak volumes.

There is no chance that Hamm wins it this year, making it seven nominations in a row without a win, and leaving him next year as his last chance. It should be his best one as Cranston, McConaughey, and Harrelson will all be ineligible, but it seemed like last year was his year and Daniels swiped it away, so with that luck Kevin Spacey will probably take home the gold next year.

Will Win

As I mentioned earlier, this is a two horse race. Let’s take a look at the case for and against each actor. Walter-White-I-Am-The-One-Who-Knocks-Breaking-Bad

Bryan Cranston: 

In His Favor – A three time winner nominated for the final episodes of an iconic television character. He has the best submission episode in ‘Ozymandias,’ which is sure to grab voters attention. There is a ground swell of Breaking Bad support as voters seem intent on honoring the show as much as possible on its way out. Cranston is also a very well-liked actor that has waited a long time to get this kind of recognition for his work.

Working Against Him – A three time winner nominated for the final episodes of an iconic television character. Where have I seen this before? The late, great James Gandolfini won three straight Emmy awards, three straight that he was eligible for as the long break between seasons meant a year with no Sopranos, for seasons 2-4 only to never win another for his last three years of being eligible including losing to James Spader in the final season. The parallels are very similar between these two and voters may decide again that three Emmys is enough recognition for this iconic character. Also, Cranston may be beloved, but he does not have the cache of McConaughey coming off an Academy Award as well.

Matthew McConaughey: tumblr_n22t898ntl1tumz3so1_1280

In His Favor – An Academy Award winning actor being eligible for an Emmy in the same year? This just does not happen in the world of television. Voters are sure to be thrilled that a movie star of this caliber chose to “slum it” on TV, even if only for 8 episodes on HBO. It was also a fascinating character in which he had to play three different incarnations of in a show that covered 20 years of time. It is a both showy and reserved role, which speaks to its brilliance. The mystery crime elements of True Detective never fully came together, but no one cared cause the real pleasure of the show came from watching McConaughey and Harrelson work together. And while Harrelson still does not get enough credit for his performance, there is no denying the McConaughey was truly something special to watch for 8 weeks at the beginning of this year. Plus everyone wants to see another McConaughey speech on Monday night.

Working Against Him – Perhaps voters are turned off by this outsider masquerading as a TV star for only 8 episodes and instead honor one of their own. There also may be some McConaughey fatigue at this point considering he spent the winter racking up award after award. True Detective has also been receiving some backlash since Nic Pizzolato has opened his mouth and given interviews. This might hurt the show’s chances to rack up as many awards as possible and McConaughey could get pulled under as well.

Prediction: 

The McConaissance continues. It is just impossible to imagine voters not voting for him. He just has far too much momentum and with three Emmys already on his shelf no one feels the pressure to give Cranston any more.

2014 Emmy Award Preview: The Crime Against Tatiana Maslany

The past two days we covered supporting actors in both drama and comedy. Now it is time to discuss the leads starting with Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

Maslany deserves an EGOT for Orphan Black alone.

Maslany deserves an EGOT for Orphan Black alone.

Wait! I can’t do this. I can’t simply break this category down by offering insights into the nominees, snubs, good bets, who should win, and who will. No, it’s just not right to talk about this category without talking in-depth about the biggest snub in the history of the Primetime Emmy Awards, Tatiana Maslany not getting nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Maslany not winning would be highway robbery, the fact that she is not nominated is just flat out absurd.

The extreme nature of my stance is not an indictment on the other actresses nominated or eligible for this award. In fact, the only two questionable nominees are Dockery, only because she operates in a more supporting matter for a large ensemble cast, and Claire Danes, thanks to Homeland and Carrie Mathison fatigue. My hatred of House of Cards, more on this in my Drama Series breakdown, makes me inclined to add Wright to that list, but her acting is the only bright spot left. 

Additionally it would be easy to fill out a list with another six candidates just as, if not more worthy than the women that will be seen on Monday. Names such as Elizabeth Moss, Keri Russell, Vera Farmiga, Diane Kruger, and former winner Connie Britton could have joined Maslany to be an even more formidable group. The fact that Lead Actress in a Drama Series has become a deep category should be applauded. Especially after being overshadowed by a dominant era from their male counterparts. But the applause comes with a Barry Bonds-sized asterisk next to it since the Emmys failed to nominate the best acting performance in TV history.

For anyone that hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon of the thrilling series Orphan Black, first off, for shame! Secondly, you are all missing out on the brilliance of Tat Maslany. You’re also thinking that all this hyperbole is a bit much and that no one could possibly be that great. Some of you may even be calling the authorities to inform them that there is a crazy man going on and on about some actress on a weird sci-fi show and the obsession appears dangerous. But I assure all non-watchers that this article will make total sense once you take the plunge. images (6)

The basic conceit of the series is that a troubled English grifter, Sarah Manning, returns home and witnesses a woman, whom looks eerily similar to her, kill herself by jumping in front of a train. Sensing an opportunity to make a quick buck Sarah steals the woman’s identity, only to discover that they look eerily similar because they are clones. As the show progresses Sarah meets and runs into more and more of her clones, which are all played flawlessly by Maslany.

However, Maslany doesn’t deserve the Emmy simply for playing multiple characters on the same show, as impressive a feat as that is on its own, but rather she deserves it because each of the characters are unique, memorable, and brilliantly acted out. She is so good at delving into each character that despite having knowledge to the contrary and being of sane mind there are times I’m convinced there are separate actors that play each role. Case in point, I watched an interview with an actor that plays the husband of the suburban “Soccer Mom” clone and he was talking about how amazing it is to work with Maslany. I found this perturbing. “Wait a second, what is this guy talking about? He’s only had one scene with Sarah and it was for like 10 seconds. He hasn’t really worked with Tat, oh wait, shit, she plays his wife too. She plays all the clones. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” 

Need video proof? Check out this remarkable scene that gives me chills every time I watch it.

Boom! Emmy!

Apologies, Helena. Please don't artificially inseminate me!?

Apologies, Helena. Please don’t artificially inseminate me!?

If the Emmys made a rule change where characters were nominated instead of actors, then the last year and this she should’ve swept the Guest, Supporting, and Lead Actress in a Drama series category. Last year taking home the Guest award for her creepy, yet strangely amusing performance of Ukrainian Convent torture victim turned cold blooded assassin, Helena. Then pulling the major upset over Anna Gunn for bottle hiding, wine drinking, pill popping, Soccer Mom Clone, Allison Hendrix. While at the same time receiving huge sympathy for lesbian, genius scientist Cosima Niehaus being snubbed from the proceedings. And finally completing the trifecta by taking home lead actress as well.

This year she would’ve out done herself by having Proclone, power hungry, head of the evil Dyad Institute, Rachel Duncan win the Guest award. While getting three nominations in the Supporting Actress category with Cosima getting a nom this year as she stared in the face of her own mortality due to the autoimmune disease that has been spreading amongst clones. While Helena knocks off Allison thanks to an arc that revealed the humanity beneath the decades of abuse. Then capping off the historic night by making it back to back Lead Actress wins, giving her six Emmys in two years.

It sounds ridiculous, but consider this, TV Icon Ted Danson delivered three memorable television characters in 40 years, while Maslany has delivered four in just two seasons. Potentially five, depending on where the show takes Rachel next season. This is uncharted territory and the Emmys are completely ignoring it, unlike the Critics Choice Awards honored her with back-to-back victories for the same show.

Critics can be snobby, obnoxious douche bags at times, especially the one’s that love the sound of their own voice, but they are better equipped to judge television because it is their job to watch all of it or at the very least be aware of everything. Unlike the group of industry insiders that make up the Emmy Awards selection process. Having received some insight into the process the last two years I can tell you that a lot of voters don’t even bother watching the screeners they’re sent to watch.

You tell 'em, Ali!

You tell ’em, Ali!

It is a faulty system. Award Shows are about the spectacle of having so many celebrities in one place, not the actual practice of rewarding the year’s best work. It is important to keep that in mind when your favorite doesn’t bring home the gold. But it can still be annoying since so many people watch the Emmys and no one besides TV critics and nerds like me have any idea that the Critics Choice Awards air on television at all, let alone when it does. To any and all that are upset by their favorites being snubbed, I feel your pain and I’m here for you whenever. And to the Emmys, giving you the Johnny Manziel is just cruel and useless. There is nothing that can be said to change the way the process works. There is also obviously no shaming them if only nominating the greatest TV series of all time, The Wire, twice with no wins has led to no apology. The Emmys are what they are and we’ll all just have to learn to live with it.

After that long tangent, here is a super quick breakdown.

Does Claire Danes Cry Face make it a three-peat? Coincidentally this is the same reaction I had when learning Maslany was snubbed again.

Does Claire Danes Cry Face make it a three-peat? Coincidentally this is the same reaction I had when learning Maslany was snubbed again.

Nominees: 

Robing Wright, “House of Cards” (4/7)

Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” (5/2)

Kerry Washington, “Scandal” (7/1)

Clare Danes, “Homeland” (15/1)

Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey” (20/1)

Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex” (20/1)

Best Bet: 

It is difficult to like any of these bets as there is no clear winner in this category and the only name that would shock me if it were to be announced is Michelle Dockery’s. Clare Danes has won two years in a row and with the decline of Homeland voters should be looking to chose a new winner. The person to put the money on is Kerry Washington at (7/1). A great payout and with no clear winner voters could go with the historic choice.

Will Win: 

Emmy voters clearly do not share my feelings on House of Cards considering that both Kevin Spacey and Wright are nominated along with the series as whole for Outstanding Drama, which it currently has the third best betting odds to win. Wright has move start cache and after Corey Stoll’s character kicked the bucket last year her character becoming the most interesting one left. Call it an unwanted and disliked hunch, but Jenny is going to be taking this Emmy on the road with her. Let’s all hope Emmy doesn’t suffer the same fate. Although, now that I re-read this article maybe not…

 

2014 Emmy Award Preview: Supporting Actors Drama Series

Yesterday we broke down the races for Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series, so today we’ll examine the dramatic side of the equation. A lot of readers requested more details on each of the nominees and their wish is my command. I’ll examine whether or not each actor deserves their nomination before revealing the snubs.

Outstanding Supporting Actress Drama Series

Nominees: 

Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad” (2/5) – The heavy favorite and defending champ. It will take a miracle to upset Gunn from making it back-to-back wins in this category. Breaking Bad’s epic final run is carrying a wave of momentum into this year’s awards, which should lead to many people involved celebrating with golden trophies at its post-show party.

Gunn is far from undeserving of this award as well. After years of fan abuse, she is getting her long overdue praise for playing the role of a wife that must find a way to survive her High School Chemistry teacher turned Drug Kingpin husband, Walter White.

Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife” (4/1) – This beloved, long time character actor has the best shot at pulling off the upset if voters feel “Breaking Bad fatigue” and decide to go in a different direction. She has been nominated three times previous for this character and has a submission episode in which she deals with the death of a close friend and colleague, right up Emmy voters ally. Baranski is a highly skilled veteran actor and The Good Wife continues to fight the good fight for Network TV Drama. She is more than deserving of this nomination and would be a worthy upset winner.

Joanne Froggat, “Downton Abbey” (9/1) – Downton Abbey received the legacy treatment this year as it has been regressing since the middle of the bloody third season. Froggat cannot be blamed for the creative failings of the show and she has been the heart of the show since the beginning. She deserves some recognition for her excellent work and this past season was by far her darkest and most dramatic. It was fascinating to see the journey this fan favorite went on and wonderful to see her come out stronger on the other side.

Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey” (10/1) – Smith is the exact opposite of her co-star. She has gotten enough praise for three actors’ careers  and certainly does not need more here.

Lena Headey has more important things on her mind than an Emmy Award.

Lena Headey has more important things on her mind than an Emmy Award.

Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones” (20/1) – Game of Thrones is more than just a technical marvel and great adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s book series. The acting is also tremendous. Fans may hate Cersei with a fiery passion, but that is the ultimate testament to Headey’s acting. She brings so many layers to the character and makes her feel so real. It is this feeling that makes us hate Cersei so much. The character could’ve easily come off as cartoonish in the hands of another actor.

Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men” (20/1) – Another glaring black mark on the Emmys record is the fact that no actor from Mad Men has ever won an award in either lead or supporting categories. As big of an embarrassment as that is and as much as I love Joan this is not a deserving nomination for Hendricks. She barely got any screen time in the seven episodes and when she did it was mostly one note, complaining about something in the office. Her submission episode is the most she got to work with and the speech she delivers to creepy coffee delivery man, Bob Benson, about choosing love is powerful.

Snubs: 

This is a very deep category with many deserving actors, but with only two undeserving nominees out of the six selected it becomes difficult to find just two replacements. In other seasons it would be easy to go with the “Mother of Dragons,” but like Hendricks this was by far Emilia Clarke’s weakest season of material as I actually begun to find myself bored by stops across the narrow sea to see what she was up to. Or should I say “not” up to. Boom! Dragon burn!

Bellamy Young, “Scandal” – Young delivers one of the most fascinating and unpredictable characters on TV in this Shonda Rhimes thriller. Able to flip between a despicable villain and sympathetic with ease. Millie is never boring. A performance this rich and entertaining deserves to be recognized by the Academy.arrow_208_felicity_smoak_gif_by_edartgeek-d6wvw7b

Emily Bett Rickards, “Arrow” – Mark this down under both “author’s bias” and “never going to happen.” Yes, I love Arrow, but the biggest reason why is Bett Rickards’ Felicity. Before her guest stints turned into a recurring role, Arrow was an intriguing show that was operating on the edge of falling apart at all times. Rickards breathed fresh air into the series and brings a level of humor, fear, and intelligence that gives humanity to this superhero show.

Best Bet: 

Gunn is a heavy favorite, but at (2/5) that is not much of a payoff, so go with the lovable veteran Barinski at (4/1). It has at least a 25% chance of happening and has a better risk-reward than a Gunn bet.

Should Win: 

Anna Gunn. Breaking Bad deserves a big send off next Monday and Gunn should be on the receiving end of it. After dealing with all the backlash and fan hate it is the least the Emmys can do for her.

Will Win: 

Gunn again. The final eight episodes were airing during the lead up to last year’s Emmys, but were not eligible for consideration, and a lot of Emmy voters probably had that in their heads as they selected the winner. It will remain there again this year.

Outstanding Supporting Actor Drama Series

Nominees: 

Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad” (1/2) – Paul took a step back during the final eight episodes after operating more as a co-lead in the previous three seasons, two of which earned him this award. He no longer has the advantage of extra screen time, which makes him fit better in this category, but also more difficult to win it. His submission episode though, “Confession,” was the only episode that treated him like the co-lead he became, so any voters that only watch that episode may not realize the lack of action happening to Jesse Pinkman throughout the final episodes.

Will Dinklage dance his way on stage for his second Emmy award in this category?

Will Dinklage dance his way on stage for his second Emmy award in this category?

Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones” (3/1) – Another former winner that seemed to disappear at times this season, but when he was on screen, man did he steal the show. Whether being on trial for his life again, chained in a dungeon cell, watching a trial by combat to save his life, or murdering his former lover and father, Dinklage was as impressive as ever. As long as Tyrion remains alive Dinklage deserves a slot in this category.

Josh Charles, “The Good Wife” (5/1) – A flashy arc on a Network drama that ends in a sudden death? Emmy gold. Charles’ last season was by far his best and it is never easy to get nominated again after falling out of the field for a couple years, which demonstrates how deserving he is of this nomination.

Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan” (10/1) – A classic example of Emmy voters seeing a former movie star and acting legend signing on to a premium cable drama, then assuming he is automatically deserving of a nomination. A lot of people must have not actually watched Ray Donovan and Voight’s campy, over-the-top betrayal of the titular character’s father, Mickey Donovan.

Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey” (50/1) – Here’s a classic example of an actor becoming a staple in a category and voters just assuming that he still deserves to be nominated.

Mandy Patinkin. “Homeland” (50/1) – Patinkin was not immune from the muck that the third season of Homeland became. He was certainly not the problem, but at the same time he did not rise above it.

Snubs: 

Half of the the field should be kicked out, leaving three open slots for dozens of deserving actors to fill.

Jeffery Wright, “Boardwalk Empire” – After Bobby Cannavale pulled off the upset last year as the season long antagonist in Boardwalk Empire it seemed to be a shoe-in that the equally talented Wright would at the very least get nominated for an even more impressive character. Dr. Narcisse mesmerized every time he stepped on screen. From the monologues to the facial reactions, everything about this performance was impressive.

And for the Emmys that code is pretend Michael K Williams doesn't exist.

And for the Emmys that code is pretend Michael K Williams doesn’t exist.

Michael K. Williams, “Boardwalk Empire” – Omar Comin’. Williams’ Chalky White will never be his most memorable television character, but this past season he was given more to do than any other in his career, on both Boardwalk Empire and The Wire, and he absolutely knocked it out of the park. Feeding off the same co-lead advantage that Aaron Paul has enjoyed in the past Williams would be a threat to win this award if Emmy voters saw fit to nominate him. The “Wire bias” lives on for its actors.

Dean Norris, “Breaking Bad” – A tough call between him and another departed character, Charles Dance’s Tyrion, but the long over-looked Norris nailed the emotions Hank felt when he discovered that his brother-in-law had been the drug kingpin he’d been chasing for two years. Norris’ performance helped make those first six episodes, up to the famous ‘Ozymandias,’ the most intense stretch of episodes in television history.

Best Bet: 

I’m not feeling the favorite here, especially at (1/2). For similar reasons as his Good Wife co-star I like Josh Charles at (5/1). He is also a beloved actor in Hollywood and had a terrific final arc leading up to a dramatic death that set the internet ablaze. It would not be surprising to seem him honored next Monday, more like a 33% chance than 20, which is what makes this the best bet.

Should Win: 

Jeffery Wright. A lot of people were shocked and upset last year when Cannavale won over Paul, Dinklage, and lovable grumpy grandpa Johnathan Banks. However, anyone that watches Boardwalk knew it was a well-deserved win, but the backlash might have affected Wright’s nomination or lack there of. This is highly unfortunate as his performance outdid Cannavale’s brilliance and is the most deserving to take home the gold.

Will Win: 

Josh Charles. I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and call the upset. The Emmys are far less predictable than the Academy Awards and this seems like the type of move that it would make.

 

 

2014 Emmy Preview: Supporting Actors Comedy

Television’s biggest award show is rapidly approaching, it airs next Monday August 25th on NBC. In anticipation of what is sure to be an entertaining show with Seth Meyers hosting let’s do a full breakdown of the categories including the betting odds, snubs, rightful winner, and predicted winner. First up, supporting actors in a comedy series.

Supporting Actor Comedy Series

Armisen is one of this year's many surprise noms.

Armisen is one of this year’s many surprise noms.

 

Nominees:

Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn 99” – (2/3)

Tony Hale, “Veep” – (13/5)

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family” – (11/2)

Fred Armisen, “Portlandia” – (10/1)

Ty Burrell, “Modern Family” – (15/1)

Adam Driver, “Girls” – (50/1)

Snubs: 

Snubs can only occur if there are undeserving nominees in the category and deserving ones to replace them. In this category there are two undeserving nominees and two worthy candidates to replace them. Armisen submitting as a supporting actor is questionable, but the whole Emmy process is too messed up to fix, so since he is worthy of a nomination. I fully admit that my bias against “Modern Family” plays in to my displeasure with Ferguson and Burrell still getting nominated in this category. The two men I’d replace them with are:

Nick Offerman, “Parks and Recreation” – The fact that Ron “fucking” Swanson has never won this award is a black mark on the Emmys’ legitimacy, topped only by nominating “The Wire” one time. Offerman deserves a lifetime achievement award for this iconic role. Despite not being the best season creatively for “Parks and Rec” and as a result the best season of work for Offerman that by no means makes it right to not nominate the man. A true embarrassment for American Pop Culture.

Jeremy Allen White, “Shameless” – Just like Fred Armisen’s nominations, the only question here is placement of category. Since he both took on a more leading role and “Shameless” has been consider as a Drama for its first three seasons, while making the switch to Comedy in what turned out to be by far its darkest and most dramatic season to date. But again, this section is not about how to fix the Emmys, but rather whom should be nominated and Jeremy Allen White is far more deserving than the “Modern Family” duo. He is a star in the making and brings so much depth to his South Side delinquent character that he has stolen the show from his more accomplished co-stars, William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum.

Best Bet:

Defending winner Tony Hale at (13/5). Emmy voters love attrition or maybe they are just lazy, but either way it leaves Hale with a good chance of taking home the trophy again. Veep has 9 nominations including best comedy series, which indicates it’s a big hit with voters. Hale did not have as much to do this season as he did last year, but he has some great moments including his best from his submission episode when he and Julia Louis Dreyfuss react to the news that she is now President of the United States.

Who Should Win: 

The easy answer is Nick Offerman since he has never won the damn thing, but simply judging this year alone it has to be the immaculate Andre Braugher. Known for his dramatic chops on shows such as “Homicide” and “Men of a Certain Age” Braugher is a revelation as the deadpan Captain Ray Holt. Consistently getting the biggest laughs of the week despite having to share the stage with goofier, more comedic actors like Andy Samberg and Joe Lo Truglio.

Who Will Win: 

Andre Braugher. Emmy voters may love attrition, but they also love Braugher as his six previous nominations from five different shows indicates. Plus how could anyone watch this scene and not want to give the man another Emmy.

 

Supporting Actress Comedy Series

Nominees: 

"My Girl" is all grown up and has a filthy mouth on her.

“My Girl” is all grown up and has a filthy mouth on her.

 

Allison Janey, “Mom” – (1/2)

Kate Mulgrew, “Orange is the New Black” – (2/1)

Julie Bowen, “Modern Family” – (15/1)

Katie McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live” – (20/1)

Mayim Bialik, “Big Bang Theory” – (20/1)

Ann Chulmsky, “Veep” – (20/1)

Snubs: 

I will give Emmy voters some props for nominating a lot of new faces in this category and having only one “Modern Family” actress. It seems weird to kick out the betting favorite and it is not that Janey is completely undeserving of the nomination as she does typically great work, but just not good enough to deserve being in this category. The same goes for fellow Chuck Lorre star Mayim Bialik whom is my favorite part of a show that I work very hard to avoid watching and obviously my feelings for Happy Gilmore’s girlfriend are the same as her “Modern Family” male supporting actors.

Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer” – Despite it making zero sense for an actress from a sketch show with her name on it and that appears in every single second of the show placing herself in the supporting category, I still must obey the messed up rules of Emmy and say she absolutely deserves to be nominated. Schumer is not just a fantastic comic, she is a highly talented actress. Playing an array of characters the show and it would be great to see this clip shown when they announce the nominees.

 

tumblr_mqf8is2e6z1scnyx6o1_1280

Danielle Brooks, “Orange Is The New Black” – This category will be extremely difficult next year when Season 2 is eligible for nomination and a lot more actresses from this show will be up for consideration for this award instead of Guest Actress, Comedy. Brooks’s Taystee definitely deserves to represent this show along with co-star Katie Mulgrew. Taystee became a fan favorite despite limited screen time and that is because Brooks shined in every single second she was given especially towards the end of the season during the parole hearing arc.

Marcia Gay Harden, “Trophy Wife” – Much like Supporting Actor favorite Andre Braugher, Gay Harden showed off surprising comedic chops last season on this warm, funny, and entertaining show that deserved so much more fan support then it got. It would be nice to see the Emmys honor this “gone too soon” sitcom with at least one nomination and this was the most likely candidate.

Best Bet: 

Emmy voters do love Allison Janey, donning her with four wins in her career, so it would seem to hard to bet against her. However, since Emmy voters are made up of Entertainment Industry Insiders and “Orange Is the New Black” create quite the buzz in Hollywood, it would be smart to bet big on it across the board in this case Katie Mulgrew. Especially true at 2/1, when compared to Janey’s 1/2 odds.

Who Should Win: 

In this crazy, messed up nomination process the deserving winner is absolutely Amy Schumer. Yes, she has a distinct advantage since she is the sole star of the show. And yes, it is a sketch show, but still no one is more entertaining, funnier, or more skilled than Schumer in this category.

Who Will Win: 

It just seems like this year’s Emmys is set up to be a big night for “Orange Is the New Black” and Mulgrew is going to reap the benefits with a big win for her portrayal of Prison Chef/Contraband Importer “Red.” Take Mulgrew at 2/1, parlay it with the show in the Outstanding Comedy Series category at 2/1, and take those winnings to the bank.

Football Is Back: Picking Your EPL Team

Football is officially back this week. No, I’m not talking about the upcoming RG3 vs Johnny Football pre-season matchup I’m referring to the more aptly named international version of the sport. Most of the major European leagues get under way this weekend including the richest and most prominent one, the English Premier League. Also, for all Americans still inflicted with the World Cup itch, it is the most accessible league since the announcers speak a very similar language to us, English. Plus becoming an EPL fan gives us a valid excuse to show up to a pub as early as 6am and get our Saturday or Sunday started right.

The first thing that any American has to do before showing up at the local English pub for match days is pick their team. Any American not born in England has the right to choose any team he wants instead of being stuck with the local teams of whatever city your mother popped you out. It is a daunting choice, so I’m hear to help give you a rundown of the best options and help find everybody their right match.

West Ham Unitedth

Founded: 1895

Nickname: The Hammers

Location: Upton Park, London (Northwest London)

League Titles: 0

Biggest Rival: Millwall FC

Player to Know:   Mark Noble, Center Defense Midfielder – The Hammers lack a truly special player on its squad, so the fundamentally sound Noble stands out as its best player. He may not be fancy, but he is usually in the right place at the right time and is a great distributor from the back, unfortunately the Hammers don’t have much finishing talent up front to take advantage of Noble’s distribution prowess.

Reason to Cheer: West Ham has pop culture cache thanks to the 2005 Elijah Wood film Green Street Hooligans. It follows the story of a dopey, wimpy American, obviously a perfect role for Wood, who gets caught up in the world of English football hooliganism. It is a terrific flick filled with some badass fight sequences.

Reason to Boo: Is a badass movie reason alone to root for a sports team? I would think not. I’m all for rooting for the underdogs, but the Hammers are so bad they do not even qualify as such. They’re only two seasons removed from the lower league and in danger of relegation every season.

American Team Equivalent: The Durham Bulls. Another team from an incredible movie and they have the same chance to win this year’s World Series as West Ham does the Premier League title.

Evertonth (1)

Founded: 1878

Nickname(s): The Blues/The People’s Club

Location: Liverpool (Home of the Beatles)

League Titles: 9 (Last one in 1986-87)

Biggest Rival: Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby 

Player to Know: There are plenty of good choices. The speedy fullback Leighton Baines or prolific goal scorer Romelu Lukaku. However, I’m going the homer route and GK Tim Howard. Why? Cause he can save anything.

Reason to Cheer: Besides the obvious American interest to root for the incredible Tim Howard on a weekly basis, Everton lives up to its nickname as the People’s Club. They constantly outperform their budgetary limitations to compete against the richest clubs in the world. Last year’s team finished in fifth place, only seven points away from qualifying for the Champions League for the first time. Everton is also part of the best rivalry in the EPL against crosstown rivals Liverpool in what is called the Merseyside Derby, so all fans that love intense rivalries should jump into this one.

Reason to Boo: Not many, but for all those fans that cannot take the heartache of your team constantly getting so close to a major breakthrough only to constantly bang into the limiting glass ceiling that is the top tier of the EPL, then don’t choose Everton cause it is not for the feint of heart.

American Team Equivalent: Everton has become a weird mix of a historically successful team that hasn’t been good since the 80s, say the Dodgers since both have a history of success but not nearly as much as some other teams. While also being like the Tampa Bay Rays, a small budget team competing against the richest teams in the sport and find a lot more success than would be expected.

Liverpool th (2)

Founded: 1892

Nickname: The Reds

Location: Liverpool (duh)

League Titles: 18 (2nd most all-time) Last title 1989-90

Biggest Rival: Everton, see link above on Merseyside Derby

Player to Know: The prolific 24-year old English goal scorer Daniel Sturridge. Last year he had the benefit of playing along side the EPLs top goal scorer and Italian cuisine expert, Luis Suarez, which helped him to 31 goals in 43 appearances. Since Liverpool shipped the cannibal and his 36 goals to Barcelona, the onus is now on Sturridge to carry the goal scoring load on his own if the Reds are to improve on its 2nd place finish last year and finally win the title that has eluded them since 1990.

Reason to Cheer: If you’re a fan of teams with rich winning traditions, but not much success in the last two decades, then this is the team for you. Also, Liverpool is owned by John Henry’s Fenway Sports Group, or better known as the same person that owns the Boston Red Sox. Therefore, to all die hard Bostonians and the Red Sox Nation, Liverpool is the club for you.

Reason to Boo: Plenty. For starters Liverpool fans get the same hate as any fan of a front running organization, only without the benefit of bragging about recent victories. Pub goers are not interested in hearing about the golden days of the 1970s any more, but they also are not going to give you any underdog sympathy like crosstown rivals Everton get due to the absurd money Liverpool spends in the transfer window.

American Team Equivalent: This one is pretty easy, Notre Dame football. Both equally blessed with rich winning traditions and both are experiencing nearly the same championship drought. 26 years for the Irish and 25 for the Reds.

Arsenal 

Do you really want to be associated with any fans from Jacksonville?

Do you really want to be associated with any fans from Jacksonville?

 

Founded: 1886

Nickname: The Gunners

Location: Holloway, London (North-Central London)

League Titles: 13 (Third Most) Last title was in 2003-04

Biggest Rival: Tottenham

Player to Know: Alexis Sanchez, FW. The newest Gunner might not have much team history, but anyone that saw the 25 year old play for Chile in the World Cup knows how electric he can be. Sanchez never quite clicked in Barcelona the last three seasons, but a change of scenery could be exactly what the doctor ordered for this talented Chilean. His blazing speed alone makes him a huge threat to all EPL defenses, but with his deft touch and finishing ability around the net he could be the top goal scorer in the League this year.

john-cena-wwe

If you want this guy to walk out of Summerslam WWE Champ, then Arsenal is the EPL team for you.

Reason to Cheer: Love following trends? How about being a sheep and blindly following the pack without full understanding the reason? Then the Gunners are the team for you. Americans love offense and flair, so it is no surprise why so many have picked Arsenal to follow over the last decade. They’re known for playing a “sexier” version of football. A lot of possession, fancy passing, and emphasis on scoring a lot of pretty goals over easy ones.

Reason to Boo: Being an Arsenal fan is a bit like being a John Cena fan in the WWE or thinking that Nirvana is the best band of the 90s. I see the appeal, but disagree with the practice. This is the typical American “football” fan choice. If you hate the masses, but especially those that blindly follow them without really understanding why, then boo the fuck out of anyone in an Arsenal kit at your local pub.

American Team Equivalent: John Cena, yes I know he is not technically a team, but as the leader of Cenation he is basically a team onto himself.

Chelsea

Apparently Chelsea is not a big believer in Global Warming.

Apparently Chelsea is not a big believer in Global Warming.

 

Founded: 1905

Nickname: The Blues (have you picked up on the unoriginality of most of these nicknames)

Location: West London

League Titles: 4, Last title in 2009-10.

Biggest Rival: Manchester United, really Man U could stand as everyone’s biggest rival

Player to Know: John Terry, Center Back. The 33-year old captain might be past his illustrious prime, but entering his 17th season with the club he is the first name to become acquainted with if you’re to choose Chelsea. He’s a 3-time UEFA Best Defender winner. Has taken home FA Cups, Premier League Titles, and Champion League titles. Basically every title possible on the club level. Terry is also still an important contributor to this team as he is more than capable of still stifling great strikers in this league. If Chelsea are to make up the four point difference that separated them from last year’s Champions Manchester City, then it will need Terry to provide tremendous leadership from the back line.

Reason to Cheer: Chelsea is the London squad to achieve the most success in the past decade, so if you’re looking for a team from the country’s capital that can give fans the best return on investment then look no further than the Blues. This year’s squad is especially loaded with the addition of Diego Costa at Forward and has a great chance to win multiple titles.

Reason to Boo: Chelsea falls into the modern day big four, which has become a big five (more on this later.) A club that has far more money to spend than anyone else, so if you enjoy parity and hate the 1% Cheslea is not the team for you. Another reason to hate the blues is that it is owned by this man, Roman Ambramovich, Russian billionaire that made is money off of oil. Double threat to the United States. Abramovich is like a crazy cross between Jerry Jones, Daniel Snyder, and Vladamir Putin, so if you hate anyone of those guys and fear the product of them, then boo away at Chelsea.

American Team Equivalent: The Boston Red Sox, lovable losers turned into hated front runners.

Tottenham

This boring mascot is an appropriate choice to represent this team.

 

Founded: 1882

Nickname: Spurs

Location: North London

League Titles: 2, Last Title in 1960-61

Biggest Rival: Arsenal in the North London Derby 

Player to Know: Kyle Walker, Right Back. A potential English star in the making is a player to know for two reasons. One, he could have a breakout year this season. Secondly, he could become young American star in the making, Deandre Yedlin’s competition for a starting role if his rumored transfer to Spurs go through. It is possible that both Walker and Yedlin could play together, which would also be great practice for Yedlin for meshing with Fabian Johnson on future US National squads.

Reasons to Cheer: A North London squad with a lot of tradition, but most of it losing. Perfect for anyone that loves big city underdogs. Plus anyone that really takes a hating to Arsenal and wants to root on its biggest rival in the North London Derby. And finally, people from San Antonio that want to only root for one nickname in sports.

Reasons to Boo: Spurs fans can get pretty annoying as they get cocky with every little success the team achieves and are always ready with a laundry list of excuses for all of the failures. This trait can get pretty annoying in fandom and gives a good reason to root against them.

American Team Equivalent: The Kansas City Royals and Portland Trailblazers, two teams with rabid fan bases that get excited far too easily. Both have a small history of winning followed by a long drought without success. Any fans of these teams will love Tottenham.

Manchester CityManchester-City-Celebrations-Trophy-Premier-L_2764683

Founded: 1894

Nickname: The Citizens

Location: Manchester, England (Northwest England)

League Titles: 4, Last title in 2013-14 (won two of the last three league titles)

Biggest Rival: Manchester United in the Manchester Derby

Player to Know: It is nearly impossible to choose just one player from this loaded squad. There are fowards, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko. Team Captain, Vincent Kompany aka the best defender in the EPL. Incredible miniature playmaker and dribbler Spainard David Silva. But the one player that needs to be known is Yaya Toure. The Ivory Coast midfielder is the closest thing to Lebron James the EPL offers as far as two way dominance. At times Toure looks like a school yard bully playing keep  away from the other team. On a team full of must watch players he is the NBC Thursday Nights in the 1980s must see.

Reasons to Cheer: Money $$$!!!!! Piles upon piles of money. Ever since the team was bought by a group of rich Middle East Oil Shieks Man City has gone from Manchester United’s abused little brother to an European super power. All that money has translated to a wealth of talent on the roster combined with what was already the best development squad in England. The Citizens claimed two of the last three Premier League titles and look poised to add many more titles to the Trophy Case over the next decade.

Reasons to Boo: While no Man City fan is complaining about the money the ownership has spent, it has blocked the progression of a lot of young talent from reaching the main roster. Football is a team sport that is more than just simply putting out the 11 best talents, they need to be able to play well together as a team. The Citizens development team has been playing together for years and no doubt that if given the opportunity they could’ve unleashed a beautiful brand of football, but Man City has robbed us of ever seeing such a sight. Plus if you don’t fully trust a shady group of Oil Shieks that seem to have a supply of money as endless as oil in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, then Man City is not the team for you.

American Team Equivalent: This is a tough one as there really isn’t a good comparison to Manchester City. It would be like the New York Mets suddenly being bought by an uber rich Middle East Oil Company and then going on to buy all the best available baseball players no matter the cost and it’s budget rising to $400 million. At the same time they get all the best international prospects and keep them stashed away in the minors till injuries or old age catch up with a player on the expensive Major League roster. Sure at first it would be fun and nice to see the Yankees wipe egg off their face from a crosstown rival, but pretty soon the Mets would become just as hated as the Yanks.

Manchester United keep-calm-and-fuck-man-utd-2

Founded: 1878

Nickname: The Red Devils (aptly named)

Location: Machester

League Titles: 20 (most in England) Last title in 2012-13

Biggest Rival: Manchester City (see link above)

Player to Know: United probably has the most recognizable names for the casual American fans, like Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie, and Javier Hernandez, better known by his nickname Chicharito. Chicharito is a Mexican National star, which is what makes him so well known in America. Therefore lets get to know a lesser known player, Marouane Fellani. Unlike our other players to know Fellani is on this list for being a total Dickbag Doucher. Between the Sideshow Bob haircut and his constant bitching Fellani is an easy player to hate, especially for Americans so disgusted by flopping. Fellani puts Dwayne Wade to shame.

Reason to Cheer: This is the team for fans of the Yankees, Steelers, Cowboys, Alabama Football, Lakers, Celtics, or Lebron’s Heat.

Reason to Boo: Everyone who hates all those teams mentioned above this is the EPL team to direct all fan anger towards.

American Team Equivalent: United is like a super strand, a combination of all those teams. It represents pure sports evil, not to mention it is the richest team in all of sports. In the words of Public Enemy, “Fight the power.”

 

 

 

Passing of the Torch: Golf’s New Generation

It is time to end the summer hibernations and return to the Millennial man. It has been a long couple months away, but I’m refreshed and full of vigor. The first topic back was actually suggested to me via Facebook by my old High School Golf teammate Daniel Murphy and it deals with a changing of the guard in the game we used to play together. Golf will always be a game to me, not a sport. Sport requires a lot of physical exertion while a game challenges one’s mental fortitude a specific skill set. Golf is more similar to the game of chess than a sport like basketball or football. 

This past Sunday, in almost complete darkness, Rory McIlroy completed his second victory at the PGA Championship, his second major championship in a row and fourth overall. The victory puts him in rare company, joining Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only two golfers to win four major championships by the age of 25. The connection to Tiger is even stronger as McIlroy’s latest triumph happened on the same course and same tournament as Sir Eldrick Woods’ closed out his 25th year with his fifth major, 14 years ago and he also had won the British Open in the previous major tournament. Eery!

Rory's triumph has him in rarified territory.

Rory’s triumph has him in rarified territory.

Tiger was in the middle of the greatest three year stretch any golfer has ever seen. He won 7 out of 12 major championships, giving him 8 total by the age of 27, which was well ahead of the pace needed to break Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships. Over the next 6 seasons, Tiger would tally on 6 more major championships giving him 14 after his last Major victory at the 2008 US Open. At age 33 and needing only five more majors to break the record, it was difficult to find a person willing to bet against Tiger breaking Nicklaus’ record, let alone never winning another Major tournament. Yet here we are 6 years later and the draught continues. It is interesting that in that draught McIlroy, who was only 19 years old when Tiger last won, has been the only player to emerge as a dominant force in Eldrick’s absence. His four major victories is twice as many as any other golfer has over 26 majors Tiger has gone without winning.

As the wait for Tiger’s next triumph continues the question on fan’s minds has shifted from, “when will Tiger be back?” To, “Is Rory McIlroy the next Tiger Woods?” The second question is far more interesting and at this point the answer is more unclear than the former question, whose answer seems to have become a defiant – “Never!” Let me be clear, the answer is only interesting on the course, not off of it. Rory will never match Tiger has far as public interest, no golfer ever will, unless a Mexican immigrant with familial ties to the Royal Family treks across the border and rattles off 12 majors in a row, while breaking 60 every single round.

Tiger had the marketing power of being fresh. A young half black/half-Asian face in a sea of old white faces. Golf never had much mainstream attention in the sports world till Tiger came around. No one ever would’ve predicted that EA Sports would have a Golf franchise to rival its Madden series. Tiger changed the face of the sport forever, the only problem was that he was the sport. All of the new fans and media attention was solely based on one person, Tiger Woods. If he wasn’t around, then people weren’t interested in watching. In his absence from dominance over the past six years the PGA has taken a big financial hit with dwindling ratings and attendance at events. Promoting a new star like Rory helps a bit, as fans always enjoy watching greatness, and this year’s PGA hit its highest ratings since Tiger lost to Y.E. Yang on the back nine of the 2009 PGA Championship. The last major before his fateful car crash that Thanksgiving that would forever alter his career. 0001463315211_500X500

As great as Rory’s accomplishments are on the course, he just doesn’t have the freshness, historical relevance,  or mainstream appeal as Tiger. However, he does have a killer competitive edge to him that fans love to see and his age makes him very adept at the new wave social media, which helps him connect with younger fans in a way most golfers cannot. A quick comparison of his twitter  page to Tiger’s makes that abundantly clear. As long as he keeps up this recent run of dominance he will serve as a great pseudo-Tiger replacement. What are his chances of doing so? Very high indeed.

Yes, Rory is one Major win behind Tiger’s pace at this point in his career. Especially when you consider that Rory only has one Major, next year’s Master’s, before he turns 26 and Tiger had 6 major victories at that point. But if you consider the lead he blew at the 2010 Masters, at which time he was only 20 years old or two years younger than when Tiger had his breakthrough triumph. Plus there is the Caroline Wozniacki theory to consider. The two started dating in July 2011, one month after his first Major victory at the 2011 US Open. During the time of their relationship McIlroy won only 1 out of 11 Major tournaments. This stretch included McIlroy’s tumultuous 2013 season where he failed to win a PGA tournament and his only notable win came in the Australian Open. Now consider that since McIlroy called off the engagement in May of this year, he has gone on to win 2 out of 3 possible Majors. Coincidence? Absolutely not.

Wozniaki's loss could be Golf fans' gain.

Wozniaki’s loss could be Golf fans’ gain.

I’m not trying to place any blame on Wozniacki, it just seems pretty obvious that McIlroy’s career is better off without her. Plus looking ahead to the 2015 Major schedule, McIlroy has the Masters, on a course that is perfectly set up for him and it is only a matter of time till he prevail’s there. Then the US Open at Chambers Bay up in Washington State, which if placed next to a course in Northern Ireland it would be hard to tell apart. Next up is the British Open at the Old Course in St. Andrews, a bomber’s paradise that McIlroy should be able to torch like Woods twice before him and John Daly back in 1996. And finally, next year’s PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. A course that can only be tamed by long hitters as the length and high winds off Lake Michigan make it nearly impossible for shorter hitters to succeed. It would be shocking if McIlroy didn’t pull out at least two majors next year, if Vegas sets the over/under at 1.5 take the over immediately before the line moves. Two Majors in 2015 would put Rory at 6 by age 26, putting him on pace with Tiger moving forward.

Beyond Rory’s pursuit of Tiger’s Major pace and by proxy his pursuit of Jack’s record of 18 Major championships, another factor good help him replace the ratings and media attention Tiger garnered, a significant rival. Fans love rivalries, Bird vs Magic helped launch the NBA to new heights in the 80s and the PGA may have a similar rivalry brewing in Rickie vs Rory. Rickie Fowler finished in 3rd place, two shots behind Rory, on Sunday giving him a four top five finishes in the Major tournaments this year, nearly as impressive as Rory’s two wins this year. Fowler is only five months older than McIlroy and seems set to compete with him for the next decade plus. But he cannot be considered a true rival until he wins at least two majors of his own. If Rickie can parlay his consistent success at Majors this year into a couple of victories next year and let’s say three over the next two years, then Rory would have something that Tiger never did, a true rival.

Rickie has his eyes set on trying to catch Rory.

Rickie has his eyes set on trying to catch Rory.

Add in the fact that both Rickie and Rory are pleasing to the eye and have the power to draw in a younger audience that is not typical for golf and the PGA may have its answer to the Tiger problem. As much fun as it is to see a great performer dominate his competition, it is more fun to watch two guys battle for the right to be called “The Man.” Neither Rory or Rickie are capable of taking the Tiger mantle on their own, but together they might just be able to fill enough of it to sustain Golf’s place in the mainstream sport’s conscious. No matter what, this year’s PGA Championship set the table for golf’s future that should carry over to this Fall’s Ryder Cup showdown and make it interesting heading into the 2015 golf season.