Bro-Picks: NFL Week 1 Predictions

The road to Super Bowl LII begins.

Every journey to a championship begins somewhere, and in the NFL, that genesis is in Week 1. Your week 1 winners of the NFL will be:

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (Thursday Night Football)

If you think the Patriots are going to lose on the night they raise their fifth championship banner at home, you don’t know football. There’s a better chance of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid miraculously learning clock management after being a head coach for nearly 20 years.

Winner: Patriots

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

The battle of New York kicks off what will be a rebuilding year for the Bills. But look on the bright side Buffalo, at least you’re not the Jets.

Winner: Bills

Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears

The Falcons’ Super Bowl hangover will experience some relief with a week 1 match-up against the Bears. The Bears may go into hibernation early considering their first eight games are against the Falcons, the Buccaneers, the Steelers, the Packers, the Vikings, the Ravens, the Panthers, and the Saints.

Winner: Falcons

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

While the debate over whether or not Ravens QB Joe Flacco is elite will rage on, it’s the Ravens lack of offensive talent that will be muted against a talented but undisciplined Bengals defense. Bengals QB Andy Dalton is elite when it’s not November or December.

Winner: Bengals

Lock of the Week: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

The Steelers Browns rivalry can be summed up in one photo… NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers

Lock of the Week Winner: Steelers

Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions

One of the more interesting match-ups of week 1 features two snakebit franchises who can’t seem to get out of their own way despite the talent surrounding them. QB Matthew Stafford of the Lions will rise above the snakebit nature of the Lions, mainly because Cardinals QB Carson Palmer is too old to rise above anything at this stage of his career.

Winner : Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

Texans starting QB Tom Savage has yet to throw a touchdown pass in his career. Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has thrown 11 pick-sixes in his career, and he’ll throw another one Week 1 to once again have more pick-sixes than career wins.

Winner: Texans

Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans

Two teams with no defenses of note will engage in an old fashioned shoot-out in the South. The combination of QB Derek Carr, WR Amari Cooper, WR Michael Crabtree, and TE Jared Cook, otherwise known as C4, will explode their way to a week 1 victory.

Winner: Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins

QB Carson Wentz of the Eagles has some new toys to help avoid the dreaded sophomore slump after showing promise in his rookie season. Meanwhile, the Redskins still don’t know if their QB’s name is pronounced Kirk or Kurt.

Winner: Eagles

Upset of the Week: Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams

When your starting QBs for the game are Scott Tolzien and Jared Goff, you know you’re in for a long day of unwatchable football.

Upset of the Week Winner: Colts

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers

In what could be an NFC Championship game preview, it’s the Packers who will moan and complain about having to face a tough opponent Week 1. Even with a patch-work offensive line, QB Russell Wilson will hand the ball off to overweight RB Eddie Lacy for the game winning touchdown to stick it to his old team.

Winner: Seahawks

Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers

Panthers QB Cam Newton will make a triumphant return to his 2015 MVP form in a dominant and dabtacular performance over the 49ers. 49ers QB Brian Hoyer “The Destroyer” will destroy the hopes and dreams of 49ers fans everywhere that their team will at least be competitive with a stat-line that will rival the awfulness of his performance against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card round back in January of 2016.

Winner: Panthers

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday Night Football)

Carrie Underwood (*I still miss Faith Hill*), the New York Football Giants, and America’s Team: The Dallas Cowboys. If that doesn’t spell Sunday Night Football, I don’t know what does. While all eyes will be on suspended Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott, it’s Giants QB Eli Manning who will make the Cowboys fans packed in Jerryworld seeing stars.

Winner: Giants

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (Monday Night Football)

Newly acquired Saints RB Adrian Peterson will make his return to Minnesota Monday Night, but there’s no guarantee he’ll see the field since the Saints’ defense can’t stop a nose bleed.

Winner: Vikings

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (Monday Night Football)

The Monday Night Football B-game will be called by Rex Ryan (*disaster looms*). The Chargers defense is for real, but using the reasoning of they’ve been unlucky the last two season as the reason why they will be better is fundamentally flawed. Plus, the Broncos have Von Miller, who’s really, really, ridiculously good.

Winner: Broncos





2017 NFL Season Preview

Football is back.

The NFL season is upon us. Every year fans get a newfound sense of hope. The hope that their favorite team may rise up and raise the Lombardi trophy as Super Bowl champions. While some teams are closer to accomplishing this goal than others, it’s time to separate the contenders from the pretenders and predict the 2017 NFL Season.

AFC North


1. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4

2. Cincinnati Bengals 8-8

3. Baltimore Ravens 7-9

4. Cleveland Browns 4-12

The Steelers are by and far the best team in this division, and their schedule will allow them to rack-up wins this season. The Bengals will be average, the Ravens don’t have enough offensive talent to be a contender, and Browns QB DeShone Kizer will showcase his talent whilst running for his life.


AFC East


1. New England Patriots 13-3

2. Miami Dolphins 7-9

3. Buffalo Bills 6-10

4. New York Jets 2-14

It’s Tom Brady’s world. Every other team is just happy to be considered an NFL team in the AFC East. Jay Cutler won’t move the needle with the Dolphins, the Bills are rebuilding, and the Jets look like they could be one of the worst teams in a long time by tanking this season.


AFC South


1. Houston Texans 9-7

2. Tennessee Titans 9-7

3. Indianapolis Colts 6-10

4. Jacksonville Jaguars 3-13

Defense wins championships. Houston still has one of the best defenses in football, and rookie QB DeShaun Watson will be the starter for the Texans come the end of the season. The Titans are building something special in Nashville, the Colts will be lost without QB Andrew Luck, and the Jaguars are starting QB Blake Bortles because QB Chad Henne is the alternative. (*cough Colin Kaepernick*)


AFC West


1. Oakland Raiders 10-6

2. Kansas City Chiefs 9-7

3. Denver Broncos 7-9

4. Los Angeles Chargers 6-10

The Raiders’ offense will carry this team to a division title, but the back seven of the defense seems to have regressed. The Chiefs will eventually start rookie QB Patrick Mahomes, the Broncos lack of offensive firepower will be mitigated by their stellar defense, and the Chargers play in a soccer stadium.

NFC North


1. Green Bay Packers 10-6

2. Detroit Lions 8-8

3. Minnesota Vikings 7-9

4. Chicago Bears 3-13

The Packers have Aaron Rodgers. The Lions have Matthew Stafford. The Vikings have Sam Bradford. The Bears have Mike Glennon and Mitchell Trubisky. The quarterback situations for each team in this division tell you all you need to know.


NFC East


1. Dallas Cowboys 11-5

2. New York Giants 10-6

3. Philadelphia Eagles 9-7

4. Washington Redskins 6-10

QB Dak Prescott is the real deal, and he’ll thrive with or without RB Ezikiel Elliot. The Giants’ defense is Super Bowl worthy, the Eagles will fly with their new toys on offense, and the Redskins still don’t know if their QB’s name is Kirk or Kurt Cousins.


NFC South


1. Carolina Panthers 11-5

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6

3. Atlanta Falcons 8-8

4. New Orleans Saints 6-10

QB Cam Newton will see the Panthers rise from worst to first now that their Super Bowl 50 hangover is gone. QB Jameis Winston will help the Buccaneers take the next step towards contention, the Falcons will still be hungover from their Super Bowl 51, and the Saints still don’t play defense… ever.


NFC West


1. Seattle Seahawks 13-3

2. Arizona Cardinals 8-8

3. Los Angeles Rams 5-11

4. San Francisco 49ers 4-12

The Seahawks tout one of the best defenses in the league, and QB Russell Wilson is one of the best QBs in the league despite taking snaps from a stitched-together offensive line. The Cardinals are another year older, the Rams are still trying to make QB Jared Goff happen even though it will never happen, and any progress the 49ers may make will be sabotaged because their owner runs every coach out of town, even when they make it to the Super Bowl.


AFC Playoff Picture


1. New England Patriots

2. Pittsburgh Steelers

3. Oakland Raiders

4. Houston Texans

5. Kansas City Chiefs

6. Tennessee Titans


Wild Card


3. Raiders over 6. Titans

4. Texans over 5. Chiefs


Divisional Round


1. Patriots over 4. Texans

2. Steelers over 3. Raiders


AFC Championship


2. Steelers over 1. Patriots


NFC Playoff Picture


1. Seattle Seahawks

2. Dallas Cowboys

3. Carolina Panthers

4. Green Bay Packers

5. New York Giants

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Wild Card


5. Giants over 4. Packers

3. Panthers over 6. Buccaneers


Divisional Round


1. Seahawks over 5. Giants

2. Cowboys over 3. Panthers


NFC Championship


1. Seahawks over 2. Cowboys




Steelers over Seahawks



Bro-Reviews: 2017 Summer Box Office Winners and Losers

Whether you’re a winner or a loser, box office revenue is down significantly compared to last summer.

The Summer movie season is officially over, after 4 long months, it’s finally over. While this summer had it fair share of winners that won the box office, their were plenty of losers, and boy did they lose. It’s now time to asses the winners and losers of the 2017 Summer box office.

Winner: Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot in “Wonder Woman.”

The highest grossing film of the summer by a significant margin, Wonder Woman was a much needed win for the DC extended universe and showed girl power is alive and well in Hollywood. The film saw unprecedented holds from weekend to weekend over the summer, playing similarly to 2002’s Spider-Man en route to $406.8 million domestically, making it the 7th highest grossing super-hero film of all time and the highest grossing film ever directed by a woman.

Loser: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevigne in “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”

Valerian is a prime example of what happens when you let directors go into a CGI candy shop and allow them to lose their minds on screen. While visually striking, Valerian lacked star power and chose style over substance in this over-long, over-budgeted Star Wars wannabe. The film’s box office receipts didn’t help matters either, as it grossed a puny $39.8 million at the North American box office compared to its $172.2 million budget. A bomb indeed.

Winner: Marvel Studios

“Marvel Studios.”

At this point, Marvel Studios has perfected the blockbuster formula. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 grossed $389.4 million in May, showing that Star Lord and the gang won’t be going away anytime soon. Marvel Studios was also able to reap the rewards of re-booting the Spider-Man franchise with Spider-Man: Homecoming in July, grossing an impressive $321.2 million during its theatrical run.

Loser: Former Franchise Tent-Poles

“Transformers: The Last Knight”, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”, and “Cars 3.”

Alien: Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Cars 3, Transformers: The Last Night. What do they all have in common? They are all franchises that at one point were box-office giants who presided as the kings of the summer movie season but have now all but exhausted ideas to the point that audiences have grown tired of them. While the international box office receipts helped prevent them from flat-out bombing and in some cases made them profitable, it’s time for studios to re-think their strategies in regards to tent-pole franchises.

Winner: War for the Planet of the Apes

“War For the Planet of the Apes.”

A stunning achievement in motion capture and special effects, War for the Planet of the Apes is nothing short of technically brilliant. Add in the emotional component most summer box office films are missing along with enthralling action, and War For the Planet of the Apes proves you don’t have to be brainless to be a successful summer blockbuster.

Loser: Baywatch


On paper, Baywatch seemed to be a no-brainer. A summer comedy filled with beaches, bikinis, and the Rock would surely breed box office success, right? Unfortunately, incompetent direction, lazy joke writing, and exploitation of female bodies made Baywatch unwatchable, making it one of the biggest duds of the summer movie season.

Winner: Rotten Tomatoes

“Rotten Tomatoes.”

If there were ever a time where the influence of the review aggregate site flexed its muscles, it was this summer. Films that boasted overwhelmingly positive reviews such as Dunkirk ($175.5 million) and Baby Driver ($104.3 million) enjoyed box office success and long theatrical runs. Maligned films such as The Mummy ($80.1) and The Dark Tower ($46.1 million) on the other hand saw their hopes and dreams of launching franchises either stall or end due to dog piling bad reviews.

Loser: The Summer Box Office


For every financially and critically successful film released this summer, there was an even more financially and critically disastrous film released. Add in an August with very few appealing films, and the summer box office is down nearly 16% compared to last year and movie going attendance is the worst it has been in 25 years. One can only hope the looming Fall movie season can pick up the slack, but the 2017 box office appears to be experiencing diminishing returns.

Bro-Reviews: The Top 5 Movies of 2017 (Thus Far)

It may not be Oscar season, but it’s never too early to discuss the best films of the year.

To this point, many would claim 2017 has been a bit of a bummer in regards to quality filmmaking, particularly pointing to a summer movie season that has seen box office receipts dwindle considerably. With the Summer movie season ending this weekend without a new wide release, it’s time to look back at the last eight months worth of movies and rank the top 5 films of 2017 thus far.

5. Baby Driver

“Baby Driver.”

In a summer filled with numerous sequels no one asked for, Baby Driver was one of the lone original works to break-out and have success financially and receive critical acclaim. While it is essentially a hipster’s interpretation of a Transporter movie, Baby Driver features terrific performances from its ensemble cast and a hilarious script from writer/director Edgar Wright. Throw in a killer soundtrack and enthralling action, and Baby Driver proves you don’t have to be an established franchise tent-pole to have success during the summer.

4. Ingrid Goes West

“Ingrid Goes West.”

Every year, there’s at least one independent film that flies under the audience’s radar only to be discovered later on the home video market. Ingrid Goes West is destined to have this fate, which is a shame considering it’s one of the most topical films of the year. It’s biting commentary on our society’s current obsession with social media and its stardom and a committed performance from lead actress Aubrey Plaza makes it one of the most underrated films of the year thus far, and should definitely be on your to-stream list in the future.

3. Get Out

“Get Out.”

If there were ever a film that was released at the perfect time, it would be writer/ director/ comedian Jordan Peele’s debut feature film. Released shortly after the election of Donald Trump (*still weird to say that*), Get Out is the greatest slave movie ever made. It’s thematic elements dealing with white America’s obsession of wanting all of the benefits of being black without the skin color is one of the most dynamic elements ever explored on film. Throw in some great imagery and horror thrills, and Get Out is proof that originality is alive and well in Hollywood.

2. Logan


We’ve been waiting for a great solo Wolverine film for years, and Hugh Jackman and company finally delivered. A post-apocalyptic western action-drama masquerading as a comic-book movie, Logan is Hugh Jackman’s finest hour as the titular character, and also features Patrick Stewart’s best performance as Professor X. With high emotional stakes that have consequences, Logan is not only the most heart-wrenching comic-book films ever, but one of the most moving films released in quite sometime. Logan may be Jackman’s swan song as Wolverine, but he goes out on what could be the new gold standard of comic-book movies.

1.War For the Planet of the Apes

“War for the Planet of the Apes.”

War For the Planet of the Apes is a tremendous achievement in filmmaking. The motion-capture technology used makes for some of the best special effects ever captured on film, making the apes the most realistic as they’ve ever looked on screen. Andy Serkis of course leads the way with his touching performance as Caesar, and saves his best for last in the conclusion of what could be regarded as one of the best film trilogies ever. It’s emotional impact combined with outstanding action and performances makes War for the Planet of the Apes not only the best of the modern Planet of the Apes trilogy, but the best film of 2017 thus far.


Bro-Reviews: Ingrid Goes West


The summer movie season has come to somewhat of a standstill, with many studios all but abandoning these last two weekends of August. It’s around this time of the year that many good movies slip through the cracks, only to be discovered later on during their second life on the home video market. A top candidate to have that same fate is Neon’s Ingrid Goes West, a film that received critical acclaim when it was first screened at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and has finally gotten a wide release in theaters.

In Ingrid Goes West, a mentally unstable, social media obsessed woman name Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) finds herself having to stay in a mental hospital after crashing the wedding of an unrequited friend (Mereidith Hagner). Upon her release, Ingrid is given an inheritance due to the death of her mother, and decides to use this money in order to move to Los Angeles in order to befriend a social media influencer named Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). After renting an apartment in Venice from aspiring screenwriter and Batman enthusiast Dan (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) , Ingrid begins her quest to become besties Taylor.

Ingrid Goes West is undoubtedly an indictment on today’s social media obsessed world. While the story is obviously fictitious, it’s not too hard to believe someone could or would follow a person on instaface or any other form of social media platform to the point of obsession and wanting to be close to that person. In that regard, Ingrid Goes West is a harrowing film that displays just how preoccupied today’s society is with social media and using it as a means of replacing intimate, personal relationships with “likes” and nice comments from otherwise complete and utter strangers. This makes Ingrid Goes West not only a fascinating take on today’s social media driven world, but also an agonizing watch as we see the title character continually act socially awkward and downright creepy in order just to have an otherwise surface level relationship with someone she doesn’t know from Adam.

Elizabeth Olsen and Aubrey Plaza in “Ingrid Goes West.”

Also making the film a tough watch for viewers is the fact that almost none of the characters are likeable or relatable in the least. We’re meant to empathize for Plaza due to the fact that her mother, whom she seemed to have a close and touching relationship with, has died, and at first we sympathize with her. But all of that is nearly thrown out the window as we cringe at every awkward moment Plaza’s Ingrid makes when stalking Olsen’s character. Ingrid takes advantage of people in almost any way she can in order to not only pursue a friendship with Taylor, but also become a social media celebrity, a shallow and disturbing pursuit. Even though this is done on purpose, Olsen’s Taylor is also just as unlikable. Her willingness to put on filters and trying portray her life as heavenly is about as annoying as a Kardashian’s post on what clothes they bought that day, and is the epitome of superficial. Although Olsen’s character is supposed to be an example of everything that is wrong with social media celebrities, it makes her that much more annoyingly uninteresting.

But therein lies the genius in Ingrid Goes West. The film is attempting to tell audiences that life cannot be lived nor mimicked by what we see from those we follow on social media platforms. Life is not going to be as pretty as one of the filters we are able to use on social media posts, and it is downright unhealthy to the point of mental instability to rely on these filters to mask our lives and build relationships upon. The film is a commentary on what can happen to us and our society if we continue to overly rely on social media, taking advantage of the fact that nearly every single audience member has taken a look at a social media post much like how Ingrid looks at Taylor’s posts in the film and wishes that her life could be like Taylor’s, and we have copied her same actions and thoughts.

What ultimately makes the film intriguing and watchable, however, are the fantastic performances in the film. Aubrey Plaza’s portrayal of Ingrid is stellar, as she is able to play the character’s mental instability as quirky in some aspects and downright unlikable in others. Plaza continues to prove she has the comedic and dramatic chops to be one of Hollywood’s most talented actresses out there. Elizabeth Olsen continues to showcase she is the most talented of the Olsen sisters, and her take as a flat socialmedialite nails the current Instagram famous celebrity we cannot help but follow today. O’Shea Jackson Jr. demonstrates he’s not just a one trick pony after portraying his legendary gangster rapper father, Ice Cube, in Straight Outta Compton. Jackson Jr. is the most likeable of all the characters in the film, and his character’s obsession with Batman delivers one of the most hysterical sex scenes ever captured on film.

Overall, Ingrid Goes West isn’t the easiest film to sit down and watch due to its downright chilling take on the current state of our social media driven society. But the film is able to ride the terrific performances of its lead actors to make the film topical, but hilariously educational in the sense that it is a cautionary tale of what not to put emphasis on in our lives. There’s nothing like a film that not only points the finger at the audience in an uncomfortable manner, but makes us laugh while doing so. In the end, Ingrid Goes West tells us to disregard the filters we use to mask our otherwise blisteringly uninteresting lives and to live them in the hopes that we can be happy and loved without the need for a “like” button to replace the real feeling.

Rating: 3/4 Stars. Pay Matinée Price.

Ingrid Goes West stars Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Wyatt Russell, Billy Magnussen, Pom Klementieff, and Meredith Hagner. It is in theaters August 11th.



Floyd Mayweather versus Connor McGregor Reaction: We Deserved This

Rocky versus Thunderlips was more compelling.

After months of hype, numerous press tours, a weigh-in, and a fight, Floyd Mayweather versus Connor McGregor came and went. “The Great White Hope” versus “The Greatest Boxer Ever” was built as a spectacle of biblical proportions. A clash of the titans. A must see summer blockbuster film. The result? A con job that rivals the one Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao pulled on the viewing public back in May of 2015.

This is exactly what we deserved. We deserved to be hoodwinked and bamboozled by a has been boxer and a man in way over his head. We paid $99.95 to watch a farce. We epitomized the meme of Frye from Futurama and told Flyod Mayweather and Connor McGregor to shut up and take our money in the hopes that a woman beating dirt-bag and a racially insensitive loud-mouth would titillate us into believing we would experience an entertaining fight.

There was evidence of this fight being a farce from the start. Floyd “Money” Mayweather walked to the ring dressed in a black and gold jacket he stole from Michael Jackson’s closet and wore a black mask akin to the one Ms. Puff wore in an episode of Spongebob Squarepants.

Is that Floyd Mayweather or Mrs. Puff from Spongebob under that mask?

He wore this mask in order to hide a smirk and his utter disdain for the viewing public he claimed he owed for the Pacquiao fight and wanted to “entertain” the fans. Floyd knew the check had cleared before the first bell had rung.

Connor McGregor’s demeanor may exude confidence, but he knew he had no chance in this bout. This was an opportunity for him to further expand his celebrity stardom by participating in this charade, and he made like the Steve Miller Band and ceased the opportunity to take the money and run. He made millions of dollars by agreeing to get his face rearranged. Sure, his “**** you” suit was nothing short of clickbait worthy, but when your most memorable moment of this entire farce was a cheap custom suit you wore, we should’ve known just how abysmal the entire exercise would be.

The farce first started with the presentation of McGregor’s UFC title belts and Mayweather’s boxing championship belts. This was undoubtedly shameless advertising for both UFC and boxing, and resembled two kids holding up plastic WWE title belts before play fighting. Showtime desperately tried to convince paying customers they were watching an entertaining fight. Ring announcers/ color commentators Mauro Ranallo, Paulie Malignaggi, and Al Bernstein shamelessly lauded the awkward McGregor and continually gave him the benefit of the doubt. They contiually used some iteration of the word “entertain” throughout the 45 minutes of so called action. There’s no doubt McGregor was the aggressor and won first three rounds… because Floyd was toying with him.

Once round four arrived, Mayweather carried McGregor in a fight he predicted would not even go the distance. He had to give him those first three rounds so that audiences wouldn’t turn away so quickly. They should’ve changed the channel immediately after seeing the obvious product placement of Body Armor being used to hydrate the fighters, and the fact that Mayweather had no more than a scratch on his face and body while McGregor’s face and body looked like hell, and had to be iced down to avoid resembling a tomato.

Mayweather carried the overmatched McGregor.

Though past his prime, Floyd Mayweather can sleepwalk his way through a boxing match. All he has to do is his trademark shoulder-roll move and avoid being hit while landing a couple of combinations en route to a victory. Floyd Mayweather is arguably the greatest boxer of all time, a Las Vegas showman who listlessly performed his act and made millions of dollars by merely rolling out of bed in a tenth round TKO victory.

Does this fight resolve the argument that boxers are more skilled the Mixed Martial Artists? Hardly. This was vaudevillian buffoonery at its finest, not a true measure of whether a famed UFC fighter could save face in the realm of boxing. It didn’t help that the UFC fighter, who won’t go down as even the best athlete in his sport, went up against quite possibly the pound for pound king of boxing, albeit a has been who came out of retirement to participate in the bout.

In the end, we should be ashamed of ourselves. I know I am. I tuned in hoping at the very least to be entertained by this joke, but I felt as if I was watching a summer box-office bomb that would never end.  I would’ve rather watched the King Arthur: Legend of the Sword movie released earlier this summer that Connor McGregor passed on to be in this fight. At least McGregor’s acting debut would’ve been something to behold.

We would’ve been better off re-watching Rocky III when Rocky fought Thunderlips. At least that was for charity. If you are trying to convince yourself what you just spent $99.95 and watched was even amusing, stop kidding yourself. If you aren’t calling your cable provider right now and demanding your money back, you’re doing it wrong. Maybe there’s a chance that by doing so, you’ll actually end up talking to a real person rather than a voice automated message. The sound you’ll end up hearing is the sound of popping champagne bottles, the sound of dollar bills smacking together, and Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor laughing whilst joyously screaming, “GOT ‘EM!”

The Cavaliers Celtics Megatrade

The NBA off-season continues to be more dramatic than last season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to trade point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets’ unprotected 2018 first-round pick.

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge finally pulled the trigger in an effort to pursue an NBA title. Acquiring Kyrie Irving gives them an All-Star caliber player and one of the most effective offensive players in the league, and he will compliment new free-agent forward Gordon Hayward very well. They also avoid having to pay a super-max deal to point guard Isaiah Thomas with this move as well, thus assuring they won’t have to overpay a 5’8 point guard who is a defensive liability.

Earlier this off-season, Kyrie Irving went to Cavaliers management and requested a trade, with the rumor he no longer wanted to play second fiddle to Cavaliers forward LeBron James and be “the man” on another team. While Irving was granted his request, is he really “the man” on the Boston Celtics? Sure, he’s their most talented offense player now even with the arrival of prized free-agent forward Gordon Hayward, but the Celtics aren’t going to build around Irving. They’ll play team basketball and incorporate everyone on the court, something Kyrie Irving hasn’t always been best at considering he  averages merely 5.6 assists per game for his career. Irving may have been gotten what he wanted in regards to moving away from LeBron James (*a dumb move, but more on that later*), but he isn’t going to be “the man” in Boston. And while there is also the rumor he will not commit long term to his new team, the Celtics will be hesitant to commit long term to an oft-injured ball dominant point guard.

Sure, the Celtics are now more offensively talented with the addition of Irving, but they’ve forgone their hard-nosed defensive mentality by trading away Crowder to the Cavaliers and trading guard Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons earlier this summer. Without their defensive tone-setters and swapping the same type of player, the Celtics aren’t much better than they were, and even then they weren’t able to be competitive in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cavaliers. And considering the price they had to pay to acquire Irving wasn’t that much, we can still criticize Danny Ainge for being hesitant in trade discussions relating to now Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler and now Thunder forward Paul George. All the Celtics had to give up was a starter or two and a future draft pick, so the Celtics could have easily had either Butler or George earlier this off-season and improve their chances of dethroning King James and the Cavaliers.

Kyrie Irving was tired of playing second fiddle to LeBron James, and forced his way out of Cleveland.

The Cavaliers come out winners in this deal in the short-term. They are still the best team in the Eastern Conference by making this move and will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals next year. While Isaiah Thomas is the worst defensive player in the league and there are lingering concerns regarding his hip injury he suffered in the Eastern Conference Finals, he is another offensive option for the Cavaliers who can get his own shot. They’ve essentially traded a ball dominant point guard for another ball dominant point guard, so not much changes for the Cavaliers offensively. The addition of Jae Crowder bolsters the Cavaliers’ defense as well, as he can guard a team’s best offensive player night in and night out. Crowder also shot nearly 40% from behind the three-point line last year, adding yet another sharp shooter to their three-point shooting heavy offense.

Regardless of whether or not the Cavaliers win the title next year, they know LeBron James is as good as gone. There’s only so much LeBron James can do to help this dysfunctional franchise, and the Cavaliers added an insurance policy for when LeBron James bolts for another team by acquiring Brooklyn’s 1st round pick. The Nets are sure to be one of the worst teams in the NBA this year, and the Cavaliers have effectively managed to mitigate the damage that will be done when LeBron James leaves, as they are sure to have a high draft pick in next year’s draft and can start rebuilding.

LeBron James holds all the cards once again.

One thing I cannot wrap my mind around, however, is why Kyrie Irving requested a trade. Even though the Celtics are an ideal situation due to the fact they are contenders, Irving has thrown away a guaranteed trip to the NBA Finals by jettisoning away from LeBron James. Over the last seven seasons, any team LeBron James has played for has made it to the NBA Finals. He’s managed to win three titles during that span. Irving was also a more efficient player upon James’ arrival back to Cleveland, and was the man who made the game winning shot for the Cavaliers in Game 7 of 2016 NBA Finals because LeBron James, the best player in the world and ever, deferred to him. Why would anyone abandon a situation in which you are the second best player on the team only because you are playing beside the best player in the league and the best basketball player ever, yet still treated as a superstar/ “the man?”

While there will inevitably be a Shaq/ Kobe situation in which Irving will say he regrets leaving LeBron James and the way in which their time together ended, for now the NBA’s Eastern Conference has been made somewhat dramatic. While the season opener between these teams on October 17th will be sensationalized in an effort to make the upcoming NBA season seem less predictable, the Cavaliers are still the class of the Eastern Conference. Every fan also knows, however, everyone is playing for second place, as the Golden State Warriors are the overwhelming favorites to be champions for the third time in four years.

Despite the move, the Warriors remain the favorite to win the NBA title next season.