Do the Miami Heat still have one shock left in them?

We have almost made it, the regular season is nearing the end, and it has been an interesting year for the Miami Heat. There have been lots of disappointments and a lot of nice surprises, but we are nearing the time when everything turns around for us Heat fans. As the Heat ramp up for the postseason, let’s take a look at some of the best things we have going on right now.

Terry Rozier has been dominating games as of late. The Heat made the Rozier trade with the thought that he could become another primary scorer and be a bucket-getter for a team that struggles to create their own shot. Rozier has struggled with a shot for the majority of the time with the Miami Heat, but it is started to change around and the past few games Rozier has looked phenomenal. He looks more comfortable and looks like he knows what role he needs to fulfill.  His chemistry with the other stars and even the role players looks like it should go into a postseason. They’ve worked out the kinks and things seem smooth right now.  

A perfect example of this is against the New York Knicks when Rozier went 8/11 from 3 and 10/15 from the from the field. He was flat out unstoppable and maybe the best part is, he was creating all of his own shots even though he was creating all of his own shots. It didn’t feel like he was hijacking the offense. It still felt like other people were able to get theirs, and there was a free flowing motion. It’s just when the Heat needed someone to create that shot, Rozier was there. The Knicks game was a perfect example of what he brings to this Heat team in the playoffs, a dog.

 When they need a guy to go on one and create a shot, now it doesn’t always have to be Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. With Rozier, we got a flat out bucket to back them up. I expect Rozier to play a massive role in the playoffs and he might be the X-factor to see how far the Heat go. If he plays like he has in the past few weeks, all I’m gonna say is watch out because no one and I mean no one wants to see the Heat if Rozier is playing like that.


by Kevin Rodriguez


Nikola Jovic has gone from being a potential spot minutes player in the playoffs to now being a potential starter. At minimum he has played his way into some sort of role, as now it’s impossible to keep him out of the rotation but he has been playing so good as of late that there is a strong argument that he should continue to start. He fits seamlessly with the starters now and he does everything that this team needs from him. He is the ultimate connector. If the NBA tracked hockey assist, I feel like he would be near the top of the whole team. Countless times he passes the ball quickly and effectively to keep the play going. That might not seem like a big deal, but on a team that sometimes struggles with fluidity on offense, it makes the world of a difference. 

His shot has been excellent as of late and he has learned how to play NBA basketball. I am absolutely thrilled with Jovic’s development and I think he should be the starting for in the playoffs.

 I don’t want to ignore his defensive improvement either, as he has gone from a negative defender and absolute liability to now being a solid defender that is consistently making winning plays on the defensive end. It starts with his effort. He is constantly giving maximum effort and constantly looking for little things, he can do that make a big difference. He’s going for every rebound, he’s going for every loose ball, and he’s fighting for everything. He’s making everything difficult for the opponent and even though it doesn’t always result in a defensive rebound, a steal, a block or even a missed shot, it’s the effort over an extended period of time that makes a big difference.

 If you would’ve told me at the start of the year that Jovic would be relied on so much, I would’ve called you crazy but now there’s not enough time for me to discuss all the good things he is doing.  No one has improved as much as Jovic on the Heat over the course of the year. 


Another player who has gone from a fringe rotation player to an absolute lock is Haywood Highsmith. Highsmith has become incredibly important to the future success of this team. We already knew he plays all-world defense, you don’t get the nickname locksmith for no reason, but the way he has been shooting the ball makes him a must-play for Eric Spoelstra. 

When I think of Highsmith my mind keeps going back to PJ Tucker. Tucker played incredible defense but started refusing to take corner threes and it was his demise, and the Heat’s, in the playoffs. Haywood Highsmith has the chance to be PJ Tucker on defense while being a sniper from three, his three-point shooting is the key to everything for him. If he is hitting his open threes, then he is going to be playing a ton of minutes.

 Then on defense, he is going to be locking down the best offensive player on the opposing team, outside of a center. This would also unlock Butler and other defenders to have a trickle-down effect and guard better matchups. This would then let Butler not have to expend as much energy on the defensive end and allow him to focus on scoring. This is how important Highsmith can be for the Heat. By simply taking, and making three-point shots, Highsmith would change the whole dynamic of the team. It is a massive trickle-down effect that can change the outcome of a season.

 Highsmith has blasted out of a canon to be one of the most important players on the Miami Heat. Game after game he is fulfilling his role and some. His game has evolved at the perfect time and he’s looking to make a name for himself this postseason.


Everything is not perfect for the Heat right now, there are still some things that need to be improved, but they are arguably playing their best basketball of the season currently. Numerous players have stepped up, including Rozier, Jovic and Highsmith. The Heat have all the firepower needed to make a Finals run and bring home a championship, now we just have to wait and see what happens. Heat nation get ready, it’s about time to shock the world.

Heat in Five: Your Miami Heat Season Preview Palooza!



And I have one question for you: Can you feel the Heat?

We should all just spend the whole day going around asking people, “Can you feel the Heat? ” And then when they’re like, “Huh? Wha?” We say it louder. “CAN YOU FEEL THE HEAT???” And whenever anyone says, “ah, no, I, what,” or hesitates to say anything other than “Hell yea, I can!” we drop-kick them in the throat and run away shouting “FOR THE CULTURE.”

So what’s the 2021-22 Miami Heat gonna look like? Let’s preview it, suckas!

But, before we get going: Follow and then hit PLAY on this playlist and CRANK IT THE FUCK UP and then RUN THROUGH A FUCKING WALL HEAD FIRST.

And ok, now read on.

Ok, how excited should we be about this 2021-22 Miami Heat?

Real excited. Did you not listen to the playlist? Are you dead inside?? Are you a lifeless husk of flesh with no feelings or emotions or GUTS?

Yes, but how exactly are they going to make us feel excited? You know, basketball-wise.

Oh you want to get technical on the how. Ok. This Heat team is going to rip everyone’s throat out of their assholes and properly fuck everyone’s shit up on defense, that’s how.

So the Heat are just going to be one of those grind out defensive teams that score 70 points a night?

Not necessarily. Because, yes, they’re going to be making stops, and grabbing defensive rebounds. But then they’re gonna turn on the afterburners and ride into the Danger Zone with their skull-smashing transition ass-wrecking offense led by Jimmy, Kyle, Bam, and The Fireball Whites. The Heat are going to win games when they play defense and then turn their opponent’s missed shots into fast break points. And, with the additions of gamma ray-infused badass motherfuckers not to be trifled with, PJ Tucker and Markieff Morris, that is going to happen a lot.

What about Jimmy? Is Jimmy gonna be Jimmy Buckets This Year?

Are you high? Fuck and yes is the answer to that question.

Ok, but he looked gassed at times last season.

And you look like a bucket of shit!


Look, there was this weird narrative last year that Jimmy had fallen off a bit. That’s a bunch of bullshit.

Maybe it was because he was tired from his hard play in the bubble?

Or maybe it was because he was tired from getting off your mom.

Please stop.

Look, whatever the reason for Jimmy hitting the wall last season, this whole Jimmy is fading thing is all horse cockery.

Horse what?

HORSE COCKERY. Because here’s the good news for your Miami Heat: Jimmy remains Jimmy. And thus, this remains very bad news for the rest of the NBA.

With a dong harder than volcanic rock and a willingness to attack the rim with the ferociousness of a charging frothing pitbull, Jimmy Butler remains one of the most effective players getting to the rim and drawing fouls from shit-for-brain mongoloids dumb enough to get in his way. And when he’s not drawing those fouls, he’s drawing defenders in and then kicking out to Fireball White #1 or Fireball White #2, who proceed to then go all Human Torch from the three-point line.

Moreover, Jimmy led the league last year in steals per game, and stat geeks will tell you he ranked sixth in the league in Value Over Replacement Player, fourth in Box Plus/Minus and third in Win Shares per 48 Minutes, which is basically nerd-talk for: When He Needs To, Jimmy Butler Reaches Deep Into His Big Bag of ASS WRECKAGE and Comes Through When We Need Him Most.

But didn’t Jimmy falter in the playoffs?

Sure. But that’s only because the NBA decided to royally fuck the Heat by making them play roughly 8,453 games between the previous year’s playoff run and last year’s regular season, which they crammed together with little rest time because Adam Silver is an asexual being from outer space who doesn’t understand that humans get tired and need rest to regarge. And so Jimmy was naturally, as the medical books call it, tired as fuck.

The truth is, according to NBA statsguy John Schuhmann, the Heat were 11.1 points per 100 possessions better with Jimmy Buckets on the floor (+5.2) than they were with him off the floor (-5.9). And that was with a gassed Jimmy.

No matter how you slice it, we WANT Jimmy on that wall, we NEED Jimmy on that wall.

So, don’t fret. Because Jimmy is now fully rested up, refreshed, and has a clean ass.

And that can only mean that he’s now ready to resume being the hardcore crotch-kicking-half man-half-machine we all know and love.

Why else should we be excited for this 2021-22 Miami Heat?

Because the Heat finally landed THICC BASKETBALL JESUS!!!

After playing grab ass with rumors and speculation and flirting with the possibility of coming on down to Miami, Kyle Lowry and the Miami Heat were finally able to take shit from swiping right, to fucking in the shower (proverbilly speaking) and have now joined forces to form an ass-wrecking Voltron that’s ready to crush our enemies into a fine powder and to see them driven before us and to hear the lamentations of their women.

Also, Kyle Lowry loves the ever loving shit out of playing defense. And now he’s hitting the floor with dudes who love the ever loving shit out of playing defense just as much as he does. It was just meant to be. He’s the missing piece!

How will he make us better?

It’s no secret the Heat’s offense was asstacular at times last season. But, as it always goes with star veterans who are desperate to get the fuck out of Dodge from their shitcavern teams, Kyle Lowry sent out the PATSIGNAL…. and Pat answered. And now we have a guy that’s going to alter the fortunes of a once limp-dick offense.

Kyle changes everything. He’s efficient, aggressive and smart. Instead of being one of those point guards that heaves the basketball up toward the rim like it was dipped in COVID, Kyle has a knack for knowing when to attack the basket, and when to take the smart shots. He also has a delicious, delicious ass. He knows how to keep his and his teammates’ heads in the game, and he is totally ready to kick those who wrote him off last year so hard in the face that their brains are going to explode out the backs of their heads.

Is this Tyler Herro next-step thing real? Is all that talk about trading him away last year going to mess with his game?

Ha ha ha idiots. Tyler Herro is here to impregnate all of you on this ticky-tock with his goofy hair and his awesome basketball prowess. He’s going to be all the way back, AND YOU’RE ALL GONNA FUCKING EAT IT AND YOU’RE GOING TO LIKE IT.

But so many Heat fans wanted him gone. That’s gotta screw with someone’s confidence, no?

Here’s the thing about Tyler Herro and those who wanted him gone last year: He’s apparently been leaving his fucks as tips for housekeeping at the team hotel, so don’t bother asking him for any fucks because he’s ALL OUT.

What we’ve seen in this preseason is a Tyler Herro that’s been told not to worry about the chatter and just ball the fuck out. And so, he’s come out swinging, and is fully prepared to kick the narrative that he’s nothing but a so-called Bubble Guppy into the stratosphere. And he’s going to write his name on the ashes with his piss after the narrative comes crashing down in a flaming ball somewhere in a New Mexico desert.

What about Bam? Is he finally ready to get more aggressive on offense?

Bam can and will be a monster from the word GO. He’s said as much already. He’s already a guy who mercilessly smashes the Heat’s opponents in their collective faces with a piano over and over again until their players have piano keys for teeth. Now all he has to do is bring that intensity into his offensive game. And once he does, it’s gonna be DEFCON 1 for the rest of the NBA.

We forget that Bam has only played as a starter for only two seasons, and is still a young pup at 24. He’s shown us time and again that he knows how to initiate the offense out of the high post and is developing into quite the midrange shooter off the dribble. In other words, shit is about to get ACTUAL in this motherlove.

Will Erik Spoelstra finally get the respect he deserves league wide?

Who gives a flying squirrel dick? We know that Spo is amazing and we don’t need others to validate that.

Yes, but… isn’t it time he gets serious consideration for Coach of the Year?

Well, ok, yes. And here’s our prediction: Spo will win Coach of the Year this season.

Ever since the Celtics hired Brad Stevens back in 2013 and all throughout the time since, we’ve had to deal with the ceaseless yammering of a million whining gravy-stains-on-their short sleeve shirts analytic nerds about how Brad Stevens is supposedly the best and brightest coach in the NBA because he likes math and defense or some such bull dick nonsense. And that Spo, for all his winning, was only successful because he had the luxury of having LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh suit up for him. Because Brad Stevens only coached sock puppets and not an actual NBA team filled with All Stars and big-play guys, apparently.

And yet, after Spo settled the argument of who is the better coach during the 2020 playoffs by reaching into Brad’s high-waisted mom jeans and tearing out his proverbial heart through his proverbial asshole with his beautiful basketball mind, in six games, Brad was sent packing upstairs, and the argument is officially over and John Hollinger can shove his face into a woodchipper.

So enough already with crowning a guy as the best when he never won jack dick in the NBA and let’s start recognizing Erik Spoelstra as the best coach in the league already, you numbnuts.

Shove all that unearned love of Brad Stevens into an Elon Musk billion dollar fart rocket and shoot it directly into the sun.

So, what then, can we surmise from all this?

It’s simple, really. When this Miami Heat team is fully engaged and all in BLOW UP PEOPLE’S ASSHOLES mode at the same time, people’s assholes will get blowed up. Period.

And when things get precarious and the games feel like they could swing either way, this veteran-laden team with their collective bulldog groupthink will show the NBA watching world that it’s ready to FORNICATE with its We’re-Not-Giving-A-Single-Solitary-Fuck-If-The-Other-Team-Has-Big-Time-Scorers-We’re-Not-Folding-Tonight mentality.


Record: 50-32; 1st in the Southeast Division, 2nd in the Eastern Conference; NBA CHAMPIONS

You can see other 5 Reasons contributors’ predictions here. Spoiler alert, only Greg, Royal and Tony have the guts to agree with our prediction of the Miami Heat ending the season atop the mountain. The rest of you cowards are DEAD to me.

Let’s go Heat.


Chris Joseph is a sometimes contributor to 5 Reasons Sports, an occasional podcaster, an exquisite copywriter, a stand up comedian, a novelist, a soccer enthusiast, a movie buff, and all an all around cool guy so if you ever run into him on the street, please don’t hesitate to not say hello. You can follow him on Twitter here. He loves you all very much.

E:5: Best Sports Video Games of 2020

Whilst sporting events may have taken a hit over the course of 2020, sports video games have gone from strength to strength.

It has been a tough year for physical events, with cancelations and postponements of fixtures peppering the calendar with uncertainty. The NHL season was postponed, as was the NBA and a host of other sports. To fill the void, some fans turned to online video games instead.

MLB was one organization which turned to an online competition to keep fans amused, with MLB The Show event pitting players from real clubs against each other in competition. Other sports, such as Formula One, followed suit and whilst the world emerges, slowly, from the shadow of 2020, those games have remained popular.

Sports video games have been big business for some time now, with some great titles and some a little less than inspiring. Whether it is an officially licensed game such as the soccer game FIFA or something a little zanier like Mario Tennis Aces, sport makes a great platform for drawing in players. Some developers even use sports themes in titles not directly linked with the game, such as in online slots or puzzle games. There is a diverse collection of titles dedicated to the sports genre on Foxy Games, including 24 Hour Le Mans and Football Star, whilst some big console sports titles encompass puzzle games, such as FIFA’s squad building challenges. Sport, whether played with a ball, racquet or engine, will always find a potential market, whatever the genre.

With such a variety of sports games available, how do you know which ones to buy and which to avoid? The market is choked with great simulations, but these four are arguably the cream of the crop in 2020.

Madden NFL 20

The latest Madden release, Madden 21, is hitting the shelves as we speak, but most players have been focused on Madden 20 through the year. With a franchise such as this, a new game hits the market every year, but that means the old one reduces in price. If you have not played Madden before and want to test the water, you can grab a bargain with the 2020 release. The highlight of the game was the QB1 story mode which offered you the opportunity to create your own quarterback, controlling their rise from College Football into the NFL.

NHL 2020

The NHL games do not gain as much traction in the market as the EA cash cows of Madden and FIFA, but it is an incredibly playable and fun game well worth your time and effort. It does lean on Madden for the superstar abilities mode, but also has a challenge where players can earn rewards for defeating featured squads, assembled by stars, not unlike the popular Ultimate Team mode in FIFA.


Combat games have formed a key part of the video game market for many years, from titles such as Mortal Kombat and Tekken right through to the present day. Boxing titles have always struggled due to the limitations of the combat, but with MMA, the gloves are off (pardon the pun). There are so many options and game modes to choose from, such as customizable fighters and a career mode, that even non-UFC fans will find this title engrossing and long-lasting.

Everybody’s Golf

Everybody’s Golf might not pack the licensed punch of TGC 2019 featuring PGA Tour, but it is an instantly accessible and enjoyable version of the real thing. It was formerly known as Hot Shots Golf and boasts features such as character customization, online play, and the ability to wander around golf courses as a tourist.

What of Sports in the Wake of George Floyd?

I have a confession:  I am struggling to see a path forward from this as protests and clashes of violence enter—what day is it? And by this I mean the outrage over the death of George Floyd. And that of Ahmaud Arbery. And Breonna Taylor. Oh, and Tamir Rice. Wait, also Philando Castile.


You get it.


If you are not devastated, outraged, or feeling some combination of the two then you’ve got something else coursing through your veins and it’s equal parts Clorox and Hydroxychloroquine.


I am not here to draw a correlation between those who vote for a certain orange-tinged president and those whose stance on how athletes should behave is synopsized by “Shut up and dribble”.


Folks, that line draws itself.


I’m writing because I have to wonder, “What is the role of sports in this?”


I’m not even talking about games as a means of escapism. I’m saying this after watching countless Food Network and HGTV shows and feeling as if I’ve exhausted everything remotely interesting on Netflix. This wasn’t just to fill time during the COVID pandemic, but it was a holding pattern until sports would begin again.


And then Ahmaud Arbery happened. And Breonna Taylor. And lastly George Floyd.


I am proud that Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores stepped up to make his feelings known on the deaths of George, Taylor, and Arbery. That is great. Just about every league, team, and numerous players have issued some kind of statement. But what else is there but words? Words carry so far. There’s been action. But action has only taken things so far. What’s left?



Is this the contribution of sports? Athletes have used their fame to call attention to injustices.


There was the Jesse Owens fist raise. The Jackie Robinson breaking of the color barrier. The Bill Russell and Boston—well, Boston. Fast forward to today with the likes of LeBron James and Kenny Stills. They have been activists in their own way by parlaying their fame to draw attention to social causes. They are simultaneously modeling the way and clearing a path.


Athletes like LeBron have maneuvered themselves to not just be in a position to make contributions to their communities but to be role models for all kids. He’s been a model for carrying one’s self off the court and parlaying his talents to create something of significance. LeBron is an industry. But that still doesn’t make him immune.


Then there’s the retort, “Well they’re millionaires”. As if the money that they make is enough to shield them from the pain of seeing someone who looks like them, killed in a cruel and apathetic manner. Like us, they probably watched in shock as a man pleaded for his life while an officer pressed his entire body weight down through his knee and onto the man’s neck. The light in the man fades slightly with each passing second until it is finally snuffed out. The officer does this all while wearing an emotionless expression on his face. Somehow money might not have saved George Floyd at that moment. Or maybe it would have. Who knows?


Money isn’t everything though many believe that it is a means of influence. Perhaps it doesn’t. It brings me back to a spot on point by the great Chris Rock regarding rich and wealthy, back in 2004.


“Shaq is rich. The white man who signs his checks, is wealthy.”


So much for money.


What is the solution? I don’t know. But each advancement is followed by an even greater retreat.



The sad truth is that despite their notoriety and money, very little has advanced in terms of race relations. My feeling is that with every significant step forward there has been a couple steps back.


Colin Kaepernick used his fame and took a knee in protest over police brutality and racism. He gained attention and started a conversation and movement that inspired other players, like Kenny Stills, to do the same. One step forward. Outraged NFL fans lost their minds and threatened to boycott NFL games resulting in the league mandating that players stand during the national anthem or risk a fine. Two steps back. Kaepernick continues to donate his money and his time to various charities and causes, extending the life of his activism and thus impacting various groups and communities. One step forward. In the past few seasons there were teams with varying degrees of need for an experienced quarterback either because their incumbent is suspect or simply as an insurance policy. Despite holding workouts to prove that he still has skills, Kaepernick has still not caught onto a pro team. Two steps back.


It was 12 years ago—though it might feel like four lifetimes ago—that we had the first black president. One major step forward. It also gave rise to a number of right wing extremists and militias as a result of his election. Two steps back. It was eight years ago that Obama won re-election. One step forward. Then the current occupant of the White House was elected president and gave rise to even more extremist groups. Two steps back.



This painful choreography is going to continue and it’s going to take time. Despite such gains, they did nothing to quell the racism and hate.


The sad reality of the two examples above is that as more time goes by, Kaepernck’s window will slowly close simply because he’ll be older and his physical tools will diminish. Perhaps teams are just hoping for time to naturally close the door on him and are then bailed out of having to dodge questions about whether he is worthy of a look.  As time goes by there will be more rhetoric criticizing and falsifying details about Barack Obama and these will be taken as “truths” despite facts pointing to the contrary. The sad reality is that this will only breed a new generation of believers as well as reinforcing a devoted base that will consume these “alternative [gulp] facts”. There will be more who take these “truth tellers” seriously (because they align with their own biases), if not literally (rather than look closely to truths because they will debunk their biases).


Ultimately, to put this into sports parlance: This is a long rebuild. It’s a rebuild on top of what has already been a long rebuild. This is a long game that will feature tiny victories over many administrations, Democrat or Republican. It is long because it is having to undo many long held prejudices that are perpetuated by passing them on to their subsequent generations. I can’t even come up with an analogy creative enough to describe how entangled these hateful beliefs are within the lineage of many families. I can only assume that it is embedded in their DNA and impossible to extricate. Or is it? Insert shrug emoji here.


There is no overnight build that accelerates success.


These latest events have robbed me of the love and excitement of watching sports again. The Heat are on the cusp of something great. The Dolphins are relevant again with a player we can all be excited for. And yet I cannot take any satisfaction from any of it. As a father I have to feign enthusiasm as my son wants to discuss the potential of Bam and the promise of Tua. In the back of my mind, I wonder what of his future.


Perhaps when sports, in whatever new normal it manifests itself in, resumes it will not just be an escape but a platform. I’m talking about a platform that will allow athletes of all races, races, and sexual orientations to speak up more and more. It will be to continually speak up, tell the stories, and vocalize truths. It’s like Ricky Williams, wearing down a defense through the first three quarters until the fourth quarter the line is exhausted and yields. Then finally there’s a run that breaks for a long touchdown. There comes the breakthrough. The road to that breakthrough will be a long one.


Let Tyler Cook: Why The Rookie’s Braids Are Much Ado About Nothing

With the 13th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Miami HEAT selected… Tyler Herro. Remember this moment, HEAT fans? I sure did. It was unexpected, as I had only known about this kid in passing while combing YouTube for potential draftees. I won’t lie.

No one I knew expected him to be drafted by the HEAT in the Lottery, and even less people expected to see him walk up to shake NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s hand in the outfit that he had on that night.

Drip. That’s the word that came flowing out when we saw him in that outfit. That’s what #NBATwitter suddenly added to its vocabulary. From the moment he was drafted, Herro turned heads, and this would extend to his play on the court.

A quick YouTube search will find that Herro always seemed to be a confident, outsized personality on the basketball court. We remember his silencing of a Wisconsin high school crowd shortly after committing to Kentucky.

And then the regular season started. Rookies are prone to inconsistent play from time to time, but Herro let the world know who he was on multiple occasions, with impressive scoring outputs, clutch play, and a refusal to back down from anyone.

We remember this well, HEAT Nation.

Now that play has been suspended due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we are all looking for some means of entertainment while staying inside and practicing social distancing like smart, prudent citizens.

It wouldn’t be long before Miami’s rookie would turn up again, and so he did, first with some impressive social media shot-shooting (shooters will continue to shoot, right?) and then a certain hairstyle that would apparently set #NBATwitter ablaze.

That’s right, Wisconsin’s very own Tyler Herro now has braids. Is this really an issue? It would seem as such to some, believing that Herro is pretending to be something he’s not, acting “Black” when he’s really white, and so on.

Let’s slow down. It’s very easy to throw around terms like culture vulture, cultural misappropriation, and so on. We see it happen all the time with Black people. We wear something and are crucified for it, and some white celebrity goes on vacation for a week and comes back with a new fashion style that’s amazing. Yes, it’s maddening.

But here’s the truth: Tyler Herro is doing nothing wrong. Braided hair is a hairstyle. Black (and other) men have worn it for years, and while reactions have been mixed depending on who you ask, we are no longer in the late-90s when Allen Iverson was deemed controversial for cornrows.

There’s no safer place than sports to wear differing hairstyles. This isn’t like a white woman in Hollywood wearing braided hair and being celebrated for innovation while Black women have been wearing it (and being disrespected) for millennia. We know the history. If not, read something.

Tyler Herro isn’t pretending to be someone he isn’t. It’s easy for those to dismiss or attack the HEAT rookie for his behavior, especially when they don’t actually know who he is. Isn’t that what social media is famous for, after all?

How someone behaves isn’t so much of an issues as whether or not they’re putting on a cultural mask that never belong to them in the first place. Remember Jason “White Chocolate” Williams?

He was who he was, the same way Herro is who he is. We’re not talking about a white person attempting to pass as Black in a world like this. We already have real examples of that in this world. Rachel Dolezal, anyone?

Another note: did we suddenly forget that Herro happens to be on a roster that is predominantly Black? Did we forget that he happens to share a locker room with two players that are well known for their toughness and unapologetic Blackness in Jimmy Butler and Mr. 305 himself, Udonis Haslem?

If Udonis Haslem considers him certified, what’s the issue? In fact, here’s what Butler had to say about Herro just the other day during a SLAM Magazine photoshoot.

Bottom Line: Tyler Herro is who he is. It’s clear that he’s being himself and not worrying about what other people think about him. If Jimmy and UD are fine with him, who are we, spectators who view him from afar, to act like we know? Rest assured, if Herro ever steps out of line, this team will let him know.

In the meantime, let Tyler cook, people. We’ve got other things to worry about.

Stay safe and INSIDE, people.

Born in Brooklyn and raised in Boca Raton, Ricky J. Marc, J.D., M.S. is an alumnus of the Obama White House and Cornell Paris Institute, a former Legislative Aide with both the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate, and a graduate of St. Thomas University with a Juris Doctor and Master of Science in Sports Administration.

Ricky currently resides in Paris, France, is the host of the The RJM Experience (available everywhere podcasts are found), and is the co-host of the upcoming STICK TO SPORTS: A Sports Podcast (That Isn’t) series.

Follow him on Twitter @RickyJMarc.

Why We Should Care About Sports


Given we are in the midst of a global pandemic, you make ask yourself – why should I care about sports?

A simple trip to the grocery store can induce crippling anxiety.

The news is a constant cycle of hopelessness.

Leadership stateside, is let’s just say questionable.

We’ll debate politics when (if) this is all over during 2020, already one of the worst years in recent memory.

For now it come down to waiting desperately in seclusion.



“Adapt or die” has never held more significance.

That is why a wholesome distraction such as sports is therapeutic.

With the global news consumed by COVID-19 the world turns to outlets such as ESPN, the “Worldwide Leader” for some normalcy.

We should be enjoying a different kind of March Madness right now.

Opening Day in Major League Baseball.

Meaningful NBA and NHL games as the Heat and Panthers fight for postseason position.

The Miami Hurricanes baseball team was real good.

All now an illusion, a mirage when seems as distant as when you could say hello to your neighbor.

And shake their hand.

The NFL Draft is moving ahead as planned, sort of.


It will happen in a way we have never seen before.

We can’t wait!

Fill out your mock drafts until your hearts are content.

Even if they are unconventional, or irrational.

Enjoy a newfound camaraderie with fellow sports fans.

Maybe even reach out to your favorite athletes and say hi.


The Five Reasons network is committed to bring sports fans even more content during this time.

Subscribe to the 5 on the Floor Miami Heat podcast here.

For the latest Miami Dolphins the 3 Yards Per Carry podcast has you covered, subscribe here.

Five Rings Canes is rolling out new content regularly, you can find them here.

We also have a YouTube channel where we discuss all things in the world of sports and beyond.

Five Reasons

Dear Sports,

Dear Sports,

Let me start this off by saying that I never thought I’d be typing this. But here we are.

We miss you.

Life has took an unexpected turn, a turn that took you away from us. At this time, you had to take a back seat. You aren’t important right now. We are in a crisis with a virus. Stopping the spread of this thing is the most important thing for many us right now. 

But damn we miss you.

And we realized how deeply we under-appreciated you.

We are five days in from you being taken from us and it looks like we have a lot more to go.

We are now confused because when we needed you most, you were taken away. You are the one we usually ran to in times of crisis, when we needed to get our minds off the harsh realities of the world, you were there. You cheered us up. You occupied our minds just enough for the world to feel fine. You kept our sanity in check. 

When you got taken from us, It opened my eyes because I’ve never experienced something like this. The world has stopped, literally. We are trying to pickup the pieces and figure a way to get through it. People are confused.

You being gone made me realize a couple things.

It made me realize how unimportant you were in the grand scheme of things but at the same time, it made me realize you are one of the most important things there are.

I know that sounds confusing, so let me explain.

You are unimportant because you can be stopped when the world is going through a pandemic. Getting home to watch the game is the least of our priorities.

But you are so important because so many people relied on you to get through their days. A medicine to anxiety. Myself included. At this time, i need you more than ever. This thing has me and many other people nervous. I wish i could turn on the TV and watch the Miami Heat give us a heart attack, or make a joke about how the Panthers have games in hand. You kept us normal. You kept us sane. You kept us entertained.

Now the world isn’t normal and you’re gone, we don’t know when you’ll be back but when you are, I think we will appreciate you differently.

So let me end this by saying it again, we miss you.

Love, Sports fans around the world.

20 Best Movies of the 2010s


As we officially head into a brand new decade, it’s time to look back at the best movies of the last ten years. The 2010s had a SHITTON of good-to-great films and, sure enough, since this list is limited to 20, we had to leave out a few.

The list of movies that didn’t make the final cut includes a couple of really good Marvel movies — Black Panther (the last scene of the final battle is some heart wrenching shit) and Captain America: Winter Soldier (a movie starring Robert Redford that’s an homage to 1970s conspiracy thrillers starring Robert Redford) — are seriously great flicks, even if you don’t watch any other Marvel movie. Then there were good films elevated by great performances, such as Birdman (MICHEAL KEATON IS AN AMERICAN TREASURE) and The Revenant (man, fuck that bear!). Ultimately, the 20 movies below beat out the rest.

Here are the 20 best movies of the 2010s. DIVE IN AND AGREE OR TWEET ANGRY THINGS AT ME LET’S GO!:



20. DJANGO UNCHAINED (2012): Quentin Tarantino rolls out another alternative history story where the bad guys get their comeuppance good and proper (following 2009’s Inglourious Basterds) — this time at the hands of an escaped slave named Django (The D is silent). Leonardo DiCaprio was absolutely robbed of an Oscar for his portrayal as a vile plantation owner, and Jamie Foxx is awesomely roguish and dangerous as the titular Django. “I like the way you die, boy.”


19. LINCOLN (2012): Lincoln is more a movie about the complicated passing of the 13th Amendment than a biopic of the 16th President, but it works as a dramatic chronicling of a pivotal moment in U.S. history. Meticulously researched, the movie shows us just how hard so many racist old farts fought against freeing the slaves, and all the maneuvering — shady and otherwise — Lincoln and his “team of rivals” cabinet had to do to get the amendment passed. Daniel Day-Lewis turns in one the best performances of his career, going all methody with his high-pitched Honest Abe voice (The voice is the fingerprint of the soul, according to God). Day-Lewis won his record-breaking third Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of a worn down melancholic Lincoln, grappling with the soul of America. “I am the President of the United States of America, clothed IN IMMENSE POWER.”


18. SPOTLIGHT (2015): An important movie and a great real-life telling of journalists up against the seemingly untouchable machine that is the Catholic Church. Spotlight is the riveting tale of a team of dogged Boston Globe reporters (led by an editor from Miami!) uncovering the great scandal that rocked the Vatican, and the lengths the church went to in order to protect child predators and cover up their crimes.  The film moves along almost like a murder mystery as the reporters uncover some shocking truths, and are stonewalled at every turn by those in power trying to brush the evils of the Church under the proverbial rug.


17. THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010): It’s Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher at their finest. A lot of the story is bullshit, but it’s an entertaining look at how Mark Zuckerberg became a gazillionaire and how Facebook went from a small college dorm idea to social media giant where your family members post racist memes and dumb MAGA shit in droves.


16. BLACKKKLANSMAN (2018): A movie for our times if there ever was one. This is Spike Lee yet again showcasing what he’s best at: making a fun, funny, entertaining flick that doubles as serious social commentary. Blackkklansman is based on real events, and has some harrowingly scary moments, as well as some hilarious ones. Overall, it’s a disturbing portrait of neo-Nazis being total assholes, and the way their leaders oftentimes break into the mainstream to spread their vile beliefs. *SPOILER ALERT* David Duke is a real piece of shit.


15. GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (2014): Nobody frames a movie quite as quaintly beautiful as Wes Anderson. Funny, quirky, and tender, Grand Budapest Hotel is why Wes remains one of the best, most thought-provoking filmmakers in cinema.


14. SICARIO (2015): Denis Villeneuve’s dark story about drug dealers and the cops out to stop them is a slick, smartly paced thriller. It’s tense, it’s gorgeously shot, and it’s Benicio Del Toro being a total badass.


13. BRIDGE OF SPIES (2015): What happens when you get Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and the Coen Brothers to make a movie? A fantastic telling of largely unknown historical events. Bridge of Spies is a taut Cold War espionage thriller with unmistakable commentary on modern times dressed as classic film noir. SO MANY TRENCH COATS AND FEDORAS.
 12. DRIVE (2011)
Quiet, cool, violent as fuck. Beautifully shot and scored, Drive moves languidly for most of its runtime, only to be interrupted by flashes of action sequences and people having their heads explode like watermelons dropped from a rooftop by shotgun-wielding bad dudes and Ryan Gosling stabbing said-bad dudes to death with a curtain rod. Drive also has Oscar Isaac nearly stealing the movie from Gosling, and an evil Albert Brooks — which is weird but also works really well. The opening chase scene and the elevator scene are pieces of pure cinematic badassery.


11. 12 YEARS A SLAVE (2013)
12 Years A Slave is the kind of movie that will make you simultaneously cry in sorrow and want to put a fist through a wall in anger (the slave auction scene with Paul Giammati is a perfectly constructed, rage-inducing showcase on the banality of evil that was America’s slave trade). Director Steve McQueen’s quiet framing and the cast’s poignant performances make you all at once feel the pain of those in bondage and real, visceral anger at the entire heinous and malignant institution that was slavery in America. It’s the closest thing in cinema to show the naked unvarnished truth of all its horrors. It’s beautifully shot, perfectly acted, and a film that sticks with you forever.



10. WHIPLASH (2014)
WERE YOU RUSHING OR WERE YOU DRAGGING?!?! Set in an elite music school in New York, Whiplash is a meditation on the raw and brutal realities of artistic ambition gone horribly, horribly askew. Miles Teller stars as the cocky but talented jazz drummer looking to prove that he’s the best, beating his drums into the ground. A jacked-to-the-tits JK Simmons is the sadistic and tyrannical music instructor drunk on power, beating his students into submission through expletive-filled outbursts and verbal abuse. The story moves at breakneck speed (NOT QUITE MY TEMPO!) as Teller’s drummer boy is pushed to his absolute limits by Simmons’ batshit sociopathic instructor. Simmons won a well-deserved Oscar for yelling at Miles Teller for two hours. Yet for all the kinetic energy and anger in his performance, it’s Simmons’ subdued monologue on how mediocrity chokes out excellence that shows the movie’s heart — for good or for bad. It’s also got a hell of a jazz score.


My favorite story behind the making of Phantom Thread is about how Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis crafted Day-Lewis’ fashion designer character. At one point in the exchange, the story goes, Day-Lewis told Anderson that his character has to be named Woodcock and then he laughed and laughed. Anderson acquiesced, and so Daniel Day-Lewis’ Oscar nominated performance of Reynolds Woodcock was born. The fact that such a brilliant and elegant piece of cinema that examines the flawed, yet unshakeable, romantic relationship between a tortured artist and his beautiful muse is built on one of the greatest actors to ever live making a dickjoke is just amazing.


8. THE BIG SHORT (2015)
So what the hell was up with the 2008 financial crisis that nearly broke America and wrecked millions of lives while allowing the gazillionaires responsible for the meltdown to get off scot free? The Big Short answers that question. Charles Randolph and Adam McKay’s near-perfect script is laced with sardonic wit and helpful exposition, laying out exactly how everything went to shit in the housing market (where Florida was ground-zero weeeeeeee!) and just how unbelievably easy it is for rich greedy assholes to fuck things up for everybody else. The Big Short features a ridiculously talented cast (Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Brad Pitt) and is accessible, hilarious and exacerbating. Also, MARGOT ROBBIE IN A BATHTUB EXPLAINING FINANCIAL TERMS, WOO HOO.


7. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (2015)
An absolute perfect action flick in every way. From its blow your head clean off crazy practical effects, to its subversion of the classic protagonist archetype; the movie is called Mad Max (Tom Hardy) but it’s actually all about Furiosa (Charlize Theron), the badass desert bitch who saves women from a life of sex slavery and wars against a weird tyranical patriarch who drives around the desert with his own personal heavy metal guitarist. Hardy was perfectly cast to play the titular Max — the stoic leather-clad wasteland wandering hero made famous by Mel Sugartits Gibson in the 80s. Hardy manages to grunt his way through the entire movie while helping Furiosa fight against the usual Mad Max Movie Baddies (i.e.: weird mutated dudes who are probably riddled with fallout cancer and are gross and smelly). Director George Miller practically invented the post apocalypse genre with his Mad Max films and fills Fury Road with even more balls-out crazy shit like flaming guitars, exploding catapults, human blood bags, deadly sandstorms, and the awesomest chase scenes ever put on film. Fury Road is his masterpiece. I LIVE. I DIE. I LIVE AGAIN.
Here’s what I wrote in my 5 Reasons review for Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood back in July: “It hits most of the Tarantino sweet spots: It’s funny, it’s irreverent, it’s violent, it’s nostalgic, it’s stylized and it’s cool. And it’s going to be a movie that, in ten years or so, will be considered one of his best. This Tarantino film, more than most, is about the journey more than the destination. And, much like Jackie Brown — Tarantino’s third movie and a masterpiece in its own right — it leans heavy on an amalgam of interesting hapless low-rent characters you can’t help but like and root for. And, like Jackie Brown, Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood is a film you’ll need to see again and again to truly grasp how good of a movie it really is.”


Top 5:


5. BLADE RUNNER 2049 (2017)
Man, it’s hard to make a good sequel, let alone a great one. Especially when the sequel is wholly unnecessary. But if anyone was up to the task of making a sequel to one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time, it’s Denis Villeneuve. Just as its predecessor did, Blade Runner 2049 explores the duality of being human and non-human (or, more human than human). It’s Philip K. Dickian philosophy wrapped in sci-fi action and uses the major parts and characters of the original film not as fan-service prop pieces, but as important plot devices. It’s beautiful to look at and listen to, and it’s right up there with The Godfather Part 2 as a movie that challenges the greatness of the original.


4. GET OUT (2017)
An instant classic as soon as it hit theaters, Get Out is a smart piece of political commentary wrapped in a brilliant horror film. Jordan Peele stepped out of the sketch comedy world and announced himself as a filmmaker to be taken seriously with this flick — a modern day version of Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner in scary movie form that uses humor, suspense, and horror to sharply critique white liberalism, cultural appropriation, and the bullshit narrative that we live in a post-racial America.


3. MOONLIGHT (2016)
Based on a script by Miami native Tarell Alvin McCraney, and directed by Barry Jenkins, Moonlight hits the trifecta of great drama — it’s excellently written, excellently acted, and gorgeously shot. It’s a film that examines the life of Chiron, an African American kid living in the projects in Miami grappling with his family, his sexuality, his identity. It’s brutally honest in its depiction of African American life, and the life of an African American boy coming of age, discovering his sexuality, and taking a life-long journey of self discovery. Moonlight is a perfect film.


2. THE MASTER (2012)
“If you leave me now, in the next life you will be my sworn enemy. And I will show you no mercy.” Paul Thomas Anderson has denied any connection between Lancaster Dodd (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology. But man is that denial hard to believe, especially if you know a little of the history of Hubbard and his weird Tom Cruise outerspace boat cult. Either way, The Master is simply a perfect piece of filmmaking. It’s a meticulous character-driven exploration of a grand American tradition: religion and the wonderful world of manipulating the vulnerable. The film is a psychological immersion of the senses, a PTA trademark — beautifully shot with an unsettling score from Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. Joaquin Phoenix is getting a lot of praise for his portrayal as the Joker this year, but it’s his turn as the wayward World War II vet Freddie Quell that will go down as his finest ever performance. Paul Thomas Anderson is the GOAT filmmaker of the current century, fight your mother.


Set during the rise of the folk music scene in the early 1960s, Inside Llewyn Davis tells the melancholy tale of ill-fated troubadour Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) and his cold winding odyssey with an orange tabby cat. It’s an existential exploration of how we don’t all make it, how the Universe is indifferent, how the gatekeepers of art and commerce don’t always know the difference between good art and dog shit. It’s also an exploration of how art is vital, even when life kicks you in the balls over and over again. Davis keeps reaching for the stars but can’t quite grasp them, either because he sabotages himself, or from sheer bad luck. Even on the biggest night of his career, he puts on his greatest performance in front of a crowd filled with star making critics, only to be followed by a certain then-unknown folk singer from Minnesota. The film is shot in dark shades, imbuing it with a cold dirty Greenwich Village winter vibe, and features a fantastic soundtrack showcasing Isaac’s versatility as an actor and musician. It’s sharply written with the trademark Coen Bros. wit, and has great performances from an impeccable cast — including Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, F. Murray Abraham and Adam Driver (seeing Kylo Ren and Poe Dameron singing a song about outer space together is an unintentionally funny little moment in movie history). The Coen Brothers’ love of dark comedy, mythology and Shakespearian themes are on full display in Inside Llewyn Davis, yet another masterpiece in their ingenious filmography.

Chris Joseph (@ByChrisJoseph) is a host of Five Reasons comedy podcast, Ballscast. He’s written about sports and movies for Deadspin, Miami New Times, CBS Sports, and several other outlets.

Let’s Talk About Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker


The following article contains major Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker spoilers. You’ve been warned. Also, why haven’t you seen the movie yet? It’s been over a week, jeez.

No other movie franchise in the history of cinema makes fans lose their shit quite like Star Wars. And, with the release of the final chapter of the original saga — The Rise of Skywalker — this month, fans losing their shit has reached 11.

So, is The Rise of Skywalker bad? Is the Star Wars saga franchise tentpole money machine forever ruined? Is JJ Abrams a nostalgia fetishist? LET’S TALK ABOUT IT ALL.

Is Rise of Skywalker bad?
Let me start by saying this: I hate the prequels. All three of them. They are an abomination. They are three separate piles of human shit disguised as movies. A slap in the face to good storytelling, character arcs and overall good movie-making. They make no goddamn sense. There are plot holes too numerous to list here that are bigger than a Star Destroyer. In fact, they have no plot. You can’t give a discernible explanation as to what any of these movies are actually about. The Force went from being a martial arts-like philosophical ethos for those who choose a life of self-sacrifice and service towards keeping galactic peace — to whatever the hell midichlorians are. Anakin Skywalker is an insufferable weirdo with zero redeeming qualities. Padme was totally cool with him murdering people, particularly little kids. Oh yea, the prequels feature little kids being fucking MURDERED. Chewbacca and C3PO are in these movies for some reason. R2-D2 fucking flies!? George Lucas shoehorned superfluous scenes that didn’t move the plot along and served no actual purpose other than to show off his CGI skills. There are very long scenes with senators debating trade disputes. There is no central protagonist to relate to or root for like, say, a Luke or a Rey. Yoda is reduced to being a goddamn moron. The Jedi are completely useless. Padme dies at childbirth even though Leia told Luke that she has memories of her in Return of the Jedi. Darth Maul — the best character in the prequels — is eliminated in the first movie, never to return. General Grievous was sold to us as this supposedly deadly Jedi hunter but turned out to be a cowardly robot with tuberculosis. Darth Vader walks around like Frankenstein and yells “Noooooo!” JAR JAR FUCKING BINKS.

So, with all that said — sure, Rise of Skywalker has its flaws, but it’s light years better than any of the prequels. I realize that’s a weird way to gage a movie’s quality, but the only way to judge any movie in this current trilogy is by comparing them to the past trilogies; Episodes IV, V, and VI being the gold standard, and Episodes I, II and III being buckets of old lady diarrhea.


That Really Didn’t Answer The Question
Okay, here’s my official take on The Rise of Skywalker: It’s good. It’s not great, it’s not bad, it’s fine. It’s a bit of a mess at times, but it’s a fun ride. The people losing their minds over it need to calm their tits just a little bit. And here’s why: Star Wars has been and always will be for kids. It’s pure escapism. It’s fantasy. It’s not high-end cinema and it doesn’t have to be taken so fucking seriously (I’m not a fan of The Last Jedi but I didn’t get mad online about Rose or send death threats to Rian Johnson for making Luke throw a lightsaber).

I realize not everyone will view the movie through my particular lense, because not everyone has kids. But the main reason I enjoyed Rise of Skywalker so much is that I watched it through my 12-year-old son’s eyes. During every major development in the movie, I gazed over at him and saw a face filled with wonder, delight, shock, awe, and laughter. At the end, I asked what he thought. He said he loved it. He said he couldn’t believe Rey was a Palpatine. He said he was sad when he thought Chewbacca was dead but happy when they showed that he wasn’t. He said the fight scenes were awesome. This movie is for him. Just as it was for me when I was 6 or 7 and went in to watch Return of the Jedi back in the day (another Star Wars movie lambasted by critics but loved by fans). These are movies that were made to make kids happy. To immerse them in a Universe filled with weird creatures and swashbuckling adventures, and bad guys with cool black masks and people with laser swords. Everyone calm down.


What Was Good About It?
Poe Dameron Was Given a Small Backstory, Finally. Up to this point, Poe has been just a gung-ho type of guy and a good pilot who is, well, all gung-hoey. But in RoS we get a little glimpse of his past and learn that he was a drug smuggler, which is kinda cool.

Rey Somersaulting Over Kylo’s Oncoming Tie-Fighter And Then Slicing the Wing Off With Her Lightsaber. They showed parts of this scene in the original teaser trailer and they really shouldn’t have because it would’ve blown audiences away. Alas, it’s still a badass scene.


Kylo’s Super-Glued Helmet. I don’t give a crap that critics are mad that this retconned Rian Johnson’s original intent in Last Jedi. That mask and his voice are cool as shit.

HAN. Yea, I’m a sucker for JJ Abram’s nostalgia porn, fight me. Seeing Han Solo back for a few minutes gave me all of the feels.

LANDO. Seeing Lando back in action with all his suave debonaire style on full display was a treat. And, of course Lando would be living on a planet that hosts the Star Wars version of Burning Man. Lando is the fucking coolest.

LUKE. We all knew he’d return as a Force ghost, but it was still neat to see him not only dispense advice and encouragement to Rey, but to be a part of actually helping her in a meaningful way. Ever the hero gazing at the dual sunset.

LEIA. It sucks that we’ll never get to see what JJ and company wanted to do with the late great Carrie Fisher to close out the saga — this was supposed to be her movie. But they were able to put together a nice send off for the Princess with the little they had to work with. It was bittersweet.

General Hux Is The Spy! Then he dies! Haha fuck General Hux.


Finn In Action. It was nice to see him do more stuff than just run around a casino planet or yell “REYYY!!!” for two and a half hours.

Rey and Kylo Force Timing Each Other. Their ability to communicate via the Force and even physically hand things to each other was a cool addition in the last movie, and has some cooler uses in this one.

Kylo/Ben Solo Channeling His Dad. In the scene where Kylo/Ben runs unarmed into the Emperor’s lair and finds himself hopelessly outnumbered and surrounded by the Knights of Ren, he gives a little shrug at them just before they fight — an I’m outnumbered but I’m gonna fight you anyway because fuck you attitude that is pure Han Solo.


What Was Bad About It?
Emperor Palpatine’s Resurrection is Never Explained. I was generally okay with the notion that they brought back Palpatine as the bad guy, and the whole idea that he’s been masterminding everything from behind the scenes the whole time. It’s hokey, but it works. The problem is this movie never gives us an explanation as to how he got back after dying when Vader threw him down a shaft at the end of Return of the Jedi. Something about a Sith cult? Cloning? Sith powers are unnatural? Something about the Life Force? MIDICHLORIANS? If there’s a scene explaining it, it’s not memorable because I still have no fucking clue how he was suddenly back. Just lazy writing, man.

Kylo Ren’s Redemption. I understand that a major theme in all of Star Wars is redemption. Light versus Dark. Choosing between good and evil. Yada yada yada. But I’ve never been comfortable with these evil bastards finding redemption at the last minute before they died. It worked for Vader because he found redemption through his son’s love, which ultimately led to him using his dying breath to kill the bad guy and save the day. But even then, when Anakin reappears to Luke as a Force ghost along with Obi-Wan and Yoda, he’s young and spry in the afterlife, while the other two are old and decrepit. How’s that fair to Obi-Wan and Yoda, who never turned to the darkside their entire lives?? Moreover, Kylo, like his grandfather, committed mass genocide. He murdered trillions of innocents. He murdered his own father. He tried to murder his own mother. And yet he gets to kiss the girl and die a redeemed man? Imagine if Hitler turned to religion moments before he died at the end of World War II and then that was accepted as Oh he’s in Heaven now because he suddenly felt bad about living most of his adult life exterminating 6 million Jews. Everyone cool with that? Fuck and no. Fuck Kylo’s redemption.

The Kiss. Fuck Reylo. Fuck that kiss. Kylo Ren spends the better part of all three movies harassing Rey, trying to turn her to a life of pure evil, fucking with her mind, taunting her, murdering her friends, murdering her mentor, invading her thoughts like a damn creeper, sending her unsolicited mind-texts while sweaty and shirtless, and he gets to have a romantic moment with her just before he dies? He gets to kiss her? That’s fucking awful. Hey kids, stalk that girl to your heart’s content even if she objects because she’ll eventually come around and kiss you, just like Rey did with Kylo!


The Star Destroyers Have Dicks Now! The big bad weaponry used by the First Order in Rise of Skywalker is a fleet of super roided up Star Destroyers each equipped with a cannon that can blow up planets. Except each cannon comes down from the bottom of each ship, and looks like a large dick. A large dick that shoots lasers. It’s very distracting.

The Planet Where Palpatine Lives On Sounds Like Testicle. Turns out Palpatine is hiding out on a mysterious planet on the outskirts of the galaxy called Exegol, which sounds like Testicle. Again, very distracting.

The First Half of The Movie Moves Way Too Fast. It’s hard to grasp onto the stakes. Then it tries to tie up loose ends haphazardly at the end. It’s the last movie in a nine-movie saga, adding another 45 minutes to it to make things less rushed wouldn’t have killed us.


So What Now?
The Skywalker saga is supposedly over and done with (unless Palpatine comes back again for reasons??). Ultimately, part of the problem for this new trilogy is that, instead of having one person in charge of the vision of the saga, they hired three different directors — one of which was fired mid-way through production — with three distinct visions to flesh out a complex story that carries a great deal of weight for a large number of people. Having a coherent vision is why the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies succeeded so well, even with so many different movies and directors. Kevin Feige was in charge of everything at the MCU. And so a coherent vision was put out, to the delight of critics and fans alike. But the good news for Star Wars geeks is that it seems that Disney has wised up because they hired Kevin Feige to head up an all-new Star Wars saga in a few years. So, maybe there will be less shit for people to get mad about. Maybe. Probably not, though.

Chris Joseph (@ByChrisJoseph) is a host of the Five Reasons comedy podcast, Ballscast. He’s written about sports and movies for Deadspin, Miami New Times, CBS Sports, and several other outlets.

Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua II: Going the Distance?

Where to watch: Saturday, December 7, 2019, Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, Available on DAZN.

June 1st 2019, was like any of many forgotten fight nights where little to no interest was paid to Anthony Joshua defending his Heavyweight titles in Madison Square Garden. The opponent, Andy Ruiz Jr., to the layman, was an unknown. To the boxing aficionado, Andy Ryuiz Jr., was a legitimate opponent that would push Joshua, and possibly draw a great performance for A”AJ” under the New York City lights.

The fight arrives, and it’s Anthony Joshua’s crowning moment, fighting for the first time before an American audience, sure to become an American pay per view star (DAZN Subscription service) in front of a sold out MSG. The contrast could not be clearer. Joshua, can win a best body contest, anywhere. He is tall, good looking, has knock out power, he is what a Boxing promoter dreams of, and sure enough Eddie Hearn (AJ’s promoter) is happy, all smiles at ringside. Andy Ruiz Jr. on the other hand, is short, is not a best body contest winner (being kind), and by mere appearance, this is a mismatch.

Then the fight starts.

Andy Ruiz Jr. pressed the action, threw punches in bunches, and gradually wore down the much hyped “AJ”. Ruiz, after being dropped, then proceeded to put the finishing touches on a 4 knockdown, 7th round TKO victory to become the Heavyweight Champion of the world. Then the examination began. Who was this guy? Well, he was a volume puncher, who was 32-1 coming into the fight with 21 knockouts, and a serious contender. Anthony Joshua learned the hard way. The rumors then quickly came down that AJ had been knocked out in training that week, and was near/or had a nervous breakdown the day of the fight.


Now, the rematch.

They built an arena from scratch in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. It seats 15,000. It has luxury boxes, wet bars, and fittings fit for a King, and several in his immediate family as well. The fight card will start at Noon on the east coast of the United States, with 3:30pm being the scheduled entrance of the main event combatants. Odd isn’t it? Well, No, it’s not, when you realize they have guaranteed in excess of $75 Million Dollars for Joshua, and a sum similar for Ruiz. He who bids highest, gets the event.

On the fighting front, Anthony Joshua has changed things. Gone is the devotion to strength and conditioning. New, is the constant attention to tried and true boxing drills, like the heavy bag, the speed bag, and hitting the mitts. Back to basics. Ruiz on the other hand, has been in the media limelight due to his life changing victory. He bought a Rolls Royce. His training regimen hasn’t changed too much. He is still a underdog (as much as +200 in some places), and the conventional thinking is that Anthony Joshua will correct the record this time around.

So what happens this time? Joshua is visibly slimmer, and less muscular/thick than last time around. The back to basics training regimen seems to have done wonders, and AJ seems poised to fight more technical, respectful fight, rather than expose himself to the combinations that cost him the last fight. Andy Ruiz Jr. looks the same, and his game plan is simple. Press the pace. Use your Jab to get inside. Throw a high volume of punches. Overwhelm AJ once again. Easier said than done, and I will join the conventional wisdom. Anthony Joshua has no pressure from a large crowd of his countrymen (England) or the pressure to perform in front of an American audience. The cold presentation of this event will serve him well. I believe Joshua gets back to basics and stays behind his Jab this time, smothering the shorter Ruiz at every opportunity. A grab and Jab strategy could be enough for Joshua to wear down Ruiz, and build a considerable score card advantage, while setting up the opportunity for a stoppage.

Prediction: Anthony Joshua Wins by Unanimous Decision, 12 Rounds.


Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga) is one-third of the trio that does the Three Yards Per Carry (@3YardsPerCarry) podcast.