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.

Hopefully.

 

“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

Universal

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!:

20-11

 

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.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z5LXyWn3-w
 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.

10-6:

 

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.

 

9. PHANTOM THREAD (2017)
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.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPWTMAJbmyQ
6. ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD (2019)
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.

 

1. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (2013)
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

Lucasfilm/Disney

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.

Lucasfilm/Disney

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.

Lucasfilm/Disney

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.

Lucasfilm/Disney

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.

Lucasfilm/Disney

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.

Lucasfilm/Disney

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!

Lucasfilm/Disney

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.

Lucasfilm/Disney

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.

Five Reasons, Five Deals: Who’s Moving?

This has been quite the offseason, hasn’t it?

We saw Zion Williamson go #1 overall to the New Orleans Pelicans, an injured Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving spurn the New York Knicks for the upstart Brooklyn Nets, reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and Paul George team up with the Los Angeles Clippers, Russell Westbrook depart the Oklahoma City Thunder to reunite with James Harden in Houston, and Team USA finish a disappointing seventh-place at the FIBA World Cup of Basketball.

And then came Jimmy.

Has the dust settled yet? Probably not.

We are now one month into the season, regular season or otherwise. Even with all of the movement and turmoil, we would be remiss if we didn’t take into consideration the possibility that we might still see some eyebrow-raising deals get done this season that, quite frankly, should happen for the sake of the players involved.

With that in mind, here are five transactions worth expecting at some point this season.

 

Beantown Love

When Kevin Love first arrived in Cleveland, it was essentially to serve as the Cavaliers’ counterpart to the Miami HEAT’s Chris Bosh for a returning LeBron James. This was something that definitely wasn’t smooth sailing at first, and that is something Love himself would admit to.

However, the acquisition ultimately paid off at the best possible time: Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, when he was successfully tasked with preventing the unanimously-selected 2016 NBA MVP Steph Curry from sinking a game-tying three, resulting in the city of Cleveland celebrating its first sports championship in more than five decades.

But that was then, and this is now. Three years later, that championship Cavs team is no more, LeBron James has since sought greener pastures in Los Angeles with the Lakers, and Kevin Love now finds himself surrounded by a rebuilding roster of prospects and D-League acquisitions.

Now 31 years old, Love’s days of championship contention, if he remains in Cleveland, are more than likely done for good. For an All-Star caliber player like Love to spend his twilight years on a perennial lottery team would be a waste, and it’s obvious that he still has much more to give.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jDXfMFEJ0g

Why Boston? For starters, Love has been linked with the Celtics dating back to his days with the Minnesota Timberwolves. A deal involving the perennial All-Star’s move to Beantown would allow him to compete at a high level on one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams for the foreseeable future, while serving as a formidable running mate for the likes of Kemba Walker and the improving wing Jayson Tatum.

Though they lost Kyrie Irving and Al Horford this past summer, there are worse things in the world than replacing them with a more teammate-friendly Walker, Love, and continued growth from Tatum.

Lastly, the Gordon Hayward signing has been a failure for Boston, and that’s no one’s fault but circumstance. Hayward, after signing with the Celtics in the summer of 2017, fractured his tibia on Opening Night against the Cavs, and hasn’t been the same player since.

Combine that with the development of Tatum and Jaylen Brown in his absence, along with the continued play of Marcus Smart, and it’s clear that there’s no real place for him anymore in the rotation.

A deal centered around Kevin Love and Gordon Hayward makes sense for both sides, as the Cavs would receive a veteran swingman to aid with the development of their own wings.

 

Denver: Making A Beal

For those of you that have subscribed to episodes of the Five On The Floor podcast in the last few months, you’re likely well-aware of all the hoopla surrounding Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and recent reports concerning an extension with his home team. No, he’s not coming to Miami. Womp womp.

Let’s not sugarcoat it—with backcourt mate John Wall not scheduled to return to competitive basketball for another year and Beal currently entering the prime of his career, the Wizards don’t look to be an ideal situation for an All-Star guard of Beal’s caliber to compete at the highest level.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgM0doVU_5A

Why Denver? Without question, the Denver Nuggets look to be a team on the rise right now, revolving around the likes of All-Star center Nikola Jokić and a collection of talented wings. In order to acquire Beal, it will likely take one or more of those wings (plus filler and picks) to satisfy the Wizards’ need to facilitate their continued rebuild.

This is a situation that, we believe, can be as fluid as the sides are willing to let it, so long as Beal makes his desire clear and the front office is willing to work with him. Combining Beal with Jokić and Denver’s remaining depth could immediately transform them into a serious contender in the Western Conference.

 

Di-On The Move: A Motor City Malcontent

Dion Waiters’ days are numbered in Miami.

Beyond a two-month period in 2017 when Waiters had HEAT fans thinking of another clutch shooting guard as the team went on that now-infamous 30-11 run in the second half of the season, Waiters’ HEAT career has been a disappointment, marred by poor shot selection, a debilitating ankle injury, “Dion Weighters” memes, and sulking at the end of the bench over his perceived role in the offense.

Combine this with the apparent emergence of rookies Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn, as well as the arrival of Jimmy Butler, continued steady play of Goran Dragić, and Justise Winslow’s establishment as the team’s point guard of the future, and it’s clear that Waiters’ time is up with this team.

Why Detroit? From what we’ve seen, Miami’s tried to move Waiters for quite some time now, with no takers. This is no surprise, especially considering the glut of talented or developing guards on many rosters throughout the league. Detroit, however, may become the first, especially after losing starting point guard Reggie Jackson to a back injury this past week. Now is not a good time to lose guard play.

Detroit, a team that has been built to not only qualify, but compete in the postseason, cannot afford to let this injury set them back in an Eastern Conference that could realistically send you to the lottery as early as December (ask the 2016-17 Miami HEAT and the tanking debate that happened then).

 

OK-CP3: The Point God Stands Pat

Yes. That’s not a typo. We don’t expect Chris Paul to wear another uniform besides his current one this season.

This was the man whose supermax contract (one he helped engineer) made the Russell Westbrook-to-Houston trade possible, traded to Oklahoma City where he played half of a season as a member of the then-New Orleans Hornets in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His return there is almost poetic.

Why Oklahoma City? Before we condemn CP3 to a life sentence in Basketball Siberia, let’s take a good look at the roster that the Point God-not-named-Justise has been tasked with leading this season. No, seriously, let’s look at it.

PG: Chris PaulDennis Schröder

SG: Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderHamidou Diallo
SF: Terrence FergusonDarius Bazley
PF: Danilo Gallinari – Mike Muscala
C: Steven Adams – Nerlens Noel

At the time of this article, the Thunder are 2-4 after six games. Do we expect some sort of barn-burning run by the Thunder this season? That would depend on CP3’s health and his ability to elevate the level of play of the others around him. Players like Adams, Ferguson, Gallo, SGA, and even the young Bazley could really become something cohesive enough to emulate what the Clippers were able to accomplish last season.

Are we the only ones that are interested in seeing what CP3 could do for Shai, Ferguson, Gallo, and Adams over the course of the season?

It’s still early, but this situation in OKC is worth monitoring.

 

A Crossover Melodrama: Who Signs First?

Carmelo Anthony’s post-Rockets free agency saga is well-documented, so there’s no need to rehash it here. Jamal Crawford’s, however, is a bit more peculiar.

Granted, Crawford, unlike Anthony, has, alongside Lou Williams, revolutionized the Sixth Man role in the NBA, doing much of his damage from the bench. Crawford has started one (yes, one) game in the last three seasons and a total of 34 out of 438 games in the last five, having last played for the Phoenix Suns.

He’s also 39 years old. Most players don’t last past age 35 in the NBA. Vince Carter, currently aged 42 and in his final season with the Atlanta Hawks, will turn 43 next January.

Could it be that his age is scaring teams off? We suspect that it has more to do with perceived talent than age at this point. If Crawford can’t play, he can’t play.

But he came off the bench last season and averaged 7.9 points and 3.6 assists per game while shooting 39.7% from the field and 84.5% from the free throw line.

Oh, and this happened:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze2tDw4WVZo

Yes, your eyes didn’t deceive you. A 39-year old Crawford really dropped 51 points on the Dallas Mavericks last season. On a recent episode of NBA Hang Time with Sekou Smith, Crawford stated that he’s still ready and willing to contribute to a team that is willing to utilize his services.

While we’re not as optimistic about Anthony’s chances, we believe that Crawford will likely sign onto a team during the latter stretch of the regular season, a likely contending team seeking veteran bench help after the Trade Deadline and All-Star Break. We believe that will surely take place, as it’s hard to pass up Jamal Crawford’s abilities for too long. Even if it could be his final season.

Look out for teams like Milwaukee, Los Angeles (Lakers), Detroit, Houston, Toronto, Dallas, Portland, and perhaps even Denver if our aforementioned Beal deal goes down.

Ultimately, we never truly know what will happen in terms of major transactions this season, but we believe that these five instances are worth looking out for; in the event that they do happen, don’t forget where you heard it first.

Stay tuned for future episodes of Five On The Floor.

Born in Brooklyn and raised in Boca Raton, Ricky J. Marc 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.

He currently resides in Paris, France. Follow him on Twitter @RickyJMarc.