Friday, May 28, 2010
Just quick note on Lost before I jump into my in-depth World Cup Coverage.
So, the Lost finale, I enjoyed it, though I'm not sure I totally understood it. It was definitely a thoroughly good watch, and as usual, the island story was much more interesting than the sideways world. I liked how they wrapped up the island story - a few sacrifices, a few people stay, a few people escape to the real world. The last 15 minutes were a bit murky. Was this just Jack's purgatory? Why did they all have to be together? What happened to Jack's fake son? Shannon over Nadia? Hmmm. I'll have to think about those for a while.
Two weeks until the World Cup. Yes! Can't wait. I already have a few vacation days planned just to watch soccer. Exciting. This blog will be dedicated to the World Cup for the next month-plus. Sorry to all you non soccer fans.
Starting next week I'll be giving group by group previews and predictions. Enjoy.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Ultimate Survivor All-Stars
These are the best of the best, the most entertaining and the most intriguing. I'm going with two teams of 9 here. The teams are divided somewhat evenly, both teams having a few players that have played together before, both teams with 6 males and 3 females, both teams having 15 seasons of Survivor playing experience. One team with 3 winners, the other with 4.
Our teams will be led by arguably the best team leaders in Survivor history, Yul – leading his tribe of 4 all to the final four after the infamous Cook Islands mutiny and Tom leading his tribe to the total defeat of the other tribe in Palau. We'll go Yul as team green and Tom as team blue.
Here we go.
Tom – Winner Palau , 16th Heroes vs. Villains - Before the Heroes vs. Villains season one would not be out of bounds to call Tom the single best player in Survivor history. He was the team leader of his Koror tribe in Palau which was undefeated in immunity challenges, totally eliminating the other tribe. He then smartly sent out all his possible roadblocks while at the same time dominating in individual immunity challenges as well. In the final immunity challenge he somehow got his opponent to give up on the condition that he takes not him, but the third, weaker player to the final. Tom did and won 6-1. Tom's legacy was hurt a bit in H vs. V, but I think he is a worthy All-Star team leader.
Bob – Winner Gabon – Bob definitely did it all during his one season of Survivor – winning immunity challenges, coming from behind, creating great fake immunity idols, and winning the fire making tie breaker challenge. Some of the shows best moments come from Bob tricking others with his fake idols and coming through in the clutch during times he needed to win immunity. Bob is also won one for the old guys, being the oldest Survivor winner to date.
Russell – 2nd Samoa, 3rd Heroes vs. Villains – There is no way you could have an All-Star team and exclude Russell. He is definitely one of the most entertaining players ever. He burns socks, lies, straight up calls out people who are against him, and basically makes the show fun to watch. I don't think he would last too long in another season, but who knows?
Brian – Winner Thailand – Brian is another one that could rightfully own the title of best Survivor player ever. He cruised (skated) through his Thailand season. He pretty much played error free, strategically leading his team and then winning final immunity challenges when he needed. I would love to see how Brian would fair against more crafty, smart players.
Sandra – Winner Pearl Islands, Winner Winner Heroes vs. Villains – Ok, after winning twice and never losing, you have to call Sandra the best player ever. For her, it's about strategy and the social game. She is definitely not a physical threat, but found a way to win twice anyways. Third time? I doubt it, but she will get a Big Dunc All-Star chance.
Julie – 5th Vanuatu – Mostly here for the eye candy factor, Julie was a decent player, using her goods well. Her attractiveness combined with her high finish is enough to make her a Big Dunc All-star. Survivor tidbit: Bob was a teacher of Julie in high school.
Yau-Man – 4th Fiji, 18 Micronesia – You need him on the team just due to his great name. Yau-Man is an All-Star despite being 55 years old, "5 foot nothin', 100 and nothin', and having barely a speck of athletic ability. " He is on the list for his intuition, strategy, and overall likability. I think in a game like this, with so many strong threats, he could make it pretty far.
Rupert – 8th Pearl Islands, 4th All-Stars, 6th Heroes vs. Villains – Rupert is another on you write into your lineup immediately. Everything else is formed around him. Rupert is a beast in team challenges, but not great in individual ones. He's an All-Star because of his great beard, tie-dyed shirt, attitude, and the great bellowing noises he makes when winning a challenge. He keeps it real and calls it how it is. You need that on Survivor.
Kelly – 11th Samoa – Kelly definitely has the weakest resume of any of the All-Stars, but she is smoking hot, so she makes the list. She was the victim of a Russell idol and really didn't deserve to go, but those are the Survivor breaks. She would add something to this season.
Blue team dynamic – Lots of these players have played together before. They definitely bring different strategies and ways of playing the game. I don't know how Russell could get past the first vote. Naturally Bob and Tom would team up, as would Sandra and Russell so I think the interesting wild cards would be Brian and Yau-Man. How would they team up with? How would they play differently than before? Could they create a unified team?
Yul- Winner Cook Islands – Another one who could rightly wear the crown of best Survivor ever. Yul is the team captain because he led his underdog team to glory. In the Cook Islands season after a few tribe switches, teams were 6-6 and players were given the choice to change tribes. Candice and Jonathan left Yul's team to join the other and all of a sudden it was 8-4. Don't trust those white people. Yul led his underdog team to multiple challenge victory and then got Jonathan back on his side to get numbers in his favor and then one by one voted off all the whities and the remaining black guy, scoring a huge victory of non-white supremacists everywhere. Yul then won the million dollars in a close 4-3 vote of challenge dominator Ozzy. It would be great to see him lead a team again.
Michael – 11th Australia – This man is no joke. He killed a pig, led his underdog tribe to victories and then got burned in the fire. This was one of the coolest/scariest Survivor moments and also one of its biggest "what ifs". Things would have been drastically different if Michael did not fall in the fire. It's hard to be an All-Star after only 6 episodes, but let's give Michael another chance.
Bobby Jon – 10th Palau, 9th – If Bobby Jon is not my favorite Survivor player ever, he is definitely in my top 3. He just brings amazing intensity to the game. Second to last player on his team in Palau and played so hard in Guatemala he had his eyes rolling to the back of his head. He is great in challenges despite losing so many. He is also pretty funny with his witty southern sayings. I think he's strong strategically too, but just never really got to show it. Entertaining for sure!
Terry – 3rd Panama – Terry has to be the best individual immunity challenge player ever, winning 5 straight! And all of those 5 times he was on the chopping block if he did not win. He did endurance, puzzles, swimming, the whole gamut, but he did not win the last immunity challenge when it counted most. Ouch. I'm guessing producers tried to get him to come play on another season. They had to. Either way, he is a worthy All-Star and someone I would be interested in seeing play again.
Parvati – 6th Cook Islands, Winner Micronesia, 2nd Heroes vs. Villains – I don't think there is much I need to say about Parvati. One of the best players ever – challenges, strategy, manipulation, overall game play, attractiveness. Definite All-Star. Has it all.
Amanda – 3rd China, 2nd Micronesia, 9th Heroes vs. Villains – Another of the best players ever. Amanda is skilled in challenges and the social game and attractive, but never used those skills to bring a victory. She is deserving of the All-Star title, but can't bring a victory.
Richard – Winner Borneo, 14th All-Stars – Richard Hatch, the first Survivor winner and the first to understand the game. The first to realize that alliances and controlling your alliances was necessary to make it to the end. Hatch was great in All-Star too and would have been on Heroes vs. Villains if not for his house arrest. It would have been very interesting to see him play with this new era of Survivor players. I think he would have been in the same boat as Boston Rob, but ultimately found a way to oust Russell.
Darrah – 4th Pearl Islands – Darrah makes the list not only because her attractiveness, but because of her Survivor play as well. She won 3 individual immunity challenges and was the last member of her original tribe. Couple that with her great southern accent, her job as a mortician, and her hotness, she gets a spot on the All-Star list. I think she could go far with a second go around.
Paschal- 4th – Purple Rock.
Paschal is the only player to ever be eliminated by the infamous purple rock method. Basically, there was a 2-2 after a revote and to decide the winner, rocks were drawn be all remaining players and Pappy drew the short straw even though he was not one of the original players voted for. Such a lame way to get rid of someone. To this day, contestants still fear the arbitrary purple rock even though the same thing happened again in the Panama Season and the Cook Island season and there was a fire building challenge instead. Either way, Pappy was tight, a fun player to watch and one worthy of getting another chance and the title of All-Star.
Green Team Dynamic: This may be a case of too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Lots of these players will want to be the driving force behind their tribe. I'm thinking Richard won't be afraid to stay in the shadows at the beginning, and I think it bodes well for players like Bobby Jon and Darrah. Amanda and Parvati obviously have a history together and I think others would want to break them up immediately. I'm thinking after a few eliminations, this could be a very strong, unified tribe.
There you go, the Big Dunc Survivor All-Stars. This is the compilation of the best Survivor players ever. I think the teams are pretty even. The Big Dunc All-Star season would be epic, unpredictable and entertaining as ever. These are the 18 that made the cut.
Let me know who you think I missed or who from my list definitely would not make yours.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Here is your second Survivor post of the week. This past season, Heroes vs. Villains was on the best yet. Lots of twists and turns early and often, and about and an awesome cast. I would say that about 70% can rightfully be called All-Stars. Some of my favorites were there, but a few people were missing, and a few Survivors have now been over exposed, so after 20 seasons, I've decided to make a list of Big Dunc's Survivor All-Stars.
Criteria: Being a Big Dunc Survivor All-Star is a tough proposition. It is not just the best players or the players I liked the most, but a combination of the two. To be a Big Dunc All-Star you must excel in the game, but most importantly, you must be entertaining and intriguing. This can encompass strong moral players, strong players in challenges, strong players in strategy, liars, winners, losers, threats, sneaky players and, as mentioned on Monday's post, and the reason for putting the Hottest Women of Survivor post before the All-Star post, attractive players. Some players will make this list solely for the eye candy purpose.
In consideration, but not making the final cut:
Colby: He's had three goes and was vastly disappointing in Heroes vs. Villains
Lex, Ethan, Tom – All strong players in Africa and on All-Stars, but in the end, they did not have that wow factor.
Boston Rob – I really didn't like him the first two seasons, but he grew on me this past season.
Rafe (Guatemala) – This guy is underrated. He one four individual immunity challenges, was a driving force in his alliance making it to the end, and was a likeable character, but in the end the jack-of-all-trades didn't excel enough at one thing to merit a spot on Big Dunc's All-Stars
Aras – Winner of the Panama season, good guy, handsome, but not entertaining enough to make this list and was overshadowed by some cast-mates.
Ozzy – Beast in Cook Islands season, but got kind of cocky and uncool in Micronesia
Jonathan – This guy love the game. He is kind of a douche, but I respect him. His candid approach made him tough to leave off.
JT and Stephen – Leaders of Tocantins, but JT's play in H vs V leaves him off the list. Stephen – just not fun enough.
Taj- strong strategic player, nice person and fun
Erik (Samoa) – This guy lived in a tree trunk for 3 days!
Now the two toughest ones to leave off. They would have made my favorite player list, but not my All-Star list.
James – A beast in challenges, but two injuries and a blindside (with two immunity idols!) does not get you on the All-Star list. His social game was definitely lacking this season. You will be missed.
Coach – Wow, this guy us ridiculous, superbly entertain in both his seasons, but in the end, he never really did much. He had the entertainment factor for sure, but that is all. Sorry Coach
And now the last two to miss out on the All-Star teams. Both are deserving but end up missing out because they aren't quite in the caliber of the other players. If I went with teams of 10, they would have made the list, but in the end I decided to go with 18 strong players.
Todd – Winner of China, a strong strategic player. He led his alliance to the end, but at the end of the day, was not the memorable.
Chris – Winner of Survivor Vanuatu – I would like to see this guy play again to see if his victory was a fluke or incredible gameplay. He went to the final 7 with 6 women, but still won! That is pretty nice, but women hate each and he was lucky and he's not at all likable, so he just misses out on the title of Big Dunc All-Star.
Check out the 18 Big Dunc Survivor All-Stars revealed tomorrow. Feel free to post some guesses of who will make it.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Season 20 of survivor has come and gone. Season 20 was great, but I won't comment on it until later this week when I reveal Big Dunc's Survivor All-Stars. We have seen 20 seasons of this great show, some awesome, some lame, some hit and miss. We've had heroes, villains, great moves, bone-head moves, injuries, people quitting, awesome challenges, lame challenges, great wildlife, incredible natural elements and more.What still draws me to Survivor? Well, the competitive nature, the politics, the variety of snapshots of human nature, and, of course, women in bikinis. In 10 years, Survivor has put some really hot ladies out there. I've had a Women of Survivor post before, so this will be the Season 20 update.
Criteria: Yes, there is more to my picking criteria than just hotness, but not much more. You must be attractive, but things like gameplay and personality play a role as well. Also, you have to stick around in the game for a while. This shows you can play the game of Survivor and it allows you to be seen more – more screenshots, more interviews, more awkward challenges. Yeah, that's about it.
Here is list ultimate list of Hottest Women of Survivor
Ashley – Samoa- much better looking than that hot mess Natalie
Amber – Australia, All-Stars – cute girl next door turned serious, winning player. Lost some points by marrying Boston Rob and then going on the Amazing Race.
Stephenie- Palau, Guatemala, Heroes – Stephenie is that tomboy that one day turned hot. She was a great player, and is pretty physical. That is both an advantage and disadvantage as for as a contest of attractiveness goes.
Brooke (Guatemala) and Misty (Panama) – These two were victims of early eliminations, going 3rd or 4th, so we really didn’t get a chance to know them or see them. Judging on looks alone, which I do not do because I am above that pettiness, Brooke would have made the top 10 for sure, maybe even top 5, but we just didn't get enough of her.
Kim P – Africa – Another girl next door type. She's cute, but not overly stunning.
Ami – Vanuatu, Micronesia – Hot lesbian.
Elisabeth (Australia) and Colleen (Borneo) – If this was a list of Cutest Women of Survivor these two would without a doubt be on top. They were the original desirable women on Survivor, giving lots of young males reason to be hooked. Thanks Colleen and Elisabeth.
Now on to the top 10 where the real hotness is at.
10. Monica – Samoa – Some people look better in the Survivor promotional photos, others actually look better in the swimsuits and non-make up element of Survivor. Monica would be in the former category. At times, she looks stunning, but kind of blended in once the games started. Don't get me wrong, she is hot, but only #10 hot.
9. Amanda – China, Micronesia, Heroes – One of the best players and best looking players. You have to like that one-two punch. Great smile, great body. Another good 1-2 punch. You got to see a lot of her. She's on the leader board for most days on Survivor and has to be #1 for "Most blurred out body parts". And, this may sound odd, but she has a very nice FUPA as well. Strong start to the Top 10.
8. Alexis – Micronesia – One of the fans in Fans vs Favorites, Alexis made it pretty far and played a pretty strong game before she was ousted by the superior play of the veterans. She has both girl next door and just plain hot looks. She doesn't initially come to mind when you think of hot survivors, but definitely worthy of a place in the top 10.
7. Candice – Cook Islands, Heroes – Candice Woodcock, the last name definitely adds to her positioning. She has a super fit body, but is kind of a bitch. She's one of those players that in my opinion, looks better in the game than all made up in the jury. But, I won't complain, I like her either way.
5a. Kelly (Gabon) , 5b. Sydney (Tocantins) – Had to put these two together. They are basically the same person for Survivor purposes. Both in recent seasons, both voted out 6th, both blonde, both hot, both not super memorable, and they are the only two on the list not to make the jury. This shows they are definitely attractive, but couldn't quite use that asset to progress further in the game.
Also, these two move us forward on our list. There is no more girls next door or cute ladies, the final 6 are just plain hot. In case you don't remember, here's a nice video of Sydney and one of Kelly's final words - she is a biatch, but that makes me like here even more. Women.
4. Darrah – Pearl Islands – Ok, I might be the only one that is a big Darrah advocate, but like I said in the previous post, there is just something about her. She is/was a or mortician! She has a thick southern accent. She kicked ass in a few immunity challenges, which I think were shooting guns and blow darts. There is a lot there for a man from Wisconsin to love. I still can't find a picture of her that does justice.
Here is one video featuring the great Southern twang and another with a lot of great shots of Darrah smiling and winning and also showing that youtube is the most ridiculously great thing in the world.
3. Parvati –Cook Islands, Micronesia, Villains – Is it possible to be deceitful, conniving, and manipulative in an endearing way? I think Parvati is evidence that the answer to that question is yes. In Cook islands she was just another attractive girl, but she came into her own winning Fans vs. Favorites, and embraced the villainness role even more in Heroes vs. Villains. She uses what she gots. No doubt she is one of the best players to ever play the game - great in strategy and challenges. Unlike lots of people on the list, she is not one you would want to take home to your parents, and that makes guys like her even more. She doesn't have that classic beauty, but that doesn't matter. Gotta love that smile and the fact that she total owns her devious side.
2. Kelly – Samoa- Kelly was one of those very lucky to get a place on the jury. Samoa was an attractive cast, so seeing her alone every week on the jury made her stand out. She grew on me more every week. I admit I looked forward to seeing her every week. She was an ok player, but you cannot deny her hotness, fitness, and sexiness. Yes. Here is her "Day after" video. I agree Kelly, you did well physically, I would even say you did GREAT physically.
1. Julie – Vanuatu – I have to say that 5-2 on this list is pretty darn impressive. Good work Survivor producers. Keep up the good work. But, #1 was again not in doubt. The other ladies on this list are fine and super hot. Julie is at another level. I enjoy seeing pictures and videos of the other contestants, but I would look at Julie all day. She is drool producing, nocturnal emission inducing. I think that says it all. Julie is still Big Dunc's hottest Survivor contestant after 20 seasons. The pictures say 1,000 words.
Well, this is definitely one post I hope you enjoy reading as much as I did putting it together. Lots of nice pictures and videos for you. I'd say let's hope for 20 more seasons, but that would be pushing it, maybe 6-8 more would be perfect.
Let me know what you think of the list and how you would've ranked them. And stayed tuned for Big Dunc's Survivor All-Stars coming soon.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
(at the Cyprus Hill Show) Bart: What's that smell?
Lisa: It smells like Otto's Jacket
Otto: Hey, my shoes are talking too!
But I heard a nice one yesterday that I did not remember from previous viewings. Homer is at the doctor, and the doctor is telling him what is wrong with his stomach.
"From now on no cannonballs, no spicy food, and when you lie on a hammock from now on rest your beer on your head or your genitals."
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Gk: Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnaman, Brad Guzan
Defenders: John Spector, Carlos Bocanegra, Jay Demerit, Steve Cherundolo, Oguchi Onyewu, Frankie Hejduk, Chad Marshall
Midfielders: Maurice Edu, Ricardo Clark, Michael Bradley, Benny Feilhaber, Clint Dempsey, Stuart Holden, Robbie Rogers, Jose Torres
Strikers: Eddie Johnson, Edson Buddle, Brian Ching, Jozy Altidore, Conner Casey
Starting XI: Well, it is now certain that Charlie Daveis will not play in South Africa, and I think the lack of true pace up front dictates that the US does not play a true 4-4-2, and even if they say they will, they really won't. I'll go with the 4-5-1, which works well with the strong midfield of the US.
This could be seen as a 4-3-3, but I think Donovan and Dempsey work best on the wings. That being said, with the strong, defensive central midfield, Dempsey and Donovan have freedom to get forward, freedom to constantly interchange, and freedom to support Jozy. I think Dempsey's current form and goal scoring prowess with Fulham justifies this formation. He is too good to just be an outside midfielder. Play to your strengths.
It's a pretty veteran line-up too. Lots of experience here.
Notes: I wish Davies was available. Maybe Eddie Johnson can provide that necessary pace up top, but he has never really lived up to expectations.
I like Connor Casey and Brian Ching. I think the provide size and strength that lots of teams would struggle with. Holden, Rogers, and Torres can all bring something off the bench. In a pure 4-4-2, Holden will probably be the one to start, maybe in the place of Edu.
Howard is solid between the posts, but I don't know if our central defenders are going to be good enough, especially with the injuries they have had.
Lots of questions. Look for Donovan and Dempsey to lead the way for the Red, White, and Blue, and if they don't, we are in trouble. Unlike England, who's 23rd player could make the difference, the USA will really only rely on 16 to 17 guys.
Friday, May 7, 2010
We (I) here at Big Dunc are very excited about the World Cup. It is the best sporting event around. Over the next month I'll being picking my squad for the USA and England if I were in charge and giving my finals predictions. Exciting.
First off, England. I am not predicting what the final 23 man squad will be. I'm just choosing who I would take if I were coach. It is kind of sad I know many more English players than American, but that should make the picking of the final 23 much more interesting. Here we go.
Goalkeepers: David James (Portsmouth) Joe Hart (Birmingham), Robert Green (West Ham)
Defenders: John Terry (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Micah Richards (Manchester City), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Leighton Baines (Everton)
Midfielders: Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), James Milner (Aston Villa), Gareth Barry (Man City), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Ashley Young (Villa)
Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Man U), Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Gabriel Agbonlahor (Villa), Emile Heskey (Villa), Carlton Cole (West Ham)
Preferred Starting XI
..G. Johnson Terry Ferdinand A. Cole
You could call it a 4-5-1 or a 4-3-3, but I think it really plays to the strength of the England players. Rooney is the only real world class striker and goal scorer and anyone that comes in up top would only be there to help him out. Johnson and Cole are both great going forward and would work well with the two pacey wingers. Barry as a defensive mid allows a bit more freedom for Lampard and Gerrard and supports Terry and Ferdinand in the middle. It is definitely an attacking line-up and may lack some height up front, but I think speed is much more important.
Variable: Gareth Barry just got injured and may miss the World Cup. That would be a big loss for England because he has been playing great as that defensive midfielder. If Barry cannot go, Michael Carrick takes his stop on the squad, but the changes do not end there. Milner comes in for Barry, Gerrard goes to the left middle field for Young, Crouch in for Young going up top playing more of a traditional 4-4-2. This is probably the more likely squad and formation to face the USA on June 12th.
Rationale: A few of my more odd picks are C. Cole, Ashley Young,Leighton Baines, and Micah Richards. With such are large squad of 23 players, your last picks really need to be someone that brings something different to the picture. I don't see Defoe doing that. Cole has pace and size. Young can provide and attaching option down the left side, which is often times missing for England. Richards is a beast and can play inside or outside, but his raw strength is something I think a lot of teams would struggle with. Baines, well, you need an Everton representative, and his ability to come forward and cross the ball is something others in for the last stop like Michael Dawson and Stephen Warnock do not have.
Shawn Wright-Phillips is just behind Walcott.
Heskey and Crouch give Rooney a need strike partner.
Based on the season and the lack of Beckham, I think Lennon should get the starting nod over Walcott, but they are basically the same player.
It is also likely that Hart will not be the starter between the posts, but I think he has had the best season of any English goalie. He is getting lots of practice at Birmingham and makes the spectacular saves without making many mistakes. Unfortunately, Capello seems more likely to go with someone with more international experience.
Overall, this is a super strong 23. A few new guys, a few veterans, a few risky picks, but again, with 23 players you have the opportunity to take a few gambles.