“I Hate Christian Laettner” Review

This 30 for 30 or ESPN film, whichever name you prefer, looks at one of the most hated college athletes in the history of the game. It explores many different reasons why the hate for Christian Laettner was so serious. After all, he was just a kid, what did he ever really do to deserve the hate? The film talks to many different people including Christian Laettner himself, his family, Coach K, Coach K’s wife, past teammates, the Fab Five, opponents of his, and many different authors, reporters, etc who wrote books and stories about their hate. Many different perspectives were offered during this film which is what I’ve always loved most about documentaries- especially sports documentaries.

The first reason that they look at is that Laettner was perceived as a rich kid because he attended Duke University and a prep school before that. In reality, Laettner came from a middle class family. His mom was a teacher and his dad was a journalist. He couldn’t afford prep school but they offered a type of work study where he would work these dirty type jobs extremely early in the morning in exchange for his tuition. He only went to Duke because Coach K offered him a full scholarship. This alone gave me personally some new respect for the guy. He didn’t have anything handed to him, he worked for everything he had which is something worthy of respect.

Another reason why people hate Laettner is that he’s a white kid. Some people thought he might be racist or view black people differently since the only black guys on his basketball team were called “Uncle Tom” and things of that sort. Laettner was actually extremely tolerant of other races, maybe even was more against white people than black. His teammates bragged on how impressed they were with his style and his knowledge of hip-hop.

The third reason explored was that he was a bully who preyed on the weak. I actually laughed out loud because they used Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift as the image for a bully. Yes, Laettner was an animal on the court and he was certainly a big trash talker. The way he carried himself and seemed to get away with so much stuff other players wouldn’t get away with was extremely disheartening and irritating. But he also seemed like a good teammate and actually a cool guy off the court. He just knew how to get under people’s skin.

After watching this documentary, I learned a lot about the background of this guy that got such a terrible reputation over the years. I think it’s sad how much people disliked him and how far some people took it. Like it’s actually ridiculous that his 12-year-old sister was called a whore just for being his sister. Like what did she ever do to deserve that? Sometimes the hatred people have isn’t rational and is fairly upsetting. Ultimately, people hated how good he was and I love that the documentary explored that. But I think it wasn’t just one sided, it also showed the reasons behind why people hate him by talking to the sources directly. Overall, it’s one of my favorite ESPN films.

Muhammad Ali Quotes

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Arguably the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali was never shy. In fact, he was positive that he was the greatest long before anyone else paid any attention to his skills. We could all take some notes from Ali when we’re feeling a little low on our self-confidence. Here are some quotes to provide you with some motivation.

1. “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

2. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

3. “It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”

4. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

5. “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”

6. “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them—a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

7. “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”

8. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

9. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

10. “A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

10 Best Baseball Movies

If you can’t already tell based on my posts so far this month, I really love baseball. It’s one of my favorite sports and I also enjoy all movies about the sport. These are my personal favorite movies that are about the game I love so much.

1. The Sandlot

This movie shows the sport in the most innocent and honest way. It’s just a group of young boys who love baseball. They play the sport just for fun in a sandlot. Only one of the boys is actually any good at the sport. Like most movies about baseball, it’s about so much more than just that. We get to watch these boys come of age and interact with each other. It’s such an uplifting and timeless movie.

2. Field Of Dreams

This is a classic movie about Ray, a farmer in Iowa who begins hearing a voice whisper to him, “If you build it, they will come.” He then sees a vision of a baseball diamond and builds a baseball field by plowing under his corn. The famous deceased baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson begins showing up, and only Ray can see him. He soon realizes this is happening because of his father, whom idolized Jackson. His father has previously passed away and didn’t really have a good relationship with his son. All in all, the movie focuses a lot on our dreams (obviously) and that sometimes you just have to put your trust into another person, even when you don’t know what the outcome might be.

3. The Natural

Roy Dobbs was an upcoming star pitcher who was full of potential. One night, a woman lures him into her hotel room and shoots him. After that, Dobbs goes off the grid for 16 years. He starts to play the game again sixteen years later, at the age of 35. He was considered “The best that never was,” and he tries to prove that name wrong. This movie is just one of those feel good movies that you can’t help but love. It’s extremely inspirational and you can’t help but love the charm of Robert Redford.

4. A League Of Their Own

A powerful tale about women playing baseball while the men are away in the war. It’s interesting that something that takes place decades before is still relevant to us today. The movie has an all star cast, which only makes the story more intriguing. Tom Hanks stars as their drunk washed up manager, even Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna make appearances as two other players on the team. The movie never gets old.

5. Bad News Bears

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Walter Matthau plays a former minor league player who’s now an alcoholic who cleans swimming pools. He gets recruited to coach the least athletic players in the league, one of them just so happens to be his son. This movie is a classic because of the acting and the story is original and hilarious. Tatum O’Neal is amazing in this movie, her performance alone is worth tuning in to this one. Be sure to stay clear of the Billy Bob Thornton remake, the original is obviously better.

6. Bull Durham

Another movie starring Kevin Costner but this is one of the most beloved sports movies of all time. It tells the story of an older and mature player being asked to mentor the big upcoming star pitcher. I think the big reason why so many people love this movie is because it’s a lot about life and love, not just baseball. It’s a classic and timeless story that never gets old.

7. Bang The Drum Slowly

Bang The Drum Slowly stars a young and unknown Robert DeNiro. Two years after this movie, he won an Oscar for his role in The Godfather Part II. We all know what a great actor he is but it is pretty awesome to see his early work. He plays the role of Bruce, an uneducated catcher who finds out he has a terminal illness. The movie focuses on his relationship with his pitcher. It’s the baseball version of “Brian’s Song” except even better. It’s not overly cheesy, it’s just a naturally emotional story.

8. The Rookie

Dennis Quaid stars as Jim Morris, who is a real person and was briefly but notably in the major leagues for one season. Morris was supposed to be an incredible major league player. A shoulder injury shatters that dream and he hangs it up and makes a family. Slowly, he makes his way up throughout the movie until he finally reaches the major league. This is an uplifting movie that shows that dreams can come true no matter what age you are.

9. Moneyball

This is the true story of Billy Beane, the manager of the Oakland Athletic’s. This movie has become so popular in the past few years because it gives some insight into the operations behind professional baseball. Basically, Beane gets help from Peter Brand, a young graduate from Yale who has a degree in economics and has unique ideas about the values of players. Working with a limited budget, the two figure out their roster by taking these players that nobody wants and discovering those players strengths.

10. 42

This recent film looks at the life of the classic baseball player Jackie Robinson. There were many African American players who were good enough to play in the major leagues, who were around before and the same time as Robinson. However, Branch Rickey singled out Jackie because he believed he had the guts not to fight back. It’s a really compelling classic story that we all know but it’s beautiful to watch this come to life.

 

Turn Up The Albums

I’m going to make a complete playlist sometime soon but here’s some of my favorite albums to just turn up all the way and dance around to. You can listen while driving around with your friends or just listening by yourself! Whatever you choose to do, these are the albums you should do it to.

Charli XCX- Sucker

This album is best listened to while taking a road trip with your best friends or dancing around your room with your friends. It’s best to listen to this while surrounded by people you care about because it’s just so much more fun that way. “Break The Rules” is the fun and danceable skipping class anthem you can’t help but love. Charli XCX just puts out hit after hit and there’s not a skippable song on this album!

Ariana Grande- My Everything

This album put out by former Broadway star and vocal powerhouse Ariana Grande doesn’t disappoint. Not all of these songs are upbeat, some are gorgeous ballads that really showcase her voice. The sound here reminds us of a throwback to the 90’s. She has a vintage style to her but it never gets old. The highlight songs are definitely “Problem” and “Bang Bang.” These are also the biggest and most pop sounding songs but it can be fun to just let all your problems go and dance to pop music.

One Direction- Midnight Memories

I know, I know you guys probably think I’ve lost my mind by putting this on the list. However, I can’t resist these five British (And one Irish) boys. This isn’t there most recent album, Four is but I prefer Midnight Memories. Largely due to the fact that this album is filled with songs that you can just sing to the top of your lungs. Four doesn’t really have any of those type of songs. The title track of Midnight Memories is a fun song to listen with at a sleepover with your best friend while you just talk and reflect on all the good times. “Happily” and “Best Song Ever” are two more songs that I can’t help but love. As is “Little Black Dress” and “Diana.” I’m also a big fan of the song “Alive,” which is on the deluxe edition of the album. Whether just the name of the band makes you cringe or swoon, this is a great album to jam to.

Haim- Days Are Gone

Talk about sister power, these three sisters are the coolest. They are frequently compared to the ’70s classic rock band Fleetwood Mac. However, I think they’ve created their own sound for this new generation. Every song is filled with awesome catchy lyrics and the music is just unbelievably amazing. It’s pretty much impossible not to be charmed by the song “The Wire,” or for that matter, any song by the trio. The album is stacked with track after track of songs that you’re bound to love and share with others.

Vampire Weekend- Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend is a small town indie band that reached an unpredictable amount of success. Lead singer Ezra Koenig and company has a unique sound that sets them apart. “Ya Hey” is definitely one of my favorite tracks off of the album, but “Diane Young” is at a close second. Part of the bands charm is that they don’t release ballad after ballad, instead they have lots of songs with funky and cool beats. How can you not love them?

 

Best Movie Makeovers

Who doesn’t love a good makeover? These are some of the best makeovers in film history as far as I’m concerned.

1. Mia Thermopolis from Princess Diaries

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I remember as a kid, I genuinely thought that Mia (played by the stunning Anne Hathway) looked like that with her big curly hair. But then she got a makeover and then had the straight hair. That was pretty crazy of me to think but this was an incredible makeover.

2. Gracie Hart from Miss Congeniality

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Her transformation had everything: it was dramatic, fun, and stunning. The best part of it all was Gracie still having the same personality despite her physical transformation.

3. Vivian Ward from Pretty Woman

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Vivian Ward went from being your average prostitute to a classy well dressed woman. This is a memorable and awesome transformation.

4. Tai Frasier from Clueless

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Leading lady Cher did her best work on Tai, the new girl who was a tomboy that wore lots of plaid to a classy and stylish girl.

5. Laney Boggs from She’s All That

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Laney went from geek to chic in this teen chick flick.

6. Sandy Olsson from Grease

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For most of the movie, Sandy is a modest good girl. At the end of the movie, she realizes that the only way she can keep Danny is if she changes her appearance. Regardless of her reasons to do it, the end results of the makeover are incredibly badass and rad.

7. Cady Heron from Mean Girls

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Like Sandy, Cady is the new girl in town. Cady becomes influenced by the mean girls at her school and slowly transforms into one herself. Hey, at least the Plastics have awesome taste in fashion, lots of pink which I love.

8. Josie Gellar from Never Been Kissed

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25-year-old Josie is forced to relive the horrors of her high school years when she goes back to write a story about high school. She was really geeky back in the day but she’s not the same woman she was then. Josie is now chic and has A LOT better taste in clothes, enough to get her first kiss on a baseball field anyway.

Best Boyfriends – Gilmore Girls Edition

So I’ve decided to take the best boyfriends/girlfriends on some of my favorite shows. Mostly, I plan on it being an ensemble cast where I talk about the character they ended up with and whether that was a right decision or not. Hopefully it’ll play out better than it currently sounds. But with one of my favorite shows Gilmore Girls, it was hard to highlight the whole cast. There’s a lot of great characters and I feel like the majority end up with the people you thought all along. I was always most interested in the boyfriends of Rory Gilmore. She had three serious relationships with three very attractive males. The order I’ve listed them is just chronologically, but I will discuss which she should’ve ended up with.

Dean Forrester

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Dean was Rory’s first boyfriend on the show. He was the kid with nice hair who had just moved from Chicago to the school Rory left shortly after the series began. Dean watched Rory read day after day and they eventually ended up getting closer. They shared their first kiss in the market where he worked. Dean was a sweet character but he eventually annoyed me. He was loyal to Rory but they were extremely on and off throughout the series. Stuff always got in the way of their relationship, as it often does but this was serious unforgivable stuff. Not to mention, Rory lost her virginity to Dean while he was still married. I’d say by the time that went down on the show, it was obvious it was time for Dean to get lost. He was a character that should’ve only been around until season 3. That’s the storyline he should be remembered for, not the way he ended up which was as the guy that cheated on his wife with his ex girlfriend.

Jess Mariano

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Jess is definitely the one out of the three that I would’ve went for. The guy has great taste in books plus he can keep up with Rory’s constant pop culture references which isn’t an easy task. Sure, he’s a bad boy. But he’s the one of the bunch who ended up in a fairly stable position and Rory messed him over. He left her many times when he should’ve told her how he really felt. Rory ultimately needed a guy that would be there for her – which sadly, wasn’t in Jess’s nature. I think this was a beautiful relationship while it lasted and it’s one that Rory needed to experience. He broke her heart by bailing and she truly loved him.

Logan Huntzberger

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Logan is a character that annoyed me a lot in the beginning. However, I do think he really cared about Rory. He couldn’t help what family he belongs to, but he could’ve been more grateful. Instead he was a spoiled white boy who never really had to work at anything and we never really saw him work hard for anything while he was on the show. It was a rather safe choice for her since he came from a nice family and her grandparents worshiped him simply due to his last name. Logan really grew up as his relationship with Rory became more serious. It was wrong of him to blindside her by popping the question at her Yale graduation party her grandparents threw. All in all, he was a fun and different character that was a good match for Rory.

Who Rory ended up with: No one. At the end of the series, Rory turns down Logan’s proposal in order to focus on her career instead of moving away to be with him. It was a fitting decision for her, she was always meant to be a career woman first.

Who she should’ve ended up with: Well, Rory and Logan should’ve ended things long before the proposal. I think she should’ve chose Jess the second she went to visit his bookstore and saw how well he was doing. He had his life in order and Rory should’ve ended up with him somehow. I get why she didn’t end up with him but I still think he was the all around best of the boyfriends.

Best Sex and the City Characters

Sex and the City is a show much loved due to it’s strong central friendship group: four single New York women who are navigating through their mid-30s and 40s together. I felt that it’s only fair for this post to be dedicated to the four main characters listed from worst to best in terms of who I’d want to be friends with. Each woman has their own respective qualities that anyone would love to find in a best friend, but this is a list that’s strictly my personal opinion based on what friends I want to have.

4. Charlotte York

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Charlotte is the practical and rather uptight one of the group. Her most positive quality is definitely how optimistic she is about love and her future. She never gives up hope on finding her Prince Charming. As far as a friend goes, constantly looking on the bright side of life while you’re going through breakup after breakup can get annoying. She also can be extremely judgmental at times and a little too on the proper side.

3. Carrie Bradshaw

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Sex and the City is Carrie’s story since she narrates it through her columns. She has a fabulous life filled with lots of beautiful shoes and general glamorous life. But Carrie can be selfish and only focus on her problems. She’s there for her friends when they need her but she constantly puts them in awkward positions in her love life then turns around and judges them. She’s a flawed character which is much like women are in real life which is nice and rare to see on TV shows. I just wouldn’t care to have her as a friend.

2. Miranda Hobbes

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Miranda is smart and funny but more than that, she’s a great friend to her girls. I found her kind of annoying and whiny in the first few seasons but she eventually evolves into a more likable character. She also gains wisdom and understanding once she becomes a mom. While Charlotte is overly optimistic, Miranda is too pessimistic at times. This attitude is the only reason why she didn’t score the number one spot on this list.

1. Samantha Jones

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I’d want to be friends with Samantha the most out of all the SATC girls because who wouldn’t? Samantha is confident, classy, blunt, loyal, and fun. She’s neither too optimistic or too pessimistic, she’s just right. She always has her hilarious Samantha Jonesisms regardless of the topic at hand. Another good quality of hers is that she’ll never judge you. She stands by Carrie’s side when Carrie goes to only her about her affair with a married Mr. Big. She doesn’t gossip about it to the other girls or scold Carrie, instead she offers support and comfort to her friend. Having a friend like Samantha is ideal because she’s fun and a loyal friend.