Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How Good are Some One-Man Teams?

As Kevin Durant took over in Oklahoma City's Game 1 win against Memphis on Sunday, many people around the country were impressed by the superstar carrying his team in the absence of the injured Russell Westbrook. Durant scored 35 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and dished out six assists despite being surrounded by a collection of Thunder role players. Before the series, several analysts said that Durant would pretty much have to be superhuman for the Thunder to defeat the Grizzlies. He was, at least for one game.

In sports, we often refer to situations like Durant's as a "one-man team." But the concept of the one-man team has also applied to pop culture on many occasions. Here are a few of them:

John Fogerty with Creedence Clearwater Revival

Fogerty was Creedence. He was the main songwriter and producer, as well as the lead singer and lead guitarist. Here's what Fogerty said in a 1998 interview with Audio Magazine:

I would write the song and then the producer in me would take over with the arrangement, and I would show everybody exactly how it went... I arranged everything, quite specifically, much in the way that Benny Goodman did with his swing band. There are only a couple of right ways to play a song, and there are a whole lot of wrong ways. With most Creedence songs, the arrangements were based on a groove or a rhythm. I've had people tell me, "Gee, you've always had this great groove going on in the background." Well, that's not an accident, that's what I wanted. You have to figure out what it is that grooves. Only a few things are going to work...
I would show the guys in the band what to play. And in some cases, it got really touchy, especially as we made our way along the successful path we were taking. Their egos got more and more sensitive, to where I actually had to spoon-feed them the parts. I remember when I was showing Stu [bassist] "Down on the Corner," he was having a hell of a time with it. I was showing him one or two notes at a time, so that it evolved to where he thought he invented the part. I'd say, "Well, try going. . [sings first two notes of bass line]," and he'd play those, and then I'd say, "Well, what if you did this next?" So by the time he got done, he actually thought he invented it, but I had worked it out a couple of weeks before.

Fogerty was so far ahead of the other guys in CCR that it actually hurt their egos. Sounds a little like Kobe and Dwight Howard on this year's Lakers.

Where's the rest of the team, Fogerty?

Tom Hanks in Castaway

It was basically Hanks on-screen with no music or other frills for like three hours. It's amazing that Castaway wasn't atrocious, and all the credit for that goes to Hanks. When your co-star is a volleyball, you sort of have to carry the movie.

Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire

Mrs. Doubtfire was like this year's Clippers, who were just eliminated in the first round despite being seen as legitimate contenders all season long. Here's the complete comparison:

Robin Williams -- Chris Paul
Like Paul, Williams led a cast that couldn't compare to his own talent. However, unlike Paul, Williams' team found success, as Mrs. Doubtfire won Golden Globes, MTV Movie Awards, and a People's Choice Award.
Sally Field -- Vinny Del Negro
Field killed the fun throughout most of the movie, failing to take advantage of her hilarious husband. Coach Del Negro failed to take advantage of an extremely talented, exciting young team.
The Gay Brothers--Deandre Jordan and Blake Griffin
This is in no way meant to reflect the sexual orientation of Jordan or Griffin. The comparison is based on their obvious talent and ability to steal the spotlight. However, like the gay brothers, both Jordan and Griffin faded by the end of the film/season.
Pierce Brosnan -- Jordan Crawford
As the sixth man, Crawford often came off the bench to deliver excitement. Likewise, in Mrs. Doubtfire, Brosnan showed up late and delivered some funny lines in his limited playing time.

So while Mrs. Doubtfire wasn't completely a one-man team, Robin Williams was the film's Chris Paul. In other words, he was the cream of the crop who was forced to elevate an inferior supporting cast.

Whew, I'm dizzy from all those weird analogies. Anyways, I'll send you on your way with a pretty funny video of Mrs. Doubtfire recut as a horror movie.

1 comment:

  1. this is a hoot! i can see it now chris paul dressing up like a grandmother to get closer to his teammates and teach them valuable lessons along the way.