Balotelli Says Mario Jumps Like a Black Man and Grabs Coins Like a Jew

Ah, Twitter…the social media service that gives a voice to millions of people that should be muted and gives athletes a chance to expose their idiocy. One of the latest instances of athlete Twitter fail centers on Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli. One of the most gifted footballers in the world, Mario Balotelli also has a reputation as an extraordinary bonehead. Urging people not to be racist on his Twitter account, Balotelli asked people to be more like Mario from the Super Mario Bros. series. His description of the Nintendo plumber was amazing. Check it out:

Be like Mario, he’s an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican. He jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew.

Mario Balotelli has deleted his arguably racist “Don’t Be Racist” post and issued an apology.

Personally, I don’t think he was trying to offend anyone and believe that he thought his original post was a positive thing. I don’t believe there was anything malicious behind his original post. All of this is, of course, conjecture.

Having said that, it was idiotic of him to make that post. Being an idiot is something that Mario Balotelli has been accused of thousands of times. Famous people that are in the public eye shouldn’t post stupid things that could be construed as racist. It’s just dumb and leads to more trouble than a 140-character post is worth. Hell, people that aren’t the least bit famous have gotten in trouble for posting stupid things on social media. If normals can get in trouble for misguided social media rants then it should abundantly obvious that celebrities need to be extra-careful with what they say on social media.

What do you think of Mario Balotelli’s Twitter adventures? Does he need to hire a social media editor to censor the dumb ideas he wants to share with the world? Or is he getting too much heat for his comments? Share your thoughts in the comments section (please!).

Foot Locker’s Week of Greatness Commercials Completely Rule

The ad campaign for the Foot Locker Week of Greatness is exceptional — easily one of the funniest and most entertaining series of commercials I’ve seen in 2014. Taking athletes and sports entertainers from boxing, basketball, and WWE, these commercials poke fun at the stars they feature. There are currently four ads in rotation and I love three of them, while the other…well, you’ll see.

Let’s start with the Manny Pacquiao commercial up top. It has two guys training in a boxing gym and chatting about the Foot Locker Week of Greatness. The dude hitting the heavy bag says, “The people wanted it and Foot Locker made it happen.” Pacquiao, training in the ring, overhears that last bit and thinks the two are talking about the much-wanted Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fight. This spot cracks me up for several reasons. First, Manny’s Filipino accent is just funny (all my uncles sound like that). Secondly, this fight has been discussed for years and is way past the point where it matters anymore (aside from the huge money involved). While this would have been an incredible fight four or five years ago, boxing fans know that both fighters are past their primes and the fight wouldn’t be significant on an athletic level. Oh well, at least the preposterous negotiations gave us a funny commercial.

Next up is a spot that features Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden. While Harden’s offense has exploded since being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder, his defense has regressed. While it’s not nearly as bad as some make it out to be, there’s no doubt that his defensive efforts aren’t what they used to be. In the ad, Harden takes umbrage at being called defensive, saying that he’s never defensive and that he’s the last person you’ll ever see being defensive. It’s funny and I really like that Harden isn’t afraid to make fun of himself.

The commercial above is an NBA two-for. You get Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose and San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan! While it would have been hilarious to see Derrick Rose pretend to injure his knees due to excitement over the Foot Locker Week of Greatness, D-Rose is merely there for the assist. The real star of this commercial is Tim Duncan. Making fun of his reputation of being stoic and emotionless, Duncan expresses his excitement for the Foot Locker Week of Greatness in a wonderfully deadpan way. The part where he (not really) knocks over the plant kills me every time I see it.

Wrapping it up is a Foot Locker Week os Greatness featuring WWE Superstar John Cena. It makes fun of pro-wrestling being fake. It’s a cute spot and Cena has millions of fans…but I’m not one of them. He’s a super-nice guy, but I’ve never enjoyed Cena as a performer in WWE and I didn’t enjoy seeing him in this ad.

When you get a chance, check out all four Foot Locker Week of Greatness ads and let me know which one you like best (please!).

Foot Locker Week of Greatness

RPadTV 2014-2015 NBA Preview Spectacular

The 2014-2015 NBA season has started and the world feels like a better place. There are so many interesting team- and player-based storylines going into the new season. The RPadTV NBA preview is more about the teams and players that I’m excited to watch, rather than a league-wide preview. Naturally, I want to hear about all the teams and players you’re excited to watch as well, so kindly post your own NBA preview in the comments section. Since I expect this article to run long, let’s jump right into it!

Los Angeles Lakers — The vast majority of basketball fans I know in LA are diehard Lakers fans. With that in mind, it’s going to be lots of fun hate-watching Los Angeles’ glamour team and teasing my friends about their sucktitude. A month prior to the season, I felt that the Lakers would be mediocre at best, with one of the most porous defenses in league history. Then…Steve Nash was forced into retirement due to a back injury…and promising rookie Julius Randle broke his leg in his NBA debut. The Lakers had a slim chance making the playoffs this season. Barring a blockbuster trade, the Lakers will probably be a lottery team.

As pathetic as I expect the Lakers to be, there are some genuinely interesting facets to the team. I’m intrigued by Kobe Bryant’s return and I wonder how much of a load he can carry on his 36-year old (damaged) legs. Bryant is the most ruthlessly competitive player I’ve seen since Michael Jordan and it’s fun watching him go full “eff you” mode on the opposing team. I’m also excited about Jeremy Lin playing in Los Angeles and being mentored by Bryant. While I doubt it will happen, I’d love to see Linsanity 2.0 in LA.

In a possibly prophetic quote, New Lakers coach and former Lakers great Byron Scott recently addressed three-pointers by saying, “I don’t believe it wins championships. (It) gets you to the playoffs.” Unfortunately for Laker Nation, it was pointed out that seven of the last eight NBA champions led all playoff teams in three-point attempts and makes. It’s going to be a grand year for the purple-and-gold faithful. *snicker*

NBA Preview 2014 Jeremy Lin Lakers

New York Knicks — Growing up in New York, I know a ton of Knicks fans as well. Similar to the Lakers, it’s going to be fun hate-watching the team and teasing my pals. I’ve never been high on Carmelo Anthony. While he’s a spectacular scoring machine, I’ve never seen him as a player that a championship team is built around. To me, he’s the most talented loser in the NBA and many Knicks fans greatly overestimate Carmelo’s worth. (Knicks apologists are, perhaps, the most unreasonable NBA fans.) It’s possible that he could lead the Knicks to a low seed in the Eastern Conference, but I suspect that the Knicks will be a lottery team.

I’m tremendously intrigued about NY’s use of the triangle offense. With its reliance on mid-range jumpers and post-up play, I’m not sure that the triangle works in today’s game. The majority of the league plays the way most of us played NBA Jam — it’s all about three-pointers and driving to the paint. While the triangle was undeniably successful in the ’90s, it could be antiquated in today’s NBA — kind of like that time Bjorn Borg attempted a comeback with a wooden tennis racquet when everyone else was using graphite.

NBA Preview 2014 Asik Davis Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans — Ah, the pride and joy of RPadholic smartguy, the New Orleans Hornets Pelicans. Anthony Davis is the future of the NBA. Everyone knew he’d be a terror on defense, but many of us were surprised by his (relatively) mature offense. He’s already a star and will be a superstar shortly. It’s an absolute pleasure watching his game develop. Many pundits believe that as LeBron James and Kevin Durant get older, the league will belong to Davis. It’s hard to disagree.

This year’s Pelicans will be fantastic fun to watch on defense. The addition of Omer Asik is awesome, if you’re a fan of bone-crunching D. Between Asik and Davis, it will take phenomenal efforts to score points in the paint against the Pelicans. The duo will terrorize guards that dare to drive to the bucket. Davis is tall and wildly athletic for his size. Asik is tall, strong, and bulky, with superior defensive instincts. They protect the paint in different ways. Having one of these players on a team would improve its interior defense greatly. Having two…almost isn’t fair.

NBA Preview 2014 Andre Drummond Pistons

Detroit Pistons — Ah, my favorite NBA team since the ’80s…will probably lead the league in mediocrity. On the plus side, Andre Drummond is one of the most exciting young players in the league and has a shockingly entertaining Twitter account. Stan Van Gundy is a huge coaching upgrade and owns the second-best winning percentage of NBA coaches that have never won a championship (yes, that’s a glass half-full stat). Unfortunately, the roster doesn’t make any sense. Greg Monroe is a nice player, but often overlaps with Drummond. Josh Smith played last season out of position and will do so again this year. Playing Drummond, Monroe, and Smith together doesn’t work, even though the Pistons tried it for hundreds of minutes last season. On the unintentionally comedic side, I’m looking forward to Van Gundy glaring holes into Smith for his unbelievably poor shot selection.

The good news is that the Eastern Conference is bad enough that Detroit has a good shot of netting a low seed in the playoffs. The bad news is that the Eastern Conference is bad enough that Detroit has a good shot of netting a low seed in the playoffs. The Pistons would be better off with a nice draft pick rather than a first round loss in the playoffs.

Utah Jazz — My excellent friend Justin is a longtime Jazz fan and I always keep an eye on the team’s box scores out of friendship. This year, I’m genuinely excited to watch the Utah Jazz play and there’s one reason — Dante Exum. The Aussie rookie put together some nice games in NBA Summer League and had several jaw-dropping moments. More importantly, I’m fascinated by Australians of African descent. Even though I’ve watched several Exum interviews, in my head he sounds like Paul Hogan. Any NBA player that sounds like Paul Hogan is must-see television.

NBA Preview 2014 Tom Thibodeau Bulls

Chicago Bulls — I loved watching the Bulls last year. Coach Tom Thibodeau eked out more victories from his demolished roster than anyone thought possible. Joakim Noah elevated his game and became something of a point-center. Between Coach Thib’s awesome sideline expressions and the nostalgia of watching Yannick Noah’s son thrive at professional sports, I truly enjoy watching the Bulls succeed.

The big question, of course, is how healthy Derrick Rose will be. I sincerely doubt that he’ll be the same player that won the league’s MVP award in 2011. His game was based on lightning-fast movement and explosiveness. Surgeries on both knees will force Rose to adjust his game. The good news is that Rose is talented enough to make the necessary adjustments and the Bulls’ 2014-2015 roster is arguably the best he’s ever played with. Noah has improved, Pau Gasol gives the team a legit scoring threat, and Nikola Mirotic could emerge as a true NBA scorer (though he’s likely a year or two away).

While some Bulls fans are concerned about the player Rose will be in 2014-2015, there are some that are worried about how long he can even stay on the court. Will we get a few solid years of Rose’s dynamic game? Or will he go down for an extended stretch with another knee injury?

Indiana Pacers — I’m excited to watch the team’s drop-off from losing Paul George to injury and losing Lance Stephenson to free agency.

Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers — I’m curious to see how bad a team that’s trying to lose not trying to win can be.

NBA Preview 2014 Chris Paul Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers — It’s quite possibly now or never for the Clippers. The Donald Sterling drama is behind them. Blake Griffin is in the middle of his prime, while Chris Paul is at the tail end of his. If you’re a tech nerd then you know how insane new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer can be. At the very least, the Clippers will play an entertaining style of basketball and have a good playoff run, all while the owner makes an ass out of himself. That’s good stuff…

…but it might not be enough for Clippers critics. Some fans feel that the Clippers are overrated, while some experts are picking the team to make the finals. Personally, I hope the latter happens for several reasons. First of all, it will give me more ammo to fire at my friends that love the Lakers. Secondly, Chris Paul is my favorite player in the league. He’s a true point guard (I hate score-first point guards) that reminds me of Pistons great Isiah Thomas. Paul excels at distributing the ball, plays much better defense than a player his height should be capable of, and often goes into eff-you mode during the last four minutes of the game to seal a win. Between his athleticism and attitude, he’s the most Isiah-like player in the league and I love watching him play.

I think there’s a good chance the Clippers will make the finals. If so, I suspect it’ll be due to the addition of Spencer Hawes. He gives the team a legitimate shooting threat that will space out the floor, allowing both Paul to control the perimeter and Griffin to control the paint. More importantly, playing Hawes at the end of tight games will cover up DeAndre Jordan’s unimaginative offense and dreadful foul shooting.

San Antonio Spurs — As a middle-aged person, I like watching other middle-aged people succeed. Manu Ginobili’s receding hairline makes me feel better about my own. There’s a good chance that I’ll die before Tim Duncan retires from the NBA. Tony Parker is…well, he’s French, so it’s hard to root for him, with all the wife stealing, wine drinking, and beret wearing antics that French men enjoy. The Spurs aren’t just a bunch of glorious old guys. Kawhi Leonard is a youthful force, while Coach Gregg Popovich is the best in the league and deceptively hilarious.

Oklahoma City Thunder — Kevin Durant is an undeniably glorious player, but I’m more excited about the Thunder games that he’ll miss while recuperating from a broken foot. I want to see some Russell Westbrook insanity! A lot of fans have made jokes about Westbrook launching 50 shots a game while Durant is out. Yes, it’s a glib comment to make, but it’s also within the realm of possibility.

When Durant comes back, I expect the Thunder to dominate. I also suspect Coach Scott Brooks to blow the team’s playoff run. If the Thunder do win it all, it’ll have everything to do with roster talent and nothing to do with Brooks’ coaching.

Houston Rockets — I used to really enjoy James Harden’s game, but he has become somewhat unlikable as a Rocket. Part of it is calling his teammates not named James Harden or Dwight Howard “role players. Part of it is transitive effects from spending so much time with the unlikable Dwight Howard. You get the sense that the team — from the front office to the ball boys — thinks it’s much better than it actually is, and that’s just unappealing. I’ve never been a fan of lovable losers (professional athletes, anyway), so it’s impossible for me to root for Howard. Harden…I guess I’ll still watch for his sick Euro-step and uncanny resemblance to Will.i.am.

NBA Preview 2014 Erik Spoelstra Heat

Miami Heat — I’m not at all interested in LeBron’s new team (Kevin Love is overrated), but I’m curious about his old one. As a nerd, I’m high on Chris Bosh. As far as I know, he’s the only NBA player that can write code. That’s some huge nerd cred right there. Bosh should be every nerd’s favorite basketball player. Plus, dinosaurs and humans that look like dinosaurs are cool.

As a Filipino-American, I hope that Coach Erik Spoelstra has a great season. I hope that the young Pinoy can thrive in his post-LeBron world and show basketball fans that he’s a boy genius.

That’s a Wrap — That’s it for the RPadTV 2014-2015 NBA Preview Spectacular. Please share your thoughts on the new season in the comments section.

Mike Tyson Mysteries Trailer is Glorious

Last year, I wrote a blurb about Mike Tyson Mysteries and was intrigued by the upcoming Adult Swim cartoon. After watching the trailer, my intrigue has escalated to OMG-amazing-want-now!!! The cartoon looks glorious — kind of like a lewd version of a Hanna-Barbera or Ruby-Spears production. In some ways, Mike Tyson Mysteries reminds me the ridiculously wonderful Mister T cartoon. Instead of Mr. T traveling the country and solving problems with a team of gymnasts, Iron Mike travels the country and solves problems with the ghost of the Marquess of Queensberry (phenomenal boxing reference), a perverted pigeon named Pigeon (voiced by Norm MacDonald), and a young Asian-American girl named Yung Hee. The team can clearly give the Fantastic Four a run for their money.

The Mike Tyson Mysteries trailer above will likely leave you speechless. You’ll be amazed by Iron Mike’s problem-solving abilities as he figures out the best way to deal with a chupacabra. You’ll be stunned by Pigeon deducing why Yung Hee’s mother left her on Mike Tyson’s doorstep when she was a little baby. When Iron Mike sings “Ain’t Got No Time For Bird Sex,” you’ll wonder if he’ll win both an Emmy Award and a Grammy Award for the outstanding performance. The trailer packs so much brilliance that I’m almost afraid to watch an entire episode of Mike Tyson Mysteries.

Check out the clip when you have a chance and let me know what you think of Mike Tyson Mysteries. The show will definitely get a “season pass” on my DVR when it debuts in Fall 2014. If you don’t think that Mike Tyson Mysteries is awesome then there’s a good chance that Iron Mike will deal with you in the same way he deals with chupacabras (it’s not pretty). So let’s see some positive analysis on what should be one of the most glorious cartoons in the history of television!

Mike Tyson Mysteries

Watch Derek Jeter’s Glorious 2014 MLB All-Star Game Moments

As a Yankee fan and someone that has watched Derek Jeter’s entire baseball career, there was a lot to love about the MLB 2014 All-Star Game. He was given a classy ovation during his introduction. On his first at bat, he was introduced by a recording of the late, great, and legendary Bob Sheppard. (He also laced a sweet double off of Adam Wainwright, on a pitch that may or may not have been a gimme.) When he was taken out of the game, he was given another lovely ovation. While he didn’t receive the fanfare that Yankee great Mariano Rivera did in the 2013 All-Star Game, the earnest but (relatively) understated show of respect seemed appropriate for Jeter. Check out the clips below (please)!

Mariano Rivera’s Retirement Means Metallica’s Out of Work (ESPN)

Here’s a funny ESPN commercial featuring the legendary rock band Metallica. As all of you should know, New York Yankees great Mariano Rivera retired last year. If you’re familiar with the (greatest) closer (of all time), then you know that he entered ballgames to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” The gag in the ESPN commercial is that Metallica has been struggling to find work since Rivera’s retirement. There’s even a bit in a break room where guitarist Kirk Hammett tries to get ESPN anchor Stuart Scott to sign up for guitar lessons. Ha! While there have been several great ESPN commercials over the years (love the Pete Sampras one!), this is easily in my top five because, you know, Yankees and Metallica.

Coffee Talk #635: Miami Heat Big Three and Silly Reporting

The NBA free agent rumor mill is in full effect. This year’s offseason is particularly intriguing since the Miami Heat’s “big three” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are free agents. Sports fans — particularly NBA fans — love reading about trade rumors, salary cap wizardry, and potential signings. Thanks to the way social media and Internet reporting have evolved, there’s more free agency content than ever. Unfortunately, there’s also some comically bad reporting. ESPN.com has been guilty of posting articles with some…questionable phrases. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite offenders.

This Brian Windhorst article on Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh opting out of their contracts has been phantom edited, but used to contain the following line:

The move also comes three days after Wade, James and Bosh met at a posh Miami Beach hotel to discuss their futures.

They met at a posh hotel? Really?!? As opposed to their usual meetings at the Miami Red Roof Inn and their super-secret brainstorming sessions at the Miami Best Western?

Another Windhorst special is about LeBron’s future meeting with Miami Heat president Pat Riley. Dude dedicated an entire article to report that the two of them are planning to have a meeting. If that’s not bad enough, check out this line:

Free agent LeBron James is planning a face-to-face meeting with Miami Heat president Pat Riley in the next few days, sources told ESPN.com.

Come on, Windhorst. Did you really need a source to tell you that the two were going to meet IRL. As opposed to their sensitive dealings that usually take place via FaceTime or Skype? The article is pure clickbait. Of course Riley was going to meet with LeBron. Keeping the best player in basketball is obviously high on his list of priorities. And yes, an important meeting like that was always going to be “face-to-face.”

In other “big three” news, here’s a whopping revelation that Chris Bosh is considering signing with the Houston Rockets for the NBA maximum salary. The article has the riveting headline of “Sources: Chris Bosh Considers Offer.” The article is by NBA rumor monger Chris Broussard, who sometimes gets great scoops, but often reports bad information. Here, he plays it safe, dedicating an entire article about Bosh considering getting paid a lot of money. No sh*t he’s considering it.

I know that the Internet has lowered the standards of reporting, but I expect more from ESPN.com. It used to be the place for top-quality sports reporting. For the last couple of years, the number of articles has gone up, but the quality has gone down. Yeah, I know that’s how the Internet works in 2014, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Look at Grantland’s Zach Lowe, for example. His combination of frequency and quality is almost unbelievable. He posts several articles a week and all of them are thoughtful, insightful, and analytical. He doesn’t post clickbait garbage about two people having a meeting or a player thinking about accepting a lucrative contract offer. Lowe’s articles are excellent reads that put information in context and explain — in great detail — the impact of the information. While it’s a shame that ESPN.com has become a bit of a dog, I’m grateful that Grantland is there for high-quality sports reporting.


Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, Rihanna’s Fourth of July nipple dress, wishing someone would go all Project Mayhem on car dealerships, or sweet box mods, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.