I'm not getting at all tired of Pros vs. Joes. One small complaint--stop showing us the Pros at the very beginning. I loved the unveil moment in the first season, when you met the Joes first, and then experienced with them the moment that the Pros are first revealed. But that's small beer compared to the overall genius of the show.
Let's meet our Joes!
Joe #1 is Matt Thompson of Gilbert, AZ. Matt is one cocky son-of-a-bitch. Is he the same Matt Thompson of Gilbert, AZ who participates in Fantasy NASCAR? I don't know, but I wouldn't be shocked.
Joe #2 is Rodney Williams of Northern Virginia. We hope to talk to him soon. Rodney talks a bit of smack, but he doesn't really look like he believes it, not like Matt does.
Joe #3 is Damon Vinyard--a very quiet Joe, a rare commodity in this particular game show.
1. Eric Dickerson--who still looks good, if a bit on the thin side (again, a rare occurrence on a show that features retired athletes). He also seems much more comfortable on camera now that he ever did on MNF--maybe they should have let him cover the sidelines in a psuedo-football uniform.
2. Vince Coleman--Now, this is what a retired athlete should look like. Coleman will prove himself to be the most constant shit-talker, and (as it so often is) the least effective pro in the game. The show needs to get some more recent retirees, I think. Between Canseco, Dave Stewart, Will Clark, and now Coleman, they are giving the impression that baseball ain't a game where aerobic activity is very highly regarded. That's a correct impression, but still.
3. Kevin Willis--At age 45, Kevin is still an intimidating presence--he looks like he's in really great shape--is he gunning for some sort of comeback? Don't worry everybody--just because Kevin Willis is in great shape doesn't mean he still won't play fucking dirty.
4. Our final pro would have been a hell of a surprise if Spike hadn't hyped it all week. Roy Jones, Jr! I mean, the guy has barely even retired, and he's only a couple of years removed from playing minor league basketball the day of a fight. This is someone no one in their right mind will want to face. Oddly, both Matt and Rodney seem excited by this prospect. Matt thinks that Roy owes him $45 for his second round loss to Antonio Tarver (I'm pretty sure this joke was first conceived by an unhappy groundling at the premiere of Troilus and Cressida. It's an old, tired joke is what I'm saying.) Rodney asserts that he is going to both "fuck (bleeped, of course) Jones up" and "kick his ass." While a nice display of confidence, he is extremely mistaken. Delusionally so.
Quick note: Roy Jones' middle name is "Levesta" which I think I would have mocked as psychological warfare, if I were a Joe. What is that? A new drug to fight yeast infections?
Challenge 1: Tackle Dickerson. Which could be called "Tackle a 46 year man". Best of 3. Damon goes first, and Dickerson sheds him like a newly waxed car sheds water. TD. Rodney is next, and he comes in hard and fast, and plants Dickerson. It was actually pretty impressive. Big talker Matt gets flat out dusted. Second time around, works out exactly the same way. Rodney wins this challenge, I think because he actually runs right at Dickerson, rather than waiting for him.
Challenge 2: Last 3 minutes in the ring with Roy Jones Jr. Pretty simple. Rodney is first in the ring, and he enters with a t-shirt on. The Pros rag on him until he takes off his shirt. Dickerson yells, "He's got titties!" Rodney actually handles this verbal slam pretty well. He comes out swinging, or perhaps more accurately, flailing. He thought he could beat Jones? One minute into the round, Rodney looks like his entire body is shutting down, like that Ironman dude in the Gatorade commercial. Roy realizes that Rodney isn't capable of throwing any more punches, and goads him into trying. The result is pretty ugly to watch. Finally, after one too many shots to the head, or just fatigue, Rodney takes a knee, ending the round. Rodney is not going to win this challenge. Both Damon and Matt make it through the full 3 minutes, also flailing wildly, but also showing a bit more ring savvy than Rodney. Matt even goes for the clinch at one point. Even with headgear, I think it safe to say that if Jones really wanted to, he could have knocked them all out. The defense was pretty much nonexistent. But in any case, it comes to three sanctioned judges to determine the winner. Loud talkin' Matt wins it. Damon is in trouble, and needs to win the next challenge to force a tiebreaker. It should be noted that only Matt is still talking trash to the Pros at this point. Both Rodney and Damon are pretty quiet from here on out.
Challenge #3: Board and Outlet pass: This challenge is fucking brutal. Line up on the key opposite of Kevin Willis and attempt to board, and throw the ball into target boxes representing the outlet. First to 5 wins (which is going to be Willis, of course). Winner amongst Joes is determined by the best performance. This is essentially a game of luck, as the rebound needs to be one that bounces away from the basket for the Joes to have a chance. Anything with a high arc is Willis'. Matt loses 5-1, Rodney gets shutout and gets a bit banged up as well--next up is Vinyard fighting for his life. Vinyard grabs two boards. It should be noted that out of all the Pros, since this show began, Willis is the meanest. He throws these guys around like ragdolls; he's chucking elbows, he's taunting them by holding the ball for several seconds longer than he needs to. A couple of times he says, "It's Hell in the Hole!" Hey, Kevin, man, it wouldn't be such a hell if you weren't such a dick!
Tiebreak: First two to make a freethrow. Vinyard blows his big time. Rodney hits his smoothly enough to make me think he was a baller in his day. Matt banks his home. Damon Vinyard, hit the showers!
1. Score 1 basket against Kevin Willis. Matt goes first, and shows that he is not really capable of doing much against Willis (shocking) but hits a pretty incredible bank shot to stop the clock at 47 seconds. Rodney has a rougher time, including getting an eyepoke from Willis. Stops the clock at :54 seconds.
2. Shag flies from Vince Coleman, and throw to first and third base. So, Kevin Willis boards, Roy Jones boxes, fucking Eric Dickerson runs with the football, and what do they have baseball legend, basestealer extraordaire Vince Coleman do? Hit balls into center field. Rodney goes first, and mainly due his self-acknowledged "throwing like a girl" he finishes in 57 seconds. Matt gets out there, and with the help of Coleman, who keeps hitting balls right at him (he was running Rodney all over the damn field) he finishes in 27 seconds. After two events, Matt has a huge, 43 second lead. Rodney looks defeated when he sees how quickly Matt finishes the baseball challenge.
3. Land 5 punches on the chin of Roy Jones. Matt goes first, and it looks like he is actually attempting to box Jones. Bad Idea. Matt maxes out at the minute mark. Rodney, knowing that he needs to make up time, and also knowing he can't really go a full minute with Jones, does the smart thing, and wades into Jones, and just starts throwing punches. After all, it doesn't matter whether they hurt Jones or anything. They just have to touch him. Rodney just flails away and gets done in 19 seconds. All of a sudden, he's only down 2 seconds, with just one event.
4. Rush the Quarterback dummy, with Dickerson blocking. Rodney goes first, and he definitely has a football background. Between his tackling, and now his rush, he seems to know what he is doing. There are two tackling dummies, one behind the other, with a football attached to them. The Joes have to knock both balls out, and then run to the finish. Rodney gets to the first one quickly, but has trouble with the second. He finally gets it, and huffing and puffing, clocks in at 59 seconds. He's in a lot of trouble, as this basically means that Matt has to max out, and then take more than 3 seconds to run 30 yards. Matt gets the first dummy even quicker than Rodney, and then he and Eric engage in what would be offsetting penalties over and over again. Matt does indeed max out, and then takes 7 seconds to run to the finish. Rodney wins!
Rodney seems humbled, even in the face of winning the game. He seems to realize, unlike many other winners, that he got his handed to him by old men. I'm happy to say that I do believe that Rodney will be our first Pros Vs. Joes interviewee. Watch this space, bitches!
Update: We have an exclusive interview with Rodney Williams, the winner of this episode! This marks the first time we've gotten an interview of any kind at IDYFT, and we are very happy about it. Rodney was much more willing to talk than those stuck up ladies of the Redskins Cheerleading Squad, who never did respond to our inquiries about interviews.