The new Star Wars comes out today!
While I am not what you would call a Star Wars fanatic, I have lots of time to kill at work. Hours upon hours upon soul-crushing hours. A couple of months ago during one of these hours I stumbled upon one of the many Star Wars websites.
This website, www.supershadow.com was different in that the person who maintained the site claimed that he was close personal friends with Star Wars creator George Lucas. This seemed to be supported by the fact that every week, this guy got literally hundreds of emails from fans all over the world, begging for his privileged insight into the Star Wars franchise. Periodically, Lucas himself would even answer some of these emails, for example:
“George, I just need to know one thing. How long will we have to wait for Revenge of the Sith to be released on DVD and VHS? As I recall I waited almost a full year for the first two prequels to be released. It don’t matter either way. Thanks, S. Huffman, Ohio.
George Lucas: It took a long time for The Phantom Menace to reach DVD. That decision was left up by the marketing department. It’s not something I want to have control over. However, Attack of the Clones came out on VHS and DVD the same year the film was in theaters so there wasn’t that much of a wait. The difficulty you have if you release the films on DVD too quickly is that it might hurt the initial box-office gross. If people know the film will be out on VHS and DVD in a few months, then they might just decide to avoid the crowds and wait for the VHS and DVD.”
Seems pretty legit right?
On the opening day of the new “Revenge of the Sith” film, Supershadow also posted this very special message from Lucas himself:
“Special Message From George Lucas: “In a few short hours, many of you will have the greatest cinematic experience of your lives. This movie has been over 28 years in the making. When Star Wars first became a glimmer in my eye, I knew that the final episode of the prequels would be one of the defining moments in the history of motion pictures. Shadow and I have slaved for nearly three years on this one. Revenge of the Sith has all the darkness and foreboding of The Empire Strikes Back. It has all the escapism and excitement of Return of the Jedi and it has all the wonder and magic of the very first Star Wars film.
For the first time, you can decide the future of Star Wars. The burden is all on you and your friends. I implore each of you to watch Revenge of the Sith at the midnight showings that will cascade all across the world. Then tomorrow I ask for you to watch Revenge of the Sith all day long. Wake up early in the morning and watch the very first matinee. Then get back in line all day long and see the movie all over again many, many times. Each time you watch the film you will discover something new.
After you’ve watched Revenge of the Sith a few dozen times in theaters, you will begin to appreciate all the hard work and effort that Shadow and I have poured into this film. We have given our all and the result is something that you can all feel proud of. Your ideas helped shape this film. You all made a difference. We did this together. Your best efforts will always be remembered and never forgotten. As always, may the Force be with you.” (Source: George Lucas) “
So as you can see by reading this, not only is Shadow privy to information from Lucas, but according to this he also helped him make the film.
Now here’s the hook. This guy is 100% bullplop, and notoriously so to the point that the online encyclopedia www.wikipedia.org actually has a lengthy entry on him:
“SuperShadow is the Internet alias of Mickey Suttle, a Star Wars fanatic, who posts Star Wars news, images and FAQs on his website, www.supershadow.com. His claims, most notably that he is friends with George Lucas and that he possesses advance copies of screenplays, has made him a controversial figure among Internet Star Wars fans. The only biographical details on his website are as follows:
“As you would expect, all information regarding SuperShadow is above top secret (classified at the highest level). Currently, nothing is known about SuperShadow except that SS is very close, personal friends with George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars.”
Using the “Whois” function of register.com, it was discovered that supershadow.com is owned by Mickey Suttle, of Hickory, North Carolina. He also owns: www.supershadows.com, www.jamescameron.net, www.ridleyscott.net, www.darthrage.com and www.generalgrievous.net, all of which redirect to supershadow.com.”
“Supershadow” as depicted on his website:
Mickey Suttle (according to some guy in London who calls himself “Darth Jetzt”)
Wikipedia goes on to say:
“SuperShadow’s website first appeared during the production of Star Wars Episode I. He released ‘exclusive’ information and claimed to be an Industrial Light and Magic employee and personal friend of George Lucas. After one day, the following disclaimer appeared:
This web site has no association with Lucasfilm. SuperShadow.com is a fan operated web site that makes no claims as to the copyrights held by Lucasfilm regarding Star Wars. Star Wars, its characters and all related items are copyright Lucasfilm.
It’s reasonable to assume an actual Lucasfilm employee was made aware of the site, and threatened Suttle with legal action. To this day Suttle still says he is friends with George Lucas, but no longer claims to be employed by him, or have any “official” connection to Star Wars.
He continued posting “news”, which all turned out to be fake with the exception of stories which appeared on other websites earlier in the day, but attracted controversy again when he claimed to be in possession of the script for Star Wars Episode II–quite a feat considering George Lucas had not finished writing it at the time. SuperShadow’s source was “Brad Bender, head of Lucasfilm Internet Relations”. There is never, and has never been a Brad Bender employed by Lucasfilm, but this was all made elementary when Episode II turned out to be nothing like SuperShadow’s version of the story. His excuse was that the script he’d received was a “Rough Draft”.
SuperShadow claimed to have read the script for Episode III, but could not post any information about it due to copyright law. After enough spoilers information had been released about Episode III to cobble together some kind of basic plot, he posted what he claimed to be the script – it contains only a brief rundown of each scene and no dialogue.
After originally claiming the title of “Revenge of the Sith” would be released in late 2004, SuperShadow explained this by claiming that Lucasfilm released the title earlier than expected (July instead of November) because one of his readers had successfully guessed it.
NOTE: Though many detractors complain that SuperShadow.com contains much misinformation and exaggeration, there is a growing consensus that the joke is on those who take the site seriously in the first place.”
So here, we have, probably the greatest internet scam artist in history. Of course, there is a very good possibility that he is a severe schizophrenic and believes everything he writes, including that he has been entrusted the responsibility of directing and producing Episodes 7, 8, and 9 and is one of the premier documentary film makers of our time. Either that or he’s having a lot of fun jerking the chain of people who call themselves “Supreme Chancellor Darth Jetzt” and their ilk. Check out his website, the dude had me fooled for a long time.
STAR WARS- A TALE OF TRIUMPH OVER IMPOTENCE
You’ll never watch the movie the same way again.
NFL GENUINE DRAUGHT- AFC EAST
In the past 4 years, the New England Patriots have rewritten the rules of how to build a championship team. They have built a 3 time Super Bowl champion by giving guys who previously would have been thought to be too small to play one position, or too slow to play another, a chance. Because of their success, being described as a “tweener” has gone from being a bad thing to a good thing for potential draftees. How did the Patriots apply their philosophy in this year’s draft, and how did the rest of the division attempt to catch up? Let’s find out:
New England Patriots
1st round, 32nd Pick- Logan Mankins, G, Fresno St.
In keeping with their team philosophy, the Pats used their first round pick on a guy who can play more than one position. Mankins is primarily a guard, but has the versatility and fundamental soundness to play tackle as well. At 307 lbs, Mankins is not as massive as many interior lineman are, but he is big on smarts and feel for the game. In other words, he is a prototypical New England Patriot. He is also a lumberjack in the offseason. Really.
3rd round, 84th Pick- Ellis Hobbs, CB, Iowa St.
With the imminent departure of Ty Law, secondary depth is an issue for New England. Hobbs is another guy whose skills outspeak his physical gifts. He stands only 5-9, but makes up for a lack of height with great cover skills and the ability to blanket opposing receivers. His speed is an asset, and for a smallish player he can lay some big hits. Hobbs also has the ability to return kicks. He should fill the Troy Brown slot cornerback role in his rookie year.
3rd round, 100th Pick- Nick Kaczur, G, Toledo
Kaczur is an interesting prospect in that he will be a 25 year old rookie. He played in the Canadian Junior League before enrolling at Toledo. He plays nasty and has good mobility for a man his size. He fits the Patriot mold in that scouts he think he could play either guard or tackle in the NFL.
And the rest…
SS James Sanders (4th round, Fresno St.) is a smart player despite being an underclassman. OLB Ryan Claridge (5th round, UNLV) is a bit on the slow side but has a nose for the ball. QB Matt Cassell (7th round, USC) was Matt Leinart’s backup last year, kinda like how Tom Brady used to back up Drew Henson at Michigan. TE Andy Stokes (7th round, William Penn) is this year’s Mr. Irrelevant as the last player taken in the draft. Which, ironically, is also what I used to call my weiner.
New York Jets
2nd round, 47th pick- Mike Nugent, K, Ohio St.
Well, he’s a kicker. Is using a 2nd round draft pick on a kicker really something you want to be doing? I say no, and I’ll tell you why. Your good organizations are teams that draft proactively, not reactively. You set your organizational philosophy and draft to that philosophy, continually building for the future. In an age where players leave via free agency, and NFL franchise is more like a college program. You continually have to reload to remain good. If you are drafting a kicker with your 2nd round pick, that is about as reactive as you can get. You are reacting to something that went wrong last year. I can guarantee something else will go wrong this year. In the meantime you’ve just spent your second round pick on a kicker. For the Jets, this is made worse by the fact that they didn’t have a first round pick.
2nd round, 57th pick- Justin Miller, CB, Clemson
Miller is an underclassman who is long on ability and short on consistency. He has the physical tools to be a good corner, but too often in college he would have a mental lapse and give up a big play. There are questions about his coachability and he had multiple off-field incidents in college. The Jets like that he can return kicks. Herman Edwards is a demanding coach. Either Edwards will scare Miller into getting his act together, or this is a bad pick.
3rd round, 88th pick- Sione Pouha, DT, Utah
Pouha is tall for a defensive tackle at 6-4. That could be seen as a liability, but he doesn’t play clumsy or gangly. He has good control of his long frame, and uses it to give him a strength advantage. He had a reputation in college for taking plays off. He will be a 26 year old rookie due to the fact that he was on a Mormon mission from 1998-200. He once saved woman from a burning building.
And the rest…
FS Kerry Rhodes (4th round, Louisville) used to be a quarterback, and has great size at 6-3 and above average speed. SS Andre Maddox (5th round, NC State) is a hard hitting run stopper who is also effective against the pass. TE Joel Dreessen (6th round, Colorado St.) has all the tools, including good hands and speed.
2nd round, 55th pick- Roscoe Parrish, WR, Miami FL
Parrish is a receiver in the mold of fellow Hurricane alum Santana Moss. At 5-10 170, Parrish lacks NFL size, but he certainly has NFL ability. He is very quick and uses that quickness to get himself open. Once he gets open, he has excellent hands. Despite his size he is effective on all kinds of routes, both deep and over the middle. Some say he is plagued by short arms. I say, the man’s had short arms all his life, now all of a sudden he’s plagued by them?
3rd round, 86th pick- Kevin Everett, TE, Miami FL
Everett had a tough act to follow at Miami following in the footsteps of Jeremy Shockey and Kellen “Kneivel” Winslow. He has great size at 6-5, and his speed is also very good for a tight end. His catching was kind of iffy in college, however. If he can refine his game, he has the potential to be a real threat at tight end for the Bills.
And the rest…
C Duke Preston (4th round, Illinois) is tall and has good quickness. His strength is run blocking. CB Eric King (5th round, Wake Forest) stands only 5-8, but of course he plays hard. How else can someone who is 5-8 get drafted to play in the NFL? G Justin Geisinger (6th round, Vanderbilt) isn’t a spectacular athlete but is a good football player. RB Lionel Gates (7th round, Louisville) is a bruising running back with decent speed who shared carries in college.
1st round, 2nd pick- Ronnie Brown, RB, Auburn
Depending on what you read, the Dolphins really wanted to trade their second overall pick. Unable to do that, they instead chose what they hope will be their franchise running back in former Auburn backup Ronnie Brown. Brown backed up Cadillac Williams at Auburn, but his bigger body makes him the hotter NFL commodity. Brown is a complete back, who is a dangerous receiver as well as a runner. He has a straight ahead, hard hitting style of running which will wear down opposing defenses. Character is impeccable, for Fins fans worried about another Ricky Williams.
2nd round, 46th pick- Matt Roth, DE, Iowa
Roth is a pure pass rusher who would have certainly been a 1st round pick were it not for his weakness against the run. He is a good fit for the Dolphins in that with Jason Taylor rushing on the other side, they will both make each other better. If Brown is meant to replace Ricky Williams, Roth will remedy last year’s loss of Adewale Ogunleye.
3rd round, 70th pick- Channing Crowder, ILB, Florida
Draftniks fall all over themselves to praise Crowder’s ability, but this underclassman has character issues (along with medical issues) that caused him to fall to the 3rd round. Crowder’s strength lies in his ability to shed blocks. He manhandles offensive linemen who are trying to block him downfield, and that is a big help to the run defense. His weakness lies in his pass coverage ability, as he has not really grasped this aspect of the game yet. He’s not stupid, as he had a 3.5 GPA at Florida and was a National Honor Society Member, but many think he just lacks maturity and a good attitude. The Dolphins see Crowder as the heir apparent to Zach Thomas at middle linebacker. Barring injury to Thomas he will spend the next couple years playing special teams while watching and learning from Thomas.
And the rest…
CB Travis Daniels (4th round, LSU) played under new Dolphin coach Nick Saban at LSU. He has good size and could probably play safety as well, if needed. OT Anthony Alabi (5th round, TCU) has great size and great athleticism. Given time to develop he could be a steal.
NBA PLAYOFF PEEP SHOW
We are 4 months into the NBA Playoff Gauntlet. With the Association almost certain to go the way of the NHL after this week’s collapse of collective bargaining talks, let’s take a moment to appreciate the last pro basketball games we’ll be seeing until at least 2006.
– Miami is off to an 8-0 start in the playoffs, largely without Shaquille O’Neal. This year’s playoffs are looking more and more like the coronation of Dwayne Wade as the best player in the NBA.
– Unless, of course Phoenix continues to show all the wags who predicted doom for them in the playoffs that great team basketball will win games in June just as it wins games in January.
– That the Pistons have struggled against the Pacers the way they have reinforces to me that the Heat will wipe the floor with them in the conference finals.
– Sonics coach Nate McMillan is looking like the smartest man in the NBA right now. He turned down a contract extension earlier this year. After doing a masterful job in Seattle this year, he now will be the hottest coaching commodity in the league this offseason. Assuming, of course, that there is a season next year.
MLB APPRENTICE- ROUND 2
Last week on MLB Apprentice, Trump gave the axe to Indians skipper Eric Wedge:
“Eric, you’re fired.”
“Thank you sir, may I have another.”
This week, three contestants will enter the boardroom, and one of them WILL be fired. Trump can’t make it this week, but will be ably filled in for by this guy:
“Ozeekayzee Robin senza dem eeen,”
“Ozeekayzee, Dava, , ahem, excuse me, that’s much better. So, Dave, you were given a week to turn it around, and you haven’t. You’re right back in here. Your team has talent but is going nowhere, again. What do you have to say for yourself.”
“I’m INTENSE! Look at me! I got kicked out of the game yesterday! ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!”
“Very well, then. Ken and Mike, you guys were both supposed to be in playoff contention this year, but you’re both terrible.”
“My players aren’t allowed to take steroids anymore. Plus, Wonderboy let my whole starting rotation leave, except for the guy that sucks.”
“My GM went out and got me nothing but power hitters when we play half our games in the worst hitting park in the league. I think he’s retahded.”
“You can’t get away with blaming management and players forever. Trump will be watching both of you. But Dave, Trump had high hopes for you this season. You’ve been a big disappointment, and I don’t see you turning it around.”
“Dave, You’re Fired”.
Wow, that boardroom was insane. Tune in again next week to see what will make Trump say:
I promise you, you will never, ever, ever see Jar Jar in this column again.
PIMPS UP HOS DOWN
Well that’s it for this week gang. I’ll see you next week. In the meantime, we’re building quite the kick ass little sports site here, so check these guys out:
Mr. Rogers talks about the difference between blind loyalty and ignorance. Todd, if you are ever in Chicago I’ll take you to Wrigley and you’ll see all you’ll ever want to see of both.
Patrick Nguyen has, for my money, the most entertaining column on this site.
Aaron Cameron rattles some sabermetrics.
Get well soon Tal
Steve Price has the best NASCAR coverage you can get anywhere, for real.
Next week we look at the AFC North draft, the NBA Semis, and Trump is back!
Till then boyos.