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THE SPORTING EQUIVALENCY: FAMILY GUY TO THE NBA FINALS

7/23/2008
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Normally on Tuesdays, we do The Sporting Equivalency, where we take a pop culture figure and liken him/her to athletes in the four major sports. Examples can be found here. Today, we wanted to play with the format a bit. Because the upcoming NBA Finals is all anyone wants to discuss, we thought we'd take key players from that series and equate them to characters on a popular TV program. First thought: SportsCenter anchors! Then we realized: too inside. Next thought: Family Guy. One of the best shows on television and if you want to argue that, just know this: in media, the market often sets the value and Seth McFarlane did just ink up with FOX for $100 million. Now, as for who Kobe would be in Quahog, read on.

Kobe Bryant's Family Guy Equivalent: Stewie
The first thought here was Peter, because ostensibly the show revolves around Peter and the 2008 NBA Finals will revolve around Kobe. However, the Stewie parallels are too many to ignore. First off, the baby has a British accent. Did he live abroad? Was he born there? Kobe lived in Italy for a while, so they're both international-types. Second: Stewie's entire life mission is to dominate the world. So is Kobe's; each has been thwarted on several occasions. Third: Stewie's catchphrase is "Victory is mine." When Kobe does the "There's no way in the world you can guard me" head bob before driving on someone, isn't that basically what he's saying?

Kevin Garnett's Family Guy Equivalent: Peter
OK, on the surface this seems ridiculous. Garnett is a sculpted, fiery individual and Peter is a fat, lazy buffoon. However, bear with us. Peter goes into the toy factory (and Pawtucket Brewery, for a few episodes) every day and works his tail off to make life better for his family; like Homer Simpson, he's a consummate patriarch with a below-average SAT score. Garnett goes out every night and just outworks the other guy. He's talented, sure. But he works hard because he wants something more—just like Peter. Also, Garnett vs. Gasol will kind of look similar to Peter vs. The Chicken.

Paul Pierce's Family Guy Equivalent: Cleveland
We're going with this one because our general philosophy on Pierce is that he's a very good player who needed other stars around him to finally get him to that next level. Cleveland's an underrated character; the burst of rage he shows when Quagmire sleeps with his wife is hysterical as is the time he falls out of the bathtub onto the lawn. In 2009, Cleveland's getting his own show! (It will air after Family Guy.) Much as he needed to be elevated by the other characters around him to that next level of "own animated domain," so too did Pierce have to wait for his crack at the Finals until he had the right parts in place.

Pau Gasol's Family Guy Equivalent: Chris
We never thought much of Gasol in Memphis: good player, not great, probably won't ever accomplish a ton. In Los Angeles, he's been really good. His surprising bursts of effectiveness are similar to how Chris, generally depicted as a low-IQ, no-common-sense buffoon, will show profound artistic talent or be able to lecture his parents on the ills of marijuana. You don't expect dominance of a scene from either Pau (Kobe's always around) or Chris (Stewie, Brian and Peter can all upstage him) but when it happens, it's good for everyone.

Rajon Rondo's Family Guy Equivalent: Brian
Naw, Rondo ain't no dog! Our point is simple: for all the fuss about "The Big Three," it doesn't matter if Rondo's sloppy running the offense. He's a huge part of this Celtics team because he often determines how a situation plays out; similarly, Brian—as a deadpan talking canine, which most shows just don't have—often determines how funny a scene will be. Bonus: his interaction with Stewie is kind of what we think Rondo's relationship with Doc Rivers might currently be.

Derek Fisher's Family Guy Equivalent: Meg
HA, wha? We might be stretching here. No, wait. D-Fish is always consistent; similarly, you always know what you'll get from Meg. D-Fish is important to almost every team he's played on; Meg's an important part of the Griffin clan, if only as fodder for insult on occasion. D-Fish hit one of the biggest shots in playoff history; Meg is voiced by Mila Kunis, whose like, completely off the charts as a star right now (but seriously, is she still dating Mac?)

Ray Allen's Family Guy Equivalent: Lois
Allen's feisty ("The safe word is banana") but is a better No. 2 than No. 1. We doubt his father would be a Rhode Island millionaire, but hey, not all of these things are gonna be perfect, you know?