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Shaq Vs. is true sports entertainment

Shaq Vs.In his show Shaq Vs., NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal goes mono-a-mono against top athletes in their own sports.  The athletes are no pushovers, especially considering he’s taking on Olympians, MVPs, and world number ones.  In each episode on ABC, Shaq parlays his athleticism into a brand new sport.  He’s already thrown footballs with Big Ben Roethlisberger, played tennis with Serena Williams, hit the beach with Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, and faced off with Albert Pujols in a home-run derby.  Up next, he challenges Michael Phelps in the swimming pool.  Yes, THE Michael Phelps, the one with 14 Olympic gold medals and is regarded as the greatest swimmer of all time.

The first half of each episode starts with Shaq training for the sport challenge, receiving advice from veterans-turned-coaches of the respective sport that have volunteered their time (more likely just to see Shaq get obliterated).

There are so many things I love about this show.  First, I love seeing athletes cross over to try their hand at other sports.  Michael Jordan did it with baseball (although he was terrible), while Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson succeeded professionally.  It’s just something about seeing them in a completely different sport as they try to create a different type of muscle memory.  Gone are the days of Sanders and Jackson because the line between success and failure in each sport is so fine—any athlete who wants to turn professional in their sport has to train only in that sport.  Second, Shaq isn’t afraid to be made a fool of.  He knows that he will probably lose, but what he savors is the competitive challenge.  Ask any athlete and their response is “I always want to win”.  Yes, I’ve laughed every time I’ve watched the show, but I also commend Shaq on taking it like a man.  Not only does he appreciate the opposing athlete and his/her sport, but the viewer also recognizes just how talented all of them are.  Third, Shaq is funny, which is what makes the show such a hit in my mind.  He is highly marketable and is known for his little quips and nicknames.  His reaction when Pujols started raking it out of the park was priceless.  It was hilarious watching de la Hoya punch up to the 7 foot monster.

I can’t think of very many athletes who would take on this challenge.  Maybe Chad Johnson/Ochocinco or Terrell Owens, but no one else comes to mind.  And even then, they would be making excuses on why the lost.  Shaq goes into it with an open mind and during a TV interview, recently called out Usain Bolt for a challenge in the 100 meter dash.  He’s not in it for the money.  The bottom line is he is an entertainer, on the basketball court, on the field, and on the beach.  He knows it, ABC knows it, and I tune in every week to see who will demoralize him.

Topics: General | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Shaq Vs. is true sports entertainment”
Trent - September 15th, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Shaq just never stops. He is always up tp something! Check out his latest project

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