**Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched The Newsroom finale I do give it all away
Was that the cleanest damn Season Finale ever? We were walked right up to the cliff and then introduced to the bridge for a safe, undiscussed off-season. Everyone loves everybody and Dantana isn’t getting a penny. There are no further storylines to explore unless someone finally makes a play at Tess. Melvin Udall thinks it was clean. Tide is signing on to be a lead sponsor. I just hope Season 3 gets fired up, whatever news they may have still to break as this season began nipping on the heals of turning current to which I propose a Series Finale of one actual news broadcast. Live with a Will diatribe on that week’s news.
But it is over and so my Sunday nights are now devoid written drama. Naturally I’m coping with that by figuring which Newsroom characters most closely resemble Pac-12 basketball teams. Not aesthetically of course.
*Thanks to @spencerbsmith for the header image
Washington Huskies as Jim Harper
Jim was the only Senior Producer on the Mitt Romney media bus. Overqualified with a tinge of arrogance, he yielded his 30 minute one-on-one with the candidate to a lesser qualified journalist (he’d later leverage that in to a girlfriend so it kinda works out). Washington was the only BCS-size conference champion on the 2012 NIT bus (ever). Overqualified with a tinge or arrogance, they yielded the NIT title to a lesser qualified team (Stanford finished seventh in the Pac that year). Jim blew that one and paved the way for Jerry Dantana to blow News Night up. Jim and Genoa forever linked. 2012 UW and Pac-12 rock bottom forever linked. Tough. Am I saying UW would hop the Sex and the City tour bus to learn more about their secret crush? Would the Huskies incessantly FaceTime their girlfriend? Maybe. Dawgs haven’t hit much on the recruiting trail lately so they’re liable to do anything.
Washington State Cougars as Gary Cooper
I don’t entirely know what Gary Cooper’s role at ACN is. He’s in each of the rundowns that are grossly oversupplied with pastries, pitching stories like it’s his job (maybe it is). But he was sent to Africa with Maggie as a cameraman. He’s just kind of there and known as that guy with the same name as the actor. Kinda like Washington State. The school that really only won when their coach had the same name as the singer. We don’t really know what the Cougars are there for – are they competitive? place holders? an excuse to visit Pullman? – but they’re always there and sometimes Klay Thompson. Also, did you think Gary was shot in Africa? It sure seemed he did when he fell coincidentally at the same time as gunfire sounded. Alas, he survived the fall and so did Ken Bone:
Colorado Buffaloes as Neal Sampat
Let me break this one down real simple for you, allowing just the lead that Boulder is about as liberal as a housewife’s noon chardonnay pour. Neal led the way on the Occupy story – good start, seemss very Boulder. He wants to run a report on Bigfoot – Boulder. It was Neal’s girlfriend’s drugs that got Will high before the Bin Laden broadcast – Boulder. He’s the resident News Night blogger and web troll – totally parallels Boulder’s burgeoning tech scene. Buffaloes love to dance. NEAL LOVES TO DANCE!!
Utah Utes as Maggie Jordan
I want you all to know that I don’t hate the Utes. I do hate Maggie. And it’s the Utes who are responsible for the single hardest pill I’ve had to swallow as a Wildcat fan (1998 Elite Eight, Anaheim, California, Arizona 51, Utah 76) but I don’t begrudge them that. I actually applaud that effort and Majerus’ mastery that afternoon in The Pond (I’m never not calling that place anything else). But that was Utah then and Maggie is Utah today. Really spunky and all upstart-like, some potential there but ultimately it’s like “What the hell is going on? Did you miss the memo that you were moving into a big conference? Lose the Runnin’ Utes thing – it’s so Mountain West.” Look, Utah is the 15th winningest school in MCBB history and they’ve spent the better part of the last decade acting like they’re just happy to be here. Maggie, this isn’t your college newspaper anymore. It’s ACN. Start acting like it.
California Golden Bears as Charlie Skinner
Crockety and aged, sipping single malts like water, working things old school in a new world, Charlie Skinner’s been around the block. He’s not the most powerful at ACN but he understands his place and would have no qualms walking into McKale and taking it to the Wildcats. He sure as hell has done it to Leona, blackmailing her and boy wonder with recorded tapes admitting recorded tape (meta). Charlie wins at all costs but he wants to do it right (This is the part of the analogy where we conveniently ignore the Todd Bozeman era in Berkeley). Charlie Skinner would punch Allen Crabbe to get him going. After all, he fired the junkie, and got himself slapped for it. Didn’t even lose his cool when he was set up to fail the Genoa chase. 13-9 (5-5) on February 7? DGAF the Bears rattle off seven straight and then Danced. Maybe each of their best days are behind them (Cal’s won 15 conference titles but just one since 1960) and they’ve each latched themselves to proven winners with a twist (Monty:Stanford::MacKenzie:Will) but when push comes to shove, they will.
Stanford Cardinal as MacKenzie McHale
This one got set in stone with that weird narcissistic-but-important-to-me bit about having her Wikipedia page corrected. Please note the following from real life:
Look, Oxford, Cambridge, LSE I don’t know but Neal used more internet wizardry to get it fixed than ever needed to be. A puff piece written and posted by the girl who now only exists via Harper’s FaceTime rectified the issue with the assumption that some uber-nerd would open source that encyclopedia page begging the question: How many page views is Hallie’s political blog garnering? Yeah, when that much tech is dragged into the mix on behalf of MacKenzie and her academic arrogance, she gets Stanford. What’s more is she’s smart and alluring – key components to being a member institution – but you’re also just not that sure about how strongly you feel about all that Mac is (Does Sorkin hate women?). Maybe then, in this vein, Mac isn’t the “Executive Producer of News Night?” We’d need to spice up that title. After all, Johnny Dawkins is the “Anne and Tony Joseph Director of Men’s Basketball.” And so I propose the “Leona Lansing Conductor of Will McAvoy’s Ego.” Thoughts?
Arizona Wildcats as Will McAvoy
Oh I know what you’re thinking: Of course Adam’s picking the star of the show to represent his favorite team. What a predictable, homer dick. Well how quickly we forget that McAvoy surrendered $2M annually to have the authority to fire his ex-girlfriend on a weekly basis. That the big dog commissioned an all access and incriminating article to be written about his newsroom by a struggling freelancer who had PREVIOUSLY CUCKHOLDED HIM! He can’t even quit his own job. He could barely propose and did you see his high five after announcing his new wife would have five Mc—-‘s in her name? HE IS HARRY DUNNE! You want the Wildcat counters? Tim Floyd turned down the job. They hired Kevin O’Neill. Twice. Russ Pennell’s DAD was a bench coach in 2009. Josiah Turner. They’ve lost in the NCAA tournament as every seed up to 10 (excluding 7 for whatever reason but impressive in some regard nonetheless). But hey, what’s a hero without his flaws? Go ahead, call me a homer. You expect me to get choked up about it?
Arizona State Sun Devils as Jenna Johnson
I knew right away I wanted to make this analogy but when I found out that the sorority girl who asked for a less than one sentence answer that Will didn’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Yosemite? was named Jenna Johnson, I couldn’t believe the gold that had fallen into my lap. I mean, it bleeds ASU, it screams Sparky, it tests positive for Tempe. She has an alliterative name for heaven’s sake. Punch that one into the Google and you’re running into some NSFW content (yup, just confirmed while NOT on the office network). And now she’s an intern so there’s that whole avenue of jokes…
UCLA Bruins as Reese Lansing
Deliberated on this one a lot and there was some serious consideration to equate the Bruins to McAvoy. But the late season developments with the Genoa clusterbang and all the talk of firing and not firing and wanting to fire and not accepting resignations, I couldn’t help but see a lot of Westwood in Reese Lansing. Reese wants to fire everybody. He’s not happy with a slow show. He wants a big fancy show. Entitled entry into House Judiciary Committee’s piracy meeting? No entry. That little ditty plays out a lot like UCLA not dancing. Or not having the right video room temp. It’s going to be difficult to find a parallel between Reese Lansing’s actions and Reeves Nelson peeing on things, but hey, maybe Reese is into some weird shit. After all, he wire tapped his own staff and leaked it to TMI and Nina Howard (Will’s brief muse who is aware of of Will’s everlasting love for Mac but withholds that fact so she can get a little Willy if you know what I mean) in an attempt to bring down his own show. Come to think of it, that sounds like not showing up at a brand new arena because you just really don’t like Ben Howland anymore. Reese loved Will pre-Northwestern, garnering viewers and advertisers like he was an NFL game. He hates News Night Will because he isn’t…well…because he isn’t the past.
USC Trojans as Elliot Hirsch
Hirsch and USC do well for themselves but they’re never going to be the big game in town. Not even if ACN fires Will and Hirsch takes his seat. Not even if UCLA fires every coach ever. Did you hear Elliot fumble through the “big announcement?” prior to the Will-and-Mack-off in makeup? Hirsch should be taken about as seriously as a song girl sweater: stared at and enjoyed but ultimately you better be paying attention to the game. Yet each recognizes their opportunities to be great. USC brought Andy Enfield’s wife into the mix while Hirsch gave Sloan her own segment. Sex sells. And sure it was nice to get a network anchor into the streets of Cairo for a hard hitting look at the Arab Spring. But it got Hirsch beaten by a rock. And sure it was nice to grab a 6-seed with Mayo and run up a 21-12 record. But it got SC beaten by a rock (or at least that’s what I call handful of sanctions and a Kevin O’Neill tenure). Alas, the Hirsch-bomb:
Oregon Ducks as Don Keefer
“What I have cannot be taught.” Did you see that? Did you catch him say that? Best post-unassuming kiss line since Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn didn’t know it was Dorn’s wife? This goof has Sloan effing Sabbith giving him googly eyes while on set. Keefer is good. Like very good and he’s tough and on top of things and he’s just good. He’s counter-suing and wants Dantana to iron himself with his clothes on. But no one seems to take him all that seriously. He’s kinda goofy and certainly unorthodox – like having a treeline on the floor. And you can’t really figure out if you love him or hate him – like any of Oregon’s jerseys. HOW DOES DON EVER CHOOSE MAGGIE OVER SLOAN? I don’t know if he was ever actually in an either-or scenario but Sloan is all about Don and he was just kinda meh about it to start. Full circle to his unorthodoxy. Anonymous bidding? Looks like he’s taking a page out of the Dana Altman book and snagging her as a grad transfer. Another explanation for Keefer-Sabbith? Because cheerleaders.
Oregon State Beavers as General Stomtonovich
You totally think I’m taking the political route here. You know, because Craig Robinson’s sister is married to the President and how CRob’s the “First Coach” and all sorts of other presidential jokes. Stomtonovich is the Beavers because they just don’t deliver. Maybe we doctor the tape and get Jared Cunningham an NBA salary and eligibility? Or we could use the doctoring to amend team rules? That’d help Eric Moreland and Devon Collier. Maybe we get The Glove involved because, as Stomtonovich would say it, If Oregon State were to be good it’d probably involve some other characters.
Larry Scott as Leona Lansing
Leona: Hey you guys wanna all quit? Dantana wants $5M for wrongful termination? I don’t give a shit. No to it all. But ultimately my son’s gonna make the call which further accentuates how little merit I give to that DC-based prick trying for a new job at fuggin KickStarter. [insert a fist pumping squeal from Reese here]. And yeah I’m going to get high at my own damn Election Night gala, why? Because I still don’t give a shit. I will defend a broke news story about the US government dropping serin gas. YO SKINNER!? You wanna split a pizza?
Larry: Hey you guys don’t want to carry my network? I don’t give a shit. Drop DirecTV campaign and trivialize nature in doing so. I. Do. Not. Care. I have two conferences blowing whistles now and I look a lot like the other Larry Scott shirtless. Hey, how’s that Longhorn Network working out? Sorry, couldn’t hear what you said over the $20+ annual millions I piled up for my twelve preciouses.
The Pac-12 Conference as Sloan Sabbith
So hot. This conference is so hot and yet so capable of shooting itself right in the foot and doing dumb stuff like have a nudey photo scandal or an officiating bribing scandal. People like the Pac for the same reason they love Sloan: smart and sexy. Or maybe that’s why they hate us? Whatever the case, here’s where I get conflicted: Would Pac-12 Sloan put the moves on Keefer? As stated, I can’t figure out if we could do better than him but I think if the Pac were a dude we’d be Keefer. Though I haven’t seen him attack the vices like I think we would (leaning on Skinner characteristics here). Whatever you want to say about it, Sloan Sabbith team.