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'Shaq Vs.' returns, America cringes

Feb 12, 2010, 3:39 PM EST

NBA_o'neal1_250.jpgAccording to Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Shaquille O’Neal’s…shall we say, interesting reality show, Shaq Vs., will be returning for a second season on ABC. It’s the perfect show for that 7’2”, attention-crazed NBA star in your life, but for everyone else? Well, it’s a bit silly. I’m sure Shaq has a lot of fun hanging out in front of the camera and making sure all the spotlights are on him. But for the rest of us? The first season of Shaq Vs. was almost unwatchable.

But have no fear! There’s still plenty of potential left in the concept, even if some of Shaq’s challenges were unimaginatively designed and poorly executed. Season one is in the books, but season two could still really find a rhythm with the right guests:

  • Apolo Ohno, Olympic speed-skater – Momentum is equal to mass times velocity, and what better way to establish some momentum for the series than put an NBA star with a ton of mass and attempt to get him moving at the highest velocity possible?

    The Handicap: Shaq obviously won’t be able to outrace Ohno, even with a sizable head start. So instead, we’ll put O’Neal (Ohneal?) and Ohno on the same starting line, but use a giant slingshot to hurl Shaq towards the finish line. And if I know anything in this world to be a universal truth, it’s that having a big guy go that fast on ice skates can only end well.

  • Tony Hawk, professional skateboarder – In keeping with our established tradition of putting Shaq in situations where he’d be completely out of control, let’s put his giant feet on a tiny skateboard and watch hilarity ensue. Hawk also happens to be a pretty charismatic showman, providing ample yin to Shaq’s yang.

    The Handicap: Shaq actually wins this challenge by default, as long as he can last through the entire competition. Hawk is the leader in a five-turn game of H-O-R-S-E; all Shaq has to do is attempt to replicate skateboarding moves of Hawk’s choosing. Completing the moves could net some kind of bonus points or prizes, but the important thing is that O’Neal gives them an honest try. Grinds and any half-pipe tricks are strongly encouraged.

  • Dwight Howard, professional basketball player – Should they see which among them is faster than a speeding bullet? Who is really more powerful than a locomotive? Which one among them can jump tall buildings in a single bound? Or maybe just make them go head-to-head in a free throw competition? No matter the contest, there’s plenty at stake.

    The Handicap: Whatever the competition, Shaq is given a nine-point, five-rebound handicap, per last night’s evaluation.

  1. Chris - Feb 12, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    I found Shaq vs. to be not only entertaining but enlightening. I don’t watch reality TV show as a general rule, but Big Ben vs. Shaq was funny and memorable. (shaq asks Ben, what would you do to prepare for the upcoming contest. Ben while laying back in a recliner throw one leg over the arm rest and said, “probably something like this”) That’s funny.

  2. Robert - Feb 12, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    Did you see Shaq vs Oscar Delahoya? If that wasn’t entertaining and fun to watch, you just don’t have a pulse.

  3. Carl - Feb 12, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    I watched Shaq Vs. on a few occasians and found it quite amusing… I never thought of it as unwatchable, and I also never cringed. Maybe I’m not American enough.
    We all have opinions… I just wish some reporters would not express and label their own as America’s opinion. Generalization does nothing but reveal your bias. I suggest you rewrite this article, and whenever you use “we” or “America”, change those words to “I”.

  4. Tish - Feb 14, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    Ditto @ Carl! The writer obviously is not a shaq fan and thats ok, but if “America” truly felt that way, “America” wouldn’t have given the show enough ratings the first go round for ABC to bring it back.. I enjoyed the show (especially the episode w/ Rothesburger – the banter betw the two had me dyin)..Looking forward to the next season! Call Shaq attention craved if you want, but he’s a made for tv type of guy…So get used to seeing him because as his bball career winds down his commentator and television appearances are going to go up…Not because he needs the attention, but because people like him and he naturally draws in a crowd…….

  5. Nathan Heffley - Feb 17, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    I actually liked the swimsuit episode, and I don’t believe it would’ve fit Kuroko’s personality if she wore a non-skimpy swimsuit. I also seen the product placement to be suspect at first, not essential.

  6. mikemic64@ymail.com - Feb 18, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    I think your blog is great. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Found it on Bing though. I love the suggestions and just trying to wrap my head around it, it’s mind boggling. Thanks

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