Sunday, December 9, 2012

10 things I learned from watching Snow White and the Huntsman

In an effort to appease my better half I decided to pick up Snow White and the Huntsman over the weekend. I thought, a little fairy tale, a little action - something for everyone right?  What I'm about to divulge are 10 things I learned from watching this movie. 

*Note: spoilers contained below.  If you were actually planning on watching this movie you probably don't belong reading this blog....  However, if you are an avid reader of Shoot That S I apologize.  Check out our latest entry into the Pro Wrestling Junk Drawer- you'll like it so much better than this movie.  Trust me.

10 Things I Learned from watching Snow White and the Huntsman:

10. Take an old fashioned fairy tale + a dash of Twilight + a bit of Lord of the Rings = a pretty crappy movie.

9.  Wasn't this the movie where Kristen Stewart hooked up with the director and ruined her relationship with what's-his-name?  Makes sense because I'll you one thing she wasn't doing on set: acting.

8. Of course the evil queen has a perverted brother who serves as her second-in-command.  Unfortunately he also shares the same haircut as the dude from that horrible Bucky movie.  Poor choice makeup and hair design director. Poor choice indeed.

7.  Note to self: if I ever become a super-villain and I have the chance to wipe out the rightful heirs to my throne early on - take advantage of that window of opportunity.  Do not under any circumstances lock the true king/queen/prince in a tower in my castle for years and pretend to forget about them.  That never works.

6.  Note to self part II: if you ever run into a beautiful maiden in the woods do not, I repeat DO NOT marry her the next day.  Also, sign a pre-nup that includes something about her not being able to kill me on our wedding night.

5.   Who names a kid Snow White?  Is "White" her middle name?  Seems pretty redundant if you ask me.  Duh, snow is white.  That would've been rough on the playground growing up.

4.  Wait, Bob Hoskins plays one of the Seven Dwarfs in this movie?  Man, that makes me wanna watch Hook.  Smee, Smee what about Smee?  

3.  Speaking of the Dwarfs, since when are Bob Hoskins, Ray Finestone and Ian McShane all little people?  They couldn't find actual little people to play these roles?  Do we have a shortage of pint-sized actors?  Maybe they were all on the Hobbit movie...

2.  You know what always works against an invincible evil Queen who can suck the life from you and turn into a pack of ravens?  Stabbing her with a tiny knife.  Because everyone knows that tiny knives are the best thing since sliced bread.

1.  According to IMDB they are gonna make a sequel.  That reminds me, I need to send in my screen play about a guy who takes a giant crap on camera.  Coincidentally, my movie will also star Kristen Stewart.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What if you did take a trip to Cobb County, GA??

"If you ever take a trip down to Cobb County, Georgia.
You better read the signs
Respect the law and order.
You'll serve hard times.
You'll be serving hard times.
You know the Big Boss Man will make you walk the line.
You better watch out boy or you'll be serving hard time.
He carries a big stick, a ball and chain too.
If you're looking for trouble he'll be coming after you.
You'll serve hard times.
You'll be serving hard times.
You know the Big Boss Man will make you walk the line.
You better watch out boy or you'll be serving hard time.
You'll be serving hard times.
You'll be serving hard times.
You know the Big Boss Man will make you walk the line.
You better watch out boy or you'll be serving hard time.
You'll be serving hard times.
You'll be serving hard times.
You know the Big Boss Man will make you walk the line.
You better watch out boy or you'll be serving hard time.
Hard times.
Hard times.
You know the Big Boss Man will make you walk the line.
You better watch out boy or you'll be serving hard time."

So I was humming the theme to the Big Boss Man the other day (don't judge me) and thought to myself - what IF someone were to take a trip to Cobb County, GA?  I mean, Georgia is part of the sunny South right? It's probably pretty nice this time of year.  I began to wonder if this part of the country was as straight-laced and borderline militant as the Big Boss Man would have me believe.  I thought I should probably do some homework and what better place to start than the Cobb County web site .

According to their web site, Cobb County is "Low on taxes, big on business."  No mention of Hard Time, hmmmm.  I also noticed that Marietta, GA was the county seat and also the hometown of one Marcus "Buff" Bagwell.  Clearly "Buff the Stuff" didn't walk the line...
"Serving hard time.."

As I continued to peruse the Cobb County website I stumbled across their tourism page, perfect!  Now I can really plan my vacation.  The best of Cobb section of the page says that I can visit "Stone Mountain, the World of Coke, and the Georgia Aquarium."  Wait a minute.  Stone Mountain is where Jake the Snake Roberts is from.  World of Coke?  Is Jake Roberts' house a tourist attraction? 
 I don't know if they should be advertising drug use...oh it's world of Coca-Cola....that makes more sense.  I was worried for a second there.

I found the Cobb County police department page, let's see if they pay tribute to the Big Boss Man.  Looks like they're hiring. I see they offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits.  No mention of allowing you to carry a big stick or a ball and chain too.  Disappointing.  A message from Chief John Houser totes his employees as "dedicated, well-trained, and enthusiastic professionals who take pride in their work."  That seems rather soft.  I click on their Most Wanted page - no mention of Bobby "the Brain" Heenan, Mr. Perfect, the Heenan family or crimes against Big Boss Man's mama.  They must've given up on those cases....

Even their Fallen Heroes page makes no mention of the Big Boss Man (tragically Ray Traylor, who played the Big Boss Man, died in 2004 of a heart attack).

In fact despite putting that county on the map it appears they have disowned the Big Boss Man completely.  On second thought, I don't think I can take a vacation to a place willing to turn their back on someone so devoted to law and order.

We leave you with a Big Boss Man classic....


Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

In honor of the madness that is Black Friday we give you two videos from "Jingle All the Way" whose plot albeit terrible centered around the pursuit of a rare toy.  Plus, let's be honest, listening to Arnie try and say "Tuuuurbooo Man dollll" makes us chuckle.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

College Football Humor

Some college football humor courtesy of our friend and avid reader, NB Tex.


College football and higher education………..

Ohio State's Urban Meyer on one of his players:

  "He doesn't know the meaning of the word fear. In fact, I just saw his

  grades and he doesn't know the meaning of a lot of words."


  Why do Tennessee fans wear orange?

  So they can dress that way for the game on Saturday, go hunting on Sunday,

  and pick up trash on Monday.


  What does the average Alabama player get on his SATs?



  How many Michigan freshmen football players does it take to change a light bulb?

  None. That's a sophomore course.


  How did the Georgia football player die from drinking milk?

  The cow fell on him.


  Two West Virginia football players were walking in the woods.

  One of them said, "Look, a dead bird."

  The other looked up in the sky and said, "Where?"


  A University of Cincinnati football player was almost killed yesterday in a

  tragic horseback-riding accident.

  He fell from a horse and was nearly trampled to death.

  Luckily, the manager of the Wal-Mart came out and unplugged the horse.


  What do you say to a University of Miami Hurricane football player dressed in a three-piece suit?

  "Will the defendant please rise."


  If three Florida State football players are in the same car, who is driving?

  The police officer.


  How can you tell if an Auburn football player has a girlfriend?

  There's tobacco juice on both sides of the pickup truck.


  What do you get when you put 32 Arkansas cheerleaders in one room?

  A full set of teeth.


University of Michigan Coach Brady Hoke is only going to dress half of his players for the game this week; the other half will have to dress themselves.


  How is the Indiana football team like an opossum?

  They play dead at home and get killed on the road.


  Why did the Nebraska linebacker steal a police car?

  He saw "911" on the side and thought it was a Porsche.


  How do you get a former Illinois football player off your porch?

  Pay him for the pizza.


  What are the longest three years of a University of Kentucky football players life?

  Freshman I, Freshman II, and Freshman III.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Time the Atlanta Hawks Drafted Giant Gonzalez

credit New York Times

Gonzalez is most famous for becoming this...

from Wikepedia:

"World Championship Wrestling (1989–1992)

In 1989, Hawks owner Ted Turner offered González a job as a professional wrestler with another of his ventures, World Championship Wrestling (WCW). After a year of training, González was introduced to fans as El Gigante on May 19, 1990 at the pay-per-view Capital Combat. Wearing shorts, he competed as a fan favorite and was billed as being close to eight feet tall.

Over the next two years, he feuded with Ric Flair over the WCW World Championship, participated in a 'Chamber Of Horrors' match in 1991 and also had a date on TBS with Missy Hyatt. He also developed a feud with Sid Vicious and the One Man Gang over the identity of being the true giant of WCW.He also had a cross promotional stint in the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion before signing with the World Wrestling Federation in 1993.

World Wrestling Federation (1993)

Debut and feud with The Undertaker (1993)González competed as "Giant Gonzales" during his time in World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as a villain, managed by Harvey Wippleman, González grew a beard and wore a full body suit that featured airbrushed muscles with bushy hair attached. He was introduced at the Royal Rumble in January 1993, where he eliminated Wippleman's nemesis The Undertaker from the Royal Rumble match despite not being an official participant.  Gonzalez lost to The Undertaker at WrestleMania IX by disqualification after he knocked Undertaker unconscious using ether. This remains the only instance where the Undertaker has not had a decisive victory in his WrestleMania streak.  After another loss to The Undertaker at SummerSlam, to end the feud. Wippleman berated Gonzalez leading Gonzalez to turn on Harvey Wippleman."

His wrestling gimmick was also named one of the 20 worst gimmicks of all time.

Monday, November 12, 2012

1994-1995: Timberwolves Drafting Kevin Garnett Straight Out of High School

We tell the story of the Timberwolves drafting Kevin Garnett in the 1995 NBA Draft straight out of high school.  We use online, magazine, and newspaper archives to tell the story.

1994-95 Minnesota Timberwolves




Wolves Name Kevin McHale General Manager




Kevin Garnett

The Albany Heralad 2.22.95, Click To Enlarge



Kevin Garnett Declares For NBA Draft


1995 NBA Draft



Wolves Sign Garnett


Wolves Concern that Isaiah Rider Will Be a Bad Influence

Spokane Review 7.2.1995, Click To Enlarge

Garnett Debuts

Herald Journal 11.5.95, Click To Enlarge

Friday, November 9, 2012

1994 - The Minnesota Vikings Pursuit of Scott Mitchell in Free Agency

We use Newspaper, Magazine, and website archives to help us tell the story of the Vikings pursuit of Scott Mitchell.

The Vikings 1993 Starting QB Situation

The Vikings signed Jim McMahon to a 2 year contract to be there starting quarterback in 1993 (9tds, 8 ints., 1,969 yds., 76.2 QB Rating, Vikings finished 3rd in the NFC Central and made playoffs as a Wildcard.  Lost to the New York Giants 17-10).  After the season, the Vikings decided to cut McMahon instead of paying him the $2.1 million due to him for the 1994 season. 

Click on Article to enlarge.


Scott Mitchell's Opportunity

In Week 5 of the 1993 season, the Dolphins lost starting QB Dan Marion to a achilles injury against the Cleveland Browns.  Scott Mitchell, a 2nd year back-up QB finished the game for the Dolphins.
Click on Article to enlarge.

Click on Article to enlarge.

Marino was out for the season, and Mitchell was the starting QB for Dolphins for the rest of the season.  Mitchell was initially succesful as a starting QB for the Dolphins.

Click on Article to enlarge.

Mitchell missed a couple of games with a injury himself, and was not as effective upon his return.  The Dolphins collapsed down the stretch, and became the first team ever to miss the playoffs after starting 9-3.  Mitchell finished the season with 12 tds., 8 ints., 1,773 yds. and a 84.2 QB Rating.  Mitchell was also a free agent.  His 1993 role as the man in Miami was enough to make him a very coveted commodity in the NFL's March 1994's free agency.  

1994 Free Agency

Some highlights from the article that will interest Vikings fans.

...Then he was off to Minneapolis, where everything looked right. Good offensive weapons, young coaching staff, new and wise receivers' guru (Jerry Rhome), no long-term quarterback. Viking vice president Jeff Diamond asked Agnone if $10 million over three years would get the deal done; the figures were pleasing to Agnone and Mitchell. At the Vikes' training complex Mitchell passed free-agent offensive tackle Chris Hinton in a hallway. It was no coincidence; the Vikings wanted to show Mitchell they were intent on building a great front wall for him. Mitchell pulled Hinton aside and asked, "What are you going to do?"

"Go here, if they offer me the right money," Hinton said. Minnesota did, and that weekend Hinton signed.
On Friday, Agnone went home to Baltimore and the Mitchells went to Florida for the weekend. That evening Scott called Agnone. Kim's visit to the Minneapolis suburbs had gone well, and Scott loved the Viking coaches and offense. Scott said, "Tell Minnesota if they offer $10.5 million over three, a Metrodome luxury box and a down payment on a house, we're there."
Whoa, Agnone counseled. The Viking money will still be there in a week. Relax. Take your last two visits, to Los Angeles and New Orleans.  "A moment of temporary insanity," Mitchell said later. "I realized if I didn't take all the trips, I might regret it later."...

...Then Fontes stepped up again. Realizing the Lions had fallen behind the Vikings in the Mitchell stakes, he called the quarterback and asked him if he would meet Friday with Fontes and the Lion offensive architects, Dave Levy and Tom Moore. Come on down, Mitchell said. That afternoon, Bernie Kosar, a free-agent quarterback as well as a buddy of the Mitchells', called. He told Kim, "I canceled my visit to Detroit. They only want Scott. They'll die if they don't get him."...

...At 10 a.m. Saturday, Agnone and partner Howard Schatzky, in their office north of Baltimore, started playing Lions against Vikings over the phone. By 2:30 in the afternoon, Detroit stood at three years, $10 million—including the kind of bonus, $3 million, that Mitchell wanted. Minnesota came way up on its bonus offer, from $900,000 to $2.4 million, in a three-year, $10.2 million package. Diamond said he was tapped out, and he'd previously told Agnone he wouldn't offer a huge bonus. So Agnone called Mitchell, told him he thought he could boost Detroit's bonus to maybe $5 million, but not Minnesota's, and asked Mitchell what he wanted to do....

...Scott, his college-sweetheart wife and their 3-year-old poodle, Bart, set off for a walk around their posh suburban block. This was it. No phones. No pleas. No $400 dinners. In one hour Scott would know exactly where his football future lay, and he knew that he and Kim could pick it. Minnesota, Detroit. Detroit, Minnesota. Barry Sanders, Cris Carter. Henry Thomas, Chris Spielman. Dennis Green, Wayne Fontes.

"I don't want to decide," Kim said. "You decide. I just want it to be over."

"No," he said. "This is both of us."

She said she would be happy to live in either place, though she preferred Minnesota. He said that while they really liked Minnesota, they didn't dislike Detroit, and they couldn't think of a reason not to live there. The bonus thing nagged at both of them. Scott kept thinking, If the Lions offer me a huge bonus, they'll stick with me. If the Vikings don't, they might not. Scott stopped. "I'm gonna call Tony and tell him to try Detroit," he said.

If Mitchell would accept a salary structure of $1.4 million, $2 million and $2.6 million, Detroit would then have $100,000 more for their cap in 1994. "No problem," Agnone said. At 4:20 p.m., the deal was done.

The Vikings didn't go down without a fight. Diamond urged Mitchell to talk with him on Sunday. Mitchell thanked him and said he would talk but wouldn't change his mind. He was a Lion.

Schmidt flew to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday night, contract in hand. Mitchell signed just after noon on Sunday. "I'm going to a good football team, a team that really wants me and proved it," Mitchell said. "I'm at peace."....

Mitchell's Time with the Lions

Don Banks of Sport Illustrated summarizes Mitchell's 5 seasons with the Lions:

Mitchell's name often comes up as a cautionary tale for NFL executives who are ready to throw big money at back-up QB's that thrived as a fill-in and enter free agency.  (Rob Johnson, Matt Cassel, Matt Flynn, Kevin Kolb, etc.)

The Vikings dodged a bullet.

Vikings Plan B

The Vikings traded for Warren Moon.

Click on Article to enlarge.

Moon passed for over 4,200 yards in each of his first two seasons, but missed half of the 1996 season with a broken collarbone. The Vikings' starting quarterback job was given to Brad Johnson and Moon was released after he refused to take a $3.8 million pay cut to serve as Johnson's backup.
The Vikings made the playoffs in Moon's first year, but lost to the Chicago Bears 18-35.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hindsight is 20/20: John Carlson

We use Newspaper archives to help us tell the story of the Vikings signing of John Carlson.

courtesy Pioneer Press
March 15, 2012

John Carlson was in Kansas City on Tuesday night, preparing for a visit with the Chiefs, when the Vikings placed a call that changed everything. The call was so persuasive, the former Seattle Seahawks tight end said, he left Kansas City and didn't meet with the Chiefs. The 6-foot-5, 251-pound Litchfield, Minn., native is returning home, signed to a five-year, $25-million deal with the Vikings worth $11 million guaranteed. "Rick (Spielman) came forward with a commitment no other team had shown, a level of interest that was unparalleled," Carlson said on a conference call Wednesday, March 14, with local media, referring to the Vikings general manager. Money wasn't the only commitment. Carlson said he noticed how the Vikings are "building something" with their offense and are dedicated to surrounding quarterback Christian Ponder with playmakers. During Carlson's Wednesday visit, several team executives and coaches told him how much the team wanted him. Now he'll have his chance to repay the team by becoming a well-rounded tight end who plays to his strengths as a pass catcher.

The Star Tribune summarizes the significance of Carlson's signing:

What is the significance of John Carlson’s arrival?......But when the Vikings made a mad rush at John Carlson on Tuesday night, expressing their interest and commitment in a way that caused the tight end to quickly leave Kansas City before a scheduled free agent meeting with the Chiefs there was plenty to digest. The Vikings had Carlson’s ear and he bolted from Kansas City to connect with the brass at Winter Park.
General manager Rick Spielman’s interest in landing Carlson shows the commitment that offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has expressed towards making tight ends a big part of the offense. It’s easy to envision Carlson and Kyle Rudolph operating together in two tight end sets next season, each able to put stress on opposing defenses with their pass-catching abilities.
Plus, the Vikings’ five-year commitment to Carlson also speaks to a bigger picture priority at Winter Park and that’s the hope to surround quarterback Christian Ponder with young playmakers that will be around for a while. The quest for continuity on offense is a major priority right now.
Carlson’s worth? We’ll need at least a full season maybe two to begin evaluating whether a deal worth a reported $25 million over five years was sensible. Yet on Wednesday, Carlson expressed his vision for how things will work out, excited about the core of playmakers in place – from Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin to Christian Ponder and Rudolph.
“My goal has always been to be a well-rounded player,” Carlson said. “Being able to contribute in the passing game, being able to stretch the field and make plays like that. But also I need to do the pass protecting that you need to do as an effective tight end in this league. I want to catch passes. That’s the fun part. But I’m also excited about doing a good job in the run game and protecting as well.”

Carlson's numbers through 9 weeks in 2012:

3 catches, 8 yards, 0 tds.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Funny Quote: Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers

“Andy is a horse, man. He might win the Kentucky Derby by himself. I might have to saddle up and try and ride him to victory. That’s how strong of a leader he is.”

Read the whole story here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

T.R.A.G. Presents The Top 10

Yes, the Tall Random Awkward Guy is back at Shoot That S! and this time he brings with him "The Top 10 Things You Don't Want to Find Under Your Couch While Looking For The Remote."  (Drum roll please)

10) A wet Kleenex.

9) A used band-aid.

8) That mouse trap that went off a week ago that you couldn't find.

7) Expired coupons to McDonald's.

6) A collection of toenail clippings.

5) A movie ticket stub to Waterworld.

4) Your Cal Ripken Jr. Rookie card with a new crease down the middle.

3) A love mix CD from your ex-girlfriend.

2) The missing screw to your failed attempt at assembling your TV stand from IKEA of which you eventually returned and spent $200 more on a pre-assembled TV stand.

1) The receipt to your pre-assembled TV stand.

Friday, October 19, 2012

John Wall Doesn't Know Who Bon Jovi is. Jan Vesely Shocked!

Bon Jovi
Legendary rock musician Jon Bon Jovi sat courtside during the Wizards’ 104-101 loss to the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Center. The arena speakers pumped his classic staple, “You Give Love a Bad Name,” while his image flashed across the HD scoreboard. And as it all unfolded, John Wall applauded from his seat along the bench.

John Wall

Wall was simply being polite, because after the game, Wall was asked about Bon Jovi and he replied, “Who’s that?”

Jan Vesely

Jan Vesely, the Czech forward getting dressed nearby, was stunned as he looked at Wall.
“No. You don’t know him?” Vesely said.

Emeka Okafor

Emeka Okafor, seated in an adjacent locker room stall, shook his head and laughed.

Wall smiled and said, “I’m a 90s baby. I never heard of him.”

Read rest of story

Funny Quote: David Wilson, NY Giants

“I’m like birth control. You have to believe in me. Like birth control, 99.9 percent of the time I’m going to come through for you.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

2012-2013 Minnesota Timberwolves Predictions

Thanks to our Wolves correspondent, MT, for this one:

Me:  The 2012-13 Minnesota Timberwolves will win 50 games.
You:  I'm sorry, there's a police stand-off outside the building and 100 police sirens are blaring, and I'm also currently wearing my October earmuffs.  Can you repeat that?
Me:  The 2012-13 Minnesota Timberwolves will win 50 games.
You:  I still don't think I heard you right.  I was interrupted by my iPhone 5, which just played a Justin Bieber clip, meaning I got a text message from my mom's friend.  One more time, what did you say?
Me:  The 2012-13 Minnesota Timberwolves will win 50 games.
You:  *starts dialing 9-1-1*
Hey, I agree, 50 games seems like a lot… OK, and when a team hasn't won more than 33 games in EIGHT YEARS, it really, really seems like a lot… And considering that the Western Conference could feature as many as nine OTHER 50 game winners this year, including three 60 game winners… Well, OK, 50 games really is a lot.
Nevertheless, the 2012-13 Minnesota Timberwolves will win at least 50 games.  Here's why:
1.       Last year's team was THIS close.
Contrary to popular B.A.B. (Bay Area Belief), had the 2011-12 season ended prior to the date that now lives in infamy (March 9, 2012:  Ricky's Injury), the Minnesota Timberwolves would have been the 8th Seed in the NBA Playoffs.  What???  Oh that's right, you, like everyone else, completely blacked out after the date that lives in infamy and don't recall anything from the rest of the season, aside from Michael Beasley rubbing Anthony Tolliver's knee on the bench and thinking it was actually his own.  Is this really true that the Timberwolves were the 8th seed at one point last year?  Yes, it's true.  Prior to Ricky's injury, the Wolves were a playoff team.  The team was 21-19 to be exact on that date, but more importantly the team was in the midst of picking up steam and running downhill on an 18-13 run since allowing the unicorn to take over in the starting lineup.  Extrapolating that 18-13 record (58.1 winning pct.) over an 82 game season amounts to 47.6 wins.  Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on a sec… you're saying that LAST YEAR's haphazardly thrown together squad of misfit toys was on a 48 win pace once Ricard entered the starting lineup??  Actually 47.6 wins, but yes, that is correct.  And as we continue, just remember, that was LAST YEAR's haphazardly thrown together squad of misfit toys, complete with Darko Milicic straightjacket and Anthony Randolph changing table.
2.       This year's team is THIS much better than last year's team.
Let's take a moment to examine the transformation resulting from one summer's worth of Adelman & Sons asserting their collective will upon the franchise which had seen the squad assembled over the previous summers under David Kahn's "brain:  optional" roster construction policy:
        OUT:  Beasley, Wes, Webster, Ellington, Darko, Randolph, Tolliver, Miller
        IN:  Kirilenko, Roy, Budinger, Stiemsma, Shved, Amundson, Cunningham
        SAME:  Love, Rubio, Pekovic, Ridnour, Williams, Barea, Lee
Re-read that "IN" list one more time.  Now give the "OUT" list another look.  OK, now this time really stare at the "OUT" list.  Now read the "OUT" list, followed quickly by the "SAME" list, followed even more quickly by the "IN" list.  OK, we're ready.  Let's break this down objectively.  From the list of last year's players no longer on the club, there are literally ZERO guys that would play rotational minutes on a GOOD team.  Anthony Tolliver is the only player that's even close.  Karaoke favorite Michael Beasley is an above average, albeit streaky, offensive player, but he will never play meaningful minutes for a championship team, unless of course he joins a team in the skittles-eating league, in which case he would be a lock for 20 consecutive Finals MVPs.
Now, as we look at the list of players coming "IN", it could be argued that EVERY single player could play rotational minutes on a good team, with the current exception possibly being Alexey Shved (although current should be emphasized).  Well, this must be an exaggeration right?  No.  But you're basically saying that all of the "OUT" players are garbage and all of the "IN" players can contribute to a good team.  Prove it.  OK, no problem.  Dante Cunningham played 7.0 rotational minutes per game in 7 PLAYOFF games for the Grizzlies last year.  Lou Amundson played 8.5 minutes per game in 11 PLAYOFF games for the Pacers last year.  Greg Stiemsma played 7.5 minutes per game in 19 PLAYOFF games for the Celtics last year.  And these three guys are arguably the 5th, 6th and 7th best players picked up by the Wolves this summer.  You see where we're going here?  It's not about accumulating as much "length" and "athleticism" as humanly possible.  It's about assembling the best and most cohesive unit.  The three guys mentioned are solid role players, nothing more, nothing less.  They're not being brought in to put the team on their shoulders.  That's what is already required of the group of guys we're about to discuss.
Well, we can all agree that the positive vibes flowing from the last two paragraphs regarding the roster turnover is great but get this:  from our "SAME" list we see a Top-10 (borderline Top-5) player in the league who is likely still improving, a Top-10 point guard in the league (Top-3 Passing and Top-3 Defensively) who is definitely improving and has the potential to be transcendent (only a mild exaggeration), a Top-10 center in the league who is definitely adding skulls to the pile (i.e., improving), a couple role playing guards and a player still with potential.  So, basically, the cornerstones of the roster were all left in place.  These are the guys, specifically Love, Rubio and Pekovic, upon which the team will be carried as far as it's going to go no matter who's around them.  Kirilenko, Roy, Budinger and the rest of the cast are here to make their jobs easier.  And they will.  Especially compared to last year's ensemble of fast food workers.  So, essentially as of now, all of the pieces are in place.
You're having trouble comprehending/believing this.  Me too.  How could a team go about trimming ALL of its fat (literally, in the case of Dorko), while obtaining nothing but muscle in its stead, while also simultaneously retaining and allowing its existing muscle to further strengthen (literally, in the case of The Godfather Nikola Pekovic)?  This sounds like the work of Adelman & Sons.
3.    This year's team is THIS much better than last year's team:  Part II.
To simplify things even further, here's a categorical breakdown comparing last year's squad to this year's:
        Offense:  Let's see, last year Wes Johnson took the second most three-point attempts on a team with the sixth most three-point attempts in the league, a team with the eighth worst three-point shooting percentage in the league.  In related news, no one would be surprised if Wes Johnson were to smile and thank the cop for the speeding ticket he just gave him.  In unrelated news, Chase Budinger plays for this year's team and last year, he shot 48.5% on corner threes.  Wes Johnson shot 28% on corner threes last year.  Having guys capable of converting a wide-open jump shot is a definite leap forward, but there's a whole host of other factors that make this year's team much better offensively, including the team IQ level and the amount of guys that can actually dribble a basketball this year, but we'll keep this one short.  ADVANTAGE:  This Year's Team
        Defense:  Was Andrei Kirilenko on last year's team?  Oh, he wasn't?  Well, is he on this year's team?  He is?!?!?!  ADVANTAGE:  This Year's Team
        Rebounding:  From the list of "OUT" players no longer on the team, Michael Beasley is the best rebounder.  It should probably also be noted that this year's team features a starting front-line of Love, Pekovic and Kirilenko.  These might be the only three guys in the league that have heard the phrase "boxing out" before.  ADVANTAGE:  This Year's Team
        Passing:  Admittedly, there is definitely an elephant in the room here that needs to finally be addressed.  The western conference features a team where Jeremy Lin is arguably its best player.  LOL.  Talk about a team with issues.  OK, OK, so we don't know exactly when Ricky Rubio will play again, and we don't know how long it will take for things to eventually start clicking once he returns.  However, that being said, Ricky's return needn't be rushed, because the team will manage for the time being, and there are two primary reasons why.  One, Rick Adelman is the head coach for the Timberwolves.  And two, Rick Adelman constructed this year's roster for the Timberwolves.  A Rick Adelman coached/constructed team relies primarily on basketball intelligence, but also on high energy and character.  A seemingly long-lost concept called playing "team basketball" is also a primary pillar.  Everybody on this year's roster knows how to pass, how to move without the ball and how to communicate and help on defense.  Basketball 101 you say?  Try telling that to Darko as he competes with himself for the most disinterested/psychotic expression one can maintain while sitting at the end of the bench.  So anyway, what you're saying is that we shouldn't be worried about counting down the seconds until the Return of Ricky since Adelman has everything under control right?  Heck no, of course we need to get that second-counter going!!  Getting struck by lightning would not be fun!  OK, now we've clarified the troubling elephant-unicorn-lightning corollary.  What category were we talking about again?  Passing, right.  Hmm… no Ricky for a couple months… hmm… oh right… Adelman coached/constructed team!  ADVANTAGE:  This Year's Team
        Chemistry/Intangibles:  There's a multitude of factors to be weighed here, making this potentially one of the trickiest categories to decipher.  On one hand… you have five fingers.  ADVANTAGE:  This Year's Team
        Coaching:  No doubt Rick Adelman did a masterful job last year.  But let's face it, no longer having "babysitter" as one of his primary roles is a massive upgrade.  ADVANTAGE:  This Year's Team
Well, what have we learned?  The 2012-13 Phoenix Suns featuring a reunion of Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson, in the starting lineup no less, will lead the league in LOLs.  OK, very true, but what else?  The 2012-13 Houston Rockets feature the least intelligent Harvard grad ever and the most philosophical shoplifter that's afraid to fly ever, allowing them to lead the league in :(.  OK, we're definitely on to something here, but we're missing one more thing.  The 2012-13 Minnesota Timberwolves will win 50 games!!  Yes!!!  What a learned individual you are!  So, without further ado, let's move on to the predictions.
OK, we now know that 50 wins is the baseline for this season's Wolves.  What that means is that we're no longer merely talking about a team making the playoffs for the first time since 2004 (a much simpler time, back when Latrell Sprewell was still able to feed his family), but we're now talking about how high of seed can be achieved.  The way I see it, barring injury, only the top two seeds in the West are out of reach.  From there, number three is probably unrealistic as well, but spot four is definitely up for grabs.  As was touched on earlier, the West is loaded again this year, but the Wolves figure to be right in the thick of things.
2012-13 Western Conference Standings
Tier 1
1.  OKC 61-21… Durant, Westbrook, Harden, Ibaka, Perkins, Sefolosha, N.Collison, Maynor… The fact that they seem likely to retain both Ibaka AND Harden at less than max deals is unfair to the rest of "our league" (David Kahn ©2009).
2.  LAL 60-22… Bryant, Howard, Nash, Gasol, Artest, Jamison, J.Hill, Meeks... Along with the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Lakers comprise a three team league known as the "National Basketball Association" or "NBA" (ESPN ©2012).
Tier 2
3.  SAN 56-26… Duncan, Parker, Ginobli, K.Leonard, Diaw, Splitter, S.Jackson, D.Green… Can someone check the expiration date on this nuclear fallout care package of Twinkies and #CokeZero?
4.  LAC 52-30… C.Paul, Griffin, D.Jordan, Butler, Billups, Odom, Crawford, Bledsoe… The Wolves own this squad.  Next.
5.  DEN 51-31… Iguodala, Lawson, Gallinari, Faried, McGee, Chandler, A.Miller, Koufos... A true superstar does not exist on this team, but an above average starter resides at every position, easily making this one of the most balanced teams in the league.
6.  MEM 51-31… M.Gasol, Gay, Z.Randolph, Conley, Allen, Speights, Arthur, Ellington(lol)… The reeling Grizzlies must pull together and attempt the unfathomable: moving on in the Post-Mayonnaise Era.
7.  MIN 50-32… Love, Rubio, Pekovic, Kirilenko, Roy, Budinger, Ridnour, D.Williams, Stiemsma, Barea, Shved, Amundson, Cunningham, Lee… Out of respect for the quality of the other teams alone, Minnesota is at the bottom of this tier.  They can compete with and take down any of them, however.  #RealTweet
Tier 3
8.  UTA 45-37… A.Jefferson, Millsap, Favors, Hayward, Mo.Williams, Ma.Williams, Kanter, Burks… If Big Al and/or Millsap can be packaged for a point guard of some kind, look out.
9.  DAL  44-38… Nowitzki, Marion, D.Collison, Kaman, Mayo, Brand, D.West… The reeling Mavericks must pull together and attempt the unfathomable:  moving on in the Mayonnaise Era.
10. GSW 40-42… S.Curry, D.Lee, Bogut, K.Thompson, H.Barnes, C.Landry, B.Rush, J.Jack, R.Jefferson… Everything hinges on the collective glass appendages of this team.  On paper, 50 wins is not out of the realm of possibility.  Within the realm of reality, however, a 40 win season seems more than generous. 
Tier 4
11. POR 32-50… Aldridge, Batum, Matthews, Lillard, M.Leonard, Hickson… We all saw Nic Batum in the Olympics unleash his pent-up frustration over not fulfilling his "dream" of playing for the Wolves.  What a steal for Portland though.  $46M over four years for this superstar really sets them up for four years of title contention.
12. NOH 30-52… E.Gordon, A.Davis, R.Anderson, Aminu, Vasquez, Lopez, Rivers… This team features The Brow.  'Nuff Said.  Oh wait, they added "Most Improved Player" Ryan Anderson from Orlando.  A 40 win season seemed remotely possible before this fact was remembered.
13. PHX 29-53… Beasley, Wes J...(just kidding; not really)…Dragic, Scola, Gortat, Dudley… LOL.
14. SAC 28-54… Cousins, T.Evans, M.Thornton, J.Thompson, I.Thomas, T.Robinson, Jimmer… Meh.  Too many John Smiths on this team to elicit interest.
15. HOU 27-55… J.Lin, K.Martin, Parsons, Asik, Patterson, J.Lamb, Morris, T.Jones, R.White… Look for the return of out-and-out Linsanity early in the season.  Three straight TIME magazine covers minimum.  And that's just the start.  By the Lin-Star break (formerly "All-Star break"), look for ESPLin (formerly "ESPN") to move its headquarters from Bristol, Connecticut to HoustLin (formerly "Houston"), Texas (now known as the "Lin Star State").  Following his other-worldly Finals MVP performance, look for Jeremy Lin to immediately move to 1600 PennsLinvania Avenue and start his much-deserved U.S. Presidency, where his only task will be looking to increase his 100% approval rating.  The End.
Ultimately, the key for the Wolves will be simply reaching the playoffs.  If and when this happens, we can expect a potentially devastating rotation looking something like this:
                PG:  Rubio/Ridnour/Barea/Shved
                SG:  Roy/Budinger/Shved/Ridnour
                SF:  Kirilenko/Budinger/D.Williams/Cunningham
                PF:  Love/D.Williams/Kirilenko/Cunningham
                C:  Pekovic/Stiemsma/Love/Amundson
Versatility.  Energy.  IQ.  The Thunder and Lakers want no part of this seven or eight seed.  If one or even two of Brandon Roy, Derrick Williams or Alexey Shved shines this year, watch out.  In all honesty, a first round playoff exit is the likeliest of scenarios, but forcing Oklahoma City to six games would be quite an accomplishment for a team that employed Jonny Flynn a little over a year ago.  If everything goes right though, who knows… Second Round… Western Conference Finals… Fina… nah we'll hold that thought for now.  Next year though?  Look for the Wolves to be in the running for their first banner, attempting to accompany the THREE Lynx banners that will just be hanging around by that time.
(Note #1:  For the readers out there who are chronically addicted to gambling, please note that the Wolves opened in Vegas at 38.5 wins and have since jumped to 40.5, still well below our baseline of 50.)
(Note #2:  All comments regarding one, Jeremy Lin, are in no way meant to detract from the integrity of this piece.  They are meant to detract only from the integrity of those who believe in and support one, Jeremy Lin.  Go Wolves!  We're comin'!  We're comin'!)