Bridge between sports, TV: industry ‘breaks bad’

The fifth season of “Breaking Bad”, quite possibly the best show on TV, premiered Sunday and reignited the criminal mastermind synapsis in my brain in a way only playing Grand Theft Auto can. But this is a sports column, however, and thus will be dedicated to discussing how “Breaking Bad” relates to the industry of sports. The following are comparisons to BB characters and real people in the sports world.

Walter White: LeBron James

We first meet Walt as a pathetic-yet-endearing, tighty-whitey wearing high school chemistry teacher who learns he has inoperable lung cancer and thus begins cooking meth to secure his family’s financial future. Just like LeBron, right? As with this entire exercise, the comparison is a bit of a stretch, but there are parallels.

Both Walt and LeBron were thought of in a positive light when they were introduced to the public’s eye, but over time they soon, well, broke bad. Walt made the conscious decision to engage in a criminal enterprise, making one immoral decision after another. LeBron ditched his hometown team in Cleveland to become a bad guy in Miami. Both have gigantic egos, and both have made decisions — Walt’s obviously much worse — that they’ll never be able to take back.

Jesse Pinkman: Mike Vick

Both Pinkman and Vick appear to be people who are good at heart that unfortunately got caught up in the wrong crowd. Vick was raised in an environment in which dog fighting was not considered as heinous of an act as it actually is. And if you had friends like Badger and Skinny Pete, you’d be more concerned about the legitimacy of Nazi zombies rather than making something out of your life, too.

Skyler White: Reche Caldwell

No one in the NFL looks as perpetually scared on the football field as the former Patriots wide receiver (Google image him and you’ll see what I mean). Grantland recently proposed some fake gambling bets, and one of them was how many times Skyler asks Walt, “Are you/we in danger?” They set the over/under at 47.5 times, and I’m taking the over by a landslide. Votes also went to Sasha Vujacic due to the fact that both the former Lakers big man and Skyler are annoying wet blankets.

Gustavo Fring: Bill Belichick

Both Belichick and Gus are nightmares to game plan against, and you know they’re always thinking three or four steps ahead. They are the kingpins of their organizations and possess the ability to make do, even if the pieces they have to work with are less than ideal.

Belichick continually signs players the rest of the NFL left for dead, such as Corey Dillon and Randy Moss, and turns them into difference makers; Gus literally leaves people left for dead, replacing them with people he otherwise has no use for. Belichick switching Troy Brown from wide receiver to cornerback is to Gus opting to turn Jesse into an errand boy rather than ordering his execution. Both are also ruthless when it comes to losing dead weight — Belichick doing so by heartlessly cutting players and Gus by doing work with a boxcutter.

Hank Schrader: Brian Mitchell

Mitchell was in charge of the Mitchell Report and finding how many MLB players had used steroids, while Hank is in search of the elusive Heisenberg.

Marie Schrader: Rickey Henderson

Get it? They both like to steal. Let’s move on.

Saul Goodman: Scott Boras

Saul and Boras both take the sleazy used-car salesman approach to their respective crafts. Boras attaches himself to the superstar players, ensuring that the rich get even richer, while Saul has no problem flip-flopping to whomever holds the power. One minute he’s with Jesse, the next he’s with Walt. And with players like Alex Rodriguez and other big hitters of the late ‘90s and early 2000s, something tells me Boras has helped his clients deal with criminal activity involving illegal drugs from time to time.

Mike: Derek Jeter

The consummate professional, Mike isn’t necessarily one of the good guys, but you can’t help but respect his ability to get the job done on a consistent basis.

Jeter doesn’t have an adorable daughter whom he presents with balloons (as far as we know), but both Mike and Jeter are both well-respected despite their ties to the forces of evil (Gus and the Yankees, respectively).

Just as Mike is both a charming father as well a killer, Jeter as the Hall-of-Fame shortstop and captain of the New York Yankees has got to be different than the Jeter on the prowl looking for another Maxim 100 model notch to add to his belt.

Badger: JaVale McGee

Badger and JaVale are the biggest doofuses of their respective universes.

Walter Jr.: Adam Morrison

No one crushes breakfast like Adam Morrison.

Jeff is a senior in Media.