This Is Us Season 5 Episode 10 Recap: The Dinner Table

NBC's This Is Us

If you like uncomfortable conversations at the dinner table, then last night’s episode of This Is Us was in your wheelhouse!

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 10 Recap: “I’ve Got This”

Anyone Up For Some Credit Card Roulette?

Anyone up for some credit card roulette? Back in the past, Jack learned to never play credit card roulette, especially with cocky businessmen. The men across from Jack would’ve been snake oil salesmen in the early 1900s. Plus, the waitress should not have the option to look at the cards when playing roulette. She needs to close her eyes or turn away and pick. This game of credit card roulette was fixed. To quote Brodie Broadus from The Wire, “The game is rigged, man.”

Jack spent money he didn’t have, a tale as old as time. However, this moment changed how the Pearson family dealt with money. Rebecca told Jack that she would be handling the finances and putting 10% of Jack’s monthly salary into savings. Well done, Rebecca.

The Dinner From Hell

In terms of awkwardness, family dinners are as uncomfortable as they get if all hell breaks loose. Well, all hell did break loose at Randall’s house. Beth has always had a contentious relationship with her mother, Carol (Phylicia Rashad). With Carol in town, Beth feels like a demon is breathing down her neck at all times. (Apologies to Phylicia Rashad. She’s not a demon, but a demanding and judgmental in-law can be someone’s worst nightmare.)

With Carol set to leave the next day, Beth decided to make the perfect dinner as a way to prove her worthiness as a mother and leader of a household. Before sitting down for some chicken curry, Randall shared an important moment with Malik outside on the porch. (Shoutout to Isaac the basil plant.) Malik’s ex-girlfriend, Jennifer, who happens to be the mother of his child, expressed interest in being apart of baby Janelle’s life again. Randall, who spent most of his life wishing he knew his birth parents, supported Malik’s decision to give Jennifer another chance.

As you could expect, dinner became a war zone on This Is Us. Carol threw a backhanded compliment towards Beth about her chicken. Tess scolded Beth for using the wrong pronouns towards her friend, Alex. Tess also revealed that she’s dating Alex, which came as a surprise to Beth since Carol already knew about the relationship. Deja confronted Malik and Randall about Jennifer. Beth finally reached her breaking point and lashed out against Carol. It’s not what you want to see.

After taking some time to relax, everyone finally calmed down. Randall apologized to Deja and reassured her that he will always be #TeamDeja. Beth apologized to her mother after Carol revealed her appreciation towards her daughter and her family. In a surprising twist, Beth told Randall that Carol will be staying at their house indefinitely, which means Randall will be spending a lot more time on the porch.

The Dinner From Hell (In California)

Across the country, there was another dinner full of arguments and awkward moments and no, I’m not referring to an episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County. Kate, Toby, Madison, and Kevin decided to meet for dinner as a temporary escape from their newborns.

Before dinner, Toby asked Kate to not mention the fact he lost his job. Toby was waiting on a potential job offer and did not want to discuss work with Kevin unless he had another job lined up. As soon as the Damons arrived at Kevin’s house, bad news struck when Toby received a rejection email from a potential employer. Throw in the fact that Kevin wants to build a family compound in Mailbu. Toby was bound to explode at some point.

Money is a tricky subject to discuss with other people. No one wants to admit they’re struggling or need help. Our pride gets the better of us. However, people in better financial situations need to understand this concept and respect someone’s wishes when it comes to finances.

Take the above paragraph and apply it to the dinner conversation between Kevin, Toby, Kate, and Madison. After Kevin offered to pay for everyone’s childcare, Toby flipped out and stated he doesn’t want or need Kevin’s money. Toby assumed that Kate told Kevin about their financial troubles, which she did not disclose. Toby then tripled down on outbursts when he called out Kevin and Madison’s nanny for doing all the “hard stuff” of parenthood, which was a cheap shot. Cooler heads prevailed as Kevin and Toby forgave each other later on. Mark my words, this conflict between Kevin and Toby is far from over.

At the end of the night, Kate shared that she’s going back to work as teacher’s assistant, and Toby was less than thrilled with the news. Something tells me things are only going to get worse for Toby. I could see his depression ramping up in future episodes. Hang in there, Tobe.

Uncle Nicky Comes To Town

Kevin was greeted by none other than Uncle Nicky, who showed up on his front porch at the end of the night. Next week will be Uncle Nicky’s time to shine. See you then.

Did you like last night’s episode? Leave your comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

The NFL QB Carousel: Breaking Down What Every Team Will Do At QB

Cam Newton of the New England Patriots

Round and round here we go, where it stops, nobody knows! The NFL QB Carousel is in full swing as free agency starts next week.

Teams need a good quarterback to compete for a Super Bowl. Correction, teams need the right quarterback to compete for a Super Bowl. For those saying “No shit, Sherlock,” you’d be surprised with how many teams don’t understand this concept!

It’s not hyperbole to say this has been a wild few months at the quarterback position. It almost resembless an NBA offseason with all of the trades. Matt Stafford is now a Ram, Jared Goff is a Lion, and Carson Wentz is a Colt.

Between free agency and the draft, more teams are going to address the quarterback position. Here are my QB projections for every team.

  • Kansas City Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes
  • Tampa Bay Bucs – Tom Brady
  • Buffalo Bills – Josh Allen
  • Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers
  • Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert
  • Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow
  • Cleveland Browns – Baker Mayfield
  • Baltimore Ravens – Lamar Jackson
  • Tennessee Titans – Ryan Tannehill
  • Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Muray
  • Minnesota Vikings – Kirk Cousins
  • Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence*

*I’m putting the Jags on this list because there is a 99.9% chance they take Trevor Lawrence.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers – Benjamin Roethlisberger
  • New York Giants – Daniel Jones
  • Las Vegas Raiders – Derek Carr
  • Los Angeles Rams – Matthew Stafford
  • Detroit Lions – Jared Goff
  • New England Patriots – Cam Newton
  • Indianapolis Colts – Carson Wentz
  • Dallas Cowboys – Dak Prescott

That leaves us with 12 teams who must decide on QB for the upcoming season. Some of these teams will take care of their needs in the draft. Others will try to make a blockbuster trade in hopes of changing their franchise. The biggest wildcard is Deshaun Watson and the Texans. There is no chance he’s the starting QB for the Texans on opening day. If that’s the case, where will he end up?

Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan is still good enough to start in the NFL. He’s your classic fantasy QB who gets you 300 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 INTs. The Falcons are in salary hell because Ryan and Jones combine for over $63m of their cap. Will they try to move Ryan? I doubt it. As I said, he’s still capable of leading a team to the playoffs. However, they may draft Ryan’s successor with the fourth pick in the draft.

New Orleans Saints – Jameis Winston / Taysom Hill

My wish was finally granted. Jameis Winston upgraded his eyesight!

This all comes down to Drew Brees. After losing to the Bucs, it appeared as if Brees played his last game for the Saints. However, Brees is now working out like a guy who wants to play again. There’s a difference between doing some mobility stretches in the morning and pushing sleds up the street. Does he want to make a comeback? My gut tells me Brees retires, which means the Saints should sign Jameis and keep Taysom Hill as the backup.

Chicago Bears – Alex Smith

The Bears are screwed if they don’t acquire Watson, Russell Wilson, or one of the top QBs out of college. Seriously, what can they do if all else fails? I love Mitch Trubisky (the person) and I actually believe he’s a competent QB. However, he’s not a franchise-changing player. Nick Foles is an expensive backup QB, not a starter. If they can’t trade for Wilson or Watson, I would sign Alex Smith and Trubisky to one-year deals. Then, fire Ryan Pace and (possibly) Matt Nagy and draft a QB next year.

Washington Football Team – Ryan Fitzpatrick

Once again, we’ll see if the WFT can draft a top QB or trade for Watson. However, Riverboat Ron Rivera and Ryan Fitzpatrick were made for each other. Fitzy would love to sling it to Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas. This seems like a perfect fit.

Philadelphia Eagles – Jalen Hurts

History tends to repeat itself. Will the Eagles draft another quarterback to compete with their starter? It didn’t work well for Wentz, let me tell ya that! The Eagles need to rebuild. Draft weapons, take care of the offensive line, and see if Jalen Hurts is “the guy.”

Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson


Imagine having a top-five QB and trading him away because you couldn’t take care of him? Couldn’t be my team! In all seriousness, the Hawks should jump in the Pacific Ocean and never come back if they trade Russell Wilson.

San Franciso 49ers – Sam Darnold

I’ve never wavered from this prediction. If the Jets trade Sam Darnold, it will be to the San Francisco 49ers. Sorry Jimmy G, but your health is an issue. If you can’t stay on the field, then you can’t be a franchise QB. Those are the rules. Kyle Shanahan is going to unlock Darnold and remind us all why we loved the SoCal QB out of USC.

Carolina Panthers – Teddy Bridgewater/Trey Lance

It’s no surprise that the Panthers want to make a splash with a new owner who is not afraid to spend money. Teddy B is a serviceable QB, but the Panthers will be looking to upgrade. If they don’t get Watson, the draft is where they’ll make their mark and take a guy like Trey Lance.

New York Jets – Zach Wilson

The Mormon Manziel is coming to New York City if and only if Watson gets traded elsewhere. Zach Wilson’s stock is soaring as he continues to garner comparisons to Aaron Rodgers. Pair him with some WRs and another tackle and the Jets will be much improved in 2021.

Miami Dolphins – Deshaun Watson

Miami, this is the move to make. You have the ammo to make the move with the first-round picks. You have the QB to send back to Houston in Tua Tagovailoa. With Flores as the foreseeable coach in the future, Watson would be happy as a member of the Dolphins organization for the next decade.

Houston Texans – Tua Tagovailoa

See above. This is not personal, Tua. It’s just business. I like Tua, but Watson is the superior talent right now.

Denver Broncos – Drew Lock/Justin Fields

Drew Locks has shown flashes of potential, but he’s not the guy. It’s time to go back to the drawing board. Denver will most likely trade up in the draft to take a QB like Justin Fields. Let Fields compete with Lock and hopefully (for John Elway’s sake), Fields comes out on top.

What should your team do at QB? Let me know in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 7: The Good Father

This Is Us Kevin

All eyes were on Kevin as he raced home for the arrival of his twins on This Is Us.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 7 Recap: “There”

Kevin Hits The Road

If you thought Kevin’s twins were going to arrive on their due date, then you must be new to This Is Us. Right before his A Few Good Men moment with Robert De Niro*, Kevin receives a call from Madison, who tells him she’s having contractions. Stealing a page from Jack Pearson’s playbook, Kevin leaves the film, jumps in his car, and heads back to LA. Fans everywhere were happy when Kevin stood up to the director and quit the film.

Side note: Do you think they had to ask De Niro if they could use his name in the show? I think they did. More importantly, does De Niro watch This Is Us? Up until 2020, I’m guessing he never watched. However, I bet he watched a few episodes during quarantine and liked what he saw.

I’m a sucker for a long car ride as a framing device for Kevin’s internal crisis. In the span of an hour, Kevin quits the movie, talks to Randall, secures a flight home thanks to Miguel and Rebecca, and promises Madison he will make it in time for the delivery. Oh, that’s right. He also saved a man in a car accident!

Side note: I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I predicted Kevin wasn’t in a car crash. Instead, he would be the one to help out at the scene.

While conversing with the victim (Joshua Malina from The American President and The West Wing), Kevin conveys how he wants to be like his father, who was always there for every major event. Malina’s character assures Kevin that his kids won’t remember anything about their birth. Still, Kevin doesn’t want to be an absentee father, and missing the birth of his twins would most likely send him on a downward spiral.

This conversation ties in with the two other timelines on last night’s episode. A young Jack must drive his drunk father home after a little league game. Jack’s father, Stanley, berates Jack for losing the game. Fast forward to adult Jack, who travels with 13-year-old Kevin to football camp. Kevin starts to feel the pressure especially after overhearing Jack call him “soft.” After discovering that the coach insults Kevin at practice, Jack takes Kevin to dinner to talk. Then, serendipitously (I pray I’m using that word correctly), Jack runs into Kevin’s coach in the bathroom of the restaurant and orders him to refrain from calling Kevin stupid.

To put a bow around the paragraph above, the idea of becoming a better father than your own father is on full display. However, you’ll always have a piece of your father no matter how hard you try to embrace or avoid it. Jack wanted nothing to do with his father and swore he would never act that way around his kids. When Jack realizes he’s pressuring Kevin as much as his own father, he stops that behavior immediately. Jack emphasizes that Kevin will be a better father than himself one day. Now, Kevin is trying to be like Jack by being “there” for all the big moments. As much as Kevin wants to be like Jack, he will soon realize he needs to carve out his path to become his own man.

At the end of the episode, Kevin makes it to the airport in time for his flight. When he attempts to get passed TSA, it’s to no avail since he dropped his wallet with his ID at the crash site. It’s unknown whether Kevin makes the flight or not.

Randall To The Rescue

I predicted that Kevin would help at the crash site, but I was surprised when Randall called Madison at the end of the episode. Ever since the fight between Randall and Kevin, I said that the birth of Kevin’s twins would bury the hatchet between the brothers. It appears my prediction might come true after all as the promo for the next episode teases Randall and Beth coaching Madison through labor over the phone.

Next week, babies might arrive for both Kevin and Kate!

Did you like last night’s episode? Leave your comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

Super Bowl LV: The GOAT Debate Starts Or Ends Sunday Night

Tom Brady goat

What are the two worst words in sports? Answer: “GOAT Debate.” This time, the subjects are not Michael Jordan or LeBron James. The new GOAT debate between Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady will either start or end after Super Bowl LV.

Thanks to sports talk shows, the basketball GOAT debate has been shoved down our throats like Joey Chestnut’s hot dogs on July 4. Is Jordan better than LeBron? Is LeBron better than Jordan? Is six for six in the NBA Finals worth more than four wins in ten appearances? Jordan may have had the better peak, but LeBron has the longevity.

The only thing holding back the GOAT debate is time. MJ played in the 90s while LeBron played in the 2000s. The two icons never faced off in the NBA Finals, let alone a regular-season game. Had Jordan and LeBron played each other with the biggest prize on the line, the GOAT debate would cease to exist.

Unlike the NBA, the NFL’s quarterback GOAT debate will receive clarity on Sunday night when Mahomes and the Chiefs take on Brady and the Buccaneers.

Currently, Brady is the GOAT. Whether you believe that means he’s the greatest football player of all time or the greatest winner of all time is totally up to you. However, he’s the greatest quarterback to ever play in the NFL.

The numbers speak for themselves. 6x Super Bowl champion, 4x Super Bowl MVP, 3x NFL MVP, 2X Offensive Player of the year, and a partridge in a pear tree. The fact that 43-year-old Brady will be playing in his tenth Super Bowl on Sunday is mind-boggling.

There is only one current player who might be able to catch Brady’s stats and accomplishments. It just so happens that he’ll be on the other sideline Sunday night.

Many believe Mahomes is already the most gifted quarterback to ever play in the NFL. In just three seasons as a starter, Mahomes won a Super Bowl, a Super Bowl MVP, and an NFL MVP. Mahomes has only lost one playoff game in his career and that was to Brady’s Patriots. If Dee Ford doesn’t go offsides, he would be undefeated in the postseason. Keep in mind, Mahomes is only 25-years-old. With Andy Reid, Eric Bienemy, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill at his disposal, Mahomes and the Chiefs will be Super Bowl contenders for the next five years.

All of the pressure is on Mahomes. If he wants to be the GOAT, he will need to beat Brady on the biggest stage. He needs to avenge his loss in the AFC Championship and win his second Super Bowl. If Mahomes beats Brady, he’s not the GOAT, but he’s on the right trajectory.

For argument’s sake, let’s say the Chiefs win Sunday night, Mahomes wins MVP, and they win the championship the following year. That means Mahomes would be the catalyst for the first three-peat since the NFL merger. Plus, Mahomes would have the key victory over Brady in the Super Bowl. There would still be some work left to do, but you could make the argument that three straight Super Bowls including one over the GOAT rank higher than Brady’s six. I personally wouldn’t crown Mahomes the GOAT just yet, but if he were to win four to five championships including the important one over Brady, it would be difficult to not call Mahomes the GOAT.

On the flip side, if Brady beats Mahomes on Sunday, the GOAT debate ends right there. It would be dead on arrival. It would be seven to one in terms of championships. Brady would hold wins over Mahomes in the AFC Championship and the Super Bowl. No matter what Mahomes does the rest of his career, not beating Brady in the two biggest games of the season would a giant blunder on his resume. For Brady, a win on Sunday gives him an insurmountable lead over Mahomes.

Sports talk shows will run GOAT debates until the end of time. After Super Bowl LV, they will either intensify or disappear at the quarterback position.

Who will come out on top in Super Bowl LV? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

2021 Oscars: Biggest Takeaways From Golden Globes And SAG Awards


Welcome to awards season. In a normal year, many nominees and studios would be making their final push towards the 2021 Oscars. However, in this unprecedented year, the bulk of awards season is just about to begin.

In the past two days, the Golden Globes and SAG Awards released their nominations for their respective ceremonies. As are the rules of the Internet, you have to be happy at the surprises and mad at the snubs. Surprises and snubs always happen.

Once the shock value passes, turn your attention towards the 2021 Oscars. The Golden Globes and SAG Awards are good barometers for Oscar nominations depending on the category. Can anyone stop The Trial of the Chicago 7 or Nomadland in Best Picture? Will Chadwick Boseman become a double nominee? Can Maria Bakalova do the impossible and win an OscaR?

Below are five major categories and their impact on the Oscars.

*Sorry television, but this article is about films only. TV had a monumental year in 2020, but I’m shifting my focus towards movies for now. However, Anya Taylor-Joy better win every award for The Queen’s Gambit.

Best Picture

The Trial of the Chicago 7 / Netflix
The Trial of the Chicago 7 / Netflix

Golden Globes – Drama: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7.
Comedy/Musical: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Hamilton, Music, Palm Springs, The Prom

SAG AwardsDa 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Minari, One Night In Miami, The Trial Of The Chicago 7

This is a tale of two voting groups. The Globes leaned into acclaimed filmmakers like David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin while the SAGs championed diverse casts. For the Oscars, cut out every comedy/musical from the Globes because none of those movies will receive a Best Picture nomination. The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Nomadland are the favorites as of now, but watch out for Mank and Minari who are right on their heels.

Oscars Best Picture Nomination Predictions

  • Locks – The Trial of the Chicago 7, Mank, Nomadland
  • Looking Good – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Minari, Promising Young Woman, Da 5 Bloods, The Father
  • Still Alive – One Night In Miami, Sound of Metal, News of the World
  • Darkhorse – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Actor

Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy
Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy

Golden Globes – Drama: Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal, Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Anthony Hopkins – The Father, Gary Oldman – Mank, Tahar Rahim – The Mauritanian.
Comedy/Musical: Sacha Baron Cohen – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, James Corden – The Prom, Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton, Dev Patel – The Personal History of David Copperfield, Andy Samberg – Palm Springs

SAG Awards – Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal, Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Anthony Hopkins – The Father, Gary Oldman – Mank, Steven Yeun – Minari

The biggest story is not who was nominated, but who was left out. Delroy Lindo, who I thought was a lock for a Best Actor nomination, was snubbed from both the Globes and the SAGs. His Oscar chances have severely deteriorated, and that’s a damn shame. There is some recent precedent as Roma‘s Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira both received Oscar nominations Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively without Golden Globe and SAG nominations. For the Oscars, it’s the fight for the fifth spot as Ahmed, Boseman, Oldman, and Hopkins most likely cemented their spots.

Oscars Best Actor Nomination Predictions

  • Locks – Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal, Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Anthony Hopkins – The Father, Gary Oldman – Mank
  • Looking Good – Steven Yeun – Minari
  • Darkhorse – Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods, Sacha Baron Cohen – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Actress

Hillbilly Elegy / Netflix

Golden Globes – Drama: Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Andra Day – The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman, Frances McDormand – Nomadland, Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman 
Comedy/Musical: Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Kate Hudson – Music, Michelle Pfeiffer – French Exit, Rosamund Pike – I Care a Lot, Anya Taylor-Joy – Emma 

SAG Awards – Amy Adams – Hillbilly Elegy, Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman, Frances McDormand – Nomadland, Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Like Best Actor, Best Actress appears to have four locks in Davis, Kirby, McDormand, and Mulligan. It’s that fifth spot where the confusion lies. Adams came out of nowhere to snag the SAG nomination. Don’t count Adams out for the Oscar nomination since she’s previously been nominated six times. Day and Pfeiffer are right in the mix as well and their campaigns will only gain steam once more people see their respective movies. Bakalova, one of my breakout stars of the year, will be in the supporting category at the Oscars.

Oscars Best Actress Nomination Predictions

  • Locks – Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman, Frances McDormand – Nomadland, Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
  • Still Alive – Amy Adams – Hillbilly Elegy, Andra Day – The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Michelle Pfeiffer – French Exit
  • Darkhorse – Rosamund Pike – I Care a Lot

Best Supporting Actor

One Night in Miami / Amazon Studios

Golden Globes – Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7, Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah, Jared Leto – The Little Things, Bill Murray – On the Rocks, Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami 

SAG Awards – Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7, Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods, Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah, Jared Leto – The Little Things, Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami

If you have a Jared Leto joke, save it for Twitter. In defense of Leto, he’s the best aspect of The Little Things. I appreciate the creepy, edgy serial killer he was trying to portray. The Little Things could have benefitted with more Leto. With that being said, I’m truly shocked he received supporting nominations at both the Globes and SAGs because the movie was not highly received by critics. I hate to sound like a broken record, but this seems to be another battle for one spot between Murray and Boseman. My money is on Boseman.

Oscars Best Supporting Actor Nomination Predictions

  • Locks – Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7, Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah, Jared Leto – The Little Things, Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami 
  • Still Alive – Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods, Bill Murray – On the Rocks
  • Darkhorse – Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Best Supporting Actress

Maria Bakalova in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm / Amazon Studios

Golden Globes – Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy, Olivia Colman – The Father, Jodie Foster – The Mauritanian, Amanda Seyfried – Mank, Helena Zengel – News of the World 

SAG Awards – Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy, Olivia Colman – The Father, Youn Yuh-jung – Minari, Helena Zengel – News of the World

Three days ago, if you asked me to pick a favorite for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars, I would have selected Seyfried for Mank. Three months ago, I would have picked Close for Hillbilly Elegy. Now, I’m not confident with either of those predictions. Close is a lock while Seyfried should get the nomination. Call me crazy, but the favorites to win have to be Maria Bakalova and Youn Yuh-jung. Both actresses continue to rack up supporting wins from various critics’ circles. The winner of the SAG award will be in the driver’s seat.

Oscars Best Supporting Actress Nomination Predictions

  • Locks – Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy, Olivia Colman – The Father, Youn Yuh-jung – Minari
  • Still Alive – Amanda Seyfried – Mank, Helena Zengel – News of the World
  • Darkhorse – Jodie Foster – The Mauritanian

What are your takeaways from the Golden Globe and SAG nominations? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

The Brooklyn Nets Have A Big Problem

Brooklyn Nets

After the Brooklyn Nets traded for James Harden, they cemented themselves as the most talented team in the East. Adding Harden to a team with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving seems like an NBA 2K cheat code.

Things got off to a promising start when Harden posted a 30-point triple-double in his debut, finishing the game with 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 14 assists. KD chipped in 42 points to beat the Magic, 122-115. The duo then followed it up by combining for 64 points in a 125-123 win over the Bucks.

The biggest elephant in the room is not Kyrie. Despite what transpired with Kyrie off the court, from missing games to partying without a mask, his talent speaks for itself on the court. The Nets are more talented with Kyrie than they are without Kyrie.

The Nets’ problem is not Kyrie. The problem lies down low. They have serious issues in the frontcourt.

The Nets became a better team with the addition of James Harden. However, it came at a price. It’s similar to Thanos’s situation in the soul realm after snapping his fingers to wipe out half the population.

For the Nets, Gamora is Jarrett Allen, the talented center the Nets traded to the Cavs in the Harden deal. Allen is a true throwback center. Allen is a great rebounder (10.5 per game), a true rim-protector (seventh in the NBA with 1.8 blocks per game), and a stout defender. He was the perfect complement to Durant and Kyrie because he wasn’t going to take away any of their shots. Plus, he can clean up and score at the rim.

It’s funny how things fall into place as Allen’s first game as a Cav came against his former team. Allen had 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks in a 147-135 2OT win over the Nets.

The Nets may not be able to stop a nosebleed with their current roster. Deandre Jordan, who must start now with Allen gone, is a shell of his Lob City self. Jordan is the only true center on the roster. The backup center, Nicolas Claxton (in my best Snoop Dogg voice, “Who?“), is hurt. They desperately need more big men.

After every single move the Nets make, they need to ask themselves this question. Can this team beat the Lakers? Right now, the answer is no. The Nets Big Three will put up points, but who is going to guard Anthony Davis? If Deandre Jordan and Nicolas Claxton guard Davis in a series, AD is putting up 40 and 20 every night.

The Nets are trying to add frontcourt depth. They recently signed Norvel Pelle to a deal. Once again, it still doesn’t answer the question as to who stops Anthony Davis. The Nets will be buyers at the trade deadline and buy out the market. Potential names of interest could be Bismack Biyombo, Ed Davis, or PJ Tucker.

A small ball five of KD, Kyrie, Harden, Joe Harris, and Jeff Green can win games. Heck, it can even win the East. However, it’s not beating the Lakers in a 7-game series.

The Nets need to address their front court before it becomes a big problem in the playoffs.

Will the Nets win the NBA Title? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 6 Recap: Randall Takes A Swim

This Is Us Season 5

Let the solo episodes begin. Last night on This Is Us, Randall finally learned the story of his birth mother, Laurel.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 6 Recap: “Birth Mother”

This Is Us Season 5
Jennifer C. Holmes as Laurel and Anthony Hill as Marshall Winston in This Is Us / NBC

Laurel DuBoi

Randall, meet your mother, Laurel. Randall and Beth traveled to New Orleans to meet with Hai Lang. The duo met Hai at a lakeside house, which unbeknownst to Randall, belonged to Laurel. Over a day of conversation at the kitchen table, Hai shared Laurel’s story and how they came to know each other.

The Spark Notes Version

  • Lauren grew up in New Orleans. Her father never truly accepted her.
  • Comforted by her brother, Jackson, and Aunt Mae, who was secluded from the rest of the family.
  • Jackson died in Vietnam. Aunt Mae encouraged Laurel to swim in the lake and scream her problems away.
  • Laurel meets Hai, who moved with his parents from Vietnam.
  • Hai and Laurel fall in love, but her father disapproves. When Laurel’s father forces her to accept a proposal, she asks Hai to leave town with her. He rejects her proposition so Laurel heads to Pittsburgh.
  • Skip ahead to Laurel’s overdose. William leaves with baby Randall, never to see Laurel again since she technically died for a few minutes. William didn’t lie to Randall about his birth mother because that’s what he believed to be true.
  • Laurel miraculously survives, but she’s arrested a few days later. She pleads guilty to drug possession and serves five years in a California jail.
  • After jail, Laurel moves back to New Orleans and lives with her aunt. Laurel believes she could never be a good mother, which explains her decision to never seek out Randall.
  • Laurel works at the same market at Hai. Although Hai is married with children, they remain friendly from afar.
  • After Hai’s wife dies decades later, he finally reconnects with Laurel. However, Laurel has breast cancer and stops treatment. Hai happily spends Laurel’s final two years at her side before she dies in 2015.
  • Hai gives the house to Randall.

Everything about the first forty to fifty minutes was so sincere. Although Laurel had tough moments, her life was not a tragedy; it was a story of redemption. For Randall, he finally received definitive answers about Laurel and her life. There were no tricks or curveballs about Laurel’s story. It felt like a completed story that Randall could accept and move on with without any regret.

The Lake

Here’s where things could get controversial. Towards the end of the episode, Randall goes for a swim in the lake. (Sterling K. Brown, drop the workout to stay shredded in the comments.) Randall entered the water because his mother used to do the same thing when she was feeling angry or upset. Not only did Randall feel his mother’s love in the water, but envisioned her physical self. Laurel told Randall that she loved him and needed to let go of his pain and anger. Randall screamed, and all of his pain went away.

The idea behind the scene was heartfelt. Since Randall spent time with William on camera, it makes sense to show an interaction with Laurel. The scene was beautifully written and acted and hit all of the emotional notes between Randall and Laurel.

For lack of a better word, This Is Us just went “supernatural on us.” The show uses flashbacks, but this is the first time where a character envisioned someone out of thin air. It wasn’t silly, but I’m not sure how I feel about this. This Is Us was on the X and Y axises and last night opened the door to the Z axis. Once again, the acting and heart of the scene was great, but envisioning Laurel didn’t make sense to me in the grand scheme of the show. Instead of the lake, what if Randall found a letter written by Laurel that stated her love for her child that she never knew? She could’ve written that entire monologue from the lake on paper and read it as a voiceover, with flashbacks to the day she wrote the letter as well as the happier moments in her life. Wouldn’t that have been just as effective?

Randall Calls Kevin

When Randall was ready to forgive his brother, Kevin was having a crisis of his own. Randall tries to bury the hatchet with Kevin, but the oldest member of the Big Three can’t concentrate because Madison went into labor while he’s in Vancouver. Kevin is speeding back to be with Madison, but in the promo for next week, a car crash will occur. I pray Kevin wore his seatbelt.

Did you like last night’s episode? Leave your comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

New York Knicks: Is This The Start Of Something Special?

Julius Randle of the New York Knicks

The New York Knicks are a competent basketball team.

Say it again with pride.

The New York Knicks are competent and entertaining basketball team.

After a 112-100 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, the Knicks hold a record of 5-3 despite an 0-2 start. For any other team in the NBA, a 5-3 record would be nothing to celebrate. Because it’s the Knicks, it calls for cartwheels.

The Knicks are over .500 for the first time since 2012-2013. As a fan of the team who’s watched every game this season, wins do not tell the whole story. There is an attitude and swagger to this team that hasn’t been present at Madison Square Garden since the 2013 Playoffs.

It all starts with Tom Thibodeau. Not hiring Tom Thibodeau earlier when the team had multiple chances this past decade now looks silly. Thibs has the Knicks buying into his system of team defense and playing hard every possession.

The Knicks are seventh in the NBA in defensive efficiency with 104.0. Last season, they ranked 23rd with 110.6. It’s early, but the improvement on the defensive end is eye-opening.

Then, there’s Julius Randle, who is on an absolute tear to start the season, averaging career highs of 23.1 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 7.4 assists. Thibs calls Randle the “Engine of the Knicks.” If you were to ask any Knick fan as to what would happen first, Randle becomes an efficient stud or Randle gets traded, every single fan would pick the latter. Does Randle still take questionable shots? Yes. Does he still commit dumb fouls? Yes. But, the good finally outweighs the bad.

Speaking of improvement, RJ Barrett looks like a completely different player from a year ago. In my season preview, I said Barrett needed to showcase the all-star potential in his sophomore season. After back-to-back 25+ point games against Indiana and Atlanta, the “Maple Mamba” is gaining confidence quickly.

Did someway say quickly? I’m referring to Immanuel Quickley, the first-round pick out of Kentucky. Quickley might be the most fearless rookie to lace it up for the Knicks in the 21st century. He was an integral part of the come-from-behind win over Atlanta, tallying 16 points. Plus, he went to the “James Harden School of How to Draw Fouls.”

Every night, a different player seems to step up. Against the Jazz, Austin scored 14 straight points in the fourth quarter. Against the Hawks, Randle, Barrett, and Quickley combined for 70 points. When the Knicks played the Bucks, Elfrid Payton dropped 27 points and 7 assists. Obi Toppin and Alec Burks have barely played this season so once they come back, the Knicks will have a solid bench.

Maybe I’m drinking the Kool Aid too much. It’s only been eight games. If there’s one thing about the Knicks, they let you down in the worst way. For a team that hasn’t finished with a .500 record in eight years, do I even have a right to be an optimist?

After listening to an inspiring quote from Rivers, how can I not have believe this year might be different?

This emotional high won’t last forever. There will be a rough patch at some point. With that being said, something about this year gives me the confidence to believe the Knicks will persevere.

It’s early, but this could be the start of something special.

Do you believe the New York Knicks can sustain this success? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

2020 NFL Week 15 Power Rankings: Four Up and Four Down

2020 NFL Week 15 saw some of the basement dwellers of the NFL win. Some of the better teams took huge steps back this week. After a week of shuffling within the standings, there was shuffling of the Four Up and Four Down Power Rankings this week.

Kansas City Chiefs Keep Finding Ways to Win

Kansas City managed to beat the New Orleans Saints 32-29 on Sunday. Patrick Mahomes was making more crazy touchdown throws. The Chiefs are simply finding ways to win. However, there are minor flaws with this team that could become major if one team finds a way to expose them. The Chiefs look nearly unbeatable, which it feels like they are. Nonetheless, if a team finds something, they can expose the Chiefs on, they might not have such an easy path to the Super Bowl.

2. Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen and the Bills played nearly perfect in their 48-19 demolition of the Denver Broncos. The score could have been worse if the Bills offense did not stall in the red zone on three separate second half drives. Allen will not win MVP, but he should be considered. Also, the defense got a touchdown for the second week in a row. If the Bills get complementary play from their defense like they have the past two weeks, they will be hard to beat.

3. Green Bay Packers

The Packers coasted to a 24-16 win against the Carolina Panthers. The offense scored 21 points in the first half and looked like they were firing on all cylinders. However, they only scored three points in the second half. While talking on The Pat McAfee Show, Aaron Rodgers attributed this to the Panthers showing a lot of dime looks. Nonetheless, the Packers got a December win, and are primed to get the number one seed in the NFC. Teams will not want to go up to cold Lambeau Field and play, which is a huge advantage for the Packers.

4. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland beat the New York Giants 20-6 on Sunday night. The game was a snoozer compared to their game against the Ravens in 2020 NFL Week 14. However, having unexciting wins may be a good thing for a Browns franchise that knows how tough wins are to come by in the NFL. They are drama-free. However, after playing the Jets this week, we will see if the Browns will have any say on division supremacy against the Steelers.

Four Down: Bengals, Jets Both Capture Surprising Wins In 2020 NFL Week 15

29. Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons let yet another big lead slip away from them in their 31-27 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At this point, it must be psychological with this team. Atlanta carries the moniker of “choking” games away. Whoever Atlanta hires as their new head coach will have to find a way to shed the team’s label. Did anyone actually think Atlanta was going to win even when they were up 17-0 on Sunday? 

30. Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati’s 27-17 upset win against the Steelers was shocking. Ryan Finley was able to use his legs to confuse the Steelers’ defense and the defense was able to hold their own against Pittsburgh’s offense. Also, this win did not affect the Bengals’ draft position (unlike a team below), so why not win a game against one of your most bitter rivals?

A Word on The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Three-Game Losing Streak: I do not understand why Pittsburgh is trying to use a quick passing game offense so much. Their receivers can get separation, and quick passes lead to drops, which the Steelers lead the league in. Since they switched to this offense against the Ravens, their record is 1-3. When the Steelers were 11-0, Juju Smith-Schuster’s TikTok dances were not necessarily garnering national attention. Now at 11-3, he has put a stop to his videos after they have created a huge team distraction. Opponents want to beat the Steelers in part because of Smith-Schuster’s antics. The Steelers now have two weeks to figure things out before the playoffs.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars lost 40-14 to the Ravens and slid into the number-one slot in the 2021 NFL Draft. Jacksonville may end up winning the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes. Jacksonville has talented players. If they can get leadership that is competent and modern in how they run a football franchise, they will have a chance to succeed with Lawrence. However, if they keep to what they are doing it will not be successful for them. Also, with how 2020 NFL Week 15 went, it should not surprise anyone if the Jaguars find a way to get out of this position.

32. New York Jets

Adam Gase will not be the third coach to oversee a 0-16 season. However, this win for the Jets against a probable NFC playoff team in the Rams just shows how incompetent of an operation the New York Jets are. They were in prime position to get Trevor Lawrence. That is why they will stay at number 32. Many Jets fans were not happy about the victory. Nonetheless, Gase should get credit for keeping his players engaged because winning this game shows he has not entirely lost the locker room. The players and coaches are still being professional. But beating the Rams will not save Gase his job, or it should not anyway.

Do you agree with Four Up and Four Down after 2020 NFL Week 15. Tweet us, @unafraidshow, with your thoughts.

New York Knicks: Realistic Expectations For 2020-2021 NBA Season

rj barrett New York Knicks

The 2020-2021 NBA Season starting on Dec. 22 is nothing short of surreal. It feels like the Lakers won the championship inside the bubble last week. Not every team played in Orlando so their nine-month drought will end. One of those teams is the New York Knicks. Cue the music!

With every New York Knicks season comes hope and despair. Hope revolves around the young talent becoming assets and the new coach asserting himself as “the guy” for the job. After about two or so months, despair hits in the dog days of late February and March, where the product at Madison Square Garden becomes unwatchable.

However, this season may be different… finally. For the first time in a decade, the Knicks made no stupid moves in the offseason. The team hired Leon Rose, Worldwide Wes, and Tom Thibodeau as President, Executive Vice President, and Head Coach, respectively. They weren’t throwing money around and taking on any bad contracts during the offseason, keeping their cap flexibility for next year.

Smart moves can only get a team so far. Now, it’s time to perform. I will be the first to say that the Knicks are not a playoff team with their current roster. For now, that’s ok. The Knicks need to focus on three objectives. If all three are completed, the future will be bright.

1. Tom Thibodeau Needs To Build A Winning Culture

One of the most overused words when describing a team is culture. When teams win or lose, many will attribute the culture as to the reason behind the team’s success or failure. I think that’s half true. You can still win games with a poor culture if you have superstar players. (Ex. LeBron and the Cavs when he was at odds with Dan Gilbert, James Harden and the Rockets, etc.) Culture doesn’t equal wins, but a positive culture lays the blueprint for winning and helps attract free agents. The best example is the Brooklyn Nets, who acquired Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and will be one of the favorites to win it all.

Tom Thibodeau is an “in your face” coach. For the Bulls, it worked. For the Timberwolves, it did not. There is nothing wrong with asking your players to play both ends of the floor. But, there is a problem with relying on your stars to play big minutes for an entire season. Thibs will have to find a happy medium. The Knicks’ poor record the last eight seasons actually works in Thibs favor because a disciplinarian may be what this team needs to breathe life into the city. It worked with the New York Giants under Tom Coughlin.

If Thibs fosters a culture that plays hard on both ends without killing his stars and adds modern principles to his offensive strategy, the Knicks have a shot to create a winning culture and attract players in the future.

2. RJ Barrett Has To Show All-Star Potential

RJ Barrett had a decent rookie campaign, averaging 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. If most rookies accumulated those numbers, it would be viewed as a success. However, Barrett’s in an impossible situation because he will always be compared to the two players selected before him, Zion Williamson and Ja Morant. Both Zion and Ja flashed superstar potential in their rookie seasons. Unfortunately, RJ did not have any games that showcased a superstar in the making.

In year two, RJ doesn’t need to prove he’s a superstar, but he has to show that he can be an all-star down the road. His shooting numbers must improve. A 40% field goal percentage, 32% three-point percentage, and 61.4% free-throw percentage is unacceptable for the third pick in the draft. If you’re not going to be a knockdown three-point shooter, then you have to consistently hit the mid-range jumper and finish in the paint. If the preseason is any indication of what’s to come, then RJ is due for a breakout season.

3. Wins Must Be Sacrificed If It Means Playing Obi Toppin And Immanuel Quickley

Thibs is not used to losing. In eight seasons as a head coach, Thibs registered two losing seasons and made the playoffs in six out of seven full seasons. Thibs wants to win games so I expect a lot of veterans to dominate the early season minutes. I’m ok if that’s a temporary strategy.

However, if the Knicks are losing games and giving big minutes to veterans, then we’re going to have problems. Both Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley showed promise during the preseason. They must be rotation players. For the betterment of the organization, those two need to play meaningful even if it means sacrificing wins. Developing young talent should be priority number one.

Final Prediction

In terms of record, all I want the Knicks to do is compete for the 10th seed. If the Knicks can stay in the race for the 10th seed, I’ll be happy. If they fail to register 20 wins, then it’s back to square one for the eighth straight year.

What are your predictions for the New York Knicks? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.