My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West
From an evolutionary perspective, each feel simultaneously progressive and rooted in the very core of their mediums. There a raw, dirty feel to several of the tracks on MBDTF, but Yeezy’s best album also featured some of his most polished pieces this side of 808s. He tells the story of Yeezy on that album, the same way that Foley tells the story of himself: with a very specific epicness to each of them.
Filled with less gore and egregious violence than people remember, and significantly more influential than they probably should have been, both represent the 90’s nearly perfectly. The idea of shocking people not just to put butts in seats, but to ask a very specific question of the viewer: how far are we willing to go before we stopping rooting for the people involved.
Loved by some, despised by others, both represent what happens when you let workers “explore the space”. Sometimes, you get a half-hour comedy with few laugh lines, weird emotional scenes involving tape from MSG and a cult following. Sometimes, you get This is Your Life… with The Rock, weird emotional scene involving tape from MSG and a cult following. Other times, you get Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip or CZW. You win some, you lose some.
Both Brady and Foley were not highly touted as they entered their careers, then won three championships and now represent a previously overlooked aspect of their overall package that helped make them successful and lead to a sea change in the way development works. For Foley, being marketed as a lifelong wrestling fan marked a massive change of perspective on the type of people that get pushed, with people like Edge, the Hardys, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler and even John Cena representing the post-Foley push of people who love and appreciate the business and just so happen to be the perfect size and look for it. Brady, who had to deal with questions about arm strength coming out of Michigan, showed that accuracy was a far more important and underrated attribute, helping — along with Manning and Brees — to change the way quarterbacks are scouted and developed, and how offenses are run.
I can’t quite say that this one was particularly easy. For the most part, it’s whatever comes to mind, and it usually turns out okay. But for Foley, Giamatti just seemed like the least worst idea. They are both equally hapless, even if Giamatti grew up in a rich family. They both made their way up through a series of less than stellar films (for Giamatti, Big Fat Liar and for Foley, “Lost in Cleveland”) and they both made it way farther than anyone would have guessed based on their looks.
To quote Dave from the outtakes of tomorrow’s Difference of Opinion:
“I don’t mind Foley, I just hate every imitation of him”