Blactor Draft 2010
Whilst sitting at Chili’s in Denton, Texas tonight, my friend Garrett and I started talking about who the best black actors, or “Blactors”, are. Naturally, we decided to have a draft. A Black Actor Draft.
Team Garrett had the first overall pick in the draft, with Team Coots picking Second. The draft went as follows.
1. Morgan Freeman – Team Garrett
Possibly not the first guy you’d think of when you think “black actor,” but then again, shouldn’t it be? Honestly? Garrett gives his team gravitas and versatility with the first pick…Freeman can do comedy, drama, voice-acting, commercials…you name it. Hell, he even played God once.
2. Samuel L. Jackson – Team Coots
I mean…his wallet says “Bad Mother Fucker” on it. This guy doesn’t miss a game…or a movie. You wrote a script? Jackson has already agreed to be in it. From Pulp Fiction to S.W.A.T. to Snakes on a Plane…this guy isn’t afraid to go across the middle.
3. Will Smith – Team Garrett
Reigning Black Box Office Champ. Academy Award Nominee. A reputation for picking SOLID projects (minus Wild Wild West), and an all-around nice guy. Truth be told, it’s a wonder that Smith fell even this far…some experts had him tabbed as a first overall pick.
4. Denzel Washington – Team Coots
The Team Coots front office and scouting department, Osaka Scouting, said, “Washington’s still available in the fourth round!?! What are you waiting for?” Surprising, i know…needless to say, i stole this guy right from under G’s nose. Washington is one of the very few blactors to win an Academy Award, and his high selection here…despite history of fumbles (Book of Eli, Out of Time)…was a no-brainer.
5. Zoe Saldana – Team Garrett
Mel Kiper called this “a Reach,” and for good reason. Sure, Saldana has had breakout roles recently in Avatar and Star Trek, but…will she fizzle? Only time will tell. If she doesn’t…Team Garrett may have wrangled in the Next Big Thing.
6. Djimon Honsou – Team Coots
This guy brings an ability to the table that is simply…unique. Raised in Benin during his early life, Honsou was tabbed as a blue-chip prospect at an early age. Since his breakout role in 2000’s Gladiator, Honsou has gone on to become the “African Guy” in film today. Subsequent roles in Blood Diamond and Constantine…not to mention posing almost naked for Calvin Klein…have solidified Honsou’s Star status. Team Coots got lucky Honsou slipped this far.
7. Don Cheadle – Team Garrett
G swoops in and grabs perhaps the coolest, most likeable guy in Hollywood, regardless of race. Don Cheadle is a solid, dependable guy that isn’t always the flashiest player on the field, but gets the job done regardless. Roles in films like Hotel Rwanda allowed “The Chead” to demonstrate his chops, but roles like the one in Iron Man 2 allowed “Donnie C” to flex his box office muscle.
8. Halle Berry – Team Coots
Ms. Berry was once one of the top draws in Hollywood…almost a sure thing…but then her reputation started to fade, especially with the release of the epically terrible Catwoman. While Berry’s Star Status and Hotness have faded slightly since her heyday, she’s still a solid all-around contributor, and a great female actress coming off the bench.
9. Laurence Fishburne – Team Garrett
Duh! This pick has sleeper written all over it. His versatility is undeniable…Fishburne is a rock in the Sci-Fi genre, having appeared in films such as The Matrix, Predators, and Event Horizon. But, did you know he’s also a director, playwrite, and producer. Sheesh…it’s amazing that he slipped to Number 9 overall.
10. Terrence Howard – Team Coots
This light-skinned actor has been a rising star in the last few years, having boosted his street cred with the excellent (and underseen) Hustle & Flow, but Howard really became a household name when he portrayed Tony Stark’s bed buddy Jim Rhodes in Iron Man. But then, after contract disputes, Howard did not reprise his role in Iron Man 2…guess who did? That’s right…Don Cheadle. Perhaps this explains why Howard slipped so far?
11. James Earl Jones – Team Garrett
Talk about outta left field! With perhaps the best known voice in the world, the Voice of Vader himself, James Earl Jones, leaps onto Garrett’s team in dramatic fashion, becoming the first veteran blactor to be taken in the draft. Garrett feels as if Jones can still contribute, and when considering his turns in The Sandlot and Field of Dreams, as well as his outstanding voice acting resume, you gotta think that Garrett may just be right…
12. Sidney Poitier – Team Coots
Only moments after J.E.J. goes off the board, a second veteran blactor is taken…this one maybe the best of them all: Sidney Poitier. There’s a good chance that Sidney Poitier was the best actor of his generation, bar none. He paved the way for all other actors on this list, and with memorable performances in Lilies of the Field and A Raisin in the Sun, cemented his place in the Halls of Acting Valhalla.
13. Danny Glover – Team Garrett
Angels in the Outfield. Predator 2. The Lethal Weapon series. All good movies, and all have great performances from the immortal Danny Glover, but all of them pale in comparison to Glover’s portrayal of the trusted scout Joshua Deets in Lonesome Dove. That performance alone got Glover drafted.
14. Tracy Morgan – Team Coots
The front office of Team Coots was bumflustered after the awesomeness of the Danny Glover, and decided to drop a bomb on the league by taking the first comedic blactor of the draft. Morgan has been hot as of late, and his strong record on SNL really solidified him as a sure-thing contributor for a team. His skill set is unique, and he’ll be sure to carve out a niche, but…Danny Glover he ain’t.
15. Cuba Gooding Jr. – Team Mahanay
Team Garrett has a great pick in Glover, and then turns around and does this. Cuba? CUBA?!?! Where IS this guy? He hasn’t done anything since his fantastic turn in Jerry Maquire…except for his famously ridiculous role in Radio, in which he went “full retard.” Also on Cuba’s resume: Snow Dogs and Boat Trip. What are you thinking, Cuba? A dubious pick, at best, Mr. Mahanay.
16. Martin Lawrence – Team Coots
Coots surprises everyone with his second comedic pick in a row, but this time, it’s a lot less solid. Sure, Lawrence has headlined a few movies (Black Knight, Blue Streak), but let’s be honest…the thing that got him drafted was his role as a Will Smith’s foil in the Bad Boys franchise. And he wasn’t even funny in that…Will Smith just needed somebody to bounce off of. And where is he now? Exactly. Still…he’s a name, and sometimes, that’s all it takes to get drafted.
17. Common – Team Mahanay
Wow. Solid, solid pick. Mel Kiper went crazy when Team Mahanay dropped this bomb. I mean, getting this ultra-smooth, super-intelligent rapper-turned-actor-who-still-raps-too in the 17th round was monumental. And now, with his Star Status on the rise, he’s poised for a breakout. A stellar sleeper pick.
18. Jaden Smith – Team Coots
Even more solid sleeper pick. What’s possibly better than Will Smith? Son of Will Smith. This handsome young rising star has his entire future in front of him, and with his starring role in the Karate Kid remake, the future seems bright. The only question is…will he suffer from child-actor-syndrome? Will he become irrelevant after puberty? If he can push through, there’s no stopping this kid.
19. Jada Pinkett-Smith – Team Mahanay
The drafting of Pinkett-Smith completes the first-ever instance of an entire family being drafted in…probably any draft. Pinkett-Smith had a few solid roles in the 90’s, and most people remember her role in the Matrix movies, but let’s be honest…the reason we know her name is because she’s married to Will Smith. Still, she can contribute to any cast.
20. Anthony Anderson – Team Coots
Mr. Irrelevant. The last pick in the draft. This guy is portly and sorta funny, but allegedly a solid dramatic actor. He’s been in a few TV shows where he played a cop, but he’s best known for being the black cop who gets shot in the head at the end of The Departed. When questioned as to why he picked Anderson to round out his roster, Coots panicked and said, “Oh God…i’m dropping him for…”…he looks at the free agent list…”Wesley Snipes.”
And there you have it. The teams are as follows:
1. Morgan Freeman
2. Will Smith
3. Zoe Saldana
4. Don Cheadle
5. Laurence Fishburne
6. James Earl Jones
7. Danny Glover
8. Cuba Gooding, Jr.
10. Jada Pinkett-Smith
1. Samuel L. Jackson
2. Denzel Wahshington
3. Djimon Honsou
4. Halle Berry
5. Terrence Howard
6. Sidney Poitier
7. Tracy Morgan
8. Martin Lawrence
9. Jaden Smith
10. Anthony Anderson
Notable Free Agents:
Wesley Snipes (acquired by Team Coots 8 minutes after end of draft)
(Ice) Cube & T
Michael Clarke Duncan