Grantland Reality Fantasy League: The Return of God’s Chosen Sport

MTV The Challenge

CT and Marlon are drownstrangling each other in the pool while Jemmye is double-fisting drinks and Tyrie is blacked out butt-naked on the toilet.


The “America’s Fifth Major Sport” moniker may have been born in jest, but as every season passes it feels more accurate. Think about it: They fly to locations around the world to face off against a consistent group of competitors for cash prizes. How is this any different from tennis or golf? They work in teams, they have specialties and complementary skill sets. How is this any different from the NBA or baseball? They are super violent and suspiciously muscular. How is this any different from the NFL? Until the rest of America fully embraces it as the legitimate sport that it is, it is up to us at Grantland to cover it as such.

Before we do, however, we have to do some GRTFL housekeeping:

Important Update

If you would like to set up your own league and divvy the alcopsychoholics on your own, you can do so by clicking on this link. It should work, but when the whole thing inevitably goes to shit, please send your complaints/insults to them even though it is guaranteed to be 100 percent my fault.

Not-So-Important Update

We, too, divvied up the divas:
House: CT, Leroy, Trishelle, Naomi, Theresa
Simmons: Johnny Bananas, Jemmye, Diem, Ty
Jacoby: Marlon, Paula, Zach, Derek, Trey, Robb
Lisanti: Wes, Preston, Emily, Dunbar, Jonna, Jessica
Yoshida: Frank, Camila, Tyrie, Nany, Sarah, Anastasia
Litman: Knight, Jasmine, Aneesa, Jordan, Cooke

Super-Unimportant Update That No One Cares About, But I Feel Obligated to Include

Hollywood Prospectus’s Paula Walnuts, Emily Yoshida, and my pod partner Juliet Litman have replaced Jay Kang and Connor Schell as GRTFL GMs. I don’t feel bad about this because Kang and Connor don’t read this column and won’t even notice they have been replaced until 2017.

Top Scorers

CT (The Challenge, House), 40 points: “This dude CT is a freak of nature. He is a machine and he is already trying to fight everyone in the house. Like, this kid is unreal.” —Zach

In the first episode, CT drownstrangled Marlon (30 points), gave Diem the strength to go without her wig post-chemo (5 points), and came close to closet coitusing Anastasia … whom he had just met. (5 points) CT is not like the rest of us.

Pit bulls avoid eye contact with CT.

Nuns cuckold God for CT.

CT got an A+ on the testosterone.

CT’s emotional range and physical rage have painted him both as a teddy bear and a silverback over the years on The Challenge. This season he quickly established himself as the latter when all it took for him to attempt his first murder was a broken glass. More on that with …

Marlon (The Challenge, Jacoby), 30 points: Marlon is a strong man both in body and spirit. He is not the type to bow down. He is, however, the type to be tossed around the pool by CT like a rubber ducky. Let me take you through the aqua skirmish, step by irrational, confusing step:

1. For reasons unknown, Jasmine bumps into Marlon, knocks him down, and shatters his drink on the pool deck.
2. The mere potential that a piece of broken glass got into the pool sends CT into a rage and he declares, “The night is over.” CT controls all space and time.
3. CT berates Marlon because … well … he just likes to berate people.
4. Marlon in an interview proclaims, “CT is not intimidating, like, you are not just going to beast me around because you have been here a couple of years. Nah, bro.”
5. CT and Marlon argue from about 10 yards away. (5 points)
6. A mystery figure tackles Marlon and sends him into the pool. Seriously, I watched this 17 times, I have no idea who did this and why they tackled Marlon. I am convinced that CT tackled Marlon with his mind on some spoon-bending shit. With CT there is no spoon, there is no bending, there is no mind, there is only violence, sex, and a trimmer for his chest hair.
7. CT snuffs Marlon somehow even though he wasn’t even in the frame in the previous shot. Apparently he can mind-tackle and teleport.
8. Marlon and CT waterwrestlechokefight. (25 points)
9. Jordan decides that he needs to jump in to protect his partner from the teleporting, spoon-bending, chest-hair-trimming silverback.
10. This type of shit happens:

11. Did I mention CT is wearing a T-shirt in the pool? T-shirts in the pool are for fat people, CT. If I were built like CT I would never wear clothing.
12. All of a sudden, CT is on the pool deck with Leroy and they have this exchange:

Leroy: “What do you like more? Money? Or some bullshit?”
CT: “You pulled me away from a kid that tried to choke me under the water.”
Leroy: “You’re not stupid, because you want this money, because you would have already went out there and done some crazy shit.”
CT: “Leroy, when it comes down to it … I love you, man.”

Leroy is the CT whisperer. I feel like in a few decades a Leroy/CT presidential ticket could bring the Independent Party its first presidency. CT and Leroy have the opportunity to change American politics forever.

Chris (Bachelorette, Juliet), 30 points:

Chris, you have shown the concept of poetry so much disrespect
That even corny ass Des thinks you’re corny, but what else did you expect?
Every time I hear it I want to put myself in a noose
Or go see Dr. Kevorkian because your shit is so Dr. Seuss
Win a girl by writing cringey poetry in your spare time?
You need to fall back like your hairline
When you read one you’re so happy, like, “Yeah, yeah, she’s into me”
Dude, she is only kissing you out of sympathy (10 points)
You told her you loved her for some reason (20 points)
You are so wack I am not even watching your Bachelor season
Oh yeah, one more thing, can you do me a favor?
Answer this question …

Michael (Bachelorette, House), 30 points: Michael made out with Des a couple times (10 points) and then did everything wrong when he was left roseless at the end of the episode. First, he full-on tried to convince Des that she was making the wrong decision by sending him home. Second, he cried his face off. (20 points) And third, HE CALLED HIS MOM FROM THE EXIT LIMO:

Michael: “Mom, you are not going to meet Desiree, she sent me home tonight.”
Michael’s Mom: “Are you OK?”
Michael: “No.”
Michael’s Mom: “Here we go again. If she doesn’t love you as much as you love her it is not meant to be.”
Michael: “I just don’t know why that keeps happening to me. I guess I am just not meant to get married and have a family, I don’t know.”

I full-on believe that there is someone for everyone and that eventually Michael will get engaged to a young woman. I also full-on believe that at said engagement party one of the bride-to-be’s friends will fly into town, pull Michael’s fiancée aside, and this will happen:

Michael Hypothetical Fiancée’s Friend: “Don’t I recognize your fiancé from somewhere?”
Michael’s Hypothetical Fiancée: “I don’t think you guys have ever met.”
Michael’s Hypothetical Fiancée’s Friend: “I just feel like I know him somehow … weird.”
Michael’s Hypothetical Fiancée: [Pausing, hoping she doesn’t put two and two together.]
Michael’s Hypothetical Fiancée’s Friend: “Oh yeah, wasn’t he on The Bachelorette? He totally was, he was the one who … ”
Michael’s Hypothetical Fiancée: “ … Cried to his mother in the limo on the way home. I know, can we just not talk about it?”
Michael’s Hypothetical Fiancée’s Friend: “Your dress looks great.”

Tyrie and Trey (The Challenge, Yoshida and Jacoby), 5 and 20 points: Sometimes The Challenge is just so damn Challengey. Case in point: On the first night in the house Tyrie fell asleep mid-poop. Now, as if mid-poop pass-out wasn’t Challengey enough, he passed out mid-poop butt naked (5 points):

Now, as if passing out mid-poop butt naked wasn’t Challengey enough, Trey then went over to him, took his pants down, and farted on him. (20 points)


Naomi and Cooke (The Challenge, House and Juliet), 25 and 5 points: Naomi had a family emergency and had to leave the show and her partner Cooke. (20 points) They cried a bunch. (5 points) I was going to make fun of Naomi’s declaration of her love of brunch, but since there is nothing funny about family emergencies, I am just going to keep it moving. Hope everything worked out for her.

Robb and Derek (The Challenge, Jacoby), 10 points: Robb and Derek won the elimination challenge (10 points) and reminded us that the challenges are the worst part of The Challenge. The only good challenge is the spelling bee. (Man, I can’t wait for this year’s spelling bee.) The best part of The Challenge is the drinking and arguing and the Jasmine walking into glass doorsing. (Did you guys see Jasmine walk into that door in that mid-commercial segment? It was brilliant.)

Why don’t they just make every challenge on The Challenge a drinking game? Why don’t they just play traditional sports? Why don’t they involve travel like Amazing Race? Why don’t they make them learn the local language and do scavenger hunts? Why don’t they have them write and record songs? Why don’t they have them hunt for food? Why don’t they have a karaoke-off? Why don’t they have competitive coitus? Why doesn’t Bunim/Murray invite me to their brainstorm meetings? I’M AVAILABLE,JUSTIN BOOTH!

Diem (The Challenge, Simmons), 10 points: A teary (5 points) and triumphant Diem declared, “A year ago I was climbing up a glacier in Iceland. And between then and now, getting ovarian cancer again. You realize that if you don’t let things crush you, you grow stronger.”

Diem looks at ovarian cancer the same way that the guys in the house look at CT: “If you don’t let him crush you, you grow stronger.” The only problem is that no one can prove the theory because CT has crushed everyone and everything he has ever encountered.

When CT and Leroy win the presidency, Diem will make for a great FLOTUS (5 points):

Brooks (Bachelorette, Lisanti), 10 points: There is a ton of annoying shit about the Bachelor(ette) franchise, but one of the most invigorating is the way that they extend a metaphor from the activity on their date to the activity of finding foreverlove. Every time they jump off a building, they’re all “taking a leap of faith, like you do with love,” or every time they climb something they’re all “our relationship goes to new heights.” This week they overdid overdoing it when Brooks and Des had a picnic at a peak among the Portuguese clouds:

This week’s GRTFL Top Five Is the Top Five Most Annoying Extensions of the Stupid “Clouds” Metaphor From Brooks and Des, listed from “That was actually kind of natural” to “Do they even know what ‘clouds’ means?”

5. What they said: “We just got lost in the clouds.”
What they meant: “We got lost.”

4. What they said: “I am definitely in the clouds, just trying you figure out how I feel.”
What they meant: “I don’t know how I feel about him.”

3. What they said: “It is good to be lost in cloud nine with you.”
What they meant to say: Unclear. Also unclear: Do they know what cloud nine means?

2. What they said: “We didn’t just break through the clouds, Brooks and I had a breakthrough in our relationship.”
What they meant to say: “The producers made me come up with something that involved the words “clouds” and “relationship,” and this is all I could come up with.”

1) What they said: “Why did Desiree take Zak and Drew to the final four? She must have clouded judgment. She knows they’re, well, you know …right?”

OK, I said that last one.

Zak and Drew (Bachelorette, Jacoby and Simmons), 5 points: Zak and Drew got five points for kissing … Desiree.

Anastasia (The Challenge, Yoshida), 5 points: Anastasia made out with CT, because … CT (5 points).

Filed Under: ABC, Mtv, Reality TV, Reality TV Fantasy League, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Challenge, The Decline and Fall of American Civilization

David Jacoby is an ESPN producer who somehow became a writer and editor for Grantland.

Archive @ djacoby

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