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Random Doppelganger of the Day


Are we certain that Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants and James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder are NOT the same person?

James Harden, professional basketball player, or Brian Wilson, professional weirdo?

Is the man in the middle Brian Wilson, former World Series champion, or James Harden, reigning Sixth Man of the Year?


The only professional athletes allowed to wear bling bling of that magnitude are in the NBA… right?

Only baseball players can pull off facial hair this eccentric, right?


“James Harden” looking dapper.

Seriously, when they both dress up, it’s impossible to tell them apart.

One thing I hadn’t considered…

The possibility that both men could actually be…

The reincarnations of infamous Russian monk Grigori Rasputin?!?!?

A little history lesson…

Grigori Rasputin was born in Russia in 1869. Famous in his small, home village for being a healer and a visionary, Rasputin was sent to a monastery as an 18 year old. While there, he allegedly had religious experiences and reputedly joined a very odd religious sect. (Ever seen ‘The Da Vinci Code’? You know the strange albino dude? Something like that.)

Anyway, later in life he became a wandering healer. The Tsar and Tsarina of Russia (the king and queen, for all intents and purposes) sought his help to heal their son, Alexei, who suffered from hemophilia (a hereditary condition which inhibits the body from being able to stop bleeding – i.e., a paper cut can kill you). Every time Alexei cut himself or became injured, the royal family would send away for Rasputin, who healed the boy. That led to the royalty trusting Rasputin a great deal, though he was seen as a liability by those on the inner circle of the monarchy.

As political tensions rose, some decided to have him killed. A group of nobles lured Rasputin to one of the royal palaces, whereupon dinner was served. Rasputin’s cake and wine were spiked with a dose of cyanide – but after consuming it, he remained unfazed. So, someone shot him in the back, and he fell down, appearing to be dead. A short while later, as one of the men checked on the body, Rasputin rose up and began to attack – so he was shot three more times, and beaten to a bloody pulp. They tied his body up, rolled him in some old carpet, and threw his body in the frigid Neva River.

When he was found three days later, an autopsy was performed, whereupon the cause of death was determined to be – drowning. So despite being poisoned, beaten and shot, it was the water that finally had done him in.

What does all that have to do with the Harden/Wilson question?

Well, it appears that the mystical power of regeneration has made it to Rasputin’s modern incarnations – James Harden and Brian Wilson.

“Harden” was elbowed in the noggin by a man named Metta World Peace, a picture of which can be seen below.

The irony wasn’t lost on anyone – a guy named World Peace committing a senseless act of violence.

Harden was diagnosed with a concussion. Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins was diagnosed with a concussion, once, and missed four months’ worth of games. Former Twin Corey Koskie never played again, ditto for Mike Matheny (former Giants catcher) and Troy Aikman (former Dallas Cowboy). So how many games did Harden miss as a result of his concussion?


Spooky, right?

“Brian Wilson” endured a significant elbow injury during his junior season in college which required ‘Tommy John’ surgery. He then flamed out as a starting pitcher, but successfully made the transition to a reliever (which isn’t something every pitcher can do) and also overcame rumored substance abuse issues and personality clashes with coaches throughout his minor league stops (which could’ve also submarined his career).

Before and after becoming inhabited by the spirit of Rasputin

Instead, he went on to appear in three All-Star games, won a World Series and (until his newest arm injury) was one of the best closers in baseball. He will miss the remainder of this season because he needs another Tommy John surgery. If he comes back as strong as he was before, he’s definitely infested with some mystical powers; plenty of pitchers can recover from one Tommy John procedure, but no ‘dominant’ pitcher has ever recovered from a second.

How to resolve this:

Aside from throwing Harden/Wilson into an icy river, (which I won’t advocate because I am pretty sure that’s a felony), I guess we just have to wait and see if Wilson comes back from his second surgery stronger than ever. We also need to keep a close eye on James Harden. If he tears an ACL or an achilles and only misses a couple of weeks, clearly something supernatural is happening.

You could also saunter past them, muttering Russian under your breath, and see if either one responds in some way.

Do you think these three look alike? Have another sports doppelganger you’d like to see featured? Let me know at BreakTheHuddle@gmail.com.

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