I got Phoenix Suns fans riled up when I decided not to compare the Blues Brothers to the Phoenix Suns in a message board/column post two weeks ago. Apparently they thought the Blues Brothers band and the Phoenix Suns basketball team should be linked together forever. But I disrespectfully disagree. The Blues Brothers were hits and critically acclaimed. The Phoenix Suns were shits and critically acclaimed. Hits:Shits. The ratio lies more on Hits for the Blues Brothers and on Shits for the Phoenix Suns.
Still, I owe it all to everyone my own blog post that sort of intertwines the Blues Brothers and Phoenix Suns. Let’s roll.
As I mentioned quite accurately, the Suns weren’t a thing like the Blues Brothers. But y’know what? They compare to John Belushi. They are the John Belushi of the NBA. Thrilling, extravagant, creative, envigorating, inventive and loved by all, but ultimately, they couldn’t sustain what they were doing for more than a couple of years, and by the time it came to a screeching halt, we were already wishing that things could return to the way they were three years before. Like Belushi, the Suns were [like the BB’s, too] were critically acclaimed. Like Belushi (drugs), the Suns had some demons of their own (Robert Sarver). Like Belushi, we will remember the Suns fondly, and every time we seen one of their old classics (for John, Blues Brothers’ Saturday Night Live episodes (Samauri Warrior too, anyone?) or the 1978 movie Animal House), we watch them, or well, for the Suns, we’ll probably watch them.
National Lampoon’s Animal House, scene with Bluto (Belushi) and Co. getting down to the song Shout performed by the fictional “Otis Day” band (song sung by DeWayne Jesse):
But the comparison stops right there, as Joliet Jake Blues and Elwood Blues serve up no comparison to the Phoenix Suns; only the man behind Jake Blues does, in some ways.
[John] Belushi and [Dan] Aykroyd as Jake and Elwood Blues in the November 1978 (or ’79?) Saturday Night Live that featured ‘Soul Man’:
The Blues Brothers still go on today, for as far as I know, but Dan Aykroyd (Elwood Blues) is 75 pounds heavier, and can no longer dance like he could back in the late 70s and early 80s. Yet they still go on tour, and John’s brother Jim was going on tour with them in the late 90s, but unlike his brother, couldn’t sing worth shit.
The initial Blues Brothers movie in 1980 was a smashing box office hit. Racking up and instigating cash flow from largely the watching crowd of Saturday Night Live. However, years after the movie released and after John Belushi’s untimely death on March 5, 1982, the movie became even more known to the public. But when Blues Brothers 2000 released in, well, 2000, it plummeted and was touted as a bust (and deservedly so). The premise was awful, and the only cool thing about it was seeing Aykroyd coming back as Elwood. Other than that it was distasteful and utterly stupid. But, hey, the video game for the Nintendo 64 wasn’t too bad, though. But that’s not saying it’s any good, either.
As for the Suns, they were widely rooted for by the public during their time in the Seven Seconds or Less era, but you will never be able to debate with me in the future that they’ll be more anointed as time goes on. Sure, they will be remembered, but not as heavily in sports fans’ eyes as the original Blues Brothers were known in the pop culture critics’ eyes. I’m a sports fan and pop culture critic, so I find myself torn between the comparison of Belushi and Phoenix, but not between the Blues Brothers and Phoenix — there’s not a chance, people.