Your Guy Sucks! Zack Morris VS AC Slater: The Better Athlete?

By Dave D & Kippah

Welcome to “Your Guy Sucks” - in which Kippah and Dave D go back and forth via email on some of the most pressing and pertinent issues plaguing sport and society today. For our inaugural edition they debate the age old question of who was the better athlete: Zack Morris or AC Slater. Dave D will be representing Zack.  Kippah will be defending Slater. Let the games b-bu-b-bu-bu-bu-b-begin. Go Bayside! 


From: “Dave D”
To: ”Kippah”
Sent: Mon, March 21, 2011
Subject: Zack vs. Slater


Theirs was a rivalry pitched right from the start. Well, not the actual start, as the pilot episode “King of the Hill” was, for some reason that Brandon Tartakoff has taken to the grave, the 15th episode aired during the first SBTB season. Regardless of air dates, in looking at who was the better athlete between these two men of the 90s I am going to follow Loverboy’s lead. You want a piece of my heart? You better start from the start.

It’s no doubt that Slater cut the better figure.  His rippling muscles and stolid jheri curl screamed alpha dog athlete. Have you read “Moneyball”? Billy Beane described how he was drafted second overall in the MLB draft because he had what scouts called “the good face”. Albert Clifford has “the good face”. Slater is indeed a horse but when it comes to mastering and melding the two sides of athletic competition, the physical and the mental, Zack Morris wins every time. He’s like Usain Bolt meets Bill Belichick meets a blonde Tom Cruise.

Dedication and mental preparation are of paramount importance in sports. Zack was a master of athletic motivation, as we will see later, and this can be traced back to his self-discipline. None of us wants to answer that shrill piercing buzz of the alarm clock in the AM but only Zack had a customized greeting guaranteeing rising. With a sultry female voice purring “wake up tiger, time to roar”, Zack would leap out of bed.

Zack also kept tangible reminders of his goals, which is important for the myopic, dedicated athlete.  This is manifested by a life sized cardboard cutout of a volleyball-holding Kelly Kapowski he kept under his bed. Kippah, on the other hand, has a life sized cardboard cutout of the dude from Twilight or one of those foo foo vampires shows where the bloodsucking legions of the night act like junior high school girls at a sleepover. He also has a life size cut-out of Brades, which he has various escapades with, so maybe they cancel each other out. Nahh, Twilight is many degrees lamer than Brades is cool, so Kippah is, on this point, officially lame.

Aside from competitive greatness, Morris was a coach on the field, and as Kippah and I go back and forth on this pressing issue of international importance I ask, nay I implore, you to keep an open mind.  I know many of you are Slater-biased but clear your mind of all Beldings and Maxs and Mister Tuttles and surrender to the facts.

From: ”Kippah”
To: “Dave D”
Sent:
Mon, March 21, 2011
Subject: Zack vs. Slater

AC Slater led the High School Life many of us dream of. To wit…

1.  He hooked up with the hottest chicks…and I’m not talking exclusively about that psycho Jessie Spano…please recall the Princess whom he attended Mr. Spano’s wedding with… the girl who faked a drowning at the Malibu Sands Beach Club to get his attention (played by Denise Richards…yes, that’s her)…and I’m pretty sure he banged Kelly KAPOW-ski.

2.  He played drums in the coolest band.  ZACK-ATTACK!!!!  I know it is kind of a self-absorbed name, right?  Anyways, Slater not only rocked out on the drums, but he ‘sang’ (with Spano…uggghh) a hysterically lip-synched performance of “How am I Supposed to Live Without You” which underscored the break-up of Zack and Kelly (thanks a lot Jeff from the Max!  D-Bag alert!!!).

3.  He had the hippest clothes.  Z. Cavarrichi’s and Tank Tops anyone????  No one could rock a leather bomber jacket like AC.
Of course, if Teen Wolf, Varsity Blues and Lucas (RIP Corey Haim) have taught us anything…the only way to be the ultimate High School Stud is to be THE Star Athlete.  Read that last sentence again…Not ‘A’ Star Athlete (like Zack Morris) but ‘THE’ Star Athlete.  Every School has one…and Bayside High was no exception.  Morris described Slater as an “All-City Athlete in 4 Sports.”   What?!?!!?  I recall there being only 3 seasons for High School Sports (Fall, Winter, Spring)…which means Slater double-lettered during one of the Seasons.  What an extraordinary feat!  Whether it be his single handed domination of arch-rival Valley High in Football or delivering a Rock-Bottom to assorted under-achievers in Wrestling, AC Slater is not only a better athlete than Zack Morris, but may quite possibly be the greatest athlete in the history of Saturday Morning TV (except for maybe Bugs Bunny).

From: “Dave D”
To: ”Kippah”
Sent:
Mon, March 21, 2011
Subject: Zack vs. Slater

And the battle is well and truly joined.

Let’s start at the top. For Zack, his athletic career peaked on the undulating cross country terrain of Palisades, CA. A champion miler, he unknowingly had the blood of the always on the run Nespers tribe coursing through his white bread veins. Yeah , right. Mark-Paul Gosselaar looked like he had as much Native American blood in his family as Wesley Snipes had Vikings. Nonetheless, Zack felt the compulsion to run. Zack could mine deep into his psyche and get to the nut of what it truly means to compete. Not for trophies or medals but for survival of his way of life, which involved a lot of hair product and the nonstop learning of heavy handed lessons. Maybe this is why Zack was a master schemer. The Nespers constantly had to outwit the white man, who was interminably showering them with disease ridden blankets and spurious land contracts. Slater came from a bunch of bullshit bullfighters. Pure bravado. No metaphysical skill whatsoever. Slater had the superior physique, but Zack’s strengths were as subtle as they were powerful. His skills were less tactile than the roided up Slater.

Back to the track - sure, Slater was captain of the team, but this was no doubt just another reason to get Mario Lopez in a tank top, not that anybody is going to complain. (My personal favorite Slater outfit is the dual tank top look: a regular tank top, black, under a low, muscle cut tank top, usually neon red, with black Zeke Cavaricci’s. He looked like a gay Ninja.) Zack’s package of abilities simply usurped Slater’s, and as we all know cross country is the most important and glorious meat in the sports stew.

The true measure of the greatness of an athlete is how he is perceived in his own time. How did his peers treat him? How did society at large view him? Well, we know Belding went to the mat for Zack, going so far as trying to commit obstruction of education by pleading with Miss Wentworth to get Zack an extension on his family tree project so he could compete against Valley.

Conversely, I distinctly recall Belding (playing the role of Zack for a week while Zack was principal and Kelly was teacher. Long story) supporting Kelly’s decision to academically disqualify Slater and other football players from their big game against Valley for failing a history exam (were there any other teams in their conference? I think we saw one at the cheerleading finals but that’s it. Did they play the gang from West Beverly?) Football players are disposable pretty boys playing for a paycheck. Zack was a captivating executor, like Pele, Bo Jackson or Jim J. Bullock.

As for his peers, the whole of Bayside High lamented and rallied around Zack when word got out that he was DQ’ed. They understood Zack was a singular artist on the canvas of athletic struggle. Coach Neely threw a shot put at Belding over Zack’s suspension for herpes sake. Belding even went so far as to lift Zack off the ground professing love after he passed. The team was sunk without Zack. The contributions of captain Slater didn’t even register. No Zack. No victory.  With Zack, Bayside conquered Valley for the first time since, I am assuming, the early Mesozoic Era. I digress, but what a stunning coincidence that the ostensible completion of said family tree project was, in reality, a heavy handed lesson riddled with death that evolved Zack as a person and runner right before the big meet with Valley. I think we all learned a little bit about ourselves through Zack’s serendipitous journey. Chief Henry 4-eva!! Oh yeah, and Slater never deflowered Kapowski. You hear me?  NEVER!


From: ”Kippah”
To: “Dave D”
Sent:
Mon, March 21, 2011
Subject: Zack vs. Slater

Please tell me that you’re not proving your delusional theory based on the teachings of a Stoner American Indian with heart troubles.  Seriously, Chief Henry provided the family tree to Zack Morris whilst surfing the Palisades and then promptly drops dead…that seems a tad shady to me…I feel that we will never know if his information was accurate.  How inept was Zack as a student that he needed to seek council with friggin Tonto to assist in learning about his family heritage?  Where was Derek Morris, Zack’s father?  Probably being an absentee parent as usual. Miss Wentworth was very lucky this was pre-internet… she sent Zack to a weird Indian guy’s house?!?!  Hello?!!?  Chief Henry could easily have been featured on Dateline’s ‘To Catch a Predator.”  She also conned her students into giving her flowers, apples and candies via subliminal messages…I don’t need a Bo Revere’s Greatest Hits cassette to tell me that Miss Wentworth won’t be winning any Teacher of the Year awards.

Also, Cross Country?  We are having a discussion based on who the better athlete was…and I’m handed Cross Country?  Did Prefontaine compete for Valley?   When I think of High School athletics I think of football.  More accurately, I think of the great High School Football players that I have had the privilege of watching over the years; Tim Riggins of the Dillon Panthers, Jon Moxon of the West Canaan Coyotes and especially AC Slater of the Bayside Tigers.

AC Slater is without a doubt the greatest Football Player to ever grace the Hallway (I think there was only one) of Bayside High.  Albert Clifford scored the lone Touchdown in the infamous “Zit Cream” game (although Morris claims it was due to Valley’s players being so startled by the ‘Purple War Paint’).   Slater also led the Tigers back from an improbable 21 point deficit during Student-Teacher week…when Zack inexplicably forces the Football players to take Kelly’s History Test during “Student Becomes Teacher week”…whipped much Preppie? 
Yes, I know Slater has faults…but, they are few and far between.  A separated shoulder from a drunk driving accident forces Slater out of his Senior Year Homecoming game…but I ask, who was driving?  That’s right, an inebriated Zack Morris.  Still, it was inexcusable, but one party foul can not hamper 4 years of football dominance.  B-bab-bee-bab-bee…Go Bayside!



From: “Dave D”
To: ”Kippah”
Sent:
Tue, March 22, 2011
Subject: Zack vs. Slater

I guess sending a confused child to a divorced, lonely, pot addled, aging surfer was a bad idea in retrospect but remember, this was before 9/11. Was this revenge for the “blonde Tom Cruise” brainwashing?  Miss Wentworth was probably upset that Chief Henry died before he could fondle Zack’s burger buddies. He even visited Zack in a creepy dream. Let’s just agree the man was sage and wise, if a little high and horny.

The great and almighty Slater could only muster one doinking touchdown?  Off a fluke play no less. This is greatness? This is leadership? That is all the offense this so- called wunderkind could pull off? A recovered fumble? What about the other 59 and 1/2 minutes of the game? Did Slater’s nuts shrivel like a raisin in the sun? What happened? Did you balls drop off? I bet Slater’s man marbles smelled really bad. Was he like Donovan McNabb at the end of Super Bowl XXXIX? Dry heaving in the huddle? A true warrior and leader would have garnered at least a couple of field goals.

This confirms my theory that Slater was a diva who had everything handed to him: muscles, dimples, the most immovable hair this side of Jimmy Johnson and that fumbled kickoff. Zack had to scratch and claw for every wide-tongued Con and pair of acid washed jeans he got. Maybe that is why Slater went to, like, 14 schools in three years and has hall passes in five languages. He is a head case and a show off, but doesn’t produce real results, like Michael Vick (on the football field, not on the dog fighting circuit.) The ineffectiveness of the Bayside offense is just another manifestation of how Slater is not a team player. He intimates at much to Zack during the pilot episode, telling Preppie that he “works alone”. No shit. That attitude is why the lone touchdown that the team you were quarterbacking was on a fluke fumbled kickoff fifteen seconds into the game. Quite simply, Slater is LeBron to Zack’s MJ.

Zack was an accomplished baseball player. Well, all we really know about his actual playing was that he maimed a duck with a homerun. Being the nurturing leader that he was, Zack nursed Becky back to health only to see her covered in oil when the CalStar drilling went awry. How was there undiscovered oil under a Palisades high school all these years?  Why was Dick Cheney not informed? Why was Bayside not ordered to be bombed by the first Bush administration? In light of the BP Deep Water Horizon disaster, this episode can be seen as a chilling harbinger of the effect of the relentless oil vigilance would have on our children and natural habitat. Peter Engel was a friggin’ prophet. The Muhammad of TNBC…and a former coke addict turned born again Christian. God bless Hollywood.

I digress, but let us consider the stock from which young Zack was born. Derrick Morris, who “pitched a little bit in college” but was an otherwise emotionally unreachable and poor excuse for a father (he even disapproved of Zack and Kelly getting hitched in Vegas. What gave him the right?). Though a hell of a computer salesman, he was the Bobby Bonds to Zack’s Barry. An absentee father who provided his family with a very comfortable life but when present was overbearing and preachy. Luckily, Zack inherited none of these traits from his father, even going so far as teaching Nikki Kapowski a curve ball that helped her pitch a no hitter and made her fall in love with Zack, a love that only deepened when he tried to dissuade her advances by getting front row tickets to the insect rodeo. He could hit and pitch; he was a blonde Babe Ruth, while Slater spent his time rolling around on the ground in tights with other taut, muscled boys. Also, Slater went to pieces and needed to seek solace in the loving arms of Belding over the death of an iguana? I liked Artie as much as the next guy but c’mon. Strap on a set. Zack didn’t cry over Becky, he got revenge. That is a true competitor.

From: ”Kippah”
To: “Dave D”
Sent:
Tue, March 22, 2011
Subject: Zack vs. Slater

Bayside – 7                                                                                                 Valley   -  0

This score simply locks up my theory of the better all around team player and leader.  Slater scores on a fumble recovery and Bayside holds Valley to zero points in four quarters.  Slater, being the champion that he is, did what he needed to do to get the ‘W”…it wasn’t pretty, but a victory is a victory…especially against Valley.  He probably controlled the clock with a decent running attack (although if Zack wasn’t such a girl, he could have played and controlled the clock better by simply freezing time).  Slater running a QB Option blows my mind….the athleticism and decision making…the casual fan saw a football game….real football fans saw a work of art.

Somebody call 911, Slater’s Fire Burnin on the Dance Floor!!!  Somebody should have called 911 when Zack hit that stupid duck with a baseball…but I will tell you all now…don’t feel bad….she’s where the oil can’t hurt her any more.  Zack Morris may have been the early 90’s version of Jacoby Ellsbury; Injury Prone.  Morris was injured in the LOCKER ROOM before the League Championship game (leaving Slater to essentially become Teen Wolf and carry the Tigers to a last second loss.)  It would be one thing for Zack to get injured diving for a lose ball…hell, I’d understand if he hurt himself punching Screech in the dick…but in the locker room before the most important game of his basketball life?  Well, I’d expect more from someone who scored a 1502 on their SAT’s. 

AC had off games (see Malibu Sands Volleyball….although they were still victorious) but put a league championship on the line and he was unstoppable.  Case in Point:  Bayside vs Valley in Wrestling.  A conflicted Slater opted to win a Wrestling Title rather than complete his soufflé for cooking class.  Slater defeated Nedick (Pronounced Knee-Dick) in a 10 second match…pinning Valley’s champion with a beautiful belly to back suplex that would make Kurt Angle blush (It’s True, It’s True).  Athleticism at it’s finest.   But was Slater in it for himself???  Was he selfish?  Let’s ask Christy Barnes, the first female wrestler in Bayside History.  Christy (when she wasn’t defending Zack in fights at the Max) was trained under the watchful eye of AC.  Introducing reverses and submission holds to Ms. Barnes, Slater helped lead Bayside to the Winner’s bracket while once again beating a feisty Valley Squad.  If Zack was so athletic, why wasn’t he on the team…I’m sure Screech could have handled the Wrestling commentary by himself on KKTY.

From: “Dave D”
To: ”Kippah”
Sent:
Tue, March 22, 2011
Subject: Zack vs. Slater

Oh c’mon, Zack let Christy put him in a sleeper hold. Wouldn’t you? It’s called trying to get laid. That was Zack’s take on the classic “yawn” move. Slater was always too busy proving how strong and chauvinistic he was, which is just his insecure ego seeking strokage, while Zack knew that you always let the girl win. That’s why Zack pulled so much more tail than Slater, who could only get “Sloppy Seconds” Spano to bite at his nonsense. The athletic greatness in Zack sent ovaries bursting. He was like a walking hysterectomy. Not only could he stop time, he had that power, like that terrible Chevy Chase movie, Modern Problems, to make women climax just by looking at them. Zack had that animal magnetism that all the greats had. Aside from Christy, school shot put champion Rhonda Robestelli wanted to procreate with Zack. They would have conceived some sort of uber-athlete that exploded out of the womb like Coke and Pop Rocks.

You have the balls to mention KKTY? You mean the station that had to fire Slater because he had the most wooden delivery this side of Hayden Christensen? Wolfman Zack was once again the star while Slater was a petulant baby who couldn’t handle criticism. I don’t want to say that Saved By The Bell was racist but the white kid always won out. (Digression: remember when the new Star Wars films came out and critics blasted the lame dialogue and wooden acting? Hello? Did you see the first three?  “I have a bad feeling about this” was uttered at least ten times. My favorite terrible line/terrible delivery is ”why are we still moving towards it?”) 

I’m so glad you brought up Slater’s soufflé escapades. Kind of speaks for itself, no? As my brother and I used to sing “I guess you just wrestled Nedick” to the tune of the Cars “Just What I Needed” (try it) we were heartbroken when Slater traded in his tights for an apron. This was the equivalent of Hulk Hogan quitting the then WWF to start an interior decoration concern. (Digression: What the hell has the World Wildlife Foundation done since they were awarded exclusivity to the anagram WWF?  Nothing, that’s what. Another dubious and useless decision against the world of sports/entertainment.) Fans don’t recover from a betrayal like that. I, all the viewers and the greater Bayside community were irreparably damaged by Slater’s prevalent “me first” attitude. And defeating Nedick was no great shakes. He was the Salvatore Bellomo of high school wrestling. His doughy, man boobied countenance was no match for HGH Slater, his Favre-like waffling notwithstanding. And let’s lay all our cards on the table here. Slater ballooning between seasons one and two was Nomar-esque. Zack was on the same program between high school and The College Years, but that is another universe and thus, non-pertinent.

Leadership? Slater knew not what the concept was. Let’s take a brief glance at Zack as a leader during his time in the Cadet Corps. Zack molded a team made up Lisa Turtle and three classic SBTB nerds archetypes, Screech (no explanation needed), horn-rimmed glasses clad Louise and the always hungry/eating geek played by a fat actor Alan, into an elite fighting unit. His initial picking of the inequitable squads shows his eye for talent. When subsequently stuck with captaining the nerd team Zack’s leadership skills shone through. This was after a quitting episode, but, like all true leaders, he looked inward and scanned his soul.  After Screech told Zack he “always wanted to be like him” he returned with renewed intestinal fortitude. He turned into Bill Belichick. He morphed into a leader on the field who, as was said about the inimitable Bum Phillips, “he can take his’n and beat your’n and he can take your’n and beat his’n”.  Zack pumped up Louise to the point that she told Slater to “suck my dust” in the rope climb (she got smoked but still, love that moxie). His firm, guiding hand helped Lisa not only defeat Jesse in the monkey bars by five seconds but it led to her future heads-up exposing of a bumbling and overmatched Slater in the Malibu Sands employee-member end of summer obstacle course. Even thought the blue team was obviously overmatched in the tug of war, facing a team of beefy, Slater led jocks, they struggled to a tie, the breaking the rope in half symbolizing the nerds breaking the shackles of society and finding equality and liberation. SBTB was deep like that, mofos. Zack saved the best for last when he gave up his spot in the tie breaking obstacle course to Screech, who was so in love with Zack that he won. He didn’t beat Slater, though, because Slater wasn’t even the best athlete on his own team. 

Zack is a leader of men and women. Slater is a quitter. The corps doesn’t like a quitter.

Some more brief examples of leadership (which is the true mark of greatness. Otherwise you are just Allen Iverson or Manny Ramirez)  The prank war - Slater was merely a soldier while Zack quarterbacked the entire thing, making executive decisions on the fly, like including the Valley bulldog in the cheerleader photo with Mr. Belding. Zack coached Screech (Screech!) to the Miss Bayside crown. The Bo Revere-subliminal message episode and his time running the Teen Line? Zack knows how to get results from playing head games with his charges. Forget Phil Jackson, Zack is the true zen master. He is a supreme, Wooden-esque motivator. .


From: ”Kippah”
To: “Dave D”
Sent:
Tue, March 22, 2011
Subject: Zack vs. Slater

Wait a minute… are we talking about who the best coach would be or who is the best athlete?  Yes, Zack’s team won the Cadet Corpse Challenge because of his coaching….it was a fluky victory but a victory none the less…does that make him a better athlete?  No, it doesn’t.  Slater was a leader as well.  You’re not named Captain of the Football, Track and Wrestling teams based solely on athletic prowess. 

There is no denying that Zack had one helluva run at Bayside…he was the cool, popular kid (as was Slater)…Like Austin Powers, the women loved him and the men wanted to be him.  Whether he was belting out “Friends Forever” at a Zack-Attack concert, convincing famed singer ‘Stevie’ that he was dying in order to steal a kiss or helping a homeless girl get a part in the Bayside Mall production of ‘A Christmas Carol’, Zack was that kid who everyone just adored.  But, these are not the attributes in a great athlete.

I was actually relieved when Zack and Slater became good friends…as the animosity between the two of them was uncomfortable at first.  It’s pretty obvious where this came from.  Zack had it easy before Slater arrived. Of course he’s going to be the alpha male when all he had for competition was Mikey (who by the way after an extensive Google search found out that he’s a hockey referee. I shit you not)!


Defining an athlete to me means that you sometimes need to step out of the competitive realm of sports and look at the man himself. For how he conducts himself off the field can be directly related to how he performs on the field. When Slater arrived, Zack shit the proverbial brick. Slater was everything he wasn’t. Well not until Zack started talking steroids (which coincidentally is chronicled in Dustin Diamond’s best seller “Behind the Bell”). Slater was the better driver, the better cook, the better ladies man and the better stage actor (don’t forget his heartbreaking turn as Tiny Tim). For the majority of the show’s run, Zack obsessed over 1 girl. Slater was like Brady 04’…hitting the available receiver (girl) time and time again (Muffin Sangria, anyone?).

I will always give Zack credit for all that he accomplished both on and off the field…but you don’t have to be (Good) Will Hunting to know that his achievements as an athlete are obviously not on the same level as Slater.  Zack’s Cadet Corpse Obstacle Course win is not remotely comparable to a Bayside Football Victory against Valley or even the pinning of the undefeated Nedick.   And if you think they are, then you are clearly a “California Dreams” fan.


From: “Dave D”
To: ”Kippah”
Sent:
Tue, March 22, 2011
Subject: Zack vs. Slater


Shouldn’t Dustin Diamond’s book been titled “Screeching to a Halt”, ss that’s what happened to his career? Zing! As for leadership, part of greatness on the field is the mental game. Zack was one of the great player coaches like Bill Russell, Lou Boudreau, Pete Rose or Bugs Bunny. Knowing where and when to be was Zack’s specialty. The specific, sordid details of how Zack hurt his knee in the locker room prior to a basketball game will never known but what we do know is that the team, which included Slater, was sunk without him. Belding went from giving the seminal “shoot your hopes and dreams” speech to completely throwing in the towel after Zack was injured.

Side note - once in softball I was in a slump, which is sad in it’s own right. I came up with the bases loaded and before the first pitch my teammate, Tom “Jibba Jabba” Hubbard, yelled “shoot your hopes and dreams”. I proceed to hit a grand slam. 

I failed to mention earlier that as a junior, Zack placed third in the mile against Valley. As a senior he was the best in Southern Cal. Improvement is a mark of greatness. I will concede the point that Slater threatened Zack’s status, even overshadowing said third place finish with, as Belding said, Bayside’s first championship in anything when he took state wrestling honors, but all this did is inflame Zack to new heights. Slater knew he was just a big, steroid puffed big fish in a one-hall pond, that’s why he pussed out of that Iowa wrestling scholarship. He went to Cal U because he was nothing without Zack, not that any of us are. He needed to curl up in the fetal position and feel the warmth and glow emanating from Zack’s hair and crotch. Zack is the sun around which we all orbit.

Aside from that uncomfortable duet between Slater and Spano, Zack WAS the Zack Attack. He could have been a male Madonna.  He predated Lady Gaga by fifteen years. She totally stole his act. How does this related to sports? Who do people pay to see? Stars. You’re not dropping 30K on a PSL to see Slater. Think of it this way - would you watch SBTB without Slater? Of course you would.  Hell, they did a whole season without Kapowski and Spano and nobody batted an eye, even when they showed up for graduation after skipping the entirety of their senior years. Would you watch SBTB without Zack? Of course not. 

I need to mention the Malibu Sands Volleyball game, because this is one of the rare instances when we have actual footage to go to. Zack was motivated. He had a classic mustang and the approval of the father of the girl he was currently porking on the line. The true athlete sees the goal, can define his motivation and, as Survivor taught us, “rise up to the challenge of our rivals”. Another great coaching move, he recruited Gary, that weird looking tall kid, only to be thwarted by that insufferable “stupid genius” Screech when he dropped a five gallon water jug on the dude’s foot. Zack not only outperformed Slater, who had a bad summer when combined with his obstacle course foibles, but he usurped Kelly, who was captain of the volleyball team. As far as film goes, all we have of Slater is him beating the aforementioned Nedick (no great feat, that) and those USFL-level highlight of the “Cream Burn” game. Nice highlight tape, Brillo Head.

In conclusion, I would also like to mention that Slater took a dive in an arm wrestling match against a nerd at the carnival so they could make enough money for the ski trip. Way to concede your morals. Zack, on the other hand, didn’t want to run after Chief Henry died because he knew it was about more than wins and loses. Slater compromised his competitive integrity while Zack’s was unshakable. Slater was the 1919 Black Sox of high school athletes. Zack merely lacked integrity in every other walk of life but what would the show be without heavy handed lessons to learn as a result of teen transgressions? You blame Zack for Slater’s drunk driving related shoulder injury? Who brought the beers? Football players. Who was the first of the gang to crack one? Slater. I blame the song “Wild Thing”.

One more thing: Zack may not have been on the football team but he would have made a stellar wide receiver. How do we know? His backward, leaping over-the-couch catch of Mrs. Powers’ replacement statue of The King. Elvis likes to face the kitchen. Suck on that, Big Red. 1502!

PS – Don’t you ever let me catch you bringing up Good Morning, Miss Bliss shit ever again OR comparing me to Stan and Dan Clegg.



From: ”Kippah”
To: “Dave D”
Sent:
Tue, March 22, 2011
Subject: Zack vs. Slater

I have already conceded that Zack was indeed the backbone of Saved by the Bell …there is no denying that…but this fact does not lend itself to our discussion.  Who is the better athlete?

As defined by Webster’sAthlete: A person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games required physical strength, agility, or stamina
How there isn’t a picture of A.C (Abnormally Cruel) Slater next to this definition is beyond me.

If Zack was such an athlete why did he steer clear of the truly physically demanding sports such as football and wrestling? Was he afraid of getting hit? Did he have hemophilia? Instead of participating, he chose to hide behind the KKTY microphone…it’s understandable…some people are meant to prosper on the athletic field (Slater) some are meant to prosper outside the realm of sports (Zack). I’m not sure what your issue is with Slater…the venom that you are spitting in his direction is unjustified.  AC became Zack’s biggest ally over the years.  Not many “manly men” would put their reputation on the line by slipping into a pair of tights to become a cast member of “Swan Pond” in order to help a friend graduate.  I’m sure people were chomping at the bit to assist Zack in putting Belding’s car back together after Jessie’s step brother Eric destroyed it.  And when Zack was glaring at the beautiful Pacific Ocean in a suicidal state (after watching his love Stacey Carosi leave for Boston) and was in desperate need of a friend…who showed up with heart wrenching line “How about 5 friends?”  By the way, Slater was a lifeguard at Malibu Sands and Zack was a waiter…and we’re discussing who was more athletic???  Hmmmm?

I firmly believe that Slater is a better athlete than Zack…but comparing Cross Country to Football is like comparing Friendship Forever Bracelets to Buddy Bands…everyone has different tastes.  So let’s agree to disagree and move on. But, I’ll bet you Johnny Dakota’s Purple Jacket that Jessie Spano had a higher IQ than Screech!


 

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