Throwback Thursday to the worst Nickelodeon GUTS contestant ever


There were some extraordinary teen-aged athletes on Nicklodeon’s classic TV game show GUTS. If you didn’t watch this show when you were younger then condolences to your childhood. Nothing got me going quite like a mad dash up the Agrocrag aka GUTS Everest. The snow, the lights, the buttons! That always boggled my mind. I knew I could get up that crag, but to do it without missing any of the buttons … extremely difficult.

Of all these extraordinary athletes — all of whom probably went on to be professional mountain climbers or white water rafters — J.R. was undoubtedly the worst of all-time.

“They call him “Baby D” because of the way he wears his bandana. Kids in the schoolyard say he looks a little bit like Deion Sanders.” — Mike O’Malley

That better be the only f*cking reason they called this kid “Baby D.” Otherwise, Deion should file a defamation lawsuit. Let me remind you that Deion Sanders is the only man on this planet to have played in both a Super Bowl and a World Series. At Florida State, Deion once played the first game of a baseball doubleheader, ran a leg of a 4 x 100 relay, and then returned to play the second game.

As for this kid, he nearly drowned in a wave pool while maneuvering an inflatable kayak. Without the help of that pony-tailed fellow, J.R. would have been fish food. Judging by the look of absolute terror on this kid’s face, you would have thought he was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

There should have been a reality series documenting this kid’s life after GUTS. Was he forever traumatized by this experience? What was school like afterwards? My God, I would’ve told my parents that we had to move. Maybe to a different country.

There’s a part two of course:

You know what, got to give some props out here. Pony-tailed fellow, I don’t know what J.R. would have done without you. He may not have survived GUTS without all your assistance helping him not drown and knock over bars while attached to a bungee jumper cable thing.

The water adventure was a major fail, but I get that. Some people just aren’t water people. I’m not a water person. I hate swimming. Swimming is for fish. I don’t like boats either. I would like to think that I would have managed to maneuver three foot waves at 12 years old, but can’t say for sure. I was and still am a terrible water person. I felt for J.R. there.

Event #2 though. I go both ways. For one, he’s on land now and all you really have to do is jump. The movie is called White Men Can’t Jump, not Pre-pubescent Black Teenagers Can’t Jump. I mean, he’s just knocking over those bars with absolutely no regard for human life. Cue Kevin Harlan.

But it’s possible that I’m being a little unfair here. I don’t know the logistics of the bungee cord jumping game, but was J.R. f***** from the beginning? It’s possible. He’s a pretty small dude and I’m sure that the cord needs to be adjusted based on how much the individual weighs … what I’m trying to say is that the fix may have been in. There may have been a GUTS Donaghy. Was O’Malley in on it? What about referee Mo? Pony-tailed dude? Was his assistance just a ruse? Don’t tell me it was just a ruse.

J.R. probably has a wife and kids now with little J.R. babies that can’t maneuver inflatable kayaks, but I would love to connect with J.R. and film a Tosh.O style ‘web redemption.’ A Schmo redemption if you will. So if you’re out there and reading this “Baby D,” the time is now. This is your chance to redeem yourself after all these years. I promise the fix won’t be in like it was on GUTS.


About Author

Divac is the Editor-In Chief of The Schmozone and founder of He is a fantasy sports maniac with terrible gambling habits and has a strange, irrational obsession with everything that is NBA legend Vlade Divac. Divac will be posting his outrageous commentary on daily sports topics in "The Daily Flop" section and one day dreams of being re-born as a mediocre Eastern European NBA journeyman.