Archive by Author

The 5 Sports Fans who Actually Have a Right to Complain

22 Feb

Every town that has a losing team in some professional sport decides that their grief deserves the most attention.  NO ONE has it worse than they do, except for the other towns that do have it worse.   And who cares about those fans you’ve never met?   They just don’t understand!   Boston fans were like this for a long time, and we loved them for it.  They were the Chicken Little waiting for sky to fall, the bottom to drop out, the good times to end.  That attitude was tragic then, and after their success it just makes them unbearable bad sports. “We KNEW we were going to lose to the Giants, that game was always going to turn out like that.”  Please cry into your 3 Super Bowls in 4 years.   This list is different.  These sports fans have not seen a championship in decades and have been forced to endure countless turmoil on top of their losing seasons.  These are fans so cynical and dejected that they basically support their hometown team only because it gives them some sort of self-hating pleasure.  Or they are transfixed, as we all are, in the prospect of next year…

To add some context for this list:

We only selected towns that had multiple sports franchises and only took into account professional sports franchises in the 4 major sports of Football Baseball Basketball and Ice Hockey.  It is too hard to consider college teams and if you are a fan of some smaller sport it doesn’t qualify as mainstream in our eyes.   We also factored in how intense fans were about the sports in question.  I understand the Florida Panthers have never won a Stanley Cup, but somehow I don’t think that hockey resonates with the general public down there.  So lets jump in, shall we?

"Remember these guys?"

 

5. Seattle, WA:  Mariners, Seahawks, Sonics.

A quick glance, Seattle has been a part of major sports since the 1970’s and the city does have one championship in 1979 for Basketball to hold onto. Their fans are passionate given that their 12th man has been notorious for coaxing NFL Quarterbacks  into off-sides penalties. They also have managed to sync a lot of their jerseys with the same lime green color which speaks to the unity a lot of fans feel with their sports teams. However, they have failed in every attempt since 1979 to secure another title in a major sport.  The Seahawks made their magical run to the Super Bowl only to lose to Big Ben. The Mariners have been lucky enough to find talents and draft talents such as Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, and Ichiro Suzuki. However, the market was just too small for the owners to afford to keep all their great players. They have watched all but Ichiro walk away in free agency or a last minute deal due to pending free agency without attaining much major success. These issues are frustrating enough for any town to deal with but the major reason they make this list is because of the franchise they lost.

The Seattle Supersonics were sold to a group from Oklahoma City in 2006 to become the franchise now known as the Oklahoma City Thunder. The idea at first was not to move team but that keyed on a new arena deal which seems to be a standard demand for most franchises these days. The team had a lease but was having problems staying in their current facility which prompted them forcing a legal battle to escape their lease earlier than was planned. This eventually was successful and the team was moved to Oklahoma in 2008. To add salt in the wound, the team had been SO bad for so long that owners had accumulated a number of high lottery draft picks in players like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Now the Oklahoma City Thunder (I don’t get it either) are one of the top teams in the NBA and seem ready to compete for the title for many years.  All that pain and suffering of losing your team punctuated by seeming someone else bearing the fruit of your losing seasons…not exactly a good feeling. David Stern’s grin fucking won’t go really far to soothing Seattle.  I personally don’t see how a consolation franchise could make you feel better.  That team doesn’t always have the same feel as the one that got away.  Any new Seattle team would have a clean slate and lack the history of the team that left.  Later, we will get into that type of pain in a little more detail.

....sure you are

4. Cincinnati, OH Bengals and Reds

The city of Cincinnati has a strong baseball history with the Reds but their team’s success has started to fade into history. They have been shockingly mediocre since their last World Series in 1990, and seem to spend more time debating whether Pete Rose (a member of the Famed Big Red Machine) should be in the Hall of Fame and less about the success of the current roster. But many midwest franchises have fallen on hard times recently with the financial explosion of baseball.  You either have to be ready to spend more money than the Philadelphia’s and the St. Louis’s or hope to draft well and put together the right combination of home grown talent (i.e. Moneyball).  This team is at least more dignified than the calamity of the Bengals franchise that is also in the city.

The Bengals have never taken home a title to the town which, much like the rest of the Midwest, adores football. But the way the Bengals fail have really made sports fans cringe. The countless draft busts in supposed franchise saving players such as Akili Smith, David Klingler and Ki-Jana Carter have been poster boys for the losing seasons that made most fans go to the games wearing paper bags.  They have made some recent strides at success but those years have not come without turmoil. Least we forget this video. The team had a group of selfish players, many of whom have become the poster boys for “character risks”. We aren’t talking about Chad Ochojohnson, we are talking about Cedric Benson being arrested, the tragic career of Chris Henry, the recent folly of Jerome Simpson (you know, the guy whose flip was on ESPN Top Plays for like 4 months), and Adam Pacman Jones because the team thought they could handle them.  Every time we see the Bengals have some success they punctuate it with off the field problems that lead to suspensions, and unfortunately, after this playoff run, one can only hope it doesn’t happen again

Worst 0 for 4 EVER

3. Buffalo, NY  The Bills and the Sabres

Buffalo at first doesn’t seem that tragic. The Sabres are a fairly old franchise that hasn’t managed to get over the Stanley Cup hump but they have very committed fans and a new hope with the Pegula ownership group. The Bills Fans are constantly at the top of the “Best Tailgating list.” The fans seemed really energized with the early season success of the Bills this year, and you have to respect the passion of these fans considering it’s so god damn cold up there. We just have to ask, if these fans are such dedicated fun people, HOW CAN THEY KEEP GOING AFTER LOSING FOUR STRAIGHT SUPER BOWLS. FOUR. IN. A. ROW.  IN.  FOUR. YEARS.  Jim Kelly has to be one of the saddest people out there.  You’d think that they would get lucky once.  You honestly cannot make that one up.  Is this the town that “Any given Sunday” forgot?  They haven’t made the playoffs since the late 90’s!.    Losing is one thing but long term failure after 4 straight heartbreaking defeats in the biggest football game of the year….just feels too tragic.  Maybe one year Buffalo finally win one, but that’s got to be just as bad as some of the baseball curses.

D'awwwww

2. Cleveland, OH Browns and Cavaliers, Indians.

Sorry Lebron. This isn’t all about you.

This is about the Cleveland Browns. A team that had its glory days back in the 1960’s. Their last playoff appearance was in 2002 and they have their own recent history of draft busts such as Tim Couch and Courtney Brown. The real tragedy was how they ended up losing their franchise for a few years.

Relocation stories can be tragic but some have happy endings.  The Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis, but Baltimore got a franchise and both the Colts and Ravens have won Super Bowls and enjoyed many winning seasons in recent memory.  Baltimore happened to get its franchise by relocating Cleveland’s historic franchise to Baltimore, and Cleveland got….an expansion team.  Nice.  Not quite the same.  Having an established franchise versus building one from the ground up just sucks.  You KNOW your team is bad and that you are going to have to endure early failures for at least 2-3 years before hoping to compete.  The expansion team got to keep the Browns name and legacy but that didn’t change the fact that the fans didn’t have football for THREE YEARS. The fans were famously violent after their final home game and did a number on the stadium. The real stick in the eye was that the new Baltimore franchise would go on to win the Super Bowl 4 years after relocation, which can only make fans annoyed that their team could have had a long awaited Super Bowl. Instead they lost their team and got to start over while many players that they drafted got to hoist the trophy the Dawg Pound has is still waiting for.

The Cleveland Indians have also been fairly unsuccessful outside of losing the 1997 World Series to the Florida Marlins. They last brought a championship to Cleveland in 1948, which just increases the championship drought of this town. LeBron James energized the town when he was drafted because he was a local talent who was tabbed as the next Michael Jordan, which made the town feel that long awaited success was just around the corner. But in the end, a few failed playoff runs made James make an over-hyped “Decision” to play with another group of All Stars in Miami. But he was not the wound, he’s merely more salt poured in the wound. He might get booed when he goes to play there, but Art Modell (Browns/Ravens owner) basically had to choose not to return to Ohio (not the worst thing ever).

You know, this New York

1. New York, NY.  Specifically a fan who supports the Jets, Knicks, Islanders, Mets.

I must be abundantly clear about this choice: I AM NOT GIVING NEW YORKERS A LICENSE TO COMPLAIN. I just happen to know a lot of people who support these 4 teams, and recent events have made me pity their sports choices. If you are a New Yorker who happens to like 3 of these teams but like the Rangers, Yankees, Giants..you are not a championship starved fan and are just a dick.

A New York Jets, New York Mets, New York Islanders, and New York Knicks fan. New York is that town that every league has been trying to cram two(three) franchises in since the dawn of American Sports. The owners’ thirst for consistent revenue has torn many New Yorkers in different directions when considering who to support. While you can’t say EVERY New Yorker thinks like this, you can’t deny that some of these sad sacks do exist.

The New York Jets have been forced to endure 4 crosstown Super Bowls since their lowly triumph in Super Bowl III when many Americans were still not into the NFL. Fortune gifted them Rex Ryan whose lust for feet and overselling his team have made two bad near misses at the Super Bowl hurt even more when the Giants celebrated. This year, the Super Bowl could have been named the Rex Ryan bowl. A scenario where the Jets fan was forced to either watch the Giants gain their second Super Bowl under once hated Coach Coughlin and Quarterback Eli Manning OR watch Brady and Belichick walk away with their Fourth Super Bowl in recent memory.

The New York Mets. Meet the Mets, Meet the Mets, Come on out and please please buy the Mets. This team has had its share of bad losses and hard luck but many fans seemed to take the high road because the Yankees were the evil empire and they were the likeable brother by default. They had their uplifting World Series titles that they could cling on to. But recent failures have made it hard to remember 25 years ago; the team has slammed into rock bottom because of their involvement in Bernie Madoff’s elaborate ponzi scheme defrauding investors out of countless amounts of money. Trustees are seeking over 386 Million Dollars from the club alone and that’s not the only problem with this. Many of the lucrative contracts the Mets were handing out over the years involved future bonuses, which they decided to sink into (wait for it) Bernie Madoff accounts.  No one can be an optimist in this situation. The team is in a financial hole that has WAY too many zeros in it. You can already see the fallout from this: the team was forced to watch beloved homegrown shortstop Jose Reyes walk to Division Rival Miami (Florida) without so much as an offer, and they will most likely be forced to watch another organizational favorite in David Wright walk away unless someone can find a way to walk them out of their multi-million dollar debt.

The New York Islanders. No one can remember, with much detail, the 4 Stanley Cups. The Islanders have made bad business moves, bad financial moves, bad free agent moves, bad management moves, bad drafting moves, bad political moves….just bad. The team was recently denied a new arena by voters and has even had press when season ticket holders were trying to find ways of destroying their tickets. I will only give you a couple examples of their poor moves because frankly I do not have the patience. Alexi Yashin was, once, a huge point scoring machine for the Ottawa Senators. The Islanders made a blockbuster deal to trade for Yashin by dealing the Number 2 overall Selection in the 2001 draft, forward Bill Muckalt, and a lankly 6’9” player by the name of Zdeno Chara. The draft pick was used for Jason Spezza who has been a very productive NHL player and Chara would go on to captain the Stanley Cup winning Boston Bruins. Yashin was immediately signed to a 10 year contract, which, even after being bought out in 2007, was counted against the Islanders salary cap until 2011. Next, Rick DiPietro, the number one overall selection in the 2000 draft was supposed to be the next big thing in goaltending (I’ll gloss over Roberto Luongo being drafted a few years before by the Islanders). They took him over two highly touted forwards in Marian Gaborik and Dany Heatley, (both turned into are very productive NHLers) while Rick DiPietro has been a perennial unhealthy scratch since he signed a 15-year 67.5 million dollar deal. They are going to be paying this man until 2021. I don’t know many players I would want to commit to for 15 years but a goaltender with a history of (sometimes comical) injury problems is NOT one of them. Seriously, were other teams beating down the door trying to sign this guy? He’s had how many surgeries? Done! Sorry, I’m going to stop, I’m actually starting to feel bad.

The Knicks have not won a title in a very long time and even with the Jeremy Lin era starting, there is very little to hold onto. They had good players during the Jordan era which means they didnt win anything and they also have had their own Islanders-esque contracts in Allan Houston and have seem incapable of truly breaking up with Isaiah Thomas.

So there you have it! These are the top 5 tragic sports fans. Feel free to disagree, I just felt the financial woes of the New York teams pushed them just ahead of Cleveland, but feel free to comment.  One can only hope that one of these cities gets lucky enough to see another championship. Here is a short list of teams that are quite close to making this list in the near future:

Minnesota: The Twins success just keeps fading into history and the Wild have not done much of note.  Oh yeah that Brett Favre thing didn’t really work either.
Kansas City: Chiefs haven’t been great and the Royals have not been competitive for a while.
Oakland: Billy Bean era may have run it’s course and the Raiders are…the Raiders.

The redemption list:

When I was making this list, I thought about what it would have looked like 10-15 years ago and it is rather surprising to see the cities that have fallen off it. This makes me think that the 5 cities on the list are truly cursed.

Philadelphia: Thanks to the Phillies, no more 1980 talk. I know they would love a Super Bowl but you can’t really complain that much after a World Series (or you can).

New Orleans: What a change. No longer the Aint’s, few of us can even remember that era anymore.

Tampa Bay: Just like the Saints, we can put away the Yucks nickname thanks to the Buccaneers.

Boston: Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins. Wow we learned to hate this town really really quickly.

A Bunch of Dicks including the Kardashians

21 Jul

Greetings once again to all of our loyal dick of the week followers.  We are so sorry that we neglect all of you for whatever reason that we do.  If you were a pet or house plant, you most certainly would have died.  I want to construct this post by building up to the dick I wanted to profile by inserting some stories that have recently been bothering me.

Our bad

Angry Birds reaches 300 million players.  Does anyone see the problem with this?  Every time I see a cut of hours spent of Facebook and Gmail and Google+ and angry birds…I question how much lost work time that is.  Seriously, I know way too many people who keep spare phone chargers at work just so they can keep those wonderful 2 hour battery life full screen wonders working.  Plus, it’s not like your gaining anything from this.  It’s a game of angles that allows you to knock things over….what is this?  pong, tetris, DXBall (classic 90s time waster). At least read some news, do something constructive.  But playing a crappy game that requires little to no skill really does nothing but waste your time with no benefit.  Just imagine how you’ll feel if your high score ever got deleted!  If you answer that question with anything even remotely close to despair, you are playing the game too much.

DX BALL

Over the weekend, a group of 5 Clemson students managed to get arrested for stealing breakfast cereal from the school cafeteria after hours.  This story was troubling for two reasons.  The first being the fact that college students went as far as to steal cereal…at night.  Seriously, cafeterias are tailor-made for little swipes here and there.  Loaf of bread here, ketchup bottle here, tub of ice cream once in a while (Panini Press?).  Are half of my plates and bowls from MY college cafeteria?  Maybe, but those luxuries are expensive and these ones were made for heavy-duty washing (Translation: Never buying new ones).  I also get all of my glasses from free giveaways at bars, but that is another story.  Going out of your way to steal something like cereal just puts you in needless legal trouble and honestly it’s more effort than it’s probably worth.  If you’re going to get busted, get busted stealing a whole pig or a bunch of steaks…..Not something like ramen.

After loans, this is all you can afford

The second (bigger) problem is that the bail for this crime was set at 5,407 dollars.  The crime involved 5 kids and bags of Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, Captain Crunch and Cocoa Puffs.  I don’t care if 5,407 STUDENTS raided the cafeteria after hours, these are college students.  The amount of money doesn’t matter in this case, it’s more the fact that it IS money.  Think about it, you just got robbed by 5 people who clearly could not afford cereal…I bet if bail was set at 20 dollars they would show up for court.  No need to flip out over a few dollars worth of cereal.

How dare you take things you paid for with your tuition!

And finally, our winner this day.  Kim Kardashian sues Old Navy over lookalike in ads.  Listen, I usually don’t pick on people who have intellects that rival a 4th grader, but this was just too ridiculous.  This lawsuit says that Kardashian “has invested substantial time, energy, finances and entrepreneurial effort in developing her considerable professional and commercial achievements and success, as well as in developing her popularity, fame, and prominence in the public eye.”  Here’s the thing, these commercials at no point reference Ms. Kardashian, they really only infringe on her by having someone who looks exactly like her.  In fact, this person might surpass her because, as far as I can tell, she can sing, which would be a step up.

Hold on, this is a tough one...

This is funny because usually lookalikes are a joke, good-natured humor about two people who happen to look strikingly similar.  However, most celebrities provide some talent that can’t just be visually mimicked.  Like the Obama double, you can’t really copy Obama.  You couldn’t copy Tom Brady because Tom Brady has a discernible set of skills that would make the difference between the two readily apparent.  Singer, writers, musicians, athletes all have a skill that really can’t be copied, which is exactly why Kim Kardashian got so very angry over this doppelgänger (No WAY she knows what this means) stealing her skill of….wearing clothes?  Smiling?  Oh, I’ve got it!  Being tan.  Seriously, if your only skill is being a rich airhead, you can’t get too angry when someone new and younger comes and takes your place in this market.  Right Paris?  Just because Jersey Shore and The Kardashians have taken all of your attention, you can still get by on your talents.  Have your dad pay to make you another album!  Or do another sex tape, those seem to go over well!  The sky is the limit….kinda.  Editor’s note: We are very sad that a class of people such as this exists.  So, Kim, we are sad this took so long but you win this dick of the week.

BREAKING NEWS: Being alive increases chances of death

27 Jun

Greetings loyal readers!  It is time for me to explain my extremely cryptic title.  Sorry, unfortunately this is not a joke….By being alive, you increase your chances of dying.   This is my attempt to digest the alarming trend in health related news that I have noticed and my attempt to explain it.  Now these stories spark the interest of the average reader because they seem simple enough, person X didn’t know what that swelling in the back of their throat was.  Oh it’s nothing, just let it go.  Get’s larger, cold drugs don’t work.  They decide to see a doctor and BAM cockroach in the throat!..Wait that was an urban legend?  But it didn’t stop the news media from writing about it, did it?

For you see, this area of news reporting is very easy to mistake for completely legitimate.  They consult with doctors, they bring real cases, and they can do some real good by alerting people to take better care of themselves.  Hell we only need to glance at the obesity rate to realize that we are killing ourselves with food.  But just because Sanjay Gupta sounds legitimate every time, it doesn’t mean he’s not trying to serve you up a nice steaming pile of sensationalist crap (Not to pick on Dr. Gupta persay, he just happens to be a figure I’d assume you’d all recognize).  But let’s get started, shall we?

Not Sanjay Gupta

Dr. Gupta wrote an article praising a study about how to live to 100.  Very interesting tag line “Live to 100 years old.”  Who wouldn’t want to do that?  Well, me for one…but that has more to do with a fear of adult diapers and a hatred of needles, which seem impossible to avoid at that age.  But the article points out all the little things that we can do to increase our lifespan.  Flossing adds a year, a 5-day work week adds a year and a half,  and I will say I tried really hard to complete this survey thing but I am suspicious of anything that asks for my zip code.  I did take a look at the framework and its pretty simple (+1/-1).

Subtract 4 years from life expectancy

So you can add yourself up a pretty nice lifespan or you could end up dead.  Phrasing things this way can make people think that something such as life expectancy is so easy to control.  If go on a +30 years vegetarian diet and get hit by a bus, well shit that was a waste of time.  Not to be crass but this ultimately is a method to gauge your overall health and you shouldn’t try to sensationalize it by making it seem so concrete.  Do I think making some of the changes would be beneficial to the average person?  Yes.  Do I think you’re going to be able to pin point that flossing was the reason you checked out at 87 instead of 85?  Probably not.  But we can’t phrase it in general terms can we?  That’s not interesting!  Let’s go for another fun one.

This guy is clearly anxious

Sitting. Television.  For those of you rubes who were unaware, you are 18% more likely to die early if you watch a lot of television and 40% more likely to die prematurely if you sit a lot versus not sitting a lot.  Holy shit we are pretty much fucked, right?  I mean these are the big changes.  Yeah you could floss but your job has you sit 8 hours a day! Not to mention going home and sitting watching television.  We call that the death double team.  Now you have to choose either dying from sitting on your fat ass all day or living and starving to death standing around to be unemployed.  Quite the dilemma.  And as you read on, the author mentions heart disease and other obesity related maladies.  Hmm it couldn’t be that people who lead largely sedentary lifestyles are more likely to develop health problems that could lead to their premature death, could it?  The guy sitting on his couch 8 hours after 8 at work is probably also the guy who orders an entire pizza for dinner, but, no….that sounds reasonable.  No one would bother to read that.  Oh and thanks for just tossing in the whole “men are 20% more likely to die than women.”  Which happens to be a running theme of these articles.

What's the betting this has something to do with it?

Yes, many of these writers correctly ascertain that men are not the normal demographic of these pieces.  Clearly, they realize we just don’t care if that fourth beer is signing our own death warrant, you’re not going to change us.  But what if you scared the women around us into putting pressure on us?  For you see, these articles all ways refer to us as “men” or “your man”; while women are addressed as “you.”  And here is what women are being told about us.  Just take a minute to drink it all in.  It’s quite fantastic.  You can’t be tired, because you have sleep apnea!  Pain in your stomach?  Kidney stone or tumor.  Shitting blood?  It’s wasn’t those 35 hot wings you ate; you’ve got bladder cancer….or tumors.  In fact, that seems to be the running theme of this article: If its not 100% functioning, go to the doctor because you might be dying from cancer and/or tumors.  You turned a well intentioned article about getting persistent medical problems checked out into HOLY FUCKING SHIT GET TO YOUR DOCTOR DO YOU KNOW HOW FUCKED YOU ARE!??!?!?!!?  And we take a moment to ask, why?  Because it sounds more interesting when you do it that way, and god forbid the author didn’t get any attention.  And when authors do this, they tend to create panic and make people worry about things that are really in their heads.

It’s like the guy who goes on WebMD and diagnosis himself correctly.  For every one of those, I bet there are at least 10 hypochondriacs climbing up the wall for no reason.  Take the 10PM news caster that leads in with, “There’s a rapist in your area are you safe?”  Yeah, it might be scary, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the normal precautions that you usually do for your safety.  The world’s a scary place but you don’t need to freak out about every little terrible thing that is occurring or that COULD occur.  I wouldn’t need to get agitated about it if stories like this weren’t posted ALL.  OVER.  THE. WEB.  To be fair this list of things killing men is actually wrong.  It should read 5. Beer 4.Beef and Bacon 3. Women 2. Unexpected cleavage 1. and sensationalist reporters who could barely pass as high school “journalists.”  But I digress.

These medical journalists can probably help a lot of people out by passing along information about eating right and exercising.  That’s good.  But if you’re going to start blowing things our of proportion to get our attention about how we live our lives, well that just makes you a dick.

Softball on the National Mall

12 Jun

Greetings to all.  Yes, we have returned from a brief hiatus to inform you of the people that we think are dicks in this world.  In the coming weeks we will continue to point out the most abhorrent people out there (famous and lesser known);  while at the same time, pushing to further explore the depths of meaning in the word “dick”.  We will not be doing the traditional “Dick of the Week” or “Dick Hall of Fame”.  Those titles can be rather restricting, so we are just going to inform you of a dick and give you as much information as we can at that time.  Now, let me draw your attention to a new phenomena which has drawn our ire lately.

Can you spot the American pastime?

For those who are unaware, the national mall is listed as having 15 softball fields on its premises.  15?  Really?  Where do they happen to partake in this activity?  On the grass in the middle of the mall.  Oh, that seems a little odd but let’s go further to explore this topic.  For the record, we are not against beer league softball.  If anyone needs THAT much of an excuse to sit around and drink with a bunch of people, more power to you.  Softball is the sport for you.  But the problem lies more with the type of people and location.  From experience, this environment is ripe for exerting dickish qualities.  The first example is the mutual circle jerk of past accomplishments.  Many of these participants are quick to point out that they were the MAN when they were in high school.  They were great athletes at every sport, and that makes them the best slow-pitch softball player around.  Phrases such as: Dude I was such a good baseball player back in the day or I was really good at baseball but decided to focus on other things.   Yeah, no. We totally believe you.  This completely explains why you are on a co-ed softball team and not playing on a major league baseball team right now.  And I am sure that you were the man on your Division 3C state championship team back in Delaware.  Next there is that element of taking the game just too damn seriously.

Even Kramer says that's a dick move

These are the guys you played flag football with back in college who took the time to draw up a play book and would actually call out plays instead of pointing at someone and saying “Run over there.”  Seriously, you have to accept that your athletic dream just didn’t happen, and the slow-pitch softball league is just not the place to let out your pent-up frustration.

But no, some players take the time to cut the sleeves off their 10 dollar team shirt with a terrible pun on it (Seriously why?).  You can also tell exactly who plays in these leagues because they are the ones who walk on the metro with their old bat bags from high school.  We get it, you play in a softball league, we don’t care.  And there is absolutely no chance of us engaging you to talk about it.  Though these are the guys you have to watch out for on the field because once they get those guts moving, Newton’s laws of motion allow them to put a bit of power into those fluttering pitches.  And those metal bats—wait, metal bats?  You guys use metal bats on the mall?  What is this, Tee Ball?  The mall is a tenth of a mile wide.  You need a metal bat to help you get that little bit of extra power to hit a larger ball thrown to you underhand?  Clearly that girl you’ve been hitting on is going to have to rethink your gallant sports stories from high school.  This is one of the few times that I will say safety is a slight issue.  The National Mall is a very high traffic area, and if you foul off a pitch (doesn’t seem that unlikely) you take the head off of anyone because honestly, it’s not a setting that one should be expecting to be struck by a ball.  By no means am I advocating for the safety tourists, in fact, I find the masses of color coordinated shirts to be rather terrifying.  And it should be legal to put your shoulder into the couple standing on both sides of the escalator when you’re trying to catch your train.  But I digress…

Playing these leagues on the mall really tears up the grass and ruins it for the rest other people because of cleats and those bases shoved into the ground.   Are we that worried that the integrity of this game will be tarnished if you home plate moves around? Because it’s not like the fees for the mall are covering the costs to regrow the grass.

The receding hairline of our nation

And at the end of the day, this is just an excuse to go out and drink away the dregs of the day, and it doubles as a shallow attempt to meet women.  Which I would not have a problem with if it wasn’t in such a public area.  A bunch of sweaty overweight congressional workers is not what our country wants to see.  Just go to the bars, please.  It’s just cutting out the middle man at this point, and we can stop the fake competitiveness.  This is just a poor attempt at socialization and half the time the teams are barely able to field full lineups.  Overall, things will be a lot better if they either stop playing these leagues on the mall or find somewhere else to play them.  And, if you’re going to drive around the mall screaming to your team that you JUST need to find parking, chances are we have labeled you a dick.

Dick Hall of Fame, Entry # 19: Ludwig Roselius

16 Mar

This is a very important entry for me.  It involves an issue very near and dear to my heart because my discovery of this substance at the age of six made me the man I am today (and helped me get through school).  This issue does not involve the fact that Mr. Roselius had a slightly positive opinion of National Socialism during the Third Reich (he may or may not have had a falling out with Hitler before his death).  We are not here to discuss any sympathies for unforgivable crimes that Mr. Roselius may or may not have had.  We are not here to debate the consequences of living in Germany and whether or not you could move against the hive mind that was created in the state.  And we are not going to debate whether or not his name makes him sound like a 12th century composer.  We are going to chastise this deceased individual for the creation that defines his legacy. DECAF COFFEE.

No one smiled in the 1920’s

Ludwig Roselius is the German inventor who created a process to remove the caffeine by superheating the green coffee beans with steam and then flooding them with the solvent benzol, a process he patented in 1906.  He did it because apparently he believed his father died from caffeine.  You son of a bitch.  To clarify with more source material: Ludwig is credited with the development of commercial decaffeination of coffee.  This may in fact be one of the most useless inventions since the creation of non-alcoholic beer or those jackets people put on pets.

If it can't survive with the fur it has, God didn't want it to live

Seriously people, coffee serves a purpose: keeps you awake.  Like beer it was supposed to be a singular function.  If you can’t stand the taste, you can’t drink it.  But, since people can’t let things just be, they created Smirnoff Ices and Starbucks.  And let me be clear, coffee tastes terrible.  It’s bitter, chalky and is barely palatable when you mix in cream or sugar.  So, why would this German inventor decide to take out the singular benefit of this brown elixir?  Shaddenfreude?  Why would anyone want such a product?  The only people whom this product could possibly cater to are old people, pregnant women, and people who have medical conditions that don’t allow them to drink coffee.  Ok.  That’s a rather small demographic.  I can’t imagine people missing the bitter morning ritual of pouring this steaming liquid down your gullet.  This is why smokers smoke.  When they quit they start drinking coffee until they give that up to start smoking again.  It’s cyclical  It’s called having variety in your life.

While I think I have made my point in this short space, I feel I should drive it home by pointing out the many health benefits of coffee.  Coffee has been known to reduce certain cancers, heart rhythm problems, strokes, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia.  And while there may be no solid proof that its the caffeine that causes these things, we ask why you wouldn’t take the safe route?  It’s like letting your cousin fix your brakes instead of a mechanic.  You pay more for the security of knowing the job was done right.  And given the alternatives, I think I speak for everyone here at Dick of the Week when I say, “I’ll hang out with the constipated people with brown teeth who yell at each other about their headaches at 4am.”  There, I think I go the bulk of the negatives out.

All of this ranting about decaf coffee who be unnecessary if this man hadn’t bothered to invent it.  And, I know, if it wasn’t him it would have been someone else.  Well I don’t give two shits about that.  He’s still the guy who invented it and if it wasn’t him, I would be writing about some other dick.  The point is, this is a substance that really has helped a lot of people get through tough patches of their lives when sleeping was not a luxury.  You gotta do what you gotta do, and it’s crazy to try to trivialize the importance of something that is so important.  If we didn’t have coffee, night watchmen might not stay awake, crab fisherman couldn’t get through the rough times, and we probably wouldn’t have as many lawyers (which actually might not be the worst thing in the world, but I digress).  Also, we have made the point before that people need to be responsible for how they use certain products, but pulling the old switcharoo won’t work in this situation.  But at least this can’t get any worse.

Wow, just when you thought it couldn't get worse.

Ok, I can kind of accept someone saying they love the smell of coffee and are stuck on the ritual of making it every morning, but if you’re going to try to drink instant decaf…just buy a diet Coke.  Seriously.  Instant coffee is even worse in taste and is really just there when you need something quick to drink.  I’m still not sure why Starbucks thinks you’ll pay 1$ a pouch for their decaf instant coffee.  Actually, I’m kind of glad that this guy lost rights to his brand of instant coffee after WWI.  So, there you have it, this German inventor who may have had Nazi sympathies is your new Hall of Famer for inventing the useless product: Decaf Coffee.

Dick of the Week, Mar. 7-Mar. 13: Massimo Busacca

13 Mar

Why hello all you happy viewers, welcome to this weeks dick of the week.  Having thought about this very fairly (?), I have decided to make Massimo Busacca our newest dick of the week.  Referees tend to be a subject that we shy away from attacking for several reasons.  1.  They are only human therefore it is always possible for anyone to find fault with them.  2.  Referees tend to make many mistakes and given the long list of evidence anyone can compile googling “Referee” and “Screw Up.”  3.  Everyone else does it so why would we follow everyone else?  We actually had 2 dandy examples this week when an entire officiating crew decided to not call an out of bounds play and traveling with 1.7 seconds left.  This was bad because it essentially gave Rutgers zero chance to come back after they called the game and a win for St. John’s.  However, the refs were back on the sideline and in action after withdrawing from the tournament.  Hey, refs are just part of the game right?  They, at least, admitted they were wrong and decided to withdraw from the tournament.

In soccer, or football or however you refer to that game where you kick the ball around on the ground and can’t touch it with your hands, the referees are given a lot of room to make judgment calls and impact the flow of the game.  Having refereed soccer games, one can never know when a player is faking, fell on his own, etc.  You have to rely on your own opinion and do the best to NOT change the game. Again, you don’t change the game and you don’t let it get out of hand.  The 85-year-old grandmother brandishing her walker and swearing might disagree, but what the hell, its your job and someone has to do it.

What Mr. Massimo did was the unforgivable crime of changing a game at the end of the game by giving one team a huge tactical advantage.  If you didn’t see, Massimo sent off Robin Van Persie in the 55th minute for shooting a ball 1 second after the whistle blew for being off sides.  1 second.  There were 35 MINUTES left.  You send the guy off for time-wasting with half an hour left in a game?  I suppose he forgot that referees add-on extra time to compensate for the time lost during the run of play because the clock doesn’t stop.

Who would have thought that this decision would actually look reasonable?

Yes, I’ll say it.  If the referee didn’t see this play as it happened, it’s OK to only give the guy a yellow.  If a guy had to be sent off for every player laying on the ground, the sides would never be 11 on 11.  As a referee, the last thing you want to do is ruin a match by sending off a player for little or no reason.  This is why time-wasting is generally only called in the waning minutes of a closer game when one side is attempting to kill precious few seconds.  Now, I understand that the stats are not in favor of Arsenal making a case the they were really going for the game….but I will refute that by saying NO ONE tries to out-play Barcelona at HOME.  Chelsea, Inter, Manchester United, and the Netherlands (which applies because most Barcelona play for Spain).  What is the common thread of all of these matches?  The away team goes to Camp Nou (or the World Cup Final) and either keeps it close or digs in for a DRAW in order to either steal the game late and/or take it to Barcelona at home.  You don’t usually attack Barca because you know they won’t let you control the game.  Arsenal wasn’t playing attacking football because that hasn’t proven to be an effective way to beat this Barcelona team.  Sorry, they weren’t playing anti-football because they wanted to, they were doing it because it made the most tactical sense being up 2-1 after the first leg.

But hey if they want to play with numbers, 2 goals and a good 10 shots (at least) followed Van Persie’s ejection, so let’s not lose our heads saying this didn’t change the match.  When you lose a man, it completely kills your team. Especially, if you are playing an up-tempo passing team such as Barcelona because they will run you into the ground if you can’t properly defend them.

The main point was that Busacca didn’t technically do anything wrong according to the laws of the game.  But according to the laws of the game, any player who lies on the ground in pain and gets up 2 seconds after a foul is given should PROBABLY be carded.  Any person who takes A STEP inside the 10 yard barrier of a free kick should be whistled and the kick should be retaken.  Shit, half of the insults that are said in other languages should be carded.  And EVERY player who wasted 1 second should have been shown a yellow if that was the way Busacca was calling the game.  If I were an Arsenal fan, I would  re-watch EVERY SINGLE GAME this guy referees and compile a list of every incident that matches Van Persie’s cardable offense.  I may be vindictive enough to do this, but it’s not my team and I don’t have enough time to attempt it.  It’s just bad gamesmanship, maybe he was looking for a red card after giving out so many to Arsenal in the first half, I don’t know.  But now we are all talking about this referee and not giving full credit to Barcelona, which is usually what referees try to avoid.  So, my congratulations to Massimo Busacca for ruining a really good football match by kicking a player out for an offense that most referees choose to ignore under similar circumstances.

 

All referees actually work for Match.com

At least it nothing has happened to the players or coaches yet after they literally called the referee a joke.

Dick Analysis: Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez

1 Mar

Who?  I thought this was Charlie Sheen week.  You shmucks lied to me.

Wait, wait!  Hold on there!  This man is the FATHER of Carlos Irwin Estévez, you know…

This guy?

Actors, apparently, have these stage names to appear more “common”.  Ergo, these individuals changed their names to seem more like “average” Americans.  To avoid ethnic bias in hiring, he chose the first name Martin after a good friend, and Sheen after Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, who had a popular TV show in the 1950s.  See?  He and Charlie both changed their names.  Did you think Emilio Estévez was adopted?  Anyway, we are not here to discuss Americans’ opinions of foreign names or to discuss the cut throat nature of the film industry…we are here to find out where Charlie Sheen came from and why he is this way (Oh, if only it were so simple).  As the father of Charlie, one could reasonably infer that Martin Sheen is an awesome addict who has Adonis DNA or is half tiger (he’s not).

He WAS arrested for crossing a line in protests at a military base as part of over 70 (political) arrests.  As a long time liberal (so the character was not THAT off base), he has been a valuable political figure given the popularity of the show the West Wing. He has gone as far as to endorse political candidates and stump for them (for example, Howard Dean).  Wait a moment, wait a moment…January 2004, what happened during that campaign?  Dean didn’t win the nomination, but I remember some important event happening on that day!  What was it…

Ah yes, that's the one.

Welllll we can’t always get them all right, can we?  Pretending to be a sage political president who is both a savvy public speaker and highly educated doesn’t mean you can pick ’em, does it?  But being a democrat and being arrested for political activism doesn’t put one in the same league as his son or a bad American (Some would say it is MORE American).  He has been considered very religious, why hasn’t that translated to his children (i.e. Charlie)?  Ohhhh, Sheen is a reformed alcohol abuser. The heart attack he endured during the filming of Apocalypse Now in the Philippines led him on a four-year spiritual journey that culminated in his return to Catholicism.  Now, Charlie makes a little more sense considering his father’s, wait, Apocalypse Now?  That move is fucking cool.  But I digress.

Martin clearly has some demons in his past that he overcame by finding God.  Perhaps Charlie can find his way through religion to purge the “cancer” of addiction.  Oh no.  While he respects his father’s beliefs he does not think the jibberish of fools will be allowed inside his brain.  We here at DOTW sincerely wonder what IS allowed to penetrate his brain, but all things considered, “thanks but no thanks” is a lot nicer way to talk to your dad, right?  You won’t say something ba-“Jeez, dad… shut it!”  This would probably explain why Martin is considering having a conservatorship obtain control over how Charlie spends his money…  I’m sure that will create an interesting reaction.  However, Martin Sheen’s overcoming addiction and finding religion could serve as a valuable example to Charlie.  As they shared a similar problem, it is possibly that his son can find the same peace he did.

As we see it there are two ways to look at this relationship, as we see it from the countless interviews.  Charlie sees that his dad really cares and is trying to help him out.  He cares about his dad, hell he got a quote from Apocalypse Now on his chest.  But your dad’s advice probably sounds tired and overdone at the time you are 45.  And when you’re really not willing to accept help from anyone you like to remind your father of certain things…

“When I was 7 years old, I woke up on the school bus behind the last seat. The bus had been driven downtown somewhere I had never seen before parked where they park buses. I was 7 and had to find my way home. That was pretty gnarly. I woke up and went, ‘This ain’t Malibu.”

It’s that low blow that kids get to put on parents when a third-party says, “does your dad do anything funny?”  You can say he cut a tree limb that fell on his neighbor’s car, slipped on the ice, orrrrrr forgot to get you from the bus so you ended up miles away from where you live with no idea how to get back….Funny.

To sum it alllll up on this grand Sheen-tastic week.  Martin Sheen had an interesting past but it’s doubtful that his alcohol abuse or political activism can be seen as the cause of Charlie’s addiction.  Well, Charlie won’t even admit to being addicted so I guess he hasn’t done anything immoral so this post served as a giant waste of time.  That being said, Martin Sheen may have left the country to avoid the constant media barrage that is his son.  So, we expect little else to come from him on this topic.  Clearly he has voiced his opinion and has left it at that.

Hmm, while Charlie’s mother has been relatively active  and in unison with her husband; I wonder what some of his brothers think?  Perhaps, Emilio Estévez?  I could not find anything on Charlie’s brother, so, I was forced to make my opinion based on the beginning of The Mighty Ducks.

 

"Breathe, Blood or Urine?"

“No thanks, I’m full.”

What a line.

Too bad Charlie Sheen doesn’t have a peewee hockey team filled with endearing, rag-tag misfits like his brother, Gordon Bombay.  I guess we have no choice but to sit back and see what happens next.

Dick of the Week, Feb. 21-27: NOT Moammar Gaddafi

27 Feb

Well here we are once again, another week and another dick to choose.  I have thought about this one long and hard, and I cannot declare another tyrannical executive to be the Dick of the Week.  I can’t do it.  Granted this man has been oppressing his people and is preparing to fight them in an increasingly bloody exchange.  This man has criticized the UN and even torn up a copy of the charter before the Security Council.  Any man is willing to order military action against his own people is an absolutely deplorable individual not worthy of our satire. The saddest story was when a plane full of soldiers crashed because they REFUSED to bomb their own people.   I don’t know anything more telling than that.  You military has refused an order because they are even beginning to question your leadership.

The dumbest statement of all has been that Gaddafi mentioned that he would become a martyr after this conflict was over.  I realize he has been a fixture of the past revolutions and as leader he has a certain image within the nation.  But really, it’s not for you to say whether you will become a martyr.  In fact, it’s really just insulting to the memories of people that ARE martyrs.  You don’t get to say that people will remember you; not really your call.  And I’m not really sure you’re going to be an admirable fixture for the people you’re bombing.  They probably won’t all say, “well at least he fought for a cause.”  Clearly this man is insane and the events that have transpired aren’t something I really want to comment on any further.  SO let’s try this again, Take 2.

Dick of the Week, Feb. 21-27: Zachary Adam Chesser

This is going to a different situation because this was an incident that happened long ago, but I am very excited about the precedent set by the result.  Zachary Adam Chesser was the man who encouraged violent retaliation against South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone after they depicted the prophet Mohammed in a bear suit.  It was a joke, as stupid as it may have been, it was a satire of the fact that it is wrong in their religion to create a picture of the Prophet.  They didn’t actually show him, no one should take too much offense to it.  They are not the first ones to push this envelope and they probably won’t be the last.  What I liked was the fact that this man got 35 years in prison for such a threat.  I think civilized discourse is an important thing to have in our society, and one of our most redeeming qualities is that we can (for the most part) respectfully disagree with each other (at least normal people can).  If you found the South Park joke offensive, you are free to call the creators idiots or uninformed or just respectfully say that you found it offensive.  But what you cannot do is threaten violence against them.  Don’t watch the show or just don’t pay attention to it.  If it becomes ok to say that, then it’s ok to say it back, and that’s a very slippery slope.  So, I am very happy that the price is so high when you try to threaten someone for using their free speech.

Now, to the ones who came close.

Sent from My Congressional BlackBerry

(Former) Congressman Christopher Lee (R-NY): Hey, I thought he was already a runner-up, you can make the list more than once?  Yes, sure why not? If you keep being a dick, you are always in the running.  See, his prompt resignation not too long ago was understandable but seemed a little over the top.  Did he have a little something to explain to his wife?  Yes, he did.  But as we reported, he was not necessarily taking part in an activity that is uncommon in the world.  What we DIDN’T know was that he wasn’t only looking for women.  Apparently he was a classy guy looking for passable transsexual to spoil.  My first reaction is that I never ever ever want to find out how one spoils a transsexual, and, suddenly, we know why he was so quick to leave.  Womanizing is one thing, seeking sexual encounters with “people in transition” is something entirely different.  I would have liked to see him stay in Congress just to see the questions that people would ask him on the floor.  CSPAN would have gotten a lot more interesting, I’m just saying.  Having to explain marital infidelity, tough.  Having to explain marital infidelity involving women who were men, uhhh good luck with that.  

Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs: This guy is standing trial for polygamy, marrying underage people, you know the usual crimes involved with these whacky religious cults.  Then, he ousted 45 members in his church because they were a threat to his leadership, which he was still active in from jail.  My first reaction is to say way to snitch on your friends and take more people away from their families…wait, you thought that 45 of your high-ranking members were a threat to your leadership.  How big is your church?  10,000.  Wow, 10,000 polygamists.  That’s a little creepy that there are so many of these people out there.  I’m going to keep this one on the list because this guy helped reveal that there are more than 2 other people like him, and that just freaks me out.

Dick Hall of Fame, Entry #17/Everyday Dicks: The Condescending Vegetarian

23 Feb

Well I feel like this hybrid post requires some explaining to all of you.  See the two of us had been talking about a few things; mostly that we just hated judgmental vegetarians, how much we LOVED meat, and how I have been quite lazy and owe our loyal viewers another post or two.  Am I being a little lazy combining two posts I normally do?  Oddly not.  For you see, we had discussed how to bring this topic to the front, but we weren’t sure how to classify it.  I think we all know an irritating vegetarian as much as we have heard of a celebrity or two who just loves to report about how terrible it is to eat meat.  So, I didn’t think I could keep this to a short post, and I didn’t want to lose the Everyday Dick aspect of this.  Spoiler: I am sitting here drinking whiskey next to a slab of bacon just like any Red Blooded American. So, I think we really need to set this topic up with some clarifications.

First, I have to clarify that I have no problem with people who are vegetarians.  Honestly, I don’t care what you eat, it doesn’t bother me.  It’s like my opinion of gay people: do I care if men have sex with men?  No, just don’t do it in front of me.  I don’t want to see some 75-year old politician having sex anymore than I want to see gays having sex.  I think this is one of the main topics of this blog; we don’t care what you do with your life, we just care if you insist on shoving it in our faces.  So, to the point, we don’t care that people are vegetarians (for the most part) What we do care about… people who like to make carnivores feel guilty.  You all know this person, you don’t see someone (College, Job, Etc.) for a while or someone moves away and they come back to inform you, “Oh, I decided to become a vegetarian, and stopped eating all meat.”  Fine, something going on in your life that you decided to inform me of, but they just can’t help themselves.

“I just stopped eating meat, I realized it was murder.”

“Can you believe that people still eat meat, no one I know does that anymore.”

“I don’t understand how anyone can eat meat.”

Ok, that’s enough.  It’s nice that you have made a change to your life that you see as positive, but thank you for laboring under the assumption that I have done the same.  Guess what, I haven’t.  And I have no plan to do so.  Because you found some new age religion, met a girlfriend who made you do this, or did this because you thought it was cool, I have decided to stop giving you the benefit of the doubt.  Now you get to know what I think.

I am going to shamelessly plug Epic Meal Time right here.  It is out of context, but I think they have some of the coolest videos I have ever seen.

Speaks for itself.

Moving on, meat is awesome.  I love bacon.  Bacon is one of the greatest gifts man has received.  And there are some interesting things that you will hear from these vegetarians (besides them calling you murders for you actions).  Because they don’t eat meat, they will freak out if they don’t get enough protein because they cannot get what they need from vegetables.  My favorite example of this was a friend who kept a jar of peanut butter next to his bed because he loved peanut butter.  Which was funny and gross until he became allergic to peanuts.  Meat is part of a basic diet, so you need to compensate for taking it out.  As humans, we climbed to the top of the food chain for a reason.

Nature

I don’t think there is anything wrong with eating meat, I just don’t want to have to think about my diet in terms of math.  I don’t want to think about the plant that is going to give me enough protein to survive a simple day of work.  Most people choose to eat meat because it tastes good and it’s easy.  And I will remind you vegetarians that the one thing that you CAN’T replicate with tofu is bacon.  Bacon may be the silver bullet to bring you to our side, I don’t see vegetables doing that to us carnivores.

But what do the celebrities think?  What do the people think?  Adam Richmond is the star of a food show called Man v. Food where he consumes copious amounts of fat laden food..especially piles of meat.  This show has become such a niche classic I’m tempted to call it the Crocodile Hunter of this decade (RIP Steve Irwin).

Ironic death: Starvation

Celebrities, as we have pointed out, have unique opportunities to garner public attention and raise awareness of issues.  Fair enough, we simply don’t have the microphone that these people do.  But its when they make videos that our vegetarian friends like to inform us of such as this.  This is a deeply graphic and disturbing video that most people would not like to see.  It is footage of meat plants and how animals are treated when they are slaughtered.  Again back to our original point, we derive no pleasure from the slaughter of these animals, it is simply our food source and we enjoy it for a number of reasons.  Do you think this is funny, does this amuse you showing people what happens to animals because you think it will change us?  I agree that these animals should be treated more humanely but there are 300 million people to feed in this country and these ranchers don’t always have the time and space to treat these animals as humanely as we would like.  And I’m not sure how animals would react to the choice of a painful death or pleasant death.  They would probably just say, “You’re going to do WHAT to me?!?!”  Ok, you want to play this game? Let’s play.

There are over 300 million people in this country and over 7 billion people in the world, how do you expect to feed them all? With 1.6 billion people living in poverty and over 16,000 kids starving to death every year, I don’t think these people have the time to be picky eaters.   At the end of the day it costs a lot more to be a vegetarian.  Salads are more expensive than those dollar cheeseburgers McDonald’s likes to sell.  And, as we have said, most people don’t have the time and energy to go and buy vegetables to engineer their diets (or they just can’t afford it).  So maybe you should think about it next time you try to tell someone they are a terrible person for eating meat. Oh god, seriously don’t click on that link, I’m not sure what it is but I wasn’t going to stick around long enough to find out.

Am I defending carnivores? Yes, as long as it takes for these overzealous vegetarians to chill out.  I just think that most people want to live their lives, and there are more factors in their life than whether or not they eat vegetables.  Now to show that there are no hurt feelings…for the vegetarians.

Dick Hall of Fame, Entry #16: Mikhail Prokhorov

22 Feb

In an attempt to include all of the sports, I would like to present you with a massive dick from the land of professional basketball.  Now, are most basketball players ego driven and selfish ergo “dicks” to begin with?  Yeah, kinda.  Will I be overly disappointed if the NBA locks out because the players want more money when the owners are, in fact, losing large amounts of money?  Probably won’t lose sleep over it  But this entry brings a lot more to the table.  Specifically money.  He is not a man like the rest of the mortals.  He is the one thing more powerful than Superman AND Wolverine…combined.  He is…a Russian Billionaire.

Because owners of New Jersey Franchises get to meet with the Mayor of New York all the time.

Yes, the New Jersey Nets were purchased by a Russian billionaire who seems hell-bent on making them a force in the NBA.  Fair enough.  This is the natural progression of global commerce and a free market.  The interesting side of this story began not THAT the Nets were sold, but the awesome stories surrounding the new owner.  To be fair, I’m not sure how you begin to build a global brand from New Jersey to Brooklyn to Moscow.  Mikhail Prokhorov has assumed great personal wealth to the tune of $9.5 Billion or $13.4 billion (I’m not going to quibble over billions) at 6’8”, he is an avid athlete who loves competition as much as the next man.

This one really hasn’t sunk in yet, but fear not!  This is not the story, this is merely background information to set up the grandiose person who lurks beneath this drab/seemingly stereotypically stoic appearance.  While this man has billions of dollars he has also lost 10 billion dollars and doesn’t care if you read his magazine (which may not have the most “legitimate” finances).  How much money can you have that you don’t care about losing money on one of your assets?  What kind of life do you lead?

Sure, every rich person tries to do this

Well he has also been known all over for his daredevil stunts including jet skiing, not to mention the fact that he has played basketball and is an avid workout nut. He is also considered to be controversial by a Nets web site. Models, financial questions, and a notably extremist mentality when dealing with people and business. I think we have something to work with.  Oh and there was a little issue where he was throwing parties where he was buying prostitutes for people.  He has done the amazing magic act of making the Nets appear legitimate. Though he did have to eat about 100 million dollars in debt from the team (which kinda shows how fragile the NBA is, but I digress).  Let’s go with one of the biggest dick moves anyone has EVER pulled.

A middle finger would have been cheaper and more direct

This is a copy of a GIANT billboard that Prokhorov and his business partner Jay-Z put up in the Knicks backyard.  When I say backyard, I mean they put it in New York City.  When I say they put it in New York City, I mean they possibly put it in Manhattan.  When I say they put it in Manhattan, I mean the put the thing RIGHT THE FUCK ACROSS THE STREET FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN.  A 225’x95′ mural right across the street from your local rival.  I gotta say I respect the audacity but wow are you a dick.  The Nets, who have a minimal history mired by losing, had the balls to buy a mural mocking the Knicks.  That would be like the Pittsburgh Pirates coming to town to mock the Yankees.  Normal people just don’t try things like this.  Humility is not a word you will find in this article.  And he has changed the game in pursuing free agents (because why the hell not).

Remember the incessant Lebron decision?  Yeah that was a dick move too.  But he also got the Nets in the running for Lebron based on making him a global icon and a billionaire.  Lebron, who famously said he wanted to win now, was tempted to go to a team that got the 3rd overall pick and was in danger of setting a record for the most losses to begin a season.  Why would he want to go there?  Because when a guy says I’m going to make you a billion dollars, you listen.  If you’re a free agent, you can be sure that you’ll get the opportunity to sit and have a vodka with this guy.

And, with a current example, Carmelo Anthony was also being courted by the Nets.  Again, we ask why he would want to go there  But, I see something deeper in this based on what the Nets were offering for Carmelo.  As we know, Carmelo wanted and got to go to the Knicks.  But look to what the Nets offered.  4 first round picks and 2 players that WERE first round picks.  Think about this for two seconds, a team in line for a lottery pick trading 4 of its next picks and 2 of it’s decent players just for one player (basically).  That doesn’t look like a situation for winning basketball, but what it does look like is a guy upping the ante just to screw over his rival team.  Did the Knicks give up too much? Maybe, but they sure as hell were not going to get a steal on this one.

While it’s not for us to say anything about how this man may make his finances or the legitimacy of his businesses, we do know he is an all-time dick when it comes to how he runs his team.  And we love it. I see no signs of the relentless taunting coming to an end with the Nets moving to Brooklyn.  Hey, I guess you’re allowed to talk back when your rival has made such brilliant business moves.  What is it about New York sports franchises and creative business moves (see Carl Pavano, Alexei Yashin, Rick DiPietro, I should stop).  See, we went an entire post without saying anything stereotypical about rich, successful Russians.

I couldn't help myself.

Hey, at least I didn’t call them the Nyets.