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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.

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Dick of the Week, Jan. 31 – Feb. 6: Daniel Snyder

8 Feb

This week’s Dick of the Week is Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins.  Now, I’m not a Redskins fan (thank God), but as a resident of the good city of DC, I can say that it’s difficult to escape the disdain in which Dan Snyder is held by most Washington fans.  Since Snyder purchased the team, the Redskins’ record is a mere 86-106, with only two seasons in which the ‘Skins finished above .500, a futile stretch by any definition.  And while Lions and Bills fans may shake their heads and point to their own teams’ futility, it is important to consider that not only has Snyder failed to bring success to the Redskins’ franchise, he has done so while drastically overspending for overrated free agents like DeAngelo Hall or Albert Haynesworth, only to see these greedy and immature athletes (surprise!) stop giving a shit about football once they start cashing their paychecks.  With 2010’s trade for Donovan McNabb, Redskins fans finally thought that perhaps Snyder had done something right and gotten them the franchise quarterback they so desperately needed; however, McNabb’s subsequent benching demonstrated that, hey, maybe the Eagles knew what they were doing when they traded their starting quarterback within the division.

Snyder’s history of incompetence is well documented, but I’m afraid I don’t want to delve into it here because I don’t want Snyder to, well, sue me.  Besides, the Washington media has covered Snyder for a solid decade now, and they can almost certainly do a better job than I can.  In fact, in November, Washington City Paper writer Dave McKenna wrote an article titled “The Cranky Redskins Fan’s Guide To Dan Snyder.”  The beginning of the article contains the following passage:

“So before we welcome the New Dan Snyder, let’s look back at the one we know. That’s the Dan Snyder who left his mark, or stain, on more than just a football team. That’s the Dan Snyder who got caught forging names as a telemarketer with Snyder Communications, made a great view of the Potomac River for himself by going all Agent Orange on federally protected lands, and lost over $121 million of Bill Gates’ money while selling an “official mattress” while in charge of Six Flags. That’s the Dan Snyder I’ve found to be the most fascinating and consistent man on the planet, responsible for the hilarious and/or heinous deeds outlined in the following pages.”

Yeah, it pretty much goes downhill from there.

Oh, Redskins fans. You are a silly bunch.

One would expect Snyder to take the article for what it is: a tortured Redskins fan expressing his frustration at the team’s lack of success by taking a few potshots at the owner.  Is the article malicious?  Certainly not.  It was almost certainly designed to give unhappy Redskins fans a few laughs, so as to momentarily forget that their multi-million dollar quarterback was sitting on the bench, their starting running back was out for the year, and their record-setting free agent defensive tackle was in a never-ending feud with, oh yes, their overrated coach.  Of course, that isn’t all Dan Snyder’s fault–but can you really fault Redskins fans for taking out a little anger with some (very funny) creative writing?

Dan Snyder sure can!

Indeed, Snyder’s attorney wrote a letter to the Washington City Paper essentially demanding that Dave McKenna be fired, or else legal action would be taken.  If you’d like a few laughs, you can read the letter itself here.

If you didn’t read the letter, Snyder’s attorney essentially states that McKenna made false allegations regarding Snyder’s alleged past transgressions (such as allegedly forging names as a telemarketer–Snyder really seemed to have a problem with that one), and that he has a history of negative coverage of the Redskins (which should be understandable since the Redskins’ record has been…you know…negative).  But the most laughable part of the letter comes when the lawyer essentially accuses McKenna of being “anti-Semitic.”  What evidence, you ask, do Snyder’s people produce to back up this claim?

This picture:

I...uh...no offense, but that accusation itself might reflect some anti-Semitism.

Is…is that picture anti-Semitic?  It’s certainly not flattering…but (and I’m just GUESSING, here) it looks to me like McKenna is, I don’t know, saying that Dan Snyder is the DEVIL.  Which I guess says something about our society that individuals like Dan Snyder are more worried about being portrayed as “stereotypical” Jews than they are about being portrayed as THE FUCKING DEVIL.  Granted, I’m not Jewish, so my grasp of Jewish persecution is tenuous at best, but…come on, it seems pretty Goddamn cut and dry in this case.

So, Dan Snyder has unbelievably thin skin.  We get that.  He also clearly has a tremendous lack of self-awareness, or he would realize the Dave McKenna’s article perfectly reflects how the majority of Redskins fans feel.  That lack of self-awareness has led many to point out that, by threatening a lawsuit, Snyder has entered a public relations battle that he has absolutely NO hope of winning.  In fact, one Washington Post writer even points out that the lawsuit may have even more damaging unintended consequences: the Redskins, who had been hoping to move their team offices back into DC, may find themselves continuing to be stranded outside the city.  Is it the end of the world?  No.  But it’s just one more inconvenience unwittingly foisted on the Redskins by their owner.

Oh, wait a minute.  Have I been saying that Snyder was threatening to sue?  My mistake!  As of February 2nd, Dan Snyder actually sued the Washington City Paper, digging himself even deeper into a hole of his own creation.  The media outrage has been swift and, in a word, hilarious.  The good people at Deadspin have started a feature called “We Are All Dave McKenna,” which will run every day until, in their words, “Snyder’s dumbass lawsuit gets thrown out of court.” We’ve got to respect that.  And while we don’t have the readership to make a daily feature worthwhile, we will follow their example and direct you to the Washington City Paper Legal Defense Fund, where readers can make a donation to the legal defense of the Washington City Paper.  Because I think we can all agree that our right to criticize the idiots in charge of our favorite sports teams is INALIENABLE!  Also, “freedom of the press,” or something.

Bill of Rights whatever, just shut up and let me criticize Jeremy Jacobs.

Snyder is a fool.  I say that not as a football fan criticizing his performance as owner, but as a human being criticizing whatever thought process went into this lawsuit.  When your team performs as badly as the Redskins have for the last ten years, the owner of the team is almost certainly going to take heat.  The fact that Daniel Snyder has made himself a public figure as a result of his aggressive personality and nonstop meddling in Redskins personnel decisions makes it even more certain that he will find himself in the line of fire, and often.

The story of Dan Snyder honestly makes me sad, because Snyder seems like one of us.  He made his fortune relatively young and decided to buy a football team, something that any of us would love to do.  The man has lived the dream.  But for Redskins fans, Dan Snyder’s dream has turned into their nightmare, as their rich, young, optimistic owner has turned into a hypersensitive bully, unable or unwilling to hear a negative word about his performance.  Snyder’s lawsuit will almost certainly be thrown out, but it has already told us more about how big of a dick Dan Snyder is than we honestly would have cared to know.

Honorable Mention:

Charlie Sheen: Honestly, I’m giving Charlie Sheen an honorable mention for no particular reason this week.  None at all.  It’s just…we haven’t really mentioned Charlie Sheen yet, and that is wrong.  Charlie Sheen is one of the biggest dicks in the entire world, and he manages to live a life that the rest of us would bomb a children’s hospital to live.  A short time ago, the man was hospitalized after a two-day coke bender spent partying with five porn stars.  That doesn’t even make him a dick, that just…Goddammit, Sheen!  We might just have to give him an honorary Mel Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hero of the Week:

This is a feature that I have not done before, but I’ll be damned if I’m not giving it out this week to a real, true hero.

Paul Haggis: No doubt none of you have ever heard of Paul Haggis.  Haggis was a top level Scientologist who became disenchanted with the “Church.”  He left Scientology and helped the New Yorker write a lengthy and comprehensive exposé on its devious practices.  That exposé is now available for all to read, and we recommend that you do.  Our distaste for Scientology is well documented in previous posts, and we firmly believe in the notion that the more you know about cults, the less likely you are to be brainwashed by them.  Enjoy the article; you probably have only a limited time in which to do so before the Church of Scientology sues them and forces its removal.

Dick of the Week, Jan. 24-Jan. 31: Robert Burton

7 Feb

Well we are all late this week so we have to start with something that makes sense.  Money.  Money makes the world go round.  In America, in Europe, and in all of our colleges.  And, money apparently does have a very big impact on college athletics (Supposedly).  Oh wait, I didn’t go to a big name school, sorry.  But apparently most big name schools will have big name donors fund their athletic departments for things such as scholarships, facilities, trips, and to sign players.  The argument for all this expense is that it brings positive attention to the college and much of the benefit will trickle down to the entire student body.  Fair point, I suppose.  We aren’t going to get into the cloak and dagger of the BCS or the whistle blowing of Death to the BCS, which happened to report that Florida made $47,000 total winning a national championship (That’s like 2 AND A HALF scholarships).  The NCAA yanks schools around but what most of us don’t see is what the donors do to the schools.

Robert Burton is an exceedingly wealthy man who clearly is very passionate about football.  He has, until now, graciously donated millions of dollars to The University of Connecticut (UConn)’s budding football program, which recently enjoyed its best season ever.  However, as does happen in life, the football coach saw a greater opportunity and decided to depart for another university; leaving UConn with the task of replacing him.  Fair enough.  And one can reasonably expect that many people were consulted in the decision to hire a new coach.  Robert Burton felt his voice fell, shall we say, on deaf ears.  He felt so disrepected that he has taken the liberty of severing all financial ties with the university and demanding the return of over 3 Million dollars.

YOINK!

He has even gone as far as to salt the earth by giving up his pricey box seats, ceasing all of his company’s training at the university and stopping all of his ad buys for UConn.  At first glance, yes this man is a massive dick.  Anyone who would take the time to curse a university that they once loved has to reconsider their priorities.  And secondly, we can guess the new coach and athletic directors’ days are numbered. But the thing that shocks me the most is how this information is being received by the masses.

“I think that Bob Burton is passionate,” said state Rep. Livvy Floren, R-149th District, a friend of the Burtons. “He’s passionate about his family. He’s passionate about his business and he’s very passionate about football.”  Umm ok, lets focus more on the fact that this man is taking away money from an educational institution, right?  I mean can we talk about how this will hurt UConn academically, let alone the football team?  This was such a damn emergency that the GOVERNOR had to get involved.  Wow, no public outrage?  Does this not seem petty to anyone else?  I guess the state of Connecticut is more worried about the death of its football funding than it is about the university as a whole.  They decided it was better to try and pander to him.

Guess who's going to foot the bill?

This is a classic case of the inmates running the asylum.  Universities have to cater to donors, but it has gotten to the point where the donors can get away with dictating to them.  Well they just didn’t talk to him enough, he’s just really passionate about football.  Yeah yeah, we get that.  But if he doesn’t have a say in your program’s final decision, you’ll lose his money?  And this is just Connecticut, I can’t imagine what the pull of these donors can be in Texas and Ohio.  At the end of the day, this just shows how much of a farce the “scholar athlete” is.  It’s all about catering to these people to play well for your school so you can get more money.  It’s not as much about making sure these athletes are properly prepared for the real world.  I mean 78% of them go bankrupt a short time after retiring from the pros, so clearly they learned how to manage their lives at these institutions.  But what can we expect when we put cameras on these kids when they just SIGN A LETTER OF INTENT. They aren’t there to learn, they are there to play.

The point is, this man is a dick for yanking the university around for not getting what he wants.  He may or may not have been consulted but clearly he wasn’t going to be happy unless they hired THE guy he wanted.  But also, the university is right behind because they are allowing this to occur.  Is it a broken system?  Maybe.  But it would be nice to see someone stand up.  It’s not like we are going to see a stem in the tide of impropriety that happens with a lot of these athletes because they feel entitled.  The students will end up being the ones to suffer the most because I don’t see college tuition going down any time soon.

Commendable Dick-tion: Matt Hasselbeck:Ha! a pun.  Yes, I will usually mock those who use puns, but for now this will be the exception that proves the rule.  “Somebody ask Cromartie if he knows what CBA stands for.” I give Matt props for calling a spade a spade.  While Cromartie might have made some good points about how the strike could impact players who have surgery because they can’t rehab if the strike happens, it’s just hilarious that Matt would make that joke.  I mean realistically, if his comments were off base, he would not have gotten so angry when it happened, right?

Tim Hardaway: Ok.  Athletes are bad with money. I get it.  But then we hear this.  Well good for you.  You got a bail out.  46.6 Millions dollars during your playing career, and you need a bail out for the house you can’t afford.  Nice.  I’m sure most American’s would agree you deserve it after you wisely spent your money.

Dick of the Week Super Bowl Special: Christina Aguilera and the Black Eyed Peas

7 Feb

I hadn’t originally planned to write a post on the Super Bowl, but after watching the game, I quickly realized that it was inevitable.  If you didn’t see the halftime show, this primer will sum it up for you.  The halftime show was probably one of the worst 20 minutes of my life, but it was like watching a train wreck.  And, God help me, I could not turn away.  Maybe it was the fact that Fergie appeared to be wearing football pads.  Maybe it was because will.i.am seemed to have walked off the set of JJ Abrams’ next Star Trek movie.  Maybe because The Other Guy (who cares what his name is) appeared to have a Lite-Brite™ duct taped to himself.  Truth be told, I don’t know why I decided to subject myself to watching the halftime show, but once I started there was clearly no way I was going to be able to look away.

Amazingly though, the halftime show was not the worst part of the night.  Christina Aguilera, who time has apparently not been kind to, made sure that we started off on the worst possible foot by actually forgetting the lyrics to the national anthem.

Look, the national anthem is tough.  I’m pretty sure I know all of the words, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed one here or there.  But listen.  If you’ve agreed to sing the national anthem for the Super Bowl, with 46 million people watching across the United States, YOU’D BETTER BE PRETTY DAMN SURE YOU KNOW ALL THE WORDS.  It’s a huge honor to be able to sing before the Super Bowl, okay?  And if you can’t even be bothered to learn the Goddamn words, maybe you should LET SOMEONE ELSE SING IT.  It’s pathetic.  And by the way, the articles that are cropping up today asking if it’s fair to criticize Aguilera are almost EQUALLY shameful.  Really, CNN?  “I’m sure she’s beating herself up pretty good today about it.”  I’d hope so!  She deserves it!

I hope she OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT KILL IT WITH FIRE (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

I hold that Aguilera’s flub was the most shameful part of the Super Bowl, but it is a testament to how bad the halftime show was that the Black Eyed Peas managed to make most of us forget that it ever happened.

As I noted, the Black Eyed Peas came on stage dressed like the cast of Starship Troopers preparing for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.  Was that the worst part?  I’m really not sure.  There are so many things to choose from.  My personal favorite writer, Deadspin’s Drew Magary, walks us through a comprehensive breakdown.  Either that or a hilarious rant.  Either way, it’s quite useful.  Maybe the worst part was the fact that their giant LED “LOVE” failed to light up correctly, leaving us with what appeared to be “LOI’E,” which I’m assuming is a kind of cake.

No, no.  Maybe the worst part was when Slash emerged from the stage and participated in the systematic destruction of Sweet Child o’ Mine, a classic song which I will never be able to listen to again.  Not since I lost my taste for Tom Petty after my beloved Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII has a song been so ruined for me by a single sporting event.  Why Slash decided it was a good idea to perform with the Black Eyed Peas in the first place is beyond me.  Why he decided it was a good idea to do so while dressed in a sequined top hat is, well, probably beyond anyone’s comprehension.

Fergie and Slash. Yeah. #2 on the list of Things I Had Hoped Never To See, right behind Cris Collinsworth going down on Michael Moore.

It got so bad that I was actually THRILLED when Usher was lowered from the jumbotron.  To me, Usher was a HERO, because every second that Usher was singing was a second that the Black Eyed Peas were NOT singing.  Maybe this goes without saying, but I think that any halftime show in which Usher is the best part…is probably the worst halftime show of all time.

In the end, though, I can say with almost complete confidence that the single worst part of the halftime show was the fact that NOT ONE OF THE BLACK EYED PEAS HELD AN INSTRUMENT AT ANY POINT.  Seriously.  Not one of them.  It took a second to even register with me that none of them held an instrument, and I don’t remember a lot after that point because I was totally blinded with rage.  They literally could have put in a Black Eyed Peas CD and played a laser show, and the halftime show would have been exactly the same.  No, that’s not even true.  The halftime show actually would have been BETTER, because we wouldn’t have had to listen to Fergie’s pathetic warbling.  Fergie, I’m sorry, but you are the reason that autotune was invented.

When the Black Eyed Peas finally left the stage, I felt as though a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  I felt, if you’ll pardon the analogy, like Moses finally emerging from the desert; for though it had been a mere 20 minutes, I felt as though it had been 40 years.  I may never understand why the NFL departed from the classic rock halftime show formula.  Frankly, I found the Black Eyed Peas performance to be more shocking and offensive than any wardrobe malfunction possibly could be.  In fact, literally the only GOOD thing about the halftime show was the fact that, with the Black Eyed Peas, Slash, and Usher all in the same place, the odds of them all dying at the same time skyrocketed.

Sadly, it didn’t happen, and instead of that happy memory we will forever be left with the sad sounds of Christina Aguilera forgetting the words to her own national anthem and Fergie howling at the moon.

Dick of the Week, Pussy Edition: Roger Goodell

31 Dec

Dick of the Week is an award that we like to give out to someone who has demonstrated a particularly great aptitude for dickery in a given week.  The dicks that we give our award to are active dicks, people who proactively demonstrate their dickishness by taking actions that no normal human being would think to be acceptable.  As a result, it comes to our attention that there is an entire other category of people out there who perpetuate unacceptable conditions or situations in the world not through their actions, but rather through their inactions.  These people are not dicks; these people are pussies.

Of course, our blog is called Dick of the Week, not Pussy of the Week (though I’m betting that name would get a lot more page views).  There will be no Pussy of the Week award, but occasionally circumstances require us to recognize certain pussies who come to our attention.  This is such a time, and the pussy in question is the Commissioner of the National Football League, Mr. Roger Goodell.  Our regular readers will remember that Brett Favre was the second entry into our Dick Hall of Fame. Roger Goodell was, this week, presented with a unique opportunity to take down this legendary dick by suspending him for the lewd and suggestive text messages and pictures that he sent Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger.  Sorry, that he allegedly sent Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger.

Fooled you for a second. Admit it.

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