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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.

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 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 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 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, Jan. 17-23: Jeff Pearlman and Sofia Black D’Elia

1 Feb

Yeah, I’m late. A week late, in fact.  But fuck you, I can be late once in a while.  It’s been a long week.

Usually it’s not that difficult to choose a Dick of the Week.  Oh, there are tough calls, for sure, but usually one dick of another rises to the top and demonstrates that they are, in fact, the Dick of the Week.  Not so for last week.  No, there were two candidates for the title last week, each incredibly deserving of the award.  In the end, I elected to forgo the difficult and certainly arduous task of choosing between them, instead electing to allow them to share the award.  Would they be pissed if they knew?  Probably.  Which makes it all the better for me.  Let’s start with Mr. Pearlman, shall we?

Jeff Pearlman is a writer for Sports Illustrated.  Yes, Sports Illustrated still exists.  I was surprised, too!  Since I was surprised that SI is still in publication at all, it should not surprise you that I have never read any of Mr. Pearlman’s writing.  He may be a fantastic writer (probably not, since ESPN hasn’t hired him away–just kidding!); I simply can’t say one way or the other.  But one thing that I can say for sure about him is that he has exceptionally thin skin.

But he looks so professional.

Jeff Pearlman apparently discovered that the internet is not a land of civility where everyone says nice things about one another.  When a few of Mr. Pearlman’s Twitter followers said some not very nice things about him, Pearlman decided to, in true serial killer form, track them down and call them at home. Just like any reasonable person would do.

Obviously Jeff was unhappy with being insulted.  Which is understandable.  Not everyone thrives on abuse like we do here.  However, here is one exceprt from the article:

When I later noted to Matt, via Twitter, that my 7-year-old daughter happened to be next to me when I clicked on the picture, he wrote: “lmao. You’re so full of —-.”

Now, that’s not all that unreasonable.  Except that the NEXT LINE IN THE ARTICLE is: “Normally, this sort of thing doesn’t faze me. Write sports for a living (especially online, as I do for SI.com), insults come with the turf.”

Let me get this straight, Jeff.  You are fully aware of the fact that people insult each other on the internet, and also understand that you, as a sports writer for a major publication, often come directly in the line of fire of foul mouthed people who want to make you feel bad.  And, while understanding both of these things (I cannot emphasize that enough), you STILL chose to look at what people were saying about you on Twitter with your 7-year-old daughter on your lap.  Okay, while “Matt” may be an asshole, YOU sir are an idiot.

And the worst part is…well, the fact that that isn’t even the worst part.  Pearlman really did track down two of his “haters” and phone them at their homes.  “I wanted to bash him,” Pearlman says. “I wanted to plaster his name, address and personal information atop a column on CNN.com, so that when someone Googled his name for future employment, they’d find the words “Sent me a link to pornographic material.” What’s worse, that Pearlman was overcome with total rage over being sent porn (something that every single person in the world, famous or not, has had happen to them) or that he thinks that a potential employer would really care?  How does Pearlman think that exchange would go down?

Potential Employer 1: “Well, I like this Matt guy a lot.”
Potential Employer 2: “Yes, I agree. Seems like a perfect candida—-wait, WAIT A MINUTE.  JEFF PEARLMAN SAYS THIS MAN LIKES PORN.”
Potential Employer 1: “How does Jeff Pearlman even know this man?  No no, never mind. Just banish him!”

"Sure he's an expert in the field, but PORN."

Pearlman notes that, in the end, he actually liked the individuals that he called.  He uses this as a lesson on how even the best of people lose their civility when they take to the internet, attempting to teach all of us that we really should behave online.  And while this may be a worthwhile lesson, the fact that Pearlman thinks that we can learn anything from his experience tells me that he has absolutely no idea that his behavior is really much closer to “insane psychopath” than “teacher.”  Pearlman, you’re a huge dick.  And please, PLEASE call me at home and I will explain why.  You probably will not like me as much as “Matt.”

Sofia Black D’Elia is another story altogether, though she, too, had exhibited as severe a case of being out of touch with reality as I have ever seen.

Sofia is an actress in the new MTV show Skins, which has come under fire recently due to the fact that it, you know, appears to violate those pesky child pornography laws.  In fairness though, how was MTV supposed to know that portraying children having sex on screen would be considered “child porn?”  There was really just no way for them to prepare themselves for that.  The show is apparently on the verge of cancellation now, but that hasn’t stopped Sofia from stepping out and defending the show.

Let’s start with the obvious.  Look, MTV. We know you think you’re “racy.”  We know you’re really, REALLY stretching for quality programming.  We know you need a hit show to get back on top.  BUT YOU CAN’T FUCKING HAVE KIDS HAVING SEX ON SCREEN. YOU JUST CAN’T.  I know it’s a hard concept.  I know.  But sometimes you actually CAN’T do things you want to do.

Snooki: legal. Skins cast: not legal. Wow, I just made myself sad.

But MTV’s stupidity does not trump that of it’s star(?) actress Sofia, who firmly believes that she has her finger on the pulse of America.  “All I can say is that as an actor on the show I’m proud of everything that we’ve done,” she says. “We created something that we really care about. We feel the show has so much heart and so much potential and can impact so many teenagers.” And while it’s certainly understandable to be proud of a show that you are a part of, the idea that she is CHANGING THE LIVES of teens across the globe simply by having lesbian sex on screen is arrogant, to say the least.  Hell, if having hot, hot sex on screen was enough to change world, I would happily lead the philanthropy parade.

Addressing concerns about the show’s impact on kids, she goes on to say, “we’re not raising America’s children, parents are!  If you’re nervous about it, watch it with them. Maybe it will be a great conversation starter on topics they normally aren’t comfortable talking about with their kids, like sex and drugs.”

Now, this tells me that Sofia Black D’Elia simply does not have parents.  She must not.  Because anyone with parents would know that, between the ages of 3 years old and, I don’t know, DEATH, the LAST things that anyone wants to talk about with their parents are sex and drugs.  Oh, and by the way, if it takes an alcohol-induced lesbian cheerleader sex scene on MTV to get you to broach those subjects with your kids, YOU’RE A REALLY SHITTY PARENT.

Worst of all, though, was this comment from Sofia:  “Everyone in our cast is under 20 so that immediately, I think, kind of puts people on edge ‘cause these are real teenagers doing these things. It’s what teens are doing, the way teenagers behave…drugs all of that and the sex they’re vices and that’s what teenagers have.”

Pictured: vices.

Look, Sofia.  Maybe some people would give you the benefit of the doubt on this, but give me a fucking break.  You are a (barely) 19-year-old Hollywood starlet.  The idea that you know what “real teenagers” are doing would be laughable if it weren’t so Goddamn insulting.  To imply that your alcoholic, sex-crazed, popular cheerleader lesbian character represents what you would have us believe to be common teen issues is just…just stupid.  You’re stupid.

The fact is that Hollywood actors have been trying to tell us how to behave for ages, making us believe that they know what’s happening in the “real world” better than we do.  And it’s always insulting.  But a 19-year-old telling parents that they have “serious trust issues” because they won’t let their kids watch what is apparently legally child porn probably crosses a line that would make even George Clooney say, “jeez, that’s a little pretentious.”

So Sofia, shut the fuck up.  Jeff, you too.  These two were such dicks last week that we have our first joint award, and damned if they don’t both deserve it.

Honorable Mentions:

Jermaine Pennant: Most of you have probably never heard of Jermaine Pennant.  He is a soccer player for the English Premier League club Stoke City.  Although Stoke are a terrible team, Jermaine clearly is not wanting for cash, as he recently forgot that he owned a Porsche.  He parked the car at a Spanish train station, and there it sat for over a month, accumulating tickets, until it registered with someone that the Porsche with the license plate that read “P33NNT” might belong to Pennant.  Yeah, Pennant forgot he owned a car that costs more money than most of us make in a year.

 

Sepp Blatter: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

7 Jan

When we first started this blog, we naturally expected that there would be a few dicks that would rise to the top.  We figured we would be doing at least a few entries on people like Brett Favre, Jose Mourinho, Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, and the like.  And while we certainly knew that Sepp Blatter is a colossal dick, we certainly did not expect that three of our first 30 posts would involve him in some way.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Sepp Blatter is at it again, providing us with additional unbelievable quotes and reinforcing the notion that he should never have been put in charge of FIFA or any international governing body (except perhaps France; we would support making him president of France).

In any case,  Sepp Blatter was apparently not satisfied with being made Dick of the Week back in November, nor was he satisfied with his follow up quotes making headlines on our beloved site.  Sepp really is the gift that keeps on giving for us; the man puts his foot in his mouth more than Joe Biden and Rex Ryan combined [editor’s note: in retrospect, “putting your foot in your mouth” takes on a whole new connotation for Rex Ryan these days].  Today, Sepp apparently woke up and said to himself, “I think that I will make some possibly misogynistic remarks, followed by ridiculous criticism of other international bodies, all while denying the pervasive and obvious corruption in my own.”  We’re assuming he then beat his wife, but that’s really just speculation on our part.

Sepp Blatter, attempting to look innocent.

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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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Dick Hall of Fame, Entry #9: Donald Sterling

22 Dec

Donald Sterling was mentioned in our last Dick of the Week update as a runner up for just that award.  In truth, Donald Sterling may very well have been worthy of being last week’s Dick of the Week, but we made the executive decision to demote him to an honorable mention simply because we couldn’t wait to do a Dick Hall of Fame entry for him this week.

Since Donald Sterling is not exactly a household name,  we will give you a little background information on who this tremendous dick really is.  A quick perusal of his Wikipedia page will tell you that Mr. Sterling rose to fame and fortune as an attorney and a real estate mogul.  He quickly amassed a fortune in real estate and, in 1981, decided to purchase an NBA team.  Los Angeles Clippers fans rue this day, for it was their team that he purchased and it was their team that he has been busy running into the ground ever since.

To be fair, it is not exactly right to say that Sterling ran the team into the ground.  The Clippers have never won more than 49 games in a season, and even that record was established when the team was still known as the Buffalo Braves.  47 wins is the Clippers record since moving to California, and that was accomplished under Sterling.  And while that might seem like a step in the right direction, Clippers fans will take it as little comfort as they must, year after year, watch the owner of their team shell out millions of dollars for the corpses of players like Baron Davis and Elton Brand, hand out massive extensions to people like Mike Dunleavy Sr., probably simultaneously the worst GM and coach in the league, and wait way, WAY too long to fire people, like the aforementioned Dunleavy.

The average Clippers fan.

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Dick of the Week, Dec 13-19: Crystal Mangum

18 Dec

Duke University is fairly overrun with smarmy dicks, so for us to essentially come to the defense of those very dicks takes a serious amount of dickery on the part of someone else.  Most of us will remember how, back in March 20o6, three Duke lacrosse players were accused by North Carolina Central University student Crystal Mangum of raping her at a party.  The media jumped all over the story, aided by the fact that the three Duke players were white, while Crystal was black, with the words “racism,” “hate crime,” and other accusations of racial motivation for the alleged crime.  Said one NCCU student interviewed by Newsweek, “‘This is a race issue. People at Duke have a lot of money on their side.’Another student said…he wanted to see the Duke students prosecuted whether they were guilty of not. ‘It would be justice for things that happened in the past.'”  The three lacrosse players were strung up by the media and essentially convicted in the court of public opinion long before any legal decision was reached.  Their lives changed forever, the Duke students were left with few options as they were now known as little more than “those rapists.”

The media were dicks for rushing to judgment.  The Duke players were dicks for…well, let’s face it, for attending Duke and playing lacrosse.  And Crystal was a dick for…oh yeah, falsely accusing all of them.  Yes, as we all know, the case was dropped and all three players were found innocent on all counts.  Maybe the biggest dick of all?  The prosecutor, who was eventually disbarred for “dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation.”  But this week’s entry isn’t about that story–this was the past, and we have moved on.  Hey, the Duke men’s lacrosse team even won a championship in 2010!  And good for them (we say grudgingly).  However, just when the story had more or less blown over, just when Crystal Mangum was out of the news, and after the North Carolina Attorney General had already decided not to press charges over her false accusations…she had to get herself back in the news.

Any press is good press, right?

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