It seems it’s been awhile. I wish I had a good excuse but I don’t. I got a new laptop, I have literally all hours of the day to write these days, and with a new GM, tank watch, a thrilling EPL season, the ridiculously overwrought freakout about Pettine’s departure and the my hatred for John Scott, there really isn’t a shortage of topics. What there has been is a shortage of interest. When one is unemployed, whether the Sabres get to 29th or 30th place really loses its status on the list of concerns. Of course, it’s times like this where sports serve one of their best roles, one of distraction. Really, if one is going to be unemployed, being so while your baseball team is in the playoffs and the Olympics are some eight time zones away are about as good of times as one could imagine. But first, some sports takes need to be voiced.
I don’t follow the twitter accounts of other NHL teams, for a couple reasons. First, I don’t watch other teams play hockey unless it relates to me as a Sabres fan. For many years this meant “hey, this team is on the bubble too,” or “this could be an ECF opponent,” or “let’s see how the west is doing JUST IN CASE.” So no, I don’t care what the Kings, or the Sharks, or Blue Jackets, or the Panthers twitter is saying. It’s irrelevant to me and occasionally annoying because it’s usually a subtle way of someone saying “I’m a better hockey fan than you because SEE!?!?” Maybe you are, but I’m a Sabres fan. Shut up and go away. However, there is a narrative I have learned from these people, many friends, who do follow some or even all the NHL teams on social media: we suck at it.
Well, we know why. The Sabres social media and fan outreach folks are doing what Buzzfeed, Upworthy, Huff Post since it got terrible, and most other outlets on television and the internet do. They reach out to the lowest common denominator, or as Richard Nixon called them, the Silent Majority. Of course the Silent Majority are comprised largely of a brainless clump of folks who just love Storage Wars and Springsteen and god and guns and think bullying is just a part of growing up and why can’t we have a white history month too!? They’re also TBN’s wheelhouse, whiner line callers, and the idiots on that “we love Steve Ott GO SABRES” commercial. They’re the ones who favorite Marcus Foligno pictures and buy “BIG JOHN” shirtsies. So what do the Sabres tweet about? John Scott practice goals and Marcus Foligno’s uncle. The nuanced fans, the fans who know the game best, who love the team for the team, not for some big doofus whose appeal is that HE’S SO BAD BUT HE’S BIG AND TRYING SO IT’S CUTE RIGHT, these are the fans forgotten in this whole thing.
Maybe if the team was able to give a wink to the sheer hilarity of their ineptitude, to the predicament we all as fans find ourselves in together, the online interaction could be a bright spot. But some people are just so desperate for positive reinforcement, they’ll cater it from whomever offers it, even if that so happens to be teenage girls and middle aged dads who only discovered the team through those very same teenage daughters. These are the same people that claim America’s health care is the best in the world, that we’re the shining light on a hill, that our military causes are always just and the casualties always necessary. The one’s who get bent out of shape about a commercial featuring different languages, that claim god must exist because golly-gee that sunset is so purdy. These people live in a world of denial, just as anyone who pushes John Scott to the fans is in denial about the state of him or of the team he plays for.
How to fix it? I don’t know, I’m an unemployed JD, not a fucking social media manager. I know it’s more than tailoring to a different audience, it’s changing your entire goddamn outlook. You shouldn’t be Kenneth on 30 Rock all the time. Some things suck, it happens, and regarding this team, almost everything regarding the current situation sucks more than anything has sucked before, to steal from the Beavis and Butthead movie. But I know the one thing that doesn’t suck- the prospects, the future- is never fucking discussed. This may be because the puck bunnies and grit-obsessed cementheads don’t know or care who JT Compher or Jake McCabe are, but when they play on national television, I shouldn’t be stumbling upon their game by fucking accident. The Amerks are hot, but I know that only through the Amerks social media and the feeds of my friends that have the opportunity to follow them closer than I. The Sabres are telling us to like the very things that are part of the reason the team is so shitty, not the reasons the team won’t be so shitty quite soon. I know that’s a strategy the intelligent minority doesn’t appreciate. Not discussing the prospects or the fact that the future lasts longer than "GOOD SEATS STILL AVAILABLE" simply creates dumber fans and the perpetual cycle of whiner line callers, TBN sheep, Cody McCormick truthers will continue on forever. Which is sad for anyone who enjoys watching and discussing this team, but is at least a boon for pushing merch RIGHT NOW. Not hard to see where the priorities lie.
Of course the nuanced fans aren’t free from the grips of being yammering tools now and again. Let me say this again: yes, the Sabres losses are good for the draft, I want to be at the top of the draft, I fucking get it, and you’re not wrong. What is stupid, what is really, extremely grating and off-putting, is anyone cheering losses. “Well, one step closer to Ekblad,” is another thing from “Gotta hope [Team X] comes back in the third!” when the Sabres are winning. Fuck you, no I don’t have to hope for that. The draft is the reward for being shitty, and in case you haven’t noticed, this team can’t win! What, you’re concerned for a five game win streak coming out of their ass? Have you SEEN them playing this season? How they have 15 wins is remarkable and half of them can be explained simply by “they scored a goal they had no business scoring.” I can root for them to win tonight because they probably won’t and they probably won’t tomorrow. Because can you imagine what this team is going to look like after Miller and Moulson are gone? Jesus, go back to being a fan for a couple months, it won’t hurt you or make you an idiot, I promise. And if it does make you an idiot, well at least the Sabres store has BIG JOHN shirts in stock.
Meanwhile it appears our local columnists and other media persionalities of varying influence are filling the void by making themselves national embarrassments, which is normally fine since we've been in on this joke long before, but for the fact it really makes us look bad too. I mean there's many reasons we should look bad, not confined to the silent majority referred to above, but also including the ones who cried over the departure of a one-year coordinator for a 6-10 team, and the asshole on twitter with the Andrew Peters avatar. No, things like WGR sending a reporter to the introductory press conference for the Cleveland Browns coach is pretty sad, a morning show guy saying he doesn't care and it doesn't matter who the Sabres General Manager is, is pretty sad, and just generally being a terrible white male is pretty sad too. But that's all been covered, and frankly who has the time to dedicate to calling out the woefully inept print and radio guys? I suppose we could copy and paste old posts, but that's Bucky's thing, not ours.
So how should we pass the time?
Odds are, at least if you’re an adult, you don’t need me to tell you the world is a scary place. As a kid I was fascinated with natural disasters (not the wrestling duo); I made a rudimentary scrapbook about the 1989 San Francisco earthquake and watched every documentary, read every book covering any volcanic eruption, train derailment, blizzard, earthquake and plane crashes that I could find (thank goodness this was pre-internet). Perhaps unsurprisingly this makes for an anxiety-riddled adulthood with a lot of drinking in airport bars before traveling.
As an adult I’m afraid of pretty much everything. Heights, flying, mass shootings, distracted drivers, train derailments, the supervolcano under Yellowstone, random cardiac arrest, gamma ray bursts, avalanches, bridge collapses, swine flu, you name it. I once smelled a skunk coming home from work and refuse to jog after dark because I’m sure I’ll cross paths with it. Of course, worrying about these things is just a waste of one’s time since pretty much all of them can’t be prevented and if you believe everything that happens is just randomness and chance with no meaning or purpose like me, and you ever want to leave the house again, you have to at least subdue those concerns. Sports are one, embracing and mocking the fear of death is the other. What you get when you combine these two is what is simply known as the Death Pool.
For several years now, six of my friends from high school have done a death pool draft. I’ve always been aware of it, and having played fantasy baseball with a few of these guys and attending Super Bo- err, “BIG GAME” parties with them, I could only assume it was taken seriously. However, I’ve never done a death pool, and having not written in awhile and being all sports-ed out this winter, I asked one of my buddies to pull back the curtain and give me access to the draft, the formatting, with the promise that I would write about it. Now, this was about a month ago so I certainly dragged my feet on my part of the bargain, but after looking over the teams I realized “holy shit, a lot of these people could kick the bucket any minute!” Plus, in a world where one can’t go to a fucking mall or a college campus without worrying that someone with an automatic rifle is going to gun you down, what better way to shake off the anxiety of life by poking fun/analyzing the death chances of celebrities!?
Basically, these six guys get around every year near the holidays for a six round draft of celebrities of any type. Five of the rounds are a free for all, while the last round is a “wild card” round where all the players taken have to fit with a certain theme. Each team is allowed one keeper from the previous year’s “team.” Previous “winners” include Michael Jackson, Liz Taylor, Dennis Hopper and Whitney Houston. For 2013, no one selected dropped, so the pool carries over to 2014. Also, first death wins; it doesn’t matter if your whole slate dies during the year, whoever loses a player first wins the whole thing. Despite the fact that I couldn’t even tell you the jobs of some of these guys, I let them pick their own aliases (a couple of which were lame and I changed, sorry dudes). The draft had a snake format, so below I’ve listed the first round draft order along with their keeper.
2) Rat Tail: Bobby Brown. This is a weak keeper in my opinion. Really I’d pick not him but Whitney’s daughter to go first, of course I have very rudimentary knowledge of my celebrity culture, not to mention that previous winners were always celebrities, two of whom dropped out of semi-nowhere.
3) Marty McFly: Muhammad Ali. I don’t know much about his current state aside from alive. What I do know is that I’ve heard him speak maybe three words on camera in the last twenty-five years and he was a husk of himself lighting the Olympic flame in 1996.
4) Dean Keaton: Judge Wapner. I know, I thought he was dead a long time ago too. This is the second best keeper on the list behind the last guy. He’s been retired since I was around eight, and was born during the Woodrow Wilson administration. Could he stay put another year? How the fuck should I know, I thought he died in the nineties or something.
5) Balls Deep: Keith Richards. Keith Richards isn’t going to die. Ever. This is like making Ville Leino one of the Moe’s hot players of the game. You just know your odds of getting half off your burrito the next day dropped by a third. This is also a prime example of the gamblers fallacy at work. I’m guessing my friend “Tony” here justified his pick by saying “well, he should have died every year since 1975 so it has to happen eventually!” Wrong. The Super Bowl coin toss landed on heads for some 15 years in a row, and is a “favorite” on this week’s prop bets because people can’t do math. This is like that.
6) Brown Bear: Ralph Wilson. Every decent person in Pakistan ends up getting murdered before they make it to 50, yet this piece of shit is still “alive.” This is easily one of the three most hated people in the draft, and one whose death would most help this area. Questionably I will be rooting for Brown Bear based on this choice alone, and if you find that not cool, you’re reading a draft recap on a fucking death draft, go read Bleacher Report if you want to feel better about yourself.
1) BC: Nancy Reagan. Strong pick. She’s really old and frail. Of course she’s got access to top notch healthcare and there’s a chance the Koch brothers will single-handedly pay to keep her alive so they can drag her to one of the 2016 GOP debates and prop her up so some gremlin like Rand Paul or Ted Cruz can get their pictures taken with her.
2) RT: Courtney Love. I feel like if you accidentally rubbed up against her you’d need to be scrubbed down with a firehouse and one of those brushes they use to clean elephants. Apparently she isn’t dead yet, but I think this is a strong pick. Of course, I would have thought it was a stronger pick in 1998.
3) MM: Fidel Castro. Love this pick. I mean, he’s so old that even his younger brother is too old to run Cuba anymore. No one’s seen him in what, a year? Like Ralph Wilson, he issues the occasional statement here or there which no one can really use to confirm his existence because if he was really healthy and lucid they’d be issuing pictures of him simply for propaganda. It’s why we didn’t see any pictures of Margaret Thatcher for the last five years; no one wanted to acknowledge that the monster was spending her days pruning hedges without the slightest clue who the fuck she was.
4) DK: Jimmy Carter. Not a terrible pick, but a bit of a reach given your one year window. Sure, the thirty-ninth President is up there in years, but he has a fairly healthy schedule, no major health scares and seems to have always kept a healthy lifestyle.
5) BD: Kim Jong Un. I would have had him as third most-hated on the draft board below Ralph, but executing your ex-girlfriend and uncle PLUS HIS ENTIRE FAMILY is pretty cold stuff. Not to mention executing some three dozen nationals who were found to be starring in porn that was being sold on the black market in China. However, I have to respect the leader of any country that landed on the Sun. In all seriousness though, who the hell is going to fuck with this guy? He’s under thirty, his country might as well be on fucking Neptune for all its connection to reality, and his citizens think he is literally a God. All we know is his uncle seemed to want to get rid of him and that didn’t exactly get as far as Operation Valkyre. Poor pick for a despot.
6) BB: Yogi Berra. Not bad, but isn’t he still doing commercials and interviews and shit? Of course, he was born in the goddamn Coolidge administration so even if you’re getting out of the house for promotional activities, you can’t avoid the grim reaper forever.
1) BB: John Madden. Not as old as one would think given his jabbering nonsense that we’ve sat through the last twenty or so years. Plus, this guy seems pretty risk adverse. I mean, hating flying to the point that you drive on a bus for decades? I mean I HATE flying to the point that I usually dropped some sixty bucks at airport bars before every flight, but I’d never sacrifice the chance to see Europe again, or travel any of the myriad of places I’d like to see. I’m guessing Madden is the type that bubble wraps every sharp corner in the house just in case he falls. Plus, perhaps he just retired because he didn’t feel like doing it anymore? I’d much rather have that than some idiot like Mccarver hanging on for an extra decade solely to destroy his once strong career as a broadcaster. Plus, Madden sucked enough, could we really deal with him right now? No.
2) BD: Carrot Top. I like this pick. Seems like someone about to go all Lyle Alzado/Len Bias on us.
3) DK: Bob Barker. One of the many people in the draft that made me say “Fuck I better get on this post before someone dies and the whole thing is moot.” Also, if you asked me before the draft if Barker was dead or alive, I’d have probably said dead with sixty percent confidence. That’s got to be the sign of a good pick.
4) MM: Queen Elizabeth. I’m not sure about this. With such a cushy lifestyle, the Queen’s almost 88 years have to be more like seventy. I mean, this isn’t like the Tudors when the Queen actually did anything. What does she do aside from wave, play with her dogs, and look like the most miserable person to ever be goddamn royalty? I don’t like this pick, the only way she goes is if Charles gets fed up of waiting to be king and just offs her himself, gets back to the real 17th and 18th century brand of succession.
5) RT: Lamar Odom. This is just, I don’t know, this is a terrible pick. So he’s a crazy attention-seeking drug addict? How many of them were available in the draft that were in way worse shape financially and physically? A lot I’m guessing. The wild card here is always self-harm and I suppose Odom could be strong choice for that, but otherwise, I’m at a loss for making this pick at all, let alone in the second round. Then again, Rat Tail may be up on the tabloids more than me and know something I don’t, which is possible.
6) BC: Larry King. So old, but someone who still has the energy and lucidity to get divorced has to have more time ahead, right? I mean, if I was that age, I’d be happy to have the company of anyone that could stand me and resign myself that grim death came with the daily cost of living. Meanwhile he’s raising kids, doing stupid infomercials, the occasional actual interview, the guy is a freak of nature. He certainly could go, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he outlasts everyone on Big Country’s team.
1) BC: Aretha Franklin. Totally thought she was dead until I saw the draft. Of course she recently said something about none of the current crop of divas being worthy of the title, which I didn’t know was a title to be taken with pride.
2) RT: Ric Flair. ANOTHER one I thought was already dead. Personally, I’d rather we lose the Bruins Ric Flair goal celebration than the actual wrestler, plus this seems to be a gut pick. With so many dead wrestlers from the era, Flair has to be going soon, right? Plus, the guy is broke, a raging lunatic who could die in pretty much any manner and wouldn’t elicit surprise. Industrial meat grinder accident straight out of “The Jungle?” That sounds about right.
3) MM: Pope Benedict. He was old when he was named Pope, he’s old now. But as touched on before, this is a world that seems to reward the most corrupt and evil among us with longer time on earth. So I’d say for all his Nazi sympathizing, pedophilia defending, gay bashing, women hating antics, he’ll be sitting in that nice palace of his ensconced in velvet into the 2020’s.
4) DK: TRADED to MM for MM’s fourth round pick: MM had his guy on the board and wanted the pick, so a trade was hastily made so Marty could grab both out of work despots, the former pope and Dick Cheney. While this war criminal is likely confined to this continent in order to avoid getting dragged in front of The Hague, he’s been made approximately 40% cyborg from his years of heart surgeries that only the best blood money can buy. I actually look forward to his death to see all the coverage skew respectful, refer to him as a “dutiful public servant” or some shit, brushing over the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people by calling him “tenacious” and “hard-nosed.” Even the UK was able to acknowledge that Thatcher’s legacy was muddied at best, tyrannical and oppressive at worst, but there’s no way our media will even go that far. Really it’ll be more like the Sabres twitter account offering up hot takes about John Scott because his shittiness is supposed to be endearing, cute as opposed to what it really is, a fucking embarrassment to the organization and all of its fans. Whoops, we covered that already, didn't we?
5) BD: Lil' Wayne. I only see two schools of thought behind this pick. First, Balls knows something I don’t about Mr. Wayne’s drug and/or criminal history that would make him susceptible to death in any number of ways. Second, he just hates Lil Wayne. My guess is a little bit of both. I mean, Lil Wayne’s existence is pretty irritating, and with six picks and a keeper, one can take a luxury in the same way I like drafting at least one or two Red Sox players for fantasy baseball.
6) BB: Verne Troyer. I hate reality tv, which shouldn’t really be news to anyone who reads this or knows me in the slightest. I’ve softened a lot on my stubbornness and intolerance over the years, but I will still state unequivocally that if you enjoy any original show on TLC, History or A&E, you deserve to be treated as lesser than one who does not. That said, Mini Me getting shitfaced, naked, and urinating in the house on celebrity Real World or whatever the fuck it was, was one of those things that I remember watching quite vividly in high school or college. I mean, midgets have a tough go of things health-wise to begin with, so when they’re a train wreck on top of it that has to increase their chances of death by like four or five times. This is a smart pick.
1) BB: Brian Wilson. Told he could choose between the pitcher or the Beach Boy, he went with the Beach Boy, which is probably the best call but only by a little bit. Pitcher Brian Wilson certainly blurs the line from “oh he’s just an eccentric closer” and “wait I think something’s seriously wrong with this guy.” I don’t know shit about the Beach Boys, and little about music in general. Seriously, I have one friend who will occasionally drop a band on me, but other than that every single band I have found in the past five years I’ve come across due to Pandora, iTunes Radio, or the only non-shitty music stations, which are ALWAYS located in Canada because the Buffalo stations either play crap for high schoolers or crap for our parents. Seriously, enough with AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses, they sucked then, they suck now. The Buffalo Edge station used to play shit like The Sheila Divine and it was fucking terrific and now they play Hells Bells fifteen times a day because every listener is like my stepdad’s racist brother with the motorcycle. Get a good fucking radio station, Buffalo. Anyways, I don’t have any analysis on this choice.
2) BD: Nick Nolte. My only question here is why pick Nolte when you have Gary Busey on the board? They’re the same person, except one is crazier and far more likely to end up getting mauled to death by Coyotes while on an acid trip in the desert. I guess the only thing is maybe Busey is still making money off his crazy? I don’t know, this just seems like drafting Kenneth Davis when Thurman is on the board.
3) DK: Clint Eastwood. I have to think this pick isn’t made without Eastwood’s stellar appearance at the 2012 RNC. I can’t remember the last time someone with that kind of credibility and respect revealed himself to be your crazy great-uncle. I hope this doesn’t happen, not just because it’s hard to hate Clint Eastwood, but the last thing we need is a bunch of “death of men being men” articles popping up everywhere some hack gets paid to ramble about the pussification of America to their readership of angry white guys.
4) DK: (From MM): Louie Anderson. Interesting pick. Also, surprisingly not dead already. This is what I like about death pools, how do these guys even know to pick these guys? The research has to be at least respectable, as I haven’t heard about Louie Anderson is half a decade at least, yet here he is. I just shrug and say “yeah, I could see that happening,” which is probably all you want in the fourth round.
5) RT: Rob Ford. On a scale of 1-10, how insane would the Rob Ford story be if it ends with him dead in 2014? The craziest political story of the modern age? The past scandals, Watergate, Lewinsky, these were things that were at least understandable. Nixon was a paranoid hatemonger so of course he orchestrated a break-in of democratic headquarters. Clinton was the most powerful man in the world with the libido and restraint of a college freshman living away from home for the first time, so of course that happened. A crack addict alcoholic who orders the beating of his own brother-in-law, threatens reporters, associates with gang members, wears football jerseys as part of his daily routine, has to be pushing four bills and happens to be the elected leader of one of the largest cities on the continent? Then dies from what I speculate would be a) a heart attack, b) suicide or c) a criminal hit? The movie would be in production before he was in the ground. And I would watch/read every single piece that came out about it until the end of time. I like this pick because it would certainly cause the most “!!!!!!!!!!” tweets out of anyone on this list.
6) BC: Don Shula. Old, but not that old. I have a feeling Shula’s stock here may have risen simply due to staying out of the public eye, much like Madden. We don’t hear much about Shula anymore but hell, retired people aren’t exciting or worth reporting on. Shula could be spending his days playing shuffleboard, working on his tan and ignoring calls from Mercury Morris for all we know. This pick could go either way, just as picking any guy in his mid-eighties could go either way.
1) BC: Ozzy Osbourne. Reasoned, well thought out choice. Probably would have been more likely to happen while the show was on the air, but the guy’s brain scan has to resemble some combination of advanced CTE and a drug addict. Basically what swiss cheese looks like in cartoons. Unlike Keith Richards who can at least put together a coherent sentence, Ozzy has the intellectual abilities of a half empty water bottle with a bunch of cigarette butts in it. Great late round value pick.
2) RT: Joan Rivers. Definitely one of the most grating people to be selected. Old, yet not too frail to stay away from a camera. Really, this is probably Rat Tail’s best bet on his squad, and that’s not a good sign.
3) MM: Yoko Ono: Marty’s entire draft until this point had been public figures in the political/religious realm so he shook things up with the last pick before the wild card round. I don’t have any analysis here. She’s old, I guess, I hear about her once in a while, seems fine.
4) DK: Betty White: I don’t know if she’ll ever die. She seems like one of those little old ladies you see on the news or in the paper on a slow news day when someone goes in to do a feature on her turning 109 or something. Those features always make me sad by the way because they’re invariably in some sad nursing home staring at tiny cake surrounded by like four “friends” who are really just nursing home neighbors. No thanks. But anyways, Betty seems to be churning out enough work and appearances to show her health to be in great shape regardless of age.
5) BD: Justin Beiber. Now, when I looked over the results after the draft about a month ago I assumed this was just wishful thinking, a wasted pick, or most likely both, but given recent developments this pick looks great, albeit still a reach, a calculated one with high upside. He’s got the coin to stay out of jail, is facing charges in two countries, and has plenty of time to continue this downward spiral and raise the stakes. If there’s any time to actually use weed as a gateway drug, now’s the time. An affinity for drinking and driving? Always helpful, of course it’s usually the drunk driver that lives and his passengers or other driver that don’t make it. Would this be the best twitter day ever? Well no, Rob Ford’s already got that covered, but this would certainly be close. Great late pick.
6) BB: Hugh Hefner. Like his keeper, Ralph Wilson, at a certain point you just got to pick someone and say “they got to die eventually.” Sure, on paper this works, but there have to be better candidates here than Hef. This guy has more to live for and has kept the least grueling lifestyle for the last five or six decades. Picture yourself being hit by a car and someone screaming at you to stay with them. What are you thinking about? Your tiny apartment? Your tiny paycheck? That person you love but who moved on? This guy is thinking about the collection of playmates waiting to bang him in his mansion! If anyone’s going to will themselves out of cardiac arrest someday, it’s him.
1) BB: OJ Simpson. Great pick. Somehow the only person who gets fatter in prison, rumors of multiple diseases and declining health, plus the ever-present threat of getting shanked make this a strong choice.
2) BD: William “The Refridgerator” Perry. Surprisingly not dead! Yes, he’s only 51, but I got Sports Illustrated throughout college and one of their annual “Where are they now” issues had a feature on Perry and it was one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. Depression, failing health, financial trouble, family issues, he couldn’t even travel to a reunion of the 1985 team. He’s a guy you want to root for to overcome the hard times he’s fallen on, but this is death pool and there is no room for sympathy in death pool.
3) DK: Jack Nicklaus. I don’t get this and can only assume it was a panic pick made against the clock. He’s in great shape, still makes appearances and interviews, and I am sure will stay alive at least long enough to make sure Tiger Woods will never reach his mark of most majors in a career- something I know I’ll also be watching golf in enjoyment over for the next couple decades.
4) MM: Mercury Morris. Really just figured Mercury was his real name but apparently it’s not. Far too annoying to die. The Dolphins celebrating their unbeaten season when the sport was completely different has become annoying enough it almost makes one with the Patriots had finished 19-0. Almost. Nothing would ever be as insufferable as the Patriots going 19-0, ever. Patriots talk is annoying enough every December and January and would be exponentially more insufferable if the Giants pulled the upset. When looked at that angle, really Mercury Morris is just fine. Keep doing your stupid ass champagne popping, which I am sure he will be doing well into the next decade or two.
5) RT: The Situation. I don’t know his real name and I don’t care enough to find out what it is. I know Jersey Shore was the worst hit show ever, especially as something that landed in the Zeitgeist during my time at Penn State. The amount of long island/jersey bros that emerged around our Central Pennsylvania campus was staggering. The only benefit was that while they waited outside in the snow to get into the two or three clubs, we were already four or five three dollar pitchers of Killian’s deep. While I am skeptical about this team, it’s definitely an easy one to root for.
6) BC: Ickey Woods. I get all the late 80’s Bengals players accused of drug use or filing for bankruptcy mixed up so I actually hit Wikipedia for Ickey. Apparently he’s the head coach of the Cincinnati Sizzle, a team in something called the “Women’s Football Alliance,” which isn’t made up or a parent’s group trying to eliminate football from high school sports. If you move to Cincinnati and still find yourself there 26 years later, I question your financial security and ambition. I also question your ability to not want to kill yourself. In 2004 a bunch of friends and I took in a concert with a bunch of bands off Drive Thru Records that took place in Cincinnati. We stayed across the river in Covington, Kentucky and before we found our hotel we found a covered up body in the street. I’ve applied to jobs everywhere and would really work anywhere in this country for the right price, but if I were to take a job in Cincinnati I would be VERY sad about it. I bet Ickey is sad too, and that makes this a fine Mr. Irrelevant choice.
Final Team Power Rankings:
1) MM: Yes, none of the prior winners came from the field of general corrupt assbaggery, but leading off with Castro, the Queen, the former Pope, Dick Cheney, while keeping Muhammad Ali, you have a stacked lineup of the leading candidates. While there are other “players” more liable to kick the bucket sooner, this is the team with the most top to bottom depth. Perhaps not ideal in a “first death takes all” league, but hedging ones bets is never a bad idea.
2) DK: Keeping Judge Wapner, then drafting Jimmy Carter and Bob Barker creates a top three that contained two guys I thought were already dead. This is a very good sign. These three guys alone motivated me to get this post up sooner rather than later.
3) RT: To be objective, this team is pretty terrible. Would probably find itself at the bottom in rankings that were comprised by someone other than myself. But, there is obviously a plan here, and that plan is drugs, with other reckless behavior thrown in. This is a team that is easy to cheer for. Outside of Ric Flair (and given his personal history that’s debatable) there isn’t a single person on his roster that the world would miss. Most would elicit jokes that only the biggest tightass would find unacceptable. Some would break twitter. This team is the Butler of the field.
4) BC: Middle of the pack team. Nothing that jumps off the page but some smart, practical picks. Keeping Bush 41 is smart, Nancy Reagan was a good start, King, Franklin, Shula reasonable choices. This could easily win, but no one’s making a draft day movie and hiring Kevin Costner to play you.
5) BB: Such a promising start. Like the Bills future, this team really begins and ends with the demise of Ralph Wilson. Berra and Wilson are decent possibilities but the rest is kind of weak when looking at the team as a whole. And considering Wilson was a keeper, this really was a poor draft. Maybe one of the packs of feral dogs that rule Detroit can knock out the power to Ralph’s iron lung and give him, and the city of Buffalo a win.
6) BD: All over the board, this one. I may be wrong but Richards seems like the wrong keeper and a gambler’s fallacy, then going with the under-30 ruler of a nuclear nation that doesn't tolerate dissent to put it lightly, and following it up with some D-list celebrities and wishing on a star with Biebs. His wild card pick in the Fridge may really be his best- and for all intents and purposes his only- hope.