Category Archives: rivalries

A word about why American politics are so f—-d up.

Warning: this post may be offensive to everyone on earth. Better to close it now and get it over with.
Since the inauguration of Donald Trump as President, protests and riots have swept across the nation.  The new President has signed executive order after executive order, and the country is more polarized than ever.  The more I look at things, the more I can see the origins of a lot of these issues and it comes down to a saying by the late pro football coach Vince Lombardi:

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

Somewhere along the way, both the left and the right decided that their way was the not only the right way, but the only way to run things.  Instead of being open to new ideas and practicing moderation, extremism took root, aided by the absolutism made fertile by talk radio hosts, many of whom have turned out to be, themselves, outright hypocrites.  Both left and right pointed the finger at each other, decrying the other’s way as “evil” and “corrupt,” tossing about buzzwords like “income redistribution,” “globalism,” “market freedom” and “indoctrination.”

In the end, both sides are guilty of fomenting national discord for the sake of their own ambitions and avarice.  Both extremes are akin to fans of opposing teams in the Super Bowl who use the exact same offensive and defensive strategies.  The only differences are the cities represented, team colors and the one massive variable:  personalities.

This year’s Super Bowl is a great example. New England’s Tom Brady is a person who draws absolute reactions.  You either love him or you hate him.  You either admire his guile for exploiting lax rules enforcement with “deflategate,” or he is a cheater.  For Atlanta, you either love Matt Ryan for his stoicness in games and his ability to heave the ball downfield with stunning accuracy, or you hate him for his occasional post game showboating and arrogance or the demands of owner Arthur Blank.  Long story short, team affiliation and cults of personalities determine the fan base.

America’s political landscape is much the same way anymore.  It’s no longer about “what’s right for America.”  Rather, many citizens have become so fed up with the demands of either side, their rhetoric, and the approach to life their supporters take, the “win at all costs” attitude has permeated American politics.  You either love Donald Trump and what he espouses, or you loved Hillary Clinton.  Anyone who isn’t on the side of an extreme allegiance is a gutless moderate, or an independent who is immediately picked apart for which side of the ideological aisle they most identify with, regardless of if their heart is good.

We are no longer a nation which compromises for the good of all; we are a country obsessed with winning and being “right,” even if being right means may the good of the nation be damned, so long as our side prevails.  We no longer see shades of gray, or the empty spaces in between the argument where facts get lost in the name of victory.  It is now black and white terms:  good and evil, order and chaos, life and death, left and right….and zero in between allowed.

Both sides are guilty on this one.  The far right has pushed gun rights, the far left gun restriction.  The far right pushes free market and free will as the answer to everything, while the far left pushes government as the solution.  Both sides point the finger at each other when something goes wrong.  A great idea is only a great idea of our side came up with it.  If one side comes up with a truly great idea, the other side will do everything they can to stop it, and vice versa.  Why?  Because it wasn’t their idea. They can’t take credit, so they want no part of it.

This is where our nation has been taken. Compromise is death.  Bipartisanship is evil.  The left will destroy the rights of all.  The right will destroy the rights of all.  They are both the same, but they are different.  The left wants people to be lifted up, but so does the right.  The only difference is the means it happens and who at the very top benefits.  It’s old money family rivalries on a global scale.  The same monster with two heads and the same master manipulating both heads, in this case the people are the brains inside the heads, to fight each other.

But why?

Did it not occur to anyone here that if a world leader with access to nuclear weapons gets into a pissing match with another world leader with nuclear weapons in this age of “pride before prudence,” things could end VERY VERY BADLY? This is not the old Cold War era where world leaders understood the concept of mutual assured destruction. In this era where all that matters is winning, regardless of the cost, MAD isn’t really so crazy anymore.  It’s considered “acceptable risk.”

That said, here’s something think about:  all the protests and guns on earth won’t mean shit if there’s nothing left to protest or no one to kill. Yes, people are angry at each other and there are powerful people making a ton of money off pitting us against each other, but do you really think any of them give a damn about YOU when the mushroom clouds start rising? They already planned for this years ago.  At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, anyone who thinks those in position of true power haven’t found some way to gain from a world atomic holocaust are sadly mistaken.  They get to rebuild the world, only the way they see fit.

We can stop all this madness, but we need to focus on what we see happening, not the rhetoric being said or the memes being posted. Focus on what’s real instead of what is imagined. We still have a judicial system and civilian control of our military. I know people are saying we need to strike “just in case.” What is that going to accomplish? To all of you wanting a civil war to settle it all, do you really think that dying for SOMEONE ELSE’S CHECKBOOK is more important than the ideals espoused in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence, because I guarantee you that most of your radio and television pundits and commentators, liberal or conservative, couldn’t remember the Bill of Rights, much less which state first ratified the constitution.  They CAN, however, remember their bank account number and safe combination, easily.

Those want to die, or are okay with friends and loved ones dying, to impose their worldview of America on everyone else, are EXACTLY the sort of danger George Washington spoke of in his farewell address. We need to take a long hard look in the mirror as a nation, stop worrying about who is offended by who said what and what injustice was committed by people long dead, and instead focus on the injustices being committed right now, against us by each other. We need to look at our current immigrants who may not have gotten here legally, but are law abiding otherwise and a great source of tax revenue.  We need to look at our homeless and see how much of it is true laziness and how much of it is actually mental illness which, once treated effectively, can unlock the minds of potential geniuses.  We need to feed our hungry children so they can feel compassion and grow into compassionate adult instead of bitter children in adult bodies vying for the power they never knew in youth.  We need to help our veterans who our leaders have come to view as similar to sanitary napkins; something to absorb political blood in photo ops and rituals, but disposed of once they’ve outlived their usefulness.  We need to address the reality that racial tensions exist not so much as the result of what happened over a century ago, but the mistrust formed between races because of old fears turned into old wives tales, which have in turn become cultural norms.
Finally we need to remember and accept that assimilation does not mean elimination.  A people can become law abiding productive citizens without being forced to abandon their cultures and customs.  Immigrants should have to learn our language, history and abide by our laws but should not be required to abandon their heritage and culture in their own homes.  

Yes, there will always be those who wish to harm us, but we should never do the work for them, and our current political climate is doing just that.  We are truly doing our enemies’ dirty work.  We can, we must, learn to listen to the better angels of our nature.  That is what a “more perfect union” is about, after all.

Ways to turn a small town from “dying” to “thriving.”

While many small towns across America are in the throes of death and decay, there is another side to this story.  Namely, the hope many small towns are giving to communities across the country through stories of innovation, revival and growth.  These stories are proof that small towns can come back from the brink.  It simply takes a collective will to do so.  While many a snake-oil seller comes in from afar on a white horse pitching “can’t miss” schemes to city elders, genuine recovery and revitalization must be done by the residents of these locales.  It is gritty, dirty, hard work which boasts immense rewards in terms of both prosperity and pride.  So, here are some elemental things all small towns must do, either in whole or at least in part, to begin the comeback trail.

Embrace Your Civic Identity.

It’s so easy for a small town to become married to the idea of what they want to be, rather than what they.  Just like a person who decides they want to a police officer or doctor, but has neither the aptitude nor the ability to excel in either position, is often miserable in these professions, so too are towns which attempt to be something other than what they are.  If your city has a college or university which has been there a long time, and not much else, the fact which must be faced is your city is a “college town.”  If your town has a factory which produces auto parts, and just about everything in the town supports that factory, you are a “blue collar” town.  There is no shame in this.  By embracing a civic identity, towns can begin to rebuild and thrive.

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This trailer box is being loaded on a train at an intermodal hub in Cordele, Georgia.  (WALB)

Blue collar towns can use the success of industry to lure other industries.  Cordele, Georgia is an excellent example of this.  Once a decaying city with little hope of improvement, this city has leveraged its location at the intersection of US Highway 280 and Interstate 75 as a prime asset to lure industry.  Cordele now hosts several distribution hubs and, combined with an active rail line, has become an intermodal transfer point for several major companies.  Frozen foods, hardware, heavy goods and such often find their way to terminals located in Cordele and, combined with its centralized location to traffic arteries connecting major port cities such ains Savannah and Tampa with Atlanta, Columbus and other major cities, this once dying town is beginning to make a comeback.  Once a dot on the map trying to market itself as a “throwback” city to yesteryear, civic officials saw their assets and used them to reinvent the town.

Move Forward and Innovate

No small town has seen a more profound transformation in the last 25 years than Homestead, Florida.  This tiny town, located southern Miami-Dade County near the end of Florida’s Turnpike, was home to an Air Force base, some orange groves, a retirement community or two, and not much else.  It was, in essence, a waypoint for vacationers en route to the Keys.  When Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, Homestead took the absolute hardest hit, with 90 percent of the city destroyed.  Shortly afterwards, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended Homestead AFB be shuttered to take advantage of the so-called “peace dividend” resulting from the end of the Cold War.  Even the Cleveland Indians abandoned the city as a spring training location in favor of a location further north in the state.  So how did Homestead, which was once pronounced a “dead city” by many in the media shortly afterwards, come back?

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In 1992, Homestead, Florida was essentially wiped from existence by Hurricane Andrew.  Today, it is the home of NASCAR’s Championship Weekend.  (NPR)

Civic leaders took a long, hard look and realized they had an immense asset available:  lots of land.  The late Ralph Sanchez, the Miami financier who brought open-wheel racing to South Florida with Miami Grand Prix, pitched the idea of a racetrack to the city.  Reeling from one misfortune after another, the city council could have said “no thanks,” and decided to just founder.  Instead, they took a risk, and did it ever pay off.  Shortly after Homestead-Miami Speedway opened, NASCAR began openly talking about the possibility of a Super Bowl-style championship race to decide the then-Winston Cup Series.  In 2003, Homestead’s speedway become host to the NASCAR Championship Weekend, the first-ever conflux of all of the sport’s title races, including the Sprint Cup Championship.  Homestead soon became as famous as Daytona Beach, and the championship weekend, along with its associated businesses, has helped to revitalize a city once destroyed by nature itself.  Homestead’s answer to utter devastation was simple:  finding hope through innovation and the assets they possessed.

Find the Common Bond

One of the things which tear small towns apart is income and social stratification.  Groups of people cluster together based on profession and money, and it creates resentment and sows the seeds of civic discontent.  While ethnic and socio-economic clustering in major cities ,such as New York and Atlanta, can be managed, they spell doom for small towns because everyone knows everyone else.  When you live “on the wrong side,” of town, people know it.  Residents tend to associated with like-minded, incomed and professioned individuals and, for that reason, small towns can become divided in stark ways which lead to both finger pointing and an unwillingness to work together.  When this sort of failure takes root, the associated division only serves to accelerate a town’s demise.  There are, however, cities which find their common bond, and those are the ones which are able to begin the long comeback to civic pride and prosperity.

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In tiny Conrad, Iowa, residents have taken their town from “dying” to “thriving” through the power of community will. (IPR)

In Conrad, Iowa, this spirit of community has taken a tiny farming community, which was among the hundreds in this state which were dying, back on the road to being a thriving community.  According to the article and program on Iowa Public Radio’s website, the people of Conrad saw what was happening and, rather than tear the community apart through finger pointing, began to come together and find the common ground.  As the article states, the city’s clarion call came in the 1980s when its grocery store was on the verge of closure.  Residents rallied together to save the store, and found they could do much by coming together in a spirit of community.  As stated in the article, “small victories” helped to galvanize residents, and soon Conrad on the comeback trail.  They even developed a motto ‘e pluribus plow em,’ a play on the national motto to highlight their agricultural roots.  Their story has served as inspiration and education for scores of other now-revitalizing cities in Iowa, and this model is now being taken nationally.

Hold the Powerful Accountable

One of the most common refrains among those living in small towns is how power and wealth coalesce into the hands of a privileged few.  Those in power tend to pick and choose who gets what, how much of it, and who is able to “get ahead” in life.  Those who think differently or come from families who are not related to the innermost circles often find themselves on the outside looking in.  These are cities which suffer the most from a “youth flight,” in which the best and brightest of their youngest residents often leave for greener pastures in larger cities or towns willing to accept them.  On the other end of the spectrum are communities which have begun to open their collective eyes, and are now holding those in longtime positions of power and means accountable for situation their cities are in.

While there are few public stories of cities whose citizens have been willing to stand up and say “we’re as mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore,” that sort of mentality can have a positive outcome when channeled effectively.  Well-meaning public servants, rather than those who expect the public to serve them, are the key to revitalization of many small towns.  People with the attitude of the “greater good” instead of “what can my community do for me,” are the individuals who are able to change hearts and minds.  The greatest obstacle to this change however is the final key to small town revitalization projects.

Abandon Preconceived Notions

We all have them; those ideas within our minds of how people are and how things should be.  Rather than looking at life with a critical eye, we assume.  In order for a small town to begin the “great comeback,” all ideas of “the way things ought to be” must be tossed out the window.  It’s time write a new book when your city is dying and you’re trying to save it.  The same old methods obviously don’t work, so those things once held to as standard practice and procedures must ultimately yield to a new thought process.   Once a city’s residents are able to think in more “open” terms (not political correctness but, rather, being open to new concepts of doing business and ways to attract individuals and organizations), change is truly possible.

I invite comments on this post and its related one, as well as testimonials.

SOURCES:

Beating the Odds:  Iowa Public Radio

Cordele, Georgia becomes a transportation hub:  WALB-TV

Miami, South Florida racing fans mourn the loss of Ralph Sanchez:  CBS

 

American Horror Story: Georgia College Football 2015

Unless a parallel universe opens up in which a real college football playoff tournament and not this farce of a thing called a “playoff” exists, college football around America is mostly wrapping up this week with in-state rivalry games and so-called “backyard brawls” (patent pending at the University of Pittsburgh…NO, WEST VIRGINIA!  NO, PITT!  NO *couches set ablaze*)  Here in Georgia, the college football season is divided up into four categories:  Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia (yack, spit, hiss, vomit) Southern, and “whoever the hell else is in the state.”  Let’s take a moment to look at all four categories and how their respective seasons went.

Pause now for the funeral march.

University of Georgia

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“Are you pondering what I’M pondering, UGA?”  “I think so, but isn’t it YOUR turn to give Coach Richt his walking papers?”

The Bulldogs season began with high hopes, buoyed by the emergence of superstar running back Nick Chubb, who appeared to be ready to assume the mantle of heroism from former running back and memorabilia signing extraordinaire Todd Gurley.  Things were all set for Head Coach Mark Richt to finally meet his destiny as the one would restore balance to the Force, but Chubb and a collection of Bulldog offensive linemen learned quickly what fans have known for years; college football has all the logic and reason of blind dartboard throwing tournament.  Sadly, Chubb’s season was cut short by a knee injury best described in particular phrasing heard on TV when it happened “Goood GAWD!”  At that very moment, Bulldog Nation knew the season was in jeopardy and, despite their best efforts, the men in Red and Black were unable to save their season from the true kiss of death:  Mark Richt being featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  Once that particular article ran, the season was unofficially over, but made official when UGA became a light snack for the powerhouse that was Florida.  Other losses included Alabama and some other team which nobody gives a crap about, but they did manage to score some brownie points by this writer’s opinion when they beat Georgia (puke, gag, crap on the pavement) Southern.  Georgia  recovered some shred of dignity in the remaining weeks of the season and, in this year’s installment of “Good Ol’ Fashioned Hate,” was able to send….pause for dramatic effect while we go into the season of….

Georgia Tech

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Don’t be fooled…they just found out Wal-Mart has an on-campus store.

The Yellow Jackets had high hopes for this season, and it showed when they managed to, in a historic moment for Tech faithful, crushed some team from Mississippi or something, we don’t know.  What really matters is that Touchdown Jesus laid the whammie on the Jackets as a loss at Notre Dame sparked a memorable five game losing streak featuring losses to the greatness of Duke (really), North Carolina (facepalm), and Pittsburgh (double facepalm – South Florida once beat these guys!).  A “miracle” home win against Florida State appeared to be an optical illusion perpetrated by the Tech physics department, because the Jackets went on to lose to not only Virginia (seriously?) and Virginia Tech (good grief) but also Miami (reportedly Coach Paul Johnson banned all trips to South Beach that week…it didn’t work) until finally, the Jackets, led by nobody we really can remember being worth a giant crock of roach crap, stepping forward to be pounded into submission by the greatness of the…drum roll please, now spit…Georgia Bulldogs, losing at Athens, between the hedges, off the scoreboard, around the Arch, down Highway 10, split the uprights, 13-7.  While Paul Johnson admitted he hates losing, players were unavailable for comment, likely because their friends in the quantum physics department somehow replaced them with clones set on fourth quarter self-destruct.  Of course, this leads us to the amazing but highly reliable and annoying, but don’t take our word for it, just go there and see how alcohol soaked the campus is…..

Georgia (gack, ack, hiss, burp) Southern

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Where’s Bugs Bunny with a really BIG ANVIL when you NEED HIM?

For the sake of this writer’s stomach (and associated bowel movements), this passage will be kept as brief as possible.  The Eagles took it easy, took it eeeasssay (sorry, couldn’t resist!), and managed to start the year off in promising fashion, getting drilled with the West Virginia Mountaineers.  Now, note I said with, even through the score of 44-0 suggested by.  This is because this was the one chance the Eagles had to get so drunk and hammered and lose by a ton that they just rolled up the tent and let their practice squad do the work.  After that, it was all business, and the Eagles demolished the greatness that is Western Michigan, Citadel, Idaho, Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana Adams, Louisiana Jackson, and Tippecanoe & Tyler II.  This, of course, led to the greatest moment of infamy in Georgia (Please don’t me say the damned name!) Southern (DAMMIT!) history since the famed “Empty Seat Games” of the mid 1990s, when the Eagles got walloped by Appalachian State, only to come back and bury not only Texas State (who?) but Troy (Motto:  Taking being Greek a little TOO seriously) in so much bird dung they actually forgot to save some for the Georgia Bulldogs, who managed to defeat them by offering up UGA the Dog in ritual sacrifice as a distraction, or so they claim.  As of this moment, they are playing a team from Alabama who is neither the Tide or Auburn, so nobody, and I mean nobody, outside of Statesboro gives a damn (and most people in Statesboro don’t really either care either – the beer is still flowing, that’s all that counts.)  Their season wraps up against Georgia State, who is reportedly preparing for this game by tackling MARTA riders.

Everyone Else in Georgia

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Now starting at Quarterback for West Georgia, numberone….uh…uh…what’s this dude’s name?

Well, here goes:  Valdosta State did something – we really don’t care what.  West Georgia, once the toast of the Peach State until everyone realized that Carrollton really does suck as a college town, defeated Valdosta State (oh, that’s what happened to them) to advance to the NCAA Division II Playoffs, and likely to never be seen or heard from again.  Fort Valley State and Albany State appear to have merged, or was that with Darton State…still not sure on that.  Mercer’s football team debuted, and subsequently forgot they had a team, or at least forgot to tell the news about it.  Savannah State relocated to South Carolina to escape consolidation with Savannah College of Art and Design, but that was thwarted when Darth Vader appeared and placed a force choke on University Chancellor Huckaby, only for viewers to learn that Huckaby is really Vader’s father.  Finally, Kennesaw State University debuted on the gridiron for the first time ever, beating a lot of teams and somehow losing to a team called the “Zips” (don’t ask).

We look forward to recapping college football in Georgia again next year, assuming we aren’t forcing into hiding by an angry throng of Bulldog fans.  Wait, they’re going to Mark Richt’s house?  Okay, we’re safe…for the moment.

The Most Wonderful, Blood Bouncing Time of Year

That most wonderful time of all is here, and it means we all should be thanking our respective deities for their intervention for peace on earth this year. It is also a time when we sing songs, celebrate together, and drink large quantities of distilled beverages.

I am referring, of course, to that most magical time of year:  hockey season.

 

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I challenge ANY college football player to come back and after this sort of hit.  This dude DID!!!!

Disclaimer for American Southerners:  Hockey is a sport where players “hit” each other in order to score goals while traveling at high speeds on razor sharp skate blades.  Layman’s terms – way more badass than college football.

 

Now, those of you who are actually into watching blood bounce on ice (seriously), we are already well into the pro season, and the National Hockey League (now granting franchises to anyone with a pulse and a few billion in cash) is seeing incredible action.  Last year’s pro championship team, the Chicago Blackhawks, defeated my favorite team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, despite the fact that everyone, including Pope Francis and Lrrr from Omicron Persei 6, laid the money line on “da Bolts.”  It’s okay, though, because Tampa Bay still won the Cup before the Florida (MIAMI!) Panthers, so nyah!

Speaking of the Cup, it’s time for a history lesson of sports, one which even non-hockey fans can appreciate, because it involves frequent incidents of urination involving a sports trophy.  The Stanley Cup is the trophy given to the winner of the NHL’s Championship Series, the Republican Debates.  The actual “cup” is about a foot tall, but mounted atop a platform which features five large rings underneath three smaller one, with rotating turrets, photon torpedoes and the ability to make grown men beat the living crap out of each other for no other reason than to be able to hoist said trophy over their heads and jump around like little kids.  Yes, folks, it’s that important!

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The Stanley Cup.  All hail its glittery goodness and, if you look really close, you can see a FLORIDA team on there!!!

For all its glorious, glittery sports goodness, the Cup itself has a rather checkered history in the possession of the players, owners, staff, management, and associated farm animals of said winners.  For example, former Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Mario Lemieux (pronounced La-MEWWW, not Lay-moo!) became infamous when the Cup ended up at the bottom of his swimming pool, leading to the title of the best selling book Who Moved My Cheese?  In other instances, the Cup was found along railroad tracks, in a strip club, and even in a urinal filled with pee, which seems redundant but, upon further reflection, I don’t even want to think  how it got there.  Whether it was used for drinking afterwards (seriously, they drink champagne from that thing…the Cup, not the urinal.  Let’s be clear here!) is still a matter of conjecture.  Either way, the Cup itself is a revered piece of sports history.

There are three Cups in existence today.  The original Stanley Cup is housed inside the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, where it can be viewed through a special glass vault impervious to all forms of entry, including Mission:  Impossible-style rope-suspension burglaries.  The full-sized current trophy is in the joint custody of the Hockey Hall of Fame and National Hockey League, which divorced in 1962 but managed to work out a child-support agreement involving the Cup and several expansion teams.  It tours with the league during the season and is carried by a “Keeper,” which attaches itself to the Cup and influences things, and can kill the Cup, but usually lets fans and children put their fingers all over it instead as punishment for its various misdeeds.

There is a certain mystique among hockey fans about the Cup; that it radiates energy and those who are true fans can tell if they have permission to touch it.  In my case, I was told “NO WAY, JOSE!”  My Lightning won the Cup that year (2004), no thanks to my tactile involvement.  Winners of the championship series receive a smaller version of the Cup for display in their own cases.  Losers receive a consolation prize in the form of several thousand dollars for showing up, and the honor of their cities’ Mayors having to settle bets with that of the winning team.  In one memorable bet, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robinson, his team battling the Boston Bruins in the 2011 installment of the series, offered to wear a full-body yellow Lycra spandex suit worn by some sports fans (look it up!).  Boston’s mayor wisely declined.

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Yes, those are bare fists, folks.  It’s hockey, not the SEC!!!!!

That history lesson done with, time to go back to the part of the hockey we all love – blood bouncing on ice.  Hockey players often “drop the gloves,” which means they start fighting, usually for no apparent reason other than the fact they looked at each other wrong.  Unlike baseball, where there are bench-clearing brawls, basketball, which are usually shoving matches or two players wailing on each other like high school girls, or football, where players have the luxury of ten billion layers of padding, hockey fights are much more “Roman” in their nature, meaning players actually throw punches.  Fortunately, hockey players have the good sense to avoid the MMA-style of fighting, since a skate blade can nearly kill someone (it nearly once happened), so they instead go to the old-school, bare knuckle punching fest.  Of course, every hockey team (at least, every good one, sorry Toronto fans), has at least one “enforcer,” whose job it is to keep the best talent safe by the committing acts of ritual bodily sacrifice wherein they take the opponents players, lift them up like the Incredible Hulk, and toss them into the crowd.  This sounds a lot like pro wrestling, the difference being these players don’t use an actual script.  Seriously though, enforcers “check” their opponents, meaning they use their bodies to block and drive opponents off their best scorers to assist during the game.  This often results in bad blood between teams, though certain teams, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, have grown so accustomed to losing they simply send surrender papers to the opponents in advance of every game.

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NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, the product of genetic engineering through cross breeding of the DNA of former President George W. Bush and Russia’s Vladimir Putin

Other terms used in the world of hockey include “boarding,” “high sticking,” “deke-ing” (really), “butterfly position” (don’t ask), “spearing” (really, don’t ask), and “game misconduct” (usually this comes when a player or coach insults High Commissioner and Grand Marshall Gary Bettman and are sentenced to life in the gulag of the NHL:  Columbus, Ohio.).  These terms are usually used by commentators and announcers, who are often about as informed about the sport as a cat is informed about showing empathy to a mouse before killing it.

One thing to bear in mind – hockey fans are generally extremely knowledgeable, and love to teach newcomers about the sport.  Hockey players, however, are extraordinarily (generally) humble creatures who, unlike their pro sports brethren, are grateful for every chance they get to lace up the skates and hit the ice.  Despite their newfound wealth, most hockey players come from small towns across Canada, the United States, and parts of Europe, though a genetically engineered version of hockey players have recently appeared in Syria, reportedly designed by Russia to use explosive pucks to attack ISIS fighters.  The only problem with this is that the Russians have yet to develop a means of footwear which can be adapted from the rink to sand.  From what I’ve been reading, they may be looking to place an undercover agent in the Florida Panthers locker room in the hopes of being able to perfect the MiG-95, an experimental jet capable of doing what no American jet has been able to do at this point, come in under projected construction budget.  If this is successful, we may as well begin to kiss American freedom goodbye but, since Russia likes hockey, we will still be able to enjoy the wonder of the Stanley Cup, though Russian President Vladimir Putin may decide to perform a pre-emptive strike to take control of the Cup, citing “security concerns.”

The Cup, when reached for comment, referred all questions to Commissioners office, which promptly reminded us we were still in the penalty box for a game misconduct committed in 2002.

College Football Rivalries: Consider the Writer Before Reading

Roll Tide! No, War Eagle! No, Roll Tide! Yep, you get the idea! And that’s just the week LEADING UP!!!!

Now that college and pro football are in full swing, there is a tremendous amount of attention being paid to the various scandals involving said athletes, coaches, and owners.  In the interest of never taking a damned thing about football seriously, I offer my take on the hottest rivalries in college football, based on no other data except what I’ve read online and witnessed firsthand.  In other words, this post is, much as the worthless lines given out by newspaper sports columnists regarding said games, for entertainment purposes only.

Alabama/Auburn:  Called the “Iron Bowl” (unofficially “The Big Fat Kegger”) this game traditionally features both schools screaming at each about who is better at various traditions, such as draining kegs, setting cars on fire, and landing beanbags atop the roofs of first response vehicles.  “Bama” may have Forrest Gump, but Auburn has fans screaming that insufferable battle cry “War Eagle.”  (Yes, I know what it means and the tradition behind it; that doesn’t make it any less insufferable.)

Georgia/Florida:  Called “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Shrimp Eating and Barfing Party,” this rivalry game, played at the “neutral” Everbank Stadium in Jacksonville, is essentially an extension of every high school rivalry in existence, right down to the near-constant griping by Bulldog fans (even when they win) about how this is essentially a Florida home game.  Gator fans do the “Gator Chomp,” “Gator Flip,” and “Gator Egg Lay” while Bulldog fans simply take a whizz on the outside of stadium when they win.

Ohio State/Michigan:  This battle is one of college football’s oldest and nastiest.  When played in Ann Arbor, over 100,000 people manage to cram into the stadium, temporarily turning the city into the single most obnoxious place in the universe.  When played in Columbus, the “Big Horseshoe” transforms from what really looks like (when viewed overhead) a giant outhouse seat (seriously!) into a really, really, really smelly outhouse seat!  Oh, and usually a national title is on the line, but nobody outside Michigan, Ohio or Las Vegas really cares.

I bet if you look really close, you can see Tom Brady’s original game ball…yes, THAT one is flat, too (ba da dump!)

Notre Dame/USC:  Another one of America’s oldest college football rivalries, the Fighting Irish and the Trojans lock horns at some time during the year, though most people really forgot the reason behind the rivalry.  Damned if I know either; I think it has to do with something former President Ronald Reagan said during a movie.  Then again, it could have to do with the fact the Trojans are regarded as the epitome of evil and the Fighting Irish regarded as good because of a mural called “Touchdown Jesus,” in which Christ himself appears to be celebrating the fact there were no recruiting violations at Notre Dame for a change.  (Yes, I expect Pope Francis to excommunicate for this one!)

Texas/Texas A&M:  This rivalry is more than just a game.  It’s a war for the soul of the Lone Star State!  It’s about pride!  It’s about manhood!  It’s about…wait a second, what the hell do I care??  I’m not from Texas!  This game only matters to me because I’ve been told, from reliable sources, that they have killer tailgate food.

Come on…tell me that Ohio Stadium doesn’t look like a toilet seat!

Kansas State/Nebraska:  This battle of the Great Plains matters because the Wildcats usually go to Lincoln, Nebraska at least once a year, find a cornfield, and make a maze which spells out “Wildcats Rule, Huskers Suck,” then tip a bunch of cows.  There’s also usually a game played, though I can’t remember when it is.

Cal/Stanford:  This is known by several names, most recently as the “Big Stoner Fight.”  The Stanford Cardinal, which is really just a big red tree, traditionally attempt to battle the Cal-Berkeley Stoned Hippie Bears to a standstill every year, hoping to somehow relive the infamous “band game” in which several members of the Stanford Marching Band were abducted by aliens and dropped on the field at the end of the game.

Oregon/Oregon State:  This game, featuring the Fighting Ducks and Fighting Beavers, is also known as the “Funniest Double-Entendre Headline Opportunity Game in the Universe.”  Generally, both teams are wearing uniforms bright and ugly enough to both be seen from space and ward off any pending alien invasion.

Florida State/Florida:  This game has known informally by many names, usually based on the annual scandal which befalls one or both teams.  This year, it is likely to be known as the “Someone Got Arrested for Doing Something Boneheaded Bowl,” because, as of this moment, they are both on their best behavior.  That is subject to change without notice, as are the arrest records for each respective team’s players.

I SOOO want to caption this
I SOOO want to caption this “Wabbit Season! No, DUCK SEASON!”

Georgia/Georgia Tech:  This game is called “Good Old Fashioned Hate” because, frankly, neither team wants to see each other at their town’s location of the Varsity restaurant afterwards.  Tech fans are called “Nerds” by Bulldog fans, and Tech fans have a battery of grad students working on a way to get Bulldog players in trouble every year.  Last year they developed an alternate reality where former running back Todd Gurley got ratted out by a Gator fan for selling autographs.  This year, it was a failed attempt to get a player in trouble for making threats at a Chilis.

Kansas/Missouri:  This is affectionately known as the “Who Gives A Rat’s Ass Game.”  Seriously, the Jayhawks last threatened for the national title when South Florida was ranked, and that was later proven to be just a practical joke by the pollsters to make Bulls fans feel good about themselves.

Harvard/Yale:  This game is an important rivalry because it harkens back to the days of old when football players were students first, politicians second, scandal-plagued rich kids third, sociopathic deviants fourth, social darwinistic elitists fifth, and finally, actual athletes.  Oh wait, that hasn’t changed?  Nevermind then, resume your regularly-scheduled sneering at these teams and their one-percent boosters.

Army/Navy:  I respect the military too much to pick on these two teams.  They played good games, too, and have a great tradition of colorful side wagers.  Plus, Navy’s mascot is goat!  You’ve gotta have stones the size of battleship shells to be cool with that!

Smurf Turf. Yes, folks, it COULD be worse…

Hawaii/Boise State:  How can you not love a rivalry in which one game is played in paradise, and the next is played indoors on something called “Smurf Turf.”  Usually a high scoring affair, both teams also play a game on the field too!

One last one…

Miami/Boston College:

You KNEW I’d PROVE it, right!

This game matters because the only thing more insufferable than Patriot, Cowboy, Bulldog, Gator, or Fighting Irish Fans are the flag-waving phonies who come out of the woodwork to cheer on the Hurricanes when they have a winning season.  When this happens, “Whatever Its Name Is THIS Year” Stadium in Fort Lauderdale suddenly turns into a scene of drunken debauchery, and that’s just the 2LiveCrew Reunion Tent!