What If Roger Goodell Held Different Jobs Throughout History?

13 02 2013
don king roger goodell

Editor’s Note:This article is a collaborative effort between Dubsism’s own J-Dub and Ryan Meehan from East End Philadelphia, which is featured in our BlogRoll and it is well worth the read.

Here’s the concept. Roger Goodell is such a blithering idiot that he very well could be the guy who fucks up the National Football League forever. Stop to think about what we are saying here. This guy could take a sports league which has been the unquestioned ruler of American sports for at least thirty years and have it saying “Yes, sir boss” to shit like NASCAR thirty years from now.  Don’t think for a minute that can’t happen…think about where boxing ranked in the panoply of American sports before it fell under the spell of a guy who has a hair-style reminiscent of an electrocuted Q-Tip.

1) Captain of the Titanic

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Guest Column: Jim Rockford on How and Why To Tell The Difference Between Jets and Giants Fans

7 01 2013

jim rockford on phoneEditor’s Note: Mr. Rockford is a private detective based in Malibu, California. We here at Dubsism have retained Mr. Rockford at his standard rate of two hundred dollars a day plus expenses to investigate matters of crime and other general shadiness in the world of sports, then report back to us when needed. If you would like to contact Mr. Rockford, at the tone, leave your name and number and he’ll get back to you

Have you seen the ESPN commercial that feature the two English soccer fans that have no idea they are indistinguishable? After you’ve seen that commercial, you may not realize that situation exists right here in America.

Look at a map of the greater New York/New Jersey area. Pinpoint MetLife Stadium, it is right next to the Meadowlands Race Track, “Meadowlands” being a polite euphemism for “Dismal Jersey Swamp.” Draw a 50-mile circle around it, and it is the Jets and Giants fans who live within this zone I’m talking about. I know one of the contributors to Sports Blog Movement is a Giants fans who lives somewhere in the Midwest; I’m sure his life is already some soulless vortex of suck, so it’s important he knows I’m not talking about him.

So, if you were born within the 50-mile zone of exclusion, you were raised either a Jets or Giants fan.  So, how can you tell the difference? In a word, you can’t, because to the untrained eye, like those soccer fans in that commercial they are the same. But unlike those soccer fans, they will change their colors depending on which team doesn’t currently suck.  In 2007, their world turned blue based on one piece of blind luck from Eli Manning and that guy who could catch with his forehead. A year later, they all turned green when the Giants were nowhere to be found in January and Rex Ryan found a way to get to back-to-back AFC Championship games with another shit-heap of a quarterback. Last year, the NY/NJ football color pendulum swung back to blue because the New England Patriots are bigger gag artists than a runaway at her first porn audition.

That’s why now is the time to learn the subtle differences present in this seemingly infernally similar group of football derelicts; neither of these teams are in the play-offs so our January will for once be free of their mouthbreather fans. Seriously, the Jets/Giants fans I’m talking about are the most horrible people imaginable. They are worse than vegetarians and Patriot fans combined. One of the advantages of living in a city without an NFL franchise means these assholes aren’t coming here for road games.

But let’s talk about their home games. There more than just the fact they share a stadium that from the outside resembles the world’s largest parking garage. MetLife Stadium rises like a concrete sarcophagus out of the Jersey swamp, but it is in that football hell hole where you can start to see the differences between Giants and Jets fans.

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Guest Column: Six Important Facts About The National Hockey League And Its Stupid Lockout

26 11 2012
Editor’s Note: This article is a collaborative effort between Dubsism’s own J-Dub and Ryan Meehan from First Order Historians. Ryan also has his own blog, East End Philadelphia, which is featured in our BlogRoll and it is well worth the read.

As you may have noticed, the National Hockey League is currently not available for our viewing pleasure. This is largely because NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has a fundamental misunderstanding of what the business of sports is all about. After reading this piece, you will have more of an understanding of this business than Bettman does. Then again, you could pop a pimple and understand more than Bettman does.

Whether or not you like the NHL isn’t as important as the fact the current lockout the league is going through has some profound impacts, and not all of them are exclusively related to hockey.  Follow us through the following six points, and you will see why what is happening in the NHL is bad for sports in general and those who depend on it either directly or indirectly.

Then, you can apply to be the next NHL Commissioner. After all, nobody can fuck it up any worse.

1) The NHL (When in Business) Helps Other Sports Entities

This gets a bit convoluted, but if you follow along, this will make sense.  Stay with us on this; believe it or not, this can be explained.

A large portion of Canadians are hockey fans, and a large portion number of NHL fans happen to be Canadians. That need no be as confusing as it sounds, if you bear in mind that hockey is the de facto national sport of our neighbors to the north.  The NHL is popular all across Canada; the same cannot be said of the U.S.  We can pretty much guarantee you that if you live in the Mountain Time Zone and happen to be a huge hockey fan, there is an astronomically high probability you don’t have any friends. Not to get all 9th-grade algebra class on you, but the ratio of Canadians to hockey fans to complete drunks is best expressed in a Venn diagram.

So, why the hell does that matter? Right now, it is an incredibly safe bet a great number of Canadians couldn’t care less about any American sports media outlets, such as ESPN or the NBC Sports Network because the NHL is nowhere to be seen.  What that means is every other sport is losing exposure to a market of close to 30 million people.  While that might not sweat the NFL very much, that hurts smaller leagues who need all the exposure they can get, especially those like the NBA and Major League Soccer which both have franchises in Canada.  Outside of those Canadian markets which have franchises, exposure across Canada gets more limited than Mel Gibson’s future career options.

In other words, picture what would happen to the exposure to European soccer in the U.S. if the English Premier League suffered a work stoppage.  Most Americans would have nothing to ignore for two hours on ESPN before College GameDay on Saturday mornings.

There’s another reason the NHL matters in Canada to other sports leagues. The NHL keeps Canadians watching American sports leagues which have fucked Canada so often we are amazed we don’t owe the Great White North some serious back-owed child support.  American sports leagues have all got vested interests in Canada, and more than one has had a colossal failure north of the border.  From a business perspective, the Montreal Expos were a complete disaster and the Vancouver Grizzlies only lasted five years. So, without the NHL, what’s left?  A Toronto baseball team which hasn’t won anything in twenty years, a Toronto basketball team which will never win anything, and one shitty Buffalo Bills’ game in Toronto every year.  No wonder the Canadians are pissed off at us.

But wait; it gets better. When you take this back full-circle to the NHL, one really has to point out that the NHL is now, and has always been an American league. While every alcoholic hockey fan in Canada is now firing a Molson bottle through their monitor, stop to consider that once the NHL stabilized in the 1940′s (there was a nearly thirty-year period in which the number of franchises and their locations fluctuated almost yearly), out of the “original” six franchises, four were in the U.S. When the league’s first expansion occurred in 1967, all six new franchises were in the U.S.

In the “expansion” era, the first franchise to be added in Canada was the Vancouver Canucks in 1971.  As it stands today, the league consists of 30 teams, and only 7 of them are in Canada; and it has been almost 20 years since a Canadian team hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup.

To make a long story short, Canadians can’t be happy with how Americans are fucking up their game, a sentiment which carries over to other sports, which is why the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will always have a larger following than whichever shitty NFL franchise eventually ends up in Toronto.

2) The NHL Was Doing Quite Well Before This Idiotic Lockout

Speaking of Winnipeg, the “City of Opportunity” is the “canary in the coal mine” for the health of the NHL In other words, when the NHL does well in Winnipeg, the NHL does well in general. Conversely, a league that can’t succeed in the heart of Canada playing the de facto  national sport doesn’t deserve to survive.

For lack of a better comparison, Winnipeg should be to the NHL as Green Bay is to the NFL.  Green Bay has no business having a NFL franchise because it is a little town which comes nowhere near the market requirements to support a franchise; the entire population of Green Bay would fit inside Michigan Stadium.  However, the NFL uses a model that allows team to remain in places where they are popular where the market may not support a franchise. Without the NFL’s current model, there would be no Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, St. Louis Rams, and others.

The NHL needs to figure out how make something similar work, and now is the time.  At the conclusion of the 2011-2012 NHL season, the National Hockey League was getting about as much play in the American sports market as it’s ever going to get. Television ratings were through the roof, and with the Los Angeles Kings winning the Stanley Cup, all of a sudden we were starting to see celebrities at hockey games in the bigger markets.  Even with the talk of the impending cancellation of this season, the casual sports fan was paying attention to the NHL.  In a way, even the non-believers were still believing hockey would come back as opposed to ten years ago when they didn’t even care because they were all pre-occupied passing out in the hallways of their college dormitory after a full night of date-raping each other.

This means instead of having a pseudo-suicidal lockout,  Commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL owners should have been figuring out how to make franchises viable in places not only like Winnipeg , but other places in “hockey territory. ”  Refer back to Point #1 for a minute. Nobody in the leadership ranks of the NHL wants to admit this, but hockey is a territorial sport, and it has limited appeal outside of that territory.  That fact alone makes it all the more crucial WITHIN that territory, and that’s the big deal here.

What exactly is “hockey territory?’ Essentially, it anywhere that has a) real winters, b) a reasonable market for professional sports, c) anyplace where hockey is the “national sport,” and/or c) a city with a large population transplanted from “a” or “c.”  In other words, this means Canada, the northeastern third of the U.S., and about four cities outside of that.

The key to all this is that once somebody figures out how to make the NHL viable in some of the smaller markets in “hockey territory,” many of the problems this league has will disappear overnight.  Naturally, given how the leadership of the NHL has handled itself up to this point, if the individual who pulls that off comes from that group, then you are invited to come over for a sizzling, freshly-killed unicorn steak from the J-Dub/Meehan unicorn ranch, because let’s be honest…we are starting to get really fucking hungry over here, and we all tired of Thanksgiving leftovers by this point.

By focusing on the areas where hockey has popularity, the league can move franchises to cities where they would actually generate interest.  If they have too many franchises, they can always contract a few.  This is the part where we would apologize to all the Columbus Blue Jackets season ticket holders, but there’s only like 16 of them, and they are far more pissed that the NHL just butt-fucked them out of an All-Star game they had worked hours to get.

The bottom line is that the NHL is better off by dominating in smaller markets if need be than operating in an era of indifference in larger ones.  There will always be the franchises that make more money than others; that happens in any league regardless of what any baseball purist may tell you.  By putting the product in markets where it will generate interest, the NHL can begin to demand better money for national broadcasting rights.  It won’t happen is because the NHL is run by a bunch of dumb-fucks who believe they can market a winter sport in places like Miami and Phoenix; this is the same bunch of mental midgets who don’ t understand by having this lockout, they are losing the golden opportunity to do this.  Gary Bettman deservedly gets the blame for a lot of this as his sorry ass is the name at the top of the stationery.

3) The NHL Offers An Economic Impact At The Local Level

Whether you’re a hockey fan or not, it’s hard to argue with the fact that the NHL creates thousands of employment opportunities year after year.  Directly, there’s the hundreds of jobs created by an NHL team, from the front office and marketing people all the way down to the guy who washes the jockstraps. Indirectly, there’s the arena parking attendants, the beer and peanut vendors, and several others whose jobs really rely on the presence of the NHL.

Let’s take a look at the impact the lockout has on various people connected to the NHL:

An NHL Owner:

Although it may seem difficult to believe, these shitheads have their servants buy their groceries at the same stores that we do.   Sure, they make more money than any of us will likely see in a lifetime, and  in America today we love to demonize rich people for no other fucking reason then they happen to be rich.  But J-Dub made a great point about this in our piece on the recent election; the guy who signs your check is not on food stamps.

This is exactly why there is as much importance in being a rich guy at the top of the food chain as there is in being a poor guy at the bottom.  Go take a look at what places look like where there are no rich people; they are absolute shit-ponds like Somalia, the Phillipines, and a Wal-Mart after 9 p.m.  Rich people are the ones who foot the bill for business by putting their livelihoods on the line, so they should be rewarded accordingly.  As far as the NHL goes, without the owners, there is no league.

Having said that, when there is no revenue coming in you can only imagine how much money they are losing.  Let’s take a brief moment and explain that, because it is too easy to simply dismiss the problem here with the “ahhh, but they are a bunch millionaires” sort of class envy.

The class of wealth in which you find the type of guy who owns an NHL franchise never really needs to take stock of how much cash they have on hand because unlike you and us, they are investors and businessmen first, and consumers second.  They always have a plan for next year, so if there is no next year (which essentially where this lockout is headed), they know they need to have either a lot of money to whether the storm, or to have other  revenue-generating investments.  If they don’t, you can bet their net worth is going to drop like Ol’ Dirty Bastard at his final recording session.

Naturally, that begs the question why would these guys deliberately stage this work stoppage.  Because nobody ever said rich and smart went hand-in-hand. We can’t forget that it is the owners who got the league into this mess by spending huge amounts of money without having appreciable national television contracts in the U.S.

In other words, hating these guys just because they are rich misses the point. Hate them because they are stupider than Forrest Gump sticking his dick in a pencil-sharpener.

An NHL General Manager:

As a guy entrusted to run an NHL team, you face a day-to-day battle to make sure everything is in place.  The owners know there are precious few decent and/or honest people with talent in whom one can trust to safeguard an enormous financial investment, which is when they find one, they are handsomely rewarded. Naturally, many who do not meet these criteria are also handsomely rewarded, which takes us right back to the stupidity of the owners.

In other words, being an NHL general manager means working for a guy who keeps sticking his dick into pencil sharpeners, and when you tell him to pull his dick out of the pencil sharpener, rather than following your advice, he starts an argument with you about how many times to crank the handle

An NHL Coach:

Before New York Rangers’ head coach John Tortarella’s outburst about the Pittsburgh Penguins getting special treatment from the league due to their superstar-laden line-up, it never really  occurred to us how hard it is to be an NHL coach.

Think about it for a minute.  You have to manage a bunch of grown men, who are primarily either Canadian, or Northern/Eastern European; two groups of people who even if they weren’t pucksters are prone to drink to the point of brain damage EVERY night. The minute you try to address that issue, even after the state troopers just peeled one of them of a roadside tree, all they do is get on Twitter and bitch to the media about what a self-righteous asshole you are.

The best part is these Budweiser-sponges on skates get away with this shit because the casual sports fan probably couldn’t name five current NHL coaches, and they think Barry Melrose and Don Cherry are the be-all, end-all of NHL knowledge.  How’s that for fucked up?

But wait, there’s more.  Not only do they have to deal with all that, but they get to do it under the constant, yet inconsistent leadership eye of Assholius Supremus Gary Bettman.  Given that, why would anybody want to be an NHL coach? Because it’s just slightly better than making a living breaking into cars.

Remember when Ray Lewis said that if last year’s NFL lockout lasted into the regular season, there would be a rise in crime because people would start stabbing each other if they didn’t have football to watch?  To that end, it’s probably not a very good thing to have a bunch of unemployed hockey coaches running around.

Stop and think about it for a minute…what would happen if all these people in dangerous and/or shitty professions suddenly were no longer able to channel their energy in some constructive form?  Before you start listening to those right-wing nutcases bitch about (insert rapper they don’t like here) making a living in a manner they don’t like.

Well, when you think about it, hockey coaches top that list, even if you don’t realize it.  Hockey is the only sport where you can see a players committing full-on felony aggravated assault while their coach is right behind them screaming “KICK HIS FUCKING ASS!” There’s a certain breed of lunatic who becomes a hockey coach, and we’d be willing to bet none of them are the type of guy who takes up knitting when they have nothing to do.  Get the point?

An NHL Bench Player:

Bench players in basketball, baseball,l and hockey have pretty sweet jobs, so it’s difficult to feel too sorry for them, but this shit going on in the NHL affects them as well.   Bench players across the sporting world get to see the whole country and every once in a while some third-world crapper your league think give a shit about your sport.  Basically,  your job is to stay somewhat ready for the day (which may never come) that due to injury and/or suckitude  your number gets called.

This goes right back to the “Now what will they do?” question we posed in the previous segment.  Do you know what most hockey coaches were before they became coaches? Bench players.  This means the training ground for coaches is a world where guys drink their weight in beer, pass out every night, and occasionally piss themselves or on others.

In other words, today’s unemployed puckster center could end up being tomorrow’s coach; two groups of people which could easily spawn tomorrow’s most colorful serial killer.

You just can’t be too careful about these things. 

An Arena Beer Vendor:

As two guys who drink quite a bit, we are the first to admit that most sporting events require the need to wet one’s whistle, and the men and women who allow that to happen are the most important people in the whole fucking building.  If we take the time to pour some cheap-shit bourbon into empty hot sauce bottles, then it is only fair to buy a shitload of those nine-dollar beers as a chaser.

The arena beer guy doesn’t necessarily make a lot of money, but since it is usually base wage +  commission job, as long as booze hounds like provide the volume, he’s at least got a shot to not end up faking car accident injuries for a living.

Just in terms of margin, if you pack an arena with J-Dub level drinkers (many people don’t know he is the one who taught Kitty Dukakis to love hand sanitizer on the rocks) and pump them full of suds at nine bucks a shot from a keg that dropped off of the truck onto the interstate and reloaded onto that same truck and sold to the arena for twenty bucks, the cash is just waiting to rain from the sky in “build a fucking cash Ark” proportions.

Dramatic re-enactment of Kitty Dukakis on a Saturday night (before she got shipped off to Trembling Hills Dry-Out Farm)

Double down on that with that tubularized mélange of beaks and rectums known as the hot dog, which costs four cents to make and once in an arena sells at T-bone prices, and that at some point even “last name ends in ‘-han’ level drinkers (Lohan, Meehan…you get the point…)” need to eat something they can vomit on to their shirt later, and it becomes obvious  what a river of cash arena concessions can generate.

Then there’s the mortar which sticks those drunken bricks together…laziness.  Who the fuck is surprised that the very same Americans who invented the drive-thru would be the same ones to bring you food and drink which is walked up to your very chair?

Let’s face, it is the American need to be constantly drunk and fatted up is the foundation upon which the job security of these concessionaires is built.  If those people lose faith in the system, we might actually have to wait until there is a stoppage in play, get out of our seats, and (hold on, folks we’re about to experience some turbulence) actually go up to the concession stand and purchase that which will be lodging in our arteries ourselves.

Since the league is locked out now, these vendors may simply think that being a vendor is just not stable enough income to rely on every year (due to circumstances they will likely never understand) and when the league finally can put a product back on the ice after this situation is resolved in the summer of 2046, we won’t even have anybody to bring us our poison…sweet, delicious, poison.

Who the fuck are we kidding? We both will have been dead for decades by the time that finally goes down.

The Guy Who Washes The Jockstraps:

Here’s another example that exemplifies that all the links in the chain are important, whether or not they are at the top or bottom.  Without the guy who washes the jockstraps, we would also have nobody to label them. This means we would have a league full of unsanitary undergarments being passed around the locker room like a roll of athletic tape.

In a world where the percentage of the general public who doesn’t have sexually transmitted diseases finds itself dangerously close to the percentage of the general public who is unemployed, making sure the right guy gets the right crotch-pouch is not only part of the job – it’s a safety measure.  You don’t have to live inside of Colin Farrell’s medicine cabinet to know that the Center for Disease Control is one of the biggest failures in American history, right along with the war on drugs and Kitty Dukakis’ Vitalis-soaked liver (damn you, J-Dub).

Not only are these guys vital to the community health, but if we don’t keep these guys employed, there is no doubt that within about 72 hours North America would be knee-deep in Kardashian-quality genital infections.

4) Basketball Doesn’t Pop Out Of The Box With Excitement 

Seriously, the NBA season just started, and nobody gives a fuck. Tune in SportsCemter tomorrow, and all the NBA talk you are going to get is going to be some tired old wheeze about “What’s wrong with the Lakers?” – that is when they aren’t full-on fellating LeBron James.

Other than the sports themselves, this is where hockey and basketball differ greatly. They are both winter sports. They are often times played in the same arena. But the NHL knows how to be exciting early in the season; it DOES pop out of the box. In comparison, the early-season NBA just sort of lies there like an overly-roofied sorority girl.

Unlike the NBA, very few NHL players take games off which is impressive when you consider a) the brutal nature of the game and b) the liver-numbing amount of drinking which the hockey culture floats on. Couple that with the fact it all happens on ice skates, and it gets even more impressive. There was no better ankle-breaking device invented than the ice skate, and mastering them is an accomplishment unto itself, let alone playing a fast-paced and violent game while on them. If you would have put ice skates on Sean Kemp, he wouldn’t have been able to find his dick, let alone create a bazillion illegitimate kids (have fun trying to jackhammer that visual out of your head).

On top of all that,  NBA players have almost no pressure from a developed minor league system.  Every player in the NHL knows that the minute he stops producing, there are a ass load of guys toiling in shit holes like Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Moline, Illinois who would kill for the chance to play in bigger shit holes like Ottawa or Columbus, Ohio.

Now, we will admit there is the NBA’s D-League, which while having franchises  in exciting metropolises like Fort Wayne, Indiana and Erie, Pennsylvania, it simply does not produce enough quality players to make NBA players feel like their jobs might be in jeopardy once they start to suck.   Guys in the NBA couldn’t name one D-League player unless they are related to him, which we might also be able to pin on Shawn Kemp.

This is why even good NBA teams have roster full of shit heaps like Dexter Pittman, Boris Diaw, and Jodie Meeks on their rosters. If you want to doubt that, ask yourself this question: If the NBA had a solid system of feeder leagues, then why would wastes like Antawn Jamison and the fuckwipe formerly known as Ron Artest still be Los Angeles Lakers?  Not to mention, just who the fuck is Jodie Meeks anyway?

5) Gary Bettman and the NHL Owners Have No Business Savvy

Mentioning the name Mitt Romney invariably brings up the election we just got past. Regardless of what you think about what just happened, the point here is that back in 2005, Romney and his multi-billion dollar empire made a bid to buy the entire league.  From Deadspin:

It was March 2005, and the NHL’s owners didn’t know what to do. It had been six months since they’d locked out the players’ union, trying to force concessions, but the players were still refusing to bear the brunt of spending cuts. Two weeks earlier, the league had finally canceled the already-delayed season. No money was coming in, and none would be. For the first time since the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1919, no Stanley Cup would be awarded.

Now commissioner Gary Bettman told the owners that their meeting would have a visitor, from outside, who had something to say to them. The visitor came in with a number and a proposal: For $3.5 billion, he said, he was willing to purchase every single team in the league. His company, Bain Capital, wanted to buy the entire NHL.

Since its founding in 1984, Bain Capital had been swooping down on struggling businesses, buying them out with cheap debt, and using austere management to make them profitable—for the private equity firm and for Mitt Romney, the former partner whose 10-year retirement agreement would continue to pay out profits through 2009. What the businesses were hardly mattered. Bain’s holdings have included AMC Theaters, The Weather Channel, Toys “R” Us, Burlington Coat Factory, and Burger King, companies with nothing in common beyond the potential profits Bain saw in running them its own way.

And now, Bain saw a chance to buy low on professional hockey. The Toronto Star reported that on March 1, 2005, Bain Capital managing partner (and Boston Celtics co-owner) Steve Pagliuca, accompanied by Bob Caporale of Game Plan LLC (which specializes in facilitating sales of sports franchises), made a presentation at an owners meeting in New York. They had been invited specifically by Bettman. Bill Daly, the NHL’s chief legal officer, said afterward that “when someone’s offering over $3 billion, we felt we had an obligation to the board to have them, at least, hear it from the proposed purchaser.”

So, why didn’t this happen?

The Deadspin article will lead you to believe that the $3.5 billion offer Bain made was too far below the $4.9 billion Bettman and the owners thought the league was worth. While that may be true, what’s also true is that Bettman and the owner don’t understand their business model is fatally flawed. For starters, the NHL is spending big cash on salaries while not having a commensurate television revenue.  Sure, they have a $2  billion deal with NBC, but that is small change compared to what the NFL is getting.  What is comes down to is that Bettman and the NHL have an over-inflated view of the value of the NHL, and Bettman has a delusional view of the future of the league.

“Over-inflated” might be a bit of an understatement when you consider that the difference between $3.5 and $4.9 billion dollars  makes it  unfathomable to think that such a difference in estimates was made in error.   But this is Gary Bettman, who can fuck things up worse than your mother suddenly appearing in your Sofia Vergara-based wet dream.  That alone makes it not all that hard to believe he was off almost a billion and a half dollars.  This genius couldn’t count his balls and get the same number twice.

You would think that there would be a baseline of mental competency to be the commissioner of a major sports league, but Bettman is only one of the four faces we would carve into Mount Commissioner Dipshit.

6) A rejuvenated NHL would piss off Alan Parkins, and nothing would make us happier than that

One of the great things about blogs is that they give anybody an outlet for what ever they want. Alan Parkins represents everything that can be terrible about that. About three years ago, we started to notice a lot of comments on our blogs from a man in Florida by the name of Alan Parkins, also known as “Tophatal.”  At first, while his comments were difficult to understand, we appreciated him stopping by our sites site to discuss various topics in sports.

We knew a long time ago he had no love for hockey, but we have never been ones to discourage differing opinions; Hell, that’s the whole reason why we have a Comments section.  However, it is one thing to have an opposing viewpoint, but it’s quite another to be a complete blog-dick.  At first, his comments were easily dismissed as the ramblings of a lunatic. But then he took it upon himself to hijack the Comments sections of blogs he frequents, including ours. After a while, we grew tired of his constantly changing the subject and posting pictures of scantily clad women on our websites. We really grew thin of his bullshit when he questioned our sexuality when we told him to stop.

He would post some of the most insane responses to our articles and when he was wrapping up his free thought children that would have been better off aborted, he would bait us into responding by asking us questions that were about something completely different and were severely off topic.  What was confusing about this is the guy would post pictures that could get us fired from work if the wrong person happened to be walking by while we were checking our comments for approval, but then he would censor his language with the context of the comment.   If a guy is going to attach random pictures of what’s essentially softcore pornogrpahy to an article about football, we’re all going to laugh at him hysterically when he prints things like “What in the G****mn world is going on here?”

So, what the hell does this have to do with hockey? About a year ago, Parkins started arguing with Cal from First Order Historians on one of their  hockey related threads.  Based on nothing but his own opinion, Parkins started spewing a bunch of his usual bullshit about how hockey was pretty much dead and would never be a part of the sports culture again.

Again, it’s one thing to have your opinion, but Parkins showed what complete asswipe he is when his opinion was destroyed by inarguable facts, he simply played the “Well if I don’t watch it, it’s not important” card.

That’s why we hope the NHL comes back bigger and better than ever.  Every time there’s an NHL story out here, we hope it is like a red-hot puck being slapped straight up Parkins’ ass.  Every single goddamn time.

What Parkins’ too fucking stupid to realize is that we all know he is just a troll.  Know how we know that, dipshit? If you are so dis-interested by hockey, then why did you spend so fucking much arguing about it? If hockey sucks like you say it does, then why do you care?  Are you that bored? I suppose, you can only surf for so much porn…

One more thing, Al…and this is coming straight from J-Dub…I know exactly what kind of cowardly fuckface you really are. I know you will try to play the race card and say we are beating on you because you are black. From one black man to another, don’t you dare try that shit.  If you do, I will make sure everybody can see the kind of ridiculous, hate-filled crap you’ve spewed.  Also Al,  if you want to try to call this some sort of cyber-bullying, most of the people’s blogs whom you’ve infected with your crap are too nice to say anything to you, but we’ve grown tired of you. There’s been a lot of people who have been more than patient with your pointless rhetoric for long enough, and we were trying to politely give you a hint that we no longer wanted you around.  Since that didn’t work, we are left with no other choice than to spell it out for you.  You represent everything that give bloggers a bad name, and you would do us all a tremendous favor if you took your own life in the most gruesome manner possible.

That’s what this all really comes down to…Hockey is a blast to watch, and it will be even better to watch knowing it will completely piss off Alan Parkins.   We are more than happy to defend one of the “big four” sports in America; it’s one of the “big four” for a reason.

Stay tuned to Dubsism,  First Order Historians, and East End Philadelphia for more up to the minute advice on how to be undeniably awesome.

-J-Dub and Meehan

Guest Column: The Dubsism-Meehan Primer on the Upcoming Election

22 10 2012

Editor’s Note: This article is a collaborative effort between Dubsism’s own J-Dub and Ryan Meehan from First Order Historians. Ryan also has his own blog, East End Philadelphia, which is featured in our BlogRoll and it is well worth the read.


The United States of America offers to the rest of the world a classic example of what happens when a nation abandons the principles for which it stands.  At the beginning of the 20th Century, America was a country on the verge of becoming a world power; a power built on the freedom and prosperity a constitutional republic allows. It was the same 20th Century that saw the rise of America into the most dominant socio-economic and military force the world had ever seen.

We’ve totally fucked it up since then, and not just “kinda fucked it up.” We’ve fucked it up on a “Ron Jeremy on a Thermos full of Viagra in a Thai flesh pit” scale.  Let’s be honest, anytime you’re reading “Thai flesh pit,” that usually means that there is something seriously wrong.

If you don’t believe that, look around. We’ve got a nation full of dumbasses who think the government exists solely for their benefit, and don’t realize that at some point somebody has to provide all the shit the government gives away.  To make a long story short, the freedom provided by that constitutional republic has also allowed America to grow within its own ranks a group of people who believe that very same freedom is pernicious to a modern, progressive society.

Obamney: These guys are more alike than anybody wants to admit.

This is now why the only difference between a “conservative” and a “liberal” is which set of self-serving interests they are out to protect; neither of then give a shit about you or the future of the country, but they both are running campaigns designed to get you to believe they do.  The filthy-ass “Occupy Something Except A Job” scumbag who wants to wallet-rape anybody who make five bucks a year more than he does so we can expand social “get money for nothing” programs and your sweet, cookie making grandmother who still votes for Ronald Reagan and who will stab you in the face with a knitting needle if you even mention touching her Social Security check…they are both cut from the same cloth…and it’s diaper cloth covered in that nuclear-waste green baby shit.

This is why constitutional republics like America get the kind of government they deserve. Hence, it’s no surprise we have a Congress that  was empowered by an electorate that chugged a bottle of NyQuil about 40 years ago and has been drooling on it’s pillow ever since.

The Democrats pretend they care about the little guy, and yet every solution to a problem they’ve devised involves getting into the middle class pocket somehow. The party has been hi-jacked by the new American left, which is largely why the Democrats haven’t had an original idea in 40 years, and they haven’t had a good idea in 60.

So, fuck them.

Meanwhile, while the Republicans have a better grasp on foreign policy and the economy, for some reason they love to act just like Democrats, and until recently, they’ve caved anytime they’ve taken the slightest criticism.

So, fuck them too.

Having said all that, here’s our rundown on all that you need to know on all these political blow-job hacks and the media that covers them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Signs We Are Near The End Of Civilization: The Deep Six – Disturbing Fashion Trends

26 09 2012

Editor’s Note: This article is a collaborative effort between Dubsism’s own J-Dub and Ryan Meehan from First Order Historians. Ryan also has his own blog, East End Philadelphia, which is featured in our BlogRoll and it is well worth the read.

Introduction By Ryan Meehan:

Far be it from me to boast about my vast knowledge from fashion.  I’ve looked frumpy almost my whole life, wearing T-shirts inside out and whatever is easiest to slide on my feet without me having to bend over.  I wear socks with clods, my shorts and pants are never ironed properly because I am terrified of fire.  Since I haven’t been able to convince that part of my brain that an iron won’t get hotter after you unplug it, I have been the target of mockery from other individuals in this area for many years.  To those people I would just like to say the following things:

  1. No, I don’t care what I look like and have no issue with dressing so plain.
  2. I’m so sorry that your life is so boring that you can’t come up with anything better to do than to talk shit about a person that just told you he doesn’t care what he looks like.  I suggest that you go home and try to find something that you are good at, even though I’m quite sure you won’t do that.
  3. This is the gas station, not an Esquire magazine photoshoot.  I’m buying milk and potato chips, do you see a fucking runway nearby?
  4. Even though I may not be fashionable, I don’t look ridiculous and consider myself rather proud of the fact that I can be neither of those things.  Now, just because I’m not a fashion guru doesn’t mean that I don’t run across people who, for all intents and purposes, don’t have any business putting on their own clothes.  These people are cultural criminals in the most serious sense of the classification (which may not be that serious when you consider I just came up with it) and they lower the collective intelligence of everybody that lays eyes on their sorry ass.
That’s why I have enlisted J-Dub over at Dubsism to help me call bullshit on some of the more disturbing fashion trends that I am seeing these days.  J-Dub is equally as clueless as I am when it comes to dressing for the occasion, and if you live in Indiana you can likely find him wandering the streets late at night wearing only his bathrobe and a strong desire to show you his dick.  He might drop his bottle of Zima on the ground when you first pull up, but once you’re there for a couple of minutes you can really see just how devoid of any fashion sense he really is.  And that’s why this is the perfect time for us to tell other people what they’re doing wrong when it comes to accessorizing.  So take your tampon out, and get ready for six of the most disturbing fashion trends we’re seeing right now…

1) “YOLO” Shirts


For those of you who are lucky enough to never have run across this saying on a shirt, “YOLO” is an acronym for “You Only Live Once”.  This pisses me off for several reasons, but the most important of those reasons is that it’s just a shitty slogan for a tennis shoe company.  It’s not somebody who’s been given 5 years to live and really has to weigh each decision carefully only to eventually say “You Only Live Once!” and then decide that base jumping is the way to spend the last years of your life, only to not be paying attention to the parachute part of the training course.

The phrase “YOLO” was made famous by Canadian rapper Drake, who no one should ever take seriously as a hip-hop artist because he rose to fame on a Nickelodeon TV show.  It was used in a song featuring Lil’ Wayne entitled “The Motto”, which does sort of make sense seeing as how LW’s face is covered in tattoos and even in the afterlife it would be hard to find a job with all of that artwork.  Most recently, several shoe companies (Adidas) in particular are marketing shirts that bear the phrase and praise it’s aimless message of “Do anything you want and live life with reckless abandon and no care for others at all”.  The only problem is, that wouldn’t fit on a T-shirt so they just ripped said acronym from said rap song and now America is full of young white kids with their hats tilted sideways (and we’ll get to that later) who are going to be driving home wearing a blindfold and might end up T-boning your new car.  And even worse, if you do what you are supposed to do in that situation YOU’RE going to be the one charged with battery.  It’s a very cruel and sad world we live in.

“You Only Live Once” is a stupid statement that is nothing more than just another excuse for young people to not wear condoms.  And because they live the YOLO lifestyle and don’t choose to use latex to help preserve our already plummeting literacy rates, they are adding more mouths to feed for the generation that will follow.  And because the deck was clearly stacked against them from a genetic standpoint, those kids will go out and buy shirts that say something similar and do things that are equally stupid.  It’s a perfect example of how overpopulation is creating a whole lot of people who are guests on the Maury Povich show and have no plans to become architects.  We are in some serious trouble here.

Another thing here - I don’t normally stand up for Hindu rights, but isn’t this extremely offensive to people who believe in reincarnation?  I would hate for a young Hindu person to get in some terrible accident and one of the last things they remember be someone wearing a shirt that breaks the news to them about how they’ll never really be a cow.  Of course the irony here is a Hindu person would never be caught dead in something like this, because they are very smart and all of those calls about redeeming credit card miles aren’t going to answer themselves.


Before this, I had no idea what “YOLO” even meant.  From the first line of what he wrote, I knew this was pure, uncut bullshit. A Canadian Rapper? That’s like Bigfoot or a black guy with a job. Only sketchy evidence to support the existence of any of those things, but this “YOLO” shit really exists. And we are all worse of for it.

That’s really why I agreed to this. For those of you who normally read this blog, you know I primarily stick to sports. But this stuff is so important because we are not only are we creating a nation full of slack-jaws, through their clothing choices, they are willing to advertise that they barely have the IQs to find their own asses with both hands.

Like I told Meehan when he proposed this idea, I am probably old enough to be his father and it would take some work to bring my wardrobe up to “boring.” Not to mention, I don’t really use hashtags on Twitter; I need all 140 characters for my crabby old man rants. Face it,  in the neighborhood of cyber-space, I am that guy who cuts up Nerf balls that land in his yards and gets a lot of flaming bags of dogshit on his front step. I mean, who the fuck even calls it “cyber-space” anymore? I do, and so do the other four swelled-prostate geezers who still use CompuServe…that’s who.

Compuserve: How your Grandfather got his internet porn in the 56K days.

Anyway, at first I thought this was another one of Meehan’s “I had 14 vodka tonics” keyboard fuck-ups, but then I looked it up.  It turns out it is an acronym for “You Only Live Once.” See, back in my day, “you only live once” was something you only heard really stupid people say in proximity to doing something really stupid.

It’s amazing how some things never change.

As I was researching this, I stumbled across this little gem from Robyn Dexter, campus editor of the Eastern Illinois University’s Daily Eastern News.  Robyn actually gives me hope that not everybody Meehan’s age or younger is some mouth-breathing zombie-fuckwaste because she actually points out this is all about the justification of stupidity.

“When I see “YOLO” in a tweet, I know instantly that something unintelligent and cocky is going to follow,” she wrote. “There’s nothing wrong with taking risks in life and trying new things. I’m totally for that. But there’s a fine line between living your life to the fullest and making spur-of-the-moment, completely irrational decisions.”

Robyn, I love you, even though you live in Mattoon, Illinois, which inherently means you are either fat, generally unattractive, or carry your cell phone around in your bra (more on that later).  I’ve actually been to Mattoon; I spent 20 years there one night.  Mattoon is the kind of town where people get married at the Days Inn, then spend 30 years bitching about not getting enough hours at the dog food factory, all while drinking themselves to death 30 cans of Busch Light at a time.

Robyn, for you prescience, I hope you graduate and escape the greater Charleston-Mattoon metroplex and become the greatest alumni Eastern Illinois ever produced, which shouldn’t be hard considering you only have to beat out Tony Romo and Mike Shanahan…wait, all bets are off if Sean Payton gets to eventually drink beer out of Roger Goodell’s hollowed-out skull.

But, the most telling quote I found was this gem from alleged comedian Jack Black.

“I’m fairly certain ‘YOLO’ is just ‘Carpe Diem’ for stupid people.”

Anything…repeat ANYTHING…that allows a crap-sewer like Jack Black to sound intelligent has to be more unholy than the Devil ass-raping the Pope on a pile of freshly-clubbed baby seals.

2) Hats (including, but not limited to baseball caps)


If you ever needed proof that we are finished as a nation, just look at our heads.  Americans can’t even wear hats properly.  Not only do we wear stupid hats, we can’t even wear them in a way that doesn’t make us look like a bunch of booger-eating morons.  I don’t think it is a coincidence that most of these hat-crimes are exemplified by that Canada-tard Justin Bieber.  Bieber is simply Canada’s revenge on us for making a star out of the multi-talentless Alan Thicke.

  • The Bieber Hat

Forget for the time being those stupid fake “LeBron Glasses.”  Forget for the time being those glasses make me want to buy a ladder, climb it, and kick LeBron James in his double dribbles. This is about hats, and in this case, it is those  stupid “chicken pot pie” lids Bieber has foisted on every stupid American kid.  Whenever I see a kid wearing one of these hats, it makes me wish Jerry Sandusky wasn’t in prison so these hat-criminals could spend a weekend at his house so they would learn what happens to irresponsible hat-wearers.

  • The Stocking Cap

There’s only three legitimate times to wear one of these:

  1. It’s snowing
  2. It’s below 35 degrees
  3. You just had a brain tumor removed and your head has stitches in it like a baseball

Wearing these under any other circumstances means you are either a bank robber, a prisoner, or soon will be.

  • The Full Winter Hat

This is just stocking caps on steroids. Wearing these in public in anything other than a blizzard means you are a complete dipshit who has greasy hair and those big neck pimples.

  • The Kangol Hat

Nothing positive can come from a hat that does the impossible.  It makes Terry Bradshaw look dumber. It makes him look like a talking penis with a bullet-hole chin.

Baseball caps offer so much potential for hat-crime they require their own sub-section.

  • The Flipped-Up Bill

There’s only two people who can pull off this look.  Gomer Pyle when he was still a gas-pump jockey on the old Andy Griffith show and some 1950′s stereotype black guy named “Pappy.”  Either way, the flipped-up bill is a great way to tell people you are a functionally illiterate mouth-breather with 13 toes.

  • The “Alternate” Cap

I’m sorry, as much as I hate the Yankees, and as much as it would warm my heart to picture all Yankees fans in some sort of less-than-masculine color scheme, the Yankees do not wear pastels…well, at least not in public.

  • The Sideways Cap

It’s bad enough when broke-ass black guys do this, because they don’t need any more reasons to look stupid.  Standing in line at the check-cashing place with one of their baby-mommas knowing they’ve got an expired ID does that well enough.  But when white guys do it, you really just want to ask them if they a) have a good cross-over dribble move, b) can’t hold a job for more than three weeks, or c) do they really think wearing their cap sideways will give them one of those  giant, Mandingo cocks?

  • The Backward Cap

Unless you are a catcher, turn your fucking cap around right now. It should be legal to walk up to anybody wearing a backward cap in public and slam out their teeth with a pipe wrench.  Or, leave your cap on backwards and end up as this guy…

Its’ your choice.  Wear your hat correctly, or go to jail, or worse yet, end up as a Bieb-o-phile.


This is a little bit hypocritical for me because before I wised up and shaved my head last year I had worn a baseball cap my whole life. However, when it comes to baseball caps, I’m not the catalyst of the problem here. The trouble lies in the fact that somewhere along the line we decided that it was okay for everybody to display their creativity by wearing their hat titled in a certain way, instead of finding something that they are actually good at. For the record I have no problem with baseball caps if they are worn properly. Of course, most of the time they aren’t being worn properly. I never thought I’d live to see the day where someone can screw up placing a cap on their own head but here we are, gasping for air that is currently being overused by the people wearing the YOLO shirts.

A baseball cap either is worn straight, facing forward on one’s head. Sometimes when that person is doing work where the bill might get in the way, it is considered acceptable to wear it backwards. These are the only two ways to wear a hat. There are no others. The youth of America has bastardized the wearing of baseball caps in almost every possible way. The “sideways tilt” is the one that bothers me most. In a world where you can get shot simply by going to see a movie about a fucking comic book character, you’d think that more people would be on alert for the repercussions of wearing their hat titled sideways when you think of the thousands of people who have lost their lives because of this. But hey, You Only Live Once, right?

Now, this does not stop with baseball caps. There are several other sad and pathetic pieces of headwear that have somehow made their way into popular culture.

  • The Bucket Hat

Simply put, bucket hats are fucking stupid. The Bucket hat (or “fishing cap” as those who have something personal against buckets and don’t usually go fishing have been known to call it) is a loose fitting hat that pretty much falls off whenever you bend over to pick anything up, make any sudden movements, or think about placing a phone call or text message. You may also be familiar with the bucket hat because inside every Dave Matthews Band concert there is somebody with a booth set up selling these pieces of shit to college students who are on spring break all year and still haven’t discovered that wearing Birkenstocks look ridiculous. But then again if you read either of our websites on a regular basis, you’d better not be at a Dave Matthews Band concert in the first place.

  • Headbands

Unless you’re a pro athlete, there’s no reason to wear a headband. I also want to note here that this includes anyone who might be trying to pose as an athlete. Let me give you an example here: When I was in grade school we had a semi-pro basketball team around here who had this “mascot” who we’ll just call “Crazy Steve” that would go around to all of the different schools and perform tricks such as spinning basketballs on his hands and toes. As with anything that wanders into a grade school, you knew there was a message that came with this guy and it was to keep us free of drugs and alcohol. The irony in this story is the dude turned out to be a huge cocaine addict and was probably wearing the headband in the first place to absorb all of the ether that was coming out of the sweat glands on his head. It certainly wasn’t because of his repeated practice of such suggested anaerobic activites.

Back to actual athletes. Like I said, if you’re an athlete I don’t really have a problem with this because the technical term for a headband is a sweatband and it’s supposed to be used for the purpose of keeping the sweat out of your eyes. But if that’s the case, why do certain athletes need them while others don’t? If Kobe Bryant and LeBron James play the same sport, you’d think that either they’d both wear a headband or neither of them would wear one. I don’t understand that and I never will.

  •  Cowboy Hats

Obviously there was a time where wearing a cowboy hat was not only fashionable but sensible because it kept the sun out of ranchers’ eyes. 2012 is not one of those times, and I have a pretty good feeling 2013 isn’t going to be a big one either. Honestly there are a trillion possible jokes that could come of this, but why bother? It’s not like anybody who wears a cowboy hat poses a serious threat to your lifestyle is it? (If it does, number four on our list would probably not be a good place to skip ahead to in this article).

You know what? I take that back…now would be a GREAT time to make fun of all of these “dudes.” For the purpose of this piece I actually went to a local shop that sold western clothing, and I have determined that they think it’s okay to dress like that, because in their world it’s still 1871. It’s very possible that they could have just forgotten to tell hillbillies about the concept of using a calendar, and now we have to still deal with people who think it’s cool to have boots with spurs on them. I had to leave the store after a couple of minutes because I couldn’t deal with it. I could have been a good citizen and told the clerk that women can now vote but that might not have gained me anything but dirty looks, even from her. And if I wasn’t going to make that commitment, you’ve probably already guessed that I didn’t even begin to discuss the whole “We have a black president now” thing. That could have easily led to me dying behind a woodshed on a farm somewhere.

  • Anything with a Feather in it

I couldn’t careless what your gender and/or sexual orientation happens to be, there is never an excuse for wearing a feather in your cap. In the famous Revolutionary war song “Yankee Doodle”, our hero came riding into town “a riding on a pony” and when he got there he “stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni”. The fact that that guy probably owned slaves, was in the tertiary stage of syphillis, and was really fucking bad at naming things that fell off of birds should tell you just how outdated this practice is.

  • Visors

Even though I am a huge fan of Phil Mickelson, I can’t get behind the idea of a visor. Here is the problem with visors – if you bust the fabric ANYWHERE around the entire inscribed circle of the visor itself, there’s an 100% chance that whatever the hell is on the inside is made of is going to slowly cut its way into your skull to the sound of nobody feeling sorry for you at all. A visor is not a piece of clothing. Nothing that is a booby prize from a giveaway at a bank should ever be worn in public for any reason.

  •  Whatever the fuck you’d call what this guy is wearing

I don’t think I should need to explain why there’s no need for this.

3) “Cool Story Bro:  Tell it Again” / “Cool Story Babe:  Now Go Make Me a Sandwich” Shirts 


Let’s start with the first one.  To preface, if you ever hear me utter the word “bro” you have every right to stop what ever you are doing and kick me in the neck until it snaps.  Then when that’s done you can put me in one of those sexy nurse costumes with a ball gag in my mouth, and dispose of the body by shoving a stick of high potency dynamite inside my asshole and lighting it.  And I would deserve such a harsh penalty because there would be no excuse for my actions whatsoever.

I first saw this shirt on a young white male (notice a theme here?) and it had really obnoxious letters that appeared to be pink.  Which is humorous, because pink is typically not what you think of when you think of getting tough on anybody.  What the shirt is supposed mean is that the individual wearing the shirt wasn’t listening to whatever you were saying.  This is fine by me, I really don’t give a shit.  Anybody that would be wearing a phrase so insanely stupid is not in my target demographic.  I write all of this stuff because I hope that people who might have a hold on where their life is going may read it and not only be entertained but also may think that they have similar ideas they’d like to get off their chest.  I don’t write for people who wear cheesy taglines on their articles of clothing for all sorts of reasons, ranging from “They can’t read” to “You haven’t killed yourself yet?”

Now for the “Cool Story Babe:  Now Go Make Me a Sandwich” half of this atrocity.  If this isn’t the biggest precursor to domestic violence outside of NASCAR and Keystone Ice, I must be completely missing the point here.  What’s the problem?  Was the “Where’s my Dinner Bitch?” silkscreen broken that week so everyone just conveniently latched on to the PG version of that?  How weak.  and who’s to assume that I always want a sandwich?  What if it’s a Friday and I’m craving pizza?  Way to limit your options, douchebag.  You were so hung up on your goddamned sandwich that while you were in the other room surfing the internet for neon shoelaces, your girlfriend packed up all of her shit and left you because she grew tired of your requests for preparing and serving you deli products.  To make matters even worse, she’s going back to her ex-boyfriend who works at a sandwich shop.  You feel awfully stupid now, don’t you?

Going out of your way to say that you weren’t listening to something is a lie in and of itself because you’re acknowledging that you heard whoever was talking to you but you were being a dick and not listening.  Somebody that you call your friend was trying to tell you something that happened in their day and you were thinking about that Drake song instead of listening to what he was trying to share with you.  And this is the time where he’s finally had enough of that happening, so now he isn’t going to be your friend anymore either.  So you’re down a girlfriend and a friend as well, but the pain doesn’t stop there:  That friend of yours is now going to an orgy that is being hosted by your ex-girlfriend and the sandwich guy, and he isn’t going to invite you.  So you might wanna work on that note you’ll need to write to whoever cleans up the crime scene…”Sad story bro, tell my parents I’m sorry dog…”


This is another thing about which I had no idea, and for all of you who never bothered to tell me why this phrase existed, I offer the heartiest and most sincere  of “Fuck Yous.” Seriously, knowing this existed would have saved my countless hours of my life, and possibly a couple of assault charges. Had I known I could have just said “Cool Story Bro” to somebody who just pissed away a non-returnable part of my life with some pointless “who-gives-a-fuck” story, then I wouldn’t have bashed in their faces with a coffee mug.

The roots of this are almost as nefarious as those of YOLO.  The phrase “cool story” apparently got it’s pop-culture birth thanks to celluloid after-birth Owen Wilson in the 2001 film Zoolander.  Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller…just typing that dropped my IQ forty points and made my colon twist like an over-used phone cord (for those of you little snot-nosed, dick-squeezers who remember phones with cords).

Worse yet, “Cool Story Bro” I’ve been told this bit of joy spread to real life through the MTV reality show Jersey Shore.  Great. Like I need another reason to want to throat-fuck Snooki with a barbed-wire covered baseball bat.  Now that I’ve heard that, the fact that I ever wanted to consider using that line probably means I have some sort of bronzer-based, nuclear-powered, flesh-eating herpes that springs from the oozing sores on my junk and turns into Mormons.

In fact, now I hate my life so much I don’t even give a shit about this anymore…I want to go medieval on Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, and the cast of Jersey Shore.  Not only do I want them dead, I want their entire families killed.  I want anybody who ever sat next to them on a plane killed.  I want anybody who even has the same names killed.  And not just killed; I want their throats cut, I want them shot in the head 15 times while being burned alive, and all while they are being forced to watch re-runs of “Friends.” I want their house pets cooked and fed to the homeless. Then I want to get mean.

4) The Stupidity of Skinny Jeans and Baggy Pants


Here’s another tell on my age.  I’m old enough to remember when a Big Mac could not be lifted out of its wrapper with one hand by an adult male.  In my day, a Big Mac was something to behold; it was like the New Orleans Superdome covered with sesame seeds and stuffed with beef, those minced onions only McDonald’s can do, and an orgy of “special sauce” and wilted lettuce. It was a fucking gastronomic miracle, and even the most doomed bariatric case couldn’t gut two of them.  But now, thanks to the corporate downsizing of everything, the Big Mac is just another fast-food pussy-burger which maintains its heart-clogging capabilities because the patties are anteater meat and the “special sauce” is made from aborted Guatemalan fetuses.

“Skinny Jeans” are the Big Mac of the clothing world.  Whether its burgers or blue jeans, corporate executives in this country are increasingly cut from the “Snidely Whiplash” cloth; guys who are more interested in maximizing gross margin rather than providing a quality product. This is why you get a Big Mac that is now the size of a hockey puck and jeans made with half the fabric, but sold for a higher price because they’ve managed to con the consumer into believing that pants that turn your legs blue from lack of circulation are somehow “fashionable.” Not to mention, this is another area where Justin Bieber Bieb-fucked us; he helped to make skinny jeans a huge fashion nightmare.

Of course, there’s the other end of the spectrum…baggy pants.  For some reason, wearing baggy pants became perfectly acceptable.  For some reason,  wearing baggy pants with your boxers sticking out of your waistband became perfectly acceptable.  Frankly, I don’t have as big a problem with this as you might think.  To be honest, is there a better way to tell who the stupid people are than ones who can’t even buy pants that fit?  There’s no way you aren’t a complete dipshit if the waistband of your pants is below your ass and you have to continually hold your pants  up with your hand.

The only problem I have with skinny guys bagging out is they make it harder for me to buy pants.  I’m a big guy, and I need those 46-inch waist pants that were not intended to show off the boxers on some 150-pound zit-face.


Both skinny jeans and baggy pants have one thing in common:  They offer up the possibility of me getting to know the genitals of a person that I wouldn’t even be able to speak to for fifteen seconds.  Here again I can’t believe society has gotten so bad that I’m sitting here typing instructions on how to not where pants, but shit happens and remember you wanted to be a movie star and that never panned out did it?

Let’s begin with skinny jeans.  How desperate do you have to be that you would ever want to wear pants that basically look like they are the only thing you got after you were kicked out of Trixter?   This is the fault of a lot of these guys in “emo” bands with their pouty look – Their eyeshadow, the multicolored arm tattoos that are going to look like shit in twenty years, and their pants that are so tight you can almost smell their vaginas.

But it’s not just hipster toolbags and emo makeup monkeys that are wearing this stuff.  I’ve seen people wearing skinny jeans in sports bars, and that’s just completely unacceptable and it comes down to two simple things:  1) If you’re wearing skinny jeans at a sportsbar, you’re asking for trouble and since you’re technically still a dude they can beat the shit out of you and feel no guilt at all.  And, 2) There is a reason that most jerseys are loose fitting:  Sports fans hate tight clothing.  So in a room where everyone is there to watch the game, you’re probably going to want to get your iPhone with the app that allows you to control the jukebox and hightail it the fuck out of there before somebody hurts you.  Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Now let’s shift the focus to baggy jeans.  I for one understand why someone would want to wear pants that are a little on the loose fitting side, but that’s not what we’re talking about here…I’m referring to the members of the younger generations that are usually white males (bet you didn’t see that shit coming) whose pants are around their knees so the rest of us can conveniently get to know their boxers.  They also can be seen wearing hooded sweatshirts that will come in handy when they go to rob the KwikMart later this evening.

“Baggy” shouldn’t mean that you look homeless.  There’s nothing wrong with loose fitting clothes but when you take it to the point where you are guilty of indecent exposure the entire time you’re going food shopping, things have gotten way out of hand.  (Don’t you know there are kids here?  There are tons of them – their parents are the YOLO people, I thought we covered this earlier…)  If the crotch is in the same horizontal level as your socks, it’s time to head on over to Kohl’s and buy a goddamn belt.  That way if you can’t figure out how to use it to hold your pants up, you can always use it to strangle yourself.

5) Women Who Keep Their Money/Cell Phones, et cetera in their Bra 


At the risk of sounding a little gender biased, this one is all your doing ladies.  Now, I’m sure there are transgendered individuals and guys who “haven’t paid for the surgery yet” that are just as guilty of this as you are, but this is mostly practiced by women.  The main issue I have here is that this is simply unfair to all men, and I’ll explain why…

Let’s just say by comparison I went up to the counter at my local grocery store and set down my usual stockpile of milk and laxatives.  After ringing up what’s somehow become almost 100% of my diet the clerk tells me my total, and I immediately stick my hand down my pants.  I’d be in and out of jail so fast they wouldn’t even have time to tow my car.  And don’t give me any of this shit about how keeping my wallet next to my balls is much different than you carrying your money in your over the shoulder boulder holder, I’m just not going to listen to that.  You are required by law to cover up your breasts in public, and the government has the same rules regarding my scrotum.  That’s all I need to know, and my point is neither one of us should store our valuables there.

I’ve heard all sorts of poorly constructed arguments defending this one, and the most common one is that there are some women who refuse to carry a purse because they are afraid that someone will steal it.  My counter to that would be that a purse is the greatest weapon (that doesn’t say Smith & Wesson on the side of it) that has ever been devised to protect women from theft.  Seriously think about it – There’s nothing tougher (or funnier) than beating some purse snatcher to death with your purse, and if the guy does make it there’s no way he’s going to ever be able to press charges against you no matter how badly you beat him up because no adult male is going to admit to being purse-whipped.

I’m aware that there is plenty of disgusting germs on money, but even with that being said I’d much rather have blow on my money than trailer trash tit sweat.  Figure out another effective way to transport the things you need and stop rubbing your nipples everytime you head to the vending machine.  There has to be an alternate method.

As a bonus comment, I’d also like to add here that if you’re over the age of nine you shouldn’t be allowed to carry money in your sock and/or shoe.  I hate to be such a “traditionalist” about this, but good Lord guys can’t we just use the methods that are already in place?  Why do we continue to do things that are so disgusting that even cavemen wouldn’t do them?


OK, so here’s my problem on this one.  I’m a man, which means I don’t have tits or clothes that don’t have pockets, so I completely don’t understand this issue.  Moreover, it seems that attractive women don’t have this problem either. I say that because every woman I’ve ever seen who is ready to pull something out of her bra has boobs that look like without the aforementioned bra they might resemble a giant bowl of cottage cheese filled with big, blue veins and dumped down a hill.  I can’t imagine being one of those poor guys who works at the mall and getting handed a wad of damp cleavage cash that smells like chest-ass.

Really, how hard it is to buy clothes with pockets? Those fanny-pack things, as dorky as they may be, are better than looking like a hooker from a 1940′s movie. Women will tell you this is all about not having a choice, because there are times when they just don’t want to wear pockets, carry a bag, and yet still carry a cell phone. That gets about a 9.6 on the Bullshit-o-meter.

First of all, just where do you intend to keep your keys and your driver’s license? There aren’t many places you can go where you don’t need at least one of those items, and I don’t see you chicks stuffing a key ring in between your tits.

Not to mention, it’s not like they don’t have an alternative.  I discovered something called the JoeyBra,  a bra complete with a side pocket to store a cell phone and other necessities. 

This means all you women are now on notice. If you keep stuffing crap in your cleavage, I will keep calling you a trashbag who makes trashbag decisions.  You’ve got choices. Start making some smart ones.

6) Guys Who Wear Sport Coats With Jeans


Here’s another trend that only is seen in two types of guys; there’s the 45-year old limp-dick who thinks he’s being “hip” and/or “trendy” and the 23-year future limp-dicks who try to look like them. There’s a reason why the youngsters are trying to swipe this look; it’s because the old guys who do it are college professors or other creeper-types who fancy themselves attractive to the same kinds of women the 23-year-olds are after. So, if you see a guy wearing this outfit, he either wants to have sex with women half his age, or believes there is an advantage to mimicking the hunting patterns of a sexual predator. Either way, it spells douchebag.


Whenever I see this look, the first thing that pops in my head is “youth pastor.”  Even if you’ve never been to church, I’m sure at some point you have overheard one of these guys talking to a future member of their youth group in a public place.  “Oh so, you skateboard?  That’s way cool.  I read this book everyday about a dude who was so cool he died for the sins of the world.  A dude named Jesus!  He’s far out!”

Out of all of these, this one is closest to representing the individual who’s wearing it.  It’s an out of touch, confused, busybody who can’t get his shit together.  So he thinks he can wear both of these things without being mocked, and that’s simply not an option.

And how schizophrenic does your taste in clothing have to be to have one half of you dressed a certain way, and then the other half dressed another?  “Well, I want people to see the suit and know I mean business but I also want them to be aware of my love for country music!  Plus, I lost my cowboy hat a few days back, so…”  (we would like to take a brief moment to let you know that if you ever see a guy in a cowboy hat wearing a sport coat with blue jeans, we here at EEP and Dubsism would like to encourage you to conveniently forget everything you know about your state’s laws when it comes to throwing furniture at people)  If you’re gonna do a suit, do the whole suit.  Wear a tie, and do the whole thing otherwise you look like a little bitch.

This bothers us because not only is it poor taste, it’s obviously someone who isn’t as hip as he used to be (that’s assuming he was ever hip in the first place, which is highly unlikely) going out of their way to re-establish their relevance.  It’s never going to happen, and that whole thing I said in the intro about finding something you’re good at, strike that…There probably isn’t anything you’ll find during that search.

Conclusion by J-Dub:

19th Scottish satirist Thomas Carlyle once said “The first purpose of clothes… was not warmth or decency, but ornament…. Among wild people, we find tattooing and painting even prior to clothes.  The first spiritual want of a barbarous man is decoration; as indeed we still see among the barbarous classes in civilized countries.”

Why am I quoting some long-dead Scotsman? Because he saw how utterly fucking stupid fashion could be even then, and just walk down any street in America and you will see this country needs some serious smartening up when it comes to the shit we wear.

In his introduction, Meehan makes it clear he has his way of dressing, and it suits whatever quirks he has. That means who knows who he is, and has managed to present himself to the world in such a manner to get accepted to a college, get a job, and generally not have any real reason for fucking up his life like he has. And whatever those reasons are, they don’t have shit to do with his clothes.

I’ve got a full, complete share of respect for that, not only because “boring” never goes out of style, but “boring” means stable.  Airline pilot uniforms are “boring” for a reason. Nobody wants to get on a plane and see the pilot wearing a clown wig and Crocs. You’d swim out the toilet hole to get off that plane if you had to.

See, whether you like it or not, the clothes we wear are as much a form of communication as the shit we say. The very same people who would never dream of walking into a room full of people and shouting “completely disregard me as I’m a totally useless mouth-breathing dumbfuck” don’t realize they can do EXACTLY that simply by what they wear. I know, there’s those stupid self-serving ass-loafs out there who want me to believe that discriminating against people with tattoos is wrong, but that’s the same mentality that allows some of the shit we’ve just mentioned to happen.

If you think we are wrong, let me put it this way. Would you go to a doctor who wore a “YOLO” shirt? Would you trust your life savings to a financial planner who kept her cell phone in between her tits? There’s no fucking way you would, because at the end of the day, even the most self-absorbed dipshit on earth knows that image matters.

The worst part is that when you go out into the world looking like a full-on dilweed, you don’t even realize that it isn’t the fault of the winter hat you are wearing in 95 degree temperatures. It’s that the rest of the world knows anybody wearing a fur-lined hat in weather that could scorch the scrotum off a camel couldn’t even beat-off successfully without a 15-page instruction manual they couldn’t read anyway.

Let’s face it. Dressing yourself isn’t even that hard. It’s really about three simple rules:

  1. Clothes are to be clean with no holes.
  2. Hats are to be worn in the manner they were intended.
  3. Wear shit that fits, and that doesn’t make you look stupid.

Having said that, when you go to a job interview in baggy jeans and a sport coat that doesn’t fit, you can’t blame the hiring manager who won’t hire you, because you’ve just told him that you can’t handle the most basic of functions and that even something as menial as letting you run the french-fry machine at an Arby’s means you are likely to burn down the whole fucking store before your first cigarette break.

In other words, don’t get mad at us for thinking you are a dipshit. We are just following what you are telling us.

Oh, and contrary to what Meehan tells you, if you do happen to bump into me on the street, there’s no way I’m going to show you my dick…well, not for free anyway.

Stay tuned to Dubsism,  First Order Historians, and East End Philadelphia for more up to the minute advice on how to be undeniably awesome.

-J-Dub and Meehan

Five Things You Need To Know About The NFL Labor Dispute with the Referees

9 08 2012

Editor’s Note: This article is a collaborative effort between Dubsism and Ryan Meehan from First Order Historians. Ryan also has his own blog, East End Philadelphia, which is featured in our BlogRoll and it is well worth the read.

This time last year, we were just getting over a labor dispute with the players which threatened to wipe out the season.  Once that nightmare was over, we got a lot of teary embraces, joining of hands, and a lot of song and dance about how we would now have a decade of labor peace in the National Football League. Like most things which come out of Roger Goodell’s mouth, that was a freight train loaded with bullshit.

While this dispute with the referees won’t kill the season, it make fans literally blow their eyeballs out of their skulls at the level of incompetency you can expect if the NFL goes through with its plan to use “scab” officials. This would be such a horrible public relations fiasco for the NFL that they are really keeping quiet about how bad this might be. This is why Meehan and J-Dub have collaborated to shine some truth on the situation being created by Kommissar Goodell.  Here are some basic facts Goodell really would prefer you didn’t know.

1) The soul of this labor dispute is really all about union busting. 


It should a huge indicator what a flaming asshole Roger Goodell is when I (who happens to be exceptionally anti-union)  have some empathy for the referees.  Just look at how the NFL put a strong-arm job on the players, which just happens to be the one union that matters to the NFL. The league learned the hard way in 1987 that people won’t watch a game full of replacement players, but they are gambling that you won’t care about scab referees. Therefore, you can bet the NFL will put the long, unlubricated, Turkish-prison-style rape-job to the referees.

Just like they did to the players, the NFL has offered pay raises of 5 to 11%, which is far under those previous labor negotiations. This is being done in an era when referees are coming under increased scrutiny since most of them are lousy anyway.  However, this is also an era in which the NFL expects to see its yearly revenues go from $9 to $16 billion per year. This is also an era where we’ve introduced salary caps, franchise tags, and rookie pay scales. That means this is all about squeezing every last kidney stone out of the golden-egg laying goose.

Here’s the bottom line.  It is one thing to make prudent, financially-responsible decisions to keep an enterprise profitable.  It’s entirely another to be a money-grubbing scum-bag.  Ever since the advent of free-agency, the scum-bag role has been reserved for the unions.  Roger Goodell’s level of assholery has managed to reverse that polarity. Worse yet, he has political cover for now; it’s going to take a train-wreck of monstrous proportions by the replacement refs for the locked-out officials to get public sentiment on their side.  Until that happens, Kommissar Goodell holds all the cards.


Goodell does hold all the cards.  Which is total horseshit when you think about it, because we’re not playing cards.  We’re supposed to be playing football.  There’s this ridiculous idea that the NFL developed a few years back that says that there’s one figure that represents the total annual revenue accrued by the NFL.  And that once that figure is in place, there is only that money to pay everybody involved with the league at any level.  But there’s two fundamental problems with that:

a)  The original number is WAY lower than the actual amount of money they are making.  It’s no different than trying to lowball a guy when you’re buying a used car.  You look for every possible excuse that you can to say that your multimillion-dollar sports league isn’t worth as much as it really is (which is of course hilarious since all of the merchandise is made in Korea) so that when it comes time to pay everybody you can just say that there’s “just enough money to go around”, leaving very little room for a pay increase.

b)  The number that they are originally providing you with doesn’t take into account brand equity, or the fact that the NFL isn’t going bankrupt anytime soon.  It’s not Major League Soccer, there are no worries that the NFL is going to all of a sudden be in the red tomorrow morning.  All of this basically means that they are lying to you about how much money they’re making because they’re assuming that you’re not going to look anything up about the massive deal they signed with Direct TV that makes the original AOL Time Warner merger look like it’s ordering a fucking grilled cheese sandwich off of the children’s menu.  Beware, there’s another grilled cheese sandwich metaphor coming later.

2) The replacement referees will be terrible.


If you were going to replace NFL officials, it would make sense to get them from the same place you get the majority of the players’ right?

Forget it…that ain’t gonna happen.

You won’t see many major college conference officials among the replacements because a number of big-conference officials supervisors are former NFL referees and they are refusing to lend out their officials as a show of solidarity for their locked-out brethren. Not to mention, it has been widely reported that several former NFL officials such as Red Cashen, Ron Botchan, and Jerry Markbreit, have steadfastly refused to assist in training the replacements. That means all of the “scab” referees” will have very little training and very limited resources to prepare.

Sunday night’s Hall-of-Fame Game was a preview of coming attractions.  Craig Ochoa, who has eight years of experience in BCS conferences and 16 years officiating Division III games, was the referee for the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Arizona Cardinals.  Ochoa flipped a commemorative coin at midfield to start the game, then incorrectly announced the result to the crowd, saying that New Orleans had won the toss and deferred.  It was only after he started to walk away that he caught his mistake.


This one is kind of self explanatory.  It doesn’t take a genius to realize that if you have second tier people doing a particular task that the task will not be done to specs.  Refereeing is a very complex skill that takes many years of practice, determination, and willingness to blow all of your credibility at the end of a Chargers-Broncos game.  And that’s if you’re lucky.  There’s a reason that the scrub refs aren’t in the bigs…because there’s either no room for them or they just aren’t good enough.  The first might not be their fault, but such is life and such is any other position in the working world.

Now, a lot of people are glazing over this whole thing because they watch the game for the players and teams involved.  And they’re right.  But what the NFL is doing is making it glaringly obvious to all involved that don’t have their head crammed up their ass that since the referees aren’t directly related to their revenue stream, they could really care less about them.

The scrub refs are essentially the “open mike crowd” from your local lame-ass Comedy Club.  Goddell is the emcee and he has to sell you on the idea that for the next five minutes this dude who is a dishwasher at Shoney’s is going to have you falling out of your seat laughing.  But it’s hard to feel sorry for him, because he’s the one who wanted to host the show.

3) It Took A Terrorist Attack To End The Last NFL/Referees Dispute


The most recent labor agreement between the referees and the NFL expired May 31, and the zebras got locked out three days later, right after the NFL broke off a marathon negotiating session with a federal mediator.  This is the same tactic the NFL used to strong-arm the players, with the league upping the ante by hiring replacement officials to work the exhibition season and possibly the regular season.

As ugly as the lockout with the players got, the NFL never brought in scabs, having learned the aforementioned lesson in 1987.  That lesson didn’t carry over to the last dispute with the referees.  The NFL used replacements briefly in 2001 during the exhibition season and for the first week the regular season. Then came Tuesday, September 11th.  In the aftermath, the league and the union figured out that not doing everything within their power to help America “get back to normal” would have been a cataclysmic approach.


This is much what Dubs was saying earlier about it being a union busting issue.  There is so much pride involved with unions that it’s difficult for them not to take everything personally. It certainly isn’t going to happen overnight and it’s going to get a lot uglier before it gets any prettier. And from the way it already looks you’d have an easier time freebasing Woolite than trying to get these two sides to come to an agreement.

Growing up I vaguely remember the 1987 season, but I definitely know that if there are any asterisks anywhere in the NFL record books they’re probably going to be associated with that year. There is always the chance that the product’s quality will drop, but since you don’t have an Ed Hochuli jersey it’s going to be very easy for the NFL to overlook.  The likelihood that this doesn’t get resolved anytime soon is precisely what makes it such a crisis in the first place.  This is serious, serious business.

4) If this goes into October, the chance that President Obama makes this a campaign issue could be disastrous.


Regardless of your political stripe, there is no denying some crucial facts:

a)  Obama loves to get involved in union negotiations, from the government takeover of General Motors and its pension fund, to his close relationship to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

b)  Obama is desperate to toss out smoke-screens which misdirect attention away from important issues.  This is why we keep hearing exceptionally stupid shit about some rich guy’s tax returns from a guy who can’t kill a controversy about a birth certificate. If the aforementioned train-wreck in the NFL happens during the election season, you can count on Obama to come charging to the rescue, because Lord knows, the single-most important problem in the world at the time will be the well-being of a bunch of insurance salesmen who just happen to wear stripes on Sunday.

c) If Obama does get involved, he has no choice but to fuck it all up.  Before you start writing me the usual dip-shit political comment, consider the following. If Obama were a waiter, he’d be the kind that brings you a burnt grilled cheese sandwich when you ordered a cheeseburger, and when you complain about it, he tries to make you feel stupid for wanting a cheeseburger in the first place.  When you get pissed and demand to speak to the restaurant manager, he cops out with some bullshit about “he didn’t understand which cheese thing you really wanted.” In other words, despite all that “Hope” and “Change” crap America swallowed four years ago, Obama is exactly the same as every other politician since the dawn of time.

Here’s why that matters. If he does inject himself into this situation, he’s got no choice but to piss off one of his core constituencies.  On one hand, if he sides with the NFL, he will piss off his union-based backers who really are the backbone of his political base.  However, if he sides with the union, he’s going to piss off a large chunk of the richest people in America, and despite what you may believe about American politics, there is no such thing as somebody who got elected President without the backing of a lot of rich people.

Now for the real turd in the punch bowl.  Obama has been a big supporter of women’s rights, and if the NFL goes into the regular season with replacement referees, one of them is going to be a woman.  The league has announced that the first-ever female official will be used in tonight’s preseason game between the Packers and San Diego Chargers.  The NFL has also stated that they have several more female officials waiting in the wings, and there were rumors the league had considered hiring a full-time female official this past season but didn’t pull the trigger.

Think about what that means.  The first female NFL referee’s job will be the result of a labor dispute.  If Obama gets involved in this matter, it will be a lose-lose-lose situation.  Since this female official will lose her job if the locked-out referees are re-instated, Obama’s opponents could easily claim gender equity isn’t an important issue for him, so long as he makes “Big Business” happy.  If he ensures the locked-out referees lose their jobs, his union support becomes problematic. Worse yet, any intervention bolsters Goodell’s position that he is running an enterprise so crucial to the American soul that he should be given unlimited power to run it.  After all, if it takes the President of the United Fucking States to solve a problem in the NFL, then it is only logical that Kommissar Goodell should have “executive order” (read that “dictatorial”) powers.

If that happens, you can start the countdown from now until the day soccer becomes the most popular sport in America.


Man, it’s so hard for me to get a beautiful opportunity to bag on soccer after that kind of an introduction and then not do it.  Let it be known the only reason that I’m not is because I already took a shot at them in the first segment.

The Obama thing is tricky because he is a sports fan, but with the current sad state of affairs that has become everyday life in the United States today he has absolutely no business getting involved with sports.  AT ALL.  He used the BCS thing as leverage during his first campaign, and it was one of those zero statements – All he basically did is say that he was in favor of a playoff system, which most of the country agreed with anyway because it makes sense and that’s why we’re headed in that direction now.  I just think any politician who does that is just weak.  Seriously…This is the equivalent of when a politician says “I support harsher punishments for sex crimes involving children”.  WELL NO SHIT.  Of course you do, because unless you count Chuck E. Cheese, there are no sex offender lobbyist groups hassling Congress to go easy on guys like Jerry Sandusky.  Obama will try and do the same thing, and Romney will be able to use it as leverage and say things like “Shouldn’t we be worried about the real issues here?”  Only he’ll do it with that really slick voiceover sounding thing that he does and people will actually think for a brief moment that they can relate to him.

To be honest, I don’t really care what Obama’s point of view is when it comes to something like this.  As far as I’m concerned, this is a crop dusting plane and he needs to keep his eyes on the road because he’s doing 70 on the interstate.  Which happens to be torn up as hell and shrunk down to one lane, so you could understand why this would be a much unnecessary distraction.  I don’t think he’ll get involved as this will likely be handled by a federal mediator, if it even gets to that point.  I would love to see a female referee on the regular staff in the very near future, instead of someone that will (as J-Dub said) just lose their gig as soon as this is resolved.

5) The NFL thinks you are all sheep who will watch football no matter what.

J-Dub:  Whatever happens, the reality of the situation is quite clear:  Football will take place regardless of who is wearing the stripes. As long as you keep watching, the NFL couldn’t give a shit less about the quality of the product they are putting on the field.  Face it. They’ve already got you paying full price to watch pre-season games loaded with guys who will be loading trucks at UPS next week.


He’s right, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  However, I do believe that if the quality of the NFL’s product begins to dip, the sports fans that are real die hards will begin to make their voices heard and criticize it to greater lengths.  But even then…BAAAAAAAAA…


Since J-Dub did the intro, I’ll go ahead and close this one out.  What we are trying to get across in this piece is that this is a huge deal that is getting what I believe is not nearly enough press when you consider the severity of the situation.  We’re talking about the biggest sports machine in the entire world not having its officials, and I consider that to be very serious.  While there is plenty of news about what cereal Tim Tebow is eating and how Peyton Manning is still media-friendly, a major issue is for the most part almost becoming buried under a lot of all that other garbage.

As with any entertainment production, it takes a lot of people to put on a show.  The NFL is one of the best shows in the world.  And let’s not forget, the referees are on the field.  In many ways they manage the pace of the game.  Without the first string referees, we have a product that isn’t nearly as precise as the fans would like it to be.  When these things happen, it’s up to the commissioner to get his shit together and figure out how we can keep this from happening in the future.

Once again thanks for stopping by First Order Historians and Dubsism for more information on how to be undeniably awesome.

Stay tuned to Dubsism,  First Order Historians, and East End Philadelphia for more up to the minute advice on how to be undeniably awesome.

-J-Dub and Meehan

Guest Column: Jim Rockford on the Ten Worst Sports “Divorces”

26 07 2012

Editor’s Note: Mr. Rockford is a private detective based in Malibu, California. We here at Dubsism have retained Mr. Rockford at his standard rate of two hundred dollars a day plus expenses to investigate matters of crime and other general shadiness in the world of sports, then report back to us when needed. If you would like to contact Mr. Rockford, at the tone, leave your name and number and he’ll get back to you

Divorces in sports don’t necessarily have to be the actual and messy kind, like the matrimonial train wreck to which Frank and Jamie McCourt treated us. There have been plenty of on-the-field relationships that exploded in various states of severity, ranging from the “we can still be friends” style break-up like the one Peyton Manning and the Colts had.  Or, it can be the “domestic violence waiting to happen” split as in the case of Terry Francona and the Boston Red Sox.

As a private investigator, I try to avoid domestic cases. But, to be honest, I’ve had to re-finance my trailer five times in the last ten years, and let me tell you those “balloon payments” can put a major skid on the wallet. That means whether I like it or not, I’ve peeked through more keyholes than I care to admit. That’s why J-Dub asked for my thoughts on ten notable sports divorces.

10) Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers

If you thought the Indianapolis Colts wouldn’t run Peyton Manning out of town, you forgot about the 1993 divorce between the San Francisco 49ers and Joe Montana.

Yep, Joe Montana, the four-time Super Bowl champion, back-to-back NFL MVP in 1989-90, and arguably the most beloved athlete in the history of San Francisco got handed a suitcase by the 49ers.

It all started after a “should-have-killed-him” hit by the New York Giants’ Leonard Marshall in the 1990 NFC title game.  The 49ers were on their way to an unprecedented third straight Super Bowl, but Marshall’s jarring blow blew out  Montana’s elbow, which not only ended his stint in this game; it would be almost two full seasons before Montana would see the field again.

The trouble is by then the 49ers had become enamored with Montana’s replacement, Steve Young. Not only that, but Young had entrenched himself as the starting quarterback and was the reigning NFL MVP when Montana was ready to return for the 1993 season.  49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo and coach George Seifert gave Montana the “run-around” as to whether he’d get a shot to compete for the starting  job,  so he demanded a trade.

At 37, Montana landed in Kansas City, where he had two good seasons; he took the historically insignificant Chiefs to the AFC Championship game in 1993. Young finally escaped Montana’s shadow by leading the 49ers to a  Super Bowl win the next season.  The story did have a “happy” ending as through a one-day contract, Montana had the opportunity to retire as a member of the 49ers.

9) Bobby Hull and the Chicago Blackhawks

In the annals of NHL history, Bobby Hull will be best remembered as the first player to light the lamp 50 times in a season and the first guy to hold a gun to the head of ownership for a big payday. Hull went for the big dough twice; first for $100,000, then later for $1 million.

The “Golden Jet” was the Gretzky of the 1960′s; he led the NHL in goals seven times that decade and took the the Chicago Blackhawks to the 1961 Stanley Cup.  In 1962, Hull matched previous standard for hitting the twine with the 50 goal tally of Maurice “Rocket” Richard and Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion in 1962, then Hull used his legendary slap shot to become the sole standard bearer with 54 goals in 1966.

With that level of success, it should come as no shock to current-day sports fans that Hull decided he wanted more money.  He demanded $100,000 a year in 1968, and threatened to quit if he didn’t get it. in 1968.  That tactic worked, and it encouraged Hull to do it again in 1972, only this time the price escalated.  Hull used the fledgling World Hockey Association (WHA) as leverage, but this time he wanted $1 million, which was a ridiculous amount at the time.

However, the Winnipeg Jets jumped at the chance to land a superstar; they were more than happy to pony up $1 million per year in a 10-year deal.  Hull had four more 50-goal seasons in Winnipeg, including what was a then-professional record of 77 goals in 1975.

In one fell swoop, Hull made a huge payday, solidified the WHA to the point it would eventually merge with the NHL, and became a major reason the Blackhawks would need 50 years to win another Stanley Cup.

8 ) Manny Ramirez and the Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox are notorious for bad marriages; they could be the Elizabeth Taylor of sports.  It’s always amazed me how they ran Terry Francona out of town after he led that franchise to two World Series championships in four seasons after the Red Sox had gone 86 seasons as a bridesmaid and never a bride.  But the list of bad Boston marriages could be it’s own blog.

Let’s focus on Manny Ramirez also fits that bill, but a good case of “Manny Being Manny” helps to explain why what should have been a New England honeymoon turned into a Boston bitch-fest.  Manny took a swing at local hero Kevin Youkilis.  Manny shoved 64-year-old traveling secretary Jack McCormick to the ground.  Manny even pulled himself out of multiple games citing a knee injury that many thought was an act of protest because he was upset with his contract.

The Red Sox finally had a belly full of Manny and dealt him to the Dodgers in July 2009.  Ramirez showed exactly why the Red Sox had put up with him for so long.  Manny had such an impact with the Dodgers that despite the fact he only played in 53 National League games, he finished fourth in the NL MVP voting. However, it was the next season when Manny’s reputation began it’s major slide when he got popped for the first of his suspensions for violating baseball’s drug policy.

7) Shaquille O’Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers

It wasn’t just Shaq and Kobe who were battling over who was the leader of the team; the Lakers’ management was Pacific-deep in the same issue.  Owner Jerry Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak were dealing with two show ponies and felt they had to pick the one they were going to ride following the loss to the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals.

In Shaq’s book, “Shaq Uncut: My Story,” he claims Kupchak promised him a contract extension during the 2003-04 season but then made comments that O’Neal’s future with the Lakers was up in the air.  During an exhibition game, Shaq yelled to Buss, “pay me.”

Shaq never had a good relationship with Kupchak, and matters only got worse when he replaced Jerry West as the Lakers’ general manager after the 2000 season.  According to Shaq, “Mitch looked out for two people: himself and Jerry Buss. The rest of us were afterthoughts.”  O’Neal was traded to the Heat during the offseason and oddly enough,  the next day Bryant signed a huge contract extension with the Lakers.

As an “afterthought,” Shaq won an NBA Championship the very next season with the Miami Heat.  But Kobe and the Lakers would outdo that by winning back-to-back titles in 2009-10 after acquiring Pau Gasol.

6) Eric Lindros and the Philadelphia Flyers

Just like Mary’s little lamb, everywhere that Lindros went, controversy was sure to follow.   After he flatly refused to play for the Quebec Nordiques,  his rights were traded to the Flyers.  Philadelphia gave away the moon and the stars, and possibly a few planets for the number one overall pick; the spoils of that trade and a relocation to Colorado morphed the quasi-lousy Nordiques into the championship Avalanche.

Lindros went on to become an All-Star in six out of eight seasons with the Flyers, yet by the time he left town, the City of Brotherly love had none for him.  The end of the affair began on April 1, 1999 when Lindros was misdiagnosed by Flyers’ medical staff with a rib injury. Later, Lindros’ teammate Keith Jones found him pale and cold in a hotel bath tub during a roadtrip. The Flyers told the trainer to put him on a flight back to Philadelphia, but Jones insisted Lindros go to a local hospital. He was diagnosed with a collapsed lung and internal bleeding.  Lindros’ father, who was also his agent, ripped the organization for its treatment of the injury and the two sides would never again be on good terms. get back on good terms.

Matters only got worse when Lindros suffered a series of concussions; Lindros heaped criticism on the Flyers after they performed yet another misdiagnosis regarding the bell-ringing he got in March 2000. After that incident, Flyers general and legendary asshole Bobby Clarke stripped Lindros of his captaincy and demanded he apologize to his teammates.  The concussion Clarke insinuated was no big deal kept Lindros off the ice for the rest of the regular season.  Lindros did skate again in the playoffs, but another head-shot ended his season, after which he was summarily shipped of to the New York Rangers.

Lindros did have a few more moderately successful season in New York, but he always maintained the Flyers’ medical staff helped to shorten his career.

5) Marcus Allen and the Los Angeles Raiders

Would everybody who had a feud with Raiders’ owner Al Davis please stand up? (Insert sound of floor creaking from everybody standing simultaneously).  Marcus Allen is in no way the first or last person to have a feud with Al Davis, but his was among the ugliest.  For the first few years ,  the marriage of Allen and the Raiders was of the story-book variety.  Allen was a Los Angeles from having been a Heisman Trophy winner at USC, and now he was tearing up the field of the L.A. Coliseum for the relocated L.A. Raiders.  Allen was Rookie of the Year and an NFL All-Pro in his first season.  If that weren’t enough, Allen trucked the Raiders to an NFL Championship in Super Bowl XVIII, picking the Super Bowl MVP honors via his 191 rushing yards.

Then, the honeymoon cruise hit the iceberg, and the marriage morphed into an ugly, California-style divorce.  Allen got into a contract dispute with the Raiders during which Davis called him a “cancer to the team.”  Suddenly Allen, arguably the premier running back in the league at the time, found himself on ass-duty on the Raider bench, due to Davis benching him and using the arrival of two-sport phenom Bo Jackson as an excuse.  Five years of this went by before Allen finally struck back in 1992 during a Monday Night Football halftime interview. Allen said Davis was out to get him and that he thought Davis was trying to ruin Allen’s chances of making the Hall of Fame.

The next year Allen finally got out of Los Angeles by joining the one of the Raiders main rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs.  In Kansas City, Allen earned NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors while helping Kansas City reach the conference championship game.

In 2003 when Marcus Allen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Allen buried the hatchet by thanking Davis in his induction speech.

4) Patrick Roy and the Montreal Canadiens

Roy’s downfall in Montreal was almost Paterno-esque in both it’s quickness and shock value.  Roy was a two-time Stanley Cup champion, Conn Smythe winner, a three-time Vezina Trophy winner and a native son of Quebec. This meant Roy was beloved for most of his time in Montreal; the fans loved his brash and combative spirit and for 10 years he was a hero on skates for Les Habitants.

That was until December 2nd, 1995.  On that night against the Detroit Red Wings, Roy got smoked like a convenience store cigar; he gave up 9 goals on 26 shots. When th score plummeted to 7-1, the crowd sarcastically cheered after Roy gloved a routine save. Roy responded by mockingly lifting his arms in celebration. After the socre hit 9-1, Canadiens’ coach Mario Tremblay finally gave Roy the hook, after which Roy stormed directly up to the face of president Ronald Corey and essentially demanded a trade Denis Lemieux-style. Naturally, this led to a shouting match in the locker room, and the next day Roy was suspended and the Canadiens announced they would trade him. One night, and the marriage was o-v-e-r.

Four days later, Roy was on a plane to the Mile High City, thanks to a one-sided trade with the Colorado Avalanche. In Denver, Roy would go on to lead the Avalanche to a Stanley Cup and Tremblay would only last one more year in Montreal.  In 2001,  Roy and the Avalanche won a second Stanley Cup as Roy took home his third Conn Smythe trophy.  Before Roy left, the Canadiens were the greatest franchise in hockey. Since then, then have won a total of six playoff series.  Some fans call this “The Curse of St. Patrick.”

3) LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers

Here’s another case of hometown hero turned prodigal son who just ain’t coming back.  LeBron and the Cavaliers had a warm, loving relationship right up until the end. There was no posturing and no public squabbles between the two sides in LeBron’s last year in Cleveland. The Cavs loved LeBron and seemingly did whatever they could to appease him, and he rewarded them with two MVP seasons and the NBA’s best regular season record in both 2009 and 2010.


LeBron clearly had his eyes on another suitor, and really nobody can blame him for wanting to leave. After all, Cleveland did nothing to live up to their end of the marriage which was based on winning a championship. LeBron lived up to his end of the deal, the Cavaliers did not.  All you have to do is look at the supporting cast the Cavaliers put around James.  If LeBron had simply left the marriage, nobody would have faulted him.

It was how he did it that killed him. If one were to imagine hosting a birthday party for a cancer-stricken wife, laden with friends and family, knowing full well this may very well be her last one as evidenced by the little pink turban where her hair used to be, and one used that opportunity to a) announce one is  leaving, and b) introduce Tiffany, the 22-year old surgically built fuck-toy for which one is  leaving, and c) stating Tiffany “sucks it” way better than the wife ever did and one can begin to understand why every Cavalier fan everywhere will hate LeBron James until the day he dies.

2) Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers

Farve dicked over three teams, but for purposes opf brevity, we will stick the the first one, if for no other reason, he was a legend in Green Bay. On the frozen tundra of Lambeau field (fuck you, Chris Berman), Favre was a three-time NFL MVP who set nearly all meaningful passing records while never missing a start.  He took the Packers to back-to-back Super Bowls and brought the Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay since the man for who it was named patrolled the Packer sideline.

For that, given enough time, he will again be venerated in Titletown…once everybody who remembers his douche-tastic departure is in the home drooling on the armrests of their wheelchairs.

For years, Favre left the Packers hanging either by threatening to or actually announcing his retirement,  only to come keep coming back.  But after Green Bay’s loss to the Giants in the 2007 NFC title game, largely thanks to another late-game Favre interception, the Packers management had had enough and told Favre in no uncertain terms to either shit or get off the pot.  Green Bay was ready to had the future to Aaron Rodgers, who had been patiently playing understudy to Favre for three seasons.

In what should have surprised no one who hadn’t been living under a rock at the bottom of the deepest crater on the dark side of the moon, Farve dished more waffles than an IHOP.  He retired,  but once again changed his mind, which led to an acrimonious and public spat with Packers’ general manager Ted Thompson, who both told Favre he couldn’t have the starting job back and at the same time refused to grant Favre his unconditional release, thus dooming Favre to the bench. Green Bay even went so far as to file tampering charges against division rival Minnesota fro talking to Favre about coming to Minnesota.

Favre forced matters when he reported to training camp for the 2008 season, knowing he was persona non grata in Green Bay.  After an awkward standoff, the Packers traded him to the New York Jets.  It didn’t help matters that Favre finished his career in Minnesota.

1) Jackie Robinson and the Los Angeles Dodgers

It what may be my original reason to hate the Dodgers, no organization treated a hero worse than the Dodgers treated Jackie Robinson.  Not only was he unceremoniously traded after the 1956 season to the Dodgers’ arch-rival, the Giants, he was traded for essentially nothing after what he had done for baseball (the Dodgers got Dick Littlefield (a career 33-54 pitcher with a 4.71 ERA) and $35,000 for Hall-of-Famer and icon of the game.

The end of the relationship between Robinson and the Dodgers began ironically as an off-shoot of the dissolution of the relationship between Branch Rickey and the Dodgers. Remember, it was Branch Rickey who promoted Robinson from the Triple-A Montreal Royals in 1947 to break baseball’s color barrier. Unfortunately, Rickey lost a power struggle with Walter O’Malley for the ownership of the Dodgers, which led to Rickey leaving to accept the general manger position with the Pittsburgh Pirates.  O’Malley wasn’t terribly interested in Robinson’s achievements, and to be fair, had noticed that Robinson’s skills were on the wane due to age and his worsening diabetes.  However,  O’Malley would later be loyal to many iconic Dodgers (see Roy Campanella), but for some reason Robinson was not accorded the same favor.  Hence, Robinson was dumped.

In another indicator that the relationship ended badly, despite the fact Robinson had already decided to retire in favor of accepting an executive position the restaurant/coffee house chain Chock Full o’Nuts (good luck remembering that place if you are under 60), he took the trade so personally that he quietly cleaned out his locker at Ebbets Field and never set foot in it again before it was torn down, despite several events held there to honor the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Another give-away indicating the Dodgers and Robinson had mutually shunned each other was the fact his official retirement announcement was conducted through LOOK magazine instead of by the franchise for which he played his entire career.  The Dodgers never offered Robinson any role within the organization, and despite his iconic role, they let pitcher Ray Lamb wear his number 42 before they finally retired it merely months before his death in 1972.

Major League Baseball retired Robinson’s number across baseball in1997.  Players who wore that number before are grandfathered to the right to wear it. If Mariano Rivera ever pitches again, he should be the last player to wear it.   In comparison,  short of MLB’s Jackie Robinson Day where everybody wears number 42, it took the Dodgers 16 years to retire Jackie Robinson’s number.

Guest Column: King George VI on The Top 10 Worst Generals in British History and Their Sports General Manager Equivalents

11 06 2012

Editor’s Note: Thanks to the Movie The King’s Speech, George VI came back into the view of the American populace. If it weren’t for that movie, most Yanks had long since forgotten George VI’s role as a wartime leader and the fact he ruled sovereign over a quarter of the world.

Much as he did through the Second World War, His Majesty George the Sixth, King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Defender of the Faith, and Last Emperor of India endeavors to offer insights on the world of sport. 

If you recall, I first came to commentary on this electronic screed back during the dark days of the NFL Lockout.  Since then, I’ve become a dedicated fan of both blogs and American sport. One aspect that I particularly enjoy is one that is a common theme here on Dubsism; the comparison of something historical to something sporting.  This is why I thought it might be a ripping good bit of fun to expand the horizons of the average Dubsism reader. I’m pretty sure many of you are aware that Great Britain has a long and storied military history.  But I’m sure that your familarity with it’s depth may be quite limited.

After all, the British Empire once controlled a quarter of the known world. To accomplish that, we had to produce an inordinate amount of gifted military leaders. The paradox is that in order to produce such a big number of talented generals, one must also produce a significant number of incompetents. So that the typical American sports fan can get a better grasp of that issue, I’ve decided to compare a splendid list I found on Listverse of the 10 Worst British Generals of all time against a list of the 10 worst general mangers in American sport.

Be advised that you will notice many of these managers also happened to toil under the tutelage of some of the worst owners in the world of sport as well. That’s a frightful coincidence.

10) James Abercrombie (1706-1781)


Poor Edward Braddock always gets a drubbing for his mismanagement of the Monongahela Campaign. But the French and Indian War saw an equally stupid disaster perpetrated by James Abercrombie, who wasted thousands of men in a futile assault against Fort Ticonderoga in July 1758.

The French position at Ticonderoga was not insurmountable. The terrain gave the British a chance to flank the fort without difficulty, while unoccupied hills nearby offered prime artillery positions. “It is rare in military history for a commander to be faced by such a range of options,” notes Geoffrey Regan, “any one of which guaranteed success.”

Instead, Abercrombie opted for a suicidal frontal assault. The result was a bloodbath: 2,000 men fell, including nearly half of the famous “Black Watch” Highland regiment, and the attack was repulsed. Abercrombie lost his job to Edward Amherst, who captured Ticonderoga a year later with fewer men at a fraction of the cost.

Equivalent Incompetent Sports General Manager:  Jim Paxson, Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers under Jim Paxson never learned the lesson we did with the Royal Navy.  Back in the days when we used the practice of impressment to bulk out ranks of sailors, eventually we discovered that we had to use other means to make matters complete. Sure, Paxson drafted LeBron James, and that begot him his sole winning campaign amongst the six he captained, but during and after the Paxson regime, Cleveland never learned to either develop talent or hire good mercenaries free agents, not rabble like Trajan Langdon and DeSegana Diop.

9) FitzRoy James Henry Somerset, the 2nd Baron Raglan (1788-1855)


The Crimean War (1853-1856) is the apotheosis of British military incompetence, a conflict mismanaged on every level. Presiding over it was Lord Raglan, a former aide to the Duke of Wellington completely out of his depth. “Without the military trappings,” wrote Cecil Woodham-Smith, “one would never have guessed him to be a soldier.”

Raglan was an amiable man but at 65 years-old he was senile and unhealthy. On multiple occasions, he referred to the Russians as “the French,” forgetting France was now his ally. His inability to sort out differences amongst his subordinates, especially cavalry commanders Lucan and Cardigan, led to disaster in Balaclava’s infamous Charge of the Light Brigade.

Raglan blundered into victory at the Alma, making assaults to capture and recapture the same ground and allowing the routed Russians to escape unhindered. His mismanagement of Balaclava turned a potential victory into an epochal gaffe; the Light Brigade’s fate hinged on his inability to articulate a clear order. His troops then hunkered into trenches before Sebastopol, dying of disease and cold from atrocious medical care and inadequate provisions. Raglan suffered along with his troops, and in 1855 died of dysentery.

Equivalent Incompetent Sports General Manager: Tie - Woody Woodward, Seattle Mariners and Randy Smith, Detroit Tigers

Trades always seem to have a victor and a vanquished.  In 1938, when Neville Chamberlain traded the Suedetenland for a worthless piece of paper, he really set the tone for the career of Woody Woodward. Despite the fact this chap architected teams which included such pips as Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, and Edgar Martinez, they consistently managed losing campaigns.   This is because Woodward’s true legacy is in some of the truly ghastly trades he made; deals so bad they buggered the Mariners for nearly a decade after his departure.  The flagship of his fleet of bad deals was Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for Heathcliff Slocumb.  But that was a large fleet…

  • Tino Martinez, Jeff Nelson, and Jim Mecir for Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock
  • Omar Vizquel for Felix Fermin and Reggie Jefferson
  • Mike Hampton and Mike Felder for Eric Anthony
  • David Ortiz for Dave Hollins

One really can’t elaborate on such a bloody awful record such as that.

As far as Smith is concerned, what can you say about a bloke who traded six players for Juan Gonzalez, then offered him $140 million and got turned down.  He quite needlessly chased himself up the money tree by giving gargatuan contracts to players like Bobby Higginson and Damion Easley in whom nobody else showed any appreciable interest.  He then traded away Luis Gonzalez, Travis Fryman, David Wells, Cecil Fielder, and Brad Ausmus (twice) in lopsided deals.  The capper was the fact he captained three 100-loss teams, including the 43-119 debacle which finally got him sacked.

8 ) Sir Redvers Buller (1839-1908)


“A brave man who loved action but feared responsibility for the lives of others” (Byron Farwell), Buller was Britain’s equivalent of Ambrose Burnside. Affable and well-liked, he had no business commanding an army. Early in the Boer War he lost battle after battle, never realizing infantry assaults against well-entrenched opponents rarely works.  Spion Kop (January 23-24, 1900) is a representative case.

Buller’s first mistake was delegating responsibility to Charles Warren, his equally incompetent second-in-command. Warren’s lead brigade smashed into the teeth of the Boer position, becoming pinned down between two Boer forces. Without entrenchment tools, artillery support or proper leadership they were forced to endure a brutal crossfire.

Buller’s non-management is inexplicable. He made no effort to reinforce Warren, even calling off a flank attack that may have won the day. 1,700 troops fought while 28,000 remained idle. When Highland troops launched an unauthorized charge he angrily ordered them to withdrawal – after it succeeded! Ultimately 1,500 men died pointlessly. The bright side? Buller and Warren were finally sacked.

Equivalent Incompetent Sports General Manager:  Kevin McHale, Minnesota Timberwolves

Note: I deferred to J-Dub on this commentary as the simple mention of the name “Kevin McHale” sets him off like a rabid wolfhound.

For the longest time, I wanted Kevin McHale dead. And not just dead; I wanted to drink beer out of his hollowed-out skull and piss on what was left of him. Like most Laker fans, I will always remember “McFail” for his clothesline of Kurt Rambis in the 1984 Finals. Had that flagrant foul happened in the NBA of today, he would have been suspended and fined. Instead, this play seemed to help shift some of the series momentum towards Boston, and McHale showed the world yet another Celtics player willing to be a cheap bitch.

But his complete and total failure as an NBA general manager was the sweetest plum. Run down the list of Kevin McHale draft picks…try to not to shudder when you see this level of not understanding talent:

  • 1995 1st Round: Kevin Garnett
  • 1995 2nd Round: Mark Davis
  • 1995 2nd Round: Jerome Allen
  • 1996 1st Round: Ray Allen (traded to Milwaukee)
  • 1997 1st Round: Paul Grant
  • 1997 2nd Round: Gordon Malone
  • 1998 1st Round: Rasho Nesterovič
  • 1998 2nd Round: Andrae Patterson
  • 1999 1st Round: Wally Szczerbiak
  • 1999 1st Round: William Avery
  • 1999 2nd Round: Louis Bullock
  • 2000 2nd Round: Igor Rakočević
  • 2001 2nd Round: Loren Woods
  • 2002 2nd Round: Marcus Taylor
  • 2003 1st Round: Ndudi Ebi
  • 2003 2nd Round: Rick Rickert
  • 2004 2nd Round: Blake Stepp
  • 2005 1st Round: Rashard McCants
  • 2005 2nd Round: Bracey Wright
  • 2006 1st Round: Brandon Roy (traded to Portland)
  • 2006 2nd Round: Craig Smith
  • 2006 2nd Round: Bobby Jones
  • 2006 2nd Round: Loukas Mavrokefalidis
  • 2007 1st Round:  Corey Brewer
  • 2007 1st Round: Chris Richard
  • 2008 1st Round: O. J. Mayo (traded to Memphis)
  • 2008 2nd Round: Nikola Peković
  • 2008 2nd Round: Mario Chalmers (traded to Miami)
  • 2009 1st Round: Ricky Rubio
  • 2009 1st Round: Jonny Flynn
  • 2009 1st Round: Ty Lawson (traded to Denver)
  • 2009 1st Round: Wayne Ellington
  • 2009 2nd Round: Nick Calathes
  • 2009 2nd Round: Henk Norel

Let that sink in for a moment. Think of that anytime in the future anybody tries to tell you what a great basketball guy “McFail” is.

7) William Howe, the 5th Viscount Howe (1729-1814)


As Britain’s commander-in-chief in the Revolutionary War, Howe won several battles and executed one brilliant campaign. But nearly all were Pyrrhic victories, Howe winning the battlefield while forfeiting long-term advantage.

Howe managed the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775, winning a tactical victory only after suffering 30 percent casualties. Howe then offered a passive defense of Boston, playing cards instead of campaigning and ultimately abandoning the city without a fight.

Howe redeemed himself routing George Washington’s army on Long Island and seizing New York City. Howe’s hesitance in attacking Brooklyn Heights, however, allowed Washington to escape. Worse, Howe left scattered outposts throughout New Jersey, allowing Washington easy victories at Trenton and Princeton that winter.

Howe’s final blunder came during 1777’s Saratoga Campaign. John Burgoyne’s New York offensive threatened to split the colonies in two, and Howe was to join in a pincer movement against Horatio Gates’ Continentals. Howe instead marched on Philadelphia. He won a costly victory at Brandywine and captured Philadelphia but again allowed Washington to escape.  Meanwhile Burgoyne was trounced by Gates and forced to surrender – an event that brought France into the war. After this debacle, Howe was finally sacked.

Equivalent Incompetent Sports General Manager: Mike Milbury, New York Islanders

If this list were solely about general managers who were just bloody awful twats, Milbury would be a far and away winner.   A noted yeller and screamer, he was dubbed “Mad Mike” for his propensity for the “blockbuster” trade.   To be fair to the chap, he was saddled had to deal with cheapskate ownership which forced him into a lot of “dump” deals; players who were exiled off Long Island included Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden, Bryan Berard, Tommy Salo, Olli Jokinen, Todd Bertuzzi, and Raffi Torres. But Milbury will be best remembered for three moves which doomed the Islanders to the doldrums of the Eastern Conference.  That’s correct isn’t it? They don’t callit the Prince of Wales Conference anymore? Bloody Canucks…

  • Selecting goalie Rick DiPietro #1 overall (and paying him ridiculous money) in 2000 over future stars Dany Heatley, Marian Gaborik, Scott Hartnell, and Ilya Bryzgalov.
  • Trading future star goalie Roberto Luongo for a bag of magic beans known as Oleg Kvasha.
  • The Alexi Yashin saga – beginning with massively overpaying to get him in a trade; Mad Mike gave up Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt, and #2 overall draft pick Jason Spezza to get Yashin, then he gave the pouty Russian a 10-year, $87.5 million contract only to watch Yashin’s career hit the crapper after he got the big money.

6) John Whitelocke 1757-1833 

John Whitelocke

Sir John Fortescue described Whitelocke as “bound up indissolubly with foolish expeditions.” He spent most of his career in the West Indies, notably in Britain’s disastrous attempts to conquer Santo Domingo during Touissant L’Overture’s slave revolt. He earns his place here for mismanaging the 1807 Buenos Aires expedition, a costly sideshow of the Napoleonic Wars.

Whitelocke’s troops landed outside Buenos Aires on July 1st and routed a token Spanish force. However, Whitelocke delayed following up, giving local militia time to organize. Whitelocke’s troops marched into the city, only to face a hostile citizenry. Every window housed a sniper, an artilleryman or an angry local with a pot full of boiling oil. Whitelocke exercised little control, allowing his force to be divided and attacked piecemeal in the streets.

Trapped in Buenos Ares, Whitelocke capitulated to Spanish General Liniares on August 12th. He’d lost more than 3,000 of his 10,000-man force in the meantime. He was ignominiously cashiered upon returning to England.

Equivalent Incompetent Sports General Manager: Tie – Bill Bavasi, California/Anaheim Angels and Seattle Mariners and the  Dave Littlefield/Cam Bonifay tandem with the Pittsburgh Pirates

Despite the fact Bavasi did a masterful job of developing the Angels minor league system, he made some seriously questionable moves as a general manager of both Angels and Mariners.  First, he signed fat, past-his-prime first baseman Mo Vaughn to a disastrous multi-year contract in Anaheim, then repeated that same mistake is Seattle with skinny, past-his-prime first baseman Richie Sexson.

Meanwhile in Pittsburgh, no general manager built a better resume for trading talent for a bag of bollocks.  Established stars were allowed to go for nearly nothing, like Jason Schmidt and Aramis Ramirez. He gave away players who developed elsewhere, like Chris Young and Oliver Perez. Then there was the Dunkirk-like disaster of trading for Matt Morris with an astronomical $9.5 million left on his contract.  However, Littlefield’s predecessor fared little better, which is why we must consider them as two parts of the same whole.  Cam Bonifay’s portion of the madness included huge dollar, multi-year contracts for heaps like Kevin Young, Pat Meares,  and Mike Benjamin. The capper was a six-year, $60 million deal for Jason Kendall which was put together when the Pirates were teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.

5) Sir Charles Vere Ferrers Townshend (1861-1924)


To hear Charles Townshend tell it, he was a genius comparable to Napoleon and Clausewitz. The 43,000 troops lost during the Siege of Kut might beg to differ. Driven by ambition and overconfidence, Townshend led his 6th Indian Division into Britain’s greatest humiliation of World War I.

Ordered to advance on Baghdad in September 1915, Townshend expressed private misgivings. Publicly though, he leaped at the chance for glory, dreaming himself Governor of Mesopotamia. After several initial victories, stiffening Turkish resistance and heavy casualties stopped Townshend’s advance. Ordered to withdraw to Basra, Townshend instead hunkered down in the village of Kut.

Townshend’s men endured a horrific 147-day siege. Townshend made little effort to escape or prevent the Turks from surrounding him. He even forbade sorties on the grounds that “withdrawing” afterwards sapped morale! A hastily-organized relief force lost 23,000 men trying to raise the siege. His troops decimated by starvation and cholera, Townshend finally surrendered on April 29th, 1916.

Townshend enjoyed a cushy captivity in Constantinople while his troops endured forced labor. The British government was so embarrassed by Kut that they censored mention of it. Townshend became a Lieutenant-General, knight and MP, but history remembers him as an arrogant boob.

Equivalent Incompetent Sports General Manager: Billy Knight, Atlanta Hawks

Knight was less a knight and more a (hard) court jester. To wax Napoleonic, the point guard position would prove to be Knight’s Waterloo.  Honestly, he did bring the Hawks talent like Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, Josh Smith, and Al Horford.  But he never could get a star on the point, which has been a millstone around this team’s neck for years.  It’s not like he didn’t have opportunities; in 2005, Knight drafted forward Marvin Williams over Chris Paul and Deron Williams.  A year later, Knight passed on Rajon Rondo to pick Shelden Williams; he really needed to have Duke’s next ghastly failure on his roster.  We need hardly mention to folly of giving the crown jewels to Speedy Claxton in a Quixotic exercise in abject futilty to fix Atlanta’s point guard woes.

4) Arthur Percival (1887-1966)


When Japan entered World War II, Britain was understandably preoccupied with Nazi Germany. The Japanese overran Hong Kong, Malay and Burma in lightning campaigns. The biggest prize, however, was Singapore, the heavily-fortified port considered “the Gibraltar of the East.” Fortunately for Japan, its opponent was the singularly inept Arthur Percival.

Percival apparently occupied a strong position. His 85,000 Commonwealth troops vastly outnumbered Yamashita’s 36,000 Japanese. But his men were badly overstretched, with few tanks or modern planes to oppose Yamashita. Percival’s myopic focus on a naval attack – he believed landward defenses would be “bad for the morale of troops and civilians” – ceded initiative to Yamashita, who navigated the “impassible” Malay jungle and overwhelmed the British. Percival folded with a whimper, surrendering to Yamashita in “the worst disaster in British history” (Winston Churchill).

Unlike Townshend, Percival endured imprisonment just as bad as his men. Percival came out of it worse, however; he became the only Lieutenant-General in British history not to receive a knighthood.

Equivalent Incompetent Sports General Manager: Bobby Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers

On top of being another one of those damn Canadians, Clarke’s lasting legacy is that he is the father of that bloody awful neutral zone trap might which ushered in the big, slow, clutch-and-grab style of play that almost killed the league.

Yet, Clarke also managed to trade for Eric Lindros, while though literally giving away the store in the form of Peter Forsberg and  a cavalcade of players and picks which the  Colorado Avalanche  turned into Hall-of-Fame goalkeeper Patrick Roy, who led them to a pair of Stanley Cup championships. If that weren’t enough, during his reign general manager 1998 Canadian Olympic hockey team, which just so happened to be the first Olympic hockey tournament to allow professional players, he somehow managed to lead the country which produces the lion’s share of the professional players to an out-of-the-medals finish.  Stupid git.

3) Sir Charles MacCarthy (1764-1824)


What’s worse than surrendering an entire army? How about utterly destroying one? “A decent, proud, but stupid man” (James M. Perry), MacCarthy inherited a difficult situation as Governor of Africa’s Gold Coast. Ongoing disputes with the powerful Ashanti tribe led to war in 1824. MacCarthy mismanaged the resultant campaign in bizarrely comic fashion.

MacCarthy anticipated a colonial mistake repeated by Custer, Chelmsford and Baratieri. Starting with a 6,000-man force, he divided it into four uneven columns. MacCarthy’s own force numbered a mere 500, against 10,000 Ashanti. When the Ashanti initiated battle on January 20th, the other columns were tens of miles away.

At the battle’s onset, MacCarthy ordered his musicians to play God Save the King, thinking this would scare the Ashanti away. It did not. A ferocious battle ensued, MacCarthy’s troops holding their own until ammunition began running out. Hard-pressed, MacCarthy called up his reserve ammunition, only to find macaroni instead of bullets!

The Ashanti overran and massacred the British force, with only 20 survivors. MacCarthy was killed, his heart eaten and head used as a fetish for years. It took 50 years of intermittent warfare to subdue the Ashanti.

Equivalent Incompetent Sports General Manager: Tie –  M. Donald Grant, New York Mets and Harry Frazee, Boston Red Sox

Grant was a complete codger; part of the old guard who continued to see players as indentured servants well after the advent of free agency in baseball.  This meant he eschewed top-flight talent, preferring to trade them away for more economical players. In conjunction, he refused to grant salaries even remotely resembling a reasonable market value.  This philosophy led to the infamous trade of Tom Seaver, an event which still sends many Mets’ supporters over the brink.  Then there was the debacle of the Nolan Ryan package deal for Jim Fregosi.  Had the Mets not had their miracle win in 1969, Grant easily could have topped this list.

As far as Frazee is concerend, it is a common bit of piffle that he sold  Babe Ruth to the Yankees to fund a Broadway musical. The bloody awful truth is far worse; Ruth was a crashing boor and Frazee simply tired of Ruth’s antics. Hence, Frazee sent him packing rather than harness his remarkable ability of the man who would cause the ascendance of professional sport in North America. What a buggery pillock.

2) William Hicks (1830-1883)


Assigned to suppress the Mahdist Uprising in the Sudan, Hicks led what Winston Churchill called “the worst Army that has ever marched to war” – a rabble of Egyptian prisoners and ex-rebels, some shipped to the front in shackles. Arrogant British officials assumed this paltry force would put the pesky Mohammedans in their place. Hicks proved them wrong.

In fall 1883, Hicks marched his jerry-rigged 10,000-man army into Sudan. Misled by treacherous guides, Hicks’ army fell victim to the desert clime, losing hundreds to desertion and dehydration. On November 3rd, the Mahdists, 40,000 strong, finally pounced at the oasis of El Obeid. After two days of desperate fighting, the army was overrun and massacred, with all but 500 men killed (Hicks included). Hicks’ stupendous failure set the stage for Charles Gordon’s doomed stand at Khartoum and fifteen years of fighting in Sudan.

Equivalent Incompetent Sports General Manager: Tie – Isiah Thomas, New York Knicks and Elgin Baylor, Los Angeles Clippers

Not only are these two former roundballers largely responsible for their franchises both dredging the cesspool for at least a decade, but they also both worked for dreadful owners. In the case of Thomas, ownership wasn’t so much a problem as was his own complete ham-handedness as a decision maker.   Exhibit A was when Thomas traded four players, two draft picks, and cash to the Phoenix Suns in order to build his team around shoot-first-ask-questions-later point guard Stephon Marbury.

To fix the Marbury problem, Thomas thought partnering one shoot-firster with another was a “can’t miss” proposition. Needless to say, the Steve Francis-Stephon Marbury backcourt marriage was a short one.

Then, Thomas sent three players and four draft picks to the Chicago Bulls to get the soon-to-be morbidly obese Eddy Curry, all 37 stone of him.

All this meant Thomas managed to build a team with a corpulent payroll which couldn’t win 30 games a season. Under Thomas, the Knicks morphed into a team of overpaid underachievers which had no draft picks and spent millions in luxury taxes for being over the salary cap.

As far as Elgin Baylor is concerned, he did have a major handicap by being employed by legendary cheapskate cock-up Donald Sterling. But that doesn’t change the fact many teams succeeded with miniscule payrolls.  Somehow, Baylor lasted as the Clippers’ general manager for 22 years during which the Clips racked up exactly two winning seasons.  This span of futility includes a 12-70 season and five seasons of 65 or more losses and just two winning seasons.

This level of terrible was accomplished largely through Baylor’s either making a McHale-esque cavalcade of terrible draft picks and/or not retaining the picks which  weren’t bloody awful.

  • 2008, pick #7:  Eric Gordon, Indiana (traded in 2011 to New Orleans as part of the Chris Paul trade)
  • 2008, pick #35: DeAndre Jordan, Texas Tech (still a Clipper)
  • 2007, pick #14: Al Thornton, Florida State (traded to Washington as part of three-team deal for Drew Gooden)
  • 2005, pick #12: Yaroslav Korolev,  CSKA Moscow (sucked, waived in 2007)
  • 2004, pick #4: Shaun Livingston,  Peoria Central H.S. (Illinois) (sucked, released in 2008)
  • 2003, pick #6: Chris Kaman, Central Michigan (traded in 2011 to New Orleans as part of the Chris Paul trade)
  • 2002, pick#8:  Chris Wilcox, Maryland (traded to Seattle in 2006 for Vladimir Radmanovic)
  • 2002, pick #12: Melvin Ely, Fresno State (traded in 2004 to Charlotte for Daniel Ewing and Paul Davis)
  • 2001, pick #2: Tyson Chandler, Dominguez H.S. (California) (traded on Draft Day 2001 to Chicago for Elton Brand, who left via free agency in 2008)
  • 2000, pick #3: Darius Miles,  East St. Louis H.S. (Missouri) (traded in 2002 to Cleveland for Andre Miller and Bryant Stith)
  • 2000, pick #18: Quentin Richardson, Depaul (left via free agency in 2004)
  • 1999, pick#4: Lamar Odom, Rhode Island (left via free agency in 2003)
  • 1998, pick #1: Michael Olowokandi, Pacific (sucked, left via free agency in 2003)
  • 1998, pick #22:  Brian Skinner, Baylor (traded on Draft Day 2001 to Chicago for Elton Brand, who left via free agency in 2008)
  • 1997, pick #14:  Maurice Taylor, Michigan (left via free agency in 2000)
  • 1996, pick #7: Lorenzen Wright, Memphis (traded to Atlanta in 1999 for two future draft picks - Chris Wilcox and Quentin Richardson)
  • 1995, pick#2: Antonio McDyess,  Alabama (traded on Draft Day 1995 to Denver for Brent Barry and Rodney Rogers)
  • 1994, pick #7: Lamond Murray, California (traded in 1999 to Cleveland for Derek Andern and Johnny Newman)
  • 1994, pick #25: Greg Minor, Louisville (traded the day after the draft in 1994 to Indiana for Eric Piatkowski, Pooh Richardson, and Malik Sealy)
  • 1993, pick#13: Terry Dehere, Seton Hall (sucked, waived in 1997)
  • 1992, pick #16: Randy Woods, La Salle (sucked, traded on Draft Day 1995 to Denver for Brent Barry and Rodney Rogers)
  • 1992, pick#25: Elmore Spencer, UNLV (sucked, traded in 1995 to Denver for Bison Dele)
  • 1991, pick #22: LeRon Ellis, Syracuse (sucked, released in 1992)
  • 1990, pick#8:  Bo Kimble, Loyola Marymount (sucked, traded to New York as part of a three-team deal for Mark Jackson and a draft pick)
  • 1990, pick #13:  Loy Vaught, Michigan (left via free agency in 1999)
  • 1989, pick #2: Danny Ferry, Duke (sucked, traded in 1989 to Cleveland for Ron Harper, and three draft picks – Loy Vaught, Joe Wylie and Elmore Spencer)
  • 1988, pick#1: Danny Manning, Kansas (traded in 1994 to Atlanta for Dominique Wilkins and a draft pick – Greg Minor)
  • 1988, pick#6: Hersey Hawkins, Bradley(traded on Draft Day 1988 to Philadelphia  for Charles Smith)
  • 1987, pick#4:  Reggie Williams, Georgetown (sucked, traded in 1989 to Cleveland for Ron Harper, and three draft picks – Loy Vaught, Joe Wylie and Elmore Spencer)
  • 1987, pick #13: Joe Wolf, North Carolina (left via free agency in 1990)
  • 1987, pick# 19: Ken Norman, Illinois (left via free agency in 1993)

1)  William George Keith Elphinstone (1782-1842)

 General William Elphinstone

Britain won the Anglo-Afghan War’s first round, routing Dost Mohammed and capturing Kabul. But the Afghans hated English rule and quickly revolted. Into this firestorm stepped William Elphinstone, the only man to lose an entire British army.

Riddled with gout and heart disease, Elphinstone was a poor choice to command. He arrived in Kabul in 1842, with disaster looming. British encampments were sighted lower than Kabul’s city walls, with provisions located outside them. Afghan bandits murdered Britons who ventured out of camp.

Patrick Macrory characterizes Elphinstone as “[seeking] every man’s advice… he was at the mercy of the last speaker.” Fatally indecisive, he allowed Afghans to kill envoys Alexander Burns and William Macnaghten, capture his supplies and snipe at his men without response. Elphinstone finally capitulated, agreeing to withdraw his army to India.

Elphinstone’s army, accompanied by thousands of camp followers, staggered through the Afghan mountains. Their numbers were whittled down by disease, cold weather and incessant Afghan attacks. In the Khyber passes, the Afghans finally massacred the survivors. A single European, Dr. Brydon, survived of 16,000 who’d left Kabul. Elphinstone himself died in Afghan captivity.

Novelist George Macdonald Fraser aptly called Elphinstone “the greatest military idiot, of our own or any day.”

Equivalent Incompetent Sports General Manager: Matt Millen, Detroit Lions

There really couldn’t be another choice to head this list, he is the Maximus Regis of blithering idiots.  Not only was Millen brutally incompetent, but he actually got owner William Clay Ford to give him a five-year contract extension at $5 million per year; this coming after his first four years on the job during which the Lions never once won more than six games. Not only did this set the table for Millen to lead the Lions into the abyss  of an 0-16 season in 2008, it cemented Ford as one of the worst owners ever. Honestly it takes work to be this bad. Again, Millen mastered butchering draft picks, from the Joey Harrington debacle to selecting every underperforming wide receiver available. It would actually be easier to name the first-round picks Millen didn’t blow (Calvin Johnson).

Whether is is back in England or with you bloody colonial revolutionaries, we are all sports fans, and as such, one of our favorite pastimes is to look down upon the architects of our beloved teams with our perfect hindsight and second-guess their every move.  We may never fully appreciate just how difficult it is to construct and then maintain a winning team, and we may be horribly awry in believing we could do it better.  However, every so often a general manager comes along and fuels our mistaken beliefs with his own spectacular idiocy.

May He bless and keep us all.

- King George VI

Guest Column: Jim Rockford on Why Roger Goodell is a Stalinist Hypocrite

24 05 2012

Editor’s Note: Mr. Rockford is a private detective based in Malibu, California. We here at Dubsism have retained Mr. Rockford at his standard rate of two hundred dollars a day plus expenses to investigate matters of crime and other general shadiness in the world of sports, then report back to us when needed. If you would like to contact Mr. Rockford, at the tone, leave your name and number and he’ll get back to you

The first thing I want to say here is that I think Roger Goodell has a tough job. He’s the head of the most popular sports league in the country, and he has the unenviable task of dealing with some serious problems that the league’s popularity helps hide.  The issues Goodell faces are big enough to destroy the National Football League if left unchecked.

Having said that, it is my considered opinion that his approach to handling these issues is wrong. Dead wrong.

I understand my specialty is investigating crime, and while there may or may not be specific “crimes” involved here, I can say that during the time I had Goodell and the NFL under surveillance, I couldn’t find the “smoking gun” type evidence to support actual criminal charges.  But I certainly found enough to justify an on-going investigation, but more importantly, I discovered why the NFL has all the problems that it does.  To anybody who is paying any attention, it is obvious that under Goodell’s leadership, the NFL has really become a totalitarian regime willing to engage in some seriously nefarious, if not borderline criminal activity in a manner reminiscent of the Soviet Union under Stalin.

To understand why Goodell is little more than a hypocritical dictator, look at the major problems facing the NFL now and match that against Goodell’s handling of them.

First of all, there’s the whole Bounty-Gate issue.  I know this blog has posted pieces saying the whole drama created over the New Orleans Saints and their bounty system was much ado about nothing, but the fact that Goodell shipped Jonathan Vilma off to the gulag with a complete absence of due process and while giving Vilma cause to feel he had been defamed has led to the Vilma’s filing a lawsuit against Goodell and the league.  It’s just like that time that little weasel of a prosecutor Gary Bevins tossed me in the federal slammer for contempt. I almost bought it getting shanked in prison all because I tried to exercise my right under the 5th amendment.

Then there is the matter of the lawsuit filed in federal court by a group of former players claiming that the league did not perform its due diligence in informing players of the dangers of concussions or their moral duty to take care of players battling the results of that negligence.

To top it all off, there’s the matter of the lawsuit filed in federal court yesterday by the NFL Player’s Union (NFLPA), which amongst other things, alleges the NFL owners imposed a secret “salary cap” in the 2010 season, which was supposed to be uncapped.

Did the NFL and its teams secretly impose a salary cap of $123 million in the uncapped 2010 NFL season? Were teams threatened by the league with “serious consequences” if they exceeded the secret cap? The NFLPA asserts yes to both questions, and earlier today filed Reggie White, et al. v. NFL, a collusion lawsuit against the league in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. The players contend they lost $1 billion because of the secret salary cap; as stipulated by collectively-bargained language, such damages, if proved, would be automatically trebled to $3 billion.

Regardless of whether or not you think these suits have any merit, there’s no denying that Goodell has got himself backed into a corner.  Football is a violent game comprised of sheer speed and raw brutality, and the league has marketed that to the extent that the NFL is a multi-billion dollar per year business empire.  Given that, it is really hard for me to believe that anybody can be surprised at the existence of a Jonathan Vilma. I would bet you there’s at least one in every locker room in the NFL.

That runs smack into another problem.  Now that the spotlight is being shined on the question of how the  cumulative effects of this violent game contribute to debilitating brain trauma, Goodell found himself faced with a lawsuit from former players and the discovery of the existence of a bounty program which could give any lawsuit about the violence and danger of playing football some serious creedence.  In other words, Goodell found himself at the head of an empire built on a culture of violence; a culture which produces billions of dollars in revenue every year.  But Goodell also found himself in the position of trying to keep everybody’s interests on the same page despite the fact that the money is ripping everybody apart.

And now, for the real turd in the punchbowl…it now seems that Roger Goodell may have been involved in a plot to keep player salaries down and that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith was forced to accept part of such a plot.

While this is happening in America, this is just like the end of the Soviet Union.  The USSR was this monolith that nobody ever thought would collapse, but it fell like a house of cards once the individual member states saw there was no longer a future in communism; once they saw they could get to greener pastures by their own devices.  Due to how wildly popular the league is now, nobody seems to be noticing the cracks developing in the monolith that is the NFL, least of all its’ “Kommissar,” Roger Goodell. This is exactly why he is acting like a dictator in charge of a crumbling empire.

I will be the first to admit this all gets a bit confusing.  The NFL sells itself as America’s sport and its’ wild popularity disguises the fact that the sport has some major problems.  The people running the NFL, namely Kommissar Goodell who is making up rules as he needs them to exploit his leverage over everyone and everything in football, embodies exactly the sort of greed and arrogance that’s slowly chipping away at America in general.  But like they did in the Soviet Union, the real story was hidden behind obfuscation and propaganda. Goodell is getting away with this because in America, we just don’t seem to care about things that are either hard to understand or that we just don’t want to be bothered with. This is pretty much why it is easy to paint any major success in American business with the brush of greed and arrogance, and guys like Kommissar Goodell open the paint cans for us.

Think about it. Right now, you have the former players suing the league because they want money. This is happening largely because the former players no longer believe the player’s union or the league have their interests at heart.  The Vilma situation proves the existence of a cash-payment system designed by players to take out other players, which means the player’s don’t have each other’s interest at heart.  Then there is the matter of the NFLPA’s suit against the NFL, which means the player’s and the owner’s don’t have each others interests at heart.  Given all that, one can’t help but notice how everybody is after money; and they don’t really seem to care about the football.

And at the top of all of it, there is Kommissar Goodell. At the same time, he is charged with keeping this monolith together while his actions are deepening the cracks. it.  The fact that the Goodell basically collaborated with the players’s union to renege on a promise to fund a major increase to the pension plan for retired players led to one lawsuit.  On top of that, Goodell went on a Stalinist purge once the bounty situation became public; Vilma is just one of several guys who got sent to the NFL’s version of Siberia, basically on nothing more than the whims of the Kommissar and the NFL’s “best interests.”

That’s the real problem here; there is simply no established policy guiding what Goodell does.  Almost every decision Roger Goodell makes is based on little more than what is best for which ever interest he is trying to protect that day, which is a great way to get every decision you make vulnerable to a challenge in court.  And as the years pass, guys who rule like Goodell only get more wrapped around their own axles from the sheer inconsistency of their dictates.

Realistically speaking, Goodell’s problems are only going to multiply from here. Right now, the relationship between the league and the players (both past and present) is in the crapper, and that’s only going to get worse as we edge toward the next time they go through the collective bargaining process.  So, the only thing Goodell can do to make the collapse of the league more likely is to start jerking the owners around.

Oh, wait…he’s already done that.

If you recall, back in March, the Cowboys and Redskins were both penalized a combined $46 million in salary cap space after they spent freely during the uncapped NFL year in 2010, which also happened to be the final season of the league’s old collective bargaining agreement.  This gets complicated, so let me start with a time line of events, because this was four years in the making.

  • 2008:  Owners agree to opt out of the collective bargaining agreement and agree play the 2010 without a salary cap.
  • 2010: The Redskins spend $178.2 million on salary;  The Cowboys spend $166.5 million.
  • 2011: The NFL brokers a new collective bargaining agreement with the player’s union (NFLPA), which just so happens to include a “secret” provision where the NFLPA agrees to a punishment for the Cowboys and Redskins in order to avoid a league-wide reduction of the salary cap number.
  • 2012: The NFL slaps the Redskins with a $36 million salary cap reduction and similarly hits the Cowboys for $10 million, citing “competitive balance” concerns over the amount of money the teams spent in 2010.

Those bullet points don’t really do justice to the double-ended screw job Goodell laid out for everybody. Let’s walk through it in detail, and as we do, don’t forget that there was no salary cap in 2010, which meant there was no limit as to what team’s spent on salary.

In other words, Washington and Dallas are being punished now for “breaking” a rule that didn’t exist at the time.  They took advantage of a situation not of their creation by front-loading player contracts (paying the bulk of money in the uncapped year in exchange for paying less in later years which would be capped).  Seemingly, everyone should have been happy with this arrangement; the players didn’t mind because they were getting paid either way, the owners didn’t mind because they would receive a discount on future salary cap hits. We know this was true because nearly every team in the NFL used this tactic, but the Redskins and the Cowboys led the pack.

Not to belabor the point, but remember, there was no salary cap.  Teams stayed under a cap the year before, and the year after, but in the year of no cap, they spent what they wanted. There was nothing in the collective bargaining agreement in place at the time  which could have been used to penalize anybody who took advantage of this uncapped year. In fact, there was there were no provisions in the subsequent collective bargaining agreement, except for the aforementioned “secret” deal between Goodell and the NFLPA to punish the Redskins and the Cowboys.There’s four major problems here.  The first can be described best with a question. If there was no salary cap, and therefore no rule to break, why were Daniel Snyder and Jerry Jones warned “at least six times” not to use the uncapped year to front-load contracts? I’ll answer that in a minute, but you may guess it based on the next few paragraphs.

The second problem is using the collective bargaining agreement ratified in 2011 to enforce anything which happened in 2010 is what is known in legal circles as ex post facto law, which virtually guarantees any challenge to such enforcement would prevail in any court. In other words, even if the NFL warned Washington and Dallas not to break a rule that didn’t exist,  Snyder and Jones both have lawyers who told them there was no harm and/or risk in using this cap loop-hole.

The third problem actually is actually quite biblical.  In the Book of Genesis, God created the tree of knowledge and then told humans not to touch it, in just the same manner Kommissar Goodell created the salary-cap loop-hole then warned owners not to use it. When God was asked why humans could not touch the tree, the response was largely based on “because I said so.” This just happens to be the same logic Goodell is using with Snyder and Jones.  The problem comes in the fact there is absolutely no legal way to make “because I said so” stand up in court.

Given all that, why haven’t Snyder and Jones hauled Kommissar Goodell into court? The answer goes back to the question I posed a few paragraphs back. I’ll give you one last chance to guess the “magic word” which answers both questions.

Think of it in this context.  Under the guise of compromise, Kommissar Goodell and the NFL claim the signatories to the collective bargaining agreement agreed on this punishment for the Redskins and Cowboys.  The distinction between the “signatories” and the collective bargaining agreement itself is important, because the collective bargaining agreement contains no such language.  This is why the “deal” to punish the Redskins and the Cowboys was done on the down-low.

So, let’s put all the pieces together. We have a collective bargaining agreement that was clearly to the benefit of the owners, we have a salary cap loophole which was allegedly created to draw a compromise between the league and the NFLPA, and we have a Kommissar who is actively looking to clip two of his most high-profile and richest owners.

What’s the magic word that ties all these pieces together? Collusion.

Collusion refers to two or more teams, or the league and at least one team, acting in concert to deprive players of collectively-bargained rights. Under Article XXIII of the expired CBA, the NFL and NFLPA affirmed that teams would not conspire, either explicitly or tacitly, to keep salaries down. The two sides also agreed that if they failed to reach an agreement on a new CBA before the 2010 season, the 2010 season would be played without a cap, though with more restrictions on free agency.

It becomes clear if you work the puzzle this way. The uncapped year was not about giving teams the ability to front-load deals; it was more about allowing teams to cut spending without taking hits against a salary cap that didn’t exist.  This can only mean there was, for lack of a better term, a “gentlemen’s agreement” amongst the owners to drop player salaries. That’s your textbook definition of “collusion,” and the NFLPA knows it.  Remember this, it becomes really important later.

If you doubt that, consider the following.  In 2009, under the old collective bargaining agreement, every NFL team was required to spend $107 million in payroll. One would assume spending would have remained the same in the following year except for one over-arching fact.  Since 2010 was the uncapped year, it was also the year without a salary floor.  This is exactly why seven franchises spent less than $107 million, and one franchise made sure they spent over $30 million less.

Let me be very clear about this. The NFL owners agreed to an uncapped year in 2010 so they could opt out of the collective bargaining agreement and renegotiate a more favorable revenue split with their next deal, which they did. The “gentlemen’s agreement” was supposed to be that nobody would take advantage of this uncapped year, as it was intended to be an illusion to get the player’s union to play along; after all, the NFLPA would love to get rid of any salary cap.  The real reason for the existence of the uncapped year was that it would also be without a floor, which allowed owners to slash payroll at will, which many of them did.

Backed by Kommissar Goodell, the owners all agreed to abide by the “spirit” of the now completely imaginary salary cap.  100% pure, uncut, USDA prime collusion; there’s no other way to describe it.  The problem came when Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder realized that Kommissar Goodell and the other owners had no real way to keep them from breaking the “gentlemen’s agreement.”  This monkey-wrenched the plan “uncap” the year without actually uncapping it.  See, the minute somebody broke the agreement, the league would be right back to the days of a payroll “free-for-all,” with the winners being the guys with the biggest wallets, like Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder.

This led to the series of stern, albeit impotent warnings from the Kommissar about not taking advantage of the uncapped year.  Jones and Snyder knew they had legal cover for backing out of the “gentlemen’s agreement,” but they didn’t realize that the Kommissar had a NKVD-style plan for dealing with them.  After all, what good is it to be a Kommissar if you can’t hold a pistol to somebody’s head?

When the Cowboys and Redskins didn’t play by the NFL’s unwritten rules, Kommissar Goodell went back to the owners and forced them to agree  that something needed to be done to punish owners Jones and Snyder.

To do this, the Kommissar needed to create a justification for the NFL’s punishing the violation of non-existent rules and for essentially being a redistributor of wealth; a sporting Robin Hood who uses blackmail rather than a bow and arrow.  Not only does he need to give himself a reason for such treachery, but that justification also needs to provide cover for activities which would normally get any enterprise sued out of existence.

To understand this justification, you have to understand the Kommsisar’s mindset.  Ignore the teams that spent less than a mythical salary floor that season and focus only on the two teams that broke the “agreement.”   Ignore the original collusion of the owners and by all means, don’t ask the question about how the owners got the NFLPA to go along with a scheme that would ultimately lower player salaries.  Above all else, ignore the fact that the NFL is more concerned with driving down player salaries than it is with it’s fascination with so-called “parity.”

Once you do all those things, you can buy the Kommisar’s twaddle about the actions of the Redskins and Cowboys constituted “an unacceptable risk to future competitive balance.”  The league says it all themselves…

“The Management Council Executive Committee determined that the contract practices of a small number of clubs during the 2010 league year created an unacceptable risk to future competitive balance, particularly in light of the relatively modest salary cap growth projected for the new agreement’s early years. To remedy these effects and preserve competitive balance throughout the league, the parties to the CBA agreed to adjustments to team salary for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. These agreed-upon adjustments were structured in a manner that will not affect the salary cap or player spending on a league-wide basis.”

Competitive balance? That’s a load of complete bullshit.  Kommissar Goodell cares about “competitive balance” about as much as Lee Elia loved Chicago Cub fans. “Competitive balance”  is just another way of saying “we care about the little guy.” Naturally, in the case of the multi-billion dollar per year NFL, that’s a bunch of crap.  Ask yourself a question.  If the Cowboys and Redskins were taking advantage of an uncapped year to spend more and try to win, isn’t it just as injurious to “competitive balance” to take advantage of an unfloored year to spend less, tank the season, and pocket the profits?

But if you want to be Robin Hood, you must act like you care about the poor.

Pretending to be benevolent is the bread and butter of totalitarianism, “I’m just trying to help you people” is the standard underpinning for all these types of arbitrary dictates.  But no matter how much the Kommissar cloaks himself garb of the savior, his garment can’t hide the complete bullshit he is dealing. The bottom line is Goodell has put himself in the business of making up rules as he needs them, then applying them retroactively, all in the name of “compettitive balance.”

It doesn’t require the FBI crime lab to expose this as the crapola it is.

It’s Kommissar Goodell disguising himself as the God of all things football. He’s got a league full of owners willing to go along with a scheme designed to drive revenue sharing and guaranteed profits every single year.  It would have worked had Snyder and Jones stood still for it.

It’s collusion disguised as “competitive balance.” One owner defended the penalties by saying Snyder and Jones “…was in violation of the spirit of the salary cap….” Not to belabor the point again, but there was no salary cap.  In order to violate a salary cap in 2010, there would have had to have been a de facto  cap which had been agreed to by the owners and kept secret from the players.

It’s socialism disguised as capitalism.  Don’t forget that “revenue sharing” means the Snyders and the Jones of the world get to pay the frieght for franchises that don’t make any money…”here, Bill Bidwill, have $10 million dollars of Robert Kraft’s money.”  Don’t forget this all started with the Kommissar arbitrarily deciding to redistribute $46 million of salary cap room for the sake of “balance.”

There’s another aspect to this as well. For a moment, forget about “competitive balance” and “competitive advantage.”  Forget about collusion. Part of this is about getting even.  Snyder and Jones didn’t go along with the plan, and now you’ve got 30 other owners pissed off at them for being double-crossed. You have Kommissar Goodell pissed off because Snyder and Jones both essentially told him to go piss up a rope.  I’d bet even the NFLPA would love to get a piece of these two, but they are too impotent to wage a battle with anybody.

Under the Kommissar, the NFL has become a world where the league thinks screwing with two of the richest, most powerful, and most visible owners is a good idea. The Kommissar has deluded himself into believing he can continue to get away with strong-arming guys like Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones  with hollow, barely-enforceable crap like “I don’t like the way you do business and you didn’t do what I told you,”  then conjure retroactive punishments which have absolutely no legal basis, then literally daring them to do anything about it.

Ultimately, this will be his downfall.

Kommissar Goodell is ruling by dictate, and is keeping his power through sheer bullying.  Ruling through fear and intimidation only works for a while.  There’s already a player willing to drag him into open court.  Now the NFLPA is leveling the collusion charge in open court. Eventually, there will be an owner who will wrap the Kommissar in legal documents as well.  Snyder and Jones filed an appeal of the salary cap penalties; the dispute went to an independent arbitrator.  However, this arbitrator upheld the penalties handed down by the Kommissar largely on the principle Snyder and Jones were appealing a ruling that the NFL and NFLPA had both agreed upon.

This arbitrator’s decision almost certainly guarantees the future of the NFL will be decided in a courtroom. First of all, now every owner knows that if they have a beef with the Kommissar, they will need to go into 0pen court because it will only be in court where the fraudulent nature of Goodell’s regime can be exposed.  The arbitrator even said that himself.  In his ruling, arbitrator Stephen Burbank noted “this is arbitration, not litigation” and the the the appeal filed by Snyder and Jones  “assumes power in the System Arbitrator that does not exist.”  If that doesn’t ensure an owner will at some point sue the league, this quote from Burbank defines the final nail in the litigation coffin.

“…if the Clubs are dissatisfied with the representation of their multi-employer association, they retain whatever remedies against the association under contract and agency law.”

That’s legalese for “if you don’t like my decision, sue.”  In other words, Snyder and Jones and Redskins easily could sue the NFL.

They can’t, because in order to challenge Kommissar Goodell’s edict on the salary cap reductions,  at some point in open court, the dirty little secret about the aforementioned “gentlemen’s agreement” is going to come out.  There’s is far too much at stake to hand the NFLPA a “smoking gun” potentially worth $4 billion.

They can’t because because the scrutiny which would come with a federal lawsuit brought by two of the league’s highest profile franchises could change the league’s power structure forever, if for no other reason that the current 10-year collective bargaining agreement for which so much blood was spilled could get chucked if the NFLPA can prove it’s claim of collusion, which means the players can petition to have the CBA nullified since it was negotiated in bad faith.  The trouble is that successfully proving a collusion claim necessitates actual evidence, rather than merely allegation or inference.  If Snyder of Jones sued over the salary cap punishments, then every e-mail, memo, voice-mail, video, or whatever documentation entered into evidence in such a proceeding, even the court transcripts themselves become available as evidence for  the NFLPA’s suit. It would also introduce potentially incriminating statements of witnesses.

Kiss that “10 years of labor peace” goodbye.

The likelihood the NFL’s destiny will be ejudicated is only increased by the fact that this decision garrisons the Kommissar’s belief that his rule is absolute.  Given the problems simmering in the league, and given the Kommissar’s belief that his power in the NFL is limitless, there’s only one way this can end. Jones and Snyder can’t sue the NFL, but someday, some owner will.

And that could be what finally brings down Kommissar Goodell and the NFL’s Berlin Wall.

This is only the start of why the NFLPA’s suit is so dangerous for the NFL and Kommissar Goodell.  I think that for NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, this is personal.  Not only did Goodell and the league spend the summer of 2011 bending over Smith and the player’s union prison-style, but thanks to Yahoo! Sports we know that at the very end of the CBA negotiations, Kommissar Goodell and 30 NFL owners put a gun to Smith’s head by adding a provision to the CBA which forced the NFLPA to agree to the salary cap penalties for the Cowboys and Redskins. The gun came in the form of good, old-fashioned blackmail; if the NFLPA didn’t agree to the punishment of the Cowboys and Redskins, the other 30 owners would lower the salary cap across the entire league.

Getting the agreement of NFLPA was crucial, because this has been Kommissar Goodell’s vindication, if not justification, for the league’s bullying. One can argue that preventing a salary cap reduction is just the act of a union looking out for the best interests of its members, but it did so at the expense of its own members.  The union didn’t seem to care about all the players cut from those seven teams that cut payroll in 2010.

That brings us full-circle. Like I said at the beginning, it matters little whether you are an owner, a former player, a current player, or even the Kommissar. Everybody’s interest is now money, which is why the future of the NFL is a likely to play out in court than on the field.

It is very possible that the Goodell regime will not be remembered for the era of continually rising profits, but rather for how it ends.  The longer he stays in power, and the longer he is successful in his totalitarian tactics as NFL Kommissar, the more arrogant this his regime will become, and the more likely the regime will meet an unseemly end.  It’ll be a black day for everyone when eventually the league ends up in court for some arbitrary dictate Goodell inflicted. Ultimately, the day will come when a judge (not some arbitrator) will get a close look at what Goodell has been doing, and somebody will get a big-time settlement.

While he was not a Kommissar, at the end, everybody lined up to get a piece of Mussolini. Roger Goodell should take note of this.

The first successful settlement has every opportunity to start a cascade effect, meaning there could be a wave of people looking to get their piece of the Kommissar. This will only mean more investigations, with more and more sordid details of the activities of the Goodell regime being exposed for all to see. This will all hit “critical mass” the day some politician realizes that a league which has a long record of lawsuits and is full of publicly-funded, multi-hundred million dollar stadia certainly looks worthy of a series of high-profile congressional hearings like the kind that did such great things for baseball.

I hope I’m wrong about this. I really hope I’m not watching Roger Goodell starting the beginning of the end of the NFL as we know it. While the NFL is incredibly popular now, there are some seriously ominous clouds on the horizon, and it is Goodell’s totalitarian style which is bring the heavy weather. Someday soon, I’m afraid that everyone associated with the professional football in America will suffer because it is being run as if it were a Soviet republic.

Guest Column: Joe McGrath On The New Orleans Saints and the Bounty Situation

28 03 2012

Editor’s Note: Mr. McGrath has long and storied history in the management of professional sports franchises, most notably as the general manager of the Charlestown Chiefs of the now-defunct Federal League. Oh, and this is probably a good time to mention that Mr. McGrath’s views are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Dubsism, our staff, or anybody else whose house you might want to burn to the ground.

To be honest, there’s so much wrong with this story, I really don’t know where to start. I think the best way to make you understand where I’m coming from on this the to begin from today and work backwards.

First of all, somebody needs to explain why anybody thinks having Bill Parcells as an interim head coach is a good idea. I understand that if you are the Saints, you’ve lost your head coach for a year. But you simply just can’t replace him. The first problem you are going to have is why would anybody take the job on a temporary basis. You’re not hiring a temp secretary to re-organize your files; you are placing somebody in a leadership role for a multi-million dollar franchise.  If you are the Saints, you really only have two choices – you replace Sean Payton, or you don’t.

If you feel the need to replace Payton, then fire him for being stupid enough to get himself suspended and hire a real, full-time coach. Think about it – what the hell is a temp head coach going to do considering all the current staff of assistants and coordinators will still be there? Speaking of which, why is nobody worried about replacing the others who were suspended? This team is not just without the head coach, it also has lost the general manager and another coach. Because they are taking the same approach they need to be taking with the head coaching spot – simply have somebody who is already on the staff take over for a season.  Bringing in a temp will only screw things up worse.

Not to mention, why would anybody take the Saints head coaching job as a temp? Don’t forget, you take this job today, and tomorrow you are going to find out half your defensive players are going to be suspended.  Screw that.  Besides, there no upside to it for wither you as the temp coach as the team.  Think about it, there’s really only two things that can happen.  You either preside over a team that underperforms, in which case you say, “Well, what did you expect? I’m just a temp,” or worse yet, you win and now there’s a “coaching controversy.”

Now for the part I really don’t get at all.  If you are going to do the “temp” thing, why in the hell would you want Bill Parcells? Does anybody really think Parcells is the kind of guy who would make a good “baby-sitter?” Not at all, he’s a control freak; he’s not going to just be your auto-pilot for a year. Besides, if you are the Saints, why do you want this 70-year old guy who hasn’t been relevant in the NFL in nearly 15 years?

Now, let’s get the the actual bounty thing. Boy, did we blow this all out of proportion. There were people out there who said these guys should get kicked out of the league forever.  What a bunch of bullshit.  Are bounties wrong? Yes. Is coaches being involved in it wrong? Very much so.  Look at the crap I had to go through when that goddamn Reggie Dunlop took out a bounty on that goon from Syracuse Tim McCracken.  I told him that you can’t place a bounty on a man’s head; that it could get us all tossed into the klinker. Know what he said to me? “Bullshit.”

Trouble is that asshole was right.  Nobody is going to go to jail over this, and worse yet, whether it is football or hockey, there is a shitload of hypocrisy riding on this issue.  Forget about the fact that the Charlestown Chiefs drew the biggest crowds in the Federal League after Dunlop turned the Hanson Brothers loose. Think about how this has happened in the NFL before, and it was celebrated.  Remember the Bounty Bowl?

The Bounty Bowl was all about an incident in 1989 between bitter rivals in the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys. The first game in Dallas was noted for allegations that the Philadelphia Eagles put a $200 bounty on the head of Cowboys’ kicker Luis Zendejas, who had been cut by the Eagles earlier that season.  These accusations of bounties led to a media circus before the rematch in Philadelphia.  The stage was set, between the smell of bounties in the air and those crazy-ass Philadelphia fans.

See, the problem is that everybody knew what was about to happen. The league knew what was about to happen.  The players and coaches knew what was about to happen.  And sure as shit the television people knew what was about to happen.  They were counting on it.

It was CBS Sports who coined the term “Bounty Bowl,” and they went all out with the presentation of this being a shootout at the OK Corral.  Their coverage came complete with wanted posters of the offending players with the bounty posted.   NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue was in attendance.  The stage was set for a melee, and that’s exactly what happened.

Being December in Philadelphia, a recent snowfall had blanketed Veterans Stadium, and the grounds crew did not remove the snow that had piled up for several days.  The mix of beer, snow, and bounties created a pro wrestling-style crowd frenzy and those same crazy-ass Philadelphia fans started throwing everything within reach.  Verne Lundquist and Terry Bradshaw announced the game for CBS, and they spentdodging snowballs aimed at the broadcast booth, at one point Lundquist stated on the air that an oral surgery a few days prior had not been as unpleasant as broadcasting an Eagles game.

When you go back and look at what happened there, and compare it to the Saints situation, one question becomes clear: Aren’t all defensive players essentially playiong for a bounty? Think about it…defensive players get paid to “blow guys up,” and they have been doing so for years. Players who consistently make “big plays” get paid, plain and simple. Why? Because ESPN loves “big plays;” they make good television.

As far as why bounties are wrong, it is because they are the purest illustration of the hypocrisy of the NFL. The league loves “big plays,” they make the league as television-friendly as it is. It really isn’t anymore complex than that. The NFL needs violence, but it also now is discovering that it needs to worry about the health and safety of the players.  However, don’t think for a minute this is based on a legitimate concern for player safety. This is all about money.

See, the trouble is Roger Goodell finds himself straddling a straight razor, and on either side of it is a big lie Goodell and the league have perpetrated. On the one side, he knows that violence, a.k.a. “big plays” are what sells tickets. Goodell and the rest of the NFL leadership know what sells their product, and they also know now the value of star players has sky-rocketed. Look at the situation in Denver.  Nobody is going to watch the Broncos if somebody converts Peyton Manning from a $90 million quarterback into a head-popped-off Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robot. In other words, in a lot of ways, “player safety” just means “star player safety.”

But on the other side, he’s the commissioner of a league that is in the middle of a plague of lawsuits which are forcing Goodell to act in a manner consistent with a guy who is getting sued.  In other words, Goodell is coming down hard on a bounty system not because it effects the “integrity of the game,” but rather because doing so lends creedence to his bullshit position that he cares about player safety.  What he and the NFL owners care about is that player safety now threatens to become a major expense on the books.  If it weren’t for the lawsuits, the Saints would just be this decade’s answer to the Buddy Ryan Philadelphia Eagles.

And those Eagles were good for business.


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