By Jeffrey Carl
Bloggers To Be Named Later was Paul Caputo’s fabulous sports-blogging empire of the mid-2010s. My role in the enterprise was to promise to write humor articles and then not do that, or at least not remotely on time. Ultimately, after a flirtation with viral Internets fame, the site basically turned into an excuse for Paul to get free baseball tickets, which is actually about the only good reason to run a blog of any sort. After the BTBNL site wound down, I realized that I hadn’t kept local copies of most of the stories I had written, so I ended up scouring through The Internet Archive to find as many as I could in order to prevent a tragic loss to the world’s cultural canon of blog posts complaining about the Seattle Mariners. You’re welcome.
Most athletes are actually pretty smart people, despite the fact that many of them had college majors in non-subjects like “sports medicine” or “communications.” But there are a few tell-tale signs that your favorite athlete may not be a brain surgeon in their spare time:
- They went to school at a fake-sounding diploma mill like “Mount Saint Ringo College,” “East North Chattahoochee Tech,” or “Miami University.”
- They take retirement investment advice from Warren Sapp or handgun safety courses from Plaxico Burress
- They are named Manny Ramirez
- …or they wear Phiten necklaces.
Phiten, for those unfamiliar, is a line of necklaces and sports garments which were briefly a huge fad among Major League Baseball players and to this day are still worn by many sports stars. The company claims – I am not making this up – that they have a unique process to create a metal called “Aqua-Titanium,” a “hydro-collodial metal” which produces “Micro-Titanium Spheres.” The company said – or at least it did until they lost an $11M FTC lawsuit about their “scientific” claims – that fatigue in the body is caused by an “imbalance of ions.” A Phiten Aqua Metal “interferes [with] the bio-currents of the body and realigns them … This provides a sense of rejuvenation and calmness in the wearer.”
But lest you doubt its effectiveness, they have Actual Science backing up their claims, published by the independent “Society for Aqua-Metal Research.” All this can be yours for prices ranging from about $40 for a basic necklace to $230 for a pure titanium bracelet. (If you want a quick picture of what the profit margin on this is like, you can buy a non-Phiten titanium bracelet here for $35.) They also make – I am still not making this up – a line of lotions and hair care which feature “Aqua-Gold.” Because your hair needs gold … that removes ions … or something.
So what do we have here? The intersection of athletes with lots of money and not a lot of critical thinking skills. My friends, this sounds to me like what one of my business school professors called “an opportunity to make a f–k ton of money.” And frankly, it’s about time someone here at BTBNL figured out how we were going to get rich off this. I still think Paul Caputo’s business model for this site was that eventually Ryan Howard would adopt him and make him his heir.
That’s why today I am announcing availability of new sports-enhancing miracle trinkets made of a wonder metal: Redonkulin.
These may – to the untrained eye – look like cheap German-branded “My Little Pony Friendship Bracelets.” But no – they are made of 13% pure Redonkulin – a rare pseudo-metallic compound forged in the depths of Mount Doom that provide greater energy, faster reflexes and Minty Fresh Breath. I will now take some made-up questions from the audience:
Q: Redonkulin sounds awesome! But how does it work?
A: It’s a well known True Fact that all body problems are caused by excess neutrons. Neutrons are invisible particles that hate America and are responsible for things like nuclear fission and poor SAT scores. But Redonkulin creates a bio-electric necker cube of anti-neutron repagination that literally beats up neutrons and takes their lunch money. In addition, it repels dangerous chemicals like dihydrogen monoxide, shields the wearer from most asteroids, and is washable on permanent press. Best of all, it works immediately through the power of the scientifically proven and impressive-sounding placebo effect.*
Q: Those frigging neutrons! I hate them!
A: I know, right?
Q: The neutron menace must be stopped, I can feel them getting all over me right now and causing fatigue, muscle cramps and itty bitty thigh pimples. How can I buy it?
A: Cool your jets, I’m not done. Best of all, if you act RIGHT NOW we will send you a free special gift:
The amazing Twist-A-Thing bracelet! Made from a secret compound of unobtanium, the animal they made the Ribwich out of, and petrochemical by-products, it contains highly scientific unstable molecules which sound like a real thing! Bend it in any shape – and it will snap right back to its original form. Put it around your wrist – WHO KNOWS WHAT CAN HAPPEN? Maybe something good for you or something.
A: Exactly. I think we can safely say with absolutely no exaggeration that this is the most awesomest thing ever in the history of anything that has ever been awesome.
Q: I must have it now. How oh how can I purchase this marvel of “science?”
A: You can buy it TODAY through this very website! Your very own sporty Redonkulin pony-friendship-themed necklace is available for only $174.99, or purchasable in three easy installments of $129.99 each. We will include FREE SHIPPING if you just mail us your credit card, and you will get it back eventually!
So don’t delay! Emulate your favorite naive or unscrupulous celebrity athlete endorser and buy your Redonkulin bracelet and amazing Twist-A-Thing today. All our products are scientifically proven to exist by research from the independent “Redonkulin Research Council**,” and we absolutely guarantee our products to not be radioactive as far as you know.
* May cause allergies in people sensitive to ponies or love. Do not use Redonkulin if you are currently taking Benzobrist.
** This institute is my dogs Spencer and Holly wearing adorable white lab coats. I asked them if Redonkulin is awesome while waving some Bacon Bits up and down and they nodded.