The Inaccurate Reception

By Jeffrey Carl

Bloggers To Be Named Later, September 26 2012

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.

Unlike other sports blogs, only BTBNL has the courage to a.) take on hot topics like the controversial call that gave the Seahawks a victory over the Packers Monday night, and b.) do it after everyone else has stopped caring and moved on to other topics. That’s the kind of quality journalism that explains why we have gotten fewer hits in the site’s entire history than pictures of Pokemons drawn as sexy Anime girls or Overly Attached Girlfriend got in the last 10 minutes.

The Fail Mary
Touchdown! Or maybe not.

It’s important to send a message not to bow to peer pressure, like everyone else in the country thinking you were wrong about it being a touchdown.

BTBNL set up an exclusive live chat session to answer questions from its literally hundreds of avid readers who do not technically exist. BTBNL Grand Poobah Paul Caputo decided that the best person to give a reasoned, unbiased response to all these reader questions was the site’s lone Seattle blogger resident/sportsfan, me. Which should tell you all you need to know about Paul Caputo’s editorial judgement.

BTBNL Blogger Jeff from Seattle: Hi everyone! Looking forward to answering your questions about the exciting Seahawks win from last night. Here we go!

BTBNL Reader Neil from Chalfont, PA: What should the NFL do after such a terrible call ruined the game by giving the Seahawks an undeserved win on an purported Hail Mary touchdown from Russell Wilson to Golden Tate that was really an interception by M.D. Jennings?

Jeff: Assface says what?

Neil: What???!?

Jeff: Exactly. Next question?

After further review, the runner did not touch second base
Look, they are working as hard as they can, so BACK OFF. Okay?

BTBNL Reader Amy from Baltimore, MD: Should Golden Tate be fined for his egregious pass interference that wasn’t called on the final play of the game?

Jeff: Only if by “egregious pass interference” you mean “unbelievable awesomeness.”

Amy: No, I don’t mean that at all.

Jeff: I’m pretty sure you do. And he shouldn’t be fined for it, he should be awarded this nation’s highest honor, the Congressional Not Being Arrested For Stealing Donuts Medal. Next question?

BTBNL Reader Branden from Atlanta, GA: We all saw the replays, and the facts are very clear about what happened. Let’s be fair and put our team affiliations aside here to discuss the issue rationally like adults. Can’t we just logically agree to the obvious statement that this call was incorrect and the Seahawks didn’t really deserve to win?

Jeff: What color is the sky on your planet? Is it green? That seems lovely.

In the spirit of compromise, I will agree that you blow goats during your free time when you are not actively assisting Al-Qaeda and/or selling crystal meth at preschools.

BTBNL Reader Greer from Mobile, AL: Shouldn’t we all be boycotting NFL games with these terrible scab replacement referees?

Lingerie Football League
Do these ladies deserve the best in referees? We think they do. And we are ready to volunteer any time necessary.

Jeff: I think these replacement referees are just fine.

Greer: But it was revealed recently that some of these referees actually got fired for not being good enough for the Lingerie Football League. Not that this is any kind of linkbait to get people to read this article due to a question on the LFL.

Jeff: First, I am going to say “shame on you,” and link to the Lingerie Football League website as an apology. Second, I am not going to dignify your slurs on the Lingerie Football League. That would be almost as bad as casting aspersions on the Canadian Football League cheerleaders of the British Columbia Lions. Third, I have forgotten what the original point was.

BC Lions cheerleaders
The CFL British Columbia Felions being cheerful. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that.

Also, we have a picture of the CFL British Columbia Lions “BC Felions” here, which is somehow related to something in this post about the Seahawks/Packers game. It has nothing to do with driving hits and trying to make this website profitable. Just saying.

That’s all the time we have for tonight – join us again next week when we answer nobody’s actual questions about the Philadelphia Phillies or the Washington Nationals!

The Magic of Redonkulin

By Jeffrey Carl

Bloggers To Be Named Later, June 12 2012

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.
The Phiten (necklace) Texas Rangers

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.

Redonkulin bracelets cause friendship!

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?

The Amazing Twist-A-Thing! It is endless and just blew your mind.

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.

Q: OMG.

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.

The NFL Super Insider #1

By Jeffrey Carl

Bloggers To Be Named Later, February 26 2012

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.

It is an immense honor for a podunk blog of this type to add The NFL Super Insider to its roster of writers. The NFL Super Insider has a hidden identity because he, she—or it—is constantly in contact with the league’s most elite and powerful. That’s why the NFL Super Insider is privy to the biggest scoops, the deepest secrets, and the hottest insider knowledge that prick Jay Glazer can only dream about.

Agent 66
WHO is it??? Is this the NFL Super Insider???

With that being said – on to this week’s NFL Super Insider Report!

Maybe THIS is the NFL Super Insider! Could it be???

Hot Item: At least one of the Green Bay Packers is spending his offseason well: B.J. Raji is starring in a new set of TV commercials. In these commercials, he has even invented his own dance, called the Disco Double-Check! Personally I don’t think the dance is very good, but I’m just happy to see an under-appreciated offensive lineman like Raji getting work. Rumor has it that in future commercials a certain Green Bay quarterback (maybe Matt Flynn!) plus a Packers sideline dancer with a beard will make a guest appearance as well!

BC Lions cheerleaders
Is THIS the NFL Super Insider??? Probably not but you should check closely.

Breaking NewsChicago Bears fans have been looking forward to next year, as their legendary offense returns in healthy form. But I’m hearing from those “in the know” in Chicago that quarterback Jay Cutler may not be 100% next year as he continues to struggle with what one team source called a “hurt vagina.” I’m not familiar with with the injury but from what I’m hearing it has been a recurring problem throughout Cutler’s career—stay tuned!

Wonder Woman
Is this the NFL Super Insider? Unlikely, but do you notice a trend? Keep reading to find out if your answer is correct.

Flash: Very highly placed League sources tell me exclusively that a blockbuster trade is on the way for the Indianapolis Colts! According to these Mega-Insiders, the Colts are set to deal away Peyton Manning to a dark-horse suitor: the St. Louis Cardinals! It’s said that new Colts General Manager Bill Pullman is pulling out all the stops to deal the longtime Indy quarterback for the Cardinals’ first-round picks in 2012 and 2013. The last holdup to getting a deal done is the Cardinals’ request for a “left-handed reliever” which may be a code name for a cornerback, or it may be some slang reference to gay sex. Best of luck to Peyton with the Cardinals either way!

Megan Fox
Yeah, at this point it’s just gratuitous

Hot Item: One of the NFL’s most prolific tweeters has caused a scandal yet again! Fox on NFL’s beloved robotic mascot Cleatus (@CLEATUSonFOX) ignited a firestorm last week with this verbal barb:

Infamous Cleatus tweet

Whoa, big guy – let’s leave the politics out of things. I prefer the “classic” Cleatus, known for his hilarious insightson everyday life covering the NFL like:

Like we all haven’t thought that before!

That’s all for this week! Keep your ears to the ground, keep reaching for the stars, and keep your hands to yourself – just like famous bluesman Leonard Skinnerd used to say!

How Mutants Can Save Major League Baseball

By Jeffrey Carl

Bloggers To Be Named Later, February 26 2012

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.

Since the runaway success of Bloggers To Be Named Later, every week I get hundreds of e-mails from avid fans asking me common sports-related questions, like “Do you need C1AL1S or V1AGRA cheap???!?”

Wonder Woman
Apparently she’s very excited to meet me and just needs a credit card!

But occasionally I get actual questions from readers, and by far the most common one is “how to save Major League Baseball?” Each time, I patiently explain that it’s complicated, because you have to have pitched at least three innings unless the lead in the game was less than three runs, in which case you only have to pitch one inning. Then they tell me that I misunderstood their question and we start over.

So here are the most popular questions I get about how Major League Baseball can be saved and the honest answer to each one:

Q: Is MLB suffering from the lack of a roster of fan-friendly superstars in the post-steroids era? What can be done to restore a pantheon of baseball players with mass market appeal like there were in the ’90s?

A: There is a lack of big-name baseball players today that hurts the sport as a whole. (Unless you are looking at key growing fan demographics, such as “Venezuelan families with 12-year old Yankees pitching prospects” or “Puerto Ricans who hope to come to the mainland under the name Bruce Wayne.”)

The fact is that the league has tried belatedly banning Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) with little real result. (True fact: the official MLB test for PED use is looking straight at the players with a very serious expression and asking, “Did you take any drugs, son?” So far only Manny Ramirez has been caught that way, although they blood-tested Ryan Braun because he couldn’t answer the question since he was so high on Angel Dust.)

Manny Ramirez
If Cheech or Chong ever dies, there’s your replacement.

So what does that tell us? Simply that PEDs aren’t really the problem, and to regain its popularity MLB should go completely in the other direction: mandating the use of PEDs, but taking it to the next level. A competition between ‘roided-up hulks to hit 70 home runs a year? Boooring.

Instead, we need a close 12-way race between full-blown mutants, doped up on elephant aphrodisiacs and freebasing Ben-Gay, trying to break the 140-home run barrier … while struggling with the societal prejudice brought on by their third arms and occasional feeding on the blood of children.

This Island Earth
The Yankees will pay this guy $25M a year for 10 years, even after he has turned 300.

Just think of the competition between this new breed of hitters vs. a new generation of pitchers throwing 110 mph change-ups while hallucinating from their massive infusions of Velociraptor Growth Hormone and horse tranquilizers. Not to mention the first base coaches high on Orangutan pituitary secretions mixed with Day-Quil and constantly waving all the players from 3rd base in, the wrong way around the bases.

That is must-see baseball, my friends, and I challenge anyone who disagrees with me to fight after I take my next intravenous shot of Armadillo liver and Grape Ludens Coughdrops.

Q: Do you want cheap drugs from Canadian Pharmacy to Enhance Male Performance tonight??!?? Rare Chinese herbs Three-Penis Wine for low cost!!!!

A: Sorry, I think I put this question in the wrong pile.

Q: What can be done about the chronic competitive imbalance in the AL East?

A: The obvious answer is to create a special two-team league with just the Yankees and the Red Sox in it so they play each other every day. This will create three key benefits:

Red Sox Fans Are From Mars
Can you imagine a book like this written by a Royals fan about the Indians? That’s why these people need to be quarantined.
  1. It will generate huge TV ratings for MLB, and allow ESPN to stop pretending like it cares about any other team in the league.
  2. Having the Sox and Yankees play each other constantly will lead to enough stadium brawls to thin their respective herds of devotees a little.
  3. Best of all, it will prevent the legions of unruly Red Sox Nation acolytes from crowding out the home fans at every other team’s away games, drowning out the local 7th inning stretch song with “Sweet Caroline” and complaining loudly about the lack of “lobstah rolls” at the stadium cotton candy stands.

Q: Can’t we just fire Bud Selig somehow? That would fix a lot right there.

A: Bud Selig cannot be fired. He cannot be made to retire, and he cannot even be killed. Bud Selig can only be destroyed by casting him back into the fires of Mount Doom in the Land of Mordor, where he was created.

The Shadow Land of Mordor
The Lord of the Rings doesn’t specify the exact location of Mordor but from the pictures I’m guessing Pittsburgh.

So if any of our readers live in Mordor, you might try to do that if you have some free time.

Seattle Sports Insecurity and Why the NBA Is Dead To Me

By Jeffrey Carl

Bloggers To Be Named Later, February 1 2012

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.

Seattle Skyline
Oh, your city doesn’t look like this at night? Suck it, Cleveland.

Sometimes I will tell a friend how February and March are my least favorite months of the year because there are no professional sports to watch. They will say, “but what about the NHL?” And we will both laugh and laugh and laugh.

After a few minutes of convulsive laughter, though, we pick ourselves up off the floor and they will follow up:

Friend: Seriously, what about professional basketball?

Me: I don’t think the WNBA season starts until September. Or maybe that’s the Curling Premier League.

Friend: No, I mean men’s professional basketball.

Me: I don’t know what cable package you have, but mine definitely doesn’t include the Italian-Serbian All Stars League.

Friend: No, the NBA.

Me: Who?

That’s right, the NBA has been on the official Jeff Carl Dead To Me List since July 2nd 2008 when the Seattle Supersonics officially left town to become the Oklahoma City Ford F-250 With Optional Towing Packages or the Oklahoma City Trailer Park Tornado Debris Scavengers or whatever they are now.

Please understand that this was not an ill-considered or capricious decision to add the League Who Must Not Be Named to my highly select Dead To Me List. After spending 10 years in Washington DC subjected to the “basketball” practiced by the Washington Wizards, I was already pretty disposed to stop caring about the NBA. To me, NBA players seemed like little more than a horde of spoiled prima donnas and feckless thugs who starred in terrible genie-themed movies and occasionally had NRA-sponsored gun shows in the locker room.

Shaq-Fu
That just happened.

But the factor that pushed me over the edge to permanently “un-friend” the NBA was an issue that I call Seattle Sports Insecurity Syndrome.

Seattle sports fans have a chronic insecurity problem. Despite the facts that Seattle is the 13th largest media market in the country, a thriving technology industry growth area and inarguably the most naturally beautiful major city in the nation, its sports teams seem to be perpetual also-rans or transplant candidates.

This is due to a variety of factors. Sure, Seattle does have some disadvantages in attracting sports teams: we have one rain shower a year (it starts on November 15th and ends in late May); the looming threat of multiple nearby volcanoes seems to turn off a few timid souls; and some people get jittery after their 14th cup of coffee in the afternoon. I have even heard a local sports radio host suggest that Seattle fans don’t have the same rabid sports interest seen in other cities because “people in Seattle have actual things to do besides watching sports.” (I think he was talking about you, Cleveland.) But none of these can adequately explain how Seattle and its teams are forever outside the “cool kids club” of the professional sports world.

This first hit home for me when I was watching a Fox NFL pre-game show in 2005 and Jimmy Johnson was discussing why the Seahawks’ running back Shaun Alexander wasn’t a national media star despite the fact that he was on pace for a 2,000-yard rushing season. “I think,” said Mr. Bob’s Big Boy Hair, “that it has something to do with the fact that he plays in Southeast Alaska.” TRUE FACT.*

Bob's Big Boy
Jimmy Johnson before he lost all the weight

In fact, Seattle sports teams have an unfortunate history of frequently being on the brink of moving out of town. The first major league sports franchise in Seattle, the MLB Seattle Pilots, left town after one season in 1969 to become the Milwaukee Brewers. Their replacement, the Seattle Mariners, were almost moved to St. Petersburg Florida in 1993, before the team was sold to a Japanese ownership group led by Super Mariothe chick from Metroid and Godzilla. The Seattle Seahawks were almost moved to Los Angeles in 1996 (just like every other team in the NFL that has wanted a new stadium).

That was bad enough to give Seattle sports fans a permanent case of the relocation jitters. But then, to top it all off, in 2006 the SuperSonics were sold to an ownership group led by Tom Joad or whoever the hell lives in Oklahoma. This was especially galling since the Sonics were Seattle’s only championship-winning team.** (The city came close twice when the Mariners lost the 2001 ALCS to the Yankees and the Seahawks lost Super Bowl XL in 2006 to the referees.)

The city of Seattle had a strong case against the NBA and the Sonics’ new carpetbagger ownership for breaking their lease. But Seattle’s doofus elected officials fumbled the trial strategy, and ultimately let the team go for a $45 million lease termination payment and a vague promise from NBA commissioner David Stern that Seattle might get a team again someday once they had filled up all the long-time proven basketball markets. You know, like Toronto and Charlotte.

Mayor McCheese
Seattle’s then-mayor, Greg Nickels

Seriously, the team left for Oklahoma City. I’m sure it’s lovely there and crap like that, but… really? Oklahoma City? That’s a little like having the following conversation with your girlfriend:

Girlfriend: We have to break up, I’m leaving you for another guy.

You: What? Is it the tall blond jet fighter pilot I saw you talking with earlier?

Now Ex-Girlfriend: No… it was the guy next to him.

You: The brilliant wealthy neurosurgeon?

Ex-Girlfriend: No… the guy on the other side.

You: The little kid with a backpack?

Ex-Girlfriend: He’s not a little kid, he’s 4’2″. And that’s not a backpack, it’s a hump.

The point of all this being that until such time as the “Why Does Anyone Care What Team Juwan Howard Wants To Play For?” league returns to Seattle, they are on the official Jeff Carl Dead To Me list. Until then, I will know Kobe Bryant only as “that guy who’s in the commercials with Tom from Parks and Recreation” and February/March will be the Months Without Professional Sports.

Except for the NHL.

———————————————

* P.S. Screw you, Jimmy Johnson.

** Yes, Seattle has an actual championship-winning pro sports team, the WNBA Seattle Storm. They are awesome and deserve mad props and lots of fans, but it ruins the narrative of my rant. Go Storm.

The Belichick Inverse Likability Theorem, Part 2

By Jeffrey Carl

Bloggers To Be Named Later, January 27 2012

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.

Last week, we introduced the first truly solid, mathematically proven theory that finally takes the guesswork out of determining a NFL team’s success. The Belichick Inverse Likability Theorem simply states:

Inverse Likability Theorem

In Part 1 of this series, the theory’s startling accuracy was demonstrated using the records of NFL coaches in 2011. “But how does it hold up over time?” you ask.

To prove just how deeply I deserve a NFL Nerdy Math Thing award, I will inconvenience myself to show you that the “BILT” shows itself true throughout NFL history as well. Let’s start with some of the all-time NFL standout coaches for one reason or another:

  • Vince Lombardi (.739 career winning percentage, 7 NFL championships): Packers Guard Jerry Kramer once joked, “Lombardi treated us all the same, like dogs.” That seemed funny until after a bad game in 1966 he outright sold RB Paul Hornung to a shady Korean restaurant.
  • Tom Landry (.602 career winning percentage, 2 NFL championships): Stabbed “Dandy” Don Meredith in the kidney for touching his fedora, ending Meredith’s career. Set NFL record for consecutive games never showing human emotions, which stood until Belichick beat it in 2010.
  • Marty Schottenheimer (.595 career winning percentage, 0 NFL championships): Best known for his infuriatingly conservative (“one yard and a cloud of dust”) playcalling style, his shockingly blatant nepotism, and his occasional attempts to hire ninja assassins to kill John Elway in revenge for repeated playoff losses. Earns back a few likability points for coaching the UFL Virginia Destroyers to a championship – unlike the Browns, Chiefs or Redskins.
  • Buddy Ryan (.500 career winning percentage, 0 championships): May or may not have put bounties on opposing players and/or punched assistant coaches on the sideline. Nonetheless gets likability points for being pure bats**t crazy enough to enjoy watching (see also Ryan, Rex).
Steve Spurrier
Coaching them up, Riverdance style!


  • Steve Spurrier (.375 career winning percentage, 0 championships): Okay, so maybe putting all your chips on Danny Wuerffel as your quarterback and resigning your coaching job from the 8thhole of a golf course aren’t Hall of Fame qualifiers. But the Old Ball Coach (“OBC”) never failed to amuse fans or reporters at his comically inept press conferences, and his bold, fashion-forward sense for womens’ golf visors made him a standout in likability. 
  • Joe Bugel (.300 career winning percentage, 0 championships): Absolutely everybody loved “Buges,” a players’ coach and two-time Super Bowl winning assistant with the Redskins who proceeded to win approximately negative 1 zillion games as the head coach of the Cardinals and Raiders.
Madden NFL 13 Quarterback Vision Cone
Seriously, to put this in they removed Madden Cards? Or Madden Challenge points? Or mini-camps that added to player stats? WHHYYYYYYYYY

John Madden (.759 career winning percentage, 1 championship): John Madden was a great coach and better commentator, but he gets +.500 unlikability points for willingly putting his name on the last several “Madden NFL” video games. Anyone who accepts money in return for using their name to pimp this chronically over-rated annual series of $60 roster updates has basically abdicated their rights to enter the Kingdom of Heaven when they die. 

So let’s see where that all nets out:

NFL Coaches
The Belichick Inverse Likability Theorem is scarily accurate.

“Okay,” you may be saying, “but what about the nice guys who were big winners?” Technically, it is true that several seemingly likable people were coaches with Hall of Fame winning percentages. But when you look at them closer, you will find the IBT holds true:

Viet Cong
Joe Gibbs sits next to Jane Fonda, 3rd from left


  • Joe Gibbs: Joe Gibbs is widely viewed as the archetypal “nice guy” coach and all-around decent human being. But he had two distinct phases of his coaching career:
  • Joe Gibbs Part II (.468 career winning percentage, 0 championships): During the kind grandfatherly years of his second turn with the Redskins, Gibbs had the highest-paid coaching staff in football and managed only a 30-34 record with a single playoff win. Note that as with John Madden above, coaching for a d-bag owner does not improve a coach’s winning percentage under the Belichick Inverse Likability Theorem.
  • Joe Gibbs Part I (.648 career winning percentage, 3 championships): During his first tenure as Redskins coach, Gibbs was the dominant coach of his era but was secretly a rabid sympathizer of the Viet Cong, despite the fact that the war had been over for many years.
Dick Vermeil gets choked up watching “Finding Nemo”
  • Dick Vermeil: Vermeil is famous for having changed his style from angry and heartless during his days in Philadelphia to warm, emotional and sentimental during his return to coaching in St. Louis when he won a Super Bowl. But Vermeil also had distinct phases to his hallowed coaching career:
    • Dick Vermeil Part I (.641, 0 champships): During his ultra-Type A years in Philadelphia, Vermeil went to the playoffs four out of six years. He was known for his players hating his guts, and setting the Eagles’ all-time coaching high blood pressure record which was later broken by Andy Reid only with the help of more than 35,000 McNuggets.
    • Dick Vermeil Part II “Electric Boogaloo” (.49, 1 championship): Despite Vermeil’s heartwarming yet off-putting crying jag during the Super Bowl, his winning percentage during his tenure in St. Louis was only .458 in the regular season and he racked up 10+ losses two out of three seasons with the Rams. He would have gotten fired if Kurt Warner hadn’t paid Tonya Harding with a ton of crystal meth to dress up as Houston Texans tackle Travis Johnson and cripple Trent Green. 
"You Can Do It" by Tony Dungy
Of course you can do it if you jump on the other player’s back and drag them down.

Tony Dungy (.651, 1 championship): Dungy is widely known for his avuncular TV style, strong religious faith and commitment to charities promoting involved and caring fathership. But I’m just adding +.600 unlikability to Dungy for “having a weird-shaped head” so that it fits my theory.

Author’s math-y science words note: Many people who are not expert science-y people like me are unaware that a large portion of science is specifically related to assessing the shape of people’s heads and modifying mathematical formulas based on this information. You are now a more educated person. You’re welcome.

So with this additional historical data, how does the Belichick Inverse Likability Theorem hold up?

NFL Coaches
Note the incredible accuracy, like Nostradamus or Tim Tebow.

As the chart above shows, “pretty darn well.”

In the next part of the series, we will apply the Belichick Inverse Likability Theorem to college football and literallyblow your mind. No, really, I mean “literally.” As in if you read it, you will die. If that doesn’t encourage future readership of this blog, I’m really not sure what does.

The Belichick Inverse Likability Theorem, Part 1

By Jeffrey Carl

Bloggers To Be Named Later, January 20 2012

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.

Bill Belichick
Pretending to make human smile DOES NOT COMPUTE

Statistics are essential to modern sports. Football coaches have situational analysis tables to help them justify “punt it on 4th and inches” calls more frequently.

Baseball has “sabermetrics,” which is an intricate mathematical system for determining results that is calculated by nerdy people who don’t have a big enough group of friends to play “Dungeons & Dragons” with.

Worldwide, soccer has all sorts of crazy crap that they do in metric units like “KiloBeckhams” or “Injury Time per Hectare.”

David Beckham
1 GigaBeckham (938 Imperial MegaBeckhams)

Yet the NFL has always lacked a true benchmark statistic (like WAR in baseball or Remaining Teeth divided by Penalty Minutes in hockey) that can accurately predict a team’s future success.

That is why we are proud to introduce a solid, mathematically proven theory that finally takes the guesswork out of NFL success. The Belichick Inverse Likability Theorem simply states:

Not convinced? We’ll prove this theorem by examining prominent NFL coaches and their unlikability. Let’s start by looking at the 2011 NFL postseason conference championship coaches:

  • Tom Coughlin, New York Giants: Famous for doing things like fining players for not being five minutes early to meetings; losing the confidence of his locker room; and looking like The Simpsons’ Mr. Burns except less healthy.
  • Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers: Got into a fight with Pete Carroll onfield when he was with Stanford. Got into a fight with Lions coach Jim Schwartz onfield when he was with the Niners. Got into a fight with a crippled nun onfield when she asked for his autograph.
  • Bill Belichick, New England Patriots: Each year, sends Christmas cards to every single reporter covering the NFL that just say “F**k You.” Writes bad checks for Girl Scout Cookies and then poops on the Girl Scouts’ lawns when asked to return them. Once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
  • John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens: He actually seems like a pretty decent guy, but he gets a gratuitous +.100 unlikability added for coaching in Baltimore, and +.200 for being Jim Harbaugh’s brother.

Now let’s see where the four remaining playoff coaches stand according to the theorem:

NFL Coaches
Actual math involved
Math is hard
Math is hard, and also hard to draw

The theorem is derived from the inverse of a well-known sports mathematical axiom, Sir Leo Durocher’s proof that “nice guys finish last.” It’s that simple – the bigger an obvious d-bag your team’s coach is, the better their record will be within a certain margin of error.

This is actual math, people! I can say this with absolute certainty since nobody’s going to bother with checking my calculations because math is boring.

But you may be saying, “but how does this theorem hold true for coaches outside the final four NFL playoff teams?” Okay, let’s flesh this out with some other carefully chosen examples based on the coach’s general likability as a person:

NFL Coaches
Spookily accurate once you insert modifiers to fit the theory

At this point, some of you may be saying, “why do Steve Spagnuolo and Tony Sparano get such high ratings for being likable?” Well, “Tony Sparano” sounds a lot like “Tony Soprano,” and saying bad things about him always seemed to get people killed. And the Rams performed so poorly in 2011 largely because Steve Spagnuolo was always being called away for missions as part of the SEAL Team Six that killed Osama bin Laden. But he couldn’t tell anyone about it or he would have had to kill them. True fact.

Navy SEALs
Spagnuolo is 3rd from left, next to Chuck Norris

In summary, the Belichick Inverse Likability Theorem provides us with the definitive mathematical formula for determining NFL team success or failure, replacing such irrational and illogical methods as astrology, or listening to Trent Dilfer. Next week we will apply the theorem to historical coaches to demonstrate further just how right I am.

I am not sure whether the NFL is technically qualified to just hand out Nobel Prizes for Awesome Math-Based Stuff, but I’m pretty sure they are, and if so I expect one.

Tune In, Turn On, Watch “Baywatch”

By Paul Caputo and Jeffrey Carl

The Richmond State, or at least the closest I could find to it
The Richmond State, April 12 1996

The Richmond State was a plucky upstart alternative newspaper (not that kind of “alternative”) that challenged the editorial might of the stodgy Richmond Times-Dispatch beginning in 1994. It folded in 1997 and left so little of a legacy that there is a grand total of one search result for it in all of the Googles, which is a link to the Library of Congress where you can find which libraries have copies on microfiche. At the time, Paul Caputo and I thought this was our ticket to comedy stardom. We were exceptionally stupid.

Hi. We are Jeff and Paul. At least our parents didn’t name us “Pongo” or “Mad.”

Not long ago, in this very “newspaper,” we published a column about the Richmond news media (which, due to typographical errors, included  Channel 8). Like all of our best work, it contained biting political and social commentary, and repeated references to the word “ass.”  The column earned these wacky comments from cheerful WRVA morning personality Tim “Tim” Timberlake:

“It seems we’ve been mentioned here in the … is this a newspaper? Oh, ha ha, how funny. Incidentally, you’ve blown it now, haven’t you, you filth-ridden vermin? Are you listening Jeff and Paul?! WITH GOD AS MY WITNESS, YOU WILL NEVER BE ON THE RADIO IN THIS TOWN FOR AS LONG AS I LIVE! Let’s take a caller.”

Or something.

In fact, this controversial column provoked a flood of similar responses from “many” of our “readers.” 

“Hey,” NewsChannel 6 Anchor Charles Fishburne did not say, “Why don’t you punks write something about cable television and leave us the Hell alone?”

That gave us an idea: “Let’s have PIZZA for dinner again!” But it also gave us another idea:

Jeff and Paul’s Guide to Cable TV

DIVISION I: The Basics

USA Network

Motto:Where Old Canceled Sitcoms Go to Die

Format: Every bad TV show you can think of, plus excellent live theater (“WWF Monday Nite RAW!”)

Best Feature: (tie) 18-hour “Knight Rider” marathons keep derelicts (Paul) off the street./When Judge Wapner bit the head off a live plaintiff on camera.

Worst Feature: When Judge Wapner’s bowels are acting up and he gives people the death sentence.

Trivia Fact: It not only insults your intelligence, but slaps it upside the head, too.

The Weather Channel

Motto: One Step Up From Static!

Format: A wide variety of topical programs concerning important political and social issues, ranging from rainy weather to sunny weather

Best Feature: Vital up-to-the-minute barometric pressure readings from Boise, Idaho.

Worst Feature: Hey! It’s weather! Just look out the window, for God’s sake.

Trivia Fact: Temperatures in the 70s do not actually turn an entire state orange.

BET (Black Entertainment Television)

Motto:When You Just Can’t Get Enough Rap Videos

Format: Surprisingly, rap videos

Best Feature: No danger of seeing “Mama’s Family” at any time

Worst Feature: You won’t believe this, but it gets kinda old after a while.

Trivia Fact: Counterpart channel “NET” (Norwegian Entertainment Television) failed due to lack of rap videos about fjords or people named “Ingemar.”

VH-1 (Video Hits One)

Motto:White Entertainment Television

Format: Imagine Lite 98 with pictures.

Best Feature: (tie) Cool Cheesy ‘80s videos they got out of the attic at MTV/Keeps Mariah Carey off welfare

Worst Feature: Has been known to cause dizziness, stomach cramps and mild comas.

Trivia Fact: Originally intended as a “Baby Boomer” counterpart to the “younger, hipper” MTV, it is now used as an industrial-strength sedative, while MTV is used to entertain mutants and rabid farm animals.

MTV (Music Television)

Motto:Cretin Central

Format: Irritating game shows, cheese-ridden pseudo-dramas, “Beavis and Butthead,” and info-mercials, plus up to three bad music videos per day.

Best Feature: “The Great Cornholio” episode of “Beavis and Butthead”

Worst Feature: Is basically just total crap.

Trivia Fact: If someone identifies himself as an avid MTV watcher, it is socially acceptable to punch him in the face.

The Discovery Channel

Motto:Must-Ignore TV

Format: Alternating footage of sharks eating divers and World War II planes dropping bombs on buildings.

Best Feature: When they drop bombs on sharks.

Worst Feature: Jacques Cousteau thinks he’s so much cooler than everyone else.
Trivia Fact: Come see Jeff in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” this weekend at the University of Richmond theater! Mention at the box office that you saw this notice in The Richmond State, and they will punch you in the face.

Trivia Fact II: Sometimes you can see Paul walking around in the background of Channel 12 newsroom live shots.

Trivia Fact III: The fastest land mammal is the cheetah.

Trivia Fact IV: The fattest land mammal is Rush Limbaugh.

C-SPAN

Motto:We DARE You to Watch!”

Format: Pulse-pounding, rivetingly incomprehensible legislative session coverage

Best Feature: Wacky skits all the congressmen perform in drag between bills

Worst Feature: They only rarely air old episodes of “What’s Happening.”
Trivia Fact: Dwayne from “What’s Happening” was really kind of a dork.

E! (Entertainment Television)

Motto: (tie) “E!-rritating!” or ”AIIIEEEEE!”

Format: No one really cares.

Best Feature: “Talk Soup” is used as a nationwide indicator of stupidity.

Worst Feature: Howard Stern is just really ugly.
Trivia Fact: The exclamation point in “E!” is pronounced “Prince.”

ESPN (Entertainment Sports Programming Network)

Motto: “CNN With Excess Testosterone

Format: All sports, all the time, except when they show golf

Best Feature: The SportsCenter anchors make having a rotten attitude seem cool.

Worst Feature: Occasionally shows New York Mets games, under the title “The Parade of Shame and Wasted Lives.”
Trivia Fact: In September of 1983, a woman watched ESPN.

ESPN2 “The Deuce”

Motto: If You’re Watching This, You’re Pathetic”

Format: 24-hour coverage of second-rate sports, like “underwater skateboarding,” “beach bowling,” “wheelchair rugby” and “professional ice hockey.”

Best Feature: They’ve got to be hiring.

Worst Feature: Try as we might, we can’t get them to cover our annual Richmond State Whiffle Ball Tournament.
Trivia Fact: No one has ever actually seen ESPN2.

CNN Headline News

Motto: Enough News to Choke a Horse

Format: 24 hours a day – news from Really Ugly People

Best Feature: If you close your eyes and crumple newspapers, you can pretend you’re listening to WRVA.

Worst Feature: Not enough skin.
Trivia Fact: It’s the only news service to run syndicated repeats of old broadcasts.

QVC (Quality Value Convenience) Shopping Network

Motto:Like Shopping, but More Irritating!”

Format: Kind of a cross between the Wheel of Fortune and BLAB TV

Best Feature: It makes you realize there are many worthwhile, valuable things you could do instead of watching TV.

Worst Feature: You’ll watch it anyway.
Trivia Fact: The modern consumer could do 100 percent of his daily shopping from home, provided all he ever needed were Diamanoid rings the size of golf balls and Cubic Zirconia coat hangers.

TBS (Turner Broadcasting System)

Motto: Look, Jane, I own a TV station!”

Format: The Atlanta Braves and other minions of Satan, like “Matlock.”

Best Feature: Jane Fonda used to wear just a leotard to Atlanta Braves games.

Worst Feature: Jane Fonda still wears just a leotard to Atlanta Braves games
Trivia Fact: Paul hates the Braves more than he does any other group of human beings this side of the KKK and the phone company.

DIVISION II: Pay Stations

Cinemax

Motto:Breasts Ahoy!

Format: Breasts

Best Feature: Large breasts

Worst Feature: Small breasts

Trivia Fact: May not be suitable for children under 17 who don’t like breasts.

Trivia Fact II: We’ll be back watching this channel, once our girflfriends refuse to talk to us for a week after reading all these “breast” gags.

HBO (Home Box Office)

Motto: You Were Just Too Lazy to Go to the Video Store, Weren’t You?

Format: Good movies twice a month; “Ernest Goes to Hell” six times a day.

Best Feature: Thank GOD you didn’t pay to see these movies in a theater.

Worst Feature: You’re still paying an extra $5 a month to see these movies on cable.

Trivia Fact: Nobody has understood a single word said on “Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam” in over three years.

Pay-Per-View

Motto: Calling All Idiots!

Format: Movies two months before they show up on HBO, plus specials like (True Fact!) “David Hasselhoff and Friends,” featuring Marla Maples and David singing.

Best Feature: Provides the pleasant illusion of being in a cheap hotel somewhere.

Worst Feature: You may miss that Mike Tyson fight you paid $40 for if you sneeze.

Trivia Fact: “Rosebud” was Citizen Kane’s sled.

© 1996 Puff Carpluto

Sports Preview-ish “Thingy”

By Paul Caputo and Jeffrey Carl

The Richmond State, or at least the closest I could find to it
The Richmond State, April 4 1996

The Richmond State was a plucky upstart alternative newspaper (not that kind of “alternative”) that challenged the editorial might of the stodgy Richmond Times-Dispatch beginning in 1994. It folded in 1997 and left so little of a legacy that there is a grand total of one search result for it in all of the Googles, which is a link to the Library of Congress where you can find which libraries have copies on microfiche. At the time, Paul Caputo and I thought this was our ticket to comedy stardom. We were exceptionally stupid.

Hi. We are Jeff and Paul. We’re throwing out our balls on opening day! Umm … that didn’t sound too good.

If someone asked you about the biggest problems facing the City of Richmond (motto: “No Parking!”), you, being sensible, would say “Men who drink Zima” (motto: “It Zucks!”). But that’s not what we are here to talk about; indeed, you psychos, we’re not “there,” and neither of us is talking.

What we are writing about is the lack of quality sports in this Godforsaken town. The Richmond sports situation is worse than radio station 104.7 “The BUZZ” (motto: “Like Chewing Razors, But You Listen to It”). Why are there no die-hard legions of courageous, yet somehow mentally deficient Richmond fans lining up for tickets in the snow? Most other cities have them. Why aren’t the names of Richmond’s sports teams, whatever they are, a topic of regular discussion among the local hoi-polloi (that’s you)? Sports teams are worshipped in other cities (“Visit the Temple of the Toronto Raptors!”). And it’s no use blaming it all on the fact that recent statistics show that everyone in Richmond has been murdered three times. There’s something wrong here. And it’s all for one simple reason.

What is that reason? 

We have NO damn idea.

We decided to investigate or something. The result: more than 75% of Richmond professional players, coaches and managers we interviewed believed that The Richmond State was either “just west of North Carolina” or “a kind of fish.” 

For those of you who are exceptionally stupid or work for TV news or both, Richmond has no major-league professional sports team. What we do have, idiots, are minor-league teams, which, if you have been to an actual city, you know is like being 39 cents shy of the proverbial Value Meal, if you know what we mean. If you do know what we mean, please write to us and explain it, c/o this newspaper.

To this end, we, Jeff and Paul (motto: “Not Funny!”), recently attended the Richmond Braves’ “Media” Day. (They make us put “media” in quotes because Channel 8 has passes, too.) We then left after we realized that there was no free food.

Now, while baseball is the greatest facet of American culture this side of “V: The Final Battle” or reruns of “Schoolhouse Rock” and, in Richmond, it is the closest thing we have to major league sports (The Renegades don’t count because they play hockey.) (C’mon. Hockey?), our first real exposure to the world of sports in Richmond revealed a disturbing fact: That “Ukrops” spelled backwards is the satanic riddle “Spork! U?” 

No! That’s not it. What we discovered was this: We still haven’t seen those free baseball caps NewsChannel 6 said they were mailing us. No! Dammit! That’s not it either. What we actually discovered was this: that all our minor-league teams are actually kinda pretty good. To wit:

The Richmond Braves: Go R-Braves! Woooo Hoo! The “R-Braves,” as they are called,(to distinguish them from the “Their-Braves,”) are Richmond’s number one sports team, since they are first alphabetically. The Braves are also our favorite Richmond sports team and not just because we have season press passes. No way. It’s because we have season press passes and free parking passes. This, in our opinions, makes the R-Braves the GREATEST THING EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE.

The Braves have won every single game they have ever played over the course of their 30-year history, with the unfortunate exception of several hundred games that they lost because the umpires were Nun-abusing Homosexual Communists and almost certainly had serious personal hygiene problems.

While we were at the Braves’ media day last week, we interviewed cumulatively almost one person each, who filled us in on some important information we will need to cover the Braves this year:

PAUL: So, um, do you guys like baseball? You know?

TALL GUY WITH A NUMBER ON HIS SHIRT: Hey! You write for The Richmond State? Is Pongo Twistleton here?

Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice:

JEFF: I thought there was going to be free food here.

BIG GUY WITH “SECURITY” ON HIS SHIRT: Get out.

Coincidentally, you can find weekly coverage of the Braves (True Fact!) every Thursday this summer right here in the State.

Richmond Kickers: Okay. These are grown men playing soccer. Frankly, it looks ridiculous. 

The Kickers, whose name derives from the latin, kickvs, meaning “guys who can run a lot” and er, meaning “but can’t catch worth a dead rat’s ass,” are one of Richmond’s most successful teams, in that they have won a lot of championships. Of course, in whatever the Hell league it is they play in, every time you win a game, you apparently win a championship. Last year the Kickers won their league championship, the Professional League Championship, the Tournament of Champions Championship and “Final Jeopardy,” all in one game. By the end of the season, they had won the Virginia Cup, the Newberry and Caldecott Awards, the Nobel Prize, and two of them were named “Miss America.” 

We look forward this season to the Kickers to win six Pulitzers, an Academy Award for “Best Foreign Documentary,” and the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes.

Richmond Renegades: Those of you who follow our column on a regular basis should remember this number: 1-900-GET-HELP. Also, you should remember the column we wrote about our visit to “The Freezer” several weeks ago for a Renegades game. Incidentally, we take this opportunity to point out that the wounds are healing nicely, and 

Paul is getting used to not having a nose anymore. We would like to ask that whichever exuberant fan ate Jeff’s car’s bumper to please return it.

If you missed our Renegades column, you can find back issues of the State in your local Christian Science Reading Room, or gutter.

Virginia Commonwealth University: The VCU “Rams” (motto: “Our athletes aren’t nearly as freakish as the rest of our students!”) fielded an excellent basketball team this year. Which was a shame because you don’t play basketball on a field.

VUU/VSU: Both of these schools actually exist, we’re told. At any rate, their sports teams can’t be nearly as bad as the University of Richmond’s.

University of Richmond: U of R’s big sports teams, contrary to popular belief, aren’t half bad this year. 

They’re ALL bad. The UR basketball team (motto: “We may lose badly, but we have a beautiful 300-acre wooded campus with a scenic lake and tranquil atmosphere!”) finished its 1995-96 season with a record of 3-271, placing it last in the CAA, and two rankings below the Goochland Girls Scouts.

U of R proudly boasts several talented athletes, all of whom transferred just last week, leaving the school with only (True Fact!) a nationally ranked Synchronized Swimming Team, a gaggle of male cheerleaders (“The Spiderettes”) and a very masculine campus newspaper intramural “Hardyball” team.

The U of R football team has a long, fine tradition of running up the middle and getting sacked for six-yard losses. That’s it.

U of R, it turns out, is actually the only purveyor of sports in the city that does suck.

Perhaps that’s what is missing. Part of the reason, say, Chicago’s sports fans are so dedicated is the knowledge that they can share the Cubs getting pummeled by visiting Jehovah’s Witnesses softball teams with their children, and their grandchildren. So we need teams that suck …. etc.

The Richmond Valued Customers (NFL): Owned by Ukrop’s, (motto: “Jesus Wants You to Buy This Cole Slaw”) the RVCs would have attractive green uniforms, refuse to play games on Sunday afternoons because they should all be at their “house of worship,” and try to get other teams to move out of cities where Howard Stern is broadcast. Their secret weapon would be to scatter delicious Ukrop’s Potato Wedges™ all over the field as decoys.

They Aren’t Paying Us Enough to Be Funny

By Paul Caputo and Jeffrey Carl

The Richmond State, or at least the closest I could find to it
The Richmond State, March 26 1996

The Richmond State was a plucky upstart alternative newspaper (not that kind of “alternative”) that challenged the editorial might of the stodgy Richmond Times-Dispatch beginning in 1994. It folded in 1997 and left so little of a legacy that there is a grand total of one search result for it in all of the Googles, which is a link to the Library of Congress where you can find which libraries have copies on microfiche. At the time, Paul Caputo and I thought this was our ticket to comedy stardom. We were exceptionally stupid.

Yell-O. We are Jeff and Paul. Aren’t you excited? Well, you DAMN well should be.

Once again, we, Jeff and Paul, investigative journalists, Defenders of Truth, Writers of Crap, Users of Many Commas, are dipping into our ever-brimming Loyal Reader Mail Sack™, if you know what we mean. We sure as Hell don’t. Furthermore, also. Therefore, we are answering a letter from a lucky reader, who is almost certainly not you, because you didn’t write in.

Dear Messrs. Carl and Caputo,

Your payments on the Deluxe Model Foosball Table are now four months overdue. Please kindly pay immediately or a sales representative named “Torg” will visit you soon, and shove a lamp up your asses. Thank you for your prompt attention…

Whoops! Wrong mailbag! That seems to have been the Loyal Angry Creditor Mailbag®. We have found our Loyal Reader Mailbag or Whatever©, and will now answer a letter.

Dear “Jeff” and/or “Paul,”

Remember that column you wrote? The one about the thing? You know? Well, what’s up with that? You know?

Q: Is there any over-the-counter medication I can take which will give me fresh, minty breath and improve my gas mileage?

A: That’s a fine question. Here’s what you do: You walk up to your boss and say, “It was me who stocked the company water cooler with goldfish!” Then stomp on his foot, kick him in the shins and staple his eyelids to his forehead.

He won’t be pinching your ass again. And that’s one to grow on.

Q: Is it true that research has been found, in clinical studies, to cause cancer in laboratory animals?

A: Let’s face it. Even to suggest that Denny’s “Moons Over My Hammy” breakfast meal is even a little bit offensive is just a bit over the top. Even if you are a Ukrop.

Q: Is there any reason that the people responsible for ‘Mentos: the Freshmaker!’ commercials should be allowed to live?

A: Hmm… We’re not sure. Try Pongo Twistleton’s column. By the way, there were no contest winners from last week, so please be sure to mail your entries with the postage stamp on the outside.

Q: Which is worse: Hitler, or people who say ‘nucular’ instead of ‘nuclear?’

A: Our favorite country is Norway. The people there are so short, and yet somehow so large. It might have something to do with all those pastries.

Q: Does Søren Kierkegaard’s existentialist dogma (positing, for the æsthete, that ennui is the demonic pantheism) properly encapsulate man’s will to exist? Or is it all just a bunch of crapola?

A: A little warm milk and a lot of penicillin, and everything will be just fine.

Q: Would you agree that advancements in computer technology have gone straight downhill ever since “Super Challenge Baseball” for Atari 2600?

A: The worst thing is wrong numbers. For example, Jeff’s phone number is very similar to that of the Poison Control Center, so he always gets calls from people whining about “Ohhh, I just drank a quart of Draño!” or whatever. He tells them to: 1. “Have some ‘Wheaties’ and you’ll be all right,” or 2. “Watch ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’ to induce vomiting,” then hangs up.

Q: Oh my God! What is that thing on your face?

A: The trick is to hold the ferret firmly in the palm of your hand before jamming into slot 4, as shown in the diagram.

Q: If you had a million dollars to give to any charity organization in the world, would you?

A: Well, it’s your fault for not having a Macintosh in the first place. That’s what we say.

Q: Doesn’t ‘Newt Gingrich’ sound like a name for a Klingon or something?

A: If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a bajillion times: Swallowing tiny bits of Nerf will not cure scurvy or the Clap.

Q: Is there a restroom here I can use?

A: The mighty sequoia, which grows to over three hundred feet in height.

Q: Did you know that if you held your breath for a long time, then someone unexpectedly punched you in the gut, you would either black out or start thinking just like Rush Limbaugh?

A: In 1995 alone, more than 400 cats died in accidents directly related to Dust Busters.