Sunday, October 11, 2009

A surprise AL Playoff winner, artists who work in crayon, Miss Classy New England, and more in this week's Nonsportsmanlike Conduct!

Undaunted by the fact that the St. Louis Cardinals have
already washed out of the playoffs, I this week present for your amusement and edification, the NonSportsmanlike Conduct 100% Accurate, Never-Fail, Always-Right, Sure-Fire System For Picking The Playoff Winner, American League Edition, the only system guaranteed to pick a winner, every time (+/- four teams, remember.)

I will note that if you're thinking Oh, this is going to be a lot of the same stupid stuff like last week, well, you're dea
d wrong. Remember, the operating ethos of my Nonsportsmanlike Conduct! is to separate my sports thoughts from others' -- other sports writers are boring and repeat the same stuff over and over again. I, I, am different, and each blog post is different, too, so don't worry -- the jokes will be entirely new, entirely lame jokes.

As I write this, we're already 37 games into the first round of the American League playoffs, but, as they say, There's a lot of baseball left to play, and there is. There always is. Baseball has 32 teams, and each plays 162 games a year, so there's 5,184 games in the regular season -- or, this year, 5,185, because Minnesota and Detroit played a 1-game playoff to get into the postseason for the right to lose to the Yankees.

In the postseason for baseball, there's a Best-of-5-game first round, then a best-of-7 second round, then a best-of-7 World Series, so there could be 40 first round games, 14 second-round games and 7 championship games, or 61 postseason games in all. There are a possible 549 innings of postseason play.

That final game of the World Series, if necessary, will be played on November 5. The 2010 Major League Baseball season begins April 5, 2010, which means there are only 150 days from the end of this season until the beginning of next season... but preseason training camp actually begins in February, generally (Spring training now beginning a month and a half before spring itself begins), which means that, at any given time, there is, quite literally, a lot of baseball yet to play.

Which makes the
NonSportsmanlike Conduct 100% Accurate, Never-Fail, Always-Right, Sure-Fire System For Picking The Playoff Winner, American League Edition absolutely necessary today. Let's see who The 100% System says will face down the Cardinals in the World Series (and let's forget that The 100% System predicted the Cards would make the Series, which is easy to do, because, let's face it, it doesn't matter who the National League sends to the World Series, they're not going to win.

True fact: Only twice in the entire history of baseball has the National League won the World Series, and one of those years was the strike year when the Series was cancelled.

True-er Fact: I made up that last fact, but it seems plaus
ible, doesn't it?

As always, I'll examine the four categories to break down th
e intangibles that separate the winners (Yankees) from the losers (all the other teams in the AL playoffs.)

1. Best Mascot/Nickname: I'll start this category with the Yankees, who carry on the proud American tradition of "taking a derogatory term and turning it into a ... um... what's the opposite of derogatory? Rogatory? Is that a word? Really? It is? But it doesn't mean what I want it to mean? It's not the opposite of derogatory? Well, who's going to know that? ... turning it into a rogatory term.

The Oxford English Dictionary -- the only dictionary written by a madman -- says the origin of the word "yankee" is unknown. Some, including H.L. Mencken (the man who invented the slam dunk) say it stems from Jan Kaas, which translates as John Cheese, a slang term the Flemish called the Dutch. That term then was applied to Dutch pirates by the English, which can only lead to one conclusion: There were Dutch pirates? Rea
lly? Did they have a skull-and-tulips on their flag?

Whatever the origin of the word, yankees began its life as an insult, only to be turned around, in typical American fashion, and held up as a label of esteem, only to be turned around again, again in typical American fashion, and used as an insult because now it was the New York Yankees, the team it's fashionable to hate because they spend a billion dollars per player and win a World Series about every five minutes, and because all of their players have to go through an initiation rite of sleeping with Madonna.

Sleep with Madonna?
What's so bad about that as an initiation rite?

Oh. Oh. I see.

But the Yankees just go on being the Yankees and winning all of their games and winning all of the World Serieses, and not caring if you hate them, not caring if you despise them and curse them in your sleep, not even caring if they have to sleep with Madonna.

Well, they care about
that. I'm sure they'd rather not. But it's a small price to pay, being a Yankee and sleeping with Madonna, if it means being super-rich and playing a game that, let's face it, requires very little in the way of athletic ability.

Before you get mad over that last comment,
keep in mind that the above is a major league baseball player.
will make more this year than you will in your lifetime.
And he will spend half of what he makes on doughnuts.

The Yankees don't have a mascot (other than Madonna), but they clearly lead the other teams in terms of nicknames. The other three AL teams have nicknames like Twins, Red Sox, and Angels. I'm downgrading the Red Sox, for two reasons: 1. You spell your name with the "x" to make it seem extreme, and 2. Your nickname is a sock.

sock. I understand that it comes from Red Stockings and that it's an old-fashioned-y name and that back then people sucked, but... really? A sock? I mentioned last week how dumb it is to name your team after the geographical feature you're near, but naming your team after something you wear is even more stupid. Frankly, given how grossly lame people in the 19th century were, I'm amazed that we were able to evolve from them.

As for
Twins and Angels... pleh. Twins is just more geographical features, because of the Twin Cities, and the Twin Cities concept itself is dumb. They're not really twins, you know. They're not even kind of identical.

These are twins.

This is not.

The Angels, like the Yankees, don't have a mascot, and I wonder why? Can't someone dress up as an angel and do the Chicken dance and shoot t-shirts into the stadium? Is there something sacrilegious about having an angel moon the opposing bullpen? Okay, I guess maybe there is. Still, it'd be cool to see-- only we'll never see it because the Angels don't have the guts to spit in the face of organized religion. Beyond naming their team "Angels," that is.

The remaining two teams have mascots, at least.

Minnesota has "T.C. Bear," and I'm told the "T.C." stands for
Twin Cities, so, lame.

Boston has The Green Monster, and, as new editions, "Lefty" and "Righty." Lefty and Righty are...
socks with arms.

lame. Extra lame. Like, Diablo Cody dialogue lame. And that is bad. Or salty. I don't know which. Whatever, it sucks.

Because Minnesota's mascot didn't inadvertently remind me of Diablo Cody, and therefore didn't inadvertently make me also vomit in my mouth just a little, they get the Mascot by default.

Score: Yankees, 1; Minnesota 1.

2. Craziest Fan: We head off to Youtubeville, population us, to review what passes for Crazy Fans in the American League. For Boston, there is this video, which is supposed to be about a Crazy Sox Fan selling chowder (or, as they say in Boston, phlegm) outside of Yankees stadium. But more fascinating than a guy who will eat boogers-in-cream-soup is the woman who makes an appearance at 0:27, then again at 0:47, and again at 1:13. Watch closely...

Wow! Who'd have thought the Emily Post would attend a Sox-Yankees game? Obviously, she took time out from her high-powered career as a "cocktail waitress," to do up those nails, before heading off to the game and turning the whole thing into the most pathetic
Girls Gone Wild ever. I want her to have her own show. Or at least a guest shot on The View.

Crazy Angels Fan shows up in this video:

It's hard to understand what's so "crazy" about that, though -- is the cameraman saying it's crazy to eat an entire bucket of fried chicken in one sitting? If so, then call me crazy, and also, I need a napkin.

You wouldn't expect much craziness out of Minnesotans, and
Crazy Twin Fan proves that point:

Running onto the field? That hasn't been "crazy" since...
ever. I guess Minnesotans used up all their crazy when they first voted for Jesse Ventura, then elected Stuart Smalley.

I'm good enough, I'm smart enough,
and doggone it, we need universal health care!

No, seriously: We need universal health care,
and Al Franken said that in his campaign, so go to his website
and tell him to you're going to hold him to that promise

And, finally, we finish with Crazy Yankees Fan:

Come on. If you're going to remake a song, at least bring something new to it besides a canned disco beat.

I've got to give this one to
Boston -- but not to Chowder Guy. No, I'm going with Miss Classy New England 2009. Someone pull her head out of the puddle of her own vomit and let her know she helped out her team. Then find her pants.

Boston, 1.

3. Politicians' Bets: This was a disappointing category last week, as for the 233rd consecutive year in American history, politicians let down their constituents by having lame (or nonexistent) bets.

In the Minnesota-New York pairing, New York Mayor Billionaire Bloomberg has put up "an assortment of urban produce" and a case of beer, while Minneapolis Mayor R.T. "Rybak" has bet some apples and a case of beer on the Twins.

St. Paul, the
other "Twin City," serving as Ashley to Minneapolis' Mary Kate, didn't have its mayor put up anything.

Meanwhile, in Angels-Red Sox, as of October 1, the Mayor of New England hadn't made up his mind on whether or not to bet yet. But he did serve some trash talk at L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa, who has to bet not only on the Dodgers, but also on the "
Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Omaha." Said New England's only non-Kennedy elected official:

Well, we have a lot of things to give him, from our lobsters to our clam chowder to some of the great theater works, some of the great art we have in Boston ... but Los Angeles, they (just) give us congestion.

Ooooh, no he

And: There's great art in Boston?

I was going to make a joke here about Boston art, and went looking for a child's picture of Boston drawn in crayon. I couldn't find one, which just means that Miss Classy New England 2009 hasn't let her kids out of the trunk of her car long enough to draw one. She'll get around to it, I'm sure, once she washes the Marlboro smell out of her "fancy" coat.

On that subject, though, has there ever been a famous artist who worked exclusively in crayon? I wondered, and so I investigated for you by Googling that question. And the answer is:

Yes. I give you the work of Christian Faur:

The Wind (2007): actual size, 19.5" X 58.5"

The Dance, I (2006): 19.5" x 19.5"

Above the Waves, 2007: 19.5" x 19.5"

Christian Faur makes those pictures by handcasting crayons, then standing them on end in pre-made frames to make a pixel-like effect. As if that's not cool enough, Christian says this on his site, too:

Further, I have developed a mapping system that translates the English alphabet into twenty six discrete colors and I use these crayon “fonts” to add words and language to each of the pieces in the show... the direct representation of language in each piece further imbues the works with meaning and brings an aspect of color into each composition reminiscent of DNA coding. The alphabetic key at the lower left of each panel allows the viewer to interpret the individual words written throughout the various panels.

Making Christian Faur the only major artist I've ever heard of who makes Crayon pictures with DNA-embedded code. Visit his site here, and, like me, you'll be amazed.

Score: Christian Faur, 1.

4. Weirdest Thing For Sale In Their Shop... Make That eBay: I told you I'd keep this fresh. I'm not content to just make fun of skanky baseball fans...

You thought I was going to put a picture
of Ms. Classy New England 2009?

Not when I can go above and beyond that to make fun of people who buy and sell things on eBay, too. So instead of going to the pro shops of the teams, I went to eBay and checked for the weirdest things I could find for auction there.

Anaheim Angels Memorabilia, we find the Anaheim Angels MLB Stickers Scrapbooking Item#14:

There's no description, so I'm not sure what it's for, but I do know that the asking price has been reduced from $1.05 to $0.89.

Is it really worth it to auction something on eBay
for eighty-nine cents? I've tried to sell stuff on eBay -- with no success, because people didn't believe that it really was a rare, genuine Beatles' album worth $15,000, so screw you, people, I'm hanging onto it and someday you'll see just how wrong you were -- and I know that it takes at least a little while to set up the auction and get everything going. Then, if it sells, you've got to go mail the thing at the post office, and wait in line, and all that... all for eighty-nine cents?

Then again, if that seems like a lot of effort for a little profit, consider the Minnesota Twins' fan/seller who's auctioning off the "
Chuck Knoblauch Rookie Cards and More," a set of six Chuck Knoblauch cards.

That the seller is selling for six cents.

With free shipping.

The minimum cost of mailing something in an envelope is $0.44, so the Chuck Knoblauch fan is losing 38 cents on this deal. He's literally paying to get rid of those cards. The auction doesn't say what the "and more" is, but I think it's friendship. This guy strikes me as the kind of guy who, as a kid, would give you his favorite toys if only you'd play with him. (i.e., he strikes me as me.)

Red Sox fans aren't so cheap: Nothing goes for just six cents in New England (except a back-room dance from Miss Classy
New England 2009!)(ba dum bump!)

No, if you want, say,
a piece of cloth from one of Curt Schillings' jerseys, you'll have to pay a lot more, like, $15.00, to get the "Curt Schilling Sweet Swatch Memorabilia" . And $3.00 shipping. Maybe what you should do is get that Twins' fan to buy it for you, then sell it to you at a loss. Just tell him you'll be his buddy.

If you're a baseball card collector, then you already know what a "Sweet Swatch" is... and you're a loser. If you're
not a baseball card collector, then you have value in society and you need a bit of an explanation: These swatches of cloth are cut out of game jerseys and inserted into baseball card packages, so that the two remaining people in America who still buy baseball cards can buy them, and then try to auction them to each other on eBay.

And they don't just stick to game jerseys, either; upcoming packages of baseball cards will have pieces of a Miley Cyrus headband in them, courting that unique demographic of guys who like baseball cards
and Miley Cyrus:

Actual quote from his arrest:
What? I only like her for her music!

If your sport has to court fans by giving them teenage girls' clothing, it's about time to call it a day, isn't it? That's only one step above selling underwear from a vending machine.

This is where that guy above
spends all his money, when not
buying baseball cards.

There is, sadly, no piece of Madonna's clothing for sale on eBay -- I checked, doing you that service while mucking up my browser history on my work computer, which is filled with enough weird searches by now to guarantee that I'll never make partner (and to guarantee, too, that I'll eventually be deported, since any search history that goes
creepy guy, miley cyrus, underwear vending machine, piece of Madonna's clothing is just asking for trouble).

But I did find a baby outfit featuring an S&M Madonna on it,

and if that's not cute, I don't know
what is. Why should baby clothes be all filled with little pink unicorns and little blue toy trucks? What about babies that are into bondage? Don't they get their own unique clothing line? Now, they do, and thank God, because I had nothing to match the spiked dog collar I was going to give to my niece.

That, technically, is not a "Yankee" item, though -- really, Madonna dressed as an East German Cabaret
Les Boy is for everyone, coast-to-coast -- so I checked again, and found this: You can, or could, buy "Madonna's Erotic Phone Calls," the entire set of them, auctioned off this past summer by The Gotta Have It! Auction House. The description of the set:

Madonna faxed love letters to her then-boyfriend Jim Albright and left naughty messages on his answering machine in the early 1990s. The messages are on two micro-cassette tapes estimated to sell for up to $40,000.

Wow! That makes me wonder how much those sexy e-mails I used to send to Sweetie will bring
her at auction one day, when I'm famous, e-mails like this:

What was it you wanted me to bring home again? Cookies? Because I don't have any money, and we don't have any cookies.

I hope Sweetie doesn't mind my invading her privacy to print that.

If you go to the Gotta Have It! site, you'll see that Jim Albright wasn't just selling off his faxed love letters and answering machine messages. He also put up "Madonna Personal Video Given To Jim Albright," which sold for $12,000 and contained, according to the label "
Wife Swap Footage."

Jim Albright's letters, by the way, didn't
quite make it to $40,000. They sold for $2,400, which is probably why he had to put up the "Wife Swap Video." He must have been even more disappointed when the "Erotic Answering Machine Messages" went for... zero. Nobody bid.

Scoring: Let's just say,
nobody's a winner here.

Total Scores:

Yankees: 1
Red Sox: 1
Angels: 0
Twins: 1
Christian Faur: 1.

four-way tie? That's unprecedented. To settle it, I will have to revert to the longstanding tiebreaker that I just now invented, which is this: Which one has a better Online Flash Game vaguely associated with them?

For the Yankees, there's the Madonna Online Flash Game, found here, which lets you first dress Madonna up and then vote for your most favorite dress! I chose to dress Madonna as Harem Girl, with kicky sandals:

But I didn't know how much I had scored...
just like Madonna (Ba dum bum!).

Crayon Games, I found this game, Magic Pen,

which lets you draw stuff to move a little red ball around to a flag, and is about the coolest thing I've ever seen, at least since
Sand Game, and so I'm not even going to fool around anymore: I'm awarding the tiebreaker to Christian Faur.

So there you have it:
The NonSportsmanlike Conduct 100% Accurate, Never-Fail, Always-Right, Sure-Fire System For Picking The Playoff Winner, American League Edition, has definitively chosen, as the American League representative in the World Series, Christian Faur.

The World is the Totality of the Facts, 2001

This week's Good Luck Charms:

Jenna Fischer, better known as Pam on The Office; her wedding made Sweetie cry, and Jim made us normal guys look less romantic by comparison -- but as I pointed out to Sweetie, Jim has both a television show budget and writers; I've got just my chutzpah.

Mark Sanchez, former USC/Current New York Jets' QB, and Sweetie's favorite NFL player. She doesn't know which team he plays for, or what position he plays. But for some reason, she keeps saying "He's really great."

1 comment:

Petri Dish said...

You've probably already been corrected but Madonna broke up with What's-his-name. He's with Kate "Sexyismymiddlename" Hudson now and Madonna's back with Jesus Luz. I headlines about them.
Madonna pays Jesus' bills.
Madonna gives Jesus an allowance.
Jesus and Madonna to wed.
Jesus: New pics in Brazil