October 27, 2004

The 10 Worst Bandwagon Teams In Sports History

It's that time of the year when the same, old bandwagon fans tend to creep out of the woodwork and piss people off to no end. The baseball playoffs are the biggest time of the year for bandwagon fandom, since the same four or five teams tend to be favored every year. Also, the NFL season is beginning to sort itself out, so all of the bandwagon Cowboys, Packers and Raiders fans know whether to don their gear or go into "stealth mode." In commemoration of this annual disgrace, I've assembled for your consideration and deliberation my list of the Top 10 Worst Bandwagon Teams In Sports History:

Colorado Avalanche
Hockey's "feel good" team of the 2000/01 season. The 'Lanche went around the league collecting sob stories. Ray Bourque never won a title in Boston? People don't respect Patrick Roy in Montreal any more? Come to Colorado and be part of the Cinderella story! Who cares that nobody ever gave a rat's ass about the Quebec Nordiques. Let's all get together and have a giant bandwagon party!

Chicago Bears
The on-field defensive juggernaut of the 1986 Chicago Bears was matched only by their off-the-field marketing offensive. Who can forget the Super Bowl Shuffle? Millions of bandwagon Bears fans spent January of 1987 stepping awkwardly to the most embarrassing sports fad since The Wave. Combine that with thousands of office comedians aping Saturday Night Live's Bill Swerski's Super Fans bit, and you practically had bandwagon culture. In a twist of irony, Super Fans was probably the most accurate parody in the history of comedy.

Chicago Bulls
Everybody loves a winner, so it stands to reason that the team that won three consecutive titles twice in the same decade will build a massive bandwagon following. One thing that makes the Bulls stand out is the extent of their media bandwagon. The election of Scotty Pippen to the NBA's "50 Greatest Players" team was fan boy-ism of the highest caliber, and surgeons remain uncertain as to whether they will ever be able to remove Ahmad Rashad's lips from Michael Jordan's ass. Most bandwagon Bulls fans followed Phil Jackson to the Lakers without ever missing a beat.

Oakland Los Angeles Oakland Raiders
Ever since the explosion of west coast rap music in the late 1980's, Raider gear has been the centerpiece of the "ghetto chic" look. As is the case with all things hip-hop, pretty soon white, suburban teenagers across the land were sporting Raider gear. Real Raider fans wear Darth Vader helmets and have lengthy criminal records. Everyone else is a bandwagon poser.

North Carolina Tarheels
Dean Smith's dynasty at North Carolina won numerous admirers and innumerable bandwagon fans for the Tarheel basketball program. A veritable "Duke without the grades," UNC was a perennial tournament favorite for more than a decade. Dozens of players made the leap to the NBA, most without graduating, and one putting up distinguished career numbers for another famous bandwagon team.

Green Bay Packers
The Packers are the NFL's answer to velvet Elvis. The team is chock full of rags-to-riches success stories, blue-collar work ethics and old-fashioned family values. At least until you look beyond the pre-game fluff pieces and get to the hall of fame quarterback's drug problems, the star tight end's adventures with underage baby sitters and the present that their first round draft pick left in a young coed's dorm room closet. Riding the Packer bandwagon has the side benefit of being a good excuse to be a fat, drunken slob.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
No school in college sports inspires the sort of shameless bandwagoneering as Notre Dame. Whether they're Irish or Catholic or just wish they were, people feel an inexplicable connection that leads to irrational acts such as rooting for Rick Mirer to win the Heisman Trophy. NBC jumped on the bandwagon in 1991 and signed an exclusive deal to televise Notre Dame home football games. After considering the millions of dollars lost on the deal, NBC recently extended it through 2010 and announced their plans to "make it all up on volume."

New York Yankees
Little more needs to be said about a team whose vainglorious owner and fat payroll have led their fans to expect nothing short of a World Series title each and every season. With their own cable television network and massive marketing machine, the Bronx Bombers have unprecedented marketing reach to fan-boys and fan-girls the world over. Fun fact: The Yankees are the professional sports team most widely associated with Americans by people in other countries. Related fun fact: Most people in other countries hate Americans.

Boston Red Sox
Just as yin needs yang, every great sports bandwagon requires a competing bandwagon to maintain balance in the universe of lame sports fans. Every fall, the Red Sox bandwagon fills with baseball pseudo-fans who don't have a real reason to like the Red Sox any more than they have a real reason to hate the Yankees. Travel around the country and you'll find Sox hats adorning the heads of people who think of Boston as a freezing, crowded cesspool full of tree-huggers and Kennedys. In fact, if you could invent a way for people to travel to Fenway Park and back without ever having to set foot in the rest of New England, you could call the company "Bandwagon Tours" and make a fortune.

Dallas Cowboys
"America's Team" leads the NFL in all-time bandwagon fandom. Hoards of faux-Texans who "bled blue" for Staubach, White, Dorsett, Troy, Emmitt and Michael "The Coke Machine" Irvin probably can't even spell "Pelleur" or "Hogeboom." From their ubiquitous star to their Barbie-doll cheerleaders, the Cowboys were as much a fashion statement as a football team throughout the late 70's and early 90's. The return of Bill Parcells to coaching has reinvigorated the bandwagon, but there should be ample space available if the team fails to finish better than 8-8.

Posted by Dan at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)

An Exciting New Career As A Male Stripper?

Best spam email of the past month, easily:

So let's see... I could be a mall cop, a county sheriff's deputy in rural Iowa, or join the cast of Reno 911!. Maybe I'll stick with my current career a bit longer.

Posted by Dan at 07:37 AM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2004

In Related News, Liquor Sales Skyrocket Prior to World Series Games

In response to the death of a college-age Red Sox fan during the celebration following Boston's improbable comeback against the Yankees, prominent area numb-skull and Boston Mayor Tom "Mumbles" Menino is considering invoking a little-known codicil in the Faber College constitution to ban liquor sales during World Series games.

The WCVB article features hilarious quotes that starkly illustrate how little two of Boston's newsmakers understand about how things really work in Beantown:


"A lot of those establishments were overcrowded during the first series. I will not tolerate that. Live (TV) cameras inside incites the young people," Menino said.

Has Mumbles ever been to a bar in Boston? Every bar in Boston is overcrowded every Friday and Saturday night, as well as during all major sports events involving Boston-area teams. It would make just as much sense for the Mayor to say that he's not going to tolerate water in Boston Harbor. And it would be about as effective.


"True Red Sox fans need to make sure we all grow up in the next several days," [Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling] said.

Uh huh. Hasn't happened any time in the past 86 years, but sure thing. Whatever you say, Curt. I'm sure that the city that gobbles up t-shirts adorned with such great literary accomplishments as "Gay-Rod" and "Jeter Swallows!" is going to do a lot of soul-searching between now and Saturday evening.

I only see one one good thing that can come from a Boston World Series victory: The media would finally have to stop sweeping the crude, idiotic, classless behavior of Red Sox fans underneath the threadbare rug from 1918. Because aside from this one benefit, the next best thing is going to be the pleasant glow in the northern night sky that Providence residents will notice as the city of Boston burns to the ground.

Posted by Dan at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

Because She's A Super-Model, Not A... Um... Flag-Waving Guy...

Today's priceless Reuters story:

10/22 12:52p CDT Supermodel will try to avoid Pele checkered flag fiasco
By ALAN CLENDENNING
Associated Press Writer
SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) _ Brazilian supermodel Giselle Bundchen will wave the checkered flag for the winner of Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix - but no one wants a repeat performance of the Pele fiasco in 2002.

The soccer great was distracted without the checkered flag in hand just as Michael Schumacher went down the last stretch and crossed the finish line.

Pele was photographed staring at the back of Schumacher's car as he slowed down after coming in first. In an embarrassing moment that made international headlines, Pele waved the flag enthusiastically as back-of-the-pack drivers finished.

This year, Bundchen will undergo a special pre-race training session on how to prepare for waving the checkered flag, said Marcio Fonseca, Brazilian Grand Prix spokesman.

Presumably, it will include a stern warning to keep the flag in hand and watch the track as the race comes to a climax.

Bundchen has also been advised to arrive at Interlagos three hours before the race begins. Part of Pele's problem was that he came fashionably late, Brazilian style, with only five laps to go.

“There's no great secret to waving the flag,” Brazilian Grand Prix race director Carlos Montagner told the Diario de S. Paulo newspaper. “It's enough to pay attention to how things are going.”


Posted by Dan at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2004

Great Wagering Opportunities Missed

Think about it: What sort of odds could you have gotten on this bet:

FIRST BOS P TO WIN AN ALCS GAME: LESKANIC

+ 500 ?

+ 1000 ?

The sky is the limit.

Posted by Dan at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2004

Fruit Of The Newsfeed

From Reuters:

10/15 3:34p CDT Police: Man Watches Sad Movie, Burns Home

CORDELE, Ga. (AP) _ A sad movie and a night of heavy drinking led a south Georgia man to set his house on fire, the man told police. Charles Alton Adams, 32, walked into the Crisp County Law Enforcement Center shortly after midnight Thursday and told deputies he had burned down his mobile home.

He said that after watching the movie, he drank nine or ten beers and decided to set fire to pillows on his bed. Adams did not tell authorities the name of the movie.

"I have asked that question myself,'' said Crisp County Sheriff Donnie Haralson. ``The whole thing just doesn't really make sense.''

Haralson said Adams has been charged with arson. He remained in the county jail Friday morning as family members attempted to raise money for his bond.

Haralson said the doublewide home was gutted by the fire.

There's almost nothing to add to this. I am interested to know what he was watching, though.

Posted by Dan at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2004

Pet Peeve Of The Day: The Pet Adoption Nazis

A friend of mine and her husband have been going through the lengthy and grueling process of adopting a cat. Not a child, a cat. After being interviewed, providing references, and agreeing to allow representatives from Greenland Rescue to randomly drop by their home to verify that they were taking proper care of the kitten, they were rejected. Why? Because the interviewer felt that they were "indifferent" to de-clawing. Not that they planned to run right out and have the cat de-clawed, mind you. Just that they were not militantly opposed to the concept.

What the hell is wrong with these people? This is the second time in the past year that I've seen friends of mine raked over the coals just because they wanted to bring an unwanted animal into their warm and loving, if slightly imperfect, home. It's ridiculous. Thousands of animals are put to sleep in shelters in this country, but people who want to adopt a pet are turned away because they don't march lock-step to PETA's drumbeat of delusion.

Thankfully, my friends were able to visit the local SPCA and adopt a kitten just by proving that they had a home. A kitten that would have been put to sleep in a matter of days, mind you. People are dumb...

Posted by Dan at 11:04 AM | Comments (2)

October 11, 2004

Maybe the worst is behind me?

I wanted to post an update for anyone who's still reading. Basically, I've been fighting a seemingly unending flood of comment spam for several weeks now. Who knew that there were so many ways to fudge an URL for an online casino? Or that the market for knock-off Cialis was large enough to support such a large marketing effort?

At any rate, I was becoming very frustrated with the whole thing, so it seemed like a good time to just take a break and reduce my online profile. I'm definitely not going to bother with notifying blo.gs or weblogs.com any more. I think those sites have pretty much become reference lists for the comment spammers. Just to give you some idea of the scope of the problem, here is MT-Blacklist's activity log since I installed it in mid-April:

I'm not sure where we go from here. I'd like to keep writing and I'd like to think that people will keep reading. Let's just take it one day at a time and see what happens...

Posted by Dan at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)