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Posts Tagged ‘sports

NY Sports Fans Not Surprised At Garner Death; Used To Choking

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MetsNew York, December 9 – Followers of New-York-area sports teams are expressing considerably less shock at the death of a man in a policeman’s chokehold than other populations, surveys indicate, because they are accustomed to the phenomenon of watching their chosen clubs choke.

A study of Knicks, Mets, Islanders, Rangers, Yankees, Jets, Nets, and Giants season ticket holders and of subscribers to the satellite or cable channels carrying those groups’ games shows that the demographic in question has developed a much higher tolerance for observing others choke than has the population at large. A control group expressed revulsion in approximately twice the intensity at seeing people choke than did these sports fans.

Choking has been a part of the New York sports experience at least since 1960, when the Yankees failed to put away the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series and ended up succumbing on perpetual underachiever Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off home run in game seven. Since then New York fans have lived through the futility and occasionally tantalizing periods of real potential embodied by their teams only to see them come crashing down after flirting with success.

Most prominent among the dubious group are the Knicks, who came oh-so-close to glory several times in the 1990’s only to choke famously against the Bulls, Rockets, and Pacers – with Reggie Miller of the latter club memorably gesturing toward the Knicks with his hands around his neck, thus capturing in an instant the essence of Knicks underachievement.

Choking has plagued New York on several other prominent occasions, including the Yankees’ 2004 inability to defeat the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series despite a 3-0 series lead. That letdown followed 2001 and 2003, when they lost the World Series in seven games. In more recent seasons they have failed to perform to expectations – with the highest payroll in all of professional sports – seldom advancing beyond the first round of postseason games if they have managed to reach the postseason at all. The lone bright spot of the 2009 championship has only served to highlight the sense of failure and choking under pressure every single other year.

The study authors intend to conduct similar research in other cities with perpetually disappointing performances by sports teams. Los Angeles features prominently as a candidate location, with the Dodgers consistently following a dominant season with a poor performance in the playoffs.

If LA becomes the venue, the researchers will be challenged to distinguish between adaptation to Los Angeles underachievement and residual tolerance for the choking that moved there from New York – first in the 1956 Bobby Thomson home run that gave the rival Giants the pennant, and more recently in the team’s Manager Don Mattingly, whose only playoff experience with the Yankees was in 1995 when his team dropped a five-game Division Series to the Mariners after leading two games to none.

Written by Thag

December 9, 2014 at 11:46 pm

NY Jets Embarrassed They All Wore The Same Thing Onto The Field AGAIN

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JetsEast Rutherford, NJ – Adding a fashion faux pas to a season already shaping up as a disaster, every single member of the New York Jets roster chose an identical outfit in which to appear for their game today.

The team’s 0-6 start to the season results from what commentators are calling the perfect storm of rotten luck, bad decisions, lack of coordination among players, and simmering tensions among rival teammates. To make matters worse, say analysts, the team committed an aesthetic and cultural gaffe by appearing in public all wearing the same clothes, save for different numbers on their jerseys.

“Oh, my gosh, lame,” explained commentator John Madden. “I mean, they have stalls, like, right next to one another in the locker room – you;d think they’d pick up on the fact that someone else is wearing, like the exact same thing.”

Bob Costas of NBC Sports concurred. “This could have been avoided with a minimal amount of preparatory work on the part of the players, and, failing that, the coaching staff. This really gives new meaning to the term Offensive Coordinator. I can’t think of a more apt term right now.”

Numerous Jets squads have begin their seasons 0-6, with the franchise often serving as a metaphor for perpetual cellar-dwellers. The team last won a Super Bowl in 1969, leaving athletic achievement to the more talented, better-trained, and more prestigious clubs in the National Football League. The lack of expectation from fans that the team post a winning record, let alone advance into the playoffs, has freed them to pursue attainments in other realms, such as sniping at one another and trying to wear their helmets at the jauntiest angle possible.

Players expressed shock and disgrace at the mistake. “I thought I had the original idea to match my jersey and football pants to the green and white of the turf and yard markers,” said Tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson. “Imagine my chagrin upon discovering that all 52 of my teammates made the same fashion decision. I wish I could die.”

The incident recalls a similar episode in Borough Park, Brooklyn, last year, when fisticuffs broke out among adherents of Bobov and Ger Hasidic sects over which group had usurped the black frocks of the other.

Written by Thag

October 18, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Philharmonic To Stop Selling Beer After 3rd Movement

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From PreOccupied Territory:

IPO logoTel Aviv, June 29 – Troubled by unruly attendees in the audience, Heichal Hatarbut, the Tel Aviv home of the Israel Philharmonic, has decided to stop selling alcoholic beverages beyond the third movement of orchestral works of four movements or more, and after the second movement of three-movement pieces.

The decision comes after persistent difficulties with rowdy audience members who fight, heckle the performers, and present what Heichal Hatarbut managers call  “a disruptive presence and a safety hazard for our players and guests.” The hall and orchestra boards agreed to implement the change following an incident last week when a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F Major was repeatedly interrupted by shouts of, “Your Scherzo is a joke!” and “My grandmother could…

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Written by Thag

June 30, 2014 at 4:12 pm

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To Protest Owner’s Comments, Clippers Will Continue Sucking

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Clippers logoLos Angeles, April 30 – The aftermath of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist comments now includes a demonstration by the players themselves, who have vowed, in response to the comments, to maintain their historically abysmal win-loss record.

Although recent years have seen the franchise enjoy some success, even winning its division and outplaying the rival Lakers, through most of its years the Clippers have embodied basketball futility. In reaction to the team owner’s remarks to his partner that he does not want to see her in the company of black men, the all-black team and coach have announced that they will show their displeasure by putting extra effort into continuing to stink.

“Times such as these call for taking a stand, and the players and I all agree that we need to do something,” said team coach Doc Rivers. “We will do what we know how to do best – establish ourselves perennially in the basement of the NBA.” Rivers himself is no stranger to consistent team underachievement, as he played with the New York Knicks for two years.

“That’s what we love about his team,” said area fan Masso Kiszt. “They always keep it real. No big displays of showmanship, no over-the-top demonstrations. just quietly going about the business of losing. It’s so rare in this town.”

NBA representatives had no comment on rumors that the Minnesota Timberwolves were looking to hire Sterling as head coach next year.

 

Written by Thag

May 1, 2014 at 8:55 am

Sports Illustrated To Discontinue Swimsuit Issue

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Sports Illustrated‘Just doesn’t suit our target market,’ says executive

New York, January 27 – Sports Illustrated publisher Frank Wall told reporters today that TimeWarner would make this year’s swimsuit edition the last, as the company no longer sees the annual issue as a core part of its commercial appeal.

Wall assembled a press conference to announce the news, noting that the American sports fan has grown ever more sophisticated, and base appeals to sexual desires are no longer the sales draw that they once were. “With the maturity of the American male sports aficionado, the annual swimsuit issue just doesn’t suit our target market anymore,” he said. “Our strength has always been in trenchant analysis, not cheap pandering to the male libido.”

The decision brings to an end a fifty-year-old practice. For years, the swimsuit issue was the magazine’s best-seller, but according to Wall, TimeWarner’s board decided late last year that it was time to move beyond the adolescent appeal of lithe, bronzed supermodels showcasing designer bathing suits in provocative poses. “We have more respect for our audience than that now,” said Wall, “and of course we regret subjecting women to such treatment, thereby fostering their objectification and warping the way in which people view romantic relationships.”

Once release of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition ceases, there will be only two American magazine publishers that use sex appeal to engage the male reader. Maxim and Muscle&Fitness magazines will be the only remaining such publications available at newsstands. Penthouse, Playboy, and Hustler, all one-time mainstays of the pornography field, folded over the last few years as interest in their offerings faded with the rising maturity and morality of their audience. Other, lesser-known purveyors of smut have likewise gone under or moved their operations exclusively to the internet, where discreet access to the crude content is still available to the few with stunted sensibilities.

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January 27, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Putin Vows To Let Gay Olympians Be Molested In Peace

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gay SochiMoscow, January 19 – Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to mounting criticism of his country’s treatment of homosexuals, promising that the upcoming winter Olympics in Sochi will not be marred by official mistreatment of gays and lesbians. Putin affirmed his commitment to his hands-off policy, under which Moscow will not interfere with non-governmental efforts to make homosexuals’ lives miserable.

In June, Putin signed into law a provision making it illegal to engage in the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations,” prompting both an upsurge in anti-gay incidents and in protests against the measure. In the run-up to the Olympics, scheduled to run in Sochi, Russia, from February 7-23, tensions between Moscow and other countries have risen over questions of the host country’s treatment of homosexual athletes from visiting delegations, and over its treatment of its own gay and lesbian population. Putin sought to allay the fears of the visitors, assuring them that no government officials would be involved in any persecution of homosexuals during the Olympics.

“The Russian Republic respects the integrity of the Olympic Games as a forum for promoting tolerance among nations,” the President said in a statement issued by the Kremlin. “It would be entirely inappropriate for us to assert our methods of suppressing the promotion of non-traditional lifestyles when each delegation should be free to to do so in its own way.” The statement did note that as the Olympics also function as a way to showcase local culture on the world stage, Moscow would allocate separate time and space to allow the local population to determine on its own how gays are mistreated.

The Ministry of the Interior has already ruled out the use of internment or extermination camps, calling them too costly in terms of money and manpower.  Protests against the official position on homosexual activity have marred the preparations for the games, challenging the Ministry’s resources. The Kremlin’s pronouncement putting the reins of homosexual persecution in the hands of local activists will enable the Ministry to free up those resources for security and other important efforts.

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January 19, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Men’s Figure Skating Association To Consider Non-Gay Members

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men skatingColorado Springs, Colorado (AP) – Amid preparations for the upcoming Winter Olympics, the United States Figure Skating Association is weighing an amendment to its membership eligibility guidelines that would remove the requirement for male figure skaters to be homosexual.

The move comes against the backdrop of tensions surrounding the treatment of gays in Russia, where the Olympiad is to be held. USFSA President Patricia St. Peter said in an interview that the change to the eligibility requirements would provide US skaters with the plausible deniability of belonging to such a persecuted group, an association likely to exacerbate tensions with the local populace and government. Homosexuality is considered illegal in Russia.

She acknowledged, however, that the move is largely symbolic, as she is aware of few, if any, non-homosexual men capable of competing in figure skating at an Olympic level.

The USFSA measure, if approved, would put the Association in the company of several other trade groups that, in the interest of diversity, have made efforts to attract heterosexual men into their ranks. Most recently, the Hairstylists’ Organization – Men’s Order (HOMO), an umbrella group of salon owners and employees, issued a statement in July welcoming its first non-closeted heterosexual member. Last May, the Fashion Artists’ Group (FAG) put out a call for applications from non-gay men. Both HOMO and FAG spokespersons declined to provide the specific numbers of successful applicants.

No such requirement exists for the male half of pair ice skating; in fact the annals of figure skating are full of torrid love affairs between the halves of such performing couples. Nor are ice dancing couples required to maintain one orientation or another, or even to avoid complicated associations with primal cultural taboos – in fact a prominent ice dancing team in the early 1990’s included a French brother and sister, and the nature of the ice dancing routines necessitates gazing longingly into each other’s eyes; the sight of a brother and sister doing so enabled audiences to experience an awkwardness far beyond anything related to sexual orientation.

The US Men’s Weightlifting Team gave a supportive grunt.

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December 16, 2013 at 8:58 pm

NYC Marathon Canceled: ‘Running 26 Miles Is Stupid’

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NYRRNew York (AP) – Organizers of the New York City Marathon have announced that they are canceling the event this year and do not intend to schedule one for the foreseeable future, citing the realization that it is monumentally stupid to run 26.2 miles.

The New York Road Runners, the body that administers the race, issued a press release and online notices to the effect that the annual competition held every November would no longer Read the rest of this entry »

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November 14, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Dept. Of Douchebaggery Extends Shirtless Jogging Season

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WeinerWashington, DC (AP) – Secretary of Douchebaggery Anthony Weiner introduced a new douchebag timetable this morning, announcing that jogging or otherwise engaging in public athletic activity while shirtless would be federally sanctioned through November and December, and resume in March. The previous schedule endorsed the behavior only from May through September. The new policy also includes updated provisions for aggressive hitting on members of the opposite sex, for selfish assertion, and for treating wait staff with open disdain.

In explaining the decision, Weiner cited feedback from douchebags across the country complaining that they have been unable to adequately foist their egos on those around them without more accommodation from the government. The Department wasted no Read the rest of this entry »

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November 6, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Unable To Be First Team To Lose All Games, NY Giants Unsure How To Proceed

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NY GiantsEast Rutherford, New Jersey (AP) – The New York Giants entered the 2013 NFL season prepared to follow the leadership of quarterback Eli Manning into the record books, but soon found themselves without direction, as the achievement of losing every single game in a sixteen-game season had already been accomplished by the 2008 Detroit Lions. They subsequently won a game, calling into question the team’s ability to achieve anything epic, even anything negative. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Soccer Player Incurs Actual Injury; FIFA to Develop Procedures

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A player rehearses being "hurt."

A player rehearses being “hurt.”

Zurich, Switzerland (AP) – After more than a century of players faking injury on the soccer pitch, last week a player suffered actual physical harm during a game, and neither the game officials nor the team personnel were prepared. In response, FIFA, the sport’s governing body, has promised to develop procedures in case such an incident happens again.

In a game between Barcelona and Juventus, Barcelona striker Alfonso Peña was attempting to wrest control of the ball from an opponent, and when the latter extricated himself successfully, Peña did as professional soccer players are trained to do: he fell down grasping his lower leg, hoping the officials would find the display worthy of an infraction for the opposing player.

However, through circumstances that remain unclear, Peña suffered a bona fide fracture to his left fibia, and has been sidelined for several weeks while the bone heals and he undergoes rehabilitation. Team officials have had to scramble to meet the player’s unexpected medical needs, as emergency treatment resources for professional athletes within the various FIFA member associations seldom extend beyond massage. Realizing that the situation lay beyond their capacity to address, the referees and Barcelona personnel had to summon an ambulance.

“This was new to us,” Alejandro Muñoz, the ambulance crew chief, was quoted later as telling a local newspaper. “When you get a call to treat someone at the football stadium, your first thought is that it’s some stupid fan who fell, or got injured in a fight – but a real, live, player getting hurt? It just doesn’t happen. It was all we could do to remember that he was genuinely hurt, and not to ask him for an autograph.”

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has promised an investigation, including the use of instant replay, to discover what exactly went wrong. “We do not yet know for certain whether the fracture occurred at the moment Peña went down, but that will be the preliminary focus of our inquiry,” he said in a statement released yesterday. Focusing on that moment makes the most sense, explained the statement, given that moments before, the player had been running, jumping and comparing his opponents’ mothers to women of ill repute, with no sign of impairment or discomfort. However, Sepp noted that no reasonable lines of investigation will be left unexplored.

He also said that he had assigned a task force to take the eventual results of the investigation and develop preventive procedures to ensure that an actual injury does not recur. “FIFA is not accustomed to having its players subject to rough treatment,” he noted.

Sepp declined to answer questions regarding the fate of Miskitas Tankakis, the Juventus player involved in the scrum with Peña. “Since we have not yet determined whether anyone in particular is to blame for this unprecedented event, it would be premature to speculate on any disciplinary measures to take against any possible guilty parties,” he told reporters earlier.

Peña himself has said he cannot judge whether Tankakis caused his injury. “I did the ‘wounded’ dance we always practice, but something felt wrong right after I landed,” he said during a radio interview on Friday. “I’ve never felt such pain in my life. We footballers aren’t used to pushing our bodies very far, so I had no idea what was going on. It’s a very delicate sport, football. We players are dainty.”

He said he only other time he ever felt pain anywhere close to the same intensity was seeing a matador get gored in the testicles fifteen years ago. “That still hurts when I think about it,” he said.

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April 7, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Yankee Fans Looking Forward to Dominant Season, Early Playoff Exit

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YankeesTampa, Florida (AP) – As pitchers and catchers began reporting for spring training this week, Yankee fans started their annual ritual of anticipating a season full of on-field success followed by a disappointing performance in the postseason.

While analysts and fans alike debate the merits of keeping aging, expensive stars as everyday players, those players are gearing up for yet another spring, summer and early autumn of crescendoing excitement leading to soul-sucking frustration. For the Yankees and their fans, the portion of autumn in which they will take an active interest or part will be comparatively abbreviated.

That fact has not stopped lifelong Yankee fans from attending exhibition games during spring training. Neither has it dissuaded season-ticket holders from rearranging their lives around the team’s regular-season home schedule, or from paying exorbitant prices to score good seats at Yankee Stadium.

“Sports fans in general are a masochistic sort,” says Professor Marge Schott of Ohio State University, a cultural anthropologist. “You don’t have to look much farther than Chicago. The Cubs haven’t won a championship in more than a century, and the team’s fans nurture this perverse pride, as if true fandom can only exist when your team doesn’t win.”

“In the case of the Yankees, you have to multiply that, because they’ve had baseball’s largest payroll since Lord knows when, and that creates expectations that fate just loves to explode,” continued Schott, her breathing getting faster. “Add to that the fact that it’s New York, and everyone loves to hate New York because they’re jealous of the outsize role the place plays in every area of culture, economics and politics.”

“On top of it all they also have to deal with the Jets!” Schott shouted, a maniacal grin stretching across her face, referring to the the area’s perpetually underachieving football team, one of the few franchises in NFL history to go more than four decades without a Super Bowl appearance.

Recent years have reinforced the pattern of Yankee playoff underachievement. After winning four world championships from 1996-2000, the team has since secured the title only once, in 2009. Only once did the Yankees fail to make the postseason entirely during that time, representing ten postseasons characterized by dashed hopes and rueful second-guessing.

Schott declined to comment on the Mets, the Yankees’ crosstown rivals, saying they were beneath contempt, and that not even devoted haters of New York could in good conscience wish the Mets on the city.

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February 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Guy Doctors Tout ‘Walk It Off’ Injury Treatment

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walk it offAtlanta, GA (AP) – The Centers for Disease Control have released a new study buy guy physicians promoting a minimalist approach to the treatment of wounds, called “Walk It Off.”

The research, which began as an examination of sports-related injuries in May 2010, soon expanded to cover a guy-inspired approach to myriad health care issues. It looked at approximately ten thousand cases of guys in pain, and for each one, determined that urging the patient to walk it off, grin and bear it, suck it up, or similar non-invasive measures, proved most effective.

Conversely, forcing the patient to submit to the emasculating experience of placing one’s welfare in the hands of a “med-school weenie,” as the report called them, invariably results in a loss of manhood from which few recover.

As a result, the CDC will introduce a set of “Play Through Pain” procedures for the treatment of injuries suffered in the course of athletic activity, in the course of manly jobs such as construction, or in the course of standing around watching such activities. The study did no look at the effects of such a course of treatment on women, but it did note an increase in pain reported by patients when a woman touched the affected area, even when, just moments before, the patient admitted no discomfort in response to being whacked in the injured area repeatedly by teammates, coworkers or opponents.

The US military has already expressed interest in a planned follow-up study, as injured soldiers account for a hefty percentage of military medical training and treatment.

channel surfingRepublicans in Congress have welcomed the study, as it may allow them some ammunition in pushing for reduced government coverage of medical expenses under the health care package signed into law during the last legislative session. In the same vein, the Republican National Committee is set to announce tomorrow that it has commissioned a related study to measure the therapeutic effects of channel surfing, the health care savings implications of which are vast.

Little League coaches have hailed the results of the CDC study, saying that it validates what they have long advocated. “Man up, is what we say,” according to Sid Marcus, a Baltimore-area coach of middle school softball and football teams. “You don’t need anything more than maybe an ice pack if it’s really bad, but stop being such a wuss. You think Cal Ripken didn’t feel hurt every once in a while? Lou Gherig? No pain, no gain!”

The CDC also announced that it will study the beneficial effects of administering locker-room wedgies and snapping the underwear waistbands of puny students.

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January 7, 2013 at 1:24 am

Minnesota Fields Team of Actual Vikings; 12 Packers Dead

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Minnesota VikingsMinneapolis, MN (AP) – Expecting to encounter a tough opponent at the Metrodome, the Green Bay Packers were nevertheless shocked at their defeat by a vastly more overpowering squad Sunday, when, instead of facing the Minnesota Vikings football team, actual Norwegian Vikings took the field. The vaunted Packers offensive all but disappeared against their opponents’ two-handed axes, which are specifically designed to split enemies’ helmets. 12 Green Bay players were killed and a further 10 injured.

The final score of 6-0 for the Vikings did not reflect the lopsided dominance that the Vikings displayed in every aspect of the on-field activity Sunday. Green Bay lost its entire offensive line to injuries and death, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers survived only as a result of his speed and agility. Several dozen fans were also injured, and the cheerleading squads of both cities’ teams were carried off to locations unknown by the marauding Vikings. The low score resulted from the fact that the Vikings preferred to taunt the Packers with the ball instead of moving it downfield. The one Vikings touchdown, in the third quarter, appeared to occur by accident.

“They absolutely slaughtered us,” said Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy. “There’s no other way to describe it.”

“We simply couldn’t execute today,” agreed Rodgers. “They were brutal on both offense and defense. We didn’t stand a chance.” He and McCarthy conceded they had not adequately prepared for the ferociousness of the Vikings, and that several large questions loomed over the rest of the season.

Chief among them is the offensive line, for which the team must find replacements. McCarthy sounded a rueful note at the loss of his vaunted players, but insisted he would go about his duties with the professionalism for which he was hired. “Things like this happen, and we can’t just shrink from facing them. Sports in general, and the game of football in particular, is all about facing adversity and giving it your all to overcome it.”

Another is the confidence of the remaining players, McCarthy’s sober optimism notwithstanding. “I don’t know if we as a team can handle that level of play,” said nose tackle B. J. Raji. “Those Vikings clearly brought their all today, but they were so nonchalant about it, like they were toying with us.” Raji suffered a severed left hand in the first quarter when he attempted an interception.

Other players complained of lopsided officiating, with two pass interference calls on the Packers and none on the Vikings, despite the alleged aggressiveness of the latter on defense. Referee Don Mitchum was taken out of action early in the second quarter with a dagger to the right shoulder.

35 Minnesota fans were injured in a stampede that followed a fourth-quarter play in which the Vikings “went berserk,” according to Lars Olssen, 45, of St. Paul. “As they ran out the clock, the Vikings stormed off the field and grabbed all the cheerleaders. I took my kids and ran,” he said.

Packers CEO and President Mark Murphy assured fans that the team would recover from the losses and contend again. But he conceded that the game did not go well for his team.

“It was a massacre,” he agreed.

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January 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm

George W. Bush Admits He Used Steroids; Election Victories Voided

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Former former President Bush

Washington, DC, October 21 (Reuters) – In a revelation already wreaking havoc on the U.S. government, former President George W. Bush released a statement this morning that he used illegal chemical enhancement in order to win the 2000 and 2004 elections. After a brief review,the Supreme Court unanimously declared those electoral victories null and void retroactively.

As a result, the 43rd President was actually Al Gore, the former Tennessee senator, and the 44th was John Kerry. The current President, Barack Obama, will remain in office at least until January, but his number has now been shifted from 44th to 45th.

In their published decision, the Supreme Court said they wished to send a message to political competitors everywhere that the use of steroids or other illegal means to gain an electoral advantage will not be tolerated. “We condemn in the strongest terms Mr. Bush’s use of drugs to defeat his opponents, and hereby void his presidency. We hope future potential leaders remember his fate when they choose their paths.”

Non-entity Cheney now owes $44 million in back taxes.

The Supreme Court decision puts to rest some of the criticism of the judiciary for their ruling in 2000 to stop the recount of Florida ballots, which many suspected would show an electoral victory for Gore.

The invalidation of Bush’s eight years in office also cancels some major legislation he signed into law, as well as a number of important foreign policy initiatives. The 2003 war in Iraq, it now turns out, did not happen, a development that calls for a reassessment of how many Americans were killed in combat, if in fact any were killed at all. The sweeping violations of civil liberties that took place in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, will have to be canceled, and whether or not an invasion of Afghanistan took place will need to be reevaluated. Cemeteries across the country will have to prepare to exhume the no-longer-dead soldiers and contractors previously deemed killed in action.

The Internal Revenue Service is preparing a major audit of the wealthiest Americans, now that the tax cuts Bush signed into law were never properly authorized. They expect to collect $220 billion over the next two years as a result. Added to that are the savings from undoing all the spending to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, meaning the U.S. government will save upwards of twelve trillion dollars all told.

The Department of Homeland Security was in fact never created, sparing tens of millions of air travelers the hassle and unpleasantness that the subsidiary Transport Security Administration had originally perpetrated against them. Additionally, the requirement that liquids be packed in specific sizes of Ziploc bags never existed.

Republican Congressional leaders questioned the legality of the Supreme Court ruling, noting that if in fact Bush’s moves as President were invalid, the Supreme Court Justices appointed by him were in fact not empowered to handle the issue. A Court spokesman dismissed the claim, noting that the unanimous decision would be binding even without the voices of Chief Justice John Roberts and Samuel Alito, both Bush appointees.

The first US President without scandal attached to his administration.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney will be replaced in history books first with Joseph Lieberman for 2001-2005, then John Edwards for 2005-2009. This makes Lieberman the first Jew to hold so high an office in the U.S., and the first non-Christian.

This marks the second time the Supreme Court has ruled to overturn a historical event. The only previous occurrence was in 1965, when the Court ruled that in fact that Lee Harvey Oswald had assassinated President John F. Kennedy, and not, as thought beforehand, by a pack of rabid weasels wielding machetes.

Mr. Bush was unavailable for comment, as he was busy preparing for a 2016 election campaign.

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October 22, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Red Sox Fire Valentine; City Commits Collective Suicide

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That color is actually a Charles River of blood (AP).

Boston, MA, October 4 (AP) – Following the Boston Red Sox’s worst season since 1965, the citizens of the Massachusetts capital all killed themselves Wednesday and Thursday.

The team had been plagued by injuries and poor performances all season, while tension developed early between newly hired manager Bobby Valentine and some of the veteran players. Red Sox management dismissed Valentine today, with a year remaining on his contract, then joined the rest of the city in an orgy of self immolation, disembowelment, slit wrists, hanging, jumping off tall buildings and taking a bath with a toaster.

“Goodbye, cruel baseball world,” cried Alfred O’Donnell, 38, a lifelong Sox fan and father of two, as he prepared to inject himself and his family with massive overdoses of heroin. “My children, I do this to spare you from the agony that would surely be yours for ages to come.”

The self-killing spree began on Monday, after the hated New York Yankees, the team’s longtime nemesis, clobbered the Sox in New York, 10-2. Any thought of salvaging at least some dignity by beating the Bronx Bombers disappeared in a savage puff of smoke as the Yankees piled on the hits. Boston fans began jumping in front of oncoming T Transit trains as soon as the last out was recorded. Police statistics are sketchy, as the officers normally tasked with maintaining the data opted to off themselves with their service revolvers rather than continue to inhabit a world in which there is no justice.

Another disappointing loss on Tuesday pushed thousands more over the edge. Four hundred downtown businesses and sixty thousand prominent individuals took out a full-page ad in the Boston Globe announcing their intention to commit mass suicide by various means over the course of the next day if the Sox did not at least avoid a crushing series sweep at the hands of the Evil Empire.

The final game began in a promising fashion, as Cody Ross singled in a run in the top of the first inning, and Bostonians looked at their razor blades and katana swords with slightly less eagerness. The moment lasted about forty seconds, as Ross was caught stealing to end the inning, and the team would only add one more run over then next eight. The Yankees, meanwhile, answered with fourteen of their own. Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson each hit two home runs, with the latter’s second blast giving the Yankees 245 homers for the the season, a team record.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, could barely manage to maintain their will to live, let alone put up a fight. At the team’s headquarters, upper management held a dour meeting the following morning to discuss whether they should bother doing anything beyond dismissing Valentine before they all went home and drank bleach.

No one in Boston was available for comment.

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Written by Thag

October 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm

God, Angels Laughing Riotously over Muhammad Cartoons

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The Heavens, September 23 (AP) – The LORD Almighty and His ministering angels are just tickled pink, as it were, by the hullabaloo surrounding the cartoons and film mocking Muhammad, heavenly sources say.

“Thus saith the LORD: Thou canst not make this stuff up,” reported the archangel Gabriel, his seraphic cheeks ruddy from peals of hysteria. “For lo, not since Martin Luther’s earnestness have I seen thee worked up as the Euphrates doth churn in spring,” he continued, before collapsing in another fit. “Oh, LORD, thank Thee for not creating me with actual lungs, for they be deprived now of air,” he managed to gasp.

Angels have noted the LORD’s mirth since trailers for The Innocence of Muslims were first released in July, as He anticipated the reaction of His more manipulable children. “By My sacred Name, I cannot wait for the feces to hit the fan,” the LORD is said to have uttered as He beheld the horribly acted, obviously overdubbed piece of cinematic trash.

Heavenly giddiness has occurred before, notably during periods when there was an antipope, and whenever large groups  of cult members immolate or otherwise kill themselves in anticipation of some apocalyptic or cataclysmic event. According to heavenly archives, the heavens shook with Godly laughter in 1997 when 39 adherents of the Heaven’s Gate movement committed mass suicide, expecting a spaceship to follow the approaching comet Hale-Bopp. “Oh Me, those idiots,” He said on that occasion, over and over again.

Similarly, The Creator finds continual amusement in the Raelians, a UFO cult that claimed in 2002 that it had cloned a human, and in fans of the Chicago Cubs, who clearly cannot take a hint.

Records were not kept before 200 BCE, but the earliest confirmed episode of Godly amusement at humanity’s foibles occurred as early Christians debated the question of celibacy. That joke has since grown old to God, says spokesangel St. Peter, but under the right circumstances it still elicits a divine chuckle. “Just last month [archangel] Michael was commenting on the soon-to-be-announced manuscript mentioning Jesus’s wife – he said, ‘Does this mean the LORD tells mother-in-law jokes?’ God smiled and gave Michael a satisfied whack on the back. Poor guy is still having his wings repaired.”

The second chapter of Psalms directly refers to the LORD as laughing at people who plan evil, but the dating of that passage in in dispute. Attributed to King David, the book was actually composed over several centuries, with some portions heavily edited. God Himself declared He does not much care when it was written; the dating is irrelevant to the psalm’s meaning.

Heavenly computer terminals have been busier than usual in recent weeks as angels and departed souls watch the streaming video trailers to discover what all the fuss is about, and to join God in bouts of laughter. “It’s been unusually jolly here,” said the patriarch Isaac, whose name means “He will laugh” in Hebrew, and who knows a thing or two about the divine sense of humor. “The LORD has taken to looking over the shoulders of anyone watching that piece of crap and sharing the laughter with them as the train wreck unfolds on the screen and on Earth below.”

“It’s really only the Jews who get it,” mused Isaac. “They continuously get shafted throughout history, and they keep disproportionately producing comedians. Why do you think God chose them?” He then shuffled away, the victim of yet another divine stealth wedgie.

“Now that doth not get old,” the LORD was heard to say.

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September 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Yankee Stadium Bleacher Creatures Required to Use Iambic Pentameter

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Bronx, NY (AP) – In an attempt to temper the rowdiest fans, the management at Yankee Stadium has announced that it will now require any chanting from the bleachers to have a coherent rhyme scheme, a proper poetic meter and a recognizable melody, according to a Yankees corporation press release.

The Bleacher Creatures, as they are affectionately known by the news media, engage in the heckling of visiting players common in most Major League ballparks, a practice that sometimes crosses the line between good-natured fun and outright violence. They also customarily serenade the Yankees one at a time by name until the player whose name is chanted acknowledges the recognition. The bleachers, located in right-center field, offer less expensive seating than the rest of the stadium, and tend to attract a different class of fan.

In order to filter out some of the foul notes emanating from that section, the statement says, only attendees who cooperate in chanting in more civilized fashion will be allowed to remain. Initially, the meter will be restricted to rhyming couplets of iambic pentameter, most famously associated with Shakespeare.  Bleacher gates will open an hour earlier than before, according to the statement, to allow for rehearsal.

After a suitable trial period the permissible forms will expand to include hexameter verse, the form employed by the classical Greek works The Iliad and The Odyssey. The press release cited those examples as demonstrations that the Stadium continues to be a Homer-friendly park.

In an interview, Yankees spokesman Rhyme Sandberg noted that this is not the first attempt to fuse lyricism with professional sports. When the Cleveland Browns football franchise moved to Baltimore, the team was renamed the Ravens to honor that city’s most famous poet, Edgar Allen Poe. “We’re not going to do it all at once; that would be more than anyone could handle. We intend to build a crescendo of civilized cheering. The wine-dark sea that is the baseball world looks to New York for leadership, and this is a golden opportunity to trumpet both our athletic and cultural success,” Sandberg said.

Not everyone is so excited about the change. Chris Lewis, 44, of Jamaica, Queens, has been attending Yankees games for nearly thirty years, and nearly always sits in the bleachers. “This isn’t a group of people who like being told what to do. They conduct themselves a certain way, and you can’t orchestrate their behavior for them,” he warned.

Tom Cokely, 40, of Midwood, Brooklyn, disagrees. “I look forward to a different tone coming from the bleachers.” Cokely has attended games regularly since 1996. “But it all depends how they handle it. The notes have to come out properly right off the bat, or people will walk. It has to be the perfect pitch.”

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September 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Chicago Trades Cubs to Seattle for Mariners

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Chicago, IL (AP) – Almost six months into yet another failed season for both baseball franchises, the cities of Chicago and Seattle have agreed to trade their baseball teams, pending approval from Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. Selig is expected to approve the move.

With the brief exception of the mid-to-late nineties and the early part of the last decade, the professional sports teams of Seattle have consistently underachieved. The Seattle Supersonics NBA team gave the city its only real bright spot in 1979 with an NBA championship, but that glow turned into a sense of betrayal when the franchise packed up and moved to Oklahoma City in 2009. They join the short-lived Metropolitans as the only two championships for Seattle teams in prominent professional sports, both of whom either ceased to exist or took their talents elsewhere. The Metropolitans became the first American team to win hockey’s Stanley Cup, in 1917, but folded in 1924.

The football franchise Seahawks have perpetually been the laughingstock of the National Football Conference, second perhaps only to the New York Jets in comical ineptitude, though some experts point to the Detroit Lions as the embodiment of epic football futility.

The Cubs, infamously, last gave Chicago a baseball championship in 1908, representing the longest championship drought in North American professional sports. Although they briefly flirted with further success about ten years ago, the cellar of the National League has been familiar territory for much of the last century.

Adding to their collective frustration, the Cubs and Mariners already have in common the record for the most wins during a regular season, at 116; the Cubs accomplished that in their last championship season, while the Mariners did so in 2001, only to lose to the hated New York Yankees in the playoffs; the Mariners remain one of only two teams in all of baseball without a championship. The other such team is the expansion Washington Nationals.

But the setting for each team differs markedly, and that is precisely the point, says Dan O’Shaughnessy, a Boston Globe baseball columnist. “The Cubs, the Lovable Losers, for all their futility, inhabit Chicago, where the White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks and Bears have more than made up for the North Sider’s shameful history in the city’s psyche. But the Cubs felt overshadowed by their crosstown and cross-sports rivals, and the city agreed to let them try their luck elsewhere. Chicago isn’t losing much,” he wrote in his Sunday column,.

“But the Mariners have the opposite problem, and they hope that the winning ways of the Chicago region’s professional teams might prove contagious, an experience they’ve never had,” O’Shaughnessy concluded.

The Cubs are not the first baseball team to consider a move to Seattle. In the early sixties the Cleveland Indians considered such a relocation, and their achievements, or lack thereof, in the ensuing years have some baseball historians saying it might as well have happened – to the point that many Cleveland football fans blame the Indians’ flirting with Seattle for the Browns’ continued on-field failures, though they reserve most of their recriminations for Browns owner Art Modell, who shipped the team off to Baltimore and rechristened them the Ravens. In Baltimore the team actually won a championship, adding to Midwestern sports fan bitterness.

In 1969 the Pilots began playing in Seattle, but moved to Milwaukee the following year to become the Brewers.

Also on Sunday, New York Mets announced that they will be transforming their organization into a retirement center for aged Yankees castoffs, starting in 1962.

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Written by Thag

September 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Philosophers Dispute Whether NY Mets Could Be Any Worse

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Cambridge, MA (AP) – Leading thinkers have taken up the issue of the New York Mets – specifically, whether the team’s disappointing performance in the second half of the season constitutes the kind of rock-bottom situation that by definition makes getting worse impossible.

At a conference on the subject hosted by Harvard University this week, advocates for the can’t-get-worse position argued that the cumulative frustration and wasted efforts outweigh any bright spots in the season’s play, such as pitcher R.A. Dickey’s Cy-Young-Award-worthy year. In fact, they contend, such bright spots make the situation that much worse, underlining the otherwise dismal win-loss statistics.

Opponents countered with comparisons to other teams that have done significantly worse, at least in terms of winning percentage, such as the Mets themselves – in their debut season of 1962, when they struggled to win forty games.

That piece of evidence failed to sway advocates of the can’t-get-worse school, who, in a detailed rebuttal, dismissed “mere win-loss records,” explaining that other circumstances must be taken into account. While it is true, they concede, that teams in their first several years do not play as well as their opponents, no one expects them to play very well, and the consequent disappointment barely registers, minimizing the relevance of the Mets’ first season. As further evidence they adduce the Washington Nationals, Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies and Tampa Bay Rays, among others, whose less-than-stellar initial seasons were greeted not with the bitterness and anger that so characterizes the life of the Mets fan, but with hope and excitement over the latent potential of a developing franchise, with which Mets fans long ago ceased to be familiar.

Today’s Mets Fan, they argue, roots for a franchise that has appeared in four World Series and won two of them – the first one a mere seven years after the team’s inception. Consequently, the aggregate frustration and disappointment, building since 1986, their last championship, combined with the emotional fallout from the owners’ involvement with Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi Scheme, make this season the worst possible.

Perversely, even the Chicago Cubs, long a punchline of jokes about futility, enjoy a less pathetic status than the Mets, the argument continues. Although the Cubs last won a World Series in 1907, their fans long ago came to terms with the team’s accursed state, so more than a century of failure hardly moves them anymore. The Cubs flirted briefly with success in the late nineties, but inevitably collapsed in the playoffs and have yet to be heard from since.

A similar argument is made regarding the Cleveland Indians, whose last championship was in 1954, and who lost to the Atlanta Braves in the 1995 World Series. Moreover, that team represents Cleveland, from which no one ever expects anything beyond mediocrity and bad weather.

The conference ended without a satisfying conclusion either way, an apt metaphor for the team under discussion.

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Written by Thag

August 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Baseball Umpires Admit They Guess Where Ball Is

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Rocky Roe (AP file photo)

Cooperstown, NY (AP) – At a press conference today at the Baseball Hall of Fame, Rocky Roe, head of the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Union, announced what fans across the country have long suspected: that umpires have no idea where the ball is most of the time, and they simply guess.

The few occasions on which the umpires are 100% confident in their calls involve video review, when they can view the ball’s path in slow motion repeatedly before ruling conclusively. However, video review is only used in cases of possible or disputed home runs, and not for other plays, lest the game be slowed down even more than its normal, molasses-like pace.

The ramifications for this season are still unclear. With several tight races for playoff positions currently underway, fans will no doubt demand that the season be played out to its conclusion no matter what, and their money is a powerful factor in any decision. But the players, owners and umpires themselves will not necessarily be of one mind about the rest of the year.

As for why it took this long to come out and say it, Roe attributes the union’s silence heretofore to the confident tone that umpires are trained to adopt when issuing calls. Since the players themselves tend to defer to the officials on the field – and failure to do so often results in ejection and other disciplinary action – there has been little standing in the way of the umpires’ continued groping in the dark, as long as they make their calls with authority in their voices.

But the prospect of officiating for the rest of yet another grueling season, especially with unusually hot weather in most ballparks this year, helped finally overcome opposition among the umpires to simply admitting they’ve been clueless for nearly forty years. Many umpires now hope the rest of the season can be canceled, and that they can preserve the last vestiges of their dignity, which, Roe concedes, barely exists in the first place, given the comical uniforms, equipment, sounds and gestures they are called upon to use each day on the field.

In earlier years, when both players and umpires were generally less fit than today’s athletes, keeping track of the ball, while challenging, was still possible for most umpires. “Once players in general began paying attention to overall fitness and athletic ability, umpires couldn’t keep up with the speed of pitches, swings and throws on the field, and it became a more and more elaborate guessing game,” according to Bill James, a noted baseball statistician and analyst. “For a while the umpires have been floating the idea of performance-enhancing drugs to help them maintain certain reflexes, but their collective moral compass eventually won out.”

The consequences of the announcement remain to be seen, as Bud Selig, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, has yet to publicly respond to these developments, and the Players’ Union representative, Donald Fehr, attended the press conference but was struck dumb and unable to answer questions.

Tony LaRussa, the recently retired manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, and one who has spent the vast majority of his adult life playing or managing baseball, said that every player knew there were cases in which the umpires clearly made the wrong call, but that was accepted as part of the game and considered relatively rare, if frustrating for the players and managers. But given these revelations about the systematic cluelessness of the officials, LaRussa proposes computerizing the umpires’ jobs and eliminating that problem entirely.

“It’s not just a question of accuracy, of which we’ve had none for decades,” he mused. “It’s also safer for the players not to have a bunch of overweight, middle-aged grouches getting in the way all the time and potentially disrupting every single play on the field. I mean, that’s the managers’ job description.”

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August 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Thanks to the Olympics, Now Everyone’s Heard of London

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July 16, 2012 at 11:44 pm

The Evil Empire on Geritol

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May 14, 2012 at 8:49 am

Breakfast of Cheating Champions – that’s the One for Me!

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Dear General Mills:

For decades now, you’ve been touting Wheaties as the “breakfast of champions.” As a champion, I appreciate the elite status that Wheaties has earned in our culture. Which is why I find it necessary to write this letter; I regret that it has become necessary.

If, indeed, Wheaties is the breakfast of champions, what business do non-champions have partaking of it? It would dilute the phrase to utter meaninglessness. It would be like awarding a gold medal just for showing up. Calgary Flames fans might find that idea comforting, but I, for one, protest the misuse of the Wheaties brand as anything other than the breakfast of bona fide champions.

I could understand certain people – ignorant, or perhaps mischievous people – eating Wheaties even though they never earned the title of Champion. I can comprehend an incentive program, where people with demonstrated champion potential are given a taste of the breakfast of champions, to provide an idea of what they can achieve. I can even see an actual champion deigning to share some of his or her Wheaties with others at the table, much in the way an Olympic medalist might allow others to handle and appreciate the token of achievement. What I cannot fathom, however, is the apparent marketing strategy of your company regarding this breakfast of champions: promote it to absolutely everyone. Everyone, as you no doubt know, includes non-champions – in fact, as you probably also know, the vast, vast majority of people in the category of “everyone” are decidedly not of champion caliber. Let’s call them what they are: losers.

It disturbs me to no end that General Mills, a company I otherwise respect, would cheapen the breakfast of champions by allowing – nay, encouraging – losers to buy a product patently incompatible with their status. Would you also market high-performance sports cars to people sitting in jail on drunk driving convictions? Leather-bound special editions of classic works of literature to drooling toddlers? I no longer have the confidence that you would answer the way you ought.

It is with continuing bewilderment that I therefore ask – no,  demand – that General Mills cease this tawdry strategy of pushing patently inappropriate breakfast cereal to those who do not deserve it, and probably never will. We champions know all too well the pull of filthy lucre, of false achievement, but know how to rise above that base temptation.

Sincerely,

Lance Armstrong

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May 9, 2012 at 8:54 am

This Team Is Superior Because It Plays Near My Home

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May 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm