People on the same side often find they disagree on the specifics. Let’s take Jeff and his love of the Cardinals. There are plenty of other St. Louis fans out there who will immediately agree with Jeff that the Cardinals are the best and most wonderful team in the history of baseball. However, when Jeff then confesses his undying love for Albert Pujols, one of these guys might tell him to hold up a second because obviously Ozzie Smith is much more loveable than Prince Albert. This will then devolve into a heated discussion on how facial hair should be worn and that will quickly be followed by a fistfight. But they both still love the Cardinals.
What matters is that both sides ultimately coalesce around a common enemy. Although both Jeff and this other Cardinals’ fan truly believe that they are right, and although they may believe that the other person is an idiot for even voicing another opinion out loud, the argument gets easily forgotten when faced with the scourge that is the Chicago Cubs. If there’s one thing they can agree on, despite their insistence on the correct style of facial hair for a true Cardinal, it’s the fact that the Cardinals are much, much, much better than the Cubs. Everything else pales in comparison.
For this same simple reason, I don’t take all that much joy in the current imbroglio within the GOP. Sure, there may be a significant difference in ideology that leads Glenn Beck to think that the US should stand by Mubarak to the bitter end while Bill Kristol believes in supporting democracy even when it turns messy. I’m sure if you sat the two of them down at a table they would argue all day long about who’s right. (On a side note I’m also pretty sure that Kristol would end up punching Beck in the nose because Beck’s absolute inability to apply simple logic in an argument would eventually push Kristol over the edge.)
However, the reason why I take no joy in any of this is because it doesn’t matter. Sure, the two men may fundamentally disagree on a subject that one could claim is the heart and soul of their party’s current identity but ultimately, just like Jeff and the other Cardinals’ fan, they share a more important common enemy. Even if the argument about the fate of Egypt continues indefinitely, both Beck and Kristol will be voting for whoever runs against Obama in 2012.
In some ways, this is the beauty of politics and sports. Despite our disagreements, we can find common ground. In the days following the 2000 election, both sides accused each other of bad faith and cheating. But a year later, the entire country immediately coalesced around President Bush when faced with a much greater common enemy.
Like Jeff or Bill Kristol, I may not agree with many things that my fellow Michiganders believe. But we can still watch the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings together and share a common ground for a short little while. Well, until someone tries to tell me that Billy Sims was better than Barry Sanders, at least. Then it all goes out the window.
Alan Trammell takes a lot of heat for the Tigers’ 119-loss season in 2003. Since then, he has coached in the Majors but no one seems willing to give him a second shot at managing. And that’s probably not completely unfair. Sure, the teams he managed in 2004 and ’05 may have rebounded from the record in ’03 but they were still 20 or so games under .500. That doesn’t exactly get you very far in baseball.
However, as bad of a manager as Trammell may have been with the Tigers and no matter how much blame he deserves for that horrible 2003 season, Tram barely even rates a mention when it comes to the truly bad managers. More than that, in order to truly put his record into context, RSBS takes you on a trip through truly terribly management.
Zine El Abdine Ben Ali
Our journey begins with the recent events in Tunisia. Now, although the other half of RSBS only knows Tunisia as Tatooine in Star Wars, the country is a real place and it really did just drive out its leader of 30 years. Mr. Ben Ali took an interesting approach to his position as a footnote in history. Instead of contenting himself with just looting the riches of his country, he also referred to his fellow Tunisians as “terrorists” for daring to denounce him and then decided to shoot up some of them just to prove his point. In the end, it didn’t turn out so well and Mr. Ben Ali is now cooling his heels (although probably not literally) in the wonderfully tolerant Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Come on, did you think I could make it through a post on bad management without mentioning Selig? The guy’s record speaks for itself. From the lameass decision to have the All-Star game count for home-field advantage in the World Series to his incredibly arrogant approach to and mismanagement of the steroids era, Selig stands for everything that is wrong with baseball today. I wish I had something nice to say about the guy just so I could change things up a bit but I’d only be lying to our readers and to myself. I’m not willing to do either and so Mr. Selig once again finds himself on an RSBS list.
Mobutu Sese Seko
Going back to Africa but a little ways south of Tunisia, we find the monstrous and monstrously mismanaged country of the Belgian Congo…I mean Zaire…I mean the Democratic Republic of the Congo. From the escapades of the Belgians to a never-ending civil war, the Congo has much to offer in the way of mismanagement. However, if you want to single out just one person, you’d have to go with Mobutu. And if there’s one small little tidbit that encapsulates his mismanagement of the country and its enormous wealth of natural resources, it would have to be this: Mobutu built a landing strip at his personal home near the tiny town of Gbadolite and made sure it was long enough to accommodate a Concorde. He then proceeded to charter the Concorde on a regular basis to ferry he and his family around the world.
Although Matt Millen never killed anyone directly, he was a terrible general manager. In fact, he may be the worst manager ever. Since the inception of the Superbowl the Lions have
never been a great franchise, but he still managed to take them to new lows.
And, although he was no longer around when it happened, that 0-16 season
was the real fruit of his handiwork. Sure, when compared to guys like Mobutu and Ben Ali, Millen may not seem so bad. Even in comparison to Selig and his giant ears Millen may seem tame in comparison. But it’s just a ruse. Bad management aside, the man is evil incarnate and the fact that he still has a job anywhere just proves that the greatest lie the devil ever told was convincing the major networks to put him on the air.
And there you have it. I’m not saying this list is by any means exhaustive but it has been pretty exhaustively researched and vetted, just like everything else I post here. And all that aside, you know it must be true because it’s on the internet.
With tomorrow being the Superbowl and all, not many people care to focus on the happenings of the baseball world. Well, when in Rome….
I think the best place to begin is with an idea that seems antiquated in and of itself: white running backs. Trust me, I’m just as shocked as you are.
But, as good as those guys may have been, they can’t hold a candle to this:
We miss you, Barry. Detroit isn’t the same without you, even though you definitely deserved better.
Happy Superbowl Weekend!
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
The Hall of Fame, PEDs and the suggested fondness of Phil Rogers is all it takes to get Jeff and Johanna attempting to kill each other. Allen probably wished at least one of them would have succeeded… but you’ll have to decide for yourself as the fellas discuss all things controversial and racy (almost like ‘sexy’ but less sexual). Keith Hernandez gets a mention. And the Kirk Gibson story… well ya need to just hear it… all to make you Sir or Madame Smilesalot!
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*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. You can experience Keith’s wicked podcast and subsequent film projects at Undercard Films. Keith is a hot topic right now! Not only is he filming that cool baseball doc, but now he’s got some commercial gigs from the Undercast, so go check it out!
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Recorded Saturday, January 8, 2011
As a Detroit sports fan, I have a better than average reason to detest the people who officiate our matches. The Lions, woebegone team that they may be, have lost to the Chicago Bears twice this season, both times due in part to questionable calls. Tigers’ fans will never forget the perfect game that should have been nor the umpire, Jim Joyce, who made the fateful call.
For other teams, the solution is to strike back and do something. White Sox fans like to charge the field and pummel the ump. Phillies fans….ok, well, Phillies fans don’t really count since they like to beat up little girls. Or at least vomit on them.
Detroit fans, though? We just continue to take it on the chin from the refs. How about we go to the video for a graphical representation:
You stay classy, Detroit.
The other day my good friend Mr. Lung pointed out the greatest tragedy facing those of us born in the mitten. Do we choose to root for our Lions or do we turn our back on the state and find a team that occasionally, uh, wins? For most of us, the obvious answer is the former and the results are inevitable. Each year we face new lows in terms of records set and experience new embarrassments in terms of ways of losing.
But, there is one reason we can all be proud to be Lions’ fans. His name is Barry Sanders and, as The Onion pointed out, although he will always be associated with the awfulness that is the Lions, that perhaps makes his accomplishments shine even more brightly. Observe:
We may have nothing to show for it but you can never take the Barry away from us
And for most of us, Friday = Fun day!
But then there are some of us, like my loquacious and oft-curt colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, for whom Friday = yesterday was a bad day. Again.
Let me explain:
Hate me ‘cuz I don’t know pain like a Lions fan knows pain, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
P.S. Al loves Matt Millen.