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Tag Archives: Detroit

An Open Letter To The Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl

26 Nov

Last year, we successfully lobbied the Capital One Bowl to choose Northwestern, leading to NU’s historic defeat of Georgia that launched the current 10-0 season the ‘Cats are enjoying. This year, we’re at it again with an open letter to the powers that be at the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl.

Dear Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl,

Alright you fuckers, listen up. We don’t want you and you don’t want us. That’s just how it is, and we get that. But there’s no getting around the fact that we both need each other, so the sooner we learn to get along, the better.

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4 Places That Are Worse Than Detroit

26 Jul
The Iconic “Spirit of Detroit” monument.  In its left and right hands are Detroit mascots Ulrich the Urchin and “The Naked Nicklesons”, respectively.

The Iconic “Spirit of Detroit” monument. In its left and right hands are Detroit mascots Ulrich the Urchin and “The Naked Nicklesons”, respectively.

Unless you owe somebody $18 billion, you have more money than the city of Detroit.

Detroit recently announced that it is declaring Chapter 9 bankruptcy, because, in Detroit, the best and most proven way to solve a problem is to give up.  The tragicomedy of the situation, of course, is that it couldn’t even succeed in declaring itself a failure; in essence, even having no money is too much money for Detroit to be able to handle.  While there are multiple reasons (a shrinking population, too many public sector employees, this guy named Kwame Kilpatrick, etc.) why Detroit is in the situation it’s in now, those are too hard to understand; and if college has taught me anything, it’s that the best way to declare yourself an expert on a subject is to be really loud, vocal, and domineering about that subject while doing as little research as possible, because, as everyone age 16-28 knows, intelligence is directly proportional to the amount of Facebook posts you have about Egypt.

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An Open Letter to my Unborn Grandson Explaining the Sport of Football

19 Jul

Dear Unborn Grandson,

Still waiting for the Houston Texans’ upcoming “Divisional Round Dubstep.”

If you are reading this now, two things must have happened. Apparently, a) I have lived like I died, drunkenly paddling a canoe in the buff down the Chicago River, and b) President Malia Ann Obama has outlawed the sport of football in our once-proud United States of America. Luckily for you, I predicted that such travesties would happen — mostly because canuding through the poisonous sludge that is the Chicago River while belligerently intoxicated can have adverse effects on your health — but also because the sport of football was pretty damn dangerous. What follows is all the important knowledge you will ever need to know in order to preserve the memory and history of the sport of football and ensure that you never ever fall prey to the allure of its metrosexual European cousin.

You see, Unborn Grandson, football was the greatest sport ever invented. The perfect combination of brawn and strategy and cheerleaders. Good God, don’t ever let us forget the cheerleaders.

Speaking of God, Yahweh fucking loved football. Just fucking loved it. Loved the sport so much that members of both teams would pray to God, asking for strength, fortitude, a sturdy offensive line, and a guaranteed contract plus incentives. God rewarded good Christians who couldn’t throw a spiral with an impregnable defense, while punishing other franchises with the likes of Cade McNown and Rex Grossman.

God loved football because football fucking ruled. In America, pro football was more popular than if Justin Bieber and cholesterol teamed up with all other major sports combined. No other game combined savage violence with cunning tactics and celebration dances quite like it. The game induced grown men in Philadelphia to throw D-batteries at Santa Claus, wear slices of cheese on their heads as they froze their asses off in Wisconsin, and even every once in awhile travel willingly to Detroit (this, after all, was before the city was overtaken by the mole people).

The athletes who played the game were revered as gods among men. If, you know, the gods were really great at running hitch and go routes and sending pictures of their junk to women they weren’t married to. Even the kickers, whose sole purpose in life was to — you guessed it Unborn Grandson — kick a ball still got laid, an impressive feat for somebody like Sebastian Janikowski.

Back before Google installed screens in all of our heads, we used to watch this magical sport from early Fall until February on things called “televisions,” which showed us the game and expert analysis of the game and hot women drinking shitty beer during breaks in the game. Sidenote: One day, Unborn Grandson, you might think that drinking Busch Light is “hip,” and “retro,” and “ironically hilarious,” but let me tell you, it’s not. All of your little hipster friends in the year 2063 might think it’s really cool to ironically drink your old man’s beer while you listen to Skrillex mp3’s and wear skinny jeans or some shit like that, but those kids have no idea how painful these things were at the time. Just be advised that my will specifically strips you of all rights to my Pokemon card collection if you are ever found Tebowing.

But yeah, TV was pretty great for football, and at the very end of the season, America held a special sacred holiday called Super Bowl Sunday. For one day the entire nation turned its eyes on the two best football teams of the year, who tried very hard to win the championship game and the ensuing confetti and the pretty metal trophy and the rights to wear rings the size of diamond-crusted nuva rings and to cry into Chris Berman‘s microphone. Halftime entertainment featured the very best aging classic rock stars had to offer, and even the occasional rogue booby or floating Usher.

The only thing better than professional football was college football. The college game was as passionate as Sicilians, and its governing body was as corrupt as, well, Sicilians. The rivalries were intense, and the pregames before a noon kickoff were unseemly in the best possible way.

Now, I’m sure grandpop’s alma mater has made quite a name for itself in the future, thanks to alumni like Ross Packingham (Beer Pong Olympic goldmedalist, 2024, 2028) and Chet Haze (Bratz 3D, Forrest Gump 2: Gump n Grind), but we were once a pretty respectable football institution too. We’re talking, like, the 7th most feared Big Ten team.

College football had things called “bowl games” instead of the Super Bowl to commemorate the end of its season. It worked kind of like youth soccer, where almost everybody got a trophy. I can still remember the thrill of victory when Northwestern won its first bowl game since the Rose Bowl, defeating the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in one of the most thrilling Overstock.com Money Grab Bowl in years. Those were the days. Half of the school erupted into celebration while patiently explaining to the other half what a first down was.

But I can only assume that the goddamn liberals and the socialists and the gays and the concussed NFL retirees will collude together to pressure President Malia Obama to ban the sport from America altogether in the near future. I cannot express how tragic of a mistake this will be, on par with our future decision to defrost Walt Disney or replace football with children fighting to the death for our entertainment.

Alright, Unborn Grandson, I hope this letter has reached you well. Please understand how important the sport of football was to all Americans, and don’t judge us too harshly for our cultural transgressions during the YOLO era. Things like twitter and Four Loko seemed like pretty great ideas at the time.

Well, that’s about it. I hope things are well in the future for you and your Roomba overlords. Are they still making teenage fiction about vampires? Has Christopher Nolan won an Oscar yet? How does your generation feel about the Black Keys?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a river to canude down.

Sincerely,
Evander

Badasses in History: Hannibal Barca

11 Oct

One of my least favorite things about real life is that it totally doesn’t work like video games. Unlike Call of Duty or Halo—where I can beat the shit out of like a billion elites by just going all kamizake and then respawning—in real life it fucking sucks to be outnumbered. What it comes down to, in the real world, would be some guy in armor (Master Chief) getting beat to death by like 30 really pissed-off midgets (Grunts).

That’s the mathy explanation anyway. Today’s historical badass, however, not only shat all over my “normal” difficulty setting, cranking it all the way up to “Deicide”, but he did so against other people, not some dumbass AI.

His name was Hannibal Barca.

No. Not that Hannibal. The other one. The real one. The one that isn’t fucking Anthony Hopkins (who was, incidentally, totally as awesome as Hannibal Lector).

Anyway, this Hannibal was like Samuel L. Jackson if Samuel L. Jackson could go back in time and utterly bring the Roman Empire to its knees.

This Hannibal did something no other person in history was even remotely capable of. It’s like if Kobe played basketball against a team made up of genetically half-bred squirrel dolphins… the other side just doesn’t stand a chance.

To understand why Hannibal was such a BAMF, we have to go back to the third century BC to the civilization of Carthage.

His beard is rumored to be the inspiration for Morty's

Hannibal was born in 247 BC, son of Carthaginian leader Hamilcar Barca. Incidentally, “Barca” means “thunderbolt.” So yeah, Hannibal Thunderbolt. His motherfucking last name was THUNDERBOLT.

Sorry, I get carried away sometimes.

As I was saying, Carthage at the time was kind of like modern-day Detroit in that both had totally gotten fucked over and no one really gave a shit. To fix this, Hannibal’s dad, Hamilcar—being awesome (but not as awesome as Hannibal)—decided he’d get back at Rome for defeating Carthage in the First Punic War. Needless to say, they got owned by Rome’s far superior numbers and equipment, kind of like how in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King the good guys are FUCKED until the ghost army comes… except Hamilcar didn’t have a ghost army.

Or Gandalf. Gandalf would have totally helped.

Still, I feel like I’m forgetting something.

Oh, right, 8-year-old Hannibal went with his dad’s army.

Before you ask, this wasn’t his father’s order or anything; little Hannibal fucking asked to go. TO WAR. TO KILL PEOPLE.

Needless to say, no 8-year-old has ever been so ball-crushingly awesome.

Hamilcar, either the world’s best or worst father—I don’t think they make mugs for that—agreed to let Hannibal come if he did one tiny thing: swear an undying oath of vengeance to burn Rome to ashes and slaughter every Roman he could.

…………

Family issues a couple thousand years ago really make you think about the shit you complain about today.

Anyway, Hannibal, being the badass he was even at age eight, responded, “I swear so soon as age will permit…I will use fire and steel to arrest the destiny of Rome.” I think he also added, “time to PWN some fucking NOOBS!

Battles in those days were a lot like off-campus parties: nowhere to move, and no idea who's assaulting you

Regardless of little Hannibal’s presence, things didn’t go well, which is surprising since I would have thought an 8-year-old on a battlefield would have been a highly effective throwing weapon: you throw the kid and then hit the enemy in the face or something… maybe Lunchables are involved. Whatever.

Basically, the big thing was that Hamilcar died in battle after conquering much of what is Spain and its surrounding nations today. Hannibal, after getting down on his knees amidst thunder, lightning and rain, and screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! to the heavens, decided that he would keep his promise and pull an American History X-style curbstomp on Rome.

So for the next twenty years Hannibal engaged in what can only be assumed to be history’s longest training montage, fighting off lions, killing soldiers, and generally fucking shit up. Then, in 221 BC, his brother Hasdrubal was assassinated, and as Hasdrubal was Carthage’s main general, this meant Hannibal suddenly had a rather powerful new job title.

Because of the assassination’s success, the Roman’s acted a bit like everyone did at the end of the every Disney movie ever. They chilled out and celebrated even though there were dozens of unanswered questions and unsolved problems.

Hannibal, not being a complete idiot, took advantage of this in every way possible by gathering an army and repeating his brother’s plan.

That takes mad balls.

And, funnily enough, the Romans were still taken by surprise. Seriously Rome? Too many pot brownies probably.

Putting the Dos Equis man to shame

Anyway, in the spring of 218 BC, Hannibal marched with his army to Gaul (now France and other countries) on the way to the Swiss Alps.

Which he proposed to cross. With about 50,000 men. And also 37 war elephants. Dude, how badass are war elephants? Like, at least as badass as 300.

This was totally not going to be easy. I mean, the Swiss Alps are 15,000 foot high mountains, and Hannibal had thousands of soldiers AND FUCKING ELEPHANTS to feed. It was probably the equivalent of trying to ride a skidoo in the middle of the Arizona desert. Under normal circumstances, it just shouldn’t be possible, like Dane Cook saying something funny.

But Hannibal did it. He lost about 25,000 of his men, and all but two of the elephants, but he fucking did it. From there, he went on to win every single battle he fought with Rome for the next decade—being outnumbered virtually every time, with no way to easily get continued supplies—including the Battle of Cannae, which to this day is still studied by military historians who sit and read about it and say, “How the fuck did he pull this off?” With about 15,000 men, Hannibal defeated a Roman army of 50,000-70,000. That’s easily a ratio of 4:1. Among the dead were about 80 Roman senators (25-30% of the entire Roman government).

Fuck yeah, Hannibal Barca.

Hey Rome, remember that one time I almost single-handedly brought your empire to its knees?

Sadly, however, the years kept weakening Hannibal’s army—but not Hannibal, the dude beat up Wolverines for his morning exercise. This eventually forced Hannibal to make a retreat with his remaining forces back to Carthage. He did manage to sack several cities during the retreat—kind of like a last second money shot at Rome—but on the whole he had won every battle but lost the war.

Eventually, Hannibal would go into voluntary exile from Carthage when Rome threatened it again while Hannibal was without troops, but even then he worked as a mercenary general, winning almost every battle he fought. In one victory, a naval one incidentally, his weapon of choice was a barrel of poisonous snakes, which he would toss onto enemy ships.

This caused Rome so many problems, even when Hannibal was just a mercenary, that they demanded his allies surrender him or be annihilated. His “allies” being whiny douchebags, they agreed.

But, Hannibal was too badass to let himself be killed by Romans, so he took poison and wrote a final “fuck-you” letter to the Romans to be found next to his body.

It said:

Let us relieve the Romans from the anxiety they have so long experienced, since they think it tries their patience too much to wait for an old man’s death.

Even beyond the grave, the dude managed to flip-off Rome.

Righteous.

Josh Kopel