Minor League Baseball’s website is holding the greatest and most disgusting contest you’ll ever see. The MiLB Foodfight ballot will determine fans’ favorite concessions at minor league parks in four categories: Gut Busters, Hogs ‘n’ Dogs, Local Legends, and Scrumptious Sandwiches. Each time you vote, you are entered in a drawing for a free angioplasty, which you will require after even looking at the entries. Here’s what my final ballot looked like, but I encourage you to go vote.
He never won a race at NASCAR’s highest level. If anything, he’s known mostly for being the butt of a running gag on ESPN’s Sportscenter. But #64 took his own life today, so perhaps the best way to celebrate him is to acknowledge — as he did himself — that his name was hilarious. To that end, here’s a list of the best (or worst) named athletes of all time. (They’re all real athletes. Really.)
I feel like we’ve reached the point where this should not need saying anymore, but apparently it does: Sports team logos based on Native Americans are racist and offensive, and it’s time for them to go away. Just because we’ve grown accustomed to seeing logos and mascots like those for the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians does not mean that they are acceptable. They’re relics of a time when sensibilities were different, and they have overstayed their welcome. (Imagine a new expansion team in any sport adopting a Native American mascot. Seems unlikely, doesn’t it?)
This issue, of course, has been called into the public eye again because of Washington Reskins owner Dan Snyder’s comments that the Redskins would never change their name. And while the Redskins are the worst offender because their team name is an actual ethnic slur, I think it’s time for every team that uses Native American imagery in its brand to make another choice.
These mascots vary in levels and types of offensiveness, from the less offensive but still offensive Kansas City Chiefs, whose logo is an arrowhead and whose mascot is a horse named “Warpaint” (and here I’m discounting the other Chiefs mascot, KC Wolf, who has nothing to do with anything), to the Atlanta Braves, who planned to reintroduce their incredibly racist “screaming savage” logo at Spring Training this year, then backtracked when people (like yours truly!) pointed out how racist it was, and the Cleveland Indians, whose Chief Wahoo logo depicts a caricature of a Native American with exaggerated features. (To their credit, the Indians have somewhat shifted away from their Chief Wahoo cap to their old classic cap with the capital C, but they still use Chief Wahoo on their uniform, and they still call themselves the Indians.)
In my heart, I believe that most professional sports teams who have Native American-themed identities wish they could have a do-over—they get the argument against treating an oppressed race of people as a mascot, but it’s just so expensive and time consuming to change now. As for the people who defend the Native-American-as-mascot phenomenon, I feel like I’ve been hearing the same tired arguments forever.
Last night I went to see women’s roller derby for the first time. The Tragic City All-Stars took on the Atlanta Rumble B’s, and pretty much got shellacked, beat down, and thumped hard. No matter, it was entertaining, which is why both the fans and the skaters were there.
Nobody in roller derby is harboring any dreams of superstardom. They’re not frustrated Olympic hopefuls who just missed out on their chance for gymnastics gold. From what I overheard in the stands, women like Sally Slaughter, Road Rach, Berlin Moll, and Punkin Disorderly are wives and mothers, going to work everyday, struggling with yo-yo diets and breast cancer, and trying to cut back on smoking so that they’ll have more money to spend on tattoos. Tragic City’s stalwart Eiffel Power is even getting married in a couple weeks… and won’t that be a memorable wedding!
But they also seem to be looking for a level of competition that simply isn’t available to women in bowling or softball leagues. Before the battle began, both teams high-fived each other, skated a lap to slap hands with their fans, and stood for the national anthem. And then a short while later, Tragic City’s Lucky Charm skated out of the penalty box, caught up to the pack, and absolutely crushed a Rumble B with a right shoulder that sent the poor woman spinning into a row of spectators sitting five feet outside the track boundary. The pack skated on, and the woman sitting behind me said, “Well, she got back up, bless her heart.” Here in Alabama, that’s what vicious trash talking sounds like. When it was all over, the two teams slapped hands again — twice — and then went outside for a cigarette.
Are they selling sex appeal? Maybe a little, but the women were wearing more protective padding than they were fishnets. This ain’t no Lingerie Football League. Is it a real sport? Hey, that much skating requires some serious aerobic fitness, not to mention the balance required to stay on your skates while blows are raining down upon you.
(Truth in advertising: I once had one date with a derby girl. I can’t recall her real name, but on skates she was known as R2DCups. No, they in fact weren’t, but I wasn’t going to be the one to tell her. And as far as the Tragic City team goes, if Berlin Moll or Assault E. Senorita ever want to have a drink….)
It turns out that you can land at the Phoenix airport at 12:50 pm and be in your seats at Chase Field for a ballgame by the end of the second inning. On April 28, Phoenix resident Blogger Amy picked me up at the airport and we raced to the ballpark, just four miles away. We parked in a garage across the street from the stadium, and since we were arriving late*, scalpers were desperately trying to unload their remaining tickets.
When Scalper Guy on a Bike approached us with this ticket, I thought it was a fake. I almost asked him, “Did you make that in Photoshop in your basement?” Something about it just didn’t look right. Was it the fact that the lady on the left is wearing a trucker hat and a Vegas stripper feather boa? Was it the fact that the women had their legs cut off at the knees and are floating in a weird “WEback” anti-gravity boat? Or was it the fact that a woman who looks like my racist grandmother was smiling with her arm around an African American woman?
No. After reviewing the ticket carefully, it finally dawned on me what was bothering me: The lady on the right is wearing her foam finger on the wrong hand. It looks like she was disfigured in a horrible accident and her hand was reattached by inept Disney animators. I’m not going to say that this is a violation of baseball fandom protocol to the point of doing the wave or grown men bringing a glove to the ballpark, but it’s definitely on par with holding your “I HEART TEAM” (or whatever) sign upside down.
The ticket turned out to be legit, which is good because Blogger Amy and I didn’t get ripped off, but bad because it means professional designers who work for a Major League Baseball team created this incredibly awkward thing.
*Note to our readers in Los Angeles: If you’re arriving in the second inning of a ballgame, in most cities that’s considered late.
People who have sent us helmets out of the kindness of their hearts:
Barb Buse Breen (and her aunt Ellen)
Kelly Farrell (and her sister Camille)
Scott & Susan Mealey
Katie Caputo Roberts
Minor League teams that have generoulsy donated helmets to the collection:
New Britain Rock Cats
Oklahoma City Redhawks
Toledo Mud Hens
Wilmington Blue Rocks
We write about sports. We make a lot of jokes. We do our best to use good grammar.