Kansas City Wizards Rebrand as “Eastern Conference Skinny Puppy”

November 19, 2010
The Kansas City Wizards' latest former logo.

Out with the newest old...

The Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer announced Wednesday that the organization is changing its name for the third time and its logo for the fourth. One of the original MLS clubs from the league’s first season in 1996, the team was initially known as the “Kansas City Wiz” (insert urination-based joke of your choice here), and their logo was the following vomit-inspired motley:

The old Kansas City Wiz logo.

Eew.

The name, which nobody liked, didn’t last long, and the organization eased on down the road to its first re-branding after just one season, changing the name to “Wizards” and exchanging a goofy musical theater reference for a goofy book/movie reference. However, for the next decade, the Wizards’ logo was not the sort-of-tolerable one at the top of this post. Instead, it retained the hideous particolored vibe of the old Wiz logo:

The older old Kansas City Wizards' logo.

Still Eew.

Finally, in 2007, the club changed its logo yet again and addressed a minor eleven-year oversight by including the city’s name for the first time. Also, the color scheme was at last rendered less upchucky.

This brings us to Wednesday, when the club unveiled its new name and logo in a 17+ minute speech by the team’s president, who managed to say next to nothing that didn’t fall into the “meaningless corporate B.S.” category over a tremendous amount of time.

At any rate, the new logo for the prosaicly renamed “Sporting Kansas City SC” is the following:

The new "Sporting Kansas City SC" logo.

Meh.

Others have already pointed out the new logo’s uncanny resemblance the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference logo:

The Major League Soccer Eastern Conference log.

Similar, huh?

There’s one other eerie resemblance in the new Sporting Kansas City SC logo nobody seems to have noticed yet. Take a look at the “SC” in the new KC logo. Now take a look at the following logo for the seminal electro-industrial band Skinny Puppy:

The Skinny Puppy logo.

The other weird similarity in KC's new logo.

I want to know who in the Sporting/Wizards organization is into Canadian electronic-industrial thrash music. It would be incredibly funny if, next year, Kansas City’s team was greeted on every road trip by the sound of “Convulsion” off Too Dark Park whenever it took the field for warmups, although I’m not sure how many people would get the joke.

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I Can Has Literacy?!

November 12, 2010

If ever want to lose your faith in humanity, all you have to do is read through the comments section for any story on any news organization’s web site. Every once in a while, though, you’ll come across a piece of news with a comment section that ends up being slightly more comical than it is purely depressing. A great example of this can be found in today’s MSNBC Cosmic Log piece about a recently completed study of the physics of how cats lap water.

While fascinating, it’s an admittedly frivolous endeavor, as one of its investigators, MIT engineering professor Roman Stocker, said. However, here’s the important sentence from the article which an astonishing number of conservatively-inclined commenters clearly failed to either read or comprehend:

Stocker admitted that there’s not an immediate practical application to the research, which was conducted with borrowed equipment and no outside funding.

I decided to italicize and bold the key part of that key sentence just then, in case anybody reading this right now also failed to absorb that pertinent detail.

Anyhow, here are some of the gems of dim-witted comments this article produced. To highlight the stupid, the screen names have not been changed:

  • JustPhil-2336414: “It doesn’t lead to anything that wasn’t already known. It was just a way for a group of scientists to get a big federal grant to study this.”
  • DT-2238463: “Did somebody pay for this research?”
  • Pat-506741: “And this cost how much? Seriously. I’m watching TV talk about the proposed cuts on Social Security, Medicare, Farm subsidies, cutting the mortgage interest deduction, taxing employer paid health benefits. And now, cat lapping? I can tell you where I’d start cutting….”
  • Hammy the Cat: “What life changing research this was. I wonder how much tuition funding this wasted.”
  • mipak: “This is exactly why America is losing it’s edge in research: pork barrel research on stupid projects like this.”
  • wb52: “I’m sure this was funded by a government grant……..”
  • OnTheRoad-1943197: “I am so so happy that this has finally been figured out!!! Yea! How many of my tax dollars did this require?”

Go back to flinging feces at one another in trees, folks.

Ironic Quote of the Day

November 3, 2010

“Government does not create jobs.”

— Rand Paul, immediately upon finding out he landed a cushy government job.

Quote of the Election Day

November 1, 2010

“Okay, ’bout half and half. That means half of you are stupid. Discuss.”

— Eminent TV philosopher Sam Puckett

Philadelphia-New York, the USA’s Answer to Millwall-West Ham

October 18, 2010

If there is any place in the United States most likely to spawn legions of angry, bitter, European-style soccer hooligans ripped to the gills on Yuengling and setting fire to stuff just for the hell of it, it’s probably Philadelphia.

— Me, almost three years ago (then, in the comment section to that post, some wag humorously predicted that Philly would someday be the site of the first MLS fan fatality).

The time is right to trot out that blast from the past after yesterday’s final Philadelphia Union home game of the club’s inaugural 2010 Major League Soccer season, which took the form of a 2-1 win over the stupidest soda commercial of all time New York Pink Cows Red Bulls.

The reason it’s fitting to bring up is because of the security measures taken by the Union’s management for that game, which were unprecedented in the entire history of sports in Philadelphia. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The roughly 400 New York Red Bulls fans who made the trek to PPL Park on Saturday were herded like cattle into the visitors’ section . . . Once they were in, they were there to stay – surrounded and confined in that area by security for the duration . . . They had their own concession stands, their own restrooms, their own smoking area. “These fans hate each other,” noted one Union security guard.

Right now, Philadelphia and New York probably share the most intense — and ugliest — soccer rivalry in the United States, and probably one of the craziest in all sports in the U.S. (although if I had to guess, I’d say it will probably be superseded by Seattle and Portland next year once the Timbers begin playing in MLS).

How the bad blood between Philly and New York escalated so quickly to the point that the Philadelphia Union felt the need to add extra security and keep the entire contingent of RBNY supporters groups physically separated from the rest of the stadium to such an extent that they’d even have segregated concession stands and bathrooms is an interesting story.

Millwall fans in their natural environment, surrounded by cops in riot gear.

Millwall fans in their natural environment, surrounded by cops. From guardian.co.uk.

Long before the Philadelphia Union existed, and well before MLS even announced in February 2008 that the city would get an expansion team, a group of soccer fans from the Philadelphia area decided that if the region was ever to get a local team for them to cheer on, they would have to first demonstrate that a robust fan culture was already in place. So, they created a supporters’ group, the Sons of Ben (SOBs for short, with typical Philly grace), for a team that didn’t even exist and wasn’t even on the drawing board yet. These are the magnificently crazy people who today fill up the entire River End of PPL Park in Chester. One of their regular activities in those early, pre-Union days was heading up to the Meadowlands en masse, where the Red Bulls played back then, and spending the entire game taunting the home team and its fans.

Of course, this didn’t sit well with the long-suffering fans of New York which, despite being one of the original MLS teams that began playing 15 years ago, have yet to win a single title. No MLS Cups (the playoff championship), no Supporters Shields (awarded to the team that finishes first overall in the regular season standings — the equivalent of a league title in Europe), and no U.S. Open Cups (like the English F.A. Cup). The Red Bulls are 0 for 45 in opportunities to win a trophy — actually 0 for 46 if you count their hideous performance in the continent-wide CONCACAF Champions’ League last year. They’re practically in Chicago Cubs territory already.

Red Bull New York logo.

Someone should keep them away from the vodka.

So, it’s the New York fans who actually became the first to transform into “angry, bitter, European-style soccer hooligans,” although I doubt they’re drinking Yuengling. After years of hearing these weird Philadelphians calling themselves SOBs and pointing out that their non-existent team has won as many championships as their own has, something snapped in Red Bull Nation’s collective mind when the Philadelphia Union played New York for the first time.

As the teams played each other twice over four days in April at the Red Bulls’ home stadium (first for the MLS regular season, then for the U.S. Open Cup) New York fans threw rocks and bottles at a bus carrying Philadelphia fans and managed to shatter one of the windows. So, at the teams’ first meetings, the tension between their fans had already escalated from verbal taunting to physical violence.

Adding insult to injury, this year the Red Bulls were knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup by the USL-2 Harrisburg City Islanders, a Philadelphia Union third tier minor-league affiliate.

Fast-forward to July, when the Union hosted an international friendly match against Scotland’s Celtic F.C., and a group of people from — you guessed it — New York City, decided to light a bunch of flares in support of Celtic in PPL Park near the end of the game.

So it comes as no surprise that, given the history of violence that already exists, said the Daily News, “police and event staff littered the Red Bull area with a keen eye on anything that went beyond insults. Union president Tom Veit felt the need to keep things safe required extra vigilance.

‘”It’s necessary. We have an obligation to our fans to keep it safe and enjoyable,” Veit said. “So with that said, I’d rather have a lot of guys standing around doing nothing, than a few having to do something.”‘

While the source of the violence so far has clearly been from New York fans, I suspect the decision to partition the stadium yesterday was also probably rooted in a desire to prevent any reprisals from Philadelphia fans, who naturally had the New Yorkers heavily outnumbered.

I can only wonder what’ll happen next year.

Stupid Political Pressure Groups of Yore: S.P.U.D.

October 12, 2010

From the so-stupid-it’s-hard-to-believe-it’s-true department, did you know that in 18th century Britain, there was an organization called the “Society for the Prevention of an Unwholesome Diet” (the acronym of which, S.P.U.D., may or may not have been a possible origin of the English nickname for the potato)?

The group was dedicated to keeping potato cultivation out of the United Kingdom. Its members had, in their minds, iron-clad reasons for keeping the potato out of the country, like the fact that because it was never mentioned in the Bible, therefore it had to be evil. As a member of the nightshade family, the potato probably contained atropine as well, which all God-fearing, upstanding citizens knew was the substance witches used to make themselves fly.

 

A lot of potatoes.

The face of evil, from Wikipedia.

 

So, obviously, one of the most nutritious foods on the planet had to be, to SPUD’s members, completely unwholesome, and it had to be banned. They would also make outlandish and unsubstantiated claims that the potato caused rickets, syphilis, tuberculosis, and obesity, not to mention rampant lust and general societal collapse.

Exactly how an obese tuberculosis sufferer with rickets was going to be filled with lust is frankly beyond my ability to comprehend, but at least “tuberculosis” has the word “tuber” in it. I’m sure somebody on television today could make a big chalkboard diagram highlighting that connection and demonstrating how it all relates to moral relativism and socialist conspiracies devised by the U.N. and anyone who ever met Bill Ayers to sap away our precious, but strangely undefined, American freedom.

Of course, while these fine moralists were trying to block the potato from Britain as part of their noble effort to keep lust and hyperbolic Witchcraft at bay, other, less fortunate people were dying of malnutrition that could have been prevented by the tuber’s widespread adoption. But, the fates of the little people didn’t matter when there were Big Ideas to defend at all costs.

Eventually, common sense won the day and the sanctimonious fools of SPUD were consigned to the ashbin of historical punchlines, but it took some time to do so — too much time for the malnourished unfortunates of their era.

Infer whatever parallels between then and now you’d like.

Overheard, Unfortunately

September 30, 2010

I don’t know whether it’s a result of the routes I pick or if the town in which I live is really just that sad, but I end up overhearing the strangest things when I’m out on my nightly runs. Here’s the gem from last night:

Picture it! Sicily, 1922. One teenager (we’ll call him High School Tool) is on the front porch of a house, bellowing inside to another teenager so that the entire neighborhood can’t help but hear their conversation.

High School Tool: Hey Jed, remember what all the straight girls said!

Jed: Huh?

High School Tool: Remember what all the straight girls said, that I had sex with!

Jed: What?

High School Tool: [his voice beaming with pride] There’s sex with people, and there’s sex with you!

For an instant, I considered yelling, “Dude, they don’t even consider you people!” In the end, didn’t blurt out anything. It was likely a wise decision, since the kid looked like he might have been hitting the ‘roids pretty heavily.

Caption: Worst pick-up line ever. Image: A disgusting creature says to a woman, "I'm my own species, baby!"

Bring Me a Projection Screen!

September 29, 2010

From Hyperbole and a Half, here’s a public safety video my kids desperately need to watch now that they’re old enough to chase around and torment the cats:

An Open Letter to Our Baby Monitor

September 29, 2010

Dearest Moloch,

I fear it my soon be time for us to part ways. It isn’t just that our son recently turned three and I’m itching to get your base station out of his room so that I won’t feel like I’m slowly turning into my mother, who for some bizarre reason insisted upon keeping my sister’s baby monitor in her room until she was in middle school — the reasons are far more prosaic than whatever twisted familial psychodrama may be playing itself out in my head at the moment.

The reason I want you out really just has everything to do with the simple fact that things fall apart, the center cannot hold, blah, blah, blah. We all get old, start losing a step here and there and begin say “huh?!” in response to every other word shouted at us. The same is true for narrowband radio receivers such as yourself.

You’ve been getting increasingly erratic, and maybe a little senile, over the course of the last year. Perhaps you haven’t noticed it yourself, but almost every time we turn you on, we have to cover up your speaker with a hand to prevent an ear=splitting burst of static that’s guaranteed to wake the kid up, thereby defeating the whole purpose of having a baby monitor.

But it isn’t just that. You’ve also become increasingly less likely to broadcast sound from our child’s room than you are to pick up pieces of cordless and cellular phone conversations from around our neighborhood.

Have you ever heard the sound of your kid avoiding taking a nap by playing with his talking Sesame Street kitchen set, interrupted by what seems to be one end of a phone sex conversation, interspersed with the voice of grouchy old Mabel down the street haranguing some poor schmuck for getting the wrong size sack of onions? Of course you haven’t, because you were busy transmitting it! It’s like listening to a Psychic TV album, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, provided that’s what you actually want to be hearing at the time.

The only thing that could have made the whole scene weirder is if there’d been company over while it was going on:

OH, Me oven hot! / So hot! / That many onions?! How can I / Oh, yeah!! / Is it soup yet? / Keep doing it, and / Is THAT supposed to be soup? / Oughta knock you upside / Right there, yeah / In here, as far as you / Lick / Yum yum food, yeah!

[Sheepish grin] “So, anyway, welcome to the neighborhood, Reverend!”

As you can see, perhaps the time has come for us to explore other options. Please don’t take it personally. This hurts us more than it hurts you.

Bean Fueled Mayhem

September 28, 2010

Rocket Martin flies off into the sunset! What do you run on, Rocket Martin? [Pause. Whispered:] Say, ‘beans.’

[Pause] I run on beans!

— Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band, Trout Mask Replica

Album cover for Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band.

From Wikipedia.

Since I began running regularly again a couple of months ago in an effort to get a little more fast and a little less bulbous, I’ve had to readjust to running in the late evening, usually shortly after sunset. I used to run first thing in the morning years ago, but that isn’t possible now with a three year-old and a one year-old who tend to wake up at unpredictable times in the morning.

One of the biggest challenges of nighttime running is that it’s basically impossible to go on a nearly empty stomach like one would first thing in the morning. It can present some, umm, rather unique challenges. Usually I try to avoid them by waiting to eat dinner until after I get back from my run.

Last night was a different story, though. It was a scheduled day off from running for me, but upon looking at the weather forecast for this evening, which called for severe thunderstorms, and the weather conditions last night, which consisted of on-and-off drizzle, I decided to get my run in last night and make today my day off instead.

The problem was I’d already eaten dinner: black beans and brown rice with peppers, onions, garlic, and lots of allspice. A lot of black beans with a lot of jerk-style seasonings were already bouncing around my digestive tract.

Luckily, the worst-case scenario triggered by such a combination of stomach contents and distance running didn’t materialize last night. It was, however, a highly — uhh — musical evening, and quite aromatic as well.

I really pity my wife sometimes.


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