For three groups of committed young men, their dreams of a national championship ended before the tournament even got started. Bubbles burst for Drexel University, Seton Hall and Cannibal Corpse during Sunday night’s selection show. Drexel, who went 27 and 6 and 16 and 2 in the always-tough Colonial Athletic Association, had a great regular season but lost to VCU in their conference tournament. Seton Hall, who racked up 20 wins in the Big East and had an RPI of 54, got bumped after an uninspiring stretch run that featured losses to DePaul and Rutgers.
The most surprising omission from the field was famed death metal band Cannibal Corpse. Corpse, who won a band record 28 regular season games and had an RPI of 19, seemed a shoe-in, but a loss in the Horizon League conference tournament finals to Detroit-Mercy seemed to cloud the picture. However, with out of conference wins against Indiana, Michigan State and Testament, few people expected Cannibal Corpse to be on the outside looking in.
The NCAA Selection Committee, which is often tight-lipped about why they picked one team over another, was far from quiet about their exclusion of Cannibal Corpse. “Those guys are animals,” said committee spokesman Michael Newton. “We like to reward teams for good sportsmanship. Beheading the cheerleaders from Cleveland State and mounting the heads on sticks in front of the arena is not the sort of thing that we at the NCAA condone.”
The Cleveland Beheadings were only one event in a season of turmoil for Cannibal Corpse. Point guard Alex Webster was suspended for two games early in the season for removing and chewing the spleen of Butler forward Roosevelt Jones. Forward Paul Mazurkiewicz is currently banned from ever playing basketball in the state of Pennsylvania again for gouging out the eyes of the entire starting Bucknell basketball team and making a necklace out of them. NCAA President Mark Emmert went a step further saying, “Not only should not be in the NCAA tournament, the lot of them should probably be awaiting appeal on death row.”
The band had planned the release of their excellent new album “Torture” on March 13th to coincide with the first round of the tournament. Cannibal Corpse had been considered filing suit against the NCAA for excluding them from the tournament based on their character. “There have been teams of guys just as bad as us who have won National Championships. Ever heard of UNLV?” said irate center George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. However, Fisher quickly dropped the idea of a suit when he realized it might cut into the 567 consecutive hours of World of Warcraft he is planning on playing in April.
(Thanks to Shawn Von Deathmetal from Universe Number Five for inspiring this fantastic piece of Pulitzer worthy journalism)
“Death is not the worst that can happen to men.” -Plato
There aren’t many things that scare me. I’ve been around a time or two and have seen some awful things. Sure, I’m afraid of death, just like everyone else. But, I think I’ve made my peace with it. There are things far worse than death out there. When I wake up in the middle of the night, in a cold sweat, filled with pure panic, it’s not death that’s staring back at me. It is something far more hideous. It is the number four.
You’ve seen a thousand fours in your life. They are everywhere. Four noble truths, four great elements, four horseman of the apocalypse, four letter words, the number four Bobby Orr, the list goes on and on. What they are used for is not important. It is what those fours ARE that is lurking behind every door, just behind the shadows, just out of reach. It is what those fours ARE that is haunting me. No matter how hard I try I cannot escape.
Because, you see, there are plenty of uses for the number four, but there is only truly one four. It is indivisible, it is unstoppable, it is perfect, it is irreducible and it is after me. I try to tell people what’s going on, but they don’t believe me. I explained my predicament friend the other day about my problem and he laughed. He drew the number four on a piece of paper and ripped it up. “Now you’re safe,” he chuckled.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Fool! He doesn’t understand. It’s not some absurd, half-witted drawing of the number four that strikes fear into my heart. I’m not scared of what can be done with four; I am utterly terrified of what it is. The perfect platonic form of four. Four in all its grotesque fourness. The ideal four. The world is filled with four imitators, trying to fake fournesss, trying to be useful, trying to help us count all of the pointless presences around us. But, I have SEEN four. The real one. The root of all fourness. And, worse, it knows I have seen it.
Oh platonic four, if I could take back that one time my eyes shot open in the middle of the night and I saw you hovering above my bed, I would. Everything was fine before that night. I wandered through this odd fantasy world of illusion that we call life with full belief in the forms that surrounded me. Then, I saw you and was forever changed. I had seen a lifetime of fours, but never any as perfect as this one. In that moment, I understood all other fours to be impostors. They did not have your straightness, they did not have your smoothness, they could not measure up.
What my eyes witnessed forever corrupted my being. At first, I looked for the perfect four everywhere. I needed to see it once more. I needed to know it and be connected with its truth. I wanted to be by its side. I wanted it to show me that there was more to this life than incompleteness and wandering. I longed for one more fleeting glimpse of its timeless perfection.
A horrible thing began to dawn on me. What if I wasn’t meant to see it? What if my accidental encounter had doomed me? What if the perfect four was looking for me with the same fury that I searched for it? All at once, I knew. I began to sense its presence everywhere I went. It was stalking me. Waiting for me to let my guard down. Hunting me.
I was at the supermarket looking at the oranges and suddenly; I saw it out of the corner of my eye. It was hiding behind the walnuts and almonds. Waiting to consume me whole. It sensed my glance and began to move towards me. I dropped my grocery basket and ran out of the store screaming. I didn’t stop until I got to my car. Which was the right key? There it was dashing across the parking lot like a rabid dog. No one saw it but me. It raced towards me. Finally, I pushed the key into the lock, got in the car and sped away.
I have been hiding from it ever since. Held up in a dingy motel room passing my final hours. I have this lingering sense that it knows where I am and is toying with me. Enjoying my suffering. Laughing at me. I went through a day or two thinking I could destroy it. I repeated 3 plus 1 equals 5 for hours on end. I figured if I denied the truth of its inevitability I could make it go away. However, my mind is no match for the perfection of its form. A mere string of thoughts could not slow its terrible, astonishing inertia for even a second.
I prepared for my final showdown with four. I would wait for it. I would catch it by surprise and break it into a million pieces. I would hit it with a hammer. Shoot it with a gun. Cut it up with a chainsaw. Melt it with a blowtorch. Something. Anything.
All resistance is absurd. I know this. Four is indestructible. It has no parts. It is endless and deathless. It wasn’t created and cannot be destroyed. It was here before we were and will be here forever after. If I dropped a million nuclear bombs on the world the number four sustain as much as a dent. It is beyond law, beyond meaning, beyond understanding. Unstoppable.
I feel its presence getting closer now. Through the trees. Into the parking lot. Past the couple putting luggage in their trunk. Up the back stairs. Past the ice machine. Outside the door. Inside the door. Across the room from me. Next to me. Inside of me. Finally….
As every sports fan knows, August is the month in which the media spends an inordinate amount of time discussing whether Brett Favre will stay retired or not. This has been a solid tradition in American sports journalism going back to the 1920s. I was a bit concerned that the month was almost a day old and I had not heard a Favre story. Then came this morning’s press conference. As a service to the American public, who would surely collapse into fits of stifling depression without their hourly Brett Favre fix, I present to you the transcript from today’s press conference.
Brett Favre sits at a table in front of a microphone wearing a tee shirt, a baseball cap and jeans. Hundreds of excited journalists sit drooling with blind, wild, animal enthusiasm coursing through their veins.
Favre: I don’t want to take too much of your time today. There has been some speculation that I would be returning to the NFL this season. I want to set the record straight. I am retired, I will stay retired, and that’s the end of it. I have no idea why people keep bringing up my return to football, but to be clear, I am not coming back.
Reporter #1: Mr. Favre, is their any truth to the rumor that you considered returning to the Green Bay Packers this season?
Favre: Well, I’ve been in negotiations with the Packers for the last two weeks. I’d like to take this moment and officially announce I will be returning to the NFL as a Green Bay Packer this season.
Reporter #2: But, Mr. Favre, I don’t understand, you just said you would not be returning to the NFL this year?
Favre: See, now you are putting words in my mouth. I called this press conference today to announce that I will be returning to the NFL as a New York Giant. The Giants don’t need a quarterback, but they have told me I can be their punter.
Reporter #3: Wait, Mr. Favre, so….please help me understand.
Favre: This has been a difficult decision, but today, I’m proud to announce that I have decided to become a professional baseball player. I will start out in Birmingham with the White Sox minor league affiliate and hopefully will be in the majors by next spring.
Reporter #4: But, Brett….I…….What?!?!?!
Favre: Thank you so much for coming today. I would like to take this moment to announce that I am going to become a real Viking. I plan on dressing up like Leif Erickson and exploring Nova Scotia.
Reporter #5: Wait….wait…Mr….
Favre: There has been a lot of speculation as to my plans for next season. I want to make it clear in no uncertain terms that I plan to move to Burma. There, I will be working to overthrow the military junta that controls that country. I was considering returning to the NFL, but this cause is much more important.
Reporter #6: Mr. FARVE….please…..help us….we all have stories to write……we can’t deal with this sort of uncertainty…..please….help us…..
Favre: Let me be clear. There have been a lot of rumors about my return to the NFL. The media just seems to run wild with irrational ideas. Let me be 100 percent clear with you. I plan next season to undergo surgery that will merge my body with a mountain goat creating a Minotaur-like creature.
Reporter #7: Okay…okay…you’ve said a lot of conflicting things here. Please settle on one story…
Favre: You know…I don’t appreciate being pushed to make a decision. I called this press conference to end all of the wild speculation. So….let me announce today, without a shadow of doubt, that I plan on becoming the color orange next year. Wherever there is orange, a small bit of my soul will appear. I will be in orange paint, orange juice, oranges, orange sherbet, orange tee shirts, basketball rims….everywhere! I will be orange!
Reporter #8: It’s not possible for a human being….wait…
Favre: Listen, I want to end all of the speculation right now. I have never actually existed. I am a collection of illusory particles sent to earth from the planet Zuhro in the Nubuloid sector of Bode’s Galaxy. All the memories you have of me were implanted in your minds as a practical joke. There never was a Brett Favre. My fellow Hehroites was simply having fun at your expense. You participated in a long-term collective hallucination in the hopes of amusing beings that were very bored.
And with that, Favre disappeared in a giant burst of blue light….
We, at The Tyranny of Tradition, are proud to present today’s guest writer, Jonathan Winthrop. Winthrop is a conservative columnist, syndicated talk radio host, all-around great American and a proud parent of four boys (McCarthy 12, Reagan 8, Goldwater 6, and Huckabee 2). He is the President and co-founder of Americans for Progressive Corporal Punishment, a group committed to teaching family values to bad parents. He is the author of several New York Times best-sellers including “12 Easy Steps to Teaching Your Child To Fear and Respect Authority Figures” “Attila The Huns’ Strategies To Being a Better Parent”, and “Look Mom, No Values: A Parents Guide To Living In A Fallen World”.
I know, I know, your young children are learning lots of bad habits from television and from that Odd Future Wolfgang Kill’em All rap album you just bought them. Parenting can be a tough job. But, parenting is the most important job in the entire world. After all, without children there wouldn’t be adults. If there weren’t adults, who would be there to produce a lasting supply of inexpensive consumer goods. Without inexpensive consumer goods, what would drive our economy? As you can see, without children, our world would quickly turn into a communistic hell on earth. I’ve put together a list of six really important lessons that you should be teaching your children so that they don’t end up hooked on crack-cocaine or becoming a “community organizer”.
Don’t Talk To Strangers
It’s the oldest piece of advice in the book. Strangers are a threat under all circumstances, particularly when they dress like they are in 1970s cop films or have foreign accents. If your child doesn’t know a person, chances are that person is looking to cause them terrible harm. Strangers have done terrible things throughout history. John Hinkley was a stranger to Ronald Reagan when he tried to assassinate him back in 1981. Had Reagan died there is no doubt that an Iron Curtain would have descended on the United States stifling freedom for the next thousand years. Be a good role model for your children by ignoring anyone who asks you for help and not saying hello to anyone unless you have known them for at least three years.
Don’t Be A Sucker
Lots of people are trying to take your money from you all the time. Sometimes, they want to give you valuable things in return like toaster ovens or televisions with picture-in-picture capability. Sometimes, they are looking to take your money and use it on drugs or food. Most people on the street simply can’t be trusted. If they are behind the counter at a reputable store in a good part of town, that’s one thing, but according to a study done by the Heritage Corporation 97 percent of people who are who live in bad parts of town are either “highly dangerous”, “just can’t be trusted” or are “too lazy to go out and earn a living.” Do not give them money under any circumstances. It will contribute to a vicious cycle of poverty and Islamic radicalism.
Don’t Let Other People Blame You For Their Problems
Just because you were born in the greatest country in the history of the human race doesn’t mean you should feel bad about it. Most people are looking to blame you for their problems when their suffering is actually caused by the fact that they have made bad decisions. Everyone starts equal in this life. Don’t let their statistics about people being “born in poverty” confuse you. According to a study done by the American Freedom and Values Council For A Freer America, 96 percent of Americans who are wealthy have better morals and make better decisions than those who make less than 50,000 dollars a year. You are where you are because you worked harder than anyone making less than you. Teach your children to be proud of what they have achieved and scornful of those who haven’t achieved as much.
You’d Be Better Off If It Weren’t For Them
Social programs like affirmative action and gun restriction laws have weakened most Americans’ ability to live a happy, free and safe life. Teach your children to be active participants in government by stopping the government from taking your money and giving it to other people just because they are “hungry” or unable to provide themselves with adequate shelter. Thomas Jefferson once said something like “Government is the enemy of free people everywhere, particularly when it gives the money of hard working people to undeserving losers.” He was right. Teach your children that government and special interest groups like illegal aliens are responsible for most, if not all, of their problems. That way, when they become adults they will have absolutely no problem getting rid of government organizations that are slowly rotting America away like the Food and Drug Administration.
Without Math We Would No Longer Be Free
America has fallen behind in math test scores around the world. According to a study done by the Americans For a Freer Society With Better Test Scores, 103 percent of American 8th graders can barely count up to five. If this trend continues our children are going to become adults who are unable to figure out how much of their weekly check goes to building important tools of peace like stealth bombers and aircraft carriers. They will never be able to experience the joy and pride one feels when counting how many more nuclear missiles we have compared to the rest of the world. Then, they will never know how truly lucky they are.