Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"Eff You!" Mode Throughout History

“Does ‘EFF YOU!’ mode work in sports, pop culture, or politics?”

That’s a good question for me to tackle. My cousin posed this question to me after reading the first and only draft of my last blog post. So I decided to spend today pondering this question. After all, who would know sports better than me? Who would know “EFF YOU!” mode better than me? Put them together, and you got a cheapo blog I can post. Add pop culture and politics, two other things I know, and you’ll have something that you’re better off just printing out and reading the next time you gotta poop.
Yesterday, I described “EFF YOU!” mode in my blog, but I don’t think I really elaborated on it enough. In case you didn’t read it, here’s what I described it as:

Now, “EFF YOU!” mode is a magical place when you’re competing for something. I do my best writing in “EFF YOU!” mode, I’ve been in “EFF YOU!” mode for the last month, and couldn’t have been more creative, our last podcast was probably our best one yet! Don’t underestimate the power of “EFF YOU!” mode.

Of course, it’s not always a competition thing, just; “EFF YOU!” mode can help out in competition. My example was mostly about creativity. If you want a writer to stay in writer’s block mode, don’t ever put him in “EFF YOU!” mode, you’ll just spark his creativity more. It works not only in writing, but in sports, song writing, just about anything EXCEPT relationships, which need love, trust, and mutual respect, three things that are extremely incompatible with “EFF YOU!” mode.

To explain it, I put together a list of incidents in history sparked by putting someone in “EFF YOU!” mode. They range from sports, to pop culture, to history. I know I’m going to leave out some examples, but these could appeal to everyone, and you might even learn a thing or two about history.


Subjects: Kobe Bryant vs. Shaquille O’Neal

Story: The two superstars landed in Los Angeles at the same time, and since then, they’ve won championships together, but also apart from each other. Both of them have put each other in “EFF YOU!” mode for the last 14 years.

Incident where Kobe put Shaq in “EFF YOU!” mode: Kobe tells the Lakers he won’t resign unless they trade Shaq. Shaq gets dealt to the Heat.

Result: Thanks to riding the backs of Wade, Zo, and everyone else on the team with the exception of Dorell Wright, Shaq wins title number four in 2006.

Incident where Shaq put Kobe in “EFF YOU!” mode: after the Lakers lose to the Celtics in six in the 2008 NBA Finals, Shaq is at a club freestyling, where he drops the infamous “Kobe, tell me how my ass tastes” line.

Result: Probably the most impressive twelve months of basketball since 1992: A gold medal, splitting the NBA All-Star game MVP (ironically with Shaq) that might or might not have been fixed by NBA commissioner Vincent Kennedy McMahon, and an NBA title and first NBA Finals MVP.

Final result: We’ll know next year, but my prediction: Kobe is more likely to go back to the finals than Shaq, so, hey Shaq, tell me how Kobe’s ass tastes?

Subjects: Michael Jordan and his high school basketball team.

Incident: Michael Jordan is cut from the team.

Result: Only the greatest basketball career of all time.

Subjects: Dan Marino and the NFL; specifically the AFC East.

Incident: Marino drops down to the 27th pick in the NFL Draft.

The 1983 NFL Draft was known as the quarterback draft. Elway, Kelly, Marino, Ken O’Brien, Todd Blackledge, and Tony Eason were all first round picks. While Elway was chosen number one by the Baltimore Colts (then threatened to sign with the New York Yankees if they didn’t trade him, which possibly could be the reason why the Colts play in Indianapolis and the Browns moved to Baltimore) due to him being the best overall quarterback in the class, Marino was passed up by the other teams who needed a quarterback.

The Chiefs chose Blackledge over Marino with the number seven pick, but where it really gets interesting was the fact that three AFC East teams: The New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and New England Patriots, as well as Marino’s hometown team the Pittsburgh Steelers (who were in need of a successor to Terry Bradshaw) skipped over the Pitt star due to a variety of issues that had nothing to do with his talent. (While Elway was considered the better overall quarterback in the draft, Marino was considered to have the best arm.)

The Buffalo Bills chose Jim Kelly with the number 14 pick, which was controversial because he had already signed a deal to play in the new United States Football League and might not have played in the NFL had the league not gone under three years later. History did vindicate the Kelly choice though thanks to four straight AFC Championships. (No Super Bowl wins though…NORWOOD! NORWOOD! NORWOOD!)

The Patriots were next, and instead went with Tony Eason out of the University of Illinois. He’ll be remembered best for shitting bricks during Super Bowl XX against the Bears. (Patriots fans, you pieces of cheating Tom Brady loving scum, I’m well aware that you defeated the Dolphins in the AFC Championship game that year to get to the Super Bowl, but just remember, A. you got very lucky that game, Don Shula teams never have five turnover games, especially in a playoff game at the old Orange Bowl B. the Jets and the Raiders, the teams that you beat to get to the Dolphins, should’ve beaten you to begin with. The point I’m trying to make with that is, earlier in that season, only one team beat the Bears, and that was the Dolphins. And they didn’t just beat the Bears, they destroyed them. Shula and his coaching staff figured out a game plan for beating the gimmicky 46 defense and used it, and Marino remember was the best young QB in the NFL and had came off an MVP season. Now I’m not saying the Dolphins would’ve won the game, I’m just saying it would’ve been a better game, and no, Marino would not have been shitting bricks and running away from the Bears, he would’ve told them “Bring it on bitches!”)

Then The New York Jets had the number 24 pick. Despite their fans clamoring for Marino (and the fact that an Italian quarterback would’ve been the perfect face of the franchise for marketing purposes, kind of like how they want to use Mark Sanchez to reach out to the Hispanic community in New York now) the Jets instead choose Ken O’Brien. Not a bad career, he killed the Dolphins a few times, but, between O’Brien and Marino, who would you have chosen? Exactly!

Results: For the next 17 years, Marino set record after record (since broken by John Madden’s life partner because he doesn’t know when to quit) all the while compiling a 147-93 record, the 1984 MVP, nine pro bowl appearances, eight playoff appearances, five division titles, and an AFC Championship. (Which for the record, would’ve been more of each and a Super Bowl title had it not been for a few factors: Shula’s failure to find a suitable running back to carry the load late in games and close them out, Tom Ollivadotti’s inability to coach defense despite having Brian Cox, Troy Vincent, and John “bagel boy” Offerdahl in their primes, Jimmy Johnson choosing to fire Gary Stevens as Offensive Coordinator despite the fact that the Dolphins had a top-10 offense every year he was Offensive Coordinator, and of course the immortal Pete Stoyanovich)

Final Result: As for the teams that passed him up? Well during his career, only the Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos (who traded for Elway so really they don’t count as much as the AFC East teams do) could really look at what they did and feel comfortable with that decision. Hell, I would too and I love the guy. The Jets though? Well they had their shootouts against the Dolphins, even kept them out of the playoffs in 1991 (my second real heartbreaking experience with the phins), but name me one Jets fan who would’ve chosen O’Brien over Marino if they had to do it all over again? And as for the Patriots, despite their recent success (all of it after Dan the man retired by the way), remember that they were once the laughing stock of the NFL, and odds are, Dan Marino would’ve changed that.

Sports Entertainment (a.k.a. Pro Wrestling)

Subjects: Stone Cold Steve Austin, WCW (mainly Eric Bischoff)

Incident: Steve Austin, then known as “Stunning Steve” Austin is fired from WCW while injured.

Some things are just bad ideas, and sometimes when you do things that affect other people’s lives, you can handle it in the lowest of ways. Eric Bischoff was known for both. After injuring his arm on a tour of Japan, Steve Austin was fired by Eric Bischoff because he was deemed “unmarketable.” Now this wasn’t Austin’s fault: WCW really messed with him and never gave him the right push. He and the late great “Flyin’ Brian” Pillman made up the Hollywood Blonds, my favorite tag team as a kid. (Them and Sting were the only reason I watched WCW, I was and always will be a WWF-er, WWE guy) Instead of giving that tag team the right push and putting the belts on them for a couple of years before breaking them up, they broke the team up after only six months, then never gave either of them the right push. (Pillman gets credit for creating the loose cannon gimmick, which couldn’t be ignored because of its genius, and is probably the best gimmick I’ve ever seen to this day. It was so good that he tricked Bischoff into really firing him so he could go to WWF!)

So of course, if you’re not going to give someone a good push, they’re going to be unmarketable. There are about 20-25 wrestlers better than John Cena in WWE right now, but he’s the most popular. Why? Because he gets the push.

After this, Austin goes to ECW as he recovers, then signs with WWF and takes on the Ringmaster gimmick. Then he changes his gimmick up, and becomes the beer drinking ass kicking Texas Rattlesnake Stone Cold. However during this time at WCW, they’re destroying the WWF in ratings.

Result: Thanks to Austin getting the push by pretty much showing that he can’t be ignored, Austin becomes the biggest and most marketable star in the WWF, and is probably more popular than Hulk Hogan. (Note to the Hulkster: you see what Stone Cold did? He retired, yes he makes some appearances, but for the most part, he’s out of the limelight, just living his life, not pimping his kids out, no cheesy reality shows, just living his life. Take note and use that as an example for the rest of your life!) Not bad for someone who was once fired for being “unmarketable.”

Final Result: Stone Cold a first ballot hall of famer, considered by many to be the greatest wrestler of the 90’s, and also considered by some to be the best WWF/E Champion of all time. Mainly because of him (as well as The Rock), Raw ends up beating Nitro in the ratings on a consistent basis, sells more tickets, pay-per-views, officially licensed dildos etc. than WCW to the point that after the Time Warner-AOL merger the decision is made to sell WCW to Vince McMahon himself. (This could also double as putting McMahon in “EFF YOU!” mode, but I can’t because he’s always in that mode.)


Subjects: Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Jerry Heller

Incident: Dr. Dre asks for more money from Ruthless Records for being N.W.A.’s main producer, but is turned down by Jerry Heller.

Results: Dre ends up meeting Suge Knight, starting Death Row Records, signs Snoop Dogg, produces The Chronic Album, including the song “Fuckin With Dre Day (and everybody celebrating)” Eazy responds with “Real Muhfuckin G’s.”

Final Result: Sadly there could be no N.W.A. reunion, Eazy-E passed away in 1995, but had he still been alive he would’ve continued to be a force in Hip-Hop. (Discovered Bone Thugs and Harmony, then the Black Eyed Peas). Dre however is still one of the most respected men in Hip Hop, and has double respect from me because he’s had yet to work with Lil’ Wayne or Drake. (Awaiting the hate mail from Lil’ Wayne and Drake fans. Come on Drake fans, its ok, we all know where he got his start. Try and tell me he’s the best rapper out there today.)

Subjects: Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake

Incident: Britney cheats on Justin Timberlake.

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were once America’s couple. They were young, the two hottest artists in music, and were a couple. Then Justin caught Britney cheating on him. Then came the classic album Justified, featuring “Cry Me a River.”
Result: “Cry Me a River” becomes a smash hit, Justin goes from Superstar to Super Duper Star, Britney marries K-Fed and goes crazy, shows her vag to the world.

I mean, ouch! Moral of the story: don’t screw someone you love over (The fastest way to initiate “EFF YOU!” Mode)

Final Result: While I know it’s still early and all, um, Justin is DOMINATING! He’s a worldwide icon, can sleep with whomever he wants whenever he wants, (ladies don’t act like you’ll say no if Justin comes up to you and says “hey mami, you, me, backseat, now, let’s go!”) is probably the successor to Michael Jackson in the most entertaining performer category, brought Sexy Back (here’s where it went, Britney took it away) and is also Steve Martin’s successor as go-to SNL host every season. Britney meanwhile shocks me whenever I wake up and realize that she’s still alive, but is getting her act together. She might still have a successful career, but she’ll never approach her 1999-2002 apex. And by the way, as for Britney vs. Christina, Christina won that one too!


Subjects: Former President George W. Bush, Former President George H.W. Bush, Former Texas Governor Ann Richards.

Incident: At the 1988 Democratic National Convention, Then-Texas Governor remarked about then Vice President George H.W. Bush (The Republican Presidential Candidate that year) “Poor George, he can’t help it, he was born with a silver foot in his mouth.” This was an attack on the Senior Bush’s upbringing as a Connecticut blue blood that had gone to Yale University.

Result: Six years later, Richards went up for re-election, facing Bush’s son George W. Richards was the favorite over Dubya due to her experience in politics as she was the incumbent as well as a former state treasurer, plus her campaign outspent his by nearly 23%. However, Richards decided to play defense instead of offense and wait for George W. to make a mistake (based off of the last decade was usually as much of a sure thing as the sun rising) however while Bush’s campaign was solid and had few flaws, she made a huge mistake, calling him “some jerk.”

1994 Texas Gubernatorial Election Results…
Gov. Ann Richards (incumbent-D) 46%
George W. Bush (R) 53%

Final Result: Well, Bush served six years as Texas Governor before becoming President of the United States, Richards might have lost but was still well respected by Democrats both in and out of the State of Texas. As for any cracks about how “EFF YOU!” mode brought us into the mess we’re in now, you’re not going to get that here, sorry. Besides, even if Bush lost that election, there’s no guarantee that he wouldn’t have become President, so I really can’t say that he became President based off of “EFF YOU!” mode. In fact, you could even make the case that Richard’s remarks at the DNC in 88 and the 94 gubernatorial election had nothing to do with one another, but you have to admit there was some type of synergy between the two. It would be like if I called Obama out on many of the things he’s done wrong today, then 30 years from now Sasha Obama beats me in the Illinois Senatorial election.

Well those are some examples, if you have more, even from your own life, post them. Tomorrow I’ll continue this series on “EFF YOU!” mode. But until then, peace!

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