Mixed Knuts: States And The Magic Invitational, Or “Prepare For The Invitational? Ha!”

Here’s the first piece of data that I find interesting: Despite the pitifully small sample, decks that featured Opposition in them finished 8-1 against the field. That’s right, 8-1 from three different builds of Opposition. But which deck has been faring the best in Ted’s testing?

Welcome to the World’s Geekiest spectator event – where unattractive, geeky men sit in a room and play a card game on a computer against other unattractive, geeky men in a different room. Then still other geeks (some call them fans) can log on to their own computers and watch the originally-mentioned geeks live and digitized. You even get to see the smack talk on the screen (censored for your protection, of course).

That’s right, it’s the Magic Invitational! An all-star, invite-only tournament that usually features a bunch of wacky* and interesting formats designed by the mad scientists in R&D that turn a meaningless tournament into something interesting for the casual fan.

This year, though, Wizards decided to skip the interesting parts and simply let us watch the action via computer. Granted, the replays of the matches are pretty great to learn by… But overall I feel like I got shafted. Hopefully they’ll go back to making the Invitational something different again next year, instead of saddling fans with the same old boring tripe we get at every Pro Tour and Grand Prix, but without any of the drama that makes those interesting.

Note to Wizards: Beige looks bad on everybody , but it looks particularly bad on pasty-skinned Magic players, most of whom look as if they’re so addicted to Magic Online that they haven’t seen daylight since they were at Worlds in Australia and walked outside to go clubbing at night only to realize that it was really 9 a.m. in Oz.

There was a point to this column – aside from complaining about how the Invitational isn’t as cool this year as in years past – but what was it?

Ah, I remember… I was looking for tech that can be used at States.

Since the Invitational features a new Standard section, all sixteen pros had to build and play Type 2 decks, so this is the first chance you get to see what the pros might play in the new environment. Unfortunately most of these guys have been a lot more worried about testing for Extended in Houston than building Type 2 decks for a tournament they won’t likely play in (perfectly justifiable), so many of their concoctions leave something to be desired.

Hot dogs, decklists, Stroh’s Beer!

The Good

  • Battle of Wits Record: 3-0
  • Black-Green-Blue Aggro-Control Record: 3-0
  • Blue-Green Opposition Record: 3-0
  • Neo Punisher Record: 2-1
  • ‘Tog Record: 2-1
  • Green-Red Beats Record: 2-1
  • Wake Decks Record: 4-2

The Bad

  • Blue-Black Braids Record: 1-2
  • Blue-Green Wonder Dog Record: 3-6
  • Blue-Green-White Threshold Record: 1-5

The Ugly

  • Old-School Blue-White Record: 0-3
  • Mono-Red Beatdown Record: 0-3

Sadly, not that many good decks seem to have shown up. Three of the decks are straight translations of the typical Blue-Green Madness deck; this was the lazy man’s way of showing up to the Invitational with a good deck, but taking this route meant that they were running head-on into a metagame that would be gunning for that deck and that deck alone. The 3-6 record (2-5 minus a mirror match) posted by these decks means that the other pros figured out a few different methods of beating U/G.

Gary Wise and Eivind Nitter went a similar route in running the U/G/w Threshold deck that appeared back at US and England Nationals. Unfortunately for them, they got simply pounded by the competition (can you say Ralphie Treatment? I knew you could). So it looks like both decks that were expected got demolished by people who chose to build decks that could beat them. Obviously this isn’t a surprise… But it is an indicator that U/G/x can be beaten by a variety of different decks. This is great news for those of you that were worried that new Type 2 would be a boring and stagnant environment.

Moving along, we have the O-fer bracket. Let me preface this by saying that I like Dave Price as much as the next guy, and I think he’s highly entertaining when chooses to actually write things for the general public. However, all I can say about Dave’s deck is that it’s horrible. Seriously… there are good builds of Sligh running around out there, but this one definitely isn’t it. I mean, for God’s sake (and I’m throwing my credibility out the window again), Jarrod Bright built a solid (not perfect, but solid) version of Sligh, so we have proof that a decent Sligh deck can be developed by the relatively scrubby player. The King of Beatdown on the other hand, developed a deck that is straight poo. Play it at your peril.

Diego’s deck is somewhat interesting, though, because at least he’s trying to do something different. By combining multiple Wrath effects, what’s left of the decent counterspells, and Mobilization, he attempts to create an old-school Blue-White control deck. He even tries to work Future Sight into the deck to provide free card drawing.

Unfortunately, the deck got wrecked by everything it played, but give a brother props for trying.

Now, on to the good stuff… Johnny Magic went 3-0 with a Battle of Wits deck. He doesn’t know what that means – and I don’t, either. I can tell you that his version of the deck will cost you a fortune to build, and it’s probably a good idea to make sure you have cards that can deal with enchantments in your sideboard at the very least. You probably already knew that.

How’s that for insightful analysis?”Pack enchantment removal” and”a hundred rares are expensive.” Please remember when reading my columns that I am a moron and could subject you to such statements at any time!

Let’s move on…

The Hump’s Tog deck harkens back to the first Tog decks to show up at the Masters last February, and the fact that this deck still went 2-1 seems to confirm the notion that a lot of power has left the environment. Could this deck even get to spitting distance of Invasion Squirrel-Opp, U/G/r, or any of the Tog decks? I think not…

Ishida’s Red-Green beats deck isn’t a particularly innovative design, but Red-Green always seems to rear its head in new Type 2… And it often does quite well. I’d make sure to work both of these decks into your test gauntlet, as you are likely to see similar builds on November 2nd.

Now we get to the meat and potatoes section of the results… Who showed up with tuned decks that managed to perform well?

Well, here’s the first piece of data that I find interesting: Decks that featured Opposition in them finished 8-1 against the field. That’s right, 8-1 from three different builds of Opposition. In my opinion, Gabriel Nassif deck is the most interesting of the three, but it also features a wildly shaky mana base. In return for his mana problems, Gabriel gets to run a heaping helping of mana fixers, Braids, Johnny Magic, and some spot removal in Smother. He also runs Memory Lapse as a tempo card in order to help stall his opponent’s board development so that Braids can get a better lock on the game or to buy time for Opposition to hit the table. If I were to play this deck, I’d probably run one or two utility spells (Upheaval, Naturalize, or perhaps a single Cunning Wish and a tweaked sideboard) in the maindeck so that you don’t lose to silly spells like Worship or Ensnaring Bridge.

The problem with this design is that you need double-Black for braids, double-Blue for Opposition, and early green for your mana creatures. That means that the plan may be good, but somehow it seems like the tools are a bit lacking. That said, Gabriel did go 3-0 for the format, and his sideboard features a variety of situational cards that leave him prepared for most anything than an opponent can throw at him.

The other two Opposition decks are a bit more traditional in the sense that Olivier ran an updated version of Squirrel-Opp, and Tomi ran a Bird-osition deck that has been tried a few times in my local area. Both decks are actually beatdown decks that simply use Opposition as a backup plan to win the late game, and both look to be viable in the new environment.

Zvi said over on some other site that he hates Walamies Neo-Punisher build because”without Battle Screech, the deck seems like it is doing nothing.” Fortunately, with Battle Screech, the deck turns into Pain-in-the-ass.dec. I’m not saying that I agree with all of Tomi’s choices, though; the deck seems to need a bit more beatdown and Glory in the maindeck to prevent stalls, and unfortunately it will get completely wiped in Game 1 by any deck running Violent Eruption, Pyroclasm, or Mutilate. I also have to wonder why you can’t fit in a maindeck Mobilization or two when you are running four of Weathered Wayfarer; it provides an obvious outlet for spending your extra mana that the Wayfarer fetches. Putting Worship in the sideboard seems like a useful frustration tactic against decks lacking creature kill, but that’s not there either.

What the deck will do is beat Blue-Green again and again, just like it was originally designed to do in Odyssey Block. Combine that with the fact that if you have Opposition out and get to create your four bird tokens (plus the other weenie used for the Flashback) you’re probably going to win, and you have a deck to be reckoned with. I’m not sure if I’d play it, but the power of Opposition can’t be denied.

The last Opposition deck to be discussed is Olivier Ruel Prison update. Since it only features three Squirrel’s Nests, I hesitate to call it a Squirrel-Opposition deck…. But I don’t have a good alternate name for it, either (mark this on your calendar, as it may never happen again), so we’ll stick with tradition here. Once again, this deck is really a beatdown deck designed to play early threats and smack people around with a little card drawing and Circular Logic/Opposition backup for the late game. Olivier’s version even features Ravenous Baloths and Phantom Centaurs in the maindeck, which seems to be a nod to the possible mono-black matchup. This deck is actually very similar to what Jimmy Bean and I have been working on for States so far, and while I promised not to give many details, I can say that it looks like one of the Top 5 decks we’ve seen so far.

The last set of decks to do well were the Wake combo decks piloted by the Kibler elf and eventual Invitational winner Jens Thoren. They use slightly different cards to generate their win condition (Jens uses Cunning Wish and Elephant Ambush, while Brian uses Burning Wish to fetch some nasty sorceries and even includes a (gasp!) Crush of Wurms in the maindeck) – but the essential elements of each deck are Mirari’s Wake, Compulsion, Moment’s Peace, and Wrath of God. These decks are very good if they can keep their enchantments on the table, and are going to provide unpleasant afternoons for large numbers of opponents on the first weekend in November.

In fact, the version that Jens piloted was designed by no less an expert than Mr. Kai Budde himself. Kai stated in a recent article though that he felt his Blue-Black control deck was actually a little better than the Wake deck he built. Here’s the decklist:

3 Chainer’s Edict

3 Circular Logic

3 Compulsion

4 Counterspell

2 Cunning Wish

4 Deep Analysis

4 Innocent Blood

2 Memory Lapse

4 Smother

2 Upheaval

2 Zombie Infestation

3 Darkwater Catacombs

7 Island

4 Lonely Sandbar

3 Polluted Delta

6 Swamp

4 Underground River


1 Chainer’s Edict

1 Circular Logic

1 Compulsion

4 Duress

1 Flash of Insight

3 Ghastly Demise

1 Mana Short

2 Psychatog

1 Skeletal Scrying

I can tell you right now that this deck rolls over and dies to Sligh. It’s not even a fight; it’s more like a Roy Jones Jr boxing match where Roy toys with a guy for 3-4 rounds and then gets bored and beats his opponents into a bloody, man-shaped pulp (hey, he’s stepping up in weight to fight John Ruiz, so things could get interesting again). It does do what Kai initially said it would, though, and that’s beat U/G Madness. I’ll also tell you that you should be prepared to play against both of these decks, because for the last two years Kai has been the f*cking E.F. Hutton of the Magic world… When he talks, people sit straight up and listen. Then they copy down his decklist, go out and buy the cards, and show up at the next tournament ready to roll.

The problem with all of these Invitational results is that you have a very small N for doing analysis. Having only played three matches, it’s difficult to tell how well any of these decks would do against a larger field. That said, some of them are clearly better than others and have been noted as such. I highly advise you to do some of your own gauntlet testing with these prior to taking them to States though, as the results they obtained from three matches may not be indicative of their probable results against a larger sample.

The Guest Spot featuring Jimmy Bean

My amigo Jimmy Bean gets a guest spot this week in order to provide your peeps with his opinions on certain musical stylings and whatever else he felt like chatting about. Since he happens to be one of the world’s foremost experts on rap and rap history (seriously), I asked him for a top 15 list so that I could make a CD to bump on our latest PTQ trip and this was the result:

“A little while ago, a dyed-blonde corn-fed Midwestern boy (who shall remain nameless) came to me and said: Jimbo, I need you to give me some guidance – what are, in your estimation, the all time top 15 hip hop cuts? Quite the bomb question to drop on an unsuspecting friend, yes? I said, ‘Only fifteen? What about twenty-five?’ Fifteen seemed to me a scant number and would clearly leave many fine joints (not that kind) off the list. It was then explained that said person wanted to make a CD of said list and have it serve as inspiration on the way to the latest qualifier in Richmond (the details of which are undoubtedly forthcoming in a future Knutson opus).

“He said if I built it, he would come (Um… I would never, ever phrase things that way. -Kanoot); so build it I did. Here they are in no particular order, because I feel to rank these songs one after another would be an injustice to their musical quali-tai. I’m a sucker for ordered lists as much as the next man, but this is one case where I will not compromise the integrity of the music for some nonsensical VH-1 style production. And if my writing style is too highbrow for the Magic audience, I apologize; I used to do music reviews back in the day so I only know one way to write ’em.

Mos Def and Busta Rhymes

“Do It Now”

Black on Both Sides

This song represents the very best of what nouveau Native-Tongue hip hop is all about – a tight beat with a natural, un-synthesized feel and excellent interplay between Mos and Busta, two of the best rappers going today. Now if only Mos would quit the silver screen and get back in the studio…

Beastie Boys

“Shake Yo’ Rump”

Paul’s Boutique

“Shake Yo Rump” is the first song off of the greatest album in hip hop – bar none. It’s a fitting introduction to the album as a whole, microcosmic in that it is comprised entirely of samples (except the vocal track). It is also interesting in that it was a complete and utter shift from the beer drinking hard-partying ways of the License to Ill rock-tinged Beasties. Funkier than should be allowed.

Slick Rick

“Children’s Story”

The Great Adventures of Slick Rick

Slick Rick is probably the greatest lyricist in hip hop and this, his greatest cut.”Children’s Story” is a simple tale of a young man gone bad – but Rick tells the story with such pizzazz and his signature England-meets-Brooklyn delivery is infectious. If you’re wondering where you’ve heard this hook before, Montell Jordan later lifted the beat for his Top 40 entrée”This Is How We Do It.”

De La Soul

“Patti Dooke”

Bulhoone Mindtate

Quintessential jazz-rap, even more so than critically acclaimed stuff like Digable Planets'”Cool Like Dat.” De La were the best and most innovative of the early 90s Native Tonguers (a movement which rose as a counter to all the gangsta of the time frame and included acts such as A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, Chi Ali, Black Sheep, Pharcyde, etc.) Check out the sick flute playing in this song and amazing swing beat while Prince Paul and Posdnuos attack those weak-ass crossover rappers.

Gang Starr

“Ex Girl to the Next Girl”

Daily Operation

I wasn’t that in to Gang Starr (which is comprised of MC Guru and the best DJ in hip hop, DJ Premier) when I was a young man, but I have since realized the error of my ways.”Ex Girl” was an MTV staple for a while, with its catchy hook and Premier’s on-point scratching leading the charge. I defy anyone that can remove this song from their head.”The girls loooook soooooo good…. Next.” (Argh, just from that small sample the damned song will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. -Kanoot)

Public Enemy

“911 is a Joke”

Fear of a Black Planet

Well, this is what happens when you let Flavor Flav get on the mic instead of being just a straight hype-man. Flav dropped one of the most socially-conscious songs in hip hop on what Spin magazine rated the #2 most important album of the 90s (Nirvana’s Nevermind was #1… Whatever). The song was a reaction to the slow response time of 911 dispatchers whenever something was going down in the ‘hood. The loud and audacious sampling of PE’s production team (The Bomb Squad) propels the track while Flav kicks the verbal agenda. Songs like this are what turned me on to rap in the first place.

Kool Keith, a.k.a. Big Willie Smith

“Prepare (When I Come With No Underwear)”

This song is just too funny to not include in the top fifteen. Kool Keith, whom I consider to be the best MC ever to walk the planet, recorded this little gem under one of his many aliases -“Big Willie Smith.” Although I’m not sure of the album of origin, one thing I am sure of is how a simple straight hi-hat and snare beat can be made to sound ominous with the right sampling. Despite the dark sounding beat, Kool Keith spits some of the funniest lyrics ever put to wax. How can you mess with a song that begins,”Yo girl, kick off them drawers / let’s get busy!”? This cut will prove difficult to find on any of the music searching services though, which is a shame. You might get lucky though, who knows.


“It’s Tricky”

Raising Hell

Mix the Knack’s”My Sharona” with three hard rhyming fellas and this is what comes out. I wanted something on the top 15 to exemplify what old school was all about – just having a good time while saying how dope you were. The vocal track is also indicative of the style that many groups (such as the Beastie Boys) would later adopt as their calling card. Nobody did it better than Run DMC, though, and”It’s Tricky” is the proof. It’s trickytorockarhymetorockarhyme thatsrightontimeitstrickkkkkkkkkkkayyyyyyyyy!

Geto Boys

“Mind Playing Tricks on Me”

We Can’t Be Stopped

This song was recently profiled on VH-1’s”Hip Hop One Hit Wonders,” ranked #9 of 10. I was aghast at the ranking, but I digress… The reason why the song is so amazing is because it paints such a vivid picture of gangsta paranoia over a hypnotic repeating sample. The verses delivered by Scarface, Bushwick Bill, et. al are top notch, slowly advancing the story of a man’s descent from the top of the drug-dealing mountain to the bottom of the emotional barrel.


“Gangsta Gangsta”

Straight Outta Compton

Where N.W.A. is concerned, there are simply far too many good tracks to choose from. I could throw a dart at Straight Outta Compton‘s and easily put a different track on this list. I felt that”Gangsta Gangsta” was really a defining track for the self-proclaimed”world’s most dangerous group,” even if it was part hyperbole hust to sell records. Easily one of rap’s best posse cuts. When I listen to this song, I get weepy about how good Dr. Dre’s production used to be, and yes, I even shed a tear for the one they call Eazy.

Snoop Doggy Dogg

“Gin and Juice”


Everybody knows this song, so I’m not going to get really in-depth with it. Let’s just say that it’s the greatest party song ever and has fueled many, many a soirée in my college days. Obviously, the strength of this song brought the G-funk era to its pinnacle and no more need be said.

Notorious BIG


Life after Death

There has to be a Biggie song some place on the top fifteen, and”Hypnotize” narrowly beat out the DJ Premier produced”Kick In the Door” to make the cut. Who can forget the video, either… Biggie and Puffy cruising on a cigarette boat, decked out in white suits… It takes me back. On”Hypnotize,” everything came together for Biggie – he had learned to control the raw energy present on so many songs on his debut and focus it. The guiding hand of Puff’s smooth production and hook-stealing style (the hook in this song is stolen from Doug E Fresh and Slick Rick’s”La Di Da Di”) turn this song from a simple boast cut into a classic.




Jay-Z may cut on Nas, but he has yet to drop anything as good as Nas’s debut album, Illmatic. Beats by DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, etc. turned the album into a sonic masterpiece – but it’s really Nas’s rhymes that make it all happen. No other rapper has ever sounded so smooth and yet so intelligent and so articulate all at once.”Halftime” was Nas’s first single, introducing the wider world to the twenty-year-old New York street poet. And honestly, can you deny a track a place in the top fifteen if freaking sleigh bells carry the beat?

Pete Rock and CL Smooth

“They Reminisce Over You”

Mecca and the Soul Brother

This song was recorded as a tribute to friend and Heavy D dancer Trouble T-Roy (hence the song’s acronymic title). The cut showcases Pete Rock’s signature horn loops and CL Smooth’s classic laid back-delivery, but what it’s really all about is generating a mood. Yes, it has the emotional component of a tribute to a friend who was accidentally killed, but for me it’s just the images it generates – having friends at a barbecue, father-to-son chats, the birth of a child, ghetto life, the wisdom of age… All in one song.


“It’s My Thang”

Strictly Business

Erick and Parrish Making Dollars. Take a guy with a lisp, throw some insane beats underneath him, and presto – instant smash debut. Buttery smooth all the way through,”It’s My Thang” samples the funk song of the same name (pitch altered a few octaves) and puts one of the nastiest beats ever underneath. Probably the best reason ever to buy an envelope filter if you’re a bass player – just to play this.

So there you have it. And now some quick obvious unconnected blurbs about Magic and States:

Blue Green is the 800-pound gorilla and everyone claims to have a deck that beats it or does really well against it, as well as many of the other decks in the format. I will now call each and every one of you liars. In my testing, designing a deck that beats Blue/Green usually means that it loses to Sligh. If you don’t think Sligh is a contender for States, then you’re building it wrong, because it’s that good. If your deck can’t do better than 50/50 or at least match it, don’t bother showing up.

Having the Invitational online gives many people access to decklists and play techniques that they ordinarily wouldn’t have. While this is a good thing at its core, you’re going to see a lot of copycats next weekend. It pays to be prepared to see these decks at States.

Onslaught Limited is all about the bombs. I got beat in three matches this weekend solely because my opponent cast Visara the Dreadful on turn 6. Oh yeah, and I also lost to an Insurrection with my opponent at two life and me at sixteen. Thanks for printing such fair cards, Wizards. Next time you decide to make a removal light set for limited, think about the random”I win” cards before you print them?

That’s it. See you guys in another Teddy K guest shot.

Jim Ferraiolo

Dobbs on MTGO

Invitational Captions

“And in the morning, I’m makin’ WAFFLES!”

Wizards clearly cares about offering healthy alternatives to the Invitational attendees like Oreos, M&Ms, Cheez-Its, and Chips Ahoy. They carefully avoided more fattening faire like Deep-fried Twinkies, and balls of pure lard.

Now I know where I’ve seen him before! Tomi Walamies was the evil Doctor in Raiders of the Lost Ark (and Carlos Romao was apparently his evil henchman).

Nooo! OMC cut his hair!

Aaron Forsythe chooses clothing to make sure he won’t be shot at during the Invitational snipe hunting trip.

Gary Wise attempts to follow up getting kicked out of England by getting kicked out of Wizards as well by downloading a hard drive worth of Roseanne fetish videos from Rosewater’s computer.

These Magic players, they’re animals!

Is it just me, or does the blonde hair make Johnny Magic look decidedly sinister?

She kept saying I’m only this big – when really, I’m twice that size.

Gary Wise is the nicest Magic player I know

Wizards torments the Invitationalists by actually forcing them into the sun

Who says that Wizards didn’t take the players to an exotic location this time?

Somebody get the spackle…

The Kitchen Sink

Can jeans possibly get any lower? I mean girls have to get a freaking G-string wax these days just to be able to put their pants on. Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not complaining, but I did have to stop myself from reverting to instinct and stuffing dollar bills in the waistline of this girl in the grocery store the other day.

I just have one more thing to say about that: Long live hot girl plumber’s crack!

Does anyone else get creeped out when you see couples that look like they could be brother and sister? My first thought when I see these people is”Oh look, a science experiment.” Poor folks are playing recessive gene roulette and they don’t even know it.

Has the FDA added Bacon to their list of addictive substances yet?

Number of man-breasts seen in the Invitational pictures: Two million.

The more I think about it, the more I’m certain that Kristin Kreuk (Lana from Smallville) is the hottest girl/woman on TV. What I’m confused by is the fact that I keep coming back to either Anya from Buffy or Jennifer Garner from Alias as number 2. Can this be right? (And you exclude frickin’ Allyson Hannigan? GO HOME – The Ferrett)

A friend of mine wore an outfit kind of like this once, except her chaps were actually a fuzzy blue bathmat, and she was exceedingly drunk. What’s Christina’s excuse?

Who knew Mrs. Jason Sehorn was also a Vegas Showgirl?

I’m refusing to talk about college football until either Notre Dame or Oklahoma loses a game. This is my way of”respecting the streak.”

This one is for Bennie.

This is Colin Farrell’s sister? Dear lord!

Somebody explain to me how women can want to go out with Marilyn Manson. I mean Paulina Poriskova and Rik Ocasek… Maybe. Elaine Irwin and John Mellencamp… Sure. But Marilyn-freaking-Manson? Just shoot me now.

The most feared words a man can say to another man may just be”Dude, you are about two steps away from a Doug Christie jersey.” If you don’t understand that, you haven’t been reading enough of The Sports Guy.

Actually, I’m starting to think the threat that you will be given a Christie jersey may just be a good justification for going out and having poker night with the guys. I’ll let you know how this goes.

Currently playing at The Wang Center for Performing Arts: Onegin.”Flirtation leads to a fatal duel, rejected love, and dashed possibility in the tale of the callous Eugene Onegin.” The Boston Globe describes it thusly”The production dazzled, from the lighthearted opening moments straight through to the heart-breaking climax that had the audience screaming ‘Bravo!'”

For those of you scoring at home, that’s Wang + heart-breaking climax = great show.

I haven’t mentioned it, but I’m unofficially boycotting the Baseball playoffs this season. That said, if the World Series comes down to Game 7, you’ll probably find my ass plopped right in front of the TV rooting against Barry Bonds.

Has anybody actually used the word”combobulate” (not discombobulate) in a sentence before? Just checking…

Nobody on TV writes better dialogue than Aaron Sorkin, but the folks who write The Gilmore Girls come close. And yes, I may have completely surrendered my manhood last week by admitting that I like that show.

Does anybody else want to pull a Van Gogh and cut their ears off whenever they hear a Creed song on the radio? At first they were somewhat innocuous crap-rock, but I can no longer stand to have my hearing destroyed by their foul sounds. These guys are rapidly entering 4 Non-Blondes (also known as 4 Non-Singers) territory. Soon they will be enshrined in the Celine Dion Hall of Fame for musical acts that are banned by the Geneva Convention as”cruel and unusual punishment”.

Speaking of music, the latest Peter Gabriel album (Up) is a work of art. I waited to comment on it because I thought my opinion might be clouded by my happiness in receiving new Peter Gabriel material, but it hasn’t. The album is incredible and Signal to Noise is probably my favorite song.

On a completely different musical spectrum, the Dixie Chicks new album is also treeeeee-mendous. Then again, I’d listen to those girls pick and sing the alphabet song and be perfectly happy, so take that for what it’s worth.

Comforting thought of the week: Some guy on the news noted that you are still much more likely to die in a car accident than dying from a shot by the Washington DC sniper. Glad you cleared that up for me; I feel much safer pumping my gas now.

My next great idea is to make a pay-per-view sports package out of NFL Cheerleader practices. I was looking at the Dolphins website and I noticed that the girls seem to practice in Sports Bras and Bikini bottoms. When you combine that titillating aspect with the booty-shaking choreography, the comedy factor from listening to cheerleaders chat with each other, and possible infighting that could be better than anything ever produced on a soap opera, and I think you have a huge moneymaker on your hands. Hell, sell it as a 50 dollar addition to the NFL DirecTV package and see how many men buy it.

Obligatory Cheesecake Section of the Week

Okay, I’ll admit up front that I stole this directly from Tuesday Morning Quarterback over on ESPN, but that’s just because Ferrett put me on a deadline this week and I didn’t have time to do my own research. That said, I’m providing you guys with Miami Dolphin Cheerleader swimsuit photos, so stop yer bitching.

Go here and then click on each girl’s video trading card. To see the swimsuit photos, just”flip” them over and go to town (or something). And don’t forget to check out the behind-the-scenes video clip about the making of the swimsuit calendar.

Is it just me, or should crochet bathing suits be a lot more popular?

I imagine this isn’t the first time this girl has been between a rock and a hard place.

No comment for this one, just appreciation (though the makeup is a bit severe).

Tanned, Taut, and Toned!

They can’t be stopped… You can barely hope to contain them.

Shakira she’s not.

Is that a snakeskin swimsuit? So many other snake jokes to make, and all of them would get edited right out…

Yeah, Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders are hot…

Last but not least, I’m taking the pains to link this page in the hope that it will provide you with the same hours of amusement that it provided me. Each girl that you click on has a full biography that includes things like their worst habit, favorite food, favorite car, and”If you won the lottery…” The amount of comedic material here is just staggering.

Since I think my readers can be just as amusing as I am, I’m going to run a CONTEST where you guys provide me with the jokes for one of the bright, upstanding, wonderfully talented cheerleaders. All you have to do is write something highly amusing about the answers that our lovely cheerleaders have given in their bios, provide me a link to said bio (since in spite of my better efforts, I can’t memorize them all), and then I’ll choose the Top 5 to send a random rare from my collection and also to print in a future article. Be as humorous as you like (meaning don’t worry about censoring yourselves) and either Ferrett or I will edit them until they are publishable. Send all entries to [email protected] per usual.

That’s all for now… I’ll be back soon with a PTQ write-up where one of my crew won again and (big surprise) it wasn’t me.

Until next time, keep yer wang up,


[email protected]

* – I swear to God if I have to keep using this word every time I mention Mark Rosewater I’m going to cut my pinky off. Soupy Sales was wacky. Gilda Radner was wacky. Rosewater wrote for Roseanne, and therefore is by definition, not wacky.