The Daily Shot: New Jersey Team Names And The Call Of The Nerd

For the love of all things holy, what self-respecting guy lets the girl name his team”Klever Kitties”? Either Benafel’s girlfriend has got EDT and Wolpert whipped, or there’s an inside joke there that I don’t get. Either way, it’s scary.

Hey there, everyone. I’m back with another dose of the Daily Shot – and though lately I’ve been as regular as the bowels of a branless man (as a result of Canadian and U.S. holidays, editor vacations and birthdays, email disappearing acts, and general shiftless behaviour) I’m hoping to redeem myself with a nice slew of columns in the days to come.

Let’s do something fun today. Since GP Jersey wrapped up a while back with a victory for the Jokas, we’ve got –

Top GP Jersey Team Names

1. Team Just Met Today (David Lane, Voltaire Ronquillo, Shawn Lovelett)

To paraphrase a more well-known Voltaire on God – if Team Just Met Today had never existed, we would have had to invent them. Though they ended up dead last, they did manage to pick out the perfect autobiographical team name. Whenever people scroll down the final standings for GP Jersey, they will see a hundred teams that didn’t make it, teams with stories of triumph and hardship that will probably never be told.

There was one team, though, with the foresight to tell the story of their finish on the sign-up sheet. The aforementioned browsers of GP: Jersey results will look at Team Just Met Today, mired in dead last, and say to themselves:

“Yeah, that explains a lot.”

2. Klever Kitties (Eric Taylor, Elizabeth Lempicki, John Wolbert)

Check out the people on this team, and then check out the name – I guess we know who wears the proverbial pants in this trifecta of playas. For the love of all things holy, what self-respecting guy lets the girl name his team”Klever Kitties”? Either Benafel’s girlfriend has got these boys whipped, or there’s an inside joke there that I don’t get. Either way, it’s scary.

Worse yet, maybe it was Taylor who named the team.

Really though, after further consideration I’m in no position to criticize. I’ve done more than my share of selling out in the name of better relations with the fairer sex.

3. Giant Cockroach (Adrian Sullivan, Ed Fear, Mike Thomas)

(Let me set the scene. It’s a cheesy 60’s-era game show, shown in black and white. The host has an obnoxious bow tie, his hair combed back in a somewhat retro”duck’s ass.” He stands behind a light-colored podium, clutching a helter-skelter assortment of cue cards. Across from him, underneath even more scrutinous studio lights, there are three contestants waiting patiently for the final round of questions to begin.)

GT: Welcome to Magic: The Gathering Trivia! After three rounds of action, we’re deadlocked, and the final question, for all the marbles, is in”fill-in-the-blank” form. Simply fill in the missing word on your display placards, then turn them to show our studio audience. Ready, contestants?



Kurt Hahn:”Yes.”

GT: All right! For $25,000, here it is:

“Giant (BLANK)roach.”

(Cheesy”Final Jeopardy” music ensues. All three contestants take their pens and start scribbling, though none seems to do so with any real enthusiasm.)

GT:“Need a hint, contestants? Ok, here you go:

“This team, consisting of Adrian Sullivan, Ed Fear, and Mike Thomas, finished a respectable 35th at GP: New Jersey.”

(All three look at the host with some measure of impatience, as if the hint weren’t really needed.)

GT:“Time is running down gentlemen – simply write down the missing word and turn it to show our audience when called upon. Once again contestants, the phrase you need to complete is:


(Mouth puts down his pen and rubs his temples, as if afflicted with the beginnings of a painful headache. Kurt Hahn has been done writing for some time. Szigeti seems to be dressing his answer up a little with various doodles, many of them obscene)

GT:”Okay, that’s time! Put down those pens.”

(The”Final Jeopardy” music stops and the studio lights go up once again.)

GT:”Contestant number one is Peter Szigeti. Peter, have you got what it takes to make $25,000?”

Peter:”Well, I think I’ve got the right answer, in fact I’m pretty sure we’ve all got it.”

(Peter starts to turn his yellow paper around…)

Peter:”Just like these other guys, I’ve got…”

GT:”Hold on Pete, I can’t let you finish that sentence. We’ll go to our next contestant.”

(The host turns to the Kurt Hahn, who is sitting at his panel with a bored expression on his face.)

GT:”So Kurt, what have you been up to of late?”

Kurt:”I’ve been preparing for the Boston Marathon, and just yesterday I was named the U.S. ambassador to Burkina Faso.”

GT:”You look like you’re being sarcastic.”

Kurt:”What tipped you off? Mostly I’ve been drafting and calling people like you sh*t.”

GT:”That’s right; I’m the barnacle king. Recognize. Anyhow, what about that answer? Will you be headed home tonight $25,000 richer?”

Kurt:”Damn right, check this out-”

(Kurt nods and reaches down for his answer, which had been laying flat on his panel)

Kurt:”I wrote mine pretty large so you might say I’ve got a big -”

GT:”Whoa whoa whoa Kurt – the guys in the truck are telling me that I should move on to our next contestant.”

(The host turns to the final contestant, Joe”Mouth” Kambourakis. He’s already got his answer in hand and is listlessly batting it back and forth from right to left.)

GT:”Mouth, you seemed to finish answering in a hurry – I assume that sort of writing speed comes in handy when you’re filling out fraudulent deck registration sheets.”

Mouth:“Yeah, and who are you? If there’s a way to make people care less about you, you bag, I don’t know what it is. Just shut up and give me my money.”

GT:”All right, then – let’s see that answer!

(Mouth holds up his paper and drums it against the side of the podium as he shows his answer to the crowd)

Mouth: Actually, as you can see, I’m slapping this paper around a little, so you might say I’m whacking the c-”

GT:” We’re out of time! See you next week on Magic Trivia!”

4. Call Of The Nerd (Brian Tweedy, Erin Riley, Jae Hoon Shin)

It started as a team name, but I have to believe these guys know that it means so much more. The”Call Of The Nerd” is very real. Instead of playing football or going out to get stoned and hammered every night in high school, you end up playing video games (who could forget classics like River City Ransom, the best Nintendo Game ever), and tinkering with computers. For some reason, you’re also far more likely to require glasses. Sure, you might still play sports, listen to music and so forth, but once people see the glasses and word gets around that you have no interest in going to parties, you can stick a fork in yourself – you’re done.

I answered this particular call when I was about twelve years old and I haven’t looked back. There’s a good side and a bad side. The good side is that I’ve had a lot of fun with people who share the same interests and it’s easy to amuse myself since I know a lot about technology, Japanese animation, and other stereotypically nerd-related topics.

The downside? Well, nerds have historically had a lot of trouble socially, what with all the societal pressure and all. Apparently people don’t think that Dragonball Z tee-shirts (or tee-shirts with dragons on them) are cool – not even the Ferrett! I tried to wear one the other day while visiting my girlfriend and she looked at me like I had the stigmata and handed me a replacement.

Three great nerd movies:

“Office Space”

“Free Enterprise”


I’m a lot like the guys in these films. Maybe the gamers from”Call of The Nerd” are, too. I like that.

5. Blunt Force (Justin Page, Anand Khare, Mark Fedak)

“Are you going to smoke it now?”

-Mark Zadjner, yelling down a hallway at someone during Canadian Nationals

I heard Mark Zadjner say a lot of things during Canadian Nationals, but this is the one I remember the most. Zadjner isn’t on this team, but I’m sure these guys are like-minded when it comes to smoking a little of what the state cops call”the reefer.”

One thing is for sure – if they lose, they probably won’t care a whole lot. Snoochie boochies. Zadjner, incidentally, was on a team called”Triple J’s.”

If you Firebolt for the win, is that called”burning a J”?

6. Mother Phesant Plucker (Tom Rietzl, Rob Rietzl, Tom Conner)

There’s a bold moniker for you. Either there’s a really retro group of nuns somewhere and they’re fielding a Magic team, or these guys are trying to walk the line of”acceptable” names. They got away with it, though, and from now on Rietzl, Rietzl, and Conner will be able to fondly remember the GP where they were the Mother Pluckers.

Actually though,”plucking the pheasant” could mean any number of things. You know your name is good when it’s objectionable on multiple levels.

7. Hoof Hearted (Joseph Capalbi, Steve Horowitz, David Irvine)

That’s a question on many lips at any major event without excellent air circulation. A team that always has a second wind, Hoof Hearted is a group noted for gassy plays. This name earns points for being low-brow, but still funny enough to get a quick chuckle out of me.

8. Team 0-3 Lunch (Brent Eyler, Harris Novick, Barry Ruppert)

Another case of prophetic naming. The powers of prognostication on display here are most impressive – evidently more impressive than anything they could make out of whatever card pool they received.

I hope lunch was good – maybe a BLT or something where the bacon was nice and lean, and…man, now I’m hungry.

9. Team Nutburst (Andrew Stokinger, Melissa DeTora, Justin Polin)

This is (who else?) Stokinger’s team.

On a side note, Brainburst has yet to link to one of my columns as far as I know, and I don’t think they ever will. I have angered Chedy somehow, and I’ll never work in this town again.

10. Barnacle Brothers (Brian Davis, Steve OMS, Dan OMS)

Time for Davis to scrape the hull, cause he’s got a couple of high-profile barnacles clinging on and enjoying the ride! We should all be so lucky – apparently Davis is so good that his barnacles have won Pro Tours and such.

Check you later everyone, and have fun playing Magic…that’s what I plan to do this weekend. The Canadian Nationals report is (or will be) wrapped up, and now I’m ready to head into new and fresh territory. Come along for the ride if you like. As they say, it’ll be as close as the next page.

Geordie Tait

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