The Pittsburgh Connection

At PTNY, Potato Nation – consisting of , , and Garrulous – were the big winners, splitting sixty grand, while , Andrew Cuneo, and Andrew Johnson of Team Car Acrobatic were the runners up, walking away with a "paltry" ten grand each. And FrigginRizzo ties it all together. How do you tie it all together?…

At PTNY, Potato Nation – consisting of Mike Turian, Scott Johns, and Garrulous Gary Wise – were the big winners, splitting sixty grand, while Aaron Forsythe, Andrew Cuneo, and Andrew Johnson of Team Car Acrobatic were the runners up, walking away with a "paltry" ten grand each.

And FrigginRizzo ties it all together.

How do you tie it all together?

Well, ya see, I actually played Mike Turian once. Once. Now brace yourself; he won. As for Scott Johns? Well, I read Mindripper. And how can I possibly connect myself with Garrulous Gary? He sent me an email once. Once. So there it is – the PotatoNationFrigginRizzo Connection.

FrigginRizzo: <—Used "garrulous" twice. Is now consulting dictionary. Finds that "garrulous" actually means "given to excessive chatter or talkativeness." Not sure if that applies to Gary Wise, but it sounds cool to say "Garrulous Gary." If deemed offensive or annoying by Mr. Wise, apology to follow in future article. But alliteration rules.

As for those Car Acrobats? I think my history of love and war with Mr. Forsythe has been well documented, and I have heard of both Mr. Cuneo and Mr. Johnson. I might have actually seen them in person, but, since I don’t know what they look like, I can only offer up an educated guess that I probably have. And that’s the CarAcrobaticFrigginRizzoConnection.

As a special bonus, Turian, Forsythe, Cuneo, and Johnson are Pittsburghers. Can you guess which city your favorite Internet Writer hails from? Booya and stuff.

(Unless, of course, I am not your favorite Internet Writer. If that is the case, then insert your favorite writer and try to guess their city of origin. I dare ya’.)

And they also playtest at "The O," which I’ve actually eaten at. Okay, I’ve eaten at the one in Oakland, but booya anyway. And I’ve also driven past Carnegie Mellon University. Booya with extra cheese!

FrigginRizzo: <—Not sure if "booya" is only to be used in conjunction with drive-by shootings or not. (Strangely enough, Strunk and White has NOTHING to say on the matter — The Ferrett)

Even though I’m not smug enough to take MUCH credit for the aforementioned players’ successes, I’m still waiting for my embroidered thank you cards. I’m sure the mail is just being slow on account of the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday and whatnot.

One would think that, in a town that just oozes quality Magic players, I would somehow be elevated beyond perpetual scrubdom to the status of "guilty by association." One would think, right?

Alas, I can still stink up any joint.

But how can four Pittsburghers single-handedly dominate PTNY without at least a drop of their "whup ass juice" dripping into my coffee? Well, they can’t. Because I tasted that juice in my coffee on Monday morning. So, by default, I’m getting better already.

FrigginRizzo: <—Hopes that was "whup ass juice," as he has seen "American Pie."

See, all of a sudden, I rule at Magic. I am quite sure that my 1635 Limited rating is nothing more than an overworked Phyrexian Databaser hastily entering a nine upside down. That now puts me ninth in Pittsburgh, one good tourney (or six) away from overtaking Turian (2007), Forsythe (1995), and Johnson (1981).

Yes, fellas, that odor is me, coming up on ya. And bringing lasagna.

In Pittsburgh, it’s sort of a local joke that anything that happens in the entire world has a PittsburghConnection. If there isn’t an obvious one, our local newspersons will invent one.

Take Elian Gonzales, for example. No apparent PittsburghConnection anywhere to be seen, right? Wrong! Our studious newspersons would search and search until they found someone from Pittsburgh who knew a guy who knew a guy who once smoked a Cuban cigar. Then they would drag that person out for a "Tonight at eleven: Elian Gonzales’ PittsburghConnection" interview. And they would do the story with a straight face.

Space for you to think about what you would build from this deck:

FrigginRizzo: <—Always wanted to do that.

But, this time, the newspersons don’t have to bother with tedious, time-consuming research. For I am the connection. That’s right, I am the FrigginPittsburghConnection. And in an effort to save the wonderful (that’s sarcasm, chief) newspersons from hundreds of painstaking man-hours, I will even write their story for them.


Superficial newsperson: After the amazing Pittsburgh domination at PTNY, we have John Friggin’ Rizzo live in our studio! John, thank you for taking time out of your busy movie watching, chain smoking, Diet Coke drinking, porn downloading, hack writing schedule for us.

Me: Not a problem, chief. But don’t call me John. Call me "shexy mack daddy, daddy mack to the beat y’all." And say it with some Friggin’ Conviction!

Superficial newswoman: All right, you mack daddy you. So what is it like to be the PittsburghConnection?

Me: Are those breast implants ya got there? I sure hope you got a receipt.

Superficial newswoman: Um, shexy daddy, how does it feel to be the inspiration for such a grand performance?

Me: What the hell did you do to your cheeks? Wow, your surgeon must’ve been half in the bag. I take that back, dude was all up in that bag.

Superficial newswoman: Er, mack daddy daddy mack Kriss Kross’ll make ya’ jump, you have previously taken many shots at Mr. Forsythe in your StarCity columns. Have you two kissed and made up?

Me: Did you ever notice how aging newspersons like to get a ton of plastic surgery on their face, but totally ignore their Friggin’ chicken necks? Of course you have noticed, as I’m sure that you spend plenty of time in front of the mirror. As for Mr. Forsythe, it is time to give him his props, as those crazy kids say. While we didn’t actually kiss, I did offer to give him a lap dance. So it’s cool.

Superficial newswoman: Well, thank you for your time, chief.

Me: Um, chief is MY word baby.

Superficial newswoman: IMPREGNATE ME!!!! NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: Sorry, chicken lady, but my vas deferens be all tied up at the moment.


On Thursday afternoon, I sent this email to Aaron:

"Good luck at the PT. Kick some ass, take some names, and smile for the camera, all while representin’ Pittsburgh so hard that no one will even remember that Buehler guy."

And so he did. And so did Turian, Cuneo, and Johnson.

But Anthony "Tony" Boydell still remembers "Randy" Randy Buehler.

I guess I can only use one word to describe the Pittsburgher’s performance at PTNY:


Because their performances make me want to be a better player. And in a city with the even-though-you-suck-something-awful-we-are-still-building-you-new-Friggin’-stadiums Pirates and Steelers, it’s pretty cool to have local heroes to cheer for. And cheer I will.

FrigginRizzo: <—Jumps up and down, causing skirt to lift up revealing pretty pink panties, and does "two, four, six, eight" cheer.

Congrats, chiefs.

Maybe now Wizards will schedule a PT stop in Pittsburgh. Sure.

And then, to further pump a brother up on a crappy Monday morn, there was Dan May’s "postscript" after "Waiting for Invasion (not Godot)" (10/02/00) in which some rather complimentary words were written about yours truly.

If you would’ve put your Friggin’ email addy in your article, I would’ve taken the time to thank you proper. As it is, consider this a formal "thanks, chief."

This game is pretty cool.

And it gets cooler every day.

John Friggin’ Rizzo.
[email protected]

Next week: The impossible come to life. My interview with Anthony "Tony" Boydell.

Now for the "never stop reading when you see the email addy" part:

Okay, okay. You can stop your bitching now, for the official card pool for The Universal Net Deck is up and running. Originally, I was going to list the cards in an article, but the list got like real big, so I bought my own little corner of cyber-hell which was kind of a deal. ($75 for my domain name and a "free" site.)


That’s where you’ll find the card pool. Print it out, build a deck, send me the decklist, (By November 10th) and an explanation of how and/or why it works) and I’ll pick the coolest one and try not to go 0-8 with it at the next PTQ. If you submit the winning deck, you get cool stuff. Stuff like the actual deck with my grubby autograph on each card, random memorabilia and merchandise, and maybe even some really crappy foils from my 900+ "shiny collection."

If you don’t send in the winning deck, you may open this in your email:

"Nice try, but that deck could suck the chrome off a trailer hitch."

Or something to that effect.

You have nothing to lose (except for time) and not much more to gain, so step to it chief.


Is it "Try to detect it, it’s not too late?" Or is it "Try to protect it, it’s not too late?" Of course, I am speaking of the once unintelligible, but now controversial, lyric from the Devo ditty "Whip it" from the 1980 album "Freedom of Choice."

A quick jump to Devo.com actually revealed that the site is some kind of communications company. Spam them. The bastards.

After about 35 minutes of painful searching, I came upon this


Which listed "Try to detect it, it’s not too late" as the lyric proper. That’s good enough for me. So take that, Mr. Anonymous StarCity Columnist whose column only appears on Fridays.

Bonus audience participation segment:

Is StarCity the most entertaining Magic site on The Net?

To vote yes: Nod your Friggin’ head, I’ll see you.

To vote no: Hit "Ctrl/Alt/Del" repeatedly. Log back on and vote again.