Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014



On Sunday, Pro Rory McIlroy won the 2014 British Open by two strokes.  It was his third Major Title, his first in native Britain. Confidently, the handsome 25 year-old hoisted the Claret Jug high above his head. His smile said it all...he just added $1.6 million to the $15 million in prize money he has already won. But most importantly, Rory McIlroy cemented his perch atop the World Golf Rankings. (Tiger who?) However, no one was happier than Gerry McIlroy, the golfer's father.

Why? Because ten years ago...when Rory was only fifteen years old...the overly proud papa walked into the Ladbroke's Casino in London. He inquired about placing a Special Odds Request. See, in England, it's still legal for a wagering house to accept a bet on anything the customer desires. Simply put: Anyone can ask for odds on any event they choose. On this day in 2004, Ladbroke's calculated the odds for a teen sensation named Rory McIlroy to win the British Open in the next ten years.

Although Rory was a very promising upcoming competitor, the chances of being one of the ten men skilled enough to win the nation's top tournament are astronomical. (In gambling terms, that means 500 to 1.) Nonetheless, Gerry plopped down £200, grabbed the betting slip and waited. Three years later, at eighteen, Rory cracked the Top 50 rankings. The next year, he won his first PGA event. Dad was getting excited. With wins in the PGA Championship and the US Open it was just a matter of time before young McIlroy won the British. Dad strolled into Ladbroke's and presented the ten-year-old scrap of paper and smiled.

"We take chances on bets like this," Ladbroke's spokesperson Rachel Bridge explained. "On this one, we have egg in our face. Rory's father is having champagne on us tonight!" In reality, the wagering house loves such action. Aside from F1 Racer Lewis Hamilton (whose father won a similar wager) these bets rarely pay. Ladbroke's took over 300 Special Odds Requests last year from other delusional parents and will likely win all of them.

In summary...dear readers...our advice at the DUNER BLOG is to stay away from the Teaser Bets. Casinos worldwide post them the lure silly gamblers into their den.  Prior to the start of the World Cup, 167 people took the 175-1 odds that Luis Suarez would bite an opponent in a match. Ladbroke's again lamented the payouts, but snickered at all the cash they won on the thirty-one nations that didn't win. Today's sucker bet: Who killed Lucy Beale on Eastenders?  Les Coker is the favorite at 4-1.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014



Last weekend, here in San Francisco, former football greats gathered in Candlestick Park.  Instead of shoulder pads and helmets, they strapped on velcro belts and played flag football...these guys are in their fifties and sixties and cannot play tackle anymore!  It was the final athletic event at the famed site. See, Candlestick Park is set to be demolished later this year and the 49ers will play in a brand-new stadium.

This prompted us at the DUNER BLOG to research other beloved stadiums that have since been destroyed.

#10 The Kingdome, Seattle. (1976-2000). The last of the great domed stadiums to be built, the Kingdome was home to the Seattle Seahawks and Mariners.  Since neither team won a championship, attendance has always been an issue.  Ken Griffey Jr. provided the stadium's best memories.  He homered in his first at-bat here and hit the last ever home run as well.

#9 Rosenblatt Stadium, Omaha. (1947 - 2012). The home of the College World Series, 'The Blatt' became a site of pilgrimage for collegiate fans.  For two weeks a year, it became a beehive of activity as sixteen teams arrived from all over the nation.  Even Kevin Costner joined the 'Save Rosenblatt' crusade to no avail.

#8 The Metrodome, Minneapolis (1979 - 2014) Always raucous, the 'Thunderdome' achieved the loudest sound ever at a stadium...a whopping 125 decibels.  It was also the only stadium to host a Super Bowl, World Series, MLB All-Star Game and a NCAA Final Four.

#7 Veteran's Stadium, Philadelphia (1967 - 2014).  Few cried when 'The Vet' was imploded earlier this year.  It was hastily and shoddily built and was rundown after four seasons.  At one point, cats were employed to control the mice problems. Perhaps the stadium's best asset was the hole in the wall on the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader Dressing Room.

#6 Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh (1968 - 2001) During the 1970's, this picturesque stadium reached its apex.  The Pirates win the World Series and the Steelers in the Super Bowl.  It also hosted concerts by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Stones AND The Who.  Rock on!

#5 Ebbets Field, Brooklyn (1912 - 1960) Nothing epitomized baseball like the cigar-box stadium in Flatbush.  35,000 people crowded onto benches to watch their beloved Dodgers.  In 1956, it hosted its last World Series game, when Bob Larsen pitched the only perfect postseason game.

#4 Candlestick Park, San Francisco (1960 - 2014) Built on the coldest and windiest place in the City, Candlestick confused many visiting teams and fan, who thought California was warm.  It was the site of the last Beatles Concert in 1966. (Last song: Long Tall Sally).  It hosted eight NFC championships.  It's most famous moment came in 1989, when an earthquake struck during the World Series.

#3 Texas Stadium, Dallas (1969 - 2010) Originally, the idea was to have a retractable roof.  They began construction before realizing it wasn't structurally sound.  So, they stopped building, leaving a large, open rectangle as a ceiling. It's best explained by linebacker D.D. Lewis: "Texas Stadium has a hole in the roof so God can watch his favorite team play."

#2 Boston Garden, Boston (1927 - 1998) This intimate arena was originally built for boxing.  "I want the seats close enough so fans can see the sweat on the boxer's brow," clamored the owner.  When converted to basketball, this gave the Celtics an astounding home-court advantage. Sixteen NBA championship banners hung in the rafters above the immortal parquet floor.

#1 Yankee Stadium, The Bronx (1923 - 2008) Love 'em or Hate 'em, there's no denying the New York Yankee's success.  All but one of their twenty-seven championships were won in the hallowed stadium that "Babe built."  Millions across New York City cried when their beloved cathedral of sport was demolished to create a newer, cleaner ballpark.  NOTE: The stadium also hosted three Papal Masses!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014



Back in May, every one's favorite Hollywood hunk GEORGE CLOONEY broke hearts worldwide when he announced he was getting married.  Why the fuss?  George is quite the catch.  He's a two-time winner of the coveted People Magazine Sexiest Man Alive Award (1997 & 2006).  He has two Oscar nominations. In short, the actor oozes success. Although he had proclaimed...on many occasions...his distaste for marriage, Clooney's heart was stolen by a smart, stunning lawyer from Lebanon named AMAL AMAMUDDIN.

George seemed to be in marital bliss...until a bombshell fell in Beirut over the weekend.  No! We're not talking about the explosive type of car-bomb-shell...that happens in Lebanon every day.  Nope, we're talking about the public rant put on by Amal's outspoken mother, Baria.  See, this woman is not your average stay-at-home mother-in-law. Baria Ananmuddin is the foreign editor of the Al-Hayat newspaper. She also hosts a popular TV show.

On Saturday, Baria took to the airwaves to discuss her displeasure with her future son-in-law.  "There are five hundred thousand Druze Muslims." she clamored. "Are none of them good enough for Amal?"  Actually...Baria...there are five million Druze who follow the esoteric sect of Islam that incorporates philosophical tenets and symbols into the faith. For centuries, the tight-knit people have remained intact. They survived the Crusades, 500 years of Turkish occupation and two World Wars! No wonder Baria wants her daughter to marry a Druze!

Currently, George is just laughing the incident off.  Baria Amamuddin was just being sarcastic on the morning talk show, right?  However, further investigation by the DUNER BLOG reveals some rather alarming information. Unfortunately for Mr. Clooney, the Druze take marriage outside of the sect as a violation of religious law. The punishment for this crime is having your penis cut off. Don't believe us? Well as recently as last year, a non-Druze Muslim had his bits removed by the relatives of the Druze woman who married him!

Fortunately, we here at the DUNER BLOG have the solution: George Clooney needs to convert to Druze Islam.  We did some quick research and believe it could work. First of all, the main symbol of the Druze is a star...and George is the biggest Hollywood star of all. Second, Druze were largely responsible for the 2005 Cedar Revolution. If George wants to be a politician and bring peace in the Middle East...this is a great path to follow. Finally, giving up booze will do George good. He has said on numerous occasions "I drink to much" and gone for long periods of abstention.  It's true: Last month's sloppy incident with Steve Winn was embarrassing. Becoming a Druze would permanently stop him from boozing and bring World Peace.  Are you reading, George?

The future President Clooney. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014



Grab your colored markers and head to the wall-map, readers!  We have a new nation to draw!  It's called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, but they are commonly referred to by their initials: ISIS.  Their independence day is June 29, 2014 and their capital is Mosul.  Their borders are still loosely defined, but they extend from Eastern Syria and most of Northern Iraq.  Finally, their leader is the Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

What is a Caliph you ask? The direct translation from Arabic is "Successor," as in from Mohammad the Prophet.  For centuries, Caliphates ruled over all Arab lands.  However, no international leader has called himself a 'Caliph' since the Ottoman Empire was officially abolished in 1924.  Why use such an antiquated term?  ISIS wants to re-create a medieval-style empire stretching from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf.  It will adhere to a unique Sharia Islamic law. That means no music, Christians pay a maditory tax and executions are carried out in the main square of town.

So far, ISIS doesn't have any allies.  Fellow Sunni leaders Saudi Arabia and the Gulf refuse to recognize the rogue state.  Since ISIS has deemed Shi'ite Muslims heretics, both Iran and Iraq are dismissing Sunday's independence announcement as a farce.  ISIS also created enemies in Syria by beheading eight rebel leaders. Rival group The Army of Islam stated: "The gangs of ISIS are living in a fantasy world. They’re delusional. You cannot establish a state through looting, sabotage and bombing."  Even al-Qaeda has distanced themselves from ISIS!

Not surprisingly, war is raging on all of ISIS's borders.  The US-backed Iraqi troops have marching orders from PM al-Maliki. Battles have been raging in Mesopotamia for months. On the East, the Kurds have taken up arms to defend their borders.  Both Syrian rebels and government troops are engaged in armed conflict on the Western border. Nonetheless, ISIS leaders are demanding all Muslims around the world pledge allegiance to their leader, as he is the chosen one with direct orders from the Prophet Mohammad.

While ISIS will likely disappear by the end of the year, the movement does deserve further examination. Western nations will insist upon the sanctity of a nation's borders, but we here at the DUNER BLOG know better.  Iraq is about as old as your grandmother.  It was created in 1930 by the British, who were eager to slow the expansion of the Persian Empire.  In doing so, a huge group of Shiites were tossed in with Sunnis and Kurds.  We don't agree with ISIS' crazy laws, but we do agree that Iraq needs to become three separate nations before everyone dies!