Thursday, May 26, 2016
Normally, the DUNER BLOG doesn't venture into sports. However...as one staff member pointed out...Leicester City's sensational win is more about math than athletics. The Foxes smashed their way into the record books. See, no professional sports team in any sport has ever played 132 seasons and NOT won a championship. Also, no one saw this coming! Back in September, when the English Premier League began play, Leicester was picked to finish at the bottom, as 5,000-1 to win! OK: Let's break their phenomenal season down:
THE ULTIMATE LONG SHOT. In the last century, only a handful of professional sports teams have come close to beating such ridiculous opening day odds and gone on to win a championship. The 1969 Miracle Mets opened that season having never finished above ninth in the ten-team National League. Punters gave them 500-1 odds to win it all...and they did! Likewise, the Minnesota Twins had the same odds to win the franchise's only World Series title in 1987. The St. Louis Rams went from worst-to-first in 1999, overcoming 300-1 odds. In soccer, the 2004 Greek squad was 150-1 to win the UEFA tourney and did so. In short, this doesn't happen often.
WHO ARE THESE GUYS? Of the twenty teams in the EPL, Leicester ranked 17th and spent a total of £48 million on players' salaries. Compare this to Chelsea, the top-spending team, who dished out a whopping £216 million...nearly five times more. So the heads of Leicester tried really hard to find players who were talented...yet still unknown. Enter Riyad Mahrez, a sub on the Algerian National Team. Then there's Jaimy Vardy who was playing for Fleetwood Town (no relation to the band) before being snatched up. His 15 goals this season lead the team.
THE PAYOUT. Meet Leigh Herbert. He's a 39 year-old carpenter and Leicester City season ticket holder. Every year, he casually drops £5 on his hometown team to win, regardless of the odds. When he slapped down the banknote last year, with 5,000-1 odds, he did so more out or routine than out of hopes of actually winning. Guess what? He proudly claimed £25,000 earlier this week. Betting agency William Hill reported only 24 others in the world also placed a bet. One of these is Tom Hanks! (Although he has yet to show the world the betting slip.)
But for the time being...live it up Big Time in the Midlands: The Leicester City Foxes are champs!
Thursday, May 19, 2016
The results are in from Stockholm! The winner of EURO-VISION 2016 is: **JAMALA!** She's a feisty young Tartar representing Ukraine. (Real name: Susana Jamaladinova) With jet-black hair and a piercing smile, her pop music future looks bright. Her song, 1944, refers to the year Stalin forcibly removed 200,000 ethnic Tartars from beautiful Crimea to dusty Central Asia. And...it just so happens...that Jamala's great grandmother was one of those unlucky people. It wasn't until 1980 that they were allowed to return. So...instead of just winning Eurovision...Ukraine also got to roust rival Russia too. Wow!
Well...everyone feels good until politics get involved. A huge shift in emotions occurred in 1991 when the Iron Curtain fell. Instantly, a dozen new nations thrust themselves into the competition. Some were accepted with open arms by the established powers: Macedonia triumphed in 1998 and Estonia won a year later. However, other states (Russia) were only reluctantly invited. That's too bad, because Moscow produces good pop music. This year's entry Sergey Lazarev was the early on Ladsbroke favorite. But when voters heard Ukraine's melodic swipe at Russia, they were swayed. Putin spokesperson Maria Zakharova snipped: "Next year, just sing about Syria, Assad and blood. You will win."
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Over the weekend, the DUNER BLOG staff watched some retro television: Carson's final episode on the Tonight Show. Robin Williams, Johnny's last guest, suggested the popular host should run for president. "You can beat those bozos, Clinton and Bush," Williams chided. To which, Carson sheepishly replied: "No way! The insipid media would find something in my past and I'd be ruined." Which got us thinking: Why hasn't today's insipid media been more vocal about Trump's embarrassing past?
#7. DA 'ALI G' SHOW: A master of pranks, Sasha Baron Cohen's short lived phony talk show was a big hit a decade ago. The premise is to dupe famous people into an interview...only to discover the host is reality a mean-spirited comedic actor. After discussing why the billionaire wouldn't invest in Ali G's disposable gloves to protect your hands from melting ice cream cones, the Donald stood up and walked out.
#5. SEX AND THE CITY. One of the most popular TV shows in the 1990's featured a foxy foursome of single women on the loose in Manhattan. A cameo on the hot sitcom was a must for any egotistical New Yorker, so naturally the Donald strutted in. His first of two minor roles was a as a 'wingman' on a double date with debutante Kim Catrall.
#3. THE VIEW. These days, the fearsome foursome of daytime TV are in full-on attack mode on all things Trump. In addition to his misogynist statements, the gals also love mock his terrible hair. However...way back in 2006...Elizabeth Hasslebeck and the others were all smiles. The hosts told Trump how much they loved his hotel and casinos and lauded his business savvy.
#1. WRESTLE MANIA #23. In the USA, professional wrestling is nothing like the sport in the Olympics. Instead of being about athletic prowess, it centers on phony falls and goofy costumes. Overly staged bouts usually culminate with someone getting smacked by a folding chair. Twenty years ago in Detroit things got particularly wacky. WWE Commissioner Vince McMahon lost a wager and had to have his head shaved by Donald Trump.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
The President of Kenya desperately wants your attention!! No, he's not asking for famine assistance...that plague seems to have temporarily left. No, he's not worried about the ethnic civil wars...they too seem to be on hiatus. However, together, these two crises means that over the last decade, 80% of the nation has drifted away from government control. And no one loves a lack of authority more than evil poachers. And they've gone completely berserk. Today, an African elephant is killed every fifteen minutes for its tusk, an all-time high.
Let's face the ugly truth: The rest of the world loves to ruthlessly extract Africa's natural resources for their own gain: Ivory, slaves, rubber, diamonds, copper, oil...you name it. It began in the 1300's when Omani traders from Asia took over Africa's Eastern shores. A century later, Portuguese sailors began claiming all of the Atlantic coastline. As evidenced by the piles of carved ivory figurines, the pillaging continues today. To solve this global problem, the DUNER BLOG proposes the first ever worldwide tariff. We demand each of the world's 1,645 billionaires pay a 2% AFRICA TAX. Funds will carefully go to issues like resource preservation. NOTE: This tax includes the 24 African billionaires. They account 1% of the total billionaires worldwide. Remember: Africa has 18% of the world's population.