I am not a sports guy. That isn’t to say that I am completely ignorant of sports, but I do not follow any of them really closely. As a result, I have no idea who is good and who isn’t. Occasionally I will get the “Who do you think is going to win tonight?” question. I can’t just say “I don’t know.” For some reason people tend to get very insistent. So what I do is take the team names and decide who would win in a fight. Basically, the team that fits better into the sentence “Look out! Here come the _____!” is generally the winner, according to me. I have a better than average success rate. Packers versus the Buccaneers? Buccaneers, no contest. Giants versus Dolphins? Where are they playing? Dolphin’s have a huge home field advantage in that one. My favorite hockey team is the Devils. Come on, who is going to beat a whole team of Devils? Certainly not the maple leaves. Actually, the system sort of falls apart with hockey. Some of the most dominating teams have names like Maple Leaves and Canadians. Now and then there is a team that, realistically, is unbeatable in this system. The Suns. Yeah, sorry, the Suns win, always.
Things get a little hairy when you take college teams into account. You get teams like the Buckeyes and the Orange men. I like to root for the fighting Irish. I love that the Irish get to join the Native Americans on the “Races of people that could be mascots” list. Just look at that logo. If they stuck a bottle of whiskey in this hand, you think anyone would notice? You think anyone would care? Colleges also have a good deal more biodiversity in their mascots, too. From the Aggies, which I think are a kind of marble, to the Zips, which as we all now are compressed files, they have a full and rich ecosystem that makes my betting system all the more interesting.
The system works pretty well for horse racing, though. I mean, given the choice between “Wind Runner” and “Ferrari Mandelbrot East”, which are you going to choose? I don’t really know what the deal with the stats is, and I don’t care, because I see a name like “Liquid Breakfast Burrito” or “ThisHereOneIsTotallyGonnaRunFaster” and I can’t help but put my money down on them. I guess I feel that horses must adhere to the Smucker’s effect. With a name like “Pastrami Swami,” it has to be fast. Either that or I wanted a paragraph that gave me a chance to come up with a bunch of names like “Unibrow Jackson” and “Happy Hiker Joy Juice Hanover.” Who’s to say, really?
Back to the aspects of sports that screw up my system. The corporate naming system. You see this a lot in soccer and Japanese baseball. You get teams like Real Madrid and the DC United. Now I have to check stock prices to see who will win? Great. Usually these teams have traditional costumed mascots I could use, but if I can’t name a single player on a team, what are the chances I am going to be familiar with the combat potential of the Asian pheasant they dress up an acrobat as. No, I’ll stay away from the freak sports, thank you. By the way, it is pronounced Ree-al Madrid. For a while I thought maybe there was a competing team called Bizarro Madrid or something.
A final sticking point for me is Disney’s teams. Am I supposed to judge the mighty ducks as though they are Emilio Estevez’s ragtag group of delinquents or the super powered fowl from the cartoon. Franky, if they are a bunch of coming of age punks, I’d say they might even lose to the Canadians. If they are the super ducks, I’d say they might be a match for the Carolina Hurricanes. This is apparently a moot point, as it seems they dropped the mighty and just call themselves the Ducks now. Oh well, maybe New York will run out of cash and end up as the New York Rescue Rangers. A man can dream can’t he?