Well Then It Can’t Be All Bad. Right?

June 11, 2008 – 12:00 am by Ryan Phillips

In case you weren’t aware, that venerable institution known as the WNBA is now into it’s 12th season. And throughout the NBA playoffs we’ve been treated to commercials featuring the league’s “stars” sarcastically claiming the Fem-BA sucks. They also imply that since it has lasted this long, the WNBA has to have some redeeming value. I mean, nothing that sticks around for more than a decade can possibly be bad, right?

With that question in mind we decided to find some other wildly successful ideas that have lasted roughly 10 years.

Vietnam Conflict (1960-1975)
Thanks to John F. Kennedy’s escalation of troop numbers in South Vietnam in 1960, the United States basically made the country the base for our second showdown with Communism (Korea being the first). Kennedy believed that if the United States didn’t stop the spread of Communism, it would weaken his position internationally and at home. Therefore, he increased troop levels from 800 to more than 16,000. That was the beginning. What followed was one of the biggest turning points in American history. But hey, we had to teach those Reds a lesson dammit.

Sure 1.4 million military personnel and around 2 million civilians died in Vietnam between 1960 and the Communist takeover in 1975, but that’s an acceptable risk when you’re making a point about nothing, right? 58,000 American troops died and a generation of our country became totally disillusioned with their government but look at the bright side, we got some kick-ass music, a hedonistic festival dedicated to “peace” and an entire sub-culture of Americans who don’t trust their government…ever (The ridiculous 9/11 “Truth” Movement is proof of that). And without J.F.K. and L.B.J., John McCain would never have been tortured and then never would have run for president. So it’s all good in the end. Besides, any time you can have sloppy seconds from the French, you take it, my friend. You take it.

Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2005)
The perfect family sitcom with all the “insensitive husband” and “wife can’t cook” jokes you can stomach. And apparently, America can stomach quite a few. The show has also been around so long, no one remembers which network originally aired it. It’s proof that you don’t need a regular fan base or even smart writing to make it to syndication. A story of survival for the whole family, often in prime time, when you could be watching something better.

It’s awesome that people mention this show as the successor to Seinfeld in the Great Sitcom Pantheon. No one had ever heard jokes like this on television before. Certainly not on Home Improvement and definitely not on All In The Family. And maybe Ray Romano can’t dunk but his technically sound, fundamental approach to comedy entertained a lot of people for a long time. I mean, I know tons of people who loved this show. Seriously, tons. Those 15 Emmys were almost as well deserved as the 37 Frasier won.

The Black Death (c.1334-1350)
After a small outbreak of the Bubonic Plague in Central Asia around 1334, the stage was set for an epidemic of massive proportions. Thanks to open trade routes to Asia, the plague hit Europe during the 1340s and, well, it did some damage. In England alone, it is estimated that the plague wiped out half the population. The estimated world population at the time of the outbreak is 450 million. The plague is thought to have killed about 75 million people. You know what that means? It means that 375 million people survived. Why? Because they were tough. And we didn’t need that weak 16.7 percent of the world’s population anyway. Besides, illness is all just mental, ask Tom Cruise.

Some people call it the scourge of the Middle Ages, I like to look at it as a thinning of the herd. Europe was overcrowded and filthy, after the Plague they developed modern sanitation techniques and market day was way less crowded. Frankly, it was a win-win.

Jake Plummer’s Career (1997-2007)
Remember when Jake the Snake took Arizona State to a bowl game? Remember when he helped the Cardinals win a playoff game? I like to picture him sans-beard, in the summer of his youth in Arizona, making plays that no one watched (except Will Leitch; much love buddy), for a futile enterprise. This might be because ESPN constantly talked them up and whacked us over the head with them whenever possible, even though we wanted nothing to do with them. But whatever, it’s all in the past.

Remember when Sports Illustrated and Bill Walsh compared him to Joe Montana?And I couldn’t think of a more perfect comparison … since they both wore No. 16. But Plummer’s stellar career came to a close when he decided he didn’t want to play for Jon Gruden in Tampa Bay. The guy was a stud though, he finished his career with only one less touchdown pass than Trent Green (161) and only eight more interceptions than Peyton Manning (again, 161). I smell a Hall of Fame ceremony down the road. Especially because the guy retired before his time to focus on more important things, like handball and grooming his beard.

O.J.’s Search For The Real Killers (1995-present)
Looks like that’s going really well, I’m sure he’s still following up leads as we speak. The guy is nothing if not a hard worker, you don’t become an NFL Hall of Famer without working hard. Hopefully, the Los Angeles Police Department has made all of the case evidence available to him. After all, there was a ton of it and I’m sure it will conclusively point to someone. Give him time, I think he’ll be coming forward with some conclusions any day now.

Hitler’s Chancellorship of Germany (1933-1945)
After getting elected on January 30, 1933, Hitler captivated a nation. Employing fantastic public speaking skills, propaganda and a country’s need to feel good about itself, he turned Germany around. It’s the ultimate Cinderella story, they went from poor, struggling country to world power in no time. They got back some of their former lands surrounding the country because they needed “Lebensraum,” which I’m sure means an area for parks and flowers in which children of all nations will play. Apparently some other stuff happened too but I stopped reading after I saw that he conquered those bastards in France, I mean, who hasn’t had that impulse before?

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  1. 8 Responses to “Well Then It Can’t Be All Bad. Right?”

  2. “Fem-BA,” classic.

    Raymond is the worst, it’s so bad I would rather watch House of Payne.

    By Dave H on Jun 11, 2008

  3. It will be an enormous moment in American Sports history if the WNBA someday reaches the popularity levels of Vietnam and the Plague. Someday Mr. Stern…someday

    By Adequate Swag on Jun 11, 2008

  4. How much can Raymond’s Emmys be attributed to competing against the Wayans Brothers? And keep your eyes on According to Jim. It’s like the Iraq to Raymond’s Vietnam.

    By Hick Flick on Jun 11, 2008

  5. The thing is, Frasier was occasionally funny.

    My parents love Raymond. They watch it in syndication. That probably answers a lot of questions you might ever have about me, right there. A-yup.

    By the indefatigable mjenks on Jun 11, 2008

  6. It would be much more impressive that the WNBA has lasted twelve seasons if it wasn’t subsidize by the NBA.

    The WNBA has never even broken even, let alone made a profit.

    By Steven on Jun 11, 2008

  7. I hate to get political in a “run-of-the-mill” sportsblog, but your rip on the 9/11 “Truth” movement is a little off base. Conspiracy charges aren’t the root of it, just simple answers are all that is being sought.

    By Anonymous on Jun 11, 2008

  8. Oh geez, don’t get me started on the 9/11 Truth people.

    By Phillips on Jun 11, 2008

  9. chilling, actually. i loved reading this.

    By roundthewaygirl on Jun 11, 2008

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