Angry Ward Wednesday: Tampa Bay Slave Trade and Other Sports Scams

NY’s biggest star?!

BRONX, NY – It’s December 3rd, and there are all sorts of feel-good holiday sports stories floating around these days. In Nassau County, the New York Islanders have the most wins in the NHL, a Festivus miracle if ever there were one. Meanwhile the San Francisco 49ers have already completed their holiday shopping and are planning on gifting the Oakland Raiders one Jim Harbaugh. Gag gift? And this past Sunday, Giants coach Tom Coughlin yelled the name Jesus Christ over 100 times in a single four quarters of football. But all of these things take a back seat to the spirit of giving (and taking) happening down in Tampa Bay.

According to a recent investigative report in the Tampa Bay Times, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rays, Lightning, and Daytona 500 all “employ” workers from something called New Beginnings Ministry, which also serves as a homeless shelter for these same workers. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, not so fast. It turns out that these men, many of them recovering addicts, are not being paid for their work. All of the money that they earn selling concessions at these various venues goes directly to New Beginnings, which took in a reported $932,816 last year. The Founder and CEO of New Beginnings, Tom Atchison, calls this form of slavery “work therapy.” Some workers in this program also reported that they had to surrender their social security checks and food stamps to stay in it. Unfortunately, these types of practices are not limited to Tampa. Further digging by Meet The Matts found equally questionable business practices elsewhere. Here’s what we turned up.

No… the “other” McAdoo.

Jets and Giants Gyp. New York’s two marquee football teams also employ New Beginnings workers, but not in concessions. The entire Giants offensive line is made up of NB members, while defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo are ministers from the organization. The Jets also use NB workers at skill positions but also to administer foot rubs to Rex Ryan and fill the stands on light attendance days.

Knicks Pyramid Scheme. The triangle offense the Knicks are attempting to run is nothing more than an ill-conceived Ponzi scam concocted by James Dolan in an effort to get Isiah Thomas back running the team. Trust us on this one.

Bracketology. March Madness was invented by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in an effort to distract the general public from his church’s annual St. Patrick’s Day alien genocide known as “Spring Cleaning” or Dyinetics.

Romo Arigato. Tony Romo is a football robot created by Jerry Jones out of spare parts from 70s games, Electric Football, Super Jock, and Coleco’s Mr. Quarterback. It’s battery life doesn’t last much past November and Jones keeps its entire salary and uses it to pay off sexual misconduct suits.

Meet the Minions. Much like New Beginnings, Meet The Matts employs almost nothing but alcoholics (see below video)  and addicts and doesn’t pay them a dime. Weekly column assignments are referred to as “Laughbotomies.” There is a yearly Christmas party, which is mostly used to keep employees drunk and disoriented. But, you already knew that.

Anyway, you can see there are a lot of a-holes out there trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Hey, speaking of a-holes, good luck to our own JG Clancy on his colonoscopy today. I toast your good health, Jim. Bottoms up! Come back tomorrow for Fake Sandy Alderson/Big Al Sternberg, who is tops with us.

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About Angry Ward 755 Articles
Angry Ward, who has admirers at the New York Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but for one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way Nancy Pelosi embraces Mitch McConnell at charity events. And while his Vikings only tease him with success, his Golden State Warriors actually win these days. A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, "The Franchise." (Junoir Blaber disputes this). Vent, curse and giggle with him on Angry Ward Wednesdays.