Angry Ward Wednesday: Like Ali and Gordie Howe, Grim Reaper after Your Sports Legends

Angry Ward
“Where the Hell am I?” -Angry Ward

NEW YORK, NY – We’re barely halfway through 2016, and already it’s been a brutal year for deaths. David Bowie? Prince? Alan Rickman? Abe Vigoda? Death has been truly thinning the ranks of the entertainment industry, and sports is no different. Just recently we lost two giants in Muhammad Ali and Gordie Howe. And even one Kimbo Slice went slip-sliding off this mortal coil last week. Yep, the Grim Reaper’s batting average these days is in that rarefied Ted Williams air. And, as we all know, as the weather heats up so does that stroke. It’s also worth noting that this year the dark-cloaked Angel of Death is swinging for the fences with that scythe of his. As I’ve said on several occasions, if you don’t die in 2016, you’re a nobody. With that in mind, here are some sports somebodies who better watch their backs, as well as their chances of meeting their maker.

Willie Mays and/or Hank Aaron. Let me just make it clear that I am in no way rooting for either of the two greatest living baseball players to pass away this year or any other. But both are on the wrong side of 80 now with Mays 85 and Aaron 82, and El Reaper has been fairly quiet on the baseball front. I’m just sayin’. Chances: For Both – Somewhat likely. For One – Very likely. Hope I’m wrong.

Touchdown JesusLou Holtz. For as long as I can remember, Lou Holtz always looked like one of those kids stricken with “I look like an old man disease.” In short, he hasn’t changed much, except now he is actually kinda old. He’s not super-famous like Ali or Howe or the two baseball players I just mentioned above, but he did coach the most famous college football team in the nation in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus, so there’s that. Chances: Not likely. Not this year. He’s not big enough. He coached the Jets, fer cryin’ out loud. What a bunch of nobodies those guys were and still are.

Caitlyn Jenner. She’s not exactly old, but hormone replacement therapy, jumping genders, and living with the Kardashians for so long has got to take a toll. She’s also killed someone with her car, so there’s the possibility of an auto wreck to consider. Chances: Somewhat likely. You really can’t rule it out, but the gender switch, makeup, and new wardrobe may have been enough to throw Death off the scent.

Arnold Palmer and/or Chris Bosh. Arnie’s 86, Bosh has blood clots and they are both taking a blood-thinning drug called Xarelto. What are Xarelto’s side effects? I’m glad you asked! Number one side effect is, hemorrhage. That seems like a formidable one. Other possible side effects include, pain, low energy, itching, toothache, urinary tract infection, bile flow blockage, giant hives (giant???), and abnormally long or heavy periods… to name but a few. Chances: For Both – Not likely. For One – Very likely.

Johnny Manziel. The one they USED to call Johnny Football, who was going to WRECK the NFL with his mad quarterbacking skills, has spiraled down the drain in record time into some sort of ill-conceived Lohan/Winehouse/Ryan Leaf mash-up. He’s a mess, and he doesn’t seem to have anyone in his life who can reel him back in. Chances: Extremely likely. He’s not famous for being an athlete but he is crazy-famous for being a F**k-up! At this point there are just way too many ways this kid can kick the bucket. He’s like a five-tool player in the game of self-destruction. Sadly, this one seems inevitable.

OK, that’s enough grim sh!t for one day. Come back tomorrow for somebody really great!

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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.