Angry Ward: Juan Epstein Baseball, Dallas Still Sucks, and Farewell Bud Grant

My favorite coach with my favorite player, Matt Blair.

NEW YORK, NY – It was getting late on Tuesday afternoon, and I had no intention of waiting around here for Aaron Rodgers and the Jets to consummate their icky aging-prostitute/lonely old billionaire John “feelings” and share all of their football STDs with each other. There’s simply not enough Ayahuasca and darkness to blot out the all-around sensory stench of this proposed union. Let it happen, but leave me out of it. They should just announce their intentions on St. Patrick’s Day, so DSNY can clean up the aftermath of that and all the green puke in one fell swoop. Okay, for now, let’s talk about something else.

Puerto Rico vs. Israel. A couple of nights ago, Puerto Rico beat Israel 10-0 in a mercy-rule-shortened game. It was actually a “Perfect Game” for PR, up to the point when it was called. So, not officially a perfect game, but that’s okay. The important thing is that Puerto Rico and Israel played each other in what should have been dubbed, The Juan Epstein World Series. (Older reference surely lost on you kids out there.) That’s what makes this tournament fun, weird matchups and a much more competitive vibe than say, the All Star Game. For instance, I predicted Israel would come out of Purim a hungry team, and they promptly beat Nicaragua. Pay attention when you can. It’s not like you’ve got anything else so great going on in your lives. I mean, you’re here right now. That speaks volumes. Let’s move on.

Dallas is for Losers.  Let me just say that I’m delighted that the Dallas Mavericks are struggling just as much after acquiring Kyrie Irving. While I never root for injuries, the Mavs have played poorly both with and without their two stars, Doncic and Irving, on the court. In fact, any Dallas-based team losing at anything is a-okay by me. You know how I feel about the Cowboys, and I’d also enjoy seeing the Dallas Stars wiped off the planet, forgotten, and have the Minnesota North Stars get their awesome name back. The Dallas Jackals of Major League Rugby can eat sh!t too, while we’re at it. I feel better already!

March Meh-dness.  When I was in college, and for around 10 years after I graduated, I used to love the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I always got in a bracket pool, picked upsets, and enjoyed staying up those first couple of nights watching those late games out West. But over the last few years, my interest has waned down to almost none. But this year, I’m back in the pool. The reason is, the entry is 40 bucks and I’m owed $40 from a football pool run by the same friend. Easy enough way to utilize 40 beans that I otherwise would have forgotten about. I still don’t care about the tournament, but that will make the picking of games all that much more enjoyable. This seems like a year where a 10 seed winning it all is completely plausible.

RIP, Bud Grant. No way I’m getting out of here today without paying my respects legendary Vikings Coach Bud Grant, who passed away this past weekend at the age of 95. I honestly thought he’d make it to 100 easily. He always came across as a guy who totally had things in perspective. He was never out there screaming and yelling and ripping his headset off. But he was out there coaching, and his teams were consistently good because of him. When the Vikings moved indoors, Bud Grant, who loved playing outdoors, was never going to stay with the team that long. But when they hired the disastrous Les Steckel to take over as HC, Coach Grant came back the next year to right the ship that Steckel had completely wrecked. He stepped aside again when his good friend, and offensive coordinator, Jerry Burns was rightfully given the job he should have inherited in the first place. To me Bud Grant was, and still is, the Minnesota Vikings, frozen in time from an era when playing frozen was still pretty cool. He’ll be missed, but remembered by me until it’s my time to leave this mortal coil.

That’s all for today’s installment. Come back tomorrow for another Bud, Buddy Diaz.

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About Angry Ward 737 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.