I’m Starting The War On Onions

Recently started going on a health kick. More fruits, more veggies, not as many microwaveable lasagnas (still the worst type of Italian food btw) and definitely not as much booze. I don’t know what’s worse, not having a cocktail or two each night before bed or shoving my face full of God’s greenest rabbit food. My diet was a free-for-all from ages 14-28. I had more Papa John’s points than Southwest Rapid Rewards points up until mid-2014. My Taco Bell orders would average somewhere north of $11.50. I used to eat two Chipotle burritos by myself after hockey practice. I was the goalie, so I pretty much talked myself into deserving it. I grew up with Greg Goldberg, not Henrik Lundqvist. Cut a little slack on the line.

Even through all those years of Double Quarter Pounders, stuffed crust pizzas, tacos of all types, etc., there was one food that I still refuse to eat: ONIONS. Yeah. Those round, white demon spheres that taste like they have been marinating in trash for three days.

Now, before you start throwing shit at your computer in protest, let me elaborate. Raw onions — white, green or yellow — have no place in this world. NONE. Red onions? Delicious. Chop them up and throw them on a salad, into my guac, or whatever. Raw onions have ruined my life on several occasions. There’s really nothing worse than getting ready to take a big juicy bite of a $12 burger and then sinking your teeth into that disgusting, gutwrenching, abomination of a vegetable. It tastes like garbage. It ruins everything. It smells like an armpit, albeit a bit sweet, and tastes just as bad. These types of foods are not meant to be consumed raw. It’s basically a potato, but worse. Don’t get me started on the texture of an onion. It’s like if sand was edible. I want to grab the onion and go wave it in the face of the culinary amateur who decided that this was okay to put on food and scream at the top of my lungs in his face so he can smell what this devil vegetable has done to my breath.

How about yellow onions? Delicious when they’re slow cooked in butter or caked in delicious wet batter and deep fried on top of a brisket sandwich slathered in barbecue sauce (feels good to be back in KC). Raw, though? The sheer barbarity of that is enough to make me question the very origin of onions. Who thought to pull this bulbous thing out of the ground and eat it like an apple without cooking it first? Who’s that guy? Some neanderthal who decided it was good to keep these around for the lean days of winter, I bet. Then one day he accidentally dropped them in the fire, let some animal grease drip all over them and then all of the sudden they were absolutely delicious. That’s the guy who is the real hero in this story.

Is this rambling? You bet your next paycheck it is. I caught a stray green onion in my lunch and just about lost my mind, which is why I’m here now. Which brings me to green onions. So easily mistakeable as an actually delicious food/herb like basil or cilantro or I don’t know, chopped spinach. Sneaking right into your mouth and unwelcomingly filling your mouth with what basically amounts to an onion-flavored blade of grass.

Onions, man. Throw them in the skillet, deep fry them, put them in a slow cooking sauce or stew, use them in the crock pot. Don’t feed them to me raw. Don’t raw dog my onions.

Is this insane? I don’t think so. I think it’s a noble cause. I’m sick of this. Stop pretending like you don’t hate onions.

EDIT: Also, Buzzfeed, stop putting so many damn onions into those “Tasty” viral videos on Facebook. Buffalo Chicken puff pastries do not require any onions whatsoever. Tell the lazy culinary school dropout who makes those videos to get it together and cut it out.

Perfect Champions

“Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s not about winning. It’s about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn’t one more thing you could’ve done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that, gentlemen, then you’re perfect.”

-Coach Gary Gaines, ‘Friday Night Lights’

Winning is, in fact, everything. However, winning every single time is not the everything. There’s beauty in the struggle. Losses happen. That was no more apparent than when Matt Harvey took the mound for the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series Sunday night in Queens, with the Kansas City Royals on the ropes.

Harvey had dominated KC through eight innings. But still, the Royals had earned every last scrap of benefit of the doubt. That’s when everything clicked. The moment FOX showed footage of Matt Harvey huffing and puffing around the Mets dugout, shouting “Not coming out” at his pitching coach and his manager. In that moment, I knew the Royals were going to win that game. Sure enough, Harvey walks Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer doubles and then ends up tying the game on a “this is me daring you to win the game for your team, pussy” dash to home plate. Five runs in the 12th, it was over. From the worst team I have ever seen play, to champions of the world. In 10 years. Harvey couldn’t control his emotions nor his pride and it cost his team a championship.

So how did the Royals do it?

On the surface, it was unrelenting contact hitting, lights out bullpen, mistake-free defense and good enough starting pitching. But it just seemed like there was more to it. Teams like the Royals don’t just go wire-to-wire, dominate an entire league and march their way to a title. They’re not supposed to. I always figured they’d piece it together for a nice 3-5 year run where they made the playoffs two or three times and always came up short to a bigger, badder, richer team like Boston, New York or Anaheim. That would have been enough. Trust me. It would have been. Show me an ALCS win in my lifetime and I’ll show you a happy Brian who would have been fine spending the rest of his days replaying old YouTube clips of said ALCS until I was dead and buried.

That wasn’t enough for Dayton Moore. The stories are seeping out of every corner of the internet. He originally didn’t even want the Royals GM job because the upper management of the team was such a disaster. But he took the job on the stipulation that the Glass family acknowledge they had no idea what in God’s name they were doing. So he hired people he trusted. He drafted kids who LOVED baseball and weren’t malcontent Little League burnouts with the mission of turning Kansas City into a Midwestern winner factory that only churned out champions and gave every kid from Lenexa to Lee’s Summit the hope that they too could one day be great. He hired people with values and conviction with the mission of firebombing the myth that Kansas City is a shitty cowtown with bad food and worse sports teams. He hired some gosh darn champions with the mission of eradicating Kansas City of every last memory of wasted springs and summers.

I’m not one for revisionist history, so let me acknowledge that Dayton Moore was in fact one of the worst GMs in sports from 2006-2012. He missed on free agents, he never put together a complete team, he likened finishing with 86 wins to winning the World Series. But he never wavered from the plan. He never panicked.

While Dayton Moore was doing this, I was steadily developing a knack for snark and cynicism. It is, after all, easy to go through life thinking everything and everyone sucks and should be fired from their job. I could not begin to tell you how many times I said Dayton Moore should have been fired. It’s probably over 50. While I was bitching and moaning, Dayton was building. He was watching his kingdom be built from the foundation up. Patience, he preached.

Then they almost did it. Then they actually did it.

If anyone knows me, I love theatrics for the sake of theatrics, but I’m not one for being dramatic (there’s a difference), but I would be lying to you if I didn’t say that the 2015 Kansas City Royals have changed my outlook on life. Sure, the lessons of “never give up!” and “it ain’t over til it’s over!” are the most prevalent, but the off-the-field lessons are the ones that will truly stick with me forever. Get everyone on the same page, believe in the mission, embrace the struggle, actually give a damn.

Dayton Moore knew he wouldn’t be able to hire the smartest, the most talented or the most experienced staff. What he did know was that in order to become champions, everyone had to be on the same page. Everyone had to be rowing the boat in the same direction. Everyone had to believe in the mission.

10 years later, Dayton’s vision and his plan came true. He remained steadfast and unflinching in his commitment to a complete turnaround of a franchise that was so irreparably broken when he took over. It’s stunning, really.

In a word, it was perfect.

The Rampant Problem of Content Theft Finally Sees the Light of Day

The thrill of going viral is that of a hard narcotic. When millions upon millions of people see something you have created, the surge of excitement pulses throughout your body and synapses fire in your brain. It’s vanity at its boiling point. Where the line gets blurred is when you start blatantly stealing things from other people for your own benefit. I’ve had my content stolen before. It happens. People don’t think there are consequences on the internet. There are.

You’ve probably seen the name “The Fat Jew” (Josh Ostrovsky) in the news lately. While it may sound like a surly Tarantino character, he’s actually one of the most infamous Instagram “celebrities” in the game. Justin Beiber loves him, which should be enough reason for you to hate him on prejudice alone. He’s gotten busted for stealing/posting jokes without attribution to the comedians who came up with them. The AV Club has a good, succinct write-up on it if you’re out of the loop.

While this sheds light on one of the most popular joke thieves on the internet, the problem still runs wild. Instagram account “fuckjerry” has 5.7 million followers (600k more than Ostrovsky). Go look at his account. I’m not going to link to his garbage, but just go look at it. It’s pretty much just screencaps of unattributed tweets and memes ripped from Reddit and 4chan.

“So what’s the big deal, Bri Guy? Why should I, Joe Internet, care?”

I’m not asking you to care. I’m asking you to have a conscience. Tall order, I know.

While it may seem like internet comedians are just a bunch of whiners just wanting credit for their joke, I get the outcry, but it’s not just The Fat Jew who’s ripping off your shit. It’s every godforsaken “parody” account that exists on twitter. You know those Fake Will Ferrell accounts? Every single joke on those accounts is stolen. Not a single one of them comes up with original content and they get away with it by classifying themselves as “parody” and “aggregation” accounts, which if you have ever read a dictionary or a book, know that neither of those words are associated with theft.

When you’re one tweet away from a book deal or a series pilot, there’s good reason for these writers and comedians to go all Krakatoa on guys like Ostrovsky and fuckjerry. They’re taking food off of the table and stuffing it into their own faces.

It’s not just limited to Instagram and Twitter. It’s Vine stars (who rank behind balloon artists and brunch DJs in terms of respectability as entertainers) who post blatant, word-for-word ripoffs of other material on Vine and Instagram. Hell, even theCHIVE has been accused of it. Yeah, what is generally considered the gold standard of web entertainment is often accused of content “aggregation,” which is really just a nicer term for “taking popular stuff off of reddit and tumblr, repackaging it as our own and making it even MORE popular.” What’s admirable though is that theCHIVE corrects their mistakes and gives proper attribution if/when they get called out.

Hell, I’ve probably been guilty of it. A quick Google image search for something as a featured photo and just slap it on a piece of content without realizing I was violating about a half dozen different copyright laws. Sure, it’s not blatant joke stealing, but it’s still a gray area of web morality.

Sourcing isn’t cool. Pretending you came up with something to get clicks is cooler. Creativity is so watered down on the internet now. Originality is no longer praised and comedy has degenerated to a point where “TFW”-quality reaction memes are now more popular than good, quality, original content.

Maybe that’s just the way it is for now. Tastes change and I’m hoping this is the beginning of a shift away from Instacelebs, Vine stars and Twitter fame whores. I’m hoping I’m right.

Joke stealing ruined Carlos Mencia’s career, although it can be argued that Carlos Mencia ruined Carlos Mencia’s career. Now it looks like it’s about to ruin the career of one Josh Ostrovsky and for damn good reason.

Don’t steal anything ever.

Featured image via who cares

Ranking The Truman Sports Complex Parking Lots By Tailgating Prowess: Royals Edition

11. Lot L

“Lot Hell.” It’s literally a quarter of a mile from the stadium. You have to climb up a hill to get to the stadium, which also requires you to navigate down the hill afterwards. I’ve timed the walk. It’s 15 minutes from lot to gate. After five Tank 7s, a few auxiliary Miller Lites, four hot dogs and a pull or three from a bottle of Evan Williams, a 15-minute walk is hell. Hence the nickname.

Party level: A backyard cookout with too much booze and not enough food.

10. Lot N

I once got lost in Lot N before a Royals/Brewers game in 2007. I was scared. You never want to find yourself here. The trek to the stadium might as well be a 19th century trail ride, minus dysentery. Featuring a large and economically diverse crowd, Lot N can be a great time, but I’ve seen this place devolve from looking like a Florida-Georgia Line music video to the world’s largest bum fight in a matter of minutes. Plenty of lowered Chevy S-10s to be seen here.

Party level: Gathering of the Juggalos.

9. Lot M

The Lot M parking pass is a golden ticket into the hoity toity world of Kansas City’s upper crust. Leave the beer pong table at home, bring the Franzia. Imagine strolling into work Monday morning armed with a story about you making Phil Witt slap the bag.

Party level: Fancy brunch.

8. Lot B

Lot B is too small for anything remotely interesting to ever happen there. I’m at a loss. Should probably turn this thing into a Steak ‘n Shake. That’s actually a really good idea.

Party level: Edward Jones Dome.

7. Lot H

I’ve never really seen anything worth seeing come from Lot H. It’s where my dad’s parking passes are, so I’m always on my best behavior here. I’m assuming this is just where all the dads park.

Party level: Corporate happy hour.

6. Lot F

Lot F stands for “you done F**ked up.” How you got to be this far from the stadium leaves you with just one option: get inappropriately loaded and hope you make it into the game on time.

Party level: Weird barn party.

5. Lot D

See above, add Eastern Jackson County crowd to the mix.

Party level: Abandoned barn party.

4. Lot J

Lot J, man. There’s a certain mystique to it, you know? You can see into the stadium and watch Crown Vision. If there was ever an opportunity for you to bring a chaise lounge to a tailgate and get away with it, this is it.

Party level: O’Dowd’s at midnight.

3. Lot C

Party level: Mitch-a-palooza.

2. Lot A

The rowdiest of all the reserved parking. There’s a certain touch of class that comes with tailgating in Lot A. You know that family from Blue Springs who goes to Lotawana every weekend to get hammered? That’s Lot A.

Party level: Party Cove.

1. Lot G

I’m a Lot G’er for life, a G-man. Just a bunch of bag slappin’, beer guzzlin’, bottle pullin’, party bussin’ sons-a-guns. Lot G is the definitive tailgating lot at the Sports Complex. The only thing more prominent than the debaucherous, blue-clad booze hounds in Lot G are the mothers hurrying their children through Lot G. With Arrowhead looming next to you, there’s no excuse not to go all out.

Party level: Delta Tau Chi rush party.

Kansas City Is St. Louis’s Little Brother

Kansas City is St. Louis’s little brother. It’s true. Hate to say it, but it’s true. St. Louis is in fact an older city than Kansas City. It was founded before America was even a country by some French guys (Their names were literally Pierre and Auguste). Kansas City was later founded in the mid-19th century and was first settled by Mormons and Baptist missionaries (¯\_(ツ)_/¯). If I had to choose between being founded by the French or Mormons, I’d probably kill myself. So neither KC nor STL has any sort of high ground in that regard.

St. Louis at one point in time was one of the four largest cities in America, but that was when there were pretty much just four cities in America. St. Louis has a better baseball team than Kansas City. By that standard, St. Louis is KC’s big brother.

Much like brothers, we do share common bonds. We love sports, we share borders with political disaster states, we would gladly take a bullet for Gary Pinkel, we all know someone with a lake house, we love smoked meats (although we do it much better over here).

But don’t think for one minute that the Western side of Missouri has any sort of inferiority complex towards St. Louis in anything other than baseball. Unlike our Eastern counterparts, Kansas City’s national perception and identity are not based on our baseball team’s performance.

St. Louis can boast about the 11 World Series championships and two Hardees that occupy Busch Stadium, but outside of that, I’m not sure what else they bring to the table.

“BUT HOCKEY! THE BLUES! #LGB”

St. Louis and Kansas City are tied in all-time Stanley Cup championships (zero). Also, ever heard of the Kansas City Blades? 1992 IHL Turner Cup champions? Checkmate.

“We have the best pizza.”

A hot saltine cracker topped with plastic cheese and processed meat barely qualifies as food, let alone pizza. Also, the best St. Louis style pie resides in Kansas City at Waldo Pizza (Choice Cut with garlic ranch on the side. Shut it down). I almost ate enough Imo’s buffet pizza in Columbia to trick myself into thinking it was adequate sustenance, but most of the time I was too hungover to know better.

Same goes for toasted ravioli. Just because some chef got drunk and accidentally dropped some ravioli into a deep fryer doesn’t make you some sort of culinary Mecca. If your city’s signature dish is available in the frozen food aisle, I’d suggest you go back to the drawing board.

Don’t get me started on barbeque.

“We have the best fans in baseball.”

@BestFansStLouis

“Anheuser Busch is America’s greatest brewery.”

Got me there. The AB brewery tour is a must-do if you’re ever in St. Louis for some reason. It’s a beautiful facility. But once Boulevard starts putting Tank 7 in American flag cans, I’ll have a better argument here. As a Lake of the Ozarks/day drinking/leisure watercraft enthusiast, I have to tame my remarks in reference to the Great American Lager. Point to you, Big Brother. Just get that advertising under control.

budweiser_bottle_r_3284651b

“St. Louis is a bigger city than Kansas City.”

Let me stop you right there. Is St. Louis County bigger than KC? Yes. Does anyone live in the actual city of St. Louis anymore? Hell no. St. Louis’s population data will quite clearly show that…you know what? Why don’t I go with a visual representation of St. Louis’s population decline in the last 30 years?

And now let’s look at Kansas City:

St. Louis can continue claiming to be Kansas City’s big brother. The harsh truth of the matter is that KC is in fact St. Louis’s little brother. It’s the little brother with the hotter girlfriend, better job, more friends, great hair, bigger house and more expensive car.

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So keep claiming superiority over us and trying to compare yourself to Chicago. We’ll be over here laughing at you.

Go Royals.

Friday Mail-It-In: For The People

You animals are insatiable. Everyday, I just get email after email from one of you begging me to come back. I love it. Ol’ Bri Guy has been a bit busy lately, ya know, making sure my bank account doesn’t overdraft on a late night McDouble run. Apologies for the time off.

So, I’ll answer your mail. There’s a ton. This is a month’s worth of your unanswered questions, so I hope you’re in this one for the long haul.

Bri Guy,

Relatively recent postgrad here, reading your stuff has helped a lot in navigating these foreign waters.

Few weeks ago, one of my best friends had a small shindig for his birthday limited to pretty much just his family. Just had to ask, once and for all, whats the policy on dudes getting other dudes gifts? Felt kinda of like a dumbass when I didn’t bring anything, I just assumed standard male protocol, i.e. pick up the tab next time were at dinner, the bar, etc. Of course my buddy understood that too, but still couldn’t help but feel a little guilty when I saw a table with some gifts on it. Whats the play next time something like this happens, and under what pretexts is it acceptable for one dude to give another dude a gift? (Also any general recommendations?)

You the man,

Daily Grind

You know the old saying “Never show up empty handed?” That’s a good quote. Never, EVER show up to someone else’s party empty handed. You get your ass to a liquor store or some sort of Things Remembered knockoff store and buy your friend a GD gift. But I understand your confusion. Man-on-man gifting is a tough concept to tackle. There’s an easy solution to this though, and it’s alcohol. A big case of beer, a premium 12-pack or a bottle of high end liquor for any occasion is a classy gift. There’s a reason they sell Jack Daniels in gift bundles around the holidays. It’s because it’s the adult equivalent of getting an awesome Hot Wheels track set. The more expensive the liquor, the cooler the present. A bottle of Macallan 15 might as well be a brand new N64 game to me.

***

Hey Bri,

Long-time, first-time here. One of my favorite articles were your binge-watching guides to certain shows. I actually began watching New Girl and, as a result, I turned into a big fan of the show.

This got me thinking, with the ending of a show that I know you and I both love, I thought it could be good to maybe try doing a binge-watching guide to the highly underrated show Justified. It’s available on Amazon Prime and I’m trying to get my friends to start watching it. Could you maybe try doing a watered down version?

Keep it classy – Wes

I’ve actually never gotten into Justified and I feel really shitty about it. It’s on my list, though.

***

B-Ri,

What’s going on, hoss? I recently found myself also unemployed and have been enjoying the experience so far. Between sending out rezzies and networking with randos, there is something refreshing about having some time off after years of school and sitting in the cube. Since we’re riding the between-job-bus together, I was wondering, what are some power moves we can be pulling during unemployment?

Funemployed

Power moves and unemployment go together as well as toothpaste and orange juice, so this is a tall order. I’ll try anyway…

1. Never admit to being unemployed. You’re a freelance consultant now.
2. If someone asks you where your money is coming from, just tell them you’ve gotten into day trading and have not asked your parents for money.
3. Nap everywhere.
4. List your salary requirements in parenthesis next to your name on your resume.
5. Only apply for jobs on The Ladders.

***

I can’t remember if you’ve ever shared the famous McGannon hangover cure, but in case you haven’t, I need to know what a reformed degenerate like you does to soothe the pain of the deathly postgrad hangover.

I have a specific cure for every type of hangover, but those are family secrets. My standard hangover cure is a multi-layered, complex process that is specifically designed for Brian McGannon, by Brian McGannon:

-Four Advil and a full glass of water before falling asleep (optional)
-Upon waking up, I brush my teeth and go number one. Another glass of water.
-Fall back asleep for two hours.
-Go number two. Really get it all out.
-Shower. Extra hot, then go super cold.
-One 32 oz Gatorade. Four more Advil.
-Fast food of your choice. No overly spicy foods.
-Nap in the afternoon after another number two.

***

I know you’re a Mad Men guy, B-Mac. Who are your top 5 characters, what’s the best episode and what do you think happens in the final episode?

1. Roger Sterling, 2. Don Draper, 3. Peggy, 4. Bert Cooper, 5. Stan Rizzo. “Shut The Door. Have A Seat.” Final episode flashes forward into the 1980s at some point, that’s really all I can guess right now. No idea where they’re gonna go with this.

***

THIS WEEK IN PONTOON BOATS:

Guy restores 2001 20-foot Bennington to its former glory.

That’s it for this week. If you’ve got a question for next week, shoot it here: mcgannonbrian@gmail.com.