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An Unabridged History of the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS

As the San Francisco Giants prepare for their second National League Championship Series in three years, Giants superfan Jim Jividen offers a deeply personal account of postseasons past (plus football picks, week 7!).  

21 times in National League Division Series history a team lost the first two games of the series.

Each time, that team lost that series.

Until this week. The San Francisco Giants are once again headed to the NLCS.

Here’s an unabridged history of my beloved SFG when we’ve reached one step away from the World Series.

1971 Pirates over Giants 3 games to 1
-’71 was the worst of our NLCS teams, with a “real” regular season record of 88-74 (that was our pythagorean record, comparing runs scored/allowed with the rest of the league; this year we also have an 88 win pythag). The Pirates had a 101 win pythag (and went on to win the WS) so they were clearly the better team.

I was a year old during this series, so my memories of it are spotty.

We won the first game, 5-4, on a big 4 run 5th inning. We were down 2-1 hitting against not yet crazy Steve Blass; Chris Speier (by Wins Above Replacement one of the 20 best SFG of all time) led off with a single; Gaylord moved him over to second; Ken Henderson grounded out – and then Tito Fuentes hit an improbable 2 run homer (he had only 4 homers during the season). My mother holds a curious affection for Fuentes, and other than his name’s similarity to Tito Puente this homer is the most likely reason. Willie Mays, who had a solid bounceback season in ’71 (6.3 WAR; I use a combination of B-Ref and Clay Davenport’s calculation for what I think is a good cross-section of historical analysis and that’s the number I’ll be referencing) making him our best player, walked and then McCovey hit our second two run homer in the inning, giving us the 5-2 lead. Gaylord Perry gave up 2 in the 7th – but it was 1971 and that didn’t automatically mean a pitching change (beyond Perry and Marichal, who were both just okay, we had a really poor pitching staff) and Perry not only finished the inning – but finished the game – even when, with 1 on and 1 out and a 1 run lead in the 9th inning he had to face Clemente and Stargell.

He got them both (he is the 6th greatest SFG of all time after all) and we took game 1.

That was it for the good guys – we gave up 15 hits and got ripped apart in Game 2 (9-4); game 3 was in Pittsburgh – Marichal giving up just 4 hits in a complete game 2-1 loss – striking out six and not walking anyone. Our only run was in the sixth – and we left the bases loaded, really our only chance to break it open – and then Richie Hebner snapped a 1-1 8th inning tie with a homer and we went down in order in the 9th.

We came back with Perry on 3 days rest and he got torched, the Bucs broke a 5-5 tie in the 6th by plating 4 more, and that 9-5 score ended the series.

1987 Cards over Giants 4 games to 3
Those 88 pythagorean wins in ’71, Mays’s last full season in SFG, were our high water mark for a long, long time; we dropped to 79 the next year, bumped to 85 in ’73 – and then settled in for the sub-.500 1970s:

’74 – 71 pythag wins
’75 – 79
’76 – 71
’77 – 75

In ’78, my first full season following SFG consciously, every day (I was seven), listening to the games, looking at the box scores (I’m rickety old, I’m Gran Torino old, keep the government out of my Medicare old) we ticked up to an 83-79 pythag – but then…

’79 – 73
’80 – 73
’81 – 57-54 (over .500, but the strike keeps the totals low)
’82 – 79
’83 – 80
’84 – 69
’85 – 67

So – the only +.500 pythagorean season was the strike season. 15 years of just nothing at all happening for SFG. This was my boyhood. If you want to understand why San Francisco embraced the 49ers so wholeheartedly; the marketplace wasn’t particularly competitive.

As Giants fans know – it turned around in ’86; we had a pythagorean record of 90-72 – leading to 1987.

The ’87 SFG had a pythagorean record of 93-69; still tied for 6th best in SFG history. Better than the Cardinals’ record. Significantly better than the Twins – who had a sub-.500 pythag. As a 16 year old high school senior with the lead in our September production of 12 Angry Men (I wasn’t a very good actor – I worked very hard, but it wasn’t until the very, very end of my acting career as an undergrad that I was able to get enough bodily comfort on stage to be anything other than a guy reading lines in an animated way. I largely read them well; had it been a radio opera, I would have been more successful) my level of SFG ardor was such that when we were tasked with giving our characters names (the jurors, for those unaware, are only numbered in the play – I was Juror 8, which is better than being Client 9) in order to develop backstory, I said my name was Jeffrey Leonard. I caught a break in that my director was less engaged in the pennant race than otherwise one might have been and that my curious choice to play most of my scenes with one arm down at my waist did not cause more than just an eyebrow raise.

I thought we were going to the World Series and thought so most of the season – and as our lead over the Cardinals built – and the Twins, who were clearly inferior, were sticking it to the Tigers, baseball’s best team in ’87 – for the first time in my life I may have said out loud that we were going to win the whole thing.

I was unaware about how life worked when I was 16 years old. We had been eliminated in ’86 on my birthday by a Mike Scott no-hitter, but that wasn’t enough to communicate the simple calculation:

Giants Baseball = Torture

I was..I guess one could call me semi-popular my senior year of high school, at least compared to my station in every previous year of my life. And as a SFG fan in rural Ohio, I quickly became associated in the minds of seemingly everyone I met with the Giants (I had a wager on the NLCS with the varsity basketball coach; I think the statute of limitations on teacher/student gambling has probably passed). I felt a complete sense of personal investment with the outcome of the ’87 NLCS.

This did not work out well.

We split games 1 and 2 in St. Louis. They got Rick Reuschel in the 6th inning of Game 1; breaking open a 2-2 tie with 5 hits and 3 runs in an inning from which probably Roger Craig (weirdly, San Francisco simultaneously had a beloved baseball manager and a beloved near Hall of Fame running back with the same name) should have, at some point, pulled Big Daddy. We got one more late for the 5-3 loss. Dave Dravecky threw a 2 hitter in Game 2; Will Clark homered in the 2nd, Leonard homered in the 4th; we had a couple of intense skirmishes with the Cards in the mid 80s that focused on Ozzie Smith – and his 2 run 8th inning error was some sweet frosting on the 5-0 cake.

We blew a 4 run lead in Game 3 and lost 6-5; we got 3 in the second, added a Leonard homer in the 3rd – Atlee Hammaker (google All Star Game grand slam if you’re unfamiliar) gave two of them back on a Jim Lindemann homer in the 6th – and then it fell apart in the seventh; Caveman Robinson entered after a leadoff single to Oquendo; then Whitey Herzog outmaneuvered us. Curt Ford, who was neither Curt Flood nor Disco Dan Ford and so I do not remember him, and Dan Driessen, who had been our first baseman just two years prior, had consecutive pinch singles cutting our lead to 4-3. Lance Johnson, the White Sox Lance Johnson – remember? – pinch ran, stole second – and then he and Ford both scored on a Vince Coleman single that gave the Cards the lead and ended Robinson’s night. They’d get one more in the inning – and it was 6-4. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth Harry Spilman homered to get us to 6-5, but Todd Worrell, older brother of our future closer, got Kevin Mitchell to end the game.

And then we won games 4 and 5.

We came back in game 4. The Cards got 2 off Mike Krukow in the second; a Robby Thompson 4th inning homer cut it in half – and that man again, Hac Leonard – one flapped down his way around the bases with a 2 run homer in the fifth. Buster Posey’s 2010 was our best season by a catcher since Bob Brenly’s in ’87 – and Brenly homered in the 8th to give us a 4-2 lead – and Krukow – still today, right now, this very second, an enormously popular radio voice for SFG, finished them off to tie the series in his biggest performance ever.

When we left Game 5 with a 6-3 win, up 3-2 and headed back to St. Louis – I could not have felt more confident. Reuschel got hit again – the Cards were up 3-2 in the 4th when Whitey brought in Forsch (the Bob version) and we slapped him around. Chili Davis led off with a single. Will followed with a single. Brenly walked and we had the bases loaded with nobody out – Jose Uribe, late cousin of our future World Series hero shortstop, singled home 2 to give us the lead – and a Mike Aldrete pinch sac fly plus a Thompson triple would plate 2 more and that 6-3 score would hold up the rest of the way. Joe Price – Joe Price came on in the fifth and he only gave up two baserunners over the last five innings of the game, completely shutting down the Cards to put us a game – A Game! – from going to the World Series for the first time in a quarter century.

My dad, I recall, bought for me a celebratory beer; I was now 17, it would have been (I think) my first – and it sat on ice waiting for us to clinch. (Note – mom says she was the one who bought the beer; her memory may be better than mine on this issue; we may as well add underage drinking to her list, since I’ve already outed her as teaching me the point spread when I was a pre-teen.)

Mom: Now, you’re going to give me six points and Notre Dame.
Me: I like candy.
Mom: We’ll bet all your candy. You’ll give me seven points and Notre Dame. For all your candy.

I think my Great Santini moment was Miami beating two touchdown+ favorite Nebraska straight up in the ’84 Orange Bowl. Mom had to take out a second job to cover her candy loss in that one. I think the vig alone was one of those giant Chunky bars.

I never got to drink that beer, however.

Dravecky was nearly as good in Game 6 as was he in Game 2 – good enough that his John Birch Society membership was never again held against him in my house. You throw 15 NLCS innings and give up 1 run, you can complain about the fluoridation of the water supply all you want. You can probably find Dravecky speaking at a Tea Party meeting near you some weekend.

We lost Game 6 1-0, Maldonado misplayed a 2nd inning Tony Pena flyball into a triple for the only run either team would score in the game. We led off the 5th with back to back singles, but couldn’t score, and that was really all the noise we made in Game 6. Don’t speak of Candy Maldonado to my mother; she still holds him responsible for ’87.

The deciding 7th game – with the beer still on ice?

Over early. Atlee got hammered, we lost 6-0. I don’t like game sevens.

1987 was a long time ago. It was the year Buster Posey was born. It may have been the year of my first sexual escapade (summer, in a car in a church parking lot after seeing Cocktail; she was probably thinking about Cruise and I spent several years doing nothing but thinking about Elisabeth Shue; sort of thinking about her right now. Talk amongst yourselves for a moment.)

1989 Giants over Cubs 4 games to 1
In the history of the San Francisco Giants, no first baseman ever had a better year than Will Clark in 1989, and he lost out in the MVP Award vote to Kevin Mitchell. The 92 win pythag, again, made SFG the NLCS favorites (this time over the Cubs) although not as good as the presumptive AL representative (the curiously large Oakland A’s. If we make the Series, I’ll do that post. This is just about the NLCS.) Will remains the 5th best SFG ever – Mitch was the 20th, until passed by Tim Lincecum during the 2010 season.

As we had in ’87, we split the first two on the road. We scored 8 in the first 4 innings of the ’89 NLCS. Greg Maddux is one of the very greatest players in the history of baseball but doubles by Clark and Matt Williams gave us a 3 run first inning and we were steaming. Mark Grace’s two run homer off Scott Garrelts in the bottom was just a speed bump on our way to an 11-3. Clark homered in the 3rd – then hit a grand slam in the 4th (the last postseason SFG grand slam until this week) that’s 10 total bases and 6 rbi from Will Clark off Greg Maddux in the first 4 innings of the NLCS. Mitch hit a 3 run bomb in the 8th to finish it off.

It happened again for Reuschel in ’89 – he couldn’t get out of the first inning in Game 2, he gave up 5 hits – left with us down 3, and Kelly Downs was equally effective – we were down 6-0 after one and effectively out of the game. Homers by Mitch, Matt, and Robby could only get the final score to 9-4.

I was a sophomore in college in October of ’89, and in another play – which, as it turned out, had its performances scheduled for the dates of the World Series. But I was able to make the hour drive home each night and watch the final 3 NLCS games with my family. Were you to walk into their Prospect, Ohio house in the late 1980s, you would have seen two living rooms – one in front and one behind. In ’87, as was it during the full 3 years that I lived there, the back room, a little smaller, was where the television was set up – but by ’89 they had swapped – and now the television was moved to the front room; it was there that, in January, I came home during the middle of my freshman year to watch the Niners’ unbearably anxiety-producing comeback in SB23 (I skipped striking the set after yet another play to come home for the game) by this point the five of us (my parents and my younger brothers) had a very defined seating pattern during important games; I sat on the couch facing the set in between my brothers in the same way that we’d go to the movies together – my dad to the side; my mom, generally too anxious to sit, cleaning the kitchen feverishly during the most nerve-wracking moments.

And so 9 months later, in October of ’89, we were all there again, for Games 3 and 4 of the NLCS (it was just me and mom in Game 5 – it was a day game, dad was at work, my brothers either at school or at some type of after school activity; I don’t recall if I spent the night Sunday or (more likely) drove back to school and then again back to my parents’ house.

Down 4-3 in the 7th in Game 3, we scored 2 in the bottom and won it 5-4. It was 3-3 in the top of the 7th, Caveman – replacing Jeff Brantley who replaced Buffy Lacoss – gave up a leadoff double to Rick Sutcliffe (consider that with your modern eyes, Sutcliffe hit for himself in the 7th inning of a 3-3 Game three in the NLCS) – he moved to third on a Uribe error – and then scored (actually -Maddux, pinch running) on a Ryne Sandberg sac fly.

Sure, if you’re committed enough to Sutcliffe to let him hit – maybe you let him run from third base in that spot, but I’m not Don Zimmer.

Paul Assenmacher came on – and Robby Thompson (10th best SFG of all time) beat him with a 2 run homer. They got a couple hits off Robinson in the 8th – but we held on to take the series lead.

Game 4 – tight. They score in the first. We score in the first. They score in the 2nd – we get 2 in the 3rd, a Williams single driving home Butler and Clark. Maddux gave up one more and got yanked in the 4th, but Garrelts gave up the lead in the 5th and it was 4-4 when Matty Williams (9th best SFG ever) hit a two run homer in the bottom to give us the 6-4 lead. Downs, the worst pitcher on the staff in ’89, was terrific getting us into the 9th – but with two outs Sandberg’s single brought Steve Bedrosian in. A single and a walk loaded the bases for Andre Dawson – but Bedrock struck him out swinging and we were up 3-1, and almost certain to head to the first World Series of my lifetime.

We did. We only got 4 hits to the Cubs ten but beat them 3-2 to win the pennant. Reuschel redeemed his previous performances, giving up just the one run through 8 innings – a Clark triple/Mitchell sac fly tied the game in the 7th, and then 3 consecutive Mike Bielecki 8th inning walks led to his removal for Mitch Williams – Will singled through the box scoring 2 – Bedrosian gave up 3 consecutive singles in the 9th to cut our lead to 3-2, but got Sandberg to give us our first pennant since ’62.

We wouldn’t reach the NLCS again for 13 years.

1989 was a long time ago. It was the year Madison Bumgarner was born. He’s the youngest pitcher to win a postseason game in the history of the organization. I started seeing a girl in October; here’s a lesson I learned when I was 19 so you don’t have to: if you start seeing a girl in college not long before she goes home for the holidays, you won’t still be seeing her when she comes back, because she’s going to bang some dude from back home. She’s with her old high school friends, it’s the holiday season, she wants a date on New Year’s Eve – I am absolutely telling you she’s going to bang some dude back home. I learned that in 1989. Granted, I unlearned it when it happened again two years later – but you can do better. Proud of you.

2002 Giants over Cards 4 games to 1
With 90+ win pythags in 86, 87, and 89 – and with a young core of position players that, to this date, make up our best cumulative group in SFG history – you can understand why I didn’t expect it would take over a decade to make another championship series appearance.

But we dropped to an 82-80 pythagorean record in ’90, were down to 76 pythag wins in ’91, and not only did we fall to 72 in ’92, but the club was essentially sold to that Tampa group with Mike Piazza’s father which was going to bring in Goddamn Tommy Lasorda in the front office. Goddamn Tommy Lasorda. That’s where we were at the end of ’92. The death of the San Francisco Giants. Worse than the death of the San Francisco Giants – like the San Francisco Giants dying and then having the corpse molested by Goddamn Tommy Lasorda.

And then we weren’t. The team was saved, and the greatest player of his generation: Barry Bonds, signed as a free agent.

In 1993 we had 98 pythagorean wins; our best team, by a significant margin, since the ’62 pennant winners – we had a double digit lead at the break and then watched Fred McGriff and the Braves lose as many games in the second half as Villanova missed shots in that title game win over Georgetown and we missed the playoffs on the last day of the season.

It was worse than Candy misplaying the fly ball and the earthquake series combined, and the hangover (and the lack of pitching) blew out our seasons in ’94 (58-57 pythag in the strike year), ’95 (61-83), ’96 (71-91).

We lost in the NLDS in ’97, hit 90 pythag wins for the first time since that ’93 season in 1998, dipped a bit to 85 wins in ’99 – then busted out with a 97 pythag win 2000, the 4th best year in SFG history, and we lost the NLDS to a clearly inferior Mets team. We were the best team in baseball in 2000 but lost consecutive extra inning NLDS games and wound up startlingly missing our best chance at a pennant since ’89. We dipped to 86 pythag wins in ’01 – but all was prelude to 2002, and a 98 pythagorean win season – tying ’93 for the second best season in SFG history.

I was 32 in October of 2002; 31 years after our first ever NLCS we had reached our 4th. I was again at my parents’ house for most of the games in the series – although now, we were all in Florida. They had moved about a decade prior, me, relatively recently – I won some money on a sports game show, in no small part because of my knowledge of the very first SFG ballclub and now was going back to grad school for a Masters in US History. Behind me in those thirteen intervening years since ’89 was my finishing college, law school – moving back to the Bay Area to practice law, and then giving up law to move to Florida to teach. But as I sat with my parents to watch the NLCS, I felt largely the way I always had, had in 1989, in 1987, all the way back to 1971 (although my memory is spotty). We were Giants fans, and we were in it together.

We beat the Braves in the NLDS, as happened again in 2010, getting us our ’87 rematch against the Cardinals. Once again – we opened on the road – but this time we took both Games 1 and 2 in fairly easy fashion. We had a pythag advantage over the Cards and showed it early – a run in the first and then 4 in the 2nd, all off future awful Giant Matt Morris. Benito Santiago singled home Kenny Lofton in the first inning – and in the second, six consecutive two out hits:

Lofton – single
Aurilia – single
Kent – single
Bonds – triple
Santiago – single
Snow – single

…gave us a 5-0 lead and it was done. Lofton homered in the third; David Bell in the fifth; Santiago in the 6th – and we won 9-6. The next night, we jumped on them again with Rich Aurilia homers in the first and fifth – Jason Schmidt cruised, 4 hits, 8 strikeouts, 1 walk, getting into the 8th and we won 4-1.

Things got tighter in San Francisco. 3 one run games – they got the first, but we took both games 4 and 5 to go to only the third WS in SFG history (again, not going to do any WS talk unless it’s a dozen days from now and we’re readying game one) Down 4-1 in the 5th after a crummy outing by Russ Ortiz – Bonds got us back with one swing, hitting a 3 run homer off Chuck Finley. Bonds is the very best player in SFG history – and for the value of his full career, the second best player in MLB history – this was his second best season as a Giant (second to ’01) making it the second best season any SFG ever had – and he showed up in October, much to the disappointment of media who enjoyed swinging the “can’t do it in the clutch so he really isn’t as good as you say he is” club since his Pirate days. Jay Witasick came on in the 6th – and gave up a tiebreaking homer to Eli Marrero. We loaded the bases with one out in the 7th – but Sanders/Snow couldn’t capitalize. In the 9th they intentionally walked Bonds with the bases empty, putting the tying run on – but didn’t pay for it as we lost our first/last game of the series.

Game 4 was a little scary – Livan Hernandez, on the short list for my least favorite Giant ever, gave up 2 in the first, a lead that held up until a two out, two run double by Snow in the 6th that scored Kent/Bonds. In the 8th it was Santiago – hitting a two run homer (after a two out intentional walk to Bonds) making the Cards pay and giving us the 4-2 lead that became a 4-3 win. Game 5 was scoreless until the Cards got one off Felix Rodriguez (in what should have been his last ever SFG appearance) in the 6th; Morris loaded the bases in the 8th – was left in to face Bonds – and limited the damage to a game tying sac fly. In the 9th it was a two out single by Bell, a single by Shawon Dunston – and a single by Lofton that ended the game and the NLCS.

2002 was a long time ago. My dad was still alive in 2002. I wish he could have seen what happened next.

2010 NLCS Giants d. Phillies 4 Games to 2

The fifth best regular season in SFG history (94 pythagorean wins) led to a NL West title, an NLDS win over the Braves and a matchup in the NLCS against the 2 time defending NL Champion Phillies. The Giants came into the postseason hot, riding one of the great September pitching staff performances in MLB history – but as hot as we were – the Phils had been baseball’s best team over the second half of the season, and at 95 pythag wins, the best team in the National League.

They were favored – and I picked them to beat us in 7.

I was wrong. Fabulously wrong.

We won Game 1 4-3, our 7th straight one run postseason game dating back to 2003 – I’m saying it’s a record, although, at the time of this writing, I haven’t seen that articulated anywhere else. Two-time defending Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum beating Roy Halladay, the prohibitive favorite to win the 2010 award (I voted for Adam Wainwright).

We swapped third inning homers to open the scoring. Cody Ross, a surprise starter when Jose Guillen was left off the postseason roster at my urging (I’m not saying it was in response to my urging – but believe me, I did some urging like a 16 year old in a church parking lot. I got the Hippy, Hippy Shake, baby) hit one in the top – Carlos Ruiz in the bottom – we escaped worse fate – they had two in scoring position when Lincecum struckout Ryan Howard to end the inning. We put two on ourselves in the 4th on singles by Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell – but a Juan Uribe groundout ended that threat.

We won the game in the fifth and sixth – Ross hit another homer in the 5th; and a Pat Burrell 6th inning double scored Buster Posey to put us up 3-1 – which became 4-1 when Uribe singled home the pinch running Nate Schierholtz.

It wouldn’t be 2010 Giants baseball without a little torture – Jayson Werth hit a two run homer in the bottom of the 6th to make it 4-3, but the Phils couldn’t get a tying runner in scoring position over the final 3 innings, Brian Wilson closing it out with a 4 out save.

Game 2 broke that streak of one run decisions; Jonathan Sanchez, prone to losing control of the strike zone, walked 3 in the first, add a Mike Fontenot error, and we were down 1-0. We tied it in the 5th – Cody Ross hit his third homer in two days, our first hit of the game off Roy Oswalt – but they took the lead for good in the bottom on a leadoff double by Shane Victorino followed by consecutive flyballs which moved him around.

The bullpen melted down in the 7th; the kill shot was a 3 run Jimmy Rollins double off Santiago Casilla that made it 6-1 and sent us home for the middle 3 games all even at 1.

We went home. Took both Games 3 and 4, and essentially ended the series.

Matt Cain shut the Phils down in Game 3. They got two on in the 3rd on a single and hit batsman; they got two on in the 4th on a single and a walk – but we scored first in the 4th; Edgar Renteria, moving into the starting postseason lineup after (correctly) being benched for most of 2010, led off with a single; following two outs and a Burrell walk, Ross and Aubrey Huff hit back to back singles to put us up 2-0; and that became 3-0 the following inning with an Aaron Rowand double/Freddy Sanchez single. Cain put two on in the 7th, but again got out of it – Javier Lopez/Brian Wilson had a harmless 8th/9th to finish the 3-0 shutout.

Game 4 was what we had come to expect – a nearly 4 hour long gutbucket of anxiety. 2 singles off of and 2 wild pitches by Joe Blanton got us a first inning run. Posey drove in his second of the game in the third, doubling home Huff to put us up 2-0. Madison Bumgarner, 21 years old got into trouble in the 4th, putting 2 on with 1 out – but got Werth and Rollins, the latter on a called 3rd strike, to maintain our lead.

But he didn’t survive another inning. Two consecutive singles started off their fifth – and after a successful Joe Blanton sacrifice, two consecutive singles cut the lead in half and chased Bumgarner. Casilla followed up his crummy Game 2 with a crummy Game 3, giving up a 2 run double to Placido Polanco.  Then a walk, hit batsman, and a wild pitch gave the Phils 4 in the inning and we were down 4-2.

We got one back in our half – Aubrey Huff (6 wins above replacement – our best first base season in two decades) singled home Andres Torres to get us into their bullpen – and that paid off an inning later when we scored two in the 6th to retake the lead 5-4 after a Burrell walk and back to back doubles by Ross and the then forgotten Pablo Sandoval.

Like most SFG fans, I have a strong affection for Sandoval, who had emerged in 2009 as our best position player since Bonds, but his bat dropped off badly in 2010 and he was an afterthought in the postseason – he had a chance here, after that two run double, to really re-assert himself – but with one out and the bases loaded in the 7th, he ground into a double play.

Our set up man during the season was Sergio Romo he and Casilla really a terrific late inning bridge to Wilson – but Romo was blistered by the Braves in the NLDS, so his coming on in the 8th to protect our 5-4 lead, after an inning opening Howard double, felt loaded with all sorts of peril.

It was a reasonable feeling. Werth doubled to tie it at 5, and the series was in the balance.

Nothing for us in the bottom of the 8th. Nothing for them (whew) in their 9th.

The 11th pitcher of the game was Oswalt, who had burned through us pretty easily in Game 2 – but after a Sanchez lineout opened the inning – we got him. Huff singled. Posey’s fourth hit of the game singled him to third – and Uribe’s fly ball to left scored the winning run.

And 3 games to 1 was a pretty big hammer to drop.

We couldn’t close them out at home, with Halladay beating Lincecum 4-2 in the rematch. Balls were struck, runs were scored, errors were made. But come on – we’re up 3-1, let’s get to the pennant!

Sanchez met Oswalt in Game 6 – and given Oswalt’s dominance in Game 2 and the series shifting to Philadelphia, you could forgive the nervousness. Or worse – the creeping panic after 3 hits and a wild pitch in the first inning gave them a two run lead just as we got off the plane.

We got two singles in the second – but didn’t score, and still down 2-0 the concern rose another notch.

Calm down, Jividen – we’re about to get them back in the third. Look!

Sanchez (the pitching version) and Torres led off the third with singles, were bunted over, then both scored on a single by Huff and a Polanco throwing error.

2-2! 2-2! Now let’s keep the goddamn Phillies off the bases.

Sanchez put the first two on in the third and that was the end of his night.

Then the bullpen won the pennant. Affledt threw two perfect innings; we went to the 5th still tied at 2.

Singles by Fontenot and Sanchez (the Freddy version) gave us 2 on with one out in the fifth – but we did not score.

Bumgarner came on for the bottom and loaded the bases. But he got Victorino to ground out to end the inning.

2-2. 2-2. 2-2.

We got two more on, again with one out in the 6th. A Renteria double play ended the inning.

They had a runner at 3rd with one out in the 6th. Bumgarner got Ben Francisco looking and then a Rollins fly ball to end the inning.

2-2. 2-2. 2-2.

Again – again 2 more on in our 7th. Again, nothing.

But in the 8th we got them. Juan Uribe homered off Ryan Madson – putting us up 3-2 – and setting the stage for a 5 out Wilson save; a Carlos Ruiz double play ended the 8th – and after we loaded the bases but did not score in the 9th, Wilson walked two – but got groundballs from Gload and Polanco – and then struck Ryan Howard out looking to end the game and win the pennant.

For the fourth time in SFG history – onto the WS we went.

2010 was a long time ago. In 2010 my dad died, my house, in which I sunk every dollar, got foreclosed, and I was stuck in a job in which I was miserable.

Today – I have a new job and I am married. It’s like going to see Cocktail every night.

Well, maybe not every night. I’m not 16 anymore after all.

Enjoy the NLCS. Here are this week’s picks:

I’m 45-48-1 on the season. College football is ripping my ass.

C Mich -1 Navy
Rutgers -7 Syr
Maryland +2 Virginia
MTenn -3 FIU
SCarol +2.5 LSU

Titans +6.5 Pittsburgh
Browns +1 Bengals
Denver +1.5 SD
Miami -3.5 StL
KC +5 TB


Like what you just read?  Read more from The Moustache Club of America!

More by Jim Jividen:

Why I Don’t Like Tim Tebow

The Catch

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Reasons I Have Rejected Guys Based on Their OKCupid Profiles 

The First Gay Divorce in Our State

Impossibly Awkward Conversation

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Disclaimer:  All views expressed on The Moustache Club of America blog are those of the writers themselves, and, in the absence of an explicit statement to the contrary, do not reflect the editorial position of either the Club or The Good Men Project. 

The Day I Was Mickey Mouse

Want to be Happy? Live Your Life Like a Sitcom


If you follow these simple rules for sitcom living, the chuckles will roll in like waves breaking along the seashore.


Do you know what’s funny? Sitcoms! Yep, few things can get a room of people going quite like the sound of subtle-as-a-shotgun witticisms punctuated by the roaring thunder of a well-mixed laugh track.


Do you know what’s not nearly as funny? You, most of the time. Chances are, if you step back and examine your life, you’ll discover that it’s not nearly as interesting or Charlie Sheen-filled as a sitcom. People don’t hoot and holler when you enter a room or flush the commode, none of your supporting characters are Emmy-worthy, and babies and dogs don’t mug for the camera while expressing their disapproval via voiceovers done by the likes of Pauly Shore and last season’s Bachelorette.


That needs to change. You’ve spent way too many years hunched over an Xbox controller in your rathole of an apartment, so it’s high time you put yourself out there. If you follow these simple rules for sitcom living, the chuckles will roll in like waves breaking along the seashore.


First, you’ll need a catchphrase. “Hey daddy!” is still available, so why don’t you start with that one? It’s easy to use, it has broad applicability, and teenagers will love repeating it to one another. Here’s a situation where it could really come in handy:


Your friend: Dude, what’s the score of the Timberwolves-Raptors game?

You: Hey daddy!

[Cue laugh track. The sides of various people in the background of this scene begin to split.]

Your friend: What? What the hell does that mean? I want to know the score of this very important game between two of the NBA’s most beloved teams!

You (perhaps popping a cold brew or lighting a spliff/blunt/etc. (note to kids: don’t do drugs!)): Hey daddy!

[The laugh track continues to build in intensity. Several windows in the dorm room explode.]

Your friend: Man, whatever. Kevin Love could be going for his 59th consecutive and completely meaningless double-double and…

You (triumphantly): HEY DADDY!

[The laugh track, now as loud as a herd of jet engines, brings down the entire building.]


Wow. With a catchphrase like that, you’re sure to take the world by perfect storm, much like George Clooney in that movie “The Perfect Storm.” However, as the Olsen Twins learned to their chagrin, you can’t spend the rest of your life coasting on one sweet line. You’ll need an exciting, ever-changing series of love interests, too. I’ve written a number of past columns about the intricacies of tracking such people down, so if you require more detailed instructions, you can start by looking there. If you’re in a hurry, though, just cruise on over to Craigslist’s “Casual Encounters” section and post a “Looking for sitcom-style love interest; must be relatable and guy-or-girl next door-ish” advertisement in the appropriate section.


Once your love interest is in place, you can begin focusing on witty banter and good storylines. These two aspects of the sitcom go together like the horse and carriage, and if you handle them correctly, you’ll have hundreds of fresh opportunities to shoehorn “Hey daddy!” into your scripts. Check out this fine example of how to develop a story through hilarious dialogue:


Your significant other: It’s been two weeks. When are you going to put a ring on it, buddy?

You: Heeeeeeeeeeeey daddy!

[The laugh track rips through the ceiling, crushing your mini-fridge.]

Your significant other: Can’t you be serious for even a minute? I’m trying to…

You: Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey…

Your significant other: No! Stop it! I can’t take this. All you do is play the Xbox and say “Hey daddy!” And where is that laughter coming from?

You: Hey daddy, hey daddy, hey daddy!

[At this point, although your significant other wants desperately to weep, the percussive force of the laugh track has driven his or her tears back into the ducts whence they came.]


Goodness, isn’t that relatable? Isn’t that something that’s been more or less ripped from the few headlines that haven’t been devoted to the fact that Shake Shack beat In-N-Out Burger in a nationwide taste test? No matter how you slice it, it’s certainly something that viewers will understand and connect with, much like when a grandfatherly old robot from three thousand years in the future takes a young boy under his wing and teaches him the Kenpō style of empty-handed striking.


As soon as you’ve internalized these simple rules for sitcom living, you’ll find yourself leading an existence that isn’t nearly as horrible as it once was. A steady diet of “Hey daddy!” will numb the pain that used to accompany caring about things, and the canned chuckles—sound engineer Charles “Charley” Douglass’ most lasting contribution to the well-being of man—will spread like a pall over the coffins where we’re going to put all of the people who drop dead from laughter.



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Five Things That Should Never Be Mentioned in a Political Campaign

Impossibly Awkward Conversation

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Reasons I Have Rejected Guys Based on Their OKCupid Profiles 

The First Gay Divorce in Our State

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Disclaimer:  All views expressed on The Moustache Club of America blog are those of the writers themselves, and, in the absence of an explicit statement to the contrary, do not reflect the editorial position of either the Club or The Good Men Project.  

What Your Sexy Animal Halloween Costume Says About You


Not sure what that girl in the sexy turtle costume is all about? Bitter know-it-all Bridget Callahan has the answers!


Sexy Raccoon: You are most likely to be killed in a hunting or traffic accident. You are not able to run or jump great distances because of your short legs. At a party, you can probably be found in the bathroom, washing saltines in the sink. Most likely, you have rabies, or at the very least, worms.


Sexy Skunk: Otherwise known as a “Polecat” (you have to get your communications degree somehow), you love to scavenge for garbage, or dig for fat juicy grubs. You are pretty much blind. There are two glands located by your anus which spray out a thick musk of sulphur to protect you from predators. Oftentimes, people smell you and assume there is weed nearby.


Sexy Red Fox: You love to use urine to mark your territory, which is everywhere since you are an invasive and unwelcome species. You are seemingly capable of complicated communication, but it is all barking. People are constantly trying to kill you and cut off your hair for souvenirs, or at least are thinking about it. Sometimes, even though you aren’t hungry, you kill as much prey as you can, just for fun. Other predators find you extremely annoying, especially in packs. You get mange, a lot. At the party, you will most likely be outside the bathroom, stopping other foxes from using it.


Sexy Bumblebee: Lots of people like to use you for cross pollination, and you are easily confused by radio and cell phone signals. You will most likely die from bacterial infection or ingestion of industrial grade pesticides. People use you as a sign of oncoming environmental apocalypse. When you finally die, the party’s over. You throw up in your mouth a lot.


Sexy Clownfish: You love to live in hostile environments, and are a hermaphrodite. At the party, you will most likely be found in the bedroom, trying to coat various surfaces with your sticky eggs. You are a very common pet, thanks to your very popular “children’s” movie, in which you are a cripple.


Sexy Turtle: You are an ancient reptile, descended from the Late Triassic period. You were most likely sold off at a young age to an aging raver kid, and are capable of biting off a man’s entire thumb from the joint. Lots of people think you would make a very good soup. You are able to retract your head entirely into your bone-like shell. At the party, you will be crawling around on the floor, searching for warmth and trying not to get stepped on.



Like what you just read?  Read more from The Moustache Club of America!

More by Bridget Callahan:

Reasons I Have Rejected Guys Based on Their OKCupid Profiles 

Astrology for Bitter Single People Who Don’t Believe in Astrology

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Impossibly Awkward Conversation

10 Movies That Will Absolutely, Positively Make a Man Cry

How to Write a Short Story So Gr8 It’s Gr9!

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Editor’s note: The content previously at this URL was grossly offensive and absolutely not representative of the Good Men Project’s values. It was published without the supervision of myself or any other member of the Good Men Project editorial team, and taken down within two hours (from 11:47 PM to 1:38 AM) of being published. We initially took it down completely in the hope that this ugly aberration might simply be erased, but in case anyone received the link via an RSS feed or similar source, we are adding this apology to clarify matters. We sincerely regret the oversight that allowed such a profoundly offensive and tasteless piece to appear, even briefly, under the Good Men Project banner, and offer our apologies.

—Noah Brand, Editor-in-Chief

The 50 Best Matches in WWF/WWE History, Part I (Plus Football Picks, Week 6!)

Pro wrestling expert Jim Jividen breaks down 25 of the top 50 matches in WWF history, and gives his picks for this week’s football games.


I’ve been watching WWF/E since Snuka came off the top of the cage; I’ve been watching since before I understood better wrestling existed, sort of like eating at McDonalds before you knew there better burgers.

I still eat the occasional quarter pounder and I’ve never stopped watching (and complaining) about WWF. But occasionally, occasionally, an exceptional match makes it past quality control and I gobble it up.

These aren’t necessary the most important matches, the most famous matches, or the matches the featured the biggest stars (although some are). This is strictly a qualitative assessment from someone who has seen every significant WWF/E match of the PPV era.

Here are the 50 best matches in WWF/E history, #50-26.

50. 7/92 Bret Hart d. Shawn Michaels: Ladder Match (13 min) 4 ¼ stars
Before there were torrents and all of wrestling history could be stored on an external hard drive there was tape trading. In the mid 90s I bought a second VCR to create my own compilations; on one 8 hour VHS tape was nothing but puroresu; it’s where I stored all those big Triple Crown matches and the ’94 JCup. On another was a lot of early ECW and the first time the ladder match gimmick was used in the WWF. It was here, from July of ’92. You may be seeing these two names a few more times as the list proceeds.

49. In Your House 5:Seasons Beatings (12/’95) Bret Hart d. Davey Boy Smith (21 min) 4 ¼
Really smartly plays off their more famous Wembley match from ’92; Bret bleeds all over the place and cradles the Bulldog for the win. I won’t keep a running tally of the bodies, but the Bulldog’s no longer with us.

48. RAW (5/’01) Chris Benoit/Chris Jericho d. Steve Austin/HHH (14 min) 4 ¼
The first title switch on the list; Austin and Hunter were the “Two Man Power Trip”, top card heels carrying a bunch of belts; Benoit and Jericho had just finished a long feud; Jericho beat Benoit at the Rumble in a match that will appear a little later on this list. With Paul Heyman joining the booking committee WWF was able to tap into the desire of the more wrestling inclined portion of the fanbase (sort of akin to what Paul Wellstone used to call the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party”) to see the better workers in the company move up the card. This is a match historically remembered for Hunter’s tearing his quad, but for me it was about Jericho pinning Austin to win the tag belts for my preferred side.

47. Elimination Chamber (2/’11) Edge d. Rey Mysterio d. Kane d. Big Show d. Wade Barrett d. Drew McIntyre (Elimination Chamber) (31:30) 4 ¼
I’m not inherently a cage match fan, when WWF increased their use of violence in the late 90s the lack of movement available in a cage made other gimmick matches significantly more appealing. This is the best of the Elimination Chamber Matches, a fast paced 20 minutes followed by a terrific ten minute one on one showdown between Edge and Rey, with Edge spearing Mysterio for the fall. There aren’t any battle royals on the list, but my third favorite in WWF history was a Smackdown battle royal that ended with a long wrestling sequence between Eddy and Angle; as a booking matter, I think that’s an underutilized finish.

46. Summer Slam (8/’11) Randy Orton d. Christian (No Holds Barred) (23:30)4 ¼
Randy Orton is sometimes a good worker and sometimes enjoys siesta long headlocks; he’s had two dozen higher profile matches, but this is his best and his only match on the list. They do multiple table spots and the match ends with an RKO onto the steps. My hope, as a Christian fan, is for a late career renaissance that will see him get a good veteran run with the title belt, but if it doesn’t come, his losing the World Title here (not the WWF Title, the World Title, which is essentially their secondary belt) to Orton ends his best ever singles stretch.

45. IYH2: The Lumberjacks (7/’95) Shawn Michaels d. Jeff Jarrett (20 min) 4 ¼
This was in Nashville; the showlong storyline being that Jarrett (billed as a country singer) was finally going to sing live. He did; until we found out that he didn’t. This was early in Shawn’s first singles babyface run; he took the IC with the superkick. Jarrett’s best ever match until his 2011 TNA program with Angle. I don’t want to rule out eventually doing a top 50 TNA matches of all time, although I don’t currently have plans.

44. Summer Slam (8/’09) CM Punk d. Jeff Hardy (TLC) (21:30)4 ¼
-n the Summer of 2011, CM Punk cut a promo on RAW that got discussed as possibly being a shoot on Jim Rome’s radio show and earned him an hour long guest shot on Bill Simmons’s ESPN podcast. But when WWF couldn’t capitalize there were some old school wrestling analysts who said it was evidence that his appeal was limited to guys like me. Two years previous, Punk was doing his straight edge heel gimmick against open and notorious drug user Jeff in a terrific program. This was Jeff Hardy’s best ever singles match.

43. IYH 22: Over the Edge (5/’98) Steve Austin d. Dude Love (Falls Count Anywhere)(22:30) 4 ¼
You’re going to see all 3 of Mick Foley’s gimmicks on this list; this was the heel version, working with Vince (and the Stooges) to try to stop monster, monster babyface Austin. It was crazy overbooked in that signature Russo way, that not much more than a year after this match would feel interminable, but the guts were the type of wild brawl that WWF really did well in the era.

42.Smackdown (9/’03) Brock Lesnar d. Kurt Angle (Iron Man)(60 min) 4 ¼
Brock’s best ever wrestling match; he took a 5-2 lead in falls at about the 40 minute mark, gave up the next two but held on 5-4. I don’t ever need to see another hour long match; my appreciation for anything over half an hour really starts to diminish these days. But the feat is significant: an hour long match that is mostly movement gets cardiovascular snowflakes.

41.KOTR (6/’98): Undertaker d. Mankind (Hell in the Cell) (17 min )4 ¼
My brothers and I started watching wrestling together in 1983; I was 13, they were 5 and 6 – my dad was opposed, so we’d huddle in my room and watch with the sound as low as possible. Dad was opposed to wrestling and hockey; I was only able to give up the latter. As of this date, KOTR ’98 was the last event we all watched together (I think…we went to several ECW shows in an around that time, but I’m going to say the last show all three of us watched was this one) I’m super analytic as I watch graps (as I do everything, really) but each of us came out of our chairs when Foley took those bumps from the top of the cage. I had seen all the Japanese death matches; I knew what Cactus Jack had done to his body, but to see him take that second back bump through the cage was jawdropping at the time.

40.KOTR (6/’01) Kurt Angle d. Shane McMahon (Street Fight)(26 min)4 ¼
Eddy Guerrero was one of the greatest wrestlers ever (his ECW series with Malenko one of the most influential in modern wrestling, and probably did more than any other to teach me what was possible from US indies) worked for years in the WWF, and he does not have a single match on this list. My apologies. But Shane McMahon is here. Go figure. This was the match where Angle threw Shane into the Plexiglas, the best match in King of the Ring history.

39. RAW (6/’01) Kurt Angle d. Chris Benoit (Cage) (14:30)4 ¼
The very best match in the thousand+ episode history of RAW; they did the german suplex sequence, Angle missed the top of the cage moonsault, Benoit hit the top cage headbutt. Angle went over after Austin interference. This stretch in May/June of 2001 was the best free television period for wrestling in WWF history.

38. SSeries: (11/’92) Bret Hart d. Shawn Michaels (26 min) 4 ¼
5 years later they had one of the most infamous matches in wrestling history, but Bret and Shawn had a better Survivor Series match in 1992, Bret submitting Shawn with the sharpshooter. No one (one assumes) punched Vince after the match. Wrestling With Shadows, incidentally, is on the short list for best sports movie ever made; and maybe even better than Hoop Dreams for best ever sports documentary.

37. Smackdown (5/’01)Steve Austin d. Chris Benoit (19:30)4 ¼
A week and a half after the tag match that checked in at #48 came this; I’d make the joke that Benoit was probably still German suplexing Austin someplace, but you know…

36. In Your House 13: Final Four (2/’97) Bret Hart d. Steve Austin/Undertaker/Vader (24 min)4 ¼
Bleeding from the eye turned out to be the high water mark in Vader’s WWF run; this was a high octane elimination brawl; Bret took out Austin to move them closer to the Mania double turn match; had they put Vader over the Undertaker they could have moved him into Sid’s spot and made for a much better Mania matchup. Vader, considering his workrate and success in Japan is one of the fifty greatest wrestlers who ever lived. Sid is not, but I rooted for his kid on Big Brother 14.

35. No Mercy (10/’08)Chris Jericho d. Shawn Michaels (22 min) (Ladder)4 ¼
If you’re scoring at home, that’s four matches on the list for Shawn, tying Bret and Austin. This was the superhot program where Jericho legit punched Shawn’s wife in the face. Fun finish (except for the Cade run in) with Jericho headbutting Michaels out of a tug of war over the belt.

34. WM VIII. (4/’92) Randy Savage d. Ric Flair (18min)4 ¼
Flair’s best ever WWF match is his only appearance on this list; I’ve never been to a Wrestlemania and it’s now super unlikely I ever go, but when I was a senior in college I had tickets to this one. I didn’t make it. I had a good reason, there was a girl who was willing to sleep with me on a regular basis, which was not something that occurred all that often. I gave up graps for sex, yes. Yes I did. You know Flair would approve. Oldest ride. Longest line. Wooooo.

33. Summer Slam (8/’91): Bret Hart d. Mr. Perfect (18 min)4 ¼
This was the first WWF match I can recall that was specifically sold on the basis of workrate; there has been good WWF matches previously, but the build for this match was first and foremost about wrestling – I recall having discussions about Star Trek when I was like 9-10 years old that centered on Nimoy being a better actor than Shatner; for whatever reason the idea that you could dig a little bit beyond the marquee to find quality penetrated by brain early. I was 20 here and no longer interested in a lot of the WWF product – but I watched this show at a friend’s apartment, copied down the Frost poem “A Line Storm Song” on a piece of loose leaf paper, and decided that if WWF was going to give me the occasional match like this I could stick it out.

32. Canadian Stampede: (7/’97) Owen Hart/Bret Hart/Brian Pillman/Davey Boy Smith/Jim Neidhart d.Steve Austin/Goldust/LOD/Ken Shamrock (24:30) 4 ¼
6 matches for Bret, 5 for Austin. This was my favorite ever atmosphere for a WWF match; I loved the “Bret’s a babyface in Canada and a heel in the US” angle; it seemed smart to me. “In Canada we take care of the sick” was a babyface pop for Bret in 1997 in the same way that “let him die” got cheers at a GOP debate in 2012; I hate to stand shoulder to shoulder with Vince Russo – whose view that match quality doesn’t matter is everything that’s wrong with everything – but I don’t love a strict face/heel structure; I much prefer wrestling characters to be vivid and let the fans react how they react.

31. Smackdown (5/’01) Chris Benoit/ Chris Jericho d. Edge/Christian/Dudleys/Hardys (TLC)(21 min)4 ¼
This is 4 matches so far for Benoit; and 3 of them occurred within the same week and a half. He was the focal point of this one; Benoit got taken to the back but did the superhero return to win the match. If I’m in the WWE writing room when they decide to push Danielson as a legit serious babyface, that’s how I pitch they do it. This is the best free TV match in WWF history.

30. WM XXV (4/’09) Undertaker d. Shawn Michaels (30:30)4 ¼
This is the best version of what has become the template big Wrestlemania type match; standing around punctuated by big moves and nearfalls. I like the big moves and nearfalls part; the standing around is less compelling. I hate to be overly critical of a match I’m saying is one of the 30 best in WWF history, but as a formula, replacing athleticism with facial expressions doesn’t move me. There was plenty of what was good in this particular match to warrant this spot.

29. WM 16(4/’00) Edge/Christian d. Hardy Boys d. Dudley Boys (Ladder) (22:30)4 ¼
They didn’t call this a TLC match, but that’s what it was – WWF went headfirst into an era of high octane collision matches at WM16. I tend to cut the Hardys a ton more slack than do workrate minded wrestling fans, feeling as if they gave their bodies for a handful of all time classic matches. If Matt’s hooked on painkillers and Jeff’s got an intent to distribute charge lingering, they should be able to play the tapes of a half dozen collision matches and skate at least for another decade or so.

28. Royal Rumble (1/’01): Chris Jericho d. Chris Benoit (Ladder (18:30)4 ¼
5 matches for Benoit ties him with Austin for second place thusfar on the list; I can still picture Benoit suplexing Jericho out of the ring. I’m not any more amenable to the notion that one can’t appreciate Benoit’s work because of what he did outside the ring than I would be that Ty Cobb shouldn’t be considered when talking about the greatest baseball players ever. But – if say, you can’t think about Junior Seau today without the degree to which concussions impacted his decision to kill himself, I’d understand seeing Jericho nail Benoit with the midair chairshot during his tope suicida and not being able to get past how much brain atrophy was revealed in the autopsy.

27. No Way Out (2/’00) HHH d. Cactus Jack (Hell in the Cell)(24 min) 4 ¼
You’d think Hunter would be a little more grateful to Foley as Mick gave the end of his full time career in order to give Triple H some credibility. In a terrific angle, Foley was able to get you to believe that Cactus Jack was really a different guy than his other two gimmicks, and bringing him out of mothballs would mean a higher level of match. And he was right. This was the rematch, what was sold as Foley’s retirement match, and the second best Cell match ever.

26. Royal Rumble: (1/’00) HHH d. Cactus Jack (Street Fight) (27 min)4 ¼
And this was the first match; we hit the halfway point of the countdown of the greatest WWF matches of all time – two pedigrees finished off Cactus in front of a superhot MSG crowd. Foley made Hunter in this program the same way he’d make Orton four years later.

That’s the second half of the best matches in WWF history.

None of those 25 matches are as good as any of the 80 best matches in Ring of Honor history. Here, without the commentary, because I’m just the one dude and I have football games to incorrectly pick, is the second half of that list:

41. Bryan Danielson v. AJ Styles 4 ½ (24 min)11/03
42. Bryan Danielson v. AJ Styles 4 ½ (31:30) 1/06
43. Austin Aries v. Davey Richards 4 1/2 (45:00) 11/09
44. Briscoes v. Doi/Shingo 4 ½ (22:30) 3/07
45. Yoshino/Doi/CIMA v. Evans/Strong/Aries 4 1/2 stars (16min) 3/06
46. Bryan Danielson v. Jamie Noble 4 ½ (32:30) 9/05
47. Davey Richards v. Roderick Strong 4 ½ (30:30)12/10
48. Low Ki v. Joe v. Danielson v. Corino 4 ½ (45 min) 12/02
49. Paul London v. AJ Styles 4 ½ (24:30) 5/03
50. Low Ki v. Styles 4 ½ (20 min) 8/02
51. Nigel McGuinness v. Austin Aries 4 ½ (22min)12/07
52. Austin Aries v. Tyler Black 4 ½ (22 min) 2/10
53. Kings of Wrestling v. Briscoes 4 ½ (18min) 6/10
54. Eddie Edwards v. Roderick Strong 4 ½ (44min) 9/11
55. Kevin Steen v. El Generico 4 ½ (23min) 3/12
56. Naomichi Marufuji v Nigel McGuinness4 ½stars (18min)12/08
57. Bryan Danielson v. Austin Aries 4 ½stars (17:30) 11/07
58. Jimmy Jacobs v. BJ Whitmer 4 1/2 (24:30) 3/07
59. Briscoes v. American Wolves 4 1/2 stars (23min) 12/09
60. Marufuji/Briscoes v. Marvin/Sydal/Aoki 4 1/2 stars (22:30)7/07
61. Generico/Shingo/DKid v. Yoshino/Doi/Hulk 4 ½stars (22:30) 8/08
62. Bryan Danielson v. Roderick Strong 4 1/2 (56 min) 3/06
63. Eddie Edwards v. Chris Daniels 4 ½ 2/11
64. Kenta/Marufuji v. Bryan Danielson/Samoa Joe 4 1/2 (33:30) 3/06
65. Bryan Danielson v. Austin Aries 4 ½ (30:30) 5/05
66. Takeshi Morishima v Nigel McGuinness 4 ½ (20min)7/07
67. Samoa Joe v. Takeshi Morishima 4 ½ (18 min) 2/07
68. Naomichi Marufuji v. Nigel McGuinness 4 ½stars (22:30) 9/06
69. Nigel McGuinness v. Tyler Black 4 1/2 stars (22min) 5/08
70. Nigel v. Black v. Danielson v. Claudio 4 ½ (30:30) 8/08
71. Samoa Joe v. CM Punk 4 ½stars (31:30) 12/04
72. Bryan Danielson v. Austin Aries (73 min) 4 1/2 8/04
73. Eddie Edwards v. Chris Daniels 4 ½ (30 min) 4/11
74. Samoa Joe v. CM Punk 4 ½ (60 min) 6/04
75. El Generico v. Kota Ibushi 4 ½ (16 min) 4/08
76. Eddie Edwards v. Roderick Strong 4 ½ (25:30) 3/11
77. Samoa Joe/Adam Pearce/BJ Whitmer v. Super Dragon/ Chris Hero/Necro Butcher 4 ½ (25:30) 4/06
78. Go v. Marufuji 4 1/2 (23 min) 8/08
79. Kenta v. Nigel McGuinness 4 ½stars (25:30) 3/09
80. Tyler Black/Kenta v. Austin Aries/Katsuhiko Nakajima (22min) 4 1/2 4/09

I’m back below .500, 38-39-1 for the year. Boo. Booooooo.

Air Force -10 Navy
Temple +5 SFla
Boise St -11 SMiss
Ball St +2.5 NIll
Duke -2 UVA
TTech +4.5
Mary -5.5 Wake
UF +2.5 LSU
Purdue +3 Mich
NTex +12 Hou

Eagles +3.5 Steelers
Colts +7 Packers
Dolphins +3 Bengals
Panthers -3 Seattle
Broncos +6.5 NE

Here’s my baseball postseason picks.
ALWC: Texas d. Baltimore
NLWC: Atlanta d. StL
AL: Texas d. NYY
Oakland d. Detroit
AL Champs: Oakland
NL: Nats d. Atlanta
Reds d. SFG
NL Champs: Nats
WS: Washington d. Oakland in 6.


Like what you just read?  Read more from The Moustache Club of America!

More by Jim Jividen:

Why I Don’t Like Tim Tebow

The Catch

More by our other authors:

Reasons I Have Rejected Guys Based on Their OKCupid Profiles 

The First Gay Divorce in Our State

Impossibly Awkward Conversation

 And keep the conversation going on Twitter:  @MoustacheClubUS


Why Mitt Romney Isn’t Wrong

You can’t argue with someone who assumes things that haven’t happened yet as necessary truths.


The highlight of the debate for me: “So there’s no economist that can say Mitt Romney’s tax plan adds $5 trillion if I say I will not add to the deficit with my tax plan.”

This is, at first, an absurd claim. “No expert can say I’m wrong because I’m making the rules.”

But it’s also correct. No one can say that there are any consequences to a plan that hasn’t been employed yet except those that are necessary consequences of law or logic. However, there’s no tight system over which to assert law or logic. Just a few bullet points. That’s why platforms are never very detailed. Too much detail and you admit the possibility of asserting something that violates a hard rule of logic or a natural/economic/human law.

So, really, no economist can say Mitt Romney’s tax plan adds $5 trillion to the deficit. There’s not enough resolution.

This isn’t a Romney criticism. He just let slip the big debate/campaign secret: you can’t win or lose, much less be right or wrong. It’s nothing but a word game on top of a mess of details that will make all the seemingly impossible big points work out in the end.

Later, Romney emphasizes this point: “Now, you cite a study. There are six other studies that looked at the study you describe and say it’s completely wrong. I saw a study that came out today that said you’re going to raise taxes by $3,000 to $4,000 on middle-income families.”

What does he mean by this? All these studies say different things because they fix premises differently. They have to choose the details because the candidates don’t offer any: how many loopholes closed, how many extra Americans paying taxes, the cost of this vague promise, etc. tweeted, “Romney says he will pay for $5 trillion tax cut without raising deficit or raising taxes on middle class. Experts say that’s not possible.” But Romney could just respond, “My experts say that it is possible, but they are taking X,Y, and Z into account. They are using a different model.” Would he be wrong? How can we assess the fit of a model that isn’t fully detailed? To what laws/logic can we appeal in a world of hand-waving?

So what’s the lesson? Facts depend on an entire system–let’s call it the world–over which they can be said to have logical consistency. A fact by itself is just a number. And Romney made great arguments against the isolated facts, these debate numbers, these canards. This didn’t stop the candidates from throwing out numbers like they were looking for new primes. This didn’t stop the candidates from debating. But what’s the point? Big bird.

My friend Nathan adds, “Romney’s predicating this whole argument on something he can’t know … that ‘the pie’ will be bigger.” This is a particularly difficult argument for fact-checkers to attack, in part because he can’t be wrong. The only attack has to prove why the opposite can be known. You can use projections and more models to argue why that isn’t likely, but there’s always the chance that America invents a fusion power plant and finds an oil ocean under one of the states we don’t care about.



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