Tag Archives: sports

Yoshi

Yoshi

As the Year of Luigi draws to a close in just twenty days, I’m sure we all find ourselves reflecting. Reflecting on what we accomplished with the time of Luigi we’ve been given, how our circumstances of Luigi have changed, and where in Luigi we hope to be in the future. This seems the perfect time to rate Luigi’s most faithful steed, the Yoshi.

this wild Yoshi you cannot tame

It’s not an exclusive relationship.

Special powers

The Yoshi has a great tongue. It’s a better tongue than you’ll ever have. It’s long and sticky and can grab stuff at a distance, even big living stuff. Koopa Troopa steal your parking spot? If you’re the Yoshi, you can just straight up eat him. No jury in the land would convict you.

Once the Yoshi has swallowed something like a Koopa Troopa, it lays an egg, which it throws around as weapons. It is seriously, seriously messed up.

Weaknesses

In all the animal kingdom, only the Yoshi is known to be born with its own natural saddle, which encourages all manner of people to ride it. It normally doesn’t mind this, but would like to be consulted first.

Number of legs

Two, shod.

Sports proficiencies

The Yoshi is proficient at even more sports than the dog (normally the golden standard for animal diversity in sports performance). There is little overlap, however – primarily because the Yoshi swallows any frisbee it catches. It is a capable athlete in each of the following sports:

  • Tennis
  • Kart racing
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Soccer (or as the Yoshi calls it, “football”)
  • Golf
  • Party

Mario Wiki Talk Page Theater

“Tell me no or yes. It’s facts! I mean, does Yoshi have cancer all the time? No! New article, or new section?”

What if it fought a bear?

Use the floating platforms on either side of the room to get above the bear when it stomps. From there you can jump on its head. Repeat twice, and beware of when the bear puts on its spike hat.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The Yoshi is already a terrific animal, and then you add that it comes in whatever color you want, like a dang car?

amazing technicolor yoshi

Artist’s interpretation.

That’s the icing on the cake. Except actual cakes know how eggs work.

 

 

 

9.5/10

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Pen-tailed tree shrew

Pen-tailed tree shrew

We pretty much all eat some fermented nectar of bertam palm flower buds. Most of us do so in moderation, however, given the nectar’s 3.8% alcohol content. Not so the pen-tailed tree shrew. This tiny Malaysian critter is guzzling alcoholic goodies on the reg. Just pounding them in massive quantities like it’s pledging a frat whose Greek letters spell SPRING BREAK.

Special powers

Despite this heavy imbibing, the pen-tailed tree shrew doesn’t get drunk. It mostly uses this ability to hustle other animals in drinking games.

There’s also the matter of its tail, which doubles as a writing utensil. Just when you think your confiscation of its marker has stopped it from scrawling “PEN-TAILED TREE SHREW WAS HERE” on every available surface, out comes that tail to finish the job – and that’s a wordy message to have to scrub off later.[1]

Weaknesses

Some would argue not being able to get drunk is a weakness. It certainly takes away one excuse for the pen-tailed tree shrew’s graffiti tendencies.

So sober right now

In full control of its faculties.

All would agree its miniature size is frequently a disadvantage. Its stature renders it ineffective at tennis, basketball, baseball, American football, Canadian football, Australian rules football, Venusian gravity football, rowing, snooker, and other sports. Shelves without obvious climbing paths are challenges for the pen-tailed tree shrew. It struggles to see at concerts. It hates taking pictures with its girlfriend when she wears heels.

Number of legs

Four.

Drink of choice

Bertam nectar. Haven’t you been listening? Oh, you’ve been reading? Well, still.

What if it fought a bear?

Unless it’s a Marion Ravenwood style drink-off, the bear would be victorious. If it is a Marion Ravenwood style drink-off, the bear might still win if it collapses on top of the pen-tailed tree shrew.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

A wily, ever-binge-drinking, ever-sober graffito, the pen-tailed tree shrew is a good acquaintance to have. But it’s not the kind of friend you want to see every week, nor invite over to your place.

 

 

7.5/10

 

 

 

[1]It isn’t the only message the pen-tailed tree shrew broadcasts via its vandalism, however. Other briefer missives have included “GO MALAYSIA,” “ABBA RULES” with the As replaced with anarchy symbols, and “BONERZ.”

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Raven

Raven

It’s really true what they say: “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!” Mere days separate us from Super Bowl Sunday, which finds the San Franciscan Forty-and-Niners engaged in a contest of our American football against the Ravens of Baltimore.

It’s going to be a very interesting matchup, what with Sweet Jordie Gloomswell on the inactive list with a gluten allergy, Hellvaliant Hopkins coming back strong for the playoffs with his new cybernetic torso, and Lightning DeJosephh struggling to contain his powerful berserker rage. And of course all of that fails to mention the Harbaugh-on-Harbaugh violence. These brother-coaches, because of their close relation, are unable to detect the smell of each other’s blood, but each has unprecedented psychological insight into the other.[1]

I wanted to cover the mascot of one of these fine teams in this week’s rating. I lucked out because only one of them is an animal; the other refers to middle-aged people. So, choice made. Let’s talk raven.

raven

The only Cosby family member who can fly.

First things first, the raven is not the crow. It can’t be, because the crow is not an animal. It is a Brandon Lee movie.

Special powers

The raven is very smart and paranoid. It has been known to form false food caches purely to fool any observing spies. The raven is one of the corvids, those most intelligent and devious of birds – not that it’s a high bar to clear, but for real, corvids are creepy. A cloud of corvids descended upon the set of Hitchcock’s The Birds and shot nearly all the B-unit footage. It is believed, but unconfirmed that Daphne du Maurier, author of the short story on which the film was based, was herself a magpie.

Weaknesses

Despite having the power of speech, the raven is only able to say one word: “Paramore.”

Paramore by darkredbbb

They’re flattered but confused.

Nobody’s quite sure why this is so. Does the raven have an impediment? Or is it just a dick? THESE ARE THE GREAT MYSTERIES SCIENCE SEEKS TO SOLVE.

Number of legs

Two.

Professions

The raven pays the bills as an emissary of Odin the All-Father here in Midgard. Do you think Odin just really likes Hayley Williams? It makes as much sense as anything.

Odin of Asgard

“сαṉ ώε ρɾετεṉḋ τhατ αïɾρlαṉεṡ ïṉ τhε ṉïģhτ ṡќÿ αɾε ṡhøøτïṉģ ṡταɾṡ?”

The raven also dabbles in guarding the Tower of London. It’s said that if the raven ever dies, the crown will fall and England after it. However, this is just a silly superstition. Nothing matters less than the crown. If it did fall, literally nothing of importance would fall after. Except maybe the corgis. The corgis are important.

Diet

Primarily carrion and gorditas.

What if it fought a bear?

The raven represents the ruler of Asgard. The bear knows better than to screw with it.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

It’s really true what they say: “Hrafnar skulu þér á hám galga slíta sjónir ór.”[2]

Happy Super Bowl, everybody.

 

9/10

 

 

 

[1]Rex and Rob Ryan do not count because they are not two brothers, but in fact just one guy and one wig.

[2]“The ravens shall tear out your eyes in the high gallows.”

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Giraffe

Giraffe

This week I’d like to bring focus to a truly superlative animal: the giraffe. The giraffe is of course the happiest animal, but did you know it is also the tallest?

giraffe

It’s true!

“But wait!” you cry. “Does that mean it is better at basketball than the ostrich?”

First off, stop whining. Secondly, don’t be ridiculous. Just because an animal is taller doesn’t mean it’s automatically better at basketball. All you have to do is ask the great Air Bud, who was the second-shortest on his team after Nate Robinson. In fact, the giraffe’s poor coordination and depth perception doomed it to sit the bench all through high school.

“Riding the pine”[1] was not its biggest embarrassment in early years, however. In yet another example of the ancients being dumb as a box of rocks and the box is also made of rocks, humans once believed the giraffe to be a camel wearing a leopard-print turtleneck. The giraffe felt very self-conscious about this for a long time. I mean, imagine someone mistook you for this:

camel

You wouldn’t take it well, I bet.

Special powers

Obviously, the giraffe has a great height advantage. This aids it in various tasks, both cookie jar-related and otherwise. It has a long, prehensile blue tongue. This aids it in various tasks, both cookie jar-related and otherwise. It has stumpy little horns known as ossicones, which pick up the local FOX affiliate, MTV2, Cooking Channel, the CW, and, on good days if it bends its neck right, Starz Edge.

It should also be noted that the giraffe learns to walk in mere hours. That’s a jillion times quicker than Albert Einstein and Plato combined. So who’s smart now?

An almost preternatural ability to call shotgun. (see Weaknesses)

Weaknesses

The giraffe’s incredible height can also be an inconvenience. When the giraffe drops its keys, what follows is a day-long ordeal. Many basements, the subway system, and small cars are all struggles for the giraffe. One silver lining to all this is it has developed an almost preternatural ability to call shotgun.

When the giraffe gathers with its peers, there is a risk of their necks entangling into a knotted mess, creating a many-legged giraffe king.

It isn’t very good at basketball. (see Introduction)

Number of legs

Four.

Immortal population

Because of its susceptibility to decapitation, vampire and Highlander giraffes were never able to take hold and died out long ago.

San Diego Zoo, on giraffe sounds

“They just very rarely do so. One sound giraffes make when they’re alarmed is a snort. Threats such as lions nearby may warrant a snort.”

Hey giraffes

Why so stingy with the snorts? You can’t spare a snort for an old friend?

What if it fought a bear?

The bear rarely carries a sword, so decapitation isn’t as simple an option as one might think. The giraffe exploits its reach advantage and takes the win.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

This easy-going beast is an impressive sight and a good friend to others. It’s the kind of animal that will help you watch The Simpsons reruns until the cable guy comes to your new apartment – even if your apartment is on the second floor. Especially then, honestly.

 

9.5/10

 

 

 

[1]Gross.

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Goliath beetle

Goliath beetle

When people see the Goliath beetle and hear that it’s called the “Goliath beetle,” they usually assume it is named after famous Biblical figure Goliath Beetle, on account of both the beetle and the man having above-average size. They are partly right. The beetle is named after Goliath, but the size is coincidental. The connection is that both love(d) to fight.

Goliath

Goliath was one of the Bible’s most popular “heels,” after only Death, Satan, and Vince McMahon.

Special powers

In the violent, corrupt, convoluted world of insect fighting, the Goliath beetle has a few advantages. It of course uses its impressive size. It also has a two-pronged horn over its head which it can use as a crude weapon (or to open a bottle of its favorite drink, Orange Crush). And let’s not forget its signature finishing move, the Six-leg Slam-bang.

Weaknesses

Primarily slingshots and the hand of God.

It should also be noted that the Goliath beetle requires much more protein than other insects. If it doesn’t get its protein in the morning, don’t even try talking to it.

Number of legs

Six.

Professional relationships

The Goliath beetle has many rivals in the professional fighting world. It was great friends with Andre the Giant, for obvious reasons. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat was its ally at first, until they split over creative differences.[1]

goliath beetle

Hard to work with?

The rhinoceros beetle loathes the Goliath beetle more than it loves its own family. Every match the Goliath beetle has with Manny Pacquiao is highly hyped, although the most recent one ended in considerable controversy when it turned into a game of Chinese checkers midway through. And like many noble fighters, the Goliath beetle has butted heads with Coldstone Austin Steve, the nemesis doppelganger and ice cream magnate.

What if it fought a bear?

Now that would be a heck of a bout. Vegas oddsmakers place the Goliath beetle at -200. Not bad.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

I don’t really go for all that blood sport, but if you’re going to be into it, you can do worse for a favorite participant than the Goliath beetle. Up until he fights Dennis the Menace or something.

Dennis (the menace to be specific)

Don’t be a Dennis.

 

7.5/10

 

 

 

[1]Steamboat wanted to jump from the ropes a lot; the Goliath beetle wanted to jump from the ropes even more.

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Ostrich

Ostrich

Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ’cause I’ve got a highly contagious and possibly terminal case of basketball fever!

This is, after all, March, the time such cases are reported across the nation. Studies show that workplace productivity is greatly reduced during these thirty-one days as human resources personnel are forced to hire and train numerous replacements for the employees who die off in this annual culling of the basketball-weak.

Considering my current ill health, it only makes sense that I should discuss one of the greatest players to step onto the court: the ostrich.

Special powers

The ostrich has an incredible game in the low post on both sides of the ball.

It has a great jump shot. Given its lack of arms, jump shots are a large proportion of the shots it takes.

Weaknesses

Free throws. The ostrich still uses the “granny shot.” Weirdly, it bowls with perfect free throw mechanics.*

It also has a tendency to stick its head into the ground when it becomes overstressed. You don’t want to try that on the hardcourt; that’s for sure.

And, it’s bad at bowling.

Number of legs

Two.

Mr. Hoops Hoops Corner for Hoops Talk

One of the symptoms of basketball fever is an overwhelming desire to analyze that beautiful game. The ostrich has had a long and illustrious career so far, which has allowed him to play with many of the greats, including:

  • Michael Jordan, who would refuse to blink before the player defending him, leading to his nickname “Stare Jordan.”
  • Larry Bird, the ostrich’s cousin.
  • Shaqbeth, or “The Scottish Player,” as locker room superstition requires him to be called.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the actor.
  • Charles Barkley, who bullied the ostrich by placing donuts around its neck.
  • Julius Erving, the physician.
  • Carlos Boozer, who played with the ostrich only one season, but hated it so much he to this day punctuates every made shot with a proclamation of “Mors struthio camelus!” which is Latin for “Death to the ostrich!”
Carlos Boozer

The ostrich’s greatest enemy. Did you know he is a literal Howdy Doody style puppet?

Wikipedia Talk Page Asks

In this case, there actually is an answer to the question posed in this section, which will be found below.

“Is the trivia on a box of breakfast cereal [1] really considered to be a valid citation? -Dayv 15:25, 25 May 2007 (UTC)”

Wikipedia Talk Page Answers

“Yes.”

This revelation has a number of upsetting implications, especially for celebrity elves Snap and Pop – namely that they really are trapped in a labyrinth only Crackle can solve by spotting the differences between images.

What if it fought a bear?

Maybe the one animal able to take the ostrich down in one-on-one** is the bear. That’s why they call it Bear Jordan.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

How can I think of rating the ostrich at a time like this, when my days may be numbered thanks to the basketball fever raging through my body?

No. I must rate. I can not let the fever basketbeat me. If I do die, let it be said that I went out rating.

But hopefully I take some antibiotics and this clears right up. I think I’ll go do that now.

 

9.5/10

 

 

*And the bumpers up.

**Though because of the ostrich’s better assist numbers and generosity with the rock, team play is another matter.

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Blanket octopus

Blanket octopus

When you see the blanket octopus, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for some kind of seafaring sentient kite.

blanket octopus

Not a kite.

Benjamin Franklin did. When a bolt of lightning gave him the ability to communicate with water-dwellers, he first sought out the friendship of the blanket octopus, thinking it some kind of magical new kite.* It didn’t work out between them, in part because Franklin was still quite lightning-mad in the immediate aftermath of his accident.

Special powers

It is invulnerable to the poison of the jellyfish’s cousin the man o’ war. As a result, the notoriously catty jellyfish family despise the blanket octopus.

The blanket octopus is also a skilled ventriloquist (see Male/female relations).

Weaknesses

The blanket octopus is one of the sea creatures most susceptible to becoming threadbare.

Number of legs

Eight.

Male/female relations

In an incredible case of sexual dimorphism, the female blanket octopus is about six and a half feet long whereas the male blanket octopus is actually an inch-long bit of cloth that the female operates like a puppet.

Athletic achievements

Though one might think the blanket octopus would be good at ribbon dancing, it did not even medal in the event in the Games of the XXIV Olympiad in Seoul. It did however get a bronze on the uneven bars. Some blame rhythmic gymnastics’ harsh French judge, who was a jellyfish.

What if it fought a bear?

Bears can be made into rugs. Blanket is the level at which the blanket octopus begins. Rugs always beat blankets on the rare occasions they fight. Advantage bear.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The blanket octopus isn’t as comfy or airworthy as one might hope, but it’s really quite nice. Unlike the spiteful and ignorant denim jacket squid.

 

7.5/10

 

 

*Dude loved kites.

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Dodo

Dodo

One of the great mysteries of the animal kingdom is the dodo. It has been extinct for years, but we have learned about it through a number of clues left for future generations by the dodo before its death. Its legacy lives on in the elaborate coded prophecies and treasure locations it hid around the globe.

Dodo

“Hello! My wings are dumb and useless.”

In mid-2010, best-selling author Dan Brown and noted immortal Nicolas Cage teamed up to follow the trail of the dodo and uncover its secrets about 2012, the end-times, the location of the dodo’s gold bullion, the result of Super Bowl XVIII (less useful now that it would have been if Cage had started his search a few decades earlier), and an incredibly detailed description of Jonathan Lipnicki.*

Cage had to abandon the quest to begin principal photography on Season of the Witch. Brown continued to decode, until he finally came to a message that did not seem to lead to another clue. The final message? The number 58008. You’ll find it written all over the padded walls of Brown’s room if you visit him today. Careful, though; Danny bites.

Special powers

It would appear that the dodo had foreknowledge of its own demise, as well as a number of future events.

Weaknesses

Dead.

Number of legs

Two.

Wealth

The dodo came into a vast fortune of gold bullion after betraying its captain and its crew.

How was it remembered?

The dodo’s funeral was by the numbers smaller than Princess Diana’s or John F. Kennedy’s or Michael Jackson’s or the David Hasselhoff roast, but when you adjust for inflation, it becomes the most highly attended of them all.

What if it fought a bear?

It’s already dead, bear. Leave it alone.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The dodo was a devious backstabber, but it was also knowledgeable in many legitimate areas of expertise. Now it’s dead.

Hmm. This worries me. I see a bit of myself in the dodo. And I don’t like it.

If you’ll excuse me, I have some Krugerrands to move around.

 

5.5/10

 

 

*Or “He Who Will Come.” The dodo’s plot synopsis of The Little Vampire is spot-on, but its review is weirdly glowing.

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Lion

Lion

Here it is, the king of the jungle:

The Circle of Life

NAAAAAANTS EEVENTYAAA

The lion thinks it’s hot stuff. And it’s hard to blame it, what with all the smoke being blown up its mane about courage this and king that. What the lion tries hard to ignore is the fact that it doesn’t even live in the jungle. The jungle constitution clearly states that it’s improper for an outsider to be made king. Show us the birth certificate, lion!*

Special powers

Everyone knows about the lion’s powerful claws, sharp teeth, guitar-pick-storing mane, etcetera. What most people don’t know about is its ability to turn to stone.

lion statue

The lion in stone form.

The lion does not typically have need for this ability in its stronghold the Serengeti, but in less lion-friendly lands (usually among dense human populations), it can “hide in plain sight” by pretending to be a statue or fountain. The latter disguise requires an incredible amount of perseverance and spit.

Weaknesses

The lion has few weaknesses. The only animals in its traditional environment which can hope to challenge it are the crocodile, the stampeding wildebeest, and the hippopotamus. The lion lacks a protective shell; its mane can be grabbed without it counting as a personal foul; it is lazy.

We should be thankful for that last weakness. Were it not for the lion’s dearth of motivation, it would surely have expanded its kingdom beyond the jungle – perhaps into regions where it can actually be consistently found, such as college campuses and the steps in front of libraries.

Number of legs

Four.

Socialization

Unlike other big cats, the lion is a social creature. It organizes in groups called prides, because it is vain. Each pride consists of one or two male lions, several lionesses, a treasurer, the GM, and any cubs the lionesses may bear.

The lion organizes in a far grander capacity, however. I speak, of course, about the Lion’s Club. I speak of it in hushed tones, lest the rumors of a Lionist conspiracy prove true. The Lion’s Club is spread wide throughout these United States and even a few of the Asiatic nations. It does not have a direct presence in Europe, but it’s said that there are a number of orders and fraternities in the Old World who have allied themselves with the Club. I have no proof of this, but I also have never witnessed the inner workings of a Lion’s Club branch. What do they do in there? It can’t possibly just be bingo and gazelle murder. They’re hiding something – something big.

Other ratings of the lion

“The feel-good animal of the Serengeti!” – Peter Travers

“Everyone has completely missed the point yet again.” – Armond White

“The lion has owed a good deal to his mane and his noble and dignified aspect; but appearances are not always to be trusted.” – The English Cyclopaedia

“It placed its jaws around my mouth and nose until I died of asphyxiation. C-” – Antelope

Related sports teams

There are a number of sports teams named after the lion, but the greatest is undoubtedly the Samsung Lions of the Korean Baseball Organization.

The pride of Samsung!

The pride of Samsung!

What if it fought a bear?

Lions are fighters of bears, oh my!

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

When we discuss the lion, we’re talking top tier in the predator category. But it’s hard to argue with the English Cyclopaedia’s skepticism, especially when one witnesses how the male lion treats the female.

Lion & lioness

“One of these days, Alice… Bang! Zoom! Straight to the moon!”

The lion is no saint, but it is a darn impressive animal. And I feel confident saying that I’m not just another fool blinded by a big mane and a smile.

 

9.5/10

 
 
 

*“Signed, Rafiki, MD”

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