Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Cage, Volume II

I have a confession to make. I’d like to think that we have a relationship built on trust, which is why I can’t let this rest on my conscience anymore. As much as it pains me to say it, I was thisclose to putting the blog on a the shelf until the basketball season started up again. It took me realizing how close we have become in the past few months to realize that I just couldn’t do that to you. Betraying my fans felt like a bigger crime than leaving Eve 6’s “Here’s To The Night” off of a graduation open house playlist, which is more offensive to me than Michigan Football. I trust you’re starting to realize the magnitude of the internal conflict I was having.

Truth be told, I didn’t really know what direction to go with the summertime blog. So far, the most exciting thing to happen in my basketball life this summer is when I farted in the weight room and blamed it on Jon Diebler, forcing him to do what should have been my push-ups. The Villian has been in Serbia for the past not nearly long enough, meaning my life is peaceful albeit very boring (I dare you to try to naturally use “albeit” in a conversation). I would say I want him to come back so I can annoy someone again and not feel bad about it, but that’s like saying I want Saved by The Bell: The New Class to come back so I can at least have a slice of Bayside in my life. Ultimately, it’s not worth the trouble, considering the suffering vastly outweighs any potential reward. Evan, if you’re reading this (and we all know you are), take as long as you’d like to come back home. We’ll do our best to manage without you.

Outside of basketball, my summer has actually been pretty exciting. I spent my July 4th weekend whitewater rafting in Tennessee and set the record (at least that’s what I tell people) for the number of times falling out of the raft. After it was all said and done, my body was so badly bruised from hitting the various rocks along the way that it felt like I got body checked by Fulton Reed and Dean Portman. I was going to blog about the whitewater experience, but I really wanted to do another mailbag because my inbox is pretty backed up. Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t give AMPAP (as much props as possible, for all of you who can’t remember) to our river guide, Joe Cope. He put up with our tomfoolery for five hours and provided me with one of the more entertaining things I’ve ever done in my life. Look up Joe on Facebook, set up a day to go whitewater rafting, and tell him you want the Club Trillion experience (which consists of trying to flip the raft at every rapid). He won’t let you down.

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Pictured: The face of rafting excellence

Enough beating around the bush, it’s time to get down to brass tacks (new record of two idioms in one sentence!).

It’s no secret that I seem to have a way with the ladies. There must be something about the way I use coupons and/or gift cards on dates and don’t even pretend to be interested in what my date is saying that makes the females lose it. My guess is they swoon over the fact that I’m an amateur writer who has never taken a serious writing class, yet can still piece together breathtaking lines such as, “Sure you have a big nose, but just think that if the rest of your body grew and your nose didn’t, you’d look great.” It’s a gift, really.

Because of my impressive résumé with the co-eds, it came as no surprise to me that I got a handful of e-mails seeking advice on what exactly it takes to please the beautiful babies. These e-mails (which are all real, by the way) prompted me to institute the first ever themed mailbag, centered around the idea of pleasing the females. All of you out there that just can’t figure out where you’re going wrong, don’t worry. I’m here to set you on the right path. Step 1: Stop wearing Michael Jordan cologne. This isn’t fifth grade and even if it was, you still suck at four square. Now for the rest of the lesson, but not before I address the new name for the mailbag. ___________________________________________________

Why not call your mailbag “The Cage?” It allows to (semi) safely enter The Shark’s domain and to get a closer look at him – which pretty much sums up a mailbag. Plus, painstaking research into the matter revealed some Star Trek reference as the first thing in a Google search for “The Cage.” I’m pretty sure it was the old Star Trek, so no one would care.

-Tim R.

Despite the fact that most of you wanted the new mailbag name to be “The Chum Bucket”, I had to go a different direction for a few fairly obvious reasons. Nevermind the fact that “The Chum Bucket” is the name of Plankton’s restaurant from Spongebob Squarepants. The real reason I can’t use it is because the letters “UM” are in the name, which is a big no-no for anybody affiliated with Ohio State. This is the same reason I never use an umbrella when it rains, I don’t drink rum, and I never use “um” as a filler word when giving a speech. It’s also why I chose not to vote for Barack Obuma in this past election. It was simply a risk I wasn’t willing to take.

The reason I went with “The Cage” and not whatever awful idea you sent me (just kidding, your idea was great!) is partly because of Tim’s description of what The Cage can offer. Beyond that, after doing a little Wikisearch, it turns out that basketball players are sometimes referred to as “cagers” by the senior citizen population of the sportswriting world. New age basketball writers seem to have ditched the term, citing the fact that “it makes no freaking sense whatsoever” as their reason for doing so. Nonetheless, The Cage applies on a few different levels and is still pretty simplistic, which is why I’m giving it the nod.

Shark, I am trying to work on my pick-up lines with the ladies and you seem like the expert based on your success with Mrs. Andrews-Titus and Keller's sister. Would you advise against the use of "I want to put sex on your face" as a pick-up line? If so, should I tell them it is a paraphrase of a quote by the great Rudy Fernandez?

-Homer

If there’s one thing virtually every male in the Trillion Man March asks me about (and there’s not, but just go with this hypothetical), it’s advice on what pick-up lines they should use to maximize their success rate with the ladies. If there were a way to have everyone come to Columbus and get a live tutorial of how yours truly goes about macking the females, I would certainly make it happen. As it stands, I’m stuck with typing out some advice and hoping you can finish the alley-oop.

The thing about the pick-up line that most guys can’t seem to figure out is that it should never be the first thing said to the female. Something like “I want to put sex on your face” is not only a fantastic pick-up line, it’s really the only pick-up line any man should ever have to use again. Unfortunately, guys all over the country lead with this line and end up with a Long Island dumped on their head paired with a firm kick to the groin. If you drop this line after ten minutes of talking with the target, though, you can go ahead and call your roommate to tell him to find somewhere else to sleep that particular night. It’s all about timing.

What girls don’t want you to know is that they make up their mind about you within the first minute of the initial conversation. If the first thing out of your mouth is a pick-up line, you might as well explain why R2D2 is the most underrated character in cinematic history while you’re at it. You see, the pick-up line’s role in the conversation with the prospect is almost exactly like my role on the basketball team. Ohio State fans make up their mind as to whether or not they like how our team is playing well before halftime. My role is to be the icing on the cake. If we win by 15, the fans are going to go home satisfied with another Buckeye victory. When I get in the game, though, the fans go home completely sold on the performance of our team because we just won by 30. Either way, the fans are going to be pleased, but when they see that the walk-on with baggy shorts made it into the game, they know the Buckeyes dominated and because of that, they are much happier. In the same way, chicks have their mind made up that they like you, which is why they have been talking to you for the past ten minutes. But when you drop the successful line at the end of the conversation, it’s like Coach Matta giving me the signal to come in and make sure our team gets to 70 points (Big Ten basketball!) so the fans can go home with free tacos. The ladies were already thinking you were a catch, but when you drop a solid pick-up line, it solidifies their thought and makes them completely sure that you are worth the trouble.

I suggest starting off the conversation in George Strait fashion, by claiming that the target woman stole your seat. From there you say something like, “I won’t make you get up, so long as you continue to look as good as you do.” This will flatter her while making her feel like you are doing her a favor, when in reality you are a lying son of a gun with an ulterior motive (and aren’t we all?). After you strike up a conversation and make it completely obvious that you are the only viable option in the bar, drop the “I want to put sex on your face” line and watch her go bonkers. If that’s a little too risqué for you, I suggest quoting a lyric from Savage Garden’s “Truly, Madly, Deeply” and telling her you “want to bathe with you in the sea.” If that’s not something you see yourself saying, just be honest with her and tell her that “if they dim the lights a little bit more, you’d definitely be a ten.” Chicks eat that stuff up. As long as it’s not completely out of control and offensive like “What do you do for a living?”, the quality of the pick-up line doesn’t have to be dynamite. The timing of it does. So just remember to keep it in your back pocket as the closer instead of leading with it. All they care about is the fact that you took the time to think of something remotely clever to say.

To answer the original question, Kix may be kid tested, mother approved, but “I want to put sex on your face” is Club Trillion tested, smoking hot babe approved, which is just about as good as it gets. Use it, abuse it, but by God never lose it. If a chick can’t appreciate a line like that, she’s not worth your time anyway.

So when I try to pick up girls I usually say I'm an inventor, and my favorite invention is the bi-racial wedding cake topper. After that it's usually wind shields that are the prescription of your glasses, or even swabbers that banks use to swab their ATM card slots to keep them clean. The reason I'm telling you this is because I am starting to get bored with those. I was wondering if you had any ideas for some new inventions. I feel like mine are almost too believable so I'd like something that might challenge my selling-it skills a little more. Any you can think of would be nice. Thanks a lot!

-Matt H.

This is too easy. Tell them you invented the kaleidoscope, the digital thermometer, or the duct tape wallet. If those won’t work for you, try convincing them that you came up with the mac & cheese shade of Crayola orange, tracking numbers for UPS packages, or the motion offense. Personally, I’d tell them that I was the first person to think of the borrowing method of subtraction in math. If you still don’t like any of those, just say you came up with “The Blob” from Heavyweights, the concept of a combo meal from a fast food restaurant, or Gak.

Come to think of it, here’s what I want from you, Matt (the rest of the Trillion Man March should feel free to give this a try as well). The next time you are at a bar, I want you to try your damndest to convince a co-ed that it was you who first came up with the idea to draw a turkey by outlining your hand, like every elementary school kid does every Thanksgiving. Even when she calls your bluff, don’t fess up. Just keep digging yourself a bigger hole if that’s what it takes. I suggest saying something like, “Yeah, parents all over America hate me because I make them have to lie to their kids when they tell them their picture is ‘really cute.’ Whoops.” After you either seal the deal or crash and burn, write a follow up e-mail to me so I know how it went for you. Ready, go.

I recently turned 30 and am wondering how young a girl I can date without looking like the pervert that I am. To analogize it to sports, I don't want to be the broken-down, decrepit 2-guard who comes back just because he doesn't know what else to do - I want to go out of this thing with pride and at my peak. My preferred age range is anywhere from 23-26, but are those acceptable limits or am I playing past my prime with the younger women? My personal opinion is that if the girl is into you and can get into bars (ie, over 21), then it's all good, but I want someone who has loved and lost to provide me with proper perspective.

-Robert from Iowa

Pretty much every aspect of life is figuring out the appropriate time to “get out of the game.” Whether it be figuring out when to sell a stock, when to bail on a dinner with the in-laws, or when to pull your kid from organized sports cause all he does is chase butterflies or make mounds of sand right next to second base, life is full of complicated decisions. I’d like to think that there is never a fine line for any of these decisions. The way I see it, there is a grace period where the person making the decision gets a chance to analyze their situation and either give it a little bit longer or get out immediately. You have obviously now entered your grace period.

What’s interesting about the case of the broken down two-guard is that if he had any game whatsoever, the fans will let him stick around for two or three years longer than he ever should. In a similar manner, the young crop will ignore the fact that you might have changed their diapers, provided you can still bring a little something to the table. It’s a fine science that’s hard to master. Luckily for you, I once dated a 14-year-old girl so I kind of have perspective. Sure it was when I was in 8th grade, but let’s not get caught up in the details.

If I had to guess (and I do because I don’t know you), you probably wake up every morning and walk straight to the mirror, where you blankly stare at your reflection and ask yourself, “Am I a pedophile?” Don’t worry, Robert, you aren’t a pedophile. If anything, you are on your way to being what women like to call “that creepy guy” (by the way, “creepy” and “stalker” are quite possibly the two most overused words by college-aged females in the history of college-aged females). Thankfully you are still in your grace period so the judging will be kept to a minimum.

As it stands, you have no more than one year left of going to bars that usually attract the college crowd, so you have to go in each and every night with a game plan. The 21-year-olds do seem like an easy target, but you simply cannot date a girl this young. These girls are going to be impressed that your source of income isn’t stealing from your mom’s purse and are therefore likely to think you are made of money. However, these are the same girls who, after a month of dating, will expect you to go to their sorority formal and won’t understand why you can’t show up at work on a Tuesday morning hungover with depictions of male genitals drawn on your face with a Sharpie.

The 22-23 year old crowd is definitely a more mature type, but with this comes a higher probability that they will clearly be able to see that even though you say that you are the “Director of Financial Transfers for a Fortune 500 company” you’re really nothing more than a cashier at the Barnes & Noble down the street. These chicks are also probably still in college, which means that they still will look at you funny if you go to bed before 4 a.m. on a weekend. Still a little young for you.

By the time a girl turns 24, chances are she has a real job and is acclimated with the real world, which is to say she has been screwed out of a considerable amount of money in some way and says the phrase “this blows” at least once a day. This is a girl who knows what it means to have responsibilities and has lived long enough to realize that men burp, spit, and scratch themselves with no regard as to whether or not they are offending onlookers. That’s not to say she’s cool with it, but at least she understands enough to where it’s not going to start a petty fight. This is why a 24-year-old girl is the youngest you can possibly date without wanting to douse your face with gasoline and cannonball into a bonfire.

As far as the other end of the acceptable age range, I would advise against trying to date any female older than 27. Girls older than this could write a book about their dating horror stories, which is why they aren’t looking to date any guy they can’t see themselves marrying. Maybe you feel like settling down as well, but I have a hunch that you don’t, which is why I think you should know that the combination of “looking to settle down and start a family” and “just trying to find someone to have a good time with while I’m still relatively young” is lethal 100% of the time. The cool thing about the 27-year-old is that immediately after asking her how old she is, you can follow up her response by explaining that when she was a freshman in high school you were a senior. This will make her feel like she’s getting another shot at high school and redemption for the homecoming dance in 1998 when she barfed on Tommy Buchanan’s letter jacket after he asked her to dance because she was so nervous. Dating a senior as a freshman is definitely one way of making this redemption happen.

(Note: This advice applies to Robert’s case only. Personally, I would date any girl that wears deodorant, smiles at me more than twice, and knows the lyrics to at least one Journey song other than “Don’t Stop Believin”, no matter what her age is. I was just analyzing things from Robert’s point of view. Sorry if I offended any of you ladies out there that aren’t 24-27 years old.)

I have no idea what has prompted me to ask you a dating question but I’m curious to see what your thoughts are on this matter. The first scenario is that you date a girl who is cute, but you question if she’s cute enough. With this girl, though, you can just let yourself go and not really care much about her approval, good dates, etc., which is a pretty nice perk. Or would you rather date a girl who is very good looking, but you have to shave and actually take her to nice places, plan stuff, actually care what she thinks, etc.?

-Mike from Denver

This is a no-brainer. I would date the kinda-cute-but-not-really-that-cute girl ten times out of ten. If a girl has a problem with me growing out a beard and wearing cut-off jean shorts just because I’m bored with my life, she’s no girl for me. I have to be able to be myself around a chick or her looks don’t even matter. That’s why on every first date I go on I tell my date the most inappropriate joke I know and completely judge her by the response she gives. If she laughs, chances are we’re going to get along. If she is offended, well, it’s her loss.

By the way, I always think it’s funny how people claim to not care about looks in a potential significant other, yet they always absolutely do care. How often do you see a handsome heartthrob of a guy hitting on a girl whose personal hygiene could use some work? It never happens. When do you ever see a Barbie doll on a date with George Costanza? Good looking people always end up with good looking people, despite what they claim is important. It’s a fact of life.

I’m not going to pretend that I don’t care whatsoever what a girl looks like and because of that I’m better than you. Being a man, it’s in my DNA to care about what a girl that I’m dating looks like. But I only care to a certain extent. So long as a girl is above a certain level of looks (how I decide this level is a hazy science), I could really care less if she’s a bombshell or not. If she can’t appreciate a solid mustache and a knack for finding the cheapest everything in town, then we have far bigger problems than whether or not she’s an hourglass. So while I definitely do care about looks, I don’t care nearly as much as the guy with a six-pack who won’t date the nicest girl in the world because her parents couldn’t afford to get her braces when she was in junior high.

I'm fairly new to the blog and I haven't read all of the old ones yet, but I was just wondering what your best advice is for getting over and getting past a bad relationship that probably lasted a little too long. And if you don't have any advice for that, how do you get over getting dumped, hypothetically of course, because I mean who would dump Mark “The Shark” Titus?

-C-Dizzle

This particular e-mail hits pretty close to home, considering that the number of times I’ve been dumped is much greater than the number of relationships I’ve been in. One girlfriend actually dumped me at least ten times during the course of our relationship, which proved to be detrimental to the long term health of the relationship. I’ve been dumped over the phone, face to face, through an e-mail, through a text message, and through a one-fingered gesture. Hell, I’ve even been dumped before the relationship actually started in the first place. I would say getting dumped is on my list of top-ten things I’m good at, falling one spot ahead of memorizing lyrics to songs and just behind various acts of daily deception.

There are three (and only three) things that must be done to fully get over a failed relationship—develop a borderline obsession with sweat pants, overcompensate to mask your sadness, and find people who have it worse than you.

By wearing sweatpants every hour of every day, you are essentially announcing to the world that you couldn’t give a squirrel’s nut about what they think of you. This may initially seem like a bad thing, but I assure you that it’s exactly what you want. Wearing sweatpants allows you to be selfish and consider only your needs. Sure you make your friends look like they are doing some sort of charity work by hanging around you, but in reality you are saying, “My name is C-Dizzle and I do what I want.” The wearing of sweatpants isn’t supposed to be a fashion statement. It’s supposed to be a life statement that tells the world that you don’t answer to anybody anymore and if they don’t like that, well, they’re just going to have to deal with it.

Overcompensating to mask your lack of happiness is a fantastic strategy that really shouldn’t be limited to dumpees. Basically the idea here is to make yourself the life of the party with your over-the-top antics. Chicks are drawn to guys who thrive in the spotlight, which is why you absolutely should belly flop off the high dive and try to fit 15 ping pong balls in your mouth at the next frat party you go to. You don’t necessarily have to be a complete fool to make this happen either. Sometimes all it takes is being a little quirky to set yourself apart from everyone else. A good rule of thumb when taking the quirky approach is to try to act exactly like Cosmo Kramer at every possible opportunity. Before you know it, you’ll have a new woman and the broad that dumped you will be completely erased from your memory.

“Misery loves company” is a common phrase that always seems to be referenced in situations such as getting over a failed relationship and, frankly, I think that notion is entirely inaccurate. Misery doesn’t love company at all. Misery loves finding worse misery. People who are down don’t call other people who are down because they like complaining to each other, but rather they do it because by hearing about their friend’s awful life, they feel that much better about their not-quite-as-awful life. The secret to getting over any depression-inducing event in life is to find someone who is a little more depressed than you and thank the heavens that you aren’t as bad as that guy. Sometimes it even helps to talk bad about them behind their back. Whatever gets the job done.

Of course, these three things are what you should do only if you plan on moving on with your life after the break-up. If you want to get the girl to come back to you, all it takes is some relentless harassment capped off with a mix tape featuring K-Ci & JoJo and Brian McKnight. But everyone knows that.

And that, Mr. Dizzle, is how you get over a break-up.

We're aware that the majority of people are wondering, so beating around the bush won't be necessary. Are you a butt guy or a boob guy?

-Melissa & Lauren

Yes. Yes I am. ___________________________________________________

I wanted to take a quick second to remind everyone that the Club Trillion podcast should be coming soon. I put Keller in charge of getting the equipment together and figuring out the best way to go about having guests on the podcast and whatnot, which explains why we still haven’t recorded one yet. Anyway, the podcast should be a fun way of extending the nonsense that the blog provides. I can’t promise that you will like the podcast, but I can promise that if you like the blog, you will at least be able to stomach the first podcast (if you don’t like the blog, why in the world are you still reading this?). So be on the lookout in the next week or so. I’ll probably just post a paragraph or something on the blog that explains how to access the podcast (which will hopefully be on iTunes). If you have any suggestions for guests (other than Simmons, EA-T, or anyone affiliated with the OSU basketball team), feel free to send them to the Club Trillion inbox. I’ll try my hardest to not disappoint you. ___________________________________________________

Streak for the Cash Group Leader: R. Huff, for the fourth entry in a row, and M. Draper (streak of 16 wins)

Streak for the Cash Group Loser: B. Truslow (streak of 15) who will forfeit his shout-out if he doesn’t make a pick before the next post.

Your awesome YouTube was sent in to me by Denny W. There’s your shout-out, Denny. And here’s your video.





Your Friend and My Favorite,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder

Friday, July 3, 2009

USA—Unfortunately Serbia’s Awful

Disclaimer: I know nothing about the Serbian soccer team. I do, however, know a lot about being an antagonist and arguing about things in which I’m grossly misinformed. Because of this, it’s much more fun for me to just assume that Serbia’s soccer team is bad. Chances are, nothing is further from the truth. And yes, I am arguing that USA is better than Serbia because we beat Spain. Nevermind the logic, just go with it. Anyway, I apologize for being an idiot. At this point, you should probably be used to it.

Whew. The NBA definitely dodged a bullet. When they kicked me out of the draft, I was understandably bitter about it, but now that the draft was held last Thursday (which also happened to be my birthday), it completely makes sense. You see, the NBA is a first-class organization that has an image to uphold. Sure some of their players have target practice with their handguns in strip club parking lots. And sure some of their players possess so much marijuana, a third-world country could base it’s economy on their stash. But those guys are veterans and have established themselves as good people who happened to make a minor error in judgment. Guys like me are a totally different story. The NBA can’t afford to have someone come into the league who, from the beginning, has no idea how to properly conduct himself. It’s just wouldn’t be a smart move on their part.

In reality, the NBA draft was overshadowed by the passing of a cultural icon on the very same day. Some would argue that a death like this is nothing more than a reminder that celebrities are people too, proving that their lives are just as fragile as the lives of us normal people. While that may be true, of the people that have recently died, few have affected the lives of adolescent boys more than the celebrity passing on Thursday. I’m talking, of course, about Farrah Fawcett and the unfortunate end to her battle with cancer.

I’m not going to pretend that I’m old enough to remember Farrah Fawcett in the prime of her career, but I do know that I am definitely old enough to understand why she had the most successful pin-up poster of all time. She singlehandedly forced parents to have “the talk” a few years earlier than they planned to, all because their sons watched a couple episodes of Charlie’s Angels. She may not have directly affected my adolescence, but I have an idea of how upset I’d be if Kelly Kapowski died, which is why I sympathize with all the middle aged men out there whose only life goal when they were 13 was to keep their parents from finding their pictures of Farrah. Farrah, you will be missed for two perfectly symmetrical reasons.

Oh and by the way, Michael Jackson also died.

While there certainly was sorrow and heartache for me on my birthday, there was also something to be excited about. That’s because the best gift I got for my birthday this year actually came a day early when the United States soccer team beat #1 ranked Spain in the Confederations Cup. I have been following the U.S. soccer team for quite some time and to see them beat Spain after getting dominated by Costa Rica some few weeks back brought a tear to this Yank’s eye. For a brief moment in time soccer was more relevant to Americans than what hair products that dreamy guy from Twilight uses, even though it still wasn’t quite as big of a deal as Nick Jonas’ quest to look like the most coy person on the face of the earth every time a camera is pointed at him. The relevance of American soccer wasn’t what excited me, though. The opportunity to talk trash to one of my teammates was.

For those of you who don’t know, America and soccer have an almost identical relationship as you had your freshman year of high school with that babe that was a senior. Even though you would take a big whiff every time she walked by because you thought she “smelled pretty”, she didn’t even know you existed until you wore a leather jacket to school and punched Captain Quarterback in the groin for calling you a “pansy.” In other words, much like you had to stand up to a bully for Hotty McTotty to notice you, our national soccer team had to stand up to a bully for America to notice the sport as a whole. Before the monumental upset of Spain, though, nobody really paid all that much of attention to soccer, meaning I had to turn to a European teammate if I wanted to discuss the great game of futbol.

A typical conversation between Nikola Kecman, a Serbian teammate of mine, and myself usually begins with me asking him “if he saw the game yesterday” and ends with me running around the gym screaming “GOOOOOAAAALLL” as a way to rub it in his face that my team is better than his. And make no mistake about it, my team is definitely better than his. For whatever reason Nikola (by the way, whenever I want to get his attention I say his name like they say their product name in the legendary Ricola commercial) truly believes that the Serbian soccer team is leaps and bounds better than the American team. I completely disagree, which is unfortunate for him considering I’m always right (something my first wife could never quite figure out).

Nikola argues that because Serbians regularly play better competition, have more national pride for the sport, and kind of sound like Borat when they speak English, they are clearly the better team. His biggest mistake is failing to ever bring up the fact that Serbians can grow thicker facial hair than Americans can grow regular hair (and that’s just their women!). Nonetheless, soccer matters much more in Serbia than it does in America (evident by the fact that most of you are bored with this particular subject matter), which is why Serbia gets the slight edge in his mind.

What Nikola failed to realize from the onset is that of the twelve things in this world that I love, my country and arguing with people are two of them. I did hours of research on the topic at hand and discovered that not only is USA ranked higher than Serbia in the current FIFA rankings, but we have also been more successful in the World Cup than them. Most of Serbia’s success in the World Cup actually came through the work of the Yugoslavian national team. When Yugoslavia dissolved, Serbia inherited the success (or lack thereof) of the Yugoslavian team, which is bogus because USA used to be known as British America but you don’t see us claiming the 1726 World Cup championship won by the colonists as our own. In actuality, Serbia has only been to two World Cups, but even then they needed the help of Montenegro. Like that’s fair. Since Serbia & Montenegro can apparently form a coalition, I’m thinking we should talk to our buddies south of the equator and enter the 2010 World Cup as “USA & Brazil.” Now that’s a USA team every American could support.

Nikola’s most passionate argument is that soccer actually means something to the Serbians, which makes their fans crazier and in turn makes their team better. Using this logic, Megan Fox would be dating a 16-year-old Optimus Prime fan from Waterloo, Iowa, whose shrine to her is Helga-esque, all because he wants to be with her just a little bit more than anyone else. The real reason soccer matters to Serbians more than Americans is because (all you Serbians reading this, please forgive me) it’s really all they got. Nikola can’t stand it that soccer is 241st on the list of sports we are best at, yet we are still better than Serbia, who puts soccer 1st on the list of sports they are good at. When I think of American athletes, the first ten thousand people that come to mind aren’t soccer players. When I think of Serbian athletes, the first person to come to mind is, well, Toni Kukoc, who actually isn’t even Serbian at all (he’s Croatian). Basically Serbia is sorely lacking in the Quality Athlete Department, forcing them to turn to soccer as their great athletic hope. My point is that Nikola pretends that Serbia is better because he needs them to be better. If USA is better than Serbia at soccer, that means the only thing left in which they are superior to us is playing the role of a James Bond villain.

And growing facial hair.

With the Fourth of July approaching this weekend, I think this is a perfect time for Americans to step back and reflect on everything this great country has to offer. Everything from our fantastic music to our above average sports to Wendy Peffercorn makes this country the greatest in the world. Sure we’ve had some bumps along the way (bad economy, corrupt/immoral politicians, Evan “The Villain” Turner) but for every one of the hiccups, there’s always a beacon of hope like the U.S. soccer team pulling off a miracle. So this Saturday when you’re grilling out and listening to Aaron Tippin sing about the backbone of America, don’t be afraid to call your foreign friends and invite them over for the celebration. Chances are the only thing they having going for them is the success of their soccer team, which is why you should have them over and try to cheer them up with a well-grilled Johnsonville. Especially if they are Serbian. Lord knows they could use the pick-me-up.

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I would like to make it known to the Trillion Man March that the Club Trillion Voicemail has officially been set up. The purpose of the voicemail is for you, the reader, to call me, the writer, and say whatever your heart desires. So far there have been close to 100 calls and about 30 voicemails, ranging from drunk dials to not quite as drunk dials to my mom telling me to make sure I go to all my classes. Keller and I are figuring out how to save the voicemails as audio files and if we figure it out, we will be sure to post the best ones at the end of each blog. Until then, feel free to flood the Club Trillion Voicemail by calling 317-286-2385. I know that you think I just gave you The Villain’s number, but I swear that really is a number to a Skype account we created. If you don’t believe me call it and listen to my mumbling voice give you a voicemail greeting. Ready, go.

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Streak for the Cash Group Leader: R. Huff, for the third entry in a row (streak of 16 wins)

Streak for the Cash Group Loser: B. Truslow, for the sixth entry in a row (streak of 15 losses). It’s just getting sad now, Truslow.

I bypassed the fan submissions for the awesome YouTube to pay tribute to Michael Jackson. Deal with it.




Your Friend and My Favorite,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder