Thursday, October 27, 2011

Goodbye…For Now

I’m guessing that most of you reading this are already well aware, but I thought I’d write a blog post to inform those members of the Trillion Man March who don’t know that I’ve accepted a job writing full-time for Bill Simmons’s relatively new site, Grantland, which explains why I haven’t blogged on here in awhile and why I probably won’t blog on here any time soon. I was thinking about making this next sentence something sentimental about how we had a good run and it was a lot of fun and I appreciate all the fan support, but I’m a man with two healthy, fully-grown testicles so I’m not going to write any sappy crap like that, especially since we can still continue our relationship over at Grantland. Anyway, because I make exactly no money from writing this blog, it has been obvious for awhile now that moving onto bigger and better things was always and inevitability. Still, I’m anxiously awaiting the onslaught of emails, tweets, etc. calling me a sellout, mostly because I completely deserve every one of them. The truth is that I am a sellout. But you know what? Thanks to a terrible ticketing system that screws deserving students out of season tickets, there’s a good chance I’ll be the only Ohio State basketball sellout this year. And that’s something to be proud of.

Many of you have been asking me for details about my book Don’t Put Me In, Coach, so I figured before I let you go I should tell you what I know. First and foremost, I’ve been told that the book is going to be released March 6th (and might actually be released a week or two earlier than that), but you can actually already preorder it here. There isn’t a single reason in the world why you shouldn’t do exactly that right now, so go make it happen. I’ll wait.

Back? Ok, good. Since you just bought the book, I feel obligated to mention that, as far as the content is concerned, it’s basically just a chronological rundown of my basketball career at Ohio State, starting with a little background story of how I ended up at OSU and ending with my final game my senior year. It’s technically probably considered a memoir, but “memoir” sounds like such a classy word and seeing as how I make dick jokes throughout the book, I wouldn’t exactly describe it as classy. Still, 90% of the content is basically just ridiculous stories about my teammates, coaches, fans and myself from my four years at Ohio State, so memoir is probably the best way to classify it.

Speaking of dick jokes, many of you have asked me how vulgar the book is going to be, presumably because you are kindergarten teachers and you want to know if the book is appropriate enough to recommend to your students. Short answer: Yes. Long answer: I wrote this book solely with 18-34 year old males in mind, so if you don’t fit in that demographic you might find it crude in some places, but I wouldn’t exactly describe it as vulgar. It’s obviously written with the same juvenile tone I’ve used for years on this blog (please note that “juvenile” isn’t capitalized – I don’t want you to think I wrote things like “girl you working with some ass, yeah, you bad, yeah” throughout the book), so if you’re a fan of what I’ve written on Club Trillion, you shouldn’t have any problems with the book. There are a some four letter words sprinkled throughout the book, but I can say with absolute certainty that I have never been the type of guy to use curse words just for the sake of using curse words, because that shit just isn’t cool. So yes, there are some words you probably shouldn’t teach your 5-year-old kids (like “poopdick”, for example), but I promise you that unless you’re the type of person whose face melts off or something when you hear/see bad words, you’re not going to be overwhelmed with the language in the book.

If you have any other questions about the book or just want to keep in touch with me for whatever reason, the best way to do so would be to either follow me (@clubtrillion) on Twitter or email me at It’s pretty much a certainty that I won’t respond to anything you send me, but just know that it’s not because I don’t love you – it’s because I’m either too lazy or I couldn’t think of anything clever or witty to say back to you, so I instead decided to act like I didn’t see your email/tweet instead of acknowledging that you’re more creative than me (ok, fine – it’s always the latter).

Well, I guess that just about does it. Don’t forget that when you get a tingle in your naughty places in the future because you miss me so much, you’ll be able to find me over at Grantland. Also, if nothing else, you can always re-watch Mr. Rainmaker a thousand more times. There’s a pretty obvious Easter egg in there that I’m completely shocked nobody has found yet, so if you’re bored you should try to find it. There might even be a special prize for whoever finds it first (read: there absolutely is not a special prize).

Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder

Friday, August 19, 2011

What Do I Call My Mailbag? The Cage? I Forget

Friday is finally here and with that Nut Up or Shut Up Week is in its final leg.  I gotta be honest and say that I’m relieved that it’s finally over and I really didn’t think I had it in me (funny story: at least 8 different women said the exact same thing to me during my four years of college).  But alas, here we are.  To celebrate, let’s take a look at some emails sent in from the Trillion Man March.  Like I say every time we do this sort of thing – all of these are real emails sent in by real members of the Trillion Man March, except for the ones that aren’t.  Now, in the words of the chick from Cake Farts, let’s get this done.

Since there are no large bodies of water near tOSU, where did the boosters hold their Yacht sex parties?


I wish I knew.  I never got invited to them :(

So, who do you hate more: the NCAA or The Villain?


The only logical way to answer this is to first make a list of pros and cons, so here it goes.



  • Provides an opportunity for thousands of people to get a free education while playing a sport they love at a highly competitive level
  • March Madness
  • Headquarters located in Indianapolis, Indiana, one of the finest cities in America


  • Has a budget that exceeds $5.5 billion and exists solely because of 18-23 year old athletes, but won’t let the 18-23 year old athletes see hardly any of that money in the form of cash
  • Makes players sit out a full season after transferring, while the coaches making millions of dollars off the athletes who do the exact same thing face no punishment whatsoever (in fact, the coaches typically get raises since it can be assumed that they’re leaving for a higher-paying and better job)
  • Has no interest in even remotely exploring serious reform, despite the increasing uproar from the media and general public about how archaic and unfair their rules are
  • Supports communist principles

Evan “The Villain” Turner


  • Provided me with seemingly unlimited entertainment for three years in the form of killing fools on the basketball court
  • Provided me with seemingly unlimited entertainment for three years in the form of losing his mind over something petty on a daily basis
  • Wore a CLUB TRIL shirt during pregame warm-ups on my senior night at OSU
  • Indirectly contributed to the success of this blog
  • Once called my blog “amazing”
  • Passed the ball to me one time in practice


  • Would frequently reach into his pants and furiously scratch his butthole during film sessions and team meetings and consequently make everyone in the room uncomfortable
  • Tried to fight me no less than 3 times during our tenure as teammates
  • Gave my fiancée a bear hug that he held for five seconds when he first met her, which in turn caused her to tell me later in the night that it was weird and creeped her out
  • Never called me by my name when we were teammates but instead referred to me as “walk-on”, “bum”, “couch potato”, or “mooch.”
  • Borrowed $5 for a haircut from Keller and never paid him back
  • Apparently gets $5 haircuts

I really think this might be too close to call.  Evan probably is more of an annoyance to me personally than the NCAA is, but the NCAA is more detrimental to society as a whole so I think I’ll go the unselfish route and say I hate them more.  Plus, somewhere under Evan’s rough exterior is a momma’s boy who doesn’t want any trouble and just wants to cuddle with his teddy bear.  Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure that underneath the NCAA’s rough exterior there is nothing but a gigantic pit of molten lava that they throw puppies into after they mouthrape them.

What is the over/under on the number of times Deshaun Thomas will get the "the only type of shot he doesn't like is when he is at the Doctor's office" comment from TV announcers this year?  2500 ?

There has to be some sort of drinking game created with Deshaun Thomas.  Something like.... every time he passes, you must chug a 40 oz of Olde English and punch a leprechaun.


I love this idea.  I know I’ve said this many times before, but I really don’t think I can say it enough – Deshaun Thomas is my favorite Ohio State athlete of all-time (primarily because he doesn’t pass and has no problem acknowledging that he doesn’t pass) and he hasn’t even started his sophomore season yet.  He might not be a popular guy among Buckeye fans, but I absolutely love the guy and actually yelled “Everybody shut the hell up, Deshaun’s checking into the game!” on a few occasions last year while watching OSU basketball games with friends (who obviously don’t appreciate him as much as I do).  The guy is like the Manny Ramirez of college basketball - you don’t know for sure what’s going to happen, but you do know that when he’s in the game he’s going to have some sort of effect (good or bad) and is going to at least provide some form of entertainment (in that regard, he’s like the exact opposite of me).

Anyway, how about this for a Deshaun Thomas drinking game – match Deshaun shot for shot.  Every time he takes a shot, you do too.  I even came up with a name for it: “suicide by alcohol poisoning.”

What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done in front of a member of the opposite sex?


I once dated a girl from Indiana who went to a college other than Ohio State and hadn’t grown up as an OSU fan.  Because of this, she didn’t have any OSU clothes, so when she visited me in Columbus one time I told her I’d take her shopping and get her some Ohio State clothes.  That way she could be decked out when she came to our games once the basketball season rolled around.  Anyway, we went to Buckeye Corner or something and she picked out a bunch of stuff she wanted, but she felt bad because she thought she was making me spend too much money.  I  told her not to worry about it and just get what she wanted because I was still on a basketball scholarship and was basically being given free money from Ohio State.

Just to be polite, she asked if I was sure that she could get everything and I promised her it was cool.  But I couldn’t just say, “Seriously it’s cool” and leave it at that.  No, I had to somehow make myself seem more awesome than I really am.  So instead of just saying “yeah it’s cool” or whatever, I decided to jump at the opportunity to flaunt my money a little bit.  Since most college kids are dirt poor, I figured her privates would get moist over my scholarship money, so I decided to explain to her how rich I was.  I said something like, “Yeah it’s really not a big deal.  I get paid so much money by Ohio State that I really don’t think I could spend it all even if I wanted to.”  And just like that, I knew I had her hooked…

…until my debit card got declined because I apparently only had $17 left in my bank account. 

Because she didn’t bring any money with her since I told her I was going to buy her stuff, she couldn’t get anything she had picked out and had to go put everything back.  A couple of weeks later, she dumped me. Whoops.

Help settle an argument that has been raging since the onset of puberty amongst 2 of my friends and myself.  Friend A is convinced that given an opportunity he could score one point on any NBA player in a game of one on one.  Not win mind you, but simply put the ball in the hoop. One time. Versus a highly motivated pro, putting forth his best effort in a game to 11 by ones and twos. Friend B and myself think friend A is an idiot and have told him so many times.  Friend A (5'9, 165lb), friend B and myself have been playing ball all our lives and while none of us are awful we could not play varsity basketball at a moderately large high school.  Those are the facts.  We are in our 30s now and need an answer. Or possibly you could shut him out for us and end this 20 year debate.  Either way Judge Titus your help/ruling would be much appreciated.


I’m going to make this response short because there really isn’t even an argument here and I’m kind of annoyed that this is wasting my time.  Here’s your answer: your friend is out of his mind if he thinks he could score on an NBA player in a game to 11.  He’d have to be completely delusional to think otherwise, especially if he’s 5’9” 165 pounds. In fact, I don’t think I could even score on an NBA player (cue the “that’s why you were a benchwarmer scrub” jokes).  If he had infinite chances to score on the NBA guy, then yeah, I’m sure at some point he’d be able to throw up some garbage and get lucky.  But in a single game to 11 against an NBA player playing as hard as he possibly can?  He’ll be lucky to even get a shot off.

I could give a detailed and realistic explanation of what would happen if he played any NBA player, but I think it would take far less effort for me to just play him one-on-one and shut him out myself than it would to explain how everything would go down.  And make no mistake about it – based on what you’ve told me about the guy, I don’t think I’ve ever been more confident about anything in the world as I am in thinking that even I could shut him out.

So there is a hypothetical fight between 2 identical twins. They both are equal in all physical attributes (size, strength, speed) and they both train for one week with a fighting master. However one gets a pool stick and the other gets a hunting knife. Who wins in a cage match to the death?


The bell rings to start the match.

Guy with pool stick swings at guy with knife.  Guy with knife ducks, forcing guy with pool stick to miss.  As guy with knife stands back up, he violently thrusts his knife into the torso of guy with pool stick.  Guy with pool stick stumbles backwards as he reaches for the knife that is protruding from his torso.  After he falls to the ground, he pulls the knife out.  He immediately realizes that this was a bad idea because blood furiously pours out.  With blood rapidly flowing out of his body, his only option is to take his pool stick and jam it into the wound to stop the bleeding.  He chooses this option.  After he plugs the wound, he stands up to continue the fight.  As he stands up, he reaches for the knife in the same spot that he had dropped it when he removed it from his torso. 

But it’s not there.

As guy with pool stick turns his head to continue his search for the knife, guy with knife sneaks up from behind him and slits his throat, instantly killing him. 

Game over. Guy with knife wins.

I was in a corporate video twirling the baton while wearing my Fundamentals Montage shirt. Don’t you think that’s awesome?


Yes. Yes I do.

Speaking of that shirt…

Even whilst living in the depths of the globe here in Australia I have managed to procure myself a (somewhat striking) 'Fundamentals Montage' tee. I would argue that the tee contains the single most obscure reference of any other t-shirt in existence. So my question is - has there ever been anything less prominent than a 3 second screengrab from a basketball-based Youtube video that has justified it's existence on a t-shirt available for public consumption?


Let me first say that this is one of the finest backhanded compliments I’ve ever received, even though it shouldn’t count for anything because it’s from an Aussie.  And I truly mean that. 

Secondly, to answer your question, I’m not sure there possibly could be one.  I mean, Mr. Rainmaker wasn’t exactly a viral video and really only reached cult-like status at best, so right off the bat there’s a very limited market for the shirt right there.  Then, like you said, the Fundamentals Montage only makes up a small part of the video, so really we’re only talking about a few seconds of a mildly popular video.  I really don’t see how there could be a shirt with a more obscure reference that is lost on virtually everyone but the wearer than the Fundamentals Montage shirt.  I’m guessing this is why Homage discontinued it.

Since we’re apparently on the topic of Club Trillion shirts, here are two more relevant emails…

A few months ago my house was robbed. I still live with my parents so there was actually some stuff of value to take. They mostly took electronics like tvs and computers, but after about a week I realized they took something else. They took my Club Tril shirt. No one else had any clothes taken and all my other clothes were still there except for that shirt. I know I didn't lose it somewhere else because I'm a badass and had recently had my mom wash it. What kind of monster would do this? This also makes me question the types of people you draw to your blog.


Can whoever took Zane’s shirt please get it back to him?  This is why we can’t have nice things.  I’m sure he’ll let you keep the electronics, but please don’t make him suffer anymore by making him live in this world without his CLUB TRIL shirt.

Now that we got that out of the way, I gotta say that I can’t help but feel a little flattered about this.  I mean, it sucks for you and your family and everything, but a part of me is honored that someone places such a high value on one of my shirts.

Also, I think I might have an idea of who did this.  A couple of months ago someone showed me this mug shot that was taken in Naperville, Illinois.  I’m pretty sure it’s the first and only time someone was wearing a CLUB TRIL shirt in an official police mug shot, which is pretty awesome.  Anyway, my theory is that this kid had to change out of his shirt and put on an orange jumpsuit after he was arrested and when he was released the cops “accidentally” lost his shirt.  But he knew the truth – one of the cops liked the shirt and wanted to keep it for himself.  So when this kid got released, he went from town to town on a rampage looking for the cop that took his shirt.  After two months of breaking into the all sorts of houses, he finally broke into yours, saw your shirt laying there, and just assumed that your dad was the cop that took his shirt.  And to really get back at him, he took a bunch of electronics too.

Yeah, that’s gotta be what happened.  That’s your guy for sure.

What is more effective when attempting to court a female, throwing up the shark or wearing the club tril shirt? This of course is assuming that it is impossible to do them both at the same time.

As you can see from the picture provided, doing them in unison has such an enormous power over the female nether regions, that it would even turn a guy like Justin Timberlake into a jealous doucher. (In case you can't see me because I am drowning amongst a litany of marginally attractive college coeds, I am the one throwing up the shark, rocking a club tril shirt, while also wearing a daytona 500 hat)



First of all, I’m pretty sure the bitches swoon over the CLUB TRIL shirt more than the shark fin.  From what I can tell, the shark fin is more of a thing for the fellas.  But I’ve been wrong before, so what do I know?

Secondly, I’m saying that there’s about a 98% chance that you were photobombing this picture and weren’t in the preliminary stages of a orgy like you are trying to make it seem.  But I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and say that this particular instance is included in that 2%, and all these girls huddled around you for this picture, immediately ripped their clothes off right after it was taken, and then all jumped on board the Sam Tram for an express trip to Pound Town.

I recently turned 29 years old and in about a month I'm going to (hopefully) celebrate my second wedding anniversary.  Most of my friends are in a similar place that I am, either in the trying to have a kid or two phase or already have 1-3 kids.  I love kids but I have a small problem with them.  See I love college football and I love the Buckeyes.  So on Saturday afternoons in the fall I want to drag myself out of bed just in time for College Gameday then watch games all day long until I can hear Herbie telling Mussburger to shut his Michigan loving trapper.  For some reason all parents (and when I say parents I mean wives) want to do is throw their kid's birthday party on Saturday afternoon.  Like people don't have anything else to do.  I mean come on your kid is 2 years old, do they really care what day of the week their party is on?  No but some of us adults would like a say in the matter.  If 75% of all Buckeye games are on at 12:00 on a Saturday and 75% of all birthday parties are scheduled at 1:00 someone didn't do their planning.  Throw the kid a party on Tuesday night.  Heck I will even leave work early just to be there on time. 

This is why with my wife I have proposed a dry season.  No babies shall be born within the period of September 1st and early December as to not cause any confusion with birthday party planning.  So as soon as the Rose Bowl ends until the end of March Madness we go into protection mode.  I am very happy to say I made it through my very 1st dry season and my wife and I recently found out we are in line to have our first child with a due date of March 31, 2012. 

The dry season can be implemented for any season.  I don't know where you plan on living once you get married but if you are planning to stay in Ohio I propose we get this trend started as soon as possible.


You’re doing the Lord’s work, James.

I have a older gentlemen neighbor who apparently has an odd sense of dressing in the warm summer months. He often feels that it is so hot out that he can't wear a shirt, but cool enough to still be wearing jeans. Do you have any experience with this phenomena? Please help rationalize his logic.


He has prosthetic legs and gets embarrassed when people find out. He fought in Vietnam for your freedom and at one point during the war, he stepped on a landmine and it completely mutilated both of his legs. He should’ve died and the doctors said he was never supposed to walk again, even with prosthetics. But the doctors never accounted for his resolve. He wasn’t going to just give up. Not after all those years of fighting.

So he worked his ass off for years just so maybe he could one day walk again. Day in and day out he did hours of strenuous physical therapy, unsure of whether or not it would ever really pay off. Like anything else, there were good days and bad days, but through it all he kept pushing. He kept thinking about his goal – one day walking down his driveway and getting his paper without any help. It wasn’t a very glamorous goal, sure. But he was a high school dropout from the south side of Chicago who had served five years fighting a war with no end in sight in the unimaginable hell that was the Vietnam jungles. Nothing about his life was glamorous.

Every now and then, he’d think back on that fateful day and ask God why He would let such a terrible thing happen to him. Why God didn’t just let him die right then and there. Why God made him suffer through all this pain. It was impossible not to think that way. After all those years of wondering whether he’d ever walk again, he felt like he had every right to feel sorry for himself every once in a while. Can’t say I fault the guy.

Eventually all the physical therapy took its toll on him. He couldn’t take it anymore. He was ready to tell the doctors that he had finally given up. That he had accepted that he was going to be bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. That that landmine had finally gotten the better of him. But he thought he’d do one last therapy session before he threw in the towel. For old time’s sake. He owed himself that much.

The physical therapist walked into his room like she had all those days before, always optimistic that that particular day was going to be the one that they’d have their breakthrough. She’d never been right, of course, but he appreciated her optimism nonetheless. It was something that he himself couldn’t even muster these days.

She strapped him into the harness and set up the guide bars like she had done every other day for the past few years. She would never admit it to him, but while she was optimistic for some sign of progress on the outside, on the inside she was just as jaded as he was. She knew that nothing significant was going to happen that day. But she was wrong.

She gave him the same routine commands she always had and he mumbled under his breath while she talked just like he always had. When she finished instructing him, he rolled his eyes and said, “Here goes nothing” as he attempted to take a step. He expected the same results as before, but this time something happened. This time the prosthetic moved. It was the breakthrough they had been waiting for all these years. He couldn’t believe it.

That moment breathed new life into him. He was back. No more feeling sorry for himself. He was going to walk again. No excuses. Over the course of the next couple of months, he made steady progress. Nothing too crazy, but it was progress dammit. Nobody could take that sense of accomplishment away from him.

Not any more than a year after that initial breakthrough, his physical therapy was complete. He could walk again. Not very well, mind you, but it was a start. He had the rest of his life to figure out his new legs. For the time being, he was going to celebrate his victory by simply walking out of the hospital on his own power. That was all he ever wanted.

These days he keeps to himself for the most part. He’s a simple man with a simple life but he’ll tell you he wouldn’t change a thing about it. He’ll tell you that he’s lived more life than most people. He’ll tell you that he’s proud to have fought in the war and served his country. He’ll tell you that he’s got all he ever wanted out of life. But he’ll also tell you that the prosthetics embarrass him. He can’t help but feel guilty that he didn’t give enough. So many of his brothers perished and all he gave were his two legs. The more he thought back on everything, the more surviving became a burden.

But he’s learning to cope with it. He’s finally finding peace with himself and what happened on that day that forever changed his life. But he still doesn’t like revealing his prosthetics to people just because there is too much baggage that comes with people knowing. He doesn’t want to have to tell the stories and relive the horrors. Most importantly, he doesn’t want to deal with the judgment. He knows he’ll be looked at as either a freak or as a hero. He thinks both labels are unfair. He’s just an old man trying to live out whatever years he has left to the best of his abilities.

So he always wears jeans to cover his fake legs and his very real memories. He’s not sure how much time he has left on this Earth and when he’s going to be reunited with his fallen brothers, but what he is sure of is that he’s going to spend most of that time with his family and loved ones. And any free time in between he’s going to spend tending to his garden and wondering why the dipshit kid next door always gives him weird looks when he walks around with his shirt off.

Either that or he’s just a crazy old man who really loves his jeans.

Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Miami Mess

When I first heard about the Yahoo! Sports report that a Miami booster provided cash, cars, jewelry, use of mansions and a yacht, prostitutes, bounties for taking out the opposition, and an abortion for Miami football players, I had three immediate thoughts: 1) Holy balls, Miami knows how to party, 2) This wouldn’t even be that big of a deal if the NCAA weren’t an unprecedented and corrupt cockblock that gets away with a  multibillion dollar scam year after year, and 3) Having said that, the rules are the rules and – if the allegations are true – I’m not sure there has ever been such a flagrant breaking of NCAA rules in the history of both the NCAA and their explicit rules against soliciting prostitution and boosters paying for abortions.

Let’s start with what’s really important – the partying.  Now, thanks to depictions of Miami in all sorts of TV shows and movies (and at least one music video), I’ve always thought that I had a relatively good idea of just how much the city likes to party.  I mean, anyone who has seen Will Smith rocking a wifebeater while hollering at hoochies, Tony Montana burying his face in a heaping mound of blow, Ace Ventura talking out of his butthole, Horatio Caine smoothly putting on his sunglasses after pausing midsentence, and Dexter Morgan saran wrapping criminals to a table and driving a knife through their chest before dismembering their bodies, putting the remains in a bunch of garbage bags, and dumping the bags in the Atlantic Ocean should fully understand that the city of Miami is all about having a good time.  But even with all of these depictions of Miami being a zoo fully packed with party animals, I was still pretty surprised when the Yahoo! report came out and revealed that the average Miami football player apparently breaks the BYU Honor Code 14 times before they even eat breakfast.

What made the report so surprising to me is that even though the fact that this all took place in Miami shouldn’t make it all that shocking, we’re still talking about 18-22 year old kids here.  Sure it seems like “18-22 year old kids” and “partying” are synonymous, but if you really think back on your days in college, I’m guessing “partying” just meant drinking a bunch of cheap beer, listening to music that was turned up way too loudly only because whoever was hosting the party wanted to show off their sound system, crossing your fingers that the girls you were hitting on were too drunk to notice how ugly you were, and drawing penises on the foreheads of your friends who passed out before you did.  Every now and then maybe there were people passing around a joint or two, but for the most part that is what a typical college party entails. 

Nowhere in that description did I mention yachts, mansions, cash, jewelry, or – most importantly – prostitutes, which is why the Miami allegations are shockingly awesome to me.  According to US census data taken in 2010, less than 1% of American citizens have ever partied on a yacht or with prostitutes, so for a bunch of Miami football players to allegedly have done both before they were even old enough to legally rent a car  is truly a remarkable thing and is something I won’t hesitate to admit makes me jealous (hell, I’m sure a lot of them went to these parties before they were even old enough to legally drink).  Then again, I guess all of this shouldn’t have been much of a surprise considering the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about Miami emphasized how wild the Hurricanes were back in the 80s and 90s, and the 7th Floor Crew song in 2004 (very NSFW language) revealed that dorm room gangbangs are apparently as much of a current Miami football tradition as pissing and moaning about a pass interference call from almost a decade ago.

Anyway, now that we got the important and fun part out of the way, let’s discuss what is rapidly becoming the bane of my existence – the NCAA’s steadfast refusal to let athletes profit from their own abilities even though those same athletes’ abilities are the reason the NCAA and the schools the athletes represent rake in billions every year.  As a guy who had to wear the NCAA handcuffs for four straight years (although, let’s be honest, since I was a walk-on my handcuffs weren’t that tight) and couldn’t even accept a free sandwich if I was offered one, I think it’s nothing short of ridiculous that the NCAA continues to cockblock their athletes. 

As far as I’m concerned, the Miami football players getting cash, jewelry, cars, access to yachts, etc. shouldn’t even be an issue, just like the Ohio State football scandal should have never been an issue, because there’s no logical argument as to why the athletes shouldn’t be entitled to all those things (the OSU scandal especially shouldn’t have been a big deal since I’m of the opinion that the players technically earned the things they sold).  Now, the prostitutes and the bounties that were allegedly paid to Miami players to take out opposing players are obviously a big deal, but I’m focusing on the free cash and gifts right now.  As shady and corrupt as college sports may seem, at the end of the day the superstar athletes that generate millions for their schools have every right to accept all the cash and gifts they want because they aren’t anywhere close to being as fully compensated as they deserve to be.  That’s right, I said it – it’s criminally unfair that college athletes (read: football and men’s basketball players) aren’t paid.

The prevalent argument against paying players is that the players are already getting paid in the form of a free education and a monthly stipend, but I have two issues with this argument. First, from experience I can tell you that the stipend is basically just enough money to survive on and typically isn’t a large enough sum of money to result in very much discretionary income for the players, so really it isn’t even worth mentioning (as I’m sure you all remember me infamously discussing in a certain earlier blog post). In all honesty, when you think about all the hours the players put into their respective sports, the stipend is probably just a little bit higher than minimum wage. Obviously there are many people in America who are living off of minimum wage (or in this economy, no income at all), but these people also aren’t bringing in millions upon millions of dollars for their schools and conferences like the star athletes are, so it’s not exactly fair to just say “if other people can make it work, college athletes should be able to also.”

Secondly, while you and I might place a high value on a college education, many superstar athletes are in college solely because they want to prepare for the pros, so a free education doesn’t really mean much to them. I mean, if you really think about it, the fundamental purpose of college is to gather all the knowledge and skills needed to enter the workforce in your desired field. Keeping that in mind, for a lot of these guys the sport they play is essentially their major and taking classes and graduating is really just their form of an extracurricular activity.  Much like how you wanted to be an accountant so you went to college and majored in accounting, these guys want to be NFL linebackers so they go to college to major in breaking spines and ripping the heads off of timid receivers coming across the middle.

This notion is obviously a stereotype and doesn’t apply to everyone who is a shoo-in to make it to the NBA or NFL, but for the most part the All-American college athletes really only care about their education to a certain extent.  At the end of the day, their primary focus is making it to the big leagues, so while a free education would mean a great deal to people like you and me, for the superstar athletes who are likely going to leave college early anyway, a scholarship is the equivalent of being a paraplegic and being given a brand new motorcycle.

People who are against paying college athletes and have a hard-on for protecting the concept of amateurism also often cite the fact that NCAA athletes know what they’re getting into because they sign all sorts of forms that explain how the system works, so they have no right to complain about anything.  But having gone through this form-signing process four times, I can assure you that it’s not nearly as simple as signing a contract with, say, a cable or gas company might be.

When I was at OSU, we would have compliance meetings at the start of every academic year where we would be given a stack of papers to sign.  I specifically remember a handful of times when our compliance person would explain what the form we were about to sign meant and I would consequently think, “This is BS. I don’t want to sign this.”  On one occasion, I actually said this out loud to the compliance person and his response was, “Well, then you’ll be ineligible.”  So really, my hands were tied because my choices were to either sign the forms or essentially quit the team and miss out on the plethora of poon that comes with being an Ohio State athlete.  Negotiating was not an option so I had no choice but to sign the forms as they were.

Now, I wasn’t really all that worked up and was mostly just trying to be a pain in the ass with the compliance people to screw with them a little bit because I knew that giving Ohio State and the NCAA the right to use my image and whatnot wasn’t really that big of a deal since, well, frankly I knew that they would never actually use my image to promote anything.  But at the same time I couldn’t help but think how pissed I’d be if I were someone who was a big time Ohio State athlete like, say, Terrelle Pryor.  Pryor was essentially forced to sign the same forms I had to, only when he was signing them, he was signing away thousands if not millions of dollars in potential earnings. 

So for someone like him, the choices are either to not play or to let the school and NCAA profit boatloads of money off him while he gets essentially nothing in return.  In other words, for all intents and purposes, all college athletes are pretty much forced to sign these papers, especially since the fact that the NBA and NFL both require draft entrants to be a certain age leaves these guys with no viable alternative to playing in the NCAA (football in particular since high school kids can at least play professional basketball overseas instead of going to college while foreign football leagues versus big time college football is as laughable of a comparison as Qdoba versus Chipotle).  So the “they have no right to complain because they know what they’re getting into” argument holds no water from my perspective.

I guess we could argue about whether or not college athletes should be paid until we’re blue in the face, but in the end it won’t really mean much because the NCAA isn’t going to change their ways anytime soon. The fact of the matter is that the only real way to get the rules changed seems to be for the players to essentially just go on strike and cause a lockout. But this will never happen because the players simply aren’t around long enough to make it happen.

It can be assumed that the upperclassmen and the superstar freshmen and sophomores are the ones who are missing out on the most money (simply from the fact that they’re the ones who put butts in the seats at the games and would likely be the ones getting endorsements and whatnot), but by the time they realize that they’re getting screwed and they actually get upset enough to take action to stop the exploitation, they are already gone to the pros or have graduated and moved on to more important things in their lives. After those guys leave, the carousel continues to spin as a new crop of college athletes comes in and goes through the same cycle of sitting on the bench for a couple of years, finally playing toward the tail end of their careers, and not realizing that they’re getting exploited until it’s too late and they’ve got other things to worry about (and most importantly no longer have any motivation to see that college athletes are justly compensated).

Because the athletes can never get enough traction to seriously challenge the NCAA, nothing gets changed and the exploitation continues. The NCAA knows that they will always have this advantage over the players, which is why I’m fairly certain they all sit in their offices and just cackle, rub their hands together with malevolent glee, and twirl their mustaches all day. I can’t decide if I think everyone involved with such a corrupt organization should be thrown in prison for eternity or if they should be congratulated and given some sort of award for successfully pulling off a multibillion dollar scam on unsuspecting kids year after year (the real irony here is that the NCAA – an organization that profits from screwing people out of money – is most likely going to punish the Miami kids for hanging out with a guy who screwed people out of money).

But I digress.  The bottom line is that, if the allegations are true (it’s more fun to just assume they are, isn’t it?), the Miami players knew exactly what they were doing and knew that what they were doing was a blatant violation of NCAA rules, so it’s impossible to feel all that bad for them (especially if the stuff about the hookers and bounties is true – that really is indefensible).  Sure the rules are archaic and unjust, but ultimately they’re the rules and until they change, it’s probably best to just abide by them and not choose to break them in the most ridiculous and flagrant ways imaginable.  In the meantime, until the rules change, all us fans can really do is just sit back and hope that someday we can all look back on this era of college sports like we now look back on Prohibition (and will most likely look back on the illegality of marijuana and the concept of age of consent) and wonder, “What the hell were the people in charge thinking?”

The world is a better place when yacht parties featuring hookers are plentiful and that is a fact.  The sooner the NCAA realizes this, the better off we’ll all be.

It’s inevitable that at least one of you will think my hatred for the NCAA stems from the fact that I was forced to donate all the money from my shirt sales to charity when I was playing at Ohio State, so I thought I’d address that real quick.  First of all, let me say that the money went to a remarkable charity and was no doubt put to great use and I couldn’t be happier to have been somewhat responsible for that (I know it’s cliché to say that and you probably don’t believe me, but screw it – it’s the God honest truth).  At the same time, though, of course the selfish side of me would have loved to have had that $50,000 to spend on whatever I wanted.  You’re lying to yourself if you think for one second that some part of you wouldn’t feel the same way.  Who in their right mind wouldn’t want $50,ooo just handed to them while they were in college?

But the reason I wasn’t all that upset that I couldn’t get that money and the reason I’m not necessarily pissed at the NCAA for that is because I knew that I wasn’t being exploited since I was a walk-on benchwarmer.  It’s not like Ohio State or the NCAA was making tons of money off of me, so I really didn’t have that big of a problem with me not being able to make money off of me either (I still thought it was dumb, but I wouldn’t say I was ever “pissed” about it). 

No, my hatred for the NCAA comes from the fact that they use their athletes to gain a profit (which is completely understandable and fine) but won’t allow the athletes to use themselves to gain a profit (which is complete horseshit).  It sucks that I couldn’t make money from selling my shirts, sure, but the idea that Jared Sullinger won’t be paid a single dime for singlehandedly selling a bunch of tickets and jerseys this upcoming season is pretty disgusting to me.  I know this kind of thing goes on with corporations all over the world, but since I played college basketball and was around the NCAA’s exploitation on a daily basis, this particular instance is the one that I really get fired up over.  Pair my anger with the breaking story about Miami and the fact that I really don’t have anything better to do with my time and it explains my motivation behind this blog post.

This is your last reminder that I’m writing a mailbag post on Friday, so don’t be a doucher and send me an email.

Also, we’ve got a few more additions to my list of things that make people lame if they aren’t good but complete badass if they are good.  Here are a few more of my favorites that the Trillion Man March sent in:

Drinking Beer

From Laine:

“Shotgunning a beer – if you've never done it before or if you're bad at it, it can squirt all over you (that's what she said) and make you soggy and smell like beer all night. If you're a pro, you take it down in one gulp and game over (again, that's what she said.)”

From Evan:

How is drinking in college not the gold standard for novices sucking and experts being amazing? Everyone wants to be like Frank the Tank and hammer that beer bong all night at the party. Depending on the size of your wood, you may or may not want to go streaking through the quad, but that's only a problem for those who can survive a night long of heavy chugging first anyway. But the kid who just got to the party, shotgunned 2 cold ones, and is already passed out puking in the bathroom? He's the biggest loser douche at the party and is going to wake up to shame and a lot of Sharpie dicks drawn all over his body.

A related subject, beer pong. The guy at the party who always lets his partner shoot first because he never misses and will hit any cup is pretty awesome and can definitely keep that hot streak going all night right into some hot mama's bed. But the guy who can't hit a cup and then is running around the house naked showing off his tiny schlong because his team got shut out? Not so cool to be him.”

Criminals (specifically thieves)

From Trevor:

“In real life, its fairly common to hear about people who try to rob a convenience store and end up getting held at gunpoint by the guy at the counter while the cops come. This is lame, even I could do better than that. On the other hand, real (ok, mostly fictional) hard core criminals are incredibly badass. Kaiser Soze? His nickname is the devil, pretty hardcore. Then there are all the other bankrobbing movies, The Oceans (11 through 13) Inside Job, etc. Then in real life you used to have Jesse James and all the wild west types. There just aren't cool robberies anymore really, its almost a pity.”

I also thought about this one when I heard about the Miami football story and Nevin Shapiro’s Ponzi scheme and couldn’t help but think, “Even though that guy screwed a bunch of people out of a ton of money and should no doubt be locked up for a very long time, a small part of me is kind of impressed.”  I feel the same way about guys like Pablo Escobar, D.B. Cooper, Al Capone, etc.


Also from Trevor:

“Now on the other side of the spectrum, we have cops. There's the stereotypical cop, drinking coffee and eating donuts, kinda pathetic. Then you have supercops, like in the movies. I assume that the CIA and FBI are pretty intense in real life too, but I don't really know what they actually do.”

Proud to Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An Essay From A Guest

I gotta be honest with you and admit upfront that something unexpected came up today so I won’t be able to write as long of a blog post as I would have liked to.  Obviously, “something came up” can be interpreted as either writer’s block, me going back to my lazy ways, me getting an opportunity to play free golf and taking it, etc.  Regardless of what I tell you the real reason is, I know that you will all most likely think the truth is one of those aforementioned excuses, so I might as well not even try to explain myself and just move on (also, I’m not saying the real reason isn’t one of the aforementioned excuses).

Having said that, Nut Up or Shut Up Week is still rolling on.  Since I promised you five blog posts in five days and since I never go back on my promises (except for the times that I do), I’ve got no choice but to deliver a blog post today come hell or high water.

(By the way, hell and high water seem like two drastically different things. Don’t get me wrong – floods can be devastating, but the phrase “high water” doesn’t necessarily mean a flood.  All “high water” really means is that a couple of roads are closed throughout the town and that bag of Doritos you left in your basement might be a little soggy now cause some water is leaking in.  It sucks, sure, but really it only marginally sucks when compared to eternal damnation, so maybe the phrase should be changed to “come hell or apocalypse”, “come hell or the plague”, “come hell or famine”, or any of the other countless alternatives that are better than “come hell or high water.”)

Anyway, because I guaranteed a blog post today and because I can’t really carve a huge block of time out of my day today like I typically do when I write these things, I’m going to turn today’s post over to a guest blogger. And by “guest blogger”, I mean that I’m going to copy and paste an essay that was written by Kosta Koufos using my computer when he and I were teammates at Ohio State and that I’ve had saved on my computer for all these years.

Kosta, you might remember, was at Ohio State for one year before he went to the NBA and bounced around a few teams until landing with the Denver Nuggets (who he now plays for).  During his one year at OSU (my sophomore year), he was asked to write an essay that compared Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” to the original version by Nine Inch Nails for one of his classes, and for whatever reason he used my computer to do so.  After he finished writing the essay, I obviously saved it and planned on using it in my book somehow, but in the end there wasn’t any real purpose for it or natural place to put it so I left it out of the book (plus it’s not terrible enough to be really all that funny or entertaining).

Since I’ve saved it for so long and have never done anything with it (and since I never got to make fun of Kosta on the blog because he left for the NBA before I started my blog), I figured I’d finally publish it.  So if you have ever found yourself wondering what a McDonald’s All-American has to say about the two most popular versions of “Hurt”, today is your lucky day.  I should mention that I opened the document, hit CTRL + A to copy every last word he wrote, and then opened this blog post and hit CTRL + V to paste it all, so please don’t accuse me of cutting stuff out or changing words around or anything like that.  Also, I swear that every bit of this was really written by Kosta when he was a freshman at OSU.  I had nothing to do with it other than copying it onto this blog (you’ll soon see that I couldn’t have written it because it’s not bad enough – had I written it as Kosta, I admittedly would have gone over the top and tried to make him look really stupid).  Anyway, here it is:


Kosta Koufos


Music Comparison

After Listening to the song Hurt from both artists Johnny Cash, and the group Nine Inch Nails, it caught my attention in an awkward way. Both songs had the same lyrics, but sung in a different type of tone. I felt that the songs had more differences than similarities which made it very easy for me to make many judgments about the music pieces. The music had a common message and was very moving in a negative way. After listening and thinking about both music pieces, I came to realization that even though the song had the same lyrics, there was a distinct difference between the two.

The first artist I listened too was Johnny Cash. As the song first starts out, you hear a guitar that seems to have a mellow dramatic sound. Then after the guitar plays, Johnny Cashes voice comes in with a very quite but strong passionate voice. As I listened to this song, it became very evident to me that it was about pain and sorrow in life. The main reason why I said the song was about pain and sorrow in life, was the fact that there were many statements used that used the word “death” in it. If I were to summarize this song I would say that it was about having everything in life, and all of a sudden you have nothing, but still you have to stay strong.

When the song leaded to the chorus the beat became faster, and Johnny Cash’s voice still maintained his mellow voice throughout the whole song. As I listened to this, I kept thinking of wars and destruction, and the death that came with a price from the wars. I also had a religious image with Jesus being persecuted, and the life struggled he faced to get his message around about God. From listening to Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt I concluded that Nine Inch Nail’s version was much different.

Even though both songs were very slow and very dramatic, the beginning of both songs was different. Johnny Cash’s version had more of an up tempo beat, while NIN version was extremely depressing. The first ten seconds of the song, all you heard was wind. As I was listening to this I had goose bumps, because it was a very chilling and eerie noise. The NIN version had the same attributes as the other version, for instance there was a guitar played, it had a very slow rhythm and depressing tone, and had a strong transition chorus.

The main difference between the two songs is that with NIN, the singer was over powered by the background. It was very hard to depict what the singer was saying, which made the song more depressing than Johnny Cash’s version. If I had to choose between the two songs, I would have to lean more towards Johnny Cash. The reason for this is that his voice was more demanding and very easy to understand. With NIN, I had to listen to the song several times.

Don’t forget I’m planning on doing a mailbag post on Friday and the length of the post depends exclusively on how many emails I get.  While I’d really appreciate it if nobody sent me an email for the mailbag so that I wouldn’t have to write anything, I think it would be better for everyone involved if the exact opposite of this happened, so get to it.

Also, after asking for some more examples of activities/hobbies/things that make people look like douches if they aren’t very good at them but conversely make them look like grade A badasses if they are good at them, the Trillion Man March stepped to the plate.  Here are a handful of my favorite additions to the list that you all sent in:

Astronauts (From Shelby)

“A kid at space camp is ripe for a beating.  But an astronaut - well - he's on the moon.  (Or at least he was before Obama defunded NASA.)”

Farmers (Also from Shelby)

“My aunt has a veggie garden in the back of her house.  She likes to grow zucchinis.  Her tomatoes are actually pretty good; but when she starts going off about how her veggie garden is doing - well....

On the other hand, we all depend on real farmers.” 

Facial Hair (From Chris)

“If you aren't very manly and can't grow a real beard then keep your facial hair clean shaven and stop looking like such a dirt ball, unless of course you are a dirt ball and that's just how you roll. People trying to grow a beard who clearly cannot just look like a 9th grade guy trying to impress the new slut in school because he got pubes on his face before anyone else. On the contrary, having an impressive beard can be one of the most badass additions to a man's look.”

Wrapping a Chipotle Burrito (From Griffith)

“I had a very poorly wrapped burrito today at Chiptole.  All my chicken, rice, and corn proceeded to fall out almost immediately after I picked up the burrito.  On the contrary, when I receive a well-wrapped burrito, it's the greatest thing of all time.  That's where my connection to your post comes in, when someone wraps the burrito (not trying to be racist but it's usually somebody white) and it's done poorly, the whole Chipotle experience is almost ruined.  On the other hand, when someone (again not trying to be racist but it's usually one of the Mexican employees) wraps the burrito really well, that's what makes Chipotle so awesome and I have the utmost respect for that employee.  The 2.7 second super-wrap.  Few things rival it.”

Personally, I think a sloppy Chipotle burrito still beats the hell out of most anything else so it’s not exactly terrible to me and probably doesn’t qualify for my list, but I included Griffith’s submission on here because I wanted to reward thinking outside the box (plus, obviously not everyone is exactly like me and some of you might have your day ruined when you get a poorly wrapped burrito, so it might qualify for your list).

Also, I loved Griffith’s disclaimer that he’s not trying to be racist, as though anybody in their right mind would think he’s racist for suggesting that Mexicans are better at wrapping burritos than whites.  Remember, Griffith – 1) it’s impossible to be racist against whites (regardless of your own race), and 2) it’s not racist if it’s a compliment.

Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Another Misguided Concept

Admit it – you don’t think I can pull it off, do you?  Well, it’s Day 2 of what I’m now referring to as Nut Up or Shut Up Week at Club Trillion and here I am.  In case you were wondering, I am actually writing all of these blogs posts the same day that I publish them, so don’t think that I wrote a bunch of these and stockpiled them just so I could just sit back and make it seem like I’m working diligently (I really am working diligently, dammit!).  Also, even though it may seem like this week is all about me giving back to the Trillion Man March or something, the truth is that I’m much more selfish than that.  The sole purpose of this week is to get me to stop being so lazy and to give myself the kick in the pants that I kinda need right now, which is ironic since had I not issued this challenge to myself in the first place there’s a solid chance I wouldn’t have even put pants on at all this entire week (another irony: this last sentence discussed both pants and irony and sometimes I iron my pants before I put them on!!!).

Anyway, for Day 2 I’ve decided to write about something I’ve been giving some thought to for a little while and was just reminded of this past weekend when I went back to Indiana and stayed in my hometown for a few days.  Now, I’ve mentioned Brownsburg a time or two on this blog before, but in case you missed it or don’t remember what the town is like, just imagine your stereotypical suburban town and that’s pretty much it.  There’s really nothing all that special about the place (save the Little League World Series appearances in 1999 and 2001 and the fact that Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz, Drew Storen of the Washington Nationals, and Lance Lynn of the St. Louis Cardinals all graduated from BHS within a few years of each other), but there is at least one thing about Brownsburg that I’ve yet to see duplicated anywhere else, and that one thing is the unprecedented amount of adolescent loitering. Yes, loitering (loitering…and smoking the reefer).

Forgive me for sounding like a grumpy old geezer, but every time I go back to my hometown, there always seems to be a ridiculous amount of 12-15 year old dudes just hanging out everywhere throughout the town.  They never have any sort of agenda and seem like they’re just really bored and want to get out of their houses cause their moms are strung out on drugs and their dads are alcoholics who beat them or something.  No matter the day of the week or the time of day, it always seems like there are kids hanging out at the grocery stores, the bowling alley, the Wal-Mart, the movie theater, both of the McDonald’s (don’t want to brag or anything but yeah, Brownsburg’s got two), and even the liquor stores.  It’s like a gay pedophile’s paradise seeing as how the entire town is crawling with 12-15 year old boys.

Now, using my own adolescence as a template, I originally thought that these kids were at the grocery stores to MILF hunt, were at the bowling alley to hit on girls their own age, were at the Wal-Mart to commit petty theft, were at the movie theater to sneak into some terrible (probably Tyler Perry) movie and get a handy in the back row, were at the Mickey D’s to get free food from their friends who work there, and were at the liquor stores to try to get someone who is 21 to score some booze for them.  But I’ve observed these kids enough to know that they aren’t doing any of that (um, I swear I observed them for research purposes for this blog post and not some other reason). 

Instead, they’re just hanging out by the entrances of all these places and are talking amongst themselves, presumably about how big of a bitch their English teacher is or how badly they want to see that Kelly chick’s boobs.  More often than not, they never actually go into the establishment that they’re hanging out by and instead just get in everyone’s way since they’re sitting right by the entrance, which is why these kids annoy me so much.  Also, without fail there is always at least one kid in the group who has a skateboard with him.  And that’s what got me thinking.

Because of the kid in the group with a skateboard, I’ve noticed that I’ve developed a bit of a disdain for all kids who skateboard, primarily because I’m a stereotyping ass.  Having said that, though, I don’t have a blanket hatred for all skateboarders, as I actually think pro skateboarders are pretty badass and enjoy watching them do their thing during the X Games every summer.  I’m a big fan of Tony Hawk, Rob Dyrdek, and Jason Ellis in particular, and anyone who knows anything about me knows that just thinking about Rune Glifberg doing a Christ Air on Tony Hawk Pro Skater makes my nipples rock hard.  I really do enjoy skateboarding, but thanks to these kids who loiter with their skateboards at popular places in my hometown and annoy me to no end, I only like pro skateboarding and kinda think that all non-pro skateboarders are crusty tampons.

After giving it some thought, I realized that skateboarding isn’t the only thing that I feel this way about.  There seem to be a handful of skills/activities that I think to myself, “That guy’s a douche” if I see someone doing the activity recreationally or as just a hobby or something, but also think, “That guy’s a total badass” when I see an expert doing the exact same thing.  Obviously this is somewhat hypocritical thinking since it’s impossible for someone to become an expert at something without being a novice first, so it’s stupid to rag on young skateboarders because Tony Hawk was once a novice too. 

With that in mind, this is more of an observation of my own flawed thought process than anything else.  So if you do any of the activities that I’m going to mention in a little bit as a hobby, please don’t take this the wrong way and think that I think you’re an idiot for what you choose to do with your free time.  I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life.  I’m instead just basically pointing out how messed up my logic is (although, my guess is that a lot of you feel the same way about a few of these things so really it’s more of me pointing out how messed up everyone’s logic is).

Now that we got that disclaimer out of the way, let’s take a look at my list of the nine things other than skateboarding for which I think novices are losers but experts are badasses.  Before we do, though, I should address the fact that you might be thinking that this criteria applies to all activities.  You might be saying to yourself, “But of course you think novices suck and experts are awesome.  That’s because novices are novices and experts are experts.  That’s how everything works.”  My response to this is well, not necessarily.  Here’s a chart that provides some examples and shows the difference between a few separate activities.

novice vs expert chart

If you play pick-up basketball but aren’t that good, nobody is going to look down on you or judge you or anything (I mean that they won’t judge you for the decision to play basketball – if they make fun of you, it’s because you are atrocious and can’t even hit the rim and not because of what you choose to do as a hobby).  Meanwhile, video games are something that are almost better to not be that good at.  It’s cool to play video games with your friends every now and then, but when you become an expert at a particular game, people think you’re a complete loser who never leaves your house (this explains the genesis of Nut Up or Shut Up Week).  And poor Magic: The Gathering players – no matter how good or bad you might be, the mere fact that you’re playing it at all kinda makes you a loser.

So now that you see the difference, keep in mind that we’re concerned with just that fourth case on the chart.  I’ll provide my list, but part of the reason I wrote about this is because I want some input from the Trillion Man March.  I know that there are some things I didn’t think of, which is why I’m hoping some of you will email me with examples you come up with.  Anyway, here’s my list:

Martial Arts

I guess MMA guys could also kinda be grouped in with this, but here I really mean guys who do karate or judo or taekwondo or whatever else they teach at your local dojo.  Just think for a second how you’d react if you found out your friend goes to karate class every Thursday night versus how you’d react if you found out your friend was a black belt in karate.  I don’t know about you, but I’m equal parts jealous and terrified of anyone who has a black belt in any of the martial arts, which might explain why I make fun of people who take martial arts classes and aren’t yet black belts.  Maybe I’m just getting in my licks while I feel like I still can since once they get black belts they’d be able to mutilate me without even breaking a sweat (yes, I’m aware that even non-black belts could still have their way with me).


I know some people probably think ventriloquists fall into that Magic: The Gathering group in that no matter how good or bad they are, they’re still kind of weird for doing it at all.  But there’s something about good ventriloquism that I appreciate.  I really shouldn’t have to defend myself, but I offer this example as one bit of evidence why I am sometimes jealous of and thoroughly entertained by ventriloquists.


It’s been brought to my attention that some people don’t know what Parkour is, so if you’re included in this group, watch this video and get up to speed.  I might be alone in this, but the first time I watched that, my jaw would have dropped all the way to the ground had my fully erect penis not stopped it first.  Some of the stuff on there completely blows my mind and makes me wonder exactly how someone practices that stuff….

…which brings me to the homeless man I saw in downtown Los Angeles a couple of months ago who was apparently trying to run up walls.  Now, there’s a good chance this guy was just high on LSD, but I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was actually just trying to practice some Parkour, because he also jumped over a few benches and twirled himself around a street sign.  Up until that point, I had always assumed that all Parkour was sweet, but then I saw this homeless man faceplant after he tried to jump over a bike rack and I realized that for as cool as the Parkour experts are, the Parkour novices are exactly that uncool.

Freestyle Rapping

There’s this guy and then there’s Tom Green and Xzibit.  I think those two videos prove my point for me.

(If you didn’t click the links, I should mention that the video that I linked to as the good example probably isn’t the one that you thought was going to be the good one.)


Obviously there’s nothing wrong with being able to make a good meal for yourself, so don’t think I’m picking on you if you regularly cook.  I’m more concerned with the guys like Randy Marsh from the “Crème Fraiche” episode of South Park.  You know, guys who own all sorts of utensils (and probably don’t know what most of them do), obsess over cooking shows, are always on the hunt for good recipes, and think they’re gourmet chefs just because they can make a casserole.

Actual gourmet chefs, on the other hand, are doing the Lord’s work.  I fully respect people who can make elaborate and delicious meals, to the point that the rare times I eat at a nice restaurant, I typically don’t enjoy the meal as much as I should because I’m too busy envying the chef and hating myself for not knowing how to make anything more than a ham sandwich.


This is pretty self-explanatory. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but your cheesy uncle who thought he was awesome when he would pretend to pull his thumb off or find a quarter behind your ear whenever he saw you at family reunions was actually a complete loser. Conversely, this is kind of badass.

Doing Drugs

This one is a little different than all the others in that I personally never get jealous of someone because they do drugs (just say no, kids).  But I still thought I should include it because there are enough examples of people who I think are pure badass primarily because of the boatloads of drugs they did or still do.  Plus, I think the juxtaposition of a looking down on the stereotypical meth head high school dropout and idolizing the stereotypical rock star who shoots up in his trailer before and/or after playing to a packed house is interesting.

Sure there are exceptions and not everyone who does a ton of drugs is awesome (Lindsay Lohan), but guys like Hunter S. Thompson, Charlie Sheen (I know he’s become a cliché at this point and has kind of run his course, but less than six months ago the guy was on fire), and handfuls of pro wrestlers leave me no choice but to tip my hat to them simply because their ability to consume enough drugs to take down even the huskiest of Michigan cheerleaders is pretty impressive to me in some strange way.


The kids who spray paint random lines on alleyways and the sides of trains are undoubtedly complete twats, but after watching Exit Through the Gift Shop, I can’t help but think that guys like Banksy and Shepard Fairey rule (if Exit Through the Gift Shop was a hoax, that only makes me respect Banksy that much more since he was able to dupe so many people).


Anybody who has spent any time on a college campus has seen the guy who knows two or three chords and sits in a grassy area on campus (usually with his shirt off), strums his guitar, and throws lyrics to a popular song over top of some guitar playing that in no way matches the actual song.  This is the novice I’m talking about, not people like me who tried to teach themselves how to play guitar (but failed miserably) in the privacy of their own homes (of course I’m not talking about me – I have to find a way to save face, after all).  And really, you don’t even have to be an expert at guitar for me to think you’re awesome.  So long as you can actually play the thing and aren’t just trying to give the impression that you know how to play, you’re cool in my book.  It’s the dude with his shirt peeled who is desperate for attention and bought a guitar just because he thought chicks would like him more that needs a swift kick to the taint.

I think I might make my blog post for Friday a mailbag post, but that depends mostly on whether or not I get any good emails between now and then, so if you have anything to ask or tell me, send it to me in the form of an email and I’ll respond to it for all the world to see.  I know Simmons is in the midst of his “Summer of Mailbag” over at Grantland, so after you’re done complaining about how I’m copying him and after you’re done sulking over the fact that he didn’t include your email in his mailbag column from last week, send your rejected email my way and I’ll take care of you.

And don’t forget to do your homework tonight and send me any ideas you came up with for what I discussed with this post.  If I get some good ones, I’ll post them at the end of the blog entries throughout the week and give you a shoutout, which will in turn surely result in at least 2 or 3 Facebook friend requests you wouldn’t have otherwise received.

As always, if your ideas suck please keep them to yourselves.


Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder

Monday, August 15, 2011

Catching Up With Some Old Friends

I’m going to do it.  This week, I’m going to try to achieve what I’ve always assumed was impossible.  No, I’m not going to watch an entire WNBA game or try to rapidly drink a gallon of milk.  And no, I’m not going to become a vegan or try to teach Deshaun Thomas (who – by the way – might already be my favorite Ohio State athlete ever) how to pass a basketball.  And I’m certainly not going to try to memorize all of the lyrics to “Informer” or try to physically lift Evan “The Villain” Turner’s girlfriend off the ground without the help of a forklift or some sort of advanced machinery.  No, what I’m going to attempt is much more difficult than any of these things.  That’s because I’m going to try to write five blog posts in five days.  I’ll say it again in case you didn’t catch that and for whatever reason have some weird personal philosophy that prevents you from rereading things: I’m going to try to write five blog posts in five days.  Yes, I know I’m crazy for attempting to multiply my output by almost infinity and yes I’m fully aware of how dangerous this could ultimately be, which is why I took all the necessary precautions and have paramedics standing by should the unthinkable happen.

For this first blog post, I figured I’d write about my journey to Indiana this past weekend because there literally isn’t a single thing that any one of you can do to stop me.  I initially went back to Indiana to play in the Travis Smith Memorial Golf Classic in Terre Haute but ultimately ended up staying at my parents’ house in my hometown for a few days after the event just because my mom kept making me free meals.  I’ve discussed my mom’s limited cooking abilities on this blog before, so intuition would tell you that staying for a free meal cooked by her would be like getting domed up by a great white shark – while the “what” seems pretty awesome, perhaps a little more attention should be paid to the “who.” 

But despite her culinary shortcomings, the fact of the matter is that she’s really not that bad of a cook and she can certainly cook much better than I can.  And most importantly, her meals are free, which is a huge deal because there’s no denying that the best things in life are free, even if they also happen to be slightly burnt and could probably use a little more seasoning.  Anyway, after constantly stuffing my face for a few days and putting on at least five pounds, I had no choice but to flee my parents’ house and come back home to Ohio lest I develop type 2 diabetes and what would have surely been a nice set of man tits.

By the way, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention that while I know this is fairly obvious and pretty much goes without saying, it’s impossible to adequately describe how glorious that first poop you take after a long weekend of gorging at your parents’ house is.  Every time I question why I visit my parents and subject myself to the self-loathing that comes with quadrupling my daily caloric intake, that post-visiting the parents poop is always there to remind me and is what ultimately makes me return time and time again.

But back to the golf outing.  Most of you probably don’t know this, but Greg Oden’s best friend since childhood, Travis Smith, died in a car accident in January of 2007, when we were in the midst of our freshman season at OSU.  Ever since then, a golf outing has been held in Travis’ hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana to honor Travis and benefit the local Boys & Girls Club.  This year, Greg financed his own personal team and asked me to be on it, most likely because I told him that I was a scratch golfer (to be fair, I thought “scratch golfer” meant that you typically get so frustrated during a round of golf that you stop keeping score and just scratch out the remainder of the scorecard). 

Since he hosts the event and can therefore do whatever he damn well pleases, Greg made sure that Team Oden had one more player than all the other teams, which was significant because we were playing a best ball scramble so our team had one more opportunity to hit a good shot than the other teams did.  I was obviously the anchor of the team but other Team Oden members included Mike Conley, Josh McRoberts, a former AAU teammate of all of ours named Reece who played pro baseball for a few years and is now going to play basketball at UIndy, and my roommate from my freshman year at OSU who played high school basketball with Mike and Greg.  Had this been a Gus Macker, we would have no doubt mushroom stamped the competition, won the thing with ease, and most likely had a celebration party at a local strip club where we would’ve let the strippers drink Hennessy out of our trophy as we did lines of coke off their breasts.  Sadly, though, this was a golf outing and not a basketball tournament, and the golfing ability of the guys on our team ranged from “atrocious” to “somewhat decent.”

The best player on our team was definitely Mike, who goes golfing pretty much every day and typically shoots somewhere in the low to mid 80s, but I found out when I got to the course that Mike would have to leave after 9 holes because he had a flight to Arkansas to catch.  This meant that I was going to be our team’s best player for the back nine.  As you can imagine, this was less than good news for our team.  I’m not exactly a terrible golfer (typically shoot high 80s/low 90s) simply because I go so often (I would go every day if I could afford it.  In fact, my life plan looks like this: “Step 1 – Get rich. Step 2 – Golf.”), but as a general rule of thumb, it’s probably not a good thing if I’m the best on the team, regardless of what sport we’re talking about.  This particular instance was no exception.

Since we sucked so badly after Mike left (and honestly weren’t really doing that well even when Mike was with us), we decided to do something about it and fix our problems, which is to say we decided to honor one of the great historic traditions in golf and cheat like crazy so people wouldn’t mock us for being horrible golfers.  Throughout the last nine holes, each of us took multiple tee shots on each hole, we interpreted “club length relief” as “put the ball back on the fairway and cut a stroke off your score”, we treated any ball that was within 20 feet of the hole as a gimmie, and we even just blatantly wrote down a score that was in no way anywhere close to what we actually got a few times.

After most of the holes on the back nine, Josh and I contemplated what to write down on the scorecard, because we wanted to obviously get a good score but still wanted to make sure we didn’t go overboard and end up accidentally winning the thing since it would’ve been obvious that we cheated.  In the end, our final reported score was a 9-under 62, which we thought was pretty good and would’ve been enough for a top 5 finish that would’ve got the ladies all hot and bothered.  But as it turned out, even with our blatant disregarding of the rules, we still finished something like third to last and were probably made fun of by everyone. 

But not all was lost, though, because during the round Josh (who plays for the Indiana Pacers) confirmed what I had always thought was true when he essentially told me that Larry Bird (who is the Pacers’ President of Basketball Operations) is a total badass who drinks and smokes whenever he feels like it, says exactly what’s on his mind without a care in the world about who he might offend, and pretty much does whatever the f**k he wants because he’s Larry F’ing Bird. Learning this information and realizing that my idol is exactly as awesome as I hoped he would be is unquestionably a win for me, no matter where the final standings said our team finished for the day.

After the golf outing, we all decided to reject reality and have a pool party at Greg’s new house in Indy to celebrate our big win.  I showed up an hour after I was told the party was supposed to start because in my experience I’ve found that an hour is usually how long it takes for all the butt-naked hos to arrive and really get the party started.  You can call it fashionably late if you want to, but I prefer to call it “trying to time it up perfectly so I’m not stuck at a party that has a serious deficiency of butt-naked hos.”

Anyway, when I walked into Greg’s house, three things immediately stood out to me: 1) It was just Greg’s summer house that he plans on giving to his grandma because it’s not nice/big enough, and it was still nicer and bigger than any house I’ll ever own in my life, 2) A life-size sculpture of his penis was resting on the mantle above his fireplace, with the base of the shaft actually resting on the fireplace and the flaccid replica of his penis hanging down from the mantle so the tip of the penis was just a few inches from the fireplace, and 3) There wasn’t a single butt-naked ho in sight (I made up one of those three observations. I’ll let you figure out which one).  My first course of action was to bring this third observation up to Greg, as I said to him, “Greg, I’ve seen Entourage.  I know how you big shots party.  Where are the heaps of cocaine that are supposed to be randomly placed throughout the house?  Where are the people having casual sex in plain sight despite the fact that nobody at the party has any idea who they are?  Why are there not topless chicks walking around in the shallow end of your pool and kissing each other just because some horny dude at the party dared them to?  You call this a party?”  He responded by saying, “Shut up, asshole.  Do you want a beer or not?” and hitting me in the balls before he walked to the kitchen.  Touché.

Apparently this “party” was actually just a laid back get-together with less than 10 people, which was a serious buzzkill for me but probably was for the better considering that I’m scheduled to get married in less than a year.  Anyway, since the party kinda sucked by my standards, the only real reason I even bring it up is to discuss Greg’s house.  Now, the house wasn’t exactly a multimillion dollar estate with an Olympic sized pool and a guest house or anything wild like that, but it was still pretty sweet considering that it had a pool with a slide in the backyard, an upstairs and a basement,  nice new furniture throughout the house (including a brand new piano and a pool table), flat screen TVs everywhere, a sound system that could be controlled throughout the entire house, and a theater room with a huge projector screen and a couple rows of seats (and let’s not forget that this was just his summer house that he plans on giving away because it’s not cool enough).

As we were all sitting in the theater room, Reece asked Greg if he had any video game systems hooked up to the projector, to which Greg replied, “I have them all.”  Reece then decided he wanted to play Madden on Xbox 360 and I said I’d play against him, so Greg took a few minutes to get everything set up and then handed Reece and me some controllers.  But the controllers didn’t work because they were fresh out of the box and had never even been charged before, let alone used.  Reece and I quickly figured this out, so we walked to the closet where the video game systems were stored and we looked for the stuff we needed to charge the controllers. 

As we were looking, I noticed that all the game systems looked brand new and all the games and DVDs he had on a shelf right next to everything looked new too.  That’s when it hit me – Greg has so much f’ing money that he just thought to himself, “What does this room need? Hmm, maybe some video games”, went out and bought at least three video game systems and a bunch of games to go with, probably paid someone to hook everything up for him, and then just let them sit in this closet where he most likely had never touched any of them (as evidenced by the fact that there were still stickers on the controllers and they hadn’t been charged yet). 

When Greg walked back into the room, Reece and I had turned the TV back to Sportscenter or something.  Greg started to ask Reece why we weren’t playing Xbox, but I interrupted him because I just couldn’t help but address what was on my mind. I said, “Greg, do you ever just sit in this chair in your theater room of your summer house, push this button that makes your electric powered leather chair recline without you having to exert any effort whatsoever, watch TV on your gigantic projector screen, and think to yourself, ‘Holy shit I’m rich’?”  He stopped talking to Reece midsentence, turned his head toward me, looked me in the eye with a straight face for a few beats of silence like I was the world’s biggest dumbass, and emphatically said, “No” before he turned back and again asked Reece why we weren’t playing Xbox.  That told me everything I needed to know – this guy has more money than he can even comprehend.

Now, I know some of you are probably thinking “Congratulations, dude. You know somebody rich. Aren’t you f**king special?  Too bad you’re still a poor douche who won’t amount to anything with your own life.”  And to that I say, you’re probably right albeit kind of impolite.  The point of me telling you about Greg’s house wasn’t because I was somehow vicariously bragging through Greg or because I think I’m awesome for knowing a millionaire.  The point of that story is that Greg has more money than I could ever even spend and it kind of blows my mind to think about it and actually see it in person (since he went to the NBA, I’ve probably only seen Greg maybe 5 times a year and most of those times are at OSU’s gym or when we go out to a bar or something.  I’ve never actually been to any of his houses that he’s bought with his NBA riches until this past weekend). 

More importantly, the point of that story is that I’m now kind of beating myself up over the fact that I didn’t forge a stronger relationship with Greg when we were teammates and therefore missed out on a great opportunity to secure a spot in his entourage as one of his primary moochers. 

There’s no telling how many butt-naked hos I could’ve partied with by now.

Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How I Feel About The Brickyard 400

Being a native of Indiana and one of the few NASCAR fans who can form an articulate sentence and can say with absolute certainty that I have never kissed my cousin, the last week of July is typically a week that I spend doing a lot of explaining to people.  That’s because the last week of July is when the Brickyard 400 is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and is therefore the time of year that all sorts of people over here in Ohio ask me if I’m going back home for the race and then look at me like I just pulled my testicles out of my pants and rested them on their forehead when I tell them “absolutely not.” 

Part of their disbelief comes from the fact that it’s no secret that I think the Indy 500 is the single most sacred event (sporting event or otherwise) in the world and that I’ve actually ended relationships with my friends and girlfriends when they didn’t want to accompany me to the race because they claimed that it didn’t appeal to them.  I’ve made it well-known that the Indy 500 is a really big f’ing deal to me, so people assume that because I actually prefer NASCAR to the IndyCar series, I must really be pitching a tent towards the end of July because I get to watch my favorite drivers race on my favorite track just a few miles from my hometown.  After all, the Brickyard 400 is essentially just the Indy 500 for NASCAR, right? 

The answer is of course not, stupid.  Much like Disney’s Doug and a deep fried hand job, the Brickyard 400 is a perfect example of how it’s entirely possible to put two otherwise great things together and create something far worse than the individual parts.

Let me first say that my disdain for the Brickyard 400 doesn’t come from me being some sort of traditionalist who hates the fact that the 500 isn’t the only race run on the sacred IMS track anymore, which is how some people in Indy felt when the Brickyard first started in 1994.  I’m perfectly fine with the idea of there being another race at IMS.  Hell, I’d be fine with there being a race every weekend at IMS so long as they all featured quality racing and a crazy party.  But that’s where the Brickyard 400 falls short and is really why I have such an issue with it – the racing sucks and the party is even worse.  On the surface, it seems like the Brickyard 400 has all the necessary elements to make for an awesome experience, but it only takes one trip to the Indy 500 and one trip to the Brickyard 400 to notice the vast difference and get the overwhelming feeling that, like a dry college campus or a prude supermodel, there are serious problems that completely outweigh any and all positives.

First let’s tackle the racing.  Now, I don’t pretend to be a racing expert and even though I’ve been watching NASCAR for as long as I can remember, I admittedly have no idea what the hell the commentators are talking about most of the time because my knowledge of the terminology is pretty limited.  Truth be told, I probably know more about elephants than I do racing strategy or the anatomy of cars in general (here’s proof: elephants have up to six sets of teeth in their lifetime and once their sixth set falls out, they die from starvation because they can no longer eat.  Also, did you know that if you just went to your local zoo and picked out any elephant at random, removed all of its organs including its trunk, and laid them all end-to-end on the ground, you would certainly get arrested and would probably spend a significant amount of time in prison?).

But despite my shortcomings in car knowledge, I am able to tell if what I am watching is boring or not.  Of course, some would argue that all racing is boring because it’s nothing more than a bunch of left turns.  And yet others would argue that this is all a moot point anyway because when I go to the IMS, I typically sit in the infield and don’t watch any of the race at all because I’m too busy slamming back a case of Bud heavies while trying to get trashy chicks to show me their goods.  But I’ve been to enough of these races to know how to pay attention to both the race and the Tweety Bird tattoo on the breast of some chain smoking lady in a tube top, so really that’s an invalid argument.  Besides, I went to a bunch of races before I turned 10 and started drinking and trying to get girls to flash me, and even back then I could tell that the Brickyard 400 just wasn’t getting the job done.

The fatal flaw with the Brickyard 400 is that the track simply wasn’t built for NASCAR cars.  Again, I don’t know much about car engineering or the science behind racetracks and whatnot, but even a Michigan fan could figure out pretty quickly that IMS has relatively no banking.  This lack of banking means that most of the entertainment at IMS comes from watching cars fight physics and try to make a turn going 200+ mph without much help from the track itself, which might be boring to watch on TV but I assure you is pretty nuts to see in person for the first time (and really every time).  This fighting of physics is exactly what the founders of the IMS wanted, seeing as how they built the track in 1909 primarily as a way to test the limits of high performance cars (fun fact: the guy who was in charge of building the track thought that cars wouldn’t be able to go any faster than 120 mph around IMS, so the fact that the modern day cars run at almost double that speed during the Indy 500 is pretty remarkable).

Anyway, my point is that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built and exists for one reason – to see how fast cars can go around it.  It was a track built to test speed and the Indy 500 does just that, which is why that particular race is so entertaining.  The cars are literally going as fast as the physics will allow them and if the drivers make even a fraction of a mistake, it could cost them a win (JR Hildebrand on the final turn this year) or in some cases – God forbid – even their lives.

The Brickyard 400, on the other hand, doesn’t provide that balls to the wall speed that the 500 does because NASCAR cars are built entirely differently.  NASCAR races, relatively speaking, are often predicated more on physicality than speed (at Indy, NASCAR cars average about 50 mph less than the open wheel cars do), so when they race on a track like IMS that was built solely to test speed, they go relatively slowly through the turns and the race turns out to essentially just be a parade of what appear to be elaborately painted refrigerators.  Plus, throw in the fact that NASCAR guys like to bump each other and IMS is most certainly not a track for bumping, and it makes things even worse because all that bumping results in a lot of crashes and caution flags (when people say they like crashes, what they really mean is they like seeing fiery crashes where the car rolls a few times and looks completely decimated when it’s all said and done.  Most crashes, though, are entirely unexciting and just drag out the race and make it even more boring).  Throw all of these factors together and what you’ve got is a race that can’t even sniff the jock of the Indy 500.

Of course, this is just my theory that I’ve established solely through years of observation.  I don’t have stats to back me up and I certainly don’t have any real knowledge of racing whatsoever, so there’s a good chance my explanation is way off.  Either way, the fact of the matter is that the racing at the Brickyard 400 just isn’t that exciting.  Regardless of why, there’s no denying that it’s pretty boring when compared to the 500.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to the real issue – the partying (or more accurately, the lack thereof).  There are really only four words needed to explain why the Indy 500 party scene makes the Brickyard 400 party scene look like a Sunday morning trip to church with your grandparents – general admission infield tickets.  I’ve written about this before, but the infield at the Indy 500 is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my life (and yes, I’ve been to the Kentucky Derby), primarily because I’ve seen just about anything you can imagine short of rape and murder.  I’ve seen people having sex (I’ve even seen what appeared to be a 3-way), I’ve seen people doing hardcore drugs, and I’ve seen a woman try to piss in a busy men’s restroom by removing her jean shorts, propping her foot up to get a better angle, and pointing her vajeen toward the community urinal tub (admit it – you’re jealous).  It might be a typical Tuesday afternoon for Charlie Sheen, but for average people like you and me the infield at the 500 is mind-blowingly wild.

Why is the Indy 500 infield so rowdy, you ask? It’s simple – because it’s stupidly cheap and you can damn near bring anything into the track that you can carry.  This is really what separates it from the Kentucky Derby infield in my mind (not to mention the fact that horse racing can lick auto racing’s chode), since Derby infield tickets are more expensive and you can’t bring in outside food or drinks.  You can get a ticket for the Indy 500 infield for $30 and bring in a huge cooler full of food and beer (or if you’re like The Villain, stuff to make Cosmos).  Hell, for the 2010 race, I brought two kegs into the infield and tapped those bitches about 100 yards away from the track (it’s the only major sporting event I can think of that you can legally bring your own personal kegs to).  It’s essentially just a BYOB party with a $30 cover charge that 150,000 people are invited to and literally lasts all day, so there’s really no excuse for it not to be the most bitchingest party in America each and every year.

The Brickyard 400, though, doesn’t have these coveted general admission infield tickets.  I’ll say it again, this time using bold text to help emphasize what I’m saying: the Brickyard 400 does not have general admission infield tickets.  If that confuses the hell out of you and makes you think whoever is in charge of this decision should be immediately fired, you now have something in common with every 18-34 year old (white) male in the greater Indianapolis area. 

Now, it should be noted that you can buy a regular ticket with an actual seat assigned to it for the Brickyard 400 and walk into the infield and watch the race from there, but that completely defeats the purpose of the infield ticket.  Regular tickets aren’t as cheap as the infield tickets would be, so the poor white trash people that can afford to come party at the Indy 500 (and are typically the rowdiest people at the track) don’t show up for the 400.  As a result, the infield for the Brickyard basically just consists of legitimate race fans who have no interest in partying and just want to sit closer to the track to enhance their experience, college kids who think they’re cool because they’re drinking beer at a race at IMS and don’t know that the Brickyard is the JV race, and middle class people who don’t completely hate their lives like the poor people do and therefore don’t turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with their failures.  So yeah, the party kinda sucks.

Basically, here’s the ultimate problem: In my opinion, the only way to make the Brickyard 400 as awesome as it should be and to make it a must-attend event is to sell the infield tickets.  But they won’t start selling infield tickets any time soon because they don’t even come close to selling all the normal tickets, so they’re obviously going to focus more on trying to figure out a way to get more people to buy the relatively expensive seat-assigned tickets because those tickets bring in more money for them than the infield tickets do.  But they’re never going to sell out of the normal tickets until the quality of racing improves.  But the quality of racing won’t improve because the track simply isn’t a good fit for those cars.  So really, the way I see it, the only way to improve the overall event is to completely change the type of cars NASCAR uses.  Obviously this can’t happen, which is why the Brickyard 400 seems like it’s on track (pun absolutely intended) to be a perpetual letdown.

And let’s not kid ourselves.  Even though I said earlier that I wouldn’t mind there being a race at IMS every weekend, that doesn’t mean that all of the races there should be treated equally.  Regardless of the quality of racing or the party scene, the Indy 500 is in a class on its own just because of the history associated with it, and there’s legitimately no way in hell the Brickyard could ever come close to being as big of a deal to the people of Indianapolis (the Brickyard is like the NIT final four – just because it’s being held at a historic venue doesn’t make it a big deal).  That in and of itself is enough for some to think that it’s sacrilege to go to IMS for a race at any time other than Memorial Day weekend because the experience is borderline laughable and it makes the Indy 500 feel less special (another reason why the Indy 500 rules – Memorial Day is a built in recovery day for the day after the race). 

For as long as I can remember, I haven’t been included in that group, but with each passing year it seems like I’m getting closer and closer to feeling the exact same way.

It goes without saying that you should feel free to call me out on anything I screwed up.  As I said earlier, everything I just wrote is based on nothing more than my own personal experience, which typically means I’m embarrassingly wrong.  So if I was way off with my reasoning for why the Brickyard just isn’t what it seems like it could be, by all means send me an email and put me in my place.  If your email has enough vitriol in it, we might even become pen pals.

Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder