Papa John’s and Peyton Manning’s Post Super Bowl Email Exchange

You all saw the Super Bowl. You saw the Seattle Seahawks crush the Denver Broncos in the biggest game of the year. You saw Peyton Manning throw two interceptions and fail to move the ball down field against the Seattle defense. If you didn’t see it, people have been talking about it for days so you‘ve at least heard about it. 

But what you might not know is that there has been a rumor going around (perhaps started by me) that Papa John’s has been considering ending their well-known partnership with Manning after his below average performance in the Super Bowl. 

Look, I’m a journalist, a super-duper respected one at that, so it would be below me to write about a rumor that has no substantial evidence just to get people to read my article. So I did some reporting (and snooping) and obtained the following email exchange between the CEO of Papa John’s, John Schnatter, and Peyton Manning himself. Today I’ll share that email exchange with all of you so that you can see for yourself that the relationship between pizza and quarterback is truly over.

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To: ImDaManning@DenverBroncos.com

From: SchnattyLiteCEO@PapaJohns.com

Monday, February 3rd, 9:02 AM

Peyton. Hey, it’s me, John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John’s. First of all, I want to congratulate you again on a great season. No quarterback has ever had a regular season like the one you had this year. You should be proud. I also want to express my condolences for losing in the Super Bowl to the Seahawks. I know how much that game meant to you.

I know this isn’t a great time, but the reason I’m emailing you is to let you know that we have chosen to drop you as our signature celebrity endorser. The problem is that Seattle really beat you guys up pretty badly. 43-8 is about as bad as it gets. See, at Papa John’s we like to maintain the reputation that we crush our competition. It’s hard to do that when a face of our franchise is getting dominated in front of the entire world. I’m sure you understand.

Sincerely,

John Schnatter,CEO, Papa John’s Enterprises

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To: SchnattyLiteCEO@PapaJohns.com

From: ImDaManning@DenverBroncos.com

Feb. 3rd, 10:12 AM

Papa Nooooooo!!!!!

Seriously Papa you can’t do this to me. Filming those PJ commercials is how I convince myself to get out of bed every morning.

Look, I know the Super Bowl was bad, but you don’t understand how good the Seattle defense was. They were tackling me before I could throw the ball. Normally, when I drop back in the pocket I have about as much time to throw as it takes Domino’s to deliver a pizza (forever), but on Sunday I had about as much time to throw as it takes to fill out a survey online letting us know how your service was at Papa John’s in order to get a free topping on your next pizza (literally seconds).

C’mon Papa, give me another chance.

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To: ImDaManning@DenverBroncos.com

From: SchnattyLiteCEO@PapaJohns.com

Feb. 3rd, 10:20 AM

I’m really sorry Petyon. We’ve made our decision.

There’s something else I want to talk to you about. I don’t understand why you always call me Papa. My name is John. You can just call me John. Just because I own Papa John’s doesn’t mean people call me Papa. You’re a grown man, Peyton. And I know you have a dad. His name is Archie. He played in the NFL.

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To: SchnattyLiteCEO@PapaJohns.com

From: ImDaManning@DenverBroncos.com

Feb. 3rd, 10:26 AM

He’s my dad? I thought he was my agent. Why is he taking 10% of all my earnings?

—————————————————————————————————————————

To: ImDaManning@DenverBroncos.com

From: SchnattyLiteCEO@PapaJohns.com

Feb. 3rd, 10:33 AM

I don’t know, Peyton. That’s something you’ll have to discuss with him. I know this whole thing is hard for you, but it was a pleasure doing business with you and I wish you continued success going forward.

—————————————————————————————————————————

To: SchnattyLiteCEO@PapaJohns.com

From: ImDaManning@DenverBroncos.com

Feb. 3rd, 10:36 AM

Wait…Papa…Can you just answer one question for me? Can you tell me who you picked to replace me as your celebrity endorser?

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To: ImDaManning@DenverBroncos.com

From: SchnattyLiteCEO@PapaJohns.com

Feb. 3rd, 10:52 AM

I don’t know if this is a good idea. Since you asked, I’ll be honest with you, but please don’t be mad or insulted…We are bringing on Russell Wilson to be the face of Papa John’s.

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To: SchnattyLiteCEO@PapaJohns.com

From: ImDaManning@DenverBroncos.com

Feb. 3rd, 11:20 AM

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!

The guy that played Dwight on The Office? That guy has an even bigger forehead than I do. There’s no way Papa John Nation is going to respond well to him.

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To: ImDaManning@DenverBroncos.com

From: SchnattyLiteCEO@PapaJohns.com

Feb. 3rd, 11:30 AM

What? No that’s Raine Wilson. Russell Wilson is the quarterback of the Seahawks. The guy who literally just beat you in the Super Bowl. How do you not know his name?

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To: SchnattyLiteCEO@PapaJohns.com

From: ImDaManning@DenverBroncos.com

Feb. 3rd 11:39 AM

Oh, that guy. Yeah, I guess that makes more sense. Did you know he plays baseball too? He’s so athletic and in great shape. He probably doesn’t eat a lot of our signature giant cookie pies. His loss, am I right?

Well, if this is really happening (and I strongly suggest it doesn’t happen) then I have one request. Can I continue to get extra garlic butter packages for free? One packet doesn’t serve a whole pizza and there’s no way I’m spending 75 cents on a little bit of garlic butter.

—————————————————————————————————————————-

To: ImDaManning@DenverBroncos.com

From: SchnattyLiteCEO@PapaJohns.com

Feb. 3rd, 12:02 PM

Seriously? You make like 19 million dollars a year.

——————————————————————————————————————-

To: SchnattyLiteCEO@PapaJohns.com

From: ImDaManning@DenverBroncos.com

Feb. 3rd, 12:27 PM

Actually, I made like 60 million dollars this year. I bet 40 million dollars on the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl.That’s a lot of large Tuscan Six Cheese pizzas, am I right?

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To: ImDaManning@DenverBroncos.com

From: SchnattyLiteCEO@PapaJohns.com

Feb. 3rd, 12:45 PM

Please don’t email me again. 

——————————————————————————————————————————-

To: SchnattyLiteCEO@PapaJohns.com*

From: ImDaManning@DenverBroncos.com*

Feb. 3rd, 3:30 PM

LOL.

*These are not the real email addresses of John Schnatter or Peyton Manning so don’t try to email them.**

**In fact, none of this is real. 

-Jonny Auping

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Two Turtles Reacting to the “Duck Dynasty” Controversy

2 turtlesduck dynasty

Harold and Brian are two turtles who commute to work every day. Their job is about 150 feet away, which makes it a 45-minute commute. This was their conversation Monday Morning. 

“Hey Brian”

“What’s up Harold?”

“Oh not much. I have to do some last minute Christmas shopping. I got my brother a Lord of the Rings boxset, but then I heard the guy who played Gandalph said all those homophobic things so I returned it to the store.”

“The guy who played Gandalph? That wasn’t him. It was the guy from Duck Dynasty who was hating on gay people.”

“Well, I thought they were the same person.”

“No, they just both have beards.”

“Oh gotcha. It seems pretty silly for him to have a beard like that. I’ve lived in nature my whole life and I’ll tell you right now, camouflage clothes don’t really disguise you when you look like a redneck Santa Claus. I’m pretty sure you and I would be smart enough to hide in our shells if we saw that guy walking tortoise* (*towards us).

“I dunno man, ducks will pretty much always come if you call them. They have a pretty low shell-f esteem so they’re just desperate to hear someone quack at them.”

“Yeah, that’s true. At least we don’t have to see that guy anymore since they took him off the air.”

“I actually don’t know how I feel about that. I thought there was Freedom of Speech in this country. You’re always going to hear someone with extreme opinions about things. That doesn’t mean you have to be all sensitive about it. Some humans are ways too shell-tered.”

“Yeah, there’s Freedom of Speech, but this guy’s face is on half the products in Wal-Mart. You don’t have Freedom of Speech in advertising. You can’t say offensive things like that and expect to stay on the air. Remember, those Comcast commercials with “The Slowsky” turtles? I used to know those guys. They were crazy racist. You should have heard some of the things they said about sea turtles. That’s why you never see them on TV anymore.”

“That’s true, plus I don’t want to hear some old, creepy dude talking about anuses and vaginas. I know I’m a turtle, but I couldn’t have been the only one that felt awkward hearing that.”

“That’s how some of those southern, right-wing Christians are sometimes. This Phil guy probably thinks this whole country is going to Shell in handbasket.”

“Yeah, last time I went to Louisiana some alligator told me he hates turtles because apparently “sloth” is one of the seven deadly sins. Uhh, first of all, I’m not lazy, I’m literally moving as fast as I can. Secondly, you lounge in a swamp all day, pretend to be asleep and then viscously kill innocent animals. I’m pretty sure that’s like three sins right there.

“Now you hear some humans are boycotting A&E because of this whole thing? Oh wow, congratulations, you’re going to watch five hours of Cake Boss instead of five hours of Storage Wars. What a species of principles. Maybe if they would go outside for ten minutes instead of eating Doritos Tacos while watching reality TV that might impress me.”

“Typical humans, fighting over weirdos and chicken sandwiches. You know most of them don’t live much longer than 80 or 90 years?”

“Yeah, that’s gotta be the stress from hating on each other then arguing for months on end.”

“Shell yeah, it’s all about that simple turtle life.”

“I hear that. I guess we’re here. Did you have any plans for lunch?”

“I was thinking about splurging on a berry.”

“YOLO.”

To read about Brian and Harold discuss Miley Cyrus at the VMAs click here.

To read about Brian and Harold discuss Katy Perry at the AMAs click here.  

Jonny Auping*

*The author is aware that some of the puns used in this piece were also used in previous turtle-related articles. Apparently the turtle-pun-well does eventually run dry. If this recycling of jokes upsets you then the author would like to remind you that you are reading an article about two turtles talking about a bearded duck hunter who is against homosexuality so you really have no room to be upset with anyone but yourself. 

Controversial Outlook Alert: The Case Against “The Sandlot”

Some people have told me that if I really want to turn heads as a writer then I should write something controversial so that more people notice me. My response is typically, “I’m watching clips of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on Youtube right now, can we talk about this later?”

But today I decided I’d give it a try. Here goes…

The Sandlot.

It’s not really that good, guys.

I’m sorry. I’ve kept my mouth shut for too long.

Before I go further I want you to understand that I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad movie. I simply think it’s overrated. Sometimes when you get frustrated that something is overrated you feel like it’s your duty to criticize it and compensate for everyone else.

For example, Stories For Sunday co-founder Clark Williams and I have argued about the merits of bacon throughout our friendship. Clark doesn’t think it’s all that good. I am of the opinion that he is just sick of people acting like it’s the best food on the planet so he pretends that he doesn’t like it very much. Really he should just admit that he thinks it’s a little overrated. Instead, he claims that a grilled chicken sandwich is more appetizing than anything bacon-related, which is ridiculous. I won’t make that mistake.

In this analogy, the grilled chicken sandwich is, say, Little Giants. I’m not trying to pretend that Little Giants is better than The Sandlot.

I’ll admit The Sandlot has its redeeming qualities:

-Preteen version of Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez is still 80% cooler and better suited to handle any situation than I am right now.

Wendy Peffercorn is an angel.

-The “Tequila” montage is the bee’s knees (and somehow not on Youtube).

That’s pretty much all I got. Honestly, watch this “Funniest Moments” montage. Try to make it through the whole thing. I promise you’ll get bored:

The Sandlot isn’t a fun movie to watch. It’s just a fun movie to talk about because it viscously attacks every nostalgic bone in your body. It’s basically a Buzzfeed list about cool stuff from the nineties; you’ll post it on someone’s Facebook wall just to be like “hey wasn’t life awesome before iPads were invented?”

It’s a borderline travesty how much this movie is quoted. 

“You play baseball like a girl.”

Really? Cool bro, you’re fat.

I hate to break it to you, but that’s how that conversation actually goes 10 times out of 10. It’s a cruel world we live in and kids are the meanest of all. It’s unrealistic and irresponsible to tell kids that  back and forth insults are always going to end with s’mores parties. They’re probably going to end with somebody crying and emotionally damaged.

Speaking of S’mores… I’m sick of people acting like that joke is comedic gold. “S’more what?” Had you really not heard that before the movie? It’s not even an original joke. The whole premise of naming the creation s’mores is based on that joke.

That being said, I’ll admit that my problem with The Sandlot probably traces back to one point: Dennis Leary sucks in this movie. If that dude were my stepdad I’d be willing to let a giant dog eat me too. Throughout the whole movie Smalls is desperate to get his stepdad’s approval. Why, Smalls? Do you know how many people would kill to have Benny the Jet take them under his wing and you’re fixated on that a-hole? I mean, he didn’t even teach you what a s’more is. That’s like stepdad 101. Oh, you risked your life to get his ball back and just because he wasn’t that mad about it now you’re going to call him “dad”? You’re killing me Smalls. I didn’t want to say anything before, but I don’t like the way he looks at your mom when you’re around. 

Let’s also talk about the fact that James Earl Jones’ character apparently knew Babe Ruth. He claimed that he would have “broken his record” if he hadn’t gone blind. This movie is totally ignoring the fact that black players were not allowed in Major League Baseball until a few months before Ruth died….It does, however, provide two important messages: 1) it’s really racist to be inexplicably scared of the the black man and his giant dog who live in your neighborhood and 2) don’t crowd the plate, kids. You will get hit by a pitch and you will go blind. 

The Sandlot might be better than Little Giants, but I refuse to believe it was better than Angels in the Outfield. AITO had Christopher Lloyd, Danny Glover, young Joseph Gordon Levitt, Adrien Brody and Matthew McConaughey. It was like the Ocean’s Eleven of supernatural baseball movies. 

If you want to keep placing Sandlot on a pedestal, then go head. Keep looking for “Where Are They Now” stories and tweeting about how different the cast looks these days. 

But count me out. I don’t care where they are now…except for Wendy…in her case, I’m very interested. 

Jonny Auping

Trying to Stay Afloat: Delonte West’s Strange Departure From the NBA

“Poking holes in my own boat.” 

That’s what he referred to it as. It was one year ago, after the Dallas Mavericks lost a preseason game to the Phoenix Suns on October 17th, 2012. Delonte West was referring to his past. A past that featured arrests, gun charges, NBA suspensions, altercations, Twitter rants, misunderstandings and malicious rumors. These things were behind him.

But the Dallas Mavericks would waive West 12 days later for “conduct detrimental to the team.” It was the last time that he was under contract with an NBA team.

I waited for the rest of the media to finish speaking with West, preparing myself for the Delonte West I was led to believe existed. I had heard the stories: some true, some outlandishly fictional. I had seen the Youtube videos of him freestyle rapping in the parking lot of a KFC. 

I was preparing to speak with the legend of Delonte West, a tenacious competitor on the court and a wildly unpredictable character off it. He is a man who has gotten into verbal altercations with coaches and teammates. He is a man who was arrested for driving a motorcycle while impaired with illegal firearms stashed in a guitar case. He is a man who has been implicated in rumors that he slept with the mother of Lebron James resulting in James’ departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is a man who once stuck his finger in the ear of Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward in the middle of a game to seemingly gain a mental advantage. With this sort of history, nothing West could say would surprise me.

 Or so I thought. The man I spoke with on October 17th, 2012 was calm, patient, thoughtful and engaging. So much so that shortly into our brief conversation, I found myself oddly nervous. Not the sort of nerves I get around attractive women and potential employers, but the type of nerves one gets when faced with an unfamiliar situation.

 I found myself with a shake in my voice when confronted with a professional athlete speaking with such sincerity about a legitimately personal subject. That subject was bipolar disorder, namely West’s bipolar disorder.

 West seemed very unlike the caricature he has been depicted as and more like a human fighting through a very real issue. It was hard not to look at the events of his past and, perhaps not excuse them, but at least empathize with him.

 However, the series of events that surrounded this October 17th, night in 2012  turned out to be nearly as inexplicable and peculiar as the rest of West’s career.

 “Since being diagnosed, I’m always in battles with myself,” West told me.

 Those battles contributed to the rocky path West had taken in the NBA. Unwise decisions, an untimely divorce, legal troubles and an unwillingness to say no to his extended family put him in a desolate financial situation before he signed with the Mavericks. During the 2011 NBA lockout West was working at a Maryland furniture store. After signing with the Mavericks, he spent his first few weeks sleeping in either the Dallas locker room or in his car.

 His perseverance and toughness on the basketball court began to turn things around for West. His attitude and relentlessness earned him the good graces and support of coach Rick Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban as well as the respect of the Dallas fans and his teammates.

 While the Mavericks had a disappointing title defense in 2012, West had by all accounts earned his keep and mostly refrained from being a distraction to the team.

 The Mavericks’ 2012-2013 season was supposed to include West as well. He showed up for camp ready to compete as he did every year. That is when the timeline of West’s eventual departure becomes shaky.

 On October 15th, 2012 West was suspended for an alleged “outburst” in the locker room after a preseason win over the Houston Rockets. Few details were released about the suspension and it was lifted one day later after West reportedly sat down with Cuban and Carlisle.

 Just two days later West returned from the suspension to compete in a 100-94 loss to the Phoenix Suns. West entered the game to a loud sentiment of cheering from the Dallas crowd and scored seven points off of 3-5 shooting and collected four assists in 18 minutes of play.

Everything seemed to be settled between West and the Mavericks organization. 

 After the game West talked to me about his bipolar disorder.

 “I couldn’t explain it,” West said. “I didn’t know how to express myself to the people around me. But as I grew, reading and learning about the disorder, communication was the biggest thing, just communicating to friends, family and teammates.”

 Just over a week later, on October 25th, West was suspended indefinitely for “conduct detrimental to the team.” The details of the suspension were never released.

 Later that day, West went on a Twitter rant that implied that his time in Dallas was finished and that he had been unfairly treated:

 “Just ask u to talk to me…I’m a grown man…that’s not above logic and reason…Before u go to the papers wit false information.”

 “If I’m not what u lookin 4…That’s fine…Just don’t kick my ass the way out the door…I didn’t do anything to deserve that.”

 “I love the city of Dallas…I love playin in the NBA…no I’m not off my meds…no I ain’t on no bipolar trip…this real people lives”

 “And it just ain’t right…imma leave it at that…no ill will towards no one…I’m just sittin here across from the arena wit tears in my eyes.”

 The following day, when asked about the West situation Carlisle claimed, “If I’ve learned one thing: don’t leave your best leaders at home.”

 Carlisle would not elaborate on his statement, but just prior to the suspension the Mavericks went on a preseason road trip to Oklahoma City in which veterans Shawn Marion and Vince Carter did not travel as they nursed nagging injuries. The timeline would suggest that whatever incident took place resulting in West’s suspension happened during this road trip.

 Carlisle, who had been an advocate of West, added, “My feelings on Delonte are no secret.”

 Cuban responded to the situation by saying, “we’re not going to be in a situation like we were with a player last year.” He later followed that up by saying that many people told him the previous season that he was “too forgiving when everybody told me not to be… so I learned my lesson.”

 While Cuban did not name any names, the assumption is that he was referring to Lamar Odom whom the Mavericks had traded for the previous season. Odom, who was facing personal issues of his own, never bothered to get into game shape, rarely expressed dedication to the team and was eventually asked to leave the team indefinitely while still being allowed to collect an $8 million check.

 The veiled comparison of West and Odom made sense on the surface, but was odd because of West’s on-court commitment compared to the lackadaisical attitude that Odom maintained. You might argue that West was the anti-Odom, a man diagnosed with a legitimate medical issue who still played his heart out under a minimum contract while Odom came across as unhappy with the cards he was dealt and ignored his professional responsibilities.

 On October 29th, 2012 the Dallas Mavericks officially waived West.

 Just one day after the move became official the Dallas Mavericks Tweeted and Instagramed a picture of a box of cupcakes sent to the Mavericks’ offices with the words “From Delonte” written on the box. The picture is captioned with the claim that West is a “cool dude.”

West went the rest of the season without an NBA gig. At one point, he campaigned for himself on Twitter by posting career accomplishments and Youtube highlights.

On January 25th he signed a contract with the NBDL Texas Legends, but did not report to the team until March 16th, only playing in seven games, not nearly enough to impress an NBA team.

Ironically, West’s position of point guard was a huge weakness for the Mavericks last season who eventually settled on bringing the 37-year old Mike James out of retirement. Likewise, a number of teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Houston Rockets could have used a player of West’s caliber. 

But no one would touch him. Perhaps because of his reputation. Perhaps because of his bipolar disorder.

Last season, Houston Rockets rookie Royce White made headlines by feuding with the organization and sitting out the entire season due to his extreme anxiety and fear of flying. The story was covered and debated by media outlets. Meanwhile, West’s issues were treated as personality flaws. The stigma of bipolar disorder is strong and it is especially difficult to draw the line between symptom and reckless behavior. 

Sadly, many of us throw around the term “bipolar” when poking fun of someone who becomes very angry over something. But the reality is that people who suffer from bipolar disorder often suffer from stages of severe depression and anxiety. They can have manic episodes that cause them extreme stress and worry. It can have huge effects on their ability to sleep resulting in more erratic behavior.

But it’s easier to avoid thinking about that sometimes and treat Delonte West like a character. It’s easier to ignore the 2011 SLAM profile of West that explained that his impairment when arrested on a motorcycle was due to sleeping medication and that he was not pulled over, but voluntarily found a police officer and told him that he was unable to drive and that he was taking the guns away from his mother’s house because he felt his friends were irresponsibly handling them. It’s just as easy to laugh at the ridiculous and unfounded rumor about West and Gloria James and ignore the ridicule that takes place at his expense every time he goes out in public.

This month, West reportedly signed a one-year deal to play overseas in China for Fujuan Xunxing. As an NBA journeyman, it is a smart decision, as many NBA veterans have earned NBA roster spots by proving they can still compete in China. The season will end in February allowing West to sign with an interested NBA team mid-season. But as a person struggling with bipolar disorder, the move comes with serious risk. Traveling to a foreign country with different customs and a language barrier will certainly disrupt the stable envorment that is recommended to someone suffering through his condition.

Regardless of West’s disorder, he is absolutely right that he has “poked holes in his own boat.” His irresponsible behavior cannot be excused easily. But hopefully, one of those holes that he poked is not his openness about being bipolar. 

That same openness has inspired many other victims of the disorder as he has spoken publicly in attempts to help those people live normal lives. His advice to people who suffer from the same disorder?

“Let everybody know what you’re going through and how they can help you. When I started doing that, things became a lot easier for me. Some days are worse than others. Guys already know what’s going on. They know when to give you space and when to get in your space and they can pull you along.”

Hopefully, his admission to mental issues will not ultimately cost him his NBA career. Because the man I spoke to one year ago, wanted to prove something. He wanted to prove that the disorder would not hold him back from succeeding in the NBA, not just for himself, but for people like him. Unfortunately, one year later, he is a long way away from being given the chance to prove that.  

-Jonny Auping

Tuesdays with 2 Chainz: ESPN’s Newest Analyst

This happened today.

2 Chainz made his second career appearance on ESPN’s First Take with Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. They discussed the NBA. Check it out:

Things you may have noticed: 

-2 Chainz was somehow the third most ridiculous person in the video (which is impressive considering 2 Chainz might be the third most ridiculous person on the planet).

-2 Chainz called the 2013-2014 Brooklyn Nets the “Brooklyn Remix.” That better stick. 

-2 Chainz called Lebron James “Bron Bron.”

-2 Chainz laughed when he heard the name Mike Dunleavy Jr. If I could think of any one person who would be most likely to laugh upon hearing the name of any other one person, it would be 2 Chainz laughing upon hearing the name Mike Dunleavy Jr. Just as a reminder, this is a picture of 2 Chainz. This is a picture of Mike Dunleavy Jr. 

-Kids, if you want to make it in sports media, learn how to YELL THINGS INTO PEOPLE’s FACES. I write about sports professionally here and there, but I make so much less than the people who YELL THINGS INTO OTHER PEOPLE’S FACES. 

-Jonny Auping

The Winner of the Trendy Tourney Is…

The Trendy Tourney is a 16-seed tournament of all things trendy created in order to determine what is the biggest fad of the moment.

The unveiling of the Trendy Tourney and full bracket can be found here. The second round can be found here.  The third round can be found here and the Final Four can be found here

After four exciting and dramatic rounds of action, we have finally made it to the championship. I’d like to first start off by saying that I appreciate all the people who involved themselves in the process by emailing me or tweeting me with their opinions. I can promise every one of your voices was heard and factored into the process. Everyone who emailed me or tweeted at me to complain about results that were already posted, I assure you every one of your voices were heard, but factored into absolutely nothing. We will try to do more slightly interactive posts in the future. 

I’d like to be able to tie all this together with a cool little bracket that shows the result of the entire tournament, but that would take way too much time and energy and I’m not smart enough to actually make it look good anyway. So instead of that, we’ll quickly recap how each fad made it to the championship. 

Breaking Bad started off tournament play by knocking out Saying YOLO Ironically in the first round. From there they had a really tough matchup with Anna Kendrick. Kendrick gave the AMC show a real run for its money, but even her critical acclaim in the film Drinking Buddies wasn’t enough to take down Heisenberg. In the Final Four the show took on Emojis and just barely came out on top. 

Lists on the Internet began the tournament with a landslide victory over Jadeveon Clowney who barely even put up a fight. Then they quickly took out the Cinderella of the first round, Doritos Locos Tacos. In the Final Four they faced off against Molly and really exposed its weakness (i.e. more people talk about Molly than actually do it).

So it all comes down to this.

Now [2-seeded] Breaking Bad faces off against [5-seeded] Lists on the Internet for all the marbles. 

After much deliberation, the results are in. The winner of the 2013 Late August/early September edition of the Trendy Tournament is….

BREAKING BAD

…..

I owe it to you guys to be honest with you. This is my tournament. Altogether it will total just over 4000 words, all written by me. I really did factor in every single one of your opinions. But at the end of the day it’s my decision. 

I probably received a few more votes for Lists on the Internet. But here’s the catch, I hate lists on the internet and I can’t stand the notion of them winning a tournament that I created. Lists on the Internet are not a fad, they are an epidemic. 

Anyone can write a list. The number is arbitrary. I could write “35 Things Keenan and Kel Told Us About the US involvement in Syria” or “22 Sandlot Quotes Single People Should Live By” but they will be 80 percent pictures, make no sense and have maybe four clever jokes in the entire piece, yet they would spread like wildfire because people want to A.) “Read” something that takes less time than a Pop Tart takes to cook and B.) Share something nostalgic with someone they haven’t seen in a while. It’s gotten out of control.

One list we can endorse at Stories For Sunday is “24 Signs There Are Too Many Lists on the Internet.”

One problem that arises is the fact that there are plenty of lists on the Internet that involve Breaking Bad and there will continue to be more. A friend of mine, Joe, pointed out to me that “‘5 Ways Breaking Bad Should Have Ended’ will exist within minutes of the finale.” This is a solid point, but the question is who gets credit for this, Lists or Breaking Bad? I say it’s a wash. But considering you could write about 50 Buzzfeed/Thought Catalog lists in the time it takes to shoot one Walt Jr. breakfast scene, I’d personally give the edge to Breaking Bad.

Let’s not pretend that Breaking Bad won by default. The show has completely captivated the nation. You still can’t talk about season 2 in public because someone who isn’t caught up might try to murder you the way Gail gets murdered at the end of season 2 (sorry). Just as many people talk about Breaking Bad monday morning as talk about all the NFL games combined (according to something I just made up). 

There’s only 3 episodes left and no one has any idea what’s going to happen. Is Walter going to die? Will Jesse die? Is Walter Jr. going to get one last hearty breakfast in? Any single character could die in these last three episodes and no one would be surprised (I’m assuming they won’t kill the baby because that would be pretty brutal, but any other character could die). 

And on top of all this is the fact that R. Kelly’s “Ignition Remix” was remixed using only lines from Breaking Bad. Anything Kells touches instantly wins trendy points as far as I’m concerned. 

(Shown to me by Clark):

Also, I think this story/video will hold up as culturally relevant for years to come:

“There’s blueberries just floating out there, frozen, cause it’s in space..”

Also, no character in TV in the past ten years is as universally liked as Jesse Pinkman. He can be angry, he can be sad, drugged out, devastated, scared… no matter what he’s doing everybody wants him to win in the end. Plus, he says awesome stuff like this:

Breaking Bad will never be more trendy as it is over the next three weeks. And the excitement that it generates in people crushes the excitement that anyone gets over reading a list on the internet. That is why it is the champion of the Trendy Tourney.*

*That being said, there are only three episodes left and if Skinny Pete and Badger don’t get any airtime in any of them then I might have to retroactively eliminate the show in the first round. 

Jonny Auping 

The Trendy Tourney: The Final Four

The Trendy Tourney is a 16-seed tournament of all things trendy created in order to determine what is the biggest fad of the moment.

To see the unveiling of the Trendy Tourney click here.

To see the second round results of the Trendy Tourney click here.

To see the third round of the Trendy Tourney click here

We started with 16 trends. Only the four remain. The four trendiest fads of this moment in time. If you’re not up to date with these four things than you’re just really out of touch. You can’t go near social media without hearing about one of them. And now they square off against each other for a shot at the championship of the Trendy Tourney. High stakes, high drama stuff right here. 

Without further ado, here is who will be advancing to the championship matchup:

[5-seed] Lists on the Internet defeats [8-seed] Molly

Molly really had a historic run in this tournament. Their David Vs. Goliath-takedown of Number one-seeded Vines will not soon be forgotten. But eventually Molly wears off just when you realize that you are no longer at a rave party, but the back alley of a Chili’s Restaurant. 

And the trendy appeal of Molly wears off as well. The biggest problem going against it is that way more people talk about Molly than actually use it. The nickname caught on and now everyone thinks it’s the coolest drug on the market. But kids, drugs aren’t cool. If you’re going to waste your life away do it through Facebook, Netflix, Instagram, Twitter and fast food like responsible people. 

Lists on the Internet aren’t going anywhere. Did you know there are 31 Ways that Rugrats Apply to Post Grad Life? Well, there aren’t. But I guarantee some lazy writer will think of 31 bullshit connections that will make you feel nostalgic enough to post it on Facebook. 

Lists on the Internet are an epidemic. And they are spreading fast. 

[2-seed] Breaking Bad defeats [3-seed] Emojis 

Two powerhouse trends. Only one could win. Breaking Bad came out victorious because emojis are just something people use, Breaking Bad is something people talk about. No one goes to work and says, “did you see that emoji I used yesterday?” People do say “Oh my God, I can’t believe Walt ******** and then Jesse actually ***********.” (I blanked out actual details because people lose their mind with irrational jealous rage when the slightest Breaking Bad plot line is spoiled for them). 

Breaking Bad  was just destined to make the championship just like Badger was destined to be the best storyteller in TV history

Emojis made it along way, but their journey ends here…..Feeling Sad.

So the championship matchup will feature:

[2-seed] Breaking Bad

Versus

[5-seed] Lists on the Internet

The champion will be crowned Wednesday. Your opinion will be factored in by reaching me at jonathan.auping@gmail.com or @JonathanAuping

Jonny Auping