It is a story about overcoming odds, but mostly not overcoming odds
February 16, 2005 6:02 PM   Subscribe

The Washington Bullets Wizards haven't been to the NBA playoffs since 1997, haven't won a playoff series since 1982, and last captured the NBA championship all the way back in 1977. Some of these dubious streaks may end soon, as the team currently sports a winning record and is sending two players to this weekend's NBA All-Star game, a feat they haven't accomplished since Crocodile Dundee was in theatres.

What kind of fans follow such a historically inept franchise? While other fan blogs earnestly recount league happenings or their teams' wins and losses, the WIZZNUTZZ have fondly embraced their team's parade of NBA losers and outcasts, building an online shrine to such former players such as 7'7" center Manute Bol, perennial felon Rod Strickland, unskilled backup center Jahidi White ("Who he play for???"), and assorted petty criminals. During the season they offer "incites" into the play of their lord and savior the reverend Kwame Brown, the failed comeback of Michael "Salieri" Jordan, the NBA Championship of the Detroit Wizards, and other edutaining commentary on the league (for additional league commentary see: ChaunceyBillups). The Wizznutzz are currently beside themselves with their team's success, but they know that the Wizznutzz story is a story about overcoming odds, but mostly not overcoming odds!!!!

Don't forget to buy a Jahidi thong when you're done reading.
posted by casu marzu (27 comments total)

 
I should note that a minor page of the Wizznutzz site was mentioned in this post, but the site contains so much more than that.
posted by casu marzu at 6:04 PM on February 16, 2005


Sign me up for one Jahidi thong please...
posted by Balisong at 6:16 PM on February 16, 2005


Holy dense posting, dude. Half-novel, half-bibliography.
posted by RockCorpse at 6:20 PM on February 16, 2005


I'd love one Jihadist thong, please.

What's that? Oh.
posted by cosmonik at 6:28 PM on February 16, 2005


Excellent post. Thanks casu!
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:34 PM on February 16, 2005


"the Wizznutzz story is a story about overcoming odds, but mostly not overcoming odds!!!! " got a laugh out of me. nice post.
posted by jcruelty at 6:35 PM on February 16, 2005


When your team just loses, and loses, and loses some more, year in and year out, well, if your a fan, they are just beautiful losers. I know, I like the Mets. At least they don't have some cheesy Jihad-moron thong.
posted by caddis at 6:39 PM on February 16, 2005



What kind of fans follow such a historically inept franchise?


True fans. Any schmuck can root for perennial winners, but it takes devotion to hang in there for teams like the Bullets, Mets, Indians, Cubs, Red Sox, Buccaneers, etc.

Nice to see Manute Bol mentioned. A buudy of mine once rode in an elevator with him. He said his nose was right up around Manute's belly button. I also recall that at one point Manute and midget wonder Muggsy Bogues were on a team together. Muggsy says they used to love walking through airports together just to freak people out.
posted by jonmc at 6:46 PM on February 16, 2005


I grilled hot dogs once with Manute Bol. Even after meeting him face to face, if you glance at him from across the room you'll think he's standing on a chair.
posted by atchafalaya at 6:55 PM on February 16, 2005


Somebody just sounds bitter. Why else would you be picking on the Wizards. Lots of teams never win at all.

Even if you don't like the lack of winning results, I always find the story of Abe Pollin kind of interesting. He's the antithesis of a Steinbrenner.
posted by destro at 7:20 PM on February 16, 2005


it takes devotion to hang in there for teams like the Bullets, Mets, Indians, Cubs, Red Sox, Buccaneers, etc.

You forgot the Nuggets...

(and Poland)
posted by Balisong at 7:21 PM on February 16, 2005


This is nothing compared to the losing streak of the other washington basketball team.
posted by nomad at 7:22 PM on February 16, 2005


this is good.
posted by .kobayashi. at 7:39 PM on February 16, 2005


You people out there with your winning sports franchises. You have no idea. The Capitals, the Orioles, the Redskins. That's not even to mention now defunct teams like the Senators. Or the Diplomats. Pele played for the Dips, and they still lost.

The Wizznutzz site is grossly lacking in info about Gheorge Muresan, our other great 7'7 center. He was a rising star until he injured himself. Filming my giant with Billy Crystal. I'm crying.
posted by zibzanna at 7:53 PM on February 16, 2005


I live in the DC area....and am an utter NY Mets fan...as, thank God, is my wife....fan affiliations are utterly irrational, and gorgeously wonderful...we have gone up to NY on occasion, and our trips to Shea are quasi-religious...why I love the Mets so much is a mystery, almost verging on religious....
posted by 1016 at 8:26 PM on February 16, 2005


I'll admit it. I'm a Bullets (ugh, Wizards) fan. They've been to the playoffs twice in my memory. I still root for them like nobody's business.

For once, FOR ONCE they have a team that appears to have promise, and a GM that's not Wes 'Hmm, Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe for Chris Webber? Sign Me Up!!!' Unseld. I can only hope Gilbert isn't clinically insane, and Kwame Brown doesn't roll up like a pillbug when he comes off the IL...

Wizznutzz = best page ever. Also commendable in terms of really funny basketball writing is http://chaunceybillups.blogspot.com, which hasn't seen much posting (well, any posting) of late, but the archives alone are worth a visit.
posted by fet at 8:29 PM on February 16, 2005


It wasn't until reading Fever Pitch that I first realised Leaf fans weren't alone.

I for one am glad the NHL season has been cancelled...it would have been so terrible had they played a shortened season and the Leafs won the cup. There would always be an * next to the win.

But I've digressed. Excellent post.
posted by dismitree at 8:45 PM on February 16, 2005


Manute Bol
posted by Witty at 12:08 AM on February 17, 2005


Call that an inept franchise? My team last won the Championship in 1920, and last won a major trophy in 1968. I was born in 1971.
posted by salmacis at 1:01 AM on February 17, 2005


The Wizznuts and Chauncey Billups folks are one-in-the-same, I believe. And the best NBA commentators alive. As of yesterday I've started using "An Ikea Problem" to describe anything that looked good on paper but turned out poorly.
posted by yerfatma at 6:01 AM on February 17, 2005


zibzanna, Muresan is mentioned all over the site, but I didn't find a page devoted exclusively to him (that doesn't mean there isn't one, though).

destro, I'm not picking on the Wizards at all. I go to the games occasionally. I'm not a diehard fan like the Wizznutzz guys because I'm a relatively recent transplant (from an NBA-less city). I'm impressed by the obsessiveness and bizarre humor on the site.

And, I agree that Abe Pollin is an interesting fellow. In sheer basketball terms, he's been terrible. His undying devotion to Wes Unseld is lovely and sad all at the same time -- Unseld was a great player on the Bullets championship team, but a terrible coach and GM year after year. His incompetence permeated the whole team. At the same time, though, Pollin financed the MCI Center in downtown Washington largely out of his own pocket (it has since contributed to a massive revitalization of that area). I find that admirable, especially in contrast with MLB's treatment of the city.

yerfatma: how do you know they're the same? I love both sites.

I always wonder if there's a Clippers fan site like this.
posted by casu marzu at 6:35 AM on February 17, 2005


The Wizznutzz site is grossly lacking in info about Gheorge Muresan, our other great 7'7 center.

Ah, Gheorge Muresan! The star of that great Snickers commercial (second in hilarity only to the "Great googily moogily" spot) parodying the "Be Like Mike" campaign; he hawks a cologne that "smells like cabbage" and tells viewers to "Be Like Gheorge". Bored operators are shown not taking calls; "Not going anywhere for a while? Have a Snickers"...

Sorry to tell instead of show, but I can't find a link for the commercial anywhere...
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:58 AM on February 17, 2005


Pollin may be looked to as just a general loser when it comes to his decisions, but I respect him a lot. They may not have won a lot of games with Unseld as coach/GM but I have a lot of memories for the team during those days because they weren't like every other collection of sports assholes who hate each other, only play for the money, get in fights with the fans, and probably get traded after a season. Guys like Bernard King, Moses Malone, Jeff Malone, and Ledell Eckles who might be no-names to most, but they played their hearts out and I watched it at every chance.

All of that ended when they became the Wizards and brought in Jordan, which is where I don't understand the Wizznutz (terrible name). He may have brought lots of fans, but at a cost of any respect. He custom picked a team designed to just feed him the ball at any time but still couldn't garner many wins.
posted by destro at 8:14 AM on February 17, 2005


Brilliant fucking post. My god, that is some truly funny writing.

And when I was about, I dunno, 10 or 11, i went to a basketball camp at U of Maryland, and I met Mr. Manute Bol. His "trick," so to speak, was to dunk the ball without jumping. Pretty damn impressive.

And towards the end of Lefty Drizzel (sp?) basketball camp Len Bias OD'd on Coke. Bad timing.

And no, I never did make it to the NBA.
posted by bardic at 8:38 AM on February 17, 2005


destro: It's clear that Pollin brought Jordan in for ticket sales, but let him go when he realized how poisonous Jordan was to the organization. He took a risk and it didn't work out, but in the end he stuck up for the good guys by getting rid of the egomaniac, even if the good guys were a bunch of loyal losers and the egomaniac was one of the greatest players ever. That took some backbone. I wonder if Knicks fans wish their owner would do the same?

I like that Pollin sticks by the good guys, but it's a nice change that he's got good guys who actually win for a change. What's not to like about Antawn Jamison? Not to mention my current favorite player: Michael Ruffin. Here's a guy who has no discernible basketball skills whatsoever, but he plays hard on every possession, and as a result, has been getting decent minutes, even in crunch time. Plus, he must be leading the balloting for the NBA All-Ugly team. What's not to love?
posted by casu marzu at 8:50 AM on February 17, 2005


As a native to Inside-the-Beltway-Land, I've followed the downs and downs of the Wizards for more than a decade, and the comedic stylings of these writers has had me giggling all morning. Just the first page comparing Abe Polin to Ms. Havisham is enough to make me snicker to myself when I'm stuck in a nowhere conversation. To me it's obvious that this page is run by a bunch of English majors. It's as if The Eyre Affair were written as a sports column.

This post is utterly fantastic, and I can't believe I had not found this bjournal on my own beforehand. You rock, casu marzu.
posted by frecklefaerie at 11:34 AM on February 17, 2005


Great post, casu marzu, and great site. Also, I feel exactly the way you do about Pollin.
posted by coelecanth at 8:53 AM on February 18, 2005


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