Again dialing up the WABAC machine, we return to the YIR (albeit slightly delayed) with the first half of 2010 in the rear-view mirror, and ready to progress with the review in…

JULY, where the month began with the U.S. and Russia swapping imprisoned spies.  However, as per American rules, only the hot ones were returned to us.  The World Cup came to a close in South Africa with SpaiZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!  The celebrated octopus Paul, which correctly picked every World Cup matchup, was however unable to predict his ultimate end as an appetizer. Employees for an Italian real estate company were badly burned during a motivational exercise when the supervisor incorrectly set up hot coals and wood to be walked upon.  Kingsford was forced to end their “Walking On Sunshine” campaign as a result.  Sarah Palin refudiated claims that she was taking a job at Webster’s, announcing that she could never work for Emmanuel Lewis.  BP was finally able to figure out a way to cap their broken well, allowing BP CEO Tony Hayward to resume a normal life.  Hayward stepped down at the end of the month, and was replaced by American Robert Dudley, after Joseph Hazelwood and Mike “Brownie” Brown failed to impress in interviews.

AUGUST started another great month for the economy when, after selling out of season tickets in record time following the free-agent signing of LeBron James the Miami Heat fired their entire ticket sales staff.  The sales staff was quickly signed to be the new starting lineup for the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The ban on Gay Marriage in California was overturned, allowing gay couples the same access to mind-numbing family gatherings as heterosexual couples.  The Fed announced it would begin buying government debt at a rate of about $10 Billion per month, and fairly and equitably pass that debt on to food stamp recipients.  At his “Rally to Restore Honor,” on the anniversary of King’s “Dream” speech, Glenn Beck revealed that he was inspired to organize the event after God “dropped a sandbag” on his head.  In a nearly immediate response, God replied “My apologies to the people of earth.  My aim was off.”  Former Governor Rod “Sandbag” Blagojevich was convicted of a single count of corruption, and faced up to five years in prison.  His hair was immediately sentenced to death.  Despite the fact that she only swung a club once in 2010, Elin Nordegren became the top money earner in the PGA.

SEPTEMBER was remarkably quiet.  This may have been due to the Allergan lawsuit result.  The maker of Botox settled a lawsuit with the Justice Department on charges of selling Botox for unapproved use.  Members of the public affected by the suit were relieved.  At least they said they were relieved – no one could tell from their facial expressions.

OCTOBER began with Jersey Shore “actor” Snooki signing a book deal worth millions, despite having only read two books in her life, One Fish Two Fish and Atlas Shrugged.  General James Jones resigned as the U.S. National Security Advisor to the president.  Speculation at the time was that people just weren’t comfortable with someone named Jim Jones heading security.  California again struck a blow against intolerance when a judge ordered the Federal Government to stop enforcing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”  Rumors that camouflage would be changed to pastels were immediately refudiated.  Frito Lay abandoned their special bio-degradable Sun Chip bag following reports that people opening the bags were having vuvuzela flashbacks.  All 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for two months were freed from their mine safe and sound.  Movie deals were scrubbed when producers discovered that none of the miners even tried to eat each other.

NOVEMBER picked up the slow slack of the previous months, beginning with the San Francisco Giants defeating the Texas Rangers to win the World Series.  As expected, people immediately stopped caring moments after the last pitch.  In another effort to help the economy, the Fed agreed to buy another $600 Billion in government debt.  My student loans, however, will not be affected at all.  A nationwide surge to the polls by voters succeeded in saving us all from another two years of Nancy “Pogo” Pelosi on television.  President Obama shocked the United Nations by supporting the idea of a permanent seat in the Security Council for India.  If granted, the seat would be held by “Steve, from Topeka.” Charles Rangel, Representative from New York, kept the state’s sterling reputation of political shenanigans alive and well for the year.  Nancy Pelosi retained her position as head of the House Democrats with a resounding vote of “Alrightalrightalright!”  Former Representative Tom Delay was convicted of money laundering, and faced up to 99 years in prison or 10 years in Haight/Ashbury.  In an effort to prove that she is just as qualified to run the country as Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton, Sarah Palin starred in a reality show about Her Alaska, which airs just a few minutes after a reality show from Russia.

The year came to a resounding crash in DECEMBER when Russia and Qatar were awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments.  Organizers said that there was still plenty of time to reverse the decisions in case the Mayans were wrong.  Congress adopted a Child Nutrition Bill, designed to improve the nutritional values of food served children in schools.  Early copies of the bill were presented with a toy.  In light of all the attention Snooki was getting, a jealous Paris Hilton vowed to do even less.  After dropping what would have been a game winning touchdown catch, Buffalo Bills receiver Steven Johnson blamed God via Twitter for the mistake.  God never received the tweet, as he always takes the Sabbath off from social networking.  President Obama officially repealed “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” and named Carson Kressley the new head of the Joint Chiefs.  With its usual sense of care and speed, Congress passed a bill granting health benefits to rescue workers that were involved in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001.  Czech police placed cardboard cutouts of attractive female officers in miniskirts throughout the country to curb speeding.  Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen immediately announced their next projects will be filmed in the Czech Republic.

And after nearly a YEAR of being under the radar, South Carolina proudly and soundly took its place as THE State of Stupidity when a man was injured playing a real-life version of Frogger on a four lane road in Clemson.  Leave it to my home state to be stupid, yet prompt.  Can’t wait to see what happens this year…

(Quick note: the 2d half of the YIR will post Sunday night…)

Alright.  I admit…  I caved.

This is All Star weekend for several leagues, and with the potential to watch people I actually know play, I’ve paid more attention than normal.  This meant being inundated with adverts for a variety of “fringe” sporting events.  The most fringe-y of them all is the playoffs for the (oy) Lingerie Football League.

I vaguely remember when this was a halftime alternative to the standard Super Bowl halftime show, and I was surprised it was still around.  The fact that a gimmick league of scantily clad women lasted longer than a league developed by NBC and the WWF/WWE intending to be a real football league does amuse me, though.

“Lingerie” is slightly misleading, as the outfits were more beach volleyball suits with fringe sewed on, and goofy shoulder pads covered in a fabric that gave them the look of velour.  Being an indoor league, akin to arena league football, hockey helmets are used instead of full-on football helmets and cages.  Can’t cover up those pretty faces, can we?

So, yes.  I watched.  Well, I tried.

I must admit, I was surprised.  These young ladies, despite dressed in a ludicrous outfit, really played the game.  They played and trash talked as much and as well as the boys.  Apparently, several of the players had actually fought their way onto their high school boy’s teams to play, and it showed.  They tackled as well as – if not better than – their college and pro counterparts.  All this did was reinforce my feeling that while we shouldn’t need anything like Title IX, it should be exploited as much as possible.

If this league proves anything positive, it’s that there are young women out there hungry to play football, and they will even stoop to this silliness to get a chance.  I probably would have watched the whole game had they been clad in anything more resembling appropriate padding (a point driven home very early on as the quarterback of one team busted her knee running for a touchdown) and clothing.  (Yep – for me the lingerie made me not want to watch, killing their obvious theory that men will watch anything with half naked women involved.)

There are club leagues and teams all over this country, and football is demonstrably popular with women…

So why can’t the NFL take some of their cash (ESPN just pledged Two Billion to the NFL, so they have the means) and form a legitimate, nationwide league for women to play the game?  Who knows, maybe soon we will see in reality what the comedy film Necessary Roughness showed: a woman as part of the boy’s team because she was good enough to play, not just good enough to watch.

A couple of things I noted in the few minutes I watched:

  • Almost no hair-pulling for tackling. These young women have been coached well, and a few showed a real knowledge of fundamentals.
  • In the interest of fairness, why weren’t the male referees and coaches made to wear the same outfits?
  • The “color” announcer for the league is Sean Salisbury, who was apparently fired by ESPN not for his lack of talent or his boastful stupidity, but for cell-phone camera sexual harassment akin to Brett Favre’s latest shenanigans.  I can only hope they keep him as far away from the players as possible.
  • The number of women in the audience outnumbered the drunken fratboys, but not the dirty old men.  (Is that progress?)

So…  While blatantly exploitative and silly, I do hope that this and other fringe “leagues” like it will eventually help pave the way for women to break yet another glass ceiling.

And if not, maybe out of fairness we can arrange for the next Super Bowl to be played with the same costumes as the LFL ladies.

Now that I think about it…  Maybe that’s not a good idea.

SETTING THE WABAC MACHINE FOR 2010…

When we last left our Year in Review, South Carolina ended 2009 by resetting their “Days Since An Epic Moment of State Stupidity” counter to zero…  For the 297th time.  Can they make it a whole twelve months without incident?  Can they make it twelve days?  Well, join us, won’t you, as we see what lies ahead…

As JANUARY opened, the new year began comfortably, with the U.S. economy continuing its schizophrenic swan tumble from inadequacy.  The TSA introduced stricter screening requirements, including full body pat-downs, greater carry-on luggage scrutiny, and cavity searches by large men named Helga.  Following the tragedy in Haiti, Kanye West interrupted Ricky Gervais on the Golden Globes, and announced that George Bush still “doesn’t care about black people.”  The incident will be the low point of Bush’s retirement.  Noted Sarah Palin impersonator Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley for the Senate seat vacated by the passing of Ted Kennedy.  When assigned an office, Brown reportedly whined that he could no longer see Alaska.  Kraft became the sole owner of Cadbury, bringing the world one step closer to “Paula Deen’s Instant Choco-Velveeta Fried Fudge Nuggets.”  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was confirmed for a second term, based solely on the aphorism “why changes horses in the middle of an ocean when they’re dead already?”  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared privacy “over,” except, of course, like, his own, you know?  Like, Duh.

FEBRUARY started with calls to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” in an effort to “spruce up the Joint Chiefs.”  To celebrate the New Orleans Saints’ victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 44, legend Archie Manning, who played for the Saints and is the father of Colts’ legend Peyton Manning, agreed to have three more children ready for the 2023 NFL draft.  Toyota finally admitted that they really didn’t know anything about cars, and all along they’ve been trying to perfect the toaster.  The first official Tea Party convention is held in Nashville, with keynote speaker “You Betcha Barbie” helping the Tea Partiers begin a long tradition of ignoring History and not understanding irony.  Top Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Jingleheimer Baradar was captured by a joint U.S./Afghani strike force, once Baradar was found under the desk of Afghani President Hamid Karzai.  U.S. government officials admitted that Andrew Stack, who flew his plane into an IRS facility in a suicide run, was not on their terrorism radar because he was white.

MARCH is exactly what New York Democrats Charles Rangel and David Paterson had to do when both were found guilty of ethics violations, continuing Eliot Spitzer’s legacy of…  Ah, fuhgeddabouddit.  James Cameron’s ex-wife Katheryn Bigelow won the Oscar for Best Director and Film with The Hurt Locker.  The award for Best Picture was muted by sounds of Cameron being beaned backstage by an Oscar amid cries of “who’s king of the world now, bitch?!”  A panel of National educators proposed National Math and English standards for American schoolchildren whom since 2000 have only been able to count backwards.  The U.S. and Russia had a major diplomatic breakthrough in arms control over White Russian slurpees.  President Obama’s Health care bill, labeled the “BFD” by veep Biden, was signed into law, enabling all uninsured Americans the fastest, most efficient denials of care ever.

APRIL began foolishly with Toyota announcing their PR recovery initiative: a half-off sale on all broken cars you already own.  Obama announced a new nuclear strategy towards Russia, and he assured Americans it was a completely different policy from Bush’s nu-cue-ler strategy.  Kyrgyzstan’s president Bakiyev fled Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan amidst protests of citizens demanding that the government invest in more vowels.  Justice John Paul Stevens retired, intending to focus more on his music.  The town of Worcestershire is relieved following the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which replaced Worcestershire as the most mispronounced place on earth.  The Pasta Bible, a new cookbook by Lee Blaylock of Australia, is recalled when a typo calling for “freshly ground black people” was discovered under the book’s original title, The Fargo Cookbook.  KFC introduces the “Double Down” sandwich: bacon and four slices of cheese between two pieces of fried chicken.  The effect was not as KFC had hoped, as potential customers died simply driving past the restaurants.  A tragic explosion on a Louisiana oil rig forces BP to engage earlier than expected their plan to turn the ocean into a “lovely vinaigrette for the Amazonian rain forest.”  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican, signed a controversial new strict immigration bill into law, which forced thousands of minorities to flee to the safer, more welcoming confines of Utah.  The bill also requires Arizonians to refer to “huevos rancheros” as “Freedom Ranchers.”

MAY started quietly, with the announcement of the United and Continental Airlines merger.  The new venture would be renamed Conned Air.  The U.S. joined a world supergroup in sanctioning Iran and their nuclear practices.  The halftime show at the sanction announcement was “A Flock of Seagulls.”  God demonstrated a greater grasp of irony than Tea Partiers when a British woman visiting a Thai Wildlife preserve decided to confront her fear of monkeys at the primate exhibit.  The woman was almost immediately attacked by a pack of wild macaque monkeys.  President Obama caved to pressure and deployed some 1,200 troops to guard the U.S. border with Mexico.  Troops were under orders to protect the border by re-enacting the 1980′s movement “Hands Across America.”  Airport workers in Little Rock discovered a suspicious package contained roughly 60 severed heads (un?) bound for delivery to a Texas medical research facility.  Kevin Spacey immediately phoned Brad Pitt and denied involvement.  Following the announcement that over 30 million gallons of oil had spilled from their facility, BP finally agreed to try and shut off the valve responsible, after attempts to stem the flow using colanders, Swiss cheese and kleenex proved unsuccessful.

JUNE had an inauspicious beginning when President Obama named a new director of National Intelligence, Lt. Gen. James Clapper Jr., who later is revealed to have a poor habit of “on again, off again” listening during meetings.  BP CEO Tony Hayward, in a press conference in which he admitted he wanted his life back, also wondered if he could boost his image by replacing Conan O’Brien.  The World Cup proved a wonderful introduction for many to the subtleties and nuances of South African cultBBBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ BBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  BBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  To protest strict security measures to be imposed upon the city during a global economic conference hosted by St Petersburg, Russia, artists painted a giant penis on a drawbridge in the city’s center, effectively flashing the city with every boat passing through.  The artists were immediately sponsored by Cialis.  The Supreme Court granted state and local governments the right to bear arms, which led to gun turrets installed in government buildings all over the country.

The first half of the year was thus guaranteed to end with a bang…

Next week, July kicks off the second half of the ICRVN Year in Review with a famous refudiation!