Helping Murray Chass’s Headline

You may or may not be familiar with former New York Times sportswriter Murray Chass, and his blog. (That link to Wikipedia gives a decent summary: in short, Chass not a huge fan of statistics, bloggers, and Mike Piazza.) I leave it to others to cast broader judgment. I write this post only to express a little bit of confusion regarding his latest blog entry, featuring the headline:

WITH THIS WOULD-BE MANAGER,
V IS FOR LOSER

(Referring to Bobby Valentine, and his possible hiring by the Red Sox.)

Are there really no words starting with the letter V that mean loser, or something close?

Because that seems like an awfully weak headline if there’s any chance at all to find a word that starts with a V — or even has a V somewhere in it.

Faced with no better ideas for a post today, I decided to look for some possible alternatives. You may be able to do better in the comments.

My contenders:

1.
With this would-be manager,
V IS FOR VERBOSE,
which he is, often to the detriment of his players

2.
With this would-be manager,
V IS FOR VAUDEVILLIAN PERFORMANCES,
like wearing a disguise in the dugout

3.
With this would-be manager,
V IS FOR THE VOMITING
he inspires in me

4.
With this would-be manager,
V IS FOR VAPORIZING
any chance to win a World Series

5.
With this would-be manager,
V IS FOR THE VENEREAL DISEASE
I wish he would contract

6.
With this would-be manager,
V IS FOR VICTORY,
or, more accurately, the opposite of that

7.
With this would-be manager,
V IS FOR THE VEGETATIVE STATE
I dream he would be trapped in

8.
With this would-be manager,
V IS FOR VIRUS,
infecting everyone around him

9.
With this would-be manager,
V IS FOR HIS VARYING AMOUNT OF RELIABILITY
as far as leading a baseball team

10.
With this would-be manager,
V IS FOR VERMIN,
who don’t deserve the comparison

11.
With this would-be manager,
V IS FOR VESUVIUS,
because I wish he would explode

12.
With this would-be manager,
V IS FOR THE VASECTOMY
his father should have had before he was conceived

or, the easiest, most obvious, and probably the best choice, if you read the article:

13. With this would-be manager,
V IS FOR VILLAIN

Now, really, how hard was that?




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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.


9 Responses to “Helping Murray Chass’s Headline”

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  1. Resolution says:

    Maybe we can update the Chass wiki and add ‘using a thesaurus’ to things Chass is not a fan of?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Yeager says:

    With this would-be manager,
    V IS FOR VORP
    which I, Murray Chass, think is stupid like this would-be manager

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. glassSheets says:

    With this would-be manager,
    V is for VANQUISHABLE

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Jack says:

    With this would be manager,
    V IS FOR VODKA
    which I would be drinking a lot watching Red Sox games.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • steex says:

      With this would be manager,
      V IS FOR VODKA
      which I the players would be drinking a lot watching Red Sox during games.

      See what I did there? So fresh and topical.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. glassSheets says:

    Unfortunately I honestly think the headline is fine as a spin on the “V for Victory” campaign popularized by Churchill and to a lesser extent, though more germane to the Chass readership, Eisenhower/Nixon (and Unicode symbol ✌).

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. juan pierres mustache says:

    my guess is that the timeline went something like this:
    9:00 AM: writes headline, WITH THIS WOULD-BE MANAGER, V IS FOR VERACITY, determined to come back and write something more sensible later
    9:01 AM: begins writing article
    9:04 AM: article finished, chass very proud of self
    9:05 AM: double vodka #1
    9:32 AM: double vodka #2
    9:45 AM: watching exercise channel
    4:44 PM: finishes watching exercise channel, remembers headline needs editing, double vodka #7
    4:48 PM: working on headline. if winning is the most important thing, then what is the least? must be LOSING, like that LOSER valentine. what a LOSER.
    4:50 PM: posts column with ingenious headline.
    4:51 PM: double vodka #8, chases children off lawn with stick. vows to purchase more frightening scarecrow.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Resolution says:

      I look forward to Chass’ next article “Success starts with ‘S’ and so does Scarecrow: Valentine’s replacement occupies my lawn”

      Chass of course treats himself to a drink for feeling that using the word ‘occupies’ is socially apropos.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

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