HHR’s Iron Ref

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Game on: Iron Ref Sore Losers

The first round of HHR’s Iron Ref is on.

Click here for a look at this week’s competitors and an overview of the contest. CAST YOUR VOTE IN THE COMMENTS.

Voting will be tallied 5 PM EST on Thursday, when we will announce the next 3 competitors. Remember, winners will return to compete for the title of Iron Ref. If you are interested in competing, drop us a line.

This round’s secret ingredient:



I’ve dealt with a lot of sore losers in my life. They have generally involved my nerdy friends from high school, Trivial Pursuit and copious amounts of alcohol. When I saw this theme, I immediately started thinking of my teams (StL Cards and Iowa Hawkeyes) and what event would be the best example of Sore Losers. And then it came to me. The perfect example. I have never seen a bigger bunch of cry-to-their-mamas boys than when the Ladies did the Hot Blogger Bracket. Worms. Pandora. Can. Box. Utter. Mayhem. Salty. Tears. It spiraled ridiculously out of control. You should SEE the emails we received from bloggers. “Why am I seeded so low?” “Why am I up against [redacted]?” “Why didn’t you link to THIS?” “Can’t you tell he’s CHEATING?” “Can’t you FIX IT?” “Where IS Jimmy Hoffa?” “WHO let the dogs out?” “What would YOU do for a Klondike bar? [wink wink]” If you’d like to, you can still see the comment threads where supposedly grown men were acting cattier than beauty pageant contestants.

It was supposed to be fun. It devolved into this. We finally took the hottest one who wasn’t acting like a complete ninny and crowned his ass. And in the ensuing congratulatory thread, we still had someone questioning our methods. Sore losers, indeed.


“Nothing on earth consumes a man more quickly than the passion of resentment.” Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that. Or so says the Internet. I don’t read philosophy. Instead I spend the waning remainder of my 20s drinking beer irresponsibly fast.

Competition is emotional, and today’s fans are unrelenting, which is why I will always empathize with whomever tomorrow’s meltdowns involve. Besides, outbursts and press-conference blowups are blasé. It’s those who refuse to detach themselves from the pain of losing who should be most embarrassed.

Stanford and Cal football compete annually for the Stanford Axe, a trophy that displays the outcome of each year’s Big Game, a rivalry dating back to 1892. Whenever Stanford holds the axe, Cal’s 25-20 victory in 1982 is altered to read 20-19, in favor of Stanford, which to this day gripes about The Play: His knee was down… That lateral was forward… Dozens of Cardinal geeks storming the field with their trombones and oboes and calculators and pocket protectors must have somehow given Cal an unfair advantage… blah blah blah; get over it already.


Sore loser is no easy ingredient to work with. It’s bitter and sour with a hint of acidity. It can be quite volatile and tends not to mix well with other ingredients. It’s a tall order, to be certain, but let’s see what verbal dishes we can whip up in 300 words or less …

First course: King James Teary Tuna Tartare, made with LeBron’s freshly squeezed sore loser, infantile, crybaby tears only moments after not receiving an and-1 call while practicing alone in the gym. This is served with a side of incredibly overrated Tom Kha Gai soup.

Second course: Serena Scallops, brushed with the obnoxious air of arrogance left behind as Ms. Williams went stomping out of her French Open post-defeat press conference, then pan grilled until completely insufferable and totally miserable.

Third Course: Hellmuth Hate Stew. A combination of the bullets he’s dodged, amateur horseshit luck, the letters that spell “poker” and shavings from his oversized face-mole.

Fourth Course: Belichick Skirt Steak, perfectly marbled to have an 18:1 meat-to-fat ratio, topped with a Gorgonzola cream sauce, which we slow simmered with the hand sweat from Bill’s one-second-too-soon Super Bowl handshake.


July 31, 2008 - Posted by | Sore Losers | ,

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