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Photo by Kozy
Photo by Kozy

Photo by Kozy

“We wish you and your family nothing but the best in the future.”

"You're Fired!"

  WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wart Hogs fired Bill Ramsey yesterday in his first season as head football coach and two days after he received a vote of confidence from team owner James Ryder.

  “Bill has done an outstanding job in his short time with the Wart Hogs,” Washington interim general manager Steven A. Axeford said in a statement. “I have tremendous respect for him as a coach, colleague and friend. But after much thought and consideration over the past 48 hours, we felt a change was necessary at this time. We wish Bill; his wife Terri; children, Kenny, Sara and P.J.; their dog, Puffy, and cat, Jake, nothing but the best in the future.”

  Ramsey’s dismissal is a stunning fall considering he was the toast of the city in September, when his football team won its first four games. A 1-3 mark in October followed by a winless November and one-win December quickly reversed the good will Ramsey had gained, resulting in a 5-12 season.

  Despite the team’s collapse, Ryder on Monday issued a statement backing his coach.

  “Even with our poor record this year, Coach Ramsey has my support 100%. We said from the beginning it’s going to take time to rebuild this team to its past glory. So, we’re going to give him all the time he needs to build the winner our fans deserve.”

  Two days later, he was gone. 

  Ramsey is the eighth coach Ryder has fired in his six years as owner. Among them: 

· Clive Proudfoot. Touting his support of diversity, Ryder hired the league’s first Native American coach. Unfortunately, Proudfoot’s only experience involved directing the Pez Nation’s Chief Wannabe Elementary School’s flag football team. Proudfoot lasted one game, during which he moved his quarterback to punter and his star wide receiver to linebacker. The Wart Hogs lost to Philadelphia 66-0.

· James “Jimbo” Johnson. A five-time UFC light heavyweight champion, Ryder hired Johnson, another football newbie, to bring what he called “some kick-ass” mentality to team. Johnson did that. And then some. In the coach’s first game, against Dallas, Wart Hogs linebacker Brick Rodenski sucker-punched Cowgirls quarterback John “Pretty Boy” Sanford. That sent Sanford, no longer a pretty boy, to the ER, Rodenski into banishment from the league and Johnson into immediate retirement. Said Ryder in a rare admission of guilt - sort of: “That one was on me. Luckily, as owner, I get to blame everyone else.”

· Ralph Gleason. For once it appeared Ryder hired the right coach as Gleason won 12 games his first year and a playoff game. The Wart Hogs were considered in the mix for a Super Bowl title the following year. However, while the coach honeymooned in Hawaii, he received a phone call from the team’s assistant locker room manager, 18-year-old Johnny “The Kid” Rollins.

  Kid: Hi coach. I have some bad news for you.

  Gleason: What’s that?

  Kid: Ah, well, Mr. Ryder wanted me to tell you that you’re fired.

  Gleason: Fired! You’re joking, right?

  Kid: Ah, I’m sorry, sir, but I’m not.

  Gleason: Did he say why?

  Kid: Yes, sir. Ah, um, he said it’s because you didn’t call him on his birthday yesterday.

Owner History

  When Ryder bought the team in 2018 he was viewed as a positive for the league by the other 31 owners, largely based on his business acumen. Worth an estimated $36 billion, Ryder made his money operating cow manure recycling facilities. The manure is prized in China where it’s a staple in the national soup, Ho Dung Cho.

  Within the first year of Ryder’s ownership, the owners wished they had a do-over. He changed the name of Wart Hogs Stadium to Crap Field and insisted groundskeepers utilize his manure for fertilizer. He replaced the team’s cheerleaders with androgynous robots. And he had his 6-year-old granddaughter sing the national anthem at every home game.

  At a hastily called press conference yesterday afternoon, reporters were surprised to find Ryder at the podium rather than Axeford, his interim general manager.

  Ryder: First question.

  Reporter 1: Where’s Axeford?

  Ryder: I fired him.

  Reporter 2: Who’s taking his place?

  Ryder: I’ve appointed Johnny Rollins as interim interim GM.

  Reporter 3: The assistant locker room manager! Are you serious?

  Ryder: I am. The kid has potential.

  Reporter 4: You are considered the worst team owner in all of sports, with one head-scratching decision after the other. How do you feel about that?

  Ryder: As if I care. I bought the team for $2.5 billion. It’s now worth $7 billion, and I won’t be paying a nickel for the new stadium we’re building. I might be an unpopular owner but I’m a damn smart one.

  Reporter 5: Any thoughts on your next coach?

  Ryder: Yeah, there’s this jockey who has won the Derby three times, Chi Chi Hernandez. If he can control race horses he ought to be able to handle football players. Sorry guys, I gotta run. Mrs. Ryder will wonder where I am.

Tables Turned

  As it turned out, Winnie Ryder didn’t much care where her hubby was. When Ryder pulled into the driveway at their suburban Washington home, Mrs. Ryder was holding a press conference of her own. Many of the same reporters were there. As a curious Ryder exited his vehicle his wife began to speak.

  “Thank you for being here today,” she said. “I’ll keep this short. I am ending my marriage of 32 years to my husband James. I am serving him divorce papers as soon as this press conference is over. He’ll have 30 minutes to get the hell out of my house. I wish him and his pet turtle, whom he likes better than me, nothing but the best in the future. Questions?”

  Reporter 1: Why are you leaving him?

  Mrs. Ryder: I’m in love with someone else.

  Reporter 2: Who?

  Mrs. Ryder: Jimbo Johnson

  Reporter 3: The coach your husband fired two years ago?

  Mrs. Ryder: One and the same. He’s back fighting, and I’m going to be his handler.

  The reporters noticed Mr. Ryder for the first time and quickly surrounded him.

  “Hey, Mr. Ryder,” said Reporter 1, “how does it feel to be on the short end of the stick?”

  Ryder, looking as though cyber thieves had just gained access to his savings account, was speechless for a long, uncomfortable minute. Finally, he looked at the reporter and said: “Frankly, I’m shocked. Who acts like this?”


Written by: George J. Tanber

Edited by: Michael Gordon

Photo editor: David Kozy

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