Category Archives: American Heroes

America is filled with everyday heroes who help make this country great. By reading America Fun Fact of the Day, you’ve proven that you yourself are also an American hero. And we salute you.

But there’s no way in hell we’re going to salute you by making a fun fact about you, since this page is reserved for REAL heroes. You know, the people who are important enough to get wikipedia pages and such.

Victoria Woodhull, the First-Ever Woman Presidential Nominee, Was Kind of Badass

“Sure, this thing says I can’t vote, but where does it say I can’t just be president, then, huh?”

~Victoria Woodhull

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There are two kinds of historical figures in America; the ones we learn about at an early age in school, and the equally badass ones who just sort of linger in obscurity for a while until someone decides to write a movie about them.  The latest figure in that latter category, based on the fact that Brie Larson is signed on to play her in a currently under-development movie from Amazon Studios, is Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president of the United States of America.  Oh, no, she didn’t come close to winning, obviously, but she still stands as an impressive, and pretty quirky, American hero that might as well be saluted in these hallowed, beer-splattered halls.  So here we go.

Victoria Woodhull, the First-Ever Woman Presidential Nominee, Was Kind of Badass

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A Brief, Incomplete History of the American Basketball Association (No, The OTHER ABA): Part 4- Even More Defunct Teams

“I don’t see why no one took our team seriously.”

~Owner of the Memphis Houn’Dawgs

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Obviously by this point we’ve made enough jokes about the American Basketball Association that we don’t really need an intro to this article.  So, sure, you might think we’ve covered it all, from the league’s history to its current and former teams.  Except, remember, this is a league that has 350 teams disappear in its short history.  So of course there are a lot more former teams than current teams.  A lot lot more.  Here are the last teams we’ve decided to make fun of in this silly, unnecessary, wonderful league. 

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A Brief, Incomplete History of the American Basketball Association (No, The OTHER ABA): Part 3- The Defunct Teams

“If someone forms an ABA team, but no one watches it, does the team exist?”

~Famous ABA Proverb

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We’ve posted a few articles so far telling you about the revived American Basketball Association, with its hundreds of teams and its general lawlessness.  Many of you have responded, “So what, why do you care so much about this league that no one watches,” to which we say you clearly aren’t drunk enough to get it, man.  But seriously, this league is hilarious, and we love it, so we’re going to continue talking about it until we run out of absurd teams to talk about.

In this particular instance, we skimmed through the 350+ teams that have formed and disbanded in the league’s 17-year history to find the ones that are particularly hilarious to us.  And so we present part three of our four-part series on the new and improved (?) ABA.

A Brief, Incomplete History of the American Basketball Association (No, The OTHER ABA): Part 3- The Defunct Teams

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A Brief, Incomplete History of the American Basketball Association (No, The OTHER ABA): Part 2- The Teams

“I’m on the DMV Warriors. Yeah, I know.”

~ABA Basketball Players

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Last week we went over the history of the second iteration of the American Basketball Association, or ABA, which so far has not given us a player like Moses Malone, but has had thousands upon thousands of people play in it since its 2000 inauguration simply due to the fact that over 350 teams have shuttered in the league’s relatively brief history. Though comically enough, this iteration of the ABA has already lasted a good eight years longer than its predecessor. Lol.

So far, we’ve already talked about the league, with its “so hands off it practically does not exist” management style and it’s “wait you potentially can score a 5-point field goal?” rule set. Now we’re going to take a step back and look at the beating heart of the league. The teams themselves.

A Brief, Incomplete History of the American Basketball Association (No, The OTHER ABA): Part 2- The Teams

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A Brief, Incomplete History of the American Basketball Association (No, The OTHER ABA): Part 1- The League

“Cool, I own a semi-pro basketball team!  Oh wait, nevermind…”

~ABA Team Owner

 aba logo

The American Basketball Association, or ABA, was a major professional league that competed against the NBA until the two leagues merged in 1976.  The American Basketball Association, or ABA, is also a semi-pro basketball minor league founded in the year 2000 that is, just, lol.  These are very different leagues.  Now, yes, the new ABA was co-founded by Richard Tinkham, one of the co-founders of the original American Basketball Association, and sure, they pay players to play basketball, but otherwise, the similarities stop there. Since its founding, the new and not-really-improved ABA has weathered an NBA lawsuit and the folding of over 350 teams, which is a success rate that you’d expect more from open heart surgery in the 19th century than  from viable semi-professional sport franchises.

But this weird, unique, American Basketball Association, for all its nuances, is truly America at its finest. It’s democratic, letting just about any asshole buy their own basketball team…which they often do.  It’s also unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in semi-pro leagues, and we say that as a website that has written multiple articles about the myriad of indoor football leagues in our fine nation.

But this one is going to take a bit longer to unpack.  Four articles, in fact.  One to tell you about the league.  One to tell you about the teams.  And two to tell you about the comically ridiculous teams that tried, and failed, to become successful franchises in the ABA.  Because, oh boy, there are a lot of those.  A lot.  Let’s dive in to the most insane basketball league ever invented.

A Brief, Incomplete History of the American Basketball Association (No, The OTHER ABA): Part 1- The League

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Unsung Heroes: The Budweiser Beer Strike of 1976

“Wait, without Budweiser, that means I’ll have to drink a better beer, which is literally any other beer.”

~America in 1976

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Even when we’re screeching harpies hating on everything you love (which, apparently, solely consists of fucking ALDI, you goddamn lunatics of the internet) we are at least aware of the hatred we’re spewing.  For example—many Americans like Budweiser.  Like, they buy it, and drink it, and describe the flavor as something better than “remember that kid who would always sit alone and chew grass during recess?  We’re pretty sure he’s now the brewmaster for Anheuser-Busch” and that’s fine.  Let your freak flag fly, enjoy getting full before getting drunk and, we don’t know, unironically wearing trucker hats, it’s your life and do what makes you happy.  We’re putting that out there because, invariably, every time we talk about Budweiser (which fucking sucks) an army of mouth breathers flock to the comments section to respond to our (correct) point (that Budweiser is trash).  They say things like “Hey!  Asshole! I like Budweiser!” (literally the only valid argument you have) or “Listen Mr. Fancy Beers, go back to your IPAs and your porters or whatever” (which inevitably is brought up in the articles where we never once mention IPAs or porters).

So, we know two things here.  First of all, we know that we have a fun fact that most of you are unaware of.  And secondly, we know that many of you will be absolutely fucking livid at the tone we take to tell you about it (that tone being “Budweiser is like if someone drank gutter water and thought ‘if only this could get me a slight buzz’”) (which is the correct tone).  And we say bring it on.  Budweiser is trash, no one should drink it, and for a brief moment in 1976, a group of Teamsters actually managed to make that happen.  This is their story.

Unsung Heroes:  The Budweiser Beer Strike of 1976

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Ranking the Ridiculous Food Items That Might Be Added to the 2017 Menu of the West Michigan Whitecaps Class A Baseball Team

“We will let you choose what gives you your next heart attack.”

~The Western Michigan Whitecaps’ Food Director

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We’ve talked about Minor League Baseball before—specifically, how the menus at Minor League Baseball stadiums tend to be what you might call “eccentric” if you weren’t allowed to use the term “batshit fucking insane what, really, WHAT!?” among polite company.  It makes sense—there’s not necessarily a lot of star power in most minor league games, so owners try to bring in fans with fun gimmicks, which can include wrapping a cheese filled bratwurst with sausage, then bacon, and frying the fucker.  That wasn’t just us making up some random over the top example, that fucking exists.

Which brings us to the Western Michigan Whitecaps, a Single-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers who play, and stay with us because this is confusing, at the Fifth Third Ballpark in the Grand Rapids suburb of Comstock Park.  Yes, we know, our heads hurt too.  Anyway, they take the tradition of “let’s serve crazy shit to fans” to the next level, and since 2009 they have provided fans with a series of food options that they can vote for, with the winner being sold in the stadium for the next season.

Now if you plan on voting, you can do so here, but you don’t want to make this decision uninformed.  So we’re going to go through each potential menu item, giving you a systematic breakdown of each insane item, before telling you what the best option is.  Ready?  Here we go!

Ranking the Ridiculous Food Items That Might Be Added to the 2017 Menu of the West Michigan Whitecaps Class A Baseball Team

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Jackie Coogan: Uncle Fester Was Kind of a Badass

“Holy shit, I can’t believe I got killed by Uncle Fester.”

~An Actual Murderer

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“Actors aren’t as tough as they used to be” sounds like a sentence you’d hear an angry old man shouting from his porch, possibly to children gliding down the sidewalk on Heelys.  But there is some truth to it.  Sure, a lot might have to do with the times we live in, but it’s easy to forget that Hollywood wasn’t always full of glamour and George Clooneys.  The Golden Age of Hollywood was pretty much fueled by animal deaths on set and carefully regimented drug cocktails forced upon strung out teenage actresses off it, and if you managed to pull through that minefield relatively successful and sane, then you had to be made of some pretty solid stuff.

We mention that because while we (correctly) look back at groundbreaking actors such as Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne, and Humphrey Bogart as visionaries and badasses, there’s one actor who probably was the toughest son of a bitch to step in front of a camera (yes, we know that list includes Danny Trejo) if for no other reason than the fact that his childhood, we’re pretty sure, was haunted.  Which probably helped him prepare for the role of Uncle Fester.

Yes, we’re going to talk about Jackie Coogan, who could totally beat you up.

Jackie Coogan:  Uncle Fester Was Kind of a Badass

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Ray Caldwell: The Alcoholic Lightning Rod of Major League Baseball

“*gets hit by lightning*  *chugs a beer*  Don’t worry guys, I’m good.”

~Ray Caldwell

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Most history curriculums are pretty bad at telling us about the crazy things that have actually happened in the world, if you think about it.  Sure, McCarthyism during the Cold War is “something we should know” but how come no one talks about the time we tried to build a military base on the moon in 1959?  Hell, even when history tries to get edgy (like, for instance, the existence of Teddy Roosevelt) it somehow manages to leave out some of the best parts (like how his daughter was a pet-snake keeping badass).  This goes double for history.  We know about Babe Ruth and his philandering, boozy ways, but we don’t know about the pure insanity that was Charlie Sweeney.  Likewise, everyone and their mother knows at least the name “Cy Young” when it comes to pitchers, but was Cy Young an alcoholic who once was struck by lightning during a game that he stayed in and finished?  We didn’t think so.

So we here at America Fun Fact of the Day have decided to do history a favor and help them spice things up a bit by telling you a little bit about Ray Caldwell, one of the most badass pitchers to ever play professional baseball, and one of the few people who can give Charlie Sweeney a run for his money.

Ray Caldwell: The Alcoholic Lightning Rod of Major League Baseball

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The Inventor of Scrabble Was Actually Named Alfred Mosher Butts

“Wait.  His name was Alfred Mosher Butts?  Are you sure?  This wasn’t someone on staff fucking with Wikipedia again, was it?”

~AFFotD’s Fact Checking Team

alfred butts

We’ve all at one time or another played Scrabble—statistically, it’s in 1/3 of every American household, and 95% of every American grandparent household.  If you haven’t played it before, you’re probably not reading this article, due to your severe and truly heartbreaking illiteracy, but on the off chance that someone told you how to use those programs that read websites out loud for blind people, we’ll throw you a bone.  Scrabble is a classic American game where you form words on a grid to get points.  If you said, “Oh, just like Words With Friends?” hello readers who were born after 9/11.  But yes, it’s what Words With Friends ripped off.  It’s a simple, yet enjoyable, game that stupid people absolutely despise for obvious reasons.

But it is an American invention.  And not only that, it was invented by a man that we can’t believe isn’t better known in society.  Partly because he invented an iconic game enjoyed by millions, if not billions.  But also because his name was Alfred Mosher Butts!  We are children, but we don’t care, we will always find that funny.  So let’s talk about him!

The Inventor of Scrabble Was Actually Named Alfred Mosher Butts

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