Shaggy 2 Dope, Robin Ventura and the Glory of Spectacular Failure
One of my favorite baseball players as a kid was longtime Chicago White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura. He was a great athlete. He could hit for power, wracking up nearly three hundred home runs over the course of his auspicious career. He was a terrific clutch hitter, with twenty-five grand slams to his name as well as a terrific fielder with a cannon for an arm who picked up six Gold Gloves.
Ventura also has a reputation as a terrific guy, a born leader well-liked by his teammates and fans who, upon retirement segued smoothly into a career as a coach and manager.
In other words, Robin Ventura was, and remains, a winner. But in the most memorable moment in a nearly Hall of Fame-level career the White Sox great became famous not for his many incredible achievements but rather for losing in way that will be remembered for perpetuity.
Even today, decades later, long after I stopped caring about sports in general and my formerly beloved Chicago White Sox in particular, I can still remember the scene vividly. Ventura had been hit by a pitch by legendary Texas Ranger fire-baller Nolan Ryan. At first, it seemed like Ventura was going to trot over to first base but a few steps in he instead charged the mound.
Ventura was literally decades younger than the forty-five year old badass who just hurled a baseball at him but that did not keep the older man whipping the shit out of Ventura as if he was a misbehaving mule. Ventura’s audacious and uncharacteristic attempt to punish one of the best-loved baseball players of all time for throwing at him could not have turned out worse. Ryan beat the shit out of Ventura with the whole world watching. It was an epic beatdown that cast a long, weird shadow over Ventura’s otherwise auspicious career.
I loved Ventura for being a great baseball player and a great guy. I fucking adored him for taking a chance and losing so spectacularly, in such a public and humiliating way.
I thought about Ventura’s ill-fated melee with Ventura when I read that the great Shaggy 2 Dope of Insane Clown Posse had attempted a flying drop kick against Fred Durst and, in a Ventura-like turn of events ended up missing him. Instead of inflicting a world of hurt on the Limp Bizkit frontman, Shaggs the Clown instead ended up on the ground, getting escorted by security.
That this happened in Camden, New Jersey just made everything even more perfect. Now, I do not know why Shaggy 2 Dope wanted to drop kick Fred Durst. I assume it’s for the same reason most of us would drop kick Fred Durst if we had a chance: he’s annoying, his music sucks and his work as a film director is largely undistinguished.
I don’t need to know why Shaggy 2 Dope wanted to drop-kick Fred Durst. I almost feel like learning the backstory behind this intensely viral moment would just ruin things.
No, what matters is that Shaggy 2 Dope decided he was going to drop kick noted douche nozzle Fred Durst. That was awesome. Then he fucking failed in his attempt, which is even more awesome.
At the Gathering of the Juggalos, Insane Clown Posse’s annual festival of arts and culture, when someone screws up it is customary to chant, “You fucked up! You fucked up!”
The idea is less to mock failure than to celebrate it. Juggalos are proud losers. That who we are. We fuck up. We fail. We make mistakes. We look like idiots to ourselves and the world around us but then we pick ourselves right back up and try again.
In that spirit, I see Shaggy’s failed drop kick seen round the world (or at least viewed extensively on Youtube) as a cause for celebration. Like Ventura, he fucked up and in the world of Juggalos, that’s what life is all about.
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