By E. Max Bonem & (a projection of) Matthew W. I. Jared

P.G. Wodehouse once said, “Red hair, sir, in my opinion, is dangerous.” I’m fairly certain that truer words have never been spoken and this claim is supported by a multitude of facts, including:

1. Gingers lack souls.

2. P.G. Wodehouse is incapable of fallacy solely based on the epic nature of his name.

3. See 1 & 2.

Red heads/gingers have popped up with increasing regularity over the years as their kind have become accepted by our society, much like that of Prince’s antics and goucho pants before them (those are still around, right?). However, as these hell raisers continue their rise to prominence, we must recognize their feats and exploit their weaknesses, which brings us to today’s examination of those in the ginger community both leading the way and playing caboose on this crazy train of crimson equality.

Ladies & Gents, I present to you The Bro Journey Red Hot Ginger Power Rankings (as imagined in my head, w/the assistance of the projected comments of Matt Jared (prepare for glory)). Note – you’ll notice that this an all-male grouping as I am defenseless against red headed women, much like James Joyce, who once claimed that “Redheaded women buck like goats.” Amen James. Second note – I did end up adding a female presence to sooth imagined Matt’s fury. Third note – most of these individuals are on my “dunzo list.” School.

1. Chuck Norris – American Bad Ass/Folk Hero

Max: Let’s just go with the facts:

– Born Carlos Ray Norris

– First Westerner in the documented history of Tae Kwon Do to be given the rank of 8th Degree Black Belt Grand Master.

– Played Bruce Lee’s nemesis in Way of the Dragon.

– Is, was, and always will be Walker, Texas Ranger.

– Has an entire Web site dedicated to his fictional feats, including such claims as, “Chuck Norris knows sign language. It consist of roundhouse kicks and fists to the face.”

Matt: AMERICA! (Rips open shirt and throws his computer through glass door.)

Max: That really got out of hand quickly.

Chuck Norris: Son, when kicking ass, one must be careful.

Max: Uh…

Matt: Great, another smart ass with a beard for me to deal with.

Chuck Norris: (Stares at Matt and slowly clenches hand as if he is choking him from a distance.)

Max: Mistaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake!

2. Bill Walton – Former NBA player, ESPN commentator & rumored shaman

Max: Walton played for John Wooden at UCLA, played for Red Auerbach in Boston, loves tie-dye, ascended to the 14th level of consciousness on the forest moon of Endor, and once played hacky sack with Mother Earth.

Matt: He also pulled off a red beard without looking like a leprechaun, which is no easy feat.

Max: He’s seven feet tall, I don’t think he’ll ever have to be worried about resembling a leprechaun.

Matt: You shut your mouth when you’re (Smack! Gets cut off by a swift karate chop to the back).

Max: Thanks Chuck Norris.

3. Ruper Grint – Actor

Insert “Goblet fo Fire” joke here.

Max: In 1999, at the tender age of 11, Grint hit the redheaded jackpot of all jackpots by winning the role as Harry Potter’s sidekick/angsty best friend Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movie franchise. Over the years, he got to crash a flying car, run from man-eating spiders, follow Harry all over the UK, make out with Emma Watson, and he also owns an ice cream truck. Besides that, he’s your normal, everyday working British actor. Anything else you want to add?

Matt: Nope, I think you literally said everything I could possibly ever say about Rupert Grint.

Max: Moving on…

4. Damian Lewis – Another ginger British actor

Max: For those of you who haven’t seen Homeland, why would you ever deprive yourself of something SO good? Although Claire Danes sort of freaks me out and I can’t help but imagine Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride every time he’s on screen, the show is simply amazing and a lot of that comes from the performance of the virtually unknown (unless you’re British and/or watched Band of Brothers) Damian Lewis. Much like my assuming that Idris Elba was American after he played Stringer Bell on The Wire with so much swagger and grit as he did, I also assumed that the suffering and torn POW Sgt. Nicholas Brody that Lewis plays on Homeland was a reflection of his true self when he is in fact super British. The show is easily the most addicting thing I’ve ever seen on TV and besides now being convinced that one out of every three residents in the DC/NoVa metro area has ties to Al Qaeda, it is the most entertaining show to enter my life in a very long time.

Matt: I don’t care about anything you care about. This whole thing is stupid. Why are there no chicks? Where the f%ck is Joan Hollway!?

Max: Good point.

5. Christina Hendricks – Actress

Max: Hendricks, well-known for her role as Joan Holloway on Mad Men and being one of the most voluptuous women on Earth, is as ginger-y as they come. She also provides hope that maybe one day red heads, who might I add are in fact going extinct, will indeed have their souls returned to them.

Matt: Did you really just say “voluptuous”?

Max: Yes, yes I did.

Matt: (Shakes head from behind three external monitors) Smeh.

6. Andy Dalton – Quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals

Max: As Carson Palmer’s career with the Bengals was coming to an end, Andy Dalton was drafted to take his place at the helm (Note – Quick, Elias Sports Bureau, has any other NFL franchise ever had two red headed quarterbacks play in succession of each other? That Mike Brown, always going for the record books…). After being drafted in 2011, Dalton took over as the starter and led the Bengals to a 9-7 record after every single expert and analyst projected the Bengals topping out at four wins maximum. Although the Dalton to A.J. Green partnership is young, this dynamic tandem has a chance of doing some very special things, assuming Dalton can throw the long ball and magically grow 2-3 inches since he will be incapable of winning unless he has the exact makeup of JaMarcus Russell.

Matt: How far do you think Dalton can throw from his knees?

Max: Does it really matter?

Matt: Of course it matters! I bet you don’t think it matters that Andy prefers strawberry milk over chocolate, do you?

Max: Um no, can’t say I do.

Matt: SMASH!

7. Ron Howard – Actor, Director, Hat-Wearer Extraordinaire

Max: Mark Twain once said…

Matt: Good grief.

Max: Charlie Brown? Really? Anyway, Mark Twain once said, “When red-headed people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.” What little hair Ron Howard actually has left beneath that constantly warn baseball cap of his is most certainly auburn. The man who was Opie on The Andy Griffith Show, Richie Cunningham on Happy Days, and director of American space epic Apollo 13 has rocked the gingerness with pride in front of and behind the camera for years and can even be thanked for assisting in the reproduction of other gingers, such as his striking daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard.

Matt: Wait a second, is that the blind chick from The Village.

Max: Yeah and I actually liked The Village, ya know, as much as a person can really like it.

Matt: Oh so YOU’RE the guy.

Max: Clever.

8. Roy Halladay – Pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies

Max: Halladay was the most dominant pitcher in baseball for a long time and experienced at least four different seasons of rebuilding and rebranding while serving out his purgatory sentence in Toronto. Oh and he’s commonly referred to as “Doc” by tv personalities and teammates, so that’s pretty neat.

Matt: Hey, do you know what the “H” in the Canadiens jersey stands for?

Max: You mean the Montreal Canadiens?

Matt: Yeah. It stands for “Habs” or “Habitants.”

Max: Really? I heard that was just a rumor and that it really stands for “hockey.”

Matt: Look you, don’t try to pull that on me.

Max: Fine we’ll settle this the old fashion way (gets onto Wikipedia). Well, look who was right.


9. Alexi Lalas – Former Pro Soccer Player & Analyst

Max: Ah yes, the other face of US Soccer in the 90s (what up Cobi Jones!?). Lalas was the first American player to play with an Italian Serie A club and was one of the major forces when the MLS launched in the mid-90s.

Matt: Not to mention the song “Kicking Balls” that his band Gypsies contributed to the soundtrack for The Big Green. (Awkwardly looks around) Everyone knows about that right?

Max: (Speechless)

Matt: I think they opened up for Hootie & the Blowfish at eight shows on their 1998 European tour too.

Max: (Passes out)

Matt: Are you going to finish that kolache?

10. Drunk Shaun White – Wedding attendee & overall rabble rouser

NoteWe are not referring to the Olympics & Winter X Games champion athlete here, that is simply child’s play.

Max: So last month White got arrested at a Nashville hotel for pulling the fire alarm at 3:00am and destroying a hotel phone after the wedding of Patrick Carney, drummer for The Black Keys.

Matt: Wait, that behavior is frowned upon at weddings?

Max: I guess it is when you’re worth millions, known in circles as “the flying tomato,” and hang out with Richard Branson.

Matt: Sir Richard Branson.

Max: What?

Matt: Richard Branson, he was knighted by the Queen.

Max: What does that have to do with anything?

Matt: I wish we had more kolaches.

11. Brian Scalabrine – Former “fan favorite” aka token white guy of the New Jersey Nets (RIP), Boston Celtics, and Chicago Bulls

Max: Brian Scalabrine is known by the Sportscenter-viewing world over as THE redheaded presence of the NBA (sorry Matt Bonner), although he has recently taken a “leave of absence” (at 34) to try out commentating. Although I have no proof of this assertion, maybe picking apart his former teammates on local cable will be more fulfilling than twirling a towel and averaging 6.3 points per game, I guess only time will tell. In lighter news, he apparently received the nickname, “the white mamba,” as a counter to Kobe Bryant’s “black mamba.”

Matt: That’s stupid, a “white mamba” isn’t even a real snake.

Max: Well, is Scalabrine really a pro basketball player?

Matt: (Pause) Ahh, I see what you did there.

12. Mark McGwire – Former 1st Baseman for the Oakland As & St. Louis Cardinals (& not known for any other reason beyond athletic accomplishments)

Max: No matter what anyone says about Mark McGwire, he (along with Sammy Sosa) made baseball actually fun to watch again in 1998 when the two went neck and neck through most of the summer as they both chased Roger Maris’ single-season homerun record. Were they both cheating? Yes. Should anyone be capable of reaching McGwire’s levels of girthiness naturally? Probably not. Should he be allowed in the Hall of Fame? Who knows, but will he be allowed? Probably not. McGwire might not be the cleanest guy to ever play our national pastime, but he certainly helped grow its popularity as much as any other single player ever has (not to mention the fact that no one has ever made a baseball bat look more tiny/toy-like than he did at the plate).

Matt: Sorry did you say something of any importance or relevance?

13. Matt Bonner – Has played center for the Toronto Raptors & San Antonio Spurs

See Brian Scalabrine.

14. Carson Palmer – Quarterback of the Oakland Raiders

Max: Carson Palmer was supposed to be the great red hope for my Cincinnati Bengals when they took him with the No. 1 pick in the 2003 draft and for a while it looked like he was actually going to turn around a team that had lost any sense of pride or identity since Anthony Muñoz retired to star in Furniture Fair commercials.

Then on January 8th, 2006, the Bengals met their division rival Pittsburgh in the first round of the AFC playoffs at Paul Brown Stadium, a day that hangs in the mind of every Cincinnati sports fan’s mind much like January 18, 1975 hangs in the mind of every Genesis fan the world over. After completing the longest pass in Bengals playoff history to WR Chris Henry (RIP), something called a Kimo van Oelhoffen dove at Palmer’s left leg, destroying his ACL, MCL, meniscus, knee cartilage, and essentially ending Palmer’s career as a Bengal.

After months of grueling rehab, Palmer did return as the Bengals QB, but he was never the same and in 2010 he decided to “retire” rather than play for the Bengals, who eventually traded him to Oakland for a first round pick and a conditional second rounder, which turned out to be awesome. I can’t really blame Carson for wanting to leave, one can only handle being stuck in close quarters with Chad & owner Mike Brown for so long before you threaten to walk away from millions in guaranteed salary and now, I get to watch and laugh as you lead a team of misfits and outcasts, who all presumably run a sub-4.5 forty.

Matt: Was that an Al Davis joke?

Max: Yeah, so?

Matt: (Judgmentally stares over glasses that have slid down beak) Good for you.

15. Mike McQueary  – Former assistant football coach at Penn State

Max: The first line of his Wikipedia entry reads as such: “Mike McQueary was an assistant football coach at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) under head coach Joe Paterno until late in the 2011 football season. McQueary was identified as a key witness in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.” Enough said.

Matt: Sick ‘em Bears!

Max: What did you say?

Matt: Yes.