The SPORTS PHILOSOPHER says: “To dud or not to dud?” by Brad Eastland

August 26, 2012
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There are a lot of things I’m upset about right about now.

     No, not in real life.   That would take too long.

     I mean in Sports.   Just a bunch of relatively minor yet irritating things that have gotten my goat.   I just feel like mentioning them.

     Like Rafael Nadal pulling out of the U.S Open.   Perhaps the most uniquely gifted tennis player ever born has now missed most of Wimbledon (where he lost early due to bad knees), the Olympics, and the U.S. Open in succession.   His knees have totally betrayed him.   His rivalry with Roger Federer is likely on permanent hold.   His career as a top tennis great may be over.   I don’t like it.

     Like how the Dodgers are suddenly acquiring every good player they can get their hands on.   My cash-poor Giants are trying nobly to overcome losing star batsman Melky Cabrera to a steroids suspension (the jerk), they are still in 1st place in the NL West, grimly hanging on, and now the cash-rich Dodgers have gone out and acquired Shane Victorino, Hanley Ramirez, and now, amazingly, the heavy hitting Adrian Gonzalez from Boston.   Their batting order is now an all-star team.   It doesn’t feel fair.   I don’t like it.

     Like Lance Armstrong last week, being stripped of his 7 Tour de France cycling titles due to uncontested doping allegations.   And not because I like Lance Armstrong.   I have no particular feeling regarding the man whatsoever, and I’m certainly not surprised that he was probably juicing.   No, it’s rather a feeling of disillusionment that nothing great in sports is pure and untarnished and above suspicion any more.   It’s like when Barry Bonds became inexorably linked with steroids, it tainted and soured all the great things he accomplished.   And while Armstrong was merely the greatest cyclist ever, Bonds—as a hitter—was greater than any athlete has ever been great at his sport, in any sport.   In my opinion.   Makes it tough to put trust in anything, to believe in anything.   I don’t like it.  

     Like the washed-up Juan Uribe of the Dodgers making $7 million bucks this year to sit on the bench and occasionally pinch-hit, whereupon he strikes out virtually every single time.   One of the worst free-agent signings ever, Uribe is partial proof of how we the fans’ entertainment dollar is frequently mismanaged.   I could sit on the bench and strike out twice a week just as easily as Uribe can….and I’d do it for only, let’s say, $2 million.   (Plus expenses.)

     And finally, speaking of we the public getting ripped off entertainment-dollar-wise, you may recall that in last week’s column I bemoaned that a 3-ounce box of Milk Duds at the movies now costs three dollars and fifty cents.   That’s bad enough, right?   But it bothered me all week, so I couldn’t let it stop there.   I went to Ralphs to do a little comparison shopping.   A box of Milk Duds at Ralphs goes for a dollar.   One buck.   Which makes it three and a half times cheaper than a box of Duds at the movies, right?

     Wrong.   A box of Milk Duds at Ralphs is FIVE ounces, not three.   Ah, that insidious, hidden size differential!   Which obviously makes it worse.   Way worse.   How much worse?

     I’m glad you asked.   I did a little more digging and discovered (during the course of devouring that entire tasty box of chocolate-coated caramel treats) that there are exactly 50 Duds in a 5-ounce box.   Which means that there are obviously 30 Duds in every 3-ounce box of Duds at the movies.   Ten Duds to the ounce.

     Are you still with me?   Good.   Anyway, without stringing this out any further than I have to (and if you’re like me, you’re already ready to kill yourself over the rape-like feeling of violation at absorbing this ghastly information), I calculated that a Milk Dud purchased at your local movie theater is exactly SIX TIMES more expensive than a Dud purchased at your local supermarket.   Six times.   Six times!   Six friggin’ times!!!

     Aren’t you upset?   Where else in Society does a product cost six times more from one vendor than another?   Regardless of the circumstances?   We get upset when we have to pay 30% more for milk or juice or dog food at 7-11 than the market….and this is 600%!   And yet I’ve never heard of anybody getting upset over the rising cost of Duds in theaters.

     Well, I’m upset.   I can’t do anything about Nadal or Armstrong or Uribe, but I can certainly do something about the cost of Duds.   Never again will I buy concessions candy at a movie theater.   Perhaps now, now that you know just how badly they have been taking advantage of you all these years, just how big a fool they have made out of you, you too will follow suit.  Which means I have just personally changed the course of Human History.   And at the very least, was the first one to expose this Dud conspiracy in print.

     By the way, in case you’re interested, here’s the Dud-by-Dud breakdown:  Duds at Ralphs? — 2 cents apiece.   Duds at the movies? — 12 cents apiece.  

     Twelve cents for a single Dud???   How do they sleep at night….          

meet….The Sports Philosopher!

Brad Eastland is an author, an historian, film buff, an undiscovered literary savant, and a lover of Milk Duds when they are 2 cents apiece.    Brad’s other recent columns for La Verne Online can be found in the Sports Section under ‘The Sports Philosopher’ and also in Viewpoint under ‘Brad Eastland’s View’.   His columns on very old and very underappreciated movies can be found by clicking Arts & Entertainment, then clicking ’Upon Further Review’.   Brad has also written 4 fine novels* and over 20 short-stories.   

*To pick up a copy of his recently published novel of life at the racetrack (and of triumph  and utter despair) entitled WHERE GODS GAMBLE, a tale of American mythology, simply search for that title in both hardback and paperback on,, or   And then order it.   And then READ it.   And then tell everyone about it.   And then read it again.   And then post your praise on Facebook.   And then order a dozen more copies to use as Christmas presents.   Okay?   For all this he thanks you…..



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