Reader Poll: The Top Eight Personalities in DreadBall
Thanks to everyone who voted in our recent poll - we had almost three point seven billion votes, and we've brought them together here for your reading pleasure. There are one or two surprising entries alongside the obvious favourites, but we're not to blame - you were the ones who voted! Without further ado, here they are...
#8 - Yurik “Painmaster” Yurikson,
Yurik Yurikson is notoriously difficult to interview. He doesn't like to talk about how he got into DreadBall, or how he found himself slumming it as a Free Agent for almost a decade before rejoining the Midgard Delvers, or how he once took down three opposing guards with a single Slam. In fact, all Yurik wants to talk about is how much he hates “Brickbat” Vognar, long-serving guard with the Manglers. The common belief is that it all stems back to a head injury he receives courtesy of the Orc Guard back at SlamBall IV. One thing's for sure, that's the last time he spoke to a journalist without spewing bile about the “worthless son of a Grogun” who “needs to be taught a lesson in pain” and who “won't be so damned cocky with a...” ...well, we can't print the rest of that quote, but I think we all remember it. Yurik's tirades have become legendary, to the point where there's a small legion of fans who watch him play just so they can see what he says before and after the game. We're sure we can't be the only ones waiting to see him face off against his nemesis at SlamBall XVIII - whatever happens, you can guarantee it won't be pretty!
#7 - Balthasar Mapp, the Concessions King
The only entry on this list who hasn't spent at least some time in the arena, Balthasar Mapp was not the first to sell drinks and snacks to fans at DreadBall matches, but he's definitely the most memorable. The “B.T. Mapp and Brothers” brand was already famous for their frozen desserts before Balthasar decided to enter the DreadBall family, but the many cycles he spent selling his wares brought them even more recognition. This was mainly due to Balthasar's larger-than-life bombast and booming voice, which can still be heard on replays of hundreds of classic games, even though he sadly passed away three years ago. His funeral was attended by some of the biggest names in the sport, where even the otherwise emotionless Skjalf Hoskursson was seen weeping on the shoulder of a team-mate. All together now, for Balthasar: “Ice cream!”
#6 - Slippery Joe
It's a long-standing sporting tradition that notable players earn nicknames, and goblins are no different. In fact, even the name “goblin” was given to them by a sportscaster - the late, great Holly Proctor pointed out back at BlastBall III that they looked like a character from popular kids' show “Zak and the Weirdies”. Sure enough, the idea stuck, and before long any goblin player worth his salt had ditched his real name in favour of one chosen by his fans, preferably one borrowed from popular fiction. Slippery Joe went one step further and started dressing and acting like the character he was named for, donning a top-hat between games and obtaining some suitably audacious facial hair. Almost overnight he became a sensation; he was already well-known as the only goblin to pass the rigorous tests to become a Striker, and the added bonus of his theatrical antics and moustache-twirling ensured him a place in the hearts of fans everywhere.
#5 - Grag the Unstoppable
Every sports fan loves an underdog story. When Grag the Unstoppable made his first (and last) entrance to a DreadBall arena at GloryBall V, the crowd just stared - it looked for all the world as though the Greenmoon Smackers were fielding a goblin in Guard armour. Grag (who hardly seemed worthy of his nickname) was a diminutive, runtish specimen of an Orc, and no one could see how he'd made his way into a team, let alone a starting line-up. As soon as play began, it was clear that it wasn't because of his talent in the arena; his punches were clumsy, his tackles were sloppy and he seemed baffled by even the simplest tactics. No one present could figure it out until the commentators made sense of what was going on, remarking that it looked as though the Smackers had fielded the worst player they could find in a display of Orcish bravado - “like winning a fight with one hand tied behind your back.” Despite his obvious disadvantages, Grag refused to be discouraged, and kept on trying. He was set to be forgotten, just another piece of trivia for DreadBall fans to chew over, but that all changed when he squared up against the Trontek 29ers' head Guard, Gregor Davitz. The veteran player was almost a full head taller than his Orc counterpart, and looked set to tear him limb from limb, when Grag lashed out with a clumsy uppercut. In a fluke of timing, it connected just as Davitz slipped on a wild ball. The hulking Guard crashed to the ground, breaking several bones and spending the rest of the game in a MedPod. Of course, as we all know, Grag didn't survive the match to celebrate his lucky punch, but his never-say-die attitude has been held up as an example to underdogs across the Sphere ever since.
#4 and #3 - Jim & Jake
Jim and Jake have been DreadBall's greatest partnership for so long now that it would seem strange to give them separate entries. Jim Horowitz first came to the attention of the DGB when his late-night sports show started getting more traffic than some of their main game coverage. His encyclopaedic knowledge of stats and figures relating to the game made him an ideal candidate for a seat in the commentators' booth, as long as they could partner him up with someone who had some arena time under his belt. Sure enough, Jake “the Jackhammer” Thunder had just made the decision to retire from taking an active part in the sport, and was looking for a change of pace. He was a fan favourite, known for his tactical flair, and had played with various teams in his time. (Due to a mix-up at DGBHQ, he even spent several cycles playing for a Forge Father team, rising to the rank of team captain before he decided to head back to more civilised grounds.) The duo were put to work in the smaller leagues, but their combination of knowledge and experience - not to mention their lively banter - won them countless fans across the Sphere. They've presided over almost every major game since then, and are regular guests on sports shows across the CorpCast network. They've also capitalised on their image outside of the arena, and as a result the pair holds more corporate sponsorships than many of the highest-rated athletes in DreadBall.
#2 - “Lucky” Logan
The sporting world has its share of big mysteries, and the man who calls himself “Lucky” Logan is one of the biggest. He doesn't look a day over forty, but rumours persist that he's been playing DreadBall under different names ever since its founding, over eighty cycles ago. He's never denied it outright, and there's certainly something dated about his attire, but considering the lifespan of the average player (let alone the average human!) it's a safe bet that it's all a show. Probably. In either case, the man himself isn't saying anything, and any attempts to push him onto the subject are met with a nod, a wink and an off-the-cuff remark. Whoever he actually is, no one can deny Logan's easy charm, his rugged good looks or his happy-go-lucky attitude. He's been named “the nicest guy in DreadBall” by countless pundits, and it's not uncommon for opposing players to seek him out after a match to shake his hand and apologise for any harm they've caused him. Logan's currently taking a time-out from full-time play, focusing on his day job as spokesman for Dan Jakzel's line of whiskies, but he still makes himself available as a freelancer to teams who need a helping hand (and who don't mind paying for it). No matter how old he is, he's always keen to show that his skill - like his luck - is a long way from fading.
#1 - Buzzcut
This man - if he can be called a man - needs no introduction beyond his DGB disciplinary record. Forty two brutality calls. One hundred and three counts of indecent behaviour. An astounding two hundred and thirty six kit check violations. Sixteen counts of general belligerence. Two charges of mid-match arson, either of which makes for great entertainment but neither of which can be shown due to censorship laws. Buzzcut is a legend, and we're not just saying that for fear of what would happen if we didn't. An absolute spectacle when he's in the arena, he's the recipient of dozens of awards and plaudits, including “most volatile player” and “least armoured Guard”, and owner of the DGB-accredited “deadliest left hook” in the game. Buzzcut cannot and will not be ignored, and he's deservedly won the top spot in our poll.
So that's the poll. What do you think? Anyone missing? If so, head on over to our forums and make your opinion heard!