Gonzo Rangers http://gonzorangers.com keeping it real on the intraweb Mon, 25 Jun 2007 00:54:03 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.0.3 en Anatomy of an Internet Hoax: Nikki Leotardo /?p=180 /?p=180#comments Mon, 25 Jun 2007 00:51:38 +0000 Chodeo Ranger Activity /?p=180 Nikki Leotardo?  FuggedaboutitTwo weeks ago, just after the finale of HBO’s The Sopranos aired, a tornado of an Internet hoax began circulating in cyberspace. Rumor was that rather than the ending being an inconclusive steaming dump, David Chase gave it concrete closure: Tony Soprano is certainly killed by Nikki Leotardo, the man in the members only jacket and nephew to Phil Leotardo. Hundreds of thousands of gullible morons propagated the misinformation — blogging, commenting, and pumping it up until Nikki Leotardo finally made it into google’s top 10 search terms, a home on wikipedia (now removed), and a place in faux Sopranos history.

We’ve got mixed feelings about the idea of an Internet hoax. One the one hand, disinformation kind of blows, but on the other, mischief, mayhem, and making idiots look like asses they are totally rocks. Regardless, we’ve tracked down the operative who originated the whole fiasco, the creator of the Internet’s favorite fake Mafioso, Nikki Leotardo. Regardless of what your feelings are on the subject, it’s a conclusive case study on how the virtual world is filled with non virtual morons. Here’s the sordid details, straight from the horse’s mouth:

I am here to officially proclaim what you should already know by now. There is and never was a “Nikki Leotardo” on any episode of the Sopranos. I know this not because HBO spokespersons said so but because I wrote the damn thing after the show ended on Sunday night. If you never heard about this theory, here it is in its original form:


OK, at first I was really angry. I mean really, really angry. I can’t believe though that no-one has posted by now what happened. The only thing I saw that was right, was that in the last scene we are seeing through Tony’s eyes. Remember when he was speaking with Bobby…basically saying that you don’t see it happening?

So here is what I found out. The guy at the bar is also credited as Nikki Leotardo. The same actor played him in the first part of season 6 during a brief sit down concerning the future of Vito. That wasn’t that long ago. Apparently, he is the nephew of Phil. Phil’s brother Nikki Senior was killed in 1976 in a car accident. Absolutely Genius!!!! David Chase is truly rewarding the true fans who pay attention to detail.

So the point would have been that life continues and we may never know the end of the Sopranos. But if you pay attention to the history, you will find that all the answers lie in the characters in the restaurant. The trucker was the brother of the guy who was robbed by Christopher in Season 2. Remember the DVD players? The trucker had to identify the body. The boy scouts were in the train store and the black guys at the end were the ones who tried to kill Tony and only clipped him in the ear (was that season 2 or 3?).

Absolutely incredible!!!! There were three people in the restaurant who had reason to kill Tony and then it just ends. This was Chase’s way of proving that he will not escape his past. It will not go on forever despite that he would like it to “don’t stop”. Not the fans!!! Tony would like it to keep going but just as we have to say goodbye, so does he. No more Tony and I guess we are supposed to be happy that Meadow didn’t get clipped as well (she would have been between the shooter and Tony) since she is the only one worth a crap in that family.

Thank you David Chase for making it so obscure that I feel bad for hating you at first. Absolutely amazing!!!!

You might say Nikki Leotardo was Chianti inspired. Like everyone else following the series finale of the Sopranos, I was a bit in shock. To celebrate the end of an era, I had prepared a Sopranos themed feast for a couple friends with veal parmesan, chicken piccata, sausage and peppers and of course, plenty of Vino. Little did I know that onion rings would have been more appropriate.

My first response was to rewind and watch again. Nothing new. I looked at the credits and Googled everyone who was credited in the diner. Nothing. In fact, Paolo Colandrea (guy in members only jacket) didn’t even have one hit at this early hour. I found myself getting even angrier and feeling betrayed and abandoned after years of commitment and dedication through all the bull crap story lines. Next step in my drunken rage was to find answers on the message boards.

Few posts had anything to offer. Mostly people were like me, angry and looking for blood. The Chianti and fervor of the Sopranos community started to infect my creative genius. You see I’m a giver. I give people what they want and I couldn’t ignore such a demand for answers. It hurts me to see people in need. I believe that when stuck in a desert without water, it’s best to convince someone that eating sand will quench their thirst. There’s no water to be had, what’s the harm. Thus “Nikki Leotardo” was born with his less infamous siblings the trucker, black guys, and the boy scouts. Seriously, I didn’t expect anyone to buy a story that took minutes to create and would take less than that and Google to debunk. It was so obviously crap and my facts were terribly wrong but like my one other great accomplishment in life (creating life, my daughter), I was drunk and it took about 3 minutes from start to finish. I didn’t even stay up to read anyone’s response to what I wrote.

What happened next, I can not quite say. From what I understand, someone pulled it from the message board the story was posted on a NY Times blog, put in an email and left to cultivate in the World Wide Web. Within two days, the theory had been on the major networks, debated on Howard Stern, ESPN radio, Opie and Anthony and written about or referenced in numerous new articles (my favorite was Tom Maurstad’s in the Dallas Morning News citing my poor grammar! How brutal is the truth!). The blogs kept coming and most recently the existence of Phil Leotardo’s nephew was denied by HBO spokesperson, Quentin Schaffer in a Reuters news article.

My favorite take on the end of the show is obviously my own. My least favorite was that the onion rings represented communion or flawed confession of some kind. You might call this my own confession. However, although my intentions were not to misinform to this immaculate degree, I’m actually not that sorry. If it weren’t my b.s. story, it would have been someone else’s. And I discovered new talent. This misinformation thing is actually not that difficult. Maybe I have a future in the current administration…

Got comments? Want to hate on our anonymous operative? Post ‘em below — he’ll read them for sure.

Loser /?p=179 /?p=179#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2007 06:50:52 +0000 Chodeo Misc /?p=179 Listen: Kurt Vonnegut, the greatest philosopher in all of American history, might have had some important things to say about this week’s current events, had he stuck around on earth for another handful of days. We’re thinking that he might have laid the entire Virginia Tech tragedy out in simple, truthful, and re-assuring terms: Cho Seung-Hui was a failed human machine, with crossed wires and fried circuitry, who was living a misfortunate and lonely life on a planet where it was just as easy to go pick up a Glock 9 mm as it was to buy an apple scented candle…

He might have been able to address the situation in a meaningful way that would have allowed us to understand the situation while engendering exactly the right amount of sympathy for it’s originator.

Tiny Little Grundle-WartWe, on the other hand, are bored to tears with the attempts to sympathize and explain. To us, it’s this simple: Cho Seung-Hui was a fucking loser. A douchebag. A repressed cock gobbler not worthy of breathing the same air as his classmates at Virginia Tech. Yet all week, we’ve seen countless psychiatric experts drone on and on about Cho’s obsession with violence, narcissistic tendencies, limitless anger, and bottomless pain, as if this offers some sort of window into a tortured soul who deserves our compassion and understanding.

Listen: part of being human is being angry, obsessed with violence, and in love with yourself. Otherwise, why would Fox News, CSI: Miami, and Myspace.com be so grotesquely popular? The human condition is all about pain, and life can really suck at times for just about all of us, even the people who look like they’re having the most fun. However, only a grundle-wart like Cho decides the answer to his own misery is to pile more of it on everyone else.

At this point, we’re so over hearing pro-Cho rationalizations from made-for-TV doctors. We’re over reading his crappy little plays; we’ve had it with his pre-pubescent monotone voice droning away over the TV. As far as we’re concerned, there seems to be absolutely no comfort or value in offering the tiny bastard any sort of understanding. (Aside: were it that the dude was still alive and not yet a mass murdering asswipe, it’s a different story entirely. But, as it stands, the little bitch left the party early and called the cops on his way out. Therefore he deserves to spend eternity being mocked relentlessly.)

It sucks, but the reality is, a handful of human piece of shit psychopaths are born every year, and unfortunately, raising a sociopath is not yet a crime in most countries. So for the time being, we get to share the planet with them, just like we get to share it with the AIDS virus, cancer cells, sharks, and Dick Cheney.

If there’s a deeper meaning here, it’s certainly this:

Get out and snowboard while you still can. After all, we are human only to the extent that we’re still out riding.

Comment below, because you sure as shit can’t say what you’re really thinking on anyone else’s site.

Jekyll & Hyde? /?p=178 /?p=178#comments Tue, 03 Apr 2007 20:06:41 +0000 Chodeo Snowboarding /?p=178 Chugagch Life, Son!
Some days in Alaska are gloriously epic, and some could possibly resemble an average Saturday in Cleveland. Yesterday was one of the former, and here’s what it felt like:

With one knee down, you brace yourself against the incoming rotor wash. Suddenly, it’s hurricane winds all around you; bits of snow become flying bullets, and unattended bags get swept into the air. Flying chunks of ice not withstanding, you observe the giant metal bludgeoning devices attached to the bottom of the heli, on which it will hopefully land. It will sometimes land on the snowboards in front of you, unless you manage to pull them out of the way.

Then you get in.

Dan Milner said it best when he asked, “Do they put monosodium glutamate in heli fuel?” Heli-riding is addictive - even the chairlift is an unbelievable rush when you’re in heli mode, let alone the plundering of acres upon acres of fresh powder in the sunshine. You could probably choke on all of the adrenaline, except that when you breath all you can come up with is huge gulps of pacific mountain air.

Hours afterwards, your hands still shake.

Other days, like today, you wake up to find cloudy skies, with completely flat light, grouding Heli ops and rendering resort riding in Alyeska’s above treeline terrain a vertigo inducing crapland. So, you wait, eat Reindeer Sausage Pizza, and ponder whether you should deign to go watch Bode Miller and Ted Ligety race. (Ed. Note: Ligety, a gold medalist in some 2 planked event in Torino and Hyde to Bode’s Jekyll, was out with CPG yesterday too. We got to see a line or two of his, and share some vittals in the Alaskan spring sun. Our verdict: meh. We woulda rather partied with Bode.)

Comment below if you don’t want us swept off a cliff by rotor wash.

Update: Suddenly, it’s Jekyll again; our there’s an openning in the weather, and we’re pumping up into the Chugach at 12:30. This is Chugach Life, Son!

The Great Alaskan Invasion /?p=177 /?p=177#comments Sun, 01 Apr 2007 06:44:36 +0000 Chodeo Snowboarding /?p=177 Reportedly, Alaska is the best place in the world to snowboard. The GR is here to find out; we’ll spend the next 8 days riding Alyeska resort, pumping up in helis, dancing, and drinking beer in the sprawling non-metropolis of Girdwood, AK. Here’s what we’ve learned after 24 hours:

- The front page of the Anchorage Daily, on this particular day, asks the following questions:

  • Did a favored Ititarod musher cruelly beat one of his dogs?
  • Will barges filled with oil spill in the Prince William sound? (Ed. note: Oil is sweet.)
  • Should helicopters be authorized to shoot wolves? Planes? And if so, should they continue to receive the standard $150 bounty per wolf?
  • - Everyone in Girdwood smokes rolled cigarettes, and some locals wear spikes of metal on their shoulders. Fire up that Parliment, gaper!

    - In every great small town, there is a greater town drunk. In Girdwood, his name is Pando, and he gets very upset if the jukebox at the Chair 5 bar stops playing music. He’s seen Jane’s Addiction 13 times, and claims that Perry Farell once pulled a tampon out of his ass during a concert: “For protection!”. We believe him!

    - At the resort, there is a Christmas chute but no Hanukah or Kwanza chutes. The New Year’s chute is sublime and wonderful until you are in the icy narrow part. At that point, you believe in any God that will hear your prayer.

    - As of press time, there are many aspiring women ski racers working out in the hallway just outside our door, drilling with jump ropes and ladders placed across the floor. They haven’t had as much to drink as we have. Olympian Bode Miller is also in this hotel, or in a nearby bar, preparing for the U.S. Alpine Championships. We imagine that at this moment, he’s rocking out to this Iggy Pop lyric: “I am the world’s forgotten boy/The one who searches, searches to destroy”

    Should you post comments? Yep, unless you wish us to be buried underneath an avalanche.

    The X-Games Are Comcastic! /?p=176 /?p=176#comments Tue, 30 Jan 2007 02:50:25 +0000 Chodeo Snowboarding /?p=176
    Ah, the winter X-games. Undisputedly the best live snowboard action that graces our TVs and DVR hard drives, we’re always stoked for this mid-winter madness. Usually, we’re so fired up that we go on an X-games rampage… viewing, re-viewing, re-viewing and blogging while severely intoxicated, until these pages are filled with more X-games madness than you can shake a stick at.

    But today, we’re sort of struggling with interesting things to say due largely to the catastrophe of nuclear meltdown proportions that occurred in our area early Saturday afternoon. More on this in a minute, we need first to get in the zone of positivity.

    - Steve Fischer is f’ing back. Breck represent, y’all, and peace Shaun White.

    - Andreas Wiig, our favorite Viking warrior, absolutely killed it this weekend.
    - Mono Skier X is a cool new event, especially since it will give many of this year’s Skier X competitors a place to compete next year.
    - Travis Rice is still the f’ing man. And Todd Richards is on to something when he quips about Math vs. Style — if you seriously think that a flat front 1080 should compete with T Rice’s double inverted madness, you should kill yourself. Seriously.

    OK. So undoubtedly, if you made this far, you’re still wondering, what is this catastrophic misfortune you speak of?

    Here it is: Saturday morning, with our heads still reeling from Thursday night’s incredible women’s pipe final, we awoke, determined to waste a perfectly good day to ride sitting in front of the TV and consuming the Live ABC broadcast of the men’s and women’s slopestyle contests. Except, when we switched on ABC, we were treated to a pre-recorded broadcast of some kind of benefit awards show for the United Negro College Fund.

    The emotional roller coaster of this development is difficult to describe, but it was something like this: disbelief… frantic channel surfing… rage and hatred… then a brief attempt at understanding that eventually resulted in more rage, hatred and a severely jungled apartment. Finally, we settled on just being really fucking pissed at everyone involved: ESPN, ABC, Comcast, the city of Washington, DC, and finally the United Negro College fund. (Who the fuck says ‘Negro’ anymore anyway? Fucking tools.) Actually, we suspect that the real culprits here are ABC, which has always sucked donkey balls, and Comcast. There is a word to describe this situation, which could also be used to describe the feeling you get when someone drops a giant deuce in your mouth. The word is “Comcastic!”

    It was sort-of like, if you are fired up for the superbowl, drinking beer and eating nachos, and when you flip over to CBS at 6 PM EST on Sunday, they’ve decided instead to air Golden Girls re-runs. CBS is all: dude, you can always get the superbowl on iTunes, but Golden Girls is really popular in your area. Did anyone else have a similar experience? Or was our urban swampland the only part of the country lucky enough to get the UNCF shutout? Fuck, we need to move out west again, stat.

    Rider’s Block /?p=174 /?p=174#comments Tue, 16 Jan 2007 05:18:53 +0000 Chodeo Snowboarding /?p=174 In life, there’s few certainties, and many speculations. For example, a certainty might sound like
    Winter on the east coast has been the crappiest in 25 years, and this sucks giant donkey balls,
    while you could speculate that
    The weather patterns have turned, and soon it will be winter as long as you do a snow dance!
    or that
    The planet is warming, and this is bad. You could also just roll with Can I cab 180 over that rocky mud patch there?


    Either way, when your current certainties suck, speculating is lame. And boring. What isn’t boring is The Block TV Show, a reality series about the Block Hotel, a Tahoe snowboarder haven founded by Marco Frank Montoya, the quintessential rider warrior columnist, and Liko Smith, a Las Vegas hotel chieftain of sorts.

    The question is — can G4 TV actually show us the real Lake Tahoe? The answer is — Tahoe soldiers boardsliding to their death down a large and steep metal staircase with a flat landing covered in 3 inches of snow, just for the chance at a free snowboard and a shot at another contest sponsored by The Block. Regardless of the drugs, sex and snowboarding so explicitly present in the adverts for coming episodes, we’re thinking that we’ll continue watching this shit.

    Seen it? Holla below.

    Snowboard Video Roundup /?p=172 /?p=172#comments Sun, 17 Dec 2006 20:07:56 +0000 Chodeo Snowboarding /?p=172 It’s on. The snowboard season is finally fucking on. To prep for this season’s snowboard mayhem, we picked up copies of three of the new crop of of
    snowboard videos, Mack Dawg Production’s Follow Me Around, Absinthe Film’s More, and That, the Forum Team video. There are many more great films out there, but these are the three we got first, and definitely all of ‘em are worth owning. But in case you are rocking the Ramen budget, here’s a handy guide to help you decide which to pick up first.

    Follow Me Around That More
    Reasonable? Completly unfucking reasonable.
    Andres Wiig throws a back rodeo 7 off a 9 million foot cliff onto an avalanche prone 62.5% pitch. It defies logic and reason.
    Beyond Reason.
    Eddie “Titanuimspine” Wall, drops 113 feet onto a flat landing. It’s crunchtastic.
    Totally Unreasonable.
    Travis Rice and his gyroscopic brain? Nico Mueller, MFM, and Droz? Yes, please.
    Soundtrack Questionable. We completely sweat Mack Dawg soundtracks, with their ability to resurrect dead soldier songs; except, this one might have gone too far. Out of the gate, we were bombarded with Chicago. With tasty cuts from Wolfmother and NOFX, we were almost back into it, but then inexplicably MDP decides to skewer their audienace and pollute Eero Etala’s part with Dexy’s Midnight Rider’s “Come on Eileen.” Assholes. Solid. Shit we know and new shit that we are now stoked on. Ridonkulous. Somehow, the Absinthe guys are music geniuses, digging up incredible classics, overlooked, underplayed, and well-hooked indie favorites, and future pop anthems. Alright.
    Liner/Extras Who cares? A forum catalog. Lame.totally.lame Some assy CD that we’ll never listen to.
    What is the Coolest New Style? Eddie Wall
    Eddie Wall
    Stevie Bell
    Stevie Bell

    Marco Frank Montoya
    Secret Bonus ??? Clever Forum Product Placement You’d have to be really intoxicated to miss ‘em, which has happened to us several times already.
    In a Nutshell Eurotastic!! Buy Forum!! Travis Rice

    So there it is. Have you seen another film that you think tops one of these? Perhaps the new Standard or TGR flick? Get your comment on below.

    Recruiting Our Next Generation of Violent Drug Warriors /?p=171 /?p=171#comments Thu, 26 Oct 2006 08:03:36 +0000 Chodeo Misc /?p=171 Best.Paramilitary.Force.EverWashingtonpost.com is running an article on the front page of the site today regarding school programs in the area designed to promote “Red Ribbon Week”, a DEA sponsored drug awareness campaign. Featured in this article is Marshall Middle School in Fauquier County, VA, where the school’s genius principal, Christine Moschetti, encouraged her students and staff to wear camouflage and other paramilitary gear in support of the campaign.

    How fucking appropriate. It’s a great show of support for the rise in paramilitary tactics; the advent of violent soldiering tactics that are now used to serve warrants and enforce even the most minor of drug infractions. Radley Balko at the Cato Institute has been doing some terrific research in this area. His work documents how this ridiculous and scary trend has led us to a place where innocent people in the US are being killed, terrorized and having their homes invaded by paramilitary forces because the Feds and a bunch of dipshit police commissioners in a small crappy communities like Fauquier think SWAT teams and AK-47s are the new black.

    So, way to fucking go, Marshall Middle School, what a great cause to support. Hopefully, your kids have gone right to work, bashing the heads in of your small but growing stoner population. Did you let ‘em bring their guns into school too? While you’re at it, make sure they smack around a few Goth kids and stomp some Homos directly on the balls. It’s super important that these deviants learn at an early age. In no time, you’ll be on your way to being angry, wife-abusing, alcoholic DEA agents. Woohoo!

    The truly cosmic irony here is that many of the kids who are eagerly rocking the camo gear in WaPo’s photos are going to be the unfortunate souls on the receiving end of the DEA’s gestapo style drug enforcement policies in just a few years. Well, not all of them, some of those chicks are already too fat to get invited to any parties where they might get offered that first gateway joint.

    Yeah, that was kind of fucked, but deal with it. Maybe Marshall middle school needs to address their cheeseburger problem before tackling their next drug awareness campaign. What do you think? Hit us up below or send in your hate mail to chodeo@gonzorangers.com.

    Yes Virginia, There is a DC Snowboard Scene /?p=170 /?p=170#comments Wed, 18 Oct 2006 21:39:09 +0000 Chodeo Snowboarding /?p=170 DC is generally not a snowboarder friendly city. In addition to lacking 400 inches of snow a year and several thousand feet of vertical, snowboarders seem about as common in the area as Goldwater republicans. The lawyers, defense contractors and neoconservative civil servants that populate this town are not the kind of people that can engage you in a reasonable discussion about whether or not the snow in Utah is indeed the best on earth, or whether or not it was a good move for Travis Rice to film with Absinthe again this year. It’s a place where hauling your gear out of a car in March raises eyebrows, and rocking a hoodie causes people on the street take the long way around you, fearing an unking.

    So, what is a rider stranded in this snowboard-sceneless town supposed to do, except flop around like a fish out of water?

    Monument snowboards gave us a resounding answer last Saturday night by throwing down a huge party at Arlington’s Dr. Demo for the premier of their new team video. The monument crew gave away free decks, had bands perform, and, of course, showed off their team’s new video, which rocked. Most importantly though, the event attracted huge numbers of local riders, including pros like Jeremy “Def Jam” Cline.

    There are 2 kinds of riders that populate the rat infested swamps of the DC metropolitan area: Those who were born here, have never left, and just don’t know any better, and the elite cadre of riders who have experience out west and still manage revel in the shitiness of a 3 month season, yellow man-made crud and 600 ft vertical drops. Those in the later are some of the sport’s most hardcore fans; it’s easy to love the sport when you ride champagne powder twice a week. It takes a special kind of love to repeatedly land on your kidneys on ice coast crud because of a poorly cut jump in the Whitetail terrain park and still come back the next evening to do it all over again. Men and woman who ride regularly in conditions like these are ardent fanatics. Monument’s event brought a small army of these fanatics together, and the masses rejoiced.

    DC Area Rangers…..this just in….. /?p=169 /?p=169#comments Fri, 13 Oct 2006 13:57:48 +0000 Tenacious B Misc Snowboarding /?p=169 MonumentHey players…..in case you are not going to some sort of fake wedding Saturday 10/13, Monument is having a bash with some give aways. I hope our boys in Vermont catch on to this sweet trend (hint hint). The details are below:

    Hey everyone…
    Just to let you all know… we are giving away three boards during the premiere. It’s not posted on any of the online flyers, or stressed in any of my messages to everyone. No raffle tickets this year. I am going to post three envelopes around the bar that will contain a piece of paper stating that you are one of the lucky three. The winners will pick their board from the samples of boards that we have. Something different that we have not done before.

    So I’ve been telling people to get there at 8ish to hang out, and obviously the earlier you get there, the more of a chance you’ll get to win a board. and not look as funny as you are looking through every nook and cranny of the bar for the envelopes.

    This will be my last message in regards to the party, I know I’ve sent alot, so hopefully you can pass this along to your friends. Premiere will play at 9 and encore at 10, so come check out Gel Music and Official perform as well, as they are both in the video.

    no cover. just come in, get a beer, and come towards the back to hang out with us.


    The spot: sketchy Dr. Dremos in trendy Arlington VA. A DC area Ranger will be there to check it out and report back.