A Game 7 Rendered Shallow

Every morning I wake up with a different song in my head. Not sure why and I don’t think I need to seek the guidance of a psychiatrist or a swami to figure it out. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, but sometimes it fits.

Today it’s No Man’s Land by Bob Seger. For the NBA and its players, running out the string of playoff games in Orlando? The severely-under rated No Man’s Land fits like a Steve Kerr tweet about the POTUS.

We have a Game 7. Everything on the line, no holds barred, blah blah blah. Yes, Game 7s are special as they’re about a combination of frenzy and adoration. Most professional athletes live for the adrenaline a Game 7 brings forth out of their collective minds and bodies. But they also desire the adoration, and that’s what’s missing – an SRO crowd of fans foaming at the mouth pushing their stars to a greater level toward victory with their cheers or opponent humiliation with their jeers.

Let’s set the typical Game 7 scene for a moment.

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NHL Playoffs are on and now I Love Them

Perhaps the word ‘love’ is a bit of a stretch. It wasn’t as if I hated the concocted “pre-playoffs” like she was a girlfriend who married the next person they dated after me. The playoffs, COVID-delayed or not, are perpetual. I have only had the woman I dated marry the next person they dated six times, and one of them decided to ‘curve their stick’ and shoot a bit differently, if you know what I mean.

Now the hoopla and fanfare, yes both occurred in the past couple weeks, of both the ‘Round Robin’ and the ‘Pre-Qualifying Round’ has officially exited the ice. Ergo we now have legit playoffs, so let’s take a look at who’s left for the next round. Apparently the NHL has now decided to call the next round the First Round, and I am okay with that. Essentially this means the NHL is now officially smarter than those college guys at the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament (hey remember that? It’s like nostalgia at this point). They convince themselves the play-in games are actually the first round. DUMB.

Did I say “let’s take a look at who’s left?’ I did. Not yet. Just a solid reminder the NHL teams are going nowhere. The Eastern Conference is still playing their games in Toronto at the venerable Scotiabank Arena. The Scotiabank Arena is like the United Center of the North. It’s nice, relatively new, but not a legendary place like Madison Square Garden (which BTW is not a square shape – who knew?). The Western Conference teams are still stuck in Edmonton and play their games at Rogers Place. Same deal. Nice, and kind of like an Olive Garden of arenas… without the breadsticks.

And what teams are not remaining?

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How the NHL Playoff System Works… or Doesn’t

Life is complicated enough right now. COVID is nowhere near slowing down, mostly thanks to the minions who believe it’s a hoax. There are more than 150,000 people who would love to debate those residents of Idiocracy if they could but they can’t, as they died.

Now we have sports making a comeback… of sorts. In a quick breeze let’s rush through what’s up before we get into the nitty gritty dirt band of details for the NHL playoff system.

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Dear MLB owners – play something else besides the National Anthem, Part Two

Let’s call this part the final part, The Closer: The National League.

Part One, The Starter, I delved into a bit of history regarding our ballyhooed National Anthem as well as provided somewhat cogent thoughts on what songs could replace the National Anthem for each American League city. Part Two, The Closer, we will hit the National League cities, but first a few questions:

Why the fuck are we playing the National Anthem at all? What patriotism comprises the beginning of a ballgame? Should we play a game before we battle another country? Is that what we should be doing now? Send our troops over to a foreign country and force them to play an American game before war games commence?

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Dear MLB owners – play something else besides the National Anthem, Part One

Let’s call Part One – First Starter: The American League

Is there a more perfect time to make a change in how you start a ballgame than now? It’s a question posited by fellow Fancy Boy Jake Breunig and frankly a damn good one.

Now Jake wrote a fabulous article about abolishing the National Anthem this past August. I will defer to him his over-arching replacement choice(s) and instead give each city their just due. However, let’s first take a look at our National Anthem. What we sing is not the entire song. Why? Well it’s what one could call a little shitty toward ‘freemen’ AKA ‘slaves who were freed yet still being treated like shit on both sides.’ As with every war involving America, only the poor and minorities are asked/told to pick up a rifle. During the War of 1812 (when Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that became a song… and later the anthem), freemen were not only ‘enlisted’ to fight for the American side, but the British took a lot of them and “allowed them to fight against their oppressors” which is code for “hello good dark chap, take this rifle and hustle up to the front lines and sacrifice yourself for our cause.”

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Eating Totally Healthy during the Pandemic is for Suckers

There’s been, naturally and uber-naturally, a whole mouthful of talk about making sure you eat healthy during the pandemic – chow down on fresh fruits and veggies; make room for the legumes; make meat a treat.

It certainly makes some semblance of sense. Eating within some ballpark frank of health should be some sort of priority, for chances are most of you (not me of course) are spending some serious wads of time creating prodigious dents in your couch punching the clock watching HBO, Showtime, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, or Netflix.

By the way, anybody watch Ozark on Netflix? Holy crap what a delicious combination of the nasty smart and nasty dumb. Hillbillies and High-End crime are such a tasty combination!

OK, back to food. First, clasp hands and thank the Lord of Lard. Everything with taste has some sort of fat in it. Fight me all you want, but you know I am 135% correct.

Yeah, I’m putting nature’s bounty down my gullet, but c’mon, people. What do you want me to do? Try to turn my diet on a dime into chewing on Kale like a cow with its cud and letting absolutely no one know I’m the king of cuisine? Oh hell no. No one wants to see me post recipes of nasty-ass Kale dishes on social media.

KaledisplayChowhound

Speaking of Kale, are you aware Kale was once just a decoration (see above pic), a hard wave of green they’d put in and around buffets to try to gussy them up? Yeah, that was Kale – and now people are eating it rather than the vat of delicious banana pudding that somehow snuck its way into the salad bar section. Which, has an aside, I would like to meet the Dr. Evil of the Buffet who decided puddings were best placed in the salad section. Marketing genius.

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Bombs Away and we’re not Okay

What is it that I can do to make this young woman laugh? Hell, what is it I can do just to make her relax enough to uncross her arms?

She sat there staring at me. It felt like an eternity up there, trotting out 4 minutes of material about my mother. It wasn’t the best, but it had worked before. A few laughs here and there, enough to revise it, throw some parts out, try to add some in.

But it wasn’t working. Not on Rhiamon (not her real name but it fits). Whatever I had done to somehow suck out every single bit of bile from her and none of the laughter? That was working. It’s not what I wanted, but it was what I was going to get.

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Oh, The Self-Centered

February 1, 2011. This was the first day I knew just how amazingly uninspiring the self-centered of the world can be.

I was at O’Hare, ready for my flight to Austin, Texas. A snowstorm was coming, we all knew it was coming. My flight was scheduled for 10AM. I’ll be fine.

Mechanical problems. OK. Flight scheduled for noon. Snowstorm’s tracking to get here by then, but we’re fine.

Mechanical problems part II. Re-scheduled for 2PM. Let the Shittery begin!

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Buh-Bye XFL – A chat

Ciao. Ta ta. Sayonara. Is it sad? Can’t say I was totally invested in it, but there were some things that certainly spent time idling about hoping against all hope the XFL would return and flourish. As such, while I broke open the grill for another fabulous outdoor season of sizzling meat by tending to a rack of baby backs, I decided to conduct an interview with one who had been in the trenches since not only this re-issue of the XFL, but has been there since the first XFL experiment.

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