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.
Before we get going again, I just want to say congratulations to Fancy Boys Co-Founder Matt and his wife Erin on the birth of their son Henry. He is doing well and is already so turned off by his father’s obsession with Taylor Swift’s new album that he decided it was time to get the hell out of the hospital so he can finally get some privacy. Same, Henry. Same.
Welcome back to Brandon Solves the Internet, an occasional article where Fancy Boy Co-Founder Brandon Andreasen scours the internet to help people solve all of their problems. This week, Brandon is finding the best cooking questions from all over the internet, and he is going to use all of his expertise working as a chef in Paris for three years at Burger King when he was 17 to impart wisdom all over the interwebs.
Let’s Get Started!
How Can Restaurants Safely Reopen During The Pandemic? -Food and Wine Magazine
I’m glad you asked. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. One answer: T Shirt Cannons. It’s not as crazy as it seems. Most NBA teams shove hot dogs into them and shoot them towards the slack jawed masses already. So what is stopping Applebees from stuffing mozzarella sticks and Riblet platters into them and launch them towards table seven?
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.
Last week, right before their team fell into a sexual harassment fueled chaos, the Washington professional football team announced they would be changing their team name. Owner and noted C.H.U.D. Daniel Snyder said that a group within the organization had determined that was the best thing for the organization. This is, of course, radioactive bullshit. They are changing the name because the team wants a new stadium on the site of the old RFK Stadium in Washington, DC proper. That stadium is considered a historical site, and the city wouldn’t give it to him to build a new stadium unless he changed the team name. There’s always a reason assholes try to make themselves look “not so assholey.” This will not be the only time the government has had to step in to make this team do the right thing. More on that in a minute.
HBO has always lived by the slogan that they are “not tv”. They’re something more, something better, and for the most part, they’ve lived up to that by going above and beyond. They don’t just give us a little show about dragons, they gave us Game Of Thrones. They just didn’t give us a crime show, they gave us two of the best ever with The Wire and The Sopranos. They didn’t just give usa new Perry Mason, they gave us a Perry Mason that fuuuuuuucks. (Author’s note: my wife says I talk about this too much.)
Veep. Curb Your Enthusiasm. True Blood. Last year, HBO received 137 Emmys nominations, which was 20 higher than the next highest network (to show you dominance, NBC finished in third with 57). Anything anyone can do, they can do better… and then they do it.
When HBO launched HBO Max on May 27th, everyone expected something special. For the most part, it’s pretty great. They’ve teamed up with Warner Brothers, New Line, DC Entertainment, Turner Movie Classics, Adult Swim, and others to give an amazing amount of content for it’s viewers. Considering we’re in a global pandemic, more content is a very, very good thing to most of us.
But they need to fire the person who arranged their movies. And they need to fire them today.
We got cheese! We got frozen foods! Today is so good there is no room for introductions, especially since I absolutely forgot to write one. Let’s get to rounds 5 and 6!
Michael Grace-Block of Jalapeño Havarti
I bought a block of cheese at the Aldi on Pulaski just north of Fullerton back in the fall of 2012 and honest to God it opened my eyes to what inexpensive, gourmet cheeses could be. It was soft, as a proper havarti should be, but with a full-body assault on the senses from jalapenos. Don’t get it twisted, this isn’t jalapeno flavoring like when a chip is marketed as such but it really just tastes like old banana peppers. This cheese has depth, substance, and pairs well with crackers ranging from Premium Saltines to Ritz to those snowflake-shaped ones with the little wheat bits in them. Normally, a flavor so obtuse and vulgar as this cheese would not pair as well as this does, but the marriage of havarti and jalapenos is one that will endure long after you or I have left this carnal plane.
“You slap some oreos into the blender along with Ben and Jerrys, then top it off with a Toblerone and buddy, you have yourself a party.” -Abraham Lincoln
We are back for another round of indulgence. Get on your sweatpants, baby, because where we are going, you won’t be needing anything that will constrict your waist line! Today we are doing snack cakes/pastrys and Cereal. Most people call that breakfast. Stoners call it dinner. We here at FBC call it a small snack. In a world where calories matter, and you are supposed to always look better than food tastes, Jake, Tim, Rick, Michael and myself are here to remind everyone to let your fat flag fly. You only get to live once, and if you are going to spend that one life eating quinoa, then is that really a life lived at all?
When you’re a child, you might have wondered what it was like to eat a cloud. Sure, the wisdom of adulthood allows you the knowledge of knowing that it would be just frosty, probably a little dirty air. But as a kid, when everything is magic and rainbows, you imagine a sweet, soft delight. Perhaps cotton candy, perhaps a piece of moist vanilla cake covered in frosting just tense enough to crack when you first bite, but never giving credence to the idea that what you’re eating is anything short of a blissfully divine treat. Once consumed, your soul returns to your body, the problems of the daily grind resume. But wait, just as Master Yoda once said… “there is another.”
What a long and strange quarantine it has been (and is continuing to be and will continue to be until there’s a vaccine because pandemics don’t just end because you are bored and miss patio brunch, Karen). Quarantine brought many things, but one of its biggest challenges is what we, as adults, ought to do with its biggest silver lining; spare time that we never thought we’d see until we are old enough for our testicles to touch the toilet water. All across the world, many people have spent these newfound hours learning new practical skills, picking up new hobbies, and committing to fitness, among countless other productive options. However, we have a feeling a lot of you are like us, and your quarantine checklist may have been edited from “commit to fitness” to “commit to ‘fitness’ whole-ass frozen pizza in my tummy’.
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?
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.”