One of the best shows on television never let a slow week keep it from slapping together a few laughs. Absolute groundbreaking mastery. And the best part? There was never a need for the dreaded "Very Special Episode" that hijacked a serious topical societal ill and shoe-horned it into the lives of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer; forcing the entire family to watch and discuss. "Elaine battles her demons of drugs and alcohol stemming from family abuse as a child in this very special episode of Seinfeld."
Wouldn't that just make you want to vomit with rage and punch a kitten?
I miss that show.
Tampa Bay Rays "closer" Grant Balfour blew a save Thursday afternoon against Oakland in what turned out to be an 11-inning victory for our beloved bunch. Balfour was booed when he was pulled from the mound. And he had a problem with that, apparently. Punctuating with delightful Aussie-flavored expletives, he explained that it doesn't help him or the team. He attempted to articulate in what sounded like a Stuart Smalley rant after one too many Bloomin' Onions that everybody needs to be pulling for the team and booing is "not a good vibe." Want some cheese with that whine, Crocodile Dummy? You've had more walks than any reliever in the American League and your panties are in a wad over a few boos? Suck it up and get better. Fans boo. It's included in the ticket price when you play like doo-doo. It's called negative reinforcement. If you want a congratulatory slap on the ass after you fail to do your job, run for congress (Hey-ohhh!)
Cleveland draft pick and future flop Johnny Manziel won't be asked to bring hot dogs to the Memorial Day cookout this year. It appears a woman filed a (pinkie to the lips) $25 million sexual harassment lawsuit complete with details that are specific, graphic, disturbing and hilarious. Among the charges, the plaintiff has alleged that Manziel sent a "naked photo of him with a ruler next to his erect penis measuring 4 1/2 inches" (well below NFL standards, but ranking about average in most JV locker rooms), has asked for a threesome with Dr. Drew (longest hernia check ... ever), asked her to strip with LeBron James watching (4 1/2 inches never looked smaller than when alongside the "Akron Hammer" — don't look at me, I didn't give him that nickname), said something about cheating on exams at A&M (now, THAT'S hot) and, of course, sent a picture of his Chapstick dingaling between two hot dog buns. In a tweet, the plaintiff claimed that the lawsuit is a complete hoax. The point is, whether it's true or not, you believed it, didn't you?
Mama always said, never wish your life away. But the air is filled with anticipation like that 1979 Heinz Ketchup commercial. Those brats never took the time to enjoy the slow and steady journey of the thick delicious condiment as it made its way from the bottle to the burger. They just wanted to devour that cow so they could go back outside and play (video games were called "go outside and play" back then). Summer is almost here, so it won't be long before we scald ourselves with our seatbelt buckles. School is almost out, so the malls will soon be filled with horrifying entitled teenage future drains on our tax dollars. And Buccaneer rookies report for their 3-day mini-camp, once again reminding football junkies that the NFL season is three short months away. Hurry up, football! The Rays aren't as awesome as expected, hockey season is over as far as I'm concerned, nobody gives a frog's fat ass about the NBA around these parts and apparently I'm simply not intelligent or enlightened enough to appreciate the complexities and nuances of Rowdies soccer. Sorry, rest of the world. We just don't get it.
Draftees and over 40 very large un-drafted kids will be putting on big-boy pants to practice, and in some cases, audition for a role in the fall blockbuster hit, the 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Head coach Lovie Smith, named after Thurston Howell III's wife, drafted all offense — a franchise first. Most of the talk is focused on the big-ass receivers — 6-foot-5 receiver Mike Evans and 6-foot-6 tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins — picked to join our current big-ass receiver, Vincent Jackson. After last year's dreadful red zone percentage (and receiving ... and offense in general ... and team ... and coaching), having three options who can bring down the football thrown anywhere in their area code could be a decent and immediate improvement. All Buc Nation needs to do now is get over the fact that Smith is happy with the quarterback situation and he may ... just may ... know a little more about the business than you or I do. By the way, Johnny Manziel is going to flop. Believe that. Ryan Leaf is probably giggling to himself about it in rehab somewhere. Did you know he was a Buccaneer for six months in 2001? Yeah, we should keep consulting Tony Dungy about football decisions.
It's that time of the year, kiddies! A time when college kids are handed millions of dollars and told which of 32 cities they will soon call home (Cleveland? I'm moving to Cleveland? On purpose?). That's right, football freaks. The 2014 NFL Draft is off and running, proving once again that if football is cigarettes, all other sports are Nicorette gum.
As a surprise to absolutely nobody paying any attention, the Houston Texans chose that Cock, Jadeveon Clowney, made instantly famous after knocking Michigan running back Vincent Smith's helmet off like a champagne cork at the 2013 Outback Bowl in Tampa (what ... that's the name of the team? GO COCKS? *giggle*). When asked to comment on how he thought Clowney would fare in the NFL, Smith reportedly drooled and peed himself into catatonia. The helmet was last seen orbiting somewhere over Thailand.
When the Buccaneers were on the clock at pick #7, Tampa Bay fans were a-buzzing with the same thought:
Perspective is a wonderfully fascinating state of mind after frustrating results. It's a time when losers are left to make statements through gritted teeth they don't quite mean. "It was an honor just to be nominated," "We were just happy to be here," "It's Bush's fault." But pain plus enough time eventually clears the brain of all stinkin' thinkin' in time to see the delicious pickle left over right after the last bite of a shit sandwich.
The Lightning, despite a few questionable calls by les referees who were clearly huge fans of baguettes and Jerry Lewis, were simply beaten in every way imaginable in a four-game sweep by the Montreal Canadiens. They fought to the very end, but ultimately surprised nobody when it became obvious they were just not ready for the post-season...yet. To call it a pleasant surprise to see the Boltz get anywhere near the playoffs given the circumstances would be a humungous understatement. Like saying Christie Brinkley looks "pretty good" for a 60-year-old. (That's right, folks. National Lampoon's Vacation came out over 30 years ago. Depressed yet?)
Only one team walks away with a win at the end of the season. Well done, boys.
It's here, puck-heads. The Tampa Bay Lightning postseason run has begun. Hop aboard the bandwagon, folks. All are welcome. Think hockey is nothing but hip-checks, fights and goals? Come on down. Don't know a blue line from a clothesline? No problemo. Think offsides is just a football term? Got a spot for you right here. Icing belongs on cupcakes, right? Get your silly ass in that chair and enjoy.
So the Boltz started the series by playing a little ugly, sloppy and give-up-the-pucky Wednesday evening, and still managed to take the Montreal Canadiens to overtime before the inevitable. Lightning goalie Anders Lindback (aka The Guy Not Named Ben Bishop) held his own with 39 saves on the night; it was the five near-misses that ultimately sent Bolt Nation home with frowny faces and less money. But dry your eyes and turn that frown upside-down, prissy pants — this ain't the one-and-done brackets. Like baseball (and Donkey Kong), the Cooper troopers have at least three more lives to untuck their junk and show those French Canucks how we take care of business in Tampa Bay. It isn't just beaches, golf and teachers banging students.
Those who know me are familiar with my admiration of the concept of losing. In most cases, in sports as well as life, it's the only way to learn, to grow, improve, get better and fully earn and appreciate the victories. That's right, losers. You are awesome. (You should know, Bill ... D'oh! Should've seen that coming.) It's how one faces, deals with and hopefully overcomes loss that determines how champions are made. Like brain-damaged philosopher Rocky Balboa once mumbled, "It's not about how hard you hit. It's how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward." Pure gold. And that's why I vomit with rage at the very concept of "Everybody gets a ribbon" — so that the young whipper-snappers don't get their precious little feelings hurt. These touchy-feely twits with the best of intentions end up stunting the character-building growth of little Timmy at a time when losing a T-Ball game isn't the worst thing in the world, and Timmy winds up an oversized, entitled crybaby who goes ballistic when he ends up getting fired one day. Headline: "Lunatic shoots up an office building after not getting a promotion." Maybe keeping score in Little League would have helped prep him for real disappointment. Naw, let's make him one of twelve co-captains. Everybody wins!
Speaking of loss (yes, there was a point to all that crap), the Tampa Bay Lightning lost Steven Stamkos for four months (Boltz kept playing), Marty St. Louis for ... ever (Boltz kept playing), and, currently, stud goalie Ben Bishop indefinitely. The Boltz ... kept ... playing. And winning. Injuries, trades, adversity, and these kids show up and rally around each other with whomever they got tending goal and are still getting it done, shedding hope on a potentially hopeless situation heading into the playoffs. Defeatists from all around Tampa Bay hung their heads and cried into their PBR's and proclaimed the season over after Bishop went down to injury. Again. At a time when the team needed him most. But in waddled Bluto Blutarsky with a couple of Number 2 pencils crammed up his nose to remind us all that nothing was over until we decided it was. It wasn't over after the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, and it ain't over now.
"Because when the going gets tough ..."
Anders Lindback, the other goalie, stepped in, stepped up and ...
"The tough get going!"
Thanks, Bluto. Anyway, Lindback strapped on the Michael Myers mask and played like the starter he was meant to be, including stopping 34 shots Thursday night in a 4-2 victory over the Flyers from the perpetually repulsive city of Philadelphia. Man down, man up. Heal up the boo-boos, Ben. We got this. Also? Please get better! We are totally screwed without you! Why, God? Why?!
Before the hockey season started, if I told you that A) we weren't sure about the goalie situation; B) the best player on your team would break his leg and be out for four months; and C) your team captain would turn into a diaper-filled crybaby and head to New York, and then capped off the prognostication with, "Playoffs, bitches!", how would you respond? If you were a hyper-militant feminist born tragically without a sense of humor (redundancy alert!), you would most likely convey your outrage at my flippant use of such a derogatory term and kick me in my evil testicles with your Birkenstock. All others would simply accuse me of being drunk. And they would be correct; I like beer. A lot. But the point is, "Playoffs, bitches!"
That's right, folks. The Tampa Bay Lightning have clinched the playoffs for the first time since 2011 after beating the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 Tuesday night. Unfortunately, it came at a cost. Late in the game, for no particular reason, Montreal thug Douglas Murray blatantly, brutally and deliberately elbowed Lightning defenseman Mike Kostka in the coconut, knocking him flat on the ice, possibly unconscious. Murray reportedly has been suspended for three games and Kostka is out indefinitely with a concussion. If it were up to me, the suspension would last as long as our guy is out, then add three games on top of it. Once the suspension is complete, I would duct-tape Murray's arms behind his back and let each of the three Hanson brothers deliver an elbow to his face while Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" blares in the background. And Erin Andrews gives me a back rub. (What? I'm on a roll.) Since we may very well be seeing those French Canucks again real soon, I hope it's a bloodbath ... metaphorically speaking, of course. I'm not a monster. At least that's what the high-pitched voices in my head keep telling me before I black out.