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Archive for October, 2008

As you may have gathered from last night’s post, we were not entirely pleased with last night’s debacle “game” game against the Toronto Fucking Maple Fucking Leafs. It was late, we were cranky, the game sucked, so when the second intermission started, we couldn’t hit the fast forward button on the TiVo remote fast enough. The fact that Steve and Dano were interviewing the guys from the local high school football show only validated our choice. And then — and then, Gentle Reader — we started the game up again at the start of the third only to hear Doc say, “… And Paul Martin used to play football; you all saw some footage of that during intermission!” What?!? The rewind button nearly fell off the remote thanks to the enthusiasm with which we pounced on it.

It turns out those high school football guys started out sneakily by discussing the Freehold Township team — go, Fighting Raceways! — lulling us all into a sense of complacency. And then Steve innocently reminds us all that Paulie “Mr. Hockey” Martin also played some high school ball. This is not news to PaulieMartinNation. Not by a long shot. But even we weren’t prepared for what Steve’s comment led to…

Paulie Elks

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Paulie Running Right At You

Look at him! He’s running right at us! Filled with the spirit of Elk Power! We’re pretty sure he’s singing “Cheer, cheer, for old Elk River!” as he runs. Onward to victory, indeed, Paulie!

(Author’s Note: Check out the arms and legs on high school Paulie. Holy flirking schnitt, he was a skinny guy! Pookie once read a pre-Paulie’s-draft archived newspaper article in which a scout expressed disbelief that Paulie was draftable based on how skinny his legs were. Now she understands what he was talking about. Not pictured here was footage of Paulie being checked hit out of bounds and it appeared to be a miracle that all his limbs didn’t snap like brittle little twigs.)

Paulie Augustus

Here Paulie does his best Augustus of Prima Porta, thanking the loyal Elkites for their support of his record breaking receptions. The Elk River jersey design makes it look a little like their fearless star wide receiver is wearing his top backwards.

Paulie Sis Boom Bah

We can only assume this picture just gives the impression that he was cheering, when in fact, no sound was actually coming out of his mouth.

Paulie Laurel

Speaking of Roman emperors, you can practically see his laurel wreath here. It’s almost as if he knew even then that he would be the emperor-god of PaulieMartinNation in the far off, exotic land of New Jersey.

Paulie Triumphant

Yes, he even got the “carried around on shoulders” treatment from his adoring teammates. After last night’s putrid effort, we’re sure his current teammates wouldn’t be so attentive to the task of keeping him properly hoisted. (It’s not as evident in this shot, but it appeared as if Pauile was forgoing the traditional “we’re #1!” index finger or the “I’m #1” fist pump in favor of a “I’m a stoner dude who also happens to be insanely good at sports” “hang loose” thumb-pinky hand symbol. Yup, that’s our emperor-god right there.)

Paulie Graphic

And then MSG+ brought it all home with this graphic, which incorrectly praises Pauile for being a “2 sport athlete”. We know for a fact that he also excelled at basketball, baseball, and track and field. If we ever see footage of baby Paulie partaking in these sports, we might just die from laughing/squeeing.

In short, last night’s game was by far the worst of this young season, but last night’s broadcast was the best since Brad Bombardir taste-tested Marty’s Frosted Wheaties (ifyouknowwhatwemean).

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Some thoughts about tonight’s game, which we watched on TiVo delay and weren’t finishing up until it was going on 1 a.m. (that should give you an idea, Gentle Reader, of how much we enjoyed it):

1. Let us never speak of this again.

2. If he’s going to keep taking stupid-assed penalties, we’re going to start calling Langer “Captain Shit Shit Shit” instead of “Captain Fuck This Shit”. And for brevity’s sake, we’ll shorthand that as “Captain Shit-Cubed”. (If brevity is the essence of wit, we’re pretty sure “Captain Shit-Cubed” is its molecular foundation.)

3. When there was some question about the nature of the injury that was keeping Patty out for most of the first half of the game, we decided the problem was that someone untied that ribbon around his neck and his head fell off. The trainer managed to tape it back on, but got it backwards on his first try. The Devils understandably sagged a bit after seeing such a ghoulish scene in their dressing room during the first intermission, but in the end, a little elbow grease and a whole lot of athletic tape did the trick, and Patty was back to his old ineffectual ways before the night was out.

4. Marty’s finally starting to play the way we expected him to right out of the gate this season. Specifically, like the way he always does when he’s closing in on a record. Even more specifically, like poop. (We’ll be fair and concede that he pulled a Marc-Andre Fleury tonight, rather than just plain sucking; he made a lot of saves that he shouldn’t have, but only gave up goals he shouldn’t have, too.)

5. The defense is starting to play defensively a lot like the way we expected them to right out of the gate this season, based on how they looked last season. Specifically, like poop. Even more specifically, like poopy poop. (We’ll be fair and concede that the defense had a very good offensive game tonight.)

6. We normally yawn in the face of fighting in the NHL, but we saw two examples of fighting being used for good instead of evil tonight. First was Clarkson doing his “losing his helmet, and then getting up from the ice looking like the cover of a romance novel after a fight with a much bigger guy” thing and sparking the team back to life. Second was Rupper doing his henchman duties with gusto on Zach’s behalf after Hollweg had the temerity to hit Zach. That fight was awesome. We actually think Rupper was beating Hollweg with his own helmet while Hollweg was still wearing it. That’s hot. (It should be noted that as soon as Zach took the hit from Hollweg, we started cracking that Zach was lying on the ice, ringing a little silver handbell, and shouting weakly, “I say! Henchman! Henchman, there’s work to be done!” And then as soon as we’d said it, there was Rupper, earning his keep.)

7. After watching an entire game of him, we still don’t care about Luke Schenn.

8. Shootouts are stupid, but they’re even stupider when it’s going on 1 on a worknight, and we’re all exhausted, and we just want this game to be over for god’s sake.

9. PaulieMartinNation has no idea how to process what it saw tonight. More on that tomorrow.

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Thanks to his surprisingly endearing commercial for Blersus, there has recently been an upswell of “he’s so dreeeaaaamy” feelings for Braydon Coburn amongst our friends. We’re not sure we’re jumping on this “I [heart] Coburn” bandwagon whole-heartedly, but we feel like now’s as good a time as any to discuss our long and convoluted relationship with Braydon. Just because so many people out there seem to care about him these days. And because we can’t think of anything else to say today.

It all started sometime two seasons ago, in a discussion of hockey players’ names we irrationally don’t like (you know, like Joffrey Lupul, or Jon Sim). Boomer mentioned a name we’d only heard vaguely in passing, a Braydon Coburn, or, as Boomer misremembered, Braydon Clawforth. We immediately figured out what was wrong with that name — that it sounds like it would be a hermit crab cohort of Boxworthy’s. And would be spelled “Braedon Clauforth”. A frenzy of character development followed that realization, and two Braedon Clauforths emerged.

The first Clauforth is none other than Baron Braedon Clauforth IV, an evil genius and archnemesis of Zach’s and Boxworthy’s. He wears a monocle, being, as he is, a member of Zach’s social circle, and accessorizes with a bemedaled sash and a pointy Kaiser Wilhelm helmet. He spends his time in the wood-paneled clubs that Zach frequents, sipping brandy from a snifter, or maybe the occasional glass of port, and comes up with dastardly schemes meant to discredit and/or ruin Zach. He is always bested by Boxworthy, and his resentment simmers and grows with each passing day. He is, though, a worthy opponent.

The other Clauforth is Zach’s erstwhile bosom friend. He was the only pet Zach was allowed to have while growing up, but was never considered anything less than an equal. Zach was forced to leave him behind when he left for college, though, and Braedon Clauforth grudgingly became the bosom friend of the boy JP and Donna Parise brought in to replace Zach: Sid. When Sid finally ran away from the stifling Parise home to ride the rails, Clauforth came with him. Now he wears a belt fashioned from a length of rope and Zach can’t recognize him because his resplendent shell was replaced with an old Schlitts can. Zach is forever heartbroken because his bosom friend has left him, and Clauforth is down-and-out and living in a dented old can. It’s a sad, sad tale.

We’re not sure how the two stories developed at the same time, and we can’t really choose which one we like best. Maybe that’s the real appeal of Braydon Coburn — he can be all things to all people. As long as those things involve hermit crabs and Schlitts cans.

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The hockey season is a month old already, which means that it’s time for us to hunker down and start paying attention, to real-life hockey and, more importantly, to the Amazing and SuperLeagues . Last year we were both in the same league, which meant we couldn’t offer fair and balanced reporting about the state of IPB fantasy hockey, but fortune smiled upon us this year and split us up. And so, as a service to our participating members, we’re hoping to provide reasonably regular updates on all the trash talk, muscle-flexing, kick-assedness, and awesomness for everyone to be able to enjoy the entirety of the A/S-Leagues.

A Letter From The AmazingLeague, by Schnookie:

I don’t know what’s going on in the Junior Circuit over there, but the AmazingLeague is truly living up to its name, in that it’s a league and is amazing. Myra’s Ice Trolls got out to a fast start, but they’ve hardly opened up much daylight between themselves and the rest of the pack, what with Nat’s Ninja Wombats nipping at their heels just two points back. Iain’s Iainstigators may have made pre-season promises to parade the AmazingLeague Cup around their hometown of East Lothian , but as they’re holding weakly in third, a good eight points off first place, I can only assume they’re the last ones to realize that they’re just marking time before being bought up by some big-money Hollywood hockey fan and relocated to Vegas. (Note to big-money Hollywood hockey fans: the AmazingLeague has comparably modest expansion and relocation fees. Call me.) Tied with the Iainstigators, but much more dashingly so, are my own Tintin Tattoos. We may have started a little slow, and only last week eked out a narrow win over a certain bedbug-infested group, but we’re in fourth place with a bullet. We’re facing the Wombats this week and are looking for a romp, and then we’ve got the Ice Trolls next week. Look for the leaderboard to see a lot of changes in the next fortnight.

Down in the “sucky loser” (read: “behind the TinTats in the standings”) section of the standings, Frisby’s Soldering Iron Boars might think that being only two points back of the TinTats means they have a fighting chance. They’re wrong. Meg’s Mutinous Peons are 11 points out of first, but they have bedbugs and that is so disgusting. I’m thinking Commissioner andrew should step in and quarantine them or something, because I played them last week and my skin’s still crawling. And speaking of the Commish, his Wikid Bitchin Kazoos are hardly magicians out there on the ice, so that’s why he has to call them Kazoos, and that’s also why they’re 14 points out of first. Sam’s Into The Boards are tied with the Wikid Bitchin Kazoos, and that’s even after beating the TinTats 6-4 in the first week. Pfft. I’m not scared of them. Um, anymore.

Bringing up the rear in the standings, we’ve got Josh’s El Pointy Toasters, who are a whopping 16 points out of first, Caitlin’s Meat Pies 17 points off pace, alix’s Wheaty Bitches 21 points behind, and finally Amy’s Little Honkers cellar dwelling 23 points away from the Trolls. Perhaps the only consolation for those sad, sad teams is that they don’t have to play the TinTats for a few more weeks.

I’d report on the hot trash-talk action going on in the AmazingLeague, but we’ve been a very quiet, docile group so far. Perhaps this missive can stand as the opening salvo in a war of words. Or maybe you’re all just chicken.

A Letter From The SuperLeague, by Pookie:

The SuperLeague is kicking sand all over the AmazingLeague, thanks to its All-Star line-Up of awesome teams, its All-Star line-up of awesome avatars, and its All-Star line-up of awesome managers, only one of whom who has picked up the wrong conference player (Mike. Quick! Everyone point and laugh! Just kidding, Mike. We love you. But… We can’t promise that Giant Victory Euro Mats isn’t going to come stomp, stomp, stomping up North.). As it stands after 3 weeks, Gambler’s Look At Those Hobos have everyone looking for hobos with their whopping 41 points, 18 points ahead of the SuperLeague basement dweller, Patty’s Paddleball Gamers. Chaz’s Les Phoque-Ups, Commish andrew’s Puppydogs & Ice Cream, and Heather’s Five & Dime are all within two points of hoisting 1st place hobo bindles of their own, though, so Gambler better take notice. Everyone better take notice of the BoxPanners, who are playing possum in 7th place (and who would also like to give a shout-out to the fearless commish for giving us all 2 IR spots; the BoxPanner infirmary has been busy with at least four different players spending time on injured reserve) after laying a 6-2 beat-down on the Invinnycibles 2.0; guess they need to be 3.0 or higher to beat the mighty BoxPanners! In other league news, Greg’s Pronger Worshippers appear to be having some goalie issues, as evidenced by the latest smack talk: “Roberto, you’re supposed to be an elite goalie, remember?” It seems smack talking one’s own players is a SuperLeague staple as Mike of Mike’s Monkeys bemoans, “Pizza line isn’t delivering!” It also seems smack talking one’s own players is effective, as those two teams are solidly in playoff positioning right now, 6 or fewer points back from first. Of course, manager Mags tries a similar technique, announcing in her smack talk zone that all her players are fired, but that doesn’t seem to have the same motivational power, as The Thehatrics are under .500. Meanwhile Sherry’s learning a hard lesson in “you win some, you lose some” as the Victory Euro Remix features Washington Caps star Ovechkin and Washington Caps disaster Jose Theodore. And last but not least, 3 points out of last place are Katebits Fancybits, who are pretty much as ferocious as their avatar.

[A quick note to all participants new to Yahoo Fantasy Hockey — if you’ve gotten used to seeing your players’ stats updating in real time, you’re in a for a bit of a rude awakening tonight. That Stat Tracker feature was a free preview up until yesterday; from now on you’ll only get real-time updates if you shell out $9.99 for the remainder of the season. Just a heads up from your Amazing/SuperLeague custodians!]

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[In the living room of stately IPB Manor, the -ookies and Boomer are cozily ensconced in front of the TV for a day of watching sports and stitching. They have drinks in hand, and snacks a-plenty, and a long, lazy Sunday afternoon and evening stretching out before them. There is a Falcons/Eagles football game on the television.]

Schnookie: Ahhh. This is the life.

Pookie: Yeah. But you know what would make it better? Some freakin’ hockey.

[Long, unsatisfied pause.]

Pookie: This is one of those days where I just really want to be watching something like the Ducks playing the Canes.

Boomer: Like, a game where you don’t really have to pay attention?

Pookie: Yeah. Where I can be listening to hockey announcers.

[Just then, the Falcons connect on a long passing play, causing a familiar-sounding crescendo in the play-by-play.]

Boomer: Isn’t that Sam Rosen?

Pookie: Shut up!

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Ahhh, Philadelphia. It’s the City of Crazy-Assed Shit, as well as Brotherly Love. What did we think of today’s game? We liked it for a few reasons:

1. Gionta scored, thereby driving up his rental-player trade value. If he can keep this up, we’re sure some stupid team somewhere will give us three first-rounders and a few choice prospects for six weeks of having him going offsides and helping them lose in the first round.

2. Zach scored, thereby keeping our hopes alive for a 7,000-point season.

3. It allowed us to put together this artistic interpretation of the game:

Devils @ Flyers, 10/25/08

We didn’t like this game for a few reasons, too:

1. The offense sucked.

2. The defense sucked.

3. The special teams sucked.

And the thing we saw in this game that we’ve never seen before, but should have expected from Flyers fans:

1. The smoke/stink bomb. It’s actually pretty surprising that, after 14 years of watching Atlantic Division hockey, this is the first time we’ve seen that.

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NHL.com says it best: “Stock the fridge. Keep the beverages handy. And find a soft chair. You’re not going to want to miss a minute of the action. And there will be lots and lots of action.” It’s a hockey holiday today, and we’re all ready for it! Fridge? Stocked! Beverages? Handy! Chair? Soft! Ready for action? You bet! Let’s watch some hockey!

So, it’s 1:45 in the afternoon. Pookie’s at work and Schnookie’s sitting in front of the TV with her laptop, ready for SUPER SATURDAY! But… there’s no hockey on. Because the NHL is stupid and scheduled ALL THE GAMES AT THE SAME TIME. Well. That’s a clever way to make it so fans can spend all day deeply immersed in a bacchanal of hockey, to be followed up by a day with zero games scheduled. Thanks, Schedulers. This is the bestest day of hockey ever. Really, because when you’re arranging a gimmick like having all 30 teams playing on the same day, what better way to do it than have them all playing in the evening (five 7:00 starts, one 7:30, three 8:00, two 8:30, one 9:00 and two 10:00), so fans who want to watch their own team’s game can’t watch any of the other games scheduled because they’re in conflict with their primary game. And to think — the only reason there’s an afternoon game today at all is because the World Series made it so the Devils and Flyers had to start earlier than the originally-planned 7:00 faceoff. We love that we’re fans of the most doofusy league in pro sports.

We’ll join the ranks, then, and open up a comment thread for this. How are you enjoying this massive day evening of awesome hockey, Gentle Reader? And how are you going to enjoy tomorrow’s worst day for hockey fans when there are no games scheduled?” Stupid Sunday, as it were. We figure we’ll spend Stupid Sunday a lot like how we’re spending Super Saturday so far — by not watching hockey.

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