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.
I remember my first time. It was beautiful. Fireworks, bed covered in rose petals and the triumphant theme from Indiana Jones playing while the Blue Angels did a flyover. Best wedding night ever. Certainly never before that ... ever. (Hi, Mom!) Anyhoo, the Tampa Bay Rays celebrated their first time smacking around the Toronto Blue Jays for a 9-2 victory ... followed by two losses (d'oh!). Needless to say, now would be a good time to panic. We only have 160 of these to go. It's over. What's that? They won Thursday night? World Series, here we come!
Unfortunately, people wasted no time blasting the Tampa Bay area for the lack of attendance immediately following the initial sellout crowd on Opening Day. The problem was discovered years ago, folks. The location sucks, there aren't enough St. Pete residents who care enough, and most corporate dollars are in the next county over where people lived in Tampa longer than 3 1/2 weeks. Period. Move on. Putting cool upgrades on the old Trop — and they're epic cool, don't get me wrong — will not necessarily make people go more often. It's as simple as that. Throw in the fact that some of you turds only show up to root against us (I'm looking at you, Cubs, Yankees and Sox transplants), and there's your answer. Bullying and badgering people to go only makes you look like an asshole, and getting all superior by bashing the area as not being a "sports town" makes you an even bigger, Lincoln Tunnel-sized asshole ... and wrong. I love my TV. And on a Wednesday work night after a Rays win, sometimes I prefer to hit the remote, fart and roll over for sleepy-time instead of wondering where the hell I parked. Sue me. Oh yeah, and there's another team in town currently splitting our attention (see paragraph #1).
Honorable Afterthoughts: UConn, Wisconsin, Kentucky and your Florida Gators are the last remaining "final four" teams, if you will, in the 2014 NCAA Tournament (The SEC is down this year ... *cough*); The Florida State Seminoles appear to have changed their logo to a more "enhanced" head for next year (because after an undefeated championship season, it's time for a change); and finally, Kansas freshman wing Andrew Wiggins decided to leave early for the NBA draft. "I wish I just had more time, college goes by so fast," said Wiggins at a press conference Monday. I remember feeling that way after one year ... wait, what? Oh Andrew, honey, college doesn't really go by fast when you leave after your freshman year. That's like me having a difficult time on the toilet one morning after too much cheese and thinking, "So this is what it's like to give birth — what's the big whoop?"