Today is Festivus, the holiday created by Frank Costanza out of the hatred of the commerical and religious aspects of Christmas. In keeping with the tradition, Ben, Geoff, Eric and I gathered today to celebrate the holiday. We first performed the Airing of Grievances, a long process where everybody goes around and lists the ways they've been disappointed over the last year, before moving onto the coup de gråce of Festivus, the Feats of Strength.
Come celebrate with us.
THE AIRING OF GRIEVANCES
Geoff Detweiler: I'll start: Zac Rinaldo. You're making it really hard to keep calling you crazy. Sure, the Flyers get stuck in their own end when you're on the ice, but dammit. You're acting far too sane for me.
Ben Rothenberg: When I start to think that Zac Rinaldo has decrazied himself, I force myself to picture him looking at himself in the mirror, plucking those bizarre eyebrows of his with barbecue tongs, screaming at the top of his lungs each time while Whitney Houston plays in the background and a picture of Sam Donaldson on his counter.
Geoff: That's how I picture Rinaldo too
Ben: It's the only way to picture him, really.
Travis Hughes: I mean, I'm irritated that he used to play NHL94 as Eric Lindros, because I've just recently come to terms with my irrational, silly Lindros hate, and now that I have to come to terms with my Rinaldo hate too… I don't know how to handle myself.
Ben: What we need is a new scapegoat then, new grievances. Every time a hate bandwagon starts to fill, Geoff and Eric whip their Corsi's out of their pants and start swinging them around in the comments.
Geoff: This is true. Which brings me to my next grievance: bandwagons. You suck because you force me to sound like a hipster, since I was either on that bandwagon before or I have to explain why your bandwagon is full of wrong
Ben: He says while rolling up the sleeves of his Backstrom jersey...
Travis: You mean that Capitals bandwagon you're clearly about to jump on? Which I guess doesn't really apply, since they suck now. But you're a hipster, so you WOULD jump on when they start to play like shit...
Ben: "Guys, no, I totally only liked them after they sucked"
Geoff: This is true, Travis. Gotta know when to jump on. Which is why I'm telling those in D.C. to jump on the Nationals bandwagon now, before they get good
Ben: Real hipsters are Orioles fans, fyi.
Travis: Expos fans, man
Ben: Speaking of defunct French Canadian teams, I would like to air a grievance against my old college roommate who refused to let me steal his awesome pair of Nordiques gym shorts, even though I asked him for permission to several times.
Geoff: Ben knows the truth. But a perfect example of bandwagons is James van Riemsdyk. People turn on and off JVR more often than they turn on their light switches
Travis: I keep my lights on at all times, actually. I'm afraid of Flyers beat writers. But yeah, I mean, it's all about the contract with JVR though right? I wouldn't mind him being close to invisible this year so far if he didn't sign that damned contract over the summer
Ben: But JVR brings that on himself by being so inconsistent, in fairness. Which my eyes tell me time and time again. And like the Belarussian entry in Eurovision 2009 says, Eyes Never Lie.
Geoff: Well it's better than Nickelback.
Geoff: I gotta problem with hypocrisy. Travis, that's the third time I've heard about JVR's contract. This isn't directed at you, but why is the contract - which hasn't started yet - changing expectations of JVR?Eric and I explained why he couldn't live up to the contract, yet people deluded themselves into thinking he could
Travis: Well, the contract was silly to begin with since it was based off of like, less than a month of awesome play. But we all agree on that so there's no need to get all grievance-y on it
Ben: Related grievance: people who use the pronoun "we" to describe who is paying the players. Ed Snider exempt, obviously.
Travis: But, but…. we buy the tickets! (That's actually sort of a legit reason to say 'we,' but I hear the grievance loud and clear)
Geoff: Grievance: Carolina, you took both of my favorite Flyers. Go screw yourselves
Ben: Grievance: Geoff joining the wrong Southeast bandwagon.
Travis: Grievance: Eric hasn't listed any grievances
Ben: But can one grieve without eyes?
Eric T.: Grievance: my boss comes to my desk to talk about my data when apparently I'm supposed to be listing grievances.
Geoff: Grievance: Travis hasn't given me any Flyers credentials this year. And you don't even go to all the games!
Travis: You never ask!
Ben: Grievance: The one time Travis gave me credentials, the Flyer-shaped pretzels got all moist by the third period.
Geoff Detweiler: I'm not going to ask for you to give me yours, but when you aren't using them, you could at least offer. Granted, I have worked most Flyers games, but a few I've been free.
Ben: Grievance: Travis moving to DC means I'll never get credentials ever ever again.
Travis: haha, but the Caps would credential my cat… they'll let us both in. Geoff too! Party!
Travis: I know I've offered at least once or twice, and I've only missed three games, so... whatever.
Ben: Don't get me started on the Caps credentialers right now. That's a whole page worth of grief.
Travis: Grievance: we're getting side tracked and nobody gives a shit about credentials. Seriously, screw Jody Shelley. I don't even hate him. I think he's probably a great teammate and all of that crap. But that makes me even more irritated about him. Like, since he's probably a great guy and all, there's all the more reason to keep him around. If he were an awful teammate, he'd already be gone, and we'd already be free of that contract.
Ben: It's been interesting for me seeing him on 24/7 in the background, if only to be reminded that he exists and that he's allowed to mingle with his co-workers.
Geoff: Grievance: People still arguing that Jody Shelley deters injuries. Give it up, Tim!
Eric: Grievance: those who completely mistrusted Bobrovsky from March to July.
Ben: Grievance: The ping alert sound on my iPhone doesn't differentiate between useful emails and garbage Groupon shit.
Ben: Grievance: People who assume Bryz and Bob get along.
Geoff: I second Eric's grievance, and would like to broaden it: People who put a substantial amount of weight on a handful of games coughPaulHolmgrencough
Ben: Grievance: People who think everything averages to the mean and that therefore the Caps have been the best NHL team of the last five years.
Eric: Grievance: the DHS declaring every injury prognosis a state secret. Sure, there are times when you might get a competitive advantage, but let's not go overboard.
Travis: That competitive advantage crap is such BS. We find out the damned injuries anyway. There's literally no reason not to give out injury news. It just build a lack of trust for no reason.
Ben: It really is. Can you imagine Tortorella saying tonight "guys, new plan: Briere's hand is sore!
Ben: Grievance: 24/7 only going to the homes of players when there's an adorable kid there.
Travis: Grievance: WIP, sports talk radio and everything it stands for
Geoff: Agreed, Ben
Ben: Grievance: There wasn't a slow motion replay of Couturier's awesome goal on that Briere kid. I had to slo-mo it myself. I just want to see some degeneracy on 24/7 for a change. I know they gain access through trust, but not all these guys are awesome.
Geoff: Grievance: Kevin Marshall being sent down, forcing us to miss his wicked dance moves
Ben: Seconded. No discotheque worth mentioning in Glens Falls.
Eric: Grievance: the Flyers suck.
FEATS OF STRENGTH
Geoff: Feats of Strength!
Eric: What if I'm still grieving? Can't I grieve over the Flyers' random dumping of assets (Eriksson, Betts, Nodl)? It takes strength to grieve in the face of an insistence on feats of strength.
Geoff: Yes, Eric, since you missed the first half of the grieving process.
Ben: Ok, as my hulking strength was on full-display during the Open Ice game, I shall propose the first feat of strength. Geoff: List three ways in which the Flyers are better than the Capitals.
Travis: THREE!? *gasp*
Geoff: 1) The Flyers have a better fanbase; 2) The Flyers have better jerseys; 3) The Flyers have Matt Carle
Geoff: Ben's Feat of Strength: List three ways in which non-traditional stats are better than your eyes.
Travis: oh damn this shit's gettin real
Ben: 1) My stat, tenatively named the "WolfScore," will garner me adoration from nerds that my eyes alone never could; 2) Stats take all that pesky magic out of sports; 3) Danny Syvret said on that radio show that he liked stats, but he's never said a damn thing about my eyes.
Ben: Travis, Dear Leader, your turn. Say something complimentary about each Flyer beat writer.
Geoff: Ben, I don't think you passed the feat of strength.
Ben: You're judging my feat with your eyes? Or did you already make a spreadsheet...
Geoff: haha, nice
Travis: every Flyers beat writer? that'll take about nine hours….
Ben: Fine, just Carchidi then. Which will take about eight hours...
Travis: He has a well-groomed mustache
Ben: I thought you'd go that route. It really is a sharp looking flavor-saver. Eric, you ready to doctor in feats of strength?
Geoff: I am jealous of Sam's mustache. It's wonderful.
Ben: Grievance: Giroux winning the TSN moustache contest despite his use of performance enhancing products.
[five minute pause]
Eric: Apparently I am so powerful that nobody can think of a Feat that would be a challenge to my Strength?
Ben: Your x-ray vision DID immediately catch SOMEONE's attempt to join under a NEW username for fudge's sake!!
Geoff: Eric's Feat of Strength: Name three reasons why Ilya Bryzgalov's contract is worth it.
Eric: 1) It stops the "we need a REAL goalie" talk for at least a year or two. 2) 24/7, duh
Eric: Hm. A third reason is indeed a real test of strength.
Ben: and you were doing so well.
Ben: 3) It will be when the Flyers win the Stanley Cup this spring, clearly.
Eric: Yeah, I'm hitting a bunch of reasons why having two good goalies is good, but they aren't reasons why having two good goalies is worth eighty-four gajillion dollars.
Travis: so Eric fails
Eric: Nooooo. There's no time limit!
Geoff: Festivus doesn't end until the Feat of Strength is completed! then again, Travis begged off his Feat of Strength too. The least Travis could have done is say something nice about our friends, getting to three like the rest of us
Ben: Travis really does need two more.
Eric: 3) Had they not signed Bryzgalov, we might have Michael Leighton in the NHL.
Ben: Well done, Dr. T. That would be scary indeed.
Travis: Fine, assholes. Tim Panaccio always says excuse me when he accidentally elbows me in the side during media scrums
Ben: Aren't media scrums horrible?
Travis: Grievance: everything about media scrums
Ben: The questions that San Filippo's ringer in Dallas asked were way more incisive than anything previously asked all year.
Geoff: I disagree Travis, media scrums provided me with a picture of Brian and I for all eternity
Travis: Wayne Fish doesn't smell like his last name, which is an obviously a plus. There, feat complete
Geoff: Haha, well done, Leader
Travis: And you just called him Brian...
Geoff: Good game, let's go eat!
Geoff: Yeah, we're tight like that
Ben: Until next year, y'all. It's been real.
Travis: We're making Kreider take the pole down, right?
Ben: He'll take it down quicker than he'll draw a comic about it, so sure.