John Mulaney once said “percentage wise, it is 100 percent easier not to do things than to do them.” Today, I give this nugget of wisdom to Ron Hextall, a man who almost certainly does not require or wish to receive nuggets of any sort from a character such as myself.
If you hadn’t noticed, the Flyers are in good shape. That is absolutely buckwild considering that not even three months ago, we were lamenting the death of the sport of ice hockey as the Philadelphia Flyers lost their tenth straight game. Ten straight games, ten straight losses. Currently, that same team sits second in the Metropolitan division, one point behind the Washington Capitals, comfortably in playoff position.
Read that sentence again, and try to imagine telling yourself that at the start of December. Good Lord, I would have laughed so hard, I would have punctured a lung.
It just doesn’t seem possible. Isn’t there some kind of rule against this? God, I sure hope there isn’t. The Flyers are fun for a change, and it’s intoxicating. Thanks to the National Football League’s Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, the winning spirit has infected everyone, and in our city’s sports microcosm, almost nothing has gone wrong. It kinda seems like there should be a rule against this.
That leaves me with a terrible taste in my mouth. Optimism has been overwhelming since February 4th, but when does it end? Doesn’t it have to? It must end, right? Other shoes drop. That is the nature of other shoes.
The NHL trade deadline looms like a dark cloud, just six hours away. This seems like the perfect opportunity for someone to shit all over the good times. I am here to try to prevent this. If no one else will, I will take the initiative and the responsibility.
We must distract Ron Hextall. We must do whatever it takes. I’ve compiled a list of activities that Ron can safely participate in without doing something bad. He is famously patient, so I have no doubt that he will pull through for us and not do anything at all, let alone something bad.
These are back-up plans, of course, just in case our very good General Manager gets restless.
1. Go for a walk
Nothing like getting the blood pumping to avoid catastrophically poor trades. It’s even better if it’s nice and cold. Really freezes up your organs and prohibits you from doing anything silly.
2. Pet a dog
Oh man, this is my favorite option! Dogs are the best! Always ask permission before petting a dog, and if they are cool with it, pet away. Also, take a picture of the dog, and send it to me. For posterity.
3. Take a trip to Linvilla Orchards
You may not be able to indulge in the fruit picking just yet (what a treat that is!), but Linvilla is so friggin’ gorgeous year round that a little day trip is never out of the question. They have great pies, great jams, and awesome fruit, obviously. And hey! They’re doing indoor mini golf until the end of March! That could be fun!
4. Look for shells on the beach
This is a very calming activity, I’ve found. After you’re finished, you can do any number of things with the shells! Put them in a vase and set a little candle on top! So cute! Make some art with them! You’ve been needing an outlet for your creativity! Make a necklace, imbue that necklace with dark energy and power, and then give it to Jim Rutherford! Curses are all the rage these days!
5. Go see Black Panther, in theaters now
I haven’t seen it yet, but the reviews have been glowing, and it will undoubtedly be an excellent choice. Hey, uh, if you wanted, Ron ... we could even go together! That’d be so dope! Just think about it.
6. Do a face mask
Skin care is very important. If you want to stay looking intimidatingly young and handsome so as to strong-arm future trade partners, Ron, I recommend the Too Cool for School Egg Cream mask, which is not nearly as gross as it sounds. I mean, it’s 24 US dollars for a single-use sheet mask, but who cares, Ron? You’ve got money. Treat yo self.
7. Play Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch
Game of the year, baby! And for good reason! You can sink dozens upon dozens of hours into this radical open-world Zelda title without even touching the main quest line. You can spend all of your time cooking. There’s a delightful little song that goes along with it. I could dip into that for a good hour without realizing. And then my bag is full of snacks! What’s better than that! Anyway, play Breath of the Wild, Ron, and also anyone else who is reading this.
8. Drink some water
We all need more water. I set a little timer on my phone to remind me, but sometimes I ignore it. I’m awful. Do as I say, Ron, not as I do. Fill up that hydro flask, flush the toxins, and feel good about your choices.
9. Make a lasagna for me specifically
Originally, I was going to write “Make a lasagna for someone who loves you,” but who loves Ron Hextall more than me? That’s right, no one! I can guarantee that I would be the one to appreciate it most too. Call me Garfield, baby. I love a good lasagna.
10. Give Radko Gudas a sword
I believe this speaks for itself.
This is the just the beginning! Ron Hextall could do any of these, all of them, or something completely different! Go on a picnic! Climb a mountain! Rewatch the Super Bowl (which the Eagles won)! Shut his phone off and throw it into the ocean while listening to Shinedown!
For the sake of my admittedly poor mental health, Ron Hextall must avoid making a bad move this trade deadline at all costs. Please, Ron. Please, I’m begging you. Just do nothing. It’s way, way easier. If you really need, and I mean really fucking need to do something, pick up Cody Franson! In fact…
11. Pick up Cody Franson
Cody Franson deserves an NHL roster spot. I have no other correct opinions besides this, but I will die on this hill and when my body turns to dust, I will know that I have chosen the right boy.
This is the one hockey related thing I will allow. Get Cody Franson for me, learn to play the harpsichord, or sit quietly with your hands folded gently in your lap.