I have just handed in my entry form the annual office pool and my brain is already scrambling to justify its rather implausible Final Four scenario (it's a pick 'em, not a draft, so you pretty much have to go with upsets all the way). Before I finish reading the early predictions from the western conference bloggers and sorting through the 80 or so straight hours of sports talk radio that have been rattling around in my head, I needed a brief digression here before tearing into the first post-season thread of 2007. Much like Murray and Therien's goofy I'd Sure Hate To Be Under That Kind Of Pressure psy-ops, this post is intended as piffle to divert the attention of interested observers [i.e.: something to keep me from worrying myself sick].
Our bodies are under tremendous assault in the playoffs. The anxiety, panic, nausea, alternating appetites for stimulants and depressants and explosive emoting all combine to wear and tear on valuable internal organs. The game action itself is bad enough. During breaks in the play, our senses are subject to repetitive bombardment by the latest Playoff Edition ad campaigns, straining our brain's resistance to insanity past its elastic yield point.
We all remember last year's Perv Wearing Chair Costume thanks to the mensas at Molson (or was it Bud?) and the fingernails-down-the-chalkboard introduction of those cursed Bell Beavers during the Winter Olympics. The jingles are as burned into the dark depths of my subconscious as Emery giving up the first shot in game five, Joe Nieuwendyk's short side floaters or Tugnutt's trapper failure. Here are my top five running candidates for TV time-out psychic terrorism come Wednesday evening:
5) The Renewable Fuels Association Lobbyist
If ever I were inclined to fashion a Conan battle-axe and cleave somebody's skull with it, I'd have to say this guy would fit the bill.
4) That Quirky Lady Who's In All The Canadian Commercials Ever
Westjet, tea, home renos, backing up over motorcycles, where does she find the time to produce such ubiquity?
3) The Creaky, Mind-Reading Signs at Canadian Tire
Are all of you Ted Simonett haters happy now with what you have wrought upon the earth?
2) The Pasty Moores Giant Hitting His Head on the Shower Rod
I just want to yell "watch out" before he crashes into the overhead projector for the umpteenth time.
1) Anything featuring Sid the Kid. Whether quaffing Gatorade, posing as an adorable little timbit or fuming over an Ovechkin room service gag, we are going to see more of his pouty face on and off the ice than can possibly be considered healthy.
An honourable mention goes to the clapping onlookers from the Kia Rondo commerical. This bit often plays right after one of the Sens takes a stupid penalty and follows up in a manner reminiscent of the Sarcastic Clapping Family of Southampton.