Thursday April 18th, at 6:30pm? 7pm? 7:30pm?
TV: Fox Sports Carolina, NBCSN
Radio: 99.9 FM the Fan
Live From the PNC Parking Lot We Proudly Present
Canes Cold Ones
with Hag and The Big Guy
<STAGE> Hag and the Big Guy have set up their tailgating spot, moving their couch and full set under a shady tree on the grass berm of the parking lot. The lot is otherwise empty, being that the game isn't for another 28 hours.
HAG: Welcome to our latest episode. With me as always is The Big Guy.
HAG: <pauses a moment> Well.... I'm waiting... Aren't you going to ask for a beer?
BIG GUY: Nope. I brought my own.
<The Big Guy reaches over and wheels a large cooler to his side within reach. Opens it and pulls out a bottle, deftly opens the beer with the swift motion of an accomplished veteran and takes a long swig >
BIG GUY: Ahhh...Sweet Josie. 3 to 1.
HAG: WHAT?!? Since when do you bring your own beer? You are usually a freeloader.
BIG GUY: Since today. And what a glorious day it is. The Canes are in the playoffs, the Caniac Nation is back, and we whupped the Caps @#$ 5 to nothing.
HAG: So true. Let's talk about that building. I rewatched the game on my DVR last night. Let me tell you, the building was rocking but the TV broadcast can't do justice to how it really was in there. I have to tell you, it was as loud as it has ever been in there, and I mean ever. I'm not saying it was louder than Game 7 2006, but I AM saying it was AS LOUD as that game. I really have no explanation other than to say it was a 10 year catharsis. A group of people that had sat there in games with 4000 people, buildings three quarters full but half of them being Boston fans. People having to listen to the endless talk of how southern hockey doesn't belong, spoken by snarky recent transplants who have no idea how we can be when we have something to cheer about. So 10 years all of that builds up and in one glorious night it all comes out in one amazing outpouring of emotion and it literally lifts the team onto another plane of existence.
BIG GUY: <pulls another beer out of the cooler, opens and quaffs> I'll drink to that! Chopshop IPA, 8 to 5.
HAG: So for one night, we were definitely the best team in the NHL. No one beats us in that game. No one. So now we know, we CAN BE the best team. We just need to go out there and do it again. And again. And again...
BIG GUY: <pulls another beer out of the cooler> Amazing point, truly. CBC Hop Roar. 5 to 3.
HAG: So these guys beat us 6 times in a row, and you see the games are all close... what is the story? I have to make an analogy, it's like one of those old 1980's side scrolling video games, you know the type. You are pouring quarters in there and you are great at the game, then you get to this point in the game where you always die. You are like, "dang, I am good at this, why can't I beat this thing, I'm good at this dang game" and you keep trying, then all of a sudden you break through and get past that part, and then you know you can do it. So now, you can do it every time. It's still really hard to do, but there is a way, you found the way, now all you gotta do it pull it off.
BIG GUY: <pulls another beer out of the cooler> You really are a geek, you know that? What's your point? Hoppy Ki Yay. 5 to 4.
HAG: <irritated> Why do I always have to spell everything out for you in words of one syllable? My point is that we have the formula of how to beat these guys now. All we need to do is to go out there and do it again. It's really hard to do, but we can do it.
BIG GUY: Ok, I get it I get it. I hope we have enough physically to keep this up. It really was an amazing brand of hockey to witness. I guess we can put the Candy Canes myth to rest for once and for all.
HAG: Agreed. I just hope the kid is alright after that ill-advised scrap.
BIG GUY: Svech wasn't ready.
HAG: I don't want to dwell on that fight, but everyone knew going in that Ovenchicken is a lunatic.
BIG GUY: I have a general policy that I live by. I don't get into fights with anyone who does keg stands and swims in a fountain. That indicates a credible form of psycho level that should not be messed with.
HAG: I give props to the kid for standing up for himself. In the future I would say, don't do it. At least not without a season of martial arts classes, preferably taught on skates.
BIG GUY: <pulls another beer out of the cooler> Agreed. Devils Tramping Ground Tripel, 3 to 1
HAG: <irritated again> What are those numbers you keep saying after you name your beers? At first I thought it was alcohol content but I happen to know that Devils Tramping Ground is over 9%
BIG GUY: They are scores. I know you are big time into mojo. Like what did you do before the game on Monday?
HAG: It was desperate times requiring desperate measures. I pulled out all the stops. I was taking my Mom and Dad to the game with me, their first playoff game by the way, at age 79 and 77. So before the game I brought out the Brindy bobblehead and made them rub his head and give him a pep talk.
BIG GUY: You're kidding me.
HAG: I kid you not. They both gave him a supportive speech. Then I brought out my tattered car flags from the 2006 playoffs and they had to rub them too. Then the flags went on the mantle with Brindy between them, faced towards the TV so he could watch the game of course. Left the game on for him.
BIG GUY: You're a psycho too. But the thing is, it worked, so now you gotta keep doing it.
HAG: Of course.
BIG GUY: Well, with all of your success, I thought it through, and tried to come up with something I could do, you know.... for the team.
BIG GUY: Well, you know I have my beer log.
HAG: Beer log???
BIG GUY: Yeah. I log all of my beers. They have apps for it, you know? So I have record of every beer I have been drinking for every win the Canes have had this season...
HAG: You can't mean what I think you mean... the Canes won 46 games this season! You can't drink 46 beers before the game...
BIG GUY: Why do you think we are here a day early?
<A pickup truck comes across the parking lot and pull up to the boys. SuperDave emerges from the cab of the truck, lowers the tailgate and rolls a half keg of beer out of the truck>
SUPER DAVE: Hey Big Guy. I've got your half of "Pabst Blue Ribbon" here, in spite of wondering why in the world anyone on God's green earth would want such a thing.
BIG GUY: Well, I needed something to celebrate that Thursday game when I was sure we would clinch our playoff berth, and the only thing I could find on short notice was a keg of PBR.
HAG: You don't intend to drink that whole thing...
BIG GUY: All I can say is, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. For the team. FOR VICTORY.
<fade to black>
CANES PA ANNOUNCER H. WADE MINTER: The preceding dramatization was for humor purposes only. Hag and the Big Guy do not condone, nor condemn the use of adult beverages in your own pregame and postgame celebrations. They do ask that you act responsibly. This specifically means as Caniacs, you have a responsibility to the team first. You are responsible for presenting yourself into the PNC arena in tip top condition to do your part. Your part consists of generating noise which can be converted directly into palpable motivation to the team. In particular, players such as Dougie Hamilton, Martinook, Foegele and Mrazek have made reference to feeding off of the crowd. So it is your responsibility to be at 100% for the team. If your throat is not bleeding you are probably not doing enough. A good rule of thumb is, if you can still hear me announcing, you need to step it up another notch. Don't make me send Rod over to your seat to give you a tongue lashing like he gave the refs in Game 2. I am pretty sure most people looking into that face would wither and die. So let's do this people. Just win.