January 13, 2016

Slap Shot

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It's January. And January means winter. And winter means hockey! So, with that in mind, the guys sat down to watch the 1977 Paul Newman classic, Slap Shot.

The Chiefs, a minor league team from Charlestown, Pennsylvania, are...not good. Attendance is low, the team is hated, the players are mediocre, and the general manager is constantly coming up with new and ridiculous ways to promote the games.

Not to mention exposure to poorly-chosen hairpieces and suits.
When the local mill closes, putting hundreds out of work, the team's owner (Kathryn Walker) announces that she is folding the team at the end of the season, player-coach Reg Dunlop (Paul Newman) decides that the only way to save the team is to "goon-it-up" -- more fights will equal bigger crowds. His star player, Ned Brayden (Michael Ontkean), refuses to go along with Reg's plan, however, and has his own problems to deal with, as his wife, Lily (Lindsay Crouse), hates Charlestown and wants to leave.

"Have you tried wearing a leather coat with a fur collar, Ned?"
When the general manager, Joe McGrath (Strother Martin), hires three brothers (Dave Hanson, Jeff Carlson, and Steve Carlson as Jack, Jeff, and Steve Hanson, respectively), Reg puts his plan into action, although he's not too keen on putting the Hansons in, due to their penchant for slot cars and beating up Coke machines. They do, however, eventually make their debut, and the crowd loves their straight-up hostile approach to hockey.

This was before "MMMBop" became such a big hit for them.
Hoping that it will motivate someone somewhere to put in a real bid for the team, Reg plants a story with sports reporter Dickie Dunn (M. Emmett Walsh) that there is a retirement community in Florida that wants to buy the Chiefs and move them to Fort Lauderdale.

As the crowds grow and the team gets more wins, Reg finds out who the owner is and even manages to get a meeting with her, which does not go well. She informs him that, while she probably could get a buyer for the team, it would be a better move, financially, for her to fold the team.

She'll save a fortune in hair care products alone!
There's also a subplot where Reg tries to reconcile (sort of) with his wife, Francine (Jennifer Warren), while trying to sleep with Lily, as well as any other woman who makes eye contact with him. Hey, what do you want? It's Paul fucking Newman!

When the Chiefs make it to the playoffs, Reg decides that his final game is going to be a clean one with no fighting. Unfortunately, their opponents, the Syracuse Bulldogs, have filled their roster with some of the worst, most violent players in the Federal League.

Will the Chiefs triumph by playing clean? Will Reg and Francine get back together? Will Brayden start paying more attention to his wife than his dog? Will Morris (Brad Sullivan) stop rubbing up against people and saying "snatch" a lot? Will Jack Hanson have to drink some of that stinkin' root beer? What about Denis Lemieux (Yves Barrette)? Also:

Why? Just why?
All this and more will be discussed!

There's also some vicious lashing-out at so-called Star Wars "fans" in The Lobby (as we as some spoilers...you have been warned), Hellboy teaming up with Ron Weasley in Coming Soon, some tough calls in Larry's List, a new segment from Jake called Jake-ing Off, and a tribute to Derek's mom in Inside My Head.
So lace up your skates, tape up your stick, and tune in to this week's episode!