Thursday, December 12, 2013
Thursday Morning Cupcheck - Neal before Zod
It's good to see a former Star in the news once in a while. I wonder what he's been up to?
Good morning, hockey amigos. Last week, we ranked the elite SuperPests in the league and decided that all of them needed to be spanked more when they were children. This week, former Dallas Star James Neal went a little off-script in a Thunderdome cage match against the Bruins, which resulted in a surprisingly lenient five-game suspension.
Fortunately, using our multibillion dollar local journalism budget and a few well-placed webcams, we at the Cupcheck were able to send our unpaid interns directly into harm's way and get this transcript of the disciplinary hearing.
In NHL SuspenCzar Brendan Shanahan's office. The stuffed and mounted heads of multiple fourth-line forwards and third-pairing defensemen line the walls. His smooth mahogany desk is covered in shiny dinosaur stickers and half-empty bottles of TaB. James Neal walks in.
Shanahan: "Hey! I was just about to call you."
Neal: "Oh, sorry bro, I thought this was the men's bathroom." (turns around to leave)
Shanahan: "No! Neal... James. Please stay."
Neal: (gives Shanahan the 'are you hitting on me?' look) "Uhhh... 'sup?"
Shanahan: "I need to talk to you about your incident in the Bruins game the other night."
Neal: "Yeah, something needs to be done about that. Full extent of the law, etc etc, all that jazz."
Shanahan: "Wait-- so you, ah, don't... contest the charges?"
Neal: "What is there to contest, old man? That little rat deserves to have the book thrown at him for the way he went low and tried to headbutt my ACL. Dirtiest play I've ever seen."
Shanahan: "Oh... nevermind. I thought you had... changed."
Neal: "My mom made me swap out my tighty-whiteys every week. But now I'm a grown-a** man and I don't put up with that s**t."
Brendan Shanahan: (looking wistful) "Oh? And how is your mother? Is pookey-tums doing alright for herself? Did she get the manilla envelopes I send her every week?"
Neal: (rolls eyes) "Yeah, she gets 'em. What's in those things, anyways?"
Shanahan: "Just child sup--say, let's not change the subject here. We need to talk about you, eh, kneeing Brad Marchand in the head."
Neal: "What? That noise again?"
Shanahan: "Y-yes, Neal. I need you to, ah, say that you're very, very, very sorry, and that it won't happen again."
Neal: "That's f**-talk."
Shanahan: (sighs, takes a pull on a warm can of TaB, winces) "I was afraid you might say that. Unfortunately, thanks to certain, uh, youthful indiscretions on my part, I'm afraid I can no longer sit in impartial judgement over your disciplinary sentencing. I can only use the 'turned blind watching the tapes for just an hour and then miraculously regained my sight' like, maybe, two or three times. Tops. So I'm going to have to bring someone else in on this. An outsider."
Neal: "Fine, whatevs. Just hurry up already, I've gotta meet my roofie dealer downstairs in two minutes."
Shanahan: (a single tear glides down his cheek as he wistfully looks at Neal) "Goodbye, my son."
(Shanahan pulls back on a huge lever next to his desk. A huge section of wall slides away, exposing a cave of gleaming black ice. In the center of it is a swarthy-looking bearded man in black pajamas. He points at Neal.)
Black Pajamas Man: "IS THIS THE ONE YOU CALL 'JAMES NEAL?'"
Shanahan: "Yes, master."
Black Pajamas Man: "NEAL BEFORE ZOD!"
(Zod makes a swirling, dramatic gesture. Neal falls to one knee, looking annoyed.)
Zod: "HIS ACL SEEMS FINE."
Shanahan: "Just as I predicted, master."
Zod: "VERY WELL. JAMES NEAL, DO YOU FEEL GUILT BECAUSE OF YOUR ACTIONS? OR DO YOU FEEL SHAME THAT YOUR ACTIONS WERE NOT CARRIED OUT TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY? SPEAK NOW!!"
Zod: "JUST AS I THOUGHT. JAMES NEAL, WITH THE POWER INVESTED IN ME BY THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE, I HEREBY SUSPEND YOU FOR THE NEXT FIVE GAMES, DURING WHICH YOU WILL WORK ON YOUR PATHETIC KNEEING TECHNIQUE. AFTER THIS TIME YOU WILL USE YOUR TRAINING TO SOW CHAOS AND DESTRUCTION IN YOUR WAKE. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?!"
Neal: "I gotta pee."
Zod: "YOU ARE DISMISSED. (points finger at Neal and makes another dramatic gesture. Neal is flung hundreds of feet into the air, eventually landing on a pile of orphans.) NOW SEND IN THE ONE THEY CALL 'MARCHAND.' THIS LOWLY WORM NEEDS TO WORK ON HIS HEADBUTTING TECHNIQUE. ZOD HAS SPOKEN!"
Shanahan: (groveling) "Y-yes, master. I will summon him directly."
Zod: "AND BRING ME ANOTHER ROOM TEMPERATURE TAB!"
Shanahan: "Thy will be done."