Retro Relapse: Men Who Drink Mic Ultra Are Missing the Point

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

There is a class of male out there that is far and away the most emasculated and douchebaggy of all others you will find at your local watering hole. They are the Mic Ultra drinker. Granted, there are other beers that fit this template but Mic Ultra is the most popular. Bud 66 is probably the second most popular of these bottles full of ass swill. Really though, any light beer or mega light beer should be included here. If you drink beer infused with lime or some other bullshit, you might as well make an appointment with the vet to finalize your neutering and go to the surgeon and have your taste buds removed because you aren’t deserving of them.

Beer is something to be enjoyed, something to savor, something to remind us of our manly passions and reinvigorate our masculinity. It’s not something a man should drink just for a quick buzz while trying to cut back on calories and carbohydrates. Beer is calories and carbohydrates. Calories and carbohydrates are energy. Beer is the essential energy we need to build massive warehouses to hold more beer! It is a divine cycle, one that powers us, empowers us and makes our taste buds and stomachs reach monolithic levels of ecstasy and heavenly bliss! Beer is the most romantic thing in our lives. Well, ribeye, whiskey and camping are pretty romantic too.

The guy who drinks Michelob Ultra is one of these seven things:

Number One: He is a guy who doesn’t make his own decisions because the love of his life is a dictator and he’s too afraid to man up. Reason being, he really enjoys the privilege of going down on her once a year on her birthday and the rare times she schedules for him to look at the closest thing to porn he is allowed to see, the underwear section of her Spiegel catalog.

Number Two: He is a trendy fuck and has no idea what tastes good and follows the crowd. Since he’s trying to socialize with boring one-dimensional women at the bar, he unknowingly mimics them and walks around sipping Mic Ultras like a twat. This guy drank Zima in high school and Smirnoff Ice in college. He has a collection of Hpnotiq bottles on his fridge at home. He is also a really shitty tipper but portrays himself as a baller.

Number Three: He is actually worried about his caloric intake. Yet he ate a triple bacon cheeseburger for lunch, had a monstrous breakfast burrito before work and is probably going to hit the drive-thru on the way home from the bar or gorge on some Entenmann’s in bed while watching The Colbert Report. He is the guy that orders a Biggie-sized number two and a large Frosty but asks for a Diet Coke to drink. He thinks that the five minutes he spent on the elliptical last week accomplished something.

Number Four: He is a guy who is completely susceptible. He sees the Mic Ultra billboards and trucks everywhere, so he just mindlessly orders one because his environment tells him to. He probably wears khakis for every occasion and owns a “man bag”. He also can’t figure out why he’s held an entry level position going on five years. He participates in “Movember” and hopes no one notices his shit mustache and can’t wait to shave it. He has a closet at home full of “As Seen On TV” products that he has never opened.

Number Five: He is a man that is completely lost. I use the word “man” very loosely. He could be a man, deep down inside. However, he needs to find a respectable beer or a good whiskey, pound it and let his nuts drop like a Dutch oven! He tries really hard to be one of the guys but finds that “harder” beer to be unpalatable. He doesn’t realize that a guy drinking Mic Ultra doesn’t have the right to his opinion about palatability. He’s the type of guy that asks others if they want to split a dessert at a nice restaurant.

Number Six: He is just a total fucking douche. He thinks he is the king of the bar, the grand puba of style and usually hits on women with insults. He subscribes to Maxim and heeds the advice of the headlines at face value because he doesn’t actually read the magazine. He argues with bouncers for no reason, pushes his way through a crowd to cop feels and usually has an entourage of just as douchey males. He buys Mic Ultra because it’s cheap and he’s used to stealing it from his older sister when she’s at work because he is unemployed and doesn’t have his own place.

Number Seven: He is actually a real manly motherfucker and he likes Mic Ultra, embraces its shittiness and doesn’t give a shit what you or I think about it. He drinks it like a champion and scans the bar ready to throw a tomahawk at anyone challenging his awful taste for ultra-light piss lager. He knows it’s bad, he doesn’t care, he drinks it, he likes it and fuck guys like me with our pretentious beverages and lifelong journeys to expand and mature our palates. There is nothing you can say to this savage wildebeest that will get him to try something else. I actually respect him for this. Although, I’d respect him more if he chugged 10W-30.

What all seven of these types of guys have in common, is the fact that they don’t know anything better than the absolute worst. They are like soldiers who get home from war and don’t stop eating crappy MREs. They’re an adult who grew to full maturity physically but still has a diet of just Gerber baby food. They’re like an adult that chooses to stay seated at the kiddie table, eating Spaghetti-Os over prime rib. There is a whole world full of options and to not exercise that and take a leap and develop a sense of adventure is the antithesis of manliness.

Life is about new experiences, new adventures and seeking out the best this world has to offer. To the dudes drinking Michelob Ultra, come out of your fucking shell! Grasp the best that this world has to offer and enjoy the fuck out of it. Stop tip-toeing through life like a bitch and start stomping your feet like a beastly fucking orc! Or keep drinking your sad excuse for a beer and wonder why everyone else’s lives seem so much more awesome than yours.

I can’t tell you what beers to try, as everyone has different tastes and a palate grows and changes with time and experience. But you can’t expand your palate sucking on sand and shit.

Zubaz Are Bullshit

*The Bullshit Series started on an older blog but I wanted to bring these articles back here, as I have new installments for the series that I want to release over time. The series focuses on things that I think are bullshit… like filet mignon, Zubaz pants, the Pro Bowl and diets.

*Written in 2014.

Zubaz. God, just the name of these atrocious pants sends a tsunami-like wave of horror and nausea down my spine. Born in the late ’80s and popularized in the early ’90s, these ugly, baggy, zebra vomit covered polyester/cotton blended abominations have been in my nightmares since I first saw some idiot in my middle school walking around the cafeteria in them. They’re worse than a fucking eyesore and have been known to induce migraines and instantaneous diarrhea in those with just little-to-moderate fashion sense. There is nothing good that has ever come from these fluorescent parachute faux animal pelts.

To give a bit of history on these awful things, they were invented by the mega-successful wrestling tag team the Road Warriors a.k.a. the Legion of Doom. For those who don’t know or remember, these were the big meathead guys who ran around with mohawks and spiked football pads. While quite alpha and intimidating in their appearance, they probably shouldn’t be designing fashion for the general public. In doing so, they have created the worst fashion statement possible in an era that can only be described as the worst fashion era in the history of the world.

Go back to the late ’80s and early ’90s and check out what people were wearing. Look at the bullshit that was the most popular: Hypercolor t-shirts, Baja hoodies, Z. Cavariccis, Skidz, No Fear shirts, overalls with one strap down, Cross Colours gear, hip-hop Looney Toons shirts, Starter jackets, Mossimo shit, Stüssy shit, patterned vests over t-shirts, Blossom hats, sweaters as hip-warmers, Bugle Boy, denim button down shirts, the list goes on and on. However, if you put all that shit in a big cauldron and mix them into a big horrible fashion stew, they still wouldn’t be as bad as Zubaz.

Zubaz were designed by big meathead guys with no fashion sense for other big meathead guys with no fashion sense, all in an effort to give them fashion sense while still feeling alpha badass and cool. Well, from a fashion stance they failed… miserably.

That doesn’t mean that dude brahs all over didn’t rush out and buy these things like they were a guaranteed golden ticket to alpha eliteness. These horrible pants were hugely successful as far as sales go but then, so is Nickleback. Despite looking like a Tiger Force G.I. Joe toy, gym rats and middle school boys had to have them and couldn’t get enough.

In fact, Zubaz started producing pants in every sports team color combination available. When that wasn’t enough, they evolved from zebra and tiger stripes to even more atrocious designs. Within a few short years, males and even females were walking around with puffy pants that looked like magic eye posters (another horrible ’90s cultural turd).

Luckily, Zubaz died out not too long after they peaked and were washed away like other fashion disasters from that era. All was fine with the world and I was sure that I’d never have to see them again. Then some sort of weird resurgence happened. Sports teams started resurrecting them and had Zubaz nights. Even my beloved Chicago Cubs had a night last season celebrating these horrible fucking pants. The Cubs even gave them away! What the fuck is wrong with the world?

I’d like to state that I feel like the resurrection of Zubaz in sports is a curse to those who buy into it. In 2008, independent baseball team the St. Paul Saints wore Zubaz during a game. They were shutout by the Sioux City Explorers. The Russian curling team wore Zubaz in the 2014 Winter Olympics. They finished 7th out of 10 with a record of 3-6. This year the Detroit Tigers were dominating the American League, then they wore not just Zubaz pants but Zubaz jackets. They are now in 5th place overall in the AL and 2nd in their division behind the Kansas City Royals. Going back to last year’s Cubs team, they weren’t great when they celebrated Zubaz night but they were improving. As soon as they gave Zubaz away at Wrigley Field, the Cubs plummeted for the remainder of the season. The proof is in the pudding and sports teams should steer clear of the Zubaz Curse.

I hope that this Zubaz resurgence stays small and quickly fades away. I don’t need my favorite athletes looking like cougars wearing leopard print hoochie dresses out on the prowl for young meat. Essentially, that is what Zubaz are. They don’t make a man look tough and badass, they make him look like a sloppy man cougar who doesn’t understand fashion expiration dates. Besides that, no one has ever said, “Damn, that motherfucker looks sexy in his Zubaz.” And no one ever will.

Retro Relapse: The Weirdness of the Term “Man Cave”

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

I had a friend say to me a few years ago, “Hey, do you want to come over tomorrow night? I’ve got a few guys down to party in my man cave. Oh, and the wife said it was cool.”

Now imagine that you had never heard the term “man cave”. At that time, I hadn’t. So imagine how that friend’s invitation translated in my brain.

Sure the term “man cave” has now become a big trendy thing. The NFL is giving away ultimate man caves to contest winners. Hell, even the company I work for is looking for the best man cave out there that is featuring our products prominently (I didn’t come up with this marketing idea, by the way). And every dude out there who is celebrating the fact that their wife lets them have one room in their house solely for their man shit to be displayed, is happy to be a part of this big man cave craze.

It kind of feels like people who are excited about their tax refund but don’t even realize how much they are actually being taxed because hey, this is all just a part of life.

I bet a woman, probably an overbearing wife, came up with this term “man cave”. Sounds like a way for control freak women to rule the household by gifting their weak men one room for their stuff. Besides that, the woman is still probably in control of what he can display on his man cave walls. For instance, no porn posters and some stuff that reminds the man that the wife is always watching. You know, stuff like a cute sports sign that says, “We Have a Red Sox Marriage.” These fascist women, I call them Big Mother, are the same sort that like to trick their men into eating quinoa burgers. It should be noted that quinoa isn’t a real food, as spell check doesn’t consider it a real word.

I see many guys that I know and I am glad that I am not married. Truthfully, I’m that asshole that sees it as an outdated concept but that’s a blog for another day.

I get that people get married, they have families and the amount of space a man has will decline. Honestly, fuck that, buy a bigger house. If you can’t afford a bigger house, why are you having so many children moving in on your territory? I kid, I kid – take it easy.

I’m not trying to promote an alpha male Neanderthal mentality here but for fuck’s sake, the term “man cave” is just awful. The men in my family never had a fucking man cave. You know what they called their space? The den. Or they called it the living room because they weren’t duped into moving all their man shit into the basement, a garage or a shed. They had those things too but they were really just additions to the shit they had all over the house.

The point is, why can’t we just call it a den? It has always been called a fucking den. I’m tired of these cute words with “man” thrown into them to make them seem okay. Terms like this are part of the reason why the American male is an emasculated pussy and both sexes are dissatisfied as a result. Plus, how long until “man cave” is considered offensive and “genderizing”?

Now getting back to my initial idea of what the term “man cave” meant, I thought I was being propositioned for some sort of Eyes Wide Shut sex party for dudes. I thought “party in my man cave” was code for “many dudes filling my butthole” or “we’re going spelunking in my poop chute.” Being that I am neither gay nor find any of those guys attractive, I did not attend. Had I known that they were just going to watch hockey, drink shitty beer and eat wings, I probably would have gone. Granted, I would’ve given my friend shit for calling it a “man cave” and drinking shitty beer but I still would’ve been there.

But this is what happens when manly things are re-branded as female-approved cutesy bullshit. It loses its masculine luster and becomes a bored housewife’s bi-sexual gangbang fantasy.

The End.

Modern Porn Is Bullshit

*The Bullshit Series started on an older blog but I wanted to bring these articles back here, as I have new installments for the series that I want to release over time. The series focuses on things that I think are bullshit… like filet mignon, Zubaz pants, the Pro Bowl and diets.

*Written in 2014.

I like porn. I always have. No, I am not an addict or one of those guys who actually goes out and buys porn tapes; do those even exist anymore? But when I’m in a sex drought and need to take care of some business, I like to pop on a decent porn and do what I’ve got to do. Luckily for you, this post isn’t about my masturbatory habits; don’t shy away and act like you don’t do it too because you do: everyone does. What this post is about, is the problem with modern porn. It just isn’t the same as it was when I was twelve.

Yes, I watched porn when I was a kid. Most American males from my generation did because we always had that friend who’d bring one of his dad’s tapes to school. In fact, I don’t think a week went by on the school bus where someone wasn’t showing off their dad’s Playboy or nudie trading cards they acquired from their older brother or drunk uncle. At least a few times a year, someone had a tape. By high school, I had probably half a dozen in my own collection from tapes copied from friends or stuff I “found”.

Porn is different today. Long gone is the bad acting, bad plots, bad hair, monstrous pubic pies and a lot of other staples that I came to know as a youngster. Today we have plastic supermodels, no plots, bald vaginas, better hair and the only bad acting is the sex moans. At first glance, one might consider this an improvement and I did too for a little while. Then I realized that something just wasn’t right about modern porn. I couldn’t connect to it and although it wasn’t ineffective, it wasn’t as effective as the material generations prior.

To start, how much fucking felatio are they going to cram into a 25 minute scene? No one in the world gives head for that long and between every single position change! Well, except paid porn stars apparently. But really, why so damn much of it? I’m glad I don’t pay for this porn shit anymore because it’d be a waste of damn money. At the risk of sounding too lewd, I want to see a dude bone a chick, not just make his cock disappear into her head for the whole damn scene! Besides that, felatio is boring after about 30 seconds. If I wanted to watch a non-stop blowjob, I’d just beat off to a GIF file.

Another issue is that chicks in porn used to look normal. These porn stars now are like plastic CGI creatures. Yes, some of them are excruciatingly beautiful with or without their “enhancements” but the whole thing just doesn’t feel real to me anymore. Not that old school porn felt real, as it was fantasy scenarios and situations that would most likely never happen, but the girls at least looked slightly better than average and felt like they were accessible. Maybe I’ve always liked the “girl next door” over the supermodel but porn was much more believable and enjoyable when it had even just a small level of believability to it.

The style of porn has also changed drastically and what I mean by that is that there are no longer plot-driven porn movies. I mean, they’re still made sparingly by some of the larger megaporn manufacturers but they’ve almost become nonexistent, unless you count the hundreds of parodies that are being cranked out. Sure, I enjoyed the porn parody of the 1960s Batman show but this seems to be the only type of porn movies with plots anymore. Now we just have “reality porn”, which is just some dude throwing a random chick a bunch of cash and banging her in a cramped bus or the supermodel type giving 75 minutes of felatio in some hotel room that looks like it’s in an MTV Real World house. Porn has become like crash television in its delivery. While it serves a purpose, it has become extremely redundant and bland. Maybe I’m just bored with it because I’m a creative guy and I don’t think it’s weird that I’d like a little more creativity in my smut.

Then there is the porn that is too goddamned creative. I’m referring to that “art porn” crap. Sorry, but I don’t want to see a tiger-striped body-painted chick in a cyborg outfit with tubes coming out of her orifices, as she shines and gleams under hot lights in front of a camera lens that some idiot art school dropout smeared Vaseline over. It’s fucking bizarre and stupid and serves no purpose other than stroking the overblown ego of some moron who thinks he is a genius even though he couldn’t get a job as a key grip on a SyFy movie about UFOs fighting giant radioactive koalas. But don’t get it twisted, straight up science fiction porn is cool; I’ll take that any day over this “artistic” crap.

Moving on, don’t even get me started on the overabundance of disgusting porn that I come across online. Octopus tentacles hanging out of a Japanese chick is unacceptable. If this makes me intolerable of other cultures, I’m okay with that. Actually, I could keep listing more stuff but I’m already feeling vomit-y.

Looking at the overall big picture, modern porn fucking sucks. No, I don’t want 1970s looking chicks with Wookiee bush on my screen but something a little more fun and entertaining than some crooked-dicked douchebag grunting like a retarded rhinoceros as he face fucks a shiny polyurethane looking chick that moans like a duck choking on a brisket would be nice.

While you may disagree with me, you’re wrong. Not much else needs to be said on the topic.

Retro Relapse: The Soon-To-Be Forgotten History of Star Wars

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015. And looking at this now, I think I was right.

Tonight is the night where Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters. With the release of this film, everything we know changes for this franchise going forward. There is a lot of hype, a lot of hope and a lot of apprehension from those of us that never recovered from the awfulness of the Prequel Trilogy.

Fact is, there isn’t a single Star Wars fan that doesn’t want this to be as amazing as the original films. But we all thought The Phantom Menace, without question, was going to be an amazing film before we saw it. There really is no way to know if The Force Awakens will be as great as the Original Trilogy until we experience it.

Films with this much hype usually fail to live up to it. In my opinion, J.J. Abrams, the director, has a pretty crappy track record. He did destroy Star Trek for those of us who liked it when it was boring and mostly a bunch of talking to avoid conflict. But I get it, we can’t all be smart and Abrams catered to the broader, dumbed down audience. And well, he admitted that he wasn’t a fan of Star Trek and was really just a fan of Star Wars. Good for him.

But this isn’t about J.J. or my “lack of faith” in him. It is about what this film and Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm has done to the vast wonderland that is the universe Star Wars exists in.

I was a huge Star Wars fan and I still am, even though I feel a bit of betrayal. Reason being, everything I have invested in the universe is mostly moot now, at least in regards to what the new owners of the intellectual property say.

Thirty-plus years of reading all the books I could get my hands on, playing all the video games I bought at hefty price tags and collecting all the toys and other random memorabilia and now, none of that fits into Disney’s vision of the franchise.

When they announced that they would be making Star Wars films yearly from now until the end of time, I knew that the Expanded Universe was dead. They didn’t come out and say it immediately, but knowing that an Episode VII just wouldn’t fit in anywhere with what was established in the books and video games of the Expanded Universe, I knew that Disney would take extreme liberties, ignore all that established mythos and just do what they want.

I understand why they have to do it but with as much as I love many of the stories and what the EU has become, there is that part of me that feels a stronger allegiance to it than to Disney, who really doesn’t give a crap about it. And this is the same Disney that keeps making mediocre Marvel films after buying them a few years earlier. They are on a mission to own and reshape my childhood. Once they acquire Hasbro and Nintendo, they will own the souls of every young boy who experienced childhood in the awesome ’80s.

If The Force Awakens is a stellar movie, I will accept it as the new canon. If it sucks, I will completely dismiss it and always consider the Expanded Universe to be my canon. I don’t have to turn my back on the EU just because Disney says so. It isn’t just Star Wars history, although soon-to-be forgotten, it is history for the millions of people who invested their time, heart and money into the Star Wars brand for several decades. And whether it is fair to Disney or not, people with knowledge of the EU will always compare Disney’s work to the tales they’ve held dear for years.

The EU fan base is certainly a small percentage of Earth’s population and Disney has to look at the bigger picture. And I guess all of us hoping for more movies one day, knew that something like this would have to happen, it just kind of sucks.

And it doesn’t suck in that the EU will be ignored and washed away, it won’t be for those of us who love those stories and characters, it sucks because there will be no new stories in the EU. It isn’t dying because Disney has to ignore it, it is dying because it can’t continue to live and grow going forward. What exists within the EU is all that it will ever be now. That world is cemented. That’s the hardest pill to swallow.

I know that a lot of the stuff in the EU was pretty awful. Many books were just bad or too bizarre or didn’t fit within the established mythos. Some of the earlier attempts at expanded fiction tales went in strange directions. Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, one of the first Star Wars books ever written, doesn’t make much sense. But it is the great stories and great characters that people cherish and there was a lot more good than bad in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

So even if I dismiss the new movies, as I have dismissed the rebooted universe of Star Trek since J.J. Abrams took over that franchise, I still have nothing new to look forward to in the EU. Even if I were to treat the EU as my personal Star Wars canon till the end of time, it is dead. No more books to read, no more games to play and the fate of many characters will be unresolved.

Despite my reservations, I am going into The Force Awakens with an open mind. I am trying to keep my expectations at bay. I just want to sit there and experience it. And yes, it will certainly drum up some nostalgia, because that’s the point of carrying this franchise on, but I’m going to be as objective as possible.

I want this new movie to be good. I want everything Star Wars to be good going forward. But I remember how I felt waiting for The Phantom Menace to start and how I felt after it and the next two films ended. Again, films with this much hype typically can’t live up to it but we shall see.

And maybe I will be pleasantly surprised to the point where the blow of losing the EU won’t sting as bad. I guess I’ll know in about twelve hours.

Flair Hair Hats Are Bullshit

*The Bullshit Series started on an older blog but I wanted to bring these articles back here, as I have new installments for the series that I want to release over time. The series focuses on things that I think are bullshit… like filet mignon, Zubaz pants, the Pro Bowl and diets.

*Written in 2015. And I wish this was a dated article but I still see these things in 2019.

A friend of mine the other night was like, “Dude, I used to love those articles you used to write about stuff being bullshit. That bullshit series was great.” And then I was like, “Fuck yeah it was. I guess I haven’t had an idea for one in a while.” Of course that changed this morning when I saw a poor soul wearing a “flair hair” hat in front of my office.

I’ve hated these fucking hats since the first time I saw one a few years ago. The fact that they exist, let alone that someone would not just buy one but wear one, is beyond fucking baffling to me.

The first time I saw one was in a fast food restaurant and some old dude eating fries was wearing it proudly. He just looked like a total douche, a man beyond a mid-life crisis and trying way too hard to look like some sort of golfer slash Guy Fieri hybrid. I fucking hate Guy Fieri and every other decent human being on this planet does too. He is the epitome of douche and the main reason is because of his stupid ass hair.

What flair hair hats do, is make you take the douchiest part of the douchiest person alive and then wrap it in a traditional golf visor. An important yet functional fashion accessory of the classiest of all sports is crossbred with some uber douche pelt making it an imbecilic, bizarre and cringe worthy abomination. It is a fashion and comedy disaster.

The guys who wear these ass ugly fucktard hats are trying to convey a few things.

First, they want the world to know, “Hey, look at me! I’m the fun guy!” No, motherfucker. You’re not the fun guy and the joke is dumb. Plus, these have been out now for a few years. So if you bought one recently or still wear it, you’re behind the times. What you are really telling the world is, “Look at me! I’m not funny at all and I’m really late to the crappy party full of other crappy assholes!”

In addition to that, they think they’re embracing their baldness and introducing a little humor to the mix. Again, it isn’t funny. Plus, you aren’t embracing your baldness or your age by covering it up and trying to look like a younger, more obnoxious version of yourself. You have gone to a counterproductive extreme and you are wearing a big red flag that tells people you’re an unfunny aging weirdo that can’t just roll through the years with style and grace.

You can’t hide the sad away with a poor attempt at showing how fun and cool you are. Your ideal persona sucks. Embrace who you are and just rock it out.

We’re all getting older everyday and we’re all losing our hair or falling apart in some other way. Captain Picard was bald, chicks also wanted to throw their pussies at him. Besides, wearing these hats to express how cool you are about your baldness is like an obese person wearing a cow print t-shirt to express how cool they are about their fatness.

I’m a complete prick on some days, I can admit that. I’m a complete prick now. However, I’m not as big of a prick as Guy Fieri or anywhere near his level of douchebaggery. You shouldn’t be either. I mean, why would you want to be? Unless you like Guy Fieri? But if that’s the case, you’re a special kind of moron and you probably give people T.G.I. Friday’s coupon books for their birthday.

This is the worst fashion statement and attempt at humor ever devised. If these things continue to exist, modern civilization will be destroyed. We will all fall into ruin – haunted by Guy Fieri demons chuckling loudly, as they force us to eat bottomless portions of bad diner food.

Don’t contribute to the destruction of life as we know it.

Retro Relapse: The Modern Hockey Nickname

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

Hockey has been over for a little while now. Granted, for me, it was over when the Chicago Blackhawks lost in overtime of Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals to the Los Angeles Kings. I’m still pretty sour about it but I know that my team is a budding dynasty and will win several more, assuming they keep their core together over the next few seasons. But whatever, I miss hockey and can’t wait for October to roll around. In order to curb my impatience, I figured I’d write about hockey, even though it is the offseason.

There has been something going on in the modern era of hockey that I find somewhat annoying. It is the modern hockey nickname. Before I get into it though, let me run off some of the badass and creative hockey nicknames belonging to the legends of the past: Bones Bromley, Mario the Magnificent, The Hammer, Mister Zero, The Stratford Streak, Murder Murdoch, The Bulin Wall, The Boogey Man, The Finnish Flash, Mr. Hockey, Cobra, King Kong Korab, Cujo, The Messiah, Boom-Boom, The Puck Goes Inski, Battleship, The Eel, The Rocket, The Russian Rocket, The Pocket Rocket, The Roadrunner, Tiger, Chico, Bugsy, Grapes, Moose, The Rat, Cheesie, Cowboy, The Missing Link, The Flower, Ching, Gump, Jethro, Radar, The Algonquin Enforcer, Captain Crunch, Suitcase Smith, Apple Juice Mott, Le Gros Bill, Gratoony the Loony, The Dominator, The Entertainer, The Chicoutimi Cucumber, The Jet, The Golden Jet, The Golden Brett, Leapin’ Lou, The Big Whistle, Pie, Captain Video, The Eagle, Never Beaton/Seldom Beaton, Lucky Luc, Taz and so many others.

All those names are awesome. The names today are not. Well the vast majority of them anyway. Just on my Blackhawks, I see the nicknames given to these beasts and snipers on the ice and it makes me shake my head. I work in a creative field for a living and what I see here, from those who have coined these modern nicknames, is a severe lack of creativity. Also, they don’t sound menacing or awesome. Nowadays, hockey players are given nicknames that are just their real names simply modified, usually with an “er” or “y” added to it. On the Blackhawks we have Kaner, Toewser (Tazer), Sharpy, Smitty, Crow, Hoss, Duncs, Seabs, Leds, Saader, Shawzer and a few other uninspiring nicknames. Keep in mind this is just on one team. Granted there are still a handful of great nicknames but the rest of the league pretty much follows this lack of creativity.

I blame the announcers and the press. I mean, they’re the ones who usually manufacture the awesome names that we’ve called players since the beginning of time. Are these communications and journalism degree holders not taught creativity anymore? Or are the wrong types of people pursuing these careers. Now I am not knocking their play-by-play, announcing or writing abilities but c’mon, man!

It’s gotten to the point that when I see a new hockey star coming up, I can look at his real name and guess with about 100 percent accuracy what his nickname is going to be. Oh, his name is Doug Jones, how about Jonesy? This kid’s name is Gene Michaels, how about Genie? Hey, what about Drake Thomas, hmmmm… Draker or Tommy? These are all just made-up examples but regardless, this name game has gotten fucking stupid.

I guess some of the blame can be out on the drunken assholes on Twitter who lack the creativity to come up with cool shit. They just start playing the naming game by adding “er” and “y” to everyone with a hashtag and next thing you know, these stupid nicknames are trending. Everyone else in the Twitterverse jumps on the bandwagon and next thing you know, we’ve got another great warrior of the ice with a wimpy name he is certainly not worthy of.

Why can’t Patrick Kane be the Buffalo Soldier since he’s from Buffalo or just something else more creative than Kaner? Toews as Toewser (or Tazer) at least sounds somewhat cool but he could have something better than that too. But Shawzer for Andrew Shaw? C’mon, he deserves the name of a badass beast! Call him something tough like the Belleville Bruiser. And Patrick Sharp should be the Sharpshooter. Maybe some of these names have been used but you can always do variants like all the different “Rockets” and “Jets” that have been in the NHL throughout history.

It kind of mirrors professional wrestling where in the old days you had the Ultimate Warrior, Hercules, the Masked Assassin, the Outlaws, the Blackjacks, the Iron Sheik, Rowdy Roddy, Mr. Wonderful, the Junkyard Dog, Jake the Snake, the Undertaker, Cactus Jack, the Taskmaster, the Barbarian, the Warlord, the Legion of Doom and so many others. Today, wrestlers are named shit like John, Randy, Daniel, Heath, Justin, Evan, Seth, Zack, Jimmy, Dean, Dolph, Adam, Curtis, Bo, Bray, Eric and Luke. Granted all these guys could kick my ass but if someone said to me, “Hey would you rather fight Heath or the Masked Assassin?” Without knowing anything other than their names, I would pick Heath in a heartbeat.

Hockey is a tough as nails sport. It just doesn’t sound as tough today when you got guys nicknamed Seabs and Saader compared to the Cobras, Tigers, Murderers and Boogey Men of the past.