An exciting episode (in theory) for a Minnesota-based blogger, as this was some sort of half-assed Northern/Midwestern/Mountain/East Coast bracket. And of course, it is being held in the most iconographic of great northern stadiums, The Orange Bowl(?).
But first, the obligatory run off of two Joes. Football field (so our Joes are in helmets, so we won't feel the same sense of outrage when we see two strangers booted off a reality show in the first two minutes. I still think is a Dirty Pool move from the PvJ crew, and I've yet to get an explanation, despite the many times I've thought about emailing the PvJ production staff and asking. There are a total of 6 footballs, 3 at a time, sitting on the 50 yard line; our Joes line up on the 30 and sprint to pick them up. Whoever ends up in the end zone gets to advance. This is a variation of the "Smear the Queer" game from a few weeks ago. Whatever. Two Joes get eliminated, one done in by what looks like a ripped ACL.
Let's meet our Pros!
, aka the Nigerian Nightmare. Making his second reality TV appearance in the last 12 months, (never forget, he was on that Pirate Show that everyone has forgotten about). Okoye was certainly a Pro, but we should never forget he was dominant for all of one year.
, aka Thunder Dan. Phoenix Sun legend who apparently once dunked a lot. By the time I was paying attention, he had become a 3-point shootin' legend, though this show would suggest otherwise (foreshadowing!)
, aka The Coffey Can, or The Coffeyinator. I made those nicknames up. Paul Coffey has no use for nicknames. He's Paul fuckin' Coffey. Everything I know about Paul Coffey I learned from Sega Hockey 1994. He's a big hitter, and he's a threat to score inside the blue line about 75% of the time.
I should note that Joe Clayton Monte talks shit to every single pro. Clayton is a airport SWAT cop, who proudly brags about his short temper and the fact that his friends think he's nuts (they call him Cashew Lou, because he is nuts, and his name is not Lou, but Clayton. Cops are stupid.). Regardless, knowing this bonedaddy is protecting our airports makes me think that the terrorists will probably win. He talks an ungodly amount of shit.
But he's not the #1 seed. White Bear Lake native Brian Peters is. White Bear Lake gets its name from a supposed Native American legend, that Mark Twain said of, "A dead man could get up a better legend than this one. I don't mean a fresh dead man either; I mean a man that's been dead weeks and weeks." Brian Peters is a good Minnesota man, and he doesn't talk shit to the pros, but he knows ice hockey, so he picks Paul Coffey. The #6, Mark Kilibarda is also Minnesotan, and so we've got two skaters going against Coffey.
Our #2 seed, the previously mentioned loud fatass Clayton Monte (I know its not his fault, but I can't help wondering if his ridiculous name helped make Clayton Monte the prick that he is. It should be noted that Clayton Monte proudly identified himself as a prick, so I'm not making any judgement when I call him a prick) picks Christian Okoye, in part because he's drawn at #5 Greg Macaluso, a Joe who is about 100 pounds lighter than Okoye. Greg is from Hawthorne, NY. Does he know Rahul?
That leaves Thunder Dan to compete against the #3 and #4 seeds, Devon Tilly and Arthur Miller. I'm rooting for Arthur Miller, purely because of his name, and all the jokes I get to make if he makes it through The Crucible of Round 1. (see? ) Though to be honest, it shouldn't be too hard to generate jokes out of a name like Devon Tilly, either (foreshadowing!).
The first challenge
is the #2 and #5 against Christian Okoye. Each Joe gets 3 downs to stop Christian Okoye. Whoever gives up the least yardage wins. The Pro vs. Joe researchers seem to have dropped the ball on this one, as both Joes find Okoye eminently stoppable. In a total of 6 downs, the Joes give up a combined yardage of under 30 yards. Okoye doesn't break one tackle. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that on PvJ in all 3 years. Usually someone gets dogged pretty hard. Even in Season 1, when they had Pros compete in odd circumstances, someone usually got worked over. I remember Clyde Drexler lighting up someone in hockey, for example. Okoye seems pretty determined to prove that his 2 good seasons were borderline flukes. Loud, abrasive, Proud to be a Prick (and again, surprise! A Cop!) Clayton Monte wins by a total of 4 yards or so.
The second challenge
pits Devon Tilley and Arthur Miller against Dan Majerle in a 3 point shooting contest, which should be a walk in the park for ol' Thunder Dan. But apparently (we learn this after the challenge) the outdoor conditions threw off Dan's game. Which is a pretty weak excuse, Thunder Dan. I'm pretty sure the Joes were shooting in the exact same conditions you were. As a Pro, do you demand indoor heated facilities to hit your shots? Punk-ass. Regardless, Dan did manage to beat both Joes, but just barely (and the editing was a little too quick for me to tell for certain, but it did look like Dan might have cheated a little, grabbing more of the Money Balls than the Joes got.) Regardless, Devon lost to Dan 5-4. Arthur Miller, just like Willy Loman, came up a little short, and lost 4 to 3. What these guys were doing in this bracket is confusing. Devon is from Colorado, and Arthur is from Smyrna, GA. Was this a wild card bracket? Devon advances in not very impressive fashion. Second disappointing performance from a pro. Who can turn this not very impressive episode around?
How about motherfuckin' Paul Coffey, who is only just one of the biggest badasses that the NHL has ever produced? Sure, he now looks a lot like a high school football coach, and talks like one, too. But he's still Paul Coffey. Surely he can put some winds in the sails of this episode, stuck in the Doldrums? The guys who have to find out are our Minnesotans, Brian Peters and Mark Kilibrada.
The third challenge
is to skate and score with two pucks. Coffey can only hit the Joes between the blue lines, and the Joes have to bring the puck inside one pylon that brings them dangerously close to the boards. Once they clear the pylon, they can go anywhere. Whoever takes the least amount of time to score both pucks wins.
Brian Peters, 40! 40 years old! is up first, and he's clearly a Minnesota boy. Comfy on the skates, unlike, say, Jermaine Reid. All the same, it's Paul fucking Coffey, and possibly because the first two Pros looked so impressive, Paul seems determined to put some hurt on. Brian gets the shit kicked out of him for about 2 and a half minutes, which is an eternity on the ice. But Brian skates well, and once he gets past Coffey, he can score pretty quickly. So the question left is, is Mark Kilibarda a better skater than Brian Peters? The answer is no. Brian Kilibarda is a better skater than me or the previously mentioned Jermaine Reid, but he's got no chance against Coffey. Paul beats him up for a bit, and let's him fall a couple of times, and finally, when the contest is basically decided, lets Kilibarda out of the center ice to go score a goal. It's a PvJ pity-fuck.
So for overtime we've got a fatass annoying cop, a guy who hit a total of 3(three!) 3-pointers in 25 tries, and a Minnesotan who skated well against Paul Coffey. It is like Spike is forcing me to root for Brian Peters.
Overtime--as always 1 minute is the Max-Out
1. Score in the lane against Dan Majerle
2. Grab a puck at center ice, and score against Paul Coffey
3. Knock footballs velcroed to two tackling dummies (QB's) with Okoye blocking.
Devon Tilly (named after his stripper great-grandmother, Tilly "The Corset" Devon) is up first. Dan Majerle, apparently a little fired up after getting a talking to from coach Paul Coffey, is determined to make up for his shitty 3-point shooting display, and plays tenacious defense. I'm pretty sure Devon never even makes it into the lane. Devon maxes out. If Dan plays like that for every Joe, they are all maxing out. In the second challenge, it becomes clear that Devon hasn't spent a ton of time on the ice. He can barely handle the puck, and Coffey casually pokes it away time and time again. Another max out. Devon has a time of 2:46 going into the last event, which he handles pretty well, as Okoye doesn't seem to know how to block. Devon finishes with a time of 3:27.
Clayton Monte is up next. I will not lie to ya'll--I'm totally rooting against this guy, and I fear my objective reporting will be seen as biased. You can always watch the show yourself, you know (foreshadowing
!). Clayton's theory against Dan Majerle is that he can back him up, using his fat, cop ass. Unfortunately for Clayton, he turns his big fat ass to the basket above the 3-point line
. Hey Clayton, Shaq doesn't turn back people down from that far out. Clayton maxes out. On to event 2, where maybe Clayton has an advantage--he plays hockey for his police league team. Oh, but he's a goalie, and can't skate for shit. He maxes out there, too. Somehow, he's 3 seconds ahead of Devon after two events: 2:43. He too, makes quick work of Okoye's "blocking" and finishes at 3:13.
Up last, Brian Peters, hero of White Bear Lake, a family man and a teacher. A man helping the youth of America, instead of just sucking down doughnuts at the local airport. Brian gets credit for actually getting into the lane against Majerle. His shot when there was comically bad, but he's the only Joe to actually get a shot off in the lane. He maxes out, though. On to hockey, where he has a decided advantage, wherein he can fucking skate. But Coffey isn't playing favorites, and is maybe even tougher on Peters, and Brian maxes out here, too. But he can skate fast, and comes into the final event with a very slender lead: 2:42. He beats Okoye quickly, too. But! BUT!
Controversy! Okoye had brought Peters down as he was ripping the second football, and he doesn't let Peters get up, even though their challenge is over. He seems to not just be lazy here, but actively choosing to not let Peters up. Okoye may not be able to run or block anymore, but he's still damn good at being a really heavy dead weight, and Peters can't up from under him.
Why is Okoye doing this to Peters? The Pros made it clear that they disliked Clayton from the get-go; if they were going to fuck over a Joe, he was the likely mark. I can only assume that Okoye is embarassed and angry and frustrated at being bested by four different Joes, and having 3 run over him in a row in Overtime has just pissed him off.
The result? Peters finishes in 3:18. Does Okoye cost Peters 5 seconds? I think an argument could be made that he did. Clayton Monte advances to the next round. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but knowing that Monte doesn't have any chance of advancing in the next round makes it a little better.
You can watch the Episode here. Let 'em know that IDYFT sent you there.