May 8, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette against the New Jersey Devils during the first period of game five of the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

BuzzBag Volume 7: Ugliest Men In Sports

@DisplacedPhan: Does Scott Hartnell’s new contract include any bonuses for his performance as the team mascot?

I’ve studied his contract for many hours, reading through fine print and even finer print, but I have found no bonuses regarding Hartnell’s performance as mascot.  In fact, I was unaware he was even the team’s mascot. I debated in a previous BuzzBag who would make a good mascot, and I came to the conclusion that a Narwhal would be the best choice. However, if Scott Hartnell takes the reins, that could change absolutely everything. I could see Hartnell running up and down the sections of Wells Fargo Center between line shifts, high fiving children (and adults who never outgrew their childhood) and starting awkward clapping chants, before breaking down the glass and hopping onto the ice. Genius, right? Sure the cost of glass goes up (as well as the injuries in the crowd), but Mr. Money Bags aka Ed Snider could certainly afford it.

@TheOneCrossFire: What is the meaning of life?

The meaning of life is hockey, and succeeding in that sport. Hockey is a rare sport that combines physicality, the ability to score, as well as unnatural footing in which to move around on. Many spend countless hours working to perfect their game, whether it be their slapshot, their backcheck, or maybe even their butterfly. An infinite amount of blood, sweat, and tears are put in daily so a young child can reach his goal: becoming a professional hockey player. But the road  is not easy. Coming up through the ranks of junior hockey, there are hundreds of other players the same job, the same contract. One must give his all night in and night out so the dream can stay alive. And when the teams finally come calling and you cross the t’s and dot the i’s on your pro contract, you have found the meaning of life. After all the time devoted to the beloved sport, after beating out all of the competition, the dreams are finally realized. That, my friend, is the meaning of life.

@soconnor76:  Why do many Flyers fans like putting the Sixers down despite having less success than the Sixers have historically? I know the answer is at least racism in some part…

Call me nieve, I don’t think racism is a main factor here. It’s easy to pull out the race card as the National Basketball Association is predominately African-American, but I think the issues between the two sides are probably deeper than racism. I came up with two major things that I think causes the hatred from Flyers fans:

1) Possessiveness: Maybe a weird term to use, but I think Flyers fans are extremely possessive, and in this case it’s the Wells Fargo Center. With the Flyers great play over the past few years and the Sixers relative irrelevance, WFC seems like it’s home to just the Philadelphia Flyers, and Flyers fans absolutely love it. But since the Sixers incredible playoff run, and the recent acquisition of Center Andrew Bynum, Philadelphia could be turning into more of a basketball town, and that’s something Flyers fans cannot like. The days where the Wells Fargo Center were filled with orange and black now is becoming more even between the two teams, and that could be part of the reason Flyers fans are lashing out.

2) Two totally different sports: I know this is quite obvious, but this certainly would make the most sense. Basketball is a sport in which one or two superstars on one team can take over a game, and change the outcome by themselves. It certainly doesn’t work that way in hockey. All players on the ice need to be working conjunctively to achieve success, and one player cannot carry a team by themselves. The major downfall that ruins the NBA with hockey fans is that the entire game is controlled by the referee. Because the NBA is such a superstar driven league, it tends to seem as though the Kobe Bryant’s and the LeBron James’s of the league continue to get the benefit of both calls, and that’s on offense and defense. If there’s one word that has almost defined the NBA as of late, it’s “flopping”. Granted, it’s seen in the NHL as well, but it’s almost become an art form in basketball. A bigger name player can hit the floor, and get the call almost 100% of the time. Hockey fans think they have a rough and tumble sport in which fists and massive hits are thrown left and right (which may or may not be true), and basketball is a pansy sport in comparison.

I don’t think the hatred on the end of Flyers fans is justified, and why you can’t enjoy both teams I’ll never known, but these seem to be the biggest issues regarding the differences.

@JeffBaumann: Who are the ugliest athletes in all of sport (not just Big 4)? And how ugly are they relative to Scott Hartnell?

Before I dive into the players, let me say I don’t find Scott Hartnell to be that ugly of a guy. Sure he’s no Claude Giroux, but there is much worse you can look at than Hartsy. He’s got that outdoorsy type of look and he can definitely pull it off. But on to your question, I know plenty of athletes that’ll make Scott Hartnell look like Fabio.

Franck Ribery- Bayern Munich (Soccer): If you wanted proof that God doesn’t exist,you could probably just look at Ribery’s face. If you even just google Franck Ribery’s name, the second thing that pops up is “Franck Ribery ugly”. He has an incredibly long scar that extends from his unibrow, almost all the way down to his chin. It’s upsetting and almost makes you feel bad, until you look at his teeth. Not only are they a nice shade of brown, but they almost look like they’re in a single file line. I only wish that he was a hockey player so someone could knock them out of his mouth and he could get some fake teeth. In comparison to Ribery, Hartnell looks like a mix of George Clooney and Brad Pitt. George Clooney is a good looking man by himself, but with the combination of Brad Pitt, that’s how good looking Hartnell would be in relation to Ribery.

Ronaldinho-Atletico Miniero (Soccer): In the prime of Ronaldinho’s career, he was one of the best footballers in the world. Thank goodness he was, because his looks certainly wouldn’t of gotten him anywhere in life. For starters he’s got extremely long hair that he pulls back into a ponytail, forcing you to look at his face. And it’s not pretty. He has these big beady eyes that seem to protrude from his face, and he resembles more of a donkey than a human. And in every picture I’ve seen of Ronaldinho, I don’t think he knows how to close his lips. Seriously. Let’s give Hartnell a “young Patrick Swayze” on the compare-o-meter.

Edin Bavicic-New Orleans Hornets (Basketball): Now Bavcic has never played in the NBA, but I first learned about his existence when his draft rights were traded from the Sixers to New Orleans. I also learned he is absolutely hideous. He may be 28 years old, but he doesn’t look a day under 45. He has the most ridiculously bushy eyebrows in which it looks like he skinned a raccoon, and then glued the hair to his face. If I had to guess, I’m sure there’s some valuables hidden up there, and it probably makes for a pretty funny soundbite when he goes out to lunch: “Oh man, 15 euros? I only have 1o! Think Edin, think…I got it, check the eyebrows! Oh sweet, 5 more euros. Gotta thank mom for sticking them in there while I was sleeping last night!” I’m gonna say Hartnell looks like Jake Gyllenhaal in comparison to Bavcic.

@Going_HardInger: what Flyers player do you think enjoys grilled cheese the most BESIDES Claude Giroux?

This is actually a really hard question. I think grilled cheese is probably enjoyed throughout the organization from top to bottom, so I think there should be about half a dozen guys with a hankering for the meal. The young guns Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier probably never outgrew one of their favorite childhood meals, and I assume they still order it off the kids menu when they go out to eat.

Couturier: “Yes, I’d like Captain Wiggle’s Grilled Cheese please.” 

Waitress: “How old are you? The kids meals are only good for children 12 and under”

Couturier: “I’m eleven! Look, I’m missing my front teeth!”

Sean, you sly dog.

Anything that Claude Giroux is doing, Scott Hartnell will certainly be there as well, so you better believe he’s chowing down on some grilled cheese. However, the biggest surprise would probably be the head coach Peter Laviolette. Sure Laviolette seems like a rough-and-tumble-leave-it-all-out-on-the-ice-get-the-hell-out-of-my-way-Steve-Ott-only-eats-steak type of guy, but I guarantee he’s got a soft spot in his heart for grilled cheese. Laviolette probably walks into his office at the Wells Fargo Center with a brief case loaded with grilled cheese. He walks over to his desk, empties the suticase on the table, and powers down every last grilled cheese before anybody comes in. I wonder if the power of the grilled cheese helps Lavy deliver those great speeches.

Thanks for reading this week’s BuzzBag. If you’d like to participate in the next one, make sure to follow me on Twitter @JakePavorsky.


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