Happy Hour

Happy Hour at Inside Pulse!

Where Canadians are Free From Persecution! Kinda…

What’s up, my little chickadees. Welcome to the home of general stupidity and intentional misspelled words here at Z-Pulse. I’m your wacky little host with the most for this magical adventure into the world of WWE programming and general sports opinions, and if you haven’t deduced by now that you’re in for a column full of attempted sarcasm, humor, and Canadian jokes, then you’re either a weirdo cultist, a lobotomized twin of Chris Pronger, or a Canadian.

Many of you may be wondering how I’ve become so bitter towards Canadians as of late. Well, I’m by no means bitter towards Canadians, not in the least. My favorite hockey team in the world (hockey is a giveaway in and of itself) is populated by a large number of Canadians. Some of my favorite wrestlers (Chris Benoit, Lance Storm, etc.) are from up north, and any country that can produce Trish Stratus, Molson and Steve Nash (Don’t bother emailing me on the subject of Nash and his birth status) on an off day are worthy of the affection of yours truly. So, where did this mock hostility even come from? Three words – Edge at Vengeance.

If you didn’t see the show, weren’t in attendance live, or have much better existences than that of a feeble wrestling fan, allow me to impart what transpired. Edge set out before his title match against the champion… Rob…Van… Dam… on an insult-laced tirade at the fans in Charlotte, North Carolina! A cheap pop for sure, but bare with me. Now then, he attempted to draw the comparison of Rob… Van… Dam… and his holding the WWE Championship being just as absurd as the Stanley Cup belonging to the Hurricanes in 2006. In a stunning news flash, Edge let’s us know that we didn’t do anything, Canadians won the Cup for us. Oh, the blasphemy!

Three things come to mind here. One, everyone and their sister knew that three fourths of the team, not to mention the most popular players (Brind’Amour, Staal, Ward, etc.) were Canadian. That’s not a new, major, or important revelation down here. Secondly, being an alleged Maple Leafs fan, Edge should know that making a crack on the Hurricanes in Charlotte, North Carolina (!) is like making a crack about the New York Rangers in Buffalo. Uh, hello chief, there might as well be a time zone separating us for the purposes of this discussion. I’m as shocked and amazed as I am proud to discover just how many Hurricanes fans were actually there on Sunday night. More than a few people were boasting jerseys, more had their championship hats on display. After that comment, several audible “Fuck You Edge” cat calls broke out across the building, which garnered a hearty chuckle from our section. What’s more bizarre is the fact that Edge wouldn’t save this joke until he was actually in Raleigh, or at least closer to it the next night in Fayetteville. It’s almost like he forgot where the team was playing or something. Just because they’ve got “Carolina” in front of the name doesn’t mean that they’re representative of EVERYONE in the whole state. Just most of them. And you would think that Edge would have sense enough to know that. I mean, a real Maple Leafs fan would know the year, team name, location and building that a Stanley Cup Champion was crowned, seeing as its been so long since Toronto has won one. You have to keep track of time, regardless of your team’s futility.

So, all of that minor stuff aside, Hurricanes fans and hockey haters alike were proud to revel in the bad attempt at cheap heat by our friend, Edge. Then he just had to go and cross the line with the following statement.

“So after I’ve won the WWE Championship, me and Lita are going to celebrate right here in the middle of the ring with one of our live sex celebrations! It’s just like how you do it here, except that we’re not brother and sister!” – Adam Copeland at Vengeance

Oh, bring out the beer and pitchforks, Jethro! We be going to war! The main question I had at the time of this comment was, “When did we up and move to West Virginia?” I guess the more important question would be, “When did Ontario start teaching kids that North Carolina and West Virginia were synonymous with each other? If you want cheap heat in the South these days, it is best to play the redneck card, not the hillbilly card says I. Then again, North Carolina is disregarded by Deep South states as being a true Southern state. There are some places in this area, like Cary, that have more Yankees than rednecks, so perspectives may vary. Nevertheless, Mr. Copeland decided to insult the glorious people of this glorious state, so now I take it upon myself to launch the next salvo in the Can-Car Verbal War! It’s not much of a war, I’m afraid. After all, Canada is still technically owned by England, which means that Canada has to dance for them on command. Instead of going the tried and true route, I will not make jokes about Canada. Instead, I will make observations on the way Canada functions. Since this is a sports column, allow me to stray back on topic for a few seconds.

Happy Hour’s Insight on Canada
You know you’re in Canada when a newspaper devotes two pages to national news and six pages to hockey.

For those of you who haven’t sworn off reading this column yet, welcome back. Since the bigwigs frown upon straying too far from your zone in columns, I guess it’s probably time for me to bring up some sort of sports topic for today. God knows that my life has lost purpose now that the NHL season is over and done with, and I’ve temporarily lost my MLB Package on television, which means that I’m forced to tread where only the brave have dared venture here at the Pulse. With the exodus of the bandwagon jumpers from World Cup viewing now complete following the rather humorous exit of the U.S. Nationals, real football fans can now take solace in the fact that, barring a collective f*ck up from the remaining FIFA referees, fans of the game can enjoy football as it was meant to be played – in front of a world that desperately needs to take a break from reality.

For those of you keeping track with IPSR, I had defiantly predicted that Brazil would not win the 2006 FIFA World Cup. I had predicted Germany, and stand by that prediction today. However, Brazil is playing like gangbusters in Germany, and are quite the club to watch on television. Ronaldo is giving the media the bird at every opportunity with his excellent play so far, and short of Brazil’s opener against Croatia some time ago, the unquestioned favorites in Germany are skipping merrily all the way to Quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, France has experienced something of a revitalization in the past few days. Escaping Group Play by the skin of their teeth after some rather embarrassing draws, France brought their game faces Tuesday when they met Spain in the Round of 16. Spain, perennial underperformers in the World Cup, were erroneously predicted to win the match by a certain someone writing this column about midway through the second half. France had shown me little in the way of a will to win, and Spain simply seemed like the better choice. Well, leave it to Henry, Zidane, and Vieira to eradicate those fears. After a questionable foul call led to a free kick for Zidane, Patrick Vieira placed the ball in the net with a gorgeous header to break the deadlock in the eighty third minute. Spain had a few great chances in the closing minutes, but they were obviously deflated after the goal. Then, in stoppage time, Zidane decided to put all doubts to rest with a breakaway goal that sealed the deal and put France on course to meet their 1998 foes, Brazil in the quarterfinals.

Joining France and Brazil on this side of the brackets are England and Portugal, which should make for one Hell of a match in their own right. England is the classic case of doing just enough to get by at every turn, with a couple of shaky victories over Paraguay and Trinidad and Tobago marking a World Cup run marred by injuries to their two star forwards, Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen. Still, England sports one of the best midfields in the world, and will give plenty of fight to the criminally underrated Portugal when the two meet in a couple of days. Say what you will about the Netherlands/Portugal game, but it’s obvious that Portugal is no walkover by any stretch, and it’s a shame that so little has been made known about them here in the States. Nuno Maniche, who scored the lone goal to beat the Netherlands in the Round of 16, can potentially give England fits. England especially seems to have difficulty scoring on a regular basis, which I guess can be attributed to their injured forwards. I think we can predict this game to be the opposite type affair from Brazil/France – England/Portugal will be a defensive war won by the midfielders, whereas Brazil/France will come down to which team has better offensive production from their scorers.

On the other side of the brackets, Germany is rolling through the World Cup themselves, boasting a two-headed scoring monster in Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski that have combined for seven goals through this World Cup. The home nation is one of the most disciplined teams remaining, and boast who I think to be the greatest goalkeeper in the world right now, Jens Lehmann. After giving up two goals to Costa Rica in its World Cup opener, the German goalkeeping unit have posted nothing but clean sheets. Germany faces its first major test when it takes on equally talented Argentina in the quarterfinals. Argentina managed to survive what many were calling the “Group of Death” that also featured the Netherlands, Serbia and Montenegro, and the Ivory Coast. Once they secured their place in the Round of 16, Argentina locked horns with Mexico, who took them all the way to overtime, when Maxi Rodriguez launched the goal of the World Cup to date, creating a frenzy in the stadium and sending the club to a showdown with host nation Germany. Italy also managed to advance into the quarterfinals, along with their opponents Ukraine. I have nothing particularly interesting to say about either team now, so I’ll just add that Juventus sucks and be done with it.