Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Puck A Duck: Why Anaheim Sucks

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Gnash_Duck_Hunting.jpg
  • Rachel Addison/Used with permission

Tuesday, Orange County Register columnist Jeff Miller penned a wrong-headed, stereotypical introduction to Nashville (he called us "Trashville" - tres clever) for Anaheimites ahead of the Ducks-Predators playoff series.

It's the type of thing that gets published during playoffs, a little poke at the hometown of the opponent.

Nothing wrong with that.

The problem was that Miller wasn't particularly clever. He talked about Hee Haw - a show that's been off the air since 1993 (coincidentally, the year the Ducks were founded and thus the first time anyone ever heard of Anaheim).

He made fun of Cracker Barrel and said the "hillbilly heaven" was one of Nashville's top employers. That would be true if there was a Cracker Barrel on every corner. There isn't, unfortunately. Or if Cracker Barrel was headquartered in Nashville. It's not. Their offices are in Lebanon. Saying it's headquartered in Nashville is sort of like saying a company that's headquartered in - I dunno - let's say Anaheim, for the sake of example, is headquartered in Los Angeles.

And he makes fun of Cyruses Miley and Billy Ray - the former of whom made all her money as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Disney, so I think there's plenty of blame to go around.
It's pretty rich for someone from Anaheim to mock another city's cultural contributions when it's the place that's offered up a slew of vapid reality shows, No Doubt and Rebecca Black.

We're not exactly talking about Florence during the Renaissance here.

But we'll take Miller's piece in the spirit it was intended - as a vehicle for a slideshow, a little new media ploy at crassly driving up page clicks.

In Thursday's Scene, I write a quick and, dare I say, sophisticated primer on why Nashvillians should hate Anaheim and hit all the high points - Dan Ellis, George Parros' mustache, the movie which spawned the franchise and what have you. Similarly, the fine gentlemen at Section303.com did a wonderfully humorous skewering of our friends from the OC earlier in the season and again ahead of the playoff series. Even our buddies down at 1100 got in on the act with David Climer penning a take down. Joe Biddle's will run two Sundays from now and he'll ask "Whatever happened to Walt Disney?" and tell the story of the time he and Bill Wade got kicked out of Disneyland.

Before the puck drops tonight, there's more to know about the bad guys and the place they call home.

At the risk of writing a list piece - which I typically find to be a bit of a phone-in - here's some bullet points:

• The Ducks' top set of forwards - Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf - are collectively known as the RPG Line (get it? It's the first letters of their surnames. Clever!). This would be awesome if RPG immediately brought to mind "rocket-powered grenade," as surely was the intention. Since most people spend little time fighting Turkish rebels, it doesn't. It means "role playing game." Instead of bringing to mind a badass handheld death machine, "RPG" brings to mind darkened basements and hours-long fights over whether an orc throwing fire takes five or six hit points from a 23rd level Paladin. Minus-4 charisma, Anaheim.

• On defense, the Ducks have a fellow named Sheldon Brookbank. He used to be in the Predators organization. The Preds waived him in 2007, presumably because, upon hearing his name, they thought he was an accountant.

• Let's talk about ducks for a second. Ducks are lots of things. They are the funniest animal, as Daffy, Donald and, to a lesser degree, Howard prove. They are cute. They are delicious served l'orange. They are, however, not scary. Certainly not as scary as an ATV-riding prehistoric super-cat.

• Chuck Norris is from Anaheim. Whoopty doo, Texas Ranger. Have you seen Shea Weber's beard?

• Almost from the get-go, the Ducks realized that being called the Ducks was lame. They actually created an alternate mascot - The Iceman. The Iceman was, shall we say, unsuccessful. You are more likely to see a screening of Mickey's Mellerdrammer than you are to hear House of Mouse acknowledge The Iceman.

• The City of Anaheim was once sued by Disney. Say what you will about Nashville and our inability to keep theme parks, we have never been taken to court by Mickey Mouse.

• The Ducks wear solid black uniforms. Presumably, this is to distract everyone from the fact they are called the "Ducks" and are, thus, the opposite of terrifying. The Ducks goalies get in the act by donning black pads, eschewing the normal hockey look of all-white pads. Dressing like the Michelin Man in Black does have its disadvantages, as Ducks netminder Jonas Hiller learned January 5. A shot by Jerred Smithson (the only "Jerred" on Wikipedia, PS) got lost in Hiller's pads, the refs signaled a good goal and upon review could find no evidence they were wrong. Really, they just lost sight of the puck because Hiller decided he'd cover himself in pads the exact same color as the puck, when, you know, really any other color seems far more useful in this context. But, hey, Smithers got a goal (unusual) and Preds fans got to experience No. 25's full range of emotions.

• Tennessee takes a lot of grief for creating the Klan. Orange County, conversely, was created by the Klan - specifically by a guy named William Henry Head, who spearheaded the effort to get the OC out of LA County back in the day. Head was a native Tennessean, by the way. So, you're welcome, Anaheim?

We all love Mike Fisher here, what with his country-music wife and his dreamy smile and so on. We especially love him since he remembered how to score in the last month (and not just with American Idol winners, ifyaknowwhatimeanandithinkthatyoudo). Anaheim is scared of Mike Fisher. He once ruined Getzlaf.

• Nashville gets criticism from Canadians for not deserving an NHL team, since we are just the 29th largest media market in the country and, I don't know, because it doesn't start snowing on Labor Day [by the way, Canada, Nashville filled 94.3 percent of its seats this season]. Anaheim gets the advantage of being in LA's media market, which is good, because it's not even the largest city in Orange County - it's the third largest. Anaheim's other sports team figured out that no one knows or cares about Anaheim - the baseball team is now the California Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Based On A Novel By Sapphire (or something). The Sacramento Kings may move to Anaheim next year. Their owners have registered a bevy of potential names, including the "Anaheim Royals of Southern California," to emphasize to the rest of the country that Anaheim is, in fact, in California, not Saskatchewan. And so averse to the poultry theme used by their potential new arena-mates are the team owners, the basketballing Kings are more willing to share a nickname with the Kansas City Royals.

Rebecca Black

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