Getty Images(Ed. Note: As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we're bound to lose some friends along the journey. We've asked for these losers, gone but not forgotten, to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The fans who hated them the most. This is a special edition, as Rudy Kelly from Battle of California requested the 2011-12 Florida Panthers and, well, we like Rudy Kelly. Again, this was not written by us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don't take it so seriously.)
I know what you're thinking: "Rudy, you're very attractive."
Yes, I know, and thank you. But once you get over my beauty, you're probably wondering why I, the world's most handsome LA Kings blogger, am writing the eulogy for the Florida Panthers. I mean, why would I care about the Florida Panthers? Why would anyone? They're completely, utterly irrelevant. They're the Justin Guarini of NHL franchises. To hate them, you'd have to both be completely overflowing with hate and have a ton of free time on your hands.
Luckily for you all, I'm just that man.
But seriously, I hate the Panthers. Here's why …
Make no mistake: the Panthers are a crappy hockey team. They somehow managed to finish 3rd this season but that seemed less a testament to their scrappiness and more definitive proof that the cosmos hates the Washington Capitals.
The Panthers suck. Jose Theodore sucks. Brian Campbell sucks. Tomas Fleischmann... I don't even know who that is but I'm sure he sucks too. Whole big pile of suck over there.
Their goal differential is terrible; they finished worse than the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets. Their even-strength goal differential is even worse; worse than the Anaheim Ducks and barely better the Toronto Maple Leafs, which is just incredibly sad.
I mean, where is this team going to go? They have Dimitri Kulikov, who rules, and Jacob Markstrom, who will likely rule in the future, and then they have a hodgepodge of mediocre talent. They're a Frankenstein's monster of a team and they're built to finish in 9th place for the foreseeable future.
I mean c'mon, they couldn't even beat the Devils.
For years, rats have been unfairly maligned as disgusting creatures.
They start one teeny tiny plague and all of a sudden they're the jerk, while mice get away scot free. From Mortimer Mouse (it says mouse in his name but he's clearly given stereotypical rat features) to Templeton to Rizzo the Rat to Professor Ratigan, rats have constantly been maligned while mice (Mickey, Timothy Q. Mouse, Gus Gus) have been glorified.
To this day rats are vilified; they're even compared to Steve Ott. Humiliating!
Did you know that rats used to be seen as bringers of good luck by ancient civilizations? Did you know that they can detect tuberculosis? Did you know that they're trained to find friggin' land mines? Yeah, I wonder why no one makes a cartoon about that.
The Panthers perpetuate this blatant smear job, celebrating the murder of a rat at the hands of that thug Scott Mellanby by throwing plastic rats onto the ice. Not only are they remembering death, they're glorifying it! It's just another cog in the brutal mouse propaganda machine.
And just to tie it all together: who is the biggest perpetrator in the war against rats? Who's making all these films with rat villains? And who is one of the biggest property owners in Florida?
That's right: Disney. The signs are all there, people!
(It should be noted that Pixar courageously bucked the Disney machine and made Ratatouille to expose Disney's lies. They're true friends of the rat.)
They're in Florida
As a Californian, I rule. We're like a billion times better than the rest of the country, we're far prettier, and our farts smell of spring time and strawberries. But ignorant East Coasters, unwilling to accept how inferior and pale they are, always resort to propping up Florida as their champion. I mean, it has beaches, right? It has theme parks. Surely Florida's cool, right?
Florida looks like someone had God draw California with his eyes closed. Like he thought he was doing a good job but then he opened his eyes and realized the ocean is too shallow and everyone's eating Cuban food instead of Mexican food and OH GOD WHAT IS THAT UHHHH I'LL JUST CALL IT A SWAMP.
A personal anecdote: I visited Florida maybe 10 years ago and every beach I went to had this terrible coarse sand. I couldn't even lie on it without harming my delicate California skin.
Finally, on the day before I left, I found a beach that had beautiful white sand stretching as far as the eye could see. I frolicked all day and ran my fingers through the glorious earth. As I was leaving, I saw a small sign near the entrance to the beach; the sign said, "Sand imported from California."
Where I live is better than where you vacation, is what I'm trying to say.
I'm Incredibly Petty
Back in December, the Kings and the Panthers played. The Panthers ambushed a weary Kings team and outshot them, 42-26; even worse, Mike Richards was concussed in what has to be the most blatant headshot involving a Florida Panthers player I've ever seen. Anyway, the Kings managed to gut out a win and Panthers coach was a big baby about it:
"We thoroughly outplayed them," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "They were trying to run around and chase us and hack us and slash us. When you are getting outplayed as badly as they were, that's the response. We walk out of here feeling very good about the way we played."
Oh really, Kevin Dineen? How are you feeling now? The Kings made the 2nd round and your Ciaran Hinds-looking ass is sitting at home. What do you think of that?! Eat it, Dineen! EAT IT!!! HACK THIS YOU (long stream of expletives deleted)!!!!"
So there you have it, folks. I know we all only have so much hate in our hearts and we're focusing it all on the Vancouver Canucks and black people if you're from Boston, but save a small piece of your hate for the Panthers. They truly do deserve it.
Plus, you'll be in on the ground floor of gloating when they miss the playoffs next season.
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Eulogy: Remembering the 2011-12 Pittsburgh Penguins
Eulogy: Remembering the 2011-12 Vancouver Canucks
Eulogy: Remembering the 2011-12 Chicago Blackhawks
Eulogy: Remembering the 2011-12 Boston Bruins
Eulogy: Remembering the 2011-12 Ottawa Senators
Eulogy: Remembering the 2011-12 Florida Panthers