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A Hater’s Guide To Every Postseason, With Lauren Theisen And Albert Burneko

Russell Westbrook contemplates the void, and The Distraction logo.
Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

Give or take a plague, sports are always happening. This is a good thing, and we are never more blessed than in those moments when an impractical amount of sports are happening in the same space at the same time. There is, in every fan’s brain, a little Homer Simpson who lives only to get dragged out in handcuffs from various all-you-can-eat buffet scenarios, and if this is not necessarily healthy it is inarguably natural. Why, if something is good, would you not want more of it? Why, if you could have the NBA Playoffs and the NHL Playoffs, would you not want them to happen simultaneously, and maybe with a little side order of MLB Culture War Bullshit for the table? This is the feast arrayed before us, a bounty so rich and robustly marbled that Drew and I were moved to invite both Lauren Theisen and Albert Burneko to help us finish it. Otherwise we would’ve just tried to eat it all ourselves and gotten a bad tummyache.

Given the sheer volume of sports stuff involved, and given that Lauren doesn’t care about the NBA and Albert doesn’t care about the NHL, things divided pretty evenly. This is not to say that it broke down cleanly, really, given that Albert and I made sure that the Quebec Nordiques and Hartford Whalers were the first two NHL teams mentioned by name during the hockey bit and that Lauren kept asking questions about the extremely not-in-the-playoffs Pistons during the NBA part. This is to be expected. The show does not somehow become smarter or more disciplined simply because more Defector-brained goofensteins get added to the mix. But from Lauren running down which NHL playoff teams have the most exuberant dudes-supporting-dudes vibes to Albert allowing himself to be baited into getting upset about the (actually in the playoffs) Wizards, we managed to cover both all the stuff that needed covering and all the personalized garbage that was inevitably going to get talked about instead.

And that was before we even got into the really dumb stuff, which as always arrived care of the Funbag and redolent of moderate-to-severe brain mold. A question about pooping while lying down chilled me to the bone, and led Drew to recount a treasured bedpan memory. Another, about the various qualities of toast, inspired far more soul-searching than its author probably anticipated. The question of which celebrity hates their fans most, and most deservedly, took a turn under the microscope. Albert got worked up about useless lottery lummox Jan Vesely in a way that suggested he could’ve gone on for another half hour. A party, in other words, and a pretty good one.

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