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Looking Ahead To The NHL Season And Societal Collapse, With Lauren Theisen

Two hockey lads a-mixin' it up and carrying on.

Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

First things first: Hockey is a real sport, and the National Hockey League is a real league, and its attempt at a stilted and rationalization-intensive pandemic season began on Wednesday night. This is all real, and real people care about it, and our buddy Lauren Theisen, who wrote our delightful and uncharacteristically timely NHL preview, really is one of those people. All of this is true, and you will hear about this new NHL season—what Lauren thinks about it, what Drew wants to know about it, the specific ways in which I unhelpfully attempt to derail that conversation—from this podcast. This is all very much in the episode below. But.

That the first third of the episode is a good-natured talk between buddies about a sport that some of them like is something that it has in common with last week's jarring time capsule of an episode, in which Drew and guest Dom Cosentino and I enjoyed pretty much our last un-preoccupied hours before the U.S. Capitol building was overrun in a spectacularly buttheaded putsch, mounted on Donald Trump's behalf by some of the very worst people currently living in the United States. There was some concern about a reprise during this recording, which once again happened just hours before a major national event. If I'm being honest, I was more worried about how that might work out than I was about the talking-about-hockey stuff, which if I may continue being honest was something I already had some concerns about.

But the second impeachment of Donald Trump was blessedly much less traumatic than the murderous Q-scented LARP excursion of the previous week, and if it was marked by similar idiocy and bad faith and soaring unaccountability, this time around all that stuff arrived in its usual dull congressional flavor. That makes this week's episode less tonally bizarre, which is admittedly a low bar given that last week's was "three guys blithely yukkin' it up about Philip Rivers in the immediate wake of near-unprecedented political sedition." This time, too, we reserved the second third of the show for talking about the events of the previous week, as worrying symptoms of a still-unaddressed civic disease and as the potential catalyst for another round of the usual wrong answers and as a sort of trauma in themselves.

If you've noticed that there is still another third of the show remaining, it's because we also touched upon Aaron Sorkin's upcoming adaptation of the Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz story and the important question of whether Halloween counts as "the holidays."

I will note here, without further comment, that next week's episode is going to be recorded shortly before Joe Biden's inauguration. Until such time as our Wednesdays chill the fuck out, we thank you for dealing with the undercurrent of dread running through every episode and the possibility-unto-likelihood of accidental after-the-fact tonal insanity. Some things, and evidently some days of the week, just cannot be helped.

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