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IT'S (championship) T-SHIRT TIME: How the Jersey Shore Explains the Playoffs

Alright, I'll admit it: I love The Jersey Shore. That's right, the fights, the tanning, the poaching of grenades; I'm totally hooked. And, while MTV's latest delve into the boozy underworld of mid-twenties nightlife is amazingly captivating, I have learned it can also teach us a lot about life. The Situation's constant efforts to create a sense of togetherness amongst the roommates show us all that family is important. From the many times Snookie tells the Confession Room camera how much she wants a boyfriend and then subsequently fails that night at even getting anyone to talk to her, we are taught to never, ever give up, no matter how sloshed you may be or how low you must stoop. And finally, every time J-Woww is shown arranging her plastic heroes in the mirror, we are reassured that dreams can, in fact, come true.

Well, playoff baseball is finally here and, like so many things in life, I look to the GTL gang for answers. With eight teams in the hunt for the crown, it only makes sense to liken each one to the eight beacons of morality that make up the Jersey Shore cast. Hopefully, in doing so we will come to gaze upon the world in a new light, and possibly learn a bit about ourselves in the process.

The Texas Rangers as "J-Woww" – It should be surprising to no one (least of which my beautiful, supportive fiancĂ©…hey babe!) that I lead things off with Jennie "J-Woww" Farley, as all she has done for the last few months is systematically edge people off my "Five Celebs I Can Bang Without Getting in Trouble" list. You heard me right – people. Jessica Alba got edged out right after Pauly described Jennie's ladies as "defying gravity", and stalwarts Natalie Portman and Rachel McAdams currently hang dangerously on the brink. I may actually give them a preemptive bump-off, just in case J-Wizzle's twin shows up and wants to smush. Lest I forget about the point of this entirely, I should mention I also am smitten with the Rangers, as I am sure most Reds fans are, on account of their unmistakable Josh Hamilton-ness. However, the comparisons don't end there. Much like our favorite Guidette, the Rangers have always had huge boppers, but the addition of Cliff Lee at the trade deadline actually showed a side of them we never thought we'd see (pitching). While Jennie Boom-Boom may not always have had her two rather sizable assets (rumor has it she "acquired" them at 21), she has exhibited her human side a bit more in Miami than in Seaside Heights, moving her from the "busty, yet trashy and mannish" category to the "still busty, but a bit more lovable while still being kind of mannish" distinction. Ok, so the comparison may be a little weak, but you can't argue on the boppers…

The Tampa Bay Rays as "DJ Pauly-D" – Pauly and the Rays, in my opinion, can both be summed up in one word: solid. For two seasons Pauly has been the dude that never really makes any waves (except for that time the resident scorpion known as Angelina busted out eight personalities in one drunken scene and slapped him, only to immediately say she wanted to marry him). Besides that dust-up with the dirty little hamster, Pauly's been unspectacular, from his minimal hours logged in the smush-room to his overall copasetic relationship with his roomies. Similarly, while once trendy and hot and cool (to be fair, Pauly-D did once hook up with J-Woww!), the Rays fell off baseball's radar when they continued to win but failed to ever really win over their fan base. This season, Tampa Bay beat out the Yankee's for the top spot in the uber-competitive AL East, yet could barely garner 13,000 fans to watch them clinch. I would not be entirely surprised if the Rays soon meet a cute girl with bangs at the club and completely (in the charming yet uninteligible words of Mike Tyson) "fade into 'bolivion."

The Atlanta Braves and the San Francisco Giants as "Ronnie and Sammie Sweetheart"- When Sammie and Ronnie first got together, I was like "damn, I wonder if he's just creepin' and then gonna' hit it and quit it." Then, when they broke up I was all "snap, those two really could have been something special cuz' I mean he DID always tell her how much he loved her after he triple-kissed other chicks at the club." At that point, I was interested. Now, after 347 break-ups and make-ups, I'm not. I couldn't care less if I tried. In fact, I am convinced the producers of the show SAVED THEIR BUTTS by pulling the "Ummmm, I think its clear this plotl ine ran its course after the 8th or 9th time Ronnie F'd her over and then denied it ("deny, deny, deny") soooo we're gonna' go ahead and just kind of phase them out…thanks." I could probably count Ronnie's cool/funny moments on one hand (it WAS solid when he called himself half-retarded) and if Sammie was going to even have ONE, it would have been her fight with J-Woww, but she completely ruined it by sucker-punching the Amazon Princess and then inexplicably bragging about it for like three episodes. What a waste.

Wait, did I forget to talk about the Braves and Giants? Eh, who cares.

The San Diego Padres as "Enzo, the Gelato Store Guy" –This is a bonus track of sorts because the Pad's didn't make the playoffs, but it's worth noting. For most of the season, the Padres were like the gang's boss at the gelato shop: a little bit lost, considerably confused, and completely bewildered as to what exactly they had gotten themselves into. While, at first it may have seemed like a good business move to feature his shop on the show, the over-matched Enzo can't be happy with the output he is getting from his workers, who would rather collect clients' digits in the tip jar and parade their abs to drum up business than scoop gelato. Luckily for San Diego, they eventually cut their losses and returned to Obscureville, sinking contently into their couches in October like they always do. If he places any value on his sanity, Enzo will perform a similar dismount before Jennie and Sammie come to blows over the display case or a hung-over Situation pukes in the Oreo's.

The Minnesota Twins as "Vinny" – Sometimes when I look at Vinny and realize he doesn't use a quart of Dep in his hair or eat his cereal with muscle milk, I wonder why exactly he is on the show. I mean sure, he loves his Ed Hardy tees as much as the next guy and is the originator of the floor-slap-fist-pump combo, but I am convinced that he is too low-key of a guy and has the ability to string together too many coherent English sentences for him to really fit the mold. So, when I look at the Twins and see Jim Thome (40 years old and looks like he should be harvesting sweet-corn instead of mashing homeruns) or Joe Mauer (possibly the most talented player in the game but took less money to stay in his hometown Minnesota and spend his off-seasons ice fishing and knitting beanies), I see a connection. Vinny has mentioned at least 10 times how much he loves and misses his mother, and he even went as far as to have his whole family (pretty sure I saw a second cousin in there) come to visit him in Miami so his Ma could make him an Italian feast. Something tells me the Twins would just as soon be sidling up to a wooden table covered in beef stew and walrus tongue than hosting the Yankees in round one. Just a hunch.

The New York Yankees as "The Situation" –Much like Steinbrenner's evil empire, The Situation has the most flash and pizzazz of the group, and reaps the rewards for his efforts (he and the Snook are paid the most per episode). Whether it's defiling a girl in the club bathroom, attempting to pull off a "robbery" of Vinny's girl (cue the "awwww poor Vinnyyyy" chorus), or banning people from Surf and Turf Night, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino is the guy you love to hate, and the one Guido that most of the country tunes in to see. As much as a lot of us resent them for it, the Yanks will always be on prime time, and will always be in the news, for as long as they continue to sign proven stars to exorbitant contracts or until they stop munching egg sandwiches while their date lies patiently between the Smush Room sheets.

The Philadelphia Phillies as "Angelina" – Unlike The Situation, who over time has made me like him, if not respect him, Angelina has done nothing to balance out the absolute disgust and horror I feel every time I see her stumping around amidst her own filth. Aptly named The Staten Island Dump, Angelina managed to draw the ire of each and every member of the house by basically just being herself, which happens to be an insecure, manipulative shrew. Not only does she lead on the ever-chivalrous Jose (not to be confused with the Wormtongue often mentioned in these blogs), she managed to completely alienate the nicest dudes in the house (Pauly and Vin) and bring the affable (and possibly mentally handicapped) Snookers to fisticuffs. As much as I like Snookie (she's as hilarious as she is filthy), all I could think about when the two were rolling around on the living room floor was "please don't pull off eachother's clothes, please don't pull off eachother's clothes." All that being said, I don't think its necessary to flesh out the comparison between Angelina the Weevil and the defending National League Champion Phillies, as I think I've made myself perfectly redundant. .

The Cincinnati Reds as "Snookie" – While most people look at Snookers and see a DTF tippy-cup filled with liquor, I see a scared little girl just begging for acceptance. Nicole "Snookie" Polizzi spends the majority of the show lying in bed, staggering around blindly in $400 blue-blocker sunglasses, or lamenting the fact that no guy she hits on finds her remotely desirable. Similarly, the Reds have spent the majority of the last decade wallowing shamefully in the nether regions of the NL Central, content to end the night eating bagel bites instead of bringing home a respectable Juicehead. In Snookie, I see the perennial underdog, and for as much as she takes punches to the face from dudes or calls her competitors bitches, you kind of have to root for her. If Reds fans have any hope at all in Round 1, its imperative that Snookie draws on that inner-whipping girl, that deep-seated underdog, latches onto a healthy handful of the Dump's weave, and takes her to the ground UFC-style. I like the Reds in a dogfight in this one, and if they can advance by taking their years of disappointment and rejection out on the Staten Island Shrewbag, well, all the better.

Here's hoping for a victory this week; or, a "shirt before the shirt."

Reed Domer-Shank 10-5-2010


  1. Terrible, just terrible. Not only is it disconcerting that a fan of the greatest sport in the world watches this mind-numbing shit, but it's really bothersome that anyone would think of comparing several groups of hardworking athletes (who basically work every day from February through September) to a bunch of stupid, alcoholic people from Jersey. I feel dumber after reading this.

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