Monday, March 16, 2015

Seinfeldology - Opposite Personalities?,

Welcome to the first ever Seinfeldology, a new feature that will run once a week (or whenever I feel like it) on Caps Circle!

Seinfeldology is exactly like it sounds: an attempt to explain the Caps, NHL, or DC sports by looking to the greatest sitcom of all time: Seinfeld (ok, maybe not exactly like it sounds). First I'll explain the issue at hand; then I'll compare it to an episode or a scene from Seinfeld; and finally I'll break down what we can learn from Seinfeld as it pertains to the issue.

Now that the administrative part is out of the way, let's get started!

The Issue: Exchanging Slumps

Today, I'm focusing on the Caps and their opponents last night, the Boston Bruins. Coming into yesterday's game, the Caps had lost 3 of their last 4 at home, the lone win coming in a domination of tanking Buffalo. Boston, on the other hand, had won 5 in a row and 7 of their last 8 to help them come all the way back and wrest control of the higher wild card seed from the Caps.

Before these recent streaks, the Caps had dominated throughout the winter months, whereas Boston had stumbled and bumbled and at times looked like the biggest disappointment in the league this year, leading to doubts about whether they would even make it to the playoffs. The Caps, on the other hand, were all but a foregone conclusion to make the playoffs in at least the 7th seed, and possibly even one of the three top seeds in the division.

Now that the Caps have defeated the Bruins, it remains to be seen if the teams will exchange their slumps again. Caps fans will certainly be hoping that they do.

The Episode: The Opposite (Season 5, Episode 22)

The Season 5 finale is arguably the greatest episode in Seinfeld's run, and featured the show at the pinnacle of its quality. The episode's main storyline follows George and Elaine and their coincidental changing luck and all the humor it brings with it.

George's life has fallen hard in Season 5, having moved in with his parents, lost every job he's taken (including being a hand model), and simply not had anything go right. Elaine, on the other hand, is riding high with a promotion and a raise at work thanks to the company she works for, Pendant Publishing, merging with a big Japanese conglomerate.

In a twist, George decides to do the opposite of everything he has done in his life:

Ali Parr (YouTube)

The results are immediate. George suddenly has good luck with girls, gains confidence in himself, and even gets an executive job with the New York Yankees.

But to keep the universe in balance, Elaine's luck takes a turn for the worse as well. Her boyfriend dumps her when she stops to buy some Jujyfruits before meeting him at the hospital, and she ends up losing her job when her sick boss refuses to shake hands with the head of the Japanese company.

Two people exchanging their hard luck... seems familiar, doesn't it?

What Can We Learn?

In the Seinfeld universe, George and Elaine eventually reverted back to their rightful places in the show's totem pole. Despite being completely inept, George was able to keep his job with the Yankees for a few years, although the rest of his life took a turn for the worse. Elaine eventually got another job where she had a more important position and soon met David Puddy, the best TV hockey fan in history.

The Caps made some poor decisions, like Eliane did, and began to fall, while the Bruins raced up the Eastern Conference ladder. However, if last night and how Seinfeld turned out mean anything, we should soon see the pecking order restored with the Caps above the Bruins.

Don't panic, Caps fans. If Seinfeld is to be trusted, we'll still be #7 in the East.

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