Friday, April 24, 2015

Seinfeldology: Staying Serene,
The last time I posted, the Caps had delivered an awful performance in Game 1 against the Islanders, leading to nightmares in Caps-land. Since then the Caps have steadily improved, and today are up 3 games to 2 on the Isles with Game 6 coming up tomorrow in potentially the last game ever at Nassau Veterans Coliseum.

With all the pressure on the Caps and Isles, fans may be feeling emotions run high and tempers flare. We all know that the Caps are not very good under pressure in the playoffs, and if the Caps struggle in Game 6, fans may be getting a sudden influx of bad memories.

So, to learn how to combat this, we turn once again to the greatest sitcom of all time, Seinfeld, to see what we can learn about staying calm in the face of adversity.

The Issue: Calm Before the Storm?

As explained above, the Caps are in a familiar position: they have the chance to win the series before Game 7 and move on to the next round. However, with a loss, the Caps would be put in an even more familiar position: Game 7 on home ice. Needless to say, the Caps haven't done all that well in Game 7's at home during the OV era.

Combining the pressure that inevitably comes with an elimination game with the ghosts of playoffs past creates a perfect storm that can lead us fans on an emotional roller-coaster the likes of which we have never seen or experienced before. We will need to decide how to stay calm and/or betray our emotions and accept the consequences that come with that decision.

How should we stay calm or express our emotions? What will happen if we bottle up our emotions versus showing them? Let's ask Seinfeld.

The Episode: The Serenity Now (Season 9, Episode 3)

One of the first episodes of Seinfeld's final season, The Serenity Now is a clinic in using a show's character's full potential. We have Kramer with amazing physical comedy, George feeling down and out, and of course Frank and Estelle Costanza, the greatest TV parents in history.

This episode centers around Frank, George's father, and his scheme of building and selling computers with the help of George and his formerly insane rival, Lloyd Braun. George has no interest in selling computers, but takes the job to beat Braun in number of sales. George, of course, couldn't sell pizza in a soup kitchen, so he ends up buying a bunch of computers and storing them with Kramer.

Frank is also told by his doctor to say "Serenity Now" before yelling at anyone so that he keeps calm and maintains his stress levels down. Kramer gets into the habit and becomes a believer, his anger "melting right away" in the process.

George wins the competition, but Braun warns George that "Serenity Now" just bottles up the anger, leading to an explosion later on. George doesn't believe him, but something else is brewing. Kramer, who is being tormented by kids in the apartment, ends up releasing all of his pent up stress at once, destroying the computers George was storing there.

There is another storyline with Jerry that complements the main point, that storing your emotions will just lead to you blowing up at an inopportune moment. But what does this tell us?

What Can We Learn?

If you haven't figured it out yet, the lesson here is that it is OK to express your emotions. Fan is derived from the word fanatic for a reason. We are deeply invested in the Caps, to the point that we consider it our team, not Ted Leonsis's team.

This is basically my long-winded way of telling you, Caps fans: let it all out tomorrow. If the Caps win, let it all out next series. If not, let it all out during Game 7.

Whatever the case, lay it out on the line and scream loud and proud, LET'S GO CAPS!!!!!

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