Saturday, 5 August 2017

You Know, Support The Team!

I was relaxing after a long day out in the sun coaching softball, and I happened across an old episode of Seinfeld. David Puddy, played by Patrick Warburton, had a small part in the episode, but it got me thinking about how much of a fan of the New Jersey Devils hat David Puddy was. The characters in Seinfeld often went to Knicks games or Mets games, and George Costanza worked for the Yankees. Rarely was hockey mentioned, but it got its own episode in "The Face Painter" in 1995. This is the episode where Jerry receives NY Rangers playoff tickets from Alec Berg and forgets to thank him, but the name of the episode comes from Puddy's over-the-top face painting in his support of the Devils.

The whole ordeal starts with Jerry noticing Alec Berg sitting behind the glass at the Rangers game. He and Elaine are sitting in the coffee shop when he sees Berg and begins chatting with him about his TV appearance. Berg makes reference that they are season tickets and he is unable to go to the game, offering them instead to Jerry.
Elaine: Hey, isn't that Alec Berg?
Jerry: Yep, Alec Berg. He's got a good 'John Houseman' name. Alec Beeerg.
Mr. Beeerg.
Elaine: I can't stand him, he is so pretentious.
Jerry: John Houseman?
Elaine: No, Alec Berg.
Alec (approaching): Elaine!
Elaine: Hi!
Alec: Hi, how are you? Jerry.
Jerry: Hi, Alec.
Alec: Did you hear about Gary Fogel?
Jerry: Yeah.
Alec: You gonna go to the funeral on Friday?
Jerry: Yeah, hey did I see you on TV at the Ranger game? Were those your seats
right behind the glass?
Alec: Those are them, yeah. Season tickets. Uh, you know, unfortunately I
can't go tonight, so they're available if you'd like to use them.
Jerry: Oh, I'd love to, are you sure?
Alec: Absolutely, you just call my secretary, she'll arrange everything.
Jerry: Gee thanks! Thanks a lot!
Alec: It's my pleasure. Be good. (Walking away, he stops abruptly) You know,
I actually might not use them on Friday either so I'll let you know.
Jerry: Alright, thanks again.
Elaine: Thank you very much.
Jerry: Really, thank you.
That's how Jerry and Elaine get access to the tickets. We find out that George can't go due to a date, and Kramer is entirely in for the game. Elaine asks if she can bring David Puddy, and Jerry is fine with the arrangement. We'll pick up the scene there.
You already know that this whole thing with being a die-hard Devils fan is going to be a running theme, and Puddy is all over the Rangers and their fans at the game.
Puddy: You're dead, Messier! We're gonna get you, Messier!
Fan #1: Will you sit down?
Puddy: Hey man, I'm just trying to support the team.
Elaine: Will you sit down? You're disturbing everybody. Sit down!
Puddy: Oh yeah, because you're a Ranger fan and you know I'm messing with their
Just then the Devils score a goal and Puddy is back up, banging the glass.
Puddy: Go Devils!!
Again, we move to the next scene, and Puddy is reveling in the Devils' win that night. He nearly gets hit by a car, and his reaction leaves the passenger shaken.
Of course, the priest is shaken to his core, Jerry waits until the last possible moment to thank Alec Berg for the tickets causing he, Puddy, and Kramer to sit in the nosebleeds with a specific request, and Elaine almost breaks up with Puddy for being a face painter.

All in all, it might not be in the top-20 of Seinfeld episodes of all-time, but it's the only one that even mentioned hockey as a theme. It's pretty funny to think that David Puddy is a Devils fan, but that's part of the character's background. Personally, I would have loved to have seen more hockey on the sitcom, but everything for the show has already been written.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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