The League S02E03: What a Beautiful Package for “The White Knuckler”

Episode 3 gets back to the heart of Ruxin’s dark heart and the trash-talk that makes this league tick. They even threw in a little love interest to remind us of the Shiva competition from last season. Who’s balls will she touch first? Let’s dive right in.

Episode 3 opens with Pete and Ruxin watching a basketball game at Kevin’s house and in the search for coasters. Isn’t it crazy that in a society that has 3D televisions and surround sound, we still use tables that need coasters?

Ruxin stumbles upon Kevin’s current coffee table reading: “Weight Training for Dummies.” Definitely not a best seller. I don’t think I’d even pick that up to flip through in line at Wal-Mart, but maybe that’s also because I took a two year hiatus from working out at one point in my adult life.

It gets sadder. Kevin has an entire collection of the “For Dummies” books on a massive garage bookshelf of broken dreams. Did someone sell him these books like those door-to-door encyclopedia salesmen used to do?

At Gibson’s (the bar), Kevin attacks Andre for not being a “real doctor” because he doesn’t save lives. He makes a valid point: plastics aren’t exactly life saving.

Just look at that “Dr. Dreamy” goofball on “Grey’s Anatomy.” Uh…damn. I just gave myself away a little there. But to make my point, Dr. Dreamy’s cases were never that scary or dangerous. It was always “Hey! Let’s make you attractive like me! Because my hands would never touch a person of your ugliness unless I could make you worthy of my hands, my beautiful, beautiful hands. Woohoo!” It was pretty weak. And to my credit, I stopped watching “Grey’s Anatomy” as soon as it stopped being socially beneficial to me.

In the midst of this “real doctor” conversation, we learn that Taco just thinks that Andre is a barber, which might have opened the door for a comment about how Rafi needs a haircut, but no Rafi this week.

Ruxin confesses that his only hope this week against Kevin is a big game from Josh Cribbs, but Pete won’t give him any advice. Ruxin also has to do community service with “Make A Wish” for his law firm. This can only end badly.

Andre tells the guys about the “class act” he wants to bring in as his partner in his plastic surgery practice, Dr. Maxwell, which gives us our fantasy football definition for the lexicon this week and a few more to grow on. Introducing, the racism handbook for sports commentary:

Class act: A term used by sports commentators and society to refer to the black coach, e.g., Tony Dungy.

Firecracker, spark plug: The Latino athlete, as referred to by the sports commentators or personalities

Gym rat, scrappy player: The white athlete, e.g., Wes Welker

Inscrutable player: The Asian athlete

Sad but true, a lot of commentators use these stereotypical descriptors. Well, everyone besides Jon Gruden, who simply calls everyone “JOKER!” or “This guy!” Also, Taco is half black.

Pete has a date with Brooke, one of Kevin’s former girlfriends, and since Pete is hooking up with her now, that makes Pete and Kevin Eskimo brothers. Creepy neat! Apparently, Brooke comes with a little bit of a reputation from high school. She was known as the “The White Knuckler” because of her strong grip when giving the job of the handy persuasion. I’m picturing really large forearms.

Taco also informs the league that he’s taking karate. That’s good. He might need some deadlier moves if he and Rafi have to fight to the death at some point this season.

On the date, Pete and Brooke’s conversation inevitably turns to Kevin, who they note used to be a really flabby guy. But Brooke does give him credit for having a “pretty cock.” That’s right! Apparently, Kevin has a really “pretty cock” and “cute balls.” I guess that’s better than saying “huge” but still date-killer material.

Dark Sith Lord Ruxin goes to visit his “Make A Wish” recipient, Colin, who reveals his wish: meeting Terrell Suggs, linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens.

But Ruxin is evil, remember? So he convinces Colin that he should, instead, ask to meet Josh Cribbs, wide receiver and kick returner for the Cleveland Browns, so that Ruxin can talk fantasy with Cribbs and motivate him to show up big this week for Ruxin’s fantasy team.

At least Ruxin notices Colin’s depressing artwork, which leads to a true moment of clarity for Ruxin: “You’re going through some shit, huh?”

So now Ruxin can rub in his upcoming victory to Kevin at the park. Taco shows up with what he calls his “Naginta” from karate, but the only thing I could find online is something called a “Naginata.” Gotta be the same thing, right? Well, the description is pretty good.

Here are the highlights (emphasis mine):

NAGINATA (reaping sword)

“During the Edo period (16001808), women of the samurai class were the primary wielders of the naginata for self-protection.”

“Naginata-do (the way of the naginata) is still popular with Japanese women and is part of many academic athletic programs in Japan…Extremely strong wrists and forearms are necessary for this sport.

Leave it to Taco to find a weapon that allows him to leverage his strong wrists and forearms. If you want more learning, check out this sword-on-a-stick on Wikipedia.

TACO: “You were a worthy opponent, little one, but no one survives the wrath of my blade.”

Andre meets with his soul brotha, Dr. Maxwell, about a partnership, and the two seems to hit it off pretty well besides Andre’s awkward avoidance of anything that sounds remotely racist…and Andre’s awkwardness in general. Andre tells Dr. Maxwell that he wants to be the Halliburton of plastic surgery, but he keeps running into the “diversity” issue. His anecdote about his “black friend” Percy doesn’t help his case.

Kevin and Pete workout in Kevin’s new home gym, but Pete can’t stop looking at Kevin’s “PC.” When Pete refuses to accept Kevin as a spot, Kevin catches on: “Please look me in the eyes. I’m not a piece of meat.”

Back at the bar, coming face-to-face with Kevin’s PC throws Pete off his dart game with Ruxin and off his fantasy football game in the league. Pete confesses that he picked up Ryan Grant, and Ruxin has to inform him that Ryan Grant is injured.

And that’s actually very true. So did they slip this in post-filming? Did they make their own luck Tonya Harding-style? Or (more likely) did they just reveal “The League” curse, just as dangerous as the Madden curse but able to be cast on a different player in each of 13 episodes? I don’t have answers, but that’s dangerous.

Andre returns from his meeting, which went DOPE, and announces a P. Diddy party with Dr. Maxwell to celebrate.

With “Make A Wish” Colin, Ruxin gets to meet Josh Cribbs at the hospital, but, in an ultimate act of evil, he keeps interrupting Cribbs to talk fantasy football and try to steal Cribbs away from his visit with Colin.

Cribbs will have none of it and refuses to give Ruxin the time of day in front of Colin. The force is strong with this one. “You’re a real ‘class act’ Josh Cribbs.” But Ruxin does manage to ask Cribbs to score on a kick return and rack up the all-purpose yards…for Colin, of course.

We find the whole crew (minus Jenny?) at Andre’s “Whites Only” party, where Kevin reunites with Brooke when Pete and Brooke arrive. Brooke immediately lights up into her “White Knuckle” form seeing Kevin and Kevin’s PC again. Pete’s not taking that so well, but he is easily distracted by Andre’s “Whites Only” sign, offending all the “class acts” coming into the party. “Hey, sheriff from the Deep South!”

Ruxin arrives with Josh Cribbs…and Colin, but Kevin has a surprise for him. He wrote a letter to invite Terrell Suggs, Colin’s actual favorite player, to the party out of the kindness of his…oh? Kevin has the Baltimore D/ST? Well, that’s not quite as nice. And Kevin has his own scheme: “I think Colin would love if you sacked the quarterback like 3 or 4 times, and maybe even returned a fumble for a touchdown.”

Regardless of how petty Kevin is, Ruxin is more petty, and Cribbs wants no part of helping Ruxin win now that he realizes he was duped. Suggs and Cribbs take Colin away. And thus, Ruxin’s plan is foiled.

In the season’s second musical number, Taco gets the attention of the partygoers to perform with his Naginta, but no one knows what that is…and the “class act” guests take it the wrong way since it sounds strangely like another word in the context of the song.

Dr. Maxwell cancels the partnership on the spot, and the guests are out the door. But not before, in his final act, Taco throws his Naginta into the air and hits Kevin straight in his beautiful package.

And now folks, we’ve come full circle. Andre snaps into action saving Kevin’s life, but he needs someone to apply pressure to the wound (Kevin’s penis). Ruxin and Pete are both out. So that leaves only one who can come to save the day…

Yes, that’s right. The ultimate cock block: “You! White knuckle him!” And so Brooke has to grab onto Kevin’s PC to stop the bleeding and ruin Pete’s day. THIS was a good episode.

As a bonus, here’s an outtake from this episode in which Taco goes looking for his weapon.

Memorable Lines from Episode 3

RUXIN: “Is there a ‘How to Hide Your Glaring Lack of Knowledge from Your Friends For Dummies’? Because that’s the one you should’ve bought.”

ANDRE: “You guys might find this interesting.”
RUXIN: “Well, I think that’s an assumption.”

TACO: “I’m black on the inside.”
RUXIN: “What are you in here?” [Points at head]
TACO: “A race car driver!”
KEVIN: “What lap are you on?”
TACO: “33.”

PETE: “I mean, it’s basically like a public bathroom. Do I know people have been in there? Sure. But I like to pretend I’m the first.”

RUXIN: “Yeah, well, my wish was for a house in Nantucket and the respect of my peers, but we get what we get!”

RUXIN: “So you’re saying Kevin’s beautiful cock is tearing you up inside?”

ANDRE: “You are looking at a man with a life partner.”

ANDRE: “The one thing you can’t fix: Ugly penis.”

Looking ahead at the next episode: I hope we get Jenny back in the mix, and I actually wouldn’t mind a little Rafi, as long as he doesn’t hijack the episode. At least I noticed his absence in this one. Episode 3 was great and hit all the highlights of what made Season 1 kick ass. We’re going to have a good season…as long as that “The League” curse doesn’t get us all…

And for the sake of hilariousness, I’m throwing in the “Crap and a Mint” scene from last week. Crap and a mint!

[ Jump to Episode 4: "The Kluneberg" ]

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