On July 5, the television program known as “Seinfeld” turned 25 years old. In 2014, July 5 fell on Saturday, but in 1989, it was Wednesday — which means (kind of) that it was on this night 25 years ago that one of the greatest and most successful television shows of all time was introduced to America.
Unfortunately, I’m not paid to write about Seinfeld — only Boston sports. But I can write about Seinfeld if I’m also writing about Boston sports so that’s what we have here.
A 25-point tribute to Seinfeld, through the prism of the last 25 years of Boston sports.
10 Jerry “Girlfriends” As Boston Sports Personalities
1. Episode: The Gymnast
Girlfriend: Katya is a Romanian gymnast, a silver medal winner in the 1984 Olympics, and Kramer convinces Jerry to sleep with her (and thus commit to the relationship) by showing him a tape of Katya competing — “A gymnast, Jerry. Think of the flexibility.”
Jerry follows through but walks away disappointed: “There was nothing gymnastic about it.
Katya is Carl Crawford.
2. Episode: The Strike
Girlfriend: Gwen, a beautiful woman Jerry meets at Tim Whatley’s Hannukah party, and asks out on a date. Only problem is that when they meet, she’s no longer beautiful. Next time he sees her? Gorgeous. Time after that? Hideous. Gwen is a two-face.
Gwen is Jeff Green.
3. Episode: The Implant
Girlfriend: Sidra, played Teri Hatcher. Elaine and Jerry speculate that she has fake breasts. Elaine does some hands-on research, declares them as fake and Jerry calls it quits.
“Well then, that's it. That's the end of that.”
”What? Just 'cause of that?”
“Just 'cause of that? It's like finding out Mickey Mantle corked his bat!”
Sidra is David Ortiz, but the episode isn’t over. For now, let’s just assume that what happened last October was real and spectacular.
4. Episode: The Chaperone
Girlfriend: Karen, AKA Miss Rhode Island, who Jerry meets at a baseball game, woos with some smooth goofy Jerry humor, and asks her on a date. The only catch is that, per Miss America rules, she needs a chaperone. Kramer steps in, keeps her on a super-short leash and the relationship fizzles out.
Karen is Tyler Seguin. Kramer is Claude Julien.
5. Episode: The Good Samaritan
Girlfriend: Angela, who Jerry meets after witnessing a hit-and-run and following the perpetrator in his car. When he catches up, he realizes that the heartless criminal is a beautiful woman, and instead of reporting her, he asks her out.
Angela is Rodney Harrison — suspended for HGH? But he’s so good! Let’s never talk about it again.
6. Episode: The Burning
Girlfriend: Sophie. Jerry calls Sophie on the phone, she mistakes him for her friend “Rafe” and reveals that she’s yet to tell “Jerry” about the Tractor Story. This leads to an episode’s worth of speculation over what this “tractor story” could possibly be.
Sophie is Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Tractor Story is the Gyroball and in both cases the result was gonorrhea.
7. Episode: The Opposite
Girlfriend: Rachel, Jerry’s longest relationship on the show — spanning four episode. In the two-part episode “The Raincoats”, Rachel is the girl Jerry makes out with during Schindler’s List. In “The Hamptons”, she’s the one who sees George’s shrinkage. And in “The Opposite”, she breaks up with Jerry, but Jerry doesn’t care because he’s Even Steven.
He says, “It's fine. Anyway, it's been really nice dating you for a while. And uh good luck!” and then walks away singing “She'll be coming around the mountain…”
Rachel is Paul Pierce — and I say that with all the respect in the world for Pierce. That was a long, meaningful relationship. One of the longest on record. But when it was time to walk away, the Celtics felt good about their chances of landing on their feet. They were Even Stevens. (sorry)
8. Episode: The Seven
Girlfriend: Christie, who keeps wearing the same dress over and over . . . and over and over.
Christie is Dan Shaughnessy.
9. Episode: The Van Buren Boys
Girlfriend: Ellen, played by Christine Taylor, is a normal, nice, fun and attractive girl who Jerry likes a lot. Really likes. Which for Jerry is very unusual. Only problem, as it turns out, is that she’s kind of a loser.
Ellen is Nomar Garciaparra.
10. Episode: The Calzone
Girlfriend: Nicki, who’s incredibly beautiful and uses her powers to get anything she wants. She gets tickets to a supposedly sold out show. She gets Jerry out of a speeding ticket.
Nicki is equal parts Willie McGee, Sam Cassell and Popeye Jones. Just can’t say no to those faces.
(Note: Still feeling pretty bad about that Nomar line.)
Seven* Famous Costanza Quotes:
1. “Just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.” — George, in “The Beard”, pumping up Danny Ainge on the eve of every NBA offseason.
2. “I just can’t believe the way people are. What is it with humanity? What kind of a world do we live in?” — George, in “The Chinese Restaurant”, after hearing about the Bruins massive hike in season ticket prices.
3. “I think it moved.” — George, in “The Note”, describing Shaquille O’Neal’s tenure with the Celtics.
4. “Yeah, I’m a great quitter. It’s one of the few things I do well. I come from a long line of quitters. My father was a quitter, my grandfather was a quitter… I was raised to give up.” — George, in “The Old Man”, giving a motivational speech to Josh Beckett.
5. “I invented it's not you, it's me. Nobody tells me it's them, not me. If it's anybody it's me!” — George, in “The Lip Reader”, after being released by Bill Belichick five days before the start of the NFL season.
6. "It's more like a full-body dry heave set to music." — George, in “The Little Kicks”, describing Hideo Nomo’s wind-up.
7. “I-I-I-I-I got it!!!!!” — George, in “The Switch”, before pitching the trade that saved the Red Sox in August 2012.
*For his favorite number (and name).
Five Seinfeld Re-casts:
1. The Wiz: The Wiz is Wes Welker because Wes Welker is the Wiz.
2. Bob Sacamano: Kramer’s friend and confidant who’s never seen, but whose hair-brained schemes and products — the off-brand “Willards” that ruin Morty Seinfeld condo election; the defective condoms that give George a pregnancy scare; the rat hair hat that Elaine buys to save her job — often result in disaster.
Anyway, Bob Sacamano is Red Sox marketing guru Charles Steinberg.
3. Jimmy: The superior athlete that Jerry, George and Kramer meet at the health club. He solely refers to himself in the third person and he’s obviously Red Sox great Ricky Henderson.
4. Lloyd Braun: A childhood friend of George’s who was always better adjusted, better looking and more successful than George. He was a favorite of Estelle Constanza, who couldn’t help but constantly ask George: “Why can't you be more like Lloyd Braun?"
Lloyd Braun is Tom Brady, and George is every Patriots quarterback after Brady retires.
5. Sally Weaver: A friend of George’s fiancée (and played by Kathy Griffin), Weaver feels spurned by the way she’s been treated by Jerry and makes headlines with her one woman show dedicated to tearing him to shreds.
Sally Weaver is Ron Borges.
Three Best Episodes
1. The Contest: Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer compete to see who will be the first to learn the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. Elaine gets better odds because the only basketball player she’s heard of is Cheryl Miller’s younger brother. (Spoiler: They all commit suicide before the first commercial)
2. The Bottle Deposit: A two-part episode in which Jeremy and Charlie Jacobs head out on a wacky journey to max profit on their collection of empty Mellow Yellows. Along the way, they see John Henry’s stolen corvette, with Josh Beckett’s priceless golf clubs sticking out the back.
3. The Voice: Jerry and George start a weird inside joke where they pretend that Jerry’s girlfriend’s stomach can talk. “I picture it sounding just like Dino Radja,” Jerry says, and starts screaming “Helllllloo!!” in a deep Croatian accent. Meanwhile, Kramer and his assistant Darren Bragg set out to change the sports world with a new line of football helmets lined with marshmallows.
And that’s all for now. See you in 25 years.
P.S. You think people will still be using napkins in 2039, or is this whole mouth vacuum thing for real?
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