Playoff beard not winning move

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ columnist

Whether personal or political, the things that came to my head for this column didn’t quite stretch into the space I must fill. So here’s a small shot of each:

• The playoff beard returned, and left.

Consistent fans of my column, which may or may not include more than me and my mother, remember 2007. It’s the last time the Buffalo Sabres made the playoffs, and the last time I grew a playoff beard. The rules are simple: Shave when the regular season ends. Don’t shave again until your team is eliminated or wins the Stanley Cup.

The playoffs started great for the Sabres, who defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1. Doubly good was the Game 1 loss for the Pittsburgh Penguins, allowing me to text my high school friend Thomas, “Soooooo, what happened to your Pittsburgh Penguins?”

Wins like that make it worth it when you’re the subject of “is he homeless” stares, and a great comment at a Clovis High baseball game, courtesy of Wildcat coach Greg Hill:

“Hey, Kevin, I can get you a razor and shaving cream? How do you expect to get a girl with that going on?”

To which, random CHS player adds, “That’s not why he can’t get a girl.” I would have done something, but fighting’s more than a five-minute penalty when I’m on the clock.

However, it’s not worth it when the wins don’t keep coming. The next five games went 4-1 in favor of Boston, and Monday saw elimination of the Sabres and my beard. And I texted Thomas before he could get it out. “0-for-20 on the power play, that’s what happened.”

• Last Tuesday, Arizona Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain promised to block federal immigration reform early last week unless they’re satisfied the borders are secure (moveable goal posts, available at various Wal-Mart locations throughout Arizona). Either one could singlehandedly thwart a filibuster threat.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law Friday a measure requiring officers to question anybody suspected of being an illegal immigrant. But don’t worry, the budget-challenged state will implement a program to quickly train 25,000 officers how to find illegal immigrants without just looking for Hispanics.

During the signing press conference, Brewer said, “We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act. But decades of federal inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation.” She did not necessarily add, “The decades of inaction include a Senate controlled by Republicans for 12 years, with John McCain and Jon Kyl serving that entire time in the majority, then blocking anything substantive once voters took control away from Republicans.”

So here’s the playbook. Step 1: Block federal legislation using both of your senators. Step 2: Pass overreaching law. Step 3: Claim federal inaction forced your hand. Step 4: Ignore Step 1.