The obligatory Minnesota connection rears its pious head in the form of Russell and Cyndi, who are "high school sweethearts from Minnesota." Where in Minnesota? Eh, doesn't matter. It's all the same. Eveleth, Minneapolis, Austin, International Falls, Moorhead...whatever, it's all freakin' fly-over territory, right? (Eye roll.) Russell has really creepy hair with that mostly-shaved-except-the-flat-top thing going, and normally I'd think this pegged him as a military guy, but in fact, he's a pastor. Actually, they're both pastors. They go on to explain that although they're not quite praying for the smiting of the other teams, they certainly hope for a little Holy Help, if you know what I mean. Somehow, I suspect that the Big Guy has better things to do, but what do I know? Anyway, they're giving me kind of a creepy vibe. Not because they like God, mind you, but just because.
Peggy and Claire are grandmas and friends. They've decided to christen themselves the "Gutsy Grannies," which is certainly the last time you're going to hear that name used around here. That? Is a terrible nickname. Too cute, too self-congratulatory, too much. I'm tempted to go with Team Efferdent just to spite them. Furthermore, they have monogrammed sweaters that say "GG#1" and "GG#2." I wish I were joking. The clothes are like low-rent homemade Guido-wear, and that is not a compliment.
Gary and Dave. Okay, I have a confession to make. Do you remember literally the first thing I ever said about Esquire? I said, "I swear, I've met these guys in bars four hundred thousand times." Here's the confession: What an enormous pile of crap that was. Yeah, get me, the self-assured cosmopolitan flirt, all, "If I had a nickel for every time a ridiculously polite model/attorney has harassed me while I'm just trying to drink my Sam Adams in peace..." Man, I never meet Esquire in bars. I meet THESE GUYS in bars. In bars, at parties, at Barnes & Noble, at Starbucks, at the video store, sitting at red lights...this kind of tiresome, self-congratulatory pipsqueak is literally everywhere, which is probably part of why I hate them so, so, so much. Furthermore, they have Knit Hats Of Unbelievable And Intolerable Sucking, which are monogrammed with a "G" and a "D." Gary tells us in a voice-over (while they look at computers in what, oddly enough, looks a lot like Esquire's apartment from the TAR1 credits) that they "barely tolerate each other." (That much I can certainly believe.) Dave says there's "respect and understanding." Gary says they're going to do "everything short of a felony" to win. Thanks, Gary, for that spontaneous moment of humor, brought to us by the notes you probably have written on your hand in permanent marker about all the witty things you intend to say. Prick. (Miss Alli's Mom: "They don't even strike me as funny -- just like a lot of pathetic nerds I've known who amuse themselves and each other and NOBODY else.")
Mary and Peach. Peach is kind of a flake, you can tell immediately, because grown women do not wear double-ponytails for the first day of anything. Once you're established, you can wear them. But on the first day? At her age? No. Mary, on the other hand, looks smart. Peach says she does whatever Mary says, and it looks like that's why Peach is still alive. Mary says Peach has been "catered to," and that's about to stop. No more baby quiches for you, Peachy, and put down those crab puffs.