I, Michael, take thee, Todd…


Imagine yourself a little less than six months in the future. August 7, 2010, to be exact. You’re standing on a pristine waterfall, a more perfect location can’t possibly exist. Standing next to you is an impossibly beautiful woman. Looking at her convinces you that the only thing you’ve been placed on this Earth for was to love her until you take your last breath. You’re surrounded by the most important people in your life — and hers. A life together, with this young lady, is more than you’ve ever deserved. There is absolutely nothing that can ruin this moment.

Oh wait, yes there is.

Just as the officiant is getting to the “we’re gathered here today” jazz, your pocket nearly catches fire. Your device of choice, a BlackBerry, is literally burning a hole in your jacket. Everyone you’ve ever met (that isn’t in attendance, of course) — and some fine folks you haven’t had the pleasure yet — are simultaneously e-mailing, texting, calling, and tweeting you. It distracts from this better-than-perfect scene.

A peek can’t hurt, right? After all, it has to be important. Everyone knows this is your wedding day. Perhaps someone got lost on the way…or your roommate from college, who moved halfway across the planet, has landed in Pennsylvania and can’t wait to meet your bride…or there’s a medical emergency with a family member that couldn’t make it. “Do you, Michael, take this woman….”


Not at all an appropriate response to a question you’ve been waiting to be asked for five years. The only words you’ve thought of since your first date on New Years Day 2006 were “I do.” They were not, in fact, “oh you gotta be fucking kidding me.”

Any of the above scenarios (except for, perhaps, the family emergency) would have been better than what your pocket told you. A phone call from Disch, a text message from Hollis, a BlackBerry message from Casey, an e-mail from Natalie, a Gmail chat message from Ellen, a Swedegian comment from Andy, something jailsexy from JJ, an official press release from Christy, a comment from Mauvais, a super quick blog post from Drew, analysis from Saler, a tweet from Kris, comments from TPL regulars Osrt, Baroque, Krononymous, btok, beanie, and WingedUP, a Skype request from Kiernicki, a hilarious one-word comment from Herm, a DM from Maria, an e-mail of allegiance from Tyler, a tweet from Gander, an e-mail from Jen MacRostie and her brilliant hubby, a Simpsons-fueled tweet from Marlon, identical simultaneous comments from Nurse Nitz and Sara, an e-mail from Kyle, tweets from Kalyn, Vicky, Will, Sara, Christine, Rob, Jeff, JessieAdrienne, Captain Norris, Serven and a trio of awesome Jenns.

Forty-three messages. All at the same time. They say it differently, but it could mean only one thing: the Detroit Red Wings have signed Todd Bertuzzi to a contract extension. Two years, no less.

For a man with such awful timing — be it picking the moment to be penalized for something completely unnecessary in the offensive zone, falling down while crossing the blueline, or delivering a no-look spin pass — Tuzz sure knows the right moments to kick you in the nuts. The most important day of your life, inches from the woman of your dreams, surrounded by those who love you most. He knows everyone’s eyes will be on the two of you, and you’ve never been very good at masking your hate.

Will you even be able to enjoy the rest of your day? Will the slip-and-slide at the reception still be fun? Will the photobooth capture only looks of dispair? Can you even enjoy the mini-kegs of birch beer and Faygo you’ve had shipped into the mountains? Something tells me you won’t. Not with a lumbering oaf infiltrating your mind and figuratively climbing onto your back – a latter of which severely cuts down on your ability to boogie to the Michael Jackson medley you’ve carefully mixed. Oh, Todd… he’s made it so that you can no longer enjoy P.Y.T. And that’s not okay. That’s not okay at all.

But mark my words: that’s how it’s going to go down. You can no longer convince yourself that Mantuzzi hasn’t found his way to your little corner of the internet, and read every single word you’ve said about him — be it bad or very bad. He’s carefully coordinated the announcement of this extension. In fact, chances are good that he put pen to paper way back in June or July. But why waste a perfectly good opportunity to absolutely burn you — on the one day you vowed that nothing could ruin?

A message comes to your inbox, attributed only to TB44. Six words long, but with as much weight as any that were spoken today — including “I now pronounce you husband and wife,” various toasts given by fathers and grandfathers, and family members warmly welcoming your gorgeous bride to the family in their native Italian. Six words that will live with you forever.

“Consider this my wedding present, asshole.”