First of all, another enormous congratulations to all of you for (once again) winning the SB Nation NHL commenting war! For the third year running we're at the top. And since they've only been counting for three years, we've been winning since they started keeping track.
Now for the moment you all have been waiting for ... The third annual Blueshirt Banter Awards!! This year the awards aired on the Blueshirt Banter Network (we're growing the brand) but since we don't have a TV deal yet we're going to let you all know how it went down here:
If you needed a reminder, the 2014 Banties went ... well they happened. Revisit the love there. Now let's get back to this year's awards:
[Award music is playing loudly in the background as host Joe Fortunato walks onto the stage of Radio City Music Hall. The crowd goes insane as he waves to them, with many women screaming as he signs autographs for the first row.]
Joe: Hello, hello and welcome to the third annual Banties awards!!
[Crowd goes crazy. Joe waits for them to calm down before speaking again.]
Joe: Today is a wonderful day. A day where we get to shine the spotlight on the community members who did the best work this year! And also a day where you all get to marvel at my various outfits -- all of them selected by my personal stylist. His name is Henrik Lundqvist, maybe you've heard of him?
[Crowd erupts in enormous laughter. A few people pass out from laughing so hard.]
Tony [loudly, from the crowd]: You made that joke last year!
Joe: Shut your filthy mouth, you peasant! [Realizing the cameras are still rolling.] Erm, I mean, Tony Viola everyone!
[Scattered applause from the confused crowd.]
Joe [tugging on his collar]: Anyway, let's get to the awards!
PA Announcer: This year Blueshirt Banter will once again give out four awards. Top commenter, top FanPosts, top FanShots and the overall Bantie for most dominant performance.
Joe: Alright, guys, who is ready for the first Bantie???
[Crowd goes insane.]
Joe: The award for most FanPosts goes to [dramatic drum-roll] Blueshirts fan for 50 with 17!!!!
[Crowd gives 50 a standing ovation as he walks up to the stage to accept his award. As he's walking to the stage he begins handing out warnings to people in the crowd. At one point he bans a troll who simply vanishes from existence. Everyone is stunned but continues to clap out of fear.]
PA Announcer: This is 50's first Bantie award with a dominant performance. 50 had 17 FanPosts, while Antoine Vermette (11), feslenraster (9) came in second and third while Visions of future Shump, newyork77, NY Fan in Delaware, BlackTaurus, Neil_T, ttoretto and albabynyr all came in a tie with seven each.
[50 walks up to the stage and accepts the award with a smile. He walks up to the mic for his speech and puts on a pair of glasses before pulling out a piece of paper. He takes a deep breath, clears his throat and leans into the mic.]
50: Screw you, Tony.
[The crowd goes crazy as 50 exits the stage. Tony is torn between continuing to pad his 2016 comments and attacking 50, eventually settling to yelling at him furiously from his seat while commenting on his phone.]
Joe: Thank you, that was great. And now we move on to the next award, the award for top FanShots.
[Crowd claps as a screen behind Joe plays a montage of someone creating a FanShots. Except it's a very boring video so its spruced up with explosions and fire. Everyone is confused.]
Joe: Yes, yes, very exciting! And the Bantie for FanShots goes to ... 50!!!
PA Announcer: This is 50's second Bantie award. This year 50 crushed the competition with 123 FanShots. Jimmy Sheridan (3) and Rags2Richezzz (2) came in second and third while ttoretto, mmadamimad, King Cannon Fodder and Chris McShane all tied with one each.
[50 looks up in embarrassment as he was rubbing his ankles with Bengay to relieve them from the short walk to the stage. The camera pans to him without shoes or socks on trying to hide it before getting onto the stage barefoot. He slips on the stage with the Bengay to Tony's immense pleasure. He accepts the award and realizes he left the other Bantie on the floor of the aisle and runs after it. The crowd starts laughing until 50 stars banning them one after another until security stops him and escorts him back to his seat.]
Joe: And now the award you've all been waiting for, the top commenter award!!
[Crowd goes nuts. Tony is already standing and beginning to shake hands with people as he walks down the aisle.]
Joe: Yes, as you can see, it's once again Tony!
[Tony begins running to what everyone thinks is the stage, but he is actually running towards the bathroom. The crowd anxiously waits as he's done and he walks onto the stage.]
Tony: Being 87 has its drawbacks.
PA Announcer: This is Tony's third straight commenter Bantie this year coming in with 27,639. Antoine Vermette (14,993) and Caerid11 (14,390) put up a good fight. Blueshirts fan for 50 (11,521), Rocky Balboa Ranger (10,404), MikeNJ_NYR (9,602), NY Fan In Delaware (9,580), kkeller72 (8,673), PaddyRichard (7,058) and omgrodnick (6,562) all have honorable mentions.
[Tony approaches the mic for his victory speech.]
Tony: I would like to take my time today to talk to you about a bigger conspiracy I believe is plaguing this fine website, the lac of recs on my comments!
Tony: I believe that people are intentionally not rec'ing my posts OR EVEN WORSE, Joe has somehow formulated some computer program to take recs away from me! This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed now! I don't post so much for the fun of it you youngsters? You have any idea how hard it was for me to even learn how to use one of these computers? I do it for the recs! I want recs! I NEED recs! GIVE ME WHAT'S MINE!
[Joe pushes Tony off the stage as he continues to yell. At one point he actually tries to go into the crowd to demand they rec him more individually before security escorts him to his seat.]
Joe: And now for the overall Bantie given to the most dominant performance in 2015 ......
[Crowd hushes in anticipation.]
Joe: This year the award goes to someone who absolutely crushed the competition. It wasn't even close, to be honest. It is probably the most dominant performance we have ever seen on Blueshirt Banter. It goes to ... 50! For his 123 FanShots when the next closest person had just three!
[50 Stands up to accept the award until he's tackled by Tony. The two scuffle in the aisle as Tony demands he receive the award. Eventually MikeNJ_NYR goes in to break them up yelling "no fight all love." Mike Murphy, at the sight of them crying, stops writing about the Riveters long enough to yell "everyone love everyone." Eventually 50 gets up on the stage to accept the award.]
50: Joe Fortunato, everyone! Thank God he's better at speaking than spelling!
[Joe attacks 50 as the curtain comes down on the stage and the crowd gives everyone a standing ovation. Tony, from the crowd, begins trying to steal people's phones to force them to rec his comments before the police come in and turn off the lights.]
Thanks again for a great 2015, everyone! It was a great year that saw unprecedented growth for us. Here's to a much better 2016!! Let's go Rangers!