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Weekend Warm-up: Bayern Munich needs Robert Lewandowski more than ever; Appreciating the 25th anniversary of Happy Gilmore; Bundesliga predictions; and MORE!

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The next couple of games are going to require a special effort from Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Tigres UANL - FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 Photo by Gaston Szerman/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

It’s hard to ask any more from Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski than he is already giving, but somehow the Bavarians need to go to the well once again.

Lewandowski is in the midst of a historic season with 30 goals and eight assists in 29 games across all competitions. The Polish Hitman has 25 goals in 20 Bundesliga alone and is on pace to break Gerd Muller’s longstanding goal-scoring record from the 1971/1972 season.

Now, though, with the team so banged up, Bayern Munich will need to lean on Lewandowski even more. With teammates felled by a variety of ailments and illnesses, Lewandowski will be needed to provide the majority of the offensive power over the next two games — against two very quality opponents in Eintracht Frankfurt and Lazio.

Surely, Lewandowski is looking across the pitch at his high-scoring rivals and readying himself to show once again, why he is the world’s best striker. Die Adler features Andre Silva and Luka Jovic, while Lazio, of course, has high-scoring forward Ciro Immobile as the focal point of its offense.

FC Bayern Muenchen v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga
Robert Lewandowski’s latest goal-scoring celebration is not as cool as the “X”, but he’s been so good he can do whatever he wants.
Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Silva’s status for this weekend’s Bundesliga fixture might be in doubt, but Adi Hütter has the luxury of breaking out Jovic to test the sometimes shaky Bayern Munich backline. As for Lazio, Immobile was the one player on Earth who outscored Lewandowski last season, so Lewandowski, no doubt, is going to be looking to light up the Serie A squad.

Games like these are where Lewandowski earns his lofty reputation. When the team is scuffling and the roster is hurt, Hansi Flick needs to throw the “fists coming together” signal (not his best goal celebration...give me the “X” any day) up in the sky like a makeshift Commissioner Gordon. Flick needs his own hero to come save the day — or even the next week — and that man is Lewandowski.


Throwback Classic: Happy Gilmore

The Adam Sandler classic Happy Gilmore celebrated the 25th anniversary of its release earlier this week and two of the film’s stars — Sandler and Christopher McDonald — had a little fun on social media to commemorate the event.

Ben Stiller, who played the evil retirement home worker who used the elderly like he was running a sweatshop, even chimed in and captured the the sneaky tone of his character:

Finally, the retort from Shooter McGavin himself was fantastic:

While I’ve discussed the roller coaster nature of Sandler’s career in this space before, Happy Gilmore is a certified classic with almost too many fantastic moments and one-liners to reference.

Coming off the heels of Billy Madison, which hit the mark with the young adult crowd in its video release (remember videos?), people were a little excited for Happy Gilmore. Still, Sandler’s fame from Saturday Night Live and his fine work on Billy Madison (1995) only had a small, cult-like following at the time — which really did not translate to box office success.

Happy Gilmore (1996) took that cult and blew it right up. The word-of-mouth from video rentals made the flick legendary. Being in college at the time (yes, I’m old!), there was literally no better move for killing time than to sit back, crack a beer, and watch with a bunch of friends.

What makes Happy Gilmore so good is the relatively innocent nature of the movie. Sure, there is somewhat foul language, but it’s done in such a way that it’s too damn natural for even the biggest prudes to be offended.

More, Sandler did not overwhelm audiences with his persona. While he was loud, boisterous, and maybe even a little obnoxious at times, it was all done in such a way that it played off the other fine actors who helped make the film a classic:

  • Carl Weathers as one-handed, golf pro Chubbs Peterson.
  • Julie Bowen as Virginia Venit.
  • Frances Bay as Grandma.
  • Ben Stiller as Hal L., the evil retirement home worker.

Some of my random personal moments from Happy Gilmore include:

  • Happy asking his young caddy (Jared Van Snellenberg), “Where were you on that one dipsh!t?” after the caddy doesn’t help him with his golf etiquette.
  • The Bob Barker brawl (one of the funniest scenes from any sports-related movie ever). Here is a fantastic interview that was done onsite with Sandler and Barker:
  • The random kid who tried to emulate Happy in the batting cage and gets knocked over when he eats a pitch.
  • Happy Gilmore begging Chubbs Peterson to help him out: “I’m stupid. You’re smart. I was wrong. You were right. You’re the best. I’m the worst. You’re very good-looking. I’m not attractive.”
  • The shirt worn by Richard Kiel who was part of the Happy Gilmore fan group following him at the “Tour Championship.”
  • This exchange by one of the retirement home women and Hal L.:

Elderly woman: “My fingers hurt.”

Hal L.: “Oh, well, now your back’s gonna hurt, ‘cause you just pulled landscaping duty.”

What I can say about the movie most is that it is just a lot of fun. The plot is simple, but entertaining, the actors are great in delivering the humor, and it consistently offers laughs throughout. I re-watched it again and still laughed just as hard as I did 25 years ago.

In the end, when you watch a comedy, you want to be entertained and you want to laugh...a lot. For me, Happy Gilmore did the job 25 years ago and it still does today. If you somehow have not seen this and enjoy a little dumb comedy, you need to put this on your watchlist. If you haven’t seen it a while, you should do the same.


Predictions

The injury gods have hammered Bayern Munich of late and a trip to Deutsche Bank Park is probably not exactly what the doctor order for the Bavarians. Here is the list of players unavailable at the time this was posted:

  • Thomas Muller (COVID-19)
  • Benjamin Pavard (COVID-19)
  • Serge Gnabry (injury)
  • Tanguy Nianzou (injury)
  • Corentin Tolisso (injury)
  • Douglas Costa (injury)
  • Alexander Nubel (injury)

More, Leon Goretzka is coming off of COVID-19 and a calf injury, while Javi Martinez (COVID-19) and Jerome Boateng (personal) could also be limited, but are expected to be available.

All of this — plus a red-hot Eintracht Frankfurt side — makes for a very dangerous fixture for the Bavarians.

Die Adler has their own injury issues as Andre Silva’s status is in doubt, but have been excellent of late. Eintracht Frankfurt has eight wins and two draws in its last 10 games and has been playing extremely well.

Defender David Abraham might not be around any longer to harass Bayern Munich’s offense, but Obite N’Dicka has a dynamic knack for getting under the skin of the opposition with his sometimes reckless play.

There is nothing about this contest that will be easy.

Regardless, Hansi Flick is going to roll out a makeshift lineup of some sort, but Bayern Munich needs a win and some positivity heading into its Champions League showdown with Lazio.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 2, Eintracht Frankfurt 1

Other Bundesliga predictions include:

  • Arminia Bielefeld 1-3 Wolfsburg
  • Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 Mainz 05
  • FC Köln 1-2 VfB Stuttgart
  • SC Freiburg 3-2 Union Berlin
  • Schalke 04 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
  • FC Augsburg 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen
  • Hertha Berlin 0-2 RB Leipzig
  • Hoffenheim 2-1 Werder Bremen

Prediction Records

All of those draws hurt last week, but somehow did not kill me. My head is just barely above water at this point. Let’s hope for a big week!

Last Bundesliga match day record: 4-5

Overall record: 99-98*

Guest predictors’ record: 22-4

(*includes DFL-Supercup, DFB-Pokal, and Champions League)