Eastbound And Down
Credit: Fred Norris/HBO

The sensational New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin picked up two major wins in the past 24 hours. One was the impressive athletic victory over reigning NBA champs Dallas Mavericks Sunday afternoon; the other was on the pop culture field, when Saturday Night Live used its cold open to address the good and bad aspects of America’s ongoing Linsanity.

But as Lin’s fellow sports star Kenny Powers might say, “f— all that noise.” While the Knicks can kick back tonight, Kenny’s Myrtle Beach Mermen will make their debut tonight on Eastbound & Down‘s season 3 premiere — and just in time, too.

HBO’s dark, dementedly hilarious baseball comedy has been off the air since the fall of 2010, and during its absence, a new crop of athletic boldfaced names have invaded the cultural landscape. Tim Tebow, whose Jesus-thanking ways became SNL fodder, was all but unavoidable, and Lin’s nice-guy, underdog-from-Harvard persona has the nation swooning.

Which is fine. But last PopWatch checked, neither of those players have ever drunkenly pantomimed giving birth to a soccer ball in the middle of a baseball game, or become a star cockfighting coach, or rocked both a mullet and dreadlocks.

Danny McBride’s Powers (known to fans as “The People’s Champion,” “The Shelby Sensation,” “The Reverse Apache Master,” “The Man with the Golden D—,” “Doctor C–k and Balls,” “La Flama Blanca,” and “The Bulletproof Tiger”) has done all those things, and that’s why we need him now more than ever. Without the rude, boastful, racist, sexist, steroid-abusing, coke-snorting Kenny Powers, there are no Tim Tebows or Jeremy Lins; the bad players make the good ones look better.

Unfortunately, tonight’s episode of Eastbound begins what is likely to be the pitcher’s last season in the game (at least until an Eastbound movie is announced). So let’s take a night off from our collective Linsanity and give in to the sports world’s favorite anti-hero, “Kenny F—ing Powers.”

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Eastbound and Down

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