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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bad idea-- my predictions for the first round

WHY AM I DOING THIS? This is just inviting me to be stupid but, here goes:

Western Conference
Milwaukee vs Iowa>> Iowa in an upset, 6 games.
Houston vs Peoria>> The Aeros get shot down. Rivermen in 5
Grand Rapids vs Toronto>> GR has an easy time of it, blowing the baby leaves away in 5
Syracuse vs Manitoba>> A tough series, but the Moose crush Syracuse in 7

Eastern Conference
Portland vs Providence>> The former Ducks rape the P-Bruins in 4
Hartford vs Manchester>> Wolfpack in 6. A wild guess on this one.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton vs Bridgeport>> The Tigers are still chillin', Pens in 4
Hershey vs Norfolk>> The Eastern Sads are on a roll, but can't overcome the Bears. Chocolate Bears smear them in 6

A few other hockey notes. There is a great video on the hockeyfights site. I watched it several times, laughing each time.

The roster for the Ice Hogs was announced today. As I alluded, Bob Nardella is not taking the ice with the Hogs in their playoff bid. I've heard Bob is retiring from hockey, though I've also heard he wants some time off to recuperate and has an offer from the Italian team.

Billy Tibbetts, however, is playing for the Ice Hogs in the playoffs. That should give the Hogs a big boost. Tibbetts has been suspended indefintely by the AHL following a slashing in the game, Friday, against Milwaukee. The Ice Hogs are an affiliate of the Milwaukee Admirals. On the Milwaukee line-up that night were two other Ice Hog players: Robin Big Snake and Nathan Lutz. I was on the road on Friday night, and missed the game. However, this line-up did lead to some discussion in our car speculating whether Big Snake and Tibbetts would have a go, though they are team mates.

B2 will be carrying the UHL and AHL games, except those from Fort Wayne. The Komets have not participated in the B2 arrangement. Unlike the Wolves, where all the games are broadcast in an exclusive arrangement with Comcast, the Komets have made a Bill Wirtzian decision to black-out all home games.

Arena Digest is one of the best sites on the web for strange news and stories about the background of the sports business. Here are two stories from this week that demonstrate the worth of this site:

Steeldogs to wear Bible-themed jerseys during AF2 game
April 12

For the first time in sports history, a professional franchise will wear Bible-themed jerseys during a game. On Saturday, May 5th, the Birmingham Steeldogs arena football team will don jerseys with the name of Bible hero SAMSON embroidered on the front as they take on the Louisville Fire at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. Specific Bible chapter and verse references will be created by combining the names and numerals on the backs of each player. The jerseys have been produced to replicate the Steeldogs regular game jerseys. Samson replaces Steeldogs across the chest, in reference to the Old Testament hero renowned for his incredible strength. On the back of the jerseys, instead of having the player’s last name, it will be replaced by a book of the Bible. The number on the jersey will correspond to a chapter and verse of that particular book.

It takes a mullet to fill an arena
April 12

Most people charged with filling an 18,000-seat arena with basketball fans would think big. Scotty Adams thinks long. Specifically, he thinks short on the top and long in the back -- the classic mullet. Mullet Madness was also by far the most fully articulated theme night of Adams’ career, a masterpiece of theme realization. It began with the mullets -- Adams found a Chinese source for copper-colored mullet wigs, featuring a sort of a church-lady permanent curl on top and a long, stringy cascade of hair in the back, for $1.50 a piece. He bought about 1,200, and gave them out to the first 1,000 fans to arrive.
But as with most masterpieces, there were homages to the Old Masters. The very idea of luring sports fans by celebrating the mullet hairstyle came from a hockey team up North; hockey players are known for the tail of hair sticking out from the back of their helmets, a classic mullet signifier.

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