the Florida International-Miami football brawl for about
the 50th time on YouTube last week – is there no better
way to prove one’s manhood then by getting a half
dozen of your buddies to beat down a defenseless kicker?
– one question lingered in my head.
OK, two questions lingered. The first was,
isn’t it pointless to blindly throw roundhouse punches
at the heads of guys wearing helmets? Well, unless you’re
Chuck Norris. The second, more pressing question was, When
is something like this going to happen in college hockey?
Oh, it’s going to happen. Someone takes
a cheap shot at a guy, or two bitter rivals get together,
or a referee completely loses control of a game and a donnybrook
will invariably ensue. Heck, it’s happened before
– Michigan State was involved in three memorable melees
in the ’90s.
the problem, or problems: One, technology guarantees footage
of such a brawl will be on ESPN in a matter of hours. Second,
once America is exposed to said footage, it’ll cause
a plethora of media types who’ve seen no more than
two hockey games in their lives (either the Miracle on Ice
or game seven of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals) to blast hockey
as an uncivilized game (as opposed to the aforementioned
football dust-up, which was pinned on the renegades athletes
at the ‘U’).
Hockey can be brutally violent, but
physical play is an important part of the equation. Here’s
hoping the game’s leaders at the college level are
prepared to deal with the inevitability of a brawl of similar
GRANDSON OF POLL POSITION
The call for voters in
an INCH fan poll generated fairly significant interest among
our readers. OK, the response didn’t crash my e-mail
inbox, but I heard from enough fans to put together a panel
of voters. The lucky ones are, in alphabetical order:
• Joe Berlinghieri
(Jersey City, N.J.): Joe works in Manhattan (the
borough, not the drink) and claims allegiance to schools
from which he attained his undergraduate and graduate degrees
– Providence (nice) and Michigan (I just threw up
in my mouth.)
Brecheisen (Omsk, Russia): A Minnesota fan. Odds
are if you write someone asking for something and you’re
from Omsk freaking Russia, you’re gonna get it.
Hy Brozinsky (La Jolla, Calif.): Noah, a Cornell
student, sent an impassioned e-mail about Big Red hockey
and the Lynah Faithful (both are overrated, but I digress.)
He’s in because his name reminds me of Kyle Broflovsky
from “South Park.”
• Tim Cavanaugh
(Somerville, Mass.): A BU fan living in the hometown
of ex-Maine standout Niko Dimitrakos. Though he loves the
Terriers, he promises to vote with his brain and not his
Chappelle (St. Joseph, Mich.): A 2005 Miami graduate,
he’s using frequent flyer miles to follow the RedHawks
to Fairbanks this season. How can I say no to that?
Donahue (Duluth, Minn.): A UMD fan who doesn’t
have cable. When he needs to watch games and his brother
(who has cable) isn’t around, he makes himself at
home in hotel lobbies and tunes in. I wish I were making
Grebe (Marquette, Mich.): A Wisconsin native currently
schooling at Northern Michigan. He's spending this weekend
in Madison for Bucky-BC hockey/Bucky-Illinois football game/Halloween
on State Street. If someone votes for the Rochester Amerks
in the first poll, it’s probably because Chris is
Hurd (Wayzata, Minn.): A BU student, I like his
east-west perspective, and that he’s a Minnesota kid
who left the state to go to college. The furthest east anyone
from my graduating class went for college was Wisconsin-Stevens
Libardoni (Burlington, Vt.): A UVM student who
roots for Catamounts. He says hockey always takes precedence
over schoolwork. Natch.
McGrath (Stoughton, Mass.): Our third BU fan and
one of two women on the panel. She was a lock until she
lobbed a profane e-mail in our direction earlier this week
(more on that below), but she still makes the cut.
• Tom Perkins
(Bowdoinham, Maine): Tom loves the Black Bears
and the Yankees. But a couple weeks ago when Maine was playing
Minnesota and the Yanks were playing the Tigers, he said
he’d gladly trade a hockey win for a baseball loss.
Ramage (Bemidji, Minn.): A BSU student, Chris says
he wants to represent the “little guy.” You
mean Karl Goehring?
“Sauce” Solemsaas (Mandan, N.D.): He’s
a Fighting Sioux fan who needs a break from the monotony
of teaching your kids. Have you ever been to Mandan? It’s
like Omsk, Russia, but colder and there’s less to
C. Wood (South Bend, Ind.): A Notre Dame fan, she
makes the cut because our group needs female representation
and I need a place to park when I come down for Fighting
Irish football games.
You’ll receive voting
instructions within the next couple of days. Maybe
I’ll be motivated enough to get this thing together
so we can release our first fan poll on Halloween.
Hey you a--holes finally got something
right ... putting Boston University ahead of Boston College
in the polls. I almost had a heart attack when you gave
BU the respect it really deserves. – Kellie McGrath;
See what I'm talking about here? Why does
BU deserve respect? For beating Northeastern and Merrimack?
For what seems like the millionth time, here's
my stance on BU and BC. I think when BU is at its best,
they're a very good team. When BC is at the top of its game,
however, they are a great team. Maybe the Terriers will
change my mind by the end of the season. But I doubt it.
Until then, stay classy, Comm Ave.
After listening to your Oct. 24
podcast, I have to say that I fell of my chair laughing
to your comment that all North Dakota fans are bitter. It
was hilarious because living in North Dakota, I couldn't
agree more that this area is bitter, and not just about
Sioux hockey. – Scott, Bismarck, N.D.
Normally, this is when I'd launch a bunch
of cracks about NoDak being flat and treeless, or mention
that the state capitol building is a freaking office
tower. But I'm completely obsessed with why North Dakotans
are a bitter, paranoid, defensive lot. For the love of Pete,
your most hated rival (Minnesota) lost a national tournament
game to a huge underdog (Holy Cross) less than a year ago
within your state's borders! Wasn't that like a
real-life version of the scene in Karate Kid when
Johnny from Cobra Kai got worked over by Mr. Miyagi?
Anyway, I've got theories about this, but
I'd rather hear from NoDak-ers themselves ... or anyone,
for that matter. Shoot
me an e-mail if you've got a theory of your own.
IT'S GOTTA GO SOMEWHERE...
If these notes somehow ended up in your dryer,
you'd eventually find them in the lint trap.
• Memo to college hockey: If saving
College Hockey America is a priority – and, honestly,
how long can the league last with just five members? –
then the game’s leadership needs to get in the ear
of the NCAA Executive Committee, which is entertaining the
possibility of allowing membership to Canadian schools.
|The University of British Columbia
Thunderbirds would like to join the NCAA.
According to an article in Thursday’s
Today, one of the Canadian institutions hot to join
the NCAA is St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, just
across the river from Detroit, home of Wayne State. How
The other school pressing NCAA membership
is the University of British Columbia, a school of 35,000
students located on the Pacific Ocean in Vancouver, North
America’s most beautiful city. Think a few teams wouldn’t
mind making that road trip? Think UBC could become a powerhouse
by mining that rich recruiting base in its backyard?
• I think I mentioned this on a recent
podcast, but as of 2 a.m. on Friday, October 27, 2006, two
of the top three rookie scorers in the National Hockey League
are former Denver defenseman Matt Carle (2-7—9 with
San Jose) and former Denver forward Paul Stastny (2-7—9
Even this early in the season, it’s
crazy to think that two of the top rookies in the NHL played
on the same college team last year. It’s even crazier
to think that team didn’t make the NCAA Tournament.
• Winning at Yost Ice Arena isn’t
rocket science. It’s far more difficult. Miami went
4,353 days between wins over Michigan in Ann Arbor –
the RedHawks’ last win at Yost prior to Friday’s
4-1 victory occurred was Nov. 18, 1994. In a 2005 article
in British newspaper The Guardian, Russian scientists predicted
a manned, round-trip trip to Mars would take 1,000 days.
|No one could look good in these
sweaters. Except maybe Tina Fey.
• It’s been a terrible year for
jersey debuts in the CCHA. The first sweater to raise hackles
among INCH staffers was Miami’s
white thirds with the Canadiens-esque red stripe around
the chest and a giant “M” on the chest.
(A note to sweater manufacturers worldwide:
If you want to put the Les Habitants stripe around
the jersey, fine. Just make sure the numbers aren't the
same color as the stripe so we can figure out who's who
on the ice. Gosh!)
Last Friday, we watched an Internet broadcast
of the Alaska Anchorage-Alaska game in which the
Nanooks’ powder-blue jerseys trimmed with gold
made the hosts look like they were wearing San Diego Charger
throwbacks. The low point, however, was Saturday, when Ohio
State donned grey thirds that can be best described as a
grey-and-red tube sock with sleeves. The Buckeyes earned
extra discredit for the lower-case font on the front of
the sweater and the nameplate. Blecch.
• Everyone knows that Tina Fey kicks
ass, but this just confirmed it. Early in the premiere of
her NBC comedy “30 Rock,” Fey’s character,
Liz Lemon, rushes into her office while talking to a colleague.
Hanging on the wall to the right of her desk – a hockey
stick. Wooden branch, too. It might’ve been Noah Welch’s.
likes lists. Sometimes, the Meaning-List will be relevant
to college hockey. Other times it’ll be, well, meaningless.
Songs You Should Check Out
Klaxons – “Not Over Yet”: Music
critics have dubbed The U.K. group’s sound, whose
debut album was released digitally Monday, “new
rave.” My music critiques typically take an Artist
A = Artist B + Artist C format (i.e. Justin Timberlake
= Michael Jackson + The Neptunes), but I can’t make
a fitting analogy for Klaxons.
DJ Lobsterdust – “Glass Octopus”:
I know mash-ups are so three years ago, but the twisted
genius who a) came up with the idea of mixing The Beatles’
“Octopus’ Garden” and Blondie’s
“Heart of Glass” and b) making it work deserves
Jay-Z – “Show Me What You Got”:
C’mon, did you really think Hova was done for good?
Silly you. Honestly, the rhymes aren’t that great
– I think I heard a Michael Jordan reference in
there – and the sax drop has been used in a million
tunes, but it’s got a nice old school vibe. As opposed
to, say, Jibbs’ “Chain Hang Low.”
Gwen Stefani – “Wind It Up”:
Full disclosure – No Doubt has been one of my favorite
bands since the “Tragic Kingdom” days, but
the solo Stefani stuff … not so much. Take this
cut from her soon-to-be-released second solo album that
answers the burning question, What would it sound like
if someone yodeled over a Fergie track?
Scissor Sisters – “I Don’t Feel
Like Dancin’”: Probably the world’s
only alterna-glam-disco band formed by two guys who met
while attending college in Kentucky. And one of the guys’
stage names is Babydaddy. Anyhoo, “Dancin’”
is a fun little ditty, kind of like if the Bee Gees recorded
a techno album.