July 15, 2003
Postcard: 15 Summer Ponderings

It's summertime, and a young man's thoughts turn to ... something other than hockey? Well, not often, but we do drift away occasionally. Here are 15 things that are on our mind as we try to get the air conditioning running again.

• What nicknames will incoming Princeton freshmen B.J. Mackasey and B.J. Sklapsky have so teammates can tell them apart? Their last names are even tricky with the hockey nickname formula, offered by my colleague Mike Eidelbes: To figure out a particular player's moniker, take the first syllable of his last name and tack on either "er" or a variation of "y" (including "ey", "sy" or "ie") at the end. For example, Minnesota's Troy Riddle becomes "Riddler" and Denver's Wade Dubielewicz is called "Dubie". More reliable than "i" before "e" except after "c".

• Wouldn’t a between-periods sausage race be even better on ice than on the bases? This absolutely, positively has to happen in Milwaukee in 2006 – and we implore Mike Eaves to introduce it sooner at Kohl Center.

• With Freddy Meyer signing a pro contract, who would be the next-most-likely college player to assault a sausage?

• How come our ATM cards know everything about our bank accounts, but still have to ask what language we speak?

• Is there any chance Bill Simmons – ESPN.com’s esteemed “Sports Guy” – will return to his hometown of Boston for the Frozen Four next April?

• Whether it’s the ballpark, the Dog Sled Saloon in Fairbanks, Alaska, or your local burger joint, is there anything bad you can say about a place that lets you throw peanut shells on the floor?

• Do you think Jason Sessa is at the InLine World Championship this week thinking, “Yup, this makes leaving college a year early worthwhile”?

• Given that he’s from Hastings, Minn. – also home to Jeff Taffe and Tom Sagissor – how is it that late-night talk show host Craig Kilborn’s one flaw is his preference for basketball over pucks?

• Is the Mighty Wingman song available on CD? Don’t you wish that singer played at a hole-in-the-wall bar in your town every Wednesday night?

• Who knew there were this many channels on DirecTV besides the regional sports networks?

• If Philadelphia had gotten the Frozen Four in 2007 or ’08, would Bobby Clarke have even gone to the games? Do you think they would have gotten him to market it: “Well, it’s not as good as major junior hockey, but at least some of the guys are big.”

• Isn’t it sad – and telling – that the best thing you can say about the baseball all-star game is that it will decide who gets an extra home game if the World Series happens to go seven games? Has all the excitement of a coin flip, doesn’t it?

• Is it just me, or is it impossible to be on a train, regardless of the city, and not yell out "Boylston!" at one of the stops?

• Tuesday's Detroit News features a list of high-profile hockey free agents still on the open market, and included Luc Robitaille's name in that group. We admire his body of work, but putting Lucky on this list is like putting Judge Reinhold among 2003's hot, A-list actors.

• Is it betrayal of our usual favorites – Canadian beers – if we're drinking Sam Adams Summer Ale this time of year? I'm going out on a limb and saying it's okay since there's no hockey on.

– Nate Ewell

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