Postcard: Nobody beats the Wiz
call again at INCH World Headquarters and unfortunately, the INCH
Wizard beat us to all the letters sent to us by readers –
and the Rolling Stone with Angelina Jolie on the cover.
We know we'll never see the magazine again, but the Wizard was kind
enough to scratch out a few responses to questions posed by you,
the loyal INCH readers.
Schizzle Wizzle: Detroit got totally hosed by the NCAA. No Frozen
Four in 2007 or 2008? Passed over in favor of St. Louis and Denver?
Detroit IS Hockeytown, for the love of Pete! To quote Hank Hill,
"That ain't right!"
in Livonia, Mich.
First and foremost, Hockeytown is Warroad, Minn., and don't
let anyone tell you otherwise. They make a great window in Warroad,
Did the NCAA
Ice Hockey Committee do Detroit wrong? Maybe. Here's the rub, however:
Detroit is a miserable city. You saw "8 Mile",
right? Is it a stereotype? Yeah. But is it also the truth? Hell,
yeah! Tiger Stadium is still standing, even though no one has played
a game there since Cecil Fielder weighed less than 300 pounds. Ironically,
it's one of the better-looking structures within the city limits,
what with boarded-up homes and desolate office buildings, warehouses
and manufacturing facilities dotting the landscape. D-town would
make a great setting for a post-apocolyptic movie.
And if you thought
downtown Buffalo was a little desolate, you've never been to downtown
Detroit. Let's put it this way: if you like coney dogs and gambling
(there are a handful of casinos in the downtown area), you'll have
a great time.
Joe Louis Arena. It looks great on TV, when it's packed and the
crowd is going crazy. Up close, it's a monument to the hard-working
men and women of the concrete industry. Because of its location
– the rink is sandwiched between Cobo Arena, a parking ramp,
a couple highways and the Detroit River – it looks like something
built for the 1968 World's Fair.
To be fair,
I should make one thing clear. This diatribe in no way tarnishes
the reputation of the great city of Windsor, Ontario, home to a
great arena (the venerable Windsor Gardens), a clean, inviting downtown
area and a really nice Tim Horton's. All that, and it's the birthplace
of Shania Twain.
St. Louis and Denver as future Frozen Four sites...what's your take?
in St. Charles, Mo.
I'm excited. St. Louis should be pretty good. Nice arena, decent
restaurants, giant arch. If there happens to be a Cardinals' game
that weekend, gravy. Denver will be fantastic. The Wiz has spent
some time in the Mile High City and makes this guarantee: if Denver
isn't the greatest Frozen Four as far as restaurants and nightlife,
I'll eat my sorcerer's cap. By the way, stay away from the Denver
Chop House. You wouldn't want to eat there. (Psst...Chop House?
Table for ten, please.)
Here's an added
bonus: add Milwaukee (2006) to St. Louis (2007) and Denver (2008),
and you'll get to visit the Richard, Beliveau and Lafleur of American
breweries in back-to-back-to-back seasons.
Although Randall Simon's clubbing of one of the sausages in the
Miller Park sausage race earlier this month was a great disservice
to a fine family of foodstuffs, it was funny. Which college hockey
mascot would you like to club?
in Waukegan, Ill.
question. This is actually a no-brainer.
of Denver had a great mascot called Pioneer Pete. Created by Walt
Disney Studios, you may remember him as the cherubic character with
the chin-strap beard and coonskin cap. A likeable fellow, he was
the face of DU athletics for 30 years.
Of course, the
university upgraded its athletic facilities and decided to "upgrade"
its mascot at the same time. So when Magness Arena opened in 1999,
the school axed Pete and welcomed Ruckus, who's supposedly a red-tailed
hawk. As an aside, the "bird" that appears on the most
recent DU logo is supposed to be a red-tailed hawk, even though
it looks more like a) a chewed-up frisbee or, b) a deformed Bat
doesn't appear to be a red-tailed hawk, but seems more like Foghorn
Leghorn's dark-feathered brother. Brutal. To make matters worse,
he doesn't wear a hockey jersey or any type of athletic uniform
in public. Ruckus is clad in a red vest and an oversized cowboy
hat, which makes him look like he came straight from his day job
as greeter at the Pueblo Wal-Mart.
can anyone think of a derisive nickname for this guy? Perhaps a
derivation of his name? – does have his endearing qualities,
however. The Wizard's Denver spies report that the feathery behemoth
tumbled down the stairs at a volleyball game last year. Alas, no
injuries were reported.
would be on your all-time fantasy hockey team?
up for Inside College Hockey's league on whatifsports.com,
a sports simulation site that lets users create a dream team
of NHL players throughout history to compete against other
users. The site charges $9.95 per team. Naturally, in our
league, you can only take former college players.
If you could choose six players for your all-time fantasy hockey
team, what would your roster look like?
in Kenora, Ontario
Didn't the Kenora Thistles win a Stanley Cup right around
the turn of the century? Can anyone verify this?
OK, on to the
question. If you asked this question to 100 people, I'd guess 95
of them would load up their teams with the most talented guys they
could name off the top of their heads – Nieuwendyk, Chelios,
Leetch. You get the point.
But not me.
My selections are based solely on personal satisfaction. So here
G: Adam Hauser,
Minnesota: Sure, he won a national title. But if I got the chance
to watch him in person for 40 games, I'd have enough material to
last five hockey seasons.
was a great college hockey player, and he's an easy pick for
the INCH Wizard's all-time fantasy team.
D: Mike Weaver,
Michigan State: He was a darn good college rearguard. But even more
important, he designed this web site.
D: Doug Murray,
Cornell: Here's why he's on the team. He's from Sweden, and his
name is Doug Murray. The Cornell coaching staff reels in a recruit
from Scandinavia and the best they can do is Doug Murray? Couldn't
they find a Hakan Loob or a Jesper Parnevik or even a freakin' Kent
Nilsson? This isn't supposed to happen.
F: Bryce Cockburn,
Northern Michigan: Do I even need to explain this to you?
F: Kevin Stevens,
Boston College: I hear he's a great guy in the room. But if the
team advances to the 2007 Frozen Four in St. Louis, we'll probably
have to leave him home.
F: Niko Dimitrakos,
Maine: He gets the nod because when I first heard his name, I thought
he was the evil guy from "Days of Our Lives." Then I remembered
that dude was Ron Mason-clone Victor Kiriakis.
Wizard: Early in the 2002-03 season, we were promised a further
investigation into a tailgating game called Beer Darts. To quote
Judge Smales of "Caddyshack" fame, "Well, we're waiting!"
in Burnsville, Minn.
I'm a man of my word, Mark, unless you work for the parking
services department at any NCAA Division I institution. Then you
don't know me.
checked out the web site devoted to beer darts (the aptly named
and here's what I've been able to ascertain thus far:
darts is a tailgating game, with its main purpose being to kill
time before and/or after a sporting event in a parking lot near
• It's a hybrid of the kind of drinking games one plays in
college and North America's favorite lawn game, Jarts. By the way,
outside of hockey, has mankind come up with a better game than Jarts?
I would love to meet the guy who was hanging around the water cooler
one day and said to a co-worker, "Wouldn't it be great to play
horseshoes with something lighter like, say, miniature spears?"
When I was a kid, we didn't have to worry about gangs, drugs or
anything like that. We were too busy dodging Jarts and trying not
to get hit in the face with a red rubber orb during dodgeball. But
• As far as I can tell, competitors sit roughly 25 feet apart.
Each has a full can of beer placed at his/her feet. The object of
the game, I think, is to hit your foe's can with a dart; the receiver
of said dart must drink enough of his beverage to prevent it from
leaking through the newly formed hole. The player who finishes his
drink first is the loser.
although I'm not so sure throwing a dart in your buddy's general
direction after your sixth or seventh Molson is such a great idea.
Perhaps this should be a demonstration sport at the 2004 NCAA Frozen
Four in Boston. Anywhere but Detroit.
That's it for
now. Thanks for your questions. Keep your head up.
Got a question
for the INCH Wizard? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.