Thursday Thirteen: Out Like A Lamb
Every Thursday we bring you the III Communication’s Conference III Power Rankings, the Thursday Thirteen.
This week, we celebrate the end of March (or beginning of April for you forward-thinkers)
1. Florida Gulf Coast University. With apologies to their bugbear, Conference III’s own Lipscomb Bisons — who take a massive deduction because Bisons isn’t a word — this week’s rankings are topped by the Eagles from Del Dunka Vista. The Eagles have warmed the hearts of America with their very cavalier attitude to score and situation, their devil-may-care attitude representing the best of Conference III and their passion for jorts representing St. Louis. Physically, FGCU may be located in the depths of Floricanada, but spiritually, they’re as Conference III as Powers Boothe.
2. Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago missed out on the Iggystakes and lost consecutive games to LA and Anaheim, but they get a chance at vengeance this week, when the Ducks visit the United Center tomorrow. If this was a full NHL power ranking, the ‘Hawks — whose blistering start made us think this once impossible — could be as low as third. But it’s not. So they ain’t.
3. Minnesota Wild. The Fightin’ Adjectives are winners of seven straight, having knocked off Conference III foes Dallas and Colorado (twice) in that span. They were on the ropes last night against Phoenix but got a late goal from Ryan Suter to send the game to OT and wear out the ‘Yotes in the front end of Phoenix’s Conference III back-to-back which wraps up tonight in Nashville. That’s very polite of you, Minnesota.
4. John W. Saunders. Saunders lives in Irwin, Penn. and is charged with drinking $102,000 worth of century-old rye kept in the New York mansion for which he was the caretaker. John – they may not countenance that up in Rust Country, but here at Conference III, well. Look. We know your public defender is gonna say something to the effect of “John’s never touched any booze. Ever.” But we know better, buddy. We know the angels weren’t the only ones sipping on all that distilled goodness. Come to Conference III, John. You’re our kind of people.
5. Winnipeg Jets. The Frigid-Airs may end up winning the Southeast by default and that’s just fine with us. Winners of four of their last five and it’s going to be 40 degrees tomorrow in the ‘Peg.
6. Your Mother. She gave birth to you and raised you and taught which fork to use and how to talk to girls. The least you could do is call her — not collect, Feaster — out of the blue on a day that isn’t a holiday or her birthday.
7. Nashville Predators. The Preds are taking advantage of the favorable schedule, winning three straight at home to reinject themselves into the playoff conversation. The return of Owl Savior Hal Gill boosts the penalty kill and the return of Patric Hornqvist boosts the facewashes-received statistic.
8. Vampire squid. Human vampires these days are broody and cuckolded and kind of lame — with one notable exception. So we turn to the noble vampire squid, whose Latin name is Vampyroteuthis infernalis, which literally translates to “Vampire squid from Hell.” When it’s not hanging out in St. Louis, this fella wears a cape and shoots fireworks. He’s always willing to be the designated driver and he’ll happily carry your mom to the grocery store when her car’s in the shop. He’s no Boy Scout though: he also coordinates with a group of expatriate gauchos to run an illicit Esgrima Criolla ring and he once trafficked in black-market brake pads and antacids, but he doesn’t like to talk about that period of his life. Leads Conference III in even-strength away shooting percentage.
9. St. Louis Blues. After his charges were shut out by the fearsome defense of the Edmonton Oilers, Ol’ Hitch had to hike up the Sansabelts and give the Blues the whatfor. Since their 6-1 start, St. Louis has fallen back to the pack, having gone 11-12-2 in that stretch.
10. Wisconsin Walloons. For whatever reason, the French-speaking population of Belgium settled in the Badger State. The Walloons are a hardy folk and obviously Door County was more pleasant than continuing to live in their homeland, Europe’s Great Experiment and Invasion Thoroughfare. Famous Walloons include the guy who invented the saxophone (you’re welcome, jazz folk of St. Louis and Chicago) and the Jesuit who came up with the Big Bang Theory (we’ll tell you what Jesuits and the Big Bang Theory are when your state legislatures allow, Dallas and Nashville). The Wisco Walloons are special, having survived for a century and a half surrounded by Scandinavians and Germans and Bo Ryan and all manner of Lutherans. The older folks who still speak the old language get studied by linguists from the old country and if you’re ever in Brussels, Wisc. and you need a canoe repaired or a cheese-wheel rewaxed, tell ’em III Communication sent ya.
11. Dallas Stars. Dallas is a mystery. Are they buyers or sellers or stand-patters? Will they move Roy? Or Jagr? Will Victoria Principal come back? Did Cliff Barnes kill J.R.? Things get no easier for the Stars. Their next five: Minnesota, L.A. and a three-game baseball series against Anaheim.
12. James Cromwell. You know James Cromwell. He was in that pig movie. He played the patriarch of not one but two wacky families. He was in Murder By Death. No, not that one. This one. He was arrested for barging into a University of Wisconsin Board of Regents meeting in protest of the abuse of
Nashville Predators fans harmed by the defection of former Badger Ryan Suter cats. We aren’t going to argue the merits of animal research or Cromwell’s protest. But this dude is 73, making things uncomfortable for a bunch of stuffy college administrators and he avoided charges. We should all be so lucky and badass at his advanced age. Was Jaromir Jagr that cool at 73? Does anybody remember?
13. Colorado Avalanche. Shane O’Brien is on your power play. Quod erat demonstrandum.