Thursday Thirteen: It’s A World Space Party
Every Thursday we bring you III Communication’s Conference III Power Rankings, the Thursday Thirteen.
This week, we celebrate the 52nd anniversary of manned space flight. We’re rocket men, y’all.
1. Raccoons. You know. Also: Raccoons lead Conference III in scurrying zone exits and are second in trash-consumed/60 (David Backes, as ever, leads).
2. Chicago Blackhawks. The ‘Hawks clinched a spot in the post-season this week after one of their wins against Nashville. We don’t remember if it was Saturday or Sunday, because predicting Chicago would be in the playoffs took the same level of intellectual bravery as “The Visual Cliff” dudes displayed when they declared infants shouldn’t be left near ledges.
3. Hannah and Haylee Smith. These two sisters — Hannah is 16, Haylee 14 — are farmer’s daughters up in Oregon, but they might as well be in the geographic center of Conference III (which is probably somewhere in Kansas?):
Jeff Smith was pulling a stump from his garden near McDowell Creek Park on Monday, but his mud-caked boot slipped off the tractor’s clutch. The machine flipped upside down and on top of him.
The steering wheel pinned the 36-year-old to the dirt, pressing into his chest.
He yelled for help. “I was losing more and more breath every time I screamed,” he said.
His daughters, just home from school, were walking the family’s dogs.
“We heard, ‘Save me. Help me, God,’” said 14-year-old Haylee Smith, an eighth-grader at Hamilton Creek School.
She and her sister Hannah Smith, a 16-year-old sophomore at Lebanon High School, raced to their dad and called 911.
And then they lifted the 3,000 pound tractor enough so their father could wriggle and get the machine off his torso.
The Smith sisters are Top 10 in Conference III in farm-implement plus/minus.
4. St. Louis Blues. Coach Sansabelt has the Hemi-Semi-Demi-Quavers sort of quietly climbing up the charts. They’re winners of five straight — four against Conference III opposition — and their win over the Blackhawks and the pair of victories against Minnesota balance out the deductions they took for their part in the Worst Game In Conference III History (So Far).
5. Minnesota Wild. After touching the face of greatness and looking like they’d skate over to Conference III with the Northwest title, the Fightin’ Adjectives have normalized some. Still, all but certain to make the playoffs for the first time in awhile and still within reach of the Canucks. Sort of.
6. Datil peppers. Of all the varietals of Capsicum chinense, the Datil is the best. It comes in between 100,000 and 300,000 Scoville units — similar to a habanero. But the Datil is a little bit sweet too — almost fruity. It’s a mainstay of Minorcan cuisine and by extension, the cuisine of St. Augustine, Fla., which every October hosts a Datil Pepper Festival. Try the chicken pilau and the clam chowder. Thank me later. Also a useful weapon if you’re ever attacked by very small birds who find peppers visually appealing. They’ll take one bite of these suckers and leave you alone. Can also be used as a dry shampoo in the event you are trapped somewhere with a bunch of Datil peppers and you need dry shampoo.
7. Winnipeg Jets. They had the league’s worst division right there for the taking and now? Outside looking in for a playoff spot. Get it together, Frigid-Airs.
8. Mason jars. Drink anything out of a Mason jar and the man who encounters you will automatically assume you are a backwater idiot. Then, lure him into a game of wits — Trivial Pursuit or chess or Hi-Ho! Cherry-O. You have the upper hand as he will assume you read on a third-grade level. And not one of those weirdo finished-high-school-in-two-weeks third-graders. Like, he’ll assume you’re just an average third-grader. Then take all of his Hi-Ho! Cherry-O points. You are the victor! Beer from a Mason jar, by the way, is delicious but foamy.
9. Dallas Stars. Doesn’t it seem like Dallas is playing a lot better since they traded all those olds away? Hey, as a matter of fact, they are 3-1 since the deadline. Extrapolate that to 48 games and they’d be…what?…36-12? That’s pretty good! Over 82, they’d be 61-21 or something. Man, that’s incredible stuff. They should have traded everybody a long time ago.
10. Nashville Predators. On the other hand, there’s Nashville, who hasn’t won since the trade deadline and is now icing as many guys with weird jersey numbers as Montreal. David Poile, who normally wouldn’t disclose an injury or a surgery for a guy whose legs were literally gone, has gone ahead and said these three are done. Gabby Bourque, by the way, is so amazing, his upper-body injury is going to be cured via meniscus surgery.
11. Treaty of Utrecht. Three hundred years young today, this series of treaties ended the War of the Spanish Succession. Importantly to Conference III, France ceded control of Rupert’s Land — which included modern-day Manitoba — to the British. “You’re welcome, Winnipeg. That’s a debt you can never re-pay,” said the unnecessarily defensive Portuguese guy. “Ask me about my grandchildren!” responds the Jets fan. Anyway. The Treaty of Utrecht also inspired two of the better (?) bon mots of 18th century European diplomacy. A French diplomat told the Dutch “De vous, chez vous, sans vous,“ meaning that discussions would be held “about you, in your country, without you.” DAAAAAAAAMN. And, then later, a British politician said the Peace of Utrecht was “like the Peace of God, for it passeth all understanding.” GET ON HIS LEVEL, SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY.
12. Colorado. J.S. Giguere proved that not all olds should be sacrificed for their mana on a fire built of tires and fear. He called out the Colorabros who were too focused on an upcoming Vegas trip and then the Avs went out and smoked the Ducks. Unfortunately, the Avs are still terrible. Fortunately, Popeye Jones spent a season in Denver and can tell Seth where the nice neighborhoods are.
13. October 19, 2010. It has been replaced as the date of the previous titleholder of Worst Game Ever. It will now be solely remembered as the day the First Man of the American Stage and Screen, Tom Bosley, went to his reward of eternal Happy Days.