Happy Hour In The Heptarchy: Hap and Harry’s and Hot Dogs

by J.R.

It’s five past 5 across Conference III (leave work early, Colorado — you have our permission), time to hit bricks and get that freakin’ weekend started, am I right?

Of course I am.

It’s been a tough week for some of you so loosen your belt, pop a top, grab a spoon and stop being such a sourpuss. III Communication’s got good news for everybody.

The Particulars

HHTennLagerWhat We’re Drinking: The Predators are playing Dallas tonight in another Chambers Pot classic, this time featuring Stephen King’s Pseudonym and the Better Mason in net. As dismal as this sounds, there’s some fun things. For one, the Predators will do the hilarious thing of performing “God Bless America” pre-game to keep this from happening during the anthem. Secondly, it’s College Night. College Night isn’t all great. Some of the worst in-stands arguments I’ve ever seen have been from drunk college kids fighting with their friends, but the beer specials are good for everybody, student or not. Through the first intermission, all the non-premium beer is $4. Amateurs just opt for the big American macros — none of which I’m opposed to, of course — but at the Yazoo beer stand, there’s a sneaky good deal. Hap & Harry’s Tennessee Lager is also just $4. The beer itself has a pretty good story. While insofar as reproductions of old Tennessee brews go, I prefer Gerst and while, money being no object, I’d choose a Yazoo Pale or Hop Project, for $4 H&H is great.

Hand Holding Hot Dog in NapkinWhat We’re Eating: Bridgestone Arena really stepped up its concession game in the past few seasons. There’s a chicken-and-waffles stand and a reasonable, PG-version of hot chicken is available. Sidebar: at a food-tasting, I saw Barry Trotz eating a plate of hot chicken and if Phil Vassar had been singing a song, it would have been the most Nashville thing of all time. While these local, off-beat elements are appreciated and tasty, sometimes there’s nothing like a good, in-arena hot dog. The dog has nothing on the finer pups served at my favorite dog joint, but it’s still damn tasty. No less a luminary than The Score’s Jo Innes declared it the best hot dog she’d had in an NHL arena.

Reasons To Celebrate

ernie_banks_autographChicago: You guys have clinched the most predictable playoff spot of all time and because it is impossible for you to be happy about anything for very long, you’ve decided to have a goalie controversy. Isn’t the Cubs closer battle more interesting and far less silly? Get your heads on straight, Chicago. Somewhere in your city is a man who proved the Conference III-est thing ever: You can bring a bat to a gun fight and win.

Your Weekend Jam: “Baseball Bat” by Lois Maffeo (performing as Courtney Love, the band)

Snowmelt causes Bow Falls in Banff, Canada to have heavy streamflow.Colorado: You beat Anaheim. Is that enough for you? Your Lake Eric call-up goalie got hurt and that’s depressing, but all it means is more J.S. Giguere and the more he plays, the closer we are to Jiggy 4 Hart. And this April snowstorm probably seemed really bad, but it pushed back the beginning of snow melt and that may just counter a hot and dry summer. You wouldn’t want to turn into, say, Las Vegas, would you? And don’t you want Seth Jones to be greeted with pleasant and temperate conditions?

Your Weekend Jam: “Viva Las Vegas” by Dead Kennedys

mlb_a_ventura11_600Dallas: The Stars have a little three-game winner going here and are without Kari Lehtonen for a bit. You’re still on the outside of the playoffs and still just slightly better than a one in five chance to play in the post-season. On the other hand, there’s two probably unrelated pieces of good transportation news: The Ryan Express is staying with the Rangers and you’ve got good people willing to stop and help in bad bus situations.

Your Weekend Jam:Rosa Parks” by Outkast.

PEASMinnesota: Ryan Suter’s hurt in some fashion, so that Norris candidacy takes a hit just as the Wild are sliding. But that’s OK, because at least one significant sector of your economy is thriving. Minnesota farmers had record profits in 2012, the result of relatively good weather while much of the rest of the breadbasket fought through a drought.

Your Weekend Jam:Bruise Violet” by Babes In Toyland.

21937703_BG1Nashville: Arguably your best forward, an emerging hero and a key specialist are all out with season-ending surgeries. Your team is basically Admirals holding the somehow-higher rank of brevet Predators. It’s rough times at Fifth & Broadway. But it sounds like Filip Forsberg is flying trans-Atlantically. And your zoo has new clouded leopard cubs. Can’t beat that.

Your Weekend Jam:Nashville Cats” by Del McCoury Band

be4d53885e46974bdfdad85410d6c710St. Louis: You aren’t being very hospitable, St. Louis. Everyone leaves your games mad because they can’t score. Also, you helped facilitate  a crime against humanity and you don’t even have Nashville’s excuse of being bad at hockey. Shame on you. Maybe you’ll be nicer if we all come to visit during your weird-ass July 4 event. This year the Veiled Prophet Organization is bringing Trace Adkins, Bret Michaels and Counting Crows to town for Fair St. Louis.

Your Weekend Jam: “SexyBack” by Poison (seriously).

1432Winnipeg: The Frigid-Airs are more or less giving the Southeast away, though that seven-spot on Florida is pretty pleasant. You’ve only got a 38 percent shout at the post-season and we really need y’all to pull it together here. Good news, though: the drunks in Brandon aren’t very bright. Like historically stupid. Seriously.

Your Weekend Jam: “Wheat Kings” by The Tragically Hip