Thursday Thirteen: Genesis
Every Thursday we bring you the III Communication’s Conference III Power Rankings, the Thursday Thirteen.
This week, the first real rankings of the year.
2. Chicago Blackhawks: The Hawks opened the season on the front foot, becoming the first team to win on banner night since 2009.
3. Matthew Zajac: So New Mexico State University had a problem — one many colleges face, including ones that, unlike NMSU, are quite good at football: students were either not coming to the game or leaving early. So they employed the world’s third-oldest profession to get people to stay: bribery. In short, after the third quarter, there’d be a drawing for $2,000 with the old Must Be Present To Win catch. The winner, Matthew Zajac, was not on site.
But the Iraq War veteran and double amputee was caring for his 87-year-old grandmother after the recent death of his father. Because he wasn’t at the game, he won’t receive the prize.
“It’d be nice to win the money, but my priorities were elsewhere,” Zajac said. “It doesn’t get to me.”
The 26-year-old mechanical engineering student lost both his legs in May 2007 after his Humvee was hit by an improvised explosive device.
He is his grandmother’s only family in the area.
Taking care of her is his first priority he said, noting it would be nice to have time to go to a game. He has returned to school after taking a break last fall while his father was in the hospital.
He cooks for me, he shops for me and he takes me to the doctor,” grandma Marjorie Seedorf said. “Of course I appreciate everything he does.”
On Saturday, Zajac said his girlfriend’s co-worker texted them, letting him know his name had been drawn for the grand prize.
He’s not looking for sympathy, he said, noting it’s a good day when he “didn’t get blown up.”
“These things happen,” he said. “I’m not overly upset about it.”
4. Colorado Avalanche: The Avs hung six on the Ducks, who may not be very good. Or maybe the Avs are better than we think? Or maybe they are going to be the team that nobody wants to play in March and April when they are 25 points out of the playoffs, but have the ability to put up a random six spot every night. Anyway, here’s their new logo (via Thraxy):
5. Watergeuzen: In Dutch, “Sea Beggars.” They were a group of “Calvinist nobles and malcontents” who were basically pirates, but played a key role in the lifting of the Siege of Leiden:
in 1573, the Dutch town of Leiden came under seige by Phillip’s brutal general, the Duke of Alva. The detailed story makes for a harrowing tale. After a year as hostages, the Leideners had to break the dykes and flood their own city in order to let William of Orange and the Watergeuzen sail to the rescue. During the last month, with no food, the people faced constant temptation to surrender to the Spanish. To shore up his citizen’s crumbling resolve, the mayor offered to let them eat his own arm.
The Waterguezen are important, though, for another reason. Their name was originally an insult. Philip — the King of Spain — sent his half-sister Margaret to The Netherlands as his regent and when the Calvinist nobles came to her to ask for religious freedom, she said “why should we be afraid of this bunch of beggars?”. Instead of being upset, the Waterguezen re-appropriated and embraced the insult. Thus, the Dutch word for reappropriation of an insult (something that’s now common) is “Geuzennaam.” Neat.
6. Winnipeg Jets: The Frigid-Airs showed some gumption in their comeback against Edmonton. Not sure Pavelec is the answer though.
7. Tardigrades: I never knew about how sturdy and badass the little water bear was until Wally The Water Bear showed up on PBS’ The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That (or as my daughter calls it “Go Go!”)
[T]ardigrades can withstand temperatures from just above absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water, pressures about 6 times stronger than pressures found in the deepest ocean trenches, ionizing radiation at doses hundreds of times higher than would kill a person, and the vacuum of outer space. They can go without food or water for more than 10 years, drying out to the point where they are 3% or less water, only to rehydrate, forage, and reproduce.
These little dudes could play more minutes than Ryan Suter.
8 (tie). Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues: It’s not quite fair to rank these teams as they’ve yet to play a game. The Blues and Preds play the first intra-Conference III game tonight.
12. The Government Shutdown: Me and the fam are headed on vacation after Tuesday’s Predators home opener — a week in Florida, with the first trip to Walt Disney World and then some time in St. Augustine. We like visiting lighthouses (and, in fact, are staying at an old keeper’s cottage in St. Augustine) so, presumably, the government shutdown shouldn’t effect us, because many lighthouses have been transferred to foundations, city parks board and they like since 2000, when the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act was passed.
And indeed, most of the First Coast’s lighthouses will be up and open, but not Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, which is on the grounds of Cape Canaveral AFB and can be visited, but only as part of free, guided tour. Which, of course, is non-essential.
You can mess with lots of things, but you’re messing with my lighthouses, Government Shutdown. Oh and Brenden Morrow may not get his work visa in time because of the shutdown, too.
13. Corey Perry: What a clown show. How does he think shooting water at Patrick Roy is going to end?
Hey gang — if you’ve got questions for our mailbag, Third Class Mail, shoot ’em to conferencethree[at]gmail[dot]com or to @jrlind on the Twitter machine.