Thursday Thirteen: Holiday Freeze

by J.R.

Every Thursday we bring you III Communication’s Conference III Power Rankings, the Thursday Thirteen.

This week, we’re freezing for the holidays — including Festivus (and you can help III Communication celebrate!).

1. Chicago Blackhawks: Best record and now the holders of the Conference III Championship Belt. Who else would it be?

2. Kevin Shier: Timothy Nield, a 33-year-old captain in the New York Army National Guard, got in a horrific accident on the New York State Thruway. He was rescued by an odd collection of people — a couple of lawyers, a fellow Guardsman, a “little guy” — and it included Kevin Shier of the Toronto Patriots of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, a 20-year-old who was heading to a college visit with his dad:

The five, including two American lawyers and another National Guardsman, pried open the stuck truck door while flames engulfed the unconscious Neild, and Kevin, together with another man, ultimately pulled the soldier well out of harm’s way.

Unbeknownst to all of them was that the truck would explode a mere 30 seconds later.

“It all happened so quickly,” Shier said over the phone, “it really felt like a dream.

“All I kept remembering afterward was that a guy was giving him CPR and was yelling at him not to (expletive) die, telling him that he had done too much for his country to go like this. That guy really kept him alive because he was as white as a sheet and personally, I thought he had already passed. It really shook me.”

3. St. Louis Blues: The loss of David Backes stings, but the Blues have banked enough points to stay in the mix.

4. Nordy: The Wild beat the Canucks last night in a shootout and their mascot did some top-notch trolling of their old Northwest Division foes:


Ah, so that’s what a Wild is!

5. Colorado Avalanche: Speaking of teams that have banked enough points to stay in the top half of the rankings, these Avs also get their first chance at The Belt on Dec. 27 in Chicago.

6. Minnesota Wild: The Wild has (have?) been a little flat since the road trip, but are still pocketing points with two straight shootout victories.

7. Bontebok: Once reduced to a population of just 17, this South African antelope is on the way back. This guy, in fact, just moved into the Nashville Zoo:

By: Amiee Stubbs

By: Amiee Stubbs

Bontebok (bonteboks?) are not like normal antelope — and we wouldn’t rank them if they were. Unlike their brethren, they aren’t very good jumpers, but they are really good at crawling under things. Seriously.

8. Dallas Stars: Not a great week for the Stars, who threatened to sneak into the Top 7. In a set of five straight Conference III games, the Stars went 2-3.

9. Frank Mankiewicz: Father of TCM’s Ben and NBC reporter Josh, Frank Mankiewicz is a journalist, political operative (twas he who announced to the press that his then-boss Robert Kennedy had been shot), but he is a true American hero for reaching across the aisle and saving our very souls. As he put it in a 2006 remembrance of his friend and foe, Reagan advisor Lyn Nofziger:

By 1980, after playing a major role in the presidential campaigns of Reagan in 1976 and 1980, Lyn became the assistant to President Reagan for political affairs.

So, during that first year of Reagan’s presidency, I sent Lyn another copy of a column I had written a few years before, attacking and satirizing the attempt by some organized do-gooders to inflict the metric system on Americans, a view of mine Lyn had enthusiastically endorsed. So, in 1981, when I reminded him that a commission actually existed to further the adoption of the metric system and the damage we both felt this could wreak on our country, Lyn went to work with material provided by each of us. He was able, he told me, to prevail on the president to dissolve the commission and make sure that, at least in the Reagan presidency, there would be no further effort to sell metric.

10. Nashville Predators: A 31-day run with The Belt is laudable, but did little to hoist the Preds up the standings.

11. Mike Smith: What an embarrassing clown.

12. Winnipeg Jets: The Jets lost to Buffalo.

13. Morton’s The Steakhouse: Do you like $70 steak, $10 baked potatoes and being a Prime Grade Jerkwad to cancer patients? Then do I have the restaurant for you!

On Friday, an office party from a Franklin television shopping channel was celebrating Christmas at the restaurant and ran afoul of Morton’s dress code when one of the group put a hat on after dessert. The hat-wearer in question — Robert Chambers, better known as the host of The Coin Vault for the last 25 years — was cold, a side-effect of chemotherapy.

“We’re almost done with dinner,” Chambers told the Scene. “The chemo I had last gives me a cold sensitivity at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter what I’ve done, there’s a certain point. So I’m sitting there at the table, freezing and I put my toboggan on. We’re two or three minutes away from walking out and the manager comes up behind me and says, ‘Would you please take that off in the dining room.’ I said, ‘Sure.’ ”

But other members of Chambers’ party were less willing to let the slight go.

“My son says, ‘He has cancer. His head gets cold, he needs to wear the toboggan.’ The manager says, ‘If you had made prior arrangements, we could have put you in a private room and he could have worn it. Or you could bring a doctor’s note and you could wear it,’ which I think is kind of a smartass answer because nowhere on Morton’s policy does it say if you’ve got a doctor’s note you can wear a hat in the restaurant.

“My son comes back to the table and tells us what she’s said. He’s 23 and a big guy. My wife’s 5-foot-4. And they just ran all over her about the doctor’s excuse.”

The party became irate, arguing with Morton’s staff as the group was leaving. Chambers said the Morton’s manager tried to get nearby police involved.