Thursday Thirteen: Stop Hibernating, We’re Halfway Home

by J.R.

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

This week, we’re on the downhill side.

1. St. Louis Blues: Eventually all those games-in-hand will catch up and we’ll figure out who the best team in Conference III really is. Meantime, we have to go by things like “division” and the Conference III Championship Belt.

2. Chicago Blackhawks: We love Bingo. What’s the deal with Bingo?

3. Sterk the Lion: Oaklawn Farm Zoo is in Nova Scotia, which is not home to an NHL team, which is good, because Nathan Horton probably would have signed there. Oaklawn Farm Zoo is home to Sterk The Lion, who must be very cold, but that’s OK because Sterk likes to play hockey. David Poile is interested in signing Sterk to a four year deal and then trading him for a goalie.

4. Colorado Avalanche: “General Manager” Greg Sherman (lol) and Ryan O’Reilly have come to a detente and won’t negotiate an extension until this summer.

675. White squirrels of Kenton: I wrote last week that my day job was going to take me to, among other places, Kenton, Tennessee, home of the famous white squirrels. Well, I saw them and they are, indeed, white squirrels. And that’s all there pretty much is to Kenton, a standard-fare super-small town in rural West Tennessee. What you may not know is that there is some serious white squirrel controversy though it seems Kenton’s have been there the longest.

6. Minnesota Wild: The Wild are winning but not playing well. Something about cats.

7. Duplicitous babies: Most parents insist there are times when their child is “fake crying.” Scientists have mostly dismissed this notion, but thanks to one brave researcher, we’ve finally won this battle. Try again, babies.

8. Dallas Stars: You won, yaaay! Still not back in the top seven though.

9. Hopkinsville, Kentucky: Sitting an hour northwest of Nashville is Hopkinsville, Kentucky. For a pretty small place, it’s produced some pretty interesting cats: Edgar Cayce, Black Crowes drummer and former Nashville (and now national) sports talker Steve Gorman, and a host of random athletes (Artose Pinner! Greg Buckner!). Nashvillians know it best as that place that always seems to get a lot of snow. But in 2017, Hopkinsville will have the longest view in the Western Hemisphere of a total solar eclipse (two minutes, 40 seconds; by contrast, totality will be a minute in Nashville). But it gets weirder:

In one ironic twist, the solar eclipse will share the same Aug. 21 date as a popular piece of local folklore — when a family claimed to see a space ship with aliens land near their home in 1955. The family’s claims are kept alive in the Little Green Men festival near the eclipse-viewing spot.

10. Nashville Predators: Newly-acquired Devan Dubnyk might be better than you think (not that it would be hard).

11. The Very Male Tree of Johnson City, Tennessee: Come for the weird censorship of a tree, stay for Lawrence “Timer” Ford:

The 30-foot maple had a 4-inch knob near its base that reminded the 88-year-old World War II veteran of a certain part of the human anatomy.

“It’s a male tree, there’s no doubt about that,” Ford, known to friends as “Timer,” said Friday with a chuckle. “I’ve mowed around that tree for a long time, and never did I notice that thing. But it’s there, plain as the nose on your face.”

12. Winnipeg Jets: Paul Maurice giving y’all feelings, no?
13. Matt Hendricks: Fare thee well, Paralyzer. We hardly knew ye: