Great Game Previews In History: 30 January 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

743px-Execution_of_Cromwell,_Bradshaw_and_Ireton,_1661On January 30, 1661 — two years after his death and 12 years after the execution of Charles I — Oliver Cromwell was exhumed from Westminster Abbey and he was executed even though he was dead:

…the shrouded bodies in open coffins were dragged on a sledge through the streets of London to the gallows, where each body was hanged in full public view until around four o’clock that afternoon. After being taken down, Cromwell’s head was severed with eight blows, placed on a wooden spike on a 20-foot (6.1 m) pole, and raised above Westminster Hall.

Wild at Avalanche, 7 PM Mountain/8 PM Central

Records: Wild (29-20-6, 64 points, 4th in Conference III); Avalanche (33-14-5, 71 points, 3rd in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The Kids Who Went To The Other Middle School face off for the final time. Colorado won the last meeting 4-2 January 11.

Last 10: Minnesota 6-3-1; Colorado 7-2-1

Historical Context: The Wild’s possession numbers have been falling off. Like way off. Oh sure, they are hanging on to power — in this case “power” is “the last playoff spot” — but they have to be wondering if they can hold on to their precarious position. After Oliver Cromwell died (like actually died, not ritualistically), the Roundheads held on for awhile, with Oliver’s son Richard taking over as Protector, but they knew that without Cromwell Sr.’s force of personality (and Fenwick score), it was only a matter of time before the Stuarts came back. Will the Wild persevere or will they be killed after they are dead?

Devils at Stars, 7:30 PM

Records: Devils (22-21-11, 55 points, 7th in SUDM); Stars (24-21-8, 56 points, 5th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: Michael Ryder had the only goal in a 1-0 Devils victory January 9.

Last 10: New Jersey 5-3-2; Dallas 4-5-1

Historical Context: Which Dallas Stars are the real Dallas Stars? The ones who started slow? The ones who charged back? The ones who went weeks without winning at all? The Stars are a lot like Oliver Cromwell’s head. No one seems to know where it is and even the last “authentic” public display has been called into question:

The Hughes brothers’ failure to piece together a solid history of the head was possibly partly responsible for its failure to attract visitors.The discovery of the Ashmolean skull reputed to be that of Cromwell was the head’s first rival claim, but the events did not add up. The story of the head was:

“In 1672, Oliver’s skull was blown off the north side of Westminster Hall down into the leads of the same and taken thence by Mr. John Moore…Sometime after this he gave it to Mr. Warner, apothecary, living in King Street, Westminster. Mr. Warner sold it for 20 broad pieces of gold to Humphrey Dove, Esq…This skull was taken out of Mr. Dove’s chest at his death in 1687.”

However, the head was conclusively seen on Westminster Hall as late as 1684, and it was on the south side of the Hall. Archaeological evidence also disproved its authenticity. The skull was pierced from the top, not from the bottom; and the skull had no trace of skin or hair, showing it had never been embalmed.

Eventually, one suspects, the real Cromwellian dome will show up — after all, they found Richard III — and the real Stars will show themselves too.

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