III Communication

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Category: Commentary

The Divides We Feel: The 2014-15 Conference III Opening Essay

by J.R.

i-064_eb_exit_050_01[UPDATED: Friend of the program R.J. O’Connell recorded a narration of the essay here!]

There is almost nothing to see in southern Illinois. Interstates cross in Marion. Or is it Mt. Vernon? It makes very little difference as a practical matter unless one is traveling to either Marion or Mt. Vernon, which, unless someone is a convicted felon, is unlikely.

But beyond these crossroad towns, downstate Illinois is vast and empty. Once the land rises out of the Ohio River valley, it doesn’t even offer the courtesy of an occasional interesting hill. It is farms. And it is farm roads and it is farm people in a blanket of barren but beautiful farm land that seems far away from anything.

This isn’t to pick on downstate Illinois, by any means. Much of Missouri is like this, too: empty and flat, space bifurcated by Interstates and the occasional blessed town — sometimes even of size, but usually just wide spots where the gas station attendants make cracks about a band mistakenly thanking the good people of Washington for coming out when the gig was actually in Warrenton.

The same story is repeated, sometimes in extremes, across Conference III. Empty and cold in Minnesota and Manitoba. Empty and dry in Texas. And nothing but corn and the curve of the Earth clear from Kansas City to Denver.

And in southern Middle Tennessee, the farther from Nashville, the “-villes” turn to “-burgs,” the greens get greener in the summer and the browns get browner in fall and in the winter, it’s all grey, clear to Birmingham, where it’s grey all year.

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Trotz Gets The Ice Ax

by J.R.

You’ll forgive the people of Nashville today, for we know not what to do.

Two years out of the playoffs was one too many. Two playoff series wins was one too few.

And fifteen seasons and nearly 17 years was all too long.

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Happy Birthday To III

by J.R.

One year ago today, I posted a brief item, a video of a Chambers Pot rumble between Dallas and Nashville and at ConferenceIII dot wordpress dot com, III Communication was born.

Since then we’ve been recognized by Puck Daddy and by Sports Illustrated and we’ve launched The Conference III Championship Belt, which has been recognized by Carter Hutton.

We’ve gone litigious and obscene and democratic.

In honor of our birthday, let’s, in the spirit of our proprietary power ranking system, look at our Top 13 posts of all time (ranked by views).

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Trade Central Time Zone: Your Guide To The 2013-14 Trade Deadline

by J.R.

Exactly one week from the moment this is posted — Wednesday, March 5 at 2 PM Central (1 PM Mountain) — the NHL will hit its trade deadline, which makes the next week simultaneously one of the most interesting and exhausting weeks on the schedule. It can be very confusing, what with real insiders — like Uncle Bob — trying to cut through the noise of rumormongers, charlatans, fake accounts of real reporters and fake accounts of charlatans.

We’re here to help with a handy guide to what you need to know for the week ahead.

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The Threemix: Welcoming You Back To Conference III With A Musical Rebus

by J.R.

Ed. note: It’s back to NHL action this week and to bring you up to speed, a Conference III megamix:

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The Predators on ‘Nashville’: A Helluva Idea From A Guy With A Helluva Mustache

by J.R.

Bob Mueller is a legendary Nashville news anchor.

Bob Mueller also live-tweets the show Nashville.

Tonight, Bob Mueller tweeted a Predators-themed episode of the show.

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Have A Very Conference III New Year

by J.R.

A couple more Conference III games tonight before we close the book on 2013.

Please drink responsibly and while doing so, offer some resolutions for the teams of Conference III.

Please enjoy this selection of songs from the bands of Conference III country as you do so.

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Introducing The Conference III Championship Belt

by J.R.

4horsemen4beltsEvery sport should have a championship belt.

This is an idea that’s kicked around the Internet for awhile — there are a couple efforts to track the NCAA football belt: here’s one that starts in the 1970s and another that goes way back to the first game between Princeton and Rutgers. Here’s a site has a belt for NCAA basketball and the NFL and Grantland has one for the NBA.

In sports like the NBA and NHL with playoffs that include a large number of teams, if extended into the playoffs, the belt will almost always end up with the actual champion at the end of the year, which, while sensible, is boring (NB: if the title holder at the end of the regular season didn’t qualify for the playoffs, this wouldn’t necessarily be true, but if the belt makes it into the playoffs, it will be held by the actual league champion). And, as we know, Conference III is neither sensible or boring.

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Quarter Life Crisis

by J.R.

Last night, at the conclusion of the Minnesota-Montreal game, 25 percent of the Conference III schedule was complete (yes, I did the math).

This is a traditional time of examination for NHL teams and with just one game on the Conference III slate tonight, the schedule affords a good place to take a breather and see what’s happened through the season’s first quarter.

Thanks to everyone who commented and emailed.

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