III Communication

Covering The NHL's Conference III Better Than Anyone On The Whole Internet. Like Ma Bell, We Got The III Communication

Tag: Anthrax Jones

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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Heat Index: The Comprehensive Guide to All 21 Conference III Rivalries

by J.R.

Here we are.

After staring awkwardly at each other for a few months, laughing with and at one another, back-slapping and guffawing, being mirthful and merry, the season is now in our sights.

It’s time to hate.

There are 21 rivalries in Conference III — some old, some new, some borrowed, some involving the Jets (not many).

Which have the most heat in this historic first season? Our crack team of researchers using the scientific method (“scientific method”=thinking about it for a few minutes) have ranked all 21.

Some caveats:

1) The old Central Division is over-represented at the top and Winnipeg and Colorado, especially, are over-represented at the bottom. This will be hard to swallow for Jets fans, but we just don’t care about you yet.

2) Historical factors related to the old North Stars and old Jets were considered when necessary.

3) Teams are given in the order I thought of them when I wrote the list. By all means, consider word order a slight against your team.

4) Feel free to disagree and call me stupid. I don’t care, because you are wrong.

Starting at the bottom…

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Hot August Nights: Colorado Avalanche

by J.R.

Neil+Diamond+-+Coming+To+AmericaThis week, III Communication presents “Hot August Nights.” At one minute past sundown local time we’ll be reviewing the off-seasons of each Conference III team using the songs of American legend Neil Diamond.

Tonight, our lone Mountain time entrant — the Colorado Avalanche.

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It All Trolls Downhill: Just What The Heck Are The Avs Up To?

by J.R.

Never in their history have the Colorado Avalanche been so perfectly named.

An avalanche is nature’s great example of the law of conservation of energy. Energy cannot be created nor can it be destroyed; it can be converted from one form to another — potential energy to kinetic. Pent up momentum released by one movement — a wall of snow rushes downhill, sweeping up all in its path in a horrifying, irresistible cold terror.

This week, Colorado Avalanche executive vice-president of hockey operations Joe Sakic kicked a rock at the top of the mountain.

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