Regressing To The Mean: The 2013 Off-Season and Conference III’s Rude Awakening

by J.R.

themanwhoshotlibertyvalanceposter“This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” — Maxwell Scott (Carleton Young) in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence

In the four months since III Communication opened for business, we’ve variously described Conference III as a collection of raccoons, prison, a gang fightBattle of the Network Stars meets The Running Man, Hell, a structure of steel and human sinew and dinosaur bones, forged and melted in the very fires of Phlegethon, and a Joy Division song.

The allegorical and metaphorical intent was clear — Conference III would be the world’s largest Thunderdome, stretching across a large section of North America. Because of geography, because of the nature of the teams and cities involved, because of their history, it was easy to appropriate the mythos of the American frontier and the Old West and imagine Conference III’s future as an echo of a past — as a sort of lawless id of a hockey division.

And then the offseason happened and the legend became fact.

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