Saturday, January 29, 2005

"High Times" in Lowell Taking New Meaning

Strange things are happening in a place that is world-famous for its crime, poverty, and misery. Lowell, Mass is a place where collar-ups like your superiors lock their doors when they drive through this bombed-out Hooverville. It's a place where a flat tire or an empty gas tank is the first step in the course of events that will ultimately allow you to meet your maker.

As the annual January cold rips through Lowell, a bit of warmth is keeping the downtrodden happy while they await their next welfare check, UMass-Lowell hockey. All throughout the city, the hobos huddled around trash barrel fires are wearing UML Riverhawk caps and are washing windshields not with discarded newspapers, but with UML game programs. There is a pride in Lowell these days not seen in these parts since the days when the Mills were actually giving normal people reason to live there.

After the Riverhawks dismantled the University of New Hampshire Wildcats 7-0 last night at Tsongas Arena, UML ran their unbeaten streak to 13 (11-0-2). Granted, most of the Riverhawks' wins in their streak were against teams such as Bentley, Niagara, Andover School of Trucking, and the victory over UNH was their first over a team that doesn't use "double runners". Regardless, Lowell is close to matching their record of 14 games without a loss dating back to 1980 when they were still the Chiefs and local street dealers were still years away from hearing the phrases "crack" or "oxycontin".

It's a wonderful time to be in Lowell as the Riverhawks streak has brought happiness to everyone in the city. Robbers in the city's liquor stores are saying "Give me all the money in the register, please", and street thugs are saying "thank you" to women after they steal their purses. Drug dealers, after selling their goods to 12 year-old kids, are giving instructions on how much to take and how to avoid overdose, and the city's prostitutes are offering a "100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back".

The Riverhawks, currently own an impressive 15-5-3 record and are ranked #13 in the country. Most Lowell fans will admit that this team is not a threat to do much damage in the postseason, but they believe in the skills of their top player, Ben Walter, and their 5'5" coach Blaise McDonald who proudly sings his 'oompa loompa' song as his team racks up another win.

McDonald, who will replace BU head nutjob Jack Parker when he retires, is the head man of a team that is rolling towards the postseason and their annual armageddon in the Hockey East semifinals at the FleetCenter. Despite the future doom that will ultimately undo this Riverhawk machine, visitors to the city of Lowell are appreciating the warm spirit from a community that prefers malt liquor to Pinot Grigio and only rides horses after they've stolen them.

Collar Up.

- DW

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Oranges Always Rot Over Time

Last night I had this strange dream. Although I rarely remember my dreams since my real life is better than most people's dreams, this one stuck in my head as it was so troubling, it ruffled my silk pajamas (with the collar up, of course) and woke me up out of my superior slumber.

As the hired help rushed to my bedside to make sure I was ok, I couldn't shake the strange feeling of being "intellectually dirty" and worse, too ignorant to realize it. In my dream, I was a graduate of Syracuse University.

When I go out to parties with my collar-up friends, I always make sure to wear my authentic diamond cuff links as wearing ersatz accessories with fellow superiors is the quickest way to be the laughing stock at the Yacht Club. The reason why I bring this up is Syracuse University is the "costume jewelry" of northeast Universities.

It may sound nice to the great unwashed, but in truth, you can't spell "SUNY" without "SU". To attend or have graduated from Syracuse is the academic equivilent of wearing cubic zirconias to the Country Club's annual Cotillion or enjoying a domestic "brew" at a public golf course with my landscaper. Like many New York state schools, SU is where New Yorkers send their children to college before they begin their life of crime (or in SU football player Diamond Ferri's case, where Everett, MA families send their kid to college to begin his life of crime).

The overall reputation of Syracuse University among the masses is generally a good one. Due to propaganda from the many media members who have graduated from SU, to the commoner a degree from Syracuse is thought to be a good one. To those educated ones in high society like your superiors at the 'Nation, we realize a degree from Syracuse is a social embarrassment and is as useless as a "legal age" co-ed in a University of Maine hockey dormitory.

While most SU graduates actually have real jobs, unlike graduates from Boston University or U. of New Hampshire whose sole responsibility in their work day is to tackle the pressing enigma of 'paper vs. plastic', Syracuse alums live in mortal fear. They fear the day when the overall mainstream finds out that Syracuse is not much better than a state school whose reputation is blown out of proportion by it's sycophantic media alumni network.

Need proof? A quick study into Syracuse's course selections for this fall semester offers these intellectual carnival rides: The Geography of Wine, Game Theory, and my personal favorite, Introduction to Stuttering (your superiors are not kidding you).

Needless to say, students and fans of the "Orange" look towards Chestnut Hill, Mass. and quietly wish they were fortunate enough to be accepted into Boston College and escape the snowy wasteland in upstate New York. Their anger and jealousy is best displayed when discussing BC's recent move to the ACC.

While they dislike Boston College for abandoning the Big East for the guilded walkways of Tobacco Road, they conveniently forget they were willing to leave the Big East for the ACC themselves before being left at the NCAA altar.

Some believe that Syracuse simply was asleep at the switch when the ACC called and they were too slow to respond costing them an invitation. Others, knowing the mid-level academic reputation they really have, feel that when ACC chief John Swofford called, Syracuse AD Jake Crouthamel simply took a page out of Syracuse's course selection guide and stuttered to the point that Swofford simply hung up and moved on.

Either way, collar-ups should try to be nice to these people as the Syracuse student of today is the chimney-sweeper or Septic repairman of tomorrow. Circle of life.

Collar Up.

- DW

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

In 25 Years, Steel Turns To Rust

It's happened every year since 1980 and for the inhabitants of western Pennsylvania, it's an annual rite of passage. Every year, thousands of Pennsylvanians and national TV outlets swarm to a town just east of the Ohio border to view a tradition that has signaled the change of seasons for a generation.

Are we talking about the yearly sight of the groundhog's shadow? Unfortunately not, today's lesson from your superiors is about the annual playoff defeat of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Like the world famous Puxatawney Phil, the annual "Cowher Choke" arrives every winter and signals to all in the 'Burgh that, yes, their coach has seen his chin and they are in for another 12 months of misery.

The 2005 edition of the Cowher Choke took place this past Sunday at the "House that John Kerry's Wife Built". In front of 68,000 polka dancing dirt-people, the New England Patriots gave the Steelers such a beating that hundreds of thousand of Pittsburghers went to their garages, filled their tailpipes with Terrible Towels, and asphyxiated themselves.

After the carnage of the 41-27 woodshed job was completed, Steelers' coach Bill Cowher, he of four AFC Championship game losses at home, did the only honorable thing a quality coach could do: He blamed his rookie quarterback for the defeat. Sure, QB Ben Roethlisberger's playoff performance in this year's AFC title tilt vs. the Patriots was sad enough to make Tony Eason laugh, he didn't deserve to be thrown under the bus. By bus, the 'Nation means an actual bus, not the puss-filled Notre Dame scumbag who lugs the mail from the running back position for the black and gold.

Sure, his 3 interception effort in the biggest game of his life definitely tainted "Big Ben's" perfect image for NFL types who worshipped every pimple on his pock-marked face. The good news for the portly passer is he can now begin his offseason regiment of eating Cool Whip and Bacon Double-Cheeseburger combos to destroy what's left of his boyhood mobility en route to a future 350 lbs. frame.

Back in the day, the professional football squad from Pittsburgh ruled the land and struck fear into those who unfortunately got in its way. The "Steel Curtain" dominated to the tune of four Super Bowl championships in the 70s, led by a quarterback in Terry Bradshaw who was too stupid to tie his own cleats.

Legends named Jack Ham, "Mean" Joe Greene, and Franco Harris led by their tough coach Chuck Noll ensured the team from the Three Rivers of Pennsylvania would never cower in the face of defeat. Now, they have a coach named Cowher who has perfected the agony of defeat.

Luckily, if you are going to bring your fans so close to a championship and let them fall, Pittsburgh is the perfect place for it to happen. With three large rivers surrounding the city, the line on local bridges for fans to jump and drown themselves usually moves pretty quick.

Here at Pinhead Nation, we really don't understand the mentality of those from the 'Burgh. Most residents of the Steel City are the ultimate collar-downs: unemployed iron workers, very obese women, and genetic mutations that come from being just the third generation of mammals to crawl out of the Allegheny River and walk on two-legs.

While Pittsburgers slowly evolve into human beings, us collar ups will crack open a bottle of chablis, grill some shrimp, and watch our local team win their third Super Bowl in four years. One for the thumb? Give the Patriots just two more years and they'll have it.

Collar Up.

- DW

Sunday, January 23, 2005

I've got 36 inches!

Back off, girls, I'm talking about snow. Regardless, as I sit here in front of the fireplace watching my endentured servants shovel out my expansive driveway, I felt it was a good opportunity for your superiors to enlighten our unwashed readers to today's goings-on.

Last night during the height of the snowstorm, a storm so powerful that the white blanket dropped down the from the sky even managed to make Boston University look clean (albeit for a short time), another team from Boston continued to make New Yorker's lives miserable. This time, it was the Boston College basketball team's chance to defeat a team from the "city that never bathes" as they invaded unsightly Queens, New York to beat St. John's.

After the bouncyball Eagles slapped the Johnnies and sent 2,000 Howard Stern-wannabes back to their hovel-like dormitories, your favorite hoops team ran their record to a perfect 16-0. The game was irrelevent as St. John's is so pathetic that Sally Struthers is currently starring in infomercials requesting financial donations to help the program survive in hoops poverty.

The bigger issue is where they played. Normally, when St. John's plays a big-game, they play in New York City's Madison Square Garden, a place New Yorkers laughingly call "the world's most famous arena". Instead of Broadway, the top-ranked Eagles (BC is currently ranked #1 in the Pinhead Nation basketball poll), the game was played at the Carnesecca Arena in Jamaica, Queens. Seriously, Queens is bad enough, but Jamaica, Queens?? Good Lord.

At first glance, most would say "big deal". Astute observers, and here at Pinhead Nation we are pretty sure you are not, would realize that denying BC a chance to play St. Johns at MSG is another shot at Boston College by the Big East commissioner Mike "Fat" Tranghese. With the Eagles joining their fellow collar-up friends in the ACC next year, the petty Big East Conference is burning the midnight oil finding new and exciting ways to stick it to the departing Eagles.

Pinhead Nation laughs at the immature acts of a defeated Big East Commissioner and to Tranghese's dismay, the Eagles managed to escape gang-ridden Jamaica, Queens without any drive-by shooting incidents and another victory on thier way to the Big East championship. Sources close to the 'Nation report that Tranghese is currently working behind the scenes to move the Big East Championship from Madison Square Garden to Carnesecca Hall when BC advances to the Big East Final. Stay tuned.

Staying with the basketball theme for a minute, don't think for a second that the people you wish you were aren't noticing that large flushing noise eminating from Storrs, Connecticut these days. With their loss last night at home against Pittsburgh (the only win the city of Pittsburgh will see this weekend), UConn's men's hoops team continues to circle the bowl, much to the dismay of their tomato-faced coach, the scumbag Jim Calhoun.

America's Team had their game vs. the knuckledraggers from Titletown, New Hampshire postponed until Monday night due to the snow. As much as the 24 year-old Canadian freshman on UNH's hockey roster enjoy playing in the snow, the thoughtful folks in Chestnut Hill chose to postpone the game anyhow. Since the arrival of double-wide trailers would wreak havoc on the snow covered streets, normally paved in gold, surrounding the BC campus, the safety issues could not be ignored. While Boston College's administration understands UNH fans' desire to spend 3 hours inside Conte Forum enjoying electricity and indoor plumbing for a change, BC simply couldn't risk the chance that one collar-up may be injured in the storm.

The game, stayed UNH's pending hockey execution until Monday night where America's Team, led by the great Matti Kaltiainen, will inflate their lead in the Hockey East standings. The top-ranked Eagles (America's Team likewise is currently ranked #1 in the Pinhead Nation poll), expect to be ranked #1 in the other insigificant polls after Colorado College fell flat this weekend out west. As usual, the cream that is the Boston College hockey program, always rises to the top.

Finally, a safety warning from your superiors at Pinhead Nation. With the snow situation demolishing most of the northeast today, we advise you to stay in your one-bedroom apartments and stay huddled around your stove for heat. Cold and snow like this can be dangerous to most of you without the means to afford heat or adequate shelter. The 'Nation cares about you as with the demise of every UNH, Maine, or BU graduate, our waiting time at the drive-thru gets longer.

Collar Up.

- DW

Friday, January 21, 2005

"The Runner-Up is the First Loser" - The Dick Umile Story

In 49 of the 50 states of our great Union, finishing first and winning is the goal taught to us at just about every aspect of life. Whether it was when we were told as kids that victory would earn you free pizza at the Little League shack or the fact that the winning team got the bigger trophy, finishing first is a value drilled into our psyche at a young age.

Personally, my earliest memory of achieving victory was during my youth at age 7. I had notched the game-winning goal to secure my team's polo championship and my parents showered me with imitation champagne and fed me all-I-could eat creme brulee. When I got home, the hired help actually carried me on their shoulders like a conquering hero around the grounds of our estate.

Amazingly, there is a place where finishing second is not only tolerated, it's feted. A place where people like Nancy Kerrigan, Mike Dukakis, and the Buffalo Bills hold a special place in the hearts of its inhabitants, you guess it, it's called New Hampshire. This is a place that even the famous "Old Man In The Mountain" got sick of waiting for a NH championship and finally destroyed himself after millions of years of waiting.

No person represents the time-honored value of finishing second more than University of New Hampshire hockey coach Dick Umile. Umile, a fantastic regular season hockey coach, always folds when the lights are at their brightest and the chips are on the line. If Umile were competing against a woman in a "peeing contest" measuring distance, the Melrose High product would most certainly finish second.

To Umile's credit, he wears his perennial "silver medal" proudly and has received several awards recognizing his skills, prior to the final game that is. When he coached Watertown High School's hockey team in Massachusetts, he won back-to-back Middlesex League titles in 1984 and 1985. Unfortunately, once the state playoffs began and the Red Raiders were playing for the big trophy, Umile got his team to the semis twice, only to fall flat against Matignon and Wakefield respectively.

After leaving the high school ranks, Dick "Lord of the No Rings" Umile joined the Providence College staff and finally landed his first NCAA coaching job at UNH, his alma mater, in December of 1990. Having played at UNH during his student days, Umile "captured" 21st place on the Wildcats all-time scoring sheet, Umile was brought in to right the UNH ship that was having as much success at that time as Robert Downey, Jr does today of staying out of the medicine cabinet.

It took a few years, but before long, Dick Umile turned UNH into a competitive program and after a stunning upset of Jack Parker's filthy BU Terriers in 1998, earned a trip to the Frozen Four. Defeating top-seeded BU, led by Chris Drury and the immortal Juha Vuori, gave UNH fans hope that their drought of NCAA crowns, dating back to the Jurassic Era, would finally come to an end. Predictably, the national TV cameras were turned on, and before the first traces of homemade grain alcohol reached the pickled brains of their rural fans, UNH was bounced by Michigan, 4-0.

UNH rebounded in 1999 and finished first in Hockey East. Seeking their first Hockey East tournament crown, Umile and his boys met America's Team and, although heavily favored, saw BC's collar-up forward Blake Bellefeuille break UNH's heart in OT.

Undaunted, UNH fought its way all the way to the NCAA final where it would take on their hillbilly rivals from Maine for all the marbles. Hopes were high as UNH, just weeks before, demolished Maine on back-to-back nights and the stars appeared aligned for the Wildcats to finally step into the winner's circle.

Then it happened again.

"Umile's Underachievers" dropped a crushing overtime decision to once again earn UNH the title of runner-up. After coming out slower than a 400 lb. New Hampshire woman comes out of a bathtub, the Wildcats fell behind 2-0, and ultimately watched Maine skate with the trophy.

There's an old saying that says "those who deny history are doomed to repeat it". Well, in 2002, UNH again reached the Frozen Four and again faced Maine, this time in the national semifinals. Two weeks before the "toothless two" met in St. Paul, Minnesota, UNH beat Maine to win their first Hockey East crown. A rematch over a team they'd just beaten, would go a long way in easing the pain of 1999 and setting up a shot at the national title.

Led by forwards Darren Haydar, Lanny Gare, and their red-hot goaltender Michael "beachball" Ayers, Umile finally had a team that could, and probably should, win it all. When rookie Sean Collins scored less than a minute into the game, UNH appeared to have punched their ticket to the NCAA final.

Then, it happened again.

Tied at 2 heading into the third period, UNH watched Maine score five straight goals, to stun the Wildcats and take the 7-2 win. Umile, wearing his patented 'turtle neck' to enhance his choking skills, was too stunned to call a time-out during Maine's onslaught and somehow refused to change goaltenders, even though Ayers had slowly morphed into an orange traffic cone.

Not to be outdone, UNH defied the odds and, after winning their second straight Hockey East crown, punched their ticket to Buffalo, NY for another trip to the Frozen Four. This time, they were underdogs in the semis as the powerful Cornell defense stood in their way. Shockingly, it was Cornell who choked this time and UNH became the beneficiary of a bad referee call on a non-goal and made it to the NCAA final for the second time in four years.

Against defending champ Minnesota, the Wildcats appeared to be getting the breaks this time as they took a 1-1 tie into the third period. The Gophers led by star freshman Thomas Vanek from "Parts Unknown, Austria", was held in check for two periods and UNH was just one goal and 20 minutes away from a win that would kick off "imbredpalooza" back home in Durham.

Then, it happened again.

Ayers, still smarting from his 2002 shellacking vs. Maine, allowed the Gophers to score four unanswered goals to win their second straight crown with a 5-1 demolition of Umile's charges.

For Umile, it's business as usual. From his days coaching the Red Raiders at the old Watertown Rink to the big sheet in Titletown, NH, the balding bench boss with the loud whistle is destined to finish second. Like another bald character, he always seems to have someone pull the football away at the last minute.

So far this year, Umile's Wildcats are 15-5-2 heading into this weekend's games, headlined by their impending loss to America's Team on Saturday. If they beat the odds and manage to return to the Frozen Four again this year, expect Umile to choke again. No matter how many "good cards" he may be holding, count on Whistlin' Dick Umile to fold once the stakes get high, as usual.

Collar Up.

- DW

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

"Leadfoot" Escapes and Presumed Dangerous

While sitting in my luxurious Pinhead Palace after a fine dinner of Filet Mignon, I had a call from my collar-up brother in law in South Carolina. "He escaped...he escaped...LeadFoot Caron has...escaped", he said as the phone went dead.

As the all-points-bulletin was issued throughout the Atlantic Coast region, I remembered back to how the sad and sordid tale of Ed "Leadfoot" Caron started and how a man went from collar-up to collar-down, back to collar-up, and sadly to collar-down once again.

Years ago, Ed Caron was a young man with a bright future. The Phillips-Exeter Academy student was excelling on the ice and in the classroom. A collar-up life awaited Mr. Caron as many prestigious universities inquired about his services. The world was his for the taking, but only if he chose wisely.
Ed Caron, circa 2001 (still collar up)

Unfortunately, due to years of living in the grimy wasteland that is Nashua, New Hampshire, Caron developed a taste for fast food, cheap clothes, and assumed the life that a minimum wage earning New Hampshire local lives. After toiling in a collar-down society, Caron shockingly chose to regress in his academic and hockey development by announcing he'd be turning down a chance to play for America's Team and play for the University of New Hampshire.

So off he went from living a life of "pheasant under glass with wine" to one of "Chicken McNuggets with fries", from relaxing in the library studying the works of "Plato" to sitting in UNH's Stoke Hall playing with "Play-dough". The die had been cast and for Caron, he has unknowingly taken his first step back in human evolution, a decision he would soon regret.

At UNH, Caron continued to excel in his academics. Being able to "color within the lines" quickly caught the eyes of several University of New Hampshire professors, who gave Caron extra work while the other students were at recess or at naptime.

On the ice, the burning sensation, originally thought to be a urethral infection caused by long nights with filthy UNH coeds, turned out to be aggression caused by knowing he had made a wrong turn in life. He become unusually aggressive and began to use his 6'2", 230 lbs. frame for evil. On a cold night in February, 2002, the night that most believe was the moment he finally snapped, Caron gave a nasty cheap shot to America's Team defenseman John Adams and sent the collar-upped d-man to the hospital.

After being ejected from that game, Caron, who had earned the nickname "Leadfoot" due to his dirty style of play, realized the err of his ways and made a decision. He knew that if he continued to live in his existing environment, he would cause irreparable harm to himself and those he loved. That day he decided to return to the world of the elite, flipped his collar up, and transferred to Yale University.

While at Yale, Caron once again enjoyed the privileged life of high society. Although he would have to sit out a year per NCAA rules and watch his new hockey team from the stands, Caron renewed his superior lifestyle and began to give himself a mental "delousing" of the previous year in Durham, New Hampshire.

Back at UNH, his former team played well without him and Caron wondered what life would have been like if he hadn't left. Like a virus, the memories of UNH and its dirty clientele invaded his body until he couldn't fight it any longer. Like so many great men who chose to take the easy route, Caron had become infected by the disease of a lower class of life, and could no longer fight the urge to listen to the "siren's song", also known as the whistling of coach Dick Umile.

In a decision that will go down as one of the most disturbing of anyone's lifetime, Leadfoot Caron, realizing he no longer fit in with a better class of people, walked away from Yale University. In one day, Caron chose to throw away his tuxedo for a flanel jacket and cancel his riding lessons for a game of beer pong. Caron decided he was going back to the University of New Hampshire.

Back at UNH, Caron, again, fell in with the wrong crowd. Instead of valedictorians and future presidents, Caron once again mingled with 30-something Canadian hockey players and future Dairy Queen Employees. He had thrown away a life of wealth for a life of welfare. Collar-ups throughout society were stunned at Caron's willing disregard for the class structure and were saddened that "Eddie" had turned into "Leadfoot". Once a gentle fellow who used his massive size to help carry old ladies across the street, had become a mentally-disturbed thug now using it for unspeakable evil.

Suddenly, something happened. The goodness that was now buried deep in a dark soul, began to show itself once again. The evil monster that Leadfoot had become began to show signs of escaping the scum-filled prison that was UNH and once again, Caron was freed. This time from an unlikely source.

Noticing the change that was happening to the once nice fellow from Hudson, NH, the Edmonton Oilers, who drafted him out of prep school, chose to sign Caron and save him before all his goodness was finally extinguished. Caron, now competely mentally unbalanced, was going back from "Eddie" to "Leadfoot" almost on a daily basis now. He summoned all his good sense and accepted Edmonton's offer to escape the Earthly hell that resided in Durham, NH.

Though the National Hockey League continued to be closed, due to a labor issue, Caron was sent to the ECHL to play for the Greenville Grrrowl in the very collar-down dump that is Greenville, South Carolina. Whether it was the return to a lower class of society or the reemergence of the monster created from the environment that nurtured him in New Hampshire, the beast returned. There in Greenville, "Leadfoot" began to show himself once again and fans of the Grrrowl began to see cheap shots and dirty play they hadn't seen in those parts since their ancestors fired on Fort Sumter.
Ed Caron, circa 2004 (now "Leadfoot")

After just 19 games, the good (but hillbilly) folks in Greenville had seen enough as the entire town lit torches and stormed the Grrrowl's front office. Rumors of "Leadfoot" Caron's firing began to circulate, but before he could be formally removed from the team, Leadfoot, seeing the massive civil unrest, escaped and is now on the run.

The former prep school socialite from Phillips Exeter had completely turned into something so evil, that residents of Greenville and surrounding counties are on 24-hour alert and have been warned that he is dangerous and likely psychotic.

Rumors of "Leadfoot sightings" have been noted throughout South Carolina, but few have been substantiated. Occasional photos have surfaced, but nothing that has led authorities to the any legitimate leads to capturing Leadfoot Caron. South Carolina police have set up a phone number to call for any leads and implore anyone seeing Caron to contact Detective Bellefeuille at 1-800-UNH-LOSS immediately.
Recent photo (proved not be Leadfoot, but a female UNH fan in line for standing room tickets).

Sadly, when that phone call came from my brother in law in South Carolina and told me Leadfoot was on the loose again, I was not surprised. A collar up who had thrown his life away to live with the lower class always leads to trouble. For Caron, we can only hope and pray he returns to normal life. I have instructed the hired help to say a prayer for Eddie and raise my flume, shake my head, and realize what could have been.

Collar Up.

- DW

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Saturday is "Trash Day"

I'm guilty of it, no doubt. There are times when I sit at work, look down at the empire I've created, and wonder if the help took out the trash on trash day. Sometimes I have to remind them what day is trash day since my town likes to change it up once in a while to keep the BU graduates who "patrol the neighborhood seeking garbage" fresh.

Anyhow, I arranged for my town to have trash day this week on Saturday since over at Conte Forum, America's Team will be taking out college hockey's version of trash in the University of New Hampshire that evening.

Sure, your superiors at the 'Nation have had some fun reminding those at Boston University of their inferiority, but to their credit, although they are foreign waste, they still live in the civilized society that is Boston. When you're from New Hampshire and attend the University of New Hampshire, you are familiar with three concepts, the mating habits of sheep, ho-downs, and the annual rite of spring that is the demise of UNH hockey.

I don't want to bore you by discussing the history of UNH hockey's failures, it's a list as long as doomed democratic presidential nominees who are not from Arkansas. Sure, we can go back and talk about the numerous post season chokes, the one-sided losses in the NCAA tourney, and of course the belly-buster that was the loss to Niagara University a few years ago, but not today.

We are going to spend a lot of time this week discussing the arrival of the double-wides and the carnival folk that will be crossing the border this weekend. Later this week, we'll discuss the sad tragedy that is UNH hockey. Today, though, I want to discuss what a BC fan should look for when approaching a UNH fan.

UNH fans are simply Maine fans who think they are cosmopolitan because they can pick up radio stations from Boston on a clear night. Due to their insecurity about their understood inferiority, they should be approached with extreme caution. These people are used to being up at 4 am to milk cows, screw sheep, feed chickens, etc, so they tend to be a bit cranky by the time the puck drops at 7 pm.

Collar ups will take note that upon seeing these people from New Hampshire that there is little distinction between male and female New Hampshire fans. The male species, usually weighing between 250-300 lbs. and can be easily spotted by his UNH hockey jersey that is normally about 7 sizes too small. The male, usually named "Billy", "Bob", or in the more evolved species, "Billy-Bob", is quick tempered and has little respect for personal hygiene. Also, note the series of tattoos and references to drunken experiences at "biker weekend in Laconia".

The female New Hampshire resident is normally louder, and usually bigger, than her male counterpart. To spot her is relatively easy. Most New Hampshire females tend to clap like seals, wear blue jeans that a Barbie Doll couldn't fit in and wear more makeup than an average medical school cadaver. Due to several face-lifts and years of hard living, the faces of the female resemble miles of New Hampshire backroad while her voice can best be described as a "painful screetch". New Hampshire females tend to move slow as most have given birth to between 5-10 offspring (usually by the age of 15), that has cut down their overall mobility.

Like her current male counterpart (the average New Hampshire female has an average of 719 male counterparts during her lifetime), her dental work is "non-existent". For that reason, New Hampshire folks are forced to drink their lunch out of paper bags, while huddled around a trash can fire for heat. For these and many other reasons, they tend to become easily irritated and are quite sensitive creatures.

If a member of the collar-up society must converse with a Granite Stater, you will immediately encounter the language barrier and should consult a "New Hampshire to English Dictionary". In an average conversation, you will hear such phrases as "NASCAR", "militant toll employees" and "fireworks", that may cause confusion. Be advised that if the word "NASCAR" is heard, abort your conversation immediately as a simple phrase like "Gordon is God" may get you killed and for the love of Chateau d'Yquem, don't make jokes about the dearly departed Dale Earnhardt for any reason.

Be advised that this is the first of two scheduled trips to Chestnut Hill for the inhabitants of New Hampshire this hockey season, so if you see an inordinate number of mullets or leather, please consider this before calling 911 or the Department of Animal Control.

Collar Up.

- DW

Monday, January 17, 2005

The Cream Rises to the Top Again (as usual)

In just over a 72 hour period, the old addage "the cream always rises to the top" was proven once again as America's Team humiliated the overrated Terriers of Kenmore State College twice and the New England Patriots, led by BC center Dan Koppen, dismissed Indianapolis and their hillbilly quarterback Peyton Manning.

After an upset win over BC last November and a victory over our friends at Minnesota last week, the BC rejects felt confident as the Eagles and Terriers met twice this weekend. The first game, played at the hallowed grounds of Chestnut Hill, proved to be a rout as America's Team slapped BU around so hard even the ghost of BU alum Martin Luther King, Jr felt it. By the time the carnage finally ended, the Eagles skated off with a 6-3 victory and BU coach Jack Parker went back to his desk and opened up his hidden bottle of Johnnie Walker Red to dull the pain.

The next night, America's Team travelled down Commonwealth Avenue to greet the thousands of BC rejects who were awaiting them with their clever "BC sucks" chant. Though BC had never played in the new Egg-Anus Arena, they made it their own by flushing the Terriers like a painful turd to the tune of a 2-0 shutout. Led by the great Matti Kaltiainen, the king of all goaltenders, the Eagles sent the BC rejects out into the cold, sad and dejected, to find meaning in their failed and miserable lives. Although they were without the oveRAYted Chris Bourque, out with a nasty yeast infection (ok, a knee injury), it didn't matter as the Terriers proved to be simple fodder fueling the unstoppable Eagle machine.

Lessons learned for BU fans? There were many. First and foremost, you still sit at the "kids table" in the sport of college hockey and are miles behind your superiors from the Hill. BU entered this game ranked #8 in the nation, a ranking I agree with if there were only nine teams in the country. Northeastern would be last as a matter of course.

Second, no matter how many "f-bombs" you throw, no matter how much you dislike your bosses with Boston College degrees, remember, you will always be second-class citizens in the game of life and should always refer to BC graduates as "sir, your honor, your highness, or your holiness." Don't get me wrong, your superiors at the 'Nation don't dislike you one bit. We just don't understand you. Maybe it's your accents or broken english, but when we hear you yell "BC sucks", what we really hear is "We wish we went to BC".

On Sunday, the "rivalry" between the Patriots and Indy Colts was renewed in the same vein as the rivalry between the hammer and the nail. It's clear to the 'Nation that no matter what, the Colts, led by Gomer Pyle stand-in Peyton Manning cannot beat the New England Patriots. Manning, a quarterback who is the ultimate loser, once again crawled up to Patriots' coach Bill Belichick and said "I'm here daddy, please spank me before I go off to bed".

By the time the 20-3 Patriot rout ended, Manning was left remembering the good ole days of hanging out barefoot at the fishing hole with dear old dad discussing the ins and outs of losing big games on the grid. The best part of this year's version of the Colts beatdown is listening to complete collar-down lowbrows like the ESPN "experts" seeth as they are forced to eat crow once again. Pinhead Nation raises our flumes of Moet and Chandon once again to praise the football dynasty in New England.

Next up is the AFC championship vs. Pittsburgh, but is there any real suspense on how that game is going to end? Regardless of what people say or think, the unbathed and uncivilized rubes in the Steel City will join the children at Boston University in their overall feeling of sadness and the reality that they are owned by a superior breed of people.

Collar Up

- DW

Friday, January 14, 2005

Dreams Dashed, the sad story of the Boston University student

Commonwealth Avenue is generally a very collar-up area. It's beautiful and is home to many wealthy families out in the Newton area and borders America's most beautiful school, Boston College. On the other end, downtown, you have many expensive stores, restaurants, and hotels surrounded by beautiful brownstone buildings on both sides of the tree-lined streets. Both ends of Comm. Ave are places to be for the wealthy, beautiful, and intelligents of Boston, you know people like your superiors at Pinhead Nation.

But somewhere in the middle, something went terribly wrong. In the middle of Commonwealth Ave, you have hobos, burned out cars, and of course, Boston University. It is the polar opposite of the elite parts of Comm Ave. To be honest, when I go there, it reminds me of war-torn Sarajevo or depressed sections of old Leningrad. Considering the pollution, the filth, the lack of English-speaking inhabitants, the rat infestation, and the overabundance of concrete, it's no wonder that BU even makes volunteers in the Peace Corps depressed.

The majority of the students are foreigners who put on their button-down Euro shirts, minus the top three buttons since they never button them anyways, splash on some cheap designer fragrances in lieu of bathing, and spend their time at Landsdown Street listening to techno Euro-trash sound. Finding an actual American at BU is almost as difficult as actually being rejected by their admissions department (read: impossible).

Things are night and day between the Euros and the Americans. Most of the Euros, like most Americans outside of the Boston area, could care less about Boston University. They have no school pride and could care less where they are going to college, just as long as they have access to the clubs on Landsdowne Street and black designer clothes.

Then, there are the American students at BU. Although a rare find, these people really had life swing in the wrong direction when they were seniors in high school. When it was time to choose a college, they had faulty guidance counselors who didn't implore them not to waste their application fee by applying to a legitimate collar-up school like Boston College.

Unfortunately, most followed their pipe-dream until the end. Like most Boston-area students, they applied to Boston University as a safety school. But in the end, their applications to Boston College were used as toilet paper in many of Chestnut Hill's fine campus bathrooms after being laughed at during the BC faculty's annual Christmas party.

Needless to say, their applications to Boston University were accepted almost immediately. Admissions isn't much of an obstacle at BU as their Latin motto translates to "Just send us a check and we'll skip the entire admissions process". Then they waited...and waited...and waited. Sadly, when their got their letter from BC, it started "we regret to inform you...". If you're a BU student or grad, the 'Nation apologies for bringing up these bad memories again. Since most BC rejects never read the entire letter, they probably missed the last line that states "good luck at whatever God-awful institution that is pathetic enough to accept you and thanks for the $50 application fee". Also included in the rejection letter, of course, was a course selection guide for Boston University's upcoming semester.

Most professional therapists point to this moment when things went terribly wrong for the future BU students. Like Tony Montana in "Scarface" or Cameron Frye in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", this was the last straw to push them off the edge. After days of serious depression, they dug themselves out of their "hole" and dusted themselves off for a life far below the one them had dreamed. Then, in a feeling that only "new hatred" brings, they dug through the trash and pulled out their BC rejection letter, which serves as their daily motivation to remind them of their failure, and fuel their bitterness towards Boston College.

Every morning, BU grads wake up and prepare for a day serving BC grads our daily gourmet coffee and espresso, while thinking back of that terrible experience at their mailboxes. BU students, still smarting from the pain of being rejected from a top-tier university, learned to deal with being shipped off to the big city to Boston's second-tier school of higher learning (the pot smoking hippies at BU put the 'high' in higher learning).

As you know from above, all they are left with is thinking about their rejection from BC and the life they could have had. Seeing that beautiful school on the hill, so close, but yet so far, is at times too much to take. Instead of classy gothic buildings, they moved into grimy, disgusting, and roach infested Warren Towers. Then, it's off to dinner at Burger King, where they breath subway fumes while imagining what it would have been like to nibble on caviar while sitting under a nice patch of grass on BC's impeccibly manicured campus.

After a nice dinner of about 800 grams of fat, it's off to the hockey arena since it is the only sport that Boston University participates in. For the BU fan, it's a relief as they think "finally, I can be with my own people". Where else can one gather with others and simultaneously and randomly chant "BC sucks" as therapy to remind them of their rejection? No where else my friends. No where else.

As the great Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, "Boston will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy". No truer words were ever said.

Collar Up.

- Mav

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Pinhead Nation's Playoff Preview (Part 3 of 4)

Before we give you rubes our third installment in our quest to help buffer your unemployment income with some NFL winnings, there's some news to get to first.

Last night in Manchester, NH, something happened that was so funny, that words alone cannot describe it. The site was the Verizon Wireless Arena and the event was the very "collar up" Dartmouth Big Green taking the ice against the ultimate "no collar whatsoever" UNH Wildcats. UNH, as we all know, is tremendously overrated. The fact that they are actually ranked #6 in the nation proves that those who vote in this weekly poll do so after about 9 shots of Johnny Walker Blue Label. We give the pollsters the benefit of the doubt that their social status has taught them that if it isn't the Blue Label, it's no better than trash can moonshine. We pray they have collar up status.

Anyhow, armed with an 8-5 lead with just 10 minutes or so left in the contest, the Wildcats of New Hampshire proceeded to allow the very mediocre Dartmouth icers to score four straight goals and take a hillarious 9-8 victory over the boys from Titletown, NH. It was the most goals allowed by the Kitties since they dropped an 8-5 nailbiter to a horrible Clarkson team in 2002. Coach "Whistlin'" Dick Umile defied hockey logic by not replacing his goaltender, Jeff Pietrasiak, even after the refs replaced the puck with a beachball (see link to pic below) in an attempt to limit the carnage, but the Big Green scored anyway.

UNH Goaltender Pietrasiak's GAA number replaced with "sideways 8" to ensure accuracy.

Pietrasiak, who has been admitted to Shriners' Hospital and is receiving medication for a serious burn on the back of his neck caused by a recurring red-light over a 3 hour period, rose his Goals Against Average to about a million or so. Folks up in Titletown enjoy mocking the great Matti Kaltiainen, America's Team's goaltender, but the fact remains that both BC goaltender's goals against averages combined is now less than Pietrasiak's.

Dartmouth 9, UNH 8!

I guess this ain't the year afterall for the University of Neanderthals and Hooligans. Hopefully they can douse their pain with some quality moonshine brewed in one of the many New Hampshire barns owned by local inbreds.

Now, it's time to let you know who will win the second NFC contest between the St. Louis Rams and the Atlanta Falcons, with the winner to play the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game next weekend.

This one is a toughie, because frankly, your superiors at Pinhead Nation don't really give a crap whatsoever about either team. The Rams, after defeating the ultimate underachiever in Seattle last week, travel to Atlanta to face an other overrated team in the Falcons.

Did we mention that UNH coughed up a 3 goal lead and lost 9-8?

True, no one is a greater a-hole than St. Louis coach Mike Martz, a clown who would be my prime candidate if I got to choose someone to put on a rowboat and search for the "Perfect Storm". His pompous and arrogant attitude would normally be welcomed by the 'Nation, but his obvious lack of intelligence proves he is nothing more than an imbecile who pretends to wear his collar up. Pinhead Nation honestly wonders if this man even owns a tuxedo or has ever ridden proudly on a polo pony.

No doubt, St. Louis is formidable because of a great offense. Unfortunately, they are led by a quarterback who openly admits to being a West Virginia University alum (just saying the name of that 'school' makes any collar up want to immediately bathe), you can count on his low IQ and faulty genes to cost his team this contest if close.

How did Umile not change goaltenders? Dartmouth 9, UNH 8

Atlanta, on the other hand, is the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFC. Nice record, but probably couldn't win a BCS title, let alone a NFL one. Quarterback Mike Vick, brother of Marcus "old enough to pee, old enough for me" Vick, is having a year that is greatly exaggerated by the dimwits who work on network television. He is a "straight" version of former Steeler Kordell Stewart, but sadly, mobile QB's ultimately fail in a league full of teams that actually know how to play some defense.

Pinhead Prediction:

St. Louis over Atlanta. Though the Rams lose serious points for having a hillbilly at helm of the offense, the Falcons have had two weeks to find a way to lose this one at home. Although we agree that both teams are awful, even in a beauty contest of fat women, someone must be crowned champ. The 'Nation advises you all to choose St. Louis in this battle of pigs.

Big Green 9, Wildcats 8!

Collar Up.

- DW
- UNH goaltending at its best caught on film by Collar Up freelance photographer Steve F.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Pinhead Nation's Playoff Preview (Part 2 of 4)

With one playoff lock done, it's time to move on to game two, this time the AFC battle between the New York (sucks) Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers. To those of you who played the "game of life" and lost, this is your chance at redemption. Consider these picks as our effort to help you off the welfare dime and remember, advice from your superiors at Pinhead Nation is a privilege, for you and your family.

Before we talk football, I have to raise my crystal flume to America's Team who defeated our fellow Collar Ups at Yale 1-0 last night in Connecticut (see post below regarding the Nutmeg State). Considered the best team in the nation by most respected hockey pundits, Boston College will next challenge our mentally challenged friends from Boston U this weekend. Since we've allowed the Terriers to keep our seat warm at the top of the Hockey East standings, it's high time to send them back to the kid's table where they belong both on the ice, and in life in general. Fans of America's Team travelling to the EggAnus Arena on Saturday should read our critique of the arena below before venturing down towards the crime-ridden end of Commonwealth Avenue.

I know you've been anxiously awaiting our next football pick, so without further adieu, let us tell you what to expect in the New York vs. Pittsburgh matchup on Saturday.

The New York Jets, the red-headed stepchild of New York football, advanced past the San Diego Chargers last weekend in overtime after Marty "the anti-Belichick" Schottenheimer bungled away his team's chance to win at home. The Jets, being the perennial losers they are, almost eliminated themselves after future criminal and defensive lineman Eric Barton committed a personal foul on the last play of the game and allowed San Diego to score and force overtime.

After the Chargers failed to score, the Jets took advantage and kicked a game winning field goal as overtime expired to advance to their date in Pittsburgh. The Jets, whose high point in the last year was the visual of the overrated and drunken Joe Namath hitting on a lesbian on national television, proved to be in dissaray, especially when coach Herm Edwards was spotted by the TV cameras in a verbal spat with an assistance coach. Mr. Edwards, as does the entire Jet organization, would certainly be improved if they attended a proper etiquette course and learned to act like humans, not the New York garbage they are. Pinhead Nation can certainly suggest one of many etiquette schools to help enhance their social standing.

The 2004 Steelers, ok, I'm going to say it, the most overrated football team since the 2001 Steelers, went 15-1 behind rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger, a man who looks like he spent his offseason at Burger King instead of the gym. No doubt, Roethlisberger was treated very well at one of the many Pittsburgh area fast food establishments being served by one of countless University of New Hampshire grads who flock to the fast food culinary industry.

By virtue of defeating an injury-plagued Patriots team, the Steelers earned the top spot in the AFC and will play their postseason games at Heinz Field, a place where Roethlisberger should have no problem finding ketchup for his supersized french fries.

Regarding the matchup, it's a game pitting the "city that never sleeps" vs. the "city that never bathes". This member of the 'Nation has been to the Steel City many times and outside of fetching six packs of Iron City Brew for my landscaper and my son's polo instructor, I seriously advise anyone in the collar up community to avoid this city at all costs. For those with an IQ above 50, there is nothing that anyone of social standing can gain from this depressed metropolis.

Pinhead Prediction:

Pittsburgh over New York. Although most of the country agrees that the Steelers are overrated and will not earn a trip to the Super Bowl, the Jets are simply a bad football team. If not for the coaching blunders of Schottenheimer, the Jets would be back home in New York robbing liquor stores right now instead of preparing for their upcoming embarrassment. Though this will be Pittsburgh's lone win in the postseason, if they don't get lost on their way to Heinz Field on Saturday, they will qualify for next week's AFC title game as several college teams would beat the Jets these days.

Collar Up.

- DW

Monday, January 10, 2005

Pinhead Nation's Playoff Preview (Part 1 of 4)

Your superiors at Pinhead Nation have been busy since Boston College reminded our friends in Connecticut who their daddy is. Since then, the 'Nation has been stashed away in our secret Pinhead Palace preparing to let you know who we expect to win this weekend's NFL playoff games.

While some of you were taking advantage of your Boston University education and working to earn your $5.50 per hour paycheck to support your dirty family, we have been studying our NFL cheat sheets over brandy and brie. We may have grown up with Polo and Sailing, but we are also experts in the sport of American Professional Football.

If you are a BC alumnus, bet the mansion on these picks. If you are a UNH or U. Maine alum, bet the trailer because these, our "Pinhead Predictions", are mortal locks. Each day this week, the folks you wish you were will preview one of the four games this weekend. Today's lock is one of the NFC Divisional contests.

Minnesota at Philadelphia.

The Vikings advanced to the second round by beating the highly overrated Green Bay Packers and sending the insufferable Brett Favre back to his Louisiana bayou to play with his pet alligator. Though some folks have been complaining about Randy Moss' "mooning" at the goat herder fans in Wisconsin, Pinhead Nation stands and applauds Moss for showing his inferiors what he really thinks of them.

Normally, betting for the Vikings in the playoffs is like betting the sun won't come up. Whether it was Fran Tarkenton or Warren Moon, being selected to play for the Vikes is the last thing any college graduate wants to hear on draft day. Time has shown that a career in the Twin Cities is a guarantee that you'll never win a Super Bowl.

There are worse places in the world to live, we'll get to that shortly, but there are few places as horrible as the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Pinhead Nation took in a baseball game there a few years ago and the smell stays with us to this day. It's tough to collar up when you need to use your collar to cover your nose. To give you folks who don't have the financial resources like us to travel an idea of the aroma under the big top, the dome is basically a toilet with a scoreboard.

If the Metrodome is an outhouse, the city of Philadelphia is where the waste from the Twin Cities gets pumped to. I remember my first trip to the City of Brotherly Knife Fights as it was the first time I saw a homeless person. There he was, panning for change, humming his alma mater's UNH fight song as he stood yelling at mailboxes and looking for windshields to wash.

Let's cut to the chase, Phladelphia is a crime-ridden hell hole. According to 2003 statistics, Philly ranks just ahead of Detroit for murder numbers. Think about that for a second, there were MORE murders in Philadelphia in 2003 than Detroit, which is the city that invented murder. For every 100,000 Philadelphians, 10.1 will be brutally murdered in the upcoming year. 2004 census numbers show 1,517,000 mutants who call Philly home. Using the earlier mentioned ratio, you can clearly see that by 2007, the entire population of Philadelphia will be gone.

Getting back to football, it is clear that Philly Eagle fans won't be happy until they see their team lose to every NFC team in the conference championship game. Minnesota Vikings fans need to get to the Super Bowl and lose again to regain the reputation of the NFL's biggest loser and take the crown back from Buffalo.

Pinhead Prediction:

Minnesota over Philadelphia. Although this one is the NFL equivilent of a Presidential election between Bob Dole and Walter Mondale, this pick is actually pretty easy. They may both be losers, but someone has to win. Philly, like all pro teams from eastern Pennsylvania, choke every time the chips are down. To find a goat for Philadelphia this weekend, look no further than NFL poster bust Donovan McNabb. With Owens out, look for McNabb to return to his choking ways and fall again. Remember, McNabb is a Syracuse alum and no matter how you slice it, you can't spell "sucks" without SU.

Collar Up.

- DW

Thursday, January 06, 2005

"Now Leaving Connecticut, Come Back Soon...please?"

Let's be honest, don't we feel sorry for the people resigned to spending their lives in Connecticut? I mean, has there ever been a place where so many people have wanted to get out of in a hurry? Whether it is major corporations, sports teams, or sports conferences, the road sign "exiting Connecticut" is as welcome to all as a sign that says "free beer".

When you want to find the root of a problem, always go back to its history and the history of Connecticut is a sordid one of mass exodi and abandonment. Connecticut itself was founded in the early 1600's by the Dutch who were travelling from Manhattan to Boston. One day, the Dutch travel leader realized he needed to take a serious dump so he trudged away from the Connecticut River to relieve himself. Let's be honest, we all know what too much maize does to the digestive system and back then it was no different.

That spot, where the town of Storrs, CT stands today, is still a landmark that is considered hallowed ground to those without the financial resources to move to Massachusetts. Perhaps it is that feeling that their founders really didn't want to be there is what drives today's anger and inferiority in the slow developing minds of inhabitants of the Nutmeg State.

In modern times, things are no different. In December 2003, the state government passed the "Connecticut Fatherhood Initiative" designed to force deadbeat dads to financially support their bastard children and spend time with them. It seems the phrase "honey, I'm going out for a pack of smokes" is the most common one heard around those parts just prior to Father's Day. But seriously, can you blame them? In the bible, they call it Purgatory, according to Rand McNally, it's called Connecticut.

Though many have tried and failed to leave the "Land that Insurance Company's Built", many have succeeded, specifically those in the sports community. In 1997, the NHL's Hartford Whalers franchise decided after 25 years of playing in a strip mall, it was time to bolt the town for a legitimate hockey town with proud tradition: Raleigh, North Carolina.

In the mid-nineties, New England Patriots' owner Robert Kraft managed to leave Hartford without even playing a game there. In a power play to force Massachusetts to built a football stadium, Kraft toyed with then-Connecticut Governor and now disgraced John Rowland into pretending he would move the team to lovely East Hartford. Ironically, after the Patriots turned tail, the state used that land to build a stadium for the University of Connecticut football team. From almost housing today's World Champions to settling for the Husky gridders is like being left at the altar by Eva Langoria and settling for "Wendy the Retard" from the Howard Stern show.

Finally, the ultimate indignity. After years of trying to develop Division 1 football and relying on the almighty Boston College to legitimize the program by forcing a "rivalry", BC turned up its collars and left for the greener pastures of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The state actually tried to sue BC to force them to stay, but in the end, the better people won and BC moved on. Although bitter feelings exist ( UConn basketball coach and eternal scumbag Jim Calhoun has vowed never to play the Eagles again) UConn football is better suited playing the Rutgers', Bentleys', and Perkins' School of the Blinds' of the world, especially if they aim to become competitive someday.

It should be no surprise to anyone why such an inferiority complex exists in Connecticut towards their superiors from Massachusetts. Face it, we take what they want and we flaunt it. We have Gillette and Polaroid, they have the WWE and the Nutmeg Museum. We listen to "Dirty Water" with pride, and they listen to the "Brass Bonanza" and long for the good old days.

The bottom line is simple, if it wasn't for an unnamed Dutch traveler with diarrhea, the folks of Connecticut would have been spared years of inferiority as many would have gone on to continue their travel to Massachusetts. Nonetheless, like crack addicts, abandoned children, and the homeless, we superiors are going to have to learn to tolerate them. It's that tolerance that truly make us a superior form of human.

Please check out our 'complete profile' section and hit the audio clip tab and let's help the poor residents of Connecticut remember a golden era gone by.

Collar Up.

- DW

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Conte Forum East

This member of the 'Nation took a field trip to Kenmore State's shiny new Agganis Arena last night to see Baghdad U. take on the top-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers. As a fan of America's Team, I had many opportunities to travel to the dirty end of Commonwealth Ave and watch games at the old Urinal, where BU started playing hockey years ago when Jack Parker still had a soul.

Sadly, when rats started showing up at Walter Brown Arena that were larger than current Terrier Brad Zancanaro, BU's athletics department knew it was time to move on. After years of speculation and rumors, the curtain opened on the new Harry Agganis Arena (aka the "Egg Anus" Arena) in front of 6,000 or so BU folks who chose to attend the "other" Boston school rather than prepare for their S.A.T.s and attend a real institution of higher learning.

The new building is everything the Urinal wasn't. It's large, roomy, and has that "new" urine smell that comes only from Eurotrash who feel personal hygiene is a myth. A wide variety of alcoholic beverages are served, although when I asked for a Moet and Chandon in a crystal flume, all I received was a chicken basket and a baffled stare, so there is still a lot of "collaring up" to do in the new place.

As a visiting fan, one thing I'm glad to see gone is the intimidation factor that came with the old building. With every move from a "barn" to a "facility", one thing that disappears faster than a UNH fan's dream of a national championship is atmosphere. Three things stuck out that earned a collective gasp from the hockey traditionalists who still feel that Jack Kelly coached BU "just yesterday".

1.) The Noise-Meter. BU fans have always chided America's Team for the "arena rock" type canned cheering requests from the scoreboard at Conte Forum. I guess when you face the fact that this new arena will be, at best, 50% full on most nights, you need to do everything to keep the paying customers awake since BU's style of hockey certainly won't.

2.) The "Dance for the iPod" contest. With a new video jumbotron, BU employees can scan the crowd and show them on the scoreboard. When directed, if you can dance (and with the Eurotrash at BU we know you can), you can win yourself a free iPod to help stay in touch with your friends back home in Spain, France, or Pakistan.

3.) The "growl like a Terrier" abomindation. Apparently, they feel the need to let fans bark like a dog into a microphone since everyone knows you can't play hockey without kids yelling "bow wow" into a mic. Come to think of it, since most female BU students resemble members of the canine community, shouldn't they just wire them for sound? Why fake it when you can have the real thing?

Truth be told, BU fans have joined America's Team in the wonderful world of a modern day arena. Sure, it's bright and has nice bells and whistles, but like the Garden to the Fleet, Foxboro to Gillette, and Snively to Whittemore, you no longer have a hockey arena, you now have an entertainment complex. Welcome, my inferior friends, to Conte Forum East. Drink up, you're going to need it.

Inside the arena, there was a hockey game last night. After closing out the old building in style, our friends from the University of Minnesota sleptwalked through a 60 minute snoozefest and somehow managed to lose 2-1 to a squad that actually let Mike Eruzione's son, he of no hockey talent, join the team. The Golden Gophers, currently ranked the top team in all the land, well, how do you say, sucked.

The only thing that smelled worse last night than Harry Agganis himself, was the stink lines coming off the maroon sweaters of the Gophers who clearly had better things to do. In my mind, the only team that is better this year than America's Team was Minnesota and now, I'm wondering if the large "M" on their sweaters stood for "Merrimack", not "Minnesota". Bah!

Speaking of Merrimack, they will provide the fodder tonight for America's Team at the Andover Town Dump as the Eagles should hit double-digits in wins around 9:30 pm. Interestingly, BC has struggled at Merrimack in recent years, mainly due to the fact that playing the Warriors is the ultimate "playing down to the competition" game.

The two programs also have a history of bitter feelings and cheap play, completely coming from the Merrimack side. A few years ago after nine-foot tall BC defenseman Andrew Alberts innocently checked MC's Marco Rosa into the boards, Rosa got hurt and many Warrior players, who really are D-3 prospects at best, accused Alberts of a cheap shot.

Weeks later, MC goaltender Joe Exter, obviously showing he's all brawn and no brains, dove head first into an oncoming Patrick Eaves, and almost died after a horrific on-ice collision that actually made ESPN and Sports Illustrated.

Though Eaves did nothing wrong whatsoever, he was suspended after a prolonged on-ice brawl that left a lot of BC players with bloody knuckles, and a lot of MC players with their tampons knocked out. The good news is Exter is ok, but the bad news is Merrimack still resorts to cheap shots and dirty play since, on paper, their talent can't beat BC High, let alone BC.

Collar Up.

- DW