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WIS Productions Presents ... The Effingwoods Hockey Almanac

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  • #46
    Oh, but the indignity of the ads that are embedded in this thread, and others. Sad.

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    • #47
      WIS: (incredulous) Is that ... you?!?!?
      WSW: Who'd you expect - the Pop 'N Fresh Doughboy??
      WIS: Jeezus H ... it's been, what ... 20 years now?
      WSW: Just over a month from now, actually ...
      WIS: ... time flies, you blink, and ...
      WSW: ... you were always pretty good at math.
      WIS: I gotta tellya ... the old place, it ain't the same since you left, that's for sure ...
      WSW: I see you had to eat massive crow over the whole BC/Yorkie dynasty thing.
      WIS: True. Not a lot of fun, but ...
      WSW: ... the guy and his program deserved it.
      WIS: Yeah, I suppose so.
      WSW: But boring as he11. Not exactly the life of the party, eh?
      WIS: True and true. Not the human lightning rod you were, back in the day ...
      WSW: So, let's cut the small talk ... you seem to be looking for answers ...
      WIS: (surprised) Since when were you the "cut to the chase" type? You used to go on and on and ...
      WSW: This eternity stuff is WAY overrated. I got things to see, people to do ...

      WIS: OK, so then ... what's happened to Hockey East, y'know, since your ...
      WSW: Demise? Passing?? Ascension???
      WIS: Whatever you prefer ...
      WSW: I like "ascension" personally. Seems fitting.
      WIS: Then feel free to roll with that ...
      WSW: NOTHING happened.
      WIS: ???????????????
      WSW: Don't just stand there looking stupid. NOTHING happened. A whole pile of NOTHING actually.
      WIS: Go on, o Great One ...
      WSW: Remember when I was still in my mortal coil? The story lines were endless, weren't they?
      WIS: True.
      WSW: You even had to look up Overland Park on Google to keep track, ferchrissakes ...
      ((JC)): (a distant echo) Watch it there, kiddo. That's against The Rules up here!!
      WSW: (momentarily apologetic) ... oops, sorry, Big Guy. Forgot! Anyway ...
      WIS: Wow ... so you actually made it to THE SHOW?!?!?
      WSW: Not quite, actually this is Purgatory. Kinda like the Lowell of the Afterlife ...
      WIS: So ... where were we ...
      WSW: ... anyway, yeah, back in the day, I'd be doing my thing, Jackie P. would be doing his thing ...
      WIS: Water bottles, illegal sticks, inviting HEA officiating staff to personal cookouts, yada yada ...
      WSW: You're not seeing that anymore, eh? Even the student sections can't curse anymore ...
      WIS: ... and the stuff on the USCHO boards is also turned WAY down.
      WSW: Yeah, I noticed.
      WIS: You still follow this crap?
      WSW: Sure, why not? Great daily affirmation, seeing the old place Downeast pining for my return ...
      WIS: Isn't that the truth ...
      WSW: ... plus you and that Greg guy, always whining about the good ol' days ... priceless.
      WIS: My turn to cut to the chase then ... will we ever get it back???
      WSW: (laughing) Well, I'm good, even great ... but not reincarnation great, y'know?
      WIS: Figured that much.
      WSW: And Jackie P. looks like he's permanent persona non grata at his old place ...
      WIS: ... so what's the solution then, O Farsighted Great One Above All Former Mortals?
      WSW: (blushing) Well, first, you gotta flush the stupid social media dorks buried in their phones ...
      WIS: With you on that ...
      WSW: ... and there's this one guy out there who I think could really jazz up the old place ...
      WIS: (sitting on pins & needles) Who? How? When???

      Stay tuned for the continuation of this Beyond Epic Interview in the coming days ...
       
      Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
      Montreal Expos Forever ...

      Comment


      • #48
        WSW: Well, the guy I had in mind is pre-occupied with his current high-profile gig ...
        WIS: So we'll "make him an offer he can't refuse" then?
        WSW: REAL original take. Still stuck reliving your past sem-glories on here, eh dumbo?.
        WIS: Oops, sorry ... go on ...
        WSW: ... anyway, this guy was always a real big blowhard, human lightning rod ...
        WIS: Sounds kinda familiar ...
        WSW: Doesn't it, eh? Never saw a camera that he didn't like, publicity-hound to the max ...
        WIS: ... you don't say ...
        WSW: ... big city guy by birth ...
        WIS: Boston?
        WSW: Nope, born a few minutes outside of NYC ...
        WIS: This is you, right?!?
        WSW: ... made his bones initially working his way up under a father figure ...
        WIS: You meant "father-in-law", right?!?
        WSW: ... and then got married and divorced and remarried ...
        WIS: Let me guess - married his boss' daughter, then ...
        WSW: ... no ... but finally set out on his own and enjoyed a rapid rise and a rocky career ...
        WIS: Stop it already!! Yeah, I get it, you would have been a great HE commish, but you're ...
        WSW: ... ascended. And no, I'm not talking about myself ...
        WIS: Well, now THAT's a first.
        WSW: OK, I'll give you that one. But nope, not me.
        WIS: Sounded just like you, you gotta admit ...
        WSW: TRUMP
        WIS: (more than just the usual dumbfounded look)

        WSW: Yup, that's your guy.
        WIS: You mean ... it's not going to be Steve Metcalf?!?!?
        WSW: Who the he11 is that????
        ((JC)): (a distant echo) That's Strike Two for you, kiddo. Watch it, unless you like Lowell/Purgatory!!
        WSW: A thousand pardons, Big Guy. So ... where were we?
        WIS: Trump being the guy to "jazz up the old place", I think is how you put it?
        WSW: Yeah, anyway ... that guy does have quite a bit in common with me, now that you point it out ...
        WIS: No wonder you like him so much ...
        WSW: ... and like me, someone not afraid of hustling and hard work ...
        WIS: ... and "pushing the envelope", so to speak?
        WSW: ... much beloved in some quarters, and thoroughly detested in others ...
        WIS: BTW I'm shocked no one has ever made a movie of your life yet.
        WSW: ... but always generating attention. "Hits" or "clicks", I think it's called these days?
        WIS: Yes. Clickbait.
        WSW: I would have owned D-1 on clickbait alone if I were still coaching down there.
        WIS: No doubt about it. But the NCAA would have had to add a new wing to their HQ.
        WSW: Why do you think they moved to Indy?
        WIS: Hmm ... never thought about that.
        WSW: So yeah, once Trump is done in DC, be it in 4 months or 4 years, you name him HE commish.
        WIS: What do we do with Metcallf then?
        WSW: Who knows, who cares. Maybe you make HIM "the offer he can't refuse" ...
        WIS: I like your thinking.
        WSW: Of course you do. Now that I'm not here to decimate your fave program, you see all clearly.

        WIS: Last question for you before I awaken from the fantasy sequence ...
        WSW: BTW your choice of video for the intro was impeccable. Big Zep fan, especially Pagey.
        WIS: Glad you liked. Anyway ... were you really good pals with Coach Umile?
        WSW: I'll answer with an appropriate quote from your favorite go-to movie ...
        WIS: "Leave the gun, take the cannoli's?"
        WSW: Not quite. "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."
        WIS: Gotcha. Well, thanks - this has certainly been enlightening ...
        WSW: Always happy to help. And BTW, go with that Nostradamus sketch you showed me. Winner.
        WIS: How did you know? I didn't show you, or anyone else, that ...
        WSW: Do not doubt me. Now, play that out-tro video blip I racked up for you below ...
         
        Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
        Montreal Expos Forever ...

        Comment


        • #49
          I have not left the WIS Estate for days now, it has become my last refuge in my total despair. I have only the music of the babbling brook to comfort me. I can no longer persist under the control of the mundane Hockey East Association, but there is no other place to go in D-1 hockey with my beloved team. My hope is that with my disavowal, I may return to the world of my dream, the glorious past, and rediscover the better times we all enjoyed in these here parts not so long ago ...
           
          Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
          Montreal Expos Forever ...

          Comment


          • #50
            Well, it looks like we've come to the end of this saga. I've attached the Grand Finale video bit, because not to follow up with one of the greatest climactic pieces of music composed by anyone in my lifetime would be cruel at least, criminal ay worst.

            The simple truth of the matter is (sadly) this ... Hockey East hasn't been at its compelling best for almost a generation now. Electric personalities like Shawn Walsh and Jack Parker are no longer in the picture, and no one has really come close to filling that vacuum in any meaningful way. The most outspoken coach in HEA these days is Jim Madigan, and he's a watered down version of Dick Umile at best. Media coverage is way down. Attendance is way down. The best players usually stick around for a year or two, instead of the 3-4 year players at the turn of the century. Can't-miss rivalries like BU-BC and UNH-UMaine are pale shadows of what they used to be. Games are no longer rowdy rituals with fan-led enthusiasm, but rather lemmings absorbed in (and too often led by) whatever shows up on the Jumbotron, on rare moments they aren't buried n their phones. Booster clubs have been marginalized or co-opted, when they haven't been outright eliminated.

            Every program used to have its own distinctive vibe, and the arenas used to be unique experiences unlike the others across the league. We were already starting to lose that (in the name of progress) back towards the end of the previous century, when Conte and Mullins first sprang up, to be followed by The Whitt and Tsongas. And even with its unique sizing, The Whitt has been continuously plagued in recent seasons with discussion about alterations that would bring it more in line with the rest of the arenas around the league. Loud bands accompanied by irreverent R-rated chants have been sanitized, replaced by the same pre-programmed fare you get at nearby NHL, AHL and ECHL rinks. Bland standardization, thy name is HEA.

            The league last commissioner had an opportunity to do something much like Dave Gavitt did with Big East basketball, but he simply wasn't up for the job. Gavitt was a visionary; Joey Buttons, eh, not quite. It was probably apropos for his swan song to have been denied due to circumstances that simply washed over him - the symbolic passenger, right to the end.

            His successor looks to have "grasped the nettle" in the same passive way his predecessor always seemed to, with a single press release that's now over a month old - which doesn't even have his name on it - to message to its (remaining) fanbase what the plans for the upcoming season might be. I guess in an evolving modern society where cravenly hanging back and letting the invisible folks in detached boardrooms call the shots passes for "follow-the-leader(ship)", this is hardly surprising.

            Ultimately, it's a league that reflects the current-day make-up and priorities of so-called "higher education", with that being the bland, overall sameness that permeates every last nook and cranny of what constitutes HEA (and college life) these days. No independence or freedom of expression, unless of course, that expression meets with the norms agreed by the thought leaders in charge. You'd have to be insanely naive to expect any degree of compelling uniqueness to emerge from this mess.

            So ... where does that leave someone who has developed an attachment to a hockey program, where all the unique and compelling features that once made this such an enjoyable pastime, have largely (if not entirely) faded into a bland haze of oblivion? 45 years' worth of fanhood are tough to flush down the proverbial toilet, especially when it's the closest thing a resident of Effingwoods has to a so-called "home team". Most of my various other favorite teams began at some point in the '70's, with only the Fabulous Football Giants reaching back to 1969. UNH Hockey is right in that wheelhouse, and while my Expos left that collection along the way, the idea of walking away from a viable team/program at this stage of my life borders on the unthinkable. It took Bobby Orr leaving town for me to switch from the B's to the Wings. So switching now is flat out.

            It would be a shame (and a first) to stop caring about UNH Hockey. I've lived through a lot of bad teams in terrible runs - the "Dead Wings", the Pisarcik "Fumble" era Giants - experienced the lost moment in time that was the '94 Expos (current B's fans, I truly feel your pain with the way this season played out), and almost saw my fave English soccer club go belly-up in the mid-'80's after a precipitous fall through the divisions. UNH Hockey also had its tough years in the mid-'80's, but for the most part, it's been fun, and it's never been close to an existential threat, as it was for Les Expos and Wolves. So I'm in.

            But just as with the protagonist in 2112, there is this continued sense of dismay with the overall current set-up of HEA and its members. Greg Ambrose and myself have agreed and disagreed on a wide range of topics on here over the last 20+ years, but one thing Greg has nailed down to the ground - and with which I agree (sadly) - is that the apex era of college hockey have come and (most likely) gone, for a long time, quite possibly ever. And with the suffocating sameness which permeates HEA and its member schools, it's hard to "see the light" of things ever returning to their old glory anytime soon.

            I was in the process of going down this same path with my Once Upon a Time in Hockey East thread this time last summer where the protagonist there (the Bronson/York character) came back from the wilderness with a purpose and grudge, and finished off the Fonda/Parker character in the end, while the Robards "Orono"/Walshy character burnt brightly and stole lots of scenes before he succumbed to outside elements beyond his control. Let me first say, Coach York deserves the honors he's retained, and he's certainly earned my respect for doing so. Unfortunately, the era he has since defined has left the league in a dire shortage of compelling plot lines and characters. That's not his fault, mind you - he walked into a brutally contested league, put an up-and-coming program in a state of constant also-ran-dom (UNH), reached the top of D-1 a few months before the guy who looked sure to be his long-term competitor at UMaine passed away, and gradually applied the coup de grace to the guy just down the street, who was the "last man standing" in the end. For what it's worth, Coach York seems to have since ridden off into the sunset, just like his corresponding Bronson character in Once Upon A Time In the West. He's fought his battles, he's won most of them, and (contrary to what his annoying former assistant might tell you) his subsequent fortunes reflect only the simple fact that he's still one of the best to ever do what he does. Bravo.

            So ... that's a wrap, I guess, for this summer's story-in-a-story, and some insight into where last year's story was going before it "paused". You can still find it about 9 pages down in the D-1 forum, or via the handy-dandy link I'll post below.

            The movie last year's "epic" was drawn from - Once Upon A Time In the West - may be the best movie many of you folks have never seen. Sergio Leone's follow-up to his Dollars trilogy with Clint Eastwood just knocks it out of the park with the story (like all the best, steeped in revenge), the characters, the casting, the score ... all of it fantastic stuff. If you're ever looking for a movie to challenge and entertain you for 2 hours and 45 minutes, I can't recommend it highly enough.

            https://fanforum.uscho.com/forum/col...in-hockey-east

            Hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend with those closest to you. Be brave, be strong.
             
            Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
            Montreal Expos Forever ...

            Comment


            • #51
              The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.

              So anyway ... yesterday's press release from an organization called "Hockey Commissioners Association" (HCA) seems to be the ubiquitous talking point all around the college hockey world over the last 24 hours. Here's a link, if you haven't see it yet.

              https://www.uscho.com/2020/09/10/sta...d-19-pandemic/

              The folks here at EHA started shooting unknowing looks around the table today (yes, we're all working here at the WIS Estate, none of this Zoom or Teams video remote crap - just ol' fashioned work!), and we eventually came to the following realization:

              None of us had ever heard of the HCA prior to today.

              Job One: so we went to the usual search engines to figure out how we'd managed to miss out on the existence of the HCA. Turns out, unless you pay really close attention to some of those meaningless "Player of the Month" awards sponsored by Joe's Fill-in-the-Blanks (more on that later), you'd have no good reason to have noticed the existence of the vaunted HCA. Try searching for it yourself. Page after page of references to yesterday's press release, and that's pretty much all of it.

              One of our wise-***** reporters cracked that HCA might be Finnish for "You Go First", which seems to be a common response from commish-type persons these days, when asked to make big-boy or big-girl decisions about resuming normal activities.

              But dig deep enough, and you eventually stumble onto the following item, which discloses that "Hockey Commissioners Association Inc." is indeed a real organization. A non-profit 501(c)(3) organization actually, dating all the way back to 2014.

              https://projects.propublica.org/nonp...ions/830440629

              HCA makes real money, and also spends real money. There are several years' worth of balance sheet data available on the linked webpage. Money that started out as mostly fundraising has more recently been classified as "contributions", and the totals have most recently snuck into the low six-figure range. And expensed items have quadrupled since the outset.

              Who (or what) was behind this suddenly all-powerful cabal? We asked around with several of our sources, and as shown on the ProPublica webpage linked above, we couldn't help but notice the direction of things were headed in a familiar path. We were then able to locate the following item, which seems to conclusively seal off the circle ...

              https://ahcahockey.com/news/1819/0412d1ry.pdf

              ARLTQ ... as in "All Roads Lead To (Lake) Quannapowitt"

              We conclude with the following undercover surveillance video captured earlier today at HCA HQ ...
               
              Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
              Montreal Expos Forever ...

              Comment


              • #52
                It's been almost a month-and-a-half since the shadowy "Hockey Commissioners Association" graced us with their presence in announcing there would be a delay to the NCAA D-1 hockey season. The previous post went into some detail on background of this mysterious alliance, and the men behind the scenes who had chosen to share their insight with the rest of us.

                The folks here at WIS have since been patiently awaiting further word from this cabal, but unfortunately it appears the folks calling the shots have gone further underground. WIS operatives had been hearing some rumors about a return to action in the latter stages of November, but it seems some adverse developments have ceased this somewhat optimistic forecast, and now it seems there is a real question as to whether anyone is going to be playing D-1 hockey in the 2020/2021 season.

                Through several anonymous and highly questionable sources, WIS had learned of a planned HCA meeting that was to take place this past weekend, where the agenda was to finalize plans for a return to play shortly after Thanksgiving Day weekend.

                Today, WIS secured on-the-scene video of the meeting, and sadly, the footage speaks for itself ...
                 
                Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                Montreal Expos Forever ...

                Comment


                • #53
                  Lots of talk (ironically posted moments after my last post), but no action, and virtually no specifics.

                  https://www.uscho.com/2020/10/27/tak...020-21-season/

                  Anyone hoping Metcalf will be an improvement over Joey Buttons ... it's not looking good so far ...
                  Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                  Montreal Expos Forever ...

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Finally, some signs of life at HEA HQ, as our feckless pseudo-leaders continue to bravely keep us all in the dark about plans for a college hockey season, whilst awaiting direction from their feckless pseudo-leader bosses still hiding under their oak desks in their comfy corner office suites ... but it's not stopping the HEA braintrust from a day of fun by the sunny shores of Lake Q ...
                     
                    Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                    Montreal Expos Forever ...

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      To supplement our reporting on the "Manhunt" thread ... EHA offers this thread as a repository for any/all tips on the current whereabouts of our MIA HEA Commish. Using some new breakthrough technology, any tips posted to this thread will be treated via the MaxSmart "Cone of Silence" and immediately become anonymous, silent AND invisible, with full poster identity protection.

                      Rest assured, you can trust your pals at WIS to handle these sensitive issues. We pride ourselves here at EHA in doing poster security almost as well as big-city volunteers do vote-counting. Any tips or leads posted on here will be forwarded to the HEA janitorial staff immediately, so that appropriate inaction may follow. With your help, I'm confident we'll find "Nigel" hiding out somewhere, alive and (perhaps not-so-) well. But we'll find him ... because here at WIS/EHA, we're here to help!!
                      Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                      Montreal Expos Forever ...

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