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This Week in Disrespect: The takeover, the break’s over

February 20, 2009

Ed. note: We see disrespect for Lowell pretty much everywhere. As such, we will now bring to you what will hopefully be a weekly feature for the remainder of the season: “This Week in Disrespect,” in which we will highlight said lack of regard, tell you why it’s ludicrous and then mock the guilty party. We promise, it won’t always be about Amherst. Please enjoy.

In the past, we’ve tried our best to explain to any number of Amherst fans why it is we take such great pleasure in beating their beloved Minutemen so resoundingly and often. Usually, these explanations fall on deaf (or at least willfully ignorant) ears, and our arguments are always incorrectly and intentionally boiled down to, “We’re just mad that our team almost got wiped out two years ago.” We aren’t.

So here, finally, is what we hope to be a full and satisfactory manifesto, which, by the way, was touched off by two things. The first was a comment dropped yesterday on UMassHoops.com, which one of us monitors at all times for any slight sign of disrespect so that we may amuse ourselves with it. The second, and more egregiously disrespectful, was an e-mail we received the other day regarding our perceived jealousy of Amherst’s quote-unquote success. We’d copy and paste this electronic mailing, but it violates our standards for this blog both in terms of writing quality and decency and decorum (lots and lots of swear words).

With all this in mind, please proceed to read what we have written carefully. We believe there can be no mistaking our reasons for disliking UMass Amherst and its scummy, uncouth fans after this writing. Any future attempts to spin these reasons as anything but the following will certainly reveal the spinner for what they really are: low-rent fans of a low-rent team.

Despite UMass Amherst fans’ repeated, self-serving claims that we here at the RHHB are somehow enamored of trashing our ugly, rioting cousins out in Amherst, this is just not the case.

What we are, to put it simply, is confused. Frankly, we’re bewildered as to just where these guys come up with some of the absurd idea that UMass Amherst is somehow superior in any way to Lowell, despite season after season of empirical evidence to the contrary.

Case in point was a post made yesterday on UMassHoops.com by user “UMass02,” which reads:

“This is where my confusion lies. I swear, with the talent and speed UMass has, why does UM struggle with the Merrimacks and Lowells of the world?!?!?!”

Now in the past we have been wrongly accused of taking quotes from UMassHoops out of context, so we’ll provide it:

A stat had been produced, highlighting UMass’ record over top-five teams (5-2-1), other ranked teams (0-7-2), and unranked teams (7-6). The above quote was a direct response to these posted stats.

Here is our list of problems with this post:

1. Amherst “struggles” with Lowell? Talk about understatement. It has been thoroughly beaten by Lowell. Over the past five years, Lowell is 8-5-2 against UMass and won the season series four times.

2. Comparing Lowell to Merrimack. Yes, we can clearly see the logic here. Let’s compare a team that beats you year in and year out with the worst team in Hockey East. For fun, let’s look at where the three teams in question have finished, historically over the last four years (we’ll get to why we chose four in a second).

Over the past four years, Lowell has finished 7, 9, 7, 5. Amherst has finished 8, 4, 8, 8. Merrimack has finished 10, 10, 10, 9. Average finishes are Lowell and Amherst SHOCKINGLY TIED AT SEVENTH and Merrimack checking in at 9.75th place. So, if anything, Lowell is at least Amherst’s equal over the last four years, and, in our book, is better for having won three of the four season series.

But the reason we chose four years instead of a rounder number like “five” is that the 2003-04 season is a bit of a mess for both teams. Were to very generously allow that Amherst’s third-place finish and Lowell’s subsequent fifth-place finish was legitimate (and we don’t), it bumps Amherst to an average final position of 6.2 and Lowell to 6.8. Which obviously doesn’t benefit our argument that Lowell is better, much to the glee of Minutemen fans everywhere, we’re sure. However, we do not count these final positions in the standings as legitimate because, while Lowell forfeited the two-game series, Amherst was shutout in both of tilts. Thus, if we were to take away the four points for Amherst and add them to Lowell’s total, Lowell finishes fourth and Amherst fifth, and Lowell is once again, inarguably better.

At any rate, the comparison to Merrimack irked us more than a little.

3. The insinuation that lies at the core of this entire post, and the root of our disgust toward Amherst: That somehow it is the “class” of the second tier in Hockey East, and is *thisclose* to breaking into the top four.

There it is, folks: the source of their psychosis. UMass Amherst fans actually believe that their team is the best of the rest (now that Maine’s down the tubes) and should be fighting for a home ice berth every season. Nauseating.

Now some will argue that we’re cherry-picking. But this post is not an isolated incident. Rocks22 once said:

If people are waiting for us to bring in a BC/BU/UNH-like recruiting class as a sign that we’ve “made it” as a program, you’re going to be waiting a long time. The fact is we need to make sure we’re finishing higher than Lowell, Providence, Northeastern, and UVM more often than not.

The fact is we’ve had a program for 15 years now. We can’t use that “new” excuse anymore.

A lot of people like to make fun of the parasite campus of Lowell, myself included, but we simply don’t regularly finish ahead of them in the standings. Now we have had more Garden and NCAA appearances than them in the last decade, but IMHO it should always be us, UVM, and Northeastern fighting for that 5th spot (or higher if one of the top 4 is having an off year). We can’t continually be finishing behind Lowell and Providence.

Wow.

The bolded parts represent the pure disrespect that keeps us warm at night, and the italicized sentence is a (shocking) moment of lucidity that makes us wonder why the hell he kept going in the first place.

This time, Lowell is compared to another struggling team, Providence College. Now, we have nothing against Providence in principle, but Lowell has done well against the Friars of late, and couple that with the fact that PC is currently sitting out of the playoff picture, we’re going to file this comment as an intended slight.

Not only that, but the River Hawks are left out of the fifth-and-sixth discussion that includes Vermont, Northeastern and (somehow) Amherst.

We are going to wonder this aloud in hopes that someone can explain to us the logic behind this: Where in God’s name do Amherst fans find the gall to include themselves in a fifth-place discussion? Who do they suppose invited them to the grown-up table? We’d love to hear an argument supporting these and other outlandish statements with logic (there’s a sticky wicket, eh, Mullins Mutants?), but as we’ve mentioned before, Amherst fans generally stay away from places where fans of other teams can point out their obvious mental defects.

We’ve never been a blog to pull punches or sugarcoat anything, so here goes: UMass Amherst is a hockey team that will perennially finish in sixth-to-ninth, whose fans suffer from delusions of grandeur relative to their place as a Hockey East stepping stone.

That fabled 2003-04 season? That was a long-ass time ago, and not totally legitimate to boot.

Two top-four finishes in 16 years? We can divide. That’s one every eight, and one of those finishes was bull. One was fine, and we don’t begrudge it. But that’s a one-good-finish-every-16-year average.

You’re not as good as Lowell, you’ve never been as good as Lowell and you’ll never be as good as Lowell.

That about sum it up?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. jjmc85 permalink
    February 24, 2009 11:03 pm

    I think you should sign up for the UMasshoops board.

    -jjmc85, UMasshoops.com

  2. The 'Hawks blog permalink
    February 24, 2009 11:06 pm

    We’ve both tried several times and been rejected. Possibly because we couldn’t squeeze under that intellectual limbo bar you mental giants have set up for yourselves.

  3. jjmc85 permalink
    February 25, 2009 3:12 pm

    Interesting. There are definitely Delaware Blue Hens Fans there, as well as Holy Cross fans, UConn fans, Montana fans, Southern Illinois fans, etc. You figure if they can join, so could a River Hawk fan.

    Directions are in the first thread at the top of the Men’s Hoop Forum.

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