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Two Minutes’ Hate: Flagrant false advertising

March 14, 2013

“Maine: The Way Life Should Be.”

A slogan that borders on the criminally negligent. We at The Ice is Life deeply encourage anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves in a pit so deep and dark that the brightest light is naught but a faint memory of what once was that they consider Maine any sort of pleasant place to please seek help. We’ve included The Samaritan’s Hotline number at the end of this post. There is hope.

There are many things about the state of Maine, mercifully separated from our dear Massachusetts not long enough ago for our liking, that trouble us deeply, but perhaps chief among them are the people who choose to live or visit there voluntarily. Properly encapsulating the attributes of the average Maine fan is a daunting task, no doubt. Start with a UNH fan, and further isolate the mutagenic hillbilly until the last grips of sanity fall away like a decayed tooth, of which there are many within the state already. Then take the typical shallow-end-of-the-gene-pool-diving Amherst fan and, with all the skill one would use to butter an English muffin, scrape away the remaining grey matter from his cavernous cranium until he’s reduced to nothing more than a shambling carapace. Finally, sprinkle in a healthy dose of Alabama-Huntsville fan, a nauseating blend of incestuous DNA and stale tobacco spit.  Now dress it in flannel.

In a turn of events that we’re sure has Charles Darwin spinning in his grave; this collection of primordial unpleasantness somehow put together the collective capacity to found and continually fund a state university. Wrapping that puzzle inside an enigma, they also have a hockey team (although we understand almost all of the low- to mid-functioning members are recruited from out-of-state), one which managed to be the best of the worst and sneak into the playoffs. Sadly for the Black Bears, all that accomplishment awards them is a ferocious and unrelenting beating at the hands of the River Hawks.

To get this irrelevant point out of the way early: Yes, Maine did win the season series against Lowell*. As the asterisk would lead you to believe, there’s a catch. Something you almost certainly wouldn’t learn from the various media reports on this series is that every game this season against Maine (for reasons supercomputers are still calculating) Doug Carr was in net for Lowell.  The end result was a pair of one-goal wins for the Black Bears in what is widely consider the biggest upset since Harry Truman defeated a fiery district attorney from the great state of New York.

When not attending to their dilapidated petrol stations along Interstate 95 — and breathing disquieting phrases such as, “Ohhhh, goin’ wahy up theyah, ah ya?” — most Black Bear fans will point to the program’s success in the early 1990s as the golden age of Maine hockey. Sure, while most historians will begrudgingly accept that the Paul Kariya led 92-93 season (while obviously rife with NCAA infractions) as perhaps the best season of any team in the history of college hockey, we’re not so easily impressed. First of all, no one can look us in the eye and honestly say there wasn’t some tomfoolery going on in that NCAA Championship Game. The Lakers were screwed over. Secondly, Kariya wasn’t that good. Point of order: Teemu Selanne was, is and will forever be the greatest Duck of all time. We’d also put Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Steve Rucchin, Charlie Conway, and George Parros ahead of him.

Moving forward on this timeline as embarrassing as their phonetically spelled street signs, we come to the Black Bears of the mid-to-late 2000s. Back when Jack Parker and BU didn’t have a complete monopoly on Hockey East’s embarrassing run-ins with the authorities, Maine players getting arrested for various acts was as common as Amherst embarrassing itself on the ice, which is to say, extraordinarily common. By our count, Maine has had nine players charged with crimes in the last several years (Tanner HouseWes Clark and Mike Hamilton, along with Travis Wight, Brent Shepheard, Bret Tyler and Rob BellamyNicholas PaysonDave Wilson). You don’t see that amount of trouble with the law anywhere outside the walls of San Quentin, and yet these guys were allowed to spread their noxious waves of behavior to rinks around Hockey East and the country with nary a word from those in charge of the university. At least when BU players ran afoul of the law, that school had the bright idea to look into why it was happening; the string of arrests between in the four-year period between 2005 and 2009 did little to even raise eyebrows among university staff, likely because those eyebrows were already furrowed by advanced concepts including which shape is the triangle.

But that’s all in the past, and Maine’s discipline problems now exist solely on the ice, thanks mostly to legendary goon Joey Diamond. We firmly believe the only reason Diamond doesn’t maim elderly widows with hits from behind at the grocery store is lack of opportunity. This is a player with so many hits that could be considered late, high, dangerous (or any combination of the three) under his belt we consider him the dirtiest player in the history of Maine, and we say that knowing full well Prestin Ryan matriculated at Orono. While Diamond has enough skill that he’d probably work his way onto Lowell’s second line in the event of an injury, he’s just as apt to take a game-changing five-minute major as he is to score an important goal. He also happens to be the only Maine player with goals in the double digits this season, at 14. Second place? Seven. Wow! That’s only three more than the number of misconducts Diamond picked up this season (though to be fair he was also held out of the lineup by injury or suspension for a few more contests; otherwise he’d likely have increased his total by at least one to make the race respectable).

There’s a lot to dislike about Maine, even after a cursory glance at the facts. A campus in the middle of nowhere. A population as mindless as it is toothless, overcome by abnormal growths that leave no doubt as to why the potato is the state vegetable. And to top it all off, a very bad hockey team. The only way in which we could consider anything in Maine to be “The Way Life Should Be” is if we are dumb enough to want to live out the rest of our days breaking rocks at Maine State Prison in Warren while reminiscing about the events of two decades ago as if they have any bearing on results today, and hoping we get the chance to catch part of the latest Black Bears home loss on a flickering 13-inch black-and-white TV with a faulty antenna. Otherwise it’s simply hell on earth.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. james acheson permalink
    March 14, 2013 10:09 am

    do that thing where you just stay away from Maine, ok?

  2. Monty permalink
    March 14, 2013 10:40 am

    No post can ever be perfect without the addition of shots at Amherst. Therefore, with the requisite shots at Amherst in this post … it’s Perfect.

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