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Two Minutes’ Hate: 94 percent white, 100 percent wrong

March 30, 2013

While driving up Route 1A in New Hampshire, assuredly against one’s better judgment, it’s almost impossible to miss the warning sign for Seabrook Station, known colloquially as the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant. In a nutshell, it warns you that if something were to go horribly wrong at the facility, you have reached the geographical location were you’re pretty much screwed.

However, it is our belief that Seabrook being a power plant is only one way to look at it.

Another would be that it is a strategically-placed nuclear device, capable of vaporizing the mutated miscreants who crawled out of the primordial ooze that is New Hampshire’s gene pool, to prevent a terrifying scenario that sees any leaving their federally-approved grazing zone to infect other states with their dimwittedness and questionable breeding practices. And while it’s quietly understood that parts of northern Massachusetts and southern Maine will also be destroyed, this is a risk we’re willing to take. It’s the only way to be sure.

New Hampshire: A state with the motto “Live Free or Die,” though we’ll argue the latter is sadly underutilized. New Hampshire: The only government that does not require adults to wear seatbelts, which is a prime example of the cold beauty of natural selection. New Hampshire: The greatest argument in favor of federalism since James Madison kicked it. New Hampshire: Which still proudly uses as a sort of state mascot a geographical formation that collapsed out of sheer embarrassment a decade ago. New Hampshire: A place whose greatest claim to fame in the union is its lack of sales tax, a penance paid to northern Massachusetts residents forced to live downwind of the infamous Granite State stink.

In addition, we should note the state also has no income tax, a fact that victim-residents love to bring up when discussing how “free” they are, while conveniently forgetting, likely due to a lack of the necessary cognitive functions, that they also have poor schools, poorer roads and a subterranean living wage.

Please bear in mind we’re using the term “state” in the loosest definition possible, and because that is unfortunately how it is allowed to be viewed by the fatcats in Washington. A more accurate name would be a sparse wasteland, dotted with primitive settlements banded together by preferred brand of cigarette. (But that’s not quite so concise.) Pelham. Nashua. Salem. Troubling places to visit, never mind call home.

The crown jewel of New Hampshire, if you’re in the mood for damning something with faint praise, is the seedy, destitute Manchester, known by most in New England as “ManchVegas.” The comparison is both fitting and misleading at the same time. While both cities share a reputation for sin, a skyrocketing crime rate and an unusual number of perverts, Las Vegas is a destination city with at least something to offer the American tourist. Manchester is a living embodiment of Alex Proyas’ nightmare; a vortex of decay from which there is no hope of escape.

Fittingly, the hockey team which represents this punchline of a state is the University of New Hampshire Perpetual Bridesmaids. No, sorry. Wildcats.

Lured by a promise of never winning a national championship, this ragtag group of mediocre talent is led by head coach Dick Umile. The Curly Joe of Hockey East coaches, Umile is best known for his love of mock turtlenecks — because if he wore the full version, this no-neck nobody would walk around looking like Mort from the Bazooka Joe comics — and, of course, choking horribly in situations with even the most marginal of stakes.

The old joke around Hockey East is that UNH stands for the University of No Hardware, and we at The Ice Is Life think that’s as inaccurate as it is insulting. New Hampshire has accumulated plenty of accolades over the years. Runners-up trophies. Third-place plaques. Thanks-For-Flying-Out-Here medals. Good-Effort ribbons. The list is vast and varied.

The Wildcats play their home games at the Whittemore Center, a gloomy hulk of concrete and shattered dreams. “Lake Whit,” as it is colorfully known for the Olympic sheet of ice infesting its bowels, is often compared to the Tsongas Center, and we agree that there are many similarities. All one needs to do is take the Tsongas Center, and then remove all of its color, energy, seatbacks, light and knowledgeable fan base. At the same time, you’ll have to add 37-year olds racing as fast as their morbidly obese legs can carry them to sit with the students, and a missed delay-of-game penalty every time UNH scores their first goal, racist song-singing and, though it’s cliché to say, the nonetheless-existent severe lack of dental hygiene. When you break it down, they’re almost identical.

However, to UNH’s credit, it swept the River Hawks this season. Of course, that’s also the only feather in the cap of a team whose since New Year’s Day can best be described as Amherstian. UNH fans love to point out that they’ve “owned” Lowell this season, only to casually forget to add that Connor Hellebuyck didn’t start any of those games. And that Lowell has been nigh unstoppable since December. And that Lowell is far and away the best team in the country right now. And that Casey DeSmith would, if Umile could recruit more than one borderline Div. 1-caliber goaltender at a time, be holding a clipboard instead of getting lit up by Providence.

Yup, putting aside those petty details, the three games played in late November are surely the most accurate predictor of tonight’s regional final. Color us unimpressed at UNH’s win over an undisciplined, overrated Denver team that was almost as bad as UNH down the stretch.

When you get right down to it, there are two unstoppable forces at work: Lowell’s unyielding dominance and UNH’s yearly collapse. Fortunately for all of us, we’re going to get to see both of this eventualities of nature collide this evening.

It won’t be pretty. But then, nothing in New Hampshire is.

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