So what do you get if you take a rabbit and jam some elk horns on its head? I'll tell you what you get. You get Texas hockey!
Wait! Come back! Let me explain. During the first round of the playoffs, just as Ottawa was taking young Master Crosby out behind the woodshed (ah...good times), I received an email from "Stephanie".
Now I don't know about you guys, but I don't normally get emails from women (my Beloved notwithstanding) unless they're offering to help me achieve some rather unusual goals like six hour orgasms, become a world renowned porn star OVERNIGHT or change the oil in my car by myself in under three days. Okay, maybe not that unusual. Anyway, I figured there was nothing different about "Stephanie". So, of course, like every other right thinking man would do when presented with an email from a woman he's never met or heard of before...I opened it.
Turns out, "Stephanie" is a real person, and a rather comely lass at that. She goes by the nickname "Zany Sports Lady" and helps run a website called texas-hockey.com. It's a beautifully designed site where you can get information on every pro level team based in Texas (Alert: If, like me, you're trapped in Dial-Up hell, the site takes a while to load).
Now it's easy for us Canucks to sit here in the cradle of hockey and mock our southern brethren about their ignorance of the Coolest Game. Lord knows I do it to Buffaslug fans often enough. But even a cursory tour of Texas-Hockey, and the 30 teams scattered throughout the state tells you that maybe Gary's Gang wasn't entirely doped up on goofballs when Brett Hull's skate blades were allowed to move to Dallas.
So what does all this have to do with the logo you see to your right? Well, as I was (slowly) bopping around the site, I came across a link for the Odessa Jackalopes of the Central Hockey League (not to be confused with Ontario's Jr. B Central Hockey League). Intrigued by one of the greatest names ever coined for a quasi-mythical animal, I went to their site and saw that logo. I was hooked. Good Lord, it's Bugs on steroids! If Barry Bonds were a rabbit...and...um...ate a gazelle...that's what he'd look like!
So I immediately became a fan of the Odessa Jackalopes, and am hereby declaring Five For Smiting the official Canadian home of all things Jackalopian. In the next little while, we'll pop in on our adopted Texas team and see what they're about. Standings will be observed (didn't make the playoffs last year boys. Pick it up.) and much opining will be done. All in all, it should be more interesting than watching the Leafs continuing drive for mediocrity. Perhaps not as much fun, but definitely more interesting.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to prepare for the upcoming season. There's a rabbit in my backyard I need to speak to about some promotional opportunities.
Go Jacks! Um...Go Lopes! Geez, somebody's going to have to help me out with that.