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Saturday, February 21, 2004

Letters, we get letters

Hundreds of well-wishers have written in to say,

Michael!  Get a grip!  Stop arguing with people about conservatives in academe already!  Stop helping right-wing nuts pretend that bright young conservatives are trying desperately to get into graduate programs in the arts and humanities so that they can study for five to ten years in the hopes of completing a doctorate and going out into a job market that employs only half of all new Ph.D.s-- and only half of those in tenure-track jobs!  Seriously, Michael, we know that liberals are overrepresented in the arts and humanities.  They’re also overrepresented among public-school special-ed teachers and cast members of Off-Broadway plays, for goodness’ sake!  Do we really have to have a full-scale national investigation into “liberal bias” in those fields, too?  Enough about this tired subject!  We need to hear more about how your hockey season is going-- that’s the reason we stop by your blog!

I have to say it’s a little weird getting hundreds of letters like this. Anyway, my season in the B league is going well.  My team, the Capitals, is 19-8-2; I’ve played in 21 of those games, and I’m second on the team with 38 goals and 20 assists (bettering the 55 points I scored in the B league last year, with about ten games left to play).

My A season is hardly worth mentioning-- let’s just say that I have not been able to bring my A game to the A league.  So far, six goals, four assists, and three injuries (leg, thumb, shoulder-- still recovering from the shoulder thing as I write), down from 29 goals last year.  I can play hurt at the B level, but not at A, at least not well.  I’ll try to salvage something from that season before the semester ends, though.

In the pros, it looks like the two teams I care about will be watching the playoffs on TV.  The New York Rangers, having put together what might be the strangest assemblage of underachievers, head cases, and defensive-lapse specialists the NHL has ever seen, won’t even make it close this year. However, my signed copy of Rod Gilbert’s autobiography remains as dear to me as ever, sitting on its shelf next to Gerald Eskenazi’s A Year on Ice, a lively record of the Rangers’ 1969-70 season and a fine companion piece to the late Dave DeBusschere’s journal of the Knicks’ championship that season, The Open Man.  Meanwhile, out in St. Louis, the Blues are fading fast without key defensemen Barret Jackman (season-ending injury) and Al MacInnis (career-ending injury).  When I taught at the U of Illinois I used to catch a Blues game or two each year, and then when they became serious contenders in 2000 and 2001 I drove down for some playoff games as well-- including their double-overtime win in game three of the 2001 conference finals against Colorado (the only game they won in that series).  Now it looks like the Blues aren’t going to be getting back to that level anytime soon.

I will check out the New Jersey Devils next week, though-- I’m going to their game against Atlanta on Friday the 27th.  Last May I caught their 1-0 victory over Ottawa in game three of the Eastern finals, picking up a ninth-row seat via Ticketmaster the day before the game.  Great team, the Devils, and a great hockey organization.  Too bad they play in a swamp and no one comes to see them.  Maybe they can move to Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues in Brooklyn along with the Nets.  After all, Brooklyn could use a team whose name is associated with evil incarnate.

Posted by Michael on 02/21 at 11:42 AM
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