Stilllll featuring the Manitoba Moose and YOUUUUUUUURR HERSHEEEEEEY BEEARRRRRRRRRS!
Round 8: Grievous Facial Wounds On Picture Day (Large Picture Division):
Graham Mink v. Dusty Collins
Well! It looks like someone done gone out and git themselves all torn up befuur photo day! I surpose that’ll be whut preseason does to y’all…. Although both contenders are trying for a similar look with the few-day scruff and the long floppy hair (Fabio v. Boy Bands, anyone?), Dusty Collins is also doing his best to accentuate the bruising around his eye with what looks to be a mild case of jaundice. Sorry, Dusty. I don’t buy it, and frankly, that’s kind of a pathetic bruise to look so proud of anyway.
Advantage: Minker, because you can see the individual stitches in his forehead AND HE’LL STILL GO WITH YOU IF YOU WANNA MAKE SOMETHING OF IT. YOU WANNA MAKE SOMETHING OF IT, PUNK?
Bears 5, Moose 3
Round 9: Youth and Skill:
John Carlson v. Cody Hodgson
(1/10/1990 v. 2/18/1990)
Oh dear god, people born in one of the first years I can remember bits of. When did 23 become old? Obviously, Cody Hodgson is Hockey High School’s star quarterback circa 1998 with that haircut and the grin that can’t help but say “Oh yeah, theatre geek, I’m gonna stuff you in a dumpster and then make out with my ridiculously attractive but kind of slutty cheerleader girlfriend.” On the other hand, you can’t help but see John Carlson as one of the easygoing stoners with perma-bedhead who hung out in large slow moving clumps in the middle of the hallway between you and AP English right before the bell rang.
Advantage: John Carlson. As a theatre kid, people that look like high school football players always put me a little on edge. And the stoners were more interesting anyway, even if they DID make you late to class.
Bears 6, Moose 3
Round 10:Old Age and Treachery:
Bryan Helmer v. Mike Keane
(7/15/1972 v. 5/29/1967)
Oh, how I want to go into the Retirement Community jokes. BUT LOOK, THIS IS ME REFRAINING. Instead, just look at how cute our respective oldsters are. The smiles! The complete glee to still be playing! The droopy eyes! The matchy-matchy uniform colors! Awwww, I almost wish I could bring them home and feed them prunes and adopt myself some granddaddies…. uh, except that they’re both… ah… um, younger than my father. Sorry, Dad! If you played hockey you’d be ancient too!
Advantage: Mike Keane. Purely for being 5 years older. (and possibly for the bald-head/red-beard combination. I’ve always had a soft spot for Vikings.)
Bears 6, Moose 4
Round 11:Fabio Hair
Sami Lepisto v. Shaun Heshka
Every once in a while, you have to wonder if these guys get any warning at all as to when Team Roster Photo Day is going to be. I have to believe, however, that Sami Lepisto had full knowledge it was coming and either made the brilliant decision on his own to go for the Used Car Salesman look or let someone talk him into it. Sami, Sami, Sami. Between the combover and the smarmy look on your face… I… well…. I have nothing to say.
Advantage: Heshka, for looking like he’s seen a mirror in the last week and having the hair all the girls want to touch.
Bears 6, Moose 5
Round 12: Deer in the Headlights
Greg Amadio v. Taylor Ellington
I… uh… Wow. That’s an amazing showing from both sides. The visible whites of the eyes. The completely emotionless mouths. The arched eyebrows. Hair-wise, Amadio’s got bedhead+scruff, while Ellington has a pre-Trump Hairnado forming, but wow. I’m going to have to call in the tiebreakers for this one.
Here, have some recent news articles as they deliberate:
Joudrey, Gordon begin Calder Cup Bid with Bears from the Chronicle Herald
…and veteran Dmen couldn’t be happier from the Lebanon Daily News
Focused Neuvrith Proving his Worth from the Washington Times
These Bears Attack from the Winnipeg Sun
Tight Knit Bears Enjoying their Magical Calder Cup Run from Metronews.ca/halifax
Oh, what’s that.. Oh, here we go, the tiebreakers are back with their verdict:
Advantage: Ellington, as there are other pictures of Amadio in which he DOESN’T look crazy…. but Ellington sorta always does.
Bears 6, Moose 6
Round 13: Cross-Bred With A Hedgehog
Andrew Gordon v. Nolan Baumgardner
Hmm. Baumgardner does have some nice spiky things going up on top, but somehow he reminds me more of a garden rake than a hedgehog. On the other hand, with that protective shell of hair product, Andrew Gordon sorta looks like Bowser from the Mario series. Baumgardner’s obviously enjoying his time in front of the camera, while Gordon might skitter off at any moment….
Advantage: Gordon. On closer inspection, it’s a pointy stinkin’ MULLET. That’s just too good to not win on Semin Lookalike Points alone.
Bears 7, Moose 6
Round 14: Completely Too Cool For This
Sean Collins v. Travis Ehrhardt
OH, the DEDICATION to DISINTEREST! Erhardt can be bothered to do his hair, but not feign any sort of emotional involvement in his roster photo. Collins, on the other hand, not only DOES HIS HAIR, but goes FAR ENOUGH to virtually FALL ASLEEP in front of the camera. You, Sean Collins, are a Real American Hero. Hats off to you.
Advantage: Collins, who now needs his own Real Canadian Hero beer ad for “Pro Athlete Asleep on Roster Photo Day”
FINAL SCORE: Bears 8, Moose 6
In the immortal words of one John Walton, “Good morning, good afternoon, and good night!”