Mascot Ice Hockey

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Jane and I recently went to a Carolina Hurricanes' game at the RBC Center in Raleigh. It's been a frustrating year for the 'Canes, especially since they were expecting a good season after making it to the finals of the NHL's Eastern Conference Stanley Cup playoffs last year. But they lost to the Buffalo Sabres and later ended the season without qualifying for the playoffs.

Still, the game Jane and I attended had a few moments of fun. The 'Canes were celebrating the 10th birthday of their mascot, Smokey, who is, I think, supposed to be a pig in recognition of North Carolina's tasty, diet-busting barbecue.

Smokey's birthday was celebrated during one of the intermissions with a brief hockey game between teams of mascots assembled for the birthday celebration. I wish my old pals in Florida, Alan Snel and Jeff Houck, could have seen this contest. It reminded me of the days when we watched mascots race around the bases between innings of Florida State League games at Thomas J. White Stadium in Port St. Lucie, Florida. I remember watching one race when we wondered if an especially top-heavy mascot representing Wonder Bread was going to make the turn at third base without toppling into the dugout.

I would have posted this video clip weeks ago, but I've had problems getting it to upload to Blogger. I think I've finally figured it out. Anyway, during this 30-second clip, you can watch the Geico Gecko -- one of the few mascots who could actually skate pretty well -- score a goal. One of the other mascots had an assist on the play, but I couldn't tell which one it was.

So, Al and Jeff, this one's for you.

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