This is why the Internet may be one of the greatest and worst inventions of all time: My hockey buddy Scott was apparently sitting around last night when it occurred to him to step over to the computer and Google the phrase "Asian women ice hockey."
The only surprise here is that it took until Sept. 22, 2009, for Scott -- who is 43 -- to Google this particular phrase as there are two things in life that Scott really, really likes: 1) Hockey, and; 2) Asian women. Not necessarily in that order.
Much to Scott's chagrin -- and presumably to the disappointment of executives at Kleenex -- he instead found a website instead for Asia League Ice Hockey, which he then forwarded to Puck Boy. A few clicks then delivered me to the Promised Land: the home page of the Nippon Paper Cranes.
Check out these dudes' haircuts. If there was ever a team in need of a stylist, I humbly suggest the Cranes are it. Scott and I were also both struck by the fact that these guys look like they could really, really mess someone up in a variety of different ways.
If I had to choose a player I would like to most avoid on the ice it's probably forward Daisuke Obara (that's his photo at top). In his case, it's the lack of haircut and something about that smile -- it's like he's saying "I just had a few human kidneys for lunch. Yum!"
I also would not want to find myself in the corner with defenseman Jun Tonosaki. You just know the phrase "mixed martial arts" shows up somewhere on his resume.
In any event, I'm adding the Cranes to the list of teams I'll be following this winter. In fact, of the teams I follow -- the Kings and the Cincy Bengals (we've patched things up, btw) -- the Cranes may have the best shot of actually winning something. As of this morning they boasted a record of 2 and 1 and were in first place.
photo: Nippon Paper Cranes