Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Article excerpt

A crowd of 7,079 at the Greensboro Coliseum waited in breathless anticipation Tuesday night for the ICE HOG.

Why would the Carolina Hurricanes have a costume-character porcine mascot? Well, as luck would have it, there are more hogs (9.8 million) tha n people (7.3 million) in the hockey-starved state of North Carolina.

Hogs can't buy tickets - they don't have credit cards, or even pockets for that matter - but they do contribute greatly to the economy by selflessly getting chopped into pork steaks and bacon strips. "We realize how important the hog industry is to this state and to us being here," Hurricanes general managers JIM RUTHERFORD said. "We think this will be something that the kids can have fun with and enjoy." The soon-to-be-beloved Hog was supposed to make his big entrance out of the Zamboni. The lights dimmed. The Zamboni took the ice. Fans saw the Hog's legs kicking and started hooting and hollering. But there was a problem. The Hog fell still. It seems he suffered an anxiety attack while trapped inside the Zamboni and went into seizures. Uh, oh! As the Zamboni driver jumped back into his seat and wheeled the Hog back under the stands, the public address announcer said this was just a "sneak preview" and that the Ice Hog would return. The fans booed. The Hog was taken to a local hospital and put under observation. The Hog, formerly MONTY THE LION for the minor-league Carolina Monarchs, apparently is OK. The Hurricanes launched a name-that-pig contest Wednesday, reasoning t hat Ice Hog doesn't sound cuddly enough. *** Here are some things to ponder while waiting for the BRETT HULL trade to come down: * As this MARV ALBERT trial gets more and more involved, should we call in MIKE "The Czar of the Telestrator" FRATELLO to diagram what was going on? (The breathless Associated Press updates generate lots of laughs around the office - we take turns giving dramatic readings of the material - but most of the revelations are too hideous to print. Here are just two quotes from one of Wednesday's witnesses: "I was in shock and didn't know what to do. I had never seen anything like this. …

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