Skeletons on Ice

(By Chris, Editor in Chief of and the adult writer of the Gab Four, sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

Garfield does not like the Milwaukee Admirals.

This I can be sure of. Garfield may or may not favor ice hockey. He may or may not prefer Milwaukee. But since the Admirals went macabre in 2006, I am certain that Garfield avoids the Bradley Center when the Bucks aren't playing.

In a similar fashion to how a skeleton has undergone transformations from a young to old human, to a rotting corpse to nothing but bones, the American Hockey League's Admirals have experienced similar transitions, from an amateur club founded in 1970 as the Wings, to becoming the Admirals in 1973 to discovering the only mascot capable of making me interested in hockey.

Apparently, the Admirals' mascot is also the first mascot capable of aging, as he has literally decomposed before fans' eyes, going from a respectable naval officer with a massive jaw, to passing away and returning from the grave as a final product who, despite having no flesh or muscle, does a remarkable job of filling out his uniform and frightening the opposition.

Ever since Garfield's experience with skeleton ghost pirates, which was chronicled in the 1985 documentary "Garfield's Halloween Adventure," the portly orange cat has shunned the baseball team in Pittsburgh, the football teams in Oakland and Tampa Bay and all motion pictures starring Johnny Depp.

Until a professional sports team decides to use Michael Myers, the Easter Bunny or Dr. Seuss' pale green pants in their marketing scheme, the Admirals' mascot can claim to be the most frightening there is.

"The Admiral" (as the skeleton is officially known) not only boasts a scary appearance, he also manages to exude fear based on what he's capable of doing or has already done. This phenomenon is commonly known as "fear of the unknown," but I chose not to use that term, since I am not a common muckraker.

Whereas the Pirates', Raiders' and Buccaneers' mascots all are considered living entities, the Admirals' mascot clearly must be counted among the undead. Captain Fear, which is what Tampa Bay's mascot signs his check with, may be intimidating, thanks to his unkempt beard and protruding biceps, but those powers are not the least bit terrorizing to a skeleton ghost who most likely feels no pain and won't run from anyone, unless they are wearing a proton pack.

But is The Admiral's horrific outside only a mask for a cheerful disposition underneath? Does he do impersonations of Captain James Hook or have a bumper sticker on his vessel which reads "Lack of booty makes you moody"? Or did The Admiral return from the grave bloodthirsty, seeking buried treasure under the Bradley Center?

Not only does The Admiral have all the skills necessary to commandeer a ship, such as sword fighting skills, pillaging skills and peg leg walking skills, he also has ice hockey skills. It is also worth noting that The Admiral uses a hockey stick made out of someone's femur, though it possibly may be his own.

Seeing as how hockey players are known for being rugged, getting into fights and not having any teeth, The Admiral must be a tougher spirit than, say, Casper. It is also somewhat of a miracle, considering The Admiral's history as a pirate and a hockey player, that he still has all his teeth, assuming they are not dentures.

However, The Admiral's most frightening accomplishment is the unknown method by which he pilfered a Hall of Fame basketball player's nickname. Was David Robinson even able to put up a fight? Did The Admiral bludgeon Robinson repeatedly with his hockey stick? Threaten to make him walk the plank? Offer a sizable donation to Robinson's favorite charity?

Regardless of whether one is facing a spook intent on gaining control over one's nickname, trick or treat bag, priceless jewels or pushin' the puck around the ice, it is best to not hide. Heed the advice "They know we are here. They know who we are," (said by Garfield, shortly before he almost drowned), and acquiesce to whatever the spook wants.

Because any skeleton ghost who shares the Admirals' motto of "Never say die" is clearly taking their slogan literally.

Chris is a Waco, Texas, resident, Editor in Chief of, author of the book "Sports Briefs" and the adult writer for the Gab Four. Read more of Chris' solo columns here.

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