DELAWARE, Ohio.Â Scientists at Ohio Wesleyan University, home of "The Big Ear" radio telescope, reported today that they have detected signals from a distant galaxy indicating that the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway, with teams from the United States and Canada competing.
The Big Ear radio telescope
"We were channel-surfing and stopped at theÂ Fishing Channel while we went out for a six-pack of Old Milwaukee," said astrophysicist Emile Nugent.Â "When we got back from the liquor store the Bass Master 100 Challenge was over and there were a bunch of people skating around, without sequins."
"Is hockey even legal in San Jose?"
The Stanley Cup is the championship trophy of the National Hockey League, a professional sports league that was determined to be irrelevant following a 310-day labor dispute in 2004-05.Â Since it resumed play, the league has struggled to attract fans and viewers, often falling behind curling, bass fishing tournaments and "strong woman" competitions in ratings.
"I could break Sidney Crosby in two and beat Chris Pronger with the bloody stumps!"
The astronomers reported that teams involved in this year's playoffs include the San Jose Sharks and the Ottawa Senators, a claim that was met with skepticism by veteran sports reporters.Â "TheÂ Sharks are fromÂ southern California, so that can't be true," said ESPN 2 anchorman Trey Wingo.Â "And I can't find Ottawa on a map of the U.S."
The signals bearing the Stanley Cup broadcast are believed to originate in the THX 1138 spiral galaxy, where broadcast time is cheaper than on American cable channels.
Transmission difficulty:Â Do not adjust your television set.
"We make most of our money on infomercials and religious programming," said station manager Glorp "Buddy" X21173.Â "It's nice to have something besides the Ab Blaster and Holy Rollers to watch on the monitors."