White, shiny robots have spread themselves out across all 13,000 floors, all 30 million square feet, all 50 bajillion stores that make up this retail country. Oh, did you not know that? That the Mall of America is actually just America? Its real name is The All of America. This is less a place to shop and more our actual nation, condensed in all its commercial, fluorescent glory. It might be zero degrees outside, but inside the Mall of America, it’s always the body temperature the Star Spangled Banner would be if a national anthem had a pulse.
But back to the robots. Apparently, they’ve been at the Mall of America for all of Super Bowl week, because Radio Row is here and where all media availabilities take place. I have also been at the Mall of America all week, because I live at the Mall of America now, and I eat footballs for breakfast. But somehow it’s Thursday afternoon, and an hour ago was the first time I encountered a robot.
Nobody as good as Campbell will be available in 2018 since the Cowboys won’t let go of DeMarcus Lawrence. That leaves the Lions’ Ezekiel Ansah as the answer for the highest market price. On the cheaper side will be Adrian Clayborn, whom Shanahan saw do some good situational work in Atlanta but could hold down a more regular role in San Francisco.
Cam Fowler, Ducks defenseman: I saw Jason Blake got his arm cut one time by a skate. It was pretty gnarly. You could tell he was kind of in shock. His face went pretty white.
Josh Bailey, Islanders winger: As players we see a lot. You see guys get pucks to the face, stuff like that. You see their jaws maybe out of place. I wouldn’t say you get the sick feeling, but you feel pretty bad for them. I guess we’re just used to it as hockey players.
Michael Stone, Flames defenseman: I saw a teammate get his wrist broken, and the bone went through the skin. I was in minors, and it was at practice. We thought he just got cut by a skate. That image definitely stuck with me.
Imagine Team USA in this tournament with center Casey Mittelstadt, the Buffalo Sabres’ blue-chip prospect currently with the Minnesota Gophers? Or Kieffer Bellows, a forward for the Portland Winterhawks? Or forward Brady Tkachuk of Boston University? Or defenseman Adam Fox of Harvard?