Ear to the ground

“I stopped playing sports when I found out you could just buy the trophy.”

– Jaded Durangoan reflecting on his short-lived childhood career in team sports

Betties do Scottsdale

The fight for the Stanley Cup may be far from over, but Durango women’s hockey hung up its skates with a winning season this week – a month after the last ice at Chapman Hill.

The Durango Betties took top honors in the women’s Division II at last weekend’s Arizona Hockey Classic. The annual Memorial Day Weekend tourney, held in Scottsdale, drew mens and women’s teams from throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The Betties handily defeated a fierce round of opponents including such formidable forces as the Bay Area Angry Dolphins, L.A. Polar Cats and Phoenix’s Mid-Ice Crisis. They faced off in the play-off round against the Novia Scotia (that’s as in Canada) Warriors, which ended in a two-two tie in overtime. The two teams met again in the championship round, with the Betties winning by a narrow 2-1 lead thanks to goals by winger Gillian Arnwine and Durango High phenom defender Allison Millar. At the tender age of 16, Millar also took home all-tournament MVP honors.

The Betties also won the coveted Southwest Cup earlier this season in Gunnison, beating archrivals the Telluride Box Canyon Beavers.

And while the taste of victory has been sweet, the smell, not so much so. “I may have to burn my gear,” one player was reported to say after the immediate post-game, 8-hour drive back. “But it was all worth it to see the Canadian coach hang his red-and-white afro wig in shame.”

Wired for pain

Move over Nintendo thumb. Step aside sore cubicle back. The “latest affliction of the wired age” goes by the name of cell phone elbow, and it’s sweeping the nation, crippling one unlimited calling plan at a time.

Known in medical circles as cubital tunnel syndrome, cell phone elbow is characterized by aching, burning, numbness or tingling in the forearms and hands. The pain is the result of excessive flexing of the elbow. That call to the mother-in-law is putting excess pressure on your ulnar nerve which can lead to low blood flow and compression of the nerve. The findings were published in theCleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine.

“Repetitive, sustained stretching of the nerve is like stepping on a garden hose,” Dr. Peter J. Evans toldHealthDay magazine. “You’re blocking blood flow to the nerve, which causes it to misfire and short circuit.”

However, there’s good news for victims of “mobilitus.” In most cases, relief can be as simple as switching hands frequently, calling mom only on weekends or sucking it up and plugging a Bluetooth into your ear.