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Hickory Crawdads 43

Notice: All logos on this page are included within the parameters of 17 U.S.C. § 107, which states that the reproduction of a copyrighted work for purposes of criticism and/or comment is not an infringement of copyright. No challenge to the copyrights of these logos is intended by their inclusion here.
Posted 2019 April 18

NOTE: This review incorporates portions of reviews written for the previous Hickory Crawdads logo, and the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs logo.

Usually when you have a team named after crustaceans, it's because it's a local delicacy. This is true of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, the Charlotte Stone Crabs (who play in Charlotte, Florida, not Charlotte, North Carolina), the Lakewood BlueClaws, and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. It doesn't seem to be the case here. Hickory is located nearly four hours away from the coast, I've never heard of even coastal North Carolinians describe crawdads as a local delicacy. When it comes to seafood in North Carolina, the big thing is shrimp. As for the inland parts of the state, the big thing is barbecue. Good old North Carolina style barbecue. Or maybe North Carolina style barbecue. There's two of them, you see. There is Eastern North Carolina style barbecue and Western North Carolina style barbecue, and to describe the fervor with which some people approach the subject as "religious" is to be guilty of understatement. If there is ever a topic which will lead to civil war within the state of North Carolina, if there is ever a subject where the disagreement is so heated that there is a body count associated with it, that subject is barbecue. See, I might describe the two styles as Eastern NC barbecue and Western NC barbecue, but most people here, if they're being honest, think of the two types as "real, honest-to-god North Carolina barbecue" and "that shit those idiots on the other side of the state eat."

Me? I'm staying out of this one. I get myself in enough trouble around here every time I go off about what a stupid sport basketball is. Besides, I've got no skin in this game. I lived in Maryland as a kid. I'll take crab cakes over either kind in a heartbeat. So to all my fellow North Carolinians who strongly feel that your barbecue is best and people in the other part of the state must be crazy to like theirs, let me simply say this: I don't know what's wrong with these people, either. Of course yours is the best. I agree with you 100%. No matter which part of the state you come from. Now do me a favor and pass me the crab cakes. No, no, no...not those crappy "Carolina style" crab cakes...real ones.

Or, for that matter, pass me the crawdads. Crawdads aren't a Maryland thing, but that doesn't mean they don't taste good. Also, they're fun to eat. For those not familiar with eating crawdads, you get the whole thing (still in its shell) brought to you, and you're supposed to separate the head from the body, peel away part of the shell, pull the meat out of the tail, and eat it. That's not the fun part, of course. The fun part is that once you've done this, you've got a crayfish head that isn't particularly useful, and you can play with it. (Some people like to suck the juice out of the head. I don't, but even if you do, once you've done that you've got a crayfish head that isn't particularly useful, and you can play with it.)

This fact about crawdads was used one night to torment a friend of mine. This friend (Rick is his name) is the sort of person who doesn't like to be reminded that the food he's sticking in his mouth used to move around of its own accord. This is fine when eating steak (which doesn't especially look like a cow), bacon (doesn't look much like a pig), et cetera. But on this particular night, a small group of us had gone out for crab legs. Crab legs, of course, look like crab legs. This wasn't a problem for most of us, but it was for Rick. He had to shell every damned bit of crab meat sitting in front of him before he could eat any of it. None of the rest of us had any such compunctions, so we were digging right in. Rick, as I recall, was even trying to avoid looking at the rest of us as we ate. The rest of us had finished (and we're talking a pound of crab legs each) before he had taken a single bite.

So the rest of us (there were three of us, not including Rick) decided to split a pound of crawdads while we waited. And as we ate them, the disembodied crayfish heads started to pile up. You see where this is headed. We were probably going to play with them anyway, but the presence of someone who really didn't want to watch us playing with crawdad heads was way more temptation than we could resist. It started, if I remember correctly, when David held one up and started singing, "Fish heads, fish heads, roly-poly fish heads! Fish heads, fish heads, eat them up, yum!" It quickly moved onto such classics as "Another Saturday night, and I ain't got no body", "My body lies over the ocean", and I-don't-remember-what-else. I also recall picking one up, looking solemnly at Rick, and declaring, "Miss Scarlet, in the kitchen, with a boiling pot."

That was the last time Rick came with us for crab legs.

But all that said, crawdads simply aren't a North Carolina delicacy. Sure, there's a restaurant here in Raleigh that has them, but it's a New Orleans themed restaurant. So I really have no idea why the team in Hickory named themselves the Crawdads. It's even more confusing when you consider the fact that according to all those dialect maps, people in this part of the country call the creature crawfish. But whatever. Their logo is similarly odd. It features a crayfish head (with human eyes) sticking out of the water, and a pair of claws holding a baseball as if it was some sort of offering to you. Oh, and given the proportions, the baseball is probably only slightly larger than a typical golfball. Or it's a full-size baseball and the "crawdad" is in fact a lobster. The crawdad is bright red, a color crayfish only turn after being cooked. So basically, the logo is implying that someone found a were-crayfish, boiled it, and threw it back into the pond/stream/whatever that it had originally been pulled from, and then through some form of voodoo magic that I don't even want to contemplate, the were-crayfish has been made into a zombie (of the original sort, not the brain-eating Hollywood invention you see these days) and is bringing its master a golf ball-sized baseball (or maybe a baseball-painted golf ball). I feel like I'm looking at a still from a horror movie and I have no idea what happened so far to bring us to this point. And now that I think about it, I don't want to know. If I want to see crawdads on my television, I'll put it on Food Network. And if I want to see crayfish live, I'll go to a restaurant. Without my friend Rick.

Final Score: 43 points.
Penalties: Equipment, 13 pts; Humanoid (for the eyes), 30 pts.
Bonuses: None.


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