Last year, when I wrote the flowchart on how to choose your AWIHL team, I apparently forgot to mention that goannas are TERRIFYING DINOSAUR LIZARDS. So everyone please take the idea of the cute little green skink you have in your mind and throw it out the window.
Now, I’m not saying that the Brisbane Goannas SHOULDN’T be your team. What I am saying is that if you choose it based on its logo, then you need to be aware that it is not an adorable garden lizard but instead a bringer of death that can grow to be up to 2.5 meters long (that’s over 8 feet for those of you who still don’t understand metric).
Luckily for humans, goannas aren’t the biggest fans of eating us, despite the fact that they are CARNIVAROUS LIZARDS. They are instead bigger fans of finding any animal small enough that they can catch it and swallow it whole, which remains terrifying and makes me feel like I need to put forward a more concerted effort into protecting the children of this country.
Maybe right now you’re sitting there going, "But Alyssa, all you've told me is that it's big and that it might only maybe prey on small children! That's not a problem — I only care about hockey. "
Fine. So how would the terrifying dinosaur lizard stack up on a hockey team?
Speed: Goannas are fast. One type of goanna, the Perentie Monitor, has been known to reach speeds of up to 25mph. For context: if we put it against Rebecca Russo in a skating competition, the NWHL's fastest skater would not be coming out on top.
Skill: Great agility (usually used for climbing trees, but I suspect this will translate well into deking around defenders) and exceptional vision (relies heavily on eyesight and hearing when hunting down prey — I mean tracking the puck).
On-Ice Presence : While biting your opponents isn’t traditionally seen as a part of hockey, the growing number of biting related offences in the NHL seems to increase yearly. In the chance that a goanna does get in a fight (assuming that it doesn’t claw its opponent to death) there is also the fun fact that scientists have recently discovered that goannas have oral venom glands! Meaning that if they do decide to snack on an opponent’s finger, they’re going to be a lot more damage than Alex Burrows could.
Injury Avoidance: Goannas are one of the only lizards that can’t grow back limbs, so if someone does decide to, say, try and hack off their finger with a hockey stick, it’s not coming back.
But Alyssa - how do they do on ice?
Given that goannas are largely desert creatures and Australia doesn’t exactly have ponds that regularly freeze over...not great (there are in fact many internet forums dedicated each year to working out if it's safe enough to skate if they do, the answer is almost always “no”).
(Give me a year, I need to teach ONE GOANNA how to skate).
(...Anyway, back to my original point).
With the start of the AWIHL season just over than a month away — Opening Weekend is October 28-29 — it's time to pick your team (see flowchart linked above). And if you do select the Goannas, don’t do it because you think the lizard on the logo is cute. Do it because it’s a terrifying venomous dinosaur lizard that can outrun 98% of the human population.
(Also, if anyone with a production budget happens to be reading this, we've had Michael Phelps vs. Shark, and Shea Weber vs. Cowboy. Who’s going to make Rebecca Russo vs. a GIANT LIZARD happen???)