We expected a reaction, but we never expected that, Australia.
Two days ago, we moved from merely talking about going down under and following an Australian Ice Hockey League team this summer to trying to get some concrete numbers to help our decision.
We got a lot more numbers than we bargained for.
Over 18,000 of them, in fact.
That's the number of votes cast in our poll to try and decide which AIHL team we should follow this season. And, in the best traditions of electoral races, there's been murkiness, controversy and partisan behaviour right from the get-go.
First we saw the Melbourne teams take a lead. A BIG lead. Several thousand, in fact.
Then, it got messy. Accusations and counter-accusations of multiple votes, vote-rigging, and veiled and not-so-veiled cries of "CHEAT" flowed through our Twitter mentions while we were asleep as Australian hockey fights tooth and nail for any advantage.
Then, from nowhere, came the Newcastle North Stars. The Goodall Cup champions, they of the poster campaign, have come from seemingly nowhere to match and then pass the Melbourneites (what DO you call people from Melbourne - Melbournians? Melbournidians?).
But now, the decision time draws near.
To muddy things just a little further, though, Australia....we're not the only North Americans in town anymore, though.
Toronto's Pension Plan Puppets have joined in the Goodall Cup Of Chowder fun. You can read about how you can convince them to follow your AIHL team here. There's also discussions (though nothing confirmed yet) that there may be others who want to join in and experience the craziness and joyful fan abandon that we have so far in the AIHL.
The Chowder staff will be voting ourselves this week. We're rating each team on a points system, and the one with the most points in the minivote will win.
And we will decide on a team this Thursday night, April 14th, just in time for Friday morning Down Under.
You have three days left, Australia. The clock is ticking.