tUMD hired the new assistant coaches for the women’s hockey team three days ago and I still don’t know what to say.
It was obvious to anyone and everyone that Laura Bellamy was going to be one of the assistants. Laura is a Duluth native, was on the Harvard coaching staff, and was apparently seeking a subletter for her apartment several weeks ago, so it was obvious. I guessed it back in April. Laura is a goaltender, so I don’t know what that means for Nicklin. She was an assistant at Harvard for two years.
The other assistant position is going to Samantha Reber, 2015 Harvard alumna. I don’t know what to say about this hire. I don’t think anyone could have guessed this.
I hope both hires were in Coach Crowell’s master plans all along. I have no reason to believe they are not, other than my own conspiracy theories.
All three women have been coached or mentored by Katey Stone, one of the best coaches in the business. This is fantastic. However, I also find it a little… insular, I guess. We have one coach with 2 years of experience, and one with none; it would have been nice to have a coach who offered a fresh perspective and who had been mentored in her coaching career by someone else.
I think a young, energetic coaching staff is fantastic. It also scares me a bit, especially in recruiting. I am sure Coach Crowell has connections, and Laura has been building hers, and is of course coming back to her home turf. Reber’s home turf is Edina, which of course, I hate.
If Coach Reber can go into the heart of UMTC recruiting territory, where they probably don’t even TRY to win recruiting battles, they just DO, and she can win some key battles for top recruits in the area, I’ll be her champion forever and ever, amen. Both assistants will also need to make inroads in Canada to round out the roster. This team isn’t going to be successful with in-state-only recruits. We need at least a couple maple syrup suckers to suit up.
I want to be optimistic, but instead I feel hesitant. We have two coaches who are so very inexperienced at coaching. I want a national championship, like, tomorrow. I mean, this is tUMD hockey. We expect success. We expect wins. We expect to be hosting home playoff games, making the NCAAs, sending players off to international success. That’s a tough legacy to live up to, but I’m sorry, mediocrity isn’t okay. These three coaches could be hard-charging, brilliant tacticians, for all I know. Nothing would make me happier, but we are all going to have to wait until October to find out, and my mind is churning with concern in the meantime.
Welcome home, Laura, and welcome, Samantha. I want success for you both, and I know you’ll do everything you can to help this program get back to its era of dominance!
A few weeks ago I asked tUMD’s athletic department to make a change to the Twitter account for the men’s hockey program.
There are people who thought I was crazy.
The powers that be in the UMD Athletic Department didn’t think I was so crazy. Behold:
After I didn’t receive an answer from tUMD on Twitter, I decided to email the athletic director and the men’s hockey SID. I also connected with the UMD Commission for Women, who wrote an official letter to the athletic director on the matter, which was much more eloquent than mine.
My email was forwarded to the director of marketing, who told me they were looking into the matter, and then a week or two later, he responded with this explanation.
“We learned the @UMDHockey account was the first account created for any of our programs and was designed to cover UMD Hockey in general (Men and Women) because our Women’s team at the time chose not to be active on social media. Now that both are active as well as all our teams we felt it was the right time for the change.”
Hey, it makes sense to me. And if Maryland’s club hockey team hadn’t decided to cybersquat on the @umdmhockey account, we could have had parallel structure for our team Twitter handles.
I really appreciate the response from the athletic department. I mean, the fix was SO easy, a cave man could have done it, so there wasn’t any reason not to, but I am sure they could have dismissed me. Perhaps without the Commission for Women’s letter of concern, they would have, so I appreciate their willingness to step in and give their opinion on the matter.
In the grand scheme of things, this change may seem insignificant. A lot of people asked me why I chose to champion this issue, because as you know, there are starving people and wars and meth and stuff. People are not allowed to ask for small things to be changed, because big things are going on, I guess. I chose this issue because it was small, and because it was something I had the power to address. Small changes add up over time. (I also expect anyone who made snide remarks about my mini-crusade on the grounds that there are bigger problems in the world to be a big donor to this fall’s From Top Shelf To Food Shelf campaign.)
Thanks for doing the right thing, tUMD Athletics.
Your move, Gophers.
Don’t understand what I’m getting at when I say tUMD needs to change its hockey Twitter accounts?
Got it now?
Didn’t have time to comb through the 121 page document UND released detailing the nickname suggestions under consideration? I am here to copy and paste the highlights for you.
As for the non-considered nicknames, there’s a list of them, too. Don’t click if you don’t like bad words. Like Admiral Ackbar. Pardon my French.
(Ok I fell down the rabbit hole of reading the non-consideration list and laughed for like an hour.)
Ok, back to the list actually under consideration. We have lots of ridiculous submissions, and then some normal ones with ridiculous justifications. I have categorized them for you.
File Under: Delusional
People who refuse to get it
Blackhawks Because there is no chief Indian blackhawk so it isn’t offensive to anyone, and we have the same scoring song as the blackhawks
Cavalry Fighting Sioux was great. But let’s face it, ultimately the US Calvary won. [Congratulations.]
Fighting Tsunami’s Strong, Powerful, Original. [And has nothing to do with beer-bellied neanderthals who will perish if they cannot yell LET’S GO SIOUX.]
Fighting Warriors Still keep Native tradition, and people can still wear beloved garments with logo of Native American, there are Warriors in every culture. [Beloved garments?]
Force Our hockey team is definitely the Force of the North. I think we should buy out the Fargo team’s name. [Why get a free nickname when you can pay for one?]
Force of North This name is all inclusive for everything about North Dakota. Sioux symbol could still be used. [Facepalm.]
Metis The Metis (maytee) were the children of european men and Indian women. A new nation of people were created. The Fighting Metis of UND. [Another facepalm.]
Natives Close to fighting souix while being being socially correct! Also sounds nice! North Dakota Natives [I got a concussion from facepalming too often.]
4 pages of Nodaks
25 pages of North Dakota
Red Clouds Use the logo from the NDHP cars and ND Hwy Signs. If they can do it, so can UND. [A very petulant submission.]
3 pages of Tsunami [No one is fooled.]
File Under: Politically motivated
People who don’t like liberals.
2%ers Because at UND the opinion of 2% of the people control what everyone else MUST feel. [MAJORITY RULE! WE TRAMPLE THE WEAK!]
7th Cavalry Shows history of North Dakota and shouldn’t piss off any bleeding heart liberals [Well then.]
Bleating Sheep Baaaaa
Cowboys or Oilmen Honor the people who settled the land if the liberals want to have the Sioux people fade into history. [Thank the Great White Saviors of the UND fanbase for keeping the Dakota people from disappearing!]
Ermines Native to state / Unique and memorable / Easy to rally around / Cute but fierce / Politically safe / Not divisive among existing factions [Not divisive? I disagree]
Fighting Frackers Drill baby, drill.
Foreigners Because the NCAA wants a name that is less “native” [I would love to see the mascot/logo for this one.]
Free or Freedom “O’er the land of the FREE and the home of the SIOUX” mascot honors our service men at GFAFB. Camo with UND grn reflects passion for hunting [Note: Servicewomen can go eff themselves, this person implies.]
Mice Because UND is afraid to stand up to anyone about anything [They are standing up to you idiots who won’t let the racist nickname die.]
Patriots American/1st Amendment representation [I’m surprised that the 2nd Amendment wasn’t mentioned too! Guns!]
Seanators Because of the polotics [Yeah, Seans are just so polotical.]
Shills North Dakota is not a real place. Its just used for tax purposes in Obamas run for third term. [Is there a pamphlet on this?]
File Under: How did this make it through?
These probably should have been on the other list.
2’s Not only does Grand Forks smell like #2, but UND takes #2’s in all big game situations. [Accurate.]
Abdominal Snowmen Because f*** it why not, it’s basically the north pole there. [Abdominal?]
Fighting Moles Because of Faisons huge mole on his forehead [I’ve never seen him, is that true?]
Fire Faisons He retired the Fighting Sioux, and now he should retire too [I’m getting mixed messages. Should he be fired? Or retire?]
Forkers For Grand Forks of course and UND mascot can be a large utensil… [I like it.]
Geckos Geckos are f****** bada** and our colors could still be green and white. They are are also cold blooded which is cool. [Swearing!]
Hedgehogs Ron Jeremy is my inspiration. [Is Scott Owens taking over when Hak gets fired?]
Iron Chancellors Bismarck (capital ND/dominant statesman in Europe in 19th century) Stands for strenght and wise politics [See, my suggestions weren’t as stealthy as this. Genius.]
Imperials Honor Ralph by naming the team after his casino that made him the money to build the world class facility that we get to play hockey in [I can’t tell if this is serious or not.]
Landon Bahlers does Landon shave yet? why is a pre-pubescent spoiled little s*** like him on this committee??? [This feels personal.]
Merkins North Dakotans love their public wigs [I don’t think those wigs are allowed to be shown in public.]
Mountees I mean you guys are in canada right? [Mounties.]
Neanderthals Less offensive. [Than what?]
SIeves your goalie is a great big sieve [Yes.]
Sinking Ship The athletic department is a sinking ship, anchored down by the hockey program. [A bold statement.]
Skunks People from North Dakota refuse to take showers and smell funny; just like skunks. They have a natural aura of skunk poop. [Seriously, this made the list but mastodon did not?]
Skunks People from UND smell bad [Yes this is on the list twice but it’s funny.]
Snowflake city White people [What about them?]
File Under: Submitted while on LSD/Meth
Allsaints giving THEM ALL CLOUT IS MY BEST ANSWER.
Awares They’re on point and awake. Looking to the future, proud, unifying and unique.
CHILL CHILLING IS ACTIVE, SURELY REPRESENTATIVE OF THE STATE, AND NON-HUMAN SPECIFIC, ALTHOUGH THE ACT OF “CHILLING OUT” IS COMMON PARLANCE.
Citronaut Worked well for Florida Technical School before switching to Knights … There is literally nothing cooler than a Astronaut thats an Orange
Cube Gets ice & math. It is borgish – the borg. Resistance is futile, we will assimilate you. Simple name and image that can be broadly cast
Foxes Lux et Lex sounds like something out of Fox in Socks by Dr Seuss.
Frozen Fury Saw a rocket in Witmer Hall on campus shortly after losing the nickname… sums up our winter storms and sports passion
greenmen lady green
Green Speed Green for color and it does not divorce entirely from what we were. Speed for fierceness and the history behind the phrase “speed kills” …
High Plains Drifters Everybody loves Eastwood. And he always wins.
ironhorse notusedelsewheredenotesvitalitymightstrenghtunendingworkethicrailroadpopulatednorthdakotaindispensibleton.d.economy ads linkupwith bnsf.
Moles HAPPY MOLE DAY 2 U [Thank you]
Narwhals As the Majestic Unicorn is considered fictional, nature has given us the Narwhal; an aquatic equivalent. ND is that hidden gem of the USA.
Predators stalking Wolves roam north datoka, they are one of the must feared predators
File Under: Obsessed
It goes both ways.
Baby Bison Much like the University of Ohio’s juxtaposition to Ohio State University in national sport prominence, UND will become a little cousin
Buffalo Buffalo are wild and free and used to roam our land. Plus our two biggest schools in the state would have similar inspiring nicknames
Buffalo I think it would really bug NDSU if we had a very similar mascot. That would be fun
Exterminators Death to Gophers
Fire Cause you’ve already spent so much money on your non Sioux UND logo….why not just copy and paste onto your NCAA team mascot application? [I don’t know what this means.]
Fishers Fishers are fierce fighters and carnivores native to the red river valley (a large mink). Suggest a logo with a dead gopher in it’s mouth!
four pages of Flickertails [Probably from GPL.]
Point Sixers A play on the name of the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers. / UND lost to Minnesota in the 2014 semi-final with 0.6 seconds left. [We all remember.]
Rat Dogs I believe that it would represent our past history. We have had a lot of history playing teams that have mascots that are rodents and dogs
Spacklers Carl Spackler (most lethal gopher hunter in history). [I missed the alternate ending to Caddyshack I guess.]
Tatankas Native American (Lakota) word for buffalo…I’m sure NDSU wouldn’t mind! ;) [Yes, we all saw Dances With Wolves. It won Best Picture.]
Unison Well they are lower than the Bison at everything they do. Bi=2 Uni=1
File Under: Submitted by the same idiot who chose the name “Wild”
No no no no no no no no no.
A-Mazers The team members are always amazed that they are given the opportunity to play in a sport. Each is amazed too at the wonders of our bodies, and ho[some stuff that got cut off]
Edge UND offers highest level of development, on the ‘cutting edge’. Indians would kill bison by running them off cliff edges. ND is edge of US.
Envy “Green with Envy,” green being the primary color of UND. / Doesn’t pigeonhole you in to a specific design or mascot and is unique. [Why not Lust or Gluttony instead?]
Epic Prairie Stars Says our open prairie is like none other. [This was written by magnetic poetry.]
Epic Stars Says oodles of our state, its people and the high quality of those who represent UND
Fighting Fierce “Fighting” maintains the tradition of the name, while “Fierce” looks to the future, even as it coincides with UNDs sports image. [How does Fierce look to the future? Is Rupaul our next president? I hope so.]
GENERATION “Here comes the GENERATION of the U of ND.”
Kodies North Dakota = Kodies / Bear logo or a cowboy
Loyal T’s T = teammates working together not for fame, but for the experience and joy of each game as they go forward in blessings [I can’t.]
Nords a word loosely used in reference to people’s of the north. Exactly what we here in ND are, and what we’re proud of being
Star Voyageurs Symbolizes our outlook.
Tundra Where else in the USA would fit this mascot name? Nowhere. [Not part of the USA: states with actual tundra in them. States that don’t have tundra: North Dakota.]
File Under: Written either in crayon or on a typewriter
Written by children or old crackpots who write letters to the editor of the Fargo Forum.
Bassett Hounds Bassett hounds are great dogs with good smell When they come out onto the ice the music can saycan you smell what the hounds r cooking [Probably written by Biddy.]
Fighting Farmers WHY YOU ASK – BECAUSE EVERY NORWEGIAN IN THE STATE WOULD BE HONORED.
Green Monsters This is just a fun, creative name. My grandpa came up with this… I promised I’d submit it. hahaha xoxo your grand daughter
Orangutans Orangutans are awesome [They are.]
Sizzlers Because of a 1961 state basketball championship team from Grafton. Star player sizzled for 31 points before 3 pointers were invented [Glory days, they’ll pass you by, glory days, in the wink of a young girl’s eye.]
Water Buffalo There is a video that shows a baby water buffalo being attacked by lions. The whole herd of family comes and saves it from the lion. [Sad.]
File Under: You know there’s more than one sport at UND, right?
The answer is no.
Blades One of ND’s most defining geographical features is the prairie. Lots of grass! / Razor sharp research here! / Hockey blades! / Sounds AWESOME!
Blades We have an exceptional hockey team that everyone loves. [Not me!]
FLAMINGOS I think it would be cute for a flamingo mascot to skate on one leg before the hockey games. Also, it works since our colors are green&pink.
Ice Daggers Ice suggests the climate and our grit to survive. Daggers are hand combat fighting tools. Ice also aludes to ice hockey.
Ice Walkers Some of our hockey players can barely put one foot in front of the other, when they first walk out on the ice. When they become young men & wome[some gibberish that was cut off]
Jayhawks Because UND is a very good hockey team and they just sore though the games they play and go through tournaments fast and win all the time!
Super Tsunami Like the infamous northern and tidal winds, UND hockey is strong, mind-blowing and epic [You morons just don’t get it.]
Wranglers We already have a Cowboy hat guy running around with UND flag at football games. I believe Wranglers is available and not used by many
File Under: You’re thinking too hard about this
I swear some of these people conducted their own market research.
Armour Armour is an unbreakable force that warriors use when going into battle. Also, Under Armour could sponsor us. [Submitted by a Canadian.]
Berserkers it has norse orgins and then we could nick name the ralph “valhalla” [The Ralph already has a nickname: “The Ralph.” Or “The Puke.”]
Blizzards Climatologically North Dakota is way up there for the most frequent and intense blizzard occurrences in the country. [Do you have some documentation to back that up?]
Brontops A Brontop was a dinosaur that was native to North Dakota. The name meets the criteria and a mascot/logo would be easy to create and market.
Champs Abbrv. for Champsosaurus, dino native to ND. Statement re: success too. Looked like gator, scary & fans can do arm chomp thing like Florida. [How unique to copy another school!]
CHILL Cool. The call could be for the opponents to chill – we will win anyway. This brings ice, cold, storm, chiver concepts. [What a dumb slogan.]
Cormorants Large, majestic bird that is found in ND. Tough, quite a survivor (pop. rebounded after DDT affected eggs in 1970s). Unique. [This must be from a liberal!!]
Fighting Flaxseeds This would be incredibly unique, and is representative of one of NDs top products. It would be highly recog. and is not offensive to anyone! [The Flaxseed lobby is all over this!]
Grand Green Incorporating the location and main school color to create a unique and distinctive identity.
green prairie the colors of und are green north Dakota is a wonderful prairie
Monarchs Like a lion (not butterfly) Like king of the jungle. It is powerful, fierce, unique, and something people would be proud of.
Poets There is poetry in winning the right way. Thus, the Poets [Maybe start winning the right way first.]
River Wilde Indicative of the proximity to the Red River as well as the strength of the mighty Red River, which has unfortunately flooded the town.
Spirit Several references can be made. Death to previous nickname, strong spirit for the school as a whole and the exceptional hockey team
True North This name includes part of the state name and also indicates the direction used world wide for navigation and way finding. compass [O Canada.]
Verdenero Combination of Green and Black in Italian. Very simple. Very distinctive. [Simple?]
File Under: Submitted by cats
Cats I like cats
File Under: We are not fooled, these were all submitted by the same person
Doers American Indians were the first Doers, then the farmers, ranchers, now UND faculty, staff, students. alums. I have an image: Jim Papacek
Doers DOERS are the immigrants and the roughnecks who make it all possible. / DOERS are the sandbaggers and architects of North Dakota’s future.
Doers DOERS are the people who roll up their sleeves and muscle the job done. / DOERS call UND home. email@example.com Jim Papacek
Doers DOERS are the: Sodbusters, Farmers, Ranchers, / DOERS are the good politicians, teachers,and dreamers with drive. / DOERS are the service people
Doers Doers get the job done in their historical time frame to make North Dakota prosper. DOERS ARE THE SIOUX! / DOERS are the: Native Americans
ProngBucks a.k.a. Prong Horn, Spring Buck, indigenous to ND, fastest land animal in N. hemisphere, e.g. 55 mph for .5m
SpringBucks a.k.a. Prong Horn, Prong Buck, indigenous to ND, fastest land animal in N. hemisphere, e.g. 55 mph for .5m
File Under: $$$$$$$$
Ermines There is no number two. Ermines is numbers one and two. It is perfect, and if adopted, I will buy a shirt immediately [Gotta get that UND merch moving again]
File UNDer: You see what I did there???
Hounds H.umans O.f U.N.D. It shows passion, determination, and people would rally behind it. Mascot could be simple or complex – paw-scratch-face [Paw-scratch-face is what happens when I sleep too late and my cat wants food.]
ScoUNDrals It has UND in the name and our fans are like a bunch of Han Solos- the coolest cat in the galaxy. He made the Kessel run in 12 parsecs.
SoUND We are the past present and future combined. We are the soUND of success, integrity and pride
Thunder Hawks Thunder has UND init. ThUNDer
UNDaunted Those who settled ND as well as those who fly in air and space now and in the future were/are/will be bold and unafraid. Begins with “UND”.
UNDertakers Not only contains UND in the name, but supports the mortuary sciences program. Not to mention it has a little intimidation factor to it.
WolfhoUNDs Wolf says strength, fierceness and passion and hoUND incorporates UND.
File Under: You do know what the school colors are, right?
Submissions that would only work for the colorblind.
Golden Retrievers [With Air Bud as the mascot.]
REDTAILED HAWKS BEING ON THE RED RIVER, WE COULD USE “RED RIVER REDS” FOR THE CHEER DURING GAMES AND OTHER EVENTS. / IT IS A BIRD THAT SOARS LIKE O[some gibberish that got cut off]
Red Wolves Wolves are becoming a more prominent species in ND. “Red” because the school is located on the Red River.
File Under: ???????????????
I do not even know.
Auroras haha remember when that was gonna be the name of the arena, as submitted by the public, then a bank bought the rights?
Corgis If the first option is too offensive [I can only imagine what that was]
Curlers Curling is a team sport that demands precision and excellence of all members to a common goal. And Canada would love it. [I don’t think UND has a varsity curling team but ok.]
Data Miners Miners is obvious. data would make UND the first team with a computer connotation [Engineers doesn’t count?]
Diamond Cutters Diamonds are hardest, most inpenetrable substance on Earth, symbolic of our athletic teams, but we also cut through them like champions do [Champions cut through diamonds? Also isn’t this a drink?]
Earthtillers ND is the most farm related state. There a 3 times more cattle than people and number 3 in sugar, number one durum, 12 bil. Bread loves [??? I don’t know if this is the end or what?]
Fantasies Because North Dakota is a made up state [Made up city, made up girlfriend.]
Flaming green Red river rats
Flying Fairies Because that’s the only thing better than the Fighting Sioux. Regardless of who you pick students will still cheer the Sioux chants! FOREVER
Flying Flyin Norskies [Seems redundant.]
Frigid flickers Flicker is a mysterious bird of ND
Greenbacks Green is already one of UND’s colours. The name is unisexual and can apply to the grass plains of the state. [Unisexual?]
Green Fangs It’s green and a bit more menacing. [This would possible be the first dental-related mascot in sports.]
Muddy River Source of our character — the Red River: muddy, treacherous and nurturing. [Is this a sports nickname or a blues band?]
Night Riders Cause it was an awesome tv show. [That’s Knight Rider, stupid.]
Pink Flikers A playoff of our school colors and one of our older names [This might be inappropriate but I’m not sure.]
Potato diggers Lots of potatoes grown here. It would be like the Nebraska cornhuskers and in the movie Centennial
SNOW DOGS NICKNAME FOR A TEAM UP IN THE NORTHERN TIER, BIG SAMOID HUSKY FOR A MASCOT. [A husky mascot? How original!]
People got their undies in all manner of bunches in January when I stated “You’re not a real hockey fan if you only support men’s programs.” I’m certainly not backing off of that statement now or any time in the future.
Women’s hockey is a subset of the sport of hockey. Or, to be specific, women’s ice hockey is a subset of the sport of ice hockey. So is men’s ice hockey. Women’s hockey is not a separate sport.
I say this because I have asked UMD athletics via social media many times why they name their twitter accounts the way they do. They have one account for women’s hockey news and updates, @UMDWHOCKEY, and one account for men’s hockey news and updates, @UMDHOCKEY. I’ve been ignored, probably because it’s seen as a trivial thing, but I don’t think it’s trivial.
Why must it be hockey and women’s hockey? Why can’t it be @UMDMHOCKEY and @UMDWHOCKEY? It’s a very simple change. It might be a good time to make that change, too, considering tUMD women’s hockey has been treated rather badly of late by some in the athletic department and administration.
A Twitter username change isn’t that hard. It doesn’t require a new account, the username can be changed in the settings. No one would have to re-follow. Get it done, Bob Nygaard. It’s an easy fix. You may think it’s a small change, just one letter, who really cares? If that’s the case, then do it. This small gesture would be a step toward mending some fences and smoothing some ruffled feathers. It would show that both programs have value, that hockey isn’t just for men.
Referring to men’s hockey as hockey while referring to women’s hockey as women’s hockey is reinforcing the otherness of women’s hockey. Hockey is for men, women’s hockey is for women. It’s like calling a woman “the female Jonathan Toews” or calling a black author “the black Hemingway.”
Women’s sports have a long way to go toward mainstream acceptance. tUMD is hardly the only institution that uses women’s as a qualifier. The Star Tribune has “Minnesota Hockey Hub” and “Minnesota Girls Hockey Hub.” (The banner of the actual MN Hockey Hub site is now Boys’s Hockey Hub, but the website title and URL remain). The Gophers have the same issue on social media.
Bemidji doesn’t even seem to have a women’s hockey twitter account, and the account that allegedly covers both hasn’t tweeted in like 3 years. Boston University has the same issue as tUMD and UMTC, so it’s not even a regional thing. Even the Tree Hugging Bleeding Heart Socialist East Coast Liberals can’t seem to use inclusive language to publicize their hockey teams.
How is it the second least progressive state in the country, after Utah, can have their hockey teams’s accounts named equitably? North Dakota’s hockey Twitter accounts are @UNDWHOCKEY and @UNDMHOCKEY. That’s embarrassing. (Updated: Jack Hittinger informed me Bemidji is also on the Inclusivity Train. Their accounts are @BSUMHOCKEY and @BeaverWoHockey. Come on, a MNSCU school is more enlightened than tUMD? GET ON IT.)
UMD athletics, Josh Berlo, Bob Nygaard, etc. Change the freaking Twitter handle, please.
The season’s over, Providence and Minnesota-Twin Cities are the new national champions, the Stanley Cup playoffs have begun, it’s warm in Duluth (not for long)… what to do? What to write about?
Why don’t I shamelessly ask my vast readership for money?
I signed up for the Be The Match 5K in Minneapolis and I am supposed to be raising money for it. I don’t like to ask people for money, even when it’s for charity. But I must.
The Be The Match Foundation helps cure blood cancers, aplastic anemia, and a host of other diseases by matching bone marrow donors with recipients; supporting and educating patients, families, and medical professionals; and conducting research to improve survival rates for blood cancers, cure disease, and improve the quality of life of patients. My wonderful sister-in-law worked for them for several years, before departing for the vast wasteland that is North Dakota. Two members of my family have received marrow transplants (and are thriving, despite the Gophers’s best efforts to ruin the quality of life of one them…), another died young from leukemia, and I lost this guy, a huge hockey and metal dork, to non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2008. I’m running this race in honor or memory of all these great people.I am sure all of you have similar stories, happy or sad.
While I know all these people who have benefited or could have benefited from a bone marrow transplant, the story of someone I don’t know and will never know has stuck with me for years. Mandi Schwartz, a Yale hockey player, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2008. Many of you may remember the push from the college hockey community to find a donor for her. She didn’t find a donor but did get a stem cell transplant in 2010, which led to a brief remission of her disease. Her cancer returned, and Mandi died in April of 2011, a week after her brothers had lost to Michigan in the NCAA West Regional final (CC’s only goal was scored by Rylan, assisted by Jaden). I cried when I found out she had died, even though I didn’t know her or her family. I felt so sad for her family and her teammates. It was a painful reminder that even a transplant isn’t a guarantee of a clean bill of health. I’m running this race to honor her legacy.
The search for a donor for Mandi actually generated matches for six people who were waiting for transplants. You can help by joining the registry, and you can help by making a financial donation to my fundraising page. I would be forever grateful. I might even say a nice thing about your team, even if you’re a UND fan.
Thanks for indulging me in this not quite hockey related post. If you are able and compelled to donate, please do.
There’s nothing we can do about the departure of our seniors; they’ve exhausted their eligibility. But we have so many talented juniors, sophomores, and freshmen who we need to return next year. The men’s team team is ready to make a deep run in the NCAAs next year, if everyone comes back. The women’s team has an exciting new coach and quality returning players, but the loss of a few top players could mean a disastrous season for our Doggies.
Players, we need you all. We need Toronto, Anaheim, and Minnesota to keep their grubby little mitts off our drafted players. We need the other WCHA coaches (or even other leagues?) to stop sniffing around our players. We need ALL NHL teams to keep their grimy hands off of our undrafted superstars. We need our committed players honoring their national letters of intent, or signing them if they are not signed yet.
I don’t know that there’s a single person playing Bulldog hockey who would benefit from leaving the team. Why start your NHL career now, when you could be captain of your hometown team? Why ask for a release, leave, sit out a year, and then re-start your college career with a new team, when you’re a part of the most storied program in women’s college hockey?
I also don’t know if anyone is in serious danger of leaving. Andy Welinski is weighing his options. Sometimes guys surprise us and leave. Our athletic director said no women’s players have asked for a release. Other sources say three players have, and one recruit has not signed her NLI. (A release just means a player can talk to other teams, not that she is definitely leaving.) I don’t know the circumstances or the timing of these events (or non-event, in the case of the NLI), nor can I verify which case is true (the AD’s or the Reinstate Miller FB page). I hope once the new coaching staff is in place, the concerns of any players or recruits are assuaged.
Let me be one little, insignificant voice out there saying don’t go. Stay another year, two years, all the years you can. Whatever else is beckoning can wait. Stay a Bulldog, all of you.