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Men At Work

17 December 2014

I understand a lot of people have OMGSOMANYFEELS about Coach Miller and can’t wait to crow about how she wasn’t a nice person or wasn’t “classy” and didn’t act like a sweet meek little lady. I promise you if a man coaching our men’s team behaved the same way she is rumoured, by some, to behave, but had the same level of success, he would be getting a raise. I don’t like the double standard that women have to be nice, pretty (but not too pretty), meek, loving, mothering, smiley, cheerful, deferential, polite, chaste, heterosexual, and unprofane (not a word, I know) in order to be considered successful. For men, her level of success would be enough. For every athletic director who wouldn’t look the other way regarding “personality issues,” there would be 10 who would, just to win.

I mean, these people all had/have jobs.

(Dirty reminded me that this rant isn’t that bad, and it isn’t, it’s just my second favorite behind the famous Burnsie rant)

Bobby Knight throws a tantrum, throws a chair, and a whole stadium chants his name.

This man punched out two of his own players.

This man is in the Baseball Hall of Fame (as he predicts in the video).

This man took shots at the fans and at the Nebraska Athletic Director and he already has another head coaching job.

Failure to Communicate

16 December 2014

Last night, just before 10, I was sitting on my couch trying to study for my exam the next morning. It went something like this: study 5 minutes, check Twitter, check email, play game, repeat.

Then Twitter exploded. UMD head coach Shannon Miller, assistant coaches Gina Kingsbury and Laura Schuler, and part-time Director of Operations Jen Banford (also the softball head coach, a position I hope is not also in jeopardy) would not have their contracts renewed.

What the [you know what word goes here].

People have a lot of negative things to say about Shannon Miller. Some of them are true, some of them are incredibly sexist or bigoted, some of them are baseless speculation. But there’s not a single person out there that can defend announcing the “non-renewal” of an entire coaching staff in the middle of a season, in the middle of final exams week. (The players did know earlier, but I guarantee it was a distraction. I know this because the captain herself told me.) For all the talk about how student athletes are STUDENTS FIRST, one would think tUMD’s athletic department could have held off.

You know, at least until the end of the season. What’s more disrespectful than “Surprise! You’re fired! In three months! Now get out there and coach, because we fully support this program!!” I guess that would be “Surprise! Your coach was fired! And we won’t even start looking for a new one for several months! Now go take your finals! Because education is important and we don’t want your grades to slip! And remember we fully support your program, so play hard, even though now you have to decide if you’re even going to be here next year, and maybe if you do stay you’ll get cut by the new rando coach we hire!”

We are in real danger of losing players and recruits, and this program’s future is worrisome. I understand that we will never get another reason out of the AD and Chancellor beyond financial concerns. We all know that there’s more to it and we all know that they will never say it publicly, which is fine. But this program is supposed to be a top program, a dynasty. The AD says the university will look at what other coaches in the WCHA are making and will not outspend the Big 10. Great, let’s look at what disastrous programs like St. Cloud pay their coaches and buy that level of coaching talent. That’ll bring the recruits and fans by the busload. What’s a bigger draw than good old-fashioned thriftiness? Oh, you cheaped out and got some tenth-rate washed-up peewee coach who once sharpened the skates of Stanley Palmer? Well… I was leaning toward going to Wisconsin but now you’ve convinced me! Give me that letter of intent!!!

I’m pretty burned out from finals and still have 2 more to go, so my brain isn’t quite working right. I’ll have more to say later on, but I couldn’t let this go unaddressed for too long.

Please make sure to read the excellent coverage by Matt Wellens over at the Bulldog Hockey Blog. He has transcribed interviews with Josh Berlo and Shannon Miller that are worth a look.

The Report of College Hockey’s Death Was an Exaggeration

10 December 2014

Well. I guess it’s time we had a discussion. Comic essays by Dan Myers and Patrick Reusse (you can only read that if you’re a subscriber or haven’t read your precious 10 articles or whatever this month!! Ration wisely.) yesterday prompted some thoughts and now you must suffer through them or maybe close your browser tab.

Myers opens with a great joke. I’ll give away the punchline, Arizona State will join the WCHA.

Indeed. I am sure they are dying to play Alabama-Huntsville and Buttmidji. But wait! Never mind! Alabama Huntsville will be kicked out of the WCHA for some kind of neo-CCHA in some kind of Circle of Life crap, and the WCHA will… look a lot like the old WCHA and a heck of a lot more palatable conference to someone who covers a team that is apparently followed only by fair-weather fans who have no interest in seeking new life or new civilizations or new rivals. Look, Dan, I am sorry that you married a Gopher fan who thinks college hockey sucks simply because she has to watch some new teams, but the NCHC is not going to disband simply to make your wife and you happy again. MOVE ON. So you want to watch tUMD play MSUM and have that dive your player took in OT affect conference standings? Come on, you’re a Mankato fan. In the old WCHA, “conference standings” to you guys meant the difference between last place and second to last. Who in their right mind would long for that? “Oh noes, we won our conference but didn’t beat the Gophers to win it!” Well, ok.

As for Gopher fans, well, I’ll get to them. Now. Reusse was kind enough to go to Mankato to cover tUMD-MSUM’s football game (which tDogs sadly lost, and it wasn’t even close) and then opted for a double feature by taking in a hockey game. Reusse mocks the Big 10 for forming a hockey conference, a pastime I also enjoy. I can’t fault him for that. Then he goes on the list all the ways the Gophers and their fans DGAF about their conference or their opponents, conference or non. Maybe that’s not the fault of conference realignment at all. Maybe that’s just the fault of the bad attitudes of the Gopher fans and players, no? I do have a few anecdotes of Goof fans whining on GPL about similar feelings. “I just don’t care about these games against [t]UMD!!!” they sniveled after their sweep. Why yes, you didn’t care because you got swept and you get to watch your team play uninspired hockey week after week. I don’t see how getting the band back together with the old WCHA is going to fix a loss to the U18 team. And I suppose Goofie fans don’t care much about playing Big 10 opponents like Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, etc., because the Gophers are basically a nonfactor in the sports that matter in the Big 10, so they don’t have the same heated rivalries with those teams. It’s nice to be a big fish in a small pond, I guess.

You know whose fans seem to be enjoying hockey, testing out new rivalries, and planning ahead for the conference tournament (ok maybe only Biddy, Brian, Dirty, and I are planning ahead for the Fab Four)? NCHC fans. Hey, we’ve got some new opponents now? Let’s meet some new fans, hate some new players, forge some new rivalries. Sure, our conference has some built-in rivalries, CC and DU, tUMD and SCSU, UND and everyone. But the Big 10 has UTMC-UWM, MSU-UMAA, Ohio State and everyone. And the WCHA has NMU-Tech, UAA-UA_, BSU-UAH. There’s excitement if you look for it. So you’ve never seen Ferris State play before? Just pretend they’re tUMD, they’ve ripped off our nickname anyway. Michigan Tech is winning games? That might be fun for their fans. Wisconsin is defecating the bed? That might be fun for… all of us.

Look, all of you Miss Havishams in the WCHA and Big 10 can reminisce about the glory days all you want, and sit there and pout as you suffer through a game against Penn State or LSSU, and bemoan the death of college hockey until you make it a reality by taking your toys and going home. That’s fine, you’ll enjoy your Pyrrhic victory, I am sure. Meanwhile, I’ll be sunning myself in the Arizona desert in a few Januarys, taunting the folks at the Blog of Brotherhood any chance I can get, and always always ALWAYS hating St. Cloud State.

When Bears Fly

9 December 2014

tUMD 2, tOSU 2 (tUMD SO win)/tUMD 4, tOSU 1
tUMD 3, CC 2 (OT)/tUMD 7, CC 2

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram! I promise it’s not full of selfies and pictures of lattes. Just fun hockey and Duluth stuff. You can see the crap we threw on the ice for the Teddy Bear Toss, plus a few pix of my trip to the Murder House this past weekend.

I wasn’t able to adequately cover the tUMD-tOSU games this weekend as all I had was the official Twitter account. This made me sad. However, RWD comrade Megan sent me a link to this siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick unassisted shorthanded game-winning goal by Meghan Huertas. Watch this 100x, or more. Simply glorious.

Friday was a bad day for me, as I had a crappy performance on a test, and then I couldn’t follow the women’s game. I got to the men’s game with a few minutes to spare… and found zero other people in my row. Oops. This was not a well-attended game, although my fellow seatmates arrived eventually. Without their bears for the toss, unfortunately, but Biddy came through by going back to his car at the first intermission. We had two bears, one Nordy, and a snowman from Frozen to chuck on the ice for children.

tDogs struggled through the whole game. I guess that’s what a bye week + porking out on Thanksgiving does. I don’t object, I certainly porked out and took a bye… fortnight or so from working out, and I also performed poorly coming out of the bye. However, not every win is nice and pretty, some of them are a grind and struggle every step of the way. CC did a nice job of getting sticks or bodies in the passing and shooting lanes, and they defended very well for most of the game. I was confused why they were so terrible.

I wasn’t confused on Saturday night, when tDogs dominated most of the game. I missed the puck giveaway because we went to Tortureville Bentleyville before the game. We went last year but it was so cold we practically ran through it, but now I wish we’d lingered last year so I didn’t have to go back with the entire population of the arrowhead in attendance, plus a throng of stroller terrorists. We managed to arrive at puck drop but were not in our seats until the first goal was scored. This was because we waited for a whistle. AND WE SIT ON THE AISLE IN THE TOP ROW. FFS PEOPLE. And in the second period we were chatting with some friends in town from Warroad and weren’t in our seats until the second goal was scored BECAUSE WE WAITED FOR A WHISTLE AGAIN OMG IT’S NOT THAT HARD. It wasn’t a big deal since there were 5 more goals scored we were able to see from our seats.

tUMD men are headed to the Yoop to take on the nerds this weekend, and tUMD women are OFF FOR A WHOLE MONTH. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO???????

An NCHC Thanksgiving

28 November 2014

How did you folks spend your Thanksgiving? I hope whatever you did, it was fun. I hope you weren’t being a jerk and shopping at 6:00 PM yesterday. I stayed in Duluth and had porketta, because we have fully assimilated to the Northland.

I checked in with the NCHC teams to see how they celebrated, and all the teams responded with a nice snapshot!


A small snack for CC players or fans.


The DU hockey team visits with friends.


Enrico Blasi cooks for his team.

North Dakota
North Dakota fans honor the original spirit of the holiday.

St. Cloud

Yes, I know this is actually from St. Cloud’s Christmas card last year. It’s pretty much how they spend all holidays.


Dean Blais with his 800 million year old mother and DU’s coach, Jim Montgomery.

Western Michigan

Andy Murray at the head of his ginger family table.

And, finally, tUMD.

tUMD men’s and women’s players spend Thanksgiving with Pierre-Marc Bouchard, pictured in yellow shirt.

Gopher Men’s Hockey Program in Dire Financial Straits

26 November 2014

Folks, as we enjoy this holiday season, it’s important to remember the less fortunate. Not all programs are as blessed as tUMD’s hockey programs are, and the latest program to suffer serious financial hardship is none other than the mighty Minnesota-Twin Cities Golden Gophers.

Yes, folks, despite gouging fans with high ticket prices, forcing students to buy multi-sport ticket packages, bleeding their season ticket holders dry with seat licenses, and even once ripping off tUMD student fees to try to fund their football stadium, the Gopher men’s hockey team simply can’t make ends meet. The Blue Line Club, bank accounts drained trying to keep their precious squad afloat, has had to resort to an auction of their belongings, presumably to satisfy their creditors.


Bulldogs fans, count your blessings this holiday season. I can’t imagine what it must be like for those less fortunate Gophers, who first had to endure a sweep at our hands, then a loss to a children’s team, and now are publicly facing financial ruin.

From Top Shelf To Food Shelf, Year Two

24 November 2014

The numbers have been crunched, and the totals are in: this year’s From Top Shelf To Food Shelf pledge drive generated $400! That, combined with last year’s total, makes a grand total of $943!

Thank you to everyone who helped promote the event, and thank you very much to Biddco, SouthTexGopher, Neil, Nicole, Andy, Susie, RedArmy, Jeremy, Mark, Lindsey (private Twitter account), Nick and BartRhett for your donations!

And of course, here’s my proof of donation:


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