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Video Killed The Radio Star

10 September 2014

No, this isn’t a story about Judd Medak murdering Bruce. Although now I would have to think of a better post title for that since I’ve just used the obvious one. Maybe Ding Dong The Bruce Is Dead. I am prepared for all contingencies.

Today the NCHC announced it’s launching a digital network, NCHC.tv. This gives the NCHC the dubious honor of being “the first single-sport NCAA conference to offer a fully integrated digital network.” Hooray?

I think it’s pretty cool, PROVIDED we don’t have any Floating Tiger Head nonsense or massive streaming issues.

Here are the features:

  • Live feeds of “nearly all” home games, meaning the possibility of blackouts for certain games, or simply unavailable feeds, which I suppose could be possible for certain out of conference road games.
  • Access to archived and condensed games. This means I can make hilarious screencaps of things! Maybe.
  • Free on-demand content, such as game highlights, press conferences, and other features.
  • Lots of different subscription packages which I don’t feel like detailing because you are all literate individuals and can clickety-clack over to one of the links I provided. I think the links say almost exactly the same thing but one is from tUMD’s site and one is from tNCHC’s site.

Since I live in Duluth and attend all home games, I’m not sure this package will be beneficial to me, but for the comrades in the RWD Empire spread throughout the land, this will be a game-changer! Literally!

Ten

3 September 2014

PearlJam10

Well. This was supposed to be a well-timed post that would be part of a bigger celebration marking ten years of this site. But I thought the anniversary was tomorrow and in fact it was yesterday. I suppose I could backdate the post and no one would know! But that is pointless. And it’s practically RWD tradition at this point to write a late post.

Writing this site has been an extraordinarily rewarding experience. It’s stress-free, it’s flexible, it’s fun, and has zero consequences. Well, it costs me a little money every year to host this site, but that’s about it.

When I started this site, I had very little interaction with the vibrant community of college hockey fans. I posted on [racist mascot]sports.com a bit, I guess. Then I joined tPB and USCHO and started reading other blogs and eventually tweeting and things happened.

weldiejoeMEgs
Things like dressing up as MEg and hanging out with faux refs in St, Cloooud.

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Or traveling to Houghton and meeting up with a bunch of Tech fans and tUMD fans.

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Or meeting this fine woman and role model.

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Or dressing up like an idiot to get on ESPN and witnessing one of the most exciting moments in Bulldog history.

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Or dressing up like an idiot and getting picked to ride the Zamboni at the Final Five.

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Or enjoying one of our frequent wins at Mariucci with the finest fans in hockey.

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Or getting checked from behind by Jupiter, GPL Headmaster.

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Or standing next to my best friends as they promise to spend their lives together. With me.

Thanks readers, tweeters, commenters, detractors, linkers, and assorted party animals. It’s been a blast so far!

Year One

22 August 2014

This last season was my first season covering tUMD women’s hockey. I’m going to give myself a solid D- for the season.

Of course, every other season prior I’d have to give myself an F. The site was a big fat failure in terms of supporting Bulldog hockey, considering I was only supporting 50% of the programs. Only in engineering is 50% ever not a failing grade; I don’t think sports blogging has a curve.

I told myself and others that I didn’t know how to seriously write about hockey. I only knew how to make jokes and bad Photoshop images. Enough people laugh at women’s hockey, there’s no need for me to laugh with them. And other excuses.

But how can I ever ask for women’s sports to get more coverage, support, and respect if I won’t do it myself? How did it take me ten seasons to figure that out? I suppose I am older and wiser now, but I’m still bothered by what a big fat hypocrite I’ve been. Last season I finally chucked all those excuses and just started writing.

There are two good things about the dearth of coverage of women’s hockey. The first is it provides me an opportunity to write about something without worrying I’m redundant. Point me to another tUMD women’s hockey blog. (If there’s one maintained out there and I don’t know about it, shame on me!) The second is no one is out there doing it better than I can do, so my crappy attempts to write about the game rather than just make a bunch of jokes, say “and some things happened,” and call it a day, like I do with men’s hockey, aren’t being compared to someone else’s more eloquent, more informed commentary. So what if I’m not able to dissect the game like a veteran sportswriter? It’s not like anyone else is. Eventually writers better than me will come along, but until then? I’m the best you’ve got. And maybe I’ll get better along the way.

Ok maybe that last part is a pipe dream.

As it turns out, I was able to cover women’s hockey in a fairly similar fashion to how I cover men’s hockey. It’s amazing what happens when I’m able to actually attend games. I don’t have to make stuff up to distract from all the actual play I didn’t see/had to rely on Bruce Ciskie to badly describe. Imagine that, seeing games in person makes it easier to write about them. GROUNDBREAKING. I think I even made some jokes in my women’s posts and it turns out it wasn’t a betrayal to the sport and I was worried about that for nothing.

This season is going to be even better for me in terms of balance. I have a new, more flexible job than I did last year, and I can set my own hours. No more Sundays! No more late Saturday nights! No more Black Friday! And MORE HOCKEY! Specifically more WOMEN’S hockey, as I managed to make every men’s game last year, including the exhibition game where I brought my circuits textbook.

Of course, this means more of you are going to have to come to women’s games, too, so that you can keep up with the site. I’ll see you Friday, 3 October!

The Ides of May

15 May 2014

Ok! I guess I never got around to posting about the Fab Four tournament! But who cares?

Some things happened, like Justin Fontaine and the Wild got eliminated from the playoffs. Sad trombone et al.

Adam Krause will captain the Bulldog men next year, backed up by Justin Crandall and A and Dubs. Emma Stauber and Zoe Hickel will captain the women, and Brienna Gillanders and Jenna McParland are assistant captains. Emma is the first Duluth native to captain the Bulldog women. And of course she’s hockey royalty.

Both teams are going to be awesome next year. Life is good. It’s snowing here. We’ll talk more later.

You Shall Know Our Velocity

19 March 2014

Comrades! It’s almost time for the Fab Four tournament! (I know it’s called something other than that, but I totally don’t even care. Fab Four it is!) I am very excited, even though tUMD is not there, and even though this tournament is brand new and we have no idea how it will go, and even though 2/3 of the population of North Dakota is barreling down upon the Twin Cities in their mobile homes as I type.

I am excited for the tournament because I do think it will be fun, and I think the NCHC knows the tournament needs to be awesome, so I’m going to be optimistic here. Of course I was optimistic tUMD would make the Fab Four and that was like being optimistic the Titanic had enough lifeboats. Alas, alack, etc. I am also excited because I have so much going on! It’s going to be a very busy weekend. And I don’t have to work or go to school! Glory be!

Tomorrow we are heading down (driving a car, not a house, because we are civilized people) while Bruce Ciskie watches my cats. That’s right, the VOX of the UMD men’s hockey team is going to feed my cats. I am a big deal. Or maybe just have a really nice friend. Could be both. Tomorrow night we have dinner with team RWD and then Cards Against Humanity with Dirty, Biddy, and some Tech losers.

Friday I have a morning meeting with The Beard, RWD Reader Emeritus, then lunch with The Beard and my dad. I’m meeting up with my former co-workers, and then there are two hockey games, and then who knows?

Saturday I have brunch with more family and another Reader Emeritus, Bruce (not Ciskie), then more hockey, and then who knows? Again.

Sunday, back to Duluth. Monday, let’s not even think about it. Let’s just focus on the weekend ahead! I assume I will see you all there. Let’s see if we can make this tournament into something fun. Come on Target Center, don’t suck like you do every other time you host hockey!

Sigh. Bulldogs, why couldn’t you have won two more games? It’s just not going to be the same without you.

Broken Home

16 March 2014

tUMD 2, Barbaros 3/tUMD 3, Barbaros 4

A quick update to last night’s debacle: I missed two periods of the game because I had to work. So, it is my fault we lost. Also, we didn’t get into any trouble. Granted, we weren’t being quite as crazy as the night before, but still. I also got a visit from the athletic director, who wanted to make sure we weren’t being bothered and assured us he wants fans to be loud.

So, I see I was correct in extrapolating our “lose if we don’t score first” statistic to broader applications. Hooray for me. Why couldn’t I have been wrong for once? Well, now I get $34.50 off of next year’s tickets.

How can a team be so bad at home? Almost three times as many conference wins on the road than at home. Some absolutely disastrous poopshow home games among the losses (St. Cloud, UNDerpants). I don’t understand. Shouldn’t tDogs be more comfortable at home? I always am. I like sleeping in my own bed, hanging out on my own couch, raiding my own refrigerator. When I’m on the road, I don’t sleep as well, I’m not as productive, I spend too much money, etc. So you’d think tUMD would be the same way. Apparently they have lumpy mattresses and eat only dorm food when they’re at home, and have gourmet dinners and Sleep Number beds on the road.

I’m sad to see this season end, as I always am. I’m hopeful for the future, as I always am, but we’ve really got some fantastic returning players and some top-notch recruits.

I’m kind of out of things to say for the moment, but I hope I’ll see many of you at the Fab Four next weekend!

The Price of Admission

14 March 2014

The game… ugh. That was just garbage. And now my own words from this afternoon have me all freaked out. The game’s irrelevant right now. I’m all fired up for a different reason.

I pay the same amount of money as everyone else in my section to attend Bulldog games, as do the three other people who with with me. We are loud, we have fun, we are silly, and as a side effect, we sometimes annoy people. We’re not screaming obscenities. We would love other fans to join in, make noise, and cheer for the team. Especially because the arena’s a morgue because the students are on spring break. (Hint, maybe $1 student tickets would bring in a few more.)

I do not appreciate being treated like an opposing fan in my own team’s arena. I don’t devote time and money to UMD athletics so that someone can swear at me because they barge on down to their seats when the puck is in play. I don’t cheer and have a good time with my friends so that someone can stand up and scream at us while the game is going on, telling us we’re not cute, we’re not clever, and we need to go back to the student section.

A lot of the issues we come across could be mitigated if AMSoil Arena had enough ushers to position one at the top of every row. If that seems like overkill for 8 rows of people in the upper deck, I assure you it is not. There are people constantly coming and going, standing in the aisles and looking at their ticket in confusion while the game goes on, climbing over 16 people in their row while the game goes on, tween girls darting in and out to talk to their friends. This even sometimes goes on during the 13 seconds of time we actually have an usher at the top of the row, because some of the ushers are too passive to intervene. This results in us policing the aisle ourselves, which we really should not have to do, and results in confrontations from fans who are angry we… want to watch the game. The athletic department did make STOP/GO signs for the ushers to hold (a suggestion I believe came from Biddy and Dan), which is a great start, but the signs don’t do much good if they’re in the hands of an usher seven sections away.

While we couldn’t get an usher to patrol our section if our row was on fire, we DID get a cop standing behind us for the third period! Thanks, UMD Athletics. I appreciate the respect. I am glad all the money I spend on tickets, concessions, jerseys, UMD gear, and TUITION; the time I spend writing about Bulldog hockey when our beat writer barely does; the miles I’ve driven to home and away games and the businesses in Canal Park I’ve patronized; and the time and money spent by the rest of my family and friends in the same fashion have resulted in a cop standing behind me, monitoring me, because I’m cheering too loud. And if I’m not proactive about the situation, could possibly result in further harassment by UMD staff. I know it’s happened before: some old codger complains about a too loud fan, and suddenly that fan has to move.

I will not renew my season tickets, not spend another dime on UMD Athletics, and shutter this blog if there are any further consequences from this one complete jackwagon standing up during play, turning around, and screaming insults at us multiple times simply for cheering for our team. In the end that will probably hurt me 1000 times more than it would ever hurt UMD Athletics, because I devote way, way too much of my own resources to sports, but I’m not going to go quietly, and it’s not going to reflect well on tUMD. That’s not a threat, just something I’d feel was necessary, and also it’s not a threat because I’m hardly intimidating or powerful.

I don’t anticipate that will happen. tUMD’s athletic director and a friend in the arena staff are supportive, other people in our section are supportive, other fans and staff are supportive, I sincerely doubt there will be any real consequences from this incident (other than a rage-stroke from the gentleman in question), but I do know other fans who have been made to feel unwelcome by arena staff and UMD athletics staff, simply for being loud and wild and crazy about Bulldog hockey.

If you’ve read this far, all you have to take from this is: cheer louder, cheer harder, get crazy, and support your team. The more people who go ape over Bulldog hockey, the less power people like the ones we encountered tonight will have. No one can get mad at four fans for being loud, if the whole arena is being loud. I’m as devoted to Bulldog hockey as ever, and I am not going to let one delusional curmudgeon and a bunch of clueless idiots who can’t read a ticket or practice common sense ruin things for me.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand scene.

PS win tomorrow + Sunday you guys ok?

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