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Whatever Happened to Saturday Night?

26 February 2015

tUMD 3, Redchickens 1/tUMD 3, Redchickens 4 (OT)
tUMD 3, tOSU 1/tUMD 5, tOSU 2


This is the only Meat Loaf song I enjoy. Thanks Bruce for inspiring me with your stupid Meat Loaf comment on the broadcast.

There’s not really a point to rehashing last weekend on a Wednesday night (that’s right, I wrote this last night and you’re reading it this morning), but I liked the post idea so I’m going to go with it.

I’m a little burned out on hockey as well as on life right now, so I’m ashamed to say I missed tUMD’s home ice-clinching sweep of the Scary Mascots. Knowing I’d be spending a significant portion of the following weekend at the rink, I decided to stay home, work on homework, and be an overall loser at life. I’m sad to have missed two excellent performances from tDogs, but I look forward to tDogs getting their revenge on Buttmidji Friday and Saturday (no need for Sunday, we can sweepity sweep).

Friday was a nice win for tUMD men against Miami, and it looked like they were cruising toward a sweep, but then opted to implode with some ill-timed penalties and some extremely unfortunate defence in overtime. I don’t get it. tDogs finally got a handle on Friday nights, winning the last 3 Fridays following a questionable (from an officiating standpoint) loss to Denver and a QUESTIONABLE (from a playing standpoint) loss to Buttmidji in the Greedy Gopher Grab. Now they can’t figure out Saturdays? I guess cosmic light came into their life and they thought they were divine? I don’t know.

What I do know is I’d like to see eight wins in the next two weekends for our squads to close out the regular season for the men, and to secure an NCAA playoff slot for the women. If both teams are at their very best, there’s no reason why that can’t happen. IF. IF. IF.

Lift Every Voice and Cheer

20 February 2015

Yesterday the DNT published a letter from a tUMD men’s hockey season ticket holder about an ongoing gripe among hockey fans.

Ha! Gotcha, you thought this was another letter about the coaching situation on the women’s team, didn’t you? No, it’s about how fans aren’t loud enough.

This guy’s letter was a little different, because unlike most people, he didn’t just call out the students, he called out the old people too.

He starts out by chastising tUMD fans for not showing up at the NCHC tournament last year. He asks, “How fantastic it would be if we had more Bulldog fans who would travel down with us in support of our team?” I would counter by asking, how fantastic would it have been if tUMD had actually been at the tournament? It would have been 11 metric fantastics, or 6.3*10^11 British Standard Fantastics. Also I was there in tUMD gear and so was my family, and we were louder than Denver and Miami fans combined. Just sayin’. Kaw.

Then he calls out the student section for being crappy and not having loud, creative, or funny chants anymore. I will refer him to Biddco, who has independently confirmed that the smart phone era has killed our student section.

The letter is strange and kind of all over the place, like he wrote some of it at one time, then came back and wrote some more without re-reading the first part, and then he forgot to put in a bunch of other stuff. It reads like some RWD blog posts! Anyway, his first paragraph is right. We can all do better.

People need to cheer more, and not just when others are cheering. I know we are like 99% Scandinavian in ancestry, or if not Scandinavian, some other sort of stoic European nation, but it’s not an actual crime to yell out “Come on, ‘Dogs!” or “Let’s go!” or some other totally generic phrase. You don’t have to come up with something creative or earth-shattering, you can leave that to Biddy and me. Sometimes just squawking is acceptable; sometimes one just cannot find appropriate words to express just how crazy a situation is.

No one should be embarrassed to cheer. I mean, other than people who yell SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOT the second a power play begins. Although really, those people are 100000000x better than people who sit on their hands until the video board gives them permission to make an appropriate amount of noise that will blend in to the general noise so no one can really hear them.

Of course, it’s hard not to be embarrassed to cheer when others around you act like you have just audibly farted during a funeral. Or like you’ve screamed something vulgar during a moment of silence in memory of a coach’s father… I suppose because it’s dead silent in the arena, a person might get confused and think they are in a library or church or something.

The arena seems to be set up to muffle crowd noise. How can I be shouting and have someone a section over from me unable to hear it? The most passionate students, who stand behind the goal to harass the goalie, and up screaming into the glass. This isn’t going to change, so that’s just another reason why individual fans need to get over their fear of looking like a moron and just go for it.

Unfortunately, many cheers are stifled just as they get started, thanks to a stoppage of play and the ridiculously loud Nickelback/Van Halen/whatever music that blasts from whistle to puck drop, killing any crowd buzz that might have started thanks to a scrum around the net or back-and-forth play or whatever exciting on-ice play occurred.

The bottom line? There are a lot of excuses not to cheer, and we need to replace those excuses with solutions, and be loud. Stand up, old people, and be heard. Otherwise how else will Shepherd know he’s wrong and Rau know he sucks and is a big whiny diving baby?

Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People?

17 February 2015

Further proving there is no justice in this world, Biddco and I won NCHC Fan of the Week!

This photo was taken shortly after we touched the trophy. Here is a reenactment of the trophy touching, from the following night.

It's a Portkey. #nchcfan

A photo posted by RWD (@runninwiththedogs) on

The photo had to be cropped because these idiots stood in the way of The Aaaahj while he tried to take the photo, even after I politely asked them to move. And I’m not even being sarcastic, I really mean politely! The picture ended up being at a weird and distorted angle, so I cropped it and zoomed in a little so you could see the crime against hockey we are committing.

They are sending me a shirt. They are sending me a medium and they say it runs small, so we’ll see. As we all know, the average Trekker has no use for a medium shirt.

The Secret’s Out

16 February 2015

Friday I asked a commenter to show me anywhere that I have said Coach Miller should be reinstated or should have had her contract renewed. She won’t find a single instance and hasn’t bothered to respond.

I want tUMD’s teams to win every game. I want what’s best for the team. In women’s hockey, I want to return to beating the Gophers and Wisconsin like rented mules.

If, after the season, tUMD had chosen to part ways with Coach Miller and had gone out and found a new coach with experience, recruiting connections, and a fresh take on the program, I would have supported it.

That’s not what happened. I cannot support the way UMD has handled this situation. The ends do not justify the means. And we don’t know what the ends are. We don’t know who the next coach will be. We don’t know if any players will leave. I don’t want a single one of them to go. I don’t even want the seniors to leave, and they have to.

I can’t support “saving money” as a criterion for replacing a coach, or for hiring a new one.
I can’t support double standards in how men are perceived vs. how women are perceived. I don’t need to hear anyone clutching their pearls over how Coach Miller comports herself on the bench, while ignoring or even applauding men who behave similarly.
I can’t support “non-revenue sport” as a justification for inequity in pay between two Division One coaches of the same sport. Title IX doesn’t support that, either.
I can’t support the sexist, homophobic things people have said about Coach Miller and about the women’s hockey program over the years. She may be abrasive, she may be blunt, but that’s no reason to attack her looks, her sexuality, or her gender; that applies to the players, too. I can’t support the blatant lies about the quality of women’s hockey as a whole that are spouted by neanderthals everywhere and accepted as fact.
I can’t support criticisms of cronyism lobbied at the former Chancellor over her choice to pay Miller based on her success and her experience, when no one blinks an eye at the rampant cronyism in men’s sports.
I can’t support those who tell Coach Miller to shut up and go quietly. If there are Title IX violations at UMD, the very last thing she should do is shut up and go quietly.
I can’t support people who never gave a single line of print to women’s hockey charging in to find all manner of reasons to justify UMD’s decision, then receding into the background and ignoring the game again. I also can’t support people who never gave a single line of print to women’s hockey giving a single article questioning the school’s decision and then disappearing. Women’s hockey will never grow without continued media interest, covering the good and the bad, not just the ugly.
I can’t support people who think not only should Coach Miller have been gone years ago, but so should the program. (Folding the program without replacing it with another Division 1 sport would be a Title IX violation, idiots.)
I can’t support people who argue Coach Miller is paid too little compared to her peers without stopping to consider her peers are paid too little in comparison to her.

Somehow I get painted as an unequivocal Coach Miller supporter simply because I don’t like how this was handled and I don’t like the message being sent about women’s hockey. I don’t like the message being sent to student-athletes, interrupting their final exams week to face a media storm and uncertainty about their future. I don’t like the message being sent to past, present, and future women’s hockey players, coaches, and fans: you cost too much money, your sport is not worth it, this is a second-class sport. I don’t like when people act as though there’s a zero-sum game being played between men’s and women’s hockey, that men’s hockey suffers because of women’s hockey. I don’t like the double standard applied to Coach Miller vs. her male counterparts. I don’t like to read comment after comment on news stories about Coach Miller’s looks or appearance. She looks professional; nothing else matters. I don’t like that people cannot separate if this should have happened from how it happened; I don’t like that there are people who don’t care, who think this is what Coach Miller deserves and it doesn’t matter how it happened. I don’t like that there are people who can’t see that while it might be time to move on, there might also be Title IX violations or discriminatory actions happening concurrently. I don’t like that even reporting legitimate Title IX violations is career suicide for a coach.

I am okay with a coaching change, but there’s so much about how this coaching change is transpiring that troubles me, and that’s what I have chosen to discuss. It might be hard for some people to grasp this concept, but that’s of no concern to me.

Leaked! UMD Women’s Head Coach Job Posting

10 February 2015

Comrades, I know the season isn’t over yet, and I know the search for the next head coach of UMD women’s hockey hasn’t officially begun, but I have found a preliminary posting for the position.

Job Code and Title (0000) Head Coach, Women’s Hockey
Position Title Head Coach, Women’s Hockey
Job Code 0000
Requisition Number 123456
Position Category Faculty and Instructional
Appointment Term A = 12 months
Appointment Type Multi-year Contract
Work Hours 40
Work Days M-S
Total Hours or % Appointment 100%
Full/Part-time Full-Time
Starting Rate 70 cents on the dollar of what an average men’s coach makes
Department Name UMD Department of Athletics
College or Admin Unit N/A
Campus Location Duluth
Job Open Date 06-01-2015
Job Close Date Open Until Filled
Internal Promotional Consideration ABSOLUTELY NOT
Required/Preferred Qualifications

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Heterosexual.
  • Conventionally attractive (if female. If male, who cares?)
  • Nice.
  • Meek.
  • Soft-spoken. If female, speak only when spoken to. Do not engage in any civil rights campaigns. Do not swear. Do not mention inequity in resources.
  • Head up national task force to repeal Title IX, because don’t you women already have everything you want?
  • Recruit English-speaking American Minnesotan players exclusively.
  • Fill stands for all home games in order to justify the existence of the program. No freebies allowed.
  • Personally apologize to season ticket holders, boosters, and taxpayers of the state of Minnesota for any loss to Minnesota or Wisconsin.
  • Accept significantly less pay than men’s hockey counterparts of similar background, and feel that is justified because their job and their team are more important.
  • Lobby for rule changes to allow checking in women’s hockey.
  • Alternatively, lobby for name change of sport because it isn’t really hockey.
  • Curtsy or bow before and after addressing any on- or off-ice official, Athletic Department staff member, booster, or men’s hockey fan. Keep eyes downcast in deference during conversation.
  • Turn profit in first season of coaching, else fold the program.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Have watched at least one live hockey game, or completed one season in NHL ’15.

Application Instructions The University of Minnesota requires that you apply online for this position. For a complete position description and information on how to apply online, visit https://employment.umn.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=123456

A complete application includes a cover letter, resume/CV, current contact information for three references, and coaching philosophy statement (Additional Doc 1).

Complete applications will be reviewed beginning June 1, 2015 and continue until the position is filled. Questions should be addressed to Josh Berlo at [redacted] or 218-[redacted].

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment. Having once had a Russian player whose former coach lied about compensating her does disqualify candidates, as does any mention of Title IX, equal pay, women’s rights, marriage equality, sequinned blazers, or Kathryn Martin.

If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the University of Minnesota Disability Specialist at [redacted].

Smoking is prohibited on all UMD property. The smoking ban includes indoor facilities and the campus grounds, as well as all University vehicles. We will let you chew tobacco wherever you want.

Individuals from underrepresented groups are discouraged from applying.

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

Dream a Little Dream

2 February 2015

tUMD 0, No-Names 1/tUMD 2, No-Names 2 (SOL)

Saturday night I dreamed I was added to the hockey team as a practice goalie. This was a rather distressing team since I was conscripted, rather than volunteering, and I was very concerned they would find out I was a fraud and had no clue about how to be a goalie, even though I had not in any way presented myself as competent at goaltending. I had to move in with the team in some kind of dorm. Somehow I also had to come out for warmups before games and let the team shoot at me, but I woke up just as that was starting.

So, that was odd.

This weekend’s games were good games, and tUMD just happened to come out on the wrong side of both games. Well, we (now I really can say we! I’m totally part of the team) did get one point for making it to the shootout. It sucks to cede that much territory to UND, especially since they have the easier schedule to close out the regular season. They play UMTC this weekend, we play Wisconsin, so both teams will be battling, but our schedule closes out with UMTC and tOSU, and UND’s schedule ends with a feast on the cream puffs of SCSU and Mankato. tUMD will need to play their very best hockey to close out the regular season in third place, and possibly even to maintain home ice, as Ohio State is only 10 points behind. When six points are up for grabs each weekend, those gaps seem teeny.

tUMD and UND are evenly matched teams. As much as certain hack beat writer fanbois want to claim UND is head and shoulders above tUMD, they are not. tUMD could easily have won one or both of last weekend’s games, especially since they had a couple open-net chances with SAB down and out that went just wide. I hope last weekend’s games can get tUMD into high gear, firing on all cylinders, cooking with Crisco (as my basketball coach used to say), burning down the house (as David Byrne used to say), etc.

I got to see Gabs from At Even Strength this weekend, which was a highlight. She is a great friend to women’s hockey and you should check out that site. Her only fault is liking UND.

They’re Already Dead

28 January 2015

tUMD plastered Mankato this weekend. There’s just no other way of putting it. Kayla Black and Karissa Grapp combined to shut out the Mavericks all weekend, while the skaters put up 16 goals.

Mankato does have a totally sweet video feed that’s free, so I was able to watch the slaughter live! I’m so sadistic. Although it’s hard to take too much joy out of a bloodbath when the poor team has no wins in the WCHA and only two total. An unnamed colleague of mine mentioned s/he felt tUMD needed a “laugher” like this. I suppose I agree, this team has too much firepower to be beating St. Cloud by a stinkin’ goal (controversy aside). At some point during Friday’s game, maybe when it was 8 or 9 to nothing, I stopped enjoying the win and starting feeling badly for the Mavericks.

Friday’s game was so lopsided, tDogs even won in the modified scoring system Dirty devised for high school hockey. When talented teams face horrible teams, we score those games using Goals – SOG. tUMD won 12-9*, meaning tUMD got 12 goals and Mankato had 9 SOG. On Saturday, tUMD lost* 4-25. See how it works? It’s a way to make blowouts a little more interesting.

Brigette Lacquette had a hat trick of power play goals on Friday and earned WCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors for her troubles. Multiple Bulldogs had multi-point nights or weekends, despite a slightly shortened bench.

I am nervous about this weekend. tUMD plays North Dakota, a team we need to bury in the standings. Right now, UND is 7 points behind tUMD in the standings, and if they were to sweep us, that would put them only a point behind. That would not be good. I am confident tUMD will be ready for the challenge and will send the no-names back to North Dakota disappointed and disheartened.

Tickets are cheap! $1 in advance, $3 at the door on Friday night, and you can get home in time to watch the end of the men’s game, since it’s in Mountain time!! Saturday there’s some kind of Girl Scouts things. Everyone show up and cheer our Doggies on to a sweep of They Who Shall Not Be Named Despite Spending $100000 To Try To Come Up With A Name!

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