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From Top Shelf To Food Shelf Pledge Drive #4

30 November 2016

I know tUMD men are facing back to back series against the dreaded bye week, and it’s yet another road weekend for tUMD women, so there’s not much momentum in Bulldog Nation, but From Top Shelf To Food Shelf weekend is coming nonetheless!

The 4th Annual From Top Shelf To Food Shelf pledge drive will run Dec 9-11. If you live under a rock/were in a coma/recently landed from a galaxy far far away, here’s the deal. From Top Shelf To Food Shelf was established (by me, duh) in 2013 after my car got stuck halfway into the street (or if you’re an optimist, halfway in my driveway) and three strangers helped me push it back into the driveway. I wanted to pay it forward and also spur tDogs on to victory after a rather disastrous sporting weekend (the men and women were both swept).

In three years, hockey fans have raised $3676 and 345 food items. Remarkable!

Here are the rules of engagement:

  1. Dream up a pledge based on the performance of your hockey team Dec 9/10/11. The pledge can be related to basically anything that can be quantified. Goals, wins, saves, PIM, etc. Most pledges are money, but some are cans of food, hams, jars of peanut butter (warning: PB is expensive), or even clothing items (socks, hats, gloves, etc).
  2.  Choose a food-related charity in your community or in the community in which your team plays. I live in Duluth and my teams conveniently play here, but if you live in Kampala, Uganda and cheer for AIC, you could choose a charity in Kampala or one in Springfield.
  3. Click this link to go to the official pledge form! This is new this year! My friends at BC Interruption helped me out with this. It will help me keep organized, and keep all the pledges in one place. There is an option to make the pledge anonymous, so only you and I will know you’re the person behind the pledge.
  4. Spread the word. Share the movement on your blog, on social media (#FromTopShelfToFoodShelf!), and even in real life, if you interact with others in that way.
  5. Tally up what you owe. I keep track, but I do not send out reminders. If you ask directly I can verify. If you choose to round up or if you need to modify your pledge, please tell me.
  6. **Donate directly to the charity you’ve selected.** I don’t collect the money. I trust that you will make this donation.

It’s very simple. So easy a caveman St. Cloud fan could do it! (Actually St. Cloud fans have been some of the most generous participants and I love them for it.)

I’m really excited to see how this year’s pledge drive will do. It’s been a hard month, but it’s also been a month where folks have already stepped up their giving, especially in the first days after One Of The Worst Moments In US History That Didn’t Directly Involve Violence (Though It Indirectly Did And Continues To Do So). Hereafter known as OOTWMIUSHTDDIV(TIIDACTDS).

Pledge what you can. I promise there’s no amount too small to make an impact, and there’s something exciting about being part of a collective effort to improve the lives of others in your community. If you’re not able to make a pledge, share this post and help spread the word. This year, it would be so awesome to have a pledge from every D1 college hockey fan base (and more! NHL, CIS, D3, club, mites, anything goes!). Can we make it happen?

Winter is Here

19 November 2016

tUMD 4, Red Menace 1

nightking.gif

Ok I’m pretty excited about this win so I thought I’d chat about it. First off, an update: BC Interruption’s wonderful initiative in response to the atrocious election results raised $2418. I donated $38 (I rounded up from $37.50) to the Women’s Health Center of Duluth, and Dan of the Week matched my donation. So, $76 donated to fund abortions. HOPE YOU LIKE THAT, TRUMP LOVERS.

Now, on to other important things: tUMD beating Wisconsin.

I arrived late to the game, as per usual, although I was much later than planned. Yesterday was the first snow of the season and while it didn’t seem like it would be too terrible, it was insanely windy and the rain from the morning/early afternoon had mixed with the snow to create a substance the texture of an Icee on the roads, though substantially less delicious. I had to cross over the freeway on 5th Ave W because of the Christmas City of the North parade (which had to suck for participants) and decided to take a bit of a jagged route so I was not going down the whole hill at once. This proved a smart choice as I skidded slowly down an entire block, foot jammed on the brake pedal as my car shuddered and finally stopped at the bottom of the block, where a police officer was attempting to help a stuck motorist in the other lane. So that was stressful for me. I thought about turning around but I was halfway there and didn’t really want to go up the hill again. So then I had another skidding incident while turning from First St. on to 5th Ave W, which I stopped by not once, but twice deliberately running into the curb (at about 2 mph). Woo.

I made it to the game with about 4 minutes to go in the first period, which is not my worst showing. I was afraid it was going to be 2-0 Commies by the time I arrived, but it was still 0-0, although the shots were 20-3 in Wisconsin’s favor, and tDogs really seemed to be scrambling.

The second period went much, much better for tUMD, with tDogs actually getting the shot advantage in the period, and the scoring advantage! After struggling to clear the zone several times in the beginning of the period, tUMD started to take advantage, and after an Emily Clark penalty, Michelle Lowenhielm scored on the power play. 17 seconds after that, the Badgers were back in the box and tUMD had a couple more good chances.

The BADgers were clearly not expecting tUMD to put up much of a fight at first – they seem to have a couple of show-offs on the team who were more interested in making a pretty play and looking good than they were in playing fundamentally sound hockey. That tightened up in a hurry once they found themselves “behind at the pay window,” as Bruce says. Either Mark Johnson ripped them a new one in the locker room, or they realized that their cockiness wasn’t going to fly without star goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens to bail their butts out.

It didn’t matter, because tUMD scored 3:59 into the 3rd period as Katie McGovern’s third chance at stuffing the puck in between the post and goaltender Cece’s glove was the charm. Mrazova scored less than 3 minutes later, and tUMD was leading Wisconsin by 3 goals, something I had not conceived of when I was risking my life (or at least my car’s life) driving to the game. Wisconsin did finally skip a puck by Maddie Rooney, who had been UNBELIEVABLE to that point. When your team allows 20 shots in the first period alone and you stand tall, that is everything. Ashleigh Brykaliuk scored 1:12 after the Commie goal, on a snipe that made me almost feel bad for the poor goalie, it was SO SICK.

It was incredibly exciting to see tUMD beat Wisconsin, who had not lost yet this year. The last time tUMD beat Wisconsin was Oct 14, 2012, so it had been over 4 years. It felt pretty amazing, and I don’t care that it came without ARD. She’s a lights-out goaltender, but Wisconsin has firepower, so there’s no reason why they couldn’t have scored more than one goal. No reason besides tUMD’s awesomeness, of course.

I’m looking forward to this afternoon, which will hopefully have 1. a safer drive and 2. an equally awesome score.

Badlands

11 November 2016

Last weekend, tUMD men swept in St. Cloud, Team USA won the Four Nations Cup, I had a great weekend with my family (including a surprise visit from my uncle!), and I was galvanized by the near-certain prospect that a qualified, brilliant, resilient woman would be president.

Instead, I am sitting here on gameday wondering if I’ll ever enjoy hockey again.

I’m sure that’ll just be dismissed as crybaby libtard tears. That’s fine, no matter how many times I say I’m not actually a liberal, people seem to think they know my mind better than I do. I know it’s hard for some people to wrap their heads around it, especially since so many spineless conservatives panicked and gave their support to an appalling tyrant who treats women and minorities like they are disposable subhumans, but this isn’t actually a Republican vs. Democrat issue, or even about political issues at all. It’s about human rights. And I didn’t sit around calculating how I should feel. The deep and powerful grief I felt starting Tuesday night is not by choice. How I feel is how I feel, no matter how many alt-right sociopaths tell you I’m a soft, pampered millennial who just wants a participation trophy, a cookie, and a pacifier.

I’m devastated by what this election says about the American people. This revealed the ugly truths about Americans that lurked below the surface to white people, lulling us into believing we lived in a utopian society because everyone can use the same water fountains and women can wear pants and there’s a press 2 for Spanish option. Those who tried to warn us that racism, sexism, homophobia, all kinds of bigotry and systematic oppression were still alive and kicking were shouted down as coddled, “social justice warriors” from “generation outrage.”

Wake up, America. A vote for the monster who has become President-Elect was a vote for a man openly campaigning on a platform of systematic oppression of American people. A man who came to Minnesota two days before the election and said terrible things about Somali people. A man who admitted to sexually assaulting women. A man who believes a woman should be punished for exercising her right to autonomy over her own body. A man whose running mate believes in electro-shock conversion therapy for queer people. A man who believes in jailing his political opponents. Tens of millions of Americans are either fully on board with this or decided eh, lower taxes and magically reappearing highly paid manufacturing jobs for low-skilled workers are worth the fundamental rights of hundreds of millions.

I can’t tell you how wrong that is, and I’m not here to absolve anyone of their culpability. You voted for Trump? You voted for all that. Your ballot didn’t have a section where you ticked off the policies you found acceptable. If you didn’t mean that, if you believe you’re not a racist, then you’d damn well better find a way to let him know that is unacceptable, and to protect the people he’s about to trample on.

What does this have to do with hockey?

A lot. Ok, some. It has more to do with my relationship with hockey.

First off, some of what I feel about the election mirrors what I feel about women’s hockey and women’s sports in general. This election was just another reminder that no matter how hard a woman works, no matter what she accomplishes, she’ll never be as good as a man. The most qualified candidate for president, ever, lost the presidency to a man who has no qualifications, no empathy, no respect for others, no diplomatic skills, no humility, no plans, nothing.

Not only that, but people will believe anything negative said about a woman, and excuse the same things in a man. People who have not even watched a single period of women’s hockey will say it’s terrible, not really hockey, the players have no skill, and the vast majority of hockey fans accept that and ignore the sport, or worse, they perpetuate the myths. One only has to look at the way people sneered at Shannon Miller because she dared to call Scott Sandelin her peer and expect to be paid based on her success and her longevity.

People sneered at Hillary Clinton the same way; I sat in a meeting on Wednesday while two men and a woman gleefully mocked her concession speech and sniggered when she said “And to all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.” The same words that brought me to tears when I finally watched the speech in my hotel room that evening.

That’s not why I’m struggling to get excited for tonight’s game. I’m struggling to get excited for the game because I know some of our players voted for Trump. I don’t know how many, and I hope not many, but the only ones I know for sure didn’t are the Canadians. For all I know, members of our women’s team voted for him, too. I don’t know why they did, though it doesn’t really matter why. Like I said, a vote for Trump was a normalization of racism, sexism, homophobia – all kinds of systematic oppression, problems hockey, a sport dominated by straight white males, already struggles with. I’m truly having a hard time looking at people who have voted Trump and respecting them, because of what I’ve already said. How do you vote for someone who has not made any effort to hide the fact that he’s a sexual predator and a monster, because taxes, because nebulous change, because ‘Murica?

If this wasn’t Veteran’s Day, I’d probably be sitting for the national anthem. But I fear for our servicewomen and servicemen now, too, and I’m not going to sit for the Star Spangled Banner on a day that explicitly honors these women and men. I fear that the ones currently deployed will be put into danger because someone with no diplomatic experience, a megalomaniac with a fragile ego who will melt down over even the smallest perceived slight, will be in charge of the military and will be responsible for our relationship with our allies and for negotiating for peace.  I fear that more will be put into harm’s way if Trump throws a tantrum and pisses off a hostile nation once and for all, throwing the country into a war that could have been avoided if our president hadn’t been so petty, insecure, and volatile.

So, how do I enjoy hockey once again? How do I get past the fact that many of these players, on tUMD and in college hockey  and in the NHL, are super excited that a monster is going to be president?

BC Interruption to the rescue: they started a pledge drive to raise money for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. I decided to join them, and will pledge $5/tUMD women’s goal and $3.50 for every tUMD men’s goal this weekend (70 cents on the dollar, yo) to the Women’s Health Center in downtown Duluth. You may see the lovely old ladies outside it every day, expressing their scorn for women who exercise their Constitutional right to autonomy over their own bodies. It’s a small thing, but I’m going to do as many small things as I can to stop the assault on human rights that the new president and Congress are about to unleash, come January. Now I can cheer for our goals again, even if a Trump-lover scores, because I’ll know something good will result.

P.S., if you voted for Trump, this would be a great opportunity for you to demonstrate with your actions that you don’t support his oppressive attitudes toward women.

Pollgate 2016

1 November 2016

Comrades, last week when I reported on the possible rigging of the men’s D1 college hockey polling, many of you brushed if off as coincidence, stating that perhaps the voters merely overlooked tUMD’s loss to the USA U-18 team.

This afternoon, the NCHC issued an unprecedented statement, breaking protocol to comment on an ongoing investigation. I obtained a copy of this statement, which I have reproduced below in the original:

nchcletter

What does this mean??? This is a vague statement regarding some new “evidence” NCHC brass received, possibly from Russia Wisconsin, about tUMD’s position in the polls. The Bulldogs were revealed as a near-unanimous #1 across both major polls, one week after suspicions were cast that the polls may have been tampered with to obtain a much-hyped #1 vs #2 matchup this past weekend. What is this new evidence that has come to light?

A source, speaking exclusively to this site on condition of anonymity, informed me that the investigation could possibly extend to the egregious officiating in Saturday’s tUMD-UND match-up. The officiating was comically lopsided in favor of tUMD, with the Bulldogs gifted many fortuitous penalties and short-handed advantages.

The Bulldogs were given far too many opportunities to go short-handed and score on the Fighting Hawks. Considering the ineptitude of the Fighting Hawks power play, this can only be interpreted as a concerted effort by the NCHC officials to ensure the Bulldogs won the game and secured the #1 ranking.

So, we have clear evidence that the Crooked NCHC is in cahoots with pollsters to move the Bulldogs up to the #1 spot in the polls. This is the worst corruption since the Teapot-Dome scandal, and yet we have no clear reason as to why the NCHC would have such a vested interest in installing the Bulldogs as the #1 team in the country.

To what end? What would this achieve? For now, we can only speculate. As this story develops, I will make sure to update you all on the situation.

This Game is Rigged

27 October 2016

Folks, we have heard a lot about “rigged elections” and “rigged polls” in relation to the presidential election. I mean, we haven’t heard about it from anyone with any intelligence or critical thinking skills, but still, the specter is out there.

All of this nonsense about rigged elections is overshadowing a very real, very serious case of polling fraud: this weekend’s men’s hockey match-up between tUMD and the Fhawks.

Last week’s polls showed tUMD at #2 coming off a split with Notre Dame. I turned to Mr. Hand to express my thoughts for me:

Over last weekend, tUMD then proceeded to play an uninspiring exhibition game, resulting in a loss to a group of children who cannot even buy their own chewing tobacco. An older boy has to get it for them.

The polls came out this week, and tUMD was still #2. Let me repeat this: tUMD lost to children, and did not drop in the polls.

What possible explanation could there be? I mean, besides dope-smoking. Only a few voters live in Alaska or Colorado. I guess there’s also general stupidity, which cannot be discounted, considering tens of millions of people in this country are stupid enough to vote for an orange, racist, sex offender. But I figured it out when I saw the hype machine kick into high gear.

You can’t swing a dead gopher on the internet without seeing some reference to this “#1 vs. #2” cage match street fight ninja warfare blockbuster. Forget about the imagined fraud in the presidential election and focus on the real fraud happening right in front of our eyes: the national men’s D1 college hockey polls were rigged to hype this weekend’s matchup.

Folks, we cannot let this happen. We cannot let one of our most sacred traditions be tarnished by these fraudulent pollsters. You know what I’m talking about. So, after this weekend, I need you to watch. I need you to print out this badge, pin it on, and go to your local newspaper, or wherever voters in your area might be, and watch.

pollbadge

Democracy depends on you. Your country needs you. Do whatever it takes to make sure next week’s poll is legit. If UMTC suddenly rockets to #2, you’ll know it’s time to grab a musket and rise up.

Right Out of the Gate

10 October 2016

tUMD 4, Mankato 0 / tUMD 5, Mankato 1

Oh, lookee here. tUMD women are undefeated, two weekends into the season. That hasn’t happened since 2007-08! I’m very excited.

Friday I was late to the game, in fact I missed the entire first period. I made some logistical errors. tDogs had already scored once (Jessica Healey on the PP) and the second period was scoreless, so I was kind of concerned I wasn’t going to see any goals. And I came specifically to see goals.

Not to worry, Katie McGovern, Katka Mrazova, and Jalyn Elmes scored in about 3:30, satiating my appetite for scoring. McGovern and Elmes both had PP goals; I feel I should point out that our second PP has three freshmen (Elmes, Schugel, and Brodt) and they are very good.

Mankato does seem to be better than last year. Good for them. They can beat up on the rest of the WCHA now.

After the game, the team signed autographs. I got in line even though I was tired and had not showered. I still looked better than when they dropped off my season tickets at my house, so that was good. Now I have a nice autographed poster.

The autograph line #umdhockey #umdbulldogs

A photo posted by RWD (@runninwiththedogs) on

Saturday I was… nearly on time to the game. Living in Duluth has made me very lackadaisical about getting to games on time, especially games I attend by myself (like Friday’s). Lara Stalder scored twice in the first 10 minutes of the game, on her way to a hat trick, assist, and a spot in tUMD’s century club, as she surpassed the 100-point mark. If I had a media guide I could tell you where that puts her all-time, but I don’t.

McGovern and Daoust also scored in the game, and unfortunately Mankato had to ruin Maddie Rooney’s back to back shutouts with less than five minutes to go in the game. I was very sad. But I guess I also feel bad for Mankato and wanted them to at least have one goal to celebrate. Last year was rough for them. Well, every year has been rough for them, I guess.

tDogs face UMTC this upcoming weekend, at Ridder. This is important. Crucial. Etc. The Gophers just split with Bemidji (and Wisconsin TIED Ohio state. TIED! Wisconsin! Ohio State! What! [Wisconsin won the shootout]), so there’s some vulnerability there. Either that or they’ll take out their rage at getting shut out by the Beavs on tDogs. I don’t want that.

The Song Remains The Same

10 October 2016

tUMD 4, UML 4/tUMD 1, UML 1

I hope you appreciate that I provide mood music for many of my posts. Press play on the vid and enjoy the hallucinogenic sounds of Led Zeppelin and the obscenely tight pants of Robert Plant.

Comrades, do you remember how last season started out with a sweep of an inferior opponent followed by two unsatisfying ties? I remember. (Well technically it started with a literal and figurative power outage.) I can’t do that again. While last season ended better than expected, it was a slog for all of us. Fans, broadcasters, coaches, players, I don’t think anyone was like “Hey, this is really fun and enjoyable! I love outshooting our opponents by an average of 9 shots/game and only out scoring them by 0.6 goals/game!”

Gah, I can’t even think about it. It’s just too frustrating.

Admittedly, I did not have to struggle through Friday’s game, since I was at a live hockey game (which will be discussed in its own post, fear not, people! I just haven’t thought of a musical reference yet), but it was not the best game, and the team escaped with a tie by the skin of their teeth. My uncle was at the game (the RWD Army is EVERYWHERE) and said that he (and my aunt and cousins and their kids, all Bulldogs fans, even the ones who have never even set foot in the Midwest!) headed out after the overtime goal that was overturned, but they fortunately did not make it out of the building and were there to see the game to its bitter end. Well, maybe not bitter for us.

Nick Deery relieved Hunter Miska on Friday night, and got the start on Saturday. I missed the first goal (scored on a PP after the Jade Monkey took a hooking penalty) because I was at another live hockey game. So we fans spent most of the game wondering if our fellas were ever going to score. Fortunately, Hermantown’s Neal Pionk, our leading scorer, put the puck in the net with just under four minutes left in the 3rd period, when we thought all hope was lost.

Now, I know. Injuries. TUFTE. Etc. But there are a couple things that are stressing me out. Like special teams. Ok, 3 PPGs on Friday… but also 3 PPGs against us AND essentially a shorthanded goal for UML’s lone even strength goal. And then zero PPGs on Saturday in 6 opportunities, including one that came shortly after the game-tying goal, when tDogs had all the momentum.

The other thing that is stressing me out is penalties. So the powers that be decided to change things up and call a bunch of different stuff. They made a video. Watch the video again, maybe. I saw there’s a nice television in the locker room. (The women have a projector, which I think is cooler!) Queue that ish up, Sandy. Make the adjustment, guys. This is basic quality assurance! “This is the way we’ve always done it” is anathema to quality hockey. Try to be early adopters of these new rules, as puzzling as they may be.

tDogs are at home against the potato farmers this weekend, who were recently whaled on by Katie McGovern’s brother. They enjoyed 19 power plays in one game. They only scored on 6 which is kind of pathetic. I think a power play famine is in order for the Shiny Helmets, no?