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Existential Dread

8 October 2018

Let’s set aside that tUMD went 0-2-1-1 against the rodentia this weekend for a moment, and talk about why this season isn’t as exciting as it should be. I haven’t done much to prep for the season, haven’t even looked at the schedule that much, and I’m going to be missing all the women’s games in the near future and I’m skipping the next men’s home series (and I almost missed Saturday’s game! I wasn’t going to go til I figured out we’d be raising the banner).

tUMD women had a great weekend last weekend, sweeping Boston College, and so that got me a bit more engaged in the season. I made a tough decision to forego my women’s season tickets this year, since I won’t be able to attend enough games to make it financially feasible — and then my plan for getting my women’s hockey fix was thwarted. We’ll talk about that later.

I did get a bit more excited for this weekend’s games because I had a fun idea on how to kick off the weekend:

There’s nothing I love more than a good sign. This took about 15 takes btw.

I figured out what was wrong at about 10:00 PM on Saturday night, as we turned our car onto I-35 south. I don’t live in Duluth anymore.

I don’t live 10 minutes from the arena anymore. I don’t get home before the postgame show is over. (Okay that never happened because of traffic, but still.) I have to choose between a relaxing weekend at home, sleeping in my own bed and seeing tUMD play. I have to fight road construction and weekend traffic to get to games on time (ha) on Fridays. I have to put hundreds of miles on my car and spend hundreds more on gas just to see home games.

The luxury of spending the last five years living in Duluth after a decade of commuting to games from the Twin Cities was never lost on me. I was always appreciative of the convenience (even if I wasn’t always on time). But now that I don’t have the privilege anymore, I feel it keenly in my soul. I haven’t just lost the convenience, I’ve lost the community.

There’s something about living in a town where what seems like the whole city is behind the team. The Dogs were on the local news all the time. The players and coaches were out in the community. I saw my colleagues and neighbors at games. I saw Bulldog gear and paraphernalia on people and places every day. I had a free place to park. I could go to weekday events, like the locker room tour or the runner-up and championship celebrations (ok I went to the championship thing but still, had to drive) or season ticket seat selection. I am no longer part of the zeitgeist.

I am sure eventually I will get used to it again (and things have changed, as I no longer have to couch surf or pony up for a hotel), but just thinking about all those long drives made me tired, and made Bulldog fandom almost seem like a burden.

Peter Krieger’s goal and Maddie Rooney’s shootout saves lifted that burden a bit. Bring on the miles, bring on the late nights, bring on the fifteenth season of Runnin’ with the Dogs!

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