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Remembrance of Things Past

18 February 2019

Last week was Old Home Week over here at the RWD World Headquarters!

It started last Tuesday. If you recall, I started this whole blogging thing back in 2004 by ripping off the concept of my friend’s Minnesota Twins blog, Bat-Girl. The writer behind Bat-Girl since moved on to writing real books instead of uproariously funny blog posts, and while we lost touch over the years, we reconnected last year when my friend Laura retweeted something from Anne into my timeline that caught my eye. My worlds collided. The inspiration for RWD, retweeted by the editor in chief of a super profesh sports blog. It makes sense – they both love cats, sports, and libraries. Last Tuesday, I went to the book launch party for Anne’s latest book, and because I am an extremely big deal, my signed copy was personalized.

My week of reunions and nostalgia continued once I headed up to Duluth. About a month ago, I got an email from venerated elder Puck Swami, informing me that he would be gracing Duluth with his presence, along with the Godfather and Let’s Go DU founder, DG. I was extremely excited to see them. They have been longtime Comrades of the Blog, and DG was the OG – the Original Gauntletter. If you are unfamiliar with The Gauntlet, that’s because I don’t do it anymore since I don’t like talking to people and also AIM is no longer a program. It was an interview feature in which I asked antagonizing questions of various college hockey personalities, including Dirty, Bruce Ciskie, and MeanEgirl.

I met up with DG, Swami, Franklin, and Smiley Dave (and also Biddy, Dan of the Week, and Mrs. Dan of the Week, but I see them all the time so it’s unremarkable) at The Sports Garden. I haven’t been to tGarden before a game in a long time; I think the last time I set foot in there was either for a 5K or for a Soul Asylum concert that I enjoyed at the time but found out later from Dave Pirner himself was kind of a [feces]show. But what better place to relive my misspent youth?

Smiley Dave, Franklin, ya fave, and the Godfather

And what better way to relive my misspent youth than with shots paid for by DG? That’s always a great idea, especially for someone like me who mostly gave up drinking several years ago. Wheeeeeeeee! But how else would we console Smiley Dave, whose luggage was lost and who had to procure an entire wardrobe, including the anti-stink underwear, from Duluth Trading Co.? They were all dismayed to learn it is not a local company.

It was also nice to relive the good ol’ days when tUMD actually beat Denver on occasion. Friday’s game was a pretty darn good beatdown once DU got their goal out of the way. And then, because I really wanted to show I could hang like I always could, I went out after the game, to Hoops (although I didn’t have anything to drink and we mostly went there to wait until our dinner was ready for takeout). Going out before and after the game? What is this? 2009?

I don’t really want to talk about Saturday’s games because I saw six periods of tUMD hockey and zero goals. I did take the DU folks over to meet Bruce, who they referred to as a “legend,” which I found puzzling. Now that they’ve met him, perhaps their perception has been adjusted. Other than Bruce, we had several celebrity sightings, including Derek Plante, Keegan Flaherty, Rob Bordson, Scott Kishel, Dean Blais (wearing transition lenses), Beethoven, Bill Watson, and some DU scrubs. While waiting for Bruce to make his as-timely-as-Axl-Rose appearance, a DU fan not in our group got extremely rowdy, started screaming “LET’S GO DU!” while banging on some metal, and shouting at Franklin that he was not an actual fan because… I don’t know, because he wasn’t also trying to destroy property? It was unclear. I was about to send my “Where the F are you” text to Bruce when he finally materialized.

During the women’s game, the Fan Favorite was presented (Rooney, obvs) and there was an extremely long post-game video dedicated to the seniors (I watched a bit but realized I could either watch the video or eat dinner, but not both). After the men’s game, we were told to stick around for a special presentation that I assumed would also be Fan Favorite and hoped would not be a long tribute video. Instead, it was a recognition of Sandy for amassing the most wins as a men’s hockey coach (this explains Blais’s presence but not his stupid glasses). Sandy looked even grumpier than usual, probably because his players failed to score any goals.

Despite tDogs going 1-3 and the double shutout on Saturday, the whole week was a blast. I was reminded of what college hockey was like during the Belle Époque, when people participated on message boards and wrote blogs for fun and road tripped and partied together. I miss that sometimes, but I also feel like the important relationships have survived the changing times, I’ve always got this little square of the internet to unleash my tirades on the world. Life was good then, but it’s great now, too.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Puck Swami permalink
    20 March 2019 9:17 pm

    The pleasure was ours, Donna. You and your crew were incredible hosts, and it was a blast of nostalgia for us, too. And having met Ciskie, I can now die in peace as a contented man…

    I also miss the salad days of the USCHO forum 10 years ago. We made so many strong connections that continue to withstand the inexorable march of time, and for that, I remain eternally grateful. It’s really great to be able to come to Duluth in mid-February and have cool Minnesotans to lift a glass or two with, and hope you all will find your way to Denver once again…



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