Monday, March 02, 2009

Why I Don't Not Like Duluth

Or ... learning to accept the mild success of a once long suffering basement mate.

It hasn't been season I'd hoped for back when the Seawolves faced UMD to open the WCHA regular season. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of how the team has played overall and I think I've shown that with what I've written here this season. But it would be the height of delusion to not acknowledge that I was hoping the team would be fighting for a home ice playoff spot this weekend. No doubt we all were.

And then there's our season bookend partner and their fans who are getting to experience the excitement and possibility of overcoming a lengthy period without seeing their team on their own ice for the WCHA playoffs. So I figure I can't not like them. It's perhaps a big step for me as a fan to move away from the not like end of the attitude spectrum with regard to any WCHA opponent. Along with Michigan Tech, UMD has often accompanied UAA near the bottom of the WCHA standings. It isn't every year but there's been enough of them that (in my mind at least) a sort of natural fan affinity has developed. I guess I don't really not like Michigan Tech either. That's it though ... I still hate everyone else. Not really not disliking two other teams is enough for me.

There are other reasons for this very UnDonald-like perversion of the time honored tradition of fandom hatred. The Duluth fanbase is mostly ok on the whole. Drunk Hockey Guy once perpetrated the all-time greatest disrespectful slam on the USCHO fan forum. I could probably easily find the picture he took and post it here but I'd rather describe it. He snapped a picture of himself in his UMD sweater, beer raised in right hand and smiling, standing in front of a pillow sheathed in an SCSU jersey which gave the impression of a person kneeling in front of him with the name "Rabib's Girlfriend" on the back. On top of the SCSU jersey was a paper bag with DHG's left hand cradling the back. Ok ... maybe you had to see the picture? It was beyond hilarious.

The fanbase also found perhaps the best way to deal with ongoing futility. Win or Lose They Booze. Good on them for not overly lamenting things the way some fans do ... 'cough'. It's an admirable attitude. Taking things too seriously isn't what being a fan should be about. It should be about enjoying yourself. There's plenty to don't not like about that.

Then there's RunninWithTheDogs blogger Donna. If you haven't read her blog you should do so a few times. I enjoy her writing. She's funny and adds a unique perspective to the online college hockey fan world. That's all good but the bigger thing is ... I know she mostly "gets" what I write here. I'm pretty sure that at some point or another almost anyone reading me regularly will shake their head in disbelief and/or just wonder what the hell I'm going on about (coulda happened in this very post). But Donna appears to me to have fewer of those moments than most. I certainly don't not like her.

So there it is. Now ... the Seawolves better go down to Duluth and ruin all those fine people's weekend. I may not don't not like them but that doesn't mean I wouldn't not be happy if they were all mostly pissed off that their team's season came to a disappointing end.


seawolvesfan said...

please tell me the game sitting out is finished

Anonymous said...

It believe it is.

Anonymous said...

Are the games really on GCI channel 1 this weekend???

Anonymous said...

I don't think they are on GCI. I checked the guide and they aren't posted.

word verification: mantic

Anonymous said...

Does Duluth ever televise their games?

seawolvesfan said...

"Better music needs to be played. The guy plays horrible top 40 shit. If we're gonna play music, it should be stuff like ACDC and Gun's and Roses. Shit that gets people pumped. If he played a song like "Thunder" by ACDC while the line-ups are announced, you know how amped everybody would be? That's what the Nooks do. Play music at the right time. Although we are a far superior program on the ice and have a much, much better play-by-play announcer, their arena side of the operation far exceeds anything that UAA does. I think our broadcast on TV is way better than theirs because we film at center ice. But please, play the right music."

Thunderstruck is what you're thinking about and they played that particluar number a couple years back when everyone came out onto the ice before line-ups. Playing music while annoucning is a bad idea, but agree.

"It believe it is."

wait what?

Anonymous said...

Your head coach just finished in 9th place after 3 10th place finishes, along with one of the worst pp and pk in div. 1 hockey. Is 4 years enough to start judging progress. In any other college a four year extension would have been laughed at. Ask any of the players why they are burnt out in the second half of the season. Dave has been highly overrated!

Anonymous said...

Thanks anon at 10:18 AM. I found the games on b2 networks. com .

Donald Dunlop said...

This program won't succeed by changing the coach every four years. Brush got three years, Talafous had 5 and Hill had 4 ... cutting Shyiak off at the knees after 4 means you don't acknowledge the uniqueness of geography and an existing history of finishing in the bottom five.

UofM is recruiting a kid and UAA is recruiting a kid. The kid wants to be on a winning team. It doesn't take a genius to know where that kid is going to end up going.

I've made it clear here in the past that you cannot begin to judge Dave Shyiak's performance and evaluate the potential he brings for future success until after his 6th year.

My bottom line is that next year and the year after look to be pretty promising. If the team doesn't get into the NCAA's either of the next two years then we can begin a discussion ... until then ... the discussion is premature.

Runninwiththedogs said...

I should write a really assy post on RWD. LOL. Thanks for the kind words.

Sorry I didn't call you back on Saturday. But seriously, who the fuck calls people IN THE MIDDLE OF A HOCKEY GAME. Get a texting plan.

Anonymous said...

Bryce Christanson Wcha Defensive player of the week. According to Doyle Woody

Donald Dunlop said...

The kind of guy who wanted you know that Doug was pumping Kangas' flat tires by blaming Stalock for a goal when the real fault was the #12 UMD player.

5.95 a month for a feature that I might use once a month is a silly waste of money. Anyway I don't get texting. It's beyond my comprehension because of generational reasons. Mouth to Ear communication is more efficient.

jjack said...

Donald it's been a long time since you've been in a classroom.

Texting is like the adult version of passing notes. After about forty minutes of physics my brain begins to hurt. Then it's time for the old "hold the cell phone between your legs and pretend your professor doesn't know exactly why you're looking down at your crotch and holding something with both hands" routine.

I assume they usually give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you're texting and not...something else. Although maybe that would be a good cover. "Oh, sorry, just texting."

Anonymous said...

I agree with seawolvesfan. the music has to go, along with the guy with the mike. how do you spell BORING???? Is it up to the Sully on what music is played? If not, some UAA music major should make this a class project -----How to electrify fans at the Sully with good hockey music". And how about some UAA Communications major who is ready to graduate and needs an internship of some kind.....why not her/him at the mike???

I really liked how many of the UAA students livened things up at Saturday's game. Would it hurt to have a few cheerleaders attend every hockey game? I'm sure they are prob committed to bball, not hockey, but why not have a separate cheer team for hockey home games? And I really appreciated the students meeting fans at several entrances passing out free balloons, hand clappers, raffle tickets for prize give-a-ways. Now THAT is showing some Seawolf spirit!! Why can't that happen at every game?

Also, is there a bus system to transport student fans to and from the campus? Why not have the booster club have each kid who rides the bus register for great prizes? Or have contest at each game for the most spirited fan who will receive a gift/prize of some sort?? Gotta give these kids incentive to start coming to the games and after awhile they will be hooked and will want to attend incentive or not.

I don't know how to keep things the way they were Saturday, but I was proud of the fanbase. Sure wish it could be like that EVERY home game next season.

seawolvesfan said...

To get the Sully rocking we first need a pasionate, rowdy student section. We need to get students from UAA to the games for next season

Anonymous said...

Any suggestions on how to do that?

I think it was great seeing the students have their tailgate party in the parking lot, and it was also wonderful to see the Seawolf Shuttle there!! Let's do more of that next year.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how to do that, but I'm willing to talk to someone, anyone at UAA athletics about it. I'm gonna write Shyiak a letter too. guess he was impressed with turnout and mentioned it in the post game interview. If he has any clout at all, maybe what he asks for will happen. Like the UAA shuttle for every game? Is that an every home game happening? If not, it should be. Those of us interested in making changes for next season have to get together now to get things in gear for next season. We can't get anything accomplsihed by writing what we think on the blog. We gotta put things in action now for next October. I'm willing to do some leg work.

Suze said...

I was told the reason UAA stopped the shuttle was because students didn't use it. There obviously needs to be some incentives for the students to come to the games, other than their free tickets.

How to tap into that is the next question.

Anonymous said...

When I was in Fairbanks, I saw UA_ students getting off a Princess tour bus. They ride in style up north. Poor UAA fans have to take the short bus to their games.

Does anyone know if there is a student government at UAA? Maybe getting ideas from them on how to increase student fans so we would know what it's gonna take to get them there.

Anonymous said...

UAA does have a student government, and the athletic dept. has been in touch with them about increasing the student presence at the games.

Anonymous said...

As a parent of one of the hockey players, it was nice to see a large crowd out at the final game.
Next year this team will have 9 returning juniors who will be seniors plus all the new players.
With great support from the fans and students, uaa will become a hockey team to be reckoning with.
All the best in the playoffs this year.

Parent Fan Club

Anonymous said...

( I know I'm coming into this a couple days late)

I am an avid fan of the hockey team and a student at UAA-I have to agree with all of you(from being dissappointed in Duluth's non-free-broadcasting to horrible music at the games, but more the fan status)! We er-the team performs so much better when the fan base is there and strong. I've gone to all the home games and watched the games on GCI when they're out of town. I don't understand why more students don't show up-I feel like it's incentive enough for getting free tickets to the game! One thing I noticed at the campus during the week before the governer's cup there were fliers EVERYWHERE. Why there isn't the same amount of advertising for the team all season beats me. Do any of you have suggestions?

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