Monday, August 24, 2009

Dear Rookies: Welcome To The North

Dear Incoming Rookies,
Well gentlemen: you've arrived. In Alaska? You're really in Alaska? It took a few weeks for that to really sink in when I moved up here at 17. I thought I'd touch on a few categories so you aren't totally unprepared for some things.

The Weather:
Next month instead of basking in some sort of "Indian Summer" weather back home, you'll be full on in the depths of Fall here. By Halloween, when the leaves are falling off the trees in the regular world, it'll start being frigging cold here. Somewhere in November you'll notice the distinctly diminished daylight hours. Be damn glad you get to go home for the whole month of December; you'll miss the darkest days. January and February days here tend to have lots of clear blue skies and slowly the day's finally begin to lengthen. I start dreaming about Spring here sometime late in March; when it is already in full swing "outside".

The Geography:
You might as well be out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean like Hawaii. Seriously. Driving out of here is pretty much 3 days to anywhere. Unless you're Jared Tuton. Anyway, it's isolated here. When you decide to get outside of Anchorage and have a look around the real Alaska, you can have two choices. There are no roads out of town that go East or West and ONLY one each that goes North or South. I'm sure you already figured you'll be flying to every road game eh?

The Nightlife:
Nightlife? Do you think that you're going to UND? If you're not of drinking age; then go to the movies. And no matter your age; do you're damn homework. There's plenty of time for nightlife and chasing Mary Jane Rottencrotch back home on that long December break. Ask Trevor Hunt (nicely mind you) show you the finer points of Aquarium Fishing.

Food To Go:
Sicily's Pizza is the worst pizza in town. Don't order it. The sauce is bland. The cheese is bland. It's just a blandfest. There are two pretty decent burger choices nearby the campus. I can personally recommend both Burger Cache and Max's Beefy Burgers. Most of the usual drive through fast food joints are near the campus on Tudor Road. So you are close to the only Long John Silver's/KFC combo in town! Woohoo!

The Campus:
Stay the hell away from any moose. They're big and dumb looking but they can move a lot quicker than even August Aiken. Here's an example that occurred right outside your practice rink. You probably won't see a bear. But if you do ... stay the hell away from it too. You'll see plenty of moose. The initial uniqueness of seeing these wild animals walking around your campus will wear off soon enough. And oh yeah ... look both ways before you cross the street. Drivers in Anchorage are mostly idiots.

The Sullivan:
Rock the competition and the joint will fill up. Don't expect it to be full otherwise; but there's about 3500 core fans that live and die with you. Prior teams just haven't had the league success to attract the following. Your fellow students don't come to the games even though the enrollment at UAA is like 20,000. Derek Donald is on the case though. Derek was the quite probably the most tenacious Seawolf forward ever at UAA. He'll help get some butts in the seats. If any one of you goes on some crazy freshman scoring streak that'd help too. Light the lamp eh?

The Competition:
All the WCHA teams are "teh suck". They mostly all think they're "the shit". Except for Michigan Tech who knows they are "teh suck". I won't mention that a couple of years ago ... MTU was it's usual suckedness and they put a 9-0 beatdown on UAA. No doubt you'll think it's cool to go play at some of the WCHA rinks. Forget about how cool it is to play there. And start focusing on how cool it will be to win there. In particular, there is one rink where UAA doesn't have a victory. The National Concrete Center in St. Cloud. Help rectify that this year eh? UAA has a sublimely nice non-conference record over the last few years which includes dominance of UAF. Here's the thing ... you cannot lose to UAF. Don't even consider it. Thousands ... nay .. millions of kittens die when UAA loses to UAF. Don't be a fucking kitten killer.

The Referees:
All the refs in this league live somewhere other than Anchorage. Assignments are meted out weekly by the WCHA through some sort of secret brownie point system. The guys that do the good jobs get the choice assignments more often. Flying to Anchorage for a weekend isn't considered a choice assignment. So believe me when I tell you that every zebra on Sully ice just isn't happy to be there. You'll often see Kevin Clark trying to cheer them up. Kevin is a very affable fellow doncha know? He knows if he can make them smile that maybe they won't be so grumpy.

The Off-Season:
Spend some part of your off-season career here doing all the cool shit that you can only do in Alaska. If you like the great outdoors, you are now 30 minutes from the as vast a wilderness as exists on this planet. Take advantage of it. You can see and experience things here than most people in the world could only ever imagine seeing. It's not like you're stuck in some craptastic little berg like Mankato. You can see and experience more variety in nature over the course of a weekend here than you could during a lifetime in Grand Forks.

This Blog:
Your joining a pretty strong core of returning veterans who are proven performers. Work hard in practice and I'm sure you'll earn opportunities to play. Make the most of those opportunities and you'll become a regular. You represent the pinnacle of amatuer hockey. Me and every Seawolf fan that reads this blog wants to see you put a frenzied scoring hurtin' on every team you play. We want you to beat Minnesota 12-1. We want you to pummel Wisconsin with back to back 7-0 shutouts. When you sweep DU in front of a half-empty Magness Arena we'll be diggin it. Put the unfortunate SCSU winless road record into history, and Suze will probably get on the Southern Comfort again; I know I will! When something other than those sorts of things happen, we will still be here; perhaps we'll be somewhat pensive. But we'll also be steadfastly supportive of you.

Have a fun and successful first season here. Here's to hoping that you each have 4 years of the same with the Seawolves.
Most Sincerely,


dggoddard said...

Its a good thing you don't write UAA's Recruiting Handbook. You'd have even less recruits.

vizoroo said...

I like Suze, and normally I like your blog, opinionated though it may be, and I respect your passion for UAA hockey and wish the Seawolves success except when they play DU.

But I don't like Kevin Clark. :-{
(Something about the DU-UAA games last year.)

Anonymous said...

An opinionated blog? What a concept. -30-

Anonymous said...

You don't like Kevin Clark, because he scores on denver, and punches out there defenseman.
Clark will crack the 100 pt in four years. Look out for him to crack 20 goals, and help lead this team to a home series and a wcha final five playoff.
All the best to all the players.

Anonymous said...

This team has the talent to go far this year, let's support them right from the start.


Donald Dunlop said...

If a kid wanted to choose DU over Anchorage because of the weather or latitude then I wouldn't want such a pussy on my team.

UAA players are happy to deal with a few geographic and environmental challenges in order to go to school in THE GREATLAND. There is no WCHA location that compares to the grandeur of Anchorage and Alaska.

444 said...

Dear recruits,

Alaska is by far and away the prettiest state in the union be lucky you get a chance to experience it. Please pummel everybody but the Gophers. You have already won at Mariucci but please kick the crap out of SCSU in the concrete center and everybody else in the WCHA.




Don't take Donald too seriously he loves to BADger all WCHA fans. It makes for good entertainment.

Anonymous said...

Donald I love you! Your blogs are so entertaining. Now Seawolf fans will soon be seeing great hockey and get to read your blogs too. What more can we ask for?????????


Anonymous said...

Donald I love you! Your blogs are so entertaining. Now Seawolf fans will soon be seeing great hockey and get to read your blogs too. What more can we ask for?????????


I think you found your number 1 fan. I didn't know you attracted groupies to the blog DD.

Anonymous said...

Haha......arent some of us groupies of some sort or another? At least those of us who follow this blog pretty regularly. Keep up the good work, Donald. Look forward to checking in every day.

Donald Dunlop said...


Um ... when I get laid because of something I wrote here then that might be appropriate. But I haven't and don't anticipate such a thing ever happening.

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