Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Great Expectations

Chris at WCH calls the UAA/UAF rivalry the best in college hockey. If I'm not mistaken Chris is a Michigander so putting UAA/UAF over UM/MSU probably hurt as much as passing a kidney stone. As he notes there are a lot of great rivalries in college hockey; Minnesota vs Wisconsin, BU vs BC, DU vs CC and he righteously places UAA/UAF in their company. Naturally, there are arguments for any of those matchups to be considered the best rivalry. I doubt anyone in Boston would agree with him. But there are Dickensian plots and subplots throughout the UAA/UAF history. As independant's both UAA and UAF could have been considered David Copperfield. This year there was a little bit of a Fagin-esque turn with the great goalie pad controversy. Dicken's socialism is also alive and well. UAF gets more money from the state than UAA. In what world other than one described by Dickens would that be the case? The same sort of thinking put the capital city in Juneau. These cities wouldn't survive in anything like their current situations without all the money that the people of Anchorage allow to flow their way. We'd feel bad if that weren't the case. See ... in Anchorage we respect Dickens. In Fairbanks ... not so much. Have you ever visited the Ulu factories in Fairbanks? They're full of little boys and girls toiling away covered in sweat for 50 cents a day. Someone should look into that.

At one point in this series history the Seawolves and the Nanooks played as many as 8 times a year. Records have never seemed to matter. One year UAA only won a single game the entire season; that win came against UAF. My most painful memory comes on the second night of first series 3 years ago. UAA had won the first night in a game that it really didn't deserve to win. The second night UAA looked great. The line of Glencross, Kootenay and Bourne created chances every shift for UAA. With around a minute to go in the game I grabbed my friend to start walking to the exit. UAA was up by two goals. By the time I got to the other end of the Carlson Center UAA had lost the freakin game. I'd imbibed enough alcohol the night before that I didn't pay attention when Jacob Marley said something about ghosts. I fondly remember the "...chuk" years when every player on UAF's name ended with "...chuk" and if they didn't we added it. Fedorchuk, Pittachuk, Streetchuk, Klippensteinchuk, Ullrichchuk ... this year it's Greentreechuk, Knelsenchuk, Eckfordchuk and Rogerschuk.

There are number of things about Fairbanks that perplex us normal folk who visit. First is the fence along both sides of Airport Way. This street is the main drag and running parallel on each side are frontage/access roads (where the businesses are) that you can only get to at 3 or 4 major crossing roads. This stupid configuration means that you often have to travel in the opposite direction than you need to in order to get to the road that will take you where you want to go. No doubt if you live there more than a week, negotiating this stupid maze wouldn't be a big problem; unless you're walking. For first time visitors its got to be confusing as hell. Along that lovely road is another cause for confusion and consternation. Alaskaland. I'm still trying to figure out the concept and reasoning behind the development of that joint. I've lived in Anchoage for 22+ years and I'm still shaking my head about those two.

Coming next? Actual hockey content.


Anonymous said...

God I hate driving Airport Way.

Anonymous said...

The correct turm is Michigander not Michiganer

I know I lived there for 15 years; Go Buchanan Bucks

Donald Dunlop said...

LOL. -der not -er? Those folks in Michigand are full of surprises. I thought a Michi-GANDER was some sort of goose.

Anyway ... thanks my bad. I'll correct it.

DC said...

Would a female from Michigan be called a Michigoose?

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