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JDUBBS1280
09-05-2012, 03:12 PM
Please take notes. This guy nailed it! :D



I'm in a Hockey State of Mind in Minnesota
By Joe Gravellese
Published:*Thursday, January 24, 2008
Updated:*Wednesday, August 15, 2012


"Dad, you won't believe this. There's more Bruins stuff here than there is at home."

I had to call my father; who else would I call when walking into a great shrine of hockey?

"Here" was the Mall of America, the bastion of American consumerism lying on the outskirts of the great city of Minneapolis, Minn.

Naturally, I had to check out every store with sports memorabilia. (There are times when I am glad that I have no money. If I ever did come into money, I'm sure most of it would go to such stores. Who wouldn't pay $3,000 for an autographed panoramic photo of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team?)

As one would expect in the state that dubs itself "the State of Hockey," the game is omnipresent - and it's hard to walk too far without finding NHL and college hockey apparel.

Like the baseball fan's trip to Fenway Park, the football fan's journey to Lambeau Field, the music lover's visit to Carnegie Hall, and the history buff's walk along the Freedom Trail, every member of the great church of hockey should make the pilgrimage to the Holy Land that is Minnesota.

When I was around 10 years old, I saw Boston University (yeah, them) play against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on TV at Marriucci Arena in Minneapolis. Something about that arena and that game resonated with me, and stuck in my consciousness for years - and the more I read about it and thought about it, the more I decided that I had to get out there for a game. I finally made it this month, as a Gophers men's game coincided with the visit of the Boston College women's hockey team to Minnesota.

I'm not really sure what it was that drew me in. Fans at Boston University's Agganis Arena and the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore Center are just as loud, and their stadium is nearly as nice as Mariuicci (sadly, our antiseptic Conte Forum, with its half-empty seating bowl at the drop of the puck, does not make that list).

But there is something about the way people live the game in Minneapolis that makes it different, and makes it special.

Everywhere I went in Minneapolis, I saw people wearing Gophers jackets and sweatshirts. Every store seemed to carry something with the "M" logo on it. The local newspaper provided wall-to-wall coverage of the weekend's series.

The only real comparison that I can come up with for the love that people have for the Golden Gophers in Minneapolis is the way Boston embraces the Red Sox.

But even that seems like a flawed analogy. The unique thing about the University of Minnesota's team is that it is composed almost entirely of players from in-state. With so much talent in-state (an estimated 45,000 Minnesotan kids play youth hockey each year), it seems unnecessary to go elsewhere.

As such, the following for the Gophers seems more akin to Italians following their national soccer team.

On the night I went, the Gophers were playing against in-state rival St. Cloud State. Over 10,500 people filled the arena and seemingly all of them were decked out in maroon and gold (I can't help but love the colors).

It's quite a feeling to walk into Mariucci Arena for the very first time. The first thing that struck me was just the size of the place. There is one seating bowl, and it is very steep in order to give everyone in attendance a great view of the ice. Because of that incline, the bowl seems massive. If you've ever been to BU, picture the Agganis Arena - then add about 4,000 seats and a ring of very impressive luxury boxes.

The walk around the concourse is also jaw-dropping for the first-time visitor. Murals, posters, and banners highlighting great moments in Gopher history are all around. One of the greatest trophies in sports, the McNaughton Cup, given annually to the WCHA's regular-season champion, was proudly on display in the trophy case.

The game itself is also a different experience from what we get at home. While I'm proud to say that our student section is just as good if not better than their's (they are more creative with their chants, but we are louder throughout the game), the way the entire crowd was so involved in the game was such a jolt from the usual emotionless BC crowd. Great saves, great chances, and good plays brought the entire crowd to its feet.

And when the Gophers scored, the arena sprung to life as the fans went into their favorite cheer: "M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A! Minnesota! Minnesota! Yeahhhhhhhhhh ... GOPHERS!"

I'm not impressed by much, as I tend to hold sporting venues to the nearly impossible standard of Fenway Park. But that particular moment was quite impressive.

Living hockey in Minneapolis is not just limited to the Gopher men's team. The Gopher women's hockey team has its own beautiful 4,500-seat arena. Indoor and outdoor skating rinks are everywhere. And one of the crown jewels of Minnesota sports, the annual High School Hockey tournament, draws over 16,000 fans each year to the Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild.

So I guess the right analogy is some sort of cross between Texas football, Italian soccer, and Boston baseball. Sound good?

I'm a Boston guy, through and through, and BC is the only place where I could ever see myself. But now that I've made my dream visit to Minneapolis a reality, there will always be a place in my heart for the hockey-loving school on the banks of the Mississippi.


<a href="http://www.bcheights.com/mobile/2.6175/i-m-in-a-hockey-state-of-mind-in-minnesota-1.907766">Read This Wonderful Article</a>

Scarlet
09-05-2012, 03:29 PM
You need therapy.

JDUBBS1280
09-05-2012, 03:32 PM
You need therapy.

I'm providing it :)

Give my favorite program the respect and props it deserves (like this fine gentleman did) and you will see me give your favorite program the respect it deserves.

First Time, Long Time
09-05-2012, 03:39 PM
I'm providing it :)

Give my favorite program the respect and props it deserves (like this fine gentleman did) and you will see me give your favorite program the respect it deserves.

Quit telling everyone what your program "deserves" and maybe you'd get it.

JDUBBS1280
09-05-2012, 03:41 PM
Give them the respect and I wouldn't have to demand it.

It's a special program. It has done things no other program can or could ever do. Yet some people hate that reality. That hatred fuels me.

willythekid
09-05-2012, 03:42 PM
I'm providing it :)

Give my favorite program the respect and props it deserves (like this fine gentleman did) and you will see me give your favorite program the respect it deserves.

So someone has to give Minnesota respect before you'll give their program respect? Here you go, I respect the gophers as the fifth or sixth greatest team in NCAA hockey history...

ScoobyDoo
09-05-2012, 03:43 PM
Give them the respect and I wouldn't have to demand it.

Respect is earned, not given, and certainly not demanded. You're beyond therapy.

JDUBBS1280
09-05-2012, 03:44 PM
So someone has to give Minnesota respect before you'll give their program respect? Here you go, I respect the gophers as the fifth or sixth greatest team in NCAA hockey history...

That isn't the proper respect.

ScoobyDoo
09-05-2012, 03:46 PM
That isn't the proper respect.

What's funny is how much rep I get from fans from other teams who say they respect the Gophers but think you spend way to much time eating paste.

JDUBBS1280
09-05-2012, 03:46 PM
Respect is earned, not given, and certainly not demanded. You're beyond therapy.

The respect for the Gopher program has gone well beyond respect, past the realm of envy, and into the distant land of trying to deligitimize the program's accomplishments.

Scarlet
09-05-2012, 03:47 PM
Give them the respect and I wouldn't have to demand it.

I'm sorry....I'm really tired today so I may have overlooked this pertinent piece of information....but why the hell are you demanding it? Who are you again? And I have lots of respect for the Minnesota program but in reading this and the other thread, your posts have made me want to defend BC, and for that you get nothing from me but disdain. :)

Dirty
09-05-2012, 03:47 PM
******** width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OX5YwHX1h20" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>.

First Time, Long Time
09-05-2012, 03:48 PM
Give them the respect and I wouldn't have to demand it.

It's a special program. It has done things no other program can or could ever do. Yet some people hate that reality. That hatred fuels me.

Your program gets plenty of respect.
However, you being a tool and demanding it like some petulant child isn't going to get you anywhere close to what you want.
It's going to get you exactly what you get and what you deserve, ridicule, scorn and calls for you to seek therapy.

JDUBBS1280
09-05-2012, 03:49 PM
What's funny is how much rep I get from fans from other teams who say they respect the Gophers but think you spend way to much time eating paste.

LOL! Funny how many Gopher fans applaud me privately for calling you out for the fraudulant fan you are. News Flash: People have grown tired of the cynisism. You're whole routine has grown tired.

ExileOnDaytonStreet
09-05-2012, 03:50 PM
You know when you see a thread title like this, and the last post being from JDUBBS, that you are going to witness some grade A *********gery.

You never fail to disappoint, JDUBBS. It's like you exist to make me feel sorry for Gopher fans, who quite frankly deserve better than to include you as one of them.

Scarlet
09-05-2012, 03:50 PM
LOL! Funny how many Gopher fans applaud me privately for calling you out for the fraudulant fan you are. News Flash: People have grown tired of the cynisism. You're whole routine has grown tired.

Wow.

ExileOnDaytonStreet
09-05-2012, 03:51 PM
LOL! Funny how many Gopher fans applaud me privately for calling you out for the fraudulant fan you are. News Flash: People have grown tired of the cynisism. You're whole routine has grown tired.It's actually really funny that you would post this exact series of words.

SJHovey
09-05-2012, 03:55 PM
Please take notes. This guy nailed it! :D



<a href="http://www.bcheights.com/mobile/2.6175/i-m-in-a-hockey-state-of-mind-in-minnesota-1.907766">Read This Wonderful Article</a>I'm curious about the "Updated Wednesday, August 15, 2012" reference. What did he update??

The other thing I've always liked about that article (which is a good one, but has been posted or linked numerous times on this board) is the line, "So I guess the right analogy is some sort of cross between Texas football, Italian soccer, and Boston baseball." What, an athlete, in pads, when he isn't diving, is underachieving? :D

JDUBBS1280
09-05-2012, 03:58 PM
Here is the respect I think the program deserves, but fans of other teams (with the exclusion of this guy) seem to want to try and disparage.....

The program won TWO championships with ONLY in-state recruits. Do you realize how big of an accomplishment that was? If so, give them credit for it? And if you ask why they did it, you aren't giving them the credit they deserve for what the program has done for hockey in this state.

I am sick and tired of hearing people try and say that recruiting only in-state wasn't important to the growth of hockey in this state. And I am sick of people down-playing the accomplishment of being the best program in the country, TWICE, while only recruiting in-state (to try and grow the sport) while other programs ignored the growth of the sport locally and used every recruiting avenue available to try and win.

There is nothing wrong with other programs recruiting out of state and in Canada to try and win. But give the Gophers credit and respect for taking the tough road and giving local kids opportunities. It did help grow the sport. And give the Gophers the respect they deserve for winning it all, TWICE, while taking that tough road.

ExileOnDaytonStreet
09-05-2012, 04:00 PM
"So I guess the right analogy is some sort of cross between Texas football, Italian soccer, and Boston baseball." What, an athlete, in pads, when he isn't diving, is underachieving? :DHa!