Thursday, September 30, 2010

Let's Play Hockey!

Anyone who has been to the Xcel Energy Center for a Wild game knows that right before the start of the game, the arena announcer "directs your attention to the Fox Sports North stage for a special announcement." Each night someone - often a former player, local celebrity, a Twins or Vikings player, etc. - is there to say, "Okay fans, it's time to drop the puck. So everyone say it with me...Let's play hockey."

It's a tradition that links the Wild organization back to the days of the North Stars at Met Center, where rink public address announcer Bob Utecht would always call "Let's play hockey," at the opening faceoff.

Anyway, I was thrilled to get a call from the Guest Services staff today, saying that they wanted to round up a few of us who have worked at the X since Day One (Sept. 29, 2000, Wild vs. Anaheim) and have us do the LPH call. It was a real privilege to share the stage and microphone with these six colleagues, all of whom have 10 years in with the organization. Thank you to the Wild, and to "the greatest hockey fans in the world," for the opportunity, which I'll never forget.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A little muscle from New Jersey

I have to admit that I'm developing some sort of man-crush on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. This guys is exactly what you want in a governor: A take-no-prisoners conservative who is not afraid of anyone. His callout of the NJ teachers union is a thing of beauty.

This week he traveled to California to campaign for Meg Whitman, who is running for governor. When a heckler tried to interrupt Whitman, Christie decided he'd had enough. Enjoy the clip here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dayton's flakiness, instability on display

As mentioned before on this blog, Mark Dayton tends towards, well, let's be polite and call it "erratic" behavior.

*cough* He's nuts! *cough*

His goofiness was on display again Thursday night, as outlined by this TV station report. Enjoy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

If you want to understand the "Tea Party"....

Peggy Noonan explains it perfectly in a WSJ column you can read here.

I don't consider myself a Tea Party guy. I'm a conservative, and the Republican Party has been the conservative "vessel" for most of my life. When the Obama administration's excesses began to give rise to the Tea Party folks, I found it encouraging that people were finding their voices, but I thought it would be a short-lived movement. Now I'm not so sure.

People are genuinely angry - as well as worried - and while they are REALLY unhappy with Obama, they are also suspicious of Republicans who don't want to be real conservatives. Delaware's senate primary was a great example. Four years ago, Mike Castle would have cruised to the nomination, but for many of us on the right side of political spectrum, it's no longer enough to call yourself a Republican and then vote with the liberals a good chunk of the time. If you want the Tea Party backing, you better be willing to say "no" loudly and often.

Conservatives, as Peggy explains, are looking for Republicans who don't start negotiating with the Democrats in the middle, and compromise halfway to the total liberal position. We want people who will start the negotiations on our end, and go no further than halfway.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Explaining a headline

A few people asked about the headline on the post below, so I thought I'd explain the reference.

In the early years of Monday Night Football, the broadcast team was made up of Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell and former Dallas quarterback Don Meredith. I was a big Cosell fan, and Meredith brought along this sort of southern, quirky, aw-shucks quality that was very endearing. Cosell and Meredith played off each other very well.

In Cosell's autobiography, he tells the story of one MNF game in (I believe) Buffalo, in which the home team was being blown out late in the fourth quarter and half the fans had left the stadium. A cameraman focused in on a solitary fan, sitting all alone in an entire section of seats. Somehow sensing that he was on camera, the fan looked up and made the same gesture Joe Fricke is making in the picture below...on live TV.

There was a moment of silence in the booth, and then Meredith drawled, "Howard, he just means that 'we're number one'."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Joe Fricke says he's #1

Hi all - Lots of work, including nine days of the Minnesota State Fair, have kept me away from my computer and this blog. I'll apologize for the absence, and also apologize for the slightly obscene photo below, but it's just too much fun.

The Mayor of Red Wing, John Howe, is running for the State Senate, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm doing a little volunteer work for him. John is on his way to winning because he's a terrific candidate, and because the guy he's running against is, well, NOT such a terrific candidate.

Joe Fricke is the guy's name, and he graduated with my oldest son from Red Wing High School 10 years ago. He just got out of law school this spring, and his first "career move" was to file for public office. His only work experience is summer laboring for the city, he's never had a permanent job, never owned a home, etc., etc. Most local DFLers considered him sort of a joke candidate from the start, but they had to put someone's name on the ballot.

As a campaigner, little Joey leaves a little bit to be desired. At a recent candidate forum, his response to the only question he was asked was "That's something I'd be willing to raise taxes for." Really sharp answer in the current political and economic environment: Let's raise taxes!

Anyway, he made the leap to the big time this week when a Minnesota political web site,, produced this Facebook photo from earlier this year of Joey in a candid moment. It's almost like he's speaking directly to taxpayers, and it sort of sums up the liberal mindset these days. The Rochester Post-Bulletin already took notice of it in this story. St. Thomas law school must be really proud to have him as an alum.