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You might be a hockey fan in Minnesota if ...

There are plenty of ways to tell if you are a hockey fan from the great state of Minnesota

By Kevin Kurtt
Let’s Play Hockey Editor

We’ve all seen the ‘You know you’re a Minnesotan’ lists that give us such truisms as ‘You thought Grumpy Old Men was a documentary,’ ‘Your local Dairy Queen is closed from December through February, ‘You know how to say Wayzata, Mahtomedi and Shakopee,’ and ‘You know all four seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter and Construction.’ We get these in our inbox, actually “get” the jokes and immediately forward them to our Minnesota friends and coworkers.

Now it’s time to dive deeper into one of the aspects of what it’s like to be Minnesotan – hockey. Whether you played the game, cheered from the stands or learned the sport from your kids, there are a multitude of ways you can tell if you’re a hockey fan from the great state of Minnesota.

Without further ado, you might be a hockey fan in Minnesota if …

• You get ticked off when you hear Detroit call itself ‘Hockeytown.’

• You grow your beard during NHL/college/high school/PeeWee/45-and-up rec league playoff time.

• You yearn for the days of clear boards at the state high school tournament.

• You anxiously count the days until the temperature hits 32 degrees so you can flood your backyard to create your very own rink.

• You paint blue lines in your backyard.

• You install an elaborate lighting system solely for night games on your backyard rink.

• You make the annual pilgrimage to St. Paul for the state high school tournament (and the Let’s Play Hockey Expo, too – shameless plug).

• You make the annual pilgrimage to St. Paul for the WCHA Final Five.

• You make the annual pilgrimage north for the Roseau-Warroad game.

• You miss the atmosphere of old Mariucci Arena, but appreciate the beauty of new Mariucci Arena.

• You think the Xcel Energy Center is the Taj Mahal of hockey.

• You think the Battle Hymn of the Republic was written specifically for Gopher home series sweeps.

• You grew up wanting to wear the ‘M.’

• You destroyed your basement/garage/garage door/windows/neighbor’s windows with all those hours of indoor/outdoor hockey at home.

• You know the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine as well as you know your kitchen.

• You don’t get annoyed by the homerism displayed by your team’s radio or TV announcer.

• You yell the words “Let’s! Play! Hockey!” before every game … not just at Wild games.

• You yearn for the days of the one-class state high school hockey tournament.

• You know the words to the Wild Anthem.

• You spend more hours in hockey rinks than you do in your own home.

• You cheer a lengthy cycling of the puck.

• You cheer a successful penalty kill.

• You sarcastically cheer when a ref you swear is out to get your team finally calls a penalty in your team’s favor.

• You sarcastically cheer when a struggling opponent’s goalie finally makes a save.

• You bought the book “Minnesota North Stars: History and Memories with Lou Nanne.”

• You own the entire library of Ross Bernstein hockey books.

• You get a team together for a pond hockey tournament.

• You discipline your kids with “minors,” “majors” and “misconducts.”

• You use hockey tape to wrap gifts.

• You know where the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame resides.

• You know where the world’s largest hockey stick resides.

• You refuse to say “shutout” until the final horn goes off.

• You throw your hat onto the ice after a player on your favorite team scores his/her third goal.

• You think there are three periods in basketball.

• You cried when the North Stars left.

• You cried when St. Paul was awarded an NHL team.

• You may dislike Norm Coleman for a lot of things, but you’ll always love him for bringing the NHL back to Minnesota.

• The name ‘Norm Green’ still boils your blood.

• You teach your kids the signals for all penalties before you teach them the alphabet.

• You use a puck as a paperweight.

• You don’t even notice the smell of a hockey locker room anymore.

• You keep your skates and stick in your car … just in case.

• You enjoy the “Mighty Ducks” movies and beam with pride when you recognize locations on the screen.

• You buy a Wild/Gopher/<insert favorite Minnesota team here> jersey each time they release a new version.

• You remember where you were when the Gophers won the 2002 NCAA Championship.

• You can point out all the inaccuracies of the otherwise excellent movie “Miracle.”

• You grow your hair so it comes out the sides of your helmet.

• You think the only way to play true hockey is outside on a pond/at a park/on your backyard rink.

• You’ve spent hours searching for pucks in the snowbanks at your local outdoor rink.

• You fit your kids for skates the moment they start walking.

• You think hockey homework is just as important as school homework.

• You revere Herb Brooks.

• You miss Al Shaver’s voice on the radio.

• You miss the mini donuts at Mariucci Arena.

• You remember Goldy on his perch at old Mariucci Arena.

• You miss the Met Center.

• You consider the state high school tournament days as holidays.

• You skip work/school to watch the state high school tournament.

• Your kids wear apparel from several WCHA teams.

• You wear your jersey according to the way your favorite player wears his/her jersey.

• You know the name of the person who sharpens your skates.

• The person who sharpens your skates know you by your skates.

• You wouldn’t be caught dead putting your skates into one of those machines that claims to sharpen skates.

• You are incredibly particular about your stick’s pattern (curve, flex, etc.).

• Your kids play hockey year-round.

• You take the parents vs. kids games really seriously

• You scout your town’s Squirts to see what your high school team will be like in five years or so.

• You never miss a chance to pick up the latest Let’s Play Hockey at your local rink/sporting good store.

• You have searched piles of snow for an errant puck at your local outdoor rink.

• You have shoveled the ice at your local rink after a snowfall.

• You think there’s no temperature too cold to play hockey outside.

• You can’t wait for the John Rose Oval in Roseville to open its outdoor refrigerated ice sheet.

• You can name all the Broten brothers.

• You can name all the Hankinson brothers.

• You can name all the Micheletti’s.

• You consider the Hanson Brothers major celebrities.

• You debate who the better player is between the husband and wife duo of John Pohl and Krissy Wendell.

• You know what a “Herbie” is.

• You can instinctively drive to any town’s hockey arena.

• You specifically shop for boots that can withstand the temperature at the coldest ice arena in the state.

• You think the Zamboni is mankind’s greatest invention.

• You have honestly considered taking Zamboni driving lessons.

• You have wild.com, ushsho.com, gopherpucklive.com or followthepuck.com as your home page.

• You own and proudly wear one of those Rink Rats t-shirts.

• You own each edition of the Let’s Play Hockey bobbleheads.

• You consider being named Mr. Hockey or Ms. Hockey the highest award a Minnesotan can win.

• You’re amazed when you learn that a fellow Minnesotan doesn’t know how to skate.

• You can walk or jog on a freshly resurfaced sheet of ice without losing balance at all.

• You bought a minivan or SUV for the sole reason that it can hold all your kids’ hockey equipment.

• You know what arena in the state serves the best hot chocolate.

• You think Terrence Fogarty should be held in the same esteem as Van Gogh or Monet.

• You or your child has appeared in the pages of Let’s Play Hockey (check this off your list by sending your stories and photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

• You don’t find it the least bit ironic that your favorite sport when it’s cold outside is played where it’s cold inside.

The first version of this column appeared in the Oct. 18, 2007, issue of Let’s Play Hockey.