Hi Darling Ones,
As I type we’re in overtime during the Warroad v. Mahtomedi semi-final game in the 2022 Boys State High School Hockey Tournament. Whenever I worry that I’m emotionally dead inside I need to remember how I feel when we hit OT during holy week. My heart beats faster. I can feel the blood in my veins. I’m anxious and afraid to blink. My heart rate spikes whenever a team gets into scoring position.
Last night, via text, my sisters and I had a mutual triple heart-attack while watching the Andover v. Moorhead game. Sadly, for those bitches the Andovers won and I was victorious. It was exhilarating. The adrenaline rush was so great it took me forever to fall asleep when I went to bed.
It’s not exaggeration when I call this holy week. There is no sporting event I love more than the boys hockey tournament. I have so many warm, happy memories around this tournament that I get super salty whenever people shit all over it. And, because this is Minnesota, it happens all the time. I don’t know about where you live, but in Minnesota whenever something feels like it’s getting a little too beloved people need to come out hard about how much it sucks so you know how superior their taste is and how unique they are. See Minnesotans on: The State Fair, High School Hockey, Prince, Hotdish, etc.
To some extent, I get it. Hockey is a rich person’s game and the tournament often sees the Scrooge McDucks v. the Richie Riches in the final game. Someone could do a great study on the movement of wealth in the Twin Cities metro area from cities to suburbs to exurbs based on teams in the High School Hockey Tournament.
Because I am a mature bog witch, I only put tiny hexes on these naysayers. Mostly, I try not to let them dim my light and love of this tournament.
This tournament has been a big deal to my family since the time I have memories. My parents used to bundle all four of us up and we’d haul ass to my aunt & uncle’s house in Roseville to watch the game with my dad’s siblings and niblings. Even though I did not fit well with that extroverted side of the family, and those kinds of family gatherings made me anxious, I loved listening to my family as we all crowded around TVs to watch the big final game.
It’s different now with the internet, but when I was in elementary school during the 80s our teachers would sneak in TVs so they could watch the quarterfinals during the school day. I claim this is why I can work so well with hockey on in the background. Thanks, Mr. Waugh & Mr. Nagle!
I love everything about this tournament — the petty rivalries (the entire state, even the naysayers, hate Edina), the uniforms, the cheers and tears, the names (last night a team had two Caydens and two Logans), the hair, the utter joy the announcers have for the game, Lou Nanne, and even the game. Hockey is the one sport I actually know, like I know offsides vs icing. I know what high sticking and hooking and slashing is. This always surprises people because I generally think sports are a long, boring fart noise.
So that’s what I’ve been up to this week, Darling Ones. I’ve been watching hockey for roughly 12 hours a day since Wednesday. Tomorrow I’m having people over for the big final game. It’s a tradition I tried to re-start like four or five years ago. I had the first one, but didn’t enjoy it because I had to had emergency oral surgery the day before. I think the next one was thwarted by bad weather. Then COVID ruined everything. Hopefully nothing gets in the way tomorrow or I’m gonna have a lot of meatballs and weenie wraps to eat.
P.S. Warroad won.