Don't Mess With The Hockey Gods
by Damien Goddard/Columnist
Is there any group of sports fans that are more superstitious than hockey fans? I don't think so.
That's why I was amazed when I found out that the State of Wisconsin had erected a massive sign at its border proclaiming the State of Wisconsin as the "State of Hockey." I hadn't seen an act that brazen since Colorado Springs had proclaimed themselves "Hockeytown U.S.A." in the summer of 1957.
Really the trouble started back in March of 2005 at the WCHA Frozen Five. The tournament had gotten off to a rocky start when the WCHA had produced a commemorative poster proclaiming "North Dakota State" as one of the participants. It's always a bad sign when a league doesn't know the names of all of its current members.
Well it turns out it was just a typographical error, but you would have thought a murder had been committed by the furor it created back home in Grand Forks. You know how sensitive the fans of the "Fighting Sioux" are to stereotypes.
Things really started to go awry, however, when a North Dakota fan wearing an Alaska-Anchorage hockey jersey decided to approach John Hill and Don Lucia.
I'll let Gordweiser take it from here:
"During the Thursday Final Five play-in game, Minnesota coach Don Lucia and assistant John Hill were sitting a section over from me. Since I was in my Seawolf garb, a buddy of mine and I went over to the two of them and demanded an apology from Hill for leaving UAA.
"Lucia took offense and said, "An apology for what? Living his own life?!" I'm pretty sure Lucia was ready to throw down. Anyway, the famous "Curse of the Seawolf" was inadvertently unleashed upon Lucia when he started getting lippy. The curse quickly trickled down and infected most of the team, hence I ruined the Gophers' magical season. Seriously, it was unintentional.
"I didn't even want to go talk to them, but my buddy offered me 10 bucks to do it. He did most of the talking. I guess the collapse is actually HIS fault, and he calls himself a Gopher fan. Besides, Hill was laughing and it was in good fun. I was there to say good job at a tough place to coach and Lucia got ready to go WWF. Actually caught me off guard.
"Well we all know what happened from there. Minnesota the No. 1 team in the country lost to St. Cloud, Wisconsin and then horror of horrors to Holy Cross in the biggest upset in college hockey history. Don Lucia played a dangerous game with the hockey gods and lost.
"Now we have this clown Governor in Wisconsin taunting the hockey gods with signs at the border. It doesn't help that Minnesota and Michigan, two "legitimate hockey states," border Wisconsin. If you're Governor and you want to bet a case of brats and a wheel of cheddar against some LL Bean gear and a case of lobsters, by all means go for it. But don't put a curse of the Badgers that might last 50 or 100 years, depending on the anger of the hockey gods."
(Note: This article is fiction and in the spirit of fun.)