Let the Women Play!

WOMEN’S PRO HOCKEY!!!!! Alert every women’s hockey fan you know! It is true and it is happening. No, it’s not in Minnesota just yet but hopefully it will be soon! The National Women’s Hockey League is starting this October with four teams on the east coast. This is a huge step forward for women hockey players everywhere. If this league is a success this could mean hockey can be a career for women and not just a hobby. They can have their names printed on jerseys, have bobble-head nights, hear thousands of people scream their names and cheer for them.

To many of you, this may not seem like a big deal, I mean NHL players have this feeling every day but just think.. it took over 97 years for the NWHL so become a thing. Yes, the NHL was founded 97 years ago, actually there was a league prior to that too but focusing on the current one, the NHL is close to hitting 100 and it took  that entire span of time to get women’s hockey?! Really people, this isn’t the 19th century anymore. I know as a woman hockey player I may seem biased but I love hockey and would have loved to have the chance to be a pro, I mean that is all I wanted to be since I was 6. Now, little girls can actually have that dream and live it! Am I jealous? Hell yeah! But it’s great, I can’t wait to watch my first women’s pro game on TV.

Will this league succeed? Maybe, maybe not but history is being made! Are the women getting paid the same as pro men? No, but who cares right now? They are getting paid to play hockey! Yes, many people may think, aren’t you for equality? Yes, I am but just as NHL players had to work their way up to the pay they get now, the NWHL will have to go through the same growing pains. I just hope the league stays around for future generations. Hockey is such a great game, everyone deserves to have a chance to play. I personally hope the NHL gets behind this league if they haven’t already and support them! Not only would it be great to have that backing but the NHL could get some more women fans on their side as well.

Now I do have to mention those naysayers out there that still exist, who think hockey is not a women’s sport. Well, I have news for you, it is an all gender sport, hockey doesn’t judge who plays it so why should you? If you don’t like it, don’t watch but leave the players alone. They have a right to pursue their passion as much as you. I’m going to keep this post a little short since the season just started but I hope this league is able to go steady and strong! Good luck to all of those NWHLers! Yep it’s a thing! Oh and the Wild are 2-0 😀

HOCKEY ROCKS!

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Concussions are a SERIOUS ISSUE!

Concussions… Yes, concussions are back in the spotlight for the NHL and as many of you fans know, the two do not have a good relationship. The rockiness over the last few years has included many former athletes bringing up lawsuits against the NHL for concussions suffered while playing. They have claimed the NHL has not done enough to either help or prevent concussions from happening.

I for one agree with this. I love the NHL but they have been horrible when it comes to taking proactive steps in concussion awareness. Lately however, they have started to take action against concussions. With more penalties/suspensions for players who take shots to the head of other players and do dirty hits, the NHL is becoming more active in the fight against concussions.

Many don’t realize the significance of a concussion until it’s too late. A concussion is defined in many ways from the most minor being “A blow to the head that results in your brain moving inside your skull and often contacting the skull” to the most dangerous being “a blow to the head that results in brain damage and loss of consciousness”. To me, either definition sounds pretty scary. Your brain can move inside your skull? Um, not too sure I’m comfortable with that idea. The definition of a concussion has changed over time as more and more people become aware of what actually happens with concussions and the advancement of technology has helped greatly with this. This used to be something that was “shaken off” and you continued to play. Thankfully that has changed in this day and age and part of that is coming from the NHL.

The NHL recently announced that it is going to take a more proactive step in not only try to prevent concussions but also keep players from playing if they are believed to have suffered a concussion. That is one of the most dangerous things surrounding a concussion. If you suffer one and are unaware; thus continuing to play, a second hit could mean either serious brain damage that is irreversible or death.

The NHL’s step is having what they call “concussion spotters” at all games, this means that there will be a person designated at each game who’s only job is to watch players and try to detect if they have possibly suffered a concussion after a hit, in which case that person would alert refs and coaches who will stop play to escort the player off for further testing.

In reading an article posted by the NHL (I will include this at the end for those who want to read), this program is not new but how the League handles it is. They will now have their own spotters put in place at games instead of the team designating their own, and there will be two people; one for each team. The rules are a little fuzzy to me, but the teams can still decide if they want to use the League’s spotters or their own but if they choose to use their own, the League spotter will remain at the game to still spot whether a concussion has happened or not.

The League’s spotters are trained by the league and will have radios to communicate with coaches and trainers on the bench about players who have possibly been affected. The medical aspect will still remain with the doctors for the teams but the spotters are trained to see the symptoms of a concussion and thus help warn players/teams if one has occurred. In short; this is a good step in the NHL.

This won’t prevent concussions but it will prevent players from playing with concussions and being unaware or trying to ignore the symptoms. Many people may think this isn’t that big of a deal, but if you take a second and think about all the players in any sport who have dealt with a concussion. I bet nearly 90% of hockey fans alone have heard of either a player on their favorite team or have heard about a big name player dealing with a concussion. Sidney Crosby for example, is one of the best players in the NHL (my opinion, yes but stats don’t lie) and he dealt with a very serious concussion after a dirty hit a few years ago.

Even with all of the news coverage many people still don’t believe concussions are a serious issue. Well, after doing research and seeing how many athletes in general are affected.. CONCUSSIONS ARE ALWAYS SERIOUS! WAKE UP PEOPLE! I’m so sick of people trying to say “oh shake it off” or “nah you’re fine get back out there”. I know games are important but not to the point you risk your life. Yes, concussions are that dangerous! THEY CAN KILL YOU! If you are not proactive about them.

Be aware! Parents, don’t let your kid play if you fear they have a concussion, put your foot down and simply say no, for the sake of their safety. Take them to a doctor before you let them play again, sure it could turn out to be nothing but wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry? Concussions can stop people in their tracks and they may never be the same again.

Sure, Sidney Crosby can still score goals but if you watch his games before the concussion and after, there are differences. No offense to him, but he’s not the same player. Same with Justin Morneau (formerly of the Minnesota Twins), Brent Burns (formerly of the Minnesota Wild), Willie Mitchell (Minnesota Wild alum), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Minnesota Wild alum), Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)… I could go on and on in hockey alone but I think you get the point. Yes, concussions even happen to big name athletes and can affect them greatly.

Concussions need to stop or at least be dealt with in the right way. I know it sucks to not have your favorite athlete playing for your favorite team but think about their well-being. Would you want to deal with migraine headaches every time you open your eyes, not being able to be in a room with just normal sunlight, be affected by every little sound…? These are just some of the things that happen to players when they get a concussion not to mention the nausea. These are common with the more serious concussions but can happen if a very minor concussion escalates.

Take Derek Boogaard for instance (former Wild/Rangers player) who sadly is no longer with us. Yes, he was addicted to painkillers but do you know why? Yes, he was a fighter but from those fights he received so many concussions he could not deal with the pain. I understand this is a very serious case but it could happen to anyone. No, his death was not a direct result of a concussion but they were part of the cause. Had he not received concussions he would not have needed to rely on painkillers to relieve his pain.

He was a good person who sadly was so hurt by concussions he became addicted to pain killers that eventually led to his death. His concussions were results of fights (I plan to write about fights in another post) but there are more players like him, fighters or not, they are still humans and should not have to go through things like this. He was taken far too soon and it wasn’t fair to the hockey world to lose such a good person who cared so greatly about the fans.

It’s also not fair to expect athletes to risk their lives just for a game. I would much rather watch my team play without that player than hear about that player not having a normal life after retirement. Or even worse, hearing about that athlete suffer from Second Impact Syndrome, which is a condition that happens when you receive a concussion, go back to play and receive a second concussion before the first one has fully healed/or healed at all. This can result in DEATH! Or very serious brain damage. I know minor concussions can be healed with rest and relaxation, and they don’t seem like a big deal but trust me they can become one.

If you don’t believe me, do a little research on your own. All of you have Google on your Smartphones or computers, just Google concussions and go from there. You will see the severity of them and maybe change your perspective. I’m not trying to deter people from sports… not that at all! Play to your heart’s content but just be careful and if you believe you have suffered a concussion, please tell someone and get help. It’s a brain injury after all and that needs to be taken seriously! Brain injuries can cause more than just physical pain, they can mess with emotions too and cause depression, so things like this need to be taken very serious!

As I said before, don’t be afraid to get help if you believe you have suffered a concussion! Your brain is not a game, if you play games with your brain you will most likely lose and how can you play your favorite sport if you are no longer around? Just be careful and be aware, it’s okay to take a break from a sport to let a concussion heal, your favorite pro athlete would agree! Thanks for reading!

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=779135#&navid=nhl-search (here’s the link)

HOCKEY ROCKS!

Warning-Sign-Concussion-Risk

Saying Goodbye

I was going to publish this yesterday but didn’t manage to finish it so I will now. Yesterday was the day UND said goodbye to a great professor and mentor. Dr. Stephen Rendahl was one of my all-time favorite professors and to this day I still can’t believe he’s gone, I still remember sitting in his classes from two-three years ago now. I wish I could go back and take in one more class knowing it would probably be the last time I ever saw him in person. I know I took his classes for granted at the time.. but I don’t regret taking them. I learned so much about writing and he helped me get through my internship despite having tight deadlines to meet. I’ll never forget one of the e-mails he sent me about it, I still have it in my inbox and probably always will…It said:

“Happy to hear things are going so well. Yours is the kind of internship experiences we want our students to have. Keep in touch.”

I still remember reading this and I had the biggest grin on my face. In college you make connections with certain teachers that can last a lifetime and this was one of those connections for me. I didn’t know him super well but he was always kind, generous and understanding. He made sure all of his students felt comfortable in his class and if something came up, he would work with you to get your work done.

College can be a really hard time for students when teachers aren’t willing to work with kids or even go the extra mile such as answering e-mail questions or offering extra time outside of class for kids to come and ask questions. Rendahl never hesitated to offer help, he always made sure students knew they weren’t alone. He was a tough grader but he knew how to push students to be the best they could be. Communications can be a tough subject to understand as well when you write papers on different subjects in the topic and dig deep into the topic but with Rendahl teaching, despite how confused you could be, he was always there to help.

It’s always hard to find the right words to say when something like this happens but since I am unable to make it to the tribute in Grand Forks, I wanted to say a little something about how great of a teacher he was for me and he will always be missed. I’m so glad I was able to have him as a teacher, even for a short time. Thank you Dr. Rendahl for all you did to help me pursue my degree and you will never be forgotten. I owe part of my degree to him and some lessons that I will always carry with me. So one more thank you to a great teacher and great person, you will be greatly missed at UND and the community of students you taught. Thank you.

More Preseason News!

So the Wild played the Winnipeg Jets yesterday at home and won by an 8-1 score which is somewhat unusual in preseason let alone in regular season. I’m happy the Wild won but what has me somewhat upset is the Winnipeg Jets Head Coach’s comments after the game was done, I’ll include the link to the video at the end. Basically he got upset that the Wild kept putting out their top guys even after an 8-1 lead with a power play. Well I’m sorry sir, but that’s kind of how hockey works, it’s preseason! You have all of your guys play including the top guys so they can get ready for regular season. Is it necessary to put them out to keep the lead?

No, probably not, but that doesn’t mean you sit them the rest of the game… it’s not like the game counted for points anyway! Even if it did do you really think any coach in his right mind is going to sit his top guys? No! Yeah they won’t play as much as normal to keep them from getting hurt in a possible stupid play by the other team but no you wouldn’t sit them the whole game, they need to stay conditioned! I get what he’s saying, but it’s also preseason! No offense but maybe you should worry about your own guys instead of  blaming the other team for not taking a step back… IT’S THE PROS!!! I could understand if it was like high school or younger but in the pros they can rack the score as high as they want. If this was the other way around and the Wild had lost would I blame Winnipeg? Hell no, I’d say well the Wild should have stepped up and played better, they got outplayed! Usually when the score has that big of a differential, it’s not the winning team’s fault.. I hate to be the bearer of bad news (I usually hate big scores and always go for the underdog) but maybe the losing team needs to get better?

I’m sorry but this coach sounds like a little kid blaming the other team because his lost. Like I said before, I get what he’s saying but reality check… you are the coach of a professional hockey team in the National Hockey League… most of the teams in this league don’t care whether you play your big guys or not.. they just want to win and if that means playing their big guys against your lesser known ones, than so be it. I get its preseason but preseason is considered practice for the regular season, that includes playing your big guys so they can get used to being on the ice again in-game situations, so maybe next time.. play your big guys too or just go home.. and grow up!

He did say at the end that it was an honor being in the same building with Mike Yeo which is cool but still.. this video just annoyed me as you can all tell.. well thanks for reading my little rant! I will be posting again later on today about another topic so stay tuned!

HOCKEY ROCKS!

Here’s the link for those that wanted to check it out: http://nhl.nbcsports.com/2015/09/27/video-maurice-seems-unhappy-with-yeo-using-top-players-late-in-blowout/?utm_network=facebook&utm_post=4315791&utm_source=FB%20-%20NHL%20on%20NBC%20Sports&utm_tags=srm%5Bhockey%2Carticle%5D

DL_Generic_Wild_1415Season

HOCKEY IS UPON US!

Hi everyone, sorry for the bit of an absence, I have big news to share for those that haven’t already seen it….I BOUGHT A CAR!!! Yep, I have my very own car in my name and I am paying everything! Man, does it feel nice to finally have my independence again. I don’t have to rely on rides anymore, hopefully for a very long time! I bought a Black 2001 Ford Focus SE for $1750 including the transfer title! Great deal from a great local auto mechanic.

So I’ve been kind of driving everywhere this past week because it feels so amazing to have a car again! I have been doing some body work on the car because there are some minor rust spots that can be buffed out and repainted to prevent/slow down further damage which is normal for cars that old especially in Minnesota. Even newer cars in Minnesota get rust unless you wash them constantly. Yes, it’s hard to believe me doing car work but I intend to keep this car as long as possible and if a little buff work gets a few more years out of it, I’ll do it.

So switching to what my title is, it’s official, hockey season has finally appeared, well preseason, regular is still a couple of weeks away! The Wild will be opening their regular season on October 8th in Colorado against the Avalanche. The home opener for Minnesota will follow two days later on the 10th of October against the Blues. The preseason for the Wild has gone pretty normal, they are currently 2-2 with two games left. In my opinion preseason really doesn’t matter except to the players to get their skating feet back under them even though most of the players have been skating for well over a month already. However, as many of you would say, game situations are different and this is essentially game practice and they get a chance to see some of what the competition may bring to the ice before the season actually kicks off and games start to matter.

College hockey has also already gotten underway with the UND women playing an exhibition game against Manitoba which they took 1-0. Their regular season will start next weekend against Rensselaer in New York. The men have yet to play but they will also face Manitoba in exhibition next weekend. There was some big news to come out of the UND men’s team however, they will face Boston College next year in the College Hockey Showdown out at Madison Square Garden, PRETTY COOL!

The Wild really haven’t made any significant changes to the line-up since last year other than a few players coming and going. So, hopefully that means they will be as good if not better than they were last year! These players should all be pretty used to each other by now so all the Wild fans will get a treat at seeing some familiar faces instead of the constant changing over and over.

Well, being the regular season hasn’t started yet, I’m going to leave this one a little shorter and say thanks for reading!

HOCKEY ROCKS!

SAINT PAUL, MN - NOVEMBER 19: Mikko Koivu #9 celebrates with his Minnesota Wild teammates after scoring a game-tying power play goal late in the third period against the St. Louis Blues during the game at the Xcel Energy Center on November 19, 2011 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

SAINT PAUL, MN – NOVEMBER 19: Mikko Koivu #9 celebrates with his Minnesota Wild teammates after scoring a game-tying power play goal late in the third period against the St. Louis Blues during the game at the Xcel Energy Center on November 19, 2011 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Nickname Game

I know I sound off on this topic quite a bit but bear with me, this topic is something that is close to my heart and what is happening with it, is really annoying to me.

As many of you know, my college, The University of North Dakota, has been fighting for their Fighting Sioux nickname for quite a while. In 2012 however, the NCAA (butted their nose into something it doesn’t belong in, in my opinion), made the University give up the name or face sanctions. This meant that UND”s sports teams would no longer be allowed to participate in post-season/playoffs unless the nickname was changed. I believe that was a completely low blow and really not fair to the school or the students. Plus it cost the school a lot of money to change over all of the places where Sioux was displayed and get new uniforms, money that could have been used for other things.

All of the people criticizing the president of the University for giving up the name, really don’t understand that he had to do what was right for the students and the student athletes. He fought it as long as he could but he didn’t want to damage the student’s opportunity for post-season and went along with the change although reluctantly it seemed. I understood the president’s viewpoint for this part of the debacle because if I was an athlete I would want a chance at post season regardless of name or no name. That’s what those athletes play for. Post-season can mean a chance at the pro level for some/a lot of these athletes and to take that away is not fair.

So after that whole ordeal was over, the next step was to pick a new name, which I didn’t agree with. If the name has to go, I don’t want a new nickname because I’m sorry but I started at this school as a Fighting Sioux and that is how I’m going to finish. I don’t care what the new name is, I will not become that. Picking a new name will never replace the old one no matter how hard they try. That’s one thing the NCAA doesn’t get, the students will never truly give up the name.

Now that the new name process is in full swing, the following five names are the choices students/staff/alumni can vote on in coming weeks: Rough-riders, Sun Dogs, Nodaks, Fighting Hawks and North Stars. I’m not a fan of any of these names except I would tolerate Nodaks because students started using this name after Fighting Sioux was eliminated.

The new obstacle now with the naming process is several people claiming that the names UND is picking from, are copyrighted/owned already. The story is rather confusing but UND claims it won’t prevent them from picking a name. I am so sick and tired of hearing new arguments about the names and I wish it was just over with. I really don’t want a new name and I’m sure majority of students would fall along the same category. Just let us stay North Dakota if we can’t be the Sioux because nothing will take that name’s place but no, they had to rule out being just North Dakota as well.

When this whole issue first arose I just wanted them to figure out if we are keeping the name or not. I wanted to keep it but I was so sick of the fighting and how it made the school look. People started making fun of the University over it and it was really sickening. I do have a few words for those who think it’s funny. Take a step in the shoes of a UND student, professor, staff, alumni and think about it if it was you. How would you react if your school’s name was taken away and you had no choice in the matter?

Say for example Minnesota State Mankato was no longer allowed to be the Mavericks. Your identity with the school is suddenly gone. It’s not so funny anymore is it? Yes, to some it is just a name, a word, but for others it’s something they identify with and the school unites over it. Think about a big game on campus, everyone cheers the school name and unites over it right?. You never hear a school just cheer “Go University of so and so” it’s always “Let’s go Sioux/Mavericks/Gophers”.. etc.

So before you say it’s just a name or get over it, think about it. It’s really not, it’s an identity that mattered to a lot of people. It was never meant to be rude, disrespectful or anything like that. It was meant to honor those Native Americans and their contributions to not only the school but history itself. There’s a lot more to a name than just a word. I will always be a Fighting Sioux and that’s the end of my rant for now. I’m sure there will be more on this topic as the debate continues. Thanks for reading!

HOCKEY ROCKS! (P.S. Wild training camp started today! THEIR FIRST PRESEASON GAME IS MONDAY!!!!)

North Dakota Fighting Sioux jersey

One of my favorite jerseys.. it was hard to decide on one because they all rock.. I own a white one 😀

Why I Game

So, as many of you know I can be rather opinionated when I write, and that’s mainly why I write, other than the fact that I love it. Growing up I never had the ability to play video-games because I was always doing something else whether it be playing hockey, reading, band, etc and that’s what this post is about–gaming. Once I met Jesse, I really got introduced to the gaming world head first.

It was quite a shock in the beginning and I really didn’t understand how someone could love doing this all the time. I mean, outside is awesome too, haha. Once I tried gaming though I slowly became hooked. I realized that no, gaming is not bad, it’s actually quite fun. I sucked at first and would get quite upset because I didn’t know what I was doing wrong and I really hate when that happens. I usually have to figure things out for myself as well so I didn’t eagerly accept help.

As time went on, I progressed in my video game skills and along the way I got my own Xbox 360 courtesy of Jesse (Christmas gift)! So now I am able to play GTAV on my own Xbox and play live with my friends. It’s amazing to actually own an Xbox and feel the freedom of playing games whenever the TV is available haha. I haven’t gotten super good, but I am average or a little below. I play online with guys who have been playing for years so I’m a little behind the curve. I would like to proudly admit I’m a rank 58! Jesse is like 100, no I’m not joking 😉

Gaming isn’t just sitting in front of a TV killing brain cells, as a matter of fact it actually helps your brain. Games keep you on your toes most of the time and you have to learn to act on your feet. Yes, it’s just a game and no one’s life is on the line but it can help you learn to act quicker in your everyday life. You learn to not second guess your judgement and not to be afraid of what might happen because it’s just a game. No, you shouldn’t treat real life like it’s a game but you can learn how to keep calm under pressure. I’m not saying any of this relates to life directly, I’m speaking hypothetically for those of you that might think I’m being literal.

Gaming has also created an environment of stress relief where I can blow things up without actually damaging anything and I can create cars that I’ll never be able to have in real life but I can be creative with. Teamwork is another big aspect of gaming that I’ve come to learn can be difficult at times but you can’t get through the game without it. Teamwork is a concept everyone needs to learn and yes, GTAV teaches that concept whether in a good way or bad you do learn to cooperate with others.

I know this post won’t get everybody interested in gaming but don’t knock it before you try it. Yeah, it can be a difficult thing to understand but it is fun and actually rewarding. When you reach a level you’ve been working towards or you finally get the car you’ve been saving for, like I just did the other night 😀 It does feel good, yeah it’s not real but it doesn’t hurt to have a fantasy world to go to every now and then and just lose yourself for a while. People need to be able to let go without hurting anyone and gaming is one way to do that.

Well with that short post, I’m going to wrap it up. Thanks for reading,

HOCKEY ROCKS!

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