Archive for January, 2008

Bumper stickers

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Start seeing coastal seafoods

I love the old Latin mass

I’m not speeding, I’m qualifying

(On a yellow ribbon)
Support the magnetic ribbon industry


Iron Rangers
We’re not too smart, but we can lift heavy things

What’s in a name?

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

They say that when parents name a child, the name suggests something about what the parents envision the child to be. So what does it say when a sports value is named a certain way? I don’t mean the proper part of the name; I mean how does one choose the improper part – e.g. arena, stadium, center, park, etc.

Baseball venues circa 1900 were usually called Parks, because they were little more than a city block with green grass and a grandstand surrounding the field. There were also Grounds (Huntington Avenue, Polo), and one Bowl (the Baker, in Philadelphia). Most of the new venues built in the 1910s were called Fields (Braves, Ebbets, Crosley, Forbes, Wrigley). As venues became larger, the stadium title started to gain footing. To my knowledge, Griffith Stadium in D.C. was the first stadium, though it was originally called National Park. Yankee Stadium opened in 1923. Throughout the mid-20th century, the Stadium tag was prevalent for most of the concrete and steel structures that went up. Now, the new generation of retro-style ballparks that began in the 1990s are going back to the Park or Field name, referencing the more pastoral character that the retro parks are supposed to embrace.

I can understand different names for baseball, because there are often substantial differences in the feel of baseball venues. But should we really see that much differentiation for local hockey rinks? I mean, it’s mostly just a sheet of ice and some seating. Looking at the list of Minnesota hockey arenas, we find much variety.

About 25% simply use the name Arena. A few more feel the need to explicitly state that it is an Ice Arena. I like this one from Kansas that somehow made its way onto the list: the Ice Sports Arena.

We also have Ice Centers. Center sounds a little more sophisticated than Arena, and is general enough to assume that there might be something important happening there. Ice isn’t the only modifier for center. There are Community Centers, Sports Centers, Recreation Centers, Civic Centers, Activity Centers, a Skating Center, and an Entertainment and Convention Center.

Not many arenas use the word hockey in their name. The National Hockey Center in St. Cloud is an exception. I guess they don’t want to sound exclusive and offend the curlers and ice dancers.

Bloomington calls their rink the Ice Garden. Perhaps they are trying to copy the Maple Leaf Garden, Boston Garden, or Madison Square Garden. Why on earth would you call an ice arena a garden? A frozen rink doesn’t seem to have much connection to a garden. Maybe they should plant flower beds surrounding the playing area.

Champlin is called the Ice Forum. I haven’t been to Fogerty Arena in Blaine for years but they used to have a sign inside that said “The Ice House”.

Some cities feel the need to memorialize something so they add Memorial to their name. Hibbing calls theirs the Hibbing Memorial Building.

Now on to the more unusual names. Hopkins has a Pavilion, and White Bear Lake has a Hippodrome. St. Paul has the State Fair Coliseum (now the Lee and Rose Warner Coliseum). There used to be the St. Paul Auditorium and the Minneapolis Auditorium (a.k.a. Minneapolis Arena), which, along with the Coliseum, indicates that the building served another purpose before it hosted hockey games.

Speaking of other purposes, this brings us to my all-time favorite hockey arena name, the now defunct Duluth Curling Club, which was to hockey what the Polo Grounds was to baseball.

Do you understand the concept of seasons?

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

“And a big freeze is on the way. Temperatures so low that they have only been this low eight times in the past decade!”

Eight times in ten years, so that’s like once a year, right? And we happen to be in the middle of January, which is the coldest month of the year, so it’s going to be cold. Kind of like how it will be hot in the middle of summer. I will defer to Dave Barry for his take on what happened last August:

“On the weather front, the nation is gripped by a heat wave. This has happened pretty much every August since the dawn of human civilization, but it totally stuns the news media.”

Also, has anyone else noticed that whenever the temperature is warmer than average for a few weeks, the media can’t resist drawing some connection to global warming, but there is never any mention of global warming whenever some contradictory short-term trend occurs? Not just cold snaps, but things like hurricanes. We’ve had two years of minimal tropical storm activity. I’m sure that will be forgotten and that we’ll start hearing again about how warmer ocean waters will drive a new generation of killer storms whenever the next big storm inevitably develops.

Wolf and Tiger

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Who needs show writers when we now have American Gladiators?

“I sense fear, I sense weakness, and I am going to eat you!”

Mark January 12 as the date on which Jim Nantz uttered his signature phrase for the first time this season:

“A tradition unlike any other, the Masters on CBS.”

Although Jack Nicholson also played golf…

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

“What’s that movie?  I can’t think of it…the one with Jack Nicklaus.  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest!”

Fill in the blank

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Complete the following sentences with a word from the list:

When two people are good friends, they like to ______ each other when they meet.

2nd Grader’s answer: do

Do these guys listen to themselves?

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

“You know guys, if I’m Calvin McGee, the offensive coordinator, or Bill Stewart, the interim head coach, I’m thinking knockout right here. If I can get me a big play, right now, I can maybe knock out my opponent if I can put one on him right now.”

West Virginia then goes 75 yards in 3 plays for a touchdown

“Well I don’t know if that’s a knockout punch. I’ve been in enough games, I can tell you this, that you can come back in football games.”

Also, speaking of listening to oneself, the Oklahoma band needs to not play its school song after like 82% of all plays. That is annoying.