Some may point to the kids at bus stops with their lunch pails and Trapper Keepers as a sign that summer is officially over. Others may reference the fact that fans were wearing fleece jackets and ear flap hats at the Twins game last night. And some won’t relinquish summer until a 40-year-old gunslinger hobbles out onto the pitch to start buttoning his chin strap before every play and holding up an index finger after every touchdown pass.
For me, there are three signs that summer is over. They are as follows:
1. The Minnesota State Fair came to a close on Monday. Perhaps, because I live in the area and have a lot of Fair foot traffic by my house, it’s always fun to see people get their last kick of the can at summer. It’s also a little sad when they’re all gone. However, if you want one last memory of the State Fair, let it be this clever little video diddy cooked up with Nordy enjoying the Fair.
2. The ice is in! And it’s for good this time, as opposed to a brief period in July for Development Camp. Yesterday, everybody’s favorite Zamboni guy, Travis Larson oversaw the installation of the ice rink at Xcel Energy Center. But Travis wasn’t in this on his own. As always, he had some help from his crack staff, and this year he had some additional painters. Members of the ice crew were on hand, as were Fox Sports North’s Marney Gellner and Kevin Gorg (which reminds me that I still need to give Gorg his Starsky & Hutch DVD, which he graciously lent me on a plane ride back from Buffalo last year). As you can see in the photo gallery, this year’s rink is going to be highlighted by the Year X logo. It looks pretty sick, but it’s taking awhile. Just look how fast they did it last year. Here’s the video from this year.
3. There’s someone in line for single game tickets! In past years, I seem to recall the first person setting up camp (literally) on the Thursday before the Saturday on-sale. That person was usually Pat Vos, who built up some mini-celebrity status as far as the State of Hockey and Wild.com go. This year, Vos was unseated by Allen Dick of Coon Rapids, who is hell bent on nabbing tickets to the Wild vs. Blackhawks game on October 30th.
“My kids have never been to a game,” explained Dick, who was given the rest of the week off from work. “That’s as good a game there is for your first one.”
As a reminder, single game tickets go on sale at the Xcel Energy Center box office at 9:00 a.m. this Saturday. Get in line immediately if not sooner.
Now, because I’ve proven that summer is indeed over, it’s time to start chatting about hockey. And wouldn’t you know that you’ll have the opportunity to do a live online chat with me tomorrow at 11:00 AM central time! If that doesn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what will.
Now don’t worry, we will have actual interesting guests as we near the regular season and beyond, but this will be a bit of a trial run to make sure all is running smoothly. Once that happens, we’ll have live chat guests from the Wild front office, coaching staff and the roster.
As for me, I’m happy to attempt to answer any questions you may have about the upcoming season, the players, the coaches and of course, UMD Bulldog hockey. Write in a question. We’ll talk! You know, no big whoop.