Here is Part II of Rocket's running diary of our St. Paul ice capades last weekend. This might be the first running diary of a day that takes you longer to read than it did to actually live the day itself. We kid! Also remember that some accounts of this day are utter fiction. Rocket?


5:44 PM – Earlier in the day there had been some talk about possibly staying in the St. Paul area between games, but that idea quickly drowned in a sea of drunken humanity. So, after the game we headed back to the RandBall abode and settled into a meal consisting solely of steak, cod, tortilla chips, and vitamin water. As we began to eat we heard a bunch of strange sounds outside. We looked out of the window and counted no less than seven hipster vegetarians within a hundred yards of the food who fainted.

6:47 PM – Back in St. Paul, after another stealthy parking job, we began engaging with our second scalper of the day. Between the two of us, RandBall and I have collected five college degrees. But apparently all of that brain power wasn’t enough to make sure we had plenty of cash. The guy was only asking face value for the tickets and we didn’t have quite enough. Luckily he was willing to get stiffed for a few bucks to get rid of the ducats.
7:03 PM – These are much nicer seats, only three rows away from the players’ benches. There is a much greater level of energy in the building than there was this afternoon. There is the occasional, random Denver fan here and there but there is no doubt that this is going to be a pro-UND crowd. We were seats one and two in the row so I decided to take seat one and let RandBall deal with whatever goofball we get stuck next to this time around.
7:55 PM – Denver has given a valiant effort, but having played in two overtime games in the past two days they don’t look like they have much left in the tank. UND gets two in the first, leaving the Pioneers with quite an uphill road in what is, in essence, a road game. Despite a relatively exciting first period RandBall looks out of sorts and keeps checking his phone. Something is at odds, but what? He hasn’t been very communicative all day.
8:33 PM – Truth be told, it was looking like we were having much better luck with our seatmates in game two than we did in game one, and in a perverse manner, we did have better luck. The female of the couple seemed genial and engaging and the male looked mostly interested in keeping quiet and watching the game. Little did I know that the man was a big bunch of rage wrapped up in a tiny package. About midway through the second period some dude proposed to his special lady friend on the jumbotron. She, of course, said yes, and it was a relatively sweet, if slightly cloying and drastically unoriginal, moment. It was in the quiet just after this expression of love that our seemingly mild-mannered male seatmate shot out of his chair and yelled, “You’re [redacted] number eleven,” at referee number 11. The female quickly grabbed at the man’s shirt, trying to pull him back into his chair as he unleashed a torrent of vile vulgarities at the official. Clearly embarrassed, the female was finally able to get the male back into his seat. I probably shouldn’t have laughed as openly as I did.
8:44 PM – After waiting a requisite amount of time to pretend not to be embarrassed, the female gathered up her stuff and made the male leave their seats. I probably shouldn’t still have been laughing openly.
8:50 PM – Despite the fact that I was almost sure I would never see them again, the male returned to the seats. He had returned to gather up a few possessions that she had left behind in her rush to flee the scene of her tremendous embarrassment. As he gathered up the stuff, the guy said something to us about women always leaving stuff behind in such a jovial manner that I couldn’t help but conclude that he had no idea why she had presumably made them leave. I probably shouldn’t have started laughing again right in his face.
8:59 PM – Sometimes I feel sorry for those poor saps that have to do the promotional stuff during stops in play and sometimes I feel like they only have themselves to blame. Nonetheless, it was still amusing when the promotional guy was trying to get some 3-year-old to yell into the microphone that his favorite team was Denver. The kid was much less interested in helping the guy hawk whatever product was the sponsor and much more interested in sticking the microphone in his mouth. After the first time the promotional guy tried to get the kid to yell “Denver” again, but the kid just tried to stick the microphone in his mouth again. Moral of the story: If a promotional guy ever tries to get you to do something embarrassing on camera just stick the microphone in your mouth.
9:13 PM – UND scores its fourth goal of the night about seven minutes into the third to make it 4-0. Everybody in the building knows that we’re all just killing time now. RandBall looks relieved that the day is almost over.
9:55 PM – The game finished 4-0 and we made it all the way back to the car. RandBall kept checking his phone and shaking his head. We were in the car and about to start driving when I noticed that his lips were trembling and that tears were beginning to form in the corners of his eyes. Finally, after a whole day of this, it occurred to me what was truly going on. “Don’t start driving yet,” I said to him. “You’re in no condition right now. We’ve been friends for a long time and I want you to tell me the truth. Are you still sad about Ricky Rubio hurting his knee?” RandBall immediately burst into tears. After a good ten or fifteen minute cry it was clear he felt much better and we left St. Paul for good for the day.

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Rocket's Red Glare: Two hockey games, one day. A running diary (Part I)

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