Even before there was a team that took the ice, the Minnesota Wild has been a part of The Great Minnesota Get Together. This year is no different as the organization is once again showcasing a super-sized booth at the Minnesota State Fair inside the main Grandstand. And, as in years past, the Wild staff is asked to volunteer to work a shift at the booth to talk with the State of Hockey legion and answer any questions they may arise about the highly anticipated 2005-2006 season.
And, I am proud to announce that Wild players Pascal Dupuis and Nick Schultz will appear at the fair booth this weekend. Dupuis will appear at the Wild booth on Friday, September 2 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Schultz will make his appearance on Saturday, September 3 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM.
Now with all due respect to Pascal and Nick, I’m a rather large draw at the fair as well, being the new Web Content Writer and all. Pascal and Nick can have those busy weekend shifts. I thought it best for everyone’s safety to sign up for a shift on Monday night so the line to talk to me didn’t block the paths to other vendors trying to make a buck.
As I suspected, the crowd surrounding the grandstand was huge for a Monday night. To my surprise however, the screaming female teenyboppers were there to see Ryan Cabrera, not the Wild’s Web Content Writer. I believe they were also there to destroy my hypersensitive eardrums and to startle every animal in the livestock barn.
I guess I don’t see the draw of a Ryan Cabrera. If you’re not familiar with him, he’s most famous for dating the less popular Simpson sister and for sporting a haircut that makes it look like he jumped in a swimming pool with a live microphone. Plus, the rumor is that he’s a Canucks fan. Strike Three!
I don’t see what the big deal is about a guy who sings “And on the way down/I saw you/And you saved me/From myself/And I won’t forget/The way you loved me.”
Fine. I’ll admit that those lyrics moisten my eyes a bit, but that’s a whole other problem. Monday night wasn’t about throwing undergarments at a guy who’ll be featured on VH1’s One Hit Wonders Countdown in four years, it was all about talking with Wild fans and gauging their excitement about the NHL’s triumphant return.
On this gorgeous Minnesota evening, I worked the booth with Mike, a bald man who works in Corporate Sales for the Wild. His sales technique was in full force on this night as he even signed up one woman to the Wild Warming House. The force is strong with that Duluth, Minnesota-native.
I was given the daunting task of supervising the “State of Hockey” flag as people signed their name. This is no easy chore. First of all, that darn flag is tough to maneuver because it is a monster! It measures 15 by 25 feet, which could cover the entire town of Castle Danger, Minnesota.
Despite the size of the flag, the real estate for people to write their names is dwindling, and as the man in charge of the flag on this night, I didn’t take the situation lightly. I made sure to tell everyone to write small. If they didn’t listen, I said it again!
Fortunately, the Wild faithful are not only the best fans in the world, but the best listeners as well. I didn’t need to tell anyone twice (lucky for them). Not only are they the best listeners, but also the nicest bunch of hockey fans you’d ever want to meet. Their conversations mostly centered on how exciting it is to be talking hockey again as they grabbed pocket schedules. Many talked about how they couldn’t wait to watch the games again, either in person or on their talking picture box at home.
One guy did yell at me because the Wild won’t be playing Sid Crosby and the Penguins at home this year, but I couldn’t blame him. He wanted to see the Crosby Kid! Nothing wrong with that. I’m guessing he’ll get over it shortly after the Wild take down the Calgary Flames on opening night.
Great to see everybody on Monday night and remember, less than two weeks to Training Camp!
First Annual Wild.com State Fair Food Review
While at the fair, I was afforded some time to partake of a selection of high cholesterol goodness. As the new self-proclaimed Wild.com food expert, here’s my summary:
Corn dog: I started off with an old standby, a corn dog with mustard, which you can get at any of the 223 pronto pup stands. B+
Turkey Sandwich: I was quick to follow up the pup with a turkey sandwich from Turkey To Go. It doesn’t sound overly dynamic, but these sandwiches contain is chunks of turkey…NOT sliced turkey, and that’s important. Slap on some barbecue sauce and you’ve got a post-Oscar party in your mouth. A
Spaghetti and Meatball on a Stick: This little delicacy is the talk of this year’s Fair Food so I had to try it. It was tasty and unique and I liked how the Oodles of Noodles staff had them ready to go for the long line. BUT, it’s not a lot of food for $4.50. I’m going to give it a B, which I was always told to be proud of because it meant I was “above average.” B
Brownie: I snagged a scrumptious brownie sans nuts from the brownie stand. The only problem is I was tagged with a corner piece, which is never as good as one from the middle of the brownie cake. B- (because of the corner piece)
Minnesota Kabob: I thought I was satisfied for a good week, but the Minnesota kabob stand caught my eye so I washed down the brownie with a steak kabob that needed a bit more seasoning. C
Sweet Martha’s Cookies: Two complaints about the ever-popular Sweet Martha’s. 1) If you want to take some home, you have to buy a bucket for $12.00. 2) Even if you buy a bucket, you still need to eat 20 of the cookies to be able to close it!
I bought a bucket. And they were great. A-
Pork Chop on a Stick: I didn’t know if I’d be back at the fair this year, so I needed one more heart-buster on a stick. The pork chop filled the bill more than adequately. B+
That’s all from the Fair. I’m off to take out a Life Insurance policy.