Check out my first real post on Alright Hamilton!
Despite how much I love living here, there are lots of weird things about Montana. Many of those things are a by-product of the population of the entire state being about 950,000 people. Most of those things have to do with sports. Here we go…
1. Montana has no professional sports teams. What’s the old joke? Why doesn’t Montana have a professional baseball team? Because then Washington would want one. Ouch. Man that joke is actually funny when Minnesota is not the punchline. Not having teams sucks because everyone likes someone different…but not that much…and it’s typically not the Twins. The Mariners are popular, but not that popular. They like the Seahawks and the Broncos, and there are a surprising amount of Vikings fans, but none of them care enought o actually know anything about them other than the fact they “are doing pretty good” or “suck this year”. They are not from Minnesota, but like the Vikes…weird.
I try my hardest to have a legit conversation about pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, the WBC, or the excitement about the young Twins pitching staff, but it usually turns into someone saying something like “baseball is so slow/boring” or “me like football better” or “Dude, Ichiro is so freaking good”…ew.
2. The college sports scene. Because of number 1, number 2 is BIG. There are two Division 1AA/FCS schools in Montana. The University of Montana (Grizzlies), and Montana State (Bobcats). If you have lived here for two or more years, you have likely picked a side…if you haven’t picked sides you have nothing to cheer for and people act like it is the end of the world. Griz/Cat games are IT. They are a BFHD: Big fat hairy deal, not Beukes Familial Hip Dysplasia. Despite the Uof M’s recent football success, these schools are still not big time college sports, no matter what my neighbors tell you. You would think they wre playing in the Super Bowl with their food, flags and jerseys and…beer. Yeah, it’s cool that they are doing well, but not that cool. On another note, Montana State almost made it to the tourney…but didn’t. Check out this dunk though:
There are also a bunch of small NAIA colleges that people think are a big deal. There is Tech, Western, Northern, RMC, Carroll, and UGF. now I’m not totally bashing these schools, because there are some good athletes that play there, but kids who “sign” with these schools…you would think that they had just signed their letter on ESPN to go play at football at LSU or to play hockey for the Gophers. When I first got here some kid was all like, “I signed at Tech” and I was all like “OK…”. I didn’t have the slightest idea what he was talking about. Virginia Tech? Texas Tech? Georgia Tech? Almost anyone who wants to play football in college could sign at one of these NAIA schools. once they get there it’s different, because the competition at most of them is pretty good. Carroll has a great tradition of excellence, and I know some good players who played at Western. It’s just different.
3. Montana High School Sports. Because of number 1 and number 2, number 3 is HUGE. It’s like the 50’s all over again. Hoosiers reincarnate. Not really, but kind of. I love it, but it is weird. Why is it weird? There are les than 200 high schools in the entire state. Minnesota has about 500. Other places have a lot more. There are 4 classes in Montana: C, B, A, and AA. There are 14 teams in AA. 14. Yes, I said 14. That is because most towns are tiny. Most schools consist of an entire county of kids. For basketball, since the state is so rediculously huge, they are split up into divisions…East and West. 7 in each. 7. Sometimes you still have to drive like 6 hours to a game. Imagine it as a conference of sorts. That is who you play your regular season schedule against. Based on your end of season ranking you then play one playoff game, unless you are in first place, then you get a buy. The winners of those 3 games go to state. One game decides who goes to state. One. So let’s say the 7th ranked team beats the 2nd ranked team…they go to state. Potentially the 2nd best team in the state would not go. OK. So then there are 8 teams (4 East and 4 West) in the state tourney. Here is the bracket. Weird.
I miss talking about the Twins. I love Alright Hamilton! because it allows me to “talk” Twins with people who know what they are talking about. Just a glimpse of Montana life. On another note, I got promoted to Varsity Offensive Line coach for Glacier High School, so next fall you might hear more about the Montana High School Sports scene. I’m sure you can hardly wait.
OK. So here’s how it is.
My mom was kind enough to email me an article that she knew would be of interest to me. The title of the email was “for your reading pleaure”. I instantly knew it was good. All the email had in it was a link to the an Owatonna People’s Press article. For those of you who don’t know, Owatonna, MN is where I grew up and lived for the first 18 years of my life. My parent’s still live there, and the People’s Press is the news source in print form for this town of 20,ooo people. It is not a good publication.
Upon clicking on the link, I see a headline: Man makes victims disrobe, charged for aggravated robbery. I thought to myself, “self, your mom knows your kind of humor.” Little did I know the surprise that was awaiting me.
The story proceeded to tell me that:
“According to the criminal complaint, two juveniles snuck out of a parent’s home and met up with a third juvenile to visit a friend’s home. The three juveniles entered the home but did not find anyone there. They went looking for their friend in the basement but as they begin to leave the basement, they found [a man] at the top of the stairs. [The man] allegedly pushed the three back into the basement and accused them of attempting a robbery. [He] made them empty their pockets, leaving two cell phones, about $11 in cash and a prescription inhaler. One of the juveniles estimated the man kept them in the basement for about five to 10 minutes before he ordered them to strip naked and carry their clothes upstairs with them. [He] then ordered the juveniles to throw their clothes on the floor and run outside naked.”
Funny story. Scary for the kids, no doubt, but love the part about when the dude made them take their clothes off..other than the fact that it’s really creepy. The part about the story that really piqued my interest is the name of the the guy charged. I took it out of the paragraph above to keep you in suspense, but his name is…Justin Sellner. Ok, so what’s the big deal about that you might ask?
Let me give you some facts about Justin Sellner:
- Justin Sellner is approximately the same age as me…that’s how old I am!
- Justin Sellner is from Owatonna, MN…me too.
- Justin Sellner went to Lincoln Elementary School (home of the RoadRunners)…so did I.
- Justin Sellner was “Hawk” from the Legion of Doom (Road warriors) for halloween in 3rd grade. His dad even shaved his hair into a mohawk for extra realness factor. How do I know? I was there, sucka.
- Justin Sellner once played the game “bloody knuckles” with Mr. Olsen in 5th grade…his knuckles bled. How do I know? I watched in amazement.
- Justin Sellner had a rattail for most of the 12 years I went to school with him…impressive huh? I know I saw it.
- Justin Sellner introduced me to a lot of words that I had never heard before.
- Justin Sellner is going to jail for 8 years.
This blew my mind. Ok, not really. In fact, there was probably a time in my life where I said, “I bet Justin Sellner spends at least 8 years of his life in jail”.
Has anyone that you spent a lot of time with gone to jail for a long time? Please comment and let me know. It was a weird experience for me. Apparently he had been charged a couple of years ago as well with kidnapping and armed robbery or something crazy. The article said that they found some incriminating things at his house…including, but not limited to a hammer in a sock, a knife, and the kids’ phones and their money.
Wow. I wonder if he has a rattail?
This past Saturday our life changed…big time. We have been thinking about getting a puppy for a while now. That was one of my Christmas presents…Em’s consent for a puppy…a “medium sized puppy”, as she put it. This was how our weekend went…
Friday Night: Em and I decided we would go “look at” some lab puppies that a breeder had just outside of Kalispell. After checking out the pups, the plan was that we would go up to the mountain for 3 or 4 hours to ski while we thought about the whole puppy thing…it was a great plan.
Saturday: We didn’t set an alarm and woke up around 8:00 to see a beautiful sunny day. Got our ski stuff ready. Drove out to West Valley to see pups. See pups. Pups are too cute to handle. Leave breeder. Go to mountain. Ski down mountain several times. It was awesome and beautiful and my face got burned. Talk about pups on lift and in car and at Whitefish DQ (Minnesota”s own). Decide that we can handle two pups. Yes I said two pups. I know. I know we’re crazy. Yes, we thought about it, thanks mom. Buy supplies. Buy two pups…Caroline and Maddie, two 3.5 month old yellow lab sisters. Madness ensues for rest of Saturday.
Sunday: 3:00 am, let pups out to do biznass. Pups do biznass. Yaaay!!! Good potty!!! Put pups back in kennel and go back to bed. 8:00, wake up for church, get ready at let pups out. Biz. Yay. Kennel. Church.
Timeout…So we had bought these “kennels” from target thinking we would save some cash, right? Recession, duh. Well the “kennels” were nylon and mesh, and thus, soft. They also suck. Suck big time.
Get back from Church. Smell poop. Go upstairs. See poop. Walk further. See more poop. Disaster…dogs out, poop and other various household items everywhere. Walls, floor, books, papers, dogs feet and hair, everwhere. Needless to say it was frustrating. Yelling happened. Swearing happened. From both of us. Some of it was directed at the dogs.
But of course, we love them and they are getting better. Just wanted to give you a taste of what our glorious weekend was like. We are tired. You should really meet the girls someday though, they are sweet and beautiful. Here’s to Emily not getting pregnant any time soon.
p.s. we bought a new real kennel. It’s money. Dog proof, even… imagine that. When I went to return the cheap-ass nylon one this morning (which, by the way, is nearly impossible to get back in the packaging because of it’s nifty “pop-up” feature) the target customer service lady was a) incredibly surprised that i had gotten it back in the packaging, and b) not at all surprised that i was returning said product…she was all like “most people who return this don’t even try to put it back in because it is so hard”. duh.
Hey guys welcome to my blog! It is officially open to the public, as I posted the link on facebook. Hopefully it will spread like crazy! Actually I am fairly certain that it won’t, but if you want to keep up with what is going on in my brain, this is a way to do that. I will try to make it somewhat entertaining as well.
I am currently sitting in my “south office”, Wheat Montana Bakery and Deli in Kalispell. This is where I work when I don’t want to drive all the way to my real office. It is a great place with a friendly staff that knows my name…I appreciate them greatly. They let me use the internet, and don’t get sick of me when i take up a table. Katrin (pronounced cat-rin) is my main lady here, so if you ever come, make sure you greet her. Thats all for now, as I am preparing for YL club tonight and getting ready to go to school lunches…
My link of the day is haasertime.blogspot.com
This is community blog that i will be starting to contribute to. A couple of friends of mine run it, and it is great! Mostly Minnesota Twins blogging, but also just hilarious and entertaining posts. Check out the Joe Crede limericks for a good time…