Friday, October 23, 2009

Letter To Ralph Englestad Arena GM

(above) Ralph Englestad Arena in Grand Forks, North Dakota is a nice place to visit, but be careful exiting the building
_______________________________________________

UND Athletic Director Brian Faison commented in UND's Area Voices Blog.

"We have one of the best men's hockey programs, the best collegiate hockey facility and the best college hockey fans in the country, but there were events during last weekend's home hockey series that point to a need for change," UND athletic director Brian Faison said. "The vast majority of the nearly 12,000 people in the building both nights created an electric atmosphere.

"We don't want our fans to dampen their enthusiasm for Fighting Sioux hockey one decibel, but what I am asking them to do is direct their passion in a more positive manner."

__________________________________________________

Mr. Jody Hodgson replied to my email.

Damien,

I am concerned about these issues, steps are being taken, and I share your desire to shine the most favorable light possible on college hockey. Thanks for taking the time to touch base.

Sincerely,

Jody

__________________________________________________

I took the liberty of writing a letter to the General Manager of Ralph Englestad Arena today and "cc'd" a few UND bigwigs. I'm not expecting any sort of a reply since litigation may be pending, but we'll see what happens.
Jody Hodgson
Ralph Englestad Arena - General Manager
Grand Forks, North Dakota

Ms. Hodgson,

While I wasn't present at Ralph Englestad Arena this weekend, the behavior of the fans in your facility is giving a black eye to the entire college hockey community. I hope you take steps to improve fan behavior and safety inside and outside the arena.

North Dakota fans embarrassed

Poor treatment of visiting press last season

Fan almost killed at UND Hockey Game

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Damien Goddard
University of Denver '88
Houston, TX
LetsGoDU Blog

cc:
Mike Chambers - Denver Post
Brian Faiason - UND Athletic Director
Dr. Robert Kelley - UND President

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

maybe do some research before doing a letter like this in the future. just a thought.

jody is a man, not a woman.

dggoddard said...

Maybe thats part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Just beacuse DU got pounded by UND at the ralph and your little dasher troll started crying, so next time look at the facts before posting, it was gopher fans who started the fight!

dggoddard said...

Lemme see if I got this straight.

Gopher fans run around starting fights. Then strategically wait for a Sioux grad to break up the fight so that an enraged Sioux fan will attack him.

Are you sure there isn't a second Gopher fan starting fights on the Grassy Knoll behind Englestd Arena?

Dirty said...

I like how you coyly pimp your blog in your email signature. Just so nonchalant about it. A little "Hey, maybe Jody will send the link out to all his GM buddies, a couple will like it & pass it on to others and before you know it I got a five book contract with Random House!" Excellent marketing.

jeffund07 said...

research is overrated. I am an alum of UND07. Still a huge hockey fan but I agree with dggoddard in that UND has the worst fan base in college hockey and makes the sport look like a joke.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Goddard,

I am writing to let you know that I though your letter to UND was in very poor taste. A man's life is literally hanging in the balance and I don't believe this is the proper time to use what happened to him to attempt to drive UND fans to post on your blog.

I would not have been so offended if you would have written the letter and sent it privately but the fact that you posted it on your blog removed all sincerity and shows me you are doing it soley to goad UND fans and increase traffic on your webpage.

I respectfully ask that you remove the letter from your webpage.

dggoddard said...

This site is non-profit and accepts no advertising revenue. In no way do I benefit from more traffic or irate hate mail from fans.

Actually two men's lives are hanging in the balance and that is a tragedy. One in the hospital and another in the court system. Hopefully we all (myself included) can learn from this experience and prevent it from happening again.

I posted the letter in the blog to show that I'm not just sitting around bitching on the internet. Letters to the GM, AD & UND Prez can make a difference.

An email from a DU fan might not do much, but letters from UND alums and fans would make a huge difference.

I don't just blame UND or the Arena. The WCHA has known about fan behavior problems and done nothing. This incident could of happened at any NCAA school or Arena in the country.

Its a shame that nothing proactive seems to happen until plaintiff attorneys win a huge lawsuit, but I hope that this incident will change the way arenas are managed in the WCHA.

Read this article. Its by a UND fan about the incident and its excellent.

http://illegalcurve.com/2009/10/21/college-hockey-fan-behavior/

Anonymous said...

OK; fast forward to Detroit, Michigan this spring... when The "Fighting" Sioux are ELIMINATED in the 1st round of the NCAA Campionshp tournament by ... I dunno; say, Clarkson or somebody. Because even your (meaning UND) players are caught up in all this friggin off-ice drama bullsheet and they let it hamper thier game. Other teams are not that shallow-minded... teams like Denver. THAT is why Nodak fails!

Anonymous said...

Every year there are stories about fans going over board or even players and coaches in recent years.... is it just me or does it seem like North Dakota is always the common factor in all these incidents?? It's UND and MN or UND and DU or UND & WISC or even UND & Mankato... it doesnt matter who it is; UND is always one of the teams.... at what point does this stop being a coincidence?

Here are the reasons in my opinion:

1. North Dakota is so boring that if their Sue aren't thriving.... chances are they have nothing else positive in their life other than beer of course.... oh and snowmobiles and tractors too I guess.
2. They think their team is so precious because they won 7 championships many many many many years ago... and so they think they are entitled to act however they want based upon this past success. (they ='s players, fans, coaches)
3. They are pissed because they will be called the FlickerTails in another 2 years. Which is a direct hit to thier "precious" Sue history.... or lack there of in recent years.
4. They hate the fact that their best players look like they should make cookies for Kebbler.... Duncan, Genogay, and even their coach too.... but their coach doesn't fit the decription of "best"; but I just wanted to throw him in too... over/under on how many times he flips off the ref this year??? I will take the over at 2.5!

Anonymous said...

Your an idiot if you think UND is always causing problems, in the broad scope of college hockey, that is not the case looking across the country. I'm sorry DU hockey is so boring you have to try to start drama here. Every fan base has their d-bags. I've dealt with the drunken UMD d-bags at the F5. Get over it and move on. I'd focus on your team's inability to win the 2nd game of a series and play defense.

Anonymous said...

Damien, eff these haters. I support you! Someone needed to say what we're all thinking.

And it's clear to me that you mentioned the LetsGoDu blog to show your credibility as a hockey fan and community leader.

Chelsea said...

You're not your. Just saying. :)

Anonymous said...

Also, Anonymous at 9:46 doesn't know the difference between "your" and "you're" -- so it's kind of ironic that he called someone else an idiot.


I'm just sayin.

Anonymous said...

Haha... Chelsea knows what I'm talking about.

Chelsea said...

Anon 10:00 I'm glad there is someone else who recognized the grammar. That DU education is sure paying off haha.

Donald Dunlop said...

DG wasn't pimping his blog for hits ...

Is a better example of pimping for hits

Anonymous said...

Boy oh boy; I don't care what anybody says - no matter who you're cheering for or where you live. The DU vs. UND games are going to be the most exciting, competitive and most-talked about college hockey games of the year. PERIOD! Every sports fan better tune in for these epic games, because games with this much emotion don't happen every day.

dggoddard said...

It looks like the winds of change are sweeping across the plains of North Dakota. An editorial calls out misbehaving UND fans in today's GF Herald. This is a huge step in the right direction.

http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/138053/

Anonymous said...

I used to take my son to the DU/CC games in Colorado Springs. Over time, their fans (not just the students) became more agressive and confrontational. We quit going because it just wasn't fun anymore.

I'm sure this goes on at all arenas. It's a very poor trend.

Anonymous said...

http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/138053


With all the problems CO14ers has had with ushers over the years, is this really something we want to support? What would they think of pudgy guy wearing a toga? I say we need more cowbell and less snooty PC academicians attending hockey games.

CC Sucks!

Anonymous said...

Dg,

Anyone with a schred of common senses will look at your blog and see that you have not ounce of credibility. There are poor fans in all sports, venues and levels. This is a very unfortunate and sad example of just that. This is just another fruitless attempt by you to discredit UND. It's obvious by your actions in the past and currently that you have complete hatred and jeoulsy toward UND and especially to the hockey program. I'm sure your having a good laugh with all your DU brethern over the comments. Pretty sick to use this story as a way to generate some "extra" hits.

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 11:28 --

"LetsGoDu is offensive and condescending to other teams, but in a creative and classy kind of way."

Deal with it. :)

Also, I love how you're so pissed but you continue to read and participate.

Anonymous said...

11:28......quit yer bitching and go back to your cave.

Anonymous said...

Pretty much every team in the WCHA is sick of UND's BS - I say they just kick em out of the league and make them go play in the Atlatic Hockey League... Nobody would miss them and their arrogant fan base.

dggoddard said...

Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by blogs with guts. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Mr. Anonymous Poster?

I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for the Fighting Sioux and curse the the Pioneers; you have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Coach Gwozdecky's March, while tragic, probably saved lives and that my blog, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at UND Keggers you want me on this blog, you need me on this blog.

We use words like honor, sportsmanship, loyalty. We use then as the backbone of the great sport of college hockey. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to an Anonymous Poster who rises and sleeps under the blanket of safety that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it.

I would rather you just said "thank you," and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest that you pick up your keyboard and surf the internet elsewhere. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

Dirty said...

dggoddard would certainly miss UND. Who would he constantly taunt if the Sioux weren't in the WCHA? And what would all the Pioneer, Gopher and Badger fans complain about? No, UND provides a valuable service to the WCHA and it's fans.

Twister said...

DG,

That is classic!

Anonymous said...

A few posts below this one is a post about a bar near the DU campus closing because it was targeted by Liquor Control Board for allowing people who were underage to drink there repeatedly, at least that's what the commenter’s seem to think. In the post DG recounts a melee that left a DU hockey player stabbed, a melee that left another mans nose broken and an alleged attack on one of our own by the lax team. Yet there is nothing but the fondest memories in the comment section that lets me know exactly how DG feels about the very thing he claims to take issue with and in fact is very ironic. I for one am disheartened, this incident is grotesque and bad for college hockey as a whole. By pinning it on one particular group of people is no different than racism and the comments here make me ashamed to be associated with the people on this blog, even if it is just by the team we root for.

Mustard's Last Stand II

Anonymous said...

you just did, respond that is

Anonymous said...

When is the last time the Sue won it all?? Well the Gophs and DU have each won 2 times since than! Is this the driving force behind your pathetic behavior?

UND and their fans are gay - winter is coming so go back to your tractors and finish up your picking your crops before its too late.... When did you guys learn to use the internet anyways?? The bottom line is you snowmobile riddin, moon shine swillin farm boys need to act like adults from time to time; espcially in public. I know the Ralph has tractor parking... but its still a public place.

Anonymous said...

The legend of Damien GoddardBy Mike Chambers Comments Print
E-mail
Share
DU super fan Damien Goddard – affectionately dubbed “Toga Man” by Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky – sent me 10 text messages this afternoon. The subjects were the same, all about what was going on in Grand Forks, N.D.

First, he announced he had just landed at DIA from Houston, where he lives, and beers were to be consumed before and after tonight’s game at his favorite Irish pub, followed by:
- UND 1, CC 0 … 10 min, left in 1st per. (sic)
- UND 2, CC 1 … 5 min. left in 1st per. (sic)
- UND 2, CC 1 … end 1st period (sic)
- UND 2, CC 2 … 17 min left 2nd period (sic)
- UND 2, CC 3 … 6 min left 2nd period (sic)
Etc., etc., etc. … updates after EVERY GOAL, capped by:
- UND 4, CC 4 final

Is this man sick (or sic)?

No, he’s just the best in the business when it comes to loving his alma mater and the WCHA, and college hockey in general.

Goddard, founder of the ridiculously well-done website LetsGoDU.com, is the one guy WHO REALLY, REALLY CARES about the Pios winning their fourth MacNaughton Cup since 1986, and third this decade.

His text messages confirmed that, given that DU is in a tight race with UND for the MacNaughton Cup, which of course, goes to the regular-season champion of the WCHA.

Goddard and I met sometime during DU’s back-to-back titles (2004-05), and although I wasn’t a fan of blogging at the time, I’ve come to appreciate his work, which actually benefits mine, and his passion for the program. He links my stuff and scours the country for any and all other DU-related material, and his format is as professional as it is funny.

I can guess DU doesn’t support Goddard, who is behind the “Bring Back Boone” campaign, but the school has to appreciate his love for the crimson-and-gold and the publicity he provides.

Let’s face it, there aren’t enough DU hockey fans to compete with the enormous interest at most WCHA schools like North Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota, but Goddard makes up for that.

If you’re a true Pios fan, check out his website. Or better yet, go to Jordan’s Pub after tonight’s game or next Saturday’s game against CC and meet this man, this myth.

At the CC game, he’ll be the one with the Toga, standing below the scoreboard at the southwest entrance.
..................................................................................................................

apparently, you really need to get a life my friend. What are you like 12 or something?

dggoddard said...

Is this Chancellor Coombe posting under the pseudonym "Anonymous." You old dog.

I loved that Chambers article. He really captured the spirit of LetsGoDU.

Can you post some articles from the DU Clarion in the mid-Eighties when I started the "Bleacher Creatures?"

Anonymous said...

Dirty - normally we have CC to rip apart but their fans have been silent recently. Further, CC fans are pretty good sports even when things get heated, although it appears that they have been taking lessons in boorish behavior from the UND fans at least when DU plays in the Springs.

For some strange reason you Susie fans have gravitated to this board and just started baiting the DU fans. My theory is that the Minny fans simply outnumber you on the other boards and use big words that you can't understand so you have come here but once again the big words are throwing you for a loop so you lash out in frustration (like the UND idiot who posted the "coma boy" rant)

I'll let you in on a little secret - no one here truly gives a rats ass about the Susies or whatever they will be called shortly. We have had a bigger rivalry with Minny over the years than the Susies.

dggoddard said...

Mr. Jody Hodgson responded to my email (below). Its great to see that he's working on a solution.

This proactive approach will surely benefit all Fighting Sioux fans and future visiting fans to Englestad Arena.


Damien,

I am concerned about these issues, steps are being taken, and I share your desire to shine the most favorable light possible on college hockey. Thanks for taking the time to touch base.

Sincerely,

Jody

Dirty said...

It would have been if he addressed his response to Ms. Goddard.

dggoddard said...

That would have been awesome. :-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 3:48,

Your theory is grossly inaccurate and offensive and cannot be taken seriously.

I also find it ironic that you accuse UND posters of lashing out in frustration when they post and at the same time your post is clearly lashing out in frustration at a comment made by Dirty.

You obviously care about the Sioux enough to post a comment telling us you don't care about the Sioux. A more effective strategy would have been to ignore all comments regarding the Sioux.

Lastly, congrats on your awesome rivalry with the Gophers you guys have had a lot of classic games with them lately especially compared to the boring passionless games you have had with the Sioux...or not. Have fun being their 7th or 8th biggest rival.

Anonymous said...

“By pinning it on one particular group of people is no different than racism and the comments here make me ashamed to be associated with the people on this blog, even if it is just by the team we root for.
Mustard's Last Stand II”


You understand that this is about hockey fans whose mascot is an indian not the actual Native Americans right? It’s not racist to say Sioux (hockey fans) are idiots any more than guys working behind a hot dog cart are.

Anonymous said...

Hey 5:20 "grossly inaccurate and offensive" and I am "lashing out" - a bit thin skinned aren't we. Such big words too. Impressive. You must have a vocab quiz tomorrow.

The truth obviously hurts your feelings but facts are facts my confused friend. I read the other boards where the Minny fans tear the Susie fans new assholes on a regular basis.

Don't confuse the Susie team with their psychotic fans. I honestly don't care about the Susies and I truly believe that most DU fans don't either. The "rivalry" has only developed because of the Bina incident and when we beat you for the NCAA championship recently. Other than that there has never been any great animosity or rivalry between DU and the Susies other than the visiting Susie fans making complete fools of themselves when they visit Magness.

We have always had a good rivalry with CC and the games are hard fought but always played with dignity. We have always had a good rivalry with Minny too. I guess that these are not considered a good rivalry in Susie land in that we don't expect to get sucker punched in the handshake line or get sucker punched & hog tied from trying to avoid a fight and the subsequent game miscouduct/suspension. Oops, there are those darn facts rearing their ugly head again.

Tell me, what do we have to do to make cretins such as yourself disappear from this board? If we sit tight we get lunatic ranting such as that from the "coma boy" poster. If we address the situation as I did "I hurt your feelings" and I am a very bad person (sniff).

I think that it is time for you to go back to the Minny board and bend over for them.

Anonymous said...

So you're saying it's ok to be racist as long as someone else is also being racist, I see your logic, but I put no stock in it as a solution. My shame doesn't come from the acts of people I do not associate my self but from those I used to believe were my brethren. I may not respond to any further comments as I’m trying to wean myself from this blog, witch is very hard by the way.

Mustard's Last Stand II

Anonymous said...

As a Minny Fan I hardly even look forward to the Sue series these days... their act is tired and old. Some shit every year and its same stupid stuff. I guess there is just something in the water that makes everyone up in GF act like a complete jackass.

I get more amped up for UMD or Cloudy these days... or Sconi and DU.

Anonymous said...

Dggoddard - I like the letter to Jody; I am sure it won't do jack... but if nothing else it brings the issue to the table so when future things happen he might have to take action... and who are we kidding; future incidents will occur.

dggoddard said...

I think UND will be able to change the culture in the Ralph pretty quickly if they want to.

They have the best building in college hockey, wonderful players and passionate fans. We all know the majority of their fans aren't thugs. Its just a matter of empowering the majority and starting a new tradition of sportsmanship.

At DU we had a tougher situation. A majority of our fans were passive and resistant to change. Its taken Gwozdecky & staff fifteen years, we were "lucky" with the championships & Ritchie's building donation was a godsend. School spirit is building and there are lots of great things going on in the Athletic Department & on campus. Lets hope DU can keep the momentum going.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 7:21
"As a Minny Fan I hardly even look forward to the Sue series these days..."

That's understandable given Minnesota's recent record against UND. :D

Anonymous said...

Goddard - you must be joking about the Susie fans developing a new tradition of sportmanship. While I recognize your attempt at extending an olive branch to the crazy Susie fans who are presently flooding your site, you clearly have not spent an extended period of time in Grand Forks as I have. No way in hell will sportsmanship ever be a part of the scene there. No-fucking-way.

Hockey is the end all be all in Grand Forks. Period. People live and die by the UND team in Grand Forks. The typical Susie fan not only wants to beat you but they want to kick the shit out of you while you are licking your wounds. You have to have grown up in these parts - it is a Midwestern thing to an extent. They have always been and always will be passionate and obnoxious about the Susies - it is just that the obnoxiousness level has been ramped up in recent years.

In Denver, hockey is just another form of entertainment. I remember Mazacco during a broadcast refering to DU fans as a "wine & cheese crowd" which hits the nail on the head. I love DU dearly but DU fans from the community and students at DU have always been apathetic at best about the hockey program. I was there in the 70's and know first hand.

DU fans resistant to change? Absolute bullshit. We prayed for change but the administration didn't give a shit about the hockey program. In fact we almost shelved hockey just like we did with the football program.

We had shitty coaching for years (Johnston, Backstrom, etc.) until we finally got a good coach who basically gave DU an ultimatium - build a new arena so that I can build a top program and recruit top talent or I am out of here. They built the arena, the coach stayed and the rest is history. Luck had nothing to do with it. Gobs of money and talent did.

Anonymous said...

“So you're saying it's ok to be racist as long as someone else is also being racist”
Mustard's Last Stand II

Nope, I’m saying Sioux fans are as dumb as guys that work at a hot dog stand.

vizoroo said...

It seems only reasonable to me that a fans/students/alums from both teams should be able to attend college hockey games without fear of physical violence. Cheering for your team is part of the sports fans' experience. You shouldn't have to sit on your hands and quietly watch your team score a goal or be afraid to take exception to a bad call by the ref. (Didn't the officials used to be the bad guys?) Good natured exchanges between rivals is expected, but the key is good natured.

If the Ralph is the Palace of college hockey, fearing reprisals from sioux fans should not be part of the equation. I'm sure the UND admin is aware that fans drink before and during the game. It is time they stepped up to prevent the drunks and cretins drom despoiling their Palace.

NoDak fans need to step up. Cheer for your team, but it is not necessary to physically intimidate or denigrate other fans. A part of contact sports is controlled violence. Sitting in the stands is not a contact sport.NoDak fans need to learn some control

Anonymous said...

DG, what's that stand for, Douche Guy? Haha! Chump! You should change the name of your blog to "I'm secretly in love with teh Sioux".

Anonymous said...

5:09.....yawn. Your 3rd grade humor is wack. Go back to your swingset before the babysitter spanks you.

dggoddard said...

From UND's Area Voices blog by Brad Schlossman. :-)

http://www.areavoices.com/undhockey/?blog=62508

"UND, in conjunction with Ralph Engelstad Arena, says its willing to take suggestions to avoid some of the unfortunate incidents that happened at the rink during last weekend's series against Minnesota.

Discussions already have started with students, season-ticket holders, event staff and security personnel in this process.

"We have one of the best men's hockey programs, the best collegiate hockey facility and the best college hockey fans in the country, but there were events during last weekend's home hockey series that point to a need for change," UND athletic director Brian Faison said. "The vast majority of the nearly 12,000 people in the building both nights created an electric atmosphere.

"We don't want our fans to dampen their enthusiasm for Fighting Sioux hockey one decibel, but what I am asking them to do is direct their passion in a more positive manner."

Anonymous said...

"It seems only reasonable to me that a fans/students/alums from both teams should be able to attend college hockey games without fear of physical violence."


I absolutely agree that visitors should be safe.

However, if you're stupid enough to sit in the other teams student section and taunt the kids you should expect to get a beer bath during the game.

If you're not at the Ralph and you yell Sioux after the national anthem, you should expect a beer bath even if you're sitting in the other teams alumni section. The same would be true of any visiting fans sieving the home teams goalie.