Sports advice for the Northland in 2007

How are you doing on your New Year's resolutions? Are some or all of them broken already? Did you even bother to scratch out a list this year? Fortunately, we're only a week into 2007, so there's still time to draw up a list of resolutions. If yo...

How are you doing on your New Year's resolutions? Are some or all of them broken already? Did you even bother to scratch out a list this year?

Fortunately, we're only a week into 2007, so there's still time to draw up a list of resolutions. If you need some help, consult the suggestions listed below. Chances are good that one or more of them would make a nice addition to your list.

Here are some suggestions for local athletes, coaches and sports fans:

UMD men's hockey team -- Resolve to climb out of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's basement and into the top five. Coach Scott Sandelin believes that is a realistic goal (plus, the Bulldogs currently are riding a three-game winning streak), so we'll make it an official resolution. If the Bulldogs finish strong, we'll make an early 2008 resolution for UMD to return to the Frozen Four, but first things first.

UMD women's hockey team -- Resolve to return to national prominence. To be sure, UMD's name is firmly on the map of women's college hockey, but it's been a few years since the Bulldogs brought home that hardware and visited the White House. Another national title or two and coach Shannon Miller will be on a first-name basis with Dubya.


Hockey players of all ages -- Resolve to leave the fisticuffs to the goons in the NHL. Yes, hockey is a physical sport, but there is no place for brawls or dirty play at the amateur level.

Baseball fans -- Resolve to attend at least one Duluth Huskies baseball game this summer at Wade Stadium. Summer in the Twin Ports is fleeting -- blink and you might miss it -- and one of the best ways to enjoy it is watching baseball on a warm evening with hotdogs, popcorn and cold beverages. If you already attend Huskies games on a regular basis, then resolve to double your attendance.

Grandma's Marathon fence-sitters -- Resolve this year to finally enter the big race (and do so soon, because it fills up fast) or at least the half-marathon. Completing a marathon is a major check mark on a list of life's accomplishments.

Prep and college basketball players -- Resolve to spend extra time at the free-throw line before and after practice the next few months. Free throws play a vital role in the playoffs and the extra practice shots could pay a big dividend in a close game.

Alpine and Nordic skiers -- Resolve to perform a snow dance several times a day until the Northland is a true winter wonderland again and meets no longer resemble dryland training in October.

Prep wrestlers -- Resolve to stay away from sweets and extra pieces of Aunt Mabel's apple pie. Making weight is always tough for wrestlers, but a little extra discipline can keep the scales tipping in your balance.

Sports fans curious about curling -- Resolve to finally learn how curling's scoring system works. It's not really that complicated and you will appear smart to your friends when the Winter Olympics roll around.

Athletes of all ages -- Resolve to let your athletic prowess do the talking, and not your lips or jaws. They call it trash talking for a reason -- it's nothing but garbage and it needs to be taken out of sports.


One more for all athletes -- Resolve to not copy the ways in which professional athletes celebrate their scores. Act like you've been there. Leave the goofy gyrations and poses for the dance floor. On second thought, nix them altogether.

Sports parents -- Resolve to not live vicariously through your children's athletic feats. Remember, the bottom line in amateur sports is for athletes to have fun and learn valuable life lessons, and that gets lost when children are constantly pushed to excel beyond their peers. Let your children form their own sports ambitions.

Sports fans in general -- Resolve to tone it down a notch or two with officials. They're only human, you know, and deserve better treatment than boos, catcalls and taunts when they make questionable calls. When in doubt, refer to the golden rule.

Professional couch potatoes -- Resolve to match each minute of inertness spent in front of the TV with exercise. There is no greater paradox in life than supremely out-of-shape fans spending hours watching superbly conditioned athletes. Join the club.

I could go on and on, but that should be enough to get your list started. Here's to a great 2007 of sports in the Northland, and be sure to keep those resolutions intact.

Rick Lubbers is the News Tribune sports editor. He can be reached at (218) 723-5317 or .

Rick Lubbers has been in his role since 2014 and at the News Tribune since 2005. Previous stops include the Superior Telegram (1999-2005) and Budgeteer News (1997-1999). Prior to that, he worked at the St. Cloud Times and Annandale Advocate in Minnesota, and the Greenville Daily News and Grand Rapids Press in Michigan. He received his journalism degree at Central Michigan University.
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