If Minnesota really is "The State of Hockey," then anyone who watched yesterday's outdoors hockey game in Buffalo between Pittsburgh and the Sabres, spent most of the time up to their garter belts in memories (yeah, hockey players wear garter belts).
There was a time when this was the way hockey was played -- outdoors, on ponds, in snow, and with additional rules (any puck that drops in open water is automatic icing) and odd equipment (we used comic books taped underneath our pants as shin guards).
They were the best of times. And yet, a line in today's Associated Press story on the game jumped off the page as if to scream "this is what's wrong with hockey!"
Playing at the home of the NFL's Buffalo Bills and in elements way more suited for football than hockey, Crosby won the NHL's second outdoor game -- and first in the United States -- in dramatic fashion.
Oh dear. More suited for football than hockey???? Hockey isn't a winter sport anymore? The real snow warriors are football players now?
This is what indoor hockey, Zamboni machines, warm dressing rooms, and youth hockey leagues have given us. Minnesota, save yourselves while you still can.
Bring back the open water icing rule and comic-book kneepads!
(Photo: Dave Sandford, Getty Images)
I'm interested in talking to Kenyans in Minnesota who may have a connection (family etc.) back in the country. I'm also interested in talking to Minnesotans who have worked or lived in Kenya, to help us put a personal face on the situation. Please contact me via e-mail.
Note also that Kenyans in Minnesota are rallying at the Capitol at noon, calling for an end to the violence.
We're monitoring several blogs for a better sense of what's happening in the country.
White African, for example, details the value of the Internet at times such as this:
First, though the internet is good for us in the diaspora and a few in Kenya, it just doesn't have the reach to the wananchi (average citizen) in Kenya. The government knows that shutting down radio, TV and print is still the most effective way to squash news.
At Kenyan Pundit, Ory Okolloh writes:
Been watching footage of the situation in Eldoret and keep wondering where the police, military are? You can't get access to city mortuary because there are like 60 guys guarding it, but vigilantes have set up 30 roadblocks on the Eldoret road - what the hell is going on?
For images from Kenya -- and, yes, they are disturbing. Be forewarned. -- see the Insight Kenya blog. It's operated by Joseph Karoki, who set it up immediately after the elections there. He is updating it several times an hour.
Mental Acrobatics, described as "the personal blog of a Kenyan patriot, African man, citizen of the world," has been mentioned by several ex-pats of Kenya as a source they're using to stay in touch.
Eldoret, ladies and gentlemen, things are very very bad in Eldoret. Homes being raided. Churches being burnt. Shops being looted. Murder and rape in broad daylight. Ethnic groups after each other. Let me tell you this is much much bigger than Kikuyu -v- Luo. Pamoja.
Be sure to read the comments attached to that post.
There are also a wide range of images on Flickr.
Update 6:29 p.m. As I was about to leave for the day, I got an e-mail from Julia Opoti in Minneapolis:
I am one of the founders and an editor with kenyaImagine, a Kenya opinion and analysis weblog. I live in Mn, but our writers are Kenyans from all over the world. Over the last couple of days, I have been keeping a live blog (the articles with *) on the events going on in Kenya.
Looking forward to hearing from you
(Photo: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images)
The MySpace page for Elizabeth Rhodes, 23, offers a sad commentary in the aftermath of an accident in Arden Hills in which a car, driven by Rhodes, traveling the wrong way on Highway 10, struck the patrol car of Ramsey County sheriff's deputy Joseph Lopez on New Year's Day, killing his wife.
The last log-in was New Year's Eve and the greeting on the page announces "Beth is ready to start drinking."
(h/t: Greta Cunningham, Tim Nelson - MPR)
The Uptake has a video presentation from Corrine McDermid, who has traveled from Denver to Iowa to cover the caucuses. Her piece centers on the difference in accomodations for "legacy" media vs. "bloggers."
But what she also has, apparently unintentionally, captured were the similarities between the two media: Hundreds of people, sitting in a room, watching a television. It's pretty much the same set-up we'll see in St. Paul later this year, where bloggers have already made a big deal out of being allowed to sit inside the Xcel. If you have a new way of covering news, why cover it the old way?
The story of the Iowa caucuses -- like the stories from national political conventions -- is not in auditoriums, large rooms, or even on television. Told this way, there's virtually nothing you can glean from their reports of any value.
After more than a year of listening to the candidates talking in Iowa, there's been very little coverage of Iowans. It's a story best told from someone's kitchen.(6 Comments)
For many Minnesotans, perhaps, Kenya is just another African country coming apart at the seams (See post on Kenya blogs). Imagine how we would feel, however, if we were a half a planet away from the United States, watching images of a massacre in a Lutheran church because a president rigged an election, and on the last phone call home, your mother told you she was out of food.
That's what it's like today to be a Kenyan in Minnesota.
About 100 of them gathered amidst the disinterest of most reporters at the Capitol today to sing their home country's national anthem and do whatever they could to ask for the international community's help to make the bloodshed stop.
"This is Kenya; this isn't some godforsaken country," pleaded Siyad Abdullahi, the rally's organizer.
Behind the politics of it all, however, is a personal struggle.
"We cry every night," said Hercules Otieno, who held up a blank sign to protest the news blackout from Kenya. (Listen - mp3)
Peter Kengere (above right) says his son returned to Kenya for a funeral, and now he can't get out. (Listen - mp3)
Edwins Omodi (above left) has his mother, brother, and sisters in Kenya. "An African family is a big family," he said. (Listen - mp3)
Nehphat Oliech's family hasn't had anything to eat for three days. "We don't even think in terms of tribes," he said. "We think of Kenyans." (Listen - mp3)
Another gentleman, he identified himself as Reverend Clemons, has been keeping in touch via text messages. (Listen - mp3)
"Talk to me next," many people said to me at the Capitol, though the temperature was near zero. And while each had family back in Kenya, they were most interested in expressing their worry for the future of democracy.
Later, in the warmth of the Capitol rotunda, they sang their country's national anthem, which sounded very much like a dirge. (Listen - mp3)(2 Comments)