We have only two moderately large universities in our state, the University of North Dakota, and North Dakota State University. Ice hockey is king at UND, while football reigns at NDSU. Passions run high on game days, especially when the NDSU Bison play the SDSU (South Dakota State University) Jack Rabbits.

Husband and I don’t care very much about any sports teams. We must admit to divided loyalties when NDSU plays SDSU, though, as our son and daughter-in-law both work for SDSU. Last week before the big football match-up between the two teams, Husband wore a SDSU jersey to a work meeting where he knew there were several NDSU aficionados. They teased him, saying they could no longer be friends.

Well, SDSU pulled a major upset last week and beat NDSU in a surprising comeback. Husband has yet to have a work meeting with the NDSU fans, but I hope he wears his SDSU jersey again, just to be a smart aleck

When have you engineered an upset? What sports teams do you follow? When have you been a smart aleck?

72 thoughts on “Upset”

  1. During a chess tournament, I was playing the president (An NDSU professor) of our local club. The event was held in the picnic shelter of a park in Moorhead. My rating at the time was 1490 which is class C. He was 1810 Class A. I battled quite well and the middle game came down to pawns and rooks but even chances for us both. The other matches were over so our game attracted a crowd. I was over my head but made a move that doubled the rooks and the president resigned. I was shocked but even more so when the other club members began an analysis of the game. One of the better players actually climbed into the rafters of the shelter to get a bird’s eye view of the position. The conversation was like “If he moves here, Wes moves there. Forcing a move there and then Wes moves here” for about 8 or 9 moves from the resigned position. There is no way that I have ever looked that far ahead. The upset was accidental.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. My brother Neil was horrible to play, at chess. He’s far better than me, that was never in doubt. He would watch like a hawk, urging me to get on with it. As soon as I started to move a piece, he’d ridicule me in a very humourless manner. Life really wouldn’t be worth living, and I haven’t played him in over fifty years.
      Whst this has to do with what Wes was saying, I have no idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. During the world series 1987, when the Twins were facing off against the Cardinals, wasband and I spent a weekend with my folks in St. Louis. I wore my Twins sweatshirt out and about – got a lot of dirty looks. However when the game (not the final) came on that weekend and wasband and I pulled out our Homer Hankies, we got thrown out of the living room and had to watch the game in the bedroom by ourselves.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. From a distance, I follow the Bison who, BTW, were recipients of an ridiculous excessive celebration penalty.
    Being in Ohio for sometime, I’ve become a Buckeye, Browns, Reds and Crew fan. Totally provincial.
    As for smart alex, I made up t-shirts, black with white lettering that say, “Make America Grape Again…More Whine!”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ll bet I’ve engineered an upset or two, but probably not in a positive way. Leaving first marriage was tricky, but we worked it out ok in the end.

      I am vaguely aware of whether the Twins or the Vikings are still in the mix in any given season, just because Husband follows them online.

      And I’ll be every one of us has been a smart aleck, should be some good stories. I will try to remember something in detail before day’s end.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Chess? WORDLE? The mayoral race? There are more upsets than just sports. Then there is the entire 2016 election in which Pandora’s Box was opened. I am still upset over that one.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. Me either. When work allowed us to wear team jerseys on Fridays during the football season (the only time we could wear graphic t-shirts), I bought a Quidditch jersey from either Box Lunch or Hot Topic and wore that. Ravenclaw, of course!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ravenclaw? Ravenclaw? What about Gryffendor? BAh! Few claim Slytherin, and being a Hufflepuff is just being a gasbag. But Ravenclaw?

        Now I am really upset.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My company also did the occasional sports Friday where if you wore a team T-shirt you could also wear jeans and tennis shoes (and I would do anything for jeans and tennis shoes in those days). I did go out and buy a Wild shirt because I liked the colors better and then I wore it every time we had a sports Friday even if it wasn’t a hockey Friday. I did get comments on that.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Long-suffering Vikings fan from day one. I swore them off about 10 years ago, vowing never to watch a complete game of theirs until they’re in the Super Bowl.

    Twins fan forever, except that baseball isn’t the same as it used to be, so it’s harder to watch. Too slow, time-wise and action-wise. It’s either a home run or a strikeout. Little strategy. Too many pitching changes.

    Favorite spectator sport now is college hockey. Go Gophers. (Men’s hockey mostly, women’s is okay.) Pro hockey has improved since they de-emphasized fighting and focused on skill and speed.

    A surprise new enjoyment to watch is women’s college volleyball. Fast-paced, fun to watch, great teamwork and athleticism. Plus the Gophers are usually highly rated, so most of their matches are consequential and well-played.

    I’m not a smart aleck by nature.

    Engineered an upset? Hmm. Closest I got was maybe half an upset. Years ago I played in the Owatonna City Open (a two-day tournament) and somehow managed to shoot my best-ever competitive round on the first day–69. I’m sure all the favorites were wondering what rock this hacker crawled out from under. Alas, I reverted to form on the second day, shot an 83, and finished well down the standings. BUT, if day two would have been rained out, I would have engineered an upset. 🙂

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Even before British Football Hooliganism was invented, the only thing I hated more than sports, was team sports. “Us and Them”. I’ll go to a Bo Diddley concert instead.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Well, Chris, it may be a long wait for the Viking Super Bowl. Vikings fans live in a chronic state of heartbreak and disappointment. I have accepted this.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Beats me, Fenton. At least I don’t paint my face purple, pay exorbitant prices for tickets, food, and drink, waste hours yelling myself hoarse with 60000 other fans, and get drunk whether the Vikes win or lose.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Chris, suddenly I feel nostalgic for dear ols Blighty. The small corner of it where that never happened.


    3. My Viking fan days ended when Atlanta won the 1998 conference championship. Gary Anderson had not missed a field goal or extra point all season but did. Atlanta scored the tying touchdown. 49 seconds remained in regulation. Plenty of time to move the ball to field goal range but Coach Denny Green took a knee. Atlanta won in overtime.
      I composed a parody for a local sports talk radio station. I performed on air it with the studio guys as backup singers.
      To The Beatles Let It Be
      The first part goes:
      “When the Vikes are in a bit of trouble.
      there’s a play you’re gonna see.
      Denny has the answer, take a knee.”
      We made the song a part of a larger routine based on The Green Mile. It was quite fun. One of the affiliated stations in the Twin Cites used it a few times.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. very clever, Wes. 🙂 Yes, 98 was one of the many huge disappointments for me as a Vikings fan. What were the odds? About the same as Blake Walsh missing a chipshot FG back in the 2010s to lose to whomever.


  5. I think the bison in the header photo looks quite unhappy with the state of things. I couldn’t find a jack rabbit photo that would allow for those tall ears to be seen in all their glory.

    Our grandson calls the team The Bunnies, and says his mom and dad work at Bunny School, and that he goes to his own Bunny Preschool.

    Earlier this spring I was on my way to work when I saw a large jack rabbit sitting in the middle of an intersection. He looked quite placid.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The Salukis, SIU’s football team, was pretty dismal back when wasband and I used to go to every home game. (I don’t follow college football, it’s entirely possible, even probable, that they still are.) But our marching band was terrific. It had both a violin and an old upright piano in it, and they were so much fun to watch in action. I don’t recall that the outcome of the game ever made a difference in how much fun we had sitting in those bleachers.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. To be honest, BiR, I don’t remember how they lugged that old upright, but I know there was no flatbed truck involved. It must have been a small cart of some sort that was pulled by a couple of students. The Marching Salukis were a spirited group of students, the vast majority of whom were not music majors.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I know there was a smaller upright piano made for airplanes that, according to the piano guy who provided it, “Could be carried by two women. Two strong German women.”
          I know because a few of us hauled it up to the second floor of a theater.
          I was part of the stage crew for a Ray Charles concert once. His Grand piano was moved on it’s side and strapped into a case. Put two legs on it, get a couple guys around it and tip it down, then lift up the other side while one guy slid underneath and added the third leg and pedals. Nothing too it.
          Or there’s local piano mover Bruce Ebnet, who just strapped big old uprights to his back and carried them off. He had thighs THIS BIG AROUND!

          Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s an Egyptian dog breed. That part of Illinois is know as Little Egypt, and there are some Egyptian place names – such as Cairo. Salukis are greyhound-like in build, and are known for their speed and endurance. They are the school’s mascot. The ones at SIU were also extremely skittish. One of them once got off his leach and was gone in a flash. It took several days to catch him.

        Liked by 3 people

  7. I get too distracted to follow sports. I’m watching, I’m watching, I’m …. watching that bird fly over. Oh, there’s a nice red car! I always liked our red car growing up… why is the crowd cheering??

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Dyed in the wool Gopher hockey fan starting in my college days until they left the WCHA conference and went to the Big Ten. The rivalries aren’t just the same – especially against UMD and UND, both of whom the Gophers play infrequently. I still watch them but not religiously. And it’s been too long since they have won a National Championship.

    Big fan of Gopher men’s basketball through my college years and sporadically since then. Am hoping Ben Johnson can turn things around for them. Same with Lindsay Whalen and the women – now she has a team of only her recruits. This will be my second year as a season ticket holder.

    Huge fan of Lynx basketball, despite the last couple of seasons. Cheryl Reeve is promising new faces for next year. I’ve been a season ticket holder since 2013.

    Rabid Twins fan in their early days (loved Harmon, Bob Allison, Camilo Pasqual, etc.) and again in the late 80s and early 90s. Not such a fan of the game now. I agree with Chris about too many pitching changes, lack of strategy, etc.

    I loved the Vikings during the days of Alan Page, Jim Marshall, Fran Tarkenton, Bill Brown, Gene Washington, Bud Grant, etc. These days I hardly pay any attention to them.

    I should explain my enthusiasm for spectator sports. My parents were huge fans of the Twins, Vikings, and North Stars. If a game was televised, that was what we watched. So I learned about the rules and the players – hockey being the hardest to understand. I was in my high school pep band so I was at every basketball game. And in my senior year my school was one loss away from the State Tournament.

    Notice that I said spectator sports. I was never an athlete on any team. Music was my thing. To this day the only “sports” I partake in is golf, kayaking, and snowshoeing.

    To my knowledge, I have never engineered an upset and I’m not much of a smart aleck.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. OT: Heavy stuff (that’s the name of a song by Joe Williams, Barb)
    I have my sisters to talk to. Just been texting Chris, she doesn’t like to talk on the phone. We’re at the witty badinage stage now. Jane likes to talk, she doesn’t like to text so much. She’s great, but always hard to get hold of, still.
    I don’t have anyone here. Cath, my sister in law, and I,have a secret Anti Moore Society. (Aimed at Jane’s parents really. They’re called Moore). We try to get together for sticking pins in effigies, and confessions, when she’s here, but that’s not often. A good, trustworthy, but evil and unreasonable, friend.
    And I finally confided in my Spanish teacher, Reme (Spanish for Renée, I’m sure), nearly two years ago. She’s that kind of person, and already knew about me flooding someone’s house without him knowing, you know, the normal things. I hadn’t told her because she was in the Comparsa, and knew Jane well. But I never got to confide an awful lot more, because her husband got a job in Geneva, a big opportunity. So she’s gone, my only real friend here.
    But I WILL ty to get hold of Jane again tomorrow.


  10. I knew I should have clarified, that it’s my sister Jane I occasionally manage to speak to on the phone. She has briefly been on this blog, last year.
    I think Jane 1 will be my wife, and Jane 2 will be my sister, I had thought before that I should do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. OT : Gatitos Palomar.
    We have to make our little haven a legal entity, with every cat chipped, registered, looked after, and not dumped beside the bins. I’m not sure if they get holiday pay. Abandoned cats are being declared illegal, I think, and probably councils everywhere are going to need to be seen to be taking care of them. Chelo says the process will take months, and meanwhile we’re not supposed to tell anyone that we have cats in this field which is totally visible to the public.
    She drove off after saying that, and I unloaded my ladder out of my van, obviously for a reason, right? Along came a very old guy who’s been slowing right down down and staring as he drives past. He stopped this time. He can barely talk, let alone drive. What is going on here, is the gist of what he was saying. He lives in the house whose driveway Shere always blocks when she parks here. I took it she somehow knew the place was empty, even though she’d never been here before(she’s moved here from another village).
    Communication with this guy was slow. I’m not fluent, and I don’t hear well. I didn’t know what was going on. It was the Ajuntament! This place belonged to the Ajuntament.
    What were they doing? I didn’t know.
    What were those blocks for? And that cement and sand. Oh, yes! The Ajuntament was going to build a shed, in that corner, you see?
    Do you work for the Ajuntament? (I’ll use present tense after all, it’s easier). I’m retired.
    Do you work for the Ajuntament? I’m retired. Retired? Yes, retired.
    Who do you work for? I’m retired. I get in the van and come here and look at this. Then I get in the van and go and look at something else. You see?
    Retired? Yes, retired. I’m retired (like, please, please, go away! Please!)
    Where do you live? Palomar.
    Palomar? Yes. Palomar.
    (Long pause)
    Hasta luego! Hasta luego!

    Lucky he didn’t ask me about the ladder.
    But didn’t I handle that brilliantly? Come on, tell me I’m brilliant.

    Liked by 2 people



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