Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Minnesota designates hockey as state's official sport

The state of Minnesota has its 12,000 lakes and plenty of them where their residents can fish. But here's a news flash for you. They love their hockey. From the grassroots level to the professional ranks, they most certainly embrace it.

Star Tribune writer Bob Von Sternberg posted this morning this article to tell us Minnesota is a hockey state. I wink my right eye when I say this, but I think Minnesota Wild fans already know.

A lot of Minnesotans consider hockey the state's official sport, but didn't become official until today.

Under a new state law, hockey has been given that official designation, joining such diverse items as milk, blueberry muffins and ladyslippers.

A little-noticed line was tucked into this year's omnibus jobs and economic development bill, passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a well-known hockey fanatic.

It's simple: "Ice hockey is adopted as the official sport of the state of Minnesota."

The designation was the brainchild of two hockey fans in the Legislature, Sens. Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista, and David Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm.

Fifth-graders from Groveland Elementary School in Minnetonka originated the idea two years ago when they visited the Capitol, telling senators Minnesota needs a state sport -- specifically, hockey.

The senators agreed, citing the extensive boys' and girls' hockey programs, to the state's five NCAA Division I college teams to its NHL team the Minnesota Wild.

The new designation is old news to the Wild, which has since its inception branded Minnesota the "State of Hockey."

Great to see the state government in St. Paul "officially" recognize it, but now let's see the Wild bring the first Stanley Cup championship to Minnesota sometime soon.

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