Monday, December 2, 2013

From Behind the Green and Gold Curtain - A Guest's Perspective

It is rivalry week for Nanook Nation, as both hockey and men’s basketball make the trek to Anchorage this weekend to take on the Seawolves of the University of Alaska Anchorage. I’ll let Britton get into the details later on in the week, but hockey takes on UAA at 7:07 PM Friday and Saturday nights, and men’s basketball takes on UAA at 7:00 PM on Saturday. Nanook sports fans can send the UAA athletic department a thank you note for scheduling hockey and basketball rivalry games at the exact same time on Saturday by using this link:

As one of many ‘Nooks living behind the green and gold curtain in Southcentral Alaska, I would like to offer a sincere thank you to those of you from Fairbanks who are making the trip to Anchorage this weekend. As we all probably have noticed, our hockey team has been in a bit of slump the last few weeks, and there is no better slump buster than smacking around our archrival on their home ice.

When you look at other rivalries around the country, the best rivalries are organic in their hatred for the other institution. UAF-UAA is somewhat unique in that it goes beyond the universities and into a deep-seated hatred that Anchorage and Fairbanks as cities have for each other. The closest example of a similar rivalry is Washington’s Apple Cup between UW and WSU. That rivalry pits the big urban school from Seattle against the smaller agricultural school in a tiny town on the border with Idaho; it is east vs. west, urban vs. rural, and almost two different ideologies competing against each other.

UAF vs. UAA is rural vs, urban, north vs. south, and a small town comfortable in its own skin against a city trying to be a suburb of Bellevue. As any fan of the Seawolves will remind you, Anchorage does have more people than Fairbanks. Because UAA puts more emphasis on its athletic program than UAF does, it isn’t too surprising that they own most of the all time win-loss records against the Nanooks. Let them have this one historical data point over us; for a school that hasn’t had a winning hockey season since Nirvana was topping the charts, letting them hold on to victories from the 1980’s is the least we can do.

Which brings us to this weekend. Drive or fly down to Anchorage, and support our great university. If you live in the Anchorage area, get down to Sullivan Arena or the Wells Fargo Sports Complex. Like any good older sibling, we’ve helped our younger brother move up in life. And also like any good elder statesman, sometimes you need to smack down an upstart. Remember, every Nanook in the Sully or WFSC means there will be one less Seawolf in the building.

Last but not least, be courteous to our fellow Alaskans. Their fans like to refer to us as UA_, dump bears, bearflanks, Caribou Tech, and bust out signs that says “You can’t spell failure without UAF”, among other things that can’t be mentioned on a family website. Remember that two wrongs don’t make a right. Stay classy and let them be tacky. Open the door for them, smile and make eye contact, buy them a beer in the beer garden, and let them take their comeuppance with dignity.

Remember, they’re Anchorage, but we are Nanook Nation. GO ‘NOOKS.


[Blogger's note] Jason is a UAF alumnus and current Anchorage resident. As president of the Southcentral Alaska chapter of the UAF Alumni Association, the Fairbanks-Anchorage rivalry runs through his veins. Feel free tocontinue the discussion with Jason in the comments. Thank you Jason for contributing.    --Britton

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