So, I was thinking today that realistically I might not be able to play in the Minnesota Kubb Loppet Tournament. Now, if Sweden's Sons cannot play, I will be going no matter what and cheering on friends and watching some great kubb, but I was thinking more about what if I cannot play. Then that got me thinking about the tournament. I felt a real sense of disappointment that I might not be able to play. Why? It is just a kubb tournament and there are a host of others, right?

So I started thinking about it. What do we know about this tournament. We know this.
It is...
- The largest winter kubb tournament that seems to exist in our hemisphere and quite possibly the world.
- For me, it is the Big City, and there is something special and fun about that. For all of us, it is the largest city on our U.S. Kubb Circuit.
- It is part of a large urban festival which brings a ton of energy.
- It is a way to introduce new people to the game. Playing on Pitch 1 last year after winning it in 2011, we often heard things like, "Watch them. They won it last year." Sure that helps the ego, but it is also fun to know that people just getting introduced to the game are watching you, and you have a little pressure on yourself to not only perform, but showcase the game AND sport.

But what else is it? The more I thought about it today, it came to me. It is that opportunity in the middle of our seven month break to not only toss the lumber and compete, but also to see friends again and get my kubb fix. Think about it. For the most part, Dallas is October 1st and Rockford is May 1st. That is seven solid months of no kubb tournaments. That is a long time. A real long time. For me, it seems like that 60 degree day in early March, or even that 40 degree day that we are supposed to get here in EC this weekend. We know it is going to get cold again and snow a lot again, but it gives you that little reprieve of the long, hard winter. The long, hard winter of the kubb season is the seven months between Dallas and Rockford.

Unlike some people I have been reading about, I don't play a whole lot in the winter. Don't worry, I still talk about kubb all the time. So, normally it gives me a couple of weeks to enjoy practicing (not this year), an opportunity to talk with my playing partner Paul (who I have not probably talked with once since Dallas), and three weeks or so of my mental preparation of tournament play as well (which I find just as enjoyable and actually more exciting).

Then I started thinking, what would I do without the Minnesota Kubb Tournament? Well, I would probably not pick up a baton or talk to Paul for several months. What kind of life is that? With that, I love this tournament, and I love how it gives me what I really enjoy in the middle of our long, hard winter.

Thanks Eric Goplin and all of your volunteers.