Yesterday was the Dallas, WI Oktoberfest Kubb Tournament and it was literally amazing. 6-player teams playing all day with our own personal brat, beer, root beer, and chili stand right next to Pitch 1. Amazing actually.

After driving home, I brought all the kubb pieces down to the basement. They were muddy, wet, filled with grass, and perhaps a drop or two of beer. As I rinsed all the kings, corner pins, batons, and kubbs, I thought a lot about the day. In particular, I was thinking about the one opponent we played twice that day, DKK3. A mixture of three players from Eau Claire and three players from Des Moines. But I didn't think about any of the shots either team made or missed. No, I was thinking about how awesome it was for Mark Blazel and his dad to play together in a tournament. I also thought about how great it was for Grant Scott to play with his brother, again for the first time in a tournament. And also seeing the new Eau Claire team Kubba Troopas playing in their first tournament. I then thought about all the husbands and wives that both play from the Team Kubboom group.

Mark Blazel and his dad in Dallas, WI Oktoberfest (Mark Blazel)

After cleaning up the kubb pieces and laying them out to dry, I turned on the old trusty computer and started uploading pictures from the day and started thinking more about who was playing with who, and the emotions and sounds that were heard all day. The laughing, screeming, bantoring, hugging, welcoming, and more. I realized that those are all memories that were made earlier that day. I then started thinking about all the other memories people have had. After thinking about Mark and his dad, I could not help but think about a couple other pictures of Kubbsicles players that made me think of memories.

Kubbsicles on the baseline in the U.S. Championship 2013 Final. (Blind Photography)

Sy Ellringer getting his pictures with Kubbsicles after the 2013 U.S. Championship. (Blind Photography)

Memories that we are generating in kubb are amazing. Above is Mark, Zach, and Max playing for the U.S. Championship. Those are memories that those three young men will have forever. The memories of trying to perfect their games and the journey to win a U.S. Championship. Below that is a picture of them taking a picture with Sy Ellringer, who is a big fan of Kubbsicles. I can guarantee that Sy's face would light up right now if he saw that picture.

I then started thinking about the numerous kubb memories that I have. I don't remember a whole lot about Duluth 2008. Only one or two specific shots, but I do remember traveling and having an amazing time with my father.

Crooked Lake Trolls in Duluth, MN

We went back there the next year and played together as well. I started thinking how lucky I was to have had the opportunity to play both with my dad and my daughter. Playing with my daughter Maja was amazing. When I think about playing with my dad and also playing with my daughter (I am hoping to get Cecilia in a tournament in 2015), I have wonderful thoughts and memories in my head, but that warmth and love travels throughout my body. I know I will forever cherish and welcome those memories.

Maja and me in Appleton. I let her pick the team name, and we played as Snickerkubbels.

I then thought of the wonderful memories that I have had when I had the great opportunity to play with some of the best, against some of the best, and how amazing that has been. Think about it, I can show up to almost any tournament and have the opportunity to do my best to match Mark Blazel and Josh Feathers at inkasting, match the Grant Scotts (there is actually only one right now) with eight meters, and the blasting of the John Omans of the US Kubb World. There is something about training with other players with the hope that you will wake up on tournament day and have your A-game and that you will be able to produce and compete at your highest level. To line up with a great kubber and play against great kubbers, those are memories that will forever last in my head. Yes, I won't remember many specific shots, but I will remember the feelings, the companionship, the love I have for my teammates and the mental and physical energy that one puts out during a throw, a round, a match, and a tournament.

Dave Ellringer and me after winning the 2012 Des Moines Kubb Fall Klassic (aka The Meatgrinder)

But then I thought about the memories that have been created by organizing tournaments. Yes, it is a fact that kubb has caused some stress in the Anderson household. However, it has created tons of friendships and wonderful memories (friends and family do things like come over to paint sets, help me mow a soccer field at the soccer park and have the City come out and "talk" with us, volunteer for tournaments, and a whole lot more).  The memories of hosting a tournament rival the memories of playing in one. I know that are going to be some great memories and stories to tell when Old Man Anderson is sitting on his back porch talking about kubb. These are memories that I will have with my wife, my parents, other family members, friends and a whole lot more people I have yet to meet.

Erin and me at the 2013 U.S. Midwest Championship in Rockford

My mom, Erin, and me at the 2013 U.S. Midwest Championship in Rockford.

Right before bed, I realized that I have had the fortunate opportunity to play kubb with my dad, one of my daughters, and my wife in kubb tournaments, not to mention a lot of great friends. I am hoping to get to play with my step-dad in 2014, and my other daughter in the near future as well. In addition, I have also had the opportunity to play with and against the absolute elite players in numerous backyards and small and big tournaments alike. At the same time, I have met so many people through this game, most of which I would have never met.

It does not matter if you are a recreational kubber that plays in one tournament a year, or perhaps will never play in a tournament, or if you are Kubbsicles or Team Knockerheads, or if you are somewhere between. It does not matter if you are a player that ranks success on how many laughs you have or if you rank success on your name on the Stapp King or somewhere in the wide range between. We all have one thing in common, and after yesterday, I feel it even more. We all have been given the gift of kubb. It is a gift that has found us and gives us all so much. It is an absolutely great game, and amazing game. For me, the best game in the world. 

King Pin after advancing to the 2013 U.S. Championship Final

After recieving the gift of kubb, all of our lives will never be the same. With that, this gift keeps giving us gifts and those gifts are memories. It gives us so many great memories. It can be playing with a nine-year old daughter, playing with your brother for the first time, having three generations of one family on the same team, playing with your spouse and other couples, playing in a U.S. Championship Final, or playing with your college-aged son for the first time. They are all memories to be cherished and held onto. As I probably have mentioned to many before, I wish I could remember more of what my grandpa told me in his last years. I don't remember this too clearly, but I do remember him talking about the importance of memories and experiences and to live life in a way that takes advantages of opportunities that present themselves. Kubb is that opportunity. For those of us living in the U.S. Midwest, we are living the absolute dream right now. At least for me, it is really, really amazing.

And you know what is really great about kubb? There will be so many additional memories made in the upcoming years. And I have to think that many of them will be with our kids.

King Pin's John Oman with his son. (Blind Photography)

I love this game.


(An extra special thank you to every person that takes kubb pictures. With pictures we are so much more able to rekindle memories and smile even more.)