Sports fans often feel like we live and die by the game. As a Badger football fanatic, I can personally vouch that nothing ruins a Saturday like falling flat at home against an unranked opponent.
But ultimately, we are just kidding ourselves. Sports is entertainment and a leisure activity for the spectator. The most energy we exert is jumping from our seats when a hitter cracks a come-from-behind walk-off homerun or a receiver hauls in an improbable Hail Mary pass. For the participants, however, their pursuits are an all-engrossing lifestyle of physical and mental dedication.
It’s the duck hunter who wakes up in the frosty predawn hours to sit in still silence inside a blind for hours on end. It’s the angler who wades miles upstream and floats a fly over an eddy without spooking a brook trout. It’s the first-time triathlete who pushes herself to the physical limit, keeping her legs churning to complete the Ironman. And it’s sure-as-hell Olympians, like Minnesota’s Jessie Diggins, who put in countless hours of sweat and exhaustion for the chance to compete on the world stage every four years.
This month, we revel in the ways sports connect us to the wider world. Writer Todd Smith spends a week training with Diggins, the cross country skier who made the nation hold its collective breath as she pushed across the finish line to win gold in the 2018 Winter Olympics Women’s Team Sprint Free event. Outdoorsman Tom Hazelton and chef Jamie Carlson discuss how they came to recognize and embrace the responsibilities that they, as hunters and foragers, have in conserving the wider ecosystem. And writer Terry Horstman witnesses firsthand how amateur cricket and hurling leagues in Minnesota are bringing people together from around the world.
These moments when we feel a part of something larger make even the most daunting problems seem more surmountable and they inspire us to tackle them. The sporting life provides us indelible moments of connection and hope — moments we need now more than ever.
The Unbreakable Jessie Diggins
The superhuman training that forged a pint-size underdog into a world beater
By Todd Smith
Leaving Lead Behind
One deer hunter’s decision to rethink his choice in ammunition
By Tom Hazelton
Pitches of Dreams
A look at the cricket and Irish hurling communities of the Twin Cities
By Terry Horstman
Craft Culture: Woodsmanship & Tradition
Little Crow Custom Bows
By Josh Cook
By Lauren Sauer
Painting the Court Purple
Looking back on the sportier side of Prince
By Hanna Bubser, The Current
Clues and Solution
By Victor Barocas and Andrew Ries
By John Garland
God Save The Queen at Nightingale
By John Garland
Going All In: Nick Huisinga of Cuyana Brewing Company
By Brian Kaufenberg
What We’re Drinking
By Growler Staff
Hunter, Writer, Butcher, Cook
Jamie Carlson has bootstrapped his way to the forefront of Minnesota’s wild foods movement
By James Norton
Last of the Embers
The final holdout of the Embers restaurant chain keeps the flames burning in Fridley
By Susan Pagani
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