A timeline of my day Thursday, split between the state volleyball tournament quarterfinals at Xcel Energy Center and state football quarterfinals at the Metrodome ….
7:25 a.m.: Walking the dog. Hurry up buddy, I got stuff to do today.
7:40: Breakfast arrives, delivered through a small window and into my car.
8:05: Traffic at a near-standstill on Interstate 35E heading into downtown St. Paul. Didn’t panic. Bottleneck loosened up.
8:49: Inside Xcel Energy Center, pulled the state tournament program out of my bag. Began leafing through it, not realizing at first that it was the state football tournament program.
9:03: A mouse scooted under my courtside table at volleyball. My computer mouse. It’s wireless. I dropped it.
9:02: Answering emails as the first volleyball matches begin.
9:04: The first Facebook comment on a photo I’ve just posted says this: “Let’s go North!” It was posted by the Lakeville South High School Deans. Nice.
9:17: A match is interrupted briefly while a slow, aging journalist tries to fish out the volleyball that has rolled under his table. Sorry, everybody. That’s as fast as I go.
9:32: Earplugs. Do I have earplugs in my bag? These bands are REALLY LOUD.
9:48: Post my first incorrect Twitter score update of the day.
10:07: The first of 33 matches over three days ends as Lakeville North defeats Anoka in the Class 3A quarterfinals.
10:41: “Heads up! Heads up!” A Blaine player warns me during warmups that an inflated projectile is coming my way. The ball bangs off the table in front of me, narrowly missing my laptop.
11:35: Shakopee coach Matt Busch, talking about how the noise level from the fans affected his players during the Sabers’ 3-2 victory over Roseville in 3A: “They could barely hear each other, even when they were yelling.”
12:17: Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” can be heard inside the Bethlehem Academy locker room as the Cardinals prepare for the1A quarterfinals.
12:25: I hear a female voice holler at me, “Hey sweet cheeks! How are you?!” Sadly, it is not Mrs. John’s Journal.
1:55: The “what to drink” debate cranks up in my head. So far I’ve had two bottles of water. I knuckle under and have a Diet Coke on the rocks. And a donut ... no ice.
2:10: The Bethlehem Academy cheerleaders pose for a photo in front of the door to the Minnesota Wild’s locker room, a door that hasn’t seen much use lately.
2:15: Bethlehem Academy coach Franz Boelter says “I don’t think we played great, but we played OK” in a 3-0 victory over Martin County West.
2:20: As the North Woods volleyball players wait to go onto the court, they are performing a series of very loud, very choreographed cheers/chants/dances. As I make my way down the corridor, one of the Grizzlies tells her teammates, ‘Wait.” I walk past their smiling, silent faces … and then the fun resumes.
3:45: Pack up my gear, leave the Xcel Center and head for the Metrodome, nine miles away.
3:55: Pass a school bus from Nevis on Interstate 94.
4:05: Arrive at the Metrodome to the sounds of the Edina band limbering up in the parking lot.
4:12: I’m greeted in the press box with these words: “You’re looking good for an older gentleman.” Thanks.I think.
4:31: On the field at the Metrodome, I am congratulated on the fact that the MSHSL Facebook page has the second-most fans in the nation among high school governing bodies.
4:58: As I was purchasing a Diet Mountain Dew from a vending machine in the loading dock, a fellow snapped a photo of me. Sorry, Diet Coke (which isn’t available in the Metrodome).
5:02: Kickoff between Edina and Rosemount in the Class 6A state quarterfinals.
5:15: I hear the magic words, “You want sauerkraut with that?” Why yes I do want sauerkraut on this bratwurst from the concession stand.” Thank you very kindly.
5:43: I'm trying to keep my sports straight while watching football in front of me and tuning into the Prep45 webcast of the volleyball tournament on my computer.
6:00: The Edina dance team performs an excellent halftime show. I say to the guy sitting next to me in the press box, “Man, that was a fine brat!”
6:40: I post an incorrect score on Twitter from the first football game, writing that Edina and Rosemount are tied 10-10 late in the third quarter. The actual score is Rosemount 14, Edina 10. My next Tweet says this: “Third quarter has ended and the score is Rosemount XIV, Edina X.”
6:56: In the Edina student section, a large cardboard Barack Obama is held high in the air.
7:19: Unseeded Rosemount beats top-seeded Edina 14-10 in the 6A football quarterfinals.
7:28: Rosemount coach Jeff Erdmann tells his exuberant players: “Nobody knows who we are! Nobody (in the media) talked to us! The only people who believed in us are right here and up in the frickin’ stands!”
7:57: The football game between Prior Lake and Lakeville North begins … three minutes ahead of schedule.
8:20: Twelve hours into my workday, and I’m back to the concession stand for a “Quarterback Dog.” Let’s see what happens…
9:13: Lakeville North and Prior Lake are tied 3-3 early in the second half. So far, so good on that Quarterback Dog.
9:20: Learn on Twitter that the Class 2A football playoff game between BOLD and Holdingford at St. Cloud State is going into a second overtime.
9:31: Final score from St. Cloud: BOLD beats Holdingford 23-20 in double OT.
9:58: Feeling sleeeeepy. Another Diet Pepsi? Naw, then I’d never sleep tonight. Gotta be back at volleyball in the morning.
10:07: Final score is Lakeville North 22, Prior Lake 3.
10:22: Pack up and exit the Metrodome. Gotta get home and walk the dog.
BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has visited: 313
*Miles John has driven: 3,947
(*During the 2012-13 school year)
--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of www.mshsl.org. John Millea is on Twitter @MSHSLjohn