Season 2 Episode 11 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; “Yager Still Sucks” This week Tim Braun, Dustin Lindstrom and Rob Gilreath were joined by four former Misfits Presidents to take a deep dive on the history of Mitch’s Misfits. Those four were Bethlyn Cummings, Gina Salvi, Alex Dinsmoor, and Matt Cavender. We took the time to discuss:
The Misfits Origin (4:51)
Road Trips (16:43)
Favorite on-ice moments (33:35)
Behind the scenes perspective (39:45)
What can outsiders do to help? (43:26)
Misfits Traditions (49:45)
Dream Travel Destinations (61:36)
The Chasing MacNaughton team wasn’t expecting the Ferris series to happen this weekend, so we decided to take the pod in a different direction this week. This week, Tim functions more as a guest as the segment is more about him, as we invite some of the Misfits’ finest back to discuss the lovable maniacs of section L.
The Misfits Origin
During this segment, the Godfather of Mitch’s Misfits, Tim Braun, more or less takes it away describing the Misfits as beginning from a very humble spot. After an incredible comeback against Northern Michigan, our boy Tim got shirtless and excited. People wanted to get excited around him, and in a nutshell, that’s what allowed the group to flourish. Decades later, it’s grown beyond his wildest dreams. Here’s a wonderful article from the WCHA in which myself, Tim, and the Misfits are being gassed up by the league.
The beginning is fairly well documented, but we definitely have to take the chance to embarrass Tim with his TV6 interview here.
However, this is where the Misfits story becomes more oral than written. That’s the key reason that we invited on so many past presidents to talk about their time leading the organization.
After Tim takes the lead on the origin story, each of the former Presidents describes the way they got involved with the organization. Each former President had a great story to tell about the organic way they got involved.
One of the biggest things that makes the Misfits stand out against other student sections in the NCAA is how well travelled they are. No matter where Tech is playing, there’s sure to be at least a small contingency of Huskies fans that follow. This segment included some favorite memories each President had from going on the road. Each President broke down their longest, then their favorite road trip. You can definitely see how the University’s view of the organization has evolved based upon how far each President was able to take their iteration of the Misfits. Presidents that led earlier on in the history of the Misfits weren’t able to travel as far officially, where as by the time I (Matt) inherited the organization, Undergraduate Student Government and Athletics started to see our value for student life and recruiting that we got a relatively decent budget and a lot of help with travel.
This is the time that we would like to reiterate that former President Scott Yager still sucks. He refused to attend for three reasons. 1.) he doesn’t like public speaking,
2.) he isn’t really paying attention to the team this year, and
3.) his memory sucks.
For all of those lame reasons, this blast from the past at GLI is getting put in the notes. If you’re not coming, we’re going to make fun of you.
Favorite On-Ice Moments
Each President took this time to reminisce their favorite moments on the ice that stuck out. While the last segment highlighted the financial progression of the Misfits, this segment more closely highlighted the continued progression of the Huskies out of the darkness from which the Misfits organization started. For instance, Dinsmoor had a very lucky senior year that saw the Huskies sweep Michigan in their first series and saw the Huskies return to the NCAA tournament. Gina, however, has some fond memories of glass breaking on two occasions.
The Misfits have always been a lot more about the fun you can have in the stands regardless of how the team is ding on the ice, and that’s a big part of what makes them so beautiful.
Behind The Scenes Perspective
There are a lot of things about the Misfits that “outsiders” may not necessarily know. Bethlyn points out that most people don’t have a respect for how much stress Presidents go through in planning a trip on a low budget and a time crunch, and even though that aspect has shaved years off of our collective lives, it was always worth it every time. This stress is what lead to the Travel Coordinator position being established, which is sure to be a key member of the org for years to come.
There’s also a lot that goes on during ordinary games that isn’t always visible during a home game, such as setting up for games, coordinating outside events, keeping students standing and interested in the game, etc. Being a member of the Misfits executive board is a lot like a job because of the hoops you have to go through as a team. There’s budget planning, tee shirt design and ordering, asking for donations, etc. Going to games is the easiest part of running the Misfits, but it’s easily the most fun.
Bethlyn takes the time to talk about how she used her time in the Misfits to sell herself for job interviews. It offered specific examples of leadership, budget planning, logistics, and a laundry list of other things that made her (and the rest of our panel) more attractive to employers. If any of us get lucky enough to get a hockey fan in a job interview, we’re all pretty much off to the races!
What Can Outsiders Do To Help?
What can alumni or community members do to help the Misfits, you may ask? First of all, the atmosphere at the Mac thrives on participation. If you see the Misfits up to something you think looks fun, don’t be afraid to join in from the other side of the ice to help create an intimidating atmosphere. If you’re seeing a high-intensity moment, don’t be afraid to channel your inner student. My favorite thing to say while I was at the helm of the Misfits was “you have four years to watch hockey games like a college student and the rest of your life to be a lame a**,” but that doesn’t mean the fun exclusively belongs to the students.
Well, you knew money had to come up at some point. The Misfits have a PayPal account (firstname.lastname@example.org) that you can donate to directly.
There is also a tax-deductible way to donate to the Misfits. If you donate to the Michigan Tech Annual Fund with a note that you would like your donation to go directly to Mitch’s Misfits, you will be able to get money directly into the hands of the organization and write it off for tax purposes.
A portion of the Tech Hockey Guide jersey sales go directly to the Misfits every year. Each year, Tech Hockey Guide is usually able to donate somewhere in the ballpark of $1,000 to the Misfits as a direct result of jersey profits. If you would like an on-ice quality jersey customized with any name and number you like, the signup is still active here and it’s a pretty direct way to support the Misfits and look great while you do it.
The great thing about giving money to the Misfits is how visual your donation is. You get to see students having fun, you get to see Tech students sent to away buildings to wreak havoc, you get to see the cowbells and jam blocks being hit, you get to see the new flags bought, the list goes on. You would get to know you had a key part to play in creating that experience.
Rob was very curious about how membership was driven during some of the down years. Myself and Alex had life pretty easy because our selling point was “come watch a winning hockey team.”
Gina and Bethlyn, despite having to sell a team that wasn’t doing so hot, didn’t have as difficult a time as it may seem. They were girls on Michigan Tech’s campus, and that’s about all the convincing Tech students need a lot of the time. K-Day would also prove to be a major recruiting event for freshmen to the organization, and that was across the board. It’s been a good recruiting tool to have a fun K-Day booth with activities that get people excited to go. College kids are also extremely food motivated, so meetings with pizza never hurt.
During the first meeting of the year, the Misfits will often get the sitting head coach and several current players to come by to show their support for the group and how much it means for them to be there. This can do a lot to drive up student participation.
Rob spearheads a conversation about traditions and wanted to know if any of the Presidents could stake a claim to any of the traditions that are ongoing.
Bethlyn takes credit for the body painting tradition and Gina took great joy in carrying it on. Gina loved seeing the body paint because she’d never seen it done at a hockey game, and really hopes to see it continue. Bethlyn also takes credit for the infamous “you suck on the PP” chant after a successful penalty kill.
Personally, I take credit for 4 things. The first is the “we’ve got the puck” chant. I stole it from the Premier League’s West Browmich Albion soccer team’s chant “we’ve got the ball.” I always thought it was a fun way to kill dead time, but I’m unsure if that one will continue
The second is the flags. Rob absolutely loves the flags and wanted to know more. I love soccer atmospheres and wanted to bring a little bit of that to Tech. The first thing I did was buy up state and province flags for all of the player on the team and it grew from there. Now we have some that are absolutely irrelevant, like a ceremonial Welsh flag and one that simply reads “COLD BEER.”
The third and fourth you’ll just have to listen to find out!
Dream Travel Destinations
After crossing the nation several times over, where do the old timers want to see the Misfits go?
The answers were very diverse- some bigger cities, some smaller towns, some out east and some farther west. Listen in to see where we’d love to go, and feel free to chime in the comment section with where you’d like to see Tech play!
Cut For Time
This week’s cut content for Patreon patrons is especially worth the extra money to listen. Tim breaks down the history of the Misfits logo, Rob dug deep into the history books and asked each guest trivia questions specific to the years in which they ran the Misfits and more stories that just weren’t fit for the ears of the general public. Check out the information below on how to join!
For additional information and more episode liner notes, check out our episode overview on Tech Hockey Guide. To make sure we can afford all our fancy equipment we purchased for the podcast and the THG website in general, please check out our patreon page and consider joining. Patrons at our Black Level or above receive an authentic MTU jersey patch and access to extra podcast content including extended versions of our other episodes. This week’s extended version is nearly 100 minutes including some “inside baseball” nuggets and Rob’s trivia questions for each of us.
Follow us on twitter at ChasingMacPod and you can submit questions through our email address, ChasingMac@techhockeyguide.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast wherever you get your podcasts. Please rate and review which will help us reach more people, and tell your friends. Please check out Jonathan Zamaites series previews every Friday and Mike Anleitner’s Old Dog in Texas column every Wednesday. Also, keep an eye out for new recruiting articles on Tuesdays. As always, special thanks to our patron saint Doc McResin for his generous donation to get this thing running, we hope you enjoy. Also, thanks to The Thank You Notes for all the bumpers in today’s episode. If you like what you hear, check them out at thethankyounotes.bandcamp.com
Matt Cavender graduated from Tech in 2018 and is a former President of Mitch's Misfits, serving two terms. Matt serves on the Tech Hockey Guide staff as Editor in Chief. He currently works as a Digital Marketing Specialist in Grand Rapids, MI