As a Ralph Engelstad Arena employee and part of the Fighting Sioux Sports Network in my spare time, I operate a camera at all home hockey games.Â My duties are two-fold, shooting for the TV production and for the “in-house” or “big screen” inside the arena.Â Suffice it to say that games are very hectic but highly enjoyable.Â From my vantage point at suite level, one of my responsibilities is to shoot the “Welcome” before each hockey game.Â If you haven’t seen one, it’s when some VIP stands in front of my camera and says, “I’m (insert name here), welcome to the beautiful Ralph Engelstad Arena!”Â Or something similar to that.Â It’s shown throughout the arena and on the big-screens.
Through the nearly 10 years at REA, I’ve met close to 200 VIPs of varying VIP-ness. Eddie Belfour, Beer Granny, some guy from one of those home improvement shows, Governors, Senators, Jared from Subway…and the list goes on and on.Â I should have kept a log or a guest book of some sort.
When asked who’s been my favorite, the answer is Josh Duhamel (sorry Beer Granny.)Â In the first year or two of The Ralph, Duhamel, an actor, was in the middle of promoting his movie “Win a Date With Tad Hamilton” (never saw it.)Â Being a huge Fighting Sioux fan and a native of Minot, ND, he decided to take in a game and did the “Welcome.”Â “Isn’t this great?” he asked me as he slapped me on the back and surveyed the crowd.Â He was clearly having fun.Â He was very tall, which is the exception to my “all famous people are short” theory.Â Another interesting Duhamel tidbit is that he is engaged married to Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas.Â Nice.Â Anyway, a friend of mine in Hollyweird Hollywood tells me that in Duhamel’s new movie, “Life As We Know It,” opening next week, Josh wears Fighting Sioux apparel throughout the movie.Â In some of the scenes he’s sporting a hat with the logo and in others he’s wearing a Fighting Sioux shirt.Â That’s pretty cool.Â And an incredible amount of free publicity for UND.Â I don’t know if I will go to the movie because Katherine Heigl is in it, and I find her annoying.Â But Duhamel’s PR work for the Sioux isn’t just limited to the big screen.Â He wears the apparel out in public as well.Â So I did a little digging, and this is what I came up with.Â Ladies…and Sioux fans…enjoy.
Josh (L), Fergie (R)