Tradition Tuesday is a weekly feature where we’ll explore the history, lore, and culture of the Dark Clouds. Confused about why we sing about Hot Nuts? Which Minnesota player coined “Nuts Of A Warrior”? Why does the section quack every so often? We’ll have the answers in Tradition Tuesday.
You’ve probably noticed by this point that the Dark Clouds have several songs that reference Milwaukee. What gives?
The rivalry between Milwaukee and Minnesota stretches back to 1994 when the Milwaukee Rampage started playing the Minnesota Thunder. The teams were close geographically and games were action packed affairs, high on emotion. Dark Cloud Jim Crist: “The games were always contentious and full of red cards. I remember when I was 14 , the Thunder were playing Milwaukee at Macalester. Milwaukee scored a goal and their coach turned around to look at the crowd smugly. I remember flipping him off and not really knowing why…except that it seemed like the right thing to do.”
Another great anecdote comes from an away playoff game in 2002 when a Minnesota supporter yelled at Milwaukee defender Destin Makumbu chasing the ball, “Destin you’re a hack!” Makumbu turned to face the supporters in anger and lost his man. That left one of our player to take the ball to the goal unchallenged and score.
By the time the Dark Clouds took their name, the Rampage had collapsed and been replaced by the Milwaukee Wave United. Formed around heckling by longtime Thunder fans, the Dark Clouds’ found the pre-existing rivalry rich for appropriation. Particular pleasure was taken in heckling twins Todd and Troy Dusosky, former child professional wrestlers who were born in Anoka, played for Milwaukee and seemed to lose their cool particularly quickly. Unfortunately the Wave United didn’t last long and last played in 2005.
But why does our hate for Milwaukee persist today when we haven’t played them in years? Because it’s tradition and a rivalry with a team that doesn’t exist is as good as one that’s forced.
Rivalries form over years of attrition and through a natural series of events that capture the supporters’ imagination. They aren’t made when team GMs draft ridiculous, over the top letters or when the league decides who you’re playing in the “official” rivalry week. We haven’t had another team located geographically close in a long time and no team has persistently caught the Dark Clouds’ ire the way Milwaukee did. Maybe someday we’ll develop another true rival who makes our blood boil.
Till then, we’ll always hate Milwaukee.