Brad drinks out of the 2011 NASL Championship Trophy

Brad drinks out of the 2011 NASL Championship Trophy

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.

At crappy old Lockhart
we won the cup.
We filled it with Surly
and drank it up.
And if there’s no Surly
what will we do then?
We’ll get to the finals
and win it again.

Yeah, we drink our beer out of trophies. In 2011, the Minnesota Stars made an unlikely run to the 2-leg NASL championship against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers after finishing the regular season 9W-10L-9D. The scene was set following a 3-1 home victory for the Stars. All that was needed now was a decent result at Lockhart Stadium to bring the Soccer Bowl to Minnesota.

A small but rambunctious group of Dark Clouds flew and drove to the very rainy Sunshine State. Teresa Peterson remembered drowning out the drizzle-dampened home crowd throughout the game. “We were louder than the locals on the broadcast. Players’ families joined us because we were more fun.” The Dark Clouds’ 12th Man tenacity paid off. A 0-0 draw awarded the Soccer Bowl to Minnesota and sent the Dark Clouds and the whole team into raucous celebration. The party didn’t end at Lockhart though. “After the game we went to a nearby sports bar,” explained Andy Wattenhofer. “The team met up with the Dark Clouds there.”

And they brought the cup with them. Given the special occasion the Dark Clouds brought their own cases of Surly beer into the bar. What better way to enjoy a Minnesota brew than straight from the trophy? “Coaches, players, fans… everybody was passing the cup around,” said Wattenhofer. The song “Crappy Old Lockhart” was minted to commemorate the moment. Since 2011, we’ve drunk beer off one other trophy: the Spring 2014 Championship plate. We also continue to sing ‘Crappy Old Lockhart’ at the 11th minute of every game.

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