Tradition Tuesday is a weekly feature where we 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 have the answers in Tradition Tuesday.
Before the DETHLOON, there was Total Jackassery. What’s the link between donkeys and the Dark Clouds? The term has fallen somewhat out of use lately but it’s an big piece of the group’s lore that’s worth understanding.
When the Minnesota Thunder moved to Griffin Stadium in Saint Paul, the early iteration of the Dark Clouds stood behind the opposition bench with “with the big bass drum and one horn and like ten people” per Anthony de Sam Lazaro. The Clouds would jam away on the drum and heckle the opposition players trying to throw them off their game.
At a party, Anthony met Analisa Fleischhacker who upon hearing that he was a Thunder fan asked, “Were you one of the jackasses with the drum?” Anthony continues the story: “I readily agreed that I was and related this story to Andy, Bruce and the others. We embraced the name as it was, we all agreed, accurate.” The name also had a nice connection to the Dark Clouds’ heckling through the ‘Jackass Heckler’ in Happy Gilmore.
Every half-decent organization needs a self-depreciating term of endearment that it’s members can call each other and ‘Jackass’ fit the Dark Clouds’ irreverent vibe perfectly. It was used by DCs to refer to one another in conversation and then made it’s way onto merch. In 2006 a t-shirt was made with the tagline “A unicorn is nothing more than a jackass with a horn.” It was inspired by Neal Logan and Rich Harrison, two guys who play their horns in the section to this day. (SCALES!)
The term ‘Total Jackassery’ by Bruce McGuire (aka duNord) ahead of the 2010 season and was put onto the 2010 supporter’s scarf that is pictured to the right. Previous Tradition Tuesday subject Nessie is also on the scarf. (Full Disclosure: As of publication I don’t know if this was a draft design or if it was actually manufactured.) A @TotalJackassery twitter account was also made that remains active to this day. The 2012 ‘Nuts Of A Warrior’ scarf also has a jackass on it. Finally, the Dark Clouds’ zine launched that year was called the ‘The Jackassery Times-Heckler’.
Jackass started to fall out of common use around the time Minnesota United came into existence. It was still around when I first joined the group in 2013 but we’ve made relatively few references to it in recent years. In 2015, The Jackassery-Times-Heckler was renamed ‘The Darkness’ (still published today over at FiftyFive.One) and no new merch has been made with a jackass on it. However, if you hang out around Neal Logan (and his horn) long enough, you’ll still hear him lovingly call his fellow Dark Clouds ‘Jackasses.’ Maybe some of you might pick it up too.