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Field Guide to the Arctic Blue-Turfed Hooligan

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

This past Saturday was the final football game of the year for the Barrow Whalers. They played Nikiski, a team from the North Road of the Kenai Peninsula. There’s not much to do here, and despite not being a fan of the sport, I did head to the field, located some 3 or 4 miles east of town and placed between the Arctic Ocean and a tundra lake. I know the fathers of a couple of the NiHi players, and sure enough, one of them was there to root for his son, the quarterback. He didn’t have much to cheer about as NiHi turned the ball over 4 times and saw a 15-14 lead become a 27-15 loss. The wind howled for the entire game – most spectators stayed in their cars. A few fans watched from the make-shift bleachers and provided a bit of local color. It’s surprisingly curious that the Barrow team is a multi-cultural mix of Inupiat, Caucasian, African-American, Samoan, and other players of various ethnic backgrounds.

Check out one of my previous posts (It blows here in Barrow) for the skinny about the football team.