Profiles in Profile: Kyle Kosior Live | February 1, 2023

We are now in the thick, THE THICK, of the winter hockey season.  Between our eleven-year-old’s travel team, our seven-year-old’s league and fun skates, and Kyle’s job with the hockey agency, we spend so much time at various rinks that I’m thinking about getting an Airstream and rolling it from parking lot to parking lot so that I can take my pants shoes off between games.

While we spend the bulk of our non-work waking hours at the rink – a couple of Sundays ago, Kyle was there from 6:30am to 8:00pm and I was there from 8:00am on because I am the suckier parent – we don’t actually spend any time together.  One kid is always in the locker room or on the ice, the other is running around with his friends or at the concession stand, and Kyle is as far away from me as physically possible without having to actually leave the building.

Kyle likes to watch hockey.  He likes to WATCH it.  He does not like to chit-chat about post-game lunch, or browse the wares at the concession stand, or hold my coffee while I go outside to the car to take my pants shoes off.  He likes to WATCH.  HOCKEY.  He likes to WATCH IT.

He also wants to remain married to me.  He wants to REMAIN MARRIED.  Because he wants to remain married to me, he cannot say, “Amanda, shut your piehole about the meltiness of the cheese at the concession stand and watch frickin’ hockey,” and so, instead, Kyle has found a way to avoid me by streaming the games on Facebook Live for his twenty-person throng of adoring fans.

He streamed for the first time last year.  We were in Devils Lake, and he stood at the back of the bleachers on the side of the rink opposite from me and used the camera on his phone to follow the play.

“I’m doing this for your dad,” he told me.  “He wanted to see the game.”

“That’s nice,” I said.

He streamed again the next day in Grand Forks…at a place with a Rink Cam that could be accessed online.  This time, he called out penalties and goals and player names.

“Your dad can’t hear the sound on the Rink Cam,” he said.  “It’s for your dad.”

“That’s nice,” I said.

The following weekend, Kyle started doing play-by-play for his audience of three: my dad, and two grandmas who didn’t want to drive in the cold.  He also added in some light color, notably by proclaiming that the stream was sponsored (it was not) by a business owned by one of our friends: Great Plains Plumbing and Heating.

“This game brought to you by Great Plains Plumbing and Heating,” he said into his phone.  “Great Plains Plumbing and Heating: We’re coming in hot!” (That is not their tagline.)

Both my dad and Kyle thought he was very funny.

A few days later, my dad presented Kyle with two lavalier microphones that plugged into his phone and clipped onto jacket lapels.  A month after that – now with ten-plus grandmas and grandpas on the stream who tuned in primarily to hear their grandchild’s names and secondarily for Kyle’s commentary (“We’re broadcasting live from Minot; so close to Canada you can smell the taxes”) – the other parents gave him a t-shirt with “NACHO AVERAGE COMMENTATOR” written across the back.  And, with that, Kyle became the self-proclaimed official gameday network of all of our sons’ hockey teams in perpetuity.

Less than thirty days later, Kyle’s official status became a bit of a problem at the start of Eleven’s spring hockey season because another dad on the team (a different group than the winter season) was ALSO the official gameday network of his own sons’ hockey teams.  Fortunately, that dad had a nicer phone and Kyle had a nicer microphone setup, so they joined forces with the other dad on play-by-play and camera work and Kyle on color and microphone ownership.  His Emmy-nominated line of the season was, “Looks like he’s getting that penalty for, um…reasons.”  Great Plains Plumbing and Heating was, once again, an unwilling and unpaid sponsor.

Fast-forward to this winter season.  Now a seasoned broadcaster, and the owner of a gimble thanks to a generous gift from another hockey family (while Kyle’s commentary is spot-on, his camera work leaves something to be desired – especially since he likes to WATCH HOCKEY and sometimes forgets that he’s holding a camera), Kyle’s production has been taken to the next level.  For example, he has more unsigned sponsors, including Spicer Container and Salvage (“Spicer Container and Salvage: Get That Stuff Out of Here”) and North Dakota Nice (“North Dakota Nice: [Our street address]’s most popular blog, 2021”).  He has added in a section called “Profiles in Profile,” in which he turns to whomever is seated nearest to him, points the camera on the side of their face, and asks what they think of the game (Spoiler: everyone thinks the boys are doing a good job).

Kyle also has taken to including guest announcers whenever possible – selected, like “Profiles in Profile,” based on proximity.  As most of the parents have figured out that if you sit next to Kyle he’s going to hand you a mic, the majority of his co-commentators are children.  Our own seven-year-old did the first period at a recent game, during which Kyle asked him how he expected the next hour to go.

“Well, it’s either going to go really, really good, or really, really bad,” Seven said.

“Hard to contradict that,” Kyle said in response.

Fortunately, Kyle’s demographic is almost entirely over 60 or under 8, so these guests do very well.  In fact, one of the grandmas routinely asks for updates on her own granddaughter sitting in the stands.

Another one of those grandmas also suggested that Kyle stream her other grandson’s Peewee game.

“Haha,” Kyle said, but not in a real HAHA way, more like in a “Maybe” way, which made me a little nervous because we don’t really need any more rink time.  I’m considering asking him to start a lawn dart league so I can at least sit outside (pants optional).


Last weekend, our son’s team played the other Grand Forks team at a tournament. It was quite the competition – for the dads – because pictured here is Kyle and his co-presenter (the dad mentioned above) having to call the game on two separate, competing streams. This is as close as I was allowed to get.


Bring yo’ kids’ best smiles; the North Dakota State College of Science Allied Dental Education Clinic is providing free dental work on February 10. (Wahpeton Daily News)

Cavalier’s Ava Robinson won the junior Beargrease as a 14-year-old and is now preparing for the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. (Valley News Live)

Best of luck to Wyndmere’s McKinnlee Haberman, winner of the local 2023 Poetry Out Loud contest, who is now headed to the national competition. (Wahpeton Daily News)

For communities without a public library, there is now a book vending machine. (Hillsboro Banner)

The Fargo community came out to support a new supermarket, owned by a brother-sister duo who came to North Dakota after escaping Vietnam. (Fargo Forum)

I did not know this was a thing until now: congratulations to the winners of the Barnes County Wildlife Annual Coyote Calling Contest – the results of which (by number of coyotes called) are listed here. (Valley City Times Record)


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Goalie Mom, or a brief lesson in unclenching | December 7, 2022

When my eleven-year-old was around seven, he came home from hockey practice and announced he wanted to be a goalie.

“Great!”  My husband said.

“Erm,” I said.

Here was my concern: hockey is a team sport, but the goalie’s mistakes stand alone.  In fact, sometimes, the goalie shoulders the burden of the entire team’s mistakes; for example, we were recently at a University of North Dakota hockey game and UND scored on the opposing team’s net. 

“Sieve, sieve, sieve, sieve!” the crowd shouted at the goalie while the goal replayed on the screen.

“See that,” Kyle (as a reminder, a hockey agent) said, pointing at one of the opposing defensemen.  “He lost his man.”

“Oh, yes,” I said, even though I didn’t see because my knowledge of the intricacies of hockey stops at whether they serve hot dogs or brats at the concession stand, and also because it’s hard to keep your eye on everyone when there are ten people quickly chasing a small black disk on a big sheet of ice (and you’re busy eating a brat).

Anyways, I didn’t want my sweet, doe-eyed seven-year-old to face that negative attention, warranted or unwarranted.

“How about this,” I said.  “You can play goalie for your Tuesday practices, and play out for your Thursday practices.”

“I want to play goalie all the time,” he said.

“Let’s start with Tuesdays,” I said.

That plan lasted exactly one week.  On the second Thursday, I popped by the rink after work to pick up our toddler from Kyle and wave to the big boy.  Shore ‘nough, I found him out on the ice in his borrowed goalie equipment.

“I thought we agreed on Tuesdays,” I said to Kyle.

“He wouldn’t get dressed otherwise,” Kyle said.

That first year, he let in approximately nine billion goals.  I sat in the stands scrunched like an old dried-up sponge, searching his face behind his mask for an anticipated torrent of tears.  They never came; instead, he’d dance along to the music that would play during the whistle.

He was still wearing borrowed equipment by his second season – “I don’t want to spend the money if he’s not going to stick with it,” The Killer of Joy told Kyle – although I had willingly agreed to pay for goalie lessons because I needed another thing to obsess over.  Before every practice, lesson, or game I’d say to our son, “Have fun and do your best,” and then spend the next hours and days fretting over why he wasn’t paying enough attention, or getting his stick down fast enough, or saving every shot, or whether the other goalies were better and if they were and he was cut from the team would he have any friends anymore and should we just pack up and move right this second to a town in the middle of the desert that had never seen ice?  WELL SHOULD WE?

Of course, I didn’t want to share these neuroses with an eight-year-old, so instead I’d tamp down every emotion into a tight ball and ask with the eyes of a psychopath, “Do you still like being a goalie, buddy?”  And our son would always answer, “Yes!”

Once, I decided to mention a few of these anxieties to my best friend, who has neither children nor any interest in youth sports.  After a loooooooong pause, she said, “I don’t think he needs goalie camp, I think you need Valium.”

Fast-forward another year, to when my parents met us for one of the final games of the season.  I was sitting in the stands next to my mother, who was talking away about something when she stopped and asked, “Are you holding your breath?”

“Yes, I guess I am,” I said, exhaling quickly.

“Why?”

“I’m nervous,” I said.

“About this game?” 

“About everything,” I said.

“Well, what is the point of THAT?”  She asked, as if I had told her I owned more than one can opener.  “It’s a game, Amanda.  Games are meant to be fun.  Is he having fun?”

She pointed to my son, who was zipping around in his net.

“Yes,” I said.

“If he doesn’t do well, are you going to go out there and play for him?”  She asked.

“No,” I said.

“Then you can either have fun or not have fun, or be nervous or not be nervous, but none of those things are going to change the outcome of this game.”  Then she went back to whatever she was talking about before, probably can openers.

I thought about what she said all summer, through baseball and road trips and goalie equipment shopping trips (because I’m not a total monster).  I thought about it while we were packing up for his first fall hockey tournament, and while we were walking into the rink for the first game.

“Have fun, buddy,” I said, with a depth of emotion that can only come with total enlightenment – because that was what I was going to do: enjoy myself, and my son’s time in the sport.

“Okay,” my son said, not giving a crap about my spiritual growth at all.

Today, fifteen zillion games later, my younger son has also decided to become a goalie.  At one his first games, he got tired of playing, leaned his arm up on the back of his net, and just…let in goals for a while.  Kyle and I were standing together and we burst out laughing (and then knocked on the glass to get him to pay attention).  I may not have yet achieved total Zen, but at least I was having a good time.

“Man, I don’t know how you can stand to be a goalie parent,” one of the moms said to me after the game.  “It would be too stressful for me.”

“I’ve had a lot of practice,” I told her.


The photo above was taken by photographer Jeff Wegge.  My older son (then eight years old) got to play with the Little Chippers during the first intermission of the UND game.  As you can see by his face, he had a REALLY good time.


Caitlynn Towe, Myah Johnson, and MacKenzie Olson of Rugby, Hazen, and Watford City, respectively, are on their way to New York to sing at Carnegie Hall. (KFYR TV)

A Bismarck non-profit called Badlands Search and Rescue now has a pup named Copper. (KFYR TV)

In North Dakota-adjacent news, Breckenridge’s Jared Hoechst was recently honored for saving an elderly couple from a burning vehicle. (KFYR TV)

In celebration of her birthday, West Fargo’s Gowri Pillai has donated 5,000 pounds of food – her 10th year of gathering food donations. (KVRR)

This is a sweet little read about memories. (Minot Daily News)

Bismarck’s Christian and Wilfried Tanefeu had Thanksgiving dinner with their new friend, Kelly Ripa. (KFYR TV)

Minot’s Josh Duhamel – you may have heard of him – is the voice of the main character of a new video game. (Fargo Forum)


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Superfan | June 1, 2022

If you’ve been watching the NHL Playoffs, you know that the Edmonton Oilers and the Colorado Avalanche are now competing in the Conference Finals; the winner of their series will play for the Stanley Cup.  If you’ve been reading North Dakota Nice for a while, you know that Kyle has loved (/hated) the Oilers for 42 years.  With that, I’m going to interrupt my regularly-scheduled programming (next week will be a story about the long weekend, so you’ll need to pretend like that’s still fresh in your mind) to tell you what it’s like to be married to a hockey – and specifically an Oilers – superfan.

Even if you don’t know anything about hockey, you probably know Wayne Gretzky.  Wayne Gretzky played for the Edmonton Oilers from 1979 to 1988; during that time the team won four Stanley Cups.  The call of the Wayne was so strong that little Kyle Kosior broke ranks from his family’s long-time Montreal Canadiens legacy to don the navy blue and orange.  This switch was a CHOICE because the Kosiors had collectively been Canadiens fans since the 50’s, when his grandmother’s cousin played for the team.

Little Kyle immersed himself in everything Oilers.  By the time he was ten, he knew the stats and minute-by-minute gameplay of every player on both the Oilers and their farm team.  Also when he was ten, the Oilers – the defending Stanley Cup Champs – had advanced to Game 7 against the Calgary Flames in an early Playoff series.  In the third period, the game tied, an Oilers player named Steve Smith went to pass the puck back to a teammate, missed his target, and hit the leg of his own goalie (Grant Fuhr) to score on his own net.  Little Kyle flung himself on his bed, sobbing in despair.  He cried all through the night and through school the next day.

Twenty years later, Kyle found himself in an elevator with Steve Smith.  Kyle was carrying a case of beer (a gift to a friend), and Steve asked him for one – and Kyle, the guy who has literally given people the coat off his back, channeled that inner ten-year-old and did about the meanest thing he’d ever done in his life.  He looked Steve dead in the eyes and said, “No.”

(As a hockey mom, I’d like to say that Steve Smith is not the reason the Oilers didn’t advance in the playoffs.  Hockey is a team sport, and if the Oilers were so great they would have won that game/series regardless.  As someone who loves Kyle, however, I will continue to keep my mouth shut.)

The Oilers won their last Stanley Cup in 1990.  Since then, they have…what’s a gentle way to put this?…sucked.  While some of the Oilers fans drifted away to less-craptastic teams, Kyle remained steadfast.  Also, miserable.  When we met in 2004, his M.O. would be to watch a game, stomp around the apartment swearing for fifteen minutes (social media wasn’t a thing back then; now he does his grumping on Twitter), and then toss and turn all night.  I found these tantrums so enticing that I decided to marry him.

The Oilers managed to enter the Playoffs in 2006, the same year we were wed.  As much as he tried to play it cool, Kyle was hopping with excitement.  That is not an exaggeration; we were living in an apartment on the south end of Grand Forks at the time, and Kyle would bounce between the living room and bedroom to shake off his nerves before every puck drop.  Despite decades of losses, ten-year-old (but now thirty) Kyle was so convinced of their success that he decided to host a watch party with a large group of his law school friends.  Unsurprisingly, the Oilers lost – and Kyle stood up from his Oilers easy chair (which was set below his Oilers wall clock, Oilers wall decals, and Oilers framed autographed pictures) and left.  Not out of the room; out of the apartment.  He came back a few hours later, long after all of our guests had left.

“Where did you go?”  I asked him the next morning.

“For a walk,” he said.

“Where did you walk?”  I asked.

“To East Grand Forks,” he said. (note: About 14 miles roundtrip)

I’ve now been Oilers fan-adjacent for nearly twenty years.  In that time:

  • Kyle tried (unsuccessfully) to name our first-born Ryan Smyth Pisani Kosior after two of his favorite players.
  • In 2017, Kyle didn’t watch two games out of disgust, and has since spent the last five years telling me about the time he didn’t watch those two games.
  • He has followed, and unfollowed, and refollowed every single Oilers blog and fan on Twitter. He has also cancelled multiple dinner dates because the Oilers lost earlier in the evening and “He just didn’t feel up to it.”
  • He has taken our sons to see an Oilers game every year of their lives (excluding 2020), and I finally had to lay down the law on gifts of Oilers merch because I have enough t-shirts and jerseys to outfit the entire team.
  • When I suggested that maybe he find a back-up team to follow to help balance out the Oilers suckiness, he didn’t talk to me for an hour.

Now the Oilers are in the Playoffs, and poor Kyle has had a permanent stomachache since about November.  I told one of our friends that he’s so tensed up that I’m not sure he’s gone to the bathroom.  The ten-year-old in him is still hopping with excitement; the grown man is so afraid to watch that he’ll turn off the TV in the middle of the game and I’ll have to refresh Twitter (or go into another room with a TV, because the Playoff games this year have been pretty fun) until I see that they are winning.

By the time I post this story the Oilers and Avs will have played their first game, and I wanted to get this on record before the series advances – because…well, because twenty years of because.  I asked Kyle the other day if he was happy about the Oilers, and he thought about it for a long time and then said, “I don’t know.”

And that’s what it’s like being married to a superfan.

The photo above is of Kyle watching an Oilers game.  Look at how much he’s enjoying it.

This week’s news has lemonade, fish, and 13,850 miles.  Read on.


A group of Hunter second-graders raised $2,016 via a one-day lemonade stand to help one of their classmates purchase a new vehicle.(Facebook)

Time to borrow a fishing rod, because North Dakota residents 16 and older can fish for free on June 4 and 5. (KX Net)

A little (or even a lot) of rain didn’t deter the annual North Dakota Memorial Day ceremony.  As Maj. Gen Al Dohrmann, North Dakota National Guard adjutant general, said, “It’s a beautiful day.  Any day we can gather and honor our veterans and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice is beautiful.” (Bismarck Tribune)

Jamestown’s Helene Neville has spent the last 12 years running across every state in the country – totally 13,850 miles – and is the “fifth and oldest person to ever run the perimeter of the continental U.S.” (Jamestown Sun)

Congratulations to the newly-crowned Mrs. North Dakota America, Mrs. North Dakota American, Miss North Dakota for America Strong, Teen Miss for North Dakota, Junior Teen for North Dakota, Junior Miss for Grand Forks, Little Miss for Grand Forks, Junior Miss for Grand Forks 2023, Miss Red River Valley for America Strong, and Mrs. Downtown Grand Forks America! (Grand Forks Herald)

I know this isn’t a typical North Dakota Nice story, but I happen to know the Vanderpans and they are the nicest family and I think it’s awesome that Matt is sharing his story to raise awareness of stroke symptoms. (Grand Forks Herald)

And finally, a little North Dakota Nice from Facebook, courtesy of a a North Dakota Associate Poet Laureate:

Screenshot_20220526-211539_Facebook


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