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)


Make life easier.

Sign up for the weekly North Dakota Nice email and get a story and the news delivered to your inbox once a week (and never more than that).

Somehow, they manage | January 11, 2023

A month or so ago, Kyle texted me at work and said, “Do you want to be the team manager?”

To which I replied, “I’m sorry, I regretfully have to pass; thank you for asking.”  (I actually think I said, “No frickin’ way,” but this is my story and I’ll tell it how I want.)

Our eleven-year-old is in his second year as a Squirt hockey player.  Grand Forks Youth Hockey recently kicked off the travel portion of the Squirt winter season, meaning the kids now play teams in other cities and not just one another.  The “team manager” Kyle referred to is a Mom who somehow miraculously finds an extra ten hours in a day to arrange all of the non-game activities that come along with toting around fifteen kids and their families from place to place.  Specifically:

  1. Selecting hotels and negotiating room blocks.  A good hockey hotel is located close to the rink; offers rooms with enough space for a hockey bag to be opened and everything inside to spread out to dry without stinking up an entire family’s worth of clothing, snacks, drinks, pool toys, blankets, pillows, takeout pizza boxes, and extra children; serves a free breakfast; has a pool and/or a place for everyone to hang out between games (preferably away from other guests on the RARE occasion someone isn’t giddy with excitement about relaxing in the middle of the equivalent of a Mardi Gras parade); and costs $100 a night.  Did I mention that sometimes the rinks are located in a town with only one option…and it’s an 8-room motel with a shared bathroom and you have to take one of those Tom Sawyer rafts to the rink?
  2. Ordering stuff.  In addition to the briefcases full of cash regularly doled out for skates, pads, helmets, gloves, sticks, practice jerseys, Gatorade, registration fees, gas, hotel rooms, and takeout pizza boxes, it is widely agreed that our little popsicles need promo items to effectively play hockey.  From hats to eight-person ice houses – if you can embroider a last name and a jersey number on it, the team manager has to source, organize, order, distribute, and troubleshoot it.  Also, it sure would be nice if the kids had gift bags filled with tape, snacks (the aforementioned hotel room snacks don’t count), energy chews, knee hockey pucks, and stickers, wouldn’t it?  Yeah, it would.
  3. Coordinating team meals, social activities, and related.  Turns out, restaurants aren’t immediately ready for 50 people who need to eat, drink, and get out of there in an hour.  Who knew?  Fortunately, that’s only one person’s problem – the team manager.
  4. Doing actual management things.  Grand Forks Youth Hockey gives every team manager a backpack filled with all sorts of important gameday items – like, you know, the record book and the First Aid kit.  And, like, you know, Grand Forks Youth Hockey expects someone to do whatever it is they do with all of those objects…which, I wouldn’t know, since I’m not the team manager.

“No problem,” Kyle said.  “I’m sure Youth Hockey will find someone.”

Later that night, after the kids had been scrubbed down and put to bed, Kyle said to me,

“Good news!  We have a team manager.”

And then I said,

“Great!  Who is it?”

And then Kyle said,

“This Other Dad and I are going to split it.”

So then I said,

“No.”

We blinked at each other for a while.

“Why not?”  Kyle asked.

“Because,” I said.  “It has to be a second-year mom.”  (PS, kids play Squirts for two years, so a second-year mom is someone who has a kid that has already been a Squirt for a year.)

“Why?”  He said.

“Because,” I said.  “That’s just the way it’s done.”

“But why?”  He said.

“Because the second-year moms learn from the previous year’s second-year moms,”  I said, exasperated.  “You were never a first-year mom, so you’re not going to know what to do…which means [deep breath, pause for dramatic effect] NOW I’M GOING TO HAVE TO DO IT.”

“Oh, that’s no big deal,” he said, brushing me off.  “You can tell me what to do.  Besides, the other team manager is our friend, and she can help us.  Like a partnership!”

“Harumph, Kyle,” I said.  “HARUMPH.”

The next day, Kyle met me for lunch.

“We got the hotel for the Duluth tournament,” he said.  “I also went to the embroiderer and picked out a beanie for the boys.”

“Harumph,” I said.

“The Other Dad is going to coordinate the book and the box workers for this weekend,” he said.  “And check it out – he made a song playlist for between whistles.”

“Harumph,” I said, and then, “What about the door signs?”

“What door signs?”  Kyle asked.

Every year, the moms and grandmas get together during a practice to paint large paper signs for the front doors of our houses.  These signs have the kids’ names and numbers and say something like, “Go team!” to make it easier for burglars to figure out who is out of town for the weekend.

Kyle pulled out his phone and typed something.

“Okay, one of the moms said she’d be in charge of the door signs,” Kyle said.  “By the way, I was thinking we should organize a group dinner after the Park River game.”

“Harumph, Kyle,” I said, pulling out my own phone.  “Fine.  Here’s a restaurant in Park River with a kid’s menu.  I’ll call them after we eat.”

“I called them already,” Kyle said.  “They are going to get a bunch of tables ready for us.”

“Oh,” I said, and then, MORE BEGRUDGINGLY THAN ANY PERSON HAS EVER BEGRUDGED, “That’s nice.”

We’ve now had two weekends’ worth of games – and in the most annoying situation ever, Kyle and the Other Dad continue to do a good job as co-team managers.  I keep telling myself it’s because all of us moms have such low expectations for their output that whatever they do seems acceptable – but they approach everything with such gusto that it’s hard to find fault.  They send messages!  They buy pin bags!  They hang out with other dads in the scorer’s box!  They bring the backpack to the rink!  They take the backpack back home!  Sure, the moms have had to redo a few things, but overall they are a major success; so much so, that I’m thinking Grand Forks Youth Hockey should always have dads be team managers – second-year dads, of course.


The photo above is of one of our two team managers.


The Three River Crisis Center in Wahpeton had 1,762 (after finding one hidden away!) pairs of undergarments under the tree this year. (Wahpeton Daily News)

In North Dakota-adjacent news, Red Lake Falls’ Alex Gullingsrud is back on the ice. (Grand Forks Herald)

This is a story about a clock. (KFYR TV)

Teen author and Lansford-ian Lindsey Undlin has written a second book. (Minot Daily News)

Fargo’s Russ and Robin Nelson ate at a different locally-owned restaurant every week and wrote about it on Facebook. (Fargo Forum)

Trust no one at the Dickinson Public Schools Foundation’s annual murder mystery dinner. (Dickinson Press)


Make life easier.

Sign up for the weekly North Dakota Nice email and get a story and the news delivered to your inbox once a week (and never more than that).

A Thanksgiving story | November 23, 2022

By the time you read this it will be Thanksgiving Eve and I will be pretending like I’m so overwhelmed with preparations while my mother “gives me a hand” by doing it all.  I am very grateful for my parents (my dad will participate by staying out of the way), and my husband and father-in-law (Kyle decided to deep-fry the turkey, which…has been a whole thing), and my children (who will spend the day fighting, as per Thanksgiving tradition), and all of you.  Thank you for being with me these past two years.

Also, thank you for the kind messages related to my grandfather’s passing.  My grandpa lived a very long (he would have been 96 in December), happy, love-filled, comfortable life, and died peacefully with all his wits about him – which, as his rabbi said, is something we should all hope to do.  Still, losing someone who adores you unconditionally feels pretty lonely, and so I appreciate the attention.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a story about my grandparents because 1) they were awesome, and 2) this particular event coincidentally occurred at Thanksgiving.

Like I said, my Grandpa Mel and Grandma Mar (her name was Marion, but we called her Grandma Mar because grandmother in French is grand-mere, which sort of sounds like Grand Mar; and if my grandmother had to be old enough to be a grandma she would at least be a glamorous French one) were fantastic.  They were on a first-name basis with half of the maître d’s in New York and New Jersey.  They vacationed with (and had a bonkers story about) Dick Cavett – and since I’m name-dropping, Judy Blume was at my engagement party because she was writer-friends with my grandma.  My grandpa performed magic tricks at all of my childhood birthday parties; and for my eighteenth birthday, they took my sister and me to Paris and London.  I lived with them for a college summer, during which we’d celebrate the end of each workday with a martini.  They were fun, and cool, and had amazing taste, and sought out unique and interesting experiences.

They were also totally normal grandparents, and that’s what I’m going to tell you about today.

It was the year 1999, and I was getting ready to take the Amtrak train from Boston to New Jersey for some quality Thanksgiving/Grandma and Grandpa time.  I called my grandparents from our apartment landline (because it was 1999) to let them know I was headed to the station and expected to get on the 2:00 pm (or whatever, it was 22 years ago) train.

“What time will you arrive?”  Grandma asked.

“I think around 5,” I told her.  “I can call you from a payphone (re: 1999) when I get there to confirm?”

“No need,” Grandma said.  “Grandpa’s already at the station.”  We both laughed, although I wasn’t sure if it was a joke or not because my grandfather was always VERY EARLY to EVERYTHING.

(Here’s a side story to that: The Grand Forks International Airport is actually one of the busiest in the country for take-offs and landings because we have an aviation school in town; however, the city only has 50,000 people so the airport itself is just two gates.  Today those two gates are in a fancy airport building; but, in the 1980’s, it was one big room separated by a metal detector with a restaurant tacked onto the end.  My grandparents were flying back to New Jersey on the 7:00 am flight, and so my grandfather got to the airport at 3:00 am…and then sat in the car for two hours, because the airport itself didn’t open until 5:00.  Finally, a worker arrived; and so my grandparents went in, the worker checked their bags, took them through the metal detector, and then ripped their boarding pass on the other side.  When they sat down in the waiting room, my grandma checked her watch: 5:08.)

“I hope you do get in at 5 so we can go to the house before dinner,” Grandma said.  “We need you to help us with something very important.”

“What’s that?”  I asked.

Earlier that year, my grandparents had bought their first compact disc player; in celebration, my uncle had gifted them several CDs of their favorite jazz musicians.

“The player is broken,” Grandma said.  “We need you to fix it.”

“Well, I don’t know much about CD players,” I told her, “But I’ll do what I can.”

“You are a technology wiz,” she said (Note: I was not).  “I’ve been telling everyone about that award you won.”

“Which award?”  I asked.

“You know, the very prestigious award from BU,” she said.

I thought for a moment.  “The Dean’s List?  That’s not an award, it’s just a semester grade thing.  Lots of people are on it.”

“Maybe,” she said, brushing me off.  “But you’re the very best.”

“Obviously,” I said.

I arrived in New Jersey, and, of course, Grandpa was there waiting for me.  He gave me a big kiss and a hug and said,

“We are going to the house before dinner because we need you to help us with something very important.”

“Grandma told me,” I said.  “I’ll do what I can.”

“You are a champion of academia and science,” he said (Note: Nope).  “I have been telling everyone about how you got a job with an international company your first month at school.”

I thought for a moment.  “The Gap?  I’m not even allowed to use the cash register.”

“You’ll be running the place by the end of the year,” he said, brushing me off.  “They are going to make you the CEO.”

“Naturally,” I said.

At the house, they presented me with a little round boombox.

“We put the CD in,” Grandpa said.  “And we pressed play, but nothing happens.”

“You have to turn it on first,” I said, flipping the On/Off switch.  The CD player fired up, and a trumpet blared.

“Ahhhhh!”  Grandma sighed.  “You did it!  Such a smart girl.”

“Smart and good-looking,” Grandpa said.  “She gets both from her grandmother.”

He offered his hand to Grandma, and the two of them danced around the living room for the rest of the song.  We left for dinner a few minutes later, where we toasted the coming Thanksgiving, as well as my exceptional genius and beauty.

My parents, while very supportive, are fully aware of my intellectual abilities – and so I don’t think we’ll be celebrating my brilliance this year.  I’m sure, however, we’ll raise a glass to my (and my sister’s) children – whom my parents know, without a doubt, to be the brightest stars in the entire universe.


The photo above is of my grandma and grandpa and was taken by my Uncle Dean when they were 45 years old (and he was 19). It was the first photo Dean had taken with an SLR camera – a used Nikkormat for $175. Related/unrelated, my uncle – Dean Landew – is a rock musician with a bunch of songs on the Radio Indie Alliance Top 10. You check out his music here.

This week’s news has makeover artists, football players, and monks. Read on.


Country House and Angel 37 paired up to offer a no-catch free Thanksgiving dinner on Monday. (KX Net)

Patrons of the Heavens Helper’s Soup Café in Bismarck were treated to a limo ride and makeovers, courtesy of Glance Salon. (KFYR TV)

The North Dakota State College of Science football team – including their 49-year-old defensive lineman, Ray Ruschel – are playing for the NJCAA DIII National Championship next week. (Not The Bee)

The entire town of Hankinson is celebrating Cody Mauch as he heads to the NFL. (Fargo Forum)

Elementary, middle, and high school students in Fargo filled the Fargodome with food donations for the Great Plains Food Bank. (Valley News Live)

In “holy crap” news, a Colgate farmhand survived being trapped in a bin for an hour. (Grand Forks Herald)

Did you watch the Artemis One launch last week?  If so, you marveled at the efforts of the UND and NDSU students who helped make it happen. (KFYR TV)

El Belfour – a former UND player and one of the five winningest goaltenders in NHL history – suited up for a rec game in Grand Forks last week. (Grand Forks Herald)

Here’s a cool photo of some early ice pillars near Tioga. (Facebook)

The monks of Assumption Abbey in Richardton pulled out the sleds for a little snowy fun. (KFYR TV)


Let’s Be (Official) Pals!

Sign up for the weekly North Dakota Nice email and get a story and the news delivered to your inbox once a week (and never more than that).