The Times' Newsroom staff weigh in on their top five things and what they'd like to see happen this week

Save a life, give blood today, or Tuesday

The Crookston Blood Drive will be held Monday, Jan. 29 (from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) and Tuesday, Jan. 30 (from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at Trinity Lutheran Church in the Fellowship Hall. Blood is in constant need and cannot be manufactured. It can be used for cancer patients, hemophiliacs, accident victims, members of the military wounded in battle, surgery patients, and more. According to givingblood.org, only 37 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood and less than 10 percent of those who can donate actually do donate annually. The number one reason donors say they give blood is because they want to help others. Consider attending this week’s Crookston Blood Drive or any upcoming blood drive to save a life today.

Pirates pass tough tests

It's a big week for Pirate boys' hockey, with road games Tuesday at rival and always excellent East Grand Forks, and Thursday at Thief River Falls, which, after a slow start to the season, seems to be playing its best hockey right now as the regular season heads down the home stretch. The Pirates are in a pattern where they're beating the teams they're supposed to beat, usually by a wide margin, and they're losing to teams that are fairly even with them, or better than them. If the Pirates are going to make a run in the section tournament, they're going to have to beat teams on par with them, as well as teams above them in the standings. For Pirate hockey, the tests seemingly every season don't get tougher than EGF and TRF.

Bring home a section title, CHS One-Act Play

On Thursday, February 25 the Crookston High School One Act Team won their Sub-Section contest at Ada-Borup High School.  The One-Act team performed, “The Insanity of Mary Girard.”  The Sub-Section winners will compete in Roseau on Saturday, January 3 against 7 other teams.  The team consists of high schoolers Anna Huck, Nekeisha Watkins, Sarah Ryan, Gina Visness, Victoria Prouxl, Jessica Willits, Damian Hodgson, Grace Steiner, Justin Pietruszewski, Zachary Sanders, Luisa Bernia, Skylar Weiland, Blaine Asman, Cyle Keith, Jordan Lessard, Linnea French, Sophia Rezac and coaches, Phyllis Hagen and Beth Carlson.  The Crookston One Act team will compete against Bagley, Fosston, Ada-Borup, Stepher-Argyle Central, Red Lake Falls, Roseau, and Warroad.  Good luck to the Crookston One Act Team this upcoming saturday hoping to make it to state.

                                                   – Ally Tiedemann, student writer

Check out Super Bowl LII™ week of activities

There are many things to do this week in the Twin Cities area with Super Bowl LII™ right around the corner and Minnesota hosting for the second time in history, the first being in 1992. The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee™ lined up events for 10 days leading up to the big game on Sunday, Feb. 4 at various locations. Coming up, you and your family can enjoy Explore Minnesota’s ‘Sota Pop (daily), Built Ford Tough Sleigh Rides (daily), Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis to get inside the game with the NFL’s interactive theme park (daily thru Feb. 3), Super Bowl LIVE Presented by Verizon with free live concerts (daily), Super Bowl Opening Night Fueled By Gatorade (Jan. 29), Radio Row (daily thru Feb. 3), Esera Tuaolo’s Inclusion Party (Jan. 31), Ditka & Jaws Cigars With The Stars (Feb. 1), Walter Payton Man Of The Year (Feb. 1), Nomadic Live concerts with artists Imagine Dragons, Pink and DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Ft. J Lo (Feb. 1-3), NFL Gospel Celebration (Feb. 1), Legends For Charity Dinner Presenting The Pat Summerly Award (Feb. 1), Feherty Live (Feb. 1 and 2), Taste of the NFL (Feb. 3), Supervalu Founders Breakfast (Feb. 3), 2018 Super Bowl Breakfast (Feb. 3), Smocks & Jocks (Feb. 3), Thrilling Freestyle Snowmobile Stunts at “Polaris UpsideDowntown (Feb. 3), NFL Alumni Artisan Home Tour (Feb. 3), Frosty Fat Tire Festival (Feb. 3), and Super Bowl LII (Feb. 4.) For more info and ticket prices, visit mnsuperbowl.com/events.

Recognize Brady as ‘one of us’?

In Minnesota, perhaps more than any other state, we love to keep tabs on "our own," i.e. fellow Minnesotans. We look for any possible angle or storyline to give us an opportunity to claim that someone has ties to Minnesota and, therefore, is "one of us." Staring down a Super Bowl Sunday in which Minnesotans are being forced to force a "Minnesota Nice" smile as the cheating, excellent New England Patriots take the field against the Philadelphia Eagles and their awful, assaultive fans, we now have our "he's one of us" angles: Tom Brady's mom is from tiny Browerville, Minnesota, he still has lots of relatives there, he comes back to visit the farm from time to time, and, when interviewed the other day, Brady said Minnesota means a lot to him and holds a special place in his heart. So there you have it, Vikings fans, a reason to root for someone on a Sunday that otherwise won't be that "Super."