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Christopherson Column: An apt time for the return of ‘Wishes & Hopes’

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    I used to write an annual “What I’m thankful for” column at Thanksgiving, a “Wishes and Hopes” column at Christmas, and a “New Year’s resolutions” column for each New Year. I stopped writing all three several years ago.

    But if a guy can’t write a wishful, hopeful column during the 2020 holiday season, after what has been for the most part a you-know-what-show of a year, when can he?

    So here goes…

    • I hope the Fox regional sports networks are able to reach an agreement with Hulu when the Minnesota Wild start playing hockey sometime in January.

    Am I the only one who can’t wrap my arms around all of these contractual disputes between television programming providers and programming carriers?

    First, after more than 20 years as a Dish Network subscriber, I “cut the cord,” as they say, when Dish pulled Fox Sports North because of a contract dispute over pricing with Fox. I then subscribed to Hulu + Live Sports, which offered FSN. It was cheaper, and I was a happy man being able to watch the Twins and the Wild. (I’ll start watching the Timberwolves again when they start playing defense.)

    But now FSN is gone from Hulu. It’s gone from another sports-heavy streaming service, Fubo. Again, it’s all about a contractual fight

    So that leaves traditional cable, Midco, and DirecTV as the only providers around these parts who carry FSN. (I’ve been told another streaming service, something called AT&T Now, carries FSN, but have you tried clicking around on that site? They try to steer you to DirecTV, owned by AT&T, at every turn. I will never restore the cord!)         

    But at what point do Minnesota sports fans stop pointing enraged fingers at the TV programming carriers and instead direct blame at Fox and its regional networks? And at one point will Fox realize that losing viewers, and revenue, because they offer their regional sports channels to fewer carriers is a poor business model?

    • I wish our cardinals would return to our backyard. We saw a beautiful female for two days a couple months ago, about right on schedule for the fall return of the gorgeous birds, but she hasn’t been back.

    I know there are lots of wonderful, spiritual and mythical stories about what it means for a cardinal to visit your yard, especially during the Christmas season. It’s something about a loved one from the afterlife coming to greet you, and it’s all very cool.

    But we just love the birds and the way they behave and how they’re so tough because they seem to show up during the worst blizzards and feed all day.

    We had the same male and female pair for several years, and they’d stick around from early November until late spring. We named them. Only individual males and females have shown up over the past couple of years, however, and when you read up on cardinals and their seemingly short lifespan, the realization that our first two cardinals, Carlos and Camilla, who stay together for life, are probably no longer of this Earth is sort of depressing. But what gives me hope is the possibility that the cardinals we’ve seen over the past couple of years are Carlos and Camilla’s offspring.

    • I wish I lived in a country led by people who, during a financially crushing pandemic, had major second thoughts about giving super-rich celebrities and athletes like Kanye West and Tom Brady millions of dollars in relief, and didn’t argue for months trying to decide if I was worth getting $600.

    • I wish so-called important people who disregarded the scale and seriousness of the pandemic for so long, and even lied about it, were last in line to get vaccinated, instead of near the front. When Florida Sen. Marco Rubio posted photos online of him getting vaccinated the other day, it sparked an uproar. Rubio, when it came to responding to the pandemic, was basically in President Trump’s back pocket. In the ensuing discourse, someone wrote in trying to justify Rubio’s swift vaccination, “He’s a senator, there are only 100 of them in the world. It would be really bad if he died.” Oh, OK, got it.

    • I hope our 20+ pound beast of a cat, who for probably a few more weeks will still be heavier than our young Siberian Husky pup we brought home around a month ago, will start venturing up from the safety of the basement more frequently. He needs to take advantage of his fleeting opportunity to swipe a claw across the excitable, playful pup’s nose while he still can.

    Now, some rapid-fire wishes and hopes…

    • I hope Donald Trump becomes an afterthought.

    • I wish my wife would give up the fight and realize that Bounce dryer sheets do not reduce static in clothes in the bone-dry air of wintertime.

    • I hope we can go to some concerts next summer, like, several.

    • I hope the rest of this winter, weather-wise, is a repeat of what we’ve experienced so far. I think a lot of people need that to happen.

    • I wish you all a Merry Christmas, happy holidays or whatever you celebrate and prefer to call this season, and I hope you all have a 2021 that is immensely more pleasurable than 2020.

Mike Christopherson, Crookston Times managing editor