Hansen joins staff

“Is there anything going on out there?” was the question my friends in Boston asked me when I told them I accepted a job as a sportswriter in Marshall, Minnesota.

It was a fair question. I was leaving a job at a major newspaper and a town with a rich sports culture for a job three hours from the nearest professional sports arena. Why leave the big city for the prairie?

Before I answer that question, let me tell you how I got to the big city in the first place. I am originally from the town of Wyoming, Minnesota, which is about thirty miles north of the cities. I graduated from Saint John’s University in 2010 and then moved to Maryland for an Americorps position with the Maryland Conservation Corps for two years. I moved to Boston in 2012 after I got accepted into the master’s program in journalism in Boston University.

Even though I don’t “pahk the cah”, you’ll probably see some Beantown inspiration in this column. I learned a lot from the city. I wrote for a few different newspapers, dabbled in standup comedy, and ate my fair share of seafood. I also now get all of the references in the Boston-based gangster movie, “The Departed.”

You may also see me wearing my “B Strong” cap, which I bought after the Marathon bombings in April 2013. I was two blocks away from the bombs on that Monday. A few days later, I was fortunate enough to attend the first Red Sox game at Fenway Park after that horrific event. It remains the most meaningful sporting event I have ever attended.

Leaving Boston was bittersweet, but it was time for me to come home. I was ready for cheaper rent, open space, and easier access to cheese curds.

I was also ready to find some stories that wouldn’t be covered by four or five different media outlets. I’m honored to have the privilege of telling the stories of Marshall’s rich athletics tradition.

Boston wears it’s sports passion on its sleeve, but after exploring this fair town a bit, I realized that Marshall does as well. I saw volleyball players at Southwest Minnesota State teaching the next generation of Tigers and Mustangs. There were a vocal crowd of supporters at Legion Field on Saturday to cheer on the VFW baseball teams. Numerous people beamed with pride when they asked if I had seen Mattke Field yet. Even though Marshall is quite a bit smaller than the Massachusetts capital, it’s passion is just as big and it’s stories are just as good.

So if you see me out jogging around town, at the Varsity Pub, or at a Tigers game, stop me and say hello. I’d love to hear your story.