The time has come for the state high school hockey tournament. Minnesotans have between now and the end of this weekend to grow a mullet, knock out a couple teeth, and cheer like banshees for teenagers who happened to grow up in your hometown.
The coming of this year's tournament brought one Minnesota woman back to her own youth, when she cheered — as in, as a cheerleader — for the Hastings High School Raiders. The year was 1985, and her team was headed into a tough first-round matchup with Anoka High School. Everyone at school had caught "the fever," she recalls.
That's why they were so excited when WCCO, the station broadcasting that year's event, decided to come by every high school that made the tournament to film a promotional video, to be aired during tournament play. The videos would be music videos. Judging by the one shot for Hastings High, they are simply amazing.
The woman — who asked that we not use her name, though she acknowledges that yes, she's in the video — recently rooted around in her parents' attic and dug out a 31-year-old VHS tape. While she and her parents had gone to St. Paul to see the action live, at the St. Paul Civic Center, her grandparents had stayed in Hastings with a promise to record the game on TV.
As you'll hear when her clip starts, the night didn't go so great for Hastings: They were down 9-4 after two periods, and, as the cheerleader recalls, Anoka went on to win by an even bigger margin. Hastings would be bounced from the tournament after another loss.
But that class of Hastings High School has something better than some long-ago sporting glory. They have this video of them lip-synching Glenn Frey's "The Heat Is On." No one can ever take that away from them.
There are just so many highlights in that short piece of Minnesota history. A few that need special attention:
- The badass pull-up-the-shades reveal at the 1:05 mark, which we've captured in a still image above.
- The guys in the computer lab. (AIR GUITAR!)
- The computer lab.
- "Spark up that Bunsen burner! Rad!"
- Front-row glasses kid looking around to see if he's dancing correctly at around 2:16.
- Home ec class. Just, everything about home ec class.
"We thought we were so cool," she says. "Everything was on point there, for that time. The hair, the clothes. That's the way you were supposed to look."
And now? She's heard from a ton of classmates from that era since posting her video online. They're loving it. Some had forgotten it even happened, or tried to, our source tells us.
But now they're all having a good laugh and reliving the glory days, when the Hastings Raiders were riding high into the state tournament, Glenn Frey was not just still alive, but cool as hell, and the only thing cooler than wearing sunglasses was removing them in a cool way.
"This was, obviously, huge for us at the time," she says. "I remember the night the game was on, they preempted Dallas for our game."
And your video. And for that, we thank the good people of WCCO for hatching this idea three decades ago. We thank our source, for her long memory, and her parents, for not throwing out old VHS tapes. And we thank the 1980s for everything.