A top Hmong flag football team whose earned reverence from their flag football peers throughout the Midwest and in my opinion one of the top 2 teams in Minnesota, I present thee, team IDK, the epitome of a true flag football team in sportsmanship and leadership. They’ve been on the hierarchy pyramid as one of the best team in the Hmong flag football realm, but negating them to entitle themselves as the best of the best is not being able to attain the rights of the kingship throne in the title of 1st place in HFF National July Forth Tournament title.
Usually and preferably the acronym “IDK” is well versed to cyberspace aficionados online in forums and cell phone text masters “texting” a friend about not knowing about a subject—I DON’T KNOW—I interrogated and found out the true meaning to their name, so read on to find more on their exclusive interview with Hmoodle and their goals for 2009.
Jerry: Congratulations on the win in Oshkosh, plus I hear that your team might be traveling to Fresno, CA in December to partake in the West Coast tourney held during the Fresno Hmong New Year?
IDK: Thank you, Oshkosh was a big success for us as well. It’s just a shame the days weren’t longer and we couldn’t finish the tournament. California, that was just an idea, something that we were debating, however it doesn’t look likely. It is something that we want to work towards, but maybe next year.
Jerry: During game time, if there’s a sense of angst amongst the team, is there a certain individual that brings the morale back to the team?
IDK: There is never one specific person that rallies the team back. This role flips between different individuals during different games. Most of the time it’s the ones who have been apart of the team longer, there are times when the fire we need is sparked by the most unlikely person. We truly believe that everyone plays an important role in IDK and rely on everyone to play their part.
Jerry: Before game time is there a ritual or maybe a prayer that the team participates in regularly?
IDK: No, no ritual, usually just a small pep talk by one of the captains. We truly believe that once we arrive at a tournament we are at the ultimate level that we can be; no ritual or prayer can bring us to another level. We just have to remember what we trained so hard for and go out there and claim what is ours.
Jerry: What does the name “IDK” stand for, my assumption is that this is the acronym short for something or am I wrong?
IDK: I don’t know…(IDK)
Jerry: So, why the name—is there anything significant to the name in addition, who came up with this name?
IDK: This is actually a funny story. In our team’s infancy we held a team meeting to decide on our future and name. One of our biggest guys comes in and says “IDK”, in the most confident and powerful demeanor possible. I’ll admit we were all impressed. When we asked what it meant, he simply shrugged his shoulders and said; “I don’t know.” At the end of the day, the name proved to be victorious, and the story of IDK has been what it is since.
Jerry: How did you guys get started playing flag football as a team—or was it just a bunch of friends and acquaintances initially playing to pass time during the long days of summer?
IDK: IDK was born on a field of snow and ice. It did start as a bunch of friends playing football together; however it was done so to pass the long days of winter rather than summer. Ask any of the original members and they’ll tell you tales full of blizzard conditions and iced over fields that consumed any and all exposed flesh. But of the people that started IDK, there were a significant number that had some experience playing organized football, whether it was high school, or college ball.
Jerry: Is the team preparing for next year’s Hmong national title during the 4th of July, 2009?
IDK: Winning J4th is one of our top goals but as of right now our main focus is on the up coming season. We take football very seriously so it doesn’t really matter of its Dakota County Tournament or Labor Day tournament in WI. Which ever tournament we’re in it’s important to us to win 1st place. Our main goal is to be the best at what we do and represent IDK football to its fullest.
Jerry: Is there a core regimen or drill that your team partakes in during practices? Could you elaborate on the team drills and how often does your team get together?
IDK: We only have one practice a week, even during the season. Our practices are usually anywhere between 3-4 hours long. A typical practice schedule would be to start off with a team warm-up and stretching (10-15 minutes), team drill (10 minutes), individual position drills (30 minutes), Offensive and Defensive team focus (30 minutes), and finish with a scrimmage between the offense and defense.
Jerry: Would you say your team is a pass friendly team or a run frenzy team?
IDK: HFF has come a long way. Teams are so good nowadays that you really have to be able to do both at a high level. If you can run the football consistently your chances for a win is pretty high. Plus it limits the opportunity for turnovers. It also depends on the opponent we’re going up against. If we know that we can beat them with the pass then we’ll beat them with the pass. Overall we’re a pretty balance team.
Jerry: Would you like to recognize any player(s) on your team that has shown an “MVP-like” role during game time?
IDK: There’s so many names to choose from. Everybody knows who the veteran players on IDK are and what we’re capable of and the leadership we bring. It’s the young guys that’s very deserving, the one’s who goes beyond their roles and responsibilities. Thao Vang-MLB, Pheng Moua-C those two guys have really step up to be future leaders of the team. It doesn’t matter if it’s game time or practice they’re always there giving their all. If they get beat on a play or something bad happens on a play you will never hear them complain or make excuses. They know what they did wrong and you can see them adjust right away. Those are the type of players that’s deserving of MVP status and the kind of players that’ll get you to the top.
Jerry: In Minnesota, which team would you see as your best rivalry and why?
IDK: Other than having to combating against ourselves “joking”, from one perspective of the team, I would have to say that the rivalry through the years have changed from Plaza to X-Conz and Redrum. All teams in MN are great, but the most challenging ones have come from these three teams.
Jerry: A continuation from this question, in the nation of Hmong flag football—if there was a real “Hmong Superbowl”—who would you see as your greatest threat and why?
IDK: Right now, there are so many different teams with on and off days in tournaments. I wish I could say if there were true statistics on the winning percentages and individual athletes, but this past year was a great one in having the pleasure in playing Lights Out who eventually took the July 4th tournament beating the defending champs for two years in a row. Lights Out right now would be on the top as they’ve won the “Super Bowl” equivalent.
Jerry: By ranking, where would your team be ranked out of all the Hmong flag football teams in the country?
IDK: I’m not sure how I’d be able to rank a team with just footage and no true stats. We would definitely be top 30 for sure.
Jerry: Your team has become synonymous to winning the small tourneys but have yet to win the coveted national title during July 4th; what do you say to those individuals claiming your team’s a fluke or that your team can’t win under intense pressure?
IDK: We’ll only continue playing with all of our best effort as that’s the only way we know how to play. Every team’s focus is to eventually win the big one, but until we do, we’re going to continue to stay hungry in our relentless pursuit of the July 4th trophy. Perhaps a fluke isn’t a fluke until you actually win?
Jerry: So, what’s the team’s relationship to team Valkyries?
IDK: Valkyries are a great team, although there really isn’t a close relationship with both teams. There are sisters, cousins and friends that play on Valkyries who are related or acquainted with IDK, but there isn’t really a close coaching-player relationship here, just everyday people who enjoy the same sport.
Jerry: Lastly, is there anything that anyone would like to add or maybe a question you’d like to ask us at Hmoodle.com—this is when teams or individuals would give thanks or give additional comments to our readers?
IDK: Thank you to Hmoodle, the fans and the players for they are the ones who keep this sport alive. This experience within our community creates many positive outlooks on what we have achieved thus far where we can go from here on out. It’s up to the younger generation as well as ourselves to keep this sport alive and growing. Thanks again from all of us in IDK! Ua tsaug ntau ntau!
Finally, I’d like to thank Yeng Moua and Yia Lee of IDK for finding time from their busy schedule to get back to me on this questionnaire, much appreciated guys. In addition, I would like to thank the rest of team IDK, keep on doing what you’re doing because 2009 might be your year in taking the national title.
Watch-out Hmong flag footballers, they’re back in training to take all the titles this year, aforementioned, Yeng did say and I quote, ”Winning J4th is one of our top goals!” So, guys I’mma put an exclamation point out on this phrase as they’re out to make a statement for 2009, so make it prosperous brothers!
So long and goodbye, I’ll join you guys again for another interview with another team upcoming next month, but if you’d like to buzz me back on this interview or have any question(s) about anything, please don’t hesitate to contact me back at [email protected], thanks.