MILWAUKEE — Tommy Novak is a River Falls native on the Admirals roster. Living near the border and going to high school in Minnesota, is he more Wisconsin or more Minnesota? We put him to the test.
TMJ4's Lance Allan asked him what is it like playing for his home state team.
"I don't know, I never really thought about it like that to be honest," Novak says. "Just being from the other side of the state, but it's interesting. I used to play against the Junior Ads in youth. It's pretty weird wearing the jersey, like after you used to beat up on them so much when you were a kid."
Did he have an ill feeling for awhile?
"Not the Junior Ads. No," Novak says. "Not them. We usually took it to them pretty good."
He's been in Milwaukee and he's technically in Wisconsin, but does he consider himself somewhat part of Minnesota?
"Well he's right on the border right? I guess he gets to choose," Karl Taylor says. "I guess we'll have to see. If the Minnesota Wild beat out St. Louis? Maybe he's from Minnesota. Who knows. Depends on who's winning or losing in the sports world probably."
But for both, the Wisconsin culture has seeped into them.
So, what is his favorite Wisconsin thing? Is it cheese curds, supper clubs, or a Spotted Cow?
"I'd say Spotted Cow," Novak says. "It's exclusive. All my buddies from Minnesota always ask me to bring it over if I'm over in Wisconsin."
"I like a cold beer, so Spotted Cow is in my fridge," Taylor says. "But I will say, I think I just enjoy the environment of it being a sports city. You know, like the Brewers, the Bucks., us. You get all the different sports going on. The Wave. How the local community follows sports."
But please forgive Tommy, he has some Minnesota in him as well. We asked him if he was more Minnesota or more Wisconsin.
"Ah, I'll give myself 50/50 on that," Novak says. "I think, most of my childhood. Obviously I lived in Wisconsin. My parents live in River Falls, Wisconsin, and they're both Minnesota people though and I ended up going to high school in Minnesota."
Lance Allan asked Novak, what he likes about Minnesota better than Wisconsin. Is there a sports team? Is there something else?
"I don't want to say anything about that," Novak says.
But is he a Vikings fan is the real question.
"I just got a lot of friends. That's what I would say. A lot of friends. Most of my friends growing up are in Minnesota, so a lot of family and friends there, is the main thing for me."
That's a good answer and a good way to stay out of trouble!
"Yeah," Tommy Novak says with a laugh.
We know what side Tommy is on this weekend. The Admirals host Manitoba to start the playoffs Friday and Saturday.