FCMI response to Engelstad's letter to Kupchella

In keeping with the spirit of Ralph Engelstad's letter to UND President Kupchella, FCMI has retained the same informal, condescending, and blackmailing tone of Engelstad. FCMI has been busy as of late analyzing matters at UND and this letter's context explain many things to concerned human beings following this affair. It is a clear message of extortion by a rich pig of a white man exploiting a People for money and ego. We nearly feel bad for Engelstad since he makes himself such an easy target. But we don't feel THAT bad.

Engelstad's letter was obtained from Grand Forks news sources. Any error in FCMI's version is the result of that source. Thanks for understanding.

[BRIDGES has added formatting changes, in the form of accents to Engelstad's statements and to FCMI's


Dear Chuck:

Dear Ralph: (doesn't it infuriate you that everyone else is reading this now, too?)

 

I am sorry to have to write this letter, but as a businessman, I have no choice.

We are sorry to have to reply to this letter, but as human beings, we have no choice.

 

Commitments were made to me by others and yourself, regarding the Sioux logo and the Sioux slogan, before I started the arena and after it had been started.

It's really too bad that no one was allowed to know, let alone voice their opinion on or object to these "commitments". Ain't "democracy" wonderful??

 

These promises have not been kept, and I, as a businessman, cannot proceed while this cloud is still hanging above me.

Likewise, we as human beings cannot allow you to proceed with your plan of extortion without throwing your hypocrisy back in your face. We hope your peverse "ideals" as a businessman don't continue to over-ride your enormous stupidity and irrationality. You're bigotry has been put out on the clothesline for all to smell.

 

I do not think that you realize the amount of work and the amount of people involved to make this new arena a success, and time is running out on us to accomplish what we have to do prior to its opening, such as selling tickets, advertising, installation of equipment and many other details that no one thinks of. All of this takes time.

Far be it from us to criticize the sound business practice upon which you run your business, but we don't quite feel your pain. We have little to absolutely no sympathy for your troubles as a struggling multi-millionaire who is abusing the heritage and culture of a people who remains one of the most impoverished in the US. Don't come crying to us for sympathy.

 

I understand that you are to make a decision sometime in the future, but I do not understand where one person gets the authority to make this kind of a decision on behalf of all alumni, students, the city of Grand Forks and the state of North Dakota.

Indeed, one person shouldn't make such an important decision, so why in the hell do you insist upon making it? Are you not one person, Ralph? Or have you used your millions to recently clone yourself into many diverse permutations of "Ralph Engelstad TM"? Noticeable in omission from your list of people who are affected by this decision are Native Americans. In fact, nowhere in your entire pungent tirade do you mention the mere existence of such people. Do you believe in the existence of Native Americans? Or are they mythical creatures to you, like the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy? If so, we recommend checking in to a retirement community sooner than you originally planned to.

 

We previously had shut down (construction of the arena) for approximately two months, as per your request that we didn't do anything while you were working on the name. We took the logo and the slogan off of the Web site, and we have been trying to do our job, but we are faced with an uphill hurdle because of your indecisiveness.

Kupchella's indecisiveness (or some would say deliberation) is your fitful lament, eh? We, at FCMI, thank you for your inspired sacrifices, but have a few more favors to ask: "1) Withdraw your bulldozers and construction crews from Grand Forks and let your stadium rust. (We agree with you on that one!!) 2) Please leave UND the hell alone. They want no more of your idiocy. And 3) Travel to each Native American reservation that your lucrative salary can afford and offer to be pelted by people throwing "UND Fighting Sioux" hockey pucks, just like in your youth."

 

I have been given the authority to use this logo and the slogan, and we have hesitated to do so in order to help you with your decision-making, but it has now come to the point that we must march forward. The only item that this logo and slogan have been used on, are the models of the arena which we sent out the first part of the week. These models were ordered many, many months ago, and are part of our advertising campaign to sell season tickets.

Waaa-Waaaa!! *sob* The drama of it all!!

 

I figure that we must sell 10,000 tickets between now and July if we are going to fill this arena, and we need to fill this arena to make money for the UND hockey team and the athletic department.

Have you considered making a special booth for all the Native Americans who you're going to give (nudge, nudge) lifetime tickets, so we can all belittle them in ritual after ritual of degradation? That would be a great PR campaign that would play into the lucrative market of North Dakota racists!

 

I know what has been said in the past, and you know what has been said in the past, and if the commitments are not lived up to, then I have no reason to live up to my commitment to build an arena for the UND hockey team.

Cheers! We agree!! Pull your support out and leave UND "high and dry". C'est la vie! Adios! Ba-bye!

 

We are in the process of hiring more people to sell tickets and advertising, which does nothing to help us, but benefits UND.

I'm sure UND's students are grateful for this, since they have so much to gain from all of this, right? Tuition will go down, right? Their degrees and educations will be enhanced, right? Everyone will graduate with an "endowed" sense of charity, right?

 

Please be advised that if this logo and slogan are not approved by you no later than Friday, December 29, 2000, then you will leave me with no alternative to take the action which I think is necessary.

Oo!! An ultimatum!! We like this!! This makes everything all the more exciting and engrossing (and vividly appalling)!! As we all witnessed, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education also knew your sentiments and stuck their big noses in UND's business and Kupchella's decision-making and made "the move" for him. Kudos on playing The Godfather to North Dakota, from your plush Las Vegas home. Don Engelstad, please, show us mercy!!

 

If the logo and slogan are not approved by the above-mentioned date, I will then write a letter on December 30, 2000, to all contractors and to everybody associated with the arena, canceling their construction contracts for the completion of the arena. I am a man of my word, and I will see to it that a settlement is made with all subcontractors, with anyone who has purchased prepaid advertising. I will refund money to all ticket holders and abandon the project. It would then be left up to you if you want to complete it, with money from wherever you may be able to find it.

Money to complete it? What makes you think UND will want to do that? If they do anything at all, they'd be best advised to put up a memorial on the premises dedicated to "The Ralph Engelstad Ego Museum".

 

I have spent, as of this time, in excess of $35 million, which I will consider a bad investment, but I will take my lumps and walk away.

Here's your hat, and there's the door.

 

As I am sure you realize, the commitment I made to the university of North Dakota was, I believe, one of the 10 largest ever made to a school of higher education, but if it is not completed, I am sure it will be the number one building never brought to completion at a school of higher education, due to your changing the logo and the slogan.

Wouldn't that be one for the history books! I say we shoot for the latter Guinness Book of World Record instead of the former. It might even send a message to the rest of Corporate America that educators and students want their damn schools back!

 

You need to think how changing this logo and slogan will affect not just the few that are urging the name change, but also how it will affect the university as a while, the students, the city of Grand forks, and the state of North Dakota.

Yea, people might eventually raise their children to be sensitive of race and instruct them that Native Americans are human beings just like them. Wouldn't that be something?

 

If I walk away and abandon the project, please be advised that we will shut off all temporary heat going to this building, and I am sure that nature, through its cold weather, will completely destroy any portion of the building through frost that you might be able to salvage. I surely hoped that it would never come to this, but I guess it has.

Truly a fitting monument to Arrogance! We'll help you cut the heat!

 

It is a good thing that you are an educator because you are a man of indecision, and, and if you were a businessman, you would not succeed, you would be broke immediately.

Hmm, striking a bit bellow the belt, aren't we Ralph? Poor President Kupchella, despite all his other shortcomings of moral prominence, shouldn't be slandered as a bad businessman. Bad president, perhaps, but we'll leave all the bad businessman insults to send in your direction.

 

Please do not consider this letter a threat in any manner, as it is not intended to be. It is only notification to you of exactly what I am going to do if you change this logo and this slogan.

Not a threat? Huh. Could of fooled all of us. I guess you also fooled the State Board of Higher Education, President Kupchella, and UND's administration, too. Whenever a rich bigot dangles $100 million in front of your face with innuendo of removing it unless demands are met, most people often can smell the threat.

 

In the event it is necessary to cancel the completion of the arena, I will then send notification to anyone who is interested, informing them of the same, and laying out to them all of the facts and all of the figures from all of the meetings that led me to make this decision.

Oh, this just keeps getting better! Is this a promise, too? You mean that you'll actually reveal to the greater public your fragrant deliberations? And to think some of us were planning to wage a "Freedom of Information Act"-style campaign to obtain those super-duper-secret documents. Well, it probably wouldn't be all that interesting, since we already know what you want, just like we all knew what you were doing before this letter became public.

 

Your lack of making a decision has hung over our heads too long, and we can't go on with it any further.

(ramble, ramble, ramble...)

 

It is your choice if you want to put hundreds of construction workers out of a job, and deprive the local businesses of Grand forks of the income they are receiving from the construction of the arena.

Grand Forks survived before you showed your mug on the scene, and it'll survive without you. Hell, it'll likely flourish.

 

I might also add that while I was dictating this letter, I received a call from Dean Blais (UND's hockey coach), who is completely fed up, and he informed me that he is possibly going to tender his resignation if the logo and the slogan are changed.

Is this another threat, Ralph? If so, does that mean that Dean is as equally dumb and racist as you? Even though that's highly likely, we'll take your word on it. If Dean were to leave UND as coach, UND would likely replace him with another stellar coach, along par of the normal practice within professional sports. He's got a couple trophies under his belt. Maybe the NHL would want him? Would they want him, though? He's been tainted by UND, just like everyone else.

 

Yours truly,
Ralph Engelstad

Yours truly,
The Frank Clearwater Memorial Institute
An autonomous collective of "Fighting Human Rights Activists"

 


 

Dear Chuck:

I am sorry to have to write this letter, but as a businessman, I have no choice.

Commitments were made to me by others and yourself, regarding the Sioux logo and the Sioux slogan, before I started the arena and after it had been started.

These promises have not been kept, and I, as a businessman, cannot proceed while this cloud is still hanging above me.

I do not think that you realize the amount of work and the amount of people involved to make this new arena a success, and time is running out on us to accomplish what we have to do prior to its opening, such as selling tickets, advertising, installation of equipment and many other details that no one thinks of. All of this takes time.

I understand that you are to make a decision sometime in the future, but I do not understand where one person gets the authority to make this kind of a decision on behalf of all alumni, students, the city of Grand Forks and the state of North Dakota.

We previously had shut down (construction of the arena) for approximately two months, as per your request that we didn't do anything while you were working on the name. We took the logo and the slogan off of the Web site, and we have been trying to do our job, but we are faced with an uphill hurdle because of your indecisiveness.

I have been given the authority to use this logo and the slogan, and we have hesitated to do so in order to help you with your decision-making, but it has now come to the point that we must march forward. The only item that this logo and slogan have been used on, are the models of the arena which we sent out the first part of the week. These models were ordered many, many months ago, and are part of our advertising campaign to sell season tickets.

I figure that we must sell 10,000 tickets between now and July if we are going to fill this arena, and we need to fill this arena to make money for the UND hockey team and the athletic department.

I know what has been said in the past, and you know what has been said in the past, and if the commitments are not lived up to, then I have no reason to live up to my commitment to build an arena for the UND hockey team.

We are in the process of hiring more people to sell tickets and advertising, which does nothing to help us, but benefits UND.

Please be advised that if this logo and slogan are not approved by you no later than Friday, December 29, 2000, then you will leave me with no alternative to take the action which I think is necessary.

If the logo and slogan are not approved by the above-mentioned date, I will then write a letter on December 30, 2000, to all contractors and to everybody associated with the arena, canceling their construction contracts for the completion of the arena. I am a man of my word, and I will see to it that a settlement is made with all subcontractors, with anyone who has purchased prepaid advertising. I will refund money to all ticket holders and abandon the project. It would then be left up to you if you want to complete it, with money from wherever you may be able to find it.

I have spent, as of this time, in excess of $35 million, which I will consider a bad investment, but I will take my lumps and walk away.

As I am sure you realize, the commitment I made to the university of North Dakota was, I believe, one of the 10 largest ever made to a school of higher education, but if it is not completed, I am sure it will be the number one building never brought to completion at a school of higher education, due to your changing the logo and the slogan.

You need to think how changing this logo and slogan will affect not just the few that are urging the name change, but also how it will affect the university as a while, the students, the city of Grand forks, and the state of North Dakota.

If I walk away and abandon the project, please be advised that we will shut off all temporary heat going to this building, and I am sure that nature, through its cold weather, will completely destroy any portion of the building through frost that you might be able to salvage. I surely hoped that it would never come to this, but I guess it has.

It is a good thing that you are an educator because you are a man of indecision, and, and if you were a businessman, you would not succeed, you would be broke immediately.

Please do not consider this letter a threat in any manner, as it is not intended to be. It is only notification to you of exactly what I am going to do if you change this logo and this slogan.

In the event it is necessary to cancel the completion of the arena, I will then send notification to anyone who is interested, informing them of the same, and laying out to them all of the facts and all of the figures from all of the meetings that led me to make this decision.

Your lack of making a decision has hung over our heads too long, and we canšt go on with it any further.

It is your choice if you want to put hundreds of construction workers out of a job, and deprive the local businesses of Grand forks of the income they are receiving from the construction of the arena.

I might also add that while I was dictating this letter, I received a call from Dean Blais (UND's hockey coach), who is completely fed up, and he informed me that he is possibly going to tender his resignation if the logo and the slogan are changed.

Yours truly,
Ralph Engelstad