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I hate *&^%$# O'Hare

by Mike McFeely

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- I hate *&^%$# O'Hare and *&^%$# O'Hare hates me. I'm not the only one.

Every time, and I mean every time, I've had to make a stop at Chicago's *&^%$# O'Hare International Airport en route to a work locale, a vacation spot or back to Fargo or Minneapolis-St. Paul, I've been delayed, diverted or cancelled.

Every time.

This is not exactly news. Chicago is a hub. Thousands of travelers go through *&^%$# O'Hare every day. Most of them have had issues with delays. It's just one of those places.

But every time? Probably not.

The reason for angst today is because I am on the way to Frisco, Texas, to broadcast a couple of shows leading up to North Dakota State playing Towson in the FCS national title game Saturday. The idea was to arrive Wednesday night and broadcast 2-5 p.m. Thursday and Friday on 790 KFGO. Thursday morning was going to be a time to interview some Towson players during their media availability time. That's not going to happen.

The plan was to leave Fargo Wednesday afternoon, make a connection at *&^%$# O'Hare and land in Dallas about 11 p.m. But I received a text a few hours before scheduled departure saying my flight had been cancelled. So the scramble was on. Eventually, I was able to book a flight for me, my wife Michelle and daughter Emma out of Minneapolis-St. Paul early Thursday morning. So we drove from Fargo to Bloomington. And here we are in a hotel near the airport, waiting to get a few hours sleep before a 4 a.m. wakeup call. We should -- repeat should --arrive at Dallas-Fort Worth about 10 a.m.

Here is a fun fact: The terminal at Fargo's Hector International Airport is 9 minutes from my home in Oakport Township, Minn. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is 4 hours from my home, not to mention the traffic, longer security lines and general chaos of the larger airport.

Repeat: Hector is 9 minutes from my front door. Thank you, *&^%$# O'Hare.

I did make sure of one thing: Our flight from MSP is direct. No connection at *&^%$# O'Hare.

Many people trying to get to Dallas Wednesday had problems. Nearly 500 flights at *&^%$# O'Hare were cancelled because of a snow storm, so anybody trying to connect there and go to Dallas was screwed. The same storm messing up *&^%$# O'Hare was hammering Kansas and other Midwestern states, so anybody trying to drive from North Dakota to Texas was likely having issues, too.

Other Fargo-Moorhead media types had flight problems. NDSU TV announcer Brian Shawn and anchor Mike Morken had their flight diverted to Madison, Wis., and had to drive to Chicago. They were lucky. At last Twitter report, their flight got out of Chicago.

Fox sports reporters Jim Nelson and Evan Klosky were also on a plane that had mechanical problems and they were diverted to Detroit. Their replacement plane also had issues, and at last report they were still sitting in the Motor City airport.

Even a plane carrying NDSU support staff was delayed in Fargo for hours before finally arriving safely in Texas.

It was that kind of day.

If all goes according to plan now -- and what is the chance of that? -- I will join KFGO's Joel Heitkamp and Ryan Gellner in Texas tomorrow and we'll broadcast from Frisco and Plano.

Here is the plan:

Thursday, Joel and I will do our shows from Toyota Stadium in Frisco (site of the Bison game) and hopefully be able to record some interviews and video from both Towson and NDSU media day.

Friday, Joel will again broadcast from Toyota Stadium. I plan to do my show from Dr Pepper Ballpark in Plano, site of the sold-out Bison pep rally that is scheduled for Friday afternoon. Joel, Ryan and I also will broadcast the pep rally itself live from Dr Pepper Ballpark. We will provide lots of photos and video.

Saturday, it is Ryan's time to shine with the Bison Tailgate Show before the game and the Bison Rewind Show after the game. Sandwiched in the middle, of course, will be the Bison vs. Towson game with a 1 p.m. kickoff. Again, we'll post a lot photos and videos on our "Mike and Joel in Frisco" page at www.kfgo.com.

If you are traveling to Frisco -- by plane, train or automobile -- you can post your Instagram pictures to our page by using the hashtag #RoadToFrisco2014. Your photo and the location where you took it will be posted on our cool interactive map.

A special thanks to those businesses that sponsored my trip to Frisco:

--LaQuinta Inn and Suites: Wake up on the bright side at LaQuinta Inn and Suites with locations in Fargo, Bismarck, Minot and Dickinson.

--FM Water Systems: They are water specialists, home of the Kinetico water system.

--Your locally owned Stop N Go Food Stores: Home of the Best Buns in Town.

I will leave you with this tonight from the Hyatt Place near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport: I will never, ever, book a flight through *&^%$# O'Hare again. I've gone oh-fer life and that's enough.

Can I accomplish that, considering it seems 75 percent of all flights out of Fargo go through Chicago? Probably not. But it feels good just saying it.

(Mike McFeely is a talk-show host on KFGO-AM in Fargo, N.D. He can be reached at mike.mcfeely@mwcradio.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcFeelyKFGO.)