Red Bull Crashed Ice Returns To St.Paul

Red Bull Crashed Ice Championship will return to St. Paul, MN for the 7th straight year, on January 19th & 20th, 2018.

The event is referred to as “ice cross downhill competition”. After witnessing the event, I think it could better described as “roller derby on sloped ice” or as my wife would say “suicide on ice”. It is truly an exciting event, that the crowd enthusiastically supports. I should point out that the temperature outside, for these events could be close to zero, and many of the attendees have utilized antifreeze(Jack Daniels), to cope.

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The course for the fastest skating event in the world, starts at the Cathedral of St. Paul and winds downhill through the City of Saint Paul, for 1,600 feet. The drop from the front of the cathedral to the finish line is 12 stories.

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The Red Bull World Tour for Ice Cross Downhill Competition is a tremendously popular, international competition. What you may not know about Red Bull Crashed Ice is:

  • The skaters reach speeds of 80 miles per hour, shoving and jostling each other, as the only thing that counts, is reaching the finish line.

  • The World Tour has almost weekly events throughout the world.

  • The downhill pros, number over 200. With only a few Americans.

  • The crowds exceed 100,000 at all the Red Bull events.

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Last years competition was won by Cameron Naasz, a local Minnesotan. He was the first American, to win a Red Bull event.

Shakopee’s Mitchell Making It In The ACC

Steffon Mitchell graduated from Shakopee High School, in Shakopee, MN, and has moved on to start for Boston College in the ACC, as a freshman. The 6-8, 222 pounder’s first season numbers are quite impressive: 31 minutes per game; 7.2 points per game; and 7.9 rebounds per game.

I first became acquainted with Steffon when he was a junior in high school, helping out at the Shakopee summer basketball camps. I would shakopeeCoach_Miller_-_Copy_mediumtake my grandson, Parker Syhre, to these camps. Parker is the son of Ryan & Ashley Syhre, avid Shakopee athletic supporters. These camps were run by the Shakopee High School, assistant varsity coach, John Miller. They had conditioning, fundamentals, and basic floor IQ. Steffon was great with the kids, and my grandson, Parker, and his friends loved him.

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While in high school, he led the Shakopee Sabers to 2 straight Minnesota High School State Tournaments. They got beat one year, in triple overtime, by Hopkins, MN, who was the eventual champion. They were coached by iconic, Hall of Fame coach, Bruce Kugath, who is in his 25th year at the helm.

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From my vantage point, it is a little hard to comprehend playing against Waconia MN High School, and the next year, against the #1 Duke, one of the most storied basketball programs, in NCAA history.

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The Minnesota Miracle

I have had a few days to digest the Minnesota Vikings last minute victory over the New Orleans Saints, and have come up with my overall take on the game.

First of all, if the Vikings had continued to build on their early lead, and won hypothetically 28 to 7, their would have been no euphoria, nor miracle. It would just have been a great victory. Like wise if they would have lost by a decent margin, I think people would have chalked it up to the curse, especially with New Orleans.

I have been a Viking fan since 1961, when they joined the NFL, and have never missed a game either in person, on TV, or on the radio, so I have experienced many disappointments:

The four Super Bowl Defeats in the 70″s.

1975 Playoff Division game. Probably my most difficult defeat, was in the 1975 playoff division game at Metropolitan Stadium, when Roger Staubach threw a last minute Hail Mary pass, to Drew Pearson, for a touchdown to win the game. It was right in front of me, and Drew Pearson blatantly pushed off on Nate Wright. No call was made. So not only a playoff loss, but a terrible call.

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1999 NFC Championship. The Vikings were 16-1 going against Atlanta. Field Goal kicker Gary Anderson had been 37 for 37 for the season, but missed a short one, late in the fourth quarter, that would have put the Vikings up by 10. Atlanta scored late to tie the game and won in overtime 30-27.

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2010 NFC Championship. Brett Favre threw an interception late in the 4th, which led to New Orleans tying the game at 28 each. New Orleans won the toss and chose to receive. They scored and the Vikings never touched the ball.

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2015 Division Playoff game. Game played outdoors in Minneapolis with a temp of -6 degrees. Seattle took the lead late in the 4th quarter 10-9, but the Vikings had a last minute 23 yd field goal attempt to win it, but Blair Walsh missed it.

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Is it possible, that Stephon Diggs immaculate reception, exorcised all the demons, that Viking fans had called the “Curse”.

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Tyus Jones a Real Winner!!!

Just an Atta-boy to Tyus Jones.

He has played terrific lately, but doesn’t get any accolades from the coaching staff, or the media, but is praised by his team mates.
Since Teague has been out:

  • Tyus has lead the team to a 5-3 record. tyusuntitled

  • They have won 4 straight.

  • Wins over New Orleans, Cleveland, & Oklahoma City.

  • 7 in a row at home.

The highlight of this period, was when LeBron James referred to Tyus as Tyler Jones, while being interviewed before the game, Then Tyler (Tyus) plays a great game and actually dunks with LeBron trailing. The audience went crazy.

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Tyus is only 6-1, but is a terrific point guard. The word that defines Tyus, is winner. When he was a freshman at Duke, he led Duke to the national title, and was named most valuable player. That is not a fluke, that is a Winner……….

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NDSU Bison Recapture Crown

The North Dakota State Bison defeated James Madison University 17-14 in Frisco, Texas for the National FCS College Championship. James Madison was the defending champion, having beaten the NDSU Bison in the 2016 semi-finals. That victory for James Madison halted NDSU’s remarkable and record setting, 5 FCS championships in a row. The Bison victory is heralded as the 6 pack, having now won 6 of the last 7. Key NDSU Bison football accomplishments:

  • The Bison had previously won the national championship 8 times from 1965 -1990.
  • Since going to Division 1 the Bison are 151-35.
  • They set a record of 33 straight wins from 2012 to 2014.
  • They were ranked # 1 for 30 straight weeks from 2012-2014.
  • They have been ranked in the top 10 FCS polls 103 consecutive weeks.
  • They have won 34 conference titles and 14 national titles.
  • Have lost only one game at the Fargo Dome since 1993.

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  • They have received votes in the AP Top 25 several times, the best being #27.
  • They have won their most recent 6 games against FBS teams(Iowa, K-State)
  • Most impressive is hosting ESPN’s Game Day twice-2013 & 2014.

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These stats make the Bison the most successful football program in FCS history.

Listening to the game on ESPN, no mention of many of the above records. The announcing team was so pro James Madison, I couldn’t believe it.

After the Bison scored to take the lead, the only thing the announcers could say was that James Madison had won 26 straight, and they would come back. They never mentioned the Bison had won 5 straight championships.

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Brooks Bollinger: ND Hall Of Famer @ Wisconsin

I received several notes, following my recent article on Carson Wentz, regarding another North Dakota athlete, attaining tremendous success in the world of football.
Brooks Bollinger began his career at Grand Forks Central in Grand Forks,ND. He was a starter all 3 years. He threw for 40 touchdowns and ran for another 19.

Wisconsin quarterback Brooks Bollinger.
He moved on to the University of Wisconsin, where he started for four years, and led Wisconsin to it’s 2nd straight Rose Bowl win. He went on to win 3 bowl games, and holds the schools all-time rushing record for quarterbacks, with 1,767 yards and 26 TD’s. He had a total of 5,627 yards, 38 TD’s, and played in 46 games from 1999-2002
Next for Bollinger, was the NFL. He played in the NFL for 6 years, primarily as the backup quarterback for the Jets, the Vikings, and the Cowboys. He threw 9 TD’s, for 2,226 yards, with a quarterback rating of 74.6 for his career in the NFL.

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Following his football career, he entered the business world, and began his coaching career. He started with Hill- Murray High School in St. Paul, MN. in 2012. He is currently the head coach of Cretin-Durham Hall High School, also in St. Paul, which is one the leading high schools, in the country developing D-1 recruits, having had 3 quarterbacks in the NFL, and Paul Moliter, and Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins.

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In his personal life, he has continued to be a performer off the field, with 4 children and a 5th on the way, with his lovely wife Natalie. He is a top performer in his chosen business category, as well.brooks apxsZ6FM - Copy - Copy
Bollinger was recently inducted into the University of Wisconsin’s 2017 Hall of Fame class, for his stellar career with the Badgers.

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P.J.Fleck: The Boat Has Sunk

I’m not sure if P.J.Fleck is a new age clown, or a male college cheerleader, or he is trying to build his advertising specialty business. One thing he is not; is an effective football coach. I’d like to share a few thoughts, on why I don’t think he is a good coach, and why I am so disappointed.

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1.) Preseason hype: He said he wanted to bring the Gophers back, from the cellar of college football. How bad the Gophers have been, since the 1960 Rose Bowl. He is omitting some coaches that had respectable records (far better than Fleck’s first season), such as; Lou Holtz, Glenn Mason, Jerry Kill, and Tracey Claeys who had 4 wins in the Big Ten last year. Fleck inherited a team that won a bowl game, last year, and he didn’t get to a bowl.
2. ) Row the boat: I think the boat has sunk. It’s in the same predicament as the team has been in all year, needing bailing buckets.

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3.) Developing an Elite team: Before he becomes elite, I would suggest trying to become a mediocre team. His team had the lowest ranked offense in D-1 football. His game day, on field decisions, were atrocious.

4.) Self Promotion: Along with all his slogans and perceived motivational gimmicks, one would think he had a T-shirt operation. He also is using new shoes, every week to promote himself.
I think a new coach should come in, without all the braggadocio (ie;Jerry Kill), keep their mouth shut, and let the performance on the field, speak for itself.

Speak softly and carry big stick; not speak loudly and carry a broken oar.

NCAA Football: Air Force v Minnesota
band, M Men’s Football: Air Force v Minnesota at TCF Bank Stadium, 12 September 2009. football (sport) TCF Bank Stadium (where played) men (sport gender) Bruce Kluckhohn (photographer) 09.12.2009 (date of game) Air Force (opponent)