St. Thomas Penalized for Being Too Good

St. Thomas has become too dominant for the MIAC’s liking, especially in football, and now the Tommies are being kicked out of the league they helped form 99 years ago.
The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced Wednesday that after extensive discussions, St. Thomas will be “involuntarily removed from membership.” The four-sentence news release said the MIAC Presidents’ Council cited athletic competitive parity as its primary concern for the move. St. Thomas, an original member of the MIAC dating to 1920, will compete in the MIAC through the spring of 2021.

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This move is unbelievable from so many standpoints:

  • The other schools met in secrecy without giving St. Thomas due process. St Thomas has given the MIAC many proud moments through its athletic accomplishments and elevated the position of the entire conference.

  • The element of inclusion, is included in some way, in the missions of all the schools, in the MIAC. So much for inclusion.

  • I have always been taught, and experienced that by playing better competition you would improve.

  • So, instead of working hard, to elevate their programs, they have chosen to dumb down, so they might be able to win a game.

  • Can you imagine the New England Patriots kicked out of the NFL.? or how about the Yankees licked out of the league?

St. Thomas now must decide its athletic future. Options include finding a new Division III conference, jumping to Division II or beginning a climb to Division I, a process that would take 12 years.

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In the long run this move may be beneficial to the Tommies. They have always excelled, at evaluating a problem, and putting forth a plan to solve it. I am convinced that they will now become a power in Division II.

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PGA: Brooks Koepka

This is the sign, that awaits you, as you enter Bethpage Black, at the 2019 PGA Championship.

Entering the 4th and final round of this years tournament, Brooks Koepka held a commanding 7 shot lead. He had played superbly in the first 3 rounds setting many records;

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Best round of golf ever at Bethpage Black, a 63.
Best 36 hole score in a major tournament.
Had a 7 shot lead going into the final round.
He has won 4 majors in less than 2 years, a record.
First in 45 years to win the PGA wire-to-wire.
He has won 4 majors in 8 starts.
First time in history, to be a 2 time defending champ. in 2 majors.
Moved in to the no.1 ranking in the world.

As I watched the back nine, in the fourth round, some drama began to unfold. DJ was mounting a charge, while Koepka was surrendering his 7 shot lead. Then with an opportunity for DJ to tie Koepka,with a birdie, on the 16th hole, DJ had a bogie. That was the end of the pressure. Koepka held on to win by 2 strokes over DJ.

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All attention now is on the U.S. Open, at Pebble Beach, in June. Can Koepka maintain his mastery of the majors? Can Tiger regroup and challenge at Pebble Beach?

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5/19 Chip Shots

Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors: Looks like strained calf injury, will keep him out of the Western Division Finals. No timetable at this time. The Warriors have made a few adjustments with Durant out of the lineup. Back to Curry Ball for all intents.

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Michigan’s coach John Beilein to the Cavs: Coach Beilein, 66, known as an offensive mastermind, has decided to take his talents to Cleveland. He steps into a lions den that has had 6 coaches, since 2009. His Michigan teams were an annual powerhouse. He has been touted as a great developer, of young players, and young teams.

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John Daly, pro golfer: Daly has been granted an exception, to use a golf cart, in this years PGA Championship, at Bethpage Black in New York. Daly claims he cannot walk 6 holes because of advanced arthritis.

 

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Tiger Woods when asked how he felt about it, responded “I walked with a broken leg, so….” referring to his 18 hole playoff victory, over Rocco Mediate in the 2008 U.S. Open, at Torrey Pines.

Minnesota Timberwolves: They again failed to improve their draft status, via the NBA Lottery, as a matter of fact; they entered the Lottery with the number 10 pick and dropped to the number 11 pick. The Timberwolves new president, Gersson Rosas attended the function.

Here is the Zion Sweeptakes NBA Draft order:
1. New Orleans Pelicans
2. Memphis Grizzlies
3. New York Knicks
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
6. Phoenix Suns
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Atlanta Hawks
9. Washington Wizards

Minnesota Timberwolves

Are the 2019 Minnesota Twins for Real?

Since 1991, when the Twins won the World Series, they have been up and down. They even faced contraction, in 2002, not the residue of a successful franchise. Under the guidance of manager Ron Gardenhire (2002-2015) the Twins won 6 division titles during his 13 year reign. They always were stymied by those Damn Yankees in the playoffs. They were always a couple players away, from being a legitimate American League contender.

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The Pohlad family hired the dynamic duo of Falvey & Levine in 2016. This year is the first year, they have fully put their own team together, starting with a new young(37) manager;Rocco Baldelli, and all new position coaches. In this off season, they acquired the following players, relatively inexpensively. They appear to be team oriented, happy to be a twin, and fit the mold of what Falvey & Levine were looking for.

Nelson Cruz……..…$14,000,000
Marwin Gonzales..$12,000,000
Michael Pineda……$  8,000,000
Jonathon Shoop…..$  7,500,000
C.J.Cron………………$  4,800,000
Martin Perez……….$  3,500,000

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The Twins are coming off of a 3 game series with the Toronto Bluejays, where they outscored them 20-1, outhit them 38-8, out homered them 8-1, and had an ERA of 0.45 vs the Bluejays 8.56. Kyle Gibson strikes out 11. Total Domination!

Just short of the 25% mark of the season, here’s some fun facts for those Twins fans, who have been waiting for some bragging rights:

The Twins have the best record in Baseball: 23-12.
Rosario leads in homers with 13. Annual pace of 52.
Polanco is leading the league in hitting @.344.
Polanco is number 3 in slugging % at .603.
Buxton leads league in doubles with 15.
Berrios is 6-1, with a 2.53 ERA.
Perez is 5-0 with a 2.83 ERA.
Garver,Polanco,Cruz,Kepler,Cron all have 7 homers. Annual pace of 28.

The Twins are definitely hitting on all cylinders.

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Minnesota Kids in the Elite Eight

While reading about the NCAA Basketball tournament, I read about several Minnesota kids, that will participate in the Elite Eight.

  • Army v Duke  Tres Jones

  • Tres is the starting point guard for Duke. He is from Apple Valley, where he starred for 4 years. He is following in the footsteps of his brother, Tyus, who now plays for the Timberwolves. Coach K calls him a game changer. He is a freshman, and is projected as a draft pick, in the upcoming draft, if he chooses to come out. Jay Bilas says he is the best defensive player in college ball.

 

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  • Geno Crandall                                                                                                                   
  • Played high school ball at DeLasalle in Minneapolis. He chose North Dakota for college. He graduated early, and still had a year of eligibility, had several offers, including the Gophers, and chose to attend Gonzaga, because he felt that going there, would give him the best opportunity, to get top the Final Four. He is averaging 7 points, and 2.5 assists, per game

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  • Reid Travis

  • Also an alum of DeLasalle. He led the team to the state title, while scoring over 29 points, and 9 rebounds, per game. He was a 2014 McDonalds All-Star. He had several college offers, and chose Stanford. He was redshirted, because of injury, therefore having a year of eligibility, left after graduation. He chose to go to Kentucky, where he has averaged 9 points a game backing their point guard.

All 3 of these young men are looking forward to returning home for the Final Four.

Jerry Kill Slays P.J.Clark

For those of you, who follow me; you know that I’m not a fan of University of Minnesota Football Coach,  P.J.Fleck. He has always appeared to me, to be an egomaniac, only interested in promoting P.J.Fleck.

I was always appalled, by Fleck throwing all previous Gopher coaches under the bus. He has always talked, of how bad the culture was in Minneapolis. How he was going to build a program, that Minnesota could take pride in. He has stated that we haven’t had a team, we could be proud of since 1967. And even then , he stated there was not a strong culture.

Having been a long time fan, I’d like share the records of some recent coaches, all better than Flecks first two years:

  • Tracy Claeys       9 – 4
  • Jerry kill                8 – 5 (twice)
  • Tim Brewster      7 – 6
  • Glen Mason          7 – 5 (twice)
  • Glen Mason          8 – 5
  • Glen Mason        10 – 5  

These were all coaches Fleck has knocked. He’s the one that should be thrown under the bus, by these coaches.

Jerry Kill has come forward with some criticism, on a national Sirius radio program. Kill stated that Fleck had coached for him for 2 years @ Northern Illinois, before he left to go Rutgers, under Greg Shiano. Kill said he changed while there. Kill said, he then helped Fleck to get the head coaching job, at Western Michigan, and supported the University of Minnesota in hiring him.

Kill said “When he went to Minnesota and treated people, the way he treated my recruits, telling them he had to come in, and completely change the culture, because it was a bad culture, run by bad people”

Kill said there must be a lot of people, who disagree with Flecks style, based on the players, and coaches, who have left the program.

Kill also said he called and talked with Fleck, after he got the Minnesota job. He said “Yep, and that will be the last time”

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NFL Combine Shines

My wife said to me “How can you watch guys run the same track, the same distance, do all the same drills, for 3 days in a row. Who’s the winner?”

My response; “It’s my favorite 3 days of the year. It’s like you watching 3 nights in a row, of the Bachelor.”

What a great display of very talented athletes. After viewing the process from beginning to end, I’ve developed my  list of the top talents in each category. I don’t know where they will all get drafted, but am sure, they will all be gone, by the end of round 3.

Offensive Line

  • Garrett Bradbury; OL NCST: sub 5/ 40, top performer in drills. 1st yr starter.
  • Andre Dillard; OL WSU: sub 5/40, Sure 1st rounder.
  • Jawaan Taylor; OL FL: A+ in the movement drills. Stock up at combine.
  • Jonah Williams; OL ALA:
  • Cody Ford; OL OK:
  • Michael Jordan; OL OH ST: 6-3 and 315 lbs. Agile in all drill
  • Running Backs

  • Justice Hill; RB OKST: Spectacular at Combine. 4.00/40.  40″vert.
  • Miles Sanders; RB Penn ST:4.47/40. Top Notch in all drills.
  • Mike Weber; RB OH ST:4.47/40 Great in drills.
  • Josh Jacobs; RB ALA:

Tight Ends

  • Noah Fant; TE IA: 4.5/40. 39″vert.@6-4 249 lbs. Best of WR’s.
  • T.J.Hokanson; TE IA: 4.7/40.37″ vert. First Round. 1st TE taken.
  • Josh Oliver; TE SJ ST: 4.63/40.6-5 249. 103/4 hand.
  • Caleb Wilson; TE: 4.50,40.

Wide Receivers

  • DK Metcalf; WR MISS:4.33/40, 40″vert, 6-2 & 230 lbs.
  • Parris Campbell; WR OH ST: 4.31/40. Great Hands.
  • AJ Brown; WR OLE MISS: 4.49/40. 36 vert. 6ft& 230lbs.
  • Miles Boykin; WR ND: 4.42/40. 43″vert.: Highly skilled.

Quarterbacks

  • Dwayne Haskins; QB OH ST: 6-3, 231 lbs. Best Passer.
  • Ryan Finley; QB NC ST: 6-4 & 213. Big Hands
  • Easton Stick ; QB NDSU: 4.63/40
  • Drew Lock; QB : 4.69/40
  • Murray; QB OK: 5-10 208 lbs. Did not participate in the combine.

 

  • Defensive Line

  • Rashan Gary; DL MI: sub 5/40
  • Nick Bosa; DL OST: sub 5/40
  • Dexter Lawrence; DL CLEM: 5.05/40 @ 343lbs
  • Quinnen Williams; DL ALA: 4.83 at 303 lbs. Top Ten pick.
  • Renell Wren; DL AZ ST: 6-5 & 318 lbs, ran a 5.00/40. 1st Round

EDGE Rushers

  • Montez Sweat ; MISS ST EDGE: Outstanding At 6’6″ & 260 he ran a 4.41 /40
  • Chase Winovich; EDGE: Sub 5 /40
  • Ben Banajo; EDGE TCU: 6-3 and 250.4.62/40. Led conference in sacks.
  • Josh Allen; EDGE KTY: 4.64/40 @6-5  AND 282lbs.

Linebackers

  • Greedy Williams; LB LSU: 4.37/40 Big corner at 6-2  185.
  • Byron Murphy; LB W: Not fastest, but best overall in drills.
  • Deandre Baker; LB GA: 4.52/40

Defensive backs

  • Jonathon Abrams; DBack MISS ST: 4.45/40. Excelled in all field events.
  • Byron Murphy; Dback: 4.5/40 and excelled in all drills.
  • Darnell Savage Jr.; Dback: 4.36/40 and a 39″vert.
  • Chauncy Gardner- Johnson; Dback FL: 4.48/40 at 210 lbs
  • Deandre Baker ; Dback GA: 4.52/40 and excelled in all drills.
  • Juan Thornhill; Dback  4.42/40 with a 44″vert and a 10ft. 9 in broad.

From my vantage point the Top Five at the combine were

  1. Dback JuanThornhill 4.42/40 & 44″vert,

  2. EDGE Montez Sweat with a 4.41/40 @260lbs.,

  3. DL Quinnen  Williams with a 4.81/40 @318lbs.,

  4. WR DK Metcalf with a 433/40 @6-3 230lbs.

  5. TE Noah Fant with a 4.50/40 @ 6-5 and 249lbs.