Sam Bradford: They Love Me; They Love Me Not

The powers to be of the Minnesota Vikings, have certainly not shown any love for Sam Bradford, at training camp in Mankato, Minnesota. Rick Spielman has stated several times, that he is interested in keeping the core of the group,  together for several years.

Vikings 99-55-54-BH1

Proof of that direction, comes in the contract extensions, for Xavier Rhodes @ $ 70 Million for five years, and approximately $ 58 Million for Everson Griffen. for 4 years. Spielman indicated there are still a few, he would like to sign to extensions, such as Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter and Linval Joseph.

When asked about Bradford, he basically said that is not as important right now. An Vikings 455867868.0attitude and actions that indicate they don’t include him in their mid-term and long term plans. It sure doesn’t build any kind of confidence in Bradford for the 2017 season. So far much more attention has been on Teddy Bridgewater, who isn’t expected to play in 2017, or maybe ever.

As a quarterback, it is very important that he is confident, that the brass supports him. If he is confident, that extends to the whole team, especially the offense. If the front office supports him, the players believe in him, and jell under him in games, especially when they need to come from behind, to win. If they fail to make him comfortable, his on field performance will suffer.

Viking stadium

I’m Irked, That Grand Poo-bah Zygi Is Irked!!!!

It was reported on July 17th, 2017 in the Minneapolis StarTribune that the Grand Poo-Bah Zygi  with his lapdog, Lester was irked that the new Chairman of the Metropolitan Sports Facility Authority (MSFA), Mike Vekich, had turned over control, of the 2 suites, to SMG, the stadium operator.  Those 2 suites were designated at the outset, as sales and marketing  tools, for the MSFA, to market the new stadium, for non-football use; ie concerts, soccer, Xgames, and home shows.  The Vikings feel they should get any monies, that come from the use of those suites. Some key facts on this:

Viking stadium

  • Vikings insist that they gifted those 2 suites to the MSFA. You can’t gift something you don’t own.
  • The state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis owns the stadium. Not the underworld Wilfs.
  • The MSFA, along with the SMG run the US Bank stadium, not Zygi.


This is just the latest, in a long list of demands to fleece money, from the ticket holders, and residents of Minnesota, such as:

  • A seat license fee, of up to $10,000 per seat, in addition to the per game ticket price.
  • He followed that up with a tailgating fee of  $ 600 per year.
  • Zygi, the winer, and Lester the lapdog somehow negotiated a deal, that gives the Vikings, all the revenue from the new parking ramp, across the street, from the new stadium. What makes this a true WTF moment, is that the state owns it, and sold naming rights to Mills Fleet Farm.
  • Then they began selling paver bricks for up to $360 each. They adorn space under the Viking ship.

money uhgvfrimages

Zygi must stay up late at night, to come up with plots to squeeze more money, out of Minnesota and the Viking fans.  What could be next?Zygi jhjhgfunny-toilet A toilet fee; $25 to drop a load  & $10 to urinate. How about a usage fee for using the roads, that lead to the stadium, on Sundays. How about an excise tax, on television viewership of the Vikings, on Sundays?


Minnesota Twins Win The 1987 World Series Again

My biggest and most meaningful baseball memory, was when the Minnesota Twins returned to Minneapolis after winning the 1987 American League Championship, which meant they were going to play in the 1987 World Series. The media had put out a call, to have the fans surprise the players, when they returned home to the Metrodome.   It was after 11 pm, and the Metrodome was packed to the rafters, with a crowd over 50,000, when they arrived. When they entered the Metrodome, they were expecting maybe a couple hundred, so they were blown away, when they saw the crowd. It truly was a magical moment!!

On July 22nd, 2017, the Minnesota Twins honored the 30th Anniversary, of the 1987 team. I was a big fan of that team, more so then all the others, I suppose,  because it had star power and some characters.Twins 1987-minnesota-twins-honored

  • Tom Kelly
  • Kirby Pucket
  • Kent Hrebek
  • Juan Berenger
  • Tom Brunansky
  • Bert Blyleven
  • Al Newman

I  always remember these guys, in their uniforms and hats, as I only saw them on the field, or in print, in their uniforms and hats. So when they were introduced at the Twins game, celebrating the 30 year anniversary,  I was surprised. I certainly wasn’t used to seeing them in casual slacks and golf shirts. Some were balding, some had protruding bellies, some were gray, and some didn’t walk too briskly. But that didn’t matter, they still were hero’s to me, and a real special treat for me.

The 1987 World Series :

  • The first World Series played in a dome.
  • Both teams won all their home games.
  • The Twins, had the worst regular season record, of any World Series winner; 85-77.
  • The Twins parade, in Minneapolis, had an estimated crowd of 250,000.
  • And….. who could forget the Homer Hankie.
  • Twins Homer Hankie

                        Thanks for the memories!!

Minnesota Twins Bomb The Bronx Bombers

In my early days of sports addiction (still not cured), the New York Yankees were always the epitome of baseball. They are the winningest franchise of any sport. They have won 27 World Series Championships. They have had 44 players and 11 coaches elected to the Hall of Fame. Here are some of the Yankee Greats, who are also Baseball’s greats:

Babe Ruthyankeesgreatspf-1
Lou Gehrig
Joe DiMaggio
Mickey Mantle
Roger Maris
Yogi Berra
Casey Stengel
Whitey Ford
Reggie Jackson
Don Mattingly
Thurmond Munson
Derek Jeter
Alex Rodriguez
Mariano Rivera

The team at various times, has answered to the Damn Yankees, the Bronx Bombers, the Bronx Zoo, Murderers Row, and the Pinstripes. Whether you loved them, or hated them, they were baseballs biggest draw. In any Major League city, as soon as the single game seats were available, the games against the feared Yankees sold out.

They have had a curse on the Minnesota Twins for many years, highlighted by the fact that during Ron Gardenhire’s  years with the Twins, they could only muster a 23-69 record against the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees always beat Minnesota in the Playoffs, during those years, going 12-2 against the Twins. As a matter of fact, the Twins have not won a series against the Yanks since 2008.


Until……..July, 2017, when they took 2 out 3 from the power hitting Yankees, at Target Field, in Minneapolis. The 2 games they won were by scores of 4-2 & 6-1. Could this stop the curse?

Twins logo

Vikings Michael Floyd: Asleep At The Wheel?

The Minnesota Vikings signed Michael Floyd on May 10th, 2017, after Floyd had been released by Arizona,  then New England,  due to an excessive DUI in December in Phoenix. He was found asleep at the wheel, with 3 times the legal limit.  He was going to face a 2 – 4 game suspension for the 2017 season from the NFL. He had had a successful 5 year career, with the Arizona Cardinals, as a starting receiver.

For the Vikings, he would certainly be an improvement,  over their current receiving corp, or at least, a great addition, but of course they would have to weigh the overall impact on the team, after his 4 game suspension was announced by the NFL.

I first became aware of Floyd through a friend on the Cretin-Durham Hall School coaching staff, St. Paul, MN. He told me about this young athlete, who wanted to attend the private school Cretin-Durham Hall. He of limited resources, had to accept a scholarship, that he would have to work off, working early in the morning with the custodial staff. He also had to take a metro bus, 1 hour each way to get there.


Here is some additional background on Floyd:

  • Outstanding basketball player,  in addition to football.
  • Minnesota High School Player of the year in 2007 & 2008.
  • Rivals ranked him No. 3 in the country, a 5 star recruit.
  • Junior year at Notre Dame he had 79 receptions & named MVP.
  • His Senior year, he had 100 catches,1,147 yds, 9 TD’s.
  • Drafted by Arizona Cardinals # 13 in the 2012 draft.
  • His Arizona career, he had 246 catches, for 3,782 yds, & 24 TD’s.

    He could be a great find (and inexpensive ) for the Vikings. He has the credentials, and a proven track record, if he can stay away from the stupid sauce.

NBA Free Agent Signings, Not Free

Have you been following the recent NBA Free Agent signings? The dollars involved are astronomical. They of course are hard for us to comprehend. Here is the Top Ten Free Agent signings for 2017

Player                      Annual Salary       Total Contract
Stephen Curry                  $40,231,758             $201,158,790
Blake Griffen                    $34,452,000             $172,260,000
Gordon Hayward             $31,957,493             $127,829,870
Jrue Holiday                     $25,200,000              $126,000,000
Otto Porter Jr.                   $26,631,000              $106,524,000
Kyle Lowery                      $33,333,333             $100,000,000
Paul Milsap                       $30,000,000               $ 90,000,000
Tim Dardaway Jr.            $17,737,000               $ 70,950,000
Serge Ibaka                       $21,666,000              $ 65,000,000
Danilo Gallinari                $21,587,000              $ 64,762,000
money uhgvfrimages

This list is only Free Agents. There are several others also in this category such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, & Russell Westbrook that have existing contracts. How do compare to these NBA stars? Perhaps you are a little short of these lofty contracts. But how about some of the lesser known players, maybe some that don’t even start:
Duwayne Dedmon            $ 7,000,000                  $ 14,000,000
Shelvin Mack                     $ 6,000,000                   $ 12,000,000
Nene Hilario                      $ 3,651,000                    $ 10,954,000
Ron Baker                          $ 4,436,000                     $  8,872,000
Jonas Jerebko                    $ 4,100,000                     $  8,200,000
Remember these guys average about 15 minutes a game, and work 6 months a year. Are you starting to see where you would rank with these guys?

free agencymaxresdefault

Just for comparison sake, I thought I’d google some of the top CEO’s in the country and see where they would rank. The president of the USA only makes $400,000 annually.
Ginni Rometty                   $1,600,000     CEO of IBM
Sundar Pichai                    $   650,000     CEO of Google
Tim Cook                             $3,000,000    CEO of Apple
Isn’t it hard to believe how many players in the NBA ( 70 ), earn more than the $3,000,000 a year, the CEO of Apple earns.

As I was researching this, I wondered how this compared to when I started my sales and marketing career. In 1966, the first round pick, Cazzie Russell, signed for $200,000 for 3 years, which was the richest contract in the history of the NBA. My starting salary in the business world was $5,200 annually.

The other thing that stands out to me, is the stress levels of a CEO, versus that of a second string NBA player. One who only works 6 months a year.


X Games Drop In: Minneapolis

Having been a sports fan for many tears, I have attended events where the description of what was happening on the field was: touchdown, field goal, penalty, pass, rushing yards, field goal, 3 pointer, free throw, foul, shot from downtown, hit, strike, strikeout, ball, home run, single etc. All comments I am very familiar with and fully understand their meaning.X gAMES 2005-1491315948

However, this past weekend, I attended the X Games in Minneapolis, where I was a virgin to the dialogue  of extreme sports, which I was about to learn. The vocabulary used at the X Games to describe events and actions, goals, or tricks went like this:

  • BMX VertXimagesJ9HCSSDY
  • SKB Big Air
  • MotoX Freestyle
  • MotoX Best Whip
  • MotoX High Air
  • Ollie
  • Cat Rail
  • Trany Skating
  • Drop In
  • KickFlip
  • Backside Air
  • 50/50
  • Shipwreck
  • disaster
  • Flare Bar Stream                                                                                                                         The event in Minneapolis was spectacular. The events were mostly held in new US Bank Stadium. The overall event is kind of hard to describe. It was kind of like going to the fair, or a circus, where you have one daredevil act, but you have dozens of dare devils, that are competing with each other.

Minnesota Twins Kintzler Unlikely All-Star

Minnesota had a pitcher added to the 2017 All-Star team, whose name wasn’t Santana. Brandon Kintzler was surprisingly added to the American League All-Star team, for the July 11th Classic. An unlikely prospect a year ago. He has traveled up and down, and all-around, to get to the All-Star game.

His journey began when he was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2004. He played in San Diego’s lower minor league teams for a couple of years, before deciding to give up baseball. He missed the game and returned with the independent St Paul Saints. of the American Association in 2009.mlb_all_star_game

He was given a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers mid-season 2009. He pitched in the minors until 2010, when he was called up to the bigs, and made his major league debut on September 10th.kintzler nb

He had some shining moments with the brewers between 2011 and 2015, even though they were always tempered by injuries. While he was injured, another player would always take his place, until another opportunity came along, for him. They released him in 2015.

He signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins, for the 2016 season. He was called up after Minnesota closer Glen Perkins was injured. Perkins was replaced by Jepsen as closer, with Kintzler now the setup man. Jepsen failed as a closer, and Kintzler took over. He finished the season with 17 saves, in 54 games.

Minnesota manager said Kintzler was his closer, in spring training. He hasn’t disappointed, currently leading the American League in saves. With that distinction, he was added to the All-Star team.


Rubio Traded To The Jazz For a No. 1

When I saw Ricky Rubio was traded from the Timberwolves, to the Utah Jazz, for a No.1 draft pick in 2018, I felt that he deserved a tribute from me, regarding his history with the Timberwolves.

When I read the article in the paper, they stated that Ricky was 26, I thought it was a misprint. I figured he must be forty, based on how long he’s been in the news.

Remember when Rubio was drafted by the Timberwolves, back in 2009? He was the 5th pick of the first round. He was 18 at the time, and had been playing pro ball in Spain since he was 14. Unbelievable. He didn’t join the Timberwolves immediately following the draft, because of contractual obligations. Remember how he and Kahn, were blasted in the press at that time. No one, had heard of Rubio, and couldn’t believe he was taken ahead of Kyrie Irving,  and then didn’t even play for the Wolves. There were many who thought he would never play for the Wolves.

In June of 2011, he finally signed with the Wolves. In the ensuing years, he played well in spite of several injuries, signing a 4 year contract extension, for a reported $ 56 Million, in 2014. He has had moments of brilliance, but not quite enough to get to the Ricky_Rubio-MN_v_DETelite status; like Kyrie, Rose, Paul etc. This year he has really developed into that status, in spite of, or because of, all the trade rumors. His game is probably more focused than ever. In addition to his success dishing the ball around, his scoring has improved as well, especially from 3 point range.

I’ m happy for Rubio. Maybe he will have the opportunity to flourish with the Jazz, without all the trade talk every day. I hope he brings a touch of Maravich back to the Jazz.


Seattle Seahawks: Dissention or Frustration

Seth Wickersham of ESPN The Magazine, wrote a compelling piece on the Seattle Seahawks and the culture in the locker room. In the article he discusses dissention in the locker room, that isn’t an offense vs. defense issue, which can happen when teams lose important playoff games. The issues raised by Wickersham”s article were:

  • What is Sherman’s future with the team, and how does he effectively fit in the locker room? He has been divisive. He has been openly critical of the coaching staff, especially the offensive group.
  • Many teammates have been critical of Carroll’s handling of Russell, who they think is coddled by Carroll.carroll & Wilson
  • Many teammates  felt Sherman never got over their loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl, blaming the loss on Carroll and Wilson.
  • Sherman and some members of the defense, feel that the Seahawks should have won the last 2 Super Bowls, because of their defense, which they claim, is the best of all time.
  • Many members of the Seahawks, have had their fill of Sherman, and his antics.
    Sherman was on the trading block, which Seattle was demanding 2 – 1st rounder’s (a hefty price ) along with his $11 million dollar salary. Teams could draft a top college player with a 5 year contract for  around $6 million. What would you do?Seattle Sherman81414107

Wickersham stated that the driving force behind the article, was the fact that one of the best corners in the league ( Sherman ), was on the trading block, and Sherman was in favor of it.

Sherman of course, called the article “nonsense”, as did Michael Bennett, who called it “trash”. But at least a dozen Seahawks, while separately on the radio. didn’t deny claims.
But it sounds like the rift, between offense and defense has been aired, and everybody is looking ahead positively.

I’m sure the Seahawks feel that in Sherman’s case, the best trade, is no trade. He is arguably the best corner in the league. Over the last 3 seasons, he is number 1, in the passer rating against, with a rating of 60.2 when QB’s target him. He was No.1 last year, when he had no help in the secondary, because of injuries to Thomas and Chancellor.

Hopefully Carroll’s magic powers will work again.