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
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Carson Wentz: Flying Like An Eagle

Who would have ever thought that a quarterback, from Bismarck ND, that played his college ball at North Dakota State, could become a star in the NFL?
Carson Wentz is that unlikely character.
He was a good quarterback at NDSU. Following their 2015 season, conversation began about whether he might be drafted. That buzz continued, until some pundit predicted Wentz could potentially, go in the first round.

Having grown up in North Dakota, and gone to NDSU, I was both excited by that prospect, but doubtful that it could happen. Then the conversation upped the ante, and suggested he would go in the top 4. Everyone in the state of North Dakota was paying attention to the sports stations, the sports blogs, and all the print media as the interest accelerated. He then gets drafted No. 2. by Philadelphia.

At the point, I think everyone just hoped he’d make the cut, or at least make the practice squad. He then made the final cut. What a relief!! Shortly after that they traded Sam Bradford, to the Vikings. You’ve got to be chiding me. That leaves Wentz as the quarterback. He starts and plays well in his first year, and he establishes himself as the franchise quarterback.
Then we go to his second year. The team picks up some key parts in developing a well balanced team. They acquired Alshon Jeffrey, Jay Ajayi, Legarrette Blount, And all their defensive draft pics. All of these strategic moves, along with Wentz, now with a year under his belt, have catapulted the Eagles to the best record in the NFL.
The Eagles are 9-1. Wentz is the number 4 quarterback, based on the NFL QBR, and is leading the NFL in touchdown passes with 25. He is also the leading candidate for the NFL’s MVP.

He has also validated all North Dakotans.


Is Teddy Bridgewater Really The Savior

There is excitement all over Minnesota, from newspaper pundits, all the blogs, and sports talk radio programs about Teddy Bridgewaters return. This excitement is for the possibility of his return this week.

Bridgewater has been on PUP list since he injured himself, in July of 2016. The injury was not because of contact, however, the injury called for reconstruction of his knee.

Everyone knew he would be out all of 2016, and possibly 2017. It was also suggested, his career might be over. He has been on a advanced physical therapy regimen since the surgery, and could possibly be activated shortly(Nov. 10th) if agreed to by doctors, coaches and the general manager, following a workout / evaluation.
But remember: Be careful of what you wish for; you may get it. Here are some facts to possibly curb your enthusiasm, and pray the Vikings, don’t give him the starting nod, in the next game. Why not?


Bridgewater has not taken a snap, in two seasons. He has not been hit by NFL lineman, for two seasons. He hasn’t thrown a pass, with defenses charging him in two seasons, and he is not in NFL football condition, mentally or physically.
In his last season he played, ( 2015), here is how high he ranked in all the key categories:
Total QBR : 88 – # 22 ranked of 32 ranked QB’s.
Total Completions: 292 – # 21 ranked.
Total Passing Yds: 3,200 – # 22 ranked.
No. of TD’s: 14 – # 26 ranked.
I assure you these are not the numbers of a Franchise Quarterback, nor a Hall of Fame Quarterback.

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Sam Bradford. He is currently injured, with no definite timetable for his return. He only played in the 1st game of the year, but was phenomenal, having a QBR of 124.4. That was a career best for Sam, and a best in the NFL. His stats for 2016 follow. Remember he achieved these results with an inefficient and porous offensive line, and virtually no running game.
Total QBR : 100 – # 8 ranked of 32 ranked QB’s.
Total Completions: 395 – # 5 ranked.
Total Passing Yds: 3,877 – # 16 ranked.
% Completed Passes: 71.6% – # 1 ranked.

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Case Keenum. The backup to Bradford going into the 2017 season, but injuries to Bradford moved Keenum into a starting role. In the nearly 7 games he has played, he has been excellent. His Y-T-D numbers are as follows:
Total QBR : 100 – # 8 ranked of 32 ranked QB’s.
Total Completions: 395 – # 5 ranked.
Total Passing Yds: 3,877 – # 16 ranked.
% Completed Passes: 71.6% – # 1 ranked.
He has led the Vikings to a 6-2 record. leading the division.
So it’s time, for you to put on your general managers hat, and make some key decisions. None of the quarterbacks are signed for 2018. What would you do? If they were all healthy, who would you go with the rest of the year?


Should I Stand or Should I Sit?

This whole Sit or Stand issue has gone too far. We have bigger issues to deal with. I have always felt, that sports offered a welcome break , from all the current national news, and Trump tweets. So when Trump, followed by Jerry Jones, came out with their polarizing input, I knew the issue would become fodder, for all the news sources.
This past week, as I watched the NFL pregame shows, I couldn’t believe the number one issue for the game day pundits, was whether teams would sit or stand. Not much conversation about Dallas’s offensive line, what’s up with Elliot suspension or New England first 4 games. Every pregame I saw, made the national anthem the No.1 issue.
My thoughts on the issue are: If veterans are offended by this practice, then they deserve our respect, for putting their lives on the line, to protect our way of life, that we all enjoy. Envision a vet at home, watching a game, seeing ballplayers who make $3 Million, and up, disrespecting the flag, and the vet, who lost a leg in Afghanistan, can’t get any disability payment from the government. This doesn’t mesh. this is so wrong?

When I see these victums of ridiculous salaries and unwarranted egos, who tout “Black Lives Matter” the oppression of blacks, and the injustice that blacks face, I am appalled. I am not prejudiced in any way, and I remember when there were very few blacks in pro sports. I also remember when there were no blacks in the SEC. When I see Adrian Peterson, who made $15 million, protesting he just a modern slave, I want to puke.
The blacks have come along ways, since Martin Luther King paved the way. He and his followers and fellow protesters were all in, 24/7, not just kneeling for the national anthem. You do all those blacks, before you, an injustice, since many of them died fighting, or were seriously wounded, for your rights as a black man.
It’s about time to review all the facts, and see who should be protesting.



Thielen Living a Dream!!

Adam Thielen is a wide receiver with the Minnesota Vikings. The path that led him, to be a starter, for the Vikings, plays like a movie. I have always had a special interest in Thielen, because he comes from Detroit Lakes, MN, which is summer resort town, in the state, of 10,000 lakes. My grandparents lived there, as well as aunts , uncles, and cousins, so I spent a lot of time there, during summertime.

I heard about this kid, who was an exceptional athlete in town, from my realtives. I started following him on the internet. He had a good career, in high school, being named all conference, and all state.


He ended up going to Mankato State, where he was redshirted. He improved each year, catching 74 passes, for 1,176 yards in his senior year. The Minnesota Vikings held their summer camps at Mankato State, so Thielen always hung around, during camp, being a ball boy etc. and got to know the Viking staff. He was not invited to the NFL Combine, so he attended an open tryout with the Vikings. They signed him to the practice squad.
He then moved up, to the regular team, as a member of the special teams. He worked hard everyday, and when an opportunity came, because of an injury to Stephon Diggs, he become next man up. He performed well, and became a starter in 2016, catching 67 passes for 967 yards. Prior to the start of the 2017 season, he signed a 4 year, $19 million contract.

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Back in his high school days, Thielen’s hero was the Viking’s Cris Carter. He tried to mimic his pass patterns, and routines, and now he is playing for the Vikings and being a hero to many youngsters, just like he admired Cris Carter.4d1807e3015db5f36c9dbb3d846e505f.jpg