Selection Sunday is this Sunday, 3/11/2018. Always a day with great anticipation, and a chance for you to compare your bracketizing with the all-knowing NCAA Selection Committee.
You have a good handle on whose going to be in the tournament, and approximately their seed number. However you have no idea where they will play. It seems they want to put the most teams, the longest way, from their fan base. Knowing all of this doesn’t help in your selection process.
I’m an avid fan, and can never win a pool, or fair well on the CBS Brackets. Last year I spent a good week going over all the stats, rivalries, past history, and still came in 580,000 place.
I quizzed a lot of people I know, about their strategy. My granddaughter, Maggie, beat me last year, by picking the team’s nicknames. she liked. Also beating me, were people who picked by colors, some by the seed #(that’s no fun), alphabetically, and one picked by the colleges, that were closest to their playoff city.
After all this analysis, I think it’s best if you select winners after the game is over.
The Super Bowl is over. Most agree it was a very entertaining game. The city of Minneapolis was applauded, for its overall performance, for the 10 day Super Bowl Live. Given temperatures in the single digits, Minnesota proved they embrace winter, and have several activities available, for their winter entertainment. By all accounts the Super Bowl was a success.
It was a super financial success, for the NFL. To begin you have to understand, the NFL is in charge of any and all activities, that relate to the Super Bowl. They presented the Minnesota Super Bowl Committee with a 157 page list of the NFL Super Bowl requirements. Some are over the top, such as their cannot be any mention, of the Vikings, in US Bank stadium, the playing field, or locker room. The NFL actually removes the turf of the Vikings, and the brings in their own turf, which they can cut into small squares and sell as Super Bowl memorabilia.
Here is just a few of the NFL’s unbelievable requirements.
NFL to receive 100% of all the ticket revenue, not subject to any taxes.
Provide the NFL with 53,000 parking spaces. Income to NFL, no taxes.
Provide each NFL owner with a no cost suite, limo, and van for his staff.
Receive a 10% rebate from hotels, within 1 hour, on all hotel income.
A data, Wi-Fi, cell, communication center that equals NASA. Mpls Expense
Payment of $2.5 Million to cover NFL expense, prior to Super Bowl.
Provide security plan with closed roads, barricades, and control center.
All concessions and merchandise sales not subject to taxes.
Airfare, room, and meals for the NFL staff 2 times prior to the game.
Must provide each team with free room & food.
Create zone, where no advertising, that isn’t an NFL sponsor, can be exposed.
Here’s the real kicker; the NFL requires a firm & binding anti-gouging commitment from all participating hotels, caterers, and transportation companies, other than those controlled by the NFL. An example would be a parking spot near the stadium that charges $20 per day on a regular basis, who couldn’t raise prices for the Super Bowl. If the NFL controlled that spot, as part of the spaces required, they could and would charge $100. Bizarre times.
After reading these requirements, do you think Minneapolis benefitted from the Super Bowl, as good as the NFL? An old sports buddy of mine said “you have to pay them, so they can have an opportunity, to help you to part with your money”.
Now that the Super Bowl is over, and the Vikings have their facilities back ( the Patriots used them), they can begin to deal with who will be their Quarterback in 2018.
You hear the prognosticators, reviewing the pros and cons of Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford, and Case Keenum. They then announce who they think the Vikings should select as their #1 Quarterback. The fact is that it is not up to the Vikings. They will all be free agents in March, meaning the Vikings do not have a Quarterback under contract for 2018. They can sign with whomever they want. This means that the Vikings have a clean Quarterback slate to begin their evaluations.
Teddy Bridgewater – He was activated off the PUP list with 6 games to go in the regular season. I’m sure he anticipated getting back in the starting lineup, as it was always stated after his injury, he was the franchise quarterback, by everyone. That commitment began to erode each week. If I’m Teddy, I’m a little pissed off the way I’ve been treated, essentially being lied to. I might want to sign with anyone other than the Vikings, to spite them.
Sam Bradford – Had a great 1st game, then injured prior to game #2, enabling Case Keenum to step in. Had a respectable 2016. Under contract in 2017 for $18 Million. I think he is a good quarterback, but I don’t think much love was shown to him. In view of the way he has been treated, I’m sure he too, wants to be anyplace other than the Vikings.
Case Keenum – A backup Quarterback his entire career, he was next man up, when Bradford was injured. As he began winning games, his confidence increased, and he improved as a starter. Still, he wasn’t designated as the starter, when both Bradford and Bridgewater were activated. Coach Zimmer would keep all the reporters in limbo, stating it was a game time decision. If I’m Keenum, I might harbor a little animosity, because of the lack of respect, after leading the Vikings to a division title, and a playoff bye.
So when you conversation about Kirk Cousins, it isn’t far fetched. Without a quarterback under contract, it makes complete sense.
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.
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.
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.
Last years competition was won by Cameron Naasz, a local Minnesotan. He was the first American, to win a Red Bull event.
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 take 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is it possible, that Stephon Diggs immaculate reception, exorcised all the demons, that Viking fans had called the “Curse”.
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.
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.
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……….