Last week a consultant recommended the closing of West Elementary School in Grand Forks. And while no formal decisions have been made, the news hits close to home for the parents and the teachers in that part of town. And the students. Especially a first grader named Carter.
Yesterday, Carter held a a one-man protest outside the school. What could a first grader possibly say about such a complex situation? Plenty. And Carter said it very well. In my years at WDAZ, we’ve attempted to interview probably a couple hundred elementary-aged kids on various topics. It’s usually quite a struggle. Yesterday, in ten minutes, Carter said more than all of them combined. He bravely stood in front of the TV camera and made several compelling and eloquent arguments as to why the school should remain open. I was in awe. A few feet away stood his grandfather, beaming. He sidled up to me, gave me a knowing nod, and whispered, "He’s going to be a politician." I resisted the urge to say "He should aim higher" and listened as Carter went on to make another point: "West Elementary is the best school I’ve known in my life." He was so passionate I wanted to go stand behind him and join in.
I don’t know what will happen with West Elementary. I wish schools would never have to close. But I do know that with Carter in their corner, they’ve got a pretty strong voice.
Carter, third from the right, green shirt. To check out the story, go to www.wdaz.com
*Nicest April ever? Yep.
*The Minnesota Twins have not lost back to back games this year. Knock on wood. And I’m really tired of Scott Baker.
*In 2006, I did an NBA game for ESPN. Philadelphia and Minnesota. That is the last time I watched an NBA game. Does Minnesota still have a team?
*Welcome home to Robbie Bina. He played hockey in both hotbeds this year: Las Vegas and Norway. Next year: Germany.
*Conan is going to be on 60 Minutes this Sunday. Must see TV.
*The Alerus Center should get the Zach Brown Band. Or anyone.
*I will attempt to get in the win column when I take in a couple of Twins games next weekend. They will be playing Baltimore. The Orioles are already 12 games out of first in the East.
Just talked to TJ Oshie and he’s been asked to join the USA Team in Germany for the World Hockey Championship. He was very happy to be informed that Matt Greene would be joining him. That makes two Fighting Sioux on the USA Team.
We don’t break a lot of news here at Reggie Tales, but we are tonight. Just got off the phone with Matt Greene and he’s been asked to join Team USA for the World’s in Germany. Special thanks to Summer Sidekick for finally pulling his weight.
In the last week a couple of people have asked me, "What is this Juicy Lucy you keep talking about?" It has now come to my attention that I never properly defined what it was. In my excitement over the new Twins ballpark and the thought of enjoying a Juicy Lucy during a game, I forgot to tell people about this burger, which is actually two all-beef burgers with cheese in the middle. It is not to be confused with a double-cheeseburger. The Juicy Lucy actually has the cheese self-contained inside the two patties. The cheese is sealed off like it’s own little bomb shelter. Then when you bite into it, you get a volcanic explosion of liquid cheese. And in my constant search for the best foods in the world, Minneapolis’ own Juicy Lucy vaulted to the front.
But the Juicy Lucy does not come without its share of controversy. There are two places in Minneapolis that claim to have the best JL. And they both are on Cedar Avenue, two miles apart from one another: The 5-8 Club and Matt’s Bar. At Matt’s Bar, there is no "i" in their Jucy Lucy. And that’s where we had our first JL. It was this past winter. My friends had seen it on The Travel Channel’s "Man Vs. Food" and "Food Wars." It seems The 5-8 Club and Matt’s Bar have had a long-running debate about who had the first/best Juicy Lucy. I preface my comments with the admission that I haven’t tried the 5-8 Club’s version yet, but I don’t know how they can beat Matt’s Bar. But I am willing to give them an opportunity. Soon.
Which brings me to Target Field’s own version of the Juicy Lucy. I haven’t tried it yet. But I will. It’s located inside one of the bars at the stadium. I went and scoped it out last week during the game. On a sunny 70 degree day without a cloud in the sky, the bar was full of people who had no clue a baseball game was taking place 20 feet away. Some people were actually watching the game on TV. But I digress. The 2010 Juicy Lucy Tasteoff will continue this summer. I will let you know my findings.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs is pretty much the most intense sporting event known to man. The games are not for the timid, squeamish, or the faint of heart (and I’m just talking about the viewers). Since the Minnesota Wild don’t have a real team, I use a complex formula to decide who I’m rooting for during the playoffs. Two of the factors I use are: does the team have any UND players; AND, if they win the Stanley Cup, will they bring it back to Grand Forks? Well…basically, those are the only two factors I use.
Using this formula, my team this year was the Los Angeles Kings. UND player? Check. Bring the Cup back to Grand Forks? Check. In fact, I could almost picture it at The Ralph and at a local tavern that loves all things hockey, Nascar, and Minnesota Twins. My kind of place. But while the Kings made a 30 point improvement on last year’s record, they bowed out of the playoffs on Sunday night. As did the New Jersey Devils, which boasts two former Fighting Sioux. Last night, the Buffalo Sabres and Drew Stafford were eliminated. I know there are a couple of other UND guys still in the hunt, but I’m now "cheering" for the Blackhawks and Jonathan Toews. I think it would be fitting for Toews to bring the Cup back to Grand Forks for a visit (Jonathan, bring your Gold Medal too), but that will require 12 more wins for Chicago. And if you’ve ever watched a Stanley Cup Playoff game, you know how hard that will be.
Last August, four of us from WDAZ made a trip up to Karlstad, MN in conjunction with their annual Moose Fest celebration. It was also in conjunction with our "Make A Date" promotion. So it worked out pretty good. And while the Karlstad Moose Fest has a long-standing tradition, our "Make A Date" deal is starting to get some pretty good traction as well. Our official duties in Karlstad were to help with a chili cook-off and a car show in the park. Our unofficial duties were to watch the riding lawnmower races and to buy jams, lefse, and knick-knacks. I don’t recall if any of us actually bought knick-knacks. Maybe Cassie did.
So it’s that time of year again where we are looking for ideas for this Summer’s Make A Date festivities. If your community, or church, or non-profit organization is hosting a special event to celebrate Summer, let us know. Send your ideas to email@example.com . You can also check out wdaz.com for more info. We are looking for the 5 best ideas. I really hope we get some good ideas. It will be hard to top Moose Fest. And the gift bags we were given. Wink-wink.
Following the Minnesota Twins 8-1 loss to Cleveland yesterday at Target Field, a voice came over the PA system at the new ballpark and directed me to go to the home plate area for a "special ceremony." When I got down there I quickly realized that there was no "special ceremony," instead I was greeted by several angry members of the Twins organization. It seems they did a cross-reference check of the fans who have attended at least two games and have yet to see the Twins win at Target Field. My name came up. And a red flag. It seems that I was the only common denominator or least common denominator in this case. The officials then asked for the remainder of my partial season tickets and then set fire to them. Then, in one final indignity, they asked Delmon Young to hit me with a baseball bat. But since I was standing two feet off the plate in the left-hand batter’s box he swung and missed me three times. I always love that one. Seriously though, I’m 0-2 at Target Field, and while I’m not ready to hit the panic button yet, I’m at least going to locate it.
I really thought there would be some good karma in bringing my father, my brother, and my other daughter to a game. Alas, there was none. But a good time was had by all. I hope at some point to be able to use the phrases "a good time was had by all" and "a Twins win" in the same sentence. I have seven more games on my schedule this year. Any chance I can go on a seven game win streak? Hope so. Now for the pictures.
From left to right: Dad, Warroad Brother, Blonde Daughter
Several people have doubted my story of a fruit stand at Target Field. I saw more people huddled around an empty beer can than at the fruit stand.
This guy made me LOL. At the end of the 8-1 loss, I saw him leaving. This is what I call "commitment to a bit." He buys a Favre jersey and then has "INT MACHINE" embroidered on it. "INT"…interception…classic.
*Special addition of Random Thursday today: I’m randomly heading to Minneapolis for another Twins game. I’m taking my dad, Warroad Brother, and Blonde Daughter. This might be one of the most interesting groups ever assembled. But that’s the beauty of it. My dad and WB love the Twins. BD likes people watching. Indians vs. Twins at 12:15.
*GFC Girls Tennis kicks off today at Fargo North. Go Knights and go RSD!
*The L.A. Kings and Vancouver Canucks series has been a beauty.
*Here is a special celebrity look-a-like for a very faithful reader of Reggie Tales. At a fundraiser this weekend, I ran into "Gov. John Hoeven." Only problem was that he said no one had ever told him he looks like John Hoeven. And some of the people I was with openly questioned whether I had lost my mind. I guess I only see the good in people. Let the second guessing begin.
Me (L) "Hoeven" (R)
It should come as no surprise that I’m a team player. So yesterday I decided to take one for the home team, or Your Home Team, if you prefer. For the sake of a blog entry and to satisfy everyone’s crazy curiosity concerning the infamous "Double Down Sandwich", I went to Kentucky Fried Chicken and ordered one. You’ve seen the commercials and heard all the controversey surrounding this product. According to KFC, the Double Down "features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets, two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and the Colonel’s sauce." Seriously. The two chicken filets act as the "bun." And everything else is jammed in between them. Somehow this sandwich is listed at "only" 540 calories. There are other items on the fast-food market which have far more. It’s huge, it’s messy, and it’s insanely hot. It’s so hot that McDonald’s coffee was overheard calling it "dangerously hot." And to be honest, it wasn’t that bad. If you think about it, it’s like the crazy, unrefined uncle of Chicken Cordon Bleu. Having said that, I doubt I will ever get another one. So on this day I provide this public service to you. And I took a picture. Team player, I am.