Sounds Like The Big Sky

The good people at WDAZ Sports are reporting that on Monday, November 1st, the Big Sky Conference will announce “the additions of new teams” to their conference.  This news coming today on the heels of UND cancelling their Summit League Site visit which was scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Seems logical that UND has accepted the Big Sky’s invitation.  Follow this story on and WDAZ Sports for the latest.

Michael Hart

I was able to break free from the chains that tie me to my desk for about an hour yesterday.  And I’m really glad that I could.  A “special assignment” presented itself and I jumped at the opportunity to revert back to my old job as a news photographer.  If I hadn’t,  I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet Michael Hart.  If you’ve been following the news recently, you may recall that Hart is the man that was crushed between two vehicles on Demers Avenue in Grand Forks and lost his left leg as a result of it.  He returned from a Minneapolis hospital and spent his first full day back in Grand Forks.  And he was happy to have TV’s David Schwab and me as visitors at his home Thursday afternoon.

I didn’t know Michael before the accident, but I can’t imagine that he could have been any more postive and forward-thinking than he is now.  He spoke with a lot of determination concerning his future.  And he meant it.  He talked about not wasting time being angry, saying it wouldn’t bring his leg back.  And most importantly to him, he spoke with great passion about being a good father.

It would be nice to think that if the rest of us were in the same situation,  we’d have the same outlook.  You often hear about people like Michael Hart.  It was even more fun to meet him.

Michael Hart and his pickup that he was crushed against

Our story from WDAZ

Random Thursday

*Is it just me, or are the Domino’s Pizza commercials getting weirder and weirder?  Especially the latest one, where they have a “test group” inside a small room and all of a sudden the walls of the room are removed to reveal that they are sitting in the middle of a pasture with cows?  And the “test group” people are really surprised. Did they not notice when they arrived at the location that they were driving through the middle of a pasture?

*Anyway, all this pizza talk has me wishing we still had a Godfather’s in Grand Forks.  I really miss Godfather’s.

*There was a relief pitcher for the Giants last night that had the scariest and craziest beard in World Series history.  It was so scary, that Al Hrabosky was overheard saying, “Man, that’s one crazy beard.”

Sergio Romo

*The odds of Denver Hockey Coach George Gwozdecky doing something crazy this weekend at The Ralph are 4 to 1.

*Reggie Tales shout out to Jayson in West Fargo.

19 Years Ago Today

A press box, by its very nature, is almost always a quiet sanctuary in which to watch a sporting event.  Members of the “press” or media are not to cheer for either team.  In summary, the press box is usually a very comfortable and quiet place to sit, if you’re not a fan of either team.  If.

19 years ago today, it might have been the most uncomfortable place on earth for me.  It was October 27th, 1991 and I was in the auxiliary press box at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.  The Minnesota Twins and the Atlanta Braves were locked in a scoreless tie in Game 7 of the World Series.  And I couldn’t breathe.  As a hardcore Twins fan, I was suffocating in my own silence and inability to yell or scream or jump from my seat.  For 10 gut-wrenching innings.  Sitting to my right was another devout Twins fan, TV’s Pat Sweeney.  He seemed to be handling it better than me.

The auxiliary press box for baseball at the Metrodome is where the  Minnesota Vikings press box is normally located.  So it basically encompasses right and center field.  A long way from home plate.  But when Gene Larkin’s innocent fly ball to left-center landed on the green turf, I’m pretty sure I made it to home plate before Dan Gladden did.

So as the 2010 World Series begins tonight, I will do what I do every year at this time:  think about all the pain I was in 19 years ago.

End of the Road

In September of 1992, Boyz to Men was on the top of the charts with “End of the Road” (great song.)  The #1 movie was “Last of the Mohicans” (never saw it.)  September of 1992 was also the last time that Brett Favre was not in the starting lineup for an NFL team.  And since a lot of people have been wondering what I think about the whole “Favre” situation, I thought I’d throw my two cents in.  And if you remember the song, “End of the Road,” hum along in your head as you read this.  It will work as a nice soundtrack.

I’m officially tired of Brett Favre.  Tired of hearing his name, tired of seeing it scroll along the bottom of ESPN every 30 seconds.  Tired of his ankle, his elbow, his cell phone, his Lee Jeans.  I don’t know if he could have anymore drama surrounding him.  Some people suffered from Favre Fatigue long ago.  I just reached the breaking point on Sunday night.

Yes, it’s true that with two broken bones in his ankle that he’s still probably the Vikings best option at quarterback, I just don’t think the Vikings or the fans are receiving a very good return on their $20 million investment this year.  Unless you count “drama” as a return.

End of the Road?  Last of the Mohicans?  Probably.

Chad Johnson Back With Lincoln Stars

Chad Johnson will be behind the bench tonight as the Lincoln Stars take on the Tri-City Storm in Lincoln.  Johnson had been on a personal leave of absence to deal with some medical issues since late September.  This will mark Johnson’s first regular season game as head coach.  Johnson is an ex-UND and Grand Forks Central hockey player.  Jimmy McGroarty and ex-UND, Red River and Lincoln Star Andy Schneider have been coaching the USHL team in Johnson’s absence.

Conan O’Brien

Monday, November 8th can not get here soon enough. 17 long days until the return of Conan O’Brien. His show on TBS, “Conan,” will air at 10:00 p.m. While his very first guest might be decided by an online poll (one of the choices is the Pope), it has been announced that Seth Rogen will be on the first show along with musician Jack White.

To me, Conan is by far the best of the late-night comedians.  Years ago I was a David Letterman fan.  But I felt as time went on he became “too safe” in his comedy.  And I’ve never really enjoyed Jay Leno.  Some folks tell me that I would love Craig Ferguson.  I’m not even really sure what that means.  But what I do know is that with Conan being on cable, it’s going to allow him to take his comedic bits quite a bit further.  And he’s had some time to think of some funny stuff.

Random Thursday

*Sadly, two of the great TV parents left us this week.  June Cleaver and Mr. Cunningham.  June always wore a very nice dress as a stay-at-home mom.  She had a very “sly” sense of humor and she could always see through Eddie Haskell’s shenanigans.  And Mr. C allowed a young tough to sleep in his garage.  Pretty cool in my book.

*Other great TV parents in my book: Mrs. Partridge, Frank Costanza, and Fred Sanford.

*I met a German exchange student the other day.  His name is Yannick.  Eager to display my vast knowledge of Germany, I explained to him that I had spent some time in Frankfurt and that I had eaten wiener schnitzel.  He then displayed his vast knowledge of Germany and explained to me that wiener schnitzel comes from Austria.

*I just want to remind everyone about my prediction about Fighting Sioux hockey player Matt Frattin for this season.  It can be found here

*Reggie Tales shout out to Bo and McCray in Lincoln.

Must Have Been a Fun Wedding Dance

During my recent, well-deserved time-off in the land of all things RED, Lincoln, a wedding announcement was brought to my attention.  Even though the wedding was in August, I’m sure the party continues.  In fact, it’s safe to assume that “a good time was had by all.” Click to enlarge.

It should only be a matter of time before Leno is stealing this from me.  Whatever.

Travelogue: Lincoln, Nebraska

Before Lincoln, Nebraska was Lincoln, Nebraska, it was Lancaster, Nebraska.  Then, following President Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, the city changed its name to Lincoln.  All of this according to Summer Sidekick.  He and Mrs. Summer Sidekick moved to Lancaster Lincoln a month ago.  It seems as though SSK has found gainful employment in the land of Go Big Red.  And apparently my internship program of which he was a graduate is paying big dividends.  It was very clever of SSK to take a hockey coaching job in the same city where the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team resides.  There is a pretty good chance that if his team gets off to a slow start it might go unnoticed for a little while.  Suffice it to say that the good people of Nebraska are CRAZY about their football team.  So I couldn’t help but feel like I was bad-luck while in attendance for their loss to Texas on Saturday.  I’ve never seen 85,000 people (84,000 dressed in RED) so disgusted.

University of Nebraska, Memorial Stadium, October 16, 2010

But cheer up Nebraska!  Losses are easier to get over when you have eight D’Leon’s to choose from!  And four of those are in Lincoln!  D’Leon’s is a hole-in-the-wall kinda place (I mean that in the good way) that serves Mexican food.

D'Leon's, Lincoln, Nebraska

If the good people of D’Leon’s would venture to North Dakota for location #9 I would ensure the long-term stability of their business.  Based on their Breakfast Burrito alone, (served 24 hours a day) I would be their #1 customer and spokesperson.

Anyway, Lincoln is really nice.  I would call it a “bigger Fargo.”  And I did on several occasions.