Friday, August 28, 2009

Another year, another State Fair excursion

I always look forward to late August when my wife and I can make our annual trek out to the Minnesota State Fair. To be honest, I have a normal routine when I go to the fair. My main interests are my favorite local radio shows as well as partaking in my favorite "entrees" (Cheese curds, deep fried Spam curds and pronto pups top the list).

But this year featured an added bonus! As I visited the broadcast site of Dan Cole's afternoon radio show on sports radio AM 1130 KFAN, they announced an opportunity for listeners to fill in on the 1:35-1:50 segment. Given that I'm an aspiring radio host, my ears perked up. All one had to do was enter his/her name in a drawing. With only six entrants, my chances were pretty good.

Sure enough, myself and another listener named Doug had our names drawn!

For 15 minutes we bantered about sports and even had fun at the expense of some audience members. For the audio of our appearance, click here. It starts about two-thirds of the way into the podcast.

I had an absolute blast and even received a ringing endorsement from the show host himself! Could this lead to other guest appearances in the future?

Stay tuned!!!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Ted Kennedy: 1932-2009

After more than a year long battle with a brain tumor, Sen. Edward Kennedy passed away at the age of 77.

I’ve often been told that if you don’t have something nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all. Admittedly I have often violated that sentiment on this blog. Nevertheless, I will not line up to whiz on the grave of the senior senator from Massachusetts.

Instead I will highlight a few audio/video clips of Senator Kennedy in his own words.

-Kennedy's explanation for driving off a bridge, resulting in the drowning death of Mary Jo Kopechne.

-After his savagery of SCOTUS nominee Robert Bork in 1987, Kennedy unwittingly created the verb "Bork".

-Incoherent endorsement of President Bill Clinton for a second term as President.

-More Teddy incoherence, as he bungles the names of baseball sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

-A classic from the Democrat playbook: Don't like the current law on the books? Change it!

By the way, conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh stated last March that the Congressional Democrats would use Kennedy's illness as leverage for overhauling the health care system. Rush was then roundly criticized for saying that before it was all over, any health care legislation passed would be known as the "Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care Bill."

So if you listen to various members of Congress, what is it they're essentially saying today? "Let's get this done for Teddy! Let's make it part of his legacy!"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Banking Queen

One of the latest parody songs is Banking Queen, sung to the tune of ABBA's Dancing Queen.

It stars Congressman Barney Frank*, a Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the House Financial Service Committee.

*celebrity voice impersonated


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another wedding weekend

I remember pretty clearly my cousin Toni getting married thirty years ago. Yeah, she was a very beautiful twenty year old bride.

Fast forward thirty years to yesterday afternoon where I witnessed Toni's 26-year old daughter taking that stroll down the aisle. It's still hard for me to fathom that I'm at the age where I vividly remember two generations of family members getting hitched.

Nevertheless, congratulations to my cousin Heather and her new husband Luke on what was a beautiful and very thrifty ten-minute ceremony!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The bitterness ensues

While many Packer faithful deny it, the fact that several are still taking gratuitous shots at Brett Favre proves that it bugs them he's a Viking.

A 21-year old Packer fan sums it up pretty well:

"And those that are saying, 'I've moved on; I don't care about Favre anymore,' you know what? They are trying to convince themselves.

"You can't have a player who quarterbacks your team for 16 years -- who means everything to the Packers and football in Wisconsin -- and say it doesn't mean anything that he now will be playing for the big rival.

"We're all dying inside.''


Tuesday, August 18, 2009


OK, it’s really happening this time? Brett Favre is actually going to be the Minnesota Vikings quarterback in 2009?

Game on!

I won’t rehash why I think this signing is great for business but “iffy” from a football standpoint. I went through all that when Favre told coach Brad Childress he was staying retired.

Make no mistake. Favre is coming back for one reason and one reason only: to win a Super Bowl. Indeed, many will say that the Favre signing is a failure if there is anything short of a championship. I vehemently disagree. Say the Vikings get all the way to the Super Bowl and lose or they finish 10-6 and lose in the divisional round of the playoffs. Is any Viking fan going to have the temerity to say ”We should have stuck with Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson”?

As Vikings fans we need to be intellectually honest. Even if Favre does not lead our favorite squad to the proverbial Promise Land, the possibility doesn’t even exist if Jackson or Rosenfels are at the helm.


Monday, August 17, 2009

No, I'm not going through chemo

Went for my haircut tonight and asked the stylist "Are you familiar with the 'Mr. Clean' look?" She indeed was.

Behold the results:

Admittedly, I have neither the biceps nor the barrel chest to be mistaken for Mr. Clean himself. Ah, but the stylist told me I held up pretty well in that department.

Yes, she got a nice tip!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

A great day at the PGA!!

While making small talk with the CEO at my workplace Friday morning, he asks me if I would be attending the PGA Championship at all. ”I wish”, I replied. ”Well, would you like to”, he asked me. Anytime I can start the weekend early, I’m all for it! But to have the opportunity to attend one of the most prestigious, in-demand venues (i.e. a PGA major tournament) was positively mind-blowing! So courtesy of one of our vendors, I was heading to the 91st PGA Championship!

I arrived at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska at about 1:30, which was about fifteen minutes before my favorite golfer, Tiger Woods, was set to tee off. Initially I decided to wander around the beautiful golf course and just soak in the atmosphere. Part of the perks I received with my complimentary pass was admission into one of the three “hospitality villages”. Each of these three areas was named for a golfer (Tony Jacklin, Payne Stewart and Rich Beem) who won a major tournament played at Hazeltine. As I made my way to the Rich Beem Hospitality Village (which was complete with air conditioning, private restrooms, free drinks, free food and H.D. TVs), I was passing the green on the 2nd hole just as Tiger, Padraig Harrington and Beem were getting ready to putt. All three golfers attained par on that hole so I followed them to the third tee box to witness the vaunted Tiger Woods tee shot. With the 3rd hole being a 633 yard Par 5, I witnessed Tiger hit the fairway right down the middle with his driver!

After taking about 30 minutes for lunch, I headed out to the nearby 10th tee box to see the various threesomes come through. As a result, I got a glimpse of such notable players as Sergio Garcia, Tom Lehman, Jim Furyk and Kenny Perry. There was about 20-30 people near the 10th tee and fairway for the five threesomes that passed through while I was there. But when Tiger’s group arrived? Literally hundreds of fans walked alongside Woods & Co. as they approached the tenth. This time I followed Tiger the entire hole. As I made my way towards the tenth green, I came across legendary broadcaster Verne Lundquist! Given the sports rube that I am, I have heard Mr. Lundquist’s work in the NFL, NCAA football and basketball, as well as golf. In fact, one of Lundquist’s most memorable calls was Tiger’s unbelievable chip in at #16 at the 2005 Masters. As I greeted Verne, I asked him if he is ever asked to recite the “Christian Laettner call". He got a good chuckle out of that one.

But I digress.

Unfortunately, Tiger would go on to bogey the tenth, falling into a tie with Harrington for the overall lead. I then watched Tiger’s tee shot at the 606-yard, par five #11, only to see him hit it into the rough. Up to that point I personally hadn’t seen Tiger do anything truly spectacular.

Given the insufferable heat and humidity, I decided to reconvene to the Rich Beem H.V. to rehydrate. After watching Tiger on TV save par on #11, I decided to hang out by the nearby 16th green to see the various groups complete the hole. One player which caught my attention was an Englishman named Ross Fisher. After putting for birdie on the 16th, he was tied with Tiger for the overall lead (minus-5 at the time) thanks to a second round score of minus-6 through sixteen! Since I also enjoy golf’s “Cinderella stories”, I decided to follow Fisher to holes 17 & 18. Unfortunately he bogeyed both holes, thus falling back to minus-3, but still good for a second place tie through two rounds.

I then returned to my spot at the 16th green in time to watch Tiger’s group. Finally I got to see vintage Tiger Woods as he hit about a 20-foot putt for birdie! That gave him a four shot lead, which he maintained as he finished up on Friday. Since Tiger is 8-0 in majors where he has led after two rounds, it appears he is on his way to a record tying fifth PGA Championship title.

I headed out at about 7:30, six hours after I arrived. I was probably a little sunburned and definitely soaked with sweat. But it’s an experience I would re-live in a heartbeat!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Yep! I still got it!!

Does anyone know who the first base umpire was in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series? If you were armed with that knowledge at 5:45 this evening, AM 1500 KSTP had four tickets to give you for the Monday, August 24th game against the Baltimore Orioles.

OK, part of the answer was given by sports guy Matt Thomas on Twitter prior to the trivia question being asked. But the subject was umpire Hunter Wendelstedt and his ongoing feud with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. Anyhow, Wendelstedt's Dad was also a Major League Baseball umpire back in the day. Thus we were asked what is the senior Wendelstedt's first name and at which base did he umpire in that '91 World Series game. Since the answer to the second part was given, the fact I remembered the name of umpire Harry Wendelstedt won me the tickets!!

Often when I recite obscure facts and statistics about....well...any subject, I am greeted with the inquiry "WHY do you know all this???".

It can occasionally pay off!


Monday, August 10, 2009

Timberwolves finally hire a coach.

In Game 4 of the 1984 NBA Finals, Kevin McHale “clothes lined” Kurt Rambis when they were opposing players.

25 years later, McHale has hamstrung Rambis.

With Rambis having been hired as the coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, he takes over a franchise marred by poor personnel decisions of former Wolves VP McHale.

Rambis eventually got his revenge for the clothes lining when his Lakers beat McHale’s Celtics in the 1985 and 1987 NBA Finals. As McHale’s successor in the head coaching position, it’s uncertain what kind of retribution Rambis can employ with what has been a moribund franchise over the past five seasons.


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Make up your minds. Is dissent patriotic or not??

According to Drudge Report, an op-ed penned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer will appear in the USA Today on Monday. It is reported that Pelosi and Hoyer dub townhall protesters as "un-American" for their objections over the government's attempt to overhaul the health care industry.

It's rather disturbing when two high ranking officials in the legislative branch of government bristle at dissent. The very essence of the first amendment is the right to criticize government without fear of retribution from said body.

I say it's high time that more Republicans say something like this:

I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we're Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.

Sound familiar?

In 2003, then Senator Hillary Clinton actually shrieked that very diatribe. And of course she was lauded for taking the Bush administration to task over their alleged attempts to suppress opposition to the Iraq war. It was complete bull pucky of course, as President George W. Bush rarely hit back at his detractors, much less having displayed the petulance exhibited by the White House's current occupant. And the Bush administration endured far more blatant invective than anything the Obama presidency has seen.

The outcry from citizens over the past six months has been more of strenuous objections to President Obama's policies as opposed to ad hominem attacks, which were seen on a regular basis during the Bush presidency.

I guess labeling protesters as "un-American" is easier than having to defend disastrous policies.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Twins suck? That's odd.

Ron Gardenhire is in the midst of his eighth season as manager of the Minnesota Twins. That means Gardy has now managed four even-year seasons (2002, '04, '06 and '08) and four odd-year seasons (2003, '05, '07 and '09).

In the four even years, the Twins have averaged 93 victories per season and have won three division titles.

After Friday evening's loss to the Detroit Tigers, the Twins are on pace to win only 79 games this season. If they maintain that mediocre pace, the Twins will have averaged only 83 victories per odd year, with only one division title.

Oh well. If the tradition holds, the inaugural season at Target Field should be a successful one!


Sunday, August 02, 2009

QB list

What do all these quarterbacks have in common (other than the fact they're non-descript and/or mediocre)?

Jeff George
Tony Banks
Kent Graham
Jay Fiedler
Ray Lucas
Brian Griese
A.J. Feeley
Gus Frerotte
David Carr


Time to reevaluate

Hey, remember me?? Probably not, since I haven't been stopping by here very much. Given the new online tools that are Facebook and Twitter, I've pretty much ignored this blog. And the fact it's Summertime motivates me to do things outside as opposed to sitting in front of a computer screen.

So does that mean it's time to hang it up?? I'm not to that stage yet. But I have been thinking seriously about what direction I want to take this blog. Politically, I'm worn out by the empty suit who currently occupies the White House.

And since the Twins have been anywhere from mediocre to unspectacular, I've lost interest in writing anything about them, as well as major league baseball in general.

For a while, taking gratuitous shots at my Dad seemed to be my favorite pastime. But in looking back at some of things I wrote on that subject, I'm rather embarrassed by how petty I became. Not to mention the fact I wasn't being the best ambassador for God's kingdom.

To quote Sopranos dim-witted character Little Carmine Lupertazzi, I'm at "the precipice of a major crossroads".

We'll see what the future may hold.