Saturday, April 27, 2013

Quick Hits: Volume LXVIII

- As I mentioned earlier this week, the Minnesota GOP finally has a candidate for governor in businessman Scott Honour. No doubt there will be additional candidates to declare over the next several weeks. However, since Honour is the only one to officially step forward at this time, he's an easy target for the DFL and its supporters.

In fact, Honour wasn't even an official candidate for more than 24 hours when leftist group Alliance For a Better Minnesota came forth with the following snark on its Facebook page:

Surprise, surprise the first GOP candidate for MN Governor is a corporate CEO with mega-millions. He lives in a mansion on Lake Minnetonka. Not surprising: He's wrong for Minnesota.
So someone who grows up in Minnesota as part of a middle class family, develops a strong work ethic as a young man, goes off to college to earn a BA/BS degree in Economics/Business Administration and an MBA in Finance/Marketing, starts a business in Minnesota which employs Minnesotans is somehow wrong for...uhhh....Minnesota?

Meanwhile, ABM is largely funded by Governor Dayton's ex-wife, who inherited untold wealth from the Rockefeller estate, while Dayton himself is heir to the Dayton-Hudson fortune, yet their "mega-millions" are somehow more virtuous?

I need to get myself one of those ABM handbooks to learn the specific criteria which makes someone right for Minnesota. Apparently it's someone who uses state government to impose their progressive worldview upon the citizenry.

- The Minnesota Vikings were slated to pick 23rd & 25th overall in round one of the 2013 NFL Draft Thursday. As a result, they used those picks to fill important needs on the defensive line (DT Sharrif Floyd from Florida) and cornerback (Xavier Rhodes, Florida St.) positions. The Vikings then surprised many when they traded four later round picks (a second, third, fourth and seventh rounder) to move back in to the first round to take Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson at 29. This was the opposite approach to last season when the Vikings acquired extra draft choices from Cleveland by moving down from the third pick to the fourth yet still got their top player in OL Matt Kalil. However, they used the extra later round picks on players like WR Jarius Wright (who played fairly well in place of injured superstar Percy Harvin in 2012), kicker Blair Walsh (who made the NFC Pro Bowl squad as a rookie) and safety Robert Blanton.

While the Vikings still have a need at middle linebacker, they definitely added much needed depth in other key positions in this year's draft (Draft analysts Adam Caplan and Herm Edwards felt the Vikings "won" round one). And since the new Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in 2011 gives teams full control over their draft picks for their first five seasons, that too bodes well (The Vikes have had five first round picks over the past two drafts). While last year's first rounders (Kalil and safety Harrison Smith) made significant contributions to the 2012 squad, Floyd, Rhodes and Patterson will have much to prove in 2013. However, all that will be irrelevant unless QB Christian Ponder makes that leap forward to at least a reliable starter. But that's another post for another day.

- I'm a very fair weather NHL fan. So if the Minnesota Wild make the postseason, I will definitely tune in to the action. On Friday evening, if the Wild beat the lowly Edmonton Oilers at home, they would clinch a playoff berth. Edmonton entered Friday's contest with only two games left to play, the seventh worst record in the league (out of 30 NHL teams) and had lost 8 of its last 10 games. If a team like the Wild has serious postseason aspirations (signing marquee free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to 13-year contracts prior to this season would seem to confirm that notion), they should have easily dispatched the Oilers.

The result?

The Wild fell behind 3-0 after the first period, 6-0 after two and ended up losing 6-1. If the Wild win in Colorado against the Avalanche (the team with the second worst record in the NHL), they still make the postseason. If they lose, they'll need Columbus to lose at home to Nashville.

I have to believe that the Wild will be more than ready for tonight's tilt in Denver. Given the way they played Friday, I have to believe their minds were in Colorado already.


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