Thursday, January 30, 2020

Bubble bursting?

Let's be honest. Current Democrat presidential candidate (and senior U.S. Senator from Minnesota) Amy Klobuchar had little to no chance to be the Dem nominee in 2020. However, like many nominees whose prospects are dim, she was likely angling for a higher profile position in a potential Democrat presidential administration or getting her name out there to strengthen another POTUS run in 2024 (assuming a Dem doesn't prevail in 2020).

But with all the national exposure Klobee is attaining, there will be tremendous media scrutiny unlike the fawning she has experienced while running for statewide office in Minnesota. Just the other day the Associated Press came out with a story that any credible media outlet in the Twin Cities could have produced but couldn't be bothered.

During a presidential debate, Amy Klobuchar defended her tough-on-crime record during her days as a top Minneapolis prosecutor.

She recounted a story that has helped propel her political career, including her 2007 Senate bid: Members of the African American community were seeking justice for kids killed in gun violence, she said. When (Tyesha Edwards) was struck by a stray bullet while doing homework at the dining room table, Klobuchar’s office helped put away the shooter.

But what if Myon Burrell — a black teen sentenced to life in prison — was innocent?

As a result of the Burrell case now being heavily scrutinized, some members of key Democrat voter demographics are demanding that Klobee ought not waste anymore time on the presidential campaign trail.

On Wednesday, the Racial Justice Network, Minneapolis NAACP, Black Lives Matter Twin Cities, Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar and Communities United Against Police Brutality all asked Klobuchar to suspend her White House bid. Edwards's father has also said he believes Burrell may have been wrongfully convicted.

“What I need people to understand is this isn’t about partisanship and this isn’t about politics,” Leslie Redmond, president of the Minneapolis NAACP, said in a press conference. “This is about justice. ... This isn’t just a situation that happened to the Central Park Five alone. This is a situation that happens all around America. This is a situation that happens right here in Minnesota."

"Young people, young adults were given life sentences to rot away in prison," Redmond continued. "This benefits no one. However, it does benefit politicians who use the criminal justice system to benefit their political careers. Enough is enough.”

Not even Esme Murphy can save your floundering campaign now, Amy.


Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Chris Doleman: 1961-2020

Oof. A rough start to 2020 in terms of high profile deaths. One of my all time favorite Minnesota Vikings passes on.

Hall of Fame defensive end Chris Doleman died Tuesday night after a battle with cancer, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced in a statement. He was 58.

"The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Chris Doleman after a prolonged and courageous battle against cancer," said David Baker, the Hall of Fame's president and CEO. "I had the honor of getting to know him not only as a great football player but an outstanding human being. One of the honors of my life was witnessing Chris get baptized in the Jordan River during a Hall of Fame trip to Israel.

"The legacy of Chris Doleman will live forever in Canton, Ohio, for generations to learn from how he lived a life of courage and character."

Doleman played for the Minnesota Vikings from 1985 to 1993 and ended his career with the club in 1999.

In 2018, he had surgery to remove a brain tumor.

In fact, just four days ago Doleman tweeted about the anniversary of his initial brain surgery.

I recall the hoopla surrounding the 1985 NFL draft, specifically because my Vikings were targeting a high profile offensive lineman out of Pittsburgh by the name of Bill Fralic. Upon hearing of the Vikes' interest, Fralic expressed his reluctance to playing in Minnesota. As a result, the Vikings sent their #2 pick in the first round to the Falcons in exchange for Atlanta's #4 overall pick and their third round choice. The Vikes used that #4 selection to pick Fralic's Pitt teammate Doleman. Safe to say my Vikings club got the better end of that deal.

In his first two NFL seasons, Doleman, then an inside linebacker, didn't stand out at all. In fact, I recall one football writer broaching the possibility that Doleman didn't have much of a future in the league given his dismal performance in his rookie season. But the path to Canton was initially paved in 1987, when he was moved to Defensive End. It was there where Doleman recorded 147 of his 150.5 career sacks, which is good for fifth all time. It was also that '87 season where Doleman became a household name with his badgering of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana in a divisional playoff game. In fact, Montana was so inept that his future was called into question after his backup QB, Steve Young, almost rallied the Niners to victory (spoiler alert: Montana led San Francisco to consecutive Super Bowl victories the following two seasons).

(Doleman) was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

"The Minnesota Vikings express our deepest sympathies to Chris Doleman's family and friends upon his passing," the team said in a statement. "Chris was a great example for players past and present, as he embodied all the best characteristics of a Viking -- resilience, toughness and a competitive spirit. Chris always carried himself with dignity and class. Vikings fans worldwide will greatly miss him."

Thankfully, the memories of his Hall of Fame career live on.


Monday, January 27, 2020

Kobe et al

When I got a text message from a friend telling me that retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash Sunday morning, I was skeptical. Nevertheless, I flipped around to ESPN, ESPN 2, NBA TV and all three major news networks, but none had been reporting on such a thing. I then hopped on Twitter. Sure, there was speculation but nothing official. However, within minutes, the story was confirmed.

My immediate emotions were similar to what I felt when Magic Johnson announced in November 1991 that he was retiring from the NBA due to contracting the HIV virus. Obviously that wasn't the same as someone dying abruptly, but it felt like it. The devastation and sorrow conveyed by Magic's contemporaries were similar to what today's NBA players were displaying during Sunday's scheduled games. Sure Kobe had been retired for 3-1/2 years, but his impact was still very much felt. After all, a lot of the NBA players in their early to late 20s cited Kobe as someone they aspired to emulate.

One thing I noticed when regular folks expressed sorrow and devastation over Kobe's death was other people feeling the need to question their priorities. That is, the people who expressed sadness over the loss were lectured on the merits of displaying similar emotions for those killed in active duty military or those succumbing to an incurable disease like cancer. The fact is a lot of kids admire and revere professional athletes (Whether or not that's emotionally healthy is a debate for another day). I would venture to say that a significant number of pre adult boys who were NBA fans had a tremendous amount of reverence for a player like Kobe Bryant. So when a legend like Kobe dies unexpectedly, those same fans (most of whom are young adults today) feel as though a part of their childhood also perished. I don't care how well-adjusted an adult you are, it's hurtful to lose someone who you remember as a positive force in your "kid years." In addition, it's also supremely arrogant to assume that the people being chided as having their priorities out of whack aren't also affected by loss in other areas. So for those who feel the need to de-legitimatize someone's heartfelt sentiments? Don't be one of those self-righteous ninnies, k?

With all that said, we should indeed extend our heartfelt condolences to not only the family of Kobe and Gianna (Bryant's 13-year old daughter who was also killed in the crash) but also to the loved ones of the seven others who died.

What an incredbily sad, surreal day.


Saturday, January 25, 2020

Now you find that you've been misused....

My friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg is on assignment away from his normal broadcast today, so we're switching days this weekend. I will be live on the air today from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time on The Headliner edition of the NARN.

In the first hour, I'll discuss the Richmond, VA gun rally from this past week and how "progressives" just can't cope with the fact it was an overwhelmingly peaceful and civil gathering. Speaking of rallies, President Trump became the first POTUS to ever speak at the March for Life gathering on Friday.

At 2:00 pm I will welcome to the Patriot bunker Regina Barr, who is vying for the Republican nomination in Minnesota's Congressional District Two. Regina will appear on the show to tout her candidacy and explain why she's the best equipped to unseat incumbent Congresswoman Angie Craig.

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we plan on addressing.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 or, if you're near downtown Minneapolis/West Metro area, 107.5 FM on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio as well as Amazon Alexa (just say "Alexa, play The Patriot Minneapolis")If you're unable to tune in live, please check out my podcast page for the latest show post.

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #NARNShow or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....


Friday, January 24, 2020

Marching on

The annual March for Life is perhaps the longest (and largest) sustained gathering in America, having taken place on the anniversary of Roe v Wade for several years now. Sure, the media would prefer to give wall-to-wall coverage to "progressive" rallies like the Women's March or Gun Grabbers United March for Our Lives. However, neither has or will have the staying power of the pro life movement.

And here's a surprise: With President Donald Trump speaking live at the Washington D.C. rally on Friday, he became the first President of the United States to deliver an in-person address.

Of course, Trump's appearance at the rally will be denigrated by his detractors as an attempt to distract from the Senate impeachment trial. But like it or not, as Philip Klein believes, this will only fortify the President's reelection prospects.

Given Trump's relatively low approval rating (in the mid-40s), he's going to be heavily dependent on his ability to fire up the base of the Republican Party, particularly in key swing states, and particularly on cultural issues.

As it is, there's a good case to be made that the Supreme Court vacancy, and the prospect that Trump would appoint a conservative to fill it, is what ultimately decided the election for Trump in 2016. There were many conservatives, particularly religious conservatives, who were initially reluctant to vote for Trump. They didn't know how sincerely to take his promises as a one time pro-choicer. But ultimately, the calculation many of them made was: Whatever the risk posed by a potential Trump betrayal, their chances of getting policies and judges they wanted was a lot higher than the 0% chance they had under Hillary Clinton.

Now, however, there is no doubt about Trump. He already has a strong case to make that as a result of both the judges he's appointed and policies he's pursued at the agency level, that he's the most pro-life president in history. His speech helped cement his legacy.

The importance of the signal that Trump was sending with his appearance at Friday's march cannot be overstated. Even George W. Bush, somebody deeply religious who was believed to have sincere conviction on the pro-life issue, chose to continue Ronald Reagan's tradition of phoning in to the march or delivering remarks by proxy. That reflected a certain desire to keep the anti-abortion movement at arm's length.

But Trump was willing to come out in the open and signal he is not at all embarrassed by the activists who flock to Washington every year to fight for lives of the unborn. He's with them. In 2020, there will be no leap of faith for pro-lifers who vote primarily on the abortion issue. They will not just support Trump passively, but they are much more likely to turnout and to volunteer for his campaign. From a political standpoint, this was a very effective bit of counter programming.

It should be noted that the majority of people (including Democrat voters) in any given survey today believe abortion should never occur past 20 weeks. I'm not sure Presidents Bush and Reagan had the benefit of such pro life sentiment during their administrations, so actually attending a pro life gathering isn't nearly as big a political risk for Trump.

Oh, and one other serendipity of President Trump's appearance at the rally? It might actually force the Trump-obsessed media to provide more coverage of the huge gathering than they would normally be inclined to do so. Chess master indeed.


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Officer, I'd like to report a beatdown

"The Democrats come shake my hand and tell me they're gonna give me a 'One Minnesota.' I haven't seen a 'One Minnesota.' Tim Walz lied!"
Rev. Tim Christopher from this past Tuesday's gun control hearing in Hibbing

About 10+ months ago, I posted a video of Rev. Tim Christopher testifying before the MN House Judiciary Committee. Rev. Christopher's testimony had to do with the Democrats' insistence on passing "gun control" legislation which would do little to nothing in curbing gun violence.

Fast forward to this past Tuesday in Hibbing.

Even though the Minnesota Legislature is not in session, the Senate Judiciary Committee chose to hold a hearing regarding the same "gun control" proposals. Once again, Rev. Christopher showed up, making the 3+ hour trek up from the Twin Cities. If you thought the Rev's testimony last year in St. Paul was lit, definitely check out the entire 10+ minute diatribe from Tuesday's gathering in Hibbing.

One final thing: Rev. Christopher is a lifelong Democrat, but has felt abandoned by his party. And he's far from the only African American to convey that sentiment. If Minnesota Republicans had any means of effective outreach, there are potentially some votes in the urban areas to be had. That would go a long way to thwarting a 12-year losing streak in statewide elections.


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Quick Hits: Volume CCX

- The only thing fatally wounded at a highly anticipated pro gun rally was leftist media narratives.

Tens of thousands gathered in Richmond, Va., on Monday to oppose new gun-control measures being pushed by Democrats in the state legislature.

The event’s peaceful procession marked a stark contrast to mainstream media portrayals of a rally filled with white nationalists and others prepared to do violence. The day’s rally concluded without a single incidence of mayhem or civil unrest.

Music, shared food, and chants of "USA!" made for a festive, fraternal atmosphere as marchers displayed their support for Second Amendment rights in Virginia. The march has been put on annually by the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), a pro-gun-rights group that has been at the center of the controversy around new gun-control legislation. Monday's protest, however, was by far the largest turnout, as gun-owning Virginians gathered from across the Commonwealth to advocate for their rights.

Of all the activity on social media which discussed this rally, this was perhaps my favorite recap.

I would be willing to bet that, as a percentage, there were more black people among Monday's Richmond rally goers than any "March for Our Lives" gathering or Bloomberg affiliated gun-grabber groups.

Thoughts and prayers to those whose narratives were killed in this incident.

- The New York Times announced it's presidential endorsement on Monday. And it was.....odd.

Both the radical and the realist models warrant serious consideration. If there were ever a time to be open to new ideas, it is now. If there were ever a time to seek stability, now is it.

That’s why we’re endorsing the most effective advocates for each approach. They are Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.

The leftist-leaning fish wrap is probably so embarrassed by the lily white makeup of the Dem candidates at last week's debate that they wanted to have at least one check mark on the intersectionality scorecard. I guess they chose "female" instead of "gay" (Sorry, Mayor Pete).

- Twin Cities church essentially says "Move on, boomer."

A prayer for survival rose from the back of the church last Sunday.

“I pray for this church, getting through this age-discrimination thing,” said William Gackstetter, as the gray-haired heads around him nodded in agreement.

Gackstetter and other members of the Grove United Methodist Church in Cottage Grove are upset enough that their church is closing in June. What makes it worse is that their church is reopening in November — pretty much without them.

The church wants to attract more young families. The present members, most of them over 60 years old, will be invited to worship somewhere else. A memo recommends that they stay away for two years, then consult the pastor about reapplying.

If you're approaching the running of a church as a business venture as opposed to serving the Lord and helping congregants develop a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you're doing it wrong.

Since this is a Methodist church, here is the Venn diagram I'd love to see among the decision makers of this particular congregation: Those who believe it's OK to discriminate based on age and those who endorse gay marriage & abortion.


Sunday, January 19, 2020

I scratch a living, it ain't easy......

Another Sunday, yet another edition of The Closer. The 2-hour festivities get started at 1:00 Pm Central Time.

In the first hour I'll discuss the bizarre feud between progs Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and how it spilled over into last Tuesday's debate. Also, the articles of impeachment against President Trump were finally sent to the U.S. Senate. Now what?

In the 2:00 pm hour, I will weigh in on the Houston Astros cheating scandal and the punishment that was handed down. Sticking with a baseball theme, my favorite MLB club made a signature move in free agency.

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we plan on addressing.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 or, if you're near downtown Minneapolis/West Metro area, 107.5 FM on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio as well as Amazon Alexa (just say "Alexa, play The Patriot Minneapolis")If you're unable to tune in live, please check out my podcast page for the latest show post.

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #NARNShow or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....


Saturday, January 18, 2020

2019 NFL Playoffs: Conference Championship games

Tennessee Titans (+7) at Kansas City Chiefs: This is a rematch of a Week 10 regular season game where the Titans prevailed at home 35-32. In that contest, Titans RB Derrick Henry rushed for 188 yards and 2 touchdowns. He will need a similar performance in Kansas City if his club has any chance to win. Henry has averaged 32 carries per game over the past three weeks while posting more than 6 yards per rush. How much does he have left in the tank? The Chiefs' defense allows almost five yards per carry, so the opportunities should there.

After falling behind the Houston Texans 24-0 early in the second quarter last week, the Chiefs responded by scoring a TD on seven consecutive possessions. Since that Week 10 loss to the Titans, Patrick Mahomes and Co. have not lost a game. It's almost as if that loss served as a wake-up call.

Tennessee might be able to hang for a half, maybe even into the third quarter. However, KC will prevail and thus go to the Super Bowl fifty years after their last appearance in Super Bowl IV.
Kansas City 45 Tennessee 28

Green Bay Packers (+7-1/2) at San Francisco 49ers: Like the AFC matchup, this is also a rematch from the 2019 regular year. In that game, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had his worst performance of the season (maybe even his entire career) in a 37-8 loss. It's pretty much assured that when Rodgers & Co. take on a defense with a player named "Bosa," they won't fare very well.

I believe this game will be the first where Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo is thoroughly tested. Last week in his first career playoff game, Garoppolo was mediocre. However, his defense completely shut down my Vikings, so he didn't have to do much. I suspect he'll need to make more plays this week.

Home field will be the difference in this one.
San Francisco 31 Green Bay 21

My 2019 Postseason Record:
Against the Spread: 2-5-1
Straight Up: 4-4


Friday, January 17, 2020

Just a "heads up."

In the event there was any doubt which of the septuagenarian "progressives" Big Media would support in the Bernie Sanders-Elizabeth Warren "he said, she said" saga, let's get rid of any wiggle room.

I could be wrong, but Fauxcahontas Warren leaking audio of Tuesday's post-debate discussion with Sanders seems to be the culmination of something which was premeditated.

And the winner of the Democrat presidential debate for the ump-teenth consecutive time: President Donald Trump.


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Makin' it rain

So this move by my favorite baseball club is upending a lot of narratives.

Third baseman Josh Donaldson has agreed to a four-year deal with the Minnesota Twins, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan.

It will pay him $84 million over the first four years and includes a $16 million club option with an $8 million buyout. In total, the deal includes $92 million in guaranteed money, with a chance to increase to $104 million in value if Donaldson hits escalators on the option.

Donaldson, 34, is a three-time All-Star and the 2015 American League MVP. He rebounded from two straight injury-riddled seasons to hit .259 with 37 homers and 94 RBIs in 155 games for the Atlanta Braves last season.

The largest free agent contract the Twins ever doled out prior to this was 5 years ago when they signed pitcher Ervin Santana to 4-year, $55 million pact (Joe Mauer's $184 million contract was technically an extension). So this offer to Donaldson exceeds that by $37 million.

This move also serves to undermine many narratives among Twins fans who vent frustrations via Twitter. The prevailing sentiments are "Pohlads are too cheap" or "The front office lies when they say they've made offers to big name free agents, they just want to shut the fans up." But perhaps my favorite conspiracy theory? It has to be fans' insistence that the Twins have a public relations guy whose job is to convey that the team's offers were just shy of what a free agent agreed to elsewhere. With the Donaldson signing, all those chanting points are effectively punctured.

Alas, some people aren't completely fulfilled unless they have something to bitch about. As such, the common retort among naysayers was "What happened to the impact starting pitcher they promised?!?!" While it's true that Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey flat out said that was their top goal just after being knocked out of the postseason (again) by the New York Yankees, such a move has yet to materialize. And while I don't believe the Twins front office is going to stop considering additional acquisitions, upgrading their infield defense (Donaldson statistically is a much more solid third baseman than Miguel Sano, who will now shift to first base) by default improves the potential performance of the pitching staff.

In watching MLB Network last evening in the aftermath of the Donaldson agreement, I caught an interview with an Atlanta sports talk radio host. He indicated that the Braves desperately wanted Donaldson back in the fold but they just weren't willing to give him a fourth year guaranteed. So there ya have it. The Twins actually outbid someone else.

Speaking of MLB Network, the panelists on the show put together a projected Twins batting order for 2020:

Dang. When's Opening Day at Target Field?!?! 💣💣💣


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Quick Hits: Volume CCIX

- CNN broke a story on Monday indicating that Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders once told fellow Dem contender Fauxcahontas Elizabeth Warren that he did not believe a female candidate could defeat President Trump in 2020. The Sanders camp denies this. However, some unnamed sources vouch for Warren's account.

So whom do you believe?

Personally, I'm just over here munching on popcorn. But if I had to answer, I would just say this. Which of these two individuals has the penchant for peddling falsehoods despite very clear evidence to the contrary? (Hint. Hint.)

- Would this be considered an in-kind contribution to the Trump re-election campaign?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may be coming to America — but not until President Trump is out of office, a report said Sunday.

After their Megxit deal gets hashed out, the Daily Mail reported that the couple plan on living in Canada and eventually find a home and business in Los Angeles.

“It’s by no means an immediate thing but there is a long-term plan to end up back in the US with a second home in Canada, where they will also spend a great deal of time,” the source said.

But Markle, 38, has said she won’t move back while Trump is president, according to the Mail, citing her friends.

In the immortal words of Melvin Udall in the movie As Good as It Gets: "Sell crazy someplace else. We're all stocked up here." 

- So the reckoning for the Houston Astros 2017 cheating scandal came down on Monday and...uh.....holy crap.

Major League Baseball released a report outlining its findings on Monday from an investigation into the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal. Commissioner Rob Manfred's punishments were printed in the report, and included a $5 million fine, forfeited draft picks, and season-long suspensions for general manager Jeff Luhnow and skipper A.J. Hinch. Luhnow and Hinch have since been fired by the Astros, with bench coach Joe Espada likely taking over as interim manager.

My goodness, how the mighty have fallen. The Astros went from 111 losses in the 2013 season to a playoff team two years later and then a World Series title two years after that. They appeared well stocked for sustained success, so to put that all in jeopardy with their cheating methods just didn't seem worth the risk. Not to mention the fact that teammates would eventually move on to other clubs. Certainly they weren't all going to dummy up.

Next up is the findings on the investigation into the 2018 Boston Red Sox, managed by Alex Cora. Yes, the same Alex Cora who was a bench coach for the 2017 Astros. I imagine his punishment is being announced last given he has to answer for two different scandals. The only word that has leaked thus far is Cora's penalty will be "harsh."

Oh well, Cora will always be in the good graces of proggies for dissing President Trump. So he's got that goin' for him.


Monday, January 13, 2020

Next Dem debate

Ryan Struyk of CNN with Tuesday's lineup at the next Democrat presidential debate:


Sunday, January 12, 2020

One, two, three, four walking like a man..... more Vikings to concern ourselves with until September, so hopefully we can lick our wounds and discuss world events on today's edition of The Closer. The 2-hour broadcast gets started at 1:00 PM Central Time.

In the first hour I will weigh on Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais nuking the Hollywood elites and their perceived "wokeness." Despite Ricky's imploring them to take their awards and STFU, someone like Michelle Williams couldn't help but proudly shout her abortion.

Then in the 2:00 hour I'll discuss how the vapid left, in their efforts to "RESIST!" President Trump end up defending a regime which treats women as chattel and terminates the lives of gay people.

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we plan on addressing.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 or, if you're near downtown Minneapolis/West Metro area, 107.5 FM on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio as well as Amazon Alexa (just say "Alexa, play The Patriot Minneapolis")If you're unable to tune in live, please check out my podcast page for the latest show post.

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #NARNShow or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....


Friday, January 10, 2020

2019 NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round

Minnesota Vikings (+7) at San Francisco 49ers: The Niners were the NFL's hottest team the first half the season, starting 8-0. However, they went 5-3 their final eight contests with seven of those games being decided in the final minute of regulation or in overtime. But they're getting healthy at the right time as DE Dee Ford and LB Kwon Alexander look to return to a defense ranked second in the NFL in terms of yards allowed.

As a Vikings fan, I absolutely did not see that stalwart defensive performance coming against Drew Brees & Co. last week. If that D can rattle Brees, then certainly 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo will have his work cut out for him given his interior O-line is pretty banged up. On the offensive side of the ball for the Vikings, they will likely go with another heavy dose of RB Dalvin Cook against a San Francisco defense which allowed 4.5 yards per carry. Given the Niners allowed a paltry 169 yards passing per game, QB Kirk Cousins will only have success if the Vikes are running effectively. There are few quarterbacks better in play action than Cousins

The last time the Vikes won a dramatic playoff game against the New Orleans Saints (The Minneapolis Miracle two years ago) they laid an egg the following week in the NFC title game. Players and coaches reminded themselves of that immediately after Sunday's win, so I expect a far more competitive effort here.
San Francisco 24 Minnesota 21

Tennessee Titans (+10) at Baltimore Ravens: After knocking out of the postseason the most dominant team of the past two decades, the Titans now have the task of taking on what many consider the best team in the NFL this season.

The only chance Tennessee has to prevail is to pound rushing champ Derrick Henry down the collective throats of the Ravens' defense. Sure, Baltimore ranked fifth in the NFL in terms of total rush yards allowed. However, that's a bit misleading since the Ravens won a lot of games handily, so opponents often had to abandon the run earlier than they preferred. So the goal for the Titans is to keep Ravens' stud QB (and likely 2019 MVP) Lamar Jackson off the field. But when he does emerge, Jackson will likely do what he's done all year.

I have a feeling this will be close for a while but then the Ravens, who won their final 12 regular season games, will put it away.
Baltimore 34 Tennessee 20

Houston Texans (+10) at Kansas City Chiefs: The Texans allowed 356 yards offense to Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen last week, but managed to escape with the win. This week, Houston has to contend with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Good luck.
Kansas City 35 Houston 17

Seattle Seahawks (+5) at Green Bay Packers: The Seahawks are in the postseason mostly on the strength of their offense as opposed to the staunch defensive play which carried them to two Super Bowls in the 2010s. Meanwhile, the Packers have to be the most underwhelming 13-3 team in the history of the NFL.

Seattle was 7-1 on the road in the regular season while Green Bay posted that same 7-1 record at home, so something's gotta give. Weather shouldn't be a huge factor as the temperature will be in the 20s with no precipitation. I don't really have a good feel for this game so it's usually a safe bet to go with the home team, especially in Lambeau Field.
Green Bay 27 Seattle 24

My 2019 Postseason Record:
Against the Spread: 1-3
Straight Up: 1-3


Thursday, January 09, 2020

Closed Circuit to Michelle Willams....

Sorry Ms. Williams, but it is possible to have both a baby and a dream life/career.

Former America's Next Top Model contestant and "reverted Catholic" Leah Darrow (someone whom I've had the honor of interviewing twice) breaks it down.


Wednesday, January 08, 2020

One down, several more to go

It was almost an entire year ago when the MAGA hat donning Covington Catholic boys (specifically student Nick Sandmann) were accused of surrounding and badgering an elderly Native American man on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

These were a few of the more prominent reactions on social media.

And a couple from my personal Facebook timeline:

Of course it was the larger media outlets like CNN, The Washington Post, etc. who ran with the narrative that Sandmann and his ilk were little more than racist hillbillies channeling the Trump mentality of marginalizing non-whites.

As it turned out, the Covington students were merely in the wrong place at the wrong time as it was a group who calls itself Black Hebrew Israelites who instigated the melee by shouting vile, racist epithets. Nevertheless, the damage had been done. Since Sandmann and his school was receiving threats and horribly negative publicity due to the (to be charitable) misleading media coverage, he decided to sue multiple media outlets for tens of millions of dollars.

On Tuesday, one such suit was settled.

Fox 19 first reported that CNN settled with Sandmann on Tuesday for an undisclosed amount. The $250 million defamation suit sought damages for the "emotional distress Nicholas and his family suffered" in the fallout of the network's reporting.

Sandmann’s attorney, Todd McMurtry, declined to comment on the dollar amount or other elements of the settlement with CNN.

McMurtry told Fox News that lawsuits against “as many as 13 other defendants will be filed in 30 to 40 days.”

Among them: ABC, CBS, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, NPR, Slate, The Hill, and Gannett which owns the Cincinnati Inquirer, as well as miscellaneous other small outfits, according to McMurtry. Separate lawsuits against the Washington Post and NBC have already been filed, he added.

I can't speak to the emotional maturity of young Nick but I can only hope he's multiple times more mature than I was at that age. Because if it were teen aged Brad who obtained what I assume was a substantial amount of money over being wrongly maligned, I would have been like "I don't need a college scholarship 'cause I can buy MY OWN SCHOOL, BITCHES!!!!!!!!!!!"

When it's all said and done, Nick Sandmann may be able to start his own college athletic conference.


Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Quick Hits: Volume CCVIII

- Let me start by saying that I believe climate change exists. But I also believe that we are not on the brink of a point of no return if the U.S. doesn't implement multi-trillion dollar, economy crushing policies to address the issue.

With that in mind, enviro-wackos flooded social media this past week with proverbial alarm bells over the Australia wildfires. They're not unlike gun grabbers in that it's demagogue first, wait for the facts (which often undermine their narratives) to surface, yet double-down on the demagoguery.

As such.....

More than 180 alleged arsonists have been arrested since the start of the bushfire season, with 29 blazes deliberately lit in the Shoalhaven region of southeast NSW in just three months.

The Shoalhaven fires were lit between July and September last year, with Kempsey recording 27 deliberately lit fires, NSW Bureau of Crime and Statistics and Research data shows.

Police arrested 183 people for lighting bushfires across Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania in the past few months. NSW police data shows 183 people have been charged or cautioned for bushfire-related offences since November 8, and 24 arrested for deliberately starting bushfires.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist and am not levying any accusations here, but would it surprise anyone if some of the perpetrators were sympathetic to the enviros' cause?

- American media: "How dare you refer to us as the 'enemy of the people!' YOU'RE UNDERMINING OUR CREDIBILITY AND ARE AN AFFRONT TO DEMOCRACY!!!"

Also American media:

-  Speaking of media, remember how leftists lauded Jon Stewart's The Daily Show as a way to connect the youth to news despite the show's satirical bent?

Apparently satire news site The Babylon Bee is not receiving the same courtesy. Check out this Twitter thread from some butthurt CNN reporter.


Monday, January 06, 2020

SAVAGE, indeed

I've never been a fan of the smug, self-congratulatory awards shows put on by the entertainment industry. However, Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais actually made this year's event worth watching (Well, at least his opening monologue).

Just press "play."


Sunday, January 05, 2020

It seemed like the real thing but I was so blind....

Since the Vikings playoff starts at 12:05 pm, I imagine you'll get today's installment of my radio show via podcast. I highly recommend doing so as today's edition of The Closer will be power packed!

We'll obviously discuss President Trump's orders to take out Iranian military leader Qassim Suleimani and the myriad scenarios which may occur in the aftermath.

For the 2:00 pm hour, friend of the show Peter Johnson, he the founder of Archway Defense, will appear on the show to discuss the White Settlement, TX church shooting. An expert in firearms and active shooter engagement, Peter will discuss what went right and what went wrong in this particular incident.

So please call (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to weigh in on any of the topics we plan on addressing.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 or, if you're near downtown Minneapolis/West Metro area, 107.5 FM on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio as well as Amazon Alexa (just say "Alexa, play The Patriot Minneapolis")If you're unable to tune in live, please check out my podcast page for the latest show post.

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #NARNShow or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....


Saturday, January 04, 2020

2019 NFL Playoffs: Wildcard

Buffalo Bills (+2-1/2) at Houston Texans: A fun matchup here as it features a high powered Texans offense led by young stud QB Deshaun Watson against a Bills D ranked #3 overall in terms of yards allowed.

The Texans defense gets a major boost as all-world DE J.J. Watt returns from a torn pectoral muscle (WUT?!?!) to harass what is already one of the worst pass offenses in the NFL (Buffalo ranked 26th in pass yards). If Buffalo can get a lead early, they have a solid running game in the duo of Devin Singletary and Frank Gore, who would likely be able to gash a porous Houston run defense
Buffalo 20 Houston 13

Tennessee Titans (+4-1/2) at New England Patriots: For the first time since the 2009 season, the Patriots will play on wildcard weekend. The Brady-Belichick Pats have never gone to a Super Bowl in a year where they did not have a first round bye. I believe that trend will hold this season but I don't believe their run ends this week.
New England 24 Tennessee 14

Minnesota Vikings (+8) at New Orleans Saints: For the first time since early November, the Vikings will have their full complement of offensive players as RBs Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison have been declared ready to go. However, an already vulnerable Vikings defensive backfield took a huge hit as nickel corners Mike Hughes and Mackensie Alexander have been declared out. That makes this a matchup nightmare for my favorite squad as the Saints high powered offense has been the highest scoring since week 10, averaging 36.3 points per game in that time frame. You have to believe QB Drew Brees and WR Michael Thomas are licking their proverbial chops going into this one.

The Saints have suffered kick-in-the-nuts losses in back-to-back postseasons (The Minneapolis Miracle 2 years ago; the no-call pass interference on the L.A. Rams last year). In what may be Brees' final season, you know they're poised to get that second ring.
New Orleans 38 Minnesota 28

Seattle Seahawks (-1-1/2) at Philadelphia Eagles: For the third straight season, the Eagles rode a hot month of December into the playoffs. This year is even more inexplicable when you consider how decimated they have been by injuries on both sides of the ball. However, QB Carson Wentz, who missed the previous two postseasons due to injury, has been the stalwart of this team. Despite not having a WR log more than 500 yards receiving (TEs Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert had 916 and 607 yds respectively), Wentz threw for more than 4,000 yards in the regular season.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks had to coax RB Marshawn Lynch out of retirement after a series of injuries at that position. Once again, QB Russell Wilson has been the one constant for this team which has endured incredible turnover on the offensive side of the ball over the past two seasons. Combine that with the Seattle D no longer resembling the "Legion of Boom" from their Super Bowl appearances in 2013 and 2014, it makes Wilson's leadership that much more indispensable.

Neither team is anything special on the defensive side of the ball but I still look for this to be a slog (not slug) fest.
Seattle 17 Philadelphia 13


Friday, January 03, 2020

Buckle up

I'm not going to claim I'm any sort of expert on interactions with Iran nor say with certainty what the killing of top military leader Qasem Soleimani will bring upon the U.S.A. However, there are those on social media who likely couldn't find Iran on a map who believe they can tell ya what's what. And their positive/negative appraisal of the situation is pretty much aligned with their personal opinion of President Trump.

For what it's worth, here are some of my own bullet points:

- Approximately 6+ years ago, the New Yorker profiled Soleimani in the aftermath of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad crossed the "red line" by using chemical weapons on his own people. Check out the piece here.

- Those who are charter members of the "resistance" to Trump bring forth the standard chanting point of how this action will inflame the Iranian regime and thus heap violence upon Americans across the world. Umm, dunno if the "resistance" crowd has been paying attention but Iran is the largest state sponsor of terror in the world and has been hostile to the U.S. for more than 40 years. There's no sufficient amount of diplomacy or appeasement with a regime who has no issue engaging in mutually assured destruction.

- Another tireless chanting point is how Trump violated the U.S. Constitution by not seeking authorization from Congress in this "act of war." A couple of things. First, Congress abdicated its authority in the George W. Bush years by funneling the responsibility to the Executive Branch (i.e. the Iraq war). Secondly, and perhaps most key, is the context in which this incident occurred. David French, a constitutional lawyer and frequent Trump critic, laid it out:

- As far as the vacuous bobble heads saying Trump did this to distract from impeachment (a "Wag the Dog" scenario if you will)? I'll be charitable and just say you really need to check your bearings.

- And finally, WaPo is gonna WaPo:


Thursday, January 02, 2020

Quick Hits: Volume CCVII

- On Wednesday my favorite NCAA football squad won their first New Years Day bowl game in nearly 60 years!

With the clock winding down on a dominating performance in the Outback Bowl, Minnesota fans broke into a chant of "Row the boat, row the boat, row the boat."

The never-give-up mantra coach P.J. Fleck used to help change the culture of Golden Gophers football continues to inspire a program determined to recapture its glory days.

"We challenged every one of our players: You want to be a blue blood, you've got to beat the blue bloods," Fleck said Wednesday after No. 16 Minnesota beat No. 9 Auburn 31-24 in a game that wasn't as close as the final score.

"We used to be a blue blood back in the '30s, '40s, '50s and '60s," Fleck added. "We've talked about the word of the year is 'restore.' We want to restore that tradition."

This season was a definitely a positive first step for the Gophs to be a perennial contender in the Big 10 West. And Wednesday's bowl win was also the program's most consequential victory in my lifetime (I was born in 1969). That said, this program is now saddled with significant expectations. While some thrive under those circumstances, others have a tendency to wilt, so Fleck is about to learn quickly that tremendous success in the MAC (where he led W. Michigan to a 13-1 record and a Cotton Bowl appearance in 2016-17) carries significantly less weight than credibility in the Big 10.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald has said "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

Such a philosophy is applicable to last Sunday's shooting at a White Settlement, TX church. Y'see, it is absolutely possible to mourn the loss of two congregants shot by the assailant while rejoicing over the fact that scores of other lives were spared when a security volunteer fatally wounded the gunman. 

If you listed to gun grabbers, you would ascertain that we in the pro-2A crowd took pleasure in the incident so as to justify our worldview. That's some IMAX level projection right there. 

- In this culture of "viral videos" and other internet fame, this particular story gave me joy upon hearing how the Good Samaritan took the exact opposite approach. 

Hannah Enge remembers very little of her ride to Fairview Hospital last month. She’s used to having seizures from her epilepsy, but she knew this was different. She was having severe pain in her lower back.

“I was kind of heeling over in the Uber, like, ‘Oh my goodness this hurts so bad,’” Hannah said.

What the 20 year old didn’t know was that her Uber driver, Allison, had taken her phone to find her emergency contacts. She called Hannah’s mom, who lives 300 miles away, to let her know what was going on.

“She was pretty frantic,” Allie Enge, Hannah’s mom, said. “She said, ‘I’m an Uber driver, I have your daughter and her phone says she has epilepsy!’”

But this wasn’t an epileptic seizure. Hannah had an infection in her kidneys, and her organs were shutting down. When they pulled into the hospital parking lot, her heart stopped.

“I just blanked,” Hannah said. “What I was told is I just stopped breathing.”

She was rushed into the ER. Allison offered to stay with Hannah until family or friends could come.

“Allison was saying that, ‘I can bring her clothes, I can go to Target, I can sit with her,’” Allie said.

After three days in the hospital, and antibiotics, Hannah would recover. Family friends were able to be with her, but Allison was gone.

“She didn’t want any credit for it, and I’m like, ‘Honey, you are going to get credit for it,’” Allie said.

I personally know Hannah, as she competed in the 2017 Miss Minnesota competition (where she was voted Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants) which I co-emceed. And I also know that her health challenges are something she refuses to allow to be a detriment to her, so much so that she often focuses her energy on others and how she can help them in a time of need. So how I see this incident is Hannah reaping something which she absolutely positively would have been willing to do for someone else. And like the Uber driver, Hannah would have done so without any fanfare. 

I'm just so very grateful that she recovered.