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We celebrate the 1983 Wayzata Club Hockey Team and one of its stars, Jonny "The Mouse" Mikkelson, who once told me "Our team was so good the varsity wouldn't play us." When asked why he didn't play varsity Mouse said, "Too little." Cutest ever. So, we salute the greatest Club Hockey Team ever, a squad so vaunted even Jim Craig's Miracle team wanted nothing to do with it. Trottier, Bossy, Gretzky, Messier ... dead! Long live the 1983 Wayzata Club Hockey team!
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f the Wild were Judge Charles H. Older, the judge that sent Charles Manson to the clink: “2 weeks in the workhouse and 1 month probation!”
I remember interviewing Minnesota Timberwolves coaches and players years ago in advance of a Golden State game, and they all warned us to be aware of how good the GSW were in the offensive-rebounding department. The Warriors at the time had one of the game's worst records and I thought "What an overrated stat. That just means they might be good at catching a lot of their own misses."
That was the case because the Warriors were a bad shooting team but good at running down their bricks. The Miami Heat were chided for a lack of offensive-rebounding prowess during the postseason and won the title. To wit, the Heat won the offensive-rebounding category once in the ECF and won the series.
Offensive rebounds matter for sure but are not as important as many other stats in the NBA. That, too, goes for double plays in Major League Baseball. Yeah, it's cool to turn the trick but (a) it means you forever are allowing guys on base and (b) you may be one swing away from an inning going pear-shaped.
Case in point here -- the Twins and Astros are two of the worst teams in MLB yet are 1-3 in DPs turned (Twins are first at 1.15 a game). The Twins had an awful season last year but led MLB in DP's turned at 1.16 per game. All those 6-4-3 bits failed to offset all the losing.
In the NFL teams want to avoid penalties, right? Strangely, Baltimore -- the champs -- had the second most penalties in the game last year and the most yards against. The NFC Champion Niners had the seventh most infractions go against them. Five of the eight most penalized teams in the game last year made the playoffs. Five of the seven least penalized teams missed the postseason.
Whattheheck? It's an indicator the best teams are able to overcome penalties and that they play aggressively in most cases. The procedural penalties (offsides/false starts) generally are pretty stupid, but some of these holding penlaties may be paying off. In other words, if a guy gets nailed for a holding penalty maybe he got away with the same maneuver 10 other times, they went uncalled and also helped his team rattle off a big play?
In the NFL and outside of wins/losses the most significant stats by far are points scored/allowed and takes/gives. Maybe number of penalties is overrated? Maybe not? Double plays generated for sure, though, is an overrated stat if Our Favorite Nine and the putrid Astrios are 1-3 in MLB.
... VIKINGS-DETROIT: Four days to the season-opening contest, and I am super excited. I can tell the fan base is fired up, too.
We played the final eight games of the season as the best running team in the NFL and it worked. Teams blitzed us a ton last year to (a) attempt to fluster CHRISTIAN and (b) to catch ADRIAN in the backfield. It didn't work but I expect to see it again starting Sunday at Detroit.
The Lions' DL with FAIRLEY, SUH, JONES and IDONIJE can be very tough against the run because all four are very strong and physical. Maybe they won't blitz as much as other teams last year?
I am curious to see with an offseason to prepare how teams try to slow Adrian, who is a 151-yard running game from joining HOFs JIM BROWN and ERIC DICKERSON as one of three to ramble for 9,000 yards in just 90 games. What will teams do to slow our beast? And if they blitz will Ponder make teams pay with single coverage all over the field?
These scenarios are very intruguing to me because what we do starts and stops with 28, but with the addition of JENNINGS and PATTERSON, plus a healthy SIMPSON and more savvy JARIUS WRIGHT, we have the ability to strike all over the field. Our offense should be pretty good this year.