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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!”
The Vikings and the quarterback spot. COMMON milks this talker more than divulging the stroke-by-stroke recap of his golf game. I don't really feel there's a talker there because as mentioned the last eight days I would be flabergasted if MATT CASSEL doesn't get the call Sunday. After that -- ah, there's the intriguing talker.
My joking suggestion to HC LESLIE FRAZIER today before we taped the "Xs and Os" show was for him to use CHRISTIAN on first down, Cassel on second down and JOSH FREEMAN on third down. Then if it's 4th-and-short dust off "The Blazer" and use JOE WEBB. We'd be making history for sure, becoming the first team in NFL lore to use four QBs one series.
Seriously, Ponder might check down for three yards. Cassel gives it to MVP, and he gets stuffed by an elite Carolina front seven. Then we use Josh and his big-time deep game to dagger CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN up the seam to GREG JENNINGS. Cool. IALTO. Or not.
My take as shared #92Noon today is I wouldn't be surprised if Christian doesn't start a game the rest of the year. Cassel was terrific at Wembley, and this is a big test for the nine-year veteran Sunday, assuming he gets the call. Matt's run in K.C. was quite inconsistent, which means his recent past performances indicate he'll regress to a certain mean this week.
And Cassel now has the added pressure of Freeman in the mix. It was interesting watching the strapping Freeman run the "scout team" today, the Panthers' offense against our first defense. He did it with zest and zeal and genuinely looked elated to be practicing and out of Tampa. He treated a job normally handled by the third-stringer with a professionalism that should make our defense better.
I didn't get a chance to meet Freeman post practice today but wanted to ask him the last time -- if ever -- he guided a scout team during practice. My guess is, oh, never!
He sure is impressive looking, though. I am hoping we struck gold with the signing, and given I believe we will draft a QB next April we should have a nifty off-season battle for the starting spot. I am not counting out Christian Ponder, either, because maybe he's taking the path less traveled. The same journey taken by ALEX SMITH, who was a stone-cold bust out of Utah, got it together and almost elevated his team to the Super Bowl and now is a big reason the Kansas City Chiefs are undefeated.
Alex -- like Christian -- is more of a touch-pass guy who is very smart and needed to sit back for a minute and watch the game. It had to have made him better, and that's the hope for Christian. Again, assuming Cassel starts Sunday it's his money to lose. If he per chance bungles something Josh Freeman may be next in line. Christian is in the underachieving abyss right now, can't sulk and has to pull through.
Cassel doesn't run as well as Christian, and the hope Sunday is the middle pressure applied by a very tough Carolina defense doesn't take Cassel off his spot. If he can drop back and bounce around a bit he'll make the Panthers secondary pay. Adrian running behind JEROME FELTON will help things, but Carolina allows fewer than 100 RYPG. We need Adrian to run for some explosives Sunday because that will pull the safeties closer to the line of scrimmage and the QB can do some damage down field.
I feel we'll find a way to win this game and it helps that CAM NEWTON is not very good at orchestrating fourth-quarter comebacks. Cam has his pluses, no doubt, but beating teams late is not one. This is an interesting game for our defense becaused this is the most pedestrain offense we have seen all year. Jump these Panthers early and glide to 2-and-3.