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|FRIDAY, MAY 17 (subject to change)|
OPEN: P.A. AND CHARCH 'FEASTING
9:33: MIKE FLORIO profootballtalk.com
|9:55: VIKES C JOHN SULLIVAN IN STUDIO|
|10:20: sully stays|
|10:33: sully stays|
|10:53: KG FSN IN STUDIO/hockey and horsies|
|11:20: kg stays|
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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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Minnesota vs. Chicago – NHL Playoffs!
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Some facets of pressure on the local sports scene increased dramatically
esterday, and kid coaches RICH PITINO and MIKE YEO have to be excited to
Rick Pitino's son housed TUBBY'S job, and at age 30 undoubtedly will bring
a youthful excitement to the basketball offices and will bust ass to not
embarrass his dad. Gut feeling is he'll recruit the heck out of everything and
will be fine. He also came at a fair price, and in the end the AD took a stand
with this kid coach. There's pressure to be right for the AD and for the kid
coach to compete and recruit well, and if they open veins probably would say
they embrace the challenge. Good luck to all involved.
You know the pressure is on Wild HC Mike Yeo, a coach i am quite fond of. He's still relatively new to the game and has some rock-star players in ZACH PARISE, MIKKO KOIVU, RYAN SUTER and now the respected JASON POMINVILLE, the kid we nabbed from the Sabres.
Problem is, hockey is a chemistry game, and our potion of late has been off. San Jose beat us by two, the Stars zapped us six days ago, we were shoddy versus The Champs and came back and won, CULLEN is out a couple of weeks and HEATLEY was hurt last night. Will Pominville enchance a chemistry that is a tad off right now or take time to learn the system and the nuances of his new teammates? No time to play the topsy-turvy card.
Yep, our coach might have to make the playoffs to not enter the need-a-new-coach meatgrinder and his postioning right now is fine given we are the three seed with 44 points. But there are teams chomping at us, and the bottom seed in the playoffs only is like five points behind. My guess is Mike embraces this challenge because he is intense and tough and like a couple of weeks ago will find a way to get this bunch hot again. Earlier this season when we were one of the game's more boring teams, Yeo changed line combos, sent messages and finally found a hot streak that included wins at Detroit, Vancouver and Dallas.
We are not far removed from six consecutive wins, a stretch in which we snatched 12 points and gave none. Impressive. It'll get there again. I am not sure what Mike's coaching style entails, but his guys have appeared tired the last week or so. Maybe they watch too much film and need more chill time? Maybe he needs to loosen the reins and let the high-enders run?
Bottom line is the team is constructed to make the postseason this year, the owner and GM gave up a lot to get Pominville and the HC has to make it work. Yep, that's pressure, and in high-level sports, there's no better feeling.
"Good Times" for several on the sports front these days, and it's time to celebrate a tad.
THE WOLVES -- Team beat The OKC last Friday night, and has beaten Detroit, Phoenix and Boston by double digits. I attended last night's game against the C's and the adversary had no chance against PEK, who dominated. The offense ran though Nikola, he was crafty, he passed well out of doubles and went to the line 11 times.
ADELMAN is such an Elite Offensive Mind. Versus RANDOLPH, BASS and WILCOX it was clear the best route to winning was to dominate down low, and he milked Pek like it was a travel kid v. some in-housers.
The Wolves have been fun to watch of late, and I'd pay money to watch AK47 when he's healthy. He's one of the game's smartest players and when healthy does so many little things that impact the game it's impressive to the eye of the basketball snob. The only problem with the team winning games is sooner or later there will be those bitching we are messing up the draft spot, which is stupid given they are compensated to win games.
CARSON PALMER IN ARIZONA -- Good times for Cards fans because if protected I think Carson has some good stuff left in him. Clearly, he wanted nothing to do with Raider Nation and will bounce back to life getting out of that Black Hole.
The Cards have three of the first 69 picks in the draft and clearly have to focus on OL and speed WR outside to complement FITZ. Through injuries and poor talent the Cards got the QB sacked way too frequently last year. I put a lot of that blame on JOHN SKELTON, who held the ball way too long too often.
Carson Palmer is not fleet of foot, either, and will get pounded if they don't fix that line. He still throws a sweet deep ball, but with BRUCE ARIANS as the HC there will be some seven-step flavor to the passing game, and Palmer has to get rid of the rock and cannot afford to take hits like BEN did when he balled for Bruce.
Still, this is the best QB they have had in Arizona in like forever, and if they draft well will be a sneaky NFC West contender next season.
TAVON AUSTIN -- Good times for the St. Louis Rams if they take Austin at 16, and that's what I predict happens. I do not endorse the Vikings trading up to get the WV slot guy Austin but feel he will be a terrific replacement for BRADFORD when it comes to what they lost with AMENDOLA. Of course, at 23 I'd take him but we'll never get a chance.
I like Tavon a ton and his make-you-miss skills are very good, but Cal WR KEENAN ALLEN almost always makes the first guy miss and has some sudden to his game that reminds me of PERCY. Still honing in on Keenan Allen as one of our two first-round picks.
SCSU HOCKEY -- Good for MR. MOTZKO'S team, which is in the Frozen Four and, quite honestly, the team I hope wins it all.
All season I got the feel college-hockey snobs failed to give SCSU its proper credit, and when I would mash on WCHA stats, the SCSU special-teams stats were superb and from afar it looked like a quality team. Then it ended up as the four-seed in its region, and I didn't get it. Co-champs of the WCHA and disrespected? The wonks would tell me it was due to some non-conference flim-flams and some series against New Hampshire.
None of that matters now becaause hoisting the hardware after winning the Frozen Four would trump all the Pairwise Negatories dissing your season. Likewise for Quinnipiac, a team that for most of the season was number one in the Precious Pairwise and college-hockey snobs would make fun of it and said "it didn't matter because the team is not that good."
Put a Q around the Frozen Four because the team has a chance at immortality and an opportunity to show those who felt the numero-uno status via the rankings was legit.
MIKE RICE -- Somethingcalled Mike Rice for me, the HC for the Rutgers BB team. No "Good Times" here. This asshole treated his players like crap. The well respected TV show "Outside the Lines" released this stuff via espn.com and it's troubling to watch. I am -- like many -- surprised a player didn't slug him and go to the video to defend himself, claiming he was demeaned and just snapped.
Executed the bit today at Brothers Bar and Grill in Erotic City, and while most were there for the comped breakfast/Twins season opener, the majority of questions I fielded involved the state's most popular team and the upcoming first round of the draft. Not surprisingly because off a playoff season, the addition of GREG JENNINGS and the MVP in the backfield, Rubes are excited to take this thing from good to great.
The draft can do that, and last-year's process changed the culture around here, instilling upper-end talent at key spots like left tackle, safety and kicker. Until the Jennings acquistiion and jettisoning of PERCY it seemed like a cinch the team would use a first-round pick on a WR. And while I do believe one of those two will go the way of an outside-the-numbers guy, it's a very, very deep draft for guys we could use, and maybe filling other needs with 23 and 25 is what needs to transpire?
I took a peek at the first rounds of the last five drafts to see what kind of receivers were selected and what the bust factor was like. During said quintet of hope selling there have been eight receivers selected in the 20s and six of them have been very solid.
2012: KENDALL WRIGHT (Tennessee) at 20 and AJ JENKINS (Niners) at 30. Wright was serviceable but not spectacular. The topsy-turvy state of the Titans OL and QB play I believe contributed to his okay season. I'd take Wright on my team in a minute. Jenkins never got off the bench and so far is a whiff.
2011: JONATHAN BALDWIN (KC) at 26. Non-factor to this point with two career TDs and a first-round miss.
2010: DEMARYIUS THOMAS (Denver) at 22 and DEZ BRYANT (Dallas) at 24. Both wins; I'd take them both. Thomas is sitting on elite status, and Bryant, despite his mercurial ways, can be dynamic. I'd take them both.
2009: This is the best of the last five years for WRs taken in the 20s. PERCY came to us at 22 and became Offensive Rookie of the Year. He had a ton to do with us almost making the Super Bowl. HAKEEM NICKS went to the Giants at 29 and KENNY BRITT to the Titans at 30. Britt has 19 touchdowns and only has played 16 games once. There also have been some off-field flim-flams for the kid from Rutgers, but when healthy and happy is a pretty tough cover. He also is considered elite in the run game. Nicks is one of my favorite WRs in the game, is sneaky fast, and when not battling nagging injuries commands double coverage. He blew up for four TDs during the Giants 2011 postseason/Super Bowl run and stole the show.
In 2008 there were no WRs taken in the entire first round. THEGREAT JORDY NELSON went 36 to Green Bay. That second round was a total buzzkill for us; we took TYRELL JOHNSON at 43 and behind him went MATT FORTE (44), FRED DAVIS (48), DESEAN JACKSON (49) and RAY RICE (55). Mother!
So, of the eight WRs taken in the 20s the last five years six can change games, which means there are no tells on selecting them around 23/25. Bottom line, if the team selects a WR there it's because it deems the player the best player available and it also services a need. We need depth at DT, LB, CB and DE and 23/25 could be landing spots for those positions.
But the take good WRs are tough to find in the 20s is inaccurate and, personally, when Voxing the draft-party show I hope we move on a WR at 23/25. I'd like to grab a guy who starts week one with Jennings, JARIUS WRIGHT and JEROME SIMPSON. Then maybe tag another later and with one of those six picks we have through the first four rounds. If they truly covet a WR higher in the draft of course they have enough currency to move up, but I'd like them to chill and let the players fall where they may.
Happy Easter, Rube Nation. Never give up. Don't fear change. Always pray. Don't pray selfishly. Love your kids. Give in sometimes. Show vulnerability. Say "I love you" to people.
For my money "RICH GIRL" is one of the greatest songs ever done. It's by my guys DARYL HALL AND JOHN OATES from like 1975 and actually was written about a very materialistic man. They changed it to Rich Girl because it worked better, and we all have come across daddy's money, right? Male or femals. Fifty Shades of Entitled. Some of them stone-cold mooches. Trust-fund fools, too fat and happy to compete, too lazy to get work. Lines are long and the gigs are hard to find, bleepers!
Anyoldway, this song includes a group of rappers/performers called THE DIRTY HEADS and is one of the best versions of the classic number I ever have seen. Thanks to 'FAN Faithful JESSE REGAN for emailing it to me because I am a Daryl Hall Rube but never had seen this.
Happy Easter weekend, friends, and bless all of you. When they move that rock in a few days He'll be gone because that's what He does - make miracles. Thank you, Father.