Sports | | Brainerd, Minnesota

Wrestling with success

I'm in the process of typing up the Brainerd Warriors wrestling team's season preview. I had a few questions rattle through my fingertips that might be fun for a little discussion among mat fans.

First: Who was the best wrestler you ever saw from the Brainerd lakes area and why?

Second: Who is the top wrestler from your high school? I have all the 100 match winners, but with more matches being wrestled now days, what gets lost are some of the older guys who didn't even wrestle 100 times in their career.

Popple Park

Once in a while, after returning from a sports assignment, I reflect and think, "Boy that was a blast." That's how I felt Sept. 19 when I returned home after interviewing Derek Owen for my Sept. 25 story on Popple Park in his backyard and the Wiffleball tournament that was being played there this weekend. Not only was it a blast to do a story with Derek, who worked for the Dispatch sports department about 10 years ago and is one of the craziest guys I know. It was also a blast to take batting practice with Derek pitching Wiffle Balls to me.

If the world is watching.

I realize I'm outnumbered.

I'm one of a handful of people in Minnesota, and probably North America, who actually cares about soccer, and probably part of an even lesser number who cares about women's soccer.

Although...with the NBA AND NFL locked out or shutdown...whatever they do...things could change for soccer ratings. You can only watch so much baseball.


People typically don't like "girls' soccer." It's slow. It's less physical than the men's side. They don't score enough goals. They're women. Women playing a men's game.

A Hall of Fame thank you

Since being inducted into the Brainerd Warriors Hall of Fame I have been inundated with emails, calls, letters and cards of congratulations. It's a tremendous and humbling honor. Congrats have ranged from people I played baseball against many years ago to a gentleman buying a Mother's Day card at the mall the same day as me. He knew me but I had no idea who he was.

This is Twins Territory?

Charter Communications customers tuning in to watch the Twins game Tuesday against the Yankees were disappointed to find the game wasn't televised.

Charter and Fox Sports North have an agreement to broadcast 105 games to Charter customers. But a disagreement over the cost to broadcast 45 additional games kept Charter customers in the dark Tuesday.

According to the Charter news release, those 45 games used to be on WFTC-My 29. FSN purchased the rights to those games.

Tiger and the Masters

For seven years in the 1990s, golf was my life.

I worked for a golf magazine in Florida and, when not working, was playing golf. Or practicing golf. Or watching golf. And during each of the four majors, I participated in fantasy golf drafts — along the lines of the popular NFL and Major League Baseball fantasy league drafts.

All golf, all the time.

Battle: LA

I hate Los Angeles. That city takes everything that is great about California and ruins it. I might be a little biased. I am after all from Sacramento and we tend to have a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to the City of Angels. Usually we just mutter on about how we might as well divide California into North and South, but recently things have gotten a little more personal.  

Who's your Final Four

On Monday I finished my annual exercise in futility — picking the winners of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. I already have 2 wrong — I picked Alabama-Birmingham and Arkansas-Little Rock to win First Four games and, of course, both lost. My Final Four are Ohio State, Texas, Kansas (which will please my editor) and Wisconsin. I have Ohio State beating Texas in one national semifinal, Kansas beating Wisconsin in the other, and the Buckeyes and Jared Sullinger beating Kansas (much to my editor's chagrin) to win the whole enchilada.

Shot in the Dark

Recently I was assigned to photograph the girls basketball clash between Esko and Pequot Lakes. A point of interest of that night was that Pequot Lakes Patriot Emily Lueck was poised to surpass her 2000 point in her high school basketball career. It was unknown if the game would be stopped when Lueck passed the mark or not. As it turned out the game was not stopped when Lueck hit the basket breaking the 2000 point mark. Many parents struggle with capturing their children on the field, court or pool during sporting events. 

Gordo's going, going, GONE

John Gordon reportedly will broadcast his final season of Twins baseball in 2011. Thank goodness. I've never been a favorite of Gordo, who continuously overstates the obvious (It's 3 and 2, 3 balls and 2 strikes) and his "Touch em all" home run schtick. Just call the game, cut the crap. A couple of my favorite Gordo guffaws: "And he slides into second base with a standup double" ... "It's a high drive to right .. and it's caught at second base by Hudson" AND "There's a long drive to center ... and it's foul" AND lastly "And the first pitch is a ball outside.