Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I Don't Know What To Do With My Hands: In Praise of These Gophers and Their Hot Start

Rodney Williams finishing a 360-degree dunk into what is probably the correct hoop.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers men's basketball squads have a recent history of hot starts in the non-conference portion of their schedules during Tubby Smith's tenure as coach. Last year's team started 12-1 but could only muster an NIT berth after a 6-12 Big Ten campaign. The 2010-11 squad also romped through their early season schedule, going 11-1 with wins over North Carolina and West Virginia, but Al Nolen's broken foot derailed that team's chance at postseason success. Also, let's not forget the 16-1 start to the 2008-09 season that included a neutral-court win over 9th-ranked Louisville but ended in a 1st round thud in the NCAA Tournament at the hands of A.J. Abrams and Dexter Pittman.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Homecoming: An Overdue Visit to the Minnesota Hall of Athlete Aggression (MelAnChoLy in Minnesota Part III)

Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Daily.

(Click HERE for Part I: Ligaments)

(Click HERE for Part II: Concussions)

Waseca, Minnesota, used to be the home of a two-year agriculture-heavy university, a branch of the University of Minnesota system. The school's mascot was the Ram, and one of my best friend's dads used to be the starting center on their basketball team. I was a graduate of the complex's preschool in 1990, two years before it was shut down. It's sort of embarrassing to have the most prestigious institution of higher learning in your hometown be turned into a prison to save $6 million out of what was a $1.6 billion university system budget. As a die-hard Minnesota sports fan, it's just as embarrassing to also have a wing of that former school/current prison in your hometown house the Minnesota Hall of Athlete Aggression, commissioned in 2009 and opened just a few months ago.