November 23, 2004
No matter how you slice it
It was announced today that the Vikings will not retain the services of Mike Kelly past this season. No matter how you slice it, this is not a good development. Some people see this as a sign of an imminent sale, but I see this as a sign of Red McCombs's entrenchment. He is digging in his heels and doing whatever it takes to both save money and show Minnesotans that he sees no hope for a Vikings stadium. It is also becoming clear that McCombs expects to own the team when the season ends and possibly even next season. Bad, bad, bad, bad news. Kelly was the Vikings front man for the stadium effort and his departure signals that McCombs is doing everything he can besides what it will take to keep the Vikings in Minnesota. Besides being the stadium front man for the Vikings, Kelly is also a Minnesotan (from Edina). Without him, a stadium deal for the Vikings this year is even more unlikely than it already was. Kelly, who obviously was doing everything he could to keep his mouth shut had this to say about his departure:
"I want this to be a positive thing and not a negative thing," Kelly said. "I'll just say that ... recently there has been kind of a transition from a growth position to kind of a maintenance position ... I also think from a business perspective, there's not a whole lot more we can do. I don't think there's a lot of growth out there for us."
That is not good to hear. It sounds like more cuts are coming as the Vikings become the Twins of the NFL. Sure they can put a winning team on the field, but it will be in spite of having one of the worst owners in the league. Oh goody. Thanks for everything Mike! You will be missed. My only hope can be found in the always delicious Shooter column, who today said:
Mike Kelly's resignation Monday as executive vice president of the Vikings had been quietly in the works for weeks, and some insiders are surprised that it took so long. Kelly could end up back with the Vikings if Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor purchases the team. Vikings owner Red McCombs squeezed Kelly into resigning. Two years ago McCombs forbade him from interviewing for a top executive position with the Atlanta Falcons.
Glen Taylor is increasingly looking like our only hope. The Fowler-Hecker team looks to have already given up.
I don't know if you know this, but the great states of Wisconsin and Minnesota are right now in the midst of a competition for the "Border Battle Cup." Our two universities are right now battling for bragging rights over who has the best sports program. I recently came across this web page from the Badgers site that does a great job of showing how the two programs are faring in this epic struggle:
|Date||Sport(points available)||Site||UW Pts||UM Pts|
|Oct. 8, 2004||Volleyball (20)||UM||0||20|
|Oct. 8, 2004||Womenís Soccer (40)||UW||0||40|
|Oct. 30, 2004||Volleyball (20)||UW||20||0|
|Nov. 5, 2004||Menís Hockey (10)||UM||0||10|
|Nov. 6, 2004||Football (40)||UW||40||0|
|Nov. 6, 2004||Menís Hockey (10)||UM||0||10|
|Dec. 4, 2004||Womenís Hockey (10)||UW|| || |
|Dec. 5, 2004||Womenís Hockey (10)||UW|| || |
|Jan. 6, 2005||Womenís Basketball (20)||UW|| || |
|Jan. 29, 2005||Womenís Hockey (10)||UM|| || |
|Jan. 30, 2005||Womenís Hockey (10)||UM|| || |
|Feb. 4, 2005||Menís Hockey (10)||UW|| || |
|Feb. 5, 2005||Menís Basketball (40)||UM|| || |
|Feb. 5, 2005||Menís Hockey (10)||UW|| || |
|Feb. 18, 2005||Wrestling (40)||UW|| || |
|Feb. 20, 2005||Womenís Basketball (20)||UM|| || |
|April 8, 2005||Menís Tennis (40)||UM|| || |
|April 10, 2005||Womenís Tennis (40)||UW|| || |
|TBA||Softball (10)||UW|| || |
|TBA||Softball (10)||UW|| || |
A quick analysis shows that due to the strength of the Gophers women's sports, the U of M should be able to win the Cup. I predict that the Gophers women's hockey team will sweep the Badgers (40 pts), and that the Gophers women's basketball team will also sweep the Badgers (40 pts). In addition, the Gophers wrestling team should easily beat the Badgers (40 pts), and while I think the Gophers men's hockey team should also sweep the Badgers (as they did in Madision a few weeks ago) I predict the teams will split at Mariucci (10 pts). That is 130 points to go with the 80 points they already have for a total of 210 points.
The Badgers basketball team should easily beat the Gophers in men's basketball (40 pts.) and they should be able to win at least one hockey game (10 pts.). Add that to the 60 pts they already have and you get 110 pts.
The final 100 pts comes from softball and men's and women's tennis and I don't have a clue how good Badgers or the Gophers are in these sports. However, the Badgers only chance at the cup depends at how good they are at these sports. Otherwise, I predict the Gophers should win the cup easily and prove once again our dominance in sports vs. our neighbors to the east.
Posted by snackeru at November 23, 2004 8:51 AM | Vikings
The news about Kelly was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it could be viewed as Red getting ready to sell the team. Of course, he has been "getting ready to sell the team" for a couple of years now. On the other hand, it could be viewed that if he is going to have the keep the team, he will run it as cheaply as possible. Your analogy of the Vikings becoming the Twins of the NFL is frightening, although with the minimum salary cap Red really can't run the payroll down as far as (insert favorite curse word) Pohlad has. If there ever was a time for Glen Taylor to step up, it is now!!
Curt in Grand Forks
Posted by: Curt Hanson at November 23, 2004 10:19 AM
First off, the Badgers/Gophers game was already at Mariucci, the next meeting is at Madison. If anyone sweeps, it will be the Badgers (40). The UW women's hockey team is #4, so split with the #1 Gophers (20). Not so fast on the Women's b-ball team, I predict a split there as well (Whalen's gone)(20). Badgers men's b-ball, sweep (40). The Badgers have a good wrestling squad this year(#17 preseason), but I think Goldy will prevail(#7 preseason), so 40 for the Gophers as it's only 1 event. There's 180 for Bucky to 160 for Goldy. Minnesota has good mens tennis (40), Wisconsin has decent womens tennis, but MN is horrible (so 40 for UW)
So it will come down to Women's softall, and neither school is really that good, so I'll give that a split.
Overall winner: Badgers by 20. On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin!
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at November 23, 2004 12:14 PM