February 7, 2005
I pride my self on being able to admit when I am wrong, and boy was I ever wrong about this year's Gopher's basketball team. Now, in my defense I think they've caught everyone by surprise, but last October I wrote something stupid which is now coming back to haunt me. In October the U of M student newspaper, the Minnesota Daily, advertised student Gopher basketball season tickets and the advertisements themselves featured a huge picture of Jeff Hagen. I was unimpressed and I wrote, "If that is the best player on the Gophers, the only player worthy of featuring in an advertisement to build excitement for the team, then they are in a load of trouble this year." Boy was I wrong. Jeff Hagen is a stud, and Vincent Grier is out of this world. If you are still torturing yourself with the T-Wolves start watching the Gophers. It has been a long time since I've had this much fun wathing Gopher's basketball.
Why am I writing this now? Because people are doing Google searches for "Jeff Hagen" and coming to my site through the post in October above. So, if I mention "Jeff Hagen" enough hopefully Google will now pick this entry to point people to. Did I mention that I love Jeff Hagen?
And in case you didn't know, Saturday's game was worth 40 points for the Gopher's athletic program in the battle for the fabled "Border Battle Cup" between the U of M and Wisconsin. Never heard of this competition between our two schools? That is because this "fabled battle" is in its first year. Anyway, here are what the standings look like:
|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||0||10|
|Dec. 5, 2004||Womenís Hockey (10)||UW||5||5|
|Jan. 6, 2005||Womenís Basketball (20)||UW||0||20|
|Jan. 29, 2005||Womenís Hockey (10)||UM||0||10|
|Jan. 30, 2005||Womenís Hockey (10)||UM||0||10|
|Feb. 4, 2005||Menís Hockey (10)||UW||10||0|
|Feb. 5, 2005||Menís Basketball (40)||UM||0||40|
|Feb. 5, 2005||Menís Hockey (10)||UW||0||10|
|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|| || |
Yikes! This is what is known as a royal butt whoopin' behind the proverbial wood shed. Can the Badgers come back and actually make this a "battle"? Yes, but it is unlikely. They would have almost have to sweep all the remaining competitions.
However, having said all of this, ask me what I would rather have: the Border Battle Cup or Paul Bunyan's Axe, and I'll take the Axe every time.
Finally, the two Twin Cities dailies were a flurry of Viking news this weekend, floating between reporting on a potential sale of the Vikings and a trade of Randy Moss. Sean Jensen of the PiPress reported on Saturday that the NFL was in fact involved in discussions with Red and potential buyers of the Vikings franchise. On Sunday, Sid reported that Fowler is "close to putting a group together to try to buy the Vikings, and Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor may have made or will make a new bid to buy the team from Red McCombs." And now today, the Strib again reports that there is no validity to ESPN reports that Moss is being shopped around. Tucked in this article is also some Fowler/Taylor news:
Meanwhile, Fowler's exclusive negotiating rights with McCombs, believed to be for 30 days, will reach its midpoint today. Some have speculated that McCombs will attempt to either complete a deal with Fowler or move on to other offseason business this week. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has said he will be ready to act if Fowler is unable to purchase the team. Taylor, however, has been unwilling to meet McCombs' $600-plus million price tag.
I think we can safely assume that something will be happening shortly. Here is what I think. Red wants to sell, the NFL desperatelty wants him to sell, either to a minority owner or a local owner, and it is now make or break time for Fowler's group. Could Red be dropping Moss trade hints in order to freak out Fowler or Taylor? To get them to move quicker on a purchase of the team? Whatever the case, I don't think I can take another year of Red owning the team. Imagine if you were a potential buyer of the Vikings. They are $30 million under the salary cap. If you bought the team, what would you do with all that cap money? I know what I would do, I would spend it and make a run. I would play with my new toy. Pray. Pray that Fowler or Taylor buys the team. Let's have fun again next year.
Given the Goophs penchant for cheating, it wouldn't surprise me if there was some foul play involved by them... (this is what is known as sour grapes, for those just tuning in)
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at February 7, 2005 9:11 AM
Don't be too hard on yourself about Jeff Hagen. In the few games that I saw last year, he looked lost and timid. Everything seems to be working for him and the team this year. I hope they keep it up and make it to the Big Dance.
Curt in Grand Forks
Posted by: Curt Hanson at February 7, 2005 11:10 AM