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September 13, 2005

Today's bit of wisdom

• First things first, by now you've all heard that Minnesota state basketball star Isaiah Dahlman has given a verbal commitment to attend Michigan State. My question is, how long before he decides to attend the University of Minnesota? Check out this list of former state high school basketball stars:

What is going on here? What kind of voodoo magic does Monson have over these players? And again, when should we expect Dahlman to wear the maroon and gold? My bet is after his sophomore year. The writing is on the wall: Dahlman goes to Michigan State, plays decently, but realizes he'd rather be closer to home and his family. He will be a Gopher some day. I think that is a given.

• And now for the issue that just won't die, stadiums in Minnesota. I refuse to get my hopes up. I just flat out refuse. But the news coming out of St. Paul is very intriguing. Here is what Dean Johnson has recently said regarding not just one, but three stadiums in our fine state:

"I just got done talking to constituent groups, and they were fairly positive for a one- or two-day special session and a vote on all three stadiums. ... There's now an attitude of getting the job done," he said.

Holy crap. That would be so amazing. But again, I refuse to get my hopes up. Dean Johnson is smoking some pretty powerful wacky-tabacci if he thinks this state can pass a bill to fund even one stadium. Or is he? Of course, T-Paw still refuses to commit to a special session in the wake of Hurricane Katrina so this is all moot until he starts speaking more favorably concerning the possibility.

If no special session is called, though, Mike Opat had some depressing things to say:

"The economics are time-sensitive -- steel prices, oil prices, construction, inflation. That's going to change," said Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat, who led the county's negotiations with the Twins for a ballpark deal that includes $125 million from the team and a proposed countywide sales tax. "If the Legislature is unwilling to take us up on this offer, I can't see going through the considerable time and effort to renegotiate with the team."

Does T-Paw think this issue will go away? Because it won't. The Twins and Vikings could leave our state after 2011, we could be without these teams for years, but sooner or later new stadiums for NFL football and MLB baseball will be built in Minnesota. That is a given. It would be a whole heckuva lot cheaper to just do it now.

But I refuse to get my hopes up. There will always be higher priorities. I will be amazed if all this talk actually results in even one stadium being built.

Posted by snackeru at September 13, 2005 8:49 AM | Gophers | Stadiums


Hurricane Katrina was horrible, but what on earth does that have to do with the state of Minnesota and a special session for sports stadiums? I'm getting so sick and tired of this governonr finding every possible excuse he can to sit on his dead @ss and do nothing. Hurricane Katrina should have nothing to do with our state getting its business done. In fact we should be celebrating the fact that we don't live in New Orleans and invest in our own community even more by passing these projects.

Shane, this place will NEVER get it done. What was once thought of an innovative place with progressive thinkers, MN quickly become the laughing stock of the nation ever since the election of gov. turnbuckle. and now gov. gimmick.

Where have the days of Humphrey and Carlson gone?? It doesn't matter which side of the aisle you're on, this is PATHETIC.

Posted by: kevin at September 13, 2005 10:03 AM

I am still optimistic. The Gophers stadium is a lock. Now Z. Wilf and Anoka County seem to be coming to an agreement and Wilf is pushing hard to get a Vikings stadium considered along with the Twins and Gophers.

Counterintiutively, the Viking situation helps the Twins. It is considered gospel that the Twins situation is more dire than the Vikes. Now if the legislature considers the Vikings deal, they can't ignore the Twins.

If we had a session, all three would pass, probably relatively easily. Stadium opponents know this that's why they are dragging their feet on a special session. Gopher stadium backers are at the Capitol today, Z Wilf was there yesterday. Where are the Twins?

We need to keep hope alive and pressure our elected officials to have a two day special session to consider the stadium deals, a year delay will easily add 10 to 15 percent in costs.

You have your marching orders....

Posted by: freealonzo at September 13, 2005 10:20 AM

I find it interesting that even though Dahlman's grandfather coached for the U, he is still going to Michigan State. I believe that the men's basketball program at the U has a real "pull," and a soft spot in the hearts of all Minnesotans (at least those who follow basketball at any level). Therefore, when native Minnesotans leave the state to play college basketball, and it does not turn out to be everything they hoped for, they transfer back. Humphries realized that Coach K tends not to play freshmen much, so he came back. Rickert realized that he would not play as much (nor as quickly) at Arizona as he would have at the U, and he comes back. Troy Bell, on the other hand, became "the man" for Boston College, hence he stayed. I agree that Monson does have some sort of magic, and I am very happy for it. Nothing ticks me off more than a Minnesotan turning down the U to go elsewhere. Ski-U-Mah!

And Shane, on a personal level, don't get your hopes up! I have faith that Zygi will deliver.

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at September 13, 2005 10:22 AM

Curt is correct, the only reason MN players come back is that they realize they will play more here. I don't believe it has anything to do with being homesick or Monson's pull.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at September 13, 2005 11:12 AM

Let me tell you geniuses something. The only reason any stadium debate is being kept alive is because of my close, personal friend Zygi Wilf. When I was having lunch with Dave Mona after my last radio show, I took a call from my close, personal friend George Steinbrenner. Now let me tell you punks something. George and I go way back and he is a great guy, single handily defeating a whole troop of Nazis back in the Big One. Now where the hell was I. Oh yeah, Martina Navatilupa said Zygi is a great guy and hell get the stadium done. All of them. Hes going to team up with my close, personal friends Lou Holtz and Bobby Knight and build those stadiums themselves. Just the three of them. As long as those punks at the State Legislator pass the money for the infrastructure. What the hell do they want? A cold Omaha? Bunch of geniuses in St. Paul. Time for my nap. Bunch of punks.


Posted by: Sid at September 13, 2005 12:08 PM

Ben Johnson, Dan Coleman, and Moe Hargrow -- all of them were homesick. Rickert and Humphries definitely wanted the playing time. And Boone just wasn't good enough to play at UNC. Hopefully a couple of years later he is a better player.

And freealonzo, thanks for the pep talk. Yes, there is a lot of pressure right now and I agree that the Vikings are doing a nice job of adding to it. But I'm with Kevin still on this one. After 10 years all we have from our politicians is still just talk. And that is all we are getting from them now.

Does this mean that I won't be writing my legislators and the governor again (and again, and again, and again)? No. Of course I'll write, harrass, and do whatever I can to finally get us over this hump.

When T-Paw even hints that a special session may be called, that is when my hope will sky rocket. I am a little bit worried about that, to tell you the truth.

And freealonzo, I'm listening to Cash's American IV. I love it! Thanks for the suggestion...

Posted by: Shane at September 13, 2005 12:13 PM


I can get you a iTunes data disc of that Cash CD. Unless you have it already. Better yet is the 'Hurt' video.

Posted by: Brian Maas at September 13, 2005 12:20 PM

Ack! And let me also thank Mr. COD for giving me the Cash music in the first place! Sheesh. And thanks for the offer Brian, but I can burn a CD based on what you gave me already.

Posted by: Shane at September 13, 2005 12:29 PM

I just didn't know if it was on the data disc or not. Good! Glad it was there. I am told to try American III: Solitary Man as well but I haven't had time to download it yet.

Posted by: Brian Maas at September 13, 2005 12:33 PM

Don't forget American Recordings 1 and 2!!

If any one wants to read my take on Johnny Cash and the "universal theory" of the American Recordings albums, let me know in a private e-mail and I will send it to you.

Posted by: freealonzo at September 13, 2005 1:08 PM

If Monson had this mystical "Pull" they wouldn't go elsewhere to begin with. I think it reflects poorly upon him that these people go elsewhere first. Monson needs to do a better job informing these players that they'll get the playing time, that they'll be close to home, that they'll be playing for a quality team, etc. Instead they go to some other program that they feel is better...

If Wilf is willing to put up a majority of the money, he could easily get the thing done. The Gopher's want their own stadium, and they have to power to get that done too. So, that leaves the Twins. If the Twins organization was smart, they would put the money into a complete referb of the dome. Yes it wasn't designed to be a baseball stadium, but the referb can take care of the problems with that. With the Vikings and Gophers out, it could become a baseball only facility. It has many benefits. Light rail, existing infrastructure, Kirby Puckett Way, no rain-outs or delays, etc. If all the teams vacate the dome, we have a stadium with no teams to play in it. Thus, all of those things go to waste... Somebody should be talking about using the dome instead of just throwing it away...

Posted by: DouglasG at September 13, 2005 1:30 PM

Coleman is a momma's boy, so he came back for that. Hargrow is a major head case, so nobody knows what's up with him and Johnson & Boone only came back when they got new coaches they didn't like. So only 1 of your 4 came back as they were homesick for sure. So much for that theory.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at September 13, 2005 4:01 PM

The Dome is ideally suited for tractor pulls, rodeos and boat shows. It can handle final fours, Pink Floyd concerts, and Billy Graham crusades, should there be any more.

Just how much do you think it would cost to rip out the concrete infrastructure that defines the seating positions and reorient them? Plenty. And when you were done, you'd have a domed stadium with artificial turf that no one wants to go into when the weather is great in Minnesota.

The Twins stadium in its proposed location would be accessible by not only the light rail, but potentially by a Northstar line. Whether Metro Transit would add runs to the Northstar line to accommodate the Twins is another story.

Posted by: SBG at September 13, 2005 4:09 PM

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